July 2015

Anticompetitive practices

The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejects a request for a new trial to challenge a “pay-for-delay” agreement (Nexium)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Judgment for Drug Companies Unlikely the End of the Road in Nexium Case* The federal district court in Boston has rejected a request from purchasers of AstraZeneca LP’s heartburn medication Nexium for a new trial to challenge a “reverse payment” or “pay-for-delay” agreement between AstraZeneca and (...)

The Judicial District in Moscow adds several fines on tenderers for bid-rigging (Publicity-Building)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court added to a list of fines for a bid-rigger* The peace justice of No. 473 Judicial District in Moscow held No. 2 project, “Publicity-Building” Ltd. administratively liable under Article 20.25 of the Code on Administrative Violations (failure to pay an administrative fine), The Court fined (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by nine fuel trading companies to address competition concerns in the retail fuel market (EKO)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by 9 fuel trading companies to address competition concerns in the retail fuel market* By a unanimous decision, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) accepted commitments proposed by 9 wholesale fuel companies, namely “HELLENIC FUELS S.A” (former BP (...)

The EU Court of Justice receives an appeal from an undertaking part to a cartel settlement against EU General Court judgement in the animal feed phosphates cartel case (Timab)
Sidley Austin (London)
Timab litigates settlement all the way to the CJEU* The European Commission (“Commission”) introduced its settlement procedure for cartel cases back in 2008. The main aims? To make life easier for the Commission and to keep cartel cases out of the overburdened EU Courts. But Timab – a party (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority fines three tenderers for bid rigging in the market of construction of healthcare facility in Košice region
Slovak Competition Authority
AMO imposed a fine of EUR 2,55 mil. for a cartel in construction of healthcare facility* On July 7, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Cartels issued a decision imposing fines totalling EUR 2 547 551 on three undertakings for coordination of the procedure in the (...)

The EU Commission issues a statement of objection against companies offering pay-TV services for geographical market sharing (Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros)
University of East Anglia - CCP
The European Commission’s Battle Over Pay-TV Services: Can Segmenting the EU Market Be Justified?* Yesterday the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections to Sky UK and six major US film studios, taking the preliminary view that restrictions put in place to prevent consumers located (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 21 car manufacturers and distributers and two consulting firms for exchanging commercially sensitive and strategic information (Fabricantes de automóviles)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
The CNMC (Spain’s National Authority for Markets and Competition) Council issues a 171 million euros fine against 21 automobile manufacturing and distributing companies and two consulting companies for exchanging commercially sensitive and strategic information. File resolution S/0482/13 (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines undertakings for an agreement and concerted practices during the purchase of soccer broadcasting rights (Telefónica / DTS)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties. Defendants: DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (DTS) is a company specialising in the management of the platform of satellite pay-TV Canal+. Grupo Telefónica is a group of companies specialising in telecommunications formed by the parent company Telefónica, S.A. and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sends a warning to the glass lobby in order it do not violate the antimonopoly law (Steklosoyuz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS warns the glass lobby not to violate the antimonopoly law* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) warned companies in the glass industry not to exercise actions that can result in violating the antimonopoly law. The warning was issued upon publishing the Protocol of the (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to several film studios companies suspected to have concluded anticompetitive agreements (Paramount Pictures)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission sends Statement of Objections on cross-border provision of pay-TV services available in UK and Ireland* The European Commission has today sent a Statement of Objections to Sky UK and six major US film studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and (...)

The UK Patents Courts considers Articles 101 and 102 TFEU in FRAND dispute relating to standard essential patents (Unwired Planet / Huawei / Samsung / Google / Ericsson)
University College London
Give us a FRAND: Unwired Planet v Huawei & Samsung*On 29 January, Mr Justice Birss gave judgment in the second UK patent trial between Unwired Planet, Samsung and Huawei, holding that two of Unwired Planet’s patents are invalid for obviousness. The case concerns patents that were declared (...)

The Philippine Congress passes the Competition Act that aims to safeguard fair and competitive market conditions
DLA Piper (New York)
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DLA Piper (Palo Alto)
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DLA Piper (New York)
The Philippine Congress has passed, and President Benigno Aquino III is expected to sign into law, the Philippine Competition Act. The law, which aims to safeguard fair and competitive market conditions, marks the nation’s first foray into antitrust legislation. Under the new law, practices (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority imposes fines on several transportation companies for price-fixing agreements (OTEZ)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE sanctions passenger transportation companies in the state of Chiapas for absolute monopolistic practices* The Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE) Board of Commissionerssanctioned 7 passenger transportation companiesin the state of Chiapas with a total fine of $2.78 (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines several companies for bid-rigging concerning electronic maintenance market (Vostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS fined cartel participants over 109 million RUB* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) fined “Vostok” Ltd., “Dorogi Sibiri” Ltd., “No. 363 DEP” OJSC and “No. 364 DEP” OJSC for bid-rigging at open auctions for maintenance and repair of М-54 “Yenisei” highway. The total fines exceeded 109 (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California upholds assignment of antitrust claims to indirect purchasers (United Food / Teikoku Pharma)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Northern District of California Upholds Assignment of Antitrust Claims to Indirect Purchasers* Portions of a reverse payment suit against Endo Pharmaceuticals and others were recently dismissed by Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California. The case [1] was brought by (...)

The German Competition Authority issues its report on divestitures in the rolled asphalt industry
German Competition Authority
Bundeskartellamt publishes report on divestitures in the rolled asphalt industry* Today the Bundeskartellamt published a report on the state of proceedings it has initiated to break up anti-competitive company interlocks in the German rolled asphalt sector. The report provides an overview of (...)

ECJ Advocate General Szpunar issues opinion on circumstances where the use of an online booking system by travel agents may amount to a concerted practice (Eturas)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
EU Court of Justice’s Advocate General issues opinion on circumstances where the use of an online booking system by travel agents may amount to a concerted practice* On 16 July 2015 Advocate General Szupnar handed down his opinion following a request for a preliminary ruling by the Court of (...)

ECJ Advocate General Szpunar encourages the EU Court of Justice to adopt a strict standard for undertakings to distance themselves from potentially anticompetitive actions by a third party (Eturas)
Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (Amsterdam)
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Pinsent Masons (London)
An advisor to Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU"), is encouraging the CJEU to adopt a strict standard for companies to distance themselves from potentially anticompetitive actions by a third party with which they do business. In a case involving (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes fine on transport company for providing false, inaccurate and incomplete information in the context of an antitrust investigation in the sector of rail freight transport (CP CARGA)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC fines CP Carga for providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC) has imposed a fine of € 100.000,00 on CP CARGA, for providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information further to a request of the AdC, in the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority welcomes the judgment of the EU Court of Justice upholding its interpretation in case of private pension fund (ING Pensii)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms the interpretation of the Competition Council in case of private pension fund in Romania* The Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed the interpretation of the Competition Council on the agreement’s nature to which the private (...)

The German Competition Authority fines weapon suppliers for price-fixing agreements (Bühl, Paar Logistik, Aichachr)
German Competition Authority
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on armaments suppliers on account of price-fixing agreements* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling 1.3 million euros on three suppliers of the Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces), which sell so-called rubber track pads and vibration dampers for (...)

The EU General Court reduces the fines imposed by the Commission on three members of a European pre-stressing steel market cartel (Pre-stressing steel cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 July 2015, the General Court (“GC”) largely upheld the EU Commission’s decision in the pre-stressing steel cartel case in ten judgments on 12 separate appeals brought against the decision. However, the GC reduced the fine imposed on several applicants on the grounds that (i) the Commission (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits joint marketing agreements in the market of coniferous stem wood (Forst BW Baden-Württemberg)
German Competition Authority
Bundeskartellamt prohibits the joint marketing of round timber in Baden-Württemberg* Today the Bundeskartellamt has issued its final decision in the round timber proceedings against the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Via its state company Forst BW Baden-Württemberg has so far marketed wood (...)

The EU Commission fines cargo train operators in cartel settlement (Express Interfracht & Schenker)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Slams Cargo Train Operators With 49 Million Euro Fine In Cartel Settlement* The European Commission (“EC”) today imposed fines totalling 49,154,000 euros on Express Interfracht, part of the Austrian railway company Österreichische Bundesbahnen, and Schenker, a subsidiary of (...)

The UK Financial Conduct Authority publishes its final guidance and policy statement in relation to its approach to enforcement of competition law
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
Introduction On 15 July, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final guidance and policy statement in relation to its approach to enforcement of competition law. The FCA has softened its stance in some respects, following criticism of its proposed approach in a public (...)

The Swaziland Competition Authority imposes administrative fines without any specific provisions providing for it (Eagles Nest)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The Swaziland Competition Commission power to impose administrative fines under spotlight* On Tuesday 14 July 2015, the Swaziland Competition Commission (the “SCC”) Board heard the substantive issues related to the anticompetitive behavior of Eagles Nest and Usuthu Poultry Farm (the “Parties”). (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines several tenderers for bid rigging in the market of timber preparation (Amils)
Competition Council of Latvia
Competition Authority fines 11 tenderers of logging procurement* On 14 July, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia took a decision to fine 11 undertakings for coordinating their tenders with one or several other tenderer in a public procurement of timber preparation. For such actions, the (...)

The Indian Competition Commission decides on whether public sector enterprises constitute a single economic entity (National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance)
Vinod Dhall and Talwar Thakore & Associates
Insurance cartel* The CCI recently issued an order imposing a penalty of USD 105.7 million (approx.) on 4 public sector (owned by the Government of India) insurance companies for indulging in bid rigging. The case was initiated by the CCI on its own motion based on an anonymous letter alleging (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that the Commission can take into account sales of products incorporating cartelised components when calculating the fine for vertically-integrated companies that sell the transformed products in the EEA (InnoLux)
Altius (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
I. Parties InnoLux Corp. (“InnoLux”), the applicant, is the surviving legal entity pursuant to a merger agreement between Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (“CMO”), InnoLux Display Corp. and TPO Displays Corp in 2010. InnoLux is active in the worldwide market for liquid crystal display panels (“LCD (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the cartel decision concerning a tender for allocating fishing grounds in the Primorie region (Aquaresource)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court supported FAS on a case on allocating fishing grounds* On 6 July 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on the cartel case in a tender for allocating fishing grounds in the Primorie region. On (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority closes the investigation it launched ex officio into consumer electronics suppliers and retailers for exchange of information (Samsung / Gold)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that consumer electronics suppliers and retailers did not restrict competition by exchanging information with regard to price increases and decreases. Background Opened ex officio, the (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes a report setting out its provisional findings in a market investigation of the energy sector
Jones Day (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published a report on 7 July 2015 setting out its provisional findings in a market investigation of the energy sector, in particular for gas and electricity at both wholesale and retail levels in the UK. Market investigations involve in-depth (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the decision on a cartel of suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled (April)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed the FAS decision on a cartel of suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled* The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court in Moscow dismissed the appeal of “Regional Centre for Rehabilitation Means” Ltd. (“KTsSR” Ltd.), “April” Ltd., “Predgorie Kavkaza” Ltd. on invalidating the FAS (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens an ex-officio investigation concerning possible absolute monopolistic practices in the market for the provision of administrative services for workers’ pension funds (AFORES)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE to Investigate Possible Absolute Monopolistic Practices in the Market for Pension Fund Administration Services in Mexico* Through the Mexican Federal Official Gazette and its website, the Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE or Commission) Investigative Authority announced (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds that the multilateral interchange scheme fee payment scheme was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and was therefore illegal (MasterCard / Sainsbury)
RBB Economics (London)
Background In 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the United Kingdom held that the payment scheme operated by MasterCard was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and so infringed Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). In (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues its new monopolistic practices guidelines
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE publishes new monopolistic pratices guidelines* The Board Of Commissioners of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) approved the Leniency Program and Sanction Reduction Guidelines, the Guidelines for filing an investigation process for relative monopolistic (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of Second Instance confirms the annulment in parte qua of the Competition Authority’s decision regarding a cartel in the market for road and highway barriers (Metalmeccanica)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
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DLA Piper (Roma)
1. Premise – The present work is aimed at focusing on the decision of 2 July 2015 No. 3291 issued by the Italian Administrative Court of Second Instance (i.e. Consiglio di Stato, hereinafter the “CdS”), highlighting the aspects of interest (hereinafter, the “Judgement”). The Judgement closed a (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into the metering and billing of heating and water costs
German Competition Authority
Sector Inquiry into Submetering of Heating and Water Costs* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into the metering and billing of heating and water costs. Submetering services cover the consumption-based metering and billing of heating and water costs in buildings as well as the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having prohibited vertical agreements on the market of equipment for industrial laundry (VMW)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court supported FAS decision on a case on prohibited “vertical” agreements* On 1 July 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed a cassation appeal of “Food Technologies” Trading House” Ltd., “BT Machinery” Ltd. and “Obschepitoborudtorg” Ltd. Thus, the Court pronounced (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on a company for abuse of dominance in the market of cards for tachographs (NIIAT)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court: “NIIAT” OJSC will pay a fined to fixing monopolistically high prices for AETR tachograph* On 28 July 2015, Moscow Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy of FAS decision to fine “NIIAT” OJSC 737,500 RUB for abusing dominance. In September 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority provisionally suspends an exclusivity clause of the general regulations of an international equestrian federation (FEI)
Belgian Competition Authority
The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority imposed on 27 July 2015 on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) as a provisional measure the partial suspension with regard to the Global Champions League of the Exclusivity Clause in the article 113(4)-(6) of its General (...)

The English High Court awards the claimant in an abuse of dominance case an injunction to prevent a service being discontinued (Packet Media / Telefónica)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
The English High Court has awarded the claimant in an abuse of dominance case an injunction to prevent a service being discontinued - once the claim had been amended over the weekend after an unfinished hearing. In brief Working through the weekend proved worthwhile for Packet Media Limited (...)

The Court of Appeal of the State of California holds that cross subsidization through below cost discounts for the purpose of maximized profits of the core business does not violate Californian unfair practices Act (Dixon Gas / Safeway)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Cross Subsidization For Purpose Of Enhanced Grocery Sales Through Alleged Below Cost Gasoline Discounts Found Not To Violate California Unfair Practices Act* Injury to competing retail fuel stations is non-actionable where market conditions demonstrate that an “incipient antitrust violation” is (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an ex officio investigation regarding an apps sales market (Google)
Croatian Competition Agency
CCA investigation in Android apps sales market* Following some press articles claiming that the Croatian software companies were forced to open branch offices or find partners abroad because Google did not allow them to register for direct sale of their apps via the Google Play store, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds standard-essential patent owner can abuse its position by seeking to enjoin infringement and sets out specific requirements (Huawei / ZTE)
Allen & Overy (London)
Background A Scattered European Landscape There is considerable inconsistency as to the availability of injunctive relief in relation to FRAND-obligated SEPs in the European Union. Whilst courts in the UK have yet to award an injunction on an SEP (and are seen as highly unlikely to do so), (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms practical steps to be taken by standard essential patent holders before seeking injunctions (Huawei / ZTE)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
Synopsis The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the holder of a Standard Essential Patent that has committed to license its Standard Essential Patent on FRAND terms may be found in breach of the competition rules (Article 102 TFEU) by seeking an injunction against a (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority welcomes the judgement of the EU Court of Justice clarifying the position of standard-essential patent holders from the perspective of competition law (Huawei / ZTE)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
The Court of Justice of the European Union has clarified the position of standard-essential patent holders from the perspective of competition law* On Thursday 16 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union gave a judgment on the relationship between patent law and competition law. The (...)

The EU Commission announces two investigations against a chipmaker company for predatory pricing and rebates (Qualcomm)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Doubles Down On Antitrust Investigations Against Giant U.S. Chipmaker Qualcomm* The European Commission (“EC”) announced yesterday it has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behavior by the U.S. technology company Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds standard-essential patent owner can abuse its position by seeking to enjoin infringement (Huawei / ZTE)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
European Court Of Justice Holds Standard-Essential Patent Owner Can Abuse Its Position By Seeking To Enjoin Infringement* The European Court of Justice ruled today that the owner of a standard-essential patent abuses its dominant position when it seeks an injunction in an action for patent (...)

The EU Court of Justice sets out specific requirements with which an SEP holder needs to comply in order to be able to seek an injunction without abusing its dominant position (Huawei / ZTE)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte
Standards lie at the heart of the digital economy – without standards, we would not have smartphones, tablets and other key parts of modern life. Europe’s highest court recently delivered a judgment in Huawei v. ZTE explaining when EU competition law will prevent holders of patents that are (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the circumstances in which a presumptively dominant SEP holder who has given a FRAND commitment may seek injunctive relief (Huawei / ZTE)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
The application of competition law to standard essential patents (SEPs) has been the subject of significant debate. The latest instalment was provided by the Court of Justice on 16 July 2015 with its much-anticipated preliminary ruling in Huawei v. ZTE, which concerns the circumstances in which (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a water supplier for abuse of dominance (Tettye Zrt.)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Tettye Zrt. abused its dominant position* According to the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH), Tettye Forrásház Zrt. (Tettye Zrt.) abused its dominant position by setting, from May 2011, excessive prices for its consumers for the proficiency test of subsidiary water-meters (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority receives commitments proposed by a car manufacturer to end the competition concerns regarding motor vehicles warranties (Ford)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Ford offers commitments to the Portuguese Competition Authority regarding motor vehicles warranties* The Portuguese Competition Authority has opened proceedings against Ford Lusitana, S.A. (Ford) for alleged infringements of the competition rules, on January 2015. The Portuguese Competition (...)

The Russian Competition Authority warns a public forecast about increased gasoline prices (Kortes)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS issued a warning for a public forecast about increased gasoline prices* On 10 July 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) sent a warning to Deputy Head of the Department of Market Analysis and Survey, “Kortes” IATs” OJSC. The grounds were a public statement by Deputy Head of the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a cellulose producer suspected to have fixed high prices (Arkhangelsk TsBK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS exposed elements of violations on the cellulose market* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) opened a case against “Arkhangelsk TsBK” OJSC upon signs of fixing monopolistically high prices for cellulose from conifer wood (Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority concludes that competition is distorted on the market of funeral services and recommends the establishment of a regulatory framework
Competition Council of Latvia
Funeral Service Industry Needs to be Reformed* The Competition Council (CC) of Latvia together with the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRCP) and the State Revenue Service (SRS) conclude that the market of funeral services lacks a regulatory framework, therefore the competition is distorted (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fine imposed on a gas provider for abuse of dominance (Sakhatrnasneftegaz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed the conclusions of Yakutia OFAS* The 4th Arbitration Appeal Court supported the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Yakutia OFAS Russia) in a dispute with “Sakhatrnasneftegaz” OJSC. Earlier the regulator found that the company (...)

The Dagestan services of the Russian Competition Authority fines a gas provider for abuse of dominance (Gazprom)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Dagestan OFAS fined “Gazprom Regiongaz Pyatigorsk” 8.6 million RUB* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Dagestan (Dagestan OFAS) found that “Gazprom Regiongaz Pyatigorsk” Ltd. violated the antimonopoly law. The company shall pay over 8.6 million RUB as a fine for (...)

The Russian Competition Authority send warnings to retail subsidiaries suspected to abuse of their dominance (Rosneft)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Smolensk OFAS issued warnings to Rosneft retail subsidiaries* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Smolensk region (Smolensk OFAS Russia) issued a warning to “RN-Cart-Smolensk” Ltd. and “NK “Rosneft” – Smolensknefteproduct” OJSC. The companies’ actions had signs of violating the (...)

The Spanish High Court issues landmark judgment on the need to establish foreclosure effects of a margin squeeze (Correos)
Linklaters (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
1 Introduction On 21 January 2014, the Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) imposed a fine of €8,170,000 on the Spanish postal service incumbent Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos, S.A. (“Correos) for allegedly abusing its dominant position on the wholesale market for postal (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission open an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market of small package delivery, freight forwarding and cargo transportation services (TNT / FedEx)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of TNT by FedEx* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by FedEx Corporation is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies are major (...)

The Polish Minister of the State Treasury gains the power to control mergers and acquisitions in strategic sectors
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
The Minister of the State Treasury will control mergers and acquisitions in strategic sectors of Polish economy* On 30 September 2015, the Act on Control of Certain Investments (the “Act”) enters into force. The Act aims to create mechanisms to protect against hostile takeovers of companies (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger beetwen two mobile network equipment manufacturers (Nokia / Alcatel-Lucent)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves Nokia´s acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia. Both companies are global providers of telecommunications equipment and related services. The Commission concluded (...)

The UK Competition Authority decides to open an in-depth investigation in the market of processing of animal by-products in an effort to obtain acceptable remedies (Linergy / UFBP)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
Rendering merger faces in-depth investigation unless undertakings offered* Linergy’s acquisition of Ulster Farm By-Products will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation unless acceptable undertakings are offered. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the (...)

The EU Commission partially refers a proposed merger to the Danish Competition Authority in the market of pig meat and clears the merger outside Denmark (Danish Crown / Tican)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission partially refers Danish Crown / Tican merger to Denmark’s competition authority; clears proposed merger outside Denmark* The European Commission has partially referred the proposed merger between Danish Crown and Tican to the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) at its (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market of industrial chocolate (ADM / Cargill)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves Cargill’s acquisition of ADM’s industrial chocolate business, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the industrial chocolate business of Archer Daniels Midland (’ADM’) by Cargill, subject to (...)

