EU takes Germany to court over Volkswagen protection law

24th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European Commission decided on Thursday to haul Germany before the top EU court for failing to scrap a law that protects auto giant Volkswagen from takeover bids.

The EU competition watchdog said it would ask the court to impose fines on Germany for every day that it fails to cancel the law, which gives the Land of Lower Saxony the power to block bids even though it is a minority shareholder.

The commission said the German government had failed to abide by a previous ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2007 which found that the law gave "unjustified special rights" to public authorities.

"Since Germany has failed to take all the necessary measures to fully comply with the Court's judgement, the Commission has now decided to bring the case before the Court again," the commission said in a statement.

The EU's executive arm said it would ask the court to impose a fine of around 31,000 euros per day from the date of the 2007 ruling until Germany complies with the original judgment.

Once the EU judges issue a second ruling, the commission said it wants the court to impose a fine of 282,725 euros per day until Germany fully respects EU rules.

© 2011 AFP

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