August 2005

Anticompetitive practices

The Court of Amsterdam orders a new entrant to cease actively soliciting the clients of the telecommunication incumbent on the ADSL market under a penalty of 5000 € (Wanadoo/KPN)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
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Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (The Hague)
KPN, the Dutch historical telecommunication operator, owned an ADSL network through which it provided “fast ip access” to other internet service providers. “Fast ip access” enabled other internet service providers to provide their services to end-users. Wanadoo is an Internet service provider which (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority finds that the Professional Association of Dentists infringed both Art. 81 EC and its national equivalent by imposing minimum fees to its members for the supply of professional services, and imposes a € 160.181 fine (Portuguese Professional Association of Dentists)
London School of Economics
The Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, “the NCA”) opened an investigation on its own motion after finding out that a list setting minimum and maximum fees for the provision of the different dental services was published on the website of the Portuguese Professional Association of Dentists (...)

A US District Court holds that a pharmacy benefits manager’s (PBM) contracts should be analyzed under the rule of reason (North Jackson Pharmacy, Caremark)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
The Northern District Court of Illinois, in a decision issued August 12, held that a PBM’s arrangements with health plan sponsors are not per se unlawful and should be analyzed under the rule of reason. North Jackson Pharmacy, an independent retail pharmacy, filed suit against Caremark Rx, a (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority deems illegal an agreement concerning the distribution of pay-TV channels (SIC and TV)
London School of Economics
Sociedade Independiente de Comunicação (hereinafter “SIC”) is the leading private free-to-air broadcaster in Portugal. Upon the advent of pay-TV in the country, the undertaking set up a series of theme channels, including SIC Notícias (a news channel), SIC Radical, SIC Comédia and SIC Mulher. All of (...)

The Irish Competition Authority calls for the repeal of the restrictive practices Order, contending that it facilitates retail price maintenance and hinders effective competition (Restrictive Practices - Groceries - Order)
London School of Economics
Section 30 of the Competition Act, 2002 mandates the Irish Competition Authority (hereinafter “NCA”) to advise government ministers on issues arising in the course of their functions which have an impact on competition. In light of this provision, the NCA responded to the Minster for Enterprise’s (...)

The British Office of Fair Trading loses race to prohibit collective selling (The Racecourse Association & The British Horseracing Board)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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AkzoNobel (Amsterdam)
Background In a recent case heard before the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal (the “CAT”), appeals were allowed to set aside an Office of Fair Trade (“OFT”) infringement decision of the Chapter I prohibition (the UK equivalent to Article 81(1) EC Treaty). The decision in The Racecourse Association (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Danish Competition Authority finds that Skoda importer abused of its dominant position for operating a system of fidelity rebates (Pradan Auto Import)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
On 31 August 2005 the Danish Competition Council decided that Skandinavisk Motor Co. (hereinafter “SMC”), formerly Pradan Auto Import, had abused its dominant position under section 11 of The Danish Competition Act (the Danish provision similar to article 82 EC) on the original Skoda spare parts’ (...)

The Swedish Market Court applies Art. 82 EC in accordance with Art. 3 of EC Reg. n° 1/2003 without regard to the effect on interstate trade criterion regarding alleged abusive pricing of Stockholm airport fees (Luftfartsverket)
Cederquist (Stockholm)
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Regeringskansliet
The case before the Swedish Market Court concerned the fees charged by the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket, hereinafter “LFV”) for offering parking space for airport coaches at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. On November 13, 2003, the Swedish Competition Authority (...)

The Berlin Appellate Court condemns the business practices of the German biggest flower-ordering service provider in preliminary proceedings concerning abuse of a dominant position (Fleurop)
White & Case (Miami)
Berlin Appellate Court of Justice (Kammergericht Berlin), judgement of 25 August 2005, Case no. 2 U 1/05 Kart On 25 August 2005 the Berlin Appellate Court (the “Court”) delivered a judgement upholding a preliminary injunction in which it condemned the practice of flower-ordering service provider (...)

The UK Office of Rail Regulation rejects a complaint on refusal to supply on the basis of the essential facilities doctrine (NTM/Portec-Clare)
Paul Hastings (London)
Introduction The case commenced in July 2004 when the Office of Rail Regulation (“ORR”) received a complaint from NTM Sales and Marketing Ltd (“NTM”) regarding the supply of grease for use in electric trackside lubricators on railway infrastructure in the UK. The complaint related to allegations (...)

The Administrative Regional Court of the Republic of Latvia confirms the Competition Authority’s decision having found the telecommunications market leader guity of abusive tying practices (Lattelekom)
Tark Grunte Sutkiene (Riga)
Experience of Latvia in tie-in cases Abuse of dominant position is not often established in the competition law practice in Latvia. The Competition Council of Latvia (the Council) arrives at such conclusion only a couple of times a year. Only some of the decisions of the Council are challenged (...)

Mergers

The Belgian Competition Council clears the acquisition of a group of perfume distribution companies (Distripar - Cie. Nationale à Portefeuille)
Smartflats
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Liège University - IEJE
On 29 August 2005, the Belgian Competition Authority cleared the acquisition of a group of companies - whose identities were kept confidential - by Distripar, a company with interests in the perfume and cosmetics sectors. The parties Distripar, the buyer, is a Belgian holding company which (...)

The European Commission approves subject to remedies a merger in the healthcare sector addressing the issues of potential competition and unilateral effects in innovative markets (Johnson & Johnson/Guidant)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
"Johnson & Johnson/Guidant: potential competition and unilateral effects in innovative markets"* 1. Introduction Following an in-depth investigation, on 25 August 2005 the European Commission authorised under the Merger Regulation the planned $ 24 billion (around € 18 billion) acquisition (...)

The Irish Competition Authority cleared a merger in the market for beverage distribution subject to commitment to inform the NCA of any future acquisitions in the market (M&J Gleeson/United Beverages Sales)
Geneva University
The operation On 2 June 2005 the acquisition by M&J Gleeson (MJG) of United Beverages Sales’ (UBS) wholesale alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage distribution business in Ireland was notified to the Irish Competition Authority (ICA). MJG manufactures, wholesales and distributes soft (...)

The French Minister of Economics clears a merger in the markets of perfume and cosmetic products with structural remedies (Douglas/Lavigne)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
The operation By a letter dated 22 August 2005, the French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry authorized the merger between the German law company, Parfümerie Douglas Company GmbH (“Douglas”), and the French law company, SA Lavigne (“Lavigne”). Douglas and Lavigne are specialized in (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt cleared a merger in the building materials sector subject to remedies, including an extensive divestment package (Werhahn/Norddeutsche Mischwerke)
Baker McKenzie (Dusseldorf)
The operation On 21 February 2005 Basalt-Actien-Gesellschaft (“BAG”) notified the Bundeskartellamt of the proposed acquisition by Werhahn & Nauen of shareholdings in three companies from Norddeutsche Mischwerke NMW (“NMW”). The shareholdings comprised: 100% of the shares of Asphaltwerk (...)

The Irish Competition Authority clears a merger in the market for radio broadcasting subject to a remedy involving the exit from a contract with an advertising sales agency, board withdrawal and divestment of partial ownership (SRH / Highland Radio)
Geneva University
The operation On 1 June 2005 the acquisition by Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) of Donegal Highland Radio Limited (Highland Radio) was notified to the Irish Competition Authority (ICA). SRH is active in the radio and publishing business in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, where it owns two (...)

The European Commission refers to the UK OFT the examination of a joint acquisition in the airlines industry (Exeter Airport/MAG/Ferrovial Aeropuertos)
J G Associates (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2005"* Following a request from the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission decided to refer the competence to assess the impact of the joint acquisition of Exeter Airport by the Macquarie (...)

The Administrative Tribunal of Lazio confirms the Italian Competition Authority’s decision to clear a merger in the sector of electricity with structural and behavioural remedies (Trasmissione Elettricità Rete Nazionale / Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale)
Clifford Chance
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Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation The Italian Competition Authority, at its meeting of 4 August 2005, approved with conditions the purchase by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. of 29.99% of T.E.R.N.A.’s shares and a division of Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale (the company in charge of the national (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the bookmaking sector, subject to the divestment of licensed betting offices in 79 specific localities (William Hill/Stanley Leisure)
Added Value Capital Partners (AVCP) (Royston)
The operation William Hill plc provides bookmaking services through 1,613 licensed betting offices (LBOs) in the United Kingdom (UK). It also operates an on-course betting business in the UK and an internet and telephone betting business taking bets from UK and non-UK customers (‘punters’). (...)

Procedures

The Greek Parliament votes the reform of the competition Act (Law, 2 August 2005)
University College London
1. Greek competition law has been formally adopted in 1977 with the aim to preparing the accession of Greece to the European Communities. The Act on the Control of Monopolies and Oligopolies and the Provision of Free Competition 703/1977 (“Competition Act” or “Act”) has since been amended on (...)

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