A lot has already been written concerning this judgment. I was trying to post a meaningful summary of the interesting points of the judgment but I gave up since it seems to be very important in its entirety. I apologise in advance for the lengthy text that follows.
The issue is the application of Directive 95/46 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data (“Directive 95/46” or “the Directive”) vis-a-vis search engine operators, in particular Google in the case referred for a preliminary ruling.
For an introduction and the facts of these case, pls have a look at Part 1.
The second time round, the General Court again annulled the contested Commission decision as infringing the principles of sound administration, legal certainty and the presumption of legality attaching to European Union measures. It also found that, in view of the Council authorisations, the exemptions could not be attributed to the Member States themselves and, thus, the Commission erred in classifying them as State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) EC (see General Court’s judgment here).