November 2014

Anticompetitive practices

The Regional Court of Potsdam finds a clause in the procurement terms of a German municipality requiring liquidated damages of 15% to be paid if the supplier participates in anti-competitive behaviour to be unlawful (Suppliers of fire engines)
Simmons & Simmons (Dusseldorf)
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Simmons & Simmons (Dusseldorf)
The German courts are grappling with the legality of clauses intended to agree liquidated damages where one of the parties is involved in a cartel. The Regional Court of Potsdam has recently found a clause in the procurement terms of a German municipality which requires liquidated damages of (...)

The General Court annuls a Commission decision on account of the lack of motivation in the response to the arguments brought forward by a parent company to rebut the capitalistic presumption (Alstom)</EM>
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information The ruling of the General Court of 27 November 2014 has annulled the Commission decision in the Case COMP/39.129 - Power Transformers of 7 October 2009 (the “Decision”) in which the Commission imposed a €16.5 million fine on Alstom of which Areva T&D is jointly and (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition imposes fines on several sellers of communal technology for having implemented a market sharing agreement in public procurements context (Garnea and Garden Studio)
Czech Competition Authority
Sellers of communal technology sanctioned for cartel agreements in public procurements* In recent weeks the Office for the Protection of Competition (the Office) has issued three decisions imposing fines of total amount CZK 5,070,000 (approximately EUR 184,363) for cartel agreements on market (...)

The EU General Court upholds €2.5m fine for IT irregularities during dawn raid (EPH / EPIA)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 26 November 2014, the General Court upheld a fine imposed on two Czech companies in the energy sector for obstructing access to electronic documents during a European Commission inspection. The General Court decision is significant because it provides further guidance on the European (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines retailers for vertical price agreements (SPAR / Sutterlüty / MPREIS)
European Commission (Brussels)
Fines for Various Food Retailers* On 26 November 2014, the Cartel Court imposed a € 3 000 000 fine on the retailer SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels AG for vertical price agreements (RPM) concluded with several suppliers from 2002 to 2012 in the area of dairy products, which were found to (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit rules that a cellphones manufacturer cannot recover overcharges to its non-U.S. subsidiaries that purchased price-fixed LCD panels abroad, even though finished cellphones incorporating those panels were ultimately sold in the U.S. (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Office of Attorney General
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Winston & Strawn (Washington)
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Motorola cannot recover overcharges to its non-U.S. subsidiaries that purchased price-fixed LCD panels abroad, even though finished cellphones incorporating those panels were ultimately sold in the United States. The Court held that (...)

The Danish Competition Council requires of the two largest wholesale distributors of medicine on the Danish market to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions (Nomeco and Tjellesen Max Jenne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish wholesale distributors of medicine have infringed competition rules* The Danish Competition Council has required the two largest distributors on the Danish market, Nomeco A/S and Tjellesen Max Jenne A/S, to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions. Director (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit holds that it is fair to require foreign subsidiaries of American companies to seek a remedy in the courts of the country in which they choose to incorporate (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of 99% of Motorola’s Claims in LCD Case Based on Motorola’s Lack of Standing* On the day before Thanksgiving—less than two weeks after oral argument—the Seventh Circuit issued its ruling on Motorola’s interlocutory appeal in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics (...)

The Brussels Commercial Court dismisses European Union’s damages claim in lifts and escalators cartel case (Kone, Otis, Schindler, ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Brussels Commercial Court dismisses European Union’s damages claim in lifts and escalators cartel case On 24 November 2014, the Brussels Commercial Court dismissed, for lack of sufficient evidence, the first action for damages ever brought by the European Commission on behalf of the (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York approves a settlement which comprises three different scenarios in a cartel case in the e-books sector (Apple e-books)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple e-books settlement gets final court approval* On 21 November 2014 US District Judge Denise Cote gave her final approval to a settlement of the Apple e-book class action. The class action against Apple arose from allegations that Apple and five publishers conspired on the publishing (...)

The Dutch Authority applies EU law and finds private equity firms liable for antitrust violations of minority held companies (BCP, CIGL)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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BDO Legal Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
The Dutch competition authority (the Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM) has issued two decisions imposing fines on private equity firms for the participation of their portfolio company in the so-called flour cartel. The ACM’s decisions apply EU competition law in imposing parental (...)

The Paris Court of appeal partially annuls the Competition Authority’s decision in the packaged flour case due to the lack of by object infringement in its national component (France Farine, Bach Müle)
Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In its judgment dated November 20, 2014, the Paris Court of appeal (Court of appeal) partially overturned the decision of the French Competition Authority (FCA) relating to the practices followed in the flour business (Decision). In 2012, certain millers were accused by the FCA of closing the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines imposed on cartelists for bid-rigging (Petrovsky Park)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Court supported multi-million fines upon cartel participants* The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of determinations of the Moscow Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow OFAS Russia) to fine two cartel participants 26.5 million RUB. Moscow OFAS Russia exposed (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines companies for their participation to a cartel in the recovery and sale of waste paper and cardboard sector (Unión de empresas de recuperación)
European Commission (Brussels)
CNMC Fines Companies for Cartel in Recovery and Sale of Waste Paper and Cardboard* On 19 November 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) imposed fines amounting to € 3 830 000 on 14 companies active in recovery and sale of waste paper and cardboard for an (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice applies a case-by-case analysis in order to decide on the internal liability between joint and several debtors of a fine imposed by the European Commission (Calcium Carbide)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
I. The Facts The claimant seeks reimbursement from the two defendants for a fine imposed by the European Commission on all three companies for allegedly infringing European competition law rules. In 2009, the European Commission fined several suppliers of calcium carbide and magnesium (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority sanctioning an anticompetitive agreement on the the market of auto loans for physical persons (URALSIB / Volkswagen)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court supported FAS in a dispute with “URALSIB” bank and “Volkswagen RUS Bank”* On 18th November 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed the cassation appeal of “URALSIB” OJSC to abolish judicial acts that recognized legitimacy of the decision and determination (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that compensation claims of a parent company from its subsidiary because of its participation in a cartel is possible under certain conditions (Calcium carbide)
Commeo
In its judgement of 18 November 2014, the Federal Court of Justice (hereafter referred to as the “Court”) allowed the plaintiff’s appeal on points of law against the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Munich of 9 February 2012. The Court held that, subject to certain conditions, a parent (...)

The French competition authority allows a subsidiary to opt for a national settlement procedure even though its parent company challenges the charges of a cartel (Mobilitas)
DLA Piper (Paris)
In a decision issued on November 18th, 2014 , the French competition authority (hereafter the "FCA") fined three removal companies for having colluded in presenting cover quotes in the military personnel removal sector in Martinique. National regulatory provisions set a competitive process for (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) issues a decision on the liability of a parent company for the antitrust offences of its subsidiary (Calcium carbide)
DLA Piper (Cologne)
The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) recently issued a decision on the liability of a parent company for the antitrust offences of its subsidiary [FCJ, decision of 18 November 2014, KZR 15/12 - Calcium carbide Cartel II] that will be of particular importance for cases in which the parent (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes fines on three removal companies for having presented cover quotes in order to distort competition in the military personnel relocation removals market (AGS Martinique, Martinique Déménagements and SMDTE)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines three removal companies for having colluded in presenting cover quotes* The Autorité de la concurrence has issued a decision in which it fines three removal companies for having presented cover quotes in order to distort competition in the military personnel (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines four undertakings for bid ridding in natural gas pipelines sector (Condmag, Inspet, TMUCB, Moldocor)
Peli Filip
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Peli Filip
On 14 November 2012, the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) issued Decisions n° 71 and 72/14.11.2012 sanctioning four undertakings active in the sector of construction of utility projects. The companies were held having performed anti-competitive practices in two public procurement (...)

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission fines an association for restricting members from bidding competition in government procurement Projects (Gong-Chu-Tzyh)
Chung Yuan Christian University
Introduction On November 14, 2014, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) fined the Kaohsiung Association of Real Estate Appraisers (the Association) for restricting its members from bidding competition in government procurement projects. The TFTC found that the Association stated in its (...)

The Russian Competition Authority completes its unscheduled inspections in the market of the Russian poultry producers (Prioskolie)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS did not find elements of violating the law by poultry producers* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) completed unscheduled inspections of the largest Russian poultry producers. The grounds for the inspections were a considerable number of petitions about increased wholesale and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority closes an investigation of recommendation on amortisation of new mortgages (Swedish Bankers’ Association)
European Commission (Brussels)
SCA Closes Investigation of Recommendation on Amortisation by Swedish Bankers’ Association* In mid-October 2014, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) initiated an ex-officio investigation into a recommendation issued by the Swedish Bankers´ Association earlier the same month on amortisation (...)

The Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission reminds to relevant parties in the Irish beef sector their obligations under competition law, following the detection of activities potentially anticompetitive on the market (Beef sector)
Irish Competition Authority
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission reminds parties in beef sector of obligations under competition law* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the Commission) has written to relevant parties in the Irish beef sector following recent activity to remind them of their (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on five building and construction companies for having implemented anticompetitive agreements (UAB Convertus)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council disclosed anti-competitive agreement among bidders* The Competition Council (KT) discovered that five building and construction companies, namely UAB Convertus, UAB UGNA, UAB Aketus, UAB Aestus and UAB Gedarta, rigged their bids in the procurement organised by UAB Baltic (...)

U.S., British and Swiss regulators fine five banks for their conduct on FX markets (FX Cartel)
Hausfeld (Brussels)
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Hausfeld (London)
The Foreign Exchange (“FX”) market is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of $5.3 trillion, 40% of which takes place in London. An important part of the FX market derives from the financial activities of investment vehicles seeking to protect themselves from (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes symbolic fines on two undertakings for having implemented an anticompetitive vertical agreement in the beer market taking into account the fact that the duration of the agreement was relatively short and the fact that the parties voluntarily changed the prohibited provisions (Carlsberg and KTC)
Croatian Competition Agency
Carlsberg and KTC fined for prohibited vertical agreement* The Croatian Competition Agency declared the agreements entered into by Carlsberg Croatia and KTC Križevci null and void and imposed symbolic sanctions for the infringement of Competition Act to the undertakings concerned in total (...)

The DOJ condemns pre-merger coordination requiring target company to sell factory (Flakeboard America / SierraPine)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On November 7, 2014, the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) announced a $5 million agreement to settle charges that Flakeboard and SierraPine had engaged in unlawful pre-merger coordination . The DOJ’s complaint alleged that the parties’ conduct constituted both a per (...)

The US FTC bars a patent assertion entity from using deceptive tactics through a settlement (MPHJ)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
FTC settlement bars patent assertion entity from using deceptive tactics* On 6 November 2014, the Federal Trade Commission communicated that MPHJ Technology Investments (“MPHJ”) and its law firm have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they used deceptive sales claims and (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on two construction companies for bid rigging and immunizes an undertaking who revealed the existence of the cartel (SIA „RCI Gulbene)
Competition Council of Latvia
Leniency notice to disclose a cartel scheme within public procurements* On 24 October, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia has found that two construction companies operated in a bid rigging. The investigation was carried out based on a Leniency notice submitted by one of the cartel (...)

The German Competition Authority authorizes cooperation agreements between two telecommunication companies for developing fast broadband connections (Telekom Deutschland and Telefónica O2 Germany)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
No objections to cooperation between Telekom and Telefónica for the supply of fast broadband services* The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to the cooperation between Telekom Deutschland GmbH, Bonn, and Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG, Munich for the provision of fast broadband (...)

The Canadian Competition Commissioner settles for $5 millions with a water heater company implementing anti-competitive return policies (Reliance)
Lighthouse Global
Reliance scalded by $5 million penalty* Hot water heater rental supplier Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership has agreed to pay a $5 million fine and to change policies that made it difficult for customers to switch to a competitor, in a settlement reached with the Commissioner of Competition (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor settles with a construction company guilty of bid rigging and imposes the largest fine ever pronounced in a Danish competition case (Elindco Byggefirma)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Largest fine ever imposed in a competition case - Construction company pays fine in settlement for bid rigging* On 3 November 2014, the Danish construction company Elindco Byggefirma A/S entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (...)

The Israeli Antitrust Authority publishes a green paper regarding a new block exemption for collaborations among competitors regarding export cartels in the defence industry
B.Golan Law Firm
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B.Golan Law Firm
Recently, the Israeli Antitrust Authority’s ("IAA") has published a green paper regarding a new Block Exemption for collaborations among competitors regarding Export Cartels in the Defense Industry (the "Green Paper" and the "Block Exemption for Defense Industry Export Cartels"). A. Background (...)

The Israeli Ministry of Justice publishes a bill regarding an amendment to the Penal Code on the criminal responsibility of corporations
B.Golan Law Firm
Criminal offence for foreign corporations failing to supervise antitrust violations In November 2014, the Israeli Ministry of Justice has published a bill regarding an amendment to the Penal Code (Criminal Responsibility of Corporations), 2014 (" the Bill"). Among others, the Bill updates the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Parliament passes a resolution calling on the Commission to unbundle search engines from other commercial services (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
EU Parliament passes resolution calling on the Commission to unbundle [Google’s] search engines from other commercial services* On 27 November 2014 the European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution, which called on the Commission to “properly enforce the EU competition rules in order (...)

Advocate General Wathelet states that before seeking an injunction, a standard essential patent holder must inform an infringer that the latter needs a licence (Huawei / ZTE)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
Summary The Advocate General’s advisory Opinion in the Huawei v. ZTE FRAND Case (C-170/13) would, if followed by the full European Court of Justice (ECJ), usher in a significant shift in the playing field in German litigation on Standard essential patents (SEPs). Germany has been known as a (...)

Advocate General Whatelet holds that the fact that a company owns a standard-essential patent does not necessarily mean that it holds a dominant position (Huawei / ZTE)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
Huawei vs. ZTE - The Advocate General Has Spoken* Background On April 5, 2013, the Landgericht Düsseldorf (a German regional court) referred a set of questions relating to injunctive relief over standard-essential patents (“SEPs”) to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in connection with a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates an investigation to ascertain an abuse of dominant position in the cancer drugs markets (Aspen)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
With its decision of 19 November 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or the “Authority”) initiated an investigation into Aspa Pharma Trading Ltd and Aspen Italia S.r.l. (“Aspen”) - both belonging to the South African-based Aspen Group, a leading manufacturer of generic medicines - to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an Article 102 TFEU investigation against a producer of generic drugs (Incremento Prezzo Farmaco-Aspen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the case Incremento Prezzo Farmaco-Aspen (Aspen) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation against Aspen, a South African manufacturer of generic drugs . Aspen was alleged to have abused its dominance position by imposing excessive prices (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a railway company aiming at increased autonomy of its subsidiary in the market of advice and technical assistance to urban transporters (SNCF, Keolis and Transdev)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The SNCF takes steps towards the increased autonomy of its subsidiary Keolis in the market of advice and technical assistance to urban transporters. The Autorité de la concurrence consults the market on the proposed commitments* Within the scope of a procedure initiated before the Autorité de (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court upholds the Competition Council’s decision on the infringement of article 3 of the law on the prohibition of unfair practices of retailers (Norfos mazmena / Rivona)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
On 17 November 2014 Vilnius District Administrative Court upheld the Competition Council’s decision on the infringement of Article 3 of the Law on the Prohibition of Unfair Practices of Retailers of the Republic of Lithuania by the actions of UAB Rivona and UAB Norfos Mažmena. In its decision of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues its decision sanctioning an undertaking having fixed retail prices for gasoline at refueling stations in the Kamchatka region (Kamchatnefteproduct)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS terminated a case against “Kamchatnefteproduct”* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a decision on the case against “Kamchatnefteproduct” OJSC. On 17th April 2014, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Kamchatka region (Kamchatka OFAS Russia) opened (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines an IP rights collecting society for abuse of dominance (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores)
European Commission (Brussels)
CNMC Fines IP Rights Collecting Society for Abuse of Dominant Position* On 14 November 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) imposed a fine of € 3 103 196 on Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) for abusive practices concerning the management of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council fines the incumbent telecom operator for abuse of dominance (Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications)
European Commission (Brussels)
Competition Council Fines Incumbent Telecom Operator for Abuse of Dominant Position in Telecommunication Services Sector* On 13 November 2014, Luxembourg’s competition authority fined the Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications (EPT), the parent company of Post Telecom, the incumbent telecom (...)

A US District Court reluctantly allows tying claims to go forward (Oracle)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
District Court Reluctantly Allows Tying Claims Against Oracle to Go Forward* Last Friday, Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal of the Northern District of California denied a motion by Oracle to dismiss three counterclaims based on a tying theory in Oracle America, Inc. v. Terix Computer Co. In (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces the fine imposed by the competition authority on the national railway (SNCF)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
In its decision no. 12-D-25 of 18 December 2012, the Autorité de la Concurrence (the French competition authority - "FCA") fined the French national railway SNCF nearly EUR 61 million for 5 counts of abusive practices in the railway freight sector and ordered the company to cease the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that a retailer of milk and dairy products has abused of its dominance (Auchan)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Discrimination of milk suppliers and dairy products is unlawful* On 6th November 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) regarding “AUCHAN” Ltd. In 2013, the Antimonopoly Service found that (...)

The Council of Slovak Antimonopoly Office upholds the fine imposed on a railway company for abuse of dominance by restricting sale and leasing of electric locomotives and refuelling of diesel locomotives to competing private carriers (Cargo)
Slovak Competition Authority
Council of the Antimonopoly Office upheld the 10-million fine for Cargo* On 5 November, 2014 the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic upheld the fine imposed by the Division of Abuse of Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements on Railway Company Cargo Slovakia, a.s. (...)

Mergers

The Competition Commission of Singapore clears an acquisition in the airline sector in a landmark decision (Singapore Airline / Tiger Airways)
Allen & Gledhill
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Allen & Gledhill (Singapore)
On 28 November 2014, the CCS announced that it had cleared the notification for decision in relation to the acquisition of Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (“Tigerair”) by Singapore Airlines Limited (“SIA”) (collectively, the “Parties”) on the grounds of a failing firm defence argument. After (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, a merger in the mobile virtual networks market (Virgin Mobile / Numericable)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears Virgin Mobile’s acquisition by Numericable* The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of Omer Telecom Limited (“OTL”) by Numericable. OTL is a virtual mobile phone operator operating under the Virgin Mobile brand. This decision takes place (...)

The EU Commission imposes several commitments to alleviate vertical competition concerns in the space industry (Airbus / Safran)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Space Agency - ESA (Frankfurt)
"Airbus /Safran /JV: Launching competition into space"* In a nutshell : In the Airbus /Safran/JV case, the Commission looked at the space industry. Several commitments were imposed to alleviate foreclosure concerns of competitors. One of the vertical concerns identified required the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subjet to structural remedies, a merger in the food distribution market (Dia France / Carrefour)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the merger but Carrefour undertakes to divest 56 shops.* On 18 August 2014, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the review of the acquisition sole control of Dia France SAS (hereinafter "Dia”) by Carrefour France SAS (...)

The High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia confirms the fine imposed by the Croation Competition Agency on an undertaking for failing to notify the proposed merger (Andre)
Croatian Competition Agency
The owner of Novi list loses the court challenge* The action of the undertaking Andre d.o.o. from Pula was dismissed in its entirety by the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia. Namely, the High Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore conditionally clears first merger with divestment and behavioural commitments (Seek Asia Investments / JobStreet)
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
Comment: On 13 November 2014, the Competition Commission of Singapore (the “CCS”) released its grounds of decision conditionally clearing the proposed acquisition by SEEK Asia Investments Pte. Ltd. (“SEEK Asia Investments”), of 100 per cent. of the online recruitment business assets of JobStreet (...)

The Competition Commission of Pakistan opens an in-depth investigation on a merger in the pharmaceutical sector regarding the market of meningococcal vaccines (Novartis / GlaxoSmithKline)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP opens second phase review on the proposed acquisition of vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines business except in china) of Novartis ag by Glaxosmithkline plc.* Islamabad, Thursday, 13 November 2014: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) in concluding the first phase (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority interprets the newly-introduced prohibition against gun-jumping in a case where the buyer had been conducting a market activity with the target prior to the transaction (Agrotec Magyarország)
Kinstellar (Budapest)
On 11 November 2014, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“HCA”) cleared a transaction whereby the seller sold part of its assets to a number of buyers belonging to the same group of undertakings. One of the buyers had already been conducting business activities with the assets in question based (...)

The Ukranian Antimonopoly Committee intends to reconsider its decision granting merger clearance on the telecommunication technologies market (Kyivstar)
Arzinger & Partner (Kiev)
Antitrust authority of Ukraine intends to reconsider its decision granting merger clearance on the telecommunication technologies market of Ukraine* In early November 2014 the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine made a statement, announcing that it was going to reconsider its position on the (...)

The US DOJ requires disgorgement for gun-jumping violations in abandoned transaction (Flakeboard America / SierraPine)
Kirkland & Ellis (New York)
On November 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that it had entered into a settlement with Flakeboard and SierraPine resolving allegations that the two parties had engaged in illegal premerger coordination in connection with their now-abandoned (...)

The US DOJ announces a proposed $4.95 million settlement for alleged “gun-jumping” while the parties’ proposed transaction was under antitrust review (Flakeboard America / SierraPine)
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
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O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
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O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
On November 7, 2014, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a proposed $4.95 million settlement with Flakeboard America Limited, its parent companies Celulosa Arauco y Constitución S.A. and Inversiones Angelini y Compañía Limitada (collectively, “ Flakeboard”), (...)

The US DOJ reaches $5 millions settlement with companies after allegations of premerger coordination (Flakeboard America / SierraPine)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Premerger Coordination Allegations Settled for $5 Million in Civil Penalties, Disgorgement* The dangers of prematurely exercising operational control over an acquisition target, or at least appearing to operate organizational control, are highlighted by a Department of Justice Antitrust (...)

State Aid

The European Commission finds State aid in the form of subordinated loans to SMEs to be compatible with the internal market (Subordinated loans for SMEs – Saxony)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Loans for SMEs* Low-interest loans may be used to support investments. The granting of de minimis aid through loans is possible only if loans are secured against collateral. The 2008 Commission Communication on interest rates does not apply to subordinated, non-collateralised loans. (...)

The European Commission reminds that it does not only examines the compatibility of the aid itself but also the compatibility of the levy or tax with internal market rules (Renewable energy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Green Electricity and Reduction of Energy Taxes for Energy-Intensive Users* Support of electricity production from renewable energy sources is normally compatible with the internal market. Reduction of taxes on electricity used by energy-intensive industries is allowed only for certain sectors (...)

The EU General Court reminds Member States that when they claim that an exemption follows from the logic of the tax system they have to make absolutely sure that they treat equally and consistently all similar cases (Ryanair)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Another Measure that Cannot Be Justified by the Logic of the Tax System* The granting of a tax exception is often found to constitute State aid. But the non-levying of a tax may also fall within the scope of Article 107(1). Competitors have more rights when the Commission does not open the (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a decision of the Commission for the excessive length and lack of analysis in the preliminary investigation period (Ryanair)
European University Institute (Florence)
Case T-512/11 Ryanair : Commission’s ATT Ireland Decision Partly Annulled (ATT Act I)* RyannThis post takes a preliminary look at Case T-512/11 Ryanair Ltd v Commission. This is only one of the appeals being brought against the Commission’s dabblings with the Irish Air Travel Tax (ATT) and as (...)

The EU General Court holds that tax measures are selective when they constitute an exception or deviation from the normal tax system and that this exception or deviation is limited only to certain undertakings (Banco Santander)
College of Europe (Bruges)
A Surprising Interpretation of the Concept of Selectivity* Tax measures are selective when they constitute an exception or deviation from the normal or common system of taxation. In addition, the exception must be open only to a pre-defined category of undertakings. Introduction Often, the (...)

Procedures

The Austrian Supreme Court in competition matters holds that Article 39(2) of the Austrian Competition Act requiring the main parties’ consent to third parties’ request for access to file does not apply in proceedings related to infringements of national competition rules (Europay Austria II)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
1. Introduction and background By two judgments of 28 November 2014 in Cases 16 Ok 9/14f and 16 Ok 10/14b, the Austrian Supreme Court in competition matters (Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) rejected the appeals brought by Europay Austria GmbH against two (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sends a warning to a director of an undertaking for unfounded forecasting in the pasta products market (Extra M)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS issued a warning to the General Director of “Extra M” OJSC for unfounded forecasting* On 28 November 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to the General Director of “Extra M” OJSC, Andrey Dribny, not to exercise actions that can result in violating the (...)

The EU Parliament and the EU Council adopt directive on antitrust damages action
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
Today, the EU considers that those affected by competition law infringement in some Member States are not able to effectively exercise their right to compensation. New EU legislation seeks to address obstacles to successful damages actions and regulate some key aspects of the interaction (...)

The General Court of the European Union upholds the imposition of a fine of €2.5 million to companies for breach of their duty to cooperate during an inspection of the Commission (EPH / EPIA)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On November 27, 2014, the General Court of the European Union (Court) upheld the imposition of a fine of €2.5 million to the companies EPH and EPIA for breach of their duty to cooperate during an inspection of the European Commission (Commission). This heavy sanction once again illustrates the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority publishes a guide to promote competition law compliance in funeral services sector
European Commission (Brussels)
UOKiK Publishes Guide to Promote Competition Law Compliance in Funeral Services Sector* Over 100 decisions since 2000 and five pending cases have prompted the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) to provide guidance on how cemeteries administrators ought to comply with (...)

The EU Parliament and the EU Council formally adopt the Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Milan)
The EU Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions was formally adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council on 26 November 2014 and was published in the Official Journal on 5 December 2014. The 28 EU Member States are required to adapt their national laws and procedures in line with the (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposes fines on one undertaking for refusal to cooperate during an inspection (Automax)
Slovak Competition Authority
Fine for refusal to cooperate during the inspection* The Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic confirmed the fine in the amount of EUR 44 358 imposed on the undertaking AUTOMAX s.r.o. („AUTOMAX“) for disabling the Office to make the inspection. During the inspection in (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed for failure to submit information (Stupino Metallurgical Company)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Failure to submit information turned into a fine* On 17 November 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of a determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) to impose an administrative fine (500,000 RUB) upon “Stupino Metallurgical Company” OJSC for failure to (...)

The EU Council of Ministers adopts the Directive on antitrust damages actions
Hausfeld (Brussels)
,
Hausfeld (London)
On 10 November 2014, the EU Council of Ministers adopted the Directive on antitrust damages actions, which will have to be implemented into national regimes by November 2016. The Directive affirms Europe’s commitment to tackle discrepancies between Member States and provides victims of (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania issues a final judgment in the case on the obstruction of investigation (UAB LitCon)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
On 6 November 2014 the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania annulled the judgment of Vilnius District Administrative Court in the case against UAB “LitCon”, in which it was held that the company obstructed the investigation, carried out by the Competition Council of the Republic of (...)

The President of the EU Commission appoints Margrethe Vestager as the new EU antitrust commissioner
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
,
Leroy Merlin
A New EU Commissioner for Antitrust and Competition Denmark’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs, Margrethe Vestager, is set to become the European Union’s next Commissioner for Competition which heads the Directorate-General for Competition, located in (...)

Regulatory

The Russian Competition Authority pursues its efforts to create conditions for fair competition on the market of banking services
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS undertakes consistent efforts to create conditions for fair competition on the market of banking services* On 25 November 2014, Deputy Head of FAS, Andrey Kashevarov, took part in the panel on “Financial and Monetary Policy in Russia under New Challenges”. The discussion was held jointly (...)

The Russian Competition Authority encourages the companies to adopt a compliance program
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Adopting antimonopoly compliance will encourage healthy competition* The statement was made by Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia), Andrey Tsyganov, at an international conference devoted to international and Russian experience of implementing antimonopoly compliance. (...)

Public sector

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that a regional government and an undertaking have concluded an anticompetitive agreement (RNITs SK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Violations on the market of informational-and-navigation services in the Stavropol region will cost “RNITs SK” OJSC nearly 3 million RUB* On 28th November 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of the Government of the Stavropol Region and “RNITs SK” OJSC to abolish FAS decision and (...)

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