On 23 April 2015, the Court of Justice dismissed all grounds of appeal brought by LG Display and LG Display Taiwan and upheld the fine for their participation in the liquid-crystal display panels cartel (C-227/14 P). The judgment confirms that sales from a joint venture to the parent companies may be counted in calculating a fine over the affected turnover.
The Commission has discretion to determine its fining policy for violations of the cartel prohibition. In its Fining Guidelines, the Commission has set out that it will base the fine on the value of sales "to which the infringement directly or indirectly" relates.
In the judgment at hand, the Court of Justice ruled that on the basis of this criterion the Commission cannot base the fine on sales of products and services which fall outside of the scope of the established cartel. At the same time, however, the Commission does not have to limit itself to basing the fine only on sales for which it can establish that they were actually affected by the cartel.
In the case at hand, a specific regime applied to sales from the joint venture to the parent companies, isolating the prices for such sales from the cartel behavior. The Court ruled that the Commission could nevertheless take those sales into account as affected sales for the calculation of the fine.