Friday, May 4, 2012

Masterfoods LTD. v. HB Ice Cream LTD. case brief

Masterfoods LTD. v. HB Ice Cream LTD.

-D, Ice cream producer sued in Irish court to prevent P from inducing retailers to breach their contractual undertaking to display only D’s products.  Irish court found in favor of D.  
-P appealed; Commission found HB’s policy to infringe on EU competition law, D sought review to court of first instance.  
-AT THE SAME TIME, P lodged a competition law complaint with Commission.
Issue:  Was the Irish court required to stay P’s appeal, pending the result of the CFI appeal and any further appeal to the Court of Justice.
Holding: The national court should, in order to avoid reaching a decision that runs counter to that of the Commission, stay its proceedings pending final judgment in the action for annulment by the Community Courts, unless it considers that, in the circumstances of the case, a reference to court of Justice for preliminary ruling on validity of the Commission decision is warranted.

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