Proof of Cartel Delinquency: Fashioning the European Cartel Offence

Christopher Harding and Julian Joshua

in Regulating Cartels in Europe

Second edition

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199551484
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594977 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in European Law

Proof of Cartel Delinquency: Fashioning the European Cartel Offence

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This chapter addresses a major element within the process of the legal control of cartels, focusing on an analysis of some specific problems. It deals with the issue of proving the existence and operation of illegal cartels as part of the process of legal enforcement. The difficulty arises from the ‘underground’ or hidden nature of cartel activity following the stronger prohibition and sanctioning from the 1970s onwards. For an enforcement agency such as the European Commission, evidence then became a dominant issue, and in particular the need to distinguish deliberate collusion from more innocent parallel market activities and to have convincing evidence of the more specific participation of individual companies in cartel operations. This has led to an increasingly complex process of defining and proving the extent of cartels, in particular through the concept of the ‘single continuous infringement’.

Keywords: evidence; collusion; parallelism; cartel operations; single continuous infringement

Chapter.  14956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: EU Law

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