November 2020 - II

General antitrust

The Mexican Competition Authority reports on its study of retail in the food and beverages sector finding that greater competition is necessary in self-service stores for better food and beverages prices New
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Greater competition in self-service stores for better food and beverages prices* The structure of the modern channel (self-service stores) is concentrated in few players. There are regulatory obstacles at the state and municipal levels that hinder the expansion of regional chains. In 255 (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority enters into force its competition act with updates to fining powers and guarantees of independence New
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Law Amendments: From Fining Powers to Guarantees of Independence* On November 1 amendments to the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania enter into force. These amendments are in line with the ECN+ Directive intended to empower the competition authorities of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues interim report on its first inquiry of digital services platforms which finds a surge in online messaging use during the COVID-19 pandemic as big digital platforms continue to expand
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Surge in online messaging use as big digital platforms continue to expand* Australians are increasingly turning to online private messaging services to keep in touch with each other, and are overwhelmingly choosing services provided by Facebook and Apple. The ACCC’s first Digital Platform (...)

The Italian Competition Authority celebrates 30 years and releases its 2019 annual report
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
The Italian Competition Authority turns 30 and presents its 2019 Annual Report* On this occasion, the top management of the Authority, led by the President Roberto Rustichelli, were received by the President of Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to whom they presented the Report on the (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority submits for public comment the competition act with amendments to the Competition Authority’s powers and merger control process New
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
Initiation of an inter-ministry comment procedure on the proposal of the Act on Protection of Competition and on the Amendments of Certain Acts* Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereafter "the Office") in cooperation with the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic, the (...)

The Chinese State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announces that the country is making steady progress on the mixed-ownership reform of central State-owned enterprises
Chinese State Council (Beijing)
China makes steady progress on central SOE mixed-ownership reform* China has made progress on mixed-ownership reform of centrally-administered State-owned enterprises (SOEs), an official with the country’s top state-asset regulator said on Oct 12. Since 2013, central SOEs have received more (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority proposes 12 measures on economic competition matters to support the recovery of the national economy as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE proposes 12 measures on economic competition matters to support the recovery of the Mexican economy* As a result of the health crisis, markets could further concentrate. Guaranteeing inclusion and permanence of a wide range of companies is the best way to ensure a sustainable recovery (...)

The EU Commission publishes a call for contributions to determine if and how competition policy can better support the European Green Deal
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On October 13, 2020, the European Commission published a call for contributions to determine if and how EU competition policy can better support the European Green Deal. The European Green Deal is a comprehensive action plan aimed at making Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by (...)

The EU Commission calls for contributions regarding the relationship between competition and sustainability policies
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Berlin)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
With the announcement of the European Green Deal at the latest, the issue of sustainability and environmental protection has been pushed high up the agenda of competition law practitioners and scholars. With the recently published background paper of the German Working Group on Competition Law (...)

The EU Commission calls for contributions to gather ideas on how competition rules and sustainability policies can best work together
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (London)
The European Green Deal & Competition Policy – Call for contributions on how EU competition rules and sustainability policies can work together* On 13 October 2020, the European Commission (EC) published a call for contributions to gather ideas on how EU competition rules (State aid, (...)

The EU Commission, alongside the Dutch Competition Authority, consults on competition policy regarding sustainability
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Sustainability and antitrust – EU and Dutch consultations* Ensuring that global economic development is sustainable in light of climate change and other challenges is key to the European Union’s (the EU’s) Green Deal as well as EU Member State policies. Europe is taking the lead in this debate, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that competition in the market for recurring payments can be strengthened
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Competition in the Danish market for recurring payments can be strengthened* There is a potential for strengthening competition in the Danish market for recurring payments. That is the conclusion of the recently published analysis from the Danish Competition Council, which examines the (...)

The EU Parliament and Council enact a regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2020, the EU FDI Screening Regulation entered into force. Adopted in March 2019, it covers EU Member States’ procedures to assess, investigate, authorise, condition, prohibit or unwind foreign direct investment ( FDI ). FDI screening protects national security interests by (...)

The EU Parliament and Council releases a regulation on foreign direct investment screening regime which enters into force
White & Case (Frankfurt)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Brussels)
While there is still no standalone foreign direct investment (FDI) screening at the EU level, the EU continues to push for a coordinated approach toward foreign direct investments into the EU. The key instrument is the EU Screening Regulation, which has entered into force on October 11, 2020. (...)

The EU Parliament and Council enact the EU FDI Screening Regulation which fully enters into force New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2020, Regulation (EU) 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union adopted on 19 March 2019 (the “EU FDI Screening Regulation”) fully entered into force. While the EU FDI Screening Regulation does not itself establish a (...)

The EU Parliament and Council enact a regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 11 October 2020, Regulation (EU) 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (the "FDI Regulation") became fully applicable. In the 18 months since the FDI Regulation was enacted, the Regulation and the European Commission’s ("Commission") (...)

The EU Parliament and Council enact a regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The long-awaited application of the European Union (EU) Regulation on a framework for the screening of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EU started, 11 October 2020. It is still early days to anticipate how the EU rules will be implemented in practice by the member states and the European (...)

The EU Parliament and Council’s regulation on foreign direct investments impacts applications for authorisation of foreign direct investments into Spain including those not undergoing the screening New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
Introduction Royal Decree-law 8/2020, of 17 March, on urgent extraordinary measures to tackle the economic and social impact of COVID-19 (“RDL 8/2020”) included a new article 7 bis in Law 19/2003, of 4 July, on the legal regime applicable to capital movements and economic transactions abroad and (...)

The EU Parliament and Council’s regulation establishes a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments which enters into force
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Frankfurt)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On October 11, 2020, the EU FDI Screening Regulation (EU) 2019/452 – the “Regulation”) entered fully into force. The Regulation, which was approved and adopted in March 2019, establishes a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments (“FDI”) by EU Member States in which decision-making (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on the examination of digital data during on-site inspections
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)
(1) Introduction The Turkish Competition Authority (“ TCA ”) recently published its Guidelines on Examination of Digital Data during On-site Inspections (“ Guidelines ”), which set forth the general principles with respect to the examination, processing and storage of data and documents held in the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority signs cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Justice
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Hungarian Ministry of Justice and the Competition Authority cooperate for fair competition* The Hungarian Ministry of Justice (IM) and the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) have signed a cooperation agreement. The cooperation will facilitate the professional work of the two (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on the examination of digital data during on-site inspections New
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction Article 15 of Law on the Protection of Competition numbered 4054 (“Law”) authorizes the Competition Authority (“Authority”) to conduct on-site inspections at the undertakings’ premises if deemed necessary in carrying out the duties assigned to it by the Law. Pursuant to the relevant (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority issues report on its groceries retail market inquiry
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Konzum Plus Remains the Leading Groceries Retailer, Schwarz Grupa on the Rise* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) carried out the Groceries retail market investigation, including food, beverages and sanitary products for households in Croatia for 2019. The total sample of 52 undertakings (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority releases a survey of purchase prices faced by grocery chains in 2018 and 2019 which confirms 2017 findings of significant differences in purchasing conditions in certain cases New
Norwegian Competition Authority
New survey of purchase prices confirms significant differences* The Norwegian Competition Authority has examined the differences in purchase prices that Norwegian grocery chains faced in 2018 and 2019. The results confirm last years’ findings, based on data from 2017, that there are large (...)

The EU Commission publishes a summary of the contributions from the national competition authorities to the impact assessment of the new competition tool New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Earlier this year, the European Commission (the “Commission”) proposed a “new competition tool” (“NCT”) to address structural competition problems. Stakeholders could express their views on the need for an NCT and its design as part of an impact assessment and an open consultation until 8 September (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues comments and recommendations concerning the regulation that modifies the scheme of permits for self-supply and cogeneration of electric energy
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE issues comments and recommendations concerning the regulation that modifies the scheme of permits for self-supply and cogeneration of electric energy* In the opinion of the Commission, the draft could have effects contrary to competition by generating uncertainty for investments, (...)

