June 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes three companies for bid-rigging in public procurement of various software solutions (BTS PRO / MSA / Esempla Systems)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 28 June 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) found that three undertakings, BTS PRO SRL, MSA Grup SRL, Esempla Systems SRL, have engaged in bid-rigging practices at the public procurement of various software solutions for the use by the public authorities. The CC’s (...)

The US Supreme Court dismisses an appeal brought by the US Government and a number of US States regarding a two-sided platform (American Express)
BHP Billiton (Melbourne)
US REGULATORS’ SWIPE AT AMEX DECLINED BY SUPREME COURT* On 25 June 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed an appeal brought by the US Government and a number of US States against credit-card provider American Express (Amex) for alleged anti-competitive conduct in violation of (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects Government antitrust challenge against anti steering provisions of a credit-card network company (OHIO / AMEX)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
Supreme Court Rejects Government Antitrust Challenge to American Express Antisteering Provisions* In a long-awaited decision, a closely divided Supreme Court ruled in favor of American Express (“Amex”), ending a highly publicized government challenge that has spanned nearly a decade. Writing for (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines computer suppliers for cartel (Aquarius / National Computer Corporation)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Fines to computer suppliers guilty of collusion* The total administrative fines exceed 179 million RUB The companies were found guilty of concluding an anticompetitive agreement that resulted in maintaining prices at an open electronic auction for supplying systems blocks of the “Elections” (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines several companies for participating in a bid-rigging cartel on supplies of technological equipment for the Ministry of Defence (SpetsTekhMash / ProfBusiness / Stillag)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
ST Petersburg companies are fined 200 million rub for a cartel* St Petersburg OFAS made decision with regard to “SpetsTekhMash” Trading House” Ltd., “ProfBusiness” Ltd. and two companies with the same name “Stillag” Trading House” Ltd., for participating in a bid-rigging cartel on supplies of (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation to assess whether supply agreements between Qatari petrol companies and european importers restrain competition (Qatar Petroleum)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into restrictions to the free flow of gas sold by Qatar Petroleum in Europe* The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether supply agreements between Qatar Petroleum companies exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a human resource consulting firm for non-compliance with certain remedies addressing practices implemented in the temporary employment sector (Randstad)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Temporary employment sector* The Autorité de la concurrence fines Randstad 4.5 million euros for non-compliance with certain commitments undertaken in 2009 The Autorité de la concurrence today issues a decision imposing a joint fine on companies Groupe Randstad France SAS, Randstad SAS, (...)

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal increases a fine imposed on a former director for bid-rigging tenders (Aston Carpets & Flooring)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Former director fined €45,000 for bid-rigging tenders* The Court of Criminal Appeal today increased a fine handed down to a former director, Brendan Smith, for engaging in bid-rigging in the procurement of flooring contracts. Mr Smith, who is a former director of Aston Carpets & Flooring, (...)

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Canada) rules a private claim regarding a joint venture agreement between two purchasers of chemicals products (Dow Chemical Canada / Nova Chemicals Corporation)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Alberta Court of Queen* In a recent decision handed down by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, in Dow Chemical Canada ULC v. NOVA Chemicals Corporation, 2018 ABQB 482 (“Dow Chemical”), the Court established both new law and confirmed earlier case law under sections 45 and 90.1 of the federal (...)

The Irish Court of Appeal increases criminal fine imposed on an individual director/manager for bid rigging (Aston Carpets & Flooring)
University Dublin College (UCD)
On June 20th 2018, the Irish Court of Appeal, reviewed the sentences imposed by the Central Criminal Court in 2017 on firstly, a company (Aston) and, secondly, an individual (Mr Smith) who was a director and manager of the company following their criminal convictions for having engaged in (...)

The Competition Commission of South Africa fines a media cartel for price fixing and unlawful trading conditions (Caxton / Independent Media)
Primerio (Washington)
MEDIA CARTEL EXPOSED AND FINED* Print media companies Independent Media and Caxton & CTP Publishers and Printers (“Caxton”) have agreed to pay an administrative penalties as well as an amount to the Economic Development Fund of over R8 million as part of two separate settlement agreements (...)

