July 2012

Anticompetitive practices

The UK OFT issues statement of objections against two online travel agents and one hotels group for alleged restrictive practices (Booking.com / Expedia / Intercontinental Hotels)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading issues Statement of Objections against Booking.com, Expedia and Intercontinental Hotels Group* On 31 July 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections alleging that Booking. com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority finds that several undertakings active in the post-tensioning and geotechnical systems have been sharing contracts and customers between themselves (Civil Engineering Field)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Cartel in Civil Engineering Field* On 31 July 2012, the CNC Council has adopted a resolution finding that several undertakings active in the post-tensioning and geotechnical systems have been sharing contracts and customers between (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina evaluates a joint venture agreement in the cable TV market under the national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU (BHB Cable, ELTA-MT)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 31 July 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) established that the joint venture agreement concluded by the two cable TV providers for the operation of the common cable network did not constitute an anti-competitive agreement under the national equivalent of Article (...)

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies the meaning of the term “decision” in Section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
King’s College (London)
The Court of Appeal, in its decision in Deutsche Bahn AG and others v Morgan Crucible plc, has clarified the meaning of the term “decision” in section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 for the purpose of applying the limitation period for bringing follow-on action claims for damages in the (...)

The EU Commission sends statement of objections to pharmaceutical companies over “pay-for-delay” agreements (Lundbeck, Servier)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 25 July 2012, the European Commission announced that it had sent a formal Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck over its conclusion of so-called “pay-for-delay” agreements with four generic producers of citalopram, a antidepressant medicine. In its SO, (...)

The EU Commission sends SOs to more than a dozen companies in connection with investigations in the pharmaceutical sector (Perindopril)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission issues Statements of Objections against several pharmaceutical companies* On 25 and 30 July 2012, in relation to the Citalopram case and the Perindopril case respectively, the European Commission sent statements of objections (“SOs”) to more than a dozen companies in (...)

The EU Commission sends SOs to more than a dozen companies in connection with investigations in the pharmaceutical sector (Citalopram)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission issues Statements of Objections against several pharmaceutical companies* On 25 and 30 July 2012, in relation to the Citalopram case and the Perindopril case respectively, the European Commission sent statements of objections (“SOs”) to more than a dozen companies in (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues an interim measures order prohibiting a collective boycott by a pharmacists association (Infant Milk)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 27 July 2012, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an interim measures order prohibiting the implementation of a collective boycott relating to infant milk products of certain companies. The boycott was adopted by the (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency finds no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, Tele2)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
The Croatian Competition Agency adopted on 26 July 2012 a decision finding no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, and Tele2). The proceedings were initiated by the Agency in September 2011 and the (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition adopts commitment decision concerning wholesale fuel market (Lukoil, Nafteks Petrol, Rompetrol and OMV)
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Commission on Protection of Competition adopts Commitment Decision concerning Wholesale Fuel Market * On 26 July 2012, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted a commitment decision in the case of Lukoil Bulgaria, Nafteks Petrol and Rompetrol Bulgaria and OMV (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes nominal fines on the participants of a price-fixing agreement on the bread market (Craftsmen Association of Osijek)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 26 July 2012 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established that the Craftsmen Association of Osijek (UOOS) and its individual members have entered into an anti-competitive agreement with an objective to fix the retail price of white bread and thus infringed the national equivalent of (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on the restriction of competition through vertical agreements in the context of public bids
Commeo
The German Federal Court of Justice (the “Court”) has ruled in its decision of 25 July 2012 that the organiser of a public tender can violate Sec. 298 (1) of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch - “StGB”) by organizing together with participating bidders an offer which is based on an unlawful (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of automatic doors (Assa Abloy Entrance Systems, Blasi)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 25 July 2012, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling around € 2.4 million on eight manufacturers of automatic door systems, their trade association and one individual for their involvement in a price-fixing cartel. The parties (...)

A US District Court allows a plea of nolo contendere, while retaining full discretion at sentencing to impose any penalty and fine against a price-fixing conspiracy engaged by an air cargo carrier (Florida West)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). US District Court blows full time on cartel proceedings against Florida West* The District Court has made the rare decision to accept a plea of no contest from airline Florida West, ending the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority settles an alleged cartel case (Metro, Billa, Kaufland, Picadilly, Maxima, HIT)
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov
On 19 July 2012 the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (“CPC”) handed down a commitments decision (the “Commitments Decision”) and closed an investigation for alleged horizontal coordination of pricing and marketing policy by six retailers – “Metro Cash & Carry Bulgaria” EOOD (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeals against General Court judgment in Spanish raw tobacco cartel case (Alliance One International and Cetarsa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 and 19 July 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgments dismissing in their entirety appeals brought by Compañía Española de Tabaco en Rama (“Cetarsa”), Alliance One International Inc. (“AOI”), and Standard Commercial Tobacco Co. Inc. (“SCTC”) against the General (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeal in copper fittings cartel case (Kaimer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 July 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal by Kaimer GmbH & Co. Holding KG (“Kaimer”), Sanha Kaimer GmbH & Co. KG (“Sanha Kaimer”) and Sanha Italia Srl (“Sanha Italia”) against an earlier General Court (“GC”) judgment which had partially reduced fines (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines body representing audiovisual media device producers for restricting parallel imports (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Phononet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 16 July 2012, the Competition Authority of Switzerland (“COMCO”) levied a fine of CHF3.5 million (around € 3 million) on the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI Switzerland”), as well as a fine of CHF20,000 (around € 16,000) on Phononet AG (“Phononet”), (...)

A US Court of Appeals applies a quick look rule of reason and rejects scope of the patent test when considering whether pharma patent settlement violates the antitrust laws (Schering-Plough)
Hyman, Phelps & McNamara
In our post, “Hot Ticket Item – Patent Settlement Agreement Challenges,” we provided a round-up of the latest and greatest from ongoing litigation concerning patent settlement agreements (or “pay-for-delay” agreements if you prefer that term – we don’t). It’s only been about three weeks since that (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects the “scope of the patent” test in favor of a “quick look” rule of reason analysis when reviewing reverse payment settlements between patent holders and would be generic competitors in the pharmaceutical industry (Schering-Plough)
Vinson & Elkins (Dallas)
Citing the dire consequences for companies seeking to comply with antitrust law in the wake of a direct circuit split, major pharmaceutical makers are asking the Supreme Court to review a Third Circuit decision that declared settlement payments by brand-name pharmaceutical companies to (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejects Scope-of-Patent test in antitrust challenge to patent settlements (K-Dur)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Third Circuit Rejects Scope-of-Patent Test in Antitrust Challenge to K-Dur Patent Settlement* Reverse payments settlements between patent holders and would-be generic competitors in the pharmaceutical industry should be reviewed under a “quick look” rule of reason analysis based on the economic (...)

A US Court of Appeals holds that although reverse payment settlements between brand-name and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers are not illegal per se, they are presumptively unlawful under the rule of reason (Schering-Plough)
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Washington)
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Hooper Hathaway
On July 16, 2012, in an opinion authored by Judge Sloviter, the Third Circuit issued its decision in the K-Dur “reverse payments” case, holding that although such settlements are not illegal per se, they are presumptively unlawful under the rule of reason. In so doing it rejected the approach (...)

The US Third Circuit, by adopting a quick look rule of reason analysis for evaluating the legality of reverse payment settlements, rejects the prevailing "scope of patent" test and creates a Circuit split on this issue (Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company, Schering, Upsher-Smith)
Gill Jennings & Every LLP
On 16 July 2012, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the scope of the patent test used by the New Jersey District Court in concluding that the patent settlement agreements (“Agreements”), providing for payments from Schering-Plough Corporation (“Schering”) (subsequently acquired by Merck (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust suit involving alleged price-fixing of ATM fees (ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
,
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Brick By Illinois Brick: Ninth Circuit Builds High Wall For Indirect Purchaser Suits* The Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust suit involving alleged price-fixing of ATM fees, holding that the plaintiffs were indirect purchasers within (...)

The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds first instance decision on competition authority’s pharmaceutical companies case (Baxter – Médico Farmacêutica and Glintt)
European Commission
Portugal: The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds First Instance Decision on Competition Authority’s Pharmaceutical Companies Case * On 10 July 2012, the Lisbon Court of Appeal (2nd instance Court) rejected the appeal lodged by Baxter– Médico Farmacêutica, Lda., and Glintt – Business Solutions, Lda., (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments from 11 banks to abolish interbank fees applied to direct debits, interbank orders and other non-cash payments (BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, LCL)
European Commission
France: French Banks’ Commitments to suppress inter-bank Fees applied to direct Debits, interbank Orders and other non-cash Payments made binding by the Autorité* On 5 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) accepted commitments from 11 banks, including the national central bank (...)

The German Competition Authority fines four rail manufacturers and suppliers for anticompetitive behaviors (ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik, Stahlberg Roensch, TSTG Schienen Technik and Voestalpine BWG)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes first Fines in Rail Case* On 5 July 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 124 500 000 on four rail manufacturers and suppliers. The fines sanction the anticompetitive behavior of the following companies: ThyssenKrupp GfT (...)

The French NCA issues a decision making compulsory the commitments of several French banks in order to abolish progressively the main interbank fees on direct debits, interbank payment orders and other non-cash means of payment (BNP Paribas, Banque de France, CIC, Société Générale)
White & Case (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Following a commitment procedure, the French NCA issued a decision on 5 July 2012 making compulsory the commitments submitted by several French banks (Banque de France, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit du Nord, LCL, BPCE, HSBC, Banque Postale, Crédit Mutuel, CIC) and their representative (...)

The Irish Parliament amends the competition act strengthening competition law enforcement by providing new and increased sanctions and penalties
Queen’s University Belfast
On 3 July 2012 Ireland’s Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 (“the 2012 Act”) came into force. This Act, as its name indicates, amends the existing Competition Act2002 (“the 2002 Act”) to enhance Ireland’s anti-cartel regime through augmentations to the criminal and private enforcement regimes, and (...)

Unilateral Practices

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards exemplary damages against conduct calculated to make a profit exceeding the compensation payable (2 Travel Group / Cardiff City)
University of Dundee
Exemplary Damages in Competition Litigation* Much ink has been spilt following 2 Travel v. Cardiff Bus and Albion Water v. Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig on the subject of competition litigation in Europe. An axiom with varying justification is that European competition litigation must not embrace (...)

The Belgium Competition Council fines French media distribution company for having abused its dominant position through its system of rebates (Presstalis)
European Commission
Belgium: Fine imposed for Abuse of Dominant Position in Export and Distribution of French Magazines in Belgium* On 30 July 2012, the Competition Council (the Council) sanctioned the French company Presstalis (Presstalis) for having abused its dominant position between 2002 and 2004 through its (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines rail incumbent for abusing its dominant position in the markets for passenger rail transport (Ferrovie dello Stato)
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority fines Rail Incumbent FS for Abuse of dominant Position by hindering Access to Passenger Rail Services * On 25 July 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned the State-owned group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) for a violation of Article 102 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the incumbent railway undertaking for hindering the entry of a new competitor in the rail passenger transport market (Arenaways)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Arenaways case by a decision made on 25 July 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined the Italian publicly-owned railway undertaking, the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) group, for infringing Article 102 TFEU. FS put in place a complex unified strategy aimed at hindering the (...)

The President of the Polish NCA finds that a professional road transport association has restricted competition by imposing differentiated charges for distributing TIR vouchers (Association of International Road Carriers)
Orange (Warsaw)
The Association of International Road Carriers (AIRC), the largest Polish road transport industry association bringing together four thousand entities, has the exclusive right to distribute TIR vouchers in Poland. As AIRC website suggests, the AIRC members own almost all of the 100 thousand (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against US software company to investigate possible non-compliance with browser choice commitments (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 July 2012, the Commission announced that it had opened proceedings against Microsoft in order to investigate whether the company has failed to comply with its 2009 commitments to offer users a choice screen that provides another means of allowing users to choose their preferred web (...)

The EU Commission announces new market testing of proposal by international news media agency regarding its licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 July 2012, the Commission announced that it was consulting interested third parties on a new proposal from Thomson Reuters to address concerns that its licensing practices in relation to Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) may be in breach of Article 102 TFEU. The proposal is intended (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by French media distribution company and puts an end to its investigations in the press distribution sector (Presstalis)
White & Case (Paris)
Summary of the case In a decision issued on July 12, 2012, the French Competition Authority (hereafter “the FCA”) accepted the commitments proposed by Presstalis, thereby putting an end to a procedure following complaints for abuse of dominant position, without imposing any fine. The (...)

The EU Commission publishes commitments from Czech energy company to resolve alleged infringements on the market for the generation and wholesale supply of electricity (CEZ)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 July 2012, the Commission published in the Official Journal proposed commitments by Czech energy company CEZ to resolve alleged abuses of a dominant position under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003. The move follows from dawn raids in November 2009 and the official opening of an (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal imposes exemplary damages in a predatory pricing case in the bus services market (2 Travel / Cardiff Bus)
Sidley Austin (London)
2 Travel v Cardiff Bus – Making Commitments in Dominance Cases Less Attractive?* In early July 2012, the UK’s specialist competition court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”), adopted a judgment (“Judgment”) in which it awarded a claimant (2 Travel) exemplary damages in relation to predatory (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines IP rights collecting society for abuse of dominant position (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) for Abuse of Dominant Position* In its Resolution of 3 July 2012, the Council of the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) decided that SGAE (IP rights collecting society) had abused its (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission conditionally approves acquisition of an aviation equipment company (Goodrich / United Technologies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 July 2012, following a Phase II investigation, the European Commission granted conditional approval to the acquisition of Goodrich Corporation by United Technologies Corporation (UTC), both US-based companies active in the production and sale of aviation equipment on a worldwide (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the television sector (Canal Plus / Direct 8)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Direct 8 and Direct Star by Vivendi and Groupe Canal Plus, subject to conditions* On 23 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence cleared the acquisition (...)

