In three judgments concerning the plastic industrial bag cartel, the General Court confirmed, in large part, the Commission's decision sanctioning the Danish and Finish parent companies, UPM-Kymmene, FLS Plast and FLSmidth, for participation in the infringement.
UPM-Kymmene's fine was largely upheld, save for a reduction to reflect the General Court's finding that the company's participation in a single and continuous infringement was, on the evidence, for a shorter period of time than that found in the Commission Decision.
For FLS Plast and FLSmidth, the General Court held that the Commission had not demonstrated sufficient control by those parent companies of their infringing subsidiary company for those months prior to them taking 100% shareholdings in the subsidiary. The level of their fines was reduced correspondingly.
This important issue as to the legal test entailing liability for parent companies for subsidiaries that have infringed the competition rules and the presumption applying in cases of (close to) 100% ownership continues to be litigated before the Luxembourg Courts. Both FLS Plast and FLSmidth have appealed on this and other issues (pending Cases C-238/12 P and C-243/12 P).
The judgment in Case T-53/06 UPM-K-Kymmene v Commission is here.
The judgment in Case T-65/06 FLSmidth v Commission is here.
The judgment in Case T-64/06 FLS Plast v Commission is here.
Margaret Gray appeared as sole external counsel for the European Commission in Case T-53/06 UPM-K-Kymmene v Commission, Case T-65/06 FLSmidth v Commission and Case T-64/06 FLS Plast v Commission.
Margaret continues to act for the European Commission in the pleading appeals before the Court of Justice.