The undertakings Wintergarten Feddersen and Soluver concluded in 1985 a franchising agreement for the distribution of verandas. In 1987 Wintergarten Feddersen, the franchisor, brought proceedings against Soluver, the franchisee, before the Tribunal de commerce (“Commercial Court”) of Luxembourg in a dispute that arose between both parties in respect of the payment of an invoice. Soluver introduced a counter-claim and asked for the annulment of the franchising agreement, several clauses of which were alleged to be contrary to the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements within the meaning of Article 85(1) (now 81(1)) EC Treaty. Amongst these provisions of the agreement were: a territorial exclusivity clause to the benefit of Soluver, the obligation for Soluver to sell exclusively
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