The French Appeal Court slashes fines in the steel wholesaling cartel

In its ruling of January 19 2010, the Cour d'Appel de Paris reduced the fines imposed by the Conseil de la Concurrence in December 2008 from a total of €575.33M to €72.325M. While endorsing the Conseil's conclusions on the existence and duration of the infringement, the Court determined that the Conseil should have considered certain mitigating factors and the impact of the financial crisis on firms' ability to pay fines.

CRA (Pascale Déchamps and Lorenzo Coppi) advised Morel & Fils during the administrative investigation and the appeal proceedings. The Court decreased the fines imposed on Morel & Fils from €12M to €1.375M, on the basis that the Conseil should have considered Morel's lack of implementation of the rules agreed by the cartel.

The ruling is available (in French) here.

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