Exchange of information

Anticompetitive practices

Concerted practices and exchange of information: Recent developments in EU and national case law
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
,
New University of Lisboa
Most competition lawyers and experts can vouch from their experience that information exchange is amidst the most elusive and challenging forms of anticompetitive conduct. The fact that information can be exchanged directly between competitors or indirectly via a common agency or a third party, (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition imposes fines for exchange of information via market research services concerning the individual sales volumes for contact lenses (CooperVision Optikai Cikkeket Forgalmazó)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the market of contact lenses* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) decided that CooperVision Optikai Cikkeket Forgalmazó Kft., FOTEX-OFOTÉRT Optikai és Fotócikk Kereskedelmi Kft., Johnson Johnson Egészségügyi és Babaápolási Termékeket Gyártó (...)

The French Court of Appeal upholds an appeal against a fine imposed by the French competition authority for price fixing in the endive market (CERAFEL)
University of New South Wales (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). Lettuce leaf them alone Last month, the French Court of Appeal upheld an appeal against a fine imposed by the French competition authority for price fixing in the endive market. The endive (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines airport incumbent and eleven car rental companies over €3.1 M for exchanging sensitive commercial information (Servicios comerciales AENA)
European Commission - DG COMP
On 2 January 2014 the recently created National Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) imposed a fine of over €3.1 million on AENA, AENA Aeropuertos and eleven car rental companies for colluding over certain car rental contractual conditions as well as exchanging sensitive commercial (...)

The Danish Competition Council accepts commitments concerning exchange of information that might facilitate anticompetitive practices in the constructions sector
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Competition Council accepts commitments from The Danish Construction Association regarding exchange of information agreement* On 18 December 2013 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) accepted commitments from the Danish Construction Association regarding concerns that an exchange of (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore issues first proposed infringement decision in relation to an international cartel (Ball and roller bearings manufacturers)
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
On 16 December 2013, the CCS issued a media release stating that a Proposed Infringement Decision (the “PID”) had been issued against four Japanese bearings manufacturers and their Singapore subsidiaries (the “Parties”) pursuant to the Singapore Competition Act, Chapter 50B (the “Act”). The CCS has (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission files civil proceedings against a cartel that allegedly denied the benefits of lower prices for laundry detergent products to the consumers (Woolworths)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC takes action against alleged laundry detergent cartel* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed civil proceedings, in the Sydney registry of the Federal Court of Australia, in relation to an alleged cartel that the ACCC alleges denied Australian consumers the benefits (...)

The Canadian Commissioner of Competition delivers a speech about trade and professional associations and their compliance with competition law
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Trade Association Compliance on New Competition Commissioner’s Radar* Canada’s new Commissioner of Competition, John Pecman, spoke in Toronto yesterday and delivered remarks that, as in recent speeches, included an emphasis on trade association compliance. In this, his second speech since (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority finds that pharmaceutical wholesalers engaged in illegal price fixing and market sharing in selling medicines for human use to public pharmacies (Kemofarmacija, Salus, Farmadent and Gopharm)
European Commission
Slovenia: Agreement/Concerted practice in the Pharmaceutical Sector* On 14 October 2013, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (CPA) issued a decision finding that four Slovenian wholesalers of pharmaceuticals, namely Kemofarmacija, Salus, Farmadent and Gopharm, infringed Article 6 of (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the Italian Competition Authority’s decision concerning cartel in the road barriers market (Marcegaglia)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from October to December 2013 (Third contribution) 1. Premise – This work is part of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian administrative courts, (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York establishes collusion to eliminate retail price competition for e-books and imposes restrictions on deals with publishers for the next five years (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. District Court rules Apple colluded on E-Book Prices* On 10 July 2013 the District Court in Manhattan ruled in United States v. Apple Inc., et al that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise prices on e-books. The publishers settled and denied any wrongdoing. However, the case (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority files an application for competition damages against allegedly collusive health care undertakings (Aleris / Capio / Hjärtkärlgruppen)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Fines demanded for collusion in care and treatment procurement* The Competition Authority has petitioned that three companies within the care and treatment business are to be sentenced to pay a total of almost SEK 30 million in fines as they have colluded during a public procurement. In 2008, (...)

The Belgian Competition Council dismisses the College of Prosecutors’ claim that BSE laboratories had shared markets and sensitive information on price on the basis of the ’Act of State Defence’ doctrine (BSE tests)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
,
The Global Fund
I. The Parties The BSE laboratories test cattle for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as the mad cow disease. The cattle slaughterhouses provide BSE laboratories with samples of their cattle to enable the laboratories to run tests. The Federation of Belgian Meat (FEBEV) is the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates a sector inquiry on the online room reservation market of the tourism sector
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Sector inquiry on the market of online room reservations* Pursuant to Article 43/C of the Competition Act, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a sector inquiry on the online room reservation market of the tourism sector in order to familiarise itself with and evaluate the (...)

The Portuguese Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court declares cartel offense to be time-barred, but upholds decision imposing fines on information exchange infringement (Canteen Cartel)
Abreu Advogados
Following the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) decision dated 30 December 2009 imposing a total EUR 14,720,283.27 fine on five undertakings operating on the Portuguese foodservice/catering market - Eurest (Portugal) – Sociedade Europeia de Restaurantes e Alimentação, Lda. (“Eurest”), (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines on three entities for setting up a traceability system that led to restrictions of sales of a specific sort of tangerine (Nadorcott Protection, Carpa Dorada, Club de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 July 2013, the CNC fined three entities for setting up a traceability system that led to restrictions of sales of the Nadorcott tangerine. The fined entities were the holder of the Community plant variety rights for the Nadorcott tangerine (Nadorcott Protection, S.A.R.L.); an (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fine of over € 6.4 M on 22 distributors of sanitary ware and plumbing materials (Almacenes Metalurgicos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 May 2013, the Spanish National Competition Commission (“CNC”) issued a decision fining 22 distributors of sanitary ware and plumbing materials for cartel behaviour in the wholesale market for materials used in the installation, maintenance and repair of pipes for water and other (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision relating to a cartel in the marine hoses market clarifying issues on continuous infringements, proof of agreement and attribution of liability for anticompetitive conduct (Marine Hose Cartel)
Vogel & Vogel
On 28 January 2009, the European Commission handed down fines of EUR 131 million to manufacturers of marine hoses for price fixing, market sharing and exchanges of sensitive commercial information between 1986 and 2007. Several of the undertakings in question lodged appeals to the General Court (...)

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

The German Competition Authority concludes a series of proceedings against consumer goods manufacturers on account of illegal exchange of competition-relevant information (Nestlé)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt concludes proceedings against consumer goods manufacturers on account of illegal exchange of information and imposes multi-million fine on Nestlé* Today the Bundeskartellamt has concluded a series of proceedings against consumer goods manufacturers on account of illegal (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes a series of proceedings against consumer goods manufacturers with fines totalling approximately € 20 M (Nestlé)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt concludes Proceedings against Consumer Goods Manufacturers* On 27 March 2013, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has concluded a series of proceedings against consumer goods manufacturers with fines totalling approximately € 20 000 000 being imposed on Nestlé (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes its cartel proceedings against several manufacturers of branded drugstore products (Coty)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Multi-million fines imposed on manufacturers of drugstore products on account of anti-competitive information exchange* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its proceedings against several manufacturers of branded drugstore products. The authority has imposed fines of another 39 million Euros on (...)

The German Competition Authority fines six several manufacturers of branded drugstore products for information exchange (Manufacturers of drugstore products cartel)
European Commission
Germany: Multi-million Fines imposed on Manufacturers of Drugstore Products on account of anti-competitive Information Exchange* On 18 March 2013, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) concluded its proceedings against several manufacturers of branded drugstore products (body care products, cleaning (...)

The Belgian Competition Council imposes fines on five large flour mills (Werhahn, Meneba, Ceres, Dossche and Brabomills)
European Commission
Belgium: The Competition Council imposes Fines on five large Flour Mills* On 28 February 2013, the Competition Council (the Council) sanctioned five flour mills (Werhahn, Meneba, Ceres, Dossche and Brabomills) for having taken part into a cartel on the market for the production and sale of (...)

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

The UK OFT fines car manufacturer and three dealers £ 2.6 M over anti-competitive behaviour (Mercedes-Benz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had imposed a fine of £ 2.6 million on Mercedes-Benz and three of its commercial vehicle dealers – Ciceley, Enza and Road Range – for having engaged in anti-competitive practices involving market-sharing, price (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers for price fixing agreements (Chocolate Cartel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines of more than € 60 million on confectionery manufacturers* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its fine proceedings against several manufacturers of branded confectionery. On account of several cartel infringements, fines of approx. € 60 million have been imposed on (...)

The German Competition Authority fines eleven confectionary manufacturers over € 60 M for price agreements and information sharing (Mars, Ritter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 January 2013, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced that it has imposed more than € 60 million in fines on eleven companies for three different cartel infringements in the confectionary manufacturing sector. According to its press release, the FCO found price-fixing (...)

The German Competition Authority declares legally binding commitments offered by airline company regarding specific issues with its data tracking methods (Lufthansa)
European Commission
Germany: Lufthansa changes anticompetitive Clauses in Corporate Client Programme* On 20 December 2012 the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) declared commitments of Lufthansa binding regarding specific issues with Lufthansa’s data tracking methods. The proceedings against Lufthansa were triggered by (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority puts an end to a long running investigation into a possible cartel infringement by sugar producers (Sugar Cartel)
Allegro Consulting
1. Introduction On 19 December 2012, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) put an end to a long running investigation into a possible cartel infringement by Hungarian sugar producers. The alleged infringement concerned the three main sugar producers in Hungary: Nordzucker Group (the parent (...)

The UK Competition Authority closes its investigation into alleged price-fixing between two airlines contrary to Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101(1)TFEU due to inconsistent evidence (Cathay Pacific Airways and Virgin Atlantic)
University of Southampton
The UK Office of Fair Trading investigated, under Chapter I of the Competition Act 1988, whether employees of Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific Airways had exchanged commercially sensitive information in order to coordinate prices in relation to passenger services on the London to Hong Kong (...)

The Turkish Competition Board submits to public consultation a draft guidelines relating to horizontal cooperation agreements including the exchange of information between competitors
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The exchange of information between competitors is not regulated under Turkish law. This subject was recently handled within the Guidelines Project on the Application of Articles 4 and 5 of the Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition in Horizontal Cooperation Agreements (“Guidelines”). (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Authority finds that several undertakings active in the post-tensioning and geotechnical systems have been sharing contracts and customers between themselves (Civil Engineering Field)
European Commission
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia fines Cartel in Civil Engineering Field* On 31 July 2012, the CNC Council has adopted a resolution finding that several undertakings active in the post-tensioning and geotechnical systems have been sharing contracts and customers between (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency finds no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, Tele2)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
The Croatian Competition Agency adopted on 26 July 2012 a decision finding no concerted practice between the three telecom companies providing mobile telephony service in Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom-HT, VIPnet, and Tele2). The proceedings were initiated by the Agency in September 2011 and the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeal in copper fittings cartel case (Kaimer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 July 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal by Kaimer GmbH & Co. Holding KG (“Kaimer”), Sanha Kaimer GmbH & Co. KG (“Sanha Kaimer”) and Sanha Italia Srl (“Sanha Italia”) against an earlier General Court (“GC”) judgment which had partially reduced fines (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court declares that provisions of the Code of administrative offences may not be applied on the basis of analogy in disputes related to competition law
Law firm of Raimundas Moisejevas (Vilnius)
Background On 28 February 2008, the Lithuanian Competition Council passed resolution in which it was recognized that a number of Lithuanian milk producers have committed the infringement of competition law, since the undertakings referred to above have been exchanging confidential information (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court confirms the Market Court’s decision to fine wholesalers of car spare parts over € 1 M for operating a price cartel (Oy Arwidson Ab, HL Group Oy, Oy Kaha Ab, Koivunen Oy and Örum Oy Ab)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 31 May 2012, the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court handed down a judgment confirming the Finnish Market Court’s 2009 judgment finding that five wholesalers of car spare parts - Oy Arwidson Ab, HL Group Oy, Oy Kaha Ab, Koivunen Oy and Örum Oy Ab - had operated an illegal price cartel for (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds fines in copper fittings cartel (Legris, Comap)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 May 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued its judgment on the appeals lodged by Legris Industries and its subsidiary, Comap, against the General Court’s March 2011 judgments in the copper fittings cartel case, ruling that both appeals should be dismissed in (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines three aluminium phosphide tablets manufacturers for engaging in bid-rigging (Food Corporation of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In tendering to the Food Corporation of India, three manufacturers of Aluminium Phosphide Tablets were found to have quoted the same rates, to have reduced rates by the same margin in negotiations, and to have collectively abstained from bidding. The CCI fined the parties 9% of average (...)

The Court of Appeals of Tirana upholds the District Court’s judgment quashing the NCA decision concerning a concerted practice case in the markets for wheat import and production of flour (Atlas/Bloja)
University of Tirana
On April 2012 the Court of Appeals of Tirana handed down a judgment confirming a decision of the District Court of Tirana on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA). This decision imposed a fine on two major companies operating in the market of import of wheat and the (...)

The UK OFT fines leading airlines for anti-competitive practices in relation to the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges (British Airways / Virgin Atlantic Airways)
European Commission
United Kingdom: British Airways to pay £ 58 500 000 (approximately € 71 515 000) Penalty in OFT Fuel Surcharge Decision* On 19 April 2012, the Office of Fair Trading announced its decision that British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) engaged in anti-competitive practices in (...)

The EU Commission imposes € 169 M on 14 international groups of freight forwarders for operating four price fixing cartels (Freight forwarders cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2012, the European Commission announced that it had fined 14 international groups of companies a total of € 169 million for participating in four distinct cartels. According to the press release published by the Commission, the aim of the participants in the cartel was to fix (...)

The Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors finds illegal exchange of price information among producers of fast-moving-consumer-goods
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 March 2012, the College of Competition Prosecutors submitted a reasoned report to the Competition Council finding an illegal exchange of price information between producers of fast- moving-consumer-goods in the context of a multi-sectoral association. The report concludes the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines five ferry operators for participating in a cartel on the freight and passenger maritime transport in the Balearic Islands (Navieras Baleares)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
On 23 February 2012, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “Council”, the “SCC”) imposed combined fines of up to €54 million on Balearia Eurolíneas Marítimas, S.A. ("Balearia"), Compañía Transmediterránea, S.A.("Transmediterránea"), Isleña Marítima de Contenedores, S.A. ("Iscomar"), (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines two car manufacturers for exchanging sensitive commercial information (Honda, Suzuki motors)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
This administrative authority (CNC) has issued a resolution on January 20, 2012, in which it has found that during January 2009 the competitors Montesa Honda, S.A. and Suzuki Motor S.A. engaged in a concerted practice, which consists of the bilateral exchange of sensitive commercial (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines a manufacturer and several car dealers over price-fixing arrangements (Honda)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 January 2012, the Spanish National Competition Commission (“CNC”) announced that it had fined Montesa Honda, S.A. (Honda) and several of its dealers for engaging in illegal price-fixing practices on the motorcycle resale market. Formal proceedings began in April 2010 after (...)

The Bulgarian NCA gives soft guidance on information exchange between competitors (Information Exchange Guidelines)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) adopted Guidelines regarding exchange of information between competitors (the “Guidelines”). This piece of soft law collates the authority’s views on various aspects of information exchanges (including on qualification of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority finds that delay in introducing mobile television service is a result of anticompetitive agreement (Polkomtel, PTK Centertel, PTC, and P4)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
The OCCP decision On 23 November 2011, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection («the OCCP») fined four mobile telecom operators (Polkomtel, PTK Centertel, PTC, and P4) for the exchange of information on the assessment of a commercial offer prepared by Info-TV-FM (...)

The US DoJ issues in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services final statement as regards collaborations of independent health care providers and provider groups
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
No Mandatory Antitrust Review for ACOs* The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission recently issued their final "Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program" pursuant to the 2010 Patient (...)

The European Commission publishes a revised version of its best practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in competition cases
RBB Economics (Brussels)
The Commission’s Best Practices for the Submission of Economic Evidence: Improved, but still lacking in key areas* On 17 October, the Commission published a revised version of its Best Practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in competition cases (“BP”). The first (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds anti-competitive practices in the market for office supplies (Association of office supplies retailers)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 21 July 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established that the Association of office supplies retailers (TUM) and its nine members have infringed the national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU by concluding an informal agreement, which included inter alia market sharing and (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Unipetrol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the NCA in the mobile telephony case by adopting the same arguments without clarification regarding the new requirement of proof of harm to the economy (Orange France)
Linklaters (Paris)
The ruling by the Paris Court of Appeal of 30 June 2011 in connection with decision N° 05-D-65 (hereinafter Decision) of the Competition Council (which has now become the Competition Authority) opens new perspectives for thinking about certain issues such as (i) the criteria for sanctions in (...)

The Paris Appeal Court confirms fines imposed by the French Competition Authority in telecommunications case (Mobile phone cartel)
European Commission
France: The Paris Appeal Court upholds Fines imposed by the French Competition Authority in Telecommunications Case* On 30 June 2011, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld the fine that had been imposed by the French Competition Authority in the mobile telephony sector. This ruling follows a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority detects and punishes a cartel between a trade association and 20 trucking companies that haul freight to or from Italy aimed at fixing the size and form of price increases applied to their customers (International logistics)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
The Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter “AGCM”) has fined a trade association and 20 trucking companies that haul freight to or from Italy a total of € 76.447.677 for operating a single and complex price-fixing cartel having as its object the restriction of competition for at least five (...)

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)
,
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 Portuguese Competition Authority fines industrial cleaning firms for anti-competitive bid-rigging and information exchange (Conforlimpa - Multiserviços and Number One - MultiServices)
Sérvulo & Associados
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On June 2, 2011, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced, through its Press Release Nr. 5/2011, that it has imposed fines totalling EUR 316.3 thousand on two industrial cleaning firms in Portugal which it has found had colluded on cleaning services contracts. The PCA has concluded (...)

The Estonian Supreme Court acquits road constructions cartel participants based on individual exemption (Teedeehitus, Mr. Kaupo Kaljuvee)
COBALT Legal
On 4 May 2011 the Estonian Supreme Court dismissed charges against a road construction company KPK Teedeehitus and its executive Mr. Kaupo Kaljuvee in relation to price coordination, market sharing and information exchange regarding prices in connection with a public procurement for road (...)

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission fines an international brand consumer products company for disseminating information on price increases and disrupting market order (Unilever)
Lni avocats (Paris)
China’s price law and regulations expressly stipulate the form of and legal liability for disseminating information of price increases. Article 14 of the Price Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that no operator shall engage in falsifying and disseminating information of price (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines an association in the canned food industry for implementing a collective recommendation of prices for the sector (ANFACO, Conserveras)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Linklaters (Madrid)
On 31 March 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (hereinafter “the Council”, “the NCC”) imposed a fine of € 100,000 on the Natonal Canned Food Association (“Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Conservas y Mariscos”) (“ANFACO”, “the Association”) for implementing a collective (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal clarifies the scope of business secrets and anticompetitive exchanges of information in court actions between competitors (KPN and Beldiscom)
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
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Buyle Legal (Brussels)
Introduction In a judgment dated 24 March 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal ruled that the protection of business secrets prevents the exchange between competitors of detailed information on mobile phone subscriptions contained in an expert report produced in a Court action between KPN and (...)

The US DoJ announces that a company agreed to plead guilty and to pay a fine in a color display tube price-fixing cartel (Samsung)
Hirschler Fleischer (Richmond)
,
IBM (New York)
On March 18, 2011, the DOJ announced that Samsung SDI (“Samsung”) agreed to plead guilty in a color display tube (“CDT”) price-fixing conspiracy and to pay a $32 million criminal fine. On the same day, the DOJ filed a one-count felony information in the US District Court for the Northern District (...)

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

The French Competition Authority fines four companies that rigged bids for procurement contracts in the sector of painting services for naval equipments and engineering structures (Grivetto, Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor & Sorespi Bretagne)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence fines four companies that rigged bids for procurement contracts in the sector of painting services for naval equipments and engineering structures*. After the French Minister of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four companies for bid rigging in the painting services sector for naval equipment and engineering structures (Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor, Grivetto, Sorespi Bretagne)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
,
Affinion International
In its decision dated 24 February 2011, the French Competition Authority (the "Competition Authority") considered that four companies had concluded anticompetitive arrangements between 2005 and 2006 by fixing their prices to respond to procurements launched in the painting services sector for (...)

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

The US DoJ obtains guilty pleas in the aftermarket auto lights investigation
Nussbaum Law Group, PC
On February 8, 2011 the DOJ filed its first charge in its ongoing investigation into an alleged global cartel involving the aftermarket auto lights industry. The defendant, Polo Shu-Sheng Hsu, agreed to serve six months in prison and pay a $25,000 fine for his participation in the conspiracy. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a perfumes and cosmetics association for anti-competitive exchange of information (STANPA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 February 2011, the Spanish Competition Authority adopted a decision fining the Spanish perfumes and cosmetics association (STANPA) for facilitating several anti-competitive exchanges of competitively sensitive information among its members between 2004 and 2008. According to the decision, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 14 companies 9 803 590 M € for having shared almost all public markets for the restoration of historic monuments
Commissariat a l’energie atomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA)
,
I. Background Following the concern over an anomaly in the process of offers of the Regional Organisation for Cultural Affairs (DRAC) in the Haute-Normandie area on the 16th March 2001; an inquiry by the French Competition Authority (predecessor to the Competition Authority) was held into the (...)

The European Commission publishes new guidelines on the applicability of article 101 TFEU to horizontal co-operation agreements
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been selected for the business category, anti-competitive practices section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On January 14, 2011, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published new Guidelines on the (...)

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

The European Commission publishes a set of documents dealing with cooperation between competitors
Baker Botts (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
On 14 December 2010, the European Commission (the «Commission«) published a set of documents dealing with cooperation between competitors, comprised of guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union («TFEU«) (the «EU Guidelines«) and two new (...)

The UK OFT launches a consultation on its intention to accept binding commitments to modify a data exchange tool used by motor insurers
Vinge (Stockholm)
The European Commission’s revised Guidelines on Horizontal Cooperation have met with mixed reactions from practitioners and businesses, especially insofar as information exchange is concerned. However, a decision of the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) applying the new Guidelines gives a (...)

The Italian Last Instance Administrative Court confirms the legitimacy of the Competition Authority’s decision, quashed by the Court of First Instance, according to which the exchange of commercial information which are not “genuinely public” are, per se, anticompetitive (IAMA)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 29 December 2010, the Italian Last Instance Administrative Court (“Consiglio di Stato”), reversed the judgment of the First Instance Administrative Court (“TAR Lazio”) on the “IAMA” case, and confirmed the restrictive approach taken by the Italian Competition Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 4 welding electrode producers for collusive tendering (Le Bronze Industriel, Schrub, Ohlmann and Weldur)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2010, the French Competition Authority imposed fines totalling € 101,000 on four welding electrode producers (Le Bronze Industriel (LBI); Schrub; Ohlmann and Weldur) for colluding on tenders to supply car manufacturers Renault and Peugeot between 2002 and 2005. In its decision, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines personal care products cartel (Unilever Italia, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt-Benckiser)
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 Italian Competition Authority fines a number of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products (Cartel of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products)
University of Turin
Italy’s competition authority (“ICA”) has fined 15 companies, including units of Sara Lee Corp., L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson, more than € 81 M ($ 107 M) for an alleged long-running scheme to coordinate list prices sent to large retailers for cosmetic and health care products. The highest fine, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines hard-core milling cartel over €8 million (Cerbona Élelmiszeripari és Kereskedelmi)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 28 October 2010, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) issued a decision fining a number of milling companies a total of HUF 2.3 billion (approximately €8.4 M) for their participation in a hard-core cartel. The companies were found to have committed a complex and continuous infringement (...)

A Czech Regional Court confirms CZK 53 million fine for the concerted practices of bakeries (Delta Pekárny, Odkolek and Penam)
Kinstellar (Prague)
,
Kinstellar (Prague)
On 21 October 2010, the Regional Court in Brno (the “Court”) confirmed a fine of almost CZK 53 M imposed on three Czech bakeries, DELTA PEKÁRNY, a.s., ODKOLEK, a.s. and PENAM, a.s. (the “Bakeries”). The fine was imposed by the Chairman of the Czech Competition Authority (the “Authority”) by his (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines firms dealing with window and window doors a total of 7.6 million CHF for fixing the date and level of price increases (Window mounting cartel)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
Swatch
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission fines firms dealing with window and window doors a total of 7.6 million CHF for fixing the date and level of price increases. II. Case A. Parties/market structure Leading procuders of mountings for windows and window doors Roto Frank AG, Germany (...)

