Why Go to Court in Europe? An analysis of Cartel Appeals, 1995-2004

Alun Gibbs, Christopher Harding

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This study analyses the legal argument in and outcome of appeals against decisions of the European Commission in EC cartel cases over the last decade. It takes as its starting point the argument presented by Montag (1996) that defects in procedure or unsubstantiated findings of fact led to a high proportion of successful appeals in the 1980s and earlier 1990s, and so to a 'crisis in cartel infringement procedure'. The discussion here probes the quantitative and qualitative methodology of assessing the outcome of such appeals, with particular reference to cases dealt with since the middle of the 1990s. A reading of this sample suggests a low rate of success for cartel appellants, both in terms of legal argument and reversal of the Commission's decisions. This in turn prompts questions concerning the motivation behind such appeals, the deployment of resources in relation to this kind of procedure, and the role of the procedure itself in the European legal order.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-370
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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