January 2013

Anticompetitive practices

The German Competition Authority imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers for price fixing agreements (Chocolate Cartel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its fine proceedings against several manufacturers of branded confectionery. On account of several cartel infringements, fines of approx. € 60 million have been imposed on (...)

The German Competition Authority fines eleven confectionary manufacturers over € 60 M for price agreements and information sharing (Mars, Ritter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 January 2013, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced that it has imposed more than € 60 million in fines on eleven companies for three different cartel infringements in the confectionary manufacturing sector. According to its press release, the FCO found price-fixing (...)

The EU Commission sends SOs to two pharmaceutical companies over possible delayed entry of generic (Johnson & Johnson and Novartis)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 31 January 2013, the European Commission announced that it had sent a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and Novartis over suspicions that an agreement between their Dutch subsidiaries in relation to Fentanyl (a strong pain killer (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that dermo-cosmetic products do not have objective properties justifying the prohibition of their sale on the Internet (Pierre Fabre)
Vogel & Vogel
In answer to the question of whether a general and absolute ban on selling cosmetics and personal care products online constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition by object, the European Court of Justice said that yes it did, if "having regard to the properties of the products at issue, (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses an action from a cosmetics manufacturer against a decision of the French Competition Authority that sanctioned it for prohibiting its authorised distributors from Internet sales (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Kalliopé Société d’Avocats
On 31 January 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal ("the Court") dismissed an action by Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS ("Pierre Fabre") against a decision of the French Competition Authority ("the FCA") dated 29 October 2008 ("the Decision") ordering Pierre Fabre to amend its selective (...)

The Brazilian CADE issues a decision on resale price maintenance that may serve as guidelines for future analyses (SKF)
Brasilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
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Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
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Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice
The Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) has recently issued an important decision on Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) practices that may serve as guideline for future analyses of this conduct (CADE’s Administrative Proceeding nº 08012.001271/2001-44). The administrative judgment started in 2009 (...)

The Chilean Competition Tribunal condemns trade association for collusion (ACHAP)
Chilean Competition Tribunal (Santiago)
On 29th January 2013, the Chilean Competition Tribunal (‘TDLC’) issued its judgment in the ACHAP case (Sentence 128/2013). The TDLC partially accepted the complaint filed by the competition agency (the “FNE”) against the local Advertising Agencies Trade Association (the “ACHAP”, for its Spanish (...)

The Spanish National Court issues a third judgment in the asphalt roads cartel case addressing the issue of the burden of proof in bid rigging cases (Asphalt roads cartel)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
In October of 2012 the Spanish National Court (“NC”) concluded its first two judgments on the Spanish asphalt roads cartel (“the Cartel”). In both cases the NC explained how the companies involved in the public bid process decided in a “competitive way” who was going to win the bid. The NC stated in (...)

The Californian Supreme Court applies the continuous accrual doctrine to actions under the unfair competition law finding that each overcharge shall give rise to a separate claim (Aryeh / Canon Business Solutions)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
California Supreme Court Resolves Split Over Accrual Rules for Unfair Competition Claims* The California Supreme Court has offered hope to plaintiffs facing statute of limitations problems under California’s Unfair Competition Law, holding that special rules for calculating accrual dates for (...)

A US District Court dismisses with leave to amend antitrust claims against high-tech producers employing the android operating system (Cascades Computer Innovation / RPX)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Can An “Anti-Patent Troll” Be a Monopsonist or a Section 1 Conspirator?* A recent interesting case suggests that “anti-patent trolls” may in theory face antitrust liability. In Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10526 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2013), Judge Yvonne (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal rules that security of supply justifies exemption from the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements in the energy sector (South African Petroleum Industry Association)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
Competition are traditionally reluctant to recognise “crisis management” as a justification excusing restrictive agreements between competitors. In 2008, for example, the EU Court of Justice ruled that an agreement between the 10 main beef producers in the Republic of Ireland to co-ordinate their (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in the gas insulated switchgear cartel (Siemens, Alstom)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The HCO decision The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) received one of its first leniency applications back in 2004 from ABB in connection with alleged anti-competitive activities by ABB, Areva, Siemens, Alstom and VA Tech on the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market. Although the cartel (...)

The European Commission fines telecom provider € 79 M for illegal non-compete clause (Telefónica, Portugal Telecom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2013, the European Commission imposed fines of € 66,894,000 on Spanish telecommunications provider Telefónica and € 12,290,000 on Portuguese telecommunications provider Portugal Telecom on account of an agreement between them not to compete with one another in the Iberian (...)

The European Commission fines two companies €79 M for agreeing not to compete with each other in their respective home telecommunications markets (Telefónica and Portugal Telecom)
Liège University - IEJE
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Clifford Chance (Madrid)
The Commission fines Telefónica and Portugal Telecom €79 million for agreeing not to compete with each other in their respective home telecommunications markets. I. The Parties Telefónica is the historical operator on the Spanish market. It has a limited presence on the Portugese market. It (...)

The European Commission fines Spanish and Portuguese incumbent telecommunications operators for non-compete agreement (Telefónica, Portugal Telecom)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission: Spanish and Portuguese incumbent Telecommunications Operators fined for non-compete Agreement* On 23 January 2013, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted a decision imposing fines of € 66 894 000 on Telefónica and of € 12 290 000 on Portugal Telecom for agreeing (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court decides that the statutory imposition of interest on cartel fines is consistent with the national constitutional law
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt welcomes decision of Federal Constitutional Court on interest charged on cartel fines* In its ruling of 19 December, 2012, which was made public today, the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court decided that the statutory imposition of interest on cartel fines is (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission issues a commencement notice for the introduction of a competition ordinance
Gibson Dunn (Washington DC)
Hong Kong recently commenced the final countdown towards implementing its new competition regime, many elements of which are inspired by competition rules in Western jurisdictions. On July 17, it issued a "Commencement Notice" for the introduction of a Competition Ordinance (the "Ordinance") (...)

The US FTC releases a summary of its new report on pharma patent litigation finding an increase in "reverse payment" settlements based on expanded definition of "payments"
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
With the Supreme Court set to address the validity of "reverse payment" settlements of pharmaceutical patent litigation, the FTC released a summary of its new report, announcing that in 2012 drug companies entered "a record number" of such settlements. However, the underlying data and analysis (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority settles with jewellery and watches designing company for an infringement of the prohibition on resale price maintenance (Georg Jensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Georg Jensen pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On January 16, 2013, Georg Jensen (a producer of lifestyle products) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price (...)

The East Netherlands District Court establishes liability for damages in follow-on gas insulated switchgear case (Tennet TSO / ABB)
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
Introduction The Dutch District Court Oost-Nederland ruled on the liability for damages in a Dutch follow-on case sought after the European Commission established a cartel infringement in its ‘gas insulated switchgear’ Decision. In its ruling the District Court also considered the applicability (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority enters into a settlement with a design company in a resale maintenance price case (Georg Jensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 16 January 2013 the Danish design company Georg Jensen A/S (manufacturer of jewellery, watches and home accessories) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price maintenance on its (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the NCA’s decision fining 15 shipping agents’ firms and two trade associations for a cartel at the port of Genoa (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Robur Siena
With the judgment published on 15 January 2013, the Italian administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the Italian Competition Authority’s (ICA) decision fining 15 firms and two trade associations for taking part in a cartel whose aim was to (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance quashes, for the first time ever, an infringement decision adopted following two leniency applications (Shipping agencies services)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 15 January 2013, the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") quashed for lack of evidence, the infringement decision adopted by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") on the Shipping agencies services case which was initiated on the basis of (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rules on automotive quantitative selective distribution agreements (Auto 24 SARL, Jaguar Land Rover)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The Cour de cassation, France’s highest court for judicial matters, rendered a judgment on 15 January 2013 in a case involving Jaguar’s distribution agreements in France. The judgment follows an earlier ruling on the matter by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), from which the Cour (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines transport carriers for fixing prices, limiting production and sharing out the market for the road transport of containers originating from or destined for the port of Barcelona (ALTC, COTRAPORT, Barcelona Port Authority)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines ALTC, COTRAPORT and Barcelona Port Authority in Road Transport of Containers Case* In its resolution of 10 January 2013, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) Council found that between January 2006 and March 2011, an agreement had (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes fines in a total amount of RMB 353 million on 6 LCD panel manufacturers (Samsung / LG / AU Optronics / Chunghwa / Chimei InnoLux / HannStar)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
NDRC Imposed the Penalty against LCD Panel Companies for Their Monopolistic Behavior* China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) has imposed a heavy penalty of total RMB 353 million yuan against six companies for the monopolistic behavior of price-fixing on liquid crystal display (...)

