European Commission Cartels

News & Analysis as of

EU Court Affirms Independence of EU and National Leniency Programs

On January 20, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment reaffirming the independence of the cartel immunity and leniency regimes of the EU and member states. The ruling reasserts the obligation of...more

General Court of the EU Upholds Cartel Fines of €131 Million Imposed on Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric, Dismisses Arguments Based...

By two judgments of January 19, 2015 (Case T-404/12 Toshiba v. Commission and Case T-409/12 Mitsubishi Electric v. Commission), the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) upheld the fines of €131 million imposed by the...more

EU and National Leniency Applications Independent Rules ECJ

On the 20 January 2016, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its ruling on a preliminary reference made by the Italian Council of State on the relationship between EU and national member state leniency applications...more

McDermott EU Competition Annual Review 2015

McDermott has published an EU Competition Annual Review for 2015. This 87 page booklet will help General Counsel and their teams focus on the most essential EU competition updates for 2015. Beyond being used to understand...more

Airfreight cartel decision grounded, sky-high fines annulled

On 16 December 2015, the General Court of the European Union overturned the European Commission’s 9 November 2010 Airfreight decision (Case C.39258) and, in doing so, annulled one of the largest fines imposed in EU...more

EU General Court Overturns EU Commission’s Decision to Fine Airlines €790 Million in Connection with Price-Fixing Cartel

On December 16, the General Court of the European Union, the second highest court in the EU, overturned the decision of the European Commission, the EU’s competition authority, to fine 11 airlines a total of €790 million...more

Airfreight: Major Defeat for the European Commission

The General Court annulled the airfreight decision adopted in November 2010 by which the European Commission fined a number of air freight carriers EUR 799 million for a price fixing cartel. According to the Court, the...more

General Court Delivers Early Christmas Gift to the Airline Industry and a Lump of Coal to the European Commission

On December 16, 2015, the General Court (GC) sent a message of unprecedented magnitude in the field of European cartels by annulling a decision from the European Commission (EC) that imposed fines of approximately €790...more

European Ombudsman Closes Maladministration Inquiry into Public Statements by Former Competition Commissioner

In 2012 and 2014, Joaquín Almunia, the then Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for competition, made public statements concerning an ongoing investigation of a possible cartel. Crédit...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – November 2015

A company that helps with or facilitates a cartel is at just as much risk of sanctions and penalties as are the actual cartelists. This was confirmed by the EU’s highest court (the European Court of Justice (ECJ)) on 22...more

Private equity firms: In the line of antitrust fire?

There was a time when private equity firms may have seen themselves as arms-length financial investors but regulators are increasingly holding them responsible for the behaviour of their portfolio companies. A new type...more

CJEU Sends Clear Warning to “Cartel Facilitators”

On 22 October 2015, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) handed down a seminal judgment holding for the first time that companies facilitating the implementation of a cartel can be sanctioned under EU competition law....more

European Competition Law Newsletter – October 2015

On 14 September 2015, an individual (Nigel Snee) was sentenced by a UK court to six months of imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, for committing the criminal “cartel offence”. He was also ordered to do 120 hours of...more

Competition News July-August 2015

French merger control: The Competition Authority agrees to approve the prospective acquirer of assets sold by the purchaser - On May 15, 2015, the Competition Authority authorized, subject to certain conditions, the...more

A New Concept in Cartel Fining: “Direct EEA Sales Through Transformed Products”

On 9 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgment in InnoLux Corp. v Commission C-231/14P, confirming the existence of a new concept in cartel fining: “direct European Economic Area [EEA]...more

Standing in the antitrust firing line - Regulators investigating antitrust cases are reaching across borders, and fines are on the...

Regulators investigating antitrust cases are working across borders and are getting tougher on transgressors. Corporates at risk need to be more prepared than ever. In 2000, a cartel of companies producing the animal...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – July 2015

On 24 June 2015, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was defeated in its first attempt at convincing a jury to convict individuals for the UK criminal “cartel offence”. The jury was not persuaded that the two...more

European Court of Justice Facilitates follow-on Cartel Damage Claims

On 21 May 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed that cartel victims may jointly sue cartelists for damages in an EU Member State where only one of the cartelists is domiciled. This rule applies even if the...more

Antitrust Enforcers Discuss Recent Highlights, Ongoing Cases, Enforcement Priorities and General Trends at the 2015 ABA Section of...

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting concluded earlier this month with the traditional “Enforcers’ Roundtable,” an interview with leading competition authorities about recent highlights,...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – March 2015

A recent European Commission (EC) fining decision against UK-based broker ICAP confirms that companies which merely facilitate a cartel will be tarred with the same brush as those which actually engage in the cartel. The...more

Further encouragement for private enforcement of competition law: European Courts allow greater information about cartel conduct...

The details regarding cartel conduct contained in the decisions of the European Commission and national competition authorities are highly relevant to the follow-on cartel damages litigation that are now so common in Europe....more

EC Competition Law: Latest Developments Provide Ever Greater Opportunities for Private Enforcement

The private enforcement of competition law within the EU continues its inexorable rise and plaintiff opportunities abound. Small and medium size businesses throughout Europe are joining larger companies in initiating...more

A reminder of antitrust risks for private equity firms

In two decisions adopted in November 2014 but only recently published, the Dutch competition authority (ACM) fined three private equity firms for the involvement of one of their former portfolio companies in the so-called...more

Disclosure Of Confidential Version Of European Commission Decision In Follow-On Claim

In relation to a follow-on private damages action arising from an air freight cartel, the High Court recognised that when a European Commission cartel decision is disclosed, the ‘Pergan’ principle gives certain protections to...more

EU’s Top Court Rules Cartel Victims Can Claim Damages From Cartelists Despite No Contractual Link

In a landmark ruling, the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Kone and Others C-557/12 of 5 June 2014, has held that, where a cartel causes competing companies to increase their prices, the members of the...more

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