Energy & Restrictive practices

Anticompetitive practices

Anticompetitive practices in the energy sector: An overview of EU and national case law
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
,
Taylor Wessing (Dusseldorf)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Cologne)
I. Introduction This special issue of the e-Competitions bulletin provides an overview of selected national case-law from EU Member States in the field of energy and restrictive practices. While competition in the energy sector, especially in the markets for electricity and gas, has been (...)

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 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 (Brussels)
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 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 EU General Court reduces fines for three groups in candle wax cartel case (Sasol, Esso, ExxonMobil and RWE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 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 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 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 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 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 US DoJ obtains the extradition of an Italian citizen from Germany to US on a charge of participation in a price fixing cartel (Marine Hose)
Paul Hastings (Washington)
,
Primerio
Executives Beware: The Long-Arm of the U.S. Government Strikes Again* The long-arm of the U.S. government and its increasing willingness to pursue foreign nationals for alleged violations of U.S. law was further in evidence last Friday when the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department (...)

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision of NCA in aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 (Brussels)
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 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 (Brussels)
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 (Brussels)
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 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 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 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 (Brussels)
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds concerted practices on the market for retail of oil derivatives (Petroleum compagnies)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that 7 petroleum companies (ICS Lukoil Moldova SRL, ICS Petrom-Moldova SA, ICS Bemol Retail SRL, IM Rompetrol Moldova SA, IM Tirex Petrol SA, SC Parstar Petrol SRL, Valieximp SRL) engaged in a concerted practice of fixing (...)

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 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 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 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 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 U.S. DOJ obtains disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust settlement with a power electricity undertaking in a market manipulation case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
,
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, (...)

The U.S. DOJ seeks new disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
,
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 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 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)
,
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 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 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)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
,
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 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 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 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 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 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates the coordination of prices by three gas suppliers in violation of Art. 81 EC (Prezzo del GPL per riscaldamento regione Sardegna)
Codacons
Following the notice about the cartel in relation to fixing the price of GPL gas, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), has decided to investigate the conducts of the three main Italian suppliers of gas. The ICA, was made aware that ButanGas, Eni and Liquigas (the three gas suppliers) were (...)

The Portuguese competition authority reassesses the practices of oil companies in Portugal (Report on the functioning of oil and gas markets)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
The Portuguese Competition Authority (“Autoridade da Concorrência”, hereinafter ‘ADC’), has presented in December 2008 a new Report on the functioning of the oil and gas markets in Portugal. This new analysis corresponds to a follow-up on the previous and controversial study produced by the ADC in (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes fines of € 41.1 M on fuel companies (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil, Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 December 2008, the French Competition Council imposed 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 in 2002. Total Réunion, Total Outre Mer, Chevron Products Company, Shell (...)

The Greek Competition Authority condemns two multinational companies for a rebate scheme in the gasoline market (BP/Shell)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the common conduct from the two multinational companies in the Greek gasoline market BP and Shell (40% of the internal market) from 1st January 2003 until 31 Decemer 2003. In particular, the investigation carried out ex officio by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (...)

The Hungarian High Court of appeal upholds the competition office decision case and also accepts the approach of the first instance decision as regards the reduction of the fines (GIS cartel)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
The Budapest Court of Appeal upheld, in its second instance judgment, the verdict of the Metropolitan Court of Budapest in the "GIS cartel" case: the judgment confirmed the existence of the infringement, whilst it accepted the lower court’s decision to decrease the fines imposed on the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts an effects based analysis to conclude to the absence of predatory pricing or excessive pricing in the gas and electricity sectors (Electrabel)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Background According to his powers under the Belgian Competition Act (the Law on the Protection of Economic Competition hereinafter "LPCE"), the Belgian minister of the economy, energy and commerce has requested an investigation into the gas and electricity sectors in Belgium to the (...)

The Austrian competition authorities issue reports on fuel price developments and investigate in alleged concerted practices from multi-national oil companies (OMV, Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Eni, Conoco)
DORDA
,
DORDA
Introduction On 11 July 2008, the Federal Competition Authority ("Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde" ; hereinafter referred to as FCA) published its first interim report on fuel prices in Austria with special regard to alleged concerted practices of well-established multi-national oil companies (OMV, (...)

