China: A Review Of The International Monopoly Penalty Institution And Its Inspiration To China (In Chinese)

Last Updated: 1 February 2016
Article by AnJie Law Firm

袁嘉 郝俊淇

内容提要:行政罚款是反垄断法预防和制止垄断违法行为的重要法律手段。借鉴欧盟竞争法和德国卡特尔法关于确定反垄断行政罚款的方法经验,有助于发现我国反垄断行政罚款制度的现实不足并作出相应改善。目前,我国反垄断法有关行政罚款的规定缺乏量化,罚款数额也没有细化的计算标准,罚款幅度的裁量因素较为抽象,没收违法所得与罚款之间的关系失调。为解决上述问题,制定《反垄断行政罚款指南》具有迫切的必要性,同时可以考虑废除《反垄断法》关于"销售额1%"的罚款下限规定。

关键词:反垄断法 行政罚款 垄断行为

行政罚款是反垄断法预防和制止垄断行为所采取的重要法律手段,也是最常用的法律手段。根据我国《反垄断法》46条、47条的规定,经营者达成垄断协议或者滥用市场支配地位,由反垄断执法机构责令停止违法行为,没收违法所得,并处上一年度销售额百分之一以上百分之十以下的罚款。反垄断法实施7年来,接踵而至的"巨额罚单"对于宣传反垄断法、贯彻竞争政策起到了重要作用。但也应看到,无论在规范层面还是操作层面,我国反垄断行政罚款制度都存在某些亟待解决的现实问题。与欧盟以及德国的情况类似,我国反垄断法的实施也主要依靠行政执法,因而通过借鉴欧盟竞争法和德国卡特尔法关于确定反垄断行政罚款的方法经验,有助于发现我国反垄断行政罚款制度的现实不足并作出相应改善。

一、反垄断行政罚款制度的国际经验

(一)欧盟确定反垄断行政罚款的方法

《欧洲共同体条约》第81条、82条是欧盟委员规制垄断行为的法律依据。1/2003号条例第23条第2款(a)规定委员会有权对故意或者过失违反《欧洲共同体条约》第81、82条规定的违法经营者进行罚款,同时还设定了行政罚款的封顶上限,即对每一企业或企业集团,罚款数额不应超过前一营业年度总营业额的10%。据此,欧盟委员会2006年发布了《根据2003年1号条例第23条实施罚款的指南》(以下简称"指南"),指南详细规定了确定反垄断罚款数额的"两步法"。

1.确定罚款的基础数额

欧盟对罚款基础数额确定的公式如下:

[罚款基础数额=销售价值比率(30%)年数+进入费(针对恶性卡特尔)]

销售价值是指南中的特定概念,可以从三个维度理解:(1)从产品或服务的维度看,销售价值是指企业获得的直接或间接与违法行为相联系的产品或服务的价值。因此,销售价值不是企业的全部产品或服务的销售额,也不限于涉案的具有直接关系的产品或服务的销售额,这里强调直接或间接相关的产品或服务的销售额,与美国反托拉斯法中"受违法行为影响的商业量"的概念内涵是一致的。例如,A和B是两家饮料生产企业,其中A既生产果汁饮料又生产碳酸饮料,而B只生产果汁饮料,A和B就固定果汁饮料的销售价格达成协议。显然,果汁饮料是涉案的具有直接关系的产品,但是由于产品的替代性,上述价格固定行为间接影响了碳酸饮料的销售价格,因此该案中对销售价值的计算既包括果汁饮料的销售额也包括实际受到影响的碳酸饮料的销售额。(2)从地域的维度看,销售价值计算的地域范围由小到大逐步扩展,一般限定在欧洲经济区内的相关地域市场内,当个案中计算欧洲经济区内的销售额难以反映出违法行为的危害程度时,则可以考虑计算欧洲经济区范围以外的销售额。这样的步骤增强了罚款规则的可预期风险,同时避免成员国执法机构和欧盟委员会对销售额的重复计算。(3)从时间维度看,销售价值是违法行为停止前或被调查前上一营业年度的相关销售额。

销售价值确定后需要乘以一定的罚款比率,该比率是衡量垄断行为危害程度的指标,一般不超过30%,比率的具体确定需要考虑行为的类型和性质、企业的市场份额以及所涉地域范围等因素。如果采用30%的比率不能达到充分的威慑效果,那么欧盟委员会有权超出这一限制。比率确定之后,还要乘以违法行为持续的年数,持续期间不足六个月的按半年(0.5)计算,超过六个月不足一年的按一年计算。另外,指南还特别设计了确定罚款基础数额的"进入费(Entry Fee)"条款,即如果一家企业被发现参与恶性的价格固定卡特尔、产量限制卡特尔以及地域划分卡特尔,就将另外科处其销售价值15%至25%的罚款,而不论其违法行为时间的长短。

2.罚款基础数额的调整

罚款基础数额确定之后,委员会可以根据个案情况对最终罚款数额予以增加或减少。调整罚款数额需要考虑以下情况:(1)从重或从轻处罚的情节。从重情节包括:累犯、拒绝配合、妨碍调查、主犯等;从轻情节包括:执法机构介入调查后主动停止违法行为、因疏忽而违法、达成垄断协议后未实施等。(2)确保有效阻止违法。如果企业销售价值大大超出与违法行为相联系的产品或服务本身的价值,委员会将增加罚款;如果可以估算出由违法行为产生的违法所得,则需要将罚款增加至违法所得之上。(3)总营业额10%的封顶。依照前述各项规定计算出的最终罚款数额,不能超过经营者上一年度全部营业额的10%。需要强调,指南中的销售价值不同于条例中封顶上限的总营业额,后者是指企业在上一财政年度中通过销售产品或提供服务等通常的经营行为所获得的收入总额,是在扣除回扣、增值税和其它直接与销售额有关联的税款之后的净值。(4)特殊情况的照顾。作为例外,在特定社会经济背景下需考虑企业的实际负担能力,若有证据证明实施的罚款将不可挽回地危及涉案企业的存续并造成其资产价值全部丧失的情况下可以扣减罚款。

(二)德国确定反垄断行政罚款的方法

根据2013年新修订的《德国反限制竞争法》第81条第4款的规定,反垄断罚款分为两类,一类是针对比较严重的垄断违法行为,另一类是针对比较轻微的垄断违法行为。前者包括《欧盟运行条约》第101条规定的垄断协议行为、第102条规定的滥用市场支配地位行为以及《德国反限制竞争法》第81条第2款、第3款所规定的相关情形。对于比较严重的垄断违法行为,罚款数额最高不能超过"作出处罚决定之前的上一年度该企业全球营业额的10%"。同时,《德国反限制竞争法》第81条第7款规定,联邦卡特尔局可以制定如何确定罚款数额的一般原则。据此,德国联邦卡特尔局于2013年6月25日公布了最新制定的《卡特尔违法行为处理程序中的罚款确定指南》(Leitlinienfuer die Bussgeldzumessung in Kartellordnungswidrigkeitenverfahren)。指南明确指出,"作出处罚决定之前的上一年度该企业全球营业额的10%"只是罚款框架的上限,并不是计算罚款数额的基数。与此同时,指南规定了计算罚款数额的"三步法"。

1.确定罚款基数

确定罚款基数需要对违法企业的"获利或者造成损害的潜力"(Gewinn- und Schadenspotential)进行评估,一般以该企业在实施垄断行为期间所取得的与该行为涉及产品或服务有关的国内营业额为基准,再乘以10%的比率。如果违法行为并没有持续超过12个月,则按照12个月进行计算,即以违法行为停止前12个月的相关营业额作为计算基数。

2.确定罚款倍数

根据违法企业的大小(以营业额为标准),需要将第一步确定的罚款基数乘以一定的倍数,具体如下表:

倍乘因素2-3倍3-4倍4-5倍5-6倍大于6倍

企业上一年度全球总营业额小于等于1亿欧元1亿-10亿欧元10亿-100亿欧元100亿-1000亿欧元1000亿欧元以上

联邦卡特尔局在《关于适用卡特尔罚款指南的解释》中,解释了为什么需要根据涉案企业的大小适用不同的罚款倍数,即行政罚款的目的在于鉴戒涉案企业以及其它企业不得随意从事垄断违法行为,而企业越大,其违法成本相对较低,对于处罚的敏感性越低,所以只有对其给予足够的罚款,才能警示其不要再从事类似的行为。总之为了保证处罚的威慑力,罚款需要考虑涉案企业的大小。

