July 2001

Anticompetitive practices

A US Federal Circuit Court finds that the district court exceeded its authority in shortening the statutory stay of entry by a generic competitor which was challenged by a pharmaceutical patent-holder manufacturer in a patent infringement suit (Andrx/Biovail)
Cabot (Boston)
Judges: Dyk (author), Bryson, and Linn In Andrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Biovail Corp., No. 01-1650 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 17, 2002), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court’s order (1) shortening the statutory thirty-month delay of FDA approval of Andrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (“Andrx”) (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds beer distribution agreements to have no foreclosure effect and authorizes them (Heineken Canale Horeca)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The agreements concluded by Heineken and its Italian subsidiary, Partesa, for the distribution of beer through the horeca trade channel have been found by Italian Competition Authority (ICA) to not be caught by the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements laid down by Section 2 of the Act (...)

The French Competition Authority fines optical company for imposing sales prices on its network in the sunglasses market (Bausch & Lomb)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Ray-Ban sun products : Bausch & Lomb penalised for imposing sales prices on its network* In a decision dated 19th July 2001, following a referral by the company Casino France, the Conseil de la (...)

The European Commission fines nordic airlines companies for market-sharing (Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and Maersk Air)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and Maersk Air for market-sharing"* On 18 July 2001, the Commission decided to fine Scandinavian airlines SAS and Maersk Air € 39 375 000 and € 13 125 000 respectively for sharing markets on the routes to and from Denmark. SAS is a consortium (...)

The European Commission fines eight companies in the graphite electrode cartel
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines eight companies in graphite electrode cartel"* On 18 July 2001 the Commission fined Germany’s SGL Carbon AG, UCAR International of the United States and six other companies a total of € 218.8 million for fixing the prices and sharing the market for graphite electrodes. This (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three main distributors of vouchers for implementing anticompetitive market sharing and price agreements in the luncheon-vouchers market (Accor, Sodhexo and Chèque-déjeuner)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement in the market for luncheon-vouchers : the Conseil de la concurrence penalises the three main distributors of vouchers* In a decision dated 11th July 2001, following a referral by the Minister of (...)

The “Repsol Saga” : Background Note on “genuine” agency agreements in Spanish Competition Law
London School of Economics
Spanish Competition Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia), 11 July 2001, Resolución n° 490/00, Repsol Background Note On 11 July 2001, the Spanish Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (the “NCA”) adopted a prohibition decision against Repsol Comercial de Productos (...)

The EU Court of First Instance confirms the Commission’s view that the exclusive purchasing agreements or ‘beer ties’ of a brewer with a very small market share are not capable of contributing significantly to the foreclosure of the market and therefore do not fall within Article 81(1) (Roberts case)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"New case law on market foreclosure - Court of First Instance upholds three Commission decisions relating to beer ties"* In its judgments in the Roberts, Shaw and Joynson cases, the European Court of First Instance (‘CFI’) upheld three Commission decisions relating to exclusive purchasing (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority fines telecom incumbent for having abused its dominant position in the telephony sector (France Télécom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. France Télécom fined 40 million FF for abuse of a dominant position* In a decision dated 23rd July 2001, issued in response to a complaint filed in 2000 by the Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (...)

The European Commission exceptionally orders the licensing of a copyright to safeguard competition in the German pharmaceutical sales reports market (IMS Health)
British Embassy to the DRC
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission exceptionally orders the licensing of a copyright to safeguard competition in the German pharmaceutical sales reports market"* 1. Introduction On 3 July 2001 the Commission adopted an interim measures Decision finding that IMS Health, a US company selling pharmaceutical sales (...)

The European Commission imposes interim measures on the world leader in data collection on pharmaceutical sales and prescriptions considering that its refusal to grant license constitutes an abuse of dominance (IMS Health)
White & Case (Brussels)
This article analyses the three major recent cases dealing with the boundary between EC competition law and intellectual property rights: the Commission’s interim measures decision in the IMS case, the European Court of Justice’s later judgment in IMS and, finally, the Commission’s decision in the (...)

Mergers

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, an acquisition by world’s largest food and nutrition company of a US petfood company (Nestlé/Ralston)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* On 27 July, Swiss-based Nestlé made significant concessions in order to obtain a clearance for the acquisition of the American petfood company Ralston Purina. The conditions concerns Spain, Italy and Greece. In Spain, Nestlé (...)

The EU Commission authorizes the creation of a joint venture for retail of diamond jewelry (LVMH / De Beers)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* In July, following an in-depth investigation under the Merger regulation, the Commission authorised the creation of a joint venture between De Beers and LVMH. This joint venture company, Rapids World, will be active in the (...)

