Agency agreements

Anticompetitive practices

The OECD holds a workshop to address algorithms and collusion issues
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
OECD workshop addresses algorithms and collusion issues* On June 21-23, the OECD held a roundtable on the theme of “Algorithms and Collusion,” as part of a wider work stream on competition in the digital economy. The OECD roundtable reflects a shift in the debate over the antitrust implications (...)

The EU Commission publishes final e-commerce sector inquiry report
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (“the Report”), aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit con- sumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

The Italian Competition Authority discovers two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services but decides not to fine the anti-competitive conducts as they were not a serious competition breach (Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent decision handed down in the case Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare (UMMI) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an antitrust investigation by finding two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services agents implemented by two (...)

The EU Commission fines three banks for cartel on the euro interest rate derivatives market (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JPMorgan Chase)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase € 485 million for euro interest rate derivatives cartel* The European Commission has fined Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, a total of € 485 million for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives. The (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes its reasoned decision on the investigation conducted against upon allegations of resale price fixing on the auto gas market (Aygaz)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Aygaz decision dated 16.11.2016 with No. 16-39/659-294. The Board assessed allegations that Aygaz and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mogaz A.Ş. (“Mogaz”), had engaged in resale price maintenance (“RPM”). Background The Board initiated (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues preliminary ruling on liability for anti-competitive behaviour by employees and outside contractors (VM Remonts)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Liability for anti-competitive behaviour by your employees and outside contractors: when you are off the hook and when you are not* In its recent VM Remonts judgment, the Court of Justice of the EU has confirmed the strict liability of companies for the anti-competitive behaviour of their (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority ends its investigation concerning real estate agents
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Real estate agents completely free in setting tariffs when selling real estate* The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) ends its investigation against the Professional Institute for real estate agents (BIV). Extensive research has shown that real estate agents are completely free in setting (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market (Western Union)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU telegraphs it is probing whether Western Union colluded to drive rivals out of money-transfer market*The European Commission has reportedly launched a preliminary antitrust investigation into possible collusion by Western Union in the money remittance market.According to sources, the (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfert market (Western Union)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
In February 2016, it was reported that the European Commission is undertaking a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market, continuing the trend of the Commission focussing on the financial sector in recent years. Focus of the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation for a possible anticompetitive agreement in relation to the SEDA multilateral inter-bank agreement (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
University of London - School of Economics Birkbeck College
On the 21th of January 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority” or “Italian Authority”) opened an investigation against the Italian banks’ association, Associazione Bancaria Italiana (“ABI”) for a possible anticompetitive agreement under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of (...)

The Italian Supreme Adminstrative Court rules on limitation period in cases of anticompetitive codes of professional ethics
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
The Italian Supreme Adminstrative Court rules on limitation period in cases of anticompetitive codes of professional ethics On the 19th of January 2016 the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato), overturned a decision of the National Competition Authority concerning (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry & Commerce fines insurance companies for market sharing (Insurance companies case)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Recently, the SAIC published the decisions of its local offices in Hubei and Jiangxi relating to market sharing agreements by insurance companies. Both decisions involved coinsurance arrangements relating to accidental injury insurance for the construction industry. Hubei The Hubei (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines airlines for fixing fuel surcharge and shows a change in the evidentiary standard in cartel cases involving price parallelism and circumstantial evidence (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Amit Sibal (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty of USD 38.6 million on airlines for fixing fuel surcharge* Just when one almost thought that the year 2015 would go by without a major cartel fine, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) published a decision on 17 November 2015 imposing penalties of USD 38.6 million (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines airlines for a cartel regarding fuel surcharge (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Introduction Continuing with its mandate of preventing any practice which has an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC) in India including crackdowns on cartel, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has, recently, found a case of cartelization in the airline industry segment in (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from several mainland alcohol manufacturers aiming to stop the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories (Pernod-Ricard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained from several mainland manufacturers their commitment to put an end to the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories and to implement a competitive (...)

The EU General Court reduces the fines imposed by the Commission on three members of a European pre-stressing steel market cartel (Pre-stressing steel cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2015, the General Court (“GC”) largely upheld the EU Commission’s decision in the pre-stressing steel cartel case in ten judgments on 12 separate appeals brought against the decision. However, the GC reduced the fine imposed on several applicants on the grounds that (i) the Commission (...)

The EU Court of Justice considers that the bilateral exchange between importers of pre-pricing information relating to the weekly quotation prices to a concerted practice with the object of restricting competition in breach of article 101 TFEU (Banana Cartel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its ruling of 19 March 2015 (Case C-286/13P) relating to the banana cartel, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed the appeal by banana importer Dole against the General Court’s judgment in its entirety. The CJEU agreed with the Commission’s findings, supported by the General Court, (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Council’s cartel decision in shipping sector (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
European Commission
Court Upholds Competition Council’s Cartel Decision in Shipping Sector* On 4 March 2015, the Supreme Administrative Court confirmed that the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the Association) and 32 Association members had concluded an anti-competitive agreement. On 8 December (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on seven undertakings for having implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the car refinishing paints used in domestic damage calculation software market (Autocolor Festékgyártó és Forgalmazó Kft)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Press Release published on the official website of the Hungarian Competition Authority. GVH decision is made in the car refinishing paints agreement* The Gazdasági Veresenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) stated that importers of car refinishing paints and an undertaking (...)

U.S. Court finds that an athletics association’s rules restricting payments to student-athletes violate antitrust laws (O’Bannon v. NCAA)
Rutgers University
On August 8, 2014, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the NCAA violated the antitrust laws by enacting rules that prevented student-athletes from being paid for the use (...)

A US District Court receives notification that the class plaintiffs, state plaintiffs and the defendant have reached an agreement concerning the lawsuit in the e-books prices fixing case (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple settles with U.S. states and consumers in the e-books price fixing case* According to documents filed in a New York court on 16 June 2014, Apple has reached an agreement in principle with state governments and consumers who filed a class-action lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes its investigation against eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies with a commitment decision (Mono-mandatory Agents)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) closed the investigation it had begun in June 2013 into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies by issuing a commitment decision . The Authority had opened the investigation to assess whether the vertical agreements (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the antitrust probe into agency agreement in the insurance sector by a commitments decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
In its decision of 20 May 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has accepted the commitments offered by seven major insurance companies to end an antitrust investigation into vertical agreements with their agents. The investigated insurance companies were UnipolSai Assicurazioni, (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a draft determination proposing to allow royalty managers for plant breeders to collectively negotiate with the grain buyers (Seedvise)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to authorise plant breeders’ collective bargaining arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to allow royalty managers for plant breeders to collectively negotiate with the grain buyers they engage to collect (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies limits of no-poaching agreements under German commercial law
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
In a decision dated 30 April 2014, but published only recently, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) struck down an agreement between two companies not to “poach” each others’ employees as violating the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, “HGB”). However, the FCJ also clarified under (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal suspends a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers related to a price MFN clause (Kobo)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
The Ebooks Saga: Kobo’s challenge explained* Ebook retailer Kobo is challenging a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers. The settlement has been stayed pending this challenge. Kobo’s challenge may have major implications for competition law enforcement in (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania approves decision concluding that a national professional association and 32 association members entered into an anticompetitive agreement on the application of minimum tariffs for shipping agency services (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court upholds competition council‘s decision to sanction Shipping Agency Companies* On 7 April, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) approved the Competition Council‘s (the KT) decision concluding that Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court reduces fines for undertakings involved in price fixing (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
SKVLAW (Vilnius)
On April 7th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court supported position of Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter – NCA) in case of ship agency services . Several undertakings which were accused of fixing ship agency tariffs also celebrated a small victory – their (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal dismisses a monopolization case brought by the Competition Commission against a leading brewer and distributor of beer and soft drinks (South African Breweries)
Nortons (Sandton)
SA competition enforcer’s distribution monopoly case dismissed by Tribunal* South African Breweries distribution case dismissed The Competition Tribunal of South Africa has dismissed a monopolization case brought by the Competition Commission against South African Breweries (“SAB”). The (...)

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 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 Serbian Competition Authority exempts an agreement between the national telecommunication company and the distributor of prepaid mobile services containing resale price maintenance clauses (Telecom Serbia - DTM Investments)
Serbian european integration office
The Serbian Antitrust Authority (AA) passed the decision on 13 September 2013 (DTM decision) to individually exempt an agreement on general distribution of prepaid mobile communication services concluded between the “Telecom Serbia” (TS) and the “DTM Investments” (DTM) from prohibition of (...)

