22 January 2015

European court rejects EasyJet complaint over Amsterdam Airport Schiphol charges

De Brauw assisted Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in a dispute between easyJet and the European Commission relating to the rejection of an easyJet complaint about Schiphol's airport tariffs by the Commission. The General Court of the European Union, the EU's second highest court, ruled that the Commission was allowed to reject easyJet's antitrust complaint about alleged "discriminatory and excessive" tariffs because the Dutch competition regulator had already dealt with the case.

EasyJet lodged a complaint with the Dutch competition authority in 2008, then with the European Commission in 2011. Both were rejected, prompting the airline to seek a ruling from the General Court. Schiphol intervened in these proceedings on the side of the Commission.

The Court did not assess the merits of the national authority's decision, but said that the Commission had acted correctly in finding that the national authority had dealt with the complaint on the basis of EU competition law. In doing so, the Court confirmed that the Commission may reject a complaint in a case where a national competition authority has previously rejected the same complaint on priority grounds.

Jolling de Pree, Stefan Molin and Gurgen Hakopian