The UK OFT secures the first ever criminal convictions against individuals for cartel offences: A milestone in antitrust enforcement (Marine Hoses Cartel)
Bond Dickinson
Introduction On 11 June 2008, at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC marked the beginning of a new era in antitrust enforcement in the UK when he entered the first ever criminal convictions against individuals for a cartel offence under section 188 of the Enterprise Act (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority assesses possible concerted practices of oil companies (Mercado dos Combustíveis)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
The Portuguese Competition Authority (“Autoridade da Concorrência”, hereinafter ‘ADC’), has recently presented a controversial Report on the formation of oil prices and the functioning of oil markets in Portugal. This Report, presented on the 2nd of June, has been produced taking into account a (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court dismisses a decision by the Competition Authority condemning all major producers of technical gases for concerted practices (Technical Gas)
Luigi Prosperetti & Partners
Background In April 2006 the Italian NCA fined for a total of 56.9 million all major Italian producers of technical gases for a market allocation agreement, which had allegedly been in effect for a substantial period of time. There was indeed proof that in the 1980s - before the enactment, in (...)

The Italian last instance Administrative Court annuls for lack of evidence the decision taken by the competition authority in one of the longest cartel cases ever held in Italy (Technical Gas)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
By its judgment delivered on 7 March 2008, the Italian last instance Administrative Court (“Consiglio di Stato -C.d.S.”) annulled the Italian Authority’s (“AGCM”) decision on the Technical Gas case, on the grounds of a serious lack of evidence of the alleged antitrust infringement. In its decision, (...)

The Italian Council of State confirms the jet fuel cartel decision and clarifies that Italian Competition Authority has no power to impose structural remedies in antitrust cases (Eni, Esso, Kuwait, Shell, Tamoil and Total)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Italian Council of State has recently ruled on appeals brought against the Italian Competition Authority’s decision in the jet fuel cartel case. In June 2006, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined six major oil companies – Eni, Esso, Kuwait, Shell, Tamoil and Total– for their (...)

A Scottish Court rules on non-compete obligation and post-term restriction in gas distribution contract (Calor Gas Limited)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 25 January 2008, a Scottish Court issued a ruling concerning certain allegedly anti-competitive clauses contained in a contract concluded between Calor Gas Limited (“Calor”), a supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”), and its distributors of cylinder LPG. This judgment focused its analysis (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines gas insulated switchgear cartel and applies leniency rules for the first time (ABB Group, Schneider Electric)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2008, the Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposed a fine of SKK 350 million (approximately € 10 million) on sixteen companies from Austria, Germany, the Switzerland, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan for participating in a cartel for gas insulated switchgear (GIS). The product (...)

The Polish NCA fines € 1.5 M petrochemical companies for coordination in halting production and distribution of a type of car gas ("U 95" - PKN Orlen - Grupa Lotos)
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
,
PKN Orlen
On 31 December 2007, the Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“the OCCP”) fined both PKN Orlen S.A (“Orlen”) and Grupa Lotos S.A. (“Lotos”), two leading Polish oil and petrochemical companies, for a concerted practice regarding the discontinuation of the manufacture (...)

The Slovak competition authority fines an international cartel while granting leniency (GIS-cartel case)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
I. Relevant facts In the following decision, the Slovak Antimonopoly Office stated that the agreement between competitors restricted competition. The competitors coordinated their behaviour by pricing, dividing the markets, maintaining market shares, and limiting themselves in contracting, and (...)

The UK OFT initiates criminal proceedings against cartel members for the first time in its history following unprecedented levels of co-operation with US authorities (Marine Hoses Cartel)
Bond Dickinson
On 19 December 2007, the British Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that an oil industry executive trio was charged with cartel offences under the Enterprise Act 2002 (the“Act”). This is a historic move for the OFT as it uses its powers under the Act for the first time since the Act came (...)

The Italian Council of State annuls Italian Competition Authority’s decision in technical gases cartel cases (Air Liquide, Sapio, Siad, Sol, Rivoira, Linde, Son, Sico)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 11 December 2007, the Italian Council of State (“ICS”) has handed down its ruling on the appeals presented by several companies and the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) against the judgment of the Lazio Administrative Tribunal (“LAT”) in the industrial gases (...)

