ALERTS: CARTELS - FRANCE - SETTLEMENT - REFUSAL - SANCTIONS

Sanctions: The French Competition Authority imposes a penalty in excess of the proposed settlement on the perpetrator of the practice, jointly and severally with several other companies taken in their capacity as parent companies, after finding that they exercised decisive influence over their subsidiary (Santerne Nord Tertiaire)

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The fact that a subsidiary that participated in an illegal agreement refuses to accept the settlement proposed by the DGCCRF does not prevent the Competition Authority from imputing the facts to the parent companies jointly and severally with the subsidiary. Such a refusal therefore carries a risk, as André Marie points out.

Refusal to settle with the DGCCRF in the case of anti-competitive practices can be risky A recent decision of the Competition Authority illustrates the risk, in terms of penalty, that a company takes in refusing a settlement from the Minister in order to have the case reviewed by the Competition Authority. An investigation conducted by the DGCCRF had revealed an illicit cartel practice between three companies that had applied for tenders launched in 2013 and 2014 by Lille Métropole Communauté Urbaine (LMCU) in the field of technical management of buildings (GTB). The BMS consists in particular of monitoring electrical equipment, lighting, heating and lift control services, for the comfort of residents and the optimisation of operating costs. The investigation had revealed the

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André Marie, Sanctions: The French Competition Authority imposes a penalty in excess of the proposed settlement on the perpetrator of the practice, jointly and severally with several other companies taken in their capacity as parent companies, after finding that they exercised decisive influence over their subsidiary (Santerne Nord Tertiaire), 4 March 2021, Concurrences N° 2-2021, Art. N° 100672, www.concurrences.com

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