July 2006

Anticompetitive practices

The Lisbon Commerce Court confirms decision against shipping agents association for price-fixing but reduces the amount of fines (AGEPOR)
University of Lisbon
,
Abreu Advogados (Lisbon)
In January 2006 the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) fined AGEPOR, a Portuguese shipping agents association, € 195.000 for price fixing. AGEPOR appealed against the decision to the Lisbon Commerce Court. AGEPOR grounded its appeal both on procedural and substantive arguments. First, the (...)

The Spanish Competition Court fines an association of travel agencies and the major national airlines for collusive agreements aimed at fixing the fees charged for the emission of airplane tickets (Agencias de viaje)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
In January 2004, the Spanish press released details regarding a series of agreements between the Spanish travel agencies, represented by the Cúpula Asociativa de Agencias de Viaje Españolas (hereinafter,"CAAVE"), and the three major Spanish airlines, - Iberia, Spanair and Air Europa (hereinafter, (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals quashes the NCA’s decision and considers that an agreement limiting distribution of a drug to selected distributors does not restrict competition (Johnson & Johnson’s)
Allen & Overy (Warsaw)
Polish Court of Appeals, 25 July 2006, Decision issued in the case initiated by Jacek Nowakowski, who runs a warehouse for Pharmaceutical and Sanitary Products Hurtofarm in Sosnowiec and Johnson & Johnson Polska Sp. z o. o. in Warsaw against the President of the Office for Competition and (...)

The French Competition Council accepts commitments to modify selective distribution agreements as regards access to the network and advertising on the Internet (Festina)
Coca-Cola (Paris)
,
SNCF Mobilités (Paris)
The Bijourama Company is specialized in the sale of time pieces, jewellery and silversmith’s pieces exclusively on the internet. Bijourama submitted a referral to the French Competition Council on October 13th, 2005. The company complained about the refusal of Festina France (a subsidiary of the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority condemns anticompetitive agreements on two local markets of photo services related to personalised documents (PWPW)
French National Research Agency - ANR (Paris)
President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Prezydent Urzedu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów), 24 July 2006, Decision n° RGB 13/2006, concerning, inter alia, the practices of Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartosciowych S.A. (PWPW ) in Warsaw Polska Wytwórnia Papierów (...)

The Bulgarian competition authority prohibits an exclusive contract for the supply of slag for fears of foreclosure of the cement market (Kremikovtzi/Cemeco)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Commission for the Protection of Competition, 22 July 2006 , Decision n° 174, Kremikovtzi/Cemeco (Doc. Word) Pursuant to the individual exemption procedure, still in force under Bulgarian competition law, Cemeco OOD (“Cemeco”), a cement producer, notified to the Bulgarian Commission for the (...)

The French Competition Council fines an exclusivity purchase clause contained in a selective distribution agreement on the basis of both Art. 81.1 EC and French provisions (NGK Spark Plugs)
Juliette Goyer Avocat
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
In its decision issued on 21 July 2006, the French Competition Council fined NGK Spark Plugs France (hereinafter “NGK France”), a French subsidiary of NGK Japan, active in the French market for spark plugs for two-wheel vehicles, for breach of both article 81 of the EC treaty and its French (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a spark plugs producer for exclusive dealing practices (NGK Spark Plugs)
Compass Lexecon (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) has fined € 300,000 NGK Spark Plugs France for a vertical agreement with its distributors involving an exclusive dealing provision. NGK Spark Plugs France is one of the main producers of spark plugs for motorcycles (two-stroke engines) in France. The FCA’s (...)

The French Competition Council holds anticompetitive an exclusive purchase clause in a selective distribution agreement (NGK Spark Plugs)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
,
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 21 July 2006, Decision n° 06-D-22, related to NGK Spark Plugs France practices in the plug market for two-wheel vehicles (“relative à des pratiques mises en oeuvre par la société NGK Spark Plugs France sur le marché des bougies pour deux (...)

A Dutch Court decides that vertical agreements which are not covered by EC Reg. n° 2790/1999, because they have as their object the restriction of the territory into which the goods may be sold, are not caught by competition rules in view of their insignificant effect on competition ("Bread products case")
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
X is a partnership under Dutch law which has made several agreements with retailers, including Y. According to the agreements, X delivers, under certain conditions, bread products to the retailers. These bread products are then sold by the latter to consumers. X has initiated a proceeding (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority condemned the internal codes of the Hungarian Chamber of Auditors (Magyar Könyvvizsgálói Kamara)
King’s College (London)
On 17 July 2006, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, (GVH, competition authority of Hungary) adopted an infringement decision establishing that several provisions of the Code of Conduct of Magyar Könyvvizsgálói Kamara (MKK, Hungarian Chamber of Auditors) infringed Article 11 of the Hungarian Competition (...)

A Dutch Court annuls a decision of the Competition Authority which imposed fines on three associations of psychologists and psychotherapists for issuing price guidelines (NIP - LVE - NVVP)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
NIP, LVE and NVVP are three associations of psychologists and psychotherapists. At least 33% of independent psychologists established in The Netherlands are members of NIP. Psychologists can only adhere to LVE if they are members of NIP. 60% of independent psychotherapists established in The (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority condemns cartel in the salt sector under Art. 81 EC and imposes a fine of € 1 M (’Salt Cartel’ - Salexpor, Salmex, Vitasal)
Sérvulo & Associados (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - “PCA”) has delivered a decision condemning four companies for entering into a cartel agreement aiming at dividing up and fixing market shares, fixing prices and sharing costumers. According to the PCA, the alleged cartel operated (...)

A Dutch Court quashes the decision of the national competition authority in the mobile operators case for unsufficient motivation (KPN Mobile, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone Libertel)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The District Court of Rotterdam judged in favour of the “mobile operators” in their case against the Dutch Competition Authority (the NMa). The NMa’s case alleging cartel activities was ruled to be insufficiently founded and therefore annulled. On July 13th, the District Court of Rotterdam handed (...)

The Paris Court of First Instance rules on the anticompetitive effect of a patent infringement collective complaint lodged against a search engine’s adwords system (Gifam / Google)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
AdWords is Google’s flagship advertising product, and its main source of revenue. It offers pay-per-click advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. But many of the words sold by Google to its clients are registered trademarks and Google has been recently facing (...)

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition exempts an exclusive supply and distribution agreement in the pharmaceuticals sector on grounds of security of supply and more competitive prices to patients (GSK – Agroengineering)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) exempted an exclusive supply and distribution agreement between GSK Bulgaria and Agroengineering from the prohibition of the local equivalent of Article 101 TFEU on grounds that the agreement guaranteed regular supplies at most (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition grants individual exemption of an exclusive distribution agreement (GlaxoSmithKline)
ArbJournal
In the beginning of 2006 GlaxoSmithKline Ltd, Bulgaria, (GSK) notified the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) about an exclusive distribution agreement (Agreement) entered into between GSK and Agroengineering-90 Ltd (Agroengineering) on 21 December 2005. Subject of the agreement are (...)

The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal sets aside the OFT’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Background The Competition Appeal Tribunal ("the Tribunal" or "the CAT") set aside the Office of Fair Trading ("the OFT") decision of 6 September 2005 ("the Decision"), which had alleged that between 1 March 2000 and 18 November 2004 the domestic interchange fee, agreed by the banks in the (...)

A Swedish Court finds that the national competition authority failed to prove a significant restriction of an hardcore restriction (Volvo Dealers Cartel)
Cederquist (Stockholm)
On 10 December 2002 the Swedish Competition Authority (the “SCA”) carried out dawn raids at eight car dealers in the southern Swedish provinces of Skåne and Blekinge. The dawn raids were carried out in response to complaints presented to the SCA. The eight car dealers were authorized dealers for (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority finds that regulations imposed by the Cyprus Football Federation regarding the transfer of players’ contracts do not violate competition law (Cypriot Football Players Association, Costas Makelos, Angelos Euthimiou)
Marla Retail (Athens)
The complaint The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter: the “Commission”) received a complaint by the Cypriot Football Players Association(hereinafter: the “CFPA”) and two professional football players, Costas Makelos and Angelos Euthimiou, considering the regulations (...)

The French Supreme Court finds two non-authorised distributors guilty of unfair competition for having purchased perfumes from authorised distributors in the knowledge that they were infringing the selective distribution agreement (Tifany)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
Marketing Diffusion Prospective (hereinafter “MDP”), based in Mégève, is an authorised distributor of most of the major French perfume manufacturers. Alleging a breach of the selective distribution network to which it belonged, MDP lodged a complaint against its main competitor in this city, (...)

The Irish Competition Authority begins High Court proceedings against the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Katz & Phillips
Introduction On 3 July 2006, the Irish Competition Authority announced that it had initiated proceedings against the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) in relation to the IMO’s role in a dispute concerning fees paid by life insurance companies to General Practitioners (GPs) in Ireland. The (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection finds that a local water and sewerage services supplier abused of its dominant position (MWiK)
Patrol (Warsaw)
,
European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
On 28 July 2006, on behalf of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”), the Head of the Katowice branch office of the OCCP by means of the decision n° RKT - 53/2006 imposed a fine of PLN 10,000 (EUR 2,552.45) on the company Miejskie Wodociagi i Kanalizacje w (...)

The French competition Council rules on the status of competition in the cinema advertising industry (Société Technic Publicité/Médiavision)
Altana Law (Paris)
,
Cabinet Minard-Driss
Over twenty years after the notice issued by the Commission de la concurrence(former French competition commission) on 14 December 1984, the Conseil de la concurrence (current French competition commission) has ruled on the status of competition in the cinema advertising industry. On 20 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office closes proceedings against alleged abusive prices on the terrestrial broadcasting services market under both Hungarian and EU laws governing the use of unfair prices (Antenna Hungária)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Budapest)
,
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) held a procedure ex officio against the company Antenna Hungária under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market by setting excessive prices. Background / Facts of the case Antenna Hungária provides terrestrial broadcasting services for the (...)

The Czech Competition Office imposes to the telecom dominant operator to apply cost-orientated prices and regulated prices (Telefónica O2)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Prague)
The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the “Office”) decided to discontinue administrative proceedings against Telefónica O2 Czech Republic, a.s. (“Telefónica”), formally CESKÝ TELECOM, a.s., which were undertaken on the ground of a possible violation of national and European competition (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed to address competition concerns in the sector of directory assistance via telephone and Internet (France Télécom / PagesJaunes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Directory assistance via telephone and Internet: The Conseil de la concurrence accepts commitments proposed by France Télécom andPages Jaunes and decides to close the case.* Following a referral in January 2006 (...)

The Spanish Competition Court establishes that a collecting society has abused its dominant position by discriminating two TV operators but rejects plaintiffs’ claims that prices were excessive (AGEDI)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The Spanish Intellectual Property law has been modified over time. The law that currently regulates Intellectual Property dates from 1996 and compiles all the applicable legislation on this matter. This law, called Texto Refundido de la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (from now on TRLPI) has (...)

The EU Commission imposes a penalty payment pursuant to Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003 (Microsoft)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Parliament (Brussels)
"Commission imposes a penalty payment pursuant to Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003 on Microsoft"* 1. Introduction On 12 July 2006 the Commission adopted a decision to levy a penalty payment of EUR 280.5 million on Microsoft for continued non compliance with the Commission Decision of 24 (...)

The German Federal Court interprets cost-based access obligations in a restrictive way by limiting the price-cap imposed by the regulator for telephone directory data to raw information (Deutsche Telekom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Background According to German telecommunications law, companies providing telephone services to the public are obliged to provide subscriber information to any third party whishing to operate a directory. The price charged for the information should reflect the cost of its efficient provision (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines the State railways incumbent for abuse of a dominant position after the liberalization of the rail transport market (Máv)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
,
CCEE-Lawyers (Budapest)
Background / Facts of the case The Hungarian rail transport market was liberalized upon the accession of Hungary to the European Union on May 1, 2004. As a consequence, the railway authorities must ensure non-discriminatory access to railways to new market entrants. At the date of accession (...)

The Latvian NCA issues a non-infringement decision in the Lithuanian oil refinery case on abusive oil price increase (Mažeiki Nafta)
Lithuanian Competition Council (Vilnius)
AB Mažeiki Nafta ([“MN” ), the Lithuanian oil refinery, which had been previously fined by the Lithuanian NCA for the abuse of a dominant position, could take a breath after the Latvian Competition Council, on 24 May 2006, closed its investigation finding no infringement on MN’s part. The two (...)

Mergers

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the public gaming sector, subject to the divestment of one bingo club (Gala/County)
Added Value Capital Partners (AVCP) (Royston)
The operation Gala Leisure Limited (“Gala”) is an operator of licensed bingo clubs in the UK. Its activities in the wider leisure sector include the operation of casinos, licensed betting offices (LBOs) and Internet gaming. County Properties and Development Ltd (“County”), is a family-owned (...)

The Spanish Government is compelled to modify the divestitures conditions imposed by its Energy Regulator to clear a merger in the electricity sector following a decision from the EC Commission (E.ON / Endesa)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 26 September 2006 the European Commission (Commission) ruled against the decision of the Spanish energy regulator (Comisión Nacional de la Energía or CNE) granting clearance to E.ON’s takeover bid for Endesa subject to a number of conditions, on the grounds of a breach of Article 21 of Council (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger in the healthcare services sector subject do divestments, despite a strong post-merger position (Pantein - STBNO)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Amsterdam)
The operation STBNO is a provider of home care services. Pantein provides nursing-home and convalescent-home care, as well as home care services. The operation entails the foundation of a personal union between the two respective supervisory and executive boards (para. 4). The market(s) The (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority cleared a merger in the security market subject to remedies to prohibit the bundling and tying of the two companies’ products and services (Dagsbrun/Securitas)
PwC (Reykjavik)
The operation On 27 March 2006 the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) was notified that Dagsbrun had purchased all the shares in Securitas.Dagsbrun is a large diversified group of companies, with activities in the media and telecommunications sectors. Turnover in 2006 was approximately 15 (...)

The EU Commission acknowledges the withdrawal of an acquisition in the market for standard ISO tank containers (China International Marine Containers / Burg Group)
JG Associates (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2006"* A proposed acquisition by China International Marine Containers (“CIMC”) of the Dutch Burg Group (“Burg”) which had been notified in February was effectively abandoned during the Commission’s Phase II investigation. The transaction had (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading clears a merger in the market for funeral services, subject to the divestment of funeral businesses in five areas (Co-op/ and Fairways)
Added Value Capital Partners (AVCP) (Royston)
The operation The Co-operative Group (CWS) Limited (“CGL”) is active in the UK in food retailing, pharmacies, banking, travel agency and optical services. It supplies funeral services through its Funeralcare business. Funeralcare also manufactures coffins and wholesales funeral accessories such (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves an acquisition in the precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) business (Omya/J.M. Huber)
JG Associates (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2006"* On 19 July the Commission gave conditional clearance, after an in depth market investigation, to Omya‘s acquisition of US-based J. M. Huber’s on-site precipitated calcium carbonate (“PCC”) business. The transaction involved the sale by (...)

The German Federal High Court holds that the de minimis condition of merger control does not apply (i) if there are related markets which are not de minimis, or (ii) if the sum of geographically related markets is not de minimis (Deutsche Bahn / KVS Saarlouis)
CRA International (London)
Summary The Bundesgerichtshof (Federal High Court) decided in the context of an appeal against a blocked merger between the local transport arm of Deutsche Bahn and regional transport company KVS, which operates in the Saar Region. The parties appealed against the Bundeskartellamt (Federal (...)