The German FCO imposes heavy fines on seven liquid gas companies (Drachen-Propangas, Friedrich Scharr, Progas, Primagas, Sano-Proban, Tyczka Energie, Tyczka Totalgaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In December 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) imposed fines totalling almost € 208 million on seven companies active in the liquid gas sector and their managers for participating in an anti-competitive customer-sharing arrangement. The companies concerned, which represent (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court confirms € 370 million fine against a cartel in the jet fuel market, launching debates on a new era for European joint-ventures (Rifornimenti Aeroportuali)
Studio Legale DDPV
Preface The Italian Administrative Supreme Court (Consiglio di Stato “CdS”), following the appeal of the investigated companies, did not annul the Italian Antitrust Authority’s (the “Authority”) decision concerning an alleged collusion in the jet fuel market among several oil companies () (the (...)

A Dutch Court dismisses the appeal on the restrictive effect of a regulation for professional certification but upholds it on the ground on price fixing thereby ordering the NCA to investigate the matter further (Elektroburo)
Government of Albania
The appellant, Elektroburo A B.V., appealed to the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal against the judgement of the District Court of Rotterdam of 5 December 2006, reg. nr. MEDED 06/1331, which dismissed its appeal against the decision of 22nd of August 2002 of the Dutch Competition Authority (...)

A Madrid Court applies the de minimis doctrine to a 3% market share (Galp)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
On September 3, 2007, a Spanish Commercial Court (Juzgado de lo Mercantil) based in Madrid rejected the claim filed by two service station operators against their supplier, Galp Energía España, S.A. (Galp). The two service station operators had held that some of the clauses within the agreements (...)

A Spanish Court holds that it is not bound by an EC Commission decision under Art. 9 of EC Reg. 1/2003 (Carburantes Costa de la Luz v Repsol)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
Article 9 of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25) (“Article 9”) is one of the major new features of the new EC competition rules adopted in May (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having entered into an agreement on the market for high voltage electric cables (Nexans & Safran)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement on the market for high voltage electric cables: The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes the major cable suppliers to €19.5 million for making an agreement during two successive invitations to bid (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens upholds a decision of the Greek Competition Authority condemning eight gas stations for price coordination (Gas stations)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the fixing of uniform prices from eight gas stations in the region of Arta (Northwest of Greece) during 2003. This practice has been discovered and condemned by the Greek Competition Authority (Hellenic Competition Commission, thereafter HCC) in 2004 (Decision 263/IV/2004). (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court declares that the “atypical agency agreements” between oil companies and Spanish petrol stations come within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC and national mirror provision, after having requested ECJ preliminary ruling (CEEES /CEPSA)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
On 4 May 1995, the Spanish Confederation of Service Station Businesses (“CEEES” in its Spanish initials) filed a complaint with the Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia (Lowest branch of the Spanish competition authority), against certain oil companies, including CEPSA. The CEEES complained that (...)

The Greek Competition Commission fines € 9 M refineries for price coordination in the jet aviation fuel sector (IATA/ El.PE.-Motor Oil)
University College London
Factual Background A. The Complaint IATA, the International Organization for Jet Aviation services, lodged a complaint against EL.PE SA and Motor Oil SA, major oil refineries operating in the Greek market, concerning the uniform application of prices in the sector of Jet Aviation Fuel. The (...)

The European Commission fines a cartel in the gas insulated switchgear sector
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Cartel fined in the gas insulated switchgear sector"* On 24 January the Commission adopted a prohibition Decision against members of the Gas Insulated Switchgear cartel with fines totalling some €750 million. The cartel from 1989 until the Commission’s inspections in May 2004, and was nearly (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority launches an inquiry on oil companies and raids premises searching for alleged anticompetitive parallelism pricing on the basis of Art. 81 EC (Prezzi dei carburanti in rete)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
At the end of January 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) launched an investigation under Article 81 of the EC Treaty against nine oil companies, alleging the existence of a price coordination mechanism in the Italian roadside petrol market. The undertakings involved include market (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority opens investigations on the basis of Art. 81 EC for alleged collusion in the determination of prices in the fuel market (Prezzi dei carburanti in rete)
Linklaters (Milan)
Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, “AGCM”), 18 January 2007, Case I681 - Prezzi dei carburanti in rete, Provvedimento n° 16370, Avvio istruttoria, Bollettino n° 2/2007 On 18 January 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) initiated a formal (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court of appeal lifts interim measures having blocked a key merger on the basis of alleged anticompetitive agreement (Gas Natural/Endesa)
Background The Gas Natural vs. Endesa battle continues before the Spanish courts. On June 2006, a commercial court in Madrid “provisionally” halted the takeover bid launched by Gas Natural more than 17 months ago. This decision was adopted in the proceedings brought by Endesa to challenge the (...)

