Automobile

Anticompetitive practices

Automobile sector and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
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Vogel & Vogel
The automobile industry and its distribution and service networks are subject to competition rules like any other sector. But the analysis of the competition authorities’ decisional practice and case law reveals a large number of decisions relating to automobile distribution. Why does (...)

The Danish NCA finds that a leading car manufacturer had abused its dominant position under both national competition provisions and Art. 82 EC but without imposing fines (Toyota)
Université Catholique de Louvain
The Danish Competition Council adopted the 25 May 2005 a Decision finding that Toyota Denmark A/S had abused its dominant position under section 11 (1) of the Danish Competition Act and Article 82 of the EC treaty, on the market for authorised servicing of Toyota cars. Toyota Denmark A/S is in (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court inflicts a record fine for prohibited vertical agreements within a selective distribution system of cars (Hyundai)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
After almost a 4-year appeal procedure, in December 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (the “Supreme Court”), acting as a court of first instance, confirmed one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms a fine of over 8 million euros for several hard-core vertical restrictions (Hyundai)
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co (Sofia)
Bulgaria: First-instance court confirms a fine of over € 8 mln on the distributor of Hyundai in Bulgaria for several hard-core vertical restrictions* At the very end of 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in its first-instance 3-member panel, confirmed one of the highest fines ever (...)

The Italian Supreme Court rules that the reorganization of the Italian distribution network of a car manufacturer does not breach competition law (Volkswagen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent Volkswagen Group Italia (VGI) judgement , the Italian Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (the Court) has ruled that the plan for the reorganization of its Italian distribution network implemented by a German car manufacturer did not breach competition. The Court considered the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hears the first damages claims since the entry into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (NCRQ)
Collyer Bristow
On 22 December 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) announced the commencement of two damages actions which, according to its website , were only the second and third claims issued in the CAT since 1 October, when the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force seismically changing (...)

The German Competition Authority welcomes the fact that car retailers can cooperate with intermediaries for new cars (Ford)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Car retailers can cooperate with intermediaries for new cars. Restrictions imposed by manufacturers lifted following Bundeskartellamt proceedings.* In the spring of this year the Bundeskartellamt initiated proceedings against the automobile manufacturers Ford, Opel and PSA Peugeot Citroën for (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 21 car manufacturers and distributers and two consulting firms for exchanging commercially sensitive and strategic information (Fabricantes de automóviles)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
The CNMC (Spain’s National Authority for Markets and Competition) Council issues a 171 million euros fine against 21 automobile manufacturing and distributing companies and two consulting companies for exchanging commercially sensitive and strategic information. File resolution S/0482/13 (...)

The Commission for the Protection of Competition in Cyprus fines a car manufacturer and its local distributor for a vertical agreement regarding spare parts (CIC-Daimler)
Harris Kyriakides LLC
The Commission for the Protection of Competition in Cyprus (Commission) has issued its decision on the CIC-Daimler AG case, imposing a record aggregate fine of €20.7 million on Cyprus Import Corporation Ltd and Daimler AG, on grounds related to infringements of Article 3(1)(b) of the Protection (...)

The Pakistan Competition Authority imposes fines on an association of automobile manufacturers for cartel (PAMADA)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP imposes pkr 140 million penalty on automobile dealers’ association for cartelization* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has passed an order imposing a penalty of PKR 140 Million on the Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Authorized Dealers Association (PAMADA) for cartelization in (...)

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on dealers and importer of cars for their participation to a cartel (Autocentrs, Moller Auto Krasta)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC Fines Dealers of Volkswagen for 7.6 Million Euros* On 15 December, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia imposed fines to official dealers and importer of Volkswagen cars in Latvia for taking part in a cartel. For at least five years undertakings systematically coordinated their (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority sanctioning an anticompetitive agreement on the the market of auto loans for physical persons (URALSIB / Volkswagen)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court supported FAS in a dispute with “URALSIB” bank and “Volkswagen RUS Bank”* On 18th November 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed the cassation appeal of “URALSIB” OJSC to abolish judicial acts that recognized legitimacy of the decision and determination (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines the undertakings participating in two cartels in the car insurance and automotive component sectors and publishes its decisions (Zhejiang car insurance cartel and Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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J.P. Morgan
1. Introduction The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently stepped up its cartel enforcement activities and for the first time has published non-confidential versions of a number of its cartel decisions. With its new activism and openness in regards to its (...)

The US Department of Justice indicts seven Japanese executive for conspiring to fix prices (Mitsubishi / Hitachi)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Indictments of Seven Japanese Executives Announced In Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Antitrust Division, through a federal grand jury, indicted seven Japanese executives for conspiring to fix prices in the long running auto parts investigation. There were two separate indictments. One (...)

The Competition Commission of India initiates investigation in relation to resale price maintenance (Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai Motor India)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) – this word resonates a fascinating and interesting subject for antitrust lawyers the world over for the sheer manner of its application and the way it applies in each fact situation - has once again reached the shores of India and raked up the attention of the (...)

The Hubei Province and Shanghai Price Bureau fines automobile companies for price-monopoly (FAW-Volkswagen - Audi - Chrysler)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
FAW-Volkswagen, Chrysler and Related Dealers Fined Nearly RMB280 Million for Monopolistic Conduct* Background The automotive industry has undergone a new round of “antitrust crackdowns”. On 11 September 2014, Hubei Price Bureau released its decisions to impose penalties arising from a price (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that Article 101 TFUE, read in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, precludes national legislation from empowering a body composed mainly by private operators to fix minimum charge for haulage services (API v. Ministero delle Infrastutture dei Trasporti)
Altius (Brussels)
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I. The Parties Anonima Petroli Italiana SpA: An Italian undertaking active in the refining, processing and distributing services for crude oil and petroleum products in Europe. Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti and Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico: The Italian Ministry for (...)

The Indian Competition Commission pertains for the first time to the concept of ‘aftermarkets’ and discusses the interface between IPRs and competition law (Honda, Volkswagen, Fiat)
Indian Competition Commission (New delhi)
CCI Order on Car Manufacturers for Anti-Competitive Conduct* Facts: Information was filed under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”) initially against 3 car manufacturers alleging anti-competitive practices on part of the opposite parties (“OPs”). OP1 to OP3 were involved in the (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines 14 automobile manufacturers for implementing anticompetitive and unilateral practices on the automobile spare parts and repair market (Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel)
Jindal Global University
In the month of August, China fined 12 Japanese auto parts makers a total of over US$200 million for price fixing, the maximum amount imposed for violating the anti-monopoly law thus far. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) stated that the companies were found to have (...)

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 (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes record fines and applies explicitely for the first time its leniency program (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Note of Caution: Record Fines on 12 Japnese Auto Parts and Bearing Manufactures - Analysis of the NDRC’s Penalty Decision and Countermeasures of Companies* Within six years of implementation of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, the China’s law enforcement agency responsible for supervising price (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that several importers of car refinishing paints concerted their practices and fixed prices (Alami, Autocolor)
European Commission (Brussels)
Hungary: Decision adopted in Car Refinishing Paints Case* On 1 August 2014, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) adopted a decision finding that several importers of car refinishing paints concerted their practices in an anticompetitive manner by fixing indirectly the average price of (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines inflicted by the Russian Competition Authority on two undertakings having implemented an anticompetitive agreement (URALSIB / Volkswagen Bank RUS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court agreed that “URALSIB” and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” should pay the imposed fine for an anticompetitive agreement* On 29th July 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court on legitimacy of the decision and determination on the case against (...)

The Court of Justice of the European Union answers a request for a preliminary ruling about use trademarks to prevent the importation of spare parts (Honda)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 July 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) answered a request for a preliminary ruling from a Greek Court (Monomeles Protodikeio Athinon) inquiring as to whether the use by Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (“Honda”) of its trademarks to prevent the importation of Honda (...)

The South African Competition Commission conducts dawn raids at the offices of undertakings competing on the markets for panel beating, spray painting and towing of vehicles (Precision / Eldan / VAAC)
Nortons Incorporated
Auto-Body Repair Centres raided by SACC* Earlier on 4 July 2014, the South African Competition Commission (“Commission”) has conducted dawn raids at the offices of Precision and Sons (“Precision”), Eldan Auto Body (“Eldan”) in Pretoria West, as well as the Vehicle Accident Assessment Centre (“VAAC”) (...)

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

The Helsinki District Court dismisses a damages action on concerted practices in spare car parts wholesale (Atoy v. Arwidson, HL Group, Koivunen, Kaha and Örum)
University of Helsinki
The Helsinki District Court dismissed a damages action claiming losses allegedly caused by concerted practice between spare car part wholesalers. The court found that the claimant had failed to show a causal link between competition-infringing practice by the five defendants and damage which (...)

The Danish Competition Council orders professional association to abstain from boycotting an internet portal which provides an easy-to-use online interface that allows quick access to offers on car repair (Association for Auto Repair Shops)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Association for Auto Repair Shops in Denmark (CAD) has illegally urged its members to boycott Autobutler* The Danish Competition Council has decided that the Association for Auto Repair Shops in Denmark (CAD) has violated the Competition Act by urging its member to boycott (...)

The Canadian Superior Court of Justice imposes fines on multinational corporation for its participation in a bid-rigging conspiracy on the market for motor vehicle components (Panasonic)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Auto Parts Investigation Rolls Along: Former Auto Parts Executive Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison for Deleting E-mails, Panasonic to Pay $4.5 M in Canada* In what can only be called a sobering reminder earlier on 20 February 2014 of the importance of not obstructing an ongoing criminal antitrust (...)

The Russian Competition Authority suspects again the implementation of a cartel on the auto loan market (Bank PSA Finance RUS / Rusfinance Bank)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS exposed new signs of violations on the auto loan market* On 4th February 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) initiated a case against “Bank PSA Finance RUS” Ltd. and “Rusfinance Bank” Ltd. upon signs of violating Part 4 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of (...)

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

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the termination of an anti competitive agreement on the market of auto landing (URALSIB / Volkswagen)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“URALSIB” Bank and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” terminated an anticompetitive agreement on the market of auto landing* “URALSIB” OJSC and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” Ltd. informed FAS on executing a determination in an antimonopoly case. On 23rd October 2013, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines airport incumbent and eleven car rental companies over €3.1 M for exchanging sensitive commercial information (Servicios comerciales AENA)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 2 January 2014 the recently created National Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) imposed a fine of over €3.1 million on AENA, AENA Aeropuertos and eleven car rental companies for colluding over certain car rental contractual conditions as well as exchanging sensitive commercial (...)

The US DoJ announces agreement to plead guilty in relation to participation in a conspiracy to fix prices of seatbelts installed in cars (Takata)
Bowman Gilfilan (Cape Town)
“More Auto Parts Cartels Uncovered – Do Sanctions Not Deter Competition Law Contraventions?”* In October last year, Takata Corp. of Japan announced that it would pay US$71.3 million to settle charges of competition law infringements brought by U.S. prosecutors over price-fixing on seat belts sold (...)

The Botswana Competition Tribunal rejects a complaint against the dual role played by the CA as administrative and adjudicating body in relation with a case of collusive agreement to set prices for repairing vehicles (Panel Beating Cartel)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Johannesburg)
Due process arguments come to the fore as the Botswana Competition Authority gears itself for enforcement* In September and October, the Botswana Competition Commission (Commission) took its first two rulings on cartel enforcement. Both rulings have a keen (if not almost exhaustive) focus on (...)

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

A US District Court indicts an executive officer who is accused of agreeing to coordinate bids and fix prices of automotive parts (US / Shingo Okuda, G.S. Electech)
Compliance Systems Legal Group
The Auto Parts Antitrust Case: Is This What Success Looks Like?* Wow, what a success! The Antitrust Division recently announced that its investigations in the auto parts market uncovered “separate conspiracies to fix the prices of more than 30 different products sold to US car manufacturers ….” (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority publishes report following sector inquiry into car warranty conditions
European Commission (Brussels)
Norway: The Competition Authority publishes Report following its Sector Inquiry into Car Warranty Conditions* In September 2013, the Norwegian Competition Authority (the NCA) published a report based on its sector inquiry into car warranty conditions in Norway. The inquiry was triggered by (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission takes action against a supplier of ball and roller bearings for alleged cartel conduct (Koyo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against Koyo for alleged cartel conduct* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Koyo Australia Pty Ltd (Koyo) for alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in (...)

The EU Commission fines € 141.8 M four producers of wire harnesses for rigging a series of tenders in breach of Article 101 TFEU (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 July 2013, the European Commission announced that it had adopted a decision fining four producers of wire harnesses a total of € 141.8 million for rigging a series of tenders in breach of Article 101 TFEU. In its decision, the Commission found that five companies – Sumitomo, Yazaki, (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority suggests the conviction of car manufacturer and its car dealers for bid rigging in ambulance public tender (General Motors)
Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados
The Brazilian competition authority in charge for the investigation of antitrust violations – CADE’s General Superintendence (“SG”) – has suggested the conviction of General Motors (“GM”), and two of its car dealers HDM Ditribuidora de Veículos Ltda. (“HDM”) and Itororó Brás Veículos e Peças Ltda. (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice reaffirms the distinction between the anticompetitive effect-object of an agreement caught under the prohibition in Article 101(1) TFEU without setting out clearer terms of demarcation between the two disjunctive conditions (Allianz)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
Flatline* I recently had the opportunity to sift through the recent case-law of the Court. The CJEU ruling in Allianz Hungary, C-32/11 stands out. Our Lords again blurred the object/effect distinction. The Court held that “object” restrictions can be established by proof of anticompetitive (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the dichotomy between anticompetitive object-effect with respect to bilateral arrangements between car dealers and insurance companies (Allianz)
University of Groningen
Allianz and the Object-Effect Dichotomy in Article 101(1) TFEU: A Practical Solution Meets Not So Practical Competition Law* Two separate insurance companies Allianz and Generali concluded a number of contracts with autorepair shops on the prices and other conditions that would apply for cars (...)

The Dutch Court of ‘Midden-Nederland’ rejects claims that a car manufacturer infringed competition law by entering into agreements or concerted practices with members of its network in order to refuse access to its network and by abusing its dominant position on various markets by refusing to accept the claimants as approved repairers (KIA Motors Nederland)
VVGB
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
NL30 KIA Motors Nederland LJN: BZ1050 06.02.13 Lower Court, access to selective distribution system The Dutch Court of ‘Midden-Nederland’ rejects claims that KIA Motors Nederland B.V. infringed competition law by entering into agreements or concerted practices with members of its network in (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rules on automotive quantitative selective distribution agreements (Auto 24 SARL, Jaguar Land Rover)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The Cour de cassation, France’s highest court for judicial matters, rendered a judgment on 15 January 2013 in a case involving Jaguar’s distribution agreements in France. The judgment follows an earlier ruling on the matter by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), from which the Cour (...)

The Polish Competition Authority denies an individual exemption in the case of a RPM agreement concluded on the market for automotive lubricants (Orlen Oil)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
Polish competition authority : plans to launch a new product can hardly offer a justification for resale price maintenance* The Polish competition authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, “PCA”) has recently addressed the issue of resale price maintenance clauses (“RPM”) (see (...)

The Swedish Market Court adopts a decision stating that a sport automobile federation cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future (Automobile Sports Federation)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: Market Court’s Decision in Automobile Sports Federation Case* On 20 December 2012, the Swedish Market Court (the Court) adopted a decision stating that the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation (the Federation) cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future. In May 2011, the SCA issued a (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues guidance note on preferred repairer arrangements in the insurance sector
Queen’s University Belfast
In December 2012, the Irish Competition Authority (ICA) issued a Guidance Note on Preferred Repairer Arrangements in the Insurance Sector. As broadly defined by the ICA, these arrangements are arrangements that insurance companies enter into with service providers to provide repair, restoration (...)

The Swedish Market Court reviews and bans a system of warranty where only authorized undertakings could make service and repairs for the warranty to be valid (Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters förening/KIA Motors Sweden)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters Förening ("SBF") is a non-profit trade association for Swedish suppliers of spare parts to cars, which association has the objective to protect the member companies’ joint interests. Kia Motor Corporation is a South Korean car manufacturer that established operations (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes fines on automobile dealers for fixing prices on the market for sales of new cars and after-sales service (Toyota dealers)
The TCA Fined Toyota Dealers* According to the press release published yesterday (23 November 2012), the TCA imposed fines on nine Toyota dealers that are active in Istanbul. Total amount of the fines is 3.942.906,72 TL about 1.714.000 Euros. It was held by the TCA that infringement was (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on bidders for bid rigging on the automotive parts market (Mitsubishi Electric)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders to Participants in Bid-rigging Conspiracies for Automotive Parts* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) issued cease and desist orders and surcharge payment orders based on Article 7(2) and Article 7-2(1) of the Antimonopoly (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission strikes down indirect attempt at RPM by French car manufacturer (Em. Psispsikas & SIA v. MAVA Emporoviomihaniki)
University College London
The complainant company, Em. Psispsikas & SIA E.E, was previously a RENAULT car distributor and member of the official network of the company, MAVA Emporoviomihaniki A.E. MAVA was an importer and exclusive agent of vehicles and spare parts from the French company RENAULT SA in Greece. Em. (...)

The Spanish Competition Council fines a car producer for anticompetitive practices (Mazda Automóviles)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Mazda Automóviles de España* In its Resolution of 16 November 2012, the Council of the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) established that Mazda Automóviles de España, SA (Mazda) concluded agreements and put practices into place with its (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition fines members of vehicles distribution network (Hyundai Motor)
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Commission on Protection of Competition fines Members of Distribution Network for Hyundai Motor Vehicles* On 6 November 2012, the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) imposed fines amounting to approximately € 8 000 000 on the authorised importer of Hyundai (...)

The French Competition Auhority calls for progressive lifting of restrictions on distribution of visible spare parts
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence calls for progressive Lifting of Restrictions on Distribution of visible Spare Parts* Following the launch of its sector inquiry into the automotive aftermarkets in 2011 and an open and transparent public consultation on its provisional findings, the (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore issues proposed infringement decision against 13 motor vehicle traders for contravening Section 34 of the Competition Act through bid-rigging (Pang’s Motor Trading)
University College London
On 6 September 2012, the Competition Commission of Singapore ("CCS") issued a Proposed Infringement Decision ("PID") against 13 motor vehicle traders for an alleged infringement of Section 34 of the Competition Act (Cap. 50B), which prohibits agreements or arrangements which prevent, restrict (...)

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

The European Court of Justice specifies the regime of the quantitative selection criteria in a selective distribution system under the motors vehicle block exemption regulation (Auto 24/Jaguar Land Rover)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
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UGGC Avocats (Paris)
After a referral by the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”) for a preliminary ruling on 29 March 2011, the CJEU provides interesting answers to the question of control of selection criteria in a quantitative selective distribution system. French case law has given rise to discussions as (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court confirms the Market Court’s decision to fine wholesalers of car spare parts over € 1 M for operating a price cartel (Oy Arwidson Ab, HL Group Oy, Oy Kaha Ab, Koivunen Oy and Örum Oy Ab)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 31 May 2012, the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court handed down a judgment confirming the Finnish Market Court’s 2009 judgment finding that five wholesalers of car spare parts - Oy Arwidson Ab, HL Group Oy, Oy Kaha Ab, Koivunen Oy and Örum Oy Ab - had operated an illegal price cartel for (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Market Court decision in automobile spare part cartel case (HL Group, Kaha, Koivunen, Örum)
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Market Court’s Decision in Automobile Spare Part Cartel Case* On 31 May 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court (Supreme Court) dismissed the appeals lodged against the Market Court’s decision of 2009 imposing fines totaling over € 1 000 000 on (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines car manufacturer for preventing parallel imports by prohibiting its authorised dealers within the EEA from selling new cars to customers located in Switzerland (BMW)
Kobel Attorney
Introduction On May 7, 2012, the Swiss Competition Commission made the most striking of a series of decisions regarding vertical restraints leading to the condemnation of BMW to the payment of a fine of CHF 156’868’150, that is approximately € 130’000’000. The case is about the refusal by BMW (...)

