Utilities & Cartels

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Competition Authority concludes that an ordering institution has restricted unlawfully the number of bidders (Rosimuschestvo )
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Rosimuschestvo unlawfully restricted the number of bidders* On 21 January 2015, Moscow Arbitration Court supported the arguments of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) in a case against the Federal State Property Management Agency (Rosimuschestvo). In September 2014, the (...)

The Italian Administrative Supreme Court reinstates a decision issued by the Competition Authority prohibiting a joint venture in the in the gas distribution sector (Isontina Reti Gas)
Legance - Studio Legale Associato
By judgment No. 334 of 26 January 2015, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) upheld two appeals brought by the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, hereinafter “ICA”) and reinstated the ICA’s decision No. 24320 of 17 April 2013 (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that a regional government and an undertaking have concluded an anticompetitive agreement (RNITs SK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Violations on the market of informational-and-navigation services in the Stavropol region will cost “RNITs SK” OJSC nearly 3 million RUB* On 28th November 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of the Government of the Stavropol Region and “RNITs SK” OJSC to abolish FAS decision and (...)

The UK Competition and Market Authority finds that it did not have jurisdiction to review a transaction as it did not create a "relevant merger situation" (CSF/Serco)
DLA Piper
On 13 October 2014 the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) published its 30 September Decision that the grant of the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise (CSF) to Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited (Serco) does not qualify for investigation under the Enterprise Act 2002 (the ’Act’) . The CMA (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council finds illegal award of waste management services conducted by two municipalities (Molėtai / Kaišiadorys)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Molėtai and Kaišiadorys district municipalities improperly organised waste management* Competition Council (KT) determined that Molėtai and Kaišiadorys district municipalities (Municipalities) improperly organised waste management and, thus, breached Article 4 of the Law on Competition. (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes an agreement with the utility supplier concerning the extension of the measures to lower the water prices for three more years until 2018 (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Measures to lower water prices in Berlin extended for three more years until 2018* Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) is to extend measures to lower its water prices as ordered by the Bundeskartellamt for three more years until 2018. This is the result of a settlement between the company and the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority does not oppose the proposed acquisition on the market for ownership or operation of tollroads (Transurban / Queensland Motorways)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC to not oppose Transurban Consortium’s proposed acquisition of the tollroad assets of Queensland Motorways Group* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed acquisition by the Transurban Consortium (including Transurban Group) of the tollroad and (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants interim authorisation to a number of city councils in Sidney to commence a joint tender for household clean up waste (Bankstown City / Fairfield City / Parramatta City / Liverpool City)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC grants interim authorisation to Sydney councils for joint waste tender* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted interim authorisation to Bankstown City Council, Fairfield City Council, Parramatta City Council and Liverpool City Council in Sydney to commence a joint (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets finds that providing data about license plates for free or for a small fee is not an economic activity (RDW)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Providing ‘bare’ data by RDW is not an economic activity* Providing ‘bare’ data about license plates for free or for a small fee by RDW, the Dutch national motor vehicle and driving license registration authority, is not an economic activity. This was revealed by an analysis that the Netherlands (...)

A German Higher Regional Court rejects the appeal filed by the supplier of water services confirming the applicability of competition law (BWB)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt decision on reduction of Berlin water prices* On 27 February 2014 the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has rejected the appeal filed by Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) against the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of 4 June 2012. In this decision (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission invites views on the revision of the input methodologies for the cost of capital that apply to electricity lines services, gas pipeline services and specified airport services
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission seeks views on cost of capital input methodologies* The Commerce Commission is now inviting views on whether it should consider reviewing or amending the input methodologies for the cost of capital that apply to (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission does not object against price increase for monopoly letter services (Australia Post)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
ACCC does not object to postage price increase by Australia Post* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided to not object to Australia Post’s proposal to increase the prices of ordinary letter services, including the basic postage rate (BPR) from 60 cents to 70 cents. (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission issues final report on the effectiveness of the information disclosure regulation in relation to international airport (Christchurch)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission issues final report on Christchurch International Airport* The Commerce Commission has released its final report to the Ministers of Commerce and Transport on the effectiveness of the information disclosure regulation in (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste management
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Authorisation granted to eight NSW regional councils for joint tender arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to eight regional councils in New South Wales to enable them to jointly tender and contract for waste collection services and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority appeals decision of the Administrative Court in a case of direct award of cleaning services (SJ)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority appeals decision in favour of SJ* In a decision by the Administrative Court in Stockholm, the Court has declared that SJ (Swedish State Railways) could be a contracting entity subject to LUF (National Act on Procurement within the Water, Energy, Transport and (...)

The EU Commission authorises aid in order to enable the concession holders to finalize two motorway projects that have encountered financial difficulties
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Public Funding of Projects that Encounter Financial Problems* Main points Aid that is granted after the start of a project lacks incentive effect and is, therefore, incompatible with the internal market. However, aid may be justified when a project (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the authorities of a Member State may rely on the provisions of a non-transposed directive against a body holding a public service concession (Portgás)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU: vertical effect of Directives goes both ways (C-425/12)* The Judgment of the CJEU of 12 December 2013 in case C-425/12 Portgás may appear to be of interest only for public procurement aficionados (and, even then, only for hardcore ones), as it deals with the potential applicability of the (...)

The EU Commission considers that the notified scheme fulfils the conditions of the environmental aid guidelines and passes the compatibility test in accordance with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU (Anti-opt-out scheme)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Economically Rational Environmental Aid* Introduction A few months ago I wrote an article on this blog explaining the big puzzle of environmental State aid. Since the rules allow State aid which is only a proportion of the extra costs incurred by (...)

