The General Court stated, with decision of 21 January 2015 in the case Easyjet (T-355/13), that the Commission may reject a complaint on the basis that a national competition authority has already dealt with it.
In 2008, EasyJet lodged complaints with the Netherlands competition authority against Schiphol (Luchthaven Schiphol NV) airport’s pricing policies. After the national competition authority rejected the claim, EasyJet resorted to the European Commission with a new claim. EasyJet maintained that the charges set by Schiphol were discriminatory and excessive and amounted to an abuse of a dominant position in the internal market. On 3 May 2013, the Commission rejected the complaint because, regardless of the legal background of the complaint, the national competition authority had already dealt with the case.
The General Court confirmed the Commission’s decision, stating that on the basis of Article 13(2) of Regulation No 1/2003, the Commission may reject a complaint relating to anti-competitive conduct in the case where that complaint has already been dealt with by a competition authority of a Member State. The GC observes that the Commission has broad discretion when applying Article 13 of Regulation No 1/2003 and that the judicial review is limited to the fact that the Commission decision is not based on materially inaccurate facts and that the Commission has not erred in law.
The full text of the judgement is available here.