The US DoJ issues indictments and announces guilty pleas for price-fixing cartel in the thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels sector (TFT-LCD Investigation)
Skarzynski Black LLC (New York)
On October 14, 2010, the former vice president of sales and marketing for Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (“Chi Mei”), Hsin-Tsung Wang, was indicted on price-fixing charges relating to the sale of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels (“TFT-LCD”), which are commonly used in televisions, (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to two banks concerning alleged exchange of confidential information on price (Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays)
European Commission
United Kingdom: Office of Fair Trading (OFT) proceeds with Loan Pricing Case On 29 September 2010, the OFT issued a Statement of Objections to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays in respect of alleged disclosure of confidential and commercially sensitive future pricing information. (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision of the competition authority establishing the existence of a cartel on the market for poultry meat and eggs (Bulgarian Poultry Breeders Union)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 15 September 2010 the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) upheld the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) establishing that the members of the Bulgarian Poultry Breeders Union (SPB) have infringed the national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU by coordinating prices (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition fines five participants in the cathode ray tubes cartel under national antitrust law (CRT cartel)
Government of the Czech Republic
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In a first-instance decision of 13 September 2010, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition concluded that from 1998 to 2006, Samsung SDI, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Technicolor, Panasonic, Toshiba and LG Electronics formed a prohibited cartel in the (...)

The Danish Supreme Court enhances fines in case involving anticompetitive practices in the bus transport industry (Danske Busvognmænd)
Lexxion Publisher
On 30 August 2010 the Danish Supreme Court (Højesteret) handed down a judgment in the case of the Public Prosecutor vs. Danske Busvognmaend (Danish Bus Operators) in a case regarding anticompetitive practices. Only the question of the amount of the fine was at issue before the Danish Supreme (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court dismisses liability for participation in a cartel when the undertaking is not active in the market concerned (Vegetable Oil Manufacturers and Suppliers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the “SAC”) dismissed liability for participation in a hard-core agreement with respect to parties that were not active in the market concerned by it. The grounds of judgment do not reveal a particular rationale behind it. However, the ruling invites (...)

A U.S. District Court allows challenge to alleged conspiracy formed through public statements (AirTran, Delta)
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
A recent court decision on alleged “signaling” of competitive plans between airlines highlights the antitrust risks of making detailed public statements about future business plans. On August 2, 2010, a federal district court in Atlanta refused to dismiss an airline passenger class action (...)

The Spanish National Competition Authority imposes fines to eight wine cellars for their participation in a cartel concerning sherry wine and also condemns the Regulating Council of the name of origin of sherry wine for its role as a facilitator (Vinos Finos de Jerez)
University College London
Introduction The Spanish National Competition Authority imposed a 10% turnover fine on Sherry wine producers for establishing coordinated conducts that restricted the wine offer as well as for price fixing. At a first stage, only the Regulating Council of the Name of Origin of Sherry Wine was (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces fines in rail track maintenance cartel case (Colas Rail, Pichenot Bouillé, Offroy, ETF and Vecchietti)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 June 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the appeals brought against a decision of the French Competition Authority of July 2009, which found that five rail track maintenance companies had infringed Article 81 EC (now Article 101 TFEU) and its French equivalent by (...)

The Lisbon Trade Court dismisses the appeal of the Portuguese Competition Authority’s infringement decision regarding an association of undertakings for exchanging information with its members on bread consumer prices (Lisbon Breadmakers’ Association)
Samsung (Portugal)
On 25 June 2010, the Tribunal de Comércio de Lisboa (Lisbon Trade Court) dismissed the appeal against the Autoridade da Concorrência’s (Portuguese Competition Authority) infringement decision regarding the Associação dos Industriais de Panificação de Lisboa (Lisbon Breadmakers’ Association - the (...)

The European Commission fines 17 bathroom equipment manufacturers for price-fixing cartel applying "financial constraints" discount to 5 of them (Artweger / Cisal)
Winston & Strawn (London)
The European Commission (Commission) yesterday announced fines imposed on seventeen companies totalling EUR 622 million for a price fixing cartel relating to bathroom equipment (IP/10/790). This is the Commission’s second cartel decision of 2010 and follows the Commission’s first cartel (...)

The European Court of Justice confirms € 249.6 M fine in a cartel on the plasterboard market (Lafarge)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 June 2010, the European Court of Justice rejected an appeal brought by Lafarge SA (“Lafarge”) against the judgment of the General Court confirming the Commission’s decision to impose a fine totaling € 249.6 million on it for its participation in a cartel on the plasterboard market. In 2002, (...)

The Belgian Competition Council fines four undertakings for participating in a cartel in the radiators market (Masco, Quinn, Radson, Caradon)
European Commission
Belgium: Fines imposed on Cartel in the Market for Radiators On 20 May 2010, the Competition Council fined four undertakings for participating in a cartel on the Belgian steel plate radiators market. The investigation of the competition authorities was based on two leniency applications. The (...)

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

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines € 90.000 a professional association for setting and disseminating recommended prices for construction services (Bulgarian Construction Chambers)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 4 May 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) concluded its investigation into the existence of anticompetitive practices on the national market for construction services and prosecuted the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (KSB) for the infringement of national equivalent of Article (...)

The UK OFT drops allegations in dairy cartel investigation (Tesco, Morrisons)
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Jones Day (London)
,
London School of Economics
On 30 April 2010, the Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») announced it was dropping a number of allegations in its dairy cartel investigation. The OFT conceded there was insufficient evidence of antitrust infringement in the information exchanges it had been investigating since 2003. The OFT (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues first short-form opinion under new process (Makro-Self Service, Palmer & Harvey)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issues first Competition Advice under new Process On 27 April 2010, the OFT made use for the first time of its new ‘Short-form Opinion’ process by issuing advice to grocery wholesalers Makro-Self Service and Palmer & Harvey following a request (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues statement of objections against two airlines (Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Atlantic)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issues Statement of Objections against Cathay Pacific Airways and Virgin Atlantic On 22 April 2010, the Office of Fair Trading issued a Statement of Objections alleging that Cathay Pacific Airways and Virgin Atlantic infringed competition law (...)

The UK OFT finds that each of the manufacturers and retailers investigated had participated in agreements and/or concerted practices whereby the manufacturers set the retailers’ retail prices for its tobacco products which restricted the retailers’ ability to determine their retail price of competing tobacco products (ITL/Gallaher/ Asda/ the Co-op/ First Quench/ Morrisons/ T&S/ Safeway/ Sainsbury/ Shell/ Somerfield/ TM Retail)
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
Description of the impugned case The OFT’s Chapter I investigation was initiated in March 2003 following receipt of information from Sainsbury under the OFT’s leniency policy, which, along with information obtained during a previous Chapter II investigation into ITL, gave the OFT reasonable (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fines on printing chemical wholesalers (Donau Chemie, DC Druck-Chemie, Brenntag, Ashland)
European Commission
Austria: Fines imposed on Printing Chemical Wholesalers On 14 April 2010, the Austrian Cartel Court imposed fines totalling € 1,500,000 on the Donau Chemie, DC Druck-Chemie, Brenntag and the Ashland groups for having infringed Article 101 TFEU. All of the addressees of the Cartel Court’s (...)

The French supreme Court penalizes again exchanges of information on overall sales volumes (Bouygues Télécom, SFR, Orange France / UFC Que Choisir)
Vogel & Vogel
On 7 April 2010, the Supreme Court quashed the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal which had been unusually severe in finding a restrictive agreement from information exchanges between Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom distorting the conditions for unlawfulness set out in the famous John Deere (...)

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

The European Commission adopts new and streamlined insurance block exemption
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Jones Day (London)
The European Commission has today adopted a new Insurance Block Exemption («New IBER»), exempting certain categories of cooperation in the insurance sector from the prohibition against anticompetitive cooperation contained in Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU («TFEU»). It (...)

The Czech Regional Court rules that the Competition Office is under the duty to return along with a refunded fine the default interest on it (Českomoravská stavební spořitelna)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Prague)
I. Introduction On 2 March 2010, the Regional Court in Brno issued a judgment holding that the Competition Office, following the annulment of its decision by an appellate court, is under the duty to repay to the undertaking previously fined not only the amount of the fine but also the default (...)

A Spanish Court reduces the fine imposed on a savings bank for lack of assessment on the anticompetitive effects caused by the exchange of information and other restrictions by effect (Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues
In its judgment of December 10, 2009 on the appeal brought by Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (“BBK”) against the Decision of the Spanish National Competition Authority (hereinafter CNC) of October 18, 2007 in the Basque and Navarre Savings Banks,case, the “Audiencia Nacional” has halved the fine imposed by (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues the highest fine in its history (Cement Cartel)
Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
,
Orange (Warsaw)
On December 8, 2009, the Polish competition authority, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection, issued a decision in which it found that 11 companies operating on the cement market entered into an anticompetitive agreement breaching Polish national law and the EU (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes the biggest fine in its history on members of a cement cartel (Lafarge Cement)
WilmerHale (Brussels)
The cement market in Poland and main proceedings The market for grey cement in Poland is shared between several former state-owned companies. This market structure, inherited after centrally planned economy, was subsequently preserved by international entities, which had acquired local cement (...)

The Finnish Market Court uphelds Competition Authority decision on fines for timber cartel (Stora Enso, Metsäliitto, UPM-Kymmene)
European Commission
Article published in ECN Brief 02/2010 (click here). 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 (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision to prevent exchange of cost information between industrial laundries (Textile Services Association)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 25 November 2009, the Danish Competition Council adopted a commitment decision, cf. Section 16 a of the Danish Competition Act, whereby the Textile Services Association undertook to cease the exchange of a cost index for industrial laundries and to disband the association’s cost-index (...)

The Turkish Competition Board decides that several chicken producers and their professional association distorted competition by establishing a cartel and inflicts fines (Abalıoglu, Banvit, Beypi, CP, Erpilic, Keskinoglu, Pak Tavuk, Seker Pilic and Sen Pilic)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (“CB”), at its discretion, sentenced nine leading undertakings, namely Abalıoglu, Banvit, Beypi, CP, Erpilic, Keskinoglu, Pak Tavuk, Seker Pilic and Sen Pilic to pay a fine of 0.8% of their gross income as accrued at the end of the year 2008. Moreover, the CB had increased (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into possible anticompetitive agreements involving a trade association and international freight forwarders (Fedespedi)
European Commission
Italy: Antitrust Authority launched an Investigation into possible Agreements restricting Competition involving the Fedespedi Trade Association and 20 international Freight Forwarders On 18 November 2009, the Italian Competition Authority launched an investigation to ascertain the existence of (...)

The EU Commission fines cartellists in a plastic additives sector highlighting the risk of "facilitating" cartel participation (AC-Treuhand)
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Jones Day (London)
On 11 November 2009, the European Commission (the « Commission ») fined 24 companies a total of € 173 million for operating cartel arrangements in the plastic additive sector. The companies fixed prices, shared customers, allocated markets, and exchanged sensitive commercial information for tin (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upholds the Competition Authority decision which fines members of paper cartel (Schneidersöhne Baltija)
European Commission
Lithuania: Supreme Court partly upholds Authority Decision in Paper Case On 16 October 2009, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 26 October 2006 finding an infringement of Article 5 of the Lithuanian Law on Competition and of (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court backs up the National Competition Authority and for the first time ever presents its view on the level of fines imposed in cartel cases (Asphalt cartel)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 29 September 2009, following appeals against the Market Court’s decision by both the Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) and the defendant companies alleged to have participated in the asphalt cartel, the Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) delivered its long awaited judgment. For the first (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority imposes fine of € 10.2 M on banks for their involvement in an alleged cartel (Erste Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, KBC Groep)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 12 June 2009, the Slovak Competition Authority has imposed fines on three foreign-owned banks operating in Slovakia, Slovenska sporitelna, a.s. (Erste Group), Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka, a.s. (Intesa Sanpaolo) and Vseobecna uverova banka, a.s. (KBC Groep) for (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the appeals against the NCA’s decision and orders a reinvestigation of the role of two dairies in the non-pricing information exchange scheme (Dairies III)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 11 June 2009 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC or the Court) overruled the earlier judgment of the Vilnius District Administrative Court (VDAC) and upheld the appeals brought by two dairy firms - AB Rokiðkio sûris (RS) and UAB Marijampolës pieno konservai (MPK) - against the (...)

The European Court of Justice clarifies the notion of concerted practice and holds that a single meeting amongst competitors where they exchanged sensitive information can be caught by EU Antitrust rules (T-Mobile Netherlands)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Concerted practices, greyhounds, swans and alcoholmeters* Adam Smith wrote in the Wealth of Nations that “two greyhounds, in running down the same hare, have sometimes the appearance of acting in some sort of concert. Each turns her towards his companion, or endeavours to intercept her when his (...)

A German court examines a €600 M damages claim against bleaching cartel (CDC)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 23 April 2009, Cartel Damage Claims Hydrogen Peroxide SA (“CDC HP”), a Brussels-based part of CDC, has filed an action for damages before the Regional Court of Dortmund against six members of the hydrogen peroxide cartel, namely Evonik Degussa GmbH, Akzo Nobel (...)

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

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three companies active in the market of wellness and spa facilities (BGN)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 March 2009, the Bulgarian Competition Authority fined three companies active in the market for construction and maintenance of wellness and spa facilities, as well as the relevant national trade association, BGN 345,000 (around € 180,000) for infringing the competition rules. The (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court takes a liberal approach towards information exchange agreements (Building savings banks)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 February 2009, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected cassation appeal of the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (the “Office”) against the judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which struck down Office’s decision imposing fines on six building savings banks for allegedly (...)

The Italian Competition Authority inflicts a fine on pasta manufacturers and related industry associations for having entered into an illicit pricing cartel in breach of Art. 81 of the EC Treaty (Listino prezzi della pasta)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its Decision delivered on 25 February 2009, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) closed the investigation that had been initiated at the end of 2007 against 29 pasta manufacturers and two Italian industry associations, i.e. UNIPI - Unione Industriale Pastai Italiani (The Italian Pasta (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority fines more than € 1 M two undertakings in the sector of harbour operating services for infringement of Art. 81 EC (Costa Container Lines / Sintermar-Terminal darsena Toscana)
National University of Singapore
The Italian Antitrust Authority (hereinafter, also “IAA”) has recently fined two undertakings active in the sector of harbour operating services for having infringed Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome. Parties of the investigation The proceeding started after a report sent to the Authority by (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Council prohibits restrictive clauses in cooperation agreements between a wholesaler of pharmaceutical products and pharmacies (Hungaropharma)
Ernst & Young
The Hungarian Competition Council found that cooperation agreements concluded between Hungaropharma, a wholesaler of pharmaceutical products, and a number of pharmacies contained clauses which were incompatible with Art. 81 EC and Section 11 of the Hungarian Competition Act. The Competition (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds that a transporters association violated Danish competition law by distributing certain information to its members (Dansk Transport og Logistik)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
On 17 December 2008 the Danish Competition Council found that Dansk Transport og Logistik’s distribution of certain information to its members amounted to an infringement “by object” of Danish competition law . The information concerned included: (1) several cost calculation programmes, of which (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a professional association for exchanging information on bread consumer prices (Lisbon Breadmakers’ Association)
Samsung (Portugal)
According to the Notice published by the Portuguese Competition Authority - Autoridade da Concorrência - on 16 December 2008, said entity issued an infringement decision regarding the Lisbon Breadmakers’ Association - Associação dos Industriais de Panificação de Lisboa for failure to comply with (...)

The European Commission imposes the highest-ever cartel fine on four car glass manufacturers (Asahi Glass Company, Saint-Gobain, Pilkington, Soliver)
,
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission imposes the highest-ever cartel fine (more than € 1.3 billion) on four car glass manufacturers"* On 12 November 2008 the Commission adopted a decision and imposed fines totalling € 1 383 million on four manufacturers of car glass. The addressees of the decision were the Japanese firm (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority decides not to impose fines on ten producers of fluid-concrete as the participation of all undertakings in the infringement was not established and as result no appreciable restriction of competition could be determined (Betonmortelfabriek Utrecht)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
Introduction On January 11, 2006 the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) imposed fines on ten Dutch producers of fluid-concrete for a total amount of € 6 million for an infringement of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act. According to the NMa the undertakings exchanged information about price (...)

