Official Journal of the European Union

C 141/55

Action brought on 10 April 2009 — MRI v Commission

(Case T-154/09)

2009/C 141/111

Language of the case: Italian


Applicant: Manuli Rubber Industries SpA (MRI) (Milan, Italy) (represented by: L. Radicati di Brozolo, lawyer, M. Pappalardo, lawyer, and E. Marasà, lawyer)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court of First Instance should:

annul Article 1 of the Decision in so far as it states that the applicant participated in a single and continuous infringement in the marine hose sector from 1 April 1986 until 1 August 1992 and from 3 September 1996 until 2 May 2007, in particular during the period from 3 September 1996 to 9 May 2000;

annul Article 2 of the Decision in so far as a fine in the amount of EUR 4 900 000 is imposed on the applicant as a result of the errors set out in the present application;

reject any objection or defence put forward to the contrary;

or, in the lesser alternative:

reduce, in accordance with Article 229 EC, the fine of EUR 4 900 000 to be imposed on the applicant under Article 2 of the Decision;

and, in any event:

order the Commission to pay the costs of the present proceedings.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The Decision contested in the present case (‘the contested decision’) is the same as that contested in Case T-146/09 Parker ITR and Parker Hannifin v Commission.

In support of its claims, the applicant submits first that the contested decision is vitiated as regards the categorisation of the infringement imputed to the applicant as participation in a single and continuous cartel agreement from 1986 to 2007, and in particular as regards the imputation of the infringement during the period from 1996 to 2000, and the inclusion of the period from September 1996 to May 1997 in the period in respect of which the penalty was imposed.

It is submitted in that regard that an infringement cannot be either continuous or repeated when the individual infringement episodes are interspersed, as in the present case, with intervals of considerable length and, above all, with positive events which are incompatible with a desire to continue or to repeat the infringement, such as the applicant’s public and explicit breaking-off of relations with the cartel, which even the Commission acknowledged.

The applicant also submits that the amount of the fine was improperly determined, particularly as regards the duration, the gravity of the infringement and the reduction due for participation in the leniency programme.