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
Short Reads

A problem shared is a problem halved: fine reduction and fine liability are correlated

A problem shared is a problem halved: fine reduction and fine liabili

A problem shared is a problem halved: fine reduction and fine liability are correlated

01.11.2018 NL law

Companies should beware that when held jointly responsible for a cartel infringement, a fine reduction granted to one of them could affect the joint and several liability of fines allocated to the remaining companies. According to the General Court, in applying the principle of equal treatment, the remaining liability for fine payment should be distributed proportionately by the Commission.

This approach was not taken by the Commission in its heat stabilisers cartel decision as it only applied a fine adjustment to one part of the fine, leaving another company solely responsible for the second part of the fine. The Commission should have applied the reduction proportionally to both parts instead to ensure an equal distribution of liability. Companies are well advised to double check whether any increase in liability resulting from a fine reduction is shared fairly between the remaining co-debtors.

In 2009, the Commission imposed a total fine of EUR 173 million on ten heat stabilisers producers for participating in a cartel. The Commission imposed fines on Aachener Chemische Werke Gesellschaft für glastechnische Produkte und Verfahren mbH (ACW), Chemson Polymer Additive AG (CPA) and GEA Group AG (GEA) as follows:

  1. GEA, ACW and CPA were held jointly and severally liable for EUR 1,913,971
  2. GEA and ACW were held jointly and severally liable for a fine EUR 1,432,229.

In 2010, the Commission amended its decision because ACW's fine exceeded the 10% of total turnover-cap under Regulation 1/2003. In the amending decision, the total fines imposed on CPA and GEA remained the same but the allocation of joint and several liability was adjusted as follows:

  1. GEA, ACW and CPA were held jointly and severally liable for EUR 1,086,129
  2. GEA and CPA were held jointly and severally liable for EUR 827,842
  3. GEA was held solely liable for EUR 1,432,229.

On appeal at the General Court, GEA argued that the Commission had breached the principle of equal treatment because the loss of all joint and several co-debtors for part of the fine left GEA at a disadvantage when compared to CPA. GEA claimed the Commission should have applied the 10%-cap proportionally to both fines. The General Court agreed. It found that GEA and CPA were in a comparable situation, since they were both jointly and severally liable for payment of a fine with ACW. By applying the fine reduction granted to ACW only to the fine jointly and severally imposed on GEA, CPA and ACW, the Commission had infringed the principle of equal treatment without any objective justification. The General Court therefore annulled the Commission's decision.

 

 

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of November 2018. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. Franchise argument in laundry cartel does not wash with Dutch court
  2. Rotterdam District Court rules on follow-on damages claim in relation to Dutch bitumen cartel
  3. ACM bound by its own rules during dawn raids
  4. European Court of Justice clarifies the application of choice of forum clauses in competition damages claims

 

Team

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

04.03.2021 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

12.02.2021 EU law
After the Uber case and the Airbnb case … the Star Taxi App case: focus on the question of the qualification as “Information Society Service”

Articles - Societal and digital developments are reflected in the case law of the CJEU. For several years now, European judges resolve disputes relating to digital applications and the services they provide. On 3 December 2020, they handed down a judgment in a case concerning Star Taxi App. This blog analyses the Star Taxi App case law in the light of the Uber case law and the Airbnb case law. The three judgments have in common the question of the qualification of services as Information Society Services.  

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