CASE COMMENTS: EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW - SPAIN - CARTELS - EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION - BURDEN OF PROOF

Spain: The Audiencia Nacional annuls the fine imposed by the Spanish competition authority on a car dealer because the decision did not contain sufficient evidence on the participation and liability of the undertaking, thus making judicial review difficult (Chevrolet dealerships)

In 2016, the Spanish competition authority (CNMC) fined seven Chevrolet car dealers and a consultancy firm for exchanging commercially sensitive information and fixing prices between January 2011 and January 2012 (Decision of the CNMC of 28 April 2016, case S/DC/0505/14 Concesionarios Chevrolet). According to the CNMC, the car dealers engaged in a single and continuous infringement of Article 1 of Spanish Competition Act (LDC) and Article 101 TFEU, which was facilitated by consultancy firm ANT Servicalidad. ANT Servicalidad drafted monthly reports and distributed them among the cartel members, thus helping to monitor prices and uncover deviations from the agreements. Talleres Prizán lodged an appeal with the Audiencia Nacional seeking the annulment of the CNMC decision alleging (i)

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Paloma Martínez-Lage Sobredo, Spain: The Audiencia Nacional annuls the fine imposed by the Spanish competition authority on a car dealer because the decision did not contain sufficient evidence on the participation and liability of the undertaking, thus making judicial review difficult (Chevrolet dealerships), 9 July 2020, Concurrences N° 4-2020, Art. N° 97165, pp. 250-251

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