The Romanian Competition Council finalises its report in an inquiry into the automotive spare parts market
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
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OMV Petrom
In February 2009, a sector inquiry was initiated by the Romanian Competition Council (the “Competition Council”) aiming at a better understanding of the auto vehicle spare parts market. On 18 April 2012, the Competition Council published its findings in a detailed report (the “Report”). The (...)

The Tirana District Court quashes the decision of the Albanian Competition Authority on bid rigging in the new cars public procurement (Classic/Noti)
University of Tirana
On April 2012 the District Court of Tirana, handed a decision on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA), on a bid rigging in the public procurement of new cars by various institutions in Albania. This decision imposed a fine on 4 distributors of new cars and genuine (...)

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

Belgian Cassation Court confirms lower courts’ rulings that appreciable affectation of competition and of trade between member states as required by Article 101 TFEU can be treated implicitly without failing to meet the required burden of proof (Fiat / Fortis Bank and TCI Auto Service)
Stibbe (Brussels)
BE32 Fiat Group Automobiles v Fortis Banque and TCI Auto 24.02.12 Belgian Supreme Court I. The facts On 15 September 1993, an exclusive motor vehicle distribution agreement was signed between Fiat Group Automobiles Belgium NV and TCI Auto Service NV, as a result of which TCI was granted the (...)

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

The US DoJ obtains guilty plea by two Japanese suppliers of automotive electrical components imposing a $548 M fine for their involvement in price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the auto parts sales (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Fines Mounting in Department of Justice Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry. Two more (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines two car manufacturers for exchanging sensitive commercial information (Honda, Suzuki motors)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
This administrative authority (CNC) has issued a resolution on January 20, 2012, in which it has found that during January 2009 the competitors Montesa Honda, S.A. and Suzuki Motor S.A. engaged in a concerted practice, which consists of the bilateral exchange of sensitive commercial (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for automotive wire harness and related products (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders to participants in bid-rigging conspiracies for automotive wire harness and related products* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders against 3 (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against two manufacturers of refrigerants used in car air conditioning (Honeywell / du Pont)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates DuPont and Honeywell practices in relation to new refrigerant* On 16 December 2011 the European Commission opened proceedings to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices relating to the development of a new generation refrigerant for air conditioning (...)

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

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

The UK OFT closes criminal investigation in the automotive sector
DLA Piper
On 4 October 2011, the OFT announced that it had closed its criminal investigation into alleged criminal conduct under the Enterprise Act 2002 cartel offence, involving suppliers to the automotive sector. Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the OFT has the ability to investigate suspected criminal (...)

The EU Commission rejects antitrust complaint concerning ban on rotary valves in motorcar and motorcycle racing engines (BRV / FIA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision, which was adopted on 4 August 2011, the European Commission has rejected a complaint submitted by BRV Pty Ltd (“BRV”) which alleged that a group of undertakings – in particular, numerous vehicle engine manufacturers – had violated Articles 101 and 102 TFEU by (...)

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

The 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 German Competition Authority fines manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles (Albert Ziegler, Giengen an der Brenz, Schlingmann, Dissen, and the Rosenbauer Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 18 February 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a total fine of € 20.5 million on three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles for their participation in a cartel, as well as on a Swiss accountant who assisted in operating the cartel. (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt imposes fines against three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles and an independent accountant for infringement of German cartel law (Fire-fighting vehicles cartel)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
FCO fines cartelists and independent accountant – the fire-fighting vehicles decision* The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles on February 10, 2011, imposing € 20.5 million in total. The FCO found that the companies had engaged in bid rigging (...)

The Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition adopts a decision for block exemption of certain categories of agreements from the prohibition under Art. 15 LPC
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) adopts a Decision for Block Exemption of certain Categories of Agreements from the Prohibition under Article 15 LPC* On 20 January 2011, the CPC adopted a Decision block exempting certain categories of agreements, decisions or (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies a number of vertical restraints in the auto repair services agreements that could not be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC Regulation 1400/2002 (Kia Motors Adria Group)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 2 December 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established the existence of anticompetitive provisions in the auto repair services agreements concluded by the exclusive importer of KIA automobiles in Croatia Kia Motors Adria Group d.o.o. (KMAG) with its authorized auto repairers. (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies the requirements of the reduction of the termination period according to Article 3(5)(b) Reg. 1400/2002 (Renault Nissan Deutschland)
Dentons (Berlin)
The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) clarified in a decision of 20 October 2010 the requirements set by Article 3(5)(b)(ii) Regulation 1400/2002 for the short termination period for authorized distributor agreements on the grounds of the restructuring of distribution network. By this, it (...)

A US District Court rules against plaintiffs in the auto parts industry holding that they failed to prove specific facts under Robinson-Patman Act’s price discrimination provision (Coalition for a Level Playing Field, Autozone)
Scharf Banks Marmor
Is it Possible to Plead a Robinson-Patman Act Case at All?* The recent decision in Coalition for a Level Playing Field, LLC v. Autozone, Inc., 2010-2 Trade Cas. ¶ 77,182 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 16, 2010) was a bit surprising to me. The essence of the case was that a group of smaller purchasers of (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority prosecutes five auto repairers for fixing the man/hour rates (Simerv - Selena Impex)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 June 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) found five auto repairers in Slobozia, the capital city of the Ialomita county, liable for infringement of the national equivalent of the Article 101 TFEU for fixing their man-hour rates. In its decision the CC stated that the market for (...)

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

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

The Macedonian Competition Authority finds the existence of anticompetitive practices on the market for mandatory technical certification of motor vehicles (Macedonian Drivers Union)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 May 2010 the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) found that Macedonian Drivers Union (SVM) has infringed national equivalent of Article 101(1) TFEU by fixing prices for the mandatory technical certification services provided by its member organizations - local drivers clubs. The (...)

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

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

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

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

The Lithuanian Competition Authority closes investigation in retail trade of automobiles and technical maintenance sector following commitments (Honda Motor Europe)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Competition Council (CC) closes Investigation in Retail Trade of Automobiles and Technical Maintenance Sector following Commitments On 24 December 2009, the Lithuanian Competition Council terminated its investigation concerning the compliance of the practices of vehicle traders (...)

The European Commission launches public consultation on the review of the competition rules for the motor vehicle sector
Van Bael & Bellis
On 21 December 2009, the European Commission launched a public consultation on its review of the competition rules for the motor vehicle sector. In particular, the European Commission published a draft sector-specific block exemption and notice concerning the sale of new motor vehicles, spare (...)

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

The European Commission publishes communication identifying current plans for future legal framework to be applied to motor vehicle industry
Van Bael & Bellis
On 22 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a Communication and accompanying Impact Assessment Report setting out its views on the future competition law framework for the motor vehicle sector. The current Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) expires on 31 (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice specifies the relation between the primary and secondary distribution agreements in light of the short termination period according to Article 3(5)(b) Reg. 1400/2002 (Renault Nissan Deutschland)
Dentons (Berlin)
In a decision of 24 June 2009, the German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) specified the relation between the primary and secondary distribution agreements in light of the short termination period provided for by Article 3(5)(b) EC Regulation 1400/2002. In its decision, the BGH upheld the (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on bidders for bid rigging on vehicle management jobs market (Nihon Doro Koun)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Order against Participants in the Bidding for Vehicle Management Jobs Ordered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC)investigated participants in the bidding for vehicle management jobs (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that the ban on resale outside the network may apply to registered cars and discrimination is no longer prohibited per se (General Motors France, Bigorre Services Automobiles and Navarre Services Automobiles)
Vogel & Vogel
On 27 May 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal rendered a judgment that is of great interest with regard to two competition law issues. In respect of sales outside the network by distributors :- under Block Exemption Regulation n° 1400/2002 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority decides to end 8 procedures regarding restrictive practices in the service-station market (Anti-competitive practices in the liquid road-fuels sector )
Sérvulo & Associados
Last April 21st 2009, the Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - “AdC”) announced the decision to discontinue eight procedures for breach of article 4 of the Competition Law (Law 18/2003), considering that some parallel behavior existent between oil companies and some (...)

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

The Turkish Competition Board requests a car manufacturer to amend the non-qualitative criterion of its authorized service agreement and the use of equipment so as to prevent discrimination between existing and new authorized providers (Renault Trucks Turkiye Ticaret)
Derman Düren Akol
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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
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Çiğdemtekin Dora Aranci Law Firm
The Turkish Competition Board evaluates the authorized service agreement and the practices of the manufacturer Renault Trucks Turkiye Ticaret A.S. under (i) Article 3, 5, 6 of the Block Exemption Communiqué n° 2005/4 on Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the Motor Vehicle Sector with (...)

The Finnish Market Court fines motor vehicle spare parts cartel (Osaset)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment issued on 20 February 2009, the Finnish Market Court confirmed the Finnish Competition Authority’s (“FCA”) finding of a cartel affecting the market for distribution of motor vehicle spare parts in Finland. The Court found that five companies active in the wholesale of motor vehicle (...)

The European Commission holds rountable with stakeholders concerning the future of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis
On 9 February 2009, European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes hosted a roundtable on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation at which a small group of industry leaders were invited to give their views on the future block exemption regime. There has been a delay in the timetable (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on network reorganization and termination of distribution agreements (Volkswagen / Montélimar Automobiles)
Vogel & Vogel
Up until 2003 a car manufacturer had distributed its vehicles via networks specific to each brand by guaranteeing territorial exclusivity to all of its dealers. With the entry into force of Regulation n° 1400/2002 , the company opted for a qualitative and quantitative selective distribution (...)

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

The Croatian Competition Authority rules on the compatibility of the promotion campaigns of an automobile importer with the block exemption regulation (Sanabilis/Citroën)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Citroën Hrvatska d.o.o. (Citroën) is the exclusive importer of Citroën automobiles in Croatia, which established a selective distribution network of 19 distributors and 22 retailers of original spare parts and repair service centers. One of the Citroën’s distributors Sanabilis d.o.o. (Sanabilis) (...)

