December 2011

Anticompetitive practices

The Chinese Ministry of Information and Industry Technology promulgates the provisions on regulating the market order of internet information services
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
MIIT published the Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services (Internet Information Service Rules) on 31 December 2011, which will take effect on 15 March 2012. MIIT had invited comments on two earlier drafts of the Internet Information Service Rules in January (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court clarifies Federal Competition Authority’s powers of inspection
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: The Supreme Court clarifies FCA’s Powers of Inspection* On 30 December 2011, the Supreme Court acting as Supreme Cartel Court rejected several appeals against search warrants granted to the Federal Competition Authority (FCA) by the Cartel Court, taking the opportunity to give some (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes fine of EUR 18 million on industrial laundry cartel (Industrial Laundry Cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit imposes Fines of € 18 000 000 on Industrial-Laundry Cartel and declares Commitments by the Dutch Federation for the Textile Care Industry legally binding* On 8 December 2010, the Nederlandse Mededinginsautoriteit (NMa) imposed fines, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority reaches a settlement agreement with the Spanish federation of municipalities and provinces and four professional associations of architects and industrial engineers (Convenios FEMP-Consejos Superiores de Colegios)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Linklaters (Madrid)
On 28 December 2011, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the «Council«, the «SCC«) decided to accept the commitments that had been previously submitted by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias,«FEMP«), the Spanish (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM, the NDRC, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Taxation, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce jointly promulgate the working plan on rectifying fees charged in violation of rules and regulations by large retailers on suppliers
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
On 26 December 2011, MOFCOM, the NDRC, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Taxation, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) jointly promulgated the Working Plan on Rectifying Fees Charged in Violation of Rules and Regulations by Large (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority sanctions the association of insurers and its members for anti-competitive practices in the market for "casco" auto insurance (Serbian Association of Insurers)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 December 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) imposed fines on the Serbian Association of Insurers (UOS) and its ten member insurance companies for the adoption and adherence to the UOS’s decision regulating the Casco auto insurance services. The fine for the adoption of the UOS’s (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines of € 24 000 000 for price agreements on dishwasher detergents (Reckitt Benckiser)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines of € 24 000 000 for Price Agreements on Dishwasher Detergents* On 23 December 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines amounting to approximately € 24 000 000 on Reckitt Benckiser Deutschland GmbH) (Reckitt Benckiser) in the framework of two (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority applies its leniency programme in a case of a vertical distribution agreement with a resale price maintenance clause (Idea / Swisslion)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 December 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established that by including the resale price maintenance clause (minimum prices) in their distribution agreement Idea d.o.o. (distributor) and Swisslion Group d.o.o. (supplier) have concluded an anti-competitive agreement contrary to (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines laundry detergent producers for participating in a cartel (Procter and Gamble, Henkel)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovak Republic: Detergent Cartel fined* On 22 December 2011, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Antimonopoly Office) fined laundry detergent producers for participating in a cartel which infringed national competition law as well as Article 101 TFEU. Since the second half of (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on taxi business operators for having implemented a price-fixing agreement enabling to fix supracompetitive taxi fares
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against taxi business operators , located in Niigata City and its suburbs* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders against 25 taxi business operators, (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the infringement NCA’s decision establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases (lobodna Dalmacija, Europapress holding, RTD, Glas Slavonije...)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 December 2011 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases. The case dates back to 2010 when the AZTN (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines six oil companies for a total of € 200 000 000 for their participation to a cartel (OMV Petrom)
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council imposes Fines on six Oil Companies totalling € 200 000 000* On 21 December 2011, the Competition Council imposed fines on the oil companies SC OMV Petrom SA, SC OMV Petrom Marketing SRL, SC Lukoil România SRL, SC Rompetrol Downstream SRL, SC Mol Petroleum (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on manufacturers of LPG instruments for having implemented a price-fixing agreement (Katsura, Ito Koki and Fujikohki)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against manufacturers of LPG instruments* he Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders against 3 manufacturers of LPG instruments, Katsura Co., Ltd., Ito Koki (...)

The Finnish Market Court imposes 3 M € fine to a glassware and ceramics manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Iittala)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 20 December 2011, Finland’s Market Court (“Market Court”) imposed a fine of € 3 million on the glassware and ceramics manufacturer Iittala Group Oy Ab (“Iittala”) for resale price maintenance (“RPM”) in breach of the Finnish Competition Act (480/1992, “Competition Act”, repealed and replaced by the (...)

