January 2017

Anticompetitive practices

The UK High Court concludes that multilateral interchange fees were not restrictive of competition and can be exempted under article 101(3) (MasterCard)
DLA Piper
On 30 January 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) High Court handed down a judgment in favour of MasterCard in a damages claim brought by UK retailers (including Next, Acadia Group and Asda). The claimants alleged that MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) were illegally restrictive of (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers fourteen decisions on appeals against judgments of the General Court in a cartel case, rejecting all appeals except two (Bathroom Fittings and Fixtures cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
Bathroom fittings and fixtures cartel case – concept of single and continuous infringement The concept of single and continuous infringement was developed by the Commission to impute liability to undertakings which had not been involved in every single cartel contact or had not engaged in every (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
Van Bael & Bellis
On 25 January 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. The guidance note follows proceedings concluded in December last year, in which the FCO imposed fines amounting to € (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Publication of guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector - public consultation* oday the Bundeskartellamt published a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. Interested parties are invited to submit (...)

The California Southern District Court receives a claim from Apple against Qualcomm over allegedly abusive wireless patents
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple and Qualcomm proceeding* In January 2017 Apple filed suit against Qualcomm over its allegedly abusive licensing practices regarding wireless patents. Apple filed patent, antitrust and breach of contract claims against Qualcomm; this could result in damages of billions of dollars. (...)

The EU Court of justice recalls that where the liability of the parent company is purely derivative of that of its subsidiary the liability of the parent company may not exceed that of its subsidiary (Methacrylates cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
Under settled EU case law, a parent company may be held liable for the anticompetitive behaviour of its subsidiary, even if the former has not directly participated in the infringement, provided the parent company is in a position to exercise decisive influence over its subsidiary and has, in (...)

The Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Committee acts to stop potentially anti-competitive conduct by private landlords (IPOA)
Economic & Social Research Institute
Two cheers for the Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission action against potentially anti-competitive conduct by private landlords* Introduction With great alacrity Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has intervened successfully to hold the Irish (...)

The Competition Commission of India grants a 75% reduction in penalty in a cartel case applying leniency program (Suo Moto Case)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
Introduction The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the first ever decision involving leniency in a cartel case (Suo Moto Case No. 03 of 2014 – In Re: Cartelization in respect of tenders floated by Indian Railways for supply of Brushless DC Fans and other electrical items), published on (...)

The US FTC and DOJ finalize revised antitrust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
FTC and DOJ finalize revised Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property* On January 12, 2017 the DOJ and FTC jointly issued final updated Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (Updated IP Guidelines). Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the EU Commission decision on animal feed phosphates cartel (Timab Industries)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission welcomes Court of Justice judgment on Animal Feed Phosphates cartel* The European Commission welcomes today’s judgment by the EU Court of Justice dismissing in its entirety Timab’s appeal against an earlier General Court ruling. The General Court (case T-456/10) had upheld (...)

The German Competition Authority fines furniture manufacturers for vertical price fixing (aeris )
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on account of vertical price fixing in the sale of furniture* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its cartel proceedings against furniture manufacturers for enforcing resale price maintenance on retailers. Fines totalling 4.43 million euros were imposed on the (...)

The EU General Court orders the European Union to pay damages for excessively long court proceedings for first time (Industrial bags cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 10 January 2017, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment in which it ordered the European Union to pay Gascogne and Gascogne Sack Deutschland (“Gascogne”) a total of about € 57,000 in damages for the excessive duration of previous proceedings before the GC in connection with the Industrial (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines undertakings for setting minimum resale prices on ski equipment and accessories (Fordex / Intersport)
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Poland)
I. The Decision In its decision no DOK-1/2016 of 23rd December 2016, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter the “Polish Competition Authority”) imposed a fine on Fordex and Intersport for violating Article 6 (the equivalent of Article 101(1) of the Treaty) of the Act on (...)

The German Competition Authority ends proceedings against a dominant firm on the antennas market (Funkturm)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt ends proceedings against Deutsche Funkturm after pricing structure amendments* The Bundeskartellamt has terminated the administrative proceedings which it initiated against Deutsche Funkturm GmbH, Münster in January 2015. In the proceedings the authority investigated suspected (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines suppliers of galvanised steel tanks for bid-rigging (Franklin Hodge)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA fines water tank firms over £2.7 million* The CMA has today issued 2 decisions imposing fines on suppliers of galvanised steel tanks for breaching competition law. Galvanised steel tanks are used for water storage in larger buildings, such as schools, hospitals and other commercial and (...)

The German Competition Authority fines firms in the food retail sector for vertical price fixing (Neumünster)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine proceedings for vertical price fixing in the German food retail sector concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its last three pending proceedings concerning vertical price fixing in the food retail sector. The authority imposed fines totalling 18.3 million euros on EDEKA (...)

The Italian Competition Authority discovers two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services but decides not to fine the anti-competitive conducts as they were not a serious competition breach (Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent decision handed down in the case Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare (UMMI) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an antitrust investigation by finding two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services agents implemented by two (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the actions of undertakings in a cartel case and and upholds the fines imposed by the Commission (Smart card chips cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
Article 27(2) of Regulation No 1/2003 provides that the parties’ rights of defence are to be fully respected in proceedings by the European Commission pursuant to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. Article 12 of Regulation 773/2004 states that the Commission must give the parties to whom it has (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on hearing aids
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-wide Inquiry on Hearing Aids- the Autorité’s Findings* The Autorité recommends separating the initial purchase of the hearing aid (including immediate fitting and setting during the first year) from the purchase of subsequent follow-up services. It also proposes removing the numerus (...)

The Curia of Hungary confirms the fines imposed in a banking cartel case (Budapest Bank)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Curia of Hungary confirmed the cartel of Banks* On 13 December 2016 the Curia of Hungary confirmed, as a result of the judicial review of case Nr. Vj/74/2011/873 concerning the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), that Hungarian banks had (...)

The EU General Court annuls a cartel settlement decision on appeal due to the Commission’s failure to sufficiently inform the undertakings on the fining methodology used (Envelopes cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
Under the Commission’s cartel settlement procedure, an undertaking admitting liability to a cartel infringement and waiving certain procedural rights is rewarded with a 10% reduction in the fine. In the envelopes cartel case, the Commission fined five producers €19.4 million under the settlement (...)

The EU Commission fines rechargeable battery manufacturers for cartel in the settlement procedure (Sony / Panasonic / Sanyo)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines rechargeable battery producers €166 million in cartel settlement* The European Commission has fined Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo a total of €166 million. The companies and Samsung SDI coordinated prices and exchanged sensitive information on supplies of rechargeable (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines three undertakings for bid-rigging in municipal waste collection and transportation sector (Ekoaplinka)
Competition Council of Latvia
Anti-competitive agreement in municipal waste collection and transportation sector* On December 8, 2016 the Competition Council found that in 2015 UAB Ekoaplinka, UAB Ecoservice and UAB Marijampolės švara (hereinafter – Companies) concluded a collusive bidding agreement while participating in the (...)

The EU Commission fines three banks for cartel on the euro interest rate derivatives market (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JPMorgan Chase)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase € 485 million for euro interest rate derivatives cartel* The European Commission has fined Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, a total of € 485 million for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives. The (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines five paper envelopes manufacturers and distributors for cartel (Copidata)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Portuguese Competition Authority dismantles cartel of paper envelopes* The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) dismantled a five-member cartel of paper envelopes producers and distributors, and imposed a fine of €160.000,00 on the company Firmo Papéis e Papelarias, S.A. The investigation (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines two firms for bid-rigging in the purchase of machinery market (Rovaltra / Žagarės inžinerija)
Competition Council of Latvia
Competition council disclosed an anti-competitive agreement in public procurement* On December 5, 2016 the Competition Council found that in 2014 UAB Žagarės inžinerija and UAB Rovaltra (hereinafter – Companies) concluded a collusive bidding agreement while participating in the public procurement (...)

The Danish Competition Council considers that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is anticompetitive (HMN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council finds that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is illegal.* On November 30 2016, The Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) found that HMN Naturgas I/S (“HMN”), DEBRA – Energibranchen (“DEBRA”), (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines five milk producers for rigging (Albalact)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council had sanctioned five milk producer companies for rigging the bids* The Competition Council had sanctioned five milk producer companies with fines of 8,591,540 lei (approx. 1,9 milion Euro) for rigging the bids organized in 2010-2011 in Giurgiu, Ialomita and Dolj counties (...)

The French Competition Authority confirms unannounced inspections in the sector of energy services and energy supply
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence confirms that unannounced inspections were carried out on 22 November in the sector of energy services and energy supply* On 22 November 2016, following information that has appeared in the press - which does not come from the Autorité (...)

The EU and Canada sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Clifford Chance (London)
What does CETA mean for EU and Canadian competition policy?* Introduction With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) having finally been signed by the EU and Canada on October 30, 2016, it’s worth exploring what it says about competition law and policy and how it may impact (...)

The EU Commission Commission sends a statement of objections to an international sports association because of the possible incompatibility of its governance rules with competition law (International Skating Union)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
International sport governing bodies and competition law - up to a ‘ban of banning’ for participation in unauthorised events organized by rival governing bodies. European Commission ready to set an example with the International Skaters Union? After opening a formal investigation into the (...)

The Polish Supreme Court quashes the judgment of the Court of Appeal regarding inadequate explanation of the factual basis of the decision issued by the Competition Authority (The National Chamber of Notaries)
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Poland)
In its decision of 19 April 2010, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter the “Polish Competition Authority”) imposed a fine on the National Chamber of Notaries for anticompetitive conduct. The Polish Competition Authority found that the National Chamber of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines five suppliers of medical suture products for bid rigging and exempts one of them under the leniency provisions (Braun Medical / Chairman / Johnson&Johnson / Staplecare / SurgiCare / Variomedic)
Oppenheim - Budapest
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Oppenheim - Budapest
The Competition Authority of Hungary (GVH) has in August 2016 imposed fines on five suppliers of medical suture products (needles and threads for medical/hospital use) for bid rigging in an amount of around EUR 770.000, exempting one of them under the leniency provisions. The infringement was (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Commission seeks feedback on commitments proposed by an electronic commerce company in e-book investigation (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Amazon in e-book investigation* The European Commission is inviting comments on commitments offered by Amazon to address competition concerns relating to parity clauses in contracts with publishers. The clauses may breach EU (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of Lazio partially upholds the fine imposed on the company managing the Milan airports for abusive practices in the general aviation sector (SEA)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By an appeal judgment released in the SEA v AGCM case , the Administrative Court for the Region of Latium (the Court) has partially upheld the challenged decision made by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) in Cedicor/SEA , by which the ICA fined the manager of the Milan (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria quashes the Competition Authority’s decision on an abuse of dominance in the energy sector, due to a different economic analysis (Energo Pro)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
The Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria seating in 3-member panel (the “Supreme Administrative Court”, the “Court or the “Supreme Court”) repealed the decision of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) by virtue of which the Commission imposed (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceeding against companies operating on the digital audio-books market suspected to abuse of dominance (Apple and Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings against Audible/Amazon and Apple* The Bundeskartellamt has closed its administrative proceedings against Audible.com – a subsidiary of Amazon – and Apple Computer Inc. Following a complaint by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des (...)

The EU Court of Justice publishes details of a request by a Portuguese Court for a preliminary ruling regarding discriminatory pricing (Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 January 2017, details of a request by a Portuguese court for a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) were published in the Official Journal on questions relating to abusive discriminatory pricing under Article 102(c) TFEU. The request was issued in (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two pharmaceutical companies for charging excessive prices concerning an anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA fines Pfizer and Flynn £90 million for drug price hike to NHS* The CMA has fined pharma companies Pfizer and Flynn Pharma nearly £90 million for charging excessive prices to the NHS for an anti-epilepsy drug. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a record £84.2 million fine (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority identifies significant competition barriers in waste-management sector following its sector inquiry
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC finds Significant Competition Barriers in Waste-Management Sector* The Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has identified a number of existing competition barriers created by both market structure and regulatory framework in the waste-management market in Latvia after commencing a (...)

The Paris Commercial Court declares void price and availability parity clauses formerly implemented by a hotel online booking company (Booking.com)
DLA Piper (Paris)
In a ruling issued on November 29th, 2016, the Paris commercial court (hereafter the “court”) declared void several provisions, including price and availability parity clauses previously in force, of Booking.com’s general terms of service governing its B2B relationships with hotels. Following an (...)

The Turkish Competition Board concludes that a new turnover rebate system does not constitute an abuse of dominance in the fuel wholesale market (Tüpraş / Ader)
ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law
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ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) TÜPRAŞ decision of 16.03.2016, No. 16-10/159-70. The Board reviewed the allegations of abuse put forward by Akaryakıt Ana Dağıtım Şirketleri Derneği (“ADER”) against Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.Ş. (“TÜPRAŞ”). TÜPRAŞ allegedly abused its (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission refers the review of a merger concerning two private hospital groups back to the French Competition Authority (Médipôle-Partenaires / Elsan)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The European Commission has referred the review of the acquisition of Médipôle-Partenaires by Elsan back to the Autorité de la concurrence* On 31 January 2017, the European Commission has referred the review of the acquisition of sole control of Médipôle-Partenaires by Elsan, two private hospital (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a wet-lease agreement on 38 passenger aircraft between two airlines (Lufthansa / Air Berlin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2017, the German Competition Authority (“Bundeskartellamt”) granted permission to Lufthansa to wet-lease 38 aircraft from rival airline Air Berlin, which is currently undergoing restructuring. In the aviation industry, a wet-lease refers to the lease of an aircraft including the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a wet-lease agreement concerning aircrafts in accordance with German merger rules (Lufthansa / Air Berlin)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Lufthansa may lease aircraft from Air Berlin* Today the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the wet-lease agreement on 38 passenger aircraft between Lufthansa and Air Berlin. The agreement was proactively notified by the parties according to German merger control rules. With the wet-lease agreement (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the food wholesale sector and breaks with its previous practice concerning the delimitation of the market (Metro / Colruyt France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears Metro’s acquisition of Colruyt France (Pro-à-Pro)* On 28 November 2016, the European Commission referred the review of the acquisition of Colruyt France SAS (“Colruyt France”) by Metro AG (“Metro) back to the Autorité de la concurrence (see note on referrals in (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the pharmaceutical sector (Alere / Abbott Laboratories)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Alere by Abbott Laboratories, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Alere by Abbott, both suppliers of clinical test systems. The decision is conditional on the divestment of (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority is consulting on proposed changes to the UK merger regime to reduce the burden of investigations into mergers where the parties operate in small markets
Jones Day (London)
UK merger control process The UK operates a two-stage merger control regime. Before starting a formal merger investigation, the CMA will conduct pre-notification discussions with the parties, which typically last one to two months. Upon conclusion of these discussions, the CMA opens a formal (...)

The US FTC announces that it will raise the Hart Scott Rodino Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds
Morgan Lewis (New York)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
On January 19, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will raise the Hart Scott Rodino Act (HSR Act) jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. Any transaction closing on or after the effective date of the notice (30 days after the pending publication in the Federal Register) will (...)

The US FTC raises the thresholds for the Hart Scott Rodino Act
Shearman & Sterling (New York)
The US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has revised and, once again, raised the thresholds for the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the “HSR Act”). The HSR Act may require that parties to proposed stock or asset acquisitions exceeding certain thresholds file (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the e-book online platform market (Rakuten / Tolino)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of "tolino" e-book platform by Rakuten* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by the Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. of the assets for the technical operation of the "tolino" e-book platform. The seller of the assets is Deutsche Telekom AG, (...)

The US FTC revises thresholds for HSR Act notifications and for interlocking directorates
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
Agencies report annual HSR threshold increases* On January 19, 2017, the FTC announced revisions to the jurisdictional thresholds for the Hart-Scott- Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act), which will become effective on February 27, 2017 and apply to transactions consummated on (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the threat detection equipment business market (Morpho Detection / Smiths)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Morpho Detection by Smiths, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Morpho Detection, the threat detection equipment business of Safran of France, by Smiths of the UK. The (...)

The US FTC issues its second report on merger remedies
Baker McKenzie (Chicago)
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Baker McKenzie (Washington)
Expanding on the FTC’s divestiture study in 1999, on 19 January 2017, the FTC issued its second report, The FTC’s Merger Remedies 2006-2012: A Report of the Bureau of Competition and Economics. Recognizing that the efficacy of its remedies is critical to its mission, the key finding is that "the (...)

The US FTC publishes its merger remedies report and signals tougher enforcement
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission staff have completed a new study evaluating its process for designing and implementing merger remedies and the success of the remedies it has imposed in the past. Its report—"The FTC’s Merger Remedies 2006-2012: A Report of the Bureaus of Competition and (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a social network suspected of having transmitted misleading informations concerning a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts merger remedies proposed by petrol and diesel retailers (Dover / Wayne)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA accepts remedies in fuel pumps merger* The CMA has accepted undertakings from Dover to remedy competition concerns arising from its merger with Wayne. This follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) intervention to ensure that choice is maintained for petrol and diesel retailers (...)

The Polish Competition Office clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the wholesale and retail sale of everyday consumer goods market (Dystrybucja Alkoholi / Eurocash)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Conditional concentration clearance: Eurocash - PDA* The President of the Office of Competition and Customer Protection (UOKiK) gave his consent to a takeover of Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi by Eurocash. The transaction may take place providing the purchase of a warehouse in Pabianice is (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market of dairy products (WhiteWave / Danone)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of WhiteWave by Danone, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave, a US-based manufacturer of packaged foods and beverages, by the French Danone group. The clearance (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM rules that a foreign-to-foreign deal "jumped the gun" in breach of antitrust rules (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
MOFCOM rules that foreign-to-foreign deal "jumped the gun" in breach of antitrust rules* In a decision adopted on 16 December 2016 and made public on 4 January 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) fined Japanese company Canon for failure to file its acquisition of Toshiba Medical (...)

