June 2015

Anticompetitive practices

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the sanctions imposed on fish suppliers for cartel (Russian Fish Company)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court pronounced legitimacy of FAS decision on a cartel of Vietnamese fish suppliers* On 30 June 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) regarding the “Association of Production and (...)

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning online sales of prams and strollers (Emmaljunga)
Hansberry Tomkiel
In its decision no RGD 2/2015 of 30th June 2015 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“Competition Authority”) accepted commitments proposed by the Poland-based company “Investment Trading Consulting” (“Company”), Polish exclusive distributor of prams and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirms ruling condemning masterminding the creation, organization and implementation of a conspiracy by five ebook publishers (Apple)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
The Second Circuit’s Apple Ebooks Opinion* The Second Circuit affirmed the district court and held, 2 to 1, that defendant Apple Inc. had violated Section 1 by masterminding the creation, organization and implementation of a conspiracy by five publishers of ebooks that benefited Apple, as Apple (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reaffirms the principle that even vertical agreements that seem lawful in the abstract can, viewed in context, evidence a horizontal cartel (Apple)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Second Circuit Affirms Ruling Against Apple in E-book Price-Fixing Case* We have previously posted about United States v. Apple, Inc., a blockbuster trial that ended with Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York concluding that Apple had conspired with five publishing companies (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit concludes that the Actavis ruling applies to non-cash payments (Lamictal)
Rutgers University
On June 26, 2015, in the first federal appellate drug patent settlement ruling since the Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a lower court decision granting a motion to dismiss for defendants. Writing for (...)

The US Department of Justice sues four hospitals for an anticompetitive agreement in South-Central Michigan (Hillsdale / Branch / ProMedica / Allegiance)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Antitrust Enforcers Sue Four Hospitals For Carving Up South-Central Michigan* The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office are suing four Michigan hospital systems for allegedly engaging in antitrust violations by agreeing to refrain from (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a parent company may be held liable for infringement by its subsidiary in which it holds an 80% indirect shareholding and that responses to simple requests for information do not justify a reduction of the fine within the meaning of the Leniency Notice (Fresh Del Monte)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
ECJ confirms that Del Monte is liable for a single and continuous infringement of competition law for bilateral information exchanges between its subsidiary Weichert and Dole. On 24 June 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) dismissed an appeal by Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (...)

The Danish Competition Authority identifies an anticompetitive consortia agreement in the market of road marking (LKF and Eurostar)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council decides that consortia agreement between two road-contractors is illegal* On the 24th of June 2015 the Danish Competition Council found, that LKF Vejmarkering A/S (LKF) and Eurostar Danmark A/S (Eurostar) have infringed Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act and (...)

The Danish Competition Council holds that a consortium which won a public tender was anti-competitive by object (LKF - Eurostar)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
A consortium turned out to be a cartel* In a landmark decision taken on 24 June 2015, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) held that a consortium which won a public tender was anti-competitive by object. In following the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (DCCA) recommendation, the DCC (...)

The German Competition Authority sanctions five companies for their participation to a cartel in the manufacturing of acoustically effective components for the automotive industry (Autoneum Germany)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines of 75 million euros on automotive part manufacturers* On account of price fixing agreements the Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling 75 million euros on five manufacturers of acoustically effective components and staff responsible which supply the (...)

The European Commission fines several producers and distributors for cartel in the retail food packaging sector (Nespak)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission fines producers and distributors € 115 865 000 for operating retail food packaging cartels* The European Commission has fined eight manufacturers and two distributors of retail food packaging trays a total of €115 865 000 for having participated in at least one of five separate (...)

The European Commission sends a statement of objection to five lead recycling companies suspected of participating in a purchasing cartel for scrap lead-acid batteries
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission sends statement of objections to suspected participants in car battery recycling cartel* The European Commission has informed five lead recycling companies that it suspects them of having participated in a purchasing cartel for scrap lead-acid batteries, in breach of EU antitrust (...)

The Indian Competition Commission imposes penalties on trade association for collective boycott (Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Association and the Film Distributors Association, Kerala)
Vinod Dhall and Talwar Thakore & Associates
Film association case* In another decision, the CCI has imposed penalties on the Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Association (KFEA) and the Film Distributors Association, Kerala (FDAK) for collective boycott. The KFEA is an association of cinema hall owners in the state of Kerala. The FDAK is an (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority adopts its first settlement decision and fines retailers and producers of home and personal care products (Cartel de la beauté)
Stephenson Harwood (London)
I. Background On 18 September 2006 the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) opened an investigation into the Home and Personal Care (HPC) market in Belgium following Colgate’s leniency application. Few months later the BCA carried out dawn raids at the premises of the main large retailers in (...)

The US Supreme Court reaffirms the Court’s 51-year-old rule precluding patent owners from collecting patent royalties on expired patents (Kimble / Marvel)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Supreme Court Cites Spiderman In Ruling Against Post-Expiration Patent Royalties* Spiderman swung through the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday as Justice Elena Kagan liberally relied on the comic book superhero in the Court’s decision in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., reaffirming (...)

The Polish Competition Court overturns a decision concerning a cartel of mobile phone network operators (Polkomtel / T-Mobile / Orange / P4)
Hansberry Tomkiel
In its judgement of 19th June 2015, the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Court fully overturned the decision of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office (the “Office”), issued in November 2011, imposing PLN 113 million in fines on members of a mobile phone network (...)

The French Competition Authority extends the commitments made in the case of inter-bank fees associated with card payments (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Extension of the commitments made by the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB Bank Cards Group) to the Autorité de la concurrence regarding the level of inter-bank payment fees until the European regulation comes into force.* In 2011, within the context of the examination by the Autorité de la (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for vertical resale price maintenance (Aldi)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical resale price maintenance in the food retail sector - Majority of fine proceedings concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded most of its cartel proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally maintaining the retail prices of well-known brand (...)

The European Commission fines a parking heaters producer for cartel in the context of a settlement (Eberspächer)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission fines parking heaters producer €68 million in cartel settlement* The European Commission found that two German producers of automotive parts, Eberspächer and Webasto, have breached EU antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices. They coordinated prices and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority pursues its investigation concerning a vertical agreement in the electrical equipment market (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS continues holding dealers of “Argus-Spektr” CJSC administratively liable* The Federal Antimonopoly Service continues administrative proceedings upon the fact of concluding prohibited “vertical” agreements between “Argus-Spektr” CJSC and its dealers. As of today, 40 dealers are held liable, the (...)

The German Competition Authority assesses vertical and horizontal price fixing in cartel proceedings focusing on the food sector (Aldi / Edeka / Kaufland / Metro / REWE / Haribo / Ritter)
Commeo
In June 2015, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has concluded most of its long going proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally fixing the retail prices of branded products. The FCO imposed total fines of EUR 151.6million on both manufacturers and (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine on manufacturers of prefabricated garages for price-fixing agreements (Rekers)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fines imposed on manufacturers of prefabricated garages on account of price-fixing agreements* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines amounting to 11 million euros on ten manufacturers of prefabricated garages for their involvement in price-fixing agreements. Andreas Mundt, President of the (...)

The US Supreme Court declines to accept an appeal for two related antitrust cases involving an international price-fixing cartel (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Washington D.C.)
Motorola and the Extraterritorial Application of US Antitrust Laws to Foreign Component Price Fixing Cartels* Last month the Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal for two related antitrust cases involving an international price-fixing cartel. The cases come from different circuits, one (...)

The US Supreme Court declines to resolve a closely watched circuit split on the applicability of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Supreme Court Surprises the Antitrust World with Denial of Cert in Motorola and AU Optronics* Today the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in two cases, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics et al. and Hsiung and AU Optronics Corp. America Inc. v. United States, declining to resolve (...)

The Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia rejects a challenge to an FTC rule that makes the HSR Act reporting requirements cover pharmaceutical patent licenses that transfer all commercially significant rights (PhRMA)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
The D.C. Circuit has rejected a challenge by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ("PhRMA") to an FTC rule that makes the HSR Act reporting requirements cover pharmaceutical patent licenses that transfer "all commercially significant rights." The rule, adopted in 2013, (...)

The Russian Supreme Court sustains the Russian Competition Authority recommendations on apatite concentrate
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Supreme Court considered FAS Recommendations on apatite concentrate* On 8 June 2015, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dismissed the claim of “Minudobrenie” OJSC (Rossosh) to invalidate FAS Recommendations to ensure non-discriminatory access to apatite concentrate (1) and the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts the commitments offered by two companies operating in the market of card payment services and closes the cartel proceeding (MasterCard / OTP)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The case of MasterCard and OTP is closed by the acceptance of commitments* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) accepted the commitments offered by MasterCard Europe Sprl (MasterCard) and OTP Bank Nyrt. (OTP), through the implementation of which the undertakings (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines an undertaking operating in the sector of handling, storage and protection of goods for non compliance with the inspection of the business premises (Czech Frost)
Czech Competition Authority
Fine of CZK 1,105,000 imposed on company Czech Frost for noncompliance with the inspection* Disciplinary fine of CZK 1,105,000 was imposed on the company CZECH FROST for noncompliance with the inspection of the business premises conducted by the Office for the Protection of Competition (the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments to amend a co-marketing agreement and closes the antitrust investigation (Novartis / Italfarmaco)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede (Rome)
With Decision No. 25508 of 4 June 2015, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”), accepted the commitments proposed by Novartis Farma S.p.A. (“Novartis”) and Italfarmaco S.p.A. (“Italfarmaco”, together the “Parties”) and closed the investigation opened following a complaint lodged by the (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines pharmaceutical companies for bid rigging in a public tender (GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi)
Vinod Dhall and Talwar Thakore & Associates
CCI fines GSK and Sanofi for bid rigging* It has been quite a while since I posted an India update on Cartel Capers. This was partly due to the fact that the CCI has been relatively quiet on the cartel front for the last few months and partly because I have also been relatively busy with (...)

A US District Court receives a complaint against a State Bar for anticompetitive, exclusionary, and monopolistic conduct (Legalzoom.com / North Carolina State Bar)
Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur (Columbus)
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Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur (Columbus)
LegalZoom Kicks Off Antitrust Battle Against State Bar Associations* State bar associations and other licensing boards were left like bleeding seals in shark-infested waters following the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision this February in North Carolina State Board of Dental (...)

The Yunnan Development and Reform Commission investigates abuse of administrative power and cartel conduct (Yunnan Provincial Communications Authority)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Yunnan DRC investigates abuse of administrative power and cartel in the telecommunications industry in Yunnan* On 2 June 2015, the NDRC announced that its local office in Yunnan Province, the Yunnan Development and Reform Commission (Yunnan DRC), found that the Yunnan Province Communications (...)

The Hunan Administration for Industry and Commerce fines a cartel for monopolising the market (Mayang Miao Autonomous County shale brick operators)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Hunan AIC investigates shale brick cartel in Mayang* On 1 June 2015, the SAIC published the decisions made by the Hunan Administration for Industry and Commerce (Hunan AIC) in December 2014 and January 2015 relating to its investigation into a shale brick cartel in the Mayang Miao Autonomous (...)

The US DOJ opens an investigation on a movie theater chain (Regal, AMC, Cinemark Holdings)
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Washington)
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Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur (Columbus)
Antitrust Probe of Movie Theater Chains Enters Next Act* The U.S. Department of Justice has turned its spotlight on AMC Entertainment, Inc. in the government’s antitrust probe of the nation’s movie theater industry. In an 8-K filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMC (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Belgian Competition Authority rejects an appeal of a pharmacist who claimed an abuse of dominance by a competitor in the market of raw materials for magistral preparations and packaging material (Cuyckens / Omega Pharma)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
On 30 June 2015 the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority, rejected an appeal of pharmacist Cuyckens against a dismissal decision of the Investigation and Prosecution Service of 31 March 2015.* Mr Cuyckens filed on 20 November 2002 a complaint with the Competition Council (...)

The Court of Appeal of Milan overturns a judgment on screen scraping and intermediation of online travel agencies and rejects the allegations of abuse of dominance by an airline (Lastminute / Viaggiare / Ryanair)
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
Introduction With two judgements delivered on June 2015 regarding cases brought by Lastminute.com S.r.l. and Viaggiare S.r.l. respectively against Ryanair , the Court of Appeal of Milan held that Ryanair’s refusal to grant travel agencies the right of intermediating its tickets does not (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority opens an inquiry against dominant manufacturers in the automobile industry (Indus Motor / Pak Suzuki Motor)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP initiates inquiry into unfair trading conditions imposed by dominant manufacturers in the automobile industry* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has initiated an inquiry under Section 37 of the Competition Act, 2010 into the possible anti-competitive behaviour of the two (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition imposes a fine of 750,000 Euro and behavioural remedies on an airport company (Hermes Airports)
White & Case (Brussels)
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Chrysses Demetriades & Co. LLC (Limassol)
1. Background In its decision dated 23/6/2015 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) held that the operator of the Larnaca and Paphos international Airports in Cyprus, Hermes Airports Ltd, (hereafter referred as “Hermes”) violated Section 6(1)(a) of the Cyprus Law on (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow confirms the fine imposed on a pharmaceutical company for abuse of dominance (Novo Nordisk)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed: “Novo Nordisk” violated the antimonopoly law* On 22 June 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of the Court of First Instance and pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Arbitration Service (FAS Russia) that “Novo Nordisk” Ltd. had (...)

The European Commission launches a market test concerning the commitments proposed by an electricity provider operating on the Bulgarian wholesale electricity market (Bulgarian Energy Holding)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission market tests commitments by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) concerning Bulgarian wholesale electricity market* The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by the State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH) to address competition (...)

The Russian Competition Authority send a warning to a gas provider suspected to impose disadvantageous contract conditions (Gazprom)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Gazprom” received a FAS warning* On 18 June 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to “Gazprom” OJSC to eliminate elements of violating the antimonopoly law (Clause 3 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”). “Gazprom” OJSC avoided (...)

The Arbitration Court of Moscow confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having concluded that a pharmaceutical company has abused of its dominance (Baxter)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court: FAS decision and determination regarding “Baxter” are legitimate* On 16 June 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District (Cassation Court) confirmed legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) as well as the Order to hold (...)

The Supreme Court of Latvia upholds the Competition Council’s decision on establishment of abuse of dominance in retail trade in the market of beauty and household goods (Drogas)
Vilgerts (Riga)
On 15 June 2015 the Supreme Court of Latvia upheld the Latvian Competition Council’s “LCC”) decision against AS “Drogas” ( “Drogas”), a leading beauty and household goods retail trade chain operator, on establishment of abuse of dominance in retail trade in the market of beauty and household goods. (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority agrees to conclude an administrative contract with an undertaking that abused of its dominance in the market of commercial services of tug boats, in order to put to an end to the distortion of competition in the sector (FRA)
Competition Council of Latvia
The Competition Council agrees to conclude an administrative contract with the Freeport of Riga Authority to immediately eliminate Distortion of the Competition in the Riga’s Port* On 12 June, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia signed an administrative contract with the Freeport of Riga (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by a company operating in the provision of specialised IT support to leasing companies (Gemicro)
Croatian Competition Agency
Gemicro committments accepted* In the proceeding against the undertaking Gemicro the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) accepted the committments made by Gemicro for the removal of anticompetitive effects and restoration of competition in the provision of specialised IT support to leasing (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow confirms the fine imposed on a pharmaceutical company for abuse of dominance (Teva)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of the fine upon TEVA* On 11 June 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed the appeal filed by TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED (Israel) against FAS definition (1) to hold TEVA administratively liable for failure to execute a determination. In (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation on e-book’s distribution agreements concluded between several publishers and an electronic commerce company (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission opens formal investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution arrangements* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of electronic books ("e-books"). The Commission will in particular investigate (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sends a warning to an oil provider suspected to impose disadvantageous contract conditions (LUKOIL)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
A warning to “LUKOIL”* On 9 June 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to “LUKOIL” OJSC to eliminate violations of the antimonopoly law (Clauses 3 and 5 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”) by 22 June 2015. The company imposed (...)

The Arbitration Court of Moscow confirms that a cement producer has abused of its dominance in Crimea (Stroiindustria)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court supported FAS in a dispute with “Stroiindustria” Bakhchisaray Construction Enterprise”* Moscow Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision and determination issued by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on the case against (...)

The Russian Federal Arbitration Court of the North-Western Federal District confirms the fine imposed on a company for creating discriminatory conditions in the retail market (Lenta)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court confirmed legitimacy of the 2-million fine for “Lenta”* The Federal Arbitration Court of the North-Western Federal District confirmed legitimacy of the determination of the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) on an administrative fine (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau issues draft IP enforcement guidelines that will have practical implications for the pharmaceutical industry
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Canada’s Updated Draft Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines and the Pharmaceutical Industry* I. INTRODUCTION In June 2015, Canada’s Competition Bureau released its updated draft of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines (“Draft IPEGs”) for public review and consultation. The (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau submits a draft of its upcoming intellectual enforcement property guidelines for public comment
George Mason University (Fairfax)
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George Mason University (Fairfax)
Comments of U.S. Federal Trade Commissionner Joshua D. Wright and Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the Canadian Competition Bureau’s draft updated intellectual property enforcement guidelines* This comment is submitted in response to the Canadian Competition Bureau’s (the Bureau’s) draft stage 2 (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the decision of the gravel manufacturer aiming to end a practice constituting an abuse of dominance (Sharkhinsky Quarry)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
A gravel producer in Crimea voluntarily eliminated violations of the antimonopoly law* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) terminated the case against “Sharkhinsky Quarry” Shareholding Company in the part of abusing dominance (Clause 6 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On (...)

The Italian Supreme Court applies the principles of Directive 2014/104/EU in favour of claimants in a stand-alone case concerning an abuse of dominant position (Cargest)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
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Introduction On the 4th of June 2015, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (hereinafter referred to as “ISC”) overruled a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Rome concerning a claim brought by 52 food distributors against Cargest Srl because of an abuse of dominant position by the defendant. (...)

The Italian Supreme Court opens the doors to standalone private actions (Cargest)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision of 6 June 2015 the Italian Supreme Court annulled the previous decision of the Court of Appeal of Rome , which had rejected the claim brought by a number of fruit and vegetable wholesalers (the “Wholesalers”) against Cargest - the company that manages the fruit and vegetable (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from an owner of mobile operators pylons limiting the duration of new hosting contracts to 10 years (TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence obtains from TDF an improvement of the hosting contracts binding it to the mobile operators that use its pylons* In the scope of proceedings initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence by FPS Towers (hereinafter FPS), TDF commits to limiting the duration of new (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority issues a show cause notice concerning a suspected abuse of dominance in the markets for produced infant formula and follow-on milk and for domestically-produced packaged cereal-based baby product (Nestlé)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP takes notice of unreasonable increase in prices of lactogen and cerelac, issues show cause notice to leading food company* he Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to Nestlé Pakistan Limited for alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2010 (...)

The Chinese Liaoning Administration for Industry and Commerce fines a tobacco company for abuse of dominance (Fushun)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 12 August 2015, the SAIC published a decision made by the Liaoning Administration for Industry and Commerce (Liaoning AIC) on 1 June 2015 to sanction the Fushun branch of the Liaoning Tobacco Company (Fushun Tobacco) for abuse of dominance. The investigation was initiated in June 2014 in (...)

Mergers

The European Commission clears a merger in the market of turbo compressor engines (Dresser-Rand / Siemens)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission approves acquisition of rotating equipment manufacturer Dresser-Rand by Siemens* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of rotating equipment manufacturer Dresser-Rand of the US by Siemens of Germany. Both companies supply turbo (...)

The Competition Commission of India re-defines control and approves an acquisition (Caladium / Bandhan)
Economic Laws Practice
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Economic Laws Practice
Introduction Caladium Investment Pte. Ltd. (“Caladium”) is a company incorporated in Singapore and an affiliate of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Bandhan Financial Services Limited (“BFSL”) is a company registered with the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) as a non-banking financial (...)

The Danish Competition Authority clears a merger, with structural remedies proposed by the undertaking itself, in the market for poultry feed (Danish Agro)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Divestment of production facilities proves necessary for the approval of agricultural inputs merger* Danish Agro commits itself to divest two production facilities to receive the approval of the merger with Dan Agro, which owns Hedegaard Agro. The merger was approved by the Danish Competition (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia grants the FTC a preliminary injunction to halt the proposed merger between the largest US food distributors, leading them to abandon the merger plans (Sysco / US Foods)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Sysco Scraps US Foods Merger After FTC Victory In Court* Sysco Corp. announced yesterday that it is abandoning its plans to acquire food service rival US Foods Inc., following last week’s setback to the deal in federal court. In an opinion that closely tracked the FTC/DOJ Merger Guidelines, (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves online rights licensing and administration joint venture between collective management organisations (PRSfm / STIm / GEmA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 June 2015, the EU Commission conditionally approved the proposed joint venture between music collective management organisations PRS for music Limited (“PRSfm”) of the UK, Föreningen Svenska Tonsättares Internationella musikbyrå u.p.a. (“STIm”) of Sweden, and Gesellschaft für musikalische (...)

The EU Commission approves a joint venture for cross-border licensing of online music between three music collecting societies (PRSfM / STIM / GEMA)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission approves joint venture for cross-border licensing of online music between PRSfM, STIM and GEMA, subject to commitments* Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture for (...)

The French Competition Authority approves the sale of an oversea telecom company, a mandatory condition to clear a merger in the market of mobile telephony (SFR / Numéricable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of SFR by Numericable: France’s Competition authority and ARCEP approve the sale to the firm Hiridjee of the Outremer Telecom mobile operations that Numericable agreed to divest in La Réunion and Mayotte* On 30 October 2014, the Autorité de la concurrence approved the sale of SFR to (...)