The French and German Competition Authorities launch a joint project on algorithms and their implications on competition
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The French Autorité de la concurrence and the German Bundeskartellamt launch a joint project on algorithms and their implications on competition* Coming along with digitalization, algorithms are becoming more and more important and at the same time progressively sophisticated. Prominent (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finds that a company was not part of a conspiracy to manipulate the supply of eggs and raise prices (In re Processed Egg Prods)
Dechert (Philadelphia)
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Dechert (Philadelphia)
The case began 10 years ago when a class of companies that purchase eggs sued the country’s leading egg producers, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The plaintiffs claimed that the egg producers conspired to manipulate the supply and raise prices for eggs. Specifically, the buyers (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority allows a price fixing agreement between supermarkets as it could enhance competition (Epiceries du Luxembourg)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
In June 2018, the Luxembourg Competition Council published a decision regarding forms of cooperation between competitors involving price fixing, one of the most manifest and serious restrictions of competition. The decision concerned a group of supermarkets who decided to market certain (...)

The German Federal Court clarifies controversial judgments around statute of limitations for cartel damages claims (Grauzementkartell II)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. Introduction On 12 June 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) passed its long-awaited landmark decision in KZR 56/16 (Grauzementkartell II). The BGH held that Sec. 33 (5) of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (today Sec. 33h (6) ARC), which (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice grants a claim for damages relating to a cement cartel by extending the time period in which limitation rules can be suspended (Grauzementkartell II)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
This landmark judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice concerns an action for damages relating to the German cement cartel. However, the judgment has much wider implications and is relevant for damage claims relating to other cartel infringements. The Federal Court extended the temporal (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority allows a price-fixing agreement between competitors as it provides efficiency gains in the taxi market (Webtaxi)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
In June 2018, the Luxembourg Competition Council published a decision regarding a cooperation between competitors involving price fixing, one of the most manifest and serious restrictions of competition. In the decision “Webtaxi”, the Competition Council found that a taxi reservation centre (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania upholds the decision of the Lithuanian Competition Authority in the cinema cartels case (UAB Forum Cinemas)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court upholds Council’s decision: Cinema cartels resulted in fewer discounts for consumers* The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania rejected the appeal by UAB Forum Cinemas against the Competition Council’s decision whereby the company was fined EUR 1,384,300 for (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority carries out inspections in the fire protection sector
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspection in the fire protection sector* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA is conducting an inspection at the premises of an enterprise active in the fire protection sector (...)

Unilateral Practices

The UK Competition Authority takes enforcement action against several hotel booking sites over potential breaches of consumer protection law
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
UK COMPETITION REGULATOR TAKES ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST HOTEL BOOKING WEBSITES* The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced on 28th June 2018 that it is taking enforcement action against several hotel booking sites over potential breaches of consumer protection law. The CMA has (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the Government failed to show the "anti-steering" provisions in both sides of a two sided-market imposed by a dominant participant in the credit card market (Ohio / AMEX)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Supreme Court Holds That Government Failed to Show AmEx Anti-Steering Rules Harmed Both Sides of Two-Sided Market* In a five-to-four decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and several states failed to prove that so-called (...)

The US Supreme Court finds no abuse of dominance in dominant firm’s requirements against competitors because the market is a two-sided platform (American Express)
Economists Incorporated (San Francisco)
The Supreme Court’s American Express Decision – Two-sided Platforms and Harm to Consumers* The Supreme Court determined, in its June 2018 decision, that American Express (“Amex”) did not violate the antitrust laws by requiring merchants to refrain from encouraging patrons at the point of sale to (...)

The Russian Competition Authority reduces prices on 11 medicines of a dominant pharmaceutical company from the list of vital and essential medicines (AstraZeneca)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS reduced prices on 11 medicines of “Astrazeneca” from the list of vital and essential medicines* Prices for the medicines aimed at treating socially important diseases reduced on average 12 to 92% As a result of a constructive dialogue between FAS and “AstraZeneca” the maximum ex-works prices (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes the company managing a bus terminal for imposing unfair trading conditions on the passenger bus operators (Telautogar)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 14 June 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) prosecuted the bus terminal operator Telautogar SRL for the abuse of dominant position in the form of imposing unfair trading terms on passenger bus operators. Telautogar SRL was the company managing the bus terminal in (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes a grain storage operator for exploitative abuse of dominance in the form of discriminatory tariffs (Cereale Cupcini)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 14 June 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) has found that grain storage operator Cereale Cupcini SA has abused its dominant position by imposing excessive and discriminatory tariffs for loading/unloading services at its storage facilities. The CC’ investigation has (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority closes its investigations against a bank for abuse of dominance (Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council closes the investigation into Swedbank actions* The Competition Council closed the investigation into the compliance of Swedbank actions with the requirements of the Law on Competition upon Swedbank submitting written commitments suitable for the elimination of the alleged (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by oil and natural gas company in the market for charter hire of offshore support vehicles (Indian National Shipowners’ Association / Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI directs investigation against Oil and Natural Gas Limited (‘ONGC’) for abuse of dominant position* The CCI by way of an order dated June 12, 2018 has directed investigation under Section 26(1) of the Act against ONGC for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market for “charter hire (...)

