CASE COMMENTS: EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW - SPAIN – CARTELS – LEGAL QUALIFICATION – DEFENSE RIGHTS

Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the right to be heard when there is a change in the legal qualification of the facts at the end of the infringement procedure, but only in case the change can result in the companies being otherwise defenseless (Maderas José Sainz)

In five judgments issued in December 2018 and published in the first quarter of 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court confirmed the judgments of the Audiencia Nacional quashing the CNMC Wooden Pallets cartel decision. In September 2014 the Spanish Competition Authority (the “CNMC”) had fined 24 wooden pallets manufacturers and an association for a single and continuous infringement of Articles 101 TFEU and 1 of the Spanish Competition Act (the “LDC”). The conducts consisted of price fixing and setting trade conditions between November 2005 and September 2011, and exchanging commercially sensitive information from July 1998 to November 2011 (CNMC, dec. of 22 Sept. 2014, case S/0428/12 PALÉS). In its proposal of decision, the Directorate of Investigation of the CNMC (the CNMC’s investigation

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Paloma Martínez-Lage Sobredo, Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the right to be heard when there is a change in the legal qualification of the facts at the end of the infringement procedure, but only in case the change can result in the companies being otherwise defenseless (Maderas José Sainz), 3 December 2018, Concurrences Review N° 2-2019, Art. N° 90508, pp. 197-199

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