December 2013

Anticompetitive practices

The Romanian Competition Council finds an infringement of Art. 101 TFEU on the market for the sale of electric and electronic equipment (ROREC)
European Commission
Romania: Fines imposed for Anti-competitive Conduct in Buy-Back Campaigns in Market for Sale of Electric and Electronic Equipment* In January 2014, the Romanian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision finding an infringement of Article 101 TFEU and Article 5 (1) of the national (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection fines one company for resale price maintenance on the ski equipment and accessories market (Sport & Freizeit)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
On 31 December 2013, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter “the OCCP President”) issued a decision concerning minimum resale price maintenance practices on the market of ski equipment and accessories in Poland (Decision No. DOK – 7/2013). Although the (...)

The Polish competition authority strikes down bid-rigging practices in the agricultural sector (APA)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In its decision of 31 December 2013 , the Polish competition authority (Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the "UOKiK") reviewed a bid-rigging case involving three farmers who participated in a tender organised by the Agricultural Property Agency ("APA") to sell undeveloped agricultural (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds decisions of antimonopoly office in construction cartel case (Strabag, Doprastav...)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Decisions of Antimonopoly Office in Construction Cartel Case* On 30 December 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) annulled the judgment of the Regional Court Bratislava, which in December 2008 had annulled the decisions of the (...)

The Central London County Court confirms that land agreements are no longer beyond the reach of competition law, while considering its application in respect of a letting scheme imposing restrictions on use (Martin Retail Group / Crawley Borough Council)
LSE
Competition law and covenants restrictive of land use* Covenants restricting use of land to particular commercial purposes are commonplace. Until recently, the potential for competition law to regulate them was limited, because “land agreements” were excluded from the reach of the Chapter I (...)

The Russian Competition Authority reminds that a bid-rigging can be punished by criminal sanctions (TD DMP / Aquaresource-DV / PRK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Primorie OFAS Russia: bid-rigging can be punished by criminal sanctions* On 23rd December 2013, the Investigation Department of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in the Primorie region initiated a criminal case upon corpus delicti specified in Part 2 Article 178 of the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation on the suspected anti-competitive agreement between the members of the national guild of breweries
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council closes investigation on suspected anti-competitive agreement between brewers* On December 23 The Competition Council (the Council) closed an investigation on the suspected anti-competitive agreement between the members of the Lithuanian Guild of Breweries. According to the (...)

An Israeli Criminal Court convicts for the first time defendants in antitrust case for attempting to engage in illegal vertical restrictive arrangements and for violating merger conditions (Shufersal)
ESHEL, ASHLAGI, ROZENT - LAW OFFICES
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ESHEL, ASHLAGI, ROZENT - LAW OFFICES
On December 23, 2013, The Israeli District Court of the City of Jerusalem found the company operating the leading nationwide supermarket chain in Israel - Shufersal Ltd. ("Shufersal"), its CEO, Mr. Ephraim (Effie) Rosenhaus ("Rosenhaus") and its Deputy VP Commerce and Marketing, Mr. Eliezer (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings against the splitting rebates following the decision of the manufacturer to apply the same rebates for brick-and-mortar and online sales (Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte)
German Competition Authority
Household appliance manufacturer Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH abandons anti-competitive rebate system* Bonn, 23 December 2013: As of 2014, the manufacturer of household appliances Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH will discontinue its system of performance rebates introduced on 1 January 2013. The (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court deals with succession of liability for competition law offences (Sokolovska uhelna)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 30 December 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno (as well as the preceding decision of the Chairman of the Czech Office for protection of competition) in the case regarding anticompetitive export prohibitions included in agreements between a (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issues a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal from continuing to apply its “best price” clause (Booking.com / Expedia / HRS)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
German Federal Cartel Office bans use of MFN clauses by HRS and opens new proceedings against Booking.com and Expedia* On 20 December 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal HRS from continuing to apply its (...)

The UK OFT opens consultation on the revised commitments proposed by online travel agencies (Booking.com / Expedia)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
UK OFT weighs revised commitments in the online hotel accommodation bookings* On 20 December 2013, the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) opened a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”), Expedia Inc (“Expedia”) and InterContinental Hotels (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission commences proceedings in relation to Auckland timber cartel (Carter Holt Harvey / Fletcher)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission commences proceedings in relation to Auckland timber cartel* The Commerce Commission has today filed proceedings in the High Court against Carter Holt Harvey Limited for price fixing in the Auckland timber market. Carter (...)

The German Competition Authority forbids the application of most favoured nation clause and orders its removal from the contracts between hotels and booking portals (HRS portal)
German Competition Authority
Online hotel portal HRS’s ’best price’ clause violates competition law – Proceedings also initiated against other hotel portals* Bonn, 20 December 2013: Today the Bundeskartellamt prohibited HRS from continuing to apply its ’best price’ clause (most favoured nation clause) and ordered the company to (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeals brought against the AIG cartel case (Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
ECJ dismisses appeals by Siemens, Toshiba and Mitsubishi in gas insulated switchgear cartel case* On 19 December 2013, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment dismissing appeals by Siemens AG, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. against earlier judgments of the (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Commission to a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its Austrian distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International)
Bourgeois Avocats
Background and Court decision Back in 2009, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) hit Gaba International AG – an undertaking part of the Colgate-Palmolive Group and manufacturer of the toothpaste brands Elmex and Meridol – with a CHF 4.8 mio (about EUR 3.9 mio) fine for restricting passive (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements* The Commission today released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the Commission reached (...)

