3 oct. 2011

Competition law policy of the ECHR

ECHR adjudicated that the competition law must be assimilated with the criminal law for the purposes of the European Convention of Human Rights in case A. Menarini Diagnostics SRL v Italy, 43509/08, § 44. This Florence company was subjected to a fine of € 6 million by the Italian competition authorities for a participation in a cartel fixing prices and dividing the market of tests for diagnosis of diabetes.

A. Menarini Diagnostics insisted on violation of the right to court, i.e. the right to a full review of the competition authority decision: as the Administrative Tribunal of Latium had recognized, the judicial control of competition cases is “weak”, “it is prohibited to the judge to exercise an in-depth control”, the judge cannot substitute its appraisal to that of the competition authority, the judge can only apply the legal norms identified by the competition authority, cannot modify the elements of the investigation and the very decision. The judicial control is limited to the verification of legality, of the logic and coherence of the decision (§ 52).

Nonetheless, the ECHR considers that the Italian Courts have a full jurisdiction in competition cases, since they can examine the elements of proof, verify whether the administration used the powers in an appropriate manner (§ 63), verify the reasonableness and proportionality of the choices within a decision, verify the technical things (§ 64), and change the sanction (§ 65).

Aucun commentaire: