April 2017

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian Competition Authority finds an anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector but does not impose any fine (ABI / SEDA)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently closed an Article 101 TFEU investigation it had opened in the case ABI/SEDA by an infringement decision. The ICA found the parties to have put in place an anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector. Though the agreement was qualified as (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds use of evidence from noncompetition authority (Pacific Fruit)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice ("CoJ") has upheld the European Commission’s use of evidence transmitted by a national authority other than a Member State competition authority in a cartel investigation. The CoJ ruled on April 27, 2017, that the national authority properly transmitted such (...)

The Hong Kong’s High Court rejects allegations by travel agency that certain directives issued by the Travel Industry Council were anti-competitive (Loyal Profit International Development)
Baker McKenzie (Hong Kong)
On 27 April 2017, Hong Kong’s High Court rejected allegations by travel agency, Loyal Profit International Development that certain directives issued by the Travel Industry Council (TIC) were anti-competitive, and refused to rule on alleged violations of competition law. Loyal Profit alleged (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeal against a judgment of the General Court which upheld the European Commission’s decision finding a compagny participated in an illegal price-fixing cartel (Exotic Fruits cartel case)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 27 April 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal lodged by banana importer Pacific Fruit (and its parent companies) against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”), which upheld the European Commission’s decision finding that Pacific Fruit had participated in (...)

The High Court of Hong Kong confirms bar on stand-alone private actions in competition cases (Loyal Profit / TIC)
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
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Linklaters (Hong Kong)
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Hong Kong Competition Association
Hong Kong Court confirms bar on stand-alone private actions in competition cases* The Hong Kong Court of First Instance rejected a claim that it had jurisdiction to determine whether a trade association violated the Competition Ordinance. The court reasoned that determination of a breach of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues a decision in a bid rigging case on the market for car towing and parking services (Auto czok / Warm)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
By way of its decision no. RKT-04/2017 of 19 April 2017, the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the “PCA”) imposed a financial penalty of more than PLN 170, 000 (approx. EUR 40,700) on two providers of car towing and parking services engaged in bid (...)

The EU Commission publishes a tender offer seeking an assessment of the EU market for loan syndication and possible implications under EU competition rules
Jones Day (Paris)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (London)
In April 2017, the European Commission ("Commission") published a tender offer seeking an assessment of the EU market for loan syndication and possible implications under EU competition rules. The successful candidate will draft a report providing an overview of the market and the relevant (...)

The EU Commission announces a tender procedure to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In the context of continued regulatory scrutiny of the financial services and insurance sectors by competition authorities, the European Commission announced on 24 April 2017 that it has issued a tender to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States. This (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds no evidence on exclusionary practices by incumbents against a new entrant in the market for meal cards (Metropal)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has rejected the complaint due to lack of evidence that the incumbent undertakings in the market for meal cards collectively resorted to certain exclusionary practices upon the entry into market of the (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that the general prohibition of the use of price comparison engines by retailers violates competition law (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision on prohibition of use of price comparison engines* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of principle against the running shoes manufacturer Asics. According to the decision the (...)

The Advocate General Wahl considers that agricultural producers’ organisations may be held liable under EU competition law (French Endive cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 6 April 2017, Advocate General (“AG”) Wahl issued an opinion on a preliminary reference from the French Supreme Court arising from the Endive cartel investigated by the French Competition Authority. In his opinion, the AG con- siders that agricultural producers’ organisations and their (...)

The Italian Competition Authority targets anti-competitive practices in market for the copyright management services (SIAE-Assomusica)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In SIAE-Assomusica , the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation and Article 101 TFEU investigation into restrictive business practices put in place in the copyright management sector. The facts of the case The ICA investigations were triggered by the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Russian Competition Authority concludes an amicable settlement with a multinational technology company (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS terminated administrative proceedings against Google* The decisions was due to an amicable settlement reached between the antimonopoly authority and the company On 25 April 2017, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) terminated the proceedings against Google opened for failure to (...)

The European Commission publishes roadmap on Standard Essential Patents
Van Bael & Bellis
On 10 April 2017, the European Commission published its roadmap on “Standard Essential Patents for a European digitalised economy” (the “Roadmap”) with the aim of supporting the development of the 5G mobile communications standard (“5G”) and the Internet of Things (“IoT”) universe. A standard (...)

EU Court of Justice Advocate General Wahl offers guidance on the criteria to identify excessive prices in abuse of dominance case (AKKA / LAA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 April 2016, Advocate General (“AG”) Wahl gave an opinion advising the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) on the criteria to determine whether a Latvian royalty collecting society had abused its dominant position by charging excessive prices in breach of Article 102(a) TFEU. The matter came (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the identity and security solutions market (Morpho / Advent International)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of smart card maker Morpho by Advent International, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of identity and security solutions provider Morpho, based in France, by Advent (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the aircraft engine market (ITP / Rolls-Royce)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of sole control of ITP by Rolls-Royce, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of aircraft engine components maker ITP (Spain) by aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce (UK). The (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the cinema sector (Odeon / Vue)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA accepts Manchester cinemas sale* In December, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that AMC (UK) Acquisition Ltd’s (AMC’s) purchase of Odeon and UCI Cinemas Holdings Ltd (Odeon) would face an in-depth investigation, unless AMC could address concerns over the merger’s effect (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies on the market of payment systems (MasterCard / VocaLink)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA accepts Mastercard/VocaLink undertakings* The CMA has today accepted undertakings offered by Mastercard to address competition concerns arising from its purchase of VocaLink. On 18 January 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it would look in detail at whether the (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the container shipping services market (Hamburg Süd / Maersk Line)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Hamburg Süd by Maersk Line, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of container liner shipping company Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG (HSDG) of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority approves an acquisition of control by the leading Polish insurance company of a direct competitor (Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń)
Hansberry Tomkiel
In its decision no DKK 56/2017 of 6th April 2017 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the “Competition Authority”) gave its consent to the acquisition of control of Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A. (“Bank Pekao”) and its subsidiaries engaged in investment and (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the pesticides and plant growth regulators market (ChemChina / Syngenta)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Syngenta (based in Switzerland) by ChemChina. The approval is conditional on the divestiture of significant parts (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority blocks a merger on the basis that the deal would reduce competition in the market for transportation of frozen fish (Eimskip / Nor Lines)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 April 2017, the Norwegian Competition Authority (“NCA”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of Norwegian-based Nor Lines by Icelandic-based Eimskip on the basis that the € 15 million deal would reduce competition in the market for transportation of frozen fish with reefer vessels from (...)

Procedures

Regulatory

The EU Commission publishes a report on online hotel booking platforms in collaboration with several national competition authorities
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission publishes the results of an exercise, carried out by the Autorité de la concurrence and 9 other national European competition authorities, which assess the effects of the remedies adopted in Europe in the online hotel booking sector.* Background Following the (...)

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