On 13 September 2010, the General Court of Justice of the EU confirmed the lawfulness of the Commission decision of 7th January 2004 authorising, subject to the sale of assets, the purchase of Vivendi Universal Publishing by Lagardère. However, the decision authorising Wendel to buy the assets sold by Lagardère is annulled.
In September 2002 Vivendi Universal (VU) decided to dispose of all the book publishing activities which it carried on in Europe through the intermediary of its subsidiary Vivendi Universal Publishing (VUP). The Lagardère group declared its interest in acquiring VUP's publishing assets, which consisted of VUP's book publishing activities.
By decision of 5 June 2003 the Commission, finding that the proposed VUP/Lagardère concentration raised serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market, commenced the phase of in-depth control of concentrations intended to examine the effects of the VUP/Lagardère concentration on the economy of the sector and to permit consultation of the market players.
On 7 January 2004, the Commission authorised the VUP/Lagardère concentration on condition that Lagardère would retain only 40% of the target assets, avoiding its dominant position on the market. The French publisher Odile Jacob which had sought to purchase the target assets from Lagardère, brought actions before the General Court seeking the annulment of this decision.
In the judgment delivered on 13 September 2010, the General Court of the EU dismissed the action of Odile Jacob against the decision of 7 January 2004.
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