Excessive prices

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice rules on how to determine a market price, blurring the lines of its own case law (BVVG / Landkreis Jerichower Land in Germany)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Challenge of Calculating a Market Price* The market price of land or buildings can be determined via auction, expert valuation or other appropriate methods. Introduction On 16 July 2015, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in case C‑39/14, BVVG Bodenverwertungs- und -verwaltungs (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau and airline companies reach agreement on controversial transborder joint venture (Air Canada, United Continental)
Canadian International Joint Commission
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Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction On 23 October 2012 Canada’s Competition Bureau (the Bureau), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, reached a consent agreement with Air Canada and United (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM again uniquely imposes AML conditions on a transaction in the smartphone sector (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti
The notification for Google‘s acquisition of Motorola Mobility was submitted to China’s Ministry of Commerce on 30 September 2011. It was ultimately accepted on 21 November 2011 by MOFCOM after supplementation. At the expiration of the Phase III, or extended Phase II, period, on 19 May 2012, (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau seeks to unwind proposed airline joint venture (Air Canada and United Continental)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the "Commissioner") in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), wants to ground Air Canada. The Bureau announced on 27 June (...)

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

The Italian competition authority fines more than € 3 M Rome and Milan airport managers for abuse of dominant position (Aeroporti di Roma-Tariffe Aeroportuali, SEA/Tariffe aeroportuali)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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Ministry of Economic Development (Italy)
ADR (Rome) and SEA (Milan) have been fined for overcharging competitors for refuelling services; ADR has also been fined for excessive prices for access services to Fiumicino’s cargo infrastructures and office space, while SEA has been sanctioned for excessive charges for the provision of common (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on hearing aids
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-wide Inquiry on Hearing Aids- the Autorité’s Findings* The Autorité recommends separating the initial purchase of the hearing aid (including immediate fitting and setting during the first year) from the purchase of subsequent follow-up services. It also proposes removing the numerus (...)

The Turkish Competition Board imposes administrative monetary fine on an expo centre operator for abuse of dominance through refusal to deal (Congresium)
ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Congresium ATO decision dated 27.10.2016 and numbered 16-35/604-269. The Board’s decision comes following the judgment of the Ankara 3rd Administrative Court which annulled the Board’s previous decision with respect to the same case (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation on its midpoint assessment concerning its investigation on the hearing aids sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Hearing aids* As part of its investigation on the hearing aids sector, the Autorité de la concurrence launches a public consultation on its mid-point assessment today. The Autorité encourages the sector’s players to express their opinion on the competition issues identified. Interested actors (...)

The US FTC subjects to public comment the consent agreement proposed by two pharmaceutical companies that implemented an unlawful agreement not to compete (Concordia and Par)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Pharmaceutical companies settle ftc charges of an illegal agreement not to compete, which resulted in higher prices for generic version of ADHD drug* Pharmaceutical companies Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. have settled FTC charges that they entered into an unlawful (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition imposes a fine of 2.1 million Euro on the Cyprus Cattle-farmers Association (Cyprus Cattle-farmers Association)
Chrysses Demetriades & Co. LLC (Limassol)
1. Background In its decision dated 17/10/2014 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) held that the Cyprus Cattle-farmers Association (also referred as “CCA” and the “association”) violated a number of provisions of the Cyprus Law on the Protection of Competition (“the (...)

The Israeli Restrictive Trade Practices General Director announces his intention to fine monopolies for charging excessive prices
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
A. Introduction On April 9, 2014, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") published a directive regarding excessive prices charged by monopolies (the "Directive"). In the Directive, the General Director officially announced, for the first time, that he (...)

The EU Advocate General Kokott delivers her opinion on civil liability of cartel members for umbrella pricing (Kone, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp)
University College London
On 30 January 2014 Advocate General Kokott delivered her Opinion on the Case C-557/12 Kone and others. This case concerns a claim for compensation brought by the customer of an undertaking not party to a cartel, against the cartel members on the ground that the non-infringing party had (...)

A US Attorney General launches a wide investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in supra-competitive prices for medical care
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
California Attorney General Becomes the Latest Antitrust Enforcer to Investigate Hospital/Doctor Group Combinations* California’s Attorney General has recently launched a broad investigation into whether increasing consolidation among hospitals and physician groups may be resulting in (...)

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

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

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling holding that national courts need to balance on a case-by-case basis the interest of preserving the effectiveness of leniency programmes and that of facilitating private enforcement by third parties (Pfleiderer)
Winston & Strawn (London)
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DLA Piper (Frankfurt)
On 14 June 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a key judgment regarding the interplay between national leniency programmes and the right of individuals to claim damages for losses in EU cartel cases. The ECJ held that documents submitted under the auspices of a national (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes market-tested commitments proposed by the French CB bank card association in order to resolve antitrust concerns on multilateral interchange fees (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence market-tests Commitments on MIFs, including on Debit and Credit Cards* Following a complaint made by two professional associations of merchants and retailers against ultilateral interchange fees (MIFs)used in the various payment systems in France, the (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for sewer pipe constructions (City of Kawasaki)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Order against Participants in Bidding for Sewer Pipe Constructions ordered by the City of Kawasaki* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated participants in the bidding for sewer (...)

The French Competition Authority analyses parallel behaviour as proof of a concerted practice and excessive pricing by a dominant company, in the context of a price-regulated sector (Ethicon / Tyco Healthcare France / Syndicat national des industries technologies médicales)
Cabinet Dieny
I. Introduction The main interest of this decision of the French Competition Authority (hereafter « the Competition Authority ») lies in its analysis of parallel behaviour as proof of a concerted practice, on the one hand, and excessive pricing by a dominant company, on the other, in the context (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the sector of borrower’s insurance for housing loan
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is in favour of the separation of the housing loan offer and the insurance offer. It considers that it is necessary to guarantee the information provided to consumers and to (...)

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 German Competition Authority orders an energy company to pay € 55 million to customers to settle excessive pricing investigation (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
According to a press release of 6 October 2008, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) closed its proceedings against six regional gas suppliers belonging to the E.ON group in exchange for a commitment according to which the companies agree not to increase prices for two months and to pay a (...)

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)
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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 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 Northern Irish Competition Commission published a market investigation on personal current account banking services (Which ? complaint)
Hogan Lovells
Overview On 15 May 2007, nine days in advance of its statutory deadline of 25 May 2007, the Competition Commission (the "CC") published its findings in its market investigation into personal current banking services in Northern Ireland. The market investigation was a result of a reference made (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions two French cement manufacturers for keeping for themselves the supply of Corsica to the detriment of foreign competitors (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Supply and distribution of cement in Corsica: Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of €25 million on cement manufacturers Lafarge and Vicat, and their distributors, for keeping for themselves the supply of (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes its highest fine ever for concerted and abusive practices in the debit card and payment system sector (Europay Austria...)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
On December 1st, 2006 the Austrian Cartel Court imposed its highest fine ever, of EUR 5 million, on Europay Austria Zahlungsverkehrssysteme GmbH (“Europay Austria”). Europay Austria was fined for violation of the Austrian law equivalents of Art 81 and Art 82 because of its participation in the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority considers cooperation and joint selling of network services for PIN-transactions to be an infringement of the cartel prohibition (Interpay)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
Introduction Interpay is a joint venture between 8 Dutch banks ("the shareholders"), founded in 1994 to provide network services for PIN-transactions. PIN-transactions are payments with debit cards with PIN through pay machines at retailers. The network services consist of the authorization of (...)

Publication of the Amendment to the Irish Competition Bill 2005: Substantial modifications in the grocery trade regime
London School of Economics
The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2005 (hereinafter “the Bill”) has been drafted with a view to fulfilling a twofold purpose ; firstly, it will revoke the antiquated Groceries Order 1987 and secondly, it aims to strengthen certain existing elements of the Competition Act, 2002 in order to prevent (...)

The OFT finds collective agreement between banks setting the multilateral interchange fee contrary to both Art. 81 EC and national competition provisions (MasterCard UK)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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King’s College (London)
On 6 September the UK Office of Fair Trading issued a decision concluding that the collective agreement between members of MasterCard UK Members Forum setting a fallback multilateral interchange fee infringed Article 81 EC and Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998. The Decision only concerns (...)

The Irish Competition Authority calls for the repeal of the restrictive practices Order, contending that it facilitates retail price maintenance and hinders effective competition (Restrictive Practices - Groceries - Order)
London School of Economics
Section 30 of the Competition Act, 2002 mandates the Irish Competition Authority (hereinafter “NCA”) to advise government ministers on issues arising in the course of their functions which have an impact on competition. In light of this provision, the NCA responded to the Minster for Enterprise’s (...)

The Irish NCA assesses the prices and exclusive provisions of a major entertainment events tickets reseller on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (TicketMaster Ireland)
London School of Economics
The National Competition Authority has rejected allegations that TicketMaster (hereinafter “TicketMaster”) Ireland is abusing its dominant position through excessive pricing and that its exclusive contractual relations with certain promoters constitute infringements of Art 81 EC and its domestic (...)

Dominance

The EU Court of Justice accepts an alternative to the United Brands test to establish excessive pricing (AKKA / LAA)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
On replying to the preliminary questions referred by the Supreme Court of Latvia (SCL), in AKKA v LAA the CJEU has accepted a methodology other than the two-limb United Brands test to establish an excessive pricing practice. The CJEU also clarifies the criteria to set the amount of the fine (...)

The Regional Adminstrative Court for Latium upholds the infringement decision made by the Italian Competition Authority against a pharmaceutical lab for excessive pricing (Aspen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the judgement handed down in Aspen v AGCM , the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (the Court) has recently determined the appeal lodged by a South African manufacturer of generic drugs, Aspen, against the 2016 decision made by Italian Competition Authority (ICA), rejected all the (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes full decision on excessive pricing and focuses on intention and evidence (Pfizer/Flynn)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The CMA’s decision relies heavily on evidence of the parties’ intentions in applying competition rules. On 15 June 2017, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the full non-confidential version of its decision to fine Pfizer and Flynn a record £84.2m for their excessive and (...)

EU Court of Justice Advocate General Wahl offers guidance on the criteria to identify excessive prices in abuse of dominance case (AKKA / LAA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 April 2016, Advocate General (“AG”) Wahl gave an opinion advising the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) on the criteria to determine whether a Latvian royalty collecting society had abused its dominant position by charging excessive prices in breach of Article 102(a) TFEU. The matter came (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two pharmaceutical companies for charging excessive prices concerning an anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA fines Pfizer and Flynn £90 million for drug price hike to NHS* The CMA has fined pharma companies Pfizer and Flynn Pharma nearly £90 million for charging excessive prices to the NHS for an anti-epilepsy drug. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a record £84.2 million fine (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court rules on excessive pricing in relation to the delivery of electricity (ELSAM III)
University of Copenhagen
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Accura
Summary of the case In an August 2016 ruling the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court (Sø- & Handelsretten) confirmed that the Danish energy incumbent DONG Energy A/S (“DONG”) had infringed Article 102 and the Danish equivalent by charging excessive prices for the delivery of (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines an operator of a regional bus terminal for abuse of dominance (Rēzeknes autoosta)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC finds Unreasonably High Fees for the Entrance of a Bus Terminal* On 25 May, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia imposed a fine in the amount of 4026.53 EUR and legal obligation on SIA Rēzeknes autoosta, which is an operator of a regional bus terminal in Rēzekne. The CC found that the (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues provisional decision on remedies to increase competition in the private healthcare market (HCA)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA’s private healthcare provisional decision on remedies* The CMA has provisionally found that likely changes in London’s private healthcare market mean that extra remedies would not be proportionate. In April 2012, the Competition Commission, a predecessor body of the Competition and Markets (...)

The German Competition Authority agrees to a settlement with a municipal utility, which has charged excessive water prices to its customers (Wuppertal municipal utility)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Excessive water prices - Wuppertal municipal utility has to refund 15 million euros to customers* On account of the excessive water prices charged by the Wuppertal municipal utility, the Bundeskartellamt has agreed a settlement with WSW Energie und Wasser AG, by which the latter will refund 15 (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues statement of objections to a pharmaceutical company and its distributor suspected of abuse of dominance dominance in the market of phenytoin sodium capsules (Pfizer / Flynn)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA issues statement of objections to Pfizer and Flynn Pharma in anti-epilepsy drug investigation* The CMA has today issued a statement of objections to the pharmaceutical suppliers Pfizer and Flynn Pharma alleging that they have breached competition law. The Competition and Markets (...)

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition fines three power distribution companies for abusing their dominant market positions by imposing excessive prices to cable operators (CEZ, EVN and Energo-pro)
Johnson & Johnson (Sofia)
On May 27, 2015 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition adopted three separate decisions imposing sanctions on each of the three power distribution companies, and namely CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD , EVN Bulgaria Electrical Distribution AD and ENERGO-PRO Grids AD for abusing (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority closes its investigation against an electricity supplier because of the absence of infringement of the competition rules (Electrabel / Lampiris)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority closes its investigation regarding the incorporation by Electrabel of the opportunity cost of greenhouse gas emission allowances it had received free of charge in its wholesale price for electricity.* In a complaint (...)

The Chinese NDRC targets price-related illegal conducts in the pharmaceutical sector
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
NDRC Targets Price-related Illegal Conducts in the Pharmaceutical Sector* On May 4, 2015, the NDRC published Notice on Reinforcing Supervision over Medical Prices (“Notice”). In the Notice, the NDRC issued a range of specific opinions on the supervision over medical price, including immediately (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an Article 102 TFEU investigation against a producer of generic drugs (Incremento Prezzo Farmaco-Aspen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the case Incremento Prezzo Farmaco-Aspen (Aspen) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation against Aspen, a South African manufacturer of generic drugs . Aspen was alleged to have abused its dominance position by imposing excessive prices (...)

The Competition Commission of India gives an order on the emerging jurisprudence of interface between intellectual property and competition law (HT Media / Super Cassettes)
Jindal Global University
On October 1, 2014, Competition Commission of India (CCI) gave its final order on a yet another case making some vital contributions to the shaping of the law on the emerging jurisprudence of interface between intellectual property and competition law regimes in India. While this case sets a (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority condemns the incumbent operator for abuse of a dominant position for excessive pricing on the Belgian electricity market (Electrabel)
Altius (Brussels)
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IP Porta
I. The Parties Electrabel S.A. (‘Electrabel’) is the incumbent operator on the Belgian electricity market. Electrabel is the main producer of electricity. It is also active on the delivery market to end-consumers in Belgium. Elia is Belgium’s transmission system operator. It enjoys a legal (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority fines €2 million for excessive pricing on the markets for the production, wholesale and trade of electricity (Electrabel)
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
On 18 July 2014, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority adopted a decision imposing a €2 million fine on Electrabel for abuse of dominant position contrary to Article 3 of the Belgian Competition Act and of Article 102 TFEU on the market for the generation, wholesale and (...)

The South African Competition Commission investigates abuse of dominance on the market for visa support services to foreign embassies (VFS Global)
Nortons Incorporated
Costly COMESA Courthouse, za investigates visa provider & holds ground on Sasol fine LOTS AAT news this Monday, from Sudan/COMESA to South Africa. Visa facilitator backed by one branch of government & investigated by another In substantive antitrust news, the South African Competition (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning changes made to the gas oil wholesale listed prices in relation to an allegation of abuse of dominance (MOL)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
GVH has accepted commitments offered by the MOL* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, the Hungarian Competition Authority) has accepted commitments offered by MOL Magyar Olaj-és Gázipari Nyrt (MOL – the Hungarian Oil Company). According to the commitments, in the next 5 years the changes made to the (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal imposes fines for domestic excessive pricing of purified propylene and polypropylene (Sasol)
Nortons Incorporated
Costly COMESA Courthouse, za investigates visa provider & holds ground on Sasol fine LOTS AAT news this Monday, from Sudan/COMESA to South Africa. Visa facilitator backed by one branch of government & investigated by another In substantive antitrust news, the South African Competition (...)

The Chinese NDRC announces the suspension of an investigation on abuse of dominance against a US wireless technology developer after receiving detailed commitments (Inter Digital Communications)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Excessive pricing and standard-essential patents* On May 22 2014, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced the suspension of the investigation against Inter Digital Communications (IDC), a US wireless technology developer, as the company had submitted detailed (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council concludes an important investigation into the suspected abuse of dominance in the sector for road transportation (LINAVA)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council’s investigation encourages the Association LINAVA* The Competition Council (the KT) terminated the investigation into the actions by the Lithuanian National Road Carriers Association LINAVA (the Association). Allegedly, the Associations had breached Article 7 of the Law on (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court revises an arbitral award in a dispute between the National Pharmacy Association and IMS Health (Associação Nacional de Farmácias and Farminveste / IMS Health)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
Replacing a previous contract, the National Pharmacy Association (ANF) executed a contract with IMS Health in 2008, by which it transmitted to the latter data on purchases in its associated pharmacies, in exchange for remuneration. This data was used to provide pharma market intelligence in a (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a transport company for abuse of dominance (Khabarovsk)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Khabarovsk OFAS punished “FPK” OJSC for fixing monopolistically high prices and creating discriminatory conditions in transportation* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Khabarovsk region (Khabarovsk OFAS Russia) fined “Federal Passenger Company” OJSC (“FPK” OJSC) over 1.5 (...)

The Netherlands ACM decides not to take further action against credit card company following undertaken adjustment of the interbank tariffs for domestic credit-card payments (MasterCard)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: MasterCard lowers tariffs for credit card payments* Over the next two years, financial-services company MasterCard will lower the tariffs that banks charge each other for processing domestic credit-card payments. As a result, businesses such as in retail and the hospitality industry will (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an ex-state-owned oil refinery for abusing its dominant position by charging excessive prices and imposing unfair trading conditions (Tüpraş)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that the ex-state-owned oil refinery, TUPRAS, abused its dominant position by charging excessive prices contrary to its tariffs for a period of three months and by imposing unfair trading (...)

The Guangdong High Court upholds Shenzhen Intermediate Court decision in abuse of dominance case involving IP rights (Huawei / Interdigital)
First Principles Economics (FPE)
Guangdong High Court largely upholds Shenzhen Intermediate Court decision, requires Interdigital to pay full amount of damages requested by Huawei, and stipulates 0.019% maximum patent licencing fee. On Monday 28th October 2013 the Guangdong High Court reached its decision in the ongoing (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau chooses not to appeal the decision of the Competition Tribunal, but to focus on identifying alternate means of addressing the competition issues in the supply of credit card services (VISA, MasterCard)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Credit Cards in Canada: What Role for Competition Law?* 1. Introduction The growing popularity of credit and other payment cards among consumers has been accompanied by an increase in the regulatory and legal scrutiny of the terms governing the availability and use of these cards. One focus (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirms the district court’s denial of class certification and the dismissal of complaint with prejudice (Sommers/Apple)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
If Your Allegations Don’t Establish a Price Effect, You May Lack Antitrust Standing* In Somers v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 11-16896 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2013), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a putative class action against Apple, Inc., alleging antitrust violations in (...)

The Japanese Congress enacts the Pass-on Consumption Tax Act (POCTA) to prevent exploitative abuse when consumption tax rates are raised in the near future
University of Tokyo
Japan has enacted an Act which is relevant to discussion of exploitative abuse. The Act in question is the Pass-on Consumption Tax Act (Act No. 41 of the 12th June 2013), termed “POCTA” in this essay. 1. Overview Japan plans to raise consumption tax rates (from 5% to 8%) on the 1st April 2014 (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court validates the Spanish Competition Commission’s interpretation of excessive prices (Explosivos de Canarias)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
,
On May 29, 2013, the Spanish Supreme Court issued judgment number 2660/2013 on the appeal that Canarias Explosivos, S.A. (“Canarias Explosivos”) submitted against the judgment of the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) on December 10, 2009. The Supreme Court considered that there were no (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority terminates its investigation in connection with the price setting of certified translations and attestation of translations (Országos Fordító)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Investigation against OFFI terminated by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH)* On 21 May 2013, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) terminated the competition supervision proceedings that had been initiated against OFFI. The GVH investigated whether the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions municipal undertakings for charging excessive prices for bus terminal services (Zhilfond Pleven)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 23 April 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) sanctioned two municipal undertakings in the city of Pleven for imposing excessive tariffs on the bus operators for the usage of the city bus terminal. The CPC’s investigation was prompted by a complaint of a bus company Hebros Bus OOD (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing* On 2 April the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for abuse of dominant position. Royalty tariffs for music airplay in retail (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines collective copyright management association for excessive pricing (AKKA/LAA)
European Commission
Latvia: The Competition Council fines collective Copyright Management Association for Excessive Pricing* On 2 April 2013, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision to fine the collective copyright management association AKKA/LAA for having abused its dominant position by (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses the claim for exemplary damages against a water management company (Albion Water / Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig)
University of Dundee
Exemplary Damages in Competition Litigation* Much ink has been spilt following 2 Travel v. Cardiff Bus and Albion Water v. Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig on the subject of competition litigation in Europe. An axiom with varying justification is that European competition litigation must not embrace (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards damages in a follow-on claim arising from abuse of dominance on the market for transportation and partial treatment of water (Albion Water / Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig)
Blackstone Chambers
Albion v Dwr Cymru: Incompetence and counterfactuals* The Competition Appeal Tribunal today delivered that rarest of beasts: a judgment awarding damages in a follow-on claim. After its decade-long fight, Albion Water has been awarded around £2 million for Dŵr Cymru’s abuse of dominant position in (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts commitments of the public broadcaster concerning retransmission of television channels by “pay TV” operators (Hrvatska radiotelevizija)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 28 March 2013 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position by the public broadcasting company Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT) by accepting a number of behavioral commitments related to retransmission of television channels by (...)

A U.S. Court dismisses claims of monopolization against a supplier of drilling fluids based on an alleged refusal to deal (M-I)
Cornell University
On March 4, 2013, a federal district court in Oklahoma dismissed monopolization claims brought by TKO Energy Services (TKO) against M-I and its affiliated companies (TKO Energy Services LLC v. M-I LLC, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, 4:12-cv-00108-GKF-PJC 2013). Since this (...)

The Shenzhen Intermediate Court decides that a telecom company abused its patent rights by requiring to pay excessive royalties for essential patents for mobile telephone technology (Huawei / America IDC)
Renmin University of China
I. The background of Huawei vs. America IDC anti-monopoly case for abuse of essential patents in standard In this case, the plaintiff, Huawei Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to “Huawei”) mainly provides products and services to the communication operators, professional network owners, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two mobile phone operators for abusing their dominant position on the French mobile phone market (Orange France, SFR)
University Dublin College (UCD)
On 13 December 2012, The French National Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence,hereafter “the FCA”) fined two of the three major French mobile network providers (Orange France and SFR) €183 million for abuse of dominant position in the mobile telephony sector. The FCA investigated the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority makes binding commitments made by the Central Depository on registry services to securities issuers (Depozitarul Central)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
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Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
Since 2010, following the amendment of the Romanian Competition Law no.21/1996, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) has been able to accept legally binding commitments offered by companies in order to address the concerns relating to potential infringements of competition law. The (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts behavioural commitments in unfair pricing case in the natural gas sector (Progaz)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 5 September 2012 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) has accepted behavioral committments of a dominant undertaking in the natural gas sector and closed its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position initiated under the national equivalent of Article 102 TFEU. In June (...)

The Romanian Competition Council closes investigation on abuse of dominant position on the local market of natural gas installations planning and execution accepting commitments undertaken by the monopolist (PROGAZ P&D)
Grigorescu Ştefănică
Romania: The Romanian Competition Council accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA* The Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) accepted the commitments undertaken by PROGAZ P&D SA in view of relieving the concerns regarding infringement of the antitrust rules by abuse of a (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania brings clearance on assessing excessive pricing under 102 Art. TFEU (Vilniaus energija)
Klavins Ellex
Vilniaus energija case is an important national precedent for at least two reasons. First, it explains in which situations prices set by a dominant undertaking may be regarded as unfair (excessive). In that context the Lithuanian courts confirmed that economic analysis is needed in order to (...)

The Competition Tribunal of South Africa rules on exclusionary conduct in the telecommunications industry (Telkom)
University of Johannesburg
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Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED)
Over eight years after the matter was referred, on 7 August 2012 the Competition Tribunal found Telkom had abused its dominant position in refusing to provide access to an essential facility to competitors in the form of independent Value Added Network Service providers (VANS), and in inducing (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority confirms competence with regard to regulated fees in energy sector (ZSE Distribúcia)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Council of the Slovak Competition Authority ("SCA") confirmed the first instance decision imposing a fine on ZSE Distribucia, a.s., Bratislava ("ZSE") for abuse of dominant position. The abuse of dominant position consisted in the charging of unreasonably high fees for (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal finds that a distribution company delivering and collecting newspapers and magazines abused its dominant position by charging excessive and discriminatory prices (AMP)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 29 May 2012, the Brussels Court of Appeal held that AMP, a distribution company delivering and collecting newspapers and magazines for retail shops, had abused its dominant position by increasing the fixed minimum fee for its services without any economic justification. (...)

The German Competition Authority clarifies that examination of a company’s pricing elements can be sole legal test in determining excessive pricing (Water supplier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By decision of 15 May 2012, recently published, the German Federal Court of Justice (“the Court”) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart (“HRCS”), by which the latter had annulled a decision of the federal cartel office (“FCO”) finding that a dominant water supplier had (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court changes stance and rules that an isolated conduct in the daily energy market constitutes a continuous abuse of dominance (Iberdola Generación)
European Commission - DG COMP
I. The Spanish generation market As has been described in previous bulletin articles the Spanish generation market is extremely complex and heavily intervened by burdensome regulation. In a nutshell, tenders (pools) are organised every hour of the day by a public entity in order to fulfil the (...)

The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic fines electricity distribution company for abuse of a dominant position by charging excessive prices for electricity metering (ZSE)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
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Kinstellar
Factual background By its decision No. 2012/DZ/R/2/030, the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “Council”), acting in its capacity as the appellate body of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the “AMO”) rejected on 29 June 2012 the appeal of ZSE Distribúcia (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines the postal incumbent for foreclosing competitors from the markets for added value postal services (Poste Italiane)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) imposed a euros 39.377.489,00 fine on Poste Italiane (PI), the Italian incumbent post operator, for breaching Article 102 TFEU. PI abused its dominant position by engaging into a number of exclusionary practices against its competitor, TNT (...)

The Swedish Market Court finds taxi traffic control companies’ additional fee for enhanced pre-ordering services abusive (Uppsala Taxi, Europark, Swedavia)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
On 23 November 2011, the Swedish Market Court handed down its judgment in Uppsala Taxi 100 000 AB (“Uppsala Taxi”) v. Europark Svenska Aktiebolag (“Europark”) and Swedavia AB (“Swedavia”). Uppsala Taxi brought proceedings against Europark and Swedavia (the “Defendants”) for an alleged abuse of a (...)

The European Commission makes legally binding commitments by a national numbering agency to abolish fees for use of US international securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
University of South Australia
The Rick Perry Syndrome* “Oops“, the Commission did it again… On November 15, 2011, in the S&P case, the Commission again closed abuse of dominance proceedings with an Article 9 decision. As already explained, Article 9 decisions have become the conventional procedure in Article 102 TFEU (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority closes its investigation concerning excessive prices in the market for quality certification services harmonized with the construction products Directive (IGH)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) dismissed the complaint lodged by the cement importer ARMACOM d.o.o. against Institut IGH d.d., an organization authorized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction (MZOPU) to provide inspection (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal decides the appointment of experts to investigate abuse of dominant position in the railway sector (NMBS / SNCB, Electrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal (Hof van Beroep/Cour d’Appel) gave an interlocutory judgment designating a panel of experts in a case pitting NMBS/SNCB, the national railway company, against Electrabel. The appeal judgment overturns the initial judgment of the Court of (...)

A Norwegian District Court dismisses a counter-claim against a subsidiary of the incumbent railway operator for abusing its dominant position (CargoNet, CargoLink)
BA-HR
In a judgment handed down on 24 June 2011, the Drammen District Court dismissed a counter-claim entered by railway operator CargoLink AS («Cargolink«) against fellow operator CargoNet AS («CargoNet«). Cargolink alleged that it had suffered economic losses as a result of CargoNet‘s abuse of (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds excessive tariffs charged by the bus terminal operators for their ticketing services (Auto Terminals and Stations)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 13 May 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) held that seven private bus terminal operators were imposing economically unjustified (excessive) charges for their ticketing services and thus committed an exploitative abuse of dominant position pursuant to the national equivalent of (...)

The Swiss Supreme Court upholds the annulment of the record fine on the historical telecom operator for excessive pricing in mobile termination fees (Swisscom / Comco)
Swiss Competition Commission
On 11th April 2011, the Swiss Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited decision in the mobile termination fees case about an alleged abuse of dominance of Swisscom, the Swiss historical telecom operator. In 2007, the Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has imposed a record fine of over 200 (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding no infringement of Art. 102 TFEU in a case involving concurrent application of competition rules and communications regulation (BTC Cable Ducts)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. Almost three months before the ECJ held its decision upon a preliminary reference in Tele2 Polska, a five-judge panel of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (’SAC5’), in a judgment of 15 February 2011 , reached an opposite conclusion, approving the NCA’s power to find no (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission opens formal proceedings against three telecommunications operators (Telefónica Móviles, Vodafone and Orange)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Romanian Competition Council finds an abuse of dominance on the markets for delivery of addressed marketing materials and standard correspondence delivery (Romanian Post, Mailers Serv, Infopress)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On 16 December 2010 the Competition Council issued Decision 52/2011 finding that the Romanian National Post Company (“CNPR”) was guilty of an abuse of dominant position through discriminatory practices towards entities that were economically dependent upon it. I. The facts A number of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council releases a decision imposing remedies on an undertaking active on the cabled distribution market (Coditel)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 10 December 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Council (“the Council”) has adopted the decision N°2010-FO-02 providing an assessment of the competition law situation on the TV cabled distribution market. Beside a previous decision where the President of the Council has imposed “interim measures” (...)

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 Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal overturns a decision by the NCA not to investigate an excessive pricing complaint (KLM/SLM)
Liberty Global (Amsterdam)
The complaint The appeal relates to a complaint submitted by a society of travellers (Vereniging van Reizigers -“VVR”) to the Netherlands Competition Authority (“NMa”) on 16 April 2003. The complaint alleges that the airlines KLM and SLM are abusing their dominant position on the route Amsterdam - (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal rejects contestable market argument and orders NCA to reinvestigate abuse of dominance by KLM/SLM (KLM/SLM)
SEO Economic Research
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SEO Economic Research
Facts In 2003 the Vereniging van Reizigers (an association of travellers, hereafter VVR) filed a complaint at the Netherlands Competition Authority, the NMa about abuse of a dominant position by airlines KLM and Surinam Airways (hereafter SLM) on the route Amsterdam - Paramaribo. The NMa (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission rejects a complaint against the municipality of Athens for abuse of dominance on the basis that it did not act as an "undertaking" (Georgios Koutros, and General Association of Greek Consumers)
Lambadarios Law Firm
On July 21, 2010 the Hellenic Competition Commission ("Epitropi Antagonismou", hereinafter "HCC") issued a decision on the merits by which it rejected a complaint brought against the Municipality of Athens for alleged abuse of its dominant position in conferring the use of communal areas to (...)

The Latvian Competition Council finds distortion of competition on the municipal market for land survey (Rīgas ĢeoMetrs)
Competition Council of Latvia
The CC Finds Distortion of Land Survey Market in Riga* The Competition Council of Latvia (CC) has summarized its conclusions about the land survey sector inquiry. Although no violations of the Competition Law were detected and the competition was found to be strong, the CC concluded that (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court reforms a judgment of first instance and considers an airport managing company not responsible for abuse of dominant position under art. 102 TFEU in the market for centralized airport infrastructures (SEA - Airport tariffs)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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Economisti Associati
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
In September 2009, the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio) upheld the appeal from AIR ONE S.p.A., an Italian airline now merged with Alitalia, against a decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) concerning the alleged abuse of (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court confirms judgment of an regional court which reduces a fine imposed by the Competition Authority to an airport managing company for abuse of dominant position under art. 102 TFEU in the market of certain common and individual airport infrastructures (Società Esercizi Aeroportuali)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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Economisti Associati
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
On the 22nd of September 2009 (case 9171/2009), the Regional Administrative Court (RAC) of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale - TAR - del Lazio) partially upheld the appeal from SEA S.p.A. (SEA), the managing company of the airports of Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa, against a decision (...)

The Russian Supreme Commercial Court upholds a €28.5 M fine on a British-Russian oil company for abuse of dominance (TNK-BP)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
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RBB Economics (Brussels)
BACKGROUND In 2008 the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation found four major Russian vertically integrated oil companies (TNK-BP, Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom Neft) guilty of abusing a collective dominant position on the wholesale Russian market for motor fuel products (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court revokes CHF 333 M fine against leading telecommunications provider’s subsidiary (Swisscom Mobile)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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Swatch
I. Summary The Swiss Federal Administrative Court overruled a judgment rendered by the Swiss Competition Commission imposing a fine of CHF 333 M on Swisscom Mobile for abusing its dominant position by improperly enforcing inflated prices for mobile termination. II. Case 1. Parties Swisscom (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council issues fourth infringement decision against the State controlled airport for restricting access to the airport facilities (Vilnius Airport/RSS II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
The Lithuanian Competition Council started the year of 2010 by issuing, on 21 January 2010, yet another infringement decision - fourth in less than three years - against the Vilnius international airport operator, the State Enterprise Tarptautinis Vilniaus oro uostas (TVOU), for its refusal to (...)

The Belgian competition Council’s College of Prosecutors dismisses multiple complaints against the incumbent telecom operator for abuse of a dominant position on the international transit services for call termination in Belgium (Base / Belgacom)
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick (Brussels)
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Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
I. The Parties Belgacom S.A. is the incumbent operator on the Belgian telecom market. It provides mobile telecom services through its 100% subsidiary Belgacom Mobile Belgium (“BMB” - Proximus). Base S.A. is a 100% subsidiary of KPN, a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunication company. (...)

The College of Competition Prosecutors of the Belgian Competition Council rejects a complaint about termination rates for international calls against incumbent telecoms operator (BASE / Belgacom)
European Commission
Belgium: Complaint about Termination Rates for International Calls against Belgacom rejected On 24 December 2009, the College of Competition Prosecutors of the Belgian Competition Council rejected a complaint by mobile operator BASE against telecom operator Belgacom (incumbent telecoms (...)

The European Commission sends SOs following a complaint lodged by several associations representing investors against financial service company (Standard & Poor’s)
Ashurst (Milan)
Commission sends statement of Objections to Standard & Poor’s* On 16 November 2009 the Commission sent a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The SO follows a complaint lodged by several associations representing (...)

The Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announces the settlement in private enforcement action brought against a Chinese mobile company for abuse of dominance (China Mobile)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
The Ending of the ’China Mobile’ Case* This is an article corresponding to the China Mobile case which was discussed at China Law Vision on April 21, 2009. On 23 October 2009 the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court announced the settlement of an Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) case brought by Zhou (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines two telecoms operators € 53 M euros for abuse of dominant position in the wholesale and retail broadband markets (Portugal Telecom and ZON)
University of Lisbon
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Pares Advogados
On 2 September 2009, after a 6-year investigation, the Portuguese Competition Authority imposed a €45 million fine on the incumbent operator Portugal Telecom (PT) and an €8 million fine on ZON, its former multimedia division. It’s the largest fine ever imposed by the Portuguese watchdog. At stake (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a natural gas supplier of allegations of abusive pricing for the supply of gas (Productschap Tuinbouw / GasTerra)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction In its decision of 26 June 2009, the Dutch competition authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, « NMa ») assessed a complaint brought by the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture (Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie, « LTO ») and Glaskracht Nederland (« Glaskracht ») (...)

The Czech NCA accepts the first settlement in a unilateral conduct case (RWE Transgas - Quiet life)
Government of the Czech Republic
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 24 June 2009, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition entered into a settlement with RWE Transgas (“RWE”), the dominant Czech operator in the natural gas market, concerning RWE’s conduct towards its retail customers in late 2008 and in the first half of 2009. In September 2008, (...)

The South African Competition Appeal Court overturns an excessive pricing decision by the Competition Tribunal (Mittal Steel)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
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RBB Economics (Brussels)
BACKGROUND In 2007, the South African Competition Tribunal (CT) found Mittal Steel guilty of charging excessive prices for steel products on the South African market. The decision contested the pricing practices carried out by Mittal. Namely: (i) prices in the domestic South African market are (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects a consumer complaint on the excessiveness of airport parking fees (Esenboga)
University of Leeds
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has rejected a consumer complaint alleging that the car park fees at the only airport in the capital (Ankara Esenboga Airport) are excessive. The case arose out of a consumer complaining to the TCA after having parked his vehicle at the airport car park (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Authority makes a cease and desist order against a musical copyright company for having excluded management business operators (JASRAC)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Order against Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter “JFTC”) had investigated Japanese Society for Rights of Authors,Composers and Publishers (hereinafter referred to as “JASRAC”) in accordance with the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority holds that airports abused their dominant position by setting excessive fees (Aeroporti di Milano)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has ruled that SEA, the manager of the Milan airports of Linate and Malpensa breached Art. 82 EC and imposed on it a fine of € 1,549,000 . SEA abused its dominant position it enjoyed at the airports of Linate and Malpensa as holder of an exclusive licence (...)

A German Court confirms a decision of the local competition authority in which excessive retail water prices were prohibited on the basis of former German competition law provisions that still apply to the public water sector (Wasserversorgung Wetzlar)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The ruling of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/ Main (Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt/ Main) confirms a decision of the competition authority of the Federal State Hesse in which the authority prohibited excessive water prices on the retail level charged by the public water (...)

The Cyprus Competition Commission holds that the incumbent airways operator does not abuse of its dominant position while providing visa services with airplane tickets (Yiannas Euripidou / Cyprus Airways)
Neocleous
Yianna Euripidou filed a complaint to the Cyprus Competition Commission as a consumer. She had visited Dubai by buying a ticket and VISA through the Cyprus Airways airline. The Visa was charged at the amount of $82. Mrs. Euripidou claimed that Cyprus Airways is taking advantage of their (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines an airport for excessive prices and margin squeeze practices for access to certain airport facilities (Aeroporti di Roma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Last October the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed investigations started in 2006 following complaints received by several freight operators and airlines about the anticompetitive practices of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) . ADR is the dominant operator at the Rome’ airports of Fiumicino (...)

The Antwerp Commercial Court considers prices that do not comply with regulatory pricing obligations to be excessive under Belgian competition law (Base / Belgacom)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
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ID4green
Facts of the case 1. In 2007, a dispute arose between Base, one of the three main mobile telephone operators in Belgium, and Belgacom, the Belgian incumbent on the fixed telephone market. In a decision of 11 August 2006, the Institut belge des services postaux et des télécommunications (IBPT ), (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a power company for excessive pricing in the technical restrictions market (Gas Natural)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition authority (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, "the Commission") has imposed a fine of € 1.5 million on Gas Natural for abusing its dominant position in the electricity technical restrictions market, thereby breaching Article 6 of the former Spanish Law n° 16/1989 on (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority investigates a Pay-TV operator under Art. 82 EC for applying unfair and discriminatory conditions to a new entrant for access to its satellite platform (Sky Italia)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
The investigation launched by the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) on 2 October 2008 aims at ascertaining a possible infringement of Article 82 EC by Sky Italia (Sky), the Italian vertically integrated Pay-TV incumbent. It has been prompted by a complaint brought by Conto TV, a small and (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority settles a dispute regarding jet fuel supply at the Vienna International Airport (OMV)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
In a decision of 4 April 2008, the Austrian Cartel Court declared certain commitments agreed between the Federal Competition Authority ("FCA") and Austrian oil incumbent (OMV) binding on OMV. Background The case’s beginnings lie in a conflict between two companies with strong State (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a collective performance rights organisation of allegations of price discrimination and excessive pricing (Fresh FM - Buma)
European Commission - DG COMP
Introduction On the 16 January 2003, the commercial regional radio station Fresh FM submitted a complaint to the Dutch Competition Authority, the Nma, regarding the tariffs charged by Buma, the Dutch collective performance rights organization, to its clients. Fresh FM accused Buma of abusing (...)

The Macedonian Administrative Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision establishing the exploitative abuse of dominance committed by the incumbent telecom operator (Macedonian Telecom)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Macedonian Administrative Court affirmed the decision of the Macedonian Competition Authority establishing exploitative abuse of dominance by the incumbent telecom operator Macedonian Telecom manifested in the additional charges levied on the customers for issuance of the monthly (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office refuses to use public resources for investigating an allegation of excessive pricing in the electricity sector (Budapesti Elektromos Mûvek Nyrt)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
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MVM OVIT (Budapest)
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General Electric
Background In its decision of 10 March 2008 (HCO Decision), the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) terminated the proceedings against Budapesti Elektromos Mûvek Nyrt (Elmû). Elmû is the electricity distribution system operator company in the metropolitan area of (...)

The Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal confirms finding of excessive pricing (Elsam)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 3 March 2008, the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal concluded that the Danish electricity production company Elsam A/S (“Elsam”) had abused its dominant position on the market for the wholesale of physical electricity in Western Denmark during the period of 1 January 2005 to 30 June 2006 by (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal partly confirms and partly annuls a decision of the NCA’s on excessive pricing in the wholesale market for physical electricity in Western Denmark (Elsam III)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
On 3 March 2008, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal decided an appeal against an exces-sive pricing decision made by the Danish Competition Council on 20 June 2007. In the original de-cision, the Council had concluded that Danish electricity producer Elsam had abused its dominant position (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines explosives’ supplier for excessive pricing (Canarias de Explosivos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 12 February 2008, the Spanish Competition Authority fined a supplier of explosives for excessive pricing in the Canary Islands in breach of the Spanish equivalent to Article 82 EC. The Spanish Competition Authority concluded that Canarias de Explosivos S.A. held a dominant position on the (...)

The German Parliament reforms the Competition’s Restraints Act in order to fight against price abuses in the energy and food trade sectors
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The German parliament voted on a reform to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) which is inter alia aimed at improving the fight against price abuses by companies in the energy and food trade sectors. Both reforms are unrelated to each other even though both were intensively (...)

The Swedish Market Court rejects action for alleged abuse of dominant position in the electricity sector (Ekfors)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Kreab
Background The electricity company, Ekfors AB (Ekfors) had provided electricity to two communes in the north of Sweden, Övertornea and Happaranda (the communes) for almost 50 years. In 2002, Ekfors announced that it was planning to raise the price for the provision of electricity for road and (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the TV services broadcasting sector (TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. TV services Broadcasting: The commitments obtained by the Conseil de la concurrence from TDF will facilitate the entrusting of programme broadcasting by analogical channels to competing technical operators.* (...)

The EU Commission is about to close proceedings against US chipset manufacturer for alleged abuse of dominance in the mobile phone technology sector (Qualcomm)
University of South Australia
"The Last Hundred Days Strategy"- Is the Qualcomm Case Over?* Milton Friedman and his wife Rose Friedman are known for having theorized that recently elected governments generally enjoy a period of political immunity following elections, which allows them to push reforms, including tough ones, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office terminates with commitments a case of alleged excessive price increase of the largest commercial bank (OTP Bank)
bpv Jadi Nemeth Attorneys
The reason the GVH has initiated proceedings against OTP Bank was because OTP Bank unilaterally raised its repayment fee, charged in case of early repayment of the total amount of the personal credit or the mortgage, by 600%. The case ended with commitments undertaken by OTP Bank. 1 (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures to address practices implemented by the incumbent operator on the terrestrial broadcasting of FM radio stations and analogical and digital TV sector (Towercast / TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Terrestrial broadcasting of FM radio stations and analogical and digital TV: The Conseil de la concurrence orders TDF to propose to towerCast a new wholesale hosting offer for broadcasting FM from the Eiffel (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court annuls the NCA’s first Art. 82 EC case in Lithuania on both legal reasoning and procedural grounds and, inter alia, for not having informed the EC Commission, in an excessive fuel prices case (Maeikiu nafta II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 28 June 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) overturned the 22 December 2005 Competition Council’s infringement decision n° 2S-16 in Mažeikiu nafta II (“MN”)(, the first Article 82 case in Lithuania, notable for its record fine of LTL 32 million (approx. EUR 9.27 (...)

A German Court decides on excessive fees for the provision of information for directory enquiry services (DaRed II)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 27 June 2007, the German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on the question whether a telecommunication company abused its dominant position by demanding excessive fees for the provision of information for directory enquiry services. The question at stake was whether a (...)

The US Supreme Court rules that federal and state antitrust claims related to certain IPOs are preempted by federal securities laws (Credit Suisse Securities/Billing)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Haug Partners (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
In a decision announced earlier today, the United States Supreme Court held that federal securities laws implicitly preclude the application of antitrust laws to claims filed against ten leading investment banks over alleged conduct on initial public offerings during the technology boom of the (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority refers to the Cartel Court a case of alleged excessive pricing in the jet fuel market pursuant to both Art. 82 EC and national provisions (Austrian Airlines/OMV)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte
,
The case at hand concerns a complaint by Austrian Airlines of June 2006 to the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (FCA) that followed a long dispute between Austrian Airlines and OMV, the Austrian market leader in the oil refining and distribution of refinery products. According to the (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures aiming at ending the eviction practices of the French incumbent on the market of engineering, consultancy and checking of private telephone installations (Solutel / France Télécom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence orders France Télécom to end its eviction practices on the market of engineering, consultancy and checking of private telephone installations.* Following a referral of November (...)

The Maltese Competition Authority fines the State undertaking entrusted with exclusive right for fuel provision for discriminatory pricing (Cassar Fuels / Enemalta)
By an application to the Commission for Fair Trading, the Director of the Office for Fair Trading premised that: (i) on 12th September 2005, the Office received a complaint from Cassar Fuels Limited, an agent and distributor of fuels to local industries including hotels, factories and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority imposes a fine of € 35 M for excessive pricing in the potassium chloride market (Silvinit / Uralkalii)
Gibson Dunn
On 23 April 2007, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service ("FAS Russia") decided that the two only Russian producers of potassium chloride, Silvinit and Uralkalii, were in breach of Article 10(1) of the Russian Federal Law on the Protection of Competition by abusing their dominant position. (...)

The French Competition Authority refuses to order interim measures regarding alleged eviction practices implemented in the sector of shipping transport between Corsica and the continent (CMN / SNCM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Renewal of public service delegation contract / Corsica-Marseilles: New referral by Corsica Ferries: Conseil de la concurrence does not order interim measures but decides to continue the examination on the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines for the third time an electricity utility for excessive high prices (Iberdrola Castellón)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia), 8 March 2007, Iberdrola Castellón, Decision n° 601/05 The time is come for Spanish main utilities to carry out a serious competition law assessment before putting a price to the power they offer within the framework of the (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court asks for the EC Commission’s opinion on the definition of the relevant market concerning alleged excessive prices for port services (Port of Ystad)
Cederquist
On 18 October 2006 the European Commission (the “Commission”) received a request from the Swedish Supreme Court (the “Court”) regarding the definition of the relevant market in a case concerning the application of Article 82 EC. The case before the Court concerns inter alia whether or not the Port (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission imposes a record fine of 333 M Swiss Francs to the telecommunications incumbent for abusive termination rates (Swisscom Mobile)
Lenz & Staehelin (Geneva)
I. Background In a decision of 5 February 2007, the Swiss Competition Commission ("Comco") held that Swisscom Mobile enjoys a dominant position on the market of termination of calls on its mobile phone network and abused its dominant position by applying an excessively high termination rate of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the first ever finding by the High Court of an abuse of dominance pursuant to Art. 82 EC (Attheraces/British Horseracing Board)
White & Case (London)
,
Reed Smith (London)
Background A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has reversed the first ever High Court finding of an Article 82 infringement in litigation between private parties. Attheraces v British Horseracing Board was an appeal from the High Court decision of Justice Etherton. The Judge who had held (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the High Court’s finding that British Horseracing Board has abused its dominant position by charging excessive and discriminatory prices (Attheraces v. BHB)
Hogan Lovells
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 2 February 2007, Attheraces Ltd and Attheraces (UK) ltd.v. The British Horseracing Board Ltd. And BHB Enterprises PLC, Case n° A3/2006/0126), [2007] EWCA Civ 38 On 2 February 2007, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment upholding the (...)

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court rules on the first Art. 82 EC case on alleged excessive fuel prices (Mažeikiu nafta II)
Lithuanian Competition Council
Just when everybody thought that Mažeikiu nafta II - the first Article 82 EC case in Lithuania - could be put to rest for at least another two years, it was brought back to life as, on 31 January 2007, the Constitutional Court issued a ruling refusing to accept a reference from the Vilnius (...)

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 Italian Antitrust Authority opens airports investigations for alleged excessive prices and abuse of dominant position (Aeroporti di Roma / Milano)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
,
On 14 December 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) has initiated two formal investigations on the market for the management of airport infrastructures in relation to the airports of Rome and Milan. Following a complaint by IBAR, the association representing the air carriers active in (...)

The Romanian Competition Council heavily fines low prices and market sharing on the cable TV market (UPC, Hi-Fi Quadral, Astral Telecom, Cablevision)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
,
Dechert (Paris)
The Cable TV Decision (decision n° 237/2006 - the “Decision”) was rendered by the Romanian Competition Council on 12 December 2006, at the end of Romania’s pre-accession period. The thorough analysis included in the Decision may be regarded as evidence that the Council has reached a high level of (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer against the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philippides/CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines the medical gas monopolist for the application of an unfair and discriminating price (AGA SIA)
Best Lawyers
Introduction The Latvian Competition Council in its strategy for the years 2007-2009 has set the aim to strongly combat against the abuse of the dominant position. The Council intends at least to double the number of cases to be reviewed in respect of the abuse of the dominant position. Up (...)

The Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection finds that a local water and sewerage services supplier abused of its dominant position (MWiK)
Sulima Grabowska Sierzputowska
,
European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
On 28 July 2006, on behalf of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”), the Head of the Katowice branch office of the OCCP by means of the decision n° RKT - 53/2006 imposed a fine of PLN 10,000 (EUR 2,552.45) on the company Miejskie Wodociagi i Kanalizacje w (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office closes proceedings against alleged abusive prices on the terrestrial broadcasting services market under both Hungarian and EU laws governing the use of unfair prices (Antenna Hungária)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
,
Hogan Lovells
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) held a procedure ex officio against the company Antenna Hungária under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market by setting excessive prices. Background / Facts of the case Antenna Hungária provides terrestrial broadcasting services for the (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed to address competition concerns in the sector of directory assistance via telephone and Internet (France Télécom & PagesJaunes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Directory assistance via telephone and Internet: The Conseil de la concurrence accepts commitments proposed by France Télécom andPages Jaunes and decides to close the case.* Following a referral in January 2006 (...)

The Spanish Competition Court establishes that a collecting society has abused its dominant position by discriminating two TV operators but rejects plaintiffs’ claims that prices were excessive (AGEDI)
The Spanish Intellectual Property law has been modified over time. The law that currently regulates Intellectual Property dates from 1996 and compiles all the applicable legislation on this matter. This law, called Texto Refundido de la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (from now on TRLPI) has (...)

The Latvian NCA issues a non-infringement decision in the Lithuanian oil refinery case on abusive oil price increase (Mažeiki Nafta)
Lithuanian Competition Council
AB Mažeiki Nafta ([“MN” ), the Lithuanian oil refinery, which had been previously fined by the Lithuanian NCA for the abuse of a dominant position, could take a breath after the Latvian Competition Council, on 24 May 2006, closed its investigation finding no infringement on MN’s part. The two (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures to address anticompetitive practives in the sector of collective nursery (Bouc’choux)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Sector of collective nursery: The Conseil de la concurrence orders association managing nurseries (Bouches-du-Rhône département) to suspend application of amendment to employees’ work contract to ensure good (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philipilides / Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority ends proceedings against the telecommunications incumbent operator without finding abuse in the market of wholesale unbundled access to the local loop (Elisa / Elion)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Introduction On October 17th, 2005 the Estonian subsidiary of a Finnish telecom operator Elisa filed a complaint with the Estonian Communications Board claiming that the Estonian telecom incumbent Elion Ettevõtted AS (Elion) had committed an abuse of its dominant position. According to the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority condemns for the first time on the basis of both national competition law and Art. 82 EC the increase of certain telecommunications services charges by the incumbent (TP)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
The commented decision is the first decision by which the Polish Competition Authority condemned an entrepreneur for abusing its dominant position on the basis of the national and European competition law. It is thus the first Polish application of the obligation established by Article 3 (...)

A Dutch Court dismisses a plea on excessive tariff rates under both Dutch competition law and Art. 82 EC (BAT/Chipnik, "Tobacco vending machines")
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
British American Tobacco (hereafter “BAT”) produces and supplies tobacco products. It owns a large number of cigarette vending machines. Chipknip provides services in relation to banking chip cards. When equipped with specific chips, banking cards can be used as electronic wallets. In 1999, the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a maximum fine on the incumbent Polish telecom operator for non-implementation of its decision (Telekomunikacja Polska)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
Affre i Wspólnicy
President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP”) imposed by way of decision on March 28, 2006 (n° DDI2-423-2/925/00/BC) a fine on Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (“TP S.A.”, the “Company”) of PLN 5,7 million (nearly € 1,5 million), which is equivalent to € 10,000 per each day of (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the press distribution sector in New Caledonia and French Polynesia (NMPP)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Press distribution: NMPP offers the Conseil de la concurrence a commitment to introduce prices enabling independent exporters to distribute press in New Caledonia and French Polynesia under economically viable (...)

A Spanish Court clears the main national collecting society’s pricing practice (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
A Spanish commercial judge has made an interesting contribution to the series of cases under EC antitrust law concerning the pricing practices of national copyright-management societies (hereinafter, “collecting societies”). The two applicants are digital TV platforms offering their clients (...)

A Spanish Court dismisses an application brought by a pay-TV against the Spanish copyright collecting society for breach of Art. 82 EC (Canal Satélite Digital - DTS / SGAE)
London School of Economics
Canal Satélite Digital, S.L. (hereinafter, “Canal Satélite”) y DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (“DTS”) are two Spanish companies whose main shareholder is Sogecable, the main pay-TV operator in Spain (which develop its pay-TV activities under the commercial name Digital+). Canal Satélite (...)

The UK telecommunications regulator closes an investigation under Art. 81 and 82 EC, and equivalent UK provisions, on alleged anticompetitive and abusive price of telephone services to hospital patients in spite of long duration exclusivity clause (Patientline, “Premier”)
Compass Lexecon (London)
Summary The Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) has decided to close an investigation under Articles 81 and 82, and equivalent UK national competition law, into the price of telephone services to hospital patients. Patientline plc (“Patientline”) and Premier Telecom Contracts Limited (“Premier”), (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal considers the appropriate tests to apply in an interim decision regarding abuse of dominant position in pricing access to a water distribution channel in the context of the regulated UK water industry (Albion Water)
Paul Hastings (London)
The case commenced in 2001 and the instant decision relates to an appeal by an inset water undertaking (i.e. a local retailer of water services), Albion Water Limited (“Albion”) against a decision of the Director General of Water Services (the “Director”). The decision was to the effect that a (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal makes an interim judgement in an appeal against a water industry regulator decision on alleged abuse of dominant position (Albion Water)
FTI Consulting (London)
Competition Appeal Tribunal, Interim Judgment, 22 december 2005, Albion Water Limited v. Director General of Water Services (Dwr Cymru/Shotton Paper), Case n° 1046/2/4/04 [2005] CAT 40 The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) has made an interim judgment in an appeal against a decision (...)

The Hungarian NCA states that an increase in prices above the inflation by a dominant local cable operator does not amount to an abuse of dominant position (Dual-Plus)
Dentons (Paris)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) led a procedure ex officio against Dual-Plus Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Dual-Plus) under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market, manifested through price increases well above the inflation rate. It rendered its decision on October (...)

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments from a water supply operator while stating that the operator has imposed onerous conditions which lead to unjustified profits (Krakow Water Supply and Sewage Municipal Company)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
The commented decision which was rendered on October, 14 2005 by the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter, “OCCP President” or “President of the Office”) results from the consumer complaint concerning the behaviour of Krakow Water Supply and Sewage Municipal (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that the telecommunications incumbent abused its dominant position by setting excessively high wholesale prices for network access (Magyar Telekom)
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
On 6 September 2005, the Hungarian Competition Authority found Magyar Telekom guilty of abuse of dominance by setting supra competitive wholesale prices for network access to “toll-free” and “reduced-toll” telephone numbers - the so called “coloured numbers”. In Hungary, “toll-free” and (...)

The Swedish Market Court applies Art. 82 EC in accordance with Art. 3 of EC Reg. n° 1/2003 without regard to the effect on interstate trade criterion regarding alleged abusive pricing of Stockholm airport fees (Luftfartsverket)
Cederquist
,
Regeringskansliet
The case before the Swedish Market Court concerned the fees charged by the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket, hereinafter “LFV”) for offering parking space for airport coaches at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. On November 13, 2003, the Swedish Competition Authority (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine for price squeezing and excessive pricing on the Internet services market (CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 30 May 2005 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter C.P.C.) ended its own initiative investigation of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (hereinafter CYTA) by unanimously finding CYTA liable for abuse of its dominant position in the market for the provision (...)

The Italian competition authority opens proceedings against three mobile telecommunications operators for alleged excessive interconnection fees pursuant to Art. 81 and 82 EC (TIM-Vodafone-Wind / TELE2-TWC-Startel)
London School of Economics
TELE2 Italia (hereinafter, “TELE2”) lodged a complaint before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (“AGCM”) on 16 April 2004. A similar complaint was lodged some months later by ReteItaly, Trans World Communication Italia (“TWC”) and Startel. TELE2 has as its core activities in the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines T-Mobile for having misinformed consumers to the detriment of competitors on the basis of national competition provisions (T-Mobile)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Government of the Czech Republic
The Hungarian Competition Council initiated proceedings against T-Mobile in order to find out whether it had violated Article 8 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Hungarian Competition Act and Article 7 paragraphs (2) (b) of the Hungarian Act on Business Advertising Activity, through advertising the (...)

The European Commission rules on excessive pricing in the port sector (Scandlines Sverige v. Port of Helsingborg, Sundbusserne v. Port of Helsingborg)
European Commission - DG COMP
,
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"Two important rejection decisions on excessive pricing in the port sector"* On 23 July 2004, the Commission took two decisions rejecting two complaints lodged in 1997 by ferry operators—Scandlines Sverige AB (hereinafter ‘Scandlines‘) and Sundbusserne AS (hereinafter ‘Sundbusserne‘) — against the (...)

The Danish competition authority finds a mobile telephone company in violation of the Danish Competition law for operating a margin squeeze and an illegal bonus system (Song Networks / TDC-SONOFON)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
A Danish provider of fixed line telephony for business customers, Song Networks A/S, complained to the Danish Competition Authority alleging that TDC and SONOFON had engaged in illegal behaviour by: charging excessive prices for mobile termination, engaging in collusive behaviour in connection (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions the telecommunication incumbent for having broken injunctions ordered to address an abuse of a dominant position on the market for trade in telephone subscriber lists (France Télécom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Universal directory : France Télécom sanctioned by the Conseil de la concurrence for breaching an injunction.* Following a referral by the companies Sonera France (now Fonecta) and Scoot France, the Conseil de (...)

The Greek Competition Authority considers that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property has abused its dominant position on the market for the administration of the intellectual property rights of Greek and foreign composers (AEPI)
University College London
A number of Greek composers and the Association of Greek composers complained to the Hellenic Competition Commission (Competition Commission) that the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), a profit making organization of collective administration and distribution of (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority imposes an obligation to offer advertising services and support in the area of transport and delivery at competitive prices to companies which wish to enter the regional daily newspaper market in Southeast Gelderland (Wegener Daily Newspapers)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Sets Conditions for Wegener Daily Newspapers in Gelderland* Wegener may not increase the prices of the company’s daily newspapers in Gelderland more than in the rest of the country. The regional editions of De Gelderlander must be maintained and Wegener must support new entrants. The (...)

The Estonian Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on excessive pricing and interaction between competition law and regulation (Eesti Telefon)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
1. Background information AS Eesti Telefon (ET, currently Elion Ettevõtted AS) is the Estonian incumbent telecom operator. The Estonian Competition Board (ECB) initiated proceedings against ET after ET had implemented a price rise to its on-net telephone services provided at a fixed location. (...)

The French Competition Authority closes a case in the mobile telephony sector but does not exclude the anticompetitive character of the practices (Orange France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Orange France renounced to overcharge the calls of its consumers towards its competitors, the Conseil de la concurrence decided to close the case* On September 15 2002, Orange France1, implemented a new call (...)

The Estonian Competition Board brings proceedings to an end against the Tallinn port and established discriminatory pricing for access to an essential facility (Termoil)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
1. Background information AS Turmoil (Termoil) is a company operating oil terminals in the Port of Muuga in Tallinn, Estonia. Port of Muuga is owned by a state owned company AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn, PoT). PoT is the biggest cargo and passenger port complex with five harbours, (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates a formal investigation against a member of a Swedish group on suspicion of abuse of dominant position on the market for supply of electricity (Bewag)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Abuse proceedings initiated against electricity* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a formal investigation against Bewag AG, Berlin (Bewag), belonging to the Swedish Vattenfall group, on suspicion of the company abusing its dominant position as an electricity network operator. Bewag is (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues its abuse proceedings on suspicion of excessive pricing against electricity supplier after receiving commitments (Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Abuse proceedings against Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal (Fortum) discontinued* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued its abuse proceedings against Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal GmbH, Hameln (a fully-owned subsidiary of Fortum Energie GmbH), which had been initiated on suspicion of its charging (...)

The German Competition Authority institutes abuse proceedings against 10 electricity network operators on account of their charging excessively high fees for network use (Allgäuer Überlandwerke)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The Bundeskartellamt has instituted abuse proceedings against electricity network operators* The Bundeskartellamt has instituted abuse proceedings against 10 electricity network operators on account of their charging excessively high fees for network use. The companies involved include the (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates proceedings against 22 electricity network operators on suspicion of excessive pricing for network use and impeding other electricity providers to enter the market
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Investigation of 22 network operators on account of excessive fees for network use* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated investigatory proceedings against 22 electricity network operators on suspicion of their charging abusively excessive fees for network use and of impeding other electricity (...)

The Maltese NCA rejects a case of alleged predatory pricing related to tender for new leases of premises in an airport (RGM Trading)
King’s College (London)
,
Superior Courts of Malta
The complainant operated a newsagency in the Departure Lounge at Malta International Airport. When the Airport Authority invited tenders for new leases of premises at the airport, the complainant enjoyed a right of first refusal. However, the dominant importer of newspapers and periodicals, (...)

The European Commission adopts decisions not to act on complaints concerning alleged infringements of the ECSC Treaty that occurred in the past (British Coal Corporation, National Association of Licensed Opencast Operators)
European Commission - DG COMP
"The ECSC Treaty allows the Commission only to deal with infringements having a prospective effect"* The Commission adopted, on 27 April 1998 and on 28 July 1998, decisions not to act on complaints concerning alleged infringements of the ECSC Treaty that occurred in the past. THE COMPLAINTS (...)

The Luxembourg highest administrative Court considered the lack of information given by a cable TV distribution operator to its customers to be an abuse of dominant position (Coditel)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
In 1993 Coditel, the cable TV distributor in several Luxembourg municipalities, acquired the TV distribution network in the Luxembourg municipality of Leudelange from a small undertaking. Upon this acquisition Coditel imposed its conditions on the subscribers to the former network operator and (...)

The French Criminal Supreme Court confirms criminal sanctions against the CEO of a national copyright-management society for excessive fees (X / SACEM)
WTG Events
Despite the de-penalization of anticompetitive practices, acknowledged by many authors, and implemented by the Order of 1st December 1986 (the Order), Article L. 420-6 of the French commercial code (the FCC) still states that : “If any natural person fraudulently takes a personal and decisive (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal concludes that a statutory water provider abused its dominant position by margin squeezing on the market for transportation and treatment of non-potable water (Albion Water)
European Commission
Facts Albion Water ("Albion") is a statutory water provider based in Wales, which is licensed to provide non-potable water to an industrial client ("Shatton Paper"). The water in Wales is transported through a water transportation faclity ("Ashgrove System"), which is exclusively owned by (...)

Procedures

The EU General Court rules on the conditions for applying a provision allowing NCAs and the Commission to reject complaints if they "have already been dealt with" by another member of the ECN (Easyjet)
European Commission - DG COMP
,
Magellan
Introduction Regulation 1/2003 introduced close forms of cooperation between the Commission and national competition authorities (hereinafter referred to as “NCAs”) in the framework of the European Competition Network (hereinafter referred to as "ECN"), with a view to ensuring the effective and (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms on statute of limitations grounds the district court’s dismissal of the Sherman Act and Clayton Act claims related to an allegation of anti-competitive price increase on the market for petroleum wax-based oxidates (Z Technologies / Lubrizol)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Beyond Truth, and Toward Repose: Price Increases Following “Merger to Monopoly” Do Not Rekindle Statute of Limitations* Z Technologies Corp. v. Lubrizol Corp., No. 2:12-cv-12206 (6th Cir., May 23, 2014). In February, 2007, Lubrizol Corporation made a “merger to monopoly” acquisition of the assets (...)

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

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

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an allegation of unreasonable refusal to supply and unlawful discriminatory pricing (Attheraces/British Horseracing Board)
King’s College (London)
Introduction This note considers one of the two cases recently heard by the “ordinary” courts (the High Court and Court of Appeal) (See also A. Jones, The UK Hight Court rules on interim unjunction for an alleged unlawful refusal to supply in the pharmaceutical sector (AAH (...)

An overview of Romanian competition regime: Some substantive divergence with the EC competition legislation remain...
Peli Filip
,
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
Competition Law n° 21/1996, Romanian Official Journal, Part.I, n° 88, 30 April 1996, with subsequent amendments and completions Romanian Competition Council (Consiliul Concurentei), 22 December 2004, Decision n° 329, Kronospan SA Consiliul Concurentei, Decizia n° 329/22.12.2004, referitoare la (...)

A German Higher Regional Court confirms that the defendant is obliged to surrender at the request of the competition authorities documents relating to the calculation of fees for network use (Energie Sachsen Brandenburg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Higher Regional Court confirms right of competition authorities to apply cost control in abuse proceedings in electricity sector* In a preliminary decision the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (OLG) has confirmed that the RWE regional energy supplier envia Energie Sachsen Brandenburg AG (envia) (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority issues its opinions on the freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers - Application of the Framework resulting from the "Macron Law" of 6 August 2015* The Autorité de la Concurrence has drawn up maps showing where new offices could be located for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers It recommends the (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes an agreement with the utility supplier concerning the extension of the measures to lower the water prices for three more years until 2018 (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Measures to lower water prices in Berlin extended for three more years until 2018* Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) is to extend measures to lower its water prices as ordered by the Bundeskartellamt for three more years until 2018. This is the result of a settlement between the company and the (...)

A German Higher Regional Court rejects the appeal filed by the supplier of water services confirming the applicability of competition law (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt decision on reduction of Berlin water prices* On 27 February 2014 the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has rejected the appeal filed by Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) against the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of 4 June 2012. In this decision (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion pointing out some competition concerns in the newly opened online gambling markets (Opinion on online gambling)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
In an opinion issued seven months after the law entered into force, the French Competition Authority pointed out that some practices could give rise to anticompetitive issues: the betting right agreements signed between operators and sport event organizers should be regulated to ensure a fair (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues guidance on the forthcoming liberalization of the postal sector (Liberalização do Sector Postal)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Authority) issued on 16 July 2010 a guidance document on the state of competition in the postal sector (Report), in anticipation of the forthcoming full liberalization of the sector resulting from the implementation of the EU’s Third Postal Directive , due (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority to monitor the work of the telecommunications Regulator (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company)
European Commission
Bulgaria: The Supreme Administrative Court obliges the Competition Authority (CPC) to monitor the Work of the Telecommunications Regulator On 24 March 2010, a five-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) issued a decision which obliges the CPC to start proceedings and to decide (...)

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

The German Federal Court of Justice mainly upholds the decision of the Federal Network Agency and clarifies several important aspects in relation to the calculation of energy network access charges including the issue of disgorgement (“Vattenfall”)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and history of the case The New German Energy Industry Act 2005 (EnWG) from 13 July 2005 introduced a regulated third party access together with the implementation of regulatory authorities for the energy sector. Therefore, since 2006 the Federal Network Agency (FNA - (...)

The Bundeskartellamt has started to publish gas prices in Germany in order to strengthen competition and bring down prices charged to consumers
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek (Hambourg)
Since January 2007, the German Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has published gas prices charged by local gas suppliers to consumer households in Germany on its website. This article deals with the background, aims and legal issues of this new practice in the gas supply sector. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal overturns decision of water Regulator and rules that the price charged was excessive and amounted to a margin squeeze (Dwr Cymru/Albion Water)
KPMG (London)
On 6th October 2006, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunal) ruled in favour of Albion Water, concluding that the access price offered by Dwr Cymru for the common carriage of non-potable (partially treated) water through the Ashgrove system to Shotton Paper was excessive. In a further (...)

The Court of Appeal Düsseldorf upholds the decision of the Energy Regulator to reduce the access charges for electricity transmission networks on the basis of the new regime of price regulation (Vattenfall)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and decision of the Federal Network Agency (FNA - Bundesnetzagentur) The enactment of the second EC E-Directive and EC G-Directive in 2003 had a special impact on the legal framework of the German energy sector and led to the introduction of the New German Energy Industry Act (...)

The German telecommunications regulator imposes ex post price regulation on the incumbent in the retail fixed access and local and national voice calls markets in spite of critical comments of the EC Commission based on the Framework Directive (Deutsche Telekom)
Conseil départemental du Calvados
,
Fréget - Tasso de Panafieu Avocats (Paris)
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The decision of European Commission (the Commission ) is legally founded in article 7(3) of the 2002 Framework Directive on electronic communications networks and services (the “Framework Directive” ) which empowers the Commission, through its Society and Media, and Competition (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice asks lower Court to verify computation of electricity network access price in retrial (Strom II plus)
CRA International (London)
Federal Court Decision Until 2005, Germany’s electricity sector was privatised but unregulated. Instead, electricity companies with networks agreed voluntarily to set access prices on the basis of a voluntary framework agreement called “Strom II plus” (“Power II plus"). The plaintiff is an (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on markets for termination of geographic calls on alternative landline networks (ARCEP)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Markets for geographic call termination on alternative landline networks: The Conseil de la concurrence favours ex ante intervention by the ART to guarantee that the geographic calls termination tariffs (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates proceedings against the regional electricity supplier on suspicion of excessive metering and billing prices charged to load profiled customers (Wemag / RWE)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt puts electricity metering prices to the test - test cases against Wemag and RWE Net* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated proceedings against the regional electricity supplier Wemag AG, Schwerin (Vattenfall group) and RWE Net AG, Dortmund, on suspicion of excessive metering and (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority draws up guidelines to provide more clarity on the forms of cooperation in the healthcare sector
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa: Consultation with the Healthcare Sector on Cooperation Guidelines* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has drawn up guidelines to provide more clarity on the forms of cooperation in the healthcare sector that are possible from the perspective of competition law. In this regard, (...)

The European Commission adopts a notice on the application of the competition rules to access agreements in the telecommunications sector
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
"Commission Notice on the Application of the Competition Rules to Access Agreements in the Telecommunications Sector"* Background On 31 March 1998, the Commission adopted a Notice on the Application of the Competition Rules to Access Agreements in the Telecommunications Sector (the Access (...)

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