May 2022 - II

General antitrust

The Romanian Competition Authority proposes the regulation of ride-hailing sector New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council proposes the regulating of ride-hailing sector* The Competition Council proposes standards and regulations to protect the consumer from potential problems that may arise in the context of using the alternative transport services mediated through digital platforms (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes code of conduct advice for Big Tech platforms and publishers New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes code of conduct advice for platforms and publishers* Big tech companies should agree fairer deals with online publishers in order to use their content, according to the UK’s competition watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published its joint advice (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority initiates market study on beef New
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Cofece initiates market study on beef* The sector is relevant because Mexican households allocated 19% of their food expenditure to the purchase of beef. The study will analyze the structure, functioning and regulatory framework in the markets of production, distribution and commercialization (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues a report examining the operation of general online marketplaces New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Concerning issues for consumers and sellers on online marketplaces An ACCC report examining general online retail marketplaces, such as Amazon Australia, Catch, eBay Australia and Kogan, has highlighted a range of concerns about how they operate as well as the significant benefits they provide (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority allows collective bargaining between a poultry growers association and a chicken processing company (Tegel Growers Association / Tegel) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commerce Commission issues draft determination on New Zealand Tegel Growers Association’s application to engage in collective bargaining* The Commerce Commission (Commission) has reached a preliminary view that it should allow the New Zealand Tegel Growers Association Incorporated (TGA) to (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens a market investigation into barriers to entry in the e-commerce market following increased popularity throughout COVID-19 pandemic New
Baker Mckenzie (Mexico)
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Baker Mckenzie (Mexico)
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Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Mexico: COFECE investigates barriers to entry in the retail e-commerce market* In brief On 31 March 2022, the Investigating Authority of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) published notice of the initiation of an investigation, into the retail electronic commerce (...)

The New York State Senate Committee votes on expansive antitrust bill New
Constantine Cannon (New York)
UPDATE: New York’s Groundbreaking Antitrust Bill Is Reported Out of Committee and Advances to the Senate Floor Calendar* New York took a step closer to launching an antitrust revival in the state today as the New York Senate Consumer Protection Committee voted to send S933A—a groundbreaking (...)

The US DOJ and PTO propose limits on standard essential patent market power by requesting courts shift remedies from injunctions to damages New
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Startups Take Note: Feds Propose Limits on Standard-Essential Patent Market Power by Disfavoring Injunctions and Enforcing Non-Discriminatory Commitments The federal government is taking some welcome steps toward restoring the balance between antitrust policy and intellectual property rights (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice sets out the criteria for defining a dominant position in connection with exclusionary practices on the basis of anticompetitive effects of the conduct of an incumbent operator in the context of the liberalisation of the electricity market New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice sets out the criteria for defining a dominant position in connection with exclusionary practices on the basis of anticompetitive effects of the conduct of an incumbent operator in the context of the liberalisation of the electricity market* This case has arisen in the (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its decision to fine manufacturers of Hydrocortisone tablets £260 million for excessive pricing relying on a "Cost+" model (Auden Mckenzie / Actavis) New
Stevens & Bolton (London)
The CMA’s full text decision in the long-running Hydrocortisone case, originally initiated in 2016 and in which the CMA imposed record fines, is now published and it shows a slight rethink of the CMA’s approach to excessive pricing in the pharma sector. The definition of excessive pricing as an (...)

The Polish Competition Authority finds that the exchange of information between pharmaceutical wholesalers may have restricted competition in the market and resulted in higher prices for consumers in pharmacies New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Data exchange between pharmaceutical wholesalers - charges presented by the President of UOKiK* The exchange of information between pharmaceutical wholesalers may have restricted competition in the market and resulted in higher prices for consumers in pharmacies. Through specialised IT tools, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines three regional providers of public sector uniforms €36,000 for bid rigging (Galleria / Gim / Orsi) New
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
The Italian Competition Authority finds a bid rigging practice in the market for professional clothing* The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently closed its antitrust enquiry opened in the Professional Work Wear case issuing an infringement decision. It found three suppliers of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority decides that the boycott of a digital marketplace by an association of car dealers constitutes an anticompetitive agreement (Peugeot Forhandler Foreningen) New
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
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Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
Competition Council rules Peugeot dealer association infringed competition law* On 23 February 2022, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) published a decision on a case in which the association of Peugeot car dealers, Peugeot Forhandler Foreningen (PFF), had collectively boycotted bilbasen.dk, (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a German tobacco producer for longstanding vertical distribution agreement which sought to secure absolute territorial protection (Pöschl) New
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
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Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Competition Commission penalises German tobacco company for territorial restrictions in distribution agreements* The Competition Commission (ComCo) has once again imposed penalties on a foreign company for including/maintaining absolute territorial protection clauses in its distribution (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects an individual exemption application between two online retailers which agreed not to bid for the keywords relevant to their rival’s brand (Modanisa / Sefamerve) New
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority Evaluates a Request from Modanisa for an Individual Exemption or Negative Clearance for the Settlement Agreement Regarding Restricting on Branded Keyword Bidding* This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against three entrepreneurs for alleged bid rigging (Antczak Sprzątanie / Remonty Handel /Tech-Fen) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Bid rigging - three proceedings* The President of UOKiK initiated proceedings concerning bid rigging. Charges were brought against three entrepreneurs who may have influenced the results of public contract procedures concerning renovation and construction services. UOKiK has received (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Competition Authority finds a Big Tech company to be of paramount significance to competition across markets and determines application of new rules can be applied to control for abuse of dominance (Meta) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
New rules apply to Meta (formerly Facebook) – Bundeskartellamt determines its “paramount significance for competition across markets”* The Bundeskartellamt has formally determined the paramount significance for competition across markets of Meta Platforms, Inc., Menlo Park, USA. The toolkit for (...)

The EU Commission preliminarily finds abuse of dominant position by a Big Tech firm based on denying access to essential hardware that would allow other apps to compete with its payment feature (Apple Pay)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Apple over practices regarding Apple Pay* The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation fines a national pharmaceutical company $1.4M for resale price maintenance (Geistlich Trading) New
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
Beijing AMR fines Geistlich Trading (Beijing) over monopoly agreement* On 28 February 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published an administrative penalty decision against Geistlich Trading (Beijing) Co Ltd for engaging in monopoly agreements of resale price (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine of €271,385.11 on a pasteurized cow milk company for abuse of dominance through excessive pricing (Charalambides-Christis) New
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine on Charalambides-Christis Ltd amounting to €271,385.11 for infringements of article 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Laws and corresponding article 102(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union* The (...)

The US District Court for the Northeastern District of New York dismisses a drug manufacturer’s claim against a rival which it alleged blocked entry into the market for a medication administered through pre-loaded syringes (Novartis / Regeneron) New
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
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Constantine Cannon (New York)
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Constantine Cannon (New York)
A Nearsighted Approach to Product Market Definition: Court Rejects Low-Cost Rival’s Antitrust Claims Alleging Novartis Blocked Competition in the Sale of Eye-Disease Treatments* One antitrust case we have been watching closely is the patent-related antitrust suit filed by biotechnology company (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit hears an appeal brought by 48 State Attorney Generals against a ruling by a District Court in a Big Tech refusal to deal case (Meta) New
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
Application of the Proper ‘Outer Boundary’ of Antitrust Liability for Alleged Refusals to Deal in New York v Facebook* Introduction The States brought an antitrust complaint against Facebook alleging that various conduct violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The ICLE brief addresses the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues record €1.128B fine against a Big Tech company for merging its platform marketplace and its distribution operations thereby shutting out rival distributors (Amazon) New
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
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European University Institute (Florence)
Early last month, the Italian competition authority issued a record 1.128 billion euro fine against Amazon for abuse of dominance under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In its order, the Agenzia Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) essentially (...)

The EU General Court confirms Commission’s decision to fine a Big Tech company for abusing its dominant position in online search by discriminating against comparison shopping services to favour its own offering (Google Shopping) New
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
Google’s flagship product is the Google search engine, which provides search results to consumers, who pay for the service with their data. Almost 90% of Google’s revenues stem from adverts, such as those it shows consumers in response to a search query. In 2004, Google entered the separate (...)

