El otro blog para cosas más serias

El otro blog para cosas más serias
El otro blog para cosas más serias

miércoles, 6 de mayo de 2009

OPINION DEL ABOGADO GENERAL BOT: SI LA COMISIÓN ELEVA LA MULTA POR CARTEL PORQUE TUVO EFECTOS, HA DE DEMOSTRAR LOS EFECTOS

La Opinión del Abogado General Bot de 26 de marzo de 2009, en el recurso de casación relativo al caso del cártel Lombard entre los bancos austriacos, propone una modificación de la doctrina del TPI en relación con el agravamiento de la sanción en los casos de cartel cuando el acuerdo hubiera tenido efectos en el mercado. Así resume su posición el Abogado General:

301. ...the appellant, in essence, takes issue with the Court of First Instance for having allowed to the Commission to infer merely from the implementation of the cartel that the infringement had had an actual impact on the market, for the purpose of calculating the fine. 302. I consider that this complaint is well founded.303. I consider that it is important to maintain a high threshold of proof with regard to the Commission when it asserts that a cartel has had an impact on the market for the purposes of assessing the gravity of the infringement and calculating the amount of the fine. 304. It is true that, according to the case-law of the Court and the Guidelines, the Commission is not required to take account of the effect of the infringement on the market in the case of a particularly serious infringement, such as the agreement at issue.305. None the less, if the Commission claims that the infringement has had an actual impact on the market, that enables it to raise the level of the gravity of the infringement and to increase the basic amount of the fine beyond the threshold fixed in the Guidelines. 306... the fines referred to in Article 15 of Regulation No 17 are, by their nature and their size, comparable to a criminal penalty, although they are, in the strict sense of the term, in the nature of an administrative penalty. The Commission’s intervention, which is primarily in the nature of a criminal investigation, must therefore comply, in both procedural and substantive terms, with the principles of criminal law and the Commission must therefore prove the factors on which it relies when calculating the amount of the penalty... 308. In that context,... the Commission ... must then be in a position to provide actual, credible and sufficient evidence showing that the infringement had real effects on the market and also that there was a causal link between the anti-competitive agreement and the alteration of competition on the market".
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Lo curioso es que el Abogado General Kokott, en una Opinión publicada el 23 de abril 2009 en el asunto C‑97/08 P Akzo Nobel NV and Others v Commission of the European Communities, viene a decir lo mismo: que estamos en Derecho administrativo sancionador y que los principios del Derecho Penal, se aplican, en particular, el de responsabilidad personal, lo que impide a la Comisión sancionar por cártel a una "persona" que no haya participado en él por lo que, dada la finalidad de prevención - disuasión que tienen las multas por cártel, "41. Taking personal responsibility as a reference point normally supports the effective enforcement of the competition provisions, given that the person conducting the undertaking also has decisive influence over its market behaviour", aunque concluye aceptando la presunción iuris tantum de que la matriz que ostenta el 100 % del capital de una filial determina la conducta en el mercado de la filial, de modo que corresponde a la empresa probar lo contrario.

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