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  • 25-04-2014

On 2 April 2014, the European Commission imposed fines totalling EUR 301.6 million on eleven producers of underground and submarine high voltage power cables for their participation in an alleged bid-rigging scheme. The decision is striking in that the Commission has significantly expanded its “parental liability” doctrine by applying it to a private equity management company in respect of an infringement committed by a portfolio company: it held fund manager Goldman Sachs Capital Partners jointly and severally liable for part of the EUR 104.6 million fine it imposed on Prysmian, an Italian cable maker that was acquired, for part of the alleged infringement period, by GS Capital Partners V, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. This note sets out the background of this decision and suggests various ways to mitigate this new antitrust risk.

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