Rights of an Undertaking in Proceedings Regarding Commitment Decisions under Article 9 of Regulation No. 1/2003
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The purpose of this article is to present and define the rights of the undertakings concerned, which are parties to commitment decision proceedings, and to discuss whether the rights granted to the undertakings are exercised. As regards commitment decisions the main right of an undertaking/a party to the proceedings is the right to defend its own interests in negotiations with the Commission. Other rights, such as the right to a transparent procedure, the rights resulting from the principle of legal certainty and legality of sanctions, and the right to appeal, are also analyzed. The article argues that these rights are not adequately enforced in EU competition law. This is a result of a strong negotiating position of the Commission and the fact that it acts both as a prosecutor and decision-renderer. Additionally, the scope of European courts’ review is so narrow that it does not guarantee that an undertaking is protected against offering excessive and unreasonable commitments.
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