Call My Bluff

This post originally appeared in the Kluwer Competition Law Blog on October 20, 2015.

The European Commission (or to be more precise, and to point the finger in the right direction, DG Competition) has sweeping powers of investigation in cases of suspected infringement. Indeed, it has even sought and obtained powers that it then seems reluctant to use, such as the right to enter private homes in search of evidence. We still await in eager anticipation to see how it manages the first such intrusion into a domestic scene. In addition, it can call on the assistance of national authorities, some of whom have powers to go even further including bugging phones.

Why, then, does it on occasion pretend, or at least imply, to have powers that it does not possess?