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Category Archives: Cartel Enforcement

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Limitation Periods for Antitrust Damages Actions in The European Union

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments

The last decade or so has seen a marked increase in antitrust damages actions brought before the national courts of the EU Member States. As things currently stand, such actions are governed by the various national laws of the 28 Member States. This patchwork of differing national rules further complicates the already complex underpinning of [...]

2014 Cartel Penalties On Pace to Set Record

Posted in Cartel Enforcement

Global antitrust regulators are on pace to levy record-breaking cartel penalties in 2014.  If global regulators keep pace, cartel penalties will surpass 2013’s record total.  Through June, U.S. antitrust regulators issued fines totaling $709 million (USD), while European regulators imposed fines of $1.95 billion. The record-breaking fines are the result of global regulators more actively [...]

EU’s Top Court Rules Cartel Victims Can Claim Damages From Cartelists Despite No Contractual Link

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and David Henry In a landmark ruling, the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Kone and Others C-557/12 of 5 June 2014, has held that, where a cartel causes competing companies to increase their prices, the members of the cartel may be held liable for losses [...]

Commission Holds Goldman Sachs Liable for Former Portfolio Company’s Antitrust Infringement

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments

by Veronica Pinotti, Lionel Lesur, Martino Sforza, Nicolò di Castelnuovo In its decision of 2 April 2014 in relation to the underground and submarine high voltage power cables cartel case (COMP/39610), the European Commission (Commission) held the parent companies of the producers involved liable, on the basis that they had exercised decisive influence over the producers. [...]

First Successful Extradition of Foreign National for Price-Fixing Violation

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, DOJ Developments, German Developments

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully litigated an extradition of a foreign national on an antitrust charge.  This extradition shows that the DOJ is still pursuing individuals it charged several years ago with criminal price-fixing conduct and is a watershed moment in DOJ criminal enforcement of the antitrust laws. [...]

Significant Changes to UK Competition Regime Now Effective

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments, EU Developments

by Andrea Hamilton, David Henry, Aiste Slezeviciute The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 took effect on 1 April 2014. Increased efficiencies and deterrence are the main drivers of this reform. As of 1 April 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA) brings about significant substantive and structural change to the United Kingdom’s [...]

U.S. Senators Debate Toughening Cartel Penalties

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, DOJ Developments

On November 14, 2013, members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights heard arguments regarding the effectiveness of current cartel prosecution and punishment strategies in deterring cartel conduct.  In her opening remarks, Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, called price-fixing the most egregious form [...]

Northern District of California Certifies Indirect Purchaser Class in CRT Case

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, Private Litigation

On September 24, 2013, the Northern District of California certified a class of indirect purchasers in In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litig., No. 3:07-cv-5944 SC, 2013 WL 5391159 (N.D. Cal. September 24, 2013).  The case was brought by indirect purchasers of products containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) against CRT manufacturers alleging a global conspiracy [...]

Assistant Attorney General Addresses Antitrust Remedies in First Formal Remarks

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, DOJ Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

On September 25, 2013, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer gave his first formal remarks since becoming head of the Antitrust Division at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in January. Speaking at Georgetown Law’s Seventh Annual Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium, Baer’s address was entitled “Remedies Matter: The Importance of Achieving Effective Antitrust Outcomes.” Baer [...]

Detroit Nurses Object to Sixth Circuit Reviewing Class Certification Decision

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, Healthcare Antitrust, Private Litigation

On October 11, 2013, the plaintiffs in the Detroit nurses litigation who have accused Detroit-area hospitals of conspiring to suppress their wages opposed VHS of Michigan, D/B/A Detroit Medical Center’s (DMC) petition to the Sixth Circuit for leave to appeal the district court’s decision granting class certification. DMC had asked the Sixth Circuit to do [...]

Takata Corp. Agrees to Pay $71.3 Million Fine for Its Role in Alleged Price-Fixing and Bid-Rigging in the Automotive Parts Industry

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, DOJ Developments

On October 10, 2013, Takata Corp. (Takata), a Japanese auto parts maker, agreed to pay a $71.3 million as part of a plea agreement for its role in an alleged conspiracy to fix prices on seat belts sold to car manufacturers.   In addition, Takata agreed that the Chairman-CEO, Shigehisa Takada, will take a 30 percent [...]

Updated Oral Statement Guidance for Leniency Applicants

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EU Developments

by Philipp Werner and Robert Bäuerle On 8 October 2013, the European Commission issued updated guidance for companies making oral statements in leniency applications. The Commission requests that the oral statement is clear, factual and to the point and is only accepted during working hours. Read the full article here.

Best Buy Wins and Loses LCD Price Fixing Trial

Posted in Cartel Enforcement

by Karne Newburn On September 3, 2013, a California federal jury unanimously found HannStar Display Corp. liable for conspiring to fix prices on liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.  However, the jury found co-defendant Toshiba Corporation not liable.  The jury awarded plaintiff Best Buy Company $7.47 million in direct damages.  The case is In re: TFT-LCD [...]

On Heels of European Raids, Energy Companies Face U.S. Class Actions

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments, Energy/Commodities

by Megan Morley White Oaks Fund LP, an Illinois private placement fund, filed a class action suit last week against BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Statoil ASA in the Southern District of New York.  White Oaks Fund v. BP PLC, et al., case number 1:13-cv-04553.  The complaint alleges that the energy companies colluded [...]

New German Cartel Fine Guidelines

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments, German Developments

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and Robert Bäuerle The German Federal Cartel Office has just published new Guidelines on the Setting of Fines for antitrust law infringements.  With these guidelines, the German Federal Cartel Office departs from the method of setting fines used by the European Commission and other national competition authorities in Europe. As [...]

EU Commission Published Proposals for Private Antitrust Litigation

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments, Private Litigation

by Lionel Lesur, Martina Maier and Philipp Werner On 11 June, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its long-awaited package of proposals on private antitrust litigation. The package is divided into three sets: (1) a Draft Directive on actions for damages (2) a Draft Recommendation on promoting group claims (3) and a Draft Communication and Draft [...]

A Dutch Court Hands Down the First Substantive Damages Judgment in the Netherlands for an Infringement of Competition Law

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments, German Developments

by David Henry and Wilko van Weert In a recent judgment, a District Court in the Netherlands (the DCA) handed down a judgment in what is the first substantive damages judgment in the Netherlands for a breach of competition law.  In issuing the declaration of liability, the DCA held that ABB must pay damages to [...]

Joint and Several Liability For Antitrust Fines: Parent Company Can Benefit From a Reduction in Its Subsidiary’s Fine

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments

by Philip Bentley and Philipp Werner A judgment of the EU General Court in March 2011, upheld on appeal by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on January 22, 2013, is potentially good news for parent companies.  Where both a parent company and its subsidiary bring separate court challenges against a cartel fine [...]

European Commission to Settle Half its Ongoing Cartel Investigations in 2013

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, EC Developments

by Philip Bentley, QC and Philipp Werner Joaquín Almunia, the European Union’s Commissioner for Competition, has announced that the European Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel cases in 2013.  It’s time to review the European Union’s settlement procedure. To read the full article, click here. 

German Federal Cartel Office Levies Administrative Fine Due to Incomplete Merger Notification

Posted in Cartel Enforcement, German Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and Robert Bäuerle The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has imposed an administrative fine for the submission of incomplete information in a merger notification.  The missing information concerned details about shareholdings essential for the competitive assessment analysis.  The shareholdings belong to a private individual who controlled the notifying party.  Companies [...]