European Commission to settle half its cartel investigations in 2013

In a speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges on 14 January 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Commissioner responsible for Competition, stated that the Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel investigations in 2013, using the settlement procedure instituted in July 2008. To date, the European Commission has settled six cartel cases under the 2008 settlement procedure, involving numerous companies. One of the settlements was a “hybrid” case, where not all parties involved pursued settlement. Going forward, many more settlements are to be expected, making it essential for companies under investigation by the Commission to understand the settlement procedure to ensure they are fully prepared to make an informed choice if they are invited to enter into settlement discussions.

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