The European Court of Justice has been asked to rule on whether the definition of 'economic operators' under the procurement directives could include non-profit-making entities. The issue has arisen in a case before an Italian court involving the exclusion from a tender, for the collection of geophysical data and marine samples, of a consortium composed of universities, research institutes and government bodies. Advocate-General Mazák, in his Opinion to the court on 3 September 2009 (in case C-305/08) takes the view that there is nothing in the rules that precludes such a consortium from bidding for the award of a public service contract.