Cartel settlements

Anticompetitive practices

Cartel settlements: An overview of EU and national case law
Allen & Overy (Brussels)
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Allen & Overy (Brussels)
The EU cartel settlement regime will soon celebrate its sixth anniversary since its introduction . After a somewhat hesitant start, cartel settlement would appear to have overcome its teething phase and to be gathering pace. Whilst 2013 was a particularly strong year, it remains to be seen (...)

Cartel settlements: An overview of EU and national case law
European University Institute (Florence)
The European Commission announced in March 2012 that it had concluded its fifth cartel settlement since the EU cartel settlement regime was adopted in 2008. The pace at EU-level has thus accelerated to that of a slow drip, although the Commission anticipates a more steady flow soon. With (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds for the first time that mere negotiations concerning a draft consortium agreement can qualify as a hardcore cartel (Alcufer)
Ernst & Young
On 26 July the Hungarian Competition Authority published its first ever cartel settlement decision which granted a 10% reduction from the fine to a settling party. The decision found that already the mere fact of negotiating with competitors a draft consortium agreement containing restrictive (...)

The EU General Court confirms Commission’s decision on immunity applications and attribution of liability (Deutsche Bahn / Schenker)
Blackstone Chambers
The Freight-Forwarding Cartels in the General Court: Lessons on Leniency and Discretion*On 29 February 2016, the General Court handed down its judgments in Case T-265/12 Schenker Ltd v European Commission; Case T-267/12 Deutsche Bahn AG and others v European Commission, upholding the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority adopts second settlement decision in industrial battery cartel case (Battery manufacturers)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 23 February 2016, the College of Competition Prosecutors (the “Competition College”) of the Belgian Competition Authority adopted its second settlement decision involving six battery manufacturers (Battery Supplies, Celecric, Emrol, Enersys, Exide Technologies and Hoppecke) on account of these (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority fines pharmaceutical companies for pay-for-delay deals (GSK)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
UK Antitrust Watchdog slaps $65 million fine on Pharma Companies in UK’s first pay-for-delay case*On 12 February 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”), UK’s competition regulator, fined a number of pharma companies for anti-competitive conduct and agreements in relation to the supply (...)

The EU Court of Justice receives an appeal from an undertaking part to a cartel settlement against EU General Court judgement in the animal feed phosphates cartel case (Timab)
Sidley Austin (London)
Timab litigates settlement all the way to the CJEU* The European Commission (“Commission”) introduced its settlement procedure for cartel cases back in 2008. The main aims? To make life easier for the Commission and to keep cartel cases out of the overburdened EU Courts. But Timab – a party (...)

The EU Commission fines cargo train operators in cartel settlement (Express Interfracht & Schenker)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Slams Cargo Train Operators With 49 Million Euro Fine In Cartel Settlement* The European Commission (“EC”) today imposed fines totalling 49,154,000 euros on Express Interfracht, part of the Austrian railway company Österreichische Bundesbahnen, and Schenker, a subsidiary of (...)

The US DOJ and the New York State Office of the Attorney General settle with tour bus operators, requiring them to pay $7.5 million for implementing barriers to entry (Coach USA, City Sights, Twin America)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
NYC Sightseeing Companies Settle with Federal and State Authorities* On March 17, 2015, two New York City-based tour bus operators agreed to settle allegations that they conspired to monopolize New York’s hop-on, hop-off sightseeing market between 2009 and 2015. Coach USA Inc. (“Coach”), City (...)

The US FTC settles restrictive practices charges with trade associations after they agreed to implement changes and compliance programs (PSA, PLASMA)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
In Settlement with FTC, Trade Associations Agree to Change Rules and Adopt Antitrust Compliance Programs* On March 3, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced two separate final orders with trade associations, Professional Skaters Association, Inc. (“PSA”) and Professional Lighting and (...)

A Canadian Court holds that information received by the Competition Bureau at the proffer stage of its immunity and leniency programs is not protected from disclosure to other accused persons by settlement privilege (R / Nestlé Canada)
Lighthouse Global
Proffers to Competition Bureau must be disclosed to accused, court says* Information received by the Competition Bureau at the proffer stage of its Immunity and Leniency Programs is not protected from disclosure to other accused persons by settlement privilege, the Ontario Superior Court of (...)

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 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 US FTC settles charges of two Internet resellers of UPC barcodes used by retailers for violation of the FTC Act by inviting competitors to collude to raise prices for barcodes sold over the Internet (680 Digital)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Scanner Emergency in Aisle Five: US FTC Settles Bar Code Seller Invitation to Collude Case* In an interesting case that caught my eye yesterday and today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a settlement in a case involving allegations that an online bar code re-seller engaged (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal asks for a submission on reasons for approving the cartel settlement and expresses doubts as regards the low level of fining (Premier Fishing)
Nortons Incorporated
Appellate competition body questions authority’s lenient fine* Tribunal expresses doubts as to lenient fining level of Premier Fishing The chairman of the South African Competition Tribunal, Takalani Madima, has asked the South African Competition Commission and Premier Fishing for ‘detailed (...)

The Irish High Court Competition files a settlement accepted by a medical association not to engage in boycotts or collective withdrawal of services (IMO)
Irish Competition Authority
Competition Authority secures High Court undertakings from the Irish Medical Organisation* The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has today provided undertakings to the High Court (i) not to organise or recommend the collective withdrawal of services or boycotts by its members and (ii) to advise (...)

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

A US District Court grants class certification and gives its preliminary approval for a partial class action settlement of a lawsuit on the allegation of conspiracy to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley (High-Tech employees)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Antitrust Laws Encourage Stealing* That’s right, the antitrust laws care so much about competition that they even prohibit agreements among competitors to not steal. In a society that morally condemns stealing, this is counter-intuitive (and a good reason to learn a little bit about (...)

The US FTC orders two professional associations to amend the codes of ethics in order to eliminate the anticompetitive restrictions imposed by each of them on its members (CALSPro / MTNA)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
U.S. FTC Finalizes Settlements in Association Code of Ethics Cases* As an update to two association cases that I blogged about last December (see: here), this past Friday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had approved settlements with two professional associations for (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority settles fines imposed for resale price maintenance between a distributor of hair products and some of its dealers (Coss)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: ”Distributor of hair products pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance”* On November 29, 2013, the company Coss (a Danish distributor of hair products) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority and accepted to pay a fine of DKK 100.000 (€ (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime enters into settlements with owners of driving schools in a cartel case (Driving schools)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 28 February 2014, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced in a press release that the owners of five driving schools had entered into a settlement with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (“PSEIC”) for infringing section 6 of the Danish (...)

A US District Court approves the proposed class action settlement of the antitrust suit over swipe fees (Visa / MasterCard)
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (Los Angeles)
Swipe Fee Settlement Yields More Litigation* Although the parties reached a $7.25 billion class action settlement of the antitrust suit brought by merchants against Visa and MasterCard over swipe fees, the case is far from over. The protracted legal battle centers on allegations by (...)

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 Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime settles with a cartel participant, major player in the market for white goods (Miele)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Miele A/S, Denmark, pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports on white goods* On July 18, 2013, Miele A/S, Denmark, entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of (...)

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

The 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
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 Danish Competition and Consumer Authority enters into a settlement with distributor of leisure weapons in a resale price maintenance case (HG Agencies)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 30 June 2013, the owner of the Danish distributor of leisure weapons, HG Agencies entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price maintenance on one of its dealers. Under the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority cartel settles with a domestic distributor of leisure weapons (HG Agencies)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Distributor of leisure weapons pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On June 30, 2013, the owner of the company HG Agencies (a Danish distributor of leisure weapons) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the (...)

A New Zealand High Court approves settlement in a long-running air cargo cartel case (Air New Zealand)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Air New Zealand final airline to settle with Commerce Commission in air cargo case* The High Court has approved a settlement under which Air New Zealand will pay a $7.5 million penalty for price-fixing in breach of the Commerce Act. (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority enters into a settlement with an international consumer goods manufacturer in a resale price maintenance case concerning ice cream (Unilever Denmark)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 30 April 2013, Unilever Danmark A/S (Danish subsidiary of the international consumer goods manufacturer, Unilever) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price maintenance on some (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime enters into a settlement with a white goods manufacturer in a resale price maintenance case (Witt Hvidevarer)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 April 2013, BSH Hvidevarer A/S (Danish subsidiary of the international home appliances manufacturer, BSH) entered into a settlement with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price (...)

