The EU Court of Justice reduces a fine imposed on a steel abrasives cartel on grounds of breach of the principle of equal treatment (Pometon)

On 18 March 2021, the CJEU ruled on the appeal by Pometon SpA against the GCEU’s judgment in the steel abrasives cartel case. The CJEU ruled that the GCEU had breached the principle of equal treatment when recalculating the EC’s fine imposed on Pometon, the only non-settling party in this case. The CJEU made its own reassessment of the fine, reducing it from EUR 6.2 million to EUR 2.6 million. Background Following the opening of an EC cartel investigation, five producers of steel abrasives requested the benefit of the cartel settlement procedure. Italian producer Pometon participated initially in the settlement discussions but later withdrew from this procedure. As a result, the EC found itself engaged in a “hybrid” cartel proceeding in which a settlement procedure and a standard

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