Record €20 Million EC Fine for Failure to Notify Minority Acquisition Upheld by EU General Court

Record €20 Million EC Fine for Failure to Notify Minority Acquisition Upheld by EU General Court


By: Alasdair Balfour, Tobias Caspary, Till Vere-Hodge

12 December 2012: Three years after the European Commission (EC) fined Belgian electricity and natural gas company Electrabel €20 million (US$26 million) for acquiring Compagnie Nationale de Rhône (CNR) of France without obtaining prior clearance to do so, the European General Court fully upheld the EC decision.  The General Court upheld the decision despite Electrabel having only acquired a (controlling) minority stake in CNR, Electrabel having notified the transaction voluntarily to the EC (albeit more than four years following completion of the transaction), and the EC having found no competition concerns arising from the actual transaction, as it considered that there were no significant overlaps between Electrabel and CNR’s activities.

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