January 2012

Anticompetitive practices

The French Supreme Court confirms its interpretation of the effect on trade concept (France Telecom and Orange Caraïbes)
European Commission
France: The French Supreme Court confirms the Autorité’s Interpretation of the Effect on Trade Concept* On 9 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) fined France Télécom and its local subsidiary, Orange Caraïbes, for a series of exclusionary practices in the overseas departments (...)

The French Supreme Court adjusts its interpretation of the effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFEU (Orange Caraïbe)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1.Less than a year after its controversial holding in Jet Fuel Cartel, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation), in a judgment delivered 31 January 2012, decided to adjust, without fully abandoning, its previous view on the appreciable affectation of trade between Member (...)

The US DoJ obtains guilty plea by two Japanese suppliers of automotive electrical components imposing a $548 M fine for their involvement in price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the auto parts sales (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Fines Mounting in Department of Justice Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry. Two more (...)

The French Competition Authority fines several civil engineering companies for having distorted competition in the civil engineering sector in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (GIE Exploitation des carrières)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines several companies in the sector for having distorted competition in the civil engineering sector on the archipelago*. After starting ex officio proceedings, further to (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority confirms fines against 12 pharmaceutical companies for entering into a restrictive agreement (Hemofarm)
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
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Kinstellar
On 26 January 2012 the Commision for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (the "Competition Authority") issued a decision setting the amount of fines for 12 pharmaceutical companies (Hemofarm a.d., Galenika a.d., Zdravlje Leskovac a.d., Jugoremedija a.d., Slaviamed d.o.o., (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals addresses the issue of the notion of generalized and continuous infringement in competition law (Luxury Perfumes case)
Vogel & Vogel
On 21 October 1998, the French Competition Council had initiated ex officio an investigation into the luxury perfumes sector. By the end of the investigation, the Council estimated that, between 1997 and 2000, a general and continuous vertical agreement between several well-known brands and (...)

The Argentinian Competition Authority concludes the investigation against five oil & gas corporations for imposing discriminatory and excessive prices to public transportation companies (YPF, Shell, Esso, Petrobras and Oil)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
On 26 January, 2012 upon recommendation of Argentina’s National Competition Commission (ANCC), the Ministry of Economics & Finance ordered the 5 major oil & gas corporations -namely YPF (participated by Repsol YPF), Shell, Esso (Exxon Mobile), Petrobras and Oil- active in the Argentine (...)

The Danish Competition Authority settles a case in which a trade association and the six largest cooperative chains of independent estate agents have been involved in anti-competitive boycott agreements against one particular property search portal (Boliga.dk)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Anti-Competitive Boycott Agreements in The Real Estate Business* On January 25, 2012, the Danish Competition Council settled a case, in which more than 65 per cent of the Danish real estate business, including the trade association and the six largest cooperative chains of independent estate (...)

The Korean Fair Trade Commission offers funding private antitrust class action against two electronics companies fines for price-fixing (Samsung, LG)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Competition authorities around the globe are taking an increasingly active part in the pursuit of civil claims for damages for antitrust infringements. The decision by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”), announced on 24 January, to finance a damages action brought by the Green Consumer (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines two car manufacturers for exchanging sensitive commercial information (Honda, Suzuki motors)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
This administrative authority (CNC) has issued a resolution on January 20, 2012, in which it has found that during January 2009 the competitors Montesa Honda, S.A. and Suzuki Motor S.A. engaged in a concerted practice, which consists of the bilateral exchange of sensitive commercial (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for automotive wire harness and related products (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders to participants in bid-rigging conspiracies for automotive wire harness and related products* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders against 3 (...)

The Local Court of Bonn strengthens the leniency programme by a decision regarding access to file (Pfleiderer)
European Commission
Germany: Leniency Programme strengthened by Final Decision regarding Access to File* On 30 January 2012, the Local Court of Bonn decided in the “Pfleiderer Case” dealing with access to file for damages claimants and in particular access to leniency applications of cartel participants. The Local (...)

