Excessive prices

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian competition authority fines more than € 3 M Rome and Milan airport managers for abuse of dominant position (Aeroporti di Roma-Tariffe Aeroportuali, SEA/Tariffe aeroportuali)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
,
Ministry of Economic Development (Italy)
ADR (Rome) and SEA (Milan) have been fined for overcharging competitors for refuelling services; ADR has also been fined for excessive prices for access services to Fiumicino’s cargo infrastructures and office space, while SEA has been sanctioned for excessive charges for the provision of common (...)

The EU Advocate General Kokott delivers her opinion on civil liability of cartel members for umbrella pricing (Kone, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp)
University College London
On 30 January 2014 Advocate General Kokott delivered her Opinion on the Case C-557/12 Kone and others. This case concerns a claim for compensation brought by the customer of an undertaking not party to a cartel, against the cartel members on the ground that the non-infringing party had (...)

A US Attorney General launches a wide investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in supra-competitive prices for medical care
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
California Attorney General Becomes the Latest Antitrust Enforcer to Investigate Hospital/Doctor Group Combinations* California’s Attorney General has recently launched a broad investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in (...)

The Argentinian Competition Authority concludes the investigation against five oil & gas corporations for imposing discriminatory and excessive prices to public transportation companies (YPF, Shell, Esso, Petrobras and Oil)
Computer and Communications Industry Association US (CCIA)
On 26 January, 2012 upon recommendation of Argentina’s National Competition Commission (ANCC), the Ministry of Economics & Finance ordered the 5 major oil & gas corporations -namely YPF (participated by Repsol YPF), Shell, Esso (Exxon Mobile), Petrobras and Oil- active in the Argentine (...)

The French Competition Authority analyses parallel behaviour as proof of a concerted practice and excessive pricing by a dominant company, in the context of a price-regulated sector (Ethicon / Tyco Healthcare France / Syndicat national des industries technologies médicales)
Cabinet Dieny
I. Introduction The main interest of this decision of the French Competition Authority (hereafter « the Competition Authority ») lies in its analysis of parallel behaviour as proof of a concerted practice, on the one hand, and excessive pricing by a dominant company, on the other, in the context (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the sector of borrower’s insurance for housing loan
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is in favour of the separation of the housing loan offer and the insurance offer. It considers that it is necessary to guarantee the information provided to consumers and to (...)

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 German Competition Authority orders an energy company to pay € 55 million to customers to settle excessive pricing investigation (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
According to a press release of 6 October 2008, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) closed its proceedings against six regional gas suppliers belonging to the E.ON group in exchange for a commitment according to which the companies agree not to increase prices for two months and to pay a (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts an effects based analysis to conclude to the absence of predatory pricing or excessive pricing in the gas and electricity sectors (Electrabel)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Background According to his powers under the Belgian Competition Act (the Law on the Protection of Economic Competition hereinafter "LPCE"), the Belgian minister of the economy, energy and commerce has requested an investigation into the gas and electricity sectors in Belgium to the (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions two French cement manufacturers for keeping for themselves the supply of Corsica to the detriment of foreign competitors (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Supply and distribution of cement in Corsica: Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of €25 million on cement manufacturers Lafarge and Vicat, and their distributors, for keeping for themselves the supply of (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority considers cooperation and joint selling of network services for PIN-transactions to be an infringement of the cartel prohibition (Interpay)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
Introduction Interpay is a joint venture between 8 Dutch banks ("the shareholders"), founded in 1994 to provide network services for PIN-transactions. PIN-transactions are payments with debit cards with PIN through pay machines at retailers. The network services consist of the authorization of (...)

The Irish Competition Authority calls for the repeal of the restrictive practices Order, contending that it facilitates retail price maintenance and hinders effective competition (Restrictive Practices - Groceries - Order)
London School of Economics
Section 30 of the Competition Act, 2002 mandates the Irish Competition Authority (hereinafter “NCA”) to advise government ministers on issues arising in the course of their functions which have an impact on competition. In light of this provision, the NCA responded to the Minster for Enterprise’s (...)

The Irish NCA assesses the prices and exclusive provisions of a major entertainment events tickets reseller on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (TicketMaster Ireland)
London School of Economics
The National Competition Authority has rejected allegations that TicketMaster (hereinafter “TicketMaster”) Ireland is abusing its dominant position through excessive pricing and that its exclusive contractual relations with certain promoters constitute infringements of Art 81 EC and its domestic (...)

Dominance

The South African Competition Commission investigates abuse of dominance on the market for visa support services to foreign embassies (VFS Global)
Nortons Incorporated
Costly COMESA Courthouse, za investigates visa provider & holds ground on Sasol fine LOTS AAT news this Monday, from Sudan/COMESA to South Africa. Visa facilitator backed by one branch of government & investigated by another In substantive antitrust news, the South African Competition (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning changes made to the gas oil wholesale listed prices in relation to an allegation of abuse of dominance (MOL)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
GVH has accepted commitments offered by the MOL* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, the Hungarian Competition Authority) has accepted commitments offered by MOL Magyar Olaj-és Gázipari Nyrt (MOL – the Hungarian Oil Company). According to the commitments, in the next 5 years the changes made to the (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal imposes fines for domestic excessive pricing of purified propylene and polypropylene (Sasol)
Nortons Incorporated
Costly COMESA Courthouse, za investigates visa provider & holds ground on Sasol fine LOTS AAT news this Monday, from Sudan/COMESA to South Africa. Visa facilitator backed by one branch of government & investigated by another In substantive antitrust news, the South African Competition (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council concludes an important investigation into the suspected abuse of dominance in the sector for road transportation (LINAVA)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council’s investigation encourages the Association LINAVA* The Competition Council (the KT) terminated the investigation into the actions by the Lithuanian National Road Carriers Association LINAVA (the Association). Allegedly, the Associations had breached Article 7 of the Law on (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an ex-state-owned oil refinery for abusing its dominant position by charging excessive prices and imposing unfair trading conditions (Tüpraş)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that the ex-state-owned oil refinery, TUPRAS, abused its dominant position by charging excessive prices contrary to its tariffs for a period of three months and by imposing unfair trading (...)

