European Legal Watch - Newsletter May, 14th 2020

June 19, 2020

The Court of Justice sets aside in part a judgment of the Court of First Instance in the electrical cables case and reduces by a margin the fine imposed on one of the undertakings penalised.

CJEU, 14 May 2020, NKT A/S, NKT Verwaltungs GmbH v Commission, Case C-607/18

An appeal against a judgment of the General Court of the European Union in the cable cartel case concerning NKT and its subsidiary NKT Verwaltungs GmbH has been brought before the Court of Justice, which partially annuls the contested decision and reduces the fine imposed on the applicants.

As a reminder, by decision of 2 April 2014, the European Commission penalised 26 undertakings for infringement of Article 101 TFEU and 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area on the market in (very) high-voltage underground and submarine power cables. The cartel was a single and continuous infringement of almost worldwide scope and concerned the market-sharing for power cable tenders. The Commission imposed a total fine of € 302 million on the European, South Korean and Japanese companies involved.

Some of the undertakings penalised applied to the General Court for annulment and/or amendment of the decision. By 15 judgments of 12 July 2018, the General Court dismissed all the actions, including that brought by the applicants, NKT (Denmark) and its subsidiary NKT Verwaltungs (Germany), active in the production and supply of underground and submarine power cables. The applicants were fined €3 887 000 for their participation in the cartel during the period from 3 July 2002 to 17 February 2006.

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