February 2000

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Council rules that retaliations and boycott measures in order to maintain resale price constitutes an anticompetitive practice (Practices on fruits & vegetables sector)
Verisure Securitas Direct (Paris)
Description of the impugned case A French syndicate of producers imposed to distributors a resale price maintenance in order to stop importation of strawberries from Spain. The investigation showed clearly that syndicate threatened to apply retaliations and boycott measures. In consequence, (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a professional organization for organizing a boycott action against imports of Spanish strawberries (Coordination rurale du Lot-et-Garonne / French Federation of Fruit and vegetable Importers)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Practices implemented in the sector for fruits and vegetables* In a decision dated 22nd February 2000, the Conseil de la concurrence ruled on a referral by the Fédération française des importateurs de fruits et (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemns RPM for lock distribution (Euro-Elzett)
DLA Piper (Budapest)
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DLA Piper (Budapest)
Description of the impugned case Certain agreements by Euro-Elzett (a producer and distributor of locks) with its distributors contained clauses, which prohibited the distributors from applying resale prices at or lower the procurement price of the locks. Euro-Elzett also sent circulars to its (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority accepts a request for interim measures on the ADSL market (9 Telecom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Request for interim measures filed by the company 9 Telecom, concerning access for telecommunications operators to the market for high-speed Internet access services using ADSL technology* In a decision dated 18th February 2000, the Conseil de la concurrence ruled on the request for interim (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that internal postal charges imposed on items sent in large quantities to a member state by means of remailing are not contrary to community competition law (Deutsche Post / Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
INTERNAL POSTAL CHARGES IMPOSED ON ITEMS SENT IN LARGE QUANTITIES TO A MEMBER STATE BY MEANS OF REMAILING ARE NOT, IN PRINCIPLE, CONTRARY TO COMMUNITY COMPETITION LAW* In the absence of an agreement between the postal services of the Member States concerned fixing "terminal dues" on the basis (...)

Mergers

The Hungarian Competition Office clears a merger in the mobile and wired telecommunications sector, subject to non-discrimination and separation of accounts remedies (Deutsche Telekom)
The operation The HCO authorized the acquisition of control of Telekom over the MediaOne owing 49-49 per cent of the shares in Westel 450 and Westel 900 mobile service operators. Telekom owns MATÁV possessing the remaining 51-51 per cent of shares of Westel 450 and Westel 900. The market(s) (...)

The EU Commission approves, subject to remedies, a merger between two leading French oil companies (TotalFina / Elf Aquitaine)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The case TotalFina / Elf Aquitaine: preserving a contestable and competitive market in an industry that is of a particularly sensitive nature to the consumer"* On 24 August 1999 the Commission was notified of the proposed acquisition by TotalFina of Elf Aquitaine. These two companies are the (...)

The French Minister of Economics cleared a merger in the cash transit services sector subject to remedies, including divestiture and capital restructuring (UBS Capital/Serse)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The operation The French Minister of Economy cleared a concentration by which the group UBS Capital acquires sole control of Serse. The market(s) The market involved is the cash in transit services. Remedy 1: Divesture Post merger, the new entity will hold a dominant position in 13 local (...)

State Aid

The German Federal Constitutional Court determines that the principle of legitimate expectations is to be interpreted narrowly in the recovery of State aid because of the principle of primacy of EU law (Alcan)
Gleiss Lutz (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Gleiss Lutz (Brussels)
The Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) rejected the constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) filed against the judgment of the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) of 23 April 1998, 3 C 15/97 – Alcan. It held that this judgment and the CJEU’s (...)

The French Tribunal in charge of social security cases applies to the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on whether a tax exemption can be considered not State aid but a mere compensation of public service costs (Ferring)
University of Bordeaux
The important case law of the ECJ often finds its origin in a preliminary question raised by national judges of first instance (e. g. ECJ, April 30th, 1986, Asjes a. o., Joined Cases 209/84 209/84, 210/84, 211/84, 212/84, 213/84 and 213/84, [1986] ECR 1425, “Nouvelles Frontières”, preliminary (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of First Instance reaffirms that a statement of reasons for a decision should be sufficiently precise and must disclose in a clear and unequivocal fashion the reasoning of the institution (Stork Amsterdam)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Case T-241/97 Stork Amsterdam BV v Commission of the European Communities* 1. Any measure the legal effects of which are binding on and capable of affecting the interests of the applicant, by bringing about a distinct change in his legal position, is an act or a decision which may be the (...)

Regulatory

The OECD holds a roundtable on promoting competition in the natural gas industry
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat In the light of the written submissions, the background note and the oral discussion, the following points emerge: (1) Demand for natural gas stems primarily from its use as a source of energy, particularly in the provision of heating and in the (...)

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