The European Commission agrees to a request from the UK authorities to refer to them the examination of the acquisition in the railway transport sector (Govia/Connex South Central)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* On 20 July, the Commission agreed to a request from the UK authorities to refer to them the examination of the acquisition by the Newcastle-based Go-Ahead Group and Paris-based Keolis SA of joint control of London-based (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, a merger between two German companies active in the insurance and bank services (Allianz/Dresdner)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* Following remedies offered by the parties concerned, the Commission on 19 July gave the go-ahead for the Allianz insurance group to take over Dresdner Bank. The Commission’s investigations focused on the consequences of the (...)

The European Commission approves the acquisition of Belgian chemical firms by German industrial company, applying the ’failing firm’ defence (BASF/Pantochim/Eurodiol)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"BASF/Pantochim/Eurodiol: Change of direction in European merger control?"* In the context of competition policy, probably nothing can be discussed with greater relish than the concept of the rescue package merger, known as ‘failing firm defence’. The debate begins by considering whether a (...)

The French Minister of Economy cleared in Phase II an extra-territorial merger in the flight services sector subject to behavioural remedies consisting in an information barrier (Boeing - Jeppsen)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The operation The Minister cleared in phase II a merger between Boeing and Jeppesen subject to remedies. The markets The markets involved were the flight planning services, the flight operating services, the flight information services and the accessories. The relevant markets were defined (...)

The European Commission prohibits a proposed acquisition after an in-depth investigation in the markets for aero-engines, avionics and other aircraft components and systems (Honeywell / GE)
Leroy Merlin
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US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
A Merger Denied, 13 years later: The GE/Honeywell Saga* Through COMESA, a regional organization on which this resource has published extensively, African countries have made a significant foray into cross-border merger control. As the world’s competition regimes continue to proliferate, a (...)

The EU Commission approves, subject to remedies, an acquisition in the stevedoring services sector (Hutchison / RMPM / ECT)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* On 3 July, the Commission approved the acquisition by Hutchison Netherlands BV (Hutchison) and Rotterdam Municipal Port Management (RMPM) of the Rotterdam container terminal operator Europe Combined Terminals BV (ECT), (...)

The European Commission prohibits a merger between two US companies active in the markets for aero-engines, avionics and other aircraft components and systems (GE/Honeywell)
Ipsen (Paris)
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SES Satellites
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European Commission - DG HOME
"General Electric/Honeywell — An insight into the Commission’s investigation and decision"* whereas the order backlog is an indication of their immediate future incumbency. Owing to the benefits of engine commonality, incumbency of engine suppliers is better assessed in terms of the installed (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves rescue aid of about 2 billion € for German financial institution (Bankgesellschaft Berlin)
European Commission - DG ENER
"Germany – Commission approves rescue aid of about Euro 2 billion for Bankgesellschaft Berlin AG (BGB)"* On 25 July 2001, the Commission approved the Federal Government’s application in respect of rescue aid of about € 2 billion to be granted by the Land of Berlin toBankgesellschaft Berlin AG (...)

The European Commission investigates new aid in favor of a German textile and fabric company and initiates in parallel a judicial procedure against Germany for not executing a negative decision on aid to the same company now bankrupt (Neue Erba Lautex, ’old’ Erba Lautex)
European Commission (Brussels)
"Germany – Commission investigates new aid to Neue Erba Lautex GmbH and takes Germany to Court for non-execution of negative decision on aid to ‘old’ Erba Lautex"* On 25 July 2001, the Commission adopted two closely linked decisions concerning the bankrupt Erba Lautex GmbH and its legal successor (...)

The European Commission adopts a methodology for analysing State aid linked to stranded costs that sets up the criteria it shall use to examine whether a stranded costs compensation mechanism that constitutes State aid can be authorized under the EC Treaty
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"A methodology for analysing State aid linked to stranded costs"* 1. The ‘stranded costs’ concept At the time the European electricity market was not liberalised, recovery of all investments by electricity undertakings was achieved through adequate tariff fixation by the States. In these (...)

The European Commission unveils the new State Aid scoreboard
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Two new transparency instruments: the State Aid Register and the State Aid Scoreboard"* Last July the European Commission unveiled the new State aid Scoreboard. Following publication of the State aid Register earlier in the year, the Scoreboard was the second of two new transparency (...)

The European Commission approves the 9th survey on State Aid in the EU
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Ninth Survey on State Aid in the EU"* In July the Commission approved the Ninth Survey on State Aid in the EU (COM (2001) 403). As in previous years its coverage has been extended and further information is presented on the agriculture, fisheries and services sectors. Greater emphasis is put (...)

The European Commission extends the validity of the multisectoral framework on regional aid for large investment projects and the code on aid to the synthetic fibres industry
European Parliament (Brussels)
"Extension of the validity of the Multisectoral Framework on regional aid for large investment projects and of the Code on aid to the synthetic fibres industry"* The current Multisectoral Framework on regional aid for large investment projects was adopted in 1997 and entered into force on 1 (...)

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