On the 16th of May 2022, the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) handed down a decision in its 7th and 2nd chambers following the appeal lodged by the company ‘Culturespaces’ regarding the interim order issued on December 13th, 2021, by the Nîmes Administrative Court.
Culturespaces operated under a public service delegation, for the touristic and cultural exploitation of several sites in the city of Nîmes: the Nîmes arenas, the Maison Carrée and the Magne Tower. In order to do this, Culturespaces registered domain names for these sites belonging to the city of Nîmes.
At the end of the public service concession agreement, the company refused to return the intangible assets to the city of Nîmes. The city then referred the matter to the interim proceedings judge who ruled in favour of Culturespaces.
The Council of State ruled that the intangible assets, notably the domain names and social network content, were necessary for the operation of the public service and that they were assets likely to be qualified as assets returned from the concession.
The Council of State therefore ordered Culturespaces to return all the intangible assets necessary for the operation of the public service to the municipality of Nîmes.