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Price abuses

Anticompetitive practices

The Indian Competition Authority fines battery manufacturers’ cartel after a 6-year investigation including 2 leniency applications (Eveready Industries India / Indo National / Panasonic Energy India / Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturer)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI Penalizes Batter Manufacturers’ Admitted Cartel - Decised Its Second Leniency Case* Competition Commission of India (CCI) by an order dated 19 April 2018, in its second decision on a leniency application, has awarded a 100 (One Hundred) per cent reduction in penalty to the leniency (...)

The Turkish Competition Board decides not to open an investigation against a company active in online sales of flowers, edible flowers and gifts following allegations of predatory pricing (Çiçek Sepeti)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Competition Board” or “Board”) Çiçek Sepeti decision (08.03.2018; 18-07/111-58). The Board reviewed the allegations put forward by Çiçek Satış A.Ş. (“Çiçek Satış”) against Çiçek Sepeti İnternet Hizmetleri A.Ş. (“Çiçek Sepeti”) (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reconsiders a price fixing case referred back from the appellate tribunal and reinstates fines against airline companies for fixing fuel surcharge rates for cargo transportation but makes the fines lower (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) imposes penalty on Jet Airways, IndiGo Airlines and Spicejet for fixing fuel surcharge rates* By way of an order dated March 7, 2018, the CCI has imposed a cumulative penalty of approx. INR 54 Crores on Jet Airways (India) Ltd (‘Jet Airways’), InterGlobe (...)

The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission’s fines five condom and catheter suppliers for bid rigging in the public health sector after a four-year investigation into the latex industry (Galeno / Adex / Holiday de México / Trenkes / Dentilab)
Agon (Mexico)
On 8 February 2018, Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE or Commission) fined five condom and catheter suppliers 112 million pesos (approximately €4.91 million) for rigging bids in Mexico’s public health sector. Further statements of objections and decisions regarding bid (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens a proceeding against a cartel that used auction robots (Egmed)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Case against a cartel that used auction robots* FAS opened a case upon signs of “digital” collusion at medical auctions FAS suspects that bidders at procurement for supplies of expendables for coronary angiography and stenting, “VALERIA” Ltd. and “Egmed” Ltd. used special software, tuned to (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority closes an investigation into alleged price fixing on the market for home appliances because of economic justifications (Rolling International)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 14 July 2017 the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) closed the investigation into the alleged price fixing on the market for household electric appliances due to the presence of economic justifications. In the early 2015 the media discussed an unusual price spike on the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts remedies proposed by companies operating in the marine engines market (Duing / Fred Bobek)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Accepted Commitments by Duing and Fred Bobek* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) closed two proceedings for the establishment of prohibited agreements by accepting commitments proposed by the parties concerned – Duing d.o.o. from Viškovo and Fred Bobek d.o.o. from Vodice active in the sales (...)

The German Competition Authority issues an interim report on conditions for the supply of raw milk
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Interim report on conditions for the supply of raw milk* The Bundeskartellamt has today published an interim report on its administrative proceeding concerning conditions of supply for raw milk. In the report the authority presents key results of its investigations so far and offers initial (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision by Finnish Market Court, Finnish Competition Authority, and fines a milk producer for predatory pricing in the national fresh milk markets (Valio)
European Commission
The Supreme Administrative Court considered Valio’s milk pricing a violation of the Competition Act* The Supreme Administrative Court considered Valio’s milk pricing a violation of the Competition Act and ordered a penalty payment of EUR 70 million. In 2012, the FCCA deemed Valio guilty of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority discovers two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services but decides not to fine the anti-competitive conducts as they were not a serious competition breach (Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent decision handed down in the case Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare (UMMI) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an antitrust investigation by finding two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services agents implemented by two (...)

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

The Danish Competition Council considers that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is anticompetitive (HMN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council finds that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is illegal.* On November 30 2016, The Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) found that HMN Naturgas I/S (“HMN”), DEBRA – Energibranchen (“DEBRA”), (...)

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

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of bid rigging against PVC vinyl flooring manufacturers (Responsive Industries / RMG Polyvinyl India / Premier Polyfilms)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismisses allegations of bid-rigging against in supply of PVC Vinyl flooring to railways* CCI by its order dated September 21, 2016 has dismissed allegation against manufacturers of PVC Vinyl flooring in relation to supply of “PVC Flooring (Vinyl) width (...)

The US Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit reaffirms necessity for recoupment in predatory pricing complaints (Energy Conversion)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
Sixth Circuit dismisses a predatory pricing complaint in the solar panel industry* On 18 August 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, dismissed a predatory pricing complaint filed by Energy Conversion, a solar panel manufacturer based in the United States, against (...)

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

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) reverses the Indian Competition Authority’s decision and removes penalites for cartelization in packaging materials for sugar (Indian Jute Mills Association / Gunny Trade Association)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets aside CCI order penalizing Jute Mills Association for alleged cartelization for packaging material for sugar, etc.* COMPAT by its order dated July 1, 2016 has over-ruled the order of CCI wherein the Indian Jute Mils Association (IJMA) and Gunny Trade Association (GTA) were (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms that 29 travel agencies breached antitrust rules to limit discounts for travel packages (Eturas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 May 2016, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (“Lithuanian Supreme Court”) confirmed that 29 travel agencies had breached antitrust rules when using an online booking system to limit discounts for travel packages. This judgment follows the ruling handed down by the Court of Justice (...)

ECJ Advocate General Nils Wahl suggests that the EU Court of Justice prevent retailers from selling tobacco products below the prices indicated on the tax stamps (Colruyt)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
Does the restriction upon the retail sale of tobacco products below the minimum prices set by manufacturers or importers on the tax stamp breach competition law?* On 21 April 2016, the Advocate General Nils Wahl issued his Opinion in Case C-221/15 – a proceeding initiated by a request for (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) sends case back to the Indian Competition Authority because the Authority failed to give defendants notice for appeal before imposing fines and therefore violated the principle of natural justice (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets-aside penalty imposed on domestic airlines and remands the matter back to the CCI* COMPAT by its order dated April 18, 2016 set-aside the penalty imposed on three domestic airlines by the CCI for alleged cartelization and remanded the matter back to the CCI for passing appropriate (...)

The Finnish Market Court fines a professional association for implementing unlawful price recommendations (Finnish Bakery Federation)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Market Court imposes fines on the Finnish Bakery Federation for forbidden price recommendations* The Market Court has imposed a EUR 15,000 penalty to the Finnish Bakery Federation’s unlawful price recommendations in 2007–2011. The Market Court’s decision is in line with the penalty proposal made (...)

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

The Yunnan Development and Reform Commission investigates abuse of administrative power and cartel conduct (Yunnan Provincial Communications Authority)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Yunnan DRC investigates abuse of administrative power and cartel in the telecommunications industry in Yunnan* On 2 June 2015, the NDRC announced that its local office in Yunnan Province, the Yunnan Development and Reform Commission (Yunnan DRC), found that the Yunnan Province Communications (...)

European Competition Authorities adopt decisions on Most Favoured Nation clauses and rebate schemes that are relevant and applicable in the context of ASEAN competition law (Booking.com / Post Danmark)
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
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Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
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McCarter & English (Washington)
Introduction As we move into the second half of the year, we examine two recent competition enforcement cases in Europe, and consider their relevance and applicability in the context of ASEAN competition law. Specifically, we discuss the position taken in Europe with regards to Most Favoured (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court upholds that remuneration system applied in the "Irsching contracts" between two electricity providers is in violation of competition law (E.ON and TenneT)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that the remuneration system applied in the "Irsching contracts" is in violation of competition law* In its decision of 28. April 2015 (see Press Release of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court of 28 April 2015) the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (...)

The Indian Competition Authority starts investigating a taxi company for abuse of dominance through predatory pricing (Fast Track Call Cab / ANI Technologies - OLA Cabs)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Commission launches investigation into OLA Cabs* By an order dated April 24 2015 the Competition Commission launched an investigation into M/s ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd (OLA Cabs) for alleged abuse of its dominant position by indulging in predatory pricing in the relevant market (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines two poultry plants for unreasonably increased prices (Ptitsecombinat / Stavropolsky Broiler)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Stavropol OFAS fined two poultry plants 1.3 million Rubles for unreasonably increased prices* On 2 February 2015, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Stavropol (Stavropol OFAS) fined “Stavropolsky Broiler” OJSC and “Ptitsecombinat” Ltd. 650,000 each for unreasonably growing (...)

The Russian Supreme Court judges that several chemical companies have not fixed monopolistically high prices concerning the apatite concentrate (FosAgro)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Supreme Court supported FAS approaches to apatite concentrate pricing* The findings of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on a petition of “Mineral Fertilizer Plant of Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical Works” about actions of the “FosAgro” Group supported the Recommendations of the Federal (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes heavy fines on several manufacturers of home and personal care products for having implemented concerted practices (Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, Reckitt Benckiser)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines concerted practices between manufacturers a total of 345,2 € millions and 605,9 € millions on each market concerned* The Autorité de la concurrence issues today a decision whereby it fines home care and personal care manufacturers for having implemented (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts the commitments of two water companies regarding the data used for the calculation of a contribution on water utility and closes the antitrust proceeding against them (Fővárosi Vízművek and Fővárosi Csatornázási Művek)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The proceedings against Fővárosi Vízművek Zrt. and Fővárosi Csatornázási Művek Zrt. have ended with the acceptance of commitments* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) accepted the commitments of Fővárosi Vízművek Zrt. (FVM) and Fővárosi Csatornázási Művek Zrt. (FCSM), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on several driving schools for concerting on the prices of their trainings (ATI Autóközlekedési Tanintézet)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The driving schools in Győr have concerted the price of their trainings* According to the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), the ATI Autóközlekedési Tanintézet Kft., "BILUX" Győr-Moson-Sopron Megyei Gépjárművezető Kft., HORVÁTH TANODA Oktató és (...)

The Russian Competition Authority is concerned about the price increasing in the construction sector (Gosstroismeta)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS will look into pricing in the construction sector* On 2 December 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) initiated a case against the Ministry of Regional Development of RF, Gosstroi [the Federal Agency for Construction and Housing-and-Utility Sector], “Federal Centre for (...)

The Russian Competition Authority completes its unscheduled inspections in the market of the Russian poultry producers (Prioskolie)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS did not find elements of violating the law by poultry producers* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) completed unscheduled inspections of the largest Russian poultry producers. The grounds for the inspections were a considerable number of petitions about increased wholesale and (...)

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

A UK Court quashes the OFT decision accepting commitments for failing to inform itself about the possible impact on price transparency of an obvious and clear restriction on disclosure of price information (Skyscanner)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK Court quashes decision accepting the commitments by OTAs and hotel chain in the online booking sector* Last 26 September, following an appeal by meta-search site Skyscanner, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) quashed the decision of the Office of Fair Trading (the “OFT”) to accept (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on seven undertakings for having implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the car refinishing paints used in domestic damage calculation software market (Autocolor Festékgyártó és Forgalmazó Kft)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Press Release published on the official website of the Hungarian Competition Authority. GVH decision is made in the car refinishing paints agreement* The Gazdasági Veresenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) stated that importers of car refinishing paints and an undertaking (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants authorisation to continue to apply a small levy on the sale of clay brick and concrete masonry products (ABBTF)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC reauthorises brick levy to help with bricklayer shortage* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), Think Brick Australia and the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia to continue (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading takes the view that bilateral communications of retail prices between manufacturer and retailers are problematic (Sports Bras)
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
When do retail price communications between retailers and manufacturers become RPM?* Introduction Commercial negotiations between manufacturers and retailers necessarily involve a discussion of wholesale prices, but they may also involve a discussion of potential retail prices, including (...)

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

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on four wallpaper manufacturers, their representatives and trade association on account of price fixing agreements (Création Tapeten)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Price agreements between wallpaper manufacturers Bundeskartellamt imposes fines of around 17 million Euros* On 25 February 2014 the Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 17 million euros on four wallpaper manufacturers, their representatives and trade association on account of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and completes its analysis in a case regarding sport broadcasting (BT v BskyB)
The University of Manchester
Summary of the case In BT v BSkyB, the Court of Appeal (CoA) found that the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had erred in law by not including the cable rate-card price issue into its analysis. The CoA allowed the appeal by BT and Ofcom. It was necessary to deal more fully the cable (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning over no discounting clause implemented by community pharmacies association (DHB / Pharmacy Guild)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Antitrust & Associations: Recent New Zealand Case a Reminder that Voluntary Industry Associations are Not Price Regulators* A New Zealand association related case announced today is a recent reminder that voluntary industry associations are not price regulators (see: Commission issues (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues warning pursuant to the removal of the restrictive clause from the community pharmacy services agreement (DHB / Pharma Association)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission issues warning over ‘no discounting’ clause* The Commerce Commission has warned all New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) and pharmacies nationwide that “no discounting” clauses in the 2012 Community Pharmacy Services (...)

The Russian Competition Authority considers that two companies have implemented a price-fixing agreement in the harvesting water biological resources market (Rosrybolovstvo)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS found that Rosrybolovstvo and its Primorie Office concluded an anticompetitive agreement* On 10th February 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found that the Federal Fishery Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) and its Primorie Regional Office violated Article 16 of the Federal Law “On (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on companies active on market for dental products (Vita Germany a. o.)
European Commission
Romania: Fines imposed on Companies active on Market for Dental Products* On 5 February 2014, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) announced in a press release that it had imposed fines totalling € 102 613 on five companies for agreeing on the maximum discount that could be offered by (...)

The UK OFT accepts commitments from online travel agents enabling them and the hotels to offer discounts on rates for hotel rooms (Booking.com)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK Office of Fair Trading closes investigation into hotel online booking practices On 31 January 2014, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) accepted the commitments from online travel agents, Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”, and its ultimate parent company priceline.com Incorporated) and Expedia (...)

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 German Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings against the splitting rebates following the decision of the manufacturer to apply the same rebates for brick-and-mortar and online sales (Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Household appliance manufacturer Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH abandons anti-competitive rebate system* Bonn, 23 December 2013: As of 2014, the manufacturer of household appliances Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH will discontinue its system of performance rebates introduced on 1 January 2013. The (...)

The German Competition Authority forbids the application of most favoured nation clause and orders its removal from the contracts between hotels and booking portals (HRS / Expedia / Booking.com)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Online hotel portal HRS’s ’best price’ clause violates competition law – Proceedings also initiated against other hotel portals* Bonn, 20 December 2013: Today the Bundeskartellamt prohibited HRS from continuing to apply its ’best price’ clause (most favoured nation clause) and ordered the company to (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal from continuing to apply its “best price” clause (HRS / Expedia / Booking.com)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office bans use of MFN clauses by HRS and opens new proceedings against Booking.com and Expedia* On 20 December 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal HRS from continuing to apply its (...)

The UK OFT opens consultation on the revised commitments proposed by online travel agencies (Booking.com / Expedia)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK OFT weighs revised commitments in the online hotel accommodation bookings* On 20 December 2013, the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) opened a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”), Expedia Inc (“Expedia”) and InterContinental Hotels (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal denies leave to merchant to bring price maintenance application challenging wholesale pricing structure for tobacco products (Safa Enterprises / Imperial Tobacco)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
Tobacco price maintenance case goes up in smoke* A Vancouver convenience store operator’s attempt to force Imperial Tobacco to offer it lower prices was filtered out by the Competition Tribunal. Safa Enterprises Inc. operates “My Convenience Store”. Its competitor, New Hasty Market, pays less (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau announces new regulatory intervention efforts into the regulation of pharmacists in Alberta
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition Bureau Announces First New Advocacy Initiative: Self-regulated Professions (Pharmacist Inducements in Alberta): Patient Care v. Competitive Markets* On September 10th, the Canadian Competition Bureau announced a public consultation for suggestions where it should intervene in (...)

The ECN Working Group on Competition Law gathers in Bonn to discuss matters related to vertical restraints in the internet economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical Restraints in the Internet Economy - Meeting of the Working Group on Competition Law in Bonn* Bonn, 14 October 2013: On 10 October 2013 the Working Group on Competition Law met in Bonn at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt. At this year’s meeting more than 100 competition law (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes vertical restrictive agreements between book publishers and retailers and imposes fines (Pécsi Direkt)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the book market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) determined that Pécsi Direkt Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Líra Könyv Zrt., Libri Könyvkereskedelmi Kft, and Sun Books Könyvkereskedelmi Kft ("f.a." - being liquidated), which are book (...)

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission investigates and punishes pricing conduct in the tourism industry
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
On 29 September 2013, the NDRC announced that it had conducted a nationwide investigation into pricing conduct in the tourism industry this year. The NDRC, together with its local authorities in Hainan, Yunnan, and other popular tourist destinations investigated price alliances established (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains a significant reduction in the main interbank fees (MasterCard & Visa Cards)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained a significant reduction in the main interbank fees charged by Mastercard and Visa respectively. With these decisions, the Autorité de la concurrence has completed the (...)

The UK OFT issues statement of objections to sports bra supplier and three department stores for alleged resale price maintenance (DB Apparel, John Lewis, Debenhams Retail and House of Fraser)
European Commission
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading issues Statement of Objections to Sports Bra Supplier and Three UK Department Stores* On 20 September 2013, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections to a manufacturer of sports bras and three UK department stores alleging (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes the results of an inquiry on the modern trade sector (Indagine conoscitiva sul settore della GDO)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato
Analysis The Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) has carried out a sector inquiry in the Italian modern trade sector. The inquiry’s focus is mainly on the competition law impact arising from the practices commonly adopted by the modern trade (e.g. unilateral amendments of the contractual terms, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on two cable operator associations for infringing the rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements (MKSZ, MKHSZ)
European Commission
Hungary: Fines imposed on two Cable Operator Associations* On 7 August 2013, the GVH (the Hungarian Competition Authority) imposed fines totalling HUF 11 000 00 (approximately € 37 000) on two cable operator associations for infringing the rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements. The (...)

The US Southern District of New York holds that antitrust plaintiffs need not show that conspiracy is the sole inference from the evidence (Apple)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this prominent case, the United States and 33 states and U.S. territories brought civil suits against Apple Inc. and five book publishing companies, alleging that they conspired and acted together, in violation of United States antitrust law, to cause the publishing industry to move from a (...)

The Belgian College of Competition Prosecutors confirms that the NCA started conducting dawn raids at the premises of certain companies active on the market for fresh yeast
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a press release of 19 June 2013, the College of Competition Prosecutors confirmed that the competition authority had started conducting dawn raids on 18 June 2013 at the premises of certain companies active on the Belgian market for fresh yeast. The competition authority is looking for (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on manufacturers of high-fructose corn syrup and manufacturers of starch syrup and glucose for having implemented a price-fixing agreement (HFCS)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders to Manufacturers of High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Manufacturers of Starch Syrup and Glucose* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders and surcharge payment orders to manufacturers of specific (...)

The Italian Competition Authority penalizes four ferry operators for fixing fares for Sardinia-Continental maritime routes (Sardinia Ferry Fares)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 11 June 2013 in the Sardinia Ferry Fares the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has detected a price-fixing agreement affecting the maritime connection between Sardinia and Continental Italy . Moby, SNAV, Grandi Navi Veloci and Marinvest were found to have coordinated (...)

The Albanian Competition Commission rules that economic evidences are not sufficient to prove the existence of a cartel (Sunflower cartel)
Albanian Competition Authority (Tirana)
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Albanian Competition Authority (Tirana)
The views expressed herein are of the authors and do not necessary reflect the official position of Albanian Competition Authority One of the most important challenges of new competition agencies is the dilemma to take into account the indirect evidences during the proving of existing of (...)

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

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal upholds the NCA’s decision finding infringements of Art 101 and 102 TFEU and Art 1 and 2 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of exclusionary practices in the market for salty snack products (Tasty Foods)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 13 March 2013, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 869/2013 upholding Decision No 520/VI/2011 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC). The contested (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the decision of the Croatian Competition Authority concerning a rebate scheme applied by a mobile phone operator and its distributors (VIPnet)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 24 December 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision issued by the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) against a mobile telecom operator VIPnet concerning the anti-competitive agreements in the form of the maximum rebates allowed to the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes that the Market Court impose a EUR 70 M fine on dairy producer for predatory pricing (Valio)
Roschier (Helsinki)
On 20 December 2012, after a long investigative period, the Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”, now the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, “FCCA”) proposed to the Market Court that a 70 MEUR fine should be imposed on Valio for abuse of its dominant position in the market for production (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines of more than € 4 M on seven growers and processors of first year onion sets for having reduced their harvest in order to push prices up and thereby infringing EU and Dutch competition law (Onion Sets Cartel)
European Commission
The Netherlands: The Competition Authority fines Onion Sets Cartel* On 18 December 2012, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) imposed fines of more than € 4 000 000 on seven growers and processors of first year onion sets for having reduced their harvest in order to push prices up, (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office accepts commitments offered by German airline concerning its contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive (Lufthansa)
King’s College (London)
The commitments decision concerns the Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) proceedings against Lufthansa‘s contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive. Background The FCO commenced proceedings against Lufthansa in September 2009, (...)

The European Commission accepts commitments in e-books case (Simon & Schuster / Harper Collins / Hachette / Holtzbrinck / Apple)
European Commission
European Commission accepts Commitments in E-Books Case* On 12 December 2012, the European Commission (Commission) accepted formally binding commitments from four international publishers (Simon & Schusters (CBS Corp., USA), HarperCollins (News Corp., USA), Hachette Livre (Lagardère (...)

The EU Commission finds that given the nature of the relevant product, concerted practices covering a substantial part of the EEA may affect the interstate trade (e-books)
Liege Competition and Innovation Institute
Sad but true* I love commitments decisions because they are a quick read. But I also hate dislike them because they leave the reader angry hungry for more. Some evidence: in the E-Books case, the effect on trade condition was deemed fulfilled under the simplest possible sort of analysis: (...)

The Guangdong Price Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission investigates and sanctions a cartel in the local sea sand mining sector (Baohai, Jianghai, Donghai)
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Guangdong Price Bureau, a local authority of the Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of NDRC, has recently investigated and sanctioned a cartel in the local sea sand mining sector pursuant to the AML. According to the NDRC’s news release, the price of land reclamation sand used in (...)

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 (...)

A Kazakh Court imposes fines for an anticompetitive concerted practice in the milk market (Sut, MolCOM)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
,
Ernst & Young (Astana)
Facts "Sut" JSC (’Sut’) and "MolCOM-Pavlodar" JSC (’MolCOM’) are the main milk processing enterprises of Pavlodar region. By the decision of the Competition Protection Agency (’Agency’) both are included into the State Register of market entities having a dominant or monopolistic position (...)

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

The Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina prosecutes Serbian beer producer for resale price maintenance (Apatinska pivara Apatin, Dejan komerc)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 4 September 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) held that Serbian beer producer Apatinska pivara Apatin d.o.o.and one of its B&H distributors Dejan komerc d.o.o.entered into a series of anti-competitive agreements containing resale price maintenance (RPM) (...)

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

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of automatic doors (Assa Abloy Entrance Systems, Blasi)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 25 July 2012, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling around € 2.4 million on eight manufacturers of automatic door systems, their trade association and one individual for their involvement in a price-fixing cartel. The parties (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds that TV-channels distributor violated a decision subject to conditions imposed against anti-competitive business terms (Viasat)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Viasat violates a decision subject to conditions imposed by the Danish Competition Council in the case of Viasat’s business terms* On 27 June 2012, the Danish Competition Council decided that Viasat has violated a decision subject to conditions imposed by the Council in the case of Viasat’s (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines tours operators and travel agents for concerted practices relating to online sale of package tours (Eturas)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Competition Council imposes Fine of more than € 1 500 000 for Anti-competitive Practice relating to Online Sale of Package Tours* On 7 June 2012, the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the CC) adopted a decision in which 30 tour operators/travel agents were fined (...)

The Hubei Price Bureau punishes collusion to increase prices by local soybean product manufacturers and real estate agencies (Soybean product manufacturers in Shiyan city and Real Estate Agencies of Tongcheng County)
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
On 22 May 2012, the Hubei Price Bureau held a press conference and disclosed that it had recently investigated and handled nine cases involving illegal pricing behaviour. In February 2011, soybean product manufacturers in Shiyan city had colluded through meetings to collectively cease (...)

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 US DoJ announces to continue investigations into the e-book industry for alleged price-fixing conspiracy (Apple)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
The DOJ believes that Apple is forcing you to pay more for e-books* On April 11, 2012 the world of antitrust became abuzz with the news that the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Apple for its alleged participation in an e-books pricing scheme with the leading publishers: Hachette Book Group (USA), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office holds in a cartel case that the statutory immunity relating to agricultural products may be in violation of EU competition law (Watermelon cartel)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
,
Kinstellar (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) launched competition supervision proceedings in 2012 against six major supermarket chains and two agricultural professional organisations for forming a price cartel in respect of Hungarian-produced watermelons. On 10 April 2013, the HCO terminated the (...)

The EU Commission fines nine producers of window mountings € 86 M for price fixing cartel (Roto, Gretsch-Unitas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2012, the European Commission announced that it had fined nine European producers of mountings for windows a total of approximately € 86 million for operating a price- fixing cartel. The companies involved are Roto, Gretsch-Unitas, Siegenia, Winkhaus, Hautau, Fuhr, Strenger, (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine of € 30 M on manufacturer of fire-fighting vehicles (Iveco)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 7 March 2012, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a fine of € 30 million on IVECO Magirus Brandschutztechnik GmbH (“IVECO”), a manufacturer of fire-fighting vehicles. IVECO is accused of having participated in illegal price- fixing, quota (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines maritime agents’ cartel (Portual Commission of Assagenti)
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority fines Maritime Agents’ Cartel* On 22 February 2012, the ICA concluded an investigation triggered by a leniency application concerning a cartel in the market for maritime agency services provided in the port of Genoa. Fines totalling more than € 4 000 000 (...)

The Greek Competition Authority imposes fine for abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive practices in the salty snacks market (Food Tasty)
European Commission
Greece: The Competition Commission imposes Fine for Infringements of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/1977 as well as of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU in Salty Snacks Market * In its Decision No. 520/IV/2011 (published on 14 February 2012), the Grand Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority confirms fines against 12 pharmaceutical companies for entering into a restrictive agreement (Hemofarm)
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
,
Kinstellar
On 26 January 2012 the Commision for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (the "Competition Authority") issued a decision setting the amount of fines for 12 pharmaceutical companies (Hemofarm a.d., Galenika a.d., Zdravlje Leskovac a.d., Jugoremedija a.d., Slaviamed d.o.o., (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission imposes fines totalling € 11 M on concrete and mortar cartel (CPV, CETYA, BERIAIN, CEMEX, VRESA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Spanish National Competition Commission (“CNC”) has recently adopted a decision imposing fines in relation to a price-fixing cartel established by Cementos Portland Valderribas S.A. (“CPV”), Canteras de Echauri y Tiebas S.A. (“CETYA”), Hormigones Beriain S.A. (“BERIAIN”), Cemex España S.A. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM, the NDRC, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Taxation, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce jointly promulgate the working plan on rectifying fees charged in violation of rules and regulations by large retailers on suppliers
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
On 26 December 2011, MOFCOM, the NDRC, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Taxation, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) jointly promulgated the Working Plan on Rectifying Fees Charged in Violation of Rules and Regulations by Large (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the infringement NCA’s decision establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases (lobodna Dalmacija, Europapress holding, RTD, Glas Slavonije...)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 21 December 2011 the Croatian Administrative Court upheld the infringement decision of the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) establishing the existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to uniform price increases. The case dates back to 2010 when the AZTN (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on taxi business operators for having implemented a price-fixing agreement enabling to fix supracompetitive taxi fares
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Issued the Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against taxi business operators , located in Niigata City and its suburbs* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) today issued cease and desist orders, and surcharge payment orders against 25 taxi business operators, (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines totaling € 15.5 M on manufacturers and retailers of hydrants and other water network fittings (Erhard / Schmieding / Frischhut / AVK / VAG / vonRoll)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 16 December 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed fines totalling approximately € 15.5 million on six manufacturers and retailers of hydrants and other water network fittings, as well as on four of their executives, for their participation (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes OFT’s tobacco pricing decision (Imperial Tobacco / Gallaher / 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 (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss antitrust conspiracy claims against potato grower cooperatives in US several states (Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation)
Offices of the United States Attorneys
,
Labaton Sucharow (New York)
I Can’t Make You Love Me If You Won’t: Capper-Volstead Jilted* The intersection between the Sherman Act and the Capper-Volstead exemption for collective conduct by agricultural industry members has given rise to a number of recent cases. In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litig., No. (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review antitrust price-fixing case in the gasoline industry (Refined petroleum products antitrust litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The US Supreme Court denies petition to review alleged antitrust conspiracy case in the health care sector (UPMC / West Penn Allegheny Health System)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Antitrust Decision from Supreme Court Unlikely During Current Term* It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court (...)

The Argentinian Secretariat of National Commerce holds a leading sports broadcaster’s contractual conditions anti-competitive under national legislation and awards a cable television provider interim injunctive relief (Telecentro/Fox Sports Latina America)
Bureau Veritas (London)
Complainant Telecentro S.A., a cable television provider, was awarded interim injunctive relief by the Secretariat of National Commerce acting on findings from the national competition authority that Fox Sports Latin America S.A. breached art. 2 of the Ley 25.156 on the protection of (...)

The Price Bureau of Shanxi Province promulgates severe rules tackling collusion to increase price
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Price Bureau of Shanxi Province, a local bureau of the NDRC Bureau, has promulgated the Price Regulation of the Shanxi Province (Price Regulation) pursuant to the Price Law 1997 (Price Law). The Price Regulation will take effect on 1 October 2011 and covers matters related to price (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission closes with commitments a proceeding initiated against two companies for alleged restrictive practices in the printed advertising sector (Vocento, Godό)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 30 June 2011 the NCC has decided to close a formal proceeding opened ex officio against Corporación Vocento S.A.U. and Vocento, S.A. (VOCENTO) and Publipress Media, S.L.U. and Grupo Godó de Comunicaciones S.A. (GODÓ) for possible restrictive practices under Article 1 SCA. The practices (...)

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)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 Spanish Competition Authority fines undertakings involved in the fluid pumps cartel (Spanish association of fluid pump manufacturers)
European Commission
Spain: The CNC fines Undertakings involved in the Fluid Pumps Cartel* In its Resolution of 24 June 2011, the CNC Council decided that it was established that several undertakings active in the fluid pumps sector and the Spanish Association of Fluid Pump Manufacturers (AEFBF) had participated (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes a € 9865 fine on 7 regional driving schools for anti-competitive agreements on prices after a 3-year investigation (Driving school cartel)
Sérvulo & Associados (Lisbon)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On June 17, 2011, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced, through Press Release 6/2011 that it has imposed fines totalling € 9.8 thousand on seven driving schools operating in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (ARM) – more specifically, in the capital Funchal – which it has found had (...)

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

A US Court of Appeals precludes tying claims brought by an hospital upholding the direct-purchaser rule under the Illinois Brick doctrine (Warren General Hospital/Amgen)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Illinois Brick Direct-Purchaser Rule Precludes Tying Claims by Hospital* The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia earlier this week reaffirmed the “bright-line” rule limiting federal antitrust standing to direct purchasers. The court upheld dismissal (CCH 2010-1 Trade Cases ¶77,043) of an (...)

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 Albiñana y Suárez 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 (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority declares illegal a distribution agreement granting a distributor a 2% rebate for compliance with the supplier’s resale price maintenance policy concerning certain branded food products (Grand Prom, Idea)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 26 May 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) has declared illegal the distribution agreement between Grand Prom a.d. (supplier) and Idea d.o.o. (distributor) granting to the distributor a 2% rebate for compliance with resale price maintenance policy set by the supplier in relation to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts an investigation into an alleged price-fixing practice on the Sardinia-Continental Italy maritime routes (Corsica Sardina Ferries)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently opened an Article 101 TFEU investigation into alleged price-fixing practice that a number of ferry operators would be carrying out on the market for Italy and Sardinia maritime links. The facts of the case Consumer associations and public (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fines for infringements of both Art 101 and 102 TFEU as well as Art 1 and 2 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of exclusionary practices in the market for salty snack products (Tasty Foods)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 5 May 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an infringement decision against Tasty Foods, a company that is mainly active in the production and distribution of salty snack products in Greece, for violation of 101 TFEU (...)

A US Federal District Court rejects breach of contract defense based on the illegality of the contract under the Robinson-Patman Act (Pet Food Express, Royal Canin)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Robinson-Patman Act Defense Rejected in Breach-of-Contract Case&* Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the (...)

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

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

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

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

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

The 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)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
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 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)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
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 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)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
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 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)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
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 (...)

A US Federal District court rules that the US DoJ was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation (KeySpan)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Can the Justice Department Seek Disgorgement for a Sherman Act Violation?* The federal district court in New York City ruled last week that the Department of Justice was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation. The court approved a consent decree, which (...)

The Latvian Competition Council concludes its sector inquiry finding that existing regulation impedes price competition in medicine market
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Existing Regulation impedes Price Competition in Medicine Market On 1 February 2011, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) published its conclusions of the Sector Inquiry into the pricing system in medicine market in Latvia. In its report, the CC draws attention to the existing problems in (...)

The New York Supreme Court issues a decision on resale price maintenance in the mattress manufacturing sector applying the rule of reason standard (Tempur-Pedic International)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
New York’s Challenge To Mattress Maker’s Resale Pricing Policy Fails* The State of New York was not entitled to an order enjoining mattress manufacturer Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. from restricting discounting by its authorized retailers, a New York state court has ruled. The New York (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments and closes investigations into Sicilian power prices (Sicilian power prices)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes € 17.7 M fine on double-glazing cartel (Koninklijke Saint-Gobain Glass Nederland, Scheuten Glas Nederland and Pilkington Benelux)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a press statement of 6 January 2011, the Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) announced that it had imposed a fine totalling € 17.7 million on four producers of double-glazing for taking part in a cartel on the double-glazing market in the Netherlands. The companies concerned are Koninklijke (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines insulated glass manufacturers’ cartel more than € 17 Million (Koninklijke Saint-Gobain Glass Nederland, Scheuten Glas Nederland, Pilkington Benelux)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fines on the Technical Chamber of Greece for adopting a "minimum cost for construction projects" (TEE)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines personal care products cartel (Unilever Italia, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt-Benckiser)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission implements the decision of the Athens Court of Appeal that a fine should be calculated separately for infringements of Art. 101 and 102 of the TFEU (Nestlé)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 14 December 2010 the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) published a decision providing details on a fine imposed on NestléGreece (“Nestlé”), clarifying that about €22 million were due for abuse of dominant position and about €7.5 million were due for agreements restricting competition. 1. (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court halves an antitrust fine in the bakery sector to €150.000 (Bakeries Association of Valencia province)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez 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 Danish Competition Authority adopts decision without fines concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of parallel trade in electrical appliances sector (Witt Hvidevarer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision adopted on 24 November 2010, the Danish Competition Authority found that Witt Hvidevarer A/S (“Witt”), a Danish importer and wholesaler of robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers manufactured by the American company iRobot, had engaged in anticompetitive practices over a period of (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on several manufacturers and distributors for price-fixing in the field of sales of electric wires for construction and distribution (Yazaki Corporation)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers and Distributors of Electric Wires for Construction and Distribution* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated companies engaged in manufacturing and (...)

A US federal district court denies dismissal of antitrust conspiracy claim in tomato products industry (The Morning Star Company, SK Foods)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Claim of Antitrust Conspiracy Among Tomato Processors Avoids Dismissal* The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market (...)

The US DoJ challenges "most favoured nations" clauses in the healthcare sector, analyzing their anticompetitive effects under section 1 of the Sherman Act (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan)
Richard Wolfram, Esq. (New York)
‘Most Favored Nations’ (MFN) Clauses under the Spotlight: U.S. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — When Might Otherwise Competitively Neutral or Procompetitive MFN Clauses Violate the Antitrust Laws?* On October 18, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan sued Blue (...)

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

The German Competition Authority fines two manufacturers of pressroom chemicals for their involvement in anti-competitive agreements (DC Druck Chemie, Felix Böttcher, Helmut Siegel)
European Commission
Germany: Fines imposed on two Companies in the Press room Chemicals Sector On 29 September 2010, the Bundeskartellamt imposed fines amounting to € 660,000 on two manufacturers of pressroom chemicals for their involvement in anti-competitive agreements prohibited by national law and by Article (...)

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)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
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 US Attorney General in Connecticut investigates potentially anticompetitive e-book deals (Amazon / Apple)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Attorney General of Connecticut investigating agreements on e-books* On 2 August 2010 the Attorney General of Connecticut announced an investigation into agreements between e-book publishers and sellers that may encourage coordinated pricing and prevent discounting of e-books. In particular, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a cartel in the sector of freight forwarding activities (Transitarios)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Linklaters (Madrid)
On 31 July 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (Consejo de la Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, hereinafter "the Council", "the NCC") imposed a fine of €14 M on eight road freight forwarding companies for coordinating their pricing and commercial strategies. The file was (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in order to address competition concerns in the discount coupons sector (HighCo / Sogec / Perifem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence accepts commitments enabling all market operators to use Webcoupon or to develop equivalent solutions.* After a referreal by the Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de consommation (ILEC), and the company Ma Liste de Courses (MLDC), which complained of (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority imposes a €76m fine to 19 freight forwarders and their trade association for cartel activities (Fedespedi)
Simmons & Simmons (Milano)
On 16 June 2010, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) concluded its investigation into the market for international land freight forwarding and fined 19 operators for cartel activities aimed at increasing prices charged to customers. Fedespedi, the Italian Association of freight forwarders, (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt fines ophthalmic lenses manufacturers for involvement in cartel agreements (Rodenstock, Carl Zeiss Vision)
Arent Fox (New York)
On June 10, 2010, the German federal antitrust agency, the Bundeskartellamt, imposed a €115 million (approximately $153 million) fine on five leading ophthalmic lens manufacturers, Rodenstock GmbH, Carl Zeiss Vision GmbH, Essilor GmbH, Rupp + Hubrach Optik GmbH, and Hoya Lens Deutschland GmbH, (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on several manufacturers of optical fiber cable products for price-fixing (Sumitomo Electric)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers of Optical Fiber Cable Products* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), under the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated companies engaged in manufacturing and selling optical fiber cable products (...)

