Belgium: The new Book IV of the Code of Economic Law – Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in the Belgian rules of competition law

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An Act of 2 May 2019 replaced the entire Book IV of the Code of Economic Law containing the Belgian rules of competition law. Nevertheless, content-wise, the changes are rather limited. The most important changes concern the confidentiality of documents, the improvement of the position of the settlement applicants as well as that of defendants in interim proceedings, and the introduction of new grounds to terminate investigations. In addition, the possibility of granting leniency for infringements of Article 101 TFEU is introduced, and rules relating to maximum fines and merger thresholds are amended. While the new Book IV includes a number of desired changes to the Belgian competition rules introduced in 2013, it is somewhat disappointing that the Belgian legislator did not seize the opportunity to fully transpose the ECN+ Directive and to integrate all provisions of the Act of 3 April 2019 relating to economic dependence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number92532
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Competition law
  • Belgian competition law

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