The Competition Commission of India notices parties to furnish material information or face penalty (Sumitomo)
Economic Laws Practice
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Economic Laws Practice
Introduction A notice was filed by Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited (“Sumitomo”) in relation to its acquisition of 2.77% in Reliance Capital Limited (“RCL”), through share subscription. Although the acquisition was for less than 25% and did not entail control, it required a filing with the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a concentration between two regional energy firms (Energia Alto Adige)
Desogus Law Office
By a decision made on 15 July 2015 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared a concentration between two publicly held regional energy firms, Società Elettrica Altoatesina (SEL) and Azienda Energetica (AE), operating in the North-east of Italy in the province of Bolzano. (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the market of hospitals (Albert Schweitzer Hospital / Rivas Zorggroep)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM prohibits proposed merger between two Dutch hospital groups* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has not approved the proposed merger of two hospital groups in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, near the cities of Dordrecht and Gorinchem: Albert Schweitzer (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a baby products merger (Enrico Preziosi-Artsana / Newco-Bimbo Store)
Desogus Law Office
In Baby Products by a decision made on 9 July 2015 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared a merger between retailers of baby products (Case C11982, Enrico Preziosi-Artsana/Newco-Bimbo Store) . The ICA started a phase II investigation into the notified merger since it (...)

The Indian Competition Commission amends regulations relating to mergers
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Amendment in the Combination Regulations* In a press release dated 3 July 2015, Competition Commission of India (CCI) has clarified the scope of amendments made to the Regulations relating to Combinations. The amendments touch upon several procedural changes to be followed in case of filings (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves an aid falling within the exemption for important projects of common European interest (Fehmarn belt)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Pricing of Access to an Important Project of Common European Interest* Infrastructure that is commercially exploited [e.g. charging of tolls] is an economic activity. Infrastructure that is freely available to users is not economic activity. Access fees or tolls may be regulated. State aid (...)

The EU Commission assesses whether a State acted as a private creditor when it allowed a debtor to continue operations (JSC Liepajas Metalurgs)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The State Acting as a Private Creditor & State Aid Enforcement and Procedural Rights* In this article I review Commission decision SA.37100 on JSC Liepajas Metalurgs [LM], once Latvia’s largest steel company and major employer. The decision examines whether Latvia acted promptly to recover (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on how to determine a market price, blurring the lines of its own case law (BVVG / Landkreis Jerichower Land in Germany)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Challenge of Calculating a Market Price* The market price of land or buildings can be determined via auction, expert valuation or other appropriate methods. Introduction On 16 July 2015, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in case C‑39/14, BVVG Bodenverwertungs- und -verwaltungs (...)

The EU General Court rules again on whether public pronouncements confer an advantage to undertakings (France Télécom)
College of Europe (Bruges)
When Do Public Pronouncements Confer an Advantage to Undertakings?* Public pronouncements can confer an advantage if they are sufficiently precise and clearly commit a public authority to support an undertaking. Introduction Politicians often claim that they would never allow important (...)

Procedures

Hong Kong’s Competition Authorities publish the final guidelines on how they propose to interpret, apply, investigate and enforce the new Competition Ordinance
Simmons and Simmons (Hong Kong)
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Simmons and Simmons (Hong Kong)
Following the announcement that the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) (Ordinance) will come into effect on 14 December 2015, the Competition Commission (Commission) and Communications Authority (collectively, the Competition Authorities) released the final guidelines to accompany the Ordinance (...)

The Hong Kong’s Government publishes the final guidelines concerning competition law provisions
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Shanghai)
On December 14, 2015, Hong Kong became the latest jurisdiction to prohibit anticompetitive agreements and unilateral conduct. The Competition Ordinance (Ordinance) is Hong Kong’s first cross-sector competition law for this international financial hub. For the first time, the Hong Kong government (...)

The National Assembly of Laos passes new law on business competition
DFDL (Phnom Penh)
On 14 July 2015, the National Assembly of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Laos”) passed the Law on Business Competition (No. 60/NA) (“Competition Law”), which states that it will come into force on issue by the President of the National Assembly of the Promulgating Decree and 15 days after (...)

The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms potential of high cartel fines for vertically integrated multinational companies (InnoLux)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
EU judgment confirms potential of high cartel fines for vertically integrated multinational companies* On 9 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued an important judgment concerning the basis on which cartel fines by the European Commission should be calculated for (...)

The EU General Court follows Court of Justice’s EnBW judgement concerning the right to access documents collected by the European Commission (Axa)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
The Axa case On the 7th of July 2015, the Third Chamber of the General Court of the European Union, issued a judgment on the right to access documents collected by the European Commission in a proceeding applying EU competition law (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of (...)

The Danish Parliament adopts the latest amendments to the Competition Act
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
Amendments to the Danish Competition Act come into effect* In December 2014 the Danish Parliament passed the latest amendments to the Danish Competition Act. Furthermore, just a few weeks back the Parliament also passed the amendment making merger filing in the Danish telecoms sector more or (...)

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