October 2009

Anticompetitive practices

The ECJ confirms Commission must assess whether an agreement to limit parallel trade in medicines has pro-competitive benefits (GlaxoSmithKline)
Linklaters (Paris)
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Linklaters (London)
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French Competition Authority
On 6 October, the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) issued another “score draw” judgment in the long-running battle of R&D-based pharmaceutical companies to limit parallel trade in medicines across the EU. While the ECJ required the European Commission to conduct an in-depth examination of (...)

The Latvian Competition Council detects prohibited concerted practices among distributors of household appliances (Samsung Home Appliances)
Competition Council of Latvia
Competition Council detects Prohibited Concerted Practices among Distributors of Samsung Home Appliances* On 30 October 2009 the Latvian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision in which it found that concerted practices among five distributors of Samsung appliances infringed Article 81 of (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority detects prohibited concerted practices among distributors of a consumer goods electronics company (Samsung)
European Commission
Latvia: Competition Council detects Prohibited Concerted Practices among Distributors of Samsung Home Appliances On 30 October 2009, the Latvian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision in which it found that concerted practices among five distributors of Samsung appliances infringed (...)

A French Court of Appeal makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ on whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales by approved distributors does constitute a “hardcore restriction” on competition by object within the meaning of Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a judgment dated 29 October 2009, the French Court of Appeal made a reference for a preliminary ruling under article 234 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the “EC Treaty”), whereby the ECJ was asked to answer “the question whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales to (...)

The High Court of England and Wales refuses to delay a jurisdiction hearing in a cartel case until after an Italian Court of Appeal rules in the Italian part of the same cartel case (Cooper Tire & Rubber / Shell Chemicals)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
As reported in our article Italian Torpedo defused? Tactical moves in private actions for damages, a number of claimants are seeking damages - possibly amounting to some tens of millions of pounds - in the Commercial Court of the High Court in a follow on action to the synthetic rubber cartel. (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts to close the proceedings conditional to the cease of long-term exclusive agreements (Cybervitrine / Photomaton)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a decision dated 26 October 2009, the French Competition Authority decided, pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I of the French commercial code, to close the proceedings opened against the Photomaton Company, in exchange of certain commitments regarding the long-term exclusive agreements it had (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority annulls the decision of the Serbian Association of Insurers setting the minimum premium rates for motor vehicle liability insurance (Serbian Association of Insurers)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 October 2009 Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) following an ex officio investigation annulled a decision of the Serbian Association of Insurers (UOS) setting minimum premium rates for motor vehicle liability insurance as anticompetitive agreement prohibited by the relevant provisions of (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading condemns a compagny for illicit anti-competitive behaviour and abuse of dominance in the cigarette market (Austria Tabak (Malta) / Central Cigarette Company)
In terms of Article 13A of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta , hereinafter referred to as ‘MCA’), the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Director’) requested the Commission for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Commission’) to review its (...)

A US Court rules that the FTAIA mandated dismissal of a putative class action brought against foreign airlines in a civil litigation concerning the allegation of price fixing (Lufthansa / Air France / KLM / Alitalia)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
U.S. Court Grounds Europe-Japan Air Travel Price-Fixing Case* On October 16, 2009, Judge Louis H. Pollak of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982, 15 U.S.C. § 6a ("FTAIA") mandated dismissal of a (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upholds the Competition Authority decision which fines members of paper cartel (Schneidersöhne Baltija)
European Commission
Lithuania: Supreme Court partly upholds Authority Decision in Paper Case On 16 October 2009, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 26 October 2006 finding an infringement of Article 5 of the Lithuanian Law on Competition and of (...)

The European Commission accepts commitments proposed by UK Association in the ship classification market (International Association of Classification Societies)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG DEVCO
"Commitment decision in the ship classification case: Paving the way for more competition"* I. Introduction On 14 October 2009, the Commission adopted a decision under Article 9(1) of Regulation 1/2003 that renders legally binding commitments offered by the International Association of (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the producer of hearing devices for having threatened or inflicted disadvantages on another company in order to induce a certain retail price level for the resale of hearing devices (Phonak)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause. The producer of hearing devices provided lists with recommended prices containing minimum and maximum sale prices for hearing devices. One of the dealers offered the products significantly below the recommended prices (...)

The Hungarian competition authority accepts commitments from the lawyer’s Bar on registration fees (Békés Megyei Ügyvédi Kamara)
Hungarian Competition Law Research Centre
The Hungarian competition authority, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH) accepted commitments from the lawyer’s Bar of Békés Megye (Békés Megyei Ügyvédi Kamara; further on: BMÜK). The GVH initiated the investigation on 7 May 2007, because it was thought that the BMÜK with the imposition of procedural (...)

A Spanish Court provides for the first time ever for compensation of damages caused by a cartel (Sugar Cartel)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, is the first case in Spain in which a court provides for a redress of the victims of a horizontal restraint of competition, namely a cartel. It is well-known that cartels are prohibited by article 101 of the Treaty of (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on several manufacturers of cathode ray tubes for televisions for having implemented a price-fixing agreement (MT Picture Display)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease-and-Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers of Cathode Ray Tubes for Televisions*  The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter “JFTC”) investigated entrepreneurs manufacturing and selling the cathode ray tubes for televisions in accordance with the provisions of the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the sector of borrower’s insurance for housing loan
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is in favour of the separation of the housing loan offer and the insurance offer. It considers that it is necessary to guarantee the information provided to consumers and to (...)

The US DOJ Assistant Attorney General provides guidance on vertical price Fixing/Resale Price Maintenance (RPM)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
On October 7, 2009, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney used a speech to the National Association of Attorneys General to reaffirm the DOJ’s commitment to a closer cooperation with the state enforcers. She also devoted a major portion of her remarks to offering a (...)

The US DoJ proposes a framework for post-Leegin resale price maintenance
Allen & Overy (New York)
Introduction Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, Inc. , held that minimum resale price agreements were not per se violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Rather, the Court held such agreements should be evaluated under the “rule of reason” (...)

A Dutch Court of appeal rules that termination by supplier of distribution contract under pressure from competing distributors is concerted practice (Batavus - Vriend)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction This judgment of the Court of Appeal of Leeuwarden (“the Court”) is the latest in a series of judgments in a long running dispute relating to the termination in 2001 by Batavus B.V. (“Batavus”), a bicycle manufacturer, of its long term business relations with a retailer, Vriend’s (...)

The European Court of Justice reverses the Commission decision regarding the legality of dual pricing arrangments between leading pharmaceutical undertaking and Spanish wholesalers (GlaxoSmithKline)
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
On 6 October 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgment in the long-running wrangle regarding the legality of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) dual pricing arrangements with Spanish pharmaceutical wholesalers. As a result of the judgment, the European Commission (Commission) will have (...)

The Dutch Court of First Instance of Arnhem holds, in interlocutory proceedings, that a non-compete clause concluded in a franchise agreement, which was not exempted under the vertical agreements and concerted practices Regulation was enforceable (Bruna)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice
In March 1999, a franchise agreement was concluded for a period of five years between Bruna, the franchisor, and the defendant in this case, the franchisee. After renewal in 2004, this agreement was prolonged until 1 August 2009. The defendant was given the right to use the Bruna system for the (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority annulls an anticompetitive agreement concluded by five bus operators fixing ticket prices on the regular routes between Serbia and Germany (Panonijabus, Lasta, ATP Vojvodina, Severtrans, Nis-Ekspres)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 2 October 2009 Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established existence of an anticompetitive agreement concluded by several bus companies for the purpose of limiting competition on regular bus routes between Serbia and Germany. Specified agreement labeled “Pool T-488” was concluded between (...)

The US State of Maryland enacts a state antitrust law making minimum resale price maintenance agreements per se illegal
Jones Day (Washington)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

The Berlin Higher Regional Court rules on key issues of standing and standard of proof in cartel damages suits
Eberhard Karls University
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Eberhard Karls University
I. Introduction In its judgment on the first of October 2009 the Berlin Higher Regional Court has decided on important and disputed questions concerning the private enforcement of cartel damage claims under the German Act against restraints of Competition (“ARC”). Several statements in the (...)

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee holds hearings on pending resale price maintenance (RPM) federal legislation
Jones Day (Washington)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Romanian Competition Authority releases a report of the sector inquiry into real estate transactions and related services
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 1 April 2008 Romanian Competition Authority (CC) initiated a sector inquiry into the real estate transactions and related services in order to assess competitive conditions on the market and identify potential anticompetitive practices that might require CC’s intervention or changes in the (...)

The High Court of England and Wales declines to issue a stay against a damage claim brought by tyre manufacturers seeking redress from members of an alleged Butadiene Rubber and Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber cartel (Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and others / Shell Chemicals UK Limited and others)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The High Court of England and Wales has declined to issue a stay against a damage claim brought by tyre manufactures seeking redress from members of an alleged Butadiene Rubber and Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber cartel. Background The damage claim brought by the tyre manufacturers follows (...)

The Tribunal of Milan holds a decision on the private enforcement of Art. 82 EC concerning cease of purchase of advertising spaces on leading commercial networks (Sky / Mediaset)
University of Turin
On September 16, 2009 Sky Italia S.r.l. has filed a lawsuit under the Art. 700 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure with the Tribunal of Milan against RTI and Publitalia , both owned by the Mediaset Group, for the infringement of (a) the antitrust principles under Art. 82 of the European (...)

The Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announces the settlement in private enforcement action brought against a Chinese mobile company for abuse of dominance (China Mobile)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
The Ending of the ’China Mobile’ Case* This is an article corresponding to the China Mobile case which was discussed at China Law Vision on April 21, 2009. On 23 October 2009 the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announced the settlement of an Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) case brought by Zhou (...)

The Belgian Competition Prosecutor dismisses a claim from the Union of Belgian French-speaking Booksellers against their main distributors concerning alleged illicit agreement and abuse of dominant position (Interforum)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The parties The complaint was launched by the “Belgian Union of French-speaking Booksellers” (hereinafter UBFB), whose task is "to ensure the preservation and advancement of the interests of booksellers; safeguard, foster and promote by all means the dissemination of books; ensure the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes two investigations against the manager of rail networkgroup without finding any competition infringement (NTV/RFI-Accesso al Nodo di Napoli)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Two investigations conducted by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) against the incumbent rail operator, the Ferrovie dello Stato group (FS), over alleged infringements of Article 82 EC have been closed by a commitment and an acquittal decision. The ICA started the investigations against FS (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority finds no abusive conduct for travel facility access and accepts commitments for maintenance area access (NTV/RFI-Accesso al Nodo di Napoli)
University Bocconi
On October 22nd, 2009, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter: AGCM) handed down two distinct rulings which concluded the investigatory proceedings concerning FS (Ferrovie dello Stato) and RFI (Italian Railway Network). The two companies were allegedly engaged in abusive excluding (...)

The Belgian Competition Prosecutor dismisses a complaint from the Union of Belgian French-speaking Booksellers alleging an abuse of dominance and the existence of a cartel between two book distributors (Dilibel)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Griffes Consulting
1. The parties The “Union of Belgian French-speaking Booksellers” (hereinafter “UBFB”) is a non-profit organization which represents and defends the interests of the Belgian French-speaking booksellers. It represents 60% of French-speaking booksellers of Belgium. Dilibel Plc. is a subsidiary of (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading finds that the national airline’s decision to reduce the commission payable to travel agents for flight bookings does not fall foul of the rules of fair competition (Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Agents / Air Malta)
In terms of Article 13A of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta, hereinafter referred to as ‘MCA’), the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Director’) requested the Commission for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Commission’) to review its (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines an ADSL provider for margin squeeze (Swisscom)
Lenz & Staehelin
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Women’s Business Society
The telecom undertaking Swisscom provides, through its subordinate entity Bluewin, ADSL services (broadband internet) to final consumers (retail market). Furthermore, Swisscom offers the preliminary service which is indispensible for broadband internet. Swisscom/Bluewin’s competitors, including (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit states that direct purchasers of antidiuretic medicine have antitrust standing in patent infringement suit (DDAVP)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
2nd Circuit finds DDAVP purchasers stated Walker Process and related claims and had antitrust standing* On 16 October 2009 the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held (In re: DDAVP Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation) that direct purchasers of desmopressin acetate tablets, sold under (...)

The German Federal Competition Authority imposes fine for resale price maintenance in the hearing aids sector (Phonak)
Van Bael & Bellis
According to a press release of 15 October 2009, the German Federal Competition Authority imposed a fine of €4.2 million on Phonak, a leading supplier of hearing aids in Germany. Phonak supplies hearing aids to specialised resellers, which resell such hearing aids to end-customers. The German (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority forbids abusive behaviour and imposes commitments in agricultural market (Sugalidal-Heinz)
Sérvulo & Associados
Last October 15th, the Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, hereinafter “PCA”) decided that Sugalidal abused its dominant position in the market for seeds by imposing farmers to acquire and plant only Heinz seeds. According to the Press Release 20/2009, the cPCA decided (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority dismisses tying charges following commitments (Heinz tomato seeds - Sugalidal)
University of Lisbon
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Abreu Advogados
Following the acceptance of the commitments offered by food-industry company Sugalidal - Indústrias de Alimentação, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) published on 15 October a press release announcing the dismissal of charges regarding abuse of dominance under the form of tying practices. (...)

A German Court orders the dominant German railway network provider to reimburse additional fees charged for the ad hoc use of the railway network (Deutsche Bahn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
In its judgment of 14 October 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) held that additional fees charged by the dominant German railway network provider (“defendant”) to a company active in the field of railway freight transportation (“claimant”) for the ad hoc use of the railway (...)

The European Commission market tests commitments proposed by a leading software company to address allegations of tying an internet browser (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 7 October 2009, the Commission announced that it was beginning a market test of commitments offered by Microsoft to address allegations that it tied its web browser Internet Explorer with its client PC operating system. The move follows the publication of a Statement of Objections earlier (...)

The European Commission market tests commitments in the Swedish electricity transmission market (Svenska Kraftnät)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 6 October 2009, the Commission announced that it was beginning a market test of commitments offered by Svenska Kraftnät (SvK), the Swedish transmission system operator, to address various allegations of abuse. The move follows an announcement by the Commission earlier this year that it had (...)

Mergers

The Paris Court of Appeal narrows the scope for procedural challenges to a decision of the national competition authority (Canal 9/Les Indépendants)
University College London
On 1 June 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) handed down a judgment upholding the decision of the Conseil de la Concurrence (now the Autorité de la Concurrence) in the long running case La Société Canal 9 S.A.S. v Le G.I.E. Les Indépendants. The Court found that the failure of the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears the merger of consumer electronic companies with conditions (Panasonic / Sanyo)
WilmerHale (Beijing)
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WilmerHale (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") on October 31, 2009 cleared the Panasonic/Sanyo transaction with conditions, concluding a nine-month review period. The Panasonic/Sanyo transaction is the most recent of the five transactions that MOFCOM has cleared with conditions since the Anti-Monopoly (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM recent merger decision on consumer electronics highlights the continuing challenges in Chinese merger control procedure (Panasonic / Sanyo)
Sidley Austin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Sidley Austin (Beijing)
On October 30, 2009, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) issued its decision in the Panasonic/Sanyo case, and published a summary of the decision on its website. The Panasonic/Sanyo transaction is the most recent of a series of cases where MOFCOM imposed conditions when issuing antitrust (...)

The China’s Ministry of Commerce compels divestment of assets inside and outside China as a condition of clearance (Panasonic / Sanyo)
Simmons & Simmons
For the first time, MOFCOM has demanded divestment of assets held outside China in a transaction involving two non Chinese parties. On 30 October 2009, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced its conditional approval of the proposed acquisition by Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) of (...)

The European Commission refers to the French Competition Authority the examination of a joint control acquisition of two companies active in the transport of passengers by a Canadian institutional fund manager (SNCF-P/CDPQ/Keolis/Effia)
"Merger: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* In response to a request by France’s Competition Authority, the European Commission decided, on 30 October 2009, to refer to that authority the matter of examining the acquisition of joint control of the French (...)

The UK Competition Commission authorizes the purchase of two distressed local bus operators (Stagecoach Group of Eastbourne Buses - Cavendish Motor Services)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision taken on 22 October 2009 the Competition Commission (CC) has changed its provisional findings of August and unconditionally cleared the Stagecoach acquisition of two local bus operators in Eastbourne, Eastbourne Buses Limited (EBL) and Cavendish. The CC was referred the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission conditionally clears in Phase II a merger in the retail market for petrol and diesel (BP Hellas, Hellenic petroleum)
University of East Anglia - CCP
On 10 July 2009, Hellenic Petroleum notified the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) of its intention to purchase a controlling share of BP Hellas SA. The acquisition is said to cost Hellenic Petroleum € 359 M. This acquisition includes the entire network of BP facilities in Greece, including (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina issues on opinion regarding thresholds for mandatory notification of concentrations (BA Heinzel)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 September 2009 legal counsel of the Heinzel Group (Heinzel) Dr. Johannes Klezl requested Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina to express its opinion regarding Heinzel’s obligation to notify its acquisition of an Austrian company engaged in manufacturing of paper for magazines (...)

State Aid

The European Commission concludes that Italian measures in favor of two R&D projects in the aeronautical industry does not constitute State aid (Agusta)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The European Commission has concluded that Italian measures in favour of two R&D projects conducted by Agusta concerning helicopters (A139 and BA609) are of a military nature and therefore fall within the scope of (...)

The European Commission holds that the scheme implemented by Hungary for the taxation of intra-group interest constitutes an existing aid scheme
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* In January 2003, the Hungarian authorities introduced new provisions allowing favourable taxation of net interest income received from affiliated companies belonging to the same corporate group. The measure allowed a tax (...)

The European Commission approves under State aid rules the establishment of urban tax-free zones in certain parts of Italy (Zone Franche Urbane)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The Commission authorised establishment of urban tax-free zones in certain parts of Italy. The aim is to encourage regeneration of particularly deprived areas. In the 22 areas classified as urban tax-free zones, small and (...)

The European Commission approves a package of measures to support the restructuring of UK mortgage bank (Northern Rock)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* On 28 October 2010, the Commission approved a package of measures to support the restructuring of UK mortgage bank Northern Rock. The bank will be split into a ‘good’ bank that will continue the economic activities of (...)

The European Commission authorizes UK restructuring aid package in the banking sector (Northern Rock)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB)
"Restructuring in the banking sector during the financial crisis: the Northern Rock case"* I. Introduction In normal circumstances the exit of inefficient firms is part of a self-correcting mechanism in the market. In this way market-based competition penalises those who make less efficient (...)

The European Commission authorizes an Italian State aid scheme offering interest-rate subsidies for the production of environmentally friendly (green) products
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The Commission authorised an Italian scheme offering interest-rate subsidies for the production of environmentally friendly (green) products. The measure will focus on the car component industry and, more precisely, on (...)

The Council of the European Union signs a Free Trade Agreement with the government of South Korea
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"EU-Korea FTA: a stepping stone towards better subsidies’ control at the international level"* On 15 October 2009 a free trade agreement (FTA) between Korea and the EU, the EU’s first with a trading partner in Asia, was initialled. It is the most ambitious FTA ever negotiated by the EU, (...)

The European Commission endorses a Finnish proposal for tax incentives for productive investment projects
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The Commission endorsed a Finnish proposal for tax incentives for productive investment projects. Under the proposed scheme, for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years Finland will temporarily double the depreciation rates for (...)

Procedures

The President of a French Commercial Court rules on the competence of the local court hearing applications for interim relief on matters involving competition law (Siac, Renault)
Vogel & Vogel
The interim order handed down by the President of the Albi Commercial Court on 28 October 2009 is of interest insofar as it has, for the first time in France, ruled on the issue of the competence of the local court hearing applications for interim relief to rule on matters involving competition (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the first ever implementation of Art. 22.1 Reg. 1/2003 by the French NCA in the carbureactors case (Chevron Products)
European Commission
France: Paris Court of Appeal confirms the first ever Implementation of Article 22(1) of Regulation 1/2003 by the French Competition Authority On 4 December 2008, the French Competition Authority fined four oil companies € 41 000 000 for colluding in a tender process organized by Air France (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority announces the results of the sector inquiry on the market for wholesale and retail distribution of liquefied petroleum gas
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 February 2010 the Serbian Competition Authority (Komisija za zastitu konkurencije) (KZK) published the results of the sector inquiry evaluating the competitive conditions on the market for the wholesale and retail distribution of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This investigation was (...)

The European Competition Network publishes a report assessing convergence in the field of leniency
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The state of ECN leniency convergence"* I. What was the rationale for convergence and what is the state of play? On 13 October 2009, the heads of the national competition authorities making up the European Competition Network (ECN) endorsed a Report assessing convergence in the field of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that, in compliance with the adversarial principle, the parties to the commitments procedure shall have access to all documents on the basis of which the case handler had drafted its preliminary assessment (Canal 9 / Les Indépendants)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
Following the quashing of its first decision , the Paris Court of Appeal held, in the present decision , that in compliance with the adversarial principle, the parties to the commitments procedure shall have access to all documents on the basis of which the French Rapporteur (the “case handler”) (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court provides guidance on the application of the proof by presumptions test in the context of a bid rigging case in the healthcare sector (Amersham Health)
Airbus Defence and Space (Toulouse)
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Pernod Ricard (Paris)
On October 3, 2009, the Spanish Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) quashed the Appellate Administrative Court’s (Audiencia Nacional) judgment of April 11, 2006 upholding a decision of the Spanish competition authority (“NCA”) to fine four healthcare companies for bid-rigging on the market for the (...)

Regulatory

The European Commission organizes a roundtable on online music distribution which results in joint statement signed by key industry players
Van Bael & Bellis
On 19 October 2009, the participants of a European Commission Roundtable on the online distribution of music signed a joint statement setting out general principles that aim to underpin the online distribution of music in the future. Participants in the Roundtable comprised Amazon, BEUC, EMI, (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority advises the Government to review the list of medicines provided under the national health insurance scheme (Medicines provided under the national health insurance scheme)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 2 October 2009 Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) issued an opinion concerning the Government’s decision to reduce the number of medicines purchased by the medical institutions under the national health insurance scheme. KZK initiated its investigation following a complaint lodged by a law (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes a report on collective instalment of broadband internet or cable-TV
European Commission
Sweden: Research Report on Collective Instalment of Broadband Internet or Cable-TV In October 2009, the Swedish Competition Authority published a report in which an economic analysis of the effects on competition from collective instalment of broadband internet or cable TV was carried out. (...)

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