Sergio Sorinas

Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Lawyer (Partner)

Sergio heads the competition law group for Herbert Smith Freehills in Paris. He advises clients in all areas of French and European Union competition law including merger control, cartels, abuses of a dominant position, distribution and cooperation agreements, competition law disputes and state aid. His experience covers a wide range of sectors including media, banking, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, motor vehicles, consumer products, energy and retail trade. Sergio advises many French and international groups before the European Commission and the French Competition Authority. He also represents several major French groups before French and European Union courts. He has recently represented clients in several matters before the European General Court. In a recent appeal in a cartel case, Sergio obtained a fine reduction of more than €100 million for chemical group Arkema. Sergio is admitted to the bar in Paris and Barcelona, and speaks fluent French, English and Spanish.

Distinctions

Linked authors

Hewlett Packard (Geneva)
Dechert (Paris)
Franklin (Paris)
White & Case (Paris)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
University of Aix-Marseille
DG COMP (Brussels)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)

Articles

18857 Bulletin

Bertrand Montembault, Olivier Binyingo, Sergio Sorinas, Jean Meijer The Democratic Republic of Congo implements the “Competition Act” which abrogates and replaces a set of laws dated from colonial and post-independence times

46

On 9 July 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) joined the group of African countries that have recently established modern domestic competition law regimes, after President Joseph Kabila signed into law the Organic Law no. 18/020 on Pricing Freedom and Competition (the “Competition Act” (...)

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, André Pretorius, Sergio Sorinas The EU Commission sends a statement of objections alleging that multinational telecommunications company breached the EU Merger regulation by implementing its acquisition before notification or approval by the Commission (Altice / PT Portugal)

25

On 18 May 2017, the European Commission imposed a record fine of €110 million on Facebook for providing incorrect/misleading information to the Commission during its review of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp under the EU merger regulation (EUMR). On the same day, the Commission issued a (...)

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Sergio Sorinas, André Pretorius The EU Commission fines an undertaking €110 million for providing misleading information to the Commission during its review of the acquisition (Facebook / WhatsApp)

23

On 18 May 2017, the European Commission imposed a record fine of €110 million on Facebook for providing incorrect/misleading information to the Commission during its review of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp under the EU merger regulation (EUMR). On the same day, the Commission issued a (...)

Susan Black, André Pretorius, Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Sergio Sorinas The EU Commission fines three companies for participating in a cartel in the euro interest rate derivatives sector (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JP Morgan Chase)

27

On 9 April 2019, the European Commission published the full text of its decision to fine Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase for participating in a cartel in the euro interest rate derivatives ("EIRD") sector. While four of the seven participating banks settled the case with the Commission (...)

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, André Pretorius, Sergio Sorinas, Kristien Geeurickx The EU Advocate General Wahl opts for a more effects-based approach on rebates and proposes annulment of the EU General Court’s judgement (Intel)

22

In Intel’s appeal against the General Court’s judgement of June 2014 (which upheld the Commission’s decision that Intel abused its dominant position by virtue of operating exclusivity rebate schemes – see here for our e-bulletin on the judgment), Advocate General Wahl recommends that the Court of (...)

André Pretorius, Henar González Durántez, Kristien Geeurickx, Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Michael Dietrich, Sergio Sorinas The EU Court of Justice rules on issues concerning retroactive rebates and the procedures through which these rebates can be characterized as abusive (Post Danmark II)

233

This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice (the Court) issued its preliminary ruling in Post Danmark A/S v Konkurrencerådet (Competition (...)

Sergio Sorinas The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision holding that direct access to telecom company subscribers is not an essential facility (Cogent Communications / France Télécom)

194

Introduction At a time when cloud computing is changing the face of the Internet, the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal acts as a reminder that the Internet is primarily a matter of physical wires. In December 2013, the Court ruled on an appeal of a French competition authority (ADLC) (...)

Sergio Sorinas 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)

138

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 (...)

Sergio Sorinas The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision holding that a parent company and its subsidiary are jointly liable for an abuse of dominance in the French overseas departments (Orange Caraïbe)

114

Introduction On July 4 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld for the most part the decision of the French competition authority (the ADLC) imposing a 60 million euro fine on Orange Caraïbe and its parent company France Télécom for having abused their dominant position in the French overseas (...)

Grégoire Colmet Daâge, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Authority fines four distributors of commodity chemicals operating in France for price coordination and customer allocation (Brenntag / Caldic Est / Univar / Solvadis)

272

In a decision dated 29 May 2013, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter, the "FCA") imposed a total fine of more than €79 million on the members of a cartel formed by the four major distributors of commodity chemicals (solvents, alcohols, acids, ethers, bleach etc…) in France. The (...)

Grégoire Colmet Daâge, Sergio Sorinas The French Constitutional Council upholds the constitutionality of the French Competition Authority’s power to withdraw merger clearance decisions and of its internal organisation (Canal + / Vivendi)

237

Following a request for a preliminary ruling on constitutionality by Groupe Canal Plus (“Canal Plus”) and Vivendi Universal (“Vivendi”, parent company of Canal Plus), on 12 October 2012 the French Constitutional Council upheld the constitutionality of the power of the French Competition Authority (...)

Grégoire Colmet Daâge, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Authority fines 10 producer organisations and 7 trade associations for minimum price fixing in the endive production and marketing sector (APVE)

194

In a decision dated 6 March 2012, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter, the "FCA") fined 10 organisations of producers and 7 trade associations for a series of practices that aimed at maintaining a minimum selling price of endives sold between 1998 and 2012. This finding of (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas The Paris Court of Appeal rules on the concept of restriction by object and quashes a major decision of the French Competition Authority which imposed a €385 million fine on 11 French Banks (Crédit Lyonnais)

127

On 23 February 2012, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned a widely publicised decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA"), which had imposed fines totalling €385 million on 11 French banks including the Banque de France in relation to interbank fees. Background The case centres on an (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French competition authority clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of one of its main competitors by a major French spirits manufacturer after in-depth investigation (Compagnie Financière de Prise de Participations / Quartier Français Spiritueux)

122

In case no. 11-DCC-187 the French competition authority (FCA) examined the acquisition by COFEPP, a major French spirits manufacturer, of Quartier Français Spiritueux (QFS), one of its main competitors in the area. The transaction was cleared subject to conditions on 13 December 2011, the (...)

Grégoire Colmet Daâge, Sergio Sorinas The French competition authority clears a merger in the urban and intercity passenger road transport sectors subject to remedies after an in-depth examination (Veolia Environnement / CDC)

342

In its decision dated 30 December 2010, the French competition authority (the «FCA») authorised, subject to certain commitments, the creation of a joint venture between Veolia Environnement(«Veolia») and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (the «CDC») that will combine their respective transport (...)

Lionel Lesur, Sergio Sorinas The French Supreme Court rules that the damage caused to the economy by an anticompetitive practice cannot be presumed (Bouygues Télécoms, SFR, Orange)

1782

Background This case is the latest episode of the saga of the «mobile telephony case«. In 2005 the French Competition Council imposed on the three leading French mobile operators (Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Télécom) a record fine of € 534 M for collusive practices consisting in (i) exchange of (...)

Romain Maulin, Sergio Sorinas The French NCA fines a trade association in the hydrotherapy sector for price fixing and exchanges of information between its members and dismisses lack of prior intent as a mitigating circumstance (Conseil national des exploitants thermaux)

733

In a decision issued on 18 December 2009, the French Competition Authority (the «Authority«) fined a trade association in the hydrotherapy sector, the Conseil national des exploitants thermaux («CNETh«), for infringing article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code (the French equivalent of art. (...)

Romain Maulin, Sergio Sorinas The French Council of State confirms the clearance of a merger in the audit and accounting services sector and clarifies the legal test for collective dominance (Deloitte / JMF)

1931

Background This case arose out of the clearance granted by the French Minister of the Economy ("Minister") for the acquisition by Deloitte of Janny Marque Futur ("JMF"), the holding company of BDO Marque et Gendrot ("BDO"). Through this transaction, Deloitte, one of the "Big Four", acquired (...)

Lionel Lesur, Sergio Sorinas The Paris Court of Appeal annuls a decision by the French Competition Council fining 7 physicians’ unions for colluding to increase their fees (Union nationale des médecins spécialistes confédéés / Association Familles rurales)

1370

In a ruling of 18 March 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") annulled a decision by the French Competition Council (the "Decision" and the "Council") to fine 7 physicians’ unions for an agreement among their members to increase fees charged to patients. These practices ran for varying (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Authority inflicts fines for abuse of dominant position for offering loyalty rebates in the press distribution sector (Messageries Lyonnaises de Presse / Nouvelles Messageries de la Presse Parisienne)

1351

On 27 January 2009 , the French Competition Council (the "Council") fined Nouvelles Messageries de la Presse Parisienne ("NMPP") and its subsidiary, Société Auxiliaire pour l’Exploitation des Messageries Transports Presse ("TP"), for abusing their dominant position on the French press distribution (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Authority holds that a refusal to continue a commercial relationship with a distributor constituted no abuse of economic dependence and provided clarifications regarding the scope of protection of third parties’ business secrets (Concurrence / Sony / Philips)

1217

Background The Competition Council ("Council") rejected a complaint brought by retailer Concurrence against Sony, as well as Philips. The present case arose out of Sony’s decision in late 2007 to end all commercial relations with Concurrence, a Paris electronics retailer who had been litigating (...)

Romain Maulin, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Authority accepts commitments from the incumbent operator in the sector of engineering, consultancy and certification of telecommunication facilities in a case of alleged abuse of dominant position (Solutel / France Télécom)

1413

In a decision of 7 October 2008, the French Competition Council (the "Council") accepted commitments submitted by France Telecom regarding an alleged abuse of its dominant position in the sector of engineering, consultancy and certification of private telecommunications facilities pursuant to (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Council rejects a request for interim measures relating to alleged anti-competitive practices between a joint venture a and one of its parent companies on port facilities (AP Moller-Maersk / Port of Le Havre)

1524

Background This case arose out of the "Port 2000" initiative, a project which was initiated in the 1990s with the aim of tripling the capacity of the port at Le Havre by adding new berths and several terminals. Global shipping company AP Moller-Maersk ("APMM") and Perrigault group, a French (...)

Romain Maulin, Sergio Sorinas The French NCA fines nearly 80 companies and trade associations for horizontal and vertical agreements in the sector of heating, sanitation, plumbing and air-conditioning products and clarifies the standard of proof applicable to anticompetitive meetings (Agreement in the sector of heating, sanitary, plumbing and air-conditioning products)

1368

In a decision of 9 March 2006, the French Competition Council (the "Council") fined nearly 80 companies and trade associations for unlawful practices implemented between 1993 and 1998 in the sector of heating, sanitation, plumbing and air-conditioning products. These practices included (i) (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Minister of Economy readopts its decision of the merger between two French home appliances manufacturers after it was quashed by the Administrative Supreme Court (SEB / Moulinex)

619

Background. When Moulinex was put into administration in 2001 competitor SEB was conditionally retained by the judicial administrators as the most suitable purchaser for Moulinex’ manufacturing sites and trading subsidiaries in France, Spain, Germany and several non-EU countries, subject to (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Council concludes, based on an ex post assessment, that a merger in the small electric household equipment market does not reveal any competition concerns, confirming its earlier opinion (SEB / Moulinex)

1062

I. Background When Moulinex was put into administration in 2001 competitor SEB was conditionally retained by the judicial administrators as the most suitable purchaser for Moulinex‘ manufacturing sites and trading subsidiaries in France, Spain, Germany and several non-EU countries, subject to (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Supreme Aministrative Court rejects the Ministry of Economics’s application of the failing firm defence and annuls the authorisation of the intended merger between two home appliances manufacturers (SEB / Moulinex)

324

Background. When Moulinex was put into administration in 2001 competitor SEB submitted, amongst others, an offer to purchase Moulinex’ manufacturing sites and trading subsidiaries in France, Spain, Germany and several non-EU countries. SEB was conditionally retained by the judicial (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Ministry of economics unconditionally authorises the proposed acquisition of a French home appliances manufacturer’s assets by a competitor under the failing firm defence (SEB / Moulinex)

565

Background. When Moulinex was put into administration in 2001 competitor SEB submitted, amongst others, an offer to purchase Moulinex ’ manufacturing sites and trading subsidiaries in France, Spain, Germany and several non-EU countries. SEB was conditionally retained by the judicial (...)

Christine Jorns, Sergio Sorinas The French Competition Council advises that the proposed acquisition of the French assets of an appliance manufacturer by one of its competitors should be authorised unconditionally since it does not lead to a strengthening of a dominant position and falls under the failing firm defence (SEB / Moulinex)

676

The French Competition Council advises that the proposed acquisition by SEB of Moulinex’ French assets should be authorised unconditionally since it does not lead to a strengthening of a dominant position and, in any event, falls under the failing firm defence (SEB / Moulinex) Background. When (...)

14890 Review

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Alternative commitments: The French Competition Authority approves the acquisition of one of its main competitors by a major supplier in the gardening and DIY goods, pet supplies and outdoor arrangement retail distribution sector, subject to commitments (Jardiland / InVivo Retail)

162

The Authority has authorised, subject to undertakings, the acquisition of sole control of the Jardiland group by the InVivo group, France’s leading agricultural cooperative group at the head of the Gamm Vert, Delbard and Jardinerie du Terroir retail network. Jardiland and InVivo are active in (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Commitments: The French Competition Authority approves the acquisition of sole control of a supermarket and its commercial gallery by a food retailer in the French Overseas Territories (SDRO, Robert II / Bernard Hayot)

148

In a decision of 23 August 2018, the French Competition Authority authorised, subject to commitments, the acquisition of sole control of SDRO and Robert II by Groupe Bernard Hayot (GBH). The operation mainly concerned the food distribution sector in Martinique. GBH operates food and non-food (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Public interest review: The French Competition Authority takes note of the intention of the French Ministry for the Economy to carry out a public interest review (phase 3) of the acquisition of assets by a market player in the read-cooked meals sector (Cofigéo / Agripole)

196

This is a new episode in the takeover of the Agripole group’s ready-made meals division by Financière Cofigéo. This affair had already been commented on in this Chronicle (see ConcurrencesNo. 1-2018, pp. 127-128, obs. S. Sorinas and A. Baudelin) because the Authority, while deciding to open Phase (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Reform: The French Competition Authority announces new measures for the modernisation and the simplification of the French merger control regime (Modernisation and simplification of the French merger control regime)

259

Following its public consultation launched in October 2017 on simplifying and modernising merger control, the Authority announced by press release of 7 June the selected proposals in this respect. Simplification of the procedure for non-problematic operations The Authority thus announces (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Full-function joint venture: The French Administrative Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against the decision of the French Competition Authority clearing, subject to remedies, the creation of a full-function joint venture by two market players in the shipbuilding industry (OCEA)

275

In a decision dated May 25, 2018, the Conseil d’État dismissed the appeal filed by OCEA against the Authority’s decision No. 16-DCC-120 of July 28, 2016. on the creation of a full-function joint venture between DCNS and Piriou. The companies DCNS and Piriou, which are active in military (for (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Judicial review: The French Administrative Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against the decision of the French Competition Authority approving, subject to remedies, the acquisition of sole control of an undertaking by one of its competitors in the crop collection sector (Soufflet Agriculture et Sobra)

122

As was apparent from the rejection of the application for interim measures of suspension which had been lodged in this case, by order of 17 October 2016 (EC, 17 October 2016, No. 403730, obs. S. Sorinas and A. Baudelin, ConcurrencesNo. 1-2017, pp. 141-142.), the Conseil d’État also dismissed, by (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Food retail: The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, the acquisition of sole control of franchised stores by their franchisor in the food retail sector (Zormat, Les Chênes, Puech Eco / Carrefour Supermarchés France)

152

On April 27th , 2018, the Authority authorized, subject to commitments, the acquisition of exclusive control by Carrefour Supermarchés France of the companies Zormat and Les Chênes, which operate two predominantly food-dominated businesses with service stations under the Carrefour Market banner, (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Online Ads: The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears the acquisition of an Internet market player by a media market player (Aufeminin / TF1)

109

The Authority has authorised TF1’s acquisition of sole control of Aufeminin, previously owned by the media group Axel Springer. Aufeminin operates the Internet sites of the same name and others such as Marmiton and My Little Paris, and markets the advertising space on these sites. It also (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Online Sale: The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears two transactions between pure players and traditional players (brick and mortar) in the retail of consumer goods sector (Monoprix / Sarenza ; Spartoo / André)

146

On 20 April 2018, the Authority unconditionally cleared two transactions concerning the combination of distance selling (’DOS’) players (Sarenza and Spartoo) and in-store retail players (Monoprix and André) in the footwear distribution sector. In the first decision (No 18-DCC-50), the Authority (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Unconditional clearance: The French Competition Authority clears, without remedies, the acquisition of sole control of an undertaking in the real estate ads sector by the leader of the sector after an in-depth investigation (Concept Multimédia / Axel Springer)

178

The Authority has cleared without commitment a concentration between two online real estate classifieds giants in France. The Axel Springer group, to which SeLoger belongs, has thus acquired sole control of Concept Multimédia, which owns the company Logic-Immo. As mentioned in a previous (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Insolvency procedure: The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of sole control of a market player by one of its competitors in the books and stationery products retail sale sector and grants an exemption from the suspensive effect of merger control (Gibert Jeune - Gibert Joseph)

138

The Authority’s decision dated 10 November 2017 signs the reunification of the two names of Joseph Gibert’s heir sons almost 90 years after their separation: Gibert Joseph and Gibert Jeune bookstores. The examination of the transaction did not raise any particular competition concerns. The (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Public consultation: The French Competition Authority initiates a reflection to modernise and simplify the French merger control regime (Public consultation on merger control)

118

In line with the consultation launched in October 2016 by the European Commission on these subjects, the Authority published on its website on 20 October 2017 a public consultation aimed at gathering comments from anyone who wished to respond to it on certain avenues for reflection on a (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Failure to comply with commitments: The French Administrative Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against a decision of the French Competition Authority fining a telecommunication group for failure to comply with commitments in the optical fibre sector (Altice – SFR)

123

The soap opera Altice / SFR has made a particularly strong impression over the last two years. Does the decision of the Conseil d’État handed down on September 28, 2017 mark the final act of this season full of twists and turns? Summary of previous episodes In a decision dated October 30, 2014, (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas In-depth investigation: The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation in the context of a merger in the online real estate ads sector (Concept Multimédia - Axel Springer Digital Classifieds)

120

The Authority has decided to open an in-depth investigation into the operation whereby the Axel Springer Group acquires sole control of the company Concept Multimedia. The purchaser and the target are both active in the online real estate classifieds market through SeLoger.com and (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Pay tv: The French Competition Authority reviews and accepts to reduce the injunctions imposed in 2012 to a media group for the acquisition of television broadcasters (Pay TV sector)

154

Five years after the 2012 decision authorizing, subject to compliance with 33 injunctions, the acquisition of exclusive control of TPS and CanalSatellite by Vivendi and Canal Plus Group (GCP) (Dec. No. 12-DCC-100 dated July 23, 2012, Obs. O. Billard), the Authority agreed to review its (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Remedies review: The French Competition Authority reviews and accepts to reduce commitments taken by a media group in 2014 for the acquisition of free television channels (Free TV sector)

226

Three years after the 2014 decision authorizing, subject to the implementation of several commitments, the acquisition of Direct 8 and Direct Star by Vivendi and Canal Plus Group (GCP) (Dec. No. 14-DCC-50 dated April 2, 2014, obs. S. Sorinas, E. Jegou and C. Barraud), the Authority agreed to (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Fast-track procedure: The French Competition Authority follows a fast-track procedure to clear the acquisition of an undertaking in the catering sector, in parallel of a conciliation procedure before a commercial court (Flo / Bertrand)

157

The French Competition Authority has authorised the acquisition of sole control of the Flo group by the Bertrand group. These two groups specialize in commercial catering and own several brands such as Burger King, Quick, Café Leffe, Hippopotamus and Maître Kanter’s Tavern. The Authority (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Phase II: The French Competition Authority decides to open a phase II investigation following the notification of an horizontal merger in refrigerated vehicles rental sector, whish has finally been abandoned by the notifying party because it did not want to further divest its activities (Fraikin / Petit Forestier)

197

The Petit Forestier group decided to abandon its plan to acquire sole control of the Fraikin group following the Authority’s decision to open an in-depth investigation (Dec. No 27-DEX-01 of 13 January 2017). Petit Forestier and Fraikin are the two biggest players on the French market for the (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Remedies: The European Commission clears the acquisition of a company specialised in animal health products, subject to conditions (Boehringer Ingelheim / Sanofi Animal Health Business)

138

On November 9, 2016, the European Commission has approved the acquisition of Merial, Sanofi’s animal health subsidiary, by Boehringer Ingelheim ("BI"), a German pharmaceutical company specialized in the development, production, distribution and marketing of pharmaceutical products including (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Gun Jumping: The French Competition Authority imposes for the first time a fine of €80 million for gun jumping in the context of two telecoms mergers notified in 2014 (Altice)

272

The Competition Authority heavily sanctioned the Altice group for having implemented two concentrations before obtaining its approval. While it has already imposed fines for failure to notify or to comply with commitments, this is the first time that the Authority has had to rule on the early (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Competitive tendering obligation : The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of an airport, subject to commitments (Aéroports de Lyon, Vinci Airports)

179

Vinci Airports, a subsidiary of Vinci, develops and operates 34 airports worldwide, including 12 in France. Aéroports de Lyon is an airport concession company that develops, operates and operates the Lyon-Saint Exupéry and Lyon-Bron airports. Prior to the operation, Aéroports de Lyon was owned 60 (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Jurisdiction of the French Competition Authority : The French Supreme Administrative Court dismisses an action for annulment of two decisions of the French Competition Authority related to the acquisition of two medical laboratories (Eurofins/Bio-Access, Bio-Alfras)

133

Within a few months, the Eurofins Group, active in the management of analytical, testing and technical inspection laboratories for private companies and public bodies, acquired sole control of the Bio-Access Group and later the Biomnis Group, two groups of laboratories specialising in medical (...)

Alexis Baudelin, Sergio Sorinas Application for interim measure : The French Supreme Administrative Court dismisses an application for interim measures requesting the suspension of a French Competition Authority decision related to the acquisition on the grain collection market (Soufflet Agriculture & Sobra)

126

Soufflet Agriculture and Sobra have applied to the judge in charge of summary proceedings at the Conseil d’État for a stay of execution of Decision No. 16-DCC-147 of 21 September 2016 by which the Competition Authority authorised the acquisition of exclusive control by Axéréal Participations of (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Remedies: The European Commission clears the creation of a joint venture between two telecom companies in Netherlands, subject to conditions (Vodafone / Liberty Global)

144

The European Commission has cleared in Phase 1, subject to commitments, the proposed creation of a joint venture between Vodafone and Liberty Global in the Netherlands by decision of 3 August 2016. The Vodafone Group is an international group specialising in the operation of mobile (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Abandonment of a merger: Two important suppliers of oil services abandon their contemplated merger following the Commission’s opening of a phase II investigation (Halliburton / Baker Hughes)

132

Halliburton and Baker Hughes, respectively the world’s second and third largest oil service providers, announced in November 2014 their intention to move closer together. According to the notification of the transaction to the European Commission of 27 November 2015, Halliburton would have (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Non-compliance with commitments: The French Competition Authority fines a non-compliance with commitments related to the divestiture of a subsidiary in La Reunion and Mayotte which had been adopted after a merger in the telecommunications sector (SFR / Altice)

300

By a decision dated October 30, 2014 (Decision No. 14-DCC-160, Altice / SFR), the French Competition Authority authorized the acquisition of sole control of SFR by the Altice group, subject to the implementation of a number of commitments, including the commitment to divest the mobile telephony (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Judicial review: The French Administrative Supreme Court establishes the obligation to disclose alternative commitments in relation to a merger clearance to third parties (Totalgaz / UGI Bordeaux Holding)

158

By a decision of 15 May 2015 (Decision No 15-DCC-53, UGI Bordeaux Holding / Totalgaz), the Competition Authority approved the acquisition of sole control of Totalgaz ("Totalgaz") by UGI Bordeaux Holding ("UGI") after a phase I procedure, subject to the implementation of commitments. These (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Failure to notify: The French Administrative Supreme Court reduces the amount of the fine imposed on the Castel Group for failure to notify a merger (Castel Frères / Patriarche)

126

In the course of investigating a case, the Competition Authority became aware of a merger between the Castel group and the Patriarche group. However, such a transaction had not been notified to the Authority’s services. Following exchanges between the Authority and the parties, the parties (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Risk of market foreclosure: The European Commission clears a transaction between a software supplier and an IT company after an analysis of the market foreclosure concerns (Dell / EMC)

757

On February 29, 2016, the Commission approved the acquisition of control of EMC by Dell. The clearance decision was adopted following a Phase I review without commitments. Dell is a U.S. company, active in the development, sale and repair of computers and related products, such as storage (...)

Marguerite de La Droitière, Sergio Sorinas Judicial review: The French Administrative Supreme Court dismisses an action for annulment of a French Competition Authority decision related to the acquisition of malls by Carrefour (Carrefour / Unibail-Rodamco)

132

By a decision dated November 13, 2014 (decision no. 14-DCC-164, Carrefour / Unibail-Rodamco), the French Competition Authority has authorized the acquisition by Carrefour of a portfolio of six shopping malls from Unibail-Rodamco, and in particular the purchase of the Bab 2 shopping mall located (...)

Sergio Sorinas Horizontal merger: The European Commission conditionally clears an horizontal merger on the market for data centre colocation in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt (Equinix, Telecity)

102

It should be noted that the only commitments accepted in the case of M. 7678, Equinix v. Telecity, were published on 12 November 2015 and were the subject of a decision by the Commission to authorise the operation on the basis of Article 6(2)(b). These commitments were proposed by Equinix to (...)

Sergio Sorinas Conditional clearance: The French Competition Authority cleares a merger in the manufacturing and purchasing of hearing aid products sector subject to commitments (Audika / William Demant)

151

By a decision of 18 September 2015, the French Competition Authority authorised the acquisition of sole control subject to commitments from the Audika Group by the William Demant Group. William Demant is one of the leading manufacturers of hearing aid products in Europe. The group manufactures (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Phase I decision: The European Commission clears the acquisition of sole control Hospira by Pfizer subject to Pfizer divesting certain sterile injectable drugs, as well as its infliximab biosimilar drug, which is currently under development (Pfizer, Hospira)

130

By decision of 4 August 2015, the Commission has approved the acquisition of Hospira by Pfizer under Articles 6(1)(b) and 6(2) of the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies, based in the US, are active in the development and marketing of medicines for human use. However, the approval was (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Phase I decision: The French Competition Authority approves the acquisition of sole control of a local player in the petroleum sector in La Réunion by the Rubis group subject to behavioral commitments (Société Réunionnaise de Produits Pétroliers, Rubis)

150

In its Decision No. 15-DCC-104 of 30 July 2015, the French Competition Authority authorised, subject to conditions, the acquisition of exclusive control by the Rubis group, which is active in France and internationally in the butane, propane and LPG distribution sector (hereinafter "Rubis"), of (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Conditional clearance : The French Competition Authority grants clearance, subject to transfer of assets, to the sole control acquisition of a LPG sector operator by a competitor and applies the “fix it first” method (UGI Bordeaux Holding / Totalgaz)

267

By decision of 8 June 2015, the French Competition Authority authorised the acquisition of Totalgaz by UGI France subject to structural commitments relating in particular to the sale of part of the stake that the new entity would hold in certain import and storage infrastructures. The (...)

Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Phase I - Clearance : The European Commission clears in phase I the acquisition of a French cement operator by its German competitor, subject to disinvestments in several European countries as both companies are major producers of cement, ready-mixed concrete, aggregates and another construction materials on the global scale (Holcim/Lafarge)

346

The proposed transaction between the French group Lafarge and the Swiss group Holcim will enable the new entity to become the world’s largest cement manufacturer, present in more than 90 countries worldwide. The Commission considered that the transaction could harm competition because of (...)

Amaury Sibon, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Appeal : The French Supreme Administrative Court dismisses an appeal against the Competition Authority’s decision clearing a merger in the construction materials sector (Wienerberger, Imerys TC, Bouyer-Leroux)

891

The company Wienerberger, which produces and markets structural materials, filed an application with the French Council of State to annul the decision of the French Competition Authority of July 26, 2013 authorizing Bouyer-Leroux’s acquisition of sole control of Imerys’ "structural materials" (...)

Amaury Sibon, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Remedies : The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunications sector following an in-depth investigation, subject to both structural and behavioural commitments (SFR, Groupe Altice)

499

By decision of 30 October 2014, following an in-depth phase II investigation, the Authority authorised the acquisition by Numericable Group (Numericable), a subsidiary of the Altice Group, of sole control of SFR. Prior to the transaction, SFR was exclusively controlled by the Vivendi group, (...)

Amaury Sibon, Marie Louvet, Sergio Sorinas Clearance : The European Commission, following an in-depth review, clears without commitments the proposed acquisition in the building materials sector (Holcim, Cemex West)

183

On June 5, 2014, the European Commission unconditionally approved the acquisition of Cemex West by its Swiss competitor Holcim after a phase II and 9 months of investigation. Both companies supply cement and other building materials worldwide. The proposed transaction concerns the acquisition (...)

Clémence Barraud, Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas GUPPI Test : The French Competition Authority clears a merger arising from the conclusion of a distribution agreement in the milk sector and applies the GUPPI test (Orlait / Terra Lacta)

412

By decision of 17 April 2014, the Authority authorised the acquisition by Orlait, a subsidiary of Candia, itself a subsidiary of Sodiaal, of exclusive control of the long-life drinking milk business of the Terra Lacta cooperative. The decision is noteworthy both for the analysis of the (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Ultra vires : The French Supreme Administrative Court rejects two appeals on the grounds of ultra vires against decisions of the Competition Authority (E. Leclerc)

230

By two decisions handed down on April 9, 2014, the Conseil d’Etat dismissed the appeals for abuse of power filed by the Association des centres distributeurs Edouard Leclerc (hereinafter "the ACDLec"), against the decisions of the French Competition Authority No.12-DCC-125 of August 27, 2012 and (...)

Clémence Barraud, Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Phase I : The French Competition Authority clears again, further to the annulment of its previous decision by the French Supreme Administrative Court, the acquisition of two free TV channels by a group active in the pay TV sector subject to revised commitments (Vivendi, Canal Plus / Direct 8, Direct Star, Direct Productions, Direct Digital, Bolloré Intermédia)

410

Perhaps the latest in a long series of decisions concerning Canal Plus Group, the Authority’s decision dated April 2, 2014 once again authorizes, subject to enhanced undertakings, the acquisition by Vivendi and Canal Plus Group (hereinafter "GCP") of exclusive control of D8, D17, Direct (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Information technologies : The General Court of the European Union approves the Commission’s approach in relation to new quickly evolving and fast growing markets (Cisco Systems, Messagenet, Microsoft)

206

In a judgment handed down on 11 December 2013 in Case T-79/12 (Cisco Systems Inc. and others v. European Commission), the Court of First Instance of the European Union confirmed the validity of the Commission’s decision which had authorised, in phase I and without commitment, Microsoft’s takeover (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Phase II : The French Competition Authority clears a concentration in the construction materials sector following an in-depth investigation, subject to behavioural commitment (Imerys TC assets, Bouyer-Leroux)

154

In a decision of July 26, 2013, the French Competition Authority authorized, subject to the implementation of commitments, the acquisition of Imerys TC’s "structural materials" assets by Bouyer-Leroux. Bouyer-Leroux and Imerys TC are two major producers of wall bricks and the two main producers (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Commitments: The French Competition Authority authorizes a concentration in the regional newspaper sector, conditional on commitments (Rossel, Hersant Média)

151

By a decision of 16 April 2013, the French Competition Authority authorised, subject to the implementation of commitments, the acquisition of the Champagne-Ardennes-Picardie Cluster. (hereinafter ’the CAP division’) of the Hersant Média group (hereinafter ’GHM’) by the Belgian press group Rossel. (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Ancillary restraint: The French Competition Authority allows a concentration in the transportation sector to proceed, and declines to consider an exclusive supply agreement as an ancillary restraint (Novatrans, Charles André Group)

448

By a decision of 14 March 2013, the French Competition Authority authorised the acquisition of sole control of Novatrans by the Charles André Group (GCA), two companies active in the freight transport sector. Prior to 2006, Novatrans was jointly owned by SNCF, the Charles André Group, the (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Failure to notify: The General Court upholds the Commission decision imposing a EUR 20 million fine to a firm for engaging in a concentration before obtaining Commission authorisation (Electrabel/Commission)

308

On 12 December 2012, the Court of First Instance confirmed the Commission’s decision imposing a fine of €20 million on Electrabel for having acquired sole control of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) without prior authorisation from the Commission. This case, which is emblematic because of the (...)

Grégoire Colmet Daâge, Sergio Sorinas Preliminary ruling on constitutionality – Withdrawal of a merger clearance: The French Constitutional Council upholds the constitutionality of the Competition Authority’s power to withdraw merger clearance decisions and of its internal organization (Canal Plus)

295

Constitutional Council, Decision No. 2012-280 QPC of 12 October 2012 In a decision dated October 12, 2012 (Cons. const., decision no. 2012-280 QPC of October 12, 2012), the French Constitutional Court confirmed the priority constitutionality question (hereinafter, "QPC") raised by Canal Plus (...)

Estelle Jegou, Sergio Sorinas Notion of control: The French Competition Authority sheds useful light on the type of control that may be held by the leader of a distribution network over members of that network (E. Leclerc)

272

Aut. conc. dec. no. 12-DCC-125 of 27 August 2012 relating to the joint takeover of 28 food-dominated retail stores by the Union des Coopérateurs d’Alsace and the Association des Centres Distributeurs E.Leclerc In the present case, the competitive analysis did not raise any particular (...)

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