Judgement 2799/16

Applicant type Legal person
Number of applicants 1
Country Netherlands
Application no. 2799/16
Date 16/05/2023 
Judges Pere Pastor Vilanova, President,
 Yonko Grozev,
 Jolien Schukking,
 Darian Pavli,
 Peeter Roosma,
 Ioannis Ktistakis,
 Andreas Zünd,
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason Necessary (economic well-being)
Type of privacy Informational privacy
Keywords Margin of appreciation; quality of law; transfer of data
Facts of the caseThe Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, that operates under the authority of the public prosecutor, began an investigation into another collector of waste liquids from ships, the I. company, which was suspected of involvement in the disposal of polluted waste in contravention of environmental protection legislation. Telephone conversations made by some of the I. company’s employees were intercepted, among them were conversations between an employee of I. company and an employee of the applicant company. Certain of those intercepted conversations were identified as being of potential interest to the Netherlands Competition Authority because they contained indications of price-fixing. The NMA subsequently started an official investigation into possible violations of the Competition Act and inspectors visited the applicant company’s premises. They questioned members of the applicant company’s management under caution. The NMA imposed a fine. The applicant lodged an objection; the Regional Court found that no reviewable weighing of interests had been recorded since the public prosecutor had merely given handwritten permission for the transmission of the official record and subsequently on pre-printed forms without reasoning. The transcripts were to be excluded as evidence and the Regional Court quashed the NMA’s decisions. The Supreme Administrative Court for Trade and Industry, however, quashed the Regional Court’s judgment.
AnalysisThe analysis of this case is largely similar to that of 2800/16. The only relevant difference is that in their joint dissenting opinion, judges Grozev, Pavli and Ktistakis refer to their arguments made in 2800/16. In addition, they pointed out that the administrative proceedings conducted by the Competition Authority in the present case were even further removed from the original proceedings that gave rise to secret surveillance measures than they were in the circumstances of case 2800/16.
Other Article violation? No violation 13+8
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment