Obtaining Legal Advice is Not a Shield Against Fines for Infringement of EU Competition Rules

By on June 26, 2013

by Philipp Werner and Aiste Slezeviciute

On 18 June 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that a company that infringed EU competition rules will not escape a fine even if it can claim that it relied on advice given by a legal adviser on the compatibility of its behaviour with national competition rules (Case C-681/11 Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde, Bundeskartellanwalt v Schenker & Co. and Others).  In the same ruling, the CJEU also held that relying on the correctness of a decision taken by a national competition authority (NCA) does not protect a company from being found guilty of an infringement of competition law and fined.

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