May 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Competition Authority exposes a large cartel of medical products suppliers (RM Endovascula / Raymed Trading Group PVT / Slonika / Exomedic / Vascular / Balticamed / Life Medicine / Inmed)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed a large cartel of medical products suppliers* Moscow OFAS exposed a cartel formed by “RM Endovascular” Ltd., “Raymed Trading Group PVT” Ltd., “SLONIKA” Ltd., “EXOMEDIC” Ltd., “VASCULAR” Ltd., “BALTICAMED” Ltd., “LIFE MEDICINE” Ltd. and “INMED” Ltd. The companies took part in 124 auctions for (...)

The Latvian Supreme Court decides that parent companies may be responsible for competition infringements of subsidiary companies (Moller Auto Baltic / Harald A.Moller / Heinz Wilke Autohandel)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Court: parent companies may be responsible for competition infringements of subsidiary companies* On 17 May, the Supreme Court adopted the decision, pursuant to which it is stipulated in the competition law of Latvia that parent companies may bear joint responsibility for infringements of (...)

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court confirms the decision of the Competition Authority according to which two Lithuanian construction companies restricted competition by entering into bidding consortia (PST / Irdaiva)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court: Joint bidding by construction companies restricted competition* Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (the Court) upheld Competition Council‘s decision according to which two Lithuanian construction companies Panevėžio statybos trestas (PST) and Irdaiva (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines five companies and three of their executives for an information exchange to collude in tenders for the award of institutional advertising contracts (Carat España / Inteligencia y Media / Media by Design / Media Sapiens / Persuade Comunicación)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Five companies (Carat España SAU, Inteligencia y Media SA, Media by Design Spain SA, Media Sapiens Spain SL and Persuade Comunicación) have been sanctioned for a collusive behaviour consisting in the exchange of commercially sensitive information in order to share tenders in the Framework (...)

The EU Commission confirms that its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of metal packaging companies (Metal packaging sector)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 24 April 2018, the European Commission carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of companies active in metal packaging in several Member States. The Commission was accompanied by officials of the relevant national authorities. The investigation follows concerns about (...)

The German Competition Authority fines potato and onion packaging companies for fixing prices (Böhmer / Kuhn)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines totalling 13.2 million euros on potato and onion packaging companies* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling 13.2 million euros on two potato and onion packaging companies for fixing prices in their supplies to the Metro group. The companies concerned (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission accepts commitments to settle investigation into conduct affecting Central and Eastern European gas markets (Gazprom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2018, the Commission adopted a decision accepting a number of commitments from Gazprom to address the Commission’s competition concerns regarding conduct by Gazprom that allegedly restricted the free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets. The (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation on an alleged abuse of dominant position in the post-trading sector (Monte Titoli)
Italian Competition Authority
Investigation initiated against Monte Titoli for possible anti-competitive behaviour in the post-trading sector* On May 9, 2018 the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominant position carried out by Monte Titoli – a company belonging to the (...)

Mergers

The EU Court of Justice issues important ruling on gun jumping and on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in the EU Merger Regulation (EY / KPMG)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 May 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) issued an important judgment on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in Article 7(1) of the EU Merger Regulation (the “EUMR”), which prohibits companies from implementing a notifiable concentration prior to clearance (...)

The General Court of the EU finds that the Commission must re-assess compagnies request to waive their pricing commitments (Lufthansa)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In 2005, the European Commission cleared the planned acquisition of Swiss by Lufthansa subject to a a number of commitments, which included conditions on fares with regard to the Zurich-Stockholm and Zurich-Warsaw routes. On 4 November 2013, Lufthansa and Swiss submitted a request for a (...)

The Austrian and German Competition Authorities publish joint draft guidance on new filing thresholds
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 May 2018, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) published for public consultation joint draft guidance on the newly introduced transaction value merger filing thresholds in Austria and Germany. By way of background, in May 2017, new (...)

The German and Austrian Competition Authorities submit for public consultation a joint draft guidance paper on the application of the new transaction value threshold in merger control
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Joint guidance on new transaction value threshold in German and Austrian merger control submitted for public consultation* he Bundeskartellamt and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority have today submitted for public consultation a joint draft guidance paper on the application of the new (...)

The UK Administration amends jurisdictional thresholds for changes in control over businesses that are active in certain specific sectors
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 14 May 2018, the Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/593) and Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply Test) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/578) were published. These amend the jurisdictional thresholds set out in section 23 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) (...)

The Irish Competition Authority obtains remedies in order to clear a merger in the wholesale and retail market (4 Aces / BWG)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC obtains commitments from BWG to secure approval for proposed acquisition of 4 Aces Wholesale* Following an extensive investigation, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today cleared the proposed acquisition of 4 Aces Wholesale Limited (“4 Aces”) by BWG Foods (...)

Procedures

The EU Parliament and Council reach a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (ECN+ Directive)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2018, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (the so-called “ECN+ Directive”). The Commission’s proposal (...)

The EFTA Court clarifies the applicable legal regime for private enforcement and margin squeeze (Fjarskipti / Siminn)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Following a request for an advised opinion made by an Icelandic judge, the EFTA Court has handed down a judgement in the Fjarskipti v Siminn case touching on some procedural and substantive competition law issues. The EFTA Court clarified which are the rules that in the EFTA legal system apply (...)

The US DOJ Antitrust Division names new deputy assistant attorney general for criminal enforcement
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
Richard A. Powers has recently joined the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division as the acting deputy assistant attorney general (DAAG) for criminal enforcement and is expected to take on the role permanently. This is important because Mr. Powers will serve as the Antitrust Division’s (...)

The Chinese Government establishes the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) combining the antitrust enforcement responsibilities of the previous Price Supervision and Antimonopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Antimonopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce and the Antimonopoly and Anti-unfair Competition Bureau of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
China recently established the State Administration for Market Regulation ("SAMR"), which combines the antitrust enforcement responsibilities of the previous Price Supervision and Antimonopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC"), the Antimonopoly Bureau of the (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion that clarifies the conditions for application of competition law in the agricultural sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Agricultural sector* Following a referral by the government, the Autorité de la Concurrence has issued an opinion that clarifies the conditions for application of competition law in the agricultural sector Background During the French National Food Conference (États généraux de l’alimentation), (...)

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