Vertical restrictions

Anticompetitive practices

The Australian Federal Court orders by consent payment of penalties for involvement in cartel conduct in relation to the price of bearings (Nachi / Koyo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$3 million penalty for bearings cartel conduct* The Federal Court has today ordered by consent that NSK Australia Pty Ltd (NSK Australia) pay total penalties of $3 million for its involvement in cartel conduct in relation to the price of bearings in Australia, in proceedings brought by the (...)

The German Competition Authority investigates an absolute prohibition to use online marketplaces and price comparison engines imposed on the dealers by a supplier of sports goods (Asics)
Ashurst (Milan)
Bundeskartellamt raises objections against ASICS’s restrictions of online sale* On 24 April 2014 the Bundeskartellamt issued a press release stating that, based on preliminary investigation, it has found that ASICS Deutscheland’s selective distribution system restricts competition among its (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market (G4S / DNB / SEB / Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market* On April 22, the Competition Council (the KT) reopened the investigation into agreements within cash handling market. It was suspected that the mentioned agreements had failed to comply with the requirements (...)

The US FTC approves petition to modify an order imposing restrictions on the ability to enter into certain conditional supply relationships, since the competition among purchasers and sellers of toys has been reshaped following the emergence of online retailers and the growth of two other purchasers (Toys “R” Us)
Ashurst (Milan)
U.S. FTC modifies 1998 order against Toys “R” Us based on market changes brought about by e-commerce* On 15 April 2014 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a petition submitted by Toys “R” Us (“TRU”) to reopen and modify an order issued in 1998, which required TRU to refrain from certain (...)

The German Competition Authority receives commitments to abandon an agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system (Girocard)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Standard charges for retailers in electronic cash card payment system abandoned* The leading banking associations in Germany are to abandon their agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system. The associations have undertaken a commitment (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds restrictive agreements preventing a competitor from entering the market by obtaining direct access to a source of flyash (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Federal Court declares anticompetitive conduct by Cement Australia* The Federal Court in Brisbane has made declarations in the ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors matter, finding numerous contraventions of section 45 of the then Trade Practices Act 1974, now the Competition and Consumer (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning over no discounting clause implemented by community pharmacies association (DHB / Pharmacy Guild)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Antitrust & Associations: Recent New Zealand Case a Reminder that Voluntary Industry Associations are Not Price Regulators* A New Zealand association related case announced today is a recent reminder that voluntary industry associations are not price regulators (see: Commission issues (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning pursuant to the removal of the restrictive clause from the community pharmacy services agreement (DHB / Pharma Association)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission issues warning over ‘no discounting’ clause* The Commerce Commission has warned all New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) and pharmacies nationwide that “no discounting” clauses in the 2012 Community Pharmacy Services (...)

The EU General Court rules on an appeal by Spanish petrol station associations against a Commission decision rejecting their complaint alleging anticompetitive practices from a Spanish oil company (CEEES / AGES)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts The Confederación Española de Empresarios de Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “CEEES” ) and the Asociación de Gestores of Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “AGES” ) claimed the annulment of a Decision of the Commission of 28 April 2013 (hereafter “the contested decision”) rejecting their (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court confirms fines for resale price maintenance relating to dairy products in the ’horeca’ sector (Lactogal)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
In July 2012, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) found that Lactogal infringed the national provision equivalent to Article 101 TFEU in several markets for distribution and sale of dairy products in the hotel, restaurant and café (or hotel and catering) sector. Specifically, the PCA (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines for resale price maintenance on the market for dental handpieces (Dentalwerk Bürmoos)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the market of dental handpieces* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) established that W&H Dentalwerk Bürmoos GmbH and certain of its distributors had breached EU competition rules by concluding restrictive agreements which fixed the (...)

The Central London County Court confirms that land agreements are no longer beyond the reach of competition law, while considering its application in respect of a letting scheme imposing restrictions on use (Martin Retail Group / Crawley Borough Council)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Competition law and covenants restrictive of land use* Covenants restricting use of land to particular commercial purposes are commonplace. Until recently, the potential for competition law to regulate them was limited, because “land agreements” were excluded from the reach of the Chapter I (...)

An Israeli Criminal Court convicts for the first time defendants in antitrust case for attempting to engage in illegal vertical restrictive arrangements and for violating merger conditions (Shufersal)
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
On December 23, 2013, The Israeli District Court of the City of Jerusalem found the company operating the leading nationwide supermarket chain in Israel - Shufersal Ltd. ("Shufersal"), its CEO, Mr. Ephraim (Effie) Rosenhaus ("Rosenhaus") and its Deputy VP Commerce and Marketing, Mr. Eliezer (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issues a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal from continuing to apply its “best price” clause (Booking.com / Expedia / HRS)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office bans use of MFN clauses by HRS and opens new proceedings against Booking.com and Expedia* On 20 December 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal HRS from continuing to apply its (...)

The UK OFT opens consultation on the revised commitments proposed by online travel agencies (Booking.com / Expedia)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK OFT weighs revised commitments in the online hotel accommodation bookings* On 20 December 2013, the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) opened a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”), Expedia Inc (“Expedia”) and InterContinental Hotels (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Commission to a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its Austrian distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International)
Bourgeois Avocats
Background and Court decision Back in 2009, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) hit Gaba International AG – an undertaking part of the Colgate-Palmolive Group and manufacturer of the toothpaste brands Elmex and Meridol – with a CHF 4.8 mio (about EUR 3.9 mio) fine for restricting passive (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to enable a chain of up-market department stores to continue to invite certain businesses to participate in various promotions (Myer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Myer* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Myer to enable it to continue to invite certain businesses operating within Myer Stores to participate in various promotions. (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds that a travel agent attempted to induce certain airlines to make collusive arrangements with it in relation to retail air fares for international air travel (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Federal Court finds that Flight Centre attempted to enter into illegal arrangements with airlines* The Federal Court has held that on 6 occasions Flight Centre attempted to enter into arrangements with airlines which sought to eliminate differences in air fares so as to fix, control or (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Queen Mary University (London)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

The Australian Federal Court receives a file concerning alleged resale price maintenance on the market for branded air conditioning products (ACCC / Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC institutes proceedings against Mitsubishi Electric Australia for alleged resale price maintenance* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed proceedings in the Federal Court against Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) for allegedly engaging in (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues formal opinion on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement in Greece
European Commission
Greece: The Hellenic Competition Commission issues Formal Opinion on Production, Testing, Certification and Marketing of Cement* On 11 November 2013, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) issued Opinion No 32/VII/2013 on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office is satisfied with the modified agreements which now allow authorized dealers to sell online (Sennheiser)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office spares Sennheiser’s online policy from scrutiny* On 24 October 2013 the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) stated (available only in German) that it will not open formal proceedings against Sennheiser, a manufacturer of consumer electronic products, following recent (...)

The Madrid Court of Appeal establishes that there should be no bar to the effect of the arbitration clause and the arbitrability of a dispute concerning rights and obligations arising out of vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector (Camilaga / DAF Vehiculos)
CMS Cameron McKenna (Sofia)
Arbitrability of Competition Law Issues Reinforced* A number of decisions of various national courts have dealt with the issue whether a competition law dispute may be referred to arbitration. Although the case law tends to favour a positive answer, it is still an issue that is being (...)

The ECN Working Group on Competition Law gathers in Bonn to discuss matters related to vertical restraints in the internet economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical Restraints in the Internet Economy - Meeting of the Working Group on Competition Law in Bonn* Bonn, 14 October 2013: On 10 October 2013 the Working Group on Competition Law met in Bonn at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt. At this year’s meeting more than 100 competition law (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes vertical restrictive agreements between book publishers and retailers and imposes fines (Pécsi Direkt)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the book market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) determined that Pécsi Direkt Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Líra Könyv Zrt., Libri Könyvkereskedelmi Kft, and Sun Books Könyvkereskedelmi Kft ("f.a." - being liquidated), which are book (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds that optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health and home care products does not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses do not benefit from block exemption (Reckitt Benckiser)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health and home care products, Reckitt Benckiser, did not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California dismisses plaintiff’s antitrust claims and ascertains that allegations of harm to competition caused by multiple defendants can’t be aggregated (Orchard Supply Hardware/Home Depot, METCo & Makita)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Allegations of Harm to Competition Caused by Multiple Defendants Can’t be Aggregated* Earlier this year, I covered the case of Orchard Supply Hardware LLC v. Home Depot USA, Inc. . On September 19, 2013, the court (the Northern District of California) issued its decision on defendants’ motion (...)

The Australian Federal Court decides that the arrangement to buy large volumes of fly-ash was in violation of section 45 which outlaws anticompetitive agreements (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Federal Court makes interim declarations of anticompetitive agreements* The Federal Court has made interim declarations in the matter of ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors, which involved numerous alleged breaches of the competition provisions of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (the (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal holds that ’merchants rules’ adopted by two leading credit card network providers do not constitute resale price maintenance (MasterCard and Visa)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Priceless: Competition case against Visa and MasterCard dismissed* The Competition Tribunal recently held that Visa and MasterCard’s rules do not constitute resale price maintenance, because their product, credit card network services, is not resold by their customers (known as “acquirers”). The (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York establishes collusion to eliminate retail price competition for e-books and imposes restrictions on deals with publishers for the next five years (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. District Court rules Apple colluded on E-Book Prices* On 10 July 2013 the District Court in Manhattan ruled in United States v. Apple Inc., et al that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise prices on e-books. The publishers settled and denied any wrongdoing. However, the case (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that cable companies have applied restrictive conditions in their model contracts for programme distribution and imposes fines (Kábelkommunikációs / Kábeltelevíziós)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive practices of cable associations* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) established that the Hungarian Cabel Communications Association (Magyar Kábelkommunikációs Szövetség - MKSZ) and the Hungarian Cable Television and Telecommunication Association (Magyar (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes record fines on six major infant formula makers for vertical price-fixing practices (Biostime, Mead Johnson, Dumex, Abbott, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra)
University of Political Science & Law of China
I. Facts and Background On August 7, 2013, China’s top enforcer in charge of curbing price monopolies, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) announced its decision to levy fines in the total amount of CNY 668.73 million (about USD 108.34 million) on six infant formula producers (...)

The Shanghai Higher Court and one of China’s antitrust regulators issues decisions that resale price maintenance violated China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
Within the same week, the Shanghai Higher Court and one of China’s antitrust antitrust regulators have issued decisions that resale price maintenance ("RPM") violated China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"). The decision of the Shanghai Higher Court involved an agreement between Johnson & Johnson (...)

The Shanghai Higher Court decides on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
On August 1 2013, Shanghai People’s High Court (the Court) handed down judgment on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) clause of China’s Anti-monopoly Law (AML). The Court rescinded the judgment of the first instance (...)

The Chinese Shanghai People’s High Court awards damages to be paid by a major US-headquartered healthcare supplier for vertical restrictive practices (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Chinese Court’s Roadmap on Vertical Monopoly Analysis: Some Comments on the Final Judgment on Rainbow vs. Johnson & Johnson Case* On August 1 2013, Shanghai People’s High Court (the Court) handed down judgment on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the (...)

The Chinese Shanghai Higher Court renders final judgment in first antitrust private action (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Chinese Court Rendered Final Judgment on Rainbow v. Johnson & Johnson – the First Antitrust Private Action of Vertical Monopolistic Agreement* On 1 August 2013, the very same day of the fifth anniversary of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”), Shanghai Higher People’s Court (“Shanghai Higher (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three sunflower oil producers and their distributors for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition in the bottled sunflower oil market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Bulgarian Competition Authority has fined three sunflower oil producers and five of their distributors a total of more than BGN 2 million (around € 1 million) for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition on the bottled sunflower oil market by means of fixing (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a producer of natural cosmetics for vertical price fixing (WALA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2013, the FCO imposed fines in the total amount of € 6.5 million on WALA Heilmittel GmbH (“WALA”), manufacturer of natural cosmetics and cures, and some of its employees for vertical price fixing. According to the FCO’s press release, the company put pressure on retailers to follow (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority announces that a white goods manufacturer has accepted to pay a fine of € 161,000 for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented parallel imports (Miele)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 July 2013, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced that the white goods manufacturer Miele A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 1.2 million (around € 161,000) for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented (...)

The Israeli Antitrust General Director applies a "Self Assessment" regime on non-horizontal restrictive arrangements
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
Introduction On July 25, 2013, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") issued a new block exemption - the Restrictive Trade Practices Rules (Block Exemption for Non-Horizontal Arrangements which do not Include Certain Price Restrictions), 2013 (the "Block (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority finds resale price maintenance practices on the sunflower oil market (Kaliakra)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 July 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) prosecuted the producer of bottled sunflower oil Kaliakra AD (Kaliakra) and its distributors for engaging in the resale price maintenance (RPM) practices. The CPC’s investigation was commenced after the completion of the sector inquiry (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the parallel actions brought by two diamonds dealers against the Commission’s decisions not to open an antitrust investigation into certain distribution agreements established by world’s largest producer of rough diamonds (BVGD, Spira, De Beers)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Any natural or legal person who can show a legitimate interest may lodge a complaint concerning an antitrust infringement as stipulated by article 7 of the Regulation No 1/2003. The Commission is not required to investigate each of the complaints lodged with it, but only to (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out an inquiry in the area of prescription medicine distribution in private practices
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is submitting to public consultation an initial assessment in which it has identified several potential sticking points* Medicinal products are the second-largest (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes fines on a franchisor for practising fixed and minimum prices of goods on its trading partners (Sfinks Polska)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
Franchise networks under siege from the Polish competition authority over alleged RPM arrangements* In its decision of 25 June 2013, the Polish competition authority has fined Sfinks Polska the amount of PLN 464,228.92 (approximately €107,000) for imposing fixed resale prices on its (...)

The Polish Competition Authority reminds franchisors that resale price maintenance is a hardcore violation of competition law (Sfinks Polska)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In its unprecedented decision of 25 June 2013 in Sfinks Polska, the President of the Polish competition authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the UOKiK), established a list of competition law “don’ts” in franchise agreements. While the UOKiK’s jurisprudence in relation to (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against 8 insurance companies, for breach of Art. 101 TFEU (Unipol Assicurazioni...)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its decision of 5 June 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’ or ‘Authority’) initiated an investigation against eight of the biggest insurance companies active in Italy, in order to verify if in the vertical agreement between each insurance company and its agents (‘agency contracts’), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings concerning the practice of recommended end-user prices contained in contracts with cash-register services providers (ALT CASH)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH terminated its proceedings against ALT CASH Kft.* The Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter: GVH) terminated the proceedings it had initiated against ALT CASH Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. for a suspected infringement of the prohibition of restrictive agreements. Based on the (...)

The German Competition Authority takes a critical view of the agreement on the German banking sector as regards the existing electronic cash card payment system (ELV)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Electronic cash card payment system of German banking sector raises competition concerns* The Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of the agreement of the German banking sector on the existing electronic cash card payment system. Today the authority communicated its (preliminary) concerns to (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission opens investigation into a car manufacturer for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts (Opel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis
On 16 May 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) announced that it has opened a formal investigation into the Spanish subsidiary of General Motors, Opel, for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts to Opel’s authorised dealers and repairers. (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fine against major retailer and several suppliers for anticompetitive vertical agreements in food retail sector (REWE)
European Commission
Austria: The Cartel Court imposes Fine in Food Retail Case* On 13 May 2013, the Cartel Court (the Court) imposed a € 20 800 000 fine on the REWE Group (REWE) for vertical agreements between REWE and a number of suppliers (Court reference number 25 Kt 29/13). The Court held that REWE agreed (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down preliminary ruling on circumstances in which agreements concerning the price of automotive repairs concluded between insurance companies and repair shops may have an anti-competitive object (Allianz, Generali)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 March 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hungarian Supreme Court on the application of Article 101 TFEU to certain agreements between insurance companies and car repair shops. Once a (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal upholds the NCA’s decision finding infringements of Art 101 and 102 TFEU and Art 1 and 2 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of exclusionary practices in the market for salty snack products (Tasty Foods)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 13 March 2013, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 869/2013 upholding Decision No 520/VI/2011 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC). The contested (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants individual and group exemptions to leading soft drinks company regarding its wholesale distribution contracts in Turkey (Coca Cola)
Kinstellar (Istanbul)
A. Introduction On 7 March 2013, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) concluded a preliminary investigation concerning Coca Cola Satış ve Dağıtım A.Ş. (“Coca Cola”) as a result of the application filed by the Özbağ Meşrubat Gıda Pazarlama Dağıtım Taşımacılık San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Complainant”). (...)

The French Competition Authority concludes to an absence of infringement of competition rules following a complaint by several actors of the ophthalmic sector (Kalivia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Kalivia was not in breach of competition rules when it set up its network of authorised opticians*. The Autorité de la Concurrence was informed by a professional body of opticians (the SynOpE) and two (...)

The Korean FTC finds that the territorial restraints clauses contained in the distribution agreements of a liquor manufacturer are illegal since they suppress intra-brand competition among the wholesale distributors (Kook Soon Dang)
Bae Kim & Lee
I. Introduction Vertical restraints are largely scrutinized under a less strict standard of review as compared to horizontal restraints – especially in relation to naked price-fixing or market division. Since the US Supreme Court held in the watershed decision of 1977, Continental TV v. GTE (...)

The Chinese Competition Authorities impose hefty fines on two State-owned liquor distillers for resale price maintenance (Kweichow Maotai / Yibin Wuliangye)
Qualcomm
On February 22, 2013, two Chinese provincial competition authorities served their respective enforcement orders upon two Chinese state-owned liquor distillers with formidable amounts of fines: one for Kuichow Maotai in the amount of RMB 247 million (USD 40 mil.) and the other for Wuliangye, RMB (...)

The UK OFT fines car manufacturer and three dealers £ 2.6 M over anti-competitive behaviour (Mercedes-Benz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had imposed a fine of £ 2.6 million on Mercedes-Benz and three of its commercial vehicle dealers – Ciceley, Enza and Road Range – for having engaged in anti-competitive practices involving market-sharing, price (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a web survey targeting 2,400 sellers who offer their products on major internet platform (Amazon Marketplace)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt surveys Amazon Marketplace sellers* Today the Bundeskartellamt launched a web survey of 2,400 sellers who offer their products through Amazon Marketplace. Within the framework of administrative proceedings under competition law the Bundeskartellamt is examining the effects of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that dermo-cosmetic products do not have objective properties justifying the prohibition of their sale on the Internet (Pierre Fabre)
Vogel & Vogel
In answer to the question of whether a general and absolute ban on selling cosmetics and personal care products online constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition by object, the European Court of Justice said that yes it did, if "having regard to the properties of the products at issue, (...)

The Brazilian CADE issues a decision on resale price maintenance that may serve as guidelines for future analyses (SKF)
Brasilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
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Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
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Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice
The Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) has recently issued an important decision on Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) practices that may serve as guideline for future analyses of this conduct (CADE’s Administrative Proceeding nº 08012.001271/2001-44). The administrative judgment started in 2009 (...)

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

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

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection finds that the agreements between a manufacturer and distributor of lubricants and its distributors breach national competition law (Orlen Oil)
SADKOWSKI I WSPÓLNICY RADCOWIE PRAWNI I ADWOKACI
On December 31, 2012, Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection found the agreement entered into by the Polish company Orlen Oil, which is responsible for comprehensive manufacturing and distribution of lubricants, to be limiting competition in the wholesale sales of lubricants in (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office accepts commitments offered by German airline concerning its contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive (Lufthansa)
King’s College (London)
The commitments decision concerns the Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) proceedings against Lufthansa‘s contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive. Background The FCO commenced proceedings against Lufthansa in September 2009, (...)

The Turkish Competition Board submits to public consultation a draft guidelines relating to horizontal cooperation agreements including the exchange of information between competitors
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The exchange of information between competitors is not regulated under Turkish law. This subject was recently handled within the Guidelines Project on the Application of Articles 4 and 5 of the Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition in Horizontal Cooperation Agreements (“Guidelines”). (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection finds the agreements between IT software company and its distributors as breaching competition law on the basis of EC 330/2012 (Soneta)
SADKOWSKI I WSPÓLNICY RADCOWIE PRAWNI I ADWOKACI
On November 7, 2012, Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection found the agreement entered into by the creator of software, Soneta with Distributors which contained a resale price maintenance to be limiting competition in the companies’ management software industry. The distribution (...)

A US federal district court approves a U.S. consent decree that resolves DoJ allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for e-books (Hachette Book, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Consent Decree with Three Publishers over E-Book Pricing Approved* The federal district court in New York City yesterday approved a U.S. consent decree that resolves U.S. Department of Justice allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for (...)

The European Commission issues a document where it answers to the most frequently asked questions on the application of EU antitrust rules in the motor vehicle sector
Vogel & Vogel
The new Motor Vehicle Regulation and its Guidelines have raised many questions from players in the aftermarket sector. The Commission has therefore decided to publish its answers to the most frequently asked questions in a document which, as it has emphasized from the outset, is neither (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine totalling € 8.2 M for vertical resale price maintenance in tools selective distribution system (Tooltechnic)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines for Vertical Resale Price Maintenance in Tools Selective Distribution System* On 20 August 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed a fine totalling € 8 200 000 on TTS Tooltechnic Systems Deutschland GmbH (Tooltechnic). This case concerns high (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds that the filed rate doctrine applies to the federal milk marketing orders (Gerald Carlin / DairyAmerica)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
In Agricultural Regulation, A “Flawed Rate” is Not a “Filed Rate” For Damage Purposes* Notwithstanding the general applicability of the Filed Rate Doctrine, the Ninth Circuit recently held that it does not necessarily bar producer class actions for overcharges. Whether a given rating authority has (...)

The Belgian Supreme Court upholds the severability of anticompetitive provisions in a distribution agreement (Bauer, Dubraco)
Université Catholique de Louvain
On June 28, 2012, the Belgian Supreme Court (Hof van Cassatie/Cour de Cassation) rendered a short judgment in a contractual dispute involving a distribution agreement entered into in 1993 by Bauer, a German manufacturer of compressors, and its Belgian distributor Dubraco. In essence, the (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds that satellite communication company had infringed conditions imposed by the Council concerning the distribution of its TV channels (Viasat)
European Commission
Denmark: Viasat infringes Conditions imposed by Competition Council’s Decision in Distribution of TV Channels Case* On 27 June 2012, the Danish Competition Council (the Council) found that Viasat had infringed the conditions imposed by the Council’s decision of 30 September 2009 on Viasat‘s (...)

The Indian Competition Commission breaks up a cement cartel and fines cartelists with a record fine of RPS 60 billion (Cement Manufacturers Association)
Computer and Communications Industry Association US (CCIA)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined eleven cement companies for fixing prices, and for limiting and controlling the output in the cement markets. The CCI has imposed record fines amounting to RPS 60 billion (approximately EUR 836 million) on the cartelists. Economic evidence, (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses allegations of vertical price-fixing against medical equipments company (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies
The Shanghai Court’s Position on Resale Price Maintenance in the J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation* On 18 May 2012, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (‘Shanghai Court’) dismissed allegations that Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. and its Shanghai branch had set a (...)

The New York Appellate Court rejects NY Attorney General’s challenge of alleged minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) scheme, holding that New York state statute does not render RPM agreements illegal per se and that restrictions that merely relate to minimum advertised prices do not constitute RPM agreements (Tempur-Pedic)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
A recent New York state appeals court decision highlights the need for suppliers to continue exercising caution when adopting and implementing a resale price maintenance policy. On May 8, 2012, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that the district judge erred in his demand for proof of a "concrete injury" in the price fixing of women’s accessories (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Prods)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
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Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Kansas Supreme Court Declares “Rule of Reason” Inapplicable to Kansas Antitrust Law; Legislature May Have a Different Idea* In Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court expressly overruled the categorical ban on vertical price fixing (...)

The US Kansas Supreme Court holds resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, but ruling subsequently overturned by state legislature (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The Kansas Supreme Court recently determined resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, becoming the latest state to reject the rule of reason standard mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision serves as a reminder that although a supplier’s pricing (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that resale price maintenance, whether purely vertical or in a dual distribution setting, is per se illegal and rejects applicability of federal rule of reason analysis to claims brought under Kansas antitrust law (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Irvine)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
UPDATE NOTE: On April 16, 2013, the Kansas legislature reversed the decision discussed below, and adopted a "reasonableness" standard for analyzing vertical price agreements. On May 4, 2012, Kansas joined the growing trend among states to limit the distribution flexibility that had been (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court condemns vertical price fixing agreements as per se illegal under the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Kansas Supreme Court Condemns Vertical Price Fixing Agreements as Per Se Illegal* Earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the reasonableness of a vertical price fixing agreement is not to be considered when determining whether such an agreement violates the Kansas Restraint of (...)

The French Supreme Court rules on selective distribution networks and outside-network sales made on online auction website (eBay)
Vogel & Vogel
Four perfume brands have filed a legal action against the world’s number-one online auction site, eBay: they accuse eBay of allowing on its sites the sale by non-authorized third parties of products covered by a selective distribution channel. The judge found that eBay, a site bringing together (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision against an automobile supplier for including anticompetitive provisions its auto repair services agreements that could not be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC Regulation 1400/2002 (Kia Motors)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 29 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision issued by the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) against the exclusive supplier of KIA automobiles in Croatia Kia Motors Adria Group d.o.o. (KMAG) for obliging the authorized auto repairers to (...)

The UK Government presents its plans for minimum alcohol pricing giving rise to claims of resale price maintenance illegality
Lancaster University
Minimum Alcohol Pricing and EU Law* The announcement regarding minimum alcohol pricing on Friday 22nd March was unusual in a number of respects. The UK Govt does not usually make significant announcements on Friday, as most MPs are away from Westminster on constituency business, but it also (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three leading companies in dog and cat food sector (Nestlé, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence fines three leading Companies in Dog and Cat Food Sector * On 20 March 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) fined the Nestlé, Mars Incorporated, Colgate-Palmolive Groups and their respective specialist subsidiaries Nestlé Purina Petcare France, (...)

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

The Croatian High Administrative Court rules on the compatibility of a selective distribution network in the automobile sector with the block exemption regulation (Sanabilis Citroen)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2012 the High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN), which found no anti-competitive practices in the distribution of Citroen automobiles in Croatia. The exclusive importer of Citroen automobiles in Croatia Citroen Hrvatska (...)

A Chinese Intermediate People’s Court hears the first private litigation challenging vertical price-fixing (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies
The J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation in China* Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. (‘J&J Medical’) and its Shanghai branch are sued in China for minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) by a Beijing-based distributor. This is the first private litigation that challenges RPM (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals addresses the issue of the notion of generalized and continuous infringement in competition law (Luxury Perfumes case)
Vogel & Vogel
On 21 October 1998, the French Competition Council had initiated ex officio an investigation into the luxury perfumes sector. By the end of the investigation, the Council estimated that, between 1997 and 2000, a general and continuous vertical agreement between several well-known brands and (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority applies its leniency programme in a case of a vertical distribution agreement with a resale price maintenance clause (Idea / Swisslion)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 December 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established that by including the resale price maintenance clause (minimum prices) in their distribution agreement Idea d.o.o. (distributor) and Swisslion Group d.o.o. (supplier) have concluded an anti-competitive agreement contrary to (...)

The Finnish Market Court imposes 3 M € fine to a glassware and ceramics manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Iittala)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 20 December 2011, Finland’s Market Court (“Market Court”) imposed a fine of € 3 million on the glassware and ceramics manufacturer Iittala Group Oy Ab (“Iittala”) for resale price maintenance (“RPM”) in breach of the Finnish Competition Act (480/1992, “Competition Act”, repealed and replaced by the (...)

The French Competition Authority makes binding commitments proposed by leading retailer concerning its franchise agreement (Carrefour / Carrefour market)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2011, the French Competition Authority made binding the commitments proposed by Carrefour concerning its Carrefour Market franchise agreement. In August 2010, Marcadet (a Carrefour franchisee) complained to the French Competition Authority concerning certain commercial (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer € 10 million for restricting parallel imports of imaging products (Nikon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 December 2011, the Swiss Competition Authority (COMCO / WEKO) imposed a fine of 12.5 million Swiss Francs (around € 10 million) on the Swiss subsidiary of Japan-based company Nikon on the grounds that it had restricted parallel imports of Nikon Imaging products. Following receipt of (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

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

The Athens Civil Court of Appeal dismisses an obligation to enter into a contract in the case of anticompetitive practices
Bank of Greece
Introduction Ruling No 6546/2011 of the Athens Civil Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) is of particular importance for the private enforcement of Greek and EU competition law since it clarifies the remedies available to the victims in case of anticompetitive practices. In (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies anticompetitive practices in the application of the selective distribution system for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC reg. 1400/2002 (Euro Rent Sport)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive agreements in the selective distribution system applied by the exclusive supplier of Mitsubishi automobiles in Croatia – Euro Rent Sport d.o.o. (ERS) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority highlights the distinction between anticompetitive object and effect in the resale price maintenance case on the men’s cloth pants market (Producție Zarah Modern, Cargus Trans, Getin Com)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 30 September 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) established the existence of the resale price maintenance (RPM) clauses in the distribution contracts concluded by SC Producție Zarah Modern SRL(PZM) with its distributorsSC Cargus Trans SRLandSC Getin Com SRLon the market for (...)

The Lisbon Commercial Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision prohibiting a retail price maintenance agreement regarding equipment used in hospital pharmacies with a reduction of the fines (Hospitals’ Public Tenders)
European Commission
Portugal: The Lisbon Commercial Court confirms Competition Authority’s Decision on RPM affecting Hospitals’ Public Tenders* On 12 September 2011, the Lisbon Commercial Court (the Court) confirmed the Portugal Competition Authority’s (PCA) decision prohibiting a retail price maintenance (RPM) (...)

An Italian Administrative Court sets aside the Italian Competition Authority’s decision to fine a payment card network company, 8 Italian banks and financial institutions for infringing art. 101 TFEU (MasterCard – I720 Carte di credito)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Introduction On the 11th of July 2011 the Italian Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per il Lazio – hereafter “IRAC”) upheld the appeal of Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (hereafter MPS”) against the decision no. 21768 of the Italian Competition Authority (...)

The New York Southern District Court holds that enforcement of a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy against Internet retailers does not amount to minimum resale price maintenance (Worldhomecenter.com / Franke Consumer Products)
Pepper Hamilton (Philadelphia)
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Pepper Hamilton (Philadelphia)
Courts May Try to Harmonize Federal and State Law on the Legality of Resale Price Maintenance* Ever since the United States Supreme Court ruled in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007), that resale price maintenance (i.e., agreements to set minimum resale (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages (Brantley / NBC Universal)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Rejects Consumer Antitrust Challenge To Cable Television Bundling* The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages. Brantley v. NBC (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority establishes the existence of resale price maintenance agreements on the market for fresh fruits and vegetables (Interfruct, Albinuța Shops, Profi Rom Food)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 31 May 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) held illegal the resale price maintenance clauses contained in the sales contracts concluded by a wholesaler of fresh fruits and vegetables in the municipality of Bucharest (SC Interfruct SRL) with two retailers (SC Albinuța Shops SRL, SC (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority declares illegal a distribution agreement granting a distributor a 2% rebate for compliance with the supplier’s resale price maintenance policy concerning certain branded food products (Grand Prom, Idea)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 26 May 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) has declared illegal the distribution agreement between Grand Prom a.d. (supplier) and Idea d.o.o. (distributor) granting to the distributor a 2% rebate for compliance with resale price maintenance policy set by the supplier in relation to (...)

The Danish District Court fines manufacturer of design furniture for engaging in resale price maintenance (Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 May 2011, the Danish District Court of Svendborg (the “Court”) imposed a fine of DKK 500,000 (approximately € 67,000) on Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik A/S (“EJM”), a Danish manufacturer of design furniture, for having engaged in resale price maintenance. The Court also imposed fines totalling DKK (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fines for infringements of both Art 101 and 102 TFEU as well as Art 1 and 2 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of exclusionary practices in the market for salty snack products (Tasty Foods)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 5 May 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an infringement decision against Tasty Foods, a company that is mainly active in the production and distribution of salty snack products in Greece, for violation of 101 TFEU (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in relation to exclusivity agreements in the multi-brand gift cards sector (Accentiv’Kadéos)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Affinion International
In its decision N°11-D-08 dated 27 April 2011, the French Competition Authority (the «Competition Authority«) accepted the commitments offered by Accentiv’Kadéos in relation to exclusivity agreements between it and its partner brands in the multi-brand gift cards sector. Background On August 2009, (...)

The Polish President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposes commitments to remedy RPM in a vertical hard core restrictions case concerning gardening products distribution (Scotts and its distributors)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
On 26 April 2011, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumers Protection (the «OCCP» or the «Office») issued a decision in which it found that Scotts Poland sp. z o.o. (the «Scotts» or the «Company»), a subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, applied a resale price maintenance clause in (...)

A US Federal District Court rejects breach of contract defense based on the illegality of the contract under the Robinson-Patman Act (Pet Food Express, Royal Canin)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Robinson-Patman Act Defense Rejected in Breach-of-Contract Case&* Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the (...)

The French Court of Cassation refers a question to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on the required criteria for quantitative selective distribution (Auto 24/Jaguar Land Rover France)
Vogel & Vogel
The question of the criteria required for quantitative selective distribution continues to create intense debate in the case law in France. There are two opposing schools of opinion on the question both from legal commentators and in the case law: The first school argues that the European (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into the motor fuel sector focusing on elements fostering competition in the market of "white pumps"
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority launches Inquiry into the Motor Fuel Sector* On 23 March 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) launched an inquiry into the Italian motor fuel sector. The sector inquiry will investigate the general structure and organisation of the Italian (...)

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

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The French Competition Authority holds key provisions of the wholesale dealers network in line with competition law (Pomona/Creno)
GIE Jurigroup - Cabinet Jean-Paul Montenot
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The wholesale trade sector in fruits and vegetables and, to a lesser extent, in seafood products is characterized by a large number of operators (1150) working on the whole French territory. It has an annual turnover of about 5, 1 billion euros. These operators supply with fresh products the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission dismisses a complaint by a local distributor against a producer of office equipment for violating article 101 of the TFEU (Dakos v. Brother International)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 31 January 2011 the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) issued a decision on a complaint against Brother International Europe Ltd. (“Brother”), a producer of office equipment, raised by Dakos A.E. (“Dakos”), a local company distributing Brother‘s products in the Greek market. According to the (...)

The New York Supreme Court issues a decision on resale price maintenance in the mattress manufacturing sector applying the rule of reason standard (Tempur-Pedic International)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
New York’s Challenge To Mattress Maker’s Resale Pricing Policy Fails* The State of New York was not entitled to an order enjoining mattress manufacturer Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. from restricting discounting by its authorized retailers, a New York state court has ruled. The New York (...)

A Californian Superior Court issues a decision on resale price maintenance in cosmetic sector applying the per se rule (Bioelements)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
New York’s Challenge To Mattress Maker’s Resale Pricing Policy Fails* The State of New York was not entitled to an order enjoining mattress manufacturer Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. from restricting discounting by its authorized retailers, a New York state court has ruled. The New York (...)

The Polish Competition Authority adopts decision concerning unlawful vertical restraints in the gardening products sector (Ogrody Polskie)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 31 December 2010, which has become recently available, the Polish Competition Authority fined a supplier of gardening products (Ogrody Polskie) and six distributors for entering into unlawful agreements concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of passive sales in (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines 5 companies for resale price maintenance in the paint distribution sector (Akzo Nobel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 December 2010, the Polish Competition Authority adopted a decision finding that Akzo Nobel Coatings (“Akzo Nobel”) and four DIY companies (namely Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Obi and Praktiker) fixed the minimum resale prices of Akzo Nobel paints in Poland between 2004 and 2006. The Polish (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption in relation to non-compete obligation contained in a settlement agreement (Intereuropa sajam međunarodno otpremništvo / UPS Worldwide Forwarding)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 16 December 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) granted an individual exemption in relation to a non-compete obligation contained in a settlement agreement between international courier services providers Intereuropa sajam međunarodno otpremništvo d.o.o.(Intereuropa) and UPS (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a number of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products (Cartel of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products)
University of Turin
Italy’s competition authority (“ICA”) has fined 15 companies, including units of Sara Lee Corp., L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson, more than € 81 M ($ 107 M) for an alleged long-running scheme to coordinate list prices sent to large retailers for cosmetic and health care products. The highest fine, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority punishes resale price maintenance affecting hospitals’ public tenders
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 US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirms dismissal of price-fixing conspiracy claims in the mattress manufacturing industry for not meeting Twombly pleading requirements (Jacobs, Tempur-Pedic)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Consumers’ Price Fixing Claims Against Mattress Maker Did Not Meet Twombly Pleading Requirements* A decision from a divided U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month continues the debate over the appropriate pleading standard for antitrust plaintiffs under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts decision without fines concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of parallel trade in electrical appliances sector (Witt Hvidevarer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision adopted on 24 November 2010, the Danish Competition Authority found that Witt Hvidevarer A/S (“Witt”), a Danish importer and wholesaler of robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers manufactured by the American company iRobot, had engaged in anticompetitive practices over a period of (...)

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

The Spanish Supreme Court holds that the contracts between an oil operator and its resale distributors are legal (Repsol)
European Commission - DG COMP
I. Background On July 11, 2001, the Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, TDC) resolved the case in its resolution number 490/00. In it, it was decided that Repsol S.A. had engaged in a practice prohibited by Article 1.1 of the Act 16/1989 (the former Antitrust (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision to remove a prohibition against resale of ferry tickets for freight (Scandlines)
European Commission
Denmark: Scandlines - Commitments to remove a Prohibition against Resale of Ferry Tickets for Freight On 27 October 2010, the Competition Council adopted a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by Scandlines to remove a prohibition against the resale of ferry tickets (...)

The US DoJ targets so-called “most favored nation” - MFN - agreements in the health care industry (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan - BCBSM)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. Dep’t of Justice Targets MFN Agreements* The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to curb the use of so-called “most favored nation” (MFN) agreements — a common business practice that the DOJ believes can sometimes result in anticompetitive effects when entered into by a dominant (...)

The EU Commission declares that it won’t open formal proceedings against changed policies on restrictions imposed on the development of applications for smart phones operating system and cross-border warranties (Apple iPhone)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission closes preliminary investigations into Apple’s iPhone policies* On 25 September 2010, the European Commission declared that it would not open formal proceedings against Apple, following Apple’s iPhone change of policies on restrictions on the development of applications (or (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes highest fine ever for anti-competitive vertical agreement (Sokolovská uhelná)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 15 September 2010, the Czech Competition Authority has imposed its highest fine ever for an anti-competitive vertical agreement on Sokolovská uhelná (a coal supplier established in the Czech Republic). It appears that from 1997 to 2007 Sokolovská uhelná concluded (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay, Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Parfums Givenchy, and Guerlain)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on termination of dealership contract for the sale of motor vehicles (Subaru France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 2 September 2010 which has recently become available, the Paris Court of Appeal gave its ruling in legal proceedings between a supplier of motor vehicles, Subaru France, and one of its former dealers. It appears that after Subaru France terminated the dealership agreement by (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that in order to allege a viable vertical restraint claim a plaintiff must plausibly allege the defendant’s market power (PSKS / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Fifth Circuit Dismisses Leegin Resale Price Maintenance Case Anew, Following Supreme Court Remand* In 2007, the United States Supreme Court, updating the application of the cumulative advances in antitrust economics as applied to vertical restraint cases, overruled the venerable Dr. Miles Med. (...)

The Greek Competition Authority imposes fine of € 12.5 M for resale price maintenance in the supermarket sector (Carrefour)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 15 July 2010, the Greek Competition Authority has imposed a fine of € 12.5 million on Carrefour Marinopoulos (“Carrefour”) for engaging, inter alia, in resale price maintenance with its supermarket franchisees in breach of Greek and EU competition law. In (...)

The German Cartel Office accepts commitments from energy suppliers to renounce resale clauses prohibitions (RWE, EWE, RheinEnergie, Wingas, N-Ergie, Stadtwerke Hannover, Erdgas Muenster, Stadtwerke Leipzig, SWM, Entega, Stadtwerke Kiel, Koethen Energie)
European Commission
Germany: Energy Suppliers agree to abandon Resale Prohibitions The Bundeskartellamt has concluded on 7 July 2010 most of its proceedings against gas and electricity suppliers on account of their imposing inadmissible resale bans. Twelve of the major energy suppliers in Germany (RWE, EWE, (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines a retailer for resale price maintenance and other infringements within its franchise network (Carrefour Marinopoulos)
Lambadarios Law Firm
On 6th April 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (“Epitropi Antagonismou”, hereinafter: “HCC”) issued a decision on the merits by which it imposed a fine on the retailer Carrefour Marinopoulos S.A. (hereinafter: “Carrefour”) for infringements detected within its franchise network, namely resale (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine of € 2.5 M for resale price maintenance concerning Internet sales of GPS systems (Garmin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 28 June 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a total fine of € 2.5 million on Garmin Deutschland GmbH (“Garmin”), a manufacturer of mobile navigation devices (e.g., GPS systems), and one of its employees, for engaging in resale price maintenance (...)

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Groupe Volkswagen France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation against alleged price fixing between the main players in the field of maritime agency service (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Codacons
In December 2007 Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter ICA) was reported about a potential behaviour which could have undermined the competition among maritime service agencies. Many companies were suspected to implement agreements even through using the category associations (Associazione (...)

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Nissan France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Competition Council’s decision prohibiting a TV Broadcaster’s business terms regarding the distribution of two TV channels (Viasat)
European Commission
Denmark: The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Danish Competition Council’s decision prohibiting Viasat’s Business Terms regarding the Distribution of TV 3 and TV 3+ On 8 June 2010, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) upheld the Danish Competition Council’s (DCC) decision (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes € 4 M fine for resale price maintenance concerning design houseware products (Littala Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 29 April 2010, the Finnish Competition Authority proposed to the Competition Court the imposition of a € 4 million fine on the Iittala Group (“Iittala”), a Finnish manufacturer of design houseware products, for engaging in resale price maintenance in breach of Finnish competition (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal confirms that an exclusive sale agreement concluded for a one year period constitutes a breach of Art. 101 TFEU (Fiat Auto Belgio v. Fortis Banque and T.C.I. Auto Service)
Strasbourg Bar School
Introduction In its judgment of 28 April 2010, the Brussels Court of Appeal upheld a judgment of the Commercial Tribunal and confirmed that the exclusive sale agreement for Fiat vehicles concluded by TCI Auto Service (the dealer, “TCI”) and Fiat Auto Belgio (the manufacturer, “Fiat”) for a (...)

The European Commission adopts new vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical restraints guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 April 2010, the Commission adopted final versions of the new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“VABER”) and Vertical Restraints Guidelines (“Guidelines”). The new VABER will enter into force on 1 June 2010, and will expire at the end of May 2022. The new VABER provides for a (...)

The European Commission publishes new rules for vertical agreements
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Dentons (Brussels)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted its new, long-awaited Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the VBER) and accompanying guidelines applicable to distribution agreements in the EU. The VBER, which will enter into force on June 1, 2010, replaces Regulation (...)

The European Commission adopts new block exemption regulation and new guidelines on vertical agreements
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG JUST
"Vertical Agreements: New Competition Rules for the Next Decade"* I. Introduction On 20 April 2010 the Commission adopted a new Block Exemption Regulation applicable to vertical agreements (hereinafter ‘the Regulation’). At the same time it adopted the contents of accompanying Guidelines on (...)

The European Commission adopts new rules on vertical restraints
European Commission
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission adopted a new Regulation (No 330/2010) listing the conditions under which vertical restraints are exempt from the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (defined by Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, «TFEU», (...)

The French Competition Authority validates a franchise network in the car wash sector (Hypromat France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 April 2010, the French Competition Authority dismissed a complaint lodged by several franchisees and former franchisees (the “complainants”) against their franchisor, Hypromat France SAS (“Hypromat”), concerning alleged infringements of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (ex-Articles 81 and 82 EC) and (...)

