February 1999

Anticompetitive practices

The European Commission exempts the standard leases of the three largest brewers in the UK (Whitbread, Bass, Scottish & Newcastle)
CEG Europe (London)
"UK Beer Cases"* This year the Commission has exempted the standard leases of the three largest brewers in the UK. This conclusion followed an exhaustive examination by the Commission services of the way in which the national brewers Bass, Scottish and Newcastle (“S&N”) and Whitbread have (...)

The Irish Supreme Court considers a pharmaceutical distribution agreement to conform with both domestic and EU competition law and rejects a claim in civil proceedings (Chanelle Veterinary / Pfizer)
London School of Economics (London)
Facts of the case The plaintiff, Chanelle Ltd., is a wholesale distribution company of animal health products which forms part of Chanelle Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Limited. In 1995 there was a takeover of the Smith Kline Beecham group, which Chanelle had serviced for over a decade, by (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the prohibition to fix prices regarding contracts with third parties is applicable to the relationship between franchisor and franchisee at least in the event that the franchisee himself bears the economic risk of his franchising business (Preisbindung durch Franchisenehmer)
Linklaters (Düsseldorf)
Description of the impugned case The case deals with indirect RPM in the framework of a franchising system in which the franchisor who operates several own branches, advertises for certain prices without however limiting the indications of prices to his own branches or pointing out their (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission calls on Portuguese and Finnish airports to bring an end to the system of discounts and differentiated landing charges linked to the origin of flights in operation at various airports
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission adopts two Decisions on landing charges at Portuguese and Finnish airports* Commission adopts two Decisions on landing charges at Portuguese and Finnish airports The Commission has called on Portugal to bring to an end the system of discounts and differentiated landing charges (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission requires for the first time remedies to clear a concentration in the pharmaceutical sector (Astra / Zeneca)
European Commission - DG TRADE (Brussels)
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* The decision in Astra/Zeneca marks the first time in the pharmaceutical sector where commitments were required to clear the concentration. In view of the ongoing consolidation of the pharmaceutical industry, such situations may become (...)

The European Commission opens full investigation into a proposed merger in the airlines industry (KLM/Martinair)
European Commission - DG TRADE (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG TRADE (Brussels)
"Mergers: Recent developments and important decisions"* In KLM/Martinair, the European Commission decided to open a full investigation based on competition concerns regarding the supply of flights from Dutch airports (notably Amsterdam/Schiphol) to tour operators and individual ‘leisure’ (...)

State Aid

The European Commission approves public funding of two German public special interest channels (Kinderkanal, Phoenix)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany – Commission approves public funding of two public special interest channels"* The Commission has approved on 24 February 1999 the financing from state resources of the two German public special interest channels “Kinderkanal” and “Phoenix”. Further to a complaint, the Commission found (...)

The EU Commission agrees on part of the restructuring aid in favor of a German manufacturer of newspaper printing machinery parts (Graphischer Maschinenbau)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany - The Commission agreed part of the restructuring aid in favour of Graphischer Maschinenbau GmbH, Berlin"* By decision of 3rd February 1999, the European Commission has agreed part of the aid for the restructuring of Graphischer Maschinenbau GmbH, a manufacturer of newspaper printing (...)

Regulatory

The OECD holds a roundtable on promoting competition in postal services
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Key documents: Executive Summary with key findings, Detailled Summary of the discussion, Background note Executive summary, by the Secretariat In the light of the written submissions, the background note and the oral discussion, the following points emerge: (1) Postal services are one (...)

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