EU’s Highest Court Expands Cartel Damages Liability for Corporate Parents and Successors

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The Development: The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") ruled that parent companies and economic successors can be held liable for damages caused by a subsidiary or acquired company in cartel cases. This significantly broadens the scope of corporate liability for EU antitrust violations. The Implications: EU case law had already established joint and several liability for fines on parents and subsidiaries or their successors for cartel infringements. This decision extends the same principles of joint and several liability to private follow-on damage actions. Looking Ahead: This outcome strengthens private antitrust enforcement and further exposes companies implicated in antitrust violations.