Appealing Fines in the Competition Appeal

22 Jun 2009

First published in GCP June 2009

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“the CAT”) gave judgment in the NAPP case, the first ever appeal, which included an appeal on penalty, under the Competition Act 1998 (“the Competition Act”) back in January 2002. In the intervening seven and a half years, the CAT has delivered a number of important judgments which reveal the way in which the CAT will exercise its jurisdiction to review penalties imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“the OFT”) and other regulators. This article focuses on two particular aspects of this line of case law: the status accorded to the OFT’s Guidance on penalties and the principle of equal treatment, and then considers the implications of the CAT’s approach for parties seeking to appeal penalties.