The Chinese NDRC announces penalties of CNY 353 million (€ 43 million) to be imposed on six liquid crystal display makers from Korea and Taiwan (Samsung / LG / AU Optronics / Chunghwa / Chimei InnoLux / HannStar)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. The Significance of China’s First Fine on an International Cartel* On 4 January 2013, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that CNY 353 million (around £35m) would be paid by six South Korean and Taiwanese (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes sanctions on members of international LCD panel cartel (Samsung / LG / AU Optronics / Chunghwa / Chimei InnoLux / HannStar)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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King’s College (London)
1. Summary On 4 January 2013, China’s National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC") announced that it had imposed fines and penalties totalling RMB 353 million ( USD 56 million) on six liquid crystal display ("LCD") panel manufacturers for colluding to manipulate the price of LCD panels (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes significant fines on overseas manufacturers of LCD Panels (Samsung / LG / AU Optronics / Chunghwa / Chimei InnoLux / HannStar)
Kingson Law Firm
On 4 January 2013, National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC") of the People’s Republic of China ("China") released an announcement with respect to its imposing significant fines on six overseas manufacturers of liquid crystal display panels ("LCD Panels"), among which were Samsung (...)

The U.S. FTC applies questionable principles to the enforcement of fair reasonable and non discriminatory - obligated SEPs through injunction in its settlement with leading web search engine (Google)
Techfreedom
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International Center for Law & Economics
Introduction In January of 2013, the Federal Trade Commission and Google (acting through its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility) signed a Consent Order ending the agency’s investigation into a number of practices. Much of the Order is aimed at imposing antitrust-based limits on the allowable process (...)

Unilateral Practices

The European Commission publishes a green paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Entering uncharted territory: the Commission’s thinking on territorial supply constraints* On 31 January 2013, the European Commission (DG Internal Market) published a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe. One of the issues (...)

The Mexican Competition Commission fines fixed-line incumbent approximately EUR 39.5 M for repeatedly refusing interconnection to closest competitor (Axtel / Telmex Group)
Chanel
Following a complaint by Axtel, one of the alternative telecom suppliers in Mexico, to the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (the “FCC”) in 2010, against Telmex and its subsidiary Telnor (the “Telmex Group”) for refusal to supply rental services of national short-and long-distance dedicated (...)

The Italian Council of State reinstates fine for abuse of dominant position in the market for the production and commercialization of fosetyl-based fungicides (Bayer Cropscience)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Italian Council of State reinstates abuse fine on Bayer Cropscience Srl and Bayer Cropscience AG* Last 29 January 2013, the Italian Council of State published its ruling that quashed the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio’s judgment of 16 May 2012 in the Bayer Cropscience case. The TAR (...)

The Italian Council of State reinstates a € 5.1 M fine initially imposed on a pharmaceutical company by the NCA for its alleged abuse of dominant position in the market for the production and commercialisation of fosetyl-based fungicides (Bayer)
Van Bael & Bellis
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 22 January 2013, it was reported that the Italian Council of State – Italy’s highest jurisdiction in competition cases – had reinstated a € 5.1 million fine against Bayer initially imposed on the company by the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) for its alleged abuse of dominant position (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Court upholds Competition Council’s decision finding abuse of dominant position in fuel sector (Orlen Lietuva)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Council’s Decision finding Abuse of Dominant Position in Fuel Sector* On 21 January 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Supreme Court) issued a final ruling stating that the Competition Council (CC) by its (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority investigates the phenomena related to the use of buying power with questionnaires directed retailers and the food industry
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
An abridged English version of the Finnish Competition Authority’s study on the Trade in Groceries is now available* According to the FCA study on buying power in the trade in groceries, retailers use their firm position with respect to suppliers in several ways that may be considered (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court reinstates the NCA’s decision fining a pharmaceutical group for abuse of dominant position in the market for the production and commercialisation of fosetyl-based fungicides against downy mildew in grapes (Bayer)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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University Bocconi
With decision of 11 January 2013, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) quashed a judgment of the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance (TAR Lazio) and upheld the 2011 Italian Competition Authority’s (ICA) decision fining Bayer CropScience AG and Bayer (...)

The Italian Council of State rules on the issue of dominant firms’ duty to supply essential information beyond the requirements of sector regulation (BCS)
University of Naples "Federico II"
Italy’s highest administrative court handed down an important ruling on the issue of the dominant firms’ duty under Article 102 TFEU to grant their competitors access to essential information when sector regulation encourages such a disclosure. By its judgment of 11 January 2013, no. 548 (the (...)

The Specialized Administrative Court of Kazakhstan fines two major regional cement producers for a tacit collusion (Semei Cement Plant / Bukhtarma cement company)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy
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Ernst & Young (Astana)
The regional division of the Antimonopoly agency – the Antimonopoly inspection of the East Kazakhstan oblast (‘Inspection’) conducted an investigation over the main competitors in the regional cement market, "Semei Cement Plant" LLC (‘LLC’) and "Bukhtarma cement company" JSC (‘JSC’), whose main (...)

The US DoJ and PTO issue a policy statement on remedies for standards-essential patents subject to (F)RAND commitments
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. DOJ and PTO issue policy statement on remedies for standards-essential patents subject to (F)RAND commitments* On January 8, 2013 the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a policy statement on remedies for (...)

The Chinese Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court rules in favour of a consumer in a case of abuse of dominance on the market for local cable service (Shanxi Broadcast)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
Chinese Consumer Wins Abuse of Dominance Civil Action against Tie-in Sales in Program Bundling* On January 5th, 2013, the Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court (the “Court”) ruled in favor of a consumer who sued Shanxi Broadcast & TV Network Intermediary (Group) Co., Ltd. (“Network”), the local (...)

The US Federal Trade Commission closes its investigation and approves the voluntary commitment of an Internet search engine (Google)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Palo Alto)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
Thoughts On Google’s FTC Settlement Law360, New York (January 04, 2013, 4:42 PM ET) — On Jan. 3, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission ended its highly publicized and wide-ranging investigation into Google Inc.’s business practices with an enforcement action that has been described by some as a (...)

The US FTC announces proposed settlement concerning practices in online search and advertising (Google search)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Federal Trade Commission announces proposed settlement with Google* On 3 January 2013 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Google Inc. has agreed to not seek injunctive relief against rivals using its essential patents. The FTC also announced that Google has altered its (...)

Mergers

The US DoJ files a civil antitrust lawsuit challenging proposed acquisition of total ownership and control of major beer brewer (Anheuser-Busch Inbev / Grupo Modelo)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Beer o’clock* As we reported in November 2012, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed acquisition of the balance of Mexico-based Grupo Modelo (of which is already owns 50%), continues to face (...)

A US Court grants a stay to the DoJ’s challenge giving time for further reflection whether or not an improved remedy package is prone to eliminate competition concerns on the market for beer distribution (Anheuser-Busch InBEV)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Judge calls time out on beer merger* Since our most recent post on the proposed merger of AB InBev and Grupo Modelo earlier this month there have been several developments. As you’ll recall, AB (...)

The German Competition Authority examines notified acquisition of daily newspapers (Frankfurter Rundschau / FAZ)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines acquisition of daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)* On 30 January 2013, the Bundeskartellamt was notified of plans by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, or rather its printing house, to acquire the publishing business of the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a complementary social protection organisation for having breached the notification requirement of a merger project (Réunica / Arpège)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines Réunica for having breached the notification requirement of a merger project*. The Autorité de la concurrence just issued a ruling in which it imposed a fine of €400,000 on (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority approves merger between companies active in the field of ship construction and repair (Damen / Shipdock)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
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Stibbe
On 25 January 2013, the Netherlands Competition Authority ("NMa") approved a proposed concentration between Damen Shipyards Group N.V. ("Damen") and Shipdock Holding B.V. ("Shipdock"). This decision is an interesting one, because the NMa allowed the number of competitors on the relevant market (...)

The Competition Commission of India rules on anomaly of asset acquisitions under Indian merger control (AICA / Intel)
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
This article analyses the treatment of asset acquisitions under India’s merger control regime in light of certain specific precedents set by the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) in its assessment of merger notifications to date. Under the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”), acquisitions of (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes a fine of 90,000 euros on a natural person for the incomplete notification of the acquisition of a slaughtering company (Clemens Tönnies)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Clemens Tönnies fined for incomplete notification of a merger* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 90,000 euros on Mr Clemens Tönnies (senior) for the incomplete notification of the acquisition of the slaughtering company Tummel, Schöppingen, by his company group. The notification did not (...)

The German Competition Authority fines company for non-disclosure of personal majority shareholdings in merger notification (Clemens Tönnies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 15 January 2013, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a fine of € 90,000 on Clemens Tönnies, the majority shareholder of Tönnies Holding GmbH & Co. KG (“Tönnies Holding”), for the non-disclosure in a merger notification of Mr Tönnies’ personal (...)

The Czech NCA imposes a negligible fine against an eight-year long failure to notify a concentration (KHTG)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
By its decision of 15 January 2013, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition fined KAREL HOLOUBEK – Trade Group a.s. (“KHTG”), a Czech company active mainly in coal trade, for failing to notify its control of a majority shareholding in Karlovarská teplárenská a.s. (“KT”), a municipal (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority elaborates a more sophisticated approach in the course of establishing relevant product and geographic market of mergers in the retail sector (Copé/Intégal-M, Mába-Invest)
Dentons (Budapest)
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Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
I. Facts COPÉ Vagyonhasznosító és Szolgáltató Zrt. („COPÉ”) acquired direct sole control over INTEGRÁL-M Kereskedelmi Kft. („INTEGRÁL-M”) and MÁBA-INVEST Ingatlanhasznosító és Szolgáltató Kft. („MÁBA-INVEST”). The procedure was conducted in a phase II procedure, in which the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (“GVH” – (...)

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa adopts new merger control filing regime
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Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (Hong Kong)
The competition law regime for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa ("COMESA") went live on 14 January 2013 with the creation of a new supra-national African competition law authority, the COMESA Competition Commission ("CCC"). The CCC will review any merger or acquisition where: (...)

The U.S. DOJ challenges the acquisition by the market leader of product ratings and reviews platforms of its alleged closest competitor (Bazaarvoice/PowerReviews)
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Washington)
On January 10, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Bazaarvoice, Inc. alleging that its acquisition of PowerReviews, Inc. in June 2012 violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The complaint alleges that Bazaarvoice was the market leader for product ratings and reviews platforms (PRR (...)

The US FTC announces revised HSR thresholds
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On January 10, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the revised thresholds for determining whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act). If a proposed (...)

State Aid

The Dutch Council of State finds that by offering a distance learning Bachelor of Laws programme, a Dutch University is not performing an economic activity and therefore confirms that it is not to be seen as an undertaking (Open Universiteit Nederland)
VVGB
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
NL29 Open Universiteit Nederland 30.01.13 Administrative Jurisdiction Department of the Council of State, State Aid On the 30th of January 2013, the Council of State found that by offering a distance learning Bachelor of Laws programme, the ‘Open Universiteit Nederland’ (open university of the (...)

Procedures

The UK Government announces plans to introduce an opt-out class action regime in its consultation paper on options for reforming the private enforcement system (DBIS)
Blackstone Chambers
Collective Actions: loss in complex cases* The big news from last week’s UK announcement on reforming private competition enforcement is that the government plans to introduce opt-out class actions for competition claims. The proposals incorporate various “safeguards” designed to ensure that the (...)

The EU General Court grants interim measures to a company fined by the Commission raising the issue whether late payment interest should be suspended (Garantovana)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
To better understand the purpose of this article, a distinction is made between the following parameters : Commission Decision adopted on 22 July 2009 (the "Decision"), order of the President of the General Court on the request for interim measures (the "order") & the subsequent judgment of (...)

A US Court of Appeals applies “consumer-or-competitor” rule to deny antitrust standing to foreign manufacturer of drug marketed in US by licensee (Ethypharm/Abbott)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Third Circuit Holds the Line on Antitrust Standing* In order to assert an antitrust injury, a plaintiff needs to be a consumer or a competitor in the restrained market, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled on January 23, 2013. If a company makes the choice not to compete, then it (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court ruling finding that reduction in subsidiary’s fine also applies to parent company where appeals have common object (Pegler, Tomkins)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 January 2013, the Court of Justice of the EU (“ECJ”) ruled that, when the EU courts reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on a subsidiary for an infringement of the EU competition rules, they may also apply the same reduction to the fine imposed jointly and severally on the (...)

The Danish Parliament adopts amendments to the Danish Competition Act introducing criminal sanctions against cartels
Copenhagen Business School
On 23 December 2012, Denmark adopted amendments to the Danish Competition Act and to the Criminal Code. The main changes were the introduction of the possibility of incarceration in cartel cases as well as increased fines. According to the Competition Act’s section 23, membership of a cartel may (...)

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) institutes a new supra-national African competition law regime
Squire Patton Boggs (London)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
A new supra-national African competition law regime, the COMESA Competition Commission ("CCC"), began operations in January 2013. This new regime includes new merger control regulations likely to have a significant impact on international businesses with local operations in the region. The CCC (...)

The US FTC announces annual changes to HSR thresholds
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
On January 10, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act notification thresholds. The FTC is required to revise the jurisdictional thresholds annually, based on the change in gross national product. The thresholds will increase (...)

The Moroccan Government approves competition law reform: key amendments and pitfalls (bill n°104.12 on freedom of prices and bill no.20.13 on the Competition Council)
Moroccan competition Authority
The competition’s regulation institutional architecture is expecting to have a radical change in its structure. The first aspects of this long-awaited overhaul were substantially announced in the constitutional text. The latter has not only enshrined "free competition" as a constitutional (...)

The UK Government opts in to class actions
White & Case (London)
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White & Case (London)
Government proposals in brief The Government’s proposals are contained in its response to the consultation on options for reform of private competition actions in the UK. The proposals seek to establish the CAT as the major venue for competition actions in the UK. Most notably, they would give (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority reaffirms importance of mobile virtual network operators in stimulating competition on mobile telephony markets
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence reaffirms Importance of MVNOs in stimulating Competition on Mobile Telephony Markets* On 21 January 2013 the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) issued an opinion examining the market conditions for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and the (...)

The Argentinean Supreme Court prevents the application of competition provisions of the new regulatory broadcasting framework that forces the country’s biggest media conglomerate to break up (Grupo Clarin)
Kim & Chang
Against the expectations of the government of Argentina, the Argentinean Supreme Court, agreed to the request of the biggest Argentinean media conglomerate, Grupo Clarín, and extended on 27 December 2012 an injunction which suspended the adjustment obligation established under Section 161 of the (...)

Public sector

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for procurement fines against railway company (SJ)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
SJ taken to court over procurement penalties* According to the Swedish Competition Authority, SJ made an illegal move when acquiring cleaning services via direct procurement. Consequently, SJ is now required to pay penalties/procurement damages of SEK 8.5m. According to the Swedish (...)

The Spanish Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals rules on the need to cancel the award and rerun a tender when faulty tender documents and their interpretation can give rise to discrimination (CESPA CONTEN v Valladolid Regional Logistics Unit of the Army)
European Procurement Law Group
On 22 January 2013, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales, SCATCA) issued its Decision 29/2013 regarding the award of a contract for the disposal of waste and hazardous substances generated by the regional (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court rules that a contracting authority may limit the number of lots awarded to a single contractor to foster competition and may award a lot to a public law entity (Laboratoires Biomnis)
Université Aix-Marseille
The first point, which had never been dealt with by the Conseil d’Etat, is an important one since the French courts having jurisdiction as to the substance of the matter had adopted different positions and since neither the directive 2004/18 nor the Code des marchés publics (public procurement (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court rules that an award of a contract without prior publication of a notice for technical reasons is not allowed when the change of economic operator is “only difficult but not impossible” (Fastweb)
IUSE Istituto Universitario di Studi Europei
I. Introduction By judgement of 9 January 2013, the Consiglio di Stato (Italian Supreme Administrative Court, the “Court”), upholding the decision of a lower court (Administrative Tribunal of the Lazio Region, the “Lower Administrative Court”), ruled that the Ministry of Interiors was not entitled (...)

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