November 2022 - II

General antitrust

The Irish Competition Authority publishes analysis of fuel price movements in the retail motor fuel sector which reveals that the market is competitive New
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
The CCPC conducted an analysis of the retail motor fuel sector with particular focus on the 19-day period between 2 and 20 March 2022 Rising international prices drove increases in prices at the pump in the period leading up to the excise cut rather than a lack of competition CCPC found no (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority conducts a survey which finds that every tenth entrepreneur and municipality are ready to engage in a competition law violation New
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
Every tenth entrepreneur and municipality are ready to engage in a competition law violation* A public opinion survey conducted by the Competition Council (the CC) reveals that, despite the growing public awareness of fair competition and the applicable penalty amounts for violation of (...)

The UK Competition Authority conducts consultation on allowing schools early exit from software contracts New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Consultation on allowing schools early exit from software contracts* The CMA is consulting on proposals from ESS to allow certain schools to exit longer-term software contracts where the CMA has concerns that the lack of notice given to them limited their choice and competition. Education (...)

The US DoJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force announces four new national law enforcement partners as it enters its fourth year New
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Announces Four New National Law Enforcement Partners as it Enters its Fourth Year* The Justice Department announced today that the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) welcomed four new national law enforcement partners to the Strike (...)

The US FTC announces expanded enforcement authority under section 5 of the FTC Act New
Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
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Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia)
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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Washington)
The enforcement authority of the FTC is a topic of the critically acclaimed book by Concurrences "Rulemaking Authority of the US Federal Trade Commission". Click here to access the book. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued long-awaited guidance regarding its interpretation of the scope (...)

The US FTC expands its interpretation of its competition enforcement mandate New
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 10 November 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) issued a Policy Statement (the Policy Statement) outlining a significant expansion of its mandate to target “unfair methods of competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act (Section 5). In a concurrently published statement, FTC (...)

The US FTC votes to restore rigorous enforcement of antitrust law by banning unfair methods of competition and going beyond the ’rule of reason’ which has been the authority’s recent approach to investigations New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Restores Rigorous Enforcement of Law Banning Unfair Methods of Competition* Policy statement renews agency’s commitment to exercising full legal authority against companies that use unfair tactics to gain an advantage instead of competing on the merits The Federal Trade Commission issued a (...)

The US FTC signals an unprecedented expansion in its definition of unfair methods of competition New
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued a policy statement that dramatically expands the scope of what it considers “unfair methods of competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45. This represents an aggressive and unprecedented interpretation of the agency’s authority, and (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority releases an information bulletin with a view to increasing its transparency New
Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law (Ottawa)
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the Bureau), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the Act), announced on 25 October 2022 the release of its Information Bulletin on Transparency (the Bulletin). (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority publishes an information bulletin on transparency during competition investigations New
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau publishes a new Information Bulletin on Transparency* News release The Competition Bureau published its new Information Bulletin on Transparency, a resource that explains the approach the Bureau takes in communicating with different groups of people during its (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidelines on the application of EU competition law to the collective agreements of solo self-employed persons New
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On September 29, 2022, the European Commission adopted guidelines on the application of EU competition law to the collective agreements of solo self-employed persons (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission Guidelines”), with the aim of defining when solo self-employed persons can collectively (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Australian Competition Authority receives court-enforceable remedies from a turf breeder to address concerted practices concerns (Lawn Solutions Australia Group) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Turf breeder to address concerted practices concerns* Turf breeder Lawn Solutions Australia Group Pty Ltd (LSA) has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to address ACCC concerns that LSA may have engaged in a concerted practice by communicating with turf growers and resellers about the (...)

The French Competition Authority General Rapporteur indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the cow’s milk supply sector New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the cow’s milk supply sector* Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la concurrence have raided yesterday the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a human resources training company for cartel cooperation (Nye Visioner v/Søren Dybdal) New
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Another company has been fined for cartel co-operation* The company, Nye Visioner v/Søren Dybdal, has admitted to having infringed the competition law’s prohibition against anti-competitive agreements. The Danish Competition Council has issued a fine to the company for the infringement. The fine (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a fisheries association for implementing an anticompetitive agreement on price and control of production and outlets (Association réunionnaise interprofessionnelle de la pêche et de l’aquaculture) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fisheries and aquaculture sector: the Autorité de la concurrence fines the Association réunionnaise interprofessionnelle de la pêche et de l’aquaculture (Reunionese Interprofessional Fisheries and Aquaculture Association) for implementing an anticompetitive agreement on price and control of (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority fines 3 companies and 13 individuals for a cartel in the sodium silicate market (Manchester Química / Unaprosil / Perquímia) New
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
CADE fines over 60 million reais for a cartel in the sodium silicate market* The authority fined companies and individuals for the anticompetitive conduct In the hearing of 9 November, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) convicted the companies Manchester Química, Unaprosil, (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority initiates an investigation into resale price maintenance and restrictions on online sales in the cosmetics sector (Avon / Farmasi Enternasyonel / Kosan Kozmetik / NAOS İstanbul / Pierre Fabre / Yöntem Profesyonel) New
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Investigation about Avon Kozmetik Ürünleri Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ, Farmasi Enternasyonel Ticaret AŞ, Kosan Kozmetik Pazarlama ve Tic. AŞ, NAOS İstanbul Kozmetik San ve Tic. Ltd. Şti., Pierre Fabre Dermo Kozmetik Ltd. Şti. and Yöntem Profesyonel Kozmetik Ürünleri San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti. Initiated (...)

The US FTC files an amicus brief in support of employees challenging a fast food company’s intra-franchise no-poach rules (McDonald’s / Deslandes and others) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Joins Justice Department in Amicus Brief Supporting Workers’ Challenge to McDonald’s “No Hire” Franchise Restrictions* Brief argues that a provision in McDonald’s franchise agreement is per se illegal under U.S. antitrust law The Federal Trade Commission joined the Department of Justice in (...)

The US DoJ secures a fine exceeding $1M and restitution payments of more than $300K in a long-running insulation bid rigging cartel case (Axion Specialty Contracting) New
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Insulation Contracting Firm Sentenced for Rigging Bids* Third Defendant Sentenced in Investigation in the Insulation Contracting Industry Axion Specialty Contracting LLC (Axion) was sentenced to pay a $1,001,989 criminal fine and $313,121 in restitution on Nov. 4 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority rescinds its temporary guidance on competitor collaborations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau rescinds temporary guidance on competitor collaborations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic* Effective today, the Competition Bureau has rescinded the temporary guidance on competitor collaborations provided to businesses to support crisis response efforts during the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Competition Authority receives a Big Tech company’s response that its virtual reality headsets can now be used without an account on its social network (Meta Quest / Meta) New Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Meta (Facebook) responds to the Bundeskartellamt’s concerns – VR headsets can now be used without a Facebook account* Users who want to use the Quest 2 VR headset offered by Meta Quest (formerly Oculus) no longer need a Facebook account to do so. Meta has responded to the Bundeskartellamt’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the maker of an orphan medicine to treat a rare metabolic disorder €10.25 million for imposing excessive prices (Leadiant) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14/11/2022, the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) imposed a fine of EUR 10.25 million on Leadiant because that firm was found to have abused its dominant position by applying excessive prices for chenodeoxycholic acid, an orphan medicine indicated for the treatment of patients afflicted (...)

The German Competition Authority extends its ongoing proceedings against an e-commerce giant to include the application of new powers which will allow the Authority to review the degree to which the firm may set market rules (Amazon) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Extension of ongoing proceedings against Amazon to also include an examination pursuant to Section 19a of the German Competition Act (GWB)* The Bundeskartellamt has extended two ongoing abuse control proceedings against Amazon to now also include the application of the new instrument for more (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical company €10.25 million for selling its orphan drug for the treatment of a rare disease at an excessive price (Leadiant) New
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines the pharmaceutical company Leadiant 10.25 million for selling its orphan drug for the treatment of a rare disease at an excessive price.* The company has abused its dominant position as the holder of the only medicine available in Spain for the treatment of a rare disease: (...)

The US FTC files an amicus brief challenging the abuse of the FDA’s "orange book" listing procedures which allow companies to automatically block the entry of generic drugs for 30 months (Jazz Pharmaceuticals / Avadel CNS Pharmaceuticals) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Amicus Brief Challenges Abuse of FDA “Orange Book” Listing Procedures to Block Drug Competition* The Federal Trade Commission filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in the case of Jazz Pharmaceuticals v. Avadel CNS Pharmaceuticals. The Brief (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that a Big Tech firm illegally combined data from several of its operations which raised barriers to entry and distorted competition (Meta) New
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Investigation about Meta Platforms Inc. (previously Facebook Inc.), Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (previously Facebook Ireland Limited), WhatsApp LLC and Madoka Turkey Bilişim Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti. Concluded (26.10.2022) (10.11.2022)* The investigation about Meta Platforms Inc. (previously (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority initiates an investigation into resale price maintenance in the market for fast-moving consumer goods (Panek) New
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Investigation about Panek Ziraat Aletleri Dayanıklı Tüketim Malzemeleri Otomotiv Yakıt Petrol Ürünleri Tarım Ticaret A.Ş. Initiated (25.10.2022) (10.11.2022)* The Competition Board concluded the preliminary inquiry about the claim that Panek Ziraat Aletleri Dayanıklı Tüketim Malzemeleri Otomotiv Yakıt (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a beverage manufacturer €10.3M for concluding exclusivity agreements with retailers (Coca-Cola) New
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Imposition of a €10,342,773 fine on COCA COLA 3Ε* Subject: HCC Decision no. 762/2021 imposing a fine of EUR 10,342,773 on the company COCA COLA HELLENIC BOTTLING COMPANY S.A. (COCA COLA 3E) for infringements of articles 2 L. 3959/2011 and 102 TFEU, following an ex officio investigation of the (...)

The French Competition Authority hands out fines worth €81M to a manufacturer of optical lenses and its parent company for discriminating against online opticians (Essilor International / EssilorLuxottica) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Optical lenses sector: the Autorité de la concurrence hands out fines worth 81 067 400 euros to Essilor International SAS and its parent company EssilorLuxottica SA for discriminatory trade practices* Background Following dawn raids, interviews and discussions with the main stakeholders in the (...)

The US DoJ brings its first criminal monopolization case in 50 Years which relates to attempted monopolization in the construction sector (Nathan Nephi Zito)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Los Angeles)
A plea deal with a paving contractor follows the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s ("DOJ") threat to resurrect criminal enforcement of the Sherman Act § 2 prohibition on monopolization and attempted monopolization. A paving contractor pleaded guilty to attempted monopolization in DOJ’s (...)

The US DoJ secures first criminal conviction in decades for attempted monopolization (Nathan Nephi Zito)
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 31 October 2022 the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ or the Division) announced that the president of a Montana paving and asphalt contractor pled guilty to one count of violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act for attempting to monopolize the market for highway crack-sealing (...)

The EU Commission sends a Statement of Objections to a pharmaceutical company over abusive patent filings and disparagement of generic competitors (Teva) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 October 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had sent a Statement of Objections to Teva, a pharmaceutical company marketing Copaxone®, a medicine indicated for the treatment of specific forms of multiple sclerosis. The Statement of Objections comes over a year (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority carries out a dawn raid which causes a pharmaceutical company to drop IP infringement court actions against competitor (Novartis / Lily) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
As we have previously reported (Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights, 15 September 2022), on 13 September 2022, the Swiss Competition Authority carried out an inspection at the premises of Novartis Pharma AG ( Novartis ). In parallel, Novartis received a request for (...)

Mergers

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues statement of preliminary issues in relation to a merger between a healthcare operations company and an health care services provider (Central Healthcare / Crest Hospital) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Central Healthcare Operations’ application to acquire an ownership interest in the Crest Hospital* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Central Healthcare Operations Limited seeking (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts proposed remedies to address concerns of a merger between two foam manufacturers (Carpenter / Reticel) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA accepts remedy to address concerns in foam merger* The CMA has accepted a remedy from Carpenter and Recticel following concerns that Carpenter’s merger with Recticel could harm manufacturers and lead to a worse deal for shoppers on items like mattresses and kitchen sponges. US-based (...)

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy orders a Chinese firm to unwind its acquisition of a Welsh semiconductor wafer factory on national security grounds, reversing its original position (Nexperia / Newport Wafer Fab) New
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
The UK government has exercised its powers under the UK’s national security and investment regime to unwind Chinese-owned Nexperia’s acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab (“NWF”), a semiconductor wafer factory located in Newport, Wales. This is the third prohibition under this (new) regime and the first (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger between two airline services in the London to South Korea route could cause passengers to pay more to fly from London to South Korea (Asiana Airlines / Korean Air) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Airline merger could see passengers pay more to fly from London to South Korea* The buyout of Asiana Airlines by Korean Air could lead to higher prices for passengers flying between London and Seoul, as well as impacting air cargo services. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are the only carriers (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a global cash register by a gambling and sports betting services provider, subject to conditions (Aleda / Française des Jeux) New
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité clears the acquisition of Aleda by Française des Jeux, subject to conditions* Background Having examined the acquisition of Aleda by Française des Jeux (FDJ), the Autorité cleared the transaction subject to conditions. FDJ submitted behavioural remedies to address the competition (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisitions of two car dealerships by a dealership group (Mercedes-Benz Drogenbos / Mercedes-Benz Waterloo / RCM Belgium) New
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of Mercedes-Benz Drogenbos NV and Mercedes-Benz Waterloo SA by RCM Belgium SA* On 10 November 2022, the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) approved the concentration by which RCM Belgium SA acquires sole control of Mercedes-Benz (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation into a telecommunications company’s proposed acquisition of a rival (Telnet / Bulgarian Telecommunications Company) New
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
The CPC opens in-depth investigation into “BTC” EAD’s proposed acquisition of Telnet OOD* By Decision No744/06.10.2022, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC, the Commission) has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of sole control over "Telnet" OOD by (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority approves unconditionally the acquisition of a supermarket by a rival (Mestdagh / Intermarché) New
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of Mestdagh by Intermarché* On 9 November 2022, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved the acquisition of sole control of Mestdagh by ITM AB. ITM AB (Intermarché) and Mestdagh are both active in (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises concerns over a potential merger between providers of student accommodation in Birmingham (Student Roost / GIC / Greystar) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Accommodation merger could mean worse deal for students in Birmingham* The purchase of student accommodation provider Student Roost by GIC and Greystar could lead to higher rent and lower quality housing for students in Birmingham. The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) phase 1 (...)

The Irish Competition Authority accepts a grocery chain and grocery wholesaler combination, subject to binding commitments to not exchange commercially sensitive information (BWG Foods / McCarrick Brothers Wholesale) New
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC requires binding commitments from BWG to acquire McCarrick’s* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has cleared, subject to a number of legally binding commitments, the proposed acquisition by BWG Foods Unlimited Company (BWG) of McCarrick Brothers Wholesale Longford (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification of proposed acquisition of a national dairy product producer by a Greek rival (N.Th. Kouroushis / Olympus Foods) New
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition of the share capital of N.Th. Kouroushis Ltd by Olympus Foods (Cyprus) Ltd* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition of the share capital (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses the Competition Authority’s challenge of an acquisition by a grain company of a grain elevator (P&H / Virden Elevator / Louis Dreyfus)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau to review Tribunal ruling on its challenge of P&H’s acquisition of grain elevator in Virden, MB* The Competition Tribunal issued a decision dismissing the Competition Bureau’s challenge of Parrish & Heimbecker’s (P&H) acquisition of one primary grain elevator in (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott supports setting aside the General Court’s ruling, overturning the prohibition order of a merger between telecoms companies (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 October 2022, Advocate General Kokott issued an opinion that the General Court (“GC”) had erred in its ruling in the C.K. Telecoms case by misstating the correct legal test to prohibit an oligopolistic merger and for engaging in an overly broad legal review of the Commission’s decision. AG (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott supports the use of Article 102 TFEU to assess a merger ex post provided that the transaction was not initially assessed using traditional tools (Towercast)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 October 2022, Advocate General Kokott issued a non-binding opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in the Towercast preliminary ruling request, expressing the view that concentrations that are not notifiable ex-ante under the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) or national (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a pharmaceutical company by a rival subject to commitments to abolish rules which require minimum purchase orders and minimum period of permanence (Hefame / Cofarcu) New
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC cleared 11 mergers in October* All but one were approved in the first phase and without commitments, as they did not pose problems for competition in the affected markets. The Hefame/Cofarcu merger was approved in the first phase with commitments. The sectors affected by these (...)

