The most interesting case this week is the competition damages case of European Union v. Otis and others. In that case, the Grand Chamber (Judge Arabadijev) held that it is not in violation of the Charter, specifically the right to a fair trial of art. 47, for the European Commission to first find a competition law infringement, imposing more than € 990 million in fines, and then to turn around and sue the perpetrators in tort, based on the fact that the EU bought elevators from the defendants. Cf. European Law Blog
The Grand Chamber (Judge Juhász) dismissed the appeals in the Éditions Odile Jacob/Lagardère merger review litigation. The most important result is that Lagardère is now officially permitted to buy most of the book publishing subsidiary of Vivendi. Part of the fun of this case is in its treatment of the “upfront buyer” who purchased Vivendi Universal Publishing pending approval by the Commission of the purchase by Lagardère. Éditions Odile Jacob v. Commission and Commission v. Éditions Odile Jacob
An asylum seeker who should have been sent back to Poland can instead remain in Austria and have her application decided there because she has a daughter-in-law in Austria who has already been given asylum and who is dependent on her. Cf. the humanitarian clause – art. 15 – of Regulation 343/2003. K v. Bundesasylamt
The Court (Judge Tizzano) shot down the clever Hungarian government plan of forcibly retiring all judges older than 62, so as to allow the government to appoint plenty of pro-government new judges. Apparently, this constitutes unlawful discrimination under Directive 2000/78. Commission v. Hungary
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Court (Judge Borg Barthet) found that Greece has failed to transpose parts of the first railway package. Commission v. Greece (FR) Likewise, Greece’s protection of its “strategic” companies was held to fall short of the rules on the freedom of establishment (Judge Prechal). Commission v. Greece For the latter, cf. Eutopialaw blog.
In other transport news, the Court (Judge Berger) gave some guidance on Commission Regulation 2042/2003 on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft. TEE et al. v. Ipourgos Esoterikon, Dimosias Diikisis kai Apokentrosis et al.
As they did the last few dozen times, Germany again lost a Turkish workers case (Judge Silva de Lapuerta, unusually). Gülbahce v. Hamburg
The Court (Judge Silva de Lapuerta) again rejected an appeal to the Ruiz Zambrano line of cases, this time because the applicant was seeking to live in the home Member State of his EU citizen wife and daughter. (The Court cited McCarthy and Dereci, which are both closer to the case at bar than the original Ruiz Zambrano case.) Iida v. Stadt Ulm Cf. Eutopialaw
AG Kokott explained that an environmental impact study under Directive 85/337 is not meant to assess the reduction in value of immovable property. Moreover, when a project goes ahead despite such damage, this damage does not necessarily have to be compensated. Leth v. Austria and Land Niederösterreich (NL, DE, FR)
Interesting state aid case in the General Court: The Court (Judge Vadapalas) annulled a decision by the Commission (NL, FR) approving aid given by the Belgian authorities to certain Brussels hospitals. CBI v. Commission (NL, DE, FR)
Finally, for those who can read Dutch, the Dutch College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven has upheld the NMa’s methodology and results for the valuation of the assets of Gas Transport Services BV, whereby the regulator arrived at a valuation of € 4,8 bn as of 2006, to be depreciated over 55 years. The plaintiffs/appellants were arguing for 0,9 bn and 20 years. Cf. Regulation 715/2009. VEMW et al. v. NMa