July 2011

Anticompetitive practices

The UK OFT opens a consultation to decide whether to refer audit market to Competition Commission
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: OFT to decide whether to refer Audit Market to Competition Commission* On 29 July 2011, the OFT opened a consultation on its provisional decision to refer the market for statutory audit services to large companies in the UK to the Competition Commission for a market (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company group in the gas sector for hindering access to natural gas supply (Gas Natural Group)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 2 December 2009 the Investigation Direction of NCC opened a formal proceeding against Gas Natural due to possible anticompetitive practices consisting of hindering access to the natural gas supply market by refusing to process suppliers’ change requests made trough sound recordings. The (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes a fine of € 17 500 000 for a cartel agreement concerning turntable ladders for fire engines (Iveco Magirus / Metz Aerials / Rosenbauer)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Cartel Agreement concerning Turntable Ladders for Fire Engines fined with € 17 500 000* On 27 July 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) has imposed a fine of € 17 500 000 against Iveco Magirus Brandschutztechnik GmbH for its involvement in anti-competitive agreements on the manufacture (...)

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court confirms anticompetitive conduct regarding the sale of prescription for medicinal products (Czech Chamber of Pharmacists)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Vilímková Dudák & Partners, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.
Subject matter of the case In the Czech Republic, prescriptions for medicinal products subject to prescription are subject to prescription fees. Some pharmacies have come up with a new marketing practice whose purpose is to attract new customers they offer to refund the prescription fee for (...)

The Washington State passes revised unfair competition law increasing exposure for misappropriated IP
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. US State Unfair Competition Laws Create Increased Exposure for Misappropriated IP* For many years, information technology companies in the United States have (...)

The German Competition Authority reaches settlement agreement with chip-board manufacturer (Glunz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 July 2011, Glunz AG, a manufacturer of chip-boards and subsidiary of Sonae Indústria, announced that it has reached an agreement with the German Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) which will “put an end to an ongoing investigation into the wood-based boards market”. In March 2009, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority adopts a commitment decision concerning eight pharmaceutical companies suspected of anticompetitive vertical agreements (Pharmaceutical companies)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
On 21 July 2011, the Lithuanian Competition Council adopted commitments decision in the case which concerned allegedly anti-competitive vertical cooperation between producers/suppliers and wholesalers of pharmaceutical products with regards to their participation in tenders organised by (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority accepts commitments from eight pharmaceutical companies after an investigation into a possible anticompetitive vertical agreement (Berlin Chemie Menarini Baltic / GlaxoSmithKline Lietuva / Fresenius Kabi Polska / Viasana / Nutricia Baltics)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Competition Council accepts Commitments by eight pharmaceutical Companies* On 21 July 2011, the Lithuanian Competition Council (the CC) closed an investigation into possible anticompetitive vertical agreements between producers/suppliers and wholesalers of pharmaceuticals with (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court rules on the criteria of the single economic entity doctrine (UAB "Prof-T")
Law firm of Raimundas Moisejevas (Vilnius)
Background On 28 October 2010, the Lithuanian Competition Council passed resolution in which it was recognized that a number of Lithuanian companies (including the undertaking UAB “Prof-T”) have committed the infringement of competition law, since the undertakings referred to above have been (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds anti-competitive practices in the market for office supplies (Association of office supplies retailers)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 21 July 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) established that the Association of office supplies retailers (TUM) and its nine members have infringed the national equivalent of Article 101 TFEU by concluding an informal agreement, which included inter alia market sharing and (...)

The EU General Court dismisses action brought by several companies in bleaching chemicals cartel (Elf Aquitaine / Total)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down two judgments dismissing appeals brought by Elf Aquitaine, Totaland their subsidiary Arkema France against the European Commission’s bleaching chemicals cartel decision. By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission found that nine companies (...)

