May 2010

Anticompetitive practices

The UK Court of Appeal holds that mutual dishonesty is not required in order to satisfy the dishonesty element of the cartel offence under section 188 Enterprise Act 2002 (British Airways)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
,
Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 28 May 2010, the criminal division of the Court of Appeal handed down an important judgment in which it considered the correct ingredients of the dishonesty element of the cartel offence established by section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002. The ingredients of dishonesty in the context of (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes total fines of € 115 M in the sector of spectacle lenses (Carl Zeiss Vision, Essilor, Hoya Lens Deutschland, Rodenstock and Rupp+Hubrach Optik)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 28 May 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling € 115 million on five manufacturers of spectacle lenses, seven employees and a national association of opticians (“ZVA”) for their involvement in two cartel agreements. The companies (...)

The European Commission consults on commitments in the financial sector (Visa MIF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission has recently consulted on commitments offered by Visa Europe in the context of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”). MIFs are charged by a cardholder’s bank (the “issuing bank”) to a merchant’s bank (the “acquiring bank”) for each (...)

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcer publishes new draft rules on monopoly agreements
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
On May 25, 2010, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce ("SAIC") published for public comment three sets of draft rules. These (1) "monopoly agreements," that is, anticompetitive agreements, (2) abuses of dominant market position, and (3) "administrative monopolies," anticompetitive (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that teams of the national football league engaged in concerted practices (NFL)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Supreme Court holds licensing activities of NFL teams were joint conduct subject to § 1 Sherman Act* On 24 May 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that teams of the National Football League (“NFL”) engaged in concerted action subject to Section 1 Sherman Act when licensing their intellectual (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects special sports league exemption from antitrust scrutiny adopting a narrow view of Copperweld immunity (American Needle / National Football League)
Jones Day (New York)
The U.S. Supreme Court adopts a narrow view of Copperweld immunity in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act is, in important ways, extraordinary in its simplicity. It broadly prohibits all agreements—“[e]very contract, combination . . . or (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decisions addressing the issue of single entity notion under antitrust law (American Needle / National Football League)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League* In American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, 130 S.Ct. 2201 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the NFL acting through its incorporated subsidiary NFL Properties, Inc. (NFLP) was not a single entity but rather a combination of its 32 (...)

The US Supreme Court finds that a football league and its members should not be treated as a single entity (American Needle / National Football League)
Tesoro
American professional sports associations such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Major League Baseball (MLB) generate significant economic activity. In 2010, their combined revenue exceeded $21 billion and (...)

The US Supreme Court applies functional test to determine whether joint venture activity triggers antitrust liability (American Needle / National Football League)
White & Case (New York)
Introduction Section 1 of the Sherman Act outlaws contracts, combinations and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain trade. Therefore, to establish liability under Section 1, it is necessary to show a plurality of actors in agreement; there can be no contract, combination or conspiracy with (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines members of a price maintenance agreement on the paint market (Tikkurila, Castorama, Praktiker)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
,
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
Background The market for the wholesale of paints in Poland has been subject to special scrutiny by the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the OCCP). The first case concerning the illegal collusion between the paint producer (Polifarb Cieszyn) and its distributors was examined in (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on several manufacturers of optical fiber cable products for price-fixing (Sumitomo Electric)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers of Optical Fiber Cable Products* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated companies engaged in manufacturing and selling optical fiber cable products (...)

The Belgian Competition Council fines four undertakings for participating in a cartel in the radiators market (Masco, Quinn, Radson, Caradon)
European Commission (Brussels)
Belgium: Fines imposed on Cartel in the Market for Radiators On 20 May 2010, the Competition Council fined four undertakings for participating in a cartel on the Belgian steel plate radiators market. The investigation of the competition authorities was based on two leniency applications. The (...)

The European Commission reaches first cartel settlement and imposes fines in the DRAM industry (Micron, Infineon)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
On May 19, 2010, the EC announced that, for the first time, it had resolved a cartel case through the use of its settlement procedure. The groundbreaking settlement resolved the EC’s investigation of ten producers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (“DRAM”) chips used in computers and servers. As the (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority orders three undertakers to pay administrative fines for anticompetitive cooperation in the form of collusive tendering in public procurement processes (Funeral services)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Vinge (Stockholm)
Introduction On May 19, 2010, the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) ordered the three undertakers (funeral directors), Fonus ekonomisk förening (”Fonus”), Säffle-Åmåls Begravningsbyrå AB (”Säffle-Åmåls”) and Begravningsbyrån Roland Andersson Aktiebolag (“Roland Andersson”) to pay administrative fines (...)

The Danish High Court overturns judgment by District Court on price fixing (Veterinary surgeons)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 19 May 2010, the Western High Court overturned a judgment by the District Court of Århus which had imposed fines on the seven veterinary surgeons for fixing prices for the provision of veterinary services outside normal opening hours contrary to section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission’s rejection of complaint on cement standard (EMC Development)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 May 2010, the General Court dismissed an appeal lodged by EMC Development (“EMC”), a Swedish company active in the commercial exploitation of specialist cement production technology, against a Commission decision rejecting its complaint alleging the infringement of Article 101 TFEU by a (...)

A UK Jury, following the UK OFT’s withdrawal of its criminal proceedings for price-fixing charges, acquits executives of airline company (British Airways)
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker (New York)
On May 10, 2010, the presiding judge ordered a London jury to acquit four British Airways executives of charges stemming from their alleged involvement in a price-fixing conspiracy between Virgin and British Airways to maintain the prices of passenger fuel surcharges, following the discovery of (...)

The UK OFT concludes the promising criminal case brought against the main national airline’s executives (British Airways)
WTG Events
I. Legal background The UK criminalized competition law in 2002 by adopting the Enterprise Act, which came into force in June 2003. It set up a whole new framework to prosecute, on a criminal basis, the individuals responsible for the establishment and implementation of hard-core cartels: the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens formal proceedings on anti-competitive practices in the plastic containers for fruit and vegetable packaging sector (INFIA, S.r.l.-Divisione ILIP, AGROENVAS and VERIPACK EMBALAJES)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain/Italy: The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) carries out Inspections on behalf and for the account of the Comision Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) On 2 March 2010, inspectors from the CNC have carried out inspections at the head offices of the leading makers and sellers of plastic (...)

The EU Commission publishes draft rules for the assessment of horizontal cooperation agreements under competition law
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission publishes draft guidelines on horizontal agreements and R&D block exemption regulation* On 4 May 2010 the European Commission published, for public consultation, draft guidelines on horizontal agreements and two related draft block exemption regulations, including one (...)

The Macedonian Competition Authority finds the existence of anticompetitive practices on the market for mandatory technical certification of motor vehicles (Macedonian Drivers Union)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 May 2010 the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) found that Macedonian Drivers Union (SVM) has infringed national equivalent of Article 101(1) TFEU by fixing prices for the mandatory technical certification services provided by its member organizations - local drivers clubs. The (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issues new draft rules under the Chinese Anti-monopoly law increasing flexibility on leniency program
AnJie Law (Beijing)
China’s Leniency Program Taking a Hazy Shape* Leniency program is an effective tool in exposing cartels. This has been confirmed by over 20 antitrust jurisdictions having leniency program around the world. China joined the club on August 1, 2008, when the Anti-Monopoly Law of PRC (“AML”) came (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading heavely fines price-fixing practices from supermarkets and tobacco firms in a decision which may be its largest ever combined fine (Imperial Tobacco, Gallaher and retailers)
TT&A
The Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) has recently fined two tobacco companies, namely Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher (now part of Japan Tobacco International), and ten retailers in UK for collusion while determining tobacco retail prices. The actual infringement took place between 2001 and 2003 for (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission limits the duration of contracts concluded between broadcasters and football clubs for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, as well as a pooling agreement between broadcasters, to three years (AVS, Mediapro, Sogecable y Clubs de Fútbol de 1 y 2 División)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On April 14, 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “CNC”) adopted a decision in a case against several broadcasters operating in the markets for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, and football clubs of the 1st and (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina investigates tender procedures for the supply of the vaccines organized by the State health insurance office (Pharma-Maac)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 October 2009 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) received a complaint lodged by the pharmaceuticals trading company Pharma-Maac. The applicant alleged the existence of anticompetitive agreement between the Health Insurance Office of the Sarajevo Canton (hereinafter: (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council imposes its first fines for cartel practices and clarifies its fining and leniency policy (“Cité judiciaire”)
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
1. On 5 March 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has imposed fines on 7 flooring undertakings for bid rigging practices during a public procurement procedure for flooring works in the new court buildings in Luxembourg-City. The procedure began with a complaint (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation against the largest companies active in the production of road blocks (Comast - Road blocks market)
Codacons
On 19 October 2009 “Guardia di Finanza”, a special body of police officers responsible for border control and for investigating fraud, reported a violation of the Antitrust Law in the supply and building road block market. The parties investigated and involved are Metalmeccanica Fracasso S.p.A., (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines € 3.4 M an undertaking for providing inaccurate information during the course of an investigation on alleged anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector (Raiffeisen Bank - Société Générale)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On April the 21st 2010 the Romanian Competition Council (the ‘Council’) issued a press release stating that it had fined Raiffeisen Bank SA (‘Raiffeisen’) for supplying inaccurate information during the course of an investigation, making it the second bank fined during the course of that (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority holds illegal minimum price fixing agreement among residential management service providers (Eki Inginjering)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
In December 2008 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) received a complaint submitted by the consumer protection organization “Istrian Consumer”. The complainant alleged that four providers of residential management services in the city of Pula (Eki Inžinjering d.o.o., Uljanik Upravljanje (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcer publishes new draft rules on abuses of dominance
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
On May 25, 2010, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce ("SAIC") published for public comment three sets of draft rules. These address (1) "monopoly agreements," that is, anticompetitive agreements, (2) abuses of dominant market position, and (3) "administrative monopolies," (...)

The Russian Supreme Commercial Court upholds a €28.5 M fine on a British-Russian oil company for abuse of dominance (TNK-BP)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
,
RBB Economics (Brussels)
BACKGROUND In 2008 the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation found four major Russian vertically integrated oil companies (TNK-BP, Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom Neft) guilty of abusing a collective dominant position on the wholesale Russian market for motor fuel products (...)

The Tribunal of Milan rejects a request for injunctive relief against the Italian soccer association for illegitimate award procedures of TV rights for live broadcast of soccer matches (Conto TV/Lega Calcio)
Italian Competition Authority (Roma)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
CONTO TV S.r.l. (CONTO TV) is a small broadcasting company operating satellite TV in Italy. LEGA CALCIO is the Italian Soccer Association, entrusted by the Italian law (Law no. 106/2007 and Legislative Decree n. 9/2008) with the task of selling soccer matches audio-television rights of its (...)

The EU Commission makes public its long awaited policy document on the Digital Agenda for Europe
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Standard Setting in the EU’s Digital Agenda* On 19 May 2010, the European Commission made public its long awaited policy document on the Digital Agenda for Europe. The overall aim of the Digital Agenda is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a digital single market based on (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes investigating into alleged abuses of dominant position of a ferry operator by imposing a set of behavioural commitments (T-Link/Grandi Navi Veloci)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a commitment decision the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed investigation into foreclosing conducts carried out by a major Italian ferry operator, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) in the market for maritime links between Northern Italy and Western Sicily. The most (...)

The French Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation of alleged abuse of dominance as regards the exclusion of generic competition (Sanofi-Aventis)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
French Competition Authority probes Sanofi-Aventis alleged abuse against generic manufacturers* On 17 May 2010, the French Autorité de la concurrence (French Competition Authority, “FCA”) determined to open a fully fledged investigation (under Article 102 TFEU) into Sanofi-Aventis allegedly (...)

The French NCA rejects a claim for interim measures but holds that a pharmaceutical company may be at fault for promoting the differences between its product and competing generic products whereas such differences have no therapeutic value (Sanofi Aventis)
Vogel & Vogel
Since 1998, the Sanofi-Aventis France laboratory has been marketing an antiplatelet medication, Plavix(r), whose intellectual property protection expired on 15 July 2008 in Europe, with the exception of the rights protecting clopidogrel salt used in Plavix(r) and the clopidogrel-aspirin (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes commitments offered to put an end to an antitrust investigation under article 102 TFEU concerning use of newspaper content (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Google offers commitments to close investigation in Italy* On 14 May 2010, the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) published the commitments (available on the AGCM website) offered by Google to put an end to an antitrust investigation of its Google News service under Article 102 TFEU (see (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Danish Competition Council’s decision finding the historical postal operator abused its dominant position by applying loyalty rebate schemes (Post Danmark)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: The Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Danish Competition Council’s Decision finding that Post Danmark A/S abused its Dominant Position by applying Loyalty Rebate Schemes On 10 May 2010, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) issued a ruling upholding the Danish (...)

The European Commission adopts decision accepting commitments from a leading energy group (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 4 May 2010, the Commission announced that it had adopted a decision under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 to accept commitments from E.ON concerning the German gas market. This follows a market testing of the commitments in January 2010. According to the Commission’s press release, interested (...)

The German Federal Supreme Court confirms the permissibility of flexible pricing systems under competition and consumer protection law
Rocket Internet SE
In a ruling dated 29 April 2010 (n° I ZR 23/08) the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) confirmed that price system used in travel agency companies based on daily price adjustments, according to which the price is subject to changes up to 50 EUR per flight does not infringe German (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority accepts the commitments offered by the electricity provider in order to prevent abusive practices on the market for electricity distribution (E.ON Bulgaria Sales)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 25 March 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) accepted the commitments offered by E.ON Bulgaria Sales in order to prevent potential abuses of dominant position on the market for electricity distribution. The CPC’s investigation into the existence of unilateral practices on the (...)

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 Macedonian Competition Authority finds an abuse of dominant position on the funeral services market (Komunalec)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 December 2009 the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) found an abuse of dominant position on the market for funeral services rendered on the territory of the municipality of Prilep. The municipal government entrusted the administration of cemeteries and provision of basic funeral (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears, under conditions, a merger in the sugar and spirits sector on Reunion Island (Tereos / Quartier Français)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of the Quartier Français Group by the Tereos Group, under certain conditions.* The Autorité de la concurrence has carefully examined the Tereos Group’s (...)

The US FTC announces the closure of its investigation of the acquisition of the mobile advertising network company (AdMob)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Federal Trade Commission closes its investigation of Google’s acquisition of AdMob* On 21 May 2010 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced the closure of its investigation of Google’s acquisition of the mobile advertising network company AdMob. According to the FTC, though the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal accepts argument that Competition Commission finding on counterfactual was irrational (Stagecoach)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Introduction and background to the CAT judgment The merger of Stagecoach Group Plc (“Stagecoach”) and Preston Bus Limited (“PBL”) was referred to the UK Competition Commission (the “CC”) by the UK Office of Fair Trading on 28 May 2009. According to section 36 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the “Act”), (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority launches a post-merger in-depth investigation on the acquisition of a media company (Retriever AB)
White & Case
,
White & Case (Brussels)
On 12 May 2010, the Swedish Competition Authority announced that it was conducting an in-depth investigation concerning the acquisition of Swedish media company Retriever AB. While the competitive aspects of the case may be complex and perhaps even warrant scrutiny, the announcement served as a (...)

The UK Competition Commission concludes that a proposed merger in the entertainment industry would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing (Live Nation / Ticketmaster)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger gets final clearance in the UK* On 7 May 2010, the UK Competition Commission (“CC”) reaffirmed its initial decision of December 2009 (see Newsletter 1/2010 p. 9 for details) concluding that the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster would not result in a (...)

The UK Competition Commission clears entertainment industry merger for second time without remedies following appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (Live Nation / Ticketmaster)
Oxera (London)
,
Oxera (London)
On May 7th 2010, the UK Competition Commission (CC) cleared unconditionally the completed merger between Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc (Ticketmaster) and Live Nation, Inc (Live Nation). The case had previously been cleared by the CC in December 2009, but following a successful appeal by a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office clears concentration between two major salami producers (Bonafarm (Pick)/Herz)
lakatos, koves and partners
In December 2009, Bonafarm Zrt. (Bonafarm), and Herz Szalámigyár Zrt.(Herz) concluded asset transfer agreements for the transfer of all the assets of Herz, including trademarks, used for the production of salami. Herz, originally founded in 1888, was the second largest salami manufacturer in (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves State aid scheme notified by Belgium in order to restructure railways company (SNCB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has authorised on 26 May 2010 SNCB‘s plans to restructure its freight activities and convert its freight division into a subsidiary. In December 2009 Belgium notified a project to restructure SNCB‘s freight (...)

The European Commission authorizes the Netherlands to provide a grant of € 10 M for a CO2 capture demonstration project (Nuon Energy Sourcing)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of €10 million to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project. The project concerns the deployment of a CO2 capture demonstration facility at (...)

The EU General Court finds that public statements of support by the French Government did not constitute State aid in favour of the incumbent telecom operator (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment handed down on 21 May 2010, the General Court (hereinafter the “GC”) held that statements by the French authorities aimed at assuring France Télécom (hereinafter “FT”) of their support in the context of a major financial crisis experienced by FT did not constitute State aid. According (...)

The European Commission approves a € 1.5 billion recapitalization provided by Belgium in the context of the restructuring of a Belgian insurer (Ethias)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission approved on 20 May 2010 a €1.5 billion recapitalisation provided by Belgium in the context of the restructuring of Ethias, a Belgian insurer that ran into severe difficulties in 2008. Ethias historically operated (...)

The European Commission authorizes State aid scheme notified by Finland concerning exemption from corporate income tax for investment in affordable rental housing (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has authorised on 12 May 2010 the introduction of “Real Estate Investment Trusts” (REITs) in Finland that will be exempted from corporate income tax in order to encourage investment in affordable rental housing27. (...)

The European Commission grants final clearance to the Swedish aid for the restructuring of an investment bank (Carnegie Investment Bank)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 12 May 2010 the Commission has granted final clearance to the Swedish aid for the restructuring of Carnegie Investment Bank. In October 2008, the Swedish government provided a rescue loan of SEK2.4 billion (€ 225 million) to (...)

The European Commission launches a public consultation on the application of its 2005 package on services of general economic interest
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 12 May the Commission has launched a public consultation on the application of its 2005 Package on Services of general economic interest (SGEI). The Package sets out guidance as to when State funding of SGEIs is compatible (...)

The Finnish Government adjusts its State aid rules in regards to municipal enterprises (Local government operations in a competitive market environment and corporatization of operations)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
The Finnish authorities have been advised by the European Commission’s preliminary view to abolish a range of tax exemptions and unlimited State guarantees granted to municipal enterprises. The Commission, indeed, is taking a strict approach to the distortion of competition regarding municipal (...)

The European Commission requests France to implement a judgment of the ECJ declaring that France failed to recover incompatible State aid awarded in the form of exemptions from corporate tax for takeovers of failing companies
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has formally requested France to implement a 2008 judgment of the European Court of Justice declaring that France had failed to recover incompatible State aid awarded in the form of exemptions from corporate tax (...)

Procedures

The UK OFT launches a review of barriers to entry, expansion and exit in retail banking
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (London)
Today, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") launched a review of barriers to entry, expansion and exit in retail banking.[1] The review comes at a time of when the UK Government has significant stakes in a number of major retail banks, which it will wish to divest over time. The purpose of the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority issues guidelines on identification and prevention of bid-rigging practices
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 20 May 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) issued the Guidelines on combating anticompetitive practices (the Guidelines), which was primarily addressed to the organizers of public tenders (state authorities and local administrations) in order to increase their awareness and (...)

The EU General Court rejects application for interim measures by a company facing financial difficulties (Reagens)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 and 12 May 2010, the General Court (“GC”) published two orders rejecting applications for interim measures by companies which had requested that fines imposed by Commission decisions in cartel cases be suspended pending the outcome of their appeals against those decisions. Both companies (...)

The EU General Court rejects application for interim measures by a company facing financial difficulties (Almamet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 and 12 May 2010, the General Court (“GC”) published two orders rejecting applications for interim measures by companies which had requested that fines imposed by Commission decisions in cartel cases be suspended pending the outcome of their appeals against those decisions. Both companies (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority confirms fines imposed on former employees for failure to cooperate in investigation
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Competition Authority (NMa) confirms Fines imposed on former Employees for Failure to cooperate in Investigation In July and November 2009, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) imposed fines on two former employees of two undertakings for failure to cooperate with (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines undertaking for failing to cooperate during inspection (Extraco Construccions e Proxectos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 May 2010, the Spanish Competition Authority imposed a fine of € 300,000 on Extraco Construccions e Proxectos SA (“Extraco”) for failing to cooperate during an unannounced inspection in the context of an investigation in the building sector. In particular, it appears that Extraco’s CEO removed (...)

The Memorandum of Understanding on specific economic and competition policy conditionality for granting financial assistance: Greek point of view
Potamitis Vekris
,
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The views expressed here are the authors’ alone. 1. Introduction Faced with the current economic crisis, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has a crucial role to play in safeguarding the conditions of effective competition and in fostering a genuine “competition culture” in Greece. Free (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority issues its 2009 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 27 May 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) presented its 2009 Annual Report to the national parliament. While the 2009 report covers various areas of the CPC’s activity including state aid control, prosecution of unfair competition and international cooperation, present review (...)

The Slovak Parliament draws rules on unfair supply contract terms for foodstuffs (Act n° 140/2010)
Kinstellar (Prague)
,
Kinstellar (Bratislava)
Legislative background On 1 May 2010, Act n° 140/2010 Coll. on Unfair Terms in Business Contracts between Reseller and Supplier of Goods that are Foodstuffs (the “Unfair Terms in Foodstuff Act” or the “UTFA”) came into effect. Slovakia has a history of legislation dealing with unfair terms in (...)

The Greek, Irish and Portuguese governments implement competition-related commitments enshrined in Memoranda of Understanding aimed at supporting the economic recovery
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Much has been discussed about the impact of the economic crisis on the enforcement of competition law and the implementation of structural reforms in key economic sectors. The recent experience with Greece, Ireland and Portugal regarding the economic adjustment programs concluded with the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases its 2009 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 April 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) has released its 2009 annual report. Present note shall focus exclusively on competition enforcement activities carried out by the CC in 2009 without addressing its activity related to the state aids control, competition advocacy, (...)

The Czech regional Court in Brno sets a deadline for the decision of the NCA due to its inaction (Sokolovská)
Kinstellar (Prague)
On 3 November 2009, the Regional Court in Brno (the “Court”) issued a judgment in which it ordered the Czech Competition Office (the “Office”) to issue a final decision in its investigation regarding the alleged breach of competition rules by Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (“Sokolovská”) (...)

Regulatory

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal publishes an appeal by mobile operator challenging UK telecoms and media regulator’s refusal to allow 3G services deployment (O2, OFCOM)
Squire Patton Boggs (London)
,
London School of Economics
,
Jones Day (London)
On 26 May 2010, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal published an appeal by mobile operator O2 against the Office of Communications (OFCOM), the UK telecoms and media regulator, challenging OFCOM‘s refusal to allow deployment of 3G services in 900 Mhz frequencies. In a case likely to have EU-wide (...)

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcer publishes new draft rules on administrative monopolies
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
On May 25, 2010, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce ("SAIC") published for public comment three sets of draft rules. These address (1) "monopoly agreements," that is, anticompetitive agreements, (2) abuses of dominant market position, and (3) "administrative monopolies," (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues report on incentives for compliance and non-compliance with competition law
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issues Report on Incentives for Compliance and Non-Compliance with Competition Law On 19 May 2010, the OFT published the report presenting findings from its qualitative research into what motivates businesses to comply with competition law and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the Government bill on the new organisation of the electricity market (NOEM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence considers that the regulation of electricity production is necessary for the development of competition within the national market. However, it points out that any such regulation (...)

The Moldovan energy regulatory authority releases the petroleum market study for the first quarter of 2010
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 6 May 2010 the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE) released the results of the periodical sector inquiry into the markets for import, wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum products during the first quarter of 2010. The markets for distribution of petroleum products are (...)

The Italian First administrative Court annulls an NCA’s infringement decision by applying the State action defence doctrine (Recycling of exhausted batteries)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
By its judgment delivered on 9 March 2010, the Italian First Instance Administrative Court (“Tar Lazio”) annulled the Italian Competition Authority’s (“ICA”) infringement decision in the “Recycling of exhausted batteries” case, stating that COBAT (the Italian consortium for the collection and (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues