National Court says companies were informed about the results and the corresponding fines only days after the deadline for the procedure had expired.
Spain's National Court (Audencia Nacional) has annulled a €57.7m cartel fine imposed in 2015 by CNMC (Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia) on 18 corrugated products companies and the industry association AFCO (Asociacion Espanola de Fabricantes de Envases y Embalajes de Carton Ondulado.
The National Court explained that the results of the investigation and the corresponding fines had been notified to the concerned companies only days after the deadline for the procedure expired.
In its June 2015 ruling, CNMC had imposed cartel fines totaling €57.7m on 18 companies and the AFCO after it had established that they had fixed prices and shared information and volumes on the corrugated board and products market in Spain.
According to the National Court, the latest decision did not deny the results of the CNMC antitrust investigation on the existence of the corrugated packaging cartel in Spain, but only cancelled the respective fines due to a procedural error.
The decision of the National Court may be appealed before the Supreme Court.
This article is part of our free coverage on the containerboard and corrugated products markets in Europe.