February 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Danish Competition Authority fines an association of passenger carriers for bid rigging (ØFP)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council finds that a decision by an association of passenger carriers on coordinating the association’s bids is illegal* On February 28, 2018, The Danish Competition Council (DCC) has found that, the association of passenger carriers Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport (...)

The German Competition Authority allows a company to launch an online trading platform for steel products (Klöckner)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Klöckner allowed to launch digital platform for steel products* The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to plans by Klöckner & Co SE, Duisburg to set up the business to business online trading platform "XOM Metals" for the sale of steel products. After talks with the Bundeskartellamt, (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases the fine against a drugstore company for vertical price fixing (Rossmann)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical price fixing - Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court raises fine against drugstore chain Rossmann* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed a fine of 30 million euros against Dirk Rossmann GmbH (’Rossmann’). With its decision the Court has significantly raised the fine imposed by (...)

The EU Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers in three separate cartel cases (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers a total of €546 million in three separate cartel settlements* In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two (...)

The EU Commission fines two maritime car carriers and four car parts suppliers EUR 546 million in three separate cartel settlements (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Four maritime car carriers, two suppliers of spark plugs and two suppliers of braking systems have been fined EUR 395 million, EUR 76 million and EUR 75 million respectively, in the framework of three separate cartel settlement decisions adopted by the European Commission. With regard to the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal adopts its much awaited ruling allowing plaintiffs in cartel damages actions to advance claims based on overcharges incurred outside of the EU when they ultimately hit their finished goods sales within the EU (Iiyama)
Steptoe & Johnson (Brussels)
,
Steptoe & Johnson (Brussels)
On February 16, 2018, the UK Court of Appeal adopted its much awaited ruling in the iiyama case. Taking stock of the Court of Justice (CoJ) ruling in Intel last year, the Court of Appeal allows plaintiffs in civil cartel damages actions to advance claims based on overcharges incurred by their (...)

The Turkish Competition Board sends a written opinion for bringing a restraint through internet sales which exceeds objective of preventing the sales to be made by the non-authorized resellers (Jotun)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (Board) JOTUN decision dated 15.02.2018 with No.18-05/74-40; regarding the prohibition of Internet Sales in selective distribution system. In the recently published reasoned decision of JOTUN case, it is stated that in the selective (...)

The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission’s fines five condom and catheter suppliers for bid rigging in the public health sector after a four-year investigation into the latex industry (Galeno / Adex / Holiday de México / Trenkes / Dentilab)
Agon (Mexico)
On 8 February 2018, Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE or Commission) fined five condom and catheter suppliers 112 million pesos (approximately €4.91 million) for rigging bids in Mexico’s public health sector. Further statements of objections and decisions regarding bid (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies to what extent related undertakings may submit separate bids in the same tendering procedure (Lloyd’s / Aparcal)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
This preliminary ruling relates to a tendering procedure launched by an Italian public authority, Arpacal, for the award for a public service contract for insurance. Two Lloyd’s ‘syndicates’ participated in the call for tenders. Their tenders were both signed by an agent of Lloyd’s General (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court voids an exclusive-supply agreement in the energy sector that was previously subject to a commitments decision by the EU Commission (Repsol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Spain’s Supreme Court has voided a contract including an exclusive-supply clause in favour of Repsol, following a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in which the ECJ confirmed that national courts are not precluded from assessing potentially anti-competitive agreements (...)

The Tenth Administrative Court of Ankara annuls the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority in a case regarding concerted practices between cement producers on the ground that the required standard of proof was not met (GOLTAS Cement)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) had found that six cement producers operating in the Aegean Region of Turkey entered into a concerted practice to allocate certain geographical regions amongst themselves and to collectively raise the prices of cement products during the time period (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into market conditions in the online advertising sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into market conditions in online advertising sector* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into the online advertising sector. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Online advertising has experienced an extraordinarily high (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Paris Court of Appeal fines an online platform for selling products without being part of the selective distribution network of the producer (Coty / Showroomprive.com)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 February 2018, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) released its judgment in an appeal related to a dispute between Coty France (“Coty”), a producer of branded luxury cosmetics including, in particular, perfumes, and Showroomprive.com, an online platform specialised in the sales of branded (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two major ferry operators for abuse of dominance in the maritime transport market (CIN-Moby)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed by an infringement decision an Article 102 TFEU investigation against two major ferry operators, Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (CIN) and Moby Spa (Moby), in the Case A487, Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione-Trasporto marittimo delle merci (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a local development authority for abuse of dominance in the market for affordable housing (Satyendra Singh / Ghaziabad Development Authority)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty on Ghaziabad Development Authority (‘GDA’) for abuse of dominant position in Ghaziabad* By way of an order dated February 28, 2018, the CCI imposed penalty on GDA for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market of “provision of services for development and sale of (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice quashes the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority concerning refusal to deal in the airport services market (Avia Invest)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 21 February 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) of the Republic of Moldova has quashed the decision issued by the Competition Council (CC) in a case concerning the alleged refusal to deal on the market for lease of commercial premises at the Chisinau International Airport (KIV). SRL (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a global tech company for abuse of dominance in the market for online search and related advertising services (Matrimony.com / Consumer Unity & Trust Society / Google)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty of INR 136 Crores on Google for abuse of dominant position* The Indian anti-trust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) seems to have let Google off with just a rap on the knuckles. CCI vide order dated February 8, 2018 has imposed a penalty of (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds a state-initiated restraint of competition on the part of the state-owned enterprise entrusted with the management of the official publications (Moldpres)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 1 February 2018 the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) found that the state-owned enterprise (SOE) entrusted with the management of the official publications has applied discriminatory tariffs for its publishing services in violation of competition law prohibiting (...)

Mergers

The German Competition Authority announces the abandonment of a planned merger in horticultural supply sector (RWZ / Landgard)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
RWZ and Landgard withdraw planned merger in horticultural supply sector after concerns expressed by the Bundeskartellamt* Raiffeisen Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main eG ("RWZ") and Landgard Blumen & Pflanzen GmbH & Co. KG ("Landgard") have abandoned their plans to set up a joint venture under (...)

The EU Commission decides to review a merger in the market of music recognition applications for smartphones (Apple / Shazam)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission to assess the acquisition of Shazam by Apple* The European Commission has accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission considers the (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the global media market and rejects a referral request by the Polish Competition Authority (Discovery / Scripps)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, subject to conditions; rejects referral request by Polish competition authority* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Scripps by Discovery, both US based global media (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a proposed merger in the providers of pay-TV channels market (Scripps / Discovery)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 February 2018, the European Commission conditionally approved the proposed acquisition of Scripps by Discovery. Both Discovery and Scripps are active primarily as providers of pay-TV channels to TV distributors in Europe. The Commission was concerned that the deal risked increasing (...)

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two real estate online platforms in Phase II (Logic-Immo.com / SeLoger.com)
DLA Piper (Paris)
On 1st February 2018, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) unconditionally cleared in Phase II proceedings the planned acquisition of sole control of French company Concept Multimédia - which owns the real estate online platform Logic-Immo.com - by German group Axel Springer - which owns the (...)

The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission clears the merger of the three card payment systems operating in Spain (Servired / Sistema)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The NMCC has approved, subject to commitments, the merger of the three card payment service companies operating in Spain: Servired, Sistema 4B and Euro 6000, of which practically all banking entities present in Spain were shareholders. As a result of the operation, the Spanish card payment (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court reverses the suspension of the recovery order addressed to Spain in relation to a State aid granted to an energy company (Iberdrola)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 15 October 2014, the Commission found that Spanish tax breaks for indirect shareholding in foreign companies breached EU State Aid rules. The measures were in force since 2001 and, in practical terms, allowed companies subject to tax in Spain to purchase shareholding of at least 5% in (...)

The EU Commission approves the compensation provided by the UK to the incumbent postal operator for the extra costs of the public services it provides for the 2018 - 2021 period (Post Office Limited)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court annuls a decision of the Commission that found no State aid because it considered the recipient of the measure was not an undertaking (Dôvera zdravotná poist’ovňa)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Application of State aid and competition law rules to the health sector reinforced by the General Court* The General Court has annulled a decision of the EU Commission finding no state aid because the recipient of the measure, a Slovak health insurance body was not an undertaking. According (...)

Procedures

The EU General Court upholds the decision of the Commission refusing to disclose the table of contents of its investigation file in a cartel case (EURIBOR cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 February 2018, the EU General Court (“GC” or “Court”) dismissed the appeal lodged by Edeka, a German supermarket chain, against the decision of the European Commission refusing to disclose the table of contents of its investigation file in the EURIBOR cartel (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers four judgments dismissing the appeals brought by participants involved in a cartel (Air freight cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By way of background, in 2012, the European Commission adopted a decision in which it found that a number of undertakings had fixed pricing mechanisms and surcharges for a variety of freight forwarding services, which the Commission considered to amount to four distinct infringements of the EU (...)

Regulatory

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the regulatory framework for three-party schemes but individual assessment is needed to determine whether fee caps apply (American Express / HM Treasury)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
In 2015, the EU Interchange Fee Regulation (the “IFR”) introduced price caps on the interchange fees paid between banks for processing credit and debit card payments. These fee caps attempt to address concerns identified in a series of antitrust investigations into Visa and Mastercard through (...)

All issues

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