Noerr wins victory for Peugeot and PSA Automobiles in case before the European Court of Justice


With a team led by Dominik Wendel, Fabian Hübener and Benedikt Lutz, law firm Noerr successfully represented the interests of our clients Peugeot and PSA Automotive in a landmark proceeding (C-390/21) for the entire automotive industry at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Cologne Regional Court had previously referred the matter to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling.

The ECJ has ruled that vehicle manufacturers are permitted to make money from the repair and maintenance information (RMI) that they produce.

“The ruling represents a great success, not only for our clients, but for all vehicle manufacturers who sell motor vehicles in Europe,” said Dominik Wendel. “The ruling secures the right of manufacturers to market, for profit, the repair and maintenance information they create and not just to make it available practically at cost price.”

The claimants, European Independent Automotive Data Publishers Association (ADPA) and the Gesamtverband Autoteile-Handel e.V. (GVA), are involved in litigation before Cologne Regional Court with the defendants, PEUGEOT SA und PSA Automobiles SA, regarding the statutory provisions on access to repair and maintenance information.

This is a market in which goods, especially motor vehicle spare parts, are traded with a volume of several billion euros. In view of the rapidly increasing use of data in the motor vehicle industry (catchword “connected cars”) the ruling was also groundbreaking for other players, such as information service providers.

At the core of the case was the criteria for the access fees that vehicle manufacturers are permitted to charge publishers for the use of repair and maintenance information (Article 63 of the EU Type Approval Regulation).

The publishers were demanding that vehicle manufacturers only be permitted to charge low, uniform fees for all independent economic operators or access fees that cover the manufacturers’ costs. In addition to independent garages that are not tied to specific manufacturers, independent economic operators also include publishers who in turn market the information produced by vehicle manufacturers on a large scale.

“The repair and maintenance information prepared by vehicle manufacturers for their vehicles at considerable expense will be made available to the players in the independent aftermarket, i.e. the independent economic operators, in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation 858/2018,” said Dominik Wendel. “According to the ruling, the vehicle manufacturers do not have to simply ’give away’ these RMIs, as was demanded by the claimants in this legal dispute, but are entitled to make a profit. Any other outcome would have resulted in a complete devaluation of the RMIs created by the vehicle manufacturers."

Advisors to Peugeot/PSA: Noerr Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB

Automotive & New Mobility
Dominik Wendel (partner), Benedikt Lutz (senior associate, Brussels)

Antitrust & Competition
Fabian Hübener (associated partner, Brussels)