December 2017

Anticompetitive practices

The Polish Competition Authority issues a decision on collusion concerning ISO certificates (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
By way of its decision no. RWR 13/2017 of 29 December 2017, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”) imposed a financial penalty exceeding PLN 461,000 (approx. EUR 112,000) on Istituto Italiano del Marchio di Qualita (“IMQ”) for fixing prices and dividing the (...)

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 Hainan High People’s Court fines a company for anticompetitive distribution agreement and affirms the principle of prohibition in principle on a case-by-case basis (Hainan Yutai)
Gaopeng & Partners (Beijing)
I. Background Hainan Yutai Technology Feed Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as ’Hainan Yutai’) entered into agreements with its distributors in 2014 and 2015, pursuant to which it was agreed that “Party B (distributor) would maintain the confidentiality of Party A’s (Hainan Yutai) discount (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court allows belated ex post review of dawn raid’s legality (Delta pekarny / Bakeries cartel)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 21 December 2017, the Supreme Administrative court rejected cassation appeals of both the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) and all three claimants (participants to bakeries cartel), namely companies Delta Pekarny, OK Rest, and Penam against the previous judgment 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 (Brussels)
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 Romanian Competition Council applies its first fine to a tender organiser for facilitating bid rigging (AEM / Energobit / Elster Rometrics / Landis+Gyr / Ecro / Electrica / Electromagnetica)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
By way of its decision no. 77/2017 (’Decision’), the Romanian Competition Council (’RCC’) sanctioned six undertakings with fines totalling approx. EUR 15.8 million for bid rigging on the Romanian market for the manufacturing and commercialization of electricity meters and ancillary measuring (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau offers immunity in bread price-fixing probe (Loblaw / Weston)
Université d’Ottawa - University of Ottawa
Introduction On 19 December 2017, Loblaw Companies Limited (‘Loblaw’), Canada’s largest grocery store chain, and George Weston Ltd (‘Weston’), which owns national bread baker Weston Bakeries, admitted to participation in a packaged bread price-fixing scheme for more than 14 years that ran from late (...)

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 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 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 UK Competition Authority launches digital tool to fight bid-rigging
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA launches digital tool to fight bid-rigging* The CMA’s Screening for Cartels tool will help public procurement professionals identify suspicious behaviour by suppliers when bidding for contracts. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has worked with Spend Network, a company (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two laundry companies for market sharing (Micronclean)
British Competition 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 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 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 EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal against a General Court judgment upholding the Commission’s prohibition of a non-compete covenant in a share purchase agreement (Telefonica)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently dismissed an appeal against a General Court judgment which largely upheld the European Commission’s prohibition decision taken against Telefónica and Portugal Telecom for a non-compete covenant in a share purchase agreement. The share purchase (...)

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 Italian Supreme Court states the nullity of “downstream” agreements that are application of anticompetitive “upstream” agreements (ABI)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
By its decision No. 29810 of 12/12/2017, the Italian Supreme Court overruled the judgement of the Court of Appeal of Venice that had rejected the claim for nullity of a personal guarantee in violation of the antitrust regulation. The dispute submitted to the Court of Appeal of Venice - as a (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms that the general prohibition of the use of price comparison engines by retailers is illegal (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ASICS dealers allowed to use price comparison engines - Federal Court of Justice confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision* In its decision of 12 December, 2017, published on 19 January, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice decided that ASICS may not forbid its dealers from using price comparison (...)

The Turkish Competition Board updates its guidelines on vertical agreements
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction A number of studies have been undertaken in order to revise the Guideline on Vertical Agreements ("Vertical Guideline") in line with the developments in the European Union legislation, as well as to address the needs in the relevant sectors. Following the workshop that was held on (...)

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 Hong Kong Competition Commission receives an application for an exemption decision in relation to the Code of Banking Practice
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Notice issued under section 10 of the Competition Ordinance of an application for a decision in relation to the Code of Banking Practice* On 11 December 2017, the Competition Commission (“Commission”) received an application for a decision (“Application”) under section 9 of the Competition (...)

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 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)
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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 EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system (Coty)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
This article considers how much the Coty Ruling has shed light on the extent to which a manufacturer can restrict the sales of its products over online platforms, especially in the wake of the recent German Case involving ASICS and basic principles developed at EU level to assess obligations (...)

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 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 (...)

The EU Commission decides that an international sport association’s eligibility rules breached EU competition law (International Skating Union)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
Introduction On December 8, 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) decided that the International Skating Union’s (“ISU”) Eligibility rules (“Rules”) breached EU competition law. The Rules provided that an athlete could be sanctioned for participating in an event not authorized by the ISU. The (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance and price discrimination by national media conglomerate in the market for cable TV distribution (Thiruvananthapuram Entertainment Network / Star India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI opens investigation against Star India Pvt. Ltd. for alleged abuse of dominance / price discrimination* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) vide order dated December 29, 2017 has initiated an investigation against Star India Pvt. Ltd (“Star India/ Opposite Party”) for alleged violation (...)

