Sony, BMG Allege Court Made Errors In Blocking Merger
November 26, 2007 at 6:42 AM (PT)
SONY CORP and BERTELSMANN AG said the EU's second-highest court made key errors on assessing standards of proof, price transparency and timing in blocking the proposed merger of their recorded music units last year, in a move that re-ignites the groups' long-running antitrust battle to vindicate their corporate strategy, reports FORBES.
At a court hearing concluded yesterday at the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, the Japanese consumer electronics group and the German international media company told 12 judges sitting in session that the European Court of First Instance (CFI) was wrong to use a "statement of objections" (SO) -- a formal antitrust charge sheet -- sent by the European Commission to the parties, as a benchmark in its assessment of the merger.
In official court documents seen by THOMSON FINANCIAL NEWS, they said the court "misunderstood the role and legal nature" of the SO, claiming that it does not contain "findings of facts," as the CFI suggested, but actually exists to enable the parties to exercise their rights of defense in light of the commission's preliminary objections to the merger.