|According to a report from the Reuters news agency, the European Commission is set to step up legal action against Germany this week for thwarting foreign competition in the country's gaming markets.|
Late last year, 16 German states passed a protectionist accord to ban online gambling and shield State-run monopolies from competition from firms in other European Union nations. The ban went into affect on January 1 with the European Commission stating that such a course conflicts with the principles of free movement of goods and services between member countries.
Major online gambling companies both within and outside Germany have protested against the ban and urged the European Commission to take action.
Reuters quotes an unnamed source as stating that the Commission is expected to file a letter of formal notice against Germany tomorrow over the new law, warning that the matter could go to the European Court of Justice for enforcement.
The main protagonist is Ireland’s Charlie McCreevy, the European Union’s Internal Market Commissioner, who wants to eliminate hurdles to cross-border competition in services, a core part of the 27-country European Union's single market. He launched proceedings against ten European Union nations for stifling competition in their gaming or lottery sectors last year and has drawn support from several rulings by the European Court of Justice, the bloc's top court.