Bulletin
Latest News issue: May 2019 - II

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority fines a company for obstructing the conduct of inspections in the sectors of engineering and technology consulting, IT services and software publishing (Akka technologies)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Engineering, IT services and software oublishing* The Akka technologies Group is fined a total of 900 000 euros for obstructing the conduct of inspections made by the Autorité On 8 November 2018, the Autorité de la concurrence have raided the premises of companies and organisations in the (...)

The EU Commission fines five banks for participating in foreign exchange spot trading cartel (Barclays / RBS / Citigroup / JPMorgan / MUFG)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG €1.07 billion for participating in foreign exchange spot trading cartel* In two settlement decisions, the European Commission has fined five banks for taking part in two cartels in the Spot Foreign Exchange market for 11 (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority fines several companies for bid-rigging in the supply and transportation of ready-mix concrete market (Mattheos Ioannou Ready Mix Concrete / C. Kythreotis Skyrodema / Skyramix...)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nycosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition with its decision imposed on the following undertakings: 1. Mattheos Ioannou Ready Mix Concrete Ltd, 2. C.Kythreotis Skyrodema Ltd, 3. Skyramix Ltd, 4. Athinodorou & Poullas Super Beton Ltd, 5.Top Mix Concrete Ltd, 6. I & S Kritonis (...)

The EU Commission opens investigation into an insurance association in Ireland to assess whether the conditions of access to its Insurance Link data pooling system may restrict competition (Insurance Ireland)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into Insurance Ireland data pooling system* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland to assess whether the conditions of access to its Insurance Link data pooling system may restrict competition, in (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority confirms dawn raids in the healthcare sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC confirms dawn raids in the healthcare sector* The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) - Portuguese Competition Authority confirms it has carried out dawn raids in eight locations of nine entities in the healthcare sector in Lisbon, Porto and Algarve, following suspicions of anticompetitive (...)

The French Competition Authority dismisses the complaint filed by several garage owners against an automobile constructor (Hyundai)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Automotive aftermarket* The Autorité de la concurrence dismisses the complaint filed by several garage owners against Hyundai The complaint filed by the garage owners Three car garages referred a case to the Autorité de la concurrence regarding practices that would have been implemented by (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority dismisses a complaint stating that one company has violated competition rules in the transport market (HŽ Infrastruktura)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
HŽ Infrastruktura – lack of standing to act* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) received an anonymous complaint regarding the alleged infringement of competition rules by the undertaking HŽ Infrastruktura d.o.o. within the meaning of Competition Act. The anonymous complainant basically stated (...)

The Danish City Court of Hillerod fines a demolition company for exchanging prices with a competing company in four cases (Nedrivningsaktieselskabet J. Jensen)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Demolition Company fined DKK 1 million in bid rigging case* The City Court of Hillerød has fined the demolition company Nedrivningsaktieselskabet J. Jensen DKK 1 million for exchanging prices with a competing demolition company in four cases. Moreover, the City Court fined two members (...)

The UK Competition Authority secures the disqualification of two former director having participated to a cartel aimed to fix or coordinate prices and share out the market for certain pre-cast concrete drainage products (PM / Stanton Bonna / FP McCann)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Construction cartel directors disqualified* The CMA has secured the disqualification of 2 former directors of CPM Group Ltd following CPM’s admission that it breached competition law. The move follows the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) statement of objections issued on 13 December (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its european licensees (Nike)
Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
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Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
E-Commerce in Europe: A Look into Nike’s Huge Antitrust Fines* On March 25, the European Commission (EC) fined Nike €12.5 million for restricting cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its European licensees. In December last year, the EC fined Guess €40 million for imposing (...)

The Jerusalem District Court sentences to imprisonment a member of a tree-pruning cartel following a joint investigation of the Competition Authority and the National Fraud Investigations Unit (Zohar Katz)
Israel Antitrust Authority (IAA)
The Jerusalem District Court sentenced a member of the tree-pruning cartel to 11 months’ imprisonment* The Jerusalem District Court (Judge A. Rubin) sentenced today (Wed.) the defendant Zohar Katz to 11 months’ imprisonment, a fine of NIS 100,000 and forfeiture of an additional sum of NIS (...)

The Appeal Board of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia dismisses the decision of the Regional office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Sverdlovsk which ordered a leniency applicant to return unlawfully gained income (Krust)
ALRUD (Moscow)
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ALRUD (Moscow)
Unprecedented Russian Law Enforcement: Obligation to Return Unlawfully Gained Income When Using a Leniency Program* The Regional office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Sverdlovsk region has recently issued a decision ordering a leniency applicant to return unlawfully gained income. (...)

