May 2001

Anticompetitive practices

The Spanish Competition Authority states that the “atypical agency agreements” between oil companies and petrol stations come within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC and national mirror provision (CEPSA)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues
It is rare that the eight members of the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (highest branch of the Spanish Competition Authority) express four different views on one single case. However, that happened in the 2001 CEPSA case (TDC’s decision of 30 may 2001 in case 493/00). One of those views (...)

The European Commission adopts a draft concerning the revision of the notice on agreements of minor importance (de minimis Notice)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Revision of the 1997 Notice on agreements of minor importance (de minimis Notice)"* The Commission adopted on the 16th of May a draft de minimis Notice and invites comments from industry, consumer organisations and other interested third parties. The revision is part of the Commission’s review (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority issues report against price agreements on the petrol market that had exclusionary effects (Tango petrol stations / Texaco)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Draws up Report on Texaco Due to Thwarting of Tango in the Nijmegen Region* The Dutch Competition Authority (NMa), after conducting an investigation, has drawn up a report against Texaco. The report is the result Texaco’s thwarting of Tango, a newcomer to the Nijmegen region, by means of a (...)

The European Commission examines the settlement proposed by international trade association in the airlines industry aiming at restoring competition in cargo tariff consultations (IATA)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"IATA Cargo Tariff Conferences"* In a statement of objections sent to the International Air Transport Association IATA) in May 2001, the European Commission took a preliminary view that the IATA cargo tariff consultations restricted competition and were no longer indispensable to provide (...)

The European Commission prohibits a leading pharmaceuticals company’s Spanish pricing system (Glaxo Wellcome)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission Decision prohibits Glaxo Wellcome’s Spanish pricing system"* 1. Introduction On 8 May 2001 the Commission decided to prohibit the dual pricing system which Glaxo Wellcome (GW) had introduced for all its pharmaceutical products in Spain. According to GW’s new sales conditions Spanish (...)

The European Commission investigates the amended agreements underlying the creation of an online travel agency on the basis of Articles 81 and 82 in order to uncover any possible restrictions of competition, in particular in the (online) travel agency services market and the ISP/portal markets (T-Online international, TUI, Thomas Cook)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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European Commission - DG ECFIN
"Internet Joint Ventures and the Quest for Exclusive Content: The T-Online Cases"* Introduction EC and national competition law issues arising from the marketing of ‘premium’ content, such as travel services and sports news, via the Internet were at the centre of several recent competition (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority grants interim measures on the pay-TV market (Multivision and TPS)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Referral and request for interim measures filed by the companies Multivision and TPS, concerning certain practices implemented by the companies Canal Plus and Kiosque* On 9th January 2001, the companies (...)

The French Competition Authority fines laboratory for preventing entry of generics in the market for anesthetic drug (Abott France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Abbott France abused the dominant position it held in the market for Isoflurane* In a decision dated 10th May 2001, following a referral by the Delegate Minister of Finance and External Trade, the Conseil de (...)

Mergers

The German Bundeskartellamt clears a merger in the energy sector subject to remedies, including access to infrastructure, publication of prices and extraordinary contract cancellation rights (Trienekens/Stadtwerke Viersen)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation On 27 December 2000 the parties notified the Bundeskartellamt of the proposed acquisition by Trienekens Niederrhein GmbH & Co. KG (“Trienekens”) of 49% of the equity capital of Stadtwerke Viersen GmbH (“Stadtwerke”) from the Stadt Viersen, its sole shareholder. Trienekens is (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority approves takeover on the market for procurement and slaughter of pigs and the further processing and sale of pork (Dumeco / SturkoMeat)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Approves Takeover of SturkoMeat by Dumeco The Director-General of the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) today approved the takeover of SturkoMeat by Dumeco, the two largest pig abattoirs in the Netherlands. Due to the structure of this market, NMa sees no reason to assume that, as a result (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to divestiture, the acquisition by equity fund company of the chemical operations of a Swedish company (Industri Kapital/Perstorp)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* Subject to the divestiture the Commission approved the proposed acquisition by Industri Kapital Group of the chemical operations of Swedish company Perstorp AB. The divestiture concerns Industri Kapital‘s phenolic resins (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, an acquisition in the spirits and wine sector (Pernod Ricard/Diageo/Seagram)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* In May, the Commission approved the acquisition by Pernod Ricard SA of France and British-based Diageo Plc of the world-wide spirits and wine business of the Seagram Company Ltd Canada from France’s Vivendi Universal SA. (...)

The US DoJ requires the merging parties to divest helicopter engine business and to authorize a new third-party to provide the service for certain models of aircraft engines and APUs (Honeywell / GE)
Leroy Merlin
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US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
A Merger Denied, 13 years later: The GE/Honeywell Saga* Through COMESA, a regional organization on which this resource has published extensively, African countries have made a significant foray into cross-border merger control. As the world’s competition regimes continue to proliferate, a (...)

State Aid

The European Commission adopts communication on state aid and risk capital
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission adopts communication on state aid and risk capital"* On 23 May the Commission adopted a communication on state aid and risk capita.It sets out how the Commission will assess, under the state aid rules, measures designed to promote the growth of risk capital markets. An increase in (...)

The German government accepts the ’appropriate measures’ proposed by the European Commission in order to render the system of State guarantees for public law credit institutions compatible with the State aid rules of the EC Treaty (Anstaltslastand Gewährträgerhaftung)
European Commission - DG ENER
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Germany – Further developments on State guarantees for German public banks – The German Government accepted the ‘appropriate measures’ proposed by the Commission"* The German Government accepted on 18 July 2001 the formal recommendation adopted by the European Commission on 8 May 2001, proposing (...)

The European Commission authorizes the restructuring aid for a German construction company (Philipp Holzmann)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Germany — Commission concluded its investigation and authorised the restructuring aid for the construction company Philipp Holzmann AG"* On 8 May 2001 the Commission authorised a subordinated loan from the state-run Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (‘KfW‘) of Euro 76.7 million (DEM 150 million) and (...)

The European Commission adopts a formal recommendation on State guarantees for German public banks (Anstaltslast und Gewährträgerhaftung)
European Commission - DG ENER
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Germany — Recent developments on State guarantees for German public banks"* After intensification in the recent months of the contacts with the German Government, the European Commission adopted on 8 May 2001 a formal recommendation, proposing to the German Government so-called ‘appropriate (...)

Procedures

The French Criminal Supreme Court upheld sentences inflicting prison, fines and damages for bid-rigging ("Isère tarmac")
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
Supreme Court, Criminal Chamber, 16 may 2001, Cases n° 99-83467 and 97-80888 Grenoble Court of appeal, Criminal Chamber, 7 April 1999, A., C., De., Du., J., K., P. , Case n° 98/00334, Decision n° 431/99 (Part. I ; Part. II ; Part. III) Grenoble Criminal Court, 13 November 1997, 1st Chamber, A., (...)

The Irish Supreme Court refuses to acknowledge the need for interlocutory relief in an abuse of dominance case, considering that an award of damages would constitute an appropriate remedy for the appellants (Meridian Communications and Cellular Three/Eircell)
London School of Economics
Irish High Court, 5 April 2001, Meridian Communication Limited and Cellular Three Telecommunications Limited, v. Eircell Limited ; [2002] 1 IR 17 Irish Supreme Court, 10 May 2001, Meridian Communication Limited and Cellular Three Telecommunications Limited, v. Eircell Limited ; [2001] IESC (...)

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