umraniye escort pendik escort
maderba.com
implant
olabahis
canli poker siteleri meritslot oleybet giris adresi betgaranti
escort antalya
istanbul escort
sirinevler escort
antalya eskort bayan
brazzers
sikis
bodrum escort
Articles

Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal confirmed that ACM can use EU-wide turnover in calculating the fines in onion cartel case

Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal confirmed that ACM can use EU-wide turnover in calculating the fines in onion cartel case

Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal confirmed that ACM can use EU-wide turnover in calculating the fines in onion cartel case

04.04.2016 EU law

On 24 March 2016, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal ("CBb") handed down two judgments on appeal in which it upheld decisions to fine onion growers for participating in a cartel. Notably, the CBb confirmed that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ("ACM") is allowed to determine cartel fines by taking into account a company's EU-wide turnover, and not just its turnover generated in the Netherlands.

On 25 May 2012, the ACM imposed a total of EUR 9.3 million in fines on six companies involved in the growing and trading of onions for operating a cartel. The ACM found that the companies had agreed on adjusting production capacities, joint purchasing of operating assets from competitors and exchanging information about prices applied to their customers. These agreements amounted to a single and continuous infringement that lasted from 1998 until 2011.

Noteworthy was that the ACM calculated the basic amount of the fines by taking into account the EU turnover figures of the companies, instead of limiting this to the companies' national turnover.  The companies appealed the fines before the District Court of Rotterdam, which dismissed the appeals [see our April 2014 newsletter].

In the first judgment, the CBb upheld the ACM's calculation of the fine. The CBb considered that neither Dutch nor European law contains a territorial restriction concerning the calculation of fines, at least not within the limits of the internal market. Citing the Court of Justice's Innolux judgment  the CBb clarified that the jurisdiction to calculate fines should be distinguished from the territorial jurisdiction to enforce the cartel prohibition.

In its second judgment, the CBb ruled on the division of liability between two parent companies of a subsidiary that was participating in the cartel. Company A was the parent company during part of the cartel period. While the cartel was still in place, the subsidiary was acquired by parent company B. On the basis of the presumption of parental liability established in the Court of Justice's Akzo judgment, the ACM held parent company A liable for its subsidiary's participation during part of the cartel period.  The subsidiary was only held jointly liable together with company B, for the part of the cartel period when it was part of this new parent company.

Parent company A objected to this division of liability, arguing that it was not reasonable that it alone had to pay the fine for a part of the infringement, while its former subsidiary could share this liability with its new parent company B. However, the CBb sided with the District Court and dismissed the appeal, considering that this division of liability was "not less unreasonable". The case shows that the ACM can hold a parent company liable for a part of a cartel infringement committed by its former subsidiary, without the subsidiary itself being held liable for that part of the infringement.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of April 2016. Other articles in this newsletter:

1. Court of Justice annulled Commission's requests for information in cement cartel case
2.
Initial findings of Commission's e-commerce sector inquiry show widespread use of geo-blocking
3. ACM fined cold-storage companies and their executives EUR 12.5 million for breaching competition law during merger negotiations
5. New Leniency Guidelines applicable in Belgium since 22 March 2016
6.
Belgian Constitutional Court rules that actions for antitrust damages cannot be time-barred before the final infringement decision is rendered

Related news

04.03.2021 NL law
Net(work) closing in on cross-border cartels?

Short Reads - A heads-up for companies with cross-border activities. The ECN+ Directive’s transposition deadline has expired and its provisions should by now have found their way into the national laws of the EU Member States. In the Netherlands, amendments to the Dutch Competition Act giving effect to the ECN+ Directive came into force recently, together with a new governmental decree on leniency.

Read more

04.02.2021 NL law
Game over? Gaming companies fined for geo-blocking

Short Reads - The Commission’s cross-border sales crusade seems far from over. The EUR 7.8 million fine imposed on distribution platform owner Valve and five PC video games publishers for geo-blocking practices is the most recent notch in the Commission’s belt. Food producer Mondelĕz may be next on the Commission’s hit list: a formal investigation into possible cross-border trade restrictions was opened recently.

Read more

04.03.2021 NL law
Amsterdam Court of Appeal accepts jurisdiction in competition law damages case concerning Greek beer market

Short Reads - On 16 February 2021, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (the Court of Appeal) set aside a judgment of the Amsterdam District Court (the District Court) in which the District Court declined jurisdiction over the alleged claims against Athenian Brewery (AB), a Greek subsidiary of Heineken N.V. (Heineken), in a civil case brought by competitor Macedonian Thrace Brewery (MTB).

Read more

04.02.2021 NL law
ECJ clarifies limits of antitrust limitation periods

Short Reads - Companies confronted with antitrust investigations and fines may find safeguard behind the rules governing limitation periods (often termed ‘statutes of limitation’). However, two preliminary rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) show that those rules are not necessarily set in stone. According to the ECJ, national time limits relating to the imposition of antitrust fines may require deactivation if these limits result in a ‘systemic risk’ that antitrust infringements may go unpunished.

Read more

29.01.2021 NL law
Publicatie en inwerkingtreding Uitvoeringswet Screeningsverordening buitenlandse directe investeringen

Short Reads - Op 4 december 2020 is een uitvoeringswet in werking getreden die bepaalde elementen uit de Verordening screening van buitenlandse directe investeringen in de Unie regelt en zorgt dat Nederland voldoet aan de verplichtingen uit die verordening. Ook is er een conceptwetsvoorstel toetsing economie en nationale veiligheid verschenen. 

Read more