The European Commission is considering the introduction of a plea bargaining option in cartel investigations similar to that which exists in the United States. At a conference in Brussels on EC Competition Policy, Commissioner Neelie Kroes explained that the number of applications for immunity in cartel cases continues to increase and forces the Commission to consider ways to handle cartel investigations more efficiently. She suggested that regulators should be able to reach agreement with the parties involved on the scope and the duration of the infringement as well as on the parties’ liability. The parties would be rewarded for their cooperation by a rebate on the fine. This autumn the Commission is expected to launch consultations on this initiative and on proposals in the field of private antitrust litigation.
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