The Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Portuguese Court of Appeal on the application of Article 101 of the TFEU to professional associations. The case concerns a regulation adopted by the Order of Chartered Accountants (“OTOC”) requiring chartered accountants to obtain a certain amount of credits for training provided or approved by the OTOC. The ECJ held, first, that a regulation adopted by a professional association, such as the OTOC, must be regarded as a decision adopted by an association of undertakings within the meaning of EU competition law. Further, the ECJ held that a statutory obligation requiring the professional association to create a training system would not remove the rules adopted by the body from the scope of EU competition law. The ECJ concluded that EU competition rules preclude a regulation adopted by a professional association putting into place a system of compulsory training to the extent that it eliminates competition within a substantial portion of the relevant market and imposes discriminatory conditions to the detriment of competitors of the association. The ECJ also observed that, in the circumstances of this case, the restrictions contained in the regulation appear to go beyond what is necessary to guarantee the quality of the services offered by chartered accountants and, therefore, the restrictions are not covered by the exemptions laid down in Article 101(3) of the TFEU. Source: Case C‑1/12 - Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas v Autoridade da Concorrência, ECJ judgment, 28 February 2013