The UK OFT finds that each of the manufacturers and retailers investigated had participated in agreements and/or concerted practices whereby the manufacturers set the retailers’ retail prices for its tobacco products which restricted the retailers’ ability to determine their retail price of competing tobacco products (ITL/Gallaher/ Asda/ the Co-op/ First Quench/ Morrisons/ T&S/ Safeway/ Sainsbury/ Shell/ Somerfield/ TM Retail)
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
Description of the impugned case The OFT’s Chapter I investigation was initiated in March 2003 following receipt of information from Sainsbury under the OFT’s leniency policy, which, along with information obtained during a previous Chapter II investigation into ITL, gave the OFT reasonable (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission limits the duration of contracts concluded between broadcasters and football clubs for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, as well as a pooling agreement between broadcasters, to three years (AVS, Mediapro, Sogecable y Clubs de Fútbol de 1 y 2 División)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On April 14, 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “CNC”) adopted a decision in a case against several broadcasters operating in the markets for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, and football clubs of the 1st and (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies restrictive provisions of the selective distribution agreements for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the relevant block exemption regulation (Hyundai auto Zagreb)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 8 April 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive provisions in the selective distribution agreements concluded by exclusive supplier of Hyundai automobiles in Croatia - Hyundai auto Zagreb d.o.o. (HAZ) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision lifting ban on reporting of sales price and contribution margins (Bestseller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 March 2010, the Danish Competition Council adopted a commitment decision, cf. section 16 a of the Danish Competition Act, allowing Bestseller A/S to regain access to price information from its franchise partners - irrespective of a previous injunction issued by the Competition Council in (...)

The French Competition Authority seizes itself on its own motion in order to issue an opinion on several questions involving mass retail distribution which may hinder the functioning of competition in this sector
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 25 February and 19 March 2010, the French Competition Authority decided on its own initiative, to make a reference to issue two opinions in the mass retail distribution sector, in order to ensure that the functioning of competition in this sector is not hindered. The French NCA’s power to (...)

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

The US DoJ issues business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Department of Justice does not challenge online subscription news service* On 24 February 2010 the Department of Justice issued a business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service) that would be operated by MyWire, Inc. (...)

The Superior Court of the State of California (County of Alameda) challenges minimum resale price maintenance as per se illegal (DermaQuest)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
In the 2007 Leegin Creative Leather v. PSKS case, the Supreme Court held that, under the federal antitrust laws, minimum vertical resale price fixing agreements are no longer per se illegal, but governed by the rule of reason, like maximum resale price fixing. Antitrust observers were quick to (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines supplier and distributors of DVD movies for resale price maintenance (Bomba, Computer data international, Elektromarktas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 January 2010, the Competition Authority of Lithuania fined several undertakings active in the supply and distribution of DVD movies for engaging in resale price maintenance in breach of the provision of Lithuanian law equivalent to Article 101 TFEU between 2006 and 2009. The fines imposed (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the NCA imposing interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Tomić)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 27 January 2010 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) imposing interim measures in the case of unilateral termination of the agreement on selective distribution of BMW automobiles. The applicant, Tomić & Co. d.o.o. (Tomic) was (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments to waive distribution exclusivity on mobile telephones ("i-Phone" Apple - Orange)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 11 January 2010, the French Competition Authority handed down its first decision of 2010, accepting the commitments undertaken by Apple and Orange to waive any distribution exclusivity on current and future iPhones models. Such Commitment Decision, taken pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I of (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority announces termination of investigation into motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors (Hyundai, Renault, Toyota, Honda and Saab)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Early in 2009, the Lithuanian Competition Council launched an investigation into certain companies active in the sale of new motor vehicles in Lithuania, examining claims that these companies had required customers to have their vehicles serviced only by an authorized dealer/repairer of the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the possible implementation of retail price maintenance scheme for digital books
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence recommends not to apply RPM to Digital Books and suggests Contractual Models for Relations between Publishers and Digital Librarians On 18 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence (hereafter: the Autorité) delivered its opinion on the possible (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court annuls a judgment of the Court of Appeal for error in market definition and lack of analysis of the franchise agreement’s restrictive object in the light of its context (Prisma Vastgoed, Prisma Food Retail / Verweerders)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In 1989, Prisma rented out a supermarket to the defendant. The rental agreement provided for an option to purchase the supermarket in favour of the defendant, which could be exercised on 30 April 2001. This agreement further provided that in case the defendant purchased the supermarket, it (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority holds that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements covering 86% of the relevant market has anticompetitive effects (Megalan - Universities)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) found that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements regarding construction and exploitation of Internet infrastructure and access to Internet that covered 86% of the relevant market foreclosed new entries and expansion by (...)

The Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection fines an operator and ten distributors for vertical price collusion with respect to trailer accessories (Knott)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
Decision On 15 December 2009, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the ”OCCP”) fined Knott Sp. z.o.o. (“Knott”) and its ten distributors for vertical price collusion with respect to trailer accessories (such as axles, overrun couplings, jockey wheels, brakes and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines incumbent telecom operator in overseas territories and applies EU case law on presumption of liability of parent companies for the first time (Orange Caribbean)
European Commission
France: The Autorité fines Incumbant Telecom Operator in the Overseas Territories and applies EU Case-Law on Presumption of Liability of Parent Companies for the first Time On 9 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed on Orange Caribbean, the incumbent and leading telecom operator (...)

A Dutch Court rules on refusal to appoint motor vehicle dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (Kia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2009, the President of the Amsterdam Court of First Instance (the “President”) accepted an interim proceedings claim brought by four former Kia Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”) repairers. The repairers claimed that KIA Motors Nederland BV (“KIA Motors”), which replaced KIA Nederland as (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority imposes fines on three pharmaceutical companies for resale price maintenance (Pfizer, Lilly, Bayer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 1 December 2009, the Swiss Competition Authority has imposed fines totaling approximately € 3.7 million on three pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Lilly and Bayer) for engaging in resale price maintenance with their distributors. It appears that the three (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that a newspaper distributor cannot be considered an agent under EU competition law (Newspaper Distributor II)
Salzburg University
Background The Austrian Competition Authority (“Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde”) successfully filed an application with the Austrian Cartel Court against a German publishing group, its Austrian subsidiary and an Austrian newspaper distributor. The application was based on certain vertical restraints (...)

A German Court confirms judgment allowing a restriction on using auction websites in selective distribution
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 25 November 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe (the “Court”) upheld a judgment of the Regional Court of Mannheim which allowed the manufacturer of high quality school bags which operated a qualitative selective distribution system to prohibit its distributors from (...)

The Turkish competition board investigates price fixing and non-compete provisions in franchising agreements (DiaSA/Complaining Franchisees)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Two complaints were lodged against DiaSA by its franchisees alleging that the provisions and application of DiaSA’s franchise agreements are in violation of the Act on Protection of Competition Numbered 4054 (“Competition Act”). The Competition Board (“CB”) examined the price and non-compete (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission issues a prohibition order and fined three producers of medicine (treatment of erectile dysfunction) for publishing recommended prices leading to RPM (Pfizer/Eli Lilly/Bayer)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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Zurich District’s Prosecutor
Description of the impugned case Three pharmaceutical manufacturers issued recommended retail prices (RRP) which were integrated into a widely used IT-Database or/and communicated to all resellers (e.g. pharmacies). 63% of all resellers adopted a pricing policy according to the price (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority detects prohibited concerted practices among distributors of a consumer goods electronics company (Samsung)
European Commission
Latvia: Competition Council detects Prohibited Concerted Practices among Distributors of Samsung Home Appliances On 30 October 2009, the Latvian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision in which it found that concerted practices among five distributors of Samsung appliances infringed (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the producer of hearing devices for having threatened or inflicted disadvantages on another company in order to induce a certain retail price level for the resale of hearing devices (Phonak)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause. The producer of hearing devices provided lists with recommended prices containing minimum and maximum sale prices for hearing devices. One of the dealers offered the products significantly below the recommended prices (...)

The US DOJ Assistant Attorney General provides guidance on vertical price Fixing/Resale Price Maintenance (RPM)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
On October 7, 2009, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney used a speech to the National Association of Attorneys General to reaffirm the DOJ’s commitment to a closer cooperation with the state enforcers. She also devoted a major portion of her remarks to offering a (...)

A Dutch Court of appeal rules that termination by supplier of distribution contract under pressure from competing distributors is concerted practice (Batavus - Vriend)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction This judgment of the Court of Appeal of Leeuwarden (“the Court”) is the latest in a series of judgments in a long running dispute relating to the termination in 2001 by Batavus B.V. (“Batavus”), a bicycle manufacturer, of its long term business relations with a retailer, Vriend’s (...)

The Dutch Court of First Instance of Arnhem holds, in interlocutory proceedings, that a non-compete clause concluded in a franchise agreement, which was not exempted under the vertical agreements and concerted practices Regulation was enforceable (Bruna)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In March 1999, a franchise agreement was concluded for a period of five years between Bruna, the franchisor, and the defendant in this case, the franchisee. After renewal in 2004, this agreement was prolonged until 1 August 2009. The defendant was given the right to use the Bruna system for the (...)

The US State of Maryland enacts a state antitrust law making minimum resale price maintenance agreements per se illegal
Jones Day (Washington)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee holds hearings on pending resale price maintenance (RPM) federal legislation
Jones Day (Washington)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

A Dutch court rules on failure to appoint dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (KIA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the President of the Court of First Instance of Utrecht (the “President”) refused a claim brought by former KIA dealers and repairers whose dealership agreements had been terminated. It appears from the judgment that on 6 April 2009, KIA Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”), the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority prohibits a TV broadcaster and satellite distributor’s business terms regarding distribution of two TV-channels (Viasat)
European Commission
Denmark: Authority prohibits Viasat’s Business Terms Regarding Distribution of TV 3 and TV 3 The Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted on 30 September 2009 a decision finding that Viasat’s business terms, regarding distribution of the TV-channels TV 3 and TV 3+ in cable networks infringe (...)

The French Competition Authority fines € 6.9 M a football association and a rights for sports management agency for anticompetitive agreements on the market for audiovisual rights (FFF-Sportfive)
Credit Agricole
Following its 2001 and 2004 decisions to investigate competition in the field of management of professional football rights, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed a fine of 6.9 million € on the Fédération Française du football (FFF), the French football association, and Sportfive for their (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the market leader in the wholesale supply of contact lenses for having inter alia employed an internal price maintenance program, including the systematic monitoring of retail prices for contact lenses and the exertion of pressure, the granting of advantages as well as agreements and concerted practices with Internet dealers (CIBA Vision)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The FCO found various measures under CIBA’s price maintenance program, that in the view of the FCO amounted to a fixing of minimum resale prices. In particular, the FCO considered an infringement of Article 81 EC (now Art. 101 TFEU) and the corresponding German (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns an RPM scheme concerning GPS devices (LCP/Mitac)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The distribution agreements by Mitac as well as LCP (as producers and importers) concerning various GPS devices (PNAs, PDAs with GPS function, etc.) did not contain straightforward RPM clauses, nevertheless, direct contacts between the parties (in particular, (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the effects of competition on the development of approved healthcare networks
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence stipulates the conditions under which the development of networks of approved health professions can be favorable to competition and in the interests of patients.* After a (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines major fuel suppliers for resale price maintenance and accepts commitments relating to long-term contracts and non-compete clauses (Repsol / CEPSA / BP)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 30 July 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority imposed fines totalling € 7.9 million on REPSOL, CEPSA and BP (the three main suppliers of fuel in Spain) for violating the competition rules by engaging in resale price maintenance in their relations with (...)

The European Commission publishes for consultation drafts of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a draft of the proposed new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) and its accompanying draft Vertical Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these documents by 28 September 2009. The (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that the tying arrangement consisting in sales of real estate property didn’t affect a substantial amount of commerce in the market for the real estate services identified as the tied product (Blough / Holland Realty)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Finds That New Home Buyer Plaintiffs Fail To Satisfy Per Se Tying Element That Amount Of Commerce Not Be “Insubstantial”"Zero Foreclosure” Is Less Than “De Minimus.”* Buyers of newly constructed homes in the Boise, Idaho, area filed a federal antitrust class action, alleging that (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms a decision of the Cartel Court whereby a waste disposal system for whiteware home appliances - run by an independent undertaking - which obliges contractual collectors - independent third parties - to collect waste from retailers for a maximum price of € 7 does not infringe cartel law (UFH-System)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Brussels)
Case UFH System created a waste disposal system for retailers with regard to whiteware / home appliances. Participating retailers could decide whether to use the system or not (i.e., no exclusivity was required), conditions were to be negotiated directly between retailer and collector. (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms a decision of the Cartel Court whereby cross-boarder RPM between a German publisher and an Austrian press distributor infringes Art 81.1 EU therefore preventing the exception provided in national legislation - excluding ban of RPM in the book / magazine sector - to apply (Burda / Pressegroßvertrieb)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Brussels)
Case In 2004, Burda Publishing Group, Germany signed Pressegroßvertrieb as the exclusive Austrian distributor to retailers concerning Burda’s magazines. With a market share of 35%, Pressegroßvertrieb is only one of two competitors which provide distribution services including services such as (...)

The German Competition Authority adopts decision on exclusive distribution and non-compete clauses for chemical products (Merck, VWR International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 14 July 2009, the German Competition Authority found that an agreement between Merck and VWR International Europe (“VWR”) for the distribution of chemical products used by laboratories was contrary to Article 81 EC and the equivalent provision of German law. (...)

The German Competition Authority adopts decision on exclusive distribution and non-compete clauses for chemical products (Merck, VWR International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 14 July 2009, the German Competition Authority found that an agreement between Merck and VWR International Europe (“VWR”) for the distribution of chemical products used by laboratories was contrary to Article 81 EC and the equivalent provision of German law. (...)

A German Court accepts prohibition of selling through auction websites (Amer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 2 July 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Munich (the “Court”) found that a manufacturer of sports products (Amer) was allowed to prohibit its distributors to resell its products through auction websites, such as eBay. Amer had been sued by the German (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts decision relating to agency in women’s clothing and accessories sector (Punto Fa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 June 2009, the French Competition Authority adopted a decision rejecting the complaint brought by the French Minister for the Economy for alleged resale price maintenance involving Punto Fa SL (“Punto Fa”) and its agents in France. Punto Fa is a supplier of women’s clothing and accessories (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes a guide to vertical agreements
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Pursuant to Article 5 of the Act for the Protection of Competition numbered 4054 (“Competition Act”), the Turkish Competition Board (“CB”) has the authority to issue communiqués granting block exemptions to agreements which fulfill certain conditions. The CB has issued a Block Exemption Communiqué (...)

A French Court renders a new decision relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in a qualitative and quantitative selective distribution system (Sodac / BMW France)
Vogel & Vogel
Legal disputes often arise relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in distribution systems that are both qualitative and quantitative in the various Member States of the EU. An analysis of the decisions rendered reflects the significant difficulties, after entry into force of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority terminates its investigation on recommended minimum prices set by a professional association (Hungarian Chamber of Doctors)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Due to regulatory changes, since 1 April 2007, the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors (the Chamber) is no longer entitled to publish recommended minimum prices. In an order, dated 25 May 2009, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) established that some recommended prices continued to be available (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission sanctions two companies, a manufacturer of garden shears and hedge clippers, and one distributor for entering into an agreement on fixed retail prices (Felco/Landi)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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Zurich District’s Prosecutor
Description of the impugned case Felco, a manufacture of garden shears and hedge clippers (with 75-85 % market share among professional users), and Landi, a distributor, entered into an agreement on directly fixed retail price. In this atypical case, the agreement enabled Landi to sell the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues five new favorable opinions on derogating agreements regarding the new rules for payment timeframes in the stationery, canned foods, tires, pets and two-wheeled vehicles industries
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Payment timeframes: The Autorité de la concurrence has issued five new favorable opinions regarding derogating agreements in the industries of stationery, canned foods, tires, pets and two-wheeled vehicles.* (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority prosecutes a sport federation for mandating its athletes to use a single brand of protective wear (Karate Federation of Serbia and BMA Trading)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary Serbian Competition Authority found anticompetitive the agreement between the Karate Federation of Serbia (KFS) and an exclusive importer of Adidas protective wear that mandated KFS athletes to use exclusively Adidas wear during the KFS-organized competitions. The agreement was (...)

The European Court of First Instance reduces the fines imposed by the European Commission against leading Japanese video games manufacturer (Nintendo)
European Commission - DG COMP
"The judgments in the Nintendo case"* I. Introduction This article concerns the Commission Decision against Nintendo and seven of its distributors and, in particular, the judgments handed down on 30 April 2009 by the Court of First Instance (CFI) in the appeals against that Decision by (...)

The US State of Maryland rejects federal rule of reason standard established by US Supreme Court in Leegin, amending its state antitrust statute to make minimum resale price maintenance agreements per se illegal
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
New state law could affect implementation of minimum resale price maintenance programs. Suppliers should review their minimum resale price programs for their resellers in the United States following the passage of a new law in the State of Maryland prohibiting agreements that establish minimum (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts decision concerning resale price maintenance found in the sector of motor vehicle fuels (OK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 April 2009, the Danish Competition Council issued a decision finding that a Danish fuel supplier, OK a.m.b.a., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, DK-Benzin A/S, had infringed the national provision equivalent to Article 81 EC by engaging in resale price maintenance practices with some of (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines a leading US group for restricting parallel trade in washing powder (Unilever)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 28 April 2009, the Greek Competition Authority imposed fines totalling approximately € 8 million on Unilever’s Greek subsidiary and six supermarket chains (AB Vasilopoulos, Metro AEVE, Makro C&C, Afi Veropouli AEVE, Atlantik and Masoutis) for entering into (...)

A German court rules on restrictions on sales through auction websites in the context of selective distribution (Sternjakob)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 21 April 2009, the Regional Court of Berlin (the Court) concluded that restrictions on sales through eBay imposed by a supplier of school bags on its selective distributors would be anti-competitive. According to this judgment, Sternjakob, a manufacturer of school bags, had (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading releases the results of its sector inquiry on the market for newspaper and magazine distribution (Newspaper and magazine distribution in the UK)
DLA Piper
Summary On 22 October 2008 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) produced the following three reports, as well as a background paper, as part of its enquiry into the distribution of newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom. The reports were as follows : (a) a legal Opinion from the OFT on (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Fiat)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 14 April 2009, the Greek Competition Authority has decided to impose a fine totalling approximately € 9.6 million on Fiat’s Greek subsidiary. First, the Fiat company was found to have fixed its distributors’ profit margins between 1997-2000 in breach of Article 81 (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Simatic v. Tomic)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority ordered the exclusive importer of the BMW automobiles into Croatia Tomic & Co. d.o.o. to include its former distributor and repair service provider Simatic d.o.o. in the network of authorized spare parts retailers and repair service providers. (...)

The German Cartel Office fines a leading software company for resale price maintenance (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 8 April 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has fined Microsoft Deutschland GmbH € 9 million for resale price maintenance of its software package “Office Home & Student 2007”. According to the FCO, employees of Microsoft and a major retailer agreed on (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine of € 9 M to the leading software company for having influenced in an anticompetitive way the resale price of a software package (Microsoft Deutschland)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with indirect resale price maintenance, i.e. the recommendation of prices combined with further measures in order to coordinate the dealers’ pricing. Type of competition analysis n/a Discussion of potential redeeming efficiencies for RPM ? n/a (...)

The UK Competition Commission publishes the conclusions of its rolling stock leasing market investigation (Rolling Stock Leasing Market Investigation)
KPMG (London)
1. Introduction and background In April 2007 the Office of the Rail Regulator made a reference under section 130 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to the Competition Commission (CC) requesting an investigation into the leasing of rolling stock for the provision of passenger services in the UK and, (...)

The European Court of Justice rules on non-compete and resale price maintenance in the context of block exemption regulations (Pedro IV Servicios SL, Total España)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 April 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered a judgment in Pedro IV Servicios SLv. Total España SA, a preliminary reference concerning the analysis of non-compete obligations and alleged resale price maintenance in the light of Regulation 1984/83 (the former block exemption (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds illegal vertical resale price fixing without imposing fine (Castrol Hungária)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The case concerned a straightforward RPM arrangement (minimum prices). Analysing the wording and the context of the relevant clause, the HCO found that it indeed contained an RPM arrangement and did not accept Castrol Hungária’s defence that the minimum prices (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants the benefit of the vertical agreement block exemption Communiqué to a distribution agreement and the related usufruct agreement in the liquid fuel sector (Pol Pet / M-Oil)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board, by its decision No. 09-09/186-56, dated 05 March 2009, reviewed the distribution agreement and the related usufruct agreement between Pol-Pet Petrol Ürünleri Tur. Konaklama ve Din Tesisleri Ltd. Şti. and M-Oil, and decided that the parties can benefit from an exemption whose (...)

The Turkish Competition Board banns long term agreement in fuel distribution sector (Pol-Pet Petrol / M-Oil)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
In the decision n° 09-09/186-56 dated 5/3/2009, published as a summary in Competition Authority’s website, the Competition Board (“CB”) has examined the distributorship agreement between Pol-Pet Petrol and M-Oil and the usufruct right agreement connected with this distributorship agreement. The (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption for the exclusive distribution agreements concluded by the leading sugar products manufacturer with its distributors (Cadbury Romania)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Romanian Competition Authority granted an individual exemption under Article 5(1) of the Competition Law n° 21/1996, a provision equivalent to Article 81(3) EC for a series of exclusive distribution contracts concluded between leading sugar products manufacturer SC Cadbury Romania (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal suspends decision concerning prohibition of Internet sales in selective distribution (Pierre Fabre)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 February 2009, the President of the Paris Court of Appeal partially suspended the decision of the French Competition Council against a manufacturer of cosmetics, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique (“Pierre Fabre”). In its decision of 29 October 2008, the Competition Council found that Pierre (...)

The Paris Court of appeals confirms the NCA’s interim measures preventing exclusive rights regarding the distribution of the iPhone (Apple - Orange - France Télécom)
White & Case (Paris)
,
Reseau de transport d’electricite (RTE)
In a decision dated 4 February 2009, the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed decision n° 08-MC-01 of the French Competition Council concerning practices implemented in the distribution of iPhones. This decision was anxiously awaited by mobile phone operators competing with Orange and which began (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal partly confirms the decision of the Competition authority imposing a global fine of € 37 million on 5 toy manufacturers and 3 distributors for an agreement to fix Christmas toys’ resale prices (EPSE Joué Club)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case This case involves a straightforward RPM system agreed among suppliers on the one hand and applied between suppliers and between distributors on the other hand. The Conseil de la concurrence (now Autorité de la concurrence) imposed a global fine of € 37 M on 5 (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that a price-fixing agreement between bread manufacturers does not appreciably restrict competition (Bergama Firincilari)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that a price-fixing agreement, which was entered into by twelve small- and medium-sized bread manufacturers in a small town in the West of Turkey, did not appreciably restrict competition even (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority holds illegal resale price maintenance obligations imposed by a wholesaler of household electronics on its buyer (M San Grupa / Rivulus)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
The respondent company M SAN Grupa d.d.(MSG) was a large wholesaler of the household electronics. The applicant company Rivulus d.o.o.(Rivulus) was buying various electronics items from MSG by placing the orders on the MSG’s website. It was then selling the goods through its own distribution (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns vertical resale price fixing agreement concluded between a wholesaler of medicines and pharmacies but without imposing a fine (Hungaropharma)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The case concerned a straightforward RPM arrangement, where the pharmacies, in their agreements concluded with a wholesaler of medicines (Hungaropharma), agreed to maintain (discounted) resale prices. Due to the wording and context of the arrangement, the HCO (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority establishes the existence of anticompetitive practices on the market for servicing of motor vehicles (Adria Lada)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 September 2009 the Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zastitu trzisnog natjecanja) (AZTN) concluded its investigation on the market for distribution and servicing of motor vehicles, more specifically - the servicing agreements concluded by the exclusive distributor of Lada (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the motor vehicle exclusive distribution agreement (Adria Lada v. SPID)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja) (AZTN) following a complaint launched by SPID d.o.o. obliged the official distributor of “Lada” automobiles in Croatia ADRIA LADA d.o.o. to publicly announce the criteria it applies for certification of the service (...)

The French Competition Authority orders the suspension of the iPhone exclusivity on the basis of Art. 81 EC (Bouygues Telecom/Apple-Orange)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Conseil de la concurrence considered that the agreements entered into between Orange and Apple were likely to introduce further rigidity, to increase consumer captivity due to smartphones attraction and, through the implementation of a differentiation strategy, to reduce competition in a (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption for the exclusive distribution agreements concluded by the leading chocolate producer with its distributors (Kraft Foods Romania)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Romanian Competition Authority granted an individual exemption for exclusive distribution contracts concluded between chocolate producer Kraft Foods and its 14 distributors. Initially concerned with the risk of raising entry barriers and reduction of inter-brand competition among (...)

A US Federal District Court rejects per se rule for vertical market allocation agreement (Hewlett-Packard, Staples)
Jones Day (Houston)
A federal district court has dismissed the claim that an agreement between Hewlett-Packard (HP) and its customer Staples office supply stores, under which Staples stopped selling its own ink cartridges for HP printers, was a per se illegal antitrust violation. This new decision provides a (...)

A Belgian Court of appeal holds that a mere price-guideline does not constitute resale price maintenance as such (Frost / Evlier)
Leuven University
Description of the impugned case On 21 December 2005, Frost Invest NV (‘Frost’) and Evlier BVBA (‘Evlier’) entered into a ‘jaarovereenkomst 2006’ (Annual Agreement of 2006) for the sale of the product ‘Evlierkruiden’ by Evlier to Frost. Article 16 of this agreement laid down a minimum resale price for (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a group of the agribusiness sector with a € 2,000,000 fine for inciting its distributors to apply the suggested resale price supplied by itself, who also applied a price monitoring policy (Roullier Group)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case Resale price of the products manufactured by the Roullier group were sent to the distributors. In addition, sales force of the Roullier group were regularly taking orders directly from the clients in lieu of the distributors. While taking orders from clients, (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments offered as part of the negotiated settlement procedure in a minimum retail price maintenance case (Cie Financière et de Participation Roullier)
Moskvina Law, PLLC
,
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier
Background Compagnie Financière et de Participation Roullier (“CFPR”) mainly produces agricultural supplies, and is also active in agrochemicals and food production. CFPR produces licking salt blocks (“LSB”) for farm animals, which are particularly profitable products. CFPR’s clients are (...)

The English High Court dismisses price fixing claim by bookmakers relating to collective exclusive broadcasting Licences (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Services / Amalgamated Racing)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. The British horseracing industry is worth over £830 million annually. Since 1987, licensed betting offices («LBOs») have been allowed to show live coverage of racing from courses across the UK and Ireland. In 1987, the four largest British bookmakers founded Satellite Information (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines non-alcoholic beverages producer for resale price maintenance (Kofola)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release dated 30 July 2008, the Czech Competition Authority imposed a fine of CZK 13.5 million (approximately € 550,000) on Kofola (the second largest non-alcoholic beverages manufacturer established in the Czech Republic) for resale prince maintenance in breach of Czech (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants individual exemption to an exclusive distribution agreement (GlaxoSmithKline / Pfizer)
University of Leeds
In an interesting decision on 20 June 2008, the Turkish Competition Board (TCB) has granted an individual exemption to an exclusive distribution agreement between GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Co. and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd after refusing to grant negative clearance to the agreement under (...)

A Polish Court upholds a decision of the Polish Competition Authority on resale price maintenance (Polifarb Cieszyn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 May 2008, a Polish court upheld a decision of the Polish Competition Authority finding that a supplier of paint and varnish (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw) and seven DIY supermarket chains (Leroy Merlin, Saint Gobain, Praktiker, Nomi, Obi, Bricomarche and Castorama) engaged in unlawful resale (...)

The European Commission adopts evaluation report concerning the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 May 2008, the European Commission issued its Report on the operation of Regulation 1400/2002 concerning motor vehicle distribution and servicing (the “Report”). Given that Regulation 1400/2002 (the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation, referred to below as the “MVBER”) is set to expire (...)

The German Federal Competition Office imposes a fine on a pharmaceuticals distributor for having influenced in an anticompetitive way the resale prices for non-prescription pharmaceuticals (Bayer Vital)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause: Bayer Vital concluded target agreements with several pharmacies according to which Bayer promised an additional rebate to the pharmacies for the positioning of the Bayer products as premium products and the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council terminates investigation into beer supply agreements following amendment of non-compete obligations (Borsodi, Dreher Sörgyárak, Heineken)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 May 2008, the Hungarian Competition Council (the «Competition Council«) decided to accept the commitments offered by Borsodi Zrt. («Borsodi«), a large Hungarian brewer, and terminated its investigation into Borsodi‘s beer supply agreements. The Competition Council, first, found that the three (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office holds, in relation to the distribution of energy drinks, that selective resale price fixing is not a hardcore restriction (Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
,
MVM OVIT (Budapest)
Background In its decision of 14 May 2008 (GVH Decision), the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Office (GVH) terminated the proceedings against Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi Kft. (Büki Ásványvíz), with respect to certain restraints in vertical agreements concluded by the (...)

The US FTC modifies a 2000 consent order and sets aside the prohibitions imposed on a manufacturer to set minimum resale prices in contracts with retailers (Nine West Group)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
,
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
,
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
Shoe seller Nine West Group Inc. has successfully petitioned the FTC to modify a 2000 consent order in which the company agreed not to undertake agreements with its retailers setting minimum resale prices. The case provides a significant guidepost for U.S. manufacturers who have been searching (...)

The French Supreme Court sets the standard of proof for vertical price fixing agreements (Casino - Disney video)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Lni avocats (Paris)
In 2005, the French Competition Council (“the Council”) fined Buena Vista Home Entertainment (“BVHE“), the exclusive distributor of Disney video cassettes in France (€3.1 million), the retailers Casino (€3.2 million) and Carrefour (€5.7 million), and the wholesaler SDO (€2.4 million) for engaging in a (...)

The New York District Court enters a consent decree in a case brought by Attorneys General of New York, Illinois and Michigan, requiring furniture manufacturer to terminate alleged minimum resale price maintenance program (Herman Miller)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
District court case could affect implementation of minimum resale price maintenance programs. Sellers must still exercise great caution when designing minimum resale price programs for their resellers in the United States following the recently settled New York v. Herman Miller, Inc. case. (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court qualifies the independence criteria applicable to the agent pursuant to EU law upholding the appeal filed by a pharmaceutical company to revoke an antitrust fine imposed by the Italian Antitrust Authority (AstraZeneca)
Rucellai & Raffaelli
Upholding the appeal filed by the claimant AstraZeneca, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (hereinafter also the “Court”) ruled that the illicit conduct of the agent Pan Service - operating in the market for several principals and bearing all the related economical and financial risks - (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision to impose € 580,000 fine on a national scale agreement aimed at hindering the free setting of prices by product distributors (Master Cycle, Bouticycles)
LeMore Avocats
Description of the impugned case The 22 companies implemented a series of anticompetitive agreements and introduced into the terms of sale and other distribution contracts anticompetitive clauses, aimed at hindering the free setting of prices by the product distributors. Small retailers (...)

A Scottish Court rules on non-compete obligation and post-term restriction in gas distribution contract (Calor Gas Limited)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2008, a Scottish Court issued a ruling concerning certain allegedly anti-competitive clauses contained in a contract concluded between Calor Gas Limited (“Calor”), a supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”), and its distributors of cylinder LPG. This judgment focused its analysis (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf holds that exclusive purchase obligations contained in franchise agreements are not necessarily prohibited as unfair hindrances, even though they cover the whole assortment of goods (Baumarkt)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 16 January 2008 the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on questions concerning the German prohibition of unfair hindrance, Sec. 20(1) of the German Act against Restraints on Competition (ARC). The questions arose in administrative proceedings by the German Federal Cartel (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office grants immunity in proceedings concerning exclusive supply agreement in the context of a public procurement tender (Olympus)
Ernst & Young
According to its press release of 21 December 2007 in its decision concerning an exclusive supply agreement between two undertakings, the Competition Office imposed a fine of HUF 77 million (ca. € 308 000) on Kortex Mérnöki Iroda Kft., a Hungarian engineering company, while it granted immunity (...)

The French Competition Authority fines five toy manufacturers and three distributors for an anticompetitive agreement on prices (Lego)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence imposes a €37 million fine on 5 toy manufacturers and 3 distributors* Following a referral by the ministry of Economy, the Conseil de la concurrence issues a decision against five (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority invokes cartel rules and leniency policy with regard to an exclusive distribution agreement in the healthcare sector (Kortex / Olympus)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 18 December 2007, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) fined Kortex Mérnöki Iroda Kft. (“Kortex”), a company specialised in the construction of hospitals and the distribution of medical equipment, HUF 77m (approximately € 300,000) for concluding an anti-competitive agreement with Olympus (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns an RPM scheme concerning navigation devices and PDA software (Navi-Gate)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case A number of distribution agreements by Navi-Gate for the sale of navigation devices and PDA software contained straightforward RPM clauses. Albeit certain agreements contained the express term « recommended » prices, the HCO found that the language of the (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Hyundai Hellas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision adopted on 29 November 2007 which has recently become available, the Greek Competition Authority found that Hyundai Hellas SA (“Hyundai”) had engaged in resale price maintenance with respect to sales of spare parts and after-sales services by members of its authorised network. The (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority adopts decision relating to the application of the VABER to certain non-compete obligations
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 November 2007, the Spanish Competition Authority adopted a decision finding that Disa Península S.L., a supplier of fuel, did not breach the Spanish equivalent to Article 81 EC by concluding a number of distribution agreements with petrol stations containing non-compete provisions. The (...)

A Dutch Court rules on the anticompetitive effects of an obligation to offer for sale a supermarket in case of termination of a franchise agreement in the large retail distribution sector (Prisma)
European Commission - DG HR
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The present case was concerned with the restrictive effects, under competition law, of contractual conditions surrounding the ending of a franchise agreement in the supermarket sector. The facts of the case were the following. In 1989, Prisma, the legal successor of Flevozoom Vastgoed B.V., (...)

The Spanish National Competition Commission rules that neither inter- nor intra-brand competition is affected by restrictive practices in the postal sector (Logimail / Unipost)
Chilean Competition Tribunal (Santiago)
On April 29th, 2005, Logimail filed a complaint against Unipost. Logimail is a postal operator that performs pickup services, sorting and even distribution. To complete the distribution, however, it outsources the service to other postal operators. Unipost is one of the main postal-services (...)

A Spanish Court holds that it is not bound by an EC Commission decision under Art. 9 of EC Reg. 1/2003 (Carburantes Costa de la Luz v Repsol)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
Article 9 of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25) (“Article 9”) is one of the major new features of the new EC competition rules adopted in May (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a chocolate manufacturer for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing (Léonidas)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Chocolate distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes Léonidas to €120, 000 for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing.* Following a referral by the (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments proposed by four pharmaceutical laboratories making the medicine quota system he more flexible for wholesale distributors (Boehringer-Ingelheim & Sanofi-Avantis)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Distribution of medicines: The Conseil accepts the commitments proposed by four pharmaceutical laboratories making the medicine quota system more flexible for wholesale distributors.* History of the case (...)

The US Supreme Court sets aside Dr. Miles rule on resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leeging)
Grant & Eisenhofer
,
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Washington)
Dr. Miles: Will the Supreme Court Find a Cure?* On December 7, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.,which presents the Court with an opportunity to address the per se minimum resale price rule established almost a century ago in Dr. (...)

The US Supreme Court overrules prohibition against vertical agreements between manufacturers and their dealers setting minimum resale prices as a per se violation (Leegin Creative)
Kozyak Tropin and Throckmorton Law Firm
,
Holland & Knight (Miami)
Vertical Price Agreements in the Wake of Leegin v. PSKS: Where Do We Stand Now?* I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS For nearly a century, agreements between retailers and suppliers stipulating a minimum retail price were considered per se violations of the Sherman Act. Resale price maintenance (“RPM”) (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the 96 year old-doctrine governing resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leegin Creative)
Hahn Loeser & Parks (Columbus)
Introduction In the summer of 2007, the United States Supreme Court overruled a ninety-six year old precedent when it overruled the historical decision of Dr. Miles in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.. Relying on economists’ views, the majority took a drastic measure and (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns its long-standing prohibition against vertical agreements between manufacturers and their dealers setting minimum resale prices (Leegin Creative)
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
This article is part of a set of 5 articles released in Concurrences N°3-2008: Resale price regulation: Leegin and much more * The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of summer associates Christel Green and Aaron McAllister. I. Introduction 1. In 2007, the Supreme Court of the (...)

The US Supreme Court overrules the nearly 100-year-old per se prohibition of vertical minimum price restraints finding that they are to be judged by the rule of reason (Leegin Creative)
Berlin Freie Universität
I. Background After the per se prohibition of non-price vertical restraints and of maximum resale price maintenance have long been abolished by overruling Supreme Court decisions [Continental T.V. v. GTE Sylvania Inc., 433 U.S. 36 (1977) and State Oil v. Kahn, 522 U.S. 3 (1997)], Leegin is the (...)

The Paris Court of appeal rejects rule of reason reasoning and confirms ban on resale price maintenance (Guerlain)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
On March 13, 2006, the French competition council imposed a heavy fine on several manufacturers and distributors of luxury perfumes in France, for the implementation of a network of vertical agreements aiming at imposing minimum resale prices. In the judgment under review, the Paris court of (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court declares that the “atypical agency agreements” between oil companies and Spanish petrol stations come within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC and national mirror provision, after having requested ECJ preliminary ruling (CEEES /CEPSA)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
On 4 May 1995, the Spanish Confederation of Service Station Businesses (“CEEES” in its Spanish initials) filed a complaint with the Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia (Lowest branch of the Spanish competition authority), against certain oil companies, including CEPSA. The CEEES complained that (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the producer of small electrical equipment and products for having exerted pressure on dealers in order to induce them to abide by the recommended retail prices and for having encouraged intermediaries to refuse to supply dealers who did not maintain the recommended price levels (Groupe SEB)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause. Groupe SEB Deutschland GmbH and Krups GmbH, two producers of small electrical equipment, exerted pressure on dealers who undercut the recommended retail sale prices i.e by refusing to pay rebates and to supply those (...)

A German Court finds an exclusive purchase obligation in breach of Art. 81 EC and replaces a void non-compete obligation in a franchise agreement (The Body Shop)
Blomstein
Background The cosmetics chain The Body Shop (TBS) employs two different types of distribution channels in Germany: On the one hand, it holds a number of proprietary retail outlets and, on the other hand, it distributes its products through a franchise system. Under the franchise system the (...)

The Spanish Competition Court sanctions a beer producer for imposing minimum purchasing obligations and limiting competing advertising in its distribution contracts (Cervezas Canarias 2)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Competition Authority (Tribunal de defense de la competencia), 12 March 2007, Compañía Cervercera de Canarias (Cervezas Canarias 2), Case n° 614/06 Cervezas Anaga S.A (hereinafter, "Anaga"), a brewer from the Canary Islands, lodged a complaint before the Spanish Servicio de Defensa de la (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments taken by 10 companies of the cosmetic industry to introduce more competition into online sale of their products (Bioderma & Rogé Cavaillès)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence facilitates online sale of cosmetic products: 10 companies of the cosmetic industry committed to introduce more competition into online sale of their products.* The Conseil de la (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a company for agreeing with distributors to have set a single resale price in the sector of game consoles and video games (PlayStation 2)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes Sony Computer Entertainment France for agreeing with distributors to have set a single resale price on Play Station 2 during French launching.* Following a referral by (...)

A Dutch Court decides, in an interlocutory proceeding, that the nullity of a price-fixing clause brings along the nullity of the franchise agreement as a whole, including its non-compete clause (Make It Easy)
European Commission - DG HR
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Several franchise agreements were concluded between Make It Easy B.V. and Make It Easy Reality B.V. (hereafter the franchisers) on the one hand, and Make it Easy Gelderland V.O.F as well as other undertakings (hereafter the franchisees), on the other. According to these franchise agreements, (...)

The Polish Competition Court confirms the NCA’s decision finding that an "English clause" in an agreement between a pay-TV operator and a football association restricted competition (Polish Football Association/Canal+)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
The Polish Competition Court confirms the NCA’s decision finding that an "English clause" in an agreement between a pay-TV operator and a football association restricted competition, but halves a 440 000 PLN (110 000 EUR ) fine on the football association by upholding a 7.37 million PLN (1.84 (...)

The Swiss Supreme Court confirms Competition Commission’s decision ordering the abolition of a market-wide system imposing fixed resale prices to all books sold over the counter (Distribution of books)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
Zurich District’s Prosecutor
Description of the impugned case After almost 10 years of procedure, including two full scale appeal procedures up to the Supreme Court, the so called Sammelrevers 1993 covering the entire distribution for books in Switzerland with a Straightforward Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) system was (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a chocolate manufacturer for having imposed on its franchisees retail prices to certain of its corporate customers (Jeff de Bruges)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case Jeff de Bruges SAS limited the contractual freedom of its franchisees by imposing retail prices for certain corporate customers (comité d’entreprise). These sales with specific range of products were promoted through “books CE”, containing notably CE prices, (...)

The French Competition Council fines a chain store chocolate franchisor for a price fixing practices in sales to work councils (Jeff de Bruges)
White & Case (Paris)
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
,
European Commission - DG COMP
French Competition Council (Conseil de la Concurrence), 24 January 2007, Decision n° 07-D-04, rregarding practices implemented by the Jeff de Bruges franchise network (“relative à des pratiques mises en œuvre par le réseau de franchise Jeff de Bruges”) In a decision dated 24 January 2007, the (...)

The French Competition Council fines a Belgian chocolate manufacturer for having imposed resale price maintenance for sales to works committees (Jeff de Bruges)
AptarGroup
By a decision dated January 27, 2007, the French Competition Council fined the Belgian chocolate manufacturer Jeff de Bruges for fixing retail prices concerning chocolate sales to works committees. The Belgian company Jeff de Bruges specializes in the distribution of chocolates and other (...)

The Turkish Competition Board holds that a distribution agreement contains prohibited resale price maintenance (Frito Lay)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
By a decision dated 11 January 2007, the Turkish Competition Board (Hereafter “CB”) held that the international chips producer Frito Lay’s hand terminal system is prohibiting the distributors from determining the resale prices and therefore can not be considered in the scope of the Block Exemption (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office imposes record cartel fine in the car insurance sector (Allianz)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
On 21 December 2006 the HCO delivered its decision in the first large-scale cartel case in the Hungarian car insurance sector (Decision n° Vj-51/2005). In its proceedings the HCO investigated the two largest insurance companies’ vertical relationships with car dealers (who also act as car repair (...)

The Czech NCA applies Art. 81 EC to a distribution network based on direct sales to consumer (Tupperware)
University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
The present decision concerns the compliance of the dealership contracts concluded between Tupperware s.r.o and independent dealers with Article 81 of the EC Treaty and similar national provisions contained in the Act on the Protection of Competition (hereafter the “Act”). Tupperware s.r.o. is a (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 22 companies for having entered into an agreement on the sector of cycle and cycle products distribution (Master Cycle, Bouticycles)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Cycle and cycle products distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of 580 000 euros on a national scale agreement involving 22 companies.* Following a referral by the Minister of Economy on (...)

A Danish Court confirms that reporting of sales prices and contribution margins may amount to resale price fixing (Bestseller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 27 November 2006, the High Court of Western Denmark upheld a decision by the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal finding that an IT-system through which the supplier was informed on a daily basis of independent retailer’s sales prices and contribution margins on individual items effectively (...)

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales dismisses appeals from two decisions of the CAT which had dismissed appeals from two decisions of the OFT finding resale price maintenance and price fixing in respect of replica football kit, toy and games (Argos, Littlewoods, JJB Sports)
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
Description of the impugned case This joint judgment concerned two cases of straightforward RPM concerning, respectively, replica football kits and Hasbro toys and games, that broadened into horizontal collusion. Each case involved vertical RPM agreements and a «horizontal« collusive agreement (...)

The French Competition Council agrees to commitments from Hi-Fi and Home Cinema equipment suppliers in order to allow their selective distributors to carry out online selling (Hi-Fi/Home Cinema)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
On 5 October 2006, the Conseil de la concurrence (French Competition Council) issued a decision in which it accepted to withdraw the litigation proceedings after three of the main companies active in the Hi-fi and home cinema equipment sector (Bose, Focal JM Lab and Triangle) agreed to (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf holds that the term “free servicing” in Art. 4.1.k of EC Reg. 1400/2002 includes extended services provided that the supplier does not charge the buyer an additional fee (5-Sterne-Premium-Paket)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 20 September 2006, the German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on the interpretation of Regulation n° 1400/2002 concerning the contractual obligation of authorised repairers exclusively to use original spare parts instead of spare parts of matching quality. Facts The (...)

The Polish NCA imposes record fines for price fixing agreement between supermarkets and a paints and varnishes producer (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
,
Sdzlegal Schindhelm (Wroclaw)
Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (Urzedu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów), 18 September 2006, n° DOK 107/06, concerning anticompetitive agreement concluded between Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw and seven building materials supermarkets On 18 September 2006, the President of the Office (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes record-breaking fines for resale price maintenance agreement on paints market (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
The Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”) has imposed record fines of PLN 110 million (€ 28,300,000 ) on Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw (“Polifarb”) and seven chains of DIY supermarkets for breaching competition law. The OCCP found that these parties had jointly fixed resale prices. In (...)

The Polish NCA imposes record fines for resale price maintenance after a detailed assessment of the trade between member States criterion (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
In the beginning of 2005, Polifarb Cieszyn- Wroclaw S. A. (hereafter : Polifarb), a producer of paints and varnishes, proposed to seven building materials supermarkets, namely, Praktiker, Obi, Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Nomi, Platforma and Bricomarché, a so called “stabilization discount”. The (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals quashes the NCA’s decision and considers that an agreement limiting distribution of a drug to selected distributors does not restrict competition (Johnson & Johnson’s)
Allen & Overy (Warsaw)
Polish Court of Appeals, 25 July 2006, Decision issued in the case initiated by Jacek Nowakowski, who runs a warehouse for Pharmaceutical and Sanitary Products Hurtofarm in Sosnowiec and Johnson & Johnson Polska Sp. z o. o. in Warsaw against the President of the Office for Competition and (...)

The Bulgarian competition authority prohibits an exclusive contract for the supply of slag for fears of foreclosure of the cement market (Kremikovtzi/Cemeco)
Commission for the Protection of Competition, 22 July 2006 , Decision n° 174, Kremikovtzi/Cemeco (Doc. Word) Pursuant to the individual exemption procedure, still in force under Bulgarian competition law, Cemeco OOD (“Cemeco”), a cement producer, notified to the Bulgarian Commission for the (...)

The French Competition Council holds anticompetitive an exclusive purchase clause in a selective distribution agreement (NGK Spark Plugs)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
,
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 21 July 2006, Decision n° 06-D-22, related to NGK Spark Plugs France practices in the plug market for two-wheel vehicles (“relative à des pratiques mises en oeuvre par la société NGK Spark Plugs France sur le marché des bougies pour deux (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition grants individual exemption of an exclusive distribution agreement (GlaxoSmithKline)
ArbJournal
In the beginning of 2006 GlaxoSmithKline Ltd, Bulgaria, (GSK) notified the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) about an exclusive distribution agreement (Agreement) entered into between GSK and Agroengineering-90 Ltd (Agroengineering) on 21 December 2005. Subject of the agreement are (...)

A Swedish Court finds that the national competition authority failed to prove a significant restriction of an hardcore restriction (Volvo Dealers Cartel)
Cederquist
On 10 December 2002 the Swedish Competition Authority (the “SCA”) carried out dawn raids at eight car dealers in the southern Swedish provinces of Skåne and Blekinge. The dawn raids were carried out in response to complaints presented to the SCA. The eight car dealers were authorized dealers for (...)

A Dutch Court of First Instance declares an exclusive distribution agreement on the market of ballast materials for the construction of railways void according to the Dutch Competition Act (Rotim/Ballast)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Rotim is a Dutch company importing, selling and distributing ballast materials for railways. Basalt is a company established in Germany which produces ballast materials. In 1983, Rotim concluded an agreement with Basalt, the so-called “Liefervertrag’, according to which Rotim had the exclusive (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office finds agreements and practices on the motor vehicles repair and maintenance service market to be contrary to Art. 81. EC (Hyundai/Mobis Parts Europe)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
Background / Facts of the case Hyundai Motor Company (“HMC”) started to reorganize its distribution system in Hungary from September 1, 2004 accordingly to the Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 July 2002, on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority imposes a fine on three pay-TV operators for restrictive exclusive distribution agreements (Channel LTV...)
International Transport Forum
On June 2, 2006 the Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter C.P.C.) put an end to its ex-officcio investigation of the pay-TV industry in Cyprus imposing a total fine of CY£ 535 on Channel LTV, Multichoice Ltd (LTV’s platform administrator) and NETMED NV (Multichoice’s majority (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office applies Art. 3. EC Reg. 1/2003 to a distribution network: Application of national competition rules may not lead to prohibition of agreements not prohibited under Art. 81 EC (British American Tobacco - BAT)
Hogan Lovells
Hungarian Competition Office (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal), 30 May 2006, British American Tobacco - BAT, Case n° Vj-94/2005 The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated an ex officio procedure to examine whether BAT’s Hungarian distribution network, involving 23 distributors, infringed the (...)

The Polish NCA fines the national football association and a TV operator for an abusive preferential renewal clause in a broadcasting licence agreement (Canal+/Polish Football Association)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
President’s of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Prezydent Urzedu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów), 29 May 2006, Decision n° DOK-49/06, concerning a preferential renewal clause contained in the licence agreement for broadcasting of football league matches concluded between (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns collective RPM of publishers and bookstores (MKKE)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The association of Hungarian publishers and bookstores adopted a rule making the resale price prescribed by the publisher mandatory. In fact, as a result of the operation of such rule, publishers were granted the right to determine the retail prices of the (...)

The Hungarian Council of the Competition Office finds exclusive press distribution agreements anticompetitive but exempts them under the national block exemption regulation on vertical agreements (Pesti Est Media)
Hogan Lovells
,
Background The Pesti Est media company is the largest player on the market of free program magazines in Hungary, distributing 130,000 copies a week of its magazine in Budapest. The Competition Office started an investigation into whether Pesti Est’s exclusive agreements in relation to their (...)

The UK High Court holds that an unlawful non-compete clause cannot be severed from the exclusive distributorship agreement if such severance would destroy the fundamental nature of the agreement (Courage)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
A. Introduction In its judgment of 1 March 2006 the England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court) ("the High Court") made an important ruling on the severability of a non-competition clause in the context of the termination of an exclusive distributorship agreement. The High Court held that (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns factual resale price maintenance (Kemira)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The distribution agreements in question by the producer (Kemira) did not contain RPM clauses; on the contrary, they provided that the distributor’s pricing policy is not restricted. Nevertheless, the producer sent several mails, calls and warnings to the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal awards damages for active sales breaching an exclusive distribution agreement (Horas International / Rexit)
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
The facts The appellant in this case is a Belgian firm whose business activities consist in distributing furniture and accessories (hereafter the “distributor”). The defendant is an Italian company specialized in the design and production of furniture (hereafter the “manufacturer”). In 1985, the (...)

The French NCA fines producers and retailers for vertical price-fixing agreements in the luxury perfume sector
MAPP (Paris)
,
University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) fined 13 luxury perfume companies and 3 national distribution chains for entering into vertical price fixing agreements. The fines total 46.2 million Euros. The French Competition Authority stated that the existence of an anticompetitive conduct was (...)

The Latvian Courts and NCA find out that trade between member States is not affected by an international supply agreement and refuse to ask for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ (Kempmayer Media)
Loze, Grunte & Cers
Facts On 7 June 2004, the Latvian Competition Council declared that an agreement signed on 14 November 2002 between Kempmayer Media Ltd. (a company of England and Wales) and a/s Digitlais Latvijas radio un televzijas centrs (a company of Latvia) restricted competition and thus declared the (...)

A Spanish Commercial Court declares null and void an exclusive purchasing agreement on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (El Mareny/Repsol)
London School of Economics
Factual background The present judgment is a new chapter of a lengthy saga concerning agreements signed between petrol distributors and Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol CPP”), a subsidiary of the former monopoly in the Spanish petrol sector. This saga has (...)

The US Supreme Court reaffirms market power requirement to determine a tying arrangement as per se unlawful (Independent Ink)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Are tying arrangements illegal per se?* In the deep, dark antitrust dungeon reserved for per se offenses, only one species of conduct remains that does not involve a horizontal conspiracy: tying arrangements. Minimum resale pricing agreements tunneled their way out thanks to the Supreme (...)

The Dutch District Court of Maastricht assesses compatibility of a franchise agreement with EC competition law (BBQ Franchise)
The AES Corporation
,
Clifford Chance (Amsterdam)
In January 2006 summary proceedings were brought before the District Court of Maastricht by a franchisee (hereafter: the claimant) against its franchisor BBQ Franchise B.V. (hereafter: BBQ). The District Court applied EC competition law to set out the limits of what can and cannot be arranged (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns a lower court decision for the plaintiff but reiterates the traditional method of proving secondary line price injuries under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Seattle University
The Robinson-Patman Act and Consumer Welfare: Has Volvo Reconciled them?* The Robinson-Patman Act is the black sheep of antitrust. Unlike the other antitrust laws, its fundamental goal is not to preserve competition in order to benefit consumers, but to limit competitive rivalry in order to (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses a lower court’s decision clarifying competitive injury and secondary price line discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Mayer Brown (New York)
Competitive Injury and Price Discrimination in the United States* In Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., the Supreme Court provided guidance on whether, under the Robinson-Patman Act, a manufacturer may offer one dealer better prices than another dealer when those (...)

The Dutch District Court of Zutphen holds in an interim judgment that the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Reg. n° 2790/99 covers the application of dissimilar terms and conditions of supply to internet retailers (Groen Trend & Schouten Keukens / AEP Home Products)
The AES Corporation
In December 2005 interim proceedings were brought before the District Court of Zutphen in a dispute between AEP Home Products (“AEP”), a supplier of kitchen appliances of the brands Atag, Etna and Pelgrim, and two of its buyers namely the internet retailer Groen Trend and the specialist shop (...)

A Dutch Court of Appeal declares a franchise agreement compatible with national competition law on the basis of the ECJ Pronuptia Case (Multicopy)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
In 1989, Multicopy (the franchisor) and the applicant (the franchisee) concluded a franchise agreement for the exploitation of a Multicopy print service establishment. This agreement was concluded for a duration of 10 years and was due to expire in October 1999. Under this agreement, the (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having engaged in vertical price agreements regarding the distribution of video cassettes for children (Disney video cassettes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Disney video cassettes for children: The Conseil de la concurrence fines the companies BVHE, Casino, Carrefour and SDO for engaging in vertical price agreements.* Following a referral from the Ministry of (...)

The Finnish competition authority states that rebates granted by pharmaceutical companies to pharmacies are unlawful on the basis of both EC and national competition provisions
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
In Finland, pharmaceutical companies very often offer to pharmacies rebates on the wholesale price of drugs. Typically, they try to attract pharmacies by granting them generous additional rebates on all their products. As such, rebates granted by a furnisher to its distributors do not raise (...)

The Danish Competition Council clears a beer standard distribution agreements in the gastronomic sector subject to commitments alleviating the exclusivity effects of the agreement on the basis of Art. 81/82 EC (Carlsberg)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 26 October 2005 the Danish Competition Council granted clearance subject to commitments to Carlsberg’s supply agreements with the gastronomic sector. The Danish Competition Authority was concerned that the degree to which Carlsberg was binding its retailers might be in conflict with Articles (...)

A Portuguese Court finds that a beer distribution agreement does not appreciably restrict competition (Sociedade Central de Cervejas / Factorfina Consultores)
London School of Economics
Centralcer - Central de Cervejas, S.A. (one of the main beer manufacturers in Portugal, hereinafter referred to as “the supplier”) signed a single-branding agreement with Factorfina Consultores Lda. (hereinafter, “the purchaser”) in 1997. In exchange for ESC 7.605.000, the purchaser agreed not to (...)

A Dutch Court considers that the statutes of a farmer association containing an exclusive supply obligation do not breach Art. 81.1 EC (VTN)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
The plaintiffs were members of the Coöperatie Voedingstuinbouw Nederland (VTN), a cooperative association of farmers in Holland. Pursuant to an exclusive supply obligation contained in VTN’s statutes, VTN’s members were compelled to sell their production of vegetables exclusively to the (...)

The European Commission fines a motor vehicle manufacturer for infringement to Article 81EC in a parallel import case (Peugeot)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Parallel import of motor vehicles: the Peugeot case"* The Peugeot decision, adopted by the Commission on 5 October 2005, imposed a fine of 49.4 million euros for breach of Article 81 EC on the motor vehicle manufacturer Automobiles Peugeot SA (‘Peugeot‘), and its subsidiary Peugeot Nederland (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that Art. 81 EC does not apply to a hairdressing franchise national network and that the provided “clause d’agrément” does not amount to a hardcore restriction (Socovi/Jean-Louis David)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background SARL SOCOVI, the franchisee, had entered into a franchising agreement with Jean Louis David SA, the franchisor, whereby the latter granted the former the right to run a franchise for the purposes of marketing hairdressing products and services. It included inter alia the right to (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds an exclusivity clause has an effect on trade between member States and may distort competition in the sport events sector (Aréna, Multimédia Light and Sound, Ticketpro)
Hogan Lovells
,
Background Aréna Üzemelteto Rt. received the right from the Hungarian State to be the controlling company of the Budapest Sports Stadium (hereinafter: the Budapest Sports Stadium). Aréna was, at the time of the investigation, an affiliate of the French Bouygues group. Multimédia Light and Sound (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority concludes that the agreements offered by the Budapest Sports Stadium are capable of distorting competition and have the potential of infringing Art. 81 EC (Arena Uzemelteto / Multimedia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
KNP Law Nagy Koppany Varga & Partners
The Budapest Sports Arena (BSA), a 12,000 seating capacity, state of the art, multifunctional sports and entertainment complex was first opened to the public in March 2003. It was built on the place of the Budapest Sports Hall, which was completely destroyed in a devastating fire five years (...)

A Polish Court overturns the NCA decision against a pharmaceutical company and its distributor for customer allocation due to lack of anticompetitive effects on the market (Johnson & Johnson - Hurtofarm)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
Background The Polish Competition and Consumers’ Protection Court (“Sad Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów”) on September 5, 2005 issued a decision on the appeal lodged by Johnson & Johnson Poland and Hurtofarm against the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The French Competition Authority validates practices in the taximeter sector on the basis of both EC and French competition laws
AdVolis (Paris)
Conseil de la concurrence,Decision n° 05-D-48, 28 July 2005, concerning practices applied by ATA in the taximeter sector On 21 November 1996, the Competition Council had been asked by several French and foreign companies (the latter being represented by their respective exclusive distributor in (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the action against the NCA’s interim measures fining € 3 M price fixing in the framework of “non-genuine” agency agreements (Repsol)
London School of Economics
On 11 July 2001, the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (hereinafter, “the NCA”) adopted a decision (“resolución”) in which it found that Repsol, S.A. (now Repsol YPF, S.A., hereinafter referred to as “Repsol”) acted in breach of Article 1(1) of the Spanish Competition Act. More precisely, the NCA (...)

A Spanish Court considers a distribution contract to be a “genuine” agency agreement therefore not caught by Art. 81.1 EC (Rutamur / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Rutamur, S.A.(“Rutamur”) concluded in December 1988 an agency agreement concerning the distribution of oil products. The latter operated from premises hired to it by Campsa. The commission was set by reference to the (...)

A Belgian Court holds that a provision requesting feedback on resale prices does not constitute resale price maintenance (IDH Diamonds / Billiton Diamonds)
Leuven University
Description of the impugned case This case involved two undertakings active in the diamond industry, IDH Diamonds NV (‘IDH’) and BHP Billiton Diamonds Belgium NV (‘BHP’). In 1997 they had entered into an agreement under which IDH would become a ‘regular client’ of BHP, whose customers for diamonds (...)

The Spanish Competition Court holds that car manufacturers with a market share below 30% may freely choose the members of their distribution or repair and maintenance network (Citröen)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Background The Agrupación de Agentes y Servicios Oficiales Citröen de Cataluña (hereinafter, “the ASOCC”), an association of the repair shops integrated in the repair and maintenance services’ network of Citröen in the region of Cataluña, lodged on 1 October 2003 a complaint before the Spanish (...)

The Court of Appeal of Brussels confirms the conformity with Art. 81 EC of an exclusive beverages supply agreement (Emond / Brasserie Haacht)
BDGS Associés (Paris)
In a decision dated of 23 June 2005, the Court of Appeal of Brussels confirmed the conformity of a supply agreement of beverages with the Article 81 of the EC treaty. The facts leading to this decision were the following. On 24 June 1993, M. Emond signed a supply agreement with the brewery (...)

The Brussels Court of appeal issues a preliminary ruling on the successive application of EC Reg. N° 1984/83 and N° 2790/1999 on the application of Art. 81.3 EC to vertical agreements and concerted practices and rules on the de minimis doctrine (Brasserie Haacht)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Notre Europe
This is a judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal responding to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Court d’appel de Liège ("Court of Appeal of Liège"), on the application of Article 81 EC and vertical block exemption regulations to a beer supply agreement setting up an exclusive (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a company and its distribution network for anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position in the dog food market (Royal Canin)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position in the dog food market: The Conseil de la concurrence fines Royal Canin and distribution network a total of 5,000,000 Euros.* Following a referral (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading issues a draft opinion indicating that exclusive newspaper distribution arrangements granting absolute territorial protection are compatible with UK and EC competition law ("Distribution arrangements between newspaper and magazine publishers and wholesalers")
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
King’s College (London)
In order to ensure consistency with the EC regime, the UK system for notification of agreements under the Competition Act 1998 (the CA) was abolished on 1 May 2004. The OFT does not therefore accept notifications for decision or guidance under the Act. The OFT, however, continues to offer a (...)

A French Court condemns an undertaking to repair the damage suffered by an authorised dealer of a selective distribution network (LCJ Diffusion / La Roche Posay)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Notre Europe
This is a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris applying Article 81 EC which has been transmitted to the European Commission by virtue of Article 15(2) of Regulation n° 1/2003 and has been published on DG Competition’s website (See also on this case, C. Mai-Doremus and J. Philippe, The Paris (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court finds a distribution agreement to be null and void and decides that the claimant is not entitled to recover the sums paid by virtue of a contract (Aloyas / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”) and Estación de Servicio Aloyas, S.L., S.A. (“Aloyas”) concluded on 14 March 1995 a 10-year contract concerning the distribution of oil products. The parties agreed that the contract was an agency one. The term “agent” was even (...)

A Portuguese court states that a beer distribution agreement does not appreciably restrict competition on the basis of Art. 81 EC and inflicts a fine of € 77,715 (Centralcer/Nascimento)
London School of Economics
Centralcer - Central de Cervejas, S.A. (one of the main beer manufacturers in Portugal, hereinafter referred to as ‘the supplier’) signed in 1997 a single-branding agreement with Carmo José Augusto Nascimento (hereinafter, ‘the purchaser’). It was agreed between the parties that the contract would (...)

A Dutch Court hearing an application for interim relief declares a selective distribution agreement contrary to Art. 81.1 EC and void (Polar/Walstock)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Polar is a producer of a range of heart rate monitors and had, for many years,in accordance with an oral distribution agreement, been supplying Walstock, a retailer of sport products. Polar decided, however, to change its distribution policy by distinguishing several range of heart rate (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority states that the Code of Best Practices notified by three associations in the electric goods sector does not qualify for an individual exemption (AGEFE - ANIMEE - APETCE)
London School of Economics
Autoridade da Concorrência, Decision Código de Boas-Práticas para a distribuição de Material Eléctrico, Press release n° 3/2005, 29 March 2005 The case at hand involves three associations: the Associação Portuguese dos Grossistas de Material Eléctrico, Electrónico, Electrodoméstico, Fotográfico e de (...)

The Czech Competition office states that a contractor’s undertaking not to supply to another purchaser for better prices is an anticompetitive agreement (Èeský Telecom/Joyce - Lucent)
Government of the Czech Republic
The Office for the protection of competition of the Czech Republic confirmed on March 25, 2005 its earlier first instance decision, in which it has found that the agreements concluded by Èeský Telecom with two suppliers of ADSL modems represent a prohibited price fixing agreement as they bind the (...)

A Spanish Tribunal finds that a distribution agreement may not be a ’genuine’ agency agreement and thus may fall within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC (Gebe / BP Oil España)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Gebe, S.L. (“Gebe”) concluded in July 1988 an agreement concerning the distribution of oil products. The latter operated from premises hired to him by Campsa. The agency agreement included a non-compete obligation and (...)

A Dutch Court refuses to accord to a selective distribution system the benefit of the EC vertical restraint block exemption Regulation (Batavus)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Government of Albania
Gerechtshof Leeuwarden, 2 march 2005, Batavus BV Batavus B.V., a bicycle producer, had, for thirty years, a commercial relationship with a retailer, the respondent in the present case, which sold Batavus’ brand bikes. In 2001, Batavus ceased to supply this retailer, which then turned to (...)

The French Competition Council makes a rigorous analysis of the criteria of effect on trade between Member States and a broad application of the notion of agreement under Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Browning Winchester)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Browning Winchester France (”BW”), a manufacturer of guns and ammunitions, had set up a distribution network in France by entering into “pilot resellers’ agreements” with several gunsmiths. Pursuant to these agreements signed between 1997 and 2001, the gunsmiths undertook to order minimum volumes (...)

The Polish Office for Competition fines a book publisher and distributors for entering into an anti-competitive price fixing agreement (Harry Potter)
Gajek i Wspólnicy. Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni sp.k.
,
Sulima Grabowska Sierzputowska
In November 2004, Harbor Point - the sole owner of the ‘Harry Potter’ publishing rights for Poland - and several wholesale books distributors agreed in a meeting on certain sales conditions. An agreement was later signed between the parties whereby they decided to sell ‘Harry Potter’ books for a (...)

A Spanish Court dismisses the appeal seeking to qualify an agency agreement as a resale agreement (Melón - E.S. Zarza / Repsol)
London School of Economics
On 2 January 2003, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia n° 74 de Madrid dismissed an action brought by Melón, S.A. (“Melón”) and E.S. Zarza, S.L. (“Zarza”), two undertakings active in the distribution of oil products, against Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (“Repsol”), an undertaking (...)

A Dutch Court declares a franchise agreement void because of a clause allowing the franchisor to impose a maximum price for promotional purposes (Market Food Group - “Bakkerijt Stoepje")
European Commission - DG HR
Market Food Group B.V. (hereafter “MFG”) is active in bakery products. It has developed a franchising network under the brand “Bakkerij ‘t Stoepje” for open air markets stands in The Netherlands. The franchise agreement contains inter alia the following clauses: The franchisee shall exclusively (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the appeal brought by two undertakings active in the distribution of oil products and considers the case-law of the ECJ as being a non-binding “reference” of “great value” (L’Andana)
London School of Economics
On 25 March 1996, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Valencia dismissed an action brought by L’Andana, S.A. and Estación de Servicion L’Andana, S.L. (both referred to hereinafter as “L’Andana”) against Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (“Repsol”). The claimants contended that the series (...)

A Dutch Court considers that although the licensor could not compel the licensee to comply with contractual provisions that were void by virtue of Art. 81 EC, the licensor was however not precluded from terminating the agreement according to the terms of the latter (Dekker / Sunfield)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Gerechtshof ’s Gravenhage, 16 December 2004, Cases 03/1647, 04/87, 04/1033 Dekker is active in the market for the improvement of chrysanthemum species and owns the cultivation rights of certain species. Its market share is estimated at 25% of the Dutch market. Sunfield is active in the breeding (...)

A Belgian Appeal Court holds valid a resale price maintenance provision taking into consideration lack of evidence that the agreement restricted the national market or a substantial part of it (Incanto / Livoque)
Leuven University
Description of the impugned case On 20 September 2004, the Antwerp Court of Appeal (‘the Court’) rendered its decision on the compatibility of a franchising agreement with the Belgian competition rules. The franchisor, Incanto BVBA, is active in the sector of jewellery and accessories and has (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens upholds a decision of the Competition Authority condemning the two major national airlines for concerted practice (Olympic Airways/Aegean Airlines)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the common conduct from the two major Greek airlines (100% of the internal market) to travel agencies during 2001 and 2002. This behaviour has been condemned by the Greek Competition Authority (Hellenic Competition Commission, thereafter HCC) in 2003 (Decision 249/III/2003). (...)

The Spanish Competition authorities condemns a price fixing agreement imposed to a reseller in the large retail distribution sector (Mondariz/EKO-AMA)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, Case 578/04, EKO-AMA / MONDARIZ, 2 November 2004 Background The producer of bottled water Mondariz supplied EKO-AMA (a central purchase company that also operates supermarkets with bottles of water, fixing minimum resale prices for bottles of 1,5L (since (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the state of competition in the non-specialist large-scale retail sector (UFC Que Choisir)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Rise in "back margins" paid to large-scale retailers, inflation and competition: In an opinion handed down to the consumers association UFC-Que Choisir on 18th October 2004, the Conseil de la concurrence (...)

A Belgian Court of Appeal rules that the obligation to obtain the supplier’s approval of advertisement campaigns in a selective distribution relationship does not constitute an indirect resale price maintenance clause (Chanel a.o./ Makro)
Johnson & Johnson (Brussels)
Description of the impugned case In Belgium, as in other countries, the Chanel cosmetic products and perfumes are distributed through a selective distribution network. The selective distribution agreements used in this regard, were notified to the European Commission and the Belgian (...)

A Spanish Court refuses to qualify a contract as a resale agreement and holds that the qualification given by “administrative bodies” to similar agreements is not binding upon national courts (Melón / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de productos petrolíferos S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”), supplied oil products to Melón S.A. (hereinafter, “Melón”), pursuant to an agency agreement signed between the parties. Considering that it was not a “genuine” agency agreement and that Commission Regulation (EC) n° 2790/1999, of (...)

The Portuguese competition authority adopts an exemption decision under national competition law for an exclusive distribution agreement (Central de Cervejas)
London School of Economics
Autoridade da Concorrência, Decision SCC - Central de Cervejas, S.A., 28 june 2004 SCC - Central de Cervejas, S.A. (hereinafter, “SCC”) is a Portuguese undertaking whose main activity is the manufacturing and marketing of beer, soft drinks and mineral waters. In order to obtain a negative (...)

The German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf holds that hardcore restrictions are not per se appreciable if the relevant market share is below 1% (Tschechisches Bier)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 23 June 2004, the German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on the compatibility with EC law of a contract concerning an exclusive right to import Czech beer into Germany . Facts The plaintiff used to be the sole importer and authorised dealer in Germany for Budweiser (...)

The Spanish Audiencia Provincial de Madrid refuses to submit a preliminary reference to the ECJ considering that this would only be relevant if the agreements at stake were deemed to be agency ones (Ahigal and Melón/Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, ‘Campsa’) concluded an agency agreement concerning the distribution of oil products with two companies, Ahigal, S.A. (“Ahigal”) and Melón, S.A. (“Melón”). In 2003, Ahigal and Melón decided to bring an action against Repsol Comercial de (...)

A Spanish Court declares null and void on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC a “non-genuine” agency agreement involving price-fixing and concluded for a period exceeding 10 years (Clau/Cepsa)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Clau, S.A. “Clau”) concluded in December 1988 a series of agreements concerning the distribution of oil products. Clau decided to grant a “droit de surface” (“derecho de superficie”) of a piece of land it owns so that (...)

A Spanish jurisdiction holds that the application of EC law would only be pertinent in case the agreements are deemed “non-genuine” agency ones (La Safor/Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Automoción y Servicion La Safor, S.L. (“La Safor”) concluded in March 1990 a number of contracts related to the distribution of oil products. The contractual relationship included an agency agreement as well as a (...)

A Spanish Court annuls a judgment rendered in first instance on qualification of a so-called agency agreement in the oil products distribution sector (Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Caminas, S.A. (“Caminas”) concluded in July 1981, November 1981 and July 1989 several agreements related to the exploitation of a gas station (“the agreements”) by the latter. Caminas brought an action for annulment (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority does not find RPM in the automobile sector to be anti-competitive due to low market shares of seller (MB-Autó)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The agreements by MB-Autó (the importer of Mercedes-Benz type motor vehicles in Hungary) with its dealers / distributors contained a clause whereby the delaers / distributors were obliged to request the written approval of MB-Autó to discounts provided to their (...)

The English High Court ruled on the applicability of a national doctrine in circumstances where it has previously been held that, in principle, the issue falls within the scope of Art. 81 EC (Days Medical Aids/Pihsiang Wu)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Facts of the case Days Medical Aids Ltd (“DMA”) carried on business as, inter alia, an importer of wheelchairs and scooters designed to assist people with mobility problems. Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Co Ltd (“PMM”) exported substantial numbers of scooters worldwide. In 1996, DMA and PMM (...)

The European Commission exempts vertical restraints in the Nordic pay-TV Sector (Telenor/Canal+/Canal Digital)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
"Commission exempts vertical restraints in the Nordic pay-TV Sector: Telenor/Canal+/Canal Digital"* Introduction After a fundamental restructuring of the Spanish and Italian pay-TV markets, also the Nordic pay-TV sector has undergone major changes in recent times, albeit in a different (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that RPM in agency agreements does not infringe competition law (Westel Mobil)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The supplier (Westel Mobil, a mobile telecommunications service provider), concluded agreements on the marketing and sale of mobile telecommunications services and discounted cell phones with different dealers; the agreements contained RPM clauses. The HCO (...)