April 7, 2014

DOJ Scores First Antitrust Extradition: More to Come?

With Friday’s announcement of the first-ever extradition of a foreign executive on criminal antitrust charges to the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice has won a major victory in its effort to prosecute and deter international cartels. Combined with the increased international trend towards criminalization of cartel activity, Friday’s extradition announcement represents a significant cautionary precedent for corporations and individuals alike.

Categories: EU Cartels, US Cartels

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April 7, 2014

Cartel Fines: Liability of Private Equity Funds

The European Commission has held Goldman Sachs jointly and severally liable for a cartel infringement committed by Prysmian, an Italian cable maker formerly owned by Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm. The decision is a stark reminder that EU competition law allows the corporate veil to be readily pierced and that private equity companies are no exception.

Categories: EU Cartels

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March 24, 2014

Beware of Public Announcements! Recent European Competition Developments on Price Signalling

Forward public announcements of prices and outputs are common in many industries. The effect of such announcements on competition has traditionally been considered ambiguous. Partly for that reason, simple price announcements have been difficult for the agencies to attack under the antitrust rules in the absence of evidence of actual collusion. While there have been a few challenges in the US over the years, there is little precedent. However, recent action by the European Commission and some Member States appears designed to send a clear signal: agencies are prepared to be more aggressive about future pricing announcements. Hence it may be wise to revisit the traditional compliance approach to public price statements on either side of the Atlantic.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels

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