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Lorenz Marx

Over the last years, European competition procedure has seen a shift towards more consensual dispute resolution methods. The most striking example is the so-called commitment procedure. It allows the European Commission to declare binding commitments offered voluntarily by the parties. Its main goal is to significantly shorten the duration of proceedings. As a consequence, the classical target parameters of European competition procedure are complemented by efficiency considerations. This is only justified if the anticipated efficiency gains outweigh the apparent disadvantages a consensual procedure entails. This contribution presents the key findings of a statistical inquiry into the European Commission’s competition law enforcement between 1 May 2004 and 30 April 2014, with a specific focus on the commitment procedure. The analysis provides valuable insight into the European Commission’s enforcement priorities and success. It specifically reveals that the utilization of the commitment procedure has not met the objectives pursued with its introduction.