Bulletin

Anticompetitive practices

Licensing agreements and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Berwin Leighton Paisner (Brussels)
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Berwin Leighton Paisner (Brussels)
Introduction The application of competition law as it relates to the licensing of intellectual property rights (“IPRs”) remains a topic of heated debate and development. Previous articles in e-Competitions have outlined such developments and trends at EU and Member State level and we aim in this (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions companies for cartel in the market of highway repair and renovation (Technostroi)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS made a decision on a bid-rigging cartel for highway repair and renovation* “Technostroi” Ltd., “No. 908 Construction Department” Ltd., and “Avtodor” Road Company” Ltd. violated Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” The companies concluded an anticompetitive (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority in the case of suppliers cartel at the ministry of defence (Bely Medved)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Court confirmed legitimacy of fas decision on a suppliers cartel at the ministry of defence* Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed a claim of “Bely Medved” Ltd., “Koralkin” Ltd., “Millennium Klin” Ltd. on invalidating a FAS decision, that had found these companies and the group of persons comprising (...)

The Arbitration Appeal Court of Moscow upholds the judgement of the Arbitration Court in a case on an anticompetitive agreement between medicinal drug suppliers (Pharm SKD)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal court supported fas in a case on an anticompetitive agreement of medicinal drug suppliers* The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court that pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of FAS decision on the case against “Pharm SKD” Ltd. and “Novopharm” (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines two construction firms for bid rigging in the market for renovation and modernisation of schools and kindergartens (Irdaiva)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council: joint bidding of two construction firms restricted competition* The Competition Council found that joint bids submitted by two Lithuanian construction firms UAB Irdaiva and AB Panevėžio statybos trestas (PST) restricted competition “by object”, in breach of Article 5 of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies exhaustion of trademark principles and broadens the interpretation of economic links between trademark owners (Schweppes / Red Paralela)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 20 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in Case C-291/16 Schweppes v Red Paralela and Others. The ECJ held that the owner of a trademark may not oppose the parallel importation of goods bearing an identical trademark but originating in (...)

The Danish Competition Authority accepts remedies proposed by companies in a case concerning an agreement on supply of cash handling and transportation services (Loomis)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Commitment decision on free choice of provider of cash handling and cash transportation services* The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) has accepted commitments offered by the parties in a case concerning an agreement on supply of cash handling and transportation services. The (...)

The Irish Competition Authority secures commitments from a number of universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC secures commitments in the supply of graduation gowns* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has secured Commitments from a number of Irish universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns. Following a complaint, the CCPC sought (...)

The German Competition Authority, with the Dutch Competition Authority, fines three undertakings for cartel in the harbor towage sector (Fairplay / Bugsier / Petersen & Alpers)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on harbour towage service providers* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines amounting to approx. 13 million euros on three harbour towage service providers. The companies concerned are Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffsreederei Richard Borchard GmbH, Hamburg, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority, with the German Competition Authority, fines three undertakings for cartel in the harbor towage sector (Fairplay / Bugsier / Petersen & Alpers)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Collaboration between Bundeskartellamt and ACM leads to fines in towage sector* Today, the German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, announced it has imposed fines on three undertakings and their executives, totaling approximately EUR 13 million in connection with their involvement (...)

The Finnish Market Court fines several coach companies for cartel (Finnish Bus and Coach Association / Matkahuolto)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The Market Court imposed penalty payments on several coach companies, the Finnish Bus and Coach Association and Matkahuolto* In its decision issued on 14 December 2017, the Market Court considered that the coach companies*), Finnish Bus and Coach Association and Matkahuolto have been guilty of (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two laundry companies for market sharing (Micronclean)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
£1.71m fine for laundry companies found to be market sharing* The CMA has fined 2 suppliers of ‘cleanroom’ laundry services for breaking competition law by agreeing not to compete for each other’s customers. It follows enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal against a judgment upholding the fine against two undertakings for a non-compete agreement in the telecom sector (Telefonica)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) dismissed the appeal lodged by telecommunication operator Telefónica against the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment largely upholding a 2013 Commission decision, which imposed a fine on Telefónica for agreeing not to compete with (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority in the case of the cartel between manufacturers of oil-submersible cable (Kama Cable)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation court supported fas in a case on a cartel between manufacturers of oil-submersible cable* The violators are fined over 250 million RUB On 13 December 2017, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court and the ruling of the 9th (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions suppliers of supercomputers for cartel (Aquarius Production)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Suppliers of supercomputers for kurchatov institute are guilty of taking part in a cartel* FAS Commission found that suppliers of equipment for Kurchatov institute violated the antimonopoly law. The companies may pay big fines for the cartel Having investigated the case, FAS found that (...)

The EU Commission decides that an international sport association has breached european competition rules (International Skating Union)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: International Skating Union’s restrictive penalties on athletes breach EU competition rules* The European Commission has decided that International Skating Union (ISU) rules imposing severe penalties on athletes participating in speed skating competitions that are not authorised by (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system for luxury products (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 (“AG”) Nils Wahl, published on 26 July 2016 (see VBB on Compe- tition Law, (...)

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 holds that suppliers of luxury goods may under certain conditions restrict authorised retailers in a selective distribution system not to sell their goods via third-party online platforms to preserve their products’ ‘luxury image’ (Coty Germany)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
I. Introduction On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its long-awaited judgment on the permissibility of restrictions by suppliers of luxury goods to sell their products via third-party online platforms under Article 101 (1) TFEU. The question has been subject to (...)

The Danish Competition Authority sanctions an association of camera distributors for cartel (Team DS)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of camera distributors has coordinated prices and exchanged information about its members prices and other competitive parameters* On 1 December 2017, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled in a case concerning anticompetitive behaviour regarding the camera market. The DCC (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a complaint filed by a museum accusing competitors of cartel (Musée de Montmartre)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence rejects the referral filed by the Musée de Montmartre against the InterMusées association.* The association Inter-Musées is a collective of several museums in the Ile-de-France region. It markets the « Paris Museum Pass » which gives access to these museums upon (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions a cartel on the school food products market
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS continues its efforts to decartelize food products supplies* he Commission of Udmurtia OFAS found bid-rigging collusion in supplies of food products to schools, pres-school day-care centres and other state and municipal institutions for the total amount over 50 million RUB Four individual (...)

The EU Court of Justice deals a blow to the Commission’s power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions (Gasorba / Repsol)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On November 23, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice) dealt a blow to the European Commission’s (Commission) power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions, with its ruling in Case C-547/16 Gasorba et al. v. Repsol. The Court of Justice ruled that (...)

The EU Commission fines several car safety equipment suppliers in a cartel settlement case (Tokai Rika, Takata, Autoliv, Toyoda Gosei and Marutaka)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 November 2017, the European Commission announced that it had imposed nes totalling € 34 million on five car safety equipment suppliers for taking part in one or more of four separate cartels for the supply of car safety equipment to some Japanese car manufacturers in the EEA. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides guidance to French court on relationship between EU Common Agricultural Policy and competition law (Endives cartel case)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 November 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down a judgment on a request for preliminary ruling from the French Supreme Court regarding the relationship between the objectives of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and those of EU competition law (C-671/15, APVE (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a ruling assimilating farmer cooperatives to undertakings under EU competition law (APVE)
Antwerp University (UFSIA)
The ECJ Preliminary Ruling in French Endives: Two (Too?) Simple Rules to Attune Article 101 TFEU to the Common Agricultural Policy* The competition and agricultural rules in the EU treaties have lived separate lives for many decades. While an agricultural exemption from the competition rules (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission decision (Yen interest rate derivatives cartel case)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 November 2017, the General Court (“GC”) partially upheld the appeal lodged by Icap plc, Icap Management Services Ltd and Icap New Zealand Ltd (“Icap”) against a Commission decision ning Icap € 14.9 million for facilitating cartels in the market for interest rate derivatives in Japanese yen (...)

The EU General Court find flaws in a Commission’s decision and quashes the €14.9m fine, but sustains underlying liability for “facilitation” of a cartel (Icap)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The General Court’s November 2017 judgment is not such welcome news to ICAP as it might first appear. ICAP’s appeal against a 2015 infringement decision was successful insofar as the fines imposed on it will now be trimmed, but in the main the General Court supported the European Commission’s (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal grants legal privilege protection to in-house emails referring to the company’s defence strategy prepared by outside legal counsels (Whirlpool)
DLA Piper (Paris)
In its ruling issued on 8 November 2017, the Paris Court of Appeal (hereafter “the Court”) considers that in-house emails referring to a company’s defence strategy prepared by outside legal counsels but neither sent by or to an outside legal counsel were covered by lawyer-client privilege and (...)

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

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into online price comparison websites
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into comparison websites* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into "online price comparison websites". Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Every day millions of consumers gather information by using price comparison (...)

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 EU General Court holds that watch manufacturers are allowed to restrict the supply of watch parts only to approved repairers (CEAHR)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In July 2004, the European Confederation of Watch and Clock Repairers’ Association (“CEAHR”) led a complaint with the Commission arguing that there was (i) an agreement or a concerted practice between a number of luxury watch manufacturers and (ii) an abuse of dominant positionresulting from (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Russian Competition Authority sanctions a manufacturer of wheel for shunting locomotives for abuse of domiance (Evraz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS found that “evraz” group violated the antimonopoly law* In 2013-2015 the cost-effectiveness of production of 1058-mm wheel for locomotives was unreasonably excessive The case was opened upon documents and information obtained by FAS in the course of analyzing the state of competition on the (...)

The German Competition launches a market inquiry on remedies proposed by German Olympic Sports Confederation and the International Olympic Committee suspected to abuse of their dominant position (DOSB / IOC)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Market test on commitments of DOSB and IOC* The Bundeskartellamt is currently conducting an administrative proceeding against the German Olympic Sports Confederation (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund, DOSB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Bundeskartellamt suspects that the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures in the context of competitions of the Global Champions Tour (GCT)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA imposes interim measures in the context of competitions of the Global Champions Tour* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has imposed on 20 December 2017 interim measures on the organisers of the Global Champions Tour (GCT), the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority opens an ex officio proceeding against a manufacturer of Greek traditional products suspected to cartel and abuse of dominance (Minerva)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Ex Officio Investigation into alleged infringements of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77, as well as Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, by “MINERVA S.A. Edible Oils Enterprises” (MINERVA) regarding its supply agreements of butter and margarine products both on the wholesale and retail level in Greece* (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical laboratory for having first prevented then restricted the development of generic versions of a drug (Janssen-Cilag / Johnson & Johnson)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence imposes a fine of 25 million euros on Janssen-Cilag laboratory and its parent company Johnson & Johnson for having first prevented then restricted the development of generic versions of Durogesic, its originator medicinal product.* Background Following a (...)

The German Competition Authority indicates in its preliminary assessment of a possible abuse of dominance case that data collection and use from third-party sources is abusive (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt sends preliminary assessment to Facebook* On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers (...)

The German Competition Authority finds by preliminary assessment that a social network company abused its dominant position by collecting and using data from third-party sources (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Preliminary assessment in Facebook proceeding: Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive* The Bundeskartellamt has informed the company Facebook in writing of its preliminary legal assessment in the abuse of dominance proceeding which the authority is conducting (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds that a State-run undertaking abused its dominant position on the market of offering mooring in Moscow (Gormost)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Moscow fas found that “gormost” violated the antimonopoly law* The “Gormost” Procedure for concluding contracts created discriminatory conditions and could have restricted competition Moscow OFAS found that “Gormost” violated the antimonopoly law in the part of abusing dominance of a natural (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits exclusive contracts between a seller of tickets and event organisers and advance booking offices (CTS Eventim)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits exclusive contracts between CTS Eventim and event organisers and advance booking offices* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited CTS Eventim from using exclusive contracts which it has concluded with organisers of live entertainment events and advance booking offices. (...)

The German Competition Authority terminates its administrative proceeding against a national sport association suspected of abuse of dominance (DFB - German Football Association)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
DFB eases conditions for purchase of tickets for World Cup 2018* The Bundeskartellamt has terminated its administrative proceeding against the German Football Association (DFB) which it had initiated on the suspicion that the association had abused its dominant position. Before this DFB had (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a brewing company suspected to have abused of its dominance (AB InBev)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to AB InBev for preventing cheaper imports of beer into Belgium* The European Commission has informed AB InBev of its preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market, by hindering cheaper imports (...)

The EU Commission publishes a communication on Standard Essential Patents
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 November 2017, the European Commission published a communication titled “Setting out the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents” (the “Communication”) in which it seeks to o er guidance and recommendations in relation to the licensing, valuation and enforcement of Standard Essential (...)

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

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the sector of collection and recovery of non-hazardous office waste (La Poste / Suez)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Collection and recovery of non-hazardous office waste sector* In an unprecedented move, the Autorité de la concurrence closes a litigation procedure, and on the same day, clears a merger involving the same activity. The Autorité obtained commitments from La Poste regarding the promotion, (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the markets for passenger air travel (Lufthansa / Air Berlin)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition by Lufthansa of Air Berlin subsidiary LGW, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation Lufthansa’s proposed acquisition of certain Air Berlin assets, through the entity Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter GmbH (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the retail and wholesale market (Tesco / Booker)
UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (London)
Tesco/Booker merger cleared after in-depth review* The CMA has concluded that Tesco’s purchase of Booker does not raise competition concerns. A group of independent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members has examined all submissions received since its provisional findings before (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the home decoration and gardening retail market (Bricorama / ITM Équipement de la Maison)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared, subject to several conditions, the acquisition of the Bricorama group by ITM Équipement de la Maison (Bricomarché, Brico Cash)* Parties to the transaction On 18 October 2017, ITM Équipement de la Maison, a subsidiary of ITM Entreprises, which notably (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies on the retail and purchasing markets of the grocery sector (SOK / Stockmann Delicatessen)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA approves the acquisition between SOK and Stockmann Delicatessen subject to conditions* Today, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the acquisition of Stockmann Group’s Delicatessen business by Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta, SOK (The Central Finnish Cooperative (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the agricultural cooperatives sector (CAM / Terrena)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to commitments, the merger of Coopérative agricole des Agriculteurs de la Mayenne (CAM) with Terrena* Parties to the operation On 30 October 2017, the parties notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their intention to merge through a merger by (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the market of aircraft manufacturing (Airbus / Bombardier)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger between Airbus and Bombardier* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, Canada ("CSALP"), a subsidiary of Bombardier Inc. Montreal, Canada, by Airbus SE, Leiden, Netherlands. Andreas Mundt, President of the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the hotel accommodation market (Scandic / Restel)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The FCCA approves Scandic’s acquisition of Restel, with conditions* Today, the FCCA has approved the acquisition of Restel Hotellit Oy by Scandic Hotels Oy, with conditions. As a condition for the approval of the sale, the FCCA obliged Scandic to sell one hotel in Pori, Lahti and Kuopio to its (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market for the production and sale of ready meals (Financière Cofigeo / William Saurin)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has initiated an in-depth examination of the planned acquisition by Financière Cofigeo of certain securities and assets of the Agripole group’s Ready Meals division (William Saurin, Panzani and Garbit)* On 12 June 2017, Financière Cofigeo notified the Autorité de la (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeals against a Commission’s decision to open an in-depth merger investigation (HeidelbergCement / Schlenk Zement / Cemex Croatia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 November 2017, the General Court (“GC”) dismissed appeals brought by HeidelbergCement and Schwenk Zement against the European Commission’s decision of 10 October 2016 to open an in-depth (Phase II) merger investigation into their acquisition – via a joint venture – of Cemex Croatia. In their (...)

The Russian Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint undertaking subject to remedies in the taxi market (Yandex / Uber)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS cleared merger between Yandex.Taxi and Uber, subject to conditions* On November 24, 2017 FAS agreed on the application of the Yandex N.V., Uber International C.V. for conclusion of an agreement on the creation of joint enterprise, subject to conditions. The results of analysis of the (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a merger on the market of sale of tickets for live entertainment (CTS Eventim / Four Artists)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits merger between CTS Eventim and Four Artists* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited the planned acquisition by CTS Eventim AG & Co. KGaA of the majority of shares in the companies belonging to Konzert- und Veranstaltungsagentur Four Artists - Four Artists Booking (...)

The Indian Government exempts Oil & Gas state owned enterprises from merger control
Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
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Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
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Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
On 22 November 2017, the Government of India issued a notification exempting Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) operating in the Oil and Gas Sectors (O&G Exemption), from a mandatory pre-merger approval requirement under the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act) for a period of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority requires several remedies before clearing a merger in the agrotechnology market (Bayer / Monsanto)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia applies access and behavioral remedies in the Bayer/Monsanto merger* The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS Russia) has concluded a review of the merger between “Bayer AG” (Germany) and “Monsanto Company” (USA) filed according to paragraphs 8 and 9 of section 1 of article 28 of (...)

The US FTC files a complaint challenging a proposed acquisition (Red Venture / Bankrate)
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
On November 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint challenging Red Ventures’ proposed acquisition of Bankrate. The FTC alleged that the deal likely would have lessened competition in the market for thirdparty paid referral services for senior living facilities—even though Red (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s conditional merger clearance in the audiovisual sector (Liberty Global / Ziggo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the General Court annulled the European Commission’s conditional merger clearance decision in Liberty Global/Ziggo. The Commission had approved the acquisition of Ziggo by Dutch rival cable TV operator Liberty Global in 2014, subject to extensive conditions including the (...)

The EU General Court dismisses an appeal against a Commission decision for implementing acquisition of sole control without first obtaining approval under the EU Merger Regulation (Marine Harvest / Morpol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the General Court dismissed an appeal by Marine Harvest against a € 20 million fine imposed on it by the Commission for implementing its acquisition of sole control over Morpol without rst obtaining approval under the EU Merger Regulation (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume (...)

The EU General Court orders fresh review of a merger (Liberty Global/Ziggo)
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Brussels)
The EU lower court has overturned a 2014 merger clearance by the European Commission (EC) following an appeal by a third party. Overturning the clearance does not mean that the deal is now prohibited. Instead, the case goes back to the EC, and the parties have to re-notify. At best this is (...)

The EU General Court sets aside the Commission’s approval decision of a merger in the market for television and telecommunication services (KPN - Liberty Global / Ziggo)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the judgment recently rendered in the KPN/Commission case , the General Court of the EU (GC) has quashed the decision previously made by the European Commission by which it gave a conditional go-ahead to the Ziggo acquisition by Liberty Global. The appeal was filed by a competitor of the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the cured meat sector (Cooperl Arc Atlantique / Financière Turenne Lafayette)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 October 2017, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) cleared Cooperl Arc Atlantique’s acquisition of control of the cured meat division of Financière Turenne Lafayette. The FCA granted a derogation on 24 May 2017 to allow the buyer to acquire control of the target company prior to FCA (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger on the cured meat products market (Financière Turenne Lafayette/ Coorperl Arc Atlantique)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of full control of the cured meats’ division of Financière Turenne Lafayette (Paul Prédault, Madrange…) by Coorperl Arc Atlantique (Brocéliande)* Parties to the operation On 4 May 2017, Cooperl Arc Atlantique (VériTable, L’atout prix or (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice annuls three General Court Judgments regarding State aid for a television broadcaster (TV2 / Danmark)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 November 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) issued its judgments on appeal in three cases: Case C-656/15 P, European Commission v TV2/Danmark, Case C-657/15 P, Viasat Broadcasting UK v TV2/Danmark and Case 649/15 P, TV2/Danmark v European Commission. All three (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into statutory rules that exempt certain financing income earned by foreign subsidiaries (United Kingdom)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) opened an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules that exempt certain financing income earned by foreign subsidiaries of UK corporate taxpayers from UK tax. The Commission’s investigation will focus on whether the UK Controlled (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a ruling clarifying the conditions under which an existing state aid measure can be transformed into a new one (Italy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

Procedures

The French Competition Authority imposes for the first time a fine of 30 millions euros to a company for obstructing the investigation (Brenntag)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines Brenntag 30 million euros for obstructing the investigation* The Autorité today publishes a decision by which it fines the Brenntag SA (hereinafter « Brenntag ») and Brenntag AG companies for having infringed the provisions of V of article L. 464-2 of the (...)

The EU Commission publishes a Fact Sheet on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement and a Communication setting out the EU’s approach to Standard Essential Patents
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The European Commission today published a Fact Sheet on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement and a Communication setting out the EU’s approach to Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). In recognition of what it perceives as the strategic importance of SEPs and Europe’s need to grasp the enormous (...)

Regulatory

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion forcing a professional association to align its pricelists with competition rules (Croatian association of forestry engineers)
Croatian Competition Agency
Croatian association of forestry engineers must align its pricelists with competition rules* Based on the writing received from the Croatian Chamber of Forestry and Wood Technology Engineers the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) issued its opinion on the proposed Ordinance on pricelists for (...)

Public sector

Advocate General Campos-Bordona proposes the EU Court of Justice to declare fines for clarification or supplementation of procurement documents as contrary to EU law only if disproportionate (Ma.t.i. Sud)
University of Bristol - Law School
AG suggests CJUE should declare fines for clarification or supplementation of procurement documents as contrary to EU law only if disproportionate (C-523/16)* In his Opinion of 15 November 2017 in case MA.T.I. SUD, C-523/16, EU:C:2017:868, Advocate General Campos Sánchez-Bordona has considered (...)

The EU General Court considers that excessive qualitative criteria in public procurement artificially narrow down competition (Jema Energy)
University of Bristol - Law School
Mixed views on General Court decision concerning claim of ’artificial narrowing of competition’ through too strict procurement selection requirements (T-668/15)* In its Judgment of 10 November 2017 in Jema Energy v Entreprise, T-668/15, EU:T:2017:796 (only available in Spanish and French), the (...)

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