European Community Competition Procedure

By Luis Ortiz Blanco | Go to book overview

11

Special Procedures

As well as infringement procedures and those for a negative clearance or individual exemption, which may be called ordinary Regulation 17 procedures, there are other procedures for the application of the competition rules, referred to here as special procedures, which have as their legal basis other competition regulations in addition to Regulation 17.


section I: SPECIAL PROCEDURES UNDER REGULATION 17

In describing the ordinary procedures -- to establish an infringement or issue a negative clearance or individual exemption -- reference has been made to various special procedures under Regulation 17. In each of them, the Commission ultimately adopted a formal decision separate and independent from the decision in the main case, under a procedure conducted separately but in parallel with the main case. Inter alia, reference was made to the 'AKZO procedure' during the stage of access to the file; and to the procedure concerning confidentiality of correspondence between lawyers and undertakings.

Other procedures will now be considered, which differ from the ordinary Regulation 17 procedures no less than the other special procedures already analysed. They are procedures for the adoption of provisional decisions withdrawing immunity from fines after the notification of agreements (procedures under Article 15(6) of Regulation 17), procedures for the adoption of interim measures and procedures for the renewal and withdrawal or amendment of individual exemptions.


(A)
Provisional Decisions withdrawing Immunity

1. The Nature of the Procedure

The Commission may decide in certain cases that one of the main advantages of the notification of agreements or restrictive practices, namely immunity from

____________________
1

See. Leigh, G. I.F., "Resurrection of the provisional decision", European Law Review, Vol. 2, No. 2, Apr 1977, pp. 91-104.

2

As stated in connection with the benefits deriving from notifications of restrictive agreements (see Ch. 3.D.I.C.), in certain cases the view has been taken that immunity from fines extends both to conduct covered by Art. 85(1) and conduct covered by Art. 86 which has been notified to the Commission by virtue of the notification of a restrictive agreement. Neither the Commission nor the

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