The Polish Competition Authority gives conditional consent to a merger of undertakings operating on the market for wholesale and retail sale of alcoholic beverages (Eurocash / Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In its decision of December 2016, the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the “OCCP President” or the “Authority”) has given his conditional consent for Eurocash to take control over Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi (hereinafter the “PDA”). Both undertakings (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunication market (Vodafone Thuis / T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of Vodafone Thuis by T-Mobile* Telecom provider T-Mobile is allowed to acquire the fixed-telecom division of Vodafone Netherlands. Vodafone has branded this division ‘Vodafone Thuis,’ which offers services for fixed telephony, TV, and internet. The Netherlands Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the slaughtering and meat processing market (Sicavyl / Sicarev)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the merger between Sicavyl and Sicarev, subject to conditions* Parties to the operation On 4 November 2016, the agricultural cooperatives Sicarev and Sicavyl, mainly active in the meat sector, notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their intended (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the professional social networks market (LinkedIn / Microsoft)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority rejects an application for interim measures concerning a merger in the brewery market (Alken-Maes / AB InBev / Bosteels)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA has rejected the application for interim measures of Alken-Maes versus AB InBev regarding the acquisition of Bosteels* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority has rejected on 21 November 2016 the application for interim measures of (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the pharmaceutical sector (St Jude Medical / Abbott Laboratories)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of St Jude Medical by Abbott Laboratories, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of St Jude Medical by Abbott Laboratories, both US based companies that develop and market (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the container liner shipping market (Hapag-Lloyd / UASC)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves container liner shipping merger between Hapag-Lloyd and UASC, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company ("UASC") by Hapag-Lloyd of Germany, subject to (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its long awaited first decision sanctioning gun jumping practices (Altice / SFR / Virgin)
DLA Piper (Paris)
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DLA Piper (Paris)
In its decision dated 8 November 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) describes with much detail its appraisal of a gun jumping infringement. Among the many lessons arising from such decision, one is clearly for future redactors of corporate documentation, another is for top management (...)

The Australian Competition Authority publishes draft media merger guidelines
University of New South Wales (Sydney)
Australian draft media merger guidelines: a review* Background The ACCC released its draft media merger guidelines in August 2016. Given the previous merger guidelines were released in 2006, these drafts outline the first proposed changes in over ten years. Critically these guidelines come in (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice confirms the General Court judgment annulling the Commission’s decision the considered that public support statements and credit line offers constituted incompatible State aids by applying the test of the prudent private investor (Orange)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 November 2016, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued its second judgment in the case concerning public statements made by the French authorities in support of France Télécom (“FT” – now Orange) and the offering of a shareholder loan to FT. In 2002, FT, a public limited company, was (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on when existing aid becomes new aid (DEI)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Existing v new aid and role of national courts* Introduction On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑590/14 P, DEI v Commission. DEI, the incumbent electricity producer in Greece appealed against the judgment of the General Court in case T‑542/11, Alouminion v Commission. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the extension of existing State aid must be considered as the alteration of that aid and is therefore subject to the obligation of prior notification as new aid (DEI / Alouminion tis Ellados)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
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Liège University - IEJE
The CJEU’s Judgment provides additional clarification on the effects of the extension of the duration of an existing aid measure. The CJEU - annulling a Judgment of the EU General Court (GC) - rules that the extension of the duration of existing aid measure by a national court must be qualified (...)

Procedures

The US FTC and DOJ issue revised antitrust guidelines for international enforcement
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Revised Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation issued by FTC and DOJ* On January 13, 2017, the DOJ and FTC jointly issued final updated Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation (Updated International Guidelines), which replace the 1995 (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority issues its opinions on the freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers - Application of the Framework resulting from the "Macron Law" of 6 August 2015* The Autorité de la Concurrence has drawn up maps showing where new offices could be located for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers It recommends the (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a joint report on the main developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2015
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Energy Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt today published their joint Monitoring Report on the main developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2015. Large variety of suppliers on the (...)

Public sector

The Italian Anti-Corruption Authority adopts guidelines making antitrust infringements ground for exclusion from public procurement procedures
Shearman & Sterling (Rome)
On 19 April 2016, legislative decree n. 50/2016 containing the new Italian Public Procurement Code (PPC) entered into force. The PPC aims to implement, among others, Directive 2014/24/EU which sets out, at Article 57, a number of mandatory and discretionary grounds for excluding an economic (...)

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