By Charlotte Van Campenhout
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s highest court dismissed an appeal made by Britain’s bagless vacuum cleaner maker Dyson on Thursday for 176 million euros ($193.39 million) compensation from the European Commission for alleged losses due to EU energy labelling rules.
Dyson had challenged rules introduced by the EU executive in 2014, saying labelling requirements on vacuum cleaners discriminated against its technology, misled customers about the efficiency of some vacuum cleaners, and unfairly benefited its German rivals.
“The Court of Justice rejects all the arguments put forward by Dyson and thus upholds the judgment of the General Court. Consequently, the action for compensation brought by Dyson is dismissed definitively,” the court said in its judgment.
Dyson had won the backing of the Luxembourg-based General Court in 2018, which scrapped the labelling rules, but the same court dismissed Dyson’s case for compensation for losses allegedly incurred because of the rules.
A spokesperson for Dyson said the company “made history when it won its case in 2018” and that fact “makes today’s judgment on damages all the more perverse”.
“This judgment sets an unfairly high bar for manufacturers harmed by the European Union’s illegal acts, allowing its institutions to escape proper accountability. By refusing to compensate those harmed, it is giving a green light to others who seek to undermine lawful competition.”
A spokesperson for the Commission said it welcomed the judgment, adding that the Court “has not at any point in this case called into question the general effectiveness of EU energy efficiency policy, or the important contribution energy labelling measures make towards meeting the EU’s energy efficiency targets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions”.
The EU said it is aiming to propose new rules on energy labelling for vacuum cleaners in 2024.
($1 = 0.9101 euros)
(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)