Licensing agreements

Anticompetitive practices

Licensing agreements and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Shell (London)
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Berwin Leighton Paisner (Brussels)
1. Introduction The subject of licensing and competition law at EU level has benefitted from great debate and evolution over the last few decades. The first iteration of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation ("TTBER"), published in 1996 and viewed by some as rather sceptical and (...)

The US FTC approves two final orders settling charges that ski equipment manufacturers for many years illegally agreed not to compete for one another’s ski endorsers or employees (Marker Völkl / Tecnica Group)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The FTC Orders Ski-Equipment Companies to Start Competing Again* Sometimes competition is a real hassle. If your company has a loyal customer or longtime employee, you feel betrayed when a competitor swoops in to try to “steal them.” If you are the Miami Heat, you probably don’t like that the (...)

A US Court deals with a complaint based on an allegation of anti-competitive restrictions preventing payments to players for use of their name, image, and likeness (O’Bannon / NCAA)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Charlotte)
Three Questions for the Third Week of the O’Bannon v. NCAA Trial* As the O’Bannon v. NCAA trial enters its third week, commentators are already predicting the fall of the “college sports cartel.” In the case, a group of about 20 current and former college men’s basketball and football players, led (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss the complaint finding insufficient arguments to warrant a dismissal of the claims on per se tying and block-booking on the market for cable television (Cablevision / Viacom International)
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (Charlotte)
Suit Challenging Cable Bundling Survives Motion to Dismiss* Cable subscribers, tired of being forced to purchase more obscure channels like VH1 Classic and Teen Nick in order to get their nightly Daily Show fix on Comedy Central, should be encouraged by a recent antitrust decision out of the (...)

The US DoJ opens a review of the consent decrees in the music industry and expects comments on the competitive concerns that arise from the joint licensing of music by performance rights organizations and the remediation of those concerns
Sheppard Mullin (New York)
Department of Justice Opens Review of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees* The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced in June 2014 that it has opened a review of the 73-year-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. In its press release, the DOJ noted that it is most interested in (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority releases a report concerning the lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
FCCA: Lack of uniformity in licensing and supervision practices hurt the ability of companies to operate on the market* The lack of uniformity among authorities in licensing and supervision practices make it more difficult for companies to enter the field and expand their operations, according (...)

The Danish Competition Council accepts new commitments regarding the clubs’ joint sale of media rights for national league football (Superliga)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish Competition Council Accepts New Commitments regarding Danish Football Clubs’ Joint Sale of Media Rights* On 26 February 2014 the Danish Competition Council accepted new commitments offered by the Association of Danish League Clubs regarding the clubs’ joint sale of media rights to Danish (...)

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 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to enable a chain of up-market department stores to continue to invite certain businesses to participate in various promotions (Myer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Myer* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Myer to enable it to continue to invite certain businesses operating within Myer Stores to participate in various promotions. (...)

A US District Court denies the motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint against the "anti-troll" group organizing a boycott of android related patents (Cascades Computer Innovation / RPX)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
“Anti-Patent Troll” Fails to Secure Dismissal of Amended Antitrust Complaint* Back in January, I covered the case of Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10526 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2013), where Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed – with leave to amend – Cascades’ (...)

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

A US District Court certifies a class seeking injunctive relief, though declines to certify a damages class arising from the allegedly preclusive effect of the rules that would impede group licensing arrangements with videogame developers and broadcasters (NCAA Student Athletes)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Injunctive Relief, but not Damages Class, Certified in NCAA Student-Athlete Litigation* In In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160739 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2013) (Wilken, J.)., the Court certified a class of current and former (...)

The US District Court of Northern California rejects the motion of the defendants to dismiss challenging antitrust claims arising out of an exclusive license deal (Patrick Dang/San Francisco Forty Niners)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Single-Brand Market Claims Are Not Dead* Modern antitrust law’s focus on inter-brand competition has made it much more difficult to plead and prove single-brand market claims. The law’s concern with inter-brand competition is so strong that some observers have all but written off such claims as (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against pharmaceutical companies over suspected cartel in ophthalmologic medicines market (Novartis and Roche)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 14 February 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) announced that it had opened an investigation against Genentech Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Novartis AG, Novartis Farma S.p.A. and Roche S.p.A., over suspicions that these may have been operating an illegal cartel in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens proceedings against pharmaceutical companies in relation to an alleged anticompetitive agreement for restricting drug sales (Roche, Novartis)
Ashurst (Milan)
Roche and Novartis investigated for an alleged cartel in Italy* On 6 February 2013 the Italian Competition Authority opened proceedings against the Roche Group and the Novartis Group in relation to an alleged anticompetitive agreement for excluding the ophthalmic use of Roche’s Avastin in order (...)

A US District Court dismisses with leave to amend antitrust claims against high-tech producers employing the android operating system (Cascades Computer Innovation / RPX)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Can An “Anti-Patent Troll” Be a Monopsonist or a Section 1 Conspirator?* A recent interesting case suggests that “anti-patent trolls” may in theory face antitrust liability. In Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10526 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2013), Judge Yvonne (...)

