Judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 2008 in Case C-413/06P Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corporation of America

In 2004, the Commission approved the concentration of the global recorded music businesses of Bertelsmann AG and Sony (with the exception of Sony’s activities in Japan) into three newly-created companies to be operated under the name Sony BMG. Following an action brought by Impala, an international association of independent music production companies, the Court of First Instance (CFI) annulled that decision in 2006, on the grounds that it was vitiated by manifest errors of assessment and was inadequately reasoned. The Court of Justice has now set aside the CFI’s judgment on a number of grounds, including the weight accorded by the CFI of conclusions contained in the Commission’s Statement of Objections, the use of confidential documents and the legal criteria applying to a collective dominant position arising from tacit coordination.

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