US and EU antitrust law – antipodes as far as individual liability is concerned?
The US and EU approaches with regard to individual liability for competition law infringements have traditionally been notoriously different. US antitrust enforcement is well-known for its use of criminal sanctions against individuals, from fines to imprisonment. Since 2004, an individual who takes part in a cartel in the US can be imprisoned for up to ten years under the US Sherman act. In 2011 some 35 to 40 individuals received an average prison sentence of 17 months in the USA for cartel activities. By contrast, EU competition law exclusively focuses on infringements of competition law by “undertakings” [...]
Competition Law in Canada – Top 10 Issues for 2013
This is a post of an article written by my partners Anita Banicevic, Richard Elliott, Charles Tingley and me
2012 was a busy year for competition law and policy in Canada. Below we consider how some of the important developments in 2012 will shape the enforcement of Canadian competition law in 2013.
1. Will the New Interim Competition Commissioner Stay the Enforcement Course?
In September 2012, the Commissioner of Competition resigned and was replaced on an interim basis by John Pecman, a seasoned Bureau veteran with over 28 years of enforcement experience. While a permanent replacement is expected [...]
The Canadian Track Record in Punishing Cartel Conduct
Canada has a long history of pursuing and prosecuting cartels (more commonly referred to in Canadian competition law as “conspiracies”). The first criminal anti-cartel prohibition was enacted in Canada in 1889, one year prior to passage of the Sherman Act in the United States. Since that time, there have been numerous cartel prosecutions in Canada involving a myriad of industries. Canada also has an active and sophisticated immunity (amnesty)/leniency program, and is considered to be among the first jurisdictions that participants in global cartels should contact when approaching the authorities.
And yet, notwithstanding its establis [...]
The Austrian Parliament has passed a bill amending the Austrian competition law rules. On March 1, 2013, significant changes will enter into force. These include the following:
This is the follow-up to the post “Austria: New competition rules – Take one”.
Strengthening of private enforcement
The legislator made efforts to promote private enforcement. This is demonstrated, e.g. by a new provision in the Austrian Cartel Act exclusively dedicated to compensation for damages as a result of infringements of competition law. The new law makes it clear that anyone guilty of committing such a violation is obliged to compensate the resulting damages.
In addition, it states that a private claim [...]
A NEW COMMISSIONER OF COMPETITION FOR CANADA
The year just ended witnessed a changing of the guard at Canada’s Competition Bureau, with Melanie Aitken resigning as Commissioner of Competition in September 2012. Ms. Aitken was replaced on an interim basis by John Pecman, a seasoned Bureau veteran with over 28 years of enforcement experience. It is expected that a permanent replacement for Ms. Aitken will be appointed within the year.
Ms. Aitken only served roughly three years of her five-year term. In that relatively short period of time, however, she engaged in a vigorous—and successful—campaign to raise the profile of competition law enforcement in Canada. Ms. Aitken accomplished this o [...]
On 19 November 2012, the OFT appointed Lee Craddock, a former police officer and case manager at the Serious Fraud Office, as Director of Investigations and Criminal Enforcement. His appointment follows the disastrous handling of the criminal price fixing case against British Airways (BA) executives in 2010, one of only two prosecutions of the cartel offence since its introduction in 2003. Further relevant context is that the UK Government is now seeking to make prosecution of the offence easier through removal of the dishonesty element in the cartel offence.
The prosecution of the BA executives, which was initiated in 2006 after an immunity application from Virgin Atlantic Airways (VA [...]