Reductions of fines

Reductions of fines

Introductory: special features of the procedure for reductions of fines

Evidence submitted by successive applicants is examined in the order in which it has been submitted. The largest band of reduction is awarded to the first undertaking to provide evidence representing significant added value with respect to the evidence already in the Commission's possession. In applications under the 2006 Notice the applicant must have made a formal application and disclosed its participation in an alleged cartel affecting the Union. The applicant must identify any voluntary submissions it wishes to submit under the Leniency Notice. It must also meet the cumulative conditions on cooperation with the Commission set out in point 12 of the Notice.

More about Reductions of fines

If the Commission comes to the preliminary conclusion that the evidence submitted by the first applicant for a reduction of fines – prior to another applicant for reduction submits evidence – qualifies as significant added value, it will inform the applicant of its intention to apply the band of 30 to 50% reduction. If the applicant subsequently submits further evidence, this co-operation can have a positive influence on the level of reduction awarded within that band. Subsequent applicants can only qualify for the lower bands corresponding to the order of receiving from them information and evidence that provides significant added value.

More about the Subject

If the initial evidence submitted by the first applicant does not (yet) qualify as significant added value, this does not mean that the application will be rejected (as would be the case with an application for immunity). Until such time as the Statement of Objections is issued, applications for a reduction of fines may always be further supplemented in order to qualify for a reduction (at a minimum the lowest band).

Other Considerations

The Commission will evaluate the final position of each applicant at the end of the administrative procedure in any final decision finding an infringement.


Markers and hypothetical applications are not possible.


Under the 2002 Notice the Commission has an obligation to inform the applicant only if its preliminary conclusion is that the applicant qualifies for a reduction of a fine. However, under the 2006 Notice the Commission must inform the applicant in the same timeframe also if it comes to the preliminary conclusion that the applicant does not qualify for a reduction of a fine. The Commissioner has empowerments for a such a negative decision under both the 2002 and 2006 Notice.


See Also


  • Information about Reductions of fines in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)

Further Reading

  • Information about Reductions of fines in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

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