The Rotterdam District Court has overturned the fines imposed on Pilkington and Scheuten for their participation in a double glazing cartel.
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) had based its decision entirely on the leniency statements by rival companies AGC and Saint Gobain. According to the court, the companies' confessions were based on leading questions by the ACM, which affected their reliability. Without any further supporting evidence, the ACM had failed to prove that Pilkington and Scheuten participated in the cartel.
This ruling has far-reaching consequences for how the ACM should gather evidence based on leniency statements. The ACM should limit itself to what leniency applicants can state by their own account. 'Refreshing' their memory by confronting them with statements of other leniency applicants will not be tolerated by the court. It is therefore wise for leniency applicants to take this stricter approach to heart.
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