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Bag-Cartel Firms May Get Option to Sue Over Ruling Delays

Kendrion NV, Gascogne, and its Gascogne Sack unit should be able to seek damages over delays in rulings on their antitrust fines appeals dating back to 2006, an adviser to the European Union’s top court said.

Gascogne Sack, a German arm of Gascogne, should also have its fine cut to 2.1 million euros ($2.7 million) from 3.3 million euros for its role in an industrial bag cartel, Eleanor Sharpston, an advocate general at the EU Court of Justice said in a non-binding opinion today. The Luxembourg-based EU court follows such advice in a majority of cases.

The European Commission in November 2005 fined 16 companies 290.7 million euros for colluding on prices of plastic bags used for industrial products. British Polythene Industries Plc escaped a fine because it was the first to provide the commission with “decisive evidence” about the cartel, the EU said at the time.

Kendrion and its former subsidiary Fardem Packaging BV in 2011 lost appeals at the EU General Court, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal, against the fines levied for colluding on prices with competitors. The appeals were filed in 2006. The commission, the 27-nation EU’s antitrust regulator, had fined Zeist, Netherlands-based Kendrion and Fardem a combined 34 million euros.

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