Consumer protection

Anticompetitive practices

Consumer protection: An overview of EU and national case law
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The relevance of consumers in the application of competition law Much has been written about objectives pursued through the application of the rules of competition. But no final or decision conclusion has ever been reached on this difficult topic. The fact of the matter is that competition has (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants authorisation to continue to apply a small levy on the sale of clay brick and concrete masonry products (ABBTF)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC reauthorises brick levy to help with bricklayer shortage* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), Think Brick Australia and the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia to continue (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to enable taxi operators organised in cooperative networks to make and give effect to agreements within the same co-operative network as to the maximum fares charged for booked and contracted work
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC permits Victorian country taxi co-ops to agree prices in the short term* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to temporarily exempt Victorian country taxi operators working in co-operatives from competition laws so they can agree the maximum prices for their (...)

A US District Court receives notification that the class plaintiffs, state plaintiffs and the defendant have reached an agreement concerning the lawsuit in the e-books prices fixing case (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple settles with U.S. states and consumers in the e-books price fixing case* According to documents filed in a New York court on 16 June 2014, Apple has reached an agreement in principle with state governments and consumers who filed a class-action lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (...)

The ACCC Commissioner emphasizes that airline alliances and code-sharing may promote efficient and competitive markets, but they also raise competition concerns
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Competition issues at the forefront in aviation* Competition issues have featured prominently in the rapidly changing aviation sector, ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said today at the Swinburne Aviation Industry Conference in Melbourne. “The competitive landscape in the airline market has (...)

The South African Independent Communications Authority requests investigation into possible restrictive horizontal practices between two broadcasters (SABC / MultiChoice)
Primerio
Television antitrust saga continues, MultiChoice in the cross-hairs again* Interest group seeks antitrust investigation in free-to-air channels According to a press release by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the organisation proposed last on 4 April 2014 a (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to make and give effect to a code of practice for traders of financial derivatives (CFD Forum)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to authorise best practice standards in the provision of contracts for difference* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to enable current and future members of the Australian CFD Forum to make and (...)

The High Court of New Zealand fines wood company for price fixing on the commercial timber market in the Auckland (Carter Holt Harvey)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Carter Holt Harvey fined for “classic” price fixing breaches* Commerce Commission General Manager Competition, Kate Morrison says the High Court’s decision to fine Carter Holt Harvey $1.85 million for price fixing in the Auckland (...)

The Danish Competition Council orders professional association to abstain from boycotting an internet portal which provides an easy-to-use online interface that allows quick access to offers on car repair (Association for Auto Repair Shops)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Association for Auto Repair Shops in Denmark (CAD) has illegally urged its members to boycott Autobutler* The Danish Competition Council has decided that the Association for Auto Repair Shops in Denmark (CAD) has violated the Competition Act by urging its member to boycott (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council establishes a restrictive agreement as regards limitation of beer production and finds an infringement of Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 TFEU (Guild of Breweries)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council: the agreement among brewers was not based on concerns about the public health only* On 4 March, the Competition Council (the Council) announced that the Lithuanian Guild of Breweries, AB Gubernija, UAB Kalnapilio – Tauro grupė, UAB Restoranas Apynys, TŪB Rinkuškiai, UAB (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning over no discounting clause implemented by community pharmacies association (DHB / Pharmacy Guild)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Antitrust & Associations: Recent New Zealand Case a Reminder that Voluntary Industry Associations are Not Price Regulators* A New Zealand association related case announced today is a recent reminder that voluntary industry associations are not price regulators (see: Commission issues (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning pursuant to the removal of the restrictive clause from the community pharmacy services agreement (DHB / Pharma Association)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission issues warning over ‘no discounting’ clause* The Commerce Commission has warned all New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) and pharmacies nationwide that “no discounting” clauses in the 2012 Community Pharmacy Services (...)

The South African Competition Commission closes its investigation into exclusive lease agreements in the supermarket industry without taking further action (Shoprite / Woolworths / Spar Group / Pick’n Pay Stores / Massmart / Metcash)
Nortons Incorporated
Competition Commission concludes exclusive-lease investigation without taking action* The South African Competition Commission (“Commission”) has recently announced that it has concluded its investigation into the major retail grocery stores, namely Shoprite Holdings Ltd, Woolworths Holdings (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation on the suspected anti-competitive agreement between the members of the national guild of breweries
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council closes investigation on suspected anti-competitive agreement between brewers* On December 23 The Competition Council (the Council) closed an investigation on the suspected anti-competitive agreement between the members of the Lithuanian Guild of Breweries. According to the (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings against the splitting rebates following the decision of the manufacturer to apply the same rebates for brick-and-mortar and online sales (Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Household appliance manufacturer Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH abandons anti-competitive rebate system* Bonn, 23 December 2013: As of 2014, the manufacturer of household appliances Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH will discontinue its system of performance rebates introduced on 1 January 2013. The (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements* The Commission today released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the Commission reached (...)

The Federal Court of Australia orders by consent the payment of $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance for branded air conditioning products (Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Mitsubishi Electric Australia to pay $2.2 million for resale price maintenance* The Federal Court of Australia has ordered by consent that Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) pay $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance. Resale price (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes the re-authorisation of a professional conduct regime (RCSA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association’s Professional Conduct Regime* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to re-authorise the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association’s (RCSA) (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses the proceedings alleging the violation of the price fixing prohibition in the loan arrangement services market (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ANZ found not to have breached price fixing provisions* The Federal Court has today dismissed proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleging that Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing provisions of the Trade (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission publishes its September 2013 quarterly report including inter alia information on cartel proceedings as regards the supply of ball and roller bearings for aftermarket applications
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC quarterly report puts spotlight on statutory information gathering powers* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published its September 2013 quarterly report, ACCCount. In the last quarter, the ACCC was involved in 10 proceedings relating to competition enforcement (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman welcomes the review of Australian competition law in order to better regulate supermarket issues and enhance consumer welfare
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC Chairman addresses supermarket debate* Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims today provided a regulator’s perspective on the debate surrounding the market share held by the two major supermarket chains. Mr Sims spoke at the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reauthorises doctors associations to continue to collectively negotiate with state and territory health departments (RDAA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC reauthorises Rural Doctors to collectively negotiate* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has allowed the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and its state associations to continue to collectively negotiate with state and territory health departments, on behalf of (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft determination proposing to re-authorise collective bargaining arrangements on behalf of visiting medical officers in public hospitals (NSW)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to reauthorise AMA (NSW) to collectively bargain* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to re-authorise collective bargaining arrangements put forward by the Australian Medical Association (NSW) for ten years. The AMA (NSW) (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes fines of $2 million for bearings cartel (Koyo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$2 million penalty for bearings cartel* The Federal Court has made orders by consent against Koyo Australia Pty Ltd ordering it to pay penalties of $2 million following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The Court found that in 2008 and 2009, Koyo Australia made and (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission allows the joint renegotiation of existing coal supply arrangements (Queensland power and Anglo Coal)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC allows electricity generators to jointly negotiate* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to allow Queensland power generators CS Energy, Callide Energy, InterGen and Callide Power Management (the applicants) to jointly renegotiate existing coal (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes vertical restrictive agreements between book publishers and retailers and imposes fines (Pécsi Direkt)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the book market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) determined that Pécsi Direkt Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Líra Könyv Zrt., Libri Könyvkereskedelmi Kft, and Sun Books Könyvkereskedelmi Kft ("f.a." - being liquidated), which are book (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority declares that the deal over closing down coal power plants is harmful for the consumer
University of Groningen
Sustainable Competition law; Competition Law Kills Coal Closure Plan, Or Does It?* This post concerns a bit of a Dutch thing, namely the ‘position’ of the Dutch National Competition Authority ACM on an agreement by electricity producers active on the Dutch market, but it is interesting more (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains significant reduction of main multilateral interchange fees on domestic card transactions (MasterCard and Visa)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence obtains significant Reduction of main Multilateral Interchange Fees charged by MasterCard and Visa on Domestic Card Transactions* On 20 September 2013, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) accepted Visa and MasterCard’s binding commitments to reduce (...)

The Chinese Shanghai Higher Court renders final judgment in first antitrust private action (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Chinese Court Rendered Final Judgment on Rainbow v. Johnson & Johnson – the First Antitrust Private Action of Vertical Monopolistic Agreement* On 1 August 2013, the very same day of the fifth anniversary of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”), Shanghai Higher People’s Court (“Shanghai Higher (...)

The German Competition Authority expresses concerns about best price clauses for operator of internet platform (HRS-Hotel Reservation Service)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt expresses Concerns about Best Price Clauses for Operator of Internet Platform* On 25 July 2013, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) addressed a second statement of objections to HRS-Hotel Reservation Service Robert Ragge GmbH, Cologne (HRS), a hotel booking platform. A (...)

The US FTC releases draft strategic plan for 2014-2018
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") has released a draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 (the "2014 Plan"). Despite the ambitious title, the 2014 Plan actually focuses on a small number of procedural issues. It provides no indication of the FTC’s likely substantive agenda or (...)

The Romanian Competition Council issues a report on inquiry into multilateral interchange fees in payment cards sector
European Commission
Romania: Report on Inquiry into Multilateral Interchange Fees in Payment Cards Sector* On 22 February 2011, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) opened an inquiry into the card payment services sector. The findings of this inquiry were presented in a final Report published on 30 May 2013. (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues a formal warning against attempt to fix prices for sanding and polishing services in the Taranaki region (Ansell Flooring)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Taranaki flooring company warned over attempts to fix prices* The Commerce Commission has issued a formal warning to flooring company Ansell Flooring Limited for attempting to fix prices for sanding and polishing services in the (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers for price fixing agreements (Chocolate Cartel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its fine proceedings against several manufacturers of branded confectionery. On account of several cartel infringements, fines of approx. € 60 million have been imposed on (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues a guidance note setting out its view concerning preferred repairer arrangements in the insurance market
Irish Competition Authority
Competition Authority guidance on preferred repairers in the insurance market* The Competition Authority regularly receives complaints about ‘preferred repairer’ arrangements in the insurance market. We have assessed these arrangements from a competition perspective and published a guidance note (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority delivers an analytical report on consumer conditions in the estate agency market
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Room for Improvement in the Estate Agency Market* Consumers experience low transparency, poor possibilities for complaints and their trust in estate agents is low. In spite of active research before choosing real estate agent, many consumers are unsure whether they chose the estate agent (...)