The Belgian Council of Competition dismisses a claim of abuse of dominance on the self-service bicycle sector (CCB and BP / JCD)
Altius (Brussels)
I. The Facts Historical background Cyclocity The college of Aldermen of the City of Brussels awarded a public contract, after a call for tenders, to JC Decaux Street Furniture (“JCD”) concerning the manufacture, supply, placement, activation and the maintenance of self-service movables, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority clears unconditionally an acquisition on the electricity market (E. ON / Villamos Művek)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH authorised the MVM-E.ON transaction* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - the Hungarian Competition Authority) cleared the acquisition of E.ON Földgáz Trade Zrt. and E.ON Földgáz Storage Zrt. by Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt. The most important field of activity of Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt. (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM clears merger in the mining industry (Glencore / Xstrata)
Mattel (Hong Kong)
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White & Case (Hong Kong)
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White & Case (London)
At long last, Glencore has overcome the final regulatory hurdle and secured the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to acquire the 66 percent of Xstrata that it does not already own. But not before agreeing to part with one of the prized assets in Xstrata’s portfolio, the Las Bambas (...)

The Czech NCA imposes a negligible fine against an eight-year long failure to notify a concentration (KHTG)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
By its decision of 15 January 2013, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition fined KAREL HOLOUBEK – Trade Group a.s. (“KHTG”), a Czech company active mainly in coal trade, for failing to notify its control of a majority shareholding in Karlovarská teplárenská a.s. (“KT”), a municipal (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt clarifies the geographic allocation of turnover, particularly in relation to the application of the minor markets exemption (Lenzing AG / Kelheim Hygene)
Jones Day (Brussels)
In the Bundeskartellamt’s decision in Lenzing AG / Kelheim Hygene Fibres GmbH, in which it prohibited the creation of a monopoly in the viscose fibres market, the Bundeskartellamt clarified how it deals with the geographic allocation of turnover, especially in relation to the assessment of (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court issues two decisions concerning the principle of transparency in the selection of the most economic advantageous tender under public procurement law (Fidelitas, I-Faber)
University of Turin
I. Introduction By two different judgments handed down in July this year the grand chamber (Adunanza plenaria) of the Italian Consiglio di Stato, broadly corresponding to the assemblée of the Conseil d’Etat, addressed a number of questions concerning the evaluation of the most economic (...)

The EU Court of Justice leaves for the referring court to determine whether the procured material could be regarded as specially designed and developed for military purposes in order to decide on compliance with the duty to organize a tender procedure (Insinööritoimisto InsTiimi)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Procuring military equipment under the public procurement directive* As one of the last bastions of purely national competence, trade in arms is excluded from the application of the Treaty rules. Article 346 TFEU provides that the Treaties do not preclude Member States to trade and procure war (...)

The UK Energy Regulator closes investigation of an electricity producer over a potential breach of the consumer protection from the unfair trading regulations 2008 (EDF Energy)
Ofgem investigated a fault with the operation of EDF‘s Interactive Voice Response (“IVR”) telephone system and its interface with EDF‘s billing system which resulted in some customers who provided their own meter readings through the IVR system being overcharged or undercharged. Background EDF‘s (...)

The UK Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs ("Defra") publishes the final report of the Cave review of competition and innovation in water markets
Linklaters (London)
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UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (London)
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Linklaters
On 22 April the Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (Defra) published the final report of the Cave review of competition and innovation in water markets (the Report). The Report was published on the same date as the 2009 Budget Report in which the Government announced that it (...)

The UK Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, following an Ofgem investigation, inflicts a fine to gas and electricity suppliers for breach of their licences concerning mis-selling (Npower)
Background Following media reports (in the Sunday Times) and a referral by energywatch of a number of complaints regarding mis-selling by the Npower Group (Npower Limited - electrical supply; Npower Gas Limited - gas supply; Npower Northern Limited - electricity and gas supply; Npower (...)

The UK water regulator issues its first determination on a dispute on wholesale access prices (Aquavitae / Anglian Water)
Université Aix-Marseille
I. Facts of the case After a period of negotiation, Anglian Water provided Aquavitae with wholesale access prices for supplies to four of Anglian Water’s existing customers. Aquavitae was not satisfied with the wholesale access prices being offered by Anglian Waterand asked Ofwat to make a (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a € 12.74 M fine imposed by the Postal Service Commission to the incumbent for breaches of its licence (Royal Mail)
Université Aix-Marseille
1. The context Royal Mail is the provider of a universal postal service in the United Kingdom. It operates by virtue of a licence granted on 23 March 2001 and amended on 1 April 2003. Condition 8(4) of its licence requires Royal Mail to use all reasonable endeavours at all times to apply the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the annulment of a provision which had not been included in the notification of an aid scheme to the European Commission (Eólica Navarra)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Government of Navarra against the judgement of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra of 7 February 2005 (the "Appealed Judgment") annulling a provision of the regional Decree of Navarra 91/2003 on aids to investment and employment in projects of use of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority gives the go-ahead to the creation of a new multiutility operator with structural remedies (AEM / ASM Brescia)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
A) The proposed merger The Italian Competition Authority has unconditionally approved a merger between two publicly-owned multiutility firms, AEM and ASM Brescia (ASM). According to the merger agreement, AEM shall absorb ASM and the resulting entity shall be denominated A2A. The municipality (...)

The UK Competition Commission cleared a merger in the water sector, subject to a one-off price reduction to customers (Mid Kent Water/South East Water)
Serle Court
The operation Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (HDF) and the Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA) jointly own Mid Kent Water Limited, which is a licensed supplier of drinking water to customers in the South East of England, in particular in Kent and parts of Sussex. HDF and UTA acquired 100% (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading refers for the first time a water merger to the Competition Commission which imposed a price reduction remedy (Mid-Kent Water/South-East Water)
Dirty Monty
Introduction By way of introduction, the Enterprise Act 2002, that put in place many changes to competition law in England and Wales, amended the Water Industry Act 1991 to provide that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was under a duty to refer the merger/proposed merger of any two or more (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves an acquisition in the electricity and gas sectors (Gaz de France/Suez Group)
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2006"* On 14 November the Commission gave its conditional approval to the merger of Gaz de France (GDF) and the Suez group. After an in-depth investigation, the Commission initially found that the deal would have anticompetitive (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger between companies both active in industrial and specialty gases including helium (Linde / BOC)
European Commission - DG COMP
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European Commission
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European Commission - DG COMP
"Linde/BOC: Concentration in the industries of industrial gases, specialty gases and helium"* On 6 June 2006, the European Commission approved, subject to conditions, the acquisition by Linde AG (“Linde”) of The BOC group (“BOC”). Both companies are active in industrial and specialty gases (...)

The Danish Competition Council approved a merger in the energy sector subject to remedies including the disposal of CHP plants, the sale by auction of virtual power generating capacity, improvements to the transmission network and improvements in the retail market (Elsam / NESA)
Kromann Reumert
The operation Elsam A/S was a large energy group that owned all the central combined heat and power plants ("CHP plants") in Western Denmark (the areas of Jutland and Funen). The group owned 21 decentral CHP plants and around 500 electricity generating windmills, and was also active in the (...)

The German Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the waste disposal sector (Remondis Assets & Services / Awista)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Trienekens/AWISTA (Düsseldorf city cleaning) cleared subject to conditions* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of 49 per cent of the shares in AWISTA Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung mbH (AWISTA), Düsseldorf, by Trienekens AG, Viersen, (Trienekens) subject to (...)

The European Commission takes a decision on a case concerning two Italian State aid schemes applicable to the sector of public utilities (Tax exemption and privileged loans in favor of utilities with majority public shareholding)
European Commission - DG COMP
"An example of the application of State aid rules in the utilities sector in Italy"* Last June the Commission took a decision on a case concerning two Italian State aid schemes applicable to the sector of public utilities. This article focuses on the most interesting aspects of that decision (...)

The Danish Competition Council approved an acquisition in the natural gas market subject to remedies including dramatically reducing the duration of existing "take-or-pay" contracts with centralised power stations and granting third parties access to the transmission network and available gas storage capacity (DONG Naturgas / Naturgas Sjaelland)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
The operation DONG Naturgas A/S was a wholly-owned subsidiary of DONG A/S. The activities of DONG A/S included: the purchase of natural gas; the transport of natural gas including transmission and distribution; the storage of natural gas; the sale of natural gas to end customers; the sale of (...)

The Spanish competition authorities fail to impose remedies to the two largest national electricity companies, leading to merger withdrawal (Endesa/Iberdrola)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The operation involved Endesa’s acquisition of Iberdrola. The transaction included a divestment plan aimed at preventing the merged company from achieving a post-merger size larger than Endesa’s pre-merger size in the affected markets. Endesa was the largest electricity company in (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority cleared a merger in the pipes markets subject to periodical notifications of prices, production and sale figures (Borusan Mannesmannröhren)
Esin
The operation The Parties intended to enter into a partnership whereby a Joint Venture will be established between the Parties. It is contemplated that Borusan will hold 77%, and Mannesmann will hold 23% of the shares of the Joint Venture. The Turkish Competition Authority, upon its review of (...)

The EU General Court annuls a cartel settlement decision on appeal due to the Commission’s failure to sufficiently inform the undertakings on the fining methodology used (Envelopes cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Under the Commission’s cartel settlement procedure, an undertaking admitting liability to a cartel infringement and waiving certain procedural rights is rewarded with a 10% reduction in the fine. In the envelopes cartel case, the Commission fined five producers €19.4 million under the settlement (...)

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

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

The EU Commission fines cargo train operators in cartel settlement (Express Interfracht & Schenker)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Slams Cargo Train Operators With 49 Million Euro Fine In Cartel Settlement* The European Commission (“EC”) today imposed fines totalling 49,154,000 euros on Express Interfracht, part of the Austrian railway company Österreichische Bundesbahnen, and Schenker, a subsidiary of (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines €9.29 million three companies operating in the bottled LPG market for restricting passive sales (Galp Energia)
Abreu Advogados
In a decision dated February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has levied an antitrust fine totalling 9.29 million euros on three companies from Galp Energia Group (Portugal’s largest oil and gas operator) for using absolute territorial protection clauses regarding its (...)

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)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados
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 EU Court of Justice rules that cartel members are liable for ’Umbrella Claims’ (Kone)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Dentons (Brussels)
In a judgment that may expand civil damage liability for cartel participants significantly (Case C-557/12, Kone AG and Others, judgment of June 5, 2014), the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) has ruled that a cartel’s members are liable for “umbrella damages,” which are caused by price increases (...)

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
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 Japanese Fair Trade Commission takes action against a trade association for its alleged participation in price-fixing the fees for voluntary flu shots service (Yoshikawa Matsubushi Medical Association)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Antitrust & Associations: German, Japanese Antitrust Authorities Take Action Against Associations in Price-fixing Cases* In two interesting trade association related cases that caught my eye today, the German (Bundeskartellamt) and Japanese (Fair Trade Commission – “JFTC”) antitrust (...)

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 Polish competition authority fines three manufacturers of chemical products used in coal mining for price fixing, market sharing and bid-rigging (Minova Ekochem, Carbotech-Polonia, A. Weber, GSG Mining Systems, Schaum-Chemie Mikołów)
Dentons (Warsaw)
In 2011 the UOKiK Chairperson initiated exploratory proceedings regarding possible antitrust infringements in the market for the production and sale of chemical products used in coal mining. The UOKiK investigation was based on information passed to it by the prosecutor’s office regarding (...)

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
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 the deal over closing down coal power plants 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 Competition Authority imposes fines for agreements to the detriment of local public transport companies, private, regional and industrial railways and construction companies (ThyssenKrupp / Gleistechnik /voestalpine / Butzbach /Schreck-Mieves)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt punishes more agreements between rail manufacturers* Fines totalling almost 100 million euros imposed for agreements to the detriment of local public transport companies, private, regional and industrial railways and construction companies On 23 July 2013 the Bundeskartellamt (...)

The German Competiton Authority imposes fines for rail cartel infringement (Moravia Steel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
€ 10 million fine imposed on Moravia Steel in rail cartel case* Today the Bundeskartellamt imposed a fine of € 10 million on Moravia Steel Deutschland GmbH. The authority has thus concluded its investigation proceedings against manufacturers and suppliers of rails on account of anticompetitive (...)

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 Canadian Judge at the Superior Court of Quebec convicts three individuals for conspiring to fix gas prices in two Quebec cities (R/Gosselin)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
Gas price fixers convicted after trial* A Quebec Superior Court judge recently convicted three individuals of conspiring to fix gas prices in two Quebec cities, Sherbrooke and Magog. To date 33 individuals and seven companies have been convicted fixing gas prices in Quebec and eastern (...)

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)
Wierzbicki Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni
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 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 Romanian Competition Authority sanctions five companies for bid rigging in road construction projects (C.N.A.D.N.R)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
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Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
On 13 December 2012, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) sanctioned five companies a total of more than EUR 660,000 for engaging in bid rigging activities in the public procurement procedures organized by the Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads (“C.N.A.D.N.R.”). In (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court confirms the decision of Competition Agency on illegal price fixing agreement in the residential management services market (Stano-uprava)
University of Zagreb - Faculty of Economics and Business
The High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia adopted on 13 December 2012 a judgment confirming the legality of a decision of the Croatian Competition Agency finding an illegal price fixing agreement between seven providers of residential management services in the city of Split and (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on bid rigging cartel in natural gas pipelines sector (Condmag and 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
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 finds that the filed-rate doctrine applied because the market-based auction process was circumscribed and reviewed by a regulatory body which determined the resulting rate to be reasonable (Simon, KeySpan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
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Driven
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 EU Commission fines producers of water management products € 13.7 M in sixth cartel settlement case (Flamco, Reflex and 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 Italian Competition Authority fines 15 shipping agents firms and two trade associations for a cartel at the port of Genoa (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision taken on 22 February 2012 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined 15 firms and two trade associations for taking part in a secret cartel having as object the fixing of the fees charged by the shipping agents of the port of Genoa. The facts of the case In May 2010 the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds 15 shipping agencies and 2 trade associations to have infringed Art. 101 TFEU (Shipping agencies services)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its Decision adopted on 22 February 2012, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) fined 15 shipping agencies and 2 trade associations approximately EUR 4 million for breach of Article 101 TFEE. On the grounds of the leniency applications submitted by two shipping companies (i.e., Mersk and (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority accepts and makes binding commitments to avoid further proceedings into an alleged anticompetitive practice in the paper waste and raw paper material sector (COMIECO)
University of Bologna
The Italian Competition Authority (hereafter Agcm) has accepted and made binding commitments offered by the National Consortium established under Italian private law to rationalize, organize and promote the recovery and recycling of cellulose-based packaging(hereafter “COMIECO”). The Agcm stated (...)

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)
Francis Taylor Building
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 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)
Francis Taylor Building
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 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)
Francis Taylor Building
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 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)
Francis Taylor Building
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 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)
Francis Taylor Building
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 European Commission fines 11 air cargo carriers more than € 799 M for price-fixing cartel (Airfreight cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 November 2010, the Commission announced its decision to fine eleven air cargo carriers a total of € 799,445,000 for their involvement in a worldwide price-fixing cartel in the airfreight services sector. Air cargo carriers provide their services to freight forwarders, who arrange the (...)

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
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
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University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (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)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Alston & Bird (Washington)
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
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)
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 (...)

An Irish jury 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 German Federal Court of Justice holds in a private antitrust enforcement case that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity (Entega)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
In a private antitrust enforcement case the German Federal Court of Justice held that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity. Background German energy markets pose (...)

An Italian administrative Court cancels the NCA’s decision fining € 11.3 M a market-sharing agreement in water services (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Luigi Prosperetti & Partners
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 Hungarian Court of Appeal upholds the NCA’s decision against the "road construction cartel" (Egút Egri Útépítõ, Strabag Építõ and Hídépítõ)
Hogan Lovells
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Hogan Lovells
With its judgment of second instance adopted on 11 June 2008, the Metropolitan Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment of first instance and therefore the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority in the lawsuit brought by Egút Egri Útépítõ Zrt, Strabag Építõ Zrt and Hídépítõ Zrt as plaintiffs (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority ends proceedings against two oil tanking terminal operators without finding existence of anticompetitive agreements (Oiltanking Tallinn v. Alexela Terminal)
EFTA Surveillance Authority
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 Italian Competition Authority fines € 11.3 M a market-sharing agreement in the water services sector (Acea / Suez / Publiacqua)
Luigi Prosperetti & Partners
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 Hungarian Court of Appeal confirms the NCA’s decision having fined anticompetitive cooperation agreement in the course of a public procurement procedure (Construm-Royal Bau)
Eötvös Lorand University
On 16 December 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office condemned two undertakings interested in a public procurement procedure. This decision was confirmed by the Court of Appeal’s judgment on 20 June 2007. Construm and Royal Bau concluded a co-operation agreement in the course of a public (...)

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”). (...)

A Dutch Court quashes the decision of the national competition authority in the mobile operators case for unsufficient motivation (KPN Mobile, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone Libertel)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The District Court of Rotterdam judged in favour of the “mobile operators” in their case against the Dutch Competition Authority (the NMa). The NMa’s case alleging cartel activities was ruled to be insufficiently founded and therefore annulled. On July 13th, the District Court of Rotterdam handed (...)

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
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Luciani Annalisa Sudio Legale
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 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)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
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Matheson Keys & Kordzik
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 Paris Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision fining a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market with reference to the EC Commission’s notice on effect on trade (Keolis - Connex - Transdev)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background In a decision dated July 5, 2005 (See J.-P. de la Laurencie et M. Courtaigne-Op, The French Competition Authority fined three French major companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between Member (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposes high fines for bid-rigging (Highway D1)
PRK Partners (Bratislava)
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SA Legal
In January 2006 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (“AMO”) published a decision of the first instance (adopted in December 2005) fining several Slovak and foreign construction companies a total of almost SKK 1.5 billion (approx. EUR 40 million) for alleged bid-rigging. In addition to (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issued 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)
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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 Hungarian Competition Council finds 8 construction companies guilty of bid rigging in respect of a road construction contract (Municipality of Budapest)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
In a public procurement concerning the construction of roads in the municipality of Budapest, eight construction companies have been found guilty of bid-rigging. In a nutshell, they decided among themselves which company would get the contract by coordinating their tenders in advance during (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three major national companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between member States (Keolis, Connex and Transdev)
Avocat au barreau de Paris
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DFDL (Singapore)
Last July 2005, the French Competition Authority fined Keolis, Connex and Transdev a total of 11 € million for operating a national cartel in the French market for public passenger urban transport on the basis of article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code and article 81 EC. In its decision, (...)

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)
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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 Hungarian Competition Authority condemns price concertation, market allocation and bid rigging between undertakings bidding for the construction of a motorway (Betonút, Debmut, Egut, Hidépitõ, Strabag)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
In the summer of 2002, construction works for a motorway in Hungary were put out to tender by the National Motorway Co. Ltd. The tendering process was made up of two distinct procedures as the first procedure (restricted procedure with invitations) was declared ineffective. The subsequent (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns two undertakings for cooperation agreement in a public tendering procedure (Construm, Royal Bau)
Université Catholique de Louvain
On 6 June 2004, the Hungarian Competition Authority began proceedings aiming to establish whether two undertakings active in the construction business, Construm and Royal Bau, had infringed Article 11(1) and Article 11 (2) (d) of the Hungarian Competition Act. The Hungarian Competition (...)

Le Conseil de la concurrence hongrois sanctionne une entente à l’occasion d’un appel d’offres public à hauteur de 600 000 € (Baucont/Kész et Középületépít)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Université Catholique de Louvain
Dans sa décision du 18 mars 2004, le Conseil de la concurrence sanctionne - sévèrement ? - une entente entre entreprises du bâtiment à l’occasion d’un marché public pour l’Université de Kaposvár. En 2001, l’Etat hongrois avait lancé un appel d’offres dans le cadre d’un marché public pour la construction (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority holds undertakings guilty of bid rigging in construction sector (Strabag - Egut - Ring)
Université Catholique de Louvain
The factual backdrop to the present finding of a violation of the Hungarian Competition law entails an enquiry by the Hungarian Competition Authority into anti-competitive conduct, in the form of bid rigging, subsequent to a public procurement tender published by the Direction Metro Project of (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority intends to limit the exemption for the salvaging scheme for broken-down cars to motorways and provincial and municipal roads which fulfil an important role in the flow of traffic
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Not Satisfied with Implementation of Salvaging Scheme for Broken-Down Cars* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) intends to limit the exemption for the salvaging scheme for broken-down cars to motorways and provincial and municipal roads which fulfil an important role in the flow of (...)

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

The European Commission raises competition concerns about cooperation agreement between French and Italian airlines companies (Air France, Alitalia)
European Commission - DG COMP
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"Aviation: Commission raises competition concerns about co-operation agreement between Air France and Alitalia"* In November 2001, Air France and Alitalia notified to the Commission a number of co-operation agreements and requested an exemption under Regulation 3975/87, the regulation which (...)

Dominance

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by companies active on the credit default swaps market (ISDA / Markit)
European Commission - DG COMP
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by ISDA and Markit on credit default swaps* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding commitments to licence inputs for credit default swaps, offered separately by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (...)

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 Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority intervenes in the municipal waste management company’s competition compromising practice (Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto)
Merilampi Attorneys
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 Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms that the behavior of an authority has created disadvantages having resulted in monopolization of the relevant market pushing the only competitor out of the market (Cash Settlement Centre)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Appeal Court: Cheboksary Authority created advantages for “Cash Settlement Centre” OJSC in the prejudice of a competitor* On 8th October 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court that the decision and determination on the case on violating the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the fine imposed on an undertaking for monopolization (Deon)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service
Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of Chuvash Cabinet of Ministers to invalidate FAS decision* On 15th September 2104, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Chuvashia to invalidate FAS decision on an antimonopoly case. On 6th March (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority imposes sanctions for abusive interest rates on overdue payments for water supply in Sofia (Sofiyska voda)
University Paris Dauphine
1. An ex officio investigation into the water utility sector of Sofia led the Bulgarian competition authority, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), to impose a considerable fine on Sofiyska voda AD for abusive calculation of penalty charges in violation of national competition (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions as abusive the uniform prices that a monopolistic supplier of heating energy used to charge on its downstream competitors in the heat-measurement sector of Sofia (Toplofikatsia Sofia)
University Paris Dauphine
1. Further to a rather uncommon signal by the Supreme Administrative Public Prosecutor’s Office in July 2013, the Bulgarian competition authority commenced, on its own motion, proceedings against several undertakings active in Sofia’s heating utility sector. The proceedings included on-site (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions water and sewage company for unjustified refusal to deal (WSV)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 11 July 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) prosecuted the sole provider of water and sewage services in the city of Vidin for abuse of dominant position in the form of refusal to deal – denial of access to its infrastructure and refusal to re-instate the supply. The CPC’s (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards damages in a follow-on claim arising from abuse of dominance on the market for transportation and partial treatment of water (Albion Water / Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig)
Blackstone Chambers
Albion v Dwr Cymru: Incompetence and counterfactuals* The Competition Appeal Tribunal today delivered that rarest of beasts: a judgment awarding damages in a follow-on claim. After its decade-long fight, Albion Water has been awarded around £2 million for Dŵr Cymru’s abuse of dominant position in (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards highest damages ever in a case involving an abuse of dominant position in the water sector (Albion Water)
One Essex Court
There are approximately 45 private actions for damages pending in the United Kingdom Courts. Some are stayed pending final decisions of the Commission and the European Courts; some are at the disclosure stage; some are setting up “confidentiality rings” prior to disclosure; and others are lost in (...)

A US District Court grants motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to establish the element of “dangerous probability” for an antitrust claim for attempted monopolization on the market for containerized waste hauling and disposal services (All Star Carts and Vehicles / BFI Canada Income Fund)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Summary Judgment Dooms Attempted Monopolization Claim in Small Container Trash Hauling Market* In All Star Carts and Vehicles, Inc., et al. v. BFI Canada Income Fund, et al., Case No. 2:08-cv-01816-LDW-AKT, August 1, 2012, the District Court for Eastern District of New York recently granted (...)

The German Competition Authority clarifies that examination of a company’s pricing elements can be sole legal test in determining excessive pricing (Water supplier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By decision of 15 May 2012, recently published, the German Federal Court of Justice (“the Court”) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart (“HRCS”), by which the latter had annulled a decision of the federal cartel office (“FCO”) finding that a dominant water supplier had (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority finds an exploitative abuse of dominant position in the invoicing practices of an electricity distributor (RED Union Fenosa)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 22 February 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) established that I.C.S. RED Union Fenosa S.A. (Union Fenosa) has abused its dominant position on the market for supply and distribution of electricity at regulated tariffs by including an automatic notice of disconnection in its (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority orders electrical company, subject to a fine, to connect the street and road lightning network installed by the municipality, to the company’s electricity mains (Ekfors)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Cosmetics Europe
Introduction In the hope of putting an end to a lengthy dispute whereby the inhabitants of the municipality of Haparanda in the north of Sweden had been regularly deprived of street light during the winter seasons, the Swedish competition authority ordered Ekfors Kraft, subject to a fine, to (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority defines the termination of electricity supply due to the debts accumulated by the previous owner as an abuse of dominant position (EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 February 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) held that electricity supplier EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane (ES) has committed an abuse of dominant position by terminating the supply of electricity due to the debts accumulated by the previous owner of the facility in the town (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce acquits the telecommunications incumbent and the NCA appeals to the Lisbon Appeals Court in a case dealing with the essential infrastructures doctrine (PT Comunicações Conduit Network)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
Two major and striking developments occurred in the course of March 2010 in Portugal as regards the enforcement of competition Law. On the one hand, on the 2nd of March the Lisbon Commercial Court has ruled on the so called “PTC Conduit Network Case”, which referred to a Portuguese Competition (...)

The Swedish Market Court upholds the Competition Authority’s interim order imposing an obligation on an electrical company to provide a potential customer access to its electricity mains (Ekfors)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Vinge (Stockholm)
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Vinge (Stockholm)
Background On February 26, 2010, the Market Court delivered one of its judgments in the long running conflict between the municipality of Haparanda (Haparanda) and the energy company Ekfors Kraft AB (Ekfors). The dispute between the parties mainly concern allegations of abuse of a dominant (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority defines the refusal to supply on the market for provision of technical water as abuse of dominant position (Chimik / Irrigation Systems)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 February 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) that single supplier of technical water in the city of Asenovgrad, Irrigation Systems has abused its dominant position by terminating the supply of technical water to one of its clients, Chimik. The facts of the case were as follows. (...)

The Czech NCA accepts the first settlement in a unilateral conduct case (RWE Transgas - Quiet life)
Government of the Czech Republic
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 24 June 2009, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition entered into a settlement with RWE Transgas (“RWE”), the dominant Czech operator in the natural gas market, concerning RWE’s conduct towards its retail customers in late 2008 and in the first half of 2009. In September 2008, (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms an NCA’s decision fining a heating plant company for exploitative abuse of dominance (Heating Plant Ruse)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 18 June 2009 the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria upheld the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) , which prosecuted Heating Plant in the municipality of Ruse (HPR) for abuse of its dominant position on the market for production and distribution of thermal heating in (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court affirms the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority prosecuting a water supply operator for abuse of dominant position (Sofiyska Voda)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 17 June 2009 the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria reviewed the decision of the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) that prosecuted Sofiyska Voda (SV) , a water supply operator in Bulgarian capital of Sofia for abuse of dominant position. The facts of the case were as follows. Until (...)

The Jersey Competition authority releases its first decision establishing an abuse of dominant position in the sewerage services industry (Jersey State’s Transport and Technical Services Department)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
On 20 May 2009, the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority released a decision which rules for the first time that a Public undertaking active in the sewerage services industry has abused its dominant position. In addition, the Jersey Competition Authority has imposed fines to sanction its (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office settles a number of proceedings against gas suppliers for alleged abuse of dominance and accepts commitments offering compensation to consumers worth € 127 M (Gas price procedures)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
Summary The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) settled a number of proceedings against German gas suppliers for the alleged abuse of a dominant position under sections 19 and 29 of the Act Against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (gas price procedures). Until December 2008 the FCO had accepted (...)

A German Court confirms a decision of the local competition authority in which excessive retail water prices were prohibited on the basis of former German competition law provisions that still apply to the public water sector (Wasserversorgung Wetzlar)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background The ruling of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/ Main (Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt/ Main) confirms a decision of the competition authority of the Federal State Hesse in which the authority prohibited excessive water prices on the retail level charged by the public water (...)

The Polish Supreme Court issues a leading ruling defining the concept of abuse of a dominant position ("Water supply and sewage disposal services" case)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
On 16 October 2008, the Polish Supreme Court issued a decision clearly defining the concept of abuse of a dominant position by imposing unfair contractual conditions. The main legal points concerned the ability to act independently as an element of the definition of a dominant position. The (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office declares binding the commitments of RWE to cease the abuse proceedings for factoring CO2 certificates into its electricity tariffs (RWE)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 26 September 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) ceased abuse proceedings launched against RWE AG (RWE) in 2005 after it had declared RWE’s commitments to auction off electricity to be binding. The proceedings centred on the question whether RWE had abused its alleged dominant market (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce quashes the Competition Authority’s first ever abuse of dominant position infringement decision in the underground ducts’ telecom network access case, upheld on appeal (PT Comunicações)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
I. The case, the PCA’s decision and the judgments After receiving complaints from telecom undertakings “TvTel Comunicações” and “Cabovisão”, the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter “PCA”) launched an investigation in 2003 into the allegations that Portugal Telecom Comunicações (hereinafter (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal concludes that a statutory water provider abused its dominant position by margin squeezing on the market for transportation and treatment of non-potable water (Albion Water)
European Commission
Facts Albion Water ("Albion") is a statutory water provider based in Wales, which is licensed to provide non-potable water to an industrial client ("Shatton Paper"). The water in Wales is transported through a water transportation faclity ("Ashgrove System"), which is exclusively owned by (...)

The Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection finds that a local water and sewerage services supplier abused of its dominant position (MWiK)
Sulima Grabowska Sierzputowska
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European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
On 28 July 2006, on behalf of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”), the Head of the Katowice branch office of the OCCP by means of the decision n° RKT - 53/2006 imposed a fine of PLN 10,000 (EUR 2,552.45) on the company Miejskie Wodociagi i Kanalizacje w (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal considers the appropriate tests to apply in an interim decision regarding abuse of dominant position in pricing access to a water distribution channel in the context of the regulated UK water industry (Albion Water)
Paul Hastings (London)
The case commenced in 2001 and the instant decision relates to an appeal by an inset water undertaking (i.e. a local retailer of water services), Albion Water Limited (“Albion”) against a decision of the Director General of Water Services (the “Director”). The decision was to the effect that a (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal makes an interim judgement in an appeal against a water industry regulator decision on alleged abuse of dominant position (Albion Water)
FTI Consulting (London)
Competition Appeal Tribunal, Interim Judgment, 22 december 2005, Albion Water Limited v. Director General of Water Services (Dwr Cymru/Shotton Paper), Case n° 1046/2/4/04 [2005] CAT 40 The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) has made an interim judgment in an appeal against a decision (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines telecommunications company for margin squeezing in virtual private network market (Slovak Telecom)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Rentsch Legal
Slovak Telecom (“ST”) was fined SKK 80,000,000 for margin squeezing in the Virtual Private Network services (VPN) market due to its dominant position in the upstream leased private lines market in which it had no competitors. The decision was based on ST’s practice in one particular tender for VPN (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two firms for abusing their dominant position in the water market (Sedif-Lyonnaise des Eaux)
MAPP (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (“Conseil de la concurrence”) fined two firms for abusing their dominant position in local water markets in the Paris region. The Decision addresses two distinct sets of practices. The Syndicat des Eaux d’Ile de France (“Sedif”) was fined € 100,000 for trying to (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority closes predatory pricing investigation relating to procurement of services pursuant to Art. 82 EC and its Swedish equivalent (Konkurrensverket/Banverket Produktion)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Svea hovrätt (Swedish courts)
Background During 2004, the Swedish Rail Administration (Sw. Banverket) procured services relating to the maintenance of four Swedish railway lines; Västkustbanan 1 and 2 and “Kust till Kust” 1 and 2. Banverket Produktion, which was affiliated to Banverket, submitted an offer. The price for the (...)

The UK Office of Rail Regulation rejects a complaint on refusal to supply on the basis of the essential facilities doctrine (NTM/Portec-Clare)
Paul Hastings (London)
Introduction The case commenced in July 2004 when the Office of Rail Regulation (“ORR”) received a complaint from NTM Sales and Marketing Ltd (“NTM”) regarding the supply of grease for use in electric trackside lubricators on railway infrastructure in the UK. The complaint related to allegations (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that access to an essential facility does not require a dominant position in the up- or downstream market in the electricity sector (Arealnetze)
University College London
On June 28, 2005, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) clarified that the so called “essential facility clause” of Sec. 19(4) n° 4 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) requires dominance only in the market for the essential facility itself. Contrary to the view of some (...)

Le Conseil de la concurrence français applique pour la première fois le test des coûts incrémentaux pour écarter un grief de prix prédateurs (Régie départementale des passages d’eau de la Vendée)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Dans l’affaire Régie départementale des passages d’eau de la Vendée, le Conseil de la concurrence utilise pour la première fois, dans le cadre de l’analyse d’un grief de prix prédateurs, le test des coûts incrémentaux défini par la Commission en 2001 dans la décision Deutsche Post [Commission Decision (...)

The French Competition Authority fines the dominant operator on the market for supplying street furniture to local and regional administrations for having abused of its position (Decaux group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence fines the Decaux group for abuse of a dominant position.* Following a referral by the company More group France, the Conseil de la concurrence has found the Decaux group guilty (...)

The Polish competition authority establishes that a town has abused of its dominant position by limiting the number of resellers for public transportation (Commune W.)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
,
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
On September 19th 2003, the President of the Office for the Competition and Consumers Protection (hereafter, OCCP President or, President of the Office) decided that the practice of Commune W. to limit the number of persons eligible to sell fixed term tickets for the city public transportation (...)

The French Competition Authority asks the Minister of Economy to conduct a review after establishing that two companies have abused their dominant position in the markets for water and purification (Compagnie générale des eaux and Lyonnaise des eaux)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Water market : the Conseil de la concurrence asks the Minister to raise questions over the joint subsidiaries of CGE and SLDE* In a decision dated 11th July 2002, the Conseil de la concurrence, which had (...)

Procedures

The Western Australian government signs with COMESA a cooperation agreement in the fields of mineral and petroleum resources comprising six thematic areas among which the competition enforcement is not even mentioned
Primerio
COMESA and W. Australia now economically linked via MoU* The Western Australian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with COMESA. Colin Barnett signed the papers yesterday, January 31, 2014. COMESA dutifully posted a news release on its web site, albeit misspelling the W. (...)

The EU Court of Justice consolidates view on effective remedy for excessive length of proceedings before the General Court in competition cases (Groupe Gascogne)
Clifford Chance (Athènes)
In the Groupe Gascogne judgment delivered on 26 November 2013, the Court of Justice consolidates its conception on issues of effective judicial protection in competition law adjudication. The case originated in an action for annulment against the General Court (GC) judgment T-72/06 Groupe (...)

The EFTA Court establishes that not issuing a timely decision in relation to an application for access to antitrust documents constitutes a serious breach of law (DB Schenker/ESA II)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Background The present case concerns a combined set of two actions lodged by DB Schenker against ESA on 9 July 2012: an action for failure to act under Article 37 SCA and an action for non-contractual liability based on Article 46 SCA. At the origin of the present litigation we can find the (...)

The European Court of Justice rules on parallel enforcement under Regulation 1/2003 while declining to redefine ne bis in idem within the ECN (Toshiba)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1.Against most expectations, the particularly awaited judgment of the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) in Toshiba, delivered in Grand Chamber on 14 February 2012 , did not provide a landmark ruling on the scope of the ne bis in idem principle (the European double jeopardy clause) in (...)

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

The UK Court of Appeal rules that damages cannot be recovered through the medium of Sec. 47A simply by identifying findings of fact by a regulator that could have amounted to a competition infringement, i.e., claimant’s right of action exists only if the regulator has actually decided that such conduct would constitute an infringement of competition provision (EW&S Railways v. Enron)
TT&A
In 2006, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) had concluded that English Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited (EW&S) infringed the prohibition contained in the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 82, EC Treaty . EW&S infringed the said provisions as it engaged (...)

A UK Court of Appeal holds that, when the Competition Appeal Tribunal set aside a decision of the OFT or sectoral regulators, and ordered a reinvestigation by the OFT or the regulator, the CAT does not have jurisdiction to set time limits for completion of that investigation (Ofcom & OFT/Floe Telecom)
University College London
Summary The Court of Appeal (England and Wales) has held that, when the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has set aside a decision of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) or sectoral regulators, and has ordered a reinvestigation by the OFT or the regulator in question, the CAT does not have (...)

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