Telecom & Concerted practices

Anticompetitive practices

The UK Office of Fair Trading issues a short form opinion clarifying the application of competition law to recommendations by two rural associations to their members concerning the prices to be charged for access to land (Broadband Wayleave Rates)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Introduction The Office of Fair Trading (’OFT’) in a Short Form Opinion dated 23 August 2012 has indicated that a proposed price recommendation to be made by two rural associations, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) (collectively the Parties) (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court invalidates the restrictive interpretation of the concept of the effect on trade between member States (Orange Caraïbe)
Vogel & Vogel
In 2004, Orange Caraïbe was subject to protective measures in order to put an end to anticompetitive practices on the mobile phone market in the French Caribbean. Five years later, the Competition Authority (AdlC) handed down a 63 million euro fine to Groupe France Telecom. On 23 September 2010, (...)

The US Supreme Court introduces a new method for regulatory antitrust analysis (Trinko / Verizon)
K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
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K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
A New Method for Regulatory Antitrust Analysis? Verizon Communications v. Trinko* In Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U.S. 398 (2004), the United States Supreme Court adopted a novel method for applying the antitrust laws in regulated markets and thereby (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines undertakings for an agreement and concerted practices during the purchase of soccer broadcasting rights (Telefónica / DTS)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties. Defendants: DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (DTS) is a company specialising in the management of the platform of satellite pay-TV Canal+. Grupo Telefónica is a group of companies specialising in telecommunications formed by the parent company Telefónica, S.A. and (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority exempts an agreement between the national telecommunication company and the distributor of prepaid mobile services containing resale price maintenance clauses (Telecom Serbia - DTM Investments)
Serbian european integration office
The Serbian Antitrust Authority (AA) passed the decision on 13 September 2013 (DTM decision) to individually exempt an agreement on general distribution of prepaid mobile communication services concluded between the “Telecom Serbia” (TS) and the “DTM Investments” (DTM) from prohibition of (...)

The European Commission fines telecom provider € 79 M for illegal non-compete clause (Telefónica, Portugal Telecom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2013, the European Commission imposed fines of € 66,894,000 on Spanish telecommunications provider Telefónica and € 12,290,000 on Portuguese telecommunications provider Portugal Telecom on account of an agreement between them not to compete with one another in the Iberian (...)

The European Commission fines two companies €79 M for agreeing not to compete with each other in their respective home telecommunications markets (Telefónica and Portugal Telecom)
Liège University - IEJE
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Clifford Chance (Madrid)
The Commission fines Telefónica and Portugal Telecom €79 million for agreeing not to compete with each other in their respective home telecommunications markets. I. The Parties Telefónica is the historical operator on the Spanish market. It has a limited presence on the Portugese market. It (...)

The European Commission fines Spanish and Portuguese incumbent telecommunications operators for non-compete agreement (Telefónica, Portugal Telecom)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission: Spanish and Portuguese incumbent Telecommunications Operators fined for non-compete Agreement* On 23 January 2013, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted a decision imposing fines of € 66 894 000 on Telefónica and of € 12 290 000 on Portugal Telecom for agreeing (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss an action against a SSO in a case of alleged conspiracy to exclude plaintiff’s technology from the latest 4th generation global standard for mobile telecommunications (TruePosition / Ericsson)
Davis Wright Tremaine
Antitrust & Associations: “Standard Setting Can Be Risky Business”* Virtually every industry, from telecommunications to agriculture, has benefited from standard-setting organizations (SSOs), whose collaborative work can advance technology, promote health and safety, and enhance quality and (...)

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 Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina prosecutes local administration for restricting competition on the cable TV market (CATV SAT, Municipality of Bosanski Brod)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 August 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) prosecuted a local administration and a provider of cable TV services for the implementation of an anti-competitive agreement that inhibited the local administration from granting construction permits to the potential (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency finds no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, Tele2)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
The Croatian Competition Agency adopted on 26 July 2012 a decision finding no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, and Tele2). The proceedings were initiated by the Agency in September 2011 and the (...)

