The General Court confirms fines for three undertakings in the aluminium fluoride cartel

On 18 June 2013, the General Court ("GC") dismissed the appeals lodged by Fluorsid, Minmet and Industries Chimiques du Fluor ("ICF") against the Commission decision of 25 June 2008. The decision imposed EUR 4.97 million fines for their participation in a horizontal price-fixing agreement from 12 July 2000 until 31 December 2000 in the aluminium fluoride sector (T-404/08 and T-406/08).

The case involves a review of a Commission decision that applies point 18 of the 2006 Guidelines on the method of setting fines, relating to worldwide cartels. According to point 18, in order to set the basic amount of the fine, the Commission may determine the share of the sales on the worldwide market of each undertaking party to the infringement and apply this share to the aggregate sales within the EEA of the undertakings concerned. The GC upheld this reading of point 18.

The Commission therefore does not need to take into account the absolute market share. This is the total value of the sales of all the undertakings active on the market (irrespective of their participation in the infringement), as it had done in two previous cases, Marine Hoses (COMP/34.406) and in Power Transformers (COMP/39.129).