The European Commission (“Commission”) introduced its settlement procedure for cartel cases back in 2008.)Commission Regulation (EC) No 662/2008 of 30 June 2008 amending Regulation No 773/2004, as regards the conduct of settlement procedures in cartel cases (OJ 2008 L171) (“the Settlements Notice”). The main aims? To make life easier for the Commission and to keep cartel cases out of the overburdened EU Courts. But Timab – a party to the Commission’s 2010 Animal Feed Phosphates cartel case (only the second settlement case concluded by the Commission) – clearly has other ideas: by an appeal lodged on 27 July 2015 it is taking its challenge to the Commission’s approach to settlement all the way to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). In addition to using up scarce Commission resource, Timab’s appeal (of a General Court judgment dated 20 May 2015) Case T‑456/10, Timab Industries and CFPR v European Commission, ECLI:EU:T:2015:296.) is set to yield interesting insights on the dynamics of fine calculation in hybrid cases (where some parties settle but others do not). In this blog, the authors explore some of the more noteworthy aspects of the General Court’s judgmen and discuss the likely consequences for settlements in cartel cases going forward.
This article was originally published on Kluwer Competition Law Blog.