Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
Can the defendant company appeal the enforcement authorities’ decision? If so, which decisions of the authority can be appealed (eg, all decisions or just the final decision) and to which reviewing authority? What is the standard of review applied by the reviewing authority (eg, limited to errors of law or a full review of all facts and evidence)?

Answer ... Decisions can be appealed in the first instance to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) – a specialist competition tribunal set up to determine appeals of decisions applying the competition provisions ‘on the merits’ (both law and fact; and both liability and quantum). The CAT may remit the decision to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for reconsideration or reach its own decision which supersedes that of the CMA.

Further appeals on points of law or quantum of a penalty are available at the Court of Appeal in relation to CAT proceedings in England and Wales, but only with the permission of the CAT or the appellate court. CMA decisions may also be challenged under judicial review procedures before the High Court.

An appeal suspends a company's requirement to pay any fine until the appeal is determined.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP
Can third parties appeal the enforcement authorities’ decision, and if so, in what circumstances?

Answer ... Addressees of a decision by the CMA have the right to appeal to the CAT.

Third-party complainants that can demonstrate a sufficient interest in a decision of the CMA may appeal a decision to the CAT in certain circumstances. Where the CMA closes an investigation on the basis that there is insufficient evidence to pursue an infringement, this decision may be appealed to the CAT. However, where the CMA decides to close an investigation without reaching a view on the merits (eg, due to resource allocation issues), there is no decision to appeal. In such a scenario, a third party will have the right only to apply for judicial review.

Third parties with a sufficient interest may further appeal a decision of the CAT to the Court of Appeal on a point of law only. As with an appeal from addressees, any appeal must be made within two months of notification or the CMA’s publication of the decision.

For more information about this answer please contact: Matthew Readings from Shearman & Sterling LLP