The European Commission has closed its investigation into the direct award of around 3,000 contracts a year for legal services by a number of German municipalities which are members of an association (the Kommunaler Schadensausgleich). Having looked into the matter more closely since opening its initial enquiries, the Commission has concluded that the contracts were not entered into jointly by the municipalities but separately and that the average value of each contract (around €5,000) is well below the threshold at which the EC procurement rules apply.