December 2016

Anticompetitive practices

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision by Finnish Market Court, Finnish Competition Authority, and fines a milk producer for predatory pricing in the national fresh milk markets (Valio)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Supreme Administrative Court considered Valio’s milk pricing a violation of the Competition Act* The Supreme Administrative Court considered Valio’s milk pricing a violation of the Competition Act and ordered a penalty payment of EUR 70 million. In 2012, the FCCA deemed Valio guilty of (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms a fine of over 8 million euros for several hard-core vertical restrictions (Hyundai)
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co (Sofia)
Bulgaria: First-instance court confirms a fine of over € 8 mln on the distributor of Hyundai in Bulgaria for several hard-core vertical restrictions* At the very end of 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in its first-instance 3-member panel, confirmed one of the highest fines ever (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court inflicts a record fine for prohibited vertical agreements within a selective distribution system of cars (Hyundai)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
After almost a 4-year appeal procedure, in December 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (the “Supreme Court”), acting as a court of first instance, confirmed one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines ski equipment wholesaler for vertical pricing restraints (Fordex)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In its decision in Case DOK-1/2016 of 23 December 2016, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “OCCP”) imposed a fine of PLN 72,345 (approx. EUR 16,500) on a ski equipment wholesaler Przedsiębiorstwo Produkcyjno-Handlowe Fordex sp. z o.o. (“Fordex”), for fixing the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines undertakings for setting minimum resale prices on ski equipment and accessories (Fordex / Intersport)
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Warsaw)
I. The Decision In its decision no DOK-1/2016 of 23rd December 2016, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter the “Polish Competition Authority”) imposed a fine on Fordex and Intersport for violating Article 6 (the equivalent of Article 101(1) of the Treaty) of the Act on (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Wahl considers that derivative liability of parent company may not exceed that of its subsidiary (Heat stabilisers cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Under settled EU case law, a parent company may be held liable for the anticompetitive behaviour of its subsidiary even if the former has not directly participated in the infringement, provided the parent company is in a position to exercise decisive influence over its subsidiary and, in fact, (...)

The German Competition Authority ends proceedings against a dominant firm on the antennas market (Funkturm)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt ends proceedings against Deutsche Funkturm after pricing structure amendments* The Bundeskartellamt has terminated the administrative proceedings which it initiated against Deutsche Funkturm GmbH, Münster in January 2015. In the proceedings the authority investigated suspected (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority closes investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position by ferry operator and municipality (Color Line / Sandefjord Municipality)
European Commission (Brussels)
ESA closes Color Line and Sandefjord investigation* On 20 December 2016, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (“ESA”) closed an investigation of the ferry company Color Line and the municipality of Sandefjord in Norway. The parties have ended practices alleged to be in breach of the EEA competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines suppliers of galvanised steel tanks for bid-rigging (Franklin Hodge)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA fines water tank firms over £2.7 million* The CMA has today issued 2 decisions imposing fines on suppliers of galvanised steel tanks for breaching competition law. Galvanised steel tanks are used for water storage in larger buildings, such as schools, hospitals and other commercial and (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines gas boilers and water heaters producer for vertical price fixing (Termet)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In its decision of 19 December 2016, the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, hereinafter referred to as the “OCCP President” or the “PCA”) fined Termet S.A. the amount of PLN 212,919.00 (approximately EUR 49,000.00) for imposing fixed resale prices (Resale (...)

The Turkish High State Court annuls the Competition Board’s decision concerning parallel export restrictions in a vertical agreement (Roche / Corena)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the annulment decision of 13th Chamber of the High State Court (2010/4617 E., 2016/4241 K) (“High State Court”). The High State Court cancelled the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) decision on parallel export restrictions in vertical agreements. In (...)

The German Competition Authority fines firms in the food retail sector for vertical price fixing (Neumünster)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine proceedings for vertical price fixing in the German food retail sector concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its last three pending proceedings concerning vertical price fixing in the food retail sector. The authority imposed fines totalling 18.3 million euros on EDEKA (...)

The Italian Competition Authority discovers two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services but decides not to fine the anti-competitive conducts as they were not a serious competition breach (Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent decision handed down in the case Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare (UMMI) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an antitrust investigation by finding two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services agents implemented by two (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the actions of undertakings in a cartel case and upholds the fines imposed by the Commission (Smart card chips cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Article 27(2) of Regulation No 1/2003 provides that the parties’ rights of defence are to be fully respected in proceedings by the European Commission pursuant to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. Article 12 of Regulation 773/2004 states that the Commission must give the parties to whom it has (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority declares exempt retail price maintenance practices by a cosmetics laboratory on the basis of the de minimis theory (Laboratorio Martí Tor)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition Authority (“SCA”) has considered in a decision dated 15 December 2016 that certain retail price maintenance (“RPM”) practices carried out by cosmetic laboratory Martí Tor was not capable of significantly affecting competition, and thereby, of infringing Article 1 of the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on hearing aids
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-wide Inquiry on Hearing Aids- the Autorité’s Findings* The Autorité recommends separating the initial purchase of the hearing aid (including immediate fitting and setting during the first year) from the purchase of subsequent follow-up services. It also proposes removing the numerus (...)

The Curia of Hungary confirms the fines imposed in a banking cartel case (Budapest Bank)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Curia of Hungary confirmed the cartel of Banks* On 13 December 2016 the Curia of Hungary confirmed, as a result of the judicial review of case Nr. Vj/74/2011/873 concerning the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), that Hungarian banks had (...)

The EU General Court annuls a cartel settlement decision on appeal due to the Commission’s failure to sufficiently inform the undertakings on the fining methodology used (Envelopes cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Under the Commission’s cartel settlement procedure, an undertaking admitting liability to a cartel infringement and waiving certain procedural rights is rewarded with a 10% reduction in the fine. In the envelopes cartel case, the Commission fined five producers €19.4 million under the settlement (...)

The EU Commission fines rechargeable battery manufacturers for cartel in the settlement procedure (Sony / Panasonic / Sanyo)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines rechargeable battery producers €166 million in cartel settlement* The European Commission has fined Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo a total of €166 million. The companies and Samsung SDI coordinated prices and exchanged sensitive information on supplies of rechargeable (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s decision against 4 public insurance companies but reduces fines to avoid overburdening the taxpayers (National Insurance / New India Insurance / Oriental Insurance / United India Insurance)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds CCI order against four Insurance Companies, but reduces penalty* COMPAT vide order dated December 09, 2016 has upheld CCI order dated July 10, 2015 passed under section 27 of the Act against Public Sector Insurance Companies for bid-rigging while reducing the penalty from Rs. (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision against car manufacturers in the spare car parts market (Ford India / Nissan Motor India / Toyota Kirloskar Motor)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) rejects appeals of Ford, Nissan and Toyota against CCI Order in Car Spare Parts case but reduces penalty amounts* In an important and path breaking order the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) vide order dated December 9, 2016 has upheld the earlier (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the Competition Authority’s fine of a chemists’ association for cartelization due to mistakes in the investigation (AIOCD All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists / OPPI Organization of Pharmaceuticals Producer of India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets aside penalty imposed by CCI on All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists for cartelization* Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) by its order dated December 9, 2016 has set aside the orders dated 19.2.2013, 09.12.2013 passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines three undertakings for bid-rigging in municipal waste collection and transportation sector (Ekoaplinka)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Anti-competitive agreement in municipal waste collection and transportation sector* On December 8, 2016 the Competition Council found that in 2015 UAB Ekoaplinka, UAB Ecoservice and UAB Marijampolės švara (hereinafter – Companies) concluded a collusive bidding agreement while participating in the (...)

The EU Commission fines three banks for cartel on the euro interest rate derivatives market (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JPMorgan Chase)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase € 485 million for euro interest rate derivatives cartel* The European Commission has fined Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, a total of € 485 million for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives. The (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the fine against a professional association and its compliant pharmaceutical member company for anticompetitive agreements (Maruti & Company / KCDA Karnataka Chemists & Druggists Association / Lupin)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
COMPAT set asides penalty imposed on Lupin and its office bearers* COMPAT vide order dated December 07, 2016 while setting aside the order dated July 28, 2016 of CCI has quashed the penalty of Rs 73 Crores imposed on Lupin Ltd. (“Lupin”) and its two officials for alleged anticompetitive (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines five paper envelopes manufacturers and distributors for cartel (Copidata)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Portuguese Competition Authority dismantles cartel of paper envelopes* The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) dismantled a five-member cartel of paper envelopes producers and distributors, and imposed a fine of €160.000,00 on the company Firmo Papéis e Papelarias, S.A. The investigation (...)

The Latvian Competition Council fines two firms for bid-rigging in the purchase of machinery market (Rovaltra / Žagarės inžinerija)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Competition council disclosed an anti-competitive agreement in public procurement* On December 5, 2016 the Competition Council found that in 2014 UAB Žagarės inžinerija and UAB Rovaltra (hereinafter – Companies) concluded a collusive bidding agreement while participating in the public procurement (...)

The UK CMA obtains a novel disqualification of an individual from holding company directorships and finds easier route to individual liability for cartel conduct (Mr Aston)
Peters & Peters (London)
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Peters & Peters (London)
An easier route to individual liability for cartel conduct?* On 1 December 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) obtained a novel “disqualification undertaking” from Daniel Aston, the managing director of online poster supplier Trod Limited, whereby Mr Aston agreed not to act as a (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Shanghai Price Bureau fines a company for setting minimum prices in its distribution of pasteurised milk products (Speed Fresh)
University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
On 27 December 2016, the Shanghai Price Bureau published its decision to fine Shanghai Speed Fresh Logistics Co., Ltd. (Speed Fresh) for setting minimum prices in its distribution of pasteurised milk products. The authority had completed its investigation on 13 July 2016. The Shanghai Price (...)

The Czech Competition Authority accepts commitments in a case on alleged abuse of dominance by an energy company applying a pricing formula included in a long-term supply agreement (ČEZ)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
The Czech Competition Authority ("CCA") accepted in a decision of 20 December 2016 commitments offered by ČEZ, a partly state-owned Czech energy company, due to an alleged abuse of dominant position on the market for purchasing of brown coal. While the CCA refrained from final findings regarding (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds that a pharmaceutical company has broken competition law by charging excessive prices to the NHS for hydrocortisone tablets (Actavis)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Pharmaceutical company accused of overcharging NHS* The pharmaceutical company Actavis UK (formerly Auden Mckenzie) has increased the price of 10mg hydrocortisone tablets by over 12,000% compared to the branded version of the drug which was sold by a different company prior to April 2008. For (...)

The Appeal Court of Ljubljana annuls a decision in relation to minor offence proceedings against a collecting society (SAZAS)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction In SAZAS case, the Slovenian Competition Protection Office (hereinafter referred to as the CPO) adopted a partial administrative decision in April 2011 (Case 306-35/2009-108), finding that Združenje skladateljev, avtorjev in založnikov za zaščito avtorskih pravic Slovenije (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s decision for abuse of dominance against a coal company but cancels the fine due to the company already recently paying fine in a similar case (Sai Wardha Power / Coal India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds the order passed by CCI against Coal India Limited for abuse of dominance* COMPAT by its order dated December 09, 2016 has upheld the order of CCI whereby it held that Coal India Limited and Western Coalfields Limited were acting independently of the market forces and enjoy (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) requests an investigation into abuse of dominance by global taxi services company (Meru Travels Solutions / Uber India Systems)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
COMPAT directs investigation against Uber India for Abuse of Dominance* COMPAT by its order dated December 7, 2016, has set aside the order dated February 10, 2016 of CCI closing the information filed against Uber India Systems Private Limited (“Uber”) for alleged abuse of dominant position and (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two pharmaceutical companies for charging excessive prices concerning an anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA fines Pfizer and Flynn £90 million for drug price hike to NHS* The CMA has fined pharma companies Pfizer and Flynn Pharma nearly £90 million for charging excessive prices to the NHS for an anti-epilepsy drug. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a record £84.2 million fine (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines an healthcare company for price fixing for 4% of its sales revenue on cardiovascular, restorative therapy and diabetes medical device products in China (Medtronic)
University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
On 7 December 2016, the NDRC announced that it had investigated and fined Medtronic for engaging in RPM in breach of the AML. The NDRC found that, since 2014, Medtronic had agreed with its distributors to limit the resale, tender, and minimum prices of its cardiovascular, restorative therapy, (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes full decision on excessive pricing in the pharmaceutical sector and focuses on intention and evidence (Pfizer / Flynn)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The CMA’s decision relies heavily on evidence of the parties’ intentions in applying competition rules. On 15 June 2017, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the full non-confidential version of its decision to fine Pfizer and Flynn a record £84.2m for their excessive and (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes a reasoned decision on pharmaceutical industry (Pharmacists’ Association)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Introduction The Competition Board recently published a reasoned decision (December 6 2016; 16-42/699-313) following its investigation into whether the Pharmacists’ Association (TEB) and the Pharmacists’ Association Commercial Enterprise (TEBII) had violated Article 6 of Law 4054 on the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses market sharing allegations against 4 companies in the market for Digital Projection Systems in cinema halls (Eskay Video / Real Image Media Technologies Mumbai)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against Real Image Media Technologies, Shree Venkatesh Films, UFO movies and Arti Cinemas Pvt. Ltd. for alleged anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominance* CCI by its order dated December 06, 2016 has closed the case against Real Image Media Technologies Mumbai, (OP-1) (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority identifies significant competition barriers in waste-management sector following its sector inquiry
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC finds Significant Competition Barriers in Waste-Management Sector* The Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has identified a number of existing competition barriers created by both market structure and regulatory framework in the waste-management market in Latvia after commencing a (...)

Mergers

The Chinese MOFCOM conditionnaly clears a merger in the vascular closure devices market (Abbott Laboratories / St Jude Medical)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
On 30 December 2016, Abbott Laboratories’s acquisition of St Jude Medical was conditionally approved by the MOFCOM. On 4 July 2016, Abbott Laboratories submitted its notification to the MOFCOM, which was accepted as complete on 6 September 2016. The authority’s review entered phase 2 on 6 October (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies in the healthcare sector (Quironsalud / Fresenius Helios)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The acquisition (Transaction) of Quironsalud by Fresenius Helios had been initially notified to the European Commission, who referred the Transaction to the SCA under Article 9 of the EU Merger Regulation. On 22 December 2016, the SCA issued its phase I decision authorizing the Transaction (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic confirms fine for not complying with structural commitments imposed in merger approval decision (Rewe / Plus Discount)
Skils (Prague)
On 21 December 2016, the Supreme Administrative court rejected cassation appeal of REWE Zentralfinanz eG (“REWE”) against the previous judgment of the Regional Court in Brno which rejected claim against the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (“Office”) alleging that the Office acted (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a social network suspected of having transmitted misleading informations concerning a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts merger remedies proposed by petrol and diesel retailers (Dover / Wayne)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA accepts remedies in fuel pumps merger* The CMA has accepted undertakings from Dover to remedy competition concerns arising from its merger with Wayne. This follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) intervention to ensure that choice is maintained for petrol and diesel retailers (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM rules that a foreign-to-foreign deal "jumped the gun" in breach of antitrust rules (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
MOFCOM rules that foreign-to-foreign deal "jumped the gun" in breach of antitrust rules* In a decision adopted on 16 December 2016 and made public on 4 January 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) fined Japanese company Canon for failure to file its acquisition of Toshiba Medical (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market of dairy products (WhiteWave / Danone)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of WhiteWave by Danone, subject to conditions* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave, a US-based manufacturer of packaged foods and beverages, by the French Danone group. The clearance (...)

