European Court of Auditors identifies shortcomings and makes recommendations in respect of Commission’s enforcement of competition rules
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published its Special Report No 24/2020, entitled ‘The Commission’s EU merger control and antitrust proceedings: a need to scale up market oversight’. The document contains the result of an audit on how effectively the Commission: (i) detected and enforced infringements of EU competition rules regarding mergers and antitrust, (ii) cooperated with the national competent authorities (NCAs), and (iii) assessed its own performance and reported on it.
Issued pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 287(4) TFEU, the Report identifies certain shortcomings as regards the Commission’s capacities for monitoring of markets and own detection of antitrust cases (due to limited resources), as well as the increasing complexity of investigations (due to the emergence of digital markets). As regards cooperation with the NCAs, auditors found that it is good but that it could be improved in certain aspects. The Report also notes that the way the Commission assesses and reports on the performance of its activities needs improvement.
ECA has addressed several recommendations to the Commission aiming to help it to improve its capacity to detect and enforce infringements of competition rules, cooperate more closely with the NCAs, and improve performance reporting.
The Report is available here.