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Investigations / Inquiries

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission opens a preliminary investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market (Western Union)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU telegraphs it is probing whether Western Union colluded to drive rivals out of money-transfer market*The European Commission has reportedly launched a preliminary antitrust investigation into possible collusion by Western Union in the money remittance market.According to sources, the (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfert market (Western Union)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
In February 2016, it was reported that the European Commission is undertaking a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market, continuing the trend of the Commission focussing on the financial sector in recent years. Focus of the (...)

The EU Commission confirms several unannounced inspections carried in the rail passenger transport market
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission confirms unannounced inspections in rail passenger transport sector* The European Commission can confirm that on 24 November 2015 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in the sector of rail passenger transport and related services in Austria. The Commission (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to several companies suspected of participation in an electrolytic capacitors cartel
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends statement of objections to suspected participants in electrolytic capacitors cartel* The European Commission has informed ten manufacturers of electrolytic capacitors that it suspects them of having participated in a cartel, in breach of EU antitrust rules. (...)

The EU Commission opens formal investigation into eligibility rules of a professional sport association (International Skating Union)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into International Skating Union’s eligibility rules* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into International Skating Union (ISU) rules that permanently ban skaters from competitions such as the Winter Olympics and (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the expansive geographic reach of a European Commission dawn raid decision in a cartel investigations (Nexans)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has upheld the expansive geographic reach of a European Commission dawn raid decision in the electric cables cartel investigations. Nexans, one of ten companies being investigated, had argued that the geographic scope was overbroad and provided an (...)

The EU Commission is set to open an investigation that could outlaw exclusive territorial models of pay-TV licensing
Blackstone Chambers
Murphy, round 2: does exclusive territorial licensing of pay-TV breach EU competition law?* According to a report in the Financial Times on 24 November 2013, the European Commission is on the verge of commencing a formal investigation into potentially anti-competitive restrictions in pay-TV (...)

The President of the EU General Court suspends the Commission’s decision in order to prevent the publication of confidential information contained in a cartel decision (Akzo, Degussa)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The dissemination of historical information can still imply certain risks for the public or private interest and require confidential treatment. The present case refers to an action for annulment comprising a claim of confidential treatment of the information contained by (...)

The EU Commission sends SOs to more than a dozen companies in connection with investigations in the pharmaceutical sector (Perindopril)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission issues Statements of Objections against several pharmaceutical companies* On 25 and 30 July 2012, in relation to the Citalopram case and the Perindopril case respectively, the European Commission sent statements of objections (“SOs”) to more than a dozen companies in (...)

The EU Commission sends SOs to more than a dozen companies in connection with investigations in the pharmaceutical sector (Citalopram)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission issues Statements of Objections against several pharmaceutical companies* On 25 and 30 July 2012, in relation to the Citalopram case and the Perindopril case respectively, the European Commission sent statements of objections (“SOs”) to more than a dozen companies in (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates companies active in the e-book publishing sector* On 6 December 2011 the European Commission opened an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers, possibly with the help of Apple, in relation to the sale of e-books in the (...)

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 European Court of Justice issues its preliminary ruling holding that restricting the sale of European foreign satellite decoder cards is “contrary to the freedom to provide services” (Football Association Premier League)
Max Findlay Associates
Little, large and not proven* The big story for British sports fans has been the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the FA Premier League / Karen Murphy case. Effectively, the ECJ has said that British viewers can buy live English Premier League football (...)

The EU Commission repeals heat stabilizers cartel decision applying rules about limitation periods for the imposition of fines after EU Court judgment (Ciba/BASF and Elementis)
Max Findlay Associates
Chaos theory* Naturally, we all want change to be orderly. This is particularly true when something goes wrong and someone official has to come in and sort it out. Take, for instance, the heat stabilisers cartel case. Earlier this month, the European Commission revoked the €101m fines it had (...)

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

The EU Commission opens investigation against two pharmaceutical companies on account of patent settlement agreement (Cephalon / Teva)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 28 April 2011, the European Commission opened of its own motion formal competition proceedings against Cephalon, Inc. (“Cephalon”) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. (“Teva”) on account of a patent settlement agreement between the parties. Under the agreement, Teva undertook not to sell (...)

The EU General Court overturns EC’s fine decision becasuse of insufficient evidence to sustain the penalty in a copper fitting cartel (Aalberts Industries)
On March 24, 2011, the European General Court overturned more than €100 million in fines imposed against Aalberts Industries NV and its subsid- iaries for its alleged involvement in a copper fittings cartel, finding the EC’s evidence insufficient to sustain the penalty. The EC had fined 30 (...)

The General Court of the European Union annuls a Commission’s decision limiting its discretion to reject complaints and addressing the issue of market definition in the luxury watches repair services and spare parts markets (CEAHR)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Wrapping up the week / Case T-427/08, CEAHR v Commission* Case T-427/08, CEAHR v Commission The complaint: The European Confederation for watch repairers associations lodged a complaint before the Commission alleging that watch manufacturers had engaged in agreements and/or concerted (...)

The EU General Court confirms the €38 million fine imposed for breaking a seal affixed to an office of a company by the Commission during an inspection (E.ON Energie)
Vogel & Vogel
On 15 December 2010, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) handed down a tough but very thoroughly argued decision on the infringement of breaking of an official seal. The European Commission had ordered an inspection of the premises of the company E.ON Energie AG in the context of an (...)

The EU Commission fines six LCD panel producers for price-fixing cartel (Samsung / LG / AU Optronics / Chunghwa / Chimei InnoLux / HannStar)
Skarzynski Black LLC (New York)
In addition to the DOJ probe, the European Commission (“the Commission”) has been actively investigating an alleged price-fixing conspiracy in the TFT-LCD industry. This investigation culminated, on December 8, 2010, with the Commission levying a total of €649 million ($858 million) in fines (...)

The ECJ confirms Commission must assess whether an agreement to limit parallel trade in medicines has pro-competitive benefits (GlaxoSmithKline)
Linklaters (Paris)
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Linklaters (London)
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French Competition Authority
On 6 October, the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) issued another “score draw” judgment in the long-running battle of R&D-based pharmaceutical companies to limit parallel trade in medicines across the EU. While the ECJ required the European Commission to conduct an in-depth examination of (...)

The European Commission fines animal feed phosphates producers for price-fixing and market-sharing in its first "hybrid" cartel settlement case (Yara Phosphates, Tessenderlo Chemie)
Winston & Strawn (London)
The European Commission (Commission) has today announced its first settlement of a cartel case in a so-called "hybrid" scenario, in which all but one company settled the case with the Commission in return for a 10 percent reduction in each of their fines (IP/10/985). The Commission has fined (...)

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 EU Commission monitors whether patent settlements concluded between pharmaceutical companies infringe EU antitrust rules
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Squire Patton Boggs (London)
On 12 January 2010, the European Commission sent an information request to a number of pharmaceutical companies, seeking copies of their patent settlement agreements, to check their compliance with EU antitrust rules (Official Press Release IP/10/12), as a follow up to its pharmaceutical sector (...)

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

The European Commission publishes a communication on the functionning of Regulation 1/2003
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Regulation 1/2003: How has this landmark reform worked in practice?"* I. Introduction The entry into force of Council Regulation 1/2003 on 1 May 2004 ushered in the most comprehensive reform of procedures to enforce Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty since 1962. Regulation 1/2003 modernised (...)

