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30.6.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 186/9

The applicant challenges those decisions, alleging: In February 1996, a French company, Central Parts SA, lodged
a complaint with the Commission against the applicant,
— infringement of Articles 4, 5, 7, 25 and 29 of the Staff according to which the applicant had taken steps to prevent
Regulations, Central Parts SA from obtaining supplies for resale of JCB
equipment from the applicant’s authorised distributors in the
— breach of the principle of correspondence between grade
United Kingdom.
and post,
— breach of the principle of entitlement to reasonable career
prospects,
According to the applicant, it had indeed taken such steps and
— failure to have regard to the interests of the service, had done so pursuant to express terms of its standard
distributor agreement with its authorised distributors in the
— breach of the principle of equal treatment, United Kingdom, this agreement having been notified, dis-
cussed with and approved by the Commission in the 1970s.
— breach of the duty to provide a proper statement of
reasons, and
— breach of the principle of sound management and proper By the contested decision, the Commission found that the
administration. applicant had infringed Article 81 of the Treaty by entering into
agreements or concerted practices with authorised distributors,
the object of which was to restrict competition.

The applicant contends that the process leading up to the


contested decision breached its fundamental rights of defence
Action brought on 22 March 2001 by JCB Service against and its rights under Article 6(1) and 6(2) of the European
the Commission of the European Communities Convention on Human Rights. In particular, the applicant
alleges that the Commission has failed to act within a
reasonable time, has failed to behave impartially and to apply
(Case T-67/01) the presumption of innocence and has denied the applicant
access to documents on its file to which access should have
(2001/C 186/14) been given.

(Language of the case: English) Furthermore, the applicant submits that the Commission has
fallen well short of establishing the alleged infringements to
An action against the Commission of the European Communi- the requisite legal standard.
ties was brought before the Court of First Instance of the
European Communities on 22 March 2001 by JCB Service,
Staffordshire (UK) represented by Richard Fowler QC, Rupert
Anderson, Barrister, Laura Carstensen and Marc Israel of The applicant also contends that it is plain from the case-law
Slaughter and May, London (UK). on exclusive and selective distribution networks that the
applicant’s distribution agreement, as notified to the Com-
mission and subject to notified amendments, are eligible for
The applicant claims that the Court should:
individual exemption, and the contested decision contains no
— declare the Commission’s Decision C(2000) 3887 of reasoned grounds upon which these agreements should be
21 December 2000 in Case COMP.F.1/35/918 — JCB denied exemption under Article 81(3).
void and annul it in its entirety;
— in the alternative, annul those parts of the Decision to the
extent that the Court considers just and appropriate in Finally, the applicant disputes the imposition of any fine. It
the circumstances and to reduce the fine imposed on JCB maintains that most if not all of the conduct wrongly
accordingly; characterised by the Commission as infringing Article 81 is
legitimate conduct referable to and within the scope of
— order that all the costs of the application for annulment the agreements notified to the Commission and that the
should be paid by the Commission. Commission is accordingly prevented by Article 15(5)(a) of
Regulation No 17 from imposing any fine in respect of such
conduct. In any event, the fine imposed is disproportionate.
Pleas in law and main arguments

The applicant manufactures and supplies machinery and


associated parts for earthmoving, excavation, materials hand-
ling and agricultural purposes.