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

The European Commission imposes the highest-ever cartel fine on four car glass manufacturers (Asahi Glass Company, Saint-Gobain, Pilkington, Soliver)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission imposes the highest-ever cartel fine (more than € 1.3 billion) on four car glass manufacturers"* On 12 November 2008 the Commission adopted a decision and imposed fines totalling € 1 383 million on four manufacturers of car glass. The addressees of the decision were the Japanese firm (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds lawful reduced 12-month notice period for dealership terminations for substantial network reorganization considered necessary by supplier in order to benefit from exemption under Reg. 1400/2002, provided it can be justified by objective circumstances (DAF Trucks)
Vogel & Vogel
Terminations on the basis of network reorganizations taking place at the time of entry into force of motor vehicle Block Exemption Regulation n° 1400/2002 have given rise to a number of decisions by the ECJ and in the courts of various Member States, and particularly in France. The latest (...)

A Swedish court fines eight car dealers for participating in a cartel (Renault and Volvo dealers)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Svea hovrätt (Swedish courts)
On 10 December 2002 the Swedish Competition Authority (the “SCA”) carried out dawn raids at the premises of eight car dealers following complaints presented to the SCA. Subsequent to the dawn raids and an investigation, the SCA initiated proceedings before the Stockholm District Court claiming (...)

The English High Court considers whether a no-challenge provision in a patent settlement agreement might be unenforceable on the basis that it was in breach of Art. 81 EC (Knorr-Bremse Systems/Haldex Brake)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
In the context of a ruling on jurisdiction, which determined that a UK company is not bound by the terms of a German settlement agreement relating to a patent dispute, the English High Court considers, without deciding the issue, whether a no-challenge provision in a patent settlement agreement (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitments on four car manufacturers to give independent repairers proper access to repair information (DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Four decisions bind DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors to commitments to give independent repairers proper access to repair information"* I. Introduction: Importance of these decisions for consumers It is commonly recognised that there is a widespread problem in the motor (...)

A French Court receives the first application ever from the European Commission acting as amicus curiae on the basis of Reg. N°1/2003 in a case concerning the application of the automotive block exemption (Garage Gremeau/Daimler Chrysler)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Facts and proceedings Garage Gremeau had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the distribution of Mercedes Benz motor vehicles in the Dijon area (Burgundy) since 1982. On the basis of the new Commission Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 July 2002, on the application of Article (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides on the effects of legal changes brought by EC Reg. 1400/2002 on automobile distribution networks (Kfz-Vertragshändler III)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
Facts The plaintiff was a former authorised distributor of the defendant automobile manufacturer Bayerische Motorenwerke AG (BMW). In 1996, the plaintiff entered into a contract with BMW for the distribution of motor vehicles manufactured by BMW. This contract was based on a standard clause (...)

An Irish criminal court finds guilty a businessman involved in illegal prices fixing (Manning)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Irish Central Criminal Court, February 9th, 2007, Director of Public Prosecutions v. Denis Manning, not published Under Irish competition law certain offences (in essence infringements analogous to infringements of Articles 81 and 82 EC) attract criminal sanctions. Last February saw the (...)

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

The Finnish Competition Authority grants for the first time immunity from fines for a cartel whistleblower (Oy Arwidson Ab, HL Group Oy, Koivunen Oy...)
Dittmar & Indrenius
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Krogerus
The Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) has for the first time granted immunity from fines to a cartel member who, according to the Finnish leniency programme provisions, had come forward and revealed an alleged cartel on the Finnish vehicle spare parts wholesale market (the so-called (...)

A Swedish Court dismisses action by the NCA against a car-towing association for alleged price coordination (Assistancekåren and MRF-bärgarna)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
Background On September 1st, 2006, the Stockholm District Court ruled against the Swedish Competition Authority (hereinafter “SCA”) which had brought infringement proceedings for alleged price coordination against the non-profit car-towing association MRF-bärgarna (hereinafter “MRF”) and its (...)

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

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

The Irish Public Prosecutor brings criminal charges against a businessman alleged to have taken part in a price fixing agreement (IFDA-Ford)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Facts On 19 April 2006, the Director of Public Prosecutions for Ireland brought criminal charges against a businessman alleged to have aided members of the IFDA (Irish Ford Dealers Association) in fixing the prices of Ford vehicles on the Irish market. Few details have emerged concerning the (...)

A Dutch Court orders a car manufacturer to disclose technical information to independent repairers on the basis of EC Reg. n° 1400/2002 (Pca/Peugeot)
European Commission - DG HR
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Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
PCA is an association of car dealers active in the reparation and maintenance services of Peugeot cars. Peugeot NL imports Peugeot cars in The Netherlands and has selected authorised repairers for the distribution and maintenance of its cars (authorised repairers). Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, (...)

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

The German federal Court of justice finds, after referring the case to the ECJ for preliminary ruling, that formerly block exempted motor vehicle distribution agreements contain hardcore restrictions under the new EC Reg. 1400/2002 (“Kfz-Vertragshändler II”)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The contractual relationship between the German car manufacturer BMW and its authorized car dealers is based on a formal dealer agreement. In respect of the termination of the contract, a 12 months’ instead of a 24 months’ notice applies if BMW sees the necessity to reorganise the (...)

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

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that the old EC Regulation 1475/95 only exempts endeavours to “sell” motor vehicles but prohibits endeavours to “purchase” if they have the effect of anticompetitive obligations to purchase (Bezugsbindung)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Facts of the case Renault Germany AG as the sole national sales company for Renault brand in Germany sells its motor vehicles through a selective distribution system in which authorized "A-dealers" enter into a dealership agreement with Renault Germany. On a second distribution level (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that the old EC Regulation 1475/95 only exempts endeavours to “sell” motor vehicles but prohibits endeavours to “purchase” if they have the effect of anticompetitive obligations to purchase (Bezugsbindung)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Facts of the case Renault Germany AG as the sole national sales company for Renault brand in Germany sells its motor vehicles through a selective distribution system in which authorized "A-dealers" enter into a dealership agreement with Renault Germany. On a second distribution level (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that a car service agreement contains a minimum purchase requirement that violates Art. 81.1 and is void under Art. 81.2 EC (Renault)
Background Until June 2001, the defendant was an authorized Renault dealer in Germany, belonging to the so-called A-category of dealers. In 1996, the defendant entered into a so-called Service Agreement with the claimant on the supply of new Renault vehicles and original spare parts. The (...)

The Belgium Commercial Court assesses the validity of an alleged anticompetitive car distribution agreement on the basis of Art. 81 EC and the EC block exemption regulation (Daimler-Chrysler)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Chemicals Agency
The Belgian Commercial Court examined whether certain practices by the defendants infringed Article 81 EC, and in particular whether such practices could benefit from the provisions contained in the applicable EC block exemption regulation relating to the application of Article 81(3) EC to (...)

Un Tribunal néerlandais rejette la demande d’un ancien concessionnaire Daewoo de l’admettre dans le réseau de réparateurs agréés sur le double fondement du Règ. n° 1400/2002 CE et de l’Art. 81 CE (Daewoo Motor Benelux)
European Commission - DG HR
Daewoo Motor Benelux (ci-après “Daewoo”) a mis fin au contrat de distribution l’unissant à un concessionnaire automobile en raison de la diminution de ses ventes et de la qualité de ses services après-vente, et de la perte de confiance subséquente de la part de Daewoo. Par la suite, cet ancien (...)

The Paris Court of appeal widens the possibilities for car manufacturers to fight against illegal parallel imports (Peugeot-SPEA-CNPA)
Lni avocats (Paris)
In April and August 1995, a European Automobile Association, the Syndicat des professionnels européens de l’automobile (SPEA), had referred a matter to the French Competition Council regarding practices implemented in the automobile distribution sector by two major French car manufacturers (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides on the validity of several standard clauses contained in motor vehicle distribution agreements (CITROËN)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 13 July 2004, the German Federal Court of Justice issued a judgement on the validity of several standard clauses contained in motor vehicle distribution agreements concluded between the French automobile manufacturer CITROËN and its licensed dealers in Germany. The case concerned the (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds price fixing among competitors concerning the determination of recommended prices applied towards their sub-contractors to be anti-competitive (Trans Holding)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The undertakings under investigation (five Hungarian undertakings, the business activity of which is carrying out the examination of originality of automotives) agreed in fixing their prices towards their sub-contractors and at the same time required such (...)

The European Commission applies for the first time the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation in a case concerning authorized repairers (AUDI)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
"The first case of application of the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation: AUDI’s authorised repairers"* Introduction The new motor vehicle block exemption regulation (BER) entered into force on 1 October 2002. A one-year transitional period until 30 September 2003 is foreseen in the (...)

The European Commission issues new explanatory brochure on block exemption regulation n° 1400/2002 on the motor vehicle sector bringing competition rules closer to consumers and market operators
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"New explanatory Brochure on Commission Block Exemption Regulation n° 1400/2002 on the motor vehicle sector: bringing competition rules closer to consumers and market operators"* On 30 September 2002, the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission published an Explanatory (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 71.825 M against German car manufacturer for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty (DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The fourth prohibition decision in the area of car distribution in four years: This time it’s Mercedes’ turn"* Introduction The Commission decided on 10 October 2001 to impose a fine of EUR 71.825 million on DaimlerChrysler AG for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty in (...)

The European Commission issues its first decision concerning retail price maintenance and imposes a € 30.96 million fine on German car manufacturer (Volkswagen)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"First decision concerning retail price maintenance: Commission imposes a € 30.96 million fine on Volkswagen AG for retail price maintenance measures on the German market"* 1. Introduction On 30 May 2001, the European Commission adopted a decision imposing a fine of € 30.96 million on (...)

The Commercial Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of England and Wales makes a group litigation order in a competition case in the automobile sector (Prentice / DaimlerChrysler UK)
Reed Smith (London)
Gerald Barling is a justice of the High Court and president of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). He wrote an article “Collective Redress for Breach of Competition Law – A Case for Reform” published in Competition Law Journal Volume 10 Issue 1, 2011. In it he deals with Group Litigation Orders (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court found that an exclusive car distribution agreement falled within the scope of Regulation 123/1985 and confirmed damages (Mercedes)
London School of Economics
On 10 February 1987, the Spanish subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz (hereinafter, “Mercedes”) and Motor Lugo, S.L. (“Motor Lugo”, which later became Auto Lugo) concluded an exclusive distribution agreement concerning the cars and spare parts manufactured by the former. Both parties agreed to set a minimum (...)