A Lithuanian Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s findings of illegal information exchange among dairies (Dairies / Competition Council)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 21 August 2008 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) rejected the appeals brought by two dairy firms - AB Rokiðkio sûris (the “RS”) and UAB Marijampolës pieno konservai (the “MPK”) - against the Competition Council’s infringement decision finding them and five other (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes multi-million fines on account of market information exchange (Luxury cosmetics products - "Schlossrunde")
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
Background The German Competition Authority (Federal Cartel Office, "FCO") is currently investigating a couple of cases where market information exchange practices between competitors and non-competitors are allegedly infringing competition law. With the case at hand the FCO has found its first (...)

The European Commission adopts new guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG COMP
"The new Guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector"* On 1 July 2008, the European Commission adopted guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to maritime transport services (‘the Guidelines’). This followed a public consultation in (...)

The Czech Regional Court in Brno cancels the decision of the President of the Office for the Protection of Competition concerning a well-known, long-running international cartel operating within the sector of gas insulated switchgears on the grounds of breaching the legal principle of ne bis in idem (GIS Cartel)
Weinhold Legal
,
CMS Cameron McKenna (Prague)
I. Introduction On 26 June 2008, the Regional Court in Brno cancelled the decision of the President of the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the „Office«) concerning a well-known, long-running international cartel operating within the sector of gas insulated switchgears («GIS»). (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority closes its investigation into exchange of confidential information in the daily consumer goods retail trade market (RuokaKesko, Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta, Tradeka)
Roschier (Helsinki)
The Finnish Competition Authority (hereinafter the “FCA”) has closed its investigation into exchange of confidential information in the market for retail trade of daily consumer goods between RuokaKesko Oy (hereinafter “Kesko”), Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (hereinafter “SOK”) and Tradeka Oy, (...)

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

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

A US District Court revives concern that some "club deals" could violate the antitrust laws (Bain Capital Partners)
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York)
,
White & Case (New York)
,
White & Case (New York)
Companies that have participated in or plan to participate in joint bidding practices in the context of corporate acquisitions (otherwise known as “club deals”) may risk some unwanted antitrust scrutiny from shareholders and others. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the (...)

The Lithuanian NCA inflicts its highest fine ever on a professional association running confidential information exchange scheme on the raw milk procurement and dairy products markets (Dairies III)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 28 February 2008 the Lithuanian Competition Council fined seven dairy companies for their involvement in the exchange of confidential information said to have restricted competition on the raw milk procurement market and on a number of markets for individual dairy products. The total amount (...)

The German FCO imposes fines of € 37 M on cartel of manufacturers of drugstore articles (Henkel, Schwarzkopf, Sara Lee, Unilever)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 20 February 2008, the German Federal Cartel office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling € 37 million on a number of manufacturers of drugstore articles, namely Henkel Wasch- und Reinigungsmittel GmbH, Schwarzkopf & Henkel GmbH, Sara Lee Deutschland GmbH and (...)

The Belgian Competition Council issues first fine under the 2006 Competition Act for recommended prices (VEBIC)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
The Belgian Competition Council has fined Vebic Euro 29,121 for an infringement of Article 2 of the Belgian Competition Act, the Belgian equivalent of Article 81 EC. The association (whose members are producers and retailers of bakery products) was condemned by the Competition Council for (...)

The European Commission imposes fines against manufacturers in the synthetic rubber cartel cases (Bayer, Zeon)
European Commission - DG COMP
,
European Commission - DG TRADE
"The synthetic rubber cartel cases"* I. The Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Case On 23 January, the Commission adopted a prohibition decision and imposed fines totalling €34 million on the Bayer and Zeon groups for operating a cartel in the Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (‘NBR’) sector. The addressees of the (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority ends proceedings against two oil tanking terminal operators without finding existence of anticompetitive agreements (Oiltanking Tallinn v. Alexela Terminal)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Introduction On 17 January 2008 the Estonian Competition Authority (hereinafter: Authority) made a decision in two cases that were initiated in connection with a dispute between majority and minority shareholders (Alexela Terminal, AT) of Oiltanking Tallinn (OTT), a company providing oil (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal overturns the French Competition Council decision fining construction firms for bid-rigging (Devin Lemarchand Environnement / Dehe TP)
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French Competition Authority (Paris)
On 15 January 2008, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned decision n° 07-D-01 of the French Competition Council (the "Council") regarding practices in the market for public water supply networks in the department of Morbihan. The Council had fined three construction firms, Dehe TP, Devin (...)

The French Competition Council applies its leniency programme for the second time (Allied Arthur Pierre, Maison Huet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2007, the French Competition Council imposed fines totalling more than € 2 million on twelve removal companies for their involvement in a price-fixing and market-sharing cartel, but granted total immunity to two companies which had revealed the existence of the cartel. The (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission fines three savings banks for market sharing, information exchange and coordination agreements (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
Last October, the National Competition Commission (CNC, hereafter) published its Decision to impose a € 24 million fine to the savings banks from the Basque country and Navarra for maintaining a collusive agreement consisting on market sharing, information exchange and the coordination of their (...)

The UK OFT uncovers an alleged collusive agreement between large supermarkets and dairy processors to fix milk and milk products prices ("Supermarkets and dairies price fixing")
Compass Lexecon (London)
Summary The OFT has uncovered an alleged collusive agreement between large supermarkets and dairy processors to fix the prices of milk, butter and cheese. The OFT has estimated the price fixing cost consumers £270 million. The horizontal and vertical nature of the alleged collusion suggests a (...)

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

The French Commercial Supreme Court rules that exchange of information is not prohibited per se and recalls that imposing fine in an oligopolistic market requires to demonstrate a concrete anticompetitive object or effect (Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR, “Mobile telephony case”)
White & Case (Paris)
The “mobile telephony case” in which the French Competition Council, upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal, imposed on three competitors a record EUR 534 million fine, has not come to an end yet since the Cour de cassation (French supreme court for judicial matters) partially repealed the appeal (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision in the first Art. 81 EC case in Lithuania (Paper Wholesalers)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 7 June 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) substantially upheld the 26 October 2006 Competition Council’s infringement decision in Paper Wholesalers. As reviewed previously in this newsletter, by that decision the Competition Council found five wholesalers (...)

The Italian Competition Authority grants leniency for the first time, fining 8 companies for a total of € 31 M and granting total immunity to the first leniency applicant (Produttori di pannelli truciolari in legno)
Studio Legale DDPV
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Milano)
On 17 May 2007 the Italian National Competition Authority (the «Authority») closed an in-depth investigation concerning an alleged cartel implemented by several Italian chipboard panels’ producers. The relevant product market has been defined as including raw and faced chipboard panels. Being raw (...)

The French Competition Council makes use of criminal proceedings to heavely sanction major anticompetitive practices in the course of public tendering (Ile-de-France secondary schools public works)
WTG Events
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 9 May 2007, Decision n° 07-D-15, relating to practices implemented in public works of secondary schools in the Ile-de-France region (relative à des pratiques mises en œuvre dans les marchés publics relatifs aux lycées d’Ile-de-France) This (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court holds that certain aspects of a co-operation agreement between Austrian savings banks violates Art 81 EC (Erste Bank)
DORDA
1. Background The Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition mat-ters) upheld a first instance decision of the Austrian Cartel Court (13 June 2006, 27 Kt 83/04, 27 Kt 18, 193/04 ; See Axel Reidlinger and Heinrich Kühnert, The Austrian Cartel Court finds that (...)

The Lithuanian NCA closes its enquiry on an alleged cartel in public tender proceedings (Lithuanian Business Support Agency)
Lithuanian Competition Council
Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba), 1February 1, 2007, Decision n° 2S-3, concerning the compliance of the actions of undertakings participating in the boiler-house replacement tender with the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority fines more than 4 M € firms on the basis of Art. 82 EC for having exchanged information on the marine coatings market (Vernici Marine)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision (Vernici Marine) dating to 25 January 2007, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has condemned five firms - Boat Boero Marine and Protective Coatings Genova (“Boat”), Hempel Italy (“Hempel”), International Paint Italy (“IP”), Jotun Italia (“Jotun”) and Sigma Coatings (“Sigma”) - (...)

