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Soft law > Procedure

Belgian Competition Authority Guidelines on the Calculation of Fines

BCA, August 2014

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The Board of the Belgian Competition Authority has on 26 August 2014 decided to revoke the Communication of the Belgian Competition Council on the calculation of fines of 19 December 2011 and to replace it by new guidelines on the calculation of fines. The Belgian Competition Authority will more closely follow the guidelines of the European Commission in its calculation of fines. This new approach must be seen in a context of harmonization of sanctions for infringement of the competition rules within the European Union. Concretely, companies active in Belgium will be sanctioned according to the same calculation method, regardless of whether the investigation is led by the Belgian Competition Authority or by the European Commission (DG Competition). In practice, the main change is that infringements of a longer duration will be sanctioned more severely. Like the European Commission, the Board of the Belgian Competition Authority considers that fines are an important tool in order to deter companies from infringing competition rules. The new guidelines on the calculation of fines will enter into force on 1 November 2014. To mark ten years of enforcement of Regulation 1/2003, this Communication: (1) provides a facts based review of public enforcement during this period by the Commission and the NCAs; and (2) examines some key aspects of enforcement by the NCAs, in particular institutional and procedural issues, with a view to its further enhancement. It is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying Commission Staff Working Documents which contain a more detailed review.

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