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REASONABLE AND PROPORTIONATE FEES, ADPA LAWSUIT AGAINST EXCESSIVE PRICING ON DATA

Reasonable and proportionate data fees: The European Data Publisher associations, ADPA and GVA, react to the change of motion on purely procedural grounds from the European Court of Justice.

 

THE EUROPEAN DATA PUBLISHER  ASSOCIATIONS ADPA, react to the change of motion on purely procedural grounds from the European Court of Justice. The Court acknowledged that “the dismissal of the lawsuit will not pacify the dispute between the parties”, and that “the changed motion, had it been admissible might actually be suitable for solving the dispute. (Ralf Pelkmann, ADPA President)

 

Over the last years, vehicle manufacturers have imposed dramatic increases in fees to access repair and maintenance information.. In some cases with a fee increase of more than 1,000%.

ADPA reported as well that, the risk of a significant competition reduction, will affect as well the drivers, as long as access to technical data, even when envisaged and sanctioned by law, is in fact limited by the “barrier” of excessive cost.

 

THIS ENDANGERS THE COMPETITIVENESS and even the viability of the entire independent, multi- brand aftermarket, and could result in owners not having an affordable, reliable alternative to repair and maintain their vehicles in the future.

 

Currently, vehicle manufacturers are not obliged to share access to technical information. This has been confirmed by the European Court of Justice, appealed by ADPA and GVA.

 

TODAY ADPA MEMBERS directly contribute to the roadworthiness, safety and environmental performance of more than 320 million vehicles…

Overview of the case…

“Reasonable and proportionate data fees: clarification needed”

Since 2019, ADPA and GVA engaged in legal proceedings to ensure fair competition in the market.

The dispute regards the question what “reasonable and proportionate fees”, as foreseen in the Type Approval Regulation, constitute. The Court of Cologne rapidly decided to get clarification on the interpretation of European legislation from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) itself.

More than just a confirmation for ADPA and GVA

On the 27th of October 2022, the ECJ rendered a decision confirming ADPA’s and GVA’s position on several points:

  • THE PROVISIONS of the Type Approval Regulation also apply to vehicle models type-approved before it entered into effect
  • DATA PUBLISHER don’t need a licence to use the information they access.

However, the ECJ didn’t provide additional guidance on how “reasonable and proportionate” remuneration for access to repair and maintenance information should be calculated.

Request to amend the motion

ADPA and GVA submitted a request to the Court of Cologne to amend their initial motion in order to reflect the ECJ input.

On the 23rd of February 2023, the Court rejected the change of motion on purely procedural grounds.

The Court of Cologne also acknowledged that the dismissal of the lawsuit will not pacify the dispute between the parties, and that the changed motion, had it been admissible, might actually be suitable for solving the dispute.

ADPA and Data Publisher Role

ADPA President, Ralf Pelkmann, specifies that “the Data Publisher association will continue to look for the best way forward to finally get clear legal guidance on what constitutes reasonable and proportionate fees”, highlighting that:

 

THE ROLE OF DATA PUBLISHERS IN THE AFTERMARKET IS CRUCIAL as they enable all workshops, and in particular the multi- brand, independent ones, to access reliable and affordable repair and maintenance information for the vehicles on European Union’s roads.

 

Fore more information: