Thunder and lightening over Luxembourg (The Intel Hearing, by Trevor Soames) (Part I)
Our call for Chillin’Competition special envoys to the Intel hearing caught the attention of Trevor Soames, who volunteered to cover it for the readers of this blog. It’s a luxury for us to post his chronicle of the hearing held today. Below is a first teaser. A more complete report is literally on its way from Luxembourg:
In a dramatic and sometimes stormy hearing today the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice held an oral hearing on Intel’s appeal against the General Court’s decision upholding the Commission’s Article 82 infringement decision. The strong bench was led by CJEU President Judge Koen Lenaerts, with former CFI da Cruz Vilaça as Juge Rapporteur and Nils Wahl as Advocate-General.
The Court asked the parties to focus their oral pleadings on three specific questions and thereafter Commission counsel was peppered with multiple follow up questions, initially from da Cruz Vilaça and then Nils Wahl. Judge Eugene Regan also asked a single but incisive question. The hearing overran its allotted time and raised a number of important issues.
One had the sense that the Advocate General is preparing to deliver a profoundly important Opinion shedding light on numerous controversial issues, including the validity of the General Court’s tripartite categorisation and its consistency (or not) with case law such as Post Danmark II, issues of jurisdiction and due process.
A full report will be published later today.
Counsel at the hearing were Nicholas Khan for the Commission supported by a distinguished team from the Legal Service led by Theofanis Christoforou and senior officials from DG Competition including DDG Cecilio Madero. Intel was represented by Daniel Beard QC and for the intervener ACT, Jean-François Bellis.