But even if these facts could be established, they do not necessarily undermine the principle of authorisation rules, just the fitness for purpose of specific regimes such as the one adopted by the KNHS.
Paragraph 2 of the contested rule states that 'if there are several applications for the organisation of an international competition in the same discipline the following becomes relevant: (a) a competition application for an international competition at level 4 * or 5 * is always given priority over an application for an international competition at level 1 *, 2 * or 3* (b) the KNHS argues in favour of the competition application for which it is true that the requested date is the traditional annual date on which an international competition is organised in the discipline concerned (c) it will be attempted by mutual agreement to select another date for the organisation which does not traditionally and annually organise a competition in the discipline concerned.
The KNHS is in one such position of economic strength as it has the power to authorise the organisation of events on the Dutch territory, a power which effectively regulates the access of undertakings to that relevant market.
In determining whether the conduct of the undertaking amounts to an abuse, one needs to consider that the KNHS commercially exploits equestrian events in the Netherlands through, for example, entering into sponsorship contracts.
It also needs to be established whether the KNHS is itself active in the market for the organisation of equestrian events in the Netherlands.
The two cases display further similarities given that the KNHS decision (it would appear) cannot be appealed, as was also the case in MOTOE.
In light of the above, it is reasonable to assume that if a conflict of interest is identified in the functions of the KNHS, rather than requiring a pure separation between the commercial and regulatory functions of the KNHS, the Commission and Court of Justice would wish to see improvements made in the governance standards applicable in that sport.
In light of the dominant position held by the KNHS in the national market and given that its authorisation rules have the potential to partition the European market along national lines, it seems that the effect on trade requirement is met.
That said, the potential for the KNHS to perform a dual (regulatory and commercial) role which may lead to conflicts of interest undermines this proposition.