On 16 November 2013, details were published of an appeal brought by Industries Chimiques du Fluor (”ICF”) against a judgment of the General Court (”GC”) dismissing ICF’s appeal against the Commission’s decision whereby the Commission fined ICF and other aluminium fluoride producers for price-fixing in violation of Article 101 TFEU. ICF alleges that the GC erred in law and breached ICF’s rights of defense in several ways in its assessment of the Commission’s decision. Further, according to ICF, the GC erred in its examination of the fine imposed and failed to comply with its duty to state reasons in that regard. In particular, ICF alleges that the GC erred in law or at least was guilty of a substantive inaccuracy in its finding of the facts or distorted the facts in its assessment thereof when holding that the fact that the Commission based the contested decision on documents not referred to in the statement of objections did not constitute an infringement of ICF’s rights of defense or of Article 27 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (“Regulation 1/2003”). Furthermore, the ICF alleges that the GC committed an error in law also by concluding that the ICF’s rights and interests were not violated as the Commission reduced the number of persons considered to have committed an infringement between the statement of objections and the adoption of the contested decision given that ICF did not have the opportunity to comment on that reduction before the adoption of the contested decision. According to ICF, the GC furthermore infringed Article 31 of Regulation 1/2003 as it did not exercise its unlimited jurisdiction correctly and failed to evaluate itself or explain why the fine imposed was justified in the present case. As the length of the proceedings was excessive, ICF considers it to be in breach of Article of 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and seeks consequently reduction in the amount of the fine imposed on it.
*Original article online at https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=70984bd1-114a-47f2-91ba-a1b3cc05e57d