The Bulgarian NCA gives soft guidance on information exchange between competitors (Information Exchange Guidelines)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) adopted Guidelines regarding exchange of information between competitors (the “Guidelines”). This piece of soft law collates the authority’s views on various aspects of information exchanges (including on qualification of (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against two manufacturers of refrigerants used in car air conditioning (Honeywell / du Pont)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates DuPont and Honeywell practices in relation to new refrigerant* On 16 December 2011 the European Commission opened proceedings to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices relating to the development of a new generation refrigerant for air conditioning (...)

The French Competition Authority makes binding commitments proposed by leading retailer concerning its franchise agreement (Carrefour / Carrefour market)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 16 December 2011, the French Competition Authority made binding the commitments proposed by Carrefour concerning its Carrefour Market franchise agreement. In August 2010, Marcadet (a Carrefour franchisee) complained to the French Competition Authority concerning certain commercial (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines totaling € 15.5 M on manufacturers and retailers of hydrants and other water network fittings (Erhard, Schmieding, Frischhut, AVK, VAG, vonRoll)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 16 December 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling approximately € 15.5 million on six manufacturers and retailers of hydrants and other water network fittings, as well as on four of their executives, for their participation (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer € 10 million for restricting parallel imports of imaging products (Nikon)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 December 2011, the Swiss Competition Authority (COMCO / WEKO) imposed a fine of 12.5 million Swiss Francs (around € 10 million) on the Swiss subsidiary of Japan-based company Nikon on the grounds that it had restricted parallel imports of Nikon Imaging products. Following receipt of (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines on associations of producers and traders of fruits and vegetables (COAG Almería, ASAJA Almería and Alhondigas)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) imposes Fines on Associations of Producers and Traders of Fruits and Vegetables* In a resolution adopted on 14 December 2011, the CNC Council decided that COAG-Almería, ASAJA- Almería and ALHÓNDIGAS, associations of producers and traders of (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court hands down second ruling on non-compete clauses in rental contracts for commercial premises (Europark)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a published judgment of 12 December 2011, the Austrian Supreme Court upheld an earlier judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Vienna that had dismissed a claim seeking the annulment of non-compete obligations imposed by the operator of a shopping centre (the Europark) on its tenants (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes OFT’s tobacco pricing decision (Imperial Tobacco, Gallaher and retailers)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 December 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) quashed a decision of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in which the UK regulator had imposed a record fine on a number of tobacco manufacturers and retailers for manipulating prices of tobacco products through a network of illegal (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority assesses the possibility of de facto termination of an agreement under Art. 101 of the TFEU (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Klavins Ellex
Lithuanian ship agents case constitute important precedent on the possibility to recognise de facto termination of cartel under Lithuanian competition law. In December 2011 the Competition Council issued a decision against 32 shipbroking and agency companies (‘Companies’) and Lithuanian (...)

The Belgian Competition Council finds that a directive adopted by a professional association imposing a maximum fee for a specific service constitutes an infringement by object of the Belgian Competition Act, but decides not to impose a fine, merely a publication obligation (National Chamber of Bailiffs)
Stibbe (Brussels)
BE31 [...] & Consorts/Chambre Nationale des Huissiers CONC-P/K-08/0016 Competition Council 08.12.11 I. The facts On 9 July 2008, a number of bailiffs lodged a complaint with the Belgian Competition Council claiming that the National Chamber of Bailiffs infringes Articles 2 and 3 of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court judgment in copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases (KME, Chalkor)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 December 2011, the EU Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed appeals brought by KME Germany, KME France, KME Italy (“KME”) and Chalkor AE Epexergasias Metallon (“Chalkor”) against judgments of the General Court (“GC”) in the copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases. In December 2003, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council fines ship agency companies and the shipbrokers and agents association for concluding prohibited agreement in the market of ship agency services (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: Competition Council imposes Fines totalling € 3 383 891 on Ship Agency Companies and the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association* On 8 December 2011, the Lithuanian Competition Council (CC) fined 32 ship agency companies and the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association for (...)

The French Competition Authority detects cartel of world four major detergent manufacturers and imposes fines amounting to € 368 000 000 (Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Henkel and Colgate Palmolive)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: Thanks to its Leniency Programme, the Autorité de la concurrence detects Cartel of World four major Detergent Manufacturers and imposes Fines amounting to € 368 000 000* On 8 December 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) established the existence of a cartel between the four (...)

The French Competition Authority fines the four major laundry detergent manufacturers for violating cartel legislation (Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Henkel and Colgate Palmolive)
EDHEC (Nice)
The French Competition authority fines the four major laundry detergent manufacturers for violating cartel legislation. Summary The French competition authority has fined a cartel between Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Henkel and Colgate Palmolive for a total amount of €367.9 million euros. (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice quashes the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives for the lack of evidence and failure to specify the anti-competitive object (Parstar Petrol)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 15 February 2012 the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) upheld the judgment issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals (CAC) against the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) where the latter found the existence of the concerted practices on the market for (...)

The European Commission fines producers of refrigeration compressors € 161 million in fifth cartel settlement (Producers of household and commercial refrigeration compressors)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission fines Producers of Refrigeration Compressors €161 million in fifth Cartel Settlement* On 7 December 2011, the European Commission has settled a cartel with producers of household and commercial refrigeration compressors that covered the whole European Economic Area (EEA). (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justices quashes two infringement decisions of the Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives for the lack of evidence (Petrom and Lukoil)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 December 2011 the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) upheld the two judgments issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals (CAC) against the infringement decisions of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) where the latter alleged the existence of the concerted practices on the market (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates companies active in the e-book publishing sector* On 6 December 2011 the European Commission opened an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers, possibly with the help of Apple, in relation to the sale of e-books in the (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court questions the possibility of imposing fines for a breach of the merger notification obligation or for participation in a nation-wide price-fixing cartel in case of an unobjectionable error regarding the lawfulness of the conduct (Schenker)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
1. Introduction By two orders of 5 December 2011 in Cases 16 Ok 2/11 and 16 Ok 4/11, the Austrian Supreme Court acting as the highest appellate court in competition matters (Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) questioned whether undertakings can be held liable for (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority asks European Court of Justice for ruling in freight forwarding cartel case (SSK)
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: The Supreme Cartel Court asks European Court of Justice for Ruling in Freight Forwarding Cartel Case* On 5 December 2011, the Austrian Supreme Court acting as Supreme Cartel Court (Supreme Cartel Court) decided to stay proceedings in the Federal Competition Authority’s (FCA) appeal (...)

A US District Court denies a motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in several states (Fresh and Process Potatoes)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Allegations of Conspiracy to Limit Crop Production: Ripe for Analysis Under Capper-Volstead* On December 2, 2011, the district court denied a motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in several states. In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines on cartel of manufacturers and traders of fruits and vegetables containers (Infia, Linpac Ilpa and Veripack)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) imposes Fines on Cartel of Manufacturers and Traders of Fruits and Vegetables Containers* In its Resolution of 2 December 2011, the CNC Council ruled that it was established that INFIA, S.r.l. (INFIA) jointly and severally with its parent (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in US several states (Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation)
Offices of the United States Attorneys
,
Labaton Sucharow
I Can’t Make You Love Me If You Won’t: Capper-Volstead Jilted* The intersection between the Sherman Act and the Capper-Volstead exemption for collective conduct by agricultural industry members has given rise to a number of recent cases. In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litig., No. (...)

The Athens Civil Court of Appeal dismisses an obligation to enter into a contract in the case of anticompetitive practices
Bank of Greece
Introduction Ruling No 6546/2011 of the Athens Civil Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) is of particular importance for the private enforcement of Greek and EU competition law since it clarifies the remedies available to the victims in case of anticompetitive practices. In (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection breaks cartel of mobile operators (Polkomtel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, PTK Centertel and P4)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: UOKiK breaks Cartel of Mobile Operators* In December 2011, the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) of 23 November in which it found that Poland’s biggest mobile telephony operators – Polkomtel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, PTK Centertel and P4 – engaged in (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects the claims of predatory pricing and abuse of regulatory procedures in the market for domestic and international flights (Turkish Airlines/Pegasus)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has rejected the claims that Turkish Airlines engaged in predatory pricing and abused regulatory procedures in the market for domestic and international flights with a view to driving one of its competitor, (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic fines electricity distribution company for abuse of a dominant position by charging excessive prices for electricity metering (ZSE)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
,
Kinstellar
Factual background By its decision No. 2012/DZ/R/2/030, the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “Council”), acting in its capacity as the appellate body of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “AMO”) rejected on 29 June 2012 the appeal of ZSE Distribúcia (...)

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio confirms a fine imposed by the Italian NCA against the construction market leader for abuse of dominant position in the plasterboard market (Mercato del Cartongesso, Saint-Gobain)
Economisti Associati
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
On the 24th of December 2011, the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (‘RAC’)(Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio) rejected the appeal from Saint-Gobain PPC Italia S.p.A. (‘Saint-Gobain‘), the Italian subsidiary of the multinational corporation leader worldwide in the construction (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina finds an abuse of dominant position on the market for computer reservations systems (Amadeus)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 December 2011 Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) established that Amadeus BH d.o.o., the provider of the computer reservations system Amadeus used by the travel agencies for booking the airline tickets, has abused its dominant position on the relevant market by (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court dismisses repair shop action over right to be admitted to a passenger car manufacturer’s authorised repair network (MAN)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 21 December 2011, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (the Court), sitting as the court of last instance, decided an important case concerning the right of a manufacturer of passenger vehicles to refuse to appoint a repairer applying to be admitted to its authorised repair network. The (...)

The Danish Competition Council decides on a case concerning the application by Copenhagen airport of dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions (CPH Go)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: Terms of Use for Low Cost Facility at Copenhagen Airport found Discriminatory* On 21 December 2011, the Danish Competition Council decided on a case concerning the application by Copenhagen airport of dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions. The case regards the Danish (...)

The French Competition Authority renders legally binding commitments offered by leading retailer to remedy competition concerns on the retail distribution sector (Carrefour Market)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence makes commitments proposed by Carrefour concerning a Parisian supermarket franchised under the Champion name binding. Carrefour commits to adapt the standard Carrefour Market (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses antitrust claims for failing to prove abusive conduct in the car aftermarket (Dongfeng Nissan case)
Institute of American Studies
The Dongfeng Nissan Case and the Gaps of China’s Competition Law Regime in Tackling Vertical Restraints* The recent Dongfeng Nissan Case shed some interesting lights on the status of vertical restraints rules in China, three years after China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) became effective in August (...)

The EU Commission makes commitments legally binding to ensure competition in mainframe maintenance market (IBM)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission makes IBM’s commitments in the mainframe maintenance market legally binding* On 14 December 2011 the European Commission stated that it has made commitments offered by IBM Corporation in the mainframe maintenance market legally binding (see Newsletter 6/2011 p. 6, Newsletter (...)

The EU Commission market tests international multimedia news agency’s commitments on its licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 December 2011, the Commission announced that it was inviting comments on commitments offered by Thomson Reuters to address concerns that its licensing practices in relation to the Reuters Instrument Codes (“RICs”) may infringe Article 102 TFEU. RICs are codes that identify securities (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that a company majority owned by the two leading TV players abused of its dominant position by refusing to improve and adapt its research methodologies (Sky Italia/Auditel)
Gatti Pavesi Bianchi
Further to a complaint lodged by the satellite channel operator Sky, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato ("IAA") found that Auditel – a company majority owned by the two leading TV players (Mediaset and RAI) who is the de facto monopolist in the Italian market for monitoring (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the national incumbent in the postal services for a violation of Art. 102 TFEU (Poste Italiane)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: Poste Italiane abuses Dominant Position* On 14 December 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned the national incumbent in the postal services, Poste Italiane, for a violation of Article 102 TFEU on the Italian bulk mail market, as well as on two Italian newly (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority fines national postal incumbent for abuse of dominant position (Post/Poste Italiane)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
Following the complains of TNT Post Italia S.p.A. (TNT), on 15/10/2009 the Italian Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato - AGCM) started a preliminary investigation to assess a potential violation of the article 102 TFUE by Poste Italiane S.p.A (PI). After the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines under art. 82 TFEU the incumbent gas service supplier for refusing to provide the cities of Rome and Todi with information required to prepare contract notices for the tendering of gas distribution services (Comuni vari - espletamento gare affidamento servizio distribuzione gas)
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
On December 14th, 2011 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, ICA) fined for abuse of dominant position according to art. 102 TFUE one of the main Italian companies providing for gas supply service, by mean of concession contracts, in more than a thousand Italian cities (amongst which (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the postal incumbent for foreclosing competitors from the markets for added value postal services (Poste Italiane)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) imposed a euros 39.377.489,00 fine on Poste Italiane (PI), the Italian incumbent post operator, for breaching Article 102 TFEU. PI abused its dominant position by engaging into a number of exclusionary practices against its competitor, TNT (...)

The JFTC issues a cease and desist order and imposes a surcharge payment on a toy and juvenile-products retailer for having abused of its superior bargaining position (Toys“R”Us-Japan)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC issued Cease and Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Order against Toys“R”Us-Japan, Ltd* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has investigated Toys“R”Us-Japan, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Toys“R”Us-Japan”) in accordance with the provisions under the Antimonopoly Act (AMA) and found (...)

The European Commission adopts a commitment decision concerning the aftermarket for IT company mainframe maintenance (IBM)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Italian Competition Authority (Roma)
An analysis of the IBM Commitment Decision concerning the aftermarket for IBM mainframe maintenance* The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. Responsibility for the information and views expressed lies entirely with the (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal partially annuls finding of abuse for loyalty rebates implemented by Danish postal service provider (Post Danmark)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 December 2011, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment repealing a decision of the Danish Competition Council (“CC”) of 22 December 2010, in which the CC had found that the national postal service provider Post Danmark had abused its dominant position in (...)

A Swedish Court orders a telecoms operator to pay a fine of approximately € 15 000 000 for infringing art. 102 TFEU (Telia Sonera)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: The Stockholm City Court orders Telia Sonera to pay a Fine of approximately € 15 000 000 for infringing Article 102 TFEU* On 2 December 2011, the Stockholm City Court (the City Court) ordered Telia Sonera Sverige AB (Telia Sonera) to pay an administrative fine amounting to SEK 144 000 (...)

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission’s investigates alleged discriminatory pricing of network access fees (China Telecom and China Unicom)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
On 2 December 2011, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirmed that it had received an application for suspension of its investigation from both China Telecom and China Unicom. The NDRC has been investigating China Telecom and China Unicom for alleged discriminatory (...)

Mergers

The Spanish Competition Commission clears, subject to commitments, merger in the credit card terminal sector (Verifone/Hypercom)
Callol, Coca & Asociados
This is an interesting case and we are reporting it based on the publicly available (press) information. The merger Decision on the case is not public. Verifone Systems, Inc is a global leader in secure electronic payment solutions, and Hypercom Corporation, a high security electronic payment (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM sets down procedures to investigate and penalize companies for failure to notify notifiable transactions in violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM Getting Tough on Failure to Notify a Concentration* On 30 December 2011, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") promulgated the Interim Measures on Investigation and Punishment of Failure to Duly Notify Concentrations of Undertakings ("Interim Measures"), effective from February 1, 2012.1 (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority unconditionally clears the acquisition of the hard disk drive business of a leading IT company (Seagate/Samsung)
Erdem & Erdem
The Competition Board (the “Board”) has unconditionally authorized the acquisition of the control over the Hard Disk Drive (“HDD”) of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (“Samsung”) by Seagate Electonics PLC (“Seagate”; “Samsung” and “Seagate” hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”) by concluding that, even (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission clears a merger in the electronic payment terminals sector following the agreement by the merging entities to extend remedies beyond Spain (Verifone / Hypercom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 December 2011, the Spanish National Competition Commission (CNC) agreed to authorise the acquisition by Verifone Systems, Inc. (Verifone) of sole control of Hypercom Corporation (Hypercom) in the first phase, subject to compliance with commitments offered by Verifone. The (...)

The Belgium Competition Council clears the acquisition by the national incumbent telecom provider of the last remaining multibrand distributor after a second phase investigation (Belgacom / Wireless Technologies)
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
On 23 December 2011, the Competition Council cleared after a second phase investigation the acquisition by Belgacom, the incumbent telecom provider in Belgium, of Wireless Technologies, the operator of The Phone House, the only remaining multibrand distributor at retail level offering telecom (...)

The Belgian Competition Council conditionally clears acquisition by a telecom operator of a specialized retail chain (Belgacom / The Phone House)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 23 December 2011, the Belgian Competition Council conditionally cleared the acquisition by Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom of The Phone House, a telecommunications retail network. Following an in-depth, phase II investigation, the College of Competition Prosecutors (...)

The US Department of Justice conditionally approves combination of stock exchanges groups while the EU Commission’s review is still pending (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Justice Department Conditionally Approves Combination of Stock Exchange Groups, European Review Still Pending* The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved (...)

The US DoJ issues statements regarding the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in the mobile wireless telecommunications industry (AT&T/T-Mobile)
University of Berkeley
AT&T officially ends plans to acquire T-Mobile USA* As a reaction to the DOJ’s antitrust actions AT&T has now officially abandoned its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA for approx. $ 39 billion. In a news release from the 19th December 2011 AT&T said, that “after a thorough review of (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office approved a joint venture in the chemical sector (Henkel/Tiande)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
,
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
Relevant facts Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Department of concentrations ("Office") approved the concentration consisting in the creation of a joint venture of Henkel Hong Kong Holding Limited ("Henkel") and Tiande Chemical Holdings Limited ("Tiande"). Proceedings before the (...)

The US DoJ takes action against CEO of cable television services company for failure to comply with HSR Act in connection with acquisition of vested shares (Roberts, Comcast)
Linklaters (New York)
,
Linklaters (Washington)
,
Linklaters (New York)
The US antitrust authorities recently took action against an executive for violation of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (the “HSR Act”) in connection with the acquisition of stock as part of his compensation, resulting in a $500,000 fine. The HSR Act requires acquirers of certain voting securities (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the manufacture and sale of steel products market (Nippon Steel / Sumitomo Metal Industries)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Results of Investigation into the Proposed Merger between Nippon Steel Corporation and Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd* Upon the receipt of notification of a plan regarding the merger between Nippon Steel Corporation and Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd.,the Japan Fair Trade Commission (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes far-reaching undertakings on the merging parties as a condition for the clearance of the acquisition of control over the largest independent operator in the infrastructure sector for TV, radio and telecommunications networks (Digital Multimedia Technologies / Elettronica Industriale)
Gatti Pavesi Bianchi
On December 14th, 2011, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato ("IAA") imposed far-reaching undertakings on the merging parties as a condition for the clearance of the acquisition of control over Digital Multimedia Technologies ("DMT"), the largest independent Italian operator in (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority imposes conditions on merger to create the largest airline in Latin America (TAM and LAN Airlines/Latam Airlines Group)
Itaú BBA (Sao Paulo)
,
Azevedo Sette Advogados (Belo Horizonte)
The Administrative Council of Economic Defence (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica– CADE), Brazil’s antitrust authority, by unanimous decision, has authorised the merger between airline companies TAM, from Brazil, and LAN, from Chile, which created the largest airline company in Latin (...)

The French competition authority clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of one of its main competitors by a major French spirits manufacturer after in-depth investigation (Compagnie Financière de Prise de Participations/Quartier Français Spiritueux)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
,
Tech Data
In case no. 11-DCC-187 the French competition authority (FCA) examined the acquisition by COFEPP, a major French spirits manufacturer, of Quartier Français Spiritueux (QFS), one of its main competitors in the area. The transaction was cleared subject to conditions on 13 December 2011, the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves merger between hard disk drive (HDD) companies (Samsung / Seagate)
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has approved Seagate’s acquisition of the hard drive disk division of Samsung Electronics ("Samsung HDD") under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"), but imposed conditions to ensure that Samsung, although controlled by Seagate, remains an independent competitor. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves a merger between two leading hard drive disks manufacturers (Seagate / Samsung)
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has approved Seagate’s acquisition of the hard drive disk division of Samsung Electronics ("Samsung HDD") under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"), but imposed conditions to ensure that Samsung, although controlled by Seagate, remains an independent competitor. (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears veal merger (Van Drie / Alpuro)
Liberty Global (Amsterdam)
The merger The merger involved the acquisition of Alpuro Holding BV (“Alpuro”) by Van Drie Holding BV (“Van Drie”). The merger was announced on 19 November 2009. Van Drie is active throughout the entire production chain for producing veal. This cover the production and sale of veal feed (i.e. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally approves the acquisition of the HDD business of a Korean electronics company by a US competitor (Seagate / Samsung)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Hong Kong)
Companies contemplating global mergers,acquisitions and joint ventures should be aware that the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China’s antitrust agency tasked with merger control, is increasingly imposing competition remedies exceeding those required by the European Commission, U.S. Federal (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the maritime transport sector (DFDS / SeaFrance and LD Lines)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the possible acquisition by DFDS of certain assets of SeaFrance and LD Lines*. At the request of DFDS, the Autorité de la concurrence has examined the possible acquisition (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM passes provisional rule on failure to notify concentrations
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM Passed Provisional Rule on Failure to Notify on Concentration* On December 7, the Provisional Measures on Investigating and Penalizing Violation of Notification Obligations for Concentrations between Business Operators (Provisional Measures) were reviewed and discussed at the No. 57th (...)

The UK CC formally cleares the acquisition in the frozen ready meal businenss as customers were found to have shifted significant volumes to alternative suppliers following the completed acquisition (The Kerry/Headland)
Compass Lexecon (London)
Sponsored Entry* Some mergers materially reduce the choice of suppliers available to customers. When this happens, how much weight should competition authorities give to the potential for customers to sponsor new entry? Two recent cases investigated by the UK Competition Commission (CC) (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the e-commerce sector (Altarea / Rue du commerce)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Rue du Commerce’s sole control by Altarea*. The Autorité de la concurrence examined the acquisition of Rue du Commerce by Altarea, by means of the (...)

The US DoJ closes its investigation and gives green light to $400 M acquisition in the advertising display industry (Google/Admeld)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
DOJ closes investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc.* On December 2, 2011 the DOJ announced its decision to close the investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc. allowing Google to complete its $ 400 million merger. The DOJ’s investigation focused on the potential (...)

The Brazilian Parliament approves new competition law subject to prior significant vetoes
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York)
,
Jones Day (Sao Paulo)
,
Jones Day (New York)
On December 1, 2011, Brazil’s new competition law was published in its final form, having been approved by President Dilma Rousseff. The new law goes into effect on May 29, 2012. Before approving the new law, President Rousseff vetoed several provisions that affect timing of review, settlement (...)

State Aid

The Danish Competition Council decides that State aid granted by a municipality to a supermarket by renting out land on favourable terms restricts competition (Furesø)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
State aid granted by the municipality of Furesø to a supermarket restricts competition* The Danish Competition Council decided on 21st of December 2011 that State aid granted by the municipality of Furesø to a supermarket by renting out land on favourable terms restricts competition. In 1979 a (...)

The European Commission adopts new State aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The New State Aid Rules for Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI): the Commission Decision and Framework of 20 December 2011"* 1. Introduction: the 2011 package On 20 December 2011, the European Commission adopted a new package of State aid rules for services of general economic (...)

The European Commission approves the liquidation plan submitted by the German government for a German commercial bank (WestLB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"WestLB liquidation – the end of the saga"* 1. Introduction On 20 December 2011, the European Commission approved the liquidation plan submitted by the German government for the commercial bank WestLB, majority‑owned by the two savings banks associations in North Rhine‑Westphalia and the (...)

The European Commission adopts a new package of State aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The New State Aid Rules for Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI)"* On 20 December 2011, following extensive public consultations, the European Commission adopted a new package of State aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI). This article offers an overview of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that Dutch court must cancel an illegal guarantee covering a loan when such measure is the least onerous (Residex)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a preliminary ruling handed down on 8 December 2011, the ECJ interpreted the state aid obligations imposed on national courts as including the obligation to cancel a guarantee by virtue of which unlawful aid was implemented and order the recovery of the aid, provided that there are no (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms Commission and General Court’s views on illegality of special tax regime applied to French telecom operator (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 8 December 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) agreed with the Commission and the General Court that France Télécom had benefited illegally from state aid in the form of tax subsidies between 1994 and 2002. The Commission had investigated the tax (...)

Procedures

The Belgian Constitutional Court rules on whether the Brussels Court of Appeal can review dawn raid procedure
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 22 December 2011, the Belgian Constitutional Court issued a preliminary ruling which confirmed the jurisdiction of the Brussels Court of Appeal to review the investigative measures of the Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors. The Court ruled that if the Belgian Competition Act were to (...)

The Belgian Constitutional Court issues its preliminary ruling with regards to antitrust investigations (Belgacom)
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
,
Buyle Legal (Brussels)
Introduction In a Belgacom case, the Brussels Court of Appeal referred preliminary ruling questions to the Constitutional Court (Cour constitutionnelle/Grondwettelijk Hof) on its jurisdiction to hear appeals of decisions taken by the College of Prosecutors in the course of an antitrust (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition adopts guidelines on information sharing between competitors and updates guidelines on competition compliance of legislative acts
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Authority adopts Guidelines on Information Sharing between Competitors and updates Guidelines on Competition Compliance of legislative Acts* On 20 December 2011, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted Guidelines on information sharing between competitors. On (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts new fining guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a press release issued on 6 January 2012, the Belgian Competition Council announced the adoption on 19 December 2011 of new Guidelines regarding the calculation of fines for EU and Belgian competition law infringements. The Guidelines describe the methodology that the Competition (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts new fining guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis
In a press release issued on 6 January 2012, the Belgian Competition Council announced the adoption on 19 December 2011 of new Guidelines regarding the calculation of fines for EU and Belgian competition law infringements (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines describe the methodology that the (...)

The Egyptian Prime Minister approves amendment to the national Competition Act granting independence of its NCA from government
Computer and Communications Industry Association US (CCIA)
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) as established in the Egyptian Competition Act approved in 2005, lacked of autonomous decision-making powers relating to the possibility to settle or litigate antitrust related cases. As of December 2011, the veto power that the Competition Law granted (...)

The EU General Court considers the right of public access to documents in the context of cartel damages actions (CDC Hydrogene Peroxide)
Matrix Chambers
Access to documents under Reg 1049/2001 and private enforcement of EU competition law – the CDC Hydrogene Peroxide judgment* As usual, the EU Courts handed down judgment in a number of cases shortly before Christmas. EUtopia law will be posting blogs on one or two of them in the days and weeks (...)

The EU General Court grants access by a private antitrust plaintiff to the Commission’s files in cartel proceedings (CDC Hydrogene Peroxide)
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
,
Jones Day
The General Court of the European Union (General Court) has annulled a decision by the EU Commission (EC) that denied access by a private plaintiff to the EC’s files in cartel proceedings (Case T 437/08 – CDC Hydrogene Peroxide vs European Commission). The plaintiff requested access to those (...)

The EU Commission publishes a notice regarding commitments dealing with restrictions as regards licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Thomson Reuters offers commitments to close investigation by European Commission* On 14 December 2011 the European Commission published a notice inviting comments on commitments offered by Thomson Reuters that address concerns about whether its licensing practices, in relation to the Reuters (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds FTC subpoena in investigation into bundling and exclusionary practices (Church & Dwight Co.)
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a district court decision enforcing the Federal Trade Commission’s administrative subpoena and civil investigative demand in an ongoing FTC investigation. The December 13, 2011, opinion is noteworthy (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority adopts new notice on setting of fines in antitrust cases
European Commission (Brussels)
Hungary: New Notice on Setting of Fines in Antitrust Cases* Following the public consultation held between 15 November and 5 December 2011, the GVH has recently adopted and published its new antitrust fine notice (the new notice) on its website. The new notice entered into force on 1 February (...)

The US District Court for the District of Idaho issues an advisory opinion denying motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in US several states (Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this case the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants conspired to reduce the supply of potatoes. 834 F. Supp. 2d at 1148. The conspiracy allegedly began when potato growers formed a cooperative to increase the price of potatoes by agreeing to limit potato planting acreages and by paying (...)

Regulatory

The Spanish Competition Authority releases its decisive report on the measure proposed by the Telecommunications Market Commission on regulation of wholesale prices for call termination on mobile networks
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The Council of the Spanish Competition Authority (hereinafter CNC) approved on December, 28, 2011 a report on the measure proposed by the Spanish Telecommunications Market Commission (hereinafter CMT) on December, 1, 2011, regarding the definition and analysis of the markets for the termination (...)

The French postal and telecommunications regulator (ARCEP) fines universal postal service provider for not providing an affordable service for the shipment of low-value objects weighing less than two kilograms (La Poste)
The journal of Regulation (Paris)
French regulators fine La Poste for not providing an affordable service for the shipment of low-value objects weighing less than two kilograms* MAIN INFORMATION On December 20, 2011, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications électroniques et de la Poste (ARCEP — French postal and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the installation of relay masts - mobile telephony
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence recommends that the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR – French frequencies agency) should take certain precautions to avoid operators having cognizance of their competitors’ (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion in the context of the wholesale markets analysis of the new entrant and full MVNOs mobile voice call termination (Free Mobile, LycaMobile and Oméa Télécom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité is in favour of Arcep’s proposal on ex ante regulation of Free Mobile and full MVNOs mobile voice call termination charges. It considers asymmetrical call termination charges for the benefit of the (...)

The UK Energy Regulator publishes proposals and draft impact assessments to enhance competition engagement in the retail energy market
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Should we Regulate the Structure of Consumer Tariffs to Make Competition Work Better? Two Cheers for Ofgem* The UK energy regulator today published its heavily trailed and significant proposals to constrain the regular tariffs which (...)

Public sector

The AG Kokott of the EU Court of Justice asserts the distinction between fair trade products and eco-products in relation to public procurement conditions (Netherlands Max Havelaar)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Public procurement: are Fair Trade products different from Eco-products?* According to Advocate General Kokott they are. Public authorities wishing to procure such products should do so in accordance with article 23 of the public procurement directive (Directive 2004/18/EC) for Eco-products (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues