The EU General Court annuls fine imposed on parent company for its subsidiary’s participation in a beer industry cartel (Grolsch)

Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog.

Grolsch Cartel Fine Annulment: Should Parent Companies Pay for the Anti-Competitive Conduct of a Subsidiary?* The General Court has annulled a €36.6m fine imposed on Grolsch for the price fixing of beer in Holland. In its decision, the European Commission had treated Koninklijke Grolsch NV and its subsidiary as a single economic entity and calculated fines accordingly. This is important. The maximum fine is capped at 10% of turnover and the parent company combines the sales of many subsidiaries. Taken at face value, the Court ruling could substantially reduce fines and so also their deterrence effect. A total of €273m was imposed in 2007 for coordinated price hikes and customer allocation between competing beer manufactures. The Court annulled the fine because it found the Commission

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  • University of East Anglia

Quotation

Andreas Stephan, The EU General Court annuls fine imposed on parent company for its subsidiary’s participation in a beer industry cartel (Grolsch), 15 September 2011, e-Competitions Bulletin Burden of proof, Art. N° 38581

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