The Federal Court of Australia orders by consent the payment of $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance for branded air conditioning products (Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Mitsubishi Electric Australia to pay $2.2 million for resale price maintenance* The Federal Court of Australia has ordered by consent that Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) pay $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance. Resale price (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition proposes abolition of anticompetitive regulations on production and sale of wood
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Commission on Protection of Competition proposes Abolition of anticompetitive Regulations on Production and Sale of Wood* On 18 December 2013, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted an ex-officio opinion on the compliance of the legal framework regulating the (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds the price fixing agreement to constitute a serious violation of the competition act and orders injunction against setting and advertising a fixed price (BoligOne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Anti-Competitive Price Fixing Agreement in the Real Estate Business* A small cooperative chain of independent real estate agents – BoligOne – had notified their commercialization agreement to the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority. According to the agreement, the parties had i.a. agreed (...)

The Danish Competition Council accepts commitments concerning exchange of information that might facilitate anticompetitive practices in the constructions sector
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Competition Council accepts commitments from The Danish Construction Association regarding exchange of information agreement* On 18 December 2013 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) accepted commitments from the Danish Construction Association regarding concerns that an exchange of (...)

The Polish competition authority fines three manufacturers of chemical products used in coal mining for price fixing, market sharing and bid-rigging (Minova Ekochem, Carbotech-Polonia, A. Weber, GSG Mining Systems, Schaum-Chemie Mikołów)
Dentons (Warsaw)
In 2011 the UOKiK Chairperson initiated exploratory proceedings regarding possible antitrust infringements in the market for the production and sale of chemical products used in coal mining. The UOKiK investigation was based on information passed to it by the prosecutor’s office regarding (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore issues first proposed infringement decision in relation to an international cartel (Ball and roller bearings manufacturers)
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
On 16 December 2013, the CCS issued a media release stating that a Proposed Infringement Decision (the “PID”) had been issued against four Japanese bearings manufacturers and their Singapore subsidiaries (the “Parties”) pursuant to the Singapore Competition Act, Chapter 50B (the “Act”). The CCS has (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation and accepts remedies on vertical restraints implemented by several pharmaceutical undertakings and gives a recommendation to the Ministry of Health on ways to promote parallel imports of pharmaceuticals
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
On 21 July 2011 the Competition Council terminated the investigation on compliance of actions of several pharmaceutical undertakings with Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 TFEU by accepting commitments (Article 30(2) point 2 [now Article 28(3) point 2] of the Law on (...)

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection upholds Authority’s decision in cement cartel case (Górażdże Cement)
European Commission
Poland: The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection upholds UOKiK’s Decision in Cement Cartel Case* On 13 December 2013, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) confirmed the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) uncovering (...)

A US District Court approves the proposed class action settlement of the antitrust suit over swipe fees (Visa / MasterCard)
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (Los Angeles)
Swipe Fee Settlement Yields More Litigation* Although the parties reached a $7.25 billion class action settlement of the antitrust suit brought by merchants against Visa and MasterCard over swipe fees, the case is far from over. The protracted legal battle centers on allegations by (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accepts the amended undertaking lodged by the national broadband network owner (NBN)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC accepts NBN Co Special Access Undertaking* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted the varied Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co on 19 November 2013. The varied SAU incorporates all of the changes in the ACCC’s notice to vary and replaces the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission takes action against alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in motor vehicles and industrial applications (NSK)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against NSK for alleged cartel conduct* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Sydney, against NSK Australia Pty Ltd (NSK) for alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines eleven undertakings engaged in a cartel on the stationary products market (Budapiért)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH has imposed fines of over HUF 1 billion on eleven undertakings engaged in a cartel on the stationary products market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) found in its decision of 12 December 2013 that six stationary distributor undertakings had concluded (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission files civil proceedings against a cartel that allegedly denied the benefits of lower prices for laundry detergent products to the consumers (Woolworths)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against alleged laundry detergent cartel* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed civil proceedings, in the Sydney registry of the Federal Court of Australia, in relation to an alleged cartel that the ACCC alleges denied Australian consumers the benefits (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to enable a chain of up-market department stores to continue to invite certain businesses to participate in various promotions (Myer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Myer* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Myer to enable it to continue to invite certain businesses operating within Myer Stores to participate in various promotions. (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes the re-authorisation of a professional conduct regime (RCSA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association’s Professional Conduct Regime* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to re-authorise the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association’s (RCSA) (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to authorise collective bargaining arrangements advanced by a number of specific suppliers of wagering services, energy services and insurance (Clubs Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to authorise Clubs Australia’s collective bargaining arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to authorise collective bargaining arrangements put forward by Clubs Australia for five years. Clubs Australia, representing 6,500 licensed clubs across (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils to enable them to jointly tender for waste collection services, and recyclables and organic waste processing services (New South Wales)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW for joint tender for waste services* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW to enable them to jointly tender (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft determination proposing to allow a collective bargain with office products suppliers (Office Choice)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to reauthorise collective bargaining by office products retailers group* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to allow Office Choice Limited, Office Brands Limited, Office Products Depot and their current and future (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation for collusive tendering against 23 Italian companies providing tv broadcasting post-production services (RAI)
NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
On 10 December 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the “Authority”) opened an investigation against 23 Italian companies for an alleged collusive tendering within 20 calls for tenders convened by RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. (the (...)