3.罚款数额的调整

第二步计算出来的罚款数额,需要进一步通过考虑与违法行为以及违法者相关的事实予以调整,最终确定罚款数额。与违法行为相关的事实包括:违法行为的性质和持续时间,影响市场的严重性,组织紧密程度等;而与违法者相关的事实包括:违法者在卡特尔中所扮演的角色,违法者在相关市场上的地位,违法者所处产业价值链的位置,作出违法行为的故意或者过失程度等。

(三)小结

总体而言,欧盟和德国对于反垄断行政罚款的确定方式具有以下共同点:(1)对罚款数额的确定制定了配套指南,规定了详细的计算方法,尤其都设置了确定罚款基数的初始步骤;(2)对决定罚款幅度的裁量因素进行了具体细化;(3)都将经营者上一年度总营业额的10%作为罚款数额的上限,但并未规定罚款数额的下限;(4)相当强调反垄断行政罚款的社会威慑作用;(5)注重考量企业的大小和规模以及实际负担罚款的能力;(6)目标宗旨都是为了增强罚款数额计算的操作性、透明性和正当性,在根本上规范和保障反垄断执法的自由裁量。

二、我国反垄断行政罚款制度的现实问题

(一)罚款数额缺乏细化的计算标准

对于行政罚款的数额,我国反垄断法只是原则性地规定"处上一年度销售额百分之一以上百分之十以下的罚款",因而在我国目前的反垄断执法实践中:

[实际罚款数额=上一年度销售额罚款幅度(1%—10%)]

相关企业罚款数额的确定,不仅涉及上一年度销售额的核定同时也关系罚款幅度的选取,然而上述计算框架过于粗放,操作性不强,不利于规范和保障反垄断执法机构的自由裁量。一方面,销售额的具体范围指向不明,是界定为企业全部产品或服务的销售额?还是界定为涉案的具有直接关系的产品或服务的销售额?抑或界定为实际(直接或间接)受到垄断违法行为影响的产品或服务的销售额?"销售额"的概念本身不确定,外界也很难知道个案中销售额的具体确定标准;另一方面,上述计算框架中的罚款幅度是一项较为粗糙的指标,难以精细度量、反映垄断违法行为的实际危害,不利于实现过罚相当的处罚原则,反而可能加剧反垄断执法机构的执法风险。再者,由于目前我国反垄断法的实施主要采取多元行政执法的模式,不同执法机构对罚款数额的确定标准或方法可能不尽相同,进而可能对反垄断法的统一性造成冲击。鉴于此,有必要改造上述框架范式,并在规范层面统一反垄断行政罚款的细化计算标准。

(二)罚款幅度的裁量因素抽象模糊

按照目前的罚款数额计算框架,反垄断执法机构可以在经营者上一年度销售额1%—10%的范围内进行罚款,这就涉及罚款幅度的裁量问题。我国《反垄断法》第49条规定,"反垄断执法机构确定具体罚款数额时,应当考虑违法行为的性质、程度和持续的时间等因素。"罚款幅度裁量因素的开放式立法有利于执法机构根据个案事实灵活考虑和操作,但上述法律规定毕竟过于抽象,失之宽泛,因而很难为执法机构提供统一的规范性适用标准。一方面,我国反垄断法并未明确细化基于不同垄断行为的危害程度而适用不同罚款幅度的基本裁量因素,也没有明确区分反垄断案件从重从轻处罚的辅助裁量因素。实际上,同样是涉及价格的横向垄断协议和纵向垄断协议的案件,由于前者的行为危害程度(恶性卡特尔)远大于后者,因此在基本裁量因素的层面两种案件适用的罚款幅度应有所不同;另一方面,考虑相关因素是合理行政原则的应然之义,然而由于我国反垄断法关于裁量因素规定的外延不明确,执法机构在个案中认定垄断行为危害程度需要考虑的相关因素和不相关因素的界限可能难以把握。反垄断执法的过程往往充斥着多重利益的博弈,反垄断法的不确定性之所以饱受诟病很大程度就在于其利益(价值)多元且向度各异,因而哪些利益可以成为"相关因素"并纳入自由裁量应加以明确。

