September 2012

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian Competition Authority imposes the maximum fines allowed under the law against an horizontal cartel influencing an overall market share equal to 95% of the traffic barriers sector (Metalmeccanica Fracasso, Industria Meccanica Varricchio...)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
1. Facts The case concerned an agreement between seven Italian undertakings active in the market for traffic barriers, holding an overall share of 95%. The cartel was aimed to concert commercial practices, control the production and prevent competition in the relevant market. The agreement was (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal in flat glass cartel case (Guardian)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 September 2012, the EU General Court (“GC”) issued its judgment on the appeal brought by Guardian Industries Corp and Guardian Europe Sarl (“Guardian”) against a Commission decision fining them a total of € 148 million for their participation in a cartel in the flat glass sector from 20 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines cartel in road barriers market (Road barriers cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority fines Cartel in Road Barriers Market* On 27 September 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) concluded an investigation in the market for safety metal devices for roads and motorways. The investigation had been opened ex officio by the ICA after (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission imposes a €50,000 fine on an individual, for collective price recommendations (CEOE and Mr. Joan Gaspart)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
The CNC’s Directorate of Investigations learned through several press reports of the statements that Mr. Joan Gaspart, chairman of the Tourism Board of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations of the CEOE, made on January 19, 2011, at the 2011 Spanish International Tourism Fair (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on manufactures and distributors of expanded poly-styrol blocks for bid rigging and pronounces a cease and desist order against them
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufactures and Distributors of Expanded Poly-styrol Blocks* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders and surcharge payment orders against enterprises engaged in manufacturing and (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court reinstates a decision issued by the NCA concerning a market sharing agreement in water management sector, that had been previously annulled by the First Instance Administrative Court (Acea / Suez Environment)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
By judgement n. 5067 of 24 September 2012, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) upheld an appeal by the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, hereinafter “ICA”) and reinstated the ICA decision no. 17623 of 22 November 2007 (...)

The Greek Competition Commission fines five undertakings for participating in a cartel in the ready-mixed concrete market in Crete
University of Reading
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University of Reading
Facts of the Case The Greek Competition Commission (“Epitropi Antagonismou”; hereinafter: the Commission) investigated the behaviour of undertakings active in the production and supply of ready-mixed concrete on the island of Crete, Greece. The procedure was initiated by the Commission ex officio (...)

The French Competition Authority confirms that data network operators who conclude an agreement to organize peering can charge fees for the opening of additional data transit technical capability (France Télécom)
University of Berkeley
When Internet Traffic and Peering Agreement meet French Competition Law* On September 20, 2012, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) released an interesting decision that is believed to be the first on this topic by a competition authority. It confirms that data network (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California imposes $500 M fine on a Taiwan-based liquid crystal display producer for price fixing (AU Optronics)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
On September 20, Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California handed down sentences to AU Optronics Corporation and two company executives, following their convictions in March for participating in a global price-fixing conspiracy involving LCD screens used in computers and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit finds that the filed-rate doctrine applied because the market-based auction process was circumscribed and reviewed by a regulatory body which determined the resulting rate to be reasonable (Simon, KeySpan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
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Driven
On September 20, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed KeySpan’s victory in Simon v. KeySpan, holding for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions. While the Court (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues an interim order prohibiting national elite ice hockey league from boycotting players from North America’s national hockey league (Svenska Hockeyligan)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: The Swedish Competition Authority issued an interim order prohibiting Svenska Hockeyligan AB, Sweden’s elite ice hockey league, from boycotting players from North America’s National Hockey League* On 20 September 2012, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) issued an interim order (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of power transformers on account of collusive tendering (ABB, Alstom Grid, Siemens and Starkstrom-Gerätebau)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany : The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines on Manufacturers of Power Transformers on account of collusive Tendering* On 20 September 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 24 300 000 on four manufacturers of power transformers for an infringement of the national and EU (...)

The Supreme Court of Chile seems to be heading towards a per se rule in the assessment of cartel cases (Explora)
University College London
For the first time since the new Chilean Competition system started in 2004, the Supreme Court has overruled a decision of the Competition Tribunal in regard to a cartel case, which was not originally sanctioned by the latter. But also, the Supreme Court seems to have established a per se rule (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines professional association for creating barriers to entry to the profession and for setting of execution expenses (National Union of Bailiffs)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
On 30.09.2012, The Competition Council has sanctioned the National Union of Bailiffs from Romania (hereinafter UNEJ) for the violation of Competition Law for the creation of barrier to entry to the profession by fixing an excessive and discriminatory fee and for setting of execution expenses (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California imposes $500 M fine on a Taiwan-based liquid crystal display (LCD) producer for its participation in a five-year conspiracy to fix the prices of thin-film transistor LCD panels (AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Acting Antitrust Chief Attributes Recent Enforcement Successes to Focus on Litigation Skills* On September 20, 2012 the federal district court in San Francisco imposed a record-tying $500 million fine on AU Optronics Corporation (AUO), a Taiwan-based liquid crystal display (LCD) producer, for (...)

A Kazakh Court imposes fines for an anticompetitive concerted practice in the milk market (Sut, MolCOM)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy
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Ernst & Young (Astana)
Facts "Sut" JSC (’Sut’) and "MolCOM-Pavlodar" JSC (’MolCOM’) are the main milk processing enterprises of Pavlodar region. By the decision of the Competition Protection Agency (’Agency’) both are included into the State Register of market entities having a dominant or monopolistic position (...)

A US Attorney General launches a wide investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in supra-competitive prices for medical care
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
California Attorney General Becomes the Latest Antitrust Enforcer to Investigate Hospital/Doctor Group Combinations* California’s Attorney General has recently launched a broad investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal against an action for damages arising from the violation of provisions in Article 101 TFEU on the market for supply of industrial copper tubes (KME Yorkshire / Toshiba Carrier)
Blackstone Chambers
Special pleading? Toshiba Carrier and the industrial tubes cartel* The Court of Appeal’s judgment last Friday in KME Yorkshire Ltd & ors v Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd & ors [2012] EWCA Civ 1990 will gladden the hearts of Article 101 damages claimants. It confirms that the Court will be (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal concerning the bleaching chemicals cartel (Total and Elf Aquitaine)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In October 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) published an order of 13 September 2012 dismissing an appeal by Total SA and Elf Aquitaine SA against an earlier EU General Court (“GC”) ruling in the bleaching chemicals cartel. In 2006, the Commission had found that nine companies had (...)

The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal seeking to strike out a damages claim brought against a company that was not the addressee of a EU Commission decision: an encouragement towards more private litigation in England? (Toshiba Carrier)
University of Leeds
On 13 September 2012, the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) dismissed an appeal which sought to strike out a damages claim (or grant summary judgment) brought against a company that was not the addressee of a European Commission decision finding an infringement of EU competition law. In (...)

The UK Court of Appeal paves the way for an ‘anchored’ follow-on claim against an industrial copper tube cartel liable under Art. 101 TFEU (Toshiba Carrier v KME Yorkshire)
The University of Manchester
On 13th September 2012, the UK Court of Appeal turned down an appeal by KME Yorkshire Ltd (“KME UK”) to summarily dismiss a private damages claim by Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd and other claimants (“Toshiba UK”). The claim was in respect of losses that occurred during the operation of a cartel between (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigations against 3 telecom operators for an alleged cartel aimed at impeding “BIP mobile” from getting access to the market of mobile services (Telecom Italia, Vodafone and Wind)
University of Bologna
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has opened investigations against Telecom Italia Spa, Vodafone and Wind for an alleged cartel aimed at forcing dealers not to give access to the downstream market to BIP mobile, the brand new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) mainly acting as an (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates investigation against three telecom operators for alleged restrictive agreement (Telecom, Vodafone Omnitel and Wind Telecomunicazioni, Bip mobile)
European Commission (Brussels)
*Article originally published in ECN Brief 04/2012 (click here), under the title: "Italy: The Italian Competition Authority opens Proceedings against Telecom, Vodafone and Wind for alleged restrictive Agreement". Please note that the ECN is not the actual author of this article and that the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes symbolic fines on 17 bakeries in Osijek for fixing prices agreement under the leadership of the local professional association (Osijek-Baranja Bakeries)
Turkish Competition Authority
Minor Issues-I* I believe that one of the significant issues of Turkish Competition Law is that it does not have a provision which instructs a way to deal with the relatively insignificant restrictions (depending on the size of the undertakings or the market). Pursuant to the Act, any (...)

The CJEU Advocate General Kokott asserts that agreements with an anti-competitive object cannot be deemed as de minimis infringements (Expedia)
Matrix Chambers
The concept of ‘appreciable restriction of competition’ in ‘object’ cases under Article 101(1) TFEU – AG Kokott in Expedia* On 6 September 2012 AG Kokott issued her Opinion in Case C-226/11 Expedia Inc. The case results from a preliminary reference made by the French Cour de cassation in (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore issues proposed infringement decision against 13 motor vehicle traders for contravening Section 34 of the Competition Act through bid-rigging (Pang’s Motor Trading)
University College London
On 6 September 2012, the Competition Commission of Singapore ("CCS") issued a Proposed Infringement Decision ("PID") against 13 motor vehicle traders for an alleged infringement of Section 34 of the Competition Act (Cap. 50B), which prohibits agreements or arrangements which prevent, restrict (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott hands down her opinion on the duty of the national authorities to respect the de minimis notice, while applying Art. 101 TFEU (Expedia)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Essential factual and legal aspects of the Expedia Inc Case The reference for a preliminary ruling has been initiated by a dispute between Expedia, an on-line travel agency, and the French Competition Authority, henceforth called FCA, concerning a selling joint-venture agreement between (...)

A US federal district court approves a U.S. consent decree that resolves DoJ allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for e-books (Hachette Book, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Consent Decree with Three Publishers over E-Book Pricing Approved* The federal district court in New York City yesterday approved a U.S. consent decree that resolves U.S. Department of Justice allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina prosecutes Serbian beer producer for resale price maintenance (Apatinska pivara Apatin, Dejan komerc)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 September 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) held that Serbian beer producer Apatinska pivara Apatin d.o.o.and one of its B&H distributors Dejan komerc d.o.o.entered into a series of anti-competitive agreements containing resale price maintenance (RPM) (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines a professional association for limiting the access to the market of services offered by the judicial executors (National Association of Judicial Executors)
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council decides to impose Fines on the National Association of Judicial Executors* In September 2012, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) found that the National Association of Judicial Executors (the association) had infringed Article 101 TFEU and Article 5 of the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Austrian Cartel Court rejects Federal Competition Authority’s request to prohibit alleged abuse of market power by radio taxi providers
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 September 2012, the Austrian Cartel Court (“the Court”) issued a press release announcing that it had rejected a request by the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) to prohibit an alleged abuse of market power on the part of the only two radio taxi providers operating in (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission decision for failing to substantiate the existence of an abuse of dominance on the market for cheap electricity (DEI)
University of Groningen
A Burning Desire to Clarify(?) the Law for Public Undertakings: The Judgment in Greek Lignite (Case T-169/08)* The General Court has finally handed down the judgment in the Greek Lignite (brown coal) case. This is a long-running case resulting from a complaint (dating from 2003) concerning the (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision concerning the exclusive rights granted by Greece in favour of a company for the extraction of lignite for absence of proof of an abusive conduct (Dimosia Epicheirisi Ilektrismou)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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UCB (Brussels)
I. The Parties Dimosia Epicheirisi Ilektrismou AE (DEI) is the biggest power producer and electricity supplier in Greece. It holds assets in lignite mines, power generation, transmission and distribution. The Hellenic Republic holds 51.12% of its shares. Energeiaki Thessalonikis AE and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a first commitment decision concerning competition concerns in the Internet connectivity market (France Telecom, Cogent)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: First Commitment Decision related to Internet Neutrality issued by the Autorité de la concurrence* On 20 September 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) issued for the first time a commitment decision concerning competition concerns relating to certain restrictions allegedly (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission rejection of abuse complaint in the Irish whisky market (Protégé / Pernod Ricard)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2012, the General Court dismissed the appeal lodged by Protégé International Ltd against a European Commission decision to reject a complaint alleging breach of Article 102 TFEU by Pernod Ricard. In its complaint to the Commission, Protégé had alleged that Pernod Ricard (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts behavioural commitments in unfair pricing case in the natural gas sector (Progaz)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 5 September 2012 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) has accepted behavioral committments of a dominant undertaking in the natural gas sector and closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position initiated under the national equivalent of Article 102 TFEU. In June (...)

The Romanian Competition Council closes investigation on abuse of dominant position on the local market of natural gas installations planning and execution accepting commitments undertaken by the monopolist (PROGAZ P&D)
Grigorescu Ştefănică
Romania: The Romanian Competition Council accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA* The Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA in view of relieving the concerns regarding infringement of the antitrust rules by abuse of a (...)

The Colombian Competition Authority issues an administrative ruling against a trade association for abuse of dominance in the purchase and commercialization of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines (FEDEGAN)
Cortazar Urdaneta & Cia
The case The Colombian Competition Authority (Superintendency of Industry and Commerce - SIC) issued an administrative ruling against the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers (Federación Nacional de Ganaderos, FEDEGAN) the sector’s most important Trade Association for abuse of dominance in the (...)

The European Commission opens proceedings to investigate whether Russian producer and supplier of natural gas has abused its dominant position in central and eastern European gas markets (Gazprom)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
With the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, Europe took its first steps towards a unification that would create a single continental entity and major player in world politics. Now, over sixty years later, much progress has been made but the end result is that the dream (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against a Russian producer and supplier of natural gas concerning alleged abuse of dominance (Gazprom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 September 2012, the European Commission announced that it has opened formal proceedings against Gazprom, the Russian producer and supplier of natural gas, to investigate whether Gazprom has abused its dominant market position in upstream gas supply markets in Central and Eastern (...)

The European Commission investigates Russian producer and supplier of natural gas for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the European markets (Gazprom)
Computer and Communications Industry Association US (CCIA)
The European Commission has opened an abuse of dominance investigation against Gazprom. The investigation deals with the natural gas markets of eight central and eastern European markets. The investigation is framed within the energy policy that the European Union is pursuing which focuses on (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance quashes the NCA’s decision against pharmaceutical company for misuse of patent (Pfizer)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 3 September 2010, the Italian Court of First Instance (‘TAR Lazio’) quashed the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’) fined Pfizer EUR 10.6 million for having abused its dominant position in the visual glaucoma medicine market, by blocking or (...)

Mergers

The US FTC fines company for failing to file a premerger notification and observe the statutory waiting period (Biglari)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (New York)
Passive Investors Beware: Recent FTC Fine Affirms Narrow Scope of HSR Exemption * In fining Biglari Holdings $850,000 for failing to file a premerger notification and observe the statutory waiting period in connection with its 2011 purchase of shares of Cracker Barrel, the FTC affirmed that it (...)

The US FTC and the EU Commission clear an acquisition on the market for recorded music (Universal and EMI)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
European Commission and U.S. Federal Trade Commission clear Universal’s acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business* On 21 September 2012 both the European Commission (“Commission”) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) cleared the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business by Universal. (...)

The US FTC closes investigation and clears merger in the market of commercial distribution of recorded music (Universal Music/EMI Recorded Music)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Federal Trade Commission Approves Universal-EMI* On September 21, 2012 the FTC announced that it had closed its investigation of Universal Music Group’s acquisition of EMI’s recorded music division. The Commission will not seek any concessions or take other action. Elsewhere I’ve written and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority approves a merger in the book retail sector without requiring any remedies (Bonnierförlagen / Pocket Shop)
Vinge (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority’s decision Bonnierforlagen AB (Sw. Bonnierförlagen AB)/Pocket Shop AB, decision number 370/2012 of 19 September 2012. The Competition Authority approved after a phase two investigation the publisher Bonnierforlagen’s acquisition of the bookstore chain Pocket Shop, (...)

The Spanish National Court annuls a merger control clearance decision because the notification thresholds were not reached (Consenur / Ecotec)
Baker McKenzie (Madrid)
The Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional, "AN") adopted a judgment on 19 September 2012 annulling the Decision of the Spanish National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, "CNC") of 10 March 2010 that authorised the concentration consisting in the acquisition by (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority authorizes the establishment of a concentration under certain conditions in the production and sale of frozen and fresh snacks (Buitenfood / Ad van Geloven)
VVGB
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VVGB
I. The Parties The Dutch undertaking Buitenfood The Dutch undertaking Ad van Geloven The Dutch undertaking NPM Capital N.V. The Dutch undertaking SHV Holding N.V. The English undertaking Lion Capital LLP, part of the Lion Capital Group II. Facts The decision of the Dutch Competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a merger without demanding remedies in the large scale food distribution sector, while scrutinising the relationship between the suppliers and the distributors (Bolton Group International / Luis Calvo Sanz)
Rucellai & Raffaelli
1. The case Bolton Group International / Luis Calvo Sanz On April 20th 2012, Bolton Group International S.r.l. (hereinafter also “Bolton”), notified to the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) the acquisition of 40% of a Spanish competitor, Luis Calvo Sanz S.A. (hereinafter also “Calvo”). Bolton (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of 40% of a Spanish company active in the fishing, production, and sale of canned fish by Italian rival, notwithstanding the high market shares reached by the parties in the relevant markets (Bolton / Calvo)
Pirelli
The notified transaction On 20 April 2012, Bolton Group International S.r.l. (hereinafter also “Bolton”), a world player in the production and marketing of a wide range of consumer products and the first operator in the Italian markets for canned tuna and salmon operating through “Rio Mare”, (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the public transport sector, subject to the maintenance of commitments previously made (SNCF / Keolis)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of sole control of Keolis by SNCF, subject to the maintenance of the commitments made in 2010* On 23 July 2012, the European Commission referred the (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court rules that an unlimited state guarantee granted to the postal services company constitutes incompatible state aid (La Poste)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Two Judgments: a) Unlimited State Guarantees and b) The Discretion of the Commission in Restructuring Measures* Main points Unlimited state guarantees are never compatible with the internal market The existence of an unlimited guarantee and its (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision by which it approved all of the measures adopted by France in favour of Corsica ferries (Corsica Ferries France)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
A. Essential factual and legal aspects The shipping company, Corsica Ferries France SAS, applicant in the present dispute, offers regular ferry services to Corsica departing from continental France (Marseille, Toulon and Nice) and Italy. The shipping company and beneficiary of the aid measure (...)

Procedures

The US Third Circuit clarifies the standard for analyzing the legality of exclusive agreements (ZF Meritor/Eaton)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this case, the Third Circuit provided needed clarification on the standard for analyzing the legality of exclusive (or at least essentially exclusive) agreements that dominant firms enter into with their customer base. ZF Meritor, the only competitor of Eaton, the dominant supplier of (...)

The US Northern District of Georgia applies objective baselessness and subjective baselessness (Androgel Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
Especially in pharmaceutical antitrust class actions, many efforts have been made in recent years to rest cases on Professional Real Estate Investors, Inc. v. Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc., 508 U.S. 49 (1993)("PRE"), which requires that for a claim of so-called "sham litigation" to remove (...)

The EFTA Court establishes that courts against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law should request an advisory opinion in compliance with their duty of loyalty (Irish Bank Resolution / Kaupthing Bank)
University of Fribourg
Case E-18/11: Small steps towards a preliminary reference procedure for the EEA EFTA countries?* The EFTA Court handed down an interesting decision in September 2012 which merits a short comment. The Surveillance and Court Agreement of the EEA EFTA countries does not foresee a procedure akin (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading refers private motor insurance market to UK Competition Commission
European Commission (Brussels)
The UK Office of Fair Trading refers Private Motor Insurance Market to Competition Commission* On 28 September 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the UK’s private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission for further investigation amid concerns that the market is not (...)

The Belgian Competition Council holds that decision not to pursue complaint on basis of enforcement priority must be sufficiently reasoned (Duma, GS International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 September 2012, the Competition Council annulled a decision of the College of Competition Prosecutors not to pursue a complaint on the basis of the enforcement priority policy. The Competition Council held that the decision was not sufficiently reasoned. On 19 December 2011, the (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a second sector inquiry into the market of oil to make an assessment of the competitive situation at the manufacturing and the wholesale levels
European Commission (Brussels)
The German Competition autorithy launches a second sector inquiry into the market for oil to make an assessment of the competitive situation at the manufacturing and the wholesale level* On 27 September 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has launched a second sector inquiry into the market (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sign a memorandum of understanding
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
On 18 September 2012, the SAIC and the ACCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU promotes cooperation and coordination between the SAIC and the ACCC, in particular with respect to competition law enforcement, consumer protection, online commodity trading and its related services, (...)

The Canada’s Federal Court calls for tougher criminal sentences for infringing cartel criminal offences (Maxzone)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
In October 2012, in a price fixing case that came before Canada’s Federal Court – R v Maxzone- Chief Justice Paul Crampton, when pronouncing judgment, made statements calling for tougher sentences. In Canada, both companies and individuals can be liable for criminal penalties for infringing the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit applies the "filed rate doctrine" to electricity rates set by market-based auctions (Simon / KeySpan)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
The Second Circuit was asked to consider whether the plaintiff, a retail consumer of electricity, could maintain an antitrust action against an electricity producer that allegedly agreed with its competitor to increase installed capacity prices and a financial firm that allegedly facilitated (...)

The European Commission signs memorandum of understanding on cooperation with Chinese antitrust authorities
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission signs Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation with Chinese Antitrust Authorities, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC)* On 20 September 2012, the European Commission (Directorate-General for (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes results of sector inquiry into e-commerce
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence publishes Results of Sector Inquiry into e-commerce* On 18 September 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published the findings of its inquiry into e-commerce which 30 million French people have used in 2011. Focus was put on electrical (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Brazilian Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica sign a memorandum of understanding
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
On 13 September 2012, the SAIC and CADE signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU promotes and strengthens the institutional partnership between the SAIC and CADE, especially through information exchange and capacity building activities. In particular, the SAIC and CADE agreed to (...)

The UK OFT publishes new guidelines on how it will set fines for competition law violations
Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (London)
The UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) has published new guidelines on how it will set fines for competition law violations (“Guidelines”). The Guidelines take into account developments in case law since the 2004 previous guidelines and bring the OFT’s policy on financial sanctions into line with (...)

The ECJ dismisses an appeal and rules that in-house lawyers should not be permitted to appear before EU courts (Polish Electronic Communications Office)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction On 6 September 2012 the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) upheld an earlier decision of the General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance) in the Prezes Urzedu Komunikacji Elektronicznej case that in-house lawyers cannot represent their client companies before EU (...)

The Moroccan Government considers amending law on prices and competition freedom
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
In a global context characterized by the proliferation of regulatory competition, a wind of change is blowing across the Moroccan competition law. A draft law amending law 06-99 on prices and competition freedom has been submitted to the "Secrétariat Général du Gouvernement" (SGG). The Bill takes (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority publishes its recommendations to the New Caledonian government authorities regarding the food retail sector and the competition control bodies (Gouvernement de Nouvelle-Calédonie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its recommendations to the Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonian government authorities) regarding the food retail sector and the competition control (...)

Public sector

The Spanish Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals pushes for Competition in the postal sector (UNIPOST, MUGEJU)
European Procurement Law Group
On 26 September 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales) issued its Decision 210/2012 regarding the award of a contract for the provision of postal services to the Spanish Sickness and Pension Fund for (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Jönköping orders that the award procedure shall be recommenced for violation of the transparency principle (PWC v Västervik, KPMG v Västervik)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The tender documentation of the award procedure concerned with a procurement contract of audit services by Västervik municipal authorities comprised erroneous information. The error consisted in disregarding the provisions of the Swedish constitutional law, namely the article (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues a decision concerning pecuniary sanctions imposed on a contracting authority for infringements of public procurement law (Akademiska Hus Norr)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The building project in this case involves the modification andexpansion of an existing construction, namely the building of the University of Agricultural Sciences situated in the municipality of Umeå. The value of the contract is of approximately SEK 39 million. The Swedish (...)

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