The Danish High Court reduces fines imposed on design furniture manufacturer for maintaining resale prices (Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 17 January 2012, the Danish High Court ruled on appeals brought against a judgment of the Danish District Court of Svendborg of May 2011 imposing a fine of DKK 500,000 (around € 67,000) on the Danish design furniture manufacturer Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik A/S (“EJM”), as well as fines (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission imposes fines totalling € 11 M on concrete and mortar cartel (CPV, CETYA, BERIAIN, CEMEX, VRESA)
Van Bael & Bellis
The Spanish National Competition Commission (“CNC”) has recently adopted a decision imposing fines in relation to a price-fixing cartel established by Cementos Portland Valderribas S.A. (“CPV”), Canteras de Echauri y Tiebas S.A. (“CETYA”), Hormigones Beriain S.A. (“BERIAIN”), Cemex España S.A. (...)

The French Competition Authority fines several undertakings active on the leisure, culture and tourism engineering sector for an anticompetitive agreement on prices (Géfil, Deloitte)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines several consulting firms and the sector’s trade association for an anticompetitive agreement on prices*. The Autorité de la concurrence has just issued a decision (...)

The German Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by two sports leagues concerning the joint award of media rights (League Association, German Football League)
European Commission
Germany: Green Light for current Marketing Model of Football League Media Rights * On 17 April 2012, the award procedure for the media rights of the 1st and 2nd German football leagues has been concluded. On 12 January 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) accepted the commitments offered by (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines pharma undertaking for abusing its dominant position in the market for products for the treatment of visual glaucoma (Pfizer)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Italian Competition Authority fines Pfizer for abuse of dominance relating to visual glaucoma drugs* On 11 January 2012 the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) issued a decision fining Pfizer Euro 10.6 million for abusing its dominant position in the market for products for that treat visual (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority concludes an investigation triggered by a leniency application concerning a cartel of shipping agents in the port of Genoa
Italian Competition Authority
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
A) The decision The Italian Competition Authority, “ICA”, has imposed fines for about 4 million Euros on sixteen shipping agents and two trade associations (Assoagenti, the main trade association for shipping agencies and Spediporto, a representative trade association for the forwarding (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines oil companies for having reached an agreement to withdraw a certain type of fuel from the market (OMV Petrom)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 10 January 2012, Romania’s Competition Council levied fines totalling RON 880 million (around € 200 million) on six oil companies for having reached an understanding to withdraw a certain type of fuel - Eco Premium (an unleaded gasoline pre-mixed with lead substitute) - from the market (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court delivers a judgment restrictive conditions imposed by a TV provider to its distributors (Viasat)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
On 6 January 2012, The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court delivered its judgment in the long running Viasat case. This note gives a brief overview of the process and facts of the case, and then comments on the perspectives on the case. Background The case concerns Viasat Broadcasting UK (...)

A US District Court dismisses claims of anti-competitive exclusion of positioning technology from standards (Trueposition / Ericsson)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court dismisses claims of anti-competitive exclusion of positioning technology from standards* On 6 January 2012 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted motions to dismiss claims that manufacturers of mobile telecommunications products conspired (...)

The US FTC finds price collusion in the DIPF industry and further accuses the companies involved of having conspired to monopolize this industry (McWane, Star Pipe Products and Sigma)
Agora Trading
The Facts The DIPF market is the market of ductile iron pipe fittings, which are the compartments used as joints for the water transport pressurized system in the United States. This system is used to transport drinking and waste water to municipalities and treatment plants; so, local (...)

The Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church affairs amends the regulation on the calculation of fines for breaches of the anti-trust provisions of the Competition Act (Regulations for antitrust infringements)
European Commission
Norway: New Fining Regulations for Antitrust Infringements* The Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs amended in December 2011 the Regulation on the calculation of fines for breaches of the anti-trust provisions of the Competition Act (the Regulation). It (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Supreme Court rejects the argument that the absence of other EU telecom operators in the overseas territories may imply no effect on the interstate trade, thus confirming the applicability of Article 102 TFEU (France Télécom, Orange Caraïbe)
University of Amsterdam
EU-Competition Law in the Overseas: some recent French precedents* Parts of the territory of some EU-Member States are situated overseas. Does EU-Competition law apply there? Some recent French precedents answer this question. According to Art. 52 TEU the EU-treaties apply to the 27 Member (...)

The Slovakian Supreme Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision in railway cargo case (ZS Cargo)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Decision of the Antimonopoly Office imposing Fine in Railway Cargo Case* In January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) confirmed the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the AMO) imposing a fine on ZS Cargo, (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic reverses the judgement of the Regional Court in Bratislava that amended the fine imposed by the Slovak NCA in an abuse of dominant position case (Cargo Slovakia)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar
Factual background On 31 January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the “Supreme Court“) ruled in favour of the applicant, i.e. the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (“SVK AMO“), in its appeal against decision No. 1 S 27/2007-227 of the Regional Court in Bratislava amending decision No. (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court invalidates the restrictive interpretation of the concept of the effect on trade between member States (Orange Caraïbe)
Vogel & Vogel
In 2004, Orange Caraïbe was subject to protective measures in order to put an end to anticompetitive practices on the mobile phone market in the French Caribbean. Five years later, the Competition Authority (AdlC) handed down a 63 million euro fine to Groupe France Telecom. On 23 September 2010, (...)

The European Commission opens an investigation against south Korean producer of smart phones and tablet computers for abusive use of its essential patents for 3G mobile and wireless telecommunications system standard (Samsung)
European University Institute (Florence)
The European Commission opens an antitrust investigation against Samsung Electronic* On January 31, the European Commission announced the opening of a formal antitrust investigation against Samsung Electronic, the South Korean producer of smartphones and tablet computers. The case concerns the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court changes stance and rules that an isolated conduct in the daily energy market constitutes a continuous abuse of dominance (Iberdola Generación)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
I. The Spanish generation market As has been described in previous bulletin articles the Spanish generation market is extremely complex and heavily intervened by burdensome regulation. In a nutshell, tenders (pools) are organised every hour of the day by a public entity in order to fulfil the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority cannot intervene against refusal to grant access to Copenhagen airport, because the Danish Traffic Authority has determined that aviation legislation does not allow the establishment of a passenger terminal owned by a third party
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Aviation legislation prevents competition in Copenhagen Airport* Københavns Lufthavne A/S (CPH) limits competition when it refuses a new, competing terminal operator – Airport Terminal A ApS (TA) - access to Copenhagen airport. The Danish Competition Council can not intervene because the Danish (...)

The Danish Competition Council requests that the Minister for Transport changes aviation legislation which prevents competition in Copenhagen airport (Københavns Lufthavne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 25 January 2012, the Danish Competition Council sent a letter to the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Business and Growth requesting that the aviation legislation be amended to allow the construction of a new competing terminal in Copenhagen airport next to the existing terminals (...)

The Danish Competition Authority decides not to adopt a formal decision in a case concerning a refusal to supply by the Copenhagen airport (Kobenhavns Lufthavne)
European Commission
Denmark: Aviation Legislation prevents Competition in Copenhagen Airport* The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) considers that Copenhagen Airport (CPH) limits competition when it refuses to give a new, competing terminal operator access to the airport. However the Danish (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an overseas mobile phone operator for breach of interim measures (SRR)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines SRR (a subsidiary of SFR) for not having fully complied with the Autorité’s decision enjoining it to put an end to the excessive differences in prices it charged depending on (...)