The EU Commission imposes fines of € 16M on pharmaceutical companies for delaying market entry of generic pain-killer (Johnson & Johnson and Novartis)
European Commission
European Commission imposes Fines of € 16 000 000 on Johnson & Johnson and Novartis for delaying Market Entry of generic Pain-Killer Fentanyl* On 10 December 2013, the European Commission imposed fines of € 10 798 000 on the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and € 5 (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission publishes report on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petrol
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC Petrol Report shows prices still high despite global weakness* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its 2013 report on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petrol in Australia. “The report shows that international prices and domestic fuel taxes are the key (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appeals against recent decision dismissing cartel allegations as regards fixing of home loan fees (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC appeals ANZ Bank decision* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has appealed against the recent decision by Justice Dowsett in the Federal Court dismissing the ACCC’s allegations that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing (...)

The EU Commission publishes its fourth report on the monitoring in Europe of patent settlements
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
Executive Summary On 9 December 2013, DG Comp published its fourth report on the monitoring in Europe of patent settlements. Like its predecessors, the report welcomes the continuously low level of settlements that may give rise to antitrust concerns and trumpets that the overall number of (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms decision concerning refusal of supply and restrictions to parallel trade within the railway engine spare part sector (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 9 December 2013, Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (“DCAT”) confirmed the decision of the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) of 12 June 2013, in which the German manufacture of industrial engines Deutz AG (“Deutz”) and their exclusive dealer in Scandinavia, Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (“Diesel Motor (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal denies leave to merchant to bring price maintenance application challenging wholesale pricing structure for tobacco products (Safa Enterprises / Imperial Tobacco)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Tobacco price maintenance case goes up in smoke* A Vancouver convenience store operator’s attempt to force Imperial Tobacco to offer it lower prices was filtered out by the Competition Tribunal. Safa Enterprises Inc. operates “My Convenience Store”. Its competitor, New Hasty Market, pays less (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds that a travel agent attempted to induce certain airlines to make collusive arrangements with it in relation to retail air fares for international air travel (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Federal Court finds that Flight Centre attempted to enter into illegal arrangements with airlines* The Federal Court has held that on 6 occasions Flight Centre attempted to enter into arrangements with airlines which sought to eliminate differences in air fares so as to fix, control or (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau announces new regulatory intervention efforts into the regulation of pharmacists in Alberta
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Competition Bureau Announces First New Advocacy Initiative: Self-regulated Professions (Pharmacist Inducements in Alberta): Patient Care v. Competitive Markets* On September 10th, the Canadian Competition Bureau announced a public consultation for suggestions where it should intervene in (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission allows minor variations on the authorisation of a joint venture on the market for port terminal operations (AAT)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC allows minor variations to AAT joint venture authorisation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has allowed minor variations to authorisation of the Australian Amalgamated Terminals Pty Ltd (AAT) joint venture. The minor variations will enable AAT to operate the terminal (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an Article 101 TFEU investigation against a purchase supercenter of several large supermarket chains (Centrale di Acquisto per la grande distribuzione autorizzata)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a decision made on 4th December 2013 in the Centrale di Acquisto per la grande distribuzione autorizzata (Purchase Supercenter) case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 101 TFEU enquiry into the agreement concluded by several supermarket chains for the (...)

The EU Commission fines banks € 1.71 billion for participating in cartels in the interest rate derivatives industry (Barclays /Deutsche Bank / RBS / Société Générale)
European Commission
European Commission fines Banks € 1 710 000 000 for Participation in Cartels in the Financial Derivatives Industry* On 4 December 2013, the Commission has fined 8 banks a total of € 1 712 468 000 for participating in cartels in markets for financial derivatives covering the EEA. Four of them (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to continue to negotiate on behalf of its members in relation to existing terms and conditions of agency agreements and arrangements (Lottery Agents Queensland / Golden Casket Lottery)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC grants interim authorisation to Lottery Agents Queensland* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Lottery Agents Queensland to continue to negotiate on behalf of its members in relation to existing terms and conditions of agency agreements (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission decides to re-authorise collective bargaining arrangements put forward by the national medical association for ten years (NSW)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC reauthorises AMA (NSW) to collectively bargain* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to re-authorise collective bargaining arrangements put forward by the Australian Medical Association (NSW) for ten years. The AMA (NSW) sought authorisation to continue to (...)