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

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

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the NCA’s record fine on three mobile telephony operators for exchanging confidential information and maintaining market shares (Bouygues Télécoms, SFR, Orange France)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Total (Paris)
Following the Competition Council’s decision to initiate proceedings ex officio in 2001 and a complaint lodged by the consumer association UFC Que Choisir in 2002, an investigation revealed the existence of anticompetitive agreements on the French mobile telephony market. In a decision dated 30 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines a cartel in the agricultural sector in spite of intensive involvement of the State (Egg Cartel)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
The HCO initiated proceedings against the Hungarian Association of Egg Producers (HAEP) and some of its members in 2005 in order to verify whether the HAEP and its members breached the cartel prohibition contained in Article 11 of the Hungarian Competition Act (HCA) and Article 81 of the EC (...)

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

The UK Court of Appeal rules on discussions on vertical basis and restricts the CAT’s test (Argos and Littlewood - JJB Sports)
British Institute of International and Comparative Law
Judgment on liability On 30 July 2003, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment in the Argos and Littlewoods case (hereafter Hasbro) remitting the decision under appeal back to the OFT. On 21 November 2003 (Office of Fair Trading (OFT), 21 November 2003, Decision n° (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion regarding a sharing of confidential information system designed for hotels under both Art. 81 EC and national provisions (CCI Mulhouse)
White & Case (Paris)
Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 5 October 2006, Opinion 06-A-18, regarding an occupancy indicator project of Mulhouse region hotels (“relatif à un projet d’indicateur d’occupation des hôtels de la région de Mulhouse”) The Background Following a request lodged by the Chamber of (...)

A German court sanctions price-fixing among retailers after discontinuation of drugs regulatory retail price maintenance (OTC-Praparate)
European Commission - DG COMP
Background According to German competition law, companies which exchange information about their future market activity might be found to be in breach of competition law rules. Article 1 of the German Competition Act (GWB) includes a prohibition of ‘concerted practices’ the effect or objective (...)

The Czech Competition Authority annuls a decision having found 8 banks guilty of exchange of information (Stavebni sporitelny)
University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
By decision n° R 18-23/2005 the President of the Office (hereinafter “the President”) annulled (for the second time) the Office’s first instance decision, which condemned six banking establishments for an infringement of competition by exchanging statistics about their operations in the area of (...)

The Spanish Competition Court fines an association of travel agencies and the major national airlines for collusive agreements aimed at fixing the fees charged for the emission of airplane tickets (Agencias de viaje)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
In January 2004, the Spanish press released details regarding a series of agreements between the Spanish travel agencies, represented by the Cúpula Asociativa de Agencias de Viaje Españolas (hereinafter,"CAAVE"), and the three major Spanish airlines, - Iberia, Spanair and Air Europa (hereinafter, (...)

The Spanish Competition Tribunal fines € 5, 7 M the major film distributors for coordinating their commercial policy (Distribuidores Cine)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues
On May 10, 2006, the film distributors Walt Disney/Buenavista, Sony/Columbia, Fox, United International Pictures and Warner Sogefilms (hereinafter “the majors”) were each fined €2.4 million by the Spanish Competition Tribunal (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, “TDC”). The TDC ruled that (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines € 242.000 price coordinating practices in the services sector (Advertising agencies)
Mittal Investments UK Ltd
Summary On 8 May 2006, the Latvian Competition Council (“Competition Council”) imposed a fine in the amount of LVL 170,000 (€ 242,000) on 12 advertising agencies in Latvia for engaging in exchange of information regarding their service prices. The facts In 2005, mass media in Latvia reported on (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority fines on the basis of Art. 81 EC pharma companies for bid rigging for supply to the public health system (Prodotti disinfettanti)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) has recently completed an Article 81 proceedings against nine suppliers of antiseptic and disinfectants to the public health system levying sanctions totalling approximately € 3.7 million (case I 639). The investigation started in November 2004 and (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 34 building and civil engineering companies for engaging in widespread anti-competitive agreements involving public procurement contracts in the Ile-de-France area (Ile-de-France Public works)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Drapo software case: 34 building and civil engineering companies have been fined a total of 48 million euros by the Conseil de la Concurrence for engaging in widespread anti-competitive agreements (...)

The European Commission fines 3 undertakings a total of € 76 M for participating in rubber chemicals cartel (Chemtura, Bayer and General Quimica)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission fines 3 undertakings a total of € 76 million for participating in rubber chemicals cartel"* In the fifth decision against hard core cartels adopted in 2005, the Commission imposed fines totalling EUR 76 million on a number of rubber chemicals producers, including Chemtura (USA), (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions six building and civil engineering companies for having entered into a complex and continuous agreement during the awarding of public roadworks contracts (Roadworks in the Seine-Maritime département)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Roadworks in the Seine-Maritime département: The Conseil de la concurrence imposes fines totalling 33.6 million Euros on six building and civil engineering companies specializing in the supply of bituminous (...)

The European Commission proposes to repeal the liner conference block exemption regulation
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission - DG COMP
"The Commission proposes to repeal the Liner Conference Block Exemption"* On 14 December 2005 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation repealing Council Regulation 4056/86 applying Articles 81 and 82 EC to maritime transport services and amending Regulation 1/2003 to extent (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions six luxury hotels for having exchanged confidential commercial informations (Parisian palaces)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence imposes penalties on the Bristol, the Crillon, the George V, the Meurice, the Plazza Athénée and the Ritz, for exchanging confidential commercial information.* In the light of a (...)

The French Competition Council imposes record fines on the mobile telephone operators for market sharing and exchange of information (Orange, SFR, Bouygues)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris)
On November 30th 2005, the French Competition Council (the “Council” ) imposed heavy fines on the three mobile telephone undertakings, Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, amounting to a € 534 millions total. The allotment of the fines was as follows : Orange France: 256 million Euros (...)

The US DOJ fines for $300 Million a computer chip manufacturer for price fixing conspiracy (Samsung Electronics)
Jones Day (Washington)
Samsung Electronics has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $ 300 M fine, the second largest criminal antitrust fine in U.S. history, for participating in a price-fixing conspiracy in the dynamic access random memory (DRAM) industry. According to the felony charge, the conspiracy directly affected (...)

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

The European Commission fines nine companies a total of € 43.5 M for participating in industrial thread cartels (Ackermann Nähgarne, Amann und Söhne, Barbour Threads, Belgian Sewing Thread, Bieze Storck, Coats Viyella, Gütermann and Zwicky & Co)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Commission fines nine companies a total of € 43.5 million for participating in industrial thread cartels"* On 14 September 2005, the European Commission fined thread producers a total of € 43.5 million for operating cartels in the market for industrial thread. Industrial thread is used in a (...)

A German Court finds that a horizontal cooperation agreement between small and medium-sized undertakings does not affect trade between Member States under Art. 81 EC as the agreement has no “appreciable” impact on interstate trade (Filigranbetondecken)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background Two small and medium-sized producers of filigree concrete ceilings and other pre-fabricated concrete parts intended to enter into a cartel agreement regarding a cooperation in respect of their sales and distribution activities, including a joint data information system, common (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 11 building and civil engineering companies for having entered into an anticompetitive agreement (Public works in the Meuse département)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Public works in the Meuse département: The Conseil de la concurrence finds 11 building and civil engineering companies guilty of entering into an anticompetitive agreement and imposes fines totalling 7 million (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 21 building and civil engineering companies for having entered into an anticompetitive agreement during the awarding of contracts to construct civil engineering structures on the A84 motorway (Estuaries Road)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The A84 motorway, known as the "Estuaries Road": The Conseil de la concurrence finds 21 building and civil engineering companies guilty of entering into an anticompetitive agreement and imposes fines totalling (...)

An Italian Court states that the information exchange organised among insurance companies has no effect on competition (San Paolo IMI Wealth Management)
Studio Legale DDPV
The Italian national jurisdiction (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio - the “TAR”) annuled a decision of the Italian national competition authority (the “Authority”) concerning an alleged infringement of art 2 of Italian Antitrust Law (a provision similar to art 81 EC). In June 2003, two (...)

The Italian Competition Authority considers that hardcore restrictions may have the effect of hindering trade between member States and opens proceedings against five manufacturers of marine and yacht coatings for alleged breach of Art. 81 EC (Vernici Marine)
London School of Economics
On 13 August 2003, a complaint was lodged before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (hereinafter, “AGCM”). The complainant alleged the existence of an anticompetitive agreement reached between several manufactures of marine and yacht coatings : Boat - Boero Attiva Marine and (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court requests an ECJ preliminary ruling regarding the application of Art. 81 EC to an exchange of information agreement between financial institutions in relation to clients solvency and compliance (Asnef-Equifax)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Eli Lilly and Company (Madrid)
This Order has been adopted by the Tribunal Supremo (“TS”) in the appeal lodged against a judgment of the Audiencia Nacional (“AN”) which decided on the appeal against a decision adopted by the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (“TDC”) granting an individual exemption to an agreement on (...)

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

L’autorité de concurrence italienne ouvre une enquête à la suite de plaintes dénonçant un partage du marché de la fourniture de carburéacteur en violation de l’Art. 81 CE (Rifornimenti Aeroportuali)
Studio Legale DDPV
L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato a décidé, le 9 décembre 2004, d’ouvrir une procédure au titre de l’art. 81 du Traité CE, à l’encontre de 6 compagnies pétrolières (Eni S.p.A., Esso Italiana S.r.l., Kuwait Petroleum Italia S.p.A., Shell Italia S.p.A., Tamoil Petroli S.p.A. e Total Italia (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority imposes a fine on three banking institutions for coordination of their interest rates (Bank of Cyprus/Cyprus Popular Bank/Hellenic Bank)
International Transport Forum
On 22 June 2004 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) put an end to its ex officio investigation of the commercial banks in Cyprus for the existence of a possible cartel, unanimously finding three banking institutions liable for restrictive enterprise agreements. A total (...)

The Italian Competition Authority rules that exchanges of information through a third party between competing insurance companies is anti-competitive regardless of the non-concentrated nature of the market (Iama Consulting)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
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Telefonica (Madrid)
In 2004, two cases on exchanges of information between competitors were decided by the Italian competition authority (“AGCM” – the Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato). This revived a lively debate on the conditions in which these practices should be prohibited and whether they are (...)

The Italian Competition Authority holds that vertical exchange of information between cigarettes manufacturer and its retailers does not infringe competition law but can indirectly affects horizontal competition (Philip Morris)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
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Telefonica (Madrid)
In 2004, two cases on exchanges of information between competitors were decided by the Italian competition authority (“AGCM” – the Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato). This revived a lively debate on the conditions in which these practices should be prohibited and whether they are (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three companies for implementing anticompetitive practices in the hospital medical gas sector (Air Liquide santé France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Medical gases for use in hospitals : the Conseil de la concurrence sanctions practices by two subsidiaries of the Air Liquide Group* Following a referral from the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines over € 13 M shrimp wholesalers and fisheries for the first time on the basis of Art. 81 EC (North Sea Shrimp Sector)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amstelveen)
On 14 January 2003 the Dutch Competition Authority imposed fines totalling an amount of € 13.781 million on eight shrimp wholesalers and four Dutch, three German and one Danish producer organisation in the shrimp fishery industry for an infringement of Article 81 (1) EC Treaty and the national (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority draws up a report on four bicycle manufacturers due to a reasonable suspicion that they had entered into price agreements and exchanged sensitive competitive information (Gazelle / Accell / Giant / Union)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Draws up a Report on Bicycle Manufacturers and Branch Organisations* Following an investigation, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has drawn up a report on four bicycle manufacturers due to a reasonable suspicion that they had entered into price agreements and exchanged sensitive (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority draws up a report due to agreements that restrain competition in the area of the application of certain foundation techniques, including diaphragm walls, and carrying out certain categories of concrete civil engineering activities (Heijmans Beton- en Waterbouw / Solétanche Bachy)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Suspects Heijmans and Solétanche of Cartel Agreements* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has drawn up a report on Heijmans Beton- en Waterbouw B.V. and Solétanche Bachy France S.A. due to agreements that restrain competition in the area of the application of certain foundation (...)

The French Competition Authority fines several manufacturers for having enforced a cartel agreement in the ball bearings sector (NSK France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Agreement on price in the sector of ball bearings: the Conseil de la concurrence sentenced the main manufacturers for a total amount of approximately 19 million euros*. The Conseil de la Concurrence has (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds discriminative RPM agreement to be anti-competitive (Délhús)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
Description of the impugned case Nine meat processing companies and two retailers (METRO and SPAR) concluded agreements, which concerned the supply of raw smoked pork products. The undertakings under investigation agreed in the quantity to be offered to the two retailers and also determined (...)

The European Commission fines a cartel of British sugar producers and merchants (Tate & Lyte, Napier Brown, James Budgett)
European Commission - DG COMP
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RBB Economics (The Hague)
"The Commission fines a cartel of British sugar producers and merchants"* On 14 October 1998, the Commission adopted a Decision by which fines have been imposed on the sugar producers British Sugar and Tate & Lyle, as well as the sugar merchants Napier Brown and James Budgett for violation (...)

The European Court of First Instance confirms the European Commission’s decision concerning a case dealing with exchange of information between 8 UK manufacturers in the agricultural industry (UK Agricultural Tractor Registration exchange)
European Commission - DG COMP
"Judgments of the Court of First Instance, 27 October 1994 JOHN DEERE LTD, FIATAGRI UK LTD, NEW HOLLAND FORD LTD Information exchange system T-34/92 and T-35/92"* On 17 of February 1992 (O.J. L 68, p. 19) the Commission adopted a decision finding that an information exchange system between (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority sanctions major oil companies for having entered into agreements on the market of fuel distribution on motorways (Total Fina Elf France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Fuel distribution on motorways : the Conseil de la concurrence hands down sanctions against the major oil companies.* In a decision dated 31st March, 2003, following a referral by the Minister of Economy, the (...)

Mergers

The Danish Competition Council approves commitments concerning an envisaged reorganization on the grocery market (Dagrofa / SuperBest and Spar)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council Accepts Commitments from Dagrofa ApS* On October 23 2013 the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) adopted a commitment decision that approves an envisaged reorganization of Dagrofa ApS (“Dagrofa”) and the supermarket chains SuperBest and Spar. Dagrofa is the parent (...)

The President of the EU General Court lifts obligation to provide a bank guarantee (Westfälische Drahtindustrie/Papus Industrie Beteiligungen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 April 2011, the President of the General Court (“GC”) suspended the execution of the fining decision of the European Commission against Westfälische Drahtindustrie GmbH, Westfälische Drahtindustrie Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH&Co. KG (“WDV”) and Papus Industrie Beteiligungen GmbH&Co. KG (...)

Procedures

The French Supreme Court rules that the damage caused to the economy by an anticompetitive practice cannot be presumed (Bouygues Télécoms, SFR, Orange)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
Background This case is the latest episode of the saga of the «mobile telephony case«. In 2005 the French Competition Council imposed on the three leading French mobile operators (Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Télécom) a record fine of € 534 M for collusive practices consisting in (i) exchange of (...)

Regulations

The Belgian Competition Authority dismisses a claim from the College of Prosecutors concerning geographical allocation agreements between laboratories active in BSE testing, slaughterhouses and their professional organization (BSE laboratories)
Altius (Brussels)
I. The Facts In the 1990s Great Britain was affected by the outbreak of BSE (“bovine spongiform encephalopatie"), causing the European Union to take immediate action. Member States were obliged to comply with the imposed obligations by the European Union and to carry out tests urgently. The (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the installation of relay masts - mobile telephony
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence recommends that the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR – French frequencies agency) should take certain precautions to avoid operators having cognizance of their competitors’ (...)

Public sector

The Tirana District Court quashes a decision of the Albanian NCA on bid rigging in the security and guarding services public procurement (Eurogjici)
University of Tirana
On December 2012 the Tirana Court of Appeals, handed down a decision on quashing a decision of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA), on a bid rigging in the public procurement of security and guarding services by various public institutions and companies in Albania. This decision imposed a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions suppliers of magnetic resonance equipment with fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive agreement relating to public tender (Siemens, Philips, Toshiba Medical Systems and Alliance Medica)
European Commission
Italy: The ICA sanctions four Suppliers of Magnetic Resonance Equipment with Fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive Agreement relating to Public Tender in the Region of Campania* On 27 July 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned Siemens, Philips, Toshiba Medical Systems and (...)

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