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

30.04.2019 EU law
Climate goals and energy targets: legal perspectives

Seminar - On Tuesday April 30th, Stibbe organizes a seminar on climate goals and energy targets. Climate change has incited different international and supranational institutions to issue climate goals and renewable energy targets. Both the UN and the EU have led this movement with various legal instruments.

Read more

04.04.2019 NL law
Fine liability in antitrust cases is closely scrutinised by Dutch courts

Short Reads - A parent company can be held liable for a subsidiary's anti-competitive conduct if the parent has exercised decisive influence over the subsidiary, because the two are then considered a single undertaking. This is why the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) recently found that the ACM cannot simply rely on managing partners' civil liability to determine fine liability for a limited partnership's anti-competitive conduct.

Read more

12.04.2019 NL law
Hoogste Europese rechter bevestigt dat overheden onrechtmatige staatssteun proactief moeten terugvorderen

Short Reads - De maand maart 2019 zal vermoedelijk de juridisch handboeken ingaan als een historische maand voor het mededingings- en staatssteunrecht. Niet alleen deed het Hof van Justitie een baanbrekende uitspraak op het gebied van het verhaal van kartelschade. Het heeft in de uitspraak Eesti Pagar (C-349/17) van 5 maart 2019 belangrijke vragen opgehelderd over de handhaving van het staatssteunrecht op nationaal niveau.

Read more

04.04.2019 NL law
Tick-tock: no reset of the appeal clock for amending Commission decision

Short Reads - The European Court of Justice recently upheld the General Court's order finding that metal production and recycling company Eco-Bat had submitted its appeal outside of the appeal term. Eco-Bat had relied on the term starting from the date of the European Commission's decision correcting figures for the fine calculation in the initial infringement decision.

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