The European Commission has announced a fine of €20 million (US$27 million) against Marine Harvest ASA, the EU’s largest salmon farmer, for what it describes as a “negligent” breach of EU merger control law. The scale of the fine highlights the Commission’s strict application of the rules that require transactions to be both notified and approved before they are implemented.
In announcing the fine, the Commission noted that Marine Harvest is “a large European company with wide previous experience” of merger control rules that “should have been aware of its obligations”. Its failure to comply was therefore considered “negligent conduct”. The case of Marine Harvest serves as a reminder to all companies to thoroughly check their merger control obligations before implementing any transaction, and not least when acquiring a minority interest./p>