The European Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the pharmaceutical sector (Sigma-Aldrich / Merck)
European Commission - DG COMP
Commission approves acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck, subject to conditions.* The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck under the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies are active world-wide in the life science sector. The decision is (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority refers its first gun-jumping case to the public prosecutor (KPMG / EY)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
First Danish gun jumping case referred to the public prosecutor* On 11 June 2015 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) reported Ernst & Young Europe LLP (EY) to the public prosecutor for pre-implementing the merger with the former Danish KPMG member firm (KPMG Denmark). EY (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority begins an in-depth investigation concerning a merger between two water companies (Bournemouth Water / South West Water)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
South West and Bournemouth water merger referred for in-depth investigation* The CMA today referred the merger of Bournemouth Water with South West Water for an in-depth phase 2 investigation. Currently the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has a duty to refer mergers involving water (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority lifts four-year old merger conditions from the conditional approval of an acquisition (Proximus / The Phone House)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 June 2015, the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) lifted four-year old merger conditions from the BCA’s conditional approval of the acquisition by telecommunications operator Proximus (formerly Belgacom) of telecommunications retailer The Phone House. In 2011, the BCA’s predecessor agency, (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority clears a merger on the markets for industrial scaffolding services and industrial isolation services already approved by the German and Dutch competition authorities (Hertel Holding / Altrad Investment Authority)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
On 8 June, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority has, on proposal of the Competition prosecutor, cleared the acquisition of Hertel Holding NV by Altrad Investment Authority SAS* The acquisition concerns the markets for industrial scaffolding services and industrial (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority accepts to proceed with a fast track reference of the merger to phase 2 concerning a merger involving the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services (BT / EE)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
BT/EE merger fast-tracked to phase 2 investigation* The CMA has today referred BT Group plc’s anticipated acquisition of EE Limited for an in-depth phase 2 investigation. BT and EE are, respectively, the largest suppliers of fixed communications services and mobile communications services in (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears a merger in the electronic publishing market and in the electronic publishing advertising market (Adriatic Media / Sedam Mora)
Croatian Competition Agency
CCA clears electronic media merger between Sedam Mora and Adriatic Media* The CCA cleared in the first phase the acquisition of direct control of the undertaking Sedam Mora over the undertaking Adriatic Media given that its assessment proved that the concentration concerned would not produce (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies in the regional daily press market (Les Journaux du Midi / La Dépêche du Midi)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of Les Journaux du Midi by La Dépêche du Midi.* The La Dépêche du Midi Group is mainly active in the South/South-West of France, with the publication of the following regional daily press titles: La Dépêche du Midi, La (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the daily newspaper market (Libération and L’Express / Mr Drahi)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Libération, on the one hand, and L’Express on the other hand, by Mr. Patrick Drahi.* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition by Mr. Patrick Drahi of the daily newspaper Libération (held by NewsCo Group and PMP Holding), on the (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority clears a merger, following an in-depth investigation in the market of chilled savoury pastry (Pork Farms Caspian / Kerry Foods)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA confirms clearance of Pork Farms/Kerry Foods merger* The CMA has today cleared the completed acquisition by Pork Farms Caspian of the chilled savoury pastry business of Kerry Foods. This confirms April’s provisional findings by the group of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court explains that a public authority can act as a private investor in paying to bring forward future revenue (Netherlands, Gemeente Leidschendam-Voorburg, Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling and Schouten & De Jong Projectontwikkeling)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Market Economy Investor Principle Applies also to Avoidance of Losses* A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to avoid costly contractual clauses. A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to bring forward future revenue. Introduction When a market (...)

The EU General Court states that, despite having a margin of discretion, a prudent private investor always carries out an assessment of the potential profitability of the investment before it commits any money (SACE and Sace BT)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Application of the MEIP to Transactions between Parent and Subsidiary Companies* The Market Economy Investor Principle also applies to transactions between related companies. A private investor enjoys a margin of discretion in deciding in favour or against an investment. However, despite that (...)

The EU General Court reminds Member States that individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period (Italy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Use and Abuse of De Minimis Aid & State Resources* Individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period. Introduction This article reviews a case that, among other things, deal with the use (...)

The UK High Court gives guidance in relation to State aid which may in fact make reliance upon State aid issues more “infrequent” and onerous than was previously the case (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors)
Blackstone Chambers
Of Megabytes and Men: the private use exception under the judicial lens and lessons for state aid claims* On 19 June 2015, the High Court allowed a claim for judicial review against the decision to introduce a narrow ‘private copying’ exception to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the (...)

The EU Commission rules that SGEI providers can be compensated in a way that induces them to become more efficient (UK Post Office)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Services of General Economic Interest: How to Compensate and Induce more Efficiency* Even traditional monopolists, like postal operators, have to comply with the rules on compensation for the extra costs of public service obligations. SGEI providers can be compensated in a way that induces (...)

