March 2001

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of First Instance upholds the Commission’s decisions granting an individual exemption under Article 81(3) to the standard leases of two UK brewers (Whitbread and Bass)
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 (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that an agreement between a company that owns and lets housing units and a cable network operator according to which the increase of fees for the supply with cable TV to be paid by the tenants is dependent on the housing company’s approval is null and void due to an infringement of the prohibition to fix prices for contracts with third parties (Kabel-Hausverteilanlagen)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect vertical price fixing clause between a housing company and a cable network operator which restricts the cable network operator in determining the fees charged from the housing company’s tenants in that in particular the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court found that an exclusive car distribution agreement falled within the scope of Regulation 123/1985 and confirmed damages (Mercedes)
London School of Economics
On 10 February 1987, the Spanish subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz (hereinafter, “Mercedes”) and Motor Lugo, S.L. (“Motor Lugo”, which later became Auto Lugo) concluded an exclusive distribution agreement concerning the cars and spare parts manufactured by the former. Both parties agreed to set a minimum (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Competition Authority stops the proceedings against railways operator in connection with abusive route price structures (Deutsche Bahn)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceedings against Deutsche Bahn AG in connection with abusive route price structure halted* The Bundeskartellamt is halting proceedings against Deutsche Bahn in connection with abusive route price structures. The President of the Bundeskartellamt, Ulf Böge said, "The Bundeskartellamt welcomes (...)

Mergers

The Czech Competition Office cleared a merger in the water treatment sector subject to a price increase cap (Prague Water CGE-AW/PVK)
Clifford Chance
The operation The merger resulted from a privatisation project based on the decision of the Czech government to transfer the 100 % of shares in Pražské vodovody a kanalizace, a.s. ("PVK") owned by the Czech Republic to other entities. Consequently, the 34 % of shares in PVK were transferred for (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority cleared in phase II with remedies a merger in the food sector, after the Council of Ministries having modified the remedy (Nutreco / Agrovic)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The merger involved the acquisition of Agrovic by Nutreco. Nutreco is a subsidiary of the multinational Dutch group Nutreco Holdings N.V., with activities in the agro food industry. These include the production and wholesaling of compound feed and additives for compound feed, (...)

The European Commission authorizes the creation of two joint ventures with world-wide activities for outbound cross-border mail (TPO of the UK, TPG of the Netherlands and Singapore Post Private)
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 1st January 2001 and 30th April 2001"* In March, the Commission authorised the creation of two joint ventures with world-wide activities for outbound cross-border mail by The Post Office (TPO) of the United Kingdom, TNT Post Group N.V. (TPG) of the (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, a merger in the manufacturing of speciality and other chemical products (Degussa/Laporte)
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 1st January 2001 and 30th April 2001"* In March, the Commission gave the go-ahead for Degussa AG, a German-based company belonging to E.ON AG, to acquire sole control of the British company Laporte PLC. While both companies are active in the (...)

The Czech Competition Office cleared a merger in the chemicals processing sector, subject to maintainance of the supplies (Treibacher Schleifmittel / CHZS)
Clifford Chance
The operation As a result of the Agreement for the sale of the part of enterprise dated 15 December 2000, Treibacher Schleifmittel s.r.o. acquired a part of the enterprise of CHZS a.s., a producer of white synthetic corundum (Al2O3), which consists of the assets related to the development, (...)

The German Competition Authority informs the companies of its intention to prohibit the merger project that would lead to a strengthening of a dominant position on the domestic flight market (Lufthansa / Eurowings)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt criticises Lufthansa-Eurowings merger* Examinations undertaken so far show that Lufthansa’s acquisition of shares in Eurowings would lead to a strengthening of its dominant position on the domestic flight market in Germany. The possible positive effects on competition in the (...)

State Aid

The European Commission partially authorizes State aid scheme notified by the UK authorities concerning reduction of CO2 emissions and opens a procedure under art. 88(2) of the EC Treaty (Climate Change Levy)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom — Commission takes a decision on the Climate Change Levy (CCL). It authorizes several exemptions but opens the 88 (2) EC procedure on the exemption for dual use fuels"* The European Commission decided on 28 March 2001 not to raise objections to the main elements of the UK’s (...)

The European Commission rules that the enhanced capital allowances scheme notified by the UK authorities does not constitute State aid
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom — The Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme does not constitute State aid under article 87 (1) CE"* The Commission decided on 13 March 2001 not to raise objections to the UK Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme as the scheme does not constitute State aid under Article 87(1) EC. (...)

Procedures

The Spanish Civil Supreme Court finds that an oil distribution agreement benefit from the exemption laid down by EC Reg. n° 1984/83 and awards damages (Gabai Oil/ Petróleos del Norte)
London School of Economics
On 18 July 1989, Gabai Oil, S.A. (hereinafter, “Gabai Oil”) and Petróleos del Norte, S. A. (“Petronor”) concluded an agreement for a period of 35 years regarding the distribution by the former of oil products supplied by the latter. Besides the non-compete obligation imposed upon Gabai Oil, Petronor (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court finds an oil distribution agreement to benefit from the exemption laid down in EC Reg. 1984/83 (Gabai Oil)
London School of Economics
On 18 July 1989, Gabai Oil, S.A. (‘hereinafter, ‘Gabai Oil’) and Petróleos del Norte, S.A. (‘Petronor’) concluded an agreement for a period of 35 years regarding the distribution by the former of oil products supplied by the latter. Besides the non-compete obligation imposed upon Gabai Oil, Petronor (...)

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