AGC Glass Appeal Denied

An appeal by AGC Glass and its affiliates in regard to an “auto glass cartel” case was dismissed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in late July.

According to the decision, in November 2008, AGC Glass Europa SA, AGC Automotive Europa SA, AGC France SAS, AGC Flat Glass Italia Srl, AGC Glass Uk Ltd and AGC Glass Germany GmbH (the appellants) were allegedly found by the Commission of the European Communities to have participated in anticompetitive arrangements. These arrangements took place between March 1998 and March 2003 in the European Union.

In March 2009, the commission sought to publish a non-confidential version of the decision on its website. In December 2011, the commission denied a request by AGC Glass to redact customer information, price agreements, number of parts supplied and information on the allocation of customers between the cartel members from the decision.

A hearing officer for the commission rejected the request for confidential treatment and authorized publication of the non-confidential document. The General Court dismissed the appeal as unfounded in October 2012.

According to legal analysis by Lexology, AGC Glass recently appealed the decision to the ECJ, alleging that the General Court erred in law “in holding that the hearing officer was not competent to examine their requests for confidential treatment.” AGC Glass also alleged that the General Court erred on two other grounds.

The ECJ held that the hearing officer was not competent and that the General Court had erred, but the ECJ decided not to appeal the General Court’s decision. The appeal was dismissed and the appellants are ordered to pay the costs.

To read more about the ECJ decision and the case background, click here.

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