Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (“ECN Plus Directive”)

January 2019

CPI EU News Column edited by Thibault Schrepel, Sam Sadden & Jan Roth (CPI) presents:

Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (“ECN Plus Directive”) By Florian Wagner-von Papp (University College London)1

On December 4, 2018, the Council adopted the Directive to empower the competition authorities of the Member States (the so-called “ECN Plus Directive,” or in the following “the Directive”).2 The Final Act was signed on December 11, 2018. At the time of writing, the Directive was awaiting publication in the Official Journal.

Background

Since Regulation 1/20033 went into force on May 1, 2004, the enforcement of EU competition law has been decentralized: in addition to the European Commission, the national competition authorities (“NCAs”) have the power to enforce the antitrust rules in Articles 101, 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). Together, the Commission and the NCAs form the European Competition Network (“ECN”). The Network Notice4 determines the factors to be considered in the allocation of any given case to one (or, in exceptional cases, two or more) of the competition authorities among those in the ECN. While the Network Notice identifies certain factors that influence the determination of those competition authorities which a…

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