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United Brands v. Commission
European Union Court of Justice
1978 E.C.R. 207 (1978)
United Brands Company (UBC) (defendant) was the largest seller of bananas in the world through the Chiquita brand. UBC sold its bananas at different prices to different European Union countries. Specifically, its prices to Ireland were significantly lower than its prices to countries like Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. At times, those countries paid as much as 100 percent more for bananas than Ireland. In addition, UBC’s prices for Chiquita brand bananas were significantly higher than unbranded bananas. The European Commission (the commission) (plaintiff) found that UBC was charging excessive prices to some of its customers in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and instructed UBC to reduce its prices by at least 15 percent. UBC appealed, arguing that the commission had not properly considered the relevant factual context, including quality differences between Chiquita and unbranded bananas and UBC’s actual costs and profits.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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