Case Study Eu Competition Law

1703 words - 7 pages

Assignment: Competition in the European Union: The legal framework

Competition in the European Union
The legal framework
Case Study

Florian Madl

BUS 573_Law for Business Executives, CLU


Assignment: Competition in the European Union: The legal framework

Table of content

The Case ........................................................................................ 3 

1.1.  General .......................................................................................... 3 
1.2.  Case Description ........................................................................... 3 
1.2.1. General Description ...view middle of the document...

(collectively referred to as "Schenker");

1.2. Case Description
1.2.1. General Description
The three companies were operating jointly unit trains (also called Blocktrains).
The term Blocktrains refers to a rail transport system where the wagons carry only the
same goods and are shipped from the same origin to the same destination. This leads to
an optimization in cost and transport time.
The three parties were running two routes:

“Balkantrain” connecting Central Europe with South Europe

“Soptrain” connecting Central Europe with Bulgaria

The Commission could proof that the three companies were operating a cartel to
protect their customers from competition and to coordinate prices.

Assignment: Competition in the European Union: The legal framework


The parties held regular meetings and exchanged data about customers and prices and
provided each other with cover offers and have established the following practices and
procedures to eliminate competition:

they agreed and allocated existing and new customers as well as setting up a customer
allocation scheme

they exchanged confidential information about customers and their requests

they shared transport volumes contracted by downstream customers

they coordinated prices directly by providing each other with cover bids

1.2.2. Duration of the infringement
The cartel operated from 2004 until 2012 with the direct involvement of the company’s

1.2.3. Geographical scope
All three parties made business under this conduct within the whole European Union.

1.3. Decision
The Commission condemned a total fine in the amount of 49 million Euro. EXIF had to
pay a fine in the amount of 17 million Euro and Schenker was fined 32 million Euro. K+N
was granted immunity for revealing the existence of the cartel. For both EXIF and
Schenker the fines have been also reduced by the Commission in the amount of 45% for
EXIF and 30% for Schenker for their cooperation with the investigation. Additional 10%
reduction have been granted by the Commission for the parties’ confirmation in the
participation of the cartel. The Commission has granted K+N full immunity from fines

Assignment: Competition in the European Union: The legal framework


under the Leniency Rules, since they have informed the Authority about this cartel
2. Analysis of the Case
Building up a cartel is generally an infringement of European competition law. In this
case the parties have established and operated an horizontal cartel.
According to Article 101 TFEU any agreement between undertakings are prohibited if
the may affect trade or has as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or
distortion of competition.
The Commission declared the practice of the three parties illegal based on the Article
101(1) of the Treaty of the...

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