The European Commission prepares a report on the evaluation of the block exemption regulation relating to motor vehicle distribution (Regulation (EC) n° 1475/95)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Monitoring of Regulation (EC) n° 1475/95 concerning the distribution of motor vehicles"* The block exemption Regulation relating to motor vehicle distribution entered into force on July 1, 1995 and will expire on September 30, 2002. It allows selective and exclusive distribution and servicing (...)

The European Commission adopts a report on the evaluation of reg. 1475/95 concerning the distribution of motor vehicles
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission adopts a Report on the evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 1475/95 concerning the distribution of motor vehicles and publishes two further studies"* INTRODUCTION Motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements are governed by the sector specific block exemption, Commission (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine on Dutch car manufacturers for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands (Opel Nederland, General Motors Nederland)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission Decision of 20 September 2000 imposing a fine on Opel Nederland and General Motors Nederland for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands"* 1. Introduction The Commission imposed a fine of € 43 million on Opel Nederland B.V., the Dutch importer of cars of the Opel (...)

The European Commission ends its action against a motorcycle manufacturer after it stopped prohibiting its Benelux dealers selling to UK customers (Triumph)
European Commission - DG RTD
"Triumph’s export ban for motorcycles brought to an end upon Commission’s intervention"* The European Commission has decided to end its action against the motorcycle manufacturer Triumph after the company stopped prohibiting its Benelux dealers selling to UK customers. Triumph is a manufacturer (...)

The European Commission approves the cooperation agreement between two car manufacturers (General Motors/Fiat)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Kreab
"The Commission approves the cooperation agreement between General Motors Corporation and Fiat SpA"* On 16 August 2000, the Commission cleared the cooperation agreement between General Motors and Fiat in the areas of powertrains, jointpurchase of car components and some other joint activities, (...)

The European Court of Justice confirms the Commission’s decision concerning infringements of article 81 TFUE in a motor vehicle distribution case (Volkswagen)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Judgement by the Court of First Instance of 6 July 2000 concerning Commission Decision 98/273/Volkswagen of 28 January 1998"* History By decision of 28.1.1998, the Commission had imposed a record fine of € 102 million on Volkswagen AG, for having committed a very serious infringement of (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the prohibition to fix prices regarding contracts with third parties is applicable to the relationship between franchisor and franchisee at least in the event that the franchisee himself bears the economic risk of his franchising business (Preisbindung durch Franchisenehmer)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with indirect RPM in the framework of a franchising system in which the franchisor who operates several own branches, advertises for certain prices without however limiting the indications of prices to his own branches or pointing out their (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds recommended price compatible with competition law (Opel)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case Opel Southeast Europe Kft. (the exclusive importer and wholesaler of Opel branded vehicles in Hungary) concluded vehicle distribution agreements with its partners. According to the agreement, Opel had the right to recommend the resale price of the vehicles sold (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds making a set resale price as a condition to conclude a distribution agreement with a producer to be anticompetitive (Magyar Suzuki)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case Magyar Suzuki, the Hungarian producer of Suzuki branded motor vehicles concluded distribution agreements with 110 dealers. An overall condition for the conclusion of the distribution agreement was, among others, that the distributors / dealers undertook to (...)

The European Commission adopts a new regulation on motor vehicle distribution
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The New Regulation on Motor Vehicle Distribution"* The new Commission Regulation (EC) No 1475/95(OJ L 145 of 29.6.1995, p.25) on the application of Article 85 (3) of the Treaty to certain categories of motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements has become applicable from 1 October (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the formerly applicable vertical price fixing prohibition generally applies when the granting of rebates is subject to the maintenance of certain prices that a producer has recommended to the dealers (Nora-Kunden-Rückvergütung)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The BGH holds that in the event that a producer of automobile spare parts offers his dealers rebates under the condition that the dealers do not exceed the prices recommended by the producer in their contracts with certain customers, such price recommendation (...)

Dominance

The Portuguese Competition Authority receives commitments from a car manufacturer ending competition concerns regarding motor vehicles warranties (SIVA)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
SIVA offers commitments to the Portuguese Competition Authority regarding motor vehicles warranties* The Portuguese Competition Authority has opened proceedings against SIVA – Sociedade de Importação de Veículos Automóveis, S.A., the Portuguese importer of Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda brands, for (...)

The U.S. Department of Justice recommends a significantly reduced fine for an auto parts manufacturer accused of bid-rigging and price-fixing (Kayaba Industry)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
The U.S. Department of Justice has recommended a significantly reduced fine for an auto parts defendant accused of bid-rigging and price-fixing, based largely on the defendant’s having quickly instituted a rigorous antitrust compliance program – even though only after the government initiated its (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by a car manufacturer related to vehicle warranties’ restrictions (Ford)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The PCA converts into mandatory conditions the commitments presented by Ford Lusitana regarding motor vehicle warranties* The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) converts into mandatory conditions all the commitments presented by Ford Lusitana, S.A. (Ford), in order to address the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority receives commitments proposed by a car manufacturer to end the competition concerns regarding motor vehicles warranties (Ford)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Ford offers commitments to the Portuguese Competition Authority regarding motor vehicles warranties* The Portuguese Competition Authority has opened proceedings against Ford Lusitana, S.A. (Ford) for alleged infringements of the competition rules, on January 2015. The Portuguese Competition (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority opens an inquiry against dominant manufacturers in the automobile industry (Indus Motor / Pak Suzuki Motor)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP initiates inquiry into unfair trading conditions imposed by dominant manufacturers in the automobile industry* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has initiated an inquiry under Section 37 of the Competition Act, 2010 into the possible anti-competitive behaviour of the two (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority converts into mandatory conditions the commitments proposed by a car manufacturer in the market of motor vehicle warranties (Peugeot)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The PCA converts into mandatory conditions the commitments presented by Peugeot Portugal regarding motor vehicle warranties* The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) converts into mandatory conditions all the commitments presented by Peugeot Portugal Automóveis, S.A. (Peugeot), in order to (...)

The Indian Competition Commission initiates investigations in relation to resale price maintenance in the e-commerce and automobile sectors (Jasper / KAFF, FX Enterprise / Hyundai)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India Initiates Investigation in relation to Resale Price Maintenance –impact on business operations* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recently launched investigations in relation to RPM in two sectors: the e-commerce sector (Jasper Infotech Private (...)

The Higher Regional 
Court of Frankfurt dismisses action for to be admitted to an authorised network (Man Vertragswerkstatt)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 29 July 2014, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (“Court”) upheld the decision of the Regional Court of Frankfurt dismissing the action brought by an automotive repair shop to be admitted to the authorised repair network of a passenger vehicle manufacturer. The automotive (...)

A US District Court dismisses a federal antitrust claim brought against automobile manufacturer by a franchise car dealer for failing to prove facts concerning an alleged tying between the rental agreement and the volume of cars sold (Matthew Enterprise / Chrysler Group)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Northern District of California Addresses Functional Discounts, Price Discrimination Claims* In Mathew Enterprise, Inc. v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95522 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2014) (Freeman, J.), the court dismissed certain Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination claims and (...)

A Chinese Higher People’s Court rejects plaintiff’s claim alleging that a vehicle manufacturer and a vehicle repair service shop abused their dominant market position by requiring high profits and refusing to deal (Liu Dahua v. Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company)
Renmin University of China
I. Introduction of Liu Dahua v. Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company, etc. Anti-monopoly Case “OEM parts” refer to the parts which are produced by OEM part suppliers for the vehicle manufacturer and printed with the vehicle manufacturer logo. In China’s market, OEM parts are usually supplied (...)

The UK OFT decides it has no grounds to take further action against fuel card operator over alleged abuse of dominance (CH Jones)
The University of Manchester
The facts CH Jones is a subsidiary of Fleetcor Inc and in the course of its practice it issues fuel cards under its ‘Keyfuels’ brand. The latter are payment cards to access diesel on the road and are often used by firms with a fleet of large goods vehicles. CH Jones’ customers purchase diesel (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court clarifies the conditions regarding the existence of an abuse of economic dependence (Toyota Portugal)
Sérvulo & Associados
The recent Toyota Portugal judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça) provides a clear-cut opportunity to, even briefly, examine the current stances on the abuse of economic dependency (also known as relative dominance), i.e., the practice where one undertaking (...)

The Danish Competition Council issues an order to stop refusal of supply and restrictions to parallel trade within the railway engine spare part sector (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
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Horten Law Firm
On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) held that the German manufacture of industrial engines Deutz AG (“Deutz”) and their exclusive dealer in Scandinavia, Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (“Diesel Motor Nordic”), had infringed Danish and European competition law (section 6 and 11 of the (...)

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission fines the leading taxi automobile supplier for implementing a territorial-restriction policy through sale subsidies (Toyota)
Chung Yuan Christian University
Introduction In March 2012, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) imposed a NT$3,000,000 fine on Toyota, the leading taxi automobile supplier in Taiwan, for limiting the sales of its Taiwanese dealers to the assigned "areas of responsibility" (AOR). This case infused new elements into the (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court dismisses repair shop action over right to be admitted to a passenger car manufacturer’s authorised repair network (MAN)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 21 December 2011, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (the Court), sitting as the court of last instance, decided an important case concerning the right of a manufacturer of passenger vehicles to refuse to appoint a repairer applying to be admitted to its authorised repair network. The (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses antitrust claims for failing to prove abusive conduct in the car aftermarket (Dongfeng Nissan case)
Institute of American Studies
The Dongfeng Nissan Case and the Gaps of China’s Competition Law Regime in Tackling Vertical Restraints* The recent Dongfeng Nissan Case shed some interesting lights on the status of vertical restraints rules in China, three years after China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) became effective in August (...)

The Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) investigates and handles antimonopoly case against a local government for abuse of administrative power in the market for vehicles’ GPS services (Guangdong Province)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies
The Administration for Industry and Commerce of Guangdong Province (Guangdong AIC) Investigated and Handled Local Government’s Administrative Monopoly Conduct* In January 2011, three companies complained to the Guangdong AIC, a local bureau of the SAIC, alleging that a municipal government of (...)

