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Public consultation on the draft Guidelines on the Methodology for Imposing Fines under Article 69 of Law No. 19/2012, dated 8 May, after the enactment of Law No. 17/2022, dated 17 August

15-02-2024

Public consultation on the draft Guidelines on the Methodology for Imposing Fines under Article 69 of Law No. 19/2012, dated 8 May, after the enactment of Law No. 17/2022, dated 17 August

The approval of the Guidelines on the Methodology for Imposing Fines (hereafter referred to as "Guidelines on Fines") arises from the mandate of the Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) in line with its mission to levy fines for competition infringements established in Law No. 19/2012, dated 8 May (referred to as the Legal Framework for Competition or Law 19/2012), and Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
The AdC endorsed and released the Guidelines on the Methodology for Imposing Fines under Article 69(8) of the Competition Act in December 2012, following the implementation of this regulatory regime.
In light of the enactment of Law 17/2022, dated 17 August, which transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 11 December 2018, aiming to empower the competition authorities of Member States to effectively enforce the law and ensure the seamless functioning of the internal market, revisions were made to the competition legal framework outlined in Law 19/2012, dated 8 May, as well as to the Bylaws of the Competition Authority established by Decree-Law 125/2014, dated 18 August.
As a result, it is imperative to amend the Guidelines on Fines in accordance with the modifications introduced by Law No. 17/2022, dated 17 August, to the Competition Legal Framework.
The current draft Guidelines on Fines, currently open for public consultation, aim to address this requirement, as well as to modernize the procedures based on the Authority's accumulated experience in levying fines for infringements of the regulations stipulated in Articles 9, 11, and 12 of Law No. 19/2012, as well as Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU, since the publication of the previous guidelines on fine methodology in 2012.
These Guidelines on Fines, whose approval is stipulated by Article 69(13) of Law No. 19/2012, are not intended for prescriptive purposes. Rather, their purpose is to provide insight into the methodology employed by the AdC in the fine determination process, promoting transparency and predictability despite potential case-specific situations warranting deviation from the guidelines.
The Guidelines aim to enhance comprehension of the AdC's procedures, thereby fostering legal certainty for involved entities and individuals, without altering or conditioning any rights or obligations arising from Law No. 19/2012, the AdC Bylaws, or any other applicable legal provisions.
The structure of the Guidelines encompasses the following sections: Section 1 outlines the rationale for publishing the Guidelines under review; Section 2 elucidates the scope and objectives of the Guidelines; Section 3 delves into the pertinent framework for fine determination; Section 4 clarifies the methodology employed by the Authority in fine imposition; Section 5 discusses procedures for fine waiver or reduction and settlement; and Section 6 covers the applicable procedural acts.
In adherence to Article 66 of Law No. 19/2012 and Article 100(1) of the Code of Administrative Procedure, the Competition Authority is submitting the draft Guidelines on Fines for public consultation. All interested parties are invited to provide feedback until April,12, 2024, via email at consultapublica@concorrencia.pt.
Submitted comments should include the identity of the interested party, their contact information, and the subject line "Draft Guidelines on Fines." The results of the public consultation will be published on the AdC's official website. Comments, if deemed confidential, must be accompanied by a non-confidential version and reasons for confidentiality; otherwise, they will be treated as non-confidential.

 

Related documents [in Portuguese]

Guidelines on the Methodology for Imposing Fines
Linhas de Orientação sobre Metodologia a utilizar na aplicação de coimas
325 kb
pdf