Main contacts: Richard Taylor, David Marks, Sue Hankey and
Richard Eccles (Brussels)
Woodpulp decision reviewed
The Court of First Instance (CFI) has overruled a
1984 Decision of the Commission. The Commission must now review
In its Woodpulp Decision of 1984, the Commission
fined 43 companies for infringing Article 85(1) of the EC Treaty.
Article 85(1) prohibits agreements between businesses which distort
competition or which may do so. This Decision was challenged by 26
companies. In 1993, the ECJ substantially overruled the
Amongst those companies which did not challenge the
Decision, were the 9 applicants. They asked the Commission to repay
their fines but the Commission refused. The applicants challenged
the Decision. In these proceedings, the 9 Swedish applicants who
had paid the original fines sought repayment because the decision
imposing them had been discredited.
The CFI ruled that the Commission must review the
legality of its 1984 Decision to the extent that it related to
these applicants and assess whether it was appropriate to repay any
of the fines. But the Court rejected a request that the Commission
be ordered to refund the fines because the Court cannot issue
directions to other EU institutions.