Assessing the Effectiveness of Competition Law Enforcement Policy in Relation to Cartels

Priit Mändmaa


Despite the high fines for cartel infringements it is claimed that the current competition law enforcement lacks deterrent effect for the avoidance of cartel infringements and is procedurally fragile. This article analyses the current competition law enforcement policy in relation to cartels. More specifically, the article assesses the effectiveness of the policy in deterring the formation of cartels and pursuing the goals of competition law by analysing the theory of deterrence, case law, procedural norms, imposed fines and academic literature. The main conclusions are that wrong targets are aimed at under the deterrence principle, the proceedings are of a criminal law nature and require a separation of powers, and that the current level of fines does not pose a threat on the economy and continually fail to deter price-fixing.


Article 6 ECHR, Cartels, Competition law, Criminal proceedings, Deterrence.

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