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 EU Commission opens proceedings against two manufacturers of refrigerants used in car air conditioning (Honeywell / du Pont)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission investigates DuPont and Honeywell practices in relation to new refrigerant* On 16 December 2011 the European Commission opened proceedings to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices relating to the development of a new generation refrigerant for air conditioning (...)

The European Court of Justice renders its judgment on licensing of satellite broadcasting holding that national law blocking the importation of foreign decoders is contrary to freedom to provide services (Football Association Premier League)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The Court of Justice Speaks On Licensing Of Satellite Broadcasting* On October 4, the European Court of Justice rendered its judgment in Premier League v QC Leisure. For a discussion of the background to the case and the opinion of the Advocate General see here. The Court concludes that (...)

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

A US District Court dismisses an antitrust suit brought against "catch and release" transactions on the market for licenses of mobile wireless-related patents (Siti / AST)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Antitrust suit against defensive patent purchasing organization dismissed* On 29 December 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed an antitrust suit brought by Siti-Sites.com, Inc. (“Siti”) against Allied Security Trust (“AST”) and allegedly associated entities (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption in relation to non-compete obligation contained in a settlement agreement (Intereuropa sajam međunarodno otpremništvo / UPS Worldwide Forwarding)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 16 December 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) granted an individual exemption in relation to a non-compete obligation contained in a settlement agreement between international courier services providers Intereuropa sajam međunarodno otpremništvo d.o.o.(Intereuropa) and UPS (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority issues a study on EU Competition rules concerning technology agreements
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: Study on EU Competition Rules concerning Technology Agreements* On 12 August 2010, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy published a report on competition rules applicable to technology agreements prepared by the Finnish Competition Authority. This report examines how EU (...)

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 (...)

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 (...)

A German court holds that reciprocal representation agreements concluded between national collecting societies are not void for breach of Art. 81 EC (GEMA / BUMA, STEMRA)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 7 November 2008, the Regional Court of Mannheim issued a decision on the validity of territorial limitations contained in reciprocal representation agreements concluded between national collecting societies. The case concerned the question whether a national collecting society was entitled (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office tolerates cooperation between Pay-TV operators for sport events broadcasting (Premiere / Arena - Bundesliga)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background Premiere AG (“Premiere”) is the leading German Pay-TV operator. One of the main features of Premiere’s program are live broadcastings of football events. Over the last years, this included in particular broadcastings of the German Bundesliga (football league). However, in September (...)

The German Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt decides on the relationship between copyright, trademark and title protection law on the one hand and competition law on the other hand (Harry Potter)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 11 April 2007, the German Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt issued a decision on the relationship between copyright, trademark and title protection law on the one hand and competition law on the other hand. The question at stake was whether restrictive clauses concerning the distribution of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines the pay-TV operator and a football association for exclusive broadcasting rights (Canal+/Polish Football Association)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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Adwokatura Polska
The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP”) imposed by decision dated 29 May 2006 (No. DOK2-410/2/05/SCH) fines of almost PLN 8 million (EUR 2 million) on the Polish Football Association (PZPN) and Canal+ (pay TV operator). The OCCP assessed that the (...)

The Belgian Competition Council rejects a complaint on alleged discriminatory licensing practices from the national football union (URBSFA)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
The Parties SA Tilleur-Liège is a company which main activity was the management of a football team (Tilleur-Liège). It went in bankruptcy in 2004. The URBSFA (Union Royale Belge des Sociétés Football Association) is responsible for the organization of football events in Belgium. It holds (...)

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

The Belgian Competition Council concludes that the joint selling of media rights is in line with the decision practice of the EC Commission and is not infringing Art. 81(1) EC (Jupiler League - Belgacom Skynet)
Leuven University
,
Leuven University
On 29 July 2005 the Belgian Competition Council approved the award of TV broadcasting rights by the Liga Beroepsvoetbal (“LBV”) to Belgacom Skynet, since there was no infringement of Art. 81 EC. The Council has found that the broadcasting rights of matches of the Belgian first (and second) (...)

The European Commission adopts new safe harbour for licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
"Commission adopts new safe harbour for licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright"* The European Commission has adopted on the 7th of April new rules for applying competition policy to the licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright. The new block exemption regulation, (...)

The European Commission settles allegations of abuse and clears patent pools in the CD market (Sony, Philips)
European Commission - DG MARE
"Commission settles allegations of abuse and clears patent pools in the CD market"* 1. The complaints Several manufacturers of pre-recorded CD discs (that is CD discs that include already content – music or software – provided by content-owners) lodged complaints against Philips and Sony a (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority decides following the notification of the scheme for the collective sale of broadcasting rights in connection with an application for exemption to allow the collective trading rights to broadcast summaries (Eredivisie)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Prohibits Joint Trading of Rights to Live Broadcasting of Premier Division Football Matches* As of the start of the football season 2003-2004, the professional football organisations may no longer jointly sell rights to the live broadcasting of football matches, as they now do through (...)

