Latest News issue: April 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission carries out unannounced inspections concerning distribution of sports media rights and other related rights
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission confirms unannounced inspections concerning distribution of sports media rights and other related rights* The European Commission can confirm that on 10 April 2018 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of companies (...)

The EU Commission fines 8 Japanese producers of capacitors involved in a cartel for the supply of aluminium and tantalum electrolytic capacitors (Elna / Hitachi / Holy Stone / Matsuo / NEC Tokin / Nichicon / Nippon Chemi-Con / Ruycom / Sanyo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 March 2018, the European Commission announced that it had adopted a decision fining eight Japanese producers of capacitors a total of € 253,935,000. The companies addressed by the decision, namely Elna, Hitachi, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Ruycom and Sanyo, (...)

The EU Commission fines eight producers of capacitors for cartel (Elna / Hitachi Chemical / Holy Stone / Matsuo / NEC Tokin / Nichicon / Nippon Chemi-Con / Rubycon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines eight producers of capacitors €254 million for participating in cartel* The European Commission has fined Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Rubycon € 253 935 000. Together with the immunity applicant, Sanyo, they (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announces product safety priorities for 2018
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced product safety priorities for 2018. A key priority is for the Commission to work towards the introduction of a General Safety provision within the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). A recent review by the ACL found that it (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an undertaking for implementing anticompetitive agreements in the tobacconist security provision sector (Sécurité Vol Feu)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Anticompetitive agreements in the tobacconist security provision sector in the Isère département* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Sécurité Vol Feu company Following an investigation carried out by the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority implements a big data information system that will allow a quicker identification of cartel
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council implements a big data informatics system through the project* “Optimizing the interaction with the business environment and the implementation of advanced data analysis and data exchange mechanisms by implementing an e-government information system and Big Data analysis (...)

The French Competition Authority closes its investigation against agricultural tractor manufacturers after ensuring that they change their commercial practices in respect of dealers in order to strengthen competition and diversify supply (John Deere / AGCO)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sale of agricultural tractors* The Autorité closes the investigation against agricultural tractor manufacturers John Deere and AGCO (Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Laverda and Valtra). It has ensured that the manufacturers change their commercial practices in respect of dealers in order to (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two suppliers of charcoal and coal for households for market sharing (CPL / Fuel Express)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
£3.4m fine for household coal and BBQ supplier cartel* Two of the biggest suppliers of charcoal and coal for households in the UK have agreed to pay a £3.4m fine for taking part in a market sharing cartel. CPL and Fuel Express are 2 of the main suppliers of bagged household fuels, including (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority and the French Competition Authority conduct inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA and the “Autorité de la concurrence” (France) conducted inspections at the premises of (...)

The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission’s fines five condom and catheter suppliers for bid rigging in the public health sector after a four-year investigation into the latex industry (Galeno / Adex / Holiday de México / Trenkes / Dentilab)
Agon (Mexico)
On 8 February 2018, Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE or Commission) fined five condom and catheter suppliers 112 million pesos (approximately €4.91 million) for rigging bids in Mexico’s public health sector. Further statements of objections and decisions regarding bid (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on action by automotive repair workshop claiming right to be admitted to authorised repair network (Jaguar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled on an action brought by a car repair shop (the claimant) against the general importer of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles (the defendant). The importer operated a selective distribution system for the servicing of its vehicles. (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation into German grid operator for limiting cross border electricity capacity with Denmark (TenneT)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into German grid operator TenneT for limiting cross border electricity capacity with Denmark* The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether German grid operator TenneT’s limitation of capacity from Western Denmark into (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion concluding its sector-specific investigation into online advertising
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-specific investigation into online advertising* The Autorité de la concurrence has made public its opinion in which it analyses a very complex market characterised by a fragile competitive equilibrium. Given the concerns of stakeholders in the sector, the General Rapporteur announced (...)

The Cairo Economic Court upholds the recommendation of the Egyptian Competition Agency and fines a TV broadcasting company 400M EGP for abusive bundling of international football events (Nasser Al-Khulaifi / beIN Media)
Fingleton Associates (London)
On 29th January 2018 the Cairo Economic Court found that beIN had abused its position in the market for broadcasting of international football events by forcing the bundled subscription of all the soccer leagues and events in its stable for a minimum duration of 12 months. The decision by the (...)

Mergers

The Belgian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a Belgian football club by an investment company (Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht / Alychlo)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht by Alychlo* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved on 28 March 2018 the acquisition of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht by Alychlo. The (...)

The EU Commission considers potential harm to innovation as part of its merger assessments, particularly in R&D driven sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology (Bayer / Monsanto)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
The European Commission has routinely considered potential harm to innovation as part of its merger assessments, particularly in R&D driven sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology. In recent years, however, the Commission’s traditional innovation concerns have developed into broader, (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture sector (Bayer / Monsanto)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer. The merger is conditional on the divestiture of an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties’ (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the rail sector (CIT Rail / VTG Rail Assets)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rail wagon leasing companies may merge subject to condition precedent* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of CIT Rail Holdings (Europe) S.A.S. by VTG Rail Assets GmbH subject to a condition precedent. The companies may only implement the merger once they have sold a substantial (...)

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two real estate online platforms in Phase II (Logic-Immo.com / SeLoger.com)
DLA Piper (Paris)
On 1st February 2018, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) unconditionally cleared in Phase II proceedings the planned acquisition of sole control of French company Concept Multimédia - which owns the real estate online platform Logic-Immo.com - by German group Axel Springer - which owns the (...)

Procedures

The Turkish Competition Board fines an undertaking for hindering an on-site inspection (Çekok Gıda)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Çekok Gıda decision dated 03.07.2017 and numbered 17-20/318-140. The Board had initiated an ex-officio preliminary investigation and assessed allegations that eight undertakings operating in the Turkish wholesale market for fresh (...)

Regulatory

The Finnish Competition Authority issues its report on health service marketing
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA report: Health service marketing promotes competition and customers’ freedom of choice* The FCCA has been studying how health service marketing is currently regulated and what kinds of challenges the health and social services reform is setting for health service marketing. Health service (...)

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