Thursday, February 07, 2013

This Week in Luxembourg

This week’s case of the week is Protimonopolný úrad Slovenskej republiky v. Slovenská sporiteľňa a.s. (Judge Rosas), where the Court held that it is irrelevant for the purposes of art. 101 TFEU that the competitor-“victim” of the alleged cartel was operating on the market illegally, in this case because it didn’t have the right banking licenses. If you ask me, this is a cool result, even though it is clearly correct. I’m actually surprised that the Court invoked “anti-competitive by object” in order to get there. Surely the real victims, the customers, were still affected? Cf. European Law Blog

If you are amused by subrogation of rights in the context of insurance contracts, you should be doubly amused by this week’s Refcomp v. Axa et al. (Judge Berger), which does subrogation in a cross-border conflict, focusing on art. 23 of the Brussels I Regulation. The result is that the jurisdiction clause in the original contract is not effective against a later successor in rights unless they have actually consented to it.

AG Jääskinen applied Pfleiderer to an Austrian competition law dispute, arguing that the would-be plaintiff in private damages action should have access to the full file regardless of whether any of the parties to the original administrative investigation consent under the principle of effectiveness. (The competition authority had refused.) The AG also considered whether it is OK that the rule for access to such documents is the same for EU competition law and national competition law disputes, but different from the rule for other kinds of national law disputes, arguing that the principle of equivalence is not violated here. Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde v. Donau Chemie et al. Cf.  Eutopia Law Blog

AG Mengozzi approved, in general, of a Luxembourg rule that required residence in Luxembourg for financial aid for students, regardless of where they studied. He just left it to the Luxembourg court to decide on the ultimate question of proportionality. So it appears that after Dutch and Austrian cases, we have now finally found a system that is consistent with EU law, the key being that the Luxembourg rule does not require residence for more than a few months. Giersch et al. v. Luxembourg (DEFR) Cf. Eutopia Law Blog

Following last week’s Bank Mellat v. Council, this week the Council lost another Iranian asset freeze case against a bank in Bank Saderat Iran v. Council. Both judgements are by Judge Pelikánová. Cf. UK Human Rights Blog

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