EU Court of Justice: Financial investors liable for anticompetitive conduct of portfolio companies

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The European Court of Justice has confirmed that financial investors can incur parental liability for the anticompetitive practices of portfolio companies, even after an IPO that left the investor holding only a minority stake in the company, provided that they still have sufficient representation at the board of directors. This judgment is of major interest to private equity funds and other financial investors, demonstrating the need to balance their desire to closely oversee the portfolio companies’ strategies with the risk of being found liable for any anticompetitive practices implemented at a lower level in these companies.