General Court upholds liability in acrylic glass cartel case

The General Court (the Court) has upheld a decision of the Commission which found Arkema France’s (Arkema) parent companies Total and Elf Aquitaine, jointly and severally liable for Arkema’s part in the acrylic glass (methacrylates) cartel.  

The Court held that the parties provided insufficient evidence to rebut the presumption that Arkema’s parent companies exercised decisive influence over Arkema during the period of the infringement (the presumption was based on the parent companies holding more than 96 percent of the share capital of Arkema at the time of the infringement and controlling the capital of the company). However, the Court did find that the Commission had erred in increasing the fine imposed on Arkema for deterrence by taking into account Total’s turnover. The Court considered that this was disproportionate as Arkema was no longer owned by Total at the date of the decision. The Court reduced the fine accordingly.