We would like to place strictly necessary cookies and performance cookies on your computer to improve our website service.
To find out more about how we use cookies and how you can change your cookies settings, please read our  cookies statement.                
Otherwise, we'll assume you are OK to continue.   Please close this message

Focus Antitrust - 11 June 2014

In the News

ECJ rules that cartel members can be liable for damages arising from umbrella pricing

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. 

European Commission sends ICAP statement of objections

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. 


Articles 101 and 102
  • The Commission has published observations that it provided to the UK Supreme Court in a case which considered whether the time limit for bringing a damages action against a company (which did not appeal the Commission’s cartel decision) was extended by appeals by other companies who were parties to the same Commission cartel decision. The Commission considered that its decision should be viewed as a set of individual decisions establishing the infringements that each addressee has committed and any appeal should be considered an appeal against the individual decision addressed to a particular party. 
  • Following a Phase II investigation, the European Commission has approved the acquisition of Cemex West by Holcim. The Commission considered that the merged entity will continue to face competition in the affected markets for grey cement and granulated blast furnace slag. Further, the Commission concluded that it was unlikely that coordination in the grey cement market would be facilitated to such an extent by the merger that it would raise competition concerns.


Competition and Markets Authority
  • The CMA has issued a consultation on modified commitments offered by Epyx Limited to address the CMA’s concerns in respect of Epyx's conduct in the market for the supply of vehicle service, maintenance and repair platforms in the UK. The CMA considered that the initial commitments did not sufficiently address the competition concerns previously identified by the OFT. Epyx has therefore suggested broadening the scope of the exclusions from the exclusivity provisions in its contracts, increasing the annual cap on live testing of other platforms, and extending the transitional period during which customers can use its platform while switching to an alternative provider.
  • The CMA has agreed to release CALA1 Limited (CALA) from the initial undertakings it gave to the OFT in respect of its completed acquisition of Banner Homes Group plc. CALA put forward detailed submissions to the CMA which demonstrated that continuing to apply the initial undertakings would give rise to disproportionate harm. On this basis, the CMA has taken the unusual step of deciding to release CALA from the initial undertakings. 
  • The Financial Conduct Authority has published revised terms of reference for its market study into retirement income in order to ascertain whether competition is working effectively for consumers.

This article was written by Paul Stone.  

For more information please contact Paul on +44 (0)20 7203 5110 or paul.stone@crsblaw.com.