Judicial review

Anticompetitive practices

Judicial review and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
To be asked to contribute a foreword is pleasant, if that which is to be published is of good quality. Happily, such is the present case. e-Competitions, a child of this electronic century, has been publishing articles on competition topics since 2004. The mode of publication was so novel to me (...)

The US Supreme Court immunizes from antitrust liability pricing-fixing agreements of a legitimate joint venture (Texaco/Dagher)
University of Central Florida - Department of Legal Studies
Something Radical is Afoot: Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher and the Revolutionary Treatment of Price Fixing in the Joint Venture Context* This article analyzes a 2006 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher, which immunized joint venturers from antitrust liability for fixing the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal gives guidance as to the consequences to be drawn from the EC Commission decision annulling the decision of the Belgian Ordre des Architectes
European Commission - DG HR
An agreement passed with an architect fixed the fee in accordance with the deontological norm set by the Belgian Ordre des Architectes. The architect asked its client to pay the fee for the work he had made. The client refused, arguing that the agreement was void because the fee was set in (...)

The EU General Court rules that a parent company cannot be held liable for aggravated circumstances of a subsidiary’s conduct prior to the date of its acquisition (Parker Hannifin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Under settled case law, a subsidiary and its parent company may be regarded as forming a single economic unit for the purpose of EU competition law. In such case, the Commission may be entitled to hold the parent company jointly and severally liable for the unlawful conduct of its subsidiary (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces the fines of three wallpaper manufacturers for their involvement in a price-fixing cartel (Graham)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2016, the French Court of Appeal reduced the fines imposed on three wallpaper manufacturers for their involvement in a price-fixing cartel in the wallpaper sector between May 2006 and September 2010. In a decision of December 2014, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) found that (...)

The Commercial Court of Appeal of Kiev City quashes the ruling of a lower court upholding the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee in a case involving allegations of anticompetitive information exchange (AC Nielsen)
Asters
On 31 March 2016, the Kiev Commercial Court of Appeal (the "Court of Appeal") quashed the ruling of the Kiev Commercial Court (the "Lower Court") upholding the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the "AMC") in the case involving allegations that certain trade chains had (...)

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice limits the confidentiality of the Competition Authority’s leniency agreements (Εlectrolux)
Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga (New York)
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Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. & Quiroga (Sao Paulo)
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Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. & Quiroga (Brasilia)
The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (“STJ”) has issued a ruling that seeks to limit the confidentiality of leniency agreements entered into with the Brazilian antitrust authority (“CADE”). Pursuant to the ruling, third parties may have access to such agreements and related materials (including (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice reviews the application filed by the Competition Council following the decision of the EU Court of Justice on the anti-competitive object of agreements to share clients (Eureko)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
On 7 September 2010, Consiliul Concurentei din Romania (Romania Competition Council) adopted Decision no 39 which found that 14 of the 18 companies on the mandatory private pension funds market (second pilar) violated Article 5 alin.(1) lit. c) of the Competition Law no 21/1996 and Article 81 (...)

The Danish Supreme Court upholds a decision of the High Court regarding infringement of competition law by an arbitration award and confirms the “Eco Swiss” doctrine (Taewoong / Ah Industries)
University of Copenhagen
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Accura
Summary of the case In a January 2016 ruling the Danish Supreme Court rejected the argument that a 2011 arbitration award infringed competition law and therefore should be set aside . The dispute between the parties pertained to the termination of an international distribution agreement (...)

The EU Court of Justice reduces fine in a cartel case (Spanish bitumen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued a judgment reducing the fine previously imposed by the European Commission on the Galp group for its participation in the Spanish bitumen cartel case. The judgment follows on from a previous ruling of the General Court (...)

The EU General Court rejects actions brought against the recalculated fines imposed by the Commission in the gas insulated switchgear cartel (Toshiba / Mitsubishi)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 January 2016, the General Court (“GC”) issued judgments rejecting actions brought by Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric against the recalculated fines amounting to approximately € 136 million imposed by the European Commission in June 2012 for their participation in the gas insulated switchgear (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt rules on restrictions on the use of online platforms and price comparison websites in a selective distribution system (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 December 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) issued a ruling on appeal concerning the selective distribution system of Deuter, a producer of quality backpacks. The Court assessed two restrictions imposed by Deuter on the resellers belonging to its selective (...)

The District Court of Rotterdam annuls a penalty imposed to an association of undertakings, for making recommendations on the establishment of new general practitioners (LHV)
Nysingh (Zwolle)
On 17 December 2015, the District Court of Rotterdam (“Court”) annulled a penalty imposed to LHV for violating the Dutch cartel prohibition. The proceedings on appeal brought against the ACM-decision have been a major success for LHV. While in administrative appeal the fine was reduced by ACM (...)

The EU General Court rules on appeals brought by several airlines against the Commission’s 2010 decision imposing fines totalling € 799 million for their alleged participation in a cartel (Airfreight cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2015, the EU General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought by several airlines against the European Commission’s 2010 decision imposing fines totalling € 799 million on the airlines for their alleged participation in a cartel relating to airfreight services. The (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision fining a number of cargo airlines for a price fixing cartel (Airfreight cartel)
Wiggin (London)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
The General Court annulled the airfreight decision adopted in November 2010 by which the European Commission fined a number of air freight carriers EUR 799 million for a price fixing cartel. According to the Court, the grounds of the decision and the operative part of the decision were (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholds verdict against steel manufacturer in steel distributors’ per se illegal group boycott (MM Steel / JSW Steel)
Jones Day (Houston)
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $156 million jury verdict against a U.S. Gulf Coast steel manufacturer accused of conspiring with distributors to "boycott" a new distributor by denying it access to steel. Even though the steel manufacturer was responding to pressure from (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal against a judgment of the General Court upholding cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
Garrigues (Brussels)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
You may remember that earlier this year we commented on AG Wahl’s Opinion in AC-Treuhand (C-194/14 P) and anticipated that, in spite of its thought provoking reasoning, it was likely not to be followed by the Court. Well, the ECJ’s Judgment was released on Thursday, and, as expected, the General (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that consulting firms may be held liable and fined for cartel facilitation (AC‑Treuhand)
Wiggin (London)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
The Court of Justice has confirmed that consultancy firms may be held liable and fined for cartel infringements where they contribute to the implementation and continuation of cartels even if they are not active on the affected market(s). Background In 2009, the Commission fined a number of (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal against a judgment of the General Court upholding cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
Altius (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties AC Treuhand AG, the applicant, is a consultancy firm which is based in Zurich (Switzerland) and provides a range of international focused services, like business management and administration, assessment of market data, presentation of market statistics, etc. The European (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the liability of a cartel facilitator was foreseeable (AC-Treuhand)
University of Groningen
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University of Groningen
The shortest competition judgment ever: AC-Treuhand II* Competition law judgments are notorious for their length. An extreme example is the 5134 paragraph judgment in Cement. In most cases the appeal judgment is significantly shorter, as with the 391 paragraphs in the appeal in Cement. (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
In brief AC-Treuhand has failed in its attempt to have two fines overturned for facilitating the heat stabilisers cartel. The case confirms that servicing a cartel by organising and participating in meetings, collecting and supplying to producers data on relevant markets and offering to (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds cartel facilitator liability (AC-Treuhand)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Introduction On October 22, 2015, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) published a landmark decision upholding the Commission’s imposition of fines on a consultancy, AC-Treuhand AG (AC-Treuhand), for participation in two cartels between 1993 and 2000. AC-Treuhand argued that, as a (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds a cartel decision of the Commission on heat stabilisers market (AC-Treuhand)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission welcomes Court judgment confirming cartel facilitator’s liability* The European Commission welcomes today’s ruling by the EU Court of Justice upholding an earlier General Court judgment and thereby a Commission decision of 2009 to hold AC Treuhand liable under EU antitrust (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice increases the fine against a food retailer after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products (Spar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 October 2015, the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (the “Supreme Court”) increased the fine against Spar, a food retailer, from € 3 million to € 30 million after upholding an earlier finding of illegal pricing agreements relating to dairy products. On 26 November 2014, the Higher Regional (...)

The Russian Supreme Court confirms that companies have restricted competition on the market of residential housing construction (Spetspromsnab)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supported a decision of Lipetsk OFAS* The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supported the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Lipetsk region (Lipetsk OFAS) and dismissed a claim of “Spetspromsnab” SU” Ltd. to transfer a supervisory (...)

The EU Court of Justice marginally reduces the fine imposed to a parent company in a cartel case to reflect the reduction granted to a subsidiary (Paraffin wax cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 September 2015, the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued two judgments on the appeals by Total SA and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Total Marketing Services, against two judgments of the General Court (“GC”) in relation to the paraffin wax cartel. In 2008, the European Commission found that Total (...)

The EU Commission welcomes General Court judgment’s confirming its TV and computer monitor tubes cartel decision (Panasonic)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
European Commission - Fact Sheet Commission welcomes General Court rulings upholding TV and computer monitor tubes cartel decision* The European Commission welcomes today’s judgments by the EU General Court in the TV and computer monitor tubes cartel The European Commission welcomes today’s (...)

The Arbitration Court of Moscow confirms the fines imposed on participants of the cartel on the table salt market (TDS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court confirmed legitimacy of the fines upon participants of the cartel on the table salt market* Moscow Arbitration Court confirmed legitimacy of the fines imposed by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) upon cartel participants on the market of wholesale supplies of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority appeals in case regarding agreement between mobile phone providers (Polkomtel)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Poland’s competition Authority appealed in case regarding agreement between mobile phone providers* Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) appealed a first instance court ruling which overturned UOKiK’s decision regarding an agreement between the four largest mobile (...)

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

The Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the bid-rigging decision pronounced by the Russian Competition Authority on the construction market (Vozrozhdenie)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy of the decision and fine on a bid-rigging case against the Commandant’s Office of the internal troops of the Ministry of Interior* On 17 August 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed the claim of “Vozrozhdenie” Construction Company” Ltd. and pronounced (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms a cartel on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt legitimacy (TDS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court confirmed a cartel on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt legitimacy* Arbitration Court of the Moscow District confirmed legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service on a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt and upheld the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court supports the Russian Competition Authority position concerning a cartel case involving the Ministry of transport and a company (MIIT)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court fully supported FAS position on a cartel case against the Ministry of Transport and MIIT* Arbitration Court of Moscow District upheld the ruling of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court that pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (...)

The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejects a request for a new trial to challenge a “pay-for-delay” agreement (Nexium)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Judgment for Drug Companies Unlikely the End of the Road in Nexium Case* The federal district court in Boston has rejected a request from purchasers of AstraZeneca LP’s heartburn medication Nexium for a new trial to challenge a “reverse payment” or “pay-for-delay” agreement between AstraZeneca and (...)

The EU General Court reduces the fines imposed by the Commission on three members of a European pre-stressing steel market cartel (Pre-stressing steel cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2015, the General Court (“GC”) largely upheld the EU Commission’s decision in the pre-stressing steel cartel case in ten judgments on 12 separate appeals brought against the decision. However, the GC reduced the fine imposed on several applicants on the grounds that (i) the Commission (...)

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

The Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the decision on a cartel of suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled (April)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed the FAS decision on a cartel of suppliers of rehabilitation means for the disabled* The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court in Moscow dismissed the appeal of “Regional Centre for Rehabilitation Means” Ltd. (“KTsSR” Ltd.), “April” Ltd., “Predgorie Kavkaza” Ltd. on invalidating the FAS (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having prohibited vertical agreements on the market of equipment for industrial laundry (VMW)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court supported FAS decision on a case on prohibited “vertical” agreements* On 1 July 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed a cassation appeal of “Food Technologies” Trading House” Ltd., “BT Machinery” Ltd. and “Obschepitoborudtorg” Ltd. Thus, the Court pronounced (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the sanctions imposed on fish suppliers for cartel (Russian Fish Company)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Cassation Court pronounced legitimacy of FAS decision on a cartel of Vietnamese fish suppliers* On 30 June 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District pronounced legitimacy of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) regarding the “Association of Production and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reaffirms the principle that even vertical agreements that seem lawful in the abstract can, viewed in context, evidence a horizontal cartel (Apple)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Second Circuit Affirms Ruling Against Apple in E-book Price-Fixing Case* We have previously posted about United States v. Apple, Inc., a blockbuster trial that ended with Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York concluding that Apple had conspired with five publishing companies (...)

The US Supreme Court reaffirms the Court’s 51-year-old rule precluding patent owners from collecting patent royalties on expired patents (Kimble / Marvel)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Supreme Court Cites Spiderman In Ruling Against Post-Expiration Patent Royalties* Spiderman swung through the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday as Justice Elena Kagan liberally relied on the comic book superhero in the Court’s decision in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., reaffirming (...)

The US Supreme Court declines to resolve a closely watched circuit split on the applicability of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Supreme Court Surprises the Antitrust World with Denial of Cert in Motorola and AU Optronics* Today the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in two cases, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics et al. and Hsiung and AU Optronics Corp. America Inc. v. United States, declining to resolve (...)

The Russian Supreme Court sustains the Russian Competition Authority recommendations on apatite concentrate
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
The Supreme Court considered FAS Recommendations on apatite concentrate* On 8 June 2015, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dismissed the claim of “Minudobrenie” OJSC (Rossosh) to invalidate FAS Recommendations to ensure non-discriminatory access to apatite concentrate (1) and the (...)

The European General Court rejects an appeal against a Commission decision fining compagnies for a cartel participation (Hybrid Cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 May 2015, the General Court (“GC”) rejected an application for annulment by Timab Industries against a 2010 Commission decision imposing a fine of €59.8 million on the company for its participation in the animal feed phosphates cartel. Timab, a subsidiary of Cie Financière et de (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines imposed in a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt (TDS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court supported FAS position on a cartel case on the market of wholesale supplies of table salt* On 2 April 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on a cartel case on the market of (...)

The US Supreme Court hears arguments before deciding on whether post-expiration license royalty obligations are caught in the web of patent policies or antitrust analysis (Kimble / Marvel)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Supreme Court Seeks To Untangle Patent And Antitrust Principles Caught In Spider-Man’s Web* The Supreme Court heard oral argument today on whether litigation over a toy based on Spider-Man’s web should be used to vanquish a 50-year-old precedent precluding patent owners from collecting patent (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms that an undertaking and its retailers have concluded an anticompetitive vertical agreeement (Vyazma Machine-Building Works)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of FAS decision on a case on prohibited “vertical” agreements* On 26 March 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed appeals of “Vyazma Machine-Building Works” OJSC (“VMZ” OJSC) and its dealers to abolish the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court (1). Thus, (...)

The EU Court of Justice considers that the bilateral exchange between importers of pre-pricing information relating to the weekly quotation prices to a concerted practice with the object of restricting competition in breach of article 101 TFEU (Banana Cartel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its ruling of 19 March 2015 (Case C-286/13P) relating to the banana cartel, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed the appeal by banana importer Dole against the General Court’s judgment in its entirety. The CJEU agreed with the Commission’s findings, supported by the General Court, (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that parent companies may be fined for repeated infringements even without being an addressee of the earlier decisions (Versalis)
White & Case (Brussels)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 5 March 2015, the European Court of Justice (CoJ) handed down its judgment in Versalis , concerning the increasing of fines for antitrust infringements where a company is found to be a repeat offender. The judgment raises important questions about the respect for the rights of defence in EU (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Council’s cartel decision in shipping sector (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
European Commission (Brussels)
Court Upholds Competition Council’s Cartel Decision in Shipping Sector* On 4 March 2015, the Supreme Administrative Court confirmed that the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the Association) and 32 Association members had concluded an anti-competitive agreement. On 8 December (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf upholds a judgment of the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in a cartel in the cement sector (German cement cartel)
White & Case (London)
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Allen & Overy (Hamburg)
Cartel Damage Claims, a Belgian SPV for the collection of follow-on damages in antitrust litigation, has lost an appeal against six members of the so-called German cement cartel. On 18 February 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf upheld a judgment of the Regional Court of Düsseldorf (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines imposed on an undertaking on the food markets for abuse of dominance (Lenta)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court confirmed a 2 million RUB fine upon “Lenta”* On 18 February 2015, the 13th Arbitration Appeal Court of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region confirmed legitimacy of the decision issued by the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) to (...)

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

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice holds that communications between corporations and the Competition Bureau during the proffer stage of the immunity program or the leniency program should not be protected by settlement privilege (Nestlé Canada)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Toronto)
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice held in R. v Nestlé Canada Inc. that communications between corporations and the Competition Bureau (Bureau) during the proffer stage of the Immunity Program or the Leniency Program should not be protected by settlement privilege. This case has clear (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rules on the discussed criteria for calculating fines due to infringements in competition law (BCN Aduanas y Transportes, Bofill Arnán)
DLA Piper (Madrid)
On 29 January 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in the judicial proceedings raised by "BCN Aduanas and Transportes, S.L." against the decision of the Spanish Competition Commission (SCC), dated on 3 December 2011, pursuant to the sanctioning proceedings S/0269/10 (the "Decision"). This (...)

The UK High Court explains to companies that the only way to challenge an infringement of the Competition Act is an appeal to the CAT and that it has to be made within the applicable time limit (Gallaher, Lindum)
St John’s Chambers
United Kingdom: Competition appeals – speak now or forever hold your peace?* It is not uncommon, where a multi-party infringement of competition law has been established and sanctioned by a competition authority for some, but not all, of the addressees of the authority’s decision to appeal that (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court issues a landmark judgment regarding the interpretation of the 10% turnover limit for cartel fines (BCN Aduanas y Transportes)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The Supreme Court (SC) has partially confirmed the interpretation followed by the National High Court (NHC) over the last two years regarding the limit of 10% of the company’s turnover established under Article 63 (1) of the Spanish Competition Act (SCA) for the calculation of fines. In its (...)

The US Supreme Court redefines the standard of appellate review for claim construction (Teva)
White & Case (Palo Alto)
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White & Case (Palo Alto)
On January 20, 2015, the United States Supreme Court redefined the standard of appellate review for claim construction. In Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court vacated well-established Federal Circuit precedent that applied de novo review to all aspects of claim (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds the baseball industry’s historic antitrust exemption (City of San Jose)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Baseball Antitrust Exemption Extends 93-Year Winning Streak In Federal Courts* Although federal courts may consider baseball’s antitrust exemption to make about as much sense as the infield fly rule, last week’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in City of San Jose v. (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reminds companies that they cannot forum shop (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Seventh Circuit to Motorola: No Rehearing En Banc* On December 1, 2014, we wrote about the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., which affirmed dismissal of the vast majority of Motorola’s claims regarding LCD panels. Motorola filed a petition for rehearing (...)

The European Court of Justice refers a cartel case back to General Court for a ruling on the merits (Parker Hannifin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on an appeal by the European Commission against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”) that reduced the fine imposed on Parker ITR and Parker Hannifin Corp. for participating in the marine hose cartel. (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that a group of undertakings has concluded an anticompetitive agreement and abused of their dominance (TGK Urissinaskaya GRES)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Court confirmed FAS decision and recognized that “Volzhsk TGK”, “TGK-6” and “TGK Urissinaskaya GRES” were manipulators* On 11 December 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court supported the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on an antimonopoly case against “TGK Urissinaskaya GRES” CJSC (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that two banking companies have concluded an anticompetitive agreement (Bank PSA Finance RUS / Rusfinance Bank)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court: obligations of “Rusfinance Bank” under the framework of cooperation with “Bank PSA Finance RUS” are anticompetitive* On 9 December 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of “Bank PSA Finance RUS” Ltd. to invalidate FAS decision on an antimonopoly case against “Bank PSA (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirms a $500 million fine against a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer for conspiring to fix prices of thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Convictions, $500 Million Fine Upheld in Price Fixing Case Against AU Optronics; Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act No Bar* The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week upheld the price fixing convictions of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer AU Optronics (AUO), its U.S. (...)

The Federal Court of Australia files an application seeking to challenge compulsory examination notices being part of an antitrust investigation into allegations of cartel conduct regarding a tender process for an exploration mining licence (Paul and Moses Obeid)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Moses and Paul Obeid issue court challenge to ACCC examination notices* In response to media inquiries, the ACCC confirms that an application has been filed in the Federal Court of Australia which seeks to challenge compulsory examination notices issued by the ACCC to Paul and Moses Obeid (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects antitrust claims finding that the injury preceded any domestic effect in the causal chain (Lotes / Hon Hai Precision Industry)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Second Circuit Clarifies Application of Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act* The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City on June 4 ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) barred the antitrust claims of a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company with facilities in (...)

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

The Australian Federal Court orders by consent payment of penalties for involvement in cartel conduct in relation to the price of bearings (Nachi / Koyo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$3 million penalty for bearings cartel conduct* The Federal Court has today ordered by consent that NSK Australia Pty Ltd (NSK Australia) pay total penalties of $3 million for its involvement in cartel conduct in relation to the price of bearings in Australia, in proceedings brought by the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority lodges a cross-appeal in relation to a judgment of the Federal Court ordering penalties for attempt to enter into anti-competitive arrangements with three international airlines (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC cross-appeals penalty judgment against Flight Centre* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has on 8 May 2014 lodged a cross-appeal in relation to a penalty judgment of the Federal Court on 28 March 2014 ordering Flight Centre Limited (Flight Centre) to pay penalties (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that the mechanism of joint and several liability cannot be used to force one company to bear the risk of the insolvency of another company where those companies have never formed part of the same undertaking (Areva)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Joined Cases C-247/11 P and C-253/11 P Areva: Competition fines, parent and subsidiary and joint and several liability* The Court of Justice has handed down three judgments relating to fines imposed on a number of undertakings involved in the gas insulated switchgear cartel. There’s an (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of joint and several liability in relation to the fines imposed on the GIS cartel (Siemens)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
Case C-231/11 P and C-233/11 P European Commission v Siemens AG Österreich a.o. – Joint and several liability* The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) gave on 10 April 2014 its judgment on appeal in the gas insulated switchgear case C-231/11 P. The dispute concerns a cartel relating to the sale of gas (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court annuls the fines imposed on the banks by the Competition Council, though confirms the restrictive character of the cash handling agreements (G4S)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
G4S agreements with banks restricted competition* The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) confirmed that the agreements concluded between UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) and the banks, namely, AB SEB bank (SEB), Swedbank, AB (Swedbank) and AB DNB bank (DNB), restricted competition (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania approves decision concluding that a national professional association and 32 association members entered into an anticompetitive agreement on the application of minimum tariffs for shipping agency services (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court upholds competition council‘s decision to sanction Shipping Agency Companies* On 7 April, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) approved the Competition Council‘s (the KT) decision concluding that Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes fines for repeatedly attempting to enter into anti-competitive arrangements with three international airlines (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
$11 million penalties imposed on Flight Centre* The Federal Court has today made declarations and ordered that Flight Centre pay penalties totalling $11 million for repeatedly attempting to enter into anti-competitive arrangements with three international airlines to eliminate differences in (...)

The US Supreme Court grants petition in a case concerning alleged exclusion of non-dentists from offering tooth-whitening services (North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide When Professional Licensing Bodies Have Antitrust Immunity* The state action immunity doctrine shields private actors from antitrust liability if their activities are actively supervised by a state. But arms of the state itself generally don’t have to satisfy the (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds the judgment of the lower court dismissing claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and attempted monopolization on the market for prosthetic microprocessor knees (DAW Industries / Hanger Orthopedic Group)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Once Again Affirms That Malicious Actions To Destroy A Competitor Do Not State An Antitrust Claim Unless Accompanied By Injury To Competition* On February 24, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing DAW Industries’ (...)

A German Higher Regional Court rules on the matter of fine liability in connection with reorganization measures (Melitta)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms fines against Melitta* On 10 February 2014 the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed a fine of 55 million euros on Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG, confirming the Bundeskartellamt’s fines decision of 21 December 2009 (see Press release of (...)

The EU General Court rules on an appeal by Spanish petrol station associations against a Commission decision rejecting their complaint alleging anticompetitive practices from a Spanish oil company (CEEES / AGES)
FratiniVergano
I. Facts The Confederación Española de Empresarios de Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “CEEES” ) and the Asociación de Gestores of Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “AGES” ) claimed the annulment of a Decision of the Commission of 28 April 2013 (hereafter “the contested decision”) rejecting their (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court confirms fines for resale price maintenance relating to dairy products in the ’horeca’ sector (Lactogal)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
In July 2012, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) found that Lactogal infringed the national provision equivalent to Article 101 TFEU in several markets for distribution and sale of dairy products in the hotel, restaurant and café (or hotel and catering) sector. Specifically, the PCA (...)

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

The EU General Advocate Mengozzi proposes the Court of Justice to uphold the Commission’s decision prohibiting multilateral interchange fees (Mastercard)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information In its Decision of 19 December 2007 the Commission prohibited Mastercard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIF) that apply to cross-border payments with MasterCard and Maestro-branded consumer credit and debit cards between Member States of the European Economic Area (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court confirms fines against a professional association for anticompetitive practices in the training market (OTOC)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
In July 2007, the Portuguese Order of Chartered Accountants (OTOC), legally entrusted with regulating the activities of chartered accountants in Portugal, adopted a binding regulation concerning a mandatory training system, aimed at guaranteeing the quality of these professional services. Under (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds decisions of antimonopoly office in construction cartel case (Strabag, Doprastav...)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Decisions of Antimonopoly Office in Construction Cartel Case* On 30 December 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) annulled the judgment of the Regional Court Bratislava, which in December 2008 had annulled the decisions of the (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court deals with succession of liability for competition law offences (Sokolovska uhelna)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 30 December 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno (as well as the preceding decision of the Chairman of the Czech Office for protection of competition) in the case regarding anticompetitive export prohibitions included in agreements between a (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Commission to a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its Austrian distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International)
Bourgeois Avocats
Background and Court decision Back in 2009, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) hit Gaba International AG – an undertaking part of the Colgate-Palmolive Group and manufacturer of the toothpaste brands Elmex and Meridol – with a CHF 4.8 mio (about EUR 3.9 mio) fine for restricting passive (...)

The Federal Court of Australia orders by consent the payment of $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance for branded air conditioning products (Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Mitsubishi Electric Australia to pay $2.2 million for resale price maintenance* The Federal Court of Australia has ordered by consent that Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) pay $2.2 million in penalties for engaging in resale price maintenance. Resale price (...)

