Policy Brief 2014/2: “”Settle’em all”: Generalized Commitments and the Under and Over Enforcement of Antitrust Law”

Since the introduction of a formal commitments procedure in EU antitrust policy (Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003), the European Commission has extensively settled cases of alleged anticompetitive practices.

In this new policy brief, A Gautier and N. Petit summarize the findings of their last paper. They discuss the optimality of this procedural choice in a context of uncertainty related to the law (L-uncertainty) and to the facts (F-uncertainty).

They show that commitments decisions are suboptimal when L-uncertainty is important. Furthermore, the generalized use of commitments creates a risk of under-enforcement when F-uncertainty is significant.