The French Competition Authority fines overseas mobile phone operator for non-compliance with interim measures (SRR)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence fines Overseas Mobile Phone Operator for non- compliance with Interim Measures* On 24 January 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) issued a decision fining SRR, a subsidiary of the mainland mobile phone operator SFR, for not complying with the (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts and renders mandatory the commitments proposed to solve competition concerns on the meteorological services for businesses sector (Météo-France)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence makes commitments by Météo-France regarding a clear separation between its business activities and its public service remit binding. Météo-France commits in particular to upgrade and (...)

The Irish Competition Authority accepts commitments from main television and radio broadcaster regarding discounts to advertisers (RTE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 January 2012, the Competition Authority of Ireland (“ICA”) announced that it had successfully resolved an investigation against RTE, Ireland’s main television and radio broadcaster, in relation to allegedly anti- competitive discounts that were offered to advertisers. RTE has offered (...)

The Irish Competition Authority closes its investigations with binding commitments undertaken by the TV broadcasting company concerning advertising airtime deals (RTÉ)
Irish Competition Authority
Successful resolution to complaint against RTÉ* The Competition Authority has published details of the successful outcome of an investigation involving RTÉ, following a complaint made by TV3. TV3 had complained that RTÉ’s “share deal” was anti-competitive. The share deal is a scheme used by RTÉ (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines anti-competitive practices aimed at delaying market entry for generic medicines (Pfizer)
European Commission
Italy: The Competition Authority fines anti-competitive Practices aimed at delaying Market Entry for generic Medicines* On 11 January 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned the multinational pharmaceutical group Pfizer (Pfizer) for a violation of Article 102 TFEU and imposed (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a leading pharmaceutical company for an infringement of art. 102 TFEU by misusing patent (Pfizer)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Introduction On the 11th of January 2012 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), with decision no. 23194, closed its investigation against Pfizer, initiated in October 2010 following a complaint by Ratiopharm Italia, a generic drug producer. Pfizer had been accused of putting in place a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions company for abuse of dominance challenging divisional patent filing in the visual glaucoma drugs industry resting on effects-based approach (Pfizer)
Gatti Pavesi Bianchi
Evolution or Revolution? The Italian Competition Authority and the Pfizer Decision: A Reply to Thomas Graf* In his last post, Thomas Graf pointed out, as brilliantly and persuasively as he customarily does, the key features and implications of the Jan. 11, 2012 decision of the Italian (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines company for abuse of dominance relating to visual glaucoma drugs challenging divisional patent filings (Pfizer)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
Italian Competition Authority Challenges Patent Measures* The Italian Competition Authority started the New Year with a bang by imposing a fine of more than EUR 10 million on Pfizer for alleged abuses of the patent system in violation of Article 102 TFEU. The decision is available here. The (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects hardware supplier’s request for interim measures (Hewlett-Packard, Oracle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 10 January 2012, the French Competition Authority rejected Hewlett-Packard’s request for interim measures against Oracle. This decision follows a complaint lodged by the Hewlett-Packard Company and Hewlett-Packard France (“HP”) alleging that the Oracle Corporation and Oracle (...)

The French Competition Authority declines to impose emergency measures but will continue to investigate on alleged practices in the markets for corporate servers and relational database management systems (RDBMS) (Hewlett-Packard / Oracle)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence declines to impose emergency measures against Oracle, but will continue to investigate the merits of Hewlett-Packard’s complaint*. Hewlett-Packard Company and Hewlett-Packard (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority concludes that contract practices and regulation put at disadvantage primary producers within the food supply chain
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority study: contract practices and regulation put primary producers in a difficult position in the food supply chain The position of primary producers in the food supply chain is made more difficult both by tight regulation and groceries trade and food (...)

An Italian City Court rejects application for an injunction against the sale of the iPhone 4S (Samsung / Apple)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Italian Court rejects Samsung’s request for injunction against Apple in Italy* On 5 January 2012 an Italian Court rejected Samsung’s request for an injunction against Apple in relation to the sale of the iPhone 4S in Italy. Samsung alleges that Apple is violating a number of its patents, which (...)

