January 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The City Court of Copenhagen fines a real estate chain and an association of real estate agents for unlawful boycott (EDC-Gruppen / Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Real estate chain and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents sentenced to fines for unlawful boycott* On January 30, 2018, the City Court of Copenhagen passed sentence upon the real estate chain EDC-Gruppen A/S and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents for (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the implementation of collective redress mechanisms in EU Member States
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 January 2018, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a report on the implementation of collective redress mechanisms in EU Member States (the “Report”). The Report is the Commission’s opportunity to comprehensively review the implementation of its 2013 Recommendation on common (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on action by automotive repair workshop claiming right to be admitted to authorised repair network (Jaguar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled on an action brought by a car repair shop (the claimant) against the general importer of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles (the defendant). The importer operated a selective distribution system for the servicing of its vehicles. (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines a chamber of notaries for cartel (Chamber of Public Notaries)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council sanctioned with fines of lei 2.8 million the public notaries from Suceava and Botosani* The Competition Council sanctioned the Chamber of Public Notaries from Suceava and 72 public notaries from Suceava and Botosani counties, members of this organization with fine (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the dissemination of misleading information is a restriction by object and excludes exemption under Article 101 §3 TFEU (Roche / Novartis)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
On 23 January 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its decision on the preliminary ruling referred to it by the Italian Council of State in the dispute between Roche and Novartis on the one hand and the Italian competition authority (AGCM) on the other. In 2014, Roche and (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines six companies for bid-rigging in the market of electricity consumption equipment (ECRO)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council applied fines of 73 millioan lei to 6 companies for the bid-rigging in the field of electricity comsumption equipment* The Competition Council sanctioned with fines totaling 73,100,870.37 lei (about € 15.8 million) six companies for the conclusion of two anticompetitive (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines companies selling equipment for electricity measurement for cartel (ARC BRAŞOV)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
1) The Competition Council sanctioned with €1.1 million 3 companies selling equipment for electricity measurement* The Competition Council sanctioned with fines totalling lei 4,947,086.23 (about Euros 1.1 million) three companies for the purpose of reaching an agreement in order to limit the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issues a decision holding that purchasers have standing to seek damages from suppliers accused of price-fixing (Processed Egg Products)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
Last week, in In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision holding that purchasers of processed egg products have standing to seek damages from egg suppliers accused of price-fixing in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts remedies ending competition concerns related to franchise agreements in the pizza market (Roma Pizza)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by Roma Pizza S.A. to address competition concerns with regard to the terms of its franchise / distribution system following a complaint by former franchisees* By its unanimous decision no. 639/2017, the Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines companies and associations on the market of security services for setting minimum prices (Euroguard)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council sanctioned with 23.4 million lei companies and associations on the market of security services * The Competition Council sanctioned with fines totaling 23,422,255.99 lei (about 5 million euros), 33 companies and 4 associations for setting the minimum price, (...)

The Russian Arbitration Court of the Far East District upholds a cartel decision in the passenger transportation market (Flagman-Auto)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Court supported a decision of primorie OFAS on a passenger transportation case in Vladivostok* The parties to the case entered into an agreement that restricted competition on the market of urban passenger transportation In July 2015, the Commission of Primorie OFAS found that Vladivostok (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens a proceeding against forensic equipment suppliers for cartel (Krim-Market)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed collusion between forensic equipment suppliers* Nine companies are guilty of collusion at auctions organized by the Ministry of Interior and Russian Federal Forensics Centre at the Ministry of Justice On 15 January 2018, the Federal Antimonopoly Service found that “Krim-Market” (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens a proceeding for cartel in the market of supplying gas chromatographs (Chromatec)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed a cartel for supplying gas chromatographs* Actions of “Chromatec” and “Chromatec-Service Yoshkar-Ola” at an auction for the needs of the Federal Drug Control Service resulted in maintaining auction prices Having investigated an antimonopoly case, FAS found that “Chromatec” Special (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a construction company for exchange of information with a competitor in a bid rigging case (Troels Jørgensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Construction company pays fine in settlement for bid rigging* On 11 January 2018, the contruction company Troels Jørgensen A/S entered into a settlement with a competitor for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act. The company accepted to pay a fine of DKK 3,200,000 (€ (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens a proceeding for cartel in the rail tracks market (Partnerstvo)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Rail track collusion* Moscow OFAS exposed cartels at auctions of the Ministry of Defence for supplying materials for rail tracks. “Partnerstvo” Ltd., “Pravda” Ltd. and “DorRem” Ltd. concluded and implemented oral cartel agreements throughout 5 auctions (in breach of Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of (...)

The Russian Arbitration Appeal Court upholds a cartel decision regarding a cartel between suppliers of individual respiratory protection equipments (Tambovgalvanotekhnika)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Court confirmed a cartel of 30 companies – suppliers of individual respiratory protective equipment* The cartel dividing the market between its participants maintained prices at 1 308 tenders On 10 January 2018 the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of FAS decision regarding 30 (...)

The Warsaw Court of Appeal confirms that resale price maintenance in franchise agreements violates competition law (Sfinks Polska)
King’s College (London)
In its judgement of 10 January 2018, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the decision of the President of the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, UOKiK) of 25 June 2013 in which Sfinks Polska S.A. (Sfinks) was found to infringe Art. 6(1) of the Polish (...)

The Indian Competition Authority imposes highest fine in terms of profit on hard core cartel for supplying coal to 7 thermal power stations (Maharashtra State Power Generation / Nair Coal Services / Karam Chand Thapar / Naresh Kumar)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes highest penalty in terms of profit on a hard core cartel for coal liaisoning services for supply of coal to seven thermal power stations of Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. Ltd.* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) vide its order dated January 10, 2018 has exposed a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority publishes new notices on fines in an effort to incentivise companies to cooperate to reduce their fines
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
According to the GVH’s new Notices on Fines significant advantages can be gained from cooperating with the authority* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) incentivises undertakings to remedy the harm caused to consumers as a result of competition law infringements (...)

The Turkish Competition Board concludes its preliminary investigation into possible abusive pricing policies in the furnishing sector (Doğtaş Kelebek Mobilya / Yataş Yorgan ve Yatak)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
Introduction On January 9 2018 the Competition Board published a reasoned decision dated September 27 2017 (17-30/487-211) following its preliminary investigation into allegations by Doğtaş Kelebek Mobilya San ve Tic AŞ that Yataş Yorgan ve Yatak San ve Tic AŞ had violated Article 4 of Law 4054 on (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Danish Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical company for abuse of dominance by charging unfair prices (CD Pharma)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
CD Pharma has abused its dominant position by increasing their price by 2,000 percent* On 31 January 2018, the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) ruled in a case concerning CD Pharma’s (a pharmaceutical distributor) abuse of dominant position by charging unfair prices for the drug Syntocinon. (...)

The Cairo Economic Court upholds the recommendation of the Egyptian Competition Agency and fines a TV broadcasting company 400M EGP for abusive bundling of international football events (Nasser Al-Khulaifi / beIN Media)
First Principles Economics (London)
On 29th January 2018 the Cairo Economic Court found that beIN had abused its position in the market for broadcasting of international football events by forcing the bundled subscription of all the soccer leagues and events in its stable for a minimum duration of 12 months. The decision by the (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for abuse of dominance on the market for baseband chipsets for smartphones and tablets (Qualcomm)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 January 2018, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had imposed fines totalling € 997.439 million on chipset producer Qualcomm for abusing a dominant position contrary to Article 102 TFEU. While the public version of the decision has not yet been published, the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues a landmark decision addressing the issue of “Wedding Rebates” demanded by undertakings with relative market power (EDEKA)
University of Kiel
The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had to assess the outcome of price negotiations between a powerful German food retailer (Edeka) and some of its suppliers. Edeka had just taken over a no-frills competitor (“Plus”) with more than 2000 outlets and was in the process of rebranding these (...)

The German Supreme Court issues landmark ruling on unfair trading practices (EDEKA)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
The Situation: Market-dominant and powerful companies in Germany are subject to a number of rules that are significantly broader and stricter than the European Union’s, Article 102 AEUV, which prohibits the abuse of a dominant position. The Development: A recent decision by the German Supreme (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines the undertaking managing the Bratislava Airport for abuse of dominance (M. R. Štefánik Airport)
Slovak Competition Authority
AMO SR decided on the abuse of dominant position by Bratislava Airport* On 18 January 2018 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter "the Office") issued a decision, by which it imposed a fine in the amount of (...)

The German Competition Authority closes proceeding on the conditions of supply for raw milk in a case against Germany’s largest dairy (Deutsche Milchkontor)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceeding against DMK dairy discontinued* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued its proceeding on the conditions of supply for raw milk which was conducted as a sample case against Germany’s largest dairy, Deutsche Milchkontor eG. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "We have (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens a procedure against a company suspected of abuse of dominance in the mediation services market through online platforms (Dante International)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council analyses a possible abuse of dominant position of Dante International SA* The Competition Council opened an investigation on a possible abuse of dominant position by Dante International SA on the mediation services market through online platforms in Romania. Dante (...)

Mergers

The Belgian Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of garages for maintenance and repairs of trucks (Kant / Volvo)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA authorises conditionally the acquisition of garages of the group Kant by Volvo Group Belgium* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has authorised on 31 January 2018 the acquisition of garages of Kant NV by Volvo Group Belgium NV. (...)

The US Federal Trade Commission increases notification thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and Clayton Act Section 8
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced revised thresholds for Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR) pre-merger notifications on January 26, 2018. These increased thresholds will become effective in late February or early March. These new thresholds apply to any (...)

The US Federal Trade Commission announces the annual changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act notification thresholds
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
On January 26, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act notification thresholds. The FTC is required by law to revise the jurisdictional thresholds annually, based on the change in gross national product. Accordingly, the 2018 (...)

The EU Commission refers back a merger to the Polish Competition Authority in the pork meat sector (Pini Polonia / Smithfield)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission refers the acquisition of Pini Polonia by Smithfield to the Polish competition authority* The European Commission has referred the proposed transaction between Smithfield Foods of the US and Pini Polonia of Poland to the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (...)

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine issues an explanatory note after the adoption of the Law of Ukraine which improved control over mergers in terms of sanctions-related transactions
Marchenko Danevych (Kiev)
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Marchenko Danevych (Kiev)
With the armed conflict lasting on the Ukrainian territory, economic and business interests are in need of protection as never before. One of the measures recently taken in this regard was to ensure that neither individuals, nor undertakings, placed under conflict-related sanctions, are able to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines a company for failure to provide information in a merger context (DOM Polska)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Dom Polska - decision of the UOKiK* The DOM Polska company has failed to provide information on a contemplated concentration scheme as requested by the President of UOKiK. The concentration scheme involved the takeover of control over LOB by ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems. The behaviour of the (...)

Advocate General Wahl excludes gun-jumping in a case involving a takeover in the auditing sector (Ernst & Young)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Gun-jumping rules prevent companies, subject to the obligation to notify, from completing a merger or acquisition, in whole or in part, prior to obtaining the approval from the relevant Competition Authorities. In May 2014, Ernst & Young (EY) acquisition of KPMG’s Danish unit was approved (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines two companies for implementing a merger before authorization (CRH Ciment / Comnord)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned 2 companies for implementing a concentration* The Competition Council applied fines of 3,056,314 lei (approx. € 655,904) to the companies CRH Ciment (România) SA and Comnord SA for the implementation of an economic concentration before its authorization by (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court upholds a Commission’s decision ordering the recovery of an illegal State aid (Brussels South Charleroi Airport)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The General Court of the EU has dismissed the appeal filed by Brussels South Charleroi Airport (“BSCA”) against a 2014 Commission decision whereby Belgium was ordered to recover illegal State aid granted to BSCA. In its decision, the Commission found that a series of measures adopted by the (...)

Procedures

The Italian Supreme Court upholds the class action ruling of the Court of Appeal of Milan on misleading advertising (Voden)
Jones Day (Milano)
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Jones Day (Munich)
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Jones Day (Paris)
The Situation: On January 31, 2018, the Italian Supreme Court ruled on the first Italian product-related class action promoted by a consumers’ association. The Result: The Court upheld the consumer’s class action claim regarding the unlawful advertising of a medical device. Looking Ahead: The (...)

Regulatory

The Supreme Court of India reverses appellate tribunal’s decision and upholds Indian Competition Authority’s interpretation of the Competition Act resulting in fine for regional TV Multi System Operator (Fastway Transmission)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Supreme Court upholds CCI’s interpretation of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act* The Supreme Court vide its judgement dated January 24, 2018 has set aside the COMPAT decision dated May 2, 2014 in which, the COMPAT while dismissing the CCI’s order has held that a denial of market access as envisaged (...)

The EU Commission issues new requirements to ensure the independence of payment card schemes and processing entities (Interchange Fee Regulation)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Competition: Commission welcomes new rules that benefit consumers by promoting more competition in processing of card payments* The European Commission has issued new requirements that ensure independence of payment card schemes and processing entities, to enhance competition in the card (...)

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