A US District Court denies the motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint against the "anti-troll" group organizing a boycott of android related patents (Cascades Computer Innovation / RPX)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
“Anti-Patent Troll” Fails to Secure Dismissal of Amended Antitrust Complaint* Back in January, I covered the case of Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10526 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2013), where Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed – with leave to amend – Cascades’ (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court implements the Court of justice’s preliminary ruling according to which liability for infringing Article 101 TFEU is independent of the existence of an error regarding the lawfulness of the conduct (Schenker)
European Court of Justice
Background The present case concerns the so-called Spediteurs-Sammelladungs-Konferenz (Freight Forwarding Agents Consolidated Consignment Conference), a multilateral price-fixing agreement between transport companies covering tariffs for domestic consolidated transport throughout Austria. In (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines media company and football clubs for breaching a resolution on the acquisition of broadcasting rights for football competitions (Mediapro, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Racing de Santander)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia fines Mediapro and four Football Clubs € 15 000 000* On 2 December 2013, the Council of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia or CNMC) imposed fines amounting to € 15 (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to impose a four cent per litre/kilogram levy on the sale of agricultural and veterinary chemicals (AgStewardship)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation for waste reduction scheme* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to AgStewardship Australia Limited on behalf of itself, its members, Agsafe Limited and current and future (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Polish competition authority formally accepts the commitments offered in an abuse of dominant position case(Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In its decision of 31 December 2013 relating to an alleged abuse of dominant position on the retail and wholesale markets of gas supply, the Polish competition authority (Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the "UOKiK") formally accepted the commitments offered by Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i (...)

The Polish Competition Authority renders legally binding commitments in an abuse of dominant position case in the retail and wholesale markets of gas supply (PGNiG)
European Commission
Poland: PGNiG offers Commitments in Abuse of Dominance Case* On 31 December 2013, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) adopted a decision rendering the commitments offered by Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) binding in the framework of (...)

The Italian Court awards to a local telecom operator damages in a follow-on case of a margin squeeze decision against the incumbent operator (Brennercom / Telecom Italia)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
Introduction On the December 27 2013, the Enterprises Court of Milan awarded damages to Brennercom, a fixed-line telecom operator active in the north-east of Italy, in respect of a claim brought against Telecom Italia. This case arose as a follow-on action from a decision of the Italian (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a company managing the airports of Milan for breach of Article 102 TFEU (SEA - Società per Azioni Esercizi Aeroportuali)
NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
On 20 December 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) opened an investigation against SEA for an alleged abuse of dominant position that aimed at preventing the entry of a potential competitor into the management of the infrastructures of the airport of Milan Linate. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates into a foreclosing conduct of the manager of Milan airports in the general aviation sector (Cedicor/SEA)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a decision made on 20 December 2013 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 102 investigation against the manager of the Milan airports, SEA (Case A474, Cedicor/SEA). SEA was alleged to have abused its dominant position by foreclosing the market for the (...)

The Paris court of appeal upholds the competition authority’s decision holding that direct access to telecom company subscribers is not an essential facility (Cogent Communications / France Télécom)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Introduction At a time when cloud computing is changing the face of the Internet, the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal acts as a reminder that the Internet is primarily a matter of physical wires. In December 2013, the Court ruled on an appeal of a French competition authority (ADLC) (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rules that leading GSM operator abused its dominant position in the GSM services used in vehicle tracking services by complicating its competitors’ activities via exclusive practices (Turkcell)
Turkish Competition Authority
Leading GSM operator Turkcell fined TL 40 million for abuse of dominance as Council of State annulled the previous decision* According to the Turkish Competition Authority’s (TCA) press release, Turkcell, the leading GSM operator in Turkey, was fined approximately TL 40 million (USD 20 (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical laboratory particularly for abuse of dominance by denigrating its competitors and for implementing anticompetitive agreements with its supplier (Arrow / Schering-Plough)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Schering-Plough pharmaceutical laboratory a total of 15.3 million euro for hindering entry onto the market of the generic of its originator medicinal product Subutex®* (...)

The Irish High Court finds no abuse of dominant position by a public port authority after it imposed a levy per passenger (Island Ferries Teoranta)
University College London
The Plaintiff is the sole commercial operator of a passenger ferry service from the Irish mainland to a harbour at Kilronan on the Aran Islands. In October 2011 the public body responsible for the management of Kilronan harbour passed a law which imposed significant charges for the use of the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical company €15.3 M for preventing market entry of a generic (Arrow / Schering-Plough)
Fidal (Lyon)
Introduction On 18th December 2013, the French Competition Authority handed down a significant decision in the pharmaceutical sector. The Competition Authority considered that Schering-Plough had abused its dominant position by impeding the entry of the generic product onto the market. In (...)

The Danish Competition Council accepts commitments from domestic telecom company referring to margin squeeze practices (TDC)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council Accepts Commitments from Denmark’s Largest Broadband Provider* On 18 December 2013 the Danish Competition Council accepted commitments from the Danish telecom-incumbent TDC A/S on the basis of concerns that TDC A/S had potentially abused its dominant position on (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an electricity provider for abuse of dominance on the photovoltaic solar power market (EDF)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines EDF 13.5 million euros for having unjustly favoured its subsidiary that operates in the emerging market for photovoltaic solar power* Following a complaint by the Solaire (...)

The French Competition Authority fines French energy provider for abusing its dominant position on the solar energy market (EDF)
EDHEC (Nice)
Summary The French competition authority held EDF responsible for illegally favoring its subsidiary on the solar energy market and was sentenced to pay a 13.5 million euro fine. Facts EDF is the leading energy producer and provider in France. They own a 90 to 95% market share on the market of (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports a German engine manufacturer and its local distributor for preventing the supply of spare parts for IC3-trains (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine manufacturer Deutz AG and the company’s distributor in Denmark to the police* Following a ruling from the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal, The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds no dumping practices in the bundled packages on the telecommunications market (IM Sun Communications)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 5 December 2013 the Moldovan Competition Authority (CC) has confirmed the absence of dumping prices on the market for various telecommunications services (IPTV, fixed telephony and Internet). The no-infringement decision issued by the CC was based on the absence of anti-competitive effects (...)

The Slovenian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s prohibition decision finding an abuse of dominant position (Pro Plus)
Fatur
In PRO PLUS case, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (hereinafter referred to as the CPA) adopted a prohibition decision in April 2013 (Case 306-90/2009), finding that PRO PLUS, i.e. Produkcija Plus, a leading broadcasting and internet media company in Slovenia, which is part of the (...)

A US District Court dismisses an action brought by a putative class of consumers on claims of monopolization of the aftermarket for iPhone apps (Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Plaintiffs Hit an Illinois Brick Wall: Indirect Purchasers of iPhone Apps Lack Standing to Bring Antitrust Suit* On December 2, 2013, United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California dismissed a case against Apple brought by a putative class of (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss in a case of anticompetitive exclusive dealing on the market for digital photo services for the tourism industry (Pro Search Plus / VFM Leonardo)
University of Michigan
Successful Mousetrap Builders Beware – Your Sales Contract Just Might Be “De Facto Exclusive Dealing”* Say you built a better mousetrap, the world beat a path to your door and now you have a high share of the mousetrap market. Let’s further assume that your customers find “the cost of switching (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority imposes a steep sanction on the head of wine producer group, for failing to notify a concentration (Copagef / Castel)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris)
By a decision dated 20 December 2013 (decision n°13-D-22), the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a €4.000.000 fine on Copagef SA, for failing to comply with article L.430-3 of the French commercial code which provides for a mandatory prior authorization of mergers. This is the highest (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines several undertakings for a breach of obligations to protect competition following a merger clearance in the maritime sector (Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione / Moby)
University of London - School of Economics Birkbeck College
On the 20th of December 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) opened an investigation against Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.p.A. (“CIN”) and Moby S.p.A. (“Moby”) for breach of obligations set forth in the decision issued by the Authority on the 21st June 2012. According to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a transaction for the creation of a joint venture operating in the banking sector on the basis of the non-applicability of the relevant Italian law provisions governing concentrations between undertakings (Bassilichi / Accenture)
C partners law and tax firm (Milan)
Background The purpose of the transaction at hand was to allow Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (“MPS”), one of the major Italian banks, to externalise certain back-office and administrative services, entrusting them to other companies outside its corporate group, as part of its strategic (...)

The Irish Competition Authority publishes revised merger guidelines
Queen’s University Belfast
On December 20, 2013 the Irish Competition Authority published its revised Guidelines for Merger Analysis. These guidelines replace the last version, promulgated in December 2002. The Revised Guidelines have had the benefit of a request for comments (with ten resulting submissions) following (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission approves conditionally an acquisition in the life sciences industry (Thermo Fisher Scientific / Life Technologies)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Thermo Fisher cleared to acquire Life Technologies subject to a divestment undertaking’ The Commerce Commission has cleared Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Thermo Fisher) to acquire Life Technologies Corporation (Life Technologies). (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conditionally approves the proposed acquisition in life science sector (Life Technologies / Thermo Fisher Scientific)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC conditionally approves the proposed acquisition of Life Technologies by Thermo Fisher* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Life Technologies Corporation by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc after competition (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a statement of issues outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition in the local market for the supply of takeaway packaged liquor (Lindisfarne Cellars / Woolworths)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC concerned about Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of Lindisfarne Cellars* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of Lindisfarne Cellars by Woolworths Limited. Lindisfarne Cellars is a bottleshop (...)

The South African Constitutional Court sets aside costs order related to decision by the Competition Appeal Court to overturn merger prohibition decision (Pioneer Hi-Bred International / Pannar Seeds)
RBB Economics (London)
How to (almost) gut an agency – the final twist in the maize seeds case?* On 18 December 2013, the Constitutional Court of South Africa (“Constitutional Court”) handed down its decision in an appeal by the Competition Commission (“Commission”) against an unprecedented costs order imposed by the (...)

The EU General Court rejects rival’s claim and gives the green signal for an acquisition in the communications services market (Microsoft / Skype)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
By its decision dated 11 December 2013, Luxembourg based European General Court approves the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. Background On 02.09.2011 the EU Commission was notified of a proposed concentration by which, Microsoft Corporation, USA acquired 100% of the outstanding shares and (...)

The EU General Court confirms that the merged parties are not dominant in the internet visual communications market and rejects interoperability issues raised by appellants (Microsoft / Skype)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
EU Court upholds the Commission’s decision on the Microsoft/Skype deal* On 11 December 2013 the EU’s General Court (the “Court”) handed down its ruling concerning Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. The Court held that the Commission rightly considered that the transaction does not restrict (...)

The Netherlands ACM approves merger between hospital groups (MCH / Bronovo)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears merger between hospitals Bronovo and Medisch Centrum Haaglanden* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the merger between hospital groups Medisch Centrum Haaglanden (MCH) and Bronovo in The Hague. In the post-merger situation, health insurers will (...)

The German Competition Authority issues new guidelines providing that mergers without significant effects on the domestic market should fall outside the scope of the notification obligation and substantive review procedure
German Competition Authority
Foreign-to-Foreign Mergers – More legal certainty for companies* The Bundeskartellamt has published a draft of its guidance document “Domestic Effects in Merger Control” for public consultation. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “We aim to relieve concentrations that do not affect (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission calls for comment on proposed acquisition on the market for supply of steel coil (BlueScope / Fielders)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC calls for comment on BlueScope Steel’s proposed acquisition of Fielders Australia* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues on the proposed acquisition of Fielders Australia Pty Ltd by BlueScope Steel Ltd. BlueScope, through its subsidiary (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a statement of issues outlining concerns with a proposed acquisition that may result in a substantial lessening of competition as it would remove the only independent full-line supermarket in the local market (Woolworths / Renaissance Supa IGA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases SoI on proposed acquisition of St Kilda Supa IGA by Woolworths* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues (SoI) outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of the St Kilda Renaissance Supa IGA by Woolworths Limited. The target (...)

The German Competition Authority opens public consultation for its draft guidance document on domestic effects in merger control
German Competition Authority
Consultation: Draft Guidance Document on Domestic Effects in Merger Control* The Bundeskartellamt has published a draft of its guidance document “Domestic Effects in Merger Control“. This document is to replace the previous document which was published in 1999. The draft document is available (...)

The EU Commission clears the merger proposed by a Russian energy supplier targeting a number of companies established in Germany and Netherlands (Gazprom / Wintershall)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Clears Acquisition of German and Dutch Gas Supply and Storage Joint Ventures by Gazprom* Applying the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has cleared a proposed acquisition of (i) joint control over WINZ and Wintershall Services of the Netherlands and (ii) sole control (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes the Competition Commission decision regarding maritime transport over the Channel highlighting contradictory analysis of mergers between National Competition Authorities (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
HEC
The control of the Channel remains an emphatically strategic subject of prime importance for England: the Eurotunnel ferries might well not be allowed to disembark at Dover in the future! At least that’s what the Competition Commission, the British competition authority (hereinafter referred to (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the takeover of two regional dailies, several advertising newspapers and a number of women’s magazines (Springer / Funke)
German Competition Authority
Springer/Funke: Takeover of regional newspapers and women’s magazines cleared* Bonn, 03 December 2013: Today the Bundeskartellamt cleared the takeover of two regional dailies (Hamburger Abendblatt and Berliner Morgenpost), several advertising newspapers and the women’s magazines segment of Axel (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission unanimously approves merger in the oil products and lubricants market (Motor Oil and Cyclon)
Lambadarios Law Firm
On December 2, 2013 the Hellenic Competition Commission (hereinafter: HCC) unanimously approved the acquisition of a controlling stake in CYCLON HELLAS S.A. (hereinafter: CYCLON) by MOTOR OIL HELLAS S.A. (hereinafter: MOH). MOH is a Greek company mainly active in the markets of oil refining; (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice interprets the concept of intervention through state resources and finds that the offset of additional costs arising from the obligation to purchase green electricity constituted state intervention (Vent de Colère)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Non-Equivalence of the Various Methods of Supporting Green Electricity* Introduction Ever since the judgment of the Court of Justice in 2001 on PreussenElektra [case C-379/98], Member States have been grappling with the question of how to (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a mechanism for offsetting in full the additional costs imposed on undertakings because of an obligation to purchase wind-generated electricity at a price higher than the market price is imputable to the state (Association Vent De Colère / Ministre de l’Écologie)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU follows AG Jääskinen in revisiting PreussenElektra and minimising Doux Elevages’ requirements for State imputability of aid measures (C-262/12)* In its Judgment of 19 December 2013 in case C-262/12 Vent De Colère and Others, the Court of Justice of the EU has largely followed AG Jääskinen’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice reinforces the Plaumann test and re-emphasizes the role attributed to the national courts within the framework of the preliminary ruling procedure to ensure judicial review of the legality of EU acts (Telefónica)
European Procurement Law Group
What’s left of the ’new limb’ of Art 263(4) TFEU after Inuit and Telefonica? (C-274/12 P)* In its Judgment of 19 December in case C-274/12 P Telefonica v Commission, the CJEU has continued to define (and minimise) the scope of Article 263(4) TFEU and, particularly, the ’new’ third limb introduced (...)

The European Commission confirms the use of the funding gap method for determining the necessity and proportionality of State aid for infrastructural projects (Port of Capo d’Orlando)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Management of Port Infrastructure through a very long Concession Contract: Is the Funding Gap Method Meaningful?* Main points Competitive selection of the operator of an infrastructural facility normally eliminates State aid. However, modifications to the contract after the operator is (...)

The EU Commission considers the aid for the implementation of an urban development project for schools in the region of Attica to be compatible with the internal market based on Article 107(3)(c) TFEU (JESSICA)
College of Europe (Bruges)
A JESSICA-Funded Public-Private Partnership* Main points Public funding of a public-private partnership for the construction and maintenance of public schools may still involve State Aid. State Aid may have an incentive effect even when it is granted to a project that has already started. (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation on the compatibility of the reduction granted to energy-intensive companies on the surcharge promoting renewable sources in Germany (EEG Surcharge)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Opens State Aid Investigation into German Renewables Surcharge Reduction for Energy-intensive Companies and Green Electricity Privilege* As previously expected, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the reduction granted to energy-intensive (...)

The EU Commission issued new de minimis rules for state aid control
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The New Rules on De minimis Aid for 2014-2020: Regulation 1407/2013* Introduction It is appropriate to start this year’s articles on State aid with an appraisal of one of the most important new legislative items for the period 2014-2020: the new de (...)

The European Parliament adopts a regulation on structural funds requiring compliance of financial instruments with state aid rules
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog An Assessment of the State Aid Consistency of Financial Instruments Supported by Structural and Investment Funds (Regulation 1303/2013)* Introduction Last week I reviewed the new State aid guidelines on risk finance. This week I will examine the (...)

The EU Commission decides to consider the aid for renewing an ice arena in the municipality of Heerenveen to be compatible with the internal market since it served a policy objective of common interest (Thialf)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Competitive Elements in the Selection of Operators of Sports Infrastructure May not Be Enough to Eliminate State Aid* Main points The existence of an advantage cannot be excluded when the operator of an infrastructural facility is chosen through a (...)

The EU Commission authorises aid in order to enable the concession holders to finalize two motorway projects that have encountered financial difficulties
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Public Funding of Projects that Encounter Financial Problems* Main points Aid that is granted after the start of a project lacks incentive effect and is, therefore, incompatible with the internal market. However, aid may be justified when a project (...)

The EU Court of Justice examines the concept of state attributability in relation to a fiscal exemption previously approved by the Council (Eurallumina)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Possibly Conflicting Roles of EU Institutions on State Aid* Introduction On 10 December 2013, the Court of Justice, in C‑272/12 P, wrote another chapter in the long-running case of the exemption from excise taxes for alumina producers in France, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the distribution of powers between the Council and the Commission in the area of state aid enforcement (Alumina)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU strengthens Commission’s enforcement monopoly in State aid (C-111/10) and jeopardises its consistent enforcement with other EU policies (C-272/12)* In two recent Judgments of 4 December 2013 (C-111/10, Commission v Council) and 10 December 2013 (C-272/12, Commission v Ireland and Others), (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the distribution of powers between the Council and the Commission in the area of state aid enforcement (Commission / Council)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU strengthens Commission’s enforcement monopoly in State aid (C-111/10) and jeopardises its consistent enforcement with other EU policies (C-272/12)* In two recent Judgments of 4 December 2013 (C-111/10, Commission v Council) and 10 December 2013 (C-272/12, Commission v Ireland and Others), (...)

Procedures

The Spanish National Court annuls a resolution imposing a fine, on the grounds that the duration of the investigation was excessive (UAHE)
Baker McKenzie (Madrid)
The Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional, "AN") passed a judgment on 23 December 2013 annulling the Resolution of the Spanish National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, "CNC") of 14 June 2012 that held that the Unión de Almacenistas de Hierros de España ("UAHE", (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets publishes its study on the possibilities of switching banks for consumers who experienced a decrease of their income or value of their house
European Commission
The Netherlands: ‘Underwater Mortgages’ do not result in higher Interest Rates for Homeowners* On 20 December 2013, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) published its study on the possibilities of switching banks for consumers who experienced a decrease of their income or (...)

The Belgian Council of Ministers approves draft bills that introduce a collective redress system in Belgian competition law cases
Van Bael & Bellis
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2013, the Belgian Council of Ministers approved two draft Bills that introduce the possibility of collective redress proceedings – so-called class action claims – to recover damages suffered as a result of a breach of Belgian competition law (as well as other kinds of (...)

The European Competition Network publishes recommendations on investigative and decision making powers intended to serve as guidance for policymakers
European Commission
ECN Recommendations on investigative and decision making Powers published* On 10 December 2013, a set of European Competition Network (ECN) Recommendations on key investigative and decision-making powers were published. The ECN Recommendations are intended to serve as guidance for (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court holds that fines imposed by the Competition Authority cannot be suspended or postponed without a serious reason (LitCon)
SKVLAW
On December 5, 2013 the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania supported position of national competition authority – the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter – NCA) interpreting the purpose of its imposed penalty and abolishing a part of lower court’s decision. Despite (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission publishes executive summary of final report of inquiry into fruit-and-vegetable sector
European Commission
Greece: The Hellenic Competition Commission publishes Executive Summary of Final Report of Inquiry into Fruit-and-Vegetable Sector* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has conducted a sector inquiry into the production, marketing, distribution and retail of seven categories of fruit and (...)

The Council of the EU agrees upon a general approach on the draft directive concerning actions for damages for breaches of antitrust law that will serve as basis for negotiations with the European Parliament with a view to reaching an agreement at first reading
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Possibility to receive full compensation for damages suffered as a result of antitrust violations comes closer* On December 2, the European Union (EU) Competitiveness Council reached a general approach on a draft directive on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for (...)

Regulatory

The Netherlands ACM allows blocking certain internet services on board of trains of Dutch railway company as an exception from the net neutrality rule (T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to restrict free internet access on board trains* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has concluded that Dutch telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to block certain services such as YouTube and Spotify on the free Wi-Fi-network on board (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on the distribution of medicinal products
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. After gathering market players’ insight, and having carried out an in-depth analysis of how the sector operates, the Autorité de la concurrence publishes its opinion.* It calls for the stimulation of (...)

The German Federal Network Agency and the Bundeskartellamt present their joint monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012
German Competition Authority
Monitoring Report 2013 of the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* Bonn, 19 December 2013: Today the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) and the Bundeskartellamt presented their joint Monitoring Report 2013 on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012. With (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases draft report on regulation of access to mobile networks* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks. It is also proposing to regulate the termination (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases draft reports proposing to maintain the existing regulation of wholesale services supplied using copper network, other fixed line infrastructure and transmission routes (Telstra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases draft reports on transmission and fixed line network regulation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently reviewing the scope of its regulation of telecommunications services. It has today released draft reports that propose to largely maintain the existing (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seeks views on port terminal access arrangements at Newcastle (GrainCorp)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC seeks views on GrainCorp’s port terminal access arrangements at Newcastle* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking views on whether the scope of regulation of GrainCorp’s bulk grain port terminal in Newcastle should be reduced due to the presence of other bulk export (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority publishes an analysis of the markets of private chiropractors and physiotherapists
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The regulation of chiropractors and physiotherapists prevents efficient and equal competition* On 5 December 2013 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority published an analysis of the markets of private chiropractors and physiotherapists. The analysis shows that the current regulation of (...)

Public sector

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for procurement fines against alteration of a framework agreement concerning procurement of photo copiers (Stockholm County Council)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Alteration of framework agreement led to an illegal procurement* The Stockholm County Council made such great changes to a framework agreement relating to the purchasing of copiers that the contract must be considered a whole new procurement. As this was not publicly advertised, it constitutes (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks
German Competition Authority
Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks* Bonn, 18 December 2013: The Bundeskartellamt welcomes the landmark decisions issued yesterday by the Federal Court of Justice on the award of rights of way for electricity and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit finds in favour of the appellee on the account of its counterclaims of unjust enrichment and breach of contract in relation to a subcontracting agreement on the provision of transport and logistics for the US army in Afghanistan (Vlox / Mirzada)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Washington D.C.)
Fourth Circuit Affirms $2.8 Million Jury Verdict Obtained By Womble Carlyle For Government Subcontractor* On December 16, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion affirming a $2.8 million jury verdict obtained by a Womble Carlyle trial team, chaired by Jason Hicks, in the Eastern District of (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority presents a report containing a wide range of policy measures for the improvement and strengthening of competition
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Level playing field for the public and private sectors* Obstacles to well-functioning competition must be removed. This is the overarching message in a report recently submitted to the Government by the Swedish Competition Authority. One suggestion is to separately account for public sales (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares that a scheme of compulsory minimum tariffs for certification services addressed to tenderers in a public procurement procedure is not illegal per se under the EU competition and free movement rules (SOA Nazionale Costruttori)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU rubber stamps Italian minimum tariffs for certification in public procurement, subject to proportionality (C-327/12)* In its Judgment of 12 December 2013 in case C-327/12 Soa Nazionale Costruttori, the Court of Justice of the EU has followed rather closely AG Cruz Villalon’s Opinion (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the authorities of a Member State may rely on the provisions of a non-transposed directive against a body holding a public service concession (Portgás)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU: vertical effect of Directives goes both ways (C-425/12)* The Judgment of the CJEU of 12 December 2013 in case C-425/12 Portgás may appear to be of interest only for public procurement aficionados (and, even then, only for hardcore ones), as it deals with the potential applicability of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of article 30(2) of Directive 2004/18 as regards the negotiation of technical elements between a contracting authority and the participants in a negotiated procedure (Nordecon / Rahandusministeerium)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU on renegotiation of mandatory technical conditions in negotiated procedures: A good case? (C-561/12)* In its Judgment of 5 December 2013 in case C-561/12 Nordecon and Ramboll Eesti, the CJEU has ruled on the interpretation of Article 30(2) of Directive 2004/18 as regards the negotiation (...)

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