The Danish Competition Council decides that it has no grounds for action concerning a horizontal production agreement between mobile operators (Telia Denmark, Telenor)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: Network Sharing Agreement in Danish Mobile Telecommunications Sector* On 29 February 2012, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) decided that it had no grounds for action in a case concerning a horizontal production agreement between the mobile operators Telia Denmark and Telenor A/S. (...)

The French Supreme Court confirms its interpretation of the effect on trade concept (France Telecom and Orange Caraïbes)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The French Supreme Court confirms the Autorité’s Interpretation of the Effect on Trade Concept* On 9 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) fined France Télécom and its local subsidiary, Orange Caraïbes, for a series of exclusionary practices in the overseas departments (...)

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 Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection breaks cartel of mobile operators (Polkomtel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, PTK Centertel and P4)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: UOKiK breaks Cartel of Mobile Operators* In December 2011, the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) of 23 November in which it found that Poland’s biggest mobile telephony operators – Polkomtel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, PTK Centertel and P4 – engaged in (...)

The Polish Competition Authority finds that delay in introducing mobile television service is a result of anticompetitive agreement (Polkomtel, PTK Centertel, PTC, and P4)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
The OCCP decision On 23 November 2011, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection («the OCCP») fined four mobile telecom operators (Polkomtel, PTK Centertel, PTC, and P4) for the exchange of information on the assessment of a commercial offer prepared by Info-TV-FM (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina finds no anticompetitive practices on the market for telecom interconnection services in the absence of the requisite anticompetitive object and effect (Crumb / Telekomunikacije Republike Srpske, Aneks)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 November 2011 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) closed its investigation into the alleged existence of anticompetitive agreement between the incumbent telecom operator Telekomunikacije Republike Srpske a.d.(Telekom RS) and an independent provider of fixed (...)

The Romanian Competition Council submits for public consultation the commitments proposals drafted by three telecom distributors (Payzone, PayPoint Sercices and PayUp)
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: Public Consultation on Commitments submitted by Orange Romania and its Distributors* On 2 November 2011, the public consultation launched by the Competition Council (RCC) on the commitments submitted by Orange Romania was closed. The commitments were offered in a case regarding an (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the NCA in the mobile telephony case by adopting the same arguments without clarification regarding the new requirement of proof of harm to the economy (Orange France)
Linklaters (Paris)
The ruling by the Paris Court of Appeal of 30 June 2011 in connection with decision N° 05-D-65 (hereinafter Decision) of the Competition Council (which has now become the Competition Authority) opens new perspectives for thinking about certain issues such as (i) the criteria for sanctions in (...)

The Paris Appeal Court confirms fines imposed by the French Competition Authority in telecommunications case (Mobile phone cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Paris Appeal Court upholds Fines imposed by the French Competition Authority in Telecommunications Case* On 30 June 2011, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld the fine that had been imposed by the French Competition Authority in the mobile telephony sector. This ruling follows a (...)

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 (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upholds the plausibility of a claim for alleged conspiracy in the telecommunications sector under the Twombly standard (Text messaging antitrust litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Conspiracy to Fix Prices for Text Messaging Services Plausible* Antitrust plaintiffs asserting price fixing claims do not need a “smoking gun” to avoid dismissal of their complaint and proceed to discovery. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago decided that consumers plausibly alleged (...)

The UK OFCOM decides not to launch a full investigation on a venture aimed to design common technical specifications for the provision of web-based content to consumers’ television sets (Project Canvas - YouView)
Central Bank of Ireland
On 19 October 2010, the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, announced that it would not initiate a full investigation under the Competition Act into the Project Canvas/YouView venture. Virgin Media and IPVision had submitted complaints to Ofcom under the Competition Act. Also, Ofcom received (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal holds that undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchange do not have any effect on their conduct on the market (KPN, Orange, Telfort, T-Mobile, Vodafone Libertel)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal has held that by virtue of Article 6 of the ECHR, undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchange did not have any effect on their (...)

The French supreme Court penalizes again exchanges of information on overall sales volumes (Bouygues Télécom, SFR, Orange France / UFC Que Choisir)
Vogel & Vogel
On 7 April 2010, the Supreme Court quashed the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal which had been unusually severe in finding a restrictive agreement from information exchanges between Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom distorting the conditions for unlawfulness set out in the famous John Deere (...)

The French Supreme Court quashes the ruling of the Paris Court of Appeal relating to the exclusive distribution agreements of iPhones (Orange-Apple)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
In a ruling dated 16 February 2010, the French Supreme Court (the "Supreme Court") quashed the ruling of the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court of appeal") relating to the exclusive arrangements between Orange France (a subsidiary of France Telecom) and Apple for the distribution of iPhones in (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments to waive distribution exclusivity on mobile telephones ("i-Phone" Apple - Orange)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 11 January 2010, the French Competition Authority handed down its first decision of 2010, accepting the commitments undertaken by Apple and Orange to waive any distribution exclusivity on current and future iPhones models. Such Commitment Decision, taken pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I of (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority holds that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements covering 86% of the relevant market has anticompetitive effects (Megalan - Universities)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) found that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements regarding construction and exploitation of Internet infrastructure and access to Internet that covered 86% of the relevant market foreclosed new entries and expansion by (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes a fine on participants of a kiosk chain cartel (Plus Punkts, Narvessen, Preses apvienība)
Klavins Ellex (Latvia)
Introduction On 15 May 2009 Latvian Competition Council received an application from SIA “Tele2” (Tele2) containing information regarding potentially concerted practices among SIA “Plus Punkts” (Plus Punkts), SIA “Narvessen Latvia” (Narvessen) and AS “Preses apvienība” (Preses apvienība). After (...)

The French Competition Authority fines incumbent telecom operator in overseas territories and applies EU case law on presumption of liability of parent companies for the first time (Orange Caribbean)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité fines Incumbant Telecom Operator in the Overseas Territories and applies EU Case-Law on Presumption of Liability of Parent Companies for the first Time On 9 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed on Orange Caribbean, the incumbent and leading telecom operator (...)

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

A Portuguese self-regulation body for advertising suspends triple-play campaign due to misleading claim of optical fibre connections (PT Comunicações / ZON TV CABO)
University of Lisbon
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Abreu Advogados
On 27 July 2009 ICAP - Instituto Civil da Autodisciplina da Comunicação Comercial (Civil Institute for Self-Discipline in Commercial Communication) ordered the suspension of the advertising campaign carried out by leading pay-TV operator in Portugal ZON TV CABO following a complaint by PT (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority acquits three telecom operators of alleged anticompetitive practices consisting in parallel increasing mobile phone rates (Teléfonos Móviles - Telefónica, Vodafone, France Telecom )
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
On 2 July 2009, the Council of the Spanish Competition Authority (Consejo de la Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, hereinafter the “Council of the CNC”) concluded that the increase of the mobile phone rates implemented in parallel by Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.U. ("Telefonica"), Vodafone (...)

The European Court of Justice clarifies the notion of concerted practice and holds that a single meeting amongst competitors where they exchanged sensitive information can be caught by EU Antitrust rules (T-Mobile Netherlands)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Concerted practices, greyhounds, swans and alcoholmeters* Adam Smith wrote in the Wealth of Nations that “two greyhounds, in running down the same hare, have sometimes the appearance of acting in some sort of concert. Each turns her towards his companion, or endeavours to intercept her when his (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision against French mobile operators in exchange of information case (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 March 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the French Competition Council’s decision of 30 December 2005 in which it found inter aliathat, by engaging in the exchange of confidential information, three French mobile operators, Orange (France Télécom Group), SFR (Vivendi Group) and (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott gives opinion on standard of proof with regard to anti-competitive concerted practices (T-Mobile Netherlands)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 February 2009, Advocate General Kokott delivered her opinion in relation to a preliminary reference from a Dutch court regarding the requirements that must be satisfied to establish an anti-competitive concerted practice for the purposes of Article 81(1) EC. The case before the Dutch (...)

The Paris Court of appeals confirms the NCA’s interim measures preventing exclusive rights regarding the distribution of the iPhone (Apple - Orange - France Télécom)
White & Case (Paris)
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Reseau de transport d’electricite (RTE)
In a decision dated 4 February 2009, the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed decision n° 08-MC-01 of the French Competition Council concerning practices implemented in the distribution of iPhones. This decision was anxiously awaited by mobile phone operators competing with Orange and which began (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority annulls the price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone operator and its distributors (VIPnet)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
VIPnet d.o.o. (VIPnet) is a Croatian mobile telecom operator established in 1998 by the Mobilkom Austria AG. VIPnet provides its services through a network of “partners” and “wholesalers”. “Partners” sell VIPnet’s products and services directly to the final consumers on the VIPnet’s account. (...)

The French Competition Authority orders the suspension of the iPhone exclusivity on the basis of Art. 81 EC (Bouygues Telecom/Apple-Orange)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Conseil de la concurrence considered that the agreements entered into between Orange and Apple were likely to introduce further rigidity, to increase consumer captivity due to smartphones attraction and, through the implementation of a differentiation strategy, to reduce competition in a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the legality of two restrictions on Internet sales by authorised retailers within a selective distribution network (PMC Distribution / Pacific Création)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
In its decision dated 18 April 2008, S.A.R.L. PMC Distribution vs. S.A.S. Pacific Création, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") takes part in the debate on the legal regime of Internet sales within selective distribution systems. Pacific Création, an undertaking which manufactures and (...)

A Dutch Court makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ concerning the application of Art. 81.1 EC to concerted practice between mobile phone operators (KPN Mobile)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In December 2002, the Dutch Competition Authority (hereafter the ‘NMa’) imposed fines upon five Dutch mobile phone companies for breach of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act (a provision equivalent to Article 81 (1) EC). The NMa found that those mobile phone operators exchanged confidential (...)

A German Court rules on the exclusive iPhone distribution agreements (Apple/T-Mobile)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 4 December 2007 the German Regional Court of Hamburg issued a decision on the compatibility with competition law and the law against unfair practices of the exclusive distribution agreement concluded between the German mobile network operator T-Mobile and the American multinational (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court rules that exchange of information is not prohibited per se and recalls that imposing fine in an oligopolistic market requires to demonstrate a concrete anticompetitive object or effect (Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR, “Mobile telephony case”)
White & Case (Paris)
The “mobile telephony case” in which the French Competition Council, upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal, imposed on three competitors a record EUR 534 million fine, has not come to an end yet since the Cour de cassation (French supreme court for judicial matters) partially repealed the appeal (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court rules that exchange of information between competitors in an oligopolistic market is not per se contrary to Art. 81 EC and national equivalent provision (Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
French Commercial Supreme Court [Cour de cassation (Chambre commerciale, financière et économique)], 29 June 2007, Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR, Cases n° U 07-10.303, Z 07-10.354 and W 07-10.397 Background On 29 June the French Commercial Supreme Court (“the Supreme Court”) ruled on a (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court partly annuls the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment on illicit exchange of sensitive information in the mobile telephony cartel, thus strengthening the standard of proof (Bouygues Telecom SFR and Orange)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
French Commercial Supreme Court [Cour de cassation (Chambre commerciale, financière et économique)], 29 June 2007, Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR, Cases n° U 07-10.303, Z 07-10.354 and W 07-10.397 Proceedings In its decision of November 25, 2005, the French Competition Council imposed record (...)

