On Feb. 2, 2012, the EU’s General Court confirmed that two parent companies in a 50/50 joint venture (JV) can be held liable and therefore fined for cartel activity carried out by the JV in the EU. The judgment relies on the long-established principle under EU competition law that when a parent holds “decisive influence” over a subsidiary, then the parent and the subsidiary are considered to be one entity. The court made its finding despite the fact that the JV was “full-function” for the purposes of merger control (so treated as an autonomous economic entity for that purpose) and that control by the parents was only negative. The judgment serves as a reminder that in assessing competition law risk in the EU, companies cannot ignore their partly owned subsidiaries. At the same time, there may be greater scope for cooperation with such subsidiaries, since competition law does not in general apply to agreements or practices between separate companies if they are part of a group.