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Environment and competition policy

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice confirms that related undertakings are not obliged to disclose links between them to the public contracting authority, and that they can submit non-concerted offers to the same bid (Šiauliai)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
In a preliminary ruling dated 17 May 2018, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) considered that related companies are not obliged to disclose links between them when submitting separate offers for public procurement contracts. However, the contracting authority will be obliged to verify that (...)

The Indian Competition Authority grants penalty reductions to 4 out of 6 members of a cartel guilty of bid rigging public tenders for setting up solid waste processing plants (Nagrik Chetna Manch / Fortified Security Solutions)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI passes its third leniency decision* The CCI by way of an order dated May 1, 2018 has issued its third leniency order in the case of Nagrik Chetna Manch v. Fortified Security Solutions and Ors. (Case 50 of 2015) in which it granted reduction in penalty to four out of the six leniency (...)

The EU Commission fines undertakings for a total € 68 million in a car battery recycling cartel case (Campine / Eco-Bat Technologies / Recylex)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 February 2017, the European Commission announced that it had imposed fines totalling € 68 million on three car battery recyclers (Campine, Eco-Bat Technologies and Recylex) for operating a cartel in which they had allegedly agreed to fix the purchase prices of scrap lead-acid automotive (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that regional agreements must not contain competition restrictions
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS warns* Regional agreements must not contain anticompetitive agreements The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) has sent letters to the Heads of regional executive bodies reminding that it is unacceptable to include provisions in the agreements that lead or can lead to restricted (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow confirms the fines imposed on participants of crab cartel (Aquaresource-DV / Taifun)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of the fines imposed upon cartel participants at crab auctions* The 5th Arbitration Appeal Court in Vladivostok pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of FAS fines imposed upon “Aquaresource-DV” Ltd. and “Taifun” Ltd. The total fines upon the two companies (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the cartel decision concerning a tender for allocating fishing grounds in the Primorie region (Aquaresource)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court supported FAS on a case on allocating fishing grounds* On 6 July 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on the cartel case in a tender for allocating fishing grounds in the Primorie region. On (...)

The Arbitration Court of Moscow confirms the decision on the crab cartel (Aquaresource)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation Court supported FAS decision on the case on crab auctions* On 18 June 2015, Moscow Arbitration Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Arbitration Service (FAS Russia) against the Federal Fishery Agency (Rosrybolovstvo), its Primorie branch and a group of economic (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority in the crab cartel case (Aquaresource-DV)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court upheld the FAS decision on crab auctions* On 17 February 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of a decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) dismissing the claim of “Aquaresource-DV” Ltd. “The ruling of the Appeal Court once (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines several undertakings for their participation to a cartel in the market of depuration of muds from sewage waters (Gare Gestioni Fanghi)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a decision made on 3 February 2015 in the case I765, Gare Gestioni Fanghi, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has found Alan, Azienda Agricola Allievi, CRE, Ecotrass and Evergreen Italia to have infringed Article 2 of the Italian Competition Act n. 287/90, corresponding to (...)

The Russian Competition Authority imposes fines on crab cartel participants (Aquaresource-DV)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS fined crab cartel participants 213 million RUB* On 10 December 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) held crab cartel participants administratively liable. FAS imposed a turnover fine upon “Aquaresource-DV” Ltd. - 106.6 million RUB and “Taifun” Ltd. – 106.6 million RUB. On 19 (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the bid-rigging decision of the Russian Competition Authority on the case on crab auctions (Aquaresource)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Arbitration Court supported FAS position on the case on crab auctions* On 27th October 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of “Aquaresource- DV” Ltd. to invalidate FAS decision and determination. On 19th February 2014 FAS found that “Aquaresource- DV” Ltd., “Taifun” Ltd., and (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority grants authorisation for a joint tender for the supply of organic waste processing services (Metropolitan Melbourne Waste Management Group)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC grants authorisation to Melbourne councils for joint organic waste tender* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation for Metropolitan Melbourne Waste Management Group and eight metropolitan Melbourne councils to jointly tender and enter into contracts (...)

The Dutch government issues policy directions on the application of the Dutch equivalent of Article 101(3) TFEU in respect of sustainability initiatives
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Art 101(3) and sustainability – new developments in the Netherlands* On 6 May, the Dutch government issued a set of policy directions (“Directions”) to the Dutch competition authority (“ACM”) concerning the application of the Dutch equivalent of Article 101(3) TFEU in respect to sustainability (...)

The US DoJ announces that a former prime contractor manager has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison in an ongoing bid-rigging, fraud and kickback case (McDonald)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
U.S. DoJ Announces Record 14 Year Prison Sentence in Bid-Rigging Case* In what can only be described as a somewhat sobering announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced earlier today that a former prime contractor manager has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison in an (...)

The Russian Competition Authority considers that two companies have implemented a price-fixing agreement in the harvesting water biological resources market (Rosrybolovstvo)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS found that Rosrybolovstvo and its Primorie Office concluded an anticompetitive agreement* On 10th February 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found that the Federal Fishery Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) and its Primorie Regional Office violated Article 16 of the Federal Law “On (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority re-authorises price arrangements on the sale of agricultural and veterinary chemicals
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC re-authorises waste reduction scheme* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to re-authorise AgStewardship Australia Limited on behalf of itself, its members, Agsafe Limited and current and future participants in arrangements to impose a four cent per (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to impose a four cent per litre/kilogram levy on the sale of agricultural and veterinary chemicals (AgStewardship)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation for waste reduction scheme* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to AgStewardship Australia Limited on behalf of itself, its members, Agsafe Limited and current and future (...)

The Romanian Competition Council closes an investigation without imposing fine in the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment market (GreenWeee, Environ)
OMV Petrom (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council (the “RCC”) recently finalized an investigation in the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment market. In Romania, the waste markets are relatively new markets developed after Romania became a member of European Union and implemented (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority declares that a deal over closing down coal power plant 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 Czech Competition Authority fines waste management companies for bid rigging (ASA, van Gansewinkel, SITA, AVE)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Kinstellar (Prague)
On 19 December 2012 the Czech Competition Authority (the "Authority") imposed on four companies active in the area of waste management (some of them are also active in the market of road maintenance) a total fine of CZK 96,579 million (approximately EUR 3,825,000). The companies A.S.A., spol. (...)

The Czech NCA imposes mild fines under national law in the waste management cartel (A.S.A., van Gansewinkel, AVE, SITA)
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
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Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
By its decision of 19 November 2012, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition fined four companies for their participation in agreements aimed at market sharing on the waste management market and, for two of the participants, on the road maintenance market. According to the Office, (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into the motor fuel sector focusing on elements fostering competition in the market of "white pumps"
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority launches Inquiry into the Motor Fuel Sector* On 23 March 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) launched an inquiry into the Italian motor fuel sector. The sector inquiry will investigate the general structure and organisation of the Italian (...)

The EU General Court rules on exclusivity provisions in the context of packaging waste management scheme (Altstoff Recycling Austria)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 March 2011, the General Court dismissed an appeal lodged in 2003 against a European Commission decision of that year which exempted under Article 101(3) TFEU (ex-Article 81 EC), subject to conditions, a packaging waste management scheme in Austria. This appeal was brought by Altstoff (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes an investigation into the national consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging for alleged infringement of Art. 101 TFEU accepting the commitments proposed to fix antitrust concerns (COMIECO)
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) accepts Commitments and closes Investigation regarding Waste Paper Consortium COMIECO* On 16 March 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) closed proceedings based on an alleged violation of Article 101 TFEU against COMIECO, a consortium of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts and makes binding commitments to avoid further proceedings into an alleged anticompetitive practice in the paper waste and raw paper material sector (COMIECO)
DG COMP (Brussels)
The Italian Competition Authority (hereafter Agcm) has accepted and made binding commitments offered by the National Consortium established under Italian private law to rationalize, organize and promote the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging(hereafter “COMIECO”). The Agcm stated (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts an investigation into the national consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging for alleged infringement of Art. 101 TFEU (COMIECO)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
On March 30th, 2010 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, the ICA) opened a formal investigation into the activities and internal working of the “National Consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging (hereinafter, the Consortium or COMIECO), members of which (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines € 2 M hospital waste management companies for market-sharing arrangement (Consenur, Cespa, Interlun and Sistemas Integrales Sanitarios)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 January 2010, the Spanish Competition Authority fined four undertakings active in the management of hospital waste in Spain − Consenur, Cespa, Interlun and Sistemas Integrales Sanitarios − for having entered into certain market-sharing arrangements since 1997 in breach of the provision (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines four medical companies for market allocation in the sector of medical waste management services for public healthcare providers (Consenur, Cespa Gestion de Residuos, Interlun, and Sistemas Integrales Sanitarios)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira
On January 18, 2010, the Spanish Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, the “CNC”) fined four medical waste management companies (Consenur, S.A [“Consenur”], Cespa Gestion de Residuos S.A. [“Cespa”], Interlun S.L. [“Interlun”], and Sistemas Integrales Sanitarios [“SIS”]) €7,045,000 (...)

The Irish High Court finds that four Dublin local authorities acted in breach of Irish competition law in proposing changes to how the domestic waste sector is regulated (Nurendale Limited - Panda Waste Services)
Venture Legal Services (Dublin)
In a ruling made on 21 December 2009 in the case of Nurendale Limited (trading as Panda Waste Services) v. Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council, the Irish High Court determined that the four Dublin local authorities (...)

The Hungarian Parliament amends the Competition Act and introduces rewards for information about cartels (Act CLXIII of 2009)
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
An amendment of the Hungarian Competition Act introduces financial rewards for providing information about cartels. The new reward system is expected to boost the capacity of the Hungarian Competition Office to uncover hard core infringements. I. The structure of the reward system Pursuant to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority decides not to adopt an interim measure against some batteries smelters investigated for cartel conducts (COBAT and others)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
On 24 July 2008, the Italian Competition Authority (the ICA or AGCM) decided not to adopt interim measures against COBAT (the Italian consortium for the collection and recycling of used batteries) and some other battery smelters that had been investigated for breaching Article 2 of Law 287/1990 (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision in the alleged ‘helicopter cartel’ case (Aeronorte & Helisul)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
In May 2008 the Lisbon Commerce Court issued a ruling (case 48/08.7TYLSB) that quashed the Portuguese Competition Authority’s decision of 2007 (case PRC 20/05) that found out that two companies (Aeronorte and Helisul) had engaged in a bid-rigging cartel for the provision of helicopter services (...)

The Czech Supreme Court refers to the EC Commission’s notice on ancillary restraints in a private dispute over non-competition Clause in SPA (K.D/Z.)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
This case concerns litigation before Czech civil courts concerning a breach by a seller of a non-competition clause entered into in connection with a share sale transaction. It shows how Czech civil courts “struggled” with the application of competition law to the transaction. At the end of the (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office prohibits waste glass joint purchasing cartel between container glass manufacturers (GGA)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), 31 May 2007, Gesellschaft für Glasrecycling und Abfallvermeidung mbH a. o., Case n° B 4 - 37203 - Kc - 1006/06 German used packaging recycling systems are currently under the scrutiny of the competition authorities. One week after the Court of First (...)

The German federal Court of justice recalls that norm and type agreements must be open to all potential members on a non-discriminatory basis (PETCYCLE)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), 6 March 2007, Case n° KZR 6/06, PETCYCLE Germany introduced a legal requirement for drink manufacturers to collect and recycle the bottles which they sold. The distributors are obliged to collect used bottles from the end users and return a deposit. (...)

The Estonian Competition Board analysed competition situation in the packaging and packaging waste collection sector without finding existence of anticompetetive agreements or abuse of dominant position (Taaraliit/Eesti Pandipakend)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
1. Background information MTÜ Taara Liit (TL) is a non-profit organization for redemption centers collecting packaging of bottled drinks from the general public. OÜ Eesti Pandipakend (EPP) is a collective system for collection and recovery of waste. EPP was established by non-profit (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having entered into an agreement in the sector for the collection and the treatment of wastes in Seine-Maritime (Veolia Propreté & Sita France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement in the sector for the collection and the treatment of wastes in Seine-Maritime: As part of a negotiated settlement, subsidiaries of Veolia Propreté and Sita France benefited from extenuating (...)

