Transport (rail)

Anticompetitive practices

The Luxembourgish Competition Council fines producers of railway switches for having participated in a market sharing and price fixing cartel (Voestalpine, Schreck-Mieves, Kihn, Vossloh)
European Commission
Luxembourg: Fines imposed in Railway Switches Cartel Case* The Luxembourgish Competition Council (the Council) has fined two producers of railway switches by decision of 23 October 2013. Two German undertakings, voestalpine BWG GmbH (voestalpine) and Schreck-Mieves GmbH (Schreck-Mieves) were (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines container transport companies and professional association for anticompetitive agreements (ASEMTRACON)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Container Transport Companies and Professional Association* On 24 September 2013, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) Council found that the container transport industry association ASEMTRACON as well as several undertakings active (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines for agreements to the detriment of local public transport companies, private, regional and industrial railways and construction companies (ThyssenKrupp / Gleistechnik /voestalpine / Butzbach /Schreck-Mieves)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt punishes more agreements between rail manufacturers* Fines totalling almost 100 million euros imposed for agreements to the detriment of local public transport companies, private, regional and industrial railways and construction companies On 23 July 2013 the Bundeskartellamt (...)

The German Competiton Authority imposes fines for rail cartel infringement (Moravia Steel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
€ 10 million fine imposed on Moravia Steel in rail cartel case* Today the Bundeskartellamt imposed a fine of € 10 million on Moravia Steel Deutschland GmbH. The authority has thus concluded its investigation proceedings against manufacturers and suppliers of rails on account of anticompetitive (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds refusal to supply and restrictions to parallel trade in railway spare parts sector (Deutz, Diesel Motor Nordic)
European Commission
Denmark: The Competition Council finds Refusal to Supply and Restrictions to Parallel Trade in Railway Spare Parts Sector* On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Deutz AG (Deutz) and Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (Diesel Motor Nordic) have infringed the Danish and European (...)

The French Supreme Court confirms the ability of NCAs to take action against anti-competitive agreements below de minimis thresholds (SNCF / Expedia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 April 2013, the French Supreme Court ruled that national competition authorities (NCAs) are allowed to take enforcement actions against companies found to be in breach of Article 101 TFEU, despite market shares being below the thresholds established by the European Commission’s (...)

The Competition Commission of India issues a ’cease and desist’ order to 29 manufacturers of elastic rail clips engaged in bid-rigging in a tender in the railway sector (Orissa Concrete and Allied Industries,...)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In tendering for the supply of anti-theft elastic rail-clips to the South Eastern Railways, 29 manufacturers were found to have quoted the same rates, allocated the tender quantity amongst themselves, artificially raised prices and acted in concert to eliminate competitors. The CCI (...)

The UK Supreme Court grants permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgement that struck out a cartel damages claims on the ground that they were out of time (Deutsche Bahn)
The University of Manchester
Introduction Deutsche Bahn v Morgan Crucible is a well-litigated case, with a judgment from the Court of Appeal and the granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Taking into account the novel issues involved in this case, it appears reasonable that the Supreme Court wants to resolve (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a national competition authority is not precluded from applying Article 101(1) TFEU to an agreement situated below the threshold specified by de minimis notice (Expedia)
University of Leeds
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. The Court of Justice’s Expedia ruling undermines the economic approach by eliminating the ‘de mimimis’ defence in object agreements* One of the most important holdings of the Court of Justice in recent times is buried in paragraph 37 of (...)

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

The German Competition Authority fines four rail manufacturers and suppliers for anticompetitive behaviors (ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik, Stahlberg Roensch, TSTG Schienen Technik and Voestalpine BWG)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes first Fines in Rail Case* On 5 July 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 124 500 000 on four rail manufacturers and suppliers. The fines sanction the anticompetitive behavior of the following companies: ThyssenKrupp GfT (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines undertakings for market-sharing in the railway sector (MÁV Magyar Államvasutak, Rail Cargo Hungaria, Győr-Sopron-Ebenfurti Vasút)
European Commission
Hungary: Fines imposed on Cartel in Rail Freight Transport Market* On 27 April 2012, the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH)) adopted a decision against MÁV Magyar Államvasutak Zrt. (MÁV), MÁV Cargo Árufuvarozási Zrt., currently called: Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. (RCH), and (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority concludes an investigation triggered by a leniency application concerning a cartel in the freight forwarding market (Freight-forwarding agents cartel case)
European Commission
Italy: Fines imposed in Freight-Forwarding Agents Cartel Case* On 15 June 2011, the ICA concluded an investigation triggered by a leniency application concerning a cartel in the freight forwarding market. The ICA ascertained that the main market players had coordinated their commercial (...)

Dominance

The German Competition Authority initiates proceedings on the suspicion of abuse of dominant position in the sale of rail passenger tickets (Deutsche Bahn)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceedings initiated against Deutsche Bahn AG Suspicion of restricting competition in ticket sales* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated proceedings against Deutsche Bahn AG on the suspicion that it has abused its dominant position in the sale of rail passenger tickets. Andreas Mundt, (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports a German engine manufacturer and its local distributor for preventing the supply of spare parts for IC3-trains (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine manufacturer Deutz AG and the company’s distributor in Denmark to the police* Following a ruling from the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal, The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine (...)

The European Commission market tests commitments proposed by German railway incumbent concerning pricing system for traction current in Germany (Deutsche Bahn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 August 2013, the European Commission published a series of commitments proposed by the German railway incumbent Deutsche Bahn (“DB”) to resolve an investigation into its pricing system in Germany for the electricity used to power locomotives (known as “traction current”). In a press (...)

The French Competition Authority declines to impose emergency measures on the passenger transport sector (Transdev / SNCF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence declines to impose emergency measures against SNCF, but will continue to investigate the merits of TRANSDEV’s complaint*. TRANSDEV filed a complaint with the Autorité de la (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against the incumbent railway operator for breach of Art 102 TFUE (Ferrovie dello Stato)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its decision of 22 May 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’) initiated an investigation against the incumbent Italian railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato group in order to verify if, through its subsidiaries RFI, Trenitalia, Grandistazioni, Centostazioni and FS Sistemi Urbani (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against the incumbent railway undertaking for abuse of dominant position in the high speed rail market (NTV v FS)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 22 May 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an enquiry to establish whether the previous rail monopolist, the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) group, had abused its dominant position in the market for high speed rail services. The ICA decision was based on a (...)

The EU Commission opens formal proceedings against the Lithuanian railway incumbent for removing railway track (Lietuvos geležinkeliai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 March 2013, the European Commission announced that it had opened formal antitrust proceedings against the Lithuanian railway incumbent AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai to investigate whether it restricted competition on the freight rail markets in Lithuania and Latvia by removing a railway (...)

A U.S. Court dismisses claims of “shared monopoly” against two companies in the market for rail freight transportation services (Union Pacific and BNSF)
Cornell University
On February 26, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted defendants’ motion to dismiss Section 1 and Section 2 claims against Union Pacific Railroad Company ("UP") and BNSF Railway Company ("BNSF"). (Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC, et. al., v. Union Pacific Railroad (...)

The Australian Competition Tribunal ‘undeclares’ third party access for rail lines company applying ‘private profitability’ test to 44H(4)(b) (The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty)
Deakin University
On 8 February 2013 the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) handed down its decision in Applications by Robe River Mining Co Pty Ltd and Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd. This brought to an end a long running legal dispute over third party access to Rio Tinto’s rail lines in the Pilbara region of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines national incumbent railway operator for unilateral practices and imposes injunction (SNCF)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence fines national incumbent Railway Operator SNCF for Unilateral Practices and imposes Injunction* On 18 December 2012 the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) imposed on SNCF, the national incumbent railway operator, a fine of € 60 900 000 as well as an (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds Antimonopoly Office’s fine imposed on state-owned railway operator (ZSR)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
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Factual background On 28 August 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the "Supreme Court") in its judgement No. 8Sžhpu/2/2011 rejected an appeal lodged by Zeleznice Slovenskej republiky (the "ZSR") against judgment No. 1S 222/2007 of the Regional Court in Bratislava confirming (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines rail incumbent for abusing its dominant position in the markets for passenger rail transport (Ferrovie dello Stato)
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority fines Rail Incumbent FS for Abuse of dominant Position by hindering Access to Passenger Rail Services * On 25 July 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned the State-owned group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) for a violation of Article 102 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the incumbent railway undertaking for hindering the entry of a new competitor in the rail passenger transport market (Arenaways)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Arenaways case by a decision made on 25 July 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined the Italian publicly-owned railway undertaking, the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) group, for infringing Article 102 TFEU. FS put in place a complex unified strategy aimed at hindering the (...)

The Slovakian Supreme Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision in railway cargo case (ZS Cargo)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Decision of the Antimonopoly Office imposing Fine in Railway Cargo Case* In January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) confirmed the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the AMO) imposing a fine on ZS Cargo, (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic reverses the judgement of the Regional Court in Bratislava that amended the fine imposed by the Slovak NCA in an abuse of dominant position case (Cargo Slovakia)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar
Factual background On 31 January 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the “Supreme Court“) ruled in favour of the applicant, i.e. the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (“SVK AMO“), in its appeal against decision No. 1 S 27/2007-227 of the Regional Court in Bratislava amending decision No. (...)

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

A Chinese District People’s court accepts a complaint brought by private companies against a public entity for abuse of administrative monopoly in the railway transport industry (Taiyuan Railway Bureau)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
Taiyuan Railway Bureau Sued for Monopoly* On 7 September 2011, the Shanxi Joint Transport Group Co., Ltd. brought an administrative lawsuit in the Taiyuan Xinghualing District People’s Court against the Taiyuan Railway Bureau for breaches of the AML and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL). (...)

A Chinese District People’s court receives a complaint brought by private enterprises against a public entity for abuse of dominance in railway transport sector (Taiyuan Railway Bureau)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Taiyuan Railway Bureau is Sued by Private Enterprises Alleged Monopoly* On September 7th, 2011, an antitrust litigation against Taiyuan Railway Bureau was brought to Taiyuan Xinghualing Court on the ground that Taiyuan Railway Bureau violated Anti-monopoly Law and Unfair Competition Law of PRC (...)

A Norwegian District Court dismisses a counter-claim against a subsidiary of the incumbent railway operator for abusing its dominant position (CargoNet, CargoLink)
BA-HR
In a judgment handed down on 24 June 2011, the Drammen District Court dismissed a counter-claim entered by railway operator CargoLink AS («Cargolink«) against fellow operator CargoNet AS («CargoNet«). Cargolink alleged that it had suffered economic losses as a result of CargoNet‘s abuse of (...)

The Regional Court in Brno confirms fine imposed on the national railways company for having abused its dominant position on rail freight transport of large-volume substrates market (Czech Railways Company)
European Commission
Czech Republic: The Regional Court in Brno confirms Fine imposed on Czech Railways Company for Abuse of Dominant Position on Rail Freight Transport of large-volume Substrates Market* On 12 May 2011, the Regional Court in Brno (the Court) upheld the CZK 254 000 000 (approximately € 9 585 000) (...)

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

A German Court orders the dominant German railway network provider to reimburse additional fees charged for the ad hoc use of the railway network (Deutsche Bahn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
In its judgment of 14 October 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) held that additional fees charged by the dominant German railway network provider (“defendant”) to a company active in the field of railway freight transportation (“claimant”) for the ad hoc use of the railway (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes a fine for discriminatory pricing in rail cargo transport (Czech Railways)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 16 July 2007, the Czech Competition Authority announced that it had imposed a fine on České dráhy, a.s. (“Czech Railways”) for abusing its dominant position on the market for rail freight transport of large volume substrates. The fine amounts to CZK 270 million (approximately € 11 million). The (...)

The German Competition Authority stops the proceedings against railways operator in connection with abusive route price structures (Deutsche Bahn)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceedings against Deutsche Bahn AG in connection with abusive route price structure halted* The Bundeskartellamt is halting proceedings against Deutsche Bahn in connection with abusive route price structures. The President of the Bundeskartellamt, Ulf Böge said, "The Bundeskartellamt welcomes (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the public transport sector, subject to the maintenance of commitments previously made (SNCF / Keolis)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of sole control of Keolis by SNCF, subject to the maintenance of the commitments made in 2010* On 23 July 2012, the European Commission referred the (...)

The Polish Competition Court upholds a merger prohibition decision in the market for railway turnouts (Cogifer/Koltram)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection recently upheld two decisions of the Polish Competition Authority prohibiting concentrations, one in the market for railway turnouts and another in the market for waste battery treatment. In the first judgment, adopted on 5 April 2011, (...)

The French Competition Authority conditionally clears acquisition in public transport sector (SNCF, Keolis, Effia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 13 January 2010, the French Competition Authority has conditionally cleared the acquisition by SNCF of Keolis and Effia. SNCF is the incumbent rail transport operator in France, Keolis is a leading operator on the markets for urban and inter-urban passenger (...)

State Aids

The German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control publishes information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources for energy-intensive companies and rail operators
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
BAFA Publishes Figures on Reduction of EEG Surcharge for Energy Intensive Companies* The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has published information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources in Germany (“EEG-surcharge”) for energy-intensive (...)

The EU Commission finds that the noise reduction measure is compatible with the internal market under Article 93 TFEU (German Freight Wagons)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Puzzle of Environmental Aid: Why Do Firms Make Environmental Investments?* Introduction Environmental aid is the second largest horizontal category of State aid, after regional aid. It accounts for about 24% of all aid to industry and services. (...)

Procedures

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on search and seizure warrants (Seco-Rail)
Vogel & Vogel
In several cases relating to the award of public contracts, the courts have authorized search and seizure operations in the premises of various companies suspected of collusion. In each case, the Court of Cassation dismissed the appeal against the order issuing the warrant and the Competition (...)

The EU General Court fully confirms the legality of the Commission’s inspection decisions under the Regulation No 1/2003 and dismisses the appeals on all grounds (Deutsche Bahn)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts Deutsche Bahn AG (hereafter “the rail company” and "the applicant") is an international company operating in the field of national and international transport of goods and passengers as well as logistics and services in the rail sector. DB Mobility Logistics AG, DB Energie GmbH, DB (...)

The ECJ AG Kokott establishes that an unobjectionable error of law may exonerate an undertaking from antitrust liability to pay fines (Schenker)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Should the competition authorities bring proceedings against subjectively innocent undertakings? The assumption made by the respondents in the present case was that their own conduct was lawful and this hypothesis of lawfulness could be strengthened by the fact that during a (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal allows the claimants to proceed with an action for damages under Section 47A in consideration of price fixing of electrical and mechanical carbon and graphite products (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
London School of Economics and Political Science
CAT unlimited: the Deutsche Bahn decision* Where the Commission has issued a decision finding several addressees liable for the same infringement, amongst the more important tactical questions for a claimant in the UK are: where to sue the addressees and when? The decision of the Court of (...)

A Slovak court imposes liability on successor despite lack of such rule being specifically provided by statute (Cargo Slovakia)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction In January 2012 the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic annulled the decision of the Regional Court in Bratislava allowing the appeal of Zeleznicna spolocnost Cargo Slovakia, a.s. (“Slovak Cargo”). Slovak Cargo was fined by the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“AMO”) in (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court confirms that the same panel of judges cannot assess both the lawfulness of court orders authorizing the search of premises and seizure of documents and the legitimacy of the French Competition Authority decision, without infringing the right to a fair trial under art. 6 of the ECHR (Colas Rail)
University College London
On November 2, 2011, the French Court of Cassation found that the Court of Appeal of Paris committed an error of law and infringed Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). One more time, the transitory provisions adopted by the French legislator to respect the European Court (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a railway company aiming at ending the competition concerns identified in the distribution of train tickets sector (SNCF and voyages-sncf.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The SNCF makes progress on the path to the equitable treatment of its voyages-sncf.com website and travel agencies* Within the scope of a procedure initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence, SNCF has (...)

The French Competition Authority issues several recommendations designed to ensure the necessary preservation of a level playing field in the railway sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence publishes the opinion it provided to the French government concerning a bill on railway reform. The Autorité issues several recommendations that are designed to reconcile the logic (...)

The French Competition Authority issues several recommendations to amend bill on railway sector reform
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence issues several Recommendations to amend Bill on Railway Sector in France* On 4 October 2013, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) provided the French government with an opinion concerning a bill on railway reform (the Bill) that had been submitted (...)

The Transport and Housing Bureau of Hong Kong releases the new fare adjustment mechanism applicable to the monopolist railway company (MTRCL)
University College London
The joint review of the Fare Adjustment Mechanism (“FAM”) of the MTR Corporation Company Limited (“MTRCL”), the only railway company in Hong Kong, by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSARG”) and MTRCL was completed. The outcome of the review was approved by the (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic finalises report analysing the problems in the railway transport services sector (Railway transport services)
European Commission
Slovakia: Sectoral Report on Railway Services’ Competition Problems* On 1 October 2011, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) finalised its report analysing the problems in the railway transport services sector from a competition point of view. The document describes the (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes two opinions concerning new entrants accessing passenger railway stations
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence publishes two opinions concerning new entrants accessing passenger railway stations. It invites public authorities to prepare for the next stage of the opening up to competition (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the role of train stations, intermodality and competition in transportation
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence sets out the conditions for a successful introduction of competition in the passenger rail transport sector.* Directive 2007/58/EC of 23 October 2007 calls for the liberalization (...)

Public sector

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 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 (...)

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