April 2014

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Supreme Court confirms that companies have restricted competition on the market of residential housing construction (Spetspromsnab)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supported a decision of Lipetsk OFAS* The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supported the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Lipetsk region (Lipetsk OFAS) and dismissed a claim of “Spetspromsnab” SU” Ltd. to transfer a supervisory (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines imposed in a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt (TDS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court supported FAS position on a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt* On 2 April 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on a cartel case on the market of (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies limits of no-poaching agreements under German commercial law
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
In a decision dated 30 April 2014, but published only recently, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) struck down an agreement between two companies not to “poach” each others’ employees as violating the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, “HGB”). However, the FCJ also clarified under (...)

The Danish Competition Council establishes restriction of competition by coordinating tenders regarding winter road maintenance in the municipality of Skive Kommune (Skive Kommune / Skive og Omegns Vognmandsforening)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of undertakings has coordinated tenders illegally* On 30 April 2014 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Skive og Omegns Vognmandsforening, an association of undertakings, has restricted competition by coordinating tenders regarding winter road maintenance in the (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal suspends the registration of the consent agreement pending the determination of application pursuant to Section 106(2) related to a price MFN clause on the market for e-books retail (Kobo)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
The Ebooks Saga: Kobo’s challenge explained* Ebook retailer Kobo is challenging a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers. The settlement has been stayed pending this challenge. Kobo’s challenge may have major implications for competition law enforcement in (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled for cartel (Regional Centre for Rehabilitation Means)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS Russia imposed a 7 million RUB fine upon of suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled that formed a cartel* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) fined participants of a cartel aimed at maintaining prices at the auctions for supplying rehabilitation means to the disabled (...)

The US FTC files an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals explaining that commitment not to compete raises the same antitrust concerns as the reverse-payment patent settlements (King Drug / SmithKlineBeecham)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. FTC files an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal urging to reverse the District Court finding in the Lamictal Direct Purchase Antitrust Litigation* On 28 April, 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the (...)

The German Competition Authority investigates an absolute prohibition to use online marketplaces and price comparison engines imposed on the dealers by a supplier of sports goods (Asics)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Bundeskartellamt raises objections against ASICS’s restrictions of online sale* On 24 April 2014 the Bundeskartellamt issued a press release stating that, based on preliminary investigation, it has found that ASICS Deutscheland’s selective distribution system restricts competition among its (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority releases a report concerning the lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCCA: Lack of uniformity in licensing and supervision practices hurt the ability of companies to operate on the market* The lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices make it more difficult for companies to enter the field and expand their operations, according (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market (G4S / DNB / SEB / Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market* On April 22, the Competition Council (the KT) reopened the investigation into agreements within cash handling market. It was suspected that the mentioned agreements had failed to comply with the requirements (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court supports the position of the Russian Competition Authority imposing a new method of exposing bid-rigging in the electronic auctions market (Petrovsky Park)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Moscow OFAS Russia: the Court of First Instance supported a new method of exposing bid-rigging at electronic auctions* On 17th April 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court supported the position of Moscow OFAS Russia on a case on an oral anti-competitive agreement (cartel) between “Petrovsky Park” (...)

The Australian Competition Authority receives a court enforceable undertaking concerning discontinuation of resale price maintenance and compliance program (KitchenAid)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
KitchenAid distributor undertakes not to induce retailers on minimum prices* Peter McInnes Pty Ltd (Peter McInnes), an importer and wholesaler of kitchenware products including KitchenAid stand mixers, has acknowledged concerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that two companies are guilty of bid-rigging in the market of improving road traffic conditions in Moscow (Krismar-MM / Ramastroi)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Antimonopoly Service exposed a bid-rigging collusion at auctions for improving road traffic in Moscow* On 14th April 2014, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in Moscow (Moscow OFAS Russia) established that “KRISMAR-MM” Ltd. and “RAMASTROI” Ltd. concluded an anticompetitive (...)

The US FTC approves petition to modify an order imposing restrictions on the ability to enter into certain conditional supply relationships, since the competition among purchasers and sellers of toys has been reshaped following the emergence of online retailers and the growth of two other purchasers (Toys “R” Us)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. FTC modifies 1998 order against Toys “R” Us based on market changes brought about by e-commerce* On 15 April 2014 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a petition submitted by Toys “R” Us (“TRU”) to reopen and modify an order issued in 1998, which required TRU to refrain from certain (...)

The Romanian Competition Council impose fines on eleven media companies for having entered an anticompetitive agreement whose object was to eliminate competitors from media communication services market (Zenith Media Communications)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned 11 media companies* The Competition Council has sanctioned 11 media companies with fines totaling 14,567,555 lei (approximately Euro 3.2 million). The competition authority found out that 11 companies have participated in a anticompetitive agreement (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that the mechanism of joint and several liability cannot be used to force one company to bear the risk of the insolvency of another company where those companies have never formed part of the same undertaking (Areva)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva: Competition fines, parent and subsidiary and joint and several liability* The Court of Justice has handed down three judgments relating to fines imposed on a number of undertakings involved in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. There’s an (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of joint and several liability in relation to the fines imposed on the GIS cartel (Siemens)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case C-231/11 P and C-233/11 P European Commission v Siemens AG Österreich a.o. – Joint and several liability* The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) gave on 10 April 2014 its judgment on appeal in the gas insulated switchgear case C-231/11 P. The dispute concerns a cartel relating to the sale of gas (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases its draft Immunity and Cooperation Policy for Cartel Conduct April 2014 and draft Frequently Asked Questions for public comment
University of New South Wales
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). ACCC simplifies policy on cartel immunity and cooperation* Last week the ACCC released its draft Immunity and Cooperation Policy for Cartel Conduct April 2014 (Draft Policy) and draft Frequently (...)

The Israeli Restrictive Trade Practices General Director announces his intention to fine monopolies for charging excessive prices
ESHEL, ASHLAGI, ROZENT - LAW OFFICES
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ESHEL, ASHLAGI, ROZENT - LAW OFFICES
A. Introduction On April 9, 2014, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") published a directive regarding excessive prices charged by monopolies (the "Directive"). In the Directive, the General Director officially announced, for the first time, that he (...)

The South African Independent Communications Authority requests investigation into possible restrictive horizontal practices between two broadcasters (SABC / MultiChoice)
Primerio
Television antitrust saga continues, MultiChoice in the cross-hairs again* Interest group seeks antitrust investigation in free-to-air channels According to a press release by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the organisation proposed last on 4 April 2014 a (...)

The Moscow Appeal Court rejects claim regarding unscheduled on-site inspection conducted by the Competition Authority as part of a cartel investigation (Argus-Spekt)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed: an inspection of “Argus-Spekt” CJSC was carried out fully in accordance with the law* The Head of FAS Anti-Cartel Department, Andrey Tenischev, commented the judgment of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court: “It is not the first incident of challenging our inspections in (...)

The Moscow Appeal Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority in the case of cartel of fishery companies (Pollock)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed existence of “Pollock” cartel* On 8th April 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy and reasonableness of FAS decision to recognize that 21 fishery company in the Russian Far East1 – members of the Pollock Catchers Association violated the antimonopoly (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania confirms the presence of fault being an absolute precondition for competition law liability (G4S, DNB, SEB and Swedbank)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
On 8 April 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (‘Supreme Administrative Court’ or the ‘Court’) delivered its judgment in case G4S, DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank v. Competition Council . The case concerned the decision by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court annuls the fines imposed on the banks by the Competition Council, though confirms the restrictive character of the cash handling agreements (G4S)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
G4S agreements with banks restricted competition* The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) confirmed that the agreements concluded between UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) and the banks, namely, AB SEB bank (SEB), Swedbank, AB (Swedbank) and AB DNB bank (DNB), restricted competition (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission completes its long running case involving the cardboard packaging cartel (Visy Board / Amcor)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission completes long running trans-Tasman cartel case* The Commerce Commission has completed its long running case involving the cardboard packaging cartel between Visy Board Pty Ltd (Visy) and Amcor Ltd with the final (...)

A New Zealand High Court orders a Swiss air freight company to pay a penalty and costs for cartel behaviour (Kuehne + Nagel International)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Air freight cartel nets almost $12 million in penalties* The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania approves decision concluding that a national professional association and 32 association members entered into an anticompetitive agreement on the application of minimum tariffs for shipping agency services (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court upholds competition council‘s decision to sanction Shipping Agency Companies* On 7 April, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) approved the Competition Council‘s (the KT) decision concluding that Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the (...)

The German Competition Authority receives commitments to abandon an agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system (Girocard)
German Competition Authority
Standard charges for retailers in electronic cash card payment system abandoned* The leading banking associations in Germany are to abandon their agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system. The associations have undertaken a commitment (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau announces that a corporation and two individuals have pleaded guilty to price-fixing in relation to an ocean freight cartel (ECU Line Canada)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Guilty Pleas in Ocean Freight Price-Fixing Cartel, Bureau Begins Promoting New Compliance Materials Earlier today, the Competition Bureau announced that one company and two individuals have pleaded guilty to price-fixing under the Competition Act in relation to an ocean freight cartel (see: (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court reduces fines for undertakings involved in price fixing (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
SKVLAW
On April 7th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court supported position of Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter – NCA) in case of ship agency services . Several undertakings which were accused of fixing ship agency tariffs also celebrated a small victory – their (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission confirms its investigation into possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influencing of benchmarks in foreign exchange markets (FOREX)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission confirms forex investigation* The Commerce Commission has confirmed that it has an investigation into possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influencing of benchmarks in foreign exchange (forex) (...)

The US DOJ announces successful litigation of its first extradition for an alleged involvement with the marine hose cartel (Romano Pisciotti)
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
What Does the First-Ever Extradition on an Antitrust Charge Mean for the Auto Parts Investigation?* On April 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division announced a milestone victory, having successfully litigated its first extradition for an alleged antitrust violation. Romano (...)

A US District Court grants class certification and gives its preliminary approval for a partial class action settlement of a lawsuit on the allegation of conspiracy to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley (High-Tech employees)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Antitrust Laws Encourage Stealing* That’s right, the antitrust laws care so much about competition that they even prohibit agreements among competitors to not steal. In a society that morally condemns stealing, this is counter-intuitive (and a good reason to learn a little bit about (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denies motion to dismiss hearing in a case concerning an alleged exclusion from competing in health care markets (Dr. Yvoune Kara Petrie / Virginia Board of Medicine)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Virginia Board of Medicine Violated the Antitrust Laws* Last week (17-23 March 2014) was a big antitrust week for the new law firm of Bona Law PC. First, it was the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting, where antitrust lawyers from all over the world descend upon Washington, DC to obsess over (...)

The US DoJ obtains the extradition of an Italian citizen from Germany to US on a charge of participation in a price fixing cartel (Marine Hose)
Paul Hastings (Washington)
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Primerio
Executives Beware: The Long-Arm of the U.S. Government Strikes Again* The long-arm of the U.S. government and its increasing willingness to pursue foreign nationals for alleged violations of U.S. law was further in evidence last Friday when the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department (...)

The DoJ obtains the first extradition of an executive on a charge of participation to a cartel (Marine Hose)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
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Jones Day (Washington)
U.S. DOJ Obtains First-Ever Extradition on Antitrust Charge* On April 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced its first successful extradition to the United States on an antitrust charge. Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national and a former executive with Parker ITR Srl, was (...)

The US FTC orders two professional associations to amend the codes of ethics in order to eliminate the anticompetitive restrictions imposed by each of them on its members (CALSPro / MTNA)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
U.S. FTC Finalizes Settlements in Association Code of Ethics Cases* As an update to two association cases that I blogged about last December (see: here), this past Friday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had approved settlements with two professional associations for (...)

The South African Competition Commission confirms that it has conducted a dawn raid operation at the headquarters of two suppliers of edible oils and baking fats sold to wholesale and retail customers (Unilever / Sime Darby)
Nortons Incorporated
Surprise search and seizure visit at Unilever and Sime Darby in South Africa* The South African Competition Commission (“Commission”) has confirmed that it has conducted such a dawn raid operation at Unilever South Africa (Pty Ltd) (“Unilever”) and Sime Darby’s respective South African offices (...)

