||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 119 (Sep)
||Court of Justice of the European Communities (First Chamber)
Judges Jann (President of Chamber), Schiemann (Rapporteur), Colneric, Juhasz and Levits
||21 September 2006
European community - Rules on competition - Agreements preventing, restricting or distorting competition - Cartels - Market in electrotechnical fittings - National wholesalers' association - Agreements and concerted practices having as object collective exclusive dealing arrangement and price-fixing - Action for annulment - Appeal against dismissal of action - Excessive duration of administrative procedure - Effect on rights of defence - EC Treaty, art 81(1).
In the instant case, where the Court of First Instance had found, on an application to annul a Commission decision as to the appellant's infringing art81(1) EC, that the prolongation of the Commission's investigation phase preceding the notification of the statement of objections was not in itself capable of adversely affecting the rights of the defence, since the appellant was not the subject of a formal accusation until the had received the statement of objections ignored the possibility that the excessive duration of the investigation stage might have an effect on the appellant's exercise of its rights of defence during the second stage of the administrative procedure; and accordingly, its decision would be set aside in part.
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