The Rotterdam District Court has ruled that the Competition Authority correctly dismissed easyJet's claim of discriminatory tariffs by Schiphol Airport on the basis of Article 8.25f(1) of the Aviation Act. The substantive assessment under this provision resembles that of the abuse of dominance prohibition laid down in the Competition Act and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
easyJet argued that Schiphol Airport applied discriminatory tariffs by charging higher passenger service rates for origin/destination passengers(1) than for transfer passengers. The court first reiterated that the application of "dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage" constitutes discrimination under Article 102 of the treaty.(2) However, the court agreed with the authority that the services rendered to origin/destination passengers and transit passengers differed greatly, thereby ruling out tariff discrimination. easyJet further argued that Schiphol Airport discriminated in its security service tariffs for both types of passenger. Even though the court found the security services rendered to both types of passenger comparable, it also dismissed this claim, since easyJet had failed to demonstrate that the tariff differentiation placed it at a competitive disadvantage.
For further information on this topic please contact Jolling De Pree or Erik H Pijnacker Hordijk at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek by telephone (+31 70 328 53 28), fax (+31 70 328 53 25) or email ([email protected]debrauw.com or [email protected]).
(1) Origin/destination passengers are passengers who start or end their journey at Schiphol Airport.
(2) See Article 102(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.