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Inntrepreneur Pub Company (CPC) v Bernard Crehan

Where there was no possibility of a conflict, in the sense discussed in the relevant authorities, between a decision of the European Commission and a decision of the national court on the application of European competition law, the national court was free to reach its own decisions.

28 July 2006

The appellant (X) appealed against a decision of the Court of Appeal ([2004] EWCA Civ 637; [2004[ CLC 803) that its beer-ties breached Art 81(1) of the EC Treaty (Nice). The judge had found that the first condition set out in Delimitis v Henninger Brau AG (C234/89) [1991] ECR I-935 had not been satisfied in relation to the domestic beer market, with the result that X had not infringed Art 81(1). Reversing that decision, the Court of Appeal held that the judge had failed to comply with the “duty of sincere co-operation” under Art 10 of the EC Treaty by going behind the view expressed by the European Commission in respect of another brewer, namely Whitbread.

HELD: Appeal allowed

There was no possibility of conflict, in the sense discussed in the relevant authorities, between a decision of the Commission that the Whitbread agreements infringed Art 81 and a decision of the national court that X’s agreements did not. Where there was no question of a conflict of...

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