Another judgment of the Court of Justice on Article 263 (4) TFEU and what is a “regulatory act not entailing implementing measures”. And again, the Court held on 28 April 2015 in Case C-456/13 P T & L Sugars v Commission that the measure challenged was not “regulatory act not entailing implementing measures”. Does that judgment end the hopes of those who wished for a broader interpretation of Article 263 (4) TFEU and for a loosening of the rules on standing ?
After all, AG Cruz Villalòn was sympathetic to the idea in his Opinion of 14 October 2014 that the measures challenged were indeed “regulatory acts not entailing implementing measures” and advised that the action should be declared admissible.
The Court, in its judgment of 28 April 2015 disagreed and relied on its judgment in Telefonica v Commission C-274/12 P, EU:C:2013:852 (which we noted up in our very first post).
The General Court has handed down a number of interesting judgments lately and we need to catch up after a blogging hiatus.
Let’s start with the judgment of 22 April 2015 in Case T‑320/09 Planet AE Anonymi Etairia Parochis Simvouleftikon Ipiresion v Commission, EU:T:2015:223, in which the Court annulled a series of decisions of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) requesting the applicant’s registration in the early warning system (‘EWS’) put in place to ostensibly protect the EU’s financial interests.
The interest of the case lies in the fact that the judgment is a sort of text book case of judicial review. The Court annulled the Commission decisions taken by OLAF on a number of grounds:
- the Commission had no powers to adopt the measures challenged,
- the Commission breached the fundamental rights of the applicant,
- the decisions were not properly reasoned.
The judgment of 23 April 2015 of the Court of Justice in Case C-376/13 Commission v Bulgaria EU:C:2015:266 sheds interesting light on when the Court considers that an infringement of EU law persists even after the Member State in question has amended its legislation to bring it into compliance.
Here’s some shameless self promotion !
Maria and I contributed to a terrific and rather unusual new book which is just out entitled “Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law”, edited by good friends Frank Wijckmans and Filip Tuytschaever. The book is beautifully published by Oxford University Press.
Look at the publisher’s web page for more information.
The book is unusual, unique even, because each chapter is divided into two parts. A first part is written by a private practitioner and a second part is written by a public enforcer. In that way, the reader gets two different perspectives nourished by the experience of both.
Chapter 7, on judicial review, is written by Dirk Arts – he provides the practitioner’s perspective – and, yes ! Maria and myself, who provide the enforcer’s perspective. It will leave you breathless !
Here’s the table of contents:
1: Typology and Proof of Cartels
2: Detection of Cartels
3: Investigation of Cartels
4: Procedure Before the Commission
5: Public Sanctions
7: Judicial Review
8: Private Enforcement
9: Block Exemption Regulations R&D and Specialization
10: Other Horizontal Agreements (I): Joint Purchasing, Joint Selling, Standardization
11: Other Horizontal Agreements (II): Information Exchanges
Go out and buy it ! (All royalties are donated to charity).
Let’s get back to the judgment of the Court of Justice’s judgment of 19 March 2015 in Case C-286/13 P Dole Food Company and Dole Fresh Fruit Europe v Commission, EU:C:2015:184 and look at a couple of procedural points that came up. The post on an interesting substantive aspect is here.
The Court of Justice’s recent judgment of 26 March 2015 in Case C-596/13 P Commission v Moravia Gas Storage EU:C:2015:203 sets out – not for the first time – the principle according to which procedural rules in a new directive apply immediately to pending procedures.
Here’s what happened. Continue reading
There’s a lot in the Court of Justice’s judgment of 19 March 2015 in Case C-286/13 P Dole Food Company and Dole Fresh Fruit Europe v Commission, EU:C:2015:184. There are some neat procedural points, interesting things on the calculation of competition fines and quite a section on what constitutes a restriction of competition “by object”.
It will take several posts to cover all those points so I’ll just deal with the substantive, “restriction by object” point.
A while ago on 16 September 2014, Maria wrote a post on Case C- 67/13 P Groupement des cartes bancaires (“CB”) v European Commission. Many wondered whether that judgment would substantially change the understanding of restrictions of competition “by object” and “by effect”. A look at the Court’s judgment in Case C-286/13 P leads to the conclusion that rumours of a substantial change are either premature or unfounded.
If there is one, just one, publication you should read in the judicial year it is the Court of Justice’s annual report.
The annual report for 2014 is out and available here.
Why is it essential reading ? Continue reading
Here’s another twist in the saga of the removal services case. And rather a cheeky one too ! Two undertakings that the Commission found in its decision to have participated in an illicit cartel in breach of Article 101 TFEU sued the Commission in damages …. for adopting that decision ! In its judgment of 15 January 2015 in Joined Cases T-539/12 and T-150/13 Ziegler SA and Ziegler Relocation SA, EU:T:2015:15 the General Court dismissed the claim.
Here’s the story. Continue reading
The Court of Justice handed down two interesting judgments back in January 2015 on the rights of environmental NGOs and the compatibility of EU legislation with international agreements. The two judgments – in Joined Cases C-401/12 P to C-403/12 P Council v Vereniging Milieudefensie and others, EU:C:2015:4, and Joined Cases C-404/12 P and C-405/12 P Council v Stichting Natuur en Milieu and Pesticide Action Network Europe, EU:C:2015:5 – clarify when applicants can rely an international agreement which does not have direct effect. Continue reading