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection upholds Authority’s decision in cement cartel case (Górażdże Cement)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection upholds UOKiK’s Decision in Cement Cartel Case* On 13 December 2013, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) confirmed the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) uncovering (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appeals against recent decision dismissing cartel allegations as regards fixing of home loan fees (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC appeals ANZ Bank decision* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has appealed against the recent decision by Justice Dowsett in the Federal Court dismissing the ACCC’s allegations that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds that a travel agent attempted to induce certain airlines to make collusive arrangements with it in relation to retail air fares for international air travel (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Federal Court finds that Flight Centre attempted to enter into illegal arrangements with airlines* The Federal Court has held that on 6 occasions Flight Centre attempted to enter into arrangements with airlines which sought to eliminate differences in air fares so as to fix, control or (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of appropriate remedy for infringements of the right to have the case adjudicated within a reasonable time (Kendrion, Gascogne)
University of Leiden
The recent landmark cases on the reasonable time requirement: Is the Court caught between Scylla and Charybdis?* In the landmark cases Kendrion, Gascogne and Gascogne Germany the CJEU clarified some important procedural issues related to infringements of the reasonable time requirement. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal while establishing that a claim for compensation for damages arising from the General Court’s failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time must be brought before the General Court itself (Gascogne)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The Groupe Gascogne Judgment (see both sides of the story)* Last week I wrote a post about the Groupe Gascogne Judgment (and other stuff) which has elicited some interest. Somehow oddly, I will now present counter-arguments against all those who… actually agreed with me. Given that I wrote (...)

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms the Competition authority’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (Visa and MasterCard)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms UOKiK’s Decision on Multilateral Interchange Fees* On 21 November 2013, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) confirmed the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses allegations of price fixing on the market for loan arrangement services finding that the parties were not in competition with each other (ANZ)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). ANZ gets home on defending price fixing claims* A longstanding dispute between the ANZ and the ACCC has finally been resolved, with the Federal Court dismissing the allegations of the ACCC in a (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses the proceedings alleging the violation of the price fixing prohibition in the loan arrangement services market (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ANZ found not to have breached price fixing provisions* The Federal Court has today dismissed proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleging that Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing provisions of the Trade (...)

The UK CAT rules that antitrust findings as regards the copper plumbing tubes cartel did not support the intent to injure required for a conspiracy claim brought under section 47A of the Competition Act (W.H. Newson / IMI)
LSE
Conspiracy, the CAT, and the Court of Appeal: “Here is a case unprecedented” (The Gondoliers, Act 2)* In W.H. Newson Holding Limited & ors v IMI plc & ors [2013] EWCA Civ 1377, the Court of Appeal has made some important new law regarding the scope of section 47A of the Competition Act (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court rejects the passing-on defence in relation price fixing on the market for compatible PC software (Pro‑Sys Consultants / Microsoft)
Blackstone Chambers
Canadian Supreme Court: No such thing as passing on defence* On Thursday last week the Supreme Court of Canada handed down three much-anticipated judgments concerning indirect purchaser claims. The trio of cases point towards a distinctive, and in many respects more claimant-friendly, approach (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court clears the way for indirect purchaser competition class action related to compensation for harm caused by inflating the price of microchips (Infineon Technologies, Pro-Sys, Sun-Rype)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Canadian Supreme Court Clears the Way for Indirect Purchaser Competition Class Actions: Reason and Clarity Prevail in Previously Muddled Area* Earlier today the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released three long-awaited companion judgments that finally create clarity and certainty in the area (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court allows indirect purchasers claims for a cartel infringement on the market for processor compatible software (Infineon, Pro-Sys, Sun-Rype)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Supreme Court of Canada Allows Indirect Purchaser Claims* Note: On October 31, 2013, Canada’s Supreme Court issued important decisions regarding the scope of private claims for civil damages under the Competition Act. Below is a note prepared by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg on these (...)

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

The Australian Federal Court establishes that the defendant has been directly knowingly involved in the anticompetitive arrangements and imposes criminal sanctions (Chaste Corporation)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Peter Foster sentenced for contempt of court* The Federal Court has sentenced Peter Foster to three years imprisonment, with 18 months to be served and 18 months suspended, for contempt of court. Justice Logan also placed conditions on Mr Foster’s involvement in the weight loss, cosmetic or (...)

The Advocate General Wathelet proposes to the EU Court of Justice to annul a judgement of the EU General Court in order to force it to exercice its full jurisdiction to review fines imposed by the Commission (Telefónica)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
The level of fines imposed by the European Commission in competition cases has attracted controversy for more than ten years. The often deferential approach of the European courts to hearing appeals has also been criticised, but in many cases the courts have largely left untouched the (...)

The EU Court of Justice acknowledges that two companies can independently from each other exercise decisive influence over their joint venture (EI du Pont de Nemours)
Blackstone Chambers
A family affair: parental liability for joint ventures* It is trite law that a parent company will be liable for antitrust infringements committed by a subsidiary where the parent exercises “decisive influence” over the conduct of the subsidiary. Earlier this year the Court of Justice of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice acknowledges that two companies can independently from each other exercise decisive influence over their joint venture (Dow Chemical)
Blackstone Chambers
A family affair: parental liability for joint ventures* It is trite law that a parent company will be liable for antitrust infringements committed by a subsidiary where the parent exercises “decisive influence” over the conduct of the subsidiary. Earlier this year the Court of Justice of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that a parent company can be held liable and fined for an antitrust infringement committed by its 50:50 joint venture (Dow Chemical Company)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
50:50 joint ventures – Possibility of parental liability for EU antitrust infringements confirmed* On 26 September 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued two important judgments (Case C-172/12 P, El du Pont de Nemours and Others v Commission and Case C-179/12 P, Dow (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that a parent company can be held liable and fined for an antitrust infringement committed by its 50:50 joint venture (El du Pont de Nemours)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
50:50 joint ventures – Possibility of parental liability for EU antitrust infringements confirmed* On 26 September 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued two important judgments (Case C-172/12 P, El du Pont de Nemours and Others v Commission and Case C-179/12 P, Dow (...)

The Chilean Supreme Court decreases fines imposed by the Competition Tribunal in international cartel on the market for refrigerators compressors (Tecumseh)
Chilean Competition Tribunal (Santiago)
On September 24th, 2013, the Chilean Supreme Court issued its judgment on Tecumseh. The Competition Tribunal (“TDLC”) had ruled the case on June 14th, 2012 (sentence 122/2012), condemning Whirpool S.A. for colluding with other firms during 2005-2008, with the aim of fixing prices on the market of (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court misinterprets the Pierre Fabre ECJ jurisprudence and quashes a distribution agreement provision on the basis of Article 101 TFEU (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
In a decision issued on September 24, 2013, the French Court of Cassation decided a case about vertical restraints involving Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmétique (PFDC) and three of its distributors: Caribéenne de diététique et santé (CDS), Compagnie de diététique du marin (CDM) and Martinique alimentation (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Court dismisses mere price parallelism as a form of concerted practice in the absence of compelling evidence of such (Travel Agencies)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the “SAC”) held that price parallelism in and of itself – absent evidence of coordination – did not constitute an anticompetitive concerted practice. 1. The alleged infringement In a decision of March 2012, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of (...)

A Dutch court annuls two cartel decisions for misuse of telephone taps (Constructions cartel and ship waste cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
With two judgements of 13 June 2013 and 11 July 2013, the Rotterdam District Court annulled the decisions of the Dutch competition authority (now “ACM”) in a constructions cartel and a ship waste cartel. According to the Court, the telephone taps which provided evidence of the cartels could (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the parallel actions brought by two diamonds dealers against the Commission’s decisions not to open an antitrust investigation into certain distribution agreements established by world’s largest producer of rough diamonds (BVGD, Spira, De Beers)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Any natural or legal person who can show a legitimate interest may lodge a complaint concerning an antitrust infringement as stipulated by article 7 of the Regulation No 1/2003. The Commission is not required to investigate each of the complaints lodged with it, but only to (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects Commission’s appeal against General Court judgment in copper fittings cartel case (Aalberts)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In the final of a series of appeals in the copper fittings cartel case, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”), on 4 July 2013, dismissed an appeal by the Commission against a General Court (“GC”) judgment that upheld an appeal by Aalberts against the European Commission’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the ruling that adjudication on the merits would be devoid of purpose since the applicant didn’t have sufficient interest in the matter at the time he brought his challenge to the Commission’s decision (Guillermo Cañas)
Blackstone Chambers
Cañas: no sufficient interest in showing anti-competitive rules* Retirement comes too soon for many professional sports players, but for Guillermo “Willy” Cañas, an Argentinean tennis player once ranked world number 8, there was yet more to be lost upon retirement than just the tournament prizes (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeals in aluminium fluoride cartel case (Fluorsid, Minmet and Société des Industries Chimique du Fluor)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2013, the General Court (“GC”) dismissed appeals by three companies implicated in the aluminium fluoride cartel against a European Commission decision of June 2008 imposing fines on them for infringing Article 101(1) TFEU. In its decision, the Commission found that, in July 2000, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that reliance on legal advice or decisions of NCAs does not preclude imposition of fine for infringing art. 101 TFEU (Schenker)
European Commission - DG Internal Market and Services
In a reference for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU, made by the Oberster Gerichtshof (Austria) on 5th December 2011, the EU Court of Justice was asked to respond to the following question; whether a fine may be imposed, in case of an infringement of Art.101 TFEU, when the (...)

The US Supreme Court establishes a rule that blurs the lines between antitrust and patent law (Actavis)
Sheppard Mullin (Chicago)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
FTC v. Actavis: What Does It Mean for Reverse-Payment Settlements?* On June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court announced a rule that blurs the lines between antitrust and patent law in the context of Hatch-Waxman litigation. In FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013), the Federal Trade (...)

The US Supreme Court rules that a payment by a patentee to a generic manufacturer may constitute an infringement of antitrust law (Actavis)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Why FTC v. Actavis Won’t Shift the Border Between IP and Antitrust Law* The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., No. 12-416, ___ U.S. ___ (2013), has generated a lot of commentary recently. Some articles have suggested that the decision may expose certain (...)

The US Supreme Court issues first ruling on antitrust legality of reverse-payment drug patent settlements (Actavis)
Rutgers University
On June 17, 2013, in FTC v. Actavis, the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time examined the antitrust legality of agreements by which brand-name drug companies pay generics to delay entering the market. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion for five Justices, concluding that these (...)

The Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses the action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta/Husky Oil Operations)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow* A decision by joint operators of an oil field to use a single fluid hauler was not an unlawful conspiracy, the Alberta Court of Appeal held recently, overturning a 2011 decision that awarded about $8 million to the loser of a competitive bidding (...)

The Korean Appellate Court prevents the worst-case scenario where no sanction is imposed on both price-fixers in the flat glass industry by siding with the Korean Fair Trade Commission (Han-Kuk Glass Industry and Kum-Kang Corea Chemical)
Bae Kim & Lee
Case Summary The Korean Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) imposed fines on cartels in the flat glass industry in June of 2013 for violation of Article 19 of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act of Korea.] Han-Kuk Glass Industry (“HGI”) and Kum-Kang Corea Chemical (“KCC”) had participated in (...)

A U.S. Court of Appeals narrows the state action exemption (North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
,
Columbia University
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that North Carolina’s Dental Board cannot ban non-dentists from offering teeth-whitening service, upholding the Federal Trade Commission’s finding that the practice was anticompetitive. The ruling represents the FTC’s latest victory in its push to (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses appeal against General Court judgment in acrylic glass cartel case (Quinn Barlo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2013, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment dismissing an appeal brought by three companies within the Quinn Group (Quinn Plastics GmbH, Quinn Plastics NV and Quinn Barlo) against an earlier General Court (“GC”) judgment which had reduced the fine imposed by (...)

The EU Advocate General Sharpston issues opinions in three appeals against General Court’s judgments on industrial bags cartel (Groupe Gascogne, Kendrion)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 May 2013, Advocate General Sharpston issued her opinions in the appeals lodged by Groupe Gascogne SA, Gascogne Sack Deutschland GmbH (formerly Sachsa Verpackung) and Kendrion NV against judgments of the General Court (“GC”) concerning appeals against the European Commission’s (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court holds that banks cannot concert to drive a competitor out of the market: an end to the bank cartel case saga? (VUB Bank)
Kinstellar (Bratislava)
This article follows up on our previous articles (Art. N° 37004, Art. N° 38345 and Art. N° 51110) concerning a cartel of three Slovak banks. In May 2011, the Supreme Court in the case of CSOB bank controversially confirmed the decision of lower courts quashing the decision by the Slovak National (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds competition authority’s decision in banking cartel case (Slovenská sporiteľňa, Všeobecná úverová banka)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Authority’s Decision in Banking Cartel Case* On 21 and 22 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) upheld a decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) in a case concerning a banking cartel, vis-à-vis two (...)

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

The French Court of Appeal upholds fine of € 1.34 M imposed on toy distributor for unlawful resale price maintenance (Kontiki)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis
On 16 May 2013, the French Court of Appeal confirmed a decision of the French Competition Authority imposing a fine of € 1.34 million on toy distributor Kontiki SAS for engaging in unlawful resale price maintenance. On 15 December 2011, the French Competition Authority found that Kontiki (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance partially annuls the Competition Authority in a public procurement case (2iGas Infrastruttura, E.ON Rete, Linea Distribuzione)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from April to June 2013 (Second contribution) 1. Premise –This work is the second contribution of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian (...)

