October 2018

Anticompetitive practices

The Tyumen Regional Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority regarding a cartel involving two manufacturers of soil heat stabilizers (Konar / Fundamentstroiarkos)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Court confirmed a cartel at “Transneft” auction* Manufacturers of soil heat stabilizers agreed about auction behaviour to win contracts at the highest price The total revenues of the violators from selling the anticompetitive agreement exceeded 15 billion RUB. Tyumen OFAS proved the cartel in (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes fine of € 7 million on outdoor power tool manufacturer for de facto online sales restrictions (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 October 2018, the French competition authority (the “FCA”) fined Stihl, a German manufacturer of outdoor power tools, € 7 million for, in effect, prohibiting online sales of chainsaws, brush cutters, pole saws and electric pruners. Stihl operated a selective distribution system, under which (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches a new campaign "Stop Cartels" to educate businesses about anticompetitive practices and encourage leniency
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
COMPETITION & MARKETS AUTHORITY GETS TOUGH ON CARTELS* On 22 October 2018, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had launched a new “Stop Cartels” campaign to educate businesses about anti-competitive practices and encourage people to come forward if they suspect (...)

The Botswana Competition Authority rejects an exemption application brought by two fast moving consumer good companies (Choppies / Payless)
Primerio (Washington)
BOTSWANA COMPETITION AUTHORITY: EXCEPTION APPLICATION BACKFIRES FOR CHOPPIES-PAYLESS BUYING GROUP* The Competition Authority of Botswana (CA) rejected an exemption application brought by two FMCG players. The applicants, Choppies Distribution Centre and Payless Supermarkets, sought to justify (...)

The Czech Regional Court in Brno validates the legality of two dawn raids conducted by the Competition Authority that led to the discovery of cartels (AV MEDIA)
Skils (Prague)
Regional Court in Brno (RCB) dealt with two claims by AV MEDIA, a.s. challenging dawn raids conducted by the Czech Office for Protection of Competition (Office) at its premises in March and April 2018. The RCB found both dawn raids lawful and rejected both claims. Summary of Proceedings This (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a wholesaler-importer and its parent company for continuing to implement exclusive import agreements overseas, after the Lurel Act came into force (General Importand)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Exclusive distribution of consumer goods in Wallis-and-Futuna* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined the wholesaler-importer General Importand its parent company for continuing to implement exclusive import agreements, after the Lurel Act came into force. The "Lurel Act" has banned any (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal rejects a tender collusion allegation, as the tender was a sham (Geometry / Vaxiprox)
Anheuser-Busch InBev (Johannesburg)
The Competition Commission of South Africa (the Commission) sought an order from the Competition Tribunal of South Africa (the Tribunal) declaring that two brand activation companies (Geometry Global (Pty) Ltd (Geometry) and Vaxiprox (Pty) Ltd (Vaxiprox)) had colluded on a tender issued by a (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority fines a manufacturer for preventing its authorized distributors from selling its products online implementing ECJ Coty ruling (Stihl)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online retail of outdoor power equipment* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the manufacturer Stihl 7 million euros for having prevented its authorized distributors from selling its products online Background Following an investigative report from the DGCCRF, the Autorité de la (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an online platform service provider for excessive pricing (Sahibinden)
Boğaziçi University (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) fined Sahibinden.com (online platform service provider) approx. EUR 1,525,801 for excessive pricing. The TCA initiated two full-fledged investigations against Sahibinden.com back in 2017. Consequently, the TCA concluded on 1 October 2018 that (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation related to a merger on the steel supply market (Tata Steel / ThyssenKrupp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into new joint venture proposed by steel suppliers Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed creation of a joint venture by Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp, under the EU Merger (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the market of dietetic pet food sold by veterinarians (Mars Petcare / AniCura)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Mars’ acquisition of AniCura, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of AniCura, a veterinary clinic chain, by Mars, a supplier of pet food, including dietetic pet food. The approval is (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines a fuel retailer that submitted notification ten months after implementing a merger transaction for gun-jumping (Petrol Property / Vaizga)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Latvian competition authority fines Lithuanian company UAB Vaizga for unnotified merger* On April, 2018, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) cleared the proposed acquisition of Latvian company SIA Petrol Property by UAB Vaizga. As the Lithuanian UAB Vaizga failed to submit merger (...)

The Irish Competition Authority announces that merger notification thresholds will be revised from 1 January 2019
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Revised Merger Notification Thresholds* Following a public consultation reviewing certain provisions of the Competition Act 2002, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has issued a Ministerial Order revising the financial thresholds at which notification of a merger or (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into measures in favour of an airline company in Germany (Ryanair)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into measures in favour of Ryanair at Frankfurt-Hahn airport in Germany* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether measures in favour of Ryanair at the German airport of Frankfurt-Hahn are in line with (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules a measure to support electricity production from renewable sources in France
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €200 million in public support for renewable energy for self-suppliers of electricity in France* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a measure to support electricity production from renewable sources for self-consumption in France until (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules a €306 million aid for the construction of a section of motorway in Greece
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €306 million in Greek public funding for the construction of southern section of E65 motorway* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Greek public funding of €306 million for the construction of the southern section of the Central Greece (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules the extension of the existing Danish tonnage tax scheme to additional types of vessels
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves extension of Danish tonnage tax scheme to new types of vessels* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the extension of the existing Danish tonnage tax scheme to additional types of vessels. This will encourage ship registration in Europe (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State Aid Rules a €125 million investment aid of Slovakia to an automotive company (Jaguar Land Rover)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Slovakia’s €125 million investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover* The European Commission has concluded that Slovakia’s €125 million investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover is in line with EU State aid rules. The aid will contribute to the development of the region of Nitra, (...)

Procedures

The President of the EU General Court rejects an application to prevent publication of a Commission decision (EURIBOR Cartel)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 7 December 2016, the European Commission adopted a decision whereby it fined Crédit agricole, JP Morgan Chase and another bank EUR 485 million for participating in the so-called EURIBOR cartel. The investigation of the Commission revealed that the banks in question had colluded on certain (...)

The EU Commission and Council discuss enhancements of national security screening of foreign direct investment (FDI)
Dechert (London)
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Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Brussels)
The EU has agreed in principle on a strengthened framework to ensure that foreign investment does not threaten security and public order, while keeping the EU open to foreign investment. The draft FDI Regulation does not go as far as introducing an EU screening mechanism whose decisions are (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the freedom of establishment of lawyers at the French Administrative Supreme Court and the French Supreme Court
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Freedom of establishment of lawyers at the French Administrative Supreme Court and the French Supreme Court* The Autorité de la concurrence issues an opinion on the freedom of establishment of lawyers at the French Administrative Supreme Court and the French Supreme Court. To improve citizens’ (...)

The Australian Standing Committee on Economics publishes a report on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission activities
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
THE ACCC’S ANNUAL REPORT: THE YEAR IN REVIEW* On 15 October 2018, the Standing Committee on Economics (Standing Committee) published a report on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which details the ACCC’s performance and operations based on the ACCC’s 2017 Annual Report. (...)

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