Competition Law and Human Rights: Striking a Balance between Business Freedom and Regulatory Intervention

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter discusses Council Regulation No 1/2003, which conferred pervasive investigative powers upon the European Commission. The regulation enlarged the array of tools at the Commission's disposal for competition matters. It addresses the question of where to draw the boundary between, on the one hand, the pursuit of competition through administrative action and, on the other, the effective protection of business freedom and freedom from disproportionate interferences with the undertakings' rights. The first part of the chapter focuses on the procedural aspects of this issue and considers the extent to which the current safeguards, prescribed by Council Regulation No 1/2003 and interpreted by the European Court of Justice, are sufficient to fulfill the standards of due process enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The second part addresses the substantive question of whether the restrictions on the freedom of contract, and more generally on market freedom, imposed upon dominant firms by competition enforcement agencies are compatible with the rights contained in the ECHR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global Limits of Competition Law
EditorsIoannis Lianos, D. Daniel Sokol
PublisherStanford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780804774901
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameGlobal Competition Law and Economics


  • European Court of Justice
  • competition law
  • European Commission
  • Council Regulation No 1/2003
  • due process
  • European Conventionon Human Rights
  • market freedom
  • freedom of contract


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