The European Commission find a company’s private equity unit to be "jointly and severally liable" with its portfolio company (Goldman Sachs / Prysmian / Pirelli)
White & Case (Stockholm)
There was a time when private equity firms may have seen themselves as arms-length financial investors but regulators are increasingly holding them responsible for the behaviour of their portfolio companies. A new type of cartel fine emerged in 2014. For the first time ever in Europe, a group (...)

The European Commission fines eleven producers for operating a cartel on the high-voltage power cable market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 April 2014, the European Commission announced that it had imposed fines totalling € 301,639,000 on eleven European, Japanese and Korean producers of underground and submarine high-voltage power cables for operating a European and worldwide market- allocation, bid-rigging and price-fixing (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to make and give effect to a code of practice for traders of financial derivatives (CFD Forum)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to authorise best practice standards in the provision of contracts for difference* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to enable current and future members of the Australian CFD Forum to make and (...)

The Paris Administrative Court dismisses a damages action against members of the carbon and graphite cartel (SNCF)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Factual background In its decision C.38.359 - Electrical and mechanical carbon and graphite products of 3 December 2003 published on 28 April 2004 (the ‘Decision’), the Commission found that several undertakings participated in a single and continuous infringement of Art 81(1) EC (now Art (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes further fines amounting to 231.2 million Euros in its proceedings concerning illegal price fixing agreements for beer (Carlsberg / Radeberger / Bolten / Erzquell / Früh / Gaffel)
German Competition Authority
Cartel proceedings against breweries concluded with imposition of further fines* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed further fines amounting to 231.2 million Euros in its proceedings concerning illegal price fixing agreements for beer. The fines were imposed on the companies Carlsberg Deutschland (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on a pharmaceutical laboratory for abuse of dominance (Teva)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The fine upon TEVA is legitimate* On 1 April 2015, Moscow Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy of FAS determination (1) to hold TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED (Israel) administratively liable. Earlier, in December 2013, the antimonopoly body found that TEVA violated Clause 5 Part 1 (...)

The Arbitration Court of West-Siberian District upholds the fine imposed by the Russian Competition Authority against a gas supplier for abuse of dominance (Omskoblgaz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court confirmed legitimacy of the fined imposed by “Omskoblgaz” OJSC for abusing dominance* On 30th April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of West-Siberian District upheld the determination of the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Omsk region (Omsk OFAS Russia) to (...)

The EU Commission approves commitments concerning certain standard essential patents relating to the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute’s 3G UMTS standard (Samsung Electronics)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission makes commitments offered by Samsung Electronics legally binding* On 29 April 2014, the European Commission European issued a decision (see also the related press release) which made legally binding the commitments offered by Samsung Electronics (“Samsung”) in relation to (...)

The EU Commission finds that the order sought and the enforcement of an injunction before a German Court on the basis of a smartphone standard essential patent constituted abuse of dominance (Motorola Mobility)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission finds that Motorola Mobility misused standard essential patents* On 29 April 2014, the European Commission European held that it has adopted a decision which found that Motorola Mobility’s (“Motorola”) seeking and enforcement of an injunction against Apple before a German (...)

The Moscow Appeal Court upholds the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having fined a railway company for abuse of dominance (Russian Railways)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of an over 6 million RUB fine imposed upon “Russian Railways” OJSC* On 28th April, the 7th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the determination of the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Kemerovo Region (Kemerovo OFAS Russia) to fine “Russian Railways” (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the fine imposed by the Russian Competition Authority on the electricity provider for abuse of dominance (MRSK Urals)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The fine imposed upon “MRSK Urals” OJSC is legitimate* On 28th April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District pronounced legitimacy of a determination issued by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) to hold “MRSK Urals” OJSC administratively liable for abusing market (...)

A US District Court dismisses the claims on exclusive dealing and attempted monopolization on the market for SD cards (PNY Technologies / SanDisk)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Northern District of California Raises the Bar on Exclusive Dealing Claims* In PNY Technologies, Inc. v. SanDisk Corp., Case No. C-11-04689 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2014) (Orrick, J.), the court dismissed PNY’s exclusive dealing and attempted monopolization claims. I previously covered the case (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the fine pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority against a gas supplier for abuse of dominance (Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Ulyanovsk)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Ulyanovsk” will not avoid a fine for unlawfully restricting gas supplies* On 23rd April 2014, Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy of a determination of the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Ulyanovsk Region (Ulyanovsk OFAS Russia) and upheld the 562,500 (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds that an electricity provider has abused of its dominance (MOESK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court: “MOESK” OJSC abused market dominanc* On 23rd April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District supported the rulings of the Court of First Instance and Appeal Court that had pronounced legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council concludes an important investigation into the suspected abuse of dominance in the sector for road transportation (LINAVA)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council’s investigation encourages the Association LINAVA* The Competition Council (the KT) terminated the investigation into the actions by the Lithuanian National Road Carriers Association LINAVA (the Association). Allegedly, the Associations had breached Article 7 of the Law on (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the refusal of a pharmaceutical company to challenge its warning (Baxter)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Baxter” CJSC refused to challenge a FAS warning* On 17th April 2014, “Baxter” CJSC withdrew an appeal lodged to the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court to invalidate a FAS warning that refusing to supply a unique drug for treating renal deficiency through peritoneal dialysis was unacceptable. The Appeal (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments concerning certain exclusionary practices consisting in particular of tying the purchase of brand coffee capsules to that of coffee machines (Nespresso)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Nespresso offers commitments to lift barriers to entry for other coffee capsule makers in France* On 17 April 2014 the French Competition Authority (“AdlC”) published a press release and a market test notice illustrating the measures that Nespresso proposed to lift barriers to entry for other (...)

The Russian Competition issues a warning against an oil producteur refusing to supply a company (LUKOIL)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS issued a warning to “LUKOIL” OJSC* On 15th April 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to “LUKOIL” OJSC to eliminate by 20th May 2014 elements of violating the antimonopoly law. The company imposed disadvantageous contract conditions for supplying oil products, (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the fine imposed by the Russian Competition Authority on a company in the market of services for advertising goods (ATAK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court: decision about “ATAK” Ltd. and the imposed fine are legitimate* On 15th April 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) and the fines upon “ATAK” Ltd. – 18 million RUB. In 2013, the (...)

The Latvian Competition Council commissions a survey on the rating, availability and substitutability of five specialised-content international television channel in order to gather information in the framework of investigating an alleged abuse of dominant position
Competition Council of Latvia
Low Price as main Criterion in choosing Television Operator* At the end March 2014, the conclusions of a survey on the rating, availability and substitutability of five specialised-content international television channels in Latvia have been published. This survey which was conducted by (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets receives commitment following an investigation into possible abuse of dominance in the music copyright sector (Buma / Stemra)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Buma/Stemra promises ACM to offer more options in music copyright management* Dutch copyright collecting society Buma/Stemra will offer composers and songwriters more options in the management of their music copyrights. This has been laid down in a commitment Buma/Stemra made to the (...)

The Arbitration Court of the North Caucasus District confirms the fine imposed by the Russian Competition Authority on an electricity supplier (DESK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Cur confirmed legitimacy of an over 10 million fine imposed upon “DESK” OJSC* On 10th April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the North Caucasus District confirmed legitimacy of an over 10 million fine imposed upon “Dagestan Energy Supplying Company” OJSC (“DESK” OJSC) for violating (...)

The Italian Council of State confirms the Competition Authority’s decision adopted in an abuse of dominance case in the mass retail sector (Coop Estense v AGCM)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its decision of 8 April 2014 the Italian Administrative Court of Last Instance (“Council of State”) overruled the previous decision of the Administrative Court of First Instance (“TAR Lazio”) and confirmed the legitimacy of the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) , which had (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines an electricity supplier for abuse of dominance (Dagenergoset)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
OFAS fined “Dagenoset” OJSC 29 million RUB for violating the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”* On 4th April 2014, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic Dagestan (Dagestan OFAS Russia) fined “Dagenergoset” OJSC over 29 million RUB for abusing market dominance. (...)

The Russian Competition Authority imposes fine on an undertaking having created discriminatory conditions for abuse of dominance (Polushka)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
A quarter-copeck piece for two millions* On 4th April 2014, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) imposed a fine “Lyubavushka Retail Group” Ltd. (“Polushka” Trade Network). (Polushka means a quarter-copeck piece). Earlier the FAS Commission (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning against airline companies that have a dominant position on some markets (Aeroflot – Russian Airlines)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS warned airlines to improve the systems of air tickets sales* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to the airlines that have the dominant position on some markets. Elements of violating the antimonopoly law included imposing tariffs upon consumers without taking (...)

The Moscow Appeal Court upholds the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having sanctioned an undertaking for abuse of dominance in the market of fish products (Metro Cash & Carry)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court confirmed that “METRO Cash& Carry” had created discriminatory conditions for suppliers of fish and fish products* On 3rd April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Appeal Court of the Moscow District pronounced legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly (...)

The Milan Commercial Court rejects a damages claim of a telecommunication operator because of the limitation period (Uno Communication and Vodafone)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
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Introduction On the 3 April 2014, the Enterprises Court of Milan rejected the damages claim brought by Uno Communication against Vodafone because of expiry of the limitation period (5 years under Italian law). This case arose as a follow-on action from a decision of the Italian Competition (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds that national standardization body has abused its exclusive right to provide training and certification services (National Institute for Standardization and Metrology)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 April 2014 the Moldovan competition authority (CC) found that a state-owned undertaking, the National Institute for Standardization and Metrology (INSM) , has abused its dominant position on the market for training and certification of metrology experts by obstructing market access and (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court revises an arbitral award in a dispute between the National Pharmacy Association and IMS Health (Associação Nacional de Farmácias and Farminveste / IMS Health)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
Replacing a previous contract, the National Pharmacy Association (ANF) executed a contract with IMS Health in 2008, by which it transmitted to the latter data on purchases in its associated pharmacies, in exchange for remuneration. This data was used to provide pharma market intelligence in a (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines an electric provider for abuse of dominance (DESK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Antimonopoly Service fined “DESK” OJSC 10 million RUB* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Dagestan (Dagestan OFAS Russia) fined “Dagestan Power Supply Company” OJSC (“DESK” OJSC) 10 million RUB for violating the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”. Earlier (...)

Mergers

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears a merger in the manufacture of flat panel displays sector (Merck / AZ Electronics)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
On April 30, MOFCOM approved the acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials S.A. (“AZ”) by Merck KGaA (“Merck”). MOFCOM’s review focused on two products that are components in the manufacture of flat panel displays (FPDs): liquid crystal and photoresist. The decision indicates that MOFCOM engaged (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears acquisition on the market for chemical materials used in the manufacture of integrated circuits and flat panel displays (Merck / AZ Electronics)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Last Hurdle for Merck’s Acquisition of AZ Electronics Removed: MOFCOM’s 23rd Conditional Clearance* Following the antitrust watchdog in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) conditionally cleared Merck KGaA’s (Merck) (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM grants a conditional clearance on a proposed $3.1 billion acquisition on the market for liquid display crystals and photoresists (Merck / AZ Electronics)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
MOFCOM Raised Specific Concerns over Adjacent Markets in Its Merger Review* Introduction On April 30, 2014, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) granted a conditional clearance on the proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of London-listed AZ Electronic Materials S.A. (“AZ”) by Merck KGaA (“Merck”) (...)

The Danish Competition Authority approves proposed acquisition of mortgage lender (Jyske Bank / BRFkredit Bank)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council approves Jyske Bank A/S’ acquisition of BRF kredit A/S* On 30 April 2014 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) approved Jyske Bank A/S´ (Jyske Bank) proposed acquisition of mortgage lender BRF kredit A/S (BRF). The DCC finds that the transaction will not (...)

The German Competition Authority clears subject to conditions and obligations an acquisition on the market for TV programme magazines (Springer / Funke)
German Competition Authority
Bundeskartellamt clears Springer/Funke merger in the TV programme magazine segment subject to conditions and obligations* Bonn, 29 April 2014: The Bundeskartellamt has cleared subject to conditions and obligations the acquisition by FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE of Axel Springer’s TV programme magazines (...)

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Ohio hospital merger as anticompetitive (ProMedica Health System)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Washigton)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Austin)
Continuing the Federal Trade Commission’s (the FTC’s) string of wins in hospital merger cases, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the Sixth Circuit) upheld an FTC decision ordering the largest hospital provider in the Toledo, Ohio area to divest a smaller independent (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit confirms the decision of the FTC regarding a merger in the healthcare sector (ProMedica)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
General Electric (Washington)
On April 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit handed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) another significant victory in a hospital merger, ruling that the FTC’s decision and order requiring that ProMedica divest St. Luke’s, another Lucas County, (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM publishes rules setting out the eligibility criteria for simple merger cases entitled to the simplified procedure
AnJie Law (Beijing)
At Last, MOFCOM Formally Adopted Simplified Merger Review Procedure* Introduction The Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) finally published the Guiding Opinions on Notification of Simple Cases of Concentration of Undertakings (the “Guiding Opinions”) on 18 April 2014, two months after the Interim (...)

The China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) clears a merger in the mining industry (Glencore Xstrata / Las Bambas)
Mattel (Hong Kong)
,
White & Case (Hong Kong)
,
White & Case (London)
At long last, Glencore has overcome the final regulatory hurdle and secured the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to acquire the 66 percent of Xstrata that it does not already own. But not before agreeing to part with one of the prized assets in Xstrata’s portfolio, the Las Bambas (...)

The Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus clears acquisitions in the luxury cosmetic product market (FIPAL, Carita International / L’Oreal)
Neocleous
On 20/02/2014, the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (hereinafter referred to as the «Commission») received a notification of a proposed concentration on behalf of L’Oreal S.A. (hereinafter referred to as «L’Oreal»), in accordance with section 13 of the Control of (...)

The French Competition Authority’s clears the take-over of an agricultural co-operative by means of an exclusive distribution agreement (Terra Lacta / Orlait)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris)
Sodiaal is a leading dairy cooperative in charge of transformation and marketing of dairy products (drinking milk, cheese, milk powder, etc.). Orlait SAS is an indirect subsidiary of Sodiaal, active mainly in the trading and marketing of long-life drinking milk. Terra Lacta is a dairy (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Commission’s prohibition of a merger in the metal packaging coatings for beer and beverages market (Akzo / Competition Commission)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Background to the Court of Appeal judgment Akzo Nobel N.V. ("Akzo") is a company incorporated in the Netherlands. Its subsidiary, Akzo Coatings International BV ("ANCI"), was seeking to exercise its option to acquire 51% (and as a result control) of the shareholding in Metlac Holding S.r.l. (...)

The UK Court of Appeal holds that a foreign business can be blocked by the UK Competition Commission from acquiring another non-UK company where there is sufficient UK involvement (Akzo Nobel / Metlac)
The University of Manchester
Background to the judgement AkzoNobel NV (‘Akzo’) is incorporated in the Netherlands. It does not directly engage in activities in the UK. It is, however, at the peak of a complex corporate arrangement that comprises multiple subsidiary companies. Part of this corporate arrangement is a sizable (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears a merger in the smartphone market (Microsoft / Nokia)
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
On April 8, MOFCOM approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile handset business. MOFCOM’s review focused on three product markets: smartphones, mobile operating systems, and the licensing of standard-essential and non-essential patents for smartphones. Geographically, MOFCOM focused on (...)

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission partially relaxes mergers and the new acquisition rules in the insurance sector are expected to help facilitate market entry and expand the footprint of private capital
AnJie Law (Beijing)
China Issues New Insurance Merger Rules* Level play ground, optimizing industry structure, promoting competitiveness, and enriching the risk management tool kit of the insurance institutes”, quoting a statement of CIRC posted on its website. Promotion of Competition CIRC’s partially relaxed (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves an acquisition of exclusive control subject to remedies in the market of direct sales of petrol (REPSOL/PETROCAT)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 7 April 2014 the National Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) approved the acquisition of exclusive control of Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos S.A. (REPSOL) over Societat Catalana de Petrolis S.A. (PETROCAT) subject to remedies. PETROCAT is active in both the market of (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority does not oppose the proposed acquisition on the market for ownership or operation of tollroads (Transurban / Queensland Motorways)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC to not oppose Transurban Consortium’s proposed acquisition of the tollroad assets of Queensland Motorways Group* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed acquisition by the Transurban Consortium (including Transurban Group) of the tollroad and (...)

The French Competition Authority again conditionally clears a merger in the TV-broadcasting sector (Canal Plus / D8 and D17 TV Channels)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence again clears, subject to remedies, the acquisition of D8 and D17 by Vivendi and Groupe Canal Plus.* The commitments made by GCP and Vivendi are identical to those made at the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM issues two sets of regulations that have introduced a “simple case track” for merger control reviews
Simmons & Simmons
,
Simmons & Simmons
The Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) issued two sets of regulations (Simple Merger Case Regulations) in February and April of 2014 that have introduced a “simple case track” for merger control reviews in China. Between 2008, when the Chinese Anti-monopoly Law came into force, and the end (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court rules on the matter of power purchase agreements entailing effects of foreclosure that limited the scope for eligible customers to switch to the free market (Dunamenti / Tisza)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Market Operator in Electricity Distribution: Long-term Purchasing Agreements Must Balance Risks and Rewards* Main points A market operator accepts to be bound in long-term contracts, which entail more risk because market conditions may change, (...)

The EU Commission establishes that the compensation for the provision of inter-regional bus transportation services constitutes incompatible state aid as the requirement for ex ante determination of net costs has not been fulfilled (Simet)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Perils of Ex Post Compensation of Public Services Obligations* Main points -* Providers of SGEI must maintain separate accounts. -* Parameters of compensation must be determined in advance. Ex-post formulation is not in conformity with State (...)

The EU Commission adopts new State aid guidelines now encompassing the application of State aid to energy infrastructure in the European Union
King’s College (London)
New Guidelines for State Aid to Energy Infrastructure – A Helpful Move Toward Europe 2020?* 1 Introduction On April 9, 2014, the European Commission adopted in principle new State aid guidelines, which will now encompass the application of State aid to energy infrastructure within the (...)

The EU Commission issues guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy that have a wider scope and require a more rigorous application of the principles of necessity and proportionality of aid
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The New Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy, 2014-2020* Main points The new guidelines are wider in scope: They also cover energy infrastructure, energy capacity and reductions from electricity levies. The new guidelines (...)

The EU General Court rules that non-notified state aid cannot be declared compatible retroactively (Greece / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog A Textbook Case of False Arguments: T-150/12, Greece v Commission* Main points Recipients of State aid obtain an advantage even if they do not succeed to improve their position on the market Recipients of State aid obtain an advantage whenever (...)

The European Commission adopts new Energy and Environmental State Aid Guidelines
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (London)
On 9 April 2014, the European Commission adopted its new Energy and Environmental State Aid Guidelines (the “EEAG”) which will take effect from 1 July 2014 onwards, replacing the Environmental State aid Guidelines (“EAG”) from 2008, which did not cover State aid to the energy sector. The EEAG set (...)

The EU General Court assesses a Greek guarantee scheme granted to cereal producers and confirms the existence of state aid (Greece / Commission)
European Procurement Law Group
Recent CJEU and GC views on the "economic advantage" element in State aid cases (C-559/12 and T-150/12)* In two recent cases, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the General Court (GC) have reassessed the element of "economic advantage" required in the prohibition of State aid in Art (...)

The European Commission releases its state aid guidelines for assessing public support projects allowing reductions for limited number of energy intensive sectors for the period 2014 to 2020
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
New European Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020 Allow Burden Reduction for Energy Intensive Sectors* The European Commission has released on 9 April 2014 its state aid guidelines for assessing public support projects in the field of energy and the (...)

The EU General Court confirms that the Commission enjoys a large margin of discretion in determining the compatibility of restructuring aid (ABN Amro Group)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Two Judgments: a) Unlimited State Guarantees and b) The Discretion of the Commission in Restructuring Measures* Main points Unlimited state guarantees are never compatible with the internal market The existence of an unlimited guarantee and its (...)

The EU General Court rules that the context in which an administrative decision is adopted may reduce the burden of motivation imposed on an institution (ABN Amro Group)
European Procurement Law Group
GC hints at a reduction of the burden of motivation of administrative decisions under EU law (T-319/11)* In its Judgment of 8 April 2014 in case T-319/11 ABN Amro Group v Commission, the General Court has indicated that the context in which an administrative decision is adopted may reduce the (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds that the private investor test should be applied also when a measure is connected to a State aid measure taken in the context of the financial crisis (ING Groep)
University of Leiden
State aid case C-224/12 ING: Private investor test by default?* On 3 April 2014 the CJEU confirmed the General Court’s judgment of 2 March 2012 in the State aid dispute between the European Commission and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ING Groep NV and the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche (...)

The Court of Justice of the European Union dismisses France’s action against the Commission’s decision declaring an unlimited guarantee incompatible with the internal market (La Poste)
DLA Piper
There is no doubt that undertakings entrusted with
the provision of services of general economic interest (SGIEs) are subject to the rules in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), including its state aid rules. However, compensation for providing such public services also (...)

The EU Court of Justice reviews findings regarding the existence of an unlimited guarantee granted by the French State to its postal operator (La Poste)
European Procurement Law Group
Recent CJEU and GC views on the "economic advantage" element in State aid cases (C-559/12 and T-150/12)* In two recent cases, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the General Court (GC) have reassessed the element of "economic advantage" required in the prohibition of State aid in Art (...)

The EU Court of Justice follows its non-formalistic approach to the application of the market economy private investor test in relation to capital injection subject to repayment (ING Groep)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU further pushes for a universal application of the ’market economy private investor test’ (C-224/12)* In its Judgment of 3 April 2014 in case C-224/12 Commission v Netherlands and ING Groep, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has followed its antiformalistic approach to the (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues two judgements on the application of the Private Investor Principle and correspondently the Private Creditor Principle (ING Groep)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Importance of a Correct Framing of the Private Creditor and Private Investor Tests* Main points A public authority acting as private creditor must exhaust all legally available means of recovering money owed to it. A private creditor may agree (...)

Procedures

The ICN approves at its annual conference the recommended practices on predatory pricing analysis, recommended practices on competition assessment, a common leniency waiver template, the updates of the anti-cartel enforcement manual and the agency practice manual and several interactive training modules
German Competition Authority
Annual Conference of the International Competition Network in Morocco* The 13th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) successfully concluded last Friday, April 25. Approximately 520 participants from 90 jurisdictions, including other representatives and stakeholders (...)

A US District Court receives letter from former employee and plaintiff in the trial asking the judge to reject the settlement negotiated by his own lawyers (High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
A Rare Challenge to a Class Action Settlement . . . From a Named Plaintiff* One of the named class plaintiffs in the high-tech employee antitrust case has filed an objection to the proposed class settlement. The plaintiff, Mr. Michael Devine, analogized the approximately $300 million (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia refuses to grant renewed motion to dismiss based on Noerr-Pennington doctrine, since such a conclusion would have contradicted the decision of the Supreme Court finding that a reverse payment settlement agreement should be subject to antitrust scrutinity (Actavis)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
FTC v. Actavis on Remand: A New Chapter* District Court refuses to grant renewed motion to dismiss based on Noerr-Pennington doctrine. In re AndroGel Antitrust Litigation (No. II), MDL No. 2084 (re Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., No. 1:09-CV-955-TWT) (N.D. GA April 21, 2014). In (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Saint Petersburg upholds the decision of the Russian Competition Authority imposing a fine for failure to provide information (SPM)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Courts confirmed legitimacy of the fines imposed upon “SPM-LO” Ltd. and “SPM-64” Ltd. for failure to submit information* On 17th April 2014, the 13th Arbitration Appeal Court (St Petersburg) reversed the judgment of the Arbitration Court of St Petersburg and the Leningrad region, and (...)

