March 2002

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission ends proceedings regarding German book price fixing agreements following acceptance of commitment on cross-border sales (Sammelrevers)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission ends competition proceedings regarding German book price fixing agreements following acceptance of an undertaking on cross-border sales"* Introduction The Commission has been dealing with the system of fixed book prices in Germany and Austria since its first notification in 1993 (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority decides that the system of maximum discounts applied by a professional clothing supplier association contravenes competition law (Modint)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Upholds Earlier Prohibition on Maximum Discounts in the Clothing Sector* The Nederland Competition Authority (NMa) has once again decided in a ruling on an administrative appeal that the system of maximum discounts applied by Vereniging Modint Ondernemersorganisatie voor mode en interieur (...)

A US Court of Appeals holds that US courts have authority under the FTAIA to award damages for price-fixing in an action brought by foreign buyers and sellers (Kruman)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
The twenty years since the enactment of the Federal Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (the FTAIA) in 1982 have seen steady progress in the cooperation of antitrust authorities worldwide. Prior to the FTAIA’s passage, the US’s extraterritorial application of its antitrust laws created international (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Competition Authority discontinues its abuse proceedings on suspicion of excessive pricing against electricity supplier after receiving commitments (Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Abuse proceedings against Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal (Fortum) discontinued* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued its abuse proceedings against Elektrizitätswerk Wesertal GmbH, Hameln (a fully-owned subsidiary of Fortum Energie GmbH), which had been initiated on suspicion of its charging (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office decides that a dominant company’s refusal to contract does not violate competition law (Wrigley Hungária Kft.)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
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Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched proceedings against Wrigley Hungária Kft. (Wrigley) in order to determine whether Wrigley abused its dominant position on the sugar free chewing gum market when it changed its distribution system and no longer provided special supply conditions to (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes that the introduction of a direct distributing system did not result in the abuse of a dominant position (Wrigley)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
Summary In 2001 the Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter referred to as “HCA”) launched investigations in order to analyse whether Wrigley Hungária Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Wrigley”) violated the provisions of the Hungarian Competition Act (hereinafter referred to as "Competition (...)

Mergers

The Japanese FTC clears an acquisition in the beverage and vending machine sector following remedy proposals by the parties (Fuji Electric / SANYO Electric Vending Machine)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Acquisition of the Stock of SANYO Electric Vending Machine Co., Ltd. by Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.* The Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as "FTC") received a request from Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Fuji") and SANYO Electric Vending Machine Co., Ltd. (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the sugar sector (Raffinerie Tirlementoise/Financiere Franklin Roosevelt)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
The operation The Belgian Tirlemontoise, a subsidiary of the German Südzucker AG ("Südzucker"), which is the greatest sugar manufacturer in the world, applied for the authorization of the HCO concerning its acquisition of sole control over Roosevelt. The Südzucker, by controlling the Austrian (...)

The German Competition Authority threatens to impose fines on an airline for refusing to give slots to new market entrants (Lufthansa)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Lufthansa faces fine for refusing to give up appropriate slots to Germania* In its clearance of the Lufthansa/Eurowings merger in September 2001 the Bundeskartellamt ordered Lufthansa to, among others, provide upon request and on all German domestic air routes where a new competitor intends to (...)

The EU Commission clears, subject to conditions, an agreement giving three companies joint control over Spain’s fourth largest utility company (EnBW / EDP / Cajastur / Hidrocantabrico)
DG Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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Financial Conduct Authority (London)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2002 and 30th April 2002"* The Commission cleared, subject to conditions, an agreement giving Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), Electricidade de Portugal S.A. (EDP) and Caja de Ahorros de Asturias (Cajastur) joint control over Spain’s fourth (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the logistics sector in phase II, after the Council of Ministries narrows and time limits the proposed remedies (Logista / Burgal)
PwC (Madrid)
The operation The merger involved the acquisition of Burgal by Logista. Logista is a logistics operator with a presence in many European countries, particularly in Spain and Portugal. Logistic services provided by Logista are divided into three categories: (i) wholesale distribution to (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the online travel agency industry (T-Online / Bild.de)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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DG Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) (Brussels)
"Internet Joint Ventures and the Quest for Exclusive Content: The T-Online Cases"* Introduction EC and national competition law issues arising from the marketing of ‘premium’ content, such as travel services and sports news, via the Internet were at the centre of several recent competition (...)

The German Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition on the market for paid content (T-Online / Bild.de)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears T-Online participation in Bild.de subject to specific conditions* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared T-Online International AG’s acquisition of a 37 per cent share in Bild.de after the companies concerned had clarified with legally binding effect a number of preconditions (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission amends to its system of State guarantees to German public banks (Anstaltslast und Gewährträgerhaftung)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG ENER (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"State guarantees to German public banks: a new step in the enforcement of State aid discipline to financial services in the Community"* By letter of 11 April 2002, the German government accepted the amendment of 27 March 2002 of the Commission’s proposal for appropriate measures as regards the (...)

The EU Court of First Instance rules that fiscal aid granted by a Spanish region to a company active in the manufacturing of tin capsules constitutes illegal State aid (Diputación Foral de Alava / Commission)
European Parliament (Brussels)
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London School of Economics
"Business taxation distorting the Common market – An important ruling on State aid by the Court of First Instance"* 1. Introduction The question of state aids in form of tax measures has never been as pressing as in the present. After the completion of the single market and the liberalisation (...)

Regulatory

The Netherlands Competition Authority draws up guidelines to provide more clarity on the forms of cooperation in the healthcare sector
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa: Consultation with the Healthcare Sector on Cooperation Guidelines* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has drawn up guidelines to provide more clarity on the forms of cooperation in the healthcare sector that are possible from the perspective of competition law. In this regard, (...)

The Council of the EU and Parliament adopt new regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services introducing a consultation mechanism
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Article 7 consultation mechanism: managing the consolidation of the internal market for electronic communications"* The new regulatory framework Until a few years ago, a telecommunications operator in France would face not only a very different regulatory environment than its counterpart (...)

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