The European Commission publishes a paper concerning issues of competition in waste management systems
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Competition issues in waste management systems"* 1. Introduction On 22 September 2005, DG Competition published the ‘DG Competition Paper concerning issues of competition in waste management systems’ (the Paper) on its internet website. The Paper sets forth key competition issues, in (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority finds that the larger oil companies keep the price of petrol, diesel and LPG artificially high through a system of agreements with independent filling station owners (Shell / BP / Esso / TotalFina / Texaco)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa: Oil Companies Keep Prices Artificially High through Agreements with Filling station Owners* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has established that the larger oil companies (Shell, BP, Esso, TotalFina and Texaco) keep the price of petrol, diesel and LPG artificially high through (...)

The European Commission confirms its policy line in respect of horizontal agreements on energy efficiency of domestic appliances (CECD)
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 European Commission grants negative clearance for notified statutes and guarantee agreements and exempts the service agreements concerning the packaging waste recovery markets (DSD)
European Commission - Secretariat General (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG JUST
"The Commission defines principles of competition for the packaging waste recovery markets"* I. Context The Commission has received notifications of a number of comprehensive, nation-wide packaging waste recovery systems. It has recently taken decisions with respect to two of them, namely the (...)

The European Commission defines principles of competition for the packaging waste recovery markets (Eco-Emballages)
European Commission - Secretariat General (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG JUST
"The Commission defines principles of competition for the packaging waste recovery markets"* I. Context The Commission has received notifications of a number of comprehensive, nation-wide packaging waste recovery systems. It has recently taken decisions with respect to two of them, namely the (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the voluntary commitment offered by the EACEM to reduce stand by power use of TVs and VCRs for environmental purposes (European association of consumer electronics manufacturers)
AECOM (Dublin)
"EACEM scheme to reduce stand by power use of TVs and VCRs receives a comfort letter because of its environmental benefits"* The European association of consumer electronics manufacturers (EACEM) and sixteen of its members, all major manufacturers of televisions and video recorders, made a (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority intervenes in the municipal waste management company’s competition compromising practice (Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto)
Merilampi Attorneys (Helsinki)
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) issued a decision on 16th December 2014 concerning abuse of dominant position and competition neutrality. It is noteworthy that this is only the second time that the FCCA has issued a decision concerning competition neutrality. Pirkanmaan (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning against an undertaking having increased the prices on the cooled salmon market (Russian Sea)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Russian Sea” received a warning from FAS* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to “Russian Sea” after some mass media had published information about a sharp increase of ex-work price for cooled salmon. On 12th August 2014, the Head of FAS Department for Control over (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an Article 102 TFEU investigation into the market for plastic recycling (Aliplast/Conai-Corepla)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a decision made on 17 July 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation against two consortia active in the plastic recycling market (Case A476, Aliplast/CONAI-COREPLA ). The ICA feared that CONAI and COREPLA had abused their (...)

The European Commission issues statement of objections for alleged abuse of dominant position on Austrian waste management markets (Altstoff Recycling Austria)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 July 2013, the Commission issued a press release announcing that it has issued a Statement of Objections against Altstoff Recycling Austria AG ("ARA") alleging that ARA may have abused its dominant position on the markets for the management of packaging waste (mainly packaging made (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds the Authority’s decision on prohibition of abuse in ‘green dot’ licencing (ENVI‑PAK)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Authority’s Decision in Banking Cartel Case* On 23 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) confirmed the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) imposing a fine of € 18 394 on ENVI‑PAK, a. s. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a dominant undertaking for hindering a public tender procedure for the selection of a new provider of waste management services (Messinambiente/ATO ME3)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the decision made on 14 March 2012 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined Messinambiente for abusing its dominant position in the market for waste management services. Messinambiente infringed competition law because it failed to supply a set of data requested by a public (...)

The European Commission initiates proceedings against an Austrian waste management company for possible abuse of dominant position (ARA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 15 July 2011, the Commission announced that it had initiated proceedings against Austrian waste management company ARAfor possible infringement of Article 102 TFEU. According to the Commission’s statement, its investigation concerns the possibility that ARA may have abused its dominant (...)

The Italian State Council quashes a decision from the Court of first Instance having annulled an NCA’s decision concerning service of general economic interest and State action defence (COBAT - "Recycling of exhausted batteries”)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 2 May 2011, the Italian Last Instance Administrative Court («Consiglio di Stato«), reversed the judgment of the First Instance Administrative Court («TAR Lazio«) on the «recycling of exhausted batteries« case, and upheld the Italian Competition Authority’s («ICA«) (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a decision making compulsory commitments made by two companies to resolve competition concerns in the household plastic packaging waste treatment (Eco-Emballages & Valorplast)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Eco-Emballages and Valorplast commit to greater neutrality vis-à-vis local and regional administrations in order to ensure full competition between buyers.* Following a referral by DKT International, the (...)

The Brussels Court of First Instance dismisses the action brought by the national railway company for lack of proof (NMBS / SNCB, Electrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2010, the Brussels Court of First Instance dismissed the action brought by NMBS/SNCB, the national railway company, against Electrabel for lack of proof. Mere reliance upon a report published by the energy regulator was found inconclusive evidence to demonstrate an abuse (...)

The EU General Court upholds a Commission’s decision concerning an abuse of dominance in the market for machines for the collection of used beverage containers addressing the issues of loyalty rebates and exclusivity agreements (Tomra)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
Hungry for More?* Apologies for the long post, but I have several remarks to add to my former post under Tomra v. Commission: •Priority-setting – As most of you know, this judgment confirmed a Commission Decision of 2006, in which Tomra, a producer of reverse vending machines used for (...)

The EU General Court confirms fine imposed by the European Commission for abuse of dominant position in the market for reverse-vending machines (RVM) used to collect used beverage containers focusing on exclusive agreements and loyalty-based rebates (Tomra)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On September 9, 2010, the General Court of the EU (the Court) issued its judgment in Tomra vs. Commission (Case T-155/06), dismissing an appeal brought by Tomra against a European Commission decision imposing a €24 million fine for abuse of its dominant position in Germany, Austria, Sweden, the (...)

The Slovak competition office gives an unprecedented definition of relevant product market for trade mark licensing (Envi-Pak)
University of Oxford
Background On 28 August 2009, the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (“AMO“) adopted a decision against, and delivered to ENVI-PAK, a.s. (“ENVI-PAK”), a company engaged in the waste package materials processing business. ENVI-PAK is the registered holder of the “Der Grüne Punkt” trade mark in Slovakia, (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses an appeal against the European Court of First Instance’s judgment in a case of abuse of a dominant position in the market for collecting and processing packaging waste (’Green Dot’ case)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 16 July 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgment in the appeal of Duales System Deutschland (DSD) against a 2007 judgment of the Court of First Instance (CFI), which had upheld a Commission decision finding that the German recycling company’s licensing scheme for its (...)

The Jersey Competition authority releases its first decision establishing an abuse of dominant position in the sewerage services industry (Jersey State’s Transport and Technical Services Department)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
On 20 May 2009, the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority released a decision which rules for the first time that a Public undertaking active in the sewerage services industry has abused its dominant position. In addition, the Jersey Competition Authority has imposed fines to sanction its (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Bot recommends dismissing a recycling company’s appeal for abusive judgment (Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 31 March 2009, Advocate General Bot delivered his opinion in the appeal of Duales System Deutschland (“DSD”) against a 2007 CFI judgment holding that the German recycling company’s licensing scheme for its “Green Dot” logo constituted an abuse of a dominant position. The Advocate General (...)

The European Court of First Instance confirms packaging recycling system incumbent’s abuse of dominance (Duales System Deutschland)
European Commission - Secretariat General (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Court of First Instance confirms Duales System Deutschland’s abuse of dominance in the packaging recycling system"* I. Introduction On 24 May 2007 the CFI fully upheld two Commission decisions adopted in 2001 concerning the agreements set up by the German system for the collection and (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority, acting for the first time under art. 82 EC, fines 130 000 EUR an abuse of dominant position in the packaging waste processing market (Slopak)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
This case started in December 2005, when packaging waste processing service provider Intersoh complained to the Slovenian Competition Authority (“SCA”) about the abusive practices of its rival Slopak in the market for processing packaging waste, which is not communal waste. The SCA started the (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office regards the inclusion of more than 25% of the market prices of CO2 emission certificates within the electricity prices as an abuse of dominant position pursuant to Art. 82 EC (CO2 National Allocation Plans)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
Background information on CO2 emission allowances The EU system for CO2 emission allowance trading has been in operation since 2005. Since then, companies active in CO2 emitting industries are obliged to use emission certificates for their production. These certificates are allocated free of (...)

The Irish National Competition Authority rejects an alleged abuse of dominance and recommends a revised approach to market access and service provision in the household waste collection service market (Greenstar Recycling)
London School of Economics
On the 30th of August, 2005 the Irish National Competition Authority (hereinafter “NCA”) delivered its findings following an investigation conducted pursuant to consumer allegations of abusive pricing practices in the field of household waste collection services and of a lack of competition in (...)

Luxembourg administrative courts find no anti-competitive practices in the context of a waste disposal scheme (SuperDrecksKëscht 2)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Background This case deals with alleged anti-competitive practices in the context of a waste disposal project, “SuperDrecksKëscht 2” (now “SuperDrecksKëscht fir Betriber”). The initiators of this project were the Administration de l’Environnement (“Environmental Administration”) within the Ministry of (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues proceedings on suspicion of abuse of dominance in the electricity sector after receiving commitments for a new tender system for the procurement of balancing energy (EnBW Transportnetze)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Abuse proceedings against EnBW in the balancing energy sector discontinued* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued the abuse proceedings instituted at the end of October 2001 against EnBW Transportnetze AG (EnBW) on suspicion of charging their competitors inappropriate fees for balancing (...)

The European Commission finds that the company which created ’Green Dot’ trademark, is restricting competition by abusing its dominant position in the market for organizing the collection and recycling of sales packaging in Germany (System Deutschland)
European Commission - Secretariat General (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission acts against Duales System Deutschland AG for the abuse of a dominant position"* Introduction On April 20, 2001, the Commission adopted a decision finding that Duales System Deutschland AG (DSD), a company which created ‘The Green Dot’ (Der Grüne Punkt) trademark, is restricting (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears a merger between two water companies (Bournemouth Water / Pennon Group)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA provisionally clears water merger* The CMA has today provisionally cleared the purchase of Bournemouth Water by South West Water. In June 2015, the completed acquisition by Pennon Group plc (the owner of South West Water Limited) of Bournemouth Water Investments Limited (which operates (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition on the market of management of waste after the abandonment by the buyer to acquire seven site of management of waste (Remondis/Sita)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Press Release published on the official website of the German Competition Authority. Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition by the Remondis group of four Sita waste management sites in Baden-Württemberg* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by Remondis of four waste management sites (...)

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 (Canberra)
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 Spanish National Court annuls a merger control clearance decision because the notification thresholds were not reached (Consenur / Ecotec)
Baker McKenzie (Madrid)
The Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional, "AN") adopted a judgment on 19 September 2012 annulling the Decision of the Spanish National Competition Commission (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, "CNC") of 10 March 2010 that authorised the concentration consisting in the acquisition by (...)

The Polish Competition Court upholds a merger prohibition decision in the market for waste battery treatment (Baterpol / Orzeł Biały)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection recently upheld two decisions of the Polish Competition Authority prohibiting concentrations, one in the market for railway turnouts and another in the market for waste battery treatment. In the second case, decided on 13 April 2011, the (...)

The UK OFT considers that large shareholdings do not always mean ability materially to influence policy (RREEF/Kelda)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Summary In taking this first stage decision the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had to decide whether the acquisition of a minority stake in the parent of a water and sewerage company would engage compulsory merger reference requirements, because the parent company of the manager of the acquiring (...)

