September 2009

Anticompetitive practices

The European Court of First Instance confirms the Commission’s decision and applies the case-law on the presumption that the parent company holding 100% or almost 100% of the capital of a subsidiary exercises decisive influence over the conduct of its subsidiary (Akzo Nobel)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
Akzo was similarly disappointed in its attempts to dissociate the parent company (Akzo Nobel NV) from liability for its subsidiaries’ involvement in the monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) cartel, on which the CFI ruled on 30 September 2009 (Case T 175/05). This was unsurprising, given the ECJ ruling, (...)

The European Commission re-adopts decision on the concrete reinforcing bar cartel and imposes fines over € 83 million (Ronds à Béton)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the Commission announced that it had re-adopted a decision fining eight companies over € 83 million for their participation in a cartel in the Italian concrete reinforcing bar sector, following the annulment of the Commission’s original decision by the CFI on procedural (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading fines recruitment agencies for collective boycott and price-fixing cartel (CDI AndersElite, AWA, BBT)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) imposed fines totalling £ 39.27 million (around € 43 million) on six recruitment agencies for price-fixing and the collective boycott of an intermediary company in the supply of candidates to the construction industry. Two further agencies (...)

The Danish Competition Authority prohibits a TV broadcaster and satellite distributor’s business terms regarding distribution of two TV-channels (Viasat)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: Authority prohibits Viasat’s Business Terms Regarding Distribution of TV 3 and TV 3 The Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted on 30 September 2009 a decision finding that Viasat’s business terms, regarding distribution of the TV-channels TV 3 and TV 3+ in cable networks infringe (...)

The French Competition Authority fines € 6.9 M a football association and a rights for sports management agency for anticompetitive agreements on the market for audiovisual rights (FFF-Sportfive)
Credit Agricole
Following its 2001 and 2004 decisions to investigate competition in the field of management of professional football rights, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed a fine of 6.9 million € on the Fédération Française du football (FFF), the French football association, and Sportfive for their (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court backs up the National Competition Authority and for the first time ever presents its view on the level of fines imposed in cartel cases (Asphalt cartel)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 29 September 2009, following appeals against the Market Court’s decision by both the Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) and the defendant companies alleged to have participated in the asphalt cartel, the Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) delivered its long awaited judgment. For the first (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading imposes a £40m fine for collective boycott and price fixing in the construction recruitment sector (Construction Recruitment Forum)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. On 29 September 2009 the UK Office of Fair Trading ("OFT"), the UK’s national competition regulator, decided to fine eight companies in connection with concerted practices in the construction recruitment sector. 2. The eight infringing companies were: A Warwick Associates (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority announces the results of the sector inquiry on the market for retail distribution of alimentary products (Report of the Sector Inquiry on Retail Distribution of Alimentary Products)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 29 September 2009 the Romanian Competition Authority published the results of it sector inquiry on the market for retail distribution of alimentary products, which was initiated in March 2008. The inquiry was narrowed down to several products, which have special importance in an average (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The UK OFGEM is to enquire on pre-pay energy meters alleged overcharges despite introduction of new market rules (National Housing Federation)
Five of the big six energy suppliers are still overcharging customers using pre-pay meters, despite new Ofgem rules, the National Housing Federation (the “NHF”) says. The New Measures Energy regulator Ofgem delivered a set of measures on 21st September 2009 which was aimed at making the market (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office fines € 11.5 million a contact lens provider for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products (CIBA)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
On September 25, 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) levied a fine of €11.5 million against contact lens provider CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH (CIBA) for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products. This is the third decision imposed by the (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a multi-millions fine against the market leader in the contact lenses business (CIBA Vision)
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
Background CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH, Großostheim (“CIBA Vision”) is the market leader in the contact lenses business in Germany, who is selling a great many of its products via internet. In the past it operated a so called “surveillance and intervention system”. Several persons were in charge of (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses an appeal by four Austrian banks against a CFI judgment, in which it upheld a Commission decision that fined eight banks a total of € 124.26 M for their participation in a series of illicit agreements in the banking sector (Lombard club cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2009, the ECJ dismissed in its entirety an appeal by four Austrian banks against a CFI judgment of December 2006, in which the CFI largely upheld a Commission decision of June 2002 that fined eight Austrian banks a total of € 124.26 million for their participation in a series of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns an RPM scheme concerning GPS devices (LCP/Mitac)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The distribution agreements by Mitac as well as LCP (as producers and importers) concerning various GPS devices (PNAs, PDAs with GPS function, etc.) did not contain straightforward RPM clauses, nevertheless, direct contacts between the parties (in particular, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines that seven banks and two card compagnies banks on the basis of both Art. 101 EC and its national equivalent for setting multilateral interchange fees (Authority Visa, Mastercard and Hungarian banks)
King’s College (London)
On 24 September 2009, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, competition authority of Hungary) adopted an infringement decision establishing that card companies Visa Europe, Mastercard and several Hungarian banks infringed Hungarian competition law and Article 81 EC with their agreement on (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines banks and international card companies for a breach of Art. 101 TFEU in relation to setting domestic interchange fees (Allianz Bank a. o.)
lakatos, koves and partners
On 24 September 2009 in proceedings n° Vj-18/2008 launched against 23 Hungarian banks, as well as the international card companies MasterCard and Visa, the Hungarian Competition Office (the "HCO") fined seven Hungarian banks for setting the same domestic interchange fee for all banks and both (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition finds the four oil companies as having violated competition rules and imposes millions in fines (Retail fuel market of Cyprus)
Antoniou Advocates
The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) issued its long-awaited decisions in connection to the investigation it carried into the retail fuel market of Cyprus. The investigation concerned the respective violations of national competition legislation on behalf of the four (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading exercises its discretion not to refer the newspaper and magazine distribution industry to the Competition Commission despite competition concerns
DLA Piper
Summary The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has decided not to refer the market for newspaper and magazine distribution in the UK to the Competition Commission (CC) for a market investigation (the MIR Decision). Background Following the revocation, in May 2005, of the Vertical Agreements (...)

The Russian Competition Authority establishes the existence of price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone manufacturer and its distributors (Nokia)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 September 2009 Russian Competition Authority (FAS) established that leading manufacturer of mobile phones NOKIA has infringed Russian competition law by including recommended resale prices in its distribution contracts. Due to the fact that NOKIA has subsequently deleted “recommended (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the investigation initiated in the Italian market for auction houses services, with a “non-infringement” decision (Auction houses)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
By its decision delivered on 23 September 2009 , the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) closed the proceedings that had been initiated against two leading Italian fine arts auction houses, finding that the information gathered during the investigation was unlikely to demonstrate the (...)

The Tokyo District Court fines three galvanized steel sheet companies and six former sales executives guilty of violating Japan’s Antimonopoly Act for participating in a price-fixing cartel (Nisshin, NSS and JFE)
O’Melveny & Myers (Tokyo)
On September 15, 2009, the Tokyo District Court found three galvanized steel sheet companies and six former sales executives guilty of violating Japan’s Antimonopoly Act (“AMA”) for participating in a price-fixing cartel. According to publicly available sources, including prosecution materials (...)

The European Court of Justice finds that a parent company had been correctly identified by the Commission as jointly and severally liable for the actions of certain of its 100 per cent subsidiaries involved in the global cartel concerning choline chloride (Akzo Nobel)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 10 September 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Case C-97/08P found that Akzo Nobel had been correctly identified by the Commission as jointly and severally liable for the actions of certain of its 100 per cent subsidiaries involved in the global and EEA wide cartel concerning (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority issues a conditional exemption of cooperation agreement between two leading sugar producers (Südzucker Moldova / Gold Crown)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 10 September 2009 Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) approved a cooperation agreement concluded between two leading sugar producers, Südzucker Moldova S.A. (Südzucker) and Gold Crown S.R.L. (Gold Crown), subject to conditions. Within the agriculture-oriented national economy of Moldova (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the effects of competition on the development of approved healthcare networks
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence stipulates the conditions under which the development of networks of approved health professions can be favorable to competition and in the interests of patients.* After a (...)

A German Court confirms decision of German Federal Cartel Office regarding a boycott in dairy sector (BDM)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 9 September 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf upheld a decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) of November 2008 which found that a call on farmers made by the German Federal Dairy Farmers’ Association (“BDM”) to boycott dairies infringed (...)

The Greek Parliament criminalizes horizontal competition law infringements
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 September 2009, a revised Greek competition law regime came into effect, implementing important changes to the competition rules. Under the new regime, individuals who have concluded agreements or have been involved in decisions or concerted practices that: (i) are prohibited by Article 81 (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority identifies unfair competition practices in the banking sector (Banca Naţională a Moldovei)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 September 2009 National Agency for Protection of Competition (Agenţia Naţională pentru Protecţia Concurenţei) (ANPC) adopted a decision of non-intervention regarding the unfair competition practices observed in the banking industry. In November 2008 the ANPC initiated an investigation (...)

The European Court of Justice partially annuls Commission decision on rights of defence in carbonless paper cartel (Papierfabrik August Koehler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2009, the ECJ partially set aside the CFI’s judgment and annulled the Commission’s decision in the carbonless paper cartel case. In December 2001, the Commission fined ten undertakings a total of € 313.7 million for their participation in a series of price-fixing agreements and (...)

The Viennese Commercial Court finds a private damages claim following a fine decision in the non-cash payment industry to be time barred (Europay)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
Decision 22 Cg 138/07y of 3 September 2009 by the Viennese Commercial Court (Handelsgericht Wien) concerns the, as far as can be seen, second private enforcement case of a claimant seeking damages in Austria following a fine decision. The decision by the Viennese Commercial Court, which found (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission publishes a report on competition within the automotive fuel sector (Informe sobre la competencia en el sector de carburantes de automoción)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
On 3 September 2009, the Spanish Competition Commission published a Report on competition within the automotive fuel sector in Spain (the "Report"). The Report analyses in detail the competitive structure of the retail market in Spain (level of competition, entry barriers, regulation, etc). Its (...)

A Danish Court of appeal reduces the fines imposed by the City Court on an association, its director and its deputy director for encouraging a price increase (Danish coach drivers’ association)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 3 September 2009, the Danish Eastern High Court reduced the fines imposed by the City Court of Copenhagenon the Danish Coach Drivers’ Association, its director and its deputy director for infringing Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (equivalent to Article 81 EC) by encouraging its (...)

The Dutch Arnhem-Leeuwarden Appeal Court accepts the passing-on defence in landmark case (ABB)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Amsterdam)
Cartel members are not liable in damages to direct customers for any portion of the overcharge that the customer has passed on to its own purchasers. In brief Private enforcement has been high on the agenda of the European Commission throughout the five year term ending 31 October 2014, as it (...)

The European Court of Justice confirms the European Commission’s approach on parental liability (Akzo Nobel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"European Court of Justice confirms Commission’s approach on parental liability"* I. The 2004 Commission Decision The case concerns a cartel which operated in the 1990s between the main European producers (and initially US producers) of choline chloride, also known as vitamin B4, a feed (...)

Unilateral Practices

The US District Court of SDNY dismisses antitrust claims raised by a distributor of compatible mainframe computers produced by the plaintiff (IBM/T3 Technologies)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court dismisses T3’s antitrust claims against IBM* On 30 September 2009 the U.S. District Court of S.D.N.Y. granted in International Business Machines Corp. v. Platform Solutions, Inc. and T3 Technologies, Inc. (No. 06 Civ. 13565(LAK)) IBM’s motion for summary judgment on antitrust (...)

A German court rules on damages claim in the postal sector (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
In a published judgment of 30 September 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) upheld the decision of the Regional Court of Düsseldorf according to which a consolidator was entitled to obtain damages from Deutsche Post AG (“DPAG”) for lost profits. The consolidator was a competitor (...)

A Latvian Administrative Regional Court dismisses legal proceedings on unfair airport fees discounts (Riga International Airport)
European Commission (Brussels)
Latvia: Court dismisses Legal Proceeding in Case on Unfair Discounts applied by Riga International Airport On 29 September 2009, following an administrative agreement signed between the state owned company Riga International Airport and the Competition Council, the Administrative Regional (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues a cease and desist order against a company for having coerced japanese manufacturers to conclude a restrictive licence agreement on essential patents (Qualcomm)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Order against QUALCOMM Inc orporated* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has investigated QUALCOMM Incorporated (QUALCOMM) in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA) and found it to be in violation of Article 19 of the AMA (falling within Paragraph 13 (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission challenges "essential" patent licenses under (Qualcomm)
Jones Day (Tokyo)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
The Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") has announced a cease and desist order requiring that Qualcomm Inc. rescind license provisions that required licensees to cross-license their patents to Qualcomm and refrain from asserting their own patents against Qualcomm or Qualcomm licensees. The (...)

The Lithuanian Parliament amends its Competition Act regarding undertakings holding a dominant position in the retail trade sector
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: Recent Amendment to the Law on Competition On 24 September 2009, Article 3(11) (which sets out the definition of a dominant position) of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania was modified: the amendment came into force as of 1 January 2010. Following this change, the (...)

The Belgian College of Prosecutors of the Competition Council dismisses a complaint against the incumbent telecom operator for resources and investigation priorities issues (Belgacom)
Liège University - IEJE
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
1. The parties Four plaintiffs are involved in this case. “Codenet SA” (now “Telenet SA”), “Colt Telecom SA”, “Versatel Belgium SA” (now “KPN Belgium SA”) and “WorldCom SA” (now “Verizon Belgium Luxembourg SA”) which are four companies providing telecommunications services in Belgium. The defendant is (...)

The Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors classifies a case on abuse of dominant position on the grounds of lack of priority and lack of resources for the first time (Codenet, Colt Telecom, Versatel and WorldCom / Belgacom)
Leuven University
The decision of the College of Competition Prosecutors - the investigating authority of the Belgian Competition Council - is of importance insofar as it has for the first time in Belgium closed an investigation on the grounds of a lack of priority and a lack of resources. In 2009, the Belgian (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott recommends overturning CFI judgment that annulled a decision to accept commitments (Alrosa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 17 September 2009, Advocate General Kokott issued her Opinion in Commission v. Alrosa, which concerns the Commission’s appeal of a CFI judgment that annulled a decision to accept commitments proposed by De Beers under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003. In her Opinion, Advocate General Kokott (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures against an overseas mobile phone operator (SRR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence imposes emergency measures on SRR in order to re-establish competition on Reunion and Mayotte before the holiday season* After a referral firstly by Orange Réunion and Orange (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a telecommunications operator in overseas territority (SRR)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 16 September 2009, the French Competition Authority found that the difference between intra-network and inter-network tariffs charged by mobile operator SRR, a subsidiary of French mobile operator SFR, were prima faciecontrary to Article 82 EC and the equivalent French provision and created (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority condemns a leading undertaking in the field of waste management for abuse of dominant position (ENVI-PAK)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: Council of the Antimonopoly Office to decide on Prohibition of Abuse in “Green Dot” Licensing Case by ENVI-PAK On 16 September 2009, ENVI-PAK appealed the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of 28 August 2009 before the Council of the Office. The Office found that ENVI-PAK had abused (...)

The Macedonian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision prosecuting a mobile phone operator for abusive voicemail charges (Cosmofon)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 September 2010 the Macedonian Supreme Court upheld the infringement decision issued by the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) against the mobile phone operator Cosmofon for committing an abuse of dominant position on the market for mobile phone call termination on its own network. (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal confirms that the requirement by an association of authors of the signature of its master agreement in order to grant authorisations to duplicate CDs could not be considered as an abuse of dominant position (SPRL 3.14 / SABAM)
Fidal (Lyon)
Introduction In a judgment of 10 September 2009, the Brussels Court of Appeal confirmed a decision of the Commercial Tribunal which ruled that the requirement by an association of authors of the signature of its Master agreement in order to grant authorisations to duplicate CDs could not be (...)

The General Court confirms the Commission’s decision in an abuse of dominant position case in the banking sector (Clearstream)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG EAC
Clearstream: General Court confirms Commission Decision* On 9 September 2009 the Court of First Instance (now the General Court) dismissed the action for annulment brought by Clearstream Banking AG (also known as Clearstream Banking Frankfurt or CBF) and Clearstream International SA against (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines a leading packaging company for an abuse of dominant position (ENVI-PAK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 8 September 2009, the Slovak competition authority imposed a fine of about € 18,000 on ENVI-PAK for abuse of its dominant position by applying discriminatory prices in licensing the “Green Dot” trademark. Manufacturers pay to place the Green Dot trademark on packaging in order to signal that (...)

The European Commission holds a public hearing on the US settlement with class of authors and publishers (Google Books Settlement)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission holds public hearing on the “Google Books” US settlement* On 7 September 2009, the European Commission held an “information hearing” to establish the effect on the EU market of Google’s settlement with a US class of authors and publishers, which disputed steps taken by the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority finds companies guilty for abuse of dominant position on wholesale and retail markets for broadband access services (PT Group and ZON Group)
Hamburg Süd (Sao Paulo)
After due investigation, the Portuguese Competition Authority Council held, last September, that there was an abuse of dominant position, on wholesale and retail markets for broadband access services, by the following companies that belong to PT Group and ZON Group: Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PT (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority adopts landmark decision concerning an abuse of dominant position case in the Internet broadband access markets (PT and ZON)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
In the beginning of September, 2009, the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter, ’ADC’) has adopted a decision concerning an important case of abuse of dominant position in the wholesale and retail markets for internet broadband access. This decision confirms the special attention that the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines two telecoms operators € 53 M euros for abuse of dominant position in the wholesale and retail broadband markets (Portugal Telecom and ZON)
University of Lisbon
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Pares Advogados
On 2 September 2009, after a 6-year investigation, the Portuguese Competition Authority imposed a €45 million fine on the incumbent operator Portugal Telecom (PT) and an €8 million fine on ZON, its former multimedia division. It’s the largest fine ever imposed by the Portuguese watchdog. At stake (...)

Mergers

The Spanish Competition Authority requests the EU Commission on the interpretation of the 15-day deadline to request a referral under article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (Syngenta/Monsanto)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
On September 30, 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority (the “CNC”) requested the European Commission to examine, under article 22.1 of the EU Merger Regulation, the transaction through which Syngenta Crop Protection (“Syngenta”) acquired sole control of the sunflower seed business of Monsanto (...)

The EU Court of First Instance dismisses an appeal against a Commission’s decision clearing a joint venture in the music sector (Impala)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the Court of First Instance adopted an order dismissing an appeal brought by the Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association (Impala) against the European Commission’s second decision clearing the joint venture between the global recorded music businesses of Sony (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears major overseas transaction in automobile industry subject to conditions (GM/Delphi)
WilmerHale (Beijing)
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WilmerHale (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has just cleared two major overseas transactions, Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth in the pharmaceuticals industry and General Motors’ reacquisition of elements of auto parts manufacturer Delphi on September 28 and 29, respectively. Both clearances were subject (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a merger between two consumers-electronic manufacturers (Panasonic, Sanyo)
European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Investment Bank
"Merger Case M.5421 Panasonic/Sanyo – Batteries included or ‘lost in translation’?"* I. Introduction It would be fair to say that consumer electronic products, rather than batteries, are perhaps the first things that come to mind when the names ‘Panasonic‘ and ‘Sanyo‘ are mentioned. Although the (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears major overseas transaction in the pharmaceuticals industry (Pfizer / Wyeth)
WilmerHale (Beijing)
,
WilmerHale (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has just cleared two major overseas transactions, Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth in the pharmaceuticals industry and General Motors’ reacquisition of elements of auto parts manufacturer Delphi on September 28 and 29, respectively. Both clearances were subject (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority gives second phase merger clearance to the merger of two market leaders leading to 66% post-merger market share in the field of leading media (Cheh OÜ/Ekspress Hotline)
Arnold & Porter (Brussels)
The case concerns the merger of two market leaders in the field of the so-called leading media Cheh OÜ and Ekspress Hotline, as a result of which the Latvian holding company SIA Contact Holding, owner of Cheh OÜ, acquired dominant influence over 66% of the relevant market in Estonia. The merger (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger on the markets of fresh catering products (LDC / Marie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence authorises the acquisition of the Marie company by the LDC group.* The Autorité de la concurrence considers that the purchase of the Marie company by the LDC group , while (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition on the market for databases (Oracle and Sun Microsystems)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Commission’s in-depth investigation into Sun Microsystems takeover by Oracle* On 3 September 2009, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of U.S. hardware and software vendor Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, a U.S. database and application (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves public co-financing of broadband network covering the entire French department of Hauts-de-Seine, including the non-profitable areas
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* On 30 September 2009, the European Commission approved public co-financing of the roll-out of a passive, neutral and open broadband network covering the entire French department of Hauts-de-Seine, including the (...)

The European Commission adopts guidelines on application of State aid rules to the public funding of broadband networks
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The European Commission has adopted Guidelines on application of state aid rules to the public funding of broadband networks. Over the last five years, the Commission has adopted more than 40 individual decisions (...)

The European Commission issues guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to rapid deployment of broadband networks
European Ombudsman
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European Commission - Secretariat General
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European Commission - DG ECFIN
"The new State Aid Broadband Guidelines: not all black and white"* I. General context A. The importance of broadband development There is widespread consensus on the crucial impact of broadband development for economies and societies. Broadband networks have the potential to affect (...)

The European Commission approves restructuring State aid granted to a German medium-size private bank (IKB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* IKB is a medium-sized private German bank with a business focus on medium-sized companies. IKB was the first bank in Germany to receive aid, in 2007, to offset the damage caused by bad investments in structured securities. (...)

The Advocate General Kokott issues opinion on access to documents in State aid investigations (Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2009, Advocate General Kokott handed down her opinion in a case concerning the Commission’s refusal to grant access to certain documents in State aid proceedings. The Advocate General essentially agrees with the earlier judgment of the Court of First Instance which found that the (...)

The European Commission endorses a payment of State aid to a French TV broadcaster under the communication on State aid for the funding of public service broadcasters but opens a formal investigation into other aspects of the funding (France Télévision)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* On 1 September 2009, the European Commission authorised a payment of state aid to France Télévision in 2009, as it complied with the Commission Communication on state aid for the funding of public service broadcasters. The (...)

Procedures

The Spanish National Court finds that the ANC has exceeded its powers in taking copies of company employees hard drives and therefore breached the principle of domicile inviolability, thus putting at question the NCA’s powers of inspection (Spanish Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association - Stanpa)
Airbus Defence and Space (Toulouse)
This judgment assessed the legality of the dawn raids carried out by the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) in the professional hairdressing sector in 2008 in relation to alleged price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices. The appeal was launched before the National Court by the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit holds a class-arbitration clause in a telephone sector agreement unenforceable under state law (Laster, AT&T Mobility)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Enforceability of Class-Arbitration Bans Still an Open Question* Including an arbitration agreement in a commercial or consumer contract that requires your customer to pursue only individual claims in the arbitral forum will not necessarily protect you from class-wide arbitration. You will (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority released its annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 14 September 2009 the Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja) (AZTN) released its 2008 Annual Report where it summarized its law enforcement and related activities carried out in 2008. One of the major developments of the Croatian competition law enforcement (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses applications to intervene in an appeal against a Commission decision not to grant legal privilege to two sets of documents copied by the Commission in the course of a dawn raid (Akzo Nobel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has dismissed applications to intervene in an appeal by Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd (Akzo) and Akcros Chemicals Ltd (Akcros) against a Commission Decision not to grant legal privilege to two sets of documents copied by the Commission in the course of a dawn (...)

The Local Court of Bonn asks the ECJ for clarification on the relationship between acces to the file for claimants and leniency (Pfleiderer)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Access to the File for Claimants vs. Leniency - Local Court of Bonn asks ECJ for Clarification In a cartel case which was based inter alia on Article 81 of the EC Treaty (now Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), a customer applied for access to the file (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the deployment of very high-speed optical fibre networks
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Deployment of very high-speed optical fibre networks: The Autorité de la concurrence is in favour of the set-up of a multi-fibre architecture that ensures the independence of the actors and the market’s fluidity (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority proposes to amend the distribution of non prescription drugs market
European Commission (Brussels)
Estonia: The Estonian Competition Authority proposes to amend Medicines Market Regulation On 18 September 2009, the Estonian Competition Authority has made a final proposal to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with the view to improve the competitive situation in the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the maritime freight and mass retail distribution sector in the French overseas departments
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Maritime freight and mass retail distribution in the DOM: The Autorité de la concurrence recommends improving the operation of the competitive mechanisms in the markets in order to revitalize mass retail (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a guide on competition as an essential consideration for successful government policy
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: Office of Fair Trading publishes a Guide on Competition as an Essential Consideration for Successful Government Policy On 8 September 2009, the OFT published a guide for national policy makers on how they can identify and minimize unintended long term impacts on competitive (...)

The Nordic Competition authorities publish a joint report on competition policy and financial crisis
European Commission (Brussels)
The Nordic Competition Authorities: Joint Report on the Financial Crisis - Regional Cooperation works: the Nordic Experience On 10 September 2009, the Nordic Competition Authorities published their joint report “Competition Policy and Financial Crisis - Lessons Learned and the Way Forward.” At (...)

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