The UK OFT reveals that eight NHS trusts have been engaged in the exchange of commercially sensitive information (SPHA)
University of Cambridge
Competition law and the National Health Service* On 16 August 2012 the Office of Fair Trading revealed that eight NHS trusts had been engaged in the exchange of commercially sensitive information. The information related to the price each would charge self-paying patients, or patients’ (...)

The US DoJ issues in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services final statement as regards collaborations of independent health care providers and provider groups
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
No Mandatory Antitrust Review for ACOs* The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission recently issued their final "Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program" pursuant to the 2010 Patient (...)

A US Court of Appeals holds claims against a foreign price-fixing cartel in the potash industry either exempted under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act or insufficient to state a cause of action under the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards (Potash)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Potash Potash Potash!!!!! En Banc Review Is in the Hizz-ouse, Y’all!* Something striking occurred in the Seventh Circuit this year. In two different, massive antitrust class actions, in the space of about nine months, panels of that court applied the Twombly-Iqbal pleading formula to reach (...)

The French Competition Authority makes commitments reducing the two main fees associated with payments and withdrawals binding (CB Bank Cards Group)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence makes Commitments cutting MIFs on Payment Cards by 20% to 50% binding* On 7 July 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) made commitments from the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (the Groupement), which includes over 130 banks, binding whereby (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau seeks to prohibit alleged anticompetitive practices in real estate industry (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the "Commissioner") in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), and the Canadian real estate industry are at odds again. (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on protection of competition adopts an opinion on draft amendments to the law on electronic communications
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) welcomes pro-competitive Amendments to Telecommunications Legislation* On 12 May 2011, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted an opinion on draft amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications (LEC). Some (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority starts investigation against publishing company under article 27 section 12 of the Italian consumer code (International Masters Publishers)
Codacons
The Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter ICA), in the decision of 18th March 2010 PS 22364, revealed that International Masters Publisher S.r.l (hereinafter, IMP), had breached articles 21, 22, 24, 25 section d, 26 section f, for unfair practice. Particularly, the practice consisted of: (...)

The Mexican Congress passes a bill of amendments to the Mexican competition law
White & Case (Mexico)
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Rico, Robles, Libenson y Bernal
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White & Case (Mexico)
Between late April 2011 and early May 2011, the Mexican Congress and President Calderón completed the legislative process initiated in April 2010 to pass a bill of amendments to the Mexican Competition Law (the “Reform”). (The Mexican Competition Law was enacted on December 18, 1992 and became (...)

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission fines an international brand consumer products company for disseminating information on price increases and disrupting market order (Unilever)
Lni avocats (Paris)
China’s price law and regulations expressly stipulate the form of and legal liability for disseminating information of price increases. Article 14 of the Price Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that no operator shall engage in falsifying and disseminating information of price (...)

The Canadian police arrests a man for alleged breach of a consent agreement involving unfair marketing practices (Strategic Ecomm and Matthew Hovila)
Canadian International Joint Commission
I. Introduction The long arm of Canadian competition law caught up with Matthew Hovila on 15 January 2011 when he was arrested for the operation of an alleged online job opportunities scam and breach of a consent agreement filed with the Competition Tribunal (the "Tribunal") pursuant to the (...)

A Belgium criminal court fines a supermarket chain for misleading advertising due to the absence or limited availability of products subject to special promotion (Lidl)
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
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Buyle Legal (Brussels)
I. Introduction In a judgment dated 12 January 2011, currently under appeal, the Ghent Criminal Court imposed a € 27,500 fine on the supermarket chain Lidl for advertising on a national scale products at a discounted price that were either not available or available only for a very short time (...)

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 US FTC finds Michigan realtors’ policies violated antitrust laws in far reaching decision for joint ventures (Realcomp)
Jones Day (Washington)
Last week the Federal Trade Commission ruled that a Michigan realtors’ group violated federal antitrust law by limiting the publication of certain types of real estate listings within its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and publicly accessible real estate web sites. Reversing a 2007 ruling by an (...)

The German Cartel office issues new information leaflet on the advantages of an efficient and successful fight against cartels
European Commission
Germany: New Information Leaflet by the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) on the Advantages of an efficient and successful Fight against Cartels On 6 September 2010, the BKartA published a new information leaflet for the general public, which sheds light on the benefits of fighting cartels. Its main (...)

The UK Competition Commission adopts provisional decision on retail payment protection insurance remedies (PPI market investigation)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Background On 29 July 2010, the Competition Commission published its provisional decision regarding its investigation into the payment protection insurance (“PPI”) market and invited comments to be submitted before 3 September 2010. The provisional decision was the latest step in a process (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority accepts commitments submitted by the leading auction company following an investigation for unfair practice (Sotheby’s)
Codacons
The Italian branch of Sotheby’s, Sotheby’s S.r.l. (hereninafter SHT), sells and buys antiques, arts and collection items during public auctions. The Italian Antitrust Authority (hereinafter ICA), started investigation in March 2010, because was reported that SHT provided incomplete and deceiving (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in order to address competition concerns in the discount coupons sector (HighCo, Sogec & Perifem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence accepts commitments enabling all market operators to use Webcoupon or to develop equivalent solutions.* After a referreal by the Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority issues a report on the agri-food sector and considers conditions for a more lenient policy (2010 - Informe sobre competencia y sector agroalimentario)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues
Both the European Commission and national competition authorities have been traditionally cautious on the application of Article 101 TFEU to undertakings in the agricultural sector. It was due to the specificity of this sector that Council Regulation 26/62 established certain exceptions to the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority publishes a report on competition and the agrifood sector (Competencia y Sector Agroalimentario)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
On 16 June 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Authority (Consejo de la Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, hereinafter the "Council", "the NCC") published its Report on "Competition and the Agrifood Sector" ("the Report"). The Report is the consequence of a formal request made on 17 (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau challenges real estate brokerage rules (Canadian Real Estate Association)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) in protecting and promoting competition, announced on 8 February 2010 that a notice of application would be filed on behalf of the Commissioner with (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the NCA imposing interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Tomić)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 27 January 2010 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) imposing interim measures in the case of unilateral termination of the agreement on selective distribution of BMW automobiles. The applicant, Tomić & Co. d.o.o. (Tomic) was (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority holds illegal minimum price fixing agreement among residential management service providers (Eki Inginjering)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
In December 2008 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) received a complaint submitted by the consumer protection organization “Istrian Consumer”. The complainant alleged that four providers of residential management services in the city of Pula (Eki Inžinjering d.o.o., Uljanik Upravljanje (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau publishes guidance on “product of Canada” and “made in Canada” claims
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”), an independent enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) in protecting and promoting competition, released its Enforcement Guidelineson“product of Canada” and “made in Canada” Claims(the “Guidelines”) (...)

The German Competition Authority fines three coffee roasters for price fixing (Tchibo, Melitta Kaffee, Alois Dallmayr)
European Commission
Germany: Coffee Roasters fined for Price Fixing In a decision of 18 December 2009, the Bundeskartellamt imposed fines totalling approximately € 159,500,000 on three coffee roasters and the six responsible employees. The companies involved are Tchibo GmbH, Melitta Kaffee GmbH and Alois Dallmayr (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau takes action against a Manitoba-based resort company selling time share vacation properties for alleged deceptive marketing practices (Elkhorn Ranch & Resort)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (“Bureau”), an independent enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (“Commissioner”) in protecting and promoting competition, announced on 23 November 2009 that Elkhorn Ranch & Resort Ltd (“Elkhorn”), a Manitoba-based company (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority advises the Government to amend regulation of the insurance services in order to preserve competition among insurers (Regulation of the insurance services sector)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 5 November 2009 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) issued an ex officio opinion regarding new regulation of the insurance sector brought about by the Law on Obligatory Insurance , which entered into force on 12/10/2009. KZK was of the opinion that new law substantially restricted (...)

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

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

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 Italian Competition Authority closes investigation on common interbank charges and MAV payment services by accepting commitments (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a recent decision, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an investigation into two anticompetitive agreements affecting the banking market for payment services by accepting and making binding a set of commitments presented by the parties upon the basis of Art. 14-ter of the Act (...)

A French Court rules that search engines are not liable for the way a company is presented in their search results (Publison System v. Google France & Yahoo France)
Google (Paris)
A French firm discovered that results returned by major search tools pointed to excerpts of a website criticizing it. It sued the search tools, claiming they were disparaging. A French court of appeals finds that this neither constitutes unfair competition nor gives rise to liability. Facts (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rules that the violation by foreign websites of the obligation to inform consumers on the existence of a copyright levy constitutes unfair competition to a French company (Rue du Commerce v. Dabs, Omnisoft and others)
Google (Paris)
Copyright laws of most European Member States provide that the price of storage products such as tapes or discs include a copyright levy, to compensate authors whose work will be copied on these media. The amount of this copyright levy differing from one country to another, resellers of such (...)

The UK Competition Commission publishes for consultation its proposed remedies to improve competition in payment protection insurance market (PPI)
Compass Lexecon (London)
Summary The Competition Commission has recently invited consultation on its proposed remedies to improve competition in the payment protection insurance (PPI) market. The Competition Commission designed the proposed remedies to overcome a “point-of-sale” advantage that suppliers of loans enjoy. (...)

The US Federal Circuit dismisses antitrust claims against reverse payment agreement between pharmaceutical companies (Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride)
ArbJournal
On 15 October 2008 the Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment by the Court for the Eastern District of New York that patent settlement agreements («Agreements») entered into between Bayer AG and Bayer Corp (collectively «Bayer») and several manufacturers of generic drugs providing (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office rules that the proposals on the centralized marketing of broadcasting rights football matches are insufficiently competitive (Bundesliga)
White & Case (Hambourg)
In a statement dated 24 July 2008, which is not a formal decision, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has informed the German Football League (DFL) that in its current form the model, which DFL proposes for marketing TV broadcasting rights for the football league, does not meet competition (...)

The European Commission investigates into the use of multilateral interchange fees (Visa Europe)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2008, the European Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into the use by Visa Europe Limited(“Visa”) of multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”) for cross-border sales transactions within the EEA and the imposition of a rule that all such transactions be honoured. The (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitments on four car manufacturers to give independent repairers proper access to repair information (DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Four decisions bind DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors to commitments to give independent repairers proper access to repair information"* I. Introduction: Importance of these decisions for consumers It is commonly recognised that there is a widespread problem in the motor (...)

