December 02
2021
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Dolores Utrilla
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5th February 2020
Competition & State Aid Human Rights Justice & Litigation

Slovak Supreme Court makes reference to CJEU concerning the powers of national authorities applying competition rules

A request for a preliminary ruling (C-857/19) from the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky) concerning the interpretation of Article 11(6) of Regulation 1/2003 on the implementation of competition rules laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union has been published in the Official Journal.

The request, stemming from the main proceedings Slovak Telekom a.s. v Protimonopolný úrad Slovenskej republiky, focuses on the first sentence of that provision. According to the request, the ‘initiation by the Commission of proceedings for the adoption of a decision under Chapter III shall relieve the competition authorities of the Member States of their competence to apply Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty’.

The Slovak Supreme Court asks the Court of Justice two questions. Firstly, whether Article 11(6) of Antitrust Regulation 1/2003 means that the authorities of the Member States lose their powers to apply Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty. Secondly, whether both a Member State and the Commission can impose sanctions (not criminal but administrative) separately and independently under Article 11(6) of the Antitrust Regulation, considering that Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrines the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence.

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