June 2021

General antitrust

The Russian Competition Authority approves the conclusion of the agreement on 5G networks for mobile operators (Rostelecom / Bashinformsvyaz / VimpelCom) New
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS approved conclusion of the agreement on 5G networks for mobile network operators* Such an agreement should contain conditions for equal access to radio frequencies for all market participants The FAS Russia has considered the application of Rostelecom PJSC, Bashinformsvyaz PJSC, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes its market study into the roll-out of fibre-optic broadband networks for households New
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
On 6 May 2021, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) published its updated market study (“FttH report”) into the roll-out in the Netherlands of fibre-optic broadband networks for households (Fiber-to-the-Home). The ACM started its FttH market study in April 2019 in response (...)

The EU Commission issues its regulatory proposal containing novel measures to tackle foreign subsidies distorting the EU market New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 5 May 2021, the European Commission (Commission) issued its proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the EU market. This follows on from the Commission’s White Paper issued in June 2020 and the extensive public consultation that ensued. The primary objective of this (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its report on the Fintech sector highlighting that the entry of big tech companies in the payment sector raises potential competition law risks New
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
On 29 April The French Competition Authority (FCA) published its report on the Fintech sector. This report follows its payment sector inquiry launched in January 2020, which primarily focused on the disruption brought by new technologies and new market players. In this report the Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion closing the sector inquiry it launched in the payment sector in January 2020 New
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) has recently issued an opinion closing the sector inquiry it launched in the payment sector in January 2020. The FCA’s report mainly focuses on the disruption brought by new technologies and new market players in the sector, in particular BigTech companies. (...)

The Canadian Government announces that funding for the Competition Authority is set to increase by more than one third
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
More Money and New Digital Tools for Competition Bureau in Federal Budget* Funding for Canada’s Competition Bureau is set to increase by more than one third, the government announced in the federal budget for 2021-2022. The budget proposes to increase the Bureau’s budget by $96 million over five (...)

The Spanish Government publishes a decree which greatly amends national competition law as a result of the transposition of the ECN+ Directive New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
On 28 April 2021, Royal Decree-Law 7/2021, of 27 April, was published in Spain’s Official State Journal (RD 7/2021). RD 7/2021 has the aim of transposing into Spanish legislation a number of EU directives, including Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 (...)

The Spanish Parliament transposes the ECN+ Directive into Spanish law New
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
On 29 April 2021, the Spanish Royal Decree-Law 7/2021 entered into force, modifying the Spanish Competition Act (“LDC”) due to the transposition of the Directive 2019/1 – known as the “ECN+ Directive” – which aims to achieve a more effective application of competition rules by the National (...)

The Italian Government welcomes legislative proposals on competition law reform New
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 25 April 2021, the Italian Government submitted its Recovery and Resilience National Plan ("PNRR") to the national Parliament, which included proposals on competition law reform by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA"). Key takeaways Reforming competition law is among the priorities of (...)

The US Congress signs legislation aimed at reducing prescription drug prices by supporting generic and biosimilar alternatives to branded drugs New
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
On April 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law two bipartisan bills aimed at reducing prescription drug prices by supporting generic and biosimilar alternatives to branded drugs. The Ensuring Innovation Act supports generic drugs by clarifying the technical qualifications for earning (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes draft amendments to the confidentiality regime and invites public comments New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
The CCI announced in April that it was in the process of reviewing and revising the confidentiality regime, based on its enforcement experience over the last 10 years. It published draft amendments to the relevant provisions in the General Regulations, and has invited public comments on these (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches the Digital Markets Unit to introduce, maintain and enforce a code of conduct regulating the provision of digital and online services New
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 7 April 2021, the Digital Markets Unit ("DMU") was launched within the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA"). The DMU will, in the future, be tasked with oversight of the UK’s new digital regulatory regime, with powers and duties enshrined in legislation. Key takeaways The DMU has (...)

The Japanese FTC and the Government issue guidelines for business collaboration with startups to promote open innovation and ensure fair and free competitive environments New
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On March 29, 2021, the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") issued Guidelines for Business Collaboration with Startups ("Guidelines") for the purpose of promoting open innovation and ensuring fair and free competitive environments. The (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a competition register for public procurement New
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
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Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has recently launched the German Competition Register for Public Procurement (“Competition Register”) and approved the participation if pharmaceutical wholesalers in the VCI Emergency Platform for vaccination equipment - two important steps in fighting white-collar (...)

The Italian Competition Authority proposes an extensive competition law reform New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 March 2021, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) submitted to the Italian Government a set of proposals to modify the Italian Competition Act (the “Proposal”). The Proposal concerns a wide range of areas, including the digital sector, certain network industries (e.g., port services and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues its 2021 recommendations to the government New
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
Alongside its enforcement powers, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) also has a legislative advisory role where it issues proposals to the Italian Government, in view of the annual competition law. The Authority’s 2021 recommendations, issued on 23 March mostly relate to areas in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority proposes procedural reforms to promote national competition New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Milan)
On 23 March 2021, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, “ICA” or the “Authority”), in its consulting role for the Government in the context of the enactment of the annual competition law, issued a series of proposals for reforms. The result is a (...)

The US Government announces two key nominations at the White House and the FTC that signal a pro-enforcement approach to antitrust policy New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
President Biden has signaled a pro-enforcement approach to antitrust policy by naming Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu as a White House adviser and nominating Lina Khan, who also teaches at Columbia Law, to be commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Both are known for expansive (...)

The EU Commission releases guidance to help contracting authorities fight collusion in public procurement New
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The European Commission has released new guidance for European contracting authorities on how to use EU law to address suspected cases of collusion in public procurement (the “Notice”). The Notice, published on March 13, 2021, provides Member States with a set of tools to fight collusion in (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority publishes enforcement priorities for 2021 New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 March 2021, the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische Mededingingsautoriteit / Autorité belge de la Concurrence - BCA) published its list of enforcement priorities for 2021 (See, website of BCA, in Dutch and in French). The document discusses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the (...)

The Czech Competition Authority publishes an annual report summarizing its significant activities in 2020 and outlining the agenda for 2021 New
Bird & Bird (Prague)
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Bird & Bird (Prague)
The Office for the Protection of Competition (“Office”) recently published an annual report summarizing its significant activities in 2020 and outlining the agenda for 2021. The most important areas are prohibited agreements, abuse of a dominant position and significant market power. In 2020, in (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes a report on digital platforms markets New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 February 2021, the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) published its report ‘Competition on Digital Platform Markets in Sweden.’ The report is based on a sector inquiry during which the SCA analysed sixteen Swedish and international platforms operating on five different markets in Sweden, (...)

The Nigerian Competition Authority publishes new penalty guidelines to tackle and prosecute traditional spread of competition law violations New
Primerio Limited (Johannesburg)
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Primerio Limited (Johannesburg)
Nigerian Competition Law: FCCPC Publishes Penalty Guidelines* Nigeria is quickly emerging as one of the more important antitrust regimes on the African continent. Not only because it is a significant market, but largely due to a raft of recent legislative developments. The Federal Competition (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The UK Competition Authority reflects on the lessons learned from its investigation into three major suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry for collusion (Vp / MGF / Mabey) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Breaking competition law: construction cartel in groundworks* Lessons learnt from the CMA’s investigation into 3 major suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry after they broke competition law. In 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) fined 2 businesses, Vp (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds an infringement decision for pay-for-delay pharmaceutical deals (GlaxoSmithKline) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CAT upholds infringement decision for pay for delay pharma deals* The Competition Appeal Tribunal has upheld the CMA decision that GlaxoSmithKline and some generic suppliers of the anti-depressant paroxetine broke competition law. The Competition Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) has, however, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a sportswear manufacturer for retail price maintenance (Fusion ApS) New
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Fine of DKK 500,000 to manufacturer of sportswear for retail price maintenance* On May 7, 2021, the City Court of Aalborg sentenced the Danish manufacturer of sports clothes Fusion ApS to pay a fine of DKK 500.000 (€ 67,242) for resale price maintenance. Moreover, a member of the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority closes an investigation against two grocery stores’ purchasing agreement after receiving their commitments (Carrefour / Provera)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority has closed an investigation against the purchasing alliance between Carrefour and Provera after receiving commitments* In May 2019, the Prosecutor-general of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) opened an (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a national cold meat manufacturer for obstructing an investigation into a potential cartel (Fleury Michon) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Fleury Michon group is fined 100,000 euros for obstructing an investigation* The Fleury Michon group is fined 100,000 euros for having obstructed the conduct of the investigation carried out by the Autorité in the case of the ham and cold meat sector cartel. Background On 16 July 2020, by (...)

The Cypriot Administrative Court annuls a decision that imposed a fine of €20,775,630 on petroleum companies (ExxonMobil / Hellenic Petroleum / Petrolina / Coral)
Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
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Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
The joined cases were brought before the Administrative Court of Cyprus (hereinafter the “Court”) by ExxonMobil Cyprus Ltd, Hellenic Petroleum Cyprus Ltd, Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd and Coral Energy Products Cyprus Ltd (hereinafter the “petroleum companies”) against the Commission for the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against a national electricity company for anticompetitive practices (Audax) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Audax Renovables S.A. for alleged practices prohibited by the Anti-Trust Law* - It is investigating if it used deceit and fraud in its favour to convince household customers of electricity and gas companies to switch their suppliers - (...)

The EU Commission fines three EU railway companies €48 million for market sharing (OBB / DB / SNCB) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines three EU railway companies €48 million for customer allocation cartel* The European Commission has fined railway companies Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB), Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Société Nationale des Chemins de fer belges / Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces the launch of a full-fledged investigation against thirty-two undertakings for gentlemen’s agreements in labor markets across Turkey (Yemek Sepeti / Zomato / Commencis...) New
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
On April 20, 2021, the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) announced on its website that the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) had launched a full-fledged investigation against thirty-two undertakings for gentlemen’s agreements in labor markets across Turkey, in order to determine whether (...)

The Latvian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision to fine a transportation and infrastructure company for bid-rigging (Rīgas satiksme) New
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The court leaves effective a decision of the Competition Council on involvement of SIA “Rīgas satiksme” in the so-called nano water acquisition bid-rigging* On 9 April, the Senate of the Supreme Court rejected the cassation claim of Riga Municipality capital company SIA “Rīgas satiksme” on the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statements of objections for an anticompetitive agreement in the labor market New
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statements of Objections for anticompetitive agreement in the labour market for the first time* The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) has issued for the first time Statements of Objections for an agreement not to hire workers, in this case involving the Portuguese Professional (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholds the FTC’s decision in the first fully litigated reverse payment decision against generic pharmaceutical companies (Endo / Impax) New
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On April 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s decision that Impax Laboratories entered an anticompetitive “reverse payment” settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals. This case was the FTC’s first fully litigated reverse payment case since the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholds the FTC’s decision that two pharmaceutical companies entered an anticompetitive reverse payment settlement (Endo / Impax) New
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On April 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s decision that Impax Laboratories entered an anticompetitive “reverse payment” settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals. This case was the FTC’s first fully litigated reverse payment case since the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rules that showing the reverse payment settlement eliminated the possibility of an earlier generic entry is enough to infer anticompetitive effect (Endo / Impax) New
Jones Day (New York)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
In Short The Background: In the Supreme Court’s landmark 2013 decision in FTC v. Actavis, the Court determined that large payments by branded drugmakers to potential generic entrants to settle patent disputes could be anticompetitive. It instructed district courts to apply the "rule of reason" (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against national basketball clubs for limiting competition (Energa Basket Liga) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
The President of UOKiK brings charges of limiting competition against basketball clubs* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated antitrust proceedings against the Energa Basket Liga and sixteen basketball clubs. The subject matter of the proceedings is the establishment of principles of (...)

The German Competition Authority terminates proceedings against a household appliances producer in response to complaints about a rebate scheme (Liebherr) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) dated 12 April 2021, the FCO terminated proceedings against household appliances producer Liebherr after Liebherr agreed to change its sales conditions. The FCO had initiated proceedings in response to complaints about a new (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court rejects the Competition Authority’s appeal and upholds the decision of the Court of First Instance which ordered to revisit the joint bid-rigging fine imposed on two container ship companies (Jadrana / Pasvalio melioracija) New
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Authority will have to redecide on individualisation of fines for cartelists The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Court) rejected the appeal of the Lithuanian competition authority and upheld the decision of the court of first instance which ordered the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority reduces the fine it imposed on four regional newspaper publishers for market sharing (Axel Springer / Russmedia / Lapcom Kiadó) New
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH recalculated the cartel fine imposed on newspaper publishers due to a court order* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) – in accordance with court decisions adopted in appeal proceedings – has reduced the competition supervision fine imposed on regional newspaper publishers in 2014, (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceeding against a trucks importer and its distributor for collusion (Iveco trucks) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Iveco trucks - proceedings of the President of UOKiK* - The importer of Iveco trucks together with the official distributors of these vehicles may have entered into a multi-year conspiracy to restrain competition. - President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Tomasz (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority fines the municipality of Nyköping for illegal direct award of contract New
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Nyköping performed an illegal direct award of contract for groundworks* Nyköping Municipality entered a framework agreement regarding surfacing and groundworks without a prior notice in accordance with the procurement rules. The Swedish Competition Authority considers that the agreement (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines thirteen undertakings involved in a cartel in the electricity sector New
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH has eliminated a cartel on the electricity market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of approximately HUF 130 million in total on the 13 undertakings which shared tenders among each other in relation to the design, construction, and operation of electricity (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority initiates criminal proceedings against four condominium refurbishment services providers for bid-rigging (TRI-CAN / JCO / LAR) New
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Multiple companies and their owners charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and rig bids for condo refurbishment contracts in the GTA* The Competition Bureau announced today that it has laid multiple criminal charges against four companies and three individuals in connection with an alleged (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine of 245,000€ on the national pharmacist association for hindering competition (Ordre des pharmaciens / Orde der Apothekers)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine of 245,000 euros on “l’Ordre des pharmaciens – Orde der apothekers” for the practices that were subject of its decision of 28 May 2019 On 28 May 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority had adopted a decision condemning (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine on the professional organization of pharmacists on account of an anticompetitive agreement (Ordre des pharmaciens / Orde der Apothekers) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2021, the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische Mededingingsautoriteit / Autorité belge de la Concurrence - BCA) announced that its Privileged and Confidential Attorney – Client Communication Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la Concurrence) had imposed a fine of (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the judgment of the General Court that the pay-for-delay agreements concluded between originator and generics manufacturers were by-object restrictions (Lundbeck) New
Ashurst (Brussels)
The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") confirmed the judgment of the General Court ("GC") upholding the European Commission’s pay-for-delay decision. The ruling held that the originator and generics manufacturers must be considered potential competitors despite Lundbeck’s process patents, and (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the General Court’s judgment and Commission’s decision on pharmaceutical pay-for-delay agreements (Lundbeck) New
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On March 25, 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled on appeal in the Lundbeck case, confirming the previous judgement of the General Court (GC) that upheld the decision of the European Commission (Commission) on pharmaceutical “pay-for-delay” agreements (Case AT.39226 — (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the decision of the Commission to impose fines on several pharmaceutical companies (Lundbeck) New
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
In the much-anticipated Lundbeck case (i.a. C-591/16 P), the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) on 25th March 2021 confirmed the decision of the European Commission (“Commission”) to impose fines on Lundbeck and several generics companies. The case concerns a pay-for-delay agreement dating back to (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeals brought by two telecommunications companies and rules that the indispensability requirement does not apply to conduct that falls short of outright refusal to supply (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments delivered on 25 March 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) dismissed the appeals brought by Deutsche Telekom and Slovak Telekom against the judgments of the General Court which had partially annulled the European Commission’s decision finding them to have (...)

The Australian Federal Court orders a wholesaler of cycling accessories and sporting products to pay $350,000 for engaging in resale price maintenance (FE Sports) New
Ashurst (Brisbane)
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered that FE Sports, a wholesaler of cycling accessories and sporting products, pay AUD 350,000 (among other orders) for engaging in resale price maintenance ("RPM"). FE Sports admitted to the conduct. Key takeaways Suppliers must not prevent, or attempt (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines a sports equipment retailer for price fixing (Spokey) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Penalty for price fixing of Spokey sports equipment* - For almost 8 years, Spokey company has been fixing minimum prices at which on-line stores could sell sports equipment of this brand, such as rollerblades or scooters. - President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny imposed a penalty of half a (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses a complaint against an alleged cartel between several corrugated case manufacturers’ associations seeking to affect the supply and pricing of kraft paper (Gujarat Paper Mills Association) New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI dismissed, at prima facie stage, a complaint by the Gujarat Paper Mills Association (Informant) that certain corrugated case manufacturers’ associations (OPs) had engaged in a cartel seeking to affect the supply and pricing of kraft paper. The Informant had alleged that the OPs had (...)

The EU Commission publishes a notice to fight collusion in public procurement in which it includes a series of guidelines aimed at the contracting authorities on how to apply the grounds for the exclusion provided by the Directive 2014/24/EU of the Parliament New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
The European Commission (EC) recently published a Notice to fight collusion in public procurement (the Notice) in which it included a series of guidelines aimed at the contracting authorities on how to apply the grounds for exclusion provided for in article 57, paragraph 4, letter d) of (...)

The EU Commission issues notice on tools to fight collusion regarding public procurement New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2021, the Official Journal of the European Union published a European Commission (Commission) Notice on “tools to fight collusion in public procurement and on guidance on how to apply the related exclusion ground” (the Notice; available here). The Notice develops the tools which the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines three suppliers of sewing machines engaged in bid-rigging (Klassy Computers / Nayan Agencies / Jawahar Brothers) New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that three suppliers of sewing machines had engaged in bid-rigging in respect of a tender floated by the Pune Zilla Parishad for the supply of sewing machines to be distributed to backward classes, women, and disabled persons living in rural areas (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects the information exchange scheme proposed by an online platform for failing to fulfill the individual exemption requirements (IMDER)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
On January 24, 2020, Türkiye İş Makinaları Distribütörleri ve İmalatçıları Birliği (“IMDER”), an association of undertakings active in distribution and production of construction equipment, applied to the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) for a negative clearance or an individual exemption with (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation and Shanghai SAMR issue two administrative decisions punishing two Internet platform companies for engaging in “either-or choice” practices on their in-platform merchants (Alibaba / Shanghai Food Paishi Trade Development) New
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
A few days ago, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) and Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation (“Shanghai AMR”) successively issued two administrative decisions punishing two Internet platform companies for engaging in “either-or choice” practices (a type of exclusive (...)

The Portuguese competition authority imposes a €1,8 million fine for bid-rigging in the ralway maintenance sector (Fergrupo / Somafel) New
Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
On 4 March 2020, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“PCA1’) has imposed a total of €1.8 Million fines against Fergrupo - Construções e Técnicas Ferroviárias, SA (“Fergrupo”) and Somafel - Engenharia e Obras Ferroviárias (‘’Somafel”)—as well as one director of each company—both operating on the market of (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning to a gas company on the need to reduce retail gasoline prices (Lukoil-Yugnefteprodukt) New
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS issued Lukoil-Yugnefteprodukt warning on the need to reduce retail gasoline prices* Being a dominant in the regional market, the company increased retail gasoline prices in the daytime at individual gas stations The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Kalmykia (...)

The Australian Federal Court declares that a national ports operator abused its dominant position (TasPorts) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
TasPorts declared to have misused its market power* The Federal Court has declared by consent that Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Ltd engaged in conduct that had the likely effect of substantially lessening competition in the markets for towage and pilotage services in northern Tasmania, in (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a big tech company for abusing its dominant position in the distribution of mobile applications on its operating system (Apple) New
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia fined apple $12 million us dollars* On April 26, 2021, the FAS Russia imposed on Apple Inc. a turnover fine of 906,299,392.16 rubles (over $12 million) for violating antimonopoly legislation. In August 2020, the FAS Russia completed the consideration of the antitrust case against (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a big tech company regarding its store rules for music streaming providers (Apple) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Apple on App Store rules for music streaming providers* The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it distorted competition in the music streaming market as it abused its dominant position for the distribution (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision stating that a print circulars distributor abused its dominant position (FK Distribution) New
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal: FK Distribution has abused its dominant position* The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has upheld a June 2020 decision by the Danish Competition Council stating that FK Distribution abused its dominant position on the market for distribution of (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds a decision by the Competition Authority against the biggest distributor of unaddressed mail for abuse of dominant position by tying its sale of print circulars with its sale of viewing of circulars on several of its digital platforms (FK Distribution) New
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On the 27th April 2021, the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (“DCAT”) upheld a June 2020 decision by the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”). The DCC concluded that FK Distribution (FK), as the biggest distributor of unaddressed mail (print circulars) in Denmark, had abused its dominant position (...)

The Russian Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a big tech company for abuse of dominant position (Google / Youtube) New
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS initiated a case against Google LLC* According to the Authority, the company abuses its dominant position in the market of YouTube video hosting services The reason for the investigation was the application of the Regional Public Organization “Center for Internet Technologies” (ROCIT), (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal confirms the Competition Authority’s settlement policy following the appeal of a musical instrument company (Roland) New
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Roland UK ("Roland") appealed the level of the penalty imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") for engaging in resale price maintenance ("RPM") in relation to the supply of electronic drums. Roland argued that the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") should reduce the penalty (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds an abuse of dominance in the market for wholesale procurement of branded alcoholic beverages (Uttarakhand Agricultural Produce Marketing Board) New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI held that the Uttarakhand Agricultural Product Marketing Board (the Board) had abused its dominant position in the market for the wholesale procurement of branded alcoholic beverages in the State of Uttarakhand. The International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) had argued (...)

The EU Commission accepts the commitment offered by a pharmaceutical company for excessive pricing (Aspen) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In February 2021, the European Commission’s (“Commission”) long-running excessive pricing case against Aspen was brought to a close, with Aspen accepting a series of forward-looking pricing and supply commitments, but avoiding any fines or requirements to repay all of the higher prices charged (...)

Mergers

The South African Competition Authority publishes guidelines that will require small mergers in the digital market to be notified for review
Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
,
Primerio Limited (Johannesburg)
South Africa: Small merger notifications: the SACC joins the European commission in expanding the application of small merger notifications to ‘Digital Markets’* Introduction The South African Competition Commission (“SACC”) recently published amended draft guidelines for notification of small (...)

The US Surface Transportation Board rules that a merger involving a Canadian national railway does not qualify for a waiver from the current class I merger review process and denies the railway’s proposed voting trust for now (CN / KCS) New
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction Courting of the Kansas City Southern railway (‘KCS’) continues full steam ahead and there is now a new suitor on the scene. KCS terminated an earlier corporate-friendly merger agreement with Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (‘CP’) on 21 May 2021 to forge a merger proposal (...)

The US Senate Judiciary Committee approves new HSR filing fees for large mergers and would require them to be adjusted annually based on changes in the consumer price index New
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
HSR Filing Fees For Large Acquisitions May Be Increased* On May 13th, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved and sent on to the full Senate the “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021.” The Bill, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, and approved with bipartisan support, (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces the withdrawal of two IT companies from their intended merger (Isosec / Imprivata) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Imprivata and Isosec abandon merger during CMA investigation* Imprivata and Isosec have abandoned their proposed tie-up after the CMA found competition concerns. Based on assurances received from Imprivata that the deal has been abandoned, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has (...)

The EU Commission fines a chemical company €7.5 million for providing misleading information during an investigation regarding its merger with a competitor (Sigma-Aldrich / Merck) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines Sigma-Aldrich €7.5 million for providing misleading information during Merck takeover investigation* The European Commission has fined Sigma-Aldrich €7.5 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s investigation under the EU Merger (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between two semiconductor manufacturers subject to conditions (Renesas / PLC) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Semiconductor industry: Bundeskartellamt clears the proposed acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor PLC by Renesas Electronics Corporation* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared plans by the Japanese company Renesas Electronics Corporation to acquire all shares and sole control of Dialog (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority publishes a statement regarding the EU Commission’s policy change on article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation New
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 29 april 2021, following the release of the widely commented european commission guidance on art. 22 of the EU merger regulation (eumr), the Luxembourg Competition Council published a statement on the recent policy change. In addition to explaining the key characteristics of the European (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger between two media companies subject to conditions (Vivendi / Prisma Media) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the takeover of Prisma Media (Ça m’intéresse, Capital, Cuisine Actuelle, Femme Actuelle, Gala, Télé Loisirs…) by Vivendi.* On 24 March 2021, the Vivendi group notified the Autorité of the exclusive control acquisition of the Prisma Media press group. At the end (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds competition concerns in the merger between two national secure authentication management solutions providers (Imprivata / Isosec) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Imprivata’s purchase of Isosec raises competition concerns* The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Imprivata’s proposed acquisition of Isosec raises competition concerns. Imprivata and Isosec provide secure authentication management solutions to healthcare providers in (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger between two waste management companies subject to conditions (Veolia / Suez) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to the divestment of assets in Île-de-France, the takeover of Suez RV OSIS by SARP, a subsidiary of Veolia* On 5 February 2021, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the examination of the takeover by SARP, a subsidiary (...)

The US FTC requires the divestiture of gasoline market assets as a condition to clear the merger between two convenience stores companies (Buck’s / Casey’s General Stores) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requires Divestitures as Condition of Casey’s General Stores, Inc.’s Acquisition of Buck’s Intermediate Holdings, LLC* Order preserves competition in local fuel markets in Nebraska and Iowa Casey’s General Stores, Inc., Buck’s Intermediate Holdings, LLC, and Steven Buchanan, have agreed to (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority conducts a detailed analysis of the merger between two funeral services providers (Altima / Funeraria Juanals) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC conducts a detailed analysis of the Altima Group’s acquisition of Funeraria Juanals* - The transaction seeks to have Elysius Europa, S.L., the parent company of the Altima Group, which is jointly controlled by Albia Gestión de Servicio S.L.U. and Grup VFV, S.L., acquire exclusive (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between two national agricultural products suppliers subject to conditions (RaiWa Kassel / RWZ Cologne) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Agricultural trade: RaiWa Kassel can acquire 19 locations of RWZ Cologne – Bundeskartellamt allows merger only after changes to merger plans* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the acquisition of 19 locations of the agricultural cooperative Raiffeisen Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main eG (RWZ), (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines an oil company for not complying with previous voluntary remedies (Repsol) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC imposes a fine of 850,000 euros on Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A.* In 2014, Repsol acquired control of Societat Catalana de Petrolis, S.A. (Petrocat) The CNMC authorised the purchase, contingent on the oil company fulfilling a series of voluntary conditions. Repsol (...)

The EU Commission reviews the merger between two biotech company specialised in genomic sequencing (Illumina / Grail) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The European Commission opens a review of Illumina’s acquisition of Grail under the procedure of Article 22 of the 2004 Merger Regulation* Background Following the referral request submitted by the Autorité de la concurrence, which was joined by several Member States of the European Economic (...)

The EU Commission unleashes new approach to article 22 referrals regarding an acquisition in the healthcare sector (Illumina / Grail) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 March 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published Guidance outlining its new approach in accepting and encouraging referrals under Article 22 of the Merger Regulation of deals that fail to meet either the EU or Member State turnover thresholds but that nonetheless affect (...)

The EU Commission investigates the merger between two pharmaceutical companies (Illumina / GRAIL) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
European Commission to investigate acquisition of pharmaceutical firm GRAIL by biotech firm Illumina* The European Commission will investigate the acquisition of US pharmaceutical company GRAIL by US biotechnology company Illumina. Various European countries, including the Netherlands, support (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger between two petrol station groups would raise competition concerns (Bellis / Asda) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Bellis’ purchase of Asda raises some competition concerns* The CMA has found that Bellis’ completed £6.8bn purchase of Asda could lead to higher petrol prices in some parts of the country. The Issa Brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital purchased Asda through jointly owned company Bellis. (...)

The Australian, German and UK Competition Authorities release a joint statement on merger control enforcement New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Landmark joint statement on merger control enforcement from ACCC, UK’s CMA and Germany’s Bundeskartellamt* The ACCC, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and Germany’s Bundeskartellamt have today issued a joint statement highlighting the importance of rigorous and effective merger (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority approves subject to conditions the merger between two producers of alcoholic beverages (Altia / Arcus) New
Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
For the first time in Finnish merger control history, parties to a merger committed to an upfront-buyer provision. On 19 April 2021, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) approved the merger between Altia Oyj (“Altia”) and Arcus ASA (“Arcus”) subject to conditions. Both Altia and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority clears the merger between two alcoholic beverages companies subject to conditions (Altia / Arcus) New
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The merger of Altia and Arcus is cleared after commitments* The Swedish Competition Authority clears the merger of Altia and Arcus. The merger is cleared on the condition that Altia and Arcus implement voluntary commitments that remedy the negative effects on competition that could have arisen (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against a funeral services provider for gun-jumping (Albia / Tanatoria Móstoles) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Albia Gestión de Servicios, S.L.U., a subsidiary of the Santa Lucía group.* The company did not notify the CNMC of its purchase of the funeral services company Tanatoria Móstoles, S.L. before acquiring it in 2019. Companies that exceed certain (...)

The French Council of State rejects the application from a biotechnology company to suspend the referral by the French Competition Authority of its acquisition of a company developing multi-cancer early detection tests, and rules that it does not have jurisdiction to suspend a request for referral (Illumina / Grail) New
White & Case (Paris)
,
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
The European Commission ("EC") is shifting its approach with respect to the referral mechanism under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation 139/2004 (the "EUMR") and now – at least in certain circumstances – encourages referrals from Member States even where the national filing thresholds are not (...)

The Court of The Hague decides not to ban the Dutch Competition Authority from joining the referral request launched by the French Competition Authority (Illumina / Grail) New
White & Case (Paris)
,
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
The European Commission ("EC") is shifting its approach with respect to the referral mechanism under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation 139/2004 (the "EUMR") and now – at least in certain circumstances – encourages referrals from Member States even where the national filing thresholds are (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority approves the merger between two energy providers (Comfort Energy / Calpam)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition by Comfort Energy NV of Calpam Belgium NV and its subsidiary Mazout.be SRL (together called “Q8 Mazout”*) The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved on 29 April 2021 the acquisition (...)

The EU Commission adopts a new approach towards the use of the referral mechanism set out in Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
The European Union has adopted a bold new approach towards the use of the referral mechanism set out in Article 22 of the European Union Merger Regulation ("EUMR"). As a result, transactions which do not qualify for review under merger control regimes in Member States can now be referred to the (...)

The EU Commission publishes guidance on the application of the referral mechanism set out in article 22 of the Merger Regulation to certain categories of cases New
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
ON 26 MARCH 2021, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (THE “COMMISSION”) PUBLISHED “COMMISSION GUIDANCE ON THE APPLICATION OF THE REFERRAL MECHANISM SET OUT IN ARTICLE 22 OF THE MERGER REGULATION TO CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF CASES”. The impact of the document comes close to a paradigm shift for merger control in (...)

The EU Commission assesses in a published policy paper whether its jurisdictional merger control thresholds leave an enforcement gap and whether the administrative burden on merging firms and other market participants is proportionate New
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In a recently published policy paper, the European Commission (EC) assessed whether its jurisdictional merger control thresholds leave an enforcement gap, and whether the administrative burden on merging firms and other market participants is proportionate. The EC concludes that the (...)

The EU Commission releases the new Article 22 EU Merger Regulation Guidance, which creates legal uncertainty for merger control and a de facto killer acquisition review power New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The new Article 22 EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) Guidance released by the European Commission (EC) enables the EC to review any acquisition, even those that do not qualify for notification under national (or EU) merger control rules. Summary The new guidance indicates that the EC will actively (...)

The Belgian Government adopts a bill to exclude clinical networking between hospitals from the application of merger control New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2021, the federal Chamber of Representatives adopted a bill seeking to exclude the creation of local hospital networks (locoregionaal ziekenhuisnetwerk / réseau hospitalier locorégional) and any subsequent change in their composition from the application of the Belgian merger control (...)

The US FTC announces a multilateral working group to build a new approach to pharmaceutical mergers New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
Reform of traditional antitrust enforcement and competition law globally has been an on-going discussion amongst enforcers, politicians, advisors, economic experts, and academics. While conversations pertaining to antitrust reforms have been widely centered around resolving the issues presented (...)

State Aid

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves support to organisers of package travels in Norway in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves support to organisers of package travels in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a scheme that will help ensure that organisers of package travels can obtain refund guarantees from insurance companies and continue operations. In (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian compensation scheme for organisers of canceled or downscaled cultural events in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian compensation scheme for organisers of cancelled or downscaled cultural events* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a Norwegian scheme to compensate organisers and subcontractors for losses related to cancelled or downscaled (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian aid to businesses for lost inventory due to the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian aid to businesses for lost inventory* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a scheme to compensate restaurants, bars, certain hotels, cafés and flower shops for losses in spoiled inventory that could no longer be sold or used. (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to the Norwegian aid scheme for voluntary organisations due to the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments to Norwegian aid scheme for voluntary organisations* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved prolonging support to voluntary organisations experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19-containment measures. The budget is also (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s action for failure to fulfill obligations against Greece for granting illegal aid to farmers New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Greece has failed to fulfil its obligations by failing to recover unlawful aid paid to Greek farmers as compensation for adverse weather conditions* In 2009, the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organisation (ELGA) – a public body the purpose of which is to insure agricultural holdings against (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the aid granted in favour of a Luxembourg subsidiary of a big tech company incompatible with the internal market (Amazon) New
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
No selective advantage in favour of a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Amazon group: the General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the aid incompatible with the internal market* According to the General Court, the Commission did not prove to the requisite legal standard that there (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to Norwegian liquidity support scheme for tourism sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments to Norwegian liquidity support scheme for tourism sector* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation of a liquidity support scheme to Norway’s tourism sector. The scheme is also amended to allow for increased support and to (...)

The EU Commission approves a €500 million Greek scheme to support food service companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Greek scheme to support food service companies affected by coronavirus outbreak The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million Greek support scheme to support food service companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves the prolonging of support for large public events in Norway New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves prolonging support for large public events in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation and amendments of a scheme offering compensation to organisers of large public events that must be downscaled or cancelled as a result (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments and prolongations to Icelandic business-support schemes New Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments and prolongations to Icelandic business-support schemes* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved amendments and prolongations to the closure grants and resilience grants schemes providing support to companies suffering income losses (...)

The EU Commission approves a €1.9 billion Czech scheme to support companies in context of the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.9 billion Czech scheme to support companies in context of coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved an approximately € 1.9 billion (CZK 50 billion) Czech scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved (...)

The EU General Court examines several measures in favour of postal services that are classified as services of general economic interest (ITD / Brancheorganisation / Danske Fragtmænd) New
College of Europe (Bruges)
Compensation for Universal Service Provision* Introduction The rules on State aid for services of general economic interest [SGEI] are very generous because they allow both investment and operating aid. Yet, it is not easy to comply with those rules because the calculation of the compensation (...)

The EU Commission approves €400 million Danish aid scheme to support production of electricity from renewable energy sources New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €400 million Danish aid scheme to support production of electricity from renewable energy sources* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Danish aid scheme to support electricity production from renewable sources. The measure will help (...)

The EU Commission approves a €12 million COVID-19 damage compensation as well as a €255.5 million of liquidity support to two airline companies in Portugal and extends an ongoing in-depth investigation to planned restructuring aid (SATA / Azores) New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €12 million coronavirus damage compensation and €255.5 million of liquidity support to SATA Air Açores and Azores Airlines in Portugal; extends ongoing in-depth investigation to planned restructuring aid* The European Commission has approved €12 million in Portuguese (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian aid scheme for alternative fuels infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions New
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Norwegian aid scheme for alternative fuels infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a Norwegian aid scheme to support private sector investments in own-use alternative fuels infrastructure. The measure, which is (...)

The EU Commission approves €2.5 million compensation to Slovenian press agency for its public service (STA) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2.5 million compensation to Slovenian Press Agency STA for its public service* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2.5 million compensation granted by Slovenia to the Slovenian Press Agency STA to fulfil its public service mission. (...)

The EU Commission approves a prolongation and modification of a German scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves prolongation and modification of German scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the prolongation and modification of a German scheme to support the production of (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal against the General Court’s judgement highlighting that essential national interests may justify deviation from the normal public procurement (Achemos & Achema) New
College of Europe (Bruges)
State Aid and Essential National Interest* Introduction State aid should support outcomes that the market by itself cannot achieve. This implies that State aid that is restricted to only one or a few undertakings is unlikely to be capable of delivering the desired outcome. Yet, sometimes (...)

The EU Commission approves a restructuring aid for Polish regional railways as the country commits to an accelerated opening to competition of regional passenger rail transport New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves restructuring aid for Polish Regional Railways, as Poland commits to an accelerated opening to competition of regional passenger rail transport* The European Commission has concluded that Polish measures to support the restructuring of Polish Regional Railways, (...)

The EU General Court of Justice finds that the aid measures introduced by Sweden and Denmark for an airline company’s damage resulting from the cancellation or rescheduling of flights in the wake of travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic comply with EU law (Ryanair) New Free
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
Aid measures introduced by Sweden and Denmark for SAS for damage resulting from the cancellation or rescheduling of flights in the wake of travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic comply with EU law* Given that SAS’s market share is much higher than that of its closest competitor in (...)

The EU General Court provides further guidance on the standard of judicial review of Commission decisions not to raise objections at the end of a preliminary examination phase (Achema / Lifosa) (Verband Deutscher Alten) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2021, the General Court delivered two judgments (Achema and Lifosa, Case T-300/19, and Verband Deutscher Alten und Behindertenhilfe and CarePool Hannover, Case T-69/18, hereinafter “Achema” and “Verband Deutscher Alten”), which provide further guidance on the standard of judicial review (...)

The EU General Court rejects a company’s actions for annulment against decisions of the Commission on COVID-19 individual aid in the aviation sector (Ryanair) New Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2020, the General Court dismissed the actions for annulment brought by Ryanair against three decisions of the Commission authorising State aid in the airline sector. These judgments were delivered by the same Tenth Chamber (extended composition), which had already dismissed in (...)

The EU General Court dismisses three challenges against decisions of the Commission approving individual aid measures granted by Finland, Denmark and Sweden in the COVID-19 crisis (Ryanair) New
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 14 April 2021, the General Court ("GC") handed down three judgments dismissing Ryanair’s challenges against decisions by the European Commission, approving individual aid measures granted by Finland to Finnair (Case T-388/20) and by Denmark and Sweden to SAS in the context of the COVID-19 (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects the Commission’s appeal concerning alleged aid granted to a bank and clarifies the requirements for the imputability test in the case of private entities (Banca Popolare di Bari) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 March 2021, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) confirmed the judgment of the General Court (“GC”) in Tercas (19 March 2019, Italy and Others v Commission, Joined Cases T-98/16, T-196/16 and T-198/16). The judgments on appeal and at first instance provide important guidance on (...)

Procedures

The US Supreme Court unanimously holds that FTC Act Section 13(b) does not authorize equitable monetary relief (AMG Capital Management) New
Baker Botts
,
Baker Botts (Washington)
This morning, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC, finding that Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not authorize the Commission to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. 539 U.S. ___ (2021), Slip Op. (...)

The US Supreme Court rules that the FTC does not have authority under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act to seek disgorgement or restitution from defendants (AMG Capital Management) New
Dechert (Washington)
,
Dechert (Washington)
,
Dechert (Philadelphia)
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not have authority under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act to seek disgorgement or restitution from defendants. The agency has increasingly relied on this authority to seek monetary penalties from defendants in antitrust cases, (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement (AMG Capital Management) New
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On April 22, 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously held that section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act - which authorizes “a permanent injunction”- does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. (...)

The US Supreme Court blocks the FTC from obtaining monetary remedies in most antitrust and consumer protection cases (AMG Capital Management / FTC) New
Jones Day
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in AMG Capital Management v. FTC that Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTCA") Section 13(b) does not authorize the FTC to obtain monetary remedies such as restitution or disgorgement. The Court’s decision is a significant setback for the FTC, particularly in (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the FTC lacks the authority to seek equitable monetary relief in cases brought in federal court under FTC Act Section 13(b) (AMG Capital Management) New
Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
,
Morgan Lewis (Washington)
,
Morgan Lewis (Boston)
In a unanimous 9-0 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the US Supreme Court has held that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lacks the authority to seek equitable monetary relief in cases brought in federal court under FTC Act Section 13(b). The Court’s April 22, 2021, decision in AMG Capital (...)

The US Supreme Court decides that the FTC is not authorized to seek monetary relief from defendants in federal court, in consumer fraud and antitrust cases (AMG Capital Management) New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (FTC Act) does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek monetary relief from defendants in federal court. We had anticipated (...)

The Polish Competition Authority publishes its guidelines on the rules for imposing and calculating fines for companies breaching competition law New
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
,
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Earlier this year the Polish Competition Authority (“UOKiK”) published its guidelines on the rules of imposing and calculating fines for companies breaching competition law (the “New Guidelines”) replacing guidelines issued in 2015. According to the New Guidelines, to determine the amount of the (...)

The French Constitutional Council declares administrative sanctions for obstruction of antitrust investigation unconstitutional on the basis of the Ne bis in idem principle (Akka Technologies) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2021, the French Conseil constitutionnel (the “Constitutional Council”) declared Article L. 464-2, paragraph V-2 of the French Commercial Code unconstitutional on the ground that the provision violated the ne bis in idem principle. Article L. 464-2, paragraph V-2 of the Commercial (...)

The Indian High Court of Gujarat grants a stay on the Competition Authority’s interim order to re-list the properties of two hotel companies on several online hotel booking portals (MMT-Go / Treebo / FabHotels) New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
The CCI issued an interim order under Section 33 of the Competition Act directing MakeMy Trip India Pvt. Ltd. (MMT) and Ibibo Group Private Limited (Go-Ibibo) (together MMT-Go) to re-list properties of FabHotels and Treebo on their online hotel booking portals. This order was passed in the (...)

The Australian High Court grants leave to appeal the decision of the Federal Court regarding access to the Port of Newcastle (Port of Newcastle Operations / Glencore) New
Ashurst (Brisbane)
,
Ashurst (Perth)
On 12 March 2021, the High Court of Australia (the "High Court") granted Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd ("PNO") special leave to appeal the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia ("Full Court") regarding access to the Port of Newcastle (the "Port"). Key takeaways (...)

The Indian Competition Authority amends the Competition Commission’s Regulations to address the composition of the bench in final hearings New
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
The CCI amended the Competition Commission of India (Meeting for Transaction of Business) Regulations, 2009 to address the composition of the CCI “coram” (bench) in final hearings. It is now provided that, during such final hearings, the coram of the CCI shall remain constant and it alone will (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal rules that Dutch courts have jurisdiction over damages claim resulting from an abuse of dominance on the Greek beer market (Macedonian Thrace Brewery / Athenian Breweries / Heineken) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 February 2021, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overturned the Amsterdam District Court’s ruling declining jurisdiction over the damages claim brought by MacedonianThrace Brewery (“MTB”) against Heineken’s subsidiary Athenian Breweries (“AB”). In 2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) (...)

The UK Supreme Court hands down an important judgment allowing a £14 billion opt-out collective proceeding to proceed (Merricks / Mastercard) New
Oxera (Oxford)
,
Oxera (London)
The long-awaited UK Supreme Court judgment in Mastercard v Merricks (‘the Judgment’) was handed down last Friday morning. The Judgment allows a £14bn opt-out collective proceeding to proceed. The application for a collective proceeding, launched by Walter Hugh Merricks CBE in 2016, is the second (...)

Regulatory

The EU Commission proposes a regulation to address the distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the single market New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission proposes new Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market* The European Commission proposes today a new instrument to address potential distortive effects of foreign subsidies in the Single Market. Today’s legislative proposal follows the (...)

The EU Commission issues its proposal to create wide-ranging powers to tackle non-European subsidies which may distort competition in Europe New
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Brussels)
On May 5 the European Commission issued its proposal to create wide-ranging powers to tackle non-European subsidies which may distort competition in Europe. The proposal introduces three different regimes: An ex officio investigation up to 10 years after the subsidy was received. A mandatory (...)

The UK Parliament welcomes the National Security and Investment Act to review transactions on national security grounds, and potentially prohibit their completion or require remedies to allow them to proceed New
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 29 April 2021 the National Security and Investment (NSI) Bill received Royal Assent. The NSI Act 2021 introduces significant legislative reforms which will overhaul the ability of the UK Government to review transactions on national security grounds, and potentially prohibit their completion (...)

The UK Parliament enacts the National Security and Investment Act New
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK’s much publicised National Security and Investment Bill has now been granted Royal Assent – passing into law an Act which will significantly affect the way investments in the UK can be reviewed by the Government where they raise national security considerations. The Act introduces a (...)

The UK Parliament receives Royal Assent for the National Security and Investment Act New
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Introduction A new national security new regime On 29 April 2021, the UK National Security and Investment Act ("Act") received Royal Assent. When brought into force, which is not expected until late 2021, the Act will significantly strengthen the UK Government’s powers to investigate and (...)

The UK Parliament enacts the National Security and Investment Act after receiving the Royal Assent New
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 29 April 2021, the principal legislation establishing the UK’s new national security regime – the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the Act ) – received Royal Assent. Although the new regime is not expected to come into force until much later in 2021, the granting of Royal Assent is a (...)

The UK Parliament adopts the National Security and Investment Act New
Bird & Bird (London)
On 29 April 2021, the UK National Security and Investment Bill was granted Royal Assent and has therefore formally become law. The new National Security and Investment Act (NSIA), is not yet in force but it is expected to become effective later this year. The NSIA establishes a new security (...)

The UK Parliament approves the National Security and Investment Act New
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On 29 April, the UK Parliament adopted the National Security & Investment Law (“NS&I Law”). The law received Royal Assent the following day and will come into legal effect in late 2021. The NS&I Law will introduce mandatory notification and pre-clearance requirements for transactions (...)

The German Government adopts a 17th amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payment Ordinance New
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Paris)
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Jones Day (Milano)
The 17th amendment to the German Foreign Trade and Payment Ordinance ("AWV") adopted by the federal government on April 27, 2021, included—compared to the original draft—a number of changes relevant to M&A transactions with a nexus to Germany. A draft 17th amendment to the AWV was published (...)

The German Government passes a revised regulation on foreign investment control New
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Regulators are becoming increasingly active in imposing measures on deals or prohibiting them altogether under FDI rules – with prohibitions happening in the EU’s largest economies Germany, France, and Italy in the past months. Against this backdrop, Germany is moving forward on its plans for (...)

The German Government introduces a significant amendment of foreign direct investment rules New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
Germany is continuing to tighten and develop its FDI regime: After various legislative actions in the course of 2020, the German Federal Government agreed on significant amendments of the existing FDI rules which will enter into force with its publication in the Federal Gazette (...)

The Greek Regulatory Authority for Railways accepts commitments by a company resulting in the opening of the railway freight transport market (Trainose) New
NYU School of Law (New York)
The Greek Regulatory Authority for Railways (RAS) has handed down its long-awaited Decision in TRAINOSE SA. The Decision gears towards the hearing of TRAINOSE SA because of a complaint made by another rail freight company, RCLG SA. It relates to competition concerns due to potential abuses of (...)

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