BRUSSELS (Oct. 2)—An appeals court has denied Groupe Michelin's challenge to a June 2001 European Commission ruling that it had abused its dominance of the French replacement tire market for heavy vehicles. Europe's Court of First Instance let stand a $22.5 million fine that went with its "unfair practice" ruling. Michelin, which has over half of the French replacement market for trucks and bus tires, was judged to have effectively shut other tire makers out of the market between 1990 and 1998. Michelin had contested the EC's analysis noting that rebates were common in French industry and that it had dropped such practices in 1997, in response to the commission's initial concerns. The court, however, ruled that while rebates were not unlawful, Michelin's method of calculating and paying them a year after purchase was.
Groupe Michelin loses appeal, must pay fine
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