European Court of Justice
Subscribe to European Court of Justice's Posts

THE LATEST: European Court of Justice Clarifies Application of European Union Merger Control Rules to Joint Ventures

On 7 September 2017, the European Court of Justice issued a decision (Decision) on the interpretation of the European Union Merger Regulation (EUMR). The Decision clarifies the conditions under which the EUMR applies to the setting-up of joint venture companies. WHAT HAPPENED: 3(4) of the EUMR stipulates that the “creation” of joint ventures requires a notification only if the joint venture “performs the functions of an autonomous economic entity” (Full-Function JV). Companies with management dedicated to its day-to-day operations, as well as access to sufficient resources including staff, finance and assets usually qualify as Full-Function JV. If the joint venture has only one specific function for the parent companies (e.g. supplying input products or services), and has no or only very limited own resources, it is unlikely to be considered a Full-Function JV. There has been considerable uncertainty whether Art. 3(4) EUMR applies only to the creation of a...

Continue Reading

Ad hoc Local Leniency Application Makes the Difference: The Italian Council of State Upholds the Administrative Court of Lazio Judgment on the Alleged International Road Freight Cartel

On 20 October 2016, the Italian Council of State (the “Council of State”) upheld the judgment of the Administrative Court of Lazio (“TAR”) on the cartel in the sector of international road freight forwarding to and from Italy and confirmed the ranking applied in granting the reduction of the fine. According to the Council of State, in order to access the national leniency program, a company should provide the Authority with all necessary information and elements for the uncovering of the infringement, and should take into account that all the relevant information and elements provided to other authorities, in the context of other leniency application, will not be considered by the Authority. Therefore, companies should be careful and verify that each leniency application submitted is prepared ad hoc for each jurisdiction and is not capable of raising doubts regarding its scope. On 5 June 2007, DHL submitted to the European Commission an application for...

Continue Reading

The EU Court of Justice Brings to an End Odile Jacob’s Fight Against Lagardère’s Purchase of Vivendi Universal Publishing

By its judgment of 28 January 2016 (C-514/14 P, Editions Odile Jacob SAS v Commission), the European Court of Justice (Court) upheld the General Court of the European Union’s (GCEU) ruling with respect to each of the grounds raised by Editions Odile Jacob (Odile Jacob) thereby dismissing Odile Jacob’s appeal. The case concerned the sale, in 2002, of Vivendi Universal’s subsidiary Vivendi Universal Publishing (VUP) to the Lagardère Group (Lagardère). The European Commission (Commission) authorized the concentration in 2004, subject to undertakings by Lagardère. Specifically, Lagardère undertook to divest a significant amount of VUP assets. Lagardère thus approached several undertakings potentially interested in purchasing those assets. Odile Jacob was one of the undertakings that expressed an interest in the acquisition of the divested assets. However, Lagardère accepted the purchase offer made by Wendel Investissement (Wendel) whom the Commission approved as...

Continue Reading

EU’s Top Court Rules Cartel Victims Can Claim Damages From Cartelists Despite No Contractual Link

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and David Henry In a landmark ruling, the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Kone and Others C-557/12 of 5 June 2014, has held that, where a cartel causes competing companies to increase their prices, the members of the cartel may be held liable for losses incurred by victims of those price increases. Please click here to read the full article.

Continue Reading

EU National Courts May Have to Order Recovery of State Aid Before European Commission Makes Final Decision

The European Court of Justice decided on 21 November 2013 that EU national courts must assume that a measure qualifies as State aid, if the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into that measure. This judgment is relevant to all cases in which the disputed measure was already granted, or is planned to be granted, and the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation but not yet made a final decision on whether or not the measures qualify as State aid. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided on 21 November 2013 in Deutsche Lufthansa AG v Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH (C-284/12) on the obligations placed on national courts in EU Member States that have been asked by a third party to order the recovery of State aid that was granted to a beneficiary without approval by the European Commission. The ECJ stated that, even though the assessment carried out by the European Commission in its decision to open an in-depth investigation...

Continue Reading

German Court Protects the Confidentiality of Leniency Submissions

by David Henry, Martina Maier and Philipp Werner In the wake of the seminal European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in case C-360/09 - Pfleiderer AG v Bundeskartellamt, Amtsgericht Bonn (Bonn local court), in a decision rendered on 18 January 2012 (case 51 Gs 53/09), has refused to give a damages claimant access to leniency submissions held by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO).  Although strongly welcomed by the FCO, the decision is a blow to potential damages claimants in Germany, especially as it is not open to appeal. To read the full article, click here. 

Continue Reading

ECJ Gets Tough with The Commission on Parental Liability

by Martina Maier and Philipp Werner In Elf Aquitaine SA v Commission, the European Court of Justice ruled on 29 September 2011 that Elf Aquitaine was not jointly and severally liable as a parent company for the involvement of its wholly owned subsidiary in the cartel for monochloroaecetic acid.  Taken with a number of recent judgments, this suggests that European  courts are getting tougher with the Commission on parental liability. To read the full article, click here. 

Continue Reading

Top EU Court Rules That Companies May Have Access to Leniency Statements Submitted to National Competition Authorities

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and David Henry The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling of 14 June 2011 followed a case that originated in Germany.  Pfleiderer, a firm in the wood industry, was considering a damages claim against members of a paper cartel.  It sought access to the cartel files held by the German Competition Authority (FCO) in order to substantiate its claim.  A dispute followed over whether disclosing the documents of companies who had cooperated with the FCO would undermine the national leniency programme since potential leniency applicants would fear eventual disclosure. A German court asked the ECJ for a preliminary ruling whether or not the provisions of EU competition law are to be interpreted as meaning that cartel victims can be granted access to leniency applications received by an EU Member State competition authority. The ECJ has held  that it was for the courts and tribunals of each EU Member State on the...

Continue Reading

Brussels Brief – March 10, 2011: European Developments Impacting Dominant, Vertically Integrated Operators – The TeliaSonera Judgment

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and David Henry The European Court of Justice recently expanded upon the scope of the law in relation to pricing practices of vertically integrated companies. The ruling impacts dominant, vertically integrated companies active both within and outside regulated markets, such as telecoms. All dominant, vertically integrated undertakings on both sides of the Atlantic must be sure to tailor their commercial pricing policies in such manner that they comply with the EU dominance rules. To read the full article, please visit: http://mwe.com/info/news/bb030911.htm.   

Continue Reading

STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES