Vertical restrictions

Anticompetitive practices

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases the fine against a drugstore company for vertical price fixing (Rossmann)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical price fixing - Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court raises fine against drugstore chain Rossmann* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed a fine of 30 million euros against Dirk Rossmann GmbH (’Rossmann’). With its decision the Court has significantly raised the fine imposed by (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court voids an exclusive-supply agreement in the energy sector that was previously subject to a commitments decision by the EU Commission (Repsol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Spain’s Supreme Court has voided a contract including an exclusive-supply clause in favour of Repsol, following a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in which the ECJ confirmed that national courts are not precluded from assessing potentially anti-competitive agreements (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts remedies ending competition concerns related to franchise agreements in the pizza market (Roma Pizza)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by Roma Pizza S.A. to address competition concerns with regard to the terms of its franchise / distribution system following a complaint by former franchisees* By its unanimous decision no. 639/2017, the Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Warsaw Court of Appeal confirms that resale price maintenance in franchise agreements violates competition law (Sfinks Polska)
King’s College (London)
In its judgement of 10 January 2018, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the decision of the President of the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, UOKiK) of 25 June 2013 in which Sfinks Polska S.A. (Sfinks) was found to infringe Art. 6(1) of the Polish (...)

The Turkish Competition Board updates its guidelines on vertical agreements
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction A number of studies have been undertaken in order to revise the Guideline on Vertical Agreements ("Vertical Guideline") in line with the developments in the European Union legislation, as well as to address the needs in the relevant sectors. Following the workshop that was held on (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms that the general prohibition of the use of price comparison engines by retailers is illegal (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ASICS dealers allowed to use price comparison engines - Federal Court of Justice confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision* In its decision of 12 December, 2017, published on 19 January, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice decided that ASICS may not forbid its dealers from using price comparison (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down an anticipated judgment on the possibility for a producer of luxury goods to restrict the selling of goods on third party online platforms outside of its selective distribution network (Coty)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ECJ or the Court) handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in Coty (C-230/16). In general, the ECJ closely follows the opinion of Advocate General Wahl (AG Wahl), published on 26 July 2016, in essentially holding that: the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system (Coty)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
This article considers how much the Coty Ruling has shed light on the extent to which a manufacturer can restrict the sales of its products over online platforms, especially in the wake of the recent German Case involving ASICS and basic principles developed at EU level to assess obligations (...)

The EU General Court endorses selective distribution of spare parts for luxury watches (CEAHR)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 October 2017, the General Court of the European Union (the “Court”) dismissed an action brought by Confédération européenne des associations d’horlogers-réparateurs (“CEAHR”) against the European Commission (the “Commission”) for the annulment of the Commission’s decision to reject a complaint (...)

The UK CMA announces the launch of a market investigation into investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services
Morgan Lewis (London)
On 14 September 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that, following a reference from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it was launching a market investigation into investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services to and by institutional investors (...)

The French Supreme Court refers a case on online platform sales ban back to the Paris Court of Appeal without waiting for an upcoming ruling of the EU Court of Justice on a similar case (Caudalie / eNova)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2017, the French Supreme Court ordered the Paris Court of Appeal to rehear a case for failing to sufficiently substantiate its finding that an obligation in Caudalie’s selective distribution system constituted a probable restriction of competition by object. In the selective (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publishes guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published a guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. The aim of the guidance note is to (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a lighting supplier for price resale maintenance (National Lighting Company)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Lighting company fined £2.7 million for restricting online prices* A lighting supplier has been fined for requiring retailers to use a minimum price when selling their products online. The National Lighting Company (NLC) supplies light fittings to a range of retailers who then sell them on. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines global automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance and other anticompetitive conduct in markets for car manufacturing, spare car parts, and car repair services (Fx Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai Motor India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes Hyundai for resale price maintenance and tie-in* The CCI vide its order dated June 14, 2017 imposed a penalty of INR 87 Crore (Rupees Eighty Seven Crores) on Hyundai Motor India Limited (‘HMIL’) for contravention of Section 3(4) read with Section 3(1) of the Act. The Information (...)

The EU Commission issues its final report on e-commerce sector
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on e-commerce sector inquiry* The European Commission’s final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry identifies business practices that may restrict competition. It allows the Commission to target its enforcement of EU antitrust rules in e-commerce (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that the general prohibition of the use of price comparison engines by retailers violates competition law (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision on prohibition of use of price comparison engines* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of principle against the running shoes manufacturer Asics. According to the decision the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority fines an undertaking for resale price maintenance in the fresh bakers’ yeast market (Algist Bruggeman)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority fines Algist Bruggeman 5.489.000 euros for resale price maintenance and impeding low priced competitors regarding fresh bakers’ yeast* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) fines Algist Bruggeman nv and her mother (...)

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

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition imposes €31m fine on nine commercial banks for anticompetitive practices (JCC)
Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
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On 27/01/2016 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”) ended its investigation against eight commercial banks (Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd (“BOC”), Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Ltd (“Marfin”), Hellenic Bank Ltd (“Hellenic Bank”), Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd (“Alpha Bank”), (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes the new block exemption for vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
Introduction The New Block Exemption Communique 2017/3 for Vertical Agreements in the Motor Vehicle Sector in Turkey was published in the Official Gazette on February 24 2017. Communique 2017/3 revoked the Block Exemption Communique 2005/4 for Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its Motor Vehicles Sector Report and a New Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements in Motor Vehicles Sector
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The motor vehicles sector is one of the biggest sectors in today’s world, and it has enormous impact in a variety of associated sectors, such as iron and steel, light metals, petrochemical, tire, plastics, tourism, and transportation. The automotive industry is one of the major (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines an undertaking for resale price maintenance in the white goods and small household appliances market (Gorenje)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Gorenje Zagreb fined more than HRK 1.5 mil for resale price maintenance* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) imposed a fine on the undertaking Gorenje Zagreb amounting to HRK 1.557,000. The CCA found within the proceeding that Gorenje Zagreb entered into a prohibited agreement containing (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. The guidance note follows proceedings concluded in December last year, in which the FCO imposed fines amounting to € (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Publication of guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector - public consultation* oday the Bundeskartellamt published a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. Interested parties are invited to submit (...)

The German Competition Authority fines furniture manufacturers for vertical price fixing (aeris)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on account of vertical price fixing in the sale of furniture* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its cartel proceedings against furniture manufacturers for enforcing resale price maintenance on retailers. Fines totalling 4.43 million euros were imposed on the (...)

The EU General Court orders the European Union to pay damages for excessively long court proceedings for the first time (Industrial bags cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 January 2017, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment in which it ordered the European Union to pay Gascogne and Gascogne Sack Deutschland (“Gascogne”) a total of about € 57,000 in damages for the excessive duration of previous proceedings before the GC in connection with the Industrial (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court inflicts a record fine for prohibited vertical agreements within a selective distribution system of cars (Hyundai)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
After almost a 4-year appeal procedure, in December 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (the “Supreme Court”), acting as a court of first instance, confirmed one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms a fine of over 8 million euros for several hard-core vertical restrictions (Hyundai)
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co (Sofia)
Bulgaria: First-instance court confirms a fine of over € 8 mln on the distributor of Hyundai in Bulgaria for several hard-core vertical restrictions* At the very end of 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in its first-instance 3-member panel, confirmed one of the highest fines ever (...)

The German Competition Authority fines firms in the food retail sector for vertical price fixing (Neumünster)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine proceedings for vertical price fixing in the German food retail sector concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its last three pending proceedings concerning vertical price fixing in the food retail sector. The authority imposed fines totalling 18.3 million euros on EDEKA (...)

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 Italian Supreme Court rules that the reorganization of the Italian distribution network of a car manufacturer does not breach competition law (Volkswagen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent Volkswagen Group Italia (VGI) judgement , the Italian Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (the Court) has ruled that the plan for the reorganization of its Italian distribution network implemented by a German car manufacturer did not breach competition. The Court considered the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that recommending the use of a certain engine oil brand in authorised service centres does not amount to a vertical restraint (Castrol / Dogus Oto)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that recommending the use of only Castrol branded engine oils in service centres authorised by Volkswagen and Dogus Oto, coupled with the practice of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty for (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections on the market of manufacturing and distribution of sandwiches intended to food supermarkets
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence states that unannounced inspections were carried out on September 15 in the sector of manufacturing and distribution of sandwiches intended to food supermarkets.* On September 15th, following authorisation from the liberty and custody (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts remedies proposed by a distributor of motor vehicle parts and accessories suspected to have concluded anticompetitive vertical agreements (Drezga)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA accepted committments by Drezga d.o.o.* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the ex-officio infringement proceeding against the undertaking Drezga d.o.o., an authorised distributor for Husqvarna Group products, based on the fact that the contracts this undertaking concluded with (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a distributor of meat products for price resale maintenance (Pick)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Pick’s pricing practice is unlawful – The GVH has imposed a fine due to the fixing and setting of and minimum prices during temporary sales (promotions)* According to the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), from January 2009 to December 2014, Pick (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a professional association and its compliant pharmaceutical member company for anticompetitive agreements (Maruti & Company / KCDA Karnataka Chemists & Druggists Association / Lupin)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI again fines Pharma Company for Anti-Competitive Activities * The Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) by way of its order dated 28.07.2016 has found the Karnataka Chemists and Druggist Association (“KCDA”) , Lupin Ltd. (“Lupin”) and their Office bearers to be in contravention of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council issues a decision stressing that a resale price maintenance practice constitutes a hard core restriction (SCAB)
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Clarification of applicable criteria The Competition Council clarified the applicable criteria, which will undoubtedly help companies to (better) assess whether their practices constitute an illegal RPM practice. Such criteria are most welcome. Indeed, even though the European Commission has (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority opens an ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market (L’Oréal)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market, for alleged infringements of competition rules.* Ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market, for alleged infringements of competition rules. The Grand Chamber of the HCC will convene on the 13th of October 2016 to (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
European Court of Justice to Rule on Legality of Online Sales Bans*An appeal court in Frankfurt has asked the European Court of Justiceto clarify the application of the competition rules to online sales. The Frankfurt court made its request in the context of a dispute between a leader in beauty (...)

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority fines a company for retail price maintenance on online sales (ITW)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined ITW Limited, a supplier of refrigerators, £ 2,298,820 for retail price maintenance on online sales. From 2012 to 2014, ITW required dealers to adhere to its minimum advertised price policy for Foster commercial fridges and (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority accepts commitments from tour operators and airlines in the charter air passenger transport market (Scavolin)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 4 November 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (CC) concluded its investigation into the alleged anti-competitive practices on the market for charter air passenger transport by accepting a series of commitments offered by the tour operators and airline companies involved. The case (...)

The German Competition Authority fines several breweries and retailers for resale price maintenance (Offenburg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Resale price maintenance in food retail sector - Fine proceedings largely concluded in beer segment too* In its vertical case in the food retail sector the Bundeskartellamt has concluded further cartel proceedings and imposed new fines on retailers totalling 90.5 million euros. This time the (...)

The German Competition Authority opens an administrative proceeding to examine dairies’ conditions of supply
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines dairies’ conditions of supply* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated an administrative proceeding to examine the conditions which the dairies have set farmers for the supply of raw milk. In a test case it will examine first of all the conditions of supply set by the large (...)

The Turkish Competition Board takes legal action against an undertaking for abuse of dominance and restrictive agreements (Soda Sanayii)
ELIG Gürkaynak (Istanbul)
Introduction On April 20 2016 the Turkish Competition Board published reasoned Decision 16-14/205-89, following its preliminary investigation into allegations that Soda Sanayii AŞ had violated: Article 6 of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition by abusing its dominant position in the (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals refers how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms to the European Court of Justice (Coty)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see judgment of October 13, 2011, case C-439/09) have been on the agenda in Germany for some time. Recently, the Frankfurt (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Ban on sales via third-party internet platforms in Germany and Pierre Fabre – recent referral to the Court of Justice* The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see (...)

The EU Commission presents its initial findings on geo-blocking with respect to consumer goods in e-commerce sector inquiry
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published its initial findings of its sector inquiry into the e-commerce sector in relation to geo-blocking practices. The Commission de nes geo-blocking as commercial practices whereby online providers prevent users from accessing and purchasing (...)

