Mitigation of the fine

Anticompetitive practices

Mitigation of fine and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
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College of Europe (Bruges)
Introduction Mitigation - the adjustment of a prescribed sanction towards a lighter penalty - immediately recalls the universal legal training, in particular criminal law, of arriving to an individual sanction within a legally set range by considering the offender’s personal responsibility, (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes a penalty of $3 million against a supplier of ball bearings for engaging in cartel conduct (NSK)
University of New South Wales (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). ACCC bears down on cartels* On 13 May 2014, the Federal Court imposed a penalty of $3 million against NSK Australia, a supplier of ball bearings, for engaging in cartel conduct. The proceedings (...)

The EU Court of Justice reduces the fines imposed on the appellant for failure of the General Court to take sufficient account of a substantive problem with the Commission’s decision relating to the company’s rights of the defence (Ballast Nedam)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case C-612/12 P Ballast Nedam NV: Competition law, rights of the defence and reduction of fine.* The Court of Justice does not often reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on an undertaking for a breach of the competition rules when the amount of the fine has been upheld by the General Court. (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority settles fines imposed for resale price maintenance between a distributor of hair products and some of its dealers (Coss)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: ”Distributor of hair products pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance”* On November 29, 2013, the company Coss (a Danish distributor of hair products) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority and accepted to pay a fine of DKK 100.000 (€ (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal while establishing that a claim for compensation for damages arising from the General Court’s failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time must be brought before the General Court itself (Gascogne)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The Groupe Gascogne Judgment (see both sides of the story)* Last week I wrote a post about the Groupe Gascogne Judgment (and other stuff) which has elicited some interest. Somehow oddly, I will now present counter-arguments against all those who… actually agreed with me. Given that I wrote (...)

The EU Commission fines pharmaceutical companies for delaying market entry of generic medicines through pay-for-delay agreements (Lundbeck)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission: Lundbeck and other Pharmaceutical Companies fined for delaying Market Entry of Generic Medicines through pay-for-delay Agreements* On 19 June 2013, the European Commission (the Commission) imposed a fine on the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and a number of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four distributors of commodity chemicals operating in France for price coordination and customer allocation (Brenntag, Caldic Est, Univar and Solvadis)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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In a decision dated 29 May 2013, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter, the "FCA") imposed a total fine of more than €79 million on the members of a cartel formed by the four major distributors of commodity chemicals (solvents, alcohols, acids, ethers, bleach etc…) in France. The (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal dismisses appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the Competition Commission’s order finding them guilty of bid-rigging, but reduced the penalty imposed by 90% (Gulf Oil Corporation)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) dismissed the appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the order of 16 April 2012 made by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) (the CCI Order), finding them guilty of bid-rigging. The COMPAT held that the collective boycott (...)

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 German Federal Court of Justice hands down a decision that is likely to have a significant impact on the setting of cartel fines, potentially reducing the maximum cartel fine for some defendants (Grauzementkartell)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
The German Federal Court of Justice ("BGH") has handed down a decision that is likely to have a significant impact on the setting of cartel fines in Germany, potentially reducing the maximum cartel fine for some defendants. The decision deals with fines imposed on a number of German cement (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds NCA’s finding that three medical equipment/systems suppliers had engaged in bid-rigging (Safdarjung Hospital)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In the Safdarjung Hospital Case, the Competition Commission of India found that three medical equipment/systems suppliers had engaged in bid-rigging contrary to Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002, and imposed a penalty on each of 5% of its average annual turnover over two/three (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court is not ready to accept a symbolic fine against an association of undertakings involved in a price fixing case (Association of Applied Graphics and Design)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 20 December 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno in the case regarding Association of Applied Graphics and Design (the “Association”) and remanded the case back to it. The Regional Court in Brno previously mitigated the fine imposed by the (...)

A German Court of appeal confirms that the EU concept of an "economic unit" does not apply under German law but rather the principle of legal personality (Silostellgebühren II)
Mayer Brown (Brussels)
The judgment of 17 December 2012 of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf ("Court") deals with the interpretation of Sect. 81(4) Act against Restraints of Competition ("ARC"), which is the statutory basis for the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") to issue a fine for antitrust infringements. (...)

The Hungarian Court of Appeal upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in IT procurement case (University cartel)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The background of the case In 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched proceedings against International System House Kft. (ISH), SAP Hungary Kft. (SAP) and International Business Machines Magyarország Kft. (IBM) for bid-rigging in public procurement. The tenders in question aimed (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission’s re-adoption of carbonless paper cartel decision (Bolloré)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 June 2012, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on the appeal brought by French investment and industrial group Bolloré against the European Commission’s re-adoption of its decision in the carbonless paper cartel. The GC upheld the fine of € 21.26 million and ruled that the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority lowers fines in construction and gardening cartels (Ballast Nedam, Vermeer and Ooms)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release published on 8 June 2012, the Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) has lowered the fines it had earlier imposed in the construction cartel case and the gardening cartel case. The NMa’s decision to reduce the fines follows two decisions by the NMa’s College of (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority revises fines on flour producers (Meneba, Grain Millers, Werhahn)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) revises Fines on Flour Producers* On 22 December 2010, the NMa imposed fines totalling € 81 600 000 on flour producers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for cartel activities. Fifteen firms in different group compositions were (...)

An Hungarian court of appeal confirms the annulment of the decision of the Competition Office and sets guidelines for repeated proceedings in road construction cartel matter (Egút Egri Építő, Colas Dunántúli Út-és Vasútépítő)
lakatos, koves and partners
The Budapest Metropolitan Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) recently delivered a judgment that provides an insight into the Court of Appeal’s approach to a number of substantive law and procedural law issues concerning cartel matters. The case before the Court of Appeal concerned the second (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in the Dutch beer cartel case finding that the EU Commission did not prove all infringements and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Bavaria)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in the Dutch beer cartel case finding that the EU Commission did not prove all infringements and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Heineken)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

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 Regional Court’s judgment which annuled a decision imposing fines on three banks (Banking cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: Judicial Review of Banking Cartel Case* On 19 May 2011, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the Supreme Court) upheld one of the judgments adopted by Regional Court in Bratislava which annuled the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) imposing (...)

The Lisbon Commercial Court reduces the competition authority’s fine imposed to an association of chartered accountants (OTOC)
European Commission (Brussels)
Portugal: The Lisbon Commercial Court partially upholds PCA’s Decision regarding the Professional Association of Chartered Accountants (OTOC)* In its judgment of 29 April 2011, the Lisbon Commercial Court (the Court) has partially upheld the decision issued by the Portuguese Competition (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions the three main container handling companies in the Reunion island for having agreed on the prices of their services (SAMR, Somacom & SGM Manutention)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité penalizes the three main container handling companies for having agreed on the prices of their services*. As it had indicated at the time of the publication of its two opinions relative to the (...)

The Spanish National High Court reduces the fine imposed for collective recommendation in the food sector (Propollo)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira
On November 10, 2010, the Spanish National High Court (Audiencia Nacional, the “AN”) partially upheld the Spanish Competition Commission’s (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, the “CNC”) decision of September 29, 2009, and reduced the fine imposed on Interprofesional de Avicultura de Carne de Pollo (...)

The European Commission readopts decision in pre-stressing steel cartel case after miscalculation of fines (ArcelorMittal, WDI/Pampus)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2010, the Commission issued a decision in which it recalculated the fines it imposed earlier this year in the pre-stressing steel cartel case. In its original decision of 30 June 2010, the Commission imposed fines totalling € 518.5 million after having found that that seventeen (...)

The EU Competition Commissioner announces fines in bathroom fittings cartel tackling the issue of fine discounts on bankruptcy grounds (Artweger, Cisal)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Dodgy Plumbing: Why Europe’s Willingness to Grant Bankruptcy Discounts is Bad for Cartel Enforcement* A speech by the European Commissioner for Competition may signal a greater willingness to grant discounts in cartel fines on the (...)

The European Commission fines 17 bathroom equipment manufacturers for price-fixing cartel applying "financial constraints" discount to 5 of them (Artweger / Cisal)
Winston & Strawn (London)
The European Commission (Commission) yesterday announced fines imposed on seventeen companies totalling EUR 622 million for a price fixing cartel relating to bathroom equipment (IP/10/790). This is the Commission’s second cartel decision of 2010 and follows the Commission’s first cartel (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority prosecutes five auto repairers for fixing the man/hour rates (Simerv - Selena Impex)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 June 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) found five auto repairers in Slobozia, the capital city of the Ialomita county, liable for infringement of the national equivalent of the Article 101 TFEU for fixing their man-hour rates. In its decision the CC stated that the market for (...)

The UK OFT drops allegations in dairy cartel investigation (Tesco, Morrisons)
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Jones Day (London)
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London School of Economics
On 30 April 2010, the Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») announced it was dropping a number of allegations in its dairy cartel investigation. The OFT conceded there was insufficient evidence of antitrust infringement in the information exchanges it had been investigating since 2003. The OFT (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fines on printing chemical wholesalers (Donau Chemie, DC Druck-Chemie, Brenntag, Ashland)
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: Fines imposed on Printing Chemical Wholesalers On 14 April 2010, the Austrian Cartel Court imposed fines totalling € 1,500,000 on the Donau Chemie, DC Druck-Chemie, Brenntag and the Ashland groups for having infringed Article 101 TFEU. All of the addressees of the Cartel Court’s (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces the highest fines ever imposed by the NCA by 500 million Euros (Steel cartel)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
In a ruling dated 19 January 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") substantially reduced the highest fines ever imposed by the French Competition Authority (the "Authority") in the steel cartel case, from 575.4 million Euros to 74.1 million Euros. This judgement raises the question of (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court confirms decision against bid-rigging cartel by pharmaceutical companies but substantially reduces fines (Abbott, Menarini and Johnson & Johnson)
University of Lisbon
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Abreu Advogados
On 7 January 2010 the Lisbon Commerce Court upheld a 2008 decision by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) imposing a € 13.4 million fine on pharmaceutical companies Abbott, Menarini and Johnson & Johnson for participating in a bid-rigging cartel. Back in 2005 the PCA fined the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues the highest fine in its history (Cement Cartel)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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Orange (Warsaw)
On December 8, 2009, the Polish competition authority, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection, issued a decision in which it found that 11 companies operating on the cement market entered into an anticompetitive agreement breaching Polish national law and the EU (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes an 8% fine to an association of undertakings for price fixing and refers for the first time to criminal investigation bodies (Association of the Depositories of Cereals)
NNDKP
Price fixing by associations of undertakings is no novelty in the competition world. Neither are heavy fines, although it is not often that a competition authority reaches an 8% fine for a short term infringement (be it price fixing), and without application of any aggravating circumstances. (...)

The Danish High Court doubles fine imposed by the District Court on a professional association for recommending retail prices (Christmas Tree Growers Association)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 September 2009 the High Court of Eastern Denmark increased the fine imposed by a District Court on the Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association for having infringed section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (national provision similar to Article 101 of the TFEU) by having issued price (...)

A Danish Court of appeal reduces the fines imposed by the City Court on an association, its director and its deputy director for encouraging a price increase (Danish coach drivers’ association)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 3 September 2009, the Danish Eastern High Court reduced the fines imposed by the City Court of Copenhagenon the Danish Coach Drivers’ Association, its director and its deputy director for infringing Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (equivalent to Article 81 EC) by encouraging its (...)

The European Court of Justice substantially reduces fine imposed in 2001 on a chemical company for its participation in a cartel on the citric acid market (Archer Daniels Midland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 July 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) partially upheld an appeal brought by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) against a judgment of the Court of First Instance (CFI) of 27 September 2006. As a result, the € 39 million fine that the Commission had imposed on ADM in 2001 for its (...)

The French NCA fines several temping agencies nearly € 100 M, but grants significant reductions for certain parties who enter into innovative commitments (Adecco, Manpower, VediorBis)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent
On 2 February 2009, the French Competition Council ("the Council") fined several agencies active in the temporary employment sector in France (Adecco, Adia, Manpower and VediorBis - "the Companies") for concerted practices. Context Temping enables businesses desiring more flexibility to use (...)

The Budapest Court of Appeal clarifies rules concerning the calculation of cartel fines and confirms rules concerning the use of documents seized in dawn raids (Adeptus Zrt. a. o.)
Van Bael & Bellis
By decision of 15 October 2008, the Budapest Court of Appeal (the CoA) partially amended a decision issued by the Budapest Metropolitan Court (BMC) with respect to the calculation of cartel fines. The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) issued a decision in 2005 in a bid-rigging case (...)

The Hungarian High Court of appeal upholds the competition office decision case and also accepts the approach of the first instance decision as regards the reduction of the fines (GIS cartel)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
The Budapest Court of Appeal upheld, in its second instance judgment, the verdict of the Metropolitan Court of Budapest in the "GIS cartel" case: the judgment confirmed the existence of the infringement, whilst it accepted the lower court’s decision to decrease the fines imposed on the (...)

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 Lisbon Commerce Court confirms against cartel operating in the Port of Setúbal but reduces fines (Rebonave, Rebosado and Lutamar)
University of Lisbon
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Abreu Advogados
Following the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) decision dated April 2007 imposing a EUR 185.000 fine on REBONAVE, REBOSADO and LUTAMAR (tug services providers in the port of Setúbal involved in a price fixing and client sharing cartel), all three undertakings appealed the decision to the (...)

The Lithuanian NCA inflicts its highest fine ever on a professional association running confidential information exchange scheme on the raw milk procurement and dairy products markets (Dairies III)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 28 February 2008 the Lithuanian Competition Council fined seven dairy companies for their involvement in the exchange of confidential information said to have restricted competition on the raw milk procurement market and on a number of markets for individual dairy products. The total amount (...)

The Turkish Competition Board confirms fine on only one cartel member for price fixing in the ready mixed concrete market (Lafarge)
University of Leeds
The Turkish Competition Board (TCB) has confirmed the fine it had levied on a single member of a cartel in the ready mixed concrete market in the Marmara region in a recent decision. The original decision which seems to have caused controversy within the TCB - the dissenting opinions of the (...)

The European Commission imposes fines against manufacturers in the synthetic rubber cartel cases (Bayer, Zeon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"The synthetic rubber cartel cases"* I. The Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Case On 23 January, the Commission adopted a prohibition decision and imposed fines totalling €34 million on the Bayer and Zeon groups for operating a cartel in the Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (‘NBR’) sector. The addressees of the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals upholds the French Competition Council’s decision on the railway laying and maintenance cartel but reduces fines (SNCF/ETF and SPTV)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 2 October 2007, the Paris Court of Appeals (the "Court of Appeals") upheld a decision issued by the Conseil de la concurrence (the "Competition Council") in Decision n° 06-D-15 dated 14 June 2006 relating to practices implemented in the railway laying and maintenance sector. In this decision, (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court increases one of the fines imposed to banks by the NCA in the ATM agreement case from € 5 to 7 M (Europay Austria, "Bankomat-Vertrag")
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
On 12 September 2007, the Austrian Supreme Cartel Court decided on the appeals lodged against the Cartel Court’s decision imposing a fine of EUR 5 million on Europay Austria. We reported on the Cartel Court’s decision in e-Competitions(Axel Reidlinger and Heinrich Kühnert,The Austrian Cartel (...)

The Stockholm City Court inflicts the highest amount of fines ever but casts doubts on fining predictability and consistency with EU law (Asphalt Cartel)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Kreab
Introduction This article comments on the most comprehensive cartel case in Swedish history. On 10 July 2007, the Stockholm City Court (SCC) delivered its nearly 600 page ruling in the Asphalt Cartel case. Although this case concerns the highest amount of fines ever imposed in a (...)

A Portuguese Court upholds Competition Authority decision that imposed a fine to an association for price fixing, but reduces the amount of the fine by considering the association turnover as relevant in place of the associates’ turnover (Veterinarian Medical Association)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 5 July 2007, the Lisbon Court of Appeals upheld the Lisbon Court of Comerce ruling which confirmed the Competition Authority (“PCA”) decision imposing a fine of € 75,935.00 (seventy-five thousand nine hundred and thirty-five euros) on the Veterinarian Medical Association (“VMA”) for price (...)

The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds case against shipping agents association for price-fixing (AGEPOR)
University of Lisbon
,
Abreu Advogados
On 28 July 2006 the Lisbon Commerce Court upheld in substance a decision by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) fining AGEPOR (Portuguese shipping agents association) € 195.000 for entering into price-fixing concerted practices but reduced the fine to € 130.000. Unhappy with the ruling, (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds a finding of bid rigging and declines to modify an allegedly unfair penalty in the biggest British cartel investigation ever (Makers)
Quebec Department of Justice
Competititon Appeal Tribunal, February 22nd, 2007, Makers UK Limited v. Office of Fair Trading ; [2007] CAT 11 The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been conducting, over the last two years, the biggest UK cartel investigation ever. The investigation relates to bid rigging practices in the UK (...)

The European Commission fines a cartel in the gas insulated switchgear sector
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Cartel fined in the gas insulated switchgear sector"* On 24 January the Commission adopted a prohibition Decision against members of the Gas Insulated Switchgear cartel with fines totalling some €750 million. The cartel from 1989 until the Commission’s inspections in May 2004, and was nearly (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having entered into an agreement in the sector for the collection and the treatment of wastes in Seine-Maritime (Veolia Propreté & Sita France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement in the sector for the collection and the treatment of wastes in Seine-Maritime: As part of a negotiated settlement, subsidiaries of Veolia Propreté and Sita France benefited from extenuating (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court confirms decision against shipping agents association for price-fixing but reduces the amount of fines (AGEPOR)
University of Lisbon
,
Abreu Advogados
In January 2006 the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) fined AGEPOR, a Portuguese shipping agents association, € 195.000 for price fixing. AGEPOR appealed against the decision to the Lisbon Commerce Court. AGEPOR grounded its appeal both on procedural and substantive arguments. First, the (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce reduces the fines applied by the Portuguese NCA’s for selling products at a price lower than its effective purchase price (Gestiretalho)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Lisbon)
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Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
On 18 January 2006, the Lisbon Court of Commerce partially admitted the appeal filed by Gestiretalho - Gestão e Consultoria para a Distribuição a Retalho, S.A. against the Portuguese Competition Authority. The Portuguese Competition Authority had found in 2003 (precise date not available) that (...)

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

The Spanish National Court significantly reduces the fine imposed on a local association of driving schools for issuing a collective recommendation on prices (Autoescuelas Alcalá)
Martinez Lage, Allendesalazar & Brokelmann (Madrid)
The decision of the competition authority On 9 March 2000, the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (TDC) -the second-tier competition authority that existed in Spain under Act 16/1989 and that has been replaced since September 1st 2007 by a single body, the National Competition Commission- (...)

The European Commission imposes fine of over € 91 M on companies for participating in cartels on the Belgian beer market (Interbrew, Danone, Alken-Maes, Haacht and Martens)
NautaDutilh
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels 4. Market-sharing and price-fixing cartels on the Belgian beer market"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (Decisions SAS-Maersk and Graphite electrodes, both adopted on 18 July 2001: see (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 135.22 M on chemical companies for fixing the price and sharing the market for citric acid (Citric acid cartel)
European Commission - DG GROW
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Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels 3. The citric acid cartel"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (DecisionsSAS-MaerskandGraphite electrodes, both adopted on 18 July 2001: see Competition Newsletter 2001, Issue n°3), the (...)

The European Commission fines pharmaceutical companies for participating in eight distinct secret market sharing and price-fixing cartels affecting vitamin products (Vitamins cartel)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels 2. The vitamin cartels"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (DecisionsSAS-MaerskandGraphite electrodes, both adopted on 18 July 2001: see Competition Newsletter 2001, Issue n°3), the (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 57.53 M on companies active in the chemical industry for fixing the price and sharing the market and grants for the first time a reduction of fine pursuant to Section B of its leniency notice (Sodium gluconate cartel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG GROW
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels - 1. The sodium gluconate cartel"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (DecisionsSAS-MaerskandGraphite electrodes, both adopted on 18 July 2001: see Competition Newsletter 2001, Issue n°3), the (...)

The European Court of Justice confirms the Commission’s decision concerning infringements of article 81 TFUE in a motor vehicle distribution case (Volkswagen)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Judgement by the Court of First Instance of 6 July 2000 concerning Commission Decision 98/273/Volkswagen of 28 January 1998"* History By decision of 28.1.1998, the Commission had imposed a record fine of € 102 million on Volkswagen AG, for having committed a very serious infringement of (...)

The European Commission fines a cartel of British sugar producers and merchants (Tate & Lyte, Napier Brown, James Budgett)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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RBB Economics (The Hague)
"The Commission fines a cartel of British sugar producers and merchants"* On 14 October 1998, the Commission adopted a Decision by which fines have been imposed on the sugar producers British Sugar and Tate & Lyle, as well as the sugar merchants Napier Brown and James Budgett for violation (...)

Dominance

The Italian Competition Authority imposes fine against construction market leader for abuse of dominant position in the plasterboard market (Saint-Gobain Italia)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: Competition Authority (ICA) imposes Fine on Saint-Gobain PPC Italia S.P.A. in the Plasterboard Market In its meeting of 30 June 2010, the ICA ruled that Saint Gobain Ppc Italia S.p.A. (Bpb Italia) had engaged in abusive behaviour infringing national and EU competition rules in order to (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in soda ash case (Imperial Chemical Industries)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 25 June 2010, the General Court handed down its judgment in the long-running procedure concerning an alleged abuse of a dominant position by Imperial Chemical Industries Limited (“ICI”) on the market for soda ash. In its judgment, the General Court largely upheld the Commission’s findings, but (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds abuse of dominance finding against incumbent gas provider but reduces the size of the fine imposed (National Grid/Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, Capital Meters, Siemens, Meter Fit)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
On 23 February 2010, the Court of Appeal held that the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") had correctly upheld a decision of the UK energy regulator, OFGEM, that National Grid had abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of domestic-sized gas meters. The CAT had reduced (...)

The Czech Competition Office fines a mineral water producing company for export bans but substantially lowers the fine taking into consideration cooperation and commitments (Karlovarské minerální vody)
Kinstellar
On 23 December 2009, the Czech Competition Office (the “Office”) ended an investigation against Karlovarské minerální vody (KMV) for export bans and imposed in a settlement procedure a fine of CZK 5 million (approximately EUR 192,000). This was the fourth case in which the Office had used settlement (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a reduced fine to the French post office and mail order companies for having implemented anticompetitive discounts in their contracts (La Poste)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Anticompetitive discounts in contracts between the French post office, La Poste, and mail order companies - The Conseil de la concurrence notes the undertakings given by La Poste and reduces the penalties (...)

The UK Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the decision of the DGFT that the appellant has abused a dominant position by pricing advertising in one of its newspapers at below average variable cost, but reduces the fine since the abusive conduct had only continued for one month (Aberdeen Journals)
Kings Chambers (Leeds)
This case involved two decisions by the Director General of Fair Trading (the « DGFT »), under the Competition Act 1998 (the « Act ») each of which was appealed to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT). In both decisions the DGFT found that, in the period 1 March to 29 March 2000, Aberdeen (...)

Mergers

The US DoJ settles gun-jumping charges against communication technology companies (Qualcomm / Flarion)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Palo Alto)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On April 13, 2006, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it had reached a $1.8 million settlement with Qualcomm Incorporated and Flarion Technologies, Inc. to resolve allegations that they each violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”) by “jumping the gun” in connection with (...)

Procedures

The EU General Court dismisses an action for annulment on a claim of excessive length of the proceedings, since the applicant didn’t show any negative consequences impeding the right to fair trial (Reagens)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission: unsubstantiated pleas and length of proceedings* The General Court’s judgment in Case T-30/10 Reagens SpA v Commission EU:T:2014:253 (alternative link here) doesn’t really break new ground. But it does remind applicants of a few basic truths. In some ways (...)

The EU Parliament presents a report comprising amendments to the Commission’s legislative proposal concerning the regime of actions for damages prompted by infringements of competition law
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Introduction In the beginning of the process of decentralization of the enforcement of competition law in the EU the necessity to encourage the development of private enforcement appeared to be more of a theoretical proposition than a tangible reality. Ten years after the adoption of the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority issues new leniency explanatory notes and application form (Engedékenységi Szabályok)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
New rules for leniency applicants* The GVH has published on its website the modified version of the Explanatory Notes and the Application Form for Leniency, which were both issued by the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter referred: Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH). (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes its reviewed guidelines for the setting of fines deviating from the methodology used by the European Commission
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
The FCO’s new fining guidelines – not much guidance after all* The FCO published new fining guidelines on June 25, 2013, which have been applied for several months now. However, the guidelines as well as the recent practice do not provide a lot of guidance. The previous fining guidelines (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court ruling finding that reduction in subsidiary’s fine also applies to parent company where appeals have common object (Pegler, Tomkins)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 January 2013, the Court of Justice of the EU (“ECJ”) ruled that, when the EU courts reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on a subsidiary for an infringement of the EU competition rules, they may also apply the same reduction to the fine imposed jointly and severally on the (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court rules that the statutory imposition of interest on cartel fines is in compliance with the German constitution (VerzinsungspflichtfürKartellgeldbußen)
Commeo
According to Sec. 81 (6) of the German Act against Restraints of Competition ("ARC") interests are payable on fines imposed on legal persons and associations of persons in an administrative order of the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO").In its decision of May 2011 the Higher Regional Court (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court revises a fine for failure to comply with a request for information (UAB Plungės Duona)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 27 November 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania partially upheld an appeal against a ruling by the Vilnius District Administrative Court concerning a fine imposed on the industrial bakery UAB Plungės Duona for non-compliance with request by the Competition Council ("CC") for (...)

The EU Court of Justice entirely rejects an appeal by German energy company for failing to substantiate the unduly reversed burden of proof and the allegedly incorrect assessment of the fines imposed for breaching a seal during a EU dawn raid (E.ON)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Breaching of a seal constitutes a serious violation of the Commission’s investigative powers in the competition field for which fines not exceeding 1 % of the undertaking’s turnover may be imposed. On 15 April 2008, E.ON Energie brought an action for annulment against a (...)

The English Court of Appeals affirms Competition Appeals Tribunal’s broad discretion on costs in appeals against cartel decisions of the OFT under SI 2003/1372 s.55(2) (Quarmby v OFT)
Berlin Freie Universität
Appellants Quarmby Construction and its parent St James Securities Holdings (Quarmby) were found to have engaged in bid rigging in relation to five tenders for construction contracts in northern England between 2000 and 2006 and were fined £881,749. Quarmby appealed the decision to the (...)

A Dutch District Court reduces competition fine for breach of seal during ongoing competition investigations (Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging)
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
Introduction The national society of general practitioners (Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging, hereinafter “LHV”) was fined by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (hereinafter “ACM”) for a breach of a seal during ongoing competition investigations. In this case the District Court Rotterdam (...)

The EU General Court grants a company further reduction in fine for cooperation in Spanish raw tobacco investigation (Cetarsa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 February 2011, the General Court handed down a judgment reducing the fine imposed by the Commission on Compañía Española de Tabaco en Rama (“Cetarsa”) for its involvement in the Spanish raw tobacco cartel. In October 2004, the Commission adopted a decision fining four Spanish processors of raw (...)

The Macedonian Competition Authority adopts the fining guidelines under the new Law on protection of competition
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 November 2010 the new Macedonian Law on Protection of Competition has entered into force replacing the preceding Law that has been in force since 2005. The new law introduced a number of substantive and procedural changes that have been aimed at harmonizing the Macedonian competition law (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority issues leniency guidelines
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 30 August 2010 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) released the long-awaited Leniency Guidelines that regulate the procedure of application for and granting of immunity from fines or reduction of fines for participation in an anticompetitive agreement in violation of the national (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority issues its fining guidelines
University of Technology (Tallinn)
The Law on Protection of Competition is applied by the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) from 1 November 2009. At the same time it took some time for the Government to adopt the secondary legislation that would regulate in more detail the substantive and procedural aspects of the KZK‘s (...)

A Slovak regional Court confirms strict criteria that courts have on reasoning of decisions of the Antimonopoly Office (SLOVNAFT)
Kinstellar (Prague)
,
Kinstellar (Bratislava)
Factual background Regional Court Bratislava (“Court“) overruled, in its judgment dated 15 December 2009, two decisions of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (the “AMO”), namely the first instance decision No. 2006/DZ/2/1/140 dated 22 December 2006 and the appellate decision No. 2007/DZ/R/2/102 dated (...)

The Turkish competition board introduces two new regulations on leniency and calculation of fines
Çakmak Avukatlik Bürosu
,
Akol Avukatlik Bürosu
On 15 February 2009, two new Regulations, Regulation on the Calculation of Fines and the Leniency Regulation entered into force in Turkey. The Leniency Regulation which is modeled upon the EC Competition Law introduces a totally new procedure to the Competition Law enforcement which aims at an (...)

The Spanish antitrust authority adopts a communication on the quantification of fines
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
On 9 February 2009, the Spanish Antitrust Authority (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia or CNC) adopted a Communication on the quantification of sanctions for violations of Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Spanish Competition Act and Articles 81 and 82 EC . The CNC adopted this piece of legislation (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading publishes revised leniency guidance for businesses and individuals that come forward with information about their involvement in a cartel (Leniency and no-action: OFT’s guidance note on the handling of applications)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Introduction In December 2008, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) published revised guidance (“the Guidance”) for undertakings and individuals that are contemplating applying for leniency in cartel cases , which sets out the OFT’s position on a number of important leniency-related issues. (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection issues draft guidelines for setting fines in respect of competition rules violations
Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners
This draft was issued pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty as well as Articles 6 and 9 of the Polish Act on Competition and Consumer Protection of 16 February 2007 (Journal of Laws of 2007, n° 50, pos. 331 as amended) (hereinafter the “CCP Act”). The draft aims at increasing (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition publishes its first guidelines on fines
Government of the Czech Republic
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Office for the Protection of Competition (Úrad pro ochranu hospodárské souteže), Guidelines of the Office for the Protection of Competition on the method of setting fines (Zásady postupu Úradu pro ochranu hospodárské souteže pri stanovování výše pokut) Presumably on 9 May 2007 (see below), the Czech (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes guidelines on the setting of fines against undertakings and associations of undertakings that have violated, inter alia, Art. 81, 82 EC
Fresenius Medical Care (Frankfurt)
Background In 2005, the German Act on Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschraenkungen, or “GWB”) was substantially amended to harmonize German law with EU competition law, in particular Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes guidelines on setting fines
Metro (Dusseldorf)
On 26 September 2006 the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its Notice n° 38/2006 on the imposition of fines under section 81 (4) sentence 2 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) against undertakings and associations of undertakings - Guidelines on the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission heavily fines an undertaking for non-compliance with its past decision condemning abusive rebates and discriminatory practices (Coca-Cola)
Hellenic Institute of International and Foreign Law (HIIFL)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Epitropi Antagonismou), 13 June 2006, Decision 309/V/2006, Coca Cola HBC S.A. The case concerns the imposition by the Hellenic Competition Commission of a penalty of € 8.662.644,00 on Coca Cola HBC S.A. according to Article 9§1(e) of Law 703/1977 for failing to (...)

Regulations

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

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