December 2017

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions companies for cartel in the market of highway repair and renovation (Technostroi)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS made a decision on a bid-rigging cartel for highway repair and renovation* “Technostroi” Ltd., “No. 908 Construction Department” Ltd., and “Avtodor” Road Company” Ltd. violated Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” The companies concluded an anticompetitive (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority in the case of suppliers cartel at the ministry of defence (Bely Medved)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Court confirmed legitimacy of fas decision on a suppliers cartel at the ministry of defence* Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed a claim of “Bely Medved” Ltd., “Koralkin” Ltd., “Millennium Klin” Ltd. on invalidating a FAS decision, that had found these companies and the group of persons comprising (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow upholds the judgement of the Arbitration Court in a case on an anticompetitive agreement between medicinal drug suppliers (Pharm SKD)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal court supported fas in a case on an anticompetitive agreement of medicinal drug suppliers* The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court that pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of FAS decision on the case against “Pharm SKD” Ltd. and “Novopharm” (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines two construction firms for bid rigging in the market for renovation and modernisation of schools and kindergartens (Irdaiva)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council: joint bidding of two construction firms restricted competition* The Competition Council found that joint bids submitted by two Lithuanian construction firms UAB Irdaiva and AB Panevėžio statybos trestas (PST) restricted competition “by object”, in breach of Article 5 of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies exhaustion of trademark principles and broadens the interpretation of economic links between trademark owners (Schweppes / Red Paralela)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 20 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in Case C-291/16 Schweppes v Red Paralela and Others. The ECJ held that the owner of a trademark may not oppose the parallel importation of goods bearing an identical trademark but originating in (...)

The Danish Competition Authority accepts remedies proposed by companies in a case concerning an agreement on supply of cash handling and transportation services (Loomis)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Commitment decision on free choice of provider of cash handling and cash transportation services* The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) has accepted commitments offered by the parties in a case concerning an agreement on supply of cash handling and transportation services. The (...)

The Irish Competition Authority secures commitments from a number of universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC secures commitments in the supply of graduation gowns* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has secured Commitments from a number of Irish universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns. Following a complaint, the CCPC sought (...)

The German Competition Authority, with the Dutch Competition Authority, fines three undertakings for cartel in the harbor towage sector (Fairplay / Bugsier / Petersen & Alpers)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on harbour towage service providers* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines amounting to approx. 13 million euros on three harbour towage service providers. The companies concerned are Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffsreederei Richard Borchard GmbH, Hamburg, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority, with the German Competition Authority, fines three undertakings for cartel in the harbor towage sector (Fairplay / Bugsier / Petersen & Alpers)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Collaboration between Bundeskartellamt and ACM leads to fines in towage sector* Today, the German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, announced it has imposed fines on three undertakings and their executives, totaling approximately EUR 13 million in connection with their involvement (...)

The Finnish Market Court fines several coach companies for cartel (Finnish Bus and Coach Association / Matkahuolto)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The Market Court imposed penalty payments on several coach companies, the Finnish Bus and Coach Association and Matkahuolto* In its decision issued on 14 December 2017, the Market Court considered that the coach companies*), Finnish Bus and Coach Association and Matkahuolto have been guilty of (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two laundry companies for market sharing (Micronclean)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
£1.71m fine for laundry companies found to be market sharing* The CMA has fined 2 suppliers of ‘cleanroom’ laundry services for breaking competition law by agreeing not to compete for each other’s customers. It follows enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal against a judgment upholding the fine against two undertakings for a non-compete agreement in the telecom sector (Telefonica)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) dismissed the appeal lodged by telecommunication operator Telefónica against the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment largely upholding a 2013 Commission decision, which imposed a fine on Telefónica for agreeing not to compete with (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority in the case of the cartel between manufacturers of oil-submersible cable (Kama Cable)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation court supported fas in a case on a cartel between manufacturers of oil-submersible cable* The violators are fined over 250 million RUB On 13 December 2017, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court and the ruling of the 9th (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions suppliers of supercomputers for cartel (Aquarius Production)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Suppliers of supercomputers for kurchatov institute are guilty of taking part in a cartel* FAS Commission found that suppliers of equipment for Kurchatov institute violated the antimonopoly law. The companies may pay big fines for the cartel Having investigated the case, FAS found that (...)

The EU Commission decides that an international sport association has breached European competition rules (International Skating Union)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: International Skating Union’s restrictive penalties on athletes breach EU competition rules* The European Commission has decided that International Skating Union (ISU) rules imposing severe penalties on athletes participating in speed skating competitions that are not authorised by (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system for luxury products (Coty)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ” or the “Court”) handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in Coty (C-230/16). In general, the ECJ closely follows the opinion of Advocate General (“AG”) Nils Wahl, published on 26 July 2016 (see VBB on Compe- tition Law, (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down an anticipated judgment on the possibility for a producer of luxury goods to restrict the selling of goods on third party online platforms outside of its selective distribution network (Coty)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ECJ or the Court) handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in Coty (C-230/16). In general, the ECJ closely follows the opinion of Advocate General Wahl (AG Wahl), published on 26 July 2016, in essentially holding that: the (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that suppliers of luxury goods may under certain conditions restrict authorised retailers in a selective distribution system not to sell their goods via third-party online platforms to preserve their products’ ‘luxury image’ (Coty Germany)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
I. Introduction On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its long-awaited judgment on the permissibility of restrictions by suppliers of luxury goods to sell their products via third-party online platforms under Article 101 (1) TFEU. The question has been subject to (...)

The Danish Competition Authority sanctions an association of camera distributors for cartel (Team DS)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of camera distributors has coordinated prices and exchanged information about its members prices and other competitive parameters* On 1 December 2017, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled in a case concerning anticompetitive behaviour regarding the camera market. The DCC (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions a manufacturer of wheel for shunting locomotives for abuse of domiance (Evraz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS found that “evraz” group violated the antimonopoly law* In 2013-2015 the cost-effectiveness of production of 1058-mm wheel for locomotives was unreasonably excessive The case was opened upon documents and information obtained by FAS in the course of analyzing the state of competition on the (...)

The German Competition launches a market inquiry on remedies proposed by German Olympic Sports Confederation and the International Olympic Committee suspected to abuse of their dominant position (DOSB / IOC)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Market test on commitments of DOSB and IOC* The Bundeskartellamt is currently conducting an administrative proceeding against the German Olympic Sports Confederation (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund, DOSB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Bundeskartellamt suspects that the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures in the context of competitions of the Global Champions Tour (GCT)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA imposes interim measures in the context of competitions of the Global Champions Tour* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has imposed on 20 December 2017 interim measures on the organisers of the Global Champions Tour (GCT), the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority opens an ex officio proceeding against a manufacturer of Greek traditional products suspected to cartel and abuse of dominance (Minerva)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Ex Officio Investigation into alleged infringements of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77, as well as Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, by “MINERVA S.A. Edible Oils Enterprises” (MINERVA) regarding its supply agreements of butter and margarine products both on the wholesale and retail level in Greece* (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical laboratory for having first prevented then restricted the development of generic versions of a drug (Janssen-Cilag / Johnson & Johnson)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence imposes a fine of 25 million euros on Janssen-Cilag laboratory and its parent company Johnson & Johnson for having first prevented then restricted the development of generic versions of Durogesic, its originator medicinal product.* Background Following a (...)

The German Competition Authority indicates in its preliminary assessment of a possible abuse of dominance case that data collection and use from third-party sources is abusive (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt sends preliminary assessment to Facebook* On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers (...)

The German Competition Authority finds by preliminary assessment that a social network company abused its dominant position by collecting and using data from third-party sources (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Preliminary assessment in Facebook proceeding: Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive* The Bundeskartellamt has informed the company Facebook in writing of its preliminary legal assessment in the abuse of dominance proceeding which the authority is conducting (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds that a State-run undertaking abused its dominant position on the market of offering mooring in Moscow (Gormost)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Moscow fas found that “gormost” violated the antimonopoly law* The “Gormost” Procedure for concluding contracts created discriminatory conditions and could have restricted competition Moscow OFAS found that “Gormost” violated the antimonopoly law in the part of abusing dominance of a natural (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits exclusive contracts between a seller of tickets and event organisers and advance booking offices (CTS Eventim)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits exclusive contracts between CTS Eventim and event organisers and advance booking offices* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited CTS Eventim from using exclusive contracts which it has concluded with organisers of live entertainment events and advance booking offices. (...)

The German Competition Authority terminates its administrative proceeding against a national sport association suspected of abuse of dominance (DFB - German Football Association)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
DFB eases conditions for purchase of tickets for World Cup 2018* The Bundeskartellamt has terminated its administrative proceeding against the German Football Association (DFB) which it had initiated on the suspicion that the association had abused its dominant position. Before this DFB had (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the sector of collection and recovery of non-hazardous office waste (La Poste / Suez)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Collection and recovery of non-hazardous office waste sector* In an unprecedented move, the Autorité de la concurrence closes a litigation procedure, and on the same day, clears a merger involving the same activity. The Autorité obtained commitments from La Poste regarding the promotion, (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the markets for passenger air travel (Lufthansa / Air Berlin)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition by Lufthansa of Air Berlin subsidiary LGW, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation Lufthansa’s proposed acquisition of certain Air Berlin assets, through the entity Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter GmbH (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the retail and wholesale market (Tesco / Booker)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
Tesco/Booker merger cleared after in-depth review* The CMA has concluded that Tesco’s purchase of Booker does not raise competition concerns. A group of independent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members has examined all submissions received since its provisional findings before (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the home decoration and gardening retail market (Bricorama / ITM Équipement de la Maison)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared, subject to several conditions, the acquisition of the Bricorama group by ITM Équipement de la Maison (Bricomarché, Brico Cash)* Parties to the transaction On 18 October 2017, ITM Équipement de la Maison, a subsidiary of ITM Entreprises, which notably (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies on the retail and purchasing markets of the grocery sector (SOK / Stockmann Delicatessen)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA approves the acquisition between SOK and Stockmann Delicatessen subject to conditions* Today, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the acquisition of Stockmann Group’s Delicatessen business by Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta, SOK (The Central Finnish Cooperative (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the agricultural cooperatives sector (CAM / Terrena)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to commitments, the merger of Coopérative agricole des Agriculteurs de la Mayenne (CAM) with Terrena* Parties to the operation On 30 October 2017, the parties notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their intention to merge through a merger by (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the market of aircraft manufacturing (Airbus / Bombardier)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger between Airbus and Bombardier* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, Canada ("CSALP"), a subsidiary of Bombardier Inc. Montreal, Canada, by Airbus SE, Leiden, Netherlands. Andreas Mundt, President of the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the hotel accommodation market (Scandic / Restel)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The FCCA approves Scandic’s acquisition of Restel, with conditions* Today, the FCCA has approved the acquisition of Restel Hotellit Oy by Scandic Hotels Oy, with conditions. As a condition for the approval of the sale, the FCCA obliged Scandic to sell one hotel in Pori, Lahti and Kuopio to its (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market for the production and sale of ready meals (Financière Cofigeo / William Saurin)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has initiated an in-depth examination of the planned acquisition by Financière Cofigeo of certain securities and assets of the Agripole group’s Ready Meals division (William Saurin, Panzani and Garbit)* On 12 June 2017, Financière Cofigeo notified the Autorité de la (...)

Procedures

The French Competition Authority imposes for the first time a fine of 30 millions euros to a company for obstructing the investigation (Brenntag)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines Brenntag 30 million euros for obstructing the investigation* The Autorité today publishes a decision by which it fines the Brenntag SA (hereinafter « Brenntag ») and Brenntag AG companies for having infringed the provisions of V of article L. 464-2 of the (...)

Regulatory

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion forcing a professional association to align its pricelists with competition rules (Croatian association of forestry engineers)
Croatian Competition Agency
Croatian association of forestry engineers must align its pricelists with competition rules* Based on the writing received from the Croatian Chamber of Forestry and Wood Technology Engineers the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) issued its opinion on the proposed Ordinance on pricelists for (...)

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