The US House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee issues its majority report of its investigation of competition in digital markets
Bona Law (Detroit)
Classic Antitrust Cases: Trinko, linkLine and the House Report on Big Tech* On October 6, 2020, the Antitrust Subcommittee of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee issued its long-anticipated Majority Report of its Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets. As expected, the Report detailed (...)

The UK Competition Authority drafts guidance on its role, powers and processes after Brexit New
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published draft guidance on how its role, powers, and processes will operate once the transition period provided for by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement comes to an end, on 31 December 2020. The CMA’s guidance focuses on its role in (...)

The Australian Competition Authority amends its consumer data right rules to permit accredited intermediaries
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Consumer Data Right Rules amended to include intermediaries* The ACCC has amended the Consumer Data Right Rules to permit accredited intermediaries to collect data on behalf of third party data recipients, with consumer consent. These amended rules mean accredited businesses can now ask other (...)

The Russian Competition Authority reports on its study in the banking services market and proposes to develop a concept of state participation in the financial services market
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Share of State Participation in the Financial Market Should Be Reduced* The FAS Russia proposes to develop a Concept of state participation in the financial services market Conclusion of the FAS is contained in the Report on state of competition in the Russian Federation in 2019. The FAS (...)

The US DoJ releases a positive Business Review Letter blessing the amendments of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association to address interest rate benchmarks (International Swaps and Derivatives Association)
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
For the thousands of financial institutions anxiously watching the discontinuation and transition from certain interbank offered rates (“IBORs”), 2020 just got a little less chaotic. On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division issued its highly (...)

The EU Commission publishes the results of its consultation on foreign subsidies New
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
The European Commission (’the Commission’) has published the results of the public consultation on its June White Paper on foreign subsidies. The policy document announces a legislative proposal for the control of companies in the EU market that benefit from foreign subsidies. In total, 150 (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Japanese FTC closes investigation into conduct that allegedly caused all 12 members of a professional baseball association to refuse to sign contracts with certain players (Nippon Professional Baseball) New
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Closing the Investigation on the Suspected Violation of the Antimonopoly Act by Nippon Professional Baseball* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) has investigated Nippon Professional Baseball (hereinafter referred to as the “NPB”). The NPB is the Japanese top (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues fines of over £9m for roofing lead cartel (Associated Lead Mills / BLM British Lead) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA issues fines of over £9m for roofing lead cartel* The CMA has imposed fines totalling more than £9m on 2 of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead, for breaking competition law. Following an investigation into suspected cartel conduct, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority welcomes the Competition Tribunal’s judgment against IT cartel for price fixing in the first case where the liability and relief portions of the proceedings have been resolved by settlement (Quantr / Cheung Man Kit / Nintex) New
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission welcomes judgment in IT cartel conduct case* The Competition Commission (Commission) welcomes the judgment handed down by the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) today (3 November) in proceedings involving the exchange of competitively sensitive information in the IT sector. (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the outsourcing of some services by oil & gas company (OMV Petrom / Dietscon consortium / Bonatti association) New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Assesses the Outsourcing of Some Services by OMV Petrom* The Competition Council assesses the transactions through which OMV Petrom SA outsources some general surface operations general services related to the activities of extraction and production of oil and natural (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens investigation into possible price fixing of sunscreen products (ISDIN) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC opens a formal investigation into possible anticompetitive practices of ISDIN, S.A* The potential illegal conduct allegedly consists of fixing resale prices online, at least for sunscreen products. Currently, the CNMC assesses potential competition restrictions imposed by producers (...)

The German Competition Authority finds no competition concerns in 2 newspapers’ joint marketing of advertising space (Süddeutsche Zeitung / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Cooperation between FAZ and SZ in the joint marketing of advertising space is unproblematic in terms of competition law* The Bundeskartellamt has no competition concerns regarding the planned joint marketing of supra-regional advertising space between the German newspapers Süddeutsche Zeitung (...)

The Irish Competition Authority extends the validity period of its verticals declaration which provides exemptions for certain vertical agreements New
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC extends verticals declaration* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today extended the validity of its declaration in respect of vertical agreements and concerted practices (the “declaration”) until 1 December 2022. The declaration came into effect on 1 December (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne company and two importer-distributors for maintaining exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles (Nicolas Feuillatte / Financière Martin / Distillerie Dillon)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and two importer-distributors fined for having maintained exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles* Background Following a report sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité (...)

The Russian Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision against companies in the "cartel under hypnosis" in the healthcare sector (Aksonmed / Satori / Intermed / Divais / Lotos / Equipmed)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Supported the Position of the FAS Russia in the "Cartel Under Hypnosis" Case* The Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the antimonopoly authority against companies that have been implementing an anti-competitive agreement in the healthcare sector for more than three (...)

The Russian Competition Authority forcibly returns the equivalent of 14 million EUR into the state budget from former Mayor of Vladivostok, his family, and affiliated companies found guilty of collusion in the auctions for construction materials and supply of medicines (Igor Pushkaryov / MUE Roads of Vladivostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
More Than 2.3 Billion Rubles of Illegal Income Was Returned to the State Budget* The funds were obtained as a result of collusions at auctions for the purchase of construction materials (1.4 billion rubles) and the supply of medicines and medical devices (900 million rubles) On October 20, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority allows health insurers to distribute the additional costs of effects of the COVID-19 crisis among each other Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch health insurers may distribute the additional costs of effects of the coronavirus crisis among each other* This year, Dutch health insurers may distribute the additional costs of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis among themselves. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines the national postal service company for failure to submit required documentation within a stipulated time limit and for submission of false information in the on-going investigation into the field of ​​production and delivery of mass-delivered letter consignments and advertising addressed consignments (Slovenská pošta) New
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
AMO SR imposed a fine on the undertaking Slovenská pošta, a.s., for a failure to submit required documentation and information within a stipulated time limit and the submission of false information* On 26 October 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of (...)

The US DoJ indicts engineering firm and its former executive for a decade-long scheme to rig bids and defraud the North Carolina Department of Transportation (Contech Engineered Solutions / Brent Brewbaker)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Engineering Firm And Its Former Executive Indicted On Antitrust And Fraud Charges* North Carolina Department of Transportation Targeted in Decade-Long Scheme A federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned an indictment charging Contech Engineered Solutions LLC and Brent Brewbaker, a (...)

The EU Commission publishes an inception impact assessment as part of the reform of the vertical block exemption regulation New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published an Inception Impact Assessment (the “Inception Assessment”) (available here) as part of the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the Vertical Guidelines in anticipation of the expiry of the VBER on 31 May (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into the beverage procurement practices of restaurants, pubs, and catering units
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority is investigating beverage procurement* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has launched a sector inquiry to analyse the beverage procurement practices of domestic restaurants, pubs, and catering units, collectively known as the HoReCa sector. The (...)

The UK Competition Authority and Serious Fraud Office sign a memorandum of understanding allowing the two regulators to investigate and prosecute individuals in criminal cartel cases New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 October 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) signed a memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) allowing the two regulators to investigate and/or prosecute individuals in criminal cartel cases. Under UK competition law the most serious (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by food retailers to amend the existing cooperation agreements on retailers’ own-brand labels (Casino / Auchan / Metro / Schiever)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Purchasing offices: the Autorité accepts the commitments proposed by Casino, Auchan, Metro and Schiever* Purchasing offices: to address the risks of harm to upstream and downstream competition identified in the process of requesting urgent interim measures, the Autorité accepts the commitments (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes fine of €3.6 million on national advertising agencies association for restraining competition in advertising services (Associação Portuguesa de Agências de Publicidade, Comunicação e Marketing)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC imposes fine of €3.6 M to APAP for restraining competition in advertising services* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência) imposed a fine of 3,6 million euros on the Portuguese advertising agencies association - APAP (Associação Portuguesa de Agências de Publicidade, Comunicação e Marketing)- for (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in the market for the leasing of non-residential real estate spaces Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates possible absolute monopolistic practices in the market for the leasing of non-residential real estate spaces* This investigation shall not be understood as a prejudgment, but as an action of the authority to verify compliance with the Federal Economic Competition Law. In (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority petitions to fine municipality for directly awarding a public procurement contract for snow clearance because the contract does not qualify for exemption under urgency (Huddinge Municipality)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
No extreme urgency when Huddinge Municipality directly awarded a contract for snow clearance* Huddinge Municipality was guilty of an illegal direct award when it failed to apply procurement rules to a contract for snow clearance. This is the conclusion of the Swedish Competition Authority, (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority petitions to fine municipality for illegal direct award of a public procurement contract for major refurbishment of a property (Hallsberg Municipality)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Hallsberg performed an illegal direct award of construction contract* Hallsberg municipality carried out the major refurbishment of a property without first publishing a contract notice as required under the Public Procurement Act. The municipality was therefore guilty of an illegal direct (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company over alleged market sharing cartel (NQCranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Action over alleged market sharing cartel in the overhead crane industry* The ACCC has today commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company NQCranes Pty Ltd, alleging it engaged in cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act. The ACCC (...)

The Polish Competition Authority obliges an association of marketing agencies to stop affecting its members’ independence in tenders and stop organizing unauthorized exchanges of information (Marketing Communication Association SAR)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Marketing Communication Association SAR to change its practices* The Marketing Communication Association SAR affected the independence of its members in tenders and organized unauthorized exchange of information. President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has obliged the Association to change its (...)

The Russian Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal confirms the Competition Authority’s fines for a construction cartel in the Karachay-Cherkessian Republic (Chance / Kubanskoye / Karachaevskoye / Yugelektromontazh / Invest)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Confirmed Legality of the Decision Against the Cartel in Karachai-Cherkessia* The tenders for the construction of roads, buildings and facilities in the republic were held in violation of the antimonopoly law. Fines for companies exceeded 106 million rubles It should be reminded that (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates supervision proceeding against top three cement suppliers for alleged tacit collusion (Duna-Dráva Cement / LAFARGE Cement Magyarország Gyártó és Kereskedelmi / CRH Magyarország)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Competition Authority suspects abuse on the cement market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a proceeding against the three most important players in the domestic cement market for alleged infringement of the prohibition of abuse of dominant position. The (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority closes its investigation against two companies after they agree to stop publishing recommended list prices for retail fuel (Circle K / YX) New
Norwegian Competition Authority
Closes investigation against Circle K and YX* The Norwegian Competition Authority has today closed an investigation against Circle K Norge AS and YX Norge AS. The two companies have agreed to end their practice of publishing recommended list prices for retail fuel on their websites. Autumn (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences proceedings against a wholesale distributor of cycling and sporting products for resale price maintenance (FE Sports)
Jones Day (Melbourne)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
A new ACCC resale price maintenance case provides a timely reminder that manufacturers and suppliers must tread carefully with distribution arrangements related to price in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") has commenced proceedings against FE Sports, (...)

The EU Commission launches public consultations on the motor vehicle block exemption regulation New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 October 2020, the Commission launched a public consultation with a view to receiving comments from stakeholders on the ongoing evaluation of the 2010 Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (“MVBER”) regime. The public consultation aims to collect facts, views and evidence to assist the (...)

The Russian Republic of Khakassia’s Abakan City Court convicts members of a medical equipment cartel to imprisonment up to 16 years (Administration of Head of Republic of Khakassia)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Andrey Tenishev: Cartel Members Convicted in the Republic of Khakassia* Court imposed imprisonment up to 16 years to participants of anticompetitive agreements for theft and bribes It should be reminded that in 2018 the FAS Russia recognized a number of companies violated the Law on (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority finds that the arrangement of social welfare and health care services in Savitaipale municipality violated the laws on public procurement (Eksote / Kiinteistö Oy Savitapaleeen Vuokratalot)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA finds that the arrangement of social welfare and health care services in Savitaipale violated the Act on Public Procurement* According to a decision issued by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) on 7 October 2020, the Joint Municipal Authority of Social Welfare and (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority finds two companies guilty of an anti-competitive vertical agreement for prohibiting parallel imports in the market for artificial kidney machines (Gambro Lundia / Medical Products) New
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Decision regarding the complaints of the company SERKO LTD* Subject: Decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission regarding the complaints of the company "SERKO LTD SCIENTIFIC - ELECTRONIC MACHINERY (Imports - Representations - Service)" concerning alleged infringements of articles 1 and 2 (...)

The Irish Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections of garages and second-hand car dealerships in Dublin and Kildare
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Unannounced car inspections take place in Dublin and Kildare* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), assisted by colleagues from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, the Garda Stolen Vehicle Investigation Unit as well as local uniformed Gardaí, has completed a series of (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Hogan recommends reducing fine imposed on a company in steel abrasives cartel case (Pometon) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 October 2020, Advocate General (“AG”) Hogan issued his opinion in Pometon SpA v European Commission (Case C-440/19) in connection with the Steel Abrasives cartel case. In his opinion, the AG advises the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) to partially uphold the appeal in so far as the General Court (...)

The French Competition Authority consults on commitments offered by two supermarket groups on the scope of their cooperation on own-brand labels (Carrefour / Tesco)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Purchasing offices: Carrefour and Tesco propose commitments* Following its investigation into the joint purchasing agreement signed by Carrefour and Tesco, the Autorité de la concurrence received commitment proposals from the two groups redefining the scope of their cooperation on own-brand (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court finds a musical instruments maker to have engaged in resale price maintenance (Roland Germany) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued by the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”), the Austrian Cartel Court ruled on 24 September 2020 that musical instruments maker Roland Germany GmbH (“Roland Germany”) had violated the competition rules by entering into agreements fixing minimum resale (...)

The US District Court for the District of Colorado indicts six additional individuals on charges of price fixing and bid rigging in ongoing broiler chicken investigation (Timothy Mulrenin / William Kantola / Jimmie Little / William Lovette / Gary Roberts / Rickie Blake)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Six Additional Individuals Indicted On Antitrust Charges In Ongoing Broiler Chicken Investigation* A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, returned a superseding indictment charging six additional defendants for their roles in a previously indicted conspiracy to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority proposes an exemption for grain handler at two port terminals (Viterra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes exemption for two Viterra grain port terminals* The ACCC has today released draft determinations proposing to exempt the services provided by grain handler Viterra at its Port Adelaide Inner Harbour and Outer Harbor facilities from parts of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the decisions of the Commission to order dawn raids of a number of French retailers (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Partial annulment of European Commission decisions to order dawn raid inspections* On 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GC) partially annulled decisions of the European Commission (EC) to order on-the-spot inspections (dawn raids) of a number of French retailers.. The (...)

The EU General Court annuls in part the Commission’s inspection decisions following suspicions of anticompetitive practices by a number of French undertakings in the distribution sector (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls in part the Commission’s inspection decisions following suspicions of anticompetitive practices by a number of French undertakings in the distribution sector* The Commission has failed to show that it had sufficiently strong evidence to suspect exchanges of information (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to Italian agricultural cooperative for participation in canned vegetable cartel (Conserve Italia)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel* The European Commission has informed Conserve Italia Soc. coop. Agricola and its subsidiary Conserves France SA (together referred to as Conserve Italia) of its preliminary (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission decision ordering inspections at French food retail chains headquarters (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Ashurst (Paris)
On 5 October 2020, the EU General Court ("GC") partially annulled European Commission ("Commission") decisions ordering inspections at ITM and Casino’s premises in 2017 following suspicions of illegal anticompetitive exchanges of competitively sensitive information. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision authorizing unannounced dawn raids to be carried out at the headquarters of two French food retail chains (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Dechert (Paris)
,
Dechert (Paris)
,
Dechert (Paris)
In three recent judgments issued on 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union ("GCEU") partially annulled the European Commission’s ("Commission") decisions of February 2017 which had authorized onsite unannounced inspections ("dawn raid”) to be carried out at the headquarters of (...)

The US DoJ applauds the US President’s authorization of The Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement And Reform Permanent Extension Act
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Department Of Justice Applauds President Trump’s Authorization Of The Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement And Reform Permanent Extension Act* On October 1, President Donald J. Trump signed into law a continuing resolution that contains the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority initiates administrative proceedings in the matter of a possible agreement restricting competition in a public procurement for the provision of engineering services in the field of agriculture New
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
CARTELS: AMO SR initiated an administrative proceedings in the matter of a possible agreement restricting competition in a public procurement for the provision of engineering services in the field of agriculture* On 30 September 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines five companies for participating in a bid rigging cartel in public tender for street refurbishment (Construct Steel Market / Construcții Drumuri și Lucrări de Artă / Comesad Drumuri / General Trust Argeș / Selca) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) imposed fines totalling € 468,000 on five companies for engaging in bid-rigging in relation to public tenders concerning the refurbishment of certain streets in the Romanian city of Pitesti. The investigation started in 2018 following (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court finds musical instrument manufacturer guilty of price fixing (Roland Germany) New
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Cartel Court finds Roland Germany GmbH guilty of price fixing* The company cooperated with the AFCA within the leniency programme On 24 September 2020 the Cartel Court, acting on the Austrian Federal Competition Authority’s (AFCA) application of 2 June 2020, found Roland Germany GmbH to have (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission sends statement of objections to global e-commerce company for the use of non-public independent seller data and opens second investigation into its e-commerce business practices (Amazon) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Amazon for the use of non-public independent seller data and opens second investigation into its e-commerce business practices* The European Commission has informed Amazon of its preliminary view that it has breached EU antitrust rules by (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against an industrial equipment supplier for alleged resale price maintenance and related restrictive practices (Maquinaria Garrido) New
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Maquinaria Garrido S.L. for alleged practices prohibited by the Anti-Trust Law* It is investigating the possible restriction of passive sales by its official distributors outside its exclusive territory, and the possible fixing of resale (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines a food re-seller for imposing unfair trading practices on its suppliers including consistent late payment of supply invoices (Ribola) New
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Unfair Trading Practices – CCA Imposes Hrk 65,000 Fine on Ribola* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened ex officio infringement proceeding within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act) with the view to (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to state-owned Czech rail incumbent for alleged predatory pricing (České dráhy)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: The Commission sends Statement of Objections to České dráhy for alleged predatory pricing* The European Commission has informed the state-owned Czech rail incumbent České dráhy (ČD) of its preliminary view that ČD has breached EU antitrust rules by charging prices below costs. Executive (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds a telecom company guilty of abusing its dominant position to unreasonably increase tariffs for communication services (Tele 2)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia: Tele 2 Unreasonably Increased Tariffs for Communication Services* T2 Mobile has increased the cost of providing mobile services on a number of tariff plans from May 12, 2020 On October 20, the FAS Russia found a violation of antimonopoly law in the company’s actions. Earlier, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance against a global search engine in the market for display advertising (Google)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
A542 - ICA: investigation opened against Google for an alleged abuse of dominant position in the Italian market for display advertising* The Authority questions the discriminatory use of the huge amount of data collected through its various applications, preventing rivals from competing (...)

The French Competition Authority considers gaming console’s commitments inadequate to address competition concerns and returns case for investigation (Sony)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Playstation: the Autorité considers that the commitments proposed by Sony do not adequately address the identified competition concerns. The case is returned for investigation* As part of a litigation procedure before the Autorité de la concurrence, Sony had proposed commitments to address the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority institutes proceedings in the Federal Court against printing company for unfair contract terms for small businesses (Fuji Xerox)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Fuji Xerox in court over alleged unfair contract terms* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against printing company Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd and a related company (together, Fuji), alleging that in total nine types of Fuji’s standard form small business contracts (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a brewery for failing to comply with reporting obligations under commitments to limit exclusivity contracts (Heineken) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By decision of 19 October 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) imposed a fine of HUF 75 million (approximately € 250,000) on beer maker Heineken for failing to comply with its reporting obligations under its commitments to reduce the amount of beer sold under exclusivity contracts. (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines international brewery for failing to honour its commitment to reduce the amount of beer sold under exclusive contracts (Heineken)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH has imposed a fine of HUF 75 million on Heineken* 21 October 2020, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has established that Heineken failed to appropriately justify its commitment to decrease the amount of beer sold under exclusive contracts, thus the authority has (...)

The US DOJ and 12 State AGs start landmark court case against Big Tech firm for exclusionary agreements in search and search advertising markets (Google)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws* Department Files Complaint Against Google to Restore Competition in Search and Search Advertising Markets Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the (...)

The US DoJ files an antitrust complaint against a search engine for abuse of dominant position (Google)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
On October 20, the U.S. Department of Justice filed its long-awaited antitrust complaint against Google, joined by 11 state Attorneys General (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority imposes a fine for an abuse of dominant position in the market for ice hockey broadcasting (UPC) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 October 2020, the Swiss Competition Commission (“COMCO”) fined UPC (a group member of Liberty Global) CHF 30 million for abuse of dominance for refusing to supply live broadcasts of the Swiss Ice Hockey Championship to Swisscom. UPC was found to be dominant on the basis of its exclusive (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines cable operator for abusing broadcasting rights (UPC) New
Swiss Competition Commission (Bern)
COMCO: UPC abused ice hockey broadcasting rights* The Competition Commission (COMCO) fines UPC by around CHF 30 million. In 2016, UPC acquired broadcasting rights for games of the Swiss Ice Hockey Championship. It refused to supply Swisscom with broadcasts of live ice hockey for years. This (...)

The Australian Competition Authority institutes court proceedings against wholesale distributor of cycling and sporting products for alleged resale price maintenance (FE Sports)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
FE Sports allegedly engaged in resale price maintenance* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against B & K Holdings (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as FE Sports, alleging that it engaged in resale price maintenance for the wholesale supply of cycling and sporting products in (...)

The French Supreme Court confirms that incumbent horserace betting operator abused its dominant position (PMU) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 October 2020, the French Supreme Court (“Cour de Cassation”) confirmed the Court of Appeals’ finding that horserace-betting company Pari Mutuel Urbaine (“PMU”) abused its dominant position in the market for physical horserace betting by pooling bets with those in the online market. (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens investigation into unfair use of contractual advantage by largest national food wholesaler against its suppliers (Eurocash)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Unfounded Eurocash fees - charges of the President of UOKiK* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny checks the practices of Eurocash company towards suppliers of agricultural and food products. The allegations concern unfounded collection of additional fees. The main business of Eurocash is (...)

The Australian Federal Court fines a price comparison website for making false or misleading representations when comparing and selling electricity plans (iSelect)
Ashurst (Sydney)
On 8 October 2020, the Federal Court of Australia ordered iSelect Limited ("iSelect") to pay a pecuniary penalty of AUD 8.5 million for making false or misleading representations ‎on its website when comparing and selling electricity plans, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms Competition Authority’s decision ordering a search engine to negotiate with news agencies and press publishers (Google)
Ashurst (Paris)
On 8 October 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Google’s challenge to the French Competition Authority’s ("FCA") decision compelling Google to negotiate "neighbouring rights" with news agencies and press publishers. "Neighbouring rights" include the right to receive payment when a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates an investigation against the operator of video-sharing social media site due to failure to provide users with sufficient information on time (TikTok)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Competition Authority has initiated a proceeding against TikTok* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated an investigation against the operator of video sharing social media site TikTok due to failure to provide users with sufficient information on time. TikTok is a widely (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority investigates possible abuse of dominance in the country’s natural gas market
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC investigates possible anticompetitive practices in Spain’s natural gas market* It assesses an alleged abuse of dominant position in said market involving foreclosure. The CNMC investigates a potential antitrust violation in Spain’s natural gas market. On 30 September and 1 October (...)

The EU Commission accepts a semiconductor company’s offer to stop exclusivity on chipset market (Broadcom)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 7 October 2020, the European Commission (the "Commission") made legally binding commitments offered by Broadcom to ensure competition in chipset markets for modems and TV set-top boxes. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY TAKEAWAYS Commitments decisions are adopted in lieu of finding an (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens a formal investigation into an animal society for alleged abuse of dominance in dog certification and shows (Royal Canine Society of Spain)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC opens a formal investigation into the Royal Canine Society of Spain for alleged antitrust practices* The conduct investigated sought to hinder and avoid competition with other official associations. It potentially affects the markets for certifying purebred dogs and providing judging (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments to ensure competition in systems-on-a-chip markets for modems and set-top boxes (Broadcom) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 October 2020, the European Commission accepted Broadcom’s commitments to suspend its existing agreements, and to refrain from entering into any new agreements, containing exclusivity or quasi-exclusivity arrangements and/or leveraging provisions concerning Systems-on-a-Chip (“SoCs”) for TV (...)

The EU Commission accepts semiconductor company’s commitments to ensure competition in chipset markets for modems and set-top boxes (Broadcom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Broadcom to ensure competition in chipset markets for modems and set-top boxes* The European Commission has made commitments offered by Broadcom legally binding under EU antitrust rules. Broadcom will suspend all existing agreements containing (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority investigation finds that a national ATM operator is charging reasonable rates to competing banks (Geldmaat)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: rates charged by ATM operator Geldmaat to other banks not unreasonable, information about its services to be more transparent* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has established that the rates that Dutch ATM operator Geldmaat charges other Dutch banks for using the (...)

The Ankara Administrative Court upholds the fines imposed by the Competition Authority on two electricity sales companies for abuse of dominance and annuls it for a third company (RESCs / AYEDAŞ)
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)
(1) Introduction In 2018, in its Enerjisa decision, the Turkish Competition Board (“ Board ”) had imposed administrative fines amounting to a total of TRY 143 million on three retail electricity sales companies (namely AYESAŞ, BAŞKENT and TOROSLAR) (together, the “ RESCs ”) and one electricity (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates on a pharma company for abuse of dominance (Essential Pharma)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority ( CMA ) started an inquiry into Essential Pharma to determine whether that company abused an allegedly dominant position when announcing the withdrawal from the UK market of Priadel®, a lithium based medicine indicated for the first line (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens investigation into alleged abuse of dominance in the supply of drugs used to treat bipolar disorder (Essential Pharma)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA to investigate the supply of bipolar drug* The CMA has opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in the supply of drugs used to treat bipolar disorder. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate whether the pharmaceutical company Essential Pharma (...)

The Russian Competition Authority investigates whether a pharmaceutical company with dominant position in wholesale of certain generics unreasonably refused to conclude contract for medicine supply (Ipsen / Biotek)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia: Ipsen Unreasonably Refused Biotek to Conclude Contract for Medicine Supply* In order not to enter into a contract with a counterparty the pharmaceutical company has repeatedly changed its commercial policy during the review of the distributor’s application. The FAS Russia issued a (...)

The German Competition Authority closes investigation into resale price maintenance after Spanish guitar manufacturer clarifies to retailers that final price is at their discretion (Manufacturas Alhambra)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt safeguards freedom to set prices for guitars* Following investigations by the Bundeskartellamt into suspected illegal resale price maintenance, the Spanish guitar manufacturer, Manufacturas Alhambra S.L., has distanced itself from possibly influencing the pricing policy of (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority clears a trading systems firm’s proposal to sell its fixed-income business in order to resolve competition concerns about the completed merger (ION Technology Group / Broadway Technology) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Trading systems firms address CMA competition concerns* The CMA has accepted a proposal from ION to sell Broadway’s fixed income business in order to resolve competition concerns about the completed merger. ION Investment Group Limited (ION) and Broadway Technology Holdings (Broadway) provide (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches consultation on updated merger guidance New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA launches consultation on updated merger guidance* The CMA has today launched a consultation on updates to 2 of its merger guidance documents. The guidance has been updated in preparation for the end of the Transition Period following the UK’s departure from the European Union. The updates (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders reversal of completed merger between two largest suppliers of retail platform solutions to investment platforms (FNZ / GBST) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA blocks investment technology merger* The CMA has ordered FNZ to sell GBST after finding their completed merger could lead to a reduction in the quality of service and higher prices. In its final report, published today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the deal (...)

The US DoJ sues to block a global credit card company’s proposed acquisition of a leading financial data aggregation company (Visa / Plaid) New
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Sues to Block Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid* Acquisition Would Eliminate Nascent Competitor Plaid and Prevent Disruption of Visa’s Monopoly in Online Debit Today, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to stop Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority investigates acquisition of shares between two financial comparison sites (iSelect / Innovation Holdings) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC to investigate the acquisition of iSelect shares by Compare the Market’s owners* The ACCC is investigating acquisitions by Innovation Holdings Australia Pty Ltd. that would provide it with approximately 35 per cent of the shares of iSelect Limited (ASX: ISU). Innovation Holdings (through (...)

The Australian Competition Authority closes investigation into the merger of commercial laundry services firms after the firms withdraw from the merger (South Pacific Laundry / Spotless Laundries) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
South Pacific Laundry withdraws bid for Spotless Laundries* South Pacific Laundry (SPL) has withdrawn its request for merger clearance of its proposed acquisition of Spotless Laundries after it decided not to proceed with the transaction. Spotless Laundries is part of Spotless Group Holdings (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts sale of firm’s global total ankle replacement business as a remedy to clear the merger of medical suppliers of orthopaedic products (Stryker / Wright Medical Group) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Medical device supplier resolves CMA concerns* The CMA has accepted a proposal from Stryker to sell its business in the UK total ankle prostheses market to resolve competition concerns. Stryker Corporation (Stryker) and Wright Medical Group N.V. (Wright) both manufacture a range of (...)

The US FTC clears merger of medical device companies subject to divestments (Stryker / Wright Medical Group) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requires Medical Device Companies Stryker Corp. and Wright Medical Group N.V. to Divest Assets to Preserve Competition* The Federal Trade Commission will require medical device companies Stryker Corp. and Wright Medical Group N.V. to divest all assets related to Stryker’s total ankle (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears acquisition of parts of a health care provider after transfer of district nursing in two towns (Careyn / Thebe) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of parts of health care provider Careyn by Thebe after transfer of district nursing in two towns* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conditionally cleared health care provider Thebe Wijkverpleging to acquire some of the activities of rival (...)

The UK Competition Authority cancels its investigation into the educational supplies merger after firms announce their withdrawal (YPO / Findel) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Educational supplies firms abandon merger during CMA investigation* YPO has abandoned its proposed deal with Findel. The CMA published its provisional findings outlining its concerns about the merger last month. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has therefore today confirmed it (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority accepts commitments from 4-party joint venture applying to jointly operate their berths at Kwai Tsing port (Hong Kong Seaport Alliance)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission accepts commitments from Hong Kong Seaport Alliance* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) today announced the acceptance of commitments (“Commitments”) offered under section 60 of the Competition Ordinance (“Ordinance”) by Modern Terminals Limited (“MTL”) and HPHT Limited (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority publishes a statement of issues relating to an application from a global packaging solutions business to acquire a manufacturer of plastics sheets and packaging (Pact Group / Flight Plastics) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Issues released for Pact/Flight clearance application* The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Issues relating to an application from Pact Group Holdings Limited (Pact) to acquire the assets and business of Flight Plastics Limited in New Zealand and the (...)

The US FTC imposes conditions on pharmaceutical merger with competition concerns in ten generic drug markets (Mylan / Upjohn) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Imposes Conditions on Combination of Pfizer Inc.’s Upjohn and Mylan N.V.* Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer Inc. and Mylan N.V. have agreed to divest assets and abide by other conditions to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the proposed combination of Upjohn Inc. and Mylan N.V. (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority publishes for consultations a statement of preliminary issues related to the application for merger of global professional services firms that specialise in risk management (Aon / Willis Towers) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Aon/Willis Towers Watson* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Aon plc seeking clearance to acquire Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company as part of a global transaction. The (...)

The UK Takeover panel proposes changes to treatment of offers conditions and offer timetable New
Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (London)
The Code Committee (“Code Committee”) of the UK Takeover Panel (“Panel”) has published a consultation paper proposing a number of amendments to the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (“Code”) which, if adopted, will mark a significant departure from the current rules. The Code Committee is inviting (...)

The UK Takeover Panel consults on major changes to the Takeover Code New
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
Proposed changes to the UK Takeover Code include simplifying and adding flexibility to the timetable applicable to contractual offers, as well as making offer conditions relating to antitrust clearances subject to the same materiality requirement which applies to other offer conditions. (...)

The UK Takeover Panel launches consultation on conditions to an offer, particularly those relating to merger control clearance, and the offer timetable
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Overview of the proposed changes The UK Takeover Panel has published a consultation PCP 2020/1 in which it is proposing to amend various provisions in the Takeover Code relating to invoking the conditions to an offer, particularly those relating to regulatory / merger control clearance, and to (...)

The US DoJ files enforcement action against global management consulting company as part of its investigation into global credit card company’s proposed acquisition of a fintech company (Bain & Company / Visa / Plaid)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Files Enforcement Action Against Bain & Company As Part of Its Investigation Into Visa Inc’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid Inc* Petition against Third Party Seeks to Enforce Compliance with the Department’s Civil Investigative Demand Today, the Department of Justice filed (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears merger of rival tour operators (Sunweb / Corendon)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch tour operator Sunweb is allowed to acquire rival operator Corendon* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the acquisition of Dutch tour operator Corendon by rival operator Sunweb. ACM has looked at the competitive landscape with respect to beach holidays (...)

The US DOJ conditionally clears a fibre-based telecom merger in Puerto Rice and the US Virgin Islands (Liberty Latin America / AT&T)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Divestiture In Order For Liberty Latin America To Acquire AT&T’s Telecommunications Operations In Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands* Divestiture Will Preserve Competition for Fiber-Based Telecommunications Services for Enterprise Customers in Puerto Rico (...)

The US DOJ conditionally clears a merger in markets for small container commercial waste collection and municipal solid waste disposal in over 50 local markets in 10 States (Waste Management / Advanced Disposal Services)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Waste Management To Divest Assets In Order To Proceed With Advanced Disposal Services Acquisition* Divestiture Will Preserve Competition in Markets for Small Container Commercial Waste Collection and Municipal Solid Waste Disposal in Over 50 Local Markets in 10 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority closes investigation into the acquisition of garment laundering business after the firms withdraw from the merger (Alsco / Spotless Garments)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Alsco withdraws bid for Spotless Garments* Alsco Pty Ltd has withdrawn its request for informal merger clearance by the ACCC of its proposed acquisition of Spotless Laundries’ garment laundering business (Spotless Garments). Spotless Garments is part of Spotless Group Holdings Limited which is (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds in Phase II investigation that the complete merger in online secondary ticketing market will reduce competition and proposes structural remedies even after accounting for COVID-19 (Viagogo / StubHub) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA finds competition concerns in viagogo and StubHub merger* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has provisionally found that the completed merger of viagogo and StubHub will reduce competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that viagogo and StubHub are close (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority reaches divestment agreement with car parks operator in 4-years old merger in order to settle competition concerns (Wilson Parking)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Wilson Parking agrees to divest car parks in settlement agreement with Commerce Commission* Wilson Parking New Zealand Limited (Wilson Parking) has agreed to divest the leases of three car parking facilities it currently operates in central Wellington, in a settlement agreement with the (...)

The German Competition Authority unconditionally clears merger between top vehicle insurance provider and the industry’s leading provider of automated claims settlement services (Allianz / ControlExpert)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Automated settlement of motor vehicle claims: Allianz cleared to take over ControlExpert* Yesterday, the Bundeskartellamt cleared plans by Allianz Strategic Investments. S.à.r.l., Luxembourg, (Allianz) to acquire ControlExpert Holding B.V. Amsterdam (ControlExpert). Allianz belongs to the (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds in Phase II investigation that a merger raises competition concerns in the supply of commercial vehicle and trailer parts (TVS / 3G)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Customers could lose out in motor parts merger* The CMA has provisionally found that the purchase of 3G by TVS raises competition concerns in the supply of commercial vehicle and trailer parts. Universal Components UK Limited (Universal Components), owned by TVS Europe Distribution Limited, (...)

The US FTC starts accepting stakeholder comments for upcoming virtual consultations on proposed amendments to HSR rules
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC to Hold Virtual Q&A Sessions in November on Proposed Amendments to HSR Rules and Advanced Notice of Proposed HSR Rulemaking* The Federal Trade Commission will host three public Question and Answer sessions as part of its ongoing HSR Rulemaking initiative. These one-hour virtual events (...)

The Polish Competition Authority issues first decision authorising a foreign acquisition in accordance with its temporary FDI screening mechanism (H&F Corporate Investors VIII / The Center for Electronic Settlements Polish ePayments) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 October 2020, the Polish Competition Authority (“UOKiK”) issued a decision authorising the Cayman Islands-based H&F Corporate Investors VIII Ltd. to acquire the Center for Electronic Settlements Polish ePayments S.A. The transaction was not notified to the UOKiK under the normal merger (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clears first merger under new rules for protecting companies of strategic national importance during COVID-19 (H&F Corporate Investors VIII / The Center for Electronic Settlements Polish ePayments) Free
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Investment control - first decision of the President of UOKIK* H&F Fund from the Cayman Islands granted consent to take over the Center for Electronic Settlements Polish ePayments S.A. The transaction does not pose a threat to security, order or public health. This is the first decision of (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds significant competition concerns with educational supplies merger (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation / Findel)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Schools could lose out in educational supplies merger* The CMA has provisionally found that YPO’s anticipated purchase of close competitor Findel could leave schools worse off. Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) and Findel Education Limited (Findel) are 2 of the leading suppliers of (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives application for merger of global professional services firms that specialise in risk management (Aon / Willis Towers)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Aon seeks clearance to acquire Willis Towers* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Aon plc to acquire all the shares of Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company as part of a global transaction. Aon and Willis Towers Watson are both publicly traded, global (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts commitment by major photo-sharing platform to tackle hidden advertising by social media influencers (Instagram Social Media Endorsements)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Instagram to tackle hidden advertising after CMA action* Following CMA action, Instagram will do more to prevent hidden advertising on its app and website, signalling an important behaviour shift by a major platform. Facebook Ireland Ltd, which operates Instagram in the UK, has committed to a (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation into a merger in the market for coatings for the ceramic industry (Pigments Spain / Ferro Assets)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC opens in-depth investigation into the Pigments Spain/Ferro Assets merger* The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) has decided to open an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of sole control by Pigments Spain, of a set of assets in the business of coatings for the ceramic industry (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears merger of port container terminals without conditions (Hutchison Ports / APM Terminals)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of container terminal of APM Terminals by ECT’s parent company* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has cleared Hutchison Ports Netherlands, parent company of container terminal operator ECT, to acquire container terminal APM Terminals Rotterdam. ACM (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues statement of preliminary issues relating to broadcaster’s application to acquire a competitor’s outside broadcasting business (NEP Broadcast Services / Sky Network Television)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for NEP acquisition of Sky’s outside broadcasting assets* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from NEP Broadcast Services New Zealand Limited seeking clearance to acquire from Sky Network (...)

The US FTC requests public comment on prosthetics manufacturer’s application to approve divestiture of assets it gained during acquisition (Otto Bock HealthCare / FIH Group Holdings)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requests Public Comment on Otto Bock HealthCare North America, Inc.’s Application to Approve Divestiture of Assets It Gained through Acquisition of FIH Group Holdings, LLC* The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on an application by prosthetics manufacturer Otto (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears joint venture between brewing companies (Carlsberg / Marston’s)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Deal between Carlsberg and Marston’s given the go-ahead* The CMA has cleared the proposed joint venture between brewing companies Carlsberg and Marston’s. Both companies are large brewers of beer and cider, as well as offering related services, such as wholesale supply of their own and other (...)

The UK Competition Authority request the EU Commission for a referral to review a proposed merger impacting retail and wholesale telecommunications markets in the UK (Virgin / O2)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA requests review of Virgin and O2 merger* The CMA has made a request to the European Commission to refer the proposed merger of Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with O2 to the CMA for investigation. Liberty Global plc (Liberty) owns Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile in the UK, and Telefónica (...)

The Australian Competition Authority finds preliminary competition concerns with a proposed acquisition of a garment laundering business (Alsco / Spotless Garments)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Alsco’s Spotless Garments acquisition raises preliminary competition concerns* The ACCC has preliminary competition concerns about the proposed acquisition by Alsco Pty Ltd of Spotless Laundries’ garment laundering business (Spotless Garments), which is part of Spotless Group Holdings Limited. (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes maximum fine on 6 companies participating in the construction of a gas pipeline due to lack of approval for the joint venture (Gazprom / Nord Stream 2)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Nord Stream 2 - maximum penalties imposed by UOKiK President* Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK, has imposed a penalty of over PLN 29 bn on Gazprom, and of over PLN 234 mln on 5 remaining companies participating in the construction of the gas pipeline - as a result of the lack of approval for (...)

The US FTC approves final order imposing divestitures as a condition of a merger in the markets for gasoline and diesel fuel (Arko Holdings / Empire Petroleum Partners)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on Arko Holdings Ltd.’s Acquisition of Empire Petroleum Partners, LLC* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Arko Holdings Ltd.’s acquisition of Empire Petroleum Partners, LLC (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears a merger of two multinational groups both active in sports broadcasting and sale of advertising space (PPF / CME)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves PPF’s acquisition of CME* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises ("CME") by PPF Group NV ("PPF"). The Commission concluded the transaction would raise no (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a record fine against gas industry company in a joint-venture case (Gazprom)
Taylor Wessing (Warsaw)
,
University of Warsaw
By the decision of 6 October 2020 No. DKK-178/2020 (“Decision”) and after a two-year formal investigation the Polish Competition Authority (“PCA”) finalized its action against Nord Stream 2 project and imposed fine of PLN 29,075,726,808 (ca. EUR 6.4 billion) on PJSC “Gazprom” (“Gazprom”). In the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the public road transport services market (Transdev / Grupo Fundão) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2020, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“AdC”) issued a decision prohibiting the Transdev Group’s acquisition of Grupo Fundão as well as public transport service concessions currently held by Transerramar and Auto Transportes do Fundão. Both Transdev and Grupo Fundão occupy strong (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority prohibits acquisition in passenger transportation in central Portugal due to the risk of eliminating competition (Grupo Fundão / Transdev Group)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC prohibits the acquisition of Grupo Fundão by the Transdev Group due to risk of eliminating competition in passenger transportation in central Portugal* The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) issued a prohibition decision relative to the acquisition of Grupo Fundão as well as of the (...)

The EU Commission takes note of the General Court’s judgment confirming its decision to prohibit an acquisition in the construction sector in Hungary and Croatia (HeidelbergCement / Schwenk Zement / Cemex)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission takes note of General Court judgment in HeidelbergCement/Schwenk/Cemex Hungary/Cemex Croatia merger case* The European Commission takes note of the judgment of the General Court, which confirms the Commission’s decision prohibiting the acquisition by HeidelbergCement and (...)

The EU General Court provides useful jurisdictional clarifications for deals involving joint ventures acting as an acquirer (Heidelberg Cement / Schwenk Zement)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Jurisdictional issues in deals involving joint ventures – Review of the General Court judgment in Heidelberg Cement and Schwenk Zement (T-380/17)* The judgment provides useful jurisdictional clarifications for deals involving joint ventures (JVs) acting as an acquirer. The General Court (GC) (...)

The EU General Court clarifies the application of the EU merger regulation to acquisitions by joint ventures and other jointly controlled companies (HeidelbergCement)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Paris)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (London)
On 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union (the “General Court”) confirmed the 2017 decision by the European Commission (the “Commission”) to prohibit the proposed acquisition by HeidelbergCement and Schwenk of Cemex Croatia (the “HeidelbergCement case”). In its judgment, the General (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission decision to block a takeover in the construction sector (Cemex Croatia / HeidelbergCement, Schwenk)
Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 5 October 2020, the EU’s General Court ("GC") upheld the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision to block the takeover of Cemex Croatia by DDC thereby dismissing the case brought by DDC’s parent companies, HeidelbergCement and Schwenk Zement ("Schwenk") claiming, inter alia, that the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority removes upon application the conditions imposed on a 19-years old merger in the market for mailing and direct marketing (Posti / Atkos Printmail)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA removes the conditions set for the Posti/Atkos Printmail merger on application by Posti* On 25 September 2020, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the Posti Group’s (Posti) application to remove the conditions set for the Posti/Atkos Printmail merger. In 2001, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears merger of two global companies supplying financial markets infrastructure products (Refinitiv / London Stock Exchange Group)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
London Stock Exchange Group’s acquisition of Refinitiv not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv Parent Limited (Refinitiv) by the London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG). LSEG and Refinitiv are global companies supplying financial markets infrastructure (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the payment services sector (Worldline / Ingenico) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) conditionally cleared Worldline’s acquisition of Ingenico, two French providers of payment and transaction services. The Commission raised concerns that the parties’ activities overlapped in the provision of point-of-sale (“POS”) merchant (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes gun-jumping fine on gas distributors (Acea / Mediterranea Energia / Alma / Pescara Distribuzione Gas) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 September 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) imposed a € 153,000 fine on three companies, Acea, Mediterranea Energia and Alma C.I.S., for failing to notify a transaction before closing. The three acquiring companies had purchased one target, Pescara Distribuzione Gas, in March (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority stops administrative proceedings in the matter of a joint venture after concluding that it does not constitute a merger because it will not permanently perform all the functions of an independent economic entity (Conti Tech Techno-Chemie / Dk) New
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
MERGERS: AMO SR stopped an administrative proceedings in the matter of a merger of undertakings Conti Tech Techno-Chemie GmbH and dk Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH* On 27 August 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations, (hereafter “the Office”) on the (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €150 million Romanian scheme to support investments in district heating systems based on renewable energy sources New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €150 million Romanian scheme to support investments in district heating systems based on renewable energy sources* The European Commission has approved, under EU State Aid rules, a Romanian scheme to support the construction and/or upgrade of district heating (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian State aid to cancelled Offshore Northern Seas conference and fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Offshore Northern Seas Foundation) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves state aid to cancelled Offshore Northern Seas conference and fair* The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today approved state aid for the Offshore Northern Seas Foundation’s (ONS) 2020 conference, which was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The (...)

The EU Commission publishes results of evaluation of EU State aid rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission publishes results of evaluation of EU State aid rules* The European Commission has published a Commission Staff Working Document summarising the results of an evaluation of the State aid rules adopted as part of the State Aid Modernisation package. The evaluation (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Tanchev thinks the Court should dismiss the appeal of the Commission against the judgment of the General Court on support measures adopted by an Italian consortium of banks for the benefit of one of its members (Banca Popolare di Bari / Fondo interbancario di tutela dei depositi / Banca d’Italia)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
According to Advocate General Tanchev, the Court should dismiss the appeal of the Commission against the judgment of the General Court on support measures adopted by an Italian consortium of banks for the benefit of one of its members* The General Court was right in considering that those (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves grant scheme for local broadcasting in Norway
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves grant scheme for local broadcasting in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a Norwegian state aid grant scheme to support the digitisation of local TV and radio broadcasters. The main objectives of the scheme are to contribute to media pluralism and (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the concept of “State resources” with regard to financial contributions collected by an authorized private eco-body (Eco TLC) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 October 2020, the Court of Justice answered a request for a preliminary ruling made by the French Conseil d’État (“Council of State”), which raised interesting questions with regard to the notion of “State resources” within the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. The background of the case (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves aid to an agricultural and trade fair in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Dyrsku’n) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves aid to Dyrsku’n agricultural and trade fair in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved aid to Dyrsku’n, Norway’s largest agricultural and trade fair. The aid aims to compensate for pandemic-related losses following the cancellation of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Kokott criticizes the Commission’s approach to progressive taxation in Poland and suggests that the Court dismiss the appeal (Commission / Poland) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 October 2020, Advocate General Kokott delivered her opinion in Case C-562/19 P, Commission v Poland, concerning the appeal of the General Court’s judgment of 16 May 2019 (Joined Cases T-836/16 and T-624/17). The judgment under appeal annulled the Commissions’ decision to open a formal State (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Kokott agrees with the General Court that the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian advertisement tax do not infringe State aid rules (Commission / Poland) (Commission / Hungary)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
According to Advocate General Kokott, the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian advertisement tax do not infringe EU State aid rules* State aid rules do not preclude taxation of turnover of undertakings at a progressive rate Following the international trend, Poland and Hungary (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves prolongation of support to airlines in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves prolongation of support to airlines in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved the extension of the current guarantee scheme for airline operators in Norway until 31 December 2020. Strict containment measures, including travel (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves renewal of Norwegian support to event organisers in the sports and voluntary sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves renewal of support to event organisers in the sports and voluntary sector* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved renewal and amendments of a scheme to cover losses following cancellation and postponement of events. Events across Norway have (...)

The EU Commission prolongs its State aid temporary framework in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
On 13 October 2020, the European Commission decided to prolong and extend the scope of the State Aid Temporary Framework as follows: Extension of Temporary Framework: All sections of the Temporary Framework are prolonged for six months until 30 June 2021, except the section that enables (...)

The EU Commission prolongs and expands temporary framework to further support companies facing significant turnover losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission prolongs and expands Temporary Framework to further support companies facing significant turnover losses* The European Commission has decided to prolong and extend the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the (...)

The EU Commission announces extension of the EU State aid temporary framework in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Baker Botts (Brussels)
,
Baker Botts (Brussels)
,
Baker Botts (Brussels)
Prolongs the Regime until 30 June 2021, Allows for Short-term Support for Uncovered Fixed Costs and Adapts Conditions for State Recapitalization Measures The European Commission (‘Commission’) relaxed the strict EU state aid rules and introduced a Temporary Framework (‘TF’) in March 2020 to allow (...)

The EU Commission extends for the fourth time the State aid temporary framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On October 13, the Commission extended and expanded for the fourth time the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (the “TF”).. Based on this amendment, all TF provisions are extended until June 30, 2021 while the section on (...)

The EU Commission adopts the fourth amendment to the State aid temporary framework in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, making Serbia add recapitalization measures Free
BDK (Podgorica)
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Serbia has adopted several state aid measures aimed at helping the economic entities preserve jobs and liquidity. In this respect, the Government took the lead from the European Commission and its measures adopted within the scope of (...)

The EU Commission prolongs and expands COVID-19 temporary framework to further support companies facing significant turnover losses New Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 October 2020, the Commission prolonged the scope of the COVID-19 Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020. All sections of the Temporary Framework have been prolonged for six months (i.e. until 30 June 2021), and the section to enable recapitalisation support is prolonged for three (...)

The EU Commission publishes the fourth amendment to the State aid temporary framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
On 13 October 2020, the Commission decided to extend the coverage of the Temporary Framework and prolong it for six months until 30 June 2021, except for the section on recapitalisation support, which was extended for three months until 30 September 2021 (4th Amendment). In March 2020, the (...)

The EU Commission approves €1.5 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak in Southern Italy Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.5 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak in Southern Italy* The European Commission has approved a €1.5 billion Italian scheme to support companies operating in regions of Southern Italy affected by the coronavirus outbreak, (...)

The EU General Court provides additional guidance on the scope of the presumption of advantage granted by State guarantees (IFPEN) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 October 2020, the General Court delivered another important judgment in the so-called EPIC saga – where “EPIC” is a French acronym standing for “Établissement Public à caractère Industriel et Commercial” (“Publicly owned industrial and commercial establishment”). The EPICs came under the (...)

The EU Commission consults Member States on a proposal to prolong and adjust State aid Temporary Framework in the context of the changing COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Coronavirus: Commission Statement on consulting Member States on proposal to prolong and adjust State aid Temporary Framework* Today, the European Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal to prolong until 30 June 2021 the State aid Temporary Framework, adopted on (...)

Procedures

The Japanese FTC proposes amendments to rules for eliminating seals to promote online procedures New
White & Case (Tokyo)
,
White & Case (Tokyo)
,
White & Case (Tokyo)
On November 2, 2020, the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") proposed amendments to relevant rules ("Drafts") in accordance with the Government of Japan’s "Regulatory Reform Implementation Plan" ("Government’s Plan") decided by the Cabinet on July 17, 2020. The JFTC seeks comments from the (...)

The EU General Court’s President suspends RFIs requiring the production of documents containing sensitive personal data until specific virtual data room procedure is set up (Facebook) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 October 2020, the President of the General Court (“GC”) issued two orders suspending the operation of requests for information (“RFIs”) issued to Facebook Ireland Ltd (“Facebook”) by the European Commission (“Commission”) concerning documents that are not related to Face- book’s commercial (...)

The Swedish Government submits a draft bill to the Council on Legislation regarding a proposal for enhanced powers for the Swedish Competition Authority’s administration of investigations and fines
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Draft bill submitted to the Council on Legislation regarding a proposal for enhanced powers of the Swedish Competition Authority* In a draft bill submitted to the Council on Legislation, the Government proposes that the Swedish Competition Authority’s decision-making powers should be extended (...)

Regulatory

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases its final decision on its approach to determining the value of the financial loss asset for fibre service providers under the fibre regulatory regime New
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission completes input methodologies by finalising approach to valuing fibre providers’ financial loss* The Commerce Commission has released its final decision on its approach to determining the value of the financial loss asset for fibre service providers under the new fibre regulatory (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces that prices for wholesale telecom transmission services are set to fall following its decision to reduce the regulated prices for the declared domestic transmission capacity service
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Prices for regulated transmission services set to fall* The price of wholesale transmission services in many regional and rural parts of Australia will fall substantially following the ACCC’s decision to reduce the regulated prices for the declared Domestic Transmission Capacity Service (DTCS). (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces its first class exemption ever aimed at fuel retailers to collectively negotiate with wholesalers
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Class exemption will enable small businesses to collectively bargain* An ACCC class exemption due to commence in early 2021 will allow small businesses, franchisees and fuel retailers to collectively negotiate with their suppliers and processors, franchisor or fuel wholesaler respectively, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority approves first two manufacturers on the maximum selling price of medicine favipiravir used in treating COVID-19 and announces that the price registration will increase its availability for the country’s population Free
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS: After Favipiravir Price Registration, Its Retail Price Will Be Reduced at Least Twice* Registering the price of a medicine for treatment of COVID-19 will significantly increase its availability for the Russian population The FAS Russia has approved the first two pharmaceutical (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority analyses the competitive impact of legislation requiring accounting and medical services firms to be owned or managed only by field professionals
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Impact of Accounting and Medical Services Legislation on Competition* The Competition Council conducts a study to analyse the impact of the legislative provisions that oblige the undertakings in the field of accounting and medical services to be owned and / (...)

The Russian Competition Authority develops jointly with the Ministry of Health a draft decree that will not allow disappearance of scarce medicine
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS is Developing Jointly With the Russian Ministry of Health Draft Decree That Will Not Allow Disappearance of Scarce Medicine* The document is designed to ensure the availability of low-cost life-saving medicine for patients The FAS Russia together with the Ministry of Health of Russia is (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority consults on draft report by national dairy co-operative on its 2020/21 milk price manual
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission consults on draft report on Fonterra’s 2020/21 Milk Price Manual* The Commerce Commission today released its draft report on its annual review of Fonterra’s Farmgate Milk Price Manual for the 2020/21 dairy season. This year’s review focused on the changes Fonterra has made to the (...)

The US DOJ issues positive Business Review Letter to financial derivatives trade organization for its proposed amendments to address interest rate benchmarks (International Swaps and Derivatives Association)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Issues Favorable Business Review Letter To ISDA For Proposed Amendments To Address Interest Rate Benchmarks* The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it has completed its review of the proposal by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (...)

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