A local branch of the Chinese SAIC applies for the first time the anti-monopoly law against a local government for abuse of administrative powers (Heyuan municipal government)
Lni avocats (Paris)
It has been reported that on June 12, 2011, the Guangdong Provincial administration for industry and commerce ("Guangdong AIC") requested the local Guangdong provincial government to correct the abusive conduct of a municipal government which had, by various measures, restricted the competition (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides on the obligation of car manufacturers to contract with authorised repairers of competitors (MAN-Vertragswerkstatt)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 30 March 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice overruled a judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Munich and restored the judgment of the Regional Court of Munich in first instance. The question at stake was whether MAN had an obligation to contract with authorised repairers of Daimler (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice dismisses action of repair shop to be admitted to the authorised repair network of a commercial vehicle manufacturer based on alleged abuse of dominance (MAN)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a recent judgment delivered on 30 March 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice dismissed the action brought by a vehicle repairer to be admitted to the authorised repair network of MAN, a commercial vehicle manufacturer, based on the claim that MAN was abusing its dominant position as (...)

The Brazilian Council for Economic Defense (CADE) holds that the exercise of an industrial property right could turn out to be illegitimate and be an antitrust violation (Volkswagen do Brasil Indústria de Veículos Automotivos)
Tauil & Chequer (in cooperation with Mayer Brown)
The author gives thanks to Mr. Bruno Droghetti Magalhães Santos and to Ms. Christine Holland, who gave support in research that was very useful to build this article. I. Background to the dispute The case refers to a Preliminary Investigation introduced by the Secretariat of Economic Law of (...)

The Turkish Competition Board evaluates allegations against luxury car manufacturers for refusing to provide spare parts (Fer Mas Oto Ticaret/Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Porsche)
Erdem & Erdem
The Competition Board («Board») evaluated the complaints against Fer Mas raised by a private service alleging that Fer Mas infringed effective competition by refusing to provide the requested spare parts. I. The parties and the allegations The complainant is a private service company providing (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina applies EC competition law standards prosecuting exclusive importer of automobiles for abuse of dominant position (ASA Auto / MRM export-import, "Volkswagen" case)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina fined an exclusive importer of the Volkswagen automobiles into B&H for abusing its dominant position on the relevant market. The abuse was manifested by the refusal to deal and application of the dissimilar conditions to the (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition annuls a first-instance decision concerning an alleged discrimination by a car manufacturer of leasing companies (Skoda)
Government of the Czech Republic
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
By a decision on appeal rendered on 3 February, 2006, the President of the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition has annulled a first instance decision according to which ŠKODA AUTO a.s. (“Škoda”), a Czech car manufacturer belonging to the Volkswagen group, had allegedly abused of its (...)

A French first instance Court ready to welcome the defendant’s counter-claim that the plaintiff abused its alleged dominant position through aggressive and spurious patenting policy on the basis of Art. 82 EC (LuK Lamellen/Valeo)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
In most patent litigation cases, the defendant’s standard defence consists in challenging the validity of the plaintiff’s patents, whose infringement is claimed. In this case, the defendant’s counter-claim was also based on a far less usual weapon, i.e. the plaintiff’s alleged abuse of dominant (...)

The Danish Competition Council condemns a car manufacturer for abusing its dominant position by imposing surprise inspections on spare part dealers (Mazda)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 26 October 2005, the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) adopted a decision condemning Mazda Motor Denmark for abusing its dominant position under section 11(1) of the Danish Competition Act by informing its authorised dealers and repairers that it intended to carry out surprise inspections at (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the EC motor vehicles block exemption does not create any obligation to admit a plaintiff as an authorized repairer (Qualitative Selektion)
Fresenius Medical Care (Frankfurt)
Background The defendant, a manufacturer of motor vehicles, terminated its service agreement with the plaintiff, an authorized provider of repair and maintenance services, by contractual notice effective June 30, 2002. The defendant intended to change its criteria for selecting authorized (...)

The Greek Competition Commission refuses to adopt interim measures against a refusal to access to a motor vehicle distribution network, the insolvency of the distributor being considered as a valid commercial justification, which is not sanctioned by EC Reg. n° 1400/2002 (Auto Service/Technocar)
University College London
The company Auto Service, member of the Technocar’s motor vehicle distributor network has been informed in 2003 by Technocar that it would not be included in the distribution network, which was re-organized accordingly to the principles of the new Commission Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 (...)

The Czech Constitutional Court declares that, in the period preceding the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU, the rights guaranteed by the Constitution were not infringed by the Czech competition authorities basing their interpretation of Czech competition law on the corresponding EC rules (Skoda Auto)
Government of the Czech Republic
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The decision of the Ministry for Competition (the predecessor of the Czech NCA) in the Škoda Auto case, confirmed on constitutional complaint by the Constitutional Court in its judgement rendered on 29 May 1997, is one of the oldest and at the same time most controversial cases of application of (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the market for the production and supply of plastic bumpers (Plastic Omnium / Faurecia)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of an automotive component business of Faurecia by Plastic Omnium, subject to conditions* The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the automotive plastic exterior component business of Faurecia by Compagnie (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the market of high definition digital maps for cars (BMW, Daimler & Audi / HERE)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
BMW, Daimler and Audi can aquire Nokia’s HERE mapping service* In the first phase of merger control the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of the HERE mapping service, which until now has belonged to the Finnish Nokia Corporation, by a consortium of the German car manufacturers BMW, (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market of automotive spare parts (Trost Auto Service Technik / Wessels & Müller)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Merger of wholesalers of automotive spare parts cleared subject to conditions precedent* fter an in-depth examination the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Trost Auto Service Technik SE, Stuttgart, by Wessels & Müller SE, Osnabrück, subject to conditions. Both companies sell (...)

The US DOJ approves a merger in the vehicle air springs market under conditions in order to resolve a vertical antitrust concern (Continental / Veyance Technologies)
Doyle, Barlow & Mazard
DOJ’s Approval of Continental AG’s Acquisition of Veyance Requires Remedy of a Vertical Concern* On December 11, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) approved Continental AG’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Veyance Technologies with conditions. The settlement agreements requires Continental to (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office clears an acquisition taking the form of direct joint control in the market of products for automobile (Bolten Family / Fehrer Group)
Slovak Competition Authority
MERGERS: AMO SR approved merger of Bolten Family and Fehrer Group* On 22 September 2014 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Concentrations approved the merger consisting in acquisition of direct joint control of undertakings undertakings Carl Conrad Bolten, Martina (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the component suppliers to the automotive market (Veyance Technologies / Continental)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Veyance by Continental* In second phase proceedings the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Veyance Technologies, Inc., Fairlawn, Ohio/USA, by Continental (...)

The Competition Commission of India takes action against gun-jumping by airlines (Etihad / Jet Airways)
Economic Laws Practice
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Economic Laws Practice
1. Introduction 1.1. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), while approving the acquisition of 17.36% post issue equity share capital of Standard Greases & Specialties Private Limited (SGSPL) by Alpha TC Holdings Pte Limited (Alpha TC Holdings) and Tata Capital Growth Fund I (TCGF I), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes that the conclusion of exclusive distribution agreements could also constitute a concentration under certain circumstances (Pappas Auto, Danube Truck/Iveco)
Dentons (Budapest)
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Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
I. Facts Pappas Auto Magyarország Kereskedelmi és Szervíz Kft. (“Pappas Auto”) and Danube Truck Magyarország Kft. (“Danube Truck”) acquired the vehicle distribution, spare part supply and maintenance branches of IVECO commercial vehicles and buses from IVECO S.p.A. (“IVECO”). Both Pappas Auto and (...)

The US FTC orders divestitures plus novel standard essential patent remedy in a merger between two leading suppliers of air conditioning recycling products (Bosch/SPX)
Goodwin Procter (Washington)
On November 26, 2012, by a 3-2 vote, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement in connection with the acquisition of SPX Service Solutions US, LLC (SPX) by Robert Bosch GmbH (Bosch). The settlement is noteworthy not because it contained a predictable requirement to (...)

The US FTC proposes acquisition consent agreement to resolve unprecedented allegations on enforcement of standards-essential patents (Bosch / SPX)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week announced a highly unusual proposed consent agreement reached with Robert Bosch GmbH ("Bosch") that permits Bosch’s acquisition of SPX Service Solutions U.S. LLC ("SPX Service Solutions") from SPX Corporation ("SPX") to proceed. More significantly, it (...)

The US FTC gets an extension to review acquisition in the rental-car service industry (Hertz/Dollar Thristy)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Hertz Gives FTC More Time to Review Its Proposed Acquisition of Dollar Thrifty* What would likely be the last major acquisition in the car rental industry may soon be completed, with the blessing of the Federal Trade Commission. The pending acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (...)

The Turkish Competition Board authorizes a joint control acquisition in the sector of manufacture and sale of components and systems for automotive and motor vehicles (Mahle/Behr)
Erdem & Erdem
The Competition Board (the “Board”) authorized, under Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition numbered 4054 (the “Competition Act”) and the Communiqué No: 2010/4 Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board (the “Merger Communiqué”), the (...)

The UK Competition Commission provisionally clears acquisition in the commercial vehicles tail lifts spare parts business (Ratcliff Palfinger / Ross&Bonnyman)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Introduction and background Ratcliff Palfinger (Ratcliff) manufactures and supplies tail lifts for commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and trains. Ross & Bonnyman (R&B) manufactures and supplies tail lifts for commercial vehicles, ambulances and mezzanine and yard lifts. Both (...)

The UK OFT decision in car club merger highlights complexities of UK’s "voluntary" merger review regime (Zipcar, Streetcar)
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
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London School of Economics
On 10 August 2010, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred Zipcar‘s already-completed acquisition of Zipcar to the UK Competition Commission (CC) for an in-depth investigation. Zipcar and Zipcar now must suspend further integration of their businesses, pending the outcome of the CC’s (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court approves of the NCA’s qualifying, with reference to Art. 3(5)(c) of Reg. 139/2004, a national-dimension acquisition of control as a concentration notifiable under the Competition Act but quashes the fine for non-notification (Allianz Leasing Bulgaria)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. An ex officio investigation of Allianz Bulgaria Holding’s non-notified acquisition of Allianz Leasing Bulgaria (formerly Balkan Star Services), a vehicle leasing company, gave both the Competition Protection Commission (hereinafter ‘CPC’) and the Supreme Administrative Court (...)

