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Case Law C-221/12 (14/11/2013)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: Euopean Union' Court of Justice

Date: 11/14/2013

Subject: According to the Court, an economic operator in a Member State may, before the courts of that Member State, allege an infringement of the obligation of transparency under Articles 49 TFEU and 56 TFEU occurring at the time of conclusion of an agreement whereby one or more public entities of that Member State have either granted to an economic operator of that same Member State a licence for services of certain cross-border interest or granted an economic operator the exclusive right to engage in an economic activity of cross-border interest. Articles 49 and 56 TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that the wish not to disregard certain rights which public entities have granted to an economic operator under a pre-existing agreement concerning the use of cable networks belonging to them cannot justify an extended scope being given to that agreement which is contrary to European Union law in the form of a direct grant of a service concession or an exclusive right to engage in an activity of certain cross-border interest, including when it is for the purpose of putting an end to a dispute which has arisen between the parties concerned, for reasons entirely outside their control, as to the scope of that agreement. Moreover, the Court underlined that grounds of an economic nature, such as the wish to avoid the depreciation of an economic activity, are not overriding reasons in the public interest liable to justify the direct grant of a licence for services relating to that activity or of an exclusive right to engage in that activity of certain cross-border interest, by way of derogation from the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination.

Parties: Belgacom NV

Classification: Freedoms - Art. 15 Freedom to provide services - Equality - Art. 21 Non discrimination

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