Keywords: European competition law; Uniformal application of European competition law; European Commission; National courts.
The paper proposes a new interpretation of Article 16(1), Regulation n. 1/2003, which better protects the interest in the uniform application of European competition law. The suggested revirement is the result of a historical reconstruction of the jurisprudence that gave rise to the examined provision, and of a balancing exercise among the provisions’ multiple interpretations that would be possible in theory. The paper, then, identifies the objective limits of the binding nature of the European Commission’s decisions under Article 16(1) and presents a historical parallelism between the role played by the Commission ex art. 16(1), and that initially performed by the Cour de Cassation during its first years of establishment. Finally, the paper examines the relationship existing between the Commission decisions’ effects ex art. 16(1) and the principle of res judicata.