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Revisiting Parental Liability in EU Competition Law

Kalintiri, A. (2018). Revisiting Parental Liability in EU Competition Law. European Law Review, 43(2), pp. 145-166.


Why are parent companies held liable for the infringements committed by their subsidiaries under EU competition law? This article examines the jurisprudence of the EU Courts with a view to illuminating the rationale underpinning parental liability. Taking a closer look at the "single economic unit/undertaking" explanation endorsed by the Courts post- Akzo , it demonstrates that this doctrine lacks the exegetical power assigned to it, insofar as it is based on a fallacious reasoning. With this in mind, two alternative justifications for parental liability are then discussed: the "failure to exercise vigilance" theory and the "enterprise" rationale. As the article illustrates, both justifications have their advantages and limitations. Ultimately, the final choice lies with the EU Courts, but it is submitted that, all things considered, the "failure to exercise vigilance" argument offers a better—or at least more realistic—solution to the problem of developing a coherent explanation for parental liability in EU competition law.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in European Law Review following peer review. The definitive published version Kalintiri, A. (2018). Revisiting Parental Liability in EU Competition Law. European Law Review, 43(2), pp. 145-166, is available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service .
Publisher Keywords: parental liability; competition law; single economic unit; decisive influence; failure to exercise vigilance; enterprise
Subjects: K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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