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Finally Implemented! The Italian Council of Ministers Approves a Legislative Decree Implementing the EU Antitrust Damages Directive

On 14 January 2017, the Italian Council of Ministers approved the Legislative Decree implementing Directive 2014/104/EU on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union (the “Directive”). The final version of the Legislative Decree has not been published yet on the Official Journal. However, the key points emerging from it include: A strengthened mechanism of evidence disclosure in actions for damages related to alleged infringements of competition rules. In fact, the judge will have the power to request the defendant or a third party, including the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”), to disclose relevant evidence which lies in their control. The extent to which Italian courts will be able to rely on decisions of the Italian Competition Authority or other national competition authorities. For instance, an infringement of competition...

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The European Commission Fines Truck Manufacturers a Record €2.93 billion for Cartel Conduct

On 19 July 2016, the European Commission (Commission) imposed fines totaling €2,926,499,000 on four truck producers (39824 – Trucks). The fine is the highest ever imposed on members of a cartel by the EU competition regulator. The case is also noteworthy because it is the first Commission prohibition decision following “Brexit” and could thus become a test case to see whether the UK remains a jurisdiction of choice for follow-on damages actions. The Trucks Cartel    The Commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, DAF and others infringed Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by colluding for 14 years in the market for the manufacturing of medium (weighing between 6 to 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons). The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted from 1997 until January 2011. The infringement consisted of the coordination of factory prices of trucks; the coordination of pricing for new emissions...

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EU Court of Justice Reduces Cartel Fine: General Court of the EU Exceeded its Jurisdiction

The Court of Justice of the European Union (Court),the EU’s highest court, recently  issued a judgment in case C-603/13 P, Galp Energía España SA and others v Commission, reducing the fine imposed on certain companies that were found to have engaged in cartel behaviour. This decision overturned a decision of the General Court of the European Union (GCEU), and is notable because the Court found that the GCEU had exceeded its jurisdiction in the case by considering facts that had not been previously introduced. . By way of background, in October 2007, the European Commission (Commission) fined several companies for their participation in the bitumen cartel, including Energía España, SA, Petróleos de Portugal (Petrogal), SA and Galp Energia, SGPS, SA (Appellants).  Among the infringing conduct, the Commission identified a monitoring system of the cartel and its compensation mechanism. When determining the fines, the Commission reduced the fine imposed on...

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The EU Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions

The EU Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions requires the 28 EU Member States to adapt their laws and procedures to comply with the Directive by 27 December 2016 at the latest. It establishes a basic right to claim damages for loss caused by antitrust infringements, and establishes a minimum framework of rules concerning proof of the infringement, the measure of damages, the right to obtain document disclosure in support of a claim, the so-called passing-on defence, limitation periods, joint and several liability, and contributions among joint infringers. Read the full Special Report here.

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New German Cartel Fine Guidelines

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 a result of the new guidelines, the potential liability for multi-product firms whose infringement concerned only a specific product in their portfolio and whose other products achieve significant turnover may increase. Read the full article here.

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Parents Are Liable for Their Children: Presumption of Parental Liability Under EU Antitrust Law

by Philip Bentley QC, Philipp Werner and Christoph Voelk Under EU antitrust law, parent companies are presumed liable for antitrust infringement of their wholly owned subsidiaries.  While this presumption is rebuttable, it is unclear what a company must do to rebut it successfully.  The recent Air Liquide judgment of the General Court of the European Union marks the first time that a company escaped the presumption of liability, if only for procedural reasons.  The judgment also sheds some light on the arguments that may work for a parent company. To read the full article, click here.

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