Energy & Dominance

Dominance

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the payment of the fine imposed on an electricity provider for failure to submit information (Promyshlennaya Energetika)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Promyshlennaya Energetika” paid the fine* “Promyshlennaya Energetika” OJSC fulfilled a determination issued by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) and paid 300,000 fined imposed for failure to comply with the Information Disclosure Standards for the participants of wholesale and retail (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts merger remedies proposed by petrol and diesel retailers (Dover / Wayne)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA accepts remedies in fuel pumps merger* The CMA has accepted undertakings from Dover to remedy competition concerns arising from its merger with Wayne. This follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) intervention to ensure that choice is maintained for petrol and diesel retailers (...)

The Danish Competition Council considers that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is anticompetitive (HMN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council finds that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is illegal.* On November 30 2016, The Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) found that HMN Naturgas I/S (“HMN”), DEBRA – Energibranchen (“DEBRA”), (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a joint report on the main developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2015
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Energy Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt today published their joint Monitoring Report on the main developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2015. Large variety of suppliers on the (...)

The French Competition Authority confirms unannounced inspections in the sector of energy services and energy supply
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence confirms that unannounced inspections were carried out on 22 November in the sector of energy services and energy supply* On 22 November 2016, following information that has appeared in the press - which does not come from the Autorité (...)

The Ukrainian Competition Authority issues a 7 million euros fine on seven alleged road fuel cartelists
Asters
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Asters
Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine - What is behind EUR 7 million fine on seven alleged road fuel cartelists?* On 28 October 2016, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) fined seven companies, including Shell and SOCAR, a total of approx. EUR 7 million for alleged concerted practices. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the extension of existing State aid must be considered as the alteration of that aid and is therefore subject to the obligation of prior notification as new aid (DEI / Alouminion tis Ellados)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
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Liège University - IEJE
The CJEU’s Judgment provides additional clarification on the effects of the extension of the duration of an existing aid measure. The CJEU - annulling a Judgment of the EU General Court (GC) - rules that the extension of the duration of existing aid measure by a national court must be qualified (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders structural remedies to clear a merger on the market of energy trading services (Intercontinental Exchange / Trayport)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 October 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) ordered Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (“ICE”) to sell Trayport to a new owner, to be approved by the CMA, in order to preserve competition on the market for the supply of certain energy trading services. ICE is the largest (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the energy market (Vattenfall / EPH / PPF Investments)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Vattenfall Europe Generation and Vattenfall Europe Mining by EPH and PPF Investments* The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Vattenfall Europe Generation and Vattenfall Europe Mining by Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) and (...)

The US Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit reaffirms necessity for recoupment in predatory pricing complaints (Energy Conversion)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
Sixth Circuit dismisses a predatory pricing complaint in the solar panel industry* On 18 August 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, dismissed a predatory pricing complaint filed by Energy Conversion, a solar panel manufacturer based in the United States, against (...)

The French Competition Authority fines suppliers and distributors of liquid fuel heating units for concluding horizontal and vertical anticompetitive agreements (PVG / Ligne Plus)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Liquid fuel backup heating units* The Autorité de la concurrence fines both PVG and Ligne Plus suppliers for anticompetitive agreement on wholesale prices and sharing of customer base (horizontal agreement). Besides, both suppliers are fined for having set distributors’ resale prices to the (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court accepts passing-on defense in private enforcement litigation (TenneT/ Gas-insulated Switchgear)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 July 2016, the Dutch Supreme Court (“the Court”) handed down a judgment upholding the availability of the passing-on defense in private enforcement litigation. The ruling resulted from a civil claim for damages brought by the electricity company TenneT against the gas-insulated switchgear (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that market sharing and price agreements are very serious infringements due to their sole nature (PROAS)
Ecole de formation du Barreau (EFB)
The Court of Justice stated in a judgement of the 9th June 2016 , in the Spanish Bitumen Case, that a very serious infringement may be established according to the sole nature of the anti-competitive behavior since the practice is classified amongst the worst kinds of infringements provided by (...)

The EU General Court hands down a judgment in a case regarding a German law on renewable energy and clarifies notion of State resources (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2016, the General Court of the European Union (“Court”) handed down a judgment in a case concerning the German law on renewable energy of 2012 (the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz 2012 - “EEG 2012”) (case T-47/15, Germany vs. Commission). The EEG 2012, which was replaced by a new law in (...)

The US Department of Justice files a complaint against an activist investor before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s (ValueAct)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) led
 a complaint against activist investor ValueAct Capital in California federal court, requesting a $19 million fine for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act’s notifcation provisions . The DOJ’s complaint alleged (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation confirms irrevocably the infringement of the competition law by a manufacturer of oil and gas by a participation in a cartel (OMV Petrom)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has irrevocably won the trial with OMV PETROM Marketing* The High Court of Cassation and Justice confirmed irrevocably the infringement of the Competition Law by OMV PETROM MARKETING (at the date of infringement called OMV) by participation in a cartel besides other (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the retail and wholesale fuels markets (Statoil Fuel / Shell)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Statoil Fuel and Retail’s takeover of Shell’s Dansk Fuels, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shell’s Danish retail and wholesale fuels business, Dansk Fuels, by Alimentation (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion on favourable energy contracts granted solely to members of a professional association (HEP)
Croatian Competition Agency
CCA opinion on favourable energy contracts* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) gave its opinion to the request received by the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts regarding the intention of entering into a framework agreement with HEP-Opskrba (HEP Electricity Supplier) on the basis of (...)

The EU Commission clears a State aid relating to transport of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Italy through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
Gerakini Legal Studio
By virtue of decision No.43879 (3rd March 2016), the European Commission granted state aid clearance for the Host Government Agreement between Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) relating to the transport of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Italy, through Greece and Albania. In (...)

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition publishes the result of an inquiry in the fuel sector and opens proceedings regarding possible price-fixing cartels and abuse of dominance
Johnson & Johnson (Sofia)
On February 25, 2016 the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) in Bulgaria has published its Conclusion of the sector inquiry on the Bulgarian market for the manufacture and sale of petrol and diesel fuels. The sector inquiry was initiated the middle of 2015 as doubts occurred that (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes a report and an opinion concerning the energy sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité has published its evaluation report on the legal mechanism providing regulated access to incumbent nuclear electricity (hereinafter ARENH), and an opinion on the decree concerning regulated sales tariffs (hereinafter TRVs), as well as two opinions on plans to phase out TRVs on gas (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines three fuels wholesale companies for implementing anticompetitive agreements (Tinmar / Planoil)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned three fuels wholesale companies* The Competition Council has sanctioned with fines amounting 16.907.202 lei (approx.3,7 million Euro) three fuels wholesale companies for concluding anticompetitive agreements. The sanctioned companies are the following: (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market of oilfield service (Baker Hughes / Halliburton)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into acquisition of oilfield service provider Baker Hughes by Halliburton* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of oilfield service supplier Baker Hughes by rival Halliburton (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines several electricity suppliers for anticompetitive agreements on the electricity producing and trading markets (Hidroelectrica)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned Hidroelectrica SA and its 10 contractual partners with fines amounting 165,843,604 lei* The Competition Council has sanctioned Hidroelectrica SA and its 10 contractual partners, mainly electricity traders, with fines amounting 165,843,604 lei (approx. (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of heating products (Elster / Honeywell)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Elster by Honeywell, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Elster by Honeywell, subject to divestment of Honeywell’s gas metering business. The activities of the Elster (...)

The EU Commission holds that an incompatible aid can be recovered from an undertaking that continues some of the activities of an insolvent undertaking that received the aid (Termoelectrica / Electrocentrale Deva)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Commission decision 2015/1877: Aid granted by Romania via Hidroelectrica to Termoelectrica and Electrocentrale Deva [OJ L275, 20 October 2015]* This is a peculiar case. All three companies are owned by the state. Hidroelectrica generates much of its electricity from hydroelectric power. (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority provides some guidance for appealing energy price controls (British Gas and Northern Powergrid / Ofgem)
Blackstone Chambers
Appealing energy price controls: guidance for beginners from the CMA* The CMA recently published its final determinations in two appeals brought by British Gas and Northern Powergrid against Ofgem’s electricity price controls for the next 8 years. The appeals were the first under section 11C of (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority publishes an opinion on a proposal to regulate the distance between fuel service stations
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico city)
COFECE issues regulatory opinion to the Coahuila government regarding a proposal to regulate the distance between fuel service stations* Mexico City, September 15th 2015.- The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) issued a recommendation to the Head of the Executive Branch (...)

The EU Commission clears an acquisition on the markets of oil and gas exploration, the liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas (BG Group / Royal Dutch Shell)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission clears acquisition of BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell* The transaction was cleared as it will not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, LNG liquefaction or LNG wholesale supply. Shell will also not be able to prevent competitors from using its gas infrastructure in the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by nine fuel trading companies to address competition concerns in the retail fuel market (EKO)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by 9 fuel trading companies to address competition concerns in the retail fuel market* By a unanimous decision, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) accepted commitments proposed by 9 wholesale fuel companies, namely “HELLENIC FUELS S.A” (former BP (...)

The Polish Minister of the State Treasury gains the power to control mergers and acquisitions in strategic sectors
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
The Minister of the State Treasury will control mergers and acquisitions in strategic sectors of Polish economy* On 30 September 2015, the Act on Control of Certain Investments (the “Act”) enters into force. The Act aims to create mechanisms to protect against hostile takeovers of companies (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a concentration between two regional energy firms (Energia Alto Adige)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 15 July 2015 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared a concentration between two publicly held regional energy firms, Società Elettrica Altoatesina (SEL) and Azienda Energetica (AE), operating in the North-east of Italy in the province of Bolzano. (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes a report setting out its provisional findings in a market investigation of the energy sector
Jones Day (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published a report on 7 July 2015 setting out its provisional findings in a market investigation of the energy sector, in particular for gas and electricity at both wholesale and retail levels in the UK. Market investigations involve in-depth (...)

The EU Court of Justice explains that measures that impose additional charges for the purpose of maintaining equality between operators do not necessarily qualify as State aid (Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems / Hauptzollamt Osnabrück)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Taxation of nuclear power* On 4 June 2015, the Court of Justice also issued a preliminary ruling in case C-5/14, Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems v Hauptzollamt Osnabruck. A German court requested a preliminary ruling in a dispute between Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems [KLE] and the tax authorities in (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines once again an electricity provider for failure to submit information (Vostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Vostok” Ltd. is fined again for failure to submit information* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) imposed an administrative fine upon the General Director of “Vostok” Ltd. (Kyzyl, the Republic of Tyva) for failure to submit information to the federal antimonopoly body (breaching Part 5 (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies between two gas providers in the intermediate and large-bulk LPG market (Totalgaz / UGI France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of Totalgaz by UGI France, the parent company of Antargaz.* Among the commitments discussed and negotiated with the Autorité, UGI shall, in particular, be obliged to divest its stakes in the capital of several LPG (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice upholds irrevocably the sanctions pronounced by the Romanian Competition Authority against two undertakings for bid rigging (Condmag and Inspet)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The High Court of Cassation and Justice has confirmed irevocably the sanctions aplied by the Romanian Competition Council to CONDMAG and INSPET companies* The High Court of Cassation and Justice has confirmed irevocably the sanctions aplied by the Romanian Competition Council in 2012 to (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court upholds that remuneration system applied in the "Irsching contracts" between two electricity providers is in violation of competition law (E.ON and TenneT)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that the remuneration system applied in the "Irsching contracts" is in violation of competition law* In its decision of 28. April 2015 (see Press Release of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court of 28 April 2015) the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (...)

The Russian Competition Authority completes its study of small wholesale gasoline markets
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS completed a study of small wholesale gasoline markets* The Federal Antimonopoly Service completed a study of small wholesale gasoline markets. The study was conducted to execute FAS 2013-2014 Action Plan on analyzing the state of competition on the markets. The Action Plan determined the (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the Natural gas Act does not preempt State law antitrust claims (Oneok / Learjet)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims* In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the Natural Gas Act did not “field” preempt state law antitrust claims for price fixing (Oneok / Learjet)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Divided Supreme Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Pipelines, Rejects Field Preemption Argument* In a decision that’s received relatively little attention, a divided U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week held that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) did not “field” preempt state law (...)

The Pakistan Competition Authority issues an opinion concerning public procurement of electric power equipment
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP issues opinion to address competition concerns in public procurement of electric power equipment* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued an Opinion under Section 29 of the Competition Act, 2010 containing its recommendations in the matter of procurement of electrical (...)

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

The Latvian Competition Council imposes fines on fuel dealers for the late notification of a merger (LUKoil Baltija R / Akselss)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC fines Fuel Dealers for Unnotified Merger* On 12 March, the Competition Council (CC) fined fuel dealers – SIA LUKoil Baltija R and SIA Akselss – for not submitting a merger notification timely. Both undertakings secretly operated as one undertaking since December, 2010, while a merger (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court rules that complainants in merger approval cases cannot appeal the NCA decision (Severni energeticka)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 26 February 2015, the Supreme Administrative court cancelled the previous judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which held that a complainant in merger approval proceedings may appeal the decision of the Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) to the extent it did not address its (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines various petrol product operator for anti-competitive agreements (Repsol / CEPSA / BP)
European Commission (Brussels)
CNMC Fines Various Petrol Product Operators a Total of € 32 400 000 for Anti-competitive Agreements* On 24 February 2015, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) sanctioned Repsol S.A., Disa Corporación Petrolifera S.A., Meroil S.A., Galp Energía España S.A., BP España S.A. (...)

The Competition and Markets Authority issues an updated statement relating to its investigation into the Great Britain energy markets
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
The CMA has today published an updated issues statement as part of its investigation into the Great Britain energy markets.* The updated issues statement (PDF, 969KB, 49 pages) summarises the investigation group’s initial thinking based on the evidence it has received, and the analysis it has (...)

The Pakistan Competition Council decides to conduct an open hearing regarding competition concerns in public procurement of electric power equipment (NTDC & DISCOs)
Competition Commission of Pakistan
CCP to conduct open hearing regarding competition concerns in public procurement of electric power equipment* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) will issue its recommendations to promote competition in public procurement of power equipment following a public hearing to be held on 17 (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council fines a cartel in the energy sector (Lukrida / Envija / Manfula)
European Commission (Brussels)
Competition Council Hits Cartel in Energy Sector* On 11 February 2015, the Competition Council (the Council) found that UAB Lukrida (Lukrida) and UAB Manfula (Manfula), the main market players in the construction of cogeneration power plants in Lithuania, sought to restrict competition in the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines €9.29 million three companies operating in the bottled LPG market for restricting passive sales (Galp Energia)
Abreu Advogados
In a decision dated February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has levied an antitrust fine totalling 9.29 million euros on three companies from Galp Energia Group (Portugal’s largest oil and gas operator) for using absolute territorial protection clauses regarding its (...)

EU Advocate General Szpunar submits that taxing only fissionable nuclear materials used for the production of electricity does not constitute State aid (Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems / Hauptzollamt Osnabrück)
European Procurement Law Group
AG Szpunar submits that German nuclear taxes are not State aid, but his reasoning is totally unimaginative (C-5/14)* In its Opinion in Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems, C-5/14, EU:C:2015:51 (not available in English), AG Spuznar has submitted to the CJEU that a German tax on fissionable nuclear (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes 9 million EUR fines for anticompetitive clauses in distribution contracts in gas bottle market under Art. 101 TFEU and national equivalent (Gas bottle market)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
On 3 February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced that it had imposed fines of 9.29 million EUR on the Galp Energia group for anticompetitive practices in the gas bottle market in Portugal. According to the PCA, Galp and its subsidiaries included in the large majority of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council imposes fines on four undertakings for bid-rigging in the oil and gas drilling works market (Dafora, Foraj and Upetrom 1 Mai)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned four companies for rigging the auctions organized by ROMGAZ* The Competition Council has sanctioned with fines totalling 12,968,298 lei (approximately EUR 2.89million) four companies for rigging the auctions organized by SNGN ROMGAZ S.A. The sanctioned (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court reinstates a decision issued by the Competition Authority prohibiting a joint venture in the in the gas distribution sector (Isontina Reti Gas)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
By judgment No. 334 of 26 January 2015, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) upheld two appeals brought by the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, hereinafter “ICA”) and reinstated the ICA’s decision No. 24320 of 17 April 2013 (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority’s Auditorate dismisses instruction regarding potential concerted practices in the energy sector regarding passing on practices of green certificates fine amounts (Green Certificates)
Altius (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties Lampiris SA is a Belgian company which main activity consists in the supply of electricity and natural gas. EDF Luminus SA is a company which activity consist in the production of electricity, its gross commerce, and the supplyi of electricity and natural gas. The company is a (...)

The European Court of Justice provides further guidance on long-term exclusive purchase and non-compete obligations (Estación de Servicio Pozuelo v Galp Energía España)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 4 December 2014, the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) issued an order addressing two preliminary questions from the Spanish Supreme Court concerning an exclusive purchase obligation, which presumably prevented the party bound by the exclusivity from purchasing the products of competing (...)

The EU General Court holds that environmental harm does not make State aid incomaptible with the internal market (Castelnou Energía)
College of Europe (Bruges)
i) Energy security and public service obligations* On 3 December 2014, the General Court ruled on case T-57/11, Castelnou Energia v Commission.[1] Castelnou Energia [CE] appealed against Commission decision N 178/2010 concerning public service compensation granted by Spain to generators of (...)

The German Competition Authority issues its monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Monitoring Report 2014 of the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt today published their joint Monitoring Report on key developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2013. With this report, the Bundesnetzagentur and the (...)

The General Court annuls a Commission decision on account of the lack of motivation in the response to the arguments brought forward by a parent company to rebut the capitalistic presumption (Alstom)</EM>
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information The ruling of the General Court of 27 November 2014 has annulled the Commission decision in the Case COMP/39.129 - Power Transformers of 7 October 2009 (the “Decision”) in which the Commission imposed a €16.5 million fine on Alstom of which Areva T&D is jointly and (...)

The US FTC settles charges of indirect price fixing (Blue Rhino, AmeriGas)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
Blue Rhino and AmeriGas Agree to Settle FTC Claims of Propane Tank Price-Fixing* On October 31, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” ) agreed to a settlement with Blue Rhino and AmeriGas Cylinder Exchange, the two leading suppliers of propane exchange tanks, regarding FTC charges that the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts the modifications of commitments concerning the supply of natural gas through electronic auctions (DEPA)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC accepts the amendment of commitments concerning the supply of natural gas through electronic auctions, as proposed by DEPA* By its unanimous Decision No 618/2015, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) accepted a proposal from DEPA to revise partly the commitments adopted with earlier (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition of sole control in the gas markets and changes its practice of defining these markets (EWE / VNG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears EWE’s acquisition of a majority interest in VNG* Today the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of a further 15.79% of the shares in VNG AG, Leipzig, by EWE AG, Oldenburg. EWE AG acquired the shares from Wintershall Holding GmbH, Kassel. EWE AG will now hold a (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court requests justification on how belonging to a group may be considered an aggravating factor in setting antitrust fines (Allez)
DLA Piper (Paris)
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Hertslet Wolfer & Heintz (Paris)
On 21 October 2014, the French Civil Supreme Court issued a decision regarding bid rigging in the public contract sector. Following an investigation of the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Fight against Fraud, the French Competition Authority found ten undertakings (...)

The Polish Competition Authority monitors implementation of commitments by an oil and gas exploration and production company to modify contractual relations with customers (PGNiG)
European Commission (Brussels)
UOKiK Monitors Implementation of Commitments by PGNiG to Modify Contractual Relations with Customers* On 17 October 2014, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) initiated proceedings to determine whether Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Poland’s largest oil and (...)

The Canada Supreme Court rules that civil antitrust plaintiffs may receive wire-tap evidence obtained in a criminal investigation (Imperial Oil)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Civil Antitrust Attorneys Receive Wire-Tap Evidence* The Canada Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that civil antitrust plaintiffs may receive wire-tap evidence obtained in the criminal investigation into an alleged price-fixing scheme by several large gas companies. During the criminal (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court confirms plaintiffs’ ability to obtain disclosure of wiretap evidence obtained in connection with criminal competition law investigations (Imperial Oil)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Canadian Supreme Court Clears Criminal Wiretap Evidence For Use in Competition Class Actions* In an important decision released on October 17, 2014, Imperial Oil v. Jacques, 2014 SCC 66, the Canadian Supreme Court confirmed plaintiffs’ ability to obtain disclosure of wiretap evidence obtained (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint undertaking in the power generation and distribution market (Polska Grupa Energetyczna / Polska Miedź)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
The OCCP approves the formation of PGE EJ 1* The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) has approved the formation of PGE EJ 1, a joint undertaking of the energy groups PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Tauron, and Enea and of the mining group KGHM Polska Miedź to build Poland’s (...)

The European Commission accepts a nuclear power station funding scheme after getting the State to renegociate the terms of the contract (Hinkley Point C)
University of Sussex
State Aid for Nuclear Power: No Thanks! Maybe? Yes Please!* The Commission’s decision on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station of 8th October 2014 and what this might mean for the approach to nuclear energy... In 2014, the European Commission adopted new Guidelines on State aid for (...)

The French Competition Authority issues its opinion on a draft decree in relation to the method of calculating regulated electricity tariffs
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité issues the opinion delivered to the Minister of the Economy concerning the draft decree amending the method of calculating regulated electricity tariffs (TRVs).* Following a request from the Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Economy on a draft decree establishing a (...)

The Slovak Antimononpoly Office issues a report on the functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia
Slovak Competition Authority
Functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia focusing on DH systems from the AMO point of view* Full English translation of the study on functioning of heat energy sector in Slovakia focusing on DH systems from the AMO point of view has been published. * This is the original title of the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denies Government’s en banc petition in Munibonds Statute of Limitations Case and confirms the limitation of the payment theory (Grimm)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Second Circuit Denies Government’s En Banc Petition in Munibonds Statute of Limitations Case* In its first Munibonds trial in 2012, the Antitrust Division convicted three former General Electric executives for rigging bids to suppress interest rates paid to municipalities on funds they raised (...)

The Russian Competition Authority simplifies access to main oil pipelines and oil products pipelines
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
FAS simplified access of independent companies – exchange trading participants to main oil pipelines and oil products pipelines* On 1st August 2014, changes were made to the Rules for non-discriminatory access to the services of the holders of natural monopolies for transporting oil and oil (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission notifies the businesses about obligation to pass through all cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC puts businesses on notice about Carbon Tax Price Reduction Obligation* Now that Parliament has repealed the carbon tax, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will have new powers to take action against businesses that supply regulated goods which fail to pass through all cost (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls the Commission’s decision regarding the liability of a parent for the infringement of competition law by its subsidiary and by a partially owned joint venture (RWE)
Altius (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties RWE AG is part of the RWE group with its main activities in the energy supply sector (gas exploration, electricity production, trading, and retail and grid activities). Regarding the activities in the paraffin waxes, RWE group is not currently active on this market due to the (...)

The EU General Court reduces fines for three groups in candle wax cartel case (Sasol, Esso, ExxonMobil and RWE)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 11 July 2014, the General Court (“GC”) handed down three judgments reducing the fines imposed by the Commission’s decision of 1 October 2008 in the candle wax cartel case following appeals lodged by Sasol, Esso France and ExxonMobil, and RWE AG. On 1 October 2008, the Commission imposed fines (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning to an undertaking having violated the antimonopoly law (Sakhalin Energy)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Sakhalin Energy” was issued an admonition* On 10th July 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued an admonition to “Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.” (“Sakhalin Energy”) to stop actions that have signs of violating the antimonopoly law. The company avoided concluding a (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes a fine of 1.89 million euros for an anti-competitive customer allocation agreement concerning services provided for heating surfaces of regenerative heat exchangers used in power plants (Alstom Power Energy Recovery)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fine on account of customer allocation agreement concerning services provided for heat exchangers used in power plants* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 1.89 million euros on Alstom Power Energy Recovery GmbH on account of an anti-competitive customer (...)

The German Parliament votes in favour of the new renewable energy sources act, which exempts existing power plants from the surcharge and contains certain exemptions for new power plants
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Bundestag Passes EEG 2014 Reform Bill After Lively Debate* The Bundestag after a lively debate has just voted in favour of the EEG 2014 reform package, in the form as proposed by the Committee for Economic Affairs and Energy and by the Environment, Nature Protection, Construction and (...)

The Australian Competition Tribunal grants authorisation to complete acquisition under the proposed conditions on the market for electricity wholesale and retail markets in NSW (AGL / Macquarie Generation)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC disappointed by Tribunal decision authorising AGL to acquire Macquarie Generation* The Australian Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) has decided to grant conditional authorisation to AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation. The Tribunal concluded that the (...)

The South African Competition Commission issues the terms of reference for the liquefied petroleum gas sector
Nortons Incorporated
Second market inquiry focuses on energy sector (LPG)* “Highly regulated” liquefied petroleum gas at center of second sectoral Commission inquiry According to the South African Competition Commission, the agency has issued “Terms of Reference for the market inquiry into the Liquefied Petroleum (...)

The German Federal Council passes the bill amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act as a result of successful negotiations between the German Government and the European Commission concerning state aid compatibility
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0 passes Bundesrat* In its last session before the summer recess, the Federal Council (Bundesrat) followed the vote of the Bundestag (Parliament) of 27 June 2014 regarding the revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Now Federal President (Bundespräsident) Joachim Gauck is (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets issues an unbundling certificate concerning the operation of electricity cable between Maasvlakte in the Netherlands and the Isle of Grain in the UK
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
The Netherlands finalises important part of the Third Energy Package* Transmission system operator BritNed Development Ltd. has received an unbundling certificate from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). BritNed has demonstrated to comply with the ‘unbundling (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council opens an investigation and finds that refusal to negotiate a swap agreement for natural gas amounted to a breach of the merger conditions (Lietuvos energijos gamyba)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Council fines OAO Gazprom for failing to comply with merger conditions* On 10 June, the Competition Council (KT) imposed a fine of 123,096,700 litas (approx. EUR 35,651,269) on OAO Gazprom for the failure to comply with merger conditions. In 2004, the KT allowed Gazprom (...)

The Romanian Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation upholds Authority’s decision on bid rigging in gas sector (Moldocor / T.M.U.C.B.)
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Romanian Courts uphold Authority’s Decision on Bid Rigging in Gas Sector* In a ruling of June 2014, the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (SCJC) confirmed a 2012 decision of the Romanian Competition Council which found that S.C. Moldocor S.A. (Moldocor) had rigged bids in (...)

The Danish Competition Authority abolishes commitments, which no longer are necessary for competition in the wholesale market for electricity in Western Denmark (DONG Energy / NESA)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council Abolishes a Commitment from DONG Energy* On 28 May 2014 the Danish Competition Council abolished a commitment from a merger between Elsam (now DONG Energy) and Nesa in 2004. The commitment obliged DONG Energy to auction 600 MW electricity generation capacity (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission does not oppose proposed acquisition of fuel division after accepting an undertaking to sell four retail fuel sites (Caltex / Scotts)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC will not oppose proposed acquisition of the fuel division of the Scotts Group by Caltex following divestiture remedy* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition by Caltex Australia Limited of the fuel division of the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority allows acquisition by a state-owned company of a national operator in control of the natural gas transmission system (Amber Grid / JSC EPSO-G)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council clears acquisition of SC Amber Grid shares by JSC EPSO-G* On 19 May, the Competition Council (the KT) cleared acquisition of 38.9 per cent of SC Amber Grid shares by JSC EPSO-G (all the company’s shares together with already owned ones will amount to 56.6 per cent). Hence, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes anti-competitive behaviour consisting in price fixing and market sharing during the tender for a complex measuring of thermal stations (Geoservice)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Fines imposed for restrictive practices* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) established that GEO-LOG Környezetvédelmi és Geofizikai Kft. (GEO-LOG), and “GEOSERVICE” Geofizikai, Geológiai és Kútszelvényező Kft. (GEOSERVICE) had breached competition rules by concluding integrated, complex and (...)

The Latvian Competition Council concludes a sector inquiry into the market of fuel franchise agreements ( Statoil / Neste / Lukoil)
Competition Council of Latvia
The Competition Council Assessed an Influence of Franchise Agreements to the Competition into the Fuel Market* The Competition Council (CC) of Latvia concluded a sector inquiry into the market of fuel franchise agreements. The aim of the sector inquiry was to obtain the information on (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines for implementing non-notified mergers and requires the undoing of the takeover on the market for petrol stations (Lukoil Baltija / Baltic Petroleum)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council fines Lukoil 11 817 700 LTL for implementing non-notified mergers* On 12 May, the Competition Council (the KT) fined UAB Lukoil Baltija 11 817 700 LTL ( ̴ 3 422 642 EUR) for implementing non-notified mergers and obligated the company to eliminate the breach. Having (...)

The German Government releases a ministerial draft containing grandfathering clauses and providing for a special equalisation scheme for energy intensive companies
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Ministerial Draft on Special Equalisation Scheme for EEG Surcharge Regime for Energy-intensive Companies* A ministerial draft (Referentenentwurf) for the special equalisation scheme for energy intensive companies has been released. The special equalization scheme (besondere (...)

The EU General Court rules on the matter of power purchase agreements entailing effects of foreclosure that limited the scope for eligible customers to switch to the free market (Dunamenti / Tisza)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Market Operator in Electricity Distribution: Long-term Purchasing Agreements Must Balance Risks and Rewards* Main points A market operator accepts to be bound in long-term contracts, which entail more risk because market conditions may change, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that three producers of crude oils have a dominant position (Gazprom Neft)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
“Gazprom Neft”, “Rosneft” NK”, “LUKOIL” and “Surgutneftegaz” have the dominant position on the market of crude oil* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) analyzed the state of competition on the market of crude oil in 2013. The survey revealed that the aggregate share of “Gazprom Neft” OJSC, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues its study on the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The findings of a survey of the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) analyzed the state of competition on the wholesale markets of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013. The survey objectives were to analyze and evaluate the state of (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that the mechanism of joint and several liability cannot be used to force one company to bear the risk of the insolvency of another company where those companies have never formed part of the same undertaking (Areva)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva: Competition fines, parent and subsidiary and joint and several liability* The Court of Justice has handed down three judgments relating to fines imposed on a number of undertakings involved in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. There’s an (...)

The EU Commission adopts new State aid guidelines now encompassing the application of State aid to energy infrastructure in the European Union
King’s College (London)
New Guidelines for State Aid to Energy Infrastructure – A Helpful Move Toward Europe 2020?* 1 Introduction On April 9, 2014, the European Commission adopted in principle new State aid guidelines, which will now encompass the application of State aid to energy infrastructure within the (...)

The European Commission releases its state aid guidelines for assessing public support projects allowing reductions for limited number of energy intensive sectors for the period 2014 to 2020
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
New European Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020 Allow Burden Reduction for Energy Intensive Sectors* The European Commission has released on 9 April 2014 its state aid guidelines for assessing public support projects in the field of energy and the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves an acquisition of exclusive control subject to remedies in the market of direct sales of petrol (REPSOL/PETROCAT)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 7 April 2014 the National Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) approved the acquisition of exclusive control of Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos S.A. (REPSOL) over Societat Catalana de Petrolis S.A. (PETROCAT) subject to remedies. PETROCAT is active in both the market of (...)

The US DoJ announces its successfully litigated extradition on an antitrust charge against a participant in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose sold worldwide (Marine Hose)
Primerio
From DOJ: First-Ever Pure Antitrust Extradition* In what may well affect African and other international price-fixers going forward, the spectre of U.S. extradition for criminal antitrust charges has been reinforced by the recent successful DOJ extradition request in the “Marine Hose” cartel. (...)

The German Federal Government plans to submit to the Parliament a new bill for a reform of the law applicable on renewable energy sources pointing out that the talks with the Commission concerning state aid-compatibility have not yet been concluded
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Federal Government and Federal States Reach Agreement on Important Issues of EEG Reform* After a meeting with the sixteen state premiers, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that “a high degree of consensus had been reached” (...)

The UK Office for Gas and Electricity proposes reference to competition and markets authority to investigate energy market
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Office for Gas and Electricity proposes Reference to Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Energy Market* On 27 March 2014, the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem, the UK regulator for energy), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority subjects to a market test commitments regarding a resale price maintenance agreement in the photovoltaic sector (Photovoltaic Inverter case)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Photovoltaic Inverter case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 101 TFEU investigation into an alleged resale price maintenance agreement (RPM) in the photovoltaic market . Recently, the ICA decided to publish and subject to a market test the set of behavioural (...)

The Australian Competition Tribunal receives an application for authorisation to acquire the assets of a power station following the opposition decision issued by the ACCC (AGL / Macquarie Energy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
AGL to seek Australian Competition Tribunal decision on Macquarie Generation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission acknowledges AGL’s application to the Australian Competition Tribunal which was filed today seeking an authorisation that an acquisition of Macquarie Generation be (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of Lazio provides lightening on the so–called “overflowing” and their relationship with the protection of competition (Italgas, Acegas-Aps/Isontina Reti Gas)
Rucellai & Raffaelli
1. Case examined by T.A.R. Lazio (Regional Administrative Court of Lazio) judgment, n. 3047, Italgas-Acegas-Aps / Isontina Reti Gas of March 20th 2014 . The decision concerns an appeal from a decision of the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) prohibiting a concentration pursuant (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the decree adopted aiming to develop competition in the electric power industry
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Action Plan for developing competition in the electric power industry as a next step to industry liberalization* On 17th March 2014, the Government of the Russian Federation passed No.379-r Decree to approve the Action Plan for developing competition in the electric power industry of the (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court declares the inadmissibility of a complaint challenging a provision of the Energy Act which obliges operators of private power plants to reduce power input on request of the grid operator in return for a compensation (German Electricity Grid)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Constitutional Court Declares Complaint Against Curtailment Provision in Energy Act Inadmissible* In a recent decision the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) declared a constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) inadmissible that challenged a provision in the German Energy Act (EnWG) (...)

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

The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy receives an update of a position paper on the German energy transition towards a mainly renewable energy supply (Energiewende)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Initiativkreis Ruhr Committed to Energiewende, But Demands Adjustments* Initiativkreis Ruhr (IR), an association of 66 leading companies in the Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet) handed over an update of a position paper on the German energy transition towards a mainly renewable energy supply (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission opposes the acquisition of two power stations by main electricity retailer (Macquarie Generation / AGL Energy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC opposes AGL’s proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today announced that it will oppose the acquisition of the assets of Macquarie Generation by AGL Energy Limited (AGL). The ACCC considers that the proposed acquisition is (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues information disclosure requirements for the owner and operator of the national electricity transmission grid (Transpower)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission New information disclosure requirements for Transpower* The Commerce Commission has today issued information disclosure requirements for Transpower, the owner and operator of the national electricity transmission grid. Under the new (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the use of the Transparency Regulation to gain access to cartel-related documents held by the European Commission (EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information The judgment in Commission v EnBW issued by the Court of Justice ("CJEU") on 27th February 2014 may constitute a landmark case in the context of access to cartel-related documents -in particular, leniency materials- held by the European Commission ("EC") which could be (...)

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

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

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

The New Zealand Commerce Commission invites views on the revision of the input methodologies for the cost of capital that apply to electricity lines services, gas pipeline services and specified airport services
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission seeks views on cost of capital input methodologies* The Commerce Commission is now inviting views on whether it should consider reviewing or amending the input methodologies for the cost of capital that apply to (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission commences market consultation on commitments in relation to a proposed acquisition of the business and assets of a energy supplier (AGL Energy / Macquarie Generation)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC to consult market on proposed undertaking from AGL* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today commenced market consultation on a proposed undertaking offered by AGL Energy Limited (AGL) in relation to its proposed acquisition of the business and assets of Macquarie (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Czech Republic refuses to allow judicial review of a dawn raid (Schneider Electric)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 13 February 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected cassation complaint lodged by Schneider Electric CZ against the judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which rejected a claim that had been submitted previously against the allegedly unlawful dawn raid that had took place at (...)

The German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control publishes information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources for energy-intensive companies and rail operators
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
BAFA Publishes Figures on Reduction of EEG Surcharge for Energy Intensive Companies* The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has published information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources in Germany (“EEG-surcharge”) for energy-intensive (...)

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

The Western Australian government signs with COMESA a cooperation agreement in the fields of mineral and petroleum resources comprising six thematic areas among which the competition enforcement is not even mentioned
Primerio
COMESA and W. Australia now economically linked via MoU* The Western Australian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with COMESA. Colin Barnett signed the papers yesterday, January 31, 2014. COMESA dutifully posted a news release on its web site, albeit misspelling the W. (...)

The Supreme Arbitration Court of Moscow upholds the decision of the Russian Competition Authority refusing to approve a merger on the markets of electric power industry (Gazprombank / Moesk)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation pronounced legitimacy of a refusal to satisfy a transaction by “Gazprombank” OJSC* On 24th January 2014, the Supreme Arbitration Court (VAC) of the Russian Federation dismissed a claim of “Gazprombank” OJSC to transfer a case to the Presidium (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the functioning of the sector for the distribution of bulk propane to households’ tanks
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. With a view to benefitting consumers, the Autorité de la concurrence has issued several recommendations aimed at opening up the sector for the distribution of bulk propane to households’ tanks.* It has in (...)

The EU Court of Justice interprets the concept of intervention through state resources and finds that the offset of additional costs arising from the obligation to purchase green electricity constituted state intervention (Vent de Colère)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Non-Equivalence of the Various Methods of Supporting Green Electricity* Introduction Ever since the judgment of the Court of Justice in 2001 on PreussenElektra [case C-379/98], Member States have been grappling with the question of how to (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a mechanism for offsetting in full the additional costs imposed on undertakings because of an obligation to purchase wind-generated electricity at a price higher than the market price is imputable to the state (Association Vent De Colère / Ministre de l’Écologie)
European Procurement Law Group
CJEU follows AG Jääskinen in revisiting PreussenElektra and minimising Doux Elevages’ requirements for State imputability of aid measures (C-262/12)* In its Judgment of 19 December 2013 in case C-262/12 Vent De Colère and Others, the Court of Justice of the EU has largely followed AG Jääskinen’s (...)

The German Federal Network Agency and the Bundeskartellamt present their joint monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Monitoring Report 2013 of the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* Bonn, 19 December 2013: Today the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) and the Bundeskartellamt presented their joint Monitoring Report 2013 on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012. With (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation on the compatibility of the reduction granted to energy-intensive companies on the surcharge promoting renewable sources in Germany (EEG Surcharge)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Opens State Aid Investigation into German Renewables Surcharge Reduction for Energy-intensive Companies and Green Electricity Privilege* As previously expected, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the reduction granted to energy-intensive (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks* Bonn, 18 December 2013: The Bundeskartellamt welcomes the landmark decisions issued yesterday by the Federal Court of Justice on the award of rights of way for electricity and (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to authorise collective bargaining arrangements advanced by a number of specific suppliers of wagering services, energy services and insurance (Clubs Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to authorise Clubs Australia’s collective bargaining arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to authorise collective bargaining arrangements put forward by Clubs Australia for five years. Clubs Australia, representing 6,500 licensed clubs across (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission publishes report on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petrol
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC Petrol Report shows prices still high despite global weakness* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its 2013 report on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petrol in Australia. “The report shows that international prices and domestic fuel taxes are the key (...)

The EU Commission clears the merger proposed by a Russian energy supplier targeting a number of companies established in Germany and Netherlands (Gazprom / Wintershall)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Clears Acquisition of German and Dutch Gas Supply and Storage Joint Ventures by Gazprom* Applying the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has cleared a proposed acquisition of (i) joint control over WINZ and Wintershall Services of the Netherlands and (ii) sole control (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission unanimously approves merger in the oil products and lubricants market (Motor Oil and Cyclon)
Lambadarios Law Firm
On December 2, 2013 the Hellenic Competition Commission (hereinafter: HCC) unanimously approved the acquisition of a controlling stake in CYCLON HELLAS S.A. (hereinafter: CYCLON) by MOTOR OIL HELLAS S.A. (hereinafter: MOH). MOH is a Greek company mainly active in the markets of oil refining; (...)

The German Competition Authority announces the operational start of a special unit dedicated to increasing transparency on fuel prices (Market Transparency Unit)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Regular operation of Market Transparency Unit for Fuels to start on 1 December 2013* Bonn, 29 November 2013: The regular operation of the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels will start on 1 December 2013. This marks the successful end of the three-month trial period: there is a constant data (...)

The OECD publishes a study showing that retail road fuel market prices can be distorted even in seemingly competitive markets
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Competition & Gas: Canadian Competition Bureau Contribution to OECD Study on Competition & Gas* On my daily media sweep earlier today, this interesting Competition Bureau contribution to an OECD study on competition and gasoline caught my eye (OECD Policy Roundtables – Competition in (...)

The COMESA Competition Commission announces the lodging of its tenth merger notification involving two supermajor oil companies (Total Egypt / Chevron Egypt)
Primerio
Some COMESA Merger-Control Musings on the Latest Notification* It’s been a little while since we last published a note on COMESA. When there is little substantive news to report, statistics often yield a topic to write about. And so it is with COMESA. The statistic at hand: On Monday, 18. (...)