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court holds that manufacturers of branded goods are entitled to prohibit authorised retailers in selective distribution agreements from distributing their goods via third-party online platforms (Markenrucksäcke / Branded Backpacks)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
I. The Facts The parties argue in a civil law proceeding whether a manufacturer could make the supply of goods to an authorised distributor in a selective distribution system subject to a contractual obligation not to resell goods via online sales platforms such as Amazon and advertise them via (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on limited exclusivity restriction in lease agreements and concludes that it is not a restriction by object (Maxima Latvija)
Liège University - IEJE
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Liège University - IEJE
In a preliminary reference judgment in the Maxima Latvija case, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled that commercial lease agreements including a clause conferring on the anchor tenant the right to approve lease agreements that the property owner may conclude with third parties do (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds limited exclusivity restriction in lease agreements not to be a restriction by object (Maxima Latvija)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 November 2015, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in a request for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings between Maxima Latvija, a Latvian entity carrying out business predominantly in the food retail trade, and the Latvian Competition Council. By way of (...)

The EU Commission issues a statement of objection against companies offering pay-TV services for geographical market sharing (Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros)
University of East Anglia - CCP (Norwich)
The European Commission’s Battle Over Pay-TV Services: Can Segmenting the EU Market Be Justified?* Yesterday the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections to Sky UK and six major US film studios, taking the preliminary view that restrictions put in place to prevent consumers located (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority closes the investigation it launched ex officio into consumer electronics suppliers and retailers for exchange of information (Samsung / Gold)
University of Sussex
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that consumer electronics suppliers and retailers did not restrict competition by exchanging information with regard to price increases and decreases. Background Opened ex officio, the (...)

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

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning online sales of prams and strollers (Emmaljunga)
Hansberry Tomkiel (Warsaw)
In its decision no RGD 2/2015 of 30th June 2015 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“Competition Authority”) accepted commitments proposed by the Poland-based company “Investment Trading Consulting” (“Company”), Polish exclusive distributor of prams and (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for vertical resale price maintenance (Aldi)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical resale price maintenance in the food retail sector - Majority of fine proceedings concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded most of its cartel proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally maintaining the retail prices of well-known brand (...)

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 German Competition Authority assesses vertical and horizontal price fixing in cartel proceedings focusing on the food sector (Aldi / Edeka / Kaufland / Metro / REWE / Haribo / Ritter)
Commeo (Frankfurt)
In June 2015, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has concluded most of its long going proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally fixing the retail prices of branded products. The FCO imposed total fines of EUR 151.6million on both manufacturers and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a manufacturer and its dealers for having implemented a vertical agreement (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS fined “Argus-Spektr” CJSC 19.5 million RUB for prohibited “vertical” agreements* Conducting administrative proceedings upon the fact of concluding prohibited “vertical” agreements between “Argus-Spektr” CJSC and its dealers, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) imposed 18 administrative (...)

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

The German Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer for resale price maintenance in the market of portable navigation devices (United Navigation)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine imposed for resale price maintenance in the sale of portable nagivation devices* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 300,000 euros on United Navigation GmbH, Ostfildern, for enforcing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From July 2009 to May 2014 (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly explore potential need to develop national law regarding digital business and commerce
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (FMEE) have published a press release and a memo about launching a study on digital business and commerce from the standpoint of assessing whether the need exists to better adapt (...)

The Danish Competition Authority concludes a settlement with a supplier of hardball-gear guilty of resale price maintenance (ActionSportGames)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
ActionSportGames pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On April 30, 2015, ActionSportGames A/S, a Danish supplier of hardball-gear – an activity similar to paintball – entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for (...)

The Danish Competition Authority concludes a settlement with a producer of trailers guilty of price resale maintenance (Variant)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Variant A/S, Denmark, pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On April 29, 2015, Variant A/S, a Danish producer of trailers, entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority heavily fines an anticompetitive agreement considering the seriousness of the infringement and its duration in the spare parts market (Daimler)
Neocleous (Nicosia)
Factual background The case concerned two companies namely Kapodistrias and Kyros who were active in the import, purchase, supply and resale of original spare parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which were supplied by dealers and suppliers from abroad. Kyros and Kapodistrias claimed that, after (...)

The Competition Commission of India passes an order in favour of prominent online retail platforms in India (Mohit Manglani / M/s Flipkart India)
Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
Introduction After Google, e-commerce seems to be next hot topic in the antitrust community. The European Commission’s recent inquiry has made this sector one of the most watched ones. Predictably, with the exponential increase in internet penetration, the Indian competition law has also (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues a commitment decision and closes an investigation regarding contracts concluded between online booking websites and their partner hotels (Online Hotel Reservation)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a commitment decision made on 21 April 2015 in the Mercato dei Servizi Turistici-Prenotazione Alberghiere Online case (thereinfter Online Hotel Reservation) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an Article 101 TFEU investigation against Booking. The ICA has launched the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens an inquiry concerning vertical practices on the retail chain market (Perekryostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
An antimonopoly case against “Perekryostok” retail chain* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) initiated a case against “Perekryostok” Retail Chain” CJSC. Upon inspecting contractual practices between suppliers of socially important food (...)

The Japanese Competition Authority changes partially its guidelines concerning distribution systems and business practices
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Partial amendments of the “Guidelines concerning distribution systems and business practices under the Antimonopoly Act”* 1. On the basis of the “Implementation Plan for Regulatory Reform” (June 24, 2014, The Cabinet Decision) (hereinafter the “Plan”), in order to make clarifications to be (...)

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

The Hellenic Competition Commission examines whether tobacco manufacturers impede competition in the market of tobacco distribution (Papastratos Cigarette Manufacturing Company, British American Tobacco Hellas)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Investigation of complaints by tobacco distributors against tobacco manufacturers and review of proposed commitments by tobacco manufacturers to meet competition concerns expressed to them by the HCC in its preliminary assessment* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), in plenary, will (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines a mineral waters supplier for vertical agreements fixing prices (Vöslauer Mineralwasser)
European Commission
Fine for Vertical Agreement in Non-alcoholic Beverages Sector* On 3 March 2015, upon application of the BWB, the Cartel Court imposed a € 653 775 fine on Vöslauer Mineralwasser AG for vertical agreements fixing prices (RPM) with several retailers from January 2007 to December 2012 in the area of (...)

The Slovakian Antimonopoly Office publishes document on its priority setting with regard to vertical agreements restricting competition by object
European Commission
AMO Publishes Document on its Priority Setting with Regard to Vertical Agreements Restricting Competition by Object ("Hard-Core Restrictions")* On 1 March 2015, the Antimonopoly Office (AMO) issued a document on vertical agreements with the aim to inform companies of its priority setting with (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes further fines on a mattress producer for allegedly imposing resale prices on retailers selling its products (Metzeler Schaum)
Ashurst (Milan)
Germany’s Federal Cartel Authority imposes further fines in mattress case* Last 6 February Germany’s Federal Cartel Authority (“FCA”) fined mattress producer Metzeler Schaum Gmbh (“Metzeler”) Euro 3.38 million for allegedly imposing resale prices on retailers selling its products, in breach of (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on a mattress manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Metzeler Schaum)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Further fine imposed for resale price maintenance in mattress case* The Bundeskartellamt has fined Metzeler Schaum GmbH 3.38 million euros for imposing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From early 2007 to July 2011 representatives of Metzeler had repeatedly agreed (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority publishes a working draft of its standpoint on vertical restraints outlining its views on vertical competition issues
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Competition Authority of Slovakia ("SCA") published on 4 February 2015 a working draft of the Standpoint on Vertical Agreements ("Standpoint") and invited the relevant public to discuss the main ideas outlined in the Standpoint. The Standpoint has been published in the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines €9.29 million three companies operating in the bottled LPG market for restricting passive sales (Galp Energia)
Abreu Advogados (Lisbon)
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 Romanian Competition Council imposes fines, for the first time, on several undertakings for failure to comply with their antitrust remedies in the mobile phone market (Avenir Telecom, Euronet Services companies and the Professional Football League)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
For the first time: The Competition Council applies sanctions for failure to comply with the commitments* The Competition Council has sanctioned Avenir Telecom and Euronet Services companies and the Professional Football League (LPF) with fines totalling 705,079 lei (approx. 156,340 euros) for (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fines on one undertaking for implementing resale price maintenance practices and a restriction of cross-supplies between distributors/franchisees within its selective distribution network (Germanos)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The HCC imposes fines on GERMANOS for infringing EU and national competition rules in relation to its franchise network* The HCC imposes fines on GERMANOS for infringing EU and national competition rules in relation to its franchise network Following an extensive investigation, the Hellenic (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes fines on two undertakings for resale price maintenance (Kraš and NTL)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA finds a prohibited vertical agreement between Kraš and NTL* The Croatian Competition Agency established in the course of the proceeding that the agreement between the undertakings Kraš and Narodni trgovački lanac (NTL), that was in force for almost four years, from October 2014 to July 2014, (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition issues a revised second-instance decision on anticompetitive agreements on the export prohibition concerning the coal market and decreases the fine imposed (Sokolovská uhelná)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
THE OFFICE REPEATEDLY SANCTIONED THE UNDERTAKING SOKOLOVSKÁ UHELNÁ FOR ANTICOMPETITIVE AGREEMENTS, THE FINE WAS DECREASED* The Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) Mr Petr Rafaj has issued a revised second-instance decision on (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on a food retailer and a frozen bakery producer for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement (Maxima and Mantinga)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN MAXIMA LT AND UAB MANTINGA RESULTED IN HIGHER COSTS FOR CONSUMERS* Competition Council (the KT) disclosed an anti-competitive agreement between food retail chain MAXIMA LT, UAB (MAXIMA) and frozen bakery producer UAB Mantinga (Mantinga). The companies fixed (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court upholds request by the Competition Authority and fines a dairy producer for resale price maintenance (NÖM)
European Commission
Settlement with Dairy Producer* On 26 November 2014, the Cartel Court (29 Kt 60/14) imposed a fine of € 583.200 on NÖM AG, a major Austrian dairy producer for anticompetitive behaviour related to RPM with food retailers regarding certain dairy products between 2007 and 2012. The decision was (...)

The Danish Competition Council requires of the two largest wholesale distributors of medicine on the Danish market to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions (Nomeco and Tjellesen Max Jenne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish wholesale distributors of medicine have infringed competition rules* The Danish Competition Council has required the two largest distributors on the Danish market, Nomeco A/S and Tjellesen Max Jenne A/S, to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions. Director (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines retailers for vertical price agreements (SPAR / Sutterlüty / MPREIS)
European Commission
Fines for Various Food Retailers* On 26 November 2014, the Cartel Court imposed a € 3 000 000 fine on the retailer SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels AG for vertical price agreements (RPM) concluded with several suppliers from 2002 to 2012 in the area of dairy products, which were found to (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes symbolic fines on two undertakings for having implemented an anticompetitive vertical agreement in the beer market taking into account the fact that the duration of the agreement was relatively short and the fact that the parties voluntarily changed the prohibited provisions (Carlsberg and KTC)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Carlsberg and KTC fined for prohibited vertical agreement* The Croatian Competition Agency declared the agreements entered into by Carlsberg Croatia and KTC Križevci null and void and imposed symbolic sanctions for the infringement of Competition Act to the undertakings concerned in total (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the sanction imposed by the Bulgarian Competition Commission on several undertakings for having implemented a vertical anticompetitive agreement in the sunflower oil market (Zvezda and COOP - Trade and Tourism)
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
SAC upholds sanctions for prohibited agreement on the sunflower oil market* Last week the Supreme Administrative Court upheld in full measure sanctions for the sunflower oil producer “Zvezda” AD and its main distributer “COOP - Trade and Tourism” AD, respectively amounting to BGN 85 673 and BGN 76 (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on a mattress manufacturer for having imposing resale price maintenance on retailers (Recticel Schlafkomfort GmbH)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
First fine imposed for resale price maintenance in mattress case* The Bundeskartellamt has fined Recticel Schlafkomfort GmbH 8.2 million euros on account of imposing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From July 2005 to December 2009 representatives of Recticel agreed (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes fines on four companies for having implemented an anticompetitive vertical agreement (Dukat and Konzum / Kutjevo and KTC)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Press Release published on the official website of the Croatian Competition Agency . Fines for Dukat and Konzum, Kutjevo and KTC* The Croatian Competition Agency declared the agreements entered into by Dukat and Konzum, and Kutjevo and KTC, null and void. At the same time it imposed sanctions (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes a case of alleged resale price maintenance with a commitment decision (Enervit - Distribution contracts)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
With its decision of 20 November 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) initiated an investigation against Enervit S.p.A., a company active in the production and distribution of sport and diet food products (“Enervit” or the “Company”) , to verify if, in the vertical relations (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court adopts several decisions imposing fines for vertical restrictions including RPM and restrictions of online sales (Pioneer Electronics / Media-Saturn / Hans Lurf / SSA Fluidra Grundig)
European Commission
Austria: Fines imposed for Vertical Restrictions and Restrictions of Online Sales* Since March 2014, the Cartel Court adopted several decisions imposing fines for vertical restrictions including RPM and restrictions of online sales infringing Article 101 TFEU and § 1 Austrian Cartel Act: a (...)

A Frankfurt Court condemns a general ban on sales over third party Internet platforms and the use of price comparison sites (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a recently published judgment of the lower regional court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) of 18 June 2014, a general ban on sales by distributors over third party Internet platforms and a prohibition on the use of price-comparison sites constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the antitrust probe into agency agreement in the insurance sector by a commitments decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
In its decision of 20 May 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has accepted the commitments offered by seven major insurance companies to end an antitrust investigation into vertical agreements with their agents. The investigated insurance companies were UnipolSai Assicurazioni, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes its investigation against eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies with a commitment decision (Mono-mandatory Agents)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) closed the investigation it had begun in June 2013 into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies by issuing a commitment decision . The Authority had opened the investigation to assess whether the vertical agreements (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation for alleged vertical agreements entered into with their partner hotels in violation of Article 101(1) TFEU (Booking.com / Expedia)
NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
On 7 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the “Authority”) launched an investigation against Booking.com BV (hereinafter, “Booking”), Booking.com (Italia) S.r.l., Expedia Inc. (hereinafter, “Expedia”), and Expedia Italy S.r.l. for alleged (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an article 101 TFEU enquiry focused on the most favoured nation clauses (Hotel Online Reservation)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
In the Online Hotel Reservation case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has launched an Article 101 TFEU investigation into contracts entered by two major online travel agencies (OTA), Expedia and Booking, with their partner hotels. More precisely, the ICA investigation will focus on the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York further cements the Second Circuit courts’ position in favor of not requiring market power in order to establish a vertical restraint (American Express)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
Eastern District of New York Declines to Make Market Power a Requirement in Vertical Restraint Cases In United States v. American Express Co., et al., Eastern District of New York Judge Nicholas Garaufis held that, in the absence of further direction from the Supreme Court or the Second (...)

The German Competition Authority investigates an absolute prohibition to use online marketplaces and price comparison engines imposed on the dealers by a supplier of sports goods (Asics)
Ashurst (Milan)
Bundeskartellamt raises objections against ASICS’s restrictions of online sale* On 24 April 2014 the Bundeskartellamt issued a press release stating that, based on preliminary investigation, it has found that ASICS Deutscheland’s selective distribution system restricts competition among its (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market (G4S / DNB / SEB / Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market* On April 22, the Competition Council (the KT) reopened the investigation into agreements within cash handling market. It was suspected that the mentioned agreements had failed to comply with the requirements (...)

The US FTC approves petition to modify an order imposing restrictions on the ability to enter into certain conditional supply relationships, since the competition among purchasers and sellers of toys has been reshaped following the emergence of online retailers and the growth of two other purchasers (Toys “R” Us)
Ashurst (Milan)
U.S. FTC modifies 1998 order against Toys “R” Us based on market changes brought about by e-commerce* On 15 April 2014 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a petition submitted by Toys “R” Us (“TRU”) to reopen and modify an order issued in 1998, which required TRU to refrain from certain (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania confirms the presence of fault being an absolute precondition for competition law liability (G4S, DNB, SEB and Swedbank)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
On 8 April 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (‘Supreme Administrative Court’ or the ‘Court’) delivered its judgment in case G4S, DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank v. Competition Council . The case concerned the decision by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the (...)

The German Competition Authority receives commitments to abandon an agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system (Girocard)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Standard charges for retailers in electronic cash card payment system abandoned* The leading banking associations in Germany are to abandon their agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system. The associations have undertaken a commitment (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court returns a case to the Competition Authority for additional investigations (G4S)
SKVLAW (Vilnius)
On April 8th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court made a judgement in a case concerning cash-in transit and cash handling services . Because of some understated material in previous decisions the Court had returned the case to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (...)

The Moscow Appeal Court rejects claim regarding unscheduled on-site inspection conducted by the Competition Authority as part of a cartel investigation (Argus-Spekt)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court confirmed: an inspection of “Argus-Spekt” CJSC was carried out fully in accordance with the law* The Head of FAS Anti-Cartel Department, Andrey Tenischev, commented the judgment of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court: “It is not the first incident of challenging our inspections in (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces by almost 99 percent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority on a manufacturer for prohibiting the sale of its products online to the members of its selective distribution network (Bang & Olufsen)
Magenta (Paris)
,
Dechert (Paris)
In its judgment of March 13, 2014, the Paris Court of appeal (Court of Appeal) reduced by almost 99 per cent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority (FCA) on Bang & Olufsen (B&O) in its decision of December 12, 2012 (Decision) for having, since 2001, prohibited the (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds restrictive agreements preventing a competitor from entering the market by obtaining direct access to a source of flyash (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court declares anticompetitive conduct by Cement Australia* The Federal Court in Brisbane has made declarations in the ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors matter, finding numerous contraventions of section 45 of the then Trade Practices Act 1974, now the Competition and Consumer (...)

The Russian Competition Authority proposes solutions to resolve problems in the pharmaceutical market
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS solutions to the problems on the pharmaceutical market* On 28th February 2014, at the 13th Global Competition Forum, of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia), Andrey Tsyganov, moderated a (...)

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

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

The Central London County Court confirms that land agreements are no longer beyond the reach of competition law, while considering its application in respect of a letting scheme imposing restrictions on use (Martin Retail Group / Crawley Borough Council)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Competition law and covenants restrictive of land use* Covenants restricting use of land to particular commercial purposes are commonplace. Until recently, the potential for competition law to regulate them was limited, because “land agreements” were excluded from the reach of the Chapter I (...)

An Israeli Criminal Court convicts for the first time defendants in antitrust case for attempting to engage in illegal vertical restrictive arrangements and for violating merger conditions (Shufersal)
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
On December 23, 2013, The Israeli District Court of the City of Jerusalem found the company operating the leading nationwide supermarket chain in Israel - Shufersal Ltd. ("Shufersal"), its CEO, Mr. Ephraim (Effie) Rosenhaus ("Rosenhaus") and its Deputy VP Commerce and Marketing, Mr. Eliezer (...)

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

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

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

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements* The Commission today released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the Commission reached (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation and accepts remedies on vertical restraints implemented by several pharmaceutical undertakings and gives a recommendation to the Ministry of Health on ways to promote parallel imports of pharmaceuticals
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
On 21 July 2011 the Competition Council terminated the investigation on compliance of actions of several pharmaceutical undertakings with Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 TFEU by accepting commitments (Article 30(2) point 2 [now Article 28(3) point 2] of the Law on (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission takes action against alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in motor vehicles and industrial applications (NSK)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC takes action against NSK for alleged cartel conduct* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Sydney, against NSK Australia Pty Ltd (NSK) for alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in (...)

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

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

The German Competition Authority closes its proceedings against online book trader for enforcing price parity clauses on its marketplace platform (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Amazon abandons price parity clauses for good* 26 November 2013: The Bundeskartellamt has today terminated its proceedings against Amazon for enforcing price parity clauses on its Marketplace platform after the company had met the requirements set by the authority. Andreas Mundt, President of (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office closes its investigation against online book trader into the “price parity” clauses (Amazon)
Ashurst (Milan)
Amazon Marketplace ends price parity* On 26 November 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release stating that it has closed the investigation into Amazon’s “price parity” clauses applied in agreements with traders that operated on its Marketplace platform. In fact, on 27 and (...)

The OECD publishes a study showing that retail road fuel market prices can be distorted even in seemingly competitive markets
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition & Gas: Canadian Competition Bureau Contribution to OECD Study on Competition & Gas* On my daily media sweep earlier today, this interesting Competition Bureau contribution to an OECD study on competition and gasoline caught my eye (OECD Policy Roundtables – Competition in (...)

The Australian Federal Court receives a file concerning alleged resale price maintenance on the market for branded air conditioning products (ACCC / Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC institutes proceedings against Mitsubishi Electric Australia for alleged resale price maintenance* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed proceedings in the Federal Court against Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) for allegedly engaging in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Queen Mary University (London)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues formal opinion on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement in Greece
European Commission
Greece: The Hellenic Competition Commission issues Formal Opinion on Production, Testing, Certification and Marketing of Cement* On 11 November 2013, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) issued Opinion No 32/VII/2013 on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office is satisfied with the modified agreements which now allow authorized dealers to sell online (Sennheiser)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office spares Sennheiser’s online policy from scrutiny* On 24 October 2013 the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) stated (available only in German) that it will not open formal proceedings against Sennheiser, a manufacturer of consumer electronic products, following recent (...)

The Madrid Court of Appeal establishes that there should be no bar to the effect of the arbitration clause and the arbitrability of a dispute concerning rights and obligations arising out of vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector (Camilaga / DAF Vehiculos)
CMS Cameron McKenna (Sofia)
Arbitrability of Competition Law Issues Reinforced* A number of decisions of various national courts have dealt with the issue whether a competition law dispute may be referred to arbitration. Although the case law tends to favour a positive answer, it is still an issue that is being (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal fully endorses the application by the French competition authority of its fining guidelines (Nestle Purina Petcare / Royal Canin / Hill’s Pet Putrition)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Introduction The Paris Court of Appeal reviewed and rejected an appeal against the decision of the French competition authority (the ADLC) sanctioning vertical restraints in the cat and dog food market. The Court upheld the ADLC’s decision finding various anticompetitive practices on the market (...)

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

The Turkish Competition Authority finds that optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health and home care products does not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses do not benefit from block exemption (Reckitt Benckiser)
University of Sussex
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health and home care products, Reckitt Benckiser, did not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California dismisses plaintiff’s antitrust claims and ascertains that allegations of harm to competition caused by multiple defendants can’t be aggregated (Orchard Supply Hardware/Home Depot, METCo & Makita)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Allegations of Harm to Competition Caused by Multiple Defendants Can’t be Aggregated* Earlier this year, I covered the case of Orchard Supply Hardware LLC v. Home Depot USA, Inc. . On September 19, 2013, the court (the Northern District of California) issued its decision on defendants’ motion (...)

The Australian Federal Court decides that the arrangement to buy large volumes of fly-ash was in violation of section 45 which outlaws anticompetitive agreements (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court makes interim declarations of anticompetitive agreements* The Federal Court has made interim declarations in the matter of ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors, which involved numerous alleged breaches of the competition provisions of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (the (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal holds that ’merchants rules’ adopted by two leading credit card network providers do not constitute resale price maintenance (MasterCard and Visa)
Affleck Greene McMurtry (Toronto)
Priceless: Competition case against Visa and MasterCard dismissed* The Competition Tribunal recently held that Visa and MasterCard’s rules do not constitute resale price maintenance, because their product, credit card network services, is not resold by their customers (known as “acquirers”). The (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit questions the FCC on ’Net Neutrality’ suggesting antitrust framework (Verizon)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
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International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
One of the most-anticipated cases of the year heard oral argument on September 9. Verizon appealed the FCC’s Open Internet Order (the agency’s Net Neutrality rules) to the D.C. Circuit. The case raises a number of interesting questions about competition policy, specifically, the interplay (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York establishes collusion to eliminate retail price competition for e-books and imposes restrictions on deals with publishers for the next five years (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. District Court rules Apple colluded on E-Book Prices* On 10 July 2013 the District Court in Manhattan ruled in United States v. Apple Inc., et al that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise prices on e-books. The publishers settled and denied any wrongdoing. However, the case (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority publishes report following sector inquiry into car warranty conditions
European Commission
Norway: The Competition Authority publishes Report following its Sector Inquiry into Car Warranty Conditions* In September 2013, the Norwegian Competition Authority (the NCA) published a report based on its sector inquiry into car warranty conditions in Norway. The inquiry was triggered by (...)

The UK OFT issues draft commitments in an investigation into the sector for hotel online booking (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
Accenture (Dublin)
Hotel Online Booking: The OFT announces its intention to accept binding commitments* On 9 August 2013, the OFT issued draft commitments in the Hotel Online Booking investigation. The OFT has investigated the relevant markets for over 2 years and has provisionally found that certain hotels (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes record fines on six major infant formula makers for vertical price-fixing practices (Biostime, Mead Johnson, Dumex, Abbott, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra)
China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing)
I. Facts and Background On August 7, 2013, China’s top enforcer in charge of curbing price monopolies, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) announced its decision to levy fines in the total amount of CNY 668.73 million (about USD 108.34 million) on six infant formula producers (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that cable companies have applied restrictive conditions in their model contracts for programme distribution and imposes fines (Kábelkommunikációs / Kábeltelevíziós)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive practices of cable associations* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) established that the Hungarian Cabel Communications Association (Magyar Kábelkommunikációs Szövetség - MKSZ) and the Hungarian Cable Television and Telecommunication Association (Magyar (...)

The UK OFT establishes vertical restrictions on the market for supply of mobility scooters, though no fines can be imposed (Roma Medical Aids)
Max Findlay Associates (London)
Not playing nicely* Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order. In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a (...)

The Chinese Shanghai People’s Court orders a manufacturer to pay 530,000 Yuan for setting an artificial price floor (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
Morrison & Foerster (Washington)
Manufacturer Loses Landmark Chinese Antitrust Lawsuit* In the first vertical monopoly ruling in favor of a plaintiff in an antitrust case in China, a manufacturer has been ordered to pay 530,000 Yuan (roughly ($86,000) for setting an artificial price floor. In the case, the manufacturer was (...)

The Shanghai Higher Court and one of China’s antitrust regulators issues decisions that resale price maintenance violated China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
Within the same week, the Shanghai Higher Court and one of China’s antitrust antitrust regulators have issued decisions that resale price maintenance ("RPM") violated China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"). The decision of the Shanghai Higher Court involved an agreement between Johnson & Johnson (...)

The Chinese Shanghai Higher Court renders final judgment in first antitrust private action (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Chinese Court Rendered Final Judgment on Rainbow v. Johnson & Johnson – the First Antitrust Private Action of Vertical Monopolistic Agreement* On 1 August 2013, the very same day of the fifth anniversary of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”), Shanghai Higher People’s Court (“Shanghai Higher (...)

The Chinese Shanghai People’s High Court awards damages to be paid by a major US-headquartered healthcare supplier for vertical restrictive practices (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Chinese Court’s Roadmap on Vertical Monopoly Analysis: Some Comments on the Final Judgment on Rainbow vs. Johnson & Johnson Case* On August 1 2013, Shanghai People’s High Court (the Court) handed down judgment on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the (...)

The Shanghai Higher Court decides on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
On August 1 2013, Shanghai People’s High Court (the Court) handed down judgment on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) clause of China’s Anti-monopoly Law (AML). The Court rescinded the judgment of the first instance (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a producer of natural cosmetics for vertical price fixing (WALA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2013, the FCO imposed fines in the total amount of € 6.5 million on WALA Heilmittel GmbH (“WALA”), manufacturer of natural cosmetics and cures, and some of its employees for vertical price fixing. According to the FCO’s press release, the company put pressure on retailers to follow (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three sunflower oil producers and their distributors for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition in the bottled sunflower oil market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Bulgarian Competition Authority has fined three sunflower oil producers and five of their distributors a total of more than BGN 2 million (around € 1 million) for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition on the bottled sunflower oil market by means of fixing (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority announces that a white goods manufacturer has accepted to pay a fine of € 161,000 for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented parallel imports (Miele)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 July 2013, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced that the white goods manufacturer Miele A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 1.2 million (around € 161,000) for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented (...)

The Israeli Antitrust General Director applies a "Self Assessment" regime on non-horizontal restrictive arrangements
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
Introduction On July 25, 2013, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") issued a new block exemption - the Restrictive Trade Practices Rules (Block Exemption for Non-Horizontal Arrangements which do not Include Certain Price Restrictions), 2013 (the "Block (...)

The German Competition Authority continues to view the best price clause used by a hotel booking portal in a critical manner (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt continues to view HRS’s best price clause critically* The Bundeskartellamt has confirmed its competition concerns about the best price clause used by the hotel booking portal HRS. After examining the statements of HRS and all other relevant market participants, the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority finds resale price maintenance practices on the sunflower oil market (Kaliakra)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 17 July 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) prosecuted the producer of bottled sunflower oil Kaliakra AD (Kaliakra) and its distributors for engaging in the resale price maintenance (RPM) practices. The CPC’s investigation was commenced after the completion of the sector inquiry (...)

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

The French Competition Authority carries out an inquiry in the area of prescription medicine distribution in private practices
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is submitting to public consultation an initial assessment in which it has identified several potential sticking points* Medicinal products are the second-largest (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes a cartel administrative proceeding against an ophthalmologists cooperative and a health insurance fund (Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg / AOK Nordost)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt opens up competition among ophthalmologists from different federal states in Germany* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded a cartel administrative proceeding against the Brandenburg ophthalmologists cooperative "Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg" and the health insurance fund (...)

The Court of Appeal of Paris faces the difficult adequacy between efficiency of private enforcement and the principles of the French Civil Trial (JCB v. Central Parts)
Fieldfisher (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
In its decision dated 26 June 2013, the Court of Appeal of Paris considered that only the harm suffered because of anticompetitive practices implemented for a period of 10 years before they stopped could be compensated. By taking this ruling, it strictly applied the French procedural rules for (...)

The Polish Competition Authority reminds franchisors that resale price maintenance is a hardcore violation of competition law (Sfinks Polska)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In its unprecedented decision of 25 June 2013 in Sfinks Polska, the President of the Polish competition authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the UOKiK), established a list of competition law “don’ts” in franchise agreements. While the UOKiK’s jurisprudence in relation to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes fines on a franchisor for practising fixed and minimum prices of goods on its trading partners (Sfinks Polska)
WKB Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
Franchise networks under siege from the Polish competition authority over alleged RPM arrangements* In its decision of 25 June 2013, the Polish competition authority has fined Sfinks Polska the amount of PLN 464,228.92 (approximately €107,000) for imposing fixed resale prices on its (...)

The Lithuanian Regional Administrative Court of Vilnius decides to reduce the fines imposed for an illegal agreement on the markets for cash-in transit and cash handling services (G4S & banks)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Court upholds the KT‘s decision on the infringement but reduces the fines imposed on G4S and banks* On 18 June 2012, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld the Competition Council’s (Konkurencijos taryba, KT) decision of 20 December 2012, according to which, UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds refusal to supply and restrictions to parallel trade in railway spare parts sector (Deutz, Diesel Motor Nordic)
European Commission
Denmark: The Competition Council finds Refusal to Supply and Restrictions to Parallel Trade in Railway Spare Parts Sector* On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Deutz AG (Deutz) and Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (Diesel Motor Nordic) have infringed the Danish and European (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against 8 insurance companies, for breach of Art. 101 TFEU (Unipol Assicurazioni...)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its decision of 5 June 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’ or ‘Authority’) initiated an investigation against eight of the biggest insurance companies active in Italy, in order to verify if in the vertical agreement between each insurance company and its agents (‘agency contracts’), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings concerning the practice of recommended end-user prices contained in contracts with cash-register services providers (ALT CASH)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH terminated its proceedings against ALT CASH Kft.* The Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter: GVH) terminated the proceedings it had initiated against ALT CASH Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. for a suspected infringement of the prohibition of restrictive agreements. Based on the (...)

The German Competition Authority takes a critical view of the agreement on the German banking sector as regards the existing electronic cash card payment system (ELV)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Electronic cash card payment system of German banking sector raises competition concerns* The Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of the agreement of the German banking sector on the existing electronic cash card payment system. Today the authority communicated its (preliminary) concerns to (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission opens investigation into a car manufacturer for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts (Opel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis
On 16 May 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) announced that it has opened a formal investigation into the Spanish subsidiary of General Motors, Opel, for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts to Opel’s authorised dealers and repairers. (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fine against major retailer and several suppliers for anticompetitive vertical agreements in food retail sector (REWE)
European Commission
Austria: The Cartel Court imposes Fine in Food Retail Case* On 13 May 2013, the Cartel Court (the Court) imposed a € 20 800 000 fine on the REWE Group (REWE) for vertical agreements between REWE and a number of suppliers (Court reference number 25 Kt 29/13). The Court held that REWE agreed (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues an enforcement decision concerning previously established commitments to cease the anticompetitive practices on the retail market for body sportwear (FitFlops)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Competition Authority reminder to businesses: resale price maintenance is against the law The Competition Authority advises businesses to be aware that resale price maintenance is against the law and that it will take enforcement action against anyone engaging in the practice. The advice is (...)

The Greek Supreme Administrative Court partially annuls a decision of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal upholding an HCC decision finding infringements of both Art 101 TFEU and Art 1 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of a resale price maintenance scheme in the market for dairy products (Vivartia, Megval, Fage, Olympos and Rodopi)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 3 April 2013, the second Senate of the Council of State (Symvoulio tis Epikrateias, the Greek Supreme Administrative Court) delivered Ruling No 1324/2013 which partially annuls Ruling No 3008/2009 of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon). The (...)

Vertical Agreements and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
King’s College (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
1. Introduction This article reviews EU cases reported in e-Competitions and dealing with the application of Article 101, or its national equivalent, to vertical agreements in 2012. Previous special issues have also dealt with vertical agreements and, more specifically, with agency (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down preliminary ruling on circumstances in which agreements concerning the price of automotive repairs concluded between insurance companies and repair shops may have an anti-competitive object (Allianz, Generali)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 March 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hungarian Supreme Court on the application of Article 101 TFEU to certain agreements between insurance companies and car repair shops. Once a (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the dichotomy between anticompetitive object-effect with respect to bilateral arrangements between car dealers and insurance companies (Allianz)
University of Groningen
Allianz and the Object-Effect Dichotomy in Article 101(1) TFEU: A Practical Solution Meets Not So Practical Competition Law* Two separate insurance companies Allianz and Generali concluded a number of contracts with autorepair shops on the prices and other conditions that would apply for cars (...)

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

The Turkish Competition Board grants individual and group exemptions to leading soft drinks company regarding its wholesale distribution contracts in Turkey (Coca Cola)
Kinstellar (Istanbul)
A. Introduction On 7 March 2013, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) concluded a preliminary investigation concerning Coca Cola Satış ve Dağıtım A.Ş. (“Coca Cola”) as a result of the application filed by the Özbağ Meşrubat Gıda Pazarlama Dağıtım Taşımacılık San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Complainant”). (...)

The French Competition Authority concludes to an absence of infringement of competition rules following a complaint by several actors of the ophthalmic sector (Kalivia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Kalivia was not in breach of competition rules when it set up its network of authorised opticians*. The Autorité de la Concurrence was informed by a professional body of opticians (the SynOpE) and two (...)

The Korean FTC finds that the territorial restraints clauses contained in the distribution agreements of a liquor manufacturer are illegal since they suppress intra-brand competition among the wholesale distributors (Kook Soon Dang)
Bae Kim & Lee
I. Introduction Vertical restraints are largely scrutinized under a less strict standard of review as compared to horizontal restraints – especially in relation to naked price-fixing or market division. Since the US Supreme Court held in the watershed decision of 1977, Continental TV v. GTE (...)

The Chinese Competition Authorities impose hefty fines on two State-owned liquor distillers for resale price maintenance (Kweichow Maotai / Yibin Wuliangye)
University of International Business & Economics (Beijing)
On February 22, 2013, two Chinese provincial competition authorities served their respective enforcement orders upon two Chinese state-owned liquor distillers with formidable amounts of fines: one for Kuichow Maotai in the amount of RMB 247 million (USD 40 mil.) and the other for Wuliangye, RMB (...)

The UK OFT fines car manufacturer and three dealers £ 2.6 M over anti-competitive behaviour (Mercedes-Benz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had imposed a fine of £ 2.6 million on Mercedes-Benz and three of its commercial vehicle dealers – Ciceley, Enza and Road Range – for having engaged in anti-competitive practices involving market-sharing, price (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a web survey targeting 2,400 sellers who offer their products on major internet platform (Amazon Marketplace)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt surveys Amazon Marketplace sellers* Today the Bundeskartellamt launched a web survey of 2,400 sellers who offer their products through Amazon Marketplace. Within the framework of administrative proceedings under competition law the Bundeskartellamt is examining the effects of (...)

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

The Brazilian CADE issues a decision on resale price maintenance that may serve as guidelines for future analyses (SKF)
Brasilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
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Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
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Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice
The Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) has recently issued an important decision on Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) practices that may serve as guideline for future analyses of this conduct (CADE’s Administrative Proceeding nº 08012.001271/2001-44). The administrative judgment started in 2009 (...)

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

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection finds that the agreements between a manufacturer and distributor of lubricants and its distributors breach national competition law (Orlen Oil)
SADKOWSKI I WSPÓLNICY RADCOWIE PRAWNI I ADWOKACI
On December 31, 2012, Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection found the agreement entered into by the Polish company Orlen Oil, which is responsible for comprehensive manufacturing and distribution of lubricants, to be limiting competition in the wholesale sales of lubricants in (...)

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

The Lithuanian Competition Council fines security services provider and three banks for anticompetitive agreements concerning cash handling and cash-in-transit services (G4S Lietuva, DNB bank, SEB bank, Swedbank)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
The Lithuanian Competition Council (the Council) imposed a total fine of over EUR 16 million on G4S Lietuva (G4S), a provider of security services, and three major banks in Lithuania - DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank (collectively - the Banks) – for vertical agreements restrictive of competition (...)

The Swedish Market Court sees a non profit association for motor sports as an undertaking and rules against certain prohibitive rules (Svenska Bilsportsforbundet)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
The "Svenska Bilsportförbundet" ("SBF") is a non-profit organisation adopted by the National Sports Federation ("Riksidrottsförbundet") as a "special sports federation" for the organisation of motorsports in Sweden. The SBF organises a number of motorsport organisations in Sweden. For the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues a guidance note setting out its view concerning preferred repairer arrangements in the insurance market
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Competition Authority guidance on preferred repairers in the insurance market* The Competition Authority regularly receives complaints about ‘preferred repairer’ arrangements in the insurance market. We have assessed these arrangements from a competition perspective and published a guidance note (...)

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

The Swedish Market Court reviews and bans a system of warranty where only authorized undertakings could make service and repairs for the warranty to be valid (Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters förening/KIA Motors Sweden)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
Sveriges Bildelsgrossisters Förening ("SBF") is a non-profit trade association for Swedish suppliers of spare parts to cars, which association has the objective to protect the member companies’ joint interests. Kia Motor Corporation is a South Korean car manufacturer that established operations (...)

The Turkish Competition Board submits to public consultation a draft guidelines relating to horizontal cooperation agreements including the exchange of information between competitors
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The exchange of information between competitors is not regulated under Turkish law. This subject was recently handled within the Guidelines Project on the Application of Articles 4 and 5 of the Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition in Horizontal Cooperation Agreements (“Guidelines”). (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes fines on automobile dealers for fixing prices on the market for sales of new cars and after-sales service (Toyota dealers)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
The TCA Fined Toyota Dealers* According to the press release published yesterday (23 November 2012), the TCA imposed fines on nine Toyota dealers that are active in Istanbul. Total amount of the fines is 3.942.906,72 TL about 1.714.000 Euros. It was held by the TCA that infringement was (...)

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection finds the agreements between IT software company and its distributors as breaching competition law on the basis of EC 330/2012 (Soneta)
SADKOWSKI I WSPÓLNICY RADCOWIE PRAWNI I ADWOKACI
On November 7, 2012, Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection found the agreement entered into by the creator of software, Soneta with Distributors which contained a resale price maintenance to be limiting competition in the companies’ management software industry. The distribution (...)

The French Competition Auhority calls for progressive lifting of restrictions on distribution of visible spare parts
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence calls for progressive Lifting of Restrictions on Distribution of visible Spare Parts* Following the launch of its sector inquiry into the automotive aftermarkets in 2011 and an open and transparent public consultation on its provisional findings, the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority changes its approach towards vertical agreements (IMS Sofa)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In the decision of 30 August 2012, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter referred to as the “OCCP President” or the “PCA”) found that the furniture manufacturer IMS Sofa was fixing prices with its distributors in respect to company’s selected products for (...)

The European Commission issues a document where it answers to the most frequently asked questions on the application of EU antitrust rules in the motor vehicle sector
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
The new Motor Vehicle Regulation and its Guidelines have raised many questions from players in the aftermarket sector. The Commission has therefore decided to publish its answers to the most frequently asked questions in a document which, as it has emphasized from the outset, is neither (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine totalling € 8.2 M for vertical resale price maintenance in tools selective distribution system (Tooltechnic)
European Commission
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines for Vertical Resale Price Maintenance in Tools Selective Distribution System* On 20 August 2012, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed a fine totalling € 8 200 000 on TTS Tooltechnic Systems Deutschland GmbH (Tooltechnic). This case concerns high (...)

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

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues an interim measures order prohibiting a collective boycott by a pharmacists association (Infant Milk)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 27 July 2012, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an interim measures order prohibiting the implementation of a collective boycott relating to infant milk products of certain companies. The boycott was adopted by the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on the restriction of competition through vertical agreements in the context of public bids
Commeo (Frankfurt)
The German Federal Court of Justice (the “Court”) has ruled in its decision of 25 July 2012 that the organiser of a public tender can violate Sec. 298 (1) of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch - “StGB”) by organizing together with participating bidders an offer which is based on an unlawful (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority settles an alleged cartel case between large retail chains (Metro / Billa / Kaufland / Picadilly / Maxima / HIT)
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov (Sofia)
On 19 July 2012 the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (“CPC”) handed down a commitments decision (the “Commitments Decision”) and closed an investigation for alleged horizontal coordination of pricing and marketing policy by six retailers – “Metro Cash & Carry Bulgaria” EOOD (...)

The Belgian Supreme Court upholds the severability of anticompetitive provisions in a distribution agreement (Bauer, Dubraco)
DG COMP (Brussels)
On June 28, 2012, the Belgian Supreme Court (Hof van Cassatie/Cour de Cassation) rendered a short judgment in a contractual dispute involving a distribution agreement entered into in 1993 by Bauer, a German manufacturer of compressors, and its Belgian distributor Dubraco. In essence, the (...)

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

The Danish Competition Council finds that satellite communication company had infringed conditions imposed by the Council concerning the distribution of its TV channels (Viasat)
European Commission
Denmark: Viasat infringes Conditions imposed by Competition Council’s Decision in Distribution of TV Channels Case* On 27 June 2012, the Danish Competition Council (the Council) found that Viasat had infringed the conditions imposed by the Council’s decision of 30 September 2009 on Viasat‘s (...)

The Indian Competition Commission breaks up a cement cartel and fines cartelists with a record fine of RPS 60 billion (Cement Manufacturers Association)
Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) (Brussels)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined eleven cement companies for fixing prices, and for limiting and controlling the output in the cement markets. The CCI has imposed record fines amounting to RPS 60 billion (approximately EUR 836 million) on the cartelists. Economic evidence, (...)

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

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses allegations of vertical price-fixing against medical equipments company (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Shanghai Court’s Position on Resale Price Maintenance in the J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation* On 18 May 2012, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (‘Shanghai Court’) dismissed allegations that Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. and its Shanghai branch had set a (...)

The New York Appellate Court rejects NY Attorney General’s challenge of alleged minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) scheme, holding that New York state statute does not render RPM agreements illegal per se and that restrictions that merely relate to minimum advertised prices do not constitute RPM agreements (Tempur-Pedic)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
A recent New York state appeals court decision highlights the need for suppliers to continue exercising caution when adopting and implementing a resale price maintenance policy. On May 8, 2012, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that (...)

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

The Kansas Supreme Court condemns vertical price fixing agreements as per se illegal under the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Kansas Supreme Court Condemns Vertical Price Fixing Agreements as Per Se Illegal* Earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the reasonableness of a vertical price fixing agreement is not to be considered when determining whether such an agreement violates the Kansas Restraint of (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that the district judge erred in his demand for proof of a "concrete injury" in the price fixing of women’s accessories (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Prods)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Kansas Supreme Court Declares “Rule of Reason” Inapplicable to Kansas Antitrust Law; Legislature May Have a Different Idea* In Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court expressly overruled the categorical ban on vertical price fixing (...)

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

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision against an automobile supplier for including anticompetitive provisions its auto repair services agreements that could not be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC Regulation 1400/2002 (Kia Motors)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 29 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision issued by the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) against the exclusive supplier of KIA automobiles in Croatia Kia Motors Adria Group d.o.o. (KMAG) for obliging the authorized auto repairers to (...)

The UK Government presents its plans for minimum alcohol pricing giving rise to claims of resale price maintenance illegality
Lancaster University
Minimum Alcohol Pricing and EU Law* The announcement regarding minimum alcohol pricing on Friday 22nd March was unusual in a number of respects. The UK Govt does not usually make significant announcements on Friday, as most MPs are away from Westminster on constituency business, but it also (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three leading companies in dog and cat food sector (Nestlé, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence fines three leading Companies in Dog and Cat Food Sector * On 20 March 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) fined the Nestlé, Mars Incorporated, Colgate-Palmolive Groups and their respective specialist subsidiaries Nestlé Purina Petcare France, (...)

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

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

A Chinese Intermediate People’s Court hears the first private litigation challenging vertical price-fixing (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation in China* Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. (‘J&J Medical’) and its Shanghai branch are sued in China for minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) by a Beijing-based distributor. This is the first private litigation that challenges RPM (...)

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

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

The Serbian Competition Authority applies its leniency programme in a case of a vertical distribution agreement with a resale price maintenance clause (Idea / Swisslion)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 23 December 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) established that by including the resale price maintenance clause (minimum prices) in their distribution agreement Idea d.o.o. (distributor) and Swisslion Group d.o.o. (supplier) have concluded an anti-competitive agreement contrary to (...)

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

The French Competition Authority makes binding commitments proposed by leading retailer concerning its franchise agreement (Carrefour / Carrefour market)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2011, the French Competition Authority made binding the commitments proposed by Carrefour concerning its Carrefour Market franchise agreement. In August 2010, Marcadet (a Carrefour franchisee) complained to the French Competition Authority concerning certain commercial (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer € 10 million for restricting parallel imports of imaging products (Nikon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 December 2011, the Swiss Competition Authority (COMCO / WEKO) imposed a fine of 12.5 million Swiss Francs (around € 10 million) on the Swiss subsidiary of Japan-based company Nikon on the grounds that it had restricted parallel imports of Nikon Imaging products. Following receipt of (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

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

The Athens Civil Court of Appeal dismisses an obligation to enter into a contract in the case of anticompetitive practices
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction Ruling No 6546/2011 of the Athens Civil Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) is of particular importance for the private enforcement of Greek and EU competition law since it clarifies the remedies available to the victims in case of anticompetitive practices. In (...)

The European Court of Justice rules that absolute bans on Internet sales are prohibited (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
In 2006, the French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) initiated proceedings regarding practices in the cosmetics and personal care products distribution sector after finding that the majority of manufacturers required that sales be carried out only in a physical space and always (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies anticompetitive practices in the application of the selective distribution system for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC reg. 1400/2002 (Euro Rent Sport)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 13 October 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive agreements in the selective distribution system applied by the exclusive supplier of Mitsubishi automobiles in Croatia – Euro Rent Sport d.o.o. (ERS) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority highlights the distinction between anticompetitive object and effect in the resale price maintenance case on the men’s cloth pants market (Producție Zarah Modern, Cargus Trans, Getin Com)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 30 September 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) established the existence of the resale price maintenance (RPM) clauses in the distribution contracts concluded by SC Producție Zarah Modern SRL(PZM) with its distributorsSC Cargus Trans SRLandSC Getin Com SRLon the market for (...)

The Lisbon Commercial Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision prohibiting a retail price maintenance agreement regarding equipment used in hospital pharmacies with a reduction of the fines (Hospitals’ Public Tenders)
European Commission
Portugal: The Lisbon Commercial Court confirms Competition Authority’s Decision on RPM affecting Hospitals’ Public Tenders* On 12 September 2011, the Lisbon Commercial Court (the Court) confirmed the Portugal Competition Authority’s (PCA) decision prohibiting a retail price maintenance (RPM) (...)

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

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

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

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

The Romanian Competition Authority establishes the existence of resale price maintenance agreements on the market for fresh fruits and vegetables (Interfruct, Albinuța Shops, Profi Rom Food)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 31 May 2011 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) held illegal the resale price maintenance clauses contained in the sales contracts concluded by a wholesaler of fresh fruits and vegetables in the municipality of Bucharest (SC Interfruct SRL) with two retailers (SC Albinuța Shops SRL, SC (...)

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

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

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

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in relation to exclusivity agreements in the multi-brand gift cards sector (Accentiv’Kadéos)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
,
Affinion International (London)
In its decision N°11-D-08 dated 27 April 2011, the French Competition Authority (the «Competition Authority«) accepted the commitments offered by Accentiv’Kadéos in relation to exclusivity agreements between it and its partner brands in the multi-brand gift cards sector. Background On August 2009, (...)

The Polish President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposes commitments to remedy RPM in a vertical hard core restrictions case concerning gardening products distribution (Scotts and its distributors)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
,
Hogan Lovells (Warsaw)
On 26 April 2011, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumers Protection (the «OCCP» or the «Office») issued a decision in which it found that Scotts Poland sp. z o.o. (the «Scotts» or the «Company»), a subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, applied a resale price maintenance clause in (...)

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

The Latvian Competition Council fines for prohibited clauses in contracts between tenant and owner of shopping malls (RIMI & Marno J.)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC Fines for Prohibited Agreement in Contracts between Anchor Tenant and Owner of Shopping Malls* On 8 April 2011 the Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision establishing the existence of a prohibited agreement between retail chain (Rimi group) and lessor of selling space in shopping (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into the motor fuel sector focusing on elements fostering competition in the market of "white pumps"
European Commission
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority launches Inquiry into the Motor Fuel Sector* On 23 March 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) launched an inquiry into the Italian motor fuel sector. The sector inquiry will investigate the general structure and organisation of the Italian (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mazak recommends that prohibition on internet sales be per se infringement (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On March 3, 2011, Advocate General (AG) Mazák delivered an opinion to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS (PFDC). PFDC, a French manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, prohibited its retailers from selling via the Internet. AG Mazák advised the (...)

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

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

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

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

The French Competition Authority holds key provisions of the wholesale dealers network in line with competition law (Pomona/Creno)
GIE Jurigroup - Cabinet Jean-Paul Montenot
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The wholesale trade sector in fruits and vegetables and, to a lesser extent, in seafood products is characterized by a large number of operators (1150) working on the whole French territory. It has an annual turnover of about 5, 1 billion euros. These operators supply with fresh products the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission dismisses a complaint by a local distributor against a producer of office equipment for violating article 101 of the TFEU (Dakos v. Brother International)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 31 January 2011 the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) issued a decision on a complaint against Brother International Europe Ltd. (“Brother”), a producer of office equipment, raised by Dakos A.E. (“Dakos”), a local company distributing Brother‘s products in the Greek market. According to the (...)

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

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

The Polish Competition Authority fines 5 companies for resale price maintenance in the paint distribution sector (Akzo Nobel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 December 2010, the Polish Competition Authority adopted a decision finding that Akzo Nobel Coatings (“Akzo Nobel”) and four DIY companies (namely Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Obi and Praktiker) fixed the minimum resale prices of Akzo Nobel paints in Poland between 2004 and 2006. The Polish (...)

The Polish Competition Authority adopts decision concerning unlawful vertical restraints in the gardening products sector (Ogrody Polskie)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 31 December 2010, which has become recently available, the Polish Competition Authority fined a supplier of gardening products (Ogrody Polskie) and six distributors for entering into unlawful agreements concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of passive sales in (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority fines a number of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products (Cartel of large retailers for cosmetic and health care products)
University of Turin
Italy’s competition authority (“ICA”) has fined 15 companies, including units of Sara Lee Corp., L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson, more than € 81 M ($ 107 M) for an alleged long-running scheme to coordinate list prices sent to large retailers for cosmetic and health care products. The highest fine, (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority accepts a commitment subject to a fine of SEK 750 000 from a franchiser to cease fixing price and to allow the franchisees to carry out sales without the intervention of the franchiser (Make up Store)
Vinge (Stockholm)
,
Cosmetics Europe (Brussels)
Introduction The Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) accepted a commitment subject to a fine of SEK 750 000 from a franchiser to, firstly, cease fixing prices centrally via its online system for cash registers and secondly, to make clear that the prices set by the franchiser were recommended (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority punishes resale price maintenance affecting hospitals’ public tenders
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirms dismissal of price-fixing conspiracy claims in the mattress manufacturing industry for not meeting Twombly pleading requirements (Jacobs, Tempur-Pedic)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Consumers’ Price Fixing Claims Against Mattress Maker Did Not Meet Twombly Pleading Requirements* A decision from a divided U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month continues the debate over the appropriate pleading standard for antitrust plaintiffs under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies a number of vertical restraints in the auto repair services agreements that could not be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC Regulation 1400/2002 (Kia Motors Adria Group)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 2 December 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established the existence of anticompetitive provisions in the auto repair services agreements concluded by the exclusive importer of KIA automobiles in Croatia Kia Motors Adria Group d.o.o. (KMAG) with its authorized auto repairers. (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts decision without fines concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of parallel trade in electrical appliances sector (Witt Hvidevarer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision adopted on 24 November 2010, the Danish Competition Authority found that Witt Hvidevarer A/S (“Witt”), a Danish importer and wholesaler of robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers manufactured by the American company iRobot, had engaged in anticompetitive practices over a period of (...)

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

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision to remove a prohibition against resale of ferry tickets for freight (Scandlines)
European Commission
Denmark: Scandlines - Commitments to remove a Prohibition against Resale of Ferry Tickets for Freight On 27 October 2010, the Competition Council adopted a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by Scandlines to remove a prohibition against the resale of ferry tickets (...)

The US DoJ targets so-called “most favored nation” - MFN - agreements in the health care industry (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan - BCBSM)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
U.S. Dep’t of Justice Targets MFN Agreements* The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to curb the use of so-called “most favored nation” (MFN) agreements — a common business practice that the DOJ believes can sometimes result in anticompetitive effects when entered into by a dominant (...)

The EU Commission declares that it won’t open formal proceedings against changed policies on restrictions imposed on the development of applications for smart phones operating system and cross-border warranties (Apple iPhone)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission closes preliminary investigations into Apple’s iPhone policies* On 25 September 2010, the European Commission declared that it would not open formal proceedings against Apple, following Apple’s iPhone change of policies on restrictions on the development of applications (or (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes highest fine ever for anti-competitive vertical agreement (Sokolovská uhelná)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 15 September 2010, the Czech Competition Authority has imposed its highest fine ever for an anti-competitive vertical agreement on Sokolovská uhelná (a coal supplier established in the Czech Republic). It appears that from 1997 to 2007 Sokolovská uhelná concluded (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on termination of dealership contract for the sale of motor vehicles (Subaru France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 2 September 2010 which has recently become available, the Paris Court of Appeal gave its ruling in legal proceedings between a supplier of motor vehicles, Subaru France, and one of its former dealers. It appears that after Subaru France terminated the dealership agreement by (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that in order to allege a viable vertical restraint claim a plaintiff must plausibly allege the defendant’s market power (PSKS / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Fifth Circuit Dismisses Leegin Resale Price Maintenance Case Anew, Following Supreme Court Remand* In 2007, the United States Supreme Court, updating the application of the cumulative advances in antitrust economics as applied to vertical restraint cases, overruled the venerable Dr. Miles Med. (...)

The Greek Competition Authority imposes fine of € 12.5 M for resale price maintenance in the supermarket sector (Carrefour)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 15 July 2010, the Greek Competition Authority has imposed a fine of € 12.5 million on Carrefour Marinopoulos (“Carrefour”) for engaging, inter alia, in resale price maintenance with its supermarket franchisees in breach of Greek and EU competition law. In (...)

The German Cartel Office accepts commitments from energy suppliers to renounce resale clauses prohibitions (RWE, EWE, RheinEnergie, Wingas, N-Ergie, Stadtwerke Hannover, Erdgas Muenster, Stadtwerke Leipzig, SWM, Entega, Stadtwerke Kiel, Koethen Energie)
European Commission
Germany: Energy Suppliers agree to abandon Resale Prohibitions The Bundeskartellamt has concluded on 7 July 2010 most of its proceedings against gas and electricity suppliers on account of their imposing inadmissible resale bans. Twelve of the major energy suppliers in Germany (RWE, EWE, (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines a retailer for resale price maintenance and other infringements within its franchise network (Carrefour Marinopoulos)
Ernst & Young (Athens)
On 6th April 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (“Epitropi Antagonismou”, hereinafter: “HCC”) issued a decision on the merits by which it imposed a fine on the retailer Carrefour Marinopoulos S.A. (hereinafter: “Carrefour”) for infringements detected within its franchise network, namely resale (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an hypermarket chain for restrictive practices in his franchise network (Carrefour Marinopoulos)
European Commission
Greece: Carrefour fined for Restrictive Practices in Greek Franchise Network On 6 July 2010, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has levied a fine of € 12,500,000 on Carrefour’s Greek business (Carrefour Marinopoulos S.A.) for applying resale-price maintenance among its franchise network (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fine of € 2.5 M for resale price maintenance concerning Internet sales of GPS systems (Garmin)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 28 June 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a total fine of € 2.5 million on Garmin Deutschland GmbH (“Garmin”), a manufacturer of mobile navigation devices (e.g., GPS systems), and one of its employees, for engaging in resale price maintenance (...)

The Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm regards an association for copyright holders as undertaking and views ancillary agreements as giving effect to an anti competitve agreement (ALIS v Mediearkivet Svenska Aktiebolag)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
ALIS (The Administration of Literary Rights) is a non-profit organisation that was formed by four associations for educational writers, authors, journalists and actors. To ALIS were also a number of independent copyright holders associated by agreement. ALIS role is to protect the member’s (...)

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

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigation against alleged price fixing between the main players in the field of maritime agency service (Servizi di Agenzia Marittima)
Codacons (Rome)
In December 2007 Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter ICA) was reported about a potential behaviour which could have undermined the competition among maritime service agencies. Many companies were suspected to implement agreements even through using the category associations (Associazione (...)

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

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

The EU Court of Justice rules against imported perfume “tester” resale (Coty Prestige Lancaster Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 June 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) added another judgment to its line of case-law concerning the trademark exhaustion rules. In Case C-127/09, Coty Prestige Lancaster Groupv. Simex Trading, the ECJ ruled that a German trader cannot sell imported perfume “testers” (...)

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcer publishes new draft rules on monopoly agreements
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
On May 25, 2010, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce ("SAIC") published for public comment three sets of draft rules. These (1) "monopoly agreements," that is, anticompetitive agreements, (2) abuses of dominant market position, and (3) "administrative monopolies," anticompetitive (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes € 4 M fine for resale price maintenance concerning design houseware products (Littala Group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 29 April 2010, the Finnish Competition Authority proposed to the Competition Court the imposition of a € 4 million fine on the Iittala Group (“Iittala”), a Finnish manufacturer of design houseware products, for engaging in resale price maintenance in breach of Finnish competition (...)

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

The European Commission publishes new rules for vertical agreements
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Dentons (Brussels)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted its new, long-awaited Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the VBER) and accompanying guidelines applicable to distribution agreements in the EU. The VBER, which will enter into force on June 1, 2010, replaces Regulation (...)

The European Commission adopts new block exemption regulation and new guidelines on vertical agreements
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG JUST
"Vertical Agreements: New Competition Rules for the Next Decade"* I. Introduction On 20 April 2010 the Commission adopted a new Block Exemption Regulation applicable to vertical agreements (hereinafter ‘the Regulation’). At the same time it adopted the contents of accompanying Guidelines on (...)

The EU Commission adopts new rules applicable to distribution agreements
Paul Hastings (Brussels)
,
Leroy Merlin (Lille)
Executive Summary: Earlier this year, the new EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“New Block Exemption Regulation”) and the accompanying new Vertical Restraints Guidelines (“New Guidelines”) entered into force. Their scope of application covers all agreements between economic operators at (...)

The European Commission adopts new vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical restraints guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 April 2010, the Commission adopted final versions of the new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“VABER”) and Vertical Restraints Guidelines (“Guidelines”). The new VABER will enter into force on 1 June 2010, and will expire at the end of May 2022. The new VABER provides for a (...)

The European Commission adopts new rules on vertical restraints
European Commission
,
Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
,
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission adopted a new Regulation (No 330/2010) listing the conditions under which vertical restraints are exempt from the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (defined by Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, «TFEU», (...)

The UK OFT finds that Tobacco manufacturers and retailers participated in agreements and/or concerted practices whereby the manufacturers set the retailers’ retail prices for its tobacco products which restricted the retailers’ ability to determine their retail price of competing tobacco products (ITL / Gallaher / Asda / the Co-op / First Quench / Morrisons / T&S / Safeway / Sainsbury / Shell / Somerfield / TM Retail)
Addleshaw Goddard (London)
Description of the impugned case The OFT’s Chapter I investigation was initiated in March 2003 following receipt of information from Sainsbury under the OFT’s leniency policy, which, along with information obtained during a previous Chapter II investigation into ITL, gave the OFT reasonable (...)

The French Competition Authority validates a franchise network in the car wash sector (Hypromat France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 April 2010, the French Competition Authority dismissed a complaint lodged by several franchisees and former franchisees (the “complainants”) against their franchisor, Hypromat France SAS (“Hypromat”), concerning alleged infringements of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (ex-Articles 81 and 82 EC) and (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission limits the duration of contracts concluded between broadcasters and football clubs for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, as well as a pooling agreement between broadcasters, to three years (AVS, Mediapro, Sogecable y Clubs de Fútbol de 1 y 2 División)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On April 14, 2010, the Council of the Spanish Competition Commission (the “CNC”) adopted a decision in a case against several broadcasters operating in the markets for the acquisition and resale of football broadcasting rights for Spanish League and Cup matches, and football clubs of the 1st and (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority identifies restrictive provisions of the selective distribution agreements for motor vehicles and repair services that cannot be exempted under the relevant block exemption regulation (Hyundai auto Zagreb)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 8 April 2010 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) identified a number of anticompetitive provisions in the selective distribution agreements concluded by exclusive supplier of Hyundai automobiles in Croatia - Hyundai auto Zagreb d.o.o. (HAZ) - that could not be exempted under the BER in (...)

The New York Attorney General relies on New York General Business Code in a petition challenging restrictions on advertised prices used by a leading mattress manufacturer (Tempur-Pedic)
Mayer Brown (Chicago)
In a series of articles and public statements, enforcement officials from the New York Attorney General’s office have warned that vertical agreements to fix minimum resale prices, also referred to as minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements, may remain per se unlawful under existing New (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts commitment decision lifting ban on reporting of sales price and contribution margins (Bestseller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 March 2010, the Danish Competition Council adopted a commitment decision, cf. section 16 a of the Danish Competition Act, allowing Bestseller A/S to regain access to price information from its franchise partners - irrespective of a previous injunction issued by the Competition Council in (...)

The French Competition Authority seizes itself on its own motion in order to issue an opinion on several questions involving mass retail distribution which may hinder the functioning of competition in this sector
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 25 February and 19 March 2010, the French Competition Authority decided on its own initiative, to make a reference to issue two opinions in the mass retail distribution sector, in order to ensure that the functioning of competition in this sector is not hindered. The French NCA’s power to (...)

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

The US DoJ issues business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Department of Justice does not challenge online subscription news service* On 24 February 2010 the Department of Justice issued a business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service) that would be operated by MyWire, Inc. (...)

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

The Superior Court of the State of California (County of Alameda) challenges minimum resale price maintenance as per se illegal (DermaQuest)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
,
Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
In the 2007 Leegin Creative Leather v. PSKS case, the Supreme Court held that, under the federal antitrust laws, minimum vertical resale price fixing agreements are no longer per se illegal, but governed by the rule of reason, like maximum resale price fixing. Antitrust observers were quick to (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines supplier and distributors of DVD movies for resale price maintenance (Bomba, Computer data international, Elektromarktas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 January 2010, the Competition Authority of Lithuania fined several undertakings active in the supply and distribution of DVD movies for engaging in resale price maintenance in breach of the provision of Lithuanian law equivalent to Article 101 TFEU between 2006 and 2009. The fines imposed (...)

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

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments to waive distribution exclusivity on mobile telephones (iPhone Apple - Orange)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 11 January 2010, the French Competition Authority handed down its first decision of 2010, accepting the commitments undertaken by Apple and Orange to waive any distribution exclusivity on current and future iPhones models. Such Commitment Decision, taken pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I of (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority announces termination of investigation into motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors (Hyundai, Renault, Toyota, Honda and Saab)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Early in 2009, the Lithuanian Competition Council launched an investigation into certain companies active in the sale of new motor vehicles in Lithuania, examining claims that these companies had required customers to have their vehicles serviced only by an authorized dealer/repairer of the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority closes investigation in retail trade of automobiles and technical maintenance sector following commitments (Honda Motor Europe)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Competition Council (CC) closes Investigation in Retail Trade of Automobiles and Technical Maintenance Sector following Commitments On 24 December 2009, the Lithuanian Competition Council terminated its investigation concerning the compliance of the practices of vehicle traders (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court annuls a judgment of the Court of Appeal for error in market definition and lack of analysis of the franchise agreement’s restrictive object in the light of its context (Prisma Vastgoed, Prisma Food Retail / Verweerders)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In 1989, Prisma rented out a supermarket to the defendant. The rental agreement provided for an option to purchase the supermarket in favour of the defendant, which could be exercised on 30 April 2001. This agreement further provided that in case the defendant purchased the supermarket, it (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the possible implementation of retail price maintenance scheme for digital books
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence recommends not to apply RPM to Digital Books and suggests Contractual Models for Relations between Publishers and Digital Librarians On 18 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence (hereafter: the Autorité) delivered its opinion on the possible (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority holds that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements covering 86% of the relevant market has anticompetitive effects (Megalan - Universities)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) found that a network of vertical exclusivity agreements regarding construction and exploitation of Internet infrastructure and access to Internet that covered 86% of the relevant market foreclosed new entries and expansion by (...)

The Polish President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection fines an operator and ten distributors for vertical price collusion with respect to trailer accessories (Knott)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
Decision On 15 December 2009, the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the ”OCCP”) fined Knott Sp. z.o.o. (“Knott”) and its ten distributors for vertical price collusion with respect to trailer accessories (such as axles, overrun couplings, jockey wheels, brakes and (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority closes a resale price maintenance case, after applying the de minimis rule (El Corral de las Flamencas)
Lonza (Basel)
,
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
On December 3, 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority(Comisión Nacional de la Competencia, “CNC”) closed a case of possible infringement of Article 1 of the Law 15/2007, for the Defense of Competition (“LDC”), involving the company El Corral de las Flamencas, S.L. (“El Corral”) fixing resale prices (...)

The Amsterdam Court of First Instance rules on refusal to appoint motor vehicle dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (Kia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2009, the President of the Amsterdam Court of First Instance (the “President”) accepted an interim proceedings claim brought by four former Kia Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”) repairers. The repairers claimed that KIA Motors Nederland BV (“KIA Motors”), which replaced KIA Nederland as (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that a newspaper distributor cannot be considered an agent under EU competition law (Newspaper Distributor II)
Salzburg University
Background The Austrian Competition Authority (“Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde”) successfully filed an application with the Austrian Cartel Court against a German publishing group, its Austrian subsidiary and an Austrian newspaper distributor. The application was based on certain vertical restraints (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority imposes fines on three pharmaceutical companies for resale price maintenance (Pfizer, Lilly, Bayer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 1 December 2009, the Swiss Competition Authority has imposed fines totaling approximately € 3.7 million on three pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Lilly and Bayer) for engaging in resale price maintenance with their distributors. It appears that the three (...)

A German Court confirms judgment allowing a restriction on using auction websites in selective distribution
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 25 November 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe (the “Court”) upheld a judgment of the Regional Court of Mannheim which allowed the manufacturer of high quality school bags which operated a qualitative selective distribution system to prohibit its distributors from (...)

The Turkish competition board investigates price fixing and non-compete provisions in franchising agreements (DiaSA/Complaining Franchisees)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Two complaints were lodged against DiaSA by its franchisees alleging that the provisions and application of DiaSA’s franchise agreements are in violation of the Act on Protection of Competition Numbered 4054 (“Competition Act”). The Competition Board (“CB”) examined the price and non-compete (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission issues a prohibition order and fined three producers of medicine (treatment of erectile dysfunction) for publishing recommended prices leading to RPM (Pfizer/Eli Lilly/Bayer)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
,
Zurich District’s Prosecutor
Description of the impugned case Three pharmaceutical manufacturers issued recommended retail prices (RRP) which were integrated into a widely used IT-Database or/and communicated to all resellers (e.g. pharmacies). 63% of all resellers adopted a pricing policy according to the price (...)

The Latvian Competition Council detects prohibited concerted practices among distributors of household appliances (Samsung Home Appliances)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Competition Council detects Prohibited Concerted Practices among Distributors of Samsung Home Appliances* On 30 October 2009 the Latvian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision in which it found that concerted practices among five distributors of Samsung appliances infringed Article 81 of (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority detects prohibited concerted practices among distributors of a consumer goods electronics company (Samsung)
European Commission
Latvia: Competition Council detects Prohibited Concerted Practices among Distributors of Samsung Home Appliances On 30 October 2009, the Latvian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision in which it found that concerted practices among five distributors of Samsung appliances infringed (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ on whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales by approved distributors does constitute a “hardcore restriction” on competition by object within the meaning of Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a judgment dated 29 October 2009, the French Court of Appeal made a reference for a preliminary ruling under article 234 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the “EC Treaty”), whereby the ECJ was asked to answer “the question whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales to (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the producer of hearing devices for having threatened or inflicted disadvantages on another company in order to induce a certain retail price level for the resale of hearing devices (Phonak)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with an indirect RPM clause. The producer of hearing devices provided lists with recommended prices containing minimum and maximum sale prices for hearing devices. One of the dealers offered the products significantly below the recommended prices (...)

The US DOJ Assistant Attorney General provides guidance on vertical price Fixing/Resale Price Maintenance (RPM)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
,
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
On October 7, 2009, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney used a speech to the National Association of Attorneys General to reaffirm the DOJ’s commitment to a closer cooperation with the state enforcers. She also devoted a major portion of her remarks to offering a (...)

A Dutch Court of appeal rules that termination by supplier of distribution contract under pressure from competing distributors is concerted practice (Batavus - Vriend)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction This judgment of the Court of Appeal of Leeuwarden (“the Court”) is the latest in a series of judgments in a long running dispute relating to the termination in 2001 by Batavus B.V. (“Batavus”), a bicycle manufacturer, of its long term business relations with a retailer, Vriend’s (...)

The Dutch Court of First Instance of Arnhem holds, in interlocutory proceedings, that a non-compete clause concluded in a franchise agreement, which was not exempted under the vertical agreements and concerted practices Regulation was enforceable (Bruna)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In March 1999, a franchise agreement was concluded for a period of five years between Bruna, the franchisor, and the defendant in this case, the franchisee. After renewal in 2004, this agreement was prolonged until 1 August 2009. The defendant was given the right to use the Bruna system for the (...)

The US State of Maryland enacts a state antitrust law making minimum resale price maintenance agreements per se illegal
Jones Day (Washington DC)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee holds hearings on pending resale price maintenance (RPM) federal legislation
Jones Day (Washington DC)
The enactment of a Maryland state antitrust law prohibiting minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearings on similar pending federal legislation are reminders that minimum RPM programs must be approached with caution. (...)

The French Competition Authority fines € 6.9 M a football association and a rights for sports management agency for anticompetitive agreements on the market for audiovisual rights (FFF-Sportfive)
Credit Agricole
Following its 2001 and 2004 decisions to investigate competition in the field of management of professional football rights, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed a fine of 6.9 million € on the Fédération Française du football (FFF), the French football association, and Sportfive for their (...)

A Dutch court rules on failure to appoint dealers to a motor vehicle selective distribution network (KIA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2009, the President of the Court of First Instance of Utrecht (the “President”) refused a claim brought by former KIA dealers and repairers whose dealership agreements had been terminated. It appears from the judgment that on 6 April 2009, KIA Nederland BV (“KIA Nederland”), the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority prohibits a TV broadcaster and satellite distributor’s business terms regarding distribution of two TV-channels (Viasat)
European Commission
Denmark: Authority prohibits Viasat’s Business Terms Regarding Distribution of TV 3 and TV 3 The Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted on 30 September 2009 a decision finding that Viasat’s business terms, regarding distribution of the TV-channels TV 3 and TV 3+ in cable networks infringe (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine on the market leader in the wholesale supply of contact lenses for having inter alia employed an internal price maintenance program, including the systematic monitoring of retail prices for contact lenses and the exertion of pressure, the granting of advantages as well as agreements and concerted practices with Internet dealers (CIBA Vision)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The FCO found various measures under CIBA’s price maintenance program, that in the view of the FCO amounted to a fixing of minimum resale prices. In particular, the FCO considered an infringement of Article 81 EC (now Art. 101 TFEU) and the corresponding German (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office fines € 11.5 million a contact lens provider for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products (CIBA)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
On September 25, 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) levied a fine of €11.5 million against contact lens provider CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH (CIBA) for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products. This is the third decision imposed by the (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading exercises its discretion not to refer the newspaper and magazine distribution industry to the Competition Commission despite competition concerns
DLA Piper (London)
Summary The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has decided not to refer the market for newspaper and magazine distribution in the UK to the Competition Commission (CC) for a market investigation (the MIR Decision). Background Following the revocation, in May 2005, of the Vertical Agreements (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns an RPM scheme concerning GPS devices (LCP/Mitac)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
,
Oppenheim (Budapest)
Description of the impugned case The distribution agreements by Mitac as well as LCP (as producers and importers) concerning various GPS devices (PNAs, PDAs with GPS function, etc.) did not contain straightforward RPM clauses, nevertheless, direct contacts between the parties (in particular, (...)

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

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the effects of competition on the development of approved healthcare networks
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence stipulates the conditions under which the development of networks of approved health professions can be favorable to competition and in the interests of patients.* After a (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines major fuel suppliers for resale price maintenance and accepts commitments relating to long-term contracts and non-compete clauses (Repsol / CEPSA / BP)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 30 July 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority imposed fines totalling € 7.9 million on REPSOL, CEPSA and BP (the three main suppliers of fuel in Spain) for violating the competition rules by engaging in resale price maintenance in their relations with (...)

The European Commission publishes for consultation drafts of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a draft of the proposed new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) and its accompanying draft Vertical Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these documents by 28 September 2009. The (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that the tying arrangement consisting in sales of real estate property didn’t affect a substantial amount of commerce in the market for the real estate services identified as the tied product (Blough / Holland Realty)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Finds That New Home Buyer Plaintiffs Fail To Satisfy Per Se Tying Element That Amount Of Commerce Not Be “Insubstantial”"Zero Foreclosure” Is Less Than “De Minimus.”* Buyers of newly constructed homes in the Boise, Idaho, area filed a federal antitrust class action, alleging that (...)

The European Commission consults Member States concerning the future of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to certain sources, the Commission has recently requested Member States to express their views in relation to the future of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (which will expire in May 2010). The Commission has apparently asked Member States to consider the following four (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms a decision of the Cartel Court whereby a waste disposal system for whiteware home appliances - run by an independent undertaking - which obliges contractual collectors - independent third parties - to collect waste from retailers for a maximum price of € 7 does not infringe cartel law (UFH-System)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
,
Bpv Hügel (Brussels)
Case UFH System created a waste disposal system for retailers with regard to whiteware / home appliances. Participating retailers could decide whether to use the system or not (i.e., no exclusivity was required), conditions were to be negotiated directly between retailer and collector. (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms a decision of the Cartel Court whereby cross-boarder RPM between a German publisher and an Austrian press distributor infringes Art 81.1 EU therefore preventing the exception provided in national legislation - excluding ban of RPM in the book / magazine sector - to apply (Burda / Pressegroßvertrieb)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
,
Bpv Hügel (Brussels)
Case In 2004, Burda Publishing Group, Germany signed Pressegroßvertrieb as the exclusive Austrian distributor to retailers concerning Burda’s magazines. With a market share of 35%, Pressegroßvertrieb is only one of two competitors which provide distribution services including services such as (...)

The German Competition Authority adopts decision on exclusive distribution and non-compete clauses for chemical products (Merck, VWR International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 14 July 2009, the German Competition Authority found that an agreement between Merck and VWR International Europe (“VWR”) for the distribution of chemical products used by laboratories was contrary to Article 81 EC and the equivalent provision of German law. (...)

The German Competition Authority adopts decision on exclusive distribution and non-compete clauses for chemical products (Merck, VWR International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 14 July 2009, the German Competition Authority found that an agreement between Merck and VWR International Europe (“VWR”) for the distribution of chemical products used by laboratories was contrary to Article 81 EC and the equivalent provision of German law. (...)

A German Court accepts prohibition of selling through auction websites (Amer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 2 July 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Munich (the “Court”) found that a manufacturer of sports products (Amer) was allowed to prohibit its distributors to resell its products through auction websites, such as eBay. Amer had been sued by the German (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Munich decides that the prohibition to resell products on internet auction platforms is exempted under the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (Amer Sports)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
On 2 July 2009, the Higher Regional Court of Munich confirmed a judgement of the Regional Court of Munich. The question at stake was whether the defendant was allowed to prohibit the sale of its products via internet auction platforms through its general terms and conditions. Facts The (...)

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

The Turkish Competition Board publishes a guide to vertical agreements
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Pursuant to Article 5 of the Act for the Protection of Competition numbered 4054 (“Competition Act”), the Turkish Competition Board (“CB”) has the authority to issue communiqués granting block exemptions to agreements which fulfill certain conditions. The CB has issued a Block Exemption Communiqué (...)

A French Court renders a new decision relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in a qualitative and quantitative selective distribution system (Sodac / BMW France)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
Legal disputes often arise relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in distribution systems that are both qualitative and quantitative in the various Member States of the EU. An analysis of the decisions rendered reflects the significant difficulties, after entry into force of (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission sanctions two companies, a manufacturer of garden shears and hedge clippers, and one distributor for entering into an agreement on fixed retail prices (Felco/Landi)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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Zurich District’s Prosecutor
Description of the impugned case Felco, a manufacture of garden shears and hedge clippers (with 75-85 % market share among professional users), and Landi, a distributor, entered into an agreement on directly fixed retail price. In this atypical case, the agreement enabled Landi to sell the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority terminates its investigation on recommended minimum prices set by a professional association (Hungarian Chamber of Doctors)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Due to regulatory changes, since 1 April 2007, the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors (the Chamber) is no longer entitled to publish recommended minimum prices. In an order, dated 25 May 2009, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) established that some recommended prices continued to be available (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission opens the door to a more economic approach for vertical price fixing (Sécateurs et cisailles)
Lenz & Staehelin (Geneva)
,
Sigma Legal (Geneva)
Under Swiss law, agreements containing vertical price fixing are presumed to suppress effective competition and, consequently, to be illegal (Art. 5(4) Cartel Act, hereafter “CartA”, and Art. 10(1) Communication on vertical agreements, hereafter “ComVert”). The presumption cannot be rebutted if the (...)

The Latvian Competition Council establishes an agreement on fixing minimum resale prices engaged by a computer wholesaler (Mobilux)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Computer Wholesaler Fined for Minimal Resale Price Fixing* On 14 May 2009 Competition Council of Latvia (CC) adopted a decision on establishing a prohibited agreement in activities of MOBILUX Ltd. by fixing minimal resale prices for the M-LUX computers it produces. CC imposed a fine on Mobilux (...)

The French Competition Authority issues five new favorable opinions on derogating agreements regarding the new rules for payment timeframes in the stationery, canned foods, tires, pets and two-wheeled vehicles industries
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Payment timeframes: The Autorité de la concurrence has issued five new favorable opinions regarding derogating agreements in the industries of stationery, canned foods, tires, pets and two-wheeled vehicles.* (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority prosecutes a sport federation for mandating its athletes to use a single brand of protective wear (Karate Federation of Serbia and BMA Trading)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary Serbian Competition Authority found anticompetitive the agreement between the Karate Federation of Serbia (KFS) and an exclusive importer of Adidas protective wear that mandated KFS athletes to use exclusively Adidas wear during the KFS-organized competitions. The agreement was (...)

The European Court of First Instance reduces the fines imposed by the European Commission against leading Japanese video games manufacturer (Nintendo)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"The judgments in the Nintendo case"* I. Introduction This article concerns the Commission Decision against Nintendo and seven of its distributors and, in particular, the judgments handed down on 30 April 2009 by the Court of First Instance (CFI) in the appeals against that Decision by (...)

The US State of Maryland rejects federal rule of reason standard established by US Supreme Court in Leegin, amending its state antitrust statute to make minimum resale price maintenance agreements per se illegal
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
New state law could affect implementation of minimum resale price maintenance programs. Suppliers should review their minimum resale price programs for their resellers in the United States following the passage of a new law in the State of Maryland prohibiting agreements that establish minimum (...)

The Danish Competition Council adopts decision concerning resale price maintenance found in the sector of motor vehicle fuels (OK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 April 2009, the Danish Competition Council issued a decision finding that a Danish fuel supplier, OK a.m.b.a., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, DK-Benzin A/S, had infringed the national provision equivalent to Article 81 EC by engaging in resale price maintenance practices with some of (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines a leading US group for restricting parallel trade in washing powder (Unilever)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 28 April 2009, the Greek Competition Authority imposed fines totalling approximately € 8 million on Unilever’s Greek subsidiary and six supermarket chains (AB Vasilopoulos, Metro AEVE, Makro C&C, Afi Veropouli AEVE, Atlantik and Masoutis) for entering into (...)

A German court rules on restrictions on sales through auction websites in the context of selective distribution (Sternjakob)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 21 April 2009, the Regional Court of Berlin (the Court) concluded that restrictions on sales through eBay imposed by a supplier of school bags on its selective distributors would be anti-competitive. According to this judgment, Sternjakob, a manufacturer of school bags, had (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading releases the results of its sector inquiry on the market for newspaper and magazine distribution (Newspaper and magazine distribution in the UK)
DLA Piper (London)
Summary On 22 October 2008 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) produced the following three reports, as well as a background paper, as part of its enquiry into the distribution of newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom. The reports were as follows : (a) a legal Opinion from the OFT on (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines an automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Fiat)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 14 April 2009, the Greek Competition Authority has decided to impose a fine totalling approximately € 9.6 million on Fiat’s Greek subsidiary. First, the Fiat company was found to have fixed its distributors’ profit margins between 1997-2000 in breach of Article 81 (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Simatic / Tomic)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority ordered the exclusive importer of the BMW automobiles into Croatia Tomic & Co. d.o.o. to include its former distributor and repair service provider Simatic d.o.o. in the network of authorized spare parts retailers and repair service providers. (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes a fine of € 9 M to the leading software company for having influenced in an anticompetitive way the resale price of a software package (Microsoft Deutschland)
Linklaters (Dusseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with indirect resale price maintenance, i.e. the recommendation of prices combined with further measures in order to coordinate the dealers’ pricing. Type of competition analysis n/a Discussion of potential redeeming efficiencies for RPM ? n/a (...)

The German Cartel Office fines a leading software company for resale price maintenance (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 8 April 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has fined Microsoft Deutschland GmbH € 9 million for resale price maintenance of its software package “Office Home & Student 2007”. According to the FCO, employees of Microsoft and a major retailer agreed on (...)

The UK Competition Commission publishes the conclusions of its rolling stock leasing market investigation (Rolling Stock Leasing Market Investigation)
KPMG (London)
1. Introduction and background In April 2007 the Office of the Rail Regulator made a reference under section 130 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to the Competition Commission (CC) requesting an investigation into the leasing of rolling stock for the provision of passenger services in the UK and, (...)

The European Court of Justice rules on non-compete and resale price maintenance in the context of block exemption regulations (Pedro IV Servicios SL, Total España)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 April 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered a judgment in Pedro IV Servicios SLv. Total España SA, a preliminary reference concerning the analysis of non-compete obligations and alleged resale price maintenance in the light of Regulation 1984/83 (the former block exemption (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court voids a judgment of the Cartel Court on the assessment of a "radius clause" provided for in the lease agreements of a shopping centre (UNO Shopping/PlusCity)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
In a decision of 25 March 2009, the Austrian Supreme Court decided to void a judgment of the Cartel Court on the assessment of a "radius clause" provided for in the lease agreements of a shopping centre in the Linz area. 1. Facts and decision at first instance The case at hand is the result (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds illegal vertical resale price fixing without imposing fine (Castrol Hungária)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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Oppenheim (Budapest)
Description of the impugned case The case concerned a straightforward RPM arrangement (minimum prices). Analysing the wording and the context of the relevant clause, the HCO found that it indeed contained an RPM arrangement and did not accept Castrol Hungária’s defence that the minimum prices (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants the benefit of the vertical agreement block exemption Communiqué to a distribution agreement and the related usufruct agreement in the liquid fuel sector (Pol Pet / M-Oil)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board, by its decision No. 09-09/186-56, dated 05 March 2009, reviewed the distribution agreement and the related usufruct agreement between Pol-Pet Petrol Ürünleri Tur. Konaklama ve Din Tesisleri Ltd. Şti. and M-Oil, and decided that the parties can benefit from an exemption whose (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption for the exclusive distribution agreements concluded by the leading sugar products manufacturer with its distributors (Cadbury Romania)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Romanian Competition Authority granted an individual exemption under Article 5(1) of the Competition Law n° 21/1996, a provision equivalent to Article 81(3) EC for a series of exclusive distribution contracts concluded between leading sugar products manufacturer SC Cadbury Romania (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal suspends decision concerning prohibition of Internet sales in selective distribution (Pierre Fabre)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 February 2009, the President of the Paris Court of Appeal partially suspended the decision of the French Competition Council against a manufacturer of cosmetics, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique (“Pierre Fabre”). In its decision of 29 October 2008, the Competition Council found that Pierre (...)

The European Commission holds rountable with stakeholders concerning the future of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 February 2009, European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes hosted a roundtable on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation at which a small group of industry leaders were invited to give their views on the future block exemption regime. There has been a delay in the timetable (...)

The Paris Court of appeals confirms the NCA’s interim measures preventing exclusive rights regarding the distribution of the iPhone (Apple - Orange - France Télécom)
White & Case (Paris)
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TIRU (Paris)
In a decision dated 4 February 2009, the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed decision n° 08-MC-01[[ French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 17 December 2008, Decision n° 08-MC-01, Bouygues Telecom/ Apple-Orange (iPhone). of the French Competition Council concerning practices (...)

The French NCA fines several temping agencies nearly € 100 M, but grants significant reductions for certain parties who enter into innovative commitments (Adecco, Manpower, VediorBis)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent (Paris)
On 2 February 2009, the French Competition Council ("the Council") fined several agencies active in the temporary employment sector in France (Adecco, Adia, Manpower and VediorBis - "the Companies") for concerted practices. Context Temping enables businesses desiring more flexibility to use (...)

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