COMPETITION • EUROPEAN LAW • PROCEDURE
The ne bis in idem (sometimes non bis in idem) principle set out in Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, prohibits a fresh in depth assessment of the alleged commission of an offense which would result in the imposition of a second penalty. Its application implies the fulfillment of three conditions: identity of the facts, unity of offender and unity of the legal interest protected. In accordance with that principle, the Commission must take account of penalties imposed by the national authorities and which have already been borne by the same undertaking for the same conduct but still has an autonomous power to impose penalties. By contrast, the ne bis in idem rule does not apply where the undertakings concerned have been convicted for the same facts by authorities of a non-member country or where the conviction by the national authorities concerns a cartel which produced effects in the territory of the Member State before its entry to the Union.