September 2007

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian Competition Authority fines undertakings in the wholesale distribution market of drugs for refusal of supply (“Distribuzione di farmaci senza obbligo di ricetta alle parafarmacie”)
National University of Singapore
On 20 September 2007, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter the “Authority”) fined different companies in the wholesale distribution market of drugs, for breach of art. 2 legge n° 287/90, the national provision similar to Article 81 EC. Parties of the case Investigations started in 2006 (...)

The UK OFT uncovers an alleged collusive agreement between large supermarkets and dairy processors to fix milk and milk products prices ("Supermarkets and dairies price fixing")
Compass Lexecon (London)
Summary The OFT has uncovered an alleged collusive agreement between large supermarkets and dairy processors to fix the prices of milk, butter and cheese. The OFT has estimated the price fixing cost consumers £270 million. The horizontal and vertical nature of the alleged collusion suggests a (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitments on four car manufacturers to give independent repairers proper access to repair information (DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Four decisions bind DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors to commitments to give independent repairers proper access to repair information"* I. Introduction: Importance of these decisions for consumers It is commonly recognised that there is a widespread problem in the motor (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court increases one of the fines imposed to banks by the NCA in the ATM agreement case from € 5 to 7 M (Europay Austria, "Bankomat-Vertrag")
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
On 12 September 2007, the Austrian Supreme Cartel Court decided on the appeals lodged against the Cartel Court’s decision imposing a fine of EUR 5 million on Europay Austria. We reported on the Cartel Court’s decision in e-Competitions(Axel Reidlinger and Heinrich Kühnert,The Austrian Cartel (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms upon appeal the Cartel Court’s findings regarding concerted and abusive practices in the debit card and payment system sector and raises the fine imposed (Europay Austria)
European Court of Justice
1. Introduction By its judgment of 12 September 2007 in Case 16 Ok 4/07 (“Europay Austria”), the Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition matters ; Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) essentially confirmed the first instance judgment (...)

The Turkish Competition Board revokes the block exemption granted to distribution contracts in the non-alcoholic beverages sector (Coca-Cola)
Erdem & Erdem
By its decision dated 10 September 2007, the Turkish Competition Board (hereinafter referred as “CB”) revoked the block exemption granted to distribution contracts of Coca-Cola Turkey (hereinafter referred as “CCI”) in take-home and on-premise channels in relation to the carbonated soft drinks (...)

A Dutch Court dismisses the appeal on the restrictive effect of a regulation for professional certification but upholds it on the ground on price fixing thereby ordering the NCA to investigate the matter further (Elektroburo)
Government of Albania
The appellant, Elektroburo A B.V., appealed to the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal against the judgement of the District Court of Rotterdam of 5 December 2006, reg. nr. MEDED 06/1331, which dismissed its appeal against the decision of 22nd of August 2002 of the Dutch Competition Authority (...)

A Madrid Court applies the de minimis doctrine to a 3% market share (Galp)
European Court of Justice
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Garrigues
On September 3, 2007, a Spanish Commercial Court (Juzgado de lo Mercantil) based in Madrid rejected the claim filed by two service station operators against their supplier, Galp Energía España, S.A. (Galp). The two service station operators had held that some of the clauses within the agreements (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Greek Competition Authority establishes non-compliance with regard to a previous decision but without being able to impose fine again (Karelia)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerns the conduct of an undertaking (Karelia) that has been condemned by a former decision of the Greek Competition Authority (Hellenic Competition Commission, thereafter HCC), but afterwards did not comply with it. More specifically, in 2000 the HCC found that the producer of (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council reaffirms its earlier findings of abusive pricing by the incumbent in the postal sector (Lietuvos Pa?tas)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 27 September 2007 the Lithuanian Competition Council reaffirmed its earlier findings in Lietuvos Paštas case by issuing a new decision condemning pricing practices of the state-controlled postal company AB Lietuvos paštas (LP) and imposing a fine of LTL 80,000 (approx. EUR 23,170). The new (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council confirms its earlier decision that the postal incumbent has abused its dominant position in the reserved postal services market (Lithuanian Post)
Gibson Dunn
On 27 September 2007, the Competition Council delivered its second Decision in the case of abuse of dominance by the Lithuanian postal services provider Lietuvos paštas (the "Lithuanian Post"). As requested by the Supreme Administrative Court in its Judgment of 22 December 2006, the Competition (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office declares binding the commitments of RWE to cease the abuse proceedings for factoring CO2 certificates into its electricity tariffs (RWE)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 26 September 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) ceased abuse proceedings launched against RWE AG (RWE) in 2005 after it had declared RWE’s commitments to auction off electricity to be binding. The proceedings centred on the question whether RWE had abused its alleged dominant market (...)

The Greek Competition Commission rejects complaint alleging abuse of dominance with respect to freight rebates charged by shipping companies in Northern Greece (Thasos, TSCSA)
European Investment Bank
I. The Factual Background 1. In general The coastal area of Kavala in Northern Greece connects to the island of Thasos via two local sea routes (i)Keramoti/Kavala- Thasos (40 minutes trip duration) and (ii) Kavala - Thasos (1 hour and 35 minutes trip duration), on which ferry boats and car (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation for abuse of dominant position in the railway transport sector relating to the charge access to the network (Ferrovie dello Stato-Rete Ferroviaria Italiana)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction With a decision adopted on 18 September 2007 the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) opened investigation against Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) for abuse of dominant position in the market for railway transport. The abusive conduct complained of (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority opens an abuse of dominance investigation in the railways sector (Rail Traction Company/Rete Ferroviaria italiana-Ferrovie dello stato)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
On 18 September 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) opened an investigation under Article 82 of the EC Treaty against Ferrovie dello Stato S.p.A. (FS) and its subsidiary Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A. (RFI). RFI is the railway infrastructure monopolist as it is the sole operator, (...)

The European Court of First Instance, in upholding the Commission’s decision on abuse of dominant position of the PC operating systems, turns back the clock (Microsoft)
Linklaters (London)
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University of Cambridge
Overview In its 2004 decision, the Commission concluded that Microsoft had committed two types of abuse which where both related to the dominant position which it held through Microsoft Windows in the PC operating systems market: first, the Commission held that Microsoft had failed to supply (...)

The European Court of First Instance partially upholds the Commission’s decision concerning an abuse of a dominant position in the PC operating system (Microsoft)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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FTI Consulting (Brussels)
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Belgian Competition Authority
"The judgment of the Court of First Instance in the Microsoft case"* I. The 2004 Decision On 24 March 2004, the Commission adopted a decision pursuant to Article 82 EC concluding that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the PC operating system market by (i) refusing to provide (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council condemns unfair pricing on telecommunications infrastructures (Vilniaus Energija)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 13 September 2007 the Lithuanian Competition Council adopted an infringement decision finding UAB Vilniaus Energija (VE) in breach of Article 9 of the Law on Competition (equivalent to Article 82 of the EC Treaty) for imposing unfair prices in a number of local markets for the lease of (...)

The French Competition Council fines a public port operator and two related companies for anticompetitive practices in the market of harbour services dedicated to coal (SOGEMA, Port Autonome du Havre)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 13 September 2007, the French Competition Council issued a decision relating to anti-competitive practices in the market of harbour services dedicated to coal, following a complaint by the Société Générale Maritime ("Sogema"), a dock-work operator established in various harbours in France. (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority rejects claim of unlawful tying on the digital music markets (Apple-iTunes)
RBB Economics (The Hague)
The Dutch competition authority (NMa) rejects a complaint by the Dutch Consumer’s Association regarding possible unlawful bundling of Apple’s portable digital music players and music sold online by Apple. The NMa concludes that, even if Apple was to be dominant on either of two the markets, it is (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority dismisses complaint lodged by a consumers’ association against leading software company for alleged abuse of dominance on the markets for portable music players and online music stores concluding the absence of tying (Apple)
The AES Corporation
In January 2007 the Dutch consumers’ association (Consumentenbond) lodged a complaint with the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) against Apple Computer Benelux BV (Apple). The Consumentenbond claimed that Apple has a dominant position on the market for portable music players through its (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council allows the imposition of an IT tool by a car insurance company on car damage experts (OEIPA/Le FoyerAssurances)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car damage experts, OEIPA and Le Foyer Assurances S.A. (“Le Foyer”), one of the principal car insurances companies in Luxembourg. Le Foyer puts the (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council finds not abusive the refusal by a professional association in the field of car expertise services to accept a member and considers that trade between member States is not affected (OEIPA/Schmitt)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car assessment experts, OEIPA and Mr Carlo Schmit, a Luxembourg car assessment expert. In 1997 OEIPA refused the latter to become a member because (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council rejects an abuse of dominance complaint in the car insurance sector concerning alleged obligation to use a software application (OEIPA/Le Foyer Assurances)
MOYSE BLESER law firm
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Herbert Smith Freehills
On 5 September 2007, following quite a lengthy decision, The Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) (Council) rejected a complaint submitted to the Competition Inspectorate (Inspectorate) by a professional association of car damage experts (Ordre des experts indépendants professionnels (...)

A US Court of Appeals applies a cost-based test to attempted monopolization claim premised on multiproduct discounting (Cascade Health Solutions / PeaceHealth)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
The Ninth Circuit evaluated the antitrust implications of multiproduct or “bundled” discounts in Cascade Health Solutions v. PeaceHealth, CV-02-06032 (Sept. 4, 2007). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit rejected the controversial Third Circuit rule of LePage’s Inc. v. 3M, 324 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. 2003), (...)

A US Court of Appeals rules that bundled discounts will not support a claim under s. 2 of the Sherman Act unless the discounts are below an appropriate measure of costs (Cascade Health Solutions/PeaceHealth)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Frommer Lawrence & Haug (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
On September 4, 2007 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its much-anticipated decision in Cascade Health Solutions (fka McKenzie- Williamette Hospital) v. PeaceHealth, et al., No. 05-35627, 2007 WL 2473229 (9th Cir. Sept. 4, 2007). The court held that bundled pricing (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms dismissal of conspiracy and monopolization in the elevator industry for failure to meet Twombly pleading standards (In re Elevator Antitrust Litigation)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Frommer Lawrence & Haug (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
On September 4, 2007, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of all claims in In re Elevator Antitrust Litigation, No. 06-2138-cv, 2007 WL 2471805 (2d Cir. Sept. 4, 2007) (slip opinion available at http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov), finding that the complaint failed to satisfy (...)

Mergers

The Spanish Competition Authorities clears a merger - referred back from the EC Commission - in the hard discount large retail distribution sector and adopts its first commitment decision under the new competition regime (DIA/Plus Supermercados)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition Authorities (Comisión Nacional de Competencia) clears on 3 September 2007 the acquisition of Plus Supermercados (a company previously belonging to the Tengelmann Group, which operates 251 hard -discount stores in Spain) by DIA. The acquirer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice finds that merger prohibition decisions can still be appealed even after the parties abandoned the transaction (Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 Media)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 25 September 2007, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf which rejected an appeal against a prohibition decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) because the parties had already (...)

The Federal Supreme Court of Germany and the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals overrule the Federal Cartel Office’s prohibition and dissolution of a merger in the market for cartridges in the construction and industrial sector and fittings for medical and dental treatments (Sulzer, Kelmix and Werfo)
NERA (Berlin)
Transaction and Parties Sulzer Markets & Technology AG intended to acquire 75,1% of Kelmix Holding AG , 76% of Werfo AG, 76% of Mold AG and 100% of the founder’s rights of Mold Anstalt. Sulzer and Kelmix manufacture, among other things, two-component cartridges used for the filling of (...)

The German Federal Court clarifies merger control exemption by broadening the scope of the so-called de minimis market exemption (Sulzer/Kelmix)
WegnerPartner
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
The German Federal Court of Justice recently published a decision which limits the application of the German merger control regime by broadening the scope of the socalled de minimis market exemption. As a consequence, the number of mergers that are subject to a mandatory filing requirement to (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the fertilizers industry (Yara/Kemira GrowHow)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 21 September the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of Finnish mineral fertiliser producer Kemira GrowHow by Yara of Norway, also a fertiliser company, subject to commitments. Yara International ASA is active (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the manufacture and supply of wood-based products (Kronospan/Constantia)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* In September the Commission cleared the acquisition of part of the raw and coated particle board business of Constantia Industries AG of Austria by Kronospan Holding GmbH of Germany, a member of the Kronospan Group. Both (...)

A French Court confirms its competence to control the enforcement of remedies offered by the parties to a concentration to the benefit of third parties (Parabole reunion / Canal +)
Université Catholique de Lille
On 18 September 2007, the Paris Court of First Instance (the Court) adopted a judgement whereby it confirmed its competence to protect third party’s rights resulting from a merger authorisation decision and enjoined the new entity resulting from the merger to abide by its commitments. Although (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council clears a merger in the market for retail sale of daily consumer goods subject to stores divestments and termination of lease agreements (Maxima LT)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
On 18 September 2008, the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter the “Competition Council”) conditionally cleared the proposed acquisition and lease of commercial premises by Maxima LT UAB (hereinafter “Maxima LT”) from independent retailers. According to the Competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a merger in the financial sector with structural and behavioural remedies (UniCredito Italiano /Capitalia)
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Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation The ICA cleared the merger by which UniCredito Italiano (UCI) will absorb Capitalia, which will cease to exist as legal entity. UCI is an international bank based in Italy and listed on the Milan stock exchange. It offers a wide range of banking and financial services in several (...)

The Italian Competition Authority gives conditional clearance to a merger giving rise to one of the largest European banking group (Unicredit/Capitalia)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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DiaSorin
On 18 September 2007 the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) decided to authorize the merger between Unicredito Italiano S.p.A (also Unicredit) and Capitalia S.p.A. (Capitalia) (collectively as the Parties), subject to a number of structural and behavioural remedies. The transaction, through (...)

The Latvian Competition Council cleared a merger in the retail of consumer goods subject with behavioural remedies (Maxima Latvija SIA/Kraslava D SIA)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous (Riga)
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Cobalt Legal (Riga)
The operation On 16 May 2007 the Latvian Competition Council received a merger notification from Maxima Latvija SIA (Maxima), where the Competition Council is informed that Maxima intends to acquire assets of Kraslava D SIA located in Dagda, Latvia. (Preamble Paragraph 1) The market(s) The (...)

The Latvian Competition Council clears two mergers in the petrol and diesel retail market after a detailed assesment of relevant geographical market and dominance issues (Lukoil, Baltija-Grima, OS ipasumi)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous (Riga)
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Raidla Lejins & Norcous (Riga)
On 14 September 2007 the Latvian Competition Council (“Competition Council”) adopted two decisions in cases n° 1467/07/05/19 and 1468/07/05/20 clearing the mergers between SIA Lukoil Baltija R (“Lukoil”) and SIA Grima (“Grima”), and between Lukoil and SIA OS ipasumi (“OS ipasumi”). The filings (...)

The Estonian Competition Board seems not to be following the EU practice in the treatment of natural persons as parties to concentrations (Tristafan, Aldo Parik and Oskar - NPNC Intressenter and Nefab)
Jesse & Kalaus Attorneys
On 31 August 2007 the Director General of the Estonian Competition Board (“ECB”) granted an approval to a concentration whereby OÜ Tristafan (“Tristafan”) and Mr. Aldo Parik (“Mr. Parik”) would acquire joint control over AS Oskar LT (“Oskar”), and on 13 September 2007 the Director General granted (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority clears a merger in the programme producing and broadcasting markets with remedies including non-discrimination provisions (Chellomedia CEE Holdco/Filmmúzeum)
lakatos, koves and partners
The operation Chellomedia is owned and controlled by Liberty Global Inc. ("Liberty group") and provides media services worldwide. Filmmúzeum Zrt. broadcasts the channel Filmmúzeum, which is a Hungarian language channel broadcasting films and operated exclusively in Hungary. With the acquisition (...)

The French Minister of Economy clears in Phase I with behavioural commitments a merger in the Internet classified advertisements market (Spir Communication / Schibsted ASA)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
The operation By a letter of 10 09 2007, the Minister cleared in phase I a merger between Spir and Schibsted compagnies. It created a jointly owned compagny between the notifying parties. The new company controls both parties’ activities in the sector of classified advertisements for the sale of (...)

The French Minister of Economy sets out principles for the assessment of competition in markets that use Internet as media and conditionally clears in phase I a merger in the market for online classified advertisement (Spir / Schibsted)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Introduction On 10 September 2007 the French Minister of Economy, Finances and Employment (hereafter the “Minister”) cleared the creation by Spir Communication and Schibsted ASA of a jointly owned company, subject to behavioural commitments (Decision C2007/19, hereafter “the Decision”). The new (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority authorises the acquisition of the second operator by the first operator in the Spanish market for bus transport (National Express Group -Continental Auto)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
On 16 May 2007 National Express Group PLC (NEG), the first regular bus transport service provider in Spain, notified the former Spanish first-tier competition authority (Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia, SDC) of the acquisition of control over Continental Auto SLU (Continental Auto), the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office conditionally clears a merger in the television production market (Chellomedia/Filmmúzeum)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
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Oppenheim
Chellomedia CEE Holdco B.V. (Chellomedia), a member of the group of undertakings under the control of Liberty Global Inc. (Liberty Group), requested the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) to approve its acquisition of control over Filmmúzeum (the Proposed Transaction). The Proposed Transaction (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the tissue paper products sector (SCA/Procter and Gamble European Tissue Business)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 5 September the Commission approved the proposed acquisition of the European tissue business of the US company Procter & Gamble by Sweden’s SCA. The Commission’s decision was subject to the fulfilment of certain (...)

The UK Competition Commission finds that a merger in the book sector does not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the supply of books to retailers and libraries (Woolworths/Bertram)
Linklaters (London)
Summary and Background Woolworths and Bertram both operate in the wholesale supply of book industry. Woolworths’ principal business activities are in the UK retail sector, and its stores stock a narrow range of books. Woolworths’ book wholesale operations are handled through its subsidiaries (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission approves a merger in the food retail sector subject to extensive remedies including the maintenance of the legal, organisational and operational independence of the target and the prohibition on the acquirer acquiring any other undertakings active in the food retail sector (Migros/Denner)
NERA (Berlin)
The operation The merger involved the acquisition by Migros of 70% of food retailer Denner. The merger was cleared by the Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO) on 3 September 2007 in a Stage 2 decision, subject to the most extensive remedies ever imposed by WEKO up to that point. Migros is the (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority cleares a merger in the agricultural products market subject to remedies, mostly concerning restrictions on marketing and sales activities (Fodurblandan/KS/ÁBV/BS)
PwC
The operation In August 2005 the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) was informed that a group of investors had acquired all the shares in Fodurblandan (FB) and that shortly afterwards there had been a merger between FB and three other companies active in agricultural markets (KS, ÁBV and (...)

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service blocks various acquisitions of Russian companies (Siemens/Power Machines - Rexam/Rostar - Aker Kvaerner/Astrakhan Korabel)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Moscow)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has recently refused to approve various acquisitions of Russian companies by concluding that the acquisitions will limit competition in the relevant Russian market. An overview of the blocked deals is set out below. Siemens / Power Machines (...)

State Aid

The Romanian Competition Council approves a regional state aid scheme aimed at supporting environmentally friendly investments
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
The Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) has approved an investment scheme targeted at granting regional state aids for the promotion of clean, environmental friendly, technologies and for the production of energy using renewable resources. The Council has informed the European Commission (...)

Procedures

The German Federal Court rules on the geographic relevant market to calculate the merger de minimis threshold (Sulzer/Kelmix)
University of Bonn
On September 25th, 2007, the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) decided in Sulzer/Kelmix (KVR 19/07), that the geographically relevant market as referred to by section 35(2) n° 2 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, GWB) comprises (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court admits a legal exemption for recommended price lists issued by a professional association (Chamber of Authorized Engineers and Technicians)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 24 September 2007, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court quashed a previous decision of the Regional Court in Brno which confirmed decisions of the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the “Office”) imposing a penalty of CZK 500,000 upon the Czech Chamber of Authorized Engineers (...)

The Polish Act on creation and operation of large surface retail facilities deals with land use restriction as a barrier to entry in the retail distribution markets (Act of 11 May 2007)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
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Bydgoszcz University of Technology and Life Sciences (UOKIK)
Introduction 1. What can and cannot be done with land or how it can be used is governed by land use restriction. The present study relates to a type of such limitation namely the act on large surface retail stores. It introduces a limitation in creating new large surface retail facilities, (...)

Le TPICE fait un (tout petit) pas en avant en matière de legal privilege (Akzo)
Ashurst
This article in French was first published in Concurrences Review, N° 4-2007, pp. 126-128 C’est un arrêt très attendu et très motivé, qui vient d’être rendu par le Tribunal de première instance (ci-après “TPI”) en matière de confidentialité des communications entre avocats et clients (encore appelé “legal (...)

The European Court of First Instance refuses to extend the protection of legal privilege in connection with European competition investigations to communications between companies and their in‐house lawyers (Akzo Nobel)
Paul Hastings (Paris)
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Irwin Mitchell
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The second‐highest court in Europe ruled recently that attorney‐client privilege does not apply to certain communications between companies and their in‐house counsel. In its ruling in Akzo Nobel Chemicals Limited v. Commission on 17 September 2007, the European Court of (...)

A Dutch Court applies for an ECJ preliminary ruling on the application of Art. 15.3 Reg. n° 1/2003 by the EC Commission within the framework of a tax case raising only indirectly EC competition provisions (X B.V. Belanghebbende/Inspecteur Belastingdienst)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice
In November 2002, the European Commission imposed a fine upon a Dutch company, (hereafter “X”), for breach of Article 81 EC. The payment of this fine was partly made by another company affiliated to X. Under Dutch tax law, a fine imposed upon a company by a Community institution may not be (...)

Regulatory

The French Energy Regulator settles a dispute between the gas incumbent and a competitor about the provision of the complete list of metering and estimating points (Gaz de France/Poweo)
Université Aix-Marseille
The scope of the dispute The dispute arose after the refusal by Gaz de France to provide Poweo with the complete list of PCEs (metering and estimating points). The access to the list of PCEs This decision is important in two respects. Firstly, the Energy Regulation Commission (‘CRE’) clarifies (...)

The European Commission releases final report on business insurance sector inquiry
Linklaters (London)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The European Commission (the " Commission") yesterday released its final report into the provision of insurance products and services to businesses in the EU (the " Report"). The Business Insurance Sector Inquiry (the " Inquiry") was launched in June 2005 in parallel with the Retail Banking (...)

The EC publishes its final report on the effectiveness of competition in the commercial insurance sector
Winston & Strawn (London)
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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Washington)
On 25 September 2007 the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the effectiveness of competition in commercial insurance in the EU . The Report follows the publication of an interim report at the beginning of 2007, and a substantial two-year investigation during which (...)

The Italian Parliament gives new powers to the Italian Antitrust Authority with respect to unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising enforcement (Legislative Decrees No. 145 and 146)
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
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Jones Day (Milano)
On September 21, 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (the « Authority » or « IAA ») was given additional powers to curb unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising. The Authority has now been empowered to act ex officio without the express request of consumers and/or public entities. (...)

The German Federal Network Agency imposes uniform process for switching gas and electricity suppliers to facilitate effective competition in the energy market
Novartis (Basel)
Introduction In June 2005, the European Commission launched an inquiry into competition in gas and electricity markets. This enquiry responded to concerns voiced by consumers and new entrants in the sector about the development of wholesale gas and electricity markets and limited choice for (...)

The Romanian authorities show increase concerns for competition issues in the health sector (National Health Programs)
Peli Filip
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Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
The past few years have shown an increased need for competition analysis in relation to the National Health Programs that have been adopted by the Romanian authorities based on the legal provisions. Background The market for pharmaceuticals is a nationally regulated market in all the Member (...)

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