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Access to file

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission proposes new rules to enable national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules
European Commission - DG COMP
Antitrust: Commission proposal to make national competition authorities even more effective enforcers for the benefit of jobs and growth* The European Commission has proposed new rules to enable Member States’ competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that Member States cannot block claims for compensation by victims of umbrella pricing caused by the presence of a cartel on the market for elevators (Kone)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case C-557/12 Kone AG: Cartels, damages and “umbrella pricing”* The Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-557/12 Kone AG and Others v ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is an important landmark in reinforcing the efficacy of EU antitrust law. The Court holds that Member States cannot block claims for (...)

The Romanian Competition sanctions a large number of electric and electronic producers for participating in a cartel during buy-back campaigns for electric and electronic equipment (Arctic, Electrolux, Agis Computer...)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) published in June 2014 a set of decisions concerning an alleged cartel on the market for the commercialization of electrical and electronic equipment (“EEE”) and the market for waste management of EEE ("RCC Investigation"). The RCC (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court regards the disclosure of leniency applicants’ documents as not violating fundamental constitutional rights in the cartel damages proceedings (Aufzugskartell)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. The Facts Following the European Commission’s decision to impose fines against a group of lift and escalator manufacturers for violating EU antitrust rules in February 2007 (COMP/38.823), several building contractors initiated civil damages claims before the Regional Court of Berlin at the (...)

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 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 (...)

An Advocate General of the ECJ postulates that the EU principle of effectiveness precludes a provision of national law which makes the grant of access to documents by a national court subject to the consent of the antitrust infringers (Donau Chemie)
Matrix Chambers
Pfleiderer revisited: the AG Opinion in Donau Chemie* On 7 February, AG Jääskinen issued his Opinion in Case C-536/11 Donau Chemie, a much anticipated case (at least among competition lawyers) concerning the compatibility with EU law of an Austrian law which prohibits third party access to the (...)

The Paris Commercial Court authorises production of documents contained in cartel case file in support of an action for damages (Primagaz, Butagaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 April 2012, the Paris Commercial Court handed down a preliminary judgment, before ruling on the merits of the case, authorising a plaintiff, namely Primagaz, to produce certain documents contained in the French Competition Authority’s case file in support of an action for damages (...)

The English High Court rules in favour of partial disclosure of documents in an action for damages allegedly caused by the gas insulated switchgear cartel (National Grid Electricity)
Matrix Chambers
National Grid – shining Pfleiderer’s light on access to EU leniency documents* A while ago I blogged on an important development in the General Court relating to the ability of victims of cartels and other anti-competitive practices to get their hands on relevant evidence enabling them to prove (...)

The Spanish CNC fines company in the ferry transportation for obstruction to a surprise inspection (Transmediterranea)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
NCC has imposed a heavy fine for conduct by members of inspected company Transmediterranea allegedly obstructing a surprise inspection at company premises. Although it is not the first time the NCC fines a company for obstruction in the framework of dawn raids, the facts of this case look (...)

The French Competition Authority contributes to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on private enforcement
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence (French National Competition Authority) contributes to the public consultation launched by the European Commission*. Like some other NCAs (national competition authorities) in (...)

The French Court of Cassation rules that non-contestation of the objections by certain parties limits others’ defence to non-participation in the infringement (Manpower / Adecco / Adia / Randstad)
Vogel & Vogel
The Paris Court of Appeal had ruled against the world’s leading temporary employment agencies for a price cartel concerning their major clients. The Court of Cassation has delivered a most informative decision of rejection in respect of all the appeals – essentially procedural - against 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 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 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 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 fines 11 French banks € 384.9 M for unjustified interbank fees during the transition period to the new digital system for processing checks (Cartel in the banking sector)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Summary of the case The Autorité de la concurrence (the French national competition authority) issued a decision on 20 September 2010 in which it fined the Banque de France, BPCE, the Banque postale, BNP-Paribas, Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel, Crédit Agricole, Crédit du Nord, Crédit (...)

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

The Dutch Competition Authority gives access to a statement of objections to a potential damage claimant (Natrium hypochlorite market cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 December 2009, the Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) announced that a potential damage claimant had been given access to a statement of objections issued in the course of a cartel investigation in the natrium hypochlorite market which ultimately led to a € 3.1 million fine imposed on (...)

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

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

The Lisbon Commerce Court confirms a Portuguese Competition Authority decision as regards the release of a minimum and maximum fees’ table by the Portuguese Medical Association (Ordem dos Médicos)
University of Lisbon
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Abreu Advogados
On 26 May 2006 the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) fined the Portuguese Medical Association (Ordem dos Médicos) € 250.000 for imposing on its members minimum and maximum fees to be charged to their patients. The Association appealed against the decision to the Lisbon Commerce Court. The (...)

