Short Reads

District Court of Rotterdam confirms that investment firms may be held liable for conduct of portfolio companies

District Court of Rotterdam confirms that investment firms may be held liable for conduct of portfolio companies

District Court of Rotterdam confirms that investment firms may be held liable for conduct of portfolio companies

01.02.2017 NL law

On 30 January 2017, the District Court of Rotterdam upheld the ACM's decision to impose a fine on investment firm Bencis for an infringement committed by its portfolio company Meneba. In 2014, the ACM imposed fines on three investment firms for the involvement of one of their (former) portfolio companies in an alleged cartel on the Dutch flour market, including Bencis that received a fine of EUR 1,3 million [see our January 2015 Newsletter]. Only Bencis appealed the ACM's decision.
 

The Court agreed with the ACM that the conduct of Meneba could be attributed to its controlling shareholders on the basis of the parental liability doctrine. Under this doctrine, shareholders can be held liable if they can exercise decisive influence over their shareholdings and de facto do exercise this influence or are assumed to have done so during the period of an infringement. The Court confirmed that the relevant question is whether the portfolio companies acted independently or whether the investment firm exercised decisive influence. In this case, the Court agreed with the ACM's decision that Bencis exercised decisive influence over Meneba on the basis of the economic, organizational and legal links. 

The judgment confirms that investment firms may be held liable for conduct of their portfolio companies, even in the absence of knowledge that these entities acted in an anti-competitive manner. Earlier in 2014, the European Commission fined Goldman Sachs EUR 37.3 million for the alleged involvement of one of its portfolio companies in an infringement on the market for high voltage cables. Former Commissioner Almunia stated at the time that investment companies have the same responsibility for compliance with competition rules as corporates and that they should take a careful look at the compliance culture of the companies they invest in. The District Court of Rotterdam has now confirmed that this approach also applies in Dutch competition law. 

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

1. Court of Justice confirms Commission's approach in its first hybrid settlement case
2. Court of Justice clarifies rules on evidence in bathroom fittings cartel judgments
3. Court of Justice confirms the fine imposed on Toshiba and Panasonic in the cathode ray tubes cartel
4. General Court awards damages for failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time

Team

Related news

13.09.2018 NL law
FlixBus-uitspraak over de strijd van nieuwe spelers op de openbaar vervoermarkt tegen het bestaande concessiemodel met exclusieve rechten.

Short Reads - Het verrichten van openbaar vervoer geschiedt op basis van een concessie. Een concessie is het recht om met uitsluiting van anderen openbaar vervoer te verrichten in een bepaald gebied gedurende een bepaald tijdvak, aldus artikel 1 van de Wet personenvervoer 2000 (hierna: de 'Wp 2000'). 

Read more

01.08.2018 BE law
Belgian Court of Cassation annuls decision prohibiting pharmacists from using Google Adwords

Short Reads - On 7 June 2018, the Belgian Court of Cassation, ruled that a decision of the Pharmacists Association Appeals Council (Appeals Council) prohibiting pharmacists from using Google Adwords to offer over-the-counter (OTC) products violated Belgian competition law because the Appeals Council did not sufficiently justify why such a prohibition was necessary for health reasons. The Appeals Council must now issue a new decision.

Read more

07.09.2018
Actuele trends in het luchtkwaliteitsbeleid

Articles - Zowel op Europees als op Vlaams niveau zijn er de laatste maanden een aantal evoluties merkbaar met het oog op de verbetering van de luchtkwaliteit. Beleidsmatig verbindt het bestuur er zich reeds lang toe om werk te maken van een betere luchtkwaliteit. Nieuwe maatregelen dienen om de luchtkwaliteit daadwerkelijk te verbeteren.  Ook individuele burgers eisen hun rol op in het debat.

Read more

01.08.2018 NL law
Court of Appeal in the Netherlands decides to appoint independent economic experts in TenneT v ABB

Short Reads - On 20 July 2018, the Court of Appeal of Gelderland published another interim judgment in the ongoing proceedings between TenneT, the grid operator in the Netherlands, and ABB in relation to the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) infringement. After the Dutch Supreme Court had confirmed in a judgment of 8 July 2016 [see our August 2016 Newsletter] that the passing-on defence is available under Dutch law, the Court of Appeal of Gelderland decided to appoint independent economic experts to provide input on the calculation of overcharge and the existence of pass-on.

Read more

27.08.2018
Gewassen verkregen door mutagenesetechnieken vallen nu ook onder GGO-richtlijn

Articles - Organismen die zijn verkregen door middel van mutagenesetechnieken of –methoden zijn genetisch gewijzigde organismen (GGO’s) in de zin van de GGO-richtlijn 2001/18. Dit is wat het Europees Hof van Justitie op 25 juli 2018 oordeelde in de zaak C-528/16. Hiermee schept het Hof klaarheid in het juridisch niemandsland rond teeltvariëteiten bekomen door middel van mutagenese.

Read more

Our website uses cookies: third party analytics cookies to best adapt our website to your needs & cookies to enable social media functionalities. For more information on the use of cookies, please check our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Please note that you can change your cookie opt-ins at any time via your browser settings.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring