March 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes revised Guidelines on vertical agreements
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) completed its work in progress on revising the Guidelines on Vertical Agreements (“Guidelines”) that was issued based on the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements (“Communiqué No. 2002/2”). It took approximately 2 years for the Authority to (...)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sets student-athletes’ antitrust case for trial (NCAA)
Rutgers University
On March 28, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected an attempt by the NCAA and 11 conferences to dismiss claims brought by current and former student-athletes playing Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football and men’s and women’s Division I (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a horizontal cooperation agreement in the telecommunication sector by a commitment decision (Flash Fiber)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Flash Fiber case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed by a commitment decision an Article 101 TFEU investigation into a horizontal cooperation agreement concerning the telecommunication sector. After the implementation of the commitments agreed with the parties, the ICA (...)

The EU Commission fines 8 Japanese producers of capacitors involved in a cartel for the supply of aluminium and tantalum electrolytic capacitors (Elna / Hitachi / Holy Stone / Matsuo / NEC Tokin / Nichicon / Nippon Chemi-Con / Ruycom / Sanyo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 March 2018, the European Commission announced that it had adopted a decision fining eight Japanese producers of capacitors a total of € 253,935,000. The companies addressed by the decision, namely Elna, Hitachi, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Ruycom and Sanyo, (...)

The EU Commission fines eight producers of capacitors for cartel (Elna / Hitachi Chemical / Holy Stone / Matsuo / NEC Tokin / Nichicon / Nippon Chemi-Con / Rubycon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines eight producers of capacitors €254 million for participating in cartel* The European Commission has fined Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Rubycon € 253 935 000. Together with the immunity applicant, Sanyo, they (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announces product safety priorities for 2018
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced product safety priorities for 2018. A key priority is for the Commission to work towards the introduction of a General Safety provision within the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). A recent review by the ACL found that it (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an undertaking for implementing anticompetitive agreements in the tobacconist security provision sector (Sécurité Vol Feu)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Anticompetitive agreements in the tobacconist security provision sector in the Isère département* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Sécurité Vol Feu company Following an investigation carried out by the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 9 bar associations for issuing a collective price recommendation regarding lawyers’ professional fees (Bankia)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) has fined 9 bar associations EUR 1.4 million for issuing a collective price recommendation regarding lawyers’ professional fees. The case was triggered by a complaint filed by Bankia as a consequence of the numerous claims filed by the bank’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines ten courier and parcel companies for participating in a customer-allocation cartel (Mensajeria y paqueteria empresarial)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) has fined ten courier and parcel companies EUR 68 million for participating in a customer-allocation cartel, namely, Correos Express, UPS, TNT, DHL, Touline, RedySer, FEDEX, ICS and MBE. The CNMC has found that some of the companies entered into oral (...)

The French Competition Authority closes its investigation against agricultural tractor manufacturers after ensuring that they change their commercial practices in respect of dealers in order to strengthen competition and diversify supply (John Deere / AGCO)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sale of agricultural tractors* The Autorité closes the investigation against agricultural tractor manufacturers John Deere and AGCO (Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Laverda and Valtra). It has ensured that the manufacturers change their commercial practices in respect of dealers in order to (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority implements a big data information system that will allow a quicker identification of cartel
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council implements a big data informatics system through the project* “Optimizing the interaction with the business environment and the implementation of advanced data analysis and data exchange mechanisms by implementing an e-government information system and Big Data analysis (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two suppliers of charcoal and coal for households for market sharing (CPL / Fuel Express)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
£3.4m fine for household coal and BBQ supplier cartel* Two of the biggest suppliers of charcoal and coal for households in the UK have agreed to pay a £3.4m fine for taking part in a market sharing cartel. CPL and Fuel Express are 2 of the main suppliers of bagged household fuels, including (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority and the French Competition Authority conduct inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA and the “Autorité de la concurrence” (France) conducted inspections at the premises of (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Latvian Competition Authority fines a waste management company for abuse of dominance (ZAAO)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC imposes a fine on SIA “ZAAO” for abuse of market power* On 21 March, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC), imposed a fine of EUR 36 665 on the waste management company SIA “ZAAO”, owned by several municipalities, for abuse of dominant position. The CC detected, that the waste manager (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation into German grid operator for limiting cross border electricity capacity with Denmark (TenneT)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into German grid operator TenneT for limiting cross border electricity capacity with Denmark* The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether German grid operator TenneT’s limitation of capacity from Western Denmark into (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion concluding its sector-specific investigation into online advertising
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-specific investigation into online advertising* The Autorité de la concurrence has made public its opinion in which it analyses a very complex market characterised by a fragile competitive equilibrium. Given the concerns of stakeholders in the sector, the General Rapporteur announced (...)

Mergers

The Belgian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a Belgian football club by an investment company (Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht / Alychlo)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht by Alychlo* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved on 28 March 2018 the acquisition of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht by Alychlo. The (...)

The EU Commission considers potential harm to innovation as part of its merger assessments, particularly in R&D driven sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology (Bayer / Monsanto)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
The European Commission has routinely considered potential harm to innovation as part of its merger assessments, particularly in R&D driven sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology. In recent years, however, the Commission’s traditional innovation concerns have developed into broader, (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture sector (Bayer / Monsanto)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer. The merger is conditional on the divestiture of an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties’ (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the rail sector (CIT Rail / VTG Rail Assets)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rail wagon leasing companies may merge subject to condition precedent* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of CIT Rail Holdings (Europe) S.A.S. by VTG Rail Assets GmbH subject to a condition precedent. The companies may only implement the merger once they have sold a substantial (...)

The US FTC publishes a blog post reminding merging parties to avoid creating antitrust liability through the exchange of competitively sensitive information during merger negotiations
Bennett Jones (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
In Short The Situation: The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") recently published a blog post reminding merging parties to avoid creating antitrust liability through the exchange of competitively sensitive information during merger negotiations and due diligence. The Risk: Information-sharing (...)

The U.S. Senate approves the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act that would repeal or modify certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On March 14, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that would repeal or modify certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and eliminate or ease a number of regulatory burdens on superregional, regional and large (...)

Regulatory

The Finnish Competition Authority issues its report on health service marketing
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA report: Health service marketing promotes competition and customers’ freedom of choice* The FCCA has been studying how health service marketing is currently regulated and what kinds of challenges the health and social services reform is setting for health service marketing. Health service (...)

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