July 2003

Anticompetitive practices

A US Court of Appeals holds that a reverse payment agreement between a brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturer and a generic would-be competitor is a per se antitrust violation because the agreement exceeded the scope of the patent (Cardizem CD Antitrust Litigation)
United First Partners
Introduction In re Cardizem CD Antitrust Litigation (“Cardizem”) is one of the first in a long line of cases challenging the so-called reverse payment or pay-for-delay settlement agreements between the pharmaceutical companies. In Cardizem, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held (...)

The US FTC holds that an agreement between two joint venture partners not to advertise or discount directly competing products violated s. 5 of the FTC Act (PolyGram/Warner)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
It is said that hard cases make bad law, but sometimes easy cases can make even worse law, especially when theory gets in the way of common sense. A case in point is the Federal Trade Commission’s Three Tenors decision last summer, in which the Commission held that an agreement between two (...)

The European Commission adopts a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of an international football tournament (UEFA Champions League)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Football: joint selling of media rights"* 1. Introduction On 23 July 2003, the Commission adopted a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of the UEFA Champions League. The Commission concluded that the joint selling of the TV, internet and mobile telephone content (...)

The European Commission fines Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instrumental for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe (Yamaha)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission fines Yamaha for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe"* On 16 July 2003, the Commission adopted a decision finding that Yamaha Corporation Japan, Yamaha Europa GmbH, Yamaha Musica Italia s.p.a., Yamaha Musique France S.A. and Yamaha Scandinavia AB have (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues its recommendations against participants in bidding for water meters (Tokyo Metropolitan Government)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
JFTC renders recommendation to bidders for water meters procured by Tokyo Metropolitan Government* he JFTC, after conducting an investigation into bidders for water meters procured by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, today issued a recommendation to 19 companies against violation of Section 3 (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority sanctions a laboratory for having abused of its dominant position in the market for certain medicinal products intended for hospitals (Sandoz laboratories)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Laboratoires SANDOZ sanctioned for abusing their monopoly in the cyclosporin market.* In a decision dated 24th July, 2003, the Conseil de la concurrence imposed sanctions on laboratoires SANDOZ (which has now (...)

The EU Commission adopts a decision under Article 82 against French internet provider’s pricing policy for ADSL services (Wanadoo)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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French Ministry of Economic, Industrial and Numerical Affairs
"Two Commission decisions on price abuse in the telecommunications sector"* During the first half of the year 2003, the Commission adopted two formal prohibition decisions pursuant to Article 82 EC-Treaty regarding abusive pricing for the provision of telecommunications services. Those are the (...)

The Greek Competition Authority considers that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property has abused its dominant position on the market for the administration of the intellectual property rights of Greek and foreign composers (AEPI)
University College London
A number of Greek composers and the Association of Greek composers complained to the Hellenic Competition Commission (Competition Commission) that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), a profit making organization of collective administration and distribution of (...)

A US Court of Appeals rules that marginal cost rather than average variable cost ("AVC") may be an appropriate cost measure in predatory pricing cases (AMR)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
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Stanford University
The Decision in AMR Between 1995 and 1997, several low cost carriers entered certain airline routes between Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and other cities that American Airlines serves and undercut American’s fares. American responded to the new competition by lowering prices and increasing (...)

Mergers

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the market for haircare products (Procter & Gamble / Wella)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 30 July the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition by the American corporation Procter & Gamble of the German company Wella AG subject to a package of commitments. Procter & Gamble is an international (...)

The European Commission authorizes the acquisition of joint control by two investment companies of German based academic and professional publisher (Candover/Cinven/BertelsmannSpringer)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 29 July the Commission decided to authorise the acquisition of joint control by the investment companies Candover and Cinven of the German based academic and professional publisher BertelsmannSpringer. The transaction (...)

The European Commission clears the acquisition of the vitamins and fine chemicals division of a Swiss pharmaceutical company by a Dutch company after a detailed investigation (Roche/DSM)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 23 July 2003, the European Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the Vitamins and Fine Chemicals division of Swiss company Roche by Dutch-based company DSM after a detailed investigation. The Commission had (...)

The European Commission refuses the request of the French authorities for the partial referral of a merger case in the publishing edition in France (Vivendi Universal Publishing/Lagardere)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 14 May 2003, the French authorities lodged an application asking that the planned acquisition of Vivendi Universal Publishing (VUP) by the French conglomerate Lagardère be referred to them under Article 9 of the Merger (...)

The European Commission authorizes an acquisition in the mining industry concluding that the change from joint to sole control does not give rise to new competition concerns (Caemi/CVRD)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* In July the Commission authorised CVRD‘s proposed acquisition of sole control of Caemi, currently controlled by the Japanese iron ore trader Mitsui and CVRD. CVRD acquired joint control of Caemi as a result of a (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority clears a merger in the food oil markets subject to various remedies including limitation of the duration of the exclusive sale and distribution agreements (Unikom/Unilever-SEEF)
Esin
The operation Unilever is a company incorporated in Holland which is active in Turkey through its various subsidiaries including Unikom. Unikom is engaged in the production of corn oil, sunflower oil and olive oil. On the other hand, SEEF is an affiliate of Soros Investment Capital and it had (...)

The European Commission clears a merger between two Japanese manufacturers of cameras, photocopiers and other imaging products (Minolta/Konica)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 11 July the Commission decided to clear the proposed acquisition of Minolta by Konica, two Japanese manufacturers of cameras, photocopiers and other imaging products. Both Konica and Minolta develop and manufacture (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the sector of telecommunications (Telecom Italia/Megabeam Italia)
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Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation On 7 August 2003 the Competition Authority approved the acquisition by Telecom Italia S.p.A. (Telecom) of Megabeam Italia S.p.A. (Megabeam), a provider of R-LAN (radio local area network) infrastructures and wi-fi (Wireless Fidelity) services, subject to conditions and (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of First Instance delivers a judgment on the notion of State aid addressing the issue of the compensation for services of general economic interest (Altmark)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG MOVE
"Compensation for services of general economic interest: some thoughts on the Altmark ruling"* 1. Introduction With the Altmark judgement, the European Court of Justice has uttered the last word in a longstanding dispute: is compensation for services of general economic interest (SGEI) a (...)

Procedures

Competition law in Albania
Këllezi Legal (Geneva)
Introduction Albania first adopted the law on the protection of competition in 1995 . The law included antitrust rules, unfair competition provisions, and rules on consumer protection. It created the basis for a competition policy in Albania, although it included numerous sectoral exemptions, (...)

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