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The Law on Fines Imposed in EU Competition Proceedings: On the Road to Consistency

Éric Barbier de La Serre and Eileen Lagathu, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Vol. 5, Issue 6, p. 400, 2014

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In 2013 the fines imposed by the Commission were, as usual, significant. The lack of a record-setting decision is only apparent: had it not been granted immunity, UBS would have been imposed by far the highest fine in history (around € 2.5 billion) in Yen interest rate derivatives.

In Microsoft (Tying), the Commission imposed the first fine — and not an insignificant one (€ 561 million) — for a breach of a commitment given in an Article 102 TFEU case.

At the judicial level, 2013 may well be remembered as the year when the EU Courts significantly strengthened the review that they exercise on fines.

Greater consistency is needed not only at the margin of the case law, but also on fundamental issues such as the individualisation of gravity, the identification of the entities that benefit from an immunity application made by a subsidiary, and the methodology applied by the EU Courts when they exercise their full jurisdiction.

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