September 2014

Anticompetitive practices

The Arbitration Court of North-West confirms the fine imposed on an undertaking for failure to submit information (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court confirmed legitimacy of FAS actions* On 30th September 2014, Arbitration Court of North-West District reversed the rulings of the Court of First Instance and Appeal Court and confirmed legitimacy of a 300,000 RUB administrative fine imposed by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on one bank for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement on the markets of cash handling and cash-in-transit services (G4S)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
UAB G4S LIETUVA restricted competition within the markets of cash handling and cash-in-transit services* The Competition Council (KT) found that the actions of UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) breached Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority initiates proceedings in a bid rigging case in the healthcare sector
European Commission (Brussels)
AMO Initiates Proceedings in Bid Rigging Case in HealthCare Sector* On 29 September 2014, the Cartel Division of the Antimonopoly Office (AMO) initiated administrative proceedings against three undertakings for their suspected participation in a cartel agreement relating to public procurement (...)

A UK Court quashes the OFT decision accepting commitments for failing to inform itself about the possible impact on price transparency of an obvious and clear restriction on disclosure of price information (Skyscanner)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
UK Court quashes decision accepting the commitments by OTAs and hotel chain in the online booking sector* Last 26 September, following an appeal by meta-search site Skyscanner, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) quashed the decision of the Office of Fair Trading (the “OFT”) to accept (...)

The Competition Commission of India conducts its first unannounced inspection in the premises of a UK-based Indian subsidiary (JCB India Private)
TT&A
The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) recently conducted its first unannounced inspection (‘dawn raid’) in the premises of the UK-based construction equipment maker’s Indian subsidiary, JCB India Private Limited. This dawn raid was conducted in relation to an on-going investigation of abuse of (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the request for interim measures taking the form of a suspension of a network sharing agreement between two mobile phone companies (Orange / Bouygues Telecom and SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
* Press release originally published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competition format. The Autorité de la concurrence refuses to suspend the network sharing agreement signed between Bouygues Telecom and SFR* (...)

The Greek Competition Authority unanimously fines a professional association of Crete for price-fixing (Association of Dental Technicians)
Lambadarios Law Firm
I. Introduction On September 24, 2014 the Hellenic Competition Commission (hereinafter: HCC) unanimously decided that the Association of Dental Technicians of Crete (hereinafter: the Association) was guilty of price fixing and had thus violated Art. 1 L. 703/1977 and L. 3959/2011 (the national (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority publishes a guide to detect cartels in public procurement tenders
European Commission (Brussels)
HCC Helps Public Officials to Detect Cartels in Public Procurement Tenders* On 24 September 2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) published a "Guide for Public Procurement Authorities: Detection and Prevention of Collusive Practices in Procurement Tenders" (the Guide) in order to (...)

The Dutch Authority for Consumer and Markets closes its investigation against a pharmaceutical company suspected of abuse of dominance by differencing the price of its drug sold inside and outside of hospitals (AstraZeneca)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM closes investigation into AstraZeneca* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has carried out an investigation into the large price difference between the price that international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca asked for heart burn drug Nexium sold inside hospitals, (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority issues its report wherein measures are proposed to increase competition in the private motor insurance market
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
The CMA has today published measures it expects to increase competition in the car insurance market and reduce the cost of premiums for drivers.* The measures are included in the final report of its investigation, conducted by an independent panel of members, into the private motor insurance (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on one tenderer for bid-rigging (MTK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court confirmed the judgment of Moscow OFAS Russia to fine a cartel participant five million RUB* On 22 September 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court supported the determination of Moscow OFAS Russia to fine “MTK” Ltd. over five million RUB for taking part in a cartel. Earlier the Office of the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines manufacturers of pallets and sectoral association in cartel case (EUR/EPAL and CALIPAL)
European Commission (Brussels)
CNMC Fines Manufacturers of Pallets and Sectoral Association in Cartel Case* On 22 September 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) imposed fines totalling € 4 730 000 on 24 companies operating on the Spanish EUR/EPAL quality-controlled wooden pallet market and the (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines the undertakings participating in two cartels in the car insurance and automotive component sectors and publishes its decisions (Zhejiang car insurance cartel and Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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J.P. Morgan
1. Introduction The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently stepped up its cartel enforcement activities and for the first time has published non-confidential versions of a number of its cartel decisions. With its new activism and openness in regards to its (...)

The US Department of Justice indicts seven Japanese executive for conspiring to fix prices (Mitsubishi / Hitachi)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Indictments of Seven Japanese Executives Announced In Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Antitrust Division, through a federal grand jury, indicted seven Japanese executives for conspiring to fix prices in the long running auto parts investigation. There were two separate indictments. One (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes with commitments the investigation into a collective buying group and five large retail chains ordering the winding-up of the buying group (Centrale Italiana)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
With its decisions of 17 September 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or the “Authority”) closed with a commitment decision an investigation into the collective buying group Centrale Italiana S.c.a.r.l. (“Centrale Italiana”) and five competing large retail chains which are members of it (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes by a commitment decision an Article 101 TFEU investigation against a purchase supercentre set up by many supermarket chains (Centrale italiana)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Case I768 Purchase Supercentre1 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed by a commitment decision an Article 101 TFEU investigation against Centrale Italiana (CI), a purchase supercentre set up by many supermarket chains. The ICA believed that the CI activities might restrain (...)

The Competition Commission of India initiates investigation in relation to resale price maintenance (Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai Motor India)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) – this word resonates a fascinating and interesting subject for antitrust lawyers the world over for the sheer manner of its application and the way it applies in each fact situation - has once again reached the shores of India and raked up the attention of the (...)

A US District Court reminds that even if a Court accepts the premise of a reverse non-monetary payment after Actavis, plaintiffs may have to allege facts to allow an estimate of the monetary value of that settlement or risk facing dismissal (Lipitor)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Plausibly Alleging Non-monetary Settlements as Reverse Payments After Actavis* In In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, No. 12 Civ. 2389 (D.N.J.), U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan has confirmed his prior ruling that under the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly, Iqbal, and FTC v. Actavis, (...)

The EU Court of Justice interprets restriction of competition by object (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
London School of Economics
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Garrigues (Brussels)
September 11 2014 was a big day for antitrust at the European Court of Justice. The Court delivered two important Judgments in the Mastercard and Cartes Bancaires cases, and heard oral arguments in Huawei/ZTE. We’ll comment on the latter in due course, and will be devoting our next posts to (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls a judgment of the General Court which in accordance with the European Commission held that certain pricing measures adopted restricted competition ‘by object’ (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
Altius (Brussels)
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Glimstedt & Partners
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“Court of Justice”) sets aside the judgment of the General Court of the European Union (General Court) by which it confirmed the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision finding an anticompetitive practice in the Groupement des cartes bancaires v (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes the General Court judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object (Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
Introduction On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice (ECJ) rendered its judgment in the Cartes Bancaires case . The ECJ quashed the General Court (GC) judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object. The Cartes Bancaires contains two key messages: first, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on restrictions by object in a case regarding payment card rules (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
DLA Piper
Article 101 (1) TFEU prohibits agreements, vertical or horizontal, "which have as their object or effect the restriction or distortion of competition." Competition lawyers in the European Union are brought up on the idea that there are two types of competition law offences under Article 101 (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the ruling of the General Court on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
On September 11, 2014 the Court of Justice handed down its judgment in the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) case dismissing MasterCard’s final appeal against the European Commission’s decision that ordered MasterCard to withdraw its MIFs. Interchange fees are balancing payments made by the (...)

The Hubei Province and Shanghai Price Bureau fines automobile companies for price-monopoly (FAW-Volkswagen - Audi - Chrysler)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
FAW-Volkswagen, Chrysler and Related Dealers Fined Nearly RMB280 Million for Monopolistic Conduct* Background The automotive industry has undergone a new round of “antitrust crackdowns”. On 11 September 2014, Hubei Price Bureau released its decisions to impose penalties arising from a price (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides further clarity on when an agreement has the object of restricting competition (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
St John’s Chambers
Restrictions by object: duck and elephant hunting with the Court of Justice* Inductive reasoning is sometimes explained by using either the ‘duck test’ (“if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”) or the ‘elephant test’ (“it is difficult to (...)

The EU Court of Justice invites to rethink the approach to pay for delay settlements in its recent case law (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
European Pharmaceutical Antitrust after Groupment des Cartes Bancaires – Time to Rethink the Approach to Pay For Delay Settlements?* Over the last year the European Commission has stepped up its enforcement efforts against pay for delay settlements. In June 2013 they imposed a fine for the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the object-effect dichotomy and deals with two-sided markets (Cartes Bancaires - MasterCard)
University of Groningen
It Takes Two to Tango: Two-Sided Markets and the Appeals in Cartes Bancaires and MasterCard* The Court has recently decided on the appeals in two seminal cases: MasterCard MIF (MasterCard) and Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB). Both cases result from Commission decisions that found Article (...)

The German Competition Authority again imposes fines on several manufacturers of concrete paving stones for having entered price-fixing agreements (AHE Verbundsteine Betonwaren)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Bundeskartellamt imposes further fines on manufacturers of concrete paving stones on account of price-fixing agreements* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its investigations in the cartel proceedings against (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the final appeal in a case regarding inter-bank card fees (MasterCard)
Constantine Cannon (London)
On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) dismissed MasterCard’s final appeal against an antitrust infringement decision of 2007. This judgment finally put an end to a seven-year long legal battle over inter-bank card fees and may have a profound impact on banks, (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the bid-rigging decision pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority (Aprel)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court once again supported FAS bid-rigging decision* Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of “Regional Centre for Rehabilitation Means” Ltd., “Aprel” Ltd. and “Predgorie Kazkaza” Trading House” Ltd. to invalidate FAS decision on an antimonopoly case. On 12th November 2013, the (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines cement companies for price fixing and announces that more penalties are to come (Jilin Yatai / Northern Cement / Jidong Cement)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Three Cement Companies in Jilin Province Fined RMB 114 million for Price Fixing* On 9 September 2014, the NDRC announced that its local price bureau in Jilin Province, the Jilin Price Bureau, had fined 3 cement companies (Jilin Yatai, Northern Cement, and Jidong Cement) a total of RMB 114.39 (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues a cease and desist order and imposes surcharges on two stell ball manufacturers for having implemented several anticompetitive agreements (Tsubaki Nakashima and Amatsuji Steel Ball)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued Cease and Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Order to Steel Ball Manufacturer* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued the cease and desist order and the surcharge payment order to Tsubaki Nakashima Co., Ltd (Tsubaki Nakashima), finding that the company and Amatsuji (...)

The US FTC files a federal antitrust complaint for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for entering into an agreement to maintain a monopoly over and restrain generic competition (AbbVie, Abbott, Besins Healthcare and Teva)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On September 8, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a federal antitrust complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against defendants AbbVie, Abbott Laboratories, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Besins Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals alleging (...)

The US FTC files a complaint before the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania asserting that reverse payments do not have to be cash or monetary in order to violate antitrust laws (AbbVie)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Regulators Prescribing Higher Dose Of Pharmaceutical Antitrust Enforcement* Antitrust enforcers returned to their offices after Labor Day, refreshed and ready to tackle what they view to be anticompetitive practices by pharmaceutical companies to delay entry of lower-priced generic drugs. In (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on an association for having implemented a price fixing agreement in the services of shipping agents market (NALSA)
Competition Council of Latvia
Fine imposed to the National Association of Latvian Shipbrokers and Shipping Agents* On 8 September, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia fined the National Association of Latvian Shipbrokers and Shipping Agents (NALSA) for setting a minimal or fixed price for services of shipping agents. (...)

The US FTC files a complaint against five pharmaceutical companies for pay-for-delay settlements (AbbVie)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On September 8, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a federal antitrust complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against defendants AbbVie, Abbott Laboratories, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Besins Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals alleging (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that several undertakings have participated to a cartel in tenders for repair work (Global Stroi)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS exposed a cartel at tenders for repair works* On 5th September 2014, the FAS Commission found that the “Central Commandant’s Office on Logistic Assistance of the General Headquarters of Internal Ministry Troops” Federal Treasury Enterprise violated Clause 2 Part 1 Article 17 of the Federal (...)

The Italian Competition Authority holds that provisions of the code of conduct for doctors and dentists limiting advertising restrict competition (FNOMCEO)
European Commission (Brussels)
Provisions of Code of Conduct for Doctors and Dentists Limiting Advertising Restrict Competition* On 4 September 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) adopted a decision against the National Federation of the Associations of Doctors and Dentists (FNOMCEO) concerning provisions of (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that Article 101 TFUE, read in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, precludes national legislation from empowering a body composed mainly by private operators to fix minimum charge for haulage services (API v. Ministero delle Infrastutture dei Trasporti)
Altius (Brussels)
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I. The Parties Anonima Petroli Italiana SpA: An Italian undertaking active in the refining, processing and distributing services for crude oil and petroleum products in Europe. Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti and Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico: The Italian Ministry for (...)

A US District Judge finds that plaintiffs adequately pled a conspiracy to restrain trade because the defendants “abruptly and simultaneously” switched their positions, especially because their new position harms their own interests (Credit Default Swaps)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation: Big Banks Still Must Face Section 1 Sherman Act Claim* In a decision upholding most of the class action antitrust claims against 12 of the world’s largest financial institutions, Judge Cote of the Southern District of New York held that the (...)

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island issues concerning ruling on drug patent settlements (Loestrin)
Rutgers University
On September 4, 2014, Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island issued a concerning ruling on drug patent settlements. In In re Loestrin 24 FE Antitrust Litigation, 2014 WL 4368924 (D.R.I., Sept. 4, 2014), Judge Smith misapplied the Supreme Court’s landmark (...)

The ECJ partly upholds an appeal with regard to the calculation of the fine and, as a result, substantially reduced the fine (YKK)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 4 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment on appeals brought by YKK Corporation, YKK Holding Europe BV and YKK Stocko Fasteners (jointly referred to as “YKK”) against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”) dismissing their appeals against the (...)

A US District Judge refuses to dismiss a class-action antitrust law suit on the basis that plaintiffs had alleged facts that showed a plausible conspiracy (Credit Default Swaps)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Credit Default Swap Class Action Clears Motions To Dismiss And Proceeds To Discovery* On Thursday, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss a class-action antitrust lawsuit involving the $21 trillion credit default swap (“CDS”) market, (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on an undertaking suspected to have participated to a cartel for failure to submit information (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Court confirmed legitimacy of a FAS determination* On 2nd September 2014, the 13th Arbitration Appeal Court (St Petersburg) pronounced legitimacy of FAS determination on holding “Argus-Spektr” CJSC administratively liable for failure to submit information upon a request of the antimonopoly (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes fines for price fixing and for the first time, publishes its decisions (Zhejiang Car Insurance Cartel)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Better Late Than Never: NDRC Publishes Full Decisions on Zhejiang Car Insurance Cartel Case - Analysis of NDRC’s Antitrust Law Enforcement Approach* Introduction Less than 2 weeks after the record fine (USD 200 million) in the Japanese Auto Parts and Bearing Manufacturers case that shocked the (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fines in a building insulation cartel (Austotherm / Steinbacher)
European Commission (Brussels)
Fines Imposed in Building Insulation Cartel Case* In September 2014, the Cartel Court imposed a fine on Austotherm, a producer of insulation products, for having taken part into a cartel in the distribution of polystyrene insulating material. So far, the producers of insulation materials (...)

Unilateral Practices

The State Administrative for Industry and Commerce of China finds that a company abused its dominant position by treating customers of equal standing in a discriminatory manner without justifiable cause (Xuzhou City Tobacco Corporation)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
SAIC’s First Decision on Discriminatory Treatment* On 4 November 2014, the State Administrative for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) published a decision in which it found that the Pizhou branch of the Xuzhou City Tobacco Corporation (the “Pizhou Tobacco Branch”) had abused its dominant position in (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets imposes fines on a telecom company for having abused of its dominance, inter alia, by refusing to inform in advance competitors that use its network about what services it will offer to its own business customers (KPN)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
KPN fined for putting competitors at a disadvantage with regard to its business call-forwarding service* Dutch telecom company KPN is required to inform in advance competitors that use its network about what services KPN will offer to its own business customers. In addition, KPN must in a (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the warning addressed to a pharmaceutical company having refused to supply the unique medicine for treating renal deficiency by peritoneal dialysis (Baxter)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Actions of “Baxter” CJSC are pronounced unlawful* On 25th September 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court confirmed legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) in the case against “Baxter” CJSC for violating the antimonopoly law. The company refused to (...)

The Regional Court in Brno confirms the Czech NCA’s decision having imposed penalty for predatory pricing in bus passenger transport
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 September 2014, the Regional Court in Brno confirmed findings of the Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) regarding predatory pricing by Student Agency (a leading bus transport company) and rejected judicial review claim lodged by the said company. The Regional Court in Brno so (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court reinstates a decision issued by the Competition Authority accepting commitments by the dominant satellite TV company regarding the discriminatory conditions of access to its broadcasting platform (Sky Italia)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
By judgement no. 4773 of 22 September 2014, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (“Consiglio di Stato”) upheld an appeal brought by Sky Italia s.r.l. (“Sky”) and the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, “AGCM”) and reinstated the AGCM decision no. 21316 (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission examines whether the commitments proposed by fuel wholesale trading companies resolve the competition concerns it has identified in the petrol stations market (Hellenic Fuels)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Review of commitments proposed by fuel trading companies with regard to long-term exclusive cooperation agreements concluded between petrol-station operators and such companies.* The competent Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) will convene on 13 November to examine whether (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the warnings addressed to air carriers that have dominant position on some markets (Aeroflot – Russian Airlines)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS warnings are legitimate* On 15th September 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of “Aeroflot – Russian Airlines” OJSC to invalidate a warning of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia). In April 2014, the Antimonopoly Service issued warnings to air carriers that have (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on an undertaking for monopolization (Deon)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of Chuvash Cabinet of Ministers to invalidate FAS decision* On 15th September 2104, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Chuvashia to invalidate FAS decision on an antimonopoly case. On 6th March (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures against a gas provider and enjoins it to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file (GDF Suez / Direct Energie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence orders GDF Suez to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file.* This access will enable competitors of GDF Suez to compete with the incumbent operator (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority not to initiate a case on violating the antimonopoly law (National Settlement Depository Company)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court of three instances confirmed legitimacy of FAS decision not to initiate an antimonopoly case NRD CJSC NKO* On 9th September 2014, Moscow District Arbitration Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court and the ruling of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court, confirming legitimacy (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority accepts commitments relating to platform services for automotive sector (Epyx)
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Competition and Markets Authority accepts Commitments relating to Platform Services for Automotive Sector* On 9 September 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) accepted final commitments offered by Epyx Limited (Epyx) relating to service, maintenance and repair (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fine in purebred horses morphological competition sector (Association of Purebred Spanish Horse Breeders of Spain)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia imposes Fine in Purebred Horses Morphological Competition Sector* On 9 September 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) Council adopted a decision finding that the ANCCE (Asociación Nacional de Criadores (...)

The French Competition Authority makes legally binding improved commitments by a dominant firm to open up the relevant market (Nespresso)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Nespresso offers improved commitments to open up the market for coffee capsules* Last 4 September the French Competition Authority (“AdlC”) made legally binding the improved commitments Nespresso offered to open up the market for coffee capsules to competitors in France and beyond. As it (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments on the market for coffee capsules (Nespresso)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained a commitment from Nespresso to lift barriers to entry for other coffee capsule makers – compatible with Nespresso coffee machines – as well as barriers to their growth* (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition and Market Authority finds that it did not have jurisdiction to review a transaction as it did not create a "relevant merger situation" (CSF/Serco)
DLA Piper
On 13 October 2014 the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) published its 30 September Decision that the grant of the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise (CSF) to Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited (Serco) does not qualify for investigation under the Enterprise Act 2002 (the ’Act’) . The CMA (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission clears an acquisition of sole control in the banking sector (Alpha Bank / Diners Club of Greece Finance Company)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Clearance of the proposed acquisition by ALPHA BANK S.A. of CITIBANK Ιnternational PLC’s retail banking activities in Greece and of the shares of DINERS CLUB OF GREECE FINANCE COMPANY S.A.* By its unanimous Decision 592/2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) approved, under Greek merger (...)

The Competition Commission of India clears a joint venture after securing voluntary commitments (MIAL JV)
Economic Laws Practice
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Economic Laws Practice
1. Introduction 1.1. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the joint venture entered between Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) (...)

The Danish Competition Authority clears an acquisition of sole control on the production and sale of gas springs market (Triton / Scandinavian Business Seating Holding)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Approval of Triton’s acquisition of Scandinavian Business Seating Holding AS, cf. Section 12c(2) of the Competition Act* On 11th September 2014, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“the Authority”) received a full notification of a proposed merger pursuant to Section 12b(1) of the (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office clears an acquisition taking the form of direct joint control in the market of products for automobile (Bolten Family / Fehrer Group)
Slovak Competition Authority
MERGERS: AMO SR approved merger of Bolten Family and Fehrer Group* On 22 September 2014 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Concentrations approved the merger consisting in acquisition of direct joint control of undertakings undertakings Carl Conrad Bolten, Martina (...)

The Polish competition authority conditionally clears acquisition of competing tobacco and fast moving consumer goods wholesalers (KDWT / Kolporter)
Dentons (Warsaw)
The proposed concentration was notified to the Chairperson of the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the “UOKiK Chairperson”) pursuant to Article 13 Section 2 point 2 of the Law of February 16, 2007 on Competition and Consumer Protection (the “LCCP”) on December 23, 2013. The (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council launches a market test following merger commitments proposed on the market of the insurance of land vehicles and the market of property insurance (PZU)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council calls for opinions on merger commitments proposed by PZU S.A.* Competition Council (KT) calls stakeholders to express their grounded opinions on PZU S.A. (Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń Spółka Akcyjna) commitments to the merger wherein the latter acquires up to 100 per cent of (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the component suppliers to the automotive market (Veyance Technologies / Continental)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Veyance by Continental* In second phase proceedings the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Veyance Technologies, Inc., Fairlawn, Ohio/USA, by Continental (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority holds that whether an undertaking is under sole or joint control depends on who can adopt the business plan (Overlack / Novochem)
Kinstellar (Budapest)
Under the definition of “control” in the Hungarian Competition Act, several circumstances may provide the possibility of exercising decisive influence over an undertaking, including ownership of the majority of shares or the right to appoint or recall directors. It is therefore possible that an (...)

The EU Commission approves the acquisition of several chemical businesses, subject to conditions (Huntsman / Rockwood)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The "White Powder" Case: Balancing the Evidence"* The Huntsman- Rockwood TiO2 merger provides lessons for future chemical cases on the following topics: 1) The use of market features and price correlation to define relevant market. 2) Competition by Chinese products in the European (...)

The Competition Commission of India takes action against gun-jumping by airlines (Etihad / Jet Airways)
Economic Laws Practice
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Economic Laws Practice
1. Introduction 1.1. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), while approving the acquisition of 17.36% post issue equity share capital of Standard Greases & Specialties Private Limited (SGSPL) by Alpha TC Holdings Pte Limited (Alpha TC Holdings) and Tata Capital Growth Fund I (TCGF I), (...)

Oregon and Delaware Courts differ on enforceability of unilaterally adopted forum selection bylaws in a merger case (Micro Devices, TriQuint Semiconductor)
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
While forum selection bylaws have become increasingly popular with US public companies, courts in Delaware and Oregon recently came to opposite conclusions on whether such bylaws, when unilaterally adopted by a board of directors concurrently with the approval of a merger transaction, should (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition on the market of management of waste after the abandonment by the buyer to acquire seven site of management of waste (Remondis/Sita)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition by the Remondis group of four Sita waste management sites in Baden-Württemberg* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by Remondis of four waste management sites (...)

Lithuanian Competition Council terminates the investigation of the merger between two passenger transport companies in the Phase-II after parties abandoned the transaction (Toks / Kautra)
Sorainen (Vilnius)
On the 2nd September 2014 the Lithuanian Competition Council (LCC) issued its decision to terminate the investigation of acquisition of a passenger transport company Toks by its largest competitor Kautra. The decision was passed on the last day of the Phase-II after Kautra decided to abandon (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger by applying the failing firm defence on the daily newspapers market (Westfälische Nachrichten / Münstersche Zeitung)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Regional daily Westfälische Nachrichten can take over Münstersche Zeitung* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by the Münster-based publishing house Aschendorff Verlag (which publishes Westfälische (...)

State Aid

The Chinese NDRC investigates administrative monopoly for abuse of power (Hebei Province)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
NDRC Investigates Administrative Monopoly in Hebei Province* On 26 September 2014, the NDRC announced that it had investigated the Transport Department, Price Bureau, and Finance Department of the Hebei Provincial Government for abuse of administrative power. This is the first time that the (...)

The Court of Justice and the General Court of the EU hold that a measure adopted via faulty procedures can be a State aid and that the mere quality of competitor is not sufficient to be considered as individually concerned (Commerz Nederland ; Dansk Automat)
College of Europe (Bruges)
i) State Aid Can Be Attributed to the State even when Granted via Faulty Procedures ii) Who Can Challenge a Commission Decision Authorising State Aid?* Main points For a measure to constitute State aid, it must, among other things, be attributed to a decision of the state. When a State aid (...)

The EU Advocate General Wahl analyses whether any of the rules concerned with taxi cab activities amount to State aid (Eventech)
European Procurement Law Group
Neighbouring the Uber conflicts: AG Wahl’s Opinion on London’s bus/taxi lanes as State aid (C-518/13)* The attention raised by recent complaints and strikes against Uber’s intended revolution of the local ground transportation system in big cities has put the taxi sector on the spotlight. This is (...)

The European Commission publishes a textbook decision that gives ample guidance on how to establish whether a public authority acts as a market operator or private investor (NEUWOGES / Bavaria Immobilien)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Land Development* The sale of land and buildings owned by a public authority conforms with the market economy operator principle when i) it is profitable, ii) there is no alternative transaction that is economically more attractive, and iii) the sale is as profitable as similar transactions (...)

The EU General Court and the European Commission focus on relative prices instead of absolute prices in assessing if price regulation of casinos entry tickets can be a State aid (Greece / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Advantage from High Entry Prices: Can It Be That Both the Commission and the General Court Have Misunderstood Simple Economics?* Main points Price regulation can constitute State aid if the state forgoes potential revenue. However, for price regulation to constitute State aid it must (...)

The EU Court of Justice outlines the principles that apply to recovery of incompatible aid (Commission / Germany)
College of Europe (Bruges)
i) Domestic Legal Problems Do Not Make the Recovery of Incompatible Aid Absolutely Impossible ii) Role of National Courts in Cases of Non-notified Aid* Main points The only defence for non-recovery of incompatible State aid is absolute impossibility. Obstacles in domestic legal proceedings (...)

The EU General Court and the European Commission explain how to determine the existence of selectivity when similar but not identical measures are adopted by similar authorities in the same Member State (Hansestadt Lübeck)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Jurisdictional Side of Selectivity* Main points A measure determined independently by similar public entities is not selective even if it varies across those entities. A measure is selective when the entity that has adopted it, applies it differently to undertakings which are within its (...)

The European Commission holds that regulation on land use or changes in such regulations do not constitute State aid (Forest Land in Bulgaria)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Land Transactions: Commercial Deals v Regulatory Acts* Regulation on land use or changes in such regulations do not constitute State aid. Administrative methods for calculating the value of public land do not necessarily prevent the granting of State aid if they do not reflect the evolution in (...)

Procedures

The Paris Court of Appeal issues a ruling on the communication by the Competition Authority of documents gathered before victims of alleged anticompetitive practices bring private enforcement claims (DKT)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a decision dated September 24, 2014, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) issuing a ruling on the communication by the French Competition Authority (FCA) of documents held in its own file to a civil court before which a victim of alleged anticompetitive practices had brought a private (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority issues its opinion on a draft decree in relation to the method of calculating regulated electricity tariffs
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité issues the opinion delivered to the Minister of the Economy concerning the draft decree amending the method of calculating regulated electricity tariffs (TRVs).* Following a request from the Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Economy on a draft decree establishing a (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority makes an order in the audit market and imposes some measures responding to competition problems in this sector
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published the final order that will put into action major changes in the UK statutory audit market for large companies.* The changes follow the Competition Commission’s (CC’s) report into the market published last year which set out changes (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court rules on the admissibility of a competitor’s complaint against a decision about universal service provider status on postal markets (Oy Matkahuolto Ab)
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court has made a decision regarding the admissibility of a competitor’s complaint made on the basis of designation of universal service provider status. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority had made a decision designating major national postal (...)

The Slovak Antimononpoly Office issues a report on the functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia
Slovak Competition Authority
Functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia focusing on DH systems from the AMO point of view* Full English translation of the study on functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia focusing on DH systems from the AMO point of view has been published. * This is the original title of the (...)

Public sector

The Moscow Arbitration confirms the bid-rigging decision pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority concerning a contract for supplying high-endurance ship metal-roll (BZS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court took into account an additional criterion* On 15th September 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court on legitimacy of FAS decision on the case of violating the antimonopoly law by “Baltiisky Works – Ship-Building” (“BZS” Ltd.). On (...)

The Russian Competition Authority judges that a department of State breached the antimonopoly law by restricting the number of bidders (Rosimuschestvo)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Rosimuschestvo restricted the number of bidders* FAS found that omissions by Rosimuschestvo violated the antimonopoly law. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found that the Federal Agency for State Property Management (Rosimuschestvo) violated Part 1 Article 17 of the Federal Law (...)

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