The Commission adopted a Communication on Sport. More information on the Sport policy page.
In the MOTOE judgment the Court of Justice held that a non-profit-making motorcycling association could be considered as an undertaking if it organised motorcycling events itself and entered into sponsorship, advertising and insurance contracts. This conclusion was not affected by the fact that the entity had the power to give its consent to applications for authorisation to organise competitions submitted to the public authorities.
Also, the CJ concluded that such an association that also takes part in administrative decisions authorising the organization of motorcycling events, had the power to prevent other competitors to enter the market of motorcycling events and therefore could distort competition. The Court held that Articles 102 and 106 TFEU precluded a national rule which conferred on such association the power to give consent to applications for authorisation to organise such competitions, without that power being made subject to restrictions, obligations and review.
In an important judgment of the Court of Justice in the Meca Medina case of 18 July 2006 concerning anti-doping rules in long-distance swimming, the Court found that the anti-doping rules in question did not infringe EU competition (antitrust) rules. This judgment provided useful guidance on the application of EU competition rules to sport, notably in respect of the regulatory aspects of sport. In its judgment in the Meca Medina case, the Court made it clear that a case-by-case assessment of each sporting rule is necessary in order to determine whether the rule infringes EU competition rules. The Court stated that even in cases where a sporting rule is considered to restrict competition, it may not breach EU competition law to the extent the rule in question pursues a legitimate objective and its anti-competitive effects are inherent in the pursuit of those objectives and are proportionate to them. It is therefore no longer possible to consider that so-called 'pure sporting rules' would as such fall outside the scope of EU competition rules. It should be recalled that the Commission has consistently taken into consideration the specific characteristics of sport when dealing with cases under EU competition rules in this sector.