The EU General Court dismisses action brought by several companies in bleaching chemicals cartel (Arkema France)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down two judgments dismissing appeals brought by Elf Aquitaine, Totaland their subsidiary Arkema France against the European Commission’s bleaching chemicals cartel decision. By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission found that nine companies (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on a company and rejects other appeals in lifts and elevators cartel (KONE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Unipetrol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on one company but rejects other appeals in the lifts and elevators cartel (ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Trade-Stomil)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on one company but rejects other appeals in the lifts and elevators cartel (Otis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Eni)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court reduces fine on one company but rejects other appeals in the lifts and elevators cartel (Schindler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in the appeals brought by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a European Commission decision finding that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by operating a cartel on the market for elevators (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Polimeri Europa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Kaučuk Europa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Dow Chemical)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision in synthetic rubber cartel case for lack of evidence (Shell Petroleum)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments on appeals brought against a European Commission decision of 29 November 2006 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. The GC annulled the Commission’s decision in relation to (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls fines imposed on Japanese participants in gas insulated switchgear cartel (Hitachi / Toshiba / Mitsubishi / Fuji)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 July 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgments in four appeals brought by addressees of the European Commission’s gas insulated switchgear cartel decision. In its underlying decision, the Commission found that manufacturers of gas switchgear used to insulate electrical (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit finds that the plaintiff failed to meet its burden to show that the revenue-sharing was obviously anticompetitive and expresses no opinion on the legality of the arrangement under the rule of reason (State of California / Safeway)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Grocers’ Revenue-Sharing Deal Deserves More Than a Quick Look, Ninth Circuit Holds* A revenue-sharing agreement among grocery stores, designed to help the stores weather targeted strikes by employees during labor strife, is not shielded from antitrust scrutiny by virtue of the non-statutory (...)

The Italian Council of State confirms the Competition Authority decision holding that a single participation in a price fixing meeting triggers a competition liability for infringement under EU competition law (Divella / Pricing of Pasta)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a ruling of 12 July 2011 the Italian Council of State has rejected the appeal proposed by Divella against the judgment of the Administrative Regional Court of Lazio (Tar Lazio) on the Pricing of Pastacase. Divella, a pasta manufacturer, had challenged the decision of the (...)

The Italian administrative court annuls the decision of the National Competition Authority which fined a credit card company and eight Italian licensee banks for violating EU competition law in relation to domestic interchange fees (Mastercard)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Alcon (Milan)
Background The judgement in comment (Judgement of TAR of Lazio n. 6171 of 11 July 2011) has annulled the final decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority ("IAA") of 3 November 2010 ("IAA Decision") which closed the proceeding against Mastercard and eight Italian banks ( the "Parties") and (...)

The Italian Administrative Court sets aside the Competition Authority’s decision to fine a payment card network company and 8 Italian banks for infringing EU competition law (MasterCard)
LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Introduction On the 11th of July 2011 the Italian Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per il Lazio – hereafter “IRAC”) upheld the appeal of Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (hereafter MPS”) against the decision no. 21768 of the Italian Competition Authority (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacates a lower court’s injunction that lifted football players’ lockout in an antitrust suit (Tom Brady / National Football League)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Injunction Against NFL Lockout Improperly Granted in Players’ Antitrust Suit* Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis vacated an injunction lifting the National Football League’s "lockout" of its players. The divided appellate court, just five days after hearing oral argument on (...)

The French Competition Authority makes commitments for card companies to reduce the interchange fees associated with payments and withdrawals binding (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence makes Commitments cutting MIFs on Payment Cards by 20% to 50% binding* On 7 July 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) made commitments from the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (the Groupement), which includes over 130 banks, binding whereby (...)

The French Competition Authority makes mandatory commitments proposed by an economic interest group to reduce the inter-bank fees applicable to transactions by payment cards (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Paris)
On July 7, 2011, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter the “Authority”) issued a decision whereby it accepts settlement of an investigation and makes mandatory the commitments proposed by “Groupement des Cartes Bancaires”,an Economic Interest Group which brings together more than 130 banks (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes a € 170,300 fine for participation in shower gel cartel (Grupo Colomer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 July 2011, the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNC”) announced that it had fined Grupo Colomer (“Colomer”) € 170,300 for its participation in a shower gel cartel. In an earlier decision of 21 January 2010, the CNC found that three shower gel producers (Sara Lee, Puig and Colgate Palmolive) had (...)

The EU Commission repeals heat stabilizers cartel decision applying rules about limitation periods for the imposition of fines after EU Court judgment (Ciba / BASF / Elementis)
Max Findlay Associates (London)
Chaos theory* Naturally, we all want change to be orderly. This is particularly true when something goes wrong and someone official has to come in and sort it out. Take, for instance, the heat stabilisers cartel case. Earlier this month, the European Commission revoked the €101m fines it had (...)