The Albanian Competition Authority submits for comments new draft guidelines on the control of concentrations involving undertakings
Boga & Associates
,
Boga & Associates
Albania: New Draft Guidelines on the Control of Concentrations Involving Undertakings* The Albanian Competition Authority recently circulated for comments its new draft guidelines entitled “On the Control of Concentrations involving Undertakings” (“the Guidelines”). Key highlights Law No. 9121, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears an airline merger by imposing a slot divestiture remedy (Alitalia/Wind Jet)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a second phase investigation decision the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently cleared the Alitalia acquisition of a low cost carrier, Wind Jet. To deal with the post merger dominant position of Alitalia on the Milan-Catania, Rome-Catania and Milan-Palermo routes, the ICA imposed (...)

The French Competition Authority fines meat processing company € 1 M for breaching a commitment imposed by conditional clearance of its acquisition of a company (Bigard / Socopa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 July 2012, the French Competition Authority fined meat processing company Bigard Group € 1 million for breaching a commitment imposed in the Authority’s 2009 conditional clearance decision of Bigard Group’s acquisition of Socopa Viandes. The decision had cleared the transaction subject (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a company active in the slaughtering and meat processing sector for breaching an important commitment conditioning a merger clearance (Bigard / Socopa)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence sanctions the Bigard Group for breaching an important commitment conditioning the takeover of Socopa* The Autorité de la concurrence, noting that the Bigard Group failed to fulfil (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the financial instrument market (Tokyo Stock Exchange Group / Osaka Securities Exchange)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Closed its Review on the Proposed Business Combination between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. and Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Ltd* Upon receipt of the notification of a plan regarding the proposed business combination between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. and Osaka Securities (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority confirms the application of merger control rules to foreign-to-foreign transactions in a merger case concerning two banks (Sberbank and DenizBank)
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
,
Kinstellar
On 4 July 2012, the Serbian Competition Authority (the “Competition Authority”) issued a decision approving a merger between Sberbank of Russia, a company with its registered seat at Moscow, the Russian Federation (“Sberbank”), and DenizBank A.S., a company with its registered seat at Istanbul, (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau clears merger in the securities sector leaving Canada with a regulated monopoly stock exchange (Maple/TMX)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Maple Approval Leaves Canada with Regulated Monopoly Stock Exchange* In a surprise move, the Competition Bureau cleared the Maple Group’s bid to acquire TMX Group, Alpha Group, and Canadian Depository Services on July 4, 2012. On the same day, the OSC issued a recognition order regulating the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, following an in-depth examination, in the table wine sector (Castel / Patriarche)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Following an in-depth examination, the Autorité de la concurrence has given unconditional clearance for Castel’s acquisition of six companies in the Patriarche group* The Autorité has just cleared the (...)

The Italian Prime Minister adopts new antitrust and competition law rules
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
,
Jones Day (Milano)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s governmental decree on liberalization has recently become law, introducing a number of changes to the Italian antitrust and competition rules that had been originally laid down by the office of the Italian Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission finds that the lower rate of the air travel tax for flights to a destination located no more than 300 km from Dublin airport constitutes illegal state aid (Irish air travel tax rates)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Taxes and Tax Reductions on Air Travel: Selectivity and Compatibility* This posting examines an Irish and a German measure concerning reduction in passenger taxes. As to be expected, an important issue for both measures was whether the reduction was (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission decision for interpreting thresholds in guidelines on national regional aid as a de minimis rule (Smurfit Kappa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 10 July 2012, the General Court disagreed with the European Commission which had held that the formal investigation procedure provided for in Article 108 (2) TFEU should not be initiated when the thresholds relating to market shares and to the increase in production (...)

The Dutch Parliament adopts new rules of conduct for the State when carrying out economic activities
European Commission
The Netherlands: New Rules of Conduct for the State when carrying out Economic Activities* On 1 July 2012, new legislation came into force in the Netherlands outlining the rules of conduct for the State (national and local governments) when it engages in economic activities and competes with (...)

Procedures

The England and Wales Court of Appeal requires for reasons of proportionality and fairness the setting aside of the multiplier raising the level of fines in the present case (Interclass & Anor /OFT)
Blackstone Chambers
Fairness between infringers: the need for consistency in punishments* Competition lawyers may want to brush up on their criminal law. The Court of Appeal’s recent judgment in Interclass Holdings v OFT [2012] EWCA Civ 1056 borrows criminal law principles to guide the calculation of penalties (...)

The UK OFT welcomes the proposals for reforms in private enforcement of competition law advanced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills
Blackstone Chambers
OFT welcomes DBIS proposals for reforms in private enforcement of competition law* Many readers will now be familiar with the proposals for the reform of private competition claims launched by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (‘DBIS’) in April 2012 (‘Private actions in (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal allows the claimants to proceed with an action for damages under Section 47A in consideration of price fixing of electrical and mechanical carbon and graphite products (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
London School of Economics and Political Science
CAT unlimited: the Deutsche Bahn decision* Where the Commission has issued a decision finding several addressees liable for the same infringement, amongst the more important tactical questions for a claimant in the UK are: where to sue the addressees and when? The decision of the Court of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on commitment decisions in antitrust cases and in cases of practices infringing collective consumer interests
European Commission
Poland: New Guidelines concerning Commitment Decisions* On 26 July 2012, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) published Guidelines on commitment decisions in antitrust cases and in cases of practices infringing collective consumer interests (the Guidelines). The (...)

The Spanish Government passes an urgent royal decree law by means of which some of the rules related to price reductions are amended
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Last 14 July 2012 the Spanish Government passed an urgent Royal Decree Law by means of which some of the rules related to price reductions included in the Retail Trade Act (Law 7/1996) are amended. On this regard, the new Royal Decree Law, which comes into force on September 1st 2012, (...)

The EU Court of Justice further defines the status of public authorities under EU competition law in commercial registry database case (Compass)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a preliminary ruling delivered on 12 July 2012, the Court of Justice of the EU ("ECJ") provided important guidance on the status, under EU competition law, of public authorities that maintain a commercial registry database of companies and that make data contained therein publicly (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority releases report monitoring automotive fuel distribution market
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia releases Report monitoring Automotive Fuel Distribution Market in Spain* Pursuant to its competition advocacy function, Spain’s antitrust authority, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC), has released on 4 July 2012 a new Report monitoring (...)

Regulatory

The England and Wales High Court holds that even if the need for police services arises from a private event, policing does not constitute a special service when it is performed on land that is not owned, leased or controlled by the event organiser (Leeds United Football Club / The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police)
University of Cambridge
Regulating charges for special police services* Police services are generally performed for the benefit of the public at large and provided for out of public funds. However, the police also have the power (under s.25 of the Police Act 1996) to provide “special police services” for which they can (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal rules that it was neither appropriate nor necessary to align the resolution of referred disputes to English common law causes of action and remedies (BT)
Blackstone Chambers
As long as the regulator’s foot* The Court of Appeal’s remarks in BT v Ofcom (Partial Private Circuits) make Ofcom’s dispute-resolution power a still more distinctive alternative to court litigation, and in the right circumstances a more attractive one. The appeal arose out of a dispute, brought (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the participation of distributed load-shedding operators in the electricity balancing mechanism
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has issued reservations concerning the arrangements proposed by RTE in relation to the participation of certain operators in the electricity Balancing Mechanism* The French (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal concludes that the respondent acted properly within its powers and in accordance with its duties in rejecting the plaintiff’s notice as not being fair and reasonable (Telefonica O2 / British Telecommunications)
Blackstone Chambers
Keeping the CAT in its bag: the 08 Appeal* Ofcom will likely be delighted by the result in the Court of Appeal’s decision in Telefonica O2 UK Limited and others v British Telecommunications PLC [2012] EWCA Civ 1002, in which the Regulator appeared as an interested party. Not only does the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues opinion on draft decree regarding supply of medicinal products for human use
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence issues opinion on draft decree regarding supply of medicinal products for human use* On 20 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published an opinion upon request of the French Minister of Social Affairs and Health on a draft Decree (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the waste management and materials recycling sectors
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence confirms the need for PROs to implement transparency measures, owing to the influential power they have within the framework of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) sectors* (...)

Public sector

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court issues two decisions concerning the principle of transparency in the selection of the most economic advantageous tender under public procurement law (Fidelitas, I-Faber)
University of Turin
I. Introduction By two different judgments handed down in July this year the grand chamber (Adunanza plenaria) of the Italian Consiglio di Stato, broadly corresponding to the assemblée of the Conseil d’Etat, addressed a number of questions concerning the evaluation of the most economic (...)

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