The EU General Court confirms Commission’s decision holding a parent company jointly and severally liable for cartel behavior of its 50/50 owned joint venture (EI Dupont de Nemours)

Holding parents liable for 50/50 joint ventures* On 2 February 2012, the EU’s General Court issued two important judgments concerning the issue of whether joint venture parents can be held liable for the cartel behaviour of their 50-50 joint venture. In T-77/08 (Dow Chemical v Commission) and T-76/08 (El du Pont de Nemours and Others v Commission), the General Court held that Dow Chemical and El DuPont could be held jointly and severally liable for the conduct of their jointly owned subsidiary, DDE, in which each parent had a 50% shareholding. This was despite the fact that each parent did not individually have the power to impose decisions on DDE, but could only prevent DDE from taking certain decisions, and that DDE was a “full function” joint venture under the EU Merger Regulation.

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