The Polish Competition Office clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the wholesale and retail sale of everyday consumer goods market (Dystrybucja Alkoholi / Eurocash)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Conditional concentration clearance: Eurocash - PDA* The President of the Office of Competition and Customer Protection (UOKiK) gave his consent to a takeover of Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi by Eurocash. The transaction may take place providing the purchase of a warehouse in Pabianice is (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM fines a merger in medical imaging market for gun jumping (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
University of Melbourne
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University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 16 December 2016, the MOFCOM announced that it had fined Canon RMB 300,000 for failure to notify its proposed acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems in accordance with the AML on time. Its decision was published on 4 January 2017. The proposed acquisition proceeded in 2 stages. In stage 1, (...)

The Polish Competition Authority gives conditional consent to a merger of undertakings operating on the market for wholesale and retail sale of alcoholic beverages (Eurocash / Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi)
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
In its decision of December 2016, the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the “OCCP President” or the “Authority”) has given his conditional consent for Eurocash to take control over Polska Dystrybucja Alkoholi (hereinafter the “PDA”). Both undertakings (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the telecommunication market (Vodafone Thuis / T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of Vodafone Thuis by T-Mobile* Telecom provider T-Mobile is allowed to acquire the fixed-telecom division of Vodafone Netherlands. Vodafone has branded this division ‘Vodafone Thuis,’ which offers services for fixed telephony, TV, and internet. The Netherlands Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the slaughtering and meat processing market (Sicavyl / Sicarev)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the merger between Sicavyl and Sicarev, subject to conditions* Parties to the operation On 4 November 2016, the agricultural cooperatives Sicarev and Sicavyl, mainly active in the meat sector, notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their intended (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court requests the EU Court of Justice to provide guidance on gun-jumping test (Ernst & Young / KPMG)
Szecskay Attorneys at Law (Budapest)
CJEU requested to provide guidance on gun-jumping test* With Post Danmark I and II under their belts, it seems Danish courts are punching above their weight when it comes to contributing to the CJEU’s development of EU competition law through preliminary rulings. Yet another interesting (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the professional social networks market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at (...)

The EU Commission clears the acquisition of a leading global professional social networking platform company by a leading global software company, subject to 5-year remedies that include monitoring and prevention of tying (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Microsoft/LinkedIn: Big data and conglomerate effects in tech markets* In a nutshell: The Microsoft/LinkedIn case is an important development in the Commission’s assessment of mergers involving data-related issues in tech industries. It provides further guidance on the framework for the (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves State aid granted to Italy’s third largest bank in order to rectify a serious disturbance in the Italian economy (Liquidity support to MPS bank)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds an appeal by the Commission concerning the selectivity of a Spanish tax measure (World Duty Free Group)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

Procedures

The Swedish government passes a new Competition damages act in order to implement the Directive on antitrust damages actions
Delphi (Stockholm)
The new Swedish Competition Damages Act* The Swedish implementation of the Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions (the “Directive”) is in force as of 27 December 2016 with the entering into force of the Swedish Competition Damages Act (Sw. Konkurrensskadelag (2016:964)) (the “Act”). The (...)

The Shandong Price Bureau fines a pharmaceutical company for obstructing antitrust investigation (Weifang Longshunhe Pharmaceutical)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
The NDRC recently announced that, on 25 December 2016, the Shandong Price Bureau imposed a fine of RMB 120,000 on Weifang Longshunhe Pharmaceutical for obstructing an investigation under the AML. The NDRC and the Shandong Price Bureau was jointly investigating Weifang Longshunhe Pharmaceutical (...)

The Guangdong High People’s Court dismisses antitrust lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (Chenyawang Animal Husbandry Cooperative / Huazhou General Food Company / Huazhou Yangmei Food Company)
University of Melbourne
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University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 23 December 2016, the Guangdong High People’s Court upheld the first instance judgment dismissing a lawsuit filed by Chenyawang Animal Husbandry Cooperative (Chenyawang) for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the Huazhou General Food Company and the Huazhou Yangmei (...)

