Thursday, December 7, 2023

MLAB secures victory for Amurrio before SC against CNMC

MLAB Abogados has successfully represented Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos, S.A. and its directors against the CNMC ruling before the Supreme Court, securing the acquittal of Amurrio against the sanctioning issued by the CNMC, which fined the company and its directors for alleged anti-competitive practices


The Supreme Court certifies the innocence of AMURRIO Ferrocarril y Equipos against the sanctioning resolution issued by the CNMC, which fined the company and its directors for alleged anti-competitive practices. Practices that in no way have been given as first concluded the National Court and as just ratified by the SC.

On October 7, 2014, members of the National Commission of Markets and Competition, accompanied by several units of the Civil Guard, broke into the facilities of Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos.

The company’s management at all times showed its absolute willingness to collaborate, as is logical. However, in June 2016 the CNMC resolved to declare the existence of a single and continuous infringement of the provisions of Article 1 of Law 15/2007, of July 3, 2007, on the Defense of Competition, and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, consisting of agreements or concerted practices for market sharing, the fixing of prices or other commercial conditions, and the exchange of sensitive commercial information in relation to the supply of railway turnouts in procurement procedures called by GIF/ADIF, which has been carried out at least since July 1, 1999 and until at least October 7, 2014.

It declared the company responsible for said infringement imposing a fine of 1.2 million euros and, for the first time in the history of the CNMC, imposing a financial penalty on the persons responsible for the infringement, Josu de Lapatza and Jon de Lapatza.

In view of this resolution, AMUFER claimed its innocence and started its defense before the National Court because the fact that the supply to Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF) and, before that, to its predecessor Gestora de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF), was jointly (in a joint venture) by the Spanish manufacturers has its origin in the purpose of the GIF/ADIF itself to ensure that the high-speed rail turnouts were manufactured in Spain, using the best existing technologies, in practically impossible deadlines and that they had demonstrable experience of good operation and maximum safety.

The National High Court, specifically the Administrative Chamber, Sixth Section, validating the veracity of these proven arguments, issued on January 26, 2022 a ruling in favor of the interests of Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos, annulling the decision of the Competition Chamber of the CNMC and sentencing the Commission to pay the costs. However, the CNMC appealed to the Supreme Court who on January 19 has declared the inadmissibility of the cassation appeal prepared by the State Attorney and being condemned again costs, thus closing the judicial chapter because no further appeal is possible.

Amurrio and its directors were represented by MLAB managing partner Helmut Brokelmann.

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