Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Week in Luxembourg

The Grand Chamber (Judge Juhász, the usual competition judge) upheld the General Court’s judgment in Tomkins v. Commission, where the General Court annulled a decision making the parent liable for the cartel infringement of its subsidiary for a period prior to acquisition of said subsidiary. Tomkins only has to pay from the moment it acquired Pegler Ltd. Commission v. Tomkins

The Grand Chamber (Judge Von Danwitz) also stood up for the right of all Europeans to see short news reports about Europa League games. In Sky Österreich v. Österreichischer Rundfunk, it held that art. 15(6) of Directive 2010/13 is not in violation of art. 16 and 17 Charter, which protect the freedom to conduct a business and the right to property, respectively, or art. 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Cf. IPKat Blog and the Recent Developments in European Consumer Law Blog

The Danish tax rates for seafarers case of 3F v. Commission (Judge Ó Caoimh) is fun particularly because it is already the second time the case is before the ECJ.
·         3F originally asked the General Court to annul the Commission’s state aid decision of no objection in January 2003. (Following a complaint made in August 1998.)
·         In 2007, the General Court dismissed the action as manifestly inadmissible, on the grounds that neither the union nor its members were individually concerned by the Commission’s decision.
·         This order was overturned – through the pen of Judge Ó Caoimh, in 2009. 3F v. Commission
·         On remand, the action was once again rejected, this time on the merits. By now it is September 2011. 3F v. Commission
·         Now, in January 2013, this judgment is upheld by the Court. 3F v. Commission

In Commission v. Spain (Judge Kasel) the Court holds that Spain failed to comply with a Commission Decision requiring it to recover unlawful state aid. Before it gets there, though, it discusses some issues to do with the doctrine of res judicata in EU law in order to decide to what extent the present action overlaps with Case C-499/99, Commission v. Spain (2002).

In a case dealing with state aid law in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, the Court (Judge Arabadijev) set aside the judgement of the General Court in Case T11/07 Frucona Košice v Commission, where that court had upheld the Commission’s finding of unlawful state aid. The Court held that the Commission had failed to take into account the duration of the bankruptcy proceedings in applying the private creditor test. The case is remanded for further examination. Frucona Košice v. Commission

The Court (Judge Toader) handed down another betting case, this time coming from Greece. The conclusion is that Greek law is found in violation of EU free movement law. Stanleybet et al. v. Ypourgos Oikonomias kai Oikonomikon and Ypourgos Politismou

AG Bot argued that the General Court was wrong to decide that a person whose assets had been frozen pursuant to the Al Qaeda asset freeze list could no longer sue to have that act annulled after their name was already voluntarily taken off. The AG argues that the applicant still has an interest in preventing a recurrence in the future, and that a positive outcome would rehabilitate him.

AG Sharpston tried to bring copyright law into the 21st century in an opinion about German printers. (The devices, not the people.) VG Wort v. KYOCERA Document Solutions et al.

In the General Court, this week, there was another Bud case, this time on remand from the Court of Justice’s judgment from March 2011. This time, the Czechs lost. Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik v. OHIM Cf. IPKat Blog

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