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

Dominance

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on a retailer for abuse of dominance (Auchan)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
More than 1 billion HUF fine on Auchan for abusing its significant market power* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) in its decision on 23 March 2015 imposed a total fine of 1.061.300.000 HUF (3.6 million Euro) on Auchan Magyarország Kft. for infringing Act CLXIV (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court confirms 2.7 million EUR fine for discriminatory pricing under Art. 102 national equivalent, and revolutionizes access to information for third parties (Sport TV)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
On 11 March 2015, the Lisbon Appeal Court (LAC) rejected all arguments put forward by the appellant and confirmed the judgment of the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court (CSRC) of 4 June 2014, which had, in turn, confirmed (with a reduction of the fine, from 3.7 to 2.7 million EUR) (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits the operator of factory outlet center to use radius clauses, equivalent to non-compete clauses, in its lease contracts if these extend beyond a 50 km air radius and a term of five years (VR Franconia)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits non-compete clauses imposed on tenants in factory outlet center* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited the operator of Wertheim Village Factory Outlet Center, VR Franconia GmbH, from using so-called radius clauses in its lease contracts with brand product manufacturers (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal rules that the right to have access to a file implies the right to obtain a copy of the documents in that file (Belgacom, KPN Group Belgium, Mobistar)
Ravago group
In its judgment of 29 May 2012 the Court of Appeal of Brussels decided that a party that was granted access to the procedural file of the national competition authority within the framework of an appeal procedure, should also have the right to obtain a copy of the documents that are part of (...)

The EU General Court holds that a duty to procure specific documents might be imposed on the Commission at the request of an undertaking which is the subject to an antitrust investigation under certain circumstances (Intel)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Access to documents not to be found in the Commission’s possession I. Background The Intel Cases have occupied the international arena of antitrust litigation for the past ten years and a definitive resolution has not been reached yet. The administrative proceeding initiated by the Commission (...)

Mergers

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court cancels the decision of the Regional Court which has refused a producer of lignite access to the file of a competitor in a merger control case (Litvínovská Uhelná)
Kinstellar (Prague)
Subject matter of the case On 3 August 2008, Litvínovská uhelná a.s. (“Litvínovská uhelná”), a producer of lignite and at that time a part of the Czech Coal Group (one of the major players in the Czech energy sector) filed a complaint to the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (the “Office”) (...)

The EU Court of Justice restricts access to Commission file in merger cases (Éditions Odile Jacob / Lagardère / Natexis VUP and Agrofert / PKN Orlen / Unipetrol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 June 2012, the European Court of Justice handed down two judgments on appeals by the European Commission in cases concerning the disclosure to third parties of documents relating to proceedings under the EU Merger Regulation. The first case concerns the Commission’s refusal to (...)

The US DOJ reaffirms the significance of pre-existing documents in HSR merger review (Hyosung)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
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Kirkland & Ellis (Washington)
Department of Justice to Merging Parties: Altering 4(c) Documents May Land You in Jail* A senior executive of a Korean manufacturer of Automated Teller Machines recently agreed to serve a five-month prison sentence in the United States for tampering with business documents during the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal narrows the scope for procedural challenges to a decision of the national competition authority (Canal 9/Les Indépendants)
University College London
On 1 June 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) handed down a judgment upholding the decision of the Conseil de la Concurrence (now the Autorité de la Concurrence) in the long running case La Société Canal 9 S.A.S. v Le G.I.E. Les Indépendants. The Court found that the failure of the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council grants conditional authorization for an acquisition in the broadband market (Mobistar/KPN Belgium Business)
Leuven University
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
1. Introduction On 25 March 2010, the Belgian Competition Council approved the acquisition of KPN Belgium Business NV, a subsidiary of the Dutch KPN, by Mobistar NV, part of France Télécom. The acquisition concerns on the one hand KPN’s activities on the Belgian wholesale broadband market and on (...)

The Belgian Competition Council refers the case back to the Competition Council’s Prosecutor for further investigation to assess implementation of remedies imposed following a merger in the cinema and theatre market in Belgium (Kinepolis)
Monard Law
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Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
1. The parties UGC Belgium Plc. (“UGC”) is a cinema operator that owns three sites in Belgium. Kinepolis Group Plc. (“Kinepolis”) is the leading Belgian cinema operator with eleven cinema complexes all over the country. In 2008 it held a market share of 43.83 %. Kinepolis was created in 1997 (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms the prohibition of an energy merger considering that the German market for primary sales of electricity is dominated by a duopoly (E.ON / Stadtwerke Eschwege)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
In a judgment of 11 November 2008, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) (Federal Court) upheld a previous decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court) which had itself confirmed a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) blocking E.ON’s plan to (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms the prohibition of a merger in the electricity market (E.ON / Stadtwerke Eschwege)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
The German electricity market is dominated by four vertically integrated firms: E.ON, RWE, Vattenfalland EnBW exclusively able to cover both base load and peak load demand. Regional and local retailers, often municipality owned (Stadtwerke), sell electricity to final customers or other local (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, a merger in the medical devices market giving a practical example of the use of quantitative analyses in merger control (GE/Instrumentarium)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP
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Capgemini (Washington)
"GE/Instrumentarium: a practical example of the use of quantitative analyses in merger control"* On 2 September 2003, the European Commission approved, subject to conditions, the acquisition by General Electric Medical Systems (‘GE’) of the Finnish firm Instrumentarium. The Commission was (...)

State Aids

The EU Court of Justice considers the general presumption of confidentiality and the overriding public interest (Sea Handling)
University of Milan
Right of access and State aid procedures: a look at the general presumption of confidentiality and the overriding public interest in Case C-271/15 Sea Handling v Commission* A look at the Court’s ruling of 14 July 2016 on the applicability of the general presumption of confidentiality - and the (...)

The Advocate General Kokott issues opinion on access to documents in State aid investigations (Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2009, Advocate General Kokott handed down her opinion in a case concerning the Commission’s refusal to grant access to certain documents in State aid proceedings. The Advocate General essentially agrees with the earlier judgment of the Court of First Instance which found that the (...)

The EU Court of First Instance annuls the Commission decision rejecting a complaint concerning an alleged State aid in favor of a subsidiary of the French postal services incumbent (Sytraval)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"SYTRAVAL"* In its judgment of 28 September 1995 in case T-95/94 «SYTRAVAL« v. Commission the Court of First Instance (CFI) annulled the Commission’s decision of 31 December 1993 rejecting a complaint in respect of alleged state aid in favour of «Sécuripost«, a subsidairy of the state-owned French (...)

Procedures

The Slovenian Parliament adopts an amended Competition Act implementing the EU Damages Directive into national law
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted in May 2017 the Act amending the Prevention of the Restriction of Competition Act (hereinafter referred to as the Competition Act), thus completing the process of implementing the Directive 2014/104/EU of the European (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues guidelines on business secrets protection
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
On 16 March 2017 the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the “PCA”) issued guidelines on the request to limit the right of access to the case files (full name: “Information on the manner of submitting the request to limit the right of access to the case (...)

The Administrative Court of Düsseldorf rules on right to access cartel damages proceeding file before labour court (Local transportation company)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 7 July 2016, the Administrative Court Düsseldorf (the “Court”) annulled the prior decision of the President of the Higher Labour Court Düsseldorf (the “President”) who had denied a potential cartel victim access to the file of a cartel damages proceeding before the Higher Labour (...)

The Swiss Federal Court rules on the protection of business secrets and access to files in cartel cases (Nikon)
University of St. Gallen (St Gall)
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Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Landmark judgments of Swiss Courts on the protection of business secrets and access to files in cartel cases* In two recent landmark judgements, Swiss Courts have provided important clarifications on the protection of business secrets and access to files in cartel cases. Harmful internal (...)

The EU General Court follows Court of Justice’s EnBW judgement concerning the right to access documents collected by the European Commission (Axa)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati
The Axa case On the 7th of July 2015, the Third Chamber of the General Court of the European Union, issued a judgment on the right to access documents collected by the European Commission in a proceeding applying EU competition law (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of (...)

The Italian Council of State sheds light on the scope of parties’ right of access to confidential documents held by the Competition Authority for the purpose of their defense in civil proceedings (Esso Italiana)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
Introduction By judgment n. 1585/2015 of 25 March 2015, the Italian Council of State (Consiglio di Stato, hereinafter “CoS”), upheld the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, hereinafter “ICA”) not to grant Esso Italiana S.r.l. (hereinafter (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues notice on concept and treatment of confidential information
European Commission
*Article originally published in ECN Brief 02/2015 (click here), under the title: "HCC Issues Notice on Concept and Treatment of Confidential Information". Please note that the ECN is not the actual author of this article and that the articles published in the ECN Brief are subject to a (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues a Notice on the treatment of confidential information of cases and on the submission of the non-confidential version of documents
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Commission Notice on the treatment of confidential information of cases and on the submission of the non-confidential version of documents* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has issued a Notice on the meaning and treatment of confidential information of cases falling within the ambit (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal orders to Competition Commission of India to follow due process by ensuring neutrality and fairness in adjudication and raising the bar for standard of proof (Board of Control for Cricket in India / CCI)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Introduction The role of procedural justice and it’s value in shaping antitrust jurisprudence in India has never felt stronger than now. Due process has evolved as the most contemporary buzzword in the story of antitrust enforcement in India. Many of notable orders passed by the Competition (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court in competition matters holds that Article 39(2) of the Austrian Competition Act requiring the main parties’ consent to third parties’ request for access to file does not apply in proceedings related to infringements of national competition rules (Europay Austria II)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
1. Introduction and background By two judgments of 28 November 2014 in Cases 16 Ok 9/14f and 16 Ok 10/14b, the Austrian Supreme Court in competition matters (Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) rejected the appeals brought by Europay Austria GmbH against two (...)

