The Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling on the breach of the rights of defence of a company subject to a competition investigation improves due process (SOS Cuetara)

This judgment marks the end of a case which began in April 2005, when the Spanish Competition Authority (ANC) opened an investigation into the Spanish olive oil market following a complaint from a consumer protection association. A number of food distributors and a major olive oil producer were investigated for having established a resale price maintenance mechanism for two specific olive oil brands. In June 2007, the ANC decided that these practices amounted to an anti-competitive agreement and imposed fines totalling €3.7 million. The highest individual fine of €2 million was imposed on the supplier with lower fines being imposed on the distributors. The supplier and three distributors appealed the decision to the appellate administrative court which in dismissing the appeal, upheld

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Jaime Garcia-Nieto, The Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling on the breach of the rights of defence of a company subject to a competition investigation improves due process (SOS Cuetara), 10 December 2009, e-Competitions December 2009, Art. N° 30638

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