Effect on interstate trade

Anticompetitive practices

The Swedish Market Court rules that the issuance and distribution of price lists by a trade association is caught by both EC and Swedish competition laws (VVS-I)
Cederquist
On 9 February 2005 the Swedish Market Court rendered its decision regarding the trade association of VVS (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) installation companies’ price list system. Although the case may not be revolutionary in its application of the substantial competition rules, it (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects antitrust claims finding that the injury preceded any domestic effect in the causal chain (Lotes / Hon Hai Precision Industry)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Second Circuit Clarifies Application of Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act* The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City on June 4 ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) barred the antitrust claims of a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company with facilities in (...)

The Competition Commission of India penalizes theatre owners association for engaging in anti-competitive practices in violation of section 3 of the Competition Act 2002 (Reliance)
University College London
OrderVide its order dated 05.11.13 in Case No. 78 of 2011, the Competition Commission of India (Commission) penalised the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association (now known as Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association or TNTOA) under section 27 of the Indian Commission Act, 2002 in the sum of Indian (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision of NCA in aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a 2008 decision of the French Competition Authority imposing fines totalling € 41.1 million on fuel companies of the Chevron- Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell groups for collusive tendering in the supply of aviation fuel to Air (...)

The EU Commission finds that given the nature of the relevant product, concerted practices covering a substantial part of the EEA may affect the interstate trade (e-books)
University of South Australia
Sad but true* I love commitments decisions because they are a quick read. But I also hate dislike them because they leave the reader angry hungry for more. Some evidence: in the E-Books case, the effect on trade condition was deemed fulfilled under the simplest possible sort of analysis: (...)

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

A Portuguese Court confirms a professional association training regulation constitutes a breach of competition rules (Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
,
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
I. Introduction The Portuguese Association of Chartered Accountants (“Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas”) (ACA) judicially appealed to the Lisbon Commerce Court the national Competition Authority decision which applied a fine €114.654,10 based on an alleged illegal decision of the association, (...)

The French Supreme Court clarifies the appreciable effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFUE (Jet Fuel Cartel)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. In a landmark judgment of 1 March 2011, the French Supreme Court in Commercial, Financial and Economic matters (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale, financière et économique) provided guidance on establishing a local collusive agreement’s appreciable effect on trade between (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines for client sharing agreements 14 administrators of mandatory pensions funds, applying for the first time both Art. 101(1) TFUE and national mirror provision (Pension Funds administrators case)
Peli Filip
,
Peli Filip
On 16 September 2010 the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) published Decision n° 39/07.09.2010 sanctioning almost all the players in the Romanian market for private administration of mandatory pensions funds (14 out of 18 players active on the market) for a client sharing cartel (the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens formal proceedings on anti-competitive practices in the plastic containers for fruit and vegetable packaging sector (INFIA, S.r.l.-Divisione ILIP, AGROENVAS and VERIPACK EMBALAJES)
European Commission
Spain/Italy: The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) carries out Inspections on behalf and for the account of the Comision Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) On 2 March 2010, inspectors from the CNC have carried out inspections at the head offices of the leading makers and sellers of plastic (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a lignite mining company for implementing anticompetitive agreements containing lignite fuels export bans (SUPN)
European Commission
Czech Republic: Export Bans of Lignite Fuels are anti-competitive The Office for the Protection of Competition (“the Czech NCA”) adopted on 8 January 2010 a decision finding that Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (hereinafter referred to as „SUPN“) had infringed the Czech Competition Act and (...)

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

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that a newspaper distributor cannot be considered an agent under EU competition law (Newspaper Distributor II)
Salzburg University
Background The Austrian Competition Authority (“Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde”) successfully filed an application with the Austrian Cartel Court against a German publishing group, its Austrian subsidiary and an Austrian newspaper distributor. The application was based on certain vertical restraints (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upholds the Competition Authority decision which fines members of paper cartel (Schneidersöhne Baltija)
European Commission
Lithuania: Supreme Court partly upholds Authority Decision in Paper Case On 16 October 2009, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 26 October 2006 finding an infringement of Article 5 of the Lithuanian Law on Competition and of (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court quashes an NCA decision applying Art. 3.1.g and 10 in conjunction with Art. 81 EC on grounds of separation of powers and national procedural autonomy (Chamber of the design engineers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the “SAC”) annulled the first decision of the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) declaring domestic statutory provisions incompatible with Articles 3(1)(g) and 10 in conjunction with Article 81 of the EC Treaty and that (...)

The Polish competition authority imposes a financial penalty on a collective copyright management association for practices restricting competition (SAWP)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
,
Orange (Warsaw)
Introduction Polish competition authority questions the practices of the Polish Musical Performing Artists’ Association (SAWP - Stowarzyszenie Artystów Wykonawców Utworów Muzycznych i Słowno-Muzycznych). In the decision from June 10, 2009, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates the coordination of prices by three gas suppliers in violation of Art. 81 EC (Prezzo del GPL per riscaldamento regione Sardegna)
Codacons
Following the notice about the cartel in relation to fixing the price of GPL gas, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), has decided to investigate the conducts of the three main Italian suppliers of gas. The ICA, was made aware that ButanGas, Eni and Liquigas (the three gas suppliers) were (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court upholds a NCA decision evoking Art. 81.1 and 3 EC for the first time (Association of the Bulgarian insurance companies and Others - “Civil liability insurance for car drivers”)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
Parts of this article feature in another publication of the author on the same matter for e-Competition. See : Dessislava Fessenko, The Bulgarian competition authority applies for the first time Art. 81.1 EC and sanctions 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels (Association of the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority applies Art. 81 EC and the useful effect doctrine to minimum price maintenance and sets aside a statutory provision facilitating it (Chamber of the design engineers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the ¡°CPC¡±) found that a methodology for setting the prices of structural design services adopted by a professional regulation body effectively introduced minimum price maintenance and condemned the methodology as anticompetitive. The (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority applies for the first time Art. 81.1 EC and sanctions 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels (Association of the Bulgarian insurance companies)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
On 15 July 2008, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) sanctioned 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels of the premium for the compulsory Civil Liability insurance for car drivers (“Civil Liability insurance”) and of the commission paid to insurance brokers (...)

The European Commission adopts new guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"The new Guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector"* On 1 July 2008, the European Commission adopted guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to maritime transport services (‘the Guidelines’). This followed a public consultation in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council accepts commitments to reduce the duration of non-compete obligations in beer supply agreements (Borsodi Sörgyár)
Ernst & Young
The Hungarian Competition Council terminates an investigation concerning beer supply agreements by adopting a commitment decision and making the commitments of a beer producer binding, pursuant to which the duration of non-compete obligations is to be reduced to five years. The background of (...)

The Belgian Competition Council holds unlawful minimum tariffs imposed to members of a professional association on both national and EU provisions but without imposing any fine (Veterinaries Association)
Liège University - IEJE
,
CÎME
The Veterinarians’ Association (“VA”) is a professional order which represents all the veterinarians established in Belgium. Its primary task is to establish a code of conduct (“the code of conduct”) which regulates various aspects of the veterinarian profession in Belgium. It also holds (...)

A Dutch Court significantly reduces the fines imposed by the NCA for price and rebates coordination on bicycles markets pursuant to both Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Giant Europe, Accell Group and Gazelle/NMa)
European Commission - DG HR
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 18 July 2007, the Court of First Instance of Rotterdam (hereafter the ‘Rechtbank’) ruled on an appeal introduced against a decision adopted by the Dutch Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, hereafter the ‘NMa’) concerning a cartel between three Dutch companies engaged in (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision in the first Art. 81 EC case in Lithuania (Paper Wholesalers)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 7 June 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) substantially upheld the 26 October 2006 Competition Council’s infringement decision in Paper Wholesalers. As reviewed previously in this newsletter, by that decision the Competition Council found five wholesalers (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office finds certain marketing and advertising restrictions on pharmacists contrary to both Art. 81 EC and its Hungarian equivalent (Association of Hungarian Pharmacists)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the Association of Hungarian Pharmacists (AHP) in order to verify whether certain rules of the AHP regulating advertising and marketing by pharmacists infringe Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 11 of the Hungarian (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court holds that certain aspects of a co-operation agreement between Austrian savings banks violates Art 81 EC (Erste Bank)
DORDA
1. Background The Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition mat-ters) upheld a first instance decision of the Austrian Cartel Court (13 June 2006, 27 Kt 83/04, 27 Kt 18, 193/04 ; See Axel Reidlinger and Heinrich Kühnert, The Austrian Cartel Court finds that (...)

