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Application of Jurisdiction Clauses to Competition Damages Actions Depends on Cause of Action

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that a jurisdiction clause does not need to refer expressly to disputes arising from a breach of competition law where damages are claimed based on Art. 102 TFEU (i.e., for abuse of a dominant position). This contrasts with the ECJ’s position in follow-on cartel damages claims (under Art. 101 TFEU), where a jurisdiction clause must specifically refer to disputes concerning an infringement of competition law. Access the full article.

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

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 incurred by victims of those price increases. Please click here to read the full article.

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EU National Courts May Have to Order Recovery of State Aid Before European Commission Makes Final Decision

The European Court of Justice decided on 21 November 2013 that EU national courts must assume that a measure qualifies as State aid, if the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into that measure. This judgment is relevant to all cases in which the disputed measure was already granted, or is planned to be granted, and the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation but not yet made a final decision on whether or not the measures qualify as State aid. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided on 21 November 2013 in Deutsche Lufthansa AG v Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH (C-284/12) on the obligations placed on national courts in EU Member States that have been asked by a third party to order the recovery of State aid that was granted to a beneficiary without approval by the European Commission. The ECJ stated that, even though the assessment carried out by the European Commission in its decision to open an in-depth investigation...

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German Court Protects the Confidentiality of Leniency Submissions

by David Henry, Martina Maier and Philipp Werner In the wake of the seminal European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in case C-360/09 - Pfleiderer AG v Bundeskartellamt, Amtsgericht Bonn (Bonn local court), in a decision rendered on 18 January 2012 (case 51 Gs 53/09), has refused to give a damages claimant access to leniency submissions held by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO).  Although strongly welcomed by the FCO, the decision is a blow to potential damages claimants in Germany, especially as it is not open to appeal. To read the full article, click here. 

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ECJ Gets Tough with The Commission on Parental Liability

by Martina Maier and Philipp Werner In Elf Aquitaine SA v Commission, the European Court of Justice ruled on 29 September 2011 that Elf Aquitaine was not jointly and severally liable as a parent company for the involvement of its wholly owned subsidiary in the cartel for monochloroaecetic acid.  Taken with a number of recent judgments, this suggests that European  courts are getting tougher with the Commission on parental liability. To read the full article, click here. 

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Brussels Brief – February, 2011: Parental Liability – Another Piece in the Puzzle

by Andrea L. Hamilton and Wilko van Weert A recent Decision of the European Court of Justice shows once more that it is still next to impossible for a parent company to rebut the presumption of liability for its subsidiary’s conduct. Nevertheless, companies with subsidiaries operating in the EU would be well-served to consider reinforcing their compliance programmes throughout their groups.  Reinforcing compliance is more likely to reduce competition law risks for parent companies than, for example, a strategy of distancing itself from its subsidiaries. To read the full article, please visit:  http://www.mwe.com/info/news/bb0211l.htmhttp://www.mwe.com/info/news/bb0211l.htm

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