Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Market for flat glass in the European Economic Area (EEA)

Judgment

C-580/12 P

12.11.2014

Parties

Jurisdiction

Formation

Judge Rapporteur

Advocate General

Subject-matter

Appeal

Guardian Industries Corporation and Guardian Europe Sarl

v

Commission

CJEU

3rd Chamber

C.G. Fernlund

M. Wathelet

Appeal  Agreements, decisions and concerted practices

Key-words

Appeal — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Market for flat glass in the European Economic Area (EEA) — Price-fixing — Calculation of the amount of the fine — Inclusion of an undertaking’s internal sales

Summary

In order to determine the amount of the fine to be imposed on an undertaking, the proportion of the overall turnover deriving from the sale of products in respect of which the infringement was committed is the best means to reflect the economic importance of that infringement and the relative weight of that undertaking in it. As regards such sales, a distinction therefore need not be drawn between external and internal sales. Excluding a company’s internal sales would effectively favour vertically integrated companies by reducing their relative weight in the infringement to the detriment of other companies, on the basis of a criterion which has no connection with the objective pursued (namely that of reflecting the economic importance of the infringement and the relative weight of each of the undertakings which took part in it).The Court has therefore decided to reduce the amount of the fine imposed on Guardian by 30% and to set that fine at €103.6 million.

Noteworthy

A judgment which has as the effect of improving the internal coherence of the EU Commission 2006 Guidelines on the calculation of the amount of fines for the infringement of EU antritrust provisions and therefore to limit the (rather considerable) room for assessment of the EU Commission in this respect. It also contributes to more equality between vertically integrated and non-integrated firms and as a result is in line with the principle of neutrality of European law with respect to the manner in which companies structure and design their business.