Albany International BV v. Stichting Bedrijfspensioenfonds Textielindustrie
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Judgement date :21/09/1999
Compulsory affiliation to a sectoral pension scheme - Compatibility with competition rules - Classification of a sectoral pension fund as an undertaking
As affirmed by the Court in Albany, “the social policy objectives pursued by such agreements would be seriously undermined if management and labour were subject to [EU competition rules] when seeking jointly to adopt measures to improve conditions of work and employment” (§ 59). According to the Court, the improvement of working conditions in the case also extended to remuneration (§ 63).
Consequently, collective agreements are excluded from the scope of Article 101 TFEU if they fulfil two conditions, as identified by the CJEU in Albany. Firstly, the agreement needs to “derive from social dialogue […] concluded in the form of a collective agreement and is the outcome of collective negotiations between organisations representing employers and workers” (§ 62). Secondly, the agreement needs to contribute “directly to improving […] working conditions” (§ 63).