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

The Chinese Competition Authorities publish first decision against price cartel under new anti-monopoly law (Guangxi)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
China’s competition law enforcement authorities published their first decision against a price cartel on March 30, 2010, more than one and a half years after the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) came into effect. This action against domestic rice noodle producers was reported by the National Development (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority establishes existence of concerted practices among newspaper publishers that led to a uniform price increase (Slobodna Dalmacija, Europapress holding, RTD, Glas Slavonije, Glas Istre, Novi list, Večernji list, Vjesnik-naklada)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 25 March 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established that eight publishers of daily newspapers violated national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU by entering into an anticompetitive agreement in the form of concerted practices, which led to the uniform increase of the retail (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes total fines of € 159.5 million on coffee roasters (Tchibo, Melitta Kaffee, Bremen, Dallmayr Kaffee)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 12 January 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has fined three German coffee roasters, Tchibo GmbH, Melitta Kaffee GmbH, Bremen and Dallmayr Kaffee oHG, as well as six of their employees, a total of € 159.5 million for horizontal price fixing. The FCO’s (...)

The EU Commission estimates costs for more effective Greek competition enforcement
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Greece Needs to Tackle Cartels – But Can It?* An EU task force sent to Athens in January have suggested that removing obstacles to competition – estimated to cost Greece around 1% of GDP (€2.5bn a year) – would help to restore its (...)

The Lisbon Commercial Court holds pharmaceutical companies guilty of 63 breaches on Portuguese competition law (Abbott Laboratórios, Menarini Diagnóscitos and Johnson & Johnson)
The Lisbon Commercial Court, confirming the decision of the Portuguese Competition Authority, held that the undertakings of Abbott Laboratórios Lda., Menarini Diagnóscitos Lda. and Johnson & Johnson Lda. were proven to be guilty of 63 breaches of the Portuguese competition law rules. (...)

The German Competition Authority fines three coffee roasters for price fixing (Tchibo, Melitta Kaffee, Alois Dallmayr)
European Commission
Germany: Coffee Roasters fined for Price Fixing In a decision of 18 December 2009, the Bundeskartellamt imposed fines totalling approximately € 159,500,000 on three coffee roasters and the six responsible employees. The companies involved are Tchibo GmbH, Melitta Kaffee GmbH and Alois Dallmayr (...)

The French NCA fines a trade association in the hydrotherapy sector for price fixing and exchanges of information between its members and dismisses lack of prior intent as a mitigating circumstance (Conseil national des exploitants thermaux)
Dechert (Paris)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
In a decision issued on 18 December 2009, the French Competition Authority (the «Authority«) fined a trade association in the hydrotherapy sector, the Conseil national des exploitants thermaux («CNETh«), for infringing article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code (the French equivalent of art. (...)

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

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

A US District Court finds sufficient ground for a claim on alleged illegal secret rebates, kickbacks and commissions, though it rejects the claim on collusive conduct on the market for sales of title insurance (California Title Insurance)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Strike Three: Plaintiffs Again Fail to Allege Facts of Collusion in Oligopoly Market* Rather than being "plus factors," allegations of interdependent industry structure simply demonstrate that the challenged conduct of defendant title insurers was as consistent with competition as with (...)

A Spanish Court provides for the first time ever for compensation of damages caused by a cartel (Sugar Cartel)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, is the first case in Spain in which a court provides for a redress of the victims of a horizontal restraint of competition, namely a cartel. It is well-known that cartels are prohibited by article 101 of the Treaty of (...)

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

The Serbian Competition Authority annulls an anticompetitive agreement concluded by five bus operators fixing ticket prices on the regular routes between Serbia and Germany (Panonijabus, Lasta, ATP Vojvodina, Severtrans, Nis-Ekspres)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 2 October 2009 Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established existence of an anticompetitive agreement concluded by several bus companies for the purpose of limiting competition on regular bus routes between Serbia and Germany. Specified agreement labeled “Pool T-488” was concluded between (...)

The UK OFGEM is to enquire on pre-pay energy meters alleged overcharges despite introduction of new market rules (National Housing Federation)
Jacobs (Glasgow)
Five of the big six energy suppliers are still overcharging customers using pre-pay meters, despite new Ofgem rules, the National Housing Federation (the “NHF”) says. The New Measures Energy regulator Ofgem delivered a set of measures on 21st September 2009 which was aimed at making the market (...)

The Russian Competition Authority establishes the existence of price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone manufacturer and its distributors (Nokia)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 23 September 2009 Russian Competition Authority (FAS) established that leading manufacturer of mobile phones NOKIA has infringed Russian competition law by including recommended resale prices in its distribution contracts. Due to the fact that NOKIA has subsequently deleted “recommended (...)

A Danish Court of appeal reduces the fines imposed by the City Court on an association, its director and its deputy director for encouraging a price increase (Danish coach drivers’ association)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 3 September 2009, the Danish Eastern High Court reduced the fines imposed by the City Court of Copenhagenon the Danish Coach Drivers’ Association, its director and its deputy director for infringing Section 6 of the Danish Competition Act (equivalent to Article 81 EC) by encouraging its (...)

The Council of Slovak Antimonopoly Office upholds decision in veterinary sanitation services cartel case (VAS, ADOVA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 July 2009 the Council of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office, an appeals body in competition law proceedings, upheld an earlier decision of the Office that VAS s.r.o. and N – ADOVA, spol. s.r.o. had infringed the competition rules by concluding a cartel agreement affecting the market for (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority acquits three telecom operators of alleged anticompetitive practices consisting in parallel increasing mobile phone rates (Teléfonos Móviles - Telefónica, Vodafone, France Telecom )
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
On 2 July 2009, the Council of the Spanish Competition Authority (Consejo de la Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, hereinafter the “Council of the CNC”) concluded that the increase of the mobile phone rates implemented in parallel by Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.U. ("Telefonica"), Vodafone (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts decision relating to agency in women’s clothing and accessories sector (Punto Fa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 June 2009, the French Competition Authority adopted a decision rejecting the complaint brought by the French Minister for the Economy for alleged resale price maintenance involving Punto Fa SL (“Punto Fa”) and its agents in France. Punto Fa is a supplier of women’s clothing and accessories (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on pharmaceutical companies for price fixing (Grünenthal and Infectopharm)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 7 May 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) refrained from imposing a fine on two pharmaceutical companies, Grünenthal GmbH and Infectopharm GmbH, which had illegally agreed on prices for colistin-based antibiotics. Following Grünenthal GmbH’s leniency (...)

The European Commission issues SO in multilateral interchange fees case (Visa MIF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to recent reports, the Commission has issued an SO to Visa Europe Limited (“Visa”) with regard to the setting of multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”). An interchange fee is charged by an issuing bank (the customer’s bank) to an acquiring bank (the retailer’s bank) for sales transactions (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions a cartel of 26 pasta producers and professional associations on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (Listino prezzi della pasta)
University of Palermo
On 25 February 2009 the Authority ascertained two price-fixing cartels in the Italian market of durum semolina pasta and fined 26 pasta producers (Amato, Barilla, Colussi, De Cecco, Divella, Garofalo, Nestlé, Rummo, Zara, Berruto, Delverde, Granoro, Riscossa, Tandoi, Cellino, Chirico, De (...)

The Italian Competition Authority inflicts a fines over € 12 M upon the main 26 producers of pasta and two associations of undertakings, for allegedly exchanging information and adopting other initiatives to increase prices (Listino prezzi della pasta)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
Background On 26 February 2009, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined 26 pasta producers active in Italy (representing approximately 90% of the overall relevant market) and two associations of undertakings claiming that they had entered into an agreement aimed at increasing the prices (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on six manufacturers and sellers of vinyl chloride pipes and joints for price-fixing (Sekisui Chemical, Mitsubishi Plastics, Kubota-C.I.)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Orders and Surcharge Payment Orders against Manufacturers and Sellers of Vinyl Chloride Pipes and Joints* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), investigated the manufacturers and sellers of vinyl chloride pipes (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal partly confirms the decision of the Competition authority imposing a global fine of € 37 million on 5 toy manufacturers and 3 distributors for an agreement to fix Christmas toys’ resale prices (EPSE Joué Club)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case This case involves a straightforward RPM system agreed among suppliers on the one hand and applied between suppliers and between distributors on the other hand. The Conseil de la concurrence (now Autorité de la concurrence) imposed a global fine of € 37 M on 5 (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority annulls the price-fixing agreements concluded between a mobile phone operator and its distributors (VIPnet)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
VIPnet d.o.o. (VIPnet) is a Croatian mobile telecom operator established in 1998 by the Mobilkom Austria AG. VIPnet provides its services through a network of “partners” and “wholesalers”. “Partners” sell VIPnet’s products and services directly to the final consumers on the VIPnet’s account. (...)

The Greek Competition Authority condemns two multinational companies for a rebate scheme in the gasoline market (BP/Shell)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the common conduct from the two multinational companies in the Greek gasoline market BP and Shell (40% of the internal market) from 1st January 2003 until 31 Decemer 2003. In particular, the investigation carried out ex officio by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (...)

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

The French Competition Authority fines a group of the agribusiness sector with a € 2,000,000 fine for inciting its distributors to apply the suggested resale price supplied by itself, who also applied a price monitoring policy (Roullier Group)
UGGC Avocats (Paris)
Description of the impugned case Resale price of the products manufactured by the Roullier group were sent to the distributors. In addition, sales force of the Roullier group were regularly taking orders directly from the clients in lieu of the distributors. While taking orders from clients, (...)

A US District Court rejects the allegation according to which inducement by a drug wholesaler of a drug price publisher to inflate the wholesale price may constitute a per se violation (New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund / McKesson)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Twombly Meets Leegin. Failure of Plaintiff to Allege “Plausible” Entitlement to Relief Constitutes Failure to Allege “Antitrust Injury.”* In New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund v. McKesson Corp., 573 F.Supp.2d 431 (Aug. 26, 2008), the District Court for the District of Massachusetts (...)

The Belgian Competition Council adopts an effects based analysis to conclude to the absence of predatory pricing or excessive pricing in the gas and electricity sectors (Electrabel)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Background According to his powers under the Belgian Competition Act (the Law on the Protection of Economic Competition hereinafter "LPCE"), the Belgian minister of the economy, energy and commerce has requested an investigation into the gas and electricity sectors in Belgium to the (...)

The European Commission fines aluminum fluoride producers for operating a cartel in which they agreed on a worldwide target price increase (Boliden Odda, Fluorsid, Minmet Financing Company, Societe des Industries Chimiques du Fluor, Industrial Quimica de Mexico)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission
,
European Commission - DG TRADE
"Recent cartel cases - Sodium Chlorate and Aluminium Fluoride"* In June 2008, the Commission adopted two prohibition decisions against infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement and imposed fines totalling some €84 million. In both cases, the product (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on manufacturers and sellers of Polypropylene for having implemented a price-fixing agreement (Idemitsu Kosan, Sumitomo Chemical and SunAllomer)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Surcharge Payment Orders to Polypropylene Manufacturers and Sellers* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC)ordered the four polypropylene manufacturers and sellers, on June 20,2008, to pay the surcharge as follows in accordance with the transitional measure under the revised Antimonopoly Act (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on manufacturers and sellers of steel pipe piles and steel sheet piles for having implemented an anticompetitive price-fixing agreement (JFE Steel, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Industrie)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Cease and Desist Order and Surcharge Payment Order against Manufacturers and Sellers of Steel Pipe Piles and Steel Sheet Piles* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (AMA), has investigated manufacturers and sellers of steel pipe (...)

The German Federal Competition Office imposes a fine on a pharmaceuticals distributor for having influenced in an anticompetitive way the resale prices for non-prescription pharmaceuticals (Bayer Vital)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause: Bayer Vital concluded target agreements with several pharmacies according to which Bayer promised an additional rebate to the pharmacies for the positioning of the Bayer products as premium products and the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments from brokers in a cartel investigation (Budapest Stock Exchange)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two orders of 20 March and 21 May 2008, the Hungarian Competition Authority (the “GVH”) ended its investigation into an alleged price coordination by brokers at the Budapest Stock Exchange (the “BÉT”). The first order ended the investigation, due to the lack of evidence, into an alleged fixing (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision in the alleged ‘helicopter cartel’ case (Aeronorte & Helisul)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
In May 2008 the Lisbon Commerce Court issued a ruling (case 48/08.7TYLSB) that quashed the Portuguese Competition Authority’s decision of 2007 (case PRC 20/05) that found out that two companies (Aeronorte and Helisul) had engaged in a bid-rigging cartel for the provision of helicopter services (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rebuts the decision of the Competition Council regarding practices in the market of distribution of pharmaceutical products (GlaxoSmithKline)
RBB Economics (Paris)
,
SNCF Réseau
Presentation 1. For the first time of its existence, on 14 March 2007, the French Competition Council (thereafter “CC”) had decided to sanction a firm for predatory pricing, namely GlaxoSmithKline (thereafter “GSK“) for an amount of 10 million euro. GSK appealed to this Decision. On 8 April 2008, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines seven physicians’ unions for conspiring to increase fees for patient visits (Union des médecins spécialistes confédérés)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Sector 1 Specialist Physicians Overcharging Fees: The Conseil de la concurrence fines 7 physicians’ unions for conspiring to increase fees for patient visits.* Pursuant to an action brought by the Rural (...)

A French Court rules that unfair competition may exist when distance selling companies competing on another Member State’s market do not charge the same VAT rate as applied on such market (Pneus-Online Suisse & Pneus-Online / Delticom)
Google (Paris)
A German and a Swiss firm were competing on the online tyres market in France. They were using very close domain names. One applied the VAT rate of the country of origin, the other one the VAT rate applicable in France. A French court of appeals finds that this constitutes unfair competition. (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority fines for more than € 4 M two leading producers of concrete, alleging the violation of Art. 81 and 82 EC, including predatory pricing (Mercato del calcestruzzo cellulare autoclavato)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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UPS
Background On 24 October 2007, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità garante della concorrenza e del mercato) fined two leading producers of autoclaved cellular concrete (ACC), namely Xella International GmbH (Xella) and RDB S.p.A. (RDB) alleging that they had entered into some form of (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Hyundai Hellas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision adopted on 29 November 2007 which has recently become available, the Greek Competition Authority found that Hyundai Hellas SA (“Hyundai”) had engaged in resale price maintenance with respect to sales of spare parts and after-sales services by members of its authorised network. The (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT decision rejecting a complaint against alleged abusive practices by local publishers (Brannigan)
Quebec Department of Justice (Quebec City)
A. Introduction In Terry Brannigan v. Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) does not apply European competition law. However in this decision the CAT deals with several interesting legal issues for any European competition lawyer, especially those involved in the (...)

The US Supreme Court sets aside Dr. Miles rule on resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leeging)
Grant & Eisenhofer
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Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Washington)
Dr. Miles: Will the Supreme Court Find a Cure?* On December 7, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.,which presents the Court with an opportunity to address the per se minimum resale price rule established almost a century ago in Dr. (...)

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

The European Commission fines Dutch brewers over € 273 M for a beer cartel (Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
"Commission fines Dutch brewers over €273 million for a beer cartel"* I. Introduction On 18 April 2007, the Commission fined Dutch brewers Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria a total of €273 783 000 for operating a cartel in the beer market in The Netherlands. The Commission’s decision names the (...)

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

The Romanian Supreme Court overturns the NCA’s decision having fined one participant to a cartel for lack of sufficient proofs (Cement Cartel)
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
Competition Council (Consiliul Concurentei), 26 May 2005, Decision n° 94 relating to the sanctioning of Lafarge Romcim SA, Holcim Romania SA and Carpatcement Holding SA for the infringement of Article 5(1) (a) of the Competition Law n° 21/1996 Decizia n° 94, privind sanctionarea societatilor (...)

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

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the NCA’s decision sanctioning taxi companies for price fixing through concerted practice (Martono taksi)
Sorainen (Vilnius)
In a decision dated 11 May 2006, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC) upheld the decision of the Vilnius District Administrative Court (VDAC) from 19 September 2006 with some corrections in the calculation of fines and confirmed the original decision of Lithuanian Competition (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses a lower court’s decision clarifying competitive injury and secondary price line discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Mayer Brown (New York)
Competitive Injury and Price Discrimination in the United States* In Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., the Supreme Court provided guidance on whether, under the Robinson-Patman Act, a manufacturer may offer one dealer better prices than another dealer when those (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns a lower court decision for the plaintiff but reiterates the traditional method of proving secondary line price injuries under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Seattle University
The Robinson-Patman Act and Consumer Welfare: Has Volvo Reconciled them?* The Robinson-Patman Act is the black sheep of antitrust. Unlike the other antitrust laws, its fundamental goal is not to preserve competition in order to benefit consumers, but to limit competitive rivalry in order to (...)

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

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having engaged in vertical price agreements regarding the distribution of video cassettes for children (Disney video cassettes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Disney video cassettes for children: The Conseil de la concurrence fines the companies BVHE, Casino, Carrefour and SDO for engaging in vertical price agreements.* Following a referral from the Ministry of (...)

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

The Finnish competition authority states that rebates granted by pharmaceutical companies to pharmacies are unlawful on the basis of both EC and national competition provisions
Smartflats
,
Liège University - IEJE
In Finland, pharmaceutical companies very often offer to pharmacies rebates on the wholesale price of drugs. Typically, they try to attract pharmacies by granting them generous additional rebates on all their products. As such, rebates granted by a furnisher to its distributors do not raise (...)

The French Supreme Court holds that low-price practice cannot be sanctioned on the basis of tort law if it does not fall under competition provisions (Usines Merger / Giat Industries)
Université du Maine
In a judgement delivered on December, 6th 2005, the commercial Chamber of the French Supreme Court ruled on the relationship between competition provisions and unfair trading provisions on the one hand and tort law provisions on the other hand. The issue at stake concerned the practice of low (...)

The Irish Government abolishes a below-cost pricing regulation (Groceries Order)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 8 November 2005, the Irish government announced that it would revoke the much maligned Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order 1987 (“Groceries Order”) legislation that was enacted to tackle anti-competitive below-cost pricing conducted by large retailers. In its place, the government (...)

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

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

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

A US Court of Appeals upholds the finding of the FTC that the prohibition of discounts and advertising was inherently suspect, because such restraints by their nature would tend to raise prices and reduce output (PolyGram)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
DC Circuit Hits High Note In “Three Tenors” Case – Petition For Review Of FTC Decision In Polygram Holding, Inc. Denied* On July 22, 2005, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition for review filed by PolyGram Holding, Inc. In so doing, the DC Circuit, in an (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a company and its distribution network for anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position in the dog food market (Royal Canin)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position in the dog food market: The Conseil de la concurrence fines Royal Canin and distribution network a total of 5,000,000 Euros.* Following a referral (...)

The Czech Competition office states that a contractor’s undertaking not to supply to another purchaser for better prices is an anticompetitive agreement (Èeský Telecom/Joyce - Lucent)
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
The Office for the protection of competition of the Czech Republic confirmed on March 25, 2005 its earlier first instance decision, in which it has found that the agreements concluded by Èeský Telecom with two suppliers of ADSL modems represent a prohibited price fixing agreement as they bind the (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on manufacturers of cold-rolled stainless steel sheets for having implemented an anticompetitive price fixing agreement (Nisshin Steel)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
JFTC surcharged manufacturers of cold-rolled stainless steel sheets* The Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC), on 11 March 2005, ordered 6 manufacturers to pay surcharges regarding fixing the prices of cold-rolled stainless steel sheets and steel strips (excluding cold-rolled narrow strips) (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court declares that a concerted practice cannot be subject to nullity under section 7 of the [former] Swedish Competition Act (Boliden Mineral Aktiebolag/AB Fortum Värme samägt med Stockholms stad)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Svea hovrätt (Swedish courts)
Background In December 1992, Boliden Mineral Aktiebolag (“Boliden”) concluded an agreement with Korsnäs Aktiebolag (“Korsnäs”), in which Boliden undertook to purchase its entire requirement of electricity for a mining facility. A standard form agreement was attached to the aforementioned agreement. (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the state of competition in the non-specialist large-scale retail sector (UFC Que Choisir)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Rise in "back margins" paid to large-scale retailers, inflation and competition: In an opinion handed down to the consumers association UFC-Que Choisir on 18th October 2004, the Conseil de la concurrence emphasizes the effects of such a rise on increases in consumer products and the risks of (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens quashes a decision of the Greek Competition Authority that condemned 22 bakeries for concerted practice (Bakeries)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the common conduct of 22 bakeries in the region of Fokida (Central Greece) in November 2001. This behaviour has been condemned by the Greek Competition Authority (Hellenic Competition Commission, thereafter HCC) in 2002 (Decision 225/III/2002). Fines of 2% of the total (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission renders a decision against two fumigators for having implemented a price fixing agreement (Kanto Fumigation and Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Decision in Hearing against Kanto Kogyo Co., Ltd.* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (“JFTC”) rendered an initial decision for the hearing against the respondent Kanto Kogyo Co., Ltd. (hereafter “respondent”) on September 28, 2001, and thereafter had a hearing examiner conduct the hearing (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes fines on two manufacturers for infringing the prohibition to influence retail sale prices in an anticompetitive way (Swissphone Telecommunications / Ansmann Energy)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case One case deals with in indirect RPM clause: the producer of telecommunication equipment provided his dealers with rebates under the condition that they would maintain the recommended sale prices (Swissphone). In the other case, the producer of batteries and (...)

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

The Netherlands Competition Authority imposes fines on petrol supplier and three filling stations for discount coordination (Tango)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Fines Texaco and Three Texaco Filling Stations for Obstructing Tango in the Nijmegen Region* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has fined Texaco and three Texaco filling stations for a coordinated discount campaign in the Nijmegen region. The NMa has imposed a fine of EUR 1 (...)

The French Competition Authority fines several opticians for implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the spectacle frames sector (Optical Center)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
35 opticians from the Lyons region found guilty of trying to eliminate a cheaper competitor* Following a referral by the Minister of Economy, in a decision dated 14th June 2002, the Conseil de la concurrence penalised an anticompetitive agreement between 35 opticians based in Lyons. These (...)

The Italian Competition Authority condemns a ferry operator for predatory pricing on the basis of an incremental cost standard (Tourist-Caronte group)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) penalized a ferry operator, the Tourist-Caronte group (T-C) active across the Strait of Messina, for predatory pricing. Interestingly, in this case the ICA did not apply the EU predatory test as set out in the AKZO case which incorporated the standards of (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority decides that the system of maximum discounts applied by a professional association contravenes the competition law (Modint)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Upholds Earlier Prohibition on Maximum Discounts in the Clothing Sector* The Nederland Competition Authority (NMa) has once again decided in a ruling on an administrative appeal that the system of maximum discounts applied by Vereniging Modint Ondernemersorganisatie voor mode en interieur (...)

The French Competition Council holds systematic discount prohibition in a selective distribution network as prohibited indirect resale price maintenance (Bausch & Lomb / Casino)
Terre Azur (Pomona Group)
Description of the impugned case Regarding to the facts, French competition Council showed that all pricing policy of distributors contrary to the price floor determined by the supplier, even on a short period, should be assimilated to a systematic discount prohibited by the supplier. Indeed, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority determines that an anti-peddling scheme applied in the painting branch contravenes the prohibition on cartels (Vereniging Belangen Behartiging Schildersbedrijf)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Prohibits Anti-Peddling Scheme in the Painting Branch* Today the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) determined that the anti-peddling scheme applied in the painting branch contravenes the prohibition on cartels and is therefore prohibited. In November 1998 NMa indicated in a provisional (...)

The Maltese Office of Fair Trading condemns the setting up of a joint-venture aiming to respond to calls for tenders with a unitary offer (Roads Group)
King’s College (London)
,
Superior Courts of Malta
If there is one activity, above all, that competition law should combat, it is the horizontal cartel: firms that should, in a market-based economy, compete with one another for business should not be able to cooperate with one another, for example by fixing prices, sharing markets and (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority issues report against price agreements on the petrol market that had exclusionary effects (Tango petrol stations / Texaco)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Draws up Report on Texaco Due to Thwarting of Tango in the Nijmegen Region* The Dutch Competition Authority (NMa), after conducting an investigation, has drawn up a report against Texaco. The report is the result Texaco’s thwarting of Tango, a newcomer to the Nijmegen region, by means of a (...)

The European Commission addresses the issue whether the cumulative network of agreements of an individual brewer falls within the scope of EC competition rules (Greene King/Roberts)
Competition Economists Group (CEG)
"Greene King / Roberts"* Mr and Mrs Roberts operate a pub owned by Greene King. They complained in May 1997 to the European Commission asking the Commission to conclude that the beer tie (the obligation to buy most beer they sell only from Greene King, their landlord-brewer) in their lease (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office exempts supply agreements with vertical restraint (Henkel Magyarország)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
,
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
In 1998, the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated an investigation against Henkel Magyarország Kft. (Henkel) in order to determine whether supply agreements for glues concluded between Henkel and various retailers in Hungary comply with the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements. The (...)

The European Commission rejects complaints concerning the ’old’ standard UK pub leases incorporating a discount scheme (Inntrepreneur)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"The “old” Inntrepreneur standard UK pub leases"* By Decisions of 5 March and 14 April 1998, the Commission has rejected the last two complaints concerning the “old” standard UK pub leases used by Inntrepreneur. The Commission rejected the complaints because there was no longer a Community (...)

The French Competition authority orders an opticians network to stop publishing prices “generally applied” within its exclusive distribution network (Krys)
PPG Industries (Rueil-Malmaison)
Description of the impugned case The present case deals with the commercial practices carried out by the optician Krys through its exclusive distribution network. Investigations have showed that Krys has led national promotion campaigns where prices were indicated has “generally applied” by the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three companies for prohibiting their distributors from deducting discounts from their resale price (Moulinex, Calor, Seb)
PPG Industries (Rueil-Malmaison)
Description of the impugned case In the present case, Moulinex, Calor and Seb had implemented the following commercial policy : discounts for trade cooperation are granted at the end of the year only i) if retailers have not infringed French prohibition on resale at a below-cost price and ii) (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an online platform service provider for excessive pricing (Sahibinden)
Boğaziçi University (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) fined Sahibinden.com (online platform service provider) approx. EUR 1,525,801 for excessive pricing. The TCA initiated two full-fledged investigations against Sahibinden.com back in 2017. Consequently, the TCA concluded on 1 October 2018 that (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority sends a statement of objection to a community council over possible excessive pricing on the market of water supply (Community Council of Kouklia)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nycosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition announces that it has notified a Statement of Objections to the Community Council of Kouklia regarding a prima facie infringement of Section 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014.* The Commission for the Protection of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an undertaking for excessive pricing in the market of waste disposal for hospitals and clinics in Corsica (Sanicorse)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Management of infectious medical waste generated by healthcare activities* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined the company Sanicorse for increasing abruptly, significantly, durably and in an unjustified manner the waste disposal prices it charged hospitals and clinics in Corsica. The (...)

The Russian Competition Authority reduces prices on 11 medicines of a dominant pharmaceutical company from the list of vital and essential medicines (AstraZeneca)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS reduced prices on 11 medicines of “Astrazeneca” from the list of vital and essential medicines* Prices for the medicines aimed at treating socially important diseases reduced on average 12 to 92% As a result of a constructive dialogue between FAS and “AstraZeneca” the maximum ex-works prices (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes a grain storage operator for exploitative abuse of dominance in the form of discriminatory tariffs (Cereale Cupcini)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 14 June 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) has found that grain storage operator Cereale Cupcini SA has abused its dominant position by imposing excessive and discriminatory tariffs for loading/unloading services at its storage facilities. The CC’ investigation has (...)

The Turkish Competition Board rejects exclusivity allegations against a packaged chips producer (Frito Lay)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Frito Lay decision, dated 12.06.2018 and numbered 18-19/329-163. The Board has recently published its reasoned decision regarding the preliminary investigation that was launched against Frito Lay Gıda San. Tic. A.Ş. (“Frito Lay”) (...)

The Mexican First Collegiate Circuit Tribunal on Administrative Matters confirms the decision of the Competition Authority in a case of abuse of dominance by an airport but orders a new calculation of the fine (Mexico City International Airport)
Agon (Mexico)
The First Collegiate Circuit Tribunal on Administrative Matters, specialized in economic competition, broadcasting and telecommunications (the ’Tribunal’), confirmed the decision of the plenary session of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (’Cofece’) on case file DE-015-2013 in the sense (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal announces its provisional judgment in an appeal against the CMA’s infringement decision in an excessive price case (Pfizer / Flynn)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
I. Introduction In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for antitrust watchdogs around the world to investigate excessive pricing, especially in the phar- maceutical sector. Last year, the European Commission opened its first investigation into excessive pricing in the (...)

The German Competition Authority considers that an abuse of dominance investigation is not justified in a case where a dominant airline company significantly increased prices on certain routes where it had a monopoly (Lufthansa)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Lufthansa tickets 25-30 per cent more expensive after Air Berlin insolvency – "Price increase does not justify initiation of abuse proceeding"* After the insolvency of Air Berlin, Lufthansa held a monopoly position for a few months on some German domestic routes. After receiving numerous (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds that a dominant telecommunication company did not abuse its dominance through predatory pricing (VIPnet)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
VIPnet – no abuse of dominant position* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) found that VIPnet did not abuse a dominant position in the access to public telephone network at a fixed location for residential and/or non-residential customers, retail fixed broadband access and Pay television in (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments to settle investigation into conduct affecting Central and Eastern European gas markets (Gazprom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2018, the Commission adopted a decision accepting a number of commitments from Gazprom to address the Commission’s competition concerns regarding conduct by Gazprom that allegedly restricted the free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets. The (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by a diversified textiles manufacturer in the market for Viscose Staple Fibre (Grasim Industries)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI directs investigation against Grasim Industries Ltd. (‘Grasim’) for abuse of dominant position* The CCI vide an order dated May 16, 2018 directed investigation against Grasim for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market for the sale of Viscose Staple Fibre in India. The (...)

The President of the Brussels Commercial Court rules that a collecting society abuses its dominant position through its pricing practice (SABAM)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
,
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
Since 2017 , SABAM increased its tariffs for concerts and music festivals to 17% for average-sized festivals and 37% for large festivals, with the pricing for small festivals remaining the same. As a result, several festivals and the federation of Flemish music festivals sued SABAM. The (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a local development authority for abuse of dominance in the market for affordable housing (Satyendra Singh / Ghaziabad Development Authority)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty on Ghaziabad Development Authority (‘GDA’) for abuse of dominant position in Ghaziabad* By way of an order dated February 28, 2018, the CCI imposed penalty on GDA for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market of “provision of services for development and sale of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical company for abuse of dominance by charging unfair prices (CD Pharma)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
CD Pharma has abused its dominant position by increasing their price by 2,000 percent* On 31 January 2018, the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) ruled in a case concerning CD Pharma’s (a pharmaceutical distributor) abuse of dominant position by charging unfair prices for the drug Syntocinon. (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for abuse of dominance on the market for baseband chipsets for smartphones and tablets (Qualcomm)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 January 2018, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had imposed fines totalling € 997.439 million on chipset producer Qualcomm for abusing a dominant position contrary to Article 102 TFEU. While the public version of the decision has not yet been published, the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues a landmark decision addressing the issue of “Wedding Rebates” demanded by undertakings with relative market power (EDEKA)
University of Kiel
The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had to assess the outcome of price negotiations between a powerful German food retailer (Edeka) and some of its suppliers. Edeka had just taken over a no-frills competitor (“Plus”) with more than 2000 outlets and was in the process of rebranding these (...)

The German Supreme Court issues landmark ruling on unfair trading practices (EDEKA)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
The Situation: Market-dominant and powerful companies in Germany are subject to a number of rules that are significantly broader and stricter than the European Union’s, Article 102 AEUV, which prohibits the abuse of a dominant position. The Development: A recent decision by the German Supreme (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions telecom companies for two different abuses of dominance in the Italian market of SMS bulk (Telecom Italia / Vodafone)
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
On 13 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined Vodafone S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) and Telecom Italia S.p.A. (“Telecom”) for two different abuses of dominant position in the Italian market of SMS bulk, in breach of Article 102 TFUE. More specifically, the ICA has found two distinct (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines several telecom companies for margin squeeze (Telecom Italia / Vodafone)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined Telecom Italia S.p.A. (“TIM”) and Vodafone Italia S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) € 3.7 million and € 5.8 million respectively for abusing their dominant position on the market for wholesale bulk SMS services. The ICA considered that each mobile (...)

The UK Competition Authority accuses a pharmaceutical company to abuse of its dominant position (Concordia)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Drug company accused of abusing its position to overcharge the NHS* The CMA has provisionally found that Concordia abused its dominant position to overcharge the NHS by millions for an essential thyroid drug. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating how much the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominance in the single-wrapped ice cream market through rebates (Unilever)
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
On 6 December 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”, “Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”, “AGCM”) sanctioned Unilever Italia Mkt. Operations S.r.l. (“Unilever”) for an abuse of dominant position in the Italian ice cream sector in breach of Article 102 TFUE. After a two-years (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by state housing developer (Gurgaon Institutional Welfare Association / Haryana Urban Development Authority)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds a prima facie case of abuse of dominance against HUDA* The CCI vide its order dated October 31, 2017 found a prima facie case of abuse of dominant position by Haryana Urban Development Authority “HUDA” (Opposite Party). The informant, Gurgaon Institutional Welfare Association, is a (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the concept of unfair price under article 102 TFEU (AKKA / LAA)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
,
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
Welcome clarifications by the EU Court on the concept of excessive pricing* On the 14 September, the Court of Justice of the European Union provided detailed guidance on the concept of excessive pricing under Article 102 TFEU, in response to questions posed by the Latvian Supreme Court. In (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers a ruling on excessive pricing in a case involving a copyright management association (AKKA / LAA)
Boğaziçi University (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction The question of excessive pricing as an abusive practice has been notoriously complex and competition authorities refrain from interfering in such cases normally. One of the main reasons for non-intervention of the competition authorities in such cases is the difficulty in (...)

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

The EU Court of justice revisits forty years of case law on when a dominant company’s rebate scheme may be abusive (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (London)
In its ruling on the European Commission’s 500 page Intel decision, in a crisp 150 paragraphs, the EU Court of Justice (the Court) revisited forty years of jurisprudence on when a dominant company’s rebate scheme may be abusive. Though no final decision for Intel, the case marks a potentially (...)

The EU Court of Justice renders its judgment in a case regarding loyalty rebates granted by dominant companies (Intel)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
An alternative view on accuracy and administrability Introduction In its judgment in Intel of 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) rejected the notion that particular loyalty rebates granted by a dominant company are subject to a per se illegality standard of (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls a General Court ruling that upheld the fine imposed by the Commission for an abuse of dominance (Intel)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
What happened? The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") set aside a General Court ruling that had upheld a €1.06 billion fine imposed by the European Commission on Intel for abusing its dominant position in the market for x86 central processing units ("CPUs"). Background In its 2009 decision, (...)

The EU Court of Justice endorses an effects-based assessment of rebates (Intel)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
On 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU" or "Court") essentially held in Intel that the European Commission ("Commission") cannot consider rebates, and in particular loyalty rebates, as per se illegal. Rather, the Commission needs to show that a specific rebates (...)

Roundtable: The EU Court of Justice reverses the General Court’s decision in an abuse of dominance case against a big tech company in the market for processors and rules that rebates should be judged under rule of reason (Intel)
Compass Lexecon (Brussels)
,
The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Geneva)
,
Positive Competition (Brussels)
Roundtable Discussion on the ECJ ruling in Intel* On 6 September 2017, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued a landmark judgment where it set aside the judgment of the General Court (“GC”) in the highly debated Intel matter. This judgment is of particular significance because it provides (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes the 2014 judgment of the General Court that upheld a fine of €1.06 billion for an abuse of dominant position by implementing loyalty rebates based on exclusivity agreements (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On September 6, 2017 ,the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) quashed the 2014 judgment of the General Court (GC) that upheld a fine of €1.06 billion ($1.5 billion) on Intel Corporation Inc. (Intel) for abusing a dominant market position by implementing loyalty rebates based on (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues landmark judgment on legal treatment of fidelity rebates granted by dominant companies (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued its long-awaited judgment in the Intel case (Case C-413/14 P), setting aside the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment. The GC must now re-assess the legality of the Commission’s decision in light of the ECJ’s ruling. Intel was (...)

The EU Court of Justice modernizes abuse of dominance (Intel)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
(“CJEU”) set aside General Court’s 2014 Intel judgment, upholding a European Commission (the “Commission”) decision fining Intel €1.06 billion for abuse of dominance through exclusivity rebates . The CJEU held that the General Court had erred in failing to examine all of Intel’s arguments calling (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that a worldwide manufacturer of luxury sunglasses abused its dominant position by granting rebates and resorting to other exclusionary practices (Luxottica)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that the worldwide manufacturer of luxury sunglasses, Luxottica, abused its dominant position it held in the market for the wholesale of branded sunglasses by its rebate schemes which include (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against a company in the market for radio taxi services and holds that high market share does not by itself constitute dominance (Fast Track Call Cab / ANI Technologies - OLA Cabs)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case of alleged abuse of dominance by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (OLA)* The CCI vide order dated July 19, 2017 closed the case of alleged abuse of dominant position by OLA. The complaint against OLA was filed by Fast Track Call Cab Pvt. Ltd. and Meru Travel Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (...)

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

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against a company in the market for wireless telecommunications services and holds that financial strength does not by itself constitute dominance (Reliance Jio Infocomm)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegations of abuse of dominance against Reliance Jio* CCI vide its orders dated June 9, 2017 and June 15, 2017 closed allegations of abuse of dominant position against Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL). The Informant in the first case was Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) and the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears dominant mobile messaging service from abuse of dominance allegations (Fight for Transparency Society / WhatsApp)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of abuse of dominance against WhatsApp* CCI vide its recent order dated June 01, 2017 has closed an allegation of abuse of dominant position against popular message service WhatsApp. The complaint against WhatsApp was filed by an individual Vinod Kumar Gupta on behalf of (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority finds that the incumbent rail company abused its dominant position with two separate infringements (Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
In the Netherlands, the public transport by rail is organised in two ways. On the one hand, there is the main railway network, which mainly covers the intercity connections and is exploited by NS. On the other hand, there are the regional railway networks, which include slow train services. The (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority is to clarify the methods for determining whether the pricing is excessive (Sahibinden.com)
Boğaziçi University (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
I. Introduction Turkey, being under the obligation to harmonise its laws with the EU rules, naturally draws lessons from the European Commission’s practice and Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU)’s precedents. The recent judgement of the in AKKA/LAA case clarifying the methods for determining (...)

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

The Belgian Competition Authority fines the country’s largest yeast producer for resale price maintenance and abuse of dominance (Algist Bruggeman)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
I. The Parties Algist Bruggeman NV (‘Algist’) is the largest supplier of yeast products in Belgium. Algist markets itself as a producer of high quality yeast products with a corresponding price positioning. II. The Facts In January 2013, the BCA opened an ex officio investigation after an (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by a local development authority in the market for affordable housing (Satyendra Singh / Ghaziabad Development Authority)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI initiates investigation against Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA)* CCI by its order dated February 2, 2017 has initiated investigation against GDA for abuse of dominant position in relation to arbitrarily increasing price for sale of residential flats for economically weaker section in (...)

The Czech Competition Authority accepts commitments in a case on alleged abuse of dominance by an energy company applying a pricing formula included in a long-term supply agreement (ČEZ)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
The Czech Competition Authority ("CCA") accepted in a decision of 20 December 2016 commitments offered by ČEZ, a partly state-owned Czech energy company, due to an alleged abuse of dominant position on the market for purchasing of brown coal. While the CCA refrained from final findings regarding (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s decision for abuse of dominance against a coal company but cancels the fine due to the company already recently paying fine in a similar case (Sai Wardha Power / Coal India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds the order passed by CCI against Coal India Limited for abuse of dominance* COMPAT by its order dated December 09, 2016 has upheld the order of CCI whereby it held that Coal India Limited and Western Coalfields Limited were acting independently of the market forces and enjoy (...)

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

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

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) requests investigation into abuse of dominance by global taxi services company (Meru Travels Solutions / Uber India Systems)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT directs investigation against Uber India for Abuse of Dominance* COMPAT by its order dated December 7, 2016, has set aside the order dated February 10, 2016 of CCI closing the information filed against Uber India Systems Private Limited (“Uber”) for alleged abuse of dominant position and (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on price discrimination
OECD - Competition Division
In recent years the scope for near perfect price discrimination, particularly in the digital economy, appears to have grown. This raises a question over how those jurisdictions in which exploitative price discrimination is an offence will respond. In contrast, the risk of price discrimination (...)

Advocate General Wahl recommends that the EU Court of Justice grant an appeal against the judgement of the General Court, which had upheld a decision of the European Commission imposing a fine of € 1.06 billion for abuse of a dominant position (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 October 2016, Advocate General Wahl rendered his opinion on Intel’s appeal before the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) against the judgement of the General Court, which had upheld a decision of the European Commission of 13 May 2009 imposing a fine of € 1.06 billion for abuse (...)

EU Court of Justice Advocate General Wahl delivers his opinion in a case regarding rebates and calls for a new approach to Article 102 (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Call for a common-sense approach to Article 102 - Advocate General Wahl on Intel* If AG Kokott in Post Danmark II was a 102 hawk – ordoliberal-redux, fossilizing form over function, economics on the “too difficult pile” for authorities and courts – then AG Wahl firmly sets out his stall as the 102 (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of predatory pricing in the market for auto-rickshaw services (Vilakshan Kumar Yadav / ANI Technologies)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegation of predatory pricing against ANI Technologies Ltd. in New Delhi and NCR* The CCI has dismissed allegation of abuse of dominant position through predatory by Ola Cabs and Taxi For Sure operator ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The Information was filed by three individuals (...)

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

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against global telecom provider in the market for international roaming services (Vishwambhar Marutirao Doiphode / Vodafone India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against Vodafone* COMPAT by its order dated August 16, 2016 has upheld order of CCI whereby it declined to order an investigation into the allegations of abuse of dominance by Vodafone India for levying exorbitant charges for (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on fidelity rebates and competition
OECD - Competition Division
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * From the discussion at the hearing, the delegates’ and experts’ written submissions, several key points emerged: 1. Fidelity rebates or loyalty discount schemes are widely used and are often beneficial for consumers. Rebates based on quantity, and in some (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominance in the Hertzian broadcasting market (Itas Tim / TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
DTT broadcasting* The Autorité de la concurrence fines TDF 20.6 million Euros for abusive intervention with the municipalities aimed at hindering the establishment of its competitors. Besides, the Autorité has fined a loyalty rebate system encouraging TV channels to use TDF’s services for most (...)

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

The French Competition Authority imposes several interim measures on an energy provider suspected of abuse of dominance (Engie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence issues several urgent interim measures on Engie so that the price of some of its market offers to business customers reflects its costs.* In brief Last October, Direct Enrgie made a referral to the Autorité de la concurrence. In particular it reported that (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf rejects an appeal lodged by the German incumbent postal services operator, against a decision of the Federal Cartel Office in an abuse of dominance case (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 6 April 2016, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) rejected an appeal lodged by Deutsche Post AG (“DPAG”), Germany’s incumbent postal services operator, against a decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”). By decision of 2 July 2015, the FCO (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency accepts commitments proposed by an undertaking suspected to abuse of dominance in the newspapers market (Tisak)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Tisak reviews the commission rates in newspapers sales* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) accepted the committments of the undertaking Tisak with the view to eliminating possible anticompetitive effects in the commission sales of newspapers in the proceedings that has been carried out by (...)

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

The Turkish Competition Board concludes that a new turnover rebate system does not constitute an abuse of dominance in the fuel wholesale market (Tüpraş / Ader)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) TÜPRAŞ decision of 16.03.2016, No. 16-10/159-70. The Board reviewed the allegations of abuse put forward by Akaryakıt Ana Dağıtım Şirketleri Derneği (“ADER”) against Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.Ş. (“TÜPRAŞ”). TÜPRAŞ allegedly abused its (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s decision and clarifies requirements for interim injunction (Fast Track Call Cab / ANI Technologies - OLA Cabs)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT refuses interim relief to Fast Track Call Cabs in ongoing investigation against Ola for predatory pricing in radio taxi services in Bengaluru* COMPAT by its order dated March 9, 2016 has upheld the CCI order dated September 3, 2015 refusing to grant interim injunction against (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance against sea port and coal terminal (Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association / Chettinad International Coal Terminal / Kamarajar Port)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI to investigate the Chettinad International Coal Terminal Pvt. Ltd. and Kamarajar Port Ltd. for alleged abuse of dominance* CCI by its order dated January 4, 2016 has initiated an investigation against Kamarajar Port Ltd. (the erstwhile Ennore Port) and Chettinad International Coal Terminal (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines an association of pharmacists for abuse of dominance on the pharmacies’ commercial data market (ANF)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority fined ANF Group for abusing its dominant position* The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has imposed fines of € 10.340.000 on ANF (Associação Nacional das Farmácias) and three companies of the ANF Group (Farminveste – S.G.P.S., S.A., Farminveste – (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of predatory pricing in the market for taxi services due to lack of dominance (Meru Travel Solutions / Uber India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses case alleging predatory pricing against Uber India* CCI on December 22, 2015 ordered prima-facie closed the case for an alleged abuse of dominance under section 4 of the Act against taxi services provider, Uber. The case was filed by Meru Travel Solutions Private Ltd. (Meru) (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority concludes that a dominant company did not engage in predatory conduct and therefore did not abuse of its dominance in the postal services market (Hrvatska pošta)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Hrvatska pošta was not engaged in predatory conduct and therefore did not abuse its dominant position* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) found that Hrvatska pošta (HP) did not distort competition in the provision of postal services concerning items of correspondence (so called universal (...)

The EU Commission sends two statements of objections to a mobile technology company on exclusivity payments and predatory pricing (Qualcomm)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends two Statements of Objections on exclusivity payments and predatory pricing to Qualcomm* The Commission informed Qualcomm of its preliminary conclusions that the company may have illegally paid a major customer for exclusively using its chipsets and sold chipsets (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that “wedding-rebates” requested by a food retailer from its suppliers are not abusive (EDEKA)
Commeo (Frankfurt)
In its judgement of 18 November 2015, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (“the Court”) quashed a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) which stated that German food retailer EDEKA abused its dominant position by requesting preferential purchase conditions and bonus payments from sparkling (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by syringe manufacturer and group of hospitals (Vivek Sharma / Becton Dickinson India / Max Super Speciality Hospital)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI initiates investigation against Max Super Specialty Hospitals for alleged abuse of dominance* The CCI in its order dated November 17, 2015, has directed the Director General (DG) to conduct an investigation against Max Super Specialty Hospital (“Max”) and M/s Becton Dickinson India (P) Ltd. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against international airport in the market for office space rentals (AOC Airline Operators Committee / DIAL Delhi International Airport)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL)* CCI by its order dated November 17, 2015 dismissed a case against DIAL for alleged abuse of its dominant position by charging high rentals for office space from some of the airlines. The (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice rules on retroactive loyalty rebates (Post Danmark II)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On October 6, 2015, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) issued an important judgment clarifying the application of Article 102 to retroactive loyalty rebates (Post Danmark AS, Case C 23/14). The case, which had been referred to the ECJ by the Danish Commercial Court, concerned rebates for (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on whether a retroactive loyalty rebates scheme is liable to have an exclusionary effect (Post Danmark II)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
The EU Court of Justice has handed down its much-awaited preliminary ruling in Post Danmark II . This ruling marks an ‘evolution’ rather than a ‘revolution’ in the assessment of rebates under Article 102 TFEU. While regrettably unclear in certain passages, some aspects of the Court of Justice’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on retroactive loyalty rebates and offer clarity(Post Danmark II)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The first Post Danmark case in 2012 brought about a modest antitrust revolution on Article 102 applicable to discrimination. Rarefied economic concepts were confirmed. Price discrimination as a standalone abuse was all but confined to a historical footnote in antitrust textbooks, to be (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms “safe harbour” for volume rebates but creates new challenges (Post Danmark II)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
Rethinking Rebates Policy Under EU Competition Law* On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in a case concerning rebates and when they fall foul of EU competition law. Background The case concerns Post Danmark and, unlike appeals against European Commission Decisions, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines two undertakings for creating and operating a rebate system to the detriment of their online retailers of contact lenses and care products (Alcon Hungária)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH stepped up against the restriction of the online distribution of contact lenses and care products* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) established in its decision that by creating and operating a rebate system to the detriment of the online retailers of CIBA contact lenses and (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts commitments closing mobile operators’ price investigation (Orange Romania)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
The Romanian Competition Authority’s investigation started in 2011, in the context in which the four large mobile operators in Romania - Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania, Romania Telekom Mobile Communications and RCS & RDS - were charging different tariffs for the service of call termination (...)

The Indian Competition Authority closes investigation into abuse of dominance by the national railway company and associated catering and hospitality company, clears both defendants (Indian Railways / IRCTC)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Ministry of Railways for alleged abuse of dominance* The CCI by its order dated August 10, 2015 has closed a case alleging abuse of dominance by IRCTC along with Ministry of Railways. The Informants had alleged (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines two companies for operating a discriminatory rebate system in the market for contact lenses and care products (ALCON)
European Commission
Rebate system on the online distribution of contact lenses and care products* In 6 August 2015, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 51 356 000 (EUR 165 670) on the Hungarian Branch of Alcon Services AG (CIBA/Alcon) and a fine of HUF 52 343 000 (EUR 168 850) on Alcon (...)

The Court of Appeal of the State of California holds that cross subsidization through below cost discounts for the purpose of maximized profits of the core business does not violate Californian unfair practices Act (Dixon Gas / Safeway)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Cross Subsidization For Purpose Of Enhanced Grocery Sales Through Alleged Below Cost Gasoline Discounts Found Not To Violate California Unfair Practices Act* Injury to competing retail fuel stations is non-actionable where market conditions demonstrate that an “incipient antitrust violation” is (...)

The EU Commission announces two investigations against a chipmaker company for predatory pricing and rebates (Qualcomm)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Doubles Down On Antitrust Investigations Against Giant U.S. Chipmaker Qualcomm* The European Commission (“EC”) announced yesterday it has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behavior by the U.S. technology company Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority warns a public forecast about increased gasoline prices (Kortes)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS issued a warning for a public forecast about increased gasoline prices* On 10 July 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) sent a warning to Deputy Head of the Department of Market Analysis and Survey, “Kortes” IATs” OJSC. The grounds were a public statement by Deputy Head of the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a cellulose producer suspected to have fixed high prices (Arkhangelsk TsBK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed elements of violations on the cellulose market* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) opened a case against “Arkhangelsk TsBK” OJSC upon signs of fixing monopolistically high prices for cellulose from conifer wood (Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of (...)

The Spanish High Court issues landmark judgment on the need to establish foreclosure effects of a margin squeeze (Correos)
Linklaters (Madrid)
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Linklaters (Madrid)
1 Introduction On 21 January 2014, the Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) imposed a fine of €8,170,000 on the Spanish postal service incumbent Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos, S.A. (“Correos) for allegedly abusing its dominant position on the wholesale market for postal (...)

The Indian Competition Authority exonerates global computer manufacturer from allegations of abuse of dominance in the market for x86 servers (Surana and Surana / Dell India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI exonerates Dell India Pvt. Ltd against allegations of abuse of dominant position* CCI by its order dated 10 June 2015 dismissed from allegations of involvement in anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominant position against Dell India Pvt. Ltd (DIPL). The case was filed by M/s Surana (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority issues a show cause notice concerning a suspected abuse of dominance in the markets for produced infant formula and follow-on milk and for domestically-produced packaged cereal-based baby product (Nestlé)
Competition Commission of Pakistan (Islamabad)
CCP takes notice of unreasonable increase in prices of lactogen and cerelac, issues show cause notice to leading food company* he Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to Nestlé Pakistan Limited for alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2010 (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from an owner of mobile operators pylons limiting the duration of new hosting contracts to 10 years (TDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence obtains from TDF an improvement of the hosting contracts binding it to the mobile operators that use its pylons* In the scope of proceedings initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence by FPS Towers (hereinafter FPS), TDF commits to limiting the duration of new (...)

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

ECJ Advocate General Kokott deals another blow to economic assessment of rebates (Post Danmark II)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Advocate general deals another blow to economic assessment of rebates* It is never a good sign when an advocate general’s opinion warns the European Court of Justice (ECJ) not to be swayed by “ephemeral trends” or the “Zeitgeist” of economic analysis, but instead to stick to the “legal foundations (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority closes its investigation against an electricity supplier after finding no infringement of the competition rules (Electrabel / Lampiris)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority closes its investigation regarding the incorporation by Electrabel of the opportunity cost of greenhouse gas emission allowances it had received free of charge in its wholesale price for electricity.* In a complaint (...)

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

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit holds that a rebate program requiring exclusivity from distributors was an unlawful maintenance of monopoly power (McWane)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
Eleventh Circuit Affirms FTC Finding that Rebate Program Served to Unlawfully Maintain Monopoly Power* The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a Federal Trade Commission finding that a manufacturer’s rebate program requiring exclusivity from its distributors was an unlawful maintenance of (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the sixth circuit applies cost screen to tying by differential pricing (Collins Inkjet / Eastman Kodak)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Sixth Circuit Applies Cost Screen to Tying by Differential Pricing* In Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., No. 14-3306 (6th Cir. March 16, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that differential pricing – charging more for one product when the customer does not also (...)

A US Court of Appeals formulates a more rigorous analytical framework to separate anticompetitive price bundles from bundles that simply indicate vigorous competition (Collins Inkjet / Eastman Kodak)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Fit to Be Tied: Appeals Court Redefines Tying Arrangements Based on Bundled Pricing* Corporate antitrust compliance programs often spotlight the dangers of tying arrangements. Those risks arise when a seller with a dominant position in one product coerces its customers by offering that (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau takes car rental companies to court for misinformation and unattainable advertised prices (Avis, Budget)
Affleck Greene McMurtry (Toronto)
Why Car Rentals Cost More Than Advertised: Avis and Budget Taken To Task By Competition Bureau* Canada’s Competition Bureau is accusing Avis and Budget of misleading consumers into thinking their rental car prices are lower than they actually are. The Bureau claims that prices are much higher (...)

The Hague district court dismisses excessive pricing claim against former legal monopolist publisher (Stichting SDU Gedupeerden / SDU Uitgevers)
Van Iersel Luchtman (Den Bosch)
On 4 March 2015, the The Hague district court ruled on an excessive pricing claim brought against SDU, a former legal monopolist and a publisher of government and company information . Applying the United Brands test, the district court finds that neither the price-cost limb nor the price (...)

The CJEU allows a specific discount strategy with exclusionary effect under EU postal liberalisation rules (Bpost)
University of Bristol - Law School
Marketing and the perfect crime? CJEU engages in a strange discussion of operational vs commercial discounts and issues ruling against mail consolidators (C-340/13, bpost)* In its Judgment in bpost, C-340/13, EU:C:2015:77, the CJEU has ruled that a discount system that offers reduced postal (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that a cement producer in Crimea has abused of its dominance (Stroiindoustria)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
A cement producer in Crimea unreasonably increased prices* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (Crimea OFAS) found that “Stroiindoustria” Bakhchisarai Works” Shareholding Company violated the antimonopoly law in the part of abusing dominance (Clause 1 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “In (...)

The Indian Competition Commission initiates investigations in relation to resale price maintenance in the e-commerce and automobile sectors (Jasper / KAFF, FX Enterprise / Hyundai)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India Initiates Investigation in relation to Resale Price Maintenance –impact on business operations* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recently launched investigations in relation to RPM in two sectors: the e-commerce sector (Jasper Infotech Private (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority intervenes in the municipal waste management company’s competition compromising practice (Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto)
Merilampi Attorneys (Helsinki)
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) issued a decision on 16th December 2014 concerning abuse of dominant position and competition neutrality. It is noteworthy that this is only the second time that the FCCA has issued a decision concerning competition neutrality. Pirkanmaan (...)

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

The Russian Competition Authority issues its decision sanctioning an undertaking having fixed retail prices for gasoline at refueling stations in the Kamchatka region (Kamchatnefteproduct)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS terminated a case against “Kamchatnefteproduct”* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a decision on the case against “Kamchatnefteproduct” OJSC. On 17th April 2014, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Kamchatka region (Kamchatka OFAS Russia) opened (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council fines the incumbent telecom operator for abuse of dominance (Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications)
European Commission
Competition Council Fines Incumbent Telecom Operator for Abuse of Dominant Position in Telecommunication Services Sector* On 13 November 2014, Luxembourg’s competition authority fined the Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications (EPT), the parent company of Post Telecom, the incumbent telecom (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces the fine imposed by the competition authority on the national railway (SNCF)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
In its decision no. 12-D-25 of 18 December 2012, the Autorité de la Concurrence (the French competition authority - "FCA") fined the French national railway SNCF nearly EUR 61 million for 5 counts of abusive practices in the railway freight sector and ordered the company to cease the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority publishes an enforcement decision concerning state postal services provider (An post)
European Commission
Competition Authority Publishes Enforcement Decision concerning State Postal Services Provider* On 30 October 2014, the Competition Authority (Authority) published an Enforcement Decision following an investigation into how An Post - the State postal service provider - applied its Zonal (...)

The European Commission hits telecoms with fines of 70 millions euros for abusing the Slovak broadband market (Slovak Telecom)
Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Hits Telecoms With Fines Of 70 Million Euros For Abusing Slovak Broadband Market* Co-written by Yulia Tosheva. The European Commission has signalled that it is not dialing down its scrutiny of the telecommunications sector by imposing fines totalling 70 million euros on (...)

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

The Regional Court in Brno confirms the Czech NCA’s decision having imposed penalty for predatory pricing in bus passenger transport
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 September 2014, the Regional Court in Brno confirmed findings of the Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) regarding predatory pricing by Student Agency (a leading bus transport company) and rejected judicial review claim lodged by the said company. The Regional Court in Brno so (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning against an undertaking having increased the prices on the cooled salmon market (Russian Sea)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Russian Sea” received a warning from FAS* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) issued a warning to “Russian Sea” after some mass media had published information about a sharp increase of ex-work price for cooled salmon. On 12th August 2014, the Head of FAS Department for Control over (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds that the relevant product market determined in case of abuse of dominance shall remain broader than in case of merger (National Stock Exchange of India)
Eastern Book Company
India – Competition Appellate Tribunal on determination of relevant product market* In its order passed on 5th August, 2014 the Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upheld the decision given by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) holding the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominant position by state electricity distributor (Vidharbha Industries Association / MSEB Holding Co. Limited & Ors)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI orders investigation against MSEDCL for market abuse* Pursuant to an information filed by Vidharbha Industries Association (VIA), CCI has directed DG to conduct an investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL). CCI (...)

The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency fines a broadcasting and internet media company in abuse case (Pro Plus))
European Commission
Slovenia: The Competition Protection Agency fines Media Company PRO PLUS in Abuse Case* On 21 July 2014, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (CPA) imposed a fine of nearly € 5 000 000 on PRO PLUS, a leading broadcasting and internet media company in Slovenia, for having abused its (...)

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

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes fines on an electricity provider for having abused of its dominance in the market of the electricity production, wholesale and trade (Electrabel)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Press Release published on the official website of the Belgian Competition Authority . Decision of the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority holding an infringement of the prohibition of abuse of a dominant position by Electrabel* The Competition College of the Belgian (...)

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

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority having sanctioned an undertaking for market monopolization (Cheboksary Authority)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Arbitration Court supported FAS decision with regard to Cheboksary Authority* On 15th July 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed a claim of Cheboksary Authority to invalidate FAS decision and determination on a case on violating the antimonopoly law. On 6th March 2014, FAS found that (...)

A US District Court dismisses a federal antitrust claim brought against automobile manufacturer by a franchise car dealer for failing to prove facts concerning an alleged tying between the rental agreement and the volume of cars sold (Matthew Enterprise / Chrysler Group)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Northern District of California Addresses Functional Discounts, Price Discrimination Claims* In Mathew Enterprise, Inc. v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95522 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2014) (Freeman, J.), the court dismissed certain Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination claims and (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a car manufaturer to allow a former concessionaire to continue trading as an independent repairer (BMW)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
On 11 July 2014, the Belgian Competition Authority adopted interim measures under the new interim measures procedure for the first time. The measures order BMW to take the necessary steps to allow a former BMW and MINI concessionaire to continue its business as an independent repairer. Under (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on oil provider having unreasonably increased retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in Sochi (Lukoil)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Lukoil” subsidiary lost a claim after increasing prices* “Lukoil-Yugnefteproduct” shall pay over 14 million RUB for unreasonably increasing gasoline prices in Sochi. On 7th August 2014, Arbitration Court confirmed reasonableness of a determination issued by the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly (...)

The German Competition Authority decides that the wedding rebates constituted benefits without any objective justification resulting in abuse of dominance on the food retail market (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes decision of principle in food retail case - EDEKA’s demands on suppliers were abusive The Bundeskartellamt has issued a decision stating that the demands made by EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG on suppliers after its takeover of the Plus stores in 2009 ("wedding rebates") (...)

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

The Finnish Market Court rejects the appeal and imposes the fines proposed by the FCCA for abuse of dominant position in the production and wholesale market of fresh milk (Valio)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA satisfied with Market Court ruling on Valio By a decision issued on 26 June, the Market Court rejected Valio’s appeal and imposed on the company a €70m fine proposed by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) for abuse of dominant position in the production and wholesale (...)

The EU General Court upholds Commission’s decision imposing a fine on a manufacturer for restricting competition and foreclosing competitors by granting exclusivity rebates in the market for computer processors (Intel)
DG COMP (Brussels)
The views expressed in this memo are those of the author’s, and do not reflect the opinions of other CRA experts, or CRA’s clients. A test-case for the effects-based approach In a long-awaited ruling, General Court judgment has confirmed the Commission’s 2009 Intel décision. The Commission’s (...)

The EU General Court upholds the EU Commission’s record fine and states that exclusivity-inducing rebates are anticompetitive by default (Intel)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Intel and the future of Article 102* A test-case for the effects-based approach In a long-awaited ruling, last week’s General Court judgment has confirmed the Commission’s 2009 Intel decision. The Commission’s decision had found the chip producer to infringe competition rules by granting (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission decision in consideration of two exclusionary practices on the market for supply of CPUs, opening the door to a further appeal to the CJEU and to a possible application before the ECtHR (Intel)
University of Bristol - Law School
Could Intel challenge its 1bn Euro fine on grounds of ’corporate human rights’* After last week’s General Court Judgment in Intel v Commission, T-286/09, EU:T:2014:475, the 2 month period for Intel to appeal the confirmation of its 1bn Euro fine before the Court of Justice of the EU on points of (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision finding that it had correctly demonstrated the anti-competitive nature of the exclusivity rebates granted by global manufacturer of computer processors (Intel)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
General Court upholds the EU Commission’s decision against Intel* On 12 June 2014 the General Court published its decision in the Intel case thereby upholding the Commission’s 2009 decision finding that Intel had abused its dominant position and imposed a fine of EUR 1.06 billion. On 13 May (...)