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Viho Europe BV v. Commission

1996 E.C.R. I-5457 (1996)

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Viho Europe BV v. Commission

European Union Court of Justice

1996 E.C.R. I-5457 (1996)

Facts

Parker Pen was a European parent corporation with 100 percent-owned subsidiaries in Germany, Belgium, and several other European countries. Each subsidiary’s sales and marketing activities were directed by local teams appointed by the parent company. The local teams controlled major business activities including sales targets, cash flow, gross margins, and pricing and discounts, and they determined which products would be sold in their assigned areas. Viho Europe BV (Viho) (plaintiff), a competitor, lodged a complaint with the European Commission (commission) (defendant). Viho claimed that Parker Pen’s territorial agreements between the parent corporation and its subsidiaries violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibited certain concerted actions by multiple firms. The commission found that Parker Pen and its subsidiaries constituted one economic unit and were therefore incapable of concerted action under Article 101 of the TFEU. The general court agreed, and Viho appealed to the European Union Court of Justice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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