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COMPETITION LAW: (Not) breaking the bank

03 June 2011  

Kai Struckmann and Genevra Forwood map out the options available to companies unable to pay fines imposed by the European Commission

European Commission fines for infringements of competition law are high. It is no longer uncommon for fines to reach the legal maximum of 10% of the company’s worldwide turnover. It is therefore unsurprising, especially in times of financial crisis, that many companies find themselves unable to pay the fine. This poses a dilemma for the enforcement of competition rules: to allow companies to avoid paying the consequences of breaking the rules would undermine the whole competition regime. At the same time, it is undesirable from a social and economic point of view (and may indeed be counterproductive in terms of competition) for companies to be fined into bankruptcy.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Animal Feed Phosphates Case 38866 (20 July 2010)

    ArcelorMittal Wire France & ors T385/10 R (7 December 2010)

    Bathroom Fittings and Fixtures [2010] Case 39092 (23 June 2010)

    Heat stabilizers Case 38.589 (11 November 2009)

    Pre-stressing Steel Case 38344 (30 June 2010)

    Quimitécnica T-564/10 (pending)

    R, Westfälische Drahtindustrie & ors T393/10 (13 April 2011)

    R, 1.garantovaná T392/09 (2 March 2011)