European Union General Court Annuls Cartel Fine Based On European Commission’s Insufficient Reasoning
On September 24, 2019, the EU General Court annulled the cartel fine the European Commission had imposed on a financial institution for alleged anticompetitive conduct in the Euro interest rate derivatives market based on the Commission’s failure to adequately explain its reasoning in determining the amount of the fine. HSBC Holdings plc et al v. European Commission, Judgment in Case T-105-17. At the same time, the Court largely upheld the Commission’s decision on the underlying infringement and provided additional clarity on other key aspects of cartel rules, namely, ‘by object’ infringements, the evidentiary requirements to establish a single and continuous infringement (SCI), and the Commission’s obligation to uphold a non-settling party’s presumption of innocence in hybrid settlement procedures.
Northern District Of Illinois Finds Hockey Club’s Shot Against Hockey League Misses The Net
On September 26, 2019, Judge Manish S. Shah of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed antitrust claims by plaintiff Reapers Hockey Association, Inc., an amateur hockey club, against Amateur Hockey Association Illinois (“AHAI”), an amateur hockey league, and its four constituent clubs (the “club defendants”), finding that plaintiff failed to state a claim under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Reapers Hockey Association, Inc. v. Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-1302 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2019). Because it decided that plaintiff’s claims failed on the merits, it also denied plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
Companies With Effective Antitrust Compliance Programs Could Get Relief From Criminal Prosecution Under New DOJ Policy
The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“Division”) finally will consider the existence of effective antirust compliance programs at the charging stage of criminal antitrust investigations, opening up the possibility that cartel participants could avoid prosecution even if they are not a first-in leniency applicant. The Division’s previous, and longstanding, approach had been not to consider compliance programs at the charging stage, on the theory that a compliance program is by definition ineffective if it failed to prevent a criminal violation of the antitrust laws.