The Turkish Competition Board rejects exclusivity allegations against a packaged chips producer (Frito Lay)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Frito Lay decision, dated 12.06.2018 and numbered 18-19/329-163. The Board has recently published its reasoned decision regarding the preliminary investigation that was launched against Frito Lay Gıda San. Tic. A.Ş. (“Frito Lay”) (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority orders interim measures against a football organization which granted exclusive rights in absence of fair, or transparent or non-discriminatory tendering procedures (FIFA)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
The ECA orders interim measures against the FIFA to make available on free-to-air terrestrial channels the 2018 World Cup Russia* The ECA has ordered interim measures against FIFA based on prima facie finding of infringements to articles 7 and 8 of the Egyptian competition law as it was (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal announces its provisional judgment in an appeal against the CMA’s infringement decision in an excessive price case (Pfizer / Flynn)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
I. Introduction In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for antitrust watchdogs around the world to investigate excessive pricing, especially in the phar- maceutical sector. Last year, the European Commission opened its first investigation into excessive pricing in the (...)

The Mexican First Collegiate Circuit Tribunal on Administrative Matters confirms the decision of the Competition Authority in a case of abuse of dominance by an airport but orders a new calculation of the fine (Mexico City International Airport)
Ritch Mueller (Mexico City)
The First Collegiate Circuit Tribunal on Administrative Matters, specialized in economic competition, broadcasting and telecommunications (the ’Tribunal’), confirmed the decision of the plenary session of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (’Cofece’) on case file DE-015-2013 in the sense (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal partly annuls a CMA decision that pharmaceutical companies abused their dominant positions by setting excessive and unfair prices for an epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
On 7 June 2018, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) set aside in part the 2016 decision of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma had abused their dominant positions by setting excessive and unfair prices for the capsule form of the epilepsy drug phenytoin (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal finds an incorrect application of the legal test for dominant position and quashes the CMA’s record fines imposed to two pharmaceutical companies for charging excessive prices for anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
EXCESSIVE PRICE? COMPARED TO WHAT?* On 7 June 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) set aside parts of the Competition & Market Authority’s (“CMA”) decision in relation to the CMA’s finding that Pfizer and Flynn charged excessive and unfair prices for phenytoin sodium capsules and (...)

Mergers

The South African Competition Tribunal penalises a conditionally approved merger for failing to comply with its monitoring obligations (RTT Group)
Nortons (Sandton)
SOUTH AFRICA COMPETITION TRIBUNAL: MERGING PARTIES PENALISED FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PUBLIC INTEREST CONDITIONS* On 29 June 2018, the South African Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) penalised the RTO Group R75 000 for failing to comply with the Tribunal’s conditional merger approval in respect (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the media market (Newen/TF1)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Television/Audiovisual production* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of sole control of Newen by TF1 On 21 January 2016, the Autorité de la concurrence cleared the acquisition of joint control of Newen, which produces programmes broadcasted on television such as the series (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the manufacturing of pool equipment products market (Zodiac / Fluidra)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Zodiac and Fluidra pool equipment joint venture, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture between the swimming pool equipment businesses of Zodiac and Fluidra. The approval is (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the nylon production market (Solvay’s nylon business / BASF)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Solvay’s nylon business by BASF* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Solvay’s global nylon business by BASF, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission (...)

The Indian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the agrochemicals and seeds industry (Bayer / Monsanto)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In an order dated 14 June 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved Bayer AG’s (Bayer) acquisition of Monsanto Company (Monsanto) (together, the Parties) subject to certain modifications. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. represented Monsanto and assisted in seeking the CCI’s (...)

