October 2007

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority makes compulsory commitements made to address competition concerns in the sector of car repair (Citroën)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence strengthens competition in the sector of car repair: Independent repairers will now have access to all Citroën’s tools necessary for repairing electronic breakdowns on the brand’s (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines EUR 10 million 15 local public transport operators for collusive tendering (Servizi Aggiuntivi nel Trasporto Pubblico nel Comune di Roma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has condemned 15 bus operators, SITA, APM, COTRI, ACTV, GTT, Transdev, ATCM, Trambus, ATC Bologna, ATAF, ATC La Spezia, ATP, Tempi, TEP and APAM, for collusive tendering carried out since 2001 until 2007. The penalised firms agreed to coordinate their (...)

The European Commission consults on settlement procedure in cartel cases
Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (Brussels)
On 26 October 2007, the European Commission initiated a public consultation on a new settlement procedure in cartel cases. The procedure outlined in the Commission’s proposal is aimed at making the Commission’s investigations more efficient. Public comments are due by 21 December 2007 and the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council assesses the validity of opening days/hours and advertising provisions for pharmacy outlets as set by the pharmacists professional associations (Belgian Pharmacists Associations)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
1. Parties The present case arose from three complaints lodged in 1998 by several retail pharmacy outlets before the Belgian Competition Council (“the Council”). The complaints were directed against the Belgian Pharmacists Association as well as various local pharmacists association (...)

The Spanish National Competition Commission rules that neither inter- nor intra-brand competition is affected by restrictive practices in the postal sector (Logimail / Unipost)
Chilean Competition Tribunal (Santiago)
On April 29th, 2005, Logimail filed a complaint against Unipost. Logimail is a postal operator that performs pickup services, sorting and even distribution. To complete the distribution, however, it outsources the service to other postal operators. Unipost is one of the main postal-services (...)

The Supreme Court of Cyprus holds that the Commission for the Protection of Competition doesn’t have to conduct a preliminary investigation for the issue of interim orders (Hellenic Petroleum)
Neocleous
Factual Background The present recourse follows a decision by the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition by which the applicants were ordered, by way of interim order to supply seamlessly with petrol, the petrol station of Antonakis Loizou (interested party to the present (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the High Court’s finding that following an infringement decision by the European Commission, the appropriate claim is for compensatory and not restitutionary damages (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has ruled that restitutionary damages are not generally available in antitrust cases and that, in most cases, compensatory damages provide adequate remedies. Background In 2001, the European Commission adopted a decision finding that a number of (...)

The UK High Court rules that restitutionary damages are not an available remedy in anti-trust cases, nor will an account of a defendant’s profits be appropriate (Devenish/Sanofi-Aventis - "Vitamins Cartel")
Pinsent Masons (London)
Background The present case involves "follow on" claims for compensation in respect of damage suffered as a result of the vitamins cartel, which was famously subject to a Commission decision in 2001. The Commission found that notwithstanding the number of producers involved in eight distinct (...)

The UK High Court finds that following an infringement decision by the European Commission, the appropriate claim is for compensatory and not exemplary or restitutionary damages (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The High Court’s judgment is the first time that an English court has to consider what type of damages can be obtained in claims following from an infringement decision by the European Commission in competition cases. According to the judgment, a claimant is only entitled to compensatory damages (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines three savings banks for market sharing, information exchange and coordination agreements (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
Last October, the National Competition Commission (CNC, hereafter) published its Decision to impose a € 24 million fine to the savings banks from the Basque country and Navarra for maintaining a collusive agreement consisting on market sharing, information exchange and the coordination of their (...)

The Spanish competition authority fines four saving banks for market sharing and coordination of commercial conditions (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction On 18 October 2007 the Spanish competition authority, Comisión Nacional de Competencia (CNC), sanctioned four saving banks (cajas de ahorro) with a total fine of € 24 million for participating in a cartel involved in sharing markets and coordinating commercial conditions. The four (...)

The Spanish Competition Court imposes fines of € 24 M on regional saving banks for collusive agreements aimed at allocating territories and coordinating their commercial strategies (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Following the publication in the Spanish economic press in 2005 of information relating to the potential existence of a territorial market allocation agreement between certain regional savings banks in the North-East of Spain, the Spanish Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia ("the Service") (...)

The European Commission concludes that the French national interbank network association infringed Article 81 of the Treaty (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Decision against the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB)"* I. Overview In its decision of 17 October 2007, the Commission concluded that the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB) had infringed Article 81 of the Treaty. The Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB) (‘the Groupement‘) manages the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds an NCA’s decision acceptating commitments in its first decision on commitments procedure (Bijourama/Festina France)
White & Case (Paris)
Commitments from Festina France on its distribution agreements, accepted by the French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) in a decision of 24 July 2006, are the first ones to be submitted to the Paris Court of Appeal. The Competition Council was seized by Bijourama, a jewel and (...)

A Lithuanian Court lowers the fines imposed by the NCA to cartel members (School Renovations cartel - Lamberta)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 11 October 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) issued a judgment reducing the fines imposed on the members of the bid-rigging cartel in the School Renovations case . The Competition Council’s decisionin this case was challenged by all three parties to the (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority applies for record fines amounting to EUR 88 M. against five companies in the elevator and escalator industry and applies leniency
DORDA
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DORDA
Background On 5 October, 2007, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority ("BWB") announced that it had applied before the Austrian Cartel Court for fines amounting to EUR 88 million against five companies active in the elevator and escalator industry. After in-depth investigations by the BWB (...)

A Danish Court imposes fines on an association of inns and hotels, its director and its board chairman for imposing minimum prices on its members (Danske Kroer & Hoteller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 4 October 2007 the Danish District Court of Horsens found that an association of Danish inns and hotels, Danske Kroer & Hoteller, had decided to restrict competition by imposing minimum prices on its members through its bylaws. The court imposed a fine of DKK 400,000 (EUR 54,000) on DKH. (...)

The European Commission fines two card network operators for not admitting a bank as a member (Visa International, Visa Europe, Morgan Stanley)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines Visa International and Visa Europe for not admitting Morgan Stanley Bank as a member"* I. Overview On 3 October 2007 the Commission fined Visa International and Visa Europe (‘Visa‘) €10.2 million for refusing to admit Morgan Stanley Bank (a UK bank) as a member of Visa Europe (...)

The Irish National Competition Authority delivers its final report on competition for dental services in the Irish market
London School of Economics
Introduction The Irish National Competition Authority ("NCA") delivered a report on competition in the dental sector on 3 October 2007. This report forms part of a wider study on eight professions in the construction, legal and medical sectors of the economy conducted by the NCA following a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals upholds the French Competition Council’s decision on the railway laying and maintenance cartel but reduces fines (SNCF/ETF and SPTV)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 2 October 2007, the Paris Court of Appeals (the "Court of Appeals") upheld a decision issued by the Conseil de la concurrence (the "Competition Council") in Decision n° 06-D-15 dated 14 June 2006 relating to practices implemented in the railway laying and maintenance sector. In this decision, (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court clarifies the notion of single economic unit in the context of abuse of dominant position (Ceska rafinerska)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 29 October 2007, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court quashed a previous decision of the Regional Court in Brno which cancelled a decision of the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition (the “Office”) imposing a fine of CZK 6,000,000 on Ceska Rafinerska for an abuse of (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office defines the criteria of “not merely occasionally” in respect of selling below cost prices as an abuse of superior market power (Netto)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The decision of the FCO is based on Sec. 20 (4) German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC). At the time of the decision, on 25 October 2007, the provision prohibited undertakings with superior market power in relation to small and medium-sized competitors to use their (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines € 5 M an abuse of dominant position on the market of distribution of radio and TV signal by (TP EmiTel)
Comper Fornalczyk & Partners
The President of the Polish Competition Authority (Office for Competition and Consumers Protection) on 25th October, 2007 issued the decision in which TP EmiTel sp. z o.o. (hereinafter: TP EmiTel) was found guilty of abusing its dominant position on the market of dispersion of TV and radio (...)

The Polish competition authority fines €5 million an undertaking operating radio and TV terrestrial transmission stations for price discrimination in favour of commercial broadcasters against public broadcasters (TP Emitel)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
On 25 October 2007, the Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP") fined TP Emitel, a subsidiary of the Telekomunikacja Polska (part of the France Telecom group) for price discrimination against public broadcasters. The amount of the fine reached almost 5 (...)

A Czech Court quashes the NCA decision having imposed the highest fine ever to a single undertaking for anti-competitive practices on the natural gas wholesale market (RWE Transgas)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
On 22 October 2007 the Regional Court in Brno quashed the second instance decision of the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (the “Office”) in the case of RWE Transgas a.s. (“RWE Transgas”), after RWE Transgas challenged the Office’s decision by an action at the court. The Office imposed on (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection conducts anti-trust proceedings against the Polish authors’ association in order to stop alleged monopolist practices (ZAiKS)
Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners
Background For several years now, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is carefully monitoring the practices of the copyright protection organizations and, as a result, there are few cases pending nowadays related to the competition protection within the copyright market. (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an Internet operator for implementing discriminatory practices on the high-speed internet access market (France Télécom-Wanadoo)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. After a negotiated settlement with the company, the Conseil de la concurrence imposes €45m fine on France Telecom for having hindered the development of internet access providers competing with its Wanadoo (...)

The French Competition Council inflicts a € 45 M fine on the telecommunications incumbent for abusive discrimination and denigration on the ADSL high-speed Internet access market and specifies the notion of repeated infringements (France Télécom-Wanadoo)
Concurrences (Paris)
(Handook N° F12) The facts In the beginning of 2000, the incumbent telecommunications operator France Telecom has tried to dominate the emerging market of high-speed Internet access. Some of these attempts lead to important decisions from both the French Competition Council (the “Conseil”) and (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in order to address competition concerns regarding the remuneration of press distributors (NMPP & SAEM-TP)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence considers that the new complementary remuneration system proposed by NMPP meets the competition concerns.* In a decision of 9 October 2007, the Conseil de la concurrence has (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the TV services broadcasting sector (TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. TV services Broadcasting: The commitments obtained by the Conseil de la concurrence from TDF will facilitate the entrusting of programme broadcasting by analogical channels to competing technical operators.* (...)

The EU Commission is about to close proceedings against US chipset manufacturer for alleged abuse of dominance in the mobile phone technology sector (Qualcomm)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
"The Last Hundred Days Strategy"- Is the Qualcomm Case Over?* Milton Friedman and his wife Rose Friedman are known for having theorized that recently elected governments generally enjoy a period of political immunity following elections, which allows them to push reforms, including tough ones, (...)

Mergers

The European Commission clears, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the tobacco industry (Imperial Tobacco/Altadis)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 18 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the Franco-Spanish company Altadis by Imperial Tobacco of the UK. The Commission’s decision is conditional on the divestment of a number of tobacco brands in (...)

The Latvian Competition Council clears an acquisition in the market of licensing of pay TV channels and licensing of movies and broadcasts for home entertainment (Sparrowhawk Holdings / Universal Pictures Holdings)
Kronbergs & Čukste
On October 31, 2007, the Latvian Competition Council adopted a decision clearing the acquisition of Sparrowhawk Holdings Limited (hereafter the “Sparrowhawk”) by Universal Pictures Holdings UK Limited (hereafter the “Universal”) pursuant to Article 15 of the Latvian Competition Law. Universal is a (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to divestment, an acquisition in the baby food and baby milk products (Danone/Numico)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 31 October the Commission approved the proposed acquisition of the Dutch company Numico by the French group Danone. Both companies are major suppliers of baby food and baby milk products. Approval was granted subject to (...)

The British Office of Fair Trading approves in phase I without remedies another acquisition by Britain’s number one food retailer (Tesco/Kwik Save Stores)
Bond Dickinson
On 30 October 2007, the British Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced its Decision on the proposed acquisition, notified by merger notice, by Tesco Stores Limited (“Tesco”) of two former Kwik Save Stores. The Decision came on the day of the OFT’s statutory deadline for deciding whether to refer (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the glass-fibre reinforcements sector (Owens Corning/Saint Gobain Vitrotex)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 24 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the glass-fibre reinforcements and composite fabrics businesses (‘Vitrotex‘) of the French Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (Saint-Gobain) by Owens Corning of the US. (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the paper distribution sector (Antalis/MAP)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 24 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the Dutch paper merchant MAP, belonging to the Finnish M-Real group, by the French paper merchant Antalis. The Commission’s clearance was granted subject to (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the press sector subject to divestment of free local papers (Mecom -Wegener)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Amsterdam)
The operation The activities of Mecom and Wegener mainly involve the publishing of national and regional newspapers as well as free local papers. Mecom will acquire 75 % of Wegener’s share capital (Para. 5). The market(s) The NMa mainly assessed the effects of the proposed merger in relation (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt clears two downstream acquisitions of shares in the energy market subject to the divestiture of a minority stake (RWE/SWKN)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation On 30 July 2007 RWE AG (“RWE”) on behalf of RWE Rhein-Ruhr AG (“RWE Rhein-Ruhr”) notified the Bundeskartellamt of two proposed transactions. The first, was for RWE Rhein-Ruhr to acquire a stake of 25% in Stadtwerke Krefeld Neuss AG & Co. KG (“SWKN”). The second transaction was (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority clears a merger in the fuel retail market, amongst others, with remedies, including the cancellation of exclusivity clauses (Bencom/Carrefour)
PLMJ (Lisboa)
The operation The operation consists in the acquisition of sole control of the company NSL - Nicolau Sousa Lima, SGPS, S.A. (NSL) by the Bensaude Group, through the company Bencom - Armazenamento e Comércio de Combustíveis S.A. (“Bencom”) (para. 1.1). The markets According to the PCA’s (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority approves a merger in the fuel sector subject, inter alia, to termination of exclusivity clause (Bensaude/Nicolau Sousa Lima Group)
Uria Menéndez (Lisbon)
On 23 October 2007, the Portuguese Competition Authority (the “AdC”) adopted a merger control decision according to Law 18/2003 of 11 June (the Portuguese Competition Act), providing clearance to the envisaged acquisition of sole control over the company NSL - Nicolau Sousa Lima, SGPS, S.A. (the (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority cleared a merger in the agricultural products market, subject to remedies, mostly concerning restrictions on marketing and sales activities (Fodurblandan/KHB-Midbae)
PwC
The operation On 23 May 2007, Fodurblandan (FB) notified the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) that FB had acquired the goodwill, product stock and liquid assets of KHB-Midbae (KHB).FB is a company that manufactures and sells various agriculture products. KHB sells only animal feeds. On 22 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the food sector and imposes a fine for late notification (Bács-Tak Takarmánygyártó és Forgalmazó/Kiskunhalasi Baromfifeldolgozó)
lakatos, koves and partners
The operation Bács-Tak Kft is owned by two private persons (István Kiss and Zoltán Balogh) and its main activities are producing and distributing feed for poultry and breeding duck and broiler chicken. The main activity of Kiskunhalasi Zrt. is waterfowl (duck and goose) processing. One of the (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the book publishing industry (Egmont/Bonnier Danish books)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 15 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the Danish book publishing company Bonnier Forlagene A/S, belonging to the Swedish media group Bonnier, by Egmont of Denmark, also a media group. The (...)

The US DOJ fines fashion brand licensor $550,000 for failure to produce internal competitive materials with its pre-merger clearance filing (Iconix)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
The Justice Department announced yesterday that the fashion brand licensor Iconix Brand Group has agreed to pay a $550,000 fine for failure to produce internal competitive materials, known as "4(c) documents," with its premerger clearance filing for its acquisition of the Rocawear clothing (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office clears a merger setting up a joint electronic platform for trade in secondary gas transport capacities, making further efforts to establish competitive structures in the energy sector (Trac-x)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 12 October 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office cleared a merger in the energy sector. The German companies Thyssengas GmbH (Thyssengas), E.ON Gastransport AG & Co. KG (EGT) and EWE AG (EWE) planned to acquire shares in trac-x Transport Capacity Exchange GmbH (Trac-x), the provider of (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the human and animal healthcare sector (Schering-Plough / Organon BioSciences)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 11 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of Organon BS of the Netherlands, a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel active worldwide in human and animal health, by the global pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority cleared an acquisition in the lime market subject to limitation of the non-compete obligation (Oztüre / Carmeuse)
Esin
The operation LVI Holding NV (“LVI”) controls Carmeuse’s all of the shares and its subsidiary Calsipar SA’s (“Calsipar”) 99,9% of the shares. LVI and its affiliates own facilities in Holland, Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Gana and USD which are active in lime and dolomite (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office conditionally clears poultry processing merger (Bacs-Tak / Kiskunhalasi)
Dentons (Budapest)
On October 9, 2007, the Hungarian Competition Office’s Competition Council (the “Competition Council”) issued a ruling whereby it authorized the acquisition of control by Bács-Tak Takarmánygyártó és Forgalmazó Kft. (“Bacs-Tak”) over Kiskunhalasi Baromfifeldolgozó Zrt. (“Kiskunhalasi Zrt.”) upon the (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority clears a merger in the alcoholic beverages distribution sector subject to remedies including granting access to production and information (AV&D)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous (Riga)
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Cobalt Legal (Riga)
The operation On 8 June 2007 the Competition Council received a merger notification from S.P.I. Worldwide Trade Limited (hereinafter - S.P.I.), AV&D SIA and Interlat SIA (hereinafter - the Notification) on a merger between S.P.I. and AV&D SIA and Interlat SIA. S.P.I. had a decisive (...)

The EU Commission clears the creation of a joint venture combining recorded music businesses of two leading companies (Sony / BMG)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* In October the Commission granted regulatory approval to the creation of Sony BMG, a joint venture combining the recorded music businesses of Sony and Bertelsmann, after concluding that it did not have sufficiently strong (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the financial services sector (Fortis/ABN AMRO)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* On 3 October the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of certain assets of the Dutch banking group ABN AMRO by the Belgo-Dutch financial services group Fortis. The Commission’s decision was granted subject to the (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the banking sector (Fortis, ABN AMRO)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Fortis/ABN AMRO: When do bank mergers raise competition concerns?"* On 3 October 2007, the Commission cleared the acquisition of certain assets of the Dutch banking group ABN AMRO by the Belgo-Dutch financial services group Fortis subject to divestiture commitments. The acquired assets (...)

State Aid

The Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control authorises the amendment of the national legislation concerning aid towards the payment of agricultural insurance premiums, finding that it complies with EC Reg. N°1857/2006 (“Aid towards the payment of insurance premiums”)
International Transport Forum
Factual Background In 1977 Cyprus introduced specific legislation, setting up the legal framework concerning the system of compulsory agricultural insurance and the granting of State aid through the subsidization of the insurance premium. Given that this legislation had been enacted before the (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Administrative Court receives preliminary ruling from the ECJ on State aid case in public transport field (Antrop)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
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University of Coimbra - Faculty of Law
Brief description of the facts and legal issues Parties: The applicant: Associação Nacional de Transportadores Rodoviários de Pesados de Passageiros (hereinafter referred to as "Antrop") and Others; The defendant: Conselho de Ministros, Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa SA ("Carris"), (...)

The Greek State Council declares inadmissible a submission that the misestimation of the cost of the provision of certain services by the authority who conducted a public tender amounted to State aid to the winning bidder, on the grounds that Article 87 EC does not have direct effect, but is applied on the initiative of the European Commission (Bus Operator)
International Transport Forum
Parties Applicant: Bus operator Defendant: Greece (Prefectural Administration of Serres) Facts On 21.07.2005, the prefectural committee for education and youth of the prefectural administration of Serres (Serres being a prefecture in the north of Greece and in particular in the geographical (...)

An Italian regional administrative Court holds that the decisions of local authorities to confer the management of the service without any invitation to tender do not breach State aid rules if specific conditions are met (Municipality of San Mauro Torinese)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a municipality located in the Region of Piedmont. Pursuant to Regional Law No. 24/2002, providing that the waste disposal service shall be managed by means of compulsory consortia managed by Municipalities, the applicant joined the Consorzio di Bacino 16 (...)

Procedures

The European Commission publishes a legislative proposal enabling cartel defendants to enter into settlement discussions with the Commission in exchange for earlier certainty about the level of fines
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
The Commission has published a legislative proposal to allow it to deal more rapidly with cartel cases. The proposal would enable cartel defendants to enter into settlement discussions with the Commission in exchange for earlier certainty about the level of fines and a yet unspecified (...)

The Polish Competition Authority considers that the fact that a practice is capable of affecting trade between Member States may be an aggravating factor (PZU Życie)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
It is well known that since 1st May 2004 and according to Article 3(1) of the Regulation n° 1/2003 the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the OCCP President), as the Polish National Authority, cannot apply only national law to practices prohibited by (...)

The Spanish Government presents a proposal for an implementing regulation of the Spanish leniency program and makes it subject to public consultation
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues
Spanish legal community has pleaded, at least since 2000, for the implementation of a comprehensive Spanish leniency program. The existence of such instrument has been regarded as a condition for a proper coordination between the Commission’s activity and that of the Spanish antitrust (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts a new notice on immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases in order to align the Belgian leniency program with the ECN model leniency program
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Bredin Prat (Paris)
Background When a company applies for leniency to one competition authority (a national competition authority or the European Commission) this application is not taken into consideration by the other competition authorities. The company therefore has to complete multiple applications to (...)

The UK High Court of Justice rejects a claim for exemplary damages following an infringement decision by the European Commission (Devenish/Sanofi-Aventis" Vitamins cartel")
TLT Solicitors
Introduction and Background to the claim In November 2001 the European Commission adopted a decision that held that a number of vitamin manufacturers had entered into worldwide price-fixing agreements (cartels) in respect of various vitamins in breach of Article 81 EC Treaty and therefore (...)

The UK High Court rules that exemplary damages are not available to claimants bringing actions against cartelists that have already been fined by the EU Commission, even if their fine has been commuted due to an immunity or leniency application (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
Exemplary damages are not available to claimants bringing actions against cartelists that have already been fined by the European Commission, even if their fine has been commuted due to an immunity or leniency application. Similarly, restitutionary relief or an account of profits are most (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal clarifies limitation period for follow-on claims lodged with the Tribunal (Emerson Electric / Morgan Crucible)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
I. Background On 09 February 2007 a claim for damages under section 47A Competition Act (follow-on action) was lodged with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (hereafter CAT). The defendant Morgan Crucible Company plc (“Morgan Crucible”) and the proposed defendants Schunk GmbH and Schunk (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority issued a notice on fines setting in cases regarding the unfair manipulation of consumer choice
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
In 2007 the GVH issued a Notice on the methods establishing the appropriate amount of fines for companies that unfairly manipulate consumer choice Although the GVH’s fining practice in antitrust cases had already been covered by an earlier notice there has been a need to systematically summarise (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit holds that parties to an arbitration agreement that prohibited joinder of jointly and severally liable defendants did not alter any substantive right under the Sherman or Clayton Acts (Cotton Yarn Antitrust Litigation)
White & Case (Washington)
In In re Cotton Yarn Antitrust Litigation, (505 F.3d 274 (4th Cir. 2007) the Fourth Circuit held inter alia that parties to an arbitration agreement that prohibited joinder of jointly and severally liable defendants did not alter any substantive right under the Sherman or Clayton Acts so as to (...)

Russia introduces a “leniency program” (Article 14.32 of Federal Law N° 135-FZ)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Moscow)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
On 13 May 2007, the turnover-based fine, for entering into agreements that limit competition or for participating in concerted actions that limit competition, was introduced into Russian competition legislation by amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation. (...)

Regulatory

The new German energy regime of incentive regulation setting total revenue caps in relation to network operator’s access charges enters into force on 1 January 2009
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and legal framework The New German Energy Industry Act 2005 (EnWG) from 13 July 2005 introduced a regulated third party access together with the implementation of regulatory authorities for the energy sector. Therefore, since 2006 the Federal Network Agency (FNA - (...)

The French competition authority seeks a comprehensive reform of current regulation of commercial facilities (Opinion N° 07-A-12)
European Commission (Brussels)
Background On October 11, 2007, the French competition authority (Conseil de la concurrence), has issued its opinion on propositions prepared by the Committee for the modernization of commercial facilities regulation headed by M. Renaud Dutreil. This Committee had been put in place after the (...)

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