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

The EU Commission presents its preliminary report into the pharmaceutical sector
Linklaters (London)
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French Competition Authority
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Linklaters (London)
The European Commission presented its Preliminary Report into the pharmaceutical sector (which runs to 426 pages) at a public hearing on 28 November. The deadline for comments on the Report is 31 January 2009. Click here for a copy of the Report, the Commission’s press release and the opening (...)

The EU Commission introduces settlement procedure for cartel cases
Linklaters (Paris)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
On 30 June 2008, the European Commission introduced a new settlement procedure for cartel cases. Under the new procedure, the parties in a cartel investigation may acknowledge their breach of European antitrust law and waive certain procedural rights in exchange for a 10% reduction of the fine. (...)

The European Commission initiates proceedings against the French incumbent gaz operator (Gaz de France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 22 May 2008, the Commission initiated proceedings against Gaz de France for possible infringement of Articles 81 and 82 EC. According to the Commission’s statement, its investigation concerns the possible foreclosure of downstream supply markets for natural gas in France through long-term (...)

The European Commission consults on settlement procedure in cartel cases
Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (Brussels)
On 26 October 2007, the European Commission initiated a public consultation on a new settlement procedure in cartel cases. The procedure outlined in the Commission’s proposal is aimed at making the Commission’s investigations more efficient. Public comments are due by 21 December 2007 and the (...)

The European Commission renders legally binding commitments on four car manufacturers to give independent repairers proper access to repair information (DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Four decisions bind DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Toyota and General Motors to commitments to give independent repairers proper access to repair information"* I. Introduction: Importance of these decisions for consumers It is commonly recognised that there is a widespread problem in the motor (...)

The International Competition Network issues a report on co-operation between competition agencies in cartel investigations
Hong Kong’s Competition Commission
"Co-operation between competition agencies in cartel investigations"* The International Competition Network barely needs introduction by now. Created in 2001, this worldwide network of competition agencies, with no concrete headquarters or permanent secretariat, works on substantial and (...)

The European Commission fines fourteen undertakings a total of € 266 M for participating in a cartel for road pavement bitumen in the Netherlands (Esha, Klockner Bitumen, Kuwait Petroleum, Nynas, Shell, Total and Wintershall)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines fourteen undertakings a total of € 266 million for participating in a cartel for road pavement bitumen in the Netherlands"* On 13 September 2006 the Commission adopted a decision and imposed fines totalling € 266 717 000 on eight suppliers and six purchasers of road pavement (...)

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

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

The European Commission holds that investigation into German insurance industry did not reveal sufficient threat of foreclosure through tied agents (BIPAR)
University of Oxford
"Complaint against German insurers withdrawn after Commission preliminary investigations did not reveal sufficient threat of foreclosure through tied agents"* Introduction On 6 October 2003, the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries, BIPAR, withdrew its complaint against German (...)

The European Commission closes an investigation involving the incumbent Danish gas supplier and the country’s main gas producers after the latter committed themselves to market their production individually (DONG/DUC)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Vertical and horizontal restraints in the European gas sector – lessons learnt from the DONG/DUC case"* 1. Introduction On 23 April 2003 the Commission services closed their investigation into the DONG/DUC case relating to the Danish gas market . This case as well as some other cases recently (...)

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

The European Commission closes investigation into two transatlantic aviation alliances (Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines and KLM/NorthWest)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission closes investigation into Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines and KLM/NorthWest alliances"* I. Introduction On 28 October 2002 the European Commission decided to close its investigations under Article 85 (ex 89) of the Treaty into two transatlantic aviation alliances, that is the (...)

The European Commission ends proceedings regarding German book price fixing agreements following acceptance of commitment on cross-border sales (Sammelrevers)
European Court of Justice
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission ends competition proceedings regarding German book price fixing agreements following acceptance of an undertaking on cross-border sales"* Introduction The Commission has been dealing with the system of fixed book prices in Germany and Austria since its first notification in 1993 (...)

The European Commission and the UK OFT raise concerns about a proposed alliance between British and US companies airlines (British Airways/American Airlines)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Air transport — The proposed British Airways-American Airlines alliance"* In August 2001, the Commission, the UK Office of Fair Trading (‘OFT’) and the US Department of Transportation (‘DoT’) were informed of the intention of British Airways (‘BA’) and American Airlines (‘AA’) to deepen their (...)

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

Dominance

The EU Commission takes further steps concerning the case involving comparison shopping services and advertising-related practices (Google AdSens)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission takes further steps in investigations alleging Google’s comparison shopping and advertising-related practices breach EU rules* The Commission has sent two Statements of Objections to Google. The Commission has reinforced, in a supplementary Statement of Objections, its (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation concerning a potential abuse of dominance on Belgian beer market (AB InBev)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into AB InBev’s practices on Belgian beer market* The European Commission has opened an investigation, on its own initiative, to assess whether Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market by (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a technology company suspected of imposing restrictions on device manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU Commission Hits Google With Abuse Of Dominance Charges Over Android*Just as expected, following a one-year investigation and a number of information requests, the European Commission formally announced today that it is accusing Google’s parent company, Alphabet, of abusing its dominant (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections concerning the imposition of restrictions on smartphone manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 April 2016, the European Commission confirmed it issued a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Google concerning the imposition of restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. The investigation was formally opened in April 2015. Google now has until July 2016 to (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation on e-book’s distribution agreements concluded between several publishers and an electronic commerce company (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission opens formal investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution arrangements* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of electronic books ("e-books"). The Commission will in particular investigate (...)

The EU Commission finds that the order sought and the enforcement of an injunction before a German Court on the basis of a smartphone standard essential patent constituted abuse of dominance (Motorola Mobility)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission finds that Motorola Mobility misused standard essential patents* On 29 April 2014, the European Commission European held that it has adopted a decision which found that Motorola Mobility’s (“Motorola”) seeking and enforcement of an injunction against Apple before a German (...)

The EU Commission obtains new proposal on commitments in the context of an ongoing antitrust investigation as regards online search and search advertising (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Improved Google commitments (closer to) getting the thumbs up from the European Commission* On 5 February 2014, the European Commission issued a press release and a memo concerning the improved commitments proposed by Google (the commitments were made public by Google itself). At a press (...)

The EU Commission opens formal proceedings against the Lithuanian railway incumbent for removing railway track (Lietuvos geležinkeliai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 March 2013, the European Commission announced that it had opened formal antitrust proceedings against the Lithuanian railway incumbent AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai to investigate whether it restricted competition on the freight rail markets in Lithuania and Latvia by removing a railway (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission rejection of abuse complaint in the Irish whisky market (Protégé / Pernod Ricard)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2012, the General Court dismissed the appeal lodged by Protégé International Ltd against a European Commission decision to reject a complaint alleging breach of Article 102 TFEU by Pernod Ricard. In its complaint to the Commission, Protégé had alleged that Pernod Ricard (...)

The European Commission investigates Russian producer and supplier of natural gas for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the European markets (Gazprom)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
The European Commission has opened an abuse of dominance investigation against Gazprom. The investigation deals with the natural gas markets of eight central and eastern European markets. The investigation is framed within the energy policy that the European Union is pursuing which focuses on (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against US software company to investigate possible non-compliance with browser choice commitments (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 July 2012, the Commission announced that it had opened proceedings against Microsoft in order to investigate whether the company has failed to comply with its 2009 commitments to offer users a choice screen that provides another means of allowing users to choose their preferred web (...)

