January 2004

Anticompetitive practices

The English High Court ruled on the applicability of a national doctrine in circumstances where it has previously been held that, in principle, the issue falls within the scope of Art. 81 EC (Days Medical Aids/Pihsiang Wu)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Facts of the case Days Medical Aids Ltd (“DMA”) carried on business as, inter alia, an importer of wheelchairs and scooters designed to assist people with mobility problems. Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Co Ltd (“PMM”) exported substantial numbers of scooters worldwide. In 1996, DMA and PMM (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes a surcharge on one participant in bidding for civil engineering works (Kanto Kensetsu)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
JFTC surcharged Kanto Kensetsu, a participant in bidding for civil engineering works called by City of Kawagoe* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC),following a hearing examination initiated on 6 August 2003, issued a decision that a construction company, K.K. Kanto Kensetsu pay surcharge (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Hungarian Competition Office fines incumbent telecom service provider for price squeeze (Magyar Távközlési)
lakatos, koves and partners
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lakatos, koves and partners
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched an investigation against Magyar Távközlési Rt. (Matáv) in order to find out whether Matáv had abused its dominant postition between February and July 2002 by determining retail prices in relation to the interconnection fees in the wholesale market in a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines telecom incumbent for margin squeeze in fixed telephone market (Magyar Telekom)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
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Dentons (Budapest)
On January 22, 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office (the “HCO”) issued a ruling which determined that Magyar Távközlési Rt. (“MATAV”) infringed the provisions of Hungarian competition law regarding the abuse of its dominant position by applying wholesale and retail tariffs that led to a margin (...)

The US Supreme Court introduces a new method for regulatory antitrust analysis (Trinko / Verizon)
K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
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K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
A New Method for Regulatory Antitrust Analysis? Verizon Communications v. Trinko* In Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U.S. 398 (2004), the United States Supreme Court adopted a novel method for applying the antitrust laws in regulated markets and thereby (...)

Mergers

The Turkish Competition Authority renders its view that a shares’ transfer qualifies as a concentration and that it will monitor the target’s investments (Tupras)
Esin
In a pre-notification filing for the privatization of a state-owned company Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. (“TUPRAS”), t The operation TUPRAS is a state owned company which operates petroleum refineries in Turkey. In 1990, it was decided to privatize TUPRAS, subsequent to which two public (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council cleared a concentration in the milk products markets with divestments (A.Trumpa et al./Rokiðkio sûris)
Vodafone (Istanbul)
The operation By a decision dated 22 January 2004, the Lithuanian Competition Council authorized in phase I the acquisition by A.Trumpa, UAB Pieno pramonës investicijø valdymas (« Pieno pramonës investicijø valdymas »), UAB Survesta (« Survesta ») and UAB Snavesta (« Snavesta ») of up to 100 % shares (...)

The European Commission welcomes German manufacturer of bearings to withdraw its acquisition of French bearings maker (SNFA/INA/AIG)
European Commission - DG ENER
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Capgemini (Washington)
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"Merger control: Main developments 1 January to 30 April 2004 INA/AIG/SNFA"* The proposed acquisition of the French precision bearing manufacturer SNFA by Europe’s leading bearing producer INA, jointly with the insurance group AIG, is an illustrative example for the impact of competition (...)

The European Commission issues an amended implementing regulation after the adoption of a new merger regime
European Commission - DG TRADE
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"An amended merger implementing regulation for a new merger regime"* A. Introduction The adoption of a new Merger Regulation by the Council on 20 January 2004, has made it necessary for the Commission to review the implementing measures which it had put in place under the old merger regime. (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the pharmaceutical sector accepting remedies in lieu of reference to the Competition Commission including a commitment not the increase prices for two pharmaceutical products (Ivax / 3M)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation Ivax and 3M both manufacture and supply pharmaceutical products including products for the treatment of asthma. Ivax has acquired 3M’s distribution business for certain asthma treatments operating in the UK, IRE, D, F, NL, N, S, SF and DK. The transaction was notified to to the (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the publishing sector (Lagardère/Natexis/VUP)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Conseil régional de Midi-Pyrénées
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Lagardère/Natexis/VUP: big deal in a small world"* The COMP/M.2978 Lagardère/Natexis/VUP case concerned the proposed acquisition of Editis (formerly called Vivendi Universal Publishing or VUP) by the Lagardère conglomerate. Before the transaction, Editis was the leader in the publishing, (...)

State Aid

The Paris Court of Appeal holds CDR liable in damages for its lack of diligence during Commission proceedings (CDR v. FG Marine-Stardust)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues In June 1997, CDR sold its majority holding in Stardust Marine ("Stardust") to FG Marine. In September 1999, the Commission considered that the State aid granted to Stardust was incompatible with the Common Market and ordered reimbursement of the (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court held that the over-compensation paid to health establishements for medical equipment does not constitute State aid (Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
French Administrative Supreme Cour (Conseil d’État), 16 January 2004, Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales, Case n° 250540, not published European States have been trying for years to reduce the expenses of their national health system. In that respect, the French Minister (...)

Regulatory

The European Commission launches sector inquiry into the sale of sports rights to Internet and 3G mobile operators
Cisco (Paris)
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"Using the instrument of sector-wide inquiries: inquiry into content for 3G services"* 1. The importance of a proactive approach in the antitrust field, especially regarding emerging markets DG Competition has launched a comprehensive rethinking of the use of its instruments. This has been (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion concerning the regulations governing taxi activity (Fédération Nationale des taxis indépendants)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence issues an opinion on the taxi sector.* Following a referral by the Fédération Nationale des taxis indépendants (National Independent Taxi Federation), the Conseil de la concurrence (...)

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