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds fine for misleading advertising in the hotel sector (NT partneriai / Karolinos turas)
Université d’Ottawa - University of Ottawa
A hotel is a hotel and the Karolina Park Hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania is no exception. So the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld a decision of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Council) that fined the developer Karolinos turas and real estate company NT (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission fines a beer company abusing its dominant position through restrictions of cross-border sales (AB InBev)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines AB InBev €200 million for restricting cross-border sales of beer* The European Commission has fined AB InBev €200 409 000 for breaching EU antitrust rules. AB InBev, the world’s biggest beer company, has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market by (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a consumer electronics company for resale price maintenance on online sales channels (Sony)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Sony decision (22.11.2018; 18-44/703-345) in which the Board evaluated the allegations concerning resale price maintenance (“RPM”) against Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”) upon complaint of a former distributor (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the sector of retail distribution of clothing and footwear (The Kooples / Maus Frères)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Clothing and footwear* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the takeover of the company The Kooples Group by the group Maus Frères (Lacoste, Aigle and Gant) On 17 April 2019, the group Maus Frères notified the Autorité de la concurrence his project of taking over the company The Kooples Group. (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the metalworking market (Ascoval / British Steel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Metalworking industry* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the takeover of the Ascoval company by the British Steel group. After the decision of the Strasbourg General court of first instance of 2 May 2019, which validated the takeover of the steel plant Ascoval by the British Steel group, (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the TV channels platforms market (De Vijver Media / Telenet)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA has approved conditionally the acquisition of sole control of De Vijver Media by Telenet* the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved conditionally on 13 May 2019 the acquisition of sole control by Telenet Group BVBA (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the audiovisual sector (Telia / Bonnier Broadcasting)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Telia Company’s proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia Company under the EU Merger Regulation. The (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority submits to public consultation the draft modifications to the guidelines for concentration notification via electronic means and the draft modifications of the regulatory provisions on the use of electronic means
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE submits for public consultation the modification to the Guidelines for Concentration Notification via Electronic Means and the Regulatory Provisions on the Use of Electronic Means* • The consultation period for the Guidelines is 30 working days, while the period for the Provisions is 20 (...)

The Czech Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the distribution market of non-original spare parts for light vehicles (LKQ / Heptus 292)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
THE OFFICE APPROVED THE MERGER OF LKQ AND HEPTUS 292 ON THE DISTRIBUTION MARKET OF NON-ORIGINAL SPARE PARTS, SUBJECT TO COMMITMENTS* On 10 May 2019, the Office for the Protection of Competition issued a decision authorizing LKQ German Holdings GmbH to take sole control over the company heptus (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the book retail sector (Thalia / Mayersche Buchhandlung)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Merger between Thalia and Mayersche Buchhandlung cleared* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the merger between the two bookstore chains Thalia and Mayersche Buchhandlung. Thalia and Mayersche are both large bookstore chains which altogether operate 288 bookstores in Germany. Andreas (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears a merger in the sugar market within the context of full liberalization and abolition of production caps on sugar beet in the internal market (Viro Grupa / Tvornica šećera Osijek)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA clears joint venture in sugar market created by Viro Grupa and Tvornica šećera Osijek* The concentration on the basis of which a joint venture is created in the sugar production and the wholesale business means the consolidation of the sugar market in Croatia as a result of full (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the printing industry (MBO / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits acquisition of MBO group by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG* Bonn, 7 May 2019: The Bundeskartellamt has today prohibited the proposed acquisition of all the shares in HB Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. HB (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves provisionally under EU State aid rules the support granted by Slovakia to an electric utility company (Slovenské Elektrárne)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves provisional measure ensuring security of local electricity supply in Slovakia* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the compensation granted by Slovakia to electric utility company Slovenské Elektrárne a.s. for temporarily supplying a (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the concept of "existing aid" in a private enforcement case and holds that unlawful aid cannot be retroactively legalised by virtue of a limitation period that has lapsed (Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Paris)
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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
On January 23, 2019, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter the “Court” or the “ECJ”) handed down a preliminary ruling on the notion of “existing aid”. The Court held, in particular, that the circumstance where a new aid that becomes existing aid by virtue of the 10 years limitation period has (...)

Procedures

The International Competition Network adopts framework for competition Agency procedures and new recommended practices for investigative process
International Competition Network (ICN)
Today, the International Competition Network (ICN) concluded its 18th annual conference with approval of new work on procedural fairness, vertical mergers, enforcement cooperation, agency organizational design, leniency, private enforcement, and vertical restraints. The conference took place (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects attempt to block consumer claims against a big tech company under indirect-purchaser rule (Apple / Pepper)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Apple v. Pepper: Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Consumer Claims Under Indirect-Purchaser Rule* The Supreme Court on Monday issued a much-anticipated decision in the Apple v. Pepper case, where iPhone owners are accusing Apple of monopolizing the retail market for iOS applications, or (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the claims of consumers purchasing apps from a big tech app store may proceed as they are direct purchasers of the big tech company (Apple / Pepper)
Covington & Burling (Washington)
Appellate and Supreme Court On May 13, 2019, the Supreme Court (“the Court”) announced its 5-4 decision in Apple, Inc. v. Pepper, permitting iPhone users to proceed with an antitrust suit against Apple alleging that it monopolized the retail market for iPhone apps. The Court emphasized that it (...)

The Polish Constitutional Tribunal declares to be unconstitutional the lack of judicial review over court decisions authorizing inspections
Modzelewska & Pasnik (Warszawa)
On 16 January 2019, the Constitutional Tribunal (Trybunał Konstytucyjny, “Tribunal”) delivered landmark judgment declaring unconstitutional the laws that prevent an inspected undertaking from appealing against court decision authorizing an inspection (case no. P 19/17). This judgment will (...)

Regulatory

The Mexican Competition Authority launches a market study in retail food and beverage sector
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE initiates market study in retail food and beverage sector* • COFECE’s electronic mail address: estudiocomercio@cofece.mx is made available to receive any element deemed relevant for the assessment of the sector, from a competition perspective. • The study may identify market structures, (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission publishes a cooperation and settlement policy to complement its existing leniency framework
Hong Kong Competition Commission
The Commission has published a Cooperation and Settlement Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct (Cooperation Policy) as a supplement to its existing Leniency Policy and Enforcement Policy. Under the Cooperation Policy, undertakings engaged in cartels (including price-fixing, (...)

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