Utilities & Cartels

Anticompetitive practices

The Indian Competition Authority grants penalty reductions to 4 out of 6 members of a cartel guilty of bid rigging public tenders for setting up solid waste processing plants (Nagrik Chetna Manch / Fortified Security Solutions)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI passes its third leniency decision* The CCI by way of an order dated May 1, 2018 has issued its third leniency order in the case of Nagrik Chetna Manch v. Fortified Security Solutions and Ors. (Case 50 of 2015) in which it granted reduction in penalty to four out of the six leniency (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines an association of passenger carriers for bid rigging (ØFP)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council finds that a decision by an association of passenger carriers on coordinating the association’s bids is illegal* On February 28, 2018, The Danish Competition Council (DCC) has found that, the association of passenger carriers Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport (...)

The EU Commission fines two maritime car carriers and four car parts suppliers EUR 546 million in three separate cartel settlements (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Four maritime car carriers, two suppliers of spark plugs and two suppliers of braking systems have been fined EUR 395 million, EUR 76 million and EUR 75 million respectively, in the framework of three separate cartel settlement decisions adopted by the European Commission. With regard to the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines companies selling equipment for electricity measurement for cartel (ARC BRAŞOV)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
1) The Competition Council sanctioned with €1.1 million 3 companies selling equipment for electricity measurement* The Competition Council sanctioned with fines totalling lei 4,947,086.23 (about Euros 1.1 million) three companies for the purpose of reaching an agreement in order to limit the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines six companies for bid-rigging in the market of electricity consumption equipment (ECRO)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council applied fines of 73 millioan lei to 6 companies for the bid-rigging in the field of electricity comsumption equipment* The Competition Council sanctioned with fines totaling 73,100,870.37 lei (about € 15.8 million) six companies for the conclusion of two anticompetitive (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens a proceeding for cartel in the market of supplying gas chromatographs (Chromatec)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed a cartel for supplying gas chromatographs* Actions of “Chromatec” and “Chromatec-Service Yoshkar-Ola” at an auction for the needs of the Federal Drug Control Service resulted in maintaining auction prices Having investigated an antimonopoly case, FAS found that “Chromatec” Special (...)

The Indian Competition Authority widens the scope of bid rigging and exonerates 9 suppliers of AC (air conditioning) packages from allegations of bid rigging despite instances of identical bids (Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory / AC package suppliers)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI exonerates 9 supplier from bid rigging in railway tenders * The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) vide its order dated November 28, 2017 has exonerated nine RDSO [Research Designs & Standards Organisation] approved suppliers (“Opposite Parties”), including four sister companies, of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines gas boilers and water heaters producer for vertical price fixing (Termet)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In its decision of 19 December 2016, the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, hereinafter referred to as the “OCCP President” or the “PCA”) fined Termet S.A. the amount of PLN 212,919.00 (approximately EUR 49,000.00) for imposing fixed resale prices (Resale (...)

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 publishes its reasoned decision on the investigation conducted against upon allegations of resale price fixing on the auto gas market (Aygaz)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Aygaz decision dated 16.11.2016 with No. 16-39/659-294. The Board assessed allegations that Aygaz and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mogaz A.Ş. (“Mogaz”), had engaged in resale price maintenance (“RPM”). Background The Board initiated (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections against two airlines concerning a potentially anticompetitive codeshare agreement (Brussels Airlines / TAP Portugal)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal on code-sharing on Brussels-Lisbon route* The European Commission has informed Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal of its preliminary view that their codeshare cooperation on passenger services between (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines companies specialized in water infrastructure development service for bid rigging (Sistēmas)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The Competition Council of Latvia Fines Three Companies for Collusive Bidding by Contractors* On 8 July 2016, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia has fined three companies – SIA CO Sistēmas, SIA SAN B, and SIA Talsu spriegums – for rigging a public tenders. Companies were found to coordinate (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court accepts passing-on defense in private enforcement litigation (TenneT/ Gas-insulated Switchgear)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 July 2016, the Dutch Supreme Court (“the Court”) handed down a judgment upholding the availability of the passing-on defense in private enforcement litigation. The ruling resulted from a civil claim for damages brought by the electricity company TenneT against the gas-insulated switchgear (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation confirms irrevocably the infringement of the competition law by a manufacturer of oil and gas by a participation in a cartel (OMV Petrom)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has irrevocably won the trial with OMV PETROM Marketing* The High Court of Cassation and Justice confirmed irrevocably the infringement of the Competition Law by OMV PETROM MARKETING (at the date of infringement called OMV) by participation in a cartel besides other (...)

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

The Romanian Competition Authority fines several electricity suppliers for anticompetitive agreements on the electricity producing and trading markets (Hidroelectrica)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned Hidroelectrica SA and its 10 contractual partners with fines amounting 165,843,604 lei* The Competition Council has sanctioned Hidroelectrica SA and its 10 contractual partners, mainly electricity traders, with fines amounting 165,843,604 lei (approx. (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into the metering and billing of heating and water costs
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Sector Inquiry into Submetering of Heating and Water Costs* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into the metering and billing of heating and water costs. Submetering services cover the consumption-based metering and billing of heating and water costs in buildings as well as the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority pursues its investigation concerning a vertical agreement in the electrical equipment market (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS continues holding dealers of “Argus-Spektr” CJSC administratively liable* The Federal Antimonopoly Service continues administrative proceedings upon the fact of concluding prohibited “vertical” agreements between “Argus-Spektr” CJSC and its dealers. As of today, 40 dealers are held liable, the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines once again an electricity provider for failure to submit information (Vostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Vostok” Ltd. is fined again for failure to submit information* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) imposed an administrative fine upon the General Director of “Vostok” Ltd. (Kyzyl, the Republic of Tyva) for failure to submit information to the federal antimonopoly body (breaching Part 5 (...)

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 Pakistan Competition Authority issues an opinion concerning public procurement of electric power equipment
Competition Commission of Pakistan (Islamabad)
CCP issues opinion to address competition concerns in public procurement of electric power equipment* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued an Opinion under Section 29 of the Competition Act, 2010 containing its recommendations in the matter of procurement of electrical (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines several undertakings for their participation to a cartel in the market of depuration of muds from sewage waters (Gare Gestioni Fanghi)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a decision made on 3 February 2015 in the case I765, Gare Gestioni Fanghi, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has found Alan, Azienda Agricola Allievi, CRE, Ecotrass and Evergreen Italia to have infringed Article 2 of the Italian Competition Act n. 287/90, corresponding to (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes 9 million EUR fines for anticompetitive clauses in distribution contracts in gas bottle market under Art. 101 TFEU and national equivalent (Gas bottle market)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
On 3 February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced that it had imposed fines of 9.29 million EUR on the Galp Energia group for anticompetitive practices in the gas bottle market in Portugal. According to the PCA, Galp and its subsidiaries included in the large majority of (...)

The Romanian Competition Council imposes fines on four undertakings for bid-rigging in the oil and gas drilling works market (Dafora, Foraj and Upetrom 1 Mai)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has sanctioned four companies for rigging the auctions organized by ROMGAZ* The Competition Council has sanctioned with fines totalling 12,968,298 lei (approximately EUR 2.89million) four companies for rigging the auctions organized by SNGN ROMGAZ S.A. The sanctioned (...)

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 Romanian Competition Council fines four undertakings for bid ridding in natural gas pipelines sector (Condmag, Inspet, TMUCB, Moldocor)
Peli Filip (Bucharest)
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Peli Filip (Bucharest)
On 14 November 2012, the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) issued Decisions n° 71 and 72/14.11.2012 sanctioning four undertakings active in the sector of construction of utility projects. The companies were held having performed anti-competitive practices in two public procurement (...)

The Canadian Competition Commissioner settles for $5 millions with a water heater company implementing anti-competitive return policies (Reliance)
TSMC (San Francisco)
Reliance scalded by $5 million penalty* Hot water heater rental supplier Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership has agreed to pay a $5 million fine and to change policies that made it difficult for customers to switch to a competitor, in a settlement reached with the Commissioner of Competition (...)

The Polish Competition Authority monitors implementation of commitments by an oil and gas exploration and production company to modify contractual relations with customers (PGNiG)
European Commission
UOKiK Monitors Implementation of Commitments by PGNiG to Modify Contractual Relations with Customers* On 17 October 2014, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) initiated proceedings to determine whether Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Poland’s largest oil and (...)

The Romanian Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation upholds Authority’s decision on bid rigging in gas sector (Moldocor / T.M.U.C.B.)
European Commission
Romania: The Romanian Courts uphold Authority’s Decision on Bid Rigging in Gas Sector* In a ruling of June 2014, the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (SCJC) confirmed a 2012 decision of the Romanian Competition Council which found that S.C. Moldocor S.A. (Moldocor) had rigged bids in (...)

The Danish Competition Council establishes restriction of competition by coordinating tenders regarding winter road maintenance in the municipality of Skive Kommune (Skive Kommune / Skive og Omegns Vognmandsforening)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of undertakings has coordinated tenders illegally* On 30 April 2014 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Skive og Omegns Vognmandsforening, an association of undertakings, has restricted competition by coordinating tenders regarding winter road maintenance in the (...)

The US DoJ announces that a former prime contractor manager has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison in an ongoing bid-rigging, fraud and kickback case (McDonald)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
U.S. DoJ Announces Record 14 Year Prison Sentence in Bid-Rigging Case* In what can only be described as a somewhat sobering announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced earlier today that a former prime contractor manager has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison in an (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Czech Republic refuses to allow judicial review of a dawn raid (Schneider Electric)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 13 February 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected cassation complaint lodged by Schneider Electric CZ against the judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which rejected a claim that had been submitted previously against the allegedly unlawful dawn raid that had took place at (...)

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 UK OFT brings criminal charges against ex-manager following an investigation into suspected cartel conduct in respect of the supply of galvanised steel tanks for water storage (Peter Nigel Snee)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Can the OFT Succeed in its Latest Attempt at Bringing Criminal Charges Against an Individual for Cartel Conduct?* The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has charged Peter Nigel Snee under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002. It is alleged that he ‘dishonestly agreed with others’ to fix prices, (...)

The AG Kokott of the EU Cout of Justice states that the law of the EU precludes domestic legislation which categorically excludes any civil liability of undertakings belonging to a cartel for umbrella damages (KONE)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Advocate General Kokott stated that the law of the European Union precludes the interpretation and application of domestic legislation enacted by a Member State which categorically excludes any civil liability of undertakings belonging to a cartel for loss resulting from the fact that an (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeals brought against the GIS cartel case (Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
ECJ dismisses appeals by Siemens, Toshiba and Mitsubishi in gas insulated switchgear cartel case* On 19 December 2013, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment dismissing appeals by Siemens AG, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. against earlier judgments of the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils to enable them to jointly tender for waste collection services, and recyclables and organic waste processing services (New South Wales)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW for joint tender for waste services* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to eight regional councils in NSW to enable them to jointly tender (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority declares that a deal over closing down coal power plant is harmful for the consumer
University of Groningen
Sustainable Competition law; Competition Law Kills Coal Closure Plan, Or Does It?* This post concerns a bit of a Dutch thing, namely the ‘position’ of the Dutch National Competition Authority ACM on an agreement by electricity producers active on the Dutch market, but it is interesting more (...)

The German Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat reaches compromise on the long-awaited 8th reform of the German act against restraints of competition
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Reform of the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB): Federal Cartel Office to Loose Price Control of Public Law Utility Fees* The Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat today reached a compromise on the long-awaited 8th reform of the German Act against Restraints of (...)

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

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf imposes fines on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (Drachen-Propangas / Propan Rheingas / Westfalen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases fines against liquefied gas cartel* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed fines of 244 million euros on five members of the liquefied gas cartel or their successor companies (ref. VI-4 Kart 2-6/10 OWi). The companies involved are (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission imposes record fines on independent power producers for collectively refusing to adjust the rate for wholesale electricity (Gong-Chu-Tzyh)
Chung Yuan Christian University (Taiwan)
Introduction On March 15, 2013, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (“TFTC”) imposed a record fine of $213.08 million (NT$6.32 billion) on nine independent power producers (“IPPs”) for collusion after the breakdown of several price renegotiations between the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) and the (...)

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

The East Netherlands District Court establishes liability for damages in follow-on gas insulated switchgear case (Tennet TSO / ABB)
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
Introduction The Dutch District Court Oost-Nederland ruled on the liability for damages in a Dutch follow-on case sought after the European Commission established a cartel infringement in its ‘gas insulated switchgear’ Decision. In its ruling the District Court also considered the applicability (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues a precedent on antitrust assessment of bidding consortia (ASTWA / MPO)
Dentons (Warsaw)
In 2008 the UOKiK Chairperson received a complaint regarding alleged tendering collusion between Przedsiębiorstwo Usługowo – Asenizacyjne ASTWA sp. z o.o. (“ASTWA”) and MPO sp. z o.o. (“MPO”) in respect of a tender organized by Zarząd Mienia Komunalnego in Białystok (“ZMK”) and decided to initiate (...)

The Polish Competition Authority considers that a consortium agreement between businesses that could make an offer independently constitutes an infringement of competition law (Management of Municipal Property in Bialystok)
KKLW (Warsaw)
Members of consortia competing in public tenders are often not even aware of the risk of breaching the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection, and the potential (serious) consequences. The to-date position of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) related to consortia (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines two companies for bid rigging practices in the context of a gas transport pipeline tender procedure (T.M.U.C.B.)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council ("RCC") published in February 2013 a decision ("RCC Decision") pursuant to an investigation concerning an alleged infringement of art. 5 of Competition Law (mirroring the provisions of art. 101 TFEU) in the context of several public procurement (...)

The Romanian Competition Council sanctions bid rigging practices in the natural gas sector following information received from criminal authorities (Condmag / Inspet / Transgaz)
DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper Dinu SCA (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council ("RCC") issued in November 2012 a decision ("RCC Decision") pursuant to an investigation concerning alleged bid rigging practices during the tenders organized by Transgaz – the Romanian operator for the transportation of natural gas - and Romgaz – (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on bid rigging cartel in natural gas pipelines sector (Condmag / Inspet)
European Commission
The Romanian competition authority imposes fines on bid rigging cartel in natural gas pipelines sector* On 17 October 2012, the Romanian Competition Authority (RCC) found that four undertakings had taken part in bid rigging in the framework of two public procurement procedures organised by (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court reinstates a decision issued by the NCA concerning a market sharing agreement in water management sector, that had been previously annulled by the First Instance Administrative Court (Acea / Suez Environment)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
By judgement n. 5067 of 24 September 2012, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) upheld an appeal by the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, hereinafter “ICA”) and reinstated the ICA decision no. 17623 of 22 November 2007 (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholds the District Court judgment and holds for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions (Simon / KeySpan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Driven (Washington DC)
On September 20, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed KeySpan’s victory in Simon v. KeySpan, holding for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions. While the Court (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission institutes proceedings in Federal Court in Sydney against forklift gas supply cartel (Renegade Gas)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC court action alleges Sydney forklift gas supply cartel* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court in Sydney against Renegade Gas Pty Ltd (trading as Supagas NSW, a privately owned company) and Speed-E-Gas (NSW) Pty Ltd (a wholly (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority fines an electricity producer and a retailer in a resale price maintenance case (GEN Energija, GEN – I)
European Commission
Slovenia: Resale Price Maintenance in Electricity Market* On 14 August 2012, the Competition Protection Office of the Republic of Slovenia (CPO) issued a decision finding that Slovenia’s second largest electricity producer GEN Energija d.o.o. (GEN Energija) and the electricity retailer GEN – I (...)

The EU Commission fines producers of water management products € 13.7 M in sixth cartel settlement case (Flamco / Reflex / Pneumatex)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 June 2012, the European Commission announced that it had fined a number of producers of water management products a total of € 13.7 million for their involvement in an illegal price-fixing cartel in breach of Article 101 TFEU. In its Decision, the Commission found that three (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority fines three operators in the Southern Italian electric market for undertaking a concerted practice aimed at sharing the market for certain dispatch services (Repower Italy Dispatch Price)
Economisti Associati (Bologna)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
Three electricity generators active in the Southern Italian area - Repower Italia S.p.A., EGL Italia S.p.A. and Tirreno Power S.p.A. - have been sanctioned by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Italian Competition Authority - ICA) for undertaking a concerted practice in (...)

The English High Court rules in favour of partial disclosure of documents in an action for damages allegedly caused by the gas insulated switchgear cartel (National Grid Electricity)
Matrix Chambers (London)
National Grid – shining Pfleiderer’s light on access to EU leniency documents* A while ago I blogged on an important development in the General Court relating to the ability of victims of cartels and other anti-competitive practices to get their hands on relevant evidence enabling them to prove (...)

A Kazakh court fines national oil and gas operator a total of KZT 438,6 M for an anticompetitive agreement on exclusive supply of liquefied petroleum gas (JSC "National company" "KazMunayGas")
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
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Ernst & Young (Astana)
On the 14 March 2012, the Specialized Administrative Court of Pavlodar city fined JSC National Company “KazMunayGas” (hereinafter – KazMunayGas) a total of KZT 438,6 mn for entering into an anti-competitive agreement with JSC “Helios”on exclusive supply of liquefied petroleum gas. KazMunayGas is (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice rules on the division of competencies between the national and the supranational enforcers of competition law in relation to a worldwide cartel on the market for gas insulated switchgear (Toshiba)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Delimitation of jurisdiction in competition law* What happens to the allocation of respective competences of the Commission and national competition authorities if an international cartel is implemented both in the EU and the Czech Republic before accession to the EU but action is taken after (...)

The US DoJ obtains guilty plea by two Japanese suppliers of automotive electrical components imposing a $548 M fine for their involvement in price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the auto parts sales (Automotive component suppliers’ cartel)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Fines Mounting in Department of Justice Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry. Two more (...)

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 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 (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission fines a company group in the gas sector for hindering access to natural gas supply (Gas Natural Group)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 2 December 2009 the Investigation Direction of NCC opened a formal proceeding against Gas Natural due to possible anticompetitive practices consisting of hindering access to the natural gas supply market by refusing to process suppliers’ change requests made trough sound recordings. The (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Authority fines five main electricity companies in Spain and industry association for anticompetitive practices extending the application of the "Sham litigation" doctrine (E.On España / UNESA)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The Spanish CNC at the avant-garde of competition enforcement?* In a previous post that appeared on Chillin’Competition we referred to the Spanish Competition Authority’s decision sanctioning the main Spanish electricity companies with fines totaling some 61 million euros as a good illustration (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines the main electricity companies and sectoral association for price fixing and barriers to entry (E.On España / UNESA)
European Commission
"Spain: The National Competition Commission (CNC) fines the main Electricity Companies and Sectoral Association"* The CNC has on 13 May 2011 fined the main electricity companies in Spain, as well as the sectoral association, for having fixed prices and agreed on commercial terms and colluded (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismisses class action alleging electricity overcharges (Simon / Keyspan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
KeySpan Corporation secured a sweeping victory on March 22, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Shira Scheindlin’s broad decision granted with prejudice KeySpan’s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action claiming approximately $360 million in (...)

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

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlord’s opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee/ Associated British Ports)
Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (London)
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

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

The 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 (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines road transport forwarding agents cartel (Blue Water Shipping España / DHL Express Barcelona Spain / Deutsche Post...)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 5 August 2010, the Spanish Competition Authority has fined seven undertakings active as road transport forwarding agents for entering into a price-fixing cartel concerning cross-border road transport. The undertakings involved were Blue Water Shipping España, DHL (...)

The U.S. DOJ obtains disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust settlement with a power electricity undertaking in a market manipulation case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Alston & Bird (Washington DC)
Reaching the end of a three-year investigation, today the Department of Justice Antitrust Division asked a New York federal court to approve the DOJ’s settlement of claims that KeySpan violated the antitrust laws by manipulating the NYC wholesale electricity market. The DOJ claimed KeySpan (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority starts an investigation into the national consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging for alleged infringement of Art. 101 TFEU (COMIECO)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
On March 30th, 2010 the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, the ICA) opened a formal investigation into the activities and internal working of the “National Consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging (hereinafter, the Consortium or COMIECO), members of which (...)

The U.S. DOJ seeks new disgorgement remedy in civil antitrust case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Alston & Bird (Washington DC)
Until last week, the U.S. Department of Justice had not sought to obtain disgorgement as a remedy in a civil Sherman Act case. In the antitrust lawsuit and settlement filed on February 22 in U.S. v. KeySpan, the Antitrust Division asks that the court approve a settlement requiring the defendant (...)

The Irish High Court finds that four Dublin local authorities acted in breach of Irish competition law in proposing changes to how the domestic waste sector is regulated (Nurendale Limited - Panda Waste Services)
Venture Legal Services (Dublin)
In a ruling made on 21 December 2009 in the case of Nurendale Limited (trading as Panda Waste Services) v. Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council, the Irish High Court determined that the four Dublin local authorities (...)

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

The Irish Central Criminal Court acquits the directors of three waste disposal companies of breaching competition law by jointly tendering for the provision of local waste disposal services (DPP v. Hughes, Bourke, McGrath & Gleeson)
London School of Economics
The charges On 3 July 2009 the directors of three waste disposal companies and a former local government official, who were appearing before the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway, were acquitted by a jury of charges of breach of competition law. The four directors concerned were charged (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the decision of the energy regulator, which found that National Grid had abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of domestic-sized gas meters, including the ancillary service of meter maintenance (National Grid / Electricity Markets Authority)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
On 29 April 2009, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") upheld the February 2008 decision of the UK energy regulator OFGEM, which found that National Grid had abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of domestic-sized gas meters, including the ancillary service of meter (...)

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

The Budapest Court of Appeals rejects an appeal concerning a global cartel in the gas insulated switchgear market (Alstom / Siemens)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Budapest Court of Appeals has recently confirmed a judgment of the Budapest Metropolitan Court in a case brought by Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Österreich (Austria), Alstom Holding S.A. (France) and Siemens AG (Germany) concerning a global cartel in the gas insulated switchgear market. The (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms the approach taken by the Federal Cartel Office regarding long-term gas supply agreements (Gaslieferverträge)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The practice of long term gas supply agreements with purchase obligations of more than 80% within the German gas sector has been discussed and questioned over a long period of time, in particular in respect to a infringement of competition law. In 2006, the German Federal Cartel (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates the coordination of prices by three gas suppliers in violation of Art. 81 EC (Prezzo del GPL per riscaldamento regione Sardegna)
Codacons (Rome)
Following the notice about the cartel in relation to fixing the price of GPL gas, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), has decided to investigate the conducts of the three main Italian suppliers of gas. The ICA, was made aware that ButanGas, Eni and Liquigas (the three gas suppliers) were (...)

The Portuguese competition authority reassesses the practices of oil companies in Portugal (Report on the functioning of oil and gas markets)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority (“Autoridade da Concorrência”, hereinafter ‘ADC’), has presented in December 2008 a new Report on the functioning of the oil and gas markets in Portugal. This new analysis corresponds to a follow-up on the previous and controversial study produced by the ADC in (...)

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 Lazio Regional Administrative Court cancels the NCA’s decision fining € 11.3 M a market-sharing agreement in water services (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Luigi Prosperetti & Partners (Milan)
Background In November 2007, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) fined Acea for 8.3 million, and Suez Environment (SE) for 3 million for a market-sharing agreement in water services . The Italian NCA had consistently maintained that joint-ventures among competitors in bidding for public (...)

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

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

The Italian last instance Administrative Court annuls for lack of evidence the decision taken by the competition authority in one of the longest cartel cases ever held in Italy (Technical Gas)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its judgment delivered on 7 March 2008, the Italian last instance Administrative Court (“Consiglio di Stato -C.d.S.”) annulled the Italian Authority’s (“AGCM”) decision on the Technical Gas case, on the grounds of a serious lack of evidence of the alleged antitrust infringement. In its decision, (...)

A Scottish Court rules on non-compete obligation and post-term restriction in gas distribution contract (Calor Gas Limited)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2008, a Scottish Court issued a ruling concerning certain allegedly anti-competitive clauses contained in a contract concluded between Calor Gas Limited (“Calor”), a supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”), and its distributors of cylinder LPG. This judgment focused its analysis (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines gas insulated switchgear cartel and applies leniency rules for the first time (ABB Group / Schneider Electric)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2008, the Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposed a fine of SKK 350 million (approximately € 10 million) on sixteen companies from Austria, Germany, the Switzerland, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan for participating in a cartel for gas insulated switchgear (GIS). The product (...)

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

The German FCO imposes heavy fines on seven liquid gas companies (Drachen-Propangas / Friedrich Scharr / Progas / Primagas / Sano-Proban / Tyczka Energie / Tyczka Totalgaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In December 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) imposed fines totalling almost € 208 million on seven companies active in the liquid gas sector and their managers for participating in an anti-competitive customer-sharing arrangement. The companies concerned, which represent (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for high and medium pressure gas pipe related works (Sumitomo Metals Pipe & Tube and Nippon Steel)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Surcharge Payment Order issued to bidders for high pressure gas pipe related works procured by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., and medium pressure gas pipe related works procured by Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. * The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) had conducted investigations against the bid participants for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines € 11.3 M a market-sharing agreement in the water services sector (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Luigi Prosperetti & Partners (Milan)
Background Over the past ten years, Italian water services - traditionally managed by municipalities or small local operators - have been slowly consolidated, on the basis of a 1994 law, in 91 larger franchises (Ambiti Territoriali Ottimali, or ATOs). In 27 of these, 20 to 25 years concessions (...)

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens upholds a decision of the Greek Competition Authority condemning eight gas stations for price coordination (Gas stations)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The case concerned the fixing of uniform prices from eight gas stations in the region of Arta (Northwest of Greece) during 2003. This practice has been discovered and condemned by the Greek Competition Authority (Hellenic Competition Commission, thereafter HCC) in 2004 (Decision 263/IV/2004). (...)

The President of the Czech Competition Authority upholds the decision in the gas insulated switchgears cartel case and slightly reduces the € 35 M record fine ("GIS cartel")
University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
In the record time, i.e. three months after the first instance decision, the President of the Office (hereafter the President) confirmed on appeal the decision in the gas insulated switchgears (“GIS”) cartel case. In the first instance decision, rendered by the Office on 9 February 2007 (See Jan (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority imposes fines on members of a water supply systems cartel for bid rigging (School Renovations)
Lithuanian Competition Council (Vilnius)
On 15 March 2007 the Lithuanian Competition Council adopted an infringement decision finding three companies in breach of Article 5 of the Law on Competition (equivalent to Article 81 of the EC Treaty) for their bid rigging practices in relation to 15 public procurement tenders for renovation (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues cease and desist orders and imposes surcharges on participants in bidding for floodgate projects (Japan Water Agency)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC issued cease and desist orders, surcharge payment orders to bidders for floodgate projects procured by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Japan Water Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and other directions to the procurement agencies. * (...)

The Czech Competition Authority inflicts a record fines of 35 M € in the gas insulated switchgears market in spite of leniency ("GIS cartel")
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
On 9 February 2007, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the «Office») rendered a decision in the gas insulated switchgears («GIS») cartel case, imposing fines of a total amount of CZK 979 million (€ 35 million approx.) on the manufacturers. The cartel, which has been investigated by (...)

The EU Commission fines a cartel in the gas insulated switchgear sector
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Hong Kong Competition Commission
"Cartel fined in the gas insulated switchgear sector"* On 24 January the Commission adopted a prohibition Decision against members of the Gas Insulated Switchgear cartel with fines totalling some €750 million. The cartel from 1989 until the Commission’s inspections in May 2004, and was nearly (...)

The French competition authority fines construction firms for rigging bids but considers joint submissions legal (Public water supply networks)
MAPP (Paris)
Summary of the case A systematic analysis of 99 bids submitted by firms participating to public tenders for the construction of waterpipes (for the supply of clean water or the disposal of waste water or rain water) in the department of Morbihan in Brittany aroused the suspicion of the French (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court of Appeal lifts an acquisition bid’s suspension in the gas supply sector on the basis that the agreement does not potentially infringe Art. 81.1 EC (Gas Natural / Iberdrola / Endesa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues (Brussels)
The "e-Competitions" bulletin has reported on a number of occasions on the aftermath of the takeover bid announced on 5 September 2005 by Gas Natural, the most important Spanish gas provider, for Endesa, Spain’s biggest utility. The present case is just another step in this complex saga, but an (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court of appeal lifts interim measures having blocked a key merger on the basis of alleged anticompetitive agreement (Gas Natural/Endesa)
Sky (Milan)
Background The Gas Natural vs. Endesa battle continues before the Spanish courts. On June 2006, a commercial court in Madrid “provisionally” halted the takeover bid launched by Gas Natural more than 17 months ago. This decision was adopted in the proceedings brought by Endesa to challenge the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rules on the fixing of charges for sewerage services (Thames Water Utilities)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
On 29 November 2006, the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court ruling of 19 January 2006 on the claim arising from the Ministry of Defense (hereinafter “the MoD”) on repayments of metered sewerage services provided by the company, Thames Water Limited Utilities (hereinafter “Thames Water”). (...)

The Court of Appeal of Düsseldorf prohibits long term gas supply agreements between the incumbent and regional and local distributors on the bases of both Art. 81, 82 EC and German competition law (E.ON Ruhrgas)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The practice of long term gas supply agreements with purchase obligations of more than 80% of the gas distributors’ demand within the German gas sector have been discussed and questioned over a long period of time, especially in respect to a violation of competition law. In a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts an in-depth investigation in the water management services market for alleged infringements of Art. 81 EC (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Studio Legale DDPV (Rome)
,
Area (Rome)
On the 31st of May 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (“Authority”) opened an in depth investigation against Publiacqua S.p.A. (“PBA”), Acea S.p.A. (“Acea”) and Suez Environnement S.a. (“Suez”) for alleged breach of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty. PBA is a company which manages water services (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court suspends the incumbent gas company’s bid to acquire a competitor on the basis of an alleged anticompetivive agreement contrary to Art. 81.1 EC (Gas Natural / Endesa)
Associated British Foods (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Madrid)
Introduction Gas Natural’s hostile bid for Endesa is Spain’s largest ever takeover, and the bid is growing more hostile by the day. Endesa has filed more than 12 claims or appeals before the Spanish, EU and US courts in an attempt to block the deal. In this context, on 25 November 2005, Endesa (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court suspends the incumbent gas company’s public acquisition offer on an direct competitor on the basis of a potential infringement of Art. 81 EC (Gas Natural-Iberdrola / Endesa)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
On March 21st 2006, a Spanish commercial court temporarily suspended the unsolicited bid made by Gas Natural to acquire Endesa, while it investigates Endesa’s allegation that Gas Natural infringed Article 81 by acting in agreement with Iberdrola to remove Endesa from the market by means of a (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns a Court of Appeals decision clarifying that pricing decisions of a fully integrated joint venture that eliminates competition between the partners is not subject to Section 1 of the Sherman Act (Dagher / Texaco)
WilmerHale (Washington)
,
WilmerHale (Washington)
,
Matheson Keys & Kordzik (Austin)
The Supreme Court issued two unanimous opinions in antitrust cases. These are the second and third antitrust opinions of the Term; in recent years the Court has taken one or at most two antitrust cases per Term, so this reflects a greater than usual level of antitrust activity at the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office, following parallel investigation with the EC Commission, fines € 2, 7 M an international cartel on the gas-insulated switchgears market (Alstom Holding, VA Tech T&D, Siemens and Areva)
CCEE-Lawyers (Budapest)
Background / Facts of the case On April 15, 1988, nine European and five Japanese undertakings had signed an agreement whose purpose was to divide the worldwide market for high voltage gas-insulated switchgears (GIS) over 72 kV) (GIS-agreement). Between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids (...)

The Danish Competition Council approves a natural gas supply agreement under Art. 81 and 82 EC with commitments to an early termination of the exclusive supply clause and prohibition of such clause in future contracts (DONG / HNG / MN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 21 December 2005 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) approved a supply agreement between natural gas provider DONG and its customers Hovedstadsregionens Naturgas (HNG) and Naturgas Midt-Nord (MN), as the parties had given a binding commitment that would improve competition on the Danish gas (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issues a statement of objections against Germany’s major gas company with the aim of prohibiting certain long term supply agreements with regional and local gas distributors that violate European and German competition law (E.ON Ruhrgas)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
In its ongoing efforts to open the German wholesale market to new gas suppliers, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a statement of objections against E.ON Ruhrgas (“E.ON”), Germany’s largest gas supplier, in December 2005. According to this statement of objections and the preliminary (...)

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 Japan Fair Trade Commission issues a consent decision concerning an anticompetitive bid rigging in the water meters market (Kimmon Manufacturing)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Consent Decision on Kimmon Mfg. Co., Ltd* The Fair Trade Commission decided to initiate a hearing for Kimmon Mfg. Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “the Respondent”) on August 25, 2003. Since then the examiners had conducted the hearing, and on January 23, 2004, the Respondent proposed (...)

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

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

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues its recommendations to bidders for water meters in a public procurement (Tokyo Metropolitan Government)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
JFTC renders recommendation to bidders for water meters procured by Tokyo Metropolitan Government* he JFTC, after conducting an investigation into bidders for water meters procured by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, today issued a recommendation to 19 companies against violation of Section 3 (...)

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

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

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

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