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Oscar Bronner GmbH & Co. KG v. Mediaprint Zeitungs und Zeitschritenverlag GmbH & Co., KG

1998 E.C.R. I-7791 (1998)

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Oscar Bronner GmbH & Co. KG v. Mediaprint Zeitungs und Zeitschritenverlag GmbH & Co., KG

European Union Court of Justice

1998 E.C.R. I-7791 (1998)

Facts

Oscar Bronner GmbH & Co. KG (Oscar Bronner) (plaintiff) published and sold a daily newspaper and held less than a 4 percent share of Austria’s daily newspaper-circulation market. Mediaprint Zeitungs und Zeitschritenverlag GmbH & Co., KG (Mediaprint) (defendant) published two daily newspapers and held 42 percent of the Austrian daily-newspaper-circulation market, reaching 71 percent of all newspaper readers. Oscar Bronner sought an order requiring Mediaprint to include Oscar Bronner’s newspaper in its home-delivery service, alleging that Mediaprint was abusing its dominant market position by refusing to carry Oscar Bronner’s paper in exchange for a fee. Oscar Bronner claimed that setting up its own home-delivery service was cost-prohibitive and that its main alternative to working with Mediaprint was delivering its papers in the daily post, an unattractive option because the post arrived later in the day than Mediaprint’s papers. Mediaprint responded that setting up its home-delivery service required great administrative and financial investments and that it had no obligation to subsidize its competitors by assisting them in their circulation efforts, especially if competitors could set up their own delivery services, use the post, or sell papers in shops and at kiosks. The Austrian court sought guidance from the European Union Court of Justice to determine whether Oscar Bronner’s allegations constituted a violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which would in turn guide the Austrian court’s ruling under its national law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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