Court of Justice rejects appeal by Pirelli on cartel fine
The Court of Justice has rejected the appeal brought in Pirelli & Co. v Commission (C-611/18 P) seeking to set aside part of the General Court’s ruling in T-455/14, based on grounds alleging the infringement of provisions of Regulation 1/2003, various general principles, and an error of law in the duty to state reasons.
The General Court’s judgment had dismissed Pirelli’s action seeking the annulment of various Commission decisions imposing a fine under Article 101 TFEU for Pirelli’s participation in a cartel together with 25 other undertakings. It did so by confirming the legality of the Commission’s decision with regard to the alleged infringement of the presumption of innocence, of the principles of proportionality, equal treatment and joint and several liability. Pirelli appealed the judgment on these grounds, as well as on the Commission’s failure to state reasons and by the Court’s rejecting the request for the benefit of order or discussion with regard to Article 31 of Regulation 1/2003.
The Court of Justice rejected all of the grounds of appeal. It noted that under Article 31 of Regulation No 1/2003, EU courts enjoy jurisdiction to hear actions brought against decisions by which the Commission has fixed a fine, and may cancel, reduce or increase the fine imposed, but cannot carry out assessments which do not fall within the Commission’s power to impose sanctions. It further considered that the General Court had not erred in law by finding no infringement of the above mentioned principles and that the Commission was entitled to rely on the presumption of the actual exercise of decisive influence given that the appellant owned almost 100% of the capital of its subsidiaries during the infringement period.
The judgment is available here (not available in English at the time of publication).