The US Supreme Court redefines notice pleading and clearly raises the bar for plaintiffs in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic/Twombly)
St. John’s University School of Law
Twombly: The Demise of Notice Pleading, the Triumph of Milton Handler and the Uncertain Future of Antitrust Enforcement* The Supreme Court’s decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) is a watershed ruling whose impact on private litigation, especially antitrust (...)

The US Supreme Court defines minimum pleading standard in antitrust class action (Bell Atlantic/Twombly)
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 (New York)
In a 7-2 decision on May 21, 2007, the Supreme Court held that a complaint alleging antitrust conspiracy based on parallel conduct alone fails to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, No. 05-1126. Further, the Court held that a bare (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that an allegation of parallel conduct and a bare assertion of an agreement don’t suffice to state a claim of conspiracy under the Sherman Act (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
Paul Hastings (New York)
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Paul Hastings (New York)
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INTRODUCTION On May 21, 2007, the United States Supreme Court issued an important decision pertaining to the pleading standards in an antitrust action under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, No. 05‐1126, the Supreme Court (...)

The US Supreme Court affirms the necessity of pleading elements in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
University of Indiana - Maurer School of Law
Pleading Consumer Antitrust Claims* The U.S. has long followed a system of private enforcement of law meant to redress public harm. In the law of antitrust, from the very beginning U.S. law provided a claim to plaintiffs who could show harm flowing from the violation. Convincing private (...)

The Polish Competition Authority decides to discontinue proceedings instituted against the fixed telephony incumbent and a mobile phone operator by referring to the single economic unit doctrine (Telekomunikacja Polska - Polska Telefonia Komorkowa Centertel)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
In 2003, the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection published a paper entitled “Polish Telecommunication Sector and the Activity of the Anti-monopoly Authority” dealing with competition law violations that occurred in this sector, with particular attention to the behaviour of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the NCA’s record fine on three mobile telephony operators for exchanging confidential information and maintaining market shares (Bouygues Télécoms, SFR, Orange France)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Total (Paris)
Following the Competition Council’s decision to initiate proceedings ex officio in 2001 and a complaint lodged by the consumer association UFC Que Choisir in 2002, an investigation revealed the existence of anticompetitive agreements on the French mobile telephony market. In a decision dated 30 (...)

The Paris Court of appeal upholds France’s highest antitrust fine ever and confirms a strict -yet not entirely clear- approach towards exchange of information between competitors in oligopoly markets (Bouygues Télécom, SFR, Orange France)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
Paris Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Paris, 1ère Chambre, Section H), 12 December 2006, n° RG 2006/00048, Bouygues Télécoms SA, SFR SA, Orange France SA On November 25, 2005, the French competition council imposed a combined fine of EUR 534 million on France’s three mobile operators, i. e. the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines three IT companies for collusion in public procurement procedures (Synergon)
Dechert (London)
The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority has imposed heavy fines on three companies operating in the IT sector (namely Synergon Informatikai PLC- “Synergon”, Montana Információtechnnológiai és Kommunikációs PLC- “Montana” and Hewlett-Packard Magyarország LLC- “Hewlett-Packard”) for (...)

A Dutch Court quashes the decision of the national competition authority in the mobile operators case for unsufficient motivation (KPN Mobile, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone Libertel)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The District Court of Rotterdam judged in favour of the “mobile operators” in their case against the Dutch Competition Authority (the NMa). The NMa’s case alleging cartel activities was ruled to be insufficiently founded and therefore annulled. On July 13th, the District Court of Rotterdam handed (...)

The French Competition Council imposes record fines on the mobile telephone operators for market sharing and exchange of information (Orange, SFR, Bouygues)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris)
On November 30th 2005, the French Competition Council (the “Council” ) imposed heavy fines on the three mobile telephone undertakings, Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, amounting to a € 534 millions total. The allotment of the fines was as follows : Orange France: 256 million Euros (...)

The Court of Amsterdam orders a new entrant to cease actively soliciting the clients of the telecommunication incumbent on the ADSL market under a penalty of 5000 € (Wanadoo/KPN)
European Commission - DG HR
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Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
KPN, the Dutch historical telecommunication operator, owned an ADSL network through which it provided “fast ip access” to other internet service providers. “Fast ip access” enabled other internet service providers to provide their services to end-users. Wanadoo is an Internet service provider which (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council exempts a 9 year exclusive services agreement with the incumbent on the basis of Art. 81.3 EC in the IT services market (Magyar Telekom)
Dentons (Paris)
Facts of the case The Rába Group (the "Group") is one of Hungary’s largest vehicle manufacturers, which produces undercarriages, spare parts and commercial vehicles, mainly for export markets (60% of its production is exported). The Rába Group is one of the biggest undercarriage constructors in (...)

The Czech Competition office states that a contractor’s undertaking not to supply to another purchaser for better prices is an anticompetitive agreement (Èeský Telecom/Joyce - Lucent)
Government of the Czech Republic
The Office for the protection of competition of the Czech Republic confirmed on March 25, 2005 its earlier first instance decision, in which it has found that the agreements concluded by Èeský Telecom with two suppliers of ADSL modems represent a prohibited price fixing agreement as they bind the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that RPM in agency agreements does not infringe competition law (Westel Mobil)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The supplier (Westel Mobil, a mobile telecommunications service provider), concluded agreements on the marketing and sale of mobile telecommunications services and discounted cell phones with different dealers; the agreements contained RPM clauses. The HCO (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes fines on two manufacturers for infringing the prohibition to influence retail sale prices in an anticompetitive way (Swissphone Telecommunications / Ansmann Energy)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case One case deals with in indirect RPM clause: the producer of telecommunication equipment provided his dealers with rebates under the condition that they would maintain the recommended sale prices (Swissphone). In the other case, the producer of batteries and (...)

The European Commission provides clear guidance on the compliance of network sharing in 3rd generation mobile telecommunications systems with EC competition rules (T-Mobile/O2)
Leuven University
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University of Tilburg
"Network sharing in 3rd generation mobile telecommunications systems: minding the coverage gap and complying with EC competition rules"* Introduction In February 2002, T-Mobile and O2 notified two agreements that provided for the Parties to cooperate by way of network sharing in the buildout (...)

The European Commission clears agreements to set up and operate a world-wide mechanism to evaluate, certify and license patents for third generation mobile communications systems (3G3P)
European Commission (Brussels)
"Competition law analysis of patent licensing arrangements — the particular case of 3G3P"* On 12 November 2002, the Commission’s Competition Directorate-General cleared agreements to set up and operate a world-wide mechanism to evaluate, certify and license essential patents for third generation (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that an agreement between a company that owns and lets housing units and a cable network operator according to which the increase of fees for the supply with cable TV to be paid by the tenants is dependent on the housing company’s approval is null and void due to an infringement of the prohibition to fix prices for contracts with third parties (Kabel-Hausverteilanlagen)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect vertical price fixing clause between a housing company and a cable network operator which restricts the cable network operator in determining the fees charged from the housing company’s tenants in that in particular the (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to commitments, two joint ventures between French and German telecommunications operators (Atlas, Phoenix)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Atlas/Phoenix"* On 15 December 1995, the Commission published two Notices pursuant to Article 19 (3) of Regulation 17 [OJ C 337 of 15.12.95] indicating that it intends to take a favourable position and inviting third parties to send their observations with respect to the Atlas and Phoenix (...)

The European Commission clears interim intellectual property rights arrangements in the telecommunications industry (ETSI)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"ETSI IPR Policy"* The Commission issued a negative clearance-type comfort letter with respect to ETSI‘s (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) Interim IPR Policy. The intellectual property rights arrangements which ETSI developed and notified to the Commission, provided that members (...)

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