March 2010

Anticompetitive practices

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on manufacturers of office furniture for bid rigging (ITOKI)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers of office furniture ordered by the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) of the Ministry of Defense (MOD)* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated (...)

The UK OFT accepts fine settlement for price fixing cartel in the bank industry (Royal Bank of Scotland)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Reckless Bank Saved by the Taxpayer Will Now Pay Cartel Fine* British bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has agreed to pay a fine of £28.6 million for price fixing. RBS employees shared confidential pricing information concerning (...)

The Chinese Competition Authorities publish first decision against price cartel under new anti-monopoly law (Guangxi)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s competition law enforcement authorities published their first decision against a price cartel on March 30, 2010, more than one and a half years after the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) came into effect. This action against domestic rice noodle producers was reported by the National Development (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts an investigation into the national consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging for alleged infringement of Art. 101 TFEU (COMIECO)
Italian Competition Authority
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
On March 30th, 2010 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, the ICA) opened a formal investigation into the activities and internal working of the “National Consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging (hereinafter, the Consortium or COMIECO), members of which (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on manufacturers of cathode ray tubes for televisions for having implemented a price-fixing agreement (Samsung SDI and P.T. LP Displays Indonesia)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease-and-Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers of Cathode Ray Tubes for Televisions* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as “the JFTC”), on October 7, 2009, issued a cease-and-desist order pursuant to the provision of Paragraph 2,Article 7 of the (...)

The New York Attorney General relies on New York General Business Code in a petition challenging restrictions on advertised prices used by a leading mattress manufacturer (Tempur-Pedic)
Mayer Brown (Chicago)
In a series of articles and public statements, enforcement officials from the New York Attorney General’s office have warned that vertical agreements to fix minimum resale prices, also referred to as minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements, may remain per se unlawful under existing New (...)

A US District Court allows the reverse payment suits to proceed finding that the agreements extended beyond the scope of the concerned patent (Provigil)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court allows Provigil reverse payment suits to proceed* On 29 March 2010 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected defendants’ motions to dismiss in suits concerning reverse payment settlements between the brand name manufacturer of the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority establishes existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to a uniform price increase (Slobodna Dalmacija, Europapress holding, RTD, Glas Slavonije, Glas Istre, Novi list, Večernji list, Vjesnik-naklada)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 25 March 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established that eight publishers of daily newspapers violated national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU by entering into an anticompetitive agreement in the form of concerted practices, which led to the uniform increase of the retail (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a professional association for having called for a boycott of opticians on the replacement of glasses without a prescription sector (Syndicat national des ophtalmologistes de France - SNOF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence sanctions the French national association of ophthalmologists (Syndicat national des ophtalmologistes de France - SNOF) for having called for a boycott of opticians affiliated (...)

The EC adopts a new Block Exemption Regulation for the insurance sector
Winston & Strawn (London)
On 24 March 2010, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a new Block Exemption Regulation (new BER) for the insurance sector. This exempts certain agreements from the EU-wide ban on anticompetitive practices contained in Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (...)

The European Commission adopts a new block exemption regulation for the insurance sector
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"The New Block Exemption Regulation for the Insurance Sector"* A block exemption regulation (BER) allows market players the benefit of a safe harbour from the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements, decisions and concerted practices laid down in Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the (...)

The European Commission adopts new and streamlined insurance block exemption
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Jones Day (London)
The European Commission has today adopted a new Insurance Block Exemption («New IBER»), exempting certain categories of cooperation in the insurance sector from the prohibition against anticompetitive cooperation contained in Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU («TFEU»). It (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision lifting ban on reporting of sales price and contribution margins (Bestseller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 March 2010, the Danish Competition Council adopted a commitment decision, cf. section 16 a of the Danish Competition Act, allowing Bestseller A/S to regain access to price information from its franchise partners - irrespective of a previous injunction issued by the Competition Council in (...)

The French Supreme Court agrees with European Court of Justice that a trademark owner can oppose the resale of its luxury goods by discount stores (Caud/Chanel)
Van Bael & Bellis
In its recently published judgment in Caud/Chanel, the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) followed the approach of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in Copad/Christian Dior Coutureconcerning the exhaustion of trademark rights in respect of luxury goods. In that judgment, the ECJ held (...)

The French Competition Authority seizes itself on its own motion in order to issue an opinion on several questions involving mass retail distribution which may hinder the functioning of competition in this sector
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 25 February and 19 March 2010, the French Competition Authority decided on its own initiative, to make a reference to issue two opinions in the mass retail distribution sector, in order to ensure that the functioning of competition in this sector is not hindered. The French NCA’s power to (...)

The European Commission consults on remedies in the airline sector (Iberia, British Airways, American Airways)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 March 2010, the European Commission opened a consultation on remedies offered by British Airways (“BA”), American Airlines (“AA”) and Iberia in the context of its review of the airlines’ envisaged cooperation relating to transatlantic flights under Article 101 TFEU. The three airlines have (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority releases its 2009 Annual Report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 8 March 2010 the Serbian Competition Authority (Komisija za zastitu konkurencije) (KZK) released its 2009 Annual Report, where it summarized its law enforcement and related activities carried out in 2009. The core event of the year of 2009 definitely was the adoption of the new Law on (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council fines seven companies member of a cartel in the flooring industry (“Cité judiciaire”)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 5 March 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) released its first decision on the merits by which it imposed fines on seven companies which were sanctioned for coordinating between themselves when submitting applications for public bids. This decision provides (...)

The US DOJ opens an investigation into possible collusion among various hedge funds that trade euro contracts
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
According to published reports, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into possible collusion among various hedge funds that trade euro contracts. The inquiry comes amid a sharp decline in the value of the euro, which has fallen approximately (...)

The German Competition Authority fines mortar cartelists € 13 M for price fixing (Hagebau, Eurobaustoff, Verband Norddeutscher Baustoffhändler, Baustoff-Fachverband Landsberg)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 March 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced that it had imposed fines totalling € 13.36 million on the members of a price-fixing cartel in the mortar sector, who had agreed on charging additional fees to customers to cover the setting up of silos for dry mortar. The FCO’s (...)

The Czech Regional Court rules that the Competition Office is under the duty to return along with a refunded fine the default interest on it (Českomoravská stavební spořitelna)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Prague)
I. Introduction On 2 March 2010, the Regional Court in Brno issued a judgment holding that the Competition Office, following the annulment of its decision by an appellate court, is under the duty to repay to the undertaking previously fined not only the amount of the fine but also the default (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission is called on to assess whether a company in the online search market has abused of its dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU (Microsoft, Google)
University of South Australia
Microsoft v. Google – Clash of the Titans* On Behalf of the Antitrust Community, A Big Thank You – Antitrust law professors should be grateful to Microsoft (hereafter, “MSFT”). As a repeat offender of the competition laws, MSFT has provided scholars with loads of research and educational material (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority reduces obligation of members of a food products group to supply dairy products (Arla Foods Group)
European Commission
Sweden: Arla Farmers allowed to supply more to rival Dairies Following a Decision by the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) of 31 March 2010, the Swedish Members of the Arla Foods Group are now entitled to deliver up to 50 % of their Milk Production to other Non-Arla Dairies. Before the (...)

A US District Court grants motion for summary judgment on claims of maintaining a monopoly in the operating systems market (Novell / Microsoft)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court dismisses Novell’s claims against Microsoft* On 30 March 2010 the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted Microsoft’s motion for summary judgment on Novell’s claims that Microsoft violated U.S. antitrust laws by engaging in anti-competitive conduct in order to (...)

The EU General Court examines an appeal against a Commission decision in the chip manufacturing sector (Hynix Semiconductor)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
The details of two appeals lodged at the General Court (“GC”) by Hynix Semiconductor (“Hynix”) against two Commission decisions concerning US chip manufacturer Rambus were published in the Official Journal of 5 June 2010. In December 2009, the Commission issued a decision closing an investigation (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes its first leniency application case finding a price fixing cartel among the three main operators in the market for liquefied petroleum gas (Prezzo per il GPL)
Ashurst
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Pirelli
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Background On March 24, 2010, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) issued its first cartel decision based on a leniency application, approximately 3 years after the ICA officially adopted its Leniency Program. The case concerns a ten-year cartel between the three main Italian suppliers of (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court rules that the railways incumbent request for an unconditional bank guarantee from new entrants to the liberalized railway market does not amount to an abuse of dominant position on the basis of Art. 102 TFEU and its national equivalent (MÁV)
lakatos, koves and partners
In 2006, the Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) fined the Hungarian State Railways (“MÁV”) for an abuse of dominant position under Article 82 EC (now Article 102 TFEU) and Section 21 of the Hungarian competition act. In decision no. Vj-22/2005/145, the HCO ruled that following the liberalisation (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the NCA finding an abuse of dominance on the market for distribution of cigarettes (Adris grupa, Ronhill)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 March 2010 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) finding an abuse of dominant position on the market for distribution of cigarettes. The applicants in this case, Adris grupa d.d. (former tobacco factory in Rovinj - Tvornica (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission concludes that a joint purchase agreement between refineries does not restrict competition (Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil Hellas)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 23 March 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission («HCC») concluded an own-initiative investigation with a ruling that the joint purchase agreement between Hellenic Petroleum («ELPE») and Motor Oil Hellas in relation to the operation of a pipeline to the Athens International Airport does not (...)

The European Commission makes legally binding commitments proposed by French incumbent electricity operator in long term contracts case (EDF)
European Commission - DG HOME
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European Commission - DG ENER
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European Commission - DG COMP
"The EDF long term contracts case: addressing foreclosure for the long term benefit of industrial customers"* I. Introduction On 17 March 2010, the Commission adopted a decision making legally binding the commitments offered by EDF (the incumbent operator) on the French market for the supply (...)

The Polish Supreme Court dismisses a cassation appeal filed by the incumbent telecommunications operator against a decision which condemned it for abusing its dominant position (Telekomunikacja Polska)
European Commission
Poland: UOKiK wins Case against Telekommunikacja Polska before the Supreme Court On 17 March 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed a cassation appeal filed by Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TP SA) - the Polish telecommunications incumbent - against the decision issued on 29 December 2006 by the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision on abuse of dominance by an airport operator (Vilnius International Airport - Naftelf)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Authority’s Decision on Abuse of Dominance by Vilnius International Airport On 15 March 2010, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 6 November 2008 finding an infringement of Article 9 of (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority considers behavioural commitments in cases of refusal to supply (E.On Bulgaria / EVN Bulgaria)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) considered behavioural commitments in two cases of dominant undertakings’ refusal to supply for a first time in its practice. In both cases, the proposed commitments essentially boiled down to the adoption of internal instructions (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority defines the termination of electricity supply due to the debts accumulated by the previous owner as an abuse of dominant position (EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 February 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) held that electricity supplier EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane (ES) has committed an abuse of dominant position by terminating the supply of electricity due to the debts accumulated by the previous owner of the facility in the town (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the request for interim measures to address competition concerns on the terrestrial hertzian broadcasting of television programmes by digital signal (Itas Tim / TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence does not declare emergency measures against TDF but continues the investigation on the merits regarding the complaint by Itas Tim.* The company Itas Tim had referred to the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal, while confirming the NCA decision on maritime servicing of Corsica, raises more expectations on clear criteria for delineating jurisdiction between the NCA and the administrative courts and for assessing the necessity of an effect on the market (SNCM)
Vogel & Vogel
The maritime servicing of Corsica case provided the Paris Court of Appeal with an opportunity to rule on jurisdiction between the Competition Authority and the administrative courts and on the definition of a dominant position and the necessity of an effect on the market to characterise an (...)

The Italian Competition Authority decides to extend the scope of its ongoing investigation in order to ascertain whether the contract conditions imposed on domestic website publishers for online ad-serving were illegal (Google)
Ashurst (Milan)
Italian Competition Authority widens investigation into Google* On 3 March 2010, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) decided to include Google Ireland in its ongoing investigation of last August 2009 (see Newsletter 5/2009 p. 10) to ascertain whether the contract conditions imposed by (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce acquits the telecommunications incumbent and the NCA appeals to the Lisbon Appeals Court in a case dealing with the essential infrastructures doctrine (PT Comunicações Conduit Network)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
Two major and striking developments occurred in the course of March 2010 in Portugal as regards the enforcement of competition Law. On the one hand, on the 2nd of March the Lisbon Commercial Court has ruled on the so called “PTC Conduit Network Case”, which referred to a Portuguese Competition (...)

The French competition authority rules that an over-general exclusivity clause to the benefit of an undertaking in a dominant position prevents access to the market for other potential operators (Titres Cadeaux / Kadéos)
Vogel & Vogel
The company Titres Cadeaux complained that the company Kadéos was foreclosing the markets for the distribution and redeeming of multi-store gift cards by systematically including exclusivity clauses in its contracts with traders. It therefore filed a complaint with the Competition Authority for (...)

The EU Commission sends statement of objections for alleged refusal to supply (Telekomunikacja Polska)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 1 March 2010, the Commission announced that it had sent a Statement of Objections to incumbent Polish telecoms operator Telekomunikacja Polska (“TP”) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Polish wholesale broadband services market by engaging in a refusal to supply. In (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission clears subject to conditions an acquisition on the market for video communication systems via internet (Cisco / Tandberg)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission clears Cisco’s acquisition of Tandberg, subject to conditions* On 29 March 2010, the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of Norway’s Tandberg, a vendor of video communications systems, by Cisco Systems subject to conditions. On the same day, just one hour (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to divestment, the acquisition of a vendor of videoconferencing products with dual headquarters in Norway and in the US by US company (Cisco/Tandberg)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" On 29 March the Commission approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Tandberg, a vendor of videoconferencing products with dual headquarters in Norway and in the US, by Cisco of the US. The approval is (...)

The European Commission clears in phase I a merger in video communications industries accepting complex remedies proposed by merging parties (Cisco, Tandberg)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
T-Mobile/Orange and Cisco/Tandberg: Commission accepts complex Phase I remedies* When the Commission’s Remedies Notice was published in 2008, many commentators thought the Notice’s requirements for parties to a concentration to offer an acceptable remedy were too demanding. The concern was that (...)

The Belgian Competition Council grants conditional authorization for an acquisition in the broadband market (Mobistar/KPN Belgium Business)
Leuven University
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
1. Introduction On 25 March 2010, the Belgian Competition Council approved the acquisition of KPN Belgium Business NV, a subsidiary of the Dutch KPN, by Mobistar NV, part of France Télécom. The acquisition concerns on the one hand KPN’s activities on the Belgian wholesale broadband market and on (...)

The EU General Court examines a claim from a French local authority who seeks damages for Commission’s failure to impose conditions in a merger (Communauté de communes de Lacq)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 June 2010, details were published in the Official Journal of the European Union of a damages action before the General Court brought by Communauté de communes de Lacq (a French local authority) against the European Union, requesting compensation for injury allegedly suffered by the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, under conditions, a merger in the food retail distribution sector in French overseas territories (Hoio / Louis Delhaize)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence authorizes the acquisition of certain companies of the Louis Delhaize distribution group by the Hoio group, subject to the sale of a store in Martinique.* The Autorité de la (...)

The European Commission refers to the Hellenic Competition Authority the examination of a proposed acquisition in the oil sector (Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries/Shell Overseas Holdings)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" The Commission has referred to the Hellenic Competition Authority the examination of the proposed acquisition of Shell’s oil sector activities in Greece by Motor Oil of Greece, on 15 March. The transaction includes the creation of (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal partially annuls Competition Council’s decision concerning a merger in the cinema industry (Kinepolis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 March 2010, the Brussels Court of Appeal handed down a judgment which partially annuls a decision of the Competition Council of 1 October 2008 (the “Decision”). In the Decision, the Competition Council partially upheld the conditions it had imposed in 1997 when approving the merger (...)

The US DoJ challenges consummated USD 5 M merger in the voting equipment systems industry (Election Systems and Software / Premier Election Solutions)
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (New York)
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US Department of Justice (Washington)
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Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (Washington)
On March 8, 2010, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (the "DOJ") and nine states announced a settlement in their challenge of Election Systems & Software Inc.’s ("ES&S") $5 million acquisition of Premier Election Solutions, Inc. and PES Holdings, Inc. ("Premier"). At the (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to remedies, a merger between French and German telecommunications companies in the UK (Orange/T-Mobile)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" The Commission cleared, 1 March, the proposed merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, respectively France Télécom’s (FT) and Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) UK subsidiaries. The decision is conditional, firstly upon the amendment of an existing (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase I a merger in the mobile industry accepting complex remedies proposed by merging parties (T-Mobile / Orange)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
T-Mobile/Orange and Cisco/Tandberg: Commission accepts complex Phase I remedies* When the Commission’s Remedies Notice was published in 2008, many commentators thought the Notice’s requirements for parties to a concentration to offer an acceptable remedy were too demanding. The concern was that (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves joint venture between two UK mobile network operators (T-Mobile, Orange)
European External Action Service
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European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Of spectrum and Radio Access Networks: the T-Mobile/Orange joint venture in the UK"* I. Introduction On 8 September 2009, France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom, the French and German incumbent telecommunication operators, announced a 50/50 joint venture between their UK subsidiaries, Orange and (...)

State Aid

The ECJ Advocate General Jääskinen agrees with the General Court’s ruling in a recovery State aid case in the postal sector (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In an opinion issued on 24 March 2010, Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen agrees with the judgment given by the General Court (hereinafter the “GC”) in 2008 by which the GC overturned a Commission decision ordering Deutsche Post to repay € 572 million of state aid. According to the AG, the Commission (...)

The European Commission approves a proposal by the Cyprus Government to impose a special reduced tax on companies engaged in international maritime transport (Cyprus Tonnage Tax Scheme)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has approved a proposal by the Cyprus Government to impose a special reduced tax on companies engaged in international maritime transport; this tax would replace the corporate tax. The Cyprus government has (...)

The European Commission authorizes Austria to grant € 16 M towards an energy-saving project for the combined production of electricity and heat (Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power, Verbund group)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised Austria to grant €16 million towards an energy-saving project run by Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power GmbH & Co. KG (a subsidiary of the Verbund group) for the combined production of electricity (...)

The European Commission authorizes French aid of € 18.9 M for a research programme aimed at developing production technologies for second-generation motor biofuels (GAYA programme)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* On 24 March 2010 the Commission authorised French aid worth €18.9 million for the GAYA research programme, a programme aimed at developing production technologies for second-generation motor biofuels. GAYA‘s objective is to (...)

The European Commission authorizes, under the temporary framework, a Slovenian measure to provide insurance cover via the State-owned agency to exporters who are unable to obtain cover from the private market (SID Banka)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission also authorised a Slovenian measure to provide insurance cover via the State-owned agency, SID Banka, to exporters who are unable to obtain cover from the private market as a result of the current financial (...)

The European Court of Justice rules on two state aids in the books distribution sector holding that their twenty-year duration is not an “exceptional situation” under European law (CELF, SIDE)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
Court of Justice: A twenty-year duration of a State aid case does not amount to an “exceptional situation” under the State aid rules.* On March 11, 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) rendered a judgment (preliminary ruling) in response to two State aid questions referred (...)

