Criminal antitrust law – Criminal law and antitrust law

Increasing risks and worthwhile synergies

Antitrust authorities and public prosecutors are moving closer together

Antitrust law traditionally has a large overlap with criminal and administrative offense law: Antitrust violations are sanctioned as administrative offenses. The prosecution is largely based on the Administrative Offenses Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Prosecutors and antitrust authorities are now in regular dialog with each other.

The Monopolies Commission also advocates criminal sanctioning of certain forms of restraint of competition.

The overlap has grown and continues to grow.

Services at the interface between criminal and antitrust law

H2W specifically addresses the development of future criminal antitrust law. H2W consciously and consistently focuses on the interface between antitrust and criminal law and provides the following services:

  • Assistance with searches,
  • Dawn Raid training,
  • Defense in antitrust fine proceedings,
  • Conducting internal investigations,
  • Criminal law support for antitrust compliance,
  • Bonus rule protection,
  • Criminal law support in claims for damages,
  • Defense against extradition and legal aid measures in cases of criminal liability for antitrust violations abroad,
  • Filing criminal charges with reference to antitrust law.

For all purely antitrust challenges, H2W relies on a network of specialized colleagues and works closely with the already active antitrust attorneys of the companies concerned.

Concrete effects of the merger on advice and defense

The merger of antitrust and criminal law is increasingly reflected in defense and advisory practice:

For example, the possibilities of applying for a bonus are only used suboptimally if, in the end, the fine is low or does not apply, but the public prosecutor’s office searches the company and initiates criminal proceedings against the board of directors or management.

Anyone considering a bonus application should also and especially determine and examine aspects of criminal law so that there are no criminal consequences for individuals and criminal procedural measures for the company concerned after a possibly successful antitrust proceeding.

In the event of antitrust violations, criminal law risks must also be identified or an already existing suspicion of criminal offense must be responded to correctly. The internal investigation of suspected cases is now often a legal obligation.

Inspection of files is an original area of work of criminal attorneys and defense attorneys. Well-prepared and concerted file inspection measures are an effective means, especially in a competition law-based compensation process.

H2W is available wherever necessary to minimize the consequences of antitrust violations and to use criminal law to achieve antitrust objectives.