August 2019 - II

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to operators of mobile telephony regarding their network sharing agreement in the Czech market (O2 / CETIN / T-Mobile)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement* The European Commission has informed Czech operators of mobile telephony O2 CZ and T-Mobile CZ, as well as the Czech telecom infrastructure provider CETIN of its preliminary (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes the highest fines ever applied for a cartel in the financial sector (Lusitania - Companhia de Seguros / Zurich Insurance)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The first cartel sanctioned by the AdC in the Portuguese financial sector has the highest fines ever applied* The AdC applied a fine totalling more than €54 million on insurance companies, board members and directors involved in the “insurer cartel”. The proceedings is now concluded with the (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the referral filed by an online content hosting service regarding practices of several companies in the online payment sector (1fichier.com / Groupement des Cartes Bancaires / Visa / Mastercard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online payment* The Autorité de la concurrence rejects, in the absence of solid evidence, the referral filed by the online content hosting service Dstorage (1fichier.com) regarding practices of several companies in the payment methods sector, notably the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, Visa (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a brewing company for engaging in resale price maintenance practices in hotels, restaurants and cafés (Super Bock)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctioned Super Bock for fixing minimum resale prices in hotels, restaurants and cafes* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência) sanctioned Super Bock Bebidas S.A., one board member and one director of the company to fines of €24 million for fixing minimum resale prices and other commercial (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds no collusion of multiplex cinema operators and their association (Unilazer / VPF)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by Unilazer Ventures (Unilazer), a film content creation company, that a number of multiplex cinema operators and their association had colluded in relation to the imposition of a Virtual Print Fee (VPF), revenue sharing arrangements, delays in (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority accuses two advertisers associations of restricting competition in the advertisement services market by setting rules to prevent the participation of its associates in tenders (APAN / APAP)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC accuses Portuguese advertisers and advertising agencies of limiting the normal functioning of the market* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência) accuses the Portuguese advertisers association APAN (Associação Portuguesa de Anunciantes) and the advertising agencies association APAP (Associação (...)

The EU Commission imposes fine of €28 million on a Japanese imaging and optical products company for gun-jumping (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 12 August 2016 Canon notified the European Commission (EC) the acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC), a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba. The EC authorized the transaction on 19 September 2016. The acquisition was structured with a view to dodging the associated merger (...)

The Turkish Competition Board persists in its assessment concerning exclusivity practices of a company dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs (Abalıoğlu)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
In a preliminary investigation in 2011 on the allegations that Abalıoğlu Yem Soya ve Tekstil A.Ş. (“ Abalıoğlu ”) had exclusivity clauses in its dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs under “Lezita” brand, the Board had decided that Abalıoğlu had not violated the Law No. (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Competition Commission of Mauritius orders two multinational financial companies to reduce their banking interchange fees in order to promote competition (Visa / MasterCard)
Nortons (Sandton)
Mauritius: Competition Commission orders VISA and MasterCard to lower interchange fees* On 13 August 2019, the Competition Commission of Mauritius (CCM) has, following a lengthy investigation, ordered VISA and MasterCard (Respondents) to reduce their banking interchange fees from 1% to 0,5%. (...)

The Competition Commission of India orders investigation into multinational technology company with the aim of protecting Micro-processors importers from the company’s discriminatory practices (Intel)
Gujarat National Law University (Gandhinagar)
On 9th August 2019, the Competition Commission of India directed the Director General to carry out investigations against Intel Corporation for allegedly violating Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Competition Act, 2002 (the ‘Act’). The case in hand was filed by Matrix Info Systems Pvt. Ltd. (the (...)

The Competition Commission of India rejects complaint according to which an online booking accommodation provider abused its dominant position (RKG Hospitality / OYO)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In a case with important implications for the budget hotel sector, the CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by RKG Hospitality, a hotelier, that Oravel Stays (OYO), which provides budget accommodation through online booking, had abused its dominant position by imposing one-sided, (...)

The Competition Commission of India dismisses claim submitted against a leading insurance company and closes the case at prima facie stage (Indian Chemical Council / General Insurance Corporation of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) that a leading reinsurer, the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), had abused its dominant position. The ICC alleged that GIC was, with its very high market share, dominant in the overall (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms directed verdict following rare price discrimination trial (Spartan Concrete Products / Argos USVI)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
Failure to show antitrust injury proved fatal to price discrimination claims as the Third Circuit affirmed a directed verdict in favor of cement company, Argos USVI, in a case brought by its customer, ready-mix concrete company Spartan Concrete Products ("Spartan"). This decision highlights (...)

Mergers

The Competition Commission of India issues regulatory changes to the merger notification procedure
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In a welcome move, on 13 August 2019, amendments to the Combination Regulations were published in The Gazette of India. With effect from 15 August 2019 (India’s Independence Day), parties to notifiable acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations (collectively referred to as “combinations”) will, if (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, the creation of a TV platform by three television channels (Salto)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Pay Television Sector* The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the creation of the Salto platform by TF1, France Télévisions and Métropole Télévision (M6) Background Following a referral decision by the European Commission, TF1, France Télévisions and Métropole Télévision (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the supply of fuels market (PKN Orlen / Lotos)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into PKN Orlen’s proposed acquisition of Lotos* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Lotos by PKN Orlen, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger may (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates second-phase examination in connection with an acquisition of a white cement production base (Çimsa / Cemex)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Çimsa Çimento ve San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“ Çimsa ”), a Turkey based international cement manufacturer has made a notification to the National Commission on Markets and Competition (“ CNMC ” in Spanish) on 05.06.2019 for its agreement with CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V (“ Cemex ”), aimed to purchase Cemex’s Buñol (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, a merger between two agricultural cooperatives (D’Aucy / Triskalia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Agricultural cooperatives* The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to several conditions, the merger of agricultural cooperatives D’Aucy and Triskalia Background Agricultural and agrifood cooperative groups D’Aucy and Triskalia notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their planned (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the real estate investment funds market (Fidelidade-Saudeinveste / Imofid)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC started a phase II investigation on Fidelidade / Saudeinveste and Imofid merger* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência) decided to open a phase II investigation on the merger involving the acquisition by Fidelidade of two real estate investment funds, previously managed by a managing entity (...)

The French, German and Polish Ministries for Economic Affairs publish joint paper on modernisation of EU competition policy focusing on merger control
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In their call for changes to EU merger control and State aid rules, the French and German Ministries for Economic Affairs have been joined by their Polish counterpart. On 4 July 2019, they published a joint paper (available here) containing a number of suggestions for a reform of competition (...)

The Competition Commission of India clears a minority shareholdings acquisition in the financial industry after the merger notification is submitted due to board seat (Kedaara / Ajax)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI cleared the acquisition by Kedaara Capital Fund (Kedaara), a private equity fund, of an approximately 7.98% stake in Ajax Engineering (Ajax), a manufacturer of concreting equipment. [1] Since there were no horizontal overlaps or vertical relationships, the CCI concluded that the (...)

The Competition Commission of India clears joint venture between two healthcare companies after deciding it cannot result in any anticompetitive effects (GlaxoSmithKline / Pfizer)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI cleared the proposal by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to combine their global consumer healthcare businesses into a joint venture. [1] The CCI considered overlaps in three product segments; non-narcotics/anti-pyretics, antacids/anti-flatulents and calcium preparations. In all three (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission finds that the marketing agreements concluded between a local Association for the Promotion of Touristic and Economic Flows and an airline company are illegal under EU State aid rules (Ryanair / Montpellier airport)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: France to recover €8.5 million of illegal aid to Ryanair at Montpellier airport* The European Commission has found that the marketing agreements concluded between the local Association for the Promotion of Touristic and Economic Flows (APFTE) and Ryanair at the airport of Montpellier (...)

Procedures

The High Court of Delhi rules that proceedings and orders passed by the Competition Commission of India cannot be invalidated by way of constitutional defects (Cadd)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In April 2019, a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi had declared two provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 unconstitutional and void. All other provisions of the Competition Act were held to be valid subject to a number of orders including that “the Central Government shall take (...)

Regulatory

The South African Government publishes a notice bringing into force some of the provisions of the amendment act of competition law
Baker McKenzie (Johannesburg)
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Baker McKenzie (Johannesburg)
An extensive set of competition law amendments has been in the making since December 2017 when the Competition Amendment Bill (Bill) was initially gazetted for public comment. After robust public participation and commentary, the key features of the Bill have predominantly made their way into (...)

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announces new policy aimed at incentivizing corporate compliance
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Some Early Thoughts On the Division’s New Policy On Corporate Compliance Programs (From a Guy Who Was Admittedly Against This When He Was With the Division)* There has been a great deal of publicity surrounding the Antitrust Division’s recent announcement that a corporation involved in a (...)

The French Parquet National Financier and the Anti-Corruption Agency publish procedural guidelines on the steps that need to be taken by companies that wish to enter into deferred prosecution agreements
Dechert (London)
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Dechert (London)
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Dechert (London)
Navigating French Internal Investigations and Self-Reporting - French Authorities Issue New Guidance* France is off to a strong start enforcing Sapin II, its December 2016 anti-corruption legislation. Since the enactment of the statute, the lead French investigating and prosecuting agencies, (...)

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