The EU Court of Justice explains that measures that impose additional charges for the purpose of maintaining equality between operators do not necessarily qualify as State aid (Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems / Hauptzollamt Osnabrück)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Taxation of nuclear power* On 4 June 2015, the Court of Justice also issued a preliminary ruling in case C-5/14, Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems v Hauptzollamt Osnabruck. A German court requested a preliminary ruling in a dispute between Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems [KLE] and the tax authorities in (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that levying charges to maintain equal treatment is not necessarily selective (MOL Magyar Olaj)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Levying of Charges to Maintain Equal Treatment Is Not Necessarily Selective* The standard of proof of whether a measure is selective depends on whether that measure is a scheme or a grant of individual aid. Measures providing for exemption are by definition selective. Measures that impose (...)

The European Court of Justice implicitly rejects the General Court’s views on subjective assessment of two-part State aid measures under Art 107(1) TFEU (MOL Magyar Olaj)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU implicitly rejects GC’s views on subjective assessment of two-part State aid measures under Art 107(1) TFEU (C-15/14)* In its Judgment in Commission v MOL, C-15/14, EU:C:2015:362, the CJEU upheld the previous Judgment of the GC where the selectivity of two-part State aid measures was (...)

Procedures

The Swedish Supreme Court rejects a claim for annulment of an arbitration award without assessing the formal matter of the legislation on which the award was based (Systembolaget Aktiebolag)
Vinge (Stockholm)
The Swedish Supreme Court rejected, on 17 June 2015, a claim for annulment of an arbitration award. The claimant, Systembolaget Aktiebolag (“Systembolaget”) contended that the arbitration panel had misinterpreted the competition rule and that the legal issue of the case did not fall within the (...)

US Senate passes antitrust whistleblower protection
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Should There Be an Antitrust Whistleblower Statute?* On July 22cd, the Senate passed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2015. The bill now goes to the House for consideration. If signed into law the Act will create for the first time whistleblower protections for employees who (...)

The US Senate passes a bill that would protect employees who report suspected criminal antitrust activity to their employer or the federal government from workplace retaliation
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Whistleblowers Get Another Shot at Federal Protection from Retaliation by Employers* A bill is advancing through the U.S. Senate that would protect employees who report suspected criminal antitrust activity to their employer or the federal government from workplace retaliation. The (...)

The UK High Court renders a judgement regarding a cartel damages settlement exploring what “collateral defence” means (W.H. Newson Holding / IMI)
Blackstone Chambers
Settling cartel damages actions: contribution defendants beware* Anyone who has ever tried to settle a cartel damages case will know that the law relating to settlements is fraught with difficulty. The recent judgment of the High Court in IMI Plc v Delta Ltd [2015] EWHC 1676 (Ch) highlights (...)

Regulatory

The Connecticut Legislature, following other US States, changes the operation of the Boards working under the State’s department of public health
University of Michigan
Slower Crony Capitalism: The Immediate Aftermath of NC Board* When the FTC prevailed in narrowing the state action exemption in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners in February 2015, the hope of many commentators was that the result might be a reduction in excessive or unnecessary local (...)

Public sector

The Russian Competition Authority exposes a big bid-rigging cartel in the construction sector (Medcon)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS exposed a big bid-rigging cartel in the construction sector* On 9 June 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found that “Medcon” Ltd., “Monolitstroi” Ltd., “YUNIX” Medical Company” Ltd., “Sibagropromstroi” Shareholding Company violated Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On (...)

The Russian Competition Authority exposes a first cartel in public defence procurement (Fobus)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS exposed a first cartel in public defence procurement* On 2 June 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found that “Fobus” Ltd., “Luch” NPO” Ltd. and “Avista” Ltd. violated Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of the Law “On Protection of Competition” (bid-rigging cartel) and “Vector” Ltd. (...)

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