April 2019 - II

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority rejects a referral denouncing an agreement put in place by companies responding to tender launched for the extension of the tramway network (Communauté urbaine de Bordeaux)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Extension of the Bordeaux tram* The Autorité de la concurrence rejects the referral filed by the communauté urbaine de Bordeaux (Bordeaux metropolitan area) in the absence of solid evidence. The complaint lodged by the communauté urbaine de Bordeaux The communauté urbaine de Bordeaux (CUB), now (...)

The Latvian Competition council fines companies involved in bid-rigging on the market of supply of nanotechnology chemicals (Rīgas satiksme / Sava arhitektūra)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC fines the companies involved in bid-rigging in price quotations on supply of nanotechnology chemicals* On 12 April, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) detected a prohibited agreement implemented by six applicants and supported by the municipal passenger carrier SIA “Rīgas (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines two companies and one of its manager for participating in a horizontal agreement in the sector of railway maintenance services (Mota-Engil / Engenharia e Construção)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions an undertaking and its manager for anticompetitive practices in the sector of railway maintenance services* The AdC imposed fines totalling 906.485,58 euros on Mota-Engil – Engenharia e Construção, S.A., and one of its managers, for participating in a horizontal agreement (cartel), (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the wine and spirits sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the wine and spirits sector. Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la concurrence have raided (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority announces investigations in the corn flour market for possible anticompetitive practices (Investigations in the corn flour market)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE probes national market for corn flour for possible anticompetitive practices* • The investigation should not be construed as a prejudgment, but as the authority’s verification of compliance with the Federal Law on Economic Competition. • The corn flour industry has sales for more than 24 (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority launches an investigation into online gaming companies’ roll-over contracts
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on 05 April 2019 that it is launching an investigation into online gaming companies’ use of auto-renewal, cancellation, and refund policies in relation to online services. The investigation is being conducted using the CMA’s consumer (...)

The Highest administrative court in the Netherlands rules, in relation to a food sector cartel, that the Dutch Competition Authority can find private equity investors liable for cartel infringements of their portfolio companies (Flour cartel)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
Private equity investors held liable for cartels in the Netherlands* Introduction On 19 March 2019, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands (het College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, “CBb”) ruled that the Dutch Competition Authority (“the ACM”) can hold private equity investors (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies, in a preliminary ruling concerning an asphalt cartel, who is liable to pay compensation in a damages action arising from article 101 TFEU (Skanska Industrial Solutions)
Lavoielegal (Brussels)
Court of Justice ruling in Skanska: EU competition law concept of ‘undertakings’ and principle of economic continuity to the rescue in civil damages claims* In its preliminary ruling in Skanska Industrial Solutions and Others, the Court of Justice has ruled on the fundamental question of who is (...)

The EU General Court holds that patent settlements may be deemed “pay-for-delay” agreements only if there are reverse payments, and the originator may not be held dominant if the market is not assessed rigorously (Servier)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The Servier judgments: patent settlements may be deemed “pay-for-delay” agreements, and thus by-object infringements of Article 101 TFEU only if Commission substantiates strong indication of “reverse payment” or “abnormal inducement” from the originator to the generic; further, the originator cannot (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Italian Competition Authority opens an antitrust investigation against a major e-commerce company for alleged abuse of dominance (Amazon)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation against several undertakings belonging to the Amazon group in the FBA case. The targets of the ICA investigation are Amazon Services Europe (ASE), Amazon Europe Core (AEC), Amazon EU (AEU), Amazon Italia (...)

The High Court of New Delhi challenges constitutional validity of provisions of the Competition Act on a complaint by a car manufacturer accused of abusing its dominant position (Mahindra & Mahindra)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
On 10 April 2019, a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi pronounced its judgment in Mahindra & Mahindra v. Competition Commission of India, which challenged the constitutional validity of a number of provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act). In addition to holding the (...)

The UK National Competition Authority closes its investigation into an allegedly abusive discount scheme in the pharmaceutical sector (Remicade)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The CMA Remicade decision: discount schemes and abuse of dominance – effects matter!* Summary On 14 March 2019, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to close its investigation into a discount scheme by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD). The CMA concluded that there were (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a consumer electronics company for resale price maintenance in online sales (Sony)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published its reasoned decision which concludes the investigation that was initiated on September 7, 2017 regarding the activities of Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”). The main focus of the investigation was the allegations with respect to violation of Law (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority innovates its merger control by analyzing the online and in-store sales of toys as a single market (Luderix International / Jellej Jouets)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of toys* The Autorité de la concurrence innovates by analyzing the online and in-store sales of toys as a single market. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of joint control of Luderix International (Picwic) by Jellej Jouets (Toys’R’Us) and by the undivided (...)

The Dublin District Court imposes a small charitable donation as punishment on a motor company which pled guilty to gun jumping (Armalou Holdings)
McCann FitzGerald (Brussels)
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McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
A small charitable donation for gun-jumping* After an 18 month investigation involving officials from both the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) and Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecution, and a first-ever criminal prosecution, a company that gun-jumped Irish merger (...)

The EU Commission fines a multinational conglomerate company for providing incorrect information during the assessment of its merger (General Electric)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines General Electric €52 million for providing incorrect information in LM Wind takeover* The European Commission has fined General Electric €52 million for providing incorrect information during the Commission’s investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of GE’s planned (...)

The Ankara 9th Administrative Court puts a break on a port acquisition after Competition Board’s conditional clearance with behavioural remedies (Kumport)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Background Limar Liman ve Gemi İşletmeleri A.Ş. (“Limar”), which is controlled by Arkas Holding A.Ş. (“Arkas”) notified to the Turkish Competition Authority (the “Authority”) its acquisition of the sole control over Mardaş Marmara Deniz İşletmeciliği A.Ş. (“Mardaş” or the “Target”) operating the Ambarlı (...)

Procedures

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies the collective proceeding regime in a private action against a credit card company (Merricks / MasterCard)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Merricks v MasterCard: Collective Actions Reinvigorated* The Court of Appeal today gave its much-anticipated judgment in the application to bring collective proceedings against MasterCard: see Merricks v MasterCard Incorporated and others [2019] EWCA Civ 674. It is a major victory for the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal has confirms that the first claim under the UK’s flagship "opt-out" regime can proceed (Merricks / Mastercard)
Simmons & Simmons
The action is based on the EU Commission’s finding that MasterCard’s EEA multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) breached Article 101(1) TFEU (see here for further details). That finding was upheld by the European Court of Justice (on appeal by MasterCard) on 11 September 2014 (see our further (...)

The International Competition Network adopts a new tool of cooperation to identify the main principles guaranteeing procedural fairness in procedures that implement competition law
French Competition Authority (Paris)
A new tool of international cooperation to boost procedural fairness* The International Competition Network (ICN), gathering 138 international competition authorities, has adopted a new tool of cooperation, the Framework on Competition Agency Procedures (thereafter the “CAP”). The CAP fully (...)

The EU Parliament and Council establish a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (FDI)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Paris)
On 21 March 2019, Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (“FDI Regulation”) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The FDI Regulation (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority launches consultations to prepare two new opinions on the freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers* In accordance with the Law of 6 August 2015 (also known as the « Macron Law »), the Autorité de la concurrence is launching public consultations to prepare two new opinions on the freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial (...)

The French Competition delivers its opinion on the price increase system of notaries and court bailiffs in the overseas departments and regions
French Competition Authority (Paris)
"High living costs" in the French overseas departments and regions* In an opinion issued at the request of the French government, the Autorité examines the price increase system of notaries and court bailiffs in the overseas departments and regions. The Autorité suggests to review in depth the (...)

The EU commission publishes its final study on antitrust aspects in EU loan syndication markets
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
In its recent assessment of the European loan syndication sector from an antitrust perspective, the European Commission did not find specific evidence or indication of any current antitrust infringements. However, the Commission and national competition authorities will likely closely monitor (...)

The EU commission publishes final study on antitrust aspects in loan syndication markets
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
On 08 April 2019, the European Commission published its study into the syndicated lending market. The study was commissioned in April 2017, looking at syndicated lending in six Member States – the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The aim of the study was to identify and (...)

The French Competition Authority delivers its opinion on the distribution of medicinal products and biomedical laboratories
French Competition Authority (Paris)
4 April: Distribution of medicinal products and biomedical laboratories: the Autorité delivers its opinion After several months of investigation and a large public consultation, the Autorité de la concurrence releases the findings of its healthcare sector inquiry. The medicinal product (...)

The Chinese National People’s Congress adopts a Foreign Investment Law
AnJie Law (Beijing)
On March 15, 2019, China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress passed the Foreign Investment Law (the “Law”), a landmark legislation that will provide stronger protection and a better business environment for foreign investors. The Law will take effective on January 1, 2020. Upon (...)

Public sector

The Mexican Competition Authority issues recommendations on a government housing assistance agency (Infonavit)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE issues recommendations on Infonavit public procurement regulations * • These recommendations are issued in response to the Institute’s request, which has publicly stated its goal of more efficient spending. • The regulations currently in force for the Institute’s acquisition of goods and (...)

The Latvian Parliament adopts amendements to the Competition Law granting the Competition Council powers to address competition distortions caused by public administrative bodies
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The Competition Council of Latvia will be able to prevent competition distortions caused by public administrative bodies* On 28 March, the Saeima adopted in the final reading amendments to the Competition Law, which grant the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) the powers to address (...)

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