The Guangdong High Court upholds Shenzhen Intermediate Court decision in abuse of dominance case involving IP rights (Huawei / Interdigital)
First Principles Economics (FPE)
Guangdong High Court largely upholds Shenzhen Intermediate Court decision, requires Interdigital to pay full amount of damages requested by Huawei, and stipulates 0.019% maximum patent licencing fee. On Monday 28th October 2013 the Guangdong High Court reached its decision in the ongoing (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau chooses not to appeal the decision of the Competition Tribunal, but to focus on identifying alternate means of addressing the competition issues in the supply of credit card services (VISA, MasterCard)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Credit Cards in Canada: What Role for Competition Law?* 1. Introduction The growing popularity of credit and other payment cards among consumers has been accompanied by an increase in the regulatory and legal scrutiny of the terms governing the availability and use of these cards. One focus (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirms the district court’s denial of class certification and the dismissal of complaint with prejudice (Sommers/Apple)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
If Your Allegations Don’t Establish a Price Effect, You May Lack Antitrust Standing* In Somers v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 11-16896 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2013), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a putative class action against Apple, Inc., alleging antitrust violations in (...)

The Japanese Congress enacts the Pass-on Consumption Tax Act (POCTA) to prevent exploitative abuse when consumption tax rates are raised in the near future
University of Tokyo
Japan has enacted an Act which is relevant to discussion of exploitative abuse. The Act in question is the Pass-on Consumption Tax Act (Act No. 41 of the 12th June 2013), termed “POCTA” in this essay. 1. Overview Japan plans to raise consumption tax rates (from 5% to 8%) on the 1st April 2014 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority terminates its investigation in connection with the price setting of certified translations and attestation of translations (Országos Fordító)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Investigation against OFFI terminated by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH)* On 21 May 2013, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) terminated the competition supervision proceedings that had been initiated against OFFI. The GVH investigated whether the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions municipal undertakings for charging excessive prices for bus terminal services (Zhilfond Pleven)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 April 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) sanctioned two municipal undertakings in the city of Pleven for imposing excessive tariffs on the bus operators for the usage of the city bus terminal. The CPC’s investigation was prompted by a complaint of a bus company Hebros Bus OOD (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing* On 2 April the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for abuse of dominant position. Royalty tariffs for music airplay in retail (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
European Commission (Brussels)
Latvia: The Competition Council fines collective Copyright Management Association for Excessive Pricing* On 2 April 2013, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for having abused its dominant position by (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards damages in a follow-on claim arising from abuse of dominance on the market for transportation and partial treatment of water (Albion Water / Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig)
Blackstone Chambers
Albion v Dwr Cymru: Incompetence and counterfactuals* The Competition Appeal Tribunal today delivered that rarest of beasts: a judgment awarding damages in a follow-on claim. After its decade-long fight, Albion Water has been awarded around £2 million for Dŵr Cymru’s abuse of dominant position in (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts commitments of the public broadcaster concerning retransmission of television channels by “pay TV” operators (Hrvatska radiotelevizija)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 28 March 2013 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position by the public broadcasting company Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT) by accepting a number of behavioral commitments related to retransmission of television channels by (...)

The Shenzhen Intermediate Court decides that a telecom company abused its patent rights by requiring to pay excessive royalties for essential patents for mobile telephone technology (Huawei / America IDC)
Renmin University of China
I. The background of Huawei vs. America IDC anti-monopoly case for abuse of essential patents in standard In this case, the plaintiff, Huawei Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to “Huawei”) mainly provides products and services to the communication operators, professional network owners, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two mobile phone operators for abusing their dominant position on the French mobile phone market (Orange France, SFR)
University Dublin College (UCD)
On 13 December 2012, The French National Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence,hereafter “the FCA”) fined two of the three major French mobile network providers (Orange France and SFR) €183 million for abuse of dominant position in the mobile telephony sector. The FCA investigated the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts behavioural commitments in unfair pricing case in the natural gas sector (Progaz)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 5 September 2012 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) has accepted behavioral committments of a dominant undertaking in the natural gas sector and closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position initiated under the national equivalent of Article 102 TFEU. In June (...)

The Romanian Competition Council closes investigation on abuse of dominant position on the local market of natural gas installations planning and execution accepting commitments undertaken by the monopolist (PROGAZ P&D)
Grigorescu Ştefănică
Romania: The Romanian Competition Council accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA* The Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA in view of relieving the concerns regarding infringement of the antitrust rules by abuse of a (...)

The Competition Tribunal of South Africa rules on exclusionary conduct in the telecommunications industry (Telkom)
London School of Economics
,
Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED)
Over eight years after the matter was referred, on 7 August 2012 the Competition Tribunal found Telkom had abused its dominant position in refusing to provide access to an essential facility to competitors in the form of independent Value Added Network Service providers (VANS), and in inducing (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority confirms competence with regard to regulated fees in energy sector (ZSE Distribúcia)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Council of the Slovak Competition Authority ("SCA") confirmed the first instance decision imposing a fine on ZSE Distribucia, a.s., Bratislava ("ZSE") for abuse of dominant position. The abuse of dominant position consisted in the charging of unreasonably high fees for (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal finds that a distribution company delivering and collecting newspapers and magazines abused its dominant position by charging excessive and discriminatory prices (AMP)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 29 May 2012, the Brussels Court of Appeal held that AMP, a distribution company delivering and collecting newspapers and magazines for retail shops, had abused its dominant position by increasing the fixed minimum fee for its services without any economic justification. (...)