The Italian Competition Authority enforces unfair commercial practice rules
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
Since Legislative Decree 146/2007 ("LD 146/2007") came into force last year, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA" or "AGCM") has mainly focused on promoting consumer welfare in terms of better prices, choice, quality, affordability, and safety, by enforcing the new rules on unfair (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the 96 year old-doctrine governing resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leegin Creative)
Hahn Loeser & Parks (Columbus)
Introduction In the summer of 2007, the United States Supreme Court overruled a ninety-six year old precedent when it overruled the historical decision of Dr. Miles in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.. Relying on economists’ views, the majority took a drastic measure and (...)

The UK Competition Commission consults on remedies on the personal current account banking services market (PCA Northern Ireland)
Nestlé (Vevey)
On 6 March 2007 the UK Competition Commission (“CC”) published for consultation a proposed final remedies package to remedy the competition issues provisionally identified by the CC in its review of the personal current account (“PCA”) banking services market in Northern Ireland. The CC is the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rules on the fixing of charges for sewerage services (Thames Water Utilities)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
On 29 November 2006, the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court ruling of 19 January 2006 on the claim arising from the Ministry of Defense (hereinafter “the MoD”) on repayments of metered sewerage services provided by the company, Thames Water Limited Utilities (hereinafter “Thames Water”). (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority imposes the Italian Banks Association to withdraw its interpretative circular relating to the new provisions on the unilateral changes of banking contractual conditions (ABI)
Studio Legale DDPV
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Luciani Annalisa Sudio Legale
On 14 September 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (the “Authority”) started an in depth investigation (the “Decision”) to ascertain whether the circular, distributed by the Italian Banks Association (“ABI”) on 7 August 2006, and dealing with the application of new rules on unilateral changes to (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority publishes a report in favour of liberalising the distribution of pharmaceutical products at retail level
London School of Economics
The Economics Department of the Catholic University of Portugal carried out a Report for the Portuguese Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, “the NCA”) concerning the liberalisation of the resale of pharmaceuticals at retail level. The Report sought to: Identify barriers to entry arising (...)

The European Commission adopts a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of an international football tournament (UEFA Champions League)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Football: joint selling of media rights"* 1. Introduction On 23 July 2003, the Commission adopted a formal decision exempting the joint selling of the media rights of the UEFA Champions League. The Commission concluded that the joint selling of the TV, internet and mobile telephone content (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority imposes fines for reduction of dealer fees for post-paid mobile telephone subscriptions and exchange of sensitive information (Ben Nederland / Dutchtone / KPN Mobile / O2 / Vodafone Libertel)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Fines Mobile Telephone Operators EUR 88 Million* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has imposed fines totalling EUR 88,000,000 on Ben Nederland B.V., Dutchtone N.V., KPN Mobile N.V., O2 (Netherlands) B.V. and Vodafone Libertel N.V. NMa has established that these companies (...)

The European Commission issues new explanatory brochure on block exemption regulation n° 1400/2002 on the motor vehicle sector bringing competition rules closer to consumers and market operators
European Commission - DG COMP
"New explanatory Brochure on Commission Block Exemption Regulation n° 1400/2002 on the motor vehicle sector: bringing competition rules closer to consumers and market operators"* On 30 September 2002, the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission published an Explanatory (...)

The European Commission adopts an exemption decision on multilateral interchange fees clarifying the application of the competition rules to card payment systems (Visa International)
Hong Kong’s Competition Commission
"Clarifying the application of the competition rules to card payment systems: the Commission’s exemption decision on the Multilateral Interchange Fees of Visa International"* On 24 July 2002 the Commission adopted an exemption decision in its case concerning certain ‘multilateral interchange (...)

The French Competition Authority fines distributors and manufacturers for implementing anticompetitive agreements in the electrical appliances and audiovisual equipment market (Thomson and Akaï)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Electrical appliances and audiovisual equipment : the Conseil de la concurrence penalises an agreement between the main distributors and certain manufacturers* In a decision dated 28th June 2002, the Conseil (...)

The French Competition Authority fines several opticians for implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the spectacle frames sector (Optical Center)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
35 opticians from the Lyons region found guilty of trying to eliminate a cheaper competitor* Following a referral by the Minister of Economy, in a decision dated 14th June 2002, the Conseil de la concurrence penalised an anticompetitive agreement between 35 opticians based in Lyons. These (...)

The European Commission raises competition concerns about cooperation agreement between French and Italian airlines companies (Air France, Alitalia)
European Commission - DG COMP
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"Aviation: Commission raises competition concerns about co-operation agreement between Air France and Alitalia"* In November 2001, Air France and Alitalia notified to the Commission a number of co-operation agreements and requested an exemption under Regulation 3975/87, the regulation which (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three main distributors of vouchers for implementing anticompetitive market sharing and price agreements in the luncheon-vouchers market (Accor, Sodhexo and Chèque-déjeuner)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement in the market for luncheon-vouchers : the Conseil de la concurrence penalises the three main distributors of vouchers* In a decision dated 11th July 2001, following a referral by the Minister of (...)

The European Commission defines principles of competition for the packaging waste recovery markets (Eco-Emballages)
European Commission - Secretariat General
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European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG JUST
"The Commission defines principles of competition for the packaging waste recovery markets"* I. Context The Commission has received notifications of a number of comprehensive, nation-wide packaging waste recovery systems. It has recently taken decisions with respect to two of them, namely the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority receives communication from a group of supermarkets that they will abstain from price coordination behaviour on the market for milk distribution (Albert Heijn / Laurus / Schuitema / Dirk van den Broek / Nettorama)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Supermarkets Withdraw Surcharge on Milk, NMa Decides against Order Subject to Penalty* Albert Heijn, Laurus, Schuitema, Dirk van den Broek and Nettorama have informed the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) that they will cease charging the surcharge of NLG 0.10 on milk that they introduced (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine on Dutch car manufacturers for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands (Opel Nederland, General Motors Nederland)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission Decision of 20 September 2000 imposing a fine on Opel Nederland and General Motors Nederland for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands"* 1. Introduction The Commission imposed a fine of € 43 million on Opel Nederland B.V., the Dutch importer of cars of the Opel (...)

The European Commission approves a set of standard agreements notified by a Japanese electronics products manufacturer intended to create selective distribution system throughout Europe (Sony Pan-European Distribution Agreement)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Selective distribution"* On 19 February 1993 Sony notified the “Sony Pan European Dealer Agreement” (PEDA) consisting of a set of standard agreements intended to create a selective distribution system throughout Europe for its consumer electronics products. The products covered by the PEDA are (...)

Dominance

The Lithuanian Competition Council finds that the difference between the terms and conditions of channel distribution rights sold to analogue and digital television providers does not impede competition or significantly influence consumer welfare (Viasat World)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council: Viasat conduct does not impede competition* Competition Council (KT) terminated investigation into suspected abuse of dominance by Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS. The KT held that the actions carried out by the companies influence neither effective competition nor (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates antitrust proceedings concerning use of most favored nation clauses in the online hotel reservations space (Booking.com / Expedia)
Ashurst (Milan)
Italian competition authority investigates online hotel bookings* On 7 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“Agcm”) initiated proceedings (decision only available in Italian) against Booking.com and Expedia in the online hotel reservations space. This is yet another case in the wake of (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau supports the Government’s intention to address unjustified cross-border price discrimination to reduce the gap between consumer prices in Canada and the United States
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
New CD Howe Report on Canada/US Price Gap: Tariff and Supply Management Issues (Not Retailer Market Power)* Earlier on 6 May 2014, the C.D. Howe Institute issued a new report on the Canada/U.S. retail price gap issue entitled Sticker Shock: The Causes of the Canada-US Price Differential (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority institutes proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against supermarket chain for exploitative conduct (Coles Supermarkets)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against Coles for alleged unconscionable conduct towards its suppliers* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd and Grocery Holdings Pty Ltd (together, (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets receives commitment following an investigation into possible abuse of dominance in the music copyright sector (Buma / Stemra)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Buma/Stemra promises ACM to offer more options in music copyright management* Dutch copyright collecting society Buma/Stemra will offer composers and songwriters more options in the management of their music copyrights. This has been laid down in a commitment Buma/Stemra made to the (...)

The Netherlands ACM decides not to take further action against credit card company following undertaken adjustment of the interbank tariffs for domestic credit-card payments (MasterCard)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: MasterCard lowers tariffs for credit card payments* Over the next two years, financial-services company MasterCard will lower the tariffs that banks charge each other for processing domestic credit-card payments. As a result, businesses such as in retail and the hospitality industry will (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an owner of sports newspapers for implementing eviction practices in sports press sector (Le 10Sport.com / Les Éditions Philippe Amaury)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has fined the Groupe Amaury for having driven out of the market a new entrant in the sports press – Le 10Sport.com* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined Les Éditions Philippe (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission institutes proceedings in the Federal Court against pharmaceutical producer for alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in relation to its supply of atorvastatin to pharmacies (Pfizer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against Pfizer Australia for alleged anti-competitive conduct* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd (Pfizer) for alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in (...)

The Italian Council of State reinstates penalties against pharmaceutical company for filing application for a divisional patent and its related SPC concerning a class of molecules already covered by the main patent (Pfizer)
Ashurst (Milan)
Italy’s Council of State reinstates the fine imposed on Pfizer for delaying a generic’s market entry* On 12 February 2014, Italy’s Council of State (the “CdS”) dismissed the ruling of the lower administrative court (the “TAR Lazio”) which quashed the decision of Italian Competition Authority (the (...)

The Canadian government proposes amendment of the Competition Act to prohibit unjustified price discrimination and reduce the gap between consumer prices in Canada and the United States
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Proposed Amendment to Canada’s Competition Act to Prohibit “Unjustified” Cross-Border Price Discrimination* On February 11, 2014, the Canadian government included in its federal budget a proposed amendment to the Competition Act to prohibit unjustified price discrimination to reduce the gap (...)

A US District Court dismisses an action brought by a putative class of consumers on claims of monopolization of the aftermarket for iPhone apps (Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Plaintiffs Hit an Illinois Brick Wall: Indirect Purchasers of iPhone Apps Lack Standing to Bring Antitrust Suit* On December 2, 2013, United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California dismissed a case against Apple brought by a putative class of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council opens a public consultation in respect of the commitments undertaken by telecom operators regarding the mobile termination rates (Orange, Vodafone, Cosmote and Digi Mobil)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
The Romanian Competition Council starts a market test in respect of commitments regarding the mobile termination rates* The Romanian Competition Council (RCC) launched on 13 August 2013, the market test of the commitments proposed by the Romanian mobile network operators - Orange, Vodafone, (...)

The German Competition Authority institutes proceedings against seven district heating suppliers on suspicion of their charging abusively excessive prices (Dalkia)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines excessive district heating prices* The Bundeskartellamt has instituted proceedings against seven district heating suppliers on suspicion of their charging abusively excessive prices. The investigations will focus on around 30 different supply areas throughout nearly (...)

The Irish Competition Authority closes its investigations with binding commitments undertaken by the TV broadcasting company concerning advertising airtime deals (RTÉ)
Irish Competition Authority
Successful resolution to complaint against RTÉ* The Competition Authority has published details of the successful outcome of an investigation involving RTÉ, following a complaint made by TV3. TV3 had complained that RTÉ’s “share deal” was anti-competitive. The share deal is a scheme used by RTÉ (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses antitrust claims for failing to prove abusive conduct in the car aftermarket (Dongfeng Nissan case)
Institute of American Studies
The Dongfeng Nissan Case and the Gaps of China’s Competition Law Regime in Tackling Vertical Restraints* The recent Dongfeng Nissan Case shed some interesting lights on the status of vertical restraints rules in China, three years after China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) became effective in August (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council presents an assessment of the impact of its activities on consumers
European Commission
Lithuania: Competition Council estimates Benefits of its Activity for Consumers* During a press conference held on 6 October 2011, the Competition Council (CC) has for the first time presented an assessment of the impact of its activities on consumers. The main purpose of this assessment was (...)

The US Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust conducts antitrust hearings on abuse of dominance investigation in the web search industry (Google)
Rimm-Kaufman Group (Charlottesville, VA)
Google Antitrust Hearing: 5 Takeaways* While yesterday’s Senate antitrust hearing on Google practices may have been more about spectacle than action, it was an opportunity to gain insights into the mindset of Google and the government officials that may seek to intervene in their operations. (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds excessive tariffs charged by the bus terminal operators for their ticketing services (Auto Terminals and Stations)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 May 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) held that seven private bus terminal operators were imposing economically unjustified (excessive) charges for their ticketing services and thus committed an exploitative abuse of dominant position pursuant to the national equivalent of (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds no abuse of dominance in bundled insurance packages (Croatia osiguranje)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 April 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position by the leading insurance company Croatia osiguranje d.d. (Crosig). The AZTN found no abuse of dominance in the bundled insurance packages offered by Crosig stating (...)

The Belgian Constitutional Court finds that the Act on trade practices and consumer protection implementing Directive 2005/29/CE infringes the principle of non-discrimination of the Constitution
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
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Buyle Legal (Brussels)
I. Introduction Exactly one year after the adoption of the Belgian Act of 6 April 2010 (MB 12.04.2010) on trade practices and consumer protection, the Belgian Constitutional Court found that it infringes the principle of non-discrimination enshrined in Articles 10 and 11 of the Belgian (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds an exploitative abuse of dominant position in the invoicing practices of an electricity distributor (RED Union Fenosa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that I.C.S. RED Union Fenosa S.A. (Union Fenosa) has abused its dominant position on the market for supply and distribution of electricity at regulated tariffs by including an automatic notice of disconnection in its (...)

A US District Court dismisses indirect purchaser class actions challenging proposed reverse payment agreements as anticompetitive on an allegation of preventing a cheaper generic medicine to enter the market sooner (Plavix Indirect Purchaser)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Indirect Purchaser Plavix Class Actions Tossed for Lack of Antitrust Standing* On January 31, 2011, the District Court for Southern District of Ohio granted defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion, dismissing indirect purchaser class actions that challenged proposed reverse payment agreements as (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an ex-officio opinion on crossed usage of client databases in the telecommunications sector
European Commission
France: Autorité de la concurrence issues Ex-officio Opinion on Crossed Usage of Client Databases in the Telecommunication Sector On 14 June 2010, the Autorité de la concurrence delivered an opinion on the question of crossed usage of client databases (known as “cross selling” practices), and more (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council accepts commitments to remedy a suspected abuse of dominant position concerning the pricing of mortgages vis-à-vis "captured consumers"
Ernst & Young
The Hungarian Competition Council adopted a commitment decision terminating an investigation relating to the suspected abuse of dominant position by one of the leading banks in Hungary offering personal banking services, including housing loans (mortgages). The investigation was triggered by (...)

The German Federal Supreme Court confirms the permissibility of flexible pricing systems under competition and consumer protection law
Rocket Internet SE
In a ruling dated 29 April 2010 (n° I ZR 23/08) the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) confirmed that price system used in travel agency companies based on daily price adjustments, according to which the price is subject to changes up to 50 EUR per flight does not infringe German (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitment offered by US software undertaking concerning web browsers (Microsoft)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
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FTI Consulting (Brussels)
"The Commission’s decision in the Microsoft Internet Explorer case and recent developments in the area of interoperability"* I. Commitment decision on the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows A. Introduction On 16 December 2009, the Commission adopted a commitment decision (‘the Decision’) (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by the historical postal operator (Poste Italiane - Aumento Commissione Bollettini C/C)
European Commission
Italy: The Antitrust Authority (ICA) accepts Commitments by Poste Italiane On 16 December 2009, the Italian Competition Authority accepted binding commitments proposed by Poste Italiane during an investigation into a possible abuse of dominant position in the collection and payment services (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading finds that the national airline’s decision to reduce the commission payable to travel agents for flight bookings does not fall foul of the rules of fair competition (Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Agents / Air Malta)
In terms of Article 13A of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta, hereinafter referred to as ‘MCA’), the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Director’) requested the Commission for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ‘Commission’) to review its (...)

The European Commission market tests commitments in the Swedish electricity transmission market (Svenska Kraftnät)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 6 October 2009, the Commission announced that it was beginning a market test of commitments offered by Svenska Kraftnät (SvK), the Swedish transmission system operator, to address various allegations of abuse. The move follows an announcement by the Commission earlier this year that it had (...)

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

The UK Competition Commission releases results of its investigation on supermarkets and quantifies consumer welfare (Groceries market investigation)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
In its provisional report of July 16, 2009, the Competition Commission (CC) has attempted to demonstrate to which extent a “cap in growth” of supermarkets in highly concentrated areas is beneficial to consumers. In its previous report 30 April 2008, the CC recommended that the expansion of (...)

The Czech NCA accepts the first settlement in a unilateral conduct case (RWE Transgas - Quiet life)
Government of the Czech Republic
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 24 June 2009, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition entered into a settlement with RWE Transgas (“RWE”), the dominant Czech operator in the natural gas market, concerning RWE’s conduct towards its retail customers in late 2008 and in the first half of 2009. In September 2008, (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms an NCA’s decision fining a heating plant company for exploitative abuse of dominance (Heating Plant Ruse)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 June 2009 the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria upheld the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) , which prosecuted Heating Plant in the municipality of Ruse (HPR) for abuse of its dominant position on the market for production and distribution of thermal heating in (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court affirms the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority prosecuting a water supply operator for abuse of dominant position (Sofiyska Voda)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 June 2009 the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria reviewed the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) that prosecuted Sofiyska Voda (SV) , a water supply operator in Bulgarian capital of Sofia for abuse of dominant position. The facts of the case were as follows. Until (...)

The Paris Court of appeal reverses a decision of the Commercial Court which ordered the telephone incumbent to suspend the conditioned sale of its football dedicated channel to the subscription to its triple play offer (Orange Foot-France Télécom)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Lni avocats (Paris)
On 14 May 2009, the Paris Court of appeal reversed a decision of the Paris Commercial Court dated 23 February which ordered France Telecom to suspend the conditioned sale of its football dedicated channel “Orange Foot” to the subscription to its triple play offer. The Paris Court of Appeal held (...)

The European Commission publishes its guidance paper on exclusionary abuses under Article 82 EC
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
I. BACKGROUND The European Commission published the 24th February 2009 a Communication containing its long-awaited Guidance Paper on exclusionary abuses under Article 82 C(Commission Communication – Guidance on the Commission’s Enforcement Priorities in Applying Article 82 EC Treaty to Abusive (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court affirms the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority prosecuting incumbent telecom operator for tying its ADSL and fixed voice services (Bulgarian Telecom)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 19 February 2009 the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria upheld the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) that prosecuted the incumbent telecom operator - Bulgarian Telecom (BTC) for abuse of dominant position committed by tying its ADSL Internet and fixed voice (...)

The European Commission approves structural remedies offered by German electricity operator in order to remove suspected infringements of EU Article 102 concerns in the German electricity wholesale and balancing markets (E.ON)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
"The E.ON electricity cases: an antitrust decision with structural remedies"* I. Introduction On 26 November 2008 the Commission adopted a commitment decision addressed to E.ON AG for suspected infringements of EU competition law involving the German electricity markets. For the first time in (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority rejects claim of unlawful tying on the digital music markets (Apple-iTunes)
RBB Economics (The Hague)
The Dutch competition authority (NMa) rejects a complaint by the Dutch Consumer’s Association regarding possible unlawful bundling of Apple’s portable digital music players and music sold online by Apple. The NMa concludes that, even if Apple was to be dominant on either of two the markets, it is (...)

The Spanish Competition Court fines € 306.000 tying practices between train transport and boat services (Ferrocarril de Sóller - Excursiones Marítimas Puerto de Sóller)
The island of Majorca in Spain is a great tourist attraction and the area of Sóller is one of most visited spots on the island. A typical tour offered by travel agencies and touroperators is the denominated “Vuelta a la Isla”. This tour consists of an itinerary between Palma, Sóller and Sa Calobra (...)

The Polish Competition Authority establishes that the telecommunications incumbent abused its dominant position concerning pre-selection services (Telekomunikacja Polska)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
On the 31st of December 2004, the President of the Office for the Competition and Consumers Protection (hereafter, “OCCP President” or “President of the Office”) issued a decision in which he condemned the practices of Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (hereafter “TP S.A.”) concerning the alternative (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority determines that all five mobile telephone operators have a dominant position on their own mobile telephone networks with regard to the termination of calls
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa: Separate Market for Call Termination for Each Mobile Operator* All five mobile telephone operators in the Netherlands (KPN Mobile, Vodafone, Dutchtone, Ben en O2) have a dominant position on their own mobile telephone networks with regard to the termination of calls. A mobile telephone (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority draws up a report on the five mobile telephone operators, who entered into an agreement to reduce jointly and almost simultaneously the fee paid to dealers for selling telephone subscriptions (Vodafone / KPN Mobile / Dutchtone / Ben Nederland / O2)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Draws up a Report on Mobile Telephone Operators* Following an investigation, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has drawn up a report on the five mobile telephone operators due to an agreement entered into by Vodafone N.V., KPN Mobile N.V., Dutchtone N.V., Ben Nederland B.V. and (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority establishes the illegal character of the resale prohibition imposed by pharmaceutical company on hospitals (AstraZeneca)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa: Prohibition by AstraZeneca on Sales to Third Parties Contravenes Competition Act* The prohibition against supplying parties outside the premises of hospitals, imposed on hospitals and pharmacies by AstraZeneca, contravenes the Competition Act. NMa made this ruling in a decision relating (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes that the introduction of a direct distributing system did not result in the abuse of a dominant position (Wrigley)
Hogan Lovells
Summary In 2001 the Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter referred to as “HCA”) launched investigations in order to analyse whether Wrigley Hungária Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Wrigley”) violated the provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act (hereinafter referred to as "Competition (...)

Mergers

The Irish Parliament Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation debates on amendments proposed with a view to adopting the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014
McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
If it Ain’t Broke, Fix it: Ireland’s Competition Law, Version 2014* It took five years to draft. But now everything’s go!-go!-go! First published late spring 2014, Ireland’s newest competition law reform could be adopted by July. And though planning was long and time for debate is now short, last (...)

The German Competition Authority confirms that the new submitted proposal for commitments is sufficient to dispel the competition concerns on the reader and advertising markets for TV programme magazines (Funke Media Group / Axel Springer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Funke media group offers new commitments* The Bundeskartellamt confirms that in the examination proceedings concerning the acquisition of HÖRZU, FUNK UHR, TV DIGITAL and TV NEU, the media group Funke-Mediengruppe (FMG) and Axel Springer SE have submitted a new commitment proposal. According to (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases statements outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of a private hospital in Melbourne (Brunswick Private Hospital / Healthscope)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases Statement of Issues on proposed acquisition of Brunswick Private Hospital by healthscope* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues (SoI) outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of the Brunswick Private Hospital, in Melbourne’s (...)

The Australian Competition Tribunal receives an application for authorisation to acquire the assets of a power station following the opposition decision issued by the ACCC (AGL / Macquarie Energy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
AGL to seek Australian Competition Tribunal decision on Macquarie Generation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission acknowledges AGL’s application to the Australian Competition Tribunal which was filed today seeking an authorisation that an acquisition of Macquarie Generation be (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets clears a merger between two hospitals (Noorderboog / Isala)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears merger between two eastern Dutch hospitals* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the merger between two hospitals in the eastern Dutch provinces of Overijssel and Drenthe. These hospitals are the Noorderboog hospital in the city of Meppel and the (...)

A US District Court finds evidence that the merging parties expected the transaction to have anticompetitive effects (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Another Example of Why You Should Follow the “New York Times” Rule — the Bazaarvoice Decision* Have you heard of the New York Times rule? The rule is: don’t write something down in a business communication unless you’re comfortable with its text appearing in the New York Times. If everyone followed (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a statement of issues outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition in the local market for the supply of takeaway packaged liquor (Lindisfarne Cellars / Woolworths)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC concerned about Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of Lindisfarne Cellars* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of Lindisfarne Cellars by Woolworths Limited. Lindisfarne Cellars is a bottleshop (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a statement of issues outlining concerns with a proposed acquisition that may result in a substantial lessening of competition as it would remove the only independent full-line supermarket in the local market (Woolworths / Renaissance Supa IGA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases SoI on proposed acquisition of St Kilda Supa IGA by Woolworths* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues (SoI) outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of the St Kilda Renaissance Supa IGA by Woolworths Limited. The target (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission clears acqusition in the sector for kidney dialysis systems for the treatment of acute and chronic kidney disorders (Baxter / Gambro)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Baxter International cleared to acquire Gambro AB subject to a divestment undertaking* The Commerce Commission has cleared Baxter International Inc (Baxter) to acquire 100% of the shares in Gambro AB (Gambro). The clearance is (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority approves 13 acquisitions of control concerning 158 food retail stores across the country (Match, Profi and Cora)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Information about mergers on the food retail market* Substantial ownership shifts took place in the food retail market in Hungary between June 2012 and February 2013. During this period the GVH (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - Hungarian Competition Authority) received 13 merger applications (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a statement of issues outlining its concerns in relation to the proposed acquisition by a global food manufacturer of local infant food producer (Heinz / Rafferty’s Garden)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Like taking food from a baby* On 7 February 2013, the ACCC issued a statement of issues outlining its concerns in relation to the proposed acquisition by Heinz of local infant food producer (...)

The US DoJ issues statements regarding the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in the mobile wireless telecommunications industry (AT&T/T-Mobile)
University of Berkeley
AT&T officially ends plans to acquire T-Mobile USA* As a reaction to the DOJ’s antitrust actions AT&T has now officially abandoned its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA for approx. $ 39 billion. In a news release from the 19th December 2011 AT&T said, that “after a thorough review of (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau seeks to unwind proposed airline joint venture (Air Canada and United Continental)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the "Commissioner") in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), wants to ground Air Canada. The Bureau announced on 27 June (...)

The European Commission announces the withdrawal of a merger notification between the two leading suppliers of household insecticides (SC Johnson/Sara Lee)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 June 2011, the European Commission announced that the notification of the proposed acquisition by SC Johnson & Son Inc of the household insect control business of Sara Lee Corporation had been withdrawn. The proposed transaction had been notified to the Commission on 3 November 2010. (...)

The Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defence approves the first voluntary divestment transaction (Owens Corning, Chongqing Polycomp International)
Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados
Brazil’s first voluntary divestment was approved by the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), involving the sale by the U.S. fibreglass manufacturer Owens Corning of its Brazilian fibreglass reinforcement plant to Chongqing Polycomp International Corporation, a Chinese company. On (...)

The US FTC Chairman delivers a speech on the new horizontal merger guidelines and the agency’s efforts to protect competition and consumers
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
FTC Chair Discusses Merger Guidelines, Other Agency Efforts* The FTC’s efforts to substantially revise the Horizontal Merger Guidelines for the first time since 1992 were among the recent agency accomplishments touted by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in remarks delivered last week to attendees of (...)

The UK Competition Commission concludes that a proposed merger in the entertainment industry would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing (Live Nation / Ticketmaster)
Ashurst (Milan)
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger gets final clearance in the UK* On 7 May 2010, the UK Competition Commission (“CC”) reaffirmed its initial decision of December 2009 (see Newsletter 1/2010 p. 9 for details) concluding that the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster would not result in a (...)

The US DoJ and the FTC propose revisions to the horizontal merger guidelines
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
Last week, the United States federal antitrust agencies-the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission-released proposed revisions to the Horizontal Merger Guidelines. The Guidelines, which have been revised several times over the past 40 years, delineate how the (...)

The US DOJ closes its investigation without challenge of a merger between two airlines companies (Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (New York)
Today the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that it is closing its investigation of the proposed merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. Among the several airlines whose possible mergers have been discussed in the last year, these two carriers had particularly little (...)

The UK OFT waives competition law in the interest of "maintaining the stability of the UK financial system" and clears a major concentration in the banking sector (Lloyds-HBOS)
Of all the human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition. (Henry Clay, 1832) A. Abstract In an exceptional stir, the UK government engineered the merger of Lloyds TSB plc (Lloyds) and HBOS plc (HBOS) waiving the competition law in the interest of (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the navigable digital map databases sector (Nokia/NAVTEQ)
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Mergers: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2008"* In July the Commission approved the proposed acquisition of NAVTEQ of the US by Nokia of Finland. NAVTEQ is a provider of navigable digital map databases and Nokia mainly produces mobile telephones. Nokia is the largest (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the Austrian markets for daily consumer (Rewe goods, Adeg)
European Commission - DG COMP
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DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Rewe goods /Adeg - Food for thought - Austrian markets for daily consumer"* I. Introduction The Rewe/Adegmerger case concerned the Austrian markets for the retail sale of daily consumer goods and the respective procurement markets. It raised a number of interesting legal and economic issues. (...)

The European Commission prohibits a merger between two airlines companies (Ryanair/Aer Lingus)
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2007"* On 27 June the Commission took the decision to prohibit the proposed takeover by Ryanair of Aer Lingus. Ryanair is an Irish-based “low-cost” airline, offering point-to-point scheduled air transport services on more than 400 (...)

The US DOJ challenges the acquisition of a partial interest of a competing company in the dairy sector (Dairy Farmers)
White & Case (Washington)
The Department of Justice’s challenge to unwind the Dairy Farmers of America (“DFA”) acquisition of a partial interest in Southern Bell Dairy is interesting on a number of levels. This article addresses two issues raised by Dairy Farmers that antitrust attorneys should consider when counseling (...)

The German Competition Authority allows an exemption from the ban on putting the merger into effect (Deutsche Post)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Deutsche Post allowed to put merger with trans-o-flex into effect subject to strict obligations* The Bundeskartellamt has lifted the ban on putting into effect the planned increase by Deutsche Post AG (DP AG) of its share in trans-o-flex Schnell-Lieferdienst GmbH, Weinheim (trans-o-flex) from (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority approves takeover on the market for procurement and slaughter of pigs and the further processing and sale of pork (Dumeco / SturkoMeat)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Approves Takeover of SturkoMeat by Dumeco The Director-General of the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) today approved the takeover of SturkoMeat by Dumeco, the two largest pig abattoirs in the Netherlands. Due to the structure of this market, NMa sees no reason to assume that, as a result (...)

The European Commission blocks the proposed takeover of Finnish tissue paper manufacturer by its Swedish competitor (Mölnlycke/Metsä Tissue)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2001 and 30th April 2001"* On 31 January 2001, the Commission blocked the proposed takeover of Finnish tissue paper manufacturer Metsä Tissue by its Swedish competitor SCA Mölnlycke on competition grounds. This was only the 14th time that (...)

The European Commission authorizes, subject to remedies, a merger between two US airlines (United Airlines/US Airways)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2001 and 30th April 2001"* In January, the Commission authorised UAL Corp., whose principal operating subsidiary is United Airlines Inc., to acquire US Airways Group Inc. The Commission’s review showed that the operation could raise (...)

The European Commission approves a merger creating the third largest crop protection company worldwide (BASF/American Cyanamid)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* The acquisition of American Cyanamid, the crop protection subsidiary of American Home Products, will create the third largest crop protection company worldwide. The deal raised serious competition concerns in (...)

The European Commission rejects the UK authorities’ request for referral of the assessment of a concentration in the electricity sector (EDF/London Electricity)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* In London Electricity/Electricité de France (EdF) the United Kingdom authorities both requested a referral under Article 9(4) and in parallel invoked Article 21(3)of the Merger Regulation, (the latter is based on the necessity to protect (...)

State Aids

The EU Commission finds the compensation of school bus and tram transport in the Land Rhineland-Palatinat to be compatible with the internal market (Landesbetrieb Mobilität Rheinland-Pfalz)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Price Discounts and Compensation for Public Service Obligations: A Case of Questionable Need for Aid* Main points SGEI can be defined and public service obligations can be imposed only when the market underprovides. The parameters of compensation must be determined in advance. Public service (...)

The EU Court of Justice interprets the concept of intervention through state resources and finds that the offset of additional costs arising from the obligation to purchase green electricity constituted state intervention (Vent de Colère)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Non-Equivalence of the Various Methods of Supporting Green Electricity* Introduction Ever since the judgment of the Court of Justice in 2001 on PreussenElektra [case C-379/98], Member States have been grappling with the question of how to (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a mechanism for offsetting in full the additional costs imposed on undertakings because of an obligation to purchase wind-generated electricity at a price higher than the market price is imputable to the state (Association Vent De Colère / Ministre de l’Écologie)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU follows AG Jääskinen in revisiting PreussenElektra and minimising Doux Elevages’ requirements for State imputability of aid measures (C-262/12)* In its Judgment of 19 December 2013 in case C-262/12 Vent De Colère and Others, the Court of Justice of the EU has largely followed AG Jääskinen’s (...)

The EU Ministers meeting within the Competitiveness Council adopts a new coal regulation enabling Member States to grant State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive mines until 2018
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EU Competitveness Council Extends State Aid for Loss-making Coal Mines Until 2018* EU Ministers meeting within the Competitiveness Council on 10 December 2010 adopted a new coal regulation enabling Member States to grant State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive mines until 2018, (...)

Procedures

The Scottish Government decides to organise a referendum on Scotland’s status of independent country, thus the issue of overlapping jurisdiction to enforce competition law becomes relevant
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Competition Policy and Scottish Independence* On 18 September 2014 Scottish residents will be asked whether Scotland should be an independent country. A discussion was held at the recent Antitrust Enforcement Symposium (held by the (...)

The European Commission Vice President in charge with the competition policy delivers remarks on the development of cartel enforcement in the EU
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Cartel Enforcement: In Europe, Like Canada, Cat & Mouse Game: Interesting Remarks by EU Competition Head Almunia* Earlier today (3 April 2014) I read remarks delivered by European Commission competition head Joaquin Almunia in Brussels on the topic of cartel enforcement (see: Fighting (...)

The Brussels Commercial Court issues injunction order against recently launched peer-to-peer car sharing service on the taxi market in Brussels (UberPop)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Competition & Taxis: A Few Uber Updates & Why Taxis are Like Typewriters* I’m getting closer to being a middle-aged guy – well, closer to middle age than a young guy. As such, I remember some of those things that commercials sometimes mock middle aged guys (or older guys than me yet) for (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission outlines its policy priorities for 2014 underlining that cartel conduct, anticompetitive agreements and misuse of market power will always be assessed as a primary concern
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC 2014 compliance and enforcement policy promises action on drip pricing* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its 2014 Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The policy outlines the ACCC’s priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account (...)

The New York State Office of AG Schneiderman announces a groundbreaking settlement with a patent assertion entity (MPHJ Technology Investments)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
New York Attorney General reaches agreement with “Patent Trolls” to bar deceptive practices* The prosecutor’s office announced that the New York attorney general (“NY AG”) Eric Schneiderman has reached an agreement with MPHJ Technology Investments LLC (“MPHJ”), a so-called patent troll, to stop (...)

The Belgian Council of Ministers approves draft bills that introduce a collective redress system in Belgian competition law cases
Van Bael & Bellis
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2013, the Belgian Council of Ministers approved two draft Bills that introduce the possibility of collective redress proceedings – so-called class action claims – to recover damages suffered as a result of a breach of Belgian competition law (as well as other kinds of (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets looks into relationship between behavioural economics and competition enforcement
European Commission
The Netherlands: The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets looks into Relationship between Behavioural Economics and Competition Enforcement* The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has researched what behavioural economics can mean for competition policy. The research report (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority issues opinion in ex officio proceedings regarding the compliance with the competition rules of two legal acts regulating the supply of central heating
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Legal Framework on Central Heating distorts Competition and may harm Consumers’ Welfare* By Decision No 623/30.05.2013, the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted a competition advocacy opinion in ex officio proceedings concerning compliance with the (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau releases action plan on transparency
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the commissioner of competition in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, released its Action Plan on Transparency (the “Plan”) on 28 May 2013. According to the (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a market test on multilateral interchange fees for domestic card transactions (Mastercard and Visa)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence market tests Visa and MasterCard’s Commitments to reduce Multilateral Interchange Fees for Domestic Card Transactions* On 6 May 2013, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published Visa and MasterCard’s commitments to reduce the multilateral (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinforces the validity of arbitration clauses, but leaves door open for public injunction challenges (Kilgore)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
In the U.S., pre-dispute arbitration clauses are common in consumer financial services agreements, such as credit card, banking and investment contracts. These clauses traditionally compel the involved parties to resolve any legal dispute in arbitration, while foreclosing traditional state and (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses appeal to seek review of the OFT decision concerning extended warranties website (John Lewis)
The University of Manchester
Background of the case John Lewis plc (“JLP”) case rules out a dispute about the information that should appear on a price comparison website that is related to extended warranties (“EW”) for TVs, washing machines and other domestic electrical goods (“DEGs”). This stems from the Office of Fair (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal allows an extension of the time limits for appeals under the circumstances of the case and in respect of the principle of legitimate expectations (Somerfield / OFT)
Blackstone Chambers
The OFT’s tobacco decision: Is it dead yet?* Late in 2011, the Office of Fair Trading was forced to concede before the Competition Appeal Tribunal that it could no longer defend the theory of harm contained in its Decision on alleged pricing agreements between tobacco manufacturers and (...)

The US Supreme Court confirms that courts must conduct a rigorous analysis to determine whether antitrust class action plaintiffs meet the requirements for class certification (Comcast)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
The U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed that courts must conduct a "rigorous analysis" to determine whether antitrust class action plaintiffs meet the requirements for class certification, even when that requires inquiry into the merits of the underlying claims, and individual issues of damages (...)

The Polish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on commitment decisions in antitrust cases and in cases of practices infringing collective consumer interests
European Commission
Poland: New Guidelines concerning Commitment Decisions* On 26 July 2012, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) published Guidelines on commitment decisions in antitrust cases and in cases of practices infringing collective consumer interests (the Guidelines). The (...)

The UK OFT publishes its annual report 2011-2012
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading publishes Annual Report 2011-2012* On 28 June 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published its Annual Report, including an estimate of the financial benefits of its activities to consumers. The report shows that last year the OFT achieved an (...)

The Danish Competition Authority publishes a report on the culture of discounts and advertising campaigns in the grocery market
European Commission
Denmark: Discount Culture in Danish Grocery Market* On 31 May 2012, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) published a report on the culture of discounts and advertising campaigns in the Danish grocery market. The report investigates the effect of unaddressed advertising material (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority publishes its final report on competition among real estate agents
European Commission
The Netherlands: Market Study on Estate Agents finalised* On 8 March 2012, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) published its final report on competition among estate agents who provide home buying and selling services. The study examines the current competitive situation as well as the (...)

A Canadian Court of Appeal challenges over potentially defamatory language in website press release posting (TPG Technology Consulting Ltd and Donald Powell v Canada)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction The Ontario Court of Appeal (the "court") said Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), which assists the Commissioner of Competition in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), used potentially defamatory language in a 2009 press release website (...)

The European Commission revives discussions on collective redress mechanisms
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
After the failure of the initiative launched by former Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes at the end of her tenure, the Commission has revealed plans to revive discussions on the introduction of coherent collective redress mechanisms at the EU-level. This is an initiative taken by the three (...)

The European Commission launches a public consultation on a draft guidance paper on quantifying harm in actions for damages based on breaches of the EU antitrust rules (Antitrust harm in civil cases)
European Commission
European Commission: Public Consultation on a draft Guidance Paper on quantifying Antitrust Harm in civil Cases* On 17 June 2011, DG Competition launched a public consultation on a draft Guidance Paper on “quantifying harm in actions for damages based on breaches of Article 101 or 102 TFEU” (...)

The French Supreme Court rules that a consumer organisation may not use the Internet to solicit victims of anticompetitive practices with a view to finding claimants for damages actions (UFC Que Choisir)
Vogel & Vogel
UFC Que Choisir had complained of practices between three telephone operators that, in its view, were anticompetitive. Before the ruling against the operators, UFC Que Choisir had set up on its website a mechanism by which those with a grievance could develop their case in an online file. The (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority starts an investigation into the structure of the mortgage market and the pricing behaviour of mortgage lenders (Mortgage Market)
European Commission
The Netherlands: Sector Inquiry into Mortgage Market shows Decline in Margins back to pre- financial Crisis Level* In August 2010, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) started an investigation into the structure of the Dutch mortgage market and the pricing behaviour of mortgage lenders. (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that consumer arbitration clause containing a class action waiver is enforceable (AT&T Mobility, Concepcion)
White & Case (Miami)
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White & Case (Los Angeles)
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White & Case (Washington)
On April 27, 2011, the US Supreme Court issued the long-awaited opinion in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion. (No. 09-893, 563 US ____, slip op. (April 27, 2011)) Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, held that because (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority releases its 2010 annual report
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 15 March 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) released its 2010 Annual Report, where it summarized its enforcement activities carried out in 2010 and outlined priorities for 2011. In 2010 the ANPC initiated 60 investigations (20 concerning abuse of dominance and 4 concerning (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority renews its consumer inquiries’ service to deal more efficiently with competition proceedings
European Commission
Hungary: Renewed Consumer Inquiries’ Service at the Competition Authority (GVH)* From 1 March 2011, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) has renewed its Consumer Inquiries Service. Since thousands of consumer inquiries have been submitted to the GVH in the (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) submits to the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council a revised draft of the unfair competition law to respond to the changing economy
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Revised Unfair Competition Law responds to changing economy* Introduction The Unfair Competition Law, which was enacted in 1993, has been described as the constitution of the market economy. However, China’s rapid social and economic development has given rise to new forms of unfair (...)

The College of Prosecutors of the Belgian Competition Council decides that consumers are competent to ask for interim measures but rejects their request (Telenet)
European Commission
Belgium: The Telenet Case: Consumers and Interim Measures In its decision of 27 September 2010, the competition prosecutor has decided that consumers are competent to ask for interim measures when they are the victim of restrictive practices. The request for interim measures against Telenet (...)

The Polish Parliament adopts an act on collective redress
European Commission
Poland: Polish Act on Collective Redress adopted On 17 December 2009, the Polish Parliament adopted the Act on Pursuing Claims in Group Proceedings (hereafter: Act), drafted by the Ministry of Justice. The Act was published in the Official Journal of 18 January 2010 and will enter into force (...)

The French Government enacts a law on the development of competition for the benefit of consumers (Chatel Act)
Avocat au barreau de Paris
I. Outline of the Act 1. Act n° 2008-3 of January 3rd, 2008 “on the development of competition for the benefit of consumers” (Journal Officiel of January 4th, 2008, p. 258), which is already being referred to as the “Chatel Act”, has two deliberately linked objectives: improving competition and (...)

The Italian Parliament adopts a class action law (Budget Law n°244)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
From the beginning of 2010, Italian consumers have been able to bring or join a collective damages action regarding unlawful commercial practices (including breaches of competition rules). Indeed, following two years of amendments being made to the legislation in question and its postponed (...)

The Luxembourg Government proceeds to consultation following the submission of the draft bill aimed at reforming the 2004 Competition Act (Draft Bill n° 5816)
MOYSE BLESER law firm
In December 2007, the Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade (Minister) submitted a draft bill to Parliament (Draft Bill) with the aim of reforming the law of 17 May 2004 on competition, as amended (the Law on Competition). Although no serious assessment was made concerning the three years (...)

The Polish Parliament passes new competition law
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
On 16 February 2007, the Polish Parliament passed a new Act on Competition and Consumer Protection, which introduces some changes to current Polish competition law. The new Act introduces the following principal changes: a) the jurisdictional turnover thresholds for notifying concentrations (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council establishes that the advertisements of a tooth-paste producer are contrary to competition provisions (Colgate-Palmolive)
bpv Jadi Nemeth Attorneys
The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH” - Gazdasági Versenyhivatal) established in its decision of 2 February 2006 that Colgate-Palmolive Magyarország Kft.`s conduct infringed the rules on the prohibition of unfair manipulation of consumer choice of the Hungarian (...)

The European Commission adopts a proposal for a joint decision to conclude an agreement between the EC and the government of the USA on the application of positive comity principles in the enforcement of their competition law
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
"EC/US positive comity agreement"* On the 18th of June 1997 the Commission adopted a proposal for a joint Council and Commission decision to conclude an agreement between the European Communities and the Government of the United States of America on the application of positive comity (...)

Regulations

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission notifies the businesses about obligation to pass through all cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC puts businesses on notice about Carbon Tax Price Reduction Obligation* Now that Parliament has repealed the carbon tax, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will have new powers to take action against businesses that supply regulated goods which fail to pass through all cost (...)

The Australian ACCC and ASIC issue new guidelines concerning the debt collection industry and the assessment of the risk of breaching competition, consumer and other relevant laws
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC and ASIC revise guidelines for businesses and consumers about debt collection activities* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have launched an updated version of their ‘Debt collection guideline: for (...)

The Danish Competition Authority intends to closely evaluate the possible advantages and disadvantages associated with tighter regulation of the market for direct debit in Denmark (Betalingsservice)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Competition analysis of “Betalingsservice”, a Danish direct debit product* The Danish direct debit product, Betalingsservice, is one of the best-known payment solutions in Denmark. Betalingsservice was launched in 1974 by PBS (now Nets Holding) and 95 % of households are using the product. In (...)

The South African Competition Commission outlines and publishes guidelines and statement of issues for market inquiries in the health care sector
Nortons Incorporated
Commission details plans for private healthcare sector inquiry* Further details revealed by Inquiry Panel On Friday, 30 May 2014, subsequent to outlining the time table of the project, the South African Competition Commission released important frameworks for its sectoral inquiry into the (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission clears acquisition of management rights for the final block of 5MHz radio spectrum in the 700MHz range (Telecom / Crown)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Telecom granted clearance to acquire previously unsold radio spectrum block* The Commerce Commission has today granted a clearance to Telecom New Zealand Limited (Telecom) that will enable it to acquire the management rights for the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority reports breaches of the Structural Separation Undertaking containing commitments related to vertical integration in the telecom sector (Telstra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC reports on breaches of Telstra’s SSU* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual report on Telstra’s compliance with its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) was tabled in Parliament today. The report outlines a number of occasions during the 2012-13 financial year where (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes a reform of taxi legislation in order to increase consumer choice and improve competition
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCAA: More competition in taxi services through legislative reform* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has made an initiative to the Ministry of Transport and Communications for reform in taxi legislation. To increase competition and consumer choice, the setting of maximum (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority concludes its inquiry on transmission regulation
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC concludes its inquiry on transmission regulation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded its inquiry into the regulation of transmission services (known as the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service or ’DTCS’). The ACCC has decided to maintain regulation for a (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to a professional association of mortgage and finance brokers to adopt a code of disciplinary rules
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to authorise the MFAA’s disciplinary rules* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) for its Disciplinary Rules. The ACCC proposes to grant (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority puts forward a number of proposals in order to make the regulatory framework more effective and decrease the lock-in effects for customers
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Competition on the financial services market - Deposits, mortgages and funds* In a report from last year, ‘Competition on the financial services market - Deposits, mortgages and funds’ the Swedish Competition Authority found that competition in the Swedish banking and finance markets is still (...)

The England Court of Appeal remits the matter of rate card price in the Pay TV market to the CAT for failure to address Ofcom’s competition concerns in detail (British Sky Broadcasting)
Blackstone Chambers
Pay TV: Court of Appeal sends message to the CAT* In its recent decision in British Sky Broadcasting Ltd v Office of Communications [2014] EWCA Civ 133 the Court of Appeal has sent a strong message to the CAT, criticising the Tribunal for its failure to properly consider the reasons (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases a paper on price determination according to the final pricing principle regarding the unbundled bitstream access (Chorus)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases UBA process and issues paper* The Commerce Commission has today released a paper which outlines the proposed process for pricing Chorus’ wholesale broadband – the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service - (...)

The Irish Competition Authority submits that proposed new taxi regulations could create a barrier to entry increasing prices and waiting times for taxi users
Irish Competition Authority
New taxi regulations could increase prices and waiting times for consumers – Competition Authority* In a submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Competition Authority warned that proposed new taxi regulations could create a barrier to entry that will increase prices and (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets imposes fines on national association of medical practitioners for restricting the freedom of choice of the patients (LHV)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM issues decision on objection regarding the establishment of new GPs* In late-2011, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) imposed a fine on the Dutch National Association of General Practitioners (LHV). Following an objection filed by LHV, ACM has reviewed the case (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition proposes amendments to national legislation regulating provision of ambulatory medical care
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Commission on Protection of Competition proposes Amendments to National Legislation regulating Provision of Ambulatory Medical Care* The Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) considers that the ban on departmental hospitals to provide ambulatory medical care financed (...)

The South African Competition Commission launches its first-ever market inquiry into the private healthcare sector
Primerio
The Commission Doth Protest Too Much?* The defensive justification for the Commission’s healthcare inquiry by its acting chief has widely caused eyebrows to be raised… As reported, the South African Competition Commission (“Commission”) has launched its first-ever market inquiry into the South (...)

The German Federal Network Agency and the Bundeskartellamt present their joint monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Monitoring Report 2013 of the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* Bonn, 19 December 2013: Today the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) and the Bundeskartellamt presented their joint Monitoring Report 2013 on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012. With (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC releases draft report on regulation of access to mobile networks* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks. It is also proposing to regulate the termination (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority publishes an analysis of the markets of private chiropractors and physiotherapists
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The regulation of chiropractors and physiotherapists prevents efficient and equal competition* On 5 December 2013 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority published an analysis of the markets of private chiropractors and physiotherapists. The analysis shows that the current regulation of (...)

The German Competition Authority announces the operational start of a special unit dedicated to increasing transparency on fuel prices (Market Transparency Unit)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Regular operation of Market Transparency Unit for Fuels to start on 1 December 2013* Bonn, 29 November 2013: The regular operation of the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels will start on 1 December 2013. This marks the successful end of the three-month trial period: there is a constant data (...)

The French Competition Authority submits its draft recommendations for public consultation and calls for the modernization of the conditions applicable for granting authorizations to operate routes
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence calls for greater competition within the interregional coach transport sector to enable consumers to benefit from cheaper transportation means which are moreover opening new (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator publish their annual report on competition in the energy sector and consumer choice
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC and AER issue joint 2012-13 annual report* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator have published their annual report for 2012-13. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims highlighted the notable achievements, including strong court judgments and penalties for (...)

The UK OFGEM introduces new rules aimed at increasing competition on the retail market and making energy pricing simpler, clearer and fairer
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. A Simple Way to Boost Competition in the Energy Market* The latest round of increases in energy prices has sparked an angry debate about how well competition is working in the UK market. Energy companies claim increases reflect rising (...)

The OECD supports the recommendations advanced by the Irish Competition Authority for more competition in legal services
Irish Competition Authority
OECD backs Competition Authority recommendations for more competition in legal services* The 2013 OECD economic report for Ireland has backed recommendations made by the Competition Authority to increase competition in legal services. In the report, published on the 12 September 2013, one of (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority adopts two opinions on competition in the market for medical devices (NHIF)
European Commission
Bulgaria: The National Health Insurance Fund Acts impose Quota Limitations on Pharmacies and foreclose the Market for Medical Devices* In May 2013, the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC), as part of its competition advocacy powers, adopted two opinions on Acts of the (...)

The German Competition Authority works currently on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol stations (MTS Kraftstoffe)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Transparency Unit for Fuels - Registration of companies obliged to report prices* The Bundeskartellamt’s Market Transparency Unit is currently working on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol (...)

The Danish Competition Council advises the Minister of Culture against reintroducing fixed retail prices in the book market
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council advises the Minister of Culture against reintroducing fixed retail prices in the book market* On February 20 2013, The Danish Competition Council (DCC) has sent an open letter to the Minister of Culture in which the DCC advises the Minister of Culture against (...)

The UK OFT finds that almost three-quarters of state schools continue to restrict the availability of uniforms fact that results in price differences to the detriment of parents (School uniforms)
University of Cambridge
Back to school for the OFT?* On 25 October 2012 the Office of Fair Trading announced that it had written to the head teachers of almost 30,000 State schools to draw attention to the high price of school uniforms. The high price is caused in part by 74% of schools requiring parents to purchase (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines multinational electric utility company more than € 10 M for unfair competition (Iberdrola)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The Spanish National Competition Commission has fined Iberdrola, the Spanish multinational electric utility company, 10,685,000 Euros for transferring customers from the distributor of last resort to the deregulated distributor without obtaining the customer’s express consent, as required by the (...)

The UK Energy Regulator publishes proposals and draft impact assessments to enhance competition engagement in the retail energy market
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Should we Regulate the Structure of Consumer Tariffs to Make Competition Work Better? Two Cheers for Ofgem* The UK energy regulator today published its heavily trailed and significant proposals to constrain the regular tariffs which (...)

The European Commission halts the artificial inflation of “Mobile Termination Rates” (MTR) by Polish telecom regulator (Aero2)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
EU Commission halts the artificial inflation of “Mobile Termination Rates” (MTR) by Polish telecom regulator* In its letter to the Polish telecom regulator (“UKE”) sent on November 21, 2011 the European Commission objected to the increase of the MTR for one of the mobile operators - Aero2 and (...)

The UK Energy Regulator closes investigation of an electricity producer over a potential breach of the consumer protection from the unfair trading regulations 2008 (EDF Energy)
Ofgem investigated a fault with the operation of EDF‘s Interactive Voice Response (“IVR”) telephone system and its interface with EDF‘s billing system which resulted in some customers who provided their own meter readings through the IVR system being overcharged or undercharged. Background EDF‘s (...)

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) publishes a draft on internet information service rules
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT): Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Draft for Comments)* The MIIT published and invited public comments on the draft Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Internet Information (...)

The UK OFT launches new guidance to help businesses to comply with competition law (New competition law compliance materials)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) publishes new Competition Law Compliance Materials* On 27 June 2011, the OFT launched new guidance to help businesses comply with competition law. This coincides with the publication of the results of research showing business awareness of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council publishes its report on the inquiry into the wholesale market of pharmaceuticals (Wholesale market of pharmaceuticals)
European Commission
Romania: Sector Inquiry Report on the Wholesale of Pharmaceuticals* In May 2011, the Romanian Competition Council (the RCC) published its report on the inquiry into the wholesale market of pharmaceuticals. The RCC opened the sector inquiry into the wholesale market of pharmaceuticals as a (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues a report on the directions of development of competition and consumer protection on railway transport markets
European Commission
Poland: Report on the Directions of Development of Competition and Consumer Protection on Railway Transport Markets in Poland On 30 August 2010, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) released a Report on the Directions of Development of Competition and Consumer (...)

The Irish Competition Authority makes recommendations to improve competition amongst family doctors (Competition in Professional Services - General Medical Practitioners)
European Commission
Ireland: Competition Authority makes Recommendations to improve Competition amongst Family Doctors On 9 July 2010, the Irish Competition Authority published the final part of a three-part report into the delivery of primary medical care services in Ireland. It shows that the way in which the (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a working paper on mixed public/private markets and reforming public services
European Commission
United Kingdom: Mixed Public/Private Markets and Reforming Public Services On 7 July 2010, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published a working paper on how to ensure competitive neutrality in markets where state and private firms compete. The paper stressed the need for a level playing field, (...)

A Dutch Court of Appeal holds that national legislation on the unbundling of energy network operators infringes the rules on free movement of capital (Delta, Eneco and Essent)
European Commission - DG HR
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Essent, Delta, and Eneco are three vertically integrated energy companies active in the production, trade and distribution of electricity and gas. They supply end-consumers through their own electricity and gas networks. Each group’s networks are managed by separate network operators, (...)

The UK Energy Regulator minds to impose £2 million revenue penalty on an electric distribution network operator (EDF Energy Networks)
Energy regulator Ofgem is consulting on imposing a £2 million revenue penalty on EDF Energy Networks following an independent audit into the company’s handling of a power cut in the Dartford area of London last year. The incident affected 94,000 customers, many for more than 24 hours. Background (...)

The UK Energy Regulator announces that an electricity producer makes payments of £200,000 to two consumer organisations following investigation (EDF Energy/Money Advice Trust - Citizens Advice)
EDF Energy has made payments of £200,000 to the Money Advice Trust and to a Citizens Advice led scheme after a finding by the energy regulator, Ofgem, that the company had breached new regulations setting standards for handling customer complaints. Background The regulator brought in new rules (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues a study on consumer mobility in the electronic communications sector
European Commission
Portugal: The Competition Authority (PCA) concludes a study on Mobility in the Electronic Communications Sector In February 2010, the Portuguese Competition Authority completed the Study on Consumer Mobility in the Electronic Communications Sector. The Report concludes that there is limited (...)

The Danish Competition Authority publishes a report on competition culture in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom
European Commission
Denmark: The Competition Authority publishes a Report on Competition Culture in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom On 6 January 2010, the Danish Competition Authority published a report on competition culture, which focuses on the competition cultures in Denmark, Germany and the United (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority advises the Government to review the list of medicines provided under the national health insurance scheme (Medicines provided under the national health insurance scheme)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 2 October 2009 Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) issued an opinion concerning the Government’s decision to reduce the number of medicines purchased by the medical institutions under the national health insurance scheme. KZK initiated its investigation following a complaint lodged by a law (...)

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

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the public transportation of travellers by river shuttles on the Seine
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Public transportation of travellers by river shuttles on the Seine: The Autorité de la concurrence draws the attention of the STIF to the necessary competitive conditions for the implementation of the Voguéo project.* After referral by the Syndicat des transports d’Ile-de-France (STIF) , the (...)

The European Commission publishes final results of its inquiry in the pharmaceutical sector
European Commission - DG GROW
,
EU Delegation to the OECD and UNESCO (Paris)
"Final results of the Commission pharmaceutical sector inquiry: competition and regulatory concerns to address"* On 8 July 2009, the Commission presented the final results of its sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals. The inquiry examined the competitive relationship between originator and (...)

The UK High Court of Justice rules that an auction website cannot be held responsible for fake products sold through its auction web site and refers to the ECJ for some other key issues (L’Oréal v. eBay)
EDHEC Business School
Is eBay primarily and/or jointly liable for trademark infringements committed by some of its users selling counterfeit items through the auction website? Does the online auctioneer itself commit infringements by using luxury brands as advertising keywords, in order to promote its online (...)

A US federal judge clears sale of counterfeit luxury goods through auction website, ruling that luxury companies are primarily responsible for policing their trademarks online (Tiffany / eBay)
EDHEC Business School
In a lawsuit brought by the famous jewellery maker Tiffany & Co. , the US District Court of New York (Southern District, Manhattan) ruled on 14 July 2008 that eBay is not required to make greater effort for policing its site for counterfeit items, the primary burden for protecting a brand (...)

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission supplements existing cross-subsidization restrictions and sets pricing standards for certain affiliate transactions
George Washington University - School of Law
On February 21, 2008, FERC issued a Final Rule through Order No. 707 in which it supplements existing affiliate transaction rules and codifies restrictions on and pricing of affiliate transactions between franchised public utilities that have captive customers or own or provide transmission (...)

The French Parliament adopts legislative initiative on the development of competition for the benefit of consumers
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 December 2007, the French Parliament adopted a new law on the development of competition for the benefit of consumers, which was promulgated on 3 January 2008 (see Law No. 2008-3 of 3 January 2008 on the development of competition for the benefit of consumers, French Official Journal, 4 (...)

The Italian Parliament gives new powers to the Italian Antitrust Authority with respect to unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising enforcement (Legislative Decrees No. 145 and 146)
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
,
Jones Day (Milano)
On September 21, 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (the « Authority » or « IAA ») was given additional powers to curb unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising. The Authority has now been empowered to act ex officio without the express request of consumers and/or public entities. (...)

The European Commission identifies in its sector inquiry widespread competition barriers in retail banking
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"Sector Inquiry Identifies Widespread Competition Barriers in Retail Banking"* On 31 January 2007 the European Commission published the Final Report of its sector inquiry into European retail banking markets. The inquiry has identified a number of deficiencies in the way these markets work (...)

The European Commission rules on access to gas pipelines (Marathon)
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG GROW
"Access to gas pipelines: lessons learnt from the Marathon case"* 1. Introduction Access to gas pipelines is an essential prerequisite for the successful liberalisation of the European gas markets. If new suppliers do not obtain access to existing gas pipelines, the possibility for gas (...)

The French Competition Authority issues opinion on the conditions in which there may be possible concertation between consumer associations and representatives of a professional sector (Federal Union of Consumers)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Concertation between consumer associations and the banking profession : the Conseil de la concurrence issues its opinion* Following a request for opinion by the Union Fédérale des Consommateurs (Federal Union (...)

Public sector

The Swedish Competition Authority examines in its pilot study the adoption by three municipalities of the free choice system in the home care sector
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
A fair system of choice requires transparent municipal accounting* There are many reasons why municipalities with systems of choice must employ open and clear financial follow-ups for their own operations subject to competition. This is emphasized in a pilot study, where the Swedish (...)

The UK Parliament adopts regulations on procurement, patient choice and competition in the health care sector requiring EU-compliant interpretation
University of Bristol - Law School
New Paper: A critical assessment of the new health care procurement rules in the UK* The recently adopted UK National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2) Regulations 2013 include an interesting (and somehow unsettling) provision authorising anti-competitive (...)

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