An Italian civil court rejects to dispose the delay of a new product launch for patent infringement claim and assumes a leading competitor’s abuse of dominant position as refusal to license (Samsung Italy/Apple Italy)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
The facts The rivalry between Samsung and Apple gave birth to a terrific number of disputes around the globe. One of the last chapters of this never ending saga took place in Milan when Samsung asked to the court a precautionary measure to stop the sale of the Apple smart-phone that supposedly (...)

Mergers

The Portuguese Competition Authority holds that the non-timely execution of a divesture commitment leads to an opposition decision (Powervia / Laso merger)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
I. Introduction On April 20, 2011, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) was notified of a concentration under which Powervia, S.A. (Powervia), an investment fund, notified the acquisition of sole control over the following companies: Laso – Transportes, S.A., Auto – Laso, S.A. and Probilog (...)

The Federal Cartel Office considers the acquisition of 1.88% of the shares in a competitor resulting in a total shareholding of 10.52% as a notifiable concentration under German law as it enabled to exercise competitively significant influence jointly with a third party (Gazprom/VNG)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
By decision of 31 January 2012, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) cleared the increase of voting rights of Gazprom Germania GmbH (GPG) in VNG Verbundnetz Gas AG (VNG) to 10.52%. The increase by 1.88% of the voting rights was considered to enable GPG to exercise a competitively significant (...)

The Spanish National Competition Commission fines companies for gun jumping based on an unprecedentedly broad concept of control (Gestamp/ Essa Bonmor)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
On January 30, 2012, the Spanish Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, “CNC”) imposed fines of €124.400 on two groups in the automotive components sector, Gestamp and Estampaciones Sabadell, for allegedly executing a notifiable concentration without authorization. The CNC (...)

The Polish competition authority fines cable TV operator for providing incorrect information in merger control proceedings (UPC/Aster)
Dentons (Warsaw)
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Dentons (Warsaw)
On January 30, 2012, the Chairperson of the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the UOKiK) issued a decision in a case relating to the provision of incorrect information by UPC Polska sp. z o.o. (UPC) in merger control proceedings concerning the acquisition of Aster sp. z (...)

The U.S. FTC announces final rules and revised HSR premerger form
Jones Day (Washington)
,
On January 24, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised thresholds for Hart-Scott-Rodino ("HSR") Premerger Notification filings and for the jurisdictional thresholds that trigger the prohibition on interlocking directorates under Section 8 of the Clayton Act. These thresholds are (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the sugar production sector (Cristal Union / Vermandoise)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Vermandoise by Cristal Union*. The Autorité de la concurrence has just cleared the acquisition of sole control of the Vermandoise group by Cristal Union. (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority prohibits three-to-two merger in the sugar market (Hellenic Sugar Industry/Sunoko)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 19 January 2012 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) prohibited the envisaged concentration on the sugar producing industry, which could lead to the creation of a duopoly (three-to-two) on the relevant market. On 9 August 2011 the KZK received a notification by the Serbian sugar producer (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority prohibits a merger between the two largest sugar producers in the Republic of Serbia (Sunoko)
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
,
Kinstellar
On 19 January 2012, the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (the “Competition Authority”) prohibited a merger between Sunoko d.o.o. Novi Sad, a company with its registered seat at Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia (“Sunoko”) and Hellenic Sugar Industry SA, a company (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM issues new measures on investigating failures to notify concentrations
Linklaters (Beijing)
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Linklaters (Shanghai)
,
Linklaters (London)
On 5 January 2012, the PRC Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) published on its website the long-awaited Interim Measures on Investigation into and Handling of Concentrations of Business Operators that have not been Notified in Accordance with Laws (the “Measures”). The Measures set out details of the (...)

The Slovak Parliament adopts an amendment to the Act on protection of competition relating to merger control
European Commission
Slovakia: Amendment to Act on Protection of Competition relating to Merger Control* On 1 January 2012, an amended Act on the Protection of Competition (the Act) will enter into force: The main changes concern merger control. After ratification of the draft amendment by the Slovak Parliament, (...)

State Aid

The European Commission adopts new package to assess the public compensation granted to services of general economic interest
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission has adopted a revised package to assess the public compensation granted to services of general economic interest (“SGEI”) under the EU state aid rules: a new Communication clarifies key concepts underlying the application of the State aid rules to public service (...)

The European Commission adopts a communication on the application of the EU State aid rules to compensation granted for the provision of services of general economic interest (SGEI)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The SGEI Communication"* 1. Introduction: The Communication and its role in the new SGEI package This article is the second in a series explaining the rationale behind the new SGEI package, highlighting the most important features and novelties and introducing the new texts. The (...)

Procedures

An administrative law judge of the US ITC rejects the patent misuse defense as a matter of law (Barnes & Noble)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. ITC ALJ rejects Barnes & Noble allegations of patent misuse as a matter of law* On 31 January 2012 an administrative law judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“U.S. ITC”) found that Microsoft’s conduct did not amount to patent misuse as a matter of law (In the Matter of (...)

A Slovak court imposes liability on successor despite lack of such rule being specifically provided by statute (Cargo Slovakia)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction In January 2012 the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic annulled the decision of the Regional Court in Bratislava allowing the appeal of Zeleznicna spolocnost Cargo Slovakia, a.s. (“Slovak Cargo”). Slovak Cargo was fined by the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“AMO”) in (...)

The US Northern District of California decides antitrust standing issue for indirect purchasers (TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
Even though many states have chosen to part company with federal antitrust laws by permitting antitrust standing for so-called "indirect purchasers" under state law — despite the holding of the Supreme Court in Illlinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720 (1977) that only so-called "direct (...)

The US Seventh Circuit clarifies the expert testimony standards in connection with class certification (Mesner/Northshore Univ. Health)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this opinion, addressed above with respect to the class certification element of predominance, the Seventh Circuit also clarified the standards trial courts should use in evaluating expert testimony submitted in connection with class certification. The plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to (...)

The US Seventh Circuit clarifies the standards trial courts should use in evaluating expert testimony submitted in connection with class certification (Mesner/Northshore Univ. Health)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this opinion overturning the district court’s denial of class certification, the Seventh Circuit clarified the standards trial courts should use in evaluating expert testimony submitted in connection with class certification. The plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to exclude the defendant’s (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion regarding the food retail sector in Paris finding the market too concentrated and suggesting the creation of a “structural injunction” (Casino)
Max Findlay Associates
Bully beef* Sometimes competition law looks as if it’s on the side of the bullies. Take, for example, the French Autorité de la concurrence’s recent decision in the Paris food retail sector case. The Autorité came up with the idea of using a new tool – a structural injunction – to tackle retail (...)

The French criminal Supreme Court puts an end to its preferential treatment having regard to the search for evidence of anticompetitive practices (Groupe Amaury)
University College London
Historically, in France, the press industry benefited from a preferential treatment. Due to the specific nature of its activity and the importance of the freedom of the press, the undertakings operating in the press industry were not subject to the same rules as the other undertakings. In (...)

The Korea Fair Trade Commission issues revised guidelines of cartel leniency programs with a view to preventing recidivism and reducing the extent of immunity in cases of two-firm cartels
Bae Kim & Lee
INTRODUCTION Many countries have operated the cartel leniency programs following the United States. Cartel activities have been hard to be cracked because cartel participants continue to be extremely sneaky or stealthy. Thus, the cartel leniency program is the most powerful tool for detecting (...)

Regulatory

Public sector

The Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals determines that breach of labour law collective agreements does not prevent the award of public contracts (Monfragüe Archivo Logístico, Transporte y Servicios SLU c. Dirección Provincial de Madrid del Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal y Centro de Negocios OCÓN)
European Procurement Law Group
On 5 January 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales) issued its Decision 08/2012 regarding the award of a services contract to a tenderer that had submitted an apparently anormally low tender. The (...)

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