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The EU General Court judges that the rules of sport federations banning athletes for participation in unauthorized events can – in certain circumstances – constitute a by object infringement of Article 101 TFEU (International Skating Union)

Authors
  • Troch, Simon
  • Meli, Violetta
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2021
Source
ORBi
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

By its Judgment of 16 December 2020, the General Court (‘GC’) confirms the European Commission’s (‘Commission’) Decision finding that the International Skating Union’s (‘ISU’) governance rules violate competition law. The Judgment backs the Commission’s conclusion that the ISU’s rules banning athletes for participation in unauthorized events organized by third parties constitute a by object infringement of Article 101 TFEU. The Judgment explicitly recognizes that authorization rules for events organized by third parties – and an associated ban for participation in unauthorized events – may be legal if they “pursue legitimate objectives” and their restrictive effects on competition are “inherent” to the pursuit of those objectives and “proportional”. However, in casu the GC ruled that the sanction to ban included in the ISU’s eligibility rules was not “proportional”. The GC’s Judgment can potentially further reshape the European sports landscape as sport governing bodies will have to rethink the way in which they deal with concurring organizers.

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