Home / ANTITRUST COUNTERS / THE ECJ SETS ASIDE THE GENERAL COURT’S DECISION IN THE FLAT-GLASS CARTEL CASE AND REDUCES THE FINE ON GUARDIAN

THE ECJ SETS ASIDE THE GENERAL COURT’S DECISION IN THE FLAT-GLASS CARTEL CASE AND REDUCES THE FINE ON GUARDIAN

flat-glassThe Court of Justice has set aside the General Court’s ruling in the Guardian case, providing a different approach to the calculation of the fine.
The fine for a competition law infringement is generally calculated as a percentage of the undertaking’s annual sales of the product concerned by the infringement. The relevant sales are usually the sales of the products covered by the infringement during the last full year of the infringement. Therefore, the fine is proportional to the relative weight of the undertaking in the infringement, intended as the overall turnover deriving from the sale of products.
Bearing this in mind, the Court of Justice noted that the Authority should not draw a distinction between external and internal sales of an undertaking when setting the fines. Indeed, excluding a company’s internal sales would effectively favour vertically integrated companies by reducing their relative weight in the infringement to the detriment of the other companies.
In the case at hand, the relative weight in the infringement of Saint-Gobain, a vertically integrated firm, was underestimated by the Commission that excluded its internal sales. By consequence, the relative weight of Guardian (a non-vertically integrated undertaking taking part to the cartel) grew proportionately.
On this basis, the ECJ has decided to reduce the fine imposed on Guardian from €148 million to €103.6 million.
The official press release is available here.
Source: Curia

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