UPDATE 1-EU tells Italy to comply with horse-racing ruling

Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:28am GMT

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BRUSSELS Feb 19 (Reuters) - The European Commission told Italy on Thursday that it must comply with a European Union court ruling on horse-racing concessions or face fines.

The European Court of Justice ruled in 2007 that Italy had breached EU rules by renewing 329 concessions for horse-race betting operations without inviting any competing bids, the EU executive said in a statement.

Italy has in the meantime adopted a law that would comply with the judgment but has not yet implemented it, the EU executive said.

"If the Italian authorities do not comply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice and ask the court to impose a lump sum or penalty payment on Italy," the statement said. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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