On 29 June 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (the
"Court") annulled a cartel fine imposed on a railway
maintenance firm, Offroy, because the French Competition Authority
(the "Authority") lacked sufficient evidence to prove
that the company had taken part in a cartel.
Moreover, the fines imposed on two other companies, Vecchietti
and ETF, were reduced. The Court ruled that the Authority had
wrongly increased the fines for recidivism, noting that the
Authority had mistakenly taken into account a cartel infringement
that occurred after the exchange of information
However, the additional appeals of two other companies, Colas
Rail and Pichenot Bouille, were rejected. In addition, all
claims concerning the authorisations of the dawn raids, which may
have allowed the Authority to prove the existence of a cartel, were
On 29 July 2009, the Authority had fined the five railway
maintenance firms a total of €4.2 million for exchanging
information before submitting bids in response to a tender
As a consequence of the Court's ruling, Offroy has been
relieved of its €500,000 fine and allegations of its
involvement in the cartel have been retracted since the evidence
collected by the Authority was insufficient to prove its
involvement. Furthermore, the Court reduced the fines of
Vecchietti and ETF respectively from €200,000 to
€180,000 and from €1.2 million to €1.08
To view Community Week, Issue 479; 9 July 2010 in full,
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The Damages Directive, which seeks to promote and harmonise the private enforcement of EU competition law before national courts across the European Union – and which was first published in December 2014 after more than ten years of debate – was due to be transposed into national law by each Member State by 27 December 2016
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