Goldman Sachs loses legal fight against EU cartel fine
Subsidiary company Prysmian fined €104.6 million by antitrust regulators in 2014
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Goldman Sachs was liable for Prysmian’s actions. File photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
US investment bank Goldman Sachs lost its fight on Wednesday against a European Union cartel fine handed down to its former Italian subsidiary and cable maker Prysmian after Europe’s top court said it was liable for the actions of the unit.
Prysmian was fined €104.6 million by European Union antitrust regulators in 2014 for taking part in a cartel with 10 other cable makers.
Its penalty included a joint fine of €37.3 million with Goldman Sachs, which had acquired the Italian company via one of its private-equity funds in 2005, but has since sold its holding.
The European Commission in its 2014 decision said Goldman Sachs, as the parent company, had decisive influence over Prysmian. A lower EU tribunal in 2018 backed its argument.
The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) agreed with the reasoning and rejected Goldman Sachs’s appeal.
“The general court did not err in law in finding that, in the present case, the commission was entitled to rely on a presumption of actual exercise of decisive influence in order to establish the appellant’s liability for the infringement at issue in relation to the pre-IPO period,” CJEU judges said.