Short Reads

Still standing: annulled Commission decision remains in force for non-appellant

Still standing: annulled Commission decision remains in force for non

Still standing: annulled Commission decision remains in force for non-appellant

06.06.2019 NL law

Steel producer Lucchini's claim for reimbursement of a EUR 14 million fine, on the basis that the decision was annulled on appeal from other parties, was recently rejected by the General Court.

By not appealing, the decision became final for Lucchini, even if the other parties managed to obtain annulment. Companies contemplating appeals, after either a European Commission decision or a General Court judgment, should think twice before deciding not to join other addressees in their appeal efforts.

The saga has lasted more than 15 years, but it may be the end of the road for Lucchini. In 2002 the Commission adopted a cartel decision against 11 Italian steel manufacturers. Annulled once, the decision was reissued and then appealed again. Faced with rejection from the General Court, some appellants went further to the Court of Justice, but Lucchini surrendered. However an unexpected twist followed – the Court of Justice annulled the decision based on a breach of the rights of defence. Lucchini tried to profit from the result of the Court of Justice judgment by asking for the reimbursement of its fine, a request which the Commission rejected. Unfortunately for Lucchini, the General Court agreed with the Commission.

The judges restated that, to ensure legal certainty is safeguarded, if an addressee does not appeal a decision, then that decision becomes final concerning that party, irrespective of what happens for other parties. The General Court rejected the argument that the decision was 'non-existent' after annulment. Such cases are entirely exceptional and only seen if the irregularity affecting the decision is so serious that it cannot be tolerated by the legal order of the European Union. This was not applicable to Lucchini's case.

Companies fined by the Commission should take heed of the fact that, especially when the decision is appealed by other parties, choosing not to appeal entails serious consequences. Companies pursuing this avenue should not expect to draw advantages from other appeals, as the exceptional cases in which this may be possible are extremely rare.

 

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of June 2019. Other articles in this newsletter:

 

Team

Related news

08.06.2021 NL law
De Europese Klimaatwet uitgelicht

Short Reads - Op 21 april 2021 is een voorlopig akkoord bereikt over de Europese Klimaatwet. Deze Klimaatwet kan worden gezien als de kern van de Europese Green Deal, die in december 2019 werd gepubliceerd door de Europese Commissie. Het overstijgende doel van deze instrumenten is om een klimaatneutraal Europa te bewerkstelligen in 2050. De Europese Klimaatwet zorgt ervoor dat deze klimaatneutraliteitsdoelstelling in een Europese verordening wordt vastgelegd. Dit blogbericht gaat nader in op de Europese Klimaatwet en legt uit wat dit met zich brengt.

Read more

22.07.2021 NL law
Towards a European legal framework for the development and use of Artificial Intelligence

Short Reads - Back in 2014, Stephen Hawking said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Although the use of artificial intelligence is nothing new and dates back to Alan Turing (the godfather of computational theory), prominent researchers – along with Stephen Hawking – have expressed their concerns about the unregulated use of AI systems and their impact on society as we know it.

Read more

08.06.2021 NL law
Actualiteiten milieustrafrecht: zorgelijke ontwikkelingen

Short Reads - Vrijdag 28 mei jl. hadden wij een inspirerend webinar over actualiteiten op het gebied van milieustrafrecht. Wij spraken gedurende 90 minuten onder meer over aansprakelijkheden van bestuurders, de zorgplichten, incidentenrapportages vanuit strafrechtelijk- en bestuursrechtelijk perspectief.

Read more

03.06.2021 NL law
First material judgment in Dutch damages proceedings in trucks infringement

Short Reads - In its judgment of 12 May 2021, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that it has not been established that it is definitively excluded that the trucks infringement led to damage to the claimants. However, this does not alter the fact that it must still be assessed for each claimant whether the threshold for referral to the damages assessment procedure has been met. For this to be the case, it must be plausible that a claimant may have suffered damage as a result of the unlawful actions of the truck manufacturers. The Amsterdam District Court has not yet ruled on this issue.

Read more