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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/57

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(30 September 2002)

In January 2001 the Commission opened five separate investigations into the vertical relationships
between the five major record companies and their retailers. The investigation focussed on allegations of
retail price maintenance by the ‘majors’ through the use of contracts with retailers where co-operative
advertising arrangements were linked to minimum advertised prices. The Commission’s investigation found
that three of the ‘majors’ were including minimum advertised prices in certain of their co-operative
advertising agreements in Germany. These companies have subsequently ended these activities.

The five music companies involved in these cases were: Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI, Sony Music,
Universal Music and Warner Music.

As the possible infringements were confined to the territory of single Member States, and in line with the
Commission’s policy of decentralising the enforcement of competition law in appropriate cases,
the Commission has informed the relevant national competition authorities of the results of its inquiry. It
was accordingly within the national authorities’ discretion to determine whether or not further
investigation or action at the national level was appropriate.

The Commission suspended its inquiry in August 2001. More information on the outcome of the
Commission’s inquiry can be found in the press release IP/01/1212 issued on 20 August 2001 at:|0|AGED&lg=EN&display=.

The question, as to whether Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) retailers can import CDs from the
United States, raises copyright issues. Indeed, the Community Legislator harmonised the distribution right
of performers, phonogram producers, film producers and broadcasters via Article 9 of Directive 92/100/
EEC of 19 November 1992, on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in
the field of intellectual property (1). Consequently, these rightholders have the exclusive right to make
available the protected objects (CDs in the present case), including copies thereof, to the public.
The distribution right is subject to Community exhaustion: it is only exhausted within the EEA in respect
of an object where the first sale of that object is made by the rightholder or with his consent in the EEA.
This restriction applies to retailers who purchase CDs in the United States and want to distribute them in
the EEA.

However, given the high degree of concentration in the industry, the Commission indicated in its press
release of August 2001, that it will continue to keep the music industry under close scrutiny:
the Commission may re-open its inquiries if additional information comes to light in relation to this or
similar practices.

(1) OJ L 346, 27.11.1992.

(2003/C 137 E/064) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2235/02

by Gabriele Stauner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(23 July 2002)

Subject: Contracts awarded by the Commission’s legal service

Can the Commission provide me with a list of the subjects of all contracts for legal opinions awarded by
its legal service to outside legal advisers since 1999?

Can the Commission provide me with a full list of the advisers to whom contracts have been awarded
since 1999, stating the total value of the contracts awarded to each adviser?

Can the Commission state in each case whether these contracts were awarded by a proper tendering
procedure or whether they were awarded directly without first being put out to tender?
C 137 E/58 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(3 September 2002)

1. Since 1999 the Commission’s Legal Service has awarded to outside experts contracts dealing with the
following subjects:

 respect for human rights in the applicant countries;

 intellectual property and liability in the case of emails;

 scope and protection of confidentiality;

 legal issues and the millennium bug;

 legal structure and membership of the International Doping Agency;

 right of reply in Spanish media legislation;

 legal protection against defamation and damage compensation;

 attachment of debt in international private law;

 access to disciplinary acts;

 the Member States and the Commission as amicus curiae before the US Supreme Court;

 Belgian tenancy and property law.

2. A list of the experts who have worked for the Commission’s Legal Service since 1999 and the total
value of the contracts awarded to them are being sent separately to the Honourable Member as the
information in question has to be handled confidentially in accordance with Article 287 of the EC Treaty.

3. The contracts have been awarded properly in accordance with Article 59 of the Financial Regulation.

(2003/C 137 E/065) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2236/02

by Gabriele Stauner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(23 July 2002)

Subject: Award of Commission contracts to audit firms

I gather from Mrs Schreyer’s answer to written questions E-0372/02, P-0443/02 and E-0450/02 (1) that the
Commission awarded contracts in 1999-2001 for a total value of EUR 77 million to the private auditing
firms of KPMG, Andersen Group, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

1. Can the Commission provide me with a full and detailed list of these contracts, stating for each one:

(a) the subject of the contract;

(b) the agreed fee;

(c) whether the contract was the subject of a proper tendering procedure in accordance with the Financial

2. Can the Commission explain why contracts of this magnitude were given to private firms, even
though the Commission has its own audit services and is also subject to detailed auditing by the European
Court of Auditors?

(1) OJ C 229 E, 26.9.2002, p. 82.