The US FTC settles illegal information exchange allegations with hair restoration company (Bosley)
Kirkland & Ellis (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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General Electric (Washington)
On April 8, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed settlement with hair restoration company Bosley, Inc. to resolve allegations that Bosley illegally exchanged competitively sensitive, nonpublic business information with competitor HC (USA), Inc., commonly known as Hair (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal closes appeal against OFT dairy retail prices decision by consent order (Tesco)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 26 February 2013, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) made a consent order closing Tesco’s appeal against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) dairy retail prices decision In December 2012, the CAT had handed down its judgment on Tesco’s appeal against an earlier OFT decision (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit widens pool of plaintiffs able to pursue conspiracy claims under California Cartwright Act (AT&T Mobility/AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Ninth Circuit Widens Pool of Plaintiffs Able to Pursue Conspiracy Claims Under California Cartwright Act* The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ruled that a plaintiff need not make a purchase in California to recover overcharges for price-fixed goods under the California Cartwright Act. AT&T (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority settles with jewellery and watches designing company for an infringement of the prohibition on resale price maintenance (Georg Jensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Georg Jensen pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On January 16, 2013, Georg Jensen (a producer of lifestyle products) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority enters into a settlement with a design company in a resale maintenance price case (Georg Jensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 16 January 2013 the Danish design company Georg Jensen A/S (manufacturer of jewellery, watches and home accessories) entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price maintenance on its (...)

The U.S. FTC applies questionable principles to the enforcement of fair reasonable and non discriminatory - obligated SEPs through injunction in its settlement with leading web search engine (Google)
Techfreedom
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International Center for Law & Economics
Introduction In January of 2013, the Federal Trade Commission and Google (acting through its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility) signed a Consent Order ending the agency’s investigation into a number of practices. Much of the Order is aimed at imposing antitrust-based limits on the allowable process (...)

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

The German Competition Authority fines a confectionery manufacturer for anti-competitive exchange of information (Haribo)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes first Fine in Sweets Case* On 1 August 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has imposed fines totalling € 2 400 000 on the confectionery manufacturer Haribo GmbH & Co KG (Haribo) for having infringed Article 101 TFEU and the corresponding provision in (...)

The US DoJ announces to continue investigations into the e-book industry for alleged price-fixing conspiracy (Apple)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
The DOJ believes that Apple is forcing you to pay more for e-books* On April 11, 2012 the world of antitrust became abuzz with the news that the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Apple for its alleged participation in an e-books pricing scheme with the leading publishers: Hachette Book Group (USA), (...)

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

The French Competition Authority publishes framework document on competition compliance programmes and notice regarding its antitrust settlement procedure
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence publishes Framework Document on Competition Compliance Programmes and Notice regarding its Antitrust Settlement Procedure* Following a two-month public consultation, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published on 10 February 2012 a framework (...)

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 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 Spanish Competition Authority reaches a settlement agreement with the Spanish federation of municipalities and provinces and four professional associations of architects and industrial engineers (Convenios FEMP-Consejos Superiores de Colegios)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
On 28 December 2011, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the «Council«, the «SCC«) decided to accept the commitments that had been previously submitted by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias,«FEMP«), the Spanish (...)

The European Commission fines producers of refrigeration compressors € 161 million in fifth cartel settlement (Producers of household and commercial refrigeration compressors)
European Commission
European Commission fines Producers of Refrigeration Compressors €161 million in fifth Cartel Settlement* On 7 December 2011, the European Commission has settled a cartel with producers of household and commercial refrigeration compressors that covered the whole European Economic Area (EEA). (...)

A US federal district court approves three settlements in a class action for price-fixing conspiracies in the concrete industry defining the case “a model for the nation” (Iowa Ready-Mix Concrete Antitrust Litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
What Do Model Antitrust Class Actions Look Like?* “[O]vercome with a rare and gargantuan sense of awe,” a federal district court judge in Sioux City, Iowa, has called a consolidated class action case arising from price fixing conspiracies in the concrete industry “a model for the nation.” The (...)

