DGAP-Adhoc: Gigaset AG: Court ruling reduces cartel fine by EUR 1m

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| Source: EQS Group AG
Gigaset AG  / Key word(s): Legal Matter

23.01.2014 18:23

Dissemination of an Ad hoc announcement according to § 15 WpHG, transmitted
by DGAP - a company of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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In a decision published today, the European Court of First Instance partly
followed the legal opinion of Gigaset AG (previously trading under Arques
Industries AG) and reduced the fine imposed on the company by the European
Commission in its 2009 SKW case by EUR 1m. Gigaset's further claims were
dismissed.

In July 2009, the Commission had conducted a competition case against
various companies active in the calcium carbide market, and imposed fines
in the overall amount of EUR 61.1m. An amount of EUR 13.3m was imposed
jointly and severally upon SKW Stahl-Metallurgie GmbH, which had directly
participated in the cartel, and its parent SKW Stahl-Metallurgie Holding AG
(both jointly hereinafter referred to as 'SKW'). Additionally, the
Commission held that Gigaset AG was jointly and severally liable for the
fine, as it was the ultimate parent company of SKW at the time and had
formed an 'economic unit' with SKW.

Gigaset AG filed for judicial review of this Commission decision and paid -
on an ex gratia basis and pending further judicial review - paid an amount
of EUR 6.65m to the EU Commission in 2009/2010. Today's court decision
refers to this filing. Gigaset AG preliminary legal view is that following
today's ruling, a part of the amount which was already paid will be
reimbursed to Gigaset.

Today's ruling is not legally binding yet. Gigaset shall carefully review
whether the court decision should be subject to further review in front of
the European Court of Justice.

In parallel to the case which was closed today, Gigaset AG had brought a
lawsuit in front of the civil courts against SKW. Gigaset argued that SKW,
having directly participated in the cartel, should bear the fine completely
by itself, and as such reimburse Gigaset AG for the amount already paid.
This case has to date not brought clarity about the legally correct
distribution of fines imposed 'jointly and severally' among SKW (as the
direct participant of the cartel) and Gigaset AG as former ultimate parent
which was only held co-liable for SKW's illegal behavior.

The legal question is currently discussed in front of the German Federal
Court (Bundesgerichtshof), who has requested the European Court of Justice,
on 9 July 2013, for a preliminary ruling.  Gigaset continues to believe
that internally among those parties fined by the Commission, SKW as the
direct participant in the cartel will have to bear the full fine amount.


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Language:     English
Company:      Gigaset AG
              Hofmannstraße 61
              81379 München
              Germany
Phone:        +89444456937
Fax:          +89444456930
E-mail:       kerstin.diebenbusch@gigaset.com
Internet:     www.gigaset.com
ISIN:         DE0005156004
WKN:          515600
Listed:       Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr
              in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München, Stuttgart
 
End of Announcement                             DGAP News-Service
 
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