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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

28 JAN 2012

Italian and Spanish raw tobacco cartels

Details of appeals lodged by Deltafina and Alliance One in the Italian raw tobacco cartel were published on 28 January 2012. Deltafina is appealing against the General Court's judgment upholding its liability on the ground that the Commission wrongly withdrew the conditional immunity it had been granted under the 2002 Leniency Notice following an alleged breach of its duty of co-operation, in which the Commission found that Deltafina revealed to other companies involved in the investigation that it had applied for leniency before the Commission had the opportunity to carry out investigations into the cartel.
Alliance One has challenged the General Court's review of evidence adduced to rebut the presumption that it had decisive influence over its infringing subsidiaries. It will be interesting to note the outcome of Alliance One's challenge, particularly in light of Advocate General Kokott's recent opinion of 12 January 2012 on the joined appeals by Alliance One International, Inc and Standard Commercial Tobacco Company, Inc and the Commission against a General Court judgment upholding the Commission's decision to attribute liability to the two companies for the fine imposed on World Wide Tobacco Espana, SA for its participation in the Spanish raw tobacco cartel. The Advocate General concluded that none of the claims raised by the appellants showed that the General Court had erred in applying the law on attribution of liability.

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