February 2011

Anticompetitive practices

The German Competition Authority fines manufacturers of firefighting vehicles and turntable ladders (Iveco Magirus)
White & Case (Hambourg)
The German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt, “FCO”) recently imposed fines in the aggregate amount of Euro 38 million in two proceedings against manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles and turntable ladders. To date, the FCO has not published the full texts of the decisions. Thus, the (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt investigates settlement of a tender dispute for suspect cartel infringement (Abellio / DB Regio NRW)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
"The FCO targets settlement of a tender dispute for suspicion of cartel infringement"* From December 2010 to February 2011, the FCO investigated a planned settlement between the parties to a tender dispute in the public transport sector. The FCO suspected that the planned settlement would (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four companies that rigged bids for procurement contracts in the sector of painting services for naval equipments and engineering structures (Grivetto, Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor & Sorespi Bretagne)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines four companies that rigged bids for procurement contracts in the sector of painting services for naval equipments and engineering structures*. After the French Minister of (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court terminates cartel proceedings on the basis of earlier de minimis ruling (Austrian transport industry)
Van Bael & Bellis
According to a press release of 24 February 2011, the Austrian Competition Authority (“ACA”) will appeal against a decision of the Austrian Cartel Court terminating proceedings against 40 transport companies that allegedly engaged in a cartel. In February 2010, the ACA had submitted a request to (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four companies for bid rigging in the painting services sector for naval equipment and engineering structures (Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor, Grivetto, Sorespi Bretagne)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Affinion International
In its decision dated 24 February 2011, the French Competition Authority (the "Competition Authority") considered that four companies had concluded anticompetitive arrangements between 2005 and 2006 by fixing their prices to respond to procurements launched in the painting services sector for (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four companies for bid rigging in the painting services sector for naval equipment and engineering structures (Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor, Grivetto, Sorespi Bretagne)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
,
Affinion International
In its decision dated 24 February 2011, the French Competition Authority (the "Competition Authority") considered that four companies had concluded anticompetitive arrangements between 2005 and 2006 by fixing their prices to respond to procurements launched in the painting services sector for (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The German Competition Authority fines manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles (Albert Ziegler, Giengen an der Brenz, Schlingmann, Dissen, and the Rosenbauer Group)
Van Bael & Bellis
According to a press release of 18 February 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a total fine of € 20.5 million on three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles for their participation in a cartel, as well as on a Swiss accountant who assisted in operating the cartel. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM formulates rules to govern contracts between suppliers and retailers
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
MOFCOM Spokesperson Mr Yao Jian has stated that MOFCOM and related industrial associations are formulating rules to govern contracts between suppliers and retailers. This was in response to questions over Carrefour’s relationships with its suppliers. At the end of 2010, Carrefour was involved (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds concerted practices on the market for retail of oil derivatives (Petroleum compagnies)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that 7 petroleum companies (ICS Lukoil Moldova SRL, ICS Petrom-Moldova SA, ICS Bemol Retail SRL, IM Rompetrol Moldova SA, IM Tirex Petrol SA, SC Parstar Petrol SRL, Valieximp SRL) engaged in a concerted practice of fixing (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds concerted practices on the market for retail of oil derivatives (Petroleum compagnies)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that 7 petroleum companies (ICS Lukoil Moldova SRL, ICS Petrom-Moldova SA, ICS Bemol Retail SRL, IM Rompetrol Moldova SA, IM Tirex Petrol SA, SC Parstar Petrol SRL, Valieximp SRL) engaged in a concerted practice of fixing (...)

The French Competition Authority holds key provisions of the wholesale dealers network in line with competition law (Pomona/Creno)
GIE Jurigroup - Cabinet Jean-Paul Montenot
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GIE Jurigroup - Cabinet Jean-Paul Montenot
The wholesale trade sector in fruits and vegetables and, to a lesser extent, in seafood products is characterized by a large number of operators (1150) working on the whole French territory. It has an annual turnover of about 5, 1 billion euros. These operators supply with fresh products the (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Sharpston voices opinion on the standard of judicial review over fines in cartel cases (KME)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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White & Case (London)
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White & Case (Brussels)
This article is the winner of the business category, anticompetitive practices section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In an Opinion delivered on 10 February 2011, Advocate General (‘AG’) Sharpston of the European Court of (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt imposes fines against three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles and an independent accountant for infringement of German cartel law (Fire-fighting vehicles cartel)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
FCO fines cartelists and independent accountant – the fire-fighting vehicles decision* The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles on February 10, 2011, imposing € 20.5 million in total. The FCO found that the companies had engaged in bid rigging (...)

The Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors finds fee system for out-of-court recovery by bailiffs to amount to price-fixing (National Chambers of bailiffs)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 8 February 2011, the College of Competition Prosecutors submitted a reasoned report to the Competition Council finding that the fee system imposed by the National Chamber of Bailiffs for out-of-court (amicable) recovery of debts amounts to illegal price-fixing. In its report, the (...)

The US FTC issues an opinion denying antitrust exemption to a dental board blocking non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services in accordance to the state action doctrine and democracy rules (The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
North Carolina Dentists and the FTC’s Anti-Exemptions Mission: Is Antitrust Consistent With Democracy? (Yes, actually. It is.)* Some commentators are pretty alarmed over the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling earlier this year denying antitrust immunity for a North Carolina regulatory board’s (...)

A Dutch High Court quashes a lower court’s judgment annulling the fine imposed by the Dutch Competition Authority on a participant in a cartel in the building sector (A. Wegenbouw and B. Holding)
European Commission - DG HR
As a result of a TV programme which revealed the existence of a large-scale system of fraud within the building sector in the Netherlands, the Dutch Competition Authority (hereafter the ‘NMa‘) initiated an investigation of a possible infringement of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act (a (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a perfumes and cosmetics association for anti-competitive exchange of information (STANPA)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 7 February 2011, the Spanish Competition Authority adopted a decision fining the Spanish perfumes and cosmetics association (STANPA) for facilitating several anti-competitive exchanges of competitively sensitive information among its members between 2004 and 2008. According to the decision, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a perfumes and cosmetics association for anti-competitive exchange of information (STANPA)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 7 February 2011, the Spanish Competition Authority adopted a decision fining the Spanish perfumes and cosmetics association (STANPA) for facilitating several anti-competitive exchanges of competitively sensitive information among its members between 2004 and 2008. According to the decision, (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines an association for exchanging commercially sensitive information capable of restricting competition in the perfume and cosmetics sector (Asociación Nacional de Perfumería y Cosmética - STANPA)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Perez Llorca
On February 7, 2011, the Spanish Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, the “CNC”) fined Asociación Nacional de Perfumería y Cosmética (“STANPA”) €901,518.16 for exchanging commercially sensitive information capable of restricting competition in the perfume and cosmetics sector in (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion holding that the principle of exhaustion applies to the transmission of live football matches in the same way as to physical products (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
UK Pubs And Greek Decoders – The Implications Of The Premier League Case For The Dissemination Of Digital Content* The European Court of Justice is expected to render its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure in the next few months. At the heart of the case, lies the question whether (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

A US Federal District court rules that the US DoJ was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation (KeySpan)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Can the Justice Department Seek Disgorgement for a Sherman Act Violation?* The federal district court in New York City ruled last week that the Department of Justice was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation. The court approved a consent decree, which (...)

The Latvian Competition Council concludes its sector inquiry finding that existing regulation impedes price competition in medicine market
Competition Council of Latvia
Existing Regulation impedes Price Competition in Medicine Market On 1 February 2011, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) published its conclusions of the Sector Inquiry into the pricing system in medicine market in Latvia. In its report, the CC draws attention to the existing problems in (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina follows EU competition law standards and rejects an anticompetitive agreement complaint in relation to affiliated companies being part of a “single economic entity” (Elektrokontakt, Elektroprivreda, Eldis-tehnika)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 25 February 2011 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) rejected an abuse of dominance complaint lodged by Elektrokontakt SA d.o.o. (Elektrokontakt) against an electricity distributor, public undertaking JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. (Elektroprivreda) and its (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading issues statement of objections alleging abuse of dominance in the bunker fuel cards industry (CH Jones)
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issues Statement of Objections alleging Abuse of Dominance by Bunker Fuel Firm* On 25 February 2011, the OFT issued a Statement of Objections alleging that CH Jones abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of bunker fuel card (...)

A US District Court denies a motion to dismiss a fraudulent patent claim and allows standing to a direct purchaser of NAND flash memory (Ritz / SanDisk)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Expanded Standing, or “Back to Basics”? Flash Memory Direct Purchasers Found to Have Standing to Assert Walker Process Claims* In Ritz Camera & Image, LLC v. SanDisk Corporation, et al., United States District Court, ND Cal., Case No. 5:10-CV02787-JF/HRL, the court denied a motion to dismiss (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency rejects claim of abuse of a dominant position in the movie sector (Kino Zadar Film/Blitz film i video distribucija and Duplicato Media)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
Croatian Competition Agency rejected on 24 February 2011 as unfounded a claim of an independent movie theatre in the coastal town of Zadar (Kino Zadar Film d.o.o.) that vertically integrated movie distributors (Blitz film i video distribucija d.o.o. and Duplicato Media do.o.o.) abused their (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency rejects claim of abuse of a dominant position in the movie sector (Kino Zadar Film/Blitz film i video distribucija and Duplicato Media)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
Croatian Competition Agency rejected on 24 February 2011 as unfounded a claim of an independent movie theatre in the coastal town of Zadar (Kino Zadar Film d.o.o.) that vertically integrated movie distributors (Blitz film i video distribucija d.o.o. and Duplicato Media do.o.o.) abused their (...)

The Spanish NCC imposes a fine for abuse of dominance on an IPs’ collecting society charging unfair and discriminatory prices on TV broadcaster (Artistas Intérpretes o Ejecutantes)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The CNC’ Council fines AIE, Intellectual Property Rights’ Collecting Society* On 23 February 2011, the Council of the National Competition Commission (CNC) imposed a fine of € 532 686 on Artistas Intérpretes o jecutantes, Sociedad de Gestión de España (AIE) for an infringement of Article 2 (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds an exploitative abuse of dominant position in the invoicing practices of an electricity distributor (RED Union Fenosa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that I.C.S. RED Union Fenosa S.A. (Union Fenosa) has abused its dominant position on the market for supply and distribution of electricity at regulated tariffs by including an automatic notice of disconnection in its (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling in a case concerning price squeeze abuses providing clear guidance on this issue (TeliaSonera)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
On 17 February 2011, the European Union Court of Justice ("CJ") issued a preliminary ruling in an ongoing case concerning price squeeze abuses. Questions were referred to the CJ from the Stockholm District Court, which has before it a case between Swedish telecommunications company TeliaSonera (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the law in relation to pricing practices of vertically integrated companies in the telecommunications sector (TeliaSonera)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Unilever (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
This article is the winner for the business category, economics section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 17 February 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – on a reference for a preliminary ruling by the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the law in relation to pricing practices of vertically integrated companies in the telecommunications sector (TeliaSonera)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Unilever (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
This article is the winner for the business category, economics section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 17 February 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – on a reference for a preliminary ruling by the (...)

The European Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the law in relation to pricing practices of vertically integrated companies in the telecommunications sector (TeliaSonera)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Unilever (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
This article is the winner for the business category, economics section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 17 February 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – on a reference for a preliminary ruling by the (...)

The European Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the law in relation to pricing practices of vertically integrated companies in the telecommunications sector (TeliaSonera)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Unilever (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
This article is the winner for the business category, economics section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 17 February 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – on a reference for a preliminary ruling by the (...)

The European Court of Justice holds a decision on margin squeeze in the telecomunications sector addressing the issue of indispensability (TeliaSonera)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
How Indispensable Is Indispensability?* In its recent TeliaSonera judgment, the Court of Justice discusses whether a margin squeeze can only be abusive if the dominant company has a duty to supply the input at issue. The Court concludes that a duty to supply is not needed. The judgment, (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds a decision on margin squeeze in the telecomunications sector addressing the issue of indispensability (TeliaSonera)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
How Indispensable Is Indispensability?* In its recent TeliaSonera judgment, the Court of Justice discusses whether a margin squeeze can only be abusive if the dominant company has a duty to supply the input at issue. The Court concludes that a duty to supply is not needed. The judgment, (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds a decision on margin squeeze in the telecomunications sector addressing the issue of indispensability (TeliaSonera)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
How Indispensable Is Indispensability?* In its recent TeliaSonera judgment, the Court of Justice discusses whether a margin squeeze can only be abusive if the dominant company has a duty to supply the input at issue. The Court concludes that a duty to supply is not needed. The judgment, (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority welcomes the EU Court of Justice preliminary ruling on "margin squeeze" as a stand alone antitrust abuse in the telecom sector (TeliaSonera)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: The Competition Authority welcomes ECJ Judgment on Competition in the Telecom Sector* The Swedish Competition Authority (the Authority) welcomes the Judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 17 February 2011 in the case C-52/09, Konkurrensverket against TeliaSonera Sverige AB. (...)

The European Court of Justice holds a decision on margin squeezes in the telecomunications sector addressing the issue of indispensability (TeliaSonera)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
How Indispensable Is Indispensability?* In its recent TeliaSonera judgment, the Court of Justice discusses whether a margin squeeze can only be abusive if the dominant company has a duty to supply the input at issue. The Court concludes that a duty to supply is not needed. The judgment, (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding no infringement of Art. 102 TFEU in a case involving concurrent application of competition rules and communications regulation (BTC Cable Ducts)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. Almost three months before the ECJ held its decision upon a preliminary reference in Tele2 Polska, a five-judge panel of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (’SAC5’), in a judgment of 15 February 2011 , reached an opposite conclusion, approving the NCA’s power to find no (...)

The Chinese State Council promulgates several policies to further encourage the development of software and integrated circuit industries
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
The State Council promulgated the Several Policies on Further Encouraging the Development of the Software and Integrated Circuit Industries (the Policies) on 28 January 2011. According to the Policies, China will further regulate the orderliness of the software and integrated circuit (...)

The UK Department of Health seeks antitrust damages after an abuse of dominant position in the pharmaceutical sector (Reckitt Benckiser)
Van Bael & Bellis
According to press reports, the UK Department of Health, together with 10 health authorities and 144 primary care trusts, has launched an action for damages against Reckitt Benckiser in the High Court. This follows the OFT’s decision to fine Reckitt Benckiser £ 10.2 million for abusing its (...)

The UK Department of Health seeks antitrust damages after an abuse of dominant position in the pharmaceutical sector (Reckitt Benckiser)
Van Bael & Bellis
According to press reports, the UK Department of Health, together with 10 health authorities and 144 primary care trusts, has launched an action for damages against Reckitt Benckiser in the High Court. This follows the OFT’s decision to fine Reckitt Benckiser £ 10.2 million for abusing its (...)

Mergers

The Serbian Competition Authority initiates an ex officio investigation concerning potential acquisition of the majority shareholding in the incumbent telecom operator (Telekom Austria, Telekom Srbija)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 28 February 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) initiated an ex officio investigation into the (anti)competitive effects of the potential acquisition by Telekom Austria of the majority shareholding (51%) in the Serbian incumbent telecom operator Telekom Srbija. Following the (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority initiates an ex officio investigation concerning potential acquisition of the majority shareholding in the incumbent telecom operator (Telekom Austria, Telekom Srbija)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 28 February 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) initiated an ex officio investigation into the (anti)competitive effects of the potential acquisition by Telekom Austria of the majority shareholding (51%) in the Serbian incumbent telecom operator Telekom Srbija. Following the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger on the district heating networks sector (GDF Suez / Ne Varietur)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the proposed acquisition of the Ne Varietur Group’s sole control by GDF Suez, subject to conditions*. The Autorité de la concurrence has investigated the takeover by GDF (...)

A US District Court denies FTC request for a preliminary injunction in medical laboratory merger case (LabCorp)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Palo Alto)
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Kirkland & Ellis (New York)
In a decision broadly critical of the Federal Trade Commission’s case challenging the acquisition of Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc., a medical laboratory company, by Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), Judge Andrew Guilford of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of (...)

The UK OFT decides to clear proposed national address gazetteer joint venture on the basis of the de minimis exception (Ordnance Survey and Local Government)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
I. Introduction and background Ordnance Survey (OS) is an independent non-ministerial government department which produces a wide range of mapping products. Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID) is the business name of the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission conditionally clears a merger in the dairy sector (Vivartia / Mevgal)
Fieldfisher (London)
On the 14th February 2011 the Hellenic Competition Commission («Ελληνική Επιτροπή Ανταγωνισμού») (hereafter the «HCC») gave the green light for the acquisition of Mevgal by Vivartia (the «Parties») imposing certain remedies. In particular, the concentration involved the acquisition of a 57.8% share of Mevgal, through (...)

The Chinese State Council publishes a circular on establishing a mechanism of security review of mergers and acquisitions of domestic enterprises by foreign investors
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (Shanghai)
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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (Beijing)
On February 3, 2011, the PRC State Council (the “State Council”) promulgated the long awaited Circular on the Establishment of Security Review Mechanisms for Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors (《国务院办公厅关于建立外 国投资 者并购境内企业安全审查制度的通知》) (the “State Council SR (...)

China establishes national security review system for foreign takeovers
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
The General Office of China’s State Council published the Circular on Establishing a Mechanism of Security Review of Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors (《国务院办公厅关于建立外国投资者并购境内企业安全审查 制度的通知》) (the Circular) on 12 February 2011. The Circular was promulgated to guide the (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau updates pre-merger notification thresholds and announces revised merger enforcement guidelines
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction The Canadian Competition Bureau (the «Bureau»), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the «Commissioner») in ensuring a competitive and innovative marketplace through administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the «Act»), (...)

The EU Commission publishes decision refusing derogation from standstill obligation in merger case in the consumer goods industry (SC Johnson / Sara Lee)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 September 2012, the European Commission published a decision refusing a request by SC Johnson for a partial derogation from the standstill obligation under the EU Merger Regulation in order to close its acquisition of Sara Lee’s household insecticide business outside of the EEA. (...)

State Aid

The European Commission decides to authorise air transport aid of a social character for certain residents in the French overseas department of Martinique
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* The Commission decided on 18 February to authorise air transport aid of a social character for certain residents in the French overseas department of Martinique. The aid will increase the aid applicable to air transport between (...)

The German High Court rules that companies have standing to sue against illegal State aid to competitors (Lufthansa, Ryanair)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
In a decision of 10 February 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) ruled that companies can bring court action the challenge state aid granted to their competitors. Companies doing business in Germany will in the future have to ensure that all their transactions (...)

The German High Court rules that companies have standing to sue against illegal State aid to competitors (Lufthansa, Ryanair)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
In a decision of 10 February 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) ruled that companies can bring court action the challenge state aid granted to their competitors. Companies doing business in Germany will in the future have to ensure that all their transactions (...)

The European Commission approves a support package and restructuring plan for a Dutch financial institution subject to certain conditions (ABN AMRO Group)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 5 February, the Commission approved a support package and restructuring plan for the ABN AMRO Group, subject to certain conditions. The restructuring package has been under implementation since October 2008, when the Dutch (...)

The European Commission approves a support package and restructuring plan for a Dutch financial institution subject to certain conditions (ABN AMRO Group)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 5 February, the Commission approved a support package and restructuring plan for the ABN AMRO Group, subject to certain conditions. The restructuring package has been under implementation since October 2008, when the Dutch (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 M in addition to the notified amount, was incompatible with the common market (Italian v. Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 M in addition to the notified amount, was incompatible with the common market (Italian v. Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

The EU General Court confirms illegality of Italian State aid in shipbuilding sector and rules on temporary application of substantive rules governing State aid (Cantiere navale De Poli)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

The EU General Court confirms illegality of Italian State aid in shipbuilding sector and rules on temporary application of substantive rules governing State aid (Cantiere navale De Poli)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

Procedures

The Polish Competition Authority fines mobile network operator € 33 M for obstructing investigation during a dawn raid (Polkomtel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 February 2011, the Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) imposed a € 33 million fine on mobile network operator Polkomtel for obstructing an antitrust investigation. Polkomtel was condemned for delaying the inspection of its offices by UOKiK’s investigators and for refusing to hand over (...)

The Polish Competition Authority proves again that obstruction of an inspection does not pay off - record-breaking penalty - € 33 million for obstruction of the inspection (Polkomtel)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
An inspection of Polkomtel S.A’s («Polkomtel» or the «Company») premises took place on 2 December 2009 as part of a number of simulataneous dawn raids carried out by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the «OCCP») as part of its investigation into mobile television (...)

The Polish Competition Authority proves again that obstruction of an inspection does not pay off - record-breaking penalty - € 33 million for obstruction of the inspection (Polkomtel)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
An inspection of Polkomtel S.A’s («Polkomtel» or the «Company») premises took place on 2 December 2009 as part of a number of simulataneous dawn raids carried out by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the «OCCP») as part of its investigation into mobile television (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit approves a classwide settlement against a diamond distributor in abuse of dominance lawsuit (Sullivan/DB Investments)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
This case involved indirect purchaser claims under various state antitrust laws, arising from allegedly monopolistic conduct by DeBeers that was alleged to have increased diamond prices worldwide. Objections were raised to the settlement, principally on the basis that diversity of available (...)

The Spanish Parliament amends the competition act to boost economic activity
Callol, Coca & Asociados
1. Introduction: the Sustainable Economy Act 1.1. On 15 February 2011, the Spanish Parliament has passed the Sustainable Economy Act, which introduces several structural reforms aimed to boost economic activity in Spain. Amongst such reforms (which include, for instance, measures relating to (...)

ECJ Advocate General Sharpston voices opinion on the standard of judicial review over fines in cartel cases (KME)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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White & Case (Brussels)
This article is the winner of the business category, anticompetitive practices section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In an Opinion delivered on 10 February 2011, Advocate General (‘AG’) Sharpston of the European Court of (...)

The CJEU Advocate General Sharpston addresses the scope of the EU Courts’ jurisdiction over antitrust cases and fines (KME Germany)
Université Catholique de Louvain
AG Sharpston’s Opinion in KME: a new step toward full appellate jurisdiction in antitrust cases (imposing fines)?* On February 10, Advocate General (AG) Sharpston issued her Opinion in the KME case (C-272/09 P – here), an appeal brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against a (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Sharpston addresses the scope of the EU Courts’ jurisdiction over antitrust cases and fines (KME Germany)
Université Catholique de Louvain
AG Sharpston’s Opinion in KME: a new step toward full appellate jurisdiction in antitrust cases (imposing fines)?* On February 10, Advocate General (AG) Sharpston issued her Opinion in the KME case (C-272/09 P – here), an appeal brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against a (...)

The Chinese State Council publishes policies on further encouraging the development of the software and integrated circuit industries
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
State Council: Several Policies on Further Encouraging the Development of the Software and Integrated Circuit Industries* The State Council promulgated the Several Policies on Further Encouraging the Development of the Software and Integrated Circuit Industries (the Policies) on 28 January (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines an association for exchanging commercially sensitive information capable of restricting competition in the perfume and cosmetics sector (Asociación Nacional de Perfumería y Cosmética - STANPA)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Perez Llorca
On February 7, 2011, the Spanish Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, the “CNC”) fined Asociación Nacional de Perfumería y Cosmética (“STANPA”) €901,518.16 for exchanging commercially sensitive information capable of restricting competition in the perfume and cosmetics sector in (...)

The European Commission launches a new consultation on proposals for collective redress
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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Allen & Overy (Brussels)
This article has been selected for the Business category, general antitrust section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The European Commission has launched another consultation on proposals for collective redress. It is open until (...)

The European Commission launches a public consultation aimed at identifying common principles for a coherent European approach to collective redress
European Commission (Brussels)
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The EU General Court grants a company further reduction in fine for cooperation in Spanish raw tobacco investigation (Cetarsa)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 3 February 2011, the General Court handed down a judgment reducing the fine imposed by the Commission on Compañía Española de Tabaco en Rama (“Cetarsa”) for its involvement in the Spanish raw tobacco cartel. In October 2004, the Commission adopted a decision fining four Spanish processors of raw (...)

The EU General Court grants a company further reduction in fine for cooperation in Spanish raw tobacco investigation (Cetarsa)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 3 February 2011, the General Court handed down a judgment reducing the fine imposed by the Commission on Compañía Española de Tabaco en Rama (“Cetarsa”) for its involvement in the Spanish raw tobacco cartel. In October 2004, the Commission adopted a decision fining four Spanish processors of raw (...)

An Italian Court rules that antitrust fines are tax deductible
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Provincial Tax Court of Milan (“Tax Court”) has recently delivered a controversial ruling on the possibility for companies to deduct antitrust fines as business expenses for tax purposes. The Tax Court considered that since an anticompetitive practice increases a company’s revenues, there is (...)

Regulatory

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court allows parallel application of competition law and specific regulation (Telefonica O2 Czech Republic)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 February 2011, Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno in case concerning assessment of interconnection agreement entered into between Telefonica O2 Czech Republic (“TO2”) and Vodafone Czech Republic a.s. (“Vodafone”). The Regional Court in Brno (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court allows parallel application of competition law and specific regulation (Telefonica O2 Czech Republic)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 February 2011, Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno in case concerning assessment of interconnection agreement entered into between Telefonica O2 Czech Republic (“TO2”) and Vodafone Czech Republic a.s. (“Vodafone”). The Regional Court in Brno (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds concerted practices on the market for retail of oil derivatives (Petroleum compagnies)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that 7 petroleum companies (ICS Lukoil Moldova SRL, ICS Petrom-Moldova SA, ICS Bemol Retail SRL, IM Rompetrol Moldova SA, IM Tirex Petrol SA, SC Parstar Petrol SRL, Valieximp SRL) engaged in a concerted practice of fixing (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority proposes amendments to regulation on wholesale trade in medicines
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Competition Authority proposes Amendments to Regulation on Wholesale Trade in Medicines* On 17 February 2011, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) proposed amendments to the Regulation obliging producers/importers of medicines to designate which wholesalers will (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission approves a report on the draft Royal Decree regulating the recognition of producers’ organisations and interbranch organisations and establishing contractual conditions in the milk sector
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The CNC’s Report on the Draft Royal Decree regulating the Recognition of Producers’ Organisations and Interbranch Organisations and establishing Contractual Conditions in the Milk Sector* The Council of the National Competition Commission (CNC), in a meeting held on 16 February 2011, (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the conclusion of an inter-branch agreement in the ovine sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence issues a positive opinion on the first inter-branch agreement concluded within the ovine sector. To make such contractualization fully effective, the Autorité calls industry (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court rules that State authorized monopoly on horse betting is not an illegal anticompetitive practice (Gambling monopoly)
Université Aix-Marseille
Crime, State and free competition One may argue that most illegal activities conducted by criminal organization are mainly infringements over the monopoly of the State. Private Justice, illegal gambling, racketeering and drug-trafficking are behaviors that more or less mimic states practices (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court rules that State authorized monopoly on horse betting is not an illegal anticompetitive practice (Gambling monopoly)
Université Aix-Marseille
Crime, State and free competition One may argue that most illegal activities conducted by criminal organization are mainly infringements over the monopoly of the State. Private Justice, illegal gambling, racketeering and drug-trafficking are behaviors that more or less mimic states practices (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court rules that State authorized monopoly on horse betting is not an illegal anticompetitive practice (Gambling monopoly)
Université Aix-Marseille
Crime, State and free competition One may argue that most illegal activities conducted by criminal organization are mainly infringements over the monopoly of the State. Private Justice, illegal gambling, racketeering and drug-trafficking are behaviors that more or less mimic states practices (...)

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