The European Commission has said it has not yet decided whether it will appeal a ruling by the European Court of First Instance annulling its 30.96 million euro fine imposed on Volkswagen AG for fixing prices of its Passat model in Germany.

"The question of whether we are going to appeal or not has not yet been resolved," commission spokesman Tilman Lueder said of the ruling, AFX reported.

The commission ruled in May 2001 that the company had made a "serious infringement" of competition rules by telling German dealers not to sell the car below the recommended retail price and to limit, or not grant, discounts.

The court said in its ruling that the commission did not prove that VW acted unilaterally with regard to its dealers and that there was therefore no agreement between the parties.

According to case law, the court said the commission needed to establish Volkswagen and the dealers had entered into an agreement whereby the dealers accept the attitude adopted by the company.

However, Lueder said such a requirement would make it difficult for the commission to handle such cases in future.

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