The Chinese Appeal’s Court upholds decisions sanctioning motor vehicle inspection fees cartel
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
The NDRC announced that applications for administrative reconsideration and administrative litigation of the Shaanxi Price Bureau’s decision in April 2016 relating to price fixing in the motor vehicle inspection fee sector have been unsuccessful. The Shaanxi Price Bureau’s decision, which was (...)

The UK Parliament implements the EU antitrust damages directive
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The Damages Directive seeks to promote private enforcement of EU competition law before national courts across the European Union (the “EU”). The UK Regulations implementing the Directive were laid before Parliament on 20 December 2016 but will not come into force until after they have (...)

The Polish administration adopts a new legal framework on counteracting the unfair use of contractual advantage
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Warsaw)
I. Introductory Remarks The act on counteracting the unfair use of contractual advantage in the trade in agricultural and food products of December 15, 2016, Journal of Laws of 2017, item 67 (hereinafter: the “Act”) will enter into force on 12 July 2017. It is the result of EU-wide discussions (...)

The English High Court rules that notes of witness interviews prepared by in-house and external counsel in the course of an internal investigation were not covered by legal advice privilege or lawyers’ working papers privilege (RBS Rights Issue Litigation)
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
In December 2016, the English High Court ruled that transcripts, notes and other records of witness interviews prepared by in-house and external counsel in the course of an internal investigation were not covered by either legal advice privilege (“LAP”) or lawyers’ working papers privilege. The (...)

The Canadian and the Hong Kong administrations sign a Competition Law memoranudm of understanding
Université d’Ottawa - University of Ottawa
Introduction Canada expanded its international competition law cooperation framework on 2 December 2016 when the commissioner of competition (commissioner), who has statutory authority to administer and enforce Canada’s Competition Act (Act), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with (...)

The OECD holds a session on competition and sanctions in antitrust cases
OECD - Competition Division
Competition authorities have imposed substantial fines for competition law violations over the last few decades. Several common steps are observed in setting fines: (i) determination of basic fine; (ii) adjustments (including aggravating and mitigating circumstances); (iii) comparisons to (...)

Regulatory

The Polish Competition Authority gains new powers to fight unfair practices in the food industry
WKB Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
The Polish Competition Authority gains new powers to fight unfair practices in the food industry* The Act on Combating Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in Trading in Agricultural and Food Products (the “Act”) will enter into force in the mid-2017. The objective of the Act is to eliminate (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority announces that new amendments to the Hungarian Competition Act enter into force
European Commission (Brussels)
New regulations of the Hungarian Competition Act entered into force* The recent amendments of Act LVII of 1996 on the Prohibition of Unfair Trading Practices and Unfair Competition (Tpvt., Hungarian Competition Act) entered into force in December 2016 and in January 2017, and serve a number of (...)

The French Competition Authority issues its opinions on the freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Freedom of establishment for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers - Application of the Framework resulting from the "Macron Law" of 6 August 2015* The Autorité de la Concurrence has drawn up maps showing where new offices could be located for bailiffs and judicial auctioneers It recommends the (...)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development holds a session on promoting competition and protecting human rights
OECD - Competition Division
The first session of the 2016 OECD Global Forum on Competition focused on "Promoting competition, protecting human rights" during its first session. Competition law enforcement depends on an effective system of human rights, most obviously the right to property, the right to contract and rights (...)

The OECD holds a session on the role of market studies as a tool to promote competition
OECD - Competition Division
Despite the fact that market studies are part of almost all work portfolios of Competition Agencies around the world, there are significant differences on their conception, goals and outcomes. The survey shows that market studies are at minimum, assessments of market structures and analysis of (...)

Public sector

The Chinese NDRC investigates and recommends measures towards twelve provincial Governement conduct to appoint electricity suppliers
University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
The NDRC found that 12 provincial governments had adopted policies that appointed specific electricity suppliers to construct electricity supply equipment in new residential areas and to unify fees. In response to the NDRC’s investigation and recommendation to comply with the AML, the 12 (...)

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