Non contractual liability – Competition – International removal services market in Belgium

Judgment

T-539/12 and

T-150/13

15.01.2015

Parties

Jurisdiction

Formation

Judge Rapporteur

Advocate General

Subject-matter

Claim for compensation

Ziegler SA,

Ziegler Relocation SA

V

European Commission

General Court

 5th Ch.

A. Dittrich

/

Competition law

Keywords

 Non-contractual liability – Competition – International removal services market in Belgium – Removals of officials and other servants of the Union – Decision finding an infringement of article 101 TFEU – Cover quotes – Scope of an institution`s responsibility – Force of res judicata – Duty of care – Causal link

Significant points

  1. According to the decision C(2008) 926 final of 11 March 2008, the Commission found that Ziegler participated in a cartel on the international removal services in Belgium, relating to the direct or indirect fixing of prices, market sharing and the manipulation of the procedure for the submission of tenders by means of over quotes.
  2. Arguing that the practice of over quotes sollicitated by EU civil servants was still existing at the EU Commission and that the latter refrained from taking any steps to stop it, Ziegler brought an action for compensation
  3. The latter has been dismissed to the extent that under article 340 (2) TFEU the EU is responsible for non-contractual cases, if its institutions or its servants caused damage in the performance of their duty and that the doings at issue  of the civil servants of the EU Commission did not occur within this framework.
  4. The Commission has not infringed an obligation to act against the other competitors and has fulfilled its duty of care. There is no obligation for the Commission to change the administrative removal rules for the EU officials. The Commission has a wide discretion regarding reimbursement removal for the EU officials, the choice to protect its financial interests, the application of the Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the initiation of disciplinary investigations.

Noteworthy