The European Commission invites leading web search engine to submit remedies to address alleged abuse of dominance concerns (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 May 2012, the Commission issued a press statement inviting Google to submit remedies to address four concerns it identified pursuant to the antitrust investigation it launched in November 2010 into a potential abuse by Google of its dominant market position. The Commission noted (...)

The European Commission announces the opening of proceedings in the market for the design of commercial control systems (The MathWorks)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 March 2012, the European Commission announced that it had opened a formal investigation to assess whether The MathWorks abused a dominant position under Article 102 TFEU in the market for the design of commercial control systems by preventing competitors from achieving (...)

The European Commission opens an investigation against south Korean producer of smart phones and tablet computers for abusive use of its essential patents for 3G mobile and wireless telecommunications system standard (Samsung)
European University Institute (Florence)
The European Commission opens an antitrust investigation against Samsung Electronic* On January 31, the European Commission announced the opening of a formal antitrust investigation against Samsung Electronic, the South Korean producer of smartphones and tablet computers. The case concerns the (...)

The EU General Court confirms the EU Commission’s decision to drop its antitrust investigation into manufacturers of ink-jet printers for alleged abuse of dominance (EFIM)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 November 2011, the General Court ("GC") handed down its judgment in EFIM v. Commission. In its ruling, the GC dismissed an action by the European Federation of Ink and Ink Cartridge Manufacturers (“EFIM”) against a previous 2009 European Commission decision to drop its antitrust (...)

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

The European Commission publishes commitments offered by a leading financial company (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 16 May 2011, the Commission published commitments offered by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) to remedy concerns regarding the pricing of international securities identification numbers (“ISINs”). ISINs are a standardized form of identification of securities which are needed in order to buy or (...)

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation over alleged antitrust violations in on-line search market (Microsoft, Google)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Microsoft Files Antitrust Complaint with European Commission Against Google* Microsoft Corporation has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Google Inc. as part of the EC’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the search engine company. In a March 30 blog post, Brad (...)

The EU Commission initiates formal investigations in two cases of suspected abuse of dominant market position (IBM)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates IBM’s conduct on the mainframe market* On 26 July 2010, the European Commission issued a press release stating that IBM is subject to a formal investigation for two alleged abuses of its dominant position on the market for mainframe computers in breach of (...)

The European Commission opens formal proceedings in the real-time market datafeeds sector (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 10 November 2009, the Commission announced that it was opening formal antitrust proceedings against Thomson Reuters regarding its practices in the area of real-time market datafeeds. In particular, the Commission will investigate whether customers or competitors are prevented from (...)

The EU Commission opens proceedings against two telecommunication operators (Telekomunikacja Polska, Slovak Telekom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 27 April 2009, the Commission issued a press release announcing that it had opened formal proceedings against Telekomunikacja Polska and Slovak Telekom for possible breaches of Article 82 EC. In particular, the Commission announced that it is investigating Slovak Telekom, the Slovak telecoms (...)

The European Commission opens formal proceedings against a financial company regarding its use of securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 12 January 2009, the Commission announced that it has opened formal proceedings into Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) licensing conditions regarding International Securities Identification Numbers (“ISINs”). ISINs are unique identifiers for securities issued throughout the world, and S&P is (...)

The European Commission approves structural remedies offered by German electricity operator in order to remove suspected infringements of EU Article 102 concerns in the German electricity wholesale and balancing markets (E.ON)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
"The E.ON electricity cases: an antitrust decision with structural remedies"* I. Introduction On 26 November 2008 the Commission adopted a commitment decision addressed to E.ON AG for suspected infringements of EU competition law involving the German electricity markets. For the first time in (...)

The European Commission publishes commitments offered by an energy operator to resolve two outstanding investigations under Article 82 EC (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 12 June 2008, the Commission adopted a press release announcing the beginning of market-testing for commitments offered by E.ON to resolve two outstanding investigations under Article 82 EC. The Commission previously welcomed the submission of such proposals on 28 February 2008. In the (...)

The European Commission welcomes submission of structural remedies to address two on-going investigations (E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 28 February 2008, the Commission adopted a press release welcoming proposals submitted by E.ON under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 to address two on-going investigations relating to competition in the German electricity market. As announced in the Commission’s press release, E.ON has (...)

The European Commission closes investigation against Danish windows manufacturer addressing the issue of rebates (Velux)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Copenhagen Economics (Brussels)
"The Velux case – an in-depth look at rebates and more"* I. Introduction “The Polish window manufacturer, Fakro, which claims to be the world’s second largest producer of roof windows, alleges it has been squeezed out of certain European markets by Danish rival Velux. The Polish group claims its (...)

The EU Commission concludes a settlement with telecommunications incumbent in a case concerning a presumed margin squeeze for broadband access in Germany (Deutsche Telekom)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Presumed margin squeeze for broadband access in Germany: settlement with Deutsche Telekom"* In February 2004, the Directorate-General for Competition concluded a settlement with Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) in a case concerning a presumed margin squeeze for broadband access in Germany. The (...)

The European Commission formally rejects two complaints in the electronic monitoring services field (On Guard Plus, Elmo-Tech)
European Commission - DG MARE
"The Commission formally rejects two complaints in the electronic monitoring services field"* 1. The complaints On 19 November 2001 (‘the first complaint’) and 1 July 2002 (‘the second complaint’) respectively, the UK-based firm On Guard Plus Ltd. (“OGPL”) filed complaints against the Israel-based (...)

The European Commission closes probe into computers manufacturer’s licensing terms for speech recognition engines (IBM)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission closes probe into IBM’s licensing terms for speech recognition engines"* In June 2002, the European Commission decided to close an investigation triggered by a complaint from UK voice recognition software company, AllVoice Computing plc, against IBM Corp., after the latter agreed to (...)

The European Commission closes its investigation on long-term supply agreements in the context of gas market liberalization (Gas Natural)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Long-term supply agreements in the context of gas market liberalisation: Commission closes investigation of Gas Natural"* Introduction On 27 March 2000 the Commission announced its decision to close its investigation concerning the long-term gas supply agreement entered into by the Spanish (...)

The European Commission closes probe into major EU airlines’ incentive schemes for travel agents (Virgin, BA, KLM)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission closes probe into major EU airlines’ incentive schemes for travel agents"* The Commission has recently closed its investigations into the incentive schemes for travel agents operated by several EU airlines. It had to ascertain that these incentive schemes were not used by dominant (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the market of railway equipment manufacturing (Wabtec / Faiveley)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Wabtec’s proposed takeover of railway equipment manufacturer Faiveley* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of Faiveley Transport of France by Westinghouse Air Brake (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation pertaining to a joint venture on the market of telecommunication in Italy (Hutchison / VimpelCom)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed Hutchison/VimpelCom joint venture in Italy* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed joint venture between the telecommunications activities of Hutchison and VimpelCom in Italy is (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the satellite and launch service markets (Arianespace / Airbus Safran Launchers)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into ASL’s acquisition of Arianespace* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission has concerns (...)

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

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the mobile telecommunications market (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK* The European Commission will investigate in-depth Hutchison’s takeover of Telefónica UK. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation to assess (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a takeover in the mobile phone retail market (Liberty Global / BASE)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of BASE Belgium by Liberty Global* The European Commission will investigate in-depth the Liberty Global/BASE Belgium takeover. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the office supplies market (Staples / Office Depot)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Staples’ proposed takeover of Office Depot* The European Commission will investigate in-depth the acquisition of office supplies distributor Office Depot by its competitor Staples. The European Commission has opened an in-depth (...)

The EU Commission open an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market of small package delivery, freight forwarding and cargo transportation services (TNT / FedEx)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of TNT by FedEx* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by FedEx Corporation is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies are major (...)

The European Commission clears the acquisition of a smartphone and tablet manufacturer’s patent pool by a leading smartphone operating system developer (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Womerang
“Honor your commitments” - The patent gatekeeping problem after antitrust regulators in the United States and the European Union cleared Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s patent pool* On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the Division) announced its decision to (...)

The US Department of Justice conditionally approves combination of stock exchanges groups while the EU Commission’s review is still pending (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Justice Department Conditionally Approves Combination of Stock Exchange Groups, European Review Still Pending* The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved (...)

The European Commission together with the US DoJ and FTC jointly issues revised best practices on cooperation in merger investigations
Sullivan & Cromwell (Brussels)
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Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati (Brussels)
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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Washington)
This article is the winner for the business category, mergers section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission (DG Competition) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase II the creation of the leading orange juice supplier (Votorantim / Fischer)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Votorantim / Fischer / JV Squeezing oranges, not consumers"* Introduction Last year the Commission adopted a decision in what has come to be known as the “orange juice case” , as it dealt with the creation of the leading orange juice supplier to the European market. The Brazilian groups (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase I a merger in the silicon sector examining possible coordination by the Chinese State of market behaviour of Chinese State-owned companies (China National Bluestar/Elkem)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
How to deal with Chinese State-owned Enterprises under the EUMR?* On 13 September, the Commission published its decision of 31 March 2011 in China National Bluestar/Elkem. After DSM/Sinochem/JV (decision of 10 May but published in June), this was the second published decision which dealt in (...)

The European Commission publishes its clearance decision in the first merger case in many years where it relies on merger simulation to require remedies (Unilever / Sara Lee)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Unilever/Sara Lee – The return of merger simulation?* In late January 2012, the Commission finally published the non-confidential version of its decision in Unilever/Sara Lee Body Care (adopted in November 2010). The decision, reached after a Phase II investigation, is notable because it marks (...)

The European Commission refers the assessment of the acquisition of Romanian and Bulgarian daily consumers goods retailers by German retailer to the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Romania (Lidl/Plus Bulgaria/Plus Romania)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2010"* On 28 June the Commission referred the assessment of the acquisition of Plus Bulgaria and Plus Romania by the German retailer Lidl to the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Romania, at their request. Plus Romania and Plus (...)

The European Commission clears in Phase II a merger in computer programming activities sector conducting the economic analysis based on a dynamic theory of harm (Oracle, Sun Microsystems)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
A few thoughts on Oracle’s Sun takeover and Widenius appeal* On Friday 2nd July, Monty Widenius, founder of open source database company MySQL, owned by Sun, filed an appeal against the European Commission’s unconditional clearance of the merger between Oracle and Sun Microsystems. The main (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition on the market for databases (Oracle and Sun Microsystems)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Commission’s in-depth investigation into Sun Microsystems takeover by Oracle* On 3 September 2009, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of U.S. hardware and software vendor Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, a U.S. database and application (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves an acquisition of a German company active in the construction of turnkey industrial plants by an investment company (IPIC/Man Ferrostah)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2009"* On 13 March 2009, under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of MAN Ferrostaal of Germany, a general contractor that constructs turnkey industrial plants, by International Petroleum (...)

The European Commission gives unconditional clearance to a merger between two Dutch airlines active in the transport of passengers and cargo (KLM/Martinair)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2008"* On 17 December the Commission gave unconditional clearance to the proposed acquisition of Martinair by KLM, both Dutch airlines active in the transport of passengers and cargo. In September, the Commission opened an (...)

The European Commission closes its investigation following the parties’ withdrawal of a proposed acquisition in the mining industry (BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2008"* On 26 November the Commission announced that it intended to close its investigation into BHP Billiton‘s proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto following BHP Billiton‘s announcement that it had abandoned the deal and had withdrawn (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the retail fuel sector using customers surveys and econometrics studies in order to assess the likelihood of anticompetitive effects (StatoilHydro, Jet)
KPMG (London)
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E.CA Economics (Berlin)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Fuel for thought - StatoilHydro/ConocoPhillips (Jet)"* I. Introduction When faced with a proposed merger, antitrust authorities have to assess the likelihood and the magnitude of anticompetitive effects that may occur following the removal of one of the merging parties as an independent (...)

The European Commission opens second phase investigation into a proposed acquisition in the airline sector (KLM/Martinair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2008, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition by KLM of fellow Dutch-carrier Martinair. Both KLM and Martinair, whose shares are currently split evenly between KLM and sea and land transport company Maersk, are active in air transport of (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the shipbuilding construction sector (STX / Aker Yards)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2008"* In May the Commission approved the proposed acquisition of control of the Norwegian shipbuilder Aker Yards by STX of South Korea. After an in-depth investigation, launched in December 2007 the Commission concluded that effective (...)

The European Commission approves acquisition in the petrochemicals sector after in-depth investigation of the relevant geographic market (Ineos, Kerling)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission
"Ineos/Kerling: Raising the standard for geographic market definition?"* On 30 January 2008, following an in-depth investigation, the Commission approved the acquisition of Kerling ASA (‘Kerling‘) - the polymer division of the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro - by the UK-based INEOS Group Limited (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition of a Dutch chemical company by a US private equity firm (Arsenal Capital Partners/DSM Special Products)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2008"* On 9 January the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of chemical company DSM Special Products (DSP) of the Netherlands by Arsenal Capital Partners (Arsenal), a US private equity firm. Arsenal owns Velsicol, a (...)

The European Commission clears a merger in the electronic travel distribution services through a global distribution system (GDS) (Travelport/Worldspan)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2007"* On 21 August the Commission cleared Travelport‘s proposed acquisition of sole control of Worldspan. Both companies provide electronic travel distribution services through a Global Distribution System (GDS). There were (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in automobile equipment industry (HgCapital/Denton)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2007"* On 13 June the European Commission acknowledged the abandonment of the proposed acquisition of Denton (US) by the UK-based financial investment group HgCapital, owner of FTSS, and closed its investigation following the (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the withdrawal of an acquisition in the market for standard ISO tank containers (China International Marine Containers/Burg Group)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2006"* A proposed acquisition by China International Marine Containers (“CIMC”) of the Dutch Burg Group (“Burg”) which had been notified in February was effectively abandoned during the Commission’s Phase II investigation. The transaction had (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition creating the world’s largest shipping company (PONL/Maersk)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2005"* The European Commission cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the shipping company Royal P&O Nedlloyd (PONL) by AP Moller-Maersk A/S (Maersk). The Commission’s clearance was conditional upon the (...)

The EU Commission acknowledges the withdrawal of a proposed joint venture in the petroleum-based waxes industry (Sasol Wax International / Total)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January to 30 April 2005"* Sasol Wax International (Sasol) and Total SA abandoned their proposed joint venture in the field of petroleum-based waxes following the Commission’s decision to open an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation. Sasol (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the withdrawal of a proposed joint acquisition in the digital rights management (DRM) industry (Microsoft/Time Warner/Contentguard)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January to 30 April 2005"* Microsoft and Time Warner had notified the Commission of their intention to acquire joint control of Contentguard. Contentguard is one of the main Digital Rights Management (DRM) patent-holders. The Commission launched an (...)

