Pro-Brexit Dyson Beats EU on Vacuum Cleaner Energy-Labeling

(Bloomberg) -- Dyson Ltd., the British engineering company famous for its iconic vacuum cleaners, won a long-running European Union court fight to overturn EU rules it blamed for creating “misleading” energy labeling of products.

  • It’s a vindication for the company’s founder and boss James Dyson who has been an ardent backer of the Leave campaign in favor of the U.K. exiting the EU.
  • The EU General Court in Luxembourg on Thursday annulled the method imposed on companies to test vacuum cleaners’ energy efficiency, saying it’s not in line with the bloc’s law.
  • Dyson has been railing against the rules in the EU courts since 2013, arguing that the imposed method of evaluating energy use favors old-fashioned models that use bags.
  • It lost every step of the way until the bloc’s top court last year said the case had to be reexamined.

Key Takeaways

  • The ruling, which can be appealed, is a setback for the European Commission, which enforced the energy-labeling method for all vacuum cleaners sold in the EU from September 2014, as a supplement to the bloc’s energy labeling law.
  • Wiltshire, U.K.-based Dyson said in a statement the decision was “a win for consumers across Europe” because it is essential “in these days of Dieselgate” that people “can trust what manufacturers say about their products.”
  • Dyson kept arguing that the rules were unfair, given its vacuum cleaners are bagless, and benefited “traditional, predominantly German, manufacturers.”
  • Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a commission spokeswoman, told journalists at a regular briefing in Brussels that officials will study the judgment and “see its full impact” before deciding on a possible appeal.

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  • The EU’s top court last year sent the case back for reexamination by the lower tribunal, saying its judges had mis-characterized one of Dyson’s arguments, which was that the commission was not competent to adopt the contested rules.
  • Iconic British Brands John Lewis and Dyson Clash Over Brexit

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