Energy Consumption of Cyclonic Bagless Vacuum Cleaners: the General Court Dismisses Dyson Ltd’s Claim for Compensation for Alleged Loss

Enerji Hukuku

General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) revealed judgment in case T-127/19 Dyson and Others v Commission on 8 December 2021.

The standardised testing method used by the Commission in the 2013 regulation to measure energy efficiency levels of vacuum cleaners placed its products at a disadvantage in relation to bagged vacuum cleaners, Dyson Ltd asked the General Court to annul that regulation.

By their appeals, Dyson Ltd and the other applicants seek compensation for loss (which they value at € 176 100 000) which they claim to have suffered as a result of the unlawfulness of the regulation. In the judgment, the General Court dismisses the action.

The General Court states that the application of Article 10(1) of the Energy Labelling Directive to the specific case of vacuum cleaners was such as to give rise to certain differences of assessment, indicating difficulties of interpretation in the light of the degree of clarity and precision of that provision and, more generally, of the directive as a whole.

The Court concludes that the Commission thus demonstrated conduct that could be expected from an administrative authority exercising ordinary care and diligence and, consequently, that the Commission did not manifestly and gravely disregard the limits on its discretion.

The applicants claim that the 2013 regulation resulted in discriminatory treatment between bagged vacuum cleaners and cyclonic vacuum cleaners in that it treated those two categories of vacuum cleaner in the same way, even though their characteristics are not comparable, without any objective justification. The Court states that both the Energy Labelling Directive and the 2013 regulation provided for uniform treatment of all vacuum cleaners falling within their respective scopes.

The applicants also claim that the Commission infringed the principle of sound administration by disregarding an essential element of the Energy Labelling Directive, which would not have been done by any administrative authority exercising ordinary care and diligence. The Court states that those arguments overlap to a large extent with those put forward by the applicants in the context of the first two alleged unlawful acts and rejects them on the same basis.

Lastly, the Court notes that since the applicants’ arguments alleging infringement of the right to pursue a trade or business are, in essence, identical to those developed in the context of the three other alleged unlawful acts, they must be rejected for the same reasons.

You can find the full text of the Court decision here.

Kind regards,

Zumbul Attorneys at Law