The US FTC and DoJ consider reforming the Horizontal Merger Guidelines and reducing the importance of the consumer welfare standard New
Compass Lexecon (Washington)
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Compass Lexecon (Washington)
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Compass Lexecon (Washington)
Recent statements by the heads of the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice suggest that new merger guidelines may replace the tried-andtested consumer welfare standard with a series of alternate goals. Proponents of such a shift see a need to promote goals other than consumer (...)

State Aid

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian grant scheme for businesses particularly affected by severe increases in energy prices New
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Norwegian grant scheme for businesses particularly affected by severe increases in energy prices* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a grant scheme for businesses in Norway that are particularly affected by severe increases in energy prices that have resulted (...)

The EU Court of Justice sets aside two judgments of the General Court which dismissed the actions of two airlines against the decision of the Commission concerning State aid granted by Italy to Sardinian airports (Volotea / EasyJet) New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice sets aside the two judgments of the General Court which dismissed the actions of Volotea and easyJet against the decision of the Commission concerning State aid granted by Italy to Sardinian airports* That decision is also annulled, to the extent that it concerns Volotea (...)

The EU Commission approves a Spanish scheme worth €88.3M under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support connectivity in rural areas New
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €88.3 million Spanish scheme under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support connectivity in rural areas* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an €88.3 million Spanish scheme made available through the Recovery and Resilience (...)

The EU Commission approves a Romanian scheme worth €500M to support companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine New
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Romanian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine* The European Commission has approved an approximately €500 million (RON 2,500 million) Romanian scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s (...)

The EU Commission approves a Czech scheme worth €1.23B to support the economy in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine New
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.23 billion Czech scheme to support the economy in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €1.23 billion scheme to support the Czech economy in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €500M to improve the environmental performance of seafaring vessels New
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Italian scheme to improve environmental performance of vessels* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million Italian scheme to help companies in the maritime transport sector to acquire clean and zero-emission vessels, (...)

The EU Commission approves a Czech scheme worth €180M to support rail and urban transport operators using electric traction New
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €180 million Czech scheme to support rail and urban transport operators using electric traction* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €180 million Czech scheme to support rail and urban public transport operators using electric (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls the Commission’s expansive interpretation of State aid in a Luxembourg tax rulings case (Fiat Chrysler) New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Chicago)
On November 8, 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), overturning the first instance EU General Court (General Court), annulled the European Commission’s (EC’s) decision that a Luxembourg tax ruling on Fiat’s intragroup financing transactions “did not reflect economic reality” and (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian guarantee scheme for businesses affected by the severe increase in electricity prices in the wake of the Russo-Ukrainian war
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Norwegian guarantee scheme for businesses affected by the severe increase in electricity prices* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a new Norwegian aid scheme for undertakings particularly affected by the severe rise in electricity prices caused by the (...)

The EU Commission adopts a second amendment to the Temporary Crisis Framework to support businesses affected by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the unfolding energy crisis New
White & Case (Berlin)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 28 October 2022, the European Commission adopted the second amendment to its State Aid Temporary Crisis Framework to support businesses affected by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the unfolding energy crisis White & Case provides an overview of the key amendments. The Temporary Crisis (...)

The EU Commission prolongs and amends its Temporary Crisis Framework relaxing State aid rules to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 28 October 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the second amendment to its Temporary Crisis Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia (the “Framework”). The second amendment to the Framework extends its (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves the prolongation of a green support scheme for rail freight in Norway New
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves prolongation of green support scheme for rail freight in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation of a Norwegian support scheme for rail freight aimed at helping the transport sector become more environmentally friendly. Most modes of (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of Justice upholds judgment annulling the Commission’s decision and confirms that the General Court had not imposed an excessive burden of proof in a recovery of State aid case (Valencia Club de Fútbol) New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Decision on State aid granted by Spain to Valencia CF annulled by the General Court: the Court of Justice dismisses the Commission’s appeal * According to the Court of Justice, the General Court did not impose an excessive burden of proof on the Commission and merely found that the Commission (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority imposes pecuniary sanctions and fines on natural persons for failure to cooperate with the Authority in a dawn raid New
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
The CPC imposed a pecuniary sanction and fines on natural persons for failure to comply with the obligation for cooperation with the Commission in the exercise of its powers* On 30.06.2022 the CPC carried out an inspection at the office of a leading retailer of toners and other printing (...)

The EU Court of Justice preliminarily determines the Commission may lawfully request the creation of new documents by classifying or compiling knowledge already in its possession provided the request is consistent with the principle of proportionality (AD / DAF Trucks)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The disclosure of ‘relevant evidence’, within the meaning of EU law, includes documents that a party may be required to create by compiling or classifying information, knowledge or data in its possession* In accordance with the principle of proportionality, the national courts must, however, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority improves the procedure for fine-setting by improving incentives to cooperate with the authorities and increasing clarity on the application of competition law provisions New
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
PROCEDURE FOR SETTING FINES FOR COMPETITION LAW INFRINGEMENTS HAS BEEN IMPROVED* Today the Lithuanian Government adopted a resolution approving the description of the procedure for setting fines for infringements of the Law on Competition. A more detailed regulation of the methodology for (...)

The Ankara 13th Administrative Court rules for the annulment of the Turkish Competition Authority’s cartel decision due to failure of standard of proof (Kronospan) New
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Ankara 13th Administrative Court (’Court’) recently annulled with its decision (“Court Decision”) the Turkish Competition Authority’s (’TCA’) cartel determination (“TCA Decision”) against Kronospan Orman Ürünleri San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Kronospan”) in a decision through which it had imposed on 11 (...)

The Ankara Regional Administrative Court overturns a decision on the single economic entity principle, ruling that the Competition Authority may lawfully request information from a subsidiary that the parent company must then provide (Citibank / Goldman Sachs / ING Bank / JPMorgan Chase Bank / Türkiye Garanti Bankası) New
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction On 26 October 2022, the Ankara Regional Administrative Court’s 8th Administrative Chamber revoked an earlier decision of the Ankara 3rd Administrative Court that had annulled the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) decision concerning the imposition of administrative monetary (...)

The EU Commission provides guidance on its leniency policy and practice New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 October 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) document containing guidance on its cartel leniency programme. The document aims at facilitating leniency applications by providing further transparency, predictability and accessibility to (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal grants partial reformation of the decision of the French Competition Authority concerning practices related to the distribution of products of a Big Tech company, and reduces the fine imposed by two thirds (Apple) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2022, the Court of Appeal of Paris (“the Court”) granted a partial reformation of the decision of the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) of 16 March 2020 concerning practices related to the distribution of certain Apple products (the “FCA Decision”) and reduced by twothirds the (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority calls for new competition and consumer laws in its fifth report as part of a digital platforms services inquiry
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC calls for new competition and consumer laws for digital platforms* The ACCC has recommended a range of new measures to address harms from digital platforms to Australian consumers, small businesses and competition. The fifth report of the ACCC’s five-year Digital Platform Services Inquiry (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority takes notice of the EU Commission’s initiation of a public consultation on the draft revised notice on the definition of the relevant market New
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
Opening of a public consultation by the Commission on the draft revised notice on the definition of the relevant market* On November 8, 2022, the European Commission published the draft revised notice on the definition of the relevant market. The draft revised notice on the definition of the (...)

The EU Parliament Digital Markets Act’s entry into force starts the clock on the application of game-changing rules for Big Tech
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) enters into force on 1 November 2022. It promises to be one of the most significant developments in the history of EU regulation, ushering in a new era for technology companies operating in the EU. In this communication we set out the background to the DMA, the (...)

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action partially prohibits Chinese investment in a Hamburg container terminal (COSCO) New
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Frankfurt)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On October 26, 2022, the German government permitted (with conditions) an investment by Chinese state-owned COSCO Shipping Group (“COSCO”) in one of Hamburg’s four shipping container terminals. Pursuant to foreign direct investment (“FDI”) laws, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority alters its approach when analysing thresholds in merger cases involving ’technology’ companies New
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction On 4 March 2022, the Turkish Competition Authority (the “TCA”) increased the notification thresholds set in its merger regulation, i.e., Communiqué No. 2010/4 on the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorisation of the Competition Board (“Communiqué No. 2010/4”). In addition (...)

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