The UK High Court of Justice orders the disclosure of a four-years old unpublished decision of the European Commission to a confidentiality ring of claimants and defendants (Emerald Supplies)
Blackstone Chambers
High Court tests the limits of confidentiality in EC infringement decisions* The European Commission came in for some stern criticism from the High Court this week, in a case which looks set to test the boundaries of confidentiality in EC infringement decisions: see Emerald Supplies v BA (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal issues a ruling on the communication by the Competition Authority of documents gathered before victims of alleged anticompetitive practices bring private enforcement claims (DKT)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a decision dated September 24, 2014, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) issuing a ruling on the communication by the French Competition Authority (FCA) of documents held in its own file to a civil court before which a victim of alleged anticompetitive practices had brought a private (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rules in favour of applicants seeking disclosure of documents from the Competition and Markets Authority case file concerning completed investigations (HCA)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
Introduction In a judgment published in July 2014, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the CAT) ruled in favour of applicants seeking disclosure of documents from the Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA) case file concerning completed investigations. The judgment arose in connection with (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that national provisions on civil liability for loss caused by a cartel shall include compensation for loss resulting from price setting above the level expected in competitive conditions by a non-party to the cartel (Kone / ÖBB-Infrastruktur)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
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University of Bristol - Law School
When the CJEU opens the umbrella, lawyers and economists get ready for a warm shower of damages claims (C-557/12)* In its Judgment in Kone, C-557/12, EU:C:2014:917, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has followed the highly controversial proposal of AG Kokott (see my criticism (...)

The Argentinian Commission for the Defense of Competition launches an investigation on the food, cleaning and clothing and related consumer goods in large superficies, raw material and other supplies for the industries, construction materials and related supplies for the construction industry, pharmaceuticals and health service markets
De Dios & Goyena
The National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC), as the acting administrative agency in charge of competition matters in Argentina, has initiated certain market investigations during the last month of February . As we have reported in previous instances, the Argentine Government (...)

The EU General Court paves the way for publishing of non-protected hardcore cartels’ related information (Reagens)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Factual Background of Judgment of the General Court, T-181/10, Reagens / Commission (hereinafter the “judgment”) By Decision C(2009) 8682 final of 11 November 2009 (Case COMP/38589 – Heat stabilisers), the Commission found that a number of undertakings, including Reagens SpA had infringed Article (...)

The EU Institutions reach compromise on EU Directive on private damage actions
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
EU Institutions Reach Compromise on EU Directive on Private Damage Actions* On March 18, 2014, representatives of the European Commission (the Commission), the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a compromise in relation to key provisions of the proposed EU (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court dismisses an appeal by a company subject to a cartel investigation against an earlier decision by the Austrian Cartel Court
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision recently published on 6 March 2014, the Austrian Supreme Court (Supreme Court) dismissed an appeal by a company subject to a cartel investigation against an earlier decision by the Austrian Cartel Court to allow Austria’s Federal Competition Authority (BWB) access to copies of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice conditionates the access upon proof of the utter dependence on disclosure of the documents contained by the file (EnBW)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Access to information as a procedural right of a cartel victim as recognized by EU law* The judgement in Commission v EnBW (C-365/12, 27 February 2014) has already awakened a lot of interest. The facts are very simple. EnBW, an energy-distribution company requires access to the cartel file (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s refusal to give damages claimants access to its cartel case files (EnBW)
Sullivan & Cromwell (London)
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Sullivan & Cromwell (London)
The EU Transparency Regulation has been afflicted by the law of unintended consequences. It aims to provide a legal framework for the granting of public access to the EU institutions’ documents so that EU decisions “are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen” . (...)

The EU Court of Justice gives a clear indication that sufficiently substantiated requests for access to documents from cartel victims are a matter of public interest (EnBW)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
On 9 November 2007, Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (“EnBW”) sought from the European Commission (“Commission”), on the basis of Regulation No 1049/2001 (the “Regulation”), access to all documents in the file relating to the proceeding that led to the adoption of the Gas insulated switchgear decision (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice recognizes that information which became known to lawyers in the process of acquiring new clients may be subject to the right to refuse testimony
Commeo
In its decision of 18 February 2014, the Federal Court of Justice (the “Court”) considered the right to refuse testimony to apply to any information which became known to a lawyer in the course of two telephone calls he made for the purpose of the acquisition of a new client. As a consequence, (...)

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

The Higher Regional Court of Hamm approves access to a criminal file containing a leniency application and the confidential version of a Commission’s fining decision to a civil court reviewing a damage claim against members of a cartel
Commeo
In its decision of 26 November 2013 , the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (“the Court”) had to decide whether a criminal investigation file including a leniency application submitted by a cartelist and parts of the confidential version of the European Commission’s fining decision could be disclosed (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on the communication by the Competition Authority of documents held in its own file to a civil court before which a victim of alleged anticompetitive practices had brought a private enforcement claim (Ma liste de courses)
Magenta (Paris)
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Dechert (Paris)
In its judgment dated November 20, 2013, the Paris Court of appeal (the Court of Appeal) ruled on the communication by the French Competition Authority (the FCA) of documents held in its own file to a civil court before which a victim of alleged anticompetitive practices had brought a private (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the appeal against the decision made by the Commission to refuse access to a document in its investigation of the merger between two leading stock exchanges (Beninca)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts On 3 April 2012, based on the Regulation No 1049/ 2001 (hereafter "the Regulation"), Mr Jürgen Beninca (hereafter “the applicant”) called the European Commission to grant him access to a memorandum of the Head of the unit responsible for competition matters of the Directorate-General (...)

