Giving Teeth To The General Court’s Unlimited Jurisdiction To Review Competition Law Fines: Advocate General Wathelet’s Opinion In Telefónica

The level of fines imposed by the European Commission in competition cases has attracted controversy for more than ten years. The often deferential approach of the European courts to hearing appeals has also been criticised, but in many cases the courts have largely left untouched the Commission’s exercise of its discretion in setting fines. In one recent case, Chalkor, the ECJ indicated some helpful general principles, but the courts have remained unpredictable in how they reviewed Commission fines. However, the movement towards effective judicial review has received a boost from a remarkable Opinion issued on 26 September 2013 in Telefónica. Advocate General Wathelet calls on the General Court to exercise fully its unlimited jurisdiction when reviewing the proportionality of fines. The opinion is written in unusually stringent terms.

Irrespective of whether the Court of Justice ultimately follows AG Wathelet’s non-binding Opinion in the present case, it confirms the importance of robust judicial scrutiny in light of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights especially given the ever increasing level of penalties.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© White & Case LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.