The Commission and NCAs have strong investigative powers under Regulation 1/2003. The Commission’s investigations may start with a cartel member approaching the Commission, a complaint made by a third party, an own initiative action or the reference of a case from an NCA due to a cross-border effect on trade. The Commission may gather information by entering the premises of any company, examining all business records and questioning staff to get explanations of documents. The Commission also has wide powers to request information from companies. Furthermore, within the framework of the European Competition Network, the Commission and NCAs share increasing amounts of confidential case-related information.
Cartel fines levied by the EC
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