The European Commission clears agreements to set up and operate a world-wide mechanism to evaluate, certify and license patents for third generation mobile communications systems (3G3P)
European Commission (Brussels)
"Competition law analysis of patent licensing arrangements — the particular case of 3G3P"* On 12 November 2002, the Commission’s Competition Directorate-General cleared agreements to set up and operate a world-wide mechanism to evaluate, certify and license essential patents for third generation (...)

The German Competition Authority examines in formal proceedings whether a contract system for acquiring waste services is compatible with competition law (Der Grüne Punkt Duales System)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines whether DSD is compatible with competition law* The Bundeskartellamt will examine in formal proceedings whether the contract system of “Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland AG” (DSD, “The Green Dot”) is compatible with the Act Against Restraints of Competition (ARC). (...)

The UK OFT clears the standard licensing conditions of an association following amendments (Association of Film Distributors)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
I. Introduction On 1 February 2002, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) published its decision on the amended standard conditions for licensing the commercial exhibition of films (the “Amended Conditions”) notified by the Film Distributors’ Association Ltd (“FDA”) . Following recommendations from (...)

The European Commission issues an evaluation report on the transfer of technology block exemption regulation
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Review of the block exemption Regulation on technology transfer agreements"* While the Block Exemption Regulation n° 240 on transfer of technology (hereafter ‘TTBE’) is expected to apply until 31 March 2006, Article 12 requires the Commission to carry out regular assessments of the application (...)

The European Commission terminates infringement procedure against production and sales license agreements between cigarettes manufacturers (Philip Morris, Altadis)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission terminates infringement procedure against production and sales license agreements between Philip Morris and Altadis"* The European Commission has decided to close an infringement procedure against tobacco companies Philip Morris of the United States and Spain’s Tabacalera (merged (...)

The European Commission approves a license agreement between two Swedish brewers companies (Pripps/Tuborg)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Pripps/Tuborg"* On 26.6.1998 the Commission approved a license agreement between Tuborg International A/S (“Tuborg”) and AB Pripps Bryggerier (“Pripps”) for Tuborg beer in Sweden, but only after the license had been made nonexclusive and a second licensee had been appointed. Pripps belongs to (...)

The European Commission rejects an application for interim measures lodged by luxury car manufacturer concerning possible abuses of trademark rights (Vickers, Rolls-Royce)
Studio Legale Clarizia
"Vickers/Rolls-Royce"* On 6 April 1998, the Commission adopted a Decision rejecting an application for interim measures lodged by Vickers PLC. On the occasion, it pointed out that, at the stage of a prima facie appraisal, the assessment under competiton law of a clause granting the trade mark (...)

The European Commission adopts a new block exemption on technology transfer agreements (Reg. EC No 240/96)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Technology Transfer: the new Regulation"* At the end of January this year, the Commission finally adopted the new block exemption on technology transfer agreements (Commission Regulation EC No 240/96). The new regulation came into force on 1st April 1996 and remains in force for a period of (...)

The European Commission clears interim intellectual property rights arrangements in the telecommunications industry (ETSI)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"ETSI IPR Policy"* The Commission issued a negative clearance-type comfort letter with respect to ETSI‘s (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) Interim IPR Policy. The intellectual property rights arrangements which ETSI developed and notified to the Commission, provided that members (...)

Dominance

The European Commission publishes a decision finding that request and enforcement of an injunction before a German court regarding a smartphone standard essential patent constituted an abuse of dominant position (Motorola Mobility)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Motorola Mobility won’t appeal the European Commission’s decision on patent licensing* Motorola Mobility (Motorola) has decided not to appeal the European Commission’s decision holding that it was abusing the way it licensed standard essential patents for mobile-phone standards. The Commission (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority issues report on collective management organisations and the promotion of healthy competition on the copyrighted works market (Teosto / Gramex / Kopiosto / Tuotos)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority: Numerous problems on the copyright market* The ambiguity of the legislation and the complexity of the market serve to fortify the monopoly of the collective management organisations on the market, says the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (...)

The European Commission receives an antitrust complaint concerning patent licensing practices engaged by an owner of numerous standard-essential patents on telecommunications standards (ZTE / Vringo)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
ZTE files antitrust complaint with the European Commission against the patent-licensing practices of Vringo* On 18 June 2014 ZTE Corporation (ZTE) announced that it filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Vringo Inc.’s (Vringo) patent-licensing practices. ZTE alleged (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reauthorises arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music, subject to certain conditions (APRA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC requires improved dispute resolution in performing rights arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reauthorised the Australasian Performing Right Association’s (APRA) arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music, subject to (...)

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

The US DoJ issues statement as regards the closing of an investigation into the use of a portfolio of standards-essential patents on the pursuit of obtaining exclusion orders from the US ITC relating to certain iPhone and iPad models (Samsung)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. DOJ closes its investigation of Samsung’s use of its SEPs* On February 7, 2014 the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a statement declaring that it closed its investigation into Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s (“Samsung”) use of its Standards-Essential Patent (“SEP”) portfolio to license (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow the national music copyright collection society to continue its arrangement for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights subject to a range of conditions (APRA)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC proposes changes to performing rights arrangement* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to continue its arrangements for the acquisition and licensing of performing rights in music subject to a range of (...)

The U.S. Court of Western District of Washington makes determinations of the RAND licensing terms for a standard essential patent (Microsoft / Motorola)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington makes determinations of RAND licensing terms* On 25 April 2013 Judge Robart issued the non-confidential version of his Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Inc. case. This is the first time that a (...)

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

The Cypriot Competition Authority rejects complaint filed by licensee of large shopping mall alleging abuse of economic dependence and discriminatory practices (Tiffany Investments)
Chrysses Demetriades & Co. LLC (Limassol)
1. Background In its decision dated 19/3/2013 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) decided to reject a complaint which was filed by a shopping mall licensee (the “complainant”) against the two companies which respectively own and manage a large shopping mall located (...)

The EU Commission adopts decision rendering international news media agency’s commitments legally binding (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 December 2012, the Commission announced that it had adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by Thomson Reuters to create a new licence ("ERL") allowing customers, for a monthly fee, to use Reuters Instrument Codes (“RICs”) for data sourced from Thomson (...)

The EU Commission announces new market testing of proposal by international news media agency regarding its licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 July 2012, the Commission announced that it was consulting interested third parties on a new proposal from Thomson Reuters to address concerns that its licensing practices in relation to Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) may be in breach of Article 102 TFEU. The proposal is intended (...)

The Indian Patents Office grants its first compulsory licence in the pharmaceutical industry (Natco / Bayer)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
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Indian Competition Commission (New delhi)
The Curious Case of Compulsory Licensing in India* In a move that has alarmed the pharmaceutical industry, in March 2012 the Indian Patents Office granted its first compulsory licence, for the manufacture and sale of Bayer’s patented drug Nexavar, in Natco Pharma Limited v Bayer Corporation (...)

The EU Commission market tests international multimedia news agency’s commitments on its licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 December 2011, the Commission announced that it was inviting comments on commitments offered by Thomson Reuters to address concerns that its licensing practices in relation to the Reuters Instrument Codes (“RICs”) may infringe Article 102 TFEU. RICs are codes that identify securities (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the holder of football TV rights for abusing its dominant position in the resale of these rights and in the pay TV market (Mediapro)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
Mediaproducción S.L. (Mediapro) is currently the holder of the audiovisual rights for the regular league and Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) football competitions (the Competitions) for all teams in the Spanish first and second divisions for the 2009/2010 and subsequent seasons. In May 2009 the CNC (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues first commitment decision on the basis of EU Law (ZAiKS)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: UOKiK issues first Commitment Decision on the Basis of EU Law On 24 August 2010, the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) issued the UOKiK‘s first commitment decision on the basis of both national and EU law in a case concerning an abuse of (...)

The US FTC settles charges of anticompetitive conduct against manufacturer of computer chips (Intel)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
FTC settles complaint against Intel* On 4 August 2010 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approved a settlement with Intel Corp. on charges that the company violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by engaging in unfair methods of competition and deceptive acts and practices in commerce, (...)

The European Commission confirms sending statement of objections to a financial company alleging unfair pricing (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 19 November 2009, the Commission announced that on 16 November 2009 it had sent a Statement of Objections to Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) for an alleged violation of Article 82 EC. According to the Commission’s press release, S&P is the sole-appointed National Numbering Agency (“NNA”) (...)

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

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that defendants can invoke the abuse of dominance against an injunction claim of a patentee if the latter has refused a licence in an abusive manner (Orange-book-standard)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Summary In its decision of 6 May 2009 the German Federal Court of Justice held that a defendant can invoke the abuse of dominance against an injunction claim of the patentee if the latter refused a licence in an abusive manner. The patentee acts in an abusive manner if he refuses an (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on antitrust defense to infringement of standards-related patents on the market for writeable optical media (Orange Book)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Court of Justice rules on antitrust defense to infringement of standards-related patents* On 6 May 2009 the German Federal Court of Justice handed down a landmark judgment (KZR 39/06 – Orange-Book-Standard) concerning the use of the competition law defense regarding compulsory (...)

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

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

The Korean Fair Trade Commission plans to strenghten enforcement against abuse of intellectual property rights by IT and pharmaceutical companies
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
On December 18, 2008, the primary competition law agency of Korea, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (« KFTC »), submitted to the President of Korea the KFTC’s business plan for 2009. Among other priorities, the KFTC stated that it plans to « strengthen enforcement against abuse of intellectual (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office refuses to hold abusive the postal incumbent’s conduct due to the lack of palpable market effects (Magyar Posta)
Hungarian Competition Law Research Centre
The Hungarian Competition Office refused to condemn the defendant’s conduct in a dominant position case due to the lack of palpable market effects. The behaviour would have admittedly amounted to an abuse in case of perceptible market consequences. However, in the absence of such impairment to (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection conducts anti-trust proceedings against the Polish authors’ association in order to stop alleged monopolist practices (ZAiKS)
Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners
Background For several years now, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is carefully monitoring the practices of the copyright protection organizations and, as a result, there are few cases pending nowadays related to the competition protection within the copyright market. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a bowling association € 8 000 for abuse against independent bowling clubs concerning audiovisual rights (Emisión de Partidos de Bolos)
London School of Economics
The Spanish Bowling Association (hereinafter, the “FEB”) is a non-profit association in charge of the organisation and the regulation of bowling tournaments in Spain. Participation in the different tournaments organised by the FEB requires a licence delivered by this association. Bowling can be (...)

A US Court of Appeals confirms the dismissal of antitrust claims related to an alleged loss of competitive technologies being deemed so diffuse that it could not possibly be adequately measured (Kloth / Microsoft)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Indirect Purchaser and Remoteness Doctrines Barred Antitrust Claims Against Microsoft by End-User Software Licensees* A question arising from end-user license agreements ("EULAs"), which accompany applications software programs that have been preinstalled on personal computers, is whether they (...)

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

A US Court of Appeals finds that the application of misuse of patent standard related to CD-R/CD-RW licensing dispute was flawed (Philips)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Patent Misuse And Antitrust Tying Analysis – Close But Imperfect Substitutes* Federal Circuit Holds That Patent Pools Without Anticompetitive Effects Are Lawful In U.S. Philips Corp. v. International Trade Commission. On September 21, 2005, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed (...)

The Belgian Supreme Court adopts an in concreto approach to the definition of the relevant market product for the provision of directory services in the telecommunications sector (Kapitol / Telekom Austria)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Following a request by Kapitol, a Belgian provider of phone directories, based on Directive 98/10/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 February 1998, on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal service for telecommunications in a (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the market for postage stamp valuation catalogues (Yvert & Tellier)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence accepts commitments offered by Yvert &Tellier and closes the litigation proceedings brought by Dallay. Operators who wish to create correspondence tables between their own (...)

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

Mergers

The US FTC issues final changes to the premerger notification rules that require companies in the pharmaceutical industry to report certain proposed acquisitions of exclusive patent rights to the FTC and the DoJ for antitrust review
University of Michigan
Is the FTC Picking on the Pharmaceutical Industry Through New HSR Rules?* Effective December 16, 2013, Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) coverage of exclusive licenses of patents will change. As HSR practitioners know well, the Federal Trade Commission’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) has (...)

The Brazilian CADE applies remedies on four licensing agreements (Monsanto cases)
Tauil & Chequer (in cooperation with Mayer Brown)
I. Summary of the cases Each of the four concentration acts (“Monsanto Cases”) refer to non-exclusive licensing agreements for the development, testing, production and commercialization of seeds using Intacta RR2 PROTM technology in Brazil, executed between Monsanto, as licensor, and Syngenta, (...)

The US DOJ shows flexibility in crafting structural remedies in merger between two leading brewers (Anheuser-Bush InBev / Grupo Modelo)
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
The U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") has reached a settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev ("ABI") and Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V. ("Modelo"), requiring ABI to divest Modelo’s entire U.S. business to Constellation Brands Inc. ("Constellation"). The consent decree provides for a straightforward (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears an off-shore joint venture involving European computer technology groups (ARM / Giesecke & Devrient / Gemalto)
First Principles Economics (FPE)
On the 6th December 2012 MOFCOM published its 6th and last merger decision of the year - a clearance, with conditions, of the Trustonic joint venture between ARM, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), and Gemalto. Process The parties submitted their initial notification on 4th May 2012. MOFCOM (...)

The US FTC proposes acquisition consent agreement to resolve unprecedented allegations on enforcement of standards-essential patents (Bosch / SPX)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week announced a highly unusual proposed consent agreement reached with Robert Bosch GmbH ("Bosch") that permits Bosch’s acquisition of SPX Service Solutions U.S. LLC ("SPX Service Solutions") from SPX Corporation ("SPX") to proceed. More significantly, it (...)

The EU Commission approves joint-venture offering enhanced security services for applications such as mobile payments running on smartphones and tablets (Giesecke & Devrient / Gemalto)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission approves joint-venture in the market of Trusted Execution Environments* On 7 November 2012, the European Commission has approved, subject to conditions, the creation of the joint-venture (“the JV”) between ARM, Giesecke & Devrient and Gemalto, under the European (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a company active in the slaughtering and meat processing sector for breaching an important commitment conditioning a merger clearance (Bigard / Socopa)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence sanctions the Bigard Group for breaching an important commitment conditioning the takeover of Socopa* The Autorité de la concurrence, noting that the Bigard Group failed to fulfil (...)

The US DoJ clears acquisition involving standards-essential patents relevant to wireless devices (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. DOJ clears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and other transactions involving standards-essential patents* On 13 February 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the closing of investigations concerning the acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (“Motorola (...)

The US DoJ closes its investigation regarding the acquisition of patents and applications from leading smartphone hardware manufacturer (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Womerang
“Honor your commitments” - The patent gatekeeping problem after antitrust regulators in the United States and the European Union cleared Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s patent pool* On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the Division) announced its decision to (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission clears, subject to commitments, merger in the credit card terminal sector (Verifone/Hypercom)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
This is an interesting case and we are reporting it based on the publicly available (press) information. The merger Decision on the case is not public. Verifone Systems, Inc is a global leader in secure electronic payment solutions, and Hypercom Corporation, a high security electronic payment (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionally clears a joint venture involving a Chinese State-owned company in order to license coal-water slurry gasification technology (GE / Shenhua)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
MOFCOM Imposed Conditions on SOEs - GE/Shenhua Deal* Only 10 days after its conditional clearance of the Alpha V/Savio deal, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) published, on 10 November 2011, the third conditional merger clearance of this year approving the proposed joint venture between (...)

The US DoJ requires conduct remedies before allowing a vertical merger between a popular generic online search engine and a widely-used flight information services provider (Google / ITA)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

The US DoJ seeks conduct remedies prior to approving a joint venture in order to prevent exclusionary conduct in the markets for online video distribution and video programming (Comcast and NBC Universal)
American University’s Washington College of Law
The Federal Communication Commission’s recent decision to allow the transaction between Comcast and General Electric’s NBC Universal (NBCU) affiliate to proceed subject to conditions1 helped to fill a gap in the contemporary treatment of vertical mergers. The existence of this gap was (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves acquisition in the household and body care market (Unilever / Sara Lee)
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
Imposing a broad remedy to address competition issues, the European Commission cleared Unilever‘s acquisition of Sara Lee‘s household and body care business on 17 November 2010. This merger decision is a reminder that the EC has the power to seek a remedy from merging parties that goes further (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue new horizontal merger guidelines increasing antitrust attention on mergers limiting innovation
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines and Restraints on Innovation* The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines give increased treatment to a topic that was not well developed in previous Guidelines – namely, mergers that threaten to restrain innovation. The 1968 Guidelines had contained a statement (...)

The European Commission clears in phase I a merger in the internet search market addressing the concept of concentration and conducting a detailed two-sided market analysis (Microsoft, Yahoo!Search Business)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Microsoft/Yahoo! – the concept of a concentration* The Commission’s recent decision approving Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo!’s Search Business (including internet search and search advertising) contains an interesting application of the definition of a concentration under the Merger Regulation. (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves merger in the music publishing business addressing the issue of market power of music publishers in view of evolutions in digital music publishing (Universal/BMG)
European Commission - DG CNECT
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Universal / BMG: Market power of music publishers in view of evolutions in digital music publishing"* On 22 May 2007, the European Commission approved, subject to conditions, the acquisition by Universal Music Group Inc. (“Universal”) of BMG Music Publishing (“BMG”). Both companies are active in (...)

The Maltese Office for Fair Competition clears a merger in the market for the provision of digital terrestrial television transmission services subject to the surrender of a license (Maltacom/Multiplus)
Camilleri Preziosi
The operation By means of a decision of the 26th January 2007, the Director of the OC cleared a concentration, subject to the surrender by the notifying party, of a DTTV licence. The concentration consisted of an acquisition of sole control over Multiplus Limited (a company providing DTTV (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies to what extent acquisition of a licence may be subject to merger regulations and prohibits a concentration in the science magazines press market (National Geographic)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and history of the case In March 1999, the German publishing company Gruner + Jahr and the Spanish based publishing company RBA Publicaciones (RBA) entered as joint licensees into a licence agreement with the US based National Geographic Society, publisher of the English edition (...)

The UK OFT accepts undertakings in lieu of a reference to the Competition Commission, including an exclusive licence of intellectual property rights to an upfront purchaser thereby clearing the merger in the equipment for industrial cheese production market (Tetra Laval/Carlisle Process Systems-CPS)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation By way of decision of 20 November 2006 the OFT decided to accept undertakings offered by Tetra Laval to address the competition concerns arising from the anticipated acquisition by Tetra Laval of part of CPS from Carlisle Companies Inc. Tetra Laval is a group of companies active (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office establishes that a sale and purchase agreement on trademarks does not qualify as a concentration of undertakings (Maspex/Apenta)
lakatos, koves and partners
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lakatos, koves and partners
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Kinstellar
Upon the request of Maspex z.o.o. ("Maspex"), the Hungarian Competition Office ("HCO") initiated an investigation in order to assess whether the transfer of trademarks owned by Apenta Ásványvíz és Üdítõ Kft. ("Apenta"), a mineral water and soft drink producer, to Maspex would qualify as concentration (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the financial data industry (Telerate/Reuters)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2005"* The European Commission cleared the acquisition of the financial data provider Moneyline Telerate Holding (‘Telerate’) by its major global competitor, Reuters Limited (‘Reuters’). The Commission’s review of the operation highlighted (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the chemical products industry used in variety of end-applications (Bakelite/Appollo)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 January to 30 April 2005"* In March, the European Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of the German chemical company, Bakelite AG, by the investment group Apollo, subject to conditions. The Commission found that the proposed transaction could give (...)

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

The EU Commission revises notice on ancillary restraints following adoption of the new merger regulation
European Commission - DG ENER
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Mazars (Brussels)
"Commission revises notices following adoption of the new merger regulation"* Following the adoption of the new Merger Regulation and of the Implementing Regulation, the Commission approved, in July 2004, three new notices dealing respectively with ancillary restraints, simplified procedure (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves a merger in the market for haircare products (Procter & Gamble / Wella)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger control: main developments between 1st May and 31st August 2003"* On 30 July the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition by the American corporation Procter & Gamble of the German company Wella AG subject to a package of commitments. Procter & Gamble is an international (...)

The US FTC seeks divestiture of an exact copy of software, thereby resolving anticompetitive effects from a completed merger in the engineering software industry (MSC / UAI / CSAR)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
On August 14, 2002, the FTC announced that MSC Software Corporation had agreed to enter into a consent settlement, resolving concerns that arose after MSC acquired Universal Analytics, Inc. (“UAI”) and Computerized Structural Analysis & Research Corp. (“CSAR”) in 1999. The FTC determined that (...)

The European Commission clears an acquisition in the markets for crop protection, professional pest control and animal health products subject to substantial divestitures (Bayer/Aventis/Crop Science)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2002 and 30th April 2002"* The Commission decided to clear Bayer‘s acquisition of Aventis Crop Science (ACS), subject to substantial divestitures. As initially notified, the operation would have led to the creation or strengthening of (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the manufacturing of small electrical household appliances (SEB/Moulinex)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2002 and 30th April 2002"* The Commission authorised SEB to acquire sole control of Moulinex. Both are French companies manufacturing small electrical household appliances. The Commission has imposed the condition that SEB must not use the (...)

The US FTC imposes the largest retail divestiture of its history, affecting multiple levels of the production chain, before clearing one of the largest mergers in the gasoline industry (Exxon / Mobil)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
On November 30, 1999 after an extensive and in-depth investigation, the FTC announced that Exxon Corporation and Mobil Corporation agreed to enter into a consent decree, in which the FTC mandated significant structural changes to the corporations prior to approving their merger. The consent (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority clears a merger in the chemicals sector subject to transfer of products licenses to a third party (Glaxo-SmithKline)
Esin
The operation Prior to the transaction Glaxo was a public company which was engaged in research, development, production and marketing in the pharmaceuticals sector. Glaxo had a Turkish subsidiary named Glaxo Wellcome Ilaclarý San. A.S. (“Glaxo Turkey”) through which Glaxo carried out its (...)

The European Commission authorizes, subject to remedies, the participation of UK Broadcaster in the pay-tv operator in Germany (BSkyB/KirchPayTV)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Commission’s assessment of the participation of BSkyB in the pay-tv operator in germany"* Pay-TV KirchPayTV has a virtual monopoly on the German pay-TV market, although with a loss making business. BSkyB adds a very successful pay-TV company, with experience of digital interactive TV (...)

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

State Aids

The EU General Court dismisses an action for annulment brought by a competitor against a Commission decision finding no state aid in relation to licensing of software terms offered by a university (Scheepsbouwkundig Advies- en Rekencentrum)
University of Bristol - Law School
State aid and (university) software licensing: who’s interested? (T-488/11)* In its Judgment of 12 June 2014 in case Sarc v Commission, T-488/11, EU:T:2014:441, the General Court of the EU (GC) has assessed an interesting case concerned with the licensing of software developed at a Dutch (...)

Procedures

A US District Court denies three motions for summary judgment for failing to provide sufficient evidence of a relevant market and of manifest anticompetitive effects (American Needle / New Orleans Louisiana Saints)
University of Michigan
So Whatever Happened to American Needle?* You remember American Needle, right? It is the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that explains when the action of a joint venture is the action of a single entity or, instead, the result of an agreement among the joint venture members. Now back on (...)

The US ITC decides to review the entire final initial determination issued by the presiding administrative law judge concerning RAND defences and infringements of standard essential patents (LSI-Realtek 337)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. ITC reviews the ALJ’s entire initial determination in the LSI-Realtek 337 case* On 17 October 2013 the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a Notice determining that it will review the final initial determination (ID) issued by the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) of 18 July (...)

A US District Court determines the RAND licensing rate per Wi-Fi chip while considering related issues such as hold-up, royalty stacking and reverse hold-up (Innovatio)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
The second judicial determination of F/RAND rates* On 27 September 2013 the second judicial determination – after Judge Robart’s ruling in Microsoft v Motorola – on F/RAND royalty rates was handed down by Judge Holderman. Innovatio IP Ventures LLC owns several patents essential to the 802.11 (...)

An administrative law judge of the US ITC rejects the patent misuse defense as a matter of law (Barnes & Noble)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. ITC ALJ rejects Barnes & Noble allegations of patent misuse as a matter of law* On 31 January 2012 an administrative law judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission (“U.S. ITC”) found that Microsoft’s conduct did not amount to patent misuse as a matter of law (In the Matter of (...)

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

The US FTC publishes a report on patent system recommending reforms on notice and remedies to benefit both consumers and competition
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. Federal Trade Commission Recommends Changes to U.S. Patent System* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has issued a report analyzing the U.S. patent system from a competition policy perspective. The FTC recognizes that, like the competitive process fostered by competition law, the (...)

A US court of appeals overturns a lower court decision addressing the issue of the copyright’s first sale doctrine in the computer software industry (Vernor/Autodesk)
University of Chicago - Law School
Vernor v. Autodesk: Copyright, Software Upgrades and Secondary Markets* Earlier today, the Ninth Circuit decided an important case about the scope of the first sale doctrine in copyright as applied to computer software. In Vernor v. Autodesk, the court concluded that the documents in question (...)

A German Court deals with Art. 81 EC and § 1 ARC as part of the ordre public with respect to the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (Schott)
Eberhard Karls University
I. Preliminary remarks and facts of the case The field of civil antitrust litigation is much debated about with respect to the enforcement of national and European competition laws before the German courts. Yet also important and even more complex in some way is the question how and to what (...)

A Dutch Court refuses to order the execution of an award adopted by an American arbitration panel for breach of a licensing agreement, on the grounds that it violates Art. 81.1 EC and is contrary to public policy (Marketing Displays International v. VR)
European Commission - DG HR
Gerechsthof of ‘s-Gravenhage, 24 March 2005, Marketing Displays International v. VR, KG/RK 2002-979 and 2003-1617 The companies concerned, Marketing Displays International (“MDI”) and VR, established in the United States of America and in The Netherlands respectively, are both active in the (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading confirms that the Transport Authority was not an undertaking, consequently its monopoly was not subject to the Competition Act (Carmel Mifsud)
King’s College (London)
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Superior Courts of Malta
Competition law controls the anti-competitive agreements and the abusive behaviour of undertakings, but much anti-competitive behaviour is caused by the state. Complainants are often frustrated when they discover that the conduct of which they complain is attributable to the state acting in its (...)

Regulations

The Irish Competition Authority submits that proposed new taxi regulations could create a barrier to entry increasing prices and waiting times for taxi users
Irish Competition Authority
New taxi regulations could increase prices and waiting times for consumers – Competition Authority* In a submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Competition Authority warned that proposed new taxi regulations could create a barrier to entry that will increase prices and (...)

The Irish Competition Authority publishes a study of competition in the ports sector in Ireland finding that competition in port services could be improved
Irish Competition Authority
Competition Authority recommends changes to improve competition in Irish ports* The Competition Authority has published on 29 November 2013 a study of competition in the ports sector in Ireland which found competition in port services could be improved. The study was commissioned by Minister (...)

The England and Wales High Court holds that even if the need for police services arises from a private event, policing does not constitute a special service when it is performed on land that is not owned, leased or controlled by the event organiser (Leeds United Football Club / The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police)
University of Cambridge
Regulating charges for special police services* Police services are generally performed for the benefit of the public at large and provided for out of public funds. However, the police also have the power (under s.25 of the Police Act 1996) to provide “special police services” for which they can (...)

The Argentinean Supreme Court prevents the application of competition provisions of the new regulatory broadcasting framework that forces the country’s biggest media conglomerate to break up (Grupo Clarin)
Kim & Chang
Against the expectations of the government of Argentina, the Argentinean Supreme Court, agreed to the request of the biggest Argentinean media conglomerate, Grupo Clarín, and extended on 27 December 2012 an injunction which suspended the adjustment obligation established under Section 161 of the (...)

The US FTC issues a report on pharmaceutical patent settlements scrutinizing their interplay with authorized generics
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. FTC Scrutinizes Interplay Between Authorized Generics and Patent Settlements* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently released two reports relating to the pharmaceutical industry. A significant theme in both reports is a concern that brand name pharmaceutical companies are using (...)

The US FTC issues a report on authorized generic drugs expressing concern that they are being used to delay generic competition
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. FTC Scrutinizes Interplay Between Authorized Generics and Patent Settlements* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently released two reports relating to the pharmaceutical industry. A significant theme in both reports is a concern that brand name pharmaceutical companies are using (...)

The US DoJ and FCC conditionally approve a joint venture in the telecommunications sector resolving antitrust concerns (Comcast and NBC Universal)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Comcast/NBC Universal Joint Venture Receives Regulatory Approval* The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved a joint venture between Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co.’s subsidiary NBC Universal Inc. The joint (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority issues recommendations for guaranteeing effective competition in the acquisition of football broadcasting rights (Sogecable/AVS)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
On the decision C 102/06 - Sogecable / AVS related to the acquisition of AVS by Sogecable, the former Spanish Competition Tribunal stated the need to investigate the market for the acquisition and exploitation of football broadcasting rights in Spain, with the objective to determine if the (...)

A French Court rules that the registration of a domain name may amount to a violation of a trademark coexistence agreement (Eurostar, SNCB, SNCF/Eurostar Diamond Traders)
Google (Paris)
When a trademark coexistence agreement is silent on the question of the electronic use of the sign at stake, can one of the parties register a domain name which includes this sign ? This question was raised for the first time before the Paris Court of Appeals, in a dispute over the name , (...)

Public sector

The UK Court of appeal challenges the decision of OFCOM to award licences by way of auction (T-Mobile & Telefónica 02 UK)
Université Aix-Marseille
On 4th April 2008, OFCOM published a document entitled “Award of available spectrum: 2500-2690 MHz, 2010-2025MHz” (hereafter “The Award”). This document contained important information on how and when OFCOM intended to go about licensing the spectrum concerned. The contentious decision was the one (...)

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