European Commission Considers Taking Over Cartel Investigations to Prevent Exploitation of German Law Loophole

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Under German law, companies may escape cartel fines by undertaking an internal restructuring.  The German competition authority has indicated a willingness to reallocate such cases to the European Commission, which can impose a fine on the corporate group regardless of any internal restructuring.  Commission officials speaking at a conference have suggested recently that the Commission would be willing to take over cartel cases from EU Member States, even at a late stage in the proceedings, in order to fine undertakings for their anti-competitive behaviour.