The European Court of Justice has ordered the European Commission to pay compensation to the French electrical giant, Schneider, after it wrongly blocked a merger with its rival Legrand. The case has been ongoing for five years. Schneider had bought more than 98 per cent of Legrand for 5.4-billion euros in 2001 before the european competition commissioner vetoed the move, and ordered the two to separate. Schneider sold the company for 3.6 billion euros, but the following year, the European Court of Justice overruled the veto. Analysts said the commissioner had been over-zealous. Today’s ruling is a precedent, which opens the way for dozens of other companies to challenge the Commission’s decisions.