C-551/03 P, General Motors v. Commission

The Court of Justice today upheld a fine of € 35,475,000 imposed by the European Commission on Opel Nederland, the Netherlands subsidiary of General Motors.

The Court confirmed the judgment of 21 October 2003 of the Court of First Instance, which had reduced the fine from € 43 mln.

The Court examined whether the Court of First Instance had erred in law by confirming the Commission's statement that Opel Nederland had breached Article 81 EC by implementing a bonus system intended to restrict exports.

The Court held that such an objective could also be achieved through indirect measures, such as applying bonuses to national sales only, since they influence the economic conditions of such transactions. The Court of First Instance was therefore justified to confirm the Commission's statement.

Text of judgement