The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) handed down its judgment in a very interesting abuse of dominance case, namely Case C-295/12 P Telefónica SA v Commission on 10 July 2014. The judgment deals with many interesting 102 TFEU related issues; so several posts will follow. In this post though, I would like to touch upon the very well-structured reiteration of the previous case-law of the CoJ regarding the EU judicature’s obligation to carry out a review exercising its powers of unlimited jurisdiction, basically Case C-386/10 P Chalkor v Commission, Case C-272/09 P KME v Commission and Case C-501/11 P Schinlder Holding v Commission. Continue reading
Category Archives: Competition
Case T-286/09 Intel v Commission: Exclusivity rebates and abuse of a dominant position
Right then, folks, brace yourselves…. The much awaited judgment of the General Court in Case T-286/09 Intel v Commission EU:T:2014:472 came out today.
It’s a whopper ! 255 pages. Summarising it is reminds me of Monty Python’s sketch of the “Summarising Proust Competition“. The Court has taken the trouble to publish extracts or highlights. But even the abridged version is quite long.
There’s a lot in the judgment: substantive law, procedure, evidence, international jurisdiction….Far too much to deal with in a single post so we’ll have several instalments. Today’s will be just a basic summary and introduction.
In short, the Commission wins. And wins everything. Continue reading
Case C-557/12 Kone AG: Cartels, damages and “umbrella pricing”
The Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-557/12 Kone AG and Others v ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is an important landmark in reinforcing the efficacy of EU antitrust law. The Court holds that Member States cannot block claims for compensation by victims of “umbrella pricing”, that is to say setting of higher prices by non-cartel members as a result of a cartel. Continue reading
Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission: unsubstantiated pleas and length of proceedings
The General Court’s judgment in Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission EU:T:2014:253 (alternative link here) doesn’t really break new ground. But it does remind applicants of a few basic truths. In some ways you can sense the impatience of the Court with applicants who forget them.
First, the Court reminds everyone that if you make a plea, you have to argue it and substantiate it. Mere assertions don’t work.
Second, don’t just complain about the duration of administrative proceedings: show how it affected your rights of the defence. Continue reading
Case C-231/11 P and C-233/11 P European Commission v Siemens AG Österreich a.o. – Joint and several liability
The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) gave on 10 April 2014 its judgment on appeal in the gas insulated switchgear case C-231/11 P. The dispute concerns a cartel relating to the sale of gas insulated switchgear (“GIS”), a heavy electrical equipment which is used to control energy flow in electricity grids. The case commenced with a leniency application; the Commission then initiated its investigation, which was concluded with the imposition of a fine on several undertakings. Parent undertakings were found jointly and severally liable with their subsidiaries. The Commission decision was challenged before the General Court, which in its judgment in Cases T-122/07 to T-124/07 Siemens AG Österreich a.o v Commission found, inter alia, that the Commission failed to determine the exact amount, i.e. the shares of the fine to by paid by each of the undertakings (both parents and subsidiaries) imposed severally and jointly on them. The General Court even went on to determine itself these shares of the fine to be paid by each undertaking. Its judgment was cross-appealed by the Commission and the undertakings.
Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva: Competition fines, parent and subsidiary and joint and several liability
The Court of Justice has handed down three judgments relating to fines imposed on a number of undertakings involved in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. There’s an interesting and distinct point in each judgment so we’ll write about them separately.
First off will be the judgment in Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva EU:C:2014:257. That judgment contains some interesting points about what constitutes an “undertaking” and the concept of joint and several liability of a parent company for fines for infringements of competition law committed by a subsidiary in the event of succession of companies and transfer of subsidiaries between parents. Continue reading
Case C-612/12 P Ballast Nedam NV: Competition law, rights of the defence and reduction of fine.
The Court of Justice does not often reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on an undertaking for a breach of the competition rules when the amount of the fine has been upheld by the General Court. The judgment of 27 March 2014 in Case C-612/12 P Balast Nedam NV v Commission EU:C:2014:193 is, however, such a case. The Court of Justice reduced the fine on appeal not because the General Court had exercised its unlimited jurisdiction on fines improperly but because the General Court had failed to take sufficient account of a substantive problem with the Commission’s decision relating to the company’s rights of the defence.
Let us see in more detail.