Prof. Dr. Wouter Wils is a Legal Advisor in the Legal Service of the European Commission. He is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and a former Hearing Officer for competition proceedings at the European Commission. He was educated both as an economist and as a lawyer at Louvain, Utrecht and Harvard. He has represented the European Commission in more than 350 cases before the EU and EFTA Courts, and has acted as Hearing Officer in more than 100 competition cases before the European Commission.
Antitrust Compliance Programmes & Optimal Antitrust EnforcementMr Wils’ initiative consists of an article entitled Antitrust Compliance Programmes & Optimal Antitrust Enforcement. " Should companies that have antitrust compliance programmes be granted a reduction in the amount of fines or even immunity from fines when they are found to have committed antitrust infringements? Should the absence of a compliance programme constitute an aggravating factor leading to higher fines for antitrust infringements? Should the adoption of a compliance programme be imposed as part of infringement decisions or settlements? These are the questions which this paper examines, on the basis of an analysis of the nature of antitrust infringements, the rationale of company liability for antitrust infringements, and the possible positive and possible negative effects of compliance programmes.