Hungary has violated EU law by transforming the mobile payment system into a state monopoly, contrary to the provisions of the Community Services Directive, the ECJ said.
Pursuant to the relevant Hungarian Act of 2011. The exclusive law of the national mobile payment system is the responsibility of the National Mobile Payment Company. Service providers must use this platform, for example, to pay for parking fees and use of public roads.
The European Commission initiated an infringement procedure in 2014, claiming that the law significantly restricts competition in the market without proper justification.
The Luxembourg court ruled in its Wednesday judgment that the provisions are incompatible with the provisions of the Services Directive relating to the freedom of establishment and the disputed measures disproportionately restrict the principle of freedom to provide services.
Hungary argued that the national mobile payment system is a public interest task and is a service of general economic interest, therefore the provisions of the Directive apply only with a limitation.
According to the verdict, the requirement of proportionality was not met when setting up the system, because 'Hungary has admitted that there would be less restrictive measures less restrictive than the rules at issue than the freedom of establishment to achieve specific objectives'.
In the court's view, the result achieved by the monopoly would be achieved, for example, by establishing a concession system based on a competitive procedure.
If an infringement is found in an EU court, the Member State must comply with the judgment as soon as possible. If the committee decides it has not, it can initiate new financial sanctions. (MTI)