The EU Parliament approves the Commission’s proposal for a new directive that will harmonise national rules in order to make it easier for consumers and businesses to recover damages for competition law infringements
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (London)
,
Hausfeld (London)
Significant developments in private enforcement of competition law – EU Parliament passes Commission’s Directive* Co-authored by Boris Bronfentrinker and Lesley Hannah, Hausfeld LLP On 17 April 2014, a major step was taken in facilitating the pursuit of cartel damages claims across Europe. The (...)

The EU Parliament brings forward legislation to reform civil litigation procedures to facilitate follow-on damages actions in competition cases by remedying the difficulties faced by claimants
St John’s Chambers
Changes to the private litigation regime in the UK: are more collective damages actions on the way?* Private damages litigation is an important complement to public enforcement of UK and EU competition law by the European Commission and national competition authorities (“NCAs”), such as the UK’s (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of the antitrust claims, agreeing that plaintiffs lack standing (Bruce Max Davis / AT&T Wireless Services)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Digital Content Producers (Still) Lack Antitrust Standing to Sue Wireless Carriers Over MMS* In a prior post, I covered the district court’s decision in Davis v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. There, the Central District of California dismissed antitrust claims against various wireless (...)

The Greek Competition Commission adopts decision defining terms, conditions and procedure for accepting commitments
European Commission
Greece: The Competition Commission adopts Decision defining Terms, Conditions and Procedure for accepting Commitments* On 16 April 2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) adopted Decision No. 588/2014 defining the terms, conditions and procedure for the acceptance of commitments in (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic and the Office for the Protection of Competition of the Czech Republic sign a memorandum of cooperation
European Commission
Slovakia: Memorandum of Cooperation between Czech Office for the Protection of Competition and Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic* On 16 April 2014, the Chairmen of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic and the Office for the Protection of Competition of the Czech Republic (...)

A Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal against extradition to the USA for a trial on bid-rigging, fraud, conspiracy and kick-back charges (Bennett)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
US Obtains First Ever Extradition from Canada on Antitrust Charges* Canadian businessman John Bennett will be extradited to the US face bid-rigging, fraud, conspiracy, and kick-back charges, the BC Court of Appeal held recently. The charges stem from a bid by the company he founded, Bennett (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumers Authority publishes a report on competition and productivity in the retail sector
European Commission
Denmark: Analysis of Competition and Productivity in Danish Retail Sector* On 10 April 2014, the Danish Competition and Consumers Authority (DCCA) published a report on its analysis of competition and productivity in the Danish retail sector, which is characterized by low productivity and (...)

The UK Supreme Court rules in relation to a follow-on claim for civil damages that any appeal against the finding of infringement by any other addressee is irrelevant to a non-appealing addressee (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Advanced Materials)
King’s College (London)
Deutsche Bahn AG and others (Respondents) v Morgan Advanced Materials Plc (formerly Morgan Crucible Co Plc) (Appellant)* Before, Lord Neuberger (President), Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Toulson, and Lord Hodge. Judgement given on 9 April 2014. The Facts Morgan Advanced Materials (...)

The UK Supreme Court rules that non-appealing parties to a cartel, the existence of which has been negatived on appeal, remain liable to civil damages actions (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Advanced Materials)
Blackstone Chambers
Non-Appealing Cartelists Beware* Tucked away at the back of last week’s Supreme Court decision on time-limits for follow-on claims is a very important development for private competition actions. The context is section 47A of the Competition Act 1998, a provision which has generated an (...)

A US Federal Court rules that Federal Trade Commission can pursue claims against company for failure to have adequate data security (Wyndham Worldwide)
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
,
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
,
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
Issue In a decision that is likely to result in increased federal enforcement actions against companies that suffer data security breaches but are found not to have taken sufficient steps to protect the data, a federal court on April 7, 2014, upheld the authority of the Federal Trade (...)

The UK’s Court of Appeal doesn’t allow appeals by four companies in an extension of the time limit for appealing a decision of the Appellant (Somerfield, Co-operative)
The University of Manchester
Facts of the case A key problem in this case was whether the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) correctly held that there were “exceptional circumstances” justifying an extension of the time limit for appealing a decision of the Appellant, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The question to be (...)

The England Court of Appeal rules on the matter of exceptional circumstances justifying an extension of time for appealing a decision of the OFT concerning unproven pricing agreements between tobacco manufacturers and retailers (Somerfield)
Blackstone Chambers
Tobacco decision: the Court of Appeal emphasises finality* The Court of Appeal yesterday delivered a judgment that should finally draw a line under one of the Office of Fair Trading’s more troublesome cases – and which will presumably bring a great sigh of relief from the Competition and Markets (...)

The US DOJ annouces first successful extradition based on antitrust charges (Romano Pisciotti)
Dechert (Brussels)
,
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
,
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Washington)
On Friday, April 4, 2014, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that, for the first time ever, the DOJ successfully extradited “an alleged price-fixer” on an antitrust charge. Romano Pisciotti, a 62 year old Italian national traveling through Germany, is the (...)

The US DOJ announces its first-ever successfully litigated extradition of a foreign citizen to the United States in a federal criminal antitrust case (Romano Pisciotti)
DLA Piper (Frankfurt)
The United States Department of Justice has announced “its first-ever successfully litigated extradition of a foreign citizen to the United States in a federal criminal antitrust case” – the extradition to the US from Germany of an Italian citizen, indicted in the so-called marine hose cartel, and (...)

A US District Court denies three motions for summary judgment for failing to provide sufficient evidence of a relevant market and of manifest anticompetitive effects (American Needle / New Orleans Louisiana Saints)
University of Michigan
So Whatever Happened to American Needle?* You remember American Needle, right? It is the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that explains when the action of a joint venture is the action of a single entity or, instead, the result of an agreement among the joint venture members. Now back on (...)

