August 2017

Anticompetitive practices

The Moldovan Competition Authority fines several undertakings for collusion in a public tender for road works (Ecosem / Irinda Prim / Litarcom)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 24 August 2017 the Competition Council (CC) discovered the price-fixing cartel in the form of bid rigging at public tender for acquisition of road construction and repairs works announced by the state-owned enterprise. The fines imposed on undertakings involved were calculated taking into (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of collusion between the central bank and 19 other banks and concludes that the banks’ similar safety locker policies are common practice and not collusion result (Reserve Bank of India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of cartelization against the Reserve Bank of India and 19 other banks* The CCI vide order dated August 23,2017 dismissed allegations of cartelization against RBI and 19 other banks. (“Opposite Party banks”) It was alleged that the Opposite Party banks do not undertake (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation on the allegations that a white goods manufactuer restricted online sales of its dealers (BSH)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) BSH decision (22.08.2017; 17-27/454-195). The Board reviewed the allegations put forward by Ersan Pazarlama Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Ersan Pazarlama”) against BSH Ev Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“BSH”). The Board assessed (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission launches proceedings before the Competition Tribunal against ten construction and engineering undertakings accused of cartel (Sun Spark)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission takes market sharing and price fixing case to Competition Tribunal* The Competition Commission (Commission) has today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) against ten construction and engineering companies, namely W. Hing Construction Company (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission issues a block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in the liner shipping industry (HKLSA)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission issues block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in the liner shipping industry* The Competition Commission (Commission) today (8 August 2017) issued a block exemption order (BEO) under section 15 of the Competition Ordinance (Ordinance) for vessel sharing (...)

The U.S. DOJ announces that an e-commerce company and its president have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy (Zaappaaz)
Jones Day (San Francisco)
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Jones Day (San Francisco)
Background Texas-based e-commerce company Zaappaaz, Inc.—doing business as WB Promotions, Inc., Wrist-Band.com, and Customlanyard.net—and its president both agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online in the United States, including (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines undertakings active in the construction sector (AKTOR)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Settlement Procedure - Infringement decision with fines addressed to undertakings active in the construction sector regarding infringements of Article 1 of the Greek Competition Act and Article 101 TFEU* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), by unanimous decision, found that fifteen (15) (...)

The Chinese NRDC fines several industry associations for price-fixing (Paper manufacturers and Power compagnies)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
Historically, most industry associations in China were quasi-governmental and served as forums through which member companies coordinated their activities, in some cases including price-setting. For this reason, anticompetitive behavior through industry associations is even more of a salient (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds a professional committee in transportation and its 4 participating associations guilty of price fixing in the market for coastal container services and issues a cease and desist with no fine because conduct was limited and stopped before investigation (Cochin Port Trust / Container Trailer Owners Coordination Commission)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds Container Trailer Owners Coordination Commission and its four participating associations guilty of anticompetitive conduct* The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) vide dated 01.08.2017 has found Container Trailer Owners Coordination Committee (‘Committee’) and its four participating (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Dutch Competition Authority, after its market study into online video platforms, finds no dominant market power among online video streaming platforms (Youtube)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
No dominant market power among online video streaming platforms* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conducted a market study into online video platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and Dumpert. ACM did not find any indications for anticompetitive risks on the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that a worldwide manufacturer of luxury sunglasses abused its dominant position by granting rebates and resorting to other exclusionary practices (Luxottica)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that the worldwide manufacturer of luxury sunglasses, Luxottica, abused its dominant position it held in the market for the wholesale of branded sunglasses by its rebate schemes which include (...)

Mergers

The German Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf upholds the decision by German Competition Authority to prohibit merger between two supermarket chains (EDEKA / Kaiser’s Tengelmann)
European Commission
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms prohibition of EDEKA/Kaiser’s Tengelmann merger* Bonn, 24 August 2017: Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court rejected appeals filed by EDEKA and Kaiser´s Tengelmann against the Bundeskartellamt’s prohibition of the merger between the super market (...)

The Italian administration changes merger notification thresholds
Shearman & Sterling (Rome)
After 894 days of discussion, the Italian Parliament has approved, on 2 August 2017, what should be the “annual” competition act — a series of measures that should be adopted on a yearly basis to promote competition. Among the disparate set of measures contained in the new law, concerning a range (...)

The German Competition Authority approves merger in the glass recycling market under de minimis rule (Rethmann GRI VSB)
European Commission
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of glass recycling companies by the Rethmann group* Bonn, 4 August 2017: The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by the Rethmann group to acquire two glass recycling companies, G.R.I.-Glasrecycling NV (Lummen, Belgium) and VSB Holding NV (Lummen, Belgium). (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission refers Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to recover illegal tax benefits (Apple)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The European Commission has referred Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to comply with its Decision of 30 August 2017. In the said decision, the Commission established that Ireland had granted certain tax benefits to Apple allowing the la er to pay substantially less tax (...)

Procedures

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit applies an appropriate post-Actavis pleading standard (Lipitor)
Rutgers University
On August 21, 2017, the Third Circuit overturned a decision that had applied excessive pleading standards against plaintiffs challenging reverse-payment settlements. Writing for a unanimous panel, Chief Judge Smith held that, in the wake of FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), courts should (...)

Regulatory

The Government of India exempts nationalized banks from the merger control regime by the Indian Competition Authority for a period of 10 years
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Nationalized Banks Exempted From CCI Approval for Mergers* The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) has exempted Nationalized Banks from the applicability of the merger control regime under the Act. The MCA vide a notification dated August 30, 2017 , stipulates that in exercise of the powers (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority holds the government accountable for the anti-competitive actions of a State-owned enterprise (Ministry of Finance / Loteria Națională a Moldovei)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 24 August 2017 the Competition Council (CC) held that the Ministry of Finance has violated competition law by endorsing the decision of the state-owned enterprise to accord favorable treatment to a private company in the gaming market. In 2014 the CC has commenced an investigation into the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority ammends its Leniency (Lesser Penalty) Regulations to include leniency applications from individuals and expand the number of "markers" that can be granted to leniency applicants
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI amends Lesser Penalty Regulations* The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) vide a Gazette Notification (published in the Gazette of India) on August 22, 2017, (“the amendment”) has published “The Competition Commission of India (Lesser Penalty) Amendment Regulations, 2017 (No.1 of 2017), (...)

The Government of India exempts Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) from the merger control regime by the Indian Competition Authority for a period of 5 years
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Regional Rural Banks mergers gets exemption from CCI* The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has exempted Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) from the applicability of the merger control regime. The MCA vide a notification dated August 10, 2017 (Notification), stipulates that Sections 5 and 6 of the (...)

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