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Christopher Bruce2013-05-29 19:56:14

EU Likely to Find Revised VW Law in Compliance

Advocate General in case says that VW has complied

 
 
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Volkswagen was protected from takeover for much of its early life

The German state of Lower Saxony will likely not face a fine for failing to comply with EU law for protecting VolkswagenVolkswagenVolkswagenGermany, 1938 > present98 models
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, according to Advocate General Nils Wahl.

The case concerns whether Lower Saxony complied with a previous ruling that said that it may not hamper an attempted takeover of VW. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2007 that the state was not meeting EU laws. 

Wahl's opinion is that Germany changed the law in 2007 to comply with the ruling.

Wahl's opinion is not binding, but the judge's in cases before the European Court of Justice generally follow the lead of the advocate general. The official ruling is expected in a few months. 

When VW was privatized in 1960, it was still relatively weak. Lower Saxony wanted to prevent a hostile takeover of the company and passed a law giving shareholders of VW a maximum of 20% voting rights regardless of how much of the company they own. The state also owned 20% of the company.

The case in 2007 forced the state to change the law, which it did. The latest case was meant to decide whether the changes went far enough. If the European Court of Justice finds against the state, the government could be responsible for millions of euros in fines.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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