The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)

Introduction On October 22, 2015, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) published a landmark decision upholding the Commission’s imposition of fines on a consultancy, AC-Treuhand AG (AC-Treuhand), for participation in two cartels between 1993 and 2000. AC-Treuhand argued that, as a consultancy, it could not be sanctioned for participation in a cartel in a market in which it was not active. Unusually, the ECJ declined to follow its advocate-general, who advised that AC-Treuhand should not be found liable, and instead upheld the Commission’s decision fining AC-Treuhand. The ECJ further upheld the Commission’s freedom to impose a lump-sum fine where, as in this case, a cartel participant derives no turnover from the market affected by the cartel. The ECJ’s AC-Treuhand judgment clarifies

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James R. Modrall, The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand), 22 October 2015, e-Competitions Bulletin ECHR, Art. N° 76548

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