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Focus Antitrust - 25 June 2014

In the News

ECJ dismisses appeal by FLS Plast against General Court’s industrial bags cartel judgment

The ECJ has dismissed an appeal by FLS Plast A/S against the General Court's judgment relating to its participation in the industrial bags cartel. The ECJ considered that given FLS Plast’s 100% stake in Trioplast Wittenheim (TW) over the relevant period, the General Court was correct to believe that FLS Plast had exercised decisive influence over TW.

As regards fines, the ECJ held that the Commission did have the discretion to reduce the fines as a result of FLS Plast’s cooperation, however declined to assess whether the reduction should have been the same as that awarded to Bonaer, another participant in the cartel.

Further, the ECJ did not consider that FLS Plast should have been granted the same fine reduction as the successor parent company of TW and held that the fine imposed on FLS Plast was not disproportionate to the duration or gravity of its participation in the infringement.

The ECJ did, however, note that FLS Plast was entitled to bring an action for damages before the General Court since it had denied its right to have an adjudication within a reasonable time, given the excessive length of the General Court's procedure.


Articles 101 and 102
  • The European Commission has adopted a Regulation which extends the period of application of the liner shipping consortia block exemption by another five years until April 2020. 


Competition and Markets Authority
  • The CMA has accepted binding commitments from Certas Energy UK Limited and its parent company DCC plc to address concerns that Certas may have abused its dominant position in relation to the supply of road fuels to filling stations in the Western Isles through its long-term exclusive contracts with filling stations. The CMA considers that the commitments, which include Certas terminating existing contracts with filling stations in the Western Isles and providing them with three options for continued supply, will lower entry barriers and allow the establishment and expansion of competitors in the Western Isles.
  • The CMA has published its Memorandum of Understanding with the Civil Aviation Authority in respect of their concurrent competition powers, setting out how they will cooperate with a view to promoting competition in the air traffic and airport operation sectors.
  • The CMA has published its Memorandum of Understanding with Ofwat in respect of their concurrent competition powers, setting out how they will cooperate with a view to promoting competition in the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. 
Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • Following the OFT’s 2012 decision which held that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways had colluded and exchanged commercially sensitive information as to the level of passenger fuel surcharges imposed on long-haul flights, the CAT has given notice of a claim for damages against British Airways by the Ministry of Defence. Damages are being sought in respect of the higher prices allegedly paid by the MoD when purchasing long-haul flights from British Airways, as a result of the illegal passenger fuel surcharge. 
  • Following an investigation in May 2013 into complaints by TalkTalk Telecom Group plc that BT had been abusing a dominant position in relation to the supply of superfast broadband through an alleged margin squeeze, Ofcom has now provisionally decided that there are no grounds of action.

This article was written by Paul Stone.  

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