Best Practices on the conduct of cartel and abuse proceedings (Guidelines)

The Best Practices Guidelines describe the course of action of European cartel and abuse proceedings (abuse of market power). With the proposed Guidelines the Commission wishes to enhance the transparency and predictability of these proceedings and to contribute to their smooth functioning.


The sanctioned European cartel and abuse procedure must be viewed critically from a constitutional point of view – it leaves the Commission holding all the strings. It has the role of the investigation authority, the prosecution authority and of the judge. The bundling of investigative and decision-making powers in the Commission and the lack of legal control continue to be questionable. Moreover, binding rules are needed for the right of undertakings to refuse to provide self-incriminating information and for the legal professional privilege (“LPP“) protecting the correspondence between companies and their lawyers.