The Italian Competition Authority cleared a merger in the air transport sector subject to the release a certain number of slots in order to comply with an EU merger Commission’s decision (Alitalia /Volare)
Clifford Chance
,
Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation On 13 April 2006, Alitalia notified a take over agreement according to which Alitalia was to acquire control of Volare. In order to overcome the ICA’s concerns, the parties committed to surrender two pairs of domestic slots (Linate-Bari and Linate-Lamezia Terme) and two pairs of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority cleared a merger in the sector of air transport of passengers subject to slots release in order to comply with an EU Commission’s decision (Alitalia/Volare)
Clifford Chance
,
Chiomenti (Rome)
The operation On 13 April 2006, Alitalia notified a take over agreement according to which Alitalia was to acquire control of Volare. In order to overcome the ICA’s concerns, the parties committed to surrender two pairs of domestic slots (Linate-Bari and Linate-Lamezia Terme) and two pairs of (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the mining industries breaking new ground in the Commission’s practice with regard to efficiencies and remedies in merger cases (Inco/Falconbridge)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Morpho (Safran)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Inco/Falconbridge: A nickel mine of applications in efficiencies and remedies"* 1. Introduction Following an in-depth investigation, on 4 July 2006, the Commission approved the acquisition by Inco Limited (“Inco”) of Falconbridge Limited (“Falconbridge”), subject to conditions and obligations. (...)

The European Commission conditionally clears a merger in the mining, processing and refining of nickel and other metals industry (Inco/Falconbridge)
JG Associates (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers — Main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2006"* On 4 July the Commission granted conditional clearance to Inco’s acquisition of the Canadian company Falconbridge. Both parties to the transaction are Canadian companies active in the mining, processing and refining of nickel and (...)

The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority allows a freight firm to acquire its rival conditional to structural remedies (Ferryspeed/ Channel Express)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
The operation The Jersey Competition Regulation Authority (“JCRA”) has granted permission for freight firm Ferryspeed (C.I) Limited (“Ferryspeed”) to take over rival Channel Express (C.I) Limited (“Channel Express”) on condition that it gives up a harbourside warehouse. In a decision issued on 3 (...)

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority clears a merger in the construction industry with remedies including the divestiture of the road construction division of the target company (Strabag/Storf)
NERA (Berlin)
The operation Strabag AG is one of Europe’s leading construction groups, headquartered in Austria and mainly active in building and civil engineering. Storf Hoch- und Tiefbau mbH (Storf) is a Tyrolean civil engineering and construction company. Strabag intended to acquire 100% of Storf. The (...)

State Aid

The German Kiel District Court finds that a low cost airplane company received unlawful State aid (Ryanair)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background The low-cost carrier Ryanair does not only offer cheap flights, but also keeps the European Commission and Member State courts in terms of State aid law busy. The most recent example is a decision by the Landgericht Kiel. The facts The defendant operates the airport of Lübeck, (...)

A German district court holds that the difference of terms between two airlines operator concerning the use of Lübeck airport amounts to unlawful State aid (Ryanair 1)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background The defendant managed the airport of Lübeck. Until 2005, it was publicly controlled by the city of Lübeck, which was under a contractual duty to fully compensate for the airport’s losses. After 2005 however, it was organised as a private company. The defendant’s tariffs for (...)

The English High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court rules that an element of the charging regime for track access rights was not unlawful State aid, as there was no benefit or advantage which distorted or threatened to distort competition by favouring open access operators as opposed to franchise operators as their situations were very different (Great North Eastern Railway)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
An element of the charging regime for track access rights was not unlawful state aid. There was no benefit or advantage which distorted or threatened to distort competition by favouring open access operators as opposed to franchise operators as their situations were so different. Factual (...)

The European Commission adopts decisions concerning State aid to an electronics cluster in Poland assessing regional investment projects in the context of spatial agglomeration (Dolnośląskie region)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid to an electronics cluster in Poland: Assessing regional investment projects in the context of spatial agglomeration"* I. Introduction On 19 July 2006, the Commission adopted nine separate decisions relating to a series of initial investment projects undertaken by eight different (...)

The EU Commission authorises aid for a British project concerning an environmentally friendly engine led by a car manufacturer (Rolls-Royce)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Environmentally Friendly Engine: the Commission authorises aid for a British project led by Rolls-Royce"* Description The Environmentally Friendly Engine (EFE) project aims to develop new innovative technologies designed to meet the needs of improved environmental performance of aero-engines (...)

The EU Commission rules that preferential tax regimes for financial holdings granted by Luxembourg are incompatible with State aid rules ("Milliardaires" Holdings and Holdings of 1929)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
"State aid and preferential tax regimes for financial holdings - The Luxembourg’s Exempt 1929 Holdings case"* Taxation and the competitive structure of financial services markets ong> “Traditional” financing has changed considerably in the past century and traditional lending institutions (banks) (...)

The French Civil Supreme court applies the ECJ Casino caselaw on State aid to dismiss the action of wolesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Galerie de Lisieux)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of the case of the court of appeal of Caen in which the court had rejected its claim for the grant of a refund in relation to a tax for the support of the trade and craft industry ("TACA") paid between 2003 and 2005. The TACA is a (...)

The EU Commission endorsed a feed-in tariff for electricity from renewable sources under the Austrian Green Electricity Act
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid in feed-in tariffs for green electricity"* Introduction On 7th July 2006 the Commission endorsed a feedin tariff for electricity from renewable sources under the Austrian Green Electricity Act. The case shows how the design of support schemes for green electricity and in particular (...)

Procedures

A Russian federal law widens corporate transactions, including inter alia mergers, for which antitrust clearance is required (July 26th, 2006)
Sagasser
The Law widens various corporate transactions for which an authorization of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (the “FAS”) has to be obtained and sets new thresholds applicable to them. Under the previous version of the Law, prior consent of the FAS had to be obtained for the transactions (...)

The UK House of Lords puts in doubt extent to which findings in previous decisions of the European Commission can be relied on (Crehan)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
,
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
Introduction The House of Lords recently handed down its judgment in Inntrepreneur Pub Company and others v Crehan a judgment dealing with the extent to which a national court is bound by previous decisions of the European Commission. The case has important implications for businesses (...)

The UK House of Lords issues a landmark judgment on delineation of the spheres of competence of the EC Commission and the national courts in the context of the decentralization of EC competition law (Crehan)
White & Case (London)
,
Reed Smith (London)
House of Lords, 19 July 2006, Inntrepreneur Pub Company (CPC) and others v. Crehan, [2006] UKHL 38 The Background This is a recent development in the long line of tying cases in the UK beer market. In this case, the House of Lords allowed the appeal of Inntrepreneur Pub Company against an (...)

The European Court of Justice renders a preliminary ruling under article 234 EC considering issues raised in the European Commission’s Green Paper on antitrust damages actions (Manfredi)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Manfredi judgment of the ECJ and how it relates to the Commission’s initiative on EC antitrust damages actions"* The reactions to the Green Paper On 20th December 2005, the Commission published a Green Paper on damages actions for breach of the EC antitrust rules. The Green Paper has been (...)

An overview of the Estonian Competition Law and relevant institutions
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Introduction The primary rules of Estonian competition law are enacted in the Estonian Competition Act (hereinafter: ECA), in force from October 1, 2001. The current ECA is the third in a row. The very first Competition Act stepped into force on October 10, 1993 and the second on October 1, (...)

Regulatory

The Court of Appeal Düsseldorf upholds the decision of the Energy Regulator to reduce the access charges for electricity transmission networks on the basis of the new regime of price regulation (Vattenfall)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background and decision of the Federal Network Agency (FNA - Bundesnetzagentur) The enactment of the second EC E-Directive and EC G-Directive in 2003 had a special impact on the legal framework of the German energy sector and led to the introduction of the New German Energy Industry Act (...)

The UK Telecom Regulator issues Draft Guidelines on the handling of competition complaints (Ofcom)
Dirty Monty (London)
In the last edition of e-Competitions we discussed the UK government’s recommendations (published in May 2006) concerning the concurrent powers of the competition authorities and sectoral regulators (See O. Fréget and R. Mooney, “The UK Department of Trade and Industry and HM Treasury examine the (...)

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