The English Court of Appeal requires French defendants to comply with disclosure orders despite the French "blocking statute" (Secretary of State for Health / Servier Laboratories)
White & Case (London)
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JPTT & Partners
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White & Case (London)
The existence in several countries of “blocking statutes”, which prohibit the provision of economic information to foreign authorities or courts (or require prior authorization to be obtained before doing so), present a challenge to those managing international litigation and (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rules on the balance between protecting confidentiality and assuring procedural fairness (BMI Healthcare)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
The UK Competition Commission, in its final months before being absorbed into the new Competition and Markets Authority, has had a procedural decision overruled by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (Britain’s specialist judicial body that oversees decisions by the competition authorities). In the (...)

The UK CAT rules on the matter of confidentiality and procedural fairness, deciding that a data room procedure was so restrictive as to be unfair (BMI Healthcare)
Blackstone Chambers
Cats, bags, rings and rooms: the problem of confidentiality* Dealing with confidential information in competition cases can be tricky. The CAT’s recent judgment in BMI Healthcare and others v Competition Commission [2013] CAT 241 provides some help. The core problem of confidentiality in the (...)

The UK CAT rules that use of data rooms is lawful in market investigations, but criticises restrictive access conditions (BMI Healthcare I)
St John’s Chambers
Competition Appeal Tribunal rules that use of data rooms is lawful in market investigations, but criticises restrictive access conditions* In competition investigations, competition authorities receive substantial amounts of confidential business information, some of which will be commercially (...)

The EFTA Court establishes that not issuing a timely decision in relation to an application for access to antitrust documents constitutes a serious breach of law (DB Schenker/ESA II)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Background The present case concerns a combined set of two actions lodged by DB Schenker against ESA on 9 July 2012: an action for failure to act under Article 37 SCA and an action for non-contractual liability based on Article 46 SCA. At the origin of the present litigation we can find the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal asks the Supreme Court to rule on scope of review in competition cases (Base Company, Belgacom, Mobistar)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a judgment of 28 June 2013, the Brussels Court of Appeal requested a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Court to clarify the notion of “full jurisdictional power” (volle rechtsmacht/pouvoir de pleine jurisdiction). This concept defines the scope of review of the Courts of Appeal in many (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau releases action plan on transparency
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the commissioner of competition in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, released its Action Plan on Transparency (the “Plan”) on 28 May 2013. According to the (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court renders two rulings dealing with access of complainants to files in competition proceedings (Asiana v Student Agency and Litvinovska uhelna cases)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
Just few days apart in March 2013 (on 20 March and 28 March 2013), the Supreme Administrative Court rendered two rulings which deal with access of complainants to files regarding competition proceedings to which they were not direct participants. In the first case, the Supreme Administrative (...)

The EU General Court refuses access asked by a whistleblower in the European Commission consumer detergent cartel to leniency documents submitted by co cartellists to defend itself in a related national authority case (Henkel)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
The pitfalls associated with a co cartellist seeking leniency documents submitted in a European Commission case to defend itself in a related national authority case. In brief Henkel, the whistleblower in the European Commission consumer detergent cartel, has failed in its attempt to use the (...)

The Maltese Competition and Consumer Appeals Tribunal upholds NCA’s request not to exhibit documents obtained in the course of its investigations which were not used for rejecting the complaint (The Hon. Joe Mizzi)
In terms of Article 13A of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta, hereinafter referred to as ’MCA’), the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ’Director’) applied to the Competition and Consumer Affairs Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as ’Tribunal’), (...)

The Maltese Competition and Consumer Appeal Tribunal rules on access to file by complainant (Hon. Mizzi)
European Commission
Malta: The Competition and Consumer Appeal Tribunal rules on Access to File by Complainant* On 27 February 2013, in Hon. Mizzi vs Office for Competition, the Competition and Consumer Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunal) reached a decision in parte clarifying the extent to which information (...)

The EFTA Court annuls the ESA decision that denied the access to documents required by applicants in its quality of prospective claimant for damages (DB Schenker)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The applicants in the present case, collectively named ‘DB Schenker‘ have argued successfully for the annulment of the decision from 16 August 2011 adopted by EFTA Surveillance Authority (hereinafter ‘ESA’). Schenker Privpak AS and Schenker Privpak AB are limited liability (...)

The Spanish National Court annuls the CNC decision to incorporate evidence gathered at the inspection to the case file of a new investigation powers of investigation (Montesa Honda)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
,
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
,
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
On December 4, 2012, the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) annulled the decision of the Spanish competition authority (formerly called Comisión Nacional de la Competencia or “CNC”, now called Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y de la Competencia or “CNMC”) to incorporate evidence gathered (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf denies third-party access to leniency applications in court proceedings (Coffee roasters)
European Commission
Germany: The Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf denies third-party Access to Leniency Applications in Court Proceedings* On 22 August 2012, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf issued a decision rejecting a third-party claim for access to leniency applications made to the Bundeskartellamt (...)