The French Competition Council fines a Belgian chocolate manufacturer for having imposed resale price maintenance for sales to works committees (Jeff de Bruges)
AptarGroup
By a decision dated January 27, 2007, the French Competition Council fined the Belgian chocolate manufacturer Jeff de Bruges for fixing retail prices concerning chocolate sales to works committees. The Belgian company Jeff de Bruges specializes in the distribution of chocolates and other (...)

The Polish NCA imposes record fines for resale price maintenance after a detailed assessment of the trade between member States criterion (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
In the beginning of 2005, Polifarb Cieszyn- Wroclaw S. A. (hereafter : Polifarb), a producer of paints and varnishes, proposed to seven building materials supermarkets, namely, Praktiker, Obi, Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Nomi, Platforma and Bricomarché, a so called “stabilization discount”. The (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office establishes that the provisions on the advertising of legal services of the lawyers code of ethics restrict competition under Art. 81.1 EC (Hungarian Bar Association)
KNP Law Nagy Koppany Varga & Partners
Summary of Facts Proceedings were initiated ex officio by the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) against the Hungarian Bar Association (Bar) in order to determine whether the following provisions of the Code of Ethics (Code) and the official position of its presidency (Position) qualify as (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office finds certain advertising restrictions on lawyers contrary to Art. 81 EC and its national equivalent (Hungarian Bar Association)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the Hungarian Bar Association (HBA) in order to verify whether certain rules of the HBA regulating advertising by attorneys as well as the content of webpages of attorneys infringe Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 11 of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines four large supermarket chains for concerted practices in their relationships with their beverages providers (FIAB/Alcampo)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
In a decision dated 22 May 2006 (“the Decision”), the Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, hereinafter “TDC”) has found that four large supermarket chains, namely, Alcampo, Carrefour, El Corte Inglés and Mercadona, had infringed Article 1 (1) of the Spanish (...)

The Latvian Courts and NCA find out that trade between member States is not affected by an international supply agreement and refuse to ask for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ (Kempmayer Media)
Loze, Grunte & Cers
Facts On 7 June 2004, the Latvian Competition Council declared that an agreement signed on 14 November 2002 between Kempmayer Media Ltd. (a company of England and Wales) and a/s Digitlais Latvijas radio un televzijas centrs (a company of Latvia) restricted competition and thus declared the (...)

A Spanish Commercial Court declares null and void an exclusive purchasing agreement on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (El Mareny/Repsol)
London School of Economics
Factual background The present judgment is a new chapter of a lengthy saga concerning agreements signed between petrol distributors and Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol CPP”), a subsidiary of the former monopoly in the Spanish petrol sector. This saga has (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision fining a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market with reference to the EC Commission’s notice on effect on trade (Keolis - Connex - Transdev)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background In a decision dated July 5, 2005 (See J.-P. de la Laurencie et M. Courtaigne-Op, The French Competition Authority fined three French major companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between Member (...)

A Portuguese Court substantially upholds the competition authority’s decision finding the association of veterinaries liable for imposing minimum fees (Portuguese Veterinary Medical Association)
Uria Menéndez (Lisbon)
An appeal was lodged by the Portuguese Professional Association of Veterinaries (“VMA”) after the Portuguese Competition Authority’s (the “PCA”) decision that found the VMA’s code of ethics to be in breach of Article 4(1) of Law 18/2003 of 11 June (the “Portuguese Competition Act”) and of Article (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission adopts a de minimis notice
Université de Neuchatel
On December 19th, 2005, the Swiss Competition Commission (the “SCC”) issued a notice in relation to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and micro-enterprises, entitled Communication on agreements with a limited effect on the market (“SME Communication”). The SME Communication is analogous to (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office applies a small and medium-sized undertakings exemption to a cartel in the sector of brick production and finds that trade between Member States is not affected (Ziegelwerk Bellenberg Wiest a. o.)
Norton Rose Fulbright
On 25 October 2005 the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) decided not to take action against the intention of several small and medium-sized brick producers to conclude a cartel agreement. The FCO based its decision on the fact that only German antitrust law applied to the case, which provides for a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that Art. 81 EC does not apply to a hairdressing franchise national network and that the provided “clause d’agrément” does not amount to a hardcore restriction (Socovi/Jean-Louis David)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background SARL SOCOVI, the franchisee, had entered into a franchising agreement with Jean Louis David SA, the franchisor, whereby the latter granted the former the right to run a franchise for the purposes of marketing hairdressing products and services. It included inter alia the right to (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority concludes that the agreements offered by the Budapest Sports Stadium are capable of distorting competition and have the potential of infringing Art. 81 EC (Arena Uzemelteto / Multimedia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
KNP Law Nagy Koppany Varga & Partners
The Budapest Sports Arena (BSA), a 12,000 seating capacity, state of the art, multifunctional sports and entertainment complex was first opened to the public in March 2003. It was built on the place of the Budapest Sports Hall, which was completely destroyed in a devastating fire five years (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading concludes that an agreement between banks to set a default interchange fee is restrictive of competition, contrary to both Art. 81 EC and national mirror competition provision (MasterCard UK)
Hogan Lovells (London)
,
Hogan Lovells (London)
On 6 September 2005, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced its Decision following a long running investigation of MasterCard UK Members Forum Limited (“MMF”) default interchange fee arrangements. The Decision itself was published on 13 October 2005. The OFT concluded that the parties had (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority finds that the deontological code of the professional association of veterinaries infringes Art. 81 EC by imposing minimum fees (Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários)
London School of Economics
Following a complaint, the Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, “the NCA”) started an investigation concerning the fixation of minimum prices by the Professional Association of Veterinaries (“the Association”). According to Article 43 of the Deontologial Code (“the Code”) issued by this (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three major national companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between member States (Keolis, Connex and Transdev)
Avocat au barreau de Paris
,
DFDL (Singapore)
Last July 2005, the French Competition Authority fined Keolis, Connex and Transdev a total of 11 € million for operating a national cartel in the French market for public passenger urban transport on the basis of article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code and article 81 EC. In its decision, (...)

A German Court finds that a horizontal cooperation agreement between small and medium-sized undertakings does not affect trade between Member States under Art. 81 EC as the agreement has no “appreciable” impact on interstate trade (Filigranbetondecken)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background Two small and medium-sized producers of filigree concrete ceilings and other pre-fabricated concrete parts intended to enter into a cartel agreement regarding a cooperation in respect of their sales and distribution activities, including a joint data information system, common (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council clears a 9 years’ exclusive agreement on the basis of Art. 81.3 EC (Rába/Integris)
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
Rába is a Hungarian vehicle manufacturers specialized in the spare parts business. The firm mostly exports products for the supply of companies such as Daimler Chrysler, Caterpillar, Suzuki etc. Rába is one of the most important independent undercarriage constructors in the world. Integris - (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a complaint in the market of sale of DVD dispensers on the basis of both national restrictive and unilateral provisions with a reference to EC Regulation No. 2790/1999 on vertical agreements (Cinemat)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Brussels)
On 23rd May 2001 a case has been submitted by the Syndicat National des Exploitants de Distributeurs Automatiques de Vidéocassettes et de DVD (SNEDAVI: national association of the video cassette and DVD dispenser operators) to the French Competition Council regarding the practices used by a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority considers that hardcore restrictions may have the effect of hindering trade between member States and opens proceedings against five manufacturers of marine and yacht coatings for alleged breach of Art. 81 EC (Vernici Marine)
London School of Economics
On 13 August 2003, a complaint was lodged before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (hereinafter, “AGCM”). The complainant alleged the existence of an anticompetitive agreement reached between several manufactures of marine and yacht coatings : Boat - Boero Attiva Marine and (...)

The French Competition Authority condemns an agricultural economic committee for preventing access to the market and rejects the State’s action doctrine argument (Brittany cauliflowers)
Avocat au barreau de Paris
,
The French Competition Council condemned on the 15 March 2005 the agricultural economic committee of fruit and vegetables of Brittany (CERAFEL) and several producers’ organizations for maintaining cartels in the wholesale marketing of Brittany cauliflowers. In the light of the recently enforced (...)

The French Competition Council fines € 75.000 a price resale maintenance agreement in the weapons and ammunition distribution sector on the basis of both Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Browning Winchester)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Brussels)
,
DLA Piper (Paris)
The case had been brought before the Competition Council by an armourer, following the termination by BWF of its commercial relationship with the manufacturer, which leads the French firearms’ market along with Beretta-Benelli France. The Council considered that BWF had established an (...)

The French Competition Council makes a rigorous analysis of the criteria of effect on trade between Member States and a broad application of the notion of agreement under Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Browning Winchester)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Browning Winchester France (”BW”), a manufacturer of guns and ammunitions, had set up a distribution network in France by entering into “pilot resellers’ agreements” with several gunsmiths. Pursuant to these agreements signed between 1997 and 2001, the gunsmiths undertook to order minimum volumes (...)

The Strasbourg Civil Court assesses the validity of a beer supply agreement in light of EC Regulations on vertical agreements (Kronenbourg)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Lni avocats (Paris)
Background On 16 March 1994, Mr. Besseyre who ran a coffee shop in Angers (central France) entered into a beer supply agreement with Kronenbourg under which he would exclusively purchase all of his beer requirements from Kronenbourg for a ten year period. In February 2002, Mr. Besseyre sold (...)

The French Competition Authority catches a defensive cartel of maritime transport carrier companies for abusive pricing on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (Channel Islands)
Avocat au barreau de Paris
The 21 December 2004, the French Competition Council issued a decision, under articles L. 420-1 of the Commercial Code and 81 of the EC Treaty, relating to concerted practices on the market of maritime connections to the Channel Islands from France. In the context of the recent entry into (...)

La "High Court" irlandaise condamne pour entente et abus de position dominante, sur le double fondement des dispositions internes et communautaires de concurrence, le fonds de garantie mis en place par l’association irlandaise des coopératives de crédit et d’épargne (John O’Regan, ILCU)
London School of Economics
L’ILCU, créée en 1960, est une association qui représente les intérêts des Credits Unions (coopératives de crédit et d’épargne) dans la République d’Irlande et en Irlande du Nord. En 1989, elle a mis sur pied un fonds de garantie (ci-après, “SPS”) au profit de ses membres. Le règlement de l’ILCU précise (...)

The Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annuls a decision of the NCA on fixed books prices for reimport of Danish books on the basis of Art. 81 EC after full assessment of ECJ and EC Commission’s case law on trade between Member States (Book Publisher)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 18 August 2004, the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annulled the decision of 24 September 2003 whereby the Danish Competition Council found that the Danish Book Association (“The association of Danish book publishers “) had infringed Article 81 when it prevented booksellers in other (...)

The European Commission fines Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instrumental for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe (Yamaha)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission fines Yamaha for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe"* On 16 July 2003, the Commission adopted a decision finding that Yamaha Corporation Japan, Yamaha Europa GmbH, Yamaha Musica Italia s.p.a., Yamaha Musique France S.A. and Yamaha Scandinavia AB have (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines over € 13 M shrimp wholesalers and fisheries for the first time on the basis of Art. 81 EC (North Sea Shrimp Sector)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amstelveen)
On 14 January 2003 the Dutch Competition Authority imposed fines totalling an amount of € 13.781 million on eight shrimp wholesalers and four Dutch, three German and one Danish producer organisation in the shrimp fishery industry for an infringement of Article 81 (1) EC Treaty and the national (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority refuses to issue interim measures regarding alleged practices in the photovoltaic electricity sector (SUN’R / EDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence will not issue interim measures against EDF but will pursue its investigation on the basis of the complaint lodged by SUN’R*. The Autorité de la concurrence, following a complaint (...)

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

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

The Helsinki Court of Appeals dismisses the appeal of the Finnish composers’ copyright society to annul a decision founding it has abused its dominant position on the market of licensing copyrights (Teosto)
European Commission
Finland: Copyright Management Organization abused its Dominant Position* On 30 June 2011, the Helsinki Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society (Teosto) to annul a district court decision where Teosto was found to have abused its dominant position on the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision on abuse of dominance by an airport operator (Vilnius International Airport - Naftelf)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Authority’s Decision on Abuse of Dominance by Vilnius International Airport On 15 March 2010, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 6 November 2008 finding an infringement of Article 9 of (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal partially annuls the decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission on the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline)
Bank of Greece
I. Introduction On 30 June 2009, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Decision No 2019/2009 annulling partially Decision No 318/V/2006 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) to (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines coffee maker nearly € 30 M for infringements of Art. 81 and 82 EC and their domestic equivalents (Nestlé)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Following a complaint made by the competing Greek coffee manufacturer DRITSAS, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) launched an investigation into the coffee products market, investigating alleged breaches of Article 81 and 82 EC (and Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77) by NESTLE HELLAS A.E. (...)

The Croatian Constitutional Court affirms the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Competition Act and its application in conformity with the EU standards (P.Z.A.)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Croatian Constitutional Court rejected the challenge against AZTN’s decision prosecuting the exclusive importer of the Volkswagen automobiles in Croatia for abuse of dominant position in accordance with the EU standards applied to this type of violation of competition law. The Court (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority condemns a provider of wholesale services for abusive practices in wholesale communications markets (Portugal Telecom Group)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
The Portuguese Competition Authority (“Autoridade da Concorrência”, hereinafter ‘ADC’), has adopted on the 1st September 2008 an important decision concerning abusive practices by PT Comunicações SA (hereinafter ‘PTC’), which is a part of Portugal Telecom Group, the former incumbent and monopolistic (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council allows the imposition of an IT tool by a car insurance company on car damage experts (OEIPA/Le FoyerAssurances)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car damage experts, OEIPA and Le Foyer Assurances S.A. (“Le Foyer”), one of the principal car insurances companies in Luxembourg. Le Foyer puts the (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council finds not abusive the refusal by a professional association in the field of car expertise services to accept a member and considers that trade between member States is not affected (OEIPA/Schmitt)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car assessment experts, OEIPA and Mr Carlo Schmit, a Luxembourg car assessment expert. In 1997 OEIPA refused the latter to become a member because (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council rejects an abuse of dominance complaint in the car insurance sector concerning alleged obligation to use a software application (OEIPA/Le Foyer Assurances)
MOYSE BLESER law firm
,
Herbert Smith Freehills
On 5 September 2007, following quite a lengthy decision, The Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) (Council) rejected a complaint submitted to the Competition Inspectorate (Inspectorate) by a professional association of car damage experts (Ordre des experts indépendants professionnels (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council renders its first ever decision and negatively applies the essential facilities doctrine in the sector of distribution of domestic heating fuel while holding that trade between Member States is not affected (Rock Fernand Distributions/Tanklux)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 23 April 2007 the new Luxembourg national competition authority that has been created in 2004, the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”), has handed down its first decision on the merits of a competition case brought before it. The Competition Council has chosen to be very didactic (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority, acting for the first time under art. 82 EC, fines 130 000 EUR an abuse of dominant position in the packaging waste processing market (Slopak)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
This case started in December 2005, when packaging waste processing service provider Intersoh complained to the Slovenian Competition Authority (“SCA”) about the abusive practices of its rival Slopak in the market for processing packaging waste, which is not communal waste. The SCA started the (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts interim measures to protect competition in a public tendering in the maritime sector (SNCM, Corsica Ferries, Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
The Conseil de la concurrence recently issued an interim measures decision in which it ordered an injunction against the Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) on the grounds of Article L. 464-1 of the French Commercial Code. Background The public authorities in Corsica and the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office closes proceedings against alleged abusive prices on the terrestrial broadcasting services market under both Hungarian and EU laws governing the use of unfair prices (Antenna Hungária)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
,
Hogan Lovells
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) held a procedure ex officio against the company Antenna Hungária under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market by setting excessive prices. Background / Facts of the case Antenna Hungária provides terrestrial broadcasting services for the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority rules that the decision of a dominant pharmaceutical firm to stop supplying the wholesalers and distribute the pharmaceuticals itself breaches the Greek Competition Act but not Art. 82 EC despite effect on trade between Member States (GlaxoSmithKline / SYFAIT)
Agora Trading
THE FACTS The dispute between GlaxoSmithKline (hereinafter “GSK”) and the Greek pharmaceutical wholesalers has its routes in 2000, when associations of the latter (amongst them “Sineterismos Farmakopion Etolias & Akarnanias”, “SYFAIT”) submitted numerous complaints to the Hellenic Competition (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal rules that a non-compete clause does not qualify as an anticompetitive agreement under Art. 81 EC but constitutes an abuse of a dominant position on the basis of Art. 82 EC (WEX/FEBIAC)
European Chemicals Agency
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Background FEBIAC, a Belgian federation of road transport vehicle manufacturers, organises road transport fairs for commercial vehicles in Brussels every other year. The 2005 fair would run from 14 to 23 January 2005. FEBIAC’s general conditions for participating at the 2005 fair contained a (...)

The Hungarian NCA states that an increase in prices above the inflation by a dominant local cable operator does not amount to an abuse of dominant position (Dual-Plus)
Dentons (Paris)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) led a procedure ex officio against Dual-Plus Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Dual-Plus) under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market, manifested through price increases well above the inflation rate. It rendered its decision on October (...)

The Swedish Market Court applies Art. 82 EC in accordance with Art. 3 of EC Reg. n° 1/2003 without regard to the effect on interstate trade criterion regarding alleged abusive pricing of Stockholm airport fees (Luftfartsverket)
Cederquist
,
Regeringskansliet
The case before the Swedish Market Court concerned the fees charged by the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket, hereinafter “LFV”) for offering parking space for airport coaches at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. On November 13, 2003, the Swedish Competition Authority (...)

State Aids

The EU Commission finds that the potential of the archaeological museum to affect intra-EU trade was low and therefore the measure did not constitute state aid (Messara Creta)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Why Can the Commission Not Be Consistent in its Analysis of Economic Activity and Affectation of Trade?* Introduction If you ask a national official who deals with State aid to identify the most challenging aspects of working with State aid rules, (...)

The EU Commission decides that the measure for the development of sustainable tourism had no impact on intra-EU trade and, consequently, did not constitute state aid (NUTS II region Southeast)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog How Not to Determine the Effect on Trade [Infrastructure for Tourism, Czech Republic (SA.35909)]* Introduction Normally the articles in this blog identify landmark court rulings and seminal decisions of the Commission which set important precedents (...)

A Dutch Court holds that the award of parking management contracts in a cross-border region does not have automatically an effect on intra Community trade (P1 Holding)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Case 1. On 22 November 2002, the Municipality of Maastricht has awarded directly, i.e., without any public tender procedure a contract to the undertaking Q-Park for the renovation and operation of several parking lots for a period of 30 years. P1, one of Q-Park’s competitors, challenged the (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aids to the daily press financed by a tax levied on advertising expenses affects trade between Member States and consequently amount to State aid (Auchan)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État, 8ème et 3ème sous-sections réunies), 21 December 2006, SA Auchan France, n°288562 Background and facts Article 23 of Law n° 97-1269 of 30 December 1997 () introduced a tax levied on certain advertising expenses (the Tax). The revenue of the Tax is (...)

The Danish Competition Authority rejects a complaint concerning an alleged violation of State aid rules on the grounds that the State aid measure is likely to affect trade between Member States and consequently lacks competence under Section 11a of the Danish Competition Act (Teknologisk Institut)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Centre of Tribology, which is part of the Technological Institute, is active in the field of tribology (comprising advanced surface treatment of tools and machine parts). It receives public funding from both the European Union and the Danish State. The Danish (...)

The European Commission launches formal investigation on measures in favour of non-profit harbours for recreational crafts in the Netherlands (Enkhuizen, Nijkerk and Wieringermee)
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid and the effect on trade criterion The Netherlands: measures in favour of non-profit harbours for recreational crafts"* Following a complaint, on 5 February 2003 the Commission initiated the formal investigation procedure down in Article 88 (2) of the EC Treaty on the possible (...)

Procedures

The German Federal Court of Justice affirms the coherence of German and European Competition law and German Civil law concerning anticompetitive practices (Subcontractor II)
Berlin Freie Universität
Facts The parties argue about the validity of a post-contractual non-compete clause. The plaintiff deals with the development, production and construction of certain technical equipments. The defendant was an employee of the plaintiff in the past. Then he went into business for himself on the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal refers several preliminary questions to the ECJ on the involvement of a NCA in appeal proceedings (VEBIC)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Facts of the case 1. On 25 January 2008, the Belgian Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) has condemned VEBIC, a professional association of Flemish bakeries, for having established a common cost index inciting Flemish bakeries to increase their prices in violation with the national (...)

The Polish Competition Authority considers that the fact that a practice is capable of affecting trade between Member States may be an aggravating factor (PZU Życie)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
It is well known that since 1st May 2004 and according to Article 3(1) of the Regulation n° 1/2003 the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the OCCP President), as the Polish National Authority, cannot apply only national law to practices prohibited by (...)

The Irish High Court grants a permanent injunction against the plaintiff undertaking who fails to prove that exclusivity clauses in retail contracts breach Art. 81 and 82 EC (Masterfooods / Ice Cream)
London School of Economics
Facts HB Ice-Cream Ltd., hereinafter HB, was an ice-cream manufacturer in Ireland which exerted considerable market power. HB had concluded contracts with many Irish retailers which included a so-called “exclusivity clause”; this clause stipulated that HB would provide the retailers with (...)

The Irish High Court accepts in principle yet rejected on the facts a claim based on Art. 82 EC in a civil action (Cadbury Ireland/Kerry Co-operative Creameries)
London School of Economics
Factual background The second defendant undertaking in this case, Dairy Disposal, is an undertaking which, under the watchful eye of the Minister for Agriculture, disposes of significant statutory powers to acquire privately owned creameries and to possibly transfer them to co-operative (...)

Regulations

The US Supreme Court invalidates state laws in Michigan and New York, barring out of state wineries from selling directly to instate consumers, while allowing such sales by instate wineries (Granholm / Heald)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Supreme Court Rules Against State Law Bans On Interstate Direct Shipment Of Wine* On May 16, 2005, the United States Supreme Court struck down state laws in Michigan and New York, barring out of state wineries from selling directly to instate consumers, while allowing such sales by instate (...)

Public sector

The EU Court of Justice establishes that a concession not being capable of generating substantial net revenue can still be of economic interest to undertakings located in a different member state (Comune di Ancona / Regione Marche)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU kicks new #concessions Directive in the shins (C-388/12)* In its Judgment of 14 November 2013 in case C-388/12 Comune di Ancona, the CJEU has put forward an argument for the existence of cross-border interest in the award of (public service) concession contracts that openly challenges the (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues