Judicial review in cartel cases

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice reduces fine in a cartel case (Spanish bitumen)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 21 January 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued a judgment reducing the fine previously imposed by the European Commission on the Galp group for its participation in the Spanish bitumen cartel case. The judgment follows on from a previous ruling of the General Court (...)

The District Court of Rotterdam annuls a penalty imposed to an association of undertakings, for making recommendations on the establishment of new general practitioners (LHV)
Nysingh (Zwolle)
On 17 December 2015, the District Court of Rotterdam (“Court”) annulled a penalty imposed to LHV for violating the Dutch cartel prohibition. The proceedings on appeal brought against the ACM-decision have been a major success for LHV. While in administrative appeal the fine was reduced by ACM (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the liability of a cartel facilitator was foreseeable (AC-Treuhand)
University of Groningen
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University of Groningen
The shortest competition judgment ever: AC-Treuhand II* Competition law judgments are notorious for their length. An extreme example is the 5134 paragraph judgment in Cement. In most cases the appeal judgment is significantly shorter, as with the 391 paragraphs in the appeal in Cement. (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
In brief AC-Treuhand has failed in its attempt to have two fines overturned for facilitating the heat stabilisers cartel. The case confirms that servicing a cartel by organising and participating in meetings, collecting and supplying to producers data on relevant markets and offering to (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice increases the fine against a food retailer after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products (Spar)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 8 October 2015, the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (the “Supreme Court”) increased the fine against Spar, a food retailer, from € 3 million to € 30 million after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products. On 26 November 2014, the Higher Regional (...)

The Polish Competition Authority appeals in case regarding agreement between mobile phone providers (Polkomtel)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Poland’s competition Authority appealed in case regarding agreement between mobile phone providers* Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) appealed a first instance court ruling which overturned UOKiK’s decision regarding an agreement between the four largest mobile (...)

The EU Court of Justice receives an appeal from an undertaking part to a cartel settlement against EU General Court judgement in the animal feed phosphates cartel case (Timab)
Sidley Austin (London)
Timab litigates settlement all the way to the CJEU* The European Commission (“Commission”) introduced its settlement procedure for cartel cases back in 2008. The main aims? To make life easier for the Commission and to keep cartel cases out of the overburdened EU Courts. But Timab – a party (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that the Commission can take into account sales of products incorporating cartelised components when calculating the fine for vertically-integrated companies that sell the transformed products in the EEA (InnoLux)
Altius (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
I. Parties InnoLux Corp. (“InnoLux”), the applicant, is the surviving legal entity pursuant to a merger agreement between Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (“CMO”), InnoLux Display Corp. and TPO Displays Corp in 2010. InnoLux is active in the worldwide market for liquid crystal display panels (“LCD (...)

The Polish Competition Court overturns a decision concerning a cartel of mobile phone network operators (Polkomtel / T-Mobile / Orange / P4)
Hansberry Tomkiel
In its judgement of 19th June 2015, the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Court fully overturned the decision of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office (the “Office”), issued in November 2011, imposing PLN 113 million in fines on members of a mobile phone network (...)

The European General Court rejects an appeal against a Commission decision fining compagnies for a cartel participation (Hybrid Cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 20 May 2015, the General Court (“GC”) rejected an application for annulment by Timab Industries against a 2010 Commission decision imposing a fine of €59.8 million on the company for its participation in the animal feed phosphates cartel. Timab, a subsidiary of Cie Financière et de (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that parent companies may be fined for repeated infringements even without being an addressee of the earlier decisions (Versalis)
White & Case (Brussels)
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General Court of the European Union
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 5 March 2015, the European Court of Justice (CoJ) handed down its judgment in Versalis , concerning the increasing of fines for antitrust infringements where a company is found to be a repeat offender. The judgment raises important questions about the respect for the rights of defence in EU (...)

The UK High Court explains to companies that the only way to challenge an infringement of the Competition Act is an appeal to the CAT and that it has to be made within the applicable time limit (Gallaher, Lindum)
St John’s Chambers
United Kingdom: Competition appeals – speak now or forever hold your peace?* It is not uncommon, where a multi-party infringement of competition law has been established and sanctioned by a competition authority for some, but not all, of the addressees of the authority’s decision to appeal that (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court issues a landmark judgment regarding the interpretation of the 10% turnover limit for cartel fines (BCN Aduanas y Transportes)
Callol, Coca & Asociados
The Supreme Court (SC) has partially confirmed the interpretation followed by the National High Court (NHC) over the last two years regarding the limit of 10% of the company’s turnover established under Article 63 (1) of the Spanish Competition Act (SCA) for the calculation of fines. In its (...)

The European Court of Justice refers a cartel case back to General Court for a ruling on the merits (Parker Hannifin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on an appeal by the European Commission against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”) that reduced the fine imposed on Parker ITR and Parker Hannifin Corp. for participating in the marine hose cartel. (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) issues a decision on the liability of a parent company for the antitrust offences of its subsidiary (Calcium carbide)
DLA Piper (Cologne)
The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) recently issued a decision on the liability of a parent company for the antitrust offences of its subsidiary [FCJ, decision of 18 November 2014, KZR 15/12 - Calcium carbide Cartel II] that will be of particular importance for cases in which the parent (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes the General Court judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object (Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
Introduction On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice (ECJ) rendered its judgment in the Cartes Bancaires case . The ECJ quashed the General Court (GC) judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object. The Cartes Bancaires contains two key messages: first, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides further clarity on when an agreement has the object of restricting competition (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
St John’s Chambers
Restrictions by object: duck and elephant hunting with the Court of Justice* Inductive reasoning is sometimes explained by using either the ‘duck test’ (“if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”) or the ‘elephant test’ (“it is difficult to (...)

The ECJ partly upholds an appeal with regard to the calculation of the fine and, as a result, substantially reduced the fine (YKK)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 4 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment on appeals brought by YKK Corporation, YKK Holding Europe BV and YKK Stocko Fasteners (jointly referred to as “YKK”) against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”) dismissing their appeals against the (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls the Commission’s decision regarding the liability of a parent for the infringement of competition law by its subsidiary and by a partially owned joint venture (RWE)
Altius (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties RWE AG is part of the RWE group with its main activities in the energy supply sector (gas exploration, electricity production, trading, and retail and grid activities). Regarding the activities in the paraffin waxes, RWE group is not currently active on this market due to the (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the expansive geographic reach of a European Commission dawn raid decision in a cartel investigations (Nexans)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has upheld the expansive geographic reach of a European Commission dawn raid decision in the electric cables cartel investigations. Nexans, one of ten companies being investigated, had argued that the geographic scope was overbroad and provided an (...)

The Federal Court of Australia files an application seeking to challenge compulsory examination notices being part of an antitrust investigation into allegations of cartel conduct regarding a tender process for an exploration mining licence (Paul and Moses Obeid)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Moses and Paul Obeid issue court challenge to ACCC examination notices* In response to media inquiries, the ACCC confirms that an application has been filed in the Federal Court of Australia which seeks to challenge compulsory examination notices issued by the ACCC to Paul and Moses Obeid (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses appeals the in industrial bags cartel case (FLSmidth, Plasticos Espanoles)
Van Bael & Bellis
In judgments handed down on 30 April and 22 May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dismissed appeals brought by FLSmidth, Plasticos Españoles SA (ASPLA) and ASPLA’s parent company Armando Álvarez (Álvarez) against earlier General Court (GC) judgments in the industrial bags cartel case. In (...)

The French Court of Appeal upholds an appeal against a fine imposed by the French competition authority for price fixing in the endive market (CERAFEL)
University of New South Wales
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Lettuce leaf them alone Last month, the French Court of Appeal upheld an appeal against a fine imposed by the French competition authority for price fixing in the endive market. The endive (...)

The Italian administrative court of first instance annuls the decision of the Italian Competition Authority that fined ferry operators for a concerted practice because it failed to meet the burden of the proof (Moby, GNV, SNAV and Marinvest)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
On 7 May 2014 the administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) . The ICA had fined ferry operators Moby, GNV and SNAV and Marinvest - the holding company of the latter two -, after it (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that the mechanism of joint and several liability cannot be used to force one company to bear the risk of the insolvency of another company where those companies have never formed part of the same undertaking (Areva)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva: Competition fines, parent and subsidiary and joint and several liability* The Court of Justice has handed down three judgments relating to fines imposed on a number of undertakings involved in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. There’s an (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of joint and several liability in relation to the fines imposed on the GIS cartel (Siemens)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case C-231/11 P and C-233/11 P European Commission v Siemens AG Österreich a.o. – Joint and several liability* The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) gave on 10 April 2014 its judgment on appeal in the gas insulated switchgear case C-231/11 P. The dispute concerns a cartel relating to the sale of gas (...)

The Portuguese Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court affirms decision imposing a fine on the business forms cartel (Contiforme)
Abreu Advogados
Following the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) decision dated 19 December 2012 imposing a total EUR 1,797,978.51 fine on four companies of the graphic industry - Contiforme, Soluções Gráficas Integradas, S.A.; Copidata, S.A., (Copidata); Formato, Formulários Múltiplos Comerciais, S.A., and (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Czech Republic refuses to allow judicial review of a dawn raid (Schneider Electric)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 13 February 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected cassation complaint lodged by Schneider Electric CZ against the judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which rejected a claim that had been submitted previously against the allegedly unlawful dawn raid that had took place at (...)

A German Higher Regional Court rules on the matter of fine liability in connection with reorganization measures (Melitta)
German Competition Authority
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms fines against Melitta* On 10 February 2014 the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed a fine of 55 million euros on Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG, confirming the Bundeskartellamt’s fines decision of 21 December 2009 (see Press release of (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court implements the Court of justice’s preliminary ruling according to which liability for infringing Article 101 TFEU is independent of the existence of an error regarding the lawfulness of the conduct (Schenker)
European Court of Justice
Background The present case concerns the so-called Spediteurs-Sammelladungs-Konferenz (Freight Forwarding Agents Consolidated Consignment Conference), a multilateral price-fixing agreement between transport companies covering tariffs for domestic consolidated transport throughout Austria. In (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of appropriate remedy for infringements of the right to have the case adjudicated within a reasonable time (Kendrion, Gascogne)
University of Leiden
The recent landmark cases on the reasonable time requirement: Is the Court caught between Scylla and Charybdis?* In the landmark cases Kendrion, Gascogne and Gascogne Germany the CJEU clarified some important procedural issues related to infringements of the reasonable time requirement. The (...)

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms the Competition authority’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (Visa and MasterCard)
European Commission
Poland: The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms UOKiK’s Decision on Multilateral Interchange Fees* On 21 November 2013, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) confirmed the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (...)

The German Supreme Court rejects an appeal against an order from a lower court awarding damages because of losses suffered due to an anticompetitive clause in an agreements (Dornbracht)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
The luxury bathroom fittings manufacturer Dornbracht has lost its appeal to the German Supreme Court against an order from a lower court awarding damages of €820,000 to a retailer because of losses suffered due to an anticompetitive clause in Dornbracht’s distribution agreements. The case is (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the fines imposed by the Commission on the largest manufacturer of elevators and escalators for its participation in a cartel (Kone)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts During the summer of 2003, the Commission received information about the possible existence of an agreement between the major European manufacturers of elevators and escalators within the European Union: Kone, Otis, Thyssen and Schindler. In early 2004, the Commission conducted (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the Italian Competition Authority’s decision concerning cartel in the road barriers market (Marcegaglia)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from October to December 2013 (Third contribution) 1. Premise – This work is part of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian administrative courts, (...)

The EU Court of Justice acknowledges that two companies can independently from each other exercise decisive influence over their joint venture (Dow Chemical)
Blackstone Chambers
A family affair: parental liability for joint ventures* It is trite law that a parent company will be liable for antitrust infringements committed by a subsidiary where the parent exercises “decisive influence” over the conduct of the subsidiary. Earlier this year the Court of Justice of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds a firm which has infringed Article 101 TFEU may not escape imposition of a fine for the sole reason that the illegality of its conduct was erroneously assessed by its legal counsel or by a decision of a national competition authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde / Schenker)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties The Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde, the Federal Competition Authority in Austria. The Bundeskartellanwalt, the Federal Cartel Lawyer in Austria. Thirty-one undertakings, including inter alia Schenker & Co. AG (“Schenker”), members of the Spediteur-Sammelladungs-Konferenz (the (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeals in aluminium fluoride cartel case (Fluorsid, Minmet and Société des Industries Chimique du Fluor)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 18 June 2013, the General Court (“GC”) dismissed appeals by three companies implicated in the aluminium fluoride cartel against a European Commission decision of June 2008 imposing fines on them for infringing Article 101(1) TFEU. In its decision, the Commission found that, in July 2000, (...)

The EU Advocate General Sharpston issues opinions in three appeals against General Court’s judgments on industrial bags cartel (Groupe Gascogne, Kendrion)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 30 May 2013, Advocate General Sharpston issued her opinions in the appeals lodged by Groupe Gascogne SA, Gascogne Sack Deutschland GmbH (formerly Sachsa Verpackung) and Kendrion NV against judgments of the General Court (“GC”) concerning appeals against the European Commission’s (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes fines in three cases of bid-rigging in dutch demolition sector (Kanaalweg, Geuneburg, Bergambacht)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
I. INTRODUCTION On 23 March 2010 the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (Autoriteit Consument en Markt, ACM, formerly known as the Dutch Competition Authority, Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, NMa) initiated an investigation into possible infringements by five demolition firms of (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court holds that banks cannot concert to drive a competitor out of the market: an end to the bank cartel case saga? (VUB Bank)
Kinstellar (Bratislava)
This article follows up on our previous articles (Art. N° 37004, Art. N° 38345 and Art. N° 51110) concerning a cartel of three Slovak banks. In May 2011, the Supreme Court in the case of CSOB bank controversially confirmed the decision of lower courts quashing the decision by the Slovak National (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision relating to a cartel in the marine hoses market clarifying issues on continuous infringements, proof of agreement and attribution of liability for anticompetitive conduct (Marine Hose Cartel)
Vogel & Vogel
On 28 January 2009, the European Commission handed down fines of EUR 131 million to manufacturers of marine hoses for price fixing, market sharing and exchanges of sensitive commercial information between 1986 and 2007. Several of the undertakings in question lodged appeals to the General Court (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied petroleum gas cartel (Friedrich Scharr, Primagas, Krefeld, Progas, Dortmund, Sano-Propan, Nuremberg and Tyczka Totalgaz)
European Commission
Germany: The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases Fines against Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cartel* On 16 April 2013, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court - the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (the Court) has imposed fines of € 244 000 000 on five members of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance orders the Competition Authority to recalculate fines imposed in a price fixing case in the land based international shipping sector (Agility Logistics, Albini & Pitigliani)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from April to June 2013 (First contribution) 1. Premise –This work is the first contribution of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian administrative (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision of NCA in aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis
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 Spanish National Appeal Court reduces fines against a cartel in the wine sector giving a new interpretation of calculation of fines that may lead to favor cartelist activity in the future (Bodegas Williams & Humbert)
Kim & Chang
On March 8, 2013, the Audiencia Nacional (AN), the Spanish National Appeal Court, ruled in the judicial review of actions brought by Bodegas Williams & Humbert, SA against the Decision of the Spanish Competition Authority (CNC) dated July 28, 2010. The CNC had found elements to conclude (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules that, unlike in the EU, the German 10%-limit for calculating fines is not a cap but rather constitutes a ceiling of a framework within which a fine has to be calculated (Grauzementkartell)
Mayer Brown (Brussels)
In its judgment of 26 February 2013, the German Federal Court of Justice ("FCJ") upheld the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and confirmed that Sect. 81(4) Sentence 2 Act Against Restraints of Competition ("ARC") is in conformity with the German constitution. This provision (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal closes appeal against OFT dairy retail prices decision by consent order (Tesco)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 26 February 2013, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) made a consent order closing Tesco’s appeal against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) dairy retail prices decision In December 2012, the CAT had handed down its judgment on Tesco’s appeal against an earlier OFT decision (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority reduces the fines imposed on companies in the flour milling industry based on the ’inability to pay’ in light of fines imposed by the German and French Competition Authorities (Grain Millers, Ranks)
Leuven University
I. Facts On 16 December 2010, the Dutch Competition Authority (the former Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, as of April 2013, Autoriteit Consument & Markt, hereinafter the ’ACM’) imposed a fine of a total of € 81,600,000 on fifteen flour producers. According to the ACM, they had infringed (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favor of the Slovakian NCA and rules that an agreement intended to exclude a competitor is contrary to the competition rules even if the competitor is operating unlawfully on the market (Akcenta)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
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Factual background On 9 June 2009, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the "AMO"), a first-level authority, found that three major banks – Slovenská sporiteľna, a.s. (the "SLSP"), Československá obchodná banka a.s. (the "CSOB") and Všeobecná úverová banka a.s. (the "VUB")(jointly refered (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses the appeals in the consumer detergents sector rejecting the claim that the Competition Authority sanction violated the prohibition on double jeopardy (Unilever, Henkel, Procter & Gamble and Colgate Palmolive)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 30 January 2014, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) dismissed the appeals brought against the decision of the French Competition Authority (FCA) in the consumer detergents sector, by confirming that the infringements sanctioned by the European Commission (Commission) and the FCA (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in the gas insulated switchgear cartel (Siemens, Alstom)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The HCO decision The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) received one of its first leniency applications back in 2004 from ABB in connection with alleged anti-competitive activities by ABB, Areva, Siemens, Alstom and VA Tech on the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market. Although the cartel (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the NCA’s decision fining 15 shipping agents’ firms and two trade associations for a cartel at the port of Genoa (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Robur Siena
With the judgment published on 15 January 2013, the Italian administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the Italian Competition Authority’s (ICA) decision fining 15 firms and two trade associations for taking part in a cartel whose aim was to (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance quashes, for the first time ever, an infringement decision adopted following two leniency applications (Shipping agencies services)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 15 January 2013, the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") quashed for lack of evidence, the infringement decision adopted by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") on the Shipping agencies services case which was initiated on the basis of (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the circumstances in which a Commission decision may be partially annulled (Coppens)
London School of Economics
1. Introduction ‘When may the General Court of the European Union annul an antitrust decision by the European Commission in its entirety and when must it be satisfied with a partial annulment?’ According to Advocate General Kokott, this is the central question of law raised in the present case. (...)

The Spanish Court of appeal for antitrust cases annuls the NCA’s fine of €120 M imposed on eight insurance companies allegedly involved in a price fixing cartel (Caser, Scor, Múnchener)
Jones Day (Madrid)
Spain’s Audiencia Nacional, the court of appeal for antitrust cases, has annulled the Spanish Competition Commission’s ("SCC") fine of €120 million (US$160 million), the highest fines to date, imposed on eight insurance companies allegedly involved in a price fixing cartel in Spain. It is unusual (...)

The President of the EU General Court suspends the Commission’s decision in order to prevent the publication of confidential information contained in a cartel decision (Akzo, Degussa)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The dissemination of historical information can still imply certain risks for the public or private interest and require confidential treatment. The present case refers to an action for annulment comprising a claim of confidential treatment of the information contained by (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court dismisses a claim for damages on the basis of bid-rigging established by the Hungarian Competition Office (Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ v Strabag Építő and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Philip Morris
On 24 October 2012, the Metropolitan Court (the "Court") dismissed the claim for damages lodged by the Traffic Development Coordination Centre (in Hungarian: "Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ", the "Plaintiff") made against Strabag Építő Zrt. ("Strabag") and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő (...)

The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal seeking to strike out a damages claim brought against a company that was not the addressee of a EU Commission decision: an encouragement towards more private litigation in England? (Toshiba Carrier)
University of Leeds
On 13 September 2012, the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) dismissed an appeal which sought to strike out a damages claim (or grant summary judgment) brought against a company that was not the addressee of a European Commission decision finding an infringement of EU competition law. In (...)

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies the meaning of the term “decision” in Section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
King’s College (London)
The Court of Appeal, in its decision in Deutsche Bahn AG and others v Morgan Crucible plc, has clarified the meaning of the term “decision” in section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 for the purpose of applying the limitation period for bringing follow-on action claims for damages in the (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine imposed on each undertaking in a case involving market sharing in the energy sector (GDF Suez / E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 29 June 2012, the EU’s General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought by E.ON and GDF Suez against a Commission decision fining them for their involvement in a market-sharing agreement. In its judgments, the GC confirmed the previous Commission decision, but reduced the (...)

The European Commission submits comments to Ireland’s High Court in the Irish beef case: can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices?
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
“Crisis cartels” - Can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices? Insights from a European Commission statement to Ireland’s High Court, April 2012* The global economic downturn has given new life to the difficult question of whether competition authorities will ever tolerate (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s interpretation of the block exemption regulation on vertical agreements in a resale price maintenance case (M San Grupa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the wholesaler of the household electronics M SAN Grupa d.d.(MSG) for imposing the resale price maintenance obligations on one of its (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the infringement NCA’s decision establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases (lobodna Dalmacija, Europapress holding, RTD, Glas Slavonije...)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 December 2011 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases. The case dates back to 2010 when the AZTN (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes OFT’s tobacco pricing decision (Imperial Tobacco, Gallaher and retailers)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 12 December 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) quashed a decision of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in which the UK regulator had imposed a record fine on a number of tobacco manufacturers and retailers for manipulating prices of tobacco products through a network of illegal (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court judgment in copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases (KME, Chalkor)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 8 December 2011, the EU Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed appeals brought by KME Germany, KME France, KME Italy (“KME”) and Chalkor AE Epexergasias Metallon (“Chalkor”) against judgments of the General Court (“GC”) in the copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases. In December 2003, (...)

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

The EU General Court reduces fines imposed to a cartelist and its subsidiaries in the methacrylates sector (Arkema France)
Jones Day (Paris)
Unlimited jurisdiction: the end of a misnomer?* The past decade has seen a flurry of articles published trying to make sense of the degree of control that the EU Courts exercise on complex economic reasoning. By contrast, much less has been written about the Courts’ unlimited jurisdiction on (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds the annulment judgment delivered by the Regional Court in Bratislava in a potential cartel case (Akcenta case)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the “Supreme Court“) has provided that the judgment delivered the Regional Court in Bratislava (the “Regional Court“) annulling the decision adopted by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office ( “SVK AMO“) dealing with an agreement restricting competition in the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal again reduces fines in construction bid-rigging case (North Midland Construction PLC)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 and 27 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to the remaining appeals against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging cartel case (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2009, No. (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal cuts fines in the construction cover pricing appeal case (Kier Group and others)
University of East Anglia - CCP
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. ‘Cover Pricing’: Object or Effect?* Last week, the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) cut fines on six construction firms by 90%. The fines had been imposed by the Office of Fair Trading in 2009 for cover pricing. The CAT found the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds its decision in the construction cover pricing appeal case (Kier Group and others)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
I. Introduction The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) gave judgment on 11 March 2011 in the first set of appeals by construction firms against fines totalling £129m imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2009 following a lengthy investigation into cover pricing in tenders for (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mazak recommends that prohibition on internet sales be per se infringement (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On March 3, 2011, Advocate General (AG) Mazák delivered an opinion to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS (PFDC). PFDC, a French manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, prohibited its retailers from selling via the Internet. AG Mazák advised the (...)

The Italian Court of First Instance confirms the Italian Competition Authority’s decision in a price fixing case concerning the liquefied petroleum gas sector (Butangas, Eni, Liquigas)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 13 December 2010, the Italian Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") confirmed the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") found the three main operators active in the LPG sector in Italy (i.e. Butangas, Eni and Liquigas) to have coordinated their (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal upholds an infringement decision of the NCA concerning an exclusive supply and purchasing arrangement and finds that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party (Kortex Mérnöki Iroda)
Ernst & Young
The Metropolitan Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority concerning an exclusive supply – exclusive purchasing arrangement and found that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party. I. The background of the (...)

A Czech Regional Court confirms CZK 53 million fine for the concerted practices of bakeries (Delta Pekárny, Odkolek and Penam)
Kinstellar (Prague)
,
Kinstellar (Prague)
On 21 October 2010, the Regional Court in Brno (the “Court”) confirmed a fine of almost CZK 53 M imposed on three Czech bakeries, DELTA PEKÁRNY, a.s., ODKOLEK, a.s. and PENAM, a.s. (the “Bakeries”). The fine was imposed by the Chairman of the Czech Competition Authority (the “Authority”) by his (...)

The Danish High Court overturns judgment by District Court on price fixing (Veterinary surgeons)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 19 May 2010, the Western High Court overturned a judgment by the District Court of Århus which had imposed fines on the seven veterinary surgeons for fixing prices for the provision of veterinary services outside normal opening hours contrary to section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission’s rejection of complaint on cement standard (EMC Development)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 12 May 2010, the General Court dismissed an appeal lodged by EMC Development (“EMC”), a Swedish company active in the commercial exploitation of specialist cement production technology, against a Commission decision rejecting its complaint alleging the infringement of Article 101 TFEU by a (...)

The European Court of Justice rejects an appeal on interim measures by a company facing financial difficulties (Ziegler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 April 2010 a judgment by the ECJ had dismissed an appeal against the GC’s refusal of an application for interim measures by Ziegler SA. The application for interim measures had been lodged by Ziegler together with its appeal against a European Commission’s decision of 11 March 2008, which (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals overrules judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the interchange fees case (Visa Europe Limited)
European Commission
Poland: The Court of Appeals overrules Judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the Interchange Fees Case In its decision of 22 April 2010, the Polish Court of Appeals shared the arguments advanced by the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The Polish Appeal Court in Warsaw upholds the decision of the Competition and Consumers Protection Court introducing economic analysis to the review of an exclusivity clause in distribution agreements (Lesaffre)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
Background - the OCCP decision On 29 December 2006, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (”OCCP”) issued an administrative decision finding that the Polish subsidiary of Lesaffre (French food ingredients yeast and biotechnology company and worldwide leader in the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the amount of fines imposed on temporary employment agencies for concerted practices under Art. 81 EC and its French equivalent and clarifies the procedural issue of access to confidential electronic documents (Manpower / Adecco / Adia / Randstad)
White & Case (Paris)
In a ruling dated 26 January 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a decision by the French National Competition Authority (the “NCA”) sanctioning world-leading companies in the temporary employment sector for infringing Article 81 EC and its French equivalent. Background Following a (...)

The English High Court opens the way for companies to pursue private damages actions against employees and directors who are involved in competition law infringements (Safeway Stores)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. Between 2002 and 2003, various employees and directors of the Safeway group ("Safeway"), a UK supermarket operator, were involved in the exchange of commercially sensitive retail pricing information with other UK supermarkets and dairy processors. As a consequence of this, (...)

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 Irish Supreme Court provides observations on the conditions contained in Art. 101(3) TFEU and remits the appeal to the High Court for fuller consideration (Beef Industry Development Society & Anor)
Arthur Cox (Dublin)
Competition Authority v Beef Industry Developments Society Limited & Anor concerns a rationalisation agreement in the beef processing sector in Ireland. In 1998 a report (the McKinsey Report) found that there existed significant and substantial over-capacity in the beef industry and that (...)

The Dusseldorf Court of Appeal may not rule on the appeals against the NCA’s decision having fined € 150 M industrial property insurance undertakings, following withdrawal of appeals by three industrial insurers ("Pilot proceedings " - HDI, AXA Versi)
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
Background All parties involved in the so called “pilot proceeding” before the Dusseldorf Court of Appeal started in March 2009 (HDI Haftpflichtverband der Deutschen Industrie V.a.G., AXA Versicherung AG and Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG) have withdrawn their appeals against the FCO’s (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides on the compatibility of non-competition clauses to the detriment of minority shareholders with Art. 101 Para. 1 TFEU and Sec. 1 ARC (Gratiszeitung Hallo)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 23 June 2009, the German Federal Court of Justice overruled three judgments of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and remitted the cases back for further proceedings. In the joint proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice, the court had to decide whether a non-competition clause to (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders opinion on parent liability (Akzo)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 23 April 2009, Advocate General Kokott gave her opinion on an appeal by Akzo Nobel NV and others against a judgment of the CFI of 12 December 2007. The CFI’s judgment confirmed a Commission decision of December 2004 upholding the fines imposed on the Akzo Nobel group for its participation in (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the fines imposed in a collective boycotting case and its strict case law on standard of proof (Defibrillators)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
,
Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent
On 8 April 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") confirmed the decision of the French Competition Council (the "Authority") dated 19 December 2007 to fine five of the world’s leading implantable heart defibrillator manufacturers (Biotronik, Ela Medical, Guidant, Medtronic and Saint Jude (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court holds that the absence of a party to a hard-core arrangement from the market concerned rules out an infringement of the local equivalent of Art. 81 EC by this party (Vegetable Oil Manufacturers and Suppliers / CPC)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) thrashed out the fundamentals of the notion of “anticompetitive agreement” under the local equivalent of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty in a recent cartel case judgment. The aftermath is somewhat cryptic but possibly instructive: the SAC held that (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Court confirms the fines and daily penalties imposed by the Competition Council to undertakings for not communicating concrete information to the Competition Inspectorate (House of Justice)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
European Investment Bank
Background of the case 1. The flooring works in the new court buildings in the city of Luxembourg are still the object of the most prolific cartel procedure in the recent history of Luxembourg competition law. The case has already led to several decisions while the cartel investigations are (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mengozzi recommends annulment of CFI’s judgment in the chemical sector (Archer Daniels Midland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Advocate General (AG) Mengozzi has recently delivered two interesting opinions in the field of competition law enforcement. On appeal in the AEPIand Archer Daniels Midlandcases, he advised the Court of Justice to quash the judgments of the Court of First Instance (CFI). He further recommended (...)

The European Court of First Instance dismisses appeal against Commission’s decision to provide statement of objections to third party (Polimeri Europa)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 2 July 2008, the Court of First Instance (CFI) issued an order dismissing an appeal brought by Polimeri Europa (“PE”) against a decision by the European Commission to provide a non-confidential version of the Statement of Objections in the synthetic rubber cartel case to Manufacture Française (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals upholds the French Competition Council’s decision on cement supply and distribution in Corsica but reduces fines (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 6 May 2008, the Paris Court of Appeals (the "Court of Appeals") upheld a decision of the Conseil de la concurrence (the "Competition Council") in case 07-D-08 on 12 March 2007 (Decision 07-D-08) relating to practices in cement supply and distribution in Corsica. In its decision, the (...)

The Budapest Court of Appeal annuls fines imposed on artists’ associations (Magyar Alkotóművészek Országos Egyesülete)
Van Bael & Bellis
By judgment of 2 April 2008, the Budapest Regional Court of Appeal reduced the cartel fine that the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) had imposed on three associations of artists in 2005 for coordinating their members’ prices. While the GVH had originally imposed fines totalling HUF 26.5m (...)

The Lazio Administrative Tribunal annuls a decision of Italian NCA in local public transport market (SITA, APM, CO.TR.I., RETITALIA, TP NET, 60 MC-Associazione)
Van Bael & Bellis
In two recently published judgments of April and May 2008, the Lazio Administrative Tribunal (“LAT”) has partially annulled two decisions of the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) finding that certain companies had concluded anti-competitive arrangements relating to the local public transport (...)

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

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the High Court’s finding that following an infringement decision by the European Commission, the appropriate claim is for compensatory and not restitutionary damages (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has ruled that restitutionary damages are not generally available in antitrust cases and that, in most cases, compensatory damages provide adequate remedies. Background In 2001, the European Commission adopted a decision finding that a number of (...)

A Hungarian Appeal Court upholds the NCA decision fining EUR 28 M construction companies in several public procurement procedures for motorway-construction (Betonút, Debmút, Egút, Hídépítő, Strabag)
bpv Jadi Nemeth Attorneys
Facts of the case July, August 2002: the National Motorway Co Ltd (NM) issues invitations to motorway construction works February 2003: ex-officio proceedings of the GVH commenced in order to establish whether the construction companies committed collusive bidding September and October (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT decision rejecting a complaint against alleged abusive practices by local publishers (Brannigan)
Quebec Department of Justice
A. Introduction In Terry Brannigan v. Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) does not apply European competition law. However in this decision the CAT deals with several interesting legal issues for any European competition lawyer, especially those involved in the (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court confirms the NCA’s decision having imposed a € 1.1 M fine for price fixing on the basis of Art. 81 EC to major multiplex movie theatres (Budapest Film)
Hogan Lovells
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Hungarian Supreme Court (Legfelsobb Bíróság), 25 April 2007, Budapest Film Kft, InterCom Rt, Palace Cinemas Magyarország Kft and UCI CE Magyarország Kft v. Hungarian National Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal) Hungarian Press release The Hungarian Competition Authority (“HCA”) (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the NCA’s decision imposing fines on check pad suppliers guilty of colluding (Achilles Paper Group/OFT)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
On 31 October 2006, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT” or “Tribunal”) unanimously upheld the Office of Fair Trading’s decision (“OFT”) imposing financial penalties on check pad suppliers guilty of horizontal price fixing. This decision was challenged by Achilles Paper Group Limited (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the NCA’s decision sanctioning taxi companies for price fixing through concerted practice (Martono taksi)
Sorainen (Vilnius)
In a decision dated 11 May 2006, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC) upheld the decision of the Vilnius District Administrative Court (VDAC) from 19 September 2006 with some corrections in the calculation of fines and confirmed the original decision of Lithuanian Competition (...)

A Swedish Court confirms the NCA’s decision having fined concerted pricing and rebate scheme on the gasoline market and doubled the fine up to € 12 M after a detailed assessment of effect on competition (Statoil, OK-Q8, Shell, Preem, Norsk Hydro)
Kreab
1. General interest of the case The case is interesting because it is the second most comprehensive cartel case - next to the asphalt cartel case - that has ever been dealt with by Swedish courts. It is also the first case where the Market Court has ruled on a concerted practice. On appeal the (...)

The Paris Court of appeal widens the possibilities for car manufacturers to fight against illegal parallel imports (Peugeot-SPEA-CNPA)
Lni avocats (Paris)
In April and August 1995, a European Automobile Association, the Syndicat des professionnels européens de l’automobile (SPEA), had referred a matter to the French Competition Council regarding practices implemented in the automobile distribution sector by two major French car manufacturers (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that restrictions of retailers’ pricing freedom that are limited to a short period of time and that are not appreciable do not constitute an unlawful RPM (1 Riegel extra)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with a competitor’s claim against the sales-promotional action of a distributor of chocolate bars in the framework of which this distributor brought on the market packages with the imprint « Action box.... only for a short period of time: 1 extra (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that a municipality that subsidises certain trips with taxis or rental cars with an allowance does not infringe the vertical price fixing prohibition by entering into a framework contract with the service provider according to which the provider agrees to transport guests at a certain rate (Jugendnachtfahrten)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The BGH holds that the obligation of the service provider to forward orders at fixed conditions does not constitute an infringement of the prohibition to fix prices for agreements with a third party as in the taxi drivers are under no obligation to provide (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that a health insurer does not violate the vertical price fixing prohibition by agreeing with care providers on fixed prices for the services that the care providers render to insured patients (Zahnersatz aus Manila)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The Court states that the health insurer’s fixing prices for certain dental services provided to insured patients does not constitute an unlawful vertical price fixing agreement due to the fact that the insurer finally has to pay for the dental services. As (...)

The French Supreme Court recalls the conditions for the demonstration of collective dominance (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 9 July 2009, the French Supreme Court (the "Supreme Court") partially quashed a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal ruling that two cement operators (Lafarge and Vicat) had abused their collective dominant position on the market for the supply and distribution of cement in Corsica. This (...)

Procedures

The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms potential of high cartel fines for vertically integrated multinational companies (InnoLux)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
EU judgment confirms potential of high cartel fines for vertically integrated multinational companies* On 9 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued an important judgment concerning the basis on which cartel fines by the European Commission should be calculated for (...)

The Czech Antitrust Office announces that it will recommence dawn raids
BPV Braun Partners
The Prohibition on Dawn Raids in the Czech Republic has Ended* Last autumn, the Czech Antitrust Office had announced that it halted its dawn raids. The decision came from – what many felt – was a surprise decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) dated 2 October 2014 (...)

The European Court of Human Rights condemns Czech Republic for lack of effective independent control of competition dawn raids (Delta Pekarny)
BPV Braun Partners
No More Dawn Raids in the Czech Republic* For a few weeks now, the Czech Antitrust Office has stopped its dawn raids. The reason for this stems from the surprising decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) dated 2 October 2014 (DELTA PEKARNY a.s., complaint number (...)

The EU Court of Justice consolidates view on effective remedy for excessive length of proceedings before the General Court in competition cases (Groupe Gascogne)
Clifford Chance (Athènes)
In the Groupe Gascogne judgment delivered on 26 November 2013, the Court of Justice consolidates its conception on issues of effective judicial protection in competition law adjudication. The case originated in an action for annulment against the General Court (GC) judgment T-72/06 Groupe (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls an ICA’s decision because of the length of proceedings (Industria Meccanica Varricchio Imeva)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
Introduction On 7 October 2013, the Italian administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), which fined seven companies that were found to have entered into an anti-competitive agreement in (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the compatibility of the antitrust procedure with the fundamental rights of the EU in elevators cartel case (Schindler)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
,
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
,
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
The Schindler Ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Potential Implications for Fundamental Rights and EU Competition Law* I. Background Defense counsel in European antitrust proceedings have long bemoaned the fact that “fundamental rights” did not effectively find their way (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal supported by pleas on the violation of fundamental rights in elevators cartel case (Schindler)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Background The Schindler Group is a leading supplier of elevators, escalators and related services. Schindler’s operations cover 140 countries worldwide and involve a large number of national subsidiaries, including Schindler Belgium, Schindler Luxembourg, Schindler Netherlands and Schindler (...)

The EU General Court rules on challenges to the dawn raids carried out by the Commission in the electrical cables sector (Nexans, Prysmian)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
1. Introduction During the course of 2012 there have been various developments at the EU level in relation to the unannounced inspections or "dawn raids" regularly conducted by the Commission in competition law cases. The General Court has ruled on challenges to the dawn raids carried out by (...)

The EU General Court confirms that fact-finding measures conducted under article 20(4) of the Regulation No 1/2003 do not bring about a distinct change of the legal position of the applicant, thus may not be the subject of an action for annulment (Nexans)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The applicants in the present case seek the annulment of Commission decision of 9 January 2009 ordering them to submit to an inspection in accordance with article 20(4) of Regulation No 1/2003 as well as the way in which it was executed. In the context of an investigation the (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission’s inspection decision and declares inadmissible actions for annulment of measures adopted during the inspection (Prysmian)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
In two judgments rendered on 14 November 2012, the EU General Court (the ‘General Court’) provided guidance on the Commission’s obligation to define the product and geographic scope of its inspections and partially annulled two decisions ordering an inspection (the ‘inspection decisions’) on the (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms the legality of a request for a warrant to search the premises of breweries suspected to have participated in a cartel (Brauereikartell)
European Court of Justice
1. Introduction By order of 9 November 2011 in Case 16 Ok 5/11, the Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition matters; Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) confirmed the first instance decision of the Vienna Cartel Court (...)

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