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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

15 MAR 2012

Investigate, prosecute, fine and then sue

The European Commission is defending its right to sue the lifts and elevator suppliers Kone, Schindler and Otis, before the European Court of Justice despite having itself carried out the investigation and delivered the guilty verdict in the cartel investigation. 

The lift cartelists say that there is a clear conflict of interest and that the Commission is exploiting its privileges as a public authority in order to make good its private claim which is before the Belgian courts.

The Commission claims that the issue is clear: it has a right to claim for damages and, insofar as there is any conflcit issue, it has put in place Chinese walls to divide officials involved in the investigation from those engaged in the private action.

I can’t see the European Court siding with the cartelists on this.

John Cassels

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