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The ECJ has delivered its ruling on a reference from an Austrian court which questioned whether cartel members can be held liable for damages arising from umbrella pricing (that is, the fact that companies who were not part of the cartel charged higher prices than they would have done in the absence of the cartel).
The ECJ considered that, under Article 101 TFEU, domestic law cannot categorically exclude any civil liability of cartel members for umbrella pricing.
Therefore, a victim of umbrella pricing may obtain compensation from the cartel members, despite not having contractual links with them, where it is established that the cartel was likely to give rise to the effects of umbrella pricing and that this fact could not be ignored by the cartel members.
Following the European Commission’s finding that UBS, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, RBS and the broker RP Martin breached Article 101 TFEU through their involvement in cartels in the market for interest rate derivatives denominated in the yen currency, the Commission has now sent UK based broker ICAP a statement of objections on the basis that ICAP allegedly facilitated the cartels in this market.
This article was written by Paul Stone.
For more information please contact Paul on +44 (0)20 7203 5110 or email@example.com.