Andrzej Kmiecik

Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Lawyer (Partner)

Andrzej Kmiecik specialises in all aspects of competition law, with considerable experience in merger control proceedings and cartel cases, as well as distribution, pricing, intellectual property and state aid matters. He represents clients before the European Commission and the EU Courts, as well as in national competition law proceedings. Andrzej’s practice covers a wide range of industrial sectors, including motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, paper and board products, office equipment, consumer electronics, aerospace, petrochemicals, clothing and footwear. Some of the more high profile EU merger control cases he has handled include Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Enso/Stora, Boeing/Hughes, Caemi/Mitsui/CVRD, Boeing/Lockheed/ULA, SABIC/Huntsman and SABIC/GE Plastics. Major EU cartel investigations in which he has acted as defense counsel include Newsprint, Amino Acids (also on appeal), Carbonless Paper (also on appeal), Publication Papers and Fine Papers. In the life sciences sector, Andrzej has acted as counsel in major EU antitrust investigations concerning diabetes care (Becton Dickinson/Novo Nordisk), vaccines (Lederle/SKB) and blood screening (Chiron/DRK). He has been actively involved in the Commission’s recent pharmaceutical sector inquiry. Andrzej has developed a niche practice in the field of motor vehicle distribution. He counsels and defends a number of manufacturers, combining extensive experience of applying the sector-specific rules with his in-depth industry knowledge. Andrzej Kmiecik speaks English and French.

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Van Bael & Bellis

Articles

17741 Bulletin

Andrzej Kmiecik The French Supreme Court refers a case on online platform sales ban back to the Paris Court of Appeal without waiting for an upcoming ruling of the EU Court of Justice on a similar case (Caudalie / eNova)

321

On 13 September 2017, the French Supreme Court ordered the Paris Court of Appeal to rehear a case for failing to sufficiently substantiate its finding that an obligation in Caudalie’s selective distribution system constituted a probable restriction of competition by object. In the selective (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The EU Commission publishes final e-commerce sector inquiry report

203

On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (“the Report”), aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit con- sumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Belgian Competition Authority fines a leading yeast producer and three parent companies for several infringements of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Algist Bruggeman)

141

On 22 March 2017, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) imposed a fine amounting to € 5,489,000 on leading yeast producer Algist Bruggeman NV (“AB”), and three parent companies, for several infringements of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The EU General Court rules on three actions claiming damages for alleged excessive duration of judicial proceedings (Armando Alvarez / Plasticos Espanoles / Kendrion)

148

On 1 and 17 February 2017, the General Court (“GC”) delivered three judgments in relation to actions claiming damages for alleged excessive duration of judicial proceedings. This is the second set of judgments issued by the GC on this topic. Last month, the GC awarded Gascogne more than € 57,000 (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt rules on restrictions on the use of online platforms and price comparison websites in a selective distribution system (Deuter)

423

On 22 December 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) issued a ruling on appeal concerning the selective distribution system of Deuter, a producer of quality backpacks. The Court assessed two restrictions imposed by Deuter on the resellers belonging to its selective (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice increases the fine against a food retailer after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products (Spar)

318

On 8 October 2015, the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (the “Supreme Court”) increased the fine against Spar, a food retailer, from € 3 million to € 30 million after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products. On 26 November 2014, the Higher Regional (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three sunflower oil producers and their distributors for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition in the bottled sunflower oil market

86

The Bulgarian Competition Authority has fined three sunflower oil producers and five of their distributors a total of more than BGN 2 million (around € 1 million) for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition on the bottled sunflower oil market by means of fixing (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority announces that a white goods manufacturer has accepted to pay a fine of € 161,000 for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented parallel imports (Miele)

237

On 25 July 2013, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced that the white goods manufacturer Miele A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 1.2 million (around € 161,000) for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines on three entities for setting up a traceability system that led to restrictions of sales of a specific sort of tangerine (Nadorcott Protection, Carpa Dorada, Club de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas)

64

On 4 July 2013, the CNC fined three entities for setting up a traceability system that led to restrictions of sales of the Nadorcott tangerine. The fined entities were the holder of the Community plant variety rights for the Nadorcott tangerine (Nadorcott Protection, S.A.R.L.); an (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik, Helen Palmer The Spanish Competition Commission opens investigation into a car manufacturer for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts (Opel)

119

On 16 May 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) announced that it has opened a formal investigation into the Spanish subsidiary of General Motors, Opel, for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts to Opel’s authorised dealers and repairers. (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The EU Court of Justice hands down preliminary ruling on circumstances in which agreements concerning the price of automotive repairs concluded between insurance companies and repair shops may have an anti-competitive object (Allianz, Generali)

