Official Journal of the European Union

C 37/26

Action brought on 4 December 2007 — Coats Holdings v Commission

(Case T-439/07)

(2008/C 37/42)

Language of the case: English


Applicant: Coats Holdings Ltd (represented by: W. Sibree and C. Jeffs, Solicitors)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

Annul Articles 1(4) and 2(4) of the decision insofar as they relate to Coats;

in the alternative, annul or reduce the fine imposed on Coats by Article 2(4) of the decision; and

order the Commission to bear its own costs and those incurred by Coats.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The applicant seeks the annulment of Commission Decision C(2007) 4257 final of 19 September 2007 in Case COMP/E-1/39.168 — PO/Hard Haberdashery: Fasteners, by which the Commission found that the applicant, together with other undertakings, had infringed Article 81 EC by among others exchanging price information, fixing minimum prices and sharing markets.

In support of its application, the applicant submits that the Commission's assessment of the evidence as a whole is vitiated by manifest errors of assessment. According to the applicant the Commission failed to prove to the requisite standard that the applicant was a party to a bilateral market-sharing agreement with Prym between January 1977 and July 1998.

In the alternative, the applicant submits that the Commission failed to prove that any infringement continued beyond 19 September 1997 or failed to prove a single continuous infringement for the period to 15 July 1998 entitling the Commission to fine the applicant for an infringement lasting 21 Formula years.

The applicant further, alternatively, claims that the Commission infringed the applicant's fundamental procedural rights under Article 6(3)(d) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to examine or have examined witnesses against it in proceedings of a criminal nature.

Finally, the applicant alleges, in the alternative, that the Commission erred in mechanically applying a multiplier of 215 % to the basic amount of the fine for a duration of 21 Formula years, rather than exercising its discretion under the applicable fining guidelines.