In brief AC-Treuhand has failed in its attempt to have two fines overturned for facilitating the heat stabilisers cartel. The case confirms that servicing a cartel by organising and participating in meetings, collecting and supplying to producers data on relevant markets and offering to mediate between the members of the cartel, and doing so for payment, amounts to playing an essential role in the cartel. It was not necessary for the consultancy firm and participants in the cartel to be active on the same market - the service agreement between them itself infringed the competition rules. Lack of explicit case law at the time confirming that facilitating a cartel was an offence was no bar to a penalty being imposed. Furthermore, the Commission was justified in fining the facilitator
The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
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