The EU General Court finds that an authorisation agreement on the mining fees payable for the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves does not constitute State aid incompatible with the internal market (MOL)
European Procurement Law Group
GC rules on two-part State aid measures and selectivity under Art 107(1) TFEU (T-499/10)* In its Judgment of 12 November 2013 in case T-499/10 MOL v Commission, the General Court has found that an authorisation agreement that froze the mining fees payable for the exploitation of hydrocarbon (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission publishes its September 2013 quarterly report including inter alia information on cartel proceedings as regards the supply of ball and roller bearings for aftermarket applications
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC quarterly report puts spotlight on statutory information gathering powers* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published its September 2013 quarterly report, ACCCount. In the last quarter, the ACCC was involved in 10 proceedings relating to competition enforcement (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator publish their annual report on competition in the energy sector and consumer choice
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC and AER issue joint 2012-13 annual report* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator have published their annual report for 2012-13. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims highlighted the notable achievements, including strong court judgments and penalties for (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court confirms judgment on exclusive purchasing clause between competitors (Rab/Mantje)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
,
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
I. The Parties Rab onroerend goed BV and Mantje Bio-fuels BV II. The Facts In 2008, Mantje bought two plots of land (‘the land’) on Texel, an island off the Dutch coast. Mantje purchased the land from Bruining, while Bruining had bought it from Rab in 1995. At that time, Rab operated two petrol (...)

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales rules that the making of a disclosure order against a French litigant is in the English Court’s discretion, and is not precluded by French Law No. 68-678 or the Council Regulation No 1206/2001 (National Grid Electricity Transmission / ABB)
Blackstone Chambers
Curtains for the French Blocking Statute?* Never the most celebrated actor on the stage of English litigation, the French Blocking Statute nonetheless has its fans, particularly among competition lawyers. The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for Health v Servier (...)

The UK OFGEM introduces new rules aimed at increasing competition on the retail market and making energy pricing simpler, clearer and fairer
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. A Simple Way to Boost Competition in the Energy Market* The latest round of increases in energy prices has sparked an angry debate about how well competition is working in the UK market. Energy companies claim increases reflect rising (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission allows the joint renegotiation of existing coal supply arrangements (Queensland power and Anglo Coal)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC allows electricity generators to jointly negotiate* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to allow Queensland power generators CS Energy, Callide Energy, InterGen and Callide Power Management (the applicants) to jointly renegotiate existing coal (...)

The EU Commission announces that the nuclear industry won’t be included in its draft guidelines on environmental and energy
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
Still in primary containment: the European Commission’s approach to State aid in the nuclear industry* On 8 October 2013, it was announced that the nuclear industry would not be included in the European Commission’s draft Guidelines on environmental and energy aid for 2014-2020 as anticipated. (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council sends a SOs to an oil company suspected of having implemented a merger without previous notification (Lukoil Baltija)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council closes investigation on possibly unnotified mergers implemented by UAB Lukoil Baltija within the market of fuel retail trade* On November 6, the Competition Council (the Council) sent a Statement of Objections to UAB Lukoil Baltija suspected of having infringed the Law on (...)

ECJ Advocate General Cruz Villalón deals in his opinion with the exceptions to the right of access to public documents implying that it cannot be excluded that the commercial interests of the leniency applicants may be damaged by disclosure (EnBW)
European Procurement Law Group
AG Cruz Villalon on access to leniency applications: A stringent test. Really? (C-365/12)* In his Opinion of 3 October 2013 in case C-365/12 EnBW Energie, Advocate General Cruz Villalon has proposed a holistic interpretation of the regulatory schemes relating to access to documents of the (...)

EU Court of Justice Advocate General Cruz Villalón upholds Commission’s pleas about the judgement of the General Court on access to cartel documents under EU transparency regulation (EnBW)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Relevance of the Opinion The Opinion touches upon the disclosure through the Regulation 1049/2001 ("Transparency Regulation") of cartel-related-documents held by the Commission. First, it addresses how the Commission should handle these requests, in particular, it tackles the harmonious (...)

The Federal Government of Nigeria launches the privatisation of the energy sector issuing the necessary licenses and shareholder certificates for 18 private successor companies (PHCN / NEPA)
EPICLEGAL
The Privatization of the Electricity Sector in Nigeria* The full implementation of the Electric Power Sector Reform has been a key priority for the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria. As noted in the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform, for over two decades, the stalled (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority declares that the deal over closing down coal power plants is harmful for the consumer
University of Groningen
Sustainable Competition law; Competition Law Kills Coal Closure Plan, Or Does It?* This post concerns a bit of a Dutch thing, namely the ‘position’ of the Dutch National Competition Authority ACM on an agreement by electricity producers active on the Dutch market, but it is interesting more (...)

The European Commission re-examines a previously compatible State aid scheme in the light of the 2005 and 2012 SGEI packages (ESB of Ireland)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Sale of Public Assets, SGEI and Electricity Levies* Main points Revenue from levies on electricity users is most likely to constitute State resources. Public service obligations can be transferred from one electricity-generating company to another. Compensation for public service obligations (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission decision on the incompatibility of a state aid granted for the acquisition of a new power plant (Fri-El Acerra)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. New Case Law on Incentive Effect, “Private Borrower”, Advantage, Compensation, SGEI and Market Failure* Introduction The posting reviews three recent rulings of the General Court. They are significant because they introduce substantial nuances in (...)

The US District Court for Western District highlights the unique damages theory, which requires plaintiffs to “show that the method of calculating damages measures ‘only those damages attributable to that theory’ of injury asserted by the plaintiffs (Barfield/Sho-Me Power)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
Missouri landowners brought a class action asserting that electric companies that had easements over their properties for the transmission of electricity had exceeded the scope of their easements, by also transmitting fiber optic communications through the properties in addition to electricity. (...)

The French Competition Authority welcomes the fact that all electricity suppliers are now allowed to offer their customers social electricity tariffs
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the fact that all electricity suppliers are now allowed to offer their customers social electricity tariffs. It also recommends that the government initiate an (...)

The Namibian Competition Commission prohibits energy merger deal under the new merger control regime (Namox/Puma)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
On 22 July 2013, the Competition Commission of Namibia prohibited the acquisition of Puma Pty Ltd’s Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) by Namox Pty Ltd for two main reasons: (i) the merger would have increased the concentration and consolidated the dominant position of the merged entity in the market (...)

The Turkish Competition Board clears a joint venture in the natural gas market (Akpol / Gazprombank)
Kinstellar (Istanbul)
,
Kinstellar
A. Introduction On 18 July 2013, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) issued its reasoned decision on the formation of a joint venture in Turkey by (i) Akpol İnşaat Mühendislik Proje ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Akpol”) and (ii) Prima Energy Trading LLC (“Prima”), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of (...)

The UK Ofgem issue proposals to open up the UK electricity market
Ofgem have issued proposals to open up the electricity market to effective competition, establishing a more level playing field so independent suppliers can compete effectively with the big six suppliers. The Big Six The ‘big six’ energy suppliers in Britain are generally taken to be Britain’s (...)

The UK OFGEM agrees a EUR 3.4 M package with energy operator after it was found to have breached its reporting obligations under the Government’s carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) programme (E.ON)
Ofgem has agreed a £3 million package with E.ON after it was found to have breached its reporting obligations under the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) programme. The Breach and Ofgem’s Investigation Under the Government’s CERT programme, large energy suppliers are required (...)

The Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses the action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta/Husky Oil Operations)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow* A decision by joint operators of an oil field to use a single fluid hauler was not an unlawful conspiracy, the Alberta Court of Appeal held recently, overturning a 2011 decision that awarded about $8 million to the loser of a competitive bidding (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading concludes that asset acquisition in administration on proceedings does not qualify for merger investigation (Shell UK / Greenergy / Vopak Holding)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills
On 6 June 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published its decision on the completed acquisition of certain assets of Petroplus Refining and Marketing Limited (PRML). The asset sale was conducted in the course of administration proceedings, the underlying business having ceased trading. (...)

The German Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat reaches compromise on the long-awaited 8th reform of the German act against restraints of competition
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Reform of the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB): Federal Cartel Office to Loose Price Control of Public Law Utility Fees* The Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat today reached a compromise on the long-awaited 8th reform of the German Act against Restraints of (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority issues opinion in ex officio proceedings regarding the compliance with the competition rules of two legal acts regulating the supply of central heating
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Legal Framework on Central Heating distorts Competition and may harm Consumers’ Welfare* By Decision No 623/30.05.2013, the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted a competition advocacy opinion in ex officio proceedings concerning compliance with the (...)

The European Commission releases 2012 report on competition policy
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 May 2013, the European Commission released its annual Report on Competition Policy for 2012. The Commission relies on its Report to illustrate that without an effective European competition policy, the internal market cannot deliver its full economic potential. Private barriers to (...)

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection clears a merger on the LPG distribution market in Poland and imposes a set of remedies, including behavioural (Gaspol/Orlen Gaz)
Markiewicz & Sroczynski
I. The Facts On 25 July 2012 Gaspol S.A. with its seat in Warsaw (“Gaspol”) notified the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”) of its intention to acquire the business of bottled liquified petroleum gas (“LPG”) from Orlen Gaz Sp. z o.o. with its seat in Plock (“Orlen (...)

The Polish Competition Authority gives conditional consent to a merger in the retail of bottled gas sector (Gaspol / Orlen Gaz)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In its decision of 20 May 2013, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP President” or the “PCA”) has given her conditional consent for Gaspol to acquire a part of assets of Orlen Gaz. Both undertakings operate on the sales market of bottled gas. Gaspol applied (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance partially annuls the Competition Authority in a public procurement case (2iGas Infrastruttura, E.ON Rete, Linea Distribuzione)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from April to June 2013 (Second contribution) 1. Premise –This work is the second contribution of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court rules on the principles applicable to the award of concession contracts (Agam Reti Gas Acqua)
University of Turin
I. Introduction The grand chamber (Adunanza plenaria) of the Italian Consiglio di Stato, broadly corresponding to the assembléeof the Conseil d’Etat, has addressed the question of the applicability of some provisions of the 2006 Code of public contracts to the award of concession contracts. The (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceedings on adequate network access for a refinery as regards crude oil supplies (Ingolstadt)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings on adequate network access for Ingolstadt refinery* Today the Bundeskartellamt has closed its proceedings against the group companies of the Transalpine Ölleitung (transalpine oil pipeline, TAL). The Ingolstadt refinery will now be granted access to the TAL (...)

The German Competition Authority works currently on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol stations (MTS Kraftstoffe)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Transparency Unit for Fuels - Registration of companies obliged to report prices* The Bundeskartellamt’s Market Transparency Unit is currently working on the implementation of the fuel price reporting requirement which is to enable consumers to gain information on current fuel prices at petrol (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines petrol stations operator for infringement of merger control rules (Lukoil)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
The Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the ’Council’) imposed a fine of approximately EUR 340 000 on UAB Lukoil Baltija (Lukoil), a petrol stations operator, for the failure to duly notify the Council of two notifiable concentrations and for the implementation thereof without the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority applies the bidding markets analysis to block a merger in the market for the gas distribution services (Italgas and Acegas-APS/Isontina Reti Gas)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 17 April 2013 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has prohibited the Italgas and Acegas-APS acquisition of the joint control of Isontina Reti Gas (IRG). The ICA believed that the notified transaction would strengthen the dominant position of Italgas and Acegas-APS in (...)

The European Commission approves a state aid for the expansion of a gas storage facility that could enable the entry of more gas suppliers on the Polish market (PGNiG)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. How to Use Economic Tools to Ensure the Proportionality of Aid (Commission Decision SA.34938 on a gas storage facility in Poland)* Introduction Normally, economic analysis is used by the Commission to find out whether a measure confers an abnormal (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears conditionally an acquisition imposing both structural and behavioural remedies (Glencore / Xstrata)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM cleared Glencore’s acquisition of Xstrata with Conditions* On April 16, 2013, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) cleared the proposed acquisition of Xstrata plc (“Xstrata“) by Glencore International plc (“Glencore“) with conditions. Both structural and behavioral remedies are involved in the (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied petroleum gas cartel (Friedrich Scharr, Primagas, Krefeld, Progas, Dortmund, Sano-Propan, Nuremberg and Tyczka Totalgaz)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases Fines against Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cartel* On 16 April 2013, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court - the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (the Court) has imposed fines of € 244 000 000 on five members of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...)

A German Higher Regional Court imposes fines on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (Drachen-Propangas / Propan Rheingas / Westfalen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied gas cartel* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed fines of 244 million euros on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (ref. VI-4 Kart 2-6/10 OWi). The companies involved are (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets launches consultation on strategy and sets keys priorities for 2013
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets launches Consultation on Strategy and sets Keys Priorities for 2013* On 11 April 2013, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM), which started its activities on 1 April 2013, launched a consultation on its (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The US District of Kansas grants certification to liability only (Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practice Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
Gasoline consumers in California brought a class action against gas station owners and operators in California, claiming that their failure to adjust gasoline prices based on the effects of temperature on gasoline volume and to disclose those effects was a violation of California’s unfair (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision of NCA in aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 28 March 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a 2008 decision of the French Competition Authority imposing fines totalling € 41.1 million on fuel companies of the Chevron- Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell groups for collusive tendering in the supply of aviation fuel to Air (...)

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

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

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion regarding a draft decree on regulated gas tariffs
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Maintaining regulated gas tariffs has an unfavourable influence on the competitive process without making any positive contribution to the competitiveness of French companies or the purchasing power of (...)

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission imposes record fines on independent power producers for collectively refusing to adjust the rate for wholesale electricity (Gong-Chu-Tzyh)
Chung Yuan Christian University
Introduction On March 15, 2013, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (“TFTC”) imposed a record fine of $213.08 million (NT$6.32 billion) on nine independent power producers (“IPPs”) for collusion after the breakdown of several price renegotiations between the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) and the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects electricity supplier’s request to suspend deadline to decide whether to sell off power plant project (EDF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 March 2013, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) rejected the application for interim measures by Électricité de France (“EDF”), which had sought to postpone its obligation to decide whether to sell or invest in a particular power plant project, as required by previous merger commitments. (...)

