April 2012

Anticompetitive practices

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines undertakings for market-sharing in the railway sector (MÁV Magyar Államvasutak, Rail Cargo Hungaria, Győr-Sopron-Ebenfurti Vasút)
European Commission (Brussels)
Hungary: Fines imposed on Cartel in Rail Freight Transport Market* On 27 April 2012, the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH)) adopted a decision against MÁV Magyar Államvasutak Zrt. (MÁV), MÁV Cargo Árufuvarozási Zrt., currently called: Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. (RCH), and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reaffirms that the “scope of the patent” test is the proper standard of antitrust review of the reverse payment settlements among pharmaceutical companies (Solvay/Watson/Paddock)
United First Partners
Introduction In FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Watson”), the Eleventh Circuit reaffirmed its long line of precedents and held that, absent sham litigation or fraud in obtaining the patent, the “scope of the patent” test should be used to evaluate antitrust challenges to the reverse payment (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects the FTC’s latest “Pay-For-Delay” challenge (FTC v. Watson)
Mayer Brown (Washington)
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US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) complaint against four pharmaceutical companies: Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Par Pharmaceuticals, and Paddock Laboratories. The (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects FTC’s approach to "pay-for-delay" settlement between brand name and generic drug companies as an unlawful agreement not to compete under S. 5 of the FTC Act (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Eleventh Circuit Rejects FTC’s Approach to Pay-for-Delay Settlements as “Turducken Task”* The U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected on April 25, 2012 the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to a patent litigation settlement between brand name and generic drug companies as an unlawful (...)

The European Commission submits comments to Ireland’s High Court in the Irish beef case: can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices?
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
“Crisis cartels” - Can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices? Insights from a European Commission statement to Ireland’s High Court, April 2012* The global economic downturn has given new life to the difficult question of whether competition authorities will ever tolerate (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines three aluminium phosphide tablets manufacturers for engaging in bid-rigging (Food Corporation of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In tendering to the Food Corporation of India, three manufacturers of Aluminium Phosphide Tablets were found to have quoted the same rates, to have reduced rates by the same margin in negotiations, and to have collectively abstained from bidding. The CCI fined the parties 9% of average (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms that a co-insurance pool agreement had the effect of restricting competition and upholds the decision of the NCA to impose fines (AB Lietuvos draudimas, UAB DK PZU Lietuva)
Competition Council of Latvia
On 20 April, 2012 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (the "Court") rejected the appeals brought by two insurance companies - AB Lietuvos draudimasandUAB DK PZU Lietuva- against the Competition Council’s infringement decision (the "Decision") finding them guilty of having entered into a (...)

The Court of Appeals of Tirana upholds the District Court’s judgment quashing the NCA decision concerning a concerted practice case in the markets for wheat import and production of flour (Atlas/Bloja)
University of Tirana
On April 2012 the Court of Appeals of Tirana handed down a judgment confirming a decision of the District Court of Tirana on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA). This decision imposed a fine on two major companies operating in the market of import of wheat and the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision on an agreement in the insurance sector (Lietuvos draudimas, DK PZU Lietuva)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision in Insurance Case* On 20 April 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Supreme Court) definitively upheld the decision of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (CC) of 23 (...)

The UK OFT fines leading airlines for anti-competitive practices in relation to the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges (British Airways / Virgin Atlantic Airways)
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: British Airways to pay £ 58 500 000 (approximately € 71 515 000) Penalty in OFT Fuel Surcharge Decision* On 19 April 2012, the Office of Fair Trading announced its decision that British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) engaged in anti-competitive practices in (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina prosecutes the regional government for public procurement infringements that resulted in restriction of competition in the transports market (Centrotrans-Eurolines)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 April 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina (KV) established that public procurement infringements by the Sarajevo cantonal Ministry of Education, Science and Youth (the Ministry) resulted in restriction of competition on the passenger transport market. The KV found (...)

The Romanian Competition Council finalises its report in an inquiry into the automotive spare parts market
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
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OMV Petrom
In February 2009, a sector inquiry was initiated by the Romanian Competition Council (the “Competition Council”) aiming at a better understanding of the auto vehicle spare parts market. On 18 April 2012, the Competition Council published its findings in a detailed report (the “Report”). The (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds that ten explosives manufacturers had collectively boycotted an electronic reverse auction for the procurement of explosives (Coal India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In the Explosives Case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that ten explosives manufacturers had collectively boycotted an electronic reverse auction conducted by Coal India Limited (CIL) for the procurement of bulk loading and cartridge explosives in breach of Section 3 (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds that three medical equipment/systems suppliers engaged in bid-rigging (Safdarjung hospital)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY The Competition Commission of India established that three medical equipment/systems suppliers had engaged in bid-rigging in a tender for the supply of equipment/systems to the Sports Injury Centre of Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi in breach of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002. (...)

The Paris Commercial Court authorises production of documents contained in cartel case file in support of an action for damages (Primagaz, Butagaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 April 2012, the Paris Commercial Court handed down a preliminary judgment, before ruling on the merits of the case, authorising a plaintiff, namely Primagaz, to produce certain documents contained in the French Competition Authority’s case file in support of an action for damages (...)

The US DoJ announces to continue investigations into the e-book industry for alleged price-fixing conspiracy (Apple)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
The DOJ believes that Apple is forcing you to pay more for e-books* On April 11, 2012 the world of antitrust became abuzz with the news that the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Apple for its alleged participation in an e-books pricing scheme with the leading publishers: Hachette Book Group (USA), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office holds in a cartel case that the statutory immunity relating to agricultural products may be in violation of EU competition law (Watermelon cartel)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) launched competition supervision proceedings in 2012 against six major supermarket chains and two agricultural professional organisations for forming a price cartel in respect of Hungarian-produced watermelons. On 10 April 2013, the HCO terminated the (...)

The US Judge of New Jersey District Court dismisses the claims of the indirect purchasers in price-fixing litigation (Magnesium Oxide)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
,
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Indirect Purchasers’ Claims Undermined In Mineral Price-Fixing Litigation* Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has dismissed class action claims of price fixing brought by indirect purchasers against several magnesium oxide companies in the (...)

The US Judge of New Jersey District Court dismisses the claims of the indirect purchasers for lack of standing to bring a cause of action (Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
With No Reliance Nor Nexus, Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ Claims Fall Short: In re Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J. Apr. 5, 2012)* Introduction Antitrust claims by indirect purchasers of magnesium oxide did not survive defendant manufacturers’ motion to dismiss a complaint alleging (...)

The English High Court rules in favour of partial disclosure of documents in an action for damages allegedly caused by the gas insulated switchgear cartel (National Grid Electricity)
Matrix Chambers
National Grid – shining Pfleiderer’s light on access to EU leniency documents* A while ago I blogged on an important development in the General Court relating to the ability of victims of cartels and other anti-competitive practices to get their hands on relevant evidence enabling them to prove (...)

The English High Court orders disclosure of parts of the unredacted version of the EU Commission’s switchgear cartel decision (National Grid / ABB)
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
*Antitrust Litigation: Access to Documents Held by Regulatory Authorities The English High Court has confirmed that the principles established by the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "ECJ") in Pfleiderer apply to the disclosure of leniency documents submitted to the (...)

A French Court of Appeal rules on the jurisdiction of specialized courts on the ground of public policy in cases involving restrictives practices (Iso Confort/Altop)
Vogel & Vogel
In May 2010, an operator terminated without notice a partnership agreement with another party. The latter filed a claim for damages on the basis of Articles 1134 and 1147 of the Civil Code. Applying the jurisdiction clause contained in the contract, the Commercial Court in Arras declined (...)

The Tirana District Court quashes the decision of the Albanian Competition Authority on bid rigging in the new cars public procurement (Classic/Noti)
University of Tirana
On April 2012 the District Court of Tirana, handed a decision on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA), on a bid rigging in the public procurement of new cars by various institutions in Albania. This decision imposed a fine on 4 distributors of new cars and genuine (...)

The Competition Commission of Pakistan grants immunity upon a leniency application that facilitated the breakage of a Rs 36 billion cartel in switchgear and distribution transformer market (Siemens)
Computer and Communications Industry Association US (CCIA)
On April 3 the Competition Commission of Pakistan published a landmark decision imposing fines to members participating on a switchgear and transformer distribution market cartel, upon a leniency application submitted by Siemens. The decision represents a stepping-stone within the Pakistani (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines five ferry operators for participating in a cartel on the freight and passenger maritime transport in the Balearic Islands (Navieras Baleares)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
On 23 February 2012, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “Council”, the “SCC”) imposed combined fines of up to €54 million on Balearia Eurolíneas Marítimas, S.A. ("Balearia"), Compañía Transmediterránea, S.A.("Transmediterránea"), Isleña Marítima de Contenedores, S.A. ("Iscomar"), (...)

The Romanian Competition Council investigates and imposes fines in a resale price-fixing case involving the distribution of perfume products (D & P Parfumum Case)
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
Description of the case On 2 December 2009, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) initiated an ex officio investigation into the distribution market of perfume products bearing D&P perfume brand names in alleged breach of the provisions of Article 5(1)(a) of the Romanian Competition Law (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority grants immunity from fines to a bus company for the notification of the price-fixing agreement with a competitor (Jeremic prevoz / Nis ekspres)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 November 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established that the two bus operators, Jeremic prevoz d.o.o. and Nis ekspres a.d. by concluding an agreement concerning joint transportation services and establishing uniform ticket prices have committed an infringement of the (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority sanctions two bus operators for entering into a pooling agreement and eliminating price competition between them (Lasta and Europa Bus)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 November 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established that two bus operators, Lasta a.d. and Europa-Bus d.o.o. by concluding a pooling agreement concerning cooperation on the bus route Valjevo-Belgrade-Valjevo have committed an infringement of the national equivalent of (...)

Unilateral Practices

The English High Court grants an interim injunction against the use by private hire vehicles of bus lanes marked for taxis: insufficient connection with EU law (Transport for London)
Matrix Chambers
Taxi wars in London – does EU law have a role to play?* On Thursday of last week the High Court granted Transport for London (TfL) an interim injunction relating to the high-profile raising of the stakes in its battle with Addison Lee (AL), the largest “private hire” (ie minicab) operator (PHO) (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines electrical utility incumbent approximately € 1 M for failing to comply with a decision of the Competition Court (Endesa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 April 2012, the Spanish National Competition Authority (CNC) fined electrical utility incumbent Endesa approximately € 1 million for failing to comply with a December 2006 CNC decision. In that case, the CNC found that Endesa had taken advantage of privileged information to which it (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision concerning the abuse of dominance in collection of royalties by the Croatian Composers’ Society (Croatian Composers’ Society)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS-ZAMP) for abusing its dominant position on the market for collection of royalties for copyrighted music (...)

The EFTA Court upholds EFTA Surveillance Authority’s decision on an abuse of dominant position in the postal sector (Posten Norge)
European Commission (Brussels)
ESA: The EFTA Court upholds EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision finding Abuse of Dominance by Norway Post* On 18 April 2012, the EFTA Court (the Court) upheld a decision of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (the Authority) of 14 July 2010 finding that Posten Norge AS (Norway Post) abused its (...)

The Guangdong Higher People’s Court of China holds the first hearing for abuse of dominance in the market of online instant communications services (360 / QQ)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
360 v. QQ-Abuse of Dominance Action Tried at Guangdong Higher Court* On April 18, the Guangdong Higher People’s Court held the first court hearing for the abuse of dominance action filed by Qihoo (the operator of 360 safety software) against Tencent (the operator of QQ instant messaging (...)

The EFTA Court sanctions for abuse of dominant position a company active in the market for business-to consumer parcel services with over-the-counter delivery addressing the issue of judicial review (Posten Norge)
Jones Day (Paris)
A lesson on judicial review from the other European Court in Luxembourg* Legal change sometimes takes unpredictable paths: mid-April, something important happened for European law in Luxembourg, but this did not come from the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”). Not every reader of this blog (...)

The Spanish Constitutional Court seems to set a fatal blow to regional competition authorities in a ruling concerning an abuse of dominance case in the bus transport sector (Madrid Southern Bus Station)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Background On March 8, 2006 Aníbal S.L. – a firm providing services on the international passenger bus route Lisbon-Madrid-Paris, for which they held the mandatory administrative authorisation – sent a letter of complaint against the concessionaire of the Madrid Southern Bus Station (Esamsa) to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments in the natural gas market (PGNiG)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: PGNiG’s Commitments in Abuse of Dominance Case in Gas Sector* On 13 April 2012, UOKiK adopted a decision which renders the commitments offered by Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) binding in the framework of proceedings relating to an alleged abuse of dominant position on (...)

The portugese competition authorithy sanctions abusive behaviour by dominant company before national health service hospitals (Roche Farmacêutica Química)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
I. Background The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) decision of 12 April 2012, in case PRC 2008/10, was triggered by an antitrust complaint lodged on June 2008 against Roche Farmacêutica Química, Lda (Roche) by a competitor also active in supply of medicinal products to Portuguese National (...)

A US District Court grants motion for summary judgment stating that the alleged exclusionary conduct constituted nonprice restraints and thus subject to rule of reason analysis (Church & Dwight / Mayer Laboratories)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
“Planogram” and “Category Captain” Marketing Programs Held Non-Exclusionary* Rival condom manufacturer’s antitrust claims dismissed. Church & Dwight Co., Inc. v. Mayer Laboratories, Inc., United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. C-10-4429 EMC (April 12, 2012). (...)

The Albanian Competition Authority fines a concessionnaire for abusing its dominant position in the market of unloading liquefied petroleum gas services at a port terminal (Romano Port)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
With a recently published decision of April 11, 2012, the Albanian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) imposed a 6.7 million Albanian Lek fine on Romano Port SHA (i.e., € 47,722, equal to 2.35% of the company’s annual turnover) for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the market of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council closes an investigation in relation to an alleged abuse of dominant position on the Romanian telecom sector (Romtelecom and Netmaster)
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
,
OMV Petrom
The interest of the Romanian Competition Council (the “Competition Council”) in the telecommunications sector has increased significantly in recent years with several investigations being finalised or due to be finalised in the recent period. As publicly stated by the President of the Competition (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority rejects a complaint for abuse of dominant position in the market for supply/sale of natural gas (Prirodni Plin)
Babic & Partners
Croatia: When is a Good Time to Argue with the Agency?* On April 5, 2012 the Croatian Competition Agency (“Agency”) rendered a decision rejecting a complaint against the company Prirodni Plin d.o.o. (Natural Gas Ltd – “NG”) for abuse of dominant position on the market for supply/sale of natural (...)

The EU General Court dismisses Spanish telecom incumbent’s appeal against a Commission decision that imposed a €151 million fine on the company for a margin squeeze in the regulated national broadband market (Telefónica)
German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht )
On 29 March 2012 the General Court (“GC”) of the European Union dismissed an appeal lodged by Telefónica and its wholly owned subsidiary Telefónica España (hereinafter “Telefónica”) against a Commission decision of 4 July 2007 that imposed a €151 million fine on the company for having abused its (...)

The Paris Commercial Court finds that leading internet search company abused its dominant position on the maps market (Bottin Cartographes / Google)
Google (Paris)
Facts Is free an anticompetitive behavior? Bottin Cartographes, a French company which offers solutions to firms which want to integrate maps in their websites, realized that it was losing clients to Google. Its clients, which used to pay for the display on their pages of their location and (...)

Mergers

The Canadian Competition Bureau issues no action letter clearing a transaction in the equities trading and post-trade services markets (Maple/TMX)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Competition Bureau Issues No Action Letter in Maple/TMX Transaction* On July 4, 2012, the Competition Bureau announced that it had issued a No Action Letter clearing the Maple/TMX transaction (see: Competition Bureau Completes Review of Proposed Maple-TMX Transaction). In making the (...)

The US DoJ conditions merger approval upon divestiture of supply contracts in 8 local school districts affecting the market for school bus transportation services (National Express / Petermann)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
On April 30, 2012, the Department of Justice announced a conditional approval of the merger between National Express Corporation and Petermann Partners Inc., hinging upon the divestiture of the merging firms’ service contracts in 8 local markets. National Express and Petermann serve as (...)

The Italian Competition Authority reviews a merger in the airline sector and imposes the elimination of the monopoly position on the Milan Linate-Rome route (Alitalia / Air One)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction On the basis of Law Decree 134/2008 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) conditionally cleared the Alitalia/Air One merger by imposing a set of behavioral remedies to prevent the imposition of excessive prices. It also set the a three-year deadline for the review of the (...)

The Tunisian Competition Authority rules on a merger case and considers that it lies within the scope of Article 7 of the Tunisian competition law (Carlyle Group / Gores Broadband)
Tunsian Competition Council
I. Introduction 1. Tunisia has been the first country in the Arab world in enacting a competition law since 1991. The enactment of the Tunisian competition law was a normal result of the open trade policy adopted by Tunisia in the earliest of 1990s. At that period, Tunisia has established a (...)

The Belgian Competition Council fines a telecommunications company € 75,000 for providing incomplete response to questionnaire in merger case (Belgacom)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 5 April 2012, the Competition Council imposed a fine of € 75,000 on Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom for providing an incomplete response to a request for information in the context of the merger review of Belgacom’s acquisition of The Phone House. During the review of the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council fines a telecommunications company € 75,000 for providing incomplete response to questionnaire in merger case (Belgacom)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 5 April 2012, the Competition Council imposed a fine of € 75,000 on Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom for providing an incomplete response to a request for information in the context of the merger review of Belgacom’s acquisition of The Phone House. During the review of the (...)

Procedures

The Spanish Supreme Court validates the seizure of documents protected by legal privilege and documents beyond the scope of the inspection order, if they are not used in the administrative proceedings (STAMPA)
Lonza
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
On April 27, 2012, the Spanish Supreme Court issued judgment number 6552/2009 on the appeals submitted by the Asociación Nacional de Perfumería y Cosmética (“STANPA”) and the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNC”) against the judgment of the Audiencia Nacional (Spanish Court of Appeal, “AN”) of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority publishes a report on competition in professional services sector
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia publishes Report on Competition in professional Services Sector* On 26 April 2012, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) released a report analysing the state of competition in the professional services sector subsequent to the completion of (...)

A Czech court confirms that phone recordings may be lawfully used as evidence in antitrust proceedings (Husky)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction In April 2012 the Regional Court in Brno confirmed the decision of the Czech Office for Protection of Economic Competition (“Czech Competition Authority”) fining HUSKY CZ for resale price maintenance. Based on the findings of the Czech Competition Authority, HUSKY CZ set the maximum (...)

The Swedish Government initiates inquiry regarding certain aspects of competition legislation
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: The Government initiates Inquiry regarding certain Aspects of Competition Legislation* On 26 April 2012, the Swedish Government appointed Mr Severin Blomstrand (a judge at the Swedish Supreme Court) to carry out an inquiry into certain aspects of the Swedish legislation governing the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority proposes liberalization of motor vehicle spare parts market
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council proposes Liberalization of Motor Vehicle Spare Parts Market* The Romanian Competition Council (RCC) has recently finalized its sector inquiry on spare parts for motor vehicles. The proposed scope of the investigation was to identify the market mechanisms (...)

The UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is consulting on reforms aimed at making it easier to bring private actions for antitrust damages
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. An Unpopular Solution to the Private Enforcement Problem* The UK’s Department for Business is currently consulting on a package of reforms aimed at making it easier to bring private actions for damages against firms engaged in (...)

The UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) launches consultation implementing alternative remedies to reform private actions in competition law
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Breaking the deadlock? Private antitrust enforcement in the UK* Private antitrust enforcement in the UK has never got off the ground, even after the Competition Act of 1998 introduced enforceable antitrust provisions. Plaintiffs have (...)

The UK Government publishes a consultation on private actions in competition law proposing a rebuttable presumption of 20% price rise for damages against proven cartels
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. A Rebuttable Presumption of 20% Price Rise for Damages against Proven Cartels?* The UK Government yesterday published a consultation on private actions in competition law. It includes a suggestion that there should be a rebuttable (...)

The US Northern District of California denies motion to dismiss conspiracy claims with bilateral agreements (High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In a high-technology case, employees of various high-tech companies sued their employers for conspiring to restrict their salaries. 856 F. Supp. 2d at 1108. Many of the plaintiffs’ allegations mirrored those from earlier complaints that the Department of Justice filed against the same firms, (...)

The US Supreme Court issues a decision addressing the pharmaceutical “use codes” and their impact on generic drugs approval process (Caraco)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
New U.S. Supreme Court Decision Addresses Pharmaceutical “Use Codes”* The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision that provides generic pharmaceutical manufacturers with the ability to challenge the “use codes” listed by brand name manufacturers in filings made with the U.S. Food and Drug (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority organizes a roundtable on liberalization and competition in airline and airport sectors
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: Roundtable on Liberalization and Competition in Airline and Airport Sectors* On 12 April 2012, the Comisión Nacional de Competencia (CNC) organized a roundtable entitled Liberalization and competition on the airline and airport sectors. This roundtable is part of the advocacy efforts (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its provisional findings in automotive aftermarkets sector inquiry and consults stakeholders
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence publishes its provisional Findings in Automotive Aftermarkets Sector Inquiry and consults Stakeholders* On 11 April 2012, the Autorité made its initial findings public in order to allow all players to submit their comments, before issuing its final Opinion, (...)

US District Court for the District of New Jersey dismisses class action claims of price fixing brought by indirect purchasers against several magnesium oxide companies (Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this horizontal price-fixing conspiracy case, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ complaint failed to adequately plead fraudulent concealment so as to toll the statute of limitations. In particular, the plaintiffs purportedly failed to plead (1) that the conspiracy was (...)

The Irish Parliament examines a new competition bill
European Commission (Brussels)
Ireland: New Competition Bill before Parliament* A Bill which will make significant amendments to Irish competition law is now making its way through Parliament. The Bill is in its final stages of being passed by the Parliament and is expected to become law before the Summer. The Competition (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority releases its 2011 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
In April 2012 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) released its 2011 Annual Report, where it summarized its competition enforcement and related activities carried out in 2011. The principal feature of the KZK’s activity in 2011 was the application of the 2009 Competition Act, which replaced (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court upholds second instance judgment in the Budapest road construction cartel case and rules on the admissibility of evidence and the applicability of the ECHR to cartel proceedings (Betonút)
lakatos, koves and partners
On 6 February 2012 the Hungarian Supreme Court adopted a judgment in which the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) and the earlier judgments of the Metropolitan Court and the Metropolitan Court of Appeal in a cartel matter relating to road construction works in Budapest were (...)

The European Court of Human Rights holds that the powers granted to the French Minister of economy under art. L. 442-6-III of the commercial code do not violate art. 6 of the ECHR (GALEC)
GIE Jurigroup - Cabinet Jean-Paul Montenot
The law NER (New Economic Regulations) adopted on May 15th, 2001, aimed at reinforcing the sanctions against abusive practices and facilitating damages actions, also fixed new rules of the game of the commercial negotiation. In particular, the provisions of Article L. 442-6-III of the French (...)

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