Power Cables case: lessons for private equity

Author: IFLR Correspondent | Published: 22 Jan 2019

On July 12 2018, the General Court of the European Union ("General Court") handed down several judgments relating to the European Commission’s Power Cables cartel case. Among these was a judgment which confirmed the joint and several liability of a private equity investor for antitrust infringements committed by a former portfolio company (Case T-419/14 – The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. v. Commission).

The judgment is significant in three respects:

·       The General Court confirmed that a private equity investor can be held jointly and severally liable for antitrust infringements committed by a portfolio company, even if the investor was not directly involved in or had knowledge of the anti-competitive conduct.

·       The General Court extended the so-called Akzo presumption according to which a parent company exercises decisive influence over a subsidiary if it holds all (or practically all) of the subsidiary’s shares to situations...