The European Commission gives the green light to the merger between the two existing satellite pay-TV platforms in Italy subject to a complex package of conditions (Newscorp/Telepiù)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Commission closes probe into pay-TV industry in Italy approving Newscorp/Telepiù merger deal"* On 2 April 2003, after an in-depth investigation, the Commission gave the green light to the merger between the two existing satellite pay-TV platforms in Italy subject to a complex package of (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the building materials sector after partially referring the case to the German Bundeskartellamt (Haniel/Fels)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2002 and 30th April 2002"* The Commission cleared the proposed acquisition by Haniel Baustoff-Industrie Zuschlagstoffe GmbH of Fels-Werke GmbH, two German companies active in the building materials sector. The Commission examined carefully (...)

The European Commission partially clears a merger between two Danish largest slaughterhouses and refers part of the assessment to the Danish authorities (Danish Crown/Steff-Houlberg)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2002 and 30th April 2002"* The Commission’s own preliminary review of the case showed that the competition concerns were limited to the Danish market where Danish Crown and Steff-Houlberg are currently the two largest competitors. The (...)

The EU Commission investigates possible collective dominance in the publication paper industry (UPM-Kymmene / Haindl)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Conseil régional de Midi-Pyrénées
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Investigation into possible collective dominance in the publication paper industry"* On 20 June 2000, the Commission received a notification by which the Finnish firm UPM-Kymmene proposed to merge with the German company Haindl. On the same day, the Commission received a notification of a (...)

The European Commission refers to the German Bundeskartellamt the examination of the impact of part of a proposed acquisition in the German wall building materials markets (Haniel/Fels)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st September 2001 and 31st December 2001"* On 17 October 2001 the Commission referred to the Bundeskartellamt the examination of the impact of part of the proposed acquisition by Haniel Baustoff-Industrie Zuschlagstoffe GmbH of Fels-Werke GmbH (...)

The European Commission acknowledges the abandonment of a proposed acquisition in the airlines industry (SairGroup/CGD/Partest/Portugália)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* The deal was abandoned after the Commission had opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed joint control of Portuguese airline Portugália by SAirGroup, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Partestand Banco Comercial (...)

The European Commission opens full investigation into the proposed acquisition of a British broadband cable company (Microsoft, Liberty Media/Telewest)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* Microsoft notified an operation in February whereby it would have acquired joint control over Telewest, a British broadband cable company, with Liberty Media, a subsidiary of AT&T Corp. The Commission started an (...)

The European Commission opens an in-depth investigation on the proposed alliance between the Rotterdam Port Authority and two container terminal operators (Hutchison and ECT)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* The Commission opened an in-depth investigation on the proposed alliance between the Rotterdam Port Authorityand the container terminal operators Hutchisonand ECT. The container terminals at the deepsea ports of Felixstowe and Thamesport (...)

The European Commission opens full investigation into a proposed merger in the airlines industry (KLM/Martinair)
European Commission - DG TRADE
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European Commission - DG TRADE
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* In KLM/Martinair, the European Commission decided to open a full investigation based on competition concerns regarding the supply of flights from Dutch airports (notably Amsterdam/Schiphol) to tour operators and individual ‘leisure’ (...)

The EU Commission opens a detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators (British Telecom / AT&T)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* The Commission decided to open detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between British Telecom and the US firm AT&T, two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators. The joint venture will provide a broad range of (...)

The European Commission enters a second-phase investigation into a proposed merger in the alcoholic beverages industry (Guinness/Grand Metropolitan)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 16 May, Guinness PLC (“Guinness”) and Grand Metropolitan PLC (“GrandMet”) notified their intention to merge all of their business activities into a new entity. Guinness‘s principal business activities are in the distilling and (...)

The EU Commission initiates a detailed investigation into the creation of a joint venture between US leading soft drinks company and Danish brewing company (Coca-Cola / Carlsberg)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 2nd May, the Commission decided to initiate a detailed investigation into the creation of a joint venture and the transfer of assets between The Coca-Cola Company and Carlsberg. In the first stage, the operation only affects (...)

The European Commission decides to carry out an in-depth investigation into a proposed concentration in the markets for platinum groups metals (Anglo American/Lonrho)
European Commission - DG GROW
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers - Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 16th December 1996 the Commission decided to open proceedings to carry out a “Phase 2” investigation in another case, the shareholding of the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa (AAC) in Lonrho. AAC and companies related (...)

The European Commission opens proceedings in order to carry out an in-depth investigation into a proposed acquisition in the beverages sector (Coca-Cola Enterprises/Amalgamated Beverages)
European Commission - DG GROW
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers - Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 19th September 1996, the Commission decided to open proceedings in order to carry out an in-depth (“Phase 2”) investigation under the Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) of (...)

The European Commission opens proceedings for a detailed investigation of a proposed joint venture for the manufacture, processing, marketing and sale of silicon carbide (Saint-Gobain/Wacker Chemie/NOM)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 31st July the Commission opened proceedings for a detailed investigation of the proposed joint venture between two subsidiaries of Saint-Gobain and Wacker Chemie and NOM (a private state-owned Dutch investment and development (...)

The European Commission initiates detailed investigation into a proposed concentration in the wholesale and retail of daily consumer goods and specialty goods in Finland (Kesko/Tuko)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 26 July the Commission decided to open proceedings on the acquisition of Tuko Oy by Kesko Oy. Keskoand Tuko are active in Finland in the wholesale and retail of daily consumer goods (both food and non-food products) and (...)

The European Commission initiates an in depth investigation of the proposed joint venture for supply of services to operators of cable, audiovisual and television services (Telefonica/Sogecable/Cablevision)
European Commission - DG GROW
"Mergers : Summary of the most important recent developments"* On 26th July 1995 Telefonica and Sogecable together with Canal Plus, Spain agreed to merge their activities relating to the supply of services to operators of cable, audiovisual and television services in a joint venture, (...)

The EU Commission investigates into the creation of a joint venture in the beverages industry (Orkla / Volvo)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG HR
"Mergers : summary of the most important recent developments"* The Commission is currently conducting an in depth investigation into the proposal of Orkla (Norway) and Volvo (Sweden) to form a joint beverages company operating in the two countries. The joint venture will produce, bottle, (...)

The EU Commission carries out a detailed inquiry in a Dutch TV proposed joint venture (RTL / Veronica / Endemol)
DG REGIO Regional and urban policy
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European Commission - DG HR
"Mergers : summary of the most important recent developments"* The Commission’s began an examination of the RTL/Veronica/Endemol case following a request from the Dutch government to this effect, in the absence of which the Commission would not have jurisdiction to deal with the case since the (...)

State Aids

The EU General Court reminds Member States that when they claim that an exemption follows from the logic of the tax system they have to make absolutely sure that they treat equally and consistently all similar cases (Ryanair)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Another Measure that Cannot Be Justified by the Logic of the Tax System* The granting of a tax exception is often found to constitute State aid. But the non-levying of a tax may also fall within the scope of Article 107(1). Competitors have more rights when the Commission does not open the (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a decision of the Commission for the excessive length and lack of analysis in the preliminary investigation period (Ryanair)
European University Institute (Florence)
Case T-512/11 Ryanair : Commission’s ATT Ireland Decision Partly Annulled (ATT Act I)* RyannThis post takes a preliminary look at Case T-512/11 Ryanair Ltd v Commission. This is only one of the appeals being brought against the Commission’s dabblings with the Irish Air Travel Tax (ATT) and as (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Mengozzi clarifies the role of national courts in case of simultaneous state aid investigation by the Commission (Lufthansa, Frankfurt airport, Ryanair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Abbie (Wavre)
On 27 June 2013, Advocate General Mengozzi rendered an opinion clarifying the role of national courts in case of simultaneous state aid investigation by the European Commission (the “Commission”). The case stems from a dispute between Lufthansa and the Frankfurt airport regarding the (...)

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

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

The European Commission approves the aid to German bank on the basis of an in‑depth restructuring plan (Hypo Real estate)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The rescue and restructuring of Hypo Real estate"* 1. Introduction In this article, we briefly describe the case of State aid for Hypo Real Estate (HRE). HRE is a German banking group that got into difficulties in 2008 and was subsequently rescued and nationalised by Germany. In July (...)

The European Commission extends its ongoing State aid investigation into German bank (WestLB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 5 November 2010 the Commission extended its ongoing State aid investigation into WestLB after reaching the conclusion that the bank had received an estimated Eur. 3.4 billion in State subsidies more than it was initially (...)

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

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

The European Commission concludes that Italian measures in favor of two R&D projects in the aeronautical industry does not constitute State aid (Agusta)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The European Commission has concluded that Italian measures in favour of two R&D projects conducted by Agusta concerning helicopters (A139 and BA609) are of a military nature and therefore fall within the scope of (...)

The Advocate General Kokott issues opinion on access to documents in State aid investigations (Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2009, Advocate General Kokott handed down her opinion in a case concerning the Commission’s refusal to grant access to certain documents in State aid proceedings. The Advocate General essentially agrees with the earlier judgment of the Court of First Instance which found that the (...)

The European Commission endorses a payment of State aid to a French TV broadcaster under the communication on State aid for the funding of public service broadcasters but opens a formal investigation into other aspects of the funding (France Télévision)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* On 1 September 2009, the European Commission authorised a payment of state aid to France Télévision in 2009, as it complied with the Commission Communication on state aid for the funding of public service broadcasters. The (...)

The European Commission approves € 5 billion risk shield and accompanying measures for German bank (WestLB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* Under EU state aid rules, and following an in-depth investigation that began in October 2008, the European Commission approved the € 5 billion risk shield and accompanying measures for German bank WestLB. The risk shield was (...)

The European Commission authorises State aid granted by Poland for restructuring shipyard (Gdansk Shipyard)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Restructuring of Gdansk Shipyard — outlook good for return to viability after four-year investigation"* On 22 July 2009, the Commission authorised State aid granted or planned by Poland for restructuring Gdansk Shipyard. The Commission found that both the € 94 million of aid already received by (...)

The European Commission temporarily clears a recapitalisation scheme and an asset relief measure offered to regional German bank (Landesbank Baden-Württemberg)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2009"* The European Commission granted temporary clearance to a recapitalisation scheme and an asset relief measure offered to Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) by the German State of Baden-Württemberg. The asset relief is to be (...)

The European Commission adopts a Code of best practices for the conduct of State aid procedures
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Simplification Package in State Aid: Notice on Simplified Procedure and Best Practices Code"* I. Introduction In 2005, the Commission adopted the State Aid Action Plan (‘the SAAP’). While not ruling out the possibility of a later revision of the Procedural Regulation, the SAAP announced (...)

The European Commission temporary approves the illiquid asset back-up facility provided by the Dutch State to a financial group (ING Group)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Groupe Holder
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"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2009"* On 31 March 2009, the Commission approved for 6 months the illiquid asset back-up facility provided by the Dutch State to the financial group ING, while at the same time initiating the formal investigation procedure laid down (...)

The European Commission decides to open formal investigation proceedings on the subsidy provided by Italy to consumers buying a certain type of decoders allowing the view of digital television programs
European Commission - DG MOVE
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European Commission - DG ECFIN
"State aid to digital decoders: proportionality is needed to meet common interest"* 1. Introduction In December 2005 the Commission decided to open formal investigation proceedings on the subsidy provided by Italy to consumers buying a certain type of decoders allowing the view of digital (...)

The European Commission decides to launch a formal investigation on possible State aid in favour of a steel producer in the Czech Republic (Trinecké Zelezárny)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Aid in favour of Trinecké Zelezárny, a.s. a steel producer in the Czech Republic"* On 14 December 2004 the Commission decided to launch a formal investigation on possible State aid in favour of Trinecké Zelezárny, a.s. (TZ), a steel producer in the Czech Republic. The Commission has reasons to (...)

The European Commission opens investigation procedure regarding State aid to Polish steel company (Huta Czestochowa)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Commission opens investigation procedure regarding aid to Polish steel company Huta Czestochowa"* Introduction On 19 May 2004, the European Commission took its first decision outside the interim procedure to launch an in-depth probe into possible aid granted to a company in a new Member (...)

The European Commission launches formal investigation on measures in favour of non-profit harbours for recreational crafts in the Netherlands (Enkhuizen, Nijkerk and Wieringermee)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid and the effect on trade criterion The Netherlands: measures in favour of non-profit harbours for recreational crafts"* Following a complaint, on 5 February 2003 the Commission initiated the formal investigation procedure down in Article 88 (2) of the EC Treaty on the possible (...)

The European Commission launches formal investigation procedure into restructuring aid in favour of British Electricty supplier (British Energy)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission launches formal investigation procedure into restructuring aid in favour of British Energy plc"* British Energy plc (BE) is one of the most important suppliers of electricity in the UK. It supplies about 20% of the electricity consumed in Great Britain, and accounts for 14% of the (...)

The Council of the EU approves the Commission’s strategy against unfair Korean practices in the shipbuilding sector
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG CLIMA
"The Council approves the commission’s twin-track strategy against unfair Korean practices in the shipbuilding sector"* In line with the 1998 Shipbuilding Regulation, decades of operating aid to Community shipyards came to an end in December 2000. The Community’s attempts to increase efficiency (...)

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

The European Commission initiates the procedure laid down in art. 88(2) of the EC Treaty with regard to the regional venture capital funds proposed by the UK authorities
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Main developments between 1st October and 31st December 2000"* On 18 October 2000 the Commission decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 88(2) EC with regard to the Regional Venture Capital Funds proposed by the UK authorities. These funds are intended to fill a gap in the (...)

The European Commission opens the procedure under art. 88 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning Italian fiscal measures to banks and banking foundations over concerns that the measures may constitute unlawful State aid
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Main developments between 1st October and 31st December 2000"* On 4 october 2000, the European Commission decided to open the Article 88 (2) procedure into Italian fiscal measures to banks and banking foundations over concerns that the measures, de signed to facilitate mergers in and the (...)

The European Commission investigates aid granted by the UK government in a venture capital fund located in northern Ireland (Viridian Growth Fund)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"United Kingdom – Commission investigates aid involved in the Viridian Growth Fund, a venture capital fund located in Northern Ireland"* On 26 July, the Commission decided to open the Article 88(2) EC procedure regarding aid involved in a new venture capital fund in Northern Ireland called the (...)

The Commission approves State aid granted by Sweden to improve the indoor environment in buildings for reasons of public health
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Sweden – Commission approves State aid to improve the indoor environment in buildings for reasons of public health"* On 12 July 2000 the Commission decided to close the Article 88(2) procedure with a positive decision in respect of an aid scheme intended to reduce the presence of allergenic (...)

The European Commission approves tax incentives granted by the Irish government and opens in the same decision a 88.2 EC procedure (Building owners in the Customs House Docks Area)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Ireland - The Commission approves tax incentives for building owners in the Customs House Docks Area (CDHA), on the basis of the 1998 Finance Act, but opens the 88.2 EC procedure as regards tax incentives for building owners and for tenants on the basis of the 1994 and 1995 Finance Acts and of (...)