The National Court rejects that a public entity exceeding its legal authority, but not acting as an economic operator, can be held responsible for participating in anticompetitive conduct (Junta de Andalucía)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
On July 16, 2013, the National Court issued judgment number 3472/2013 on the appeal the Junta de Andalucía submitted against the decision of the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (Spanish Competition Commission, “CNC”), of October 6, 2011. The National Court considered that when a public entity (...)

The US Court of Southern District of New York clarifies what determines liability of the vertical participant B in an A-B-C information exchange (Apple)
University of Cambridge
e-books: Vertical participation in hub and spoke agreements* The 10 July judgment in the American e-books case (US v Apple) addresses an important question not yet examined under European competition law: what determines the liability of the vertical participant (“B”) in an A-B-C information (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds a firm which has infringed Article 101 TFEU may not escape imposition of a fine for the sole reason that the illegality of its conduct was erroneously assessed by its legal counsel or by a decision of a national competition authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde / Schenker)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties The Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde, the Federal Competition Authority in Austria. The Bundeskartellanwalt, the Federal Cartel Lawyer in Austria. Thirty-one undertakings, including inter alia Schenker & Co. AG (“Schenker”), members of the Spediteur-Sammelladungs-Konferenz (the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that reliance on legal advice or decisions of NCAs does not preclude imposition of fine for infringing art. 101 TFEU (Schenker)
European Commission - DG CNECT (Brussels)
In a reference for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU, made by the Oberster Gerichtshof (Austria) on 5th December 2011, the EU Court of Justice was asked to respond to the following question; whether a fine may be imposed, in case of an infringement of Art.101 TFEU, when the (...)

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 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 Paris Court of Appeal upholds the French Competition Authority in the jet fuel sector in the Reunion’s island (Shell / Chevron / Total / Esso / Air France)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
1. The facts In January 2003, Air France lodged a complaint before the French Competition Authority (FCA) regarding an alleged cartel between the four oil companies established in the La Reunion Island Airport during the 2002 Air France’s tender. First inquiries were made in La Reunion and near (...)

The EU Commission finds that given the nature of the relevant product, concerted practices covering a substantial part of the EEA may affect the interstate trade (e-books)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
Sad but true* I love commitments decisions because they are a quick read. But I also hate dislike them because they leave the reader angry hungry for more. Some evidence: in the E-Books case, the effect on trade condition was deemed fulfilled under the simplest possible sort of analysis: (...)

The European Commission accepts commitments in e-books case (Simon & Schuster / Harper Collins / Hachette / Holtzbrinck / Apple)
European Commission
European Commission accepts Commitments in E-Books Case* On 12 December 2012, the European Commission (Commission) accepted formally binding commitments from four international publishers (Simon & Schusters (CBS Corp., USA), HarperCollins (News Corp., USA), Hachette Livre (Lagardère (...)

The US District Court Southern District of New York 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 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)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 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)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 US Attorney General in Connecticut investigates potentially anticompetitive e-book deals (Amazon / Apple)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Attorney General of Connecticut investigating agreements on e-books* On 2 August 2010 the Attorney General of Connecticut announced an investigation into agreements between e-book publishers and sellers that may encourage coordinated pricing and prevent discounting of e-books. In particular, (...)

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 (Rome)
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 (...)

The European Commission adopts new block exemption regulation and new guidelines on vertical agreements
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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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 EU Commission adopts new rules applicable to distribution agreements
Paul Hastings (Brussels)
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Leroy Merlin (Lille)
Executive Summary: Earlier this year, the new EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“New Block Exemption Regulation”) and the accompanying new Vertical Restraints Guidelines (“New Guidelines”) entered into force. Their scope of application covers all agreements between economic operators at (...)

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 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 (...)

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 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 (...)

The European Commision opens public consultation on the new Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines on Vertical Restraints
Ashurst (Milan)
EC’s public consultation on the new Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines on Vertical Restraints* On 28 July 2008, the European Commission launched a public consultation to review the Block Exemption Regulation (“BER”) and the Guidelines on vertical restraints, which are set to expire in May (...)

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 (Milan)
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 (...)

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)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
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 Hungarian Competition Office imposes record cartel fine in the car insurance sector (Allianz)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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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 (...)

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 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 (...)

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 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 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 (...)

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 Provincial Court of Madrid 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 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 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 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 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 finds that RPM in agency agreements does not infringe competition law (Westel Mobil)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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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 (...)

The “Repsol Saga” : Background Note on “genuine” agency agreements in Spanish Competition Law
London School of Economics
Spanish Competition Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia), 11 July 2001, Resolución n° 490/00, Repsol Background Note On 11 July 2001, the Spanish Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (the “NCA”) adopted a prohibition decision against Repsol Comercial de Productos (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority states that the “atypical agency agreements” between oil companies and petrol stations come within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC and national mirror provision (CEPSA)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
It is rare that the eight members of the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (highest branch of the Spanish Competition Authority) express four different views on one single case. However, that happened in the 2001 CEPSA case (TDC’s decision of 30 may 2001 in case 493/00). One of those views (...)

The Luxembourg District Court holds that an agreement between a petrol company and a petrol station is an agency agreement outside the scope of the prohibition of cartels (Aral / Koepfler)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Case Koepfler s.à r.l. (“Koepfler”) operated on an independent basis one of the petrol stations of Aral Luxembourg S.A. (“Aral”), a subsidiary of the German petrol group Aral. Aral and Koepfler had concluded an agency agreement in this respect in 1984. Pursuant to this agreement Koepfler had to (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that a health insurer does not violate the vertical price fixing prohibition by agreeing with care providers on fixed prices for the services that the care providers render to insured patients (Zahnersatz aus Manila)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The Court states that the health insurer’s fixing prices for certain dental services provided to insured patients does not constitute an unlawful vertical price fixing agreement due to the fact that the insurer finally has to pay for the dental services. As (...)

The US Court of Appeals of Iowa (Eighth Circuit) finds a distributorship scheme to be a genuine agency relationship where a manufacturer retains significant business risks (Ryko Manufacturing / Eden Services)
United First Partners
Introduction Ryko, a manufacturer of car-wash equipment, filed an action for declaratory judgment against Eden, one of its distributors, for breach of a distributorship contract. Eden counterclaimed on several grounds, including antitrust violations, and won a jury verdict of $1.1 million in (...)

The US Supreme Court finds a genuine agency relationship between a manufacturer and its distributors focusing on the form of consignment contracts and the parties’ actual practices (General Electric)
United First Partners
Introduction Under the U.S. antitrust laws a manufacturer is free to set the prices at which it sells its own goods and is free to use intermediaries to facilitate the sales. When intermediaries come into the picture, however, one of the antitrust issues that may arise is whether, on the one (...)

Dominance

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina upholds the infringement decision of the Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning abuse of dominant position on the market for fast money transfer services (Raiffeisen Bank)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 6 November 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) found that four Western Union agents have abused their collective dominant position on the market for fast money transfer services by including the exclusivity clauses in their cooperation agreements with the banks (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court confirms the NCA’s decision in a leading agency case: Hard life of dominant undertakings in the Czech Republic (Sazka)
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
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Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
By its decision of 20 November 2008, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court confirmed the decision of the Regional Court of Brno and hence the decisions of the Office for the Protection of Competition by which Sazka, the dominant Czech operator of betting games and lotteries, was found guilty (...)

The Czech Competition Office applies the EC Guidelines on vertical restraints to the dominant operator of lotteries and finds it guilty of abuse of dominant position (Sazka)
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
On 20 July 2005 the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition confirmed a first-instance decision whereby Sazka (the dominant Czech operator of betting games and lotteries) had been found guilty of abusing its dominant position. At the same time, the Chairman reduced the fine (...)

Procedures

The Spanish Congress approves the creation of a new competition authority, the National Commission on Markets and Competition (NCMC)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Important Changes to the Antitrust Institutional Structure in Spain* On 5 June 2013, the Spanish Congress approved the creation of a new Spanish competition authority: the National Commission on Markets and Competition (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, “NCMC“). The NCMC will (...)

The Polish Competition Authority launches another edition of campaign ‘entrepreneur, don’t collude’
European Commission
The Polish Office launches another Edition of Campaign ‘Entrepreneur, don’t collude’* In November 2012, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) launched another edition of the advocacy campaign entitled: “Entrepreneur, don’t collude!”. This time the advocacy efforts of UOKiK are (...)

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 (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the possible implementation of a single price system for digital books
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Digital books: the Autorité de la concurrence believes that observing this market, still in its infancy, is a necessary prerequisite.* The Minister for Culture and Communication has sought an opinion from the (...)

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