The Greek Competition Authority conditionally clears service station merger (Shell Hellas, Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 June 2010, the Greek Competition Authority conditionally cleared the acquisition of Shell Hellas by Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries. The Competition Authority held that the transaction, as initially notified, would create or strengthen a dominant position on certain retail markets (...)

The Federal Cartel Office clears in Phase II the acquisition of a business area of Edscha by Webasto, two competitors in a highly concentrated market (Webasto/Edscha)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
On 22 December 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) issued a decision by which it cleared a merger control concentration between two competing manufacturers of roof systems for convertibles in phase two. The question at stake was whether the intended concentration in a highly (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears major overseas transaction in automobile industry subject to conditions (GM/Delphi)
WilmerHale (Beijing)
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WilmerHale (Beijing)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has just cleared two major overseas transactions, Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth in the pharmaceuticals industry and General Motors’ reacquisition of elements of auto parts manufacturer Delphi on September 28 and 29, respectively. Both clearances were subject (...)

The Turkish Competition Board clears in Phase I a merger in the automobile sector and enlarged the interpretation of “control” by referring to the notion of “negative control” and “negative sole control” (Chrysler/Fiat Merger)
Erdem & Erdem
The Turkish Competition Board (“CB”), in its decision numbered 09-31/678-159, dated July 1st, 2009, authorized the acquisition of Chrysler LLC (“Chrysler”) by Fiat S.p.A (“Fiat”), which has taken over all the activities of the Chrysler Group. Operation The acquisition is twofold : Acquisition of (...)

The German Competition Authority clarifies its approach towards an alleged oligopoly on the German retail petrol markets in a decision prohibiting the acquisition of 59 gas stations in Saxony and Thuringia (Total / OMV)
Dentons (Berlin)
In the decision of 29 April 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of OMV Deutschland GmbH’s (“OMV”) 59 petrol stations located in Saxony and Thuringia by Total Deutschland GmbH (“Total”). The FCO founded in its decision that the concentration to strengthen (...)

The French Competition Authority applies for the first time merger rules specific to the retail distribution sector (Pellier Metz, Bailly)
Vogel & Vogel
The decision rendered on 8 April 2009 by the Competition Authority concerning the takeover of the company Pellier Metz SAS by the group Bailly SAS constitutes the first application of the new merger control provisions applicable to the distribution sector under the LME law of 4 August 2008 and (...)

The Latvian Competition Council approves acquisition of car distributors by an independent retailer of automobiles pursuant to Art. 16 of the Latvian Competition Law (Inchcape/Baltic Motors)
Kronbergs & Čukste
On July 18, 2007, the Latvian Competition Council adopted a decision clearing the acquisition of control over subsidiaries of Baltic Motors Corporation (hereinafter “BMC”) and SIA “BM Auto” (hereinafter “BM Auto”) by Inchcape Corporate Services Ltd., notified on June 12. 2007. The acquiring company (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in automobile equipment industry (HgCapital/Denton)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2007"* On 13 June the European Commission acknowledged the abandonment of the proposed acquisition of Denton (US) by the UK-based financial investment group HgCapital, owner of FTSS, and closed its investigation following the (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to remedies, an acquisition in the automotive battery sector (JCI/FIAMM)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2007"* In May the Commission approved the acquisition by VB Autobatterie GmbH of Germany of the automotive battery business of the Italian FIAMM group. The approval decision was made subject to the implementation of certain (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the automobile distribution and servicing sector subject to the divestment of identified dealerships (Inchcape/European Motor Holdings)
Serle Court
The operation Inchcape plc (“Inchcape”) is an international automotive services group, primarily active in the import, distribution and retail of new and used motor vehicles and the provision of financial services. It operates 117 franchises for a range of motor vehicle marques. European Motor (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the retail market for new and used cars, subject to the divestment of four car dealerships (Pendragon/Reg Vardy)
Added Value Capital Partners (AVCP)
The operation Pendragon plc (“Pendragon”) is active in the UK in the retail sale, contract hire and leasing of new and used vehicles and associated servicing, repair and spare part supply services. Reg Vardy plc (Reg Vardy) is also active in these sectors. Pendragon acquired Reg Vardy on 14 (...)

The Czech Competition Authority clears in phase II a merger in the sector of assistance services provided to drivers with behavioural remedies (ÚAMK/ Autoklub Bohemia Assistance)
Clifford Chance (Prague)
By this phase II decision, the Office cleared a merger of ÚAMK a.s. ("ÚAMK") and Autoklub Bohemia Assistance ("Autoklub") with a remedy. The operation On the basis of decision dated 29 April 2005, the Office authorized in phase II the merger between ÚAMK and Autoklub, companies particularly (...)

The European Commission approves, subject to divestiture, a merger between two rubber companies mainly serving automotive industry (Phoenix/Continental)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2004"* The acquisition of Phoenix AG (Hamburg) by the German undertaking Continental AG involved two rubber companies which mainly serve the automotive industry. The transaction was approved subject to divestiture (...)

The EU Commission authorizes the acquisition of joint control of a newly created joint venture operating a system for the collection of road tolls from heavy trucks in Germany (DaimlerChrysler / Deutsche Telekom / Toll Collect)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG GROW
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2003 and 30th April 2003"* On 30 April 2003 the European Commission authorised the acquisition of joint control by DaimlerChrysler AG and Deutsche Telekom AG of the newly created joint venture Toll Collect GmbH. Toll Collect will establish (...)

The EU Commission approves an acquisition in the bus sector (MAN / Auwärter)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger control: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2001"* Following a thorough investigation, the European Commission on 20 June 2001 granted regulatory approval to the proposed takeover of Auwärter, the German company which makes the Neoplan buses and coaches, by the MAN group. The (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves an acquisition in the automobile industry (Volvo/Renault Vehicules Industriels)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* With regard to the acquisition by Volvo of Renault Vehicules Industriels («RVI«) one main concern was that following the prohibition of the proposed merger between Volvo and Scania, Volvo has remained a significant (...)

The European Commission approves a concentration between two Swedish truck producers (Volvo/Scania)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
"Case No : COMP/M. 1672 – Volvo/Scania"* Introduction On 15 March 2000, the Commission decided to declare the proposed concentration between the two Swedish truck producers, Volvo and Scania, incompatible with the common market. The prohibition decision was based on what may be summarised as a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office authorises a concentration through acquisition of minority shareholding with detailed reasoning on de facto control (Renault/Nissan)
lakatos, koves and partners
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lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar
The HCO initiated an investigation at the request of Renault S.A. ("Renault") for approval of the concentration of Renault and Nissan Motor Co. ("Nissan"). Renault and Nissan entered into an agreement pursuant to which Renault acquired a shareholding representing 36.8 per cent of the share (...)

The EU Commission initiates an in-depth investigation into the creation of a joint venture in the automobile industry (ABB / Daimler Benz)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
,
European Commission - DG HR
"Mergers : summary of the most important recent developments"* The Commission initiated an in depth investigation on 23 June 1995 in the ABB/Daimler Benz case. The proposed joint venture (to be called Daimler-Benz Rail Transportation) will cover the worldwide activities of ABB and Daimler-Benz (...)

State Aids

The EU Commission orders claw back in the first decisions to emerge in its crackdown on corporate tax avoidance (Fiat / Starbucks)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
On 21 October 2015, the European Commission adopted its first two decisions on the compatibility of tax rulings with EU State aid rules. The first case related to a Dutch tax ruling granted to Starbucks. The second case involved Fiat’s finance company, based in Luxembourg. In both cases, the (...)

The European Commission explains once again that tax rulings in case of advance pricing agreements can constitute State aids (FFT)
University of Oxford
Driving in the wrong direction? The opening decision in Fiat* What are we to make of the Commission’s decision to open an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of Fiat Finance and Trade (FFT) by Luxembourg? In late September 2014, the Commission published its decision to open an (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission decision finding illegal state granted by Poland and its failure to recover public debts from ailing company (Buczek Automotive)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 May 2011, the General Court (“GC”) ruled against a Commission decision dated 23 October 2007 ordering Poland to recover state aid granted to the Polish steel producer Technologie Buczek(“TB”) from TB‘s subsidiary Buczek Automotive sp. z o.o. (“BA”). Confronted with financial difficulties, TB (...)

The European Commission rules that financial support to a French automotive supplier did not constitute State aid since it complies with the market economy investor principle (FMEA, Trèves)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* Following an in-depth investigation, on 20 April the Commission decided that financial support of €55 million to automotive supplier Trèves from the Fonds de Modernisation des Equipementiers Automobiles (FMEA) does not constitute (...)

The European Commission authorises a grant of €19.2 M to an Italian sports car producer for a project to train its workforce at its two production sites (De Tomaso)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* By its decision of 23 March, the Commission authorised a grant of €19.2 million to the Italian sports car producer De Tomaso SpA for a project to train its workforce at its two production sites in Grugliasco (Piedmont) and (...)

The European Commission authorises a Danish public funding for a pilot programme incentivising the purchase of electric cars
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 8 March, the Commission authorised DKK15 million (approximately Eur. 2 million) of public funding for a pilot programme incentivising the purchase of electric cars until 31 December 2012. The scheme supports projects designed (...)

The European Commission authorizes € 16 M of regional investment aid notified by Italy in favor of car manufacturer for the production of car transmissions (Fiat Powertrain Technologies)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has authorised on 9 June 2010 €16 million of regional investment aid, which the Italian authorities intend to grant to Fiat Powertrain Technologies S.p.A. (FPT), a subsidiary of the Fiat Group, for the production of (...)

The European Commission authorizes plans notified by Sweden to provide a guarantee enabling a car manufacturer to access a loan from the European Investment Bank (Saab Automobile)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised plans notified by Sweden to provide a guarantee that will enable Saab Automobile AB to access a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan to be granted by the EIB will co-finance (...)

The European Commission authorizes € 51.9 M of aid which Spanish authorities intend to grant to company active in the automobile industry (Ford España)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* On 18 June 2009, under EU state aid rules, the Commission authorised € 51.9 million of aid which the Spanish authorities intend to grant to Ford España, part of the Ford Motor Company, for radically transforming their existing (...)

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

The French Administrative appeal court of Versailles rejects the arguments of a tax payer resisting the payment of a tax on certain advertising expenses on the ground that the levy was not hypothecated to any aid measures (Daimler Chrysler)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of a judgment of the administrative tribunal of Versailles of 14 March 2006 in favour of the society SA Daimler Chrysler France, which claimed the reimbursement of tax paid in 2002 on certain advertising expenses. Before the tribunal of (...)

The European Commission extends the community framework for State aid in the motor vehicle industry until the end of 2001
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Prolongation of the Community Framework for State aid in the motor vehicle industry until the end of 2001"* Background The Commission introduced a Community framework for State aid to the motor vehicle industry in 1989, with the twofold aim of increasing the transparency of aid flows and (...)

The European Commission and the Portuguese government reach an agreement on the repayment of training aid to a joint venture in the automobile industry, that exceeded the applicable ceiling (AutoEuropa/Ford/Volkswagen)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"PORTUGAL. Aides à la formation. Clôture du dossier"* The European Commission and the Portuguese Government have reached agreement on the repayment of training aid to AutoEuropa, a Ford/Volkswagen joint venture, that exceeded the applicable ceiling. The Commission has therefore decided to close (...)

The European Commission approves a State aid in the motor vehicles industry addressing the issue of the use of cost-benefit analysis in cases with low aid intensities (Ford Bridgend)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Motor vehicles industry: Cost-benefit analysis is no longer used in cases with low aid intensities"* On 18 December 1996, the Commission took a positive decision on an investment aid project in favour of Ford Bridgend (South Wales, UK). The aided investment is concerned with setting up a (...)

The European Commission enjoins Germany to provide all information on new investment projects implemented by car manufacturer in the new German Länder and on the aid that is to be granted to them (Volkswagen)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Application of the "Boussac" – injunction"* The Commission has the power to issue an injunction ordering Member States to suspend payment of an aid pending the outcome of the investigation and/or to supply information needed for the Commission to take a decision on a case, which has not been (...)

Procedures

The Chinese NDRC releases the anti-monopoly guideline for the automotive industry for public consultation
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
The NDRC released the Anti-Monopoly Guideline for the Automotive Industry (Consultation Draft) for public consultation on 23 March 2016. The consultation period ran from 23 March to 12 April 2016. The draft guideline covers market definition, monopoly agreements, abuse of dominance, and abuse (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a car manufacturer for providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information (Ford)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC fines Ford for providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC) has imposed a fine of €150,000 on Ford, for providing false, inaccurate or incomplete information further to a request of the AdC in the context of (...)

The U.S. Department of Justice recommands a significantly reduced fine for an auto parts defendant accused of bid-rigging and price-fixing (Kayaba)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
The U.S. Department of Justice has recommended a significantly reduced fine for an auto parts defendant accused of bid-rigging and price-fixing, based largely on the defendant’s having quickly instituted a rigorous antitrust compliance program – even though only after the government initiated its (...)

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
,
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 Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposes fines on one undertaking for refusal to cooperate during an inspection (Automax)
Slovak Competition Authority
Fine for refusal to cooperate during the inspection* The Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic confirmed the fine in the amount of EUR 44 358 imposed on the undertaking AUTOMAX s.r.o. („AUTOMAX“) for disabling the Office to make the inspection. During the inspection in (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court supports the Competition Authority’s refusal to start an investigation (Lithuanian auto-entrepreneurs association)
SKVLAW
On February 24th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court supported decision of Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter – NCA) where the latter refused to start an investigation concerning different standards for new and used vehicles. The question was as tightly (...)

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)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
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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 US Third Circuit clarifies the standard for analyzing the legality of exclusive agreements (ZF Meritor/Eaton)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this case, the Third Circuit provided needed clarification on the standard for analyzing the legality of exclusive (or at least essentially exclusive) agreements that dominant firms enter into with their customer base. ZF Meritor, the only competitor of Eaton, the dominant supplier of (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading refers private motor insurance market to UK Competition Commission
European Commission (Brussels)
The UK Office of Fair Trading refers Private Motor Insurance Market to Competition Commission* On 28 September 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the UK’s private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission for further investigation amid concerns that the market is not (...)

The UK OFT provisionally decides to refer private motor insurance market to Competition Commission
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading provisionally decides to refer Private Motor Insurance Market to Competition Commission* On 31 May 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) provisionally decided to refer the private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission after it found (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority proposes liberalization of motor vehicle spare parts market
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council proposes Liberalization of Motor Vehicle Spare Parts Market* The Romanian Competition Council (RCC) has recently finalized its sector inquiry on spare parts for motor vehicles. The proposed scope of the investigation was to identify the market mechanisms (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its provisional findings in automotive aftermarkets sector inquiry and consults stakeholders
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence publishes its provisional Findings in Automotive Aftermarkets Sector Inquiry and consults Stakeholders* On 11 April 2012, the Autorité made its initial findings public in order to allow all players to submit their comments, before issuing its final Opinion, (...)

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals narrowly construes the scope of recoverable costs from electronic discovery to tasks, such as transferring and scanning data, that are analogous to making copies in the car racing industry (Race Tires Am./Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.)
Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
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Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
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Dow Jones (Princeton)
A recent opinion vacating most of the electronic discovery costs affirmed in Race Tires II provides clarity in the Third Circuit as to the limited scope of electronic discovery costs recoverable by a prevailing civil party. The rapidly evolving area of the law regarding whether a prevailing (...)

The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals limits the prevailing party’s recoverable costs from e-discovery to the equivalent of making copies in the motor racing industry (Race Tires Am./Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.)
Paul Hastings (New York)
On March 16, 2012, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals weighed into a debate raging among district courts on whether broad e-discovery costs are taxable on the bill of costs under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1920 and thus recoverable by the prevailing party. Race Tires America, Inc. v. Hoosier Racing Tire (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority publishes the results of the sector inquiry on the automobile fuels market
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 27 July 2011 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) published the results of its sector inquiry on the market for automobile fuels covering the two most popular types: gasoline 95 and diesel. This sector inquiry launched by the CPC in March 2011 was prompted by the increase in fuel prices (...)

The Belgium Supreme Court rules on the exact scope of the "full jurisdiction" of the Brussels Court of Appeal in competition cases (Honda)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Ideal Standard
1. Background Complaints and decision of the Belgian Competition Council Further to complaints lodged by twelve independent distributors of motorcycles before the Belgian Competition Council, five official importers of motorcycles (Honda, Suzuki, Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki) were condemned (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority accepts commitments to improve access of independent repairers to access to the technical training programs for Mercedes-Benz vehicles (Veho)
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: Veho’s Commitments to improve Access of independent Repairers to Training made legally binding On 28 June 2010, Veho Group Oy Ab’s (Veho)’s commitments, which had been accepted by the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) in its decision of 28 May 2010 in order to improve the independent (...)

The English High Court clarifies approach to be taken when considering striking out competition law claims (Sel-Imperial Limited / The British Standards Institution)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
With the jurisdiction of England and Wales becoming an increasingly popular forum for competition law claims, potential litigants continue to observe with interest how the peculiarities of English civil procedure will be applied in the competition law context. This case concerned the English (...)

The President of a French Commercial Court rules on the competence of the local court hearing applications for interim relief on matters involving competition law (Siac, Renault)
Vogel & Vogel
The interim order handed down by the President of the Albi Commercial Court on 28 October 2009 is of interest insofar as it has, for the first time in France, ruled on the issue of the competence of the local court hearing applications for interim relief to rule on matters involving competition (...)

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). (...)

A French Court rules that a commercial Court has no jurisdiction to withdraw the benefit of the exemption provided by a block exemption regulation (Turbo Europe/Peugeot-Renault-Citroën)
Vogel & Vogel
The company Turbo Europe, better known under the name Automobil- Eclerc, has been in dispute with the French automobile manufacturers for a number of years. After attempting to place orders for new vehicles from Peugeot, Citroën and Renault and being turned down on the grounds of not belonging (...)

The Irish High Court gives some indications as to the extent to which the judiciary may intervene in the NCA’s investigations (Competition Authority v. District Judge O’Donnell)
London School of Economics
High Court grants certiorari and quashes decision taken against the Competition Authority regarding the Authority’s conduct in an on-going cartel investigation Background It follows from Article 45(2) and (3) of the Irish Competition Act 2002 (the Act) that the Competition Authority (the NCA) (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals receives observations - submitted for the first time to a national court since adoption of Reg. n° 1/2003 - from the European Commission (Garage Gremeau/Daimler Chrysler)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Background According to Article 15(3) of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25), the European Commission (the “Commission”) may submit (...)

The Czech Competition Authority annuls in appeal its earlier decision invalidating the vehicle distribution agreements concluded between a car manufacturer representative and authorised dealers due to breach of defence rights (AuTec/BMW)
University Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris)
By the decision of 30 June 2006 rendered on appeal the President of the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereafter the “Office”) set aside the Office decision invalidating the vehicle distribution’s contracts and servicing agreements concluded between AuTec Group, a.s., the representative (...)

A French Court concludes that the new motor vehicle block exemption regulation EC N° 1400/2002 amounts to a substantial change in the legal environment of car manufacturers justifying a complete reorganisation of distribution networks (Daimler-Chrysler/SO.PA.VI.A)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
SO.PA.VI.A had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the exclusive distribution of new motor vehicles of the Mercedes Benz trademark in the Pau/Tarbes area (i. e. south-west of France), pursuant to an agreement of 25 September 1996 complying with the previous block exemption regulation (...)

Regulations

The Croatian Competition Authority carries out a legal analysis of the legislative framework regulating the road safety and the criteria prescribed for setting an adequate number of driving schools in Croatia
Croatian Competition Agency
The limitation of the number of driving schools in unwelcome in the sense of competition rules* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) carried out a legal analysis of the legislative framework regulating the road safety and the criteria prescribed for setting an adequate number of driving (...)

The Romanian Competition Council publishes its final conclusions regarding the automotive spare parts market
Kinstellar (Bucarest)
,
OMV Petrom
In April 2012, the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCA") in its report following to the sector inquiry into the automotive spare parts market (the "Report").proposed the implementation of the "repair clause" into Romanian legislation After a public consultation on its initial analysis and (...)

Public sector

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

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