The French Competition Authority launches sector inquiry into automotive aftermarkets
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence launches Sector Inquiry into automotive Aftermarkets* On 4 July 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) launched an ex officio sector inquiry regarding car services aftermarkets, after spotting a significant increase in the price of those (...)

Unilateral Practices

A Dutch court enjoins a leading company of the food sector from extending its preferred display marketing strategy in Dutch petrol stations (Mars)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 29 July 2011, the ‘s-Hertogenbosch District Court issued an injunction against the confectionary company Mars ordering it to cease the further implementation of a marketing strategy relating to the preferred display of its products. In particular, this strategy consists of a programme of (...)

The Irish High Court refuses to grant an injunctive relief to restrain an alleged abuse of dominant position by engaging in predatory pricing
Arthur Cox (Dublin)
This case involves an application for injunctive relief to restrain an alleged breach of Competition Law, namely the abuse of a dominant position under s.5 of the Competition Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) by engaging in predatory pricing. Whilst the case started off as a domestic Irish Competition (...)

The Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) investigates and handles antimonopoly case against a local government for abuse of administrative power in the market for vehicles’ GPS services (Guangdong Province)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Administration for Industry and Commerce of Guangdong Province (Guangdong AIC) Investigated and Handled Local Government’s Administrative Monopoly Conduct* In January 2011, three companies complained to the Guangdong AIC, a local bureau of the SAIC, alleging that a municipal government of (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority adopts conclusions from fuel sector inquiry and opens proceedings against four undertakings (Lukoil Bulgaria / OMV Bulgaria / Nafteks Petrol / Rompetrol Bulgaria)
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The CPC adopts Conclusions from Fuel Sector Inquiry and opens Proceedings against four Undertakings* Following a sharp increase in the price of fuel purchased by final consumers, in March 2011, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) initiated a sector inquiry into the (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council holds that cable operator did not properly implemented all the corrective measures imposed in its decision concerning an abuse of dominant position in the market for the distribution of TV programs by cable, DSL and satellite (CODITEL)
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
FACTS OF THE DECISION The Luxembourg Competition Council (“the Competition Council”) issued a first decision on 10 December 2010 (“the Decision”) sanctioning Coditel under Article 5 of the Luxembourg competition Act (the “Competition Act”) on the grounds it abused its dominant position on the market (...)

The EU Commission initiates proceedings against the Czech electricity incumbent for possible abuse of dominant position (CEZ)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 15 July 2011, the Commission announced that it had initiated proceedings against Czech electricity incumbent CEZ for possible infringement of Article 102 TFEU. According to the Commission’s statement, its investigation concerns the possibility that CEZ may have abused its dominant position on (...)

The EU Commission initiates proceedings against an Austrian waste management company for possible abuse of dominant position (ARA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 15 July 2011, the Commission announced that it had initiated proceedings against Austrian waste management company ARAfor possible infringement of Article 102 TFEU. According to the Commission’s statement, its investigation concerns the possibility that ARA may have abused its dominant (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority imposes a fine for abuse of dominant position by discriminatory pricing in wholesale of fuels (Slovnaft)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
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Havel, Holasek & Partners (Brno)
Relevant facts On 8 July 2011 the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as "Office") upheld the first instance Office’s decision imposing the fine of EUR 9 028 746 on the undertaking Slovnaft for a discriminatory pricing in wholesale of fuels in the (...)