A German Court prohibits long term gas supply agreements between the incumbent and regional and local distributors on the bases of both Art. 81, 82 EC and German competition law (E.ON Ruhrgas)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
Court of Appeal Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf), 20 June 2006, VI-2 Kart 1/06 (V) - E.ON Ruhrgas Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), 13 January 2006, Decision B 8 - 113/03, E.ON Ruhrgas I. Background The practice of long term gas supply agreements with purchase obligations of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the main suppliers of jet fuel in the Italian market for anticompetitive practices (Rifornimenti Aeroportuali)
London School of Economics
On 9 April 2004, a complaint concerning alleged anticompetitive practices on the market for the supply and storage of jet fuel was lodged before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (hereinafter, the “NCA”). According to the complaint, major oil companies controlled the storage and (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitments offered by a company active in the fuel distribution in Spain removing concerns of market foreclosure (REPSOL)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"REPSOL: Opening up the fuel distribution system in Spain"* Introduction On 12 April 2006, the Commission adopted a decision based on Article 9 of Regulation (EC) 1/2003 addressed to the largest petrol supplier in Spain, REPSOL Commercial de Productos Petroliferos (‘REPSOL‘), making commitments (...)

A Spanish commercial court suspends Gas Natural’s bid for Endesa on the basis of an alleged anticompetivive agreement contrary to Art. 81.1 EC (Gas Natural / Endesa)
Associated British Foods (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Madrid)
Introduction Gas Natural’s hostile bid for Endesa is Spain’s largest ever takeover, and the bid is growing more hostile by the day. Endesa has filed more than 12 claims or appeals before the Spanish, EU and US courts in an attempt to block the deal. In this context, on 25 November 2005, Endesa (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court suspends Gas Natural’s public acquisition offer on Endesa on the basis of a potential infringement of Art. 81 EC (Gas Natural-Iberdrola/Endesa)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
On March 21st 2006, a Spanish commercial court temporarily suspended the unsolicited bid made by Gas Natural to acquire Endesa, while it investigates Endesa’s allegation that Gas Natural infringed Article 81 by acting in agreement with Iberdrola to remove Endesa from the market by means of a (...)

A Spanish Commercial Court declares null and void an exclusive purchasing agreement on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (El Mareny/Repsol)
London School of Economics
Factual background The present judgment is a new chapter of a lengthy saga concerning agreements signed between petrol distributors and Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol CPP”), a subsidiary of the former monopoly in the Spanish petrol sector. This saga has (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit holds that it is per se unlawful to fix a uniform price for the products combined in a joint venture (Dagher v. Saudi Refining)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
,
US Chamber of Commerce
On January 10, 2006, the Supreme Court will hear Dagher v. Texaco, Inc., an antitrust case that presents the Court an opportunity to clarify issues of substantial importance to the formation and operation of joint ventures. The question presented is whether two joint venture partners, both of (...)

The Danish Competition Council approves natural gas supply agreement under Art. 81 and 82 EC with commitments to an early termination of the exclusive supply clause and prohibition of such clause in future contracts (DONG and HNG/MN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 21 December 2005 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) approved a supply agreement between natural gas provider DONG and its customers Hovedstadsregionens Naturgas (HNG) and Naturgas Midt-Nord (MN), as the parties had given a binding commitment that would improve competition on the Danish gas (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issued a statement of objections against Germany’s major gas company with the aim of prohibiting certain long term supply agreements with regional and local gas distributors that violate European and German competition law (E.ON Ruhrgas)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
In its ongoing efforts to open the German wholesale market to new gas suppliers, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a statement of objections against E.ON Ruhrgas (“E.ON”), Germany’s largest gas supplier, in December 2005. According to this statement of objections and the preliminary (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the action against the NCA’s interim measures fining € 3 M price fixing in the framework of “non-genuine” agency agreements (Repsol)
London School of Economics
On 11 July 2001, the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (hereinafter, “the NCA”) adopted a decision (“resolución”) in which it found that Repsol, S.A. (now Repsol YPF, S.A., hereinafter referred to as “Repsol”) acted in breach of Article 1(1) of the Spanish Competition Act. More precisely, the NCA (...)

A Dutch Court set aside the decision of the NCA for failing to demonstrate that the alleged parallel behaviour of the appellants in the motor fuel sector amounted to horizontal agreements or concerted practices (’Texaco gas stations’)
Government of Albania
The appellants, [X], [Y], [Z] and [W] appealed to the District Court of Rotterdam against Decision No. 03/2527 taken by the Dutch Competition Authority (DCA) on 25 June 2002. The decision was taken under Section 6 paragraph 1 of the Dutch Competition Law Act 1998 (DCLA) which prohibits (...)

A Swedish Court confirms the NCA’s decision having fined concerted pricing and rebate scheme on the gasoline market and doubled the fine up to € 12 M after a detailed assessment of effect on competition (Statoil, OK-Q8, Shell, Preem, Norsk Hydro)
Kreab
1. General interest of the case The case is interesting because it is the second most comprehensive cartel case - next to the asphalt cartel case - that has ever been dealt with by Swedish courts. It is also the first case where the Market Court has ruled on a concerted practice. On appeal the (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court declares that a concerted practice cannot be subject to nullity under section 7 of the [former] Swedish Competition Act (Boliden Mineral Aktiebolag/AB Fortum Värme samägt med Stockholms stad)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Svea hovrätt (Swedish courts)
Background In December 1992, Boliden Mineral Aktiebolag (“Boliden”) concluded an agreement with Korsnäs Aktiebolag (“Korsnäs”), in which Boliden undertook to purchase its entire requirement of electricity for a mining facility. A standard form agreement was attached to the aforementioned agreement. (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the appeal brought by two undertakings active in the distribution of oil products and considers the case-law of the ECJ as being a non-binding “reference” of “great value” (L’Andana)
London School of Economics
On 25 March 1996, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Valencia dismissed an action brought by L’Andana, S.A. and Estación de Servicion L’Andana, S.L. (both referred to hereinafter as “L’Andana”) against Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (“Repsol”). The claimants contended that the series (...)

A Spanish Court refuses to qualify a contract as a resale agreement and holds that the qualification given by “administrative bodies” to similar agreements is not binding upon national courts (Melón / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de productos petrolíferos S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”), supplied oil products to Melón S.A. (hereinafter, “Melón”), pursuant to an agency agreement signed between the parties. Considering that it was not a “genuine” agency agreement and that Commission Regulation (EC) n° 2790/1999, of (...)

The Spanish Audiencia Provincial de Madrid refuses to submit a preliminary reference to the ECJ considering that this would only be relevant if the agreements at stake were deemed to be agency ones (Ahigal and Melón/Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, ‘Campsa’) concluded an agency agreement concerning the distribution of oil products with two companies, Ahigal, S.A. (“Ahigal”) and Melón, S.A. (“Melón”). In 2003, Ahigal and Melón decided to bring an action against Repsol Comercial de (...)

A Spanish Court declares null and void on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC a “non-genuine” agency agreement involving price-fixing and concluded for a period exceeding 10 years (Clau/Cepsa)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Clau, S.A. “Clau”) concluded in December 1988 a series of agreements concerning the distribution of oil products. Clau decided to grant a “droit de surface” (“derecho de superficie”) of a piece of land it owns so that (...)

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

The European Commission investigates into the gas supply contracts concluded by Algerian state-owned gas company and its main European customers (Sonatrach)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The territorial restrictions case in the gas sector: a state of play"* 1. Introduction On 6 October 2003, the Commission services announced the closure of their investigation into the supply relationship between Russian gas producer Gazprom and Italian wholesaler ENI. Just as other cases (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority objects to RPM and exclusive purchasing in petrol station franchising agreements (MOL)
Oppenheim
,
Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case The agreements at stake were part of a franchising network by MOL (the largest oil and gas company in Hungary) relating to operators of petrol stations and contained straightforward RPM clauses. The agreements also contained exclusive purchasing obligations. (...)

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

The Netherlands Competition Authority imposes fines on petrol supplier and three filling stations for discount coordination (Tango)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Fines Texaco and Three Texaco Filling Stations for Obstructing Tango in the Nijmegen Region* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has fined Texaco and three Texaco filling stations for a coordinated discount campaign in the Nijmegen region. The NMa has imposed a fine of EUR 1 (...)

The European Commission confirms its policy line in respect of horizontal agreements on energy efficiency of domestic appliances (CECD)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission confirms its policy line in respect of horizontal agreements on energy efficiency of domestic appliances"* On 14 November 2001, the Competition Directorate-General closed its examination of two agreements concluded under the aegis of and notified by the Conseil Européen de la (...)

The OFT grants exemption for UK agreement to preserve and distribute supplies of oil fuel during an oil fuel crisis
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
I. Introduction On 25 October 2001, the UK Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») concluded its investigation into a Memorandum of Understanding (« MOU ») concerning the supply of oil fuels in an emergency notified to it by a number of major oil companies. The OFT found that, although the MOU had the (...)

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

The Dutch Competition Authority issues report against price agreements on the petrol market that had exclusionary effects (Tango petrol stations / Texaco)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Draws up Report on Texaco Due to Thwarting of Tango in the Nijmegen Region* The Dutch Competition Authority (NMa), after conducting an investigation, has drawn up a report against Texaco. The report is the result Texaco’s thwarting of Tango, a newcomer to the Nijmegen region, by means of a (...)

The European Commission closes its examination of a horizontal agreement concerning energy efficiency of appliances (European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics, CEMEP)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Horizontal agreements on energy efficiency of appliances : a comparison between CECED and CEMEP"* On 15 May 2000, the Competition Directorate-General closed its examination of an agreement concluded under the aegis of the European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power (...)

The European Court of Justice partly sets aside the Court of First Instance judgment in a case concerning the imports and exports of electricity in the Netherlands (Rendo v. Commission)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Judgment Of The Court Of 19 October 1995 In Case C-19/93 P, Rendo NV Et Al. V Commission"* On October 19, 1995 the Court partly set aside the judgment of the Court of First Instance of November 18, 1992 (Case T-16/91) and referred the case back to the Court of First Instance. In a proceeding (...)

The European Commission clears a joint venture arrangement between nine leading European gas companies for the construction and operation of a UK Belgium subsea gas interconnection (Interconnector)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Joint venture arrangement"* 0n 17 May 1995 the Commission issued a comfort letter to clear a joint venture arrangement between nine leading European gas companies for the construction and operation of a UK Belgium subsea gas interconnection, in particular a high pressure gas pipeline which (...)

Dominance

The Hellenic Competition Commission concludes that a joint purchase agreement between refineries does not restrict competition (Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil Hellas)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 23 March 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission («HCC») concluded an own-initiative investigation with a ruling that the joint purchase agreement between Hellenic Petroleum («ELPE») and Motor Oil Hellas in relation to the operation of a pipeline to the Athens International Airport does not (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority establishes that a system of tariffs and conditions on the market for gas transmission resulted in abuse of dominance (Gasunie)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Rules on the Abuse of a Dominant Position by Gasunie* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has established that Gasunie, through its use of parts of the Commodity Diensten Systeem (CDS) [Commodity Services System], has abused its dominant position on the market for gas transmission. (...)

Procedures

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 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 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 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 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 FCO establishes a new unit to supervise prices in the energy sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 January 2008, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) established a new unit B10 which, jointly with the Cartel Offices of the German Länders, will be in charge of controlling whether gas and electricity are being set at appropriate prices. The new unit will have eight full-time members. The (...)

Regulations

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 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 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 French Competition Authority issues an opinion on a proposed system to enable intensive industrial electricity users to benefit from special electricity pricing conditions
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Electricity purchases by intensive industrial users: The Conseil de la concurrence is not opposed to the principle of long-term contracts but considers that the selection of industrial users should be based on (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues