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United Brands Company v. Commission of the European Communities

Court of Justice of the European Union
Case 27/76 (1978)


Facts

United Brands Company (UBC) (plaintiff) was the main supplier of bananas in Europe. The Commission of the European Communities (the Commission) (defendant) found that UBC had a dominant position in the banana market and had abused this position in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in several ways. The Commission found that UBC’s violations included prohibiting distributors from reselling bananas that were still green and ceasing to sell bananas to distributor Olesen, because Olesen advertised for a competitor of UBC. UBC sought review of the Commission’s decision in the Court of Justice of the European Union. UBC argued that it did not maintain a dominant position, because the product market was not simply the banana market but the fresh-fruit market, as a whole.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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