Short Reads

Court of Justice confirms the fine imposed on Samsung in the cathode ray tubes cartel

Court of Justice confirms the fine imposed on Samsung in the cathode ray tubes cartel

Court of Justice confirms the fine imposed on Samsung in the cathode ray tubes cartel

04.04.2017 NL law

On 9 March 2017, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment on the appeal of Samsung SDI and Samsung SDI (Malaysia) (together "Samsung") against the General Court's ("GC") ruling of 9 September 2015. The GC had earlier dismissed Samsung's appeal against the cathode ray tubes cartel decision from the European Commission [see our October 2015 Newsletter] and confirmed the fines imposed by the Commission.

The cathode ray tubes decision relates to two cartels concerning colour display tubes ("CDT") and colour picture tubes ("CPT"). The Court of Justice dismissed Samsung's appeal in its entirety and ordered Samsung to bear the costs. The Court held that the GC had given sufficient reasons for rejecting Samsung's argument that not all CPTs were the subject of the cartel during each year and as such those sales should have been excluded from the calculation of the fine. The Court of Justice found that the GC had correctly rejected this claim, as all CPTs were the subject of collusive contacts which constituted a single and continuous infringement. Under those circumstances, the fact that not all CPTs were the subject of the cartel during each separate year of the infringement did not constitute a reason to exclude the associated sales for fine calculation purposes. 

Furthermore, Samsung was of the view that in calculating the fine regarding CDTs the GC had erroneously taken into account sales that were negotiated in South Korea, which should not be considered as sales made within the EEA. However, the Court of Justice found that the GC had not erred in law and that in determining the amount of sales within the EEA it was necessary to take all deliveries made in the EEA into account. The Court took the view that if Samsung's argument was accepted then an undertaking participating in an infringement could circumvent a significant part of a potential fine simply by negotiating its sales with its customers outside the EEA.

Finally, in response to the argument to reduce the fine, based on the erroneous assessment of Samsung's contribution to the leniency programme, the Court held that it could not substitute its own assessment for that of the GC regarding the amount of fines imposed. The Court could only do so if, following a claim by the appellant, it considered that the level of fine was inappropriate and excessive to the point of being disproportionate. However, Samsung did not bring the argument alleging that the fine was disproportionate before the Court.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of April 2017. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. Court of Justice rules on the Hearing Officer's competence to resolve confidentiality requests
  2. General Court annuls European Commission's merger blocking decision in UPS/TNT for procedural errors 
  3. European Commission proposes a new Directive to empower national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of EU competition law rules
  4. European Commission launches anonymous whistleblower tool
  5. District Court of Gelderland denies passing-on defense in antitrust litigation related to the GIS-cartel

Team

Related news

03.10.2019 NL law
It's in the details: HSBC fine quashed for insufficient reasoning

Short Reads - The General Court annulled the EUR 33.6 million fine imposed on banking group HSBC for its participation in the euro interest rates derivatives cartel. Full annulment was granted based on the Commission's failure to provide sufficiently detailed reasoning for the first step of the fine calculation, establishing the value of sales. As the value of sales could not be established in a straightforward way, the Commission used a proxy. When doing so, the Commission needs to properly explain its reasoning to allow the companies fined to understand how it arrived at the proxy. 

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
The postman will no longer ring twice: Minister unblocks postal merger

Short Reads - The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) recently blocked postal operator PostNL's acquisition of its only national competitor, Sandd, because this would create "a monopolist on the postal delivery market". However, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has overruled the ACM's decision on grounds of public interest. Invoking industrial policy or public interest reasons for merger clearance seems to be catching on.

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
The ACM has to pay: moral damages awarded to real estate traders

Short Reads - The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) needs to cough up a total of EUR 120,000 in moral damages to three real estate traders. The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeal Tribunal (CBb) agreed with the real estate traders that the annulment of the ACM's cartel decisions against them was insufficient compensation for the harm they suffered as a result of the length of the procedure and the press coverage of their cases.

Read more

02.10.2019 NL law
Politie aansprakelijk voor schietpartij Alphen aan den Rijn

Short Reads - De politie is aansprakelijk voor de schietpartij in een winkelcentrum Alphen aan den Rijn in 2011. Dat oordeelt de Hoge Raad in zijn arrest van 20 september 2019 (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1409). Bij deze schietpartij vonden zes mensen de dood en raakten zestien mensen gewond. De dader doodde ook zichzelf. Nabestaanden van dodelijke slachtoffers, slachtoffers die gewond raakten en winkeliers spreken de politie aan tot schadevergoeding. Zij voeren aan dat de politie de vergunning voor de wapens die de man gebruikte, niet had mogen verlenen.

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
Margrethe Vestager to play matchmaker between enforcement and regulation

Short Reads - Current Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager may face even greater challenges in the next European Commission. President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has not only nominated Vestager for a second term as Commissioner for Competition, but has also asked her to coordinate the European Commission's digital agenda. As a result, Vestager may soon be tackling digital issues through competition enforcement whilst also proposing additional regulation to deal with these (and related) issues pre-emptively.

Read more

02.10.2019 NL law
Dutch national police service liable for unlawful granting of firearms permit

Short Reads - In a recent decision (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1409), the Supreme Court has decided that the Dutch national police force is liable for damage suffered by victims of a shooting which took place in a shopping centre in 2011; an event that shocked the Netherlands. The Supreme Court held that the police had unlawfully granted a permit for the firearms used in the shooting.

Read more

Our website uses functional cookies for the functioning of the website and analytic cookies that enable us to generate aggregated visitor data. We also use other cookies, such as third party tracking cookies - please indicate whether you agree to the use of these other cookies:

Privacy – en cookieverklaring