Florian Wagner-von Papp, Mar 28, 2013
Article 9 Regulation (EC) 1/2003 introduced the commitment procedure into European Union (“EU”) law. What was initially expected to be a marginal modification of the Commission’s existing practice, intended to make the informal practice of settling cases more transparent, has since developed into the de facto default type of decision for non-cartel cases. In a speech delivered on March 8, 2013, the Vice President of the European Commission Joaquín Almunia noted with a certain pride that “in the ten years since Regulation 1/2003 gave the commitment option to companies,” “[o]ut of 41 decisions taken by the Commission, we have had 15 prohibitions and 26 commitments.”
There are various reasons why the Commission has grown fond of the commitment procedure, many of which are perfectly legitimate.