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Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. v. Commission (Dyestuffs)

1972 E.C.R. 619 (1972)

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Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. v. Commission (Dyestuffs)

European Union Court of Justice

1972 E.C.R. 619 (1972)

Facts

Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. (Imperial) (defendant) was a dyestuffs producer registered outside of the European Union. Imperial owned majority or complete shares in several subsidiary corporations located within European member states. In 1972, Imperial instructed its European subsidiaries to increase prices of dyestuffs. The European Commission (commission) (plaintiff) fined Imperial for violating European antitrust law, asserting that Imperial had illegally conspired with other major dyestuffs producers to increase prices in Europe. Imperial appealed to the European Union Court of Justice, arguing that even if it had agreed to set prices with other producers, its conduct was outside the commission’s jurisdiction because Imperial was not located in Europe. The commission asserted that Imperial instructed its subsidiaries to raise prices as a result of the parent company’s agreements with other dyestuffs producers and that Imperial and its subsidiaries were one economic unit. Thus, the European subsidiaries’ conduct could be imputed to the foreign parent, resulting in anticompetitive effects in Europe, over which the commission did have jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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