212

On 14 March 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hungarian Supreme Court on the application of Article 101 TFEU to certain agreements between insurance companies and car repair shops. Once a (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Swiss Competition Authority fines body representing audiovisual media device producers for restricting parallel imports (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Phononet)

87

In a decision of 16 July 2012, the Competition Authority of Switzerland (“COMCO”) levied a fine of CHF3.5 million (around € 3 million) on the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI Switzerland”), as well as a fine of CHF20,000 (around € 16,000) on Phononet AG (“Phononet”), (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The German Federal Court of Justice dismisses action of repair shop to be admitted to the authorised repair network of a commercial vehicle manufacturer based on alleged abuse of dominance (MAN)

193

In a recent judgment delivered on 30 March 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice dismissed the action brought by a vehicle repairer to be admitted to the authorised repair network of MAN, a commercial vehicle manufacturer, based on the claim that MAN was abusing its dominant position as (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Danish Competition Authority adopts decision without fines concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of parallel trade in electrical appliances sector (Witt Hvidevarer)

210

In a decision adopted on 24 November 2010, the Danish Competition Authority found that Witt Hvidevarer A/S (“Witt”), a Danish importer and wholesaler of robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers manufactured by the American company iRobot, had engaged in anticompetitive practices over a period of (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay, Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Parfums Givenchy, and Guerlain)

387

On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Groupe Volkswagen France)

162

In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Nissan France)

160

In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines supplier and distributors of DVD movies for resale price maintenance (Bomba, Computer data international, Elektromarktas)

121

On 28 January 2010, the Competition Authority of Lithuania fined several undertakings active in the supply and distribution of DVD movies for engaging in resale price maintenance in breach of the provision of Lithuanian law equivalent to Article 101 TFEU between 2006 and 2009. The fines imposed (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Lithuanian Competition Authority announces termination of investigation into motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors (Hyundai, Renault, Toyota, Honda and Saab)

84

Early in 2009, the Lithuanian Competition Council launched an investigation into certain companies active in the sale of new motor vehicles in Lithuania, examining claims that these companies had required customers to have their vehicles serviced only by an authorized dealer/repairer of the (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Spanish Competition Authority fines major fuel suppliers for resale price maintenance and accepts commitments relating to long-term contracts and non-compete clauses (Repsol / CEPSA / BP)

324

According to a press release of 30 July 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority imposed fines totalling € 7.9 million on REPSOL, CEPSA and BP (the three main suppliers of fuel in Spain) for violating the competition rules by engaging in resale price maintenance in their relations with (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The European Court of Justice rules on non-compete and resale price maintenance in the context of block exemption regulations (Pedro IV Servicios SL, Total España)

271

On 2 April 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered a judgment in Pedro IV Servicios SLv. Total España SA, a preliminary reference concerning the analysis of non-compete obligations and alleged resale price maintenance in the light of Regulation 1984/83 (the former block exemption (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The UK OFT reviews the national newspapers code of practice

62

On 22 October 2008, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) issued three publications setting out its analysis of competition in newspaper and magazine distribution in the UK. These publications comprise (i) an opinion providing competition law guidance on the legality of newspaper and magazine (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The European Commission holds discussion on Internet commerce

85

According to a Commission’s Press Release of 17 October 2008, the Commission held a roundtable with consumer and industry representatives in order to discuss the need to reform the competition rules applicable to Internet commerce. This group of stakeholders will produce a report for the (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Portuguese Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning non-compete obligations on hotels, restaurants and cafés (Nestlé Portugal, Delta Cafés Sociedade Gestora de Participaçoes Sociais, Nutricafés – Cafés e Restauraçao and Segafreddo Zanetti)

83

On 16 July 2008, the Portuguese Competition Authority issued a press release indicating that it has accepted the commitments offered by four suppliers (Nestlé Portugal SA, Delta Cafés Sociedade Gestora de Participaçoes Sociais SA, Nutricafés – Cafés e Restauraçao SA and Segafreddo Zanetti (Portugal (...)

Andrzej Kmiecik The Hungarian Competition Council terminates investigation into beer supply agreements following amendment of non-compete obligations (Borsodi, Dreher Sörgyárak, Heineken)

132

On 16 May 2008, the Hungarian Competition Council (the «Competition Council«) decided to accept the commitments offered by Borsodi Zrt. («Borsodi«), a large Hungarian brewer, and terminated its investigation into Borsodi‘s beer supply agreements. The Competition Council, first, found that the three (...)

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