The EU Commission announces the closure of its antitrust investigation in the pharmaceutical sector (Almirall / Boehringer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 July 2011, the European Commission announced that it has closed its antitrust investigation into allegations by Spanish pharmaceutical company Almirall that the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim filed for unmeritous patents in the area of new treatments for lung diseases (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a leading chemical company €5 M for refusal to grant access to research data (Bayer CropSciences)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 July 2011, it was announced that the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) has fined Bayer CropSciences and Bayer Italia AG (together, “Bayer”) € 5.1 million for abuse of their dominant position on the market for the production and commercialisation of fosetyl-based fungicides (i.e., pesticides (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens formal proceedings against the leader in crude oil and natural gas production concerning alleged abuse of dominance in gas sector (PGNiG)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: UOKiK opens formal Proceedings against PGNiG concerning alleged Abuse of Dominance in Gas Sector* On 4 July 2011, UOKiK opened a formal investigation into allegations that PGNiG had abused its dominant position in the retail market for gas supply, in breach of Article 9 of the Act (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal confirms that the OFT is not time-barred from investigating the acquisition of a competitor’s minority shareholding implemented five years previously under UK merger control rules (Ryanair / Aer Lingus)
University of Southampton
On 28 July 2011, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) found that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is not out of time to consider referring the acquisition of a minority shareholding by Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair) in its competitor, Aer Lingus Group plc (Aer Lingus), to the Competition (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT’s decision that it is "in time" to investigate the acquisition of a minority shareholding in a merger case concerning the air transport sector (Ryanair / Aer Lingus)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
All views expressed are strictly personal views of the author. The present case note does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. The author would like to thank Natalia Sivakumaran, associate at Herbert Smith LLP in London, for her assistance with the preparation of (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT’s jurisdiction to review the acquisition of a minority shareholding in a merger in the airline sector (Ryanair / Aer Lingus)
Vinge (Stockholm)
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Matheson (Dublin)
I. Introduction On 28 July 2011 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a unanimous judgment, upholding the UK Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) jurisdiction to review Ryanair‘s 29.8% minority shareholding in rival Irish airline Aer Lingus, which the former acquired almost five years ago. (...)

The Moldovan Parliament reforms the national merger control regime
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 22 July 2011 the Moldovan Parliament has amended the national merger control regime enforced by the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) under the 2000 Competition Act. The introduced modifications narrowed down the types of “concentrations” that have to be submitted for the ANPC’s clearance. (...)

The German Competition Authority releases new draft guidance on substantive merger control
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt releases new Draft Guidance on substantive Merger Control* On 21 July 2011, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) published its “Draft Guidance on Substantive Merger Control” for public consultation. The document is intended to provide guidance to companies and enhance (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a consultation paper on substantive merger control
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
GERMAN FEDERAL CARTEL OFFICE CONSULTS ON SUBSTANTIVE MERGER CONTROL – DRAFT GUIDANCE FOCUSES ON MARKET DOMINANCE* On 21 July 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) published a consultation paper on substantive merger control called “Draft Guidance on Substantive Merger Control” (Draft (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the mobile telephony sector (France Télécom / Compagnie Européenne de Téléphonie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition by France Télécom of sole control of CET (Photo Service and Photo Station chain stores)*. The Autorité de la concurrence has examined France Télécom’s takeover of Compagnie Européenne de Téléphonie (CET). France Télécom is an integrated electronic (...)

The US FTC and DOJ issue new premerger notification form under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Improvements Act
WilmerHale (Washington)
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Kirkland & Ellis (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the long-awaited changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification form (HSR form). The changes will go into effect 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. The FTC and DOJ (...)

The U.S. Antitrust Agencies announce final rules and revised Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger form
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
In the first substantial change to the U.S. premerger filing requirements since 2005, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have issued a revised Premerger Notification and Report Form ("HSR Form") and final amendments to the rules governing the information reporting parties (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority refuses to revise its two-year old conditional clearance of the merger of two petroleum companies (MOL / INA)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 19 July 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) refused to revise its conditional clearance of MOL/INA concentration whereby the Hungarian petroleum company acquired the controlling interest in the Croatia’s national petroleum company. The revision of the initial clearance was (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition in the ferry transportation sector by imposing slot remedies (Moby / Toremar)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared the Moby acquisition of a regional ferry operator, Toremar. Though the notified merger was likely to give Moby a monopoly position on the market for ferry services on the Piombino-Portoferraio ruote, the ICA has (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the telecom sector (BelCompany / Vodafone)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 July 2011, the Dutch Competition Authority cleared the acquisition by telecom operator Vodafone of BelCompany, a chain of telecom shops, subject to conditions relating to the sale of phone subscriptions. The Competition Authority held that the transaction, as initially notified, created a (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM announces that the acquisition of the China’s largest confectionery company by the global confectionery corporation is officially under review (Nestlé / Hsu Fu Chi)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Nestlé’s Filing of Acquiring China’ Largest Listed Confectionery Company is Accepted* A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Commerce publicly declared in the recent, that the Ministry has officially accepted the notification on Nestlé’s acquisition of Hsu Fu Chi. If the Ministry turns on the green (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes an infringement procedure on implementation of the remedies imposed for the approval of a merger in the banking sector (Banca Intesa / San Paolo IMI)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a recent decision, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed the infringement procedure on whether the parties to the bank merger Banca Intesa/San Paolo IMI had correctly implemented the remedies imposed in the conditional authorization of the transaction. The ICA was happy with the (...)

The European Commission clears a proposed acquisition in the paper and pulp industries (Myllykoski and Rhein Papier/UPM‑Kymmene)
JG Associates (Brussels)
"Merger: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2011"* The Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of Myllykoski Corporation and Rhein Papier GmbH (“the Myllykoski Group”) by UPM‑Kymmene Corporation (“UPM”) on 13 July 2011. Both groups are active in the paper and pulp industries. The (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears an acquisition in the paper manufacturing sector (Myllykoski/Rhein Papier/UPM-Kymmene)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a phase II decision of 13 July 2011, the European Commission unconditionally cleared the acquisition of Myllykoski and Rhein Papier by rival paper manufacturer UPM-Kymmene. During its phase I review, the Commission found that the merged entity would have a high market share in magazine (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the regional daily press sector (Crédit Mutuel / Est Républicain)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the proposed acquisition of sole control of the Est Républicain Group by the Crédit Mutuel*. The Autorité de la concurrence has examined the acquisition of the Est Républicain group by the Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel (BFCM) . (...)

The US FTC and DoJ issue new premerger reporting rules introducing new obligations for private equity funds and hedge funds
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. New rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission on July 7, 2011 will streamline some information required for the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR Act”) Notification (...)

The US FTC issues revised Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification rules
Linklaters (New York)
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Linklaters (Washington)
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Linklaters (New York)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) has issued final rules (the “Rules”) to amend the requirements of premerger notifications required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) Act. The Rules, issued July 7, 2011, are described by the FTC as being intended to streamline the HSR filing process. In (...)

The US FTC announces changes to reduce the filing burden and streamline the form parties must file when seeking antitrust clearance of proposed mergers and acquisitions under the HRS Act and the Premerger Notification Rules
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
New Amendments To Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Rules* On July 7, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced a final rule amending the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Rules (the "Rules") and the Premerger Notification and Report Form (the "Form") and associated (...)

The US FTC and DoJ expand scope of information and documents required for HSR notification
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On July 7, 2011, the FTC and DOJ jointly published changes to the Hart-Scott- Rodino Act premerger notification form. The agencies originally noticed the proposed (...)

The US FTC announces significant revisions to the reporting rules under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act
Paul Hastings (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced significant revisions to the reporting rules under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the “HSR” Act), which will take effect on August 18, 2011. Importantly, the revisions do not alter the rules with regard to (...)

The US FTC and DoJ announce major changes to disclosure requirements for Hart-Scott-Rodino notification rules and form
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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Kirkland & Ellis (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Companies should begin regularly collecting required data—in particular revenues by North American Industry Classification System code and information about (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves the aid from German bank on the basis of an in‑depth restructuring plan (Hypo Real estate)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"The rescue and restructuring of Hypo Real estate"* 1. Introduction In this article, we briefly describe the case of State aid for Hypo Real Estate (HRE). HRE is a German banking group that got into difficulties in 2008 and was subsequently rescued and nationalised by Germany. In July (...)

The EU Commission temporarily approves a €200 million asset guarantee granted by the Austrian government to a bank (Hypo Alpe Adria)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 19 July 2011 the Commission temporarily Approved a €200 million asset guarantee, which Austria granted to the bank at the end of 2010. Given the specific characteristics of the guarantee, which shelters the bank from losses (...)

The EU Commission approves restructuring aid granted to a German banking group (Hypo Real estate)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 18 July 2011 the Commission approved restructuring aid consisting of capital injections of €10 billion, an asset relief measure with an aid element of about €20 billion, as well as liquidity guarantees amounting to €145 billion (...)

The EU Commission temporarily approves recapitalisations in the financial sector granted by the Irish authorities (Building Society / Allied Irish Banks )
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 15 July 2011 the Commission temporarily Approved a recapitalisation worth up to €13.1 billion of an entity resulting from the merger of Allied Irish Banks and Educational Building Society (AIB/EBS), as well as a (...)

The European Commission holds that a State aid granted prior to accession concerning the protracted enforcement of an outstanding debt and that has effects post-accession is incompatible with EU State aid law (Ruse Industry)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The European Commission held that a Member State’s delay to enforce an outstanding debt prior to Accession that produced effects post-Accession constituted incompatible new State aid. The measure in question was also illegal because materialised without being notified to the European Commission (...)

The European Commission finds that a Bulgarian metal manufacturer received subsidies in the form of unpaid debts to the State of around €3.7 M (Ruse Industry)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* The European Commission finds that a Bulgarian metal manufacturer received subsidies in the form of unpaid debts to the State of around €3.7 million (Ruse Industry) On 13 July 2011 the Commission foundthat the Bulgarian metal (...)

The EU Commission finds that Romania’s plan to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources is in line with the 2008 environmental aid guidelines (Romanian Green Certificates)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* By decision of 13 July 2011, the Commission found that Romania’s plan to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources is in line with the 2008 Environmental Aid Guidelines, as it creates clear incentives for (...)

The EU Commission applies the joint EU support for sustainable investment in city areas allowing member states to invest structural fund resources in revolving funds to support sustainable urban development and regeneration (JESSICA)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"First JESSICA decisions: approach and implications"* 1. Introduction The Commission has made increasing use of financial engineering instruments in the 2007‑2013 programming period. These instruments complement traditional grant funding and aim to make EU cohesion policy efficient and (...)

The European Commission clears under EU State aid rules an investment fund that will support sustainable urban regeneration in the north‑west region of England (Northwest Urban Investment Fund)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* The European Commission clears under EU State aid rules an investment fund that will support sustainable urban regeneration in the North‑west region of England (Northwest Urban Investment Fund) On 13 July 2011 the Commission (...)

The European Commission adopts a negative decision concerning financing in the form of guarantees and other equity interventions granted by the local government of Åland to a state‑owned commercial property company (Ålands Industrihus)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 13 July 2011 the Commission adopted a negative decision concerning financing in the form of guarantees and other equity interventions granted by the local government of Åland to Ålands Industrihus Ab (ÅI), a state‑owned (...)

The EU Commission temporarily approves the recapitalisation of a bank by the Irish authorities of up to €5.35 billion (Bank of Ireland)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 11 July 2011, the Commission temporarily approved the recapitalisation of the Bank of Ireland (BoI) by the Irish authorities of up to €5.35 billion, after a first €3.5 billion restructuring plan was approved in July 2010. This (...)

Procedures

The President of the EU General Court dismisses applications for suspension of Commission’s requests for information (Cemex, Heidelberg Cement, Holcim, Cementos Portland Valderrivas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 July 2011, the President of the General Court dismissed applications by four cement companies – Cemex, HeidelbergCement, Holcim and Cementos Portland Valderrivas – for interim measures to suspend requests for information addressed by the Commission under Article 18 of Regulation 1/2003 in (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority publishes the results of the sector inquiry on the automobile fuels market
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 27 July 2011 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) published the results of its sector inquiry on the market for automobile fuels covering the two most popular types: gasoline 95 and diesel. This sector inquiry launched by the CPC in March 2011 was prompted by the increase in fuel prices (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority publishes the results of the sector inquiry on the market for hotel services
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 27 July 2011 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) published the results of its sector inquiry on the market for hotel services, which covered the demand-supply data and price dynamics of accommodation and catering packages offered in 26 Bulgarian communities during 2006-2010. In its (...)

The Chinese Competition Authority sign a memorandum of understanding on antitrust cooperation with the US DoJ and FTC
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
On 27 July 2011, China’s three Anti-Monopoly Law enforcement agencies — the MOFCOM, the NDRC, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) — signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DOJ and the FTC. The MOU was signed by Mr Gao Hucheng, China International Trade (...)

