April 2011

Anticompetitive practices

A Portuguese Court confirms a professional association training regulation constitutes a breach of competition rules (Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
I. Introduction The Portuguese Association of Chartered Accountants (“Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas”) (ACA) judicially appealed to the Lisbon Commerce Court the national Competition Authority decision which applied a fine €114.654,10 based on an alleged illegal decision of the association, (...)

The Lisbon Commercial Court reduces the competition authority’s fine imposed to an association of chartered accountants (OTOC)
European Commission
Portugal: The Lisbon Commercial Court partially upholds PCA’s Decision regarding the Professional Association of Chartered Accountants (OTOC)* In its judgment of 29 April 2011, the Lisbon Commercial Court (the Court) has partially upheld the decision issued by the Portuguese Competition (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission imposes fines on various organisations of mussel producers in Galicia (Organisations of mussel producers)
European Commission
Spain: The National Competition Commission (CNC) fines Organisations of Mussel Producers in Galicia* On 29 April 2011, the CNC adopted a Resolution finding that several mussel producers organisations in Galicia are responsible for an infringement of Article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act and (...)

The EU Commission opens investigation against two pharmaceutical companies on account of patent settlement agreement (Cephalon / Teva)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 28 April 2011, the European Commission opened of its own motion formal competition proceedings against Cephalon, Inc. (“Cephalon”) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. (“Teva”) on account of a patent settlement agreement between the parties. Under the agreement, Teva undertook not to sell (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal fines a pharmaceutical company € 17 M for unfair competition when launching a new drug (Ipsen/Mylan)
EDHEC Business School
1. Summary Mylan, the generic pharmaceutical company (formerly Merck Génériques), was ordered by the Paris Court of Appeal to pay €17 million in damages to Ipsen for unfair competitive practices and economic parasitism by marketing Vitalogink to pharmacists as an "equivalent" to Tanakan and (...)

The Czech Competition Authority reaches settlement with detergent producers in a cartel case while implementing its leniency programme (Henkel, Procter & Gamble, Rakona and Reckitt Benckiser)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar (Prague)
On 10 February 2011, the Czech Competition Authority (the “Competition Authority”) adopted a cartel settlement decision finding that the local subsidiaries of the Henkel, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser groups (the “Companies”) had participated in a cartel in respect of the sale of (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal again reduces fines in construction bid-rigging case (North Midland Construction PLC)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 and 27 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to the remaining appeals against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging cartel case (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2009, No. (...)

The Polish President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposes commitments to remedy RPM in a vertical hard core restrictions case concerning gardening products distribution (Scotts and its distributors)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
On 26 April 2011, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumers Protection (the «OCCP» or the «Office») issued a decision in which it found that Scotts Poland sp. z o.o. (the «Scotts» or the «Company»), a subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, applied a resale price maintenance clause in (...)

A Belgian Court seeks guidance from European Court of Justice in lifting cartel damages case (Kone, Otis, Schindle, ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to recent press reports, in a judgment of 21 April 2011, the Brussels Commercial Court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the lift cartel damages proceedings. In February 2007, the European Commission fined lift and escalator manufacturers (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the proceeding against nine petrol companies finding no evidence of a cartel in the wholesale market for the supply of bitumen for road construction (Aumento Prezzi Bitume)
Ashurst
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Pirelli
,
Introduction On 20 April 2011, the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") adopted a decision closing the investigation launched in May 2010 against nine oil companies, Alma Petroli S.p.A., Api-Anonima Petroli Italiana S.p.A., ERG Petroli S.p.A., Eni S.p.A., Esso Italiana S.r.l., IES-Italiana (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts commitments of the national football federation in relation to the joint selling of the media rights (Federația Română de Fotbal / Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal din România)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 19 April 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) accepted the commitments proposed by the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) and, one of its members, the Romanian Professional Football League (LPF) in relation to the joint selling of the media rights and thus closed its investigation (...)

A US Federal District Court rejects breach of contract defense based on the illegality of the contract under the Robinson-Patman Act (Pet Food Express, Royal Canin)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Robinson-Patman Act Defense Rejected in Breach-of-Contract Case&* Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for engineering works and pronounces a cease and desist order against them (Enzan District and Isawa District)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Participants in Bidding for Engineering Works ordered by Yamanashi Prefectural Government* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated participants in the bidding for (...)

The EU Advocate General Kokott advises ECJ to quash General Court judgment in soda ash cartel case (Solvay/CFK)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 14 April 2011, Advocate General (“AG”) Juliane Kokott advised the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) to set aside the 2009 judgment of the General Court (“GC”) partially upholding the Commission’s 2000 decision fining Solvay and CFK for their participation in a cartel affecting the market for soda (...)

The EU Court of Justice’s Advocate General Kokott recommends annulment in soda ash cases due to infringements of rights of defence (Solvay/Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2011, Advocate General (“AG”) Juliane Kokott issued her opinion in cases C-109/10P and 110/10P, Solvay SAv. Commission, recommending that the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) annul two Commission decisions fining chemicals company Solvay for infringing Articles 81 and 82 EC (now Articles 101 (...)

The Competition Commissioner Almunia announces upcoming changes to the Commission’s fine calculation procedures
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Speaking at a conference in Berlin on 14 April 2011, Commissioner Joaquín Almunia set out the Commission’s recent thinking on the issue of the ever-increasing burden of fines for competition infringements. While Commissioner Almunia was quick to defend the level of the fines handed out over the (...)

The European Commission adopts a cartel settlement decision prohibition decision against three major detergent manufacturers (Henkel, Unilever and Procter & Gamble)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The Consumer detergents cartel* Introduction On 13 April 2011, the Commission adopted a cartel settlement decision prohibition decision against three major detergent manufacturers: Henkel, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. The Decision finds that they had operated a single and continuous (...)

The European Commission settles a cartel in the washing powder industry fining two of the three participating companies and granting full immunity to the first informing about price coordination and other market stabilization strategies adopted (Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Henkel)
European Commission
European Commission: Settlement Decision adopted in Washing Powder Cartel* On 13 April 2011, the European Commission adopted a decision settling a cartel case involving major European producers of washing powder: Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Henkel. This is the third cartel settlement in (...)

The Japanese Federal Trade Commission issues a communication listing practices that respect power saving and do not raise competition concerns
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
This article has been selected for the business category, anticompetitive practices section of the 2012 Antiturst Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has issued two Communications on the extent to which industry (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines for prohibited clauses in contracts between tenant and owner of shopping malls (RIMI & Marno J.)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC Fines for Prohibited Agreement in Contracts between Anchor Tenant and Owner of Shopping Malls* On 8 April 2011 the Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision establishing the existence of a prohibited agreement between retail chain (Rimi group) and lessor of selling space in shopping (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes market-tested commitments proposed by the French CB bank card association in order to resolve antitrust concerns on multilateral interchange fees (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence market-tests Commitments on MIFs, including on Debit and Credit Cards* Following a complaint made by two professional associations of merchants and retailers against ultilateral interchange fees (MIFs)used in the various payment systems in France, the (...)

The European Commission dramatically slashes the fine in its second amendment to the pre-stressing steel cartel fines (ArcelorMittal)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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In an unprecedented move, the European Commission has slashed the fine imposed on the ArcelorMittal group for its participation in a pre-stressing steel cartel, by around 80 per cent. On 30 June 2010 the Commission had fined ArcelorMittal, and 16 other producers, a total of around €518.5 (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal slashes fines imposed in the construction recruitment industry
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Summary In a judgment of 1 April 2011, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") allowed the appeals brought by three companies (and certain subsidiaries) in the construction recruitment sector who had been fined by the Office of Fair Trading (the "OFT") for conduct amounting to price fixing (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal significantly reduces fines in construction recruitment cartel case (Eden Brown and others)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 1 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment relating to three appeals against the amount of the fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 29 September 2009 in the construction recruitment cartel case. In its judgment, the CAT reduced (...)

The Belgium Competition Authority launches a study on the price differences in processed food in Belgium and the Netherlands (Belgian Supermarkets)
European Commission
Belgium: Belgian Supermarkets are 10% more expensive than Dutch Supermarkets* In April 2011, the Minister for Economics asked the Belgian Competition Authority (Competition Authority) to study the price differences between goods sold in Belgian and Dutch supermarkets, and to suggest action to (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority opens inquiry into food & retail sector (Inquiry into food & retail sector)
European Commission
Finland: Competition Authority (FCA) opens Inquiry into Food & Retail Sector* The FCA opened an inquiry into the grocery sector in April 2011, the main purpose of which is to investigate how the buying power of the retail sector affects competition in the food industry. The Finnish retail (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Latvian Competition Council fines an airport authority for discriminatory conditions imposed against a provider of tugboat services (PKL flote)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC Repeatedly Fines Riga Freeport Authority for Abuse of Dominant Position* On 29 April 2011 the Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision to fine Riga Freeport Authority for abuse of its dominant position, as the Authority restricted actions of a competitor – provider of tugboat services (...)

The Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors dismisses a complaint from a purchasing group of wholesalers in beverages against a large beer brewer for abusive discrimination between on-trade and off-trade market segments (Freedom/Inbev)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Loyens & Loeff (Bruxelles)
I. The parties The complaint was lodged by Freedom Belgium CBVA(hereinafter “Freedom”), a purchasing group of wholesalers in beverages on the Belgian market (on-trade). The defendant in this case is Inbev Belgium nv (hereinafter “Inbev”), a company mainly active in the production and sale of (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority annuls decision rejecting complaint against a Belgian brewer (Inbev)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
In a decision of 29 April 2011, the Belgian Competition Council annulled, on appeal, a decision of the College of Competition Prosecutors rejecting a complaint lodged by Freedom, an association of drinks wholesalers, against Belgian brewer Inbev. In its complaint, Freedom alleged that Inbev (...)

A Chinese District Court rules for the plaintiff in unfair competition case relating the antivirus software industry (Tencent/Qihoo)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Hong Kong)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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J.P. Morgan
This article is the winner of readers business awards of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more on the Antitrust Writing Awards. On April 26, 2011, Beijing Chaoyang District Court (the “Court”) ruled against Qihoo, the provider of 360 (a widely used antivirus software) and (...)

The Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECO) issues highest fine ever against a mobile service provider company for engaging in “relative monopolistic practices” (Telcel)
Womerang
The Mexican Federal Competition Commission’s highest fine ever* On April 25, 2011, the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (“COFECO”) moved to sanction Mexico’s largest mobile telephone service provider, Radiomovil Dipsa, S.A de C.V. (“Telcel”), with a fine of almost 12,000 million Mexican pesos (...)

The Belgian Competition Council returns a case to the College of Prosecutors for having failed to consider the repeated nature of an abuse of dominance in the pharmaceutical sector (Omega Pharma)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
I. The parties The plaintiff is an independent Belgian dispensing chemist. The defendant is Omega Pharma NV (here after “Omega Pharma”) an important supplier of raw material and packaging products also active in the field of “Over-The-Counter” products (OTC-products). The decision analysed is (...)

The Lithuanian Court of first instance upholds Competition Authority’s decision fining a company active in the petrol and diesel distribution for abusing its dominant position (Orlen Lietuva)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision on Abuse of Dominance by AB Orlen Lietuva (former AB Mažeikių Nafta)* On 15 April 2011, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court of first instance) upheld the decision ofthe Competition Council (...)

The English High Court orders an airport to give non-discriminatory access to terminal forecourts to competing valet parking service providers (Heathrow Airport/Purple Parking and Meteor Parking)
Brick Court Chambers
On 15 April 2011, the High Court ruled against the Defendant, Heathrow Airport Limited, ordering it not to exclude the Claimants, Purple Parking Limited and Meteor Parking Limited, from accessing the forecourts of Heathrow Terminals 1 and 3 in operating “meet and greet” or valet parking services. (...)

The EU General Court confirms fine on a leading payment card company for market foreclosure (Morgan Stanley/Visa)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 14 April 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on Visa‘s appeal against a 2007 Commission decision relating to Visa‘s refusal to admit Morgan Stanley as a member of its payment card network (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2007, No. 10). In its judgment, the GC rejects (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading finds that a medicine producer abuses its dominant position and imposes a fine of £ 10 200 000 (Reckitt Benckiser)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Issues Decision in Reckitt Benckiser Case* On 13 April 2011, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a decision which found that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position by withdrawing National Health Service packs of its Gaviscon Original (...)

The Italian Competition Authority makes binding commitments of a gambling operator concerning an alleged abuse of dominant position on the games and betting market (SISAL)
European Commission
Italy: The Antitrust Authority (ICA) accepts Commitments by SISAL S.p.A. in the Italian Games and Betting market* On 13 April 2011, the ICA accepted the binding commitments proposed by SISAL S.p.A. (SISAL) which will facilitate the access by competitors to the on-line bet-collection market. (...)

The Belgian Constitutional Court finds that the Act on trade practices and consumer protection implementing Directive 2005/29/CE infringes the principle of non-discrimination of the Constitution
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
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Buyle Legal (Brussels)
I. Introduction Exactly one year after the adoption of the Belgian Act of 6 April 2010 (MB 12.04.2010) on trade practices and consumer protection, the Belgian Constitutional Court found that it infringes the principle of non-discrimination enshrined in Articles 10 and 11 of the Belgian (...)

The Swiss Supreme Court upholds the annulment of the record fine on the historical telecom operator for excessive pricing in mobile termination fees (Swisscom / Comco)
Swiss Competition Commission
On 11th April 2011, the Swiss Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited decision in the mobile termination fees case about an alleged abuse of dominance of Swisscom, the Swiss historical telecom operator. In 2007, the Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has imposed a record fine of over 200 (...)

Mergers

The US FTC issues a statement to clarify the use of escrows in reportable acquisitions
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On April 29, 2011, the Premerger Notification Office (PNO) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a statement “to provide greater clarity about the use of escrows in connection with transactions” that require notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as (...)

The President of the EU General Court lifts obligation to provide a bank guarantee (Westfälische Drahtindustrie/Papus Industrie Beteiligungen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 April 2011, the President of the General Court (“GC”) suspended the execution of the fining decision of the European Commission against Westfälische Drahtindustrie GmbH, Westfälische Drahtindustrie Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH&Co. KG (“WDV”) and Papus Industrie Beteiligungen GmbH&Co. KG (...)

The German Competition Authority suggests that divestments made after the implementation of a merger may remove jurisdiction (CTS Eventim / See Tickets Germany / Ticket Online Gruppe)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a case summary of 12 April 2011 published on the German Federal Cartel Office’s website, the Cartel Office found that CTS Eventim’s already implemented acquisition of See Tickets Germany/Ticket Online Gruppe fell outside the scope of German merger control because the parties’ (...)

The US DOJ clears an acquisition subject to conditions in the IT industry (Google / ITA)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that, to allow Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software, DOJ and the parties have agreed to a set of requirements that will govern Google’s future operation of the ITA business. This action is notable as another challenge to a vertical merger and (...)

The US DoJ allows acquisition of the leading airfare pricing provider by the largest Internet search provider with settlement reflecting antitrust enforcement trends (Google / ITA)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
On October 5, 2011, following a public comment period, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its final judgment approving the requirements Google and ITA Software have agreed to in order to address the U.S. Department of Justice’s alleged anticompetitive concerns stemming (...)

The Bosnian & Herzegovinan Competition Authority confirms that transfer of assets falls under definition of the “acquisition of control” under the national Merger Regulation and increases the level of fines for the failure to notify (Optima Grupa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 April 2011 the Bosnian & Herzegovinan Competition Authority (KV) fined the petroleum company OPTIMA Grupa d.o.o. (OPTIMA) for the failure to notify a concentration, which took the form of asset acquisition. The KV has thus reaffirmed that acquisition of assets falls under definition of (...)

The Polish Competition Court upholds a merger prohibition decision in the market for railway turnouts (Cogifer/Koltram)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection recently upheld two decisions of the Polish Competition Authority prohibiting concentrations, one in the market for railway turnouts and another in the market for waste battery treatment. In the first judgment, adopted on 5 April 2011, (...)

The Polish Competition Court upholds a merger prohibition decision in the market for waste battery treatment (Baterpol/Orzeł Biały)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection recently upheld two decisions of the Polish Competition Authority prohibiting concentrations, one in the market for railway turnouts and another in the market for waste battery treatment. In the second case, decided on 13 April 2011, the (...)

State Aid

The European Commission rules that financial support to a French automotive supplier did not constitute State aid since it complies with the market economy investor principle (FMEA, Trèves)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* Following an in-depth investigation, on 20 April the Commission decided that financial support of €55 million to automotive supplier Trèves from the Fonds de Modernisation des Equipementiers Automobiles (FMEA) does not constitute (...)

The European Commission approves public financing granted to Danish broadcaster concluding that the State financing was necessary and proportionate, according to the EU current rules on state funding for public broadcasters (TV2)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 20 April, the Commission adopted two decisions approving the funding mechanism that was in place for the Danish broadcaster TV2 between 1995 and 2002. The first decision concluded that state financing received during the (...)

The European Commission concludes that a French venture capital fund which aims to encourage the raising of risk capital for young innovative SMEs is compatible with the guidelines on risk capital (FNA)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 20 April, the Commission concluded that the national venture capital fund which aims to encourage the raising of risk capital for young innovative SMEs is compatible with the guidelines on risk capital. The French national (...)

The European Commission re-assesses a State aid case and decides that the purchase price paid by a Finnish municipality to a real estate company does not constitute a State aid and complies with the market investor principle (Componenta, Finnish municipality Karkkila)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* Following the Court annulment of a Commission decision of 2005, on 20 April the Commission adopted a decision stating that the purchase price paid by the Finnish municipality Karkkila to Componenta does not constitute state aid (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves the State aid package and the restructuring of leading Dutch financial services company (ABN AMRO)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The ABN AMRO restructuring decision* On 5 April 2011, the Commission took a final conditional decision approving the State aid package of the ABN AMRO Group and the restructuring of the company. This conditional decision followed the opening of a formal investigation on 8 April 2009, which, - (...)

Procedures

The French Competition Authority publishes new fining notice
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 May 2011, the French Competition Authority published the final version of its new notice on the method of setting fines for competition law infringements (the "Fining Notice"). This document aims to enhance transparency on the method followed by the French Competition Authority when (...)

The European Commission consults on best practices for cooperation between Member States authorities on multi-jurisdictional mergers
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 April 2011, the European Commission published for consultation draft Best Practices for cooperation between Member State competition authorities in the review of concentrations that fall outside the scope of the EU Merger Regulation but have to be notified in more than one Member State. (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes two reports on competition and other market conditions in the food supply chain
European Commission
Sweden: Final Report on Food and Market: Large Undertakings dominate the Food Market* The Swedish Competition Authority has on the assignment of the Government examined competition and other market conditions in the food supply chain. The results of the assignment are provided in two reports (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns a court of appeal’s decision in the mobile sector holding that federal law preempts state law banning class action waiver in arbitration agreements (AT&T Mobility/Concepcion)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Customers’ Efforts to Use Arbitration to Challenge AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Fail* Federal district courts around the country have blocked AT&T Mobility LLC customers from pursuing arbitration to challenge the merger of AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA Inc.—a transaction valued at (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that consumer arbitration clause containing a class action waiver is enforceable (AT&T Mobility, Concepcion)
White & Case (Miami)
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White & Case (Los Angeles)
,
White & Case (Washington)
On April 27, 2011, the US Supreme Court issued the long-awaited opinion in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion. (No. 09-893, 563 US ____, slip op. (April 27, 2011)) Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, held that because (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a duty to respect competition law in the multi-brand gift cards sector (Accentiv’Kadéos)
EDHEC (Nice)
Summary ACCENTIV’KADEOS had to accept to give up exclusive dealing agreements with its affiliated partners to comply with competition law. Facts On March 2, 2010, TITRES CADEAUX asked the French Competition authority to take interim measures against ACCENTIV’KADEOS to prevent them from dealing (...)

The China’s Supreme Court issues rules on Private Actions under the Anti-Monopoly law
Linklaters (Beijing)
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Linklaters (Shanghai)
,
Linklaters (London)
On 25 April 2011, the Supreme People’s Court of China (the “SPC”) published on its website a draft of the long-awaited Provisions by the Supreme People’s Court on the Issues Regarding the Application of Law in Handling Anti-monopoly Civil Litigation Cases (the “Provisions”) for public consultation. (...)

The Serbian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority sanctioning two leading dairy food companies for abusing their dominant position on the raw milk market (Mlekara and Imlek)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 April 2011 the Administrative Court has upheld the infringement decision of the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) sanctioning the two leading dairy food companies Mlekara and Imlek (both controlled by Danube Foods Group BV) for an abuse of their joint dominant position on the market for (...)

The Greek Parliament adopts a new Competition Act aiming at both increasing institutional effectiveness and promoting harmonization at European level
European Commission
Greece: New Greek Competition Act enters into force* The new law (Law 3959/20.4.2011) (the new Act) which was adopted on 15 April and entered into force on 20 April 2011, aims at increasing the effectiveness of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC - the Authority), while further promoting (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases its 2010 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 April 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) has released its 2010 annual report. Present note shall focus exclusively on competition enforcement activities carried out by the CC in 2010 without addressing its activities related to the state aids control, competition advocacy, (...)

The EU General Court refuses to allow third party to intervene in appeal against a merger clearance (Monty Program)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In an order of 8 April 2011, the General Court (“GC”) refused to grant the third party Canonical leave to intervene in the appeal by Monty Program against the European Commission’s decision to approve the acquisition by Oracle of Sun Microsystems. On 21 January 2010, the European Commission (...)

The Belgian Competition Council dismisses a claim from the Prosecutor concerning a coordinated price increase due to the non-respect of the rights of the defence (Ferrero)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
,
1. The Parties The present procedure was launched at the initiative of the Competition Prosecutor who opened an office instruction after having detected serious indications of concerted practices in the food industry. The following companies are targeted: Ferrero SA (hereinafter: Ferrero), (...)

The UK Supreme Court declines to hear a further appeal against a ruling of the Court of Appeal rejecting a company‘s move to sue its directors and employees in order to recover competition fines payable to the OFT (Safeway)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 April 2011, it was reported that the UK Supreme Court has declined to hear a further appeal by Safeway against a ruling of the UK Court of Appeal rejecting Safeway‘s move to sue its directors and employees in order to recover competition fines payable to the UK competition regulator, the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal asks the Belgian Constitutional Court whether its jurisdiction should extend to decisions taken by the College of Competition Prosecutors in the context of a dawn raid
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
,
Buyle Legal (Brussels)
Introduction The Brussels Court of Appeal was asked to annul and provisionally suspend three decisions adopted by the Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors in relation to documents seized in the course of a dawn raid. The main question is whether the Brussels Court of Appeal has (...)

Regulatory

Public sector

A Hungarian Court annuls the decision of the Competition Office having found guilty construction companies of bid rigging taking into account lack of proof of single and continuous infringement (Heves – Nógrád county tenders)
Philip Morris
I. Introduction On 19 April 2011, the Metropolitan Court of Budapest (the “Court”) annulled the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) that EGÚT Egri Útépítő Zrt. (“EGÚT”) and Strabag Építő Zrt. (“Strabag”) were guilty of bid rigging and cancelled the fine that was imposed. The Court ordered the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces fines in construction bid-rigging case (Barrett Estate Services and others)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 and 27 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to the remaining appeals against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging cartel case. The judgments of 15 April 2011 related to (...)

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