The US DoJ announces its successfully litigated extradition on an antitrust charge against a participant in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose sold worldwide (Marine Hose)
Primerio
From DOJ: First-Ever Pure Antitrust Extradition* In what may well affect African and other international price-fixers going forward, the spectre of U.S. extradition for criminal antitrust charges has been reinforced by the recent successful DOJ extradition request in the “Marine Hose” cartel. (...)

The European Commission Vice President in charge with the competition policy delivers remarks on the development of cartel enforcement in the EU
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Cartel Enforcement: In Europe, Like Canada, Cat & Mouse Game: Interesting Remarks by EU Competition Head Almunia* Earlier today (3 April 2014) I read remarks delivered by European Commission competition head Joaquin Almunia in Brussels on the topic of cartel enforcement (see: Fighting (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes its final report on measures to increase competition in the private healthcare market
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Competition and Markets Authority finalises Changes to increase Competition in Private Healthcare* On 2 April 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its final report on measures to increase competition in the private healthcare market. The final (...)

The UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act enters into force, setting a new Competition and Markets Authority with procedures facilitating faster and more effective information gathering and decision-making
Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (London)
This article outlines the key changes made to the UK competition regime following the enactment of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which provided for the merger of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission to form the new Competition and Markets Authority. The authors (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority replaces the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission as the UK’s Competition Authority
Jones Day (London)
,
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
As of April 1, 2014, the UK will have a new competition law enforcer. To date, the UK has been unusual among European Union (EU) Member States in having two distinct competition authorities, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission (CC). They will now be replaced by a (...)

Regulatory

The Russian Competition Authority completes its study of small wholesale gasoline markets
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS completed a study of small wholesale gasoline markets* The Federal Antimonopoly Service completed a study of small wholesale gasoline markets. The study was conducted to execute FAS 2013-2014 Action Plan on analyzing the state of competition on the markets. The Action Plan determined the (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a railway company aiming at ending the competition concerns identified in the distribution of train tickets sector (SNCF and voyages-sncf.com)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The SNCF makes progress on the path to the equitable treatment of its voyages-sncf.com website and travel agencies* Within the scope of a procedure initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence, SNCF has (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that three producers of crude oils have a dominant position (Gazprom Neft)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Gazprom Neft”, “Rosneft” NK”, “LUKOIL” and “Surgutneftegaz” have the dominant position on the market of crude oil* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) analyzed the state of competition on the market of crude oil in 2013. The survey revealed that the aggregate share of “Gazprom Neft” OJSC, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues its study on the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The findings of a survey of the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) analyzed the state of competition on the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013. The survey objectives were to analyze and evaluate the state of (...)

The Colombian competition authority fines Bogotá’s Administrative Body of Public Utilities for anticompetitive behaviour and orders the reversal of the city’s public policy (Mayor of Bogotá)
Cortazar Urdaneta & Cia
The case Last April the Colombian Competition Authority issued a decision regarding the public policy implemented by Mr. Gustavo Petro, the current city mayor of Bogotá and his administrative staff in waste collection. Since 1994 the adopted model in public utilities in Colombia by Law 142 has (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases final report into the regulation of fixed line telecommunications services
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC finalises inquiry into regulation of fixed line services* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today released its final report into the regulation of fixed line telecommunications services. It has decided to continue regulating wholesale services supplied using (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a coffee machines maker to remove barriers to entry on the coffee capsules market (Nespresso)
French Competition Authority
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Nespresso is submitting commitments before the Autorité de la concurrence to lift barriers to entry for other coffee capsule makers - compatible with Nespresso coffee machines - as well as barriers to their (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the analysis of the wholesale fast and superfast broadband markets (ARCEP)
French Competition Authority
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence delivers its opinion to ARCEP as part of the fourth round of analysis of the wholesale fast and superfast broadband markets.* Following a referral by the French (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes a reform of taxi legislation in order to increase consumer choice and improve competition
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCAA: More competition in taxi services through legislative reform* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has made an initiative to the Ministry of Transport and Communications for reform in taxi legislation. To increase competition and consumer choice, the setting of maximum (...)

The German Federal Government plans to submit to the Parliament a new bill for a reform of the law applicable on renewable energy sources pointing out that the talks with the Commission concerning state aid-compatibility have not yet been concluded
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Federal Government and Federal States Reach Agreement on Important Issues of EEG Reform* After a meeting with the sixteen state premiers, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that “a high degree of consensus had been reached” (...)

Public sector

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the sanction pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority to a company that have restricted the competition in the market of the auctions for supplying two sets of measurement equipment (Sozvezdie)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court supported the position of the antimonopoly body in a case on violating the law by “Sozvezdie” Concern” OJSC* Arbitration Court took the side of the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Voronezh region (Voronezh OFAS Russia) in a dispute with “Sozvezdie” Concern” (...)

Advocate General Yves Bot proposes to reduce the safe harbour for directly awarded public contracts subjected to prior transparency (Fastweb)
European Procurement Law Group
AG proposes to reduce safe harbour for directly awarded public contracts subjected to prior transparency (C-19/13)* In his Opinion of 10 April 2014 in case C-19/13 Fastweb, Advocate General Bot has proposed an interpretation of Art 2d(4) of Directive 89/665 (as amended by dir 2007/66) that (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court orders payment of procurement award damages for use of company acquisition solely as a means of avoiding the public procurement procedure (Vega district)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Haninge Bostäder hit with a SEK 10 million fine* It is not permissible for a municipal corporation to circumvent procurement rules by buying a company with assets instead of procuring. This is confirmed by the administrative court in a judgement against Haninge Bostäder which completely follows (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to a number of city councils in Sidney to commence a joint tender for household clean up waste (Bankstown City / Fairfield City / Parramatta City / Liverpool City)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC grants interim authorisation to Sydney councils for joint waste tender* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Bankstown City Council, Fairfield City Council, Parramatta City Council and Liverpool City Council in Sydney to commence a joint (...)

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