Corporate Sanctions and Compliance: ECJ tightens corporate liability for competition violations: "Effective enforcement of rights" also requires "effective protection of fundamental rights”
published on 24 June 2019
The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has developed a broad concept for the definition of an “undertaking”
for purposes of EU corporate fines. According to this concept, an „undertaking“ within the meaning of Art. 101 TFEU is „any entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form and the way in which it is financed“ . The ECJ determines the scope of such an „economic unit“ according to rules similar to those of a group of affiliated companies. The ECJ has recently extended the scope of application of this wide definition to the area of damage claims in case of competition law infringements. The ECJ has made such extension so as to enhance “effective” enforcement of completion rules. The article describes the judgment and its practical consequences. It also sets out that such “effective enforcement” calls for “effective protection” of the fundamental rights of the persons concerned lest the rule of law be impaired. This also has procedural consequences.