The European Commission approves restructuring aid granted by the German government in favor of heavy machinery manufacturer (SKET Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, Saxony-Anhalt)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany – Commission approves restructuring aid to SKET Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH, Saxony-Anhalt"* By decision of 21 July 1999, the European Commission decided to approve restructuring aid in the amount of DM 57,800,000 (some 29.5 million EURO) to SKET Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH, (...)

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

The European Commission closes investigation proceedings and limits the aid granted by the Dutch government in favor of the establishment of a process-integrated gas turbine (Nerefco-refinery)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Netherlands. – The Commission closed investigation proceedings and limited the aid for the Process-integrated Gas Turbine at the Nerefco-refinery"* On March 30th 1999, the European Commission decided to close the investigation proceedings with regard to the Dutch proposal to grant aid to (...)

The European Commission opens a 88 § 2 EC procedure into special tax credits granted by the Spanish government in favor of publicly owned shipyards
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Spain. - The Commission opened the 88 § 2 EC procedure into special tax credits in favour of the publicly owned shipyards"* On 20 January 1999 the Commission decided to open an investigation procedure into special tax credits of 18.45 billion pesetas (approx € 111 million) paid in 1998 to the (...)

The European Commission opens an art. 93 (2) proceeding concerning a Dutch aid proposal to support the construction of a process integrated gas turbine (NEREFCO refinery)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Netherlands. The Commission decided to open the 93 (2) proceedings with regard to the Dutch aid proposal: ‘Process Integrated Gas Turbine at the NEREFCO refinery’"* The Commission has decided to investigate the proposal of the Dutch government to give aid of about ECU 6,7 million to support (...)

The European Commission decides to open art. 93(2) proceedings concerning a State guarantee covering 50% of a loan of 50 million ECU which is envisaged to be awarded by the regional Flemish authorities to a joint venture in the telecommunications industry (Hermes Europe Railtel)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"BELGIQUE. La Commision décide l’ouverture de la procédure de l’article 93 §2 du traité CE en vue d’examiner la compatibilité avec le marché commun de l’octroi par les autorités régionales flamandes d’une garantie de crédit en faveur de la société de télécommunications Hermes Europe Railtel N.V."* On 7 (...)

The European Commission opens a procedure under art. 93(2) concerning the proposal of an aid granted by the Austrian government for the development of a ’mill information and control system’ relating specifically to the construction of a new paper machine (KNP Leykam)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"AUTRICHE. La Commission a décidé d’ouvrir la procédure au titre de l’article 93 §2 du traité CE à l’égard d’une aide prévue en faveur de KNP Leykam au titre de la R&D"* On 25 March 1998, the Commission decided to open a procedure with respect to the Austrian government’s proposal to give aid of ECU (...)

The European Commission opens a procedure under art. 93(2) concerning a State aid granted by Germany for the R&D projects of a micro-electronics components manufacturer (SICAN)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"ALLEMAGNE. La Commission ouvre la procédure au titre de l’article 93 §2 du traité CE à l’égard des aides qui ont été octroyées au titre de la R&D au groupe SICAN et à ses associés"* On 11 March 1998, the Commission decided to open a procedure with respect to aid given to SICAN-group. SICAN group, (...)

The European Commission opens the 93 (2) proceedings against State aid granted by Austria to an equipment company (Siemens Bauelemente)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"AUSTRIA. The Commission decides to open the 93 (2) proceedings against state aid to Siemens Bauelemente OHG"* The Commission has decided to investigate the Austrian government’s proposal to give aid of ECU 27 million to Siemens Bauelemente OHG for the production of power semiconductors using (...)

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

Procedures

The EU General Court dismisses the use of the Transparency Regulation to gain access to documents exchanged between the EU Commission and a national competition authority (Union de Almacenistas de Hierros de España)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information On 12 May 2015 the General Court has fully rejected the action brought by Union de Almacenistas de Hierros de España (“UAHE”), a professional association, against the decision taken by the European Commission on 18 June 2013. By virtue of such decision the European (...)

The European Court of Human Rights rules that French dawn raids breached fundamental rights (Vinci / GTM)
JPTT & Partners
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (London)
The European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”) has ruled in the Vinci case that the circumstances surrounding the electronic removal of documents and computer files during a dawn raid violated two companies’ privacy rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) . The case (...)

The European Court of Human Rights rules that dawn raids carried out at the premises of two companies by the French Department for Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud violates both the rights of defense and the right to privacy (Vinci / GTM)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Paris)
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently ruled that dawn raids carried out at the premises of two French construction companies by the DGCCRF (French Department for Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud) violated both the rights of defense and the right to privacy, due to (...)

The cooperation agreement between the European Union and Switzerland concerning the application of their competition laws is in force since the 1st of December 2014
Kobel Attorney
NB: This article will be published in Concurrences N° 2-2014, Case comments: International Policy The Agreement between the European Union and Switzerland concerning cooperation on the application of their competition laws came into force on December 1, 2014 (hereafter “Cooperation Agreement” (...)

The General Court of the European Union upholds the imposition of a fine of €2.5 million to companies for breach of their duty to cooperate during an inspection of the Commission (EPH / EPIA)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On November 27, 2014, the General Court of the European Union (Court) upheld the imposition of a fine of €2.5 million to the companies EPH and EPIA for breach of their duty to cooperate during an inspection of the European Commission (Commission). This heavy sanction once again illustrates the (...)

The European Commission Vice President in charge with the competition policy delivers remarks on the development of cartel enforcement in the EU
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Cartel Enforcement: In Europe, Like Canada, Cat & Mouse Game: Interesting Remarks by EU Competition Head Almunia* Earlier today (3 April 2014) I read remarks delivered by European Commission competition head Joaquin Almunia in Brussels on the topic of cartel enforcement (see: Fighting (...)

The EU General Court confirms practice of the Commission regarding requests for information based on simple presumptions (Cementos Portland Valderrivas)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On March 14, 2014, the General Court of the European Union (General Court) has confirmed the practice of the European Commission (Commission) regarding requests for information based on simple presumptions. The judgments demonstrate a bias in favour of the effectiveness of inspections (...)

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

The European Competition Network publishes recommendations on investigative and decision making powers intended to serve as guidance for policymakers
European Commission
ECN Recommendations on investigative and decision making Powers published* On 10 December 2013, a set of European Competition Network (ECN) Recommendations on key investigative and decision-making powers were published. The ECN Recommendations are intended to serve as guidance for (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the appeal against the decision made by the Commission to refuse access to a document in its investigation of the merger between two leading stock exchanges (Beninca)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts On 3 April 2012, based on the Regulation No 1049/ 2001 (hereafter "the Regulation"), Mr Jürgen Beninca (hereafter “the applicant”) called the European Commission to grant him access to a memorandum of the Head of the unit responsible for competition matters of the Directorate-General (...)

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

The EU Commission revises guidance on conduct of dawn raids
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2013, the Commission published revised guidance on the conduct of on-the-spot inspections at the business premises of companies suspected of having engaged in anti- competitive behaviour. The main aim of the revision is to reflect rapid technological changes in the last few (...)

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

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

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

The European General Court halts dawn raid "fishing expeditions" (Nexans, Prysmian)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
European Commission
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
Following dawn raids on the premises of electric cable manufacturers, the European General Court has partially overturned two EU Commission inspection decisions, finding the scope of inspection to be overreaching in scope. This is the first time that a court has annulled (albeit partially) a (...)

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

The EU General Court confirms that fact-finding measures conducted under article 20(4) of the Regulation No 1/2003 do not bring about a distinct change of the legal position of the applicant, thus may not be the subject of an action for annulment (Nexans)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction The applicants in the present case seek the annulment of Commission decision of 9 January 2009 ordering them to submit to an inspection in accordance with article 20(4) of Regulation No 1/2003 as well as the way in which it was executed. In the context of an investigation the (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission’s inspection decision and declares inadmissible actions for annulment of measures adopted during the inspection (Nexans)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
In two judgments rendered on 14 November 2012, the EU General Court (the ‘General Court’) provided guidance on the Commission’s obligation to define the product and geographic scope of its inspections and partially annulled two decisions ordering an inspection (the ‘inspection decisions’) on the (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission’s inspection decision and declares inadmissible actions for annulment of measures adopted during the inspection (Prysmian)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
In two judgments rendered on 14 November 2012, the EU General Court (the ‘General Court’) provided guidance on the Commission’s obligation to define the product and geographic scope of its inspections and partially annulled two decisions ordering an inspection (the ‘inspection decisions’) on the (...)

The European Commission signs memorandum of understanding on cooperation with Chinese antitrust authorities
European Commission
European Commission signs Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation with Chinese Antitrust Authorities, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC)* On 20 September 2012, the European Commission (Directorate-General for (...)

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

The EU General Court confirms Commission’s right to request documents pre-dating a member state’s accession to the EU (Slovak Telecom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 March 2012, the General Court rendered a judgment confirming the European Commission’s power to request documents pre-dating a member state’s accession to the EU. Indeed, the Court found that the Commission had been entitled to order Slovak Telekom to disclose information predating (...)

The EU Commission issues new detailed guidance on confidentiality claims
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 March 2012, the European Commission published new informal guidance on how confidentiality claims should be made by undertakings in respect of documents and submissions provided to DG Competition in the context of investigations into alleged breaches of Article 101 and Article 102 (...)

The EU Commission publishes a notice regarding commitments dealing with restrictions as regards licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Thomson Reuters offers commitments to close investigation by European Commission* On 14 December 2011 the European Commission published a notice inviting comments on commitments offered by Thomson Reuters that address concerns about whether its licensing practices, in relation to the Reuters (...)

The European Commission adopts new proposals on credit rating agencies featuring competition-related remedies
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
There’s no way, but the hard way* The Commission’s Draft Proposal for a New Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies (“CRAs”) is just out. It enshrines a whole host of competition-related remedies (see text at the end of this post). Amongst the proposals on the table: • A limitation of the (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls fines imposed on Belgian chemicals company for anticompetitive conduct due to a breach of essential procedural requirements (Solvay)
University of Berkeley
European Court of Justice annuls antitrust fines due to a breach of essential procedural requirements* On October 25th, 2011 the European Court of Justice annulled antitrust fines that were imposed on the company Solvay by the European Commission in the year 2000 (and approved by European (...)

The European Commission issues new best practice guidelines on antitrust proceedings
Unilever (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The European Commission published on 17 October 2011 its new guidelines for best practices during antitrust procedures. The guidelines cover the main proceedings concerning alleged infringements of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (cartel (...)

The EU Competition Commissioner Almunia proposes changes to the Commission’s procedural practice in antitrust investigations
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2011, Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia announced a number of modifications he intends to introduce to the procedural rules governing antitrust proceedings before the Commission. The contemplated modifications concern DG Competition’s procedural Best Practices and the revision of (...)

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

The EU General Court rejects veto right for Member States for disclosing information supplied in State aid investigations (Gruppo Tirrenia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In joined cases T-109/05 and T-444/05, the General Court (“GC”) recently ruled that the Commission had unlawfully refused to grant access to confidential data excluded from the public version of a Commission decision on state aid, and this despite the ulterior annulment of this decision. The (...)

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

The European General Court upholds the European Commission’s 38 M € fine on energy operator for the breach of a seal during an inspection (E.ON)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The European Court of Justice holds that in-house lawyers are not protected by legal professional privilege in antitrust investigations (Akzo)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Dentons (Brussels)
On September 14, 2010, the Court of Justice (the Court) issued its judgment in Akzo v. Commission (Case C-550/07 P, hereinafter the Judgment) dismissing an appeal brought by Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd. (Akzo) against a judgment of the Court of First instance (now the General Court) of September (...)

The European Commission rejects legal privilege protection for correspondence between outside counsel of opposing companies (Servier, Teva)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission has recently published the non-confidential version of a decision adopted on 23 July 2010 regarding a claim by a pharmaceutical company, Les Laboratoires Servier, and its parent company Servier SAS (“Servier”), that a document seized during an unannounced inspection in (...)

The EU General Court imposes a high burden on the European Commission to refuse access to its confidential records (Editions Odile Jacob)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On June 9, 2010, the EU’s General Court (Court) issued its judgment on an appeal by Editions Odile Jacob (EOJ) against a decision by the European Commission (the Commission) refusing to disclose certain documents relating to the Commission’s review under the EC Merger Regulation of the (...)

The European Ombudsman criticises an investigation of the Commission (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision dated 18 November 2009, the European Ombudsman found that the Commission had committed an act of maladministration in its investigation of Intel’s alleged breach of Article 82 EC. In May 2009, the Commission imposed a fine of € 1.06 billion on Intel for abusing its dominant (...)

The European Commission closes its investigation on an alleged obstruction of an inspection in the pharmaceuticals sector (Sanofi-Aventis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 October 2008, the Commission decided to close its investigation into Sanofi-Aventis’ alleged obstruction of a Commission inspection in the framework of the pharmaceuticals sector inquiry. During the inspection, Sanofi-Aventis denied Commission inspectors access to certain documents until a (...)

The European Commission imposes a € 38 M fine on electricity operator for breaking the Commission seals during an investigation (E.ON)
European Commission - DG ENER
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The E.ON seals case - €38 million fine for tampering with Commission seals"* In January 2008, the Commission — making use of its new powers under Article 23(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 for the first time — imposed a fine of EUR 38 million on the German energy company, E.ON Energie AG (...)

The European Commission adopts the second report on application of the agreement between the EC and the Government of the USA regarding the application of their competition laws
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
"Report on application of the Agreement between the European Communities and the Government of the United States of America regarding the application of their competition laws, 1 July 1996 to 31 December 1996"* On 4 July 1997 the Commission adopted the second report on the application of the (...)

The European Commission adopts a communication towards an international framework of competition rules
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Towards an international framework of competition rules"* On 18 June 1996, the Commission adopted a Communication (Communication from the Commission to the Council of 18 June 1996, “Towards an international framework of competition rules”, COM(96) 284 final) to the Council on trade and (...)

Regulations

The European Commission halts the artificial inflation of “Mobile Termination Rates” (MTR) by Polish telecom regulator (Aero2)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
EU Commission halts the artificial inflation of “Mobile Termination Rates” (MTR) by Polish telecom regulator* In its letter to the Polish telecom regulator (“UKE”) sent on November 21, 2011 the European Commission objected to the increase of the MTR for one of the mobile operators - Aero2 and (...)

The European Commission launches sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG EMPL
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission launches sector inquiry into pharmaceuticals"* On 15 January 2008, the Commission initiated an inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector. As a first step, the Commission undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of pharmaceutical companies in the EU. It was (...)

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