Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 5–26 | Cite as

Antitrust Enforcement in Europe in the Last 25 Years: Developments and Challenges

  • Yannis KatsoulacosEmail author
  • Galateia Makri
  • Eleni Metsiou


We review all of the main developments that have influenced the way in which antitrust has been enforced in Europe in the last 25 years. We also provide a detailed quantitative description and assessment of the evolution of enforcement in Europe with the use of a unique dataset that is utilized for the first time: all DGCOMP antitrust decisions in the period 1992–2016. Further, we examine and offer explanations as to why there is still significant divergence in the approach to antitrust enforcement between the EU and other mature jurisdictions—particularly in the enforcement of Article 102.


Antitrust Enforcement European competition policy 

JEL Classification

L4 K21 



We are grateful for the comments and suggestions from two referees and by the participants and discussant at the Conference “Celebrating 25 Years of the EU Single Market”, Cambridge, 20th April, 2018, at which this paper was presented. Y. Katsoulacos and E. Metsiou acknowledge financial support from research program DRASI II of the Athens University of Economics and Business. All inaccuracies, mistakes, and omissions are our responsibility.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Avdasheva, S., Katsoulacos, Y., Golovanova, S., & Tsytsulina, D. (2015). Empirical evidence in competition enforcement in Russia: Based on the data of judicial review. In F. Jenny & Y. Katsoulacos (Eds.), Competition law enforcement in the BRICS and in developing countries (pp. 263–287). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Baye, M. R., & Wright, J. D. (2011). Is antitrust too complicated for generalist judges? The impact of economic complexity and judicial training on appeals. The Journal of Law and Economics, 54(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blair, R. D., & Sokol, D. D. (2012). The rule of reason and the goals of antitrust: An economic approach. Antitrust Law Journal, 78(2), 471–504.Google Scholar
  4. Blair, R. D., & Sokol, D. D. (2013). Welfare standards in US and EU antitrust enforcement. Fordham Law Review, 81(5), 2497–2541.Google Scholar
  5. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). (2018). CMA impact assessment 2017/18. 24 July 2018, CMA91.Google Scholar
  6. Coniglio, J. V. (2017). Rejecting the ordoliberal standard of consumer choice and making consumer welfare the hallmark of an antitrust atlanticism. CPI Antitrust Chronicle, 1(2), 65–70.Google Scholar
  7. Deacon, D. (1999). Vertical restraints under EU competition law: New directions. In: Fordham Corporate Law Institute.Google Scholar
  8. European Commission. (2005). DG competition discussion paper on the application of Art. 82 of the treaty to exclusionary abuses, Brussels. Retrieved from Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  9. Faella, G. (2013). Vertical agreements. In I. Lianos & D. Geradin (Eds.), Handbook European competition law—Substantive aspects. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. Fisher, F. M. (1989). Games economists play: A noncooperative view. The Rand Journal of Economics, 20(1), 113–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Forrester, I. (2011). A challenge for Europe’s judges: The review of fines in competition cases. Reprinted from European Law Review, 36(2), 185–207.Google Scholar
  12. Gavil, A., Kovacic, W., & Baker, J. B. (2008). Antitrust law in perspective: Cases, concepts and problems in competition policy (p. 358). Eagan: West Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Geradin, D. (2010). Is the guidance paper on the commission’s enforcement priorities in enforcing article 102 TFEU useful. In F. Etro & I. Kokkoris (Eds.), Competition law and the enforcement of article 102. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Geradin, D., & Petit, N. (2010). Judicial review in European union competition law: A quantitative and qualitative assessment. TILEC Discussion Paper 2011–008; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 01/2011. Retrieved from SSRN. or Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  15. Gifford, D. J., & Kudrle, R. T. (2015). The Atlantic divide in antitrust: An examination of US and EU competition policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gual, J., Hellwig, M., Perrot, A., Polo, M., Rey, P., Schmidt, K., & Stenbacka, R. (2005). An economic approach to Art. 82. Report from the Economic Advisory Group on Competition Policy. Retrieved from Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  17. Gual, J., & Mas, N. (2011). Industry characteristics and anti-competitive behavior: Evidence from the European commission’s decisions. Review of Industrial Organization, 39(3), 207–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hovenkamp, H. J. (2018). The rule of reason. Florida Law Review, 70(81), 81–167.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, A., & Kovacic, W. (2017). Identifying anticompetitive agreements in the US and the EU: Developing a coherent antitrust analytical framework. Antitrust Bulletin, 62(2), 254–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Katsoulacos, Y. (2017). Judicial review, economic evidence and the choice of legal standards by utility maximizing competition authorities. Mimeo. Retrieved from Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  21. Katsoulacos, Y. (2018a). On the choice of legal standards: A positive theory for comparative analysis. Retrieved from Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  22. Katsoulacos, Y. (2018b). A Note on the concepts of legal standards and substantive standards (and how the latter influences the choice of the former). Retrieved from Accessed 26 Feb 2019.
  23. Katsoulacos, Y., Avdasheva, S., & Golovanova, S. (2016a). Legal standards and the role of economics in competition law enforcement. The European Competition Journal, 12(2–3), 277–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Katsoulacos, Y., Metsiou, E., & Ulph, D. (2016b). Optimal substantive standards for competition authorities. Journal of Industry Competition and Trade, 16(3), 273–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katsoulacos, Y., & Ulph, D. (2009). Optimal legal standards for competition policy. Journal of Industrial Economics, 57(3), 410–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Katsoulacos, Y., & Ulph, D. (2011). Optimal enforcement structures for competition policy: Implications of judicial reviews and of internal error correction mechanisms. European Competition Journal, 7, 71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Katsoulacos, Y., & Ulph, D. (2015). Legal uncertainty, competition law enforcement procedures and optimal penalties. European Journal of Law and Economics, 41(2), 255–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Katsoulacos, Y., & Ulph, D. (2016). Regulatory decision errors, legal uncertainty and welfare: A general treatment. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 53, 326–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Korah, V. (2010). The reform of EC competition law: The challenge of an optimal enforcement system. In I. Lianos & I. Kokkoris (Eds.), The reform of EC competition law. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.Google Scholar
  30. Kovacic, W., & Shapiro, C. (2000). Antitrust policy: A century of economic and legal thinking. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(2), 43–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marsden, P. (2010). Some outstanding issues from the European commission’s guidance on article 102 TFEU: Not-so-faint echoes of ordoliberalism. In F. Etro & I. Kokkoris (Eds.), Competition and the enforcement of article 102. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Ortiz Blanco, L. (2013). EU competition procedure. Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 978-0199641833.Google Scholar
  33. Peeperkorn, L. (2015). Conditional pricing: Why the GC is wrong in intel and what the court of justice can do to rebalance the assessment of rebate. Concurrences Review No. 1-2015, Article No. 70835, pp. 43–63.Google Scholar
  34. Rey, P., & Venit, J. S. (2015). An effects-based approach to article 102: A response to Wouter Wils. World Competition, 38(1), 3–30.Google Scholar
  35. Sokol, D. (2017). Troubled waters between US and European antitrust. Michigan Law Review, 115(6), 955–977.Google Scholar
  36. Wils, W. (2014). The judgment of the EU general court in intel and the so-called more economic approach to abuse of dominance. World Competition, 37(4), 405–434.Google Scholar
  37. Wils, W. (2016). The use of leniency in EU cartel enforcement: An assessment after twenty years. World Competition, 39(3), 327–388.Google Scholar
  38. Witt, A. C. (2016). The more economic approach to EU antitrust law. Hart studies in competition law. Oxford: Hart Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yannis Katsoulacos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Galateia Makri
    • 1
  • Eleni Metsiou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAthens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations