August 2015

Anticompetitive practices

The German Competition Authority condemns a manufacturer of running shoes for restricting the online sales activities of small and medium-sized authorised dealers (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Unlawful restriction of online sales of ASICS running shoes* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its proceeding on anti-competitive clauses in the distribution system of ASICS Deutschland. The authority accuses ASICS of having restricted the online sales activities of small and medium-sized (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarifies analysis of alleged hub-and-spoke conspiracies under the Sherman Act (J. Ramsey / NAMM)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Ninth Circuit Clarifies Analysis of Alleged Hub-and-Spoke Conspiracies Under the Sherman Act* Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the dismissal of plaintiffs’ consolidated complaint in In re Musical Instruments and Equipment Antitrust Litigation. In addressing plaintiffs’ (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion indicating that the decision of a town allowing advertising only to economic operators established in its territory contravenes with competition law (Town of Vodice)
Croatian Competition Agency
In the Town of Vodice local municipality decision contravenes with Competition Act* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) addressed in its opinion the behaviour of the Town of Vodice and its decision under which with the consent of the Major it exceptionally allows provision of advertising for (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts the commitments proposed by an undertaking in the market of the resale of pyrotechnic products (Orion)
Croatian Competition Agency
CCA accepts committments made by Orion* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) accepted the committments made by the undertaking Orion that will redress competition concerns and restore the normal competitive conditions in the resale of pyrotechnic products. Orion made the commitments on its (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues an English version of the federal economic competition law
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE publishes an english version of the federal economic competition law* Mexico City, August 20th 2015. – Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission has released an English version of the Federal Economic Competition Law (Law). This document is a courtesy translation of the Law (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues a statement reminding economic agents of its strict policy on price fixing in the context of the Mexican peso’s recent depreciation
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE shall be vigilant of coordination to fix prices* In the context of the Mexican peso’s recent depreciation, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) would like to make the following statements: The Mexican Constitution and applicable legislation that establish (...)

The US FTC subjects to public comment the consent agreement proposed by two pharmaceutical companies that implemented an unlawful agreement not to compete (Concordia and Par)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Pharmaceutical companies settle ftc charges of an illegal agreement not to compete, which resulted in higher prices for generic version of ADHD drug* Pharmaceutical companies Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. have settled FTC charges that they entered into an unlawful (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the bid-rigging decision pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority on the construction market (Vozrozhdenie)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision and fine on a bid-rigging case against the Commandant’s Office of the internal troops of the Ministry of Interior* On 17 August 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed the claim of “Vozrozhdenie” Construction Company” Ltd. and pronounced (...)

The US FTC publishes a statement of enforcement principles regarding “unfair methods of competition”
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Issues Statement of Principles Regarding Enforcement of FTC Act as a Competition Statute* Frames Agency’s Use of ‘Stand Alone’ Section 5 Authority to Address Unfair Methods of Competition The Federal Trade Commission has issued a Statement of Enforcement Principles that describes the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms a cartel on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt legitimacy (TDS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court confirmed a cartel on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt legitimacy* Arbitration Court of the Moscow District confirmed legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service on a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt and upheld the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines several tenderers for bid rigging in the market of supply of pre-fabricated modules (Elevatrans)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The PCA sanctions five undertakings for anticompetitive practices in public tenders for the supply of pre-fabricated modules to Parque Escolar * Undertakings collaborate and renounce the right to judicial review The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) sanctioned the undertakings Algeco – (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines two natural-vinegar manufacturers for cartel agreement (Kühne and Burg)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM fines natural-vinegar manufacturers for cartel agreement* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed fines on two manufacturers of natural vinegar (also known as white or distilled vinegar), which are Kühne and Burg, for having made cartel arrangements. Burg is (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court supports the Russian Competition Authority position concerning a cartel case involving the Ministry of transport and a company (MIIT)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court fully supported FAS position on a cartel case against the Ministry of Transport and MIIT* Arbitration Court of Moscow District upheld the ruling of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court that pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority concludes that an association of insurers and its members did not breach competition law when deciding to temporarily revoke the power of one member to issue motor insurance certificates (Croatian Insurance Bureau / Generali Insurance)
Croatian Competition Agency
Association of insurers and insurance companies did not breach competition law* In the proceedings the Croatian Competition Agency carried out against the association of insurance companies and 12 undertakings who are its members no evidence was found that the decision to revoke the power of (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines an association of undertakings for anti-competitive information exchange and pricing agreements (Consultant Eye Surgeon Partnership)
Stephenson Harwood (London)
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UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
I. Background On 26 May 2013, the UK Competition Authority (the OFT at the time), received a complaint alleging concerns that Consultant Eye Surgeon Limited Liability Partnerships (“LLPs”), via their membership association CESP Limited (“CESP Ltd”), were agreeing prices and sharing prices and (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes a procedural fine against a company refusing to communicate accurate data to calculate a fine for an infringement (Cemex)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
A procedural fine of HUF 20 million for Cemex* The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a procedural fine of HUF 20 million on Cemex Hungária Epítőanyagok Kft. (Cemex) because the undertaking failed to provide accurate data to the GVH to enable it to impose a (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the payment of the fine imposed on an electricity provider for abuse of dominance (Gorelektroset)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Novokuznetsk Electric Grid Company – “Gorelektroset” paid a 2-million fine* “Gorelektroset” Ltd. notified the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Kemerovo region (Kemerovo OFAS Russia) about paying the 2-million fine. In April 2014 Kemerovo OFAS Russia found that the company violated (...)

The Mauritius Competition Authority places two mobile operators under scrutiny for alleged discriminatory pricing policy (Emtel / Orange)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Mauritius Competition watchdog places mobile operators under scrutiny* Investigation by the CCM into allegedly discriminatory mobile pricing policies by the two main operators in the island nation of about 1.2 Million. On 27 August 2015, the Competition Commission of Mauritius (“CCM”) announced (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office condemns an athletic equipment company for restricting online sales of its small and medium-sized authorized dealers (Asics)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office finds ASICS’ restrictions of online sales illegal* On 27 August 2015, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded its proceedings concerning certain anticompetitive restrictions in the distribution system of ASICS Deutschland (“ASICS“), and found that ASICS breached (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the payment of the fine imposed on an heat supplier for abuse of dominance (Sverdlovsk)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Sverdlovsk heat supplier paid a 4-million RUB fine* “Sverdlovsk Heat Supplier” Ltd. (“STK” Ltd.) notified the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Sverdlovsk Region (Sverdlovsk OFAS) on paying the 4-million RUB fine imposed for violating the antimonopoly law. Earlier the regulator (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines an electricity provider for abuse of dominance (Dagenergoset)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Dagestan OFAS fined “Dagenergoset”* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Dagestan (Dagestan OFAS Russia) found that “Dagenergoset” OJSC abused its market dominance (Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”) and fined the company 1.5 million (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a raw milk producer having imposed discriminatory conditions to its suppliers (Danon Russia)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Danon Russia” is fined 162.4 million RUB* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) issued a determination on an administrative violation against “Danon Russia” Shareholding Company and fined the company 162.4 million RUB. Earlier the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts commitments closing mobile operators’ price investigation (Orange Romania)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
The Romanian Competition Authority’s investigation started in 2011, in the context in which the four large mobile operators in Romania - Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania, Romania Telekom Mobile Communications and RCS & RDS - were charging different tariffs for the service of call termination (...)

The Chinese NDRC finds that a municipal health and family planning commission has abused its administrative power in its drug procurement practices (Bengbu Health Commission)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 17 August 2015, the NDRC found that the Bengbu Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission (Bengbu Health Commission) had abused its administrative power in its drug procurement practices. This is the NDRC’s first published antitrust enforcement decision in the pharmaceutical industry (...)

The Russian Competition welcomes the payment of the fine imposed on a pharmaceutical company for failure to execute a determination (Teva)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
TEVA Pharmaceutical Industrie Limited paid a fine for failure to execute a FAS determination* TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED (TEVA, Israel) notified the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) about paying a 300,000 RUB administrative fine for failure to execute a determination (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues statement of objections to a pharmaceutical company and its distributor suspected of abuse of dominance dominance in the market of phenytoin sodium capsules (Pfizer / Flynn)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA issues statement of objections to Pfizer and Flynn Pharma in anti-epilepsy drug investigation* The CMA has today issued a statement of objections to the pharmaceutical suppliers Pfizer and Flynn Pharma alleging that they have breached competition law. The Competition and Markets (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the payment of the fine imposed on a gas provider for abuse of dominance (Gazprom)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Gazprom Gazoraspredelenia Sever” OJSC paid a 3.5 million RUB* “Gazprom Gazoraspredelenia Sever” OJSC paid a 3.5 million RUB for abusing dominance on the market of gas transportation services. The fine reached 1% of the annual company revenue. The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority issues a provisional order against an undertaking suspected of abuse of dominance in the markets for the production and trade of electricity (Aluminium)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Adjournment of hearing of interim measures and issuance of provisional order against PPC SA* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has deferred the hearing of the case concerning ex officio adoption of interim measures against Public Power Corporation S.A. Greece (PPC) until September (...)

Mergers

The US FTC announces a consent settlement based on an application of the investment-only exemption to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s premerger notification requirements (Third Point)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
On August 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a consent settlement based on an application of the investment-only exemption to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s premerger notification requirements. The settlement relates to the 2011 acquisitions of shares of Yahoo!, Inc. by Third (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM approves an acquisition of additional shares of a Chinese brewery by a competitor (Anheuser-Busch InBev’s / Zhujiang Brewery)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 20 August 2015, the MOFCOM approved Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of additional shares in Zhujiang Brewery. After the acquisition, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s interest in Zhujiang Brewery will be increased from 25.62% to 29.99%, but the composition of the board of directors and the supervisory (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market of automotive spare parts (Trost Auto Service Technik / Wessels & Müller)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Merger of wholesalers of automotive spare parts cleared subject to conditions precedent* fter an in-depth examination the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Trost Auto Service Technik SE, Stuttgart, by Wessels & Müller SE, Osnabrück, subject to conditions. Both companies sell (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders licensing remedy to meet concerns over horizontal unilateral effects resulting from a merger in the personal lubricants market (Reckitt Benckiser / Johnson & Johnson)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Introduction and background On 4 November 2015, the UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") accepted final undertakings from Reckitt Benckiser Group plc ("RB") and Johnson & Johnson ("J&J") in relation to RB’s proposed acquisition from J&J of the K-Y brand of personal lubricant (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes remedies to clear an acquisition in the market of personal lubricants (Reckitt Benckiser / Johnson & Johnson)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA orders remedy to meet concern over lubricants merger* The CMA has found that Reckitt Benckiser’s anticipated acquisition of the K-Y brand could lead to higher prices for personal lubricants. In its final report published today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority conditionally approves merger in highly concentrated print magazines market (De Persgroep / Humo)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
Conditional approval of media merger defuses the risk of four popular Dutch language magazines disappearing from the Belgian market. On 04 August 2015, and in the context of a Phase I procedure, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority conditionally approved the acquisition (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority approves several acquisitions, subject to remedies, in the publishing market (De Persgroep / Humo)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority has approved on 4 August 2015 the acquisition of Humo NV (publishers of the magazine Humo) and of the magazines Story, Teve-blad, and Vitaya by De Persgroep Publishing NV (publishers of newspapers and magazines with interests in (...)

Procedures

The OECD recommends several improvements in the framework and procedures for Danish competition cases (OECD Report)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The OECD recommends improvements in framework and procedures for Danish competition cases* A very thorough examination of Danish competition policy and of the work of the Danish competition authorities has resulted in recognition of the authority and in recommendations concerning the Danish (...)

The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy sets up a working group to assess the need to revise the Competition Act
Merilampi Attorneys
The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (“FMEE”) has issued a decision to set up a working group to assess the need to partially revise the Competition Act (948/2010) . The FMEE’s decision was issued on 25 August 2015. The working group will be chaired by Mr. Pekka Timonen, the head of (...)

The Canadian Federal Court provides practical guidance for parties responding to compulsory production orders from the Competition Bureau (Bell Mobility)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Responding to Compulsory Production Orders from the Competition Bureau: Federal Court of Canada Provides Practical Guidance* Canada’s Commissioner of Competition is armed with a variety of compulsory powers that he can use in pursuing investigations. One such power is the ability, with the (...)

The Ontario Superior Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal debate whether breaches of the Competition Act can support common law claims (Shah / LG Chem - Watson / Bank of America)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Is The Competition Act A “Complete Code”?* Courts debate whether breaches of the Competition Act can support common law claims Recently, Canadian courts have been debating whether the Competition Act is a “complete code” that forecloses the availability of so-called “parasitic” claims, that is, (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues a guidance on a new power to encourage competition law-breaking companies to voluntarily pay compensation to victims
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
Guidance on new compensation schemes power in competition cases* The CMA today published guidance on a new power to encourage competition law-breaking businesses to voluntarily pay compensation to victims. Under the guidance, businesses setting up voluntary redress schemes can, in certain (...)

The FTC issues a policy statement on the reach of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act which prohibits unfair methods of competition
Delta Air Lines (Washington)
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George Mason University (Fairfax)
The FTC on August 13, 2015 issued a policy statement on the reach of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), which prohibits unfair methods of competition. The FTC Act is separate and distinct from the two federal antitrust statutes – namely, the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act (...)

The US FTC announces general principles regarding Section 5 of the FTC Act
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On August 13, 2015, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued formal guidance on Section 5 enforcement consisting of a general statement of principles to guide application of its authority to challenge “unfair methods of competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act. While it is generally (...)

The US FTC publishes its first ever policy statement on how it will enforce Section 5’s prohibition of “unfair methods of competition”
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
FTC “Enforcement Principles” for Section 5 of the FTC Act: Is Something Better than Nothing?* For many years, antitrust practitioners have struggled to understand exactly how the FTC will analyze and enforce Section 5’s prohibition of “unfair methods of competition.” Counseling clients has been (...)

The UK Secretary of State issues regulations and guidance governing approval of voluntary redress schemes to compensate persons injured by antitrust infringements
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 05 August 2015, the UK Secretary of State issued the Competition Act 1998 (Redress Scheme) Regulations 2015 governing the approval of voluntary redress schemes under the Act. One of the radical elements of the UK’s package of 2015 collective redress measures takes shape as regulations and (...)

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales confirms that standard six years limitation period in tort or breach of statutory duty cases applies to competition cases (Arcadia / Visa)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
English Court of Appeal limits retailers’ Visa MIF claim to standard six years, dismissing arguments that concealment meant that time had not yet begun to run. On 05 August 2015, three English Court of Appeal judges confirmed in Arcadia Group Brands Limited and others v Visa [2015] EWCA Civ 883 (...)

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