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The Theory of Economic Unit and the ‘Downward’ Liability of Subsidiaries for the Sins of Their Parent Companies: Better Not! (C-882/19 Sumal) journal article

Catarina Vieira Peres de Fraipont, Inês Neves

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 6 (2022), Issue 1, Page 98 - 103

Case C‑882/19 Sumal, S.L. v Mercedes Benz Trucks España, S.L., Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 6 October 2021 By judgment of 6 October 2021, in the Sumal case, the Court of Justice ruled that the victim of an anticompetitive infringement may bring an action for damages, either against a parent company who has been addressed by an infringement decision of the European Commission, or against a subsidiary which is not referred to in that decision. In order to do so, those two entities have to be part of the same economic unit and there has to be a specific link between the economic activity of that subsidiary and the subject matter of the infringement for which the parent company was held to be responsible.


Has the CJEU’s Slovak Telekom Ruling Declared the Principle of Ne Bis in Idem Virtually Redundant in Cases of Parallel Public Enforcement of EU Competition Law? (C-857/19 Slovak Telekom) journal article

Francesco Rizzuto, Monika Lynch

European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, Volume 5 (2021), Issue 2, Page 162 - 171

Case C-857/19 Slovak Telekom a.s. v Protimonopoly Urad Slovenskej Republiky, Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 25 February 2021 In this ruling the Court of Justice of the European has established two key rules that taken together with previous rulings of the Court amount to rendering virtually redundant the principle of ne bis in idem as a defense in the parallel enforcement of competition law in the European Union under Regulation 1/2003. First, it has clarified that the same abusive conduct may constitute a series of separate offences where the abuse concerns distinct products and prosecuting and sanctioning them separately would not be incompatible with the principle of ne bis in idem. Secondly, it ruled that where the Commission relieves a national competition authority of a case, only the Commission decision prevails regardless of the stage or status of proceedings conducted by the national competition authority. The implications for the liability of undertakings may be far-reaching.

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