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Archive for March 10th, 2016

The ECJ annuls the General Court’s Judgments and the Commission’s decisions in the cement case (on the limits of information requests)

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The European Court of Justice rendered this morning its Judgments in the cement caseconcerning the Commission’s decisions requesting information to companies with a view to finding enough evidence to establish an infringement. See Cases C-247/14 P HeidelbergCement/Comission, C-248/14 P Schwenk Zement/Comission, C-267/14 P Buzzi Unicem/Comission and C-268/14 P Italmobiliare/Commission.

The Judgments have annulled the General Court’s previous rulings as well as the Commission decisions. In that sense, they are a blow to the Commission, but not one as far reaching as the Commission feared one would have thought.

When the Commisison won in first instance, it issued this press release noting that “these judgments are important because they confirm the scope of the Commission’s powers to investigate suspected antitrust infringements” and that “the Court confirmed that it is for the Commission to decide what information it considers necessary to request from companies when investigating potential anticompetitive practices”.

Today, after having lost, the Commission’s spokesman has stated that “the implications of the judgments are likely to be confined to the present  case, as the ECJ pronounced itself only on the issue of reasoning”. In my view, this is only partly true.

Let me explain why:

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Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

10 March 2016 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized