Public procurement

Anticompetitive practices

Public procurement: An overview of EU and national case law
University of Bristol - Law School
The intersection of public procurement and competition law has been receiving increasing attention since I first wrote this foreword for the 2011 edition of this special issue of e-Competitions on public procurement . As discussed in the second edition of this foreword , the 2014 revision of (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice upholds irrevocably the sanctions pronounced by the Romanian Competition Authority against two undertakings for bid rigging (Condmag and Inspet)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The High Court of Cassation and Justice has confirmed irevocably the sanctions aplied by the Romanian Competition Council to CONDMAG and INSPET companies* The High Court of Cassation and Justice has confirmed irevocably the sanctions aplied by the Romanian Competition Council in 2012 to (...)

The Council of the Office of the Slovak Republic examines the decision of the Antimonopoly Office by which it imposed fines on four construction companies for cartel in the field of the public procurement (J.P.–STAV spol)
Slovak Competition Authority
The Council of the Antimonopoly Office upheld the substance of the 1st instance decision on a cartel agreement of construction companies in public procurements* The Council of the Office of the Slovak Republic (“the Council of the Office”) examined the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic opens ex officio proceedings relative to possible agreements restricting competition concluded between five undertakings acting in the market of meal vouchers and other benefit vouchers
Slovak Competition Authority
The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic suspects the companies providing meal and benefit vouchers of cartel* On February 16, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Cartels, ex officio initiated the administrative proceedings in the matter of possible (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines companies allegedly involved in bid-rigging practices concerning tenders in the rail sector (Kombud, KZA Lublin and Bombardier Transportation Polska)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In the decision no. DOK – 10/2014 of 30 December 2014, the Polish competition authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the “PCA”) imposed a fine of almost PLN 7 million (ca. €1.68 million) on three companies involved in alleged bid-rigging practices during a tender for a contract (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition imposes fines on several sellers of communal technology for having implemented a market sharing agreement in public procurements context (Garnea and Garden Studio)
Czech Competition Authority
Sellers of communal technology sanctioned for cartel agreements in public procurements* In recent weeks the Office for the Protection of Competition (the Office) has issued three decisions imposing fines of total amount CZK 5,070,000 (approximately EUR 184,363) for cartel agreements on market (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on five building and construction companies for having implemented anticompetitive agreements (UAB Convertus)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council disclosed anti-competitive agreement among bidders* The Competition Council (KT) discovered that five building and construction companies, namely UAB Convertus, UAB UGNA, UAB Aketus, UAB Aestus and UAB Gedarta, rigged their bids in the procurement organised by UAB Baltic (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on two construction companies for bid rigging and immunizes an undertaking who revealed the existence of the cartel (SIA „RCI Gulbene)
Competition Council of Latvia
Leniency notice to disclose a cartel scheme within public procurements* On 24 October, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia has found that two construction companies operated in a bid rigging. The investigation was carried out based on a Leniency notice submitted by one of the cartel (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition imposes fines on two undertakings for bid rigging in the sector of supply of fire and rescue technology and equipment (Požární bezpečnost and Perspekta)
Czech Competition Authority
Suppliers of fire equipment sanctioned for bid rigging* Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) imposed by its first instance decision fines of CZK 972,000 on undertakings Perpekta, spol. s.r.o a Požární bezpečnost s.r.o. for breaching the Act on the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority publishes a guide to detect cartels in public procurement tenders
European Commission
HCC Helps Public Officials to Detect Cartels in Public Procurement Tenders* On 24 September 2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) published a "Guide for Public Procurement Authorities: Detection and Prevention of Collusive Practices in Procurement Tenders" (the Guide) in order to (...)

The Division of Cartels of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic imposes fines on ten undertakings for having implemented anticompetitive agreements on public procurement market
Slovak Competition Authority
The Antimonopoly Office of SR sanctioned the parties to public procurements financed by EU funds for a cartel* On 7 August 2014 the Antimonopoly Office of SR, Division of Cartels issued a decision imposing fines on ten undertakings for concluding four cartel agreements grounded in coordination (...)

The Division of Cartels of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic imposes fines on four undertakings in the market of construction works
Slovak Competition Authority
CARTELS: Fine for construction companies for cartel in public procurement* On 28 July 2014 the Division of Cartels issued decision imposing a fine totaling 613 644 EUR on four undertakings acting in the market of construction works in the Slovak Republic for concluding cartel agreement showing (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority conducts on spot inspections without prior notification at the premises of a number of TV-broadcasting companies (Media Support and Asset Management Fund)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Suspected cartel in public procedure* On 21 February 2014 the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) initiated a supervision proceeding against HTD Szaknévsor Kiadó Kft., JRM Produkció Kft., Nosztalgia-Design Kft., “PUPU Produkció” Filmgyártó Kft., TVP Televíziós és videó (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an Article 101 TFEU investigation into bid-rigging practices in the health sector (Octreotid Supplies)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) will investigate into bid rigging practices that are thought to have affected a number of tender procedures organized by some regional health authorities for the award of contracts for the supply of a tumour drug (Case I770 Octreotid Supplies). The facts (...)

The Swedish City Court fines tire service chain for illegal joint tendering in two public procurements (Däckia and Euromaster)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Tire service chains ordered to pay fines for illegal joint tendering* The Stockholm City Court has ordered the tire service chains Däckia AB (Däckia) and Euromaster AB (Euromaster) to pay administrative fines amounting to SEK 2.5 million for illegal joint tendering in two public procurements. (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils to enable them to jointly tender for waste collection services, and recyclables and organic waste processing services (New South Wales)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW for joint tender for waste services* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW to enable them to jointly tender (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for competition damages against allegedly collusive health care undertakings (Aleris / Capio / Hjärtkärlgruppen)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Fines demanded for collusion in care and treatment procurement* The Competition Authority has petitioned that three companies within the care and treatment business are to be sentenced to pay a total of almost SEK 30 million in fines as they have colluded during a public procurement. In 2008, (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces “excessive” fines in construction bid rigging case (GF Tomlinson Group and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11, 22 and 24 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to appeals against the level of fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging case. In its judgments, the CAT has (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces “excessive” fines in construction bid rigging case (Durkan Holdings and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11, 22 and 24 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to appeals against the level of fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging case. In its judgments, the CAT has (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt investigates settlement of a tender dispute for suspect cartel infringement (Abellio / DB Regio NRW)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
"The FCO targets settlement of a tender dispute for suspicion of cartel infringement"* From December 2010 to February 2011, the FCO investigated a planned settlement between the parties to a tender dispute in the public transport sector. The FCO suspected that the planned settlement would (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 14 companies 9 803 590 M € for having shared almost all public markets for the restoration of historic monuments
Commissariat a l’energie atomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA)
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I. Background Following the concern over an anomaly in the process of offers of the Regional Organisation for Cultural Affairs (DRAC) in the Haute-Normandie area on the 16th March 2001; an inquiry by the French Competition Authority (predecessor to the Competition Authority) was held into the (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes fines totalling € 55 million for cartel and abuse of a dominant position in the road signs and safety equipment sector (road signs cartel)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Romanian Competition Council holds public procurement as a priority (Report: The challenges of the Single Market and the competition in sensitive sectors)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On October 14 2010 the Competition Council issued a Report entitled ‘The Challenges of the Single Market and the Competition in Sensitive Sectors’. Drafted in collaboration with a Romanian Centre for Economic Policies (‘CEROPE’) and the Romanian Academic Society (‘SAR’), the Report focuses on a (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority publishes a brochure on cartel agreements in public procurement
European Commission
Slovakia: Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic calls for Cooperation in disclosing Cartel Agreements in Public Procurement Disclosing and proving anticompetitive behaviour is very demanding and requires cooperation between the competition authority and procurers and other institutions. (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority orders three undertakers to pay administrative fines for anticompetitive cooperation in the form of collusive tendering in public procurement processes (Funeral services)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Vinge (Stockholm)
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Vinge (Stockholm)
Introduction On May 19, 2010, the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) ordered the three undertakers (funeral directors), Fonus ekonomisk förening (”Fonus”), Säffle-Åmåls Begravningsbyrå AB (”Säffle-Åmåls”) and Begravningsbyrån Roland Andersson Aktiebolag (“Roland Andersson”) to pay administrative fines (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions container-handling companies for restrictive agreements (Perrigault, TPO)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence sanctions four Container-Handling Companies for Restrictive Agreements in Le Havre Harbour On 15 April 2010, the French Competition Authority sanctioned with a € 625,000 fine four container handling companies active in the Le Havre harbour (north of (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina investigates tender procedures for the supply of the vaccines organized by the State health insurance office (Pharma-Maac)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 October 2009 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) received a complaint lodged by the pharmaceuticals trading company Pharma-Maac. The applicant alleged the existence of anticompetitive agreement between the Health Insurance Office of the Sarajevo Canton (hereinafter: (...)

The Australian Federal Court issues an order by consent against American-based company for cartel behaviour in the international military defence training systems industry (DRS C3 Systems )
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$1 Million penalty for defence cartel* The Federal Court has made orders by consent against American-based company, DRS C3 Systems for cartel behaviour in the international military defence training systems industry. As part of the resolution of the proceedings brought by the Australian (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation against the largest companies active in the production of road blocks (Comast - Road blocks market)
Codacons
On 19 October 2009 “Guardia di Finanza”, a special body of police officers responsible for border control and for investigating fraud, reported a violation of the Antitrust Law in the supply and building road block market. The parties investigated and involved are Metalmeccanica Fracasso S.p.A., (...)

The EU Commission estimates costs for more effective Greek competition enforcement
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Greece Needs to Tackle Cartels – But Can It?* An EU task force sent to Athens in January have suggested that removing obstacles to competition – estimated to cost Greece around 1% of GDP (€2.5bn a year) – would help to restore its (...)

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 Irish Competition Authority publishes booklet on the detection and prevention of collusive tendering
European Commission
Ireland: The Competition Authority raises Awareness on Harm caused by Bid-Rigging/Collusive Tendering, and publishes booklet on “The Detection and Prevention of Collusive Tendering”, and organizes “Bid-Rigging Road-Show&” On 20 December 2009, the Irish Competition Authority published an (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court backs up the National Competition Authority and for the first time ever presents its view on the level of fines imposed in cartel cases (Asphalt cartel)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 29 September 2009, following appeals against the Market Court’s decision by both the Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) and the defendant companies alleged to have participated in the asphalt cartel, the Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) delivered its long awaited judgment. For the first (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority fines cartel member through new injunction procedure for the first time (Rundvirke Poles)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 July 2009, the Swedish Competition Authority (the SCA) imposed a fine of SEK 2 million (around € 181,000) on Rundvirke Poles AB, a telephone pylon manufacturer, for price-fixing and market sharing with its competitor, ScanPole Sverige AB, in relation to the procurement of overhead (...)

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)
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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 Belgian NCA dismisses an action for interim measures against the granting of a public tender for the provision of self-service bike hire system (Decaux)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Facts surrounding the case 1. On 15 March 2008, the Ministers’ Council of the government of Brussels-Capital Region invited tenders for the award of a concession for the setting-up of an automated and publicly accessible bicycle rental system in the Brussels-Capital Region for a nominal fee. (...)

The French Supreme Court dismisses the appeal of the French Minister of the Economy and confirms the Paris Court of Appeal’s decision on the absence of evidence proving the market-sharing agreement (Devin Lemarchand Environnement and Dehe TP)
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
On 16 December 2008, the French Supreme Court (the "Supreme Court") dismissed the appeal of the French Minister of the Economy (the "Minister") against a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court of Appeal") which overturned a decision of the French Competition Council (the "Council") (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority adopts a decision against fifteen pharmaceutical companies for fixing trade conditions (Hemofarm, Galenika, Zdravlje and others)
University of Belgrade
Following a complaint by a distributor of pharmaceutical products Radakom d.o.o., the Serbian Competition Authority (“Komisija za zastitu konkurencije”) started an investigation concerning fixing of trade conditions in pharmaceutical sector against fifteen companies in Serbia : Hemofarm a.d., (...)

The Turkish Competition Board confirms lack of anticompetitive conduct in the bio-tech pharmaceuticals market despite evidence of bid rigging brought by criminal proceedings (Roche)
University of Leeds
The Turkish Competition Board (TCB) confirmed its previous finding of lack of anticompetitive conduct by Roche in the bio-tech pharmaceuticals market in Turkey. The decision of the TCB comes after its original decision being annulled by the Council of State for not having taken into (...)

The French NCA sanctions four companies for bid rigging practices in the moderate-rent housing sector but significantly reduces the amount of the fine in application of the settlement procedure (Spid, Spid Anjou, Haute Mayenne Services, Onet Services)
White & Case (Paris)
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
In its decision dated 11 June 2008, the French Competition Council sanctioned four companies that tendered to a servicing of premises bid launched by a Public Office for moderate-rent housing, for violating Articles 81 of the EC Treaty and its French equivalent, article L. 420-1 of the (...)

An Italian administrative Court confirms that a cartel took place in hospital supplies but slashes down fines (Bristol Myers Squibb)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Introduction The Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium, Rome Section (“TAR Latium”) by a judgment published on 6 June 2008 has upheld a decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority (“IAA”) finding that four companies had rigged supplies of ostomy products to the Italian National Health System (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision in the alleged ‘helicopter cartel’ case (Aeronorte & Helisul)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
In May 2008 the Lisbon Commerce Court issued a ruling (case 48/08.7TYLSB) that quashed the Portuguese Competition Authority’s decision of 2007 (case PRC 20/05) that found out that two companies (Aeronorte and Helisul) had engaged in a bid-rigging cartel for the provision of helicopter services (...)

A Portuguese Court annuls Competition Authority’s finding of a price fixing and market sharing cartel in the market for fire-fighting helicopters (Helicopters’ cartel)
PLMJ (Lisboa)
I. The facts and the administrative proceedings In October 2007, the Portuguese Competition Authority (the “PCA”) issued a decision finding a price-fixing and market-sharing cartel between Aeronorte and Helisul in their reply to the public tender for helicopters to fight forest fires, and (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines 6% of their turnover members of a cartel (Fresenius Medical care, Alsifcom Intermed, Opremi Medfarm)
Peli Filip
The Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) has issued earlier this year its decision 12/2008 (the “Decision”) regarding (i) the breach of art. 5(1) (f) of the competition Competition Law n° 21/1996 (the “Competition Law”), by Fresenius Medical care SRL, Alsifcom Intermed SRL and Opremi Medfarm (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority adopts a new decision concerning a cartel of pharmaceutical companies following a decision of the Lisbon Commercial Court (Abbot, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Menarini)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
On 17 January 2008 the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter ‘CA’) has approved a new decision concerning two previous cases, which have now been appended, and referring to two cartels on the pharmaceutical sector involving the companies Abbott, Bayer, Menarini and Johnson & Johnson. (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal overturns the French Competition Council decision fining construction firms for bid-rigging (Devin Lemarchand Environnement / Dehe TP)
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
On 15 January 2008, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned decision n° 07-D-01 of the French Competition Council (the "Council") regarding practices in the market for public water supply networks in the department of Morbihan. The Council had fined three construction firms, Dehe TP, Devin (...)

The Finnish Market Court imposes record fines on asphalt cartel
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 December 2007, the Finnish Market Court found seven construction companies guilty of having participated in a market-sharing and bid-rigging cartel in the asphalt sector in Finland. The Court found that the cartel had been active during the period of 1994-2001 and had affected public and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines EUR 10 million 15 local public transport operators for collusive tendering (Servizi Aggiuntivi nel Trasporto Pubblico nel Comune di Roma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has condemned 15 bus operators, SITA, APM, COTRI, ACTV, GTT, Transdev, ATCM, Trambus, ATC Bologna, ATAF, ATC La Spezia, ATP, Tempi, TEP and APAM, for collusive tendering carried out since 2001 until 2007. The penalised firms agreed to coordinate their (...)

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, (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority adopts a decision fining four ostomy device manufacturers for alleged bid rigging (Gare per la fornitura di dispositivi per stomia)
Ashurst
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
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Pirelli
Introduction On 3 August 2007, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) adopted a decision fining four ostomy device manufacturers for an alleged bid rigging. The decision is interesting as it shows the difficulty that pharmaceutical companies face when participating in a tender procedure. In (...)

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 (...)

The Stockholm District Court confirms a record fine for the largest cartel in Swedish history (Asphalt Cartel)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
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A1 Advokater
On July 10th, 2007, the Stockholm District Court handed down its judgment in what has become known as the largest cartel trial in Swedish history. The investigations in the cartel were initiated in 2001 following a tip-off to the Swedish Competition Authority (hereinafter the “SCA”) that Swedish (...)

The Hungarian Court of Appeal confirms the NCA’s decision having fined anticompetitive cooperation agreement in the course of a public procurement procedure (Construm-Royal Bau)
Eötvös Lorand University
On 16 December 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office condemned two undertakings interested in a public procurement procedure. This decision was confirmed by the Court of Appeal’s judgment on 20 June 2007. Construm and Royal Bau concluded a co-operation agreement in the course of a public (...)

The Polish competition authority finds pharmaceuticals companies and their distributors not guilty of price fixing and market sharing on the EPO medicines market (Johnson & Johnson, Roche)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
On 14 June 2007, the Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP") issued a decision concerning alleged price fixing and market sharing of medicines containing human recombined erythropoietin (EPO). The OCCP had decided that agreements between Johnson & (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office condemns price fixing and bid rigging for public tenders in the construction sector and for the first time opens criminal proceedings (Bau Art)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
Background Hétszínvirág Institution for the Education of Handicapped Children (Institution) issued a public tender in 2005 for extension and reconstruction works. As a result of a dispute between the successful bidder and the Institution, a new public tender was published for the same (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority imposes fines on members of the water supply systems cartel for bid rigging (School Renovations)
Lithuanian Competition Council
Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba), 15 March 2007, Decision n° 2S-6, concerning the compliance of the actions of undertakings, participants of the public procurement tenders organised by the Educational Establishments’ Maintenance Office (...)

The Lithuanian NCA closes its enquiry on an alleged cartel in public tender proceedings (Lithuanian Business Support Agency)
Lithuanian Competition Council
Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba), 1February 1, 2007, Decision n° 2S-3, concerning the compliance of the actions of undertakings participating in the boiler-house replacement tender with the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on (...)

The French competition authority fines construction firms for rigging bids but considers joint submissions legal (Public water supply networks)
MAPP (Paris)
French Competition Authority (Conseil de la concurrence), 17 January 2007, Decision n° 07-D-01, regarding practices in the market for pipes for public water supply networks in the department of Morbihan (relatives à des pratiques mises en œuvre dans le cadre de marchés publics de travaux de (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines three IT companies for collusion in public procurement procedures (Synergon)
Dechert (London)
The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority has imposed heavy fines on three companies operating in the IT sector (namely Synergon Informatikai PLC- “Synergon”, Montana Információtechnnológiai és Kommunikációs PLC- “Montana” and Hewlett-Packard Magyarország LLC- “Hewlett-Packard”) for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts an in depth investigation in the water management services market for alleged infringements of Art. 81 EC (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Studio Legale DDPV
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Luciani Annalisa Sudio Legale
On the 31st of May 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (“Authority”) opened an in depth investigation against Publiacqua S.p.A. (“PBA”), Acea S.p.A. (“Acea”) and Suez Environnement S.a. (“Suez”) for alleged breach of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty. PBA is a company which manages water services (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority fines on the basis of Art. 81 EC pharma companies for bid rigging for supply to the public health system (Prodotti disinfettanti)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) has recently completed an Article 81 proceedings against nine suppliers of antiseptic and disinfectants to the public health system levying sanctions totalling approximately € 3.7 million (case I 639). The investigation started in November 2004 and (...)

The Italian antitrust authority, after an investigative coordination with a criminal court, imposed EUR 3.7 million fines to antiseptic and disinfectant product distributors for infringement of Art. 81 EC (Prodotti disinfettanti)
Studio Legale DDPV
The Italian Antitrust Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorreza e del Mercato, the “Authority”) has fined producers and distributors of disinfectant and antiseptic products (Astrazeneca S.p.A., Bergamon S.r.l., B. Braun Milano S.p.A., Esoform S.p.A., Farmec S.r.l., Nuova Farmec S.r.l., Germo (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposes high fines for bid-rigging (Highway D1)
PRK Partners (Bratislava)
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SA Legal
In January 2006 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“AMO”) published a decision of the first instance (adopted in December 2005) fining several Slovak and foreign construction companies a total of almost SKK 1.5 billion (approx. EUR 40 million) for alleged bid-rigging. In addition to (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes fines to 5 pharmaceutical companies for collusion in tender procedures for the provision of medical supplies to public hospitals (Abbott, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson...)
London School of Economics
In January 2005 the Portuguese Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, the “NCA”) imposed a € 658,413.22 fine on five pharmaceutical companies involved in collusive practices in a public tender procedure for the purchase by the Centro Hospitalar de Coimbra (“CHC”) of 4,000 packages of chemically (...)

The Polish Competition Authority condemns five undertakings for bid rigging in local public tender proceedings (Poznan)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Prezydent Urzedu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów), September 21st, 2005, Decision n° RPZ-28/2005 concerning the bid rigging between five entrepreneurs during the street and square cleaning services tender in Poznan for the year (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council finds 8 construction companies guilty of bid rigging in respect of a road construction contract (Municipality of Budapest)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
In a public procurement concerning the construction of roads in the municipality of Budapest, eight construction companies have been found guilty of bid-rigging. In a nutshell, they decided among themselves which company would get the contract by coordinating their tenders in advance during (...)

The Portuguese competition authority adopts a decision against five pharmaceutical companies for collusion in a public tender procedure (Abbott, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson...)
London School of Economics
The Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, “ADC”) informs about the closing of a procedure against Abbott Laboratórios, Bayer Diagnostics Europe, Johnson & Johnson, Menarini Diagnósticos e Roche Farmacêutica Química, five undertakings active in the market for chemically reactive strips used to (...)

The Stockholm City Court holds that a company may be fined for having undertaken cartel activities against itself (Asphalt Cartel)
Cederquist
In September 2001 the Swedish Competition Authority (hereinafter the “SCA”) was approached by a number of former employees of the Swedish construction company NCC. They told stories of a market that for a very long time had been infested by agreements to share the markets, rig public bids and (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns price concertation, market allocation and bid rigging between undertakings bidding for the construction of a motorway (Betonút, Debmut, Egut, Hidépitõ, Strabag)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
In the summer of 2002, construction works for a motorway in Hungary were put out to tender by the National Motorway Co. Ltd. The tendering process was made up of two distinct procedures as the first procedure (restricted procedure with invitations) was declared ineffective. The subsequent (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office grants individual exemption to insurance companies for the conclusion of consortium agreement (ÁB-Aegon Általános Biztosító)
lakatos, koves and partners
,
lakatos, koves and partners
In 2003, AB-Aegon Általános Biztosító Rt, Allianz Hungária Biztosító Rt., Generali-Providencia Biztosító Rt., OTP-Garancia Biztosító Rt. and Uniqa Biztosító Rt. filed a request for negative clearance or alternatively, a request for an individual exemption with the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO). The (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority gives youth-insurance consortium individual exemption (Aegon)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 29 April 2004, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) granted individual exemption to ÁB-Aegon Általános Biztosító Rt., Allianz Hungária Biztosító Rt., Generali-Providencia Biztosító Rt., OTP-Garancia Biztosító Rt. and Uniqa Biztosító Rt., five of the largest Hungarian insurance companies jointly (...)

Le Conseil de la concurrence hongrois sanctionne une entente à l’occasion d’un appel d’offres public à hauteur de 600 000 € (Baucont/Kész et Középületépít)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Université Catholique de Louvain
Dans sa décision du 18 mars 2004, le Conseil de la concurrence sanctionne - sévèrement ? - une entente entre entreprises du bâtiment à l’occasion d’un marché public pour l’Université de Kaposvár. En 2001, l’Etat hongrois avait lancé un appel d’offres dans le cadre d’un marché public pour la construction (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines road constructors for concerted practices during road construction projects in Budapest (Alterra Kft.)
lakatos, koves and partners
,
lakatos, koves and partners
In 2002, the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched proceedings against eight road construction companies including Strabag Rt. (Strabag), EGÚT Egri Útépítő Kft. (EGUT), Hídépítő Rt. (Hídépítő) and Ring Kkt. (Ring), a JV of Strabag and Hídépítő, on the grounds that they were suspected of having (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority holds undertakings guilty of bid rigging in construction sector (Strabag - Egut - Ring)
Université Catholique de Louvain
The factual backdrop to the present finding of a violation of the Hungarian Competition law entails an enquiry by the Hungarian Competition Authority into anti-competitive conduct, in the form of bid rigging, subsequent to a public procurement tender published by the Direction Metro Project of (...)

A French Court overturned criminal sentences on the grounds that the undertakings did not play a decisive role and that the collusion did not produce a significant effect (AP-HP)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
In France, infractions of the rules on public procurement constitute the competition violations most frequently penalised both by the competition authorities and by the criminal judge. In the case examined, the incriminated behaviour was, however, somewhat different to the collusion usually (...)

The Maltese Office of Fair Trading condemns the setting up of a joint-venture aiming to respond to calls for tenders with a unitary offer (Roads Group)
King’s College (London)
,
Superior Courts of Malta
If there is one activity, above all, that competition law should combat, it is the horizontal cartel: firms that should, in a market-based economy, compete with one another for business should not be able to cooperate with one another, for example by fixing prices, sharing markets and (...)

Dominance

The German Competition Authority deems the tendering process for the gas concession illegal and closes proceedings in view of the commitment to restart the tendering process (Markkleeberg)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
German Cartel Office Decision on Tendering Process for Gas Concession in Markkleeberg* After proceedings by the German Cartel Office that considered the tendering process for the gas concession in Markkleeberg near Leipzig in Saxony unlawful, a new tendering process will take place. The town (...)

The French Competition Authority recommends a strict application of the exceptional legal provisions concerning the public awards of transport related services (Grand Paris)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence recommends a very strict application of the exceptional legal provisions concerning the markets for engineering and delegation of project management.* The Syntec-Ingenierie (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal, while confirming the NCA decision on maritime servicing of Corsica, raises more expectations on clear criteria for delineating jurisdiction between the NCA and the administrative courts and for assessing the necessity of an effect on the market (SNCM)
Vogel & Vogel
The maritime servicing of Corsica case provided the Paris Court of Appeal with an opportunity to rule on jurisdiction between the Competition Authority and the administrative courts and on the definition of a dominant position and the necessity of an effect on the market to characterise an (...)

The French Competition Authority refuses to order interim measures regarding alleged eviction practices implemented in the sector of shipping transport between Corsica and the continent (CMN / SNCM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Renewal of public service delegation contract / Corsica-Marseilles: New referral by Corsica Ferries: Conseil de la concurrence does not order interim measures but decides to continue the examination on the (...)

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

The Swedish Competition Authority closes predatory pricing investigation relating to procurement of services pursuant to Art. 82 EC and its Swedish equivalent (Konkurrensverket/Banverket Produktion)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Svea hovrätt (Swedish courts)
Background During 2004, the Swedish Rail Administration (Sw. Banverket) procured services relating to the maintenance of four Swedish railway lines; Västkustbanan 1 and 2 and “Kust till Kust” 1 and 2. Banverket Produktion, which was affiliated to Banverket, submitted an offer. The price for the (...)

Mergers

The Turkish Competition Authority examines the privatisation of three electricity distribution companies (AYEDAS-Akdeniz Elektrik-Toroslar Elektrik)
King’s College (London)
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) reviewed the privatisation of three electricity distribution companies (namely, AYEDAS, Akdeniz Elektrik and Toroslar Elektrik) where 100% of the shares in each company were offered in a block sale. Pursuant to the official privatisation schedule, (...)

The Hungarian competition authority holds that a public tender for the operation of an hospital may lead to a merger but holds that the operation fells below the thresholds while applying its method of calculating turnover (Markhot Ferenc Hospital)
King’s College (London)
In November 2007, the municipality of Heves County (Hungary) announced a public tender for the operation of Markhot Ferenc Hospital (hereinafter Hospital) for 20 years from the date of concluding the contract. Based on the contract, the winning bidder would be obliged to operate the Hospital (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority authorises the acquisition of the second operator by the first operator in the Spanish market for bus transport (National Express Group -Continental Auto)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
On 16 May 2007 National Express Group PLC (NEG), the first regular bus transport service provider in Spain, notified the former Spanish first-tier competition authority (Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia, SDC) of the acquisition of control over Continental Auto SLU (Continental Auto), the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority clears a merger in the construction and contracting businesses markets subject to limitation to bid in future tenders to one of the joint venture’s parent companies (Koç-Garanti Koza)
Esin
The operation Prior to the transaction, 98.34% of the shares of Garanti Koza were being held by Koc Group companies. The Parties entered into a Shareholders’ Agreement (the “Shareholders’ Agreement”) on June 01, 2000 whereby Koc Group agreed to sell to Balfour and Balfour agreed to purchase and (...)

State Aids

The EU Court of Justice rules on the distribution of powers between the Council and the Commission in the area of state aid enforcement (Alumina)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU strengthens Commission’s enforcement monopoly in State aid (C-111/10) and jeopardises its consistent enforcement with other EU policies (C-272/12)* In two recent Judgments of 4 December 2013 (C-111/10, Commission v Council) and 10 December 2013 (C-272/12, Commission v Ireland and Others), (...)

The EU Commission clarifies the relation between Altmark criteria and public procurement rules (SNCM Corse-Méditerranée)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. Altmark and Public Procurement: Definition and Award of Contracts* Introduction Ever since the Court of Justice ruled on Altmark ten years ago there has been a growing literature on the specific conditions that have to be satisfied so that public (...)

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

The European Commission considers that the privatisation of publicly owned Austrian bank constitutes a State aid incompatible with EC State aid rules (Bank Burgenland)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid issues in the privatisation of public undertakings - Some recent decisions"* I. Introduction The general definition of State aid is set out in Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty, which prohibits ‘…any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which (...)

The European Commission considers that the privatisation of an automobile company controlled by the Romanian State constitutes a State aid incompatible with EC State aid rules (Automobile Craiova)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
,
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"State aid issues in the privatisation of public undertakings - Some recent decisions"* I. Introduction The general definition of State aid is set out in Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty, which prohibits ‘…any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which (...)

Procedures

The Italian Competition Authority transmits to the government a document which highlights the need for reforms to ensure the development of competition and consumer protection
European Commission
Italy: “Annual Law for Competition” Pursuant to Article 47 of L. 99/2009, the Italian Government must submit to the Parliament, a draft of the “annual law for competition”. The “annual law for competition” should remove any existing legal or administrative obstacles to the opening of markets and (...)

The Spanish Competition Authorities approves recommendations for the Spanish public authorities in relation to the competition rules and informs of some of its priorities for the future
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
Summer months have been particularly quiet in Spain in terms of private and public antitrust enforcement. With extra time to reflect, the brand new unified Spanish Competition Authority (Comisión Nacional de Competencia, hereinafter “CNC”) has decided to use its powers under Article 26 of the (...)

The Swiss Supreme Court’s decision puts into question the arbitrator’s public policy dilemma with regard to competition law
Landolt & Koch
,
Three Crowns
This article is an extract of a set of five contributions around the Swiss Federal Tribunal’s Decision of 8 March 2006 published in the review Concurrences N° 3-2006. Other articles by : Professor Laurence Idot, ECJ Advocate General Damaso Ruiz Jarabo Colomer, Professor François Knoepfler and (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court upheld sentences inflicting prison, fines and damages for bid-rigging ("Isère tarmac")
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
Supreme Court, Criminal Chamber, 16 may 2001, Cases n° 99-83467 and 97-80888 Grenoble Court of appeal, Criminal Chamber, 7 April 1999, A., C., De., Du., J., K., P. , Case n° 98/00334, Decision n° 431/99 (Part. I ; Part. II ; Part. III) Grenoble Criminal Court, 13 November 1997, 1st Chamber, A., (...)

Regulations

The EU Parliament and Council issue a new directive on public concessions which brings about a significant risk of duplication of the relevant rules
University of Bristol - Law School
The new Directive on Concessions is basically unnecessary, but creates red tape, duplication & legal uncertainty (Dir 2014/23)* I have been working on the preparation of a commentary to the first part of the new Directive 2014/23 on the award of concession contracts [OJ L 94, 28/03/2014, (...)

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

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for appeal in case of denial to grant a competitor access to a firefighting training area (Räddningstjänsten Dala Mitt)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority appeals ruling* The Swedish Competition Authority wants the Market Court to reverse the acquittal of the Dala-Mitt Rescue Services. The Stockholm City Court’s assessment is incorrect on several points and includes evidence requirements that go above and beyond (...)

The French Competition Authority issues its first ex officio opinion on competition in the railway sector
European Commission
France: Autorité de la concurrence issues its first ex-officio Opinion on Competition in the Railway Sector and an Opinion on the Dairy Sector Pursuant to the 2009 competition law reform, the Autorité de la concurrence was entrusted with the power to issue ex officioopinions on any competition (...)

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

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion regarding potential competition problems raised by the planned privatisation of mixed-economy motorway operators
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Motorway Privatisation: The Conseil de la concurrence considers that the regulation of private monopolies resulting from privatisation will create difficulties unless a series of obligations are imposed on the (...)

Public sector

The Lithuanian Competition Council finds illegal award of waste management services conducted by two municipalities (Molėtai / Kaišiadorys)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Molėtai and Kaišiadorys district municipalities improperly organised waste management* Competition Council (KT) determined that Molėtai and Kaišiadorys district municipalities (Municipalities) improperly organised waste management and, thus, breached Article 4 of the Law on Competition. (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a new decision concerned with the in-house exception to the application of the EU public procurement rules (Centro Hospitalar de Setúbal)
University of Bristol - Law School
It Won’t Last Long? CJEU takes a functional, competition-based approach to in-house provision that questoins the criteria in the new EU procurement directives (C-574/12)* In its Judgment in Centro Hospitalar de Setúbal and SUCH, C-574/12, EU:C:2014:2004, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority forwards an application on procurement fines for an illegal direct award on the market for the rental of machines and other equipment for construction works (Cramo / Malmö municipality)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Malmö’s repeated procurement errors give higher demanded fines* A claim has been made for the municipality of Malmö to pay a fine/public procurement damages of SEK 325,000 following an illegal direct award. As the municipality of Malmö has previously been fined for an illegal direct award, the (...)

The EU General Court imposes an onerous burden of proof requiring evidence on the existence of a de facto advantage derived from the existence of a conflict of interest with a view on the annulment of a tender decision for the provision of language training services for staff of the EU institutions in Brussels (Communicaid Group)
University of Bristol - Law School
GC sets burden of proof of conflicts of interest in procurement too high (T-4/13)* In its Judgment in Communicaid Group v Commission, T-4/13, EU:T:2014:431, the General Court (GC) decided another appeal against EU Institution’s public procurement decisions. In this case, the procurement was for (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court rules that a state-owned undertaking must follow the public procurement laws when it acquires goods and services and orders payment of fines amounting to SEK 3 million (Akademiska Hus)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Judgement against Akademiska Hus concerning compliance with the procurement rules* The state-owned company Akademiska Hus must comply with the Public Procurement Act when it purchases goods and services. This is the decision of the Administrative Court in Umeå. The company has now been ordered (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court requires the National Competition Authority to comment on a pending case giving its interpretation for the concept of publicly controlled body (Systembolaget)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority: Systembolaget is covered by the procurement rules* The Swedish Competition Authority has been demanded by the Administrative Court in Stockholm to comment on a pending case before the Court. The Swedish Competition Authority finds that Systembolaget is a (...)

The EU General Court issues a convoluted decision regarding accumulation of claims and their degree of specificity in public procurement litigation (European Dynamics / ECB)
University of Bristol - Law School
A new European Dynamics challenge rejected: let’s focus on admissibility of claims (T-553/11)* In its Judgment of 23 May 2014 in case T-553/11 European Dynamics Luxembourg v ECB, the General Court (GC) has ruled on yet another challenge filed by European Dynamics (ED) against procurement (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority goes to court claiming procurement fines from a municipality for hiring consultants without previous advertising (Herrljunga)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Herrljunga required to pay procurement fines* Herrljunga municipality has breached procurement rules by continuing to hire employment agency staff for several years without advertising the contracts. The Swedish Competition Authority is now going to court claiming procurement fines of SEK (...)

The Advocate General of the CJEU addresses the matter whether future lease contracts are covered by the EU public procurement secondary law (Impresa Pizzarotti)
University of Bristol - Law School
Are future (lease) contracts covered by the EU public procurement directives (C-213/13)* In his Opinion of 15 May 2014 in case C-213/13 Impresa Pizzarotti (not available in English, so the following discussion is based on my reading of the Spanish version), Advocate General Nils Wahl has (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that a horizontal in-house acquisition of goods fell within the scope of the procurement directive in force at the relevant time (Datenlotsen Informationssysteme)
University of Bristol - Law School
Has Directive 2014/24 come too late for horizontal in-house provision? (C-15/13)* In its recent Judgment in case C-15/13 of 8 May 2014 Datenlotsen Informationssysteme, the CJEU has addressed a so-called ’horizontal’ in-house provision of goods and rejected the proposal of AG Mengozzi to exclude (...)

Advocate General Yves Bot proposes to reduce the safe harbour for directly awarded public contracts subjected to prior transparency (Fastweb)
University of Bristol - Law School
AG proposes to reduce safe harbour for directly awarded public contracts subjected to prior transparency (C-19/13)* In his Opinion of 10 April 2014 in case C-19/13 Fastweb, Advocate General Bot has proposed an interpretation of Art 2d(4) of Directive 89/665 (as amended by dir 2007/66) that (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court orders payment of procurement award damages for use of company acquisition solely as a means of avoiding the public procurement procedure (Vega district)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Haninge Bostäder hit with a SEK 10 million fine* It is not permissible for a municipal corporation to circumvent procurement rules by buying a company with assets instead of procuring. This is confirmed by the administrative court in a judgement against Haninge Bostäder which completely follows (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to a number of city councils in Sidney to commence a joint tender for household clean up waste (Bankstown City / Fairfield City / Parramatta City / Liverpool City)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC grants interim authorisation to Sydney councils for joint waste tender* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Bankstown City Council, Fairfield City Council, Parramatta City Council and Liverpool City Council in Sydney to commence a joint (...)

The European Parliament and the Council indite an area of application for the directive on the award of concession contracts meant to combine the scopes of the directive on public sector awards and the directive on the award of utilities contracts
University of Bristol - Law School
Directive 2014/23 on concessions and the ’Frankenstein effect’* The more one analyses the content of Directive 2014/23 on concessions (the Concessions Directive), the more one realises that it is full of unnecessary complexities and that it is (unfortunately) a horrible example of the (...)

The EU Council adopts a new public procurement directive that results in the consolidation of the principle of competition
University of Bristol - Law School
The "new" principle of competition in Directive 2014/24: a new set of presumptions?* The adoption of Directive 2014/24 of 26 February 2014 has resulted in the consolidation of the principle of competition in Article 18. According to the wording of this provision: "The design of the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste management
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Authorisation granted to eight NSW regional councils for joint tender arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste collection services and (...)

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets develops new consultation method to set its agenda 2014-2015
European Commission
The Netherlands: The Authority for Consumers and Markets develops new Consultation Method to set its Agenda 2014-2015* On 5 February 2014, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) launched an online consultation on its strategic agenda, using a multimedia project. The ACM set (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority appeals decision of the Administrative Court in a case of direct award of cleaning services (SJ)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority appeals decision in favour of SJ* In a decision by the Administrative Court in Stockholm, the Court has declared that SJ (Swedish State Railways) could be a contracting entity subject to LUF (National Act on Procurement within the Water, Energy, Transport and (...)

The CJEU AG Mengozzi supports an extension of the "in-house" public procurement exception beyond its current boundaries (Datenlotsen Informationssysteme)
University of Bristol - Law School
AG Mengozzi on extension of "in-house" to "public house" procurement exception (C-15/13)* In his Opinion of 23 January 2014 in case C-15/13 Datenlotsen Informationssysteme (not available in English), Advocate General Mengozzi advocated for an extension of the "in-house" public procurement (...)

The EU Parliament makes available the provisional text of the new public procurement directives and consolidates the principle of competition therewith
University of Bristol - Law School
Principle of competition finally consolidated into public procurement directives* The provisional text of the new public procurement Directives has been made available by the European Parliament. In the final version of 15 of January, the principle of competition is finally consolidated in (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for procurement fines against alteration of a framework agreement concerning procurement of photo copiers (Stockholm County Council)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Alteration of framework agreement led to an illegal procurement* The Stockholm County Council made such great changes to a framework agreement relating to the purchasing of copiers that the contract must be considered a whole new procurement. As this was not publicly advertised, it constitutes (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks* Bonn, 18 December 2013: The Bundeskartellamt welcomes the landmark decisions issued yesterday by the Federal Court of Justice on the award of rights of way for electricity and (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares that a scheme of compulsory minimum tariffs for certification services addressed to tenderers in a public procurement procedure is not illegal per se under the EU competition and free movement rules (SOA Nazionale Costruttori)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU rubber stamps Italian minimum tariffs for certification in public procurement, subject to proportionality (C-327/12)* In its Judgment of 12 December 2013 in case C-327/12 Soa Nazionale Costruttori, the Court of Justice of the EU has followed rather closely AG Cruz Villalon’s Opinion (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the authorities of a Member State may rely on the provisions of a non-transposed directive against a body holding a public service concession (Portgás)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU: vertical effect of Directives goes both ways (C-425/12)* The Judgment of the CJEU of 12 December 2013 in case C-425/12 Portgás may appear to be of interest only for public procurement aficionados (and, even then, only for hardcore ones), as it deals with the potential applicability of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of article 30(2) of Directive 2004/18 as regards the negotiation of technical elements between a contracting authority and the participants in a negotiated procedure (Nordecon / Rahandusministeerium)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU on renegotiation of mandatory technical conditions in negotiated procedures: A good case? (C-561/12)* In its Judgment of 5 December 2013 in case C-561/12 Nordecon and Ramboll Eesti, the CJEU has ruled on the interpretation of Article 30(2) of Directive 2004/18 as regards the negotiation (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority finds a breach of the proportionality principle in relation to the exclusion of suppliers who use more qualified nursing personnel than the minimum imposed in the tender specifications (Systrarna Odh)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Best country to grow old The UN ranked Sweden in a recent study as best country in the world for treatment of elderly. The Swedish public procurement markets for care services have been opened to competition via the system of public procurement and more recently via a system based on freedom (...)

The EU General Court rules on the boundaries of the duty to state reasons in decisions addressed to tenderers whose offers are rejected in public procurement procedures (UAB Gaumina / EIGE)
University of Bristol - Law School
Of lost emails, the duty to state reasons and a dimming light in the horizon of eProcurement (T-424/12)* In its Judgment of 28 November 2013 in case T-424/12 UAB Gaumina v Institut européen pour l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes (EIGE), the General Court has ruled once more on the (...)

The UK Government Procurement Service announces the entry into force of a new framework agreement for strategy & planning services
University of Bristol - Law School
GPS’ strategy and planning framework agreement could have been fatally flawed (or the joys of copy & paste)* The Government Procurement Service (GPS) has recently announced the entry into force of a new framework agreement for strategy & planning services that gives all public sector (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice establishes that avoidance of litigation does not constitute an overriding reason of general interest that can be invoked in order to uphold a direct award of a concession contract (Belgacom)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU rejects avoidance of litigation as a valid ’overriding reason in the public interest’ justifying a direct award of a concession contract (C-212/12)* In its Judgment of 14 November 2013 in case C-221/12 Belgacom, the CJEU has rejected that the avoidance of litigation can be considered a (...)

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

The UK Office of Fair Trading launches market study into the supply of information and communications technology (ICT) goods and services to the public sector
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading launches Market Study into Supply of Public Sector ICT Services* On 15 October 2013, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched a market study into the supply of information and communications technology (ICT) goods and services to the public sector. (...)

The EU General Court rules that a contracting authority must provide explanations about its reasons not to consider the winning offer as being abnormally low (European Dynamics / EMA)
University of Bristol - Law School
3 more instalments in the Evropaïki Dynamiki saga: one successful appeal (T-638/11)* Today (15 October 2013), the General Court has issued three judgments that add to the ’Evropaïki Dynamiki saga’. In two of them (T-474/10 and T-457/10), the famous challenger of EU Institutions’ procurement (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a general interdiction to rely on the capacities of more than one undertaking for the same qualification category imposed on tenderers is precluded by law (Mannocchi Luigino)
University of Bristol - Law School
A jigsaw of qualifications or a procurement puzzle?: CJEU launches a depth charge against certification systems (C-94/12)* In its Judgment of 10 October 2013 in case C-94/12 Swm Costruzioni 2 and Mannocchi Luigino, the Court of Justice of the EU has followed the Opinion of AG Jääskinen (which I (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the principle of equal treatment must be interpreted as not precluding a contracting authority from asking a candidate to provide additional information after the deadline (Manova)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU flexibilises treatment of formally non-compliant bids in public procurement (C-336/12)* In its Judgment of 10 October 2013 in case C-336/12 Manova, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has followed its own approach in Slovensko and created some room for the flexible interpretation of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority publishes a report on the application of its guide on public procurement and competition to public health care provision-related procurement in Spain
University of Bristol - Law School
Spanish competition watchdog CNMC issues report on health care outsourcing procurement* The Spanish Competition Authority has recently published a report on the application of its Guide on Public Procurement and Competition to public health care provision-related procurement in Spain (only (...)

The AG Villalón of the CJEU finds that a tariff calculation formula that automatically multiplies the rate payable for the certification activities according to the number of tenders is precluded by EU law (SOA Nazionale Costruttori)
University of Bristol - Law School
AG Cruz Villalon opposes Italian minimum #tariffs for #public procurement #certification (C-327/12)* In his Opinion of 5 September 2013 in case C-327/12 Soa Nazionale Costruttori (not available in English), AG Cruz Villalon analyses the compatibility with EU free movement (ie freedom of (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority initiates a project aimed at detecting cartels in public procurements by using proactive economic methodology
European Commission
Sweden: Screening for Cartels in Public Procurement Auctions* In September 2013, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) initiated a project aimed at detecting cartels in public procurements by using proactive economic methodology. Economic detection methods offer an alternative when there (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority requires payment of procurement fines for an illegal direct award as regards construction of appartments (Haninge Bostäder)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Haninge Bostäder required to pay SEK 10 million in procurement fines* The Swedish Competition Authority demands that the municipal housing company in Haninge, Haninge Bostäder AB, pays procurement fines of SEK 10 million due to them having performed an illegal direct award. Haninge Bostäder has (...)

The Tirana District Court quashes a decision of the Albanian NCA on bid rigging in the security and guarding services public procurement (Eurogjici)
University of Tirana
On December 2012 the Tirana Court of Appeals, handed down a decision on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA), on a bid rigging in the public procurement of security and guarding services by various public institutions and companies in Albania. This decision imposed a (...)

The German Competition Authority terminates test proceedings following commitment undertaken by a municipality (City of Düsseldorf / Siemens)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Award of concession for fire detection systems in conformity with competition law* Bundeskartellamt terminates test proceedings following commitment by the City of Düsseldorf The Bundeskartellamt has terminated its test proceedings on award procedures for fire alarm transmission systems and (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court holds that the time when the contract implementing an illegal direct award has been initiated should coincide with the time when the award decision may be subject to legal review (Swedish Immigration Office)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Konkurrensverket (Swedish Competition Authority) applied for public procurement fines against the Migrationsverket (Swedish Immigration Office) before the court of first instance on the 17 June 2011. The value of the contract in question exceeded € 8 million (SEK 69 million), (...)

The EU Court of Justice shows excessive deference towards social policy in public procurement: social housing schemes may not be public contracts (Libert)
University of Bristol - Law School
In its Judgment of 8 May 2013 in Joined Cases C-197/11 & C-203/11 Libert and Others, the Court of Justice of the European Union has quashed the Belgian ’Living in Your Own Region’ scheme, whereby the acquisition of land and property in certain parts of the country was restricted on grounds of (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court rules on the principles applicable to the award of concession contracts (Agam Reti Gas Acqua)
University of Turin
I. Introduction The grand chamber (Adunanza plenaria) of the Italian Consiglio di Stato, broadly corresponding to the assembléeof the Conseil d’Etat, has addressed the question of the applicability of some provisions of the 2006 Code of public contracts to the award of concession contracts. The (...)

The French National Competition Authority fines five undertakings for collusive tendering in the field of public procurement (Vilmore, Eiffage)
University Dublin College (UCD)
On 17 April 2013, the French National Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereafter “the FCA”) fined four undertakings a total of € 965,000 for collusive tendering in the field of public procurement. The FCA investigated the response submitted by two companies to an invitation to (...)

The German Competition Authority invites representatives from competition authorities and public prosecutors from across the country to Bonn to exchange their experiences on the prosecution of illegal agreements relating to public and private tenders (Netzwerk Submissionsabsprachen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Cartel prosecutors and public prosecutors exchange experiences in Bonn Increased prosecution of bid-rigging agreements* On 10 April 2013 the Bundeskartellamt invited representatives from competition authorities and public prosecutors from across the country to Bonn to exchange their (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority decides that the practice of excluding suppliers from ‘tax havens’ is incompatible with EU law (Municipality of Kalmar)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction OECD’s list of uncooperative tax havens has become the world’s shortest black list, only two small islands in Pacific being listed as uncooperative tax havens. The use of legal methods to modify a corporation’s financial situation in order to lower the amount of corporate tax owed (...)

The AG Jääskinen of the CJEU postulates that the prohibition of reliance on the capacities of more than one auxiliary undertaking in order to fulfil the selection criteria is precluded by EU public procurement law (Mannocchi Luigino)
University of Bristol - Law School
With a little help from my friends: A flexible and competition-oriented interpretation of rules on reliance on third party capabilities in public procurement (Opinion in C-94/12)* This is an extended version of the comment previously posted on Albert’s personal blog. According to the current (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority files application for procurement fines against an allegedly illegal direct award of contract in connection with a staff party (Sveriges Radio)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Sveriges Radio taken to court over procurement fines* Sveriges Radio carried out an illegal direct award of contract in connection with a staff party. The Swedish Competition Authority therefore requires Sveriges Radio to pay procurement fines of SEK 200,000. Sveriges Radio (public service (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority requires payment of procurement fines from national TV-broadcasting company (SVT)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
SVT is required to pay fine for illegal direct award of contract* When SVT (the Swedish public service broadcaster) had a staff party, the company directly approached two suppliers instead of conducting a public procurement. The Swedish Competition Authority have now requested that SVT pay (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority requires payment of procurement fines for signing an agreement as regards rental of printers, scanners and copying machines without public procurement (Karolinska institutet)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Rental of office equipment must be procured* The Swedish Competition Authority requests that Karolinska Institutet pays SEK 200,000 in fines/procurement damages for having signed an agreement pertaining to rental of printers, scanners and copying machines without public procurement. (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for procurement fines against railway company (SJ)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
SJ taken to court over procurement penalties* According to the Swedish Competition Authority, SJ made an illegal move when acquiring cleaning services via direct procurement. Consequently, SJ is now required to pay penalties/procurement damages of SEK 8.5m. According to the Swedish (...)

The Spanish Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals rules on the need to cancel the award and rerun a tender when faulty tender documents and their interpretation can give rise to discrimination (CESPA CONTEN v Valladolid Regional Logistics Unit of the Army)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 22 January 2013, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales, SCATCA) issued its Decision 29/2013 regarding the award of a contract for the disposal of waste and hazardous substances generated by the regional (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court rules that a contracting authority may limit the number of lots awarded to a single contractor to foster competition and may award a lot to a public law entity (Laboratoires Biomnis)
Université Aix-Marseille
The first point, which had never been dealt with by the Conseil d’Etat, is an important one since the French courts having jurisdiction as to the substance of the matter had adopted different positions and since neither the directive 2004/18 nor the Code des marchés publics (public procurement (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court rules that an award of a contract without prior publication of a notice for technical reasons is not allowed when the change of economic operator is “only difficult but not impossible” (Fastweb)
IUSE Istituto Universitario di Studi Europei
I. Introduction By judgement of 9 January 2013, the Consiglio di Stato (Italian Supreme Administrative Court, the “Court”), upholding the decision of a lower court (Administrative Tribunal of the Lazio Region, the “Lower Administrative Court”), ruled that the Ministry of Interiors was not entitled (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court addresses the differences between the notions of service concession and public procurement of services (Università degli Studi di Roma Tre v International Airport System)
University of Turin
I. Introduction The judgment of the Italian Consiglio di Stato addresses once more the differences between the notions of service concession and public procurement of services. These main differences, as set up by several ECJ’s sentences, consist in the different allocation of economic risk (...)

The Tirana Court of Appeals confirms NCA decision that fined companies involved in bid rigging in a public procurement case (Classic/Noti)
University of Tirana
On December 2012 the Tirana Court of Appeals, handed a decision on confirming a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA), on a bid rigging in the public procurement of new cars by various institutions in Albania. This decision imposed a fine on 4 distributors of new cars and (...)

The EU Court of Justice reaffirms its dictum on in-house providing as an exception to the applicability of the EU public procurement directives (Econord / Varese)
University of Bristol - Law School
In-house providing and (minimum) "effective" public control: Sunset or breaking dawn for purely public (commercial) service providers? (C‑182 and 183/11)* In its Judgment of 29 November 2012 in Joined Cases C‑182/11 and C‑183/11, Econord SpA v Comune di Cagno and Comune di Varese (C-182/11) and (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority publishes guidelines on fighting bid rigging in public procurement
European Commission
Denmark: Guidelines on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement published* The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) has published a set of guidelines on how to fight bid rigging cartels in public procurement on 29 November 2012. The guidelines also address the issues of (...)

A Romanian Appellate Court considers the principle of equal treatment in the context of the temporary validity of tender offers (WTE, Keviep, Bilfinger Berger)
Babes-Bolyai University
A recent case brought before Romanian courts raised the issue of diligence during suspension of the public procurement procedure. It regarded the period of availability of offers and the role of contracting authorities / tenderers in securing the continuous availability of offers. The object (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues a decision concerning pecuniary sanctions imposed on administrative agency for an illegal award of a contract (Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, New Grand Hotel)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The staff banquet day organized by Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (’Agency’) on the 23 May 2012 has been awarded to New Grand Hotel AB without prior advertisement. The value of the contract is of approximately SEK 600,000 (more exactly of SEK 608,908). The Swedish (...)

The EU General Court establishes a demanding standard for the duty to give reasons in procurement cases (Sviluppo Globale GEIE)
University of Bristol - Law School
Duty to give reasons under EU procurement law and EU trademark law: is there a contradiction?* Even if they may seem two – rather disconnected – areas of legal practice, reading cases on EU public procurement and on EU trademark law sometimes offers interesting insights into broader issues of EU (...)

The EU General Court issues a new decision concerned with the extent of the duty to provide reasons to disappointed tenderers (Sviluppo Globale)
University of Bristol - Law School
Again on procurement debriefing and its excesses: Extent of the duty to give (very detailed) reasons to bidders and right to a fair trial (T-183/10)* In its Judgment of 10 October 2012 in case T‑183/10 Sviluppo Globale GEIE v Commission, the General Court has issued a new decision concerned (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the risk of anticompetitive collusion as a consequence of an excessive level of transparency in the debriefing of disappointed bidders must be taken into consideration by the Commission (Evropaïki Dynamiki)
University of Bristol - Law School
Risk of anti-competitive collusion after excessive level of transparency in public procurement debriefing?* In its Judgment of 4 October 2012 in case C‑629/11 P Evropaïki Dynamiki v Commission (ESP-ISEP), the Court of Justice has issued another interesting decision on what should be considered (...)

The Spanish Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals pushes for Competition in the postal sector (UNIPOST, MUGEJU)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 26 September 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales) issued its Decision 210/2012 regarding the award of a contract for the provision of postal services to the Spanish Sickness and Pension Fund for (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Jönköping orders that the award procedure shall be recommenced for violation of the transparency principle (PWC v Västervik, KPMG v Västervik)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The tender documentation of the award procedure concerned with a procurement contract of audit services by Västervik municipal authorities comprised erroneous information. The error consisted in disregarding the provisions of the Swedish constitutional law, namely the article (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues a decision concerning pecuniary sanctions imposed on a contracting authority for infringements of public procurement law (Akademiska Hus Norr)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The building project in this case involves the modification andexpansion of an existing construction, namely the building of the University of Agricultural Sciences situated in the municipality of Umeå. The value of the contract is of approximately SEK 39 million. The Swedish (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court issues two decisions concerning the principle of transparency in the selection of the most economic advantageous tender under public procurement law (Fidelitas, I-Faber)
University of Turin
I. Introduction By two different judgments handed down in July this year the grand chamber (Adunanza plenaria) of the Italian Consiglio di Stato, broadly corresponding to the assemblée of the Conseil d’Etat, addressed a number of questions concerning the evaluation of the most economic (...)

The EU Court of Justice leaves for the referring court to determine whether the procured material could be regarded as specially designed and developed for military purposes in order to decide on compliance with the duty to organize a tender procedure (Insinööritoimisto InsTiimi)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Procuring military equipment under the public procurement directive* As one of the last bastions of purely national competence, trade in arms is excluded from the application of the Treaty rules. Article 346 TFEU provides that the Treaties do not preclude Member States to trade and procure war (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority organizes a seminar on fighting cartels in public procurement process
European Commission
Romania: Seminar on Fighting Cartels in Public Procurement Process* Further to the recommendation of the Report on the assessment of public procurement process in Romania (elaborated by Deloitte at the request of the European Commission - DG Regio), the Competition Council has organized on 31 (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court holds that appointment of a lawyer for litigation is not subject to public procurement rules (Tonelli)
IUSE Istituto Universitario di Studi Europei
I. Introduction By judgement of 11 May 2012, the Consiglio di Stato (Italian Supreme Administrative Court, the «Court«), setting aside the decision of a lower court (Administrative Tribunal of the Lazio Region, the «Lower Administrative Court«), decided that the local government of the Provincia (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that public authorities can use fair trade criteria as criteria to award public supply contracts of products (Netherlands Max Havelaar)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Fair-trade coffee and tea under the procurement directive* Can public authorities procure fair trade products, or are they debarred from specifically referring to the fair trade qualities of those products under the public procurement directive (directive 2004/18/EC)? This is one of the issues (...)

The Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals grants public buyers wide discretion to exclude supplies of reused or refurbished goods (FREMAP)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 30 March 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales) issued its Decision 83/2012 regarding the award of a contract for the supply of IT consumables where the contracting authority had excluded the (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court adopts a strict approach with regards to equal treatment of bidders in case of a false information from the contracting authority (Dynacité)
Université Aix-Marseille
On 12 March 2012, the French Council of State, the supreme administrative court responsible for reviewing judgments of the lower administrative courts in particular in the field of public procurement contracts, ruled on an unusual question. A contracting authority, Dynacité which is in charge of (...)

The Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals issues its first decision on treatment of confidential information in procurement debriefing (AIR-RAIL)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 29 February 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales, CATCA) issued its Decision 33/2012 regarding the treatment of confidential information and the protection of business secrets in tender debriefing (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court upholds decision on procurement fines following an illegal direct award of contracts for certain advertising services (Swedish Armed Forces)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Fines for the Swedish Armed Forces following improper procurement* The Swedish Armed Forces has been sentenced to pay procurement fines for an illegal direct award of contracts. In an application to the administrative court, the Swedish Competition Authority has demanded that the Swedish (...)

The Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals determines that breach of labour law collective agreements does not prevent the award of public contracts (Monfragüe Archivo Logístico, Transporte y Servicios SLU c. Dirección Provincial de Madrid del Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal y Centro de Negocios OCÓN)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 5 January 2012, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales) issued its Decision 08/2012 regarding the award of a services contract to a tenderer that had submitted an apparently anormally low tender. The (...)

The AG Kokott of the EU Court of Justice asserts the distinction between fair trade products and eco-products in relation to public procurement conditions (Netherlands Max Havelaar)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Public procurement: are Fair Trade products different from Eco-products?* According to Advocate General Kokott they are. Public authorities wishing to procure such products should do so in accordance with article 23 of the public procurement directive (Directive 2004/18/EC) for Eco-products (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes fines totalling € 13 000 000 for collusive behaviour in public procurement in heathcare services (Healthcare liability coverage)
European Commission
Italy: Insurance Companies fined for collusive Behaviour in Public Procurement in Healthcare Services in Campania* On 28 September 2011, the ICA decided to fine three insurance companies and a multifirm insurance agency representing the insurance companies in tendering selections for a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions suppliers of magnetic resonance equipment with fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive agreement relating to public tender (Siemens, Philips, Toshiba Medical Systems and Alliance Medica)
European Commission
Italy: The ICA sanctions four Suppliers of Magnetic Resonance Equipment with Fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive Agreement relating to Public Tender in the Region of Campania* On 27 July 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned Siemens, Philips, Toshiba Medical Systems and (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council accepts commitments by eight pharmaceutical companies after an investigation into possible anticompetitive vertical agreement (Berlin Chemie Menarini Baltic, GlaxoSmithKline Lietuva)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Competition Council accepts Commitments by eight pharmaceutical Companies* On 21 July 2011, the Lithuanian Competition Council (the CC) closed an investigation into possible anticompetitive vertical agreements between producers/suppliers and wholesalers of pharmaceuticals with (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority adopts the guidelines on detection of bid rigging in public procurement
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 June 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) adopted the Guidelines on detection of bid rigging in public procurement. The Guidelines were modeled after the 2009 OECD Guidelines for fighting bid rigging in public procurement, which were designed to reduce the risks of bid rigging (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds bid rigging practices in purchases of anti-diabetic medicines (Medicines Agencies)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 June 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established the existence of bid rigging practices at the public tenders organized by the Medicines Agency (AMED) for the purchase of anti-diabetic medicines. In Moldova the purchase of pharmaceuticals for the needs of public hospitals (...)

A Hungarian Court annuls the decision of the Competition Office having found guilty construction companies of bid rigging taking into account lack of proof of single and continuous infringement (Heves – Nógrád county tenders)
Philip Morris
I. Introduction On 19 April 2011, the Metropolitan Court of Budapest (the “Court”) annulled the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) that EGÚT Egri Útépítő Zrt. (“EGÚT”) and Strabag Építő Zrt. (“Strabag”) were guilty of bid rigging and cancelled the fine that was imposed. The Court ordered the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces fines in construction bid-rigging case (Barrett Estate Services and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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. The judgments of 15 April 2011 related to (...)

A Danish court imposes fines on two environmental laboratories and their directors for bid rigging (Environmental Laboratory and Milana)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 25 March 2011, a Danish District Court convicted two environmental laboratories for bid rigging and imposed fines of DKK 500,000 (approx. EUR 67,000) on each of the two companies and fines of DKK 25,000 (approx. EUR 3,400) on each of the two directors. I. Background Miljølaboratoriet I/S (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues an opinion on the potential anticompetitive effect of a draft bill concerning the purchase of biological medicines by public procurement (DDL n. 1875/2011)
European Commission
Italy: The Competition Authority’s (ICA’s) Opinion on the Public Procurement Discipline for Biopharmaceutical Products* On 16 March 2011, the ICA addressed to the Italian government an opinion on the potential anticompetitive effect of a draft bill concerning the purchase of biological medicines (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt publishes joint guidelines with the German Federal Network Agency on the award of gas and electricity concessions and transfer of network use
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2010. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Luxembourg administrative Court of first instance qualifies for the first time a contract as a “service concession” under EU law (Eltrona, Nokia Siemens, Imagin and Coditel : CATV network)
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Facts of the case 1. In 2008 the city of Mersch launched a public tender procedure in order to choose the best qualified operator for the management of its municipal cable television (CATV) network, over which television content is distributed and broadband internet services are offered. (...)

The French Competition Authority condemns a maritime transport operator for abusive conducts perpetrated in a tender procedure regarding the assignation of the Marseille/Corsica maritime links to be provided under a public service obligation (SNCM)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The French Competition Council (FCC) has imposed a € 300,000 fine on Société National Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) for abusing its dominant position by offering a global indivisible bid in the tender procedure for the assignation of a number of maritime routes linking Marseille with Corsica to (...)

The Belgian Prosecutor refuses to prohibit grant of a public tender for public bicycle rental system (ClearChannel Belgium/JC Decaux Belgium sa and Région de Bruxelles-Capitale)
Altius (Brussels)
,
Johnson & Johnson (Brussels)
In Spring 2008, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/ Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest) issued an invitation to tender for the creation and implementation of an automatic bicycle-hire system for public use in the Brussels region. Three tenders were submitted (...)

A Dutch Court refuses to suspend in interim proceedings an "in house" concession for public bus transport in Rotterdam (Connexxion / Stadsregio Rotterdam)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Facts of the case 1. On 31 October 2007, the City-Region (Stadsregio ) of Rotterdam, regrouping several local authorities in the Rotterdam region, has suspended an EU-wide public tender procedure. It did so in order to anticipate a forthcoming amendment of the Dutch regulatory framework for (...)

The UK Court of appeal challenges the decision of OFCOM to award licences by way of auction (T-Mobile & Telefónica 02 UK)
Université Aix-Marseille
On 4th April 2008, OFCOM published a document entitled “Award of available spectrum: 2500-2690 MHz, 2010-2025MHz” (hereafter “The Award”). This document contained important information on how and when OFCOM intended to go about licensing the spectrum concerned. The contentious decision was the one (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on rescue services being subject to the national public procurement regime (Saxon municipalities rescue services)
Berlin Freie Universität
I. Background Several Saxon municipalities built up an alliance for efficient organization of public responsibilities. The alliance had the objective to provide rescue services in the public interest, comprehending mainly an emergency rescue system and a patient transport system, but also the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority monitors the competition conditions of the tenders in the market for regular bus transport service
,
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
,
Compass Lexecon (Brussels)
On September 2nd, 2008, the National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, hereinafter "CNC"), published a report analysing the provision of intercity transport by bus in Spain. This study was carried out in response to the need for market analysis detected when assessing (...)

The French Supreme Court makes an another step towards criminalization of anticompetitive practices (Paris high-schools public markets)
WTG Events
Few decisions are grounded on Article L. 420-6 of the French Commercial Code (hereinafter “FCC”). The latter organizes the sanctions applicable to the infraction constituted by the malevolent, personal and determining participation to a forbidden anticompetitive practice such as an agreement (...)

The Supreme Court establishes the liability of a contracting authority to pay damages for the positive contractual interest to a tenderer who would have won the tender procedure if the procurement law had been correctly applied (Ishavet)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction A tenderer who otherwise would have won the procurement procedure, if the procurement law had been correctly applied by the contracting authority shall be entitled to receive compensation for the positive contractual interest. Moreover the liability to pay damages does not (...)

A Dutch Court considers that municipalities should be regarded as economic entities when they grant exclusive rights for outdoor advertising (KPN/JC Decaux)
European Commission - DG HR
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
KPN is an undertaking which provides telecommunication services within the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Telecommunications Act, KPN had to ensure the availability of at least one public pay telephone in every residential dwelling zone of more than 5000 inhabitants. As KPN wished to (...)

The French Competition Council refers a bid-rigging case "likely to be qualified as criminal" to the public prosecutor (Furiani stadium)
WTG Events
French Competition council (Conseil de la concurrence), 6 June 2006, Decision n° 06-D-13, relating to practices implemented in the frame of a public tendering concerning the reconstruction of the stadium Armand Cesari in Furiani (“relative à des pratiques mises en œuvre dans le cadre d’un marché (...)

The French Competition Council restrictively applies the ECHR to competition law proceedings in a case of public tendering (“Strasbourg European Parliament works”)
DLA Piper (Paris)
,
Cabinet Minard-Driss
In its decision n°05-D-51 dated 21 September 2005, the French Competition Council ("Conseil de la concurrence", hereafter the "Council") sanctioned anti-competitive agreements between public work firms. This decision concerned the construction of benches and offices for the European Parliament (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fined construction companies for bid rigging in Budapest public construction tenders (Alterra)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 18 March 2004, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) issued a decision in a cartel investigation, fining the construction companies Strabag Rt. (Strabag); Egut Rt. (Egut) ; and Ring Kkt. (Ring) a total of HUF 245m (approximately € 1m). The investigation also concerned the construction (...)

The French criminal supreme court upholds sentences inflicting prison, fines and damages for bid-rigging ("Le Havre lighting")
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
Supreme Court, Criminal Chamber, 22 October 2003, M. L., Case n° 02-83372 Court of appeal of Rouen, Criminal Chamber, 25 February 2002, J.-P. B. a. o., Case n° 01/00761, Decision n° 215 (Part. I ; Part. II) Criminal Court of Le Havre, 10 January 2001 In France, criminal prosecutions against the (...)

The German Competition Authority rejects application for a review in the award proceedings for the introduction and operation of a distance-related toll on lorries on national motorway (AGES Maut System)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt rejects application for review in the “lorry toll” award proceedings* The Bundeskartellamt has rejected the application by AGES Maut System GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf (AGES), for a review in the award proceedings for the introduction and operation of a distance-related toll on (...)

The German Competition Authority rejects application to allow an award of public contract for setting up and operating a distance-related toll levied on lorries on German motorways before the conclusion of the review proceedings (Die Bietergemeinschaft ETC.de)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt rejects application for premature allowance to award contract in lorry toll proceedings* The Bundeskartellamt has rejected the application of the Federal Ministry of Transport (contracting entity) to be allowed to award the contract for setting up and operating a (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court upheld sentences inflicting prison and damages for bid-rigging (Claude M.)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
Supreme Court, Criminal Chamber, 26 September 2001, Case n° 00-86438, Claude M., not published Grenoble Court of Appeal, Criminal Chamber, 6 juillet 2000, Paul C., Claude M., Sté Dauphinoise de Travaux (SDE Travaux) , Case n° 99/01022, ecision n° 1092 Criminal Court of Grenoble, 1st Chamber, 30 (...)

The French Competition Council refers a bid-rigging case to the public prosecutor ("Paris police headquarters")
WTG Events
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 2 November 1994, Decision n° 94-D-57, relating to practices implemented in the frame of a public bid for the modernisation of the signalling of two headquarters of the police of Paris (“relative à des pratiques relevées à l’occasion d’un appel (...)

The French Competition Council refers for the first time a bid-rigging case to a criminal Court ("Bordeaux moving sector")
WTG Events
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 15 March 1994, Decision n° 94-D-19, relating to the situation of competition in the moving sector of Bordeaux (“relative à la situation de la concurrence dans le secteur du déménagement à Bordeaux”) Court of appeal of Paris (Cour d’appel de (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court rules on the first implementations of Art. L. 420-6 C. com. (PFG - Funeral Services of Avignon)
WTG Events
Despite the de-penalization of anticompetitive practices, acknowledged by many authors, and implemented by the Order of 1st December 1986, Article L. 420-6of the Commercial Code still states that: “If any natural person fraudulently takes a personal and decisive part in the conception, (...)

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