In December 2002, the European Commission (Commission) found that eleven Italian steel companies had breached Article 65 of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (ECSC Treaty) between 1989 and 2000. The undertakings were collectively fined over €85m. Article 65 ECSC Treaty prohibits agreements and practices that prevent, restrict or distort competition in the common market. The parties brought an appeal against the decision before the Court of First Instance (CFI) arguing the Commission’s decision had no legal basis because the ECSC Treaty had expired on 23 July 2002, before the Commission’s decision was adopted. Upon expiry of the ECSC Treaty the competition provisions of the EC Treaty (Articles 81 and 82) automatically applied to the coal and steel industry. The CFI held that the expiry of the ECSC Treaty in July 2002 meant that the Commission, in December 2002, no longer had competence to adopt an infringement decision and impose fines under Article 65 ECSC. Consequently, the CFI annulled the Commission's infringement decision.