October 2001

Anticompetitive practices

The OFT grants exemption for UK agreement to preserve and distribute supplies of oil fuel during an oil fuel crisis
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
I. Introduction On 25 October 2001, the UK Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») concluded its investigation into a Memorandum of Understanding (« MOU ») concerning the supply of oil fuels in an emergency notified to it by a number of major oil companies. The OFT found that, although the MOU had the (...)

The UK OFT grants exemption for agreement to set multilateral interchange fee in the arrangement for operation of a network (LINK International Network)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
I. Introduction On 16 October 2001, the UK Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») concluded its investigation into certain agreements for the operation of the LINK network. The OFT found that, although the centrally set multilateral interchange fee for the operation of the LINK network appreciably (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 71.825 M against German car manufacturer for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty (DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The fourth prohibition decision in the area of car distribution in four years: This time it’s Mercedes’ turn"* Introduction The Commission decided on 10 October 2001 to impose a fine of EUR 71.825 million on DaimlerChrysler AG for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty in (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 57.53 M on companies active in the chemical industry for fixing the price and sharing the market and grants for the first time a reduction of fine pursuant to Section B of its leniency notice (Sodium gluconate cartel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG GROW
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels - 1. The sodium gluconate cartel"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (DecisionsSAS-MaerskandGraphite electrodes, both adopted on 18 July 2001: see Competition Newsletter 2001, Issue n°3), the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Czech High Court upholds that the largest national producer of electricity violates its dominant position by discriminating against one of its long-term brown coal suppliers (ČEZ)
Weinhold Legal
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CMS Cameron McKenna (Prague)
I. Introduction On 23 October 2001, the High Court in Olomouc upheld the decision of the President of the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the «Office»), which imposed a fine of CZK 7,500,000 on the company ČEZ, a. s., the largest producer of electricity in the Czech Republic (...)

The European Commission applies art. 86(3) of the EC Treaty in a decision addressed to France subsequent to a complaint of a trade association representing the majority of the French mail preparation companies (SNELPD)
Université de Namur
"The SNELPD Decision in the light of the previous Article 86(3) Decisions of the Commission"* Article 86(3) of the EEC Treaty entrusts the Commission with a specific surveillance duty ’in the case of public undertakings and undertakings to which Member States grant special or exclusive rights’. (...)

Mergers

The European Commission prohibits a merger in the packaging industry (Tetra Laval/Sidel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* On 30.10.2001 the Commission prohibited the acquisition by Tetra Laval B.V., which belongs to the Swiss-based Tetra Laval Group, the owner of the Tetra Pak packaging businesses, of the French company Sidel (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a proposed joint control of Brazilian iron ore mining company by another Brazilian iron ore producer and Japanese trading company (Mitsui/CVRD/Caemi)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* The Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control of Brazilian iron ore mining company Caemi by CVRD, another Brazilian iron ore producer, and Japanese trading company Mitsui, subject to (...)

The European Commission refers to the German Bundeskartellamt the examination of the impact of part of a proposed acquisition in the German wall building materials markets (Haniel/Fels)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* On 17 October 2001 the Commission referred to the Bundeskartellamt the examination of the impact of part of the proposed acquisition by Haniel Baustoff-Industrie Zuschlagstoffe GmbH of Fels-Werke GmbH (...)

The European Commission prohibits an acquisition in the fibers sector (CVC/Lenzing)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* The European Commission prohibited the planned acquisition by CVC Capital Partners Group Ltd (CVC) of Lenzing AG, an Austrian man-made fibres manufacturer. CVC already controls Acordis, Lenzing’s principal (...)

The U.S. FTC votes to file a complaint in federal court after discovering a merged firm’s failure to provide complete clearance paperwork in an HSR filing and subsequent price increases after a merger in the market for pharmaceutical databases (Hearst/Medi-Span)
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider (New York)
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Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider (Hartford)
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Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider (New York)
On April 4, 2001, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) took the unusual step of voting to file a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against The Hearst Trust, its subsidiary The Hearst Corporation, and First DataBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of The (...)

The US FTC collects significant penalties for violations of the pre-merger notification rules after clearing a merger in the market for electronic integratable drug information databases (Hearst / Medi-Span)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (New York)
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Law Office of Renee C. Redman
It is, of course, too early to tell conclusively whether, and to what extent, antitrust enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will change under the new Bush administration. Both agencies have indicated that they do not intend to (...)

The European Commission prohibits the merger between the two main French manufacturers of electrical equipment (Schneider/Legrand)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* The proposed merger between Schneider Electric and Legrand, the two main French manufacturers of electrical equipment, was prohibited on 10 October 2001. The Commission’s investigation showed that there were (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves UK government reimbursable advance to luxury car manufacturer for the development of two new engines (Rolls-Royce)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom – Commission approves UK government reimbursable advance to Rolls-Royce for the development of two new engines"* The European Commission decided on 30 October to approve the United Kingdom proposal to grant Rolls-Royce plc a 250 million GBP reimbursable advance for the (...)

The European Commission approves a support granted by the Irish government to national electricity company in compensation for an obligation to generate electricity out of peat (Electricity Supply Board)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Ireland – Commission approves a support granted by the Irish government to the Electricity Supply Board in compensation for an obligation to generate electricity out of peat"* The European Commission decided on 30 October to approve support granted by the Irish government to the Electricity (...)

The French Judiciary Supreme Court made a clear difference between examination of the compatibility of a State aid and control of the legality of the aid (Le Guen - Guyomarch)
Université Aix-Marseille
The claims for reimboursement of what the French statutes call “compulsory contributions”, a kind of professional taxation financing agricultural organizations, is one among most alive sources of the implementation of the State aid law in France (see also the cases relating CNIH, French (...)

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