Empirical Study of Judicial Review of Decisions by Spanish Competition Authority (2004–2021)


This article explains the system of judicial review of the decisions of the Spanish National Competition Authority on the application of the prohibitions of anticompetitive conduct under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (and their national equivalents) and analyses the judgments of the Courts of Appeal from 1.5.2003 to 31.4.2021.

The decisions of the Spanish NCA give rise to a high level of litigation, which is illustrated by the large number of judgments in which individual appeals against them are decided (1390 judgments out of 274 decisions whose judicial review was completed during the period considered). As might be expected, the majority of challenges focus on fines, which are appealed in 95.5% of cases. In 62% of the judgments, the plaintiffs are wholly or partially successful, as a result of which the fines imposed in the reporting period were reduced by 43% (from € 1,670 million to € 738 million). The paper provides data on the grounds for full and partial annulment and illustrates the rigorous and intense judicial scrutiny to which the NCA’s decisions are subject.