(三)罚款与没收违法所得的关系失调

我国《反垄断法》第46、47条对相关垄断行为的处罚都规定,"停止违法行为,没收违法所得,并处上一年度销售额百分之一以上百分之十以下的罚款。"可见,没收违法所得与罚款属于并科关系,没收违法所得并不能单独适用,一个违法经营者被没收违法所得之后还将被科以至少上一年度销售额1%的罚款,这样的处罚十分严厉。诚然,正如Easterbrook法官认为,"威慑是反托拉斯法最优先,甚至于可能是唯一的目标。"Posner法官也曾言,"一个救济体系的基本目标是威慑人们不敢违反法律。"然而,上述规定也有不尽合理之处。一方面,强调反垄断制裁的社会威慑作用是欧美发达国家的普遍立场,但我国是发展中的转型国家,发展经济、培育市场主体是首要任务,严苛的处罚可能会对企业经营造成过度打击,还可能会加剧产业发展的不均衡,因而有必要在指导思想上正确定位我国反垄断行政罚款的威慑作用;另一方面,行政罚款恪守"处罚法定"的原则,对于反垄断法的上述规定,反垄断执法机构只有适用的义务而没有选择的余地,也即不论个案存在多少合理性的从轻处罚因素,对涉案经营者都不可能单独适用没收违法所得,至少并处上一年度销售额1%的罚款是一种刚性要求。笔者认为,执法机构的自由裁量不仅需要规范也需要保障,上述规定显然无助于这一目标,反而制约了执法机构考虑合理因素进行酌定裁量的空间。

三、完善我国反垄断行政罚款制度的建议

(一)制定《反垄断行政罚款指南》

为了解决我国反垄断行政罚款制度现存的上述问题,目前制定《反垄断行政罚款指南》具有迫切的必要性,其意义在于提高反垄断行政罚款的操作性、透明性和正当性,增强经营者对垄断违法行为罚款数额的可预期性,同时为多元执法的行政机构提供统一、明确的指引,从而更好地规范和保障反垄断执法的自由裁量,在根本上维护反垄断法的安定性。指南可以由反垄断委员会制定,也可以由反垄断执法机构联合制定,这样有利于规范标准,统一认识,增强执法的协调性。借鉴欧盟和德国的相关经验,制定指南需着重考虑以下问题:

1.明确反垄断行政罚款的指导思想

虽然欧盟、德国等发达市场国家(尤其是美国)非常重视反垄断制裁(包括罚款)的威慑作用,以期实现个别预防违法和一般预防违法的目的,但我国毕竟是发展中的转型国家,战略纲领是以经济建设为中心,因而培育市场主体、完善竞争条件、促进经济均衡就尤为重要,严苛的罚款可能对企业经营造成过度打击,甚至拖累产业发展。因此,指南应明确适度罚款的指导思想,以有利于违法经营者"复归"市场为界限,重视对反垄断法的宣传、对经营者的引导,兼顾罚款的威慑作用。

2.明确"销售额的10%"为罚款上限

在我国目前的反垄断执法实践中,罚款数额的计算简单地将销售额和罚款幅度(1%-10%)相乘。鉴于欧盟和德国的经验,指南有必要明确"销售额的10%"的真实涵义,即旨在限定罚款数额的最高上限,因而法条中1%-10%的罚款幅度不能直接用于计算具体罚款数额。在此意义下,法条中的"销售额"实际上就是经营者的总营业额,即上一财政年度在相关地域市场中通过销售产品或提供服务等通常的经营行为所获得的收入总额,是在扣除回扣、增值税和其它直接与销售额有关联的税款之后的净值。由此可见,法条所称"销售额"的外延宽泛,是确定作为最高上限的罚款数额的因数,而不是用于计算具体罚款数额的基数(罚款基础数额)。