The UK OFT welcomes the proposals for reforms in private enforcement of competition law advanced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills
Blackstone Chambers
OFT welcomes DBIS proposals for reforms in private enforcement of competition law* Many readers will now be familiar with the proposals for the reform of private competition claims launched by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (‘DBIS’) in April 2012 (‘Private actions in (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal clarifies scope of litigation privilege in Office of Fair Trading investigations (Tesco)
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Jones Day (London)
The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") has ruled that litigation privilege attaches to documents of parties being investigated, even when created before the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") takes a formal infringement decision. The CAT confirmed that, once the OFT has issued a Statement of (...)

An Italian administrative Court clarifies the boundaries of third parties’ right to access the file in antitrust matters (Alitalia)
Gatti Pavesi Bianchi
With its judgment of February 2, 2012, the Tribunale Amministrativo del Lazio (i.e. the lower Italian administrative Court which adjudicates appeals against decisions issued by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, «IAA«) clarified the boundaries of third parties’ right to access (...)

The EU General Court considers the right of public access to documents in the context of cartel damages actions (CDC Hydrogene Peroxide)
Matrix Chambers
Access to documents under Reg 1049/2001 and private enforcement of EU competition law – the CDC Hydrogene Peroxide judgment* As usual, the EU Courts handed down judgment in a number of cases shortly before Christmas. EUtopia law will be posting blogs on one or two of them in the days and weeks (...)

The EU General Court grants access by a private antitrust plaintiff to the Commission’s files in cartel proceedings (CDC Hydrogene Peroxide)
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
,
Jones Day
The General Court of the European Union (General Court) has annulled a decision by the EU Commission (EC) that denied access by a private plaintiff to the EC’s files in cartel proceedings (Case T 437/08 – CDC Hydrogene Peroxide vs European Commission). The plaintiff requested access to those (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds FTC subpoena in investigation into bundling and exclusionary practices (Church & Dwight Co.)
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a district court decision enforcing the Federal Trade Commission’s administrative subpoena and civil investigative demand in an ongoing FTC investigation. The December 13, 2011, opinion is noteworthy (...)

The Paris Commercial Court allows the production of documents that are necessary for the rights of defence (Outremer Telecom, Orange Caraïbe, France Télécom)
Background On 9 December 2009 the French Competition Authority fined Orange Caraïbe and France Telecom in the amount of EUR 63 million for having abused their dominant position on the market of mobile telephony or fixed telephony in French Caribbean. This decision was partially overturned from (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls fines imposed on Belgian chemicals company for anticompetitive conduct due to a breach of essential procedural requirements (Solvay)
University of Berkeley
European Court of Justice annuls antitrust fines due to a breach of essential procedural requirements* On October 25th, 2011 the European Court of Justice annulled antitrust fines that were imposed on the company Solvay by the European Commission in the year 2000 (and approved by European (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court brings a preliminary ruling before the European Court of Justice on the question of access to cartel files by third parties adversely affected by a cartel (Printing chemical producers)
Saxinger Chalupsky & Partners (Brussels)
In 2010, several printing chemical producers were fined by the Austrian Cartel Court for their participation in a printing chemicals cartel in Austria. The investigation was initiated due to a leniency application by one of the cartel members. After the conclusion of the procedure, an (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls a General Court judgment concerning access to documents (Sweden v MyTravel and Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 21 July 2011, the European Court of Justice annulled a judgment of the General Court, which upheld a decision by the European Commission refusing access to certain documents in the Airtours/First Choicecase file. In 1999, Airtours launched a bid to acquire First Choice, a (...)

The English High Court grants disclosure of documents obtained by access to the Commission’s file in a follow-on damages action in the switchgear cartel (Gas Insulated Switchgear - GIS)
In its judgment of 4 July 2011 the English High Court of Justice granted the application for disclosure of documents obtained by access to the Commission’s file in a follow-on damages action for breach of Article 101 TFEU in the Gas Insulated Switchgear (“GIS”) cartel. However, considering the (...)

The EU Competition Commissioner Almunia proposes changes to the Commission’s procedural practice in antitrust investigations
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2011, Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia announced a number of modifications he intends to introduce to the procedural rules governing antitrust proceedings before the Commission. The contemplated modifications concern DG Competition’s procedural Best Practices and the revision of (...)

The Belgian Competition Council dismisses a claim from the Prosecutor concerning a coordinated price increase due to the non-respect of the rights of the defence (Ferrero)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
,
1. The Parties The present procedure was launched at the initiative of the Competition Prosecutor who opened an office instruction after having detected serious indications of concerted practices in the food industry. The following companies are targeted: Ferrero SA (hereinafter: Ferrero), (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines mobile network operator € 33 M for obstructing investigation during a dawn raid (Polkomtel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 February 2011, the Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) imposed a € 33 million fine on mobile network operator Polkomtel for obstructing an antitrust investigation. Polkomtel was condemned for delaying the inspection of its offices by UOKiK’s investigators and for refusing to hand over (...)

The EU General Court dismisses a leading low cost airline’s action for annulment of decisions rejecting access to documents (Ryanair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 December 2010, the General Court rejected a series of claims for annulment brought by Ryanair against implied decisions of the Commission refusing access to documents relating to State aids allegedly granted to Ryanair by several airports. Ryanair sought mainly access to the complaints (...)

A US District Court applies broad standard to enforce FTC subpoena (Church & Dwight)
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day
In a rare court decision on the enforceability of agency subpoenas, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (« FTC ») is entitled to receive documents from the Canadian subsidiary of Church & Dwight Co. (« C&D ») relating to the sale (...)

A US District Court admits the confidentiality of document emanating from the European Commission’s investigation (Visa, MasterCard)
European Commission
European Commission: Recent Developments on Discovery following Amicus Curiae On 27 August 2010, the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York, Judge John Gleeson, on appeal issued an order whereby access by the plaintiffs to a Statement of Objections and to a transcript of an Oral (...)

The European Ombudsman clears Commission’s refusal to grant access to preliminary assessment in a commitment case (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 May 2008, the Commission adopted a preliminary assessment within the meaning of Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 concerning alleged abusive practices by E.ON and its subsidiaries on the German electricity wholesale and balancing markets. On 27 May 2008, E.ON submitted commitments with a view (...)

The European Commission rejects legal privilege protection for correspondence between outside counsel of opposing companies (Servier, Teva)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission has recently published the non-confidential version of a decision adopted on 23 July 2010 regarding a claim by a pharmaceutical company, Les Laboratoires Servier, and its parent company Servier SAS (“Servier”), that a document seized during an unannounced inspection in (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission decision refusing third party access to a merger case file (Agrofert Holding v Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 July 2010, the General Court issued a judgment on an appeal by Agrofert Holding against a decision by the European Commission refusing to disclose documents in its PKN Orlen/Unipetrolmerger case file. On 20 April 2005, the Commission approved the acquisition of Unipetrol, a Czech oil (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court holds that records from competition proceedings cannot be withheld from the public prosecutor in a following criminal proceeding on the grounds of protecting trade secrets pursuant to the anti-cartel Act (Elevator cartel case)
Salzburg University
Background: Following on from the elevator cartel case («Aufzugskartell»), in which the involved undertakings were fined 25 million Euros for breaching Art 81 ECT (Art 101 TFEU), the public prosecutor («Staatsanwaltschaft Wien») brought proceedings against a number of involved persons pursuant to (...)

The EU General Court overturns Commission’s refusal to grant third party access to documents in merger control case file (Editions Odile Jacob)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 9 June 2010, the General Court annulled a decision by the European Commission refusing to disclose to Editions Odile Jacob certain documents of the Commission’s Lagardère/Natexis/VUPmerger proceedings case file. In the Lagardère/Natexis/VUPdecision of January 2004, the Commission (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals applies the EU "harmless error rule" in a commitment procedure where a party has been denied full access to the French Competition Authority’s file (Canal 9)
Jones Day (Paris)
The harmless error rule and the French commitment procedure* Paris Court of appeals, 1 June 2010, Canal 9 Merely one month before the ECJ delivered its very expected judgment in the Alrosa case, a ruling of the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed that the exercise of the rights of the defense in (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines undertaking for failing to cooperate during inspection (Extraco Construccions e Proxectos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 May 2010, the Spanish Competition Authority imposed a fine of € 300,000 on Extraco Construccions e Proxectos SA (“Extraco”) for failing to cooperate during an unannounced inspection in the context of an investigation in the building sector. In particular, it appears that Extraco’s CEO removed (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott advises against the extension of legal professional privilege to in-house lawyers (Akzo Nobel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 April 2010, Advocate General Juliane Kokott handed down her opinion in an appeal before the Court of Justice by Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd and Akcros Chemicals Ltd. The appeal had been brought against a judgment of the Court of First Instance (now the General Court) of 17 September 2007 in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority provides clarifications on whistle blowers’ "success fee"
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (the “GVH”) has published further guidance on the informant fee regime that was introduced in December 2009. The GVH recalls that the informant fee will only be granted when “indispensable” evidence is provided and considers, for instance, that a written cartel (...)

The Japanese Government proposes to reform the Fair Trade Commission’s hearing procedure for antitrust violations
Winston & Strawn (New York)
,
Jones Day (Tokyo)
,
Jones Day (Tokyo)
The Japanese government has proposed significant changes to the procedures for challenging orders issued for antitrust violations by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). The Cabinet submitted a bill of amendments to the Antimonopoly Act (AMA) to the House of Representatives (Shugiin) on (...)

The French Supreme Court reaffirms its case law on the parties’ right of access to documents in the framework of the commitments procedure (CRSP)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In three judgments of 2 February 2010 (all published on 23 February 2010) the French Supreme Court annulled the judgments of 26 November 2008, whereby the Paris Court of Appeal had annulled commitments decisions adopted by the French Competition Authority in the pharmaceutical sector. This case (...)

The Local Court of Bonn asks the ECJ for clarification on the relationship between acces to the file for claimants and leniency (Pfleiderer)
European Commission
Germany: Access to the File for Claimants vs. Leniency - Local Court of Bonn asks ECJ for Clarification In a cartel case which was based inter alia on Article 81 of the EC Treaty (now Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), a customer applied for access to the file (...)

The UK High Court criticizes the Office of Fair Trading for violating the principles of equal treatment and fairness in a "fast-track” settlement procedure (Crest Nicholson/OFT)
Ernst & Young
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was found to have violated the principle of equal treatment and procedural fairness in its construction cartel investigation when it disregarded that Crest Nicholson, a former parent company of a construction firm accused of bid rigging, was unable to accept in (...)

The European Court of First Instance examines an appeal of a leading computer manufacturer against a Commission’s decision on abuse of dominant position (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 November 2008, details were published in the Official Journal of the European Union of an appeal brought by Intel to annul decisions of the Hearing Officer and the European Commission. The decisions relate to Article 82 EC proceedings regarding Intel’s alleged conduct in excluding its (...)

The French Supreme Court rules that parties to a commitments procedure must have access to all documents on which the case-handler has relied and to all documents submitted to the Competition Council (Canal 9/Les Indépendants)
Vogel & Vogel
The highest commercial court in France has for the first time addressed the question of procedural safeguards for undertakings concerned during the commitments procedure laid down in article L. 464-2, I of the Commercial Code. The aim of the procedure is “to ensure that the undertaking ceases or (...)

The Hague District Court revisits fishing expeditions (Allianz, Fortis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 October 2008, the President of the District Court of The Hague handed down its judgment in the joint summary proceedings initiated respectively by Allianz Nederland Schadeverzekering N.V. (Allianz) and Fortis Corporate Insurance N.V (Fortis) against the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa). (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority launches dawn-raids giving rise to controversy over defense rights (Colgate Palmolive España, L’Oreal, Stanpa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
The entry into force of the new Spanish leniency program has significantly stepped up cartel investigations undertaken by the Spanish Competition Authority (hereinafter “CNC”). Under the new regulatory framework enacted by the Spanish Competition Act in July 2007, the CNC has initiated 48 (...)

The European Court of First Instance largely dismisses an appeal against refusal by the Commission to disclose documents (MyTravel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 September 2008, the Court of First Instance (CFI) rendered a second judgment regarding MyTravel (formerly Airtours) in which it largely dismissed MyTravel‘s appeal against the Commission’s refusal to disclose internal documents relating to the Airtours/First Choicemerger. The CFI only (...)

The Turkish Parliament passes reform of competition providing parallel regulation with the EU and other developed countries’ practices, reference to EU competition law and amendment proposals within the scope of OECD
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Draft Law to amend the Law on the Protection of Competition (the “Law”) which was published in the Official Gazette n° 22140 dated 19 December 1994 and which became effective as of said date was submitted to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 23 June 2008. What is (...)

The Swiss Comco issues a notice on business secrets expressing its view on criteria to be fulfilled for information to be qualified as business secrets and addressing certain specific questions (Aide-mémoire Secrets d’affaires/Merkblatt Geschäftsgeheimnisse)
Comité International de la Croix-Rouge
On April 30, 2008 the Comco released a notice on business secrets (the "Notice"). The Notice expresses the Comco’s view on qualification criteria to be fulfilled for information to be qualified as business secrets and addresses certain specific questions. As a principle, the CA provides that (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court imposes a fine for not complying with its obligation to give information to the Competition Authority
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 13 February 2008, the Austrian Supreme Court imposed a fine of € 120,000 on an undertaking in the foodstuffs sector for not complying with its obligation to give information to the Austrian Competition Authority. In the course of the investigation by the Authority, the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes guidelines on the handling of digital files during an investigation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
The Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) published guidelines on the handling of digital files during an investigation (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines replace the former guidelines which had been in force since 2003. Under the new Guidelines, the NMa is allowed to copy digital information stored (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority enhances the procedural rights of the defendants in national antitrust procedures (Banco Santander/Cheques comida)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia), 15 March 2007, Banco Santander/Cheques comida, Case r 700/2006 v On March 15th, 2007 the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (TDC, highest branch of the Spanish antitrust authority) has concluded that defendants in national (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on class actions in the field of competition
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence in favour of class action, under certain conditions, for consumers victim of anticompetitive practices.* Following the publication in December 2005 of the report relative to (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition released a controversial draft dealing with the access to documents containing business secrets
Government of the Czech Republic
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In August 2006, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition presented to the interested public a draft amendment to the Czech Act on the Protection of Competition. Apart from other less important issues, the draft provides specific rules on the treatment of documents obtained by the (...)

"Modernization" of the Hungarian Competition Act
bpv Jadi Nemeth Attorneys
Act LVII of 1996 on the prohibition of unfair and restrictive market practices ( Hungarian Competition Act, Consolidated version effective as of 1 November 2005 Note In 2005 important provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act (hereinafter “HCA”) were amended . Also, new rules about the (...)

The European Court of First Instance introduces an expedited (’fast-track’) procedure for certain cases, including in particular merger cases
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
"Judicial review and merger control: The CFI’s expedited procedure"* 1. Introduction The recent introduction by the Court of First Instance (CFI) of an expedited (’fast-track’) procedure for certain cases, including in particular merger cases, has been greeted positively by the business and (...)

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