The French Competition Authority launches public consultations on its approach to compliance programmes and guidelines on settlements (Compliance Programmes and Guidelines on Settlements)
European Commission
France: Autorité de la concurrence launches Public Consultations on its Approach to Compliance Programmes and Guidelines on Settlements* On 14 October 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (‘the Autorité’) launched a two-month public consultation on a draft framework document on compliance (...)

The German competition authority imposes multi-million fines for hardcore cartel in the concrete pipe sector (Berding and Betonwerk Bieren)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes multi-million Fines for hard-core Cartel in the Concrete Pipe Sector* On 10 August 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 11 860 000 on two manufacturers of concrete pipes and five individuals. The undertakings concerned are Berding (...)

The French Competition Authority makes mandatory commitments proposed by an economic interest group to reduce the inter-bank fees applicable to transactions by payment cards (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Paris)
On July 7, 2011, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter the “Authority”) issued a decision whereby it accepts settlement of an investigation and makes mandatory the commitments proposed by “Groupement des Cartes Bancaires”,an Economic Interest Group which brings together more than 130 banks (...)

The Czech Competition Authority reaches settlement with detergent producers in a cartel case while implementing its leniency programme (Henkel, Procter & Gamble, Rakona and Reckitt Benckiser)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar (Prague)
On 10 February 2011, the Czech Competition Authority (the “Competition Authority”) adopted a cartel settlement decision finding that the local subsidiaries of the Henkel, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser groups (the “Companies”) had participated in a cartel in respect of the sale of (...)

The European Commission adopts a cartel settlement decision prohibition decision against three major detergent manufacturers (Henkel, Unilever and Procter & Gamble)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
The Consumer detergents cartel* Introduction On 13 April 2011, the Commission adopted a cartel settlement decision prohibition decision against three major detergent manufacturers: Henkel, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. The Decision finds that they had operated a single and continuous (...)

The European Commission settles a cartel in the washing powder industry fining two of the three participating companies and granting full immunity to the first informing about price coordination and other market stabilization strategies adopted (Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Henkel)
European Commission
European Commission: Settlement Decision adopted in Washing Powder Cartel* On 13 April 2011, the European Commission adopted a decision settling a cartel case involving major European producers of washing powder: Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Henkel. This is the third cartel settlement in (...)

A US District Court dismisses class action alleging electricity overcharges (Simon / Keyspan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
KeySpan Corporation secured a sweeping victory on March 22, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Shira Scheindlin’s broad decision granted with prejudice KeySpan’s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action claiming approximately $360 million in (...)

A US District Court approves a settlement in a class action based on LCD price-fixing suit (In re LG Philips LCD)
Arent Fox
On March 11, 2011, Judge Richard Sullivan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York gave final approval to a settlement between LG Display Co. Ltd. (“LG”) and a class of investors who alleged that LG’s stock price was artificially inflated due to LG’s undisclosed participation (...)

The German Bunsdekartellamt imposes € 38 M fine on three consumer goods manufacturers for illegal exchange of competition relevant information concerning the state of negotiations with major retailers and prices increases (Kraft Food, Unilever, Dr. August Oetker)
European Commission
Germany: Multi-million Fines imposed on Manufacturers of Consumer Goods* On 17 March 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 38 000 000 on three manufacturers of consumer goods on account of the illegal exchange of competition relevant information infringing German and (...)

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
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. (...)

A US Federal District court rules that the US DoJ was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation (KeySpan)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Can the Justice Department Seek Disgorgement for a Sherman Act Violation?* The federal district court in New York City ruled last week that the Department of Justice was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation. The court approved a consent decree, which (...)

The European Commission issues new guidelines on the applicability of Art. 101 TFEU to horizontal co-operation agreements equating information exchanges between competitors with cartels
Garrigues (Brussels)
Information exchange=cartel?* Many have praised the inclusion of some guidance on exchanges of information within the new EU Guidelines on horizontal agreements. Personally, I agree with those arguing that guidance from the Commission was necessary, and I acknowledge that there are some useful (...)

The UK OFT negotiates an agreement limiting the exchange of pricing data among car insurers (Insurers Ageas Insurance, Aviva, AXA Insurance UK, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, RBS Insurance Group Limited, Royal Sun Alliance and Zurich Insurance)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Washington)
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DLA Piper (New York)
This article is the winner for business category, general antitrust section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to read more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Summary Britain’s Office of Fair Trading (the UK consumer and competition authority) has negotiated an agreement that (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt imposes first multi-million fines on chemical wholesalers for six regional cartels (BÜFA Chemikalien, Oldenburg, CG Chemikalien, Laatzen, Hanke & Seidel, Steinhagen)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The US DoJ and seven US States file an antitrust suit against three credit and charge card transaction networks, challenging rules that allegedly restrict price competition at the point of sale (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Visa, MasterCard Settle U.S./State Antitrust Suit, While American Express Vows to Fight* The Department of Justice and seven states have filed a civil antitrust suit against the three largest credit and charge card transaction networks in the United States, challenging rules that allegedly (...)

The German Competition Authority fines two manufacturers of pressroom chemicals for their involvement in anti-competitive agreements (DC Druck Chemie, Felix Böttcher, Helmut Siegel)
European Commission
Germany: Fines imposed on two Companies in the Press room Chemicals Sector On 29 September 2010, the Bundeskartellamt imposed fines amounting to € 660,000 on two manufacturers of pressroom chemicals for their involvement in anti-competitive agreements prohibited by national law and by Article (...)

The European Commission fines animal feed phosphates producers for price-fixing and market-sharing in its first "hybrid" cartel settlement case (Yara Phosphates, Tessenderlo Chemie)
Winston & Strawn (London)
The European Commission (Commission) has today announced its first settlement of a cartel case in a so-called "hybrid" scenario, in which all but one company settled the case with the Commission in return for a 10 percent reduction in each of their fines (IP/10/985). The Commission has fined (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit vacates a class action settlement in diamond industry favoring the status of direct purchasers for antitrust laws enforcement in U.S. courts (Sullivan, DB Investments)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
In U.S., It’s Getting Harder to Bring Consumer Antitrust Class Actions* One of the inevitable facts of life in the U.S. after a government antitrust investigation becomes public – especially if it is a cartel investigation with an amnesty applicant or guilty pleas – is customer class actions. (...)

The European Commission reaches first cartel settlement and imposes fines in the DRAM industry (Micron, Infineon)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
On May 19, 2010, the EC announced that, for the first time, it had resolved a cartel case through the use of its settlement procedure. The groundbreaking settlement resolved the EC’s investigation of ten producers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (“DRAM”) chips used in computers and servers. As the (...)

The UK OFT accepts fine settlement for price fixing cartel in the bank industry (Royal Bank of Scotland)
University of East Anglia - CCP
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Reckless Bank Saved by the Taxpayer Will Now Pay Cartel Fine* British bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has agreed to pay a fine of £28.6 million for price fixing. RBS employees shared confidential pricing information concerning (...)

The Australian Federal Court issues an order by consent against American-based company for cartel behaviour in the international military defence training systems industry (DRS C3 Systems )
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$1 Million penalty for defence cartel* The Federal Court has made orders by consent against American-based company, DRS C3 Systems for cartel behaviour in the international military defence training systems industry. As part of the resolution of the proceedings brought by the Australian (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic fines a leading producer of electronic cash registers for resale price maintenance (Elcom)
BPV Braun Partners
The article presents the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“Office”) n° 2009/KV/1/1/038 of 21 August 2009 (“Decision”). The subject-matter of the Decision does not go beyond the well-known resale price maintenance doctrine. However, the procedure applied by the Office and (...)

A U.S. District Court imposes a record jail sentence for antitrust conspiracy (Baci, DOJ)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice obtained the longest term ever imposed for a single antitrust violation. It wanted more. Peter Baci, former executive of a U.S. shipping company, was sentenced by a Florida federal district court to serve four years in jail and pay a $ 20,000 (...)

The French NCA fines several temping agencies nearly € 100 M, but grants significant reductions for certain parties who enter into innovative commitments (Adecco, Manpower, VediorBis)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent
On 2 February 2009, the French Competition Council ("the Council") fined several agencies active in the temporary employment sector in France (Adecco, Adia, Manpower and VediorBis - "the Companies") for concerted practices. Context Temping enables businesses desiring more flexibility to use (...)

The Czech Office for Protection of Competition implements informal settlement procedures (Kofola - Albatros)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
The Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) recently started to implement ‘settlement procedures’ as an alternative way of ending sanction proceedings initiated by it. The Office adopted the policy of ‘settlement procedures’ despite the absence of any legislative basis in that regard. It (...)

A German Court agrees to a collective fine against eight compagnies for price fixing (Paper wholesale)
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
Background The Düsseldorf Court of Appeal has found an end to the first of four long-lasting antitrust proceedings currently pending with German courts (the other three being Cement, Industrial Insurance and Ready-mixed Concrete). All these proceedings concerned several questions and different (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Council refuses to accept commitments and adopts an infringement decision prohibiting recommended fees issued by a professional association (Magyar Ingatlanszövetség)
Ernst & Young
The Competition Council found the Hungarian Real Estate Association (“MAISZ”) had infringed the national equivalent of Article 81 EC by issuing fee recommendations for certain real estate services of its member. Although MAISZ offered commitments to remedy the infringement and to bring its (...)

The UK OFT reaches settlement in tobacco price-fixing case (Asda, First Quench, Gallaher, One Stop Stores, Somerfield, TM Retail)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 11 July 2008, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that it had reached early resolution agreements with six companies relating to certain anti-competitive arrangements relating to the retail pricing of tobacco products in the UK. These settlement agreements follow the issue of a (...)

The French NCA sanctions four companies for bid rigging practices in the moderate-rent housing sector but significantly reduces the amount of the fine in application of the settlement procedure (Spid, Spid Anjou, Haute Mayenne Services, Onet Services)
White & Case (Paris)
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French Competition Authority
In its decision dated 11 June 2008, the French Competition Council sanctioned four companies that tendered to a servicing of premises bid launched by a Public Office for moderate-rent housing, for violating Articles 81 of the EC Treaty and its French equivalent, article L. 420-1 of the (...)

The French NCA applies leniency for the third time and fines six manufacturers for price fixing in the plywood sector ("Plywood cartel")
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
Summary of the Decision Further to a leniency application and an investigation involving dawn raids and seizures, the French Competition Council (the "Council") fined six manufacturers active in the exotic plywood sector (Etablissements Mathé, Etablissements Guy Joubert, Etablissement Allin, (...)

The UK OFT employs a form of direct settlement and agrees over € 155 M penalties in dairies cartel case (Asda, Dairy Crest, Safeway, Sainsbury’s)
University of East Anglia - CCP
Background On 20 September 2007, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections (SO) in which it provisionally found evidence of collusion on the retail price of certain dairy products between a number of large supermarkets and dairy processors. The SO found that these (...)

The UK OFT imposes its highest ever fine and applies leniency in the course of civil and criminal law proceedings (British Airways)
Sanoma
,
Clayton Utz (Sydney)
The United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently confirmed that it had been investigating price coordination between British Airways plc (BA) and Virgin Atlantic plc (Virgin) in relation to long haul passenger and cargo businesses and flights to and from the UK. The OFT investigated (...)

The Irish Competition Authority settles an alleged price-fixing dispute in the health sector relating to medical examination reports to life insurance companies (Irish Medical Organisation - IMO)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
,
Merilampi Attorneys
Introduction On 28 May 2007, the Irish Competition Authority announced that it had concluded a settlement agreement with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) on 25 May 2007. The settlement concerns an alleged price-fixing by the IMO in relation to the provision of Private Medical Attendant (...)

The UK OFT finds that an exchange of information on independant school fees violates national competition provisions but accepts a "structured settlement" (Independent Schools)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Office of Fair Trading, 20 November 2006, Decision n° CA98/05/2006, Exchange of information on future fees by certain independent fee-paying schools, Case CE/2890-03 In late December 2006, the UK Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") published a decision in which it found the exchange of commercially (...)

The Irish Competition Authority settles its action against the Irish medical professional association in return for commitments to refrain from anti-competitive practices (Irish Hospital Consultants Association-IHCA)
London School of Economics
The terms of a settlement agreement, reached between the Irish National Competition Authority (hereinafter “NCA”) and the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (henceforth “IHCA”), were published by the former in a press release issued on the 28th September, 2005. In February 2003, the NCA (...)

The Irish Competition Authority agrees a settlement with a medical professional association in High Court proceedings on possible violation of Art. 81 EC (VHI DeCare/Irish Dental Association)
London School of Economics
Irish National Competition Authority, 28 April 2005, Irish Dental Association (Press relase) On April 28, 2005 the Irish High Court action initiated by the National Competition Authority (henceforth “NCA”) against the Irish Dental Association (hereinafter “IDA”) was settled. The NCA alleged that (...)

The European Commission settles its investigation into territorial sales restrictions with Nigerian gas company (NLNG)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The territorial restrictions case in the gas sector: a state of play"* 1. Introduction On 6 October 2003, the Commission services announced the closure of their investigation into the supply relationship between Russian gas producer Gazprom and Italian wholesaler ENI. Just as other cases (...)

The European Commission examines the settlement proposed by international trade association in the airlines industry aiming at restoring competition in cargo tariff consultations (IATA)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"IATA Cargo Tariff Conferences"* In a statement of objections sent to the International Air Transport Association IATA) in May 2001, the European Commission took a preliminary view that the IATA cargo tariff consultations restricted competition and were no longer indispensable to provide (...)

Procedures

The Irish High Court issues its first order on a commitment agreement between the NCA and an undertaking (FitFlop)
Queen’s University Belfast
,
National University of Irland (NUI)
The Irish Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 introduced court-endorsed commitment agreements to Irish competition law. The new section 14B of the principal Competition Act 2002 provides for making commitment agreements between the Irish Competition Authority (or indeed Com Reg when it is the (...)

The UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) launches consultation implementing alternative remedies to reform private actions in competition law
University of East Anglia - CCP
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Breaking the deadlock? Private antitrust enforcement in the UK* Private antitrust enforcement in the UK has never got off the ground, even after the Competition Act of 1998 introduced enforceable antitrust provisions. Plaintiffs have (...)

The Egyptian Prime Minister approves amendment to the national Competition Act granting independence of its NCA from government
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) as established in the Egyptian Competition Act approved in 2005, lacked of autonomous decision-making powers relating to the possibility to settle or litigate antitrust related cases. As of December 2011, the veto power that the Competition Law granted (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit holds a class-arbitration clause in a telephone sector agreement unenforceable under state law (Laster, AT&T Mobility)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Enforceability of Class-Arbitration Bans Still an Open Question* Including an arbitration agreement in a commercial or consumer contract that requires your customer to pursue only individual claims in the arbitral forum will not necessarily protect you from class-wide arbitration. You will (...)

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

The English High Court gives judgment on an application for the judicial review of a decision by the OFT not to extend or re-open a penalty discount scheme that it had offered to alleged cartelists in connection with its investigation into collusive tendering in the construction industry (Crest Nicholson)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background The case was brought by Crest Nicholson Plc, which was a developer of residential property. Until 2003, Crest Nicholson was the parent company of the Pearce Group. One of the members of the Pearce Group was Pearce Midlands, against which certain allegations of price fixing were (...)

The European Commission publishes a legislative proposal enabling cartel defendants to enter into settlement discussions with the Commission in exchange for earlier certainty about the level of fines
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
The Commission has published a legislative proposal to allow it to deal more rapidly with cartel cases. The proposal would enable cartel defendants to enter into settlement discussions with the Commission in exchange for earlier certainty about the level of fines and a yet unspecified (...)

The UK OFT proposes for the first time a settlement in order to cease information exchange and price-fixing (Independent Schools)
King’s College (London)
In recent years the Office of Fair Trading (the “OFT”) has been concerned about exchanges of information by UK independent schools. For some years it has been conducting an investigation into allegations of price fixing, through a voluntary exchange of information, by 50 independent schools with (...)

The Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of England & Wales refers to the ECJ on the fact for parties to an agreement to use allegations of breach of competition law to avoid honouring their obligations under a commercial contract (SUNAG)
Reed Smith (London)
Compagnia di Navigazione Maritime Sri & Others (EGP Group) and Andrew Merzario & Others (non-EGP Group), nickname (SUNAG). This was a commercial private arbitration case which ended up before the English High Court, Queen Bench Division (Case C-339/95), and was referred to the European (...)

Regulations

The Danish Competition Council settles a case concerning two anticompetitive decisions in the collegiate rules of a minor association of accountants
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Anti-Competitive Decisions in the Collegiate Rules of Foreningen Danske Revisorer* On February 20, 2013, the Danish Competition Council settled a case concerning two anti-competitive decisions in the collegiate rules of a minor association of Danish accountants. According to the rules in (...)

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