The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

On 8 September 2021, the Amsterdam District Court rendered an interim judgment in the case of claim vehicle CDC Projects 13 SA against the Finnish company Kemira Chemicals OY with regard to the sodium chlorate cartel,[1] which the European Commission established and fined in its decision of 11 June 2008.[2] CDC’s proceedings have been ongoing since 2014, and in the latter judgment the District Court ruled on, among other things, applicable law, joint and several liability and the obligation to contribute.

The parties agree that the applicable law is determined by the production site where the sodium chlorate was delivered. With regard to the joint and several liability and obligation to contribute of companies belonging to the same group, the District Court found that Kemira was the only company held liable and that it has been established that Kemira sold sodium chlorate as a participant in the cartel. According to established CJEU case law, Kemira can be held fully liable there under civil law. In that case, the mutual obligation to contribute is irrelevant to the liability towards CDC, and the District Court dismissed the issues of joint and several liability and the (internal) obligation to contribute as no longer relevant.

The proceedings continued with an exchange of statements on the subjects of “overcharge” and “volume of commerce”, in which the subject of “pass on” can also be discussed.

[1] Amsterdam District Court 8 September 2021, ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2021:4933.

[2] Commission Decision of 11 June 2008, COMP/38.695 (Sodium Chlorate).