The German Competition Authority clarifies that examination of a company’s pricing elements can be sole legal test in determining excessive pricing (Water supplier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By decision of 15 May 2012, recently published, the German Federal Court of Justice (“the Court”) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart (“HRCS”), by which the latter had annulled a decision of the federal cartel office (“FCO”) finding that a dominant water supplier had (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court changes stance and rules that an isolated conduct in the daily energy market constitutes a continuous abuse of dominance (Iberdola Generación)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
I. The Spanish generation market As has been described in previous bulletin articles the Spanish generation market is extremely complex and heavily intervened by burdensome regulation. In a nutshell, tenders (pools) are organised every hour of the day by a public entity in order to fulfil the (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic fines electricity distribution company for abuse of a dominant position by charging excessive prices for electricity metering (ZSE)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
,
Kinstellar
Factual background By its decision No. 2012/DZ/R/2/030, the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “Council”), acting in its capacity as the appellate body of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “AMO”) rejected on 29 June 2012 the appeal of ZSE Distribúcia (...)

The Swedish Market Court finds taxi traffic control companies’ additional fee for enhanced pre-ordering services abusive (Uppsala Taxi, Europark, Swedavia)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
On 23 November 2011, the Swedish Market Court handed down its judgment in Uppsala Taxi 100 000 AB (“Uppsala Taxi”) v. Europark Svenska Aktiebolag (“Europark”) and Swedavia AB (“Swedavia”). Uppsala Taxi brought proceedings against Europark and Swedavia (the “Defendants”) for an alleged abuse of a (...)

The European Commission makes legally binding commitments by a national numbering agency to abolish fees for use of US international securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
The Rick Perry Syndrome* “Oops“, the Commission did it again… On November 15, 2011, in the S&P case, the Commission again closed abuse of dominance proceedings with an Article 9 decision. As already explained, Article 9 decisions have become the conventional procedure in Article 102 TFEU (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority closes its investigation concerning excessive prices in the market for quality certification services harmonized with the construction products Directive (IGH)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) dismissed the complaint lodged by the cement importer ARMACOM d.o.o. against Institut IGH d.d., an organization authorized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction (MZOPU) to provide inspection (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal decides the appointment of experts to investigate abuse of dominant position in the railway sector (NMBS / SNCB, Electrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal (Hof van Beroep/Cour d’Appel) gave an interlocutory judgment designating a panel of experts in a case pitting NMBS/SNCB, the national railway company, against Electrabel. The appeal judgment overturns the initial judgment of the Court of (...)

The Swiss Supreme Court upholds the annulment of the record fine on the historical telecom operator for excessive pricing in mobile termination fees (Swisscom / Comco)
Swiss Competition Commission
On 11th April 2011, the Swiss Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited decision in the mobile termination fees case about an alleged abuse of dominance of Swisscom, the Swiss historical telecom operator. In 2007, the Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has imposed a record fine of over 200 (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission opens formal proceedings against three telecommunications operators (Telefónica Móviles, Vodafone and Orange)
European Commission (Brussels)
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Romanian Competition Council finds an abuse of dominance on the markets for delivery of addressed marketing materials and standard correspondence delivery (Romanian Post, Mailers Serv, Infopress)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On 16 December 2010 the Competition Council issued Decision 52/2011 finding that the Romanian National Post Company (“CNPR”) was guilty of an abuse of dominant position through discriminatory practices towards entities that were economically dependent upon it. I. The facts A number of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council releases a decision imposing remedies on an undertaking active on the cabled distribution market (Coditel)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
,
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 10 December 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Council (“the Council”) has adopted the decision N°2010-FO-02 providing an assessment of the competition law situation on the TV cabled distribution market. Beside a previous decision where the President of the Council has imposed “interim measures” (...)

The Brussels Court of First Instance dismisses the action brought by the national railway company for lack of proof (NMBS / SNCB, Electrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2010, the Brussels Court of First Instance dismissed the action brought by NMBS/SNCB, the national railway company, against Electrabel for lack of proof. Mere reliance upon a report published by the energy regulator was found inconclusive evidence to demonstrate an abuse (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal overturns a decision by the NCA not to investigate an excessive pricing complaint (KLM/SLM)
Liberty Global (Amsterdam)
The complaint The appeal relates to a complaint submitted by a society of travellers (Vereniging van Reizigers -“VVR”) to the Netherlands Competition Authority (“NMa”) on 16 April 2003. The complaint alleges that the airlines KLM and SLM are abusing their dominant position on the route Amsterdam - (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal rejects contestable market argument and orders NCA to reinvestigate abuse of dominance by KLM/SLM (KLM/SLM)
SEO Economic Research
,
SEO Economic Research
Facts In 2003 the Vereniging van Reizigers (an association of travellers, hereafter VVR) filed a complaint at the Netherlands Competition Authority, the NMa about abuse of a dominant position by airlines KLM and Surinam Airways (hereafter SLM) on the route Amsterdam - Paramaribo. The NMa (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission rejects a complaint against the municipality of Athens for abuse of dominance on the basis that it did not act as an "undertaking" (Georgios Koutros, and General Association of Greek Consumers)
Lambadarios Law Firm
On July 21, 2010 the Hellenic Competition Commission ("Epitropi Antagonismou", hereinafter "HCC") issued a decision on the merits by which it rejected a complaint brought against the Municipality of Athens for alleged abuse of its dominant position in conferring the use of communal areas to (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court reforms a judgment of first instance and considers an airport managing company not responsible for abuse of dominant position under art. 102 TFEU in the market for centralized airport infrastructures (SEA - Airport tariffs)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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Economisti Associati
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
In September 2009, the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio) upheld the appeal from AIR ONE S.p.A., an Italian airline now merged with Alitalia, against a decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) concerning the alleged abuse of (...)

The Russian Supreme Commercial Court upholds a €28.5 M fine on a British-Russian oil company for abuse of dominance (TNK-BP)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
,
RBB Economics (Brussels)
BACKGROUND In 2008 the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation found four major Russian vertically integrated oil companies (TNK-BP, Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom Neft) guilty of abusing a collective dominant position on the wholesale Russian market for motor fuel products (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court revokes CHF 333 M fine against leading telecommunications provider’s subsidiary (Swisscom Mobile)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
Swatch
I. Summary The Swiss Federal Administrative Court overruled a judgment rendered by the Swiss Competition Commission imposing a fine of CHF 333 M on Swisscom Mobile for abusing its dominant position by improperly enforcing inflated prices for mobile termination. II. Case 1. Parties Swisscom (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council issues fourth infringement decision against the State controlled airport for restricting access to the airport facilities (Vilnius Airport/RSS II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
The Lithuanian Competition Council started the year of 2010 by issuing, on 21 January 2010, yet another infringement decision - fourth in less than three years - against the Vilnius international airport operator, the State Enterprise Tarptautinis Vilniaus oro uostas (TVOU), for its refusal to (...)

The College of Competition Prosecutors of the Belgian Competition Council rejects a complaint about termination rates for international calls against incumbent telecoms operator (BASE / Belgacom)
European Commission (Brussels)
Belgium: Complaint about Termination Rates for International Calls against Belgacom rejected On 24 December 2009, the College of Competition Prosecutors of the Belgian Competition Council rejected a complaint by mobile operator BASE against telecom operator Belgacom (incumbent telecoms (...)

The Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announces the settlement in private enforcement action brought against a Chinese mobile company for abuse of dominance (China Mobile)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
The Ending of the ’China Mobile’ Case* This is an article corresponding to the China Mobile case which was discussed at China Law Vision on April 21, 2009. On 23 October 2009 the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announced the settlement of an Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) case brought by Zhou (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines two telecoms operators € 53 M euros for abuse of dominant position in the wholesale and retail broadband markets (Portugal Telecom and ZON)
University of Lisbon
,
Pares Advogados
On 2 September 2009, after a 6-year investigation, the Portuguese Competition Authority imposed a €45 million fine on the incumbent operator Portugal Telecom (PT) and an €8 million fine on ZON, its former multimedia division. It’s the largest fine ever imposed by the Portuguese watchdog. At stake (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a natural gas supplier of allegations of abusive pricing for the supply of gas (Productschap Tuinbouw / GasTerra)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction In its decision of 26 June 2009, the Dutch competition authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, « NMa ») assessed a complaint brought by the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture (Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie, « LTO ») and Glaskracht Nederland (« Glaskracht ») (...)

The Czech NCA accepts the first settlement in a unilateral conduct case (RWE Transgas - Quiet life)
Government of the Czech Republic
,
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 South African Competition Appeal Court overturns an excessive pricing decision by the Competition Tribunal (Mittal Steel)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
,
RBB Economics (Brussels)
BACKGROUND In 2007, the South African Competition Tribunal (CT) found Mittal Steel guilty of charging excessive prices for steel products on the South African market. The decision contested the pricing practices carried out by Mittal. Namely: (i) prices in the domestic South African market are (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects a consumer complaint on the excessiveness of airport parking fees (Esenboga)
University of Leeds
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has rejected a consumer complaint alleging that the car park fees at the only airport in the capital (Ankara Esenboga Airport) are excessive. The case arose out of a consumer complaining to the TCA after having parked his vehicle at the airport car park (...)

The Italian Competition Authority holds that airports abused their dominant position by setting excessive fees (Aeroporti di Milano)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has ruled that SEA, the manager of the Milan airports of Linate and Malpensa breached Art. 82 EC and imposed on it a fine of € 1,549,000 . SEA abused its dominant position it enjoyed at the airports of Linate and Malpensa as holder of an exclusive licence (...)

A German Court confirms a decision of the local competition authority in which excessive retail water prices were prohibited on the basis of former German competition law provisions that still apply to the public water sector (Wasserversorgung Wetzlar)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The ruling of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/ Main (Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt/ Main) confirms a decision of the competition authority of the Federal State Hesse in which the authority prohibited excessive water prices on the retail level charged by the public water (...)

The Cyprus Competition Commission holds that the incumbent airways operator does not abuse of its dominant position while providing visa services with airplane tickets (Yiannas Euripidou / Cyprus Airways)
Neocleous
Yianna Euripidou filed a complaint to the Cyprus Competition Commission as a consumer. She had visited Dubai by buying a ticket and VISA through the Cyprus Airways airline. The Visa was charged at the amount of $82. Mrs. Euripidou claimed that Cyprus Airways is taking advantage of their (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines an airport for excessive prices and margin squeeze practices for access to certain airport facilities (Aeroporti di Roma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Last October the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed investigations started in 2006 following complaints received by several freight operators and airlines about the anticompetitive practices of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) . ADR is the dominant operator at the Rome’ airports of Fiumicino (...)

The Antwerp Commercial Court considers prices that do not comply with regulatory pricing obligations to be excessive under Belgian competition law (Base / Belgacom)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
,
ID4green
Facts of the case 1. In 2007, a dispute arose between Base, one of the three main mobile telephone operators in Belgium, and Belgacom, the Belgian incumbent on the fixed telephone market. In a decision of 11 August 2006, the Institut belge des services postaux et des télécommunications (IBPT ), (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a power company for excessive pricing in the technical restrictions market (Gas Natural)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition authority (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, "the Commission") has imposed a fine of € 1.5 million on Gas Natural for abusing its dominant position in the electricity technical restrictions market, thereby breaching Article 6 of the former Spanish Law n° 16/1989 on (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority investigates a Pay-TV operator under Art. 82 EC for applying unfair and discriminatory conditions to a new entrant for access to its satellite platform (Sky Italia)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
The investigation launched by the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) on 2 October 2008 aims at ascertaining a possible infringement of Article 82 EC by Sky Italia (Sky), the Italian vertically integrated Pay-TV incumbent. It has been prompted by a complaint brought by Conto TV, a small and (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority settles a dispute regarding jet fuel supply at the Vienna International Airport (OMV)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
,
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
In a decision of 4 April 2008, the Austrian Cartel Court declared certain commitments agreed between the Federal Competition Authority ("FCA") and Austrian oil incumbent (OMV) binding on OMV. Background The case’s beginnings lie in a conflict between two companies with strong State (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a collective performance rights organisation of allegations of price discrimination and excessive pricing (Fresh FM - Buma)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Introduction On the 16 January 2003, the commercial regional radio station Fresh FM submitted a complaint to the Dutch Competition Authority, the Nma, regarding the tariffs charged by Buma, the Dutch collective performance rights organization, to its clients. Fresh FM accused Buma of abusing (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office refuses to use public resources for investigating an allegation of excessive pricing in the electricity sector (Budapesti Elektromos Mûvek Nyrt)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
,
MVM OVIT (Budapest)
,
General Electric
Background In its decision of 10 March 2008 (HCO Decision), the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) terminated the proceedings against Budapesti Elektromos Mûvek Nyrt (Elmû). Elmû is the electricity distribution system operator company in the metropolitan area of (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal partly confirms and partly annuls a decision of the NCA’s on excessive pricing in the wholesale market for physical electricity in Western Denmark (Elsam III)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
On 3 March 2008, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal decided an appeal against an exces-sive pricing decision made by the Danish Competition Council on 20 June 2007. In the original de-cision, the Council had concluded that Danish electricity producer Elsam had abused its dominant position (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines explosives’ supplier for excessive pricing (Canarias de Explosivos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 12 February 2008, the Spanish Competition Authority fined a supplier of explosives for excessive pricing in the Canary Islands in breach of the Spanish equivalent to Article 82 EC. The Spanish Competition Authority concluded that Canarias de Explosivos S.A. held a dominant position on the (...)

The German Parliament reforms the Competition’s Restraints Act in order to fight against price abuses in the energy and food trade sectors
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The German parliament voted on a reform to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) which is inter alia aimed at improving the fight against price abuses by companies in the energy and food trade sectors. Both reforms are unrelated to each other even though both were intensively (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court annuls the NCA’s first Art. 82 EC case in Lithuania on both legal reasoning and procedural grounds and, inter alia, for not having informed the EC Commission, in an excessive fuel prices case (Maeikiu nafta II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 28 June 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) overturned the 22 December 2005 Competition Council’s infringement decision n° 2S-16 in Mažeikiu nafta II (“MN”)(, the first Article 82 case in Lithuania, notable for its record fine of LTL 32 million (approx. EUR 9.27 (...)

A German Court decides on excessive fees for the provision of information for directory enquiry services (DaRed II)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 27 June 2007, the German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on the question whether a telecommunication company abused its dominant position by demanding excessive fees for the provision of information for directory enquiry services. The question at stake was whether a (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority refers to the Cartel Court a case of alleged excessive pricing in the jet fuel market pursuant to both Art. 82 EC and national provisions (Austrian Airlines/OMV)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
,
The case at hand concerns a complaint by Austrian Airlines of June 2006 to the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (FCA) that followed a long dispute between Austrian Airlines and OMV, the Austrian market leader in the oil refining and distribution of refinery products. According to the (...)

The Maltese Competition Authority fines the State undertaking entrusted with exclusive right for fuel provision for discriminatory pricing (Cassar Fuels / Enemalta)
By an application to the Commission for Fair Trading, the Director of the Office for Fair Trading premised that: (i) on 12th September 2005, the Office received a complaint from Cassar Fuels Limited, an agent and distributor of fuels to local industries including hotels, factories and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority imposes a fine of € 35 M for excessive pricing in the potassium chloride market (Silvinit / Uralkalii)
Gibson Dunn
On 23 April 2007, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service ("FAS Russia") decided that the two only Russian producers of potassium chloride, Silvinit and Uralkalii, were in breach of Article 10(1) of the Russian Federal Law on the Protection of Competition by abusing their dominant position. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines for the third time an electricity utility for excessive high prices (Iberdrola Castellón)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia), 8 March 2007, Iberdrola Castellón, Decision n° 601/05 The time is come for Spanish main utilities to carry out a serious competition law assessment before putting a price to the power they offer within the framework of the (...)

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

The Swiss Competition Commission imposes a record fine of 333 M Swiss Francs to the telecommunications incumbent for abusive termination rates (Swisscom Mobile)
Lenz & Staehelin (Geneva)
I. Background In a decision of 5 February 2007, the Swiss Competition Commission ("Comco") held that Swisscom Mobile enjoys a dominant position on the market of termination of calls on its mobile phone network and abused its dominant position by applying an excessively high termination rate of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the first ever finding by the High Court of an abuse of dominance pursuant to Art. 82 EC (Attheraces/British Horseracing Board)
White & Case (London)
,
Reed Smith (London)
Background A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has reversed the first ever High Court finding of an Article 82 infringement in litigation between private parties. Attheraces v British Horseracing Board was an appeal from the High Court decision of Justice Etherton. The Judge who had held (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the High Court’s finding that British Horseracing Board has abused its dominant position by charging excessive and discriminatory prices (Attheraces v. BHB)
Hogan Lovells
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 2 February 2007, Attheraces Ltd and Attheraces (UK) ltd.v. The British Horseracing Board Ltd. And BHB Enterprises PLC, Case n° A3/2006/0126), [2007] EWCA Civ 38 On 2 February 2007, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment upholding the (...)

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court rules on the first Art. 82 EC case on alleged excessive fuel prices (Mažeikiu nafta II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
Just when everybody thought that Mažeikiu nafta II - the first Article 82 EC case in Lithuania - could be put to rest for at least another two years, it was brought back to life as, on 31 January 2007, the Constitutional Court issued a ruling refusing to accept a reference from the Vilnius (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office regards the inclusion of more than 25% of the market prices of CO2 emission certificates within the electricity prices as an abuse of dominant position pursuant to Art. 82 EC (CO2 National Allocation Plans)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
Background information on CO2 emission allowances The EU system for CO2 emission allowance trading has been in operation since 2005. Since then, companies active in CO2 emitting industries are obliged to use emission certificates for their production. These certificates are allocated free of (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal concludes that a statutory water provider abused its dominant position by margin squeezing on the market for transportation and treatment of non-potable water (Albion Water)
European Commission (Brussels)
Facts Albion Water ("Albion") is a statutory water provider based in Wales, which is licensed to provide non-potable water to an industrial client ("Shatton Paper"). The water in Wales is transported through a water transportation faclity ("Ashgrove System"), which is exclusively owned by (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority opens airports investigations for alleged excessive prices and abuse of dominant position (Aeroporti di Roma / Milano)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
,
On 14 December 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) has initiated two formal investigations on the market for the management of airport infrastructures in relation to the airports of Rome and Milan. Following a complaint by IBAR, the association representing the air carriers active in (...)

The Romanian Competition Council heavily fines low prices and market sharing on the cable TV market (UPC, Hi-Fi Quadral, Astral Telecom, Cablevision)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
,
Dechert (Paris)
The Cable TV Decision (decision n° 237/2006 - the “Decision”) was rendered by the Romanian Competition Council on 12 December 2006, at the end of Romania’s pre-accession period. The thorough analysis included in the Decision may be regarded as evidence that the Council has reached a high level of (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer against the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philippides/CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines the medical gas monopolist for the application of an unfair and discriminating price (AGA SIA)
Best Lawyers
Introduction The Latvian Competition Council in its strategy for the years 2007-2009 has set the aim to strongly combat against the abuse of the dominant position. The Council intends at least to double the number of cases to be reviewed in respect of the abuse of the dominant position. Up (...)

The Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection finds that a local water and sewerage services supplier abused of its dominant position (MWiK)
Sulima Grabowska Sierzputowska
,
European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
On 28 July 2006, on behalf of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”), the Head of the Katowice branch office of the OCCP by means of the decision n° RKT - 53/2006 imposed a fine of PLN 10,000 (EUR 2,552.45) on the company Miejskie Wodociagi i Kanalizacje w (...)

The Spanish Competition Court establishes that a collecting society has abused its dominant position by discriminating two TV operators but rejects plaintiffs’ claims that prices were excessive (AGEDI)
The Spanish Intellectual Property law has been modified over time. The law that currently regulates Intellectual Property dates from 1996 and compiles all the applicable legislation on this matter. This law, called Texto Refundido de la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (from now on TRLPI) has (...)

The Latvian NCA issues a non-infringement decision in the Lithuanian oil refinery case on abusive oil price increase (Mažeiki Nafta)
Lithuanian Competition Council
AB Mažeiki Nafta ([“MN” ), the Lithuanian oil refinery, which had been previously fined by the Lithuanian NCA for the abuse of a dominant position, could take a breath after the Latvian Competition Council, on 24 May 2006, closed its investigation finding no infringement on MN’s part. The two (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures to address anticompetitive practives in the sector of collective nursery (Bouc’choux)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Sector of collective nursery: The Conseil de la concurrence orders association managing nurseries (Bouches-du-Rhône département) to suspend application of amendment to employees’ work contract to ensure good (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philipilides / Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority ends proceedings against the telecommunications incumbent operator without finding abuse in the market of wholesale unbundled access to the local loop (Elisa / Elion)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Introduction On October 17th, 2005 the Estonian subsidiary of a Finnish telecom operator Elisa filed a complaint with the Estonian Communications Board claiming that the Estonian telecom incumbent Elion Ettevõtted AS (Elion) had committed an abuse of its dominant position. According to the (...)

A Dutch Court dismisses a plea on excessive tariff rates under both Dutch competition law and Art. 82 EC (BAT/Chipnik, "Tobacco vending machines")
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
British American Tobacco (hereafter “BAT”) produces and supplies tobacco products. It owns a large number of cigarette vending machines. Chipknip provides services in relation to banking chip cards. When equipped with specific chips, banking cards can be used as electronic wallets. In 1999, the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a maximum fine on the incumbent Polish telecom operator for non-implementation of its decision (Telekomunikacja Polska)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
,
Affre i Wspólnicy
President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP”) imposed by way of decision on March 28, 2006 (n° DDI2-423-2/925/00/BC) a fine on Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (“TP S.A.”, the “Company”) of PLN 5,7 million (nearly € 1,5 million), which is equivalent to € 10,000 per each day of (...)

A Spanish Court clears the main national collecting society’s pricing practice (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
A Spanish commercial judge has made an interesting contribution to the series of cases under EC antitrust law concerning the pricing practices of national copyright-management societies (hereinafter, “collecting societies”). The two applicants are digital TV platforms offering their clients (...)

A Spanish Court dismisses an application brought by a pay-TV against the Spanish copyright collecting society for breach of Art. 82 EC (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
London School of Economics
Canal Satélite Digital, S.L. (hereinafter, “Canal Satélite”) y DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (“DTS”) are two Spanish companies whose main shareholder is Sogecable, the main pay-TV operator in Spain (which develop its pay-TV activities under the commercial name Digital+). Canal Satélite (...)

The UK telecommunications regulator closes an investigation under Art. 81 and 82 EC, and equivalent UK provisions, on alleged anticompetitive and abusive price of telephone services to hospital patients in spite of long duration exclusivity clause (Patientline, “Premier”)
Compass Lexecon (London)
Summary The Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) has decided to close an investigation under Articles 81 and 82, and equivalent UK national competition law, into the price of telephone services to hospital patients. Patientline plc (“Patientline”) and Premier Telecom Contracts Limited (“Premier”), (...)

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 Hungarian Competition Authority finds that the telecommunications incumbent abused its dominant position by setting excessively high wholesale prices for network access (Magyar Telekom)
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
On 6 September 2005, the Hungarian Competition Authority found Magyar Telekom guilty of abuse of dominance by setting supra competitive wholesale prices for network access to “toll-free” and “reduced-toll” telephone numbers - the so called “coloured numbers”. In Hungary, “toll-free” and (...)

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 (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine for price squeezing and excessive pricing on the Internet services market (CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 30 May 2005 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter C.P.C.) ended its own initiative investigation of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (hereinafter CYTA) by unanimously finding CYTA liable for abuse of its dominant position in the market for the provision (...)

The Italian competition authority opens proceedings against three mobile telecommunications operators for alleged excessive interconnection fees pursuant to Art. 81 and 82 EC (TIM-Vodafone-Wind / TELE2-TWC-Startel)
London School of Economics
TELE2 Italia (hereinafter, “TELE2”) lodged a complaint before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (“AGCM”) on 16 April 2004. A similar complaint was lodged some months later by ReteItaly, Trans World Communication Italia (“TWC”) and Startel. TELE2 has as its core activities in the (...)

The European Commission rules on excessive pricing in the port sector (Scandlines Sverige v. Port of Helsingborg, Sundbusserne v. Port of Helsingborg)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Two important rejection decisions on excessive pricing in the port sector"* On 23 July 2004, the Commission took two decisions rejecting two complaints lodged in 1997 by ferry operators—Scandlines Sverige AB (hereinafter ‘Scandlines‘) and Sundbusserne AS (hereinafter ‘Sundbusserne‘) — against the (...)

The Danish competition authority finds a mobile telephone company in violation of the Danish Competition law for operating a margin squeeze and an illegal bonus system (Song Networks / TDC-SONOFON)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
A Danish provider of fixed line telephony for business customers, Song Networks A/S, complained to the Danish Competition Authority alleging that TDC and SONOFON had engaged in illegal behaviour by: charging excessive prices for mobile termination, engaging in collusive behaviour in connection (...)

The Greek Competition Authority considers that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property has abused its dominant position on the market for the administration of the intellectual property rights of Greek and foreign composers (AEPI)
University College London
A number of Greek composers and the Association of Greek composers complained to the Hellenic Competition Commission (Competition Commission) that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), a profit making organization of collective administration and distribution of (...)

The Estonian Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on excessive pricing and interaction between competition law and regulation (Eesti Telefon)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
1. Background information AS Eesti Telefon (ET, currently Elion Ettevõtted AS) is the Estonian incumbent telecom operator. The Estonian Competition Board (ECB) initiated proceedings against ET after ET had implemented a price rise to its on-net telephone services provided at a fixed location. (...)

The French Competition Authority closes a case in the mobile telephony sector but does not exclude the anticompetitive character of the practices (Orange France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Orange France renounced to overcharge the calls of its consumers towards its competitors, the Conseil de la concurrence decided to close the case* On September 15 2002, Orange France1, implemented a new call (...)

The Estonian Competition Board brings proceedings to an end against the Tallinn port and established discriminatory pricing for access to an essential facility (Termoil)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
1. Background information AS Turmoil (Termoil) is a company operating oil terminals in the Port of Muuga in Tallinn, Estonia. Port of Muuga is owned by a state owned company AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn, PoT). PoT is the biggest cargo and passenger port complex with five harbours, (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates a formal investigation against a member of a Swedish group on suspicion of abuse of dominant position on the market for supply of electricity (Bewag)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Abuse proceedings initiated against electricity* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a formal investigation against Bewag AG, Berlin (Bewag), belonging to the Swedish Vattenfall group, on suspicion of the company abusing its dominant position as an electricity network operator. Bewag is (...)

The German Competition Authority institutes abuse proceedings against 10 electricity network operators on account of their charging excessively high fees for network use (Allgäuer Überlandwerke)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The Bundeskartellamt has instituted abuse proceedings against electricity network operators* The Bundeskartellamt has instituted abuse proceedings against 10 electricity network operators on account of their charging excessively high fees for network use. The companies involved include the (...)

The Maltese NCA rejects a case of alleged predatory pricing related to tender for new leases of premises in an airport (RGM Trading)
King’s College (London)
,
Superior Courts of Malta
The complainant operated a newsagency in the Departure Lounge at Malta International Airport. When the Airport Authority invited tenders for new leases of premises at the airport, the complainant enjoyed a right of first refusal. However, the dominant importer of newspapers and periodicals, (...)

The Luxembourg highest administrative Court considered the lack of information given by a cable TV distribution operator to its customers to be an abuse of dominant position (Coditel)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
In 1993 Coditel, the cable TV distributor in several Luxembourg municipalities, acquired the TV distribution network in the Luxembourg municipality of Leudelange from a small undertaking. Upon this acquisition Coditel imposed its conditions on the subscribers to the former network operator and (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court confirms criminal sanctions against the CEO of a national copyright-management society for excessive fees (X / SACEM)
WTG Events
Despite the de-penalization of anticompetitive practices, acknowledged by many authors, and implemented by the Order of 1st December 1986 (the Order), Article L. 420-6 of the French commercial code (the FCC) still states that : “If any natural person fraudulently takes a personal and decisive (...)

Procedures

A US Court of Appeals affirms on statute of limitations grounds the district court’s dismissal of the Sherman Act and Clayton Act claims related to an allegation of anti-competitive price increase on the market for petroleum wax-based oxidates (Z Technologies / Lubrizol)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Beyond Truth, and Toward Repose: Price Increases Following “Merger to Monopoly” Do Not Rekindle Statute of Limitations* Z Technologies Corp. v. Lubrizol Corp., No. 2:12-cv-12206 (6th Cir., May 23, 2014). In February, 2007, Lubrizol Corporation made a “merger to monopoly” acquisition of the assets (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the infringement decision of the Competition Authority finding discriminatory pricing on the market for jet fuel supplied in Croatian airports (INA)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 February 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the sole supplier of jet fuel JET A-1 in Croatian airports INA-Industrija nafte d.d. (INA) for an exploitative abuse of dominant position (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an allegation of unreasonable refusal to supply and unlawful discriminatory pricing (Attheraces/British Horseracing Board)
King’s College (London)
Introduction This note considers one of the two cases recently heard by the “ordinary” courts (the High Court and Court of Appeal) (See also A. Jones, The UK Hight Court rules on interim unjunction for an alleged unlawful refusal to supply in the pharmaceutical sector (AAH (...)

A German Higher Regional Court confirms that the defendant is obliged to surrender at the request of the competition authorities documents relating to the calculation of fees for network use (Energie Sachsen Brandenburg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Higher Regional Court confirms right of competition authorities to apply cost control in abuse proceedings in electricity sector* In a preliminary decision the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (OLG) has confirmed that the RWE regional energy supplier envia Energie Sachsen Brandenburg AG (envia) (...)

Regulations

The German Competition Authority concludes an agreement with the utility supplier concerning the extension of the measures to lower the water prices for three more years until 2018 (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Measures to lower water prices in Berlin extended for three more years until 2018* Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) is to extend measures to lower its water prices as ordered by the Bundeskartellamt for three more years until 2018. This is the result of a settlement between the company and the (...)

A German Higher Regional Court rejects the appeal filed by the supplier of water services confirming the applicability of competition law (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt decision on reduction of Berlin water prices* On 27 February 2014 the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has rejected the appeal filed by Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) against the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of 4 June 2012. In this decision (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion pointing out some competition concerns in the newly opened online gambling markets (Opinion on online gambling)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
In an opinion issued seven months after the law entered into force, the French Competition Authority pointed out that some practices could give rise to anticompetitive issues: the betting right agreements signed between operators and sport event organizers should be regulated to ensure a fair (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues guidance on the forthcoming liberalization of the postal sector (Liberalização do Sector Postal)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Authority) issued on 16 July 2010 a guidance document on the state of competition in the postal sector (Report), in anticipation of the forthcoming full liberalization of the sector resulting from the implementation of the EU’s Third Postal Directive , due (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority to monitor the work of the telecommunications Regulator (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company)
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority (CPC) to monitor the Work of the Telecommunications Regulator On 24 March 2010, a five-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) issued a decision which obliges the CPC to start proceedings and to decide (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court annuls an NCA’s decison on unfair pricing for use of public telecommunications infrastructures and sends the case back for reinvestigation (Vilniaus Energija)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 27 March 2009 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC or the Court) annulled the NCA’s unfair pricing decision in Vilniaus Energija and sent the case back to the Competition Council for reinvestigation. In doing this, LSAC overruled the earlier judgment of the Vilnius District (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice mainly upholds the decision of the Federal Network Agency and clarifies several important aspects in relation to the calculation of energy network access charges including the issue of disgorgement (“Vattenfall”)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and history of the case The New German Energy Industry Act 2005 (EnWG) from 13 July 2005 introduced a regulated third party access together with the implementation of regulatory authorities for the energy sector. Therefore, since 2006 the Federal Network Agency (FNA - (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal overturns decision of water Regulator and rules that the price charged was excessive and amounted to a margin squeeze (Dwr Cymru/Albion Water)
KPMG (London)
On 6th October 2006, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunal) ruled in favour of Albion Water, concluding that the access price offered by Dwr Cymru for the common carriage of non-potable (partially treated) water through the Ashgrove system to Shotton Paper was excessive. In a further (...)

The German telecommunications regulator imposes ex post price regulation on the incumbent in the retail fixed access and local and national voice calls markets in spite of critical comments of the EC Commission based on the Framework Directive (Deutsche Telekom)
Conseil départemental du Calvados
,
Fréget - Tasso de Panafieu Avocats (Paris)
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The decision of European Commission (the Commission ) is legally founded in article 7(3) of the 2002 Framework Directive on electronic communications networks and services (the “Framework Directive” ) which empowers the Commission, through its Society and Media, and Competition (...)

The European Commission adopts a notice on the application of the competition rules to access agreements in the telecommunications sector
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
"Commission Notice on the Application of the Competition Rules to Access Agreements in the Telecommunications Sector"* Background On 31 March 1998, the Commission adopted a Notice on the Application of the Competition Rules to Access Agreements in the Telecommunications Sector (the Access (...)

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