Bulletin
Latest News issue: June 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Competition Authority exposes a large cartel of medical products suppliers (RM Endovascula / Raymed Trading Group PVT / Slonika / Exomedic / Vascular / Balticamed / Life Medicine / Inmed)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed a large cartel of medical products suppliers* Moscow OFAS exposed a cartel formed by “RM Endovascular” Ltd., “Raymed Trading Group PVT” Ltd., “SLONIKA” Ltd., “EXOMEDIC” Ltd., “VASCULAR” Ltd., “BALTICAMED” Ltd., “LIFE MEDICINE” Ltd. and “INMED” Ltd. The companies took part in 124 auctions for (...)

The Latvian Supreme Court decides that parent companies may be responsible for competition infringements of subsidiary companies (Moller Auto Baltic / Harald A.Moller / Heinz Wilke Autohandel)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Court: parent companies may be responsible for competition infringements of subsidiary companies* On 17 May, the Supreme Court adopted the decision, pursuant to which it is stipulated in the competition law of Latvia that parent companies may bear joint responsibility for infringements of (...)

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court confirms the decision of the Competition Authority according to which two Lithuanian construction companies restricted competition by entering into bidding consortia (PST / Irdaiva)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court: Joint bidding by construction companies restricted competition* Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (the Court) upheld Competition Council‘s decision according to which two Lithuanian construction companies Panevėžio statybos trestas (PST) and Irdaiva (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines five companies and three of their executives for an information exchange to collude in tenders for the award of institutional advertising contracts (Carat España / Inteligencia y Media / Media by Design / Media Sapiens / Persuade Comunicación)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Five companies (Carat España SAU, Inteligencia y Media SA, Media by Design Spain SA, Media Sapiens Spain SL and Persuade Comunicación) have been sanctioned for a collusive behaviour consisting in the exchange of commercially sensitive information in order to share tenders in the Framework (...)

The EU Commission confirms that its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of metal packaging companies (Metal packaging sector)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 24 April 2018, the European Commission carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of companies active in metal packaging in several Member States. The Commission was accompanied by officials of the relevant national authorities. The investigation follows concerns about (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority warns five security companies for alleged prohibited agreements in public procurements
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC warns the security sector about the high bid-rigging risk* In this year, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has warned five security companies for alleged prohibited agreements in public procurements. To reduce bid-rigging risk in the future, the CC in cooperation with the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a horizontal cooperation agreement in the telecommunication sector by a commitment decision (Flash Fiber)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Flash Fiber case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed by a commitment decision an Article 101 TFEU investigation into a horizontal cooperation agreement concerning the telecommunication sector. After the implementation of the commitments agreed with the parties, the ICA (...)

The Warsaw Court of Appeal confirms that resale price maintenance in franchise agreements violates competition law (Sfinks Polska)
King’s College (London)
In its judgement of 10 January 2018, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the decision of the President of the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, UOKiK) of 25 June 2013 in which Sfinks Polska S.A. (Sfinks) was found to infringe Art. 6(1) of the Polish (...)

The Italian Supreme Court states the nullity of “downstream” agreements that are application of anticompetitive “upstream” agreements (ABI)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
By its decision No. 29810 of 12/12/2017, the Italian Supreme Court overruled the judgement of the Court of Appeal of Venice that had rejected the claim for nullity of a personal guarantee in violation of the antitrust regulation. The dispute submitted to the Court of Appeal of Venice - as a (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission accepts commitments to settle investigation into conduct affecting Central and Eastern European gas markets (Gazprom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2018, the Commission adopted a decision accepting a number of commitments from Gazprom to address the Commission’s competition concerns regarding conduct by Gazprom that allegedly restricted the free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets. The (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation on an alleged abuse of dominant position in the post-trading sector (Monte Titoli)
Italian Competition Authority
Investigation initiated against Monte Titoli for possible anti-competitive behaviour in the post-trading sector* On May 9, 2018 the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominant position carried out by Monte Titoli – a company belonging to the (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides new guidance on price discrimination by dominant market players (MEO / Autoridade da Concorrencia)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Amsterdam)
In April 2018, the CJEU provided guidance in assessing the validity of discriminatory pricing practices under EU rules governing dominant market players, in a preliminary ruling in case C-525/16 MEO v. Autoridade da Concorrencia. The central issue—price discrimination—is notoriously contentious (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines a waste management company for abuse of dominance (ZAAO)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC imposes a fine on SIA “ZAAO” for abuse of market power* On 21 March, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC), imposed a fine of EUR 36 665 on the waste management company SIA “ZAAO”, owned by several municipalities, for abuse of dominant position. The CC detected, that the waste manager (...)

The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency accepts commitments by the incumbent gas importer and supplier addressing concerns relating to long-term contracts on natural gas supply with industrial customers (Geoplin)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction On 10 November 2017, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (hereinafter referred to as the CPA) has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by GEOPLIN LLC. (hereinafter referred to as GEOPLIN), incumbent gas importer and supplier in the (...)

Mergers

The EU Court of Justice issues important ruling on gun jumping and on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in the EU Merger Regulation (EY / KPMG)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 May 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) issued an important judgment on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in Article 7(1) of the EU Merger Regulation (the “EUMR”), which prohibits companies from implementing a notifiable concentration prior to clearance (...)

The General Court of the EU finds that the Commission must re-assess compagnies request to waive their pricing commitments (Lufthansa)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In 2005, the European Commission cleared the planned acquisition of Swiss by Lufthansa subject to a a number of commitments, which included conditions on fares with regard to the Zurich-Stockholm and Zurich-Warsaw routes. On 4 November 2013, Lufthansa and Swiss submitted a request for a (...)

The Austrian and German Competition Authorities publish joint draft guidance on new filing thresholds
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 May 2018, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) published for public consultation joint draft guidance on the newly introduced transaction value merger filing thresholds in Austria and Germany. By way of background, in May 2017, new (...)

The Irish Competition Authority obtains remedies in order to clear a merger in the wholesale and retail market (4 Aces / BWG)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC obtains commitments from BWG to secure approval for proposed acquisition of 4 Aces Wholesale* Following an extensive investigation, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today cleared the proposed acquisition of 4 Aces Wholesale Limited (“4 Aces”) by BWG Foods (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the pharmaceutical sector (A&D Pharma / Glebi)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council authorized with conditions the taking over of A&D Pharma holdings nv by Glebi holdings plc* The Competition Council authorised with conditions the transaction by which Glebi Holdings PLC takes over A&D Pharma Holdings NV. Glebi Holdings PLC is part of Penta (...)

The U.S. Senate approves the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that would repeal or modify certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On March 14, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that would repeal or modify certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and eliminate or ease a number of regulatory burdens on superregional, regional and large (...)

State Aid

Procedures

The EU Parliament and Council reach a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (ECN+ Directive)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2018, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (the so-called “ECN+ Directive”). The Commission’s proposal (...)

The EFTA Court clarifies the applicable legal regime for private enforcement and margin squeeze (Fjarskipti / Siminn)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Following a request for an advised opinion made by an Icelandic judge, the EFTA Court has handed down a judgement in the Fjarskipti v Siminn case touching on some procedural and substantive competition law issues. The EFTA Court clarified which are the rules that in the EFTA legal system apply (...)

Regulatory

The Portuguese Competition Authority identifies barriers to entry of new FinTech firms and recommends measures to promote choice for consumers and companies
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC identifies barriers to entry of new FinTech firms and recommends measures to promote choice for consumers and companies in financial services in Portugal* The Portuguese Competition Authority - Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC), identified barriers to entry of new firms based on (...)

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