March 2020

Anticompetitive practices

The US DOJ and FTC publish a statement on the violation of antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products during the COVID-19 situation
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
DOJ and FTC To Focus On Antitrust and Consumer Protection Violations Relating to Coronavirus* The rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is impacting local and global companies, disrupting supply chains, creating volatility in the stock market, and causing great concern in local (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues its new regulatory provisions of the leniency and immunity program
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE issues Regulatory Provisions of the Leniency and Immunity Program* The Regulatory Provisions are legally binding and aimed at providing tat providing greater legal certainty on procedures related to the Leniency and Immunity Program Mexico City, March 4, 2020.- The Mexican Federal (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines five companies and five board members or directors involved in a cartel in railway maintenance (Construções / Técnica Ferroviárias / Somafel / Engenharia e Obras Ferroviárias)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC adopts sanctioning decision which concludes proceedings against railway maintenance companies with a total fine of €3.4 M and disqualification of participation in public tenders* The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) today adopted a sanctioning decision that concludes the process (...)

The US DOJ reaches deferred prosecution agreement with pharma company fined a record criminal penalty for a domestic antitrust case (Sandoz)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Major Generic Pharmaceutical Company Admits to Antitrust Crimes: Sandoz Inc. Agrees to Pay a $195 Million Criminal Penalty, the Largest for a Domestic Antitrust Case* Sandoz Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey, was charged for conspiring to allocate customers, (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its contribution to the competition policy debate in light of the digital economy challenge
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy and the challenges raised by the digital economy* The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy in light of the challenges arising from the digital economy. It is thus (...)

The EU Commission fines hotel group for including restrictive clauses in its agreements with tour operators (Meliá)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines hotel group Meliá €6.7 million for discriminating between customers* The European Commission has fined Spanish hotel group Meliá €6 678 000 for including restrictive clauses in its agreements with tour operators. These clauses discriminate consumers within the European (...)

The EU imposes a €6.7 million fine on a Spanish hotel group for restrictions on cross-border sales of hotel accommodations by including discriminatory clauses in its agreements with tour operators (Meliá)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced its decision to fine Spanish hotel group Meliá € 6,678,000 for including clauses in its agreements with tour operators that discriminated between consumers based on their country of residence. According to the Commission’s (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority opens investigation into possible buyer cartel involving reusable waste products and conducts dawn raids in the sector (Waste buyers cartel)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM conducts investigation into possible buyer cartel involving reusable waste products* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is conducting an investigation into a possible buyer cartel involving certain reusable waste products. As part of this investigation, ACM conducted (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines polyethylene gloves providers for price coordination and bid-rigging in the health sector (Galeno / Holiday)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions polyethylene gloves providers for coordinating their prices and discounts bids in public procurement in the health sector*  The Commission proved the responsibility of Galeno and Holiday in the execution of absolute monopolistic practices, also known as collusive agreements or (...)

The Latvian Administrative Regional Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision on a prohibited agreement between manufacturers and traders of building materials (Kesko Senukai Latvia / Kurši)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Court leaves effective a decision of the Competition Council on a prohibited agreement of “Kesko Senukai Latvia” and “Kurši”* The Administrative Regional Court in its judgments of 17 February has rejected applications of AS “Kesko Senukai Latvia” and SIA “Tirdzniecības nams “Kurši”” on cancellation (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority fines $1.3 million for allegedly failing to adequately disclose the full price of tickets in the online ticket seller market (StubHub)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
The Price, the Whole Price and Nothing But the Price: StubHub Pays $1.3 Million Penalty Following Bureau Drip Pricing Probe* The Competition Bureau’s (Bureau) top priority for enforcement and advocacy is currently the digital economy (see, for example, here, here, here, here and here). And for (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority levies $1.3 million fine for alleged misleading representations in online sales of event tickets (Stubhub) New
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction There are no rock bottom bargains on offer at StubHub Canada Ltd as Canadian consumers found out the hard way, falling victim to a possible case of drip pricing. StubHub Canada Ltd is a subsidiary of StubHub Inc, an American exchange and resale ticket company that offers services (...)

The Peruvian Competition Authority initiates a proceeding against construction companies and their executives for bid-rigging in the construction sector (Altesa Contratistas Generales)
Peruvian Competition Authority - INDECOPI (Lima)
Indecopi has initiated an administrative sanctioning proceeding against 35 construction companies and 28 of their executives for an alleged liability of participating in bid rigging in 112 public tenders nationwide in the construction sector* The 112 tenders were convened by the Ministry of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a €325,000 fine on an office equipment maker for engaging in online retail price maintenance (Brother)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 February 2020, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “UOKIK”) imposed a fine of PLN 1.4 million (approximately € 325,000) on office equipment maker Brother for online retail price maintenance (“RPM”). The UOKIK’s decision explains that, between the years 2010 and 2017, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority analyses the state of competition in the market for seeding soybeans
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS ANALYSED THE STATE OF COMPETITION ON THE MARKET OF SEEDING SOYBEANS* The results show significant dependence of the Russian market on import of the agricultural crop The goal of the survey1 is to analyze dependence of the domestic market on supplies of foreign-developed seed material to (...)

The EU Commission reiterates its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA, the licensor can no longer control the sale of the product (NBCUniversal Media / Comcast)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
The European Commission has reiterated its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA, such licensor can no longer control where, to whom, and in what manner (online/off-line) the products can be sold within the EEA. On 30 January 2020, the (...)

The French Supreme Court overturns a Paris Court of Appeal judgment on the concept of restriction of competition by object in a bank fee cartel case (Banque de France / BPCE / Banque Postale / BNP-Paribas / CIC / HSBC / SG)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 January 2019, the French Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) annulled a judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) in the bank interchange fee cartel case on the grounds that the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of the concept of “restriction of competition by object” was (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines guitar maker a record-breaking £4.5M for engaging into online retail price maintenance (Fender)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 January 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) fined guitar maker Fender Musical Instruments Europe Limited and its US parent company, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, (“Fender”) £ 4.5 million (approximately € 5.4 million) for infringing Article 101 Treaty on the (...)

The Paris Commercial Court grants interim measures to a large food retailer imposing on one of its suppliers of non-alcoholic beverages to resume its deliveries (Intermarché / Coca-Cola)
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
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BCTG Avocats (Paris)
Following the Coca Cola European Partners’ decision (hereinafter ’Coca-Cola’) to stop delivering its products to ITM Alimentaire International (hereinafter ’ITM’), ITM applied for interim measures before the Paris Commercial Court (hereinafter the “Court”) in early 2020. On January 16th, 2020, the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority fines a company for non-compliance with commitments in the funeral insurance market in La Réunion (La Mutualité de la Réunion)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has fined La Mutualité de la Réunion for non-compliance with commitments* In brief The Autorité has imposed a fine of €200,000 on La Mutualité de la Réunion (MR) for failing to comply with part of the commitments it had entered into before the Autorité that aimed to (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority receives a complaint for abuse of dominance in the internet services market (Teksavvy / Bell / Rogers)
Affleck Greene McMurtry (Toronto)
TekSavvy Claims That Bell And Rogers Abuse Their Dominant Position For Internet Services* In a public version of its complaint to the Canadian Competition Commissioner (see below), Internet re-seller TekSavvy says that Bell Canada and Rogers Communications Canada have been abusing their (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the criteria for the "pay-for-delay" agreements in the pharmaceutical sector (Generics - UK)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 30 January 2020 the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) clarified for the first time the criteria governing whether so-called “pay-for-delay” agreements entered into between originator and generic pharmaceutical companies fall foul of EU competition law rules. Such agreements are a form of patent (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that pay-for-delay patent settlements may restrict competition ‘by object’ (Generics - UK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) handed down its judgment in Case C-307/18, Generics (UK) and Others. This case marks the first time the ECJ has ruled on patent settlement agree- ments between originator pharmaceutical companies and generic producers. (...)

The Australian Competition Authority launches its first enforcement proceedings under the new ’effects test’ prohibition on misuse of market power (Tasmanian Ports)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
On 6 December 2019, the ACCC launched its first enforcement proceedings under the new ‘effects test’ prohibition on misuse of market power. The proceedings will provide much needed guidance as to how the much-debated ‘effects test’ will apply to unilateral conduct. It is noteworthy that the two (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its final report on customer loyalty schemes with implications for all businesses that collect and use personal information
Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
The recommendations in the ACCC’s final report on loyalty schemes have implications for all businesses that collect and use personal information The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released the final report and recommendations coming out of its market study into (...)

Mergers

The Croatian Competition Authority clears concentration between marinas on the Adriatic coast (Venilia Investments)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA clears concentration between marinas on the Adriatic coast* Venilia Investments is a part of CVC group – a special-purpose vehicle established exclusively for the purposes of this transaction. The implementation of the concentration concerned will produce effects in the provision of marine (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears acquisition in the market for student management software for childcare providers (Juice Technologies / APT)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission grants clearance for Juice Technologies to acquire APT* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Juice Technologies Pty Limited (operating in New Zealand as Infocare Systems Limited) to acquire APT Business Solutions Limited (trading as APT Childcare). In reaching its (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to a structural remedy in the bakery market in La Réunion (Pain Frotté /Kin Siong / Lam Tow / Yong Wai Man)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the takeover, in La Réunion, of the bakery group Pain Frotté by the groups Kin Siong, Lam Tow and Yong Wai Man* The Pain Frotté group operates artisanal bakeries in La Réunion under the trade names “L’Ambassadeur”, “Délicatesses Casta” (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between cinema chains subject to divestitures (CinemaxX / Cinestar)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vue Group (CinemaxX) can acquire Cinestar cinemas subject to conditions* Bonn, 2. March 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the merger between the cinema chains CinemaxX and Cinestar subject to the condition that the cinema operators divest cinemas at six different locations to other (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the market for manufacturing chocolate and nougat spreads (Krüger Group / Peeters)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Chocolate and nougat spreads – Merger between Krüger Group and Peeters cleared* Bonn, 2 March 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of the Dutch Peeters group, a manufacturer of chocolate and nougat spreads, by Wilhelm Reuss GmbH, a member of the Krüger Group based in (...)

The US FTC files an administrative complaint alleging that the proposed merger will reduce competition in the hospital sector (Thomas Jefferson / Albert Einstein Healthcare)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Will FTC’s winning record end planned Philadelphia-area hospital merger?* The FTC and State of Pennsylvania on February 28 moved to block the proposed merger of Jefferson Health and Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, two leading providers of inpatient general acute care hospital services and (...)

The US FTC updates the notification thresholds that determine whether proposed transactions may trigger a filing obligation under the HSR Act
Baker McKenzie (Washington D.C.)
Overview The Federal Trade Commission has announced the annual adjustment to notification thresholds that determine whether proposed transactions may trigger a filing obligation under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. The revised thresholds will apply to all (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears a proposed merger in the raw milk market (Lion Dairy & Drinks / Mengniu)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mengniu deal to buy Lion Dairy & Drinks not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Lion Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd (Lion D&D) by China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd (Mengniu) after closely considering the potential impact on competition. Mengniu is proposing to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears a proposed merger in the printing paper market (Direct Paper / Spicers)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Spicers’ Direct Paper acquisition not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Direct Paper by Spicers Limited, finding that alternative suppliers of commercial printing paper and direct supply arrangements between printers and paper mills will continue to provide strong (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves proposed acquisition of joint control in the telecommunications market (Prosegur Alarmas / Telefónica / Prosegur)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of joint control over Prosegur Alarmas by Telefónica and Prosegur* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control over Prosegur Alarmas by Telefónica and Prosegur. The (...)

The Finnish Market Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision to block a merger between grocery wholesalers, making it the first merger ever prohibited in the country (Kesko / Heinon Tukku)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Kesko’s acquisition of Heinon Tukku blocked by the Finnish Market Court* The merger between Finnish grocery wholesalers, Kesko and Heinon Tukku, was prohibited by the Market Court on 17 February 2020. In accordance with the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (FCCA) proposal, the Market (...)

The Philippine Competition Commission publishes the Commission Resolution which adjusts the mandatory notification thresholds under the Philippine Competition Act
Baker McKenzie (Manila)
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Baker McKenzie (Manila)
Recent Developments On 17 February 2020, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) published PCC Commission Resolution No. 02-2020 dated 11 February 2020 (CR No. 02-2020) on its website, which adjusts the mandatory notification thresholds under the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) and PCA (...)

The Finnish Market Court upholds the Competition Authority’s request to prohibit a proposed acquisition of a grocery wholesaler on the basis that it would become dominant in the market (Kesko / Heinon Tukku)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 February 2020, the Finnish Market Court (the “Court”) upheld the request of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the “KKV”) to prohibit Kesko’s proposed acquisition of grocery wholesaler Heinon Tukku. The Court’s judgment may be appealed before the Finnish Supreme Administrative (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York clears merger between top third and fourth wireless communications providers with the judge using as main criteria testimony of "reasonable corporate executives" over conflicting economic testimonies which were deemed too static for the dynamic nature of the market at hand (State AGs / T-Mobile / Sprint)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
T-Mobile’s Marathon to Acquire Sprint: Five Takeaways from the T-Mobile/Sprint Antitrust Litigation After almost two years of scrutiny by state and federal regulators and an ensuing court battle, T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) is moving forward with its acquisition of Sprint Corporation (...)

The South African Competition Authority recommends approving the acquisition subject to a number of conditions (PepsiCo / Pioneer)
Nortons (Sandton)
South Africa: PepsiCo acquisition of Pioneer recommended for approval, at a price!* On 11 February 2020, the South African Competition Commission (SACC) recommended that PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods, be approved, subject to a number of conditions. Despite there being no material (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears a merger between two data center companies (InterXion / Digital Reality)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of InterXion by Digital Realty* The acquisition of InterXion by data center Digital Realty has been cleared. Both companies commercially exploit data centers in major cities around the world, including Amsterdam. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into a merger in the retail markets for optical products (GrandVision / EssilorLuxottica)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears a merger in the pay television transmission services market (Slovenia Broadband / Tele2)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Slovenia Broadband and Tele2 merger approved* In the assessment procedure of the concentration between the undertakings Slovenia Broadband and Tele2 the CCA took into account all relevant facts, the results of the legal and economic analysis and the effects of the vertical concentration on (...)

The US FTC announces its adjustments to the HSR Act threshold and determines which mergers and acquisitions must be reported to the federal government before consummation
Jones Day (Chicago)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
This week, the Federal Trade Commission announced its 2020 adjustments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino ("HSR") Act thresholds. These thresholds determine which mergers and acquisitions must be reported to the federal government before consummation. The new thresholds take effect on February 27, and (...)

The US FTC announces that it will raise the HSR Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds
Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (New York)
Transactions closing on February 27 or later will be subject to increased HSR Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 28 that it will raise the Hart­-Scott­-Rodino Act (HSR Act) jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. Any (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s €947,700 gun-jumping fine imposed on one of Lithuania’s largest agricultural processing companies (Kauno Grūdai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 January 2020, the Lithuanian Competition Council, Konkurencijos taryba, published a decision of the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholding a € 947,700 gun-jumping fine imposed on Kauno Grūdai, one of Lithuania’s largest agricultural processing companies. Kauno Grūdai acquired 51% (...)

The UK Government provides a withdrawal agreement for the Competition Authority’s merger control during the Brexit transition period and after
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 31 January 2020, at 11pm GMT, the UK ceased to be a Member State of the EU and the transition period provided for in Article 126 of the Withdrawal Agreement started to run. This briefing looks at the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement that are relevant for merger control, both during the (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes its largest fine for a single breach of an interim enforcement order in a merger (Paypal / iZettle)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 24 September 2019 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) imposed its largest ever fine for a single breach of an interim enforcement order (IEO) on Paypal, in the context of its acquisition of iZettle. IEOs are now routinely imposed in almost all completed mergers investigated by (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into public service delegation contracts for maritime services which potentially constituting State aid in Corsica (Corsica Linea)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission launches in-depth investigation into public service delegation contracts for maritime services to Corsica* The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation to determine whether the public service delegation contracts for maritime services to Corsica awarded (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the regulation mechanism for natural gas storage in France
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: the Commission launches an in-depth investigation into the regulation mechanism for natural gas storage in France* The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation in order to determine whether the regulation mechanism for the storage of natural gas implemented by (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation relating to potential State aid in the Italian airline sector (Alitalia)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into €400 million Italian government loan to Alitalia* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Italy’s € 400 million loan granted to Alitalia constitutes State aid and whether it complies with the rules on (...)

The EU Commission approves public funding granted by Romania to an airport as well as the fees payable by all airlines using the airport (Timișoara)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State Aid: Commission clears public support to Timișoara Airport, airport fees and discounts, as well as individual agreements with Wizz Air* The European Commission has cleared the public funding granted by Romania to Timișoara Airport between 2007 and 2009, as well as the fees payable by all (...)

The EU Commission opens public consultations on the prolongation of EU State aid regulations and guidelines for agriculture, forestry, rural areas, fishery and aquaculture
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Commission has opened two public consultations to receive contributions from interested parties on whether to prolong (i) the guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas and (ii) the block exemption regulations for the aforementioned and for fishery (...)

The EU General Court dismisses in its entirety the action made by a company in the potash mines sector and confirms the existence of aid measures (Iberpotash / EU Commission)
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 decides that the scheme used for the construction of sustainable irrigation system does not constitute State aid (Bavaria)
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 US FTC and the FDA issue a joint statement and plan seeking to advance biosimilar competition and combat deceptive and anticompetitive practices in the biologic marketplace
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
On February 3, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") issued a joint statement and plan seeking to advance biosimilar competition and combat deceptive and anticompetitive practices in the "biologic marketplace." As discussed below, the FTC and (...)

The German Regional Court of Munich provides a guidance document which sets out how the Court intends to apply a landmark ruling of the EU Court of Justice (Huawei / ZTE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In February 2020, the Regional Court of Munich published a guidance document that sets out how that court intends to apply the landmark ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) in Huawei v. ZTE (Case C-170/13). The ECJ’s ruling provided the practical steps which Standard (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation to prepare a new opinion on the freedom of establishment of lawyers at the French State Council and the National Supreme Court
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Public consultation - Lawyers at the Conseil d’État (French Administrative Supreme Court) and the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court)* The Autorité de la concurrence has launched a public consultation with a view to preparing a new opinion on the freedom of establishment of these (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases draft guidance on its approach to unbundling fibre services from local fibre companies on acceptable terms and prices for broadband retailers
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Draft guidance released on Commission’s approach to unbundled fibre* The Commerce Commission has released draft guidance to help the telecommunications industry understand its approach to monitoring and enforcing obligations on Chorus and the other local fibre companies (LFCs) to allow (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces its compliance and enforcement policy and priorities for 2020
Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
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Baker McKenzie (Melbourne)
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Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
Beliefs in markets and consumer protection guide the ACCC’s investigations and enforcement actions At an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Sydney on Tuesday, Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), announced the (...)

The Indian Government proposes to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs amendments to the Competition Bill and invites public to submit their comments online
Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
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Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
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Chandhiok & Associates (New Delhi)
Ten years of enforcement of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) necessitated a re-look drawing “from past experience and to prepare for future challenges in the enforcement of competition law framework in India.” Recognising this, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) set up the Competition Law (...)

The Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs notifies the draft Competition Bill 2020 which reflects the recommendations made by the Competition Law review committee
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Last week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notified the Draft Competition (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Draft Bill). The proposed changes reflect recommendations made by the Competition Law Review Committee (CLRC) in July 2019. Public comments may be made until 6 March 2020. The 49 page Draft (...)

The Italian and Brazilian Competition Authorities sign a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation between the authorities in competition law matters
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 February 2020, the Italian and Brazilian competition authorities signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (the “Memorandum”) aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two authorities and at increasing their capacity to deal with market failures, anticompetitive practices and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority and the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data publish a joint investigative report on big data
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority, the Authority for Communications Guarantees and the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (together the “Authorities”) published a joint investigative report on big data (the “Report”). The Report is based on a one-year survey carried (...)

The South African Competition Authority publishes Draft Guidelines for the automotive aftermarket industry
Baker McKenzie (Johannesburg)
On 17 February 2020, the Competition Commission (Commission) released a media statement announcing that it has published Draft Guidelines for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry (Guidelines). The Automotive Aftermarket Industry is the market for motor vehicle spare parts, tools and components (...)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy issues an update on the reform of German competition law
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 January 2020, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy published an update of its draft 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (the “ARC”), officially called the “ARC Digitization Act”. Compared to the initial draft (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes a new study on behavioural remedies in competition law
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 January 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) published a new study on behavioural remedies in competition law. The study is available on the FCA’s web- site in both French and English. The assessment was carried out by comparing behavioural commitments to structural commitments (...)

The Japanese FTC amends the guidelines on the application of the antimonopoly act concerning review of business combination and the policies concerning procedures of review of business combination
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
The Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") amended the "Guidelines to Application of the Antimonopoly Act Concerning Review of Business Combination" ("Guidelines") and the "Policies Concerning Procedures of Review of Business Combination" ("Policies") on December 17, 2019. The Guidelines were (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes alongside the German Competition Authority a report on algorithms and competition
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
THE AUTORITÉ DE LA CONCURRENCE AND BUNDESKARTELLAMT REPORT ON “ALGORITHMS AND COMPETITION”* I. Introduction Algorithms may raise competition concerns especially when assessing collusive practices. Very often, the term “algorithm” is used improperly. When we imagine the cartels of the future, we (...)

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