Stay current on the latest developments from agencies including the CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC to advise clients on real-life regulatory situations.
Italian steel company Ferriere Nord SpA Sept. 21 won a battle against an 83 million euro ($99 million) fine that Europe’s competition watchdog had levied against it and 10 other competitors for rigging the market on reinforcing bars.
In the most recent development in the 15-year case, Europe’s highest court overturned the fine for all the companies because it said the commission violated Ferriere Nord’s procedural rights. The European Competition Commission has charged the companies twice, and Ferriere Nord has appealed twice.
The European Court of Justice’s Sept. 21 opinion sends the competition commission back to the starting line on a decades-old cartel. The offending conduct occurred from around 1989 to 2000. The commission must now decide whether to expend the resources to start over with years of litigation and possible appeals.
The commission alleged in 2002 that Ferriere Nord and Riva Fire S.p.A.,Valsabbia Investimenti S.p.A., Ferriera Valsabbia S.p.A. Lucchini S.p.A., S.P. S.p.A., Leali S.p.A., Acciaierie e Ferriere Leali Luigi S.p.A., IRO Industrie Riunite Odolesi S.p.A., Feralpi Holding S.p.A., and Alfa Acciai S.p.A. formed a cartel in the late 1980s.
By 2000 the companies, which by then formed only eight corporate families, had garnered more than 80 percent of the market share and reduced the market from 40 competitors to the surviving cartel members. The EC fined each according to its market position in 2002.
A lower court threw out that complaint in 2007 because it was based on the wrong law. The EC had charged the companies under the expired World War II-era treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community. It was replaced by a treaty forming the European Union.
The commission then issued a new fine under the correct law in 2009, but that time it didn’t grant the companies a new hearing. Ferriere Nord appealed again, and the Court of Justice said the commission was obligated to offer a hearing. The court ordered the commission to pay Ferriere Nord’s costs for the whole legal battle, which is standard when it upholds an appeal.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eleanor Tyler in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The court's opinion is http://src.bna.com/sKr
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)