Advocate General Kokott (“AG”) handed down an opinion on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Austrian Cartel Court of Appeal on whether a fine for breach of Article 101 of the TFEU can be imposed on a company where the company erred in an excusable manner of the lawfulness of its conduct, for example, by relying on the advice of an experienced lawyer or the decision of a national competition authority or court. The AG found that in such situations a fine may not be imposed. However, the AG proposed a list of minimum conditions for the reliance on legal opinions and decisions of the national authorities which need to be met in order for the company's error of law to be excusable. The AG also considered that even where a national authority refrains from imposing a fine on a company due to an excusable error of law, the authority may make a finding of an infringement of EU competition rules. According to the AG, there is usually a legitimate interest to make a finding of an infringement even if no penalties are imposed, such as precedent value in case of repeated infringements by the same company, deterrence of other companies or facilitation of damages actions. Source: Case C-681/11 Schenker and Co AG and Others, Advocate General's opinion of 28 February 2013