EU high court rejects Opel appeal against 35 million fine

The European Union's high court Thursday rejected an appeal by General Motors Dutch subsidiary Opel Nederland against a €35.5 million (US$43.5 million) EU fine for restricting cross border sales in the EU.

The European Court of Justice said GM was unable to show that a lower court "made errors of law in its judgment" in 2003 when it upheld the EU regulators' decision.

Opel was fined by the European Commission in 2000 for forcing Dutch dealers to stop selling cars to customers from neighboring countries where Opel cars cost more.

The fine was reduced on appeal in 2003 from €43 million (US$52.7 million), but the company took the case to the EU's Luxembourg-based high court seeking to have the ruling annulled, the AP reports.

The case is part of a broader EU drive to open up the European auto market, where prices still vary widely from country to country.