The EU Commission initiates formal investigation of the German exemption from network charges for large electricity consumers
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Opens In-depth Inquiry into Potential State Aid for Large Electricity Consumers Exempted from Grid Charges in Germany* The Commission opened an in-depth investigation to find out whether exemptions for large electricity consumers from network charges granted in Germany since 2011 (...)

The European Commission opens formal state aid investigation into the German exemption of large electricity consumers from network charges
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
The EU Law Firm
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 6 March 2013, the European Commission (’the Commission’) decided to investigate in-depth the German exemption of large electricity consumers from network charges, as it was concerned that the exemption may involve State aid. In Germany, network charges are established by network operators and (...)

The Canadian Judge at the Superior Court of Quebec convicts three individuals for conspiring to fix gas prices in two Quebec cities (R/Gosselin)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Gas price fixers convicted after trial* A Quebec Superior Court judge recently convicted three individuals of conspiring to fix gas prices in two Quebec cities, Sherbrooke and Magog. To date 33 individuals and seven companies have been convicted fixing gas prices in Quebec and eastern (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal rules that security of supply justifies exemption from the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements in the energy sector (South African Petroleum Industry Association)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
Competition are traditionally reluctant to recognise “crisis management” as a justification excusing restrictive agreements between competitors. In 2008, for example, the EU Court of Justice ruled that an agreement between the 10 main beef producers in the Republic of Ireland to co-ordinate their (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in the gas insulated switchgear cartel (Siemens, Alstom)
lakatos, koves and partners
,
Kinstellar (Budapest)
The HCO decision The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) received one of its first leniency applications back in 2004 from ABB in connection with alleged anti-competitive activities by ABB, Areva, Siemens, Alstom and VA Tech on the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market. Although the cartel (...)

The East Netherlands District Court establishes liability for damages in follow-on gas insulated switchgear case (Tennet TSO / ABB)
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
Introduction The Dutch District Court Oost-Nederland ruled on the liability for damages in a Dutch follow-on case sought after the European Commission established a cartel infringement in its ‘gas insulated switchgear’ Decision. In its ruling the District Court also considered the applicability (...)

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

The EU General Court upholds fine imposed on energy corporation for failing to notify a transaction highlighting the importance of compliance with EU merger control filing requirements (Electrabel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
1. Introduction On 12 December 2012 the EU General Court dismissed Electrabel’s appeal against the €20 million fine the European Commission had imposed on it for failing to notify a transaction - the acquisition of a minority shareholding - to the Commission under the EU Merger Regulation (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes results of inquiry into national fuel retail sector
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The Competition Authority publishes Results of Inquiry into national Fuel Retail Sector* In December 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) published the findings of its inquiry into the national fuel retail sector. The inquiry covers the period 2010-2012. It reveals that the (...)

The German Competition Authority intends to set up the future transparency unit for fuels
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Preparations for Launch of Transparency Unit for Fuels* The Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has appointed on 30 November 2012 a project team in order to set up the future transparency unit for fuels. The unit is envisaged to be operational in 2013. Complaints against high fuel prices are (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal allows price-fixing damages claims brought by an Irish utility service provider against a British industrial bag manufacturer based on Article 5(3) of the Brussels I Regulation (Bord NA Mona)
Blackstone Chambers
Subsidiaries as “branches” for undertakings: a new route to jurisdiction under Article 5(5) of the Brussels Regulation?* Stand alone, follow on and hybrid damages claims arising out of multijurisdictional cartels are generating some of the most novel and interesting current problems in conflicts (...)

The US DoJ imposes a divestiture and hold separate order before approving an acquisition in the market for electric power (Exelon / Constellation)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
Introduction Early in his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama declared: “Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play”. With this statement, President Obama became just the sixth president to make reference to the (...)

The European Court of Justice upholds Commission decision on breach of seal during an inspection (E.ON Energie)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Courts: Court of Justice upholds Commission Decision on Breach of Seal during an Inspection * On 22 November 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled on an appeal against a General Court (GC) judgment that had upheld the Commission decision of 2008 fining E.ON for (...)

The EU Court of Justice entirely rejects an appeal by German energy company for failing to substantiate the unduly reversed burden of proof and the allegedly incorrect assessment of the fines imposed for breaching a seal during a EU dawn raid (E.ON)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Breaching of a seal constitutes a serious violation of the Commission’s investigative powers in the competition field for which fines not exceeding 1 % of the undertaking’s turnover may be imposed. On 15 April 2008, E.ON Energie brought an action for annulment against a (...)

The Jiangsu Administration for Industry and Commerce investigates unfair one-sided clauses while monopoly conduct in online shopping becomes a regulatory focus
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
The Jiangsu Administration for Industry and Commerce (Jiangsu AIC) investigated one-sided unfair clauses in 12 industries. The 12 industries were water supply; electricity supply; gas supply; telecommunication services; cable television; real estate transactions; interior decoration and (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines two companies for bid rigging practices in the context of a gas transport pipeline tender procedure (T.M.U.C.B.)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
,
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
,
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council ("RCC") published in February 2013 a decision ("RCC Decision") pursuant to an investigation concerning an alleged infringement of art. 5 of Competition Law (mirroring the provisions of art. 101 TFEU) in the context of several public procurement (...)

The Romanian Competition Council sanctions bid rigging practices in the natural gas sector following information received from criminal authorities (Condmag, Inspet, Transgaz)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
,
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
,
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council ("RCC") issued in November 2012 a decision ("RCC Decision") pursuant to an investigation concerning alleged bid rigging practices during the tenders organized by Transgaz – the Romanian operator for the transportation of natural gas - and Romgaz – (...)

The EU General Court curtails EU Commission’s powers to dawn raid companies for suspected competition law infringements (Nexans)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
,
Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties Nexans SA and its wholly-owned subsidiary Nexans France SAS – are two French companies which carry out their activities in the electric cable sector. II. The Facts The EU Commission (hereinafter “the Commission”) received information via leniency applications that electric cable (...)

The EU General Court rules on challenges to the dawn raids carried out by the Commission in the electrical cables sector (Nexans, Prysmian)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
1. Introduction During the course of 2012 there have been various developments at the EU level in relation to the unannounced inspections or "dawn raids" regularly conducted by the Commission in competition law cases. The General Court has ruled on challenges to the dawn raids carried out by (...)

The Guangdong Price Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission investigates and sanctions a cartel in the local sea sand mining sector (Baohai, Jianghai, Donghai)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
The Guangdong Price Bureau, a local authority of the Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of NDRC, has recently investigated and sanctioned a cartel in the local sea sand mining sector pursuant to the AML. According to the NDRC’s news release, the price of land reclamation sand used in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on bid rigging cartel in natural gas pipelines sector (Condmag and Inspet)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Romanian competition authority imposes fines on bid rigging cartel in natural gas pipelines sector* On 17 October 2012, the Romanian Competition Authority (RCC) found that four undertakings had taken part in bid rigging in the framework of two public procurement procedures organised by (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority issues a report warning that few operators control the fuel market after oil companies raise their margins by 20% since the start of the crisis
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The hydrocarbon prices in Spain, before taxes, are the highest in Europe. The CNC has studied the reasons for this fact and it has concluded that the lack of competition, the strong corporate concentration and the difficulty in accessing these kind of markets are to blame. The CNC has described (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejects the complaint alleging the anti-competitive character of the government subsidies for energy generation from renewable sources (APEOR)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 October 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) rejected the complaint of the Association of renewable energy producers (APEOR) alleging the anti-competitive nature of the measures adopted by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (VFBiH) for the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit applies the "filed rate doctrine" to electricity rates set by market-based auctions (Simon / KeySpan)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
Cohen Milstein (New York)
The Second Circuit was asked to consider whether the plaintiff, a retail consumer of electricity, could maintain an antitrust action against an electricity producer that allegedly agreed with its competitor to increase installed capacity prices and a financial firm that allegedly facilitated (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit finds that the filed-rate doctrine applied because the market-based auction process was circumscribed and reviewed by a regulatory body which determined the resulting rate to be reasonable (Simon, KeySpan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
,
Driven
On September 20, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed KeySpan’s victory in Simon v. KeySpan, holding for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions. While the Court (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of power transformers on account of collusive tendering (ABB, Alstom Grid, Siemens and Starkstrom-Gerätebau)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany : The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines on Manufacturers of Power Transformers on account of collusive Tendering* On 20 September 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling € 24 300 000 on four manufacturers of power transformers for an infringement of the national and EU (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority fines an electricity producer and a retailer in a resale price maintenance case (GEN Energija, GEN – I)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovenia: Resale Price Maintenance in Electricity Market* On 14 August 2012, the Competition Protection Office of the Republic of Slovenia (CPO) issued a decision finding that Slovenia’s second largest electricity producer GEN Energija d.o.o. (GEN Energija) and the electricity retailer GEN – I (...)

The Italian Competition Authority exerts its jurisdiction on a concentration between two firms owned by the State and conditionally clears it (CDP/Snam)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority asserts its jurisdiction on a concentration between two firms owned by the State and conditionally clears it (CDP/Snam) By a decision made on 8 August 2008, the Italian Competition Authority has conditionally cleared the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the participation of distributed load-shedding operators in the electricity balancing mechanism
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has issued reservations concerning the arrangements proposed by RTE in relation to the participation of certain operators in the electricity Balancing Mechanism* The French (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition adopts commitment decision concerning wholesale fuel market (Lukoil, Nafteks Petrol, Rompetrol and OMV)
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Commission on Protection of Competition adopts Commitment Decision concerning Wholesale Fuel Market * On 26 July 2012, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted a commitment decision in the case of Lukoil Bulgaria, Nafteks Petrol and Rompetrol Bulgaria and OMV (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority releases report monitoring automotive fuel distribution market
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia releases Report monitoring Automotive Fuel Distribution Market in Spain* Pursuant to its competition advocacy function, Spain’s antitrust authority, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC), has released on 4 July 2012 a new Report monitoring (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine imposed on each undertaking in a case involving market sharing in the energy sector (GDF Suez / E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 29 June 2012, the EU’s General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought by E.ON and GDF Suez against a Commission decision fining them for their involvement in a market-sharing agreement. In its judgments, the GC confirmed the previous Commission decision, but reduced the (...)

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

The EU Commission re-imposes € 131.6 M fine on Japanese companies over gas insulated switchgear cartel following General Court’s partial annulment (Mitsubishi and Toshiba)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 27 June 2012, the European Commission announced that it had re-imposed a € 131.61 million fine on Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric, after last year’s General Court (“GC”) judgment partially annulling the original decision concerning these companies’ involvement in the gas insulated (...)

The EU Commission makes legally binding commitments offered by companies active in nuclear markets on post-JV non-compete and confidentiality obligations (Siemens / Areva)
Van Bael & Bellis
The European Commission announced, on 18 June 2012, that it had adopted a decision to make legally binding commitments offered by Siemens AG (“Siemens”) and Areva SA (“Areva”) to reduce the scope and duration of certain non-compete and confidentiality obligations imposed on Siemens further to (...)

The EU Court of Justice reaffirms the objective character of the notion of state aid finding that the private investor test remains applicable even in cases where the means employed by the state are not available to a private investor (EDF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The EDF judgment of the CJEU in case C-124/10 P: towards a public investor test in EU State aid law?* On the 5th of June 2012, the Court of Justice of the EU (hereafter ‘CJEU’) delivered an important judgment in the field of European State aid law on the very notion of State aid and the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines three operators in the Southern Italian electric market for undertaking a concerted practice aimed at sharing the market for certain dispatch services (Repower Italy Dispatch Price)
Economisti Associati
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
Three electricity generators active in the Southern Italian area - Repower Italia S.p.A., EGL Italia S.p.A. and Tirreno Power S.p.A. - have been sanctioned by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Italian Competition Authority - ICA) for undertaking a concerted practice in (...)

The EU Commission adopts a framework under which Member states may compensate certain electro-intensive users for part of the higher electricity costs expected to result from a tightening of the ETS
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
European Commission: State Aid Rules for ETS Post 2012 Electricity Costs and for CCS Ready Power Plants* The European Commission has adopted a framework under which Member states may compensate certain electro-intensive users for part of the higher electricity costs expected to result from a (...)

The EU Commission issues guidelines on state aid for emission trading
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 May 2012, the European Commission published its long-awaited Communication setting out guidelines on certain state aid measures in the context of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme (“ETS”) post-2012. The Communication allows national support to companies in a (...)

The EU General Court confirms that leniency documents produced under the Commission’s leniency program are not exempt from disclosure in civil actions (Energie Baden-Württemberg)
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Squire Patton Boggs (London)
A recent ruling from the EU General Court ("General Court") in EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG v Commission confirms that leniency documents produced under the European Commission’s ("Commission") leniency program are not exempt from disclosure in civil actions in the EU. Earlier this year, the (...)

The Polish competition court upholds the prohibition of a merger in the energy sector, confirms that conditions can be granted also by the court, defines when the “rule of reason” can be applicable and consequently confirms a non-primary meaning of procedural omissions of the competition authority (PGE)
Markiewicz & Sroczynski
I. The Facts Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. with its seat in Warsaw (“PGE”) is one of the four leading energy groups in Poland, the remaining three being Enea, Energa and Tauron. PGE intended to take control over Energa, through a conditional acquisition from the Minister of the State Treasury on (...)

The Competition Commission of India validates input prices fixing by state-owned oil marketing companies and oligopsony granted under state’s policies (Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum)
"Though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary" A. BACKGROUND On May 9th, 2012, the Competition Commission of India cleared three Public Sector Undertakings (...)

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

The English High Court orders disclosure of parts of the unredacted version of the EU Commission’s switchgear cartel decision (National Grid / ABB)
Baker McKenzie (London)
,
Linklaters (London)
,
Constantine Cannon (London)
*Antitrust Litigation: Access to Documents Held by Regulatory Authorities The English High Court has confirmed that the principles established by the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "ECJ") in Pfleiderer apply to the disclosure of leniency documents submitted to the (...)

The EU Commission fines two Czech energy companies for obstructing dawn raids (Energetický a průmyslový holding and EP Investment Advisors)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2012, the European Commission imposed a total of € 2,500,000 in fines on Energetický a průmyslový holding and EP Investment Advisors, active in the energy sector in the Czech Republic, for obstructing an on-the-spot inspection carried out by Commission officials from 24 to 26 (...)

The Competition and Consumer Appeals Tribunal rejects the national competition authority’s claim to be party in proceedings reviewing its decisions, but allows it a limited right to attend and participate in such proceedings
In terms of Article 13A of Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of Laws of Malta, hereinafter referred to as ’MCA’), the Director General (Competition) (hereinafter referred to as ’Director’) applied to the Competition and Consumer Affairs Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as ’Tribunal’), following (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office clears the acquisition of the prospective owner and operator of the gas interconnector between Slovakia and Hungary by two state owned companies (Magyar Villamos Művek / MFB Invest Befektetési és Vagyonkezelő / Magyar Gáz Tranzit)
Philip Morris
The Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) has approved the acquisition of joint control by Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt. (“MVM”), MFB Invest Befektetési és Vagyonkezelő Zrt. (“MFB Invest”) over Magyar Gáz Tranzit Zrt. (“MGT”), the prospective owner and operator of the gas interconnector between Slovakia and (...)

A Kazakh court fines national oil and gas operator a total of KZT 438,6 M for an anticompetitive agreement on exclusive supply of liquefied petroleum gas (JSC "National company" "KazMunayGas")
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy
,
Ernst & Young (Astana)
On the 14 March 2012, the Specialized Administrative Court of Pavlodar city fined JSC National Company “KazMunayGas” (hereinafter – KazMunayGas) a total of KZT 438,6 mn for entering into an anti-competitive agreement with JSC “Helios”on exclusive supply of liquefied petroleum gas. KazMunayGas is (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court adopts a strict approach with regards to equal treatment of bidders in case of a false information from the contracting authority (Dynacité)
Université Aix-Marseille
On 12 March 2012, the French Council of State, the supreme administrative court responsible for reviewing judgments of the lower administrative courts in particular in the field of public procurement contracts, ruled on an unusual question. A contracting authority, Dynacité which is in charge of (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the infringement decision of the Competition Authority finding discriminatory pricing on the market for jet fuel supplied in Croatian airports (INA)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 February 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the sole supplier of jet fuel JET A-1 in Croatian airports INA-Industrija nafte d.d. (INA) for an exploitative abuse of dominant position (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines 48 LPG cylinder manufacturers for engaging in bid-rigging in a tender for supply to oil corporation (IOCL)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In tendering for the supply of LPG cylinders to the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., 48 manufacturers were found by the CCI to have quoted identical or similar rates, and to have bid collectively for particular territories, after reaching an agreement between themselves. The CCI fined each (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines multinational electric utility company more than € 10 M for unfair competition (Iberdrola)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The Spanish National Competition Commission has fined Iberdrola, the Spanish multinational electric utility company, 10,685,000 Euros for transferring customers from the distributor of last resort to the deregulated distributor without obtaining the customer’s express consent, as required by the (...)

The European Court of Justice rules on parallel enforcement under Regulation 1/2003 while declining to redefine ne bis in idem within the ECN (Toshiba)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1.Against most expectations, the particularly awaited judgment of the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) in Toshiba, delivered in Grand Chamber on 14 February 2012 , did not provide a landmark ruling on the scope of the ne bis in idem principle (the European double jeopardy clause) in (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the electricity and gas supply markets (Electricité de Strasbourg / Enerest)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears – subject to conditions – the acquisition of Enerest by Electricité de Strasbourg (EDF Group)*. Electricité de Strasbourg, a company owned 88.82% by EDF, is a local (...)

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

The Federal Cartel Office considers the acquisition of 1.88% of the shares in a competitor resulting in a total shareholding of 10.52% as a notifiable concentration under German law as it enabled to exercise competitively significant influence jointly with a third party (Gazprom/VNG)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
By decision of 31 January 2012, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) cleared the increase of voting rights of Gazprom Germania GmbH (GPG) in VNG Verbundnetz Gas AG (VNG) to 10.52%. The increase by 1.88% of the voting rights was considered to enable GPG to exercise a competitively significant (...)

The Argentinian Competition Authority concludes the investigation against five oil & gas corporations for imposing discriminatory and excessive prices to public transportation companies (YPF, Shell, Esso, Petrobras and Oil)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
On 26 January, 2012 upon recommendation of Argentina’s National Competition Commission (ANCC), the Ministry of Economics & Finance ordered the 5 major oil & gas corporations -namely YPF (participated by Repsol YPF), Shell, Esso (Exxon Mobile), Petrobras and Oil- active in the Argentine (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines oil companies for having reached an agreement to withdraw a certain type of fuel from the market (OMV Petrom)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 10 January 2012, Romania’s Competition Council levied fines totalling RON 880 million (around € 200 million) on six oil companies for having reached an understanding to withdraw a certain type of fuel - Eco Premium (an unleaded gasoline pre-mixed with lead substitute) - from the market (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines six oil companies for a total of € 200 000 000 for their participation to a cartel (OMV Petrom)
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council imposes Fines on six Oil Companies totalling € 200 000 000* On 21 December 2011, the Competition Council imposed fines on the oil companies SC OMV Petrom SA, SC OMV Petrom Marketing SRL, SC Lukoil România SRL, SC Rompetrol Downstream SRL, SC Mol Petroleum (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice quashes the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives for the lack of evidence and failure to specify the anti-competitive object (Parstar Petrol)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 15 February 2012 the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) upheld the judgment issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals (CAC) against the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) where the latter found the existence of the concerted practices on the market for (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justices quashes two infringement decisions of the Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives for the lack of evidence (Petrom and Lukoil)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 December 2011 the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) upheld the two judgments issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals (CAC) against the infringement decisions of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) where the latter alleged the existence of the concerted practices on the market (...)

The UK Energy Regulator publishes proposals and draft impact assessments to enhance competition engagement in the retail energy market
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Should we Regulate the Structure of Consumer Tariffs to Make Competition Work Better? Two Cheers for Ofgem* The UK energy regulator today published its heavily trailed and significant proposals to constrain the regular tariffs which (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears a joint venture involving a Chinese State-owned company in order to license coal-water slurry gasification technology (GE / Shenhua)
King & Wood Mallesons (New York)
MOFCOM Imposed Conditions on SOEs - GE/Shenhua Deal* Only 10 days after its conditional clearance of the Alpha V/Savio deal, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) published, on 10 November 2011, the third conditional merger clearance of this year approving the proposed joint venture between (...)

The European Commission unconditionally clears an acquisition in the genset sector (Caterpillar/MWM)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
,
White & Case (Paris)
This case provides a further example of unconditional approval being granted by the Commission at the end of an in-depth Phase II (see also UPM/Myllukoski and Rhein Papier of 13 July 2011, case no. COMP/M. 6101; Seagate/Samsung hard disk reader business of 19 October 2011, case no.COMP/M.6214; (...)

The German Competition Office invits competition experts to discuss competition problems in the fuel markets
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Experts engage in Working Group Discussion about Fuel Prices* About 100 competition experts met on 6 October 2011 at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt’s (BKartA) for the Annual Conference of the Working Group on Competition Law. The participants discussed competition problems in (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review antitrust price-fixing case in the gasoline industry (Refined petroleum products antitrust litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines on the basis of art. 2 L.287/90 four local associations for anticompetitive practices in the sector of services for thermic plants (Manutenzione impianti termici Comune di Potenza)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
,
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
On September 22nd, 2011 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, ICA) fined four local associations of companies, artisans and cooperatives for concerted practices aimed at fixing the economic conditions for the control and maintenance of thermic plants in the City of Potenza. The (...)

The UK Energy Regulator closes investigation of an electricity producer over a potential breach of the consumer protection from the unfair trading regulations 2008 (EDF Energy)
Ofgem investigated a fault with the operation of EDF‘s Interactive Voice Response (“IVR”) telephone system and its interface with EDF‘s billing system which resulted in some customers who provided their own meter readings through the IVR system being overcharged or undercharged. Background EDF‘s (...)

The Italian Competition Authority blocks a merger in electricity market of Italy’s smallest region and suggests the region to remove existing regulatory barriers to reconsider its assessment (Compagna Valdostana delle Acque / Deval / Vallenergie)
Ferrovie dello Stato (Rome)
Introduction On the 4th of August 2011 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter «ICA«) brought a phase II merger to an unusual conclusion. The proceeding was opened in order to assess competition issues arising from a proposed merger involving electricity operators active in the markets (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases the results of the sector inquiry on the market for production, transportation, distribution and supply of thermal energy in the municipality of Bucharest
University of Technology (Tallinn)
In August 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) completed and released for public consultation the results of sector inquiry on the market for production, transportation, distribution and supply of thermal energy in the municipality of Bucharest. The CC‘s report identified technical, (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines a company group in the gas sector for hindering access to natural gas supply (Gas Natural Group)
Callol, Coca & Asociados
On 2 December 2009 the Investigation Direction of NCC opened a formal proceeding against Gas Natural due to possible anticompetitive practices consisting of hindering access to the natural gas supply market by refusing to process suppliers’ change requests made trough sound recordings. The (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines a company group in the gas sector for hindering access to the natural gas supply market (Gas Natural Group)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The CNC fines Gas Natural Group for hindering Competition in the Marketing of Natural Gas for end Consumers* In its Resolution of 27 July 2011, the National Competition Commission (CNC) Council found that the practices of some of the subsidiaries of the Gas Natural Group between 2007 (...)

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 Croatian Competition Authority refuses to revise its two-year old conditional clearance of the merger of two petroleum companies (MOL/INA)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 19 July 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) refused to revise its conditional clearance of MOL/INA concentration whereby the Hungarian petroleum company acquired the controlling interest in the Croatia’s national petroleum company. The revision of the initial clearance was (...)

The Greek Energy Regulatory Authority fines the national electricity incumbent for a series of violations regarding its obligations (Public Power Corporation)
Alexiou - Kosmopoulos Law Firm
On 15th July 2011, the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (hereinafter: "RAE") issued a decision on the merits by which it imposed a fine on the Public Power Corporation (hereinafter: "PPC") for a series of breaches of its obligations as the Operator of the national Electricity Distribution (...)

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

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger on the fuel and LPG distribution sector in the French West Indies and Guyana (Rubis / Chevron)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears under conditions the acquisition by Rubis Group of sole control of Chevron (Texaco)’s activities in the French West Indies and Guyana*. The Autorité de la concurrence has (...)

The EU General Court hears an appeal from Spanish service station associations against a Commission’s decision (CEES/AGES)
Van Bael & Bellis
CEES (Confederación Española de Estaciones de Servicio) and AGES (Asociación de Gestores de Estaciones de Servicio), two associations representing 45 percent of Spanish service stations, are reported to have recently lodged an appeal with the General Court against a Commission decision which (...)

The European Commission concludes that the unlimited State guarantee granted to a French research body constitutes compatible State aid as long as the its economic activities are conducted solely on an ancillary basis and are connected with its main activity (Institut Français du Pétrole)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* By decision of 29 June 2011 the Commission concluded that the unlimited State guarantee granted to the Institut Français du Pétrole Énergies Nouvelles (IFP) constitutes compatible State aid as long as the IFP’s economic (...)

The Tokyo District Court awards damages to the Japanese State in a bid-rigging case concerning the supply of jet fuel (Kosumo Sekiyu)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
I. Introduction In a judgment of 27 June 2011, the Tokyo District Court ordered nine oil companies to pay a total of 8.4 billion yen (104 million dollars at the time) to the Japanese State in restitution. The oil companies had violated the Japanese Antimonopoly Act by engaging in bid-rigging (...)

The German competition authority presents the final results of its inquiry into the fuel sector (Oligopoly of oil companies)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Results of Sector Inquiry into the Fuel Sector* On 26 May 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) presented the final results of its inquiry into the fuel sector. The BKartA started the sector inquiry in May 2008 since it suspected competition problems in this sector. Previously, the (...)

The European Commission fines company € 8 M for breaching a Commission seal during an inspection (Suez Environement)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Suez Environnement seal case – EUR 8 million fine for breaching a Commission seal during an inspection "* The Suez Environnement seal case – EUR 8 million fine for breaching a Commission seal during an inspection by Céline Gauer, Karine Bansard and Flavien Christ(1) In April 2010 the (...)

The Moldovan Agency for Energy Regulation releases the petroleum market study for the first quarter of 2011
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 May 2011 the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE) released the results of the periodical sector inquiry into the markets for import, wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum products during the first quarter of 2011. The markets for wholesale and retail trade in petroleum (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines the main electricity companies and sectoral association for price fixing and barriers to entry (Electricity Cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
"Spain: The National Competition Commission (CNC) fines the main Electricity Companies and Sectoral Association"* The CNC has on 13 May 2011 fined the main electricity companies in Spain, as well as the sectoral association, for having fixed prices and agreed on commercial terms and colluded (...)

The Spanish CNC fines five main electricity companies in Spain and industry association for anticompetitive practices extending the application of the "Sham litigation" doctrine (E.On España, UNESA)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The Spanish CNC at the avant-garde of competition enforcement?* In a previous post that appeared on Chillin’Competition we referred to the Spanish Competition Authority’s decision sanctioning the main Spanish electricity companies with fines totaling some 61 million euros as a good illustration (...)

The Memorandum of Understanding on specific economic and competition policy conditionality for granting financial assistance: Portugese point of view
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
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Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The views expressed here are the authors’ alone. 1. Introduction On May 3rd 2011 the Portuguese Government reached an agreement with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund regarding a Memorandum of Understanding on specific economic policy (...)

The Japanese Federal Trade Commission issues a communication listing practices that respect power saving and do not raise competition concerns
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
This article has been selected for the business category, anticompetitive practices section of the 2012 Antiturst Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has issued two Communications on the extent to which industry (...)