The Malaysian Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds a decision of the Competition Authority in a case of abuse of dominance in the provision and management of online foreign workers permit renewals (My E.G)
Wong Partners (Baker McKenzie Kuala Lumpur)
On 28 December 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld the Malaysian Competition Commission’s (MyCC) decision on 24 June 2016 that My E.G. Services Berhad (MyEG) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, My E.G Commerce Sdn. Bhd. (MyEG Commerce) have abused their dominant position in the (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominance for refusal to licence press release rights (Editorial Initiatives Company)
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
With a decision dated 20 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”, “Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”, “AGCM”) has sanctioned S.I.E. S.p.A. (“SIE”) for an abuse of dominant position in the press review services sector, in violation of Article 3 of Italian Law no. 287/1990. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes FRAND licensing to a local newspaper in a paradigm for the essential facility doctrine applied to copyrights (Società Iniziative Editoriali)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On 20 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (or “ICA”) issued a rare infringement decision in an abuse of dominance investigation against the publisher of a local daily newspaper (“SIE”), which refused to deal with a player (the “complainant” or “Euregio”) in the downstream local market for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority applies the doctrine of essential facilities to a refusal to grant a copyright licence (Società Iniziative Editoriali)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Applying the doctrine of essential facilities to IP assets in the SIE case (decision no. 26312 of 21 December 2016, Case A503 Società Iniziative Editoriali/Servizi di rassegna stampa della Provincia di Trento- SIE), the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) found that a publisher infringed (...)

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 French Competition Authority fines pharmaceutical laboratories for preventing and restricting the development of generic drugs (Janssen-Cilag / Johnson & Johnson)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 December 2017, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a fine of € 25 million on Janssen-Cilag laboratory and its parent company Johnson & Johnson for preventing and then restricting the development of a generic version of its analgesic Durogesic (the “Decision”). Ratiopharm, now (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority fines several telecom companies for margin squeeze (Telecom Italia / Vodafone)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined Telecom Italia S.p.A. (“TIM”) and Vodafone Italia S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) € 3.7 million and € 5.8 million respectively for abusing their dominant position on the market for wholesale bulk SMS services. The ICA considered that each mobile (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions telecom companies for two different abuses of dominance in the Italian market of SMS bulk (Telecom Italia / Vodafone)
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
On 13 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined Vodafone S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) and Telecom Italia S.p.A. (“Telecom”) for two different abuses of dominant position in the Italian market of SMS bulk, in breach of Article 102 TFUE. More specifically, the ICA has found two distinct (...)

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 Moldovan Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominant position by imposing unjustified tariffs for used water reception service (Apă-Canal Chișinău)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 1 February 2018 the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) found that the municipal undertaking Apă-Canal Chișinău SA has abused its dominant position on the local market for water and sewage services by imposing unjustified tariffs for used water reception service and by (...)

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 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 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 UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the retail and wholesale market (Tesco / Booker)
British Competition 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 (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice annuls a Commission decision due to the lack of motivation in the assessment of the selectivity criteria in the determination of the compatibility of an aid (Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia and Retagal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued its judgment in case C-70/16 P, Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia and Retagal v Commission. The ECJ annulled, on appeal, a Commission decision of 19 June 2013 ordering the recovery of state aid granted by Spain to operators (...)

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 (...)

The Turkish Competition Board closes a pre-investigation on possible collusion on the construction sector and fines one undertaking for hindering on-the-spot inspection (Nuhoğlu)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (“Board”), in its decision dated 21.12.2017 and numbered 17-42/669-297 (“Decision”), has imposed an administrative monetary fine on Nuhoğlu İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Nuhoğlu”) for hindering on-the-spot inspections in accordance with Art. 16 (1) (d) of Act No. 4054 on the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal clarifies the obligation of the Competition Authority to provide statement of reasons regarding documents seized during dawn raids (Distripaints / Novelta)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2017, the Brussels Court of Appeal (the “Court”) held that documents seized by the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) during an inspection had been legally included in the scope of the investigation as the BCA had provided a satisfactory statement of reasons following a (...)

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 (Zagreb)
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 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC commences inquiry into digital platforms* The Federal Government has today formally directed the ACCC to commence an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google. The ACCC’s inquiry will look at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and (...)

Public sector

The EU Court of Justice confirms that the absence of self-certification is a discretionary exclusion ground in public procurement sector (Impresa di Costruzioni Ing. E. Mantovani / RTI Mantovani e Guerrato)
University of Bristol - Law School
ECJ confirms discretion to exclude tenderers for not updating self-certifications and points towards potential general obligation of sincere cooperation (C-178/16)* In its Judgment of 20 December 2017 in Impresa di Costruzioni Ing. E. Mantovani and RTI Mantovani e Guerrato, C-178/16, (...)

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