November 2019 - II

Anticompetitive practices

The German Competition Authority fines car manufacturers for anticompetitive practices in the purchase of steel (BMW / Daimler / Volkswagen) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
German car manufacturers fined for anticompetitive practices in the purchase of steel* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 100 million euros on Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG for anticompetitive practices in the purchase of long steel products. (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the port service activities sector in the Mayotte island New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids in Mayotte* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the port service activities sector in the Longoni port (Mayotte island). Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into possible collusion by two French retailers in a purchasing alliance (Casino Guichard-Perrachon / Les Mousquetaires) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible collusion by two French retailers in a purchasing alliance* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether two French groups of retailers, Casino Guichard-Perrachon (known as ‘Casino’) and Les (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority presents criminal complaint against individuals who could have colluded in the sale of goods and services in the health sector New
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
For the second time, COFECE presents criminal complaint against individuals that could have colluded in the sale of goods and services in the health sector* Mexico City, October 23, 2019.‐ Yesterday, the Federal Economic Competition Commission’s (COFECE or Commission) Investigative Authority (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines a manufacturer of sport products for vertical price fixing with dealers (Stöckli) New
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction The Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) fined Stöckli Swiss Sports (“Stöckli”), a Swiss manufacturer of Skis and other sport products, for vertical price fixing with its dealers with CHF 140’000. The fine was rather low, as Stöckli had filed a leniency application, albeit after ComCo (...)

The Turkish Competition Board investigates into an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the e-commerce sector for having implemented vertical restraints (Hepsiburada / Anka Mobil) New
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction With its decision dated 10.07.2019 and numbered 19-22/326-M, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) launched a formal investigation against D-Market Elektronik Hizmetleri ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Hepsiburada”) and Anka Mobil Tedarik A.Ş. (“Anka Mobil”) to determine whether the relevant (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority launches a market inquiry following a game console manufacturer’s commitments proposal (Sony) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Games consoles: The Autorité launches a market consultation* In the context of a litigation procedure opened before the Autorité, Sony offers commitments to make its licensing policy more transparent to third parties wishing to manufacture and market compatible controllers with the Playstation 4 (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority publishes an official notice that initiated an investigation to determine if there are barriers to competition and of essential facilities in the aircraft fuel market New
Baker Mckenzie (Mexico)
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Baker Mckenzie (Mexico)
On October 31, 2019, COFECE published in the Federal Official Gazette an official Notice that initiated an investigation to determine if there are barriers to competition and of essential facilities in the aircraft fuel market, including the production, importation, storage, transportation, (...)

The EU Commission finds on a prima facie basis, that an undertaking abused its dominant position and orders to cease its prima facie abusive conduct in order to avert the risk of damage to competition (Broadcom)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
INTERIM MEASURES IMPOSED ON BROADCOM: THE RE-AWAKENING OF A ONCE-DORMANT TOOL?* The European Commission (EC) has found, on a prima facie basis, that Broadcom abused its dominant position. In order to avert the risk of serious and irreparable damage to competition, Broadcom has been ordered to (...)

The Competition Commission of India declares that an undertaking has not abused of its dominant position in the budget hotels market without having determined dominance (RKG / OYO) New
National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
CCI in its recent judgements has exhibited a wide-ranging determinant quotient while examining the status of dominant position of the market players. While it is commendable that CCI defines relevant market in every dispute incorporating the facts of the particular dispute and bases its further (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into proposed merger between the two leading copper scrap refiners in Europe (Metallo / Aurubis) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Metallo by Aurubis, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of telecommunications and TV broadcasting (Bonnier Broadcasting / Telia) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Telia’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting by Telia. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments (...)

The French State Council upholds the decision of the French Competition Authority regarding the fine handed down to a merged company for non-compliance with its remedies (Darty / Fnac) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Conseil d’Etat confirms the decision regarding the fine handed down to Fnac Darty for non-compliance with its commitments* In a judgment dated 7 November 2019, the Conseil d’Etat confirmed the whole of the decision 18-D-16 by which the Autorité fined Fnac Darty €20 million for failing the (...)

The US FTC confirms the initial decision that the acquisition of a rival lessens competition in the market for microprocessor-driven prosthetic knees (Otto Bock / Freedom) New
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (New York)
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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Charlotte)
BUYER BEWARE: FTC ORDERS UNWINDING OF A CONSUMMATED TRANSACTION* What happened? On November 6, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted 5-0 to uphold Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell’s initial decision that Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH’s (“Otto Bock”) acquisition of rival Freedom (...)

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice leaves intact the Commission’s finding that e-procurement is a service of general interest which can be commercially exploited insofar as the State does not offer the service itself (TenderNed) New
University of Bristol - Law School
In its Judgment of 7 November 2019 in Aanbestedingskalender and Others v Commission, C-687/17 P, EU:C:2019:932 (the ‘TenderNed’ case), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rejected the appeal against the earlier Judgment of the General Court (GC) of 28 September 2017 (T-138/15, (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules a public support to upgrade the traffic management equipment on freight locomotives in the Netherlands New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves over €22 million of public support to promote rail transport operability in the Netherlands* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €22.2 million of public support to upgradetraffic management equipment on freight locomotives in the (...)

Procedures

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denies the FTC’s authority to seek restitution (Credit Bureau) New
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
In Short The Situation: Overruling its precedent, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") may not seek restitution under FTC Act Section 13(b) because the statute, which permits the FTC to obtain injunctions, does not explicitly (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the standard of review by courts in competition cases New
OECD - Competition Division
Review by the courts of the enforcement of competition law ensures that the enforcement process and decisions are lawful, the parties’ rights are observed and competition authorities’ discretion is defined. Parties should have access to impartial review of decisions by an independent adjudicator. (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority and the German Bundeskartellamt presents their joint study on algorithms and competition
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Algorithms are among the most important technological drivers of the ongoing digitalization process. They are becoming more and more important, enabling firms to be more innovative and efficient. However, debate has arisen on whether and to what extent algorithms might also have detrimental (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the digital disruption in financial markets New
OECD - Competition Division
The financial sector has been the object of many innovations in recent years, with significant impact on consumers and on regulation. Retail banking is no longer solely branch-based, but can be conducted in many ways, including using mobile telephones. Banks have had to adapt their business (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the licensing of IP rights and competition law New
OECD - Competition Division
IP rights, which create temporary exclusive rights that protect investments in research and some creative activities, have taken on an increasingly prominent and extensive role in economic activity – and in market competition as well. As the economy digitalises and the importance of intangible (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition issues in labour markets New
OECD - Competition Division
A recent fall in the labour share of income has helped fuel rising inequality and populist demand for dramatic reform of competition law. While these pushes cannot find an immediate response in competition law enforcement, they have stirred a debate within the competition community on monopsony (...)

Public sector

The US DoJ announces the formation of an agency entitled «Procurement Collusion Strike Force» New
Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (Sillicon Valley)
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on November 5 announced the formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). This interagency initiative will “lead a coordinated national response to combat antitrust crimes and related schemes in government procurement, grant, and program funding (...)

The US DoJ launches a "Strike Force" to combat anticompetitive crimes in government procurement New
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") launched the Procurement Collusion Strike Force ("PCSF") to detect, investigate, and prosecute antitrust crimes in government procurement, grant, and program funding, at all levels of government. This interagency partnership includes prosecutors (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission signs protocol on cooperation with the Hellenic single public procurement Authority New
University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)
PROTOCOL ON COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GREEK COMPETITION AUTHORITY AND THE GREEK PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY* In October 2019, the Hellenic Competition Commission signed Protocol on Cooperation with the Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority. Both agencies have agreed on the areas of joint (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the publicly funded education markets New
OECD - Competition Division
Education services are fundamental for economic and social well-being. They not only directly boost public sector productivity, but also the productivity of workers across the economy by improving their skills, increasing their capacity to add value, and giving them the ability to adapt to new (...)

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