Global antitrust enforcement report
An overview of fine levels, developments and trends in antitrust enforcement in key global jurisdictions in 2020.
Our report has a newly expanded scope this year, covering not only global cartel conduct but also other forms of antitrust enforcement around the world in 2020, including vertical arrangements and abuse of dominance cases.
The report sets out key statistics and discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the data and on the ability of antitrust authorities to carry out investigations more generally. It also identifies other important trends from 2020, that look set to continue into 2021, including:
- Prioritisation of more effective enforcement in the digital sector, as authorities progress reform proposals.
- Focus on antitrust infringements in the healthcare sector as well as increased efforts to pursue resale price maintenance.
- Continuing use of settlement/commitment procedures, and a growing trend for more flexible enforcement mechanisms.
- Pursuit of individuals for their part in companies’ anti-competitive behaviour.
- Heightened sophistication of authorities’ investigative techniques, with technology/data increasingly used to detect possible infringements.
- Intensifying debate on the interaction between antitrust policy and sustainability goals.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see whether the tendency towards a more constructive enforcement approach will contribute to a continued downward trend in overall fining levels, or whether the fallout from the global pandemic, coupled with the digital regime overhaul, will in fact spur on a renewed appetite for more aggressive intervention. Enforcement activity was high after the end of the 2008 financial crisis: this is likely to be replicated in a post-pandemic world, although it remains to be seen how quickly this happens and to what extent.
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Global antitrust enforcement report 2021
Covering calendar year 2020