The European Commission authorizes the granting of investment aid of € 30.18 M by Germany for a ’Top Gas Recycling’ (TGR) project (ArcelorMittal Eisenhuettenstadt)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised the granting of investment aid of €30.18 million by Germany to ArcelorMittal Eisenhuettenstadt GmbH’s ‘Top Gas Recycling’ (TGR) project. TGR is an innovative process that enables the separation of CO2 (...)

Procedures

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court endorses a broad scope of requests for information in competition law investigations (HIT Hypermarket)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the "SAC") expanded the scope of requests for information in competition law investigations by ruling that the national competition authority - the Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") - might seek to obtain any information that it (...)

The Macedonian Competition Authority releases its 2009 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 31 March 2010 the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) released its annual report summarizing competition law enforcement activities carried out in 2009. Statistically, the workload of the KZK in 2009 was comparable to that reported for 2008: It initiated 3 investigations into the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania adopts "scope of patent" test for analyzing Hatch-Waxman patent settlements (Cephalon)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On March 29, 2010, Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg upheld antitrust lawsuits filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private plaintiffs against drug maker Cephalon, Inc. (Cephalon), alleging that Cephalon conspired with four generic drug manufacturers to delay generic competition for the (...)

The Japanese Government proposes to reform the Fair Trade Commission’s hearing procedure for antitrust violations
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
,
Jones Day (Tokyo)
The Japanese government has proposed significant changes to the procedures for challenging orders issued for antitrust violations by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). The Cabinet submitted a bill of amendments to the Antimonopoly Act (AMA) to the House of Representatives (Shugiin) on (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court dismisses the appeal of the state of Luxembourg and confirms the annulment of the decisions imposing interim measures against national incumbent telecom operator (P&T)
FratiniVergano
1. Facts Several telecommunications companies introduced a complaint for abuse of dominant position against “Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications” (hereafter “P&T”) to the Luxembourg Competition Inspectorate. The latter requested the President of the Luxembourg Competition Council (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court dismisses the appeal of the state of Luxembourg and confirms the annulment of the decisions imposing interim measures against national incumbent telecom operator (P&T)
FratiniVergano
1. Facts Several telecommunications companies introduced a complaint for abuse of dominant position against “Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications” (hereafter “P&T”) to the Luxembourg Competition Inspectorate. The latter requested the President of the Luxembourg Competition Council (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court dismisses the appeal of the state of Luxembourg and confirms the annulment of the decisions imposing interim measures against national incumbent telecom operator (P&T)
FratiniVergano
1. Facts Several telecommunications companies introduced a complaint for abuse of dominant position against “Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications” (hereafter “P&T”) to the Luxembourg Competition Inspectorate. The latter requested the President of the Luxembourg Competition Council (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court dismisses the appeal of the state of Luxembourg and confirms the annulment of the decisions imposing interim measures against national incumbent telecom operator (P&T)
FratiniVergano
1. Facts Several telecommunications companies introduced a complaint for abuse of dominant position against “Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications” (hereafter “P&T”) to the Luxembourg Competition Inspectorate. The latter requested the President of the Luxembourg Competition Council (...)

Regulatory

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority to monitor the work of the telecommunications Regulator (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company)
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority (CPC) to monitor the Work of the Telecommunications Regulator On 24 March 2010, a five-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) issued a decision which obliges the CPC to start proceedings and to decide (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the “ultrafast broadband” programme envisaged by the government
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence releases to the public its 17 March 2010 opinion on the programme envisaged by the government. Though favourable to the project, it is proposing adjustments and additional (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority concludes study on retail prices in the mobile telecommunication sector
European Commission
Portugal: The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) concludes Study on Retail Prices for Mobile Telecommunication In March 2010, the PCA concluded a study on the mobile telecommunication sector. In the beginning of 2009, the three main Portuguese mobile communications network operators (...)

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