The Singapore Competition Appeal Board reduces the financial penalties against 5 modelling agencies found by the Competition Commission to have fixed the rates of modelling services (Bee Works Casting, Diva Model, Impact Models Studio, Looque Models Singapore, Ave Management)
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
,
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
On 22 April 2013, the Singapore Competition Appeal Board (‘CAB’) published its decisions in Appeal No 2 of 2012 dated 10 April 2013 and Appeal No 3 of 2012 dated 10 April 2013. These appeals were made against the decision of the Competition Commission of Singapore (‘CCS’) in CCS Case number (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of the penalty provision applicable under German cartel law (Holcim / HeidelbergCement / Lafarge Zement / Schwenk Zement)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Calculation of fines to be adapted to Federal Court case-law* The recent decision of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in the cement cartel case (file no. KRB 20/12) has a strong impact on the interpretation of the penalty provision applicable under German cartel law (cf. (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal dismisses appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the Competition Commission’s order finding them guilty of bid-rigging, but reduced the penalty imposed by 90% (Gulf Oil Corporation)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) dismissed the appeals filed by ten explosives manufacturers against the order of 16 April 2012 made by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) (the CCI Order), finding them guilty of bid-rigging. The COMPAT held that the collective boycott (...)

The French Supreme Court confirms the ability of NCAs to take action against anti-competitive agreements below de minimis thresholds (SNCF / Expedia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 April 2013, the French Supreme Court ruled that national competition authorities (NCAs) are allowed to take enforcement actions against companies found to be in breach of Article 101 TFEU, despite market shares being below the thresholds established by the European Commission’s (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied petroleum gas cartel (Friedrich Scharr, Primagas, Krefeld, Progas, Dortmund, Sano-Propan, Nuremberg and Tyczka Totalgaz)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases Fines against Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cartel* On 16 April 2013, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court - the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (the Court) has imposed fines of € 244 000 000 on five members of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of First Instance orders the Competition Authority to recalculate fines imposed in a price fixing case in the land based international shipping sector (Agility Logistics, Albini & Pitigliani)
Lipani Catricalà & Partners (Rome)
*Italian antitrust administrative case law. Overview of all decisions from April to June 2013 (First contribution) 1. Premise –This work is the first contribution of a project (hereinafter, the “Project”) aimed to offer a general, quarterly overview of all the decisions of Italian administrative (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms decision of NCA in aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a 2008 decision of the French Competition Authority imposing fines totalling € 41.1 million on fuel companies of the Chevron- Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell groups for collusive tendering in the supply of aviation fuel to Air (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls decisions of the President of the Competition Council requiring leading diamond supplier to continue supplying Belgian diamond trader (De Beers / Spira)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2013, the Brussels Court of Appeal annulled three decisions of the President of the Competition Council who had extended the preliminary measures requiring leading diamond supplier De Beers to continue supplying rough diamonds to Belgian diamond trader Spira. The Brussels (...)

The Spanish National Appeal Court reduces fines against a cartel in the wine sector giving a new interpretation of calculation of fines that may lead to favor cartelist activity in the future (Bodegas Williams & Humbert)
Kim & Chang
On March 8, 2013, the Audiencia Nacional (AN), the Spanish National Appeal Court, ruled in the judicial review of actions brought by Bodegas Williams & Humbert, SA against the Decision of the Spanish Competition Authority (CNC) dated July 28, 2010. The CNC had found elements to conclude (...)

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

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms compliance of key provision on the fining of cartel law violations with the constitution (Grauzementkartell)
Commeo
In its decision of 26 February 2013, which was published on 10 April 2013, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) inter alia had to decide on the constitutionality of the key provi-sion on the fining of cartel law violations. The FCJ not only confirmed the constitutionality of this fining (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds NCA’s finding that three medical equipment/systems suppliers had engaged in bid-rigging (Safdarjung Hospital)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In the Safdarjung Hospital Case, the Competition Commission of India found that three medical equipment/systems suppliers had engaged in bid-rigging contrary to Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002, and imposed a penalty on each of 5% of its average annual turnover over two/three (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes additional fines in resale price maintenance case (Building insulation case)
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: Additional Fines imposed by Cartel Court in Building Insulation Case* Following several inspections conducted in 2012 and the applications for fines by the Federal Competition Authority (FCA), the Cartel Court imposed on 25 February 2013 fines on a producer and a merchant for resale (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit widens pool of plaintiffs able to pursue conspiracy claims under California Cartwright Act (AT&T Mobility/AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Ninth Circuit Widens Pool of Plaintiffs Able to Pursue Conspiracy Claims Under California Cartwright Act* The Ninth Circuit on Thursday ruled that a plaintiff need not make a purchase in California to recover overcharges for price-fixed goods under the California Cartwright Act. AT&T (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls the decision imposing a 29000€ fine on professional bakers’ association (VEBIC)
Liège University - IEJE
I. Facts Vebic is the Flemish association of bakers. Vebic published a magazine entitled “Passie” (among other things). Until 2004, the price of breads in Belgium was set by Law. As the price regulation mechanism was abandoned, VEBIC began to publish a so-called “bread price index”, in Passie, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of Article 101 TFEU and finds that undertakings cannot justify restrictions of competition relying on the claim that a competitor operates illegally on the relevant market (Akcenta)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Vigilantes on the market: Can undertakings restrict competition to ‘help out’ public authorities?* In an interesting case decided today the CJEU held that a number of Slovak banks could not exclude a competitor even if that competitor was allegedly operating illegally on the Slovak market. It’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favor of the Slovakian NCA and rules that an agreement intended to exclude a competitor is contrary to the competition rules even if the competitor is operating unlawfully on the market (Akcenta)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
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Factual background On 9 June 2009, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the "AMO"), a first-level authority, found that three major banks – Slovenská sporiteľna, a.s. (the "SLSP"), Československá obchodná banka a.s. (the "CSOB") and Všeobecná úverová banka a.s. (the "VUB")(jointly refered (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that dermo-cosmetic products do not have objective properties justifying the prohibition of their sale on the Internet (Pierre Fabre)
Vogel & Vogel
In answer to the question of whether a general and absolute ban on selling cosmetics and personal care products online constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition by object, the European Court of Justice said that yes it did, if "having regard to the properties of the products at issue, (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses an action from a cosmetics manufacturer against a decision of the French Competition Authority that sanctioned it for prohibiting its authorised distributors from Internet sales (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Kalliopé Société d’Avocats
On 31 January 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal ("the Court") dismissed an action by Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS ("Pierre Fabre") against a decision of the French Competition Authority ("the FCA") dated 29 October 2008 ("the Decision") ordering Pierre Fabre to amend its selective (...)

The Spanish National Court issues a third judgment in the asphalt roads cartel case addressing the issue of the burden of proof in bid rigging cases (Asphalt roads cartel)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
In October of 2012 the Spanish National Court (“NC”) concluded its first two judgments on the Spanish asphalt roads cartel (“the Cartel”). In both cases the NC explained how the companies involved in the public bid process decided in a “competitive way” who was going to win the bid. The NC stated in (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in the gas insulated switchgear cartel (Siemens, Alstom)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The HCO decision The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) received one of its first leniency applications back in 2004 from ABB in connection with alleged anti-competitive activities by ABB, Areva, Siemens, Alstom and VA Tech on the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market. Although the cartel (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court decides that the statutory imposition of interest on cartel fines is consistent with the national constitutional law
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt welcomes decision of Federal Constitutional Court on interest charged on cartel fines* In its ruling of 19 December, 2012, which was made public today, the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court decided that the statutory imposition of interest on cartel fines is (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the NCA’s decision fining 15 shipping agents’ firms and two trade associations for a cartel at the port of Genoa (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Robur Siena
With the judgment published on 15 January 2013, the Italian administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the Italian Competition Authority’s (ICA) decision fining 15 firms and two trade associations for taking part in a cartel whose aim was to (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance quashes, for the first time ever, an infringement decision adopted following two leniency applications (Shipping agencies services)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 15 January 2013, the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") quashed for lack of evidence, the infringement decision adopted by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") on the Shipping agencies services case which was initiated on the basis of (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rules on automotive quantitative selective distribution agreements (Auto 24 SARL, Jaguar Land Rover)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
The Cour de cassation, France’s highest court for judicial matters, rendered a judgment on 15 January 2013 in a case involving Jaguar’s distribution agreements in France. The judgment follows an earlier ruling on the matter by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), from which the Cour (...)

A US Federal Appeals Court reaffirms flexible legal standard for restraints in competitor collaborations (Sulfuric acid antitrust litigation)
Jones Day (Cleveland)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
A new decision by a U.S. federal judge and leading antitrust scholar has reaffirmed the U.S. antitrust principle that competitive restraints adopted to foster competitor collaborations will not be summarily condemned under the per se rule, but instead evaluated under a rule of reason analysis (...)

The UK Supreme Court grants permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgement that struck out a cartel damages claims on the ground that they were out of time (Deutsche Bahn)
The University of Manchester
Introduction Deutsche Bahn v Morgan Crucible is a well-litigated case, with a judgment from the Court of Appeal and the granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Taking into account the novel issues involved in this case, it appears reasonable that the Supreme Court wants to resolve (...)

The Belgium Constitutional Court rules that fines imposed under Reg. n°1/2003 are not tax deductible under Belgian law (Tessenderlo Chemie)
Liège University - IEJE
I. Facts The European Commission opened an enquiry about alleged violation of EU competition law against Tessenderlo Chemie, a Belgian company. Tessenderlo Chemie made provisions in order to pay the expected fine. These provisions were tax exempted until 2008 when article 53 of the Belgian (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court is not ready to accept a symbolic fine against an association of undertakings involved in a price fixing case (Association of Applied Graphics and Design)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 20 December 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the judgment of Regional Court in Brno in the case regarding Association of Applied Graphics and Design (the “Association”) and remanded the case back to it. The Regional Court in Brno previously mitigated the fine imposed by the (...)

The Swedish Market Court adopts a decision stating that a sport automobile federation cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future (Automobile Sports Federation)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: Market Court’s Decision in Automobile Sports Federation Case* On 20 December 2012, the Swedish Market Court (the Court) adopted a decision stating that the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation (the Federation) cannot apply its loyalty rules in the future. In May 2011, the SCA issued a (...)

The Federal Court of Australia rejects competition law challenge to thoroughbred horse racing rules that exclude thoroughbred bred by artificial insemination (McHugh v The Australian Jockey Club)
Brent Fisse Lawyers (Paddington)
1. Artificial insemination and thoroughbred racehorses –anti-competitive agreements and the decision in McHugh v The Australian Jockey Club Limited [2012] FCA 1441(19 December 2012) Thoroughbred horse racing around the world is governed by rules that do not allow thoroughbreds bred by (...)

The EU General Court dismisses four appeals in calcium carbide and magnesium reagents cartel case (Novácke chemické závody, Ecka Granulate, Almamet, 1. garagtovaná)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 December 2012, the General Court (“GC”) dismissed appeals by four undertakings against a Commission decision fining them for their involvement in a cartel affecting the supply of calcium carbide and magnesium reagents. The Commission’s July 2009 decision imposed fines of € 61 million (...)

The US Supreme Court reviews Eleventh Circuit’s decision regarding reverse payment patent settlements (AndroGel)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
Important U.S. Developments Relating to “Reverse Payment” Patent Settlements* There have been two key recent developments in the U.S. relating to the legal dispute over patent settlements including so-called “reverse payments.” First, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an Eleventh Circuit (...)

A US District Court holds that “No-AG” agreements are not “Reverse Payments” (Lamictal litigation)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
Important U.S. Developments Relating to “Reverse Payment” Patent Settlements* There have been two key recent developments in the U.S. relating to the legal dispute over patent settlements including so-called “reverse payments.” First, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an Eleventh Circuit (...)

The Spanish Court of appeal for antitrust cases annuls the NCA’s fine of €120 M imposed on eight insurance companies allegedly involved in a price fixing cartel (Caser, Scor, Múnchener)
Jones Day (Madrid)
Spain’s Audiencia Nacional, the court of appeal for antitrust cases, has annulled the Spanish Competition Commission’s ("SCC") fine of €120 million (US$160 million), the highest fines to date, imposed on eight insurance companies allegedly involved in a price fixing cartel in Spain. It is unusual (...)

The EU General Court issues judgment on tariff arrangement within payment card cartel (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 November 2012, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on the appeal by Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (“GCB”) against a Commission decision finding that GCB restricted competition with certain fees and tariffs which hindered the issuance of payment cards in France at (...)

The Macedonian High Administrative Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority concerning anticompetitive practices on the market for mandatory technical certification of motor vehicles (Macedonian Drivers Union)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 November 2012 the Macedonian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Macedonian Competition Authority (KZK) where the latter found that Macedonian Drivers Union (SVM) has infringed national equivalent of Article 101(1) TFEU by fixing prices for the (...)

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 Hungarian Metropolitan Court dismisses a claim for damages on the basis of bid-rigging established by the Hungarian Competition Office (Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ v Strabag Építő and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Philip Morris
On 24 October 2012, the Metropolitan Court (the "Court") dismissed the claim for damages lodged by the Traffic Development Coordination Centre (in Hungarian: "Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ", the "Plaintiff") made against Strabag Építő Zrt. ("Strabag") and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő (...)

The Hungarian Court of Appeal upholds NCA’s decision and reduces fines in IT procurement case (University cartel)
lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The background of the case In 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched proceedings against International System House Kft. (ISH), SAP Hungary Kft. (SAP) and International Business Machines Magyarország Kft. (IBM) for bid-rigging in public procurement. The tenders in question aimed (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal in flat glass cartel case (Guardian)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 September 2012, the EU General Court (“GC”) issued its judgment on the appeal brought by Guardian Industries Corp and Guardian Europe Sarl (“Guardian”) against a Commission decision fining them a total of € 148 million for their participation in a cartel in the flat glass sector from 20 (...)

The Supreme Court of Chile seems to be heading towards a per se rule in the assessment of cartel cases (Explora)
University College London
For the first time since the new Chilean Competition system started in 2004, the Supreme Court has overruled a decision of the Competition Tribunal in regard to a cartel case, which was not originally sanctioned by the latter. But also, the Supreme Court seems to have established a per se rule (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal concerning the bleaching chemicals cartel (Total and Elf Aquitaine)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In October 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) published an order of 13 September 2012 dismissing an appeal by Total SA and Elf Aquitaine SA against an earlier EU General Court (“GC”) ruling in the bleaching chemicals cartel. In 2006, the Commission had found that nine companies had (...)

The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal seeking to strike out a damages claim brought against a company that was not the addressee of a EU Commission decision: an encouragement towards more private litigation in England? (Toshiba Carrier)
University of Leeds
On 13 September 2012, the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) dismissed an appeal which sought to strike out a damages claim (or grant summary judgment) brought against a company that was not the addressee of a European Commission decision finding an infringement of EU competition law. In (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds that the filed rate doctrine applies to the federal milk marketing orders (Gerald Carlin / DairyAmerica)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
In Agricultural Regulation, A “Flawed Rate” is Not a “Filed Rate” For Damage Purposes* Notwithstanding the general applicability of the Filed Rate Doctrine, the Ninth Circuit recently held that it does not necessarily bar producer class actions for overcharges. Whether a given rating authority has (...)

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies the meaning of the term “decision” in Section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
King’s College (London)
The Court of Appeal, in its decision in Deutsche Bahn AG and others v Morgan Crucible plc, has clarified the meaning of the term “decision” in section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 for the purpose of applying the limitation period for bringing follow-on action claims for damages in the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeals against General Court judgment in Spanish raw tobacco cartel case (Alliance One International and Cetarsa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 and 19 July 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgments dismissing in their entirety appeals brought by Compañía Española de Tabaco en Rama (“Cetarsa”), Alliance One International Inc. (“AOI”), and Standard Commercial Tobacco Co. Inc. (“SCTC”) against the General (...)

The US Third Circuit, by adopting a quick look rule of reason analysis for evaluating the legality of reverse payment settlements, rejects the prevailing "scope of patent" test and creates a Circuit split on this issue (Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company, Schering, Upsher-Smith)
Gill Jennings & Every LLP
On 16 July 2012, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the scope of the patent test used by the New Jersey District Court in concluding that the patent settlement agreements (“Agreements”), providing for payments from Schering-Plough Corporation (“Schering”) (subsequently acquired by Merck (...)

The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds first instance decision on competition authority’s pharmaceutical companies case (Baxter – Médico Farmacêutica and Glintt)
European Commission (Brussels)
Portugal: The Lisbon Court of Appeal upholds First Instance Decision on Competition Authority’s Pharmaceutical Companies Case * On 10 July 2012, the Lisbon Court of Appeal (2nd instance Court) rejected the appeal lodged by Baxter– Médico Farmacêutica, Lda., and Glintt – Business Solutions, Lda., (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine imposed on each undertaking in a case involving market sharing in the energy sector (GDF Suez / E.ON)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 June 2012, the EU’s General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought by E.ON and GDF Suez against a Commission decision fining them for their involvement in a market-sharing agreement. In its judgments, the GC confirmed the previous Commission decision, but reduced the (...)

The UK Appeal Tribunal of the Rugby Football Union, composed of 3 QCs rules that provisions for Primacy of Tenure with three clubs exemption rule constitute an infringement of Articles 101(1) and 102 TFEU (London Welsh/RFU)
Blackstone Chambers
Competition law achieves fair play* The London Welsh decision provides a rare but telling example of competition law marching its way onto the field of professional sport. London Welsh won rugby union’s Championship in the 2011-12 season. This would, in ordinary circumstances, have entitled (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission’s re-adoption of carbonless paper cartel decision (Bolloré)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 June 2012, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on the appeal brought by French investment and industrial group Bolloré against the European Commission’s re-adoption of its decision in the carbonless paper cartel. The GC upheld the fine of € 21.26 million and ruled that the (...)

The EU Commission re-imposes € 131.6 M fine on Japanese companies over gas insulated switchgear cartel following General Court’s partial annulment (Mitsubishi and Toshiba)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 June 2012, the European Commission announced that it had re-imposed a € 131.61 million fine on Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric, after last year’s General Court (“GC”) judgment partially annulling the original decision concerning these companies’ involvement in the gas insulated (...)

The UK Supreme Court rejects the respondent’s arguments that enforcement of the plaintiff’s trade marks could lead to infringements of EU law (Oracle America / M-Tech Data)
Blackstone Chambers
Supreme Court puts brake on “Euro defences”* The UK Supreme Court has given trade mark proprietors reason to celebrate, in a judgment which is likely to have important consequences for the success of “Euro defences” more broadly. See: Oracle America Inc (formerly Sun Microsystems Inc) v M-Tech (...)

A US Court of Appeal unanimously expands extraterritorial reach of US antitrust rules in a foreign price-fixing conspiracy case (Potash II)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Seventh Circuit Sitting En Banc Reverses in Potash, Announces Second Most Important of All FTAIA Opinions, Shores Up the Text Messaging Position on Conspiracy Pleading* Well, okay, I guess there might just possibly have been an appellate decision this week of even more pressing moment, but I (...)

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

The European Court of Justice specifies the regime of the quantitative selection criteria in a selective distribution system under the motors vehicle block exemption regulation (Auto 24/Jaguar Land Rover)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
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UGGC Avocats (Paris)
After a referral by the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”) for a preliminary ruling on 29 March 2011, the CJEU provides interesting answers to the question of control of selection criteria in a quantitative selective distribution system. French case law has given rise to discussions as (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court in the sugar cartel (Nestlé, Gullón, Zahor)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Spanish High Court of June, 8, 2012, is the first case in which the highest court in Spain provides for a redress of the victims of a cartel of 1.1 million Euros. The sugar manufacturer Acor had appealed the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, (...)

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

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Market Court decision in automobile spare part cartel case (HL Group, Kaha, Koivunen, Örum)
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Market Court’s Decision in Automobile Spare Part Cartel Case* On 31 May 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court (Supreme Court) dismissed the appeals lodged against the Market Court’s decision of 2009 imposing fines totaling over € 1 000 000 on (...)

The EU General Court rules on multilateral interchange fees going through the intricacies of art. 101(3) (MasterCard)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Case T-111/08, Mastercard. A priceless Art. 101(3) assessment* A while ago we wrote a post on The Slow Death of Article 101(3) TFEU, where we said that in recent European Commission, practice, only once the challenged agreement was not deemed to be a restriction by “object”, and that only in (...)

The EU General Court fully upholds the Commission’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Courts: Judgment in MasterCard Case upholds Commission’s Decision* In its judgment of 24 May 2012 in case T-111/08, the General Court (the Court) fully upheld the Commission’s decision prohibiting MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) that apply to cross-border transactions (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds NCA’s decision on anticompetitive agreements in the orthopaedic products sector (Idemus, Ortopagalba, Ortopedijos centras)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision in Orthopaedic Products Case* On 17 May 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Supreme Court) definitively upheld the decision of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (CC) of (...)

The US Kansas Supreme Court holds resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, but ruling subsequently overturned by state legislature (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The Kansas Supreme Court recently determined resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, becoming the latest state to reject the rule of reason standard mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision serves as a reminder that although a supplier’s pricing (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that resale price maintenance, whether purely vertical or in a dual distribution setting, is per se illegal and rejects applicability of federal rule of reason analysis to claims brought under Kansas antitrust law (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Irvine)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
UPDATE NOTE: On April 16, 2013, the Kansas legislature reversed the decision discussed below, and adopted a "reasonableness" standard for analyzing vertical price agreements. On May 4, 2012, Kansas joined the growing trend among states to limit the distribution flexibility that had been (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeal in Spanish raw tobacco cartel (WWTE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In October 2012, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) published an order of 3 May 2012, dismissing an appeal by World Wide Tobacco España (“WWTE”) against an earlier EU General Court (“GC”) ruling in the Spanish raw tobacco cartel case. In October 2004, the European Commission had fined (...)

The French Supreme Court rules on selective distribution networks and outside-network sales made on online auction website (eBay)
Vogel & Vogel
Four perfume brands have filed a legal action against the world’s number-one online auction site, eBay: they accuse eBay of allowing on its sites the sale by non-authorized third parties of products covered by a selective distribution channel. The judge found that eBay, a site bringing together (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects the FTC’s latest “Pay-For-Delay” challenge (FTC v. Watson)
Mayer Brown (Washington)
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US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) complaint against four pharmaceutical companies: Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Par Pharmaceuticals, and Paddock Laboratories. The (...)

A US Court of Appeals rejects FTC’s approach to "pay-for-delay" settlement between brand name and generic drug companies as an unlawful agreement not to compete under S. 5 of the FTC Act (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Eleventh Circuit Rejects FTC’s Approach to Pay-for-Delay Settlements as “Turducken Task”* The U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected on April 25, 2012 the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to a patent litigation settlement between brand name and generic drug companies as an unlawful (...)

The European Commission submits comments to Ireland’s High Court in the Irish beef case: can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices?
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
“Crisis cartels” - Can an economic downturn ever excuse anti-competitive practices? Insights from a European Commission statement to Ireland’s High Court, April 2012* The global economic downturn has given new life to the difficult question of whether competition authorities will ever tolerate (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms that a co-insurance pool agreement had the effect of restricting competition and upholds the decision of the NCA to impose fines (AB Lietuvos draudimas, UAB DK PZU Lietuva)
Competition Council of Latvia
On 20 April, 2012 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (the "Court") rejected the appeals brought by two insurance companies - AB Lietuvos draudimasandUAB DK PZU Lietuva- against the Competition Council’s infringement decision (the "Decision") finding them guilty of having entered into a (...)

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

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision on an agreement in the insurance sector (Lietuvos draudimas, DK PZU Lietuva)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision in Insurance Case* On 20 April 2012, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Supreme Court) definitively upheld the decision of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (CC) of 23 (...)

The English High Court orders disclosure of parts of the unredacted version of the EU Commission’s switchgear cartel decision (National Grid / ABB)
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
*Antitrust Litigation: Access to Documents Held by Regulatory Authorities The English High Court has confirmed that the principles established by the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "ECJ") in Pfleiderer apply to the disclosure of leniency documents submitted to the (...)

A French Court of Appeal rules on the jurisdiction of specialized courts on the ground of public policy in cases involving restrictives practices (Iso Confort/Altop)
Vogel & Vogel
In May 2010, an operator terminated without notice a partnership agreement with another party. The latter filed a claim for damages on the basis of Articles 1134 and 1147 of the Civil Code. Applying the jurisdiction clause contained in the contract, the Commercial Court in Arras declined (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority revises fines on flour producers (Meneba, Grain Millers, Werhahn)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) revises Fines on Flour Producers* On 22 December 2010, the NMa imposed fines totalling € 81 600 000 on flour producers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for cartel activities. Fifteen firms in different group compositions were (...)

A Federal jury in San Francisco returns verdicts in rare price-fixing trial of global liquid-crystal displays conspiracy (AU Optronics)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
Companies and individuals that are accused of price-fixing rarely go to trial. Indeed, in the last 10 years, no corporate defendant (and only a handful of individuals) has elected to litigate an international criminal cartel case in a U.S. court. The vast majority of cases are resolved through (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s interpretation of the block exemption regulation on vertical agreements in a resale price maintenance case (M San Grupa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 7 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) issued against the wholesaler of the household electronics M SAN Grupa d.d.(MSG) for imposing the resale price maintenance obligations on one of its (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court rules on the compatibility of a selective distribution network in the automobile sector with the block exemption regulation (Sanabilis Citroen)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2012 the High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN), which found no anti-competitive practices in the distribution of Citroen automobiles in Croatia. The exclusive importer of Citroen automobiles in Croatia Citroen Hrvatska (...)

The CJEU confirms the power of the Czech NCA to punish a pre-EU-accession cartel on the basis of Art. 101 TFEU (Toshiba)
Kinstellar (Prague)
Proceedings before the Commission On 2 August 2006, the European Commission (the “Commission”) initiated proceedings regarding an alleged breach of competition rules by numerous companies producing gas insulated switchgear (“GIS”) who entered into a worldwide bid-rigging agreement. The cartel (...)

The European Court of Justice renders a judgment on a Czech preliminary reference in the gas insulated switchgear case - Ruling’s likely implications on parallel proceedings within the ECN and on the principle of ne bis in idem (Toshiba)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Upcoming judgment in case C-17/10 Toshiba and Others to shed light on the question of parallel proceedings within the ECN* On 14 February, the Court of Justice will deliver a ruling on a preliminary reference by a Czech Regional Court in Brno, which is likely to provide welcome guidance on the (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court confirms the Competition Authority decision on the road construction cartel (Strabag, Hidépit, Betonut, EGUT)
European Commission (Brussels)
Hungary: Road Construction Cartel Decision confirmed by the Curia* On 6 February 2012, the Curia of Hungary (Curia, previously known as the Supreme Court of Hungary) upheld the 2004 decision of the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) – which found that the road (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds parental liability in acrylic glass and sodium chlorate cartel cases (Elf Aquitaine, Arkema, Total)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two recent orders, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has reaffirmed the principles governing the liability of parent companies for the conduct of their wholly-owned subsidiaries, as established in Akzo Nobel. In the first order issued on 2 February 2012, the ECJ dismissed an (...)

The EU General Court issues decision holding two joint venture parents liable for cartel behavior of their 50/50 owned joint venture (Dow Chemical Company)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Holding parents liable for 50/50 joint ventures* On 2 February 2012, the EU’s General Court issued two important judgments concerning the issue of whether joint venture parents can be held liable for the cartel behaviour of their 50-50 joint venture. In T-77/08 (Dow Chemical v Commission) and (...)

The EU General Court confirms Commission’s decision holding a parent company jointly and severally liable for cartel behavior of its 50/50 owned joint venture (EI Dupont de Nemours)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Holding parents liable for 50/50 joint ventures* On 2 February 2012, the EU’s General Court issued two important judgments concerning the issue of whether joint venture parents can be held liable for the cartel behaviour of their 50-50 joint venture. In T-77/08 (Dow Chemical v Commission) and (...)

The Paris Court of Appeals addresses the issue of the notion of generalized and continuous infringement in competition law (Luxury Perfumes case)
Vogel & Vogel
On 21 October 1998, the French Competition Council had initiated ex officio an investigation into the luxury perfumes sector. By the end of the investigation, the Council estimated that, between 1997 and 2000, a general and continuous vertical agreement between several well-known brands and (...)

The Danish High Court reduces fines imposed on design furniture manufacturer for maintaining resale prices (Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 January 2012, the Danish High Court ruled on appeals brought against a judgment of the Danish District Court of Svendborg of May 2011 imposing a fine of DKK 500,000 (around € 67,000) on the Danish design furniture manufacturer Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik A/S (“EJM”), as well as fines (...)

The Finnish Market Court imposes 3 M € fine to a glassware and ceramics manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Iittala)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 20 December 2011, Finland’s Market Court (“Market Court”) imposed a fine of € 3 million on the glassware and ceramics manufacturer Iittala Group Oy Ab (“Iittala”) for resale price maintenance (“RPM”) in breach of the Finnish Competition Act (480/1992, “Competition Act”, repealed and replaced by the (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court hands down second ruling on non-compete clauses in rental contracts for commercial premises (Europark)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a published judgment of 12 December 2011, the Austrian Supreme Court upheld an earlier judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Vienna that had dismissed a claim seeking the annulment of non-compete obligations imposed by the operator of a shopping centre (the Europark) on its tenants (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes OFT’s tobacco pricing decision (Imperial Tobacco, Gallaher and retailers)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 December 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) quashed a decision of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in which the UK regulator had imposed a record fine on a number of tobacco manufacturers and retailers for manipulating prices of tobacco products through a network of illegal (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court judgment in copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases (KME, Chalkor)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 December 2011, the EU Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed appeals brought by KME Germany, KME France, KME Italy (“KME”) and Chalkor AE Epexergasias Metallon (“Chalkor”) against judgments of the General Court (“GC”) in the copper industrial and plumbing tubes cartel cases. In December 2003, (...)

The Metropolitan Court of Budapest upholds the decision of Hungarian Competition Authority almost in its entirety in the “Baker cartel” case (Hungarian Baker Association)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (further on: GVH) initiated an investigation in 2007 against the Hungarian Baker Association (further on: Association) for alleged infringement of the prohibition of restrictive agreements. According to GVH‘s suspicions, the Association coordinated the price (...)

An Hungarian court of appeal confirms the annulment of the decision of the Competition Office and sets guidelines for repeated proceedings in road construction cartel matter (Egút Egri Építő, Colas Dunántúli Út-és Vasútépítő)
lakatos, koves and partners
The Budapest Metropolitan Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) recently delivered a judgment that provides an insight into the Court of Appeal’s approach to a number of substantive law and procedural law issues concerning cartel matters. The case before the Court of Appeal concerned the second (...)

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 European Court of Justice validates exclusive rights for broadcasting of sports events provided they do not grant absolute territorial exclusivity (Football Association Premier League)
Vogel & Vogel
The Football Association Premier League (FAPL), holder of the television broadcasting rights for the Premier League, the leading professional football league competition for football clubs in England, grants exclusive licences in respect of those broadcasting rights to one TV channel per (...)

A US Court of Appeals holds claims against a foreign price-fixing cartel in the potash industry either exempted under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act or insufficient to state a cause of action under the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards (Potash)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Potash Potash Potash!!!!! En Banc Review Is in the Hizz-ouse, Y’all!* Something striking occurred in the Seventh Circuit this year. In two different, massive antitrust class actions, in the space of about nine months, panels of that court applied the Twombly-Iqbal pleading formula to reach (...)

The Lithuanian Administrative Court annuls a decision of the national competition authority and emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the general aim of safeguarding the competition, rather than following a purely bureaucratic approach (Route Taxicabs)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
Background “Route Taxicabs”, a Business Association of Klaipeda (further on, “Route Taxicabs” Association) requested the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (further on, Administrative Court) to annul the decision of the National Competition Authority to dismiss an investigation regarding (...)

The European General Court restricts the liability of parent companies holding that the Commission can only rely on the presumption of liability if it includes an adequate statement of reasons in its decision (Koninklijke Grolsch)
Jones Day (Brussels)
The European General Court found on 15 September 2011 that the European Commission can only rely on the presumption of liability of a parent company for a wholly owned subsidiary if it included an adequate statement of reasons in its decision explaining that it indeed relied on that presumption (...)

The EU General Court annuls fine in the Dutch beer cartel case ruling that the evidence available to the EU Commission was not sufficient to establish the parent company liability for its subsidiary’s participation in the cartel (Grolsch)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court annuls fine imposed on parent company for its subsidiary’s participation in a beer industry cartel (Grolsch)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Grolsch Cartel Fine Annulment: Should Parent Companies Pay for the Anti-Competitive Conduct of a Subsidiary?* The General Court has annulled a €36.6m fine imposed on Grolsch for the price fixing of beer in Holland. In its decision, the (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott renders her opinion in the Czech gas insulated switchgear case holding that the principle ne bis in idem does not preclude NCAs from prosecuting the same cartel with respect to different territories or periods (Toshiba)
Université Catholique de Louvain
AG Kokott’s Opinion in Toshiba: framing the application of the ne bis in idem principle in EU competition law enforcement* One of the main concerns raised by the decentralization of EU competition law enforcement related to the risk of different competition authorities prosecuting and (...)

The EU General Court dismisses action brought by several company in bleaching chemicals cartel (Elf Aquitaine and Total)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down two judgments dismissing appeals brought by Elf Aquitaine, Totaland their subsidiary Arkema France against the European Commission’s bleaching chemicals cartel decision. By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission found that nine companies (...)

The EU General Court dismisses action brought by several company in bleaching chemicals cartel (Arkema France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down two judgments dismissing appeals brought by Elf Aquitaine, Totaland their subsidiary Arkema France against the European Commission’s bleaching chemicals cartel decision. By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission found that nine companies (...)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The EU General Court reduces fine on a company and rejects other appeals in lifts and elevators cartel (KONE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

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

The EU General Court reduces fine on a company and rejects other appeals in lifts and elevators cartel (ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on a company and rejects other appeals in lifts and elevators cartel (Otis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on a company and rejects other appeals in lifts and elevators cartel (Schindler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that the plaintiff failed to meet its burden to show that the revenue-sharing was obviously anticompetitive and expresses no opinion on the legality of the arrangement under the rule of reason (State of California / Safeway)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Grocers’ Revenue-Sharing Deal Deserves More Than a Quick Look, Ninth Circuit Holds* A revenue-sharing agreement among grocery stores, designed to help the stores weather targeted strikes by employees during labor strife, is not shielded from antitrust scrutiny by virtue of the non-statutory (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls fines imposed on Japanese participants in gas insulated switchgear cartel (Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Fuji)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in four appeals brought by addressees of the European Commission’s gas insulated switchgear cartel decision. In its underlying decision, the Commission found that manufacturers of gas switchgear used to insulate electrical (...)

The Italian Council of State confirms the Italian Competition Authority decision holding that a single participation to price fixing meeting triggers a competition liability for infringement of Article 101 TFEU (Divella, Pricing of Pasta case )
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a ruling of 12 July 2011 the Italian Council of State has rejected the appeal proposed by Divella against the judgment of the Administrative Regional Court of Lazio (Tar Lazio) on the Pricing of Pastacase. Divella, a pasta manufacturer, had challenged the decision of the (...)

The Italian administrative court of first instance annuls the decision of the Antitrust Authority which fined Mastercard and eight Italian licensee banks for an alleged violation of Art. 101 TFEU in the definition and application of domestic interchange fees (Mastercard)
Ashurst
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
,
Pirelli
Background The judgement in comment (Judgement of TAR of Lazio n. 6171 of 11 July 2011) has annulled the final decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority ("IAA") of 3 November 2010 ("IAA Decision") which closed the proceeding against Mastercard and eight Italian banks ( the "Parties") and (...)

An Italian Administrative Court sets aside the Italian Competition Authority’s decision to fine a payment card network company, 8 Italian banks and financial institutions for infringing art. 101 TFEU (MasterCard – I720 Carte di credito)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Introduction On the 11th of July 2011 the Italian Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per il Lazio – hereafter “IRAC”) upheld the appeal of Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (hereafter MPS”) against the decision no. 21768 of the Italian Competition Authority (...)

A US Court of Appeals vacates a lower court’s injunction lifting football players’ lockout in an antitrust suit (NFL)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Injunction Against NFL Lockout Improperly Granted in Players’ Antitrust Suit* Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis vacated an injunction lifting the National Football League’s "lockout" of its players. The divided appellate court, just five days after hearing oral argument on (...)

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

The EU General Court hears an appeal from Spanish service station associations against a Commission’s decision (CEES/AGES)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
CEES (Confederación Española de Estaciones de Servicio) and AGES (Asociación de Gestores de Estaciones de Servicio), two associations representing 45 percent of Spanish service stations, are reported to have recently lodged an appeal with the General Court against a Commission decision which (...)

The German Federal High Court rules on damage claims by indirect purchasers and the passing-on defence in a cartel case (Carbonless paper cartel)
Allen & Overy (Hamburg)
On November 24, 2011 the German Federal High Court (Bundesgerichtshof) published its decision in the ORWI case. The claimant, a German savings bank, brought a claim for damages against a carbonless paper manufacturer, that were ceded to him by ORWI, a manufacturer of pre-printed forms. Claimant (...)

The German Supreme Court holds that indirect purchasers have standing to sue for antitrust damages but defendants may invoke passing-on defense (Carbonless paper cartel)
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
,
Jones Day
The German Federal Civil Court (BGH) has held that both direct and indirect purchasers may sue for antitrust damages, but defendants may raise the passing-on defense. Through the passing-on defense, defendants try to demonstrate that plaintiffs suffered no financial harm, as they passed on the (...)

The Moldovan Court of Appeals quashes the infringement decision of the Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives on the basis of lack of evidence (Petrom-Moldova)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 June 2011 the Chisinău Court of Appeals (the CAC) quashed the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) establishing the existence of concerted practices on the market for retail trade in oil derivatives. The CAC held that the ANPC failed to present sufficient (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in the Dutch beer cartel case finding that the EU Commission did not prove all infringements and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Bavaria)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in the Dutch beer cartel case finding that the EU Commission did not prove all infringements and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Heineken)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision and reduces fines in a cartel case concerning the international removal services market in Belgium (Gosselin, Verhuizingen Coppens)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
By its decision of 11 March 2008, the Commission imposed fines totalling over EUR 32 million on ten companies for their participation in a cartel on the international removal services market in Belgium between October 1984 and September 2003. In particular, the Commission imposed fines of EUR (...)

The EU General Court holds for the first time that the Commission erred in relying on the presumption that a parent company is liable for the anticompetitive conduct of its wholly-owned subsidiary (Hydrogen Peroxide)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission imposed fines totalling over EUR 388 million on a number of companies for their participation in a cartel on the market for hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate (bleaching agents) between 31 January 1994 and 31 December 2000. Among the companies (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision and reduces fines in a cartel case concerning the Dutch beer market (Netherlands Beer)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (London)
By its decision of 18 April 2007, the Commission imposed fines totalling approximately EUR 270 million on several Dutch brewers, including Heineken NV and its subsidiary Heineken Nederland BV, and Bavaria NV, for their participation in a cartel on the Dutch beer market between 27 February 1996 (...)

The Spanish National Court applies the ECJ "dual pricing" ruling to quash a decision by the Spanish Competition Commission concerning prices imposed to wholesalers by pharmaceutical company (Pfizer)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
The Spanish National Court has applied the landmark ECJ dual pricing ruling to quash a decision by the Spanish Competition Commission dismissing a complaint against Pfizer’s pricing policy for pharmaceutical products. On 13 June 2011, the Spanish National Court («Audiencia Nacional« or «the (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages (Brantley / NBC Universal)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Rejects Consumer Antitrust Challenge To Cable Television Bundling* The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages. Brantley v. NBC (...)

The EU General Court reduces fines imposed to a cartelist and its subsidiaries in the methacrylates sector (Arkema France)
Jones Day (Paris)
Unlimited jurisdiction: the end of a misnomer?* The past decade has seen a flurry of articles published trying to make sense of the degree of control that the EU Courts exercise on complex economic reasoning. By contrast, much less has been written about the Courts’ unlimited jurisdiction on (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds the annulment judgment delivered by the Regional Court in Bratislava in a potential cartel case (Akcenta case)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Slovenia)
The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the “Supreme Court“) has provided that the judgment delivered the Regional Court in Bratislava (the “Regional Court“) annulling the decision adopted by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office ( “SVK AMO“) dealing with an agreement restricting competition in the (...)

The Danish District Court fines manufacturer of design furniture for engaging in resale price maintenance (Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 May 2011, the Danish District Court of Svendborg (the “Court”) imposed a fine of DKK 500,000 (approximately € 67,000) on Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik A/S (“EJM”), a Danish manufacturer of design furniture, for having engaged in resale price maintenance. The Court also imposed fines totalling DKK (...)

A Moldovan Court of Appeals quashes the concerted practices decision of National Competition Authority for the failure to demonstrate the existence of a price coordination mechanism and the absence of alternative explanations (Lukoil Moldova)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 12 May 2011 the Chișinău Court of Appeals (the CAC) quashed the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) establishing the existence of the concerted practices on the market for retail trade in oil derivatives. The CAC held that the ANPC failed to prove that seven (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal fines a pharmaceutical company € 17 M for unfair competition when launching a new drug (Ipsen/Mylan)
EDHEC Business School
1. Summary Mylan, the generic pharmaceutical company (formerly Merck Génériques), was ordered by the Paris Court of Appeal to pay €17 million in damages to Ipsen for unfair competitive practices and economic parasitism by marketing Vitalogink to pharmacists as an "equivalent" to Tanakan and (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal again reduces fines in construction bid-rigging case (North Midland Construction PLC)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 and 27 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to the remaining appeals against the Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging cartel case (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2009, No. (...)

A Belgian Court seeks guidance from European Court of Justice in lifting cartel damages case (Kone, Otis, Schindle, ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to recent press reports, in a judgment of 21 April 2011, the Brussels Commercial Court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the lift cartel damages proceedings. In February 2007, the European Commission fined lift and escalator manufacturers (...)

The EU Advocate General Kokott advises ECJ to quash General Court judgment in soda ash cartel case (Solvay/CFK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2011, Advocate General (“AG”) Juliane Kokott advised the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) to set aside the 2009 judgment of the General Court (“GC”) partially upholding the Commission’s 2000 decision fining Solvay and CFK for their participation in a cartel affecting the market for soda (...)

The EU Court of Justice’s Advocate General Kokott recommends annulment in soda ash cases due to infringements of rights of defence (Solvay/Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2011, Advocate General (“AG”) Juliane Kokott issued her opinion in cases C-109/10P and 110/10P, Solvay SAv. Commission, recommending that the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) annul two Commission decisions fining chemicals company Solvay for infringing Articles 81 and 82 EC (now Articles 101 (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal significantly reduces fines in construction recruitment cartel case (Eden Brown and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 April 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment relating to three appeals against the amount of the fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 29 September 2009 in the construction recruitment cartel case. In its judgment, the CAT reduced (...)

The European Court of Justice upholds fines imposed in steel beams cartel and alloy surcharge cartel cases (ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 March 2011, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal brought by ArcelorMittal Luxembourg SA (formerly Arbed SA) against the judgment of the General Court confirming the Commission’s decision to impose a fine totalling € 10 million on it for its participation in a cartel on (...)

The European Court of Justice upholds fines imposed in steel beams cartel and alloy surcharge cartel cases (ArcelorMittal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 March 2011, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal brought by ArcelorMittal Luxembourg SA (formerly Arbed SA) against the judgment of the General Court confirming the Commission’s decision to impose a fine totalling € 10 million on it for its participation in a cartel on (...)

The French Court of Cassation refers a question to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on the required criteria for quantitative selective distribution (Auto 24/Jaguar Land Rover France)
Vogel & Vogel
The question of the criteria required for quantitative selective distribution continues to create intense debate in the case law in France. There are two opposing schools of opinion on the question both from legal commentators and in the case law: The first school argues that the European (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces “excessive” fines in construction bid rigging case (GF Tomlinson Group and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11, 22 and 24 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to appeals against the level of fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging case. In its judgments, the CAT has (...)

The EU General Court partly annuls Commission’s State aid decision regarding an express transportation company hub in a German airport (DHL)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 24 March 2011, the General Court was again called upon to rule on the validity of a decision adopted by the European Commission on 23 July 2008 with regard to an agreement concluded between DHL, FLH (the company operating Leipzig-Halle Airport) and MF (a company holding 94% of (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces “excessive” fines in construction bid rigging case (Durkan Holdings and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11, 22 and 24 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to appeals against the level of fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging case. In its judgments, the CAT has (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal narrows the scope of follow-on claims (Emerson Electric / Carbone)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been nominated by the Business Steering Committee for the business category, general antitrust section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 21, 2011, the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) struck (...)

A Dutch High Court upholds the national competition authority’s decision lowering fines on shrimp wholesalers and fisheries for infringement of national and European cartel provisions
European Commission (Brussels)
The Netherlands: The Highest Dutch Court in Antitrust Cases upholds Decision on Shrimp Cartel* Dutch traders and Dutch, German and Danish producers’ organizations representing shrimp fishers must pay fines, totalling more than € 4 400 000, for infringing the European and national provisions (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reduces “excessive” fines in construction bid rigging case (Kier and others)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11, 22 and 24 March 2011, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a series of judgments relating to appeals against the level of fines imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) in a decision of 21 September 2009 in the construction bid-rigging case. In its judgments, the CAT has (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal cuts fines in the construction cover pricing appeal case (Kier Group and others)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. ‘Cover Pricing’: Object or Effect?* Last week, the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) cut fines on six construction firms by 90%. The fines had been imposed by the Office of Fair Trading in 2009 for cover pricing. The CAT found the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds its decision in the construction cover pricing appeal case (Kier Group and others)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
I. Introduction The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) gave judgment on 11 March 2011 in the first set of appeals by construction firms against fines totalling £129m imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2009 following a lengthy investigation into cover pricing in tenders for (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine imposed in Spanish raw tobacco cartel appeal (World Wide Tobacco España)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 March 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down a judgment reducing the fine imposed by the European Commission on World Wide Tobacco España (“WWTE”) in the Spanish raw tobacco case. WWTE, an indirect subsidiary of the US-based Standard Commercial Corporation, was a Spanish tobacco processor, (...)

The EU General Court confirms that when a wholly owned subsidiary is sold to a new owner, that subsidiary and the previous owner remain jointly and severally liable for any competition law infringement that the subsidiary committed before the sale (Areva, Alstom)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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White & Case (Brussels)
In a judgment delivered on 3 March 2011 in Cases T-117/07 Areva v European Commission and T-121/07 Alstom v European Commission, the General Court of the European Union (the ‘Court’) the Court confirmed the general rule that when a wholly-owned subsidiary that has infringed competition law is (...)

The French Supreme Court clarifies the appreciable effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFUE (Jet Fuel Cartel)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. In a landmark judgment of 1 March 2011, the French Supreme Court in Commercial, Financial and Economic matters (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale, financière et économique) provided guidance on establishing a local collusive agreement’s appreciable effect on trade between (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (ALTO Sarris/FIAT)
Bank of Greece
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Sharpston voices opinion on the standard of judicial review over fines in cartel cases (KME)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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White & Case (London)
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White & Case (Brussels)
This article is the winner of the business category, anticompetitive practices section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In an Opinion delivered on 10 February 2011, Advocate General (‘AG’) Sharpston of the European Court of (...)

A Dutch High Court quashes a lower court’s judgment annulling the fine imposed by the Dutch Competition Authority on a participant in a cartel in the building sector (A. Wegenbouw and B. Holding)
European Commission - DG HR
As a result of a TV programme which revealed the existence of a large-scale system of fraud within the building sector in the Netherlands, the Dutch Competition Authority (hereafter the ‘NMa‘) initiated an investigation of a possible infringement of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act (a (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Kokott considers that territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of live football matches are contrary to European Union law (Football Association Premier League)
Wiggin (London)
I. Background The Football Association Premier League (“FAPL”) is the governing body of English Premier League football. Every year FAPL organises a competition in which 20 member clubs play against each other. FAPL is authorised by its members to license broadcasters to provide audiovisual (...)

The European Court of Justice issues a decision on a rubber chemicals cartel holding a parent company liable for the anticompetitive behaviour of its wholly-owned subsidiary and confirming that the presumption of parental liability is rebuttable (General Química)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The ECJ rules on parenthood (General Química v Commission)* The ECJ issued a Judgment yesterday in the General Química-Repsol case in which it partly upheld and partly annulled the General Court’s judgment dismissing the appeals against the Commission decision in the rubber chemicals cartel. In (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a decision of the Competition Appeals Tribunal denying a claimant follow-on damages (Enron Coal Services/ English Welsh & Scottish Railway)
Francis Taylor Building
I. Overview In January 2011, the UK Court of Appeal (the “Court”) dismissed an appeal against a ruling of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) that Enron Coal Services Ltd (“Enron”) was not entitled to follow on damages against English Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd (“EWS”). The Court (...)

The Hungarian High Court of Appeal rules that the tenderee to the agreement that was concluded on the basis of the outcome of a tender which was influenced by bid rigging is not entitled to damages (Bartók Béla tender)
Philip Morris
I. Introduction Private enforcement in bid rigging cases is increasing in Hungary. However, none of the filed actions have been successfully completed in recent years. II. Background of the judgment The background of the case and the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) was (...)

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 Italian Court of First Instance confirms the Italian Competition Authority’s decision in a price fixing case concerning the liquefied petroleum gas sector (Butangas, Eni, Liquigas)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 13 December 2010, the Italian Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") confirmed the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") found the three main operators active in the LPG sector in Italy (i.e. Butangas, Eni and Liquigas) to have coordinated their (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court halves an antitrust fine in the bakery sector to €150.000 (Bakeries Association of Valencia province)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
In December 2010 the Spanish Supreme Court (“Tribunal Supremo”) confirmed that the bakeries Association of the Valencia province (“Federación Gremial de Panadería y Pastelería de la Provincia de Valencia”) had taken part in an anticompetitive collusive practice when it recommended minimum prices for (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds Chancellor’s order striking out "representative parts" of a class action claim (Emerald / British Airways)
Ropes & Gray (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
Class Actions in the U.K: Emerald Supplies Limited & Anr. v. British Airways plc* The U.K. Court of Appeal has recently rebuffed an attempt by Plaintiff’s firm, Hausfeld, to bring a collective “opt out” style action using Rule 19.6 of the CPR rules (Emerald Supplied Limited v. British Airways (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal upholds an infringement decision of the NCA concerning an exclusive supply and purchasing arrangement and finds that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party (Kortex Mérnöki Iroda)
Ernst & Young
The Metropolitan Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority concerning an exclusive supply – exclusive purchasing arrangement and found that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party. I. The background of the (...)

An Italian Administrative Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision to reject commitments offered by an undertaking in order to address competition concerns relating to the interchange fees (Master Card)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
I. Introduction On 16 November 2010, the Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium (the “TAR Latium”) annulled a decision by which the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”), rejected the commitments proposed by MasterCard in a proceeding pursuant to Article 101 TFEU (the “Commitments”). (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court holds that the contracts between an oil operator and its resale distributors are legal (Repsol)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
I. Background On July 11, 2001, the Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, TDC) resolved the case in its resolution number 490/00. In it, it was decided that Repsol S.A. had engaged in a practice prohibited by Article 1.1 of the Act 16/1989 (the former Antitrust (...)

The Czech Regional Court rules that internal guidelines of an association of undertakings containing rules on determination of prices violate the ban on cartels (Sdruzeni pohrebnictvi)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Prague)
I. Introduction On 1 November 2010, the Regional Court in Brno (hereinafter the "Regional Court") dismissed an administrative lawsuit brought by the Association of Funeral Services in the Czech Republic (in Czech: Sdruzeni pohrebnictvi v CR; hereinafter the "AFS") against the first-instance (...)

The French Court of Appeals holds that the EU principle of intragroup immunity does not apply to coordinated offers made by "seemingly" independent entities (Maquet)
Jones Day (Paris)
Undertakings with a (seemingly) divided self: Beware* It is commonly accepted that, pursuant to the principle of intragroup immunity, Article 101 TFEU cannot catch agreements or concerted practices between entities that belong to the same undertaking. Article 101 TFEU requires coordination (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal rules on the validity of the agreements concluded by members of a horizontal cartel with their customers (Fruit contracts)
Oppenheim
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Oppenheim - Budapest
In a landmark decision published in December 2010, the Court of Appeal of Budapest had the opportunity to rule on the important question of the validity of agreements concluded by members of a horizontal cartel with their customers (so-called “fruit contracts” or “Folgeverträge”) under Hungarian (...)

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

The US DoJ and seven US States file an antitrust suit against three credit and charge card transaction networks, challenging rules that allegedly restrict price competition at the point of sale (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Visa, MasterCard Settle U.S./State Antitrust Suit, While American Express Vows to Fight* The Department of Justice and seven states have filed a civil antitrust suit against the three largest credit and charge card transaction networks in the United States, challenging rules that allegedly (...)

A Slovakian Regional Court annuls Competition Authority’s decision which fined a banking cartel (Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka (CSOB), Slovenska sporitelna (SLSP) and (VUB) Vseobecna uverova banka)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: Regional Court in Bratislava annuls Authority’s decision in Banking Cartel Following the hearings at the Regional Court of Bratislava (RC BA) on 23 and 28 September 2010, three judgments were adopted in the case of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (AMO) vs. (...)

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

The ECJ Advocate General Mazák proposes to partially set aside General Court’s judgment in rubber chemicals case, while upholding parent companies’ liability (General Química, Repsol Química and Repsol YPF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 September 2010, Advocate General Mazák issued his opinion on an appeal brought by General Química and its parent companies, Repsol Química and Repsol YPF concerning the attribution of liability in the rubber chemicals cartel case. On 18 December 2008, the General Court (at that time, the (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine in Spanish raw tobacco case (Deltafina)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2010, the General Court handed down its judgment on an appeal brought by Deltafina against the European Commission’s decision of 20 October 2004, fining it € 11,880,000 for its participation in a cartel of producers and processors of raw tobacco in Spain. The General Court upheld (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay, Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Parfums Givenchy, and Guerlain)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the annulment of the NCA’s cartel decision for price fixing in the waste management sector (PEATA)
Sorainen (Vilnius)
On 2 September 2010 the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC) upheld the lower court judgment in annulling the Lithuanian Competition Council (LCC) decision in the waste management cartel. Earlier that year the Association of Packaging and Electronic Waste Processors (PEATA) and its (...)

The Danish Supreme Court enhances fines in case involving anticompetitive practices in the Christmas tree industry (Prosecutor/Dansk Juletræsdyrkerforening)
Lexxion Publisher
On 30 August 2010 the Danish Supreme Court (Højesteret) handed down a judgment in the case of the Public Prosecutor vs. Dansk Juletraesdyrkerforening (Danish Christmas tree Growers Association) in a case regarding anticompetitive practices (price recommendations). Only the question of the amount (...)

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

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal holds that undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchange do not have any effect on their conduct on the market (KPN, Orange, Telfort, T-Mobile, Vodafone Libertel)
European Commission - DG HR
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal has held that by virtue of Article 6 of the ECHR, undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchange did not have any effect on their (...)

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

The Supreme Commercial Court of Russia upholds lower courts’ rulings dismissing concerns over price coordination by 11 hotels during the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2008 (Russian Hotels)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Background In 2008 the St. Petersburg branch of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation decided that 11 hotels infringed Part 1 of Article 11 of the Competition Act. The FAS found that the hotels coordinated a substantial price increase during the 12th St. Petersburg (...)

The California Supreme Court rejects "Pass-On" Defense for antitrust damages (Pfizer)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
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Jones Day (Los Angeles)
In its July 12, 2010, decision in Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., the California Supreme Court rejected the « pass-on » defense for claims brought under California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act. Defendants have used the pass-on defense to argue that direct purchasers of goods sold by allegedly (...)

The European Court of Justice confirms € 85.8 M fine for participation in a cartel on the plasterboard market (Knauf)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment handed down on 1 July 2010, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) confirmed the € 85.8 million fine imposed on Knauf Gips KG (“Knauf”) by the Commission for its participation in a cartel on the plasterboard market. In 2002, the Commission imposed fines totalling € 478 million on BPB, (...)

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

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

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

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Groupe Volkswagen France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court awards € 100,000 in damages to a claimant on behalf of a printing firm which purchased paper from a subsidiary of a cartel holding the passing-on defence does not apply (Carbonless paper cartel)
White & Case (Hambourg)
In its decision dated 11 June 2010, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe has awarded € 100,000 in damages to a claimant on behalf of a printing firm that purchased carbonless-paper indirectly from members of the carbonless-paper cartel. The printing firm was seeking damages for paying cartel (...)

A French Court rules on refusal by motor vehicle manufacturers to examine applications of dealers to be reappointed to their respective distribution networks (Nissan France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two separate judgments that were handed down in June 2010, the Commercial Court of Versailles and the Paris Court of Appeal awarded damages to former dealers of SA Nissan France (“Nissan”) and SA Groupe Volkswagen France (“VW”) respectively, whose dealership agreements were terminated by the (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Competition Council’s decision prohibiting a TV Broadcaster’s business terms regarding the distribution of two TV channels (Viasat)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Danish Competition Council’s decision prohibiting Viasat’s Business Terms regarding the Distribution of TV 3 and TV 3+ On 8 June 2010, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) upheld the Danish Competition Council’s (DCC) decision (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that teams of the national football league engaged in concerted practices (NFL)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Supreme Court holds licensing activities of NFL teams were joint conduct subject to § 1 Sherman Act* On 24 May 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that teams of the National Football League (“NFL”) engaged in concerted action subject to Section 1 Sherman Act when licensing their intellectual (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects special sports league exemption from antitrust scrutiny adopting a narrow view of Copperweld immunity (American Needle / National Football League)
Jones Day (New York)
The U.S. Supreme Court adopts a narrow view of Copperweld immunity in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act is, in important ways, extraordinary in its simplicity. It broadly prohibits all agreements—“[e]very contract, combination . . . or (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decisions addressing the issue of single entity notion under antitrust law (American Needle / National Football League)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League* In American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, 130 S.Ct. 2201 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the NFL acting through its incorporated subsidiary NFL Properties, Inc. (NFLP) was not a single entity but rather a combination of its 32 (...)

The US Supreme Court finds that a football league and its members should not be treated as a single entity (American Needle / National Football League)
Tesoro
American professional sports associations such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Major League Baseball (MLB) generate significant economic activity. In 2010, their combined revenue exceeded $21 billion and (...)

The US Supreme Court applies functional test to determine whether joint venture activity triggers antitrust liability (American Needle / National Football League)
White & Case (New York)
Introduction Section 1 of the Sherman Act outlaws contracts, combinations and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain trade. Therefore, to establish liability under Section 1, it is necessary to show a plurality of actors in agreement; there can be no contract, combination or conspiracy with (...)

The Danish High Court overturns judgment by District Court on price fixing (Veterinary surgeons)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 19 May 2010, the Western High Court overturned a judgment by the District Court of Århus which had imposed fines on the seven veterinary surgeons for fixing prices for the provision of veterinary services outside normal opening hours contrary to section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeal against Commission’s rejection of complaint on cement standard (EMC Development)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 May 2010, the General Court dismissed an appeal lodged by EMC Development (“EMC”), a Swedish company active in the commercial exploitation of specialist cement production technology, against a Commission decision rejecting its complaint alleging the infringement of Article 101 TFEU by a (...)

The European Court of Justice rejects an appeal on interim measures by a company facing financial difficulties (Ziegler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 April 2010 a judgment by the ECJ had dismissed an appeal against the GC’s refusal of an application for interim measures by Ziegler SA. The application for interim measures had been lodged by Ziegler together with its appeal against a European Commission’s decision of 11 March 2008, which (...)

The Supreme Court of Ireland holds that Medical Council is not an association of undertakings for the purposes of competition law (Ramadan Hemat)
Arthur Cox (Dublin)
Ramadan Hemat v the Medical Council[2010] IESC 24 concerns a Supreme Court appeal arising out of a decision of Mr Justice McKechnie in the High Court. The question before the appeal court was whether the Medical Council was an association of undertakings for the purposes of competition law at (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court dismisses claims for damages in the football broadcasting rights case on the basis of EU competition provisions (Vitória Sport Club and Federação Portuguesa de Futebol / Radiotelevisão Portuguesa)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
In a case that goes back to a football game held in 1997, and in a rare example of private enforcement of competition law in Portugal, the claims for damages by a Portuguese football club, supported by the Portuguese Football Federation, were finally dismissed in the last instance. Vitoria (...)

A Danish Court finds royalty provision contrary to Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act and Article 101 TFEU (Pandora Production / Lise Aagaard Copenhagen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 29 April 2010 the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found that a provision in a license agreement according to which the licensee is required to pay royalty on sales even when the licensor’s IPR is not used was contrary to Article 101 TFEU and the equivalent provision under Danish law and (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal confirms that an exclusive sale agreement concluded for a one year period constitutes a breach of Art. 101 TFEU (Fiat Auto Belgio v. Fortis Banque and T.C.I. Auto Service)
Strasbourg Bar School
Introduction In its judgment of 28 April 2010, the Brussels Court of Appeal upheld a judgment of the Commercial Tribunal and confirmed that the exclusive sale agreement for Fiat vehicles concluded by TCI Auto Service (the dealer, “TCI”) and Fiat Auto Belgio (the manufacturer, “Fiat”) for a (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals overrules judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the interchange fees case (Visa Europe Limited)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: The Court of Appeals overrules Judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the Interchange Fees Case In its decision of 22 April 2010, the Polish Court of Appeals shared the arguments advanced by the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

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

The Belgian Civil Supreme Court upholds the decision of the Appeal committee of the Pharmacists professional body (V.D.F.M/Ordre des pharmaciens)
Fidal (Lyon)
1. Introduction In its judgment of 11 December 2009, the Belgian Civil Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) confirmed the decision of the Appeal Committee of the Ordre des pharmaciens which ruled that competition can be restricted by a College of Pharmacists for the protection of the public (...)

The French Supreme Court agrees with European Court of Justice that a trademark owner can oppose the resale of its luxury goods by discount stores (Caud/Chanel)
Van Bael & Bellis
In its recently published judgment in Caud/Chanel, the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) followed the approach of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in Copad/Christian Dior Coutureconcerning the exhaustion of trademark rights in respect of luxury goods. In that judgment, the ECJ held (...)

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

The Polish Appeal Court in Warsaw upholds the decision of the Competition and Consumers Protection Court introducing economic analysis to the review of an exclusivity clause in distribution agreements (Lesaffre)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
Background - the OCCP decision On 29 December 2006, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (”OCCP”) issued an administrative decision finding that the Polish subsidiary of Lesaffre (French food ingredients yeast and biotechnology company and worldwide leader in the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rejects appeals in the online travel sales sector for vertical practices and abuse of dominance under both EC and national provisions (SNCF / Expedia)
Novartis (Rueil-Malmaison)
BACKGROUND The Paris Court of Appeals (hereafter “the Court”) confirms a decision by the French Competition Council (hereafter “the Council”) which fined SNCF and Expedia, Inc. (hereafter “Expedia”) in a decision No. 09-D-06 of 5 February 2009. The appeal was brought by Karavel (a travel agency, (...)

A US District Court dismisses antitrust claims on reverse payment on the pharma market (Androgel Antitrust Litigation)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
FTC Gets Shut Down – Once Again – In Its Bid To Change How Courts View Reverse Payment Settlements* As previously reported on this blog, in January 2009, the Federal Trade Commission launched its latest challenge to the legality of reverse payment settlements in the pharmaceutical industry, this (...)

A US District Court grants defendants’ motions to dismiss antitrust claims brought by the FTC as regards reverse payments settlements and related commercial arrangements (Androgel)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court dismisses AndroGel reverse payment antitrust claims* On 22 February 2010 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) granted defendants’ motions to dismiss antitrust claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) among others that (...)

A US District Court dismisses the FTC’s "pay-for-delay" antitrust lawsuit ruling that the contested settlements are not an unreasonable restraint of trade (Androgel Litigation)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On February 22, 2010, Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust lawsuit alleging that Solvay Pharmaceuticals (Solvay) conspired with generic drug makers Watson Pharmaceuticals (Watson) and Par Pharmaceuticals (Par) to delay generic competition for the (...)

The French Supreme Court quashes the ruling of the Paris Court of Appeal relating to the exclusive distribution agreements of iPhones (Orange-Apple)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
In a ruling dated 16 February 2010, the French Supreme Court (the "Supreme Court") quashed the ruling of the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court of appeal") relating to the exclusive arrangements between Orange France (a subsidiary of France Telecom) and Apple for the distribution of iPhones in (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the NCA imposing interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Tomić)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 27 January 2010 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) imposing interim measures in the case of unilateral termination of the agreement on selective distribution of BMW automobiles. The applicant, Tomić & Co. d.o.o. (Tomic) was (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the amount of fines imposed on temporary employment agencies for concerted practices under Art. 81 EC and its French equivalent and clarifies the procedural issue of access to confidential electronic documents (Manpower / Adecco / Adia / Randstad)
White & Case (Paris)
In a ruling dated 26 January 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a decision by the French National Competition Authority (the “NCA”) sanctioning world-leading companies in the temporary employment sector for infringing Article 81 EC and its French equivalent. Background Following a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces the highest fines ever imposed by the NCA by 500 million Euros (Steel cartel)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
In a ruling dated 19 January 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") substantially reduced the highest fines ever imposed by the French Competition Authority (the "Authority") in the steel cartel case, from 575.4 million Euros to 74.1 million Euros. This judgement raises the question of (...)

The English High Court opens the way for companies to pursue private damages actions against employees and directors who are involved in competition law infringements (Safeway Stores)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. Between 2002 and 2003, various employees and directors of the Safeway group ("Safeway"), a UK supermarket operator, were involved in the exchange of commercially sensitive retail pricing information with other UK supermarkets and dairy processors. As a consequence of this, (...)