Amicus curiae

Anticompetitive practices

The US Supreme Court hears oral arguments before interpreting the state action exemption to the antitrust laws (North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners)
University of Michigan
On October 14, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, the latest in its long line of cases interpreting the state action exemption to the antitrust laws. Dozens of amici have written briefs supporting both parties. Those briefs (...)

The US FTC files an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals explaining that commitment not to compete raises the same antitrust concerns as the reverse-payment patent settlements (King Drug / SmithKlineBeecham)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. FTC files an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal urging to reverse the District Court finding in the Lamictal Direct Purchase Antitrust Litigation* On 28 April, 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the French Competition Authority in the jet fuel sector in the Reunion’s island (Shell / Chevron / Total / Esso / Air France)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
1. The facts In January 2003, Air France lodged a complaint before the French Competition Authority (FCA) regarding an alleged cartel between the four oil companies established in the La Reunion Island Airport during the 2002 Air France’s tender. First inquiries were made in La Reunion and near (...)

The US FTC files amicus curiae brief supporting generics’ claim in patent dispute (Actelion Pharms/Apotex)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. FTC files amicus curiae brief supporting generics’ claim in patent dispute* On 11 March 2013 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus curiae brief in the case Actelion Pharms Ltd. V. Apotex Inc. which is being heard in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey supporting the (...)

The Paris Commercial Court seeks the opinion of the French Competition Authority on the broadcasting rights for championship football matches (Ligue de Football professionnel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Paris Commercial Court seeks the opinion of the Autorité de la concurrence on the compatibility with competition rules of the call for tenders the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP - French professional (...)

The French Supreme Court adjusts its interpretation of the effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFEU (Orange Caraïbe)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1.Less than a year after its controversial holding in Jet Fuel Cartel, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation), in a judgment delivered 31 January 2012, decided to adjust, without fully abandoning, its previous view on the appreciable affectation of trade between Member (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal clarifies the scope of business secrets and anticompetitive exchanges of information in court actions between competitors (KPN and Beldiscom)
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
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Buyle Legal (Brussels)
Introduction In a judgment dated 24 March 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal ruled that the protection of business secrets prevents the exchange between competitors of detailed information on mobile phone subscriptions contained in an expert report produced in a Court action between KPN and (...)

A Dutch Court rules on refusal to appoint motor vehicle dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (Kia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2009, the President of the Amsterdam Court of First Instance (the “President”) accepted an interim proceedings claim brought by four former Kia Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”) repairers. The repairers claimed that KIA Motors Nederland BV (“KIA Motors”), which replaced KIA Nederland as (...)

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

The US DoJ files amicus brief on reverse payment settlements on the market for broad spectrum antimicrobial medicines (Arkansas Carpenters Health/Bayer, Hoechst, Watson)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. DOJ files amicus brief on reverse payment settlements* On 6 July 2009 the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in a reverse payment settlement case on appeal before the 2nd Circuit (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation). The filing is in response of an (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal of the Hague, after having saught the opinion of the European Commission, holds that a decision adopted by a mussel farmers association did not breach Art. 81.1 EC (Vereniging Productenorganisatie van de Nederlandse Mosselcultuur/Praet en Zonen)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In 1998, PO, a cooperative association of mussel farmers, adopted a regulation (hereafter the “1998 regulation”) providing for the allocation to its members of the mussel seeds quantity that they could fish, of which the total amount is determined by government on a yearly basis. On 25 January (...)

A French Court receives the first application ever from the European Commission acting as amicus curiae on the basis of Reg. N°1/2003 in a case concerning the application of the automotive block exemption (Garage Gremeau/Daimler Chrysler)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Facts and proceedings Garage Gremeau had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the distribution of Mercedes Benz motor vehicles in the Dijon area (Burgundy) since 1982. On the basis of the new Commission Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 July 2002, on the application of Article (...)

The Belgium Commercial Court assesses the validity of an alleged anticompetitive car distribution agreement on the basis of Art. 81 EC and the EC block exemption regulation (Daimler-Chrysler)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Chemicals Agency
The Belgian Commercial Court examined whether certain practices by the defendants infringed Article 81 EC, and in particular whether such practices could benefit from the provisions contained in the applicable EC block exemption regulation relating to the application of Article 81(3) EC to (...)

A Spanish Court refuses to qualify a contract as a resale agreement and holds that the qualification given by “administrative bodies” to similar agreements is not binding upon national courts (Melón / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de productos petrolíferos S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”), supplied oil products to Melón S.A. (hereinafter, “Melón”), pursuant to an agency agreement signed between the parties. Considering that it was not a “genuine” agency agreement and that Commission Regulation (EC) n° 2790/1999, of (...)

Dominance

The Court of Appeal of Milan overturns a judgment on screen scraping and intermediation of online travel agencies and rejects the allegations of abuse of dominance by an airline (Lastminute / Viaggiare / Ryanair)
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
Introduction With two judgements delivered on June 2015 regarding cases brought by Lastminute.com S.r.l. and Viaggiare S.r.l. respectively against Ryanair , the Court of Appeal of Milan held that Ryanair’s refusal to grant travel agencies the right of intermediating its tickets does not (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds authority’s decision on prohibition of abuse in ‘green dot’ licencing (ENVI‑PAK)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Authority’s Decision in Banking Cartel Case* On 23 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) confirmed the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) imposing a fine of € 18 394 on ENVI‑PAK, a. s. (...)

A US Court of Appeals holds that the lower court erred in defining the relevant geographic market in an antitrust monopoly claim over the para-aramid fiber industry under section 2 of the Sherman Act (E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Kolon)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Monopoly Claims Against DuPont Revived by Fourth Circuit* Claims that E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company attempted to wield, and did wield, monopoly power over the U.S. para-aramid fiber market in violation of Sec. 2 of the Sherman Act should not have been dismissed, the U.S. Court of Appeals (...)

The Slovakian Supreme Court rules that holding a successor liable under the economic continuity test does not constitute circumstances which warrant a reduction of the fine imposed (ZS Cargo)
BPV Braun Partners
On 26 October 2010, the Slovak Supreme Court as the final instance rejected the appeal made by the Slovak state-owned rail cargo incumbent, Zeleznicna spolocnost Cargo Slovakia, a.s.(“ZS Cargo”), against the first and second instance decision of the Slovak Competition Authority which imposed on (...)

The Slovakian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision fining an undertaking’s successor for abuse of its dominant position (ZS Cargo)
European Commission
Slovakia: Supreme Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision in Cargo Railway Case At an oral hearing held on 26 October 2010, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upheld the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“AMO”) of 22 December 2006 in the matter Zeleznicna (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court asks for the EC Commission’s opinion on the definition of the relevant market concerning alleged excessive prices for port services (Port of Ystad)
Cederquist
On 18 October 2006 the European Commission (the “Commission”) received a request from the Swedish Supreme Court (the “Court”) regarding the definition of the relevant market in a case concerning the application of Article 82 EC. The case before the Court concerns inter alia whether or not the Port (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds the decision of the Competition Office after the intervention of the European Commission (Cargo Slovakia)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
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Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
Relevant facts In the following judgement, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic confirmed the decision of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (hereinafter referred to as "Office") where the Office stated that the railway company Železničná spoločnosť a.s., later its successor, Železničná spoločnosť (...)

A Belgian Court dismisses alleged anticompetitive agreement and abuse of dominant position on the electronic payment card market on the basis of both Art. 81/82 EC while using documents communicated by the EC Commission on the basis of Art. 15 Reg. 1/2003 ("Master Card - Visa Card")
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
Background Electronic payment card schemes involve two basic operators : the “issuing bank”, which is a credit institution, and member of a card scheme, that has a contractual relationship with a cardholder for the provision and use of a card of that card scheme ; and the “acquiring bank”, which (...)

A Belgian Court applies Art. 82 EC and holds that the national copyright management society abused its dominant position while relying on an European Commission written opinion delivered in the assistance procedure (SABAM / Productions & Marketing)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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In April 2000, Productions & Marketing requested authorisation from SABAM (Belgian Society of Authors) to use works of its catalogue for five concerts. SABAM offers a preferential tariff (50% price reduction) to companies considered as "big organisers". SABAM refused to grant Productions (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeals rules that the major Belgian collecting society has abused its dominant position under Art. 82 EU after having received an opinion from the EC Commission (SABAM / Productions & Marketing)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
The Parties The case opposed the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SABAM) and Productions & Marketing (P&M), a company whose business activities consist of the organization of concerts and musical events. Background In 2000 and 2001, P&M organized Charles (...)

State Aids

The EU Court of Justice rules that the national courts dealing with a case of recovery of illegal state aid may not disregard the statement of position made by the Commission in the relevant decision (Mediaset)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Role of National Courts in Recovery of Incompatible State Aid* Introduction In December I examined the judgment in the case of Lufthansa v Frankfurt-Hahn, which laid down certain obligations for national courts whenever they are petitioned to (...)

Procedures

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 (...)

A US District Court admits the confidentiality of document emanating from the European Commission’s investigation (Visa, MasterCard)
European Commission
European Commission: Recent Developments on Discovery following Amicus Curiae On 27 August 2010, the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York, Judge John Gleeson, on appeal issued an order whereby access by the plaintiffs to a Statement of Objections and to a transcript of an Oral (...)

The European Commission publishes 2009 annual report on competition policy
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 June 2010, the European Commission published its 2009 annual report on competition policy. This yearly report gives an overview of the main developments in EU competition policy and major enforcement actions. The 2009 report also dedicates a chapter to considering how the tools of (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal holds, after having heard the European Commission’s submissions provided as amicus curiae on the basis of Art. 15.3 Reg. 1/2003, that fines imposed by the EU Commission for breach of competition rules are not deductible from taxable profits (X B.V. Belanghebbende / Inspecteur Belastingdienst)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The present judgement from the Gerechtshof Amsterdam (the Court of appeal of Amsterdam) follows the preliminary ruling issued by the European Court of Justice on 11 June 2009 in case C-429/07, Inspecteur van Belastingdienst v. X BV. The case at hand relates to a dispute between company X and (...)

The European Court of Justice, issuing a preliminary ruling in answer to a reference made by a Dutch Court, holds that the Commission may submit on its own initiative, on the basis of Art. 15.3 of Reg. 1/2003, written observations to national courts in proceedings relating to the deductibility from taxable profits of the amounts of a fine imposed for infringement of Art. 81 and 82 EC (X BV)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 11 June 2009, the ECJ issued a preliminary ruling in answer to a reference made by the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, which asked whether the Commission was competent, under Article 15(3) of Regulation n° 1/2003 , to submit, on its own initiative, written observations to a national court in (...)

A Dutch Court holds that fines imposed by the NCA for infringements of the national competition act are not deductible for corporate tax purposes, while fines imposed by the European Commission are partly deductible (X/NMa)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
One more time, the Rechtbank of Haarlem has been faced with the issue of the deductibility for corporate tax purposes of fines imposed for breach of competition law. The case at issue concerns an undertaking active in gardening services (hereafter: “X”) which was fined by the Dutch competition (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals receives observations - submitted for the first time to a national court since adoption of Reg. n° 1/2003 - from the European Commission (Garage Gremeau/Daimler Chrysler)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Background According to Article 15(3) of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25), the European Commission (the “Commission”) may submit (...)

Regulations

The England and Wales Tribunal accepts the submission sent by the Competition Commission for recovery of participation costs as regards a quasi-judicial review within an appeal under section 193(7) (British Telecommunications / Office of Communications)
Blackstone Chambers
Down the rabbit-hole: costs, the Comms Act and the Competition Commission* ‘“But I don’t want to go among mad people”, Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here”.’ Where an appeal to the Tribunal under section 192 of the Communications Act 2003 gives rise to (...)

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