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Brief 40: Another Fine Mess: OFT proposals pave the way to effects-based analysis of competition law penalties 23.11.12

In September 2012 the OFT published new guidelines on penalties for competition law infringements.1 The guidelines contain two main changes. First, they raise the starting point for calculating fines for “serious infringements” to 30% of relevant turnover (up from 10% in the previous guidelines). Second, they include a commitment to take “a step back” before applying mechanistic turnover-based rules for calculating fines, and to place greater emphasis on the need for proportionality. In this Brief we comment on the conflicting economic and policy issues raised by these changes.

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