Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-514/14 P. Éditions Odile Jacob v Commission

The Court dismisses Odile Jacob’s appeal in the case concerning Lagardère’s purchase of Vivendi Universal Publishing

The Court confirms that the Commission was justified in approving, for a second time, Wendel’s acquisition of the assets of Vivendi Universal Publishing that Lagardère was obliged to sell

In September 2002, Vivendi Universal, a company operating in the French-speaking publishing market, decided to sell the entirety of its book publishing business in Europe through its subsidiary, Vivendi Universal Publishing (VUP). The Lagardère group offered to purchase those assets.

In 2004, the Commission authorised the concentration, subject to certain undertakings by Lagardère. The Commission considered that, without those undertakings, the concentration would lead to the creation or reinforcement, in several markets, of dominant positions, thereby giving rise to a significant impediment to effective competition. Accordingly, Lagardère undertook to sell on a significant part of VUP’s assets. It approached several undertakings potentially interested in purchasing those assets. Éditions Odile Jacob was one of the undertakings that expressed an interest in the transaction.

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