The French Government reviews deal on public interest grounds for first time (Financière Cofigeo / Agripole group)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 June 2018, the French Ministry of Economy announced its intention to carry out, for the first time, a public interest review of Cofigeo’s acquisition of the ready meals business of Agripole. In addition to a standard merger review by the French competition authority (“FCA”), French law (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market for the production and sale of ready meals (Financière Cofigeo / Agripole group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of William Saurin* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition Financière Cofigeo of certain securities and assets of the ready meals arm of Agripole group (William Saurin, Panzani, Garbit) subject to two targeted divestments designed to maintain competition in the sector. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves acquisition of global agricultural company by global pharmaceutical company subject to permanent divestments and 7-year FRAND licensing of genetically modified and non-GM agricultural products (Bayer / Monsanto)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI approves the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer AG subject to structural modifications* The CCI by its order dated June 14, 2018 has approved the proposed acquisition of Monsanto Company (Monsanto) by Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (Bayer). The CCI approved the proposed combination, subject to the (...)

The French Competition Authority acknowledges the decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance to use his power to reexamine the merger in the market for the production and sale of ready meals (Financière Cofigeo / Agripole group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of William Saurin - Reaction of the Autorité after the Minister of Economy’s decision* The Autorité de la concurrence acknowledges the decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance to use its power to reexamine the operation, cleared by the Autorité today regarding the acquisition (...)

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds the fine against a company for gun-jumping (Kauno grūdai)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds almost eur 1 million fine imposed on Kauno Grūdai* Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has rejected the appeal by AB Kauno grūdai against the Competition Council’s decision of 9 June 2017, whereby the company was fined EUR 947,700 for implementing (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the Dutch retail mobile telecommunications market (Tele2 / T-Mobile)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Tele2 NL by T-Mobile NL in the Netherlands* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Tele2 NL by T-Mobile NL under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is (...)

The U.S. District Court of Columbia rejects the DOJ’s challenge to a vertical merger in the entertainment sector (AT&T / Time Warner)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (New York)
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Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (New York)
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Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (Washington)
Court rejects DOJ challenge to AT&T / Time Warner vertical merger* In a much anticipated decision, Judge Richard Leon on June 12, 2018, rejected the Department of Justice’s challenge of AT&T Inc.’s acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The case represents the first opinion in four decades (...)

The U.S. District Court of Columbia rejects the Government’s challenge to a vertical merger between an entertainment company and a distribution company (AT&T / Time Warner)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Houston)
Court Rejects DOJ Antitrust Challenge to AT&T/Time Warner* After eighteen months of investigation and litigation, a federal district court has rejected the Justice Department’s challenge to AT&T’s $108 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. Although the government could appeal, the (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a company for breach of an interim order during a Merger review (Electro Rent)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 June 2018, the CMA fined Electro Rent £100,000 for breaching an Interim Order imposed in relation to Electro Rent’s acquisition of Microlease. According to the CMA, Electro Rent had failed to obtain the CMA’s consent prior to serving a notice of termination on the lease of its only premises (...)

The UK Government adopts new powers to investigate smaller merger transactions which raise national security concerns
Latham & Watkins (London)
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Latham & Watkins (Hambourg)
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Latham & Watkins (London)
The expansion of the UK government’s foreign investment review powers will require additional scrutiny of potential deals for the early identification of additional steps in the regulatory approval strategy. Key Points: The new UK rules are part of a wider global trend, with heightened (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a Guidance on changes to the jurisdictional thresholds for UK mergers control and extends the control on mergers related to sensitive sectors
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
GREATER NATIONAL SECURITY SCRUTINY AT THE HEART OF NEW UK MERGER CONTROL REFORMS* This week the UK Government enacted two new Orders which lower the UK merger control thresholds under the Enterprise Act 2002. The legislation extends the jurisdiction of the Competition and Markets Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority announces measures aimed at streamlining and simplifying merger control
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Modernization and simplification of merger control* The Autorité de la concurrence announces several measures aimed at streamlining and simplifying mergers’ procedures for companies. Last October, the Autorité launched a reflective process aimed at modernizing and simplifying merger law. (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority clears a merger between wind power electricity producers (New Finerge / Empreedimentos Eólicos do Rego / Eolcinf / Parque Eólico do Vale de Abade / Biowatt / Eolflor)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados (Porto)
On May 4th 2018, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) was notified of a merger where New Finerge, S.A. (New Finerge), a company operating in the electricity production market, aimed to acquire exclusive control over five wind farm management companies: Empreedimentos Eólicos do Rego, S.A. (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on market concentration
OECD - Competition Division
Executive Summary 1. In recent years, there has been growing concern that a trend has emerged in which markets around the world are becoming more concentrated and less competitive. This is sometimes attributed to the increasingly digital and globalised nature of many markets and the firms that (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on considering non-price effects in merger control
OECD - Competition Division
1. Introduction 1. When firms compete, they make a range of decisions about the characteristics of their products. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on at least some of these characteristics, which determine the value they obtain from the product. Price is one such characteristic, but (...)

The US FTC conditionnaly approves a vertical merger in the defense industry to behavioural remedies (Northrop Grumman / Orbital ATK)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
Aerospace & Defense Series: Behavioral Remedies Remain a Viable Solution for Vertical Mergers in the Defense Industry* Summary The recent FTC decision in the Northrop Grumman / Orbital ATK matter has shed light on the agency’s vertical merger enforcement policy and outlined a path to (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice holds that a selective measure should be determined on the basis of its effects and not on the basis of the legally defined regulatory techniques (German exemption for companies in difficulty)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission demands that Luxembourg recovers around €120 million corresponding to illegal tax benefits granted to an energy provider (Engie)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million* The European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all their profits for about a decade. This is illegal under EU State (...)

The EU Commission holds that a selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it doesn’t provide an economic advantage for the enterprises concerned (Danish water tax exemption)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

Procedures

The Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry releases a notice on the terms of agreements signed between the State and undertakings in dominant position
Concurrences (Paris)
On 29 June 2018 Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry of the Republic of Belarus released a special notice on the terms of the agreements signed between the State and the companies in the dominant position. As of 3 August 2018 the State has a possibility to sign an agreement in order to (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court upholds limitations to the prohibition of seizure of evidence at law firms (Volkswagen)
White & Case (Hamburg)
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White & Case (Berlin)
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White & Case (Frankfurt)
The protection from seizure by law enforcement, which the client-attorney privilege affords to the findings gathered by lawyers who are commissioned with internal investigations at businesses, has narrow limits. The affiliate of a law firm’s client has been denied protection from seizure by the (...)

The Turkish Competition Board fines a company for obstructing an on-site inspection by cutting off electricity and preventing internet access (Mosaş)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Background The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) initiated a preliminary investigation on March 8, 2018 (Decision No. 18-07/124-M), in the traffic signalization sector. Subsequently, the Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) case handlers conducted an on-site inspection on June 5, 2018, at the (...)

The US Supreme Court accepts a claim as the opportunity to revisit its rules on antitrust claims by indirect purchaser (Apple / Pepper)
Clifford Chance (Washington D.C.)
On June 18, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted Apple’s petition for certiorari in Apple Inc. v. Pepper, appealing the Ninth Circuit’s decision that Apple is, by contract, the exclusive distributor of iPhone applications (“apps”) through the online Apple App Store platform, from which consumers (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that federal courts should accord respectful consideration to foreign government submissions when analyzing comity issues but are not bound by them (Animal Science products / Hebei welcome pharmaceutical)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
Supreme Court Clarifies Principles of International Comity in Vitamin C Ruling* Alert: The Supreme Court clarified the principles of international comity this week in a ruling pertaining to the long-running vitamin C antitrust class action litigation. International comity is the recognition a (...)

The US Supreme Court says that judges who determine foreign law in federal courts are not strictly bound by foreign government’s statements (Animal Science Products / Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical)
Bona Law (San Diego)
In an antitrust case deciding a non-antitrust-specific issue, the US Supreme Court held in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.(the Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation) that to determine foreign law in federal courts, judges are not strictly bound by that foreign (...)

The US Supreme Court states that a federal court is not bound by the official interpretation of the foreign law even if it is relevant (Animal science products / Hebei welcome pharmaceutical)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Supreme Court Clarifies Deference Owed a Foreign Government* In a decision that will have a significant impact on antitrust enforcement, particularly private damages actions against international cartels, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that a federal court considering a case in which foreign (...)

The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in relation to a class action for conspiracy to fix vitamin prices, that federal courts determining foreign law are not bound by the foreign government’s own interpretation of that law (Animal Science products / Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical)
Norton Rose Fulbright (New York)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Houston)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Houston)
In an opinion issued on June 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court addressed the effect U.S. courts should give to a foreign government’s interpretation of its own laws. In Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the Supreme Court revived the possibility of a US$147 (...)

The Ontario Court Of Appeal accepts additional defendants in a price fixing class action against major banks (Mancinelli / Royal Bank of Canada)
Affleck Greene McMurtry (Toronto)
Court Of Appeal Adds Banks To FX Price Fixing Class Action* In overturning a lower court decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that TD Bank and BMO would be added as defendants in a price fixing class action against major banks. The case was Mancinelli v. Royal Bank of Canada. The (...)

The Ontario Court of Appeal (Canada) clarifies the application of the discoverability principle and makes easier for plaintiffs to add defendants (Mancinelli / Royal Bank of Canada)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Ontario Court of Appeal Makes It Easier For Plaintiffs to Add Defendants Under Competition Act Limitation Provision* The Ontario Court of Appeal recently issued a significant decision in Mancinelli v. Royal Bank of Canada, 2018 ONCA 544 (C.A.), in which the Court clarified the application of (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects appeal against the publication by the Commission of confidential information (Nexans)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 June 2018, the Court of the Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) rejected the appeal lodged by Nexans against the Order of the President of the General Court of 23 November 2017, which had rejected Nexans’ request to prevent the publication by the Commission of confidential information in (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects a cartel participant’s appeal concerning the inclusion of allegedly confidential information in the non-confidential version of the infringement decision (Nexans)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
By order of 12 June 2018, the Vice President of the CJEU dismissed the appeal lodged by Nexans France SAS and Nexans SA (collectively, Nexans) against the order of the President of the GCEU of 12 July 2017. The latter rejected Nexans’s application for an interim injunction to prevent the EC from (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on leniency programmes
OECD - Competition Division
1. Introduction 1. Detection and punishment of hard core cartels has been a priority of antitrust enforcement since many years, as they represent one of the most serious violations of competition law, harming consumers and the economy as a whole alike. However, it is difficult to detect such (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau provides guidance on influencer marketing, made in Canada claims and savings claims
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
New Competition Bureau Guidance on Influencer Marketing, Made in Canada Claims and Savings Claims* The Competition Bureau (Bureau) has published the fourth volume of its Deceptive Marketing Practices Digest (Marketing Digest), which provides guidance from the Bureau on influencer marketing, (...)

Regulatory

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into anti-rheumatic drugs
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM has launched a sector inquiry into anti-rheumatic drugs* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched a sector inquiry into TNF inhibitors, a type of drug mainly used to treat rheumatism. TNF inhibitors are, in the Netherlands and globally, a type of prescription (...)

The French Competition Authority is asked for an opinion in the audiovisual sector by the Commission of Cultural Affairs and Education
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Audiovisual sector* The Autorité de la concurrence has been asked for an opinion in the audiovisual sector by the Commission of Cultural Affairs and Education (Commission des Affaires culturelles et de l’Education) of the National Assembly The Commission of Cultural Affairs and Education of the (...)

The French Competition Authority is asked for an opinion by the Government regarding the import and distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas departments
French Competition Authority (Paris)
French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has been asked for an opinion by the Government regarding the import and distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas departments The Ministry of Finance and Economy submitted a request, on behalf of the Government, to the (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority applies the ne bis in idem principle in the investigation of abuse of dominance in the electricity market (Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 21 June 2018 the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) has concluded its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position in the form of refusal to deal on the part of the electricity supplier Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie SRL. Based on the principle of ne bis (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on e-commerce
OECD - Competition Division
1. Introduction 1. E-commerce – broadly, buying and selling online – is a global phenomenon and an important expanding distribution mechanism across the OECD. During the last decade, e-commerce activities have been growing both in the demand and supply side, as seen by the increasing number of (...)

Public sector

The Moldovan Competition Authority qualifies irregularities in the public procurement of construction works admitted by the local administration as infringement of competition law (Mayorship of Chisinau)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 28 June 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) has found that certain irregularities in the public procurement of construction services admitted by the mayorship of Chisinau should be qualified as infringement of competition law. On 19 March 2015, the Chisinau (...)

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