October 2011

Anticompetitive practices

The Swiss Competition Commission investigates into unlawful agreements affecting competition entered by a cosmetics and perfumery products’ professional association (ASCOPA)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) determines unlawful agreements affecting competition between manufacturers, importers and suppliers of cosmetics and perfumery products. II. Case 1. Parties Defendants Beauté Prestige SA, Zurich; Bergerat SA, Geneva; Bulgari Parfums (...)

The US DoJ issues in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services final statement as regards collaborations of independent health care providers and provider groups
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
No Mandatory Antitrust Review for ACOs* The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission recently issued their final "Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program" pursuant to the 2010 Patient (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on pharmaceutical companies and their distributors (Baxter and Belupo)
European Commission
Romania: The Competition Council imposes Fines on Pharmaceutical Companies Baxter, Belupo and their Distributors* On 28 October 2011, the Competition Council sanctioned Baxter AG (Switzerland), Belupo (Croatia) and their distributors with fines amounting to € 1 800 000 for the conclusion of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines two suppliers of prescription-only medicines and their distributors for parallel export restrictions (Baxter / Belupo)
Peli Filip
,
Peli Filip
On 28 October 2011, the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) published Decisions n° 51 and 52/28.10.2011 sanctioning two suppliers of prescription-only medicines - Belupo Iijekovi & kozmetica d.d. Croatia (“Belupo”) and Baxter AG Switzerland (“Baxter”) - and their distributors on the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority applies leniency by granting total immunity and a significant reduction in the amount of fine in a case dealing with anticompetitive cooperation agreements in the air transport sector (SunExpress/Condor)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has granted total immunity to SunExpress and reduced the amount of fine of Condor by 50 percent, after SunExpress applied for leniency and disclosed the existence of the agreements it signed with Condor (...)

The Turkish Competition Board decides that the match-fixing activities of football clubs are outside the scope of Turkish competition legislation (The Turkish Football Clubs)
GlaxoSmithKline (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) recently (on 21 June 2012) made public its reasoned decision (the “Decision”) on the match-fixing activities of some of Turkey’s football clubs, a scandal that has gripped the Turkish public since last year. In contradiction of the claims of the third (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority reaches final decision in mobile operators case (KPN Mobile, T-Mobile and Vodafone)
European Commission
The Netherlands: The Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit reaches Final Decision in Mobile Operators Case* At the beginning of January 2012, following a lengthy court procedure, the Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit (NMa) published its decision of 26 October 2011, in which it confirmed that the (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines hauliers from port of Bilbao (Hauliers from Port of Bilbao)
European Commission
Spain: National Competition Commission (CNC) fines Hauliers from Port of Bilbao* The CNC Council has adopted on 26 October 2011 a resolution to impose fines totalling more than € 7 000 000 on the Vizcaya Union of Autonomous Hauliers (Sindicato de Transportistas Autónomos de Bizkaia - SINTRABI), (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision in order to prevent competition restrictions in the market for the installation of automatic sprinkler systems (Industry guideline on automatic sprinkler systems)
European Commission
Denmark: Commitments to modify Industry Guideline on automatic Sprinkler Systems* On 26 October 2011, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted a commitment decision pursuant to Section 16a of the Danish Competition Act, in order to prevent competition restrictions in the Danish market for (...)

The Romanian Competition Council publishes the third edition of its report on competition in essential sectors of economy
European Commission
Romania: Authority adopts Report on Competition in essential Sectors of Economy* On 21 October 2011, the Competition Council (RCC) published the third edition of its Report on the Romanian competitive environment, which is focused on the state of competition in the key economic sectors: (...)

The US FTC and the US DOJ issue final policy statement of antitrust enforcement policy regarding "accountable care organizations"
Mayer Brown (Washington)
,
Mayer Brown (Washington)
Analysis of Policy Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations* Section 2706 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 ("PPACA" or the "Act") authorizes physicians, hospitals and other (...)

Brussels Court of Appeal partially reforms interim measures decision of the President of the Belgian Competition Council in that it limits the duration of the obligation to supply on the diamant market ( De Beers, Spira BVBA)
Stibbe (Brussels)
I. The Facts The judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal is one of a long line of decisions and court rulings taken by the European Commission, national competition authorities, the General Court and the Court of Justice concerning De Beers’ decision to alter its distribution system for rough (...)

The European Commission publishes a revised version of its best practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in competition cases
RBB Economics (Brussels)
The Commission’s Best Practices for the Submission of Economic Evidence: Improved, but still lacking in key areas* On 17 October, the Commission published a revised version of its Best Practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in competition cases (“BP”). The first (...)

The French Competition Authority launches public consultations on its approach to compliance programmes and guidelines on settlements (Compliance Programmes and Guidelines on Settlements)
European Commission
France: Autorité de la concurrence launches Public Consultations on its Approach to Compliance Programmes and Guidelines on Settlements* On 14 October 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (‘the Autorité’) launched a two-month public consultation on a draft framework document on compliance (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission publishes report on relations between manufacturers and retailers in food sector (Manufacturers and Retailers in Food Sector)
European Commission
Spain: National Competition Commission publishes Report on Relations between Manufacturers and Retailers in Food Sector* The National Competition Commission (CNC) published on 13 October 2011 a report on the relations between manufacturers and retailers in the food sector. The report, which (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies anticompetitive practices in the application of the selective distribution system for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC reg. 1400/2002 (Euro Rent Sport)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive agreements in the selective distribution system applied by the exclusive supplier of Mitsubishi automobiles in Croatia – Euro Rent Sport d.o.o. (ERS) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The US Supreme Court declines a petition for review in an antitrust case related to multiple listing service (Realcomp II)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues recommendation to improve the system of management and recycling of used oils (SIGOU system)
European Commission
Portugal: Recommendation for the better Functioning of the System of Management and Recycling of used Oils* On 7 October 2011, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) issued the Recommendation No. 3/2011 (the Recommendation) aimed at promoting the better functioning of the system of (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for engineering works and pronounces a cease and desist order against them (City of Wajima)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Participants in Bidding for Engineering Works ordered by Ishikawa Prefecture and the City of Wajima* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders (...)

The Spanish National Competition Commission declares that a local government body infringed competition rules by participating in sector agreements in the sherry industry (Productores de Uva y Vinos de Jerez)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
,
Allen & Overy (Madrid)
On October 6, 2011, the Spanish National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia “CNC”) found that the Andalucian government and a number of associations of operators in the sherry industry had engaged into a concerted practice consisting of price and production agreements in (...)

The German Competition Office invits competition experts to discuss competition problems in the fuel markets
European Commission
Germany: Experts engage in Working Group Discussion about Fuel Prices* About 100 competition experts met on 6 October 2011 at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt’s (BKartA) for the Annual Conference of the Working Group on Competition Law. The participants discussed competition problems in (...)

An Hungarian court of appeal confirms the annulment of the decision of the Competition Office and sets guidelines for repeated proceedings in road construction cartel matter (Egút Egri Építő, Colas Dunántúli Út-és Vasútépítő)
lakatos, koves and partners
The Budapest Metropolitan Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) recently delivered a judgment that provides an insight into the Court of Appeal’s approach to a number of substantive law and procedural law issues concerning cartel matters. The case before the Court of Appeal concerned the second (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects the argument that the prohibition on the import, sale and use of foreign decoding devices was necessary to ensure compliance with the UK blackout rule (Football Association Premier League)
Den Haag, Asser Institute
Premier League fans in Europe worse off after Murphy judgment* When the European Court of Justice (CJ) delivered its judgment in joined cases FA Premier League v QC Leisure and others (C-403/08) and Karen Murphy v Media Protection Services (C-429/08) (Murphy), it was deemed a radical (...)

The Dutch Tribunal adjusts the fines imposed on bicycle manufacturers participating in a cartel (Bicycle manufacturers)
De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB)
,
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
1. Facts and procedure On the 4th of October 2011 the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven,hereinafter "Tribunal") ruled on an appeal against a judgment of the District Court of Rotterdam (Rechtbank Rotterdam, referred to as "District Court") in (...)

The UK OFT closes criminal investigation in the automotive sector
DLA Piper
On 4 October 2011, the OFT announced that it had closed its criminal investigation into alleged criminal conduct under the Enterprise Act 2002 cartel offence, involving suppliers to the automotive sector. Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the OFT has the ability to investigate suspected criminal (...)

The European Court of Justice issues its preliminary ruling holding that restricting the sale of European foreign satellite decoder cards is “contrary to the freedom to provide services” (Football Association Premier League)
Max Findlay Associates
Little, large and not proven* The big story for British sports fans has been the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the FA Premier League / Karen Murphy case. Effectively, the ECJ has said that British viewers can buy live English Premier League football (...)

The European Court of Justice validates exclusive rights for broadcasting of sports events provided they do not grant absolute territorial exclusivity (Football Association Premier League)
Vogel & Vogel
The Football Association Premier League (FAPL), holder of the television broadcasting rights for the Premier League, the leading professional football league competition for football clubs in England, grants exclusive licences in respect of those broadcasting rights to one TV channel per (...)

The European Court of Justice renders its judgment on licensing of satellite broadcasting holding that national law blocking the importation of foreign decoders is contrary to freedom to provide services (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The Court of Justice Speaks On Licensing Of Satellite Broadcasting* On October 4, the European Court of Justice rendered its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure. For a discussion of the background to the case and the opinion of the Advocate General see here. The Court concludes that (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review alleged antitrust conspiracy case in the health care sector (UPMC / West Penn Allegheny Health System)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review conviction for conspiring to obstruct justice in a price-fixing investigation in carbon products industry (Norris)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review antitrust price-fixing case in the gasoline industry (Refined petroleum products antitrust litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms dismissal of wholesaler action against publisher of newspapers and magazines (Bauer Media Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 October 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (the Court) dismissed the appeal of a press distributor (the “plaintiff”) who had brought an action against a publisher (the “defendant”), claiming that the publisher was under a duty to continue supplying the distributor on an exclusive (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority closes its investigation concerning excessive prices in the market for quality certification services harmonized with the construction products Directive (IGH)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) dismissed the complaint lodged by the cement importer ARMACOM d.o.o. against Institut IGH d.d., an organization authorized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction (MZOPU) to provide inspection (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina closes the investigation into the alleged abusive practices of the incumbent telecom operator without reaching a decision on the merits (Telekom RS / Crumb group)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 12 October 2011 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position on the part of the incumbent telecom operator Telekom RS. The KV‘s investigation was prompted by a complaint lodged by an independent telecom (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal decides the appointment of experts to investigate abuse of dominant position in the railway sector (NMBS / SNCB, Electrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal (Hof van Beroep/Cour d’Appel) gave an interlocutory judgment designating a panel of experts in a case pitting NMBS/SNCB, the national railway company, against Electrabel. The appeal judgment overturns the initial judgment of the Court of (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority finds no anti-competitive practices on the market for access to the network infrastructure (Utility poles)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 October 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) completed its investigation into the alleged anti-competitive practices on the market for access rights to the utility poles, which were used by the telecom operators for supporting their cable TV, Internet and fixed telephony networks. (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council presents an assessment of the impact of its activities on consumers
European Commission
Lithuania: Competition Council estimates Benefits of its Activity for Consumers* During a press conference held on 6 October 2011, the Competition Council (CC) has for the first time presented an assessment of the impact of its activities on consumers. The main purpose of this assessment was (...)

The French Supreme Court rules that the ability for dealers to effectively compare prices with competitors is an essential feature of the price determining process (Hyper Saint-Aunes Leclerc / Societe Carrefour hypermarches)
Université Aix-Marseille
The Facts of the Case For several years now, the French distribution company Leclerc has been distinguishing itself from its competition by a heavy emphasis on prices, which have been consistently claimed to be the lowest of the “hypermarché” market. However, such a advertising strategy was not (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority closes case concerning freight transport services (Freight Transport Services)
European Commission
Finland: Competition Authority closes Case concerning Freight Transport Services* On 3 October 2011, the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) closed proceedings regarding a complaint submitted by Russian shipping company St. Peter Line Ltd (St. Peter Line) against an alleged abuse of dominant (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Commission finds no substantial lessening of Competition in an acquisition in the treasury management advisory services (Sector Treasury Services, Butlers, ICAP PLC)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Background On 31 March 2011, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") referred to the Competition Commission ("CC") for investigation and report under the Enterprise Act 2002 ("the Act") the completed acquisition by Sector Treasury Services Limited ("STS") of Butlers, a trading division of ICAP plc (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM publishes a conditional approval of proposed transaction under Anti-Monopoly Law (Alpha V)
Jones Day (Beijing)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") has published a conditional approval of proposed transaction under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"). This decision reflects China’s view of the broad reach of the AML’s merger provisions and the lengthy procedure that merging parties can expect. Since (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears the acquisition in the electronic yarn clearers for automatic winders (Penelope / Savio)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
MOFCOM’s 8th Conditional Clearance - Alpha V/Savio Deal* On 31 October 2011, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) publicly announced the eighth conditional merger clearance since the enactment of the Anti-monopoly Law (AML) in 2008. According to its announcement , MOFCOM cleared the proposed (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM approves, subject to equity divestiture, a proposed acquisition in the electronic yarn clearers for automatic winders (Penelope / Savio)
Linklaters (Beijing)
,
Linklaters (Shanghai)
,
Linklaters (London)
On 31 October 2011, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) announced its eighth conditional clearance decision, approving the acquisition of Savio by Penelope subject to an equity divestiture. This is the third decision since the introduction of the AML to require (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition conditionally approves the merger of companies owned by Czech Republic in the sector of air transport and groundhandling services (Český Aeroholding/Letiště Praha/České aerolinie)
Kantar Worldpanel (London)
Introduction On 25 October 2011 the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the "Office") approved the creation of the holding structure of the companies Český Aeroholding ("Aeroholding"), Letiště Praha ("LP") and České aerolinie ("CSA") owned by the state of Czech Republic operating in the (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority clears in second phase a merger in the dairy market in a case raising failing firm issues (Arla Foods / Milko)
Cosmetics Europe
Background The parties to the transaction, i.e. Arla Foods amba ("Arla Foods") and Milko ekonomisk förening ("Milko") are two independent producers and suppliers of dairy products to Swedish customers. Both parties are organised as farmer cooperatives which collect raw milk from farmers for (...)

The European Commission unconditionally clears an acquisition in the genset sector (Caterpillar/MWM)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
,
White & Case (Paris)
This case provides a further example of unconditional approval being granted by the Commission at the end of an in-depth Phase II (see also UPM/Myllukoski and Rhein Papier of 13 July 2011, case no. COMP/M. 6101; Seagate/Samsung hard disk reader business of 19 October 2011, case no.COMP/M.6214; (...)

The Slovak Parliament amends the competition act with respect to merger control
Kinstellar (Prague)
,
University of Oxford
On 19 October 2011, the Slovak Parliament passed an amendment to the Competition Act (the “Amendment”). It was signed by the President of Slovakia on 4 November 2011 and following its publication in the Collection of Laws, it will become effective on 1 January 2012 and will apply to (...)

The Slovak Republic amends the Competition Act as regards merger control
BPV Braun Partners
On 19 October 2011, important amendments to the Slovak Competition Act (“Amendments”) modifying and simplifying the merger control rules were passed. The Amendments shall become effective as of 1 January 2011. Turnover Thresholds The existing turnover threshold test has been amended to reflect (...)

The European Commission issues revised best practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in competition cases - Questions on early data gathering in merger cases
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Economic evidence and analysis at the early stages of EU merger control proceedings* “In appropriate cases, DG Competition may discuss in advance with the addressees or other affected parties the scope and the format of the Data Request. DG Competition may also explain the analysis that it (...)

The European Commission together with the US DoJ and FTC jointly issues revised best practices on cooperation in merger investigations
Sullivan & Cromwell (Brussels)
,
Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati (Brussels)
,
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Washington)
This article is the winner for the business category, mergers section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission (DG Competition) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and (...)

The Belgium Competition Council grants a derogation from the standstill obligation in a bank rescue operation (Dexia)
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
On 13 October 2011, the Competition Council granted a derogation from the standstill obligation under which concentrations that are notifiable in Belgium cannot be implemented before clearance. The Belgian State obtained this derogation for its acquisition of the shares of Dexia Bank België NV (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority rejects a merger application because the parties failed to produce evidence demonstrating their “serious intent” to consummate the transaction (Sudosteuropa, Novisti)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 12 October 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) rejected the individual merger application of OST Holding Sudosteuropa GmbH(OST) (acquiring undertaking), which intended to acquire indirect control over the Serbian newspaper company Novosti. The KZK’s decision was based on the failure (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the food-processing sector (Agrial / Elle-et-Vire)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the takeover of the cooperative Elle-et-Vire*. By the cooperative group Agrial subject to conditions Agrial bought out the cider-making business of Elle-et-Vire on 30 June (...)

The UK OFT refers the anticipated joint venture between two in-flight caterers to the Competition Commission for in-depth investigation (Alpha Flight Group / Lufthansa Service)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Introduction On 10 October 2011, the UK Office of Fair Trading (the "OFT") referred the anticipated 50/50 joint venture between in-flight catering services companies Alpha Flight Group Limited ("Alpha") and LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG ("LSG") to the Competition Commission (the "CC"), for (...)

The EU Commission decides not to oppose the notified operation and declares it compatible with the internal market and the EEA Agreement (Microsoft / Skype)
University of South Australia
Microsoft/Skype – or the Commission in the Shadow of Parties Submission* The Commission’s decision in Microsoft/Skype contradicts its previous Article 102 decisions in Microsoft I (WMP) and Microsoft II (Internet Explorer). Read §152 of Microsoft/Skype : “consumers do not simply use whatever (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection releases his report on pay television (Market for pay TV services)
European Commission
Poland: UOKiK’s Report on Pay Television* The current situation on the market for pay TV services in Poland has been the object of a thorough analysis by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK). The outcome of this analysis has been presented in a report in August this year. (...)

The UK Competition Commission publishes proposals to open up bus markets across the country to greater competition
European Commission
United Kingdom: Competition Commission makes Proposals to open up Bus Markets to greater Competition* On 6 October 2011, the UK Competition Commission (the CC) published proposals to open up bus markets across the country to greater competition. This is the latest stage in the CC’s (...)

The US DoJ requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a popular generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information services provider (Google / ITA)
Economists Incorporated (San Francisco)
,
Economists Incorporated (Washington)
On July 1, 2010, Google Inc. (“Google”) and ITA Software, Inc. (“ITA”) announced an agreement for Google to acquire ITA for $700 million. On April 8, 2011, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it would allow the proposed acquisition subject to certain conditions. DOJ filed a complaint (...)

The US DOJ demands conduct remedies from two strong competitors in related markets before approving a vertical merger that will allow the combined company to enter into the online travel search market (Google / ITA)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
,
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
,
United Airlines
U.S. antitrust agencies, in a flurry of recent actions, have reinvigorated vertical merger enforcement, claiming competitive harm from what, in the past, would potentially have been viewed as efficiency-enhancing vertical integration. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”), in particular, has (...)

The US DoJ imposes conduct remedies, including "FRAND" licensing, before approving a vertical merger with anticompetitive concerns in the comparative-flight-search industry (Google / ITA)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

The US DoJ requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a popular generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information services provider (Google / ITA)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

Brazil’s Congress approves a new competition law that significantly restructures the landscape of competition enforcement
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York)
,
Jones Day (Sao Paulo)
,
Jones Day (New York)
On October 5, 2011, Brazil’s Congress approved a new competition law that significantly restructures the landscape of competition enforcement in Brazil. Brazil’s Congress will now forward the bill to the desk of President Dilma Rousseff, who has 15 working days to approve or reject the bill. If (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice sides Germany that Commission injunctions to provide information can be challenged (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment handed down on 13 October 2011, the Court of Justice overturned the General Court’s ruling that appeals by Germany and Deutsche Post AG (“Deutsche Post”) relating to a Commission injunction requesting information in state aid investigations were inadmissible. At issue was (...)

Procedures

The Argentinean Federal Court of Appeals rules that the antitrust agency fails to have capacity to grant injunctive relief (Moda)
De Dios & Goyena
The Argentine Government has yet to appoint the Tribunal for Defense of Competition (TDC) as set forth by the Law 25.156 for the Defense of Competition (LDC). Article 58 of the LDC provides that the cases under investigation, and those others brought until the organization of the TDC, shall be (...)

Hong Kong Government makes amendments to the proposed Hong Kong Competition Bill
Linklaters (Beijing)
,
Linklaters (London)
,
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
On 25 October 2011, the Bills Committee considering the proposed Hong Kong Competition Bill (the “Bill”) discussed the Hong Kong Government’s proposed amendments to the Bill. The amendments seek to address some of the concerns that have been raised by the business community in Hong Kong. Although (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls fines imposed on Belgian chemicals company for anticompetitive conduct due to a breach of essential procedural requirements (Solvay)
University of Berkeley
European Court of Justice annuls antitrust fines due to a breach of essential procedural requirements* On October 25th, 2011 the European Court of Justice annulled antitrust fines that were imposed on the company Solvay by the European Commission in the year 2000 (and approved by European (...)

The Luxembourg Parliament adopts a new competition act which modifies the institutional framework on competition law (New competition law)
European Commission
Luxembourg: In-depth Reform of Competition Law* The new law on Competition of 23 October 2011 significantly modifies the institutional framework on competition law. As a consequence, the Competition Inspectorate, a service of the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, which is responsible (...)

The Luxembourg Parliament adopts a new competition act aiming at improving the efficiency of competition law enforcement
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
,
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Since the adoption of the Luxembourg Competition Law in 2004, the Luxembourg Competition Council («the Council»), an independent administrative authority, has been in charge of enforcing the competition law provisions relating to agreements and abuses of a dominant position when a market in the (...)

The European Commission issues new best practice guidelines on antitrust proceedings
Siemens
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The European Commission published on 17 October 2011 its new guidelines for best practices during antitrust procedures. The guidelines cover the main proceedings concerning alleged infringements of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (cartel (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission publishes a study on the relationships between producers and distributors in the food sector analysing various aspects of buyer power in Spain
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The NCC has recently published a study on the relationships between manufacturers and distributors in the food sector (Study). The 160 page long Study, provides an interesting perspective on issues related to buyer power in Spain which have caused quite a few problems in the last few years. (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court brings a preliminary ruling before the European Court of Justice on the question of access to cartel files by third parties adversely affected by a cartel (Printing chemical producers)
Saxinger Chalupsky & Partners (Brussels)
In 2010, several printing chemical producers were fined by the Austrian Cartel Court for their participation in a printing chemicals cartel in Austria. The investigation was initiated due to a leniency application by one of the cartel members. After the conclusion of the procedure, an (...)

A US Federal District Court rules against customers’ efforts to use arbitration to challenge a merger in the mobile sector (AT&T Mobility/Smith)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Customers’ Efforts to Use Arbitration to Challenge AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Fail* Federal district courts around the country have blocked AT&T Mobility LLC customers from pursuing arbitration to challenge the merger of AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA Inc.—a transaction valued at (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court rules that notaries are not allowed to provide information on their clients to a Competition Authority
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
College of Europe (Bruges)
Facts On 22 July 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Inspectorate ("Inspection de la concurrence") requested two notaries public to provide information pursuant to Article 13(3) of the 2004 Competition Act ("Loi du 17 mai 2004 relative à la concurrence"). According to the latter, the Inspectorate (...)

A US District Court denies defendants’ motion to dismiss regarding indirect purchaser claims based on foreign sales (TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation)
Jones Day (Cleveland)
,
Jones Day (Chicago)
,
Jones Day (Chicago)
This article has been nominated by readers for the business category, general antitrust section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Recent decisions by the Third Circuit and the Northern District of California make it easier for (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rejects an appeal lodged against the conditions of search and seizure operations conducted by the Competition Authority at the premises of a leading international group in the transport and delivery service sector (TNT Express)
White & Case (Paris)
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
On October 4, 2011, the delegate of the first President of the Paris Court of Appeal issued three orders relating to competition search and seizure operations conducted by the French National Competition Authority (the «NCA«) at the premises of TNT Express and TNT Express France («TNT«), SARL (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition for certiorari brought by a drug manufacturer with respect to federal jurisdiction over antitrust class action claims (Lorazepam & Clorazepate Antitrust Litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority releases its 2010 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
In October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) has released its 2010 Annual Report where it summarized its law enforcement and related activities carried out in 2010. The year of 2010 carries special importance for the competition law development in Croatia on 1 October 2010 the new (...)

Regulatory

The US FTC issues a report on pharmaceutical patent settlements scrutinizing their interplay with authorized generics
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. FTC Scrutinizes Interplay Between Authorized Generics and Patent Settlements* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently released two reports relating to the pharmaceutical industry. A significant theme in both reports is a concern that brand name pharmaceutical companies are using (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic finalises report analysing the problems in the railway transport services sector (Railway transport services)
European Commission
Slovakia: Sectoral Report on Railway Services’ Competition Problems* On 1 October 2011, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) finalised its report analysing the problems in the railway transport services sector from a competition point of view. The document describes the (...)

All issues

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