The UK OFT clears merger in the environment noise management systems sector on the basis of the de minimis exemption (Spectris plc/Lochard Ltd)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 29 January 2009, the Office of Fair Trading (the "OFT") announced that it had cleared the acquisition of Lochard Ltd by Spectris plc on the basis of the de minimis exception. This is only the seventh case in which the OFT has used the de minimis exception as grounds for a decision not (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority clears with remedies the formation of a joint venture in the market for recycling cooling appliances (UFH/Remondis)
NERA (Berlin)
The operation UFH Holding GmbH (UFH) is based in Vienna, Austria and is active in the market for collecting and recovering raw materials from waste and in particular collecting and recovering electrical and electronic appliances. Remondis Electrorecycling GmbH (Remondis) is a world-wide waste (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the engineering and supplying a range of energy and fired waste-to-energy plants for incinerating municipal waste (AEE/Lentjes)
J G Associates (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2007"* Also in December the Commission cleared the acquisition of Lentjes GmbH of Germany by Energy & Environment AG & Co KG (AEE), which is part of the Austrian A-Tec group. Both AEE and Lentjes are active in engineering (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the waste management business sector (Veolia/Cleanaway)
J G Associates (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2006"* A conditional clearance was granted to the proposed acquisition of the UK waste management service company Cleanaway by Veolia ES Holdings plc. on 21 September. Veolia, the acquirer, is also in the waste management (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal considers the reasonableness of a decision appointing an hold separate manager to perform functions in a merger according to section 81 of the Enterprise Act 2002
University College London
Facts of the case The first applicant Stericycle International LLC, a company incorporated in the US, operates in the UK through its wholly-owned subsidiary, the second applicant, Stericycle International Limited, a holding company for three further companies (collectively "Stericycle UK"). (...)

The European Commission refers the examination of a proposed concentration in the regional markets for the incineration of municipal and commercial wastes in Germany to the Bundeskartellamt (Nehlsen/Rethmann/SWB/Bremerhavener Entsorgungsgesellschaft)
DG Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG GROW (Brussels)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st May 2002 and 31th August 2002"* The European Commission referred the proposed acquisition of joint control of the Bremerhavener Entsorgungsgesellschaft mbH (BEG) by Karl Nehlsen GmbH & Co KG (Nehlsen), Rethmann Entsorgungswirtschaft GmbH & (...)

The European Commission approves a merger between two French companies creating France’s largest industrial groups, notably active in the utility sector (Lyonnaise-des-Eaux/Suez)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger : Summary of the most important recent developments"* In May 1997, the French groups Lyonnaise des Eaux and Compagnie de Suez proposed to merge their activities into a new entity, which becomes one of France’s largest industrial groups, notably active in the utility sector. After (...)

State Aid

THE EU Commission approves a €3.5 billion aid of the Belgian Government to three offshore windfarms under EU State Aid rules (Mermaid / Seastar / Northwester2)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €3.5 billion support to three offshore windfarms in Belgium* The European Commission has found Belgian plans to support three offshore windfarm projects to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure will further EU energy and climate goals without unduly (...)

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 (...)

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)
University of Bristol - Law School
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 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 European Commission holds that regulation on land use or changes in such regulations do not constitute State aid (Forest Land in Bulgaria)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Land Transactions: Commercial Deals v Regulatory Acts* Regulation on land use or changes in such regulations do not constitute State aid. Administrative methods for calculating the value of public land do not necessarily prevent the granting of State aid if they do not reflect the evolution in (...)

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 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 EU 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 EU Commission issues guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy that have a wider scope and require a more rigorous application of the principles of necessity and proportionality of aid
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The New Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy, 2014-2020* Main points The new guidelines are wider in scope: They also cover energy infrastructure, energy capacity and reductions from electricity levies. The new guidelines (...)

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 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)
University of Bristol - Law School
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 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 EU Court of Justice rules on the distribution of powers between the Council and the Commission in the area of state aid enforcement (Alumina)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU strengthens Commission’s enforcement monopoly in State aid (C-111/10) and jeopardises its consistent enforcement with other EU policies (C-272/12)* In two recent Judgments of 4 December 2013 (C-111/10, Commission v Council) and 10 December 2013 (C-272/12, Commission v Ireland and Others), (...)

The EU Commission considers that the notified scheme fulfils the conditions of the environmental aid guidelines and passes the compatibility test in accordance with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU (Anti-opt-out scheme)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Economically Rational Environmental Aid* Introduction A few months ago I wrote an article on this blog explaining the big puzzle of environmental State aid. Since the rules allow State aid which is only a proportion of the extra costs incurred by (...)

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 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 EU General Court reinforces the doctrine of inseparability in relation to compensation for public service obligations assigned to environmental organizations (Germany/Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. The Emerging Doctrine of Inseparability and Compensation for Public Service Obligations [T-347/09, Germany v Commission]* Introduction In the landmark judgment in Leipzig Halle, the General Court stated that infrastructure which is inseparable (...)

The EU General Court finds that organisations for environmental protection that directly offer goods and services in competitive markets must be regarded as undertakings (Germany / Commission)
Max Findlay Associates (London)
Not playing nicely* Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order. In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a (...)

The EU Commission finds that Germany has demonstrated that the proposed tax reduction for passengers constitutes compatible state aid (German Flights Tax Reduction)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Taxes and Tax Reductions on Air Travel: Selectivity and Compatibility* This posting examines an Irish and a German measure concerning reduction in passenger taxes. As to be expected, an important issue for both measures was whether the reduction was (...)

The EU Commission finds that the noise reduction measure is compatible with the internal market under Article 93 TFEU (German Freight Wagons)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog The Puzzle of Environmental Aid: Why Do Firms Make Environmental Investments?* Introduction Environmental aid is the second largest horizontal category of State aid, after regional aid. It accounts for about 24% of all aid to industry and services. (...)

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 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 states that the reluctance of a forest company to conclude long-term contracts with other saw mills falls outside the scope of the Article 107 TFEU (Bavarian State Forest Enterprise)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Objectively Justified Pricing: The Market Economy Operator Principle* Introduction: Objective justification of price differentiation In a landmark judgment 25 years ago [February 1988], the Court of Justice established that business behaviour that appears to deviate from normal market (...)

The European Commission finds that Romania’s plan to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources is in line with the 2008 environmental aid guidelines (Romanian Green Certificates)
LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* By decision of 13 July 2011, the Commission found that Romania’s plan to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources is in line with the 2008 Environmental Aid Guidelines, as it creates clear incentives for (...)

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

The European 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 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 European Court of Justice quashes General Court’s judgment and finds no manifest error in Commission’s assessment of State aid (Scott)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 September 2010, the Court of Justice quashed a ruling of the General Court which partly annulled a Commission decision finding illegal State aid in the sale of a parcel of land by the French authorities to Scott S.A. (“Scott”). According to the Commission, Scott unduly benefited from a (...)

The European Commission authorizes € 17 M of regional investment aid for a German company concerning the production of solar modules (Solibro)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 20 July 2010, the Commission has authorised €17 million of regional investment aid for the German company Solibro GmbH for the production of solar modules in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Sachsen-Anhalt), Germany. The project involves an (...)

The European Commission approves € 8.5 M of regional investment aid to a Spanish company for the production of solar wafers (Silicio Solar SAU)
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 European Commission authorizes the Netherlands to provide a grant of € 10 M for a CO2 capture demonstration project (Nuon Energy Sourcing)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* The Commission has authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of €10 million to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project. The project concerns the deployment of a CO2 capture demonstration facility at (...)

The European Commission authorizes French aid of € 18.9 M for a research programme aimed at developing production technologies for second-generation motor biofuels (GAYA programme)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* On 24 March 2010 the Commission authorised French aid worth €18.9 million for the GAYA research programme, a programme aimed at developing production technologies for second-generation motor biofuels. GAYA‘s objective is to (...)

The European Commission authorizes the granting of investment aid of € 30.18 M by Germany for a ’Top Gas Recycling’ (TGR) project (ArcelorMittal Eisenhuettenstadt)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has authorised the granting of investment aid of €30.18 million by Germany to ArcelorMittal Eisenhuettenstadt GmbH’s ‘Top Gas Recycling’ (TGR) project. TGR is an innovative process that enables the separation of CO2 (...)

The European Commission decides that a German manufacturer of solar panels is not entitled to receive public support in the form of a bonus for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Sovello)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* On 27 January 2010, the Commission decided that Sovello AG (formerly EverQ GmbH), a German manufacturer of solar panels, was not entitled to receive public support in the form of a bonus for small and medium-sized enterprises (...)

The European Commission authorizes an Italian State aid scheme offering interest-rate subsidies for the production of environmentally friendly (green) products
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The Commission authorised an Italian scheme offering interest-rate subsidies for the production of environmentally friendly (green) products. The measure will focus on the car component industry and, more precisely, on (...)

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)
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 endorses € 56 M of regional investment aid to a German company for the production of thin-film solar modules in Saxony (Sunfilm)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Groupe Holder
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2009"* On 11 February 2009, the Commission endorsed €56 million of regional investment aid to Sunfilm for the production of thin-film solar modules in Saxony, Germany. Sunfilm AG is a newly founded company which is setting up a plant (...)

The Polish Supreme Court rules that ignorance of law burdens both contracting parties if they are concluding a contract which is contrary to law, in particular with EC State aid law (Fish-processing plant)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
Factual background: The claimant brought an action against the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture for payment in relation to the agreement on grant of financial aid for the claimant in respect of a project relating to periodic suspension of activities concerning (...)

A Polish Appeals Court rules on the issue of costs reimbursing in the case of undue SAPARD aid (Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture / M. L.)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
PKN Orlen
Factual background: The plaintiff brought an action against M.L. to recover unduly received financial aid in relation to SAPARD Programme. According to the agreement between the Agency and the defendant, the Agency undertook to refund part of the costs incurred in order to complete the (...)

The European Commission adopts new State aid guidelines for environmental protection
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Helping to combat climate change: new State aid guidelines for environmental protection"* In a bid to meet the ambitious environmental targets the EU has set itself in its quest to combat climate change, on 23 January 2008, the Commission tabled a series of legislative proposals for policy (...)

The Romanian Competition Council approves a regional state aid scheme aimed at supporting environmentally friendly investments
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
The Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) has approved an investment scheme targeted at granting regional state aids for the promotion of clean, environmental friendly, technologies and for the production of energy using renewable resources. The Council has informed the European Commission (...)

An Italian regional administrative Court holds that the decisions of local authorities to confer the management of the service without any invitation to tender do not breach State aid rules if specific conditions are met (Municipality of San Mauro Torinese)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a municipality located in the Region of Piedmont. Pursuant to Regional Law No. 24/2002, providing that the waste disposal service shall be managed by means of compulsory consortia managed by Municipalities, the applicant joined the Consorzio di Bacino 16 (...)

The European Commission authorises aid for a British project concerning an environmentally friendly engine led by car manufacturer (Rolls-Royce)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Environmentally Friendly Engine: the Commission authorises aid for a British project led by Rolls-Royce"* Description The Environmentally Friendly Engine (EFE) project aims to develop new innovative technologies designed to meet the needs of improved environmental performance of aero-engines (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that State aid’s control is of the EC Commission’s exclusive competence and that a plaintif can not rely on Art. 87.1 EC before a national authority since this article has no direct effect (National Forest Office / Germain Environnement)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales
The equipment and arrangement of French forests is the main activity of the French National Forest Office (Office National des Forêts, ONF), which is an industrial and commercial public establishment managing 85% of the French forests. The Germain environnement LTD which is active in the (...)

The European Commission approves aid for minimising chlorine transport
"Commission approves aid for minimising chlorine transport"* The Commission has not laid down general rules on compatibility of State aid that has the objective to increase safety of citizens and their environment. This does not mean that such aid is always incompatible with the common market. (...)

The European Commission decides that public support to water companies to create new infrastructure for the distribution of so-called grey water does constitute State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid in the water sector: second circuit water — Belgium"* On 2 June 2004, the Commission decided that public support to water companies to create new infrastructure for the distribution of so-called grey water does constitute State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the EC (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a State aid scheme concerning the reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions and allows for the first time more than 40% of aid intensity for investments in solar photovoltaic energy
Italian representation to the EU
"More than 40% of aid intensity for investments in solar photovoltaic energy"* Introduction On March 19, 2004 (OJ L 81, p. 72) the Commission’s conditional positive decision closing the formal investigation procedure on case C 60/2002 was published. It concerned an aid scheme that Tuscany (...)

The European Parliament and Council adopt a Directive establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading addressing State aid aspects
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid aspects in the implementation of the Emission Trading Scheme"* 1. The Emission Trading Scheme The Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) plays a major role in the Commission’s Climate Change Policy. It aims at helping EU Member States to achieve compliance with their commitments under the (...)

The European Commission authorizes State aid notified by the Dutch authorities concerning a legal framework for an emission trading scheme for an atmospheric pollutant (NOx)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Emission trading – why State aid is involved: NOx trading scheme"* In January 2003 the Dutch authorities notified the Commission of a legal framework for an emission trading scheme for the atmospheric pollutant NOx. The measure was authorised under State aid notification rules by the (...)

The European Commission authorizes the prolongation of Swedish eco-tax scheme addressing the issue of bundling of eco-taxes for State aid assessment
DG COMP (Brussels)
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SKF (Göteborg)
"State aid and eco-taxes: bundling of eco-taxes for State aid assessment"* Eco-taxes in the European Union Several Member States have introduced taxes on energy products in order to create an incentive to reduce the consumption of energy, and thereby also the emissions of greenhouse gases (...)

The European Commission raises no objections to German feed-in laws for electricity from renewable energy sources and combined heat and power
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
"Commission raises no objections to German feed-in laws for electricity from renewable energy sources and combined heat and power"* On 22 May 2002 the Commission decided that the German laws on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources and from combined heat and power (CHP) do (...)

The European Commission partially authorizes State aid scheme notified by the UK authorities concerning reduction of CO2 emissions and opens a procedure under art. 88(2) of the EC Treaty (Climate Change Levy)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom — Commission takes a decision on the Climate Change Levy (CCL). It authorizes several exemptions but opens the 88 (2) EC procedure on the exemption for dual use fuels"* The European Commission decided on 28 March 2001 not to raise objections to the main elements of the UK’s (...)

The European Commission rules that the enhanced capital allowances scheme notified by the UK authorities does not constitute State aid
DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom — The Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme does not constitute State aid under article 87 (1) CE"* The Commission decided on 13 March 2001 not to raise objections to the UK Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme as the scheme does not constitute State aid under Article 87(1) EC. (...)

The European Commission opens a 88 § 2 procedure into aid in favor of the producers of energy from renewable sources resulting of the impact of a new electricity tax in Germany (Stromeinspeisungsgesetz)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany - Commission opens the 88 § 2 procedure into aid in favour of the producers of energy from renewable sources resulting of the impact of a new electricity tax on Grid Feed-In Law (Stromeinspeisungsgesetz)"* On 20 July 1999, the Commission decided to initiate a state aid investigation (...)

The European Commission approves several German special tax provisions in the law introducing an ecological tax reform
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany – Commission approves several special tax provisions in the law introducing an ecological tax reform"* On 21 April 1999, the Commission approved several special tax provisions in the law introducing an ecological tax reform («Ecotax law«) for the benefit of certain sectors of the (...)

The European Commission does not approve illegal aid to chemical company granted by the German government and orders its recovery (Riedel-de Haën)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany - Commission does not approve illegal aid to the firm of the chemical sector Riedel-de Haën and asks for repayment"* The European Commission has not authorised state aid measures already granted by Germany to Riedel-de Haën on its investment in a residue processing plant. Germany (...)

The European Commission approves a state aid scheme granted by Denmark in favor of the combined heat and power production
DG COMP (Brussels)
"DENMARK. Measures in favour of centralised electricity generating plants"* The Commission approves state aid scheme in favour of the combined heat and power production. The Danish Government wants to introduce a purchase obligation for the electricity distribution companies to purchase heat (...)

The European Commission closes proceedings under art. 93(2) concerning an aid granted by Germany to a non profit oriented company (Gemeinnützige Abfallverwertung)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"GERMANY. Aid to Gemeinnützige Abfallverwertung GmbH (GAV)" The Commission has decided to close the Article 93(2) proceedings against aid which was awarded to Gemeinnützige Abfallverwertung GmbH (GAV) in Aachen. GAV, a non - profit oriented enterprise owned by Sozialwerk Aachener Christen e.V, (...)

Procedures

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition advocates the removal of unjustified restrictions on collection of household ferrous scrap
European Commission
CPC Advocates for Removing Unjustified Restrictions on Collection of Household Ferrous Scrap* On 11 March 2015, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) adopted an advocacy opinion on the Waste Management Law (WML), focusing on ferrous scrap (Decision 220). The WML provides that (...)

China’s National People’s Congress and Supreme People’s Court issue amendments and interpretations, respectively, leading to increases in public interest class action-type litigation
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Trends in Class Action-Type Public Interest Litigation in China* The framework for variants of class action-type litigation in the People’s Republic of China has been in place since the initial promulgation of the Civil Procedure Law of the P.R.C. (“CPL”) in 1991. The recently amended CPL (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal issues a ruling on the communication by the Competition Authority of documents gathered before victims of alleged anticompetitive practices bring private enforcement claims (DKT)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a decision dated September 24, 2014, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) issuing a ruling on the communication by the French Competition Authority (FCA) of documents held in its own file to a civil court before which a victim of alleged anticompetitive practices had brought a private (...)

The European Commission publishes its 2013 report on competition policy focusing on competitiveness
European Commission
European Commission publishes its 2013 Report on Competition Policy focusing on competitiveness* On 6 May 2014, the European Commission published its 2013 Report on Competition Policy, which provides an account of the key policy developments, competition enforcement and advocacy initiatives (...)

The Italian Supreme Court confirms that Administrative Courts cannot themselves rule on technical concepts within the competence of the Competition Authority (Acea / Suez Environment)
Simmons & Simmons (Milano)
On 20 January 2014 the Italian Supreme Court handed down a significant judgment on the scope of the judicial review of decisions taken by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), considering issues addressed in the ECHR judgment in Menarini Diagnostic s.r.l./Italia, 27 September, 2011, appeal (...)

A Dutch District Court disallows ACM from using data obtained through wiretaps in two cases (Groep / Burando)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM to appeal Court’s ruling against use of wiretap data* The District Court of Rotterdam has prohibited the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in two cases from using data obtained through wiretaps, which ACM had been provided by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM). In (...)

The German Competition Authority presents final report on sector inquiry into German waste disposal “dual systems” concept
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2012, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its final report on a sector inquiry into the German waste disposal sector, namely the “dual systems” concept. The “dual systems” concept is an industry financed waste collection system for household packaging that works in (...)

The European Commission fines two leading company in the environment sector € 8 M for breach of a seal during an inspection (Suez Environnement/Lyonnaise des Eaux)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2011, the Commission fined Suez Environnement and its subsidiary Lyonnaise des Eaux France (LDE) € 8 million for breach of a seal, affixed by the Commission during an inspection at LDE’s premises following suspicions of anti-competitive behaviour. From 13 to 16 April 2010, the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on emission permits and competition
OECD - Competition Division
Tradeable emission permits are considered an efficient instrument for achieving a given emission target at lowest possible economic cost. Tradeable permit schemes, also called cap and trade schemes, have become major pollution control instruments. They have been implemented at a national level (...)

A Dutch court applies statute of limitations to fine a tree-growers’ cartel case (Darthuizer Boomkwekerijen and Boomkwekerijen M. van den Oever & Zonen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2010, the Rotterdam District Court handed down a judgment in an appeal brought against a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) imposing fines on a number of undertakings found to have been involved in a cartel in the tree-growing sector in the Netherlands. In a judgment (...)

Regulatory

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion forcing a professional association to align its pricelists with competition rules (Croatian association of forestry engineers)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Croatian association of forestry engineers must align its pricelists with competition rules* Based on the writing received from the Croatian Chamber of Forestry and Wood Technology Engineers the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) issued its opinion on the proposed Ordinance on pricelists for (...)

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 (Canberra)
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Netherlands ACM recommends four construction companies and six public-housing corporations to open up energy-neutral-housing renovation project (De Stroomversnelling)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM wants more competition in energy-neutral-housing renovation project* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has recommended the four construction companies and six public-housing corporations that joined forces in the project ‘De Stroomversnelling’ to open up the project (...)

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 French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the waste management and materials recycling sectors
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence confirms the need for PROs to implement transparency measures, owing to the influential power they have within the framework of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) sectors* (...)

The German Monopolies Commission presents its third report on the energy markets
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
2011 Monopolies Commission Report on Competition in Gas and Electricity Markets* The Monopolies Commission (Monopolkommission) has presented its third report on the energy markets, entitled “Energy 2011: Development of Competition with Light and Shade” (“Energie 2011: Wettbewerbsentwicklung mit (...)

The Nordic Competition authorities issue a joint report on the relationships between environmental and competition policies
European Commission
Nordic Countries: Joint Report on Competition Policy and Green Growth In October 2010, the Nordic countries - Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - published a joint report on the relationship between environmental and competition policy. The report contains (...)

The Danish competition authority finds that a Danish act on raw material has anti-competitive effects and calls for modifications
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Danish Competition Authority, Konkurrencebegrænsende virkninger af råstoflovens §§ 19 og 20, 22 June 2005 In November 2004 the Danish Competition Authority received a complaint in relation to the administration of the provisions in Articles 19 and 20 of the Danish Act on Raw Material. The (...)

Public sector

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to a number of city councils in Sidney to commence a joint tender for household clean up waste (Bankstown City / Fairfield City / Parramatta City / Liverpool City)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC grants interim authorisation to Sydney councils for joint waste tender* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Bankstown City Council, Fairfield City Council, Parramatta City Council and Liverpool City Council in Sydney to commence a joint (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste management
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Authorisation granted to eight NSW regional councils for joint tender arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste collection services and (...)

The Spanish Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals rules on the need to cancel the award and rerun a tender when faulty tender documents and their interpretation can give rise to discrimination (CESPA CONTEN v Valladolid Regional Logistics Unit of the Army)
University of Bristol - Law School
On 22 January 2013, the Spanish Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Appeals (Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales, SCATCA) issued its Decision 29/2013 regarding the award of a contract for the disposal of waste and hazardous substances generated by the regional (...)

The EU Court of Justice reaffirms its dictum on in-house providing as an exception to the applicability of the EU public procurement directives (Econord / Varese)
University of Bristol - Law School
In-house providing and (minimum) "effective" public control: Sunset or breaking dawn for purely public (commercial) service providers? (C‑182 and 183/11)* In its Judgment of 29 November 2012 in Joined Cases C‑182/11 and C‑183/11, Econord SpA v Comune di Cagno and Comune di Varese (C-182/11) and (...)

A Romanian Appellate Court considers the principle of equal treatment in the context of the temporary validity of tender offers (WTE, Keviep, Bilfinger Berger)
Babes-Bolyai University
A recent case brought before Romanian courts raised the issue of diligence during suspension of the public procurement procedure. It regarded the period of availability of offers and the role of contracting authorities / tenderers in securing the continuous availability of offers. The object (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that public authorities can use fair trade criteria as criteria to award public supply contracts of products (Netherlands Max Havelaar)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Fair-trade coffee and tea under the procurement directive* Can public authorities procure fair trade products, or are they debarred from specifically referring to the fair trade qualities of those products under the public procurement directive (directive 2004/18/EC)? This is one of the issues (...)

The AG Kokott of the EU Court of Justice asserts the distinction between fair trade products and eco-products in relation to public procurement conditions (Netherlands Max Havelaar)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Public procurement: are Fair Trade products different from Eco-products?* According to Advocate General Kokott they are. Public authorities wishing to procure such products should do so in accordance with article 23 of the public procurement directive (Directive 2004/18/EC) for Eco-products (...)

A Danish court imposes fines on two environmental laboratories and their directors for bid rigging (Environmental Laboratory and Milana)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 25 March 2011, a Danish District Court convicted two environmental laboratories for bid rigging and imposed fines of DKK 500,000 (approx. EUR 67,000) on each of the two companies and fines of DKK 25,000 (approx. EUR 3,400) on each of the two directors. I. Background Miljølaboratoriet I/S (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition policy and environment
OECD - Competition Division
Key documents: Background note The analytical note reviews modes of environmental regulation and identifies some anticompetitive effects that can accompany them. Such regulations might be used to gain a competitive advantage. A common principle of the different modes of intervention, whether (...)

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