April 2013

Anticompetitive practices

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority enters into a settlement with an international consumer goods manufacturer in a resale price maintenance case concerning ice cream (Unilever Denmark)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 30 April 2013, Unilever Danmark A/S (Danish subsidiary of the international consumer goods manufacturer, Unilever) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price maintenance on some (...)

The UK Royal Assent is given to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that reverses the dishonesty requirement and excludes openly made cartels
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy Blog. The UK’s New Cartel Offence: It Could Be Alright on the Day* The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 drops the requirement of dishonesty and excludes cartel agreements made openly. At a late stage three additional defences were (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime settles in a case of resale price maintenance in relation to dealers and the prevention of parallel imports (Bosch / Siemens)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
BSH pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports on white goods* On April 24, 2013, BSH White Goods entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of the Danish (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime enters into a settlement with a white goods manufacturer in a resale price maintenance case (Witt Hvidevarer)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 April 2013, BSH Hvidevarer A/S (Danish subsidiary of the international home appliances manufacturer, BSH) entered into a settlement with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds antitrust infringement in national market for legal services (Bar Associations)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The Competition Authority finds Antitrust Infringement in National Market for Legal Services* On 23 April 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) decided that five Bar Associations (Civitavecchia, Latina, Tempio Pausania, Tivoli e Velletri) had infringed Article 101 TFEU. The Bar (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines five local bar association councils for hindering access to the legal services market in Italy by lawyers qualified in other Member States (Bar Association Councils of Civitavecchia, Latina, Tempio Pausania, Tivoli and Velletri)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
On April 23, 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority) imposed symbolic fines, amounting € 1.000, against five Italian local Bar Association Councils (namely, the Bar Association Councils of Civitavecchia, Latina, Tempio Pausania, Tivoli and Velletri), which were found to have (...)

The Singapore Competition Appeal Board reduces the financial penalties against 5 modelling agencies found by the Competition Commission to have fixed the rates of modelling services (Bee Works Casting, Diva Model, Impact Models Studio, Looque Models Singapore, Ave Management)
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
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Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
On 22 April 2013, the Singapore Competition Appeal Board (‘CAB’) published its decisions in Appeal No 2 of 2012 dated 10 April 2013 and Appeal No 3 of 2012 dated 10 April 2013. These appeals were made against the decision of the Competition Commission of Singapore (‘CCS’) in CCS Case number (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of the penalty provision applicable under German cartel law (Holcim / HeidelbergCement / Lafarge Zement / Schwenk Zement)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Calculation of fines to be adapted to Federal Court case-law* The recent decision of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in the cement cartel case (file no. KRB 20/12) has a strong impact on the interpretation of the penalty provision applicable under German cartel law (cf. (...)

The EU Commission launches market test of the commitments offered by e-book publisher to reach a settlement in the EU investigation into e-book pricing (Penguin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 April 2013, the European Commission launched a market test of the commitments offered by Penguin, aimed at reaching a settlement in the EU investigation into e-book pricing. In order to alleviate the Commission’s fears for collusion and higher prices in the e-book publishing sector, (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues an enforcement decision concerning previously established commitments to cease the anticompetitive practices on the retail market for body sportwear (FitFlops)
Irish Competition Authority
Competition Authority reminder to businesses: resale price maintenance is against the law The Competition Authority advises businesses to be aware that resale price maintenance is against the law and that it will take enforcement action against anyone engaging in the practice. The advice is (...)

The UK OFT issues a statement of objections to four pharma manufacturers for anticompetitive agreements over the supply of paroxetine (GSK / GUK / Alpharma / IVAX)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
UK OFT investigates GSK and generics manufacturers over pay for delay deals* On 19 April 2013 the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) issued a Statement of Objections to GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) and three generics manufacturers (Alpharma Limited, Generics UK Limited and Norton Healthcare Limited) (...)

The UK OFT issues statement of objections to four pharma companies alleging they acted to delay effective competition in the national supply of an antidepressant medicine (GSK / GUK / Alpharma / IVAX)
Blackstone Chambers
To fight or not to fight: pharmaceutical patent settlements* On 19 April 2013, the OFT announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections following its investigation into patent litigation settlement agreements (PLSAs) in the pharmaceutical sector. The underlying factual complaint related (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal dismisses appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the Competition Commission’s order finding them guilty of bid-rigging, but reduced the penalty imposed by 90% (Gulf Oil Corporation)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) dismissed the appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the order of 16 April 2012 made by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) (the CCI Order), finding them guilty of bid-rigging. The COMPAT held that the collective boycott (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina prosecutes healthcare administration for limiting competition in the regional market for medicines reimbursed under state health insurance system (Health Insurance Office of the Republic of Srpska)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 April 2013 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) established that the Health Insurance Office of the Republic of Srpska (the Office) by adopting mandatory minimum wage requirements applied to the pharmacies participating in the reimbursement of medicines supplied to (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority proposes substantive amendments to the competition law
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
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Kinstellar
Various experts in the field of competition legislation recently came together to comment on a draft proposal (“Draft Proposal”) for the first ever amendments to the 2009 Law on Protection of Competition (the “Competition Law”) Although there is general agreement that the Competition Law contained (...)

The French Supreme Court confirms the ability of NCAs to take action against anti-competitive agreements below de minimis thresholds (SNCF / Expedia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 April 2013, the French Supreme Court ruled that national competition authorities (NCAs) are allowed to take enforcement actions against companies found to be in breach of Article 101 TFEU, despite market shares being below the thresholds established by the European Commission’s (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied petroleum gas cartel (Friedrich Scharr, Primagas, Krefeld, Progas, Dortmund, Sano-Propan, Nuremberg and Tyczka Totalgaz)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases Fines against Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cartel* On 16 April 2013, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court - the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (the Court) has imposed fines of € 244 000 000 on five members of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...)

A German Higher Regional Court imposes fines on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (Drachen-Propangas / Propan Rheingas / Westfalen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied gas cartel* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed fines of 244 million euros on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (ref. VI-4 Kart 2-6/10 OWi). The companies involved are (...)

The Mozambican Parliament adopts a new competition act to be implemented gradually before 8 October 2013
Primerio
Antitrust in Mozambique? …could have stayed in COMESA* We know it’s a somewhat brusque title for a “new competition regime” post. But we must ask ourselves: Why is the República de Moçambique now joining the growing cadre of countries with a competition-law regime — almost exactly half a year after (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance orders the Competition Authority to recalculate fines imposed in a price fixing case in the land based international shipping sector (Agility Logistics, Albini & Pitigliani)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from April to June 2013 (First contribution) 1. Premise –This work is the first contribution of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian administrative (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority does not rule on anti-competitive agreements in the agricultural sector due to a new domestic sectoral exemption (Watermelon cartel)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
1. Introduction On 10 April 2013, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) terminated its competition proceedings concerning anti-competitive agreements against several multinational grocery retail chains as ALDI, Auchan, Lidl, Spar, TESCO and a domestic franchise, CBA as well as the Hungarian (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office stops a cartel investigation due to blocking legislation: can national law suppress a cartel investigation that affects inter-state trade? (Watermelon cartel)
Hungarian Competition Law Research Centre
Facts Various Hungarian supermarkets and agricultural organisations, under the auspices of the Hungarian Ministry for Rural Development, fixed the prices of watermelons and agreed not to market imported watermelons. Procedural history After the institution of the competition proceeding, the (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Colombian Competition Authority modifies the original terms of the opening of proceedings in an investigation of a possible cartel agreement involving twelve sugar mills, two distributors owned by the sugar mills and the trade association that groups them (Sugar cartel investigation)
Cortazar Urdaneta & Cia
The case Recently the SIC, the Colombian competition authority modified the original terms of the opening of proceedings in an investigation of a possible cartel agreement involving twelve sugar mills, two distributors owned by the sugar mills and ASOCAÑA, the trade association that groups (...)

The US FTC settles illegal information exchange allegations with hair restoration company (Bosley)
Kirkland & Ellis (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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General Electric (Washington)
On April 8, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed settlement with hair restoration company Bosley, Inc. to resolve allegations that Bosley illegally exchanged competitively sensitive, nonpublic business information with competitor HC (USA), Inc., commonly known as Hair (...)

The Australian Federal Court in Adelaide orders a penalty of $1.35 million against Japanese cable supplier in respect of bid rigging and price fixing conduct (Viscas)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Japanese cable supplier to pay $1.35 million penalty for cartel conduct* The Federal Court in Adelaide has ordered a penalty of $1.35 million against Japanese cable supplier Viscas Corporation in respect of bid rigging and price fixing conduct in proceedings brought by the Australian (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds NCA’s decision fining an association of parking companies for participating in a cartel (ANEPE)
Sérvulo & Associados
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Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
On 31 December 2010, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) adopted a decision finding that the Portuguese Association of Parking Companies (ANEPE) had adopted an anticompetitive decision and imposed a fine of EUR 1.971.397, 17. In short, the PCA concluded that ANEPE had coordinated its (...)

The Greek Supreme Administrative Court partially annuls a decision of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal upholding an HCC decision finding infringements of both Art 101 TFEU and Art 1 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of a resale price maintenance scheme in the market for dairy products (Vivartia, Megval, Fage, Olympos and Rodopi)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 3 April 2013, the second Senate of the Council of State (Symvoulio tis Epikrateias, the Greek Supreme Administrative Court) delivered Ruling No 1324/2013 which partially annuls Ruling No 3008/2009 of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon). The (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore publishes its market study on the competition assessment on the industrial property market
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
On 2 April 2013, the Competition Commission of Singapore (the “CCS”) published a market study entitled “Competition Assessment on the Industrial Property Market in Singapore” (the “Market Study”). The Market Study contains the CCS’ competition assessment of the industrial property market in Singapore (...)

Unilateral Practices

The US District Court, 9th Circuit refuses to dismiss the plaintiffs’ below-cost pricing claims raised under Unfair Practices Act in respect of clinical laboratory testing services (Rheumatology Diagnostic Laboratory/Aetna)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Is the California Unfair Practices Act a Free Pass on Motions to Dismiss?* Probably not, but UPA claims can be tough to defeat at the motion to dismiss stage. Witness Rheumatology Diagnostics Laboratory, Inc. v. Aetna, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151128 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 18, 2013) (Orrick, J.), (...)

The US Supreme Court declines to hear antitrust case leaving uncertainty regarding customer loyalty programs (Eaton/ZF Meritor)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Washington D.C.)
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Antitrust Case Leaving Uncertainty Regarding Customer Loyalty Programs* On April 29, 2013, the Supreme Court declined to review a decision that had created uncertainty as to when a manufacturer’s customer loyalty program may violate antitrust laws. Most circuits (...)

The US Supreme Court denies defendants’ petition for certiorari with respect to a decision of the Third Circuit raising significant issues as to how a court should analyze “market share discounts” by a dominant firm (ZF Meritor v. Eaton)
Cornell University
On April 29, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied defendant’s petition for certiorari with respect to the Third Circuit’s 2012 decision in ZF Meritor LLC v. Eaton Corp. (696 F.3d 254). Since the case raised significant issues as to how a court should analyze “market share discounts” by a dominant (...)

The European Commission carries out a market test of commitments in its investigation of online search service provider (Google)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The Google Commitments – Testing Substantive Theories Through Remedy Discussion* Over the last two months, the Commission has been market testing commitments that Google has offered to resolve the Commission’s pending investigation. Many have made thoughtful comments. But there has also been (...)

The Chinese SAIC holds a meeting with certain industry participants to obtain feedback on the latest draft Regulation on the Prohibition of Conduct Eliminating or Restricting Competition through Abuses of IPR
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
High tech under scrutiny in China* On April 26, 2013, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC“) - one of China’s three antitrust law enforcement bodies - noted on its website that it had held a meeting with certain industry participants to obtain feedback on the latest draft (...)

The European Commission begins market testing of commitments offered by the leading web search operator to address competition concerns (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 April 2013, the Commission issued a press release announcing that it had begun market testing commitments offered by Google in relation to online search and search advertising. In its press release, the Commission stated that it continues to have concerns that Google may be abusing (...)

The US Court of Western District of Washington finds that the patented technology didn’t play a significant role for the overall functionality of the plaintiff’s products (Microsoft/Motorola)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
District Court Enters the FRAND Fray* A number of federal court decisions and recent enforcement actions by the US antitrust agencies have highlighted the importance of abiding by commitments to license patents that have been declared essential (SEPs) on “fair, reasonable, and (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments meant to address competition concerns on the market for web search (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission market tests Google commitments in relation to online search and search advertising* On 25 April 2013 the European Commission published a press release and a memo seeking observations from third parties on the commitments offered by Google in order to address the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fine on operator for abuse of dominant position in primary market of natural gas transmission (DESFA)
European Commission (Brussels)
Greece: The Competition Commission imposes Fine on Gas Transmission Operator DESFA for Abuse of Dominant Position in Primary Market of Natural Gas Transmission* By virtue of the above decision, the HCC fined the ‘Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator SA’ (DESFA) a total of € 4 299 163 for (...)

A US Court issues first analysis of an appropriate royalty that a patentee could obtain after promising to license its patent on reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms (Microsoft / Motorola)
Rutgers University
On April 25, 2013, Judge James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington offered the first analysis by a U.S. court of an appropriate royalty that a patentee could obtain after promising to license its patent on reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms. (...)

The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency imposes fines on a media company for having abused of its dominance on the market for television advertising airtime (PRO PLUS)
Slovenian Competition Authority (Ljubljana)
Slovenian Competition Protection Agency fines the media company PRO PLUS* Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (CPA) has imposed a fine of nearly 5 million EUR for abuse of dominant position on company PRO PLUS, a leading broadcasting and internet media company in Slovenia. The fine is the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that the acquisition of exclusive pay-tv rights is not precluded by antitrust law (Sky Italia)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Italian Competition Authority finds that Sky Italia did not abuse of its dominant position* On 23 April 2013 the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) decided (the decision is only available in Italian) to close the proceedings against Sky Italia S.r.l. (“Sky Italia”) of The News Corporation Ltd. (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions municipal undertakings for charging excessive prices for bus terminal services (Zhilfond Pleven)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 April 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) sanctioned two municipal undertakings in the city of Pleven for imposing excessive tariffs on the bus operators for the usage of the city bus terminal. The CPC’s investigation was prompted by a complaint of a bus company Hebros Bus OOD (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines incumbent operator for abuse of dominant position in postal sector (Correos)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Correos for Abuse of Dominant Position in Postal Sector* On 22 April 2013, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) Council adopted a decision finding that Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telegrafos, S.A. (Correos) abused its dominant (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines postal operator for abuse of dominant position in the wholesale market for access services to the public postal network and the retail services market for administrative notifications (Correos)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
The National Competition Commission (“CNC”) has imposed a fine of 3.3 million euros on Correos for having abused its dominant position in: (i) the wholesale market for access services to the public postal network and (ii) the retail services market for administrative notifications. In May 2011 (...)

The Cypriot Commission for Protection of Competition imposes an administrative fine for abuse of dominance on the market for supply of raw cow milk (Pancyprian Organisation of Cattlefarmers)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus
The Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter the «Commission/CPC») with its decision no.35/2013 imposed on the Pancyprian Organisation of Cattlefarmers (POC) Public Ltd (hereinafter «POC») an administrative fine amounting to two hundred seventy six thousand and eight hundred thirty (...)

The UK OFT issues statement of objections to certain pharmaceutical companies alleging they acted to delay effective competition in the UK supply of a medicine (GSK / GUK / Alpharma / IVAX)
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The OFT issues Statement of Objections in Case involving Pharmaceutical Companies* On 19 April 2013, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections to certain pharmaceutical companies alleging they acted to delay effective competition in the UK supply of (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds the NCA decision on the abuse of dominant position by a dominant player on the petrol and diesel oil wholesale markets (Slovnaft)
White & Case (Bratislava)
On April 18, 2013, in its decision on the appeal filed by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (the “AMO”), the Slovak Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) overturned the judgment of the Bratislava Regional Court (the “Regional Court”) of March 22, 2012 and upheld the AMO decision sanctioning SLOVNAFT, a.s. (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds the NCA’s decision on the abuse of dominant position by a dominant player in the national petrol and diesel oil wholesale markets (Slovnaft)
White & Case (Bratislava)
On April 18, 2013, in its decision on the appeal filed by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (the “AMO”), the Slovak Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) overturned the judgment of the Bratislava Regional Court (the “Regional Court”) of March 22, 2012 and upheld the AMO decision sanctioning Slovnaft, a.s. (...)

The Cypriot Commission for Protection of Competition imposes administrative fines for providing quantitative discounts according to the volumes of vaccines purchased by doctors and pharmacists (Wyeth Hellas & Phadisco)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus
The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) with its decision No. 36/2013 imposed an administrative fine of €206,168 on Phadisco Ltd and an administrative fine of €8,234 to Wyeth Hellas SA (Cyprus Branch), through its successor Pfizer Hellas S.A. (Cyprus Branch), regarding the (...)

The Cypriot Commission for Protection of Competition imposes an administrative fine for a sudden and unjustified termination of a long-term financial relationship (Fereos)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus
The Commission for the Protection of Competition, with its decision no. 09/2013, imposed on Fereos Ltd an administrative fine amounting to €204.575 regarding the infringement of section 6(2) of the Protection of Competition Law (L.13(I)/2008) in relation to the examination of the complaint filed (...)

The Cypriot Commission for Protection of Competition imposes fines for abuse of dominance as a result of predatory pricing regarding the supply of barley for forage use (Cyprus Grain Commission)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus
The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) decided to impose a fine on Cyprus Grain Commission amounting to €148.450 regarding the infringement of Section (6)(1)(a) of the protection of Competition law (L.13(I)/2008) in relation to the examination of a complaint filed by AGS (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses the action based on an alleged abuse of dominance against a non-profit corporation founded by a group of real estate practitioners (TREB)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Competition Tribunal Dismisses Abuse of Dominance Case Against The Toronto Real Estate Board* Here is an item on an important decision of Canada’s Competition Tribunal written by my partners George Addy, Sandra Forbes, John Bodrug and Jim Dinning. It is especially relevant for trade (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses abuse of dominance case in the market for residential real estate brokerage services (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Competition Tribunal Dismisses Abuse of Dominance Case Against The Toronto Real Estate Board* On April 15, 2013, the Canadian Competition Tribunal released its decision dismissing the Commissioner of Competition’s application against the Toronto Real Estate Board (“TREB”). The Commissioner had (...)

The Competition Commission of Cyprus finds that the free administration of a vaccine with every purchase of vaccines constitutes unlawful tying (Panayotou/Wyeth)
University College London
The decision of the Cypriot Competition Commission issued on 12 April 2013 concerns a complaint submitted on 07/10/2005 by Akis Panayotou and Son Ltd (from now on ‘’the complainant’’) against Wyeth Hellas SA (Cyprus Branch) which has been since succedeed by Pfizer Hellas Commercial Industrial (...)

The Swedish Court of Appeal endorses the EU Court of Justice’s finding of abuse of dominance in margin squeeze case (TeliaSonera)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction On the 17 of February 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union released its preliminary ruling in Case C-52/09 Konkurrensverket v TeliaSonera. At the origin of this litigation we could find an application for summons issued by Konkurrensverket on 21 December 2004. After (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds no prima facie case in a predatory pricing case concerning oil and gas exploration activities (HLS Asia v Schlumberger Asia Services and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)
University of Delhi (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) began enforcing India’s new Competition Act in May 2009. It recently decided a matter in which predatory pricing was the central allegation. Although the CCI found no prima facie case and closed the matter at the threshold, the decision raises some (...)

The European Commission accepts commitments offered by the Czech electricity incumbent to resolve competition concerns (CEZ)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 April 2013, the European Commission announced that it has accepted a set of commitments offered by CEZ, the Czech electricity incumbent, in July 2012 to resolve concerns regarding an alleged infringement of Article 102 TFEU. In particular, the Commission had reached the preliminary (...)

The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition imposes fines on the national vertically integrated communications provider as a result of charging high prices regarding the supply of international capacity through the SMW-3 submarine fiber optic cable system (Primetel/CYTA)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus
The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) decided to impose a fine on Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) amounting to €295.277,00 regarding the infringement of section 6 (1) (a) of the Protection of Competition Law (L. 13(I)/2008) in relation to the examination of a (...)

The EU Commission receives a complaint alleging abuse of dominant position on the market for smartphone operating system (FairSearch/Google)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Some thoughts on the new anti-Google (Android) complaint* Some background to the complaint Back in April the FairSearch coalition in this case only two of its members Microsoft and Nokia lodged a complaint with DG Comp alleging: (a) that by giving Android to device-makers for “free” Google (...)

The President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection opens proceedings against gas supplier (PGNiG)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection opens Proceedings against Gas Supplier PGNiG* On 3 April 2013, the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) instituted antimonopoly proceedings against the gas supplier Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing* On 2 April the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for abuse of dominant position. Royalty tariffs for music airplay in retail (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
European Commission (Brussels)
Latvia: The Competition Council fines collective Copyright Management Association for Excessive Pricing* On 2 April 2013, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for having abused its dominant position by (...)

Mergers

The Chinese MOFCOM requests public comments on draft provisions concerning the evaluation, negotiation, implementation, monitoring, reconsideration of the remedies used in the conditional approvals issued as a result of the pre-merger review process
Sheppard Mullin (Beijing)
MOFCOM Requests Public Comments on Draft Provisions Related to Remedies Imposed in Conditional Approvals* Since the Anti-monopoly Law (“AML”) has come into effect in August 2008, MOFCOM has issued 16 conditional approvals requiring certain structural or behavioral remedies in order to prevent (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority approves acquisition but attached conditions (Elisa & PPO)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCCA approved deal between Elisa and PPO but attached conditions* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) decided on 24 April 2013 to approve the deal in which Elisa Corporation acquires control of the companies PPO-Yhtiöt Oy, Kymen Puhelin Oy and Telekarelia Oy. However, the FCCA (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM imposes complex behavioural remedies after identifying potential concerns about impact on competition in the import to China of soy beans (Marubeni / Gavilon)
First Principles Economics (FPE)
On the 23rd April 2013 MOFCOM published its 2nd merger decision of the year. It was a clearance, with conditions, of the merger between Marubeni Corp, a publicly listed company headquartered in Japan, and Gavilon Holdings LLC, a privately held company based in the USA. Process The parties (...)

The US DoJ drops its case seeking to block proposed acquisition of the remaining shares of a large brewery in Mexico (Anheuser-Busch InBev / Grupo Modelo)
Westpac
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Cheers for the beers* The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has dropped its case seeking to block Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) proposed acquisition of the remaining shares in Grupo Modelo (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM cleares conditionally an acquisition in the grain trading sector (Marubeni / Gavilon)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM Cleared Marubeni’s Acquisition of Gavilon with Conditions* On April 22, 2013, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) cleared the proposed acquisition of Gavilon Holdings, LLC (“Gavilon“) by Marubeni Corp (“Marubeni“) (the “Transaction”) with conditions. This is the second case conditionally (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM announces conditional clearance for a merger in the sensitive market of agriculture and food products (Marubeni / Gavilon)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Recent Developments in Chinese Merger Control – MOFCOM Shifts up a Gear* The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) has stepped up its merger control activities on many fronts in recent weeks, issuing ground-breaking decisions in the Glencore/Xstrata and Marubeni/Gavilon cases and circulating (...)

The US DOJ insists on divestiture of the entire US operations before approving acquisition in the beer industry (AB InBev / Grupo Modelo)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
Introduction Early in his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama declared: “Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play”. With this statement, President Obama became just the sixth president to make reference to the (...)

The US DOJ shows flexibility in crafting structural remedies in merger between two leading brewers (Anheuser-Bush InBev / Grupo Modelo)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
The U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") has reached a settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev ("ABI") and Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V. ("Modelo"), requiring ABI to divest Modelo’s entire U.S. business to Constellation Brands Inc. ("Constellation"). The consent decree provides for a straightforward (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council fines international oil company for its failure to report concentration on the gas stations market (Lukoil Baltija)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
Facts: During the investigation by the Lithuanian National Competition Authority the following facts were established. During 2004 - 2009 UAB “Lukoil Baltija” and UAB “Okseta” entered into a cooperation agreement referred to by companies as ‘joint venture contract’ or “gas station control transfer”. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues the communiqué on the procedures and principles to be pursued in pre-notifications and authorization applications to be filed with the NCA in order for acquisitions via privatization to become legally valid (Communiqué No. 2013/2)
Erdem & Erdem
The Communiqué on the Procedures and Principles to be Pursued in Pre-Notifications and Authorization Applications to be Filed with the Competition Authority in order for Acquisitions via Privatization to Become Legally Valid No. 1998/4 (“Communiqué No. 1998/4”), in force for fifteen years, was (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines petrol stations operator for infringement of merger control rules (Lukoil)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
The Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the ’Council’) imposed a fine of approximately EUR 340 000 on UAB Lukoil Baltija (Lukoil), a petrol stations operator, for the failure to duly notify the Council of two notifiable concentrations and for the implementation thereof without the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority restricts the scope and duration of ancillary restrictions in the context of a merger (Borealis / Dex)
Dentons (Budapest)
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Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
I. Facts Borealis AG (“Borealis”) acquired sole control over Borealis Plastomers 1 BV (“BP1”) and Borealis Plastomers 2 BV (“BP2”). Through this latter transaction it also acquired indirect sole control over DEX-Plastomers V.O.F. (“DEX”) that was jointly controlled by BP1 and BP2 before the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority applies the bidding markets analysis to block a merger in the market for the gas distribution services (Italgas and Acegas-APS/Isontina Reti Gas)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 17 April 2013 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has prohibited the Italgas and Acegas-APS acquisition of the joint control of Isontina Reti Gas (IRG). The ICA believed that the notified transaction would strengthen the dominant position of Italgas and Acegas-APS in (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the regional daily press sector (Rossel / Hersant)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the exclusive takeover, by the Rossel group, of companies in the Hersant Média group’s Champagne-Ardenne-Picardie Hub*. The Autorité de la (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears conditionally an acquisition imposing both structural and behavioural remedies (Glencore / Xstrata)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM cleared Glencore’s acquisition of Xstrata with Conditions* On April 16, 2013, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) cleared the proposed acquisition of Xstrata plc (“Xstrata“) by Glencore International plc (“Glencore“) with conditions. Both structural and behavioral remedies are involved in the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears merger in the mining industry (Glencore / Xstrata)
Mattel (Hong Kong)
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White & Case (Hong Kong)
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White & Case (London)
At long last, Glencore has overcome the final regulatory hurdle and secured the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to acquire the 66 percent of Xstrata that it does not already own. But not before agreeing to part with one of the prized assets in Xstrata’s portfolio, the Las Bambas (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM releases the interim provisions on the applicable standards in simple cases of concentrations of undertakings for public comment
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
On 3 April 2013, MOFCOM released the Interim Provisions on the Applicable Standards in Simple Cases of Concentrations of Undertakings (Consultation Draft) (draft Standards) for public consultation. The consultation period ends on 2 May 2013. According to Article 2 of the draft Standards, (...)

The Competition Commission of India imposes a fine for belated merger filing in a global merger and acquisition transaction (Titan International / Titan Europe)
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) recently imposed a penalty of INR 10 million (approximately USD 182,000) on Titan International, Inc., a tyre manufacturing company in the USA, for belatedly notifying its acquisition of the entire share capital of Titan Europe plc, based in the UK. The (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves a state aid for the expansion of a gas storage facility that could enable the entry of more gas suppliers on the Polish market (PGNiG)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. How to Use Economic Tools to Ensure the Proportionality of Aid (Commission Decision SA.34938 on a gas storage facility in Poland)* Introduction Normally, economic analysis is used by the Commission to find out whether a measure confers an abnormal (...)

The European Commission finds that the measures taken in the Czech public libraries case do not constitute state aid in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU because libraries are not undertakings
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. The Flexible Boundary between Economic and Non-economic Activities (part I)* This is a rather long posting divided into two parts both of which deal with the concept of economic activity. In part I, I analyse two cases outside the field of State (...)

The EU Commission provides a tool for the evaluation of state aids meant to ensure that these measures are only adopted in order to redress market failures
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Ex Post Evaluation of State Aid: A New Instrument* Introduction: The need for evaluation The State Aid Modernisation that was launched by the European Commission in May 2012 aims primarily to channel State aid to remedying genuine market failure. (...)

Procedures

The US Central District of California denies class certification due to individual questions of fact (Forrand/Federal Express)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
Federal Express employees brought a class action against it, claiming that Federal Express failed to pay for all hours worked, including off-the-clock work and unpaid meal and rest breaks. The plaintiffs proposed a method of class-wide proof that would have rested on the premise that “clocking (...)

The UK Parliament adopts a reform of competition regime
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 25 April 2013 the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERR Bill) received Royal Assent. The proposals for reform of the UK competition regime, published by the Government in March 2012, are set out in Part 3 and Part 4 of the new ERR Act and are expected to come fully into force in April (...)

The French Supreme Court rules that globally seizing electronic mailboxes is limited by the principle of legal professional privilege (Medtronic)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 April 2013, the French Supreme Court ruled that the powers of inspectors to globally seize electronic mailboxes are limited by the rights of the defence and, more specifically, the legal professional privilege (“LPP”). As a result, in 6 separate judgments, the French Supreme Court (...)

The Israeli Director of the Antitrust Authority suggests a statutory amendment to introduce trebling antitrust damages
University Bar-Ilan - Department of Economics
Israeli antitrust law draws from both European and American sources, with its structure and most statutory language leaning towards the former, while case law and regulation often relies on the latter. Currently, the legislature is considering a statutory amendment which, if signed into law, (...)

The Israeli Antitrust Authority publishes a bill which seeks to enhance private enforcement of antitrust laws
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Bnei-Brak)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Bnei-Brak)
Introduction On April 24, 2013, the Antitrust Authority (the "IAA") published a bill (the "Bill") in proposal to amend the Restrictive Trade Practices Law, 1988 (the "Law"). The Bill is yet to be approved by the Israeli government and parliament. The Bill proposes to amend various aspects of (...)

The Albanian Court of Appeals upholds the Competition Commission decision finding infringement of art. 36 of competition law through obstruction for down raids inspections (Intersig)
Albanian Competition Authority
On April 23, 2013 the Court of Appeals in Albania confirmed a decision of First Instant Court of November 23, 2012 that uphold the Albanian Competition Commission decision no 216, of March, 1-st 2012. On this decision, Albanian Competition Commission(hereinafter the “ACC”) had fined the (...)

The US DoJ and FTC testify at Senate Subcommittee Antitrust Oversight Hearing
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Federal Antitrust Agency Heads Testify at Senate Subcommittee Antitrust Oversight Hearing* FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and William J. Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust (...)

The Romanian Supreme Court rejects an appeal on points of law relying on claims of non-compliance with the right to inviolability of domicile brought against an order for unannounced inspections conducted under the Article 101 TFEU (BRD-Group Société Générale)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
The irremediable impairment of the rights of defence may arise from the disregard of the right to the inviolability of domicile Introduction ...whilst it is true that the rights of the defence must be observed in administrative procedures which may lead to the imposition of penalties, it is (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds an appeal against a judgment of the General Court that ruled that it was not required to adjudicate on a subsidiary’s appeal when its parents had paid the fine (Mindo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 April 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) upheld an appeal by Mindo Srl against a judgment of the General Court that ruled that it was not required to adjudicate on Mindo’s appeal against the European Commission’s 2005 decision on the Italian raw tobacco cartel. (...)

The US FTC Commissioner calls for a policy statement, articulating what constitutes an unfair method of competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Commissioner Wright Calls for FTC Policy Statement on Unfair Methods of Competition* FTC Commissioner Joshua D. Wright told attendees of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting on April 11 that he was hopeful that the Commission will issue a policy statement, (...)

The Finnish Government publishes a draft law aimed at ensuring competition neutrality between public-sector and private-sector market operators
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: Legislative Proposal to increase Competition Neutrality between Public-Sector and Private-Sector Companies* On 11 April 2013, the Finnish Government has published a draft law aimed at ensuring competition neutrality between public-sector and private-sector market operators. The main (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets launches consultation on strategy and sets keys priorities for 2013
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets launches Consultation on Strategy and sets Keys Priorities for 2013* On 11 April 2013, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM), which started its activities on 1 April 2013, launched a consultation on its (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinforces the validity of arbitration clauses, but leaves door open for public injunction challenges (Kilgore)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
In the U.S., pre-dispute arbitration clauses are common in consumer financial services agreements, such as credit card, banking and investment contracts. These clauses traditionally compel the involved parties to resolve any legal dispute in arbitration, while foreclosing traditional state and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues negative opinion on government proposal establishing ’good practices’ for online delivery of medicinal products
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence issues negative Opinion on Government Proposal establishing ‘Good Practices’ for Online Delivery of Medicinal Products* On 10 April 2013, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) issued an opinion on a draft ministerial order establishing ‘good (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority issues new guidelines concerning access to justice in competition law matters
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
1. Introduction In March 2013 Danish Competition and Consumer Authority has issued new guidelines concerning access to justice in competition law matters. The formulation is direct and pedagogically constructed. The addressees are advised on how to bring a complaint against an undertaking and (...)

The US District of Kansas grants certification to liability only (Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practice Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
Gasoline consumers in California brought a class action against gas station owners and operators in California, claiming that their failure to adjust gasoline prices based on the effects of temperature on gasoline volume and to disclose those effects was a violation of California’s unfair (...)

The US Northern District of California denies class certification in high tech employees’ price-fixing lawsuit (High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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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 Belgian Parliament adopts new competition act
Linklaters (Brussels)
This is the short version of a full article to be released in Concurrences N° 4-2013 in Nov. 2013 September 2013 has seen the entry into force of the new Belgian Competition Act, which is now included in the new Code of Economic Law. The reform leaves untouched the substantive law provisions (...)

The Belgian Parliament adopts a new competition act
European Commission (Brussels)
Belgium: New Belgian Competition Authority and new Competition Act* A new Belgian Competition Act (the Act) was adopted on 3 April 2013. This new Act establishes an independent Competition Authority with a simplified structure and introduces significant procedural changes in competition (...)

The Belgian Parliament enacts a new competition law
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
A profound change to the institutional and procedural landscape for competition law in Belgium has taken place with the enactment of new competition law provisions in the Belgian Code of Economic Law (Chapter IV, Protection of Competition and Chapter V, Competition and Price Evolution). These (...)

The Netherlands launches new Consumer and Market Authority
Jones Day (Amsterdam)
The Netherlands launches its new Consumer and Market Authority (Autoriteit Consument en Markt ("ACM")) on 1 April 2013. The ACM combines and replaces three previous authorities: the Dutch Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit ("NMa")), the Consumer Authority (...)

The US Supreme Court vacates no-injury consumer class action (Whirlpool)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
The U.S. Supreme Court summarily vacated and remanded the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer, 678 F.3d 409 (6th Cir. 2012), for further consideration in light of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, 2013 WL 1222646 (U.S. Mar. 27, 2013) (Comcast), which was decided last week. (...)

The Danish Parliament adopts a law introducing criminal sanctions with imprisonment for serious cartel infringements
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Introduction of imprisonment in cartel cases in the Danish Competition Act* On 1st March 2013, a new Danish Competition Act (Consolidated Act No. 23 of 17 January 2013) came into force. It amended the legal framework for sanctions as follows: Imprisonment for up to 18 months for (...)

Regulatory

The Moroccan Competition Council publishes the conclusions of its sector inquiry on competition in regulated profession
Moroccan competition Authority
*The views expressed herein are of the author and do not necessary reflect the official position of Moroccan Competition Authority. The Moroccan Competition Council has recently issued the final report of its sector inquiry launched in 2012 on “competition in regulated professions”. For (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceedings on adequate network access for a refinery as regards crude oil supplies (Ingolstadt)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings on adequate network access for Ingolstadt refinery* Today the Bundeskartellamt has closed its proceedings against the group companies of the Transalpine Ölleitung (transalpine oil pipeline, TAL). The Ingolstadt refinery will now be granted access to the TAL (...)

The German Competition Authority works currently on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol stations (MTS Kraftstoffe)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Transparency Unit for Fuels - Registration of companies obliged to report prices* The Bundeskartellamt’s Market Transparency Unit is currently working on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol (...)

The Transport and Housing Bureau of Hong Kong releases the new fare adjustment mechanism applicable to the monopolist railway company (MTRCL)
University College London
The joint review of the Fare Adjustment Mechanism (“FAM”) of the MTR Corporation Company Limited (“MTRCL”), the only railway company in Hong Kong, by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSARG”) and MTRCL was completed. The outcome of the review was approved by the (...)

Public sector

The French National Competition Authority fines five undertakings for collusive tendering in the field of public procurement (Vilmore, Eiffage)
University Dublin College (UCD)
On 17 April 2013, the French National Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereafter “the FCA”) fined four undertakings a total of € 965,000 for collusive tendering in the field of public procurement. The FCA investigated the response submitted by two companies to an invitation to (...)

The German Competition Authority invites representatives from competition authorities and public prosecutors from across the country to Bonn to exchange their experiences on the prosecution of illegal agreements relating to public and private tenders (Netzwerk Submissionsabsprachen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Cartel prosecutors and public prosecutors exchange experiences in Bonn Increased prosecution of bid-rigging agreements* On 10 April 2013 the Bundeskartellamt invited representatives from competition authorities and public prosecutors from across the country to Bonn to exchange their (...)

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