European Commission fines private equity firm for cartel

By Amanda Howlett

On 2 April 2014, the European Commission announced that it was fining the participants in a worldwide undersea cable cartel. The companies in question had colluded to share markets and customers over a 10-year period.

The overall size of the European Commission’s fines — slightly more than €300m (£250m) — was large. However, the aspect of the commission’s decision that is drawing attention is the fact that it fined Goldman Sachs €37.3m.

Goldman Sachs itself played no role in the cartel. However, one of the funds that it managed, GS Capital Partners, had a stake in one of the cartel members (Prysmian), which was fined €104m, of which Goldman Sachs is jointly and severally liable for €37.3m…

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