October 2000

Anticompetitive practices

The French Supreme Court upholds the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal condemning the manager of a company to a € 7,500 fine for having refused to supply a distributor who was reselling its products at prices that were, in its view, too low (Claude Brasero)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case This case involves an indirect RPM system applied in the context of a distribution agreement. The company Rockwood Isolation sent a letter to one of its distributor informing that latter that it was unacceptable that the distributor sold some of the supplier’s (...)

The European Commission files an appeal before the European Court of Justice against the annulment by the Court of First Instance of its decision to fine a German pharmaceuticals company for prohibiting exports (Bayer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Appeal against the annulment by the Court of First Instance (CFI) of a 1996 Commission decision fining German pharmaceuticals company Bayer"* On 5 January 2001, the European Commission filed an appeal with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg against the annulment by the Court of (...)

The European Commission clears a liner shipping consortium (Grand Alliance)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission clears two liner shipping consortia"* In October and December 2000 the Commission received two notifications of agreements envisaging the formation of consortia of liner shipping companies in the sense of Regulation 823/2000. The former consists of several such companies wanting (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Maltese Office of Fair Trading condemned for the first time ever an infringement of the Competition Act under the form of abusive tying in the agricultural sector (Malta Dairy Products)
King’s College (London)
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Superior Courts of Malta
This case can be regarded as a landmark in the evolution of competition law in Malta: for the first time the Commission handed down a judgment in which it found that an infringement of the Competition Act had been committed. The Commission held that Malta Dairy Products Ltd (’MDPL’) held a (...)

Mergers

The European Commission refers part of a proposed concentration in the terrestrial transport sector to the UK authorities (C3D/Rhône/Go-Ahead)
European External Action Service (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (London)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st September 2000 and 31st December 2000"* The European Commission decided to refer part of the proposed takeover by French company C3D and Rhône Capital LLC of the Go-Ahead Group Plc to the UK competition authorities. The referral to the UK (...)

A US District Court overturns a FTC decision to prevent the proposed merger of two of the three major U.S. baby food producers and clears it based on the finding of economic efficiencies (Heinz/Beech Nut)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
This week, Judge James Robertson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the proposed merger of two of the three major U.S. baby food producers, Heinz and Beech-Nut, while the FTC (...)

The EU Commission approves a merger between French and Canadian companies in the broadcasting industry (Vivendi / Canal Plus / Seagram)
European External Action Service (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (London)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st September 2000 and 31st December 2000"* In October, the Commission approved the acquisition by French telecommunications and media company Vivendi and its subsidiary Canal+ of Canada’s Seagram. The transaction significantly affected three markets, (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt clears a merger in the gas supply sector subject to remedies, including access to infrastructure, publication of prices and extraordinary rights to terminate agreements (Contigas/Stadtwerke Heide)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation On 30 May 2000 Contigas Deutsche Energie-Aktiengesellschaft (“Contigas”) notified the Bundeskartellamt of its proposed acquisition of 49% of the equity capital of Stadtwerke Heide GmbH (“Stadtwerke”) from Stadt Heide, its sole shareholder. Contigas is an energy supply company (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the entertainment industry creating the first vertically-integrated Internet content provider (AOL / Time Warner)
Conseil régional de Midi-Pyrénées
"The Commission’s review of the media merger wave"* The media industry involves a wide and diversified set of activities vertically related. Indeed, different players such as content providers, rights holders and content distributors all operate in the value chain from the production of content (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the withdrawal of an acquisition in the music industry (EMI/Time Warner)
Conseil régional de Midi-Pyrénées
"The Commission’s review of the media merger wave"* The media industry involves a wide and diversified set of activities vertically related. Indeed, different players such as content providers, rights holders and content distributors all operate in the value chain from the production of content (...)

The French Minister of Economics clears a merger in the retail of daily consumer goods sector with structural remedies (Casino/Monoprix)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The operation In this case, the Minister clears in phase I a merger by which Casino will acquire joint control of the Monoprix chain. The market(s) The relevant market has been defined as the markets for retailing daily consumer goods. Remedy: Divesture The Minister observed that (...)

State Aid

The European Commission initiates the procedure laid down in art. 88(2) of the EC Treaty with regard to the regional venture capital funds proposed by the UK authorities
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Main developments between 1st October and 31st December 2000"* On 18 October 2000 the Commission decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 88(2) EC with regard to the Regional Venture Capital Funds proposed by the UK authorities. These funds are intended to fill a gap in the (...)

The European Commission decides not to raise objections against two business property development schemes to be operated by a full service commercial real estate company in the UK (Welsh Development Agency)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Main developments between 1st October and 31st December 2000"* On 4 October 2000 the Commission decided not to raise objections against two business property development schemes to be operated by the Welsh Development Agency. The rationale of the schemes is that market prices are too low to (...)

The European Commission opens the procedure under art. 88 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning Italian fiscal measures to banks and banking foundations over concerns that the measures may constitute unlawful State aid
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Main developments between 1st October and 31st December 2000"* On 4 october 2000, the European Commission decided to open the Article 88 (2) procedure into Italian fiscal measures to banks and banking foundations over concerns that the measures, de signed to facilitate mergers in and the (...)

Public sector

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