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretariat releases the results of the peer review of the Serbian competition law and policy
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 27 July 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) announced that according to the conclusions of the Peer review of Serbian competition law and policy carried out by the UNCTAD and published on 29 June 2011(the UNCTAD Report), Serbia has realized substantial progress in the field of (...)

The European Court of Justice annuls a General Court judgment concerning access to documents (Sweden v MyTravel and Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 21 July 2011, the European Court of Justice annulled a judgment of the General Court, which upheld a decision by the European Commission refusing access to certain documents in the Airtours/First Choicecase file. In 1999, Airtours launched a bid to acquire First Choice, a (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority releases its market survey concerning distribution of foods, drinks and hygienic products for households
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 21 July 2011 the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) released the results of the sector inquiry on the market for distribution (wholesale and retail segments) of foods, drinks and hygienic products for households in 2010. In its report the AZTN focused primarily on the analysis of the (...)

The European Parliament publishes draft report on collective redress
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2011, the European Parliament published a draft report on collective redress (the “Draft Report”) prepared for its Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI Committee). This follows the public consultation launched by the European Commission in February 2011 aimed at identifying common legal (...)

The Romanian Parliament amends the legislative framework to give new competences to the competition council
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: The Competition Council gains new Competences* The competition legislative framework of Romania was recently amended according to the Law n° 149/2011: the modifications entered into force on 14 July 2011. In the light of the new provisions, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) (...)

The Romanian Parliament approves a new competition act elaborated by the government
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 July 2011, the Law 149/2011 for the approval of the Government Emergency Ordinance 75/2010 of 5 August 2010 (“GEO”) amending the Romanian Competition Law 21/1996 was published in the Official Journal. The Law 149/2011 (the “Approval Law”) confirmed most of the substantial changes already set (...)

The Serbian Administrative Court upholds the decision of the National Competition Authority sanctioning professional association for the adoption of the minimum prices to be charged by its members (Veterinary Chamber of Serbia)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 7 July 2011 the Administrative Court has upheld the infringement decision of the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) sanctioning the Veterinary Chamber of Serbia (VKS) for adopting minimum prices to be charged by its members. The judgment has reaffirmed the competence of the KZK to impose (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its 2010 annual report (Annual Report 2010)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its 2010 Annual Report* On 4 July 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) made public its annual report that presents all its enforcement activity, results and achievements for the year 2010. In particular, the annual report draws a (...)

The English High Court grants disclosure of documents obtained by access to the Commission’s file in a follow-on damages action in the switchgear cartel (GIS)
DLA Piper (London)
In its judgment of 4 July 2011 the English High Court of Justice granted the application for disclosure of documents obtained by access to the Commission’s file in a follow-on damages action for breach of Article 101 TFEU in the Gas Insulated Switchgear (“GIS”) cartel. However, considering the (...)

Regulatory

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology publishes draft provisions on internet information service rules
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT): Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Draft for Comments)* The MIIT published and invited public comments on the draft Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Internet Information (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company group in the gas sector for hindering access to the natural gas supply market (Gas Natural Group)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The CNC fines Gas Natural Group for hindering Competition in the Marketing of Natural Gas for end Consumers* In its Resolution of 27 July 2011, the National Competition Commission (CNC) Council found that the practices of some of the subsidiaries of the Gas Natural Group between 2007 (...)

The Hellenic Energy Regulatory Authority fines the national electricity incumbent for a series of violations regarding its obligations (PPC)
Alexiou - Kosmopoulos Law Firm
On 15th July 2011, the Hellenic Regulatory Authority for Energy (hereinafter: "RAE") issued a decision on the merits by which it imposed a fine on the Public Power Corporation (hereinafter: "PPC") for a series of breaches of its obligations as the Operator of the national Electricity (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the price volatility for agricultural raw materials
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence considers that it cannot pronounce on a general agreement between the players in the cattle, pork and poultry sectors in its advisory capacity, but agrees to reply to the general (...)

Public sector

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions suppliers of magnetic resonance equipment with fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive agreement relating to public tender (Siemens, Philips / Toshiba Medical Systems / Alliance Medical)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The ICA sanctions four Suppliers of Magnetic Resonance Equipment with Fines totalling € 5 500 000 for collusive Agreement relating to Public Tender in the Region of Campania* On 5th of August 2011, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) sanctioned Siemens, Philips, Toshiba Medical (...)

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