3.明确罚款数额的具体计算标准

目前我国实务中所运用的罚款数额的计算框架无疑是对《反垄断法》第46条、47条、49条规定的粗糙演绎,当下迫切需要细化罚款数额的计算标准。欧盟和德国对罚款数额的计算框架各有特点,而其共同的精髓在于如何确定罚款基础数额(罚款基数)。具体来说,首先可以借鉴欧盟"销售价值"的工具概念,其内涵与德国"获利或者造成损害的潜力"以及美国"受违法行为影响的商业量"的内涵是一致。其次是设定罚款比率,笔者认为既可以借鉴欧盟的浮动比率(10%-30%),但我国浮动比率的上限相较欧盟应有所上调,因为我国反垄断法规定了没收违法所得的处罚方式,确定罚款基数不宜再纳入一定年数的倍乘关系,因此为确保罚款恰当,避免罚款基数畸轻,浮动比率的上限应适当上调;当然也可以借鉴德国的恒定比率(10%),同时根据违法企业的大小考虑相应的倍乘关系。如果采取欧盟的做法,适用比率的高低就涉及基本裁量因素,此处应当重点考虑下列事实:a.违法行为的类型和方式b.涉案经营者的市场份额c.违法行为持续的时间d.相关市场的集中度和竞争状况e.案件涉及的地域市场范围f.违法获益的幅度等。最后考虑时间因素,由于欧盟的反垄断行政处罚并无没收违法所得,因而罚款数额需要考虑违法行为持续的年期,通过乘以一定的年数来确保罚款数额不低于违法所得;但是德国和我国的反垄断行政处罚都涵盖了没收违法所得,因此在保留没收违法所得的立法背景下,对时间因素的考虑可以借鉴德国的规定:违法行为的罚款数额以一年计算,持续时间不足12个月的以12个月计算,即以违法行为停止前12个月的销售价值作为计算基数。

4.明确从重从轻处罚的辅助裁量因素

罚款基础数额的确定涉及基本裁量因素,而从重从轻处罚的辅助裁量因素旨在根据个案事实对罚款基础数额进行调整,以确保过罚相当。综合欧盟和德国的经验,从重情节包括:累犯、拒绝配合、妨碍调查、主犯等;从轻情节包括:执法机构介入调查后主动停止违法行为、因疏忽而违法、达成垄断协议后未实施等。同时,在特殊的社会经济背景下(例如经济危机)可以考虑涉案企业支付罚款的能力,例外地扣减罚款。

(二)废除"销售额1%"的罚款下限的规定

我国反垄断行政处罚制度中的没收违法所得与罚款属于并科关系,没收违法所得的同时,至少还得并处经营者上一年度销售额1%的罚款,这样的处罚过于严苛,不利于实现过罚相当。基于上文已明确的我国反垄断行政罚款的指导思想,为了适度保障执法机构的自由裁量,促进反垄断执法的客观公正,可以考虑废除《反垄断法》第46条、47条中关于"销售额1%"罚款下限的规定,即"并处上一年度销售额百分之一以上百分之十以下的罚款"修改为,"并处上一年度销售额百分之十以下的罚款"。这样的修订具有两方面的优越性:(1)在立法保留没收违法所得这一处罚形式的背景下,并处罚款是极为必要的,因为很多情况下单纯没收违法所得不足以惩戒垄断违法行为,同时也不能弥补垄断行为造成的社会福利损失;与此同时,不排除某些垄断行为危害程度轻微,加之具有从轻处罚的情节,实际上可以考虑免除罚款,此时作为一种例外解释,可以认为并处上限为销售额10%的罚款包含罚款数额为零的情形,因而免除罚款,只科以没收违法所得。(2)这样的修订可以缓解执法机构的"难为罚款之虞",释放执法自由裁量的空间,保障过罚相当与个案公正。在现有的规定下,不论个案具有多么充分的合理因素,就罚款而言,执法机构都必须受到"销售额1%"下限标准的约束,而这一最低罚款数额也许非常巨大,超过了垄断违法行为应受处罚的该当性。

需要说明,我国反垄断法中关于没收违法所得的规定也存在不尽合理之处,按照法律条文逻辑,对违法企业处以没收违法所得似乎是一种刚性要求,但是违法所得毕竟难以估算,实际上欧盟就没有没收违法所得的规定,而是在确定罚款基数时通过考虑一定年数的倍乘关系来确保罚款数额不低于违法所得。由于这一问题与本文主旨关涉不大,因而留作他论。

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