Key facts of the case:
Appeal — Competition — Cartels — European market for submarine and underground power cables — Market allocation in connection with projects — Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 — Article 20 — European Commission’s powers of inspection in cartel proceedings — Power to copy data without a prior examination and to examine the data subsequently at the Commission’s premises — Fines — Unlimited jurisdiction.
Outcome of the case:
On the basis of the above considerations, I propose that the Court should:
60) It is true that an inspection entails an intervention in the privacy of the undertaking and that the need for protection against arbitrary or disproportionate intervention by public authorities in the sphere of the private activities of any person, whether natural or legal, constitutes a general principle of EU law, ( 37 ) which is now codified in Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
107) Although the exercise of unlimited jurisdiction does not amount to a review of the Court’s own motion, ( 57 ) in order to satisfy the requirements of conducting a review exercising its powers of unlimited jurisdiction for the purpose of Article 47 of the Charter with regard to the fine, the EU judicature is bound, in the exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 261 and 263 TFEU, to examine all complaints based on issues of fact and law which seek to show that the amount of the fine is not commensurate with the gravity or the duration of the infringement. ( 58 )