The Bosnian & Herzegovinan Competition Authority confirms that transfer of assets falls under definition of the “acquisition of control” under the national Merger Regulation and increases the level of fines for the failure to notify (Optima Grupa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 April 2011 the Bosnian & Herzegovinan Competition Authority (KV) fined the petroleum company OPTIMA Grupa d.o.o. (OPTIMA) for the failure to notify a concentration, which took the form of asset acquisition. The KV has thus reaffirmed that acquisition of assets falls under definition of (...)

The Macedonian Competition Authority releases its liquefied petroleum gas market survey for 2010
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 30 March 2011 the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) published the results of the sector inquiry evaluating the competitive conditions on the market for the wholesale and retail distribution of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in 2010. This investigation was initiated in December 2010 (...)

The US DoJ requires minor conduct remedies before approving a vertical merger affecting the market for petroleum needle coke (GrafTech / Seadrift)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
McDermott Will & Emery lawyers succeeded in obtaining the necessary antitrust approval for clients Seadrift Coke L.P. (Seadrift), the world’s second largest petroleum-based needle coke producer, and C/G Electrodes LLC (C/G), a U.S.-based graphite electrode producer, which have been acquired (...)

A US District Court dismisses class action alleging electricity overcharges (Simon / Keyspan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
,
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 (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal narrows the scope of follow-on claims (Emerson Electric / Carbone)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been nominated by the Business Steering Committee for the business category, general antitrust section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 21, 2011, the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) struck (...)

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues a notice of inquiry on potential changes to its merger review standards
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington)
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Bracewell & Giuliani (New York)
,
North American Electric Reliability Corporation
On March 17, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”), [1] seeking comment on whether it should revise its approach to examining horizontal market power under Sections 203 and 205 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). FERC analyzes horizontal market power (...)

The European Commission rejects a specific provision of the revised Austrian "Green Electricity Act" that would have provided energy-intensive businesses with a partial exemption from buying green electricity (Ökostromgesetznovelle 2008)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* After an in-depth investigation opened in 2009, on 8 March the Commission rejected a specific provision of the revised Green Electricity Act of Austria (Ökostromgesetznovelle 2008) that would have provided energy-intensive (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority examines the privatisation of three electricity distribution companies (AYEDAS-Akdeniz Elektrik-Toroslar Elektrik)
King’s College (London)
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) reviewed the privatisation of three electricity distribution companies (namely, AYEDAS, Akdeniz Elektrik and Toroslar Elektrik) where 100% of the shares in each company were offered in a block sale. Pursuant to the official privatisation schedule, (...)

The EU General Court confirms that when a wholly owned subsidiary is sold to a new owner, that subsidiary and the previous owner remain jointly and severally liable for any competition law infringement that the subsidiary committed before the sale (Areva, Alstom)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
In a judgment delivered on 3 March 2011 in Cases T-117/07 Areva v European Commission and T-121/07 Alstom v European Commission, the General Court of the European Union (the ‘Court’) the Court confirmed the general rule that when a wholly-owned subsidiary that has infringed competition law is (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority investigates on the district heating sector to understand whether prices applied by involved companies are abusive
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: Study concerning the District Heating Sector* On 1 March 2011, the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) finished the first stage of its investigations concerning the district heating sector. The aim of the study is to form an opinion of whether the pricing of the companies involved (...)

The French Supreme Court clarifies the appreciable effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFUE (Jet Fuel Cartel)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. In a landmark judgment of 1 March 2011, the French Supreme Court in Commercial, Financial and Economic matters (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale, financière et économique) provided guidance on establishing a local collusive agreement’s appreciable effect on trade between (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger on the district heating networks sector (GDF Suez / Ne Varietur)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the proposed acquisition of the Ne Varietur Group’s sole control by GDF Suez, subject to conditions*. The Autorité de la concurrence has investigated the takeover by GDF (...)

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 authorises France to provide a €26 M direct grant for the construction of a district heating network in the North-East of Paris (CPCU)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 26 January, the Commission authorised France to provide a €26 million direct grant for the construction of a district heating network in the North-East of Paris. The aid beneficiary is CPCU, a subsidiary of GDF Suez and the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the energy sector (PGE and Energa)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
,
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
Polska Grupa Energetyczna S. A. ("PGE") and Energa S. A. ("Energa") are state owned companies producing, distributing and trading electric energy. In September 2010, PGE concluded an agreement with the Ministry of Treasury concerning the purchase of 84,19% of Energa’s shares. On 20 October 2010, (...)

The European Commission authorises France to provide a €25.3 M grant for the construction of a heat boiler using a renewable energy source in the Alsace region (Roquette Frères. Electricité de Strasbourg, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 12 January, the Commission authorised France to provide a €25.3 million grant for the construction of a heat boiler using a renewable energy source (geothermal energy) in Beinheim, the Alsace region. The project also involves (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office decides about negative sole control and the calculation of turnover of groups of undertakings (GDF Suez / Proenergy)
Philip Morris
I. Background In this merger control matter the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCO) had to consider whether an additional acquisition of shares by a 40% shareholder qualifies as a change of control in the target company and thus requires notification the HCO. Under the share purchase (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments and closes investigations into Sicilian power prices (Sicilian power prices)
European Commission (Brussels)
* 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 European Court of Justice endorses the “single economic unit” reasoning of the Commission in a decision concerning State aid intended to grant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (AceaElectrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 16 December 2010, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal brought by AceaElectrabel Produzione SpA (“AEP”) against a judgment of the General Court upholding a Commission decision concerning State aid that Italy intended to grant for the reduction of greenhouse gas (...)

The European General Court upholds the European Commission’s 38 M € fine on energy operator for the breach of a seal during an inspection (E.ON)
European Commission (Brussels)
* 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 German Bundeskartellamt publishes joint guidelines with the German Federal Network Agency on the award of gas and electricity concessions and transfer of network use
European Commission (Brussels)
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2010. 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 EU General Court confirms the €38 million fine imposed for breaking a seal affixed to an office of a company by the Commission during an inspection (E.ON Energie)
Vogel & Vogel
On 15 December 2010, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) handed down a tough but very thoroughly argued decision on the infringement of breaking of an official seal. The European Commission had ordered an inspection of the premises of the company E.ON Energie AG in the context of an (...)

The European Commission approves State aid scheme notified by the Swedish authorities to support R&D project (Gothenburg Biofuels Gasification)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 14 December 2010 the Commission authorised the support that Sweden intends to grant to the Gothenburg Biofuels Gasification (GoBiGas) research and development (R&D) project to develop a pre commercial demonstration (...)

The Italian Court of First Instance confirms the Italian Competition Authority’s decision in a price fixing case concerning the liquefied petroleum gas sector (Butangas, Eni, Liquigas)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 13 December 2010, the Italian Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") confirmed the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") found the three main operators active in the LPG sector in Italy (i.e. Butangas, Eni and Liquigas) to have coordinated their (...)

The EU Ministers meeting within the Competitiveness Council adopts a new coal regulation enabling Member States to grant State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive mines until 2018
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EU Competitveness Council Extends State Aid for Loss-making Coal Mines Until 2018* EU Ministers meeting within the Competitiveness Council on 10 December 2010 adopted a new coal regulation enabling Member States to grant State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive mines until 2018, (...)

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

The European Commission authorises the Netherlands to provide a € 150 M grant for a CO2 capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project to a joint venture between two energy companies (E.ON and GDF Suez)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* By its decision of 27 October 2010 the Commission authorised The Netherlands to provide a € 150 million grant for a CO2 capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project to a joint venture between E.ON and GDF Suez. The joint (...)

The European Commission authorises the compensation which Spain intends to grant to electricity generators to meet the costs of fulfilling a public service obligation (Preferential dispatch of indigenous coal plants)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 29 September 2010 the Commission authorised the compensation which Spain intends to grant to electricity generators to meet the costs of fulfilling a public service obligation, namely producing specific volumes of (...)

The European Commission finds against planned regional subsidy to Italian energy company (Fri-el Acerra)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 15 September 2010 the Commission decided that the regional investment aid of € 19.5 million that Italy intended to grant towards the takeover and conversion, by Fri el Acerra S.r.l, of a closed thermoelectric power plant (...)

The Düsseldorf Court of Appeals annuls the decision by the German Federal Cartel Office which prohibited a petrol distributor acquiring 59 petrol stations (Total / OMV)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
I. Introduction On August 4, 2010, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals (the Court) annulled the decision by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) which prohibited Total Deutschland GmbH (Total) acquiring 59 petrol stations from OMV Deutschland GmbH (OMV). This judgment is a setback for the FCO, (...)

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

The European Commission approves € 8.5 M of regional investment aid to a Spanish company for the production of solar wafers (Silicio Solar SAU)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 20 July 2010, the Commission has also authorised €8.5 million of regional investment aid to the Spanish company Silicio Solar SAU for the production of solar wafers in Puertollano, Ciudad Real (Castilla-La–Mancha). The project (...)

The U.S. DOJ obtains disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust settlement with a power electricity undertaking in a market manipulation case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Alston & Bird (Washington)
Reaching the end of a three-year investigation, today the Department of Justice Antitrust Division asked a New York federal court to approve the DOJ’s settlement of claims that KeySpan violated the antitrust laws by manipulating the NYC wholesale electricity market. The DOJ claimed KeySpan (...)

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

A Dutch Court of Appeal holds that national legislation on the unbundling of energy network operators infringes the rules on free movement of capital (Delta, Eneco and Essent)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Essent, Delta, and Eneco are three vertically integrated energy companies active in the production, trade and distribution of electricity and gas. They supply end-consumers through their own electricity and gas networks. Each group’s networks are managed by separate network operators, (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office concludes that there is no need to prohibit long-term gas supply contracts anymore
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Positive Development in the Gas Distribution Sector - No Need to prohibit Long-Term Gas Supply Contracts in Germany anymore On 15 June 2010, the Bundeskartellamt has published a report on the evaluation of its decisions on long-term gas supply contracts. In several decisions (...)

The European Commission authorizes aid that Latvia intends to grant by way of tender for the construction and operation of a 400 MW thermal power plant
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised aid that Latvia intends to grant by way of tender for the construction and operation of a 400 MW thermal power plant between 2015 and 2025. The aim of the measure is to ensure that future (...)

The UK Energy Regulator minds to impose £2 million revenue penalty on an electric distribution network operator (EDF Energy Networks)
Energy regulator Ofgem is consulting on imposing a £2 million revenue penalty on EDF Energy Networks following an independent audit into the company’s handling of a power cut in the Dartford area of London last year. The incident affected 94,000 customers, many for more than 24 hours. Background (...)

The UK Energy Regulator announces that an electricity producer makes payments of £200,000 to two consumer organisations following investigation (EDF Energy/Money Advice Trust - Citizens Advice)
EDF Energy has made payments of £200,000 to the Money Advice Trust and to a Citizens Advice led scheme after a finding by the energy regulator, Ofgem, that the company had breached new regulations setting standards for handling customer complaints. Background The regulator brought in new rules (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the Government bill on the new organisation of the electricity market (NOEM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence considers that the regulation of electricity production is necessary for the development of competition within the national market. However, it points out that any such regulation (...)

The Moldovan energy regulatory authority releases the petroleum market study for the first quarter of 2010
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 6 May 2010 the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE) released the results of the periodical sector inquiry into the markets for import, wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum products during the first quarter of 2010. The markets for distribution of petroleum products are (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office conditionally clears a merger between two major liquefied petroleum gas distributors (Prímagáz / Intergas)
Philip Morris
In November 2009, Prímagáz Hungária Zrt. (Prímagáz) and Intergas Hungária ZRt. (Intergas) concluded a share sale and purchase agreement for the transfer of 100 percent of the shares in Intergas. Prímagáz, founded in 1992 with the aim of continuing the business activities of three previously (...)

The European Commission authorizes an aid scheme to compensate power generators for certain costs resulting from the termination of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Hungary
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised an aid scheme to compensate power generators for certain costs resulting from the termination of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Hungary. The aim of the Hungarian scheme is to (...)

The European Commission authorizes Germany to grant € 19.1 M for an energy-saving steel production project run by a subsidiary of a steel producer (Salzgitter Flachstahl, Salzgitter group)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised Germany to grant €19.1 million for an energy-saving steel production project run by Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, a subsidiary of the Salzgitter AG group. The aid will allow Salzgitter to produce (...)

The European Commission authorizes Austria to grant € 16 M towards an energy-saving project for the combined production of electricity and heat (Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power, Verbund group)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised Austria to grant €16 million towards an energy-saving project run by Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power GmbH & Co. KG (a subsidiary of the Verbund group) for the combined production of electricity (...)

The European Commission refers to the Hellenic Competition Authority the examination of a proposed acquisition in the oil sector (Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries/Shell Overseas Holdings)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" The Commission has referred to the Hellenic Competition Authority the examination of the proposed acquisition of Shell’s oil sector activities in Greece by Motor Oil of Greece, on 15 March. The transaction includes the creation of (...)

The Slovak Council of the Competition Authority clarifies the conditions for notification of an intention of a concentration (CEZ/Lumius)
BPV Braun Partners
An amendment to the Slovak Competition Act, which entered into force with effect from 1 June 2009, introduced the possibility of a pre-signing merger notification. From now on, mergers can also be notified before a legally binding transaction document has been signed, e.g. on the basis of a (...)

The English Court of Appeal’s reminds of how novel points in a case should impact on the penalty imposed (National Grid)
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
Businesses and their advisors are often confronted by situations where the law in relation to their behaviour is either unclear or uncertain. This raises an underlying concern that if their conduct is later deemed illegal, what impact should the uncertainty have on the illegality and/or any (...)

The U.S. DOJ seeks new disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Alston & Bird (Washington)
Until last week, the U.S. Department of Justice had not sought to obtain disgorgement as a remedy in a civil Sherman Act case. In the antitrust lawsuit and settlement filed on February 22 in U.S. v. KeySpan, the Antitrust Division asks that the court approve a settlement requiring the defendant (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority issues guidelines on commitments
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 February 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) issued the Guidelines on assessment of commitments under competition law (the Guidelines), which contain substantive and procedural rules on presentation, assessment and acceptance of commitments within the framework of investigations (...)

The European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas and the Council of European Energy Regulators publish a report setting out their 2010 work programme and their assessment of the development of the EU energy markets during 2008
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 January 2010, the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) published a report setting out their 2010 work programme and their assessment of the development of the EU energy markets during 2008. The report highlights a (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a lignite mining company for implementing anticompetitive agreements containing lignite fuels export bans (SUPN)
European Commission (Brussels)
Czech Republic: Export Bans of Lignite Fuels are anti-competitive The Office for the Protection of Competition (“the Czech NCA”) adopted on 8 January 2010 a decision finding that Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (hereinafter referred to as „SUPN“) had infringed the Czech Competition Act and (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a energy company and a local authority for failure in a joint acquisition notification (ELMIB Energetikai Szolgáltató, Municipality of Tatabánya)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Hungarian Competition Council recently imposed a fine of HUF 4,975,000 (approximately € 18,400) on energy company ELMIB Energetikai Szolgáltató Zrt. and the Municipality of Tatabánya, a city in North-West Hungary, for the failure to timely notify their joint acquisition of thermal power station (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court decides that, under Czech legislation in force prior to 1st. Sept. 2009, sanctions for an infringement of competition law may be imposed on the legal successor of the infringing entity where an intra group merger has been carried out in order to avoid said sanctions (Petrol cartel)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
By a judgment of 30 December 2009, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court annulled an earlier judgement by the Regional Court in Brno in the Petrol cartel case over the issue of legal succession with respect to sanctions for an infringement of competition law. During the course of the (...)

A Slovak regional Court confirms strict criteria that courts have on reasoning of decisions of the Antimonopoly Office (SLOVNAFT)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar (Bratislava)
Factual background Regional Court Bratislava (“Court“) overruled, in its judgment dated 15 December 2009, two decisions of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (the “AMO”), namely the first instance decision No. 2006/DZ/2/1/140 dated 22 December 2006 and the appellate decision No. 2007/DZ/R/2/102 dated (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of claims based on the aggregation of petroleum exchange agreements to show alleged cumulative anticompetitive effects (Gilley Enterprises / Atlantic Richfield)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Spirit of Twombly Exorcises Specter of Revived Aguilar Claims* The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of claims based on the aggregation of petroleum exchange agreements to show alleged "cumulative anticompetitive effects." Gilley Enterprises v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. (...)

The European Commission approves subject to remedies acquisition in the Belgian electricity market (EDF, Segebel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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CRA International (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"EDF/Segebel (SPE) - More power to boost competition in Belgian energy markets"* I. Introduction In September 2009, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration whereby Electricité de France («EDF») would acquire from Centrica, a UK energy company, a 100% stake in Segebel (...)

The Czech regional Court in Brno sets a deadline for the decision of the NCA due to its inaction (Sokolovská)
Kinstellar (Prague)
On 3 November 2009, the Regional Court in Brno (the “Court”) issued a judgment in which it ordered the Czech Competition Office (the “Office”) to issue a final decision in its investigation regarding the alleged breach of competition rules by Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (“Sokolovská”) (...)

The European Commission takes a negative decision in a case on State aid concerning preferential electricity tariffs for energy-intensive users (Alcoa)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission takes negative decision in the Alcoa case I. Introduction Between 2007 and 2009, the Commission had to take decisions in a number of State aid cases concerning preferential electricity tariffs for energy-intensive users. The Alcoacase, decided in November 2009, undoubtedly had the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission conditionally clears in Phase II a merger in the retail market for petrol and diesel (BP Hellas, Hellenic petroleum)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
On 10 July 2009, Hellenic Petroleum notified the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) of its intention to purchase a controlling share of BP Hellas SA. The acquisition is said to cost Hellenic Petroleum € 359 M. This acquisition includes the entire network of BP facilities in Greece, including (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority announces the results of the sector inquiry on the market for wholesale and retail distribution of liquefied petroleum gas
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 February 2010 the Serbian Competition Authority (Komisija za zastitu konkurencije) (KZK) published the results of the sector inquiry evaluating the competitive conditions on the market for the wholesale and retail distribution of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This investigation was (...)

The UK OFGEM is to enquire on pre-pay energy meters alleged overcharges despite introduction of new market rules (National Housing Federation)
Five of the big six energy suppliers are still overcharging customers using pre-pay meters, despite new Ofgem rules, the National Housing Federation (the “NHF”) says. The New Measures Energy regulator Ofgem delivered a set of measures on 21st September 2009 which was aimed at making the market (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition finds the four oil companies as having violated competition rules and imposes millions in fines (Retail fuel market of Cyprus)
Antoniou Advocates
The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) issued its long-awaited decisions in connection to the investigation it carried into the retail fuel market of Cyprus. The investigation concerned the respective violations of national competition legislation on behalf of the four (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission publishes a report on competition within the automotive fuel sector (Informe sobre la competencia en el sector de carburantes de automoción)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
On 3 September 2009, the Spanish Competition Commission published a Report on competition within the automotive fuel sector in Spain (the "Report"). The Report analyses in detail the competitive structure of the retail market in Spain (level of competition, entry barriers, regulation, etc). Its (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt clears in phase II a merger in the energy sector with remedies and still divides the relevant geographic market for gas supply in regional markets (EnBW-VNG/GESO)
Angermann
The German Bundeskartellamt cleared on August 24th, 2009 in phase II a merger between EnBW and VNG in the energy sector with remedies consisting in the sale of a subsidiary of EnBW (GESO). The Bundeskartellamt defines regional relevant geographic markets in the sector for grid-bounded gas (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council applies for the first time the 2009 communication on Art. 82 EC in a case concerning domestic fuel capacities (Tanklux)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
1. Background of the case In 2007, the Luxembourg Competition Council (“the Council”) received a complaint from a small distributor of domestic fuel (“Rock Fernand distributions”) who wanted to have fuel storage capacity in the river port of Mertert in order to avoid the cost of passing through (...)

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

The Canadian Competition Bureau negotiates consent agreement in a merger in the solid hazardous waste disposal market (Clean Harbors/Eveready)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (“Bureau”), an independent enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition, reached agreement with Clean Harbors, Inc. (“Clean Harbors”) on 27 July 2009 on its proposed acquisition of Eveready, Inc. (“Eveready”) by requiring the company to divest (...)

The European Commission holds that subsidised feed-in tariffs in Austria for producers of green electricity are in line with the requirements of the environmental State Aid guidelines (Aid to energy intensive businesses, Green Electricity Act)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* On 22 July 2009, the Commission authorised subsidised feed-in tariffs in Austria for producers of green electricity (i.e.electricity produced from environmentally-friendly sources). The measures are designed to accelerate and (...)

The European Commission imposes heavy fine on two European gas companies for operating a market-sharing agreement (E.ON, E.ON Ruhrgas, GDF Suez)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission imposes heavy fine on two major European gas companies for operating a market-sharing agreement"* I. Introduction On 8 July 2009, the Commission imposed fines totalling € 1.106 billion on E.ON AG and its subsidiary E.ON Ruhrgas AG (Germany) and GDF Suez SA (France) for (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority uses for the first time the "fine order" procedure as parties accepted not to refute the existence of a cartel in the energy sector (Rundvirke Poles)
Bird & Bird (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) fined the undertaking Rundvirke Poles AB (“Rundvirke”) in the amount of SEK 2 million (approximately EUR 208.360) for illicit cartel behaviour on the market for power-line poles. While the level of the fine or the decision itself does not carry any (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger between German and Dutch electricity undertakings (RWE / Essent)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Directions régionales des entreprises, de la concurrence, de la consommation, du travail et de l’emploi (Direccte)
"RWE/Essent: On the Borderline"* I. Introduction On 29 April 2009, the Commission was notified by RWE Aktiengesellschaft (“RWE”) of its intent to acquire sole control of ESSENT N.V. (“Essent”) by way of a private offer. The Commission’s investigation revealed that the proposed transaction would (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds in a private antitrust enforcement case that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity (Entega)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
In a private antitrust enforcement case the German Federal Court of Justice held that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity. Background German energy markets pose (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the electricity retail markets in Germany (Vattenfall, Nuon)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
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Autorità per l’Energia Elettrica e il Gas
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Vattenfall / Nuon Energy case — Upholding competition on electricity retail markets in Germany"* I. Introduction The Vattenfall/Nuon case concerned the merger between two energy utilities with activities in both electricity and gas markets. However, the only significant overlaps between (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of € 20 M on electricity producer and retailer for acquiring control of a French electricity producer, without having received prior approval under the EU Merger Regulation (Electrabel / Compagnie Nationale du Rhône)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* The Commission imposed a fine of 20 million euros on Electrabel, an electricity producer and retailer belonging to the Suez Group (now GDF Suez) for acquiring control of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), a French electricity (...)

The EU Commission fines Belgian electricity undertaking for infringing the standstill obligation under Merger proceedings (Electrabel / CNR)
New Horizon Partners
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Electrabel/CNR: the importance of the standstill obligation in merger proceedings"* On 26 March 2008, Electrabel SA (“Electrabel”), a Belgian electricity company which is part of the French group, Suez (now GDF Suez), notified to the Commission a concentration consisting in the acquisition of (...)

The EU Commission imposes a twenty million euros fine against Belgian electricity supplier for failure to notify a merger (Electrabel / CNR)
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 10 June 2009, the European Commission (EC) imposed a fine of € 20 M on Belgian electricity supplier Electrabel for implementing a merger without seeking its prior approval, in breach of the EC Merger Regulation (ECMR). This decision merits attention not only because it is one of only a (...)

The Moscow Federal Arbitration Court uphold the decision of the NCA prosecuting two petroleum companies for concerted price coordination (Gazpromneft Kuzbass and Tomsknefteprodukt)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 April 2008 Russian Competition Authority (FAS) found two petrochemical companies ZAO “Gazpromneft Kuzbass” (Gazpromneft Kuzbass) and OOO “Tomsknefteprodukt” VNK (Tomsknefteprodukt) in violation of the national provision equivalent to Article 81 EC. Both companies were active on gasoline retail (...)

The European Commission adopts a final negative decision concerning an aid granted by Hungary to the national oil and gas company (MOL)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 9 June 2010 the Commission adopted a final negative decision concerning an aid granted by Hungary to the national oil and gas company MOL. In January 2009 the Commission had opened an in-depth investigation [1]. The measure (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority following a Phase II investigation clears a merger of two petroleum companies subject to structural and behavioral remedies (MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas - INA Industrija nafte)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 9 June 2009 Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued its conditional approval in relation to the proposed merger of two petroleum companies: MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc. (MOL) and INA Industrija nafte d.d. (INA). MOL was already holding 25% of the INA’s share capital from 2003 and now (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes an interim report on its fuel sector inquiry and takes a tough stance on three petrol station mergers
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
On 2 July 2009, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) published an interim report on the inquiry it launched in May 2008 on the fuel sector in Germany. The report, published 6 months after the initially planned date, presents the first results of a very thorough market investigation which had already (...)

The German Competition Authority unconditionally clears an acquisition in the energy sector (RWE Energy, Exxon Mobile)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 May 2009, the FCO unconditionally cleared the acquisition by RWE Energy of all district heating activities of Exxon Mobile in Germany, among other reasons, because the local district heating markets had a turnover below the de minimis market threshold of euros 15 million. The FCO left open (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the decision of the energy regulator, which found that National Grid had abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of domestic-sized gas meters, including the ancillary service of meter maintenance (National Grid / Electricity Markets Authority)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
On 29 April 2009, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") upheld the February 2008 decision of the UK energy regulator OFGEM, which found that National Grid had abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of domestic-sized gas meters, including the ancillary service of meter (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes multi-million fines against further liquefied gas suppliers (Westfalen AG, Münster, and Propan Rheingas GmbH & Co. KG, Brühl)
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
Background In December 2007 and February 2008, the German Competition Authority (Federal Car-tel Office, "FCO”) imposed fines totalling close to € 209 million against seven suppliers of liquefied gas and their managing directors for entering into customer protection agree-ments. The companies (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court rules that a continuous offence which lasted after the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU shall be treated as two separate offences (GIS cartel)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Rentsch Legal
On 10 April 2009, the Supreme Administrative Court overturned a judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which quashed a decision of the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition (the “Office”) which imposed an overall fine of CZK 941,881,000 on 16 of the business groups ALSTOM, (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court annuls an NCA’s decison on unfair pricing for use of public telecommunications infrastructures and sends the case back for reinvestigation (Vilniaus Energija)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 27 March 2009 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC or the Court) annulled the NCA’s unfair pricing decision in Vilniaus Energija and sent the case back to the Competition Council for reinvestigation. In doing this, LSAC overruled the earlier judgment of the Vilnius District (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal suspends publication obligation on aviation fuel cartelists (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 4 March 2009, the President of the Paris Court of Appeal partially suspended the decision of the French Competition Council against fuel companies of the Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell groups. On 4 December 2008, the French Competition Council (which has now been replaced by (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms the approach taken by the Federal Cartel Office regarding long-term gas supply agreements (Gaslieferverträge)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The practice of long term gas supply agreements with purchase obligations of more than 80% within the German gas sector has been discussed and questioned over a long period of time, in particular in respect to a infringement of competition law. In 2006, the German Federal Cartel (...)

The European Commission fines six producers in the Marine Hoses cartel (Bridgestone, Yokohama, Dunlop Oil & Marine, Trelleborg, Parker ITR, Manuli, PW Consulting)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Marine Hoses cartel"* I. Introduction On 28 January 2009, the Commission adopted a decision relating to proceedings under Article 81 of the EC Treaty imposing a fine of over € 131 million on six producers of marine hoses. There was a key novelty in the marine hoses case: it was the first (...)