United Brands Company V. Commission of the European Union

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COLOGNE BUSINESS SCHOOL (CBS)

United Brands Company v. Commission of the European Communities Case 27/76

Coursework for EU Law and Institutions Winter Semester 2013 Lecturer: Dr. Anke Steinhoff Tobias Wilms BA International Business

Table of contents
Introduction 1. 1.1 1.2 2. 2.1 2.1.1 2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2 3. F The Existence of a dominant market position The relevant market UBC´s position on the relevant market Abuse of the dominant position Behavior vis-à-vis the ripeners The clause prohibiting the resale of bananas while still green Price policy Discriminatory prices Unfair Prices urther Submissions

4. 5. 6.

Relevance of Case 27/76 Reference List Affidavit

Introduction

History of the United Brands Corporation

In the year 1970 the United Brands Company (UBC) was established and registrated in New York after the merger of the United Fruit Company and the American Seal Kap Corporation. In 1974 the multinational corporation became the most powerful corporative actor on the worldmarket of bananas, which accounted for 35% of the worlds export. Its European Subsidiary, United Brands Continentaal B. V. (UBCBV) registered in Rotterdam, was responsible for the distribution of bananas inseveral european countries, with an accumulated market share of 45% in the European Economic Community (EEC). Background of the Case 27/76 Several corporations from different european countries filed a complaint concerning the dominant market position and its abusement of UBCBV to the European Commission. One year later the Comission intituted proceedings (pursuant to Article 3 (1) of Regulation No 17/62 of 6 February 1962 (Official Journal, English Special Edition, 1959-1962, p. 87 et seq.) against the UCB and UBCBV because of the infringement of Article 86 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community. On 17 December 1975 the European Commission closed…...

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