Mergers

The Finnish Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a frozen bakery and grain mill products manufacturer by an agricultural company (Lantmännen / Myllyn Paras Group) New
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA ap­proves Lant­män­nen’s ac­qui­si­tion of Myl­lyn Paras* On 29 April 2022, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the acquisition whereby Lantmännen ek för is to acquire Sponmill Oy and the Myllyn Paras Group it owns. Lantmännen is a Swedish agricultural cooperative that (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification for the acquisition of a hypermarket by a retailer (X.A Papaellinas Emporiki / Kostas I. Kyriakou & Yioi) New
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration in relation to the acquisition by X.A papaellinas Emporiki Ltd of the activity of the hypermarket and cafi-restaurant Costas which belong to kostas I. Kyriakou & Yioi Limited* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition announces that (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition transaction between two arms manufacturers (Beretta/ Ammotec) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Small arms and ammunition sector: Merger between Beretta and Ammotec cleared* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of ammunition specialist Ammotec by Beretta this week. Ammotec is a business division of the Swiss-based company RUAG International Holding AG. The acquirer Beretta (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority files court applications to prevent a merger between two telecommunications companies (Rogers / Shaw) New
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau seeks full block of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw* Bureau files court applications to prevent the merger of two of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies The Competition Bureau is seeking to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw in an effort to (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority sees new merger control regime enter into force, amending notification thresholds and scope of applicable sectors
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
(1) Introduction On March 4, 2022 the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) published the Communiqué No. 2022/2 on the Amendment of Communiqué No. 2010/4 on the Mergers and Acquisitions Subject to the Approval of the Competition Board (the “Amendment Communiqué”). The Amendment Communiqué (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears the acquisition of a supermarket’s petrol station business by the largest independent operator of petrol stations following a promise to divest from 87 sites (CD&R / Morrisons)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Petrol station proposals provisionally clear way for Morrisons deal* The CMA proposes to accept an offer from buyer of Morrisons to sell 87 petrol stations to address competition concerns. In January, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into Clayton, Dubilier (...)

The UK Competition Authority cancels its investigation into the proposed acquisition of the largest auction provider for heavy machinery by the second largest after firms abandon the deal (Ritchie Bros / Euro Auctions)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Ritchie Bros has abandoned its planned purchase of Euro Auctions after the CMA referred the deal for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation* Ritchie Bros has abandoned its planned purchase of Euro Auctions after the CMA referred the deal for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation. The Competition and (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces potential Phase II investigation into the proposed acquisition of an undertaking that helps financial institutions reduce risk by the owner of major national financial infrastructure (London Stock Exchange Group / Quantile)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
LSEG’s anticipated Quantile purchase raises competition concerns* LSEG’s anticipated purchase of Quantile could now be referred for an in-depth investigation after finding that the deal raises competition concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into London (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears an acquisition of a water dispenser company by a drinking water solutions company subject to divestments (Zenith Water / Waterlogic)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission clears Zenith Water / Waterlogic merger subject to divestment* The Commerce Commission has given clearance to Osmosis Buyer Limited (Osmosis) to acquire Firewall Holdings S.À R.L (Firewall) as part of a global transaction, subject to an undertaking to divest Firewall’s Merquip (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a takeover transaction between two furniture distribution and retail companies on grounds of the failing firm exception (Mobilux / Conforama) New
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Takeover of Conforama by the But Group: the Autorité identifies competitive risks but clears the transaction without commitment, in application of the failing firm exception* Background In July 2020, the Autorité cleared Mobilux (parent company of the But group) to acquire Conforama without (...)

The Australian Competition Authority raises competition concerns on the acquisition transaction between two hospitality and tourism companies (THL / Apollo) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
THL’s proposed acquisition of Apollo raises preliminary competition concerns* The ACCC has outlined preliminary competition concerns with THL’s proposed acquisition of Apollo (ASX: ATL) in a statement of issues published today. THL and Apollo are tourism companies, headquartered in New Zealand (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives merger clearance application from an international fuel production company for the 100% acquisition of ownership interest of another fuel company in assets for the supply of jet fuel (Mobil / Z Energy) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Mobil seeks clearance to increase ownership interest in two jet fuel joint ventures* The Commerce Commission has received two clearance applications from Mobil Oil New Zealand Limited to acquire up to 100% of Z Energy Limited’s ownership interest in two assets used to supply jet fuel at (...)

The Canadian Federal Court rules en banc that the national Competition Authority is able to seek a temporary pause on a merger whilst the interim pause is debated in court (Secure / Tevita) New
Fasken Martineau (Toronto)
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Fasken Martineau (Toronto)
Canada’s Competition Tribunal has jurisdiction to grant “interim interim” relief in the contested merger context* As discussed in our prior blog post titled “Competition Tribunal Dismisses Request for Interim Interim Order”, the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) previously found that it does (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority blocks the merger between two healthcare service providers due to threat of anticompetitive effects (Mautitskliniek / Bergman Clinics) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM blocks acquisition of Maritskliniek by Bergman Clinics* After a thorough investigation, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided to block the planned acquisition of Dutch health care provider Mauritskliniek by rival provider Bergman Clinics. ACM has concluded (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority blocks a merger between two ambulatory infusion pump manufacturers (Eurocept Homecare / Mediq) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM blocks acquisition of Eurocept Homecare by Mediq* ACM blocks acquisition of Eurocept Homecare by Mediq The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has blocked the acquisition of Eurocept Homecare by Mediq. ACM has come to the conclusion that, through the acquisition, Mediq (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally clears the merger between two supermarket chains (Plus / CO-OP) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM conditionally clears the merger between Dutch supermarket chains Plus and Coop* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conditionally cleared the merger between Dutch supermarket chains Plus and Coop. ACM has attached the condition that 12 supermarket locations must (...)

The Polish Competition Authority consents to the merger between two pharmaceutical companies subject to conditions (Doz / Euro-Apteka) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Conditional consent of the President of UOKiK to the concentration in the pharmaceutical market* Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK, has given the consent for DOZ to take control over Euro-Apteka, Super Zdrowie and MLV18. The transaction may be completed subject to the sale of the pharmacy (...)

The US DOJ blocks the merger between two major international book publishers (Penguin Random House / Simon & Schuster) New
Constantine Cannon (New York)
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Constantine Cannon (New York)
Will the Next Chapter in DOJ’s Showdown With Book Publishers Rewrite the Book on Antitrust Merger Enforcement?* Federal antitrust enforcers hope to write a new chapter on merger enforcement this year as they face off against leading publishers. One of the major antitrust developments last year (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €698 million Italian scheme to support the tourism sector in the context of coronavirus pandemic New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €698 million Italian scheme to support the tourism sector in the context of coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has approved a €698 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the tourism sector affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to approve a rescue aid of €36,660,000 granted by Romania to a passenger and cargo airline (TAROM) New
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court upholds the Commission’s decision approving rescue aid of €36 660 000 granted by Romania to the airline TAROM* That aid is compatible with the internal market as it aims to prevent the social hardship that disruption of TAROM’s services might cause for the connectivity of (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of Justice rules that it may be possible for a French court to assess damages arising from a defamatory claim made by a Hungarian company against a Czech company if some of the alleged damage occurred within France (Gtflix Tv / DR) New
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
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Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
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Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
This decision deals with a dispute between Gtflix, an adult film broadcaster based in the Czech Republic, and its competitor, DR, an adult film broadcaster and producer based in Hungary. Gtflix is seeking the removal of derogatory statements made by DR on several websites and internet forums (...)

The EU Court of Justice broadens the scope of follow-on damage claims by permitting actions against the subsidiaries of companies which have been found to have infringed competition law (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España) New
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, the CJEU issued its judgment in Case C-882/19, Sumal, S.L. v Mercedes Benz Trucks España, S.L. (EU:C:1987:418), and confirmed that follow-on damages actions can be brought against subsidiaries of companies found to have infringed EU competition law. The victim of an (...)

Regulatory

The US DoJ, PTO, and NIST publish a joint statement on future approach to standard essential patents and FRAND commitments New
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Unpacking the Flawed 2021 Draft USPTO, NIST, & DOJ Policy Statement on Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs)* Responding to a new draft policy statement from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Department of (...)

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