October 2019

Anticompetitive practices

The Latvian Competition Authority imposes interim measures suspending concession agreements concluded between a municipality and two waste management companies (Riga Municipality / Getliņi EKO / Tīrīga)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The Competition Council adopts a decision imposing interim measures regarding waste management in Riga* On September 9th the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) adopted a decision imposing interim measures on Riga Municipality and the limited liability company owned by it – SIA Getliņi (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines 14 banks for exchange of information (BBVA, BIC, BPI, BCP, BES, BANIF, Barclays, CGD, Caixa de Crédito Agrícola, Montepio, Santander, Deutsche Bank and UCI)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC imposes a fine of 225 million euros to 14 banks* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC) fined 14 banks in the total amount of 225 million euros in connection with the concerted practice of exchanging sensitive commercial data, during a period of more than (...)

The French Competition Authority and the Austrian Competition Authority carry out unannounced inspections in the automatic swimming pool cleaning equipment distribution sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Austrian competition authority and the General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicate that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the automatic swimming pool cleaning equipment distribution sector. Following judicial (...)

The Australian Parliament passes a repeal of subsection 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010
Jones Day (Sydney)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
Both houses of the Australian Parliament have passed a repeal of subsection 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ("CCA"). Following the repeal, owners of intellectual property rights in Australia must comply with certain competition rules from which they previously enjoyed an (...)

The Shanghai IP Court holds that fictitiously increasing the number of views of videos is an act of false propaganda (Feiyi / IQiYi)
Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing)
From the perspective of anti-unfair competition law, Feiyi Company fictitiously increased the video visits of IQiYi’s website by technical means - the first case of inflating traffic on video websites in China. In recent years, the excessive pursuit of traffic in the Internet industry has (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 26 companies and two trade associations for taking part in a school transportation cartel and confirms the prohibition of contracting with the public sector (Transporte Escolar Murcia)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
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CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
On 20 June 2019, the Spanish Competition and Markets Authority (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, “CNMC” or “Spanish Competition Authority”) fined 26 school transportation companies and two trade associations for taking part in a bid-rigging cartel. The fines amounted to EUR 1.88 (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Competition Authority and the Federal Network Agency issue their guidelines for the control of abusive practices in the electricity generation and wholesale trade sector in terms of anti-trust and energy wholesale law
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Control of abusive practices in electricity generation/wholesale trade: Bundeskartellamt and Bundesnetzagentur publish guidelines* The Bundeskartellamt and the Bundesnetzagentur are today publishing the guidelines for the control of abusive practices in the electricity generation and wholesale (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominance in the market for secondary reserve services (EDP Produção)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC imposes fine of 48 million euros on EDP Produção for abuse of dominance* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência – Portuguese Competition Authority) imposed a fine of 48 million euros on EDP – Gestão da Produção de Energia, S.A., (EDP Produção), for abuse of dominance in the market for secondary reserve (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms that a company has abused of its dominance by using conditional rebates and exclusivity provisions in the payment card sector (Teller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms that Teller (now Nets) abused its dominant position by using rebates conditional on exclusivity and exclusivity provisions* The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (DCAT) confirmed the 18th of September 2019 the ruling by the Danish Competition (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reformulates legal doctrines created for physical property to apply to new technology-based torts (HiQ / LinkedIn)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
THE NINTH CIRCUIT’S DECISION IN HIQ V LINKEDIN: DATA SCRAPING MAY HAVE A FUTURE, BUT FOR HOW LONG?* Do companies that gather public information have an obligation to make that information available en masse to would-be competitors? Do competitors have a right to access those companies’ websites (...)

The Indian Supreme Court flips its jurisprudence on abuse of dominance in a case involving radios taxis alleged of predatory pricing (Uber)
Indian Competition Commission (New delhi)
On September 3, 2019 The Supreme Court of India vide its judgement in Uber India Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Uber) v. Competition Commission of India (CCI) appears to have flipped the jurisprudence on abuse of dominance under the Indian Competition Act, 2002 (the “Act”) by requiring the assessment of the (...)

The Indian Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against an investigation into an allegations of abuse of dominance (Uber)
Jindal Initiative on Research in IP and Competition (Delhi)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA UPHOLDS INVESTIGATION AGAINST UBER* The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has dismissed an appeal[Uber India Systems Pvt. Ltd v Competition Commission of India, Civil Appeal No. 641 of 2017] filed by Uber India Systems Pvt. Ltd. (‘Uber’) against an order of the erstwhile (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the distribution of automotive parts market (TODD group / Alliance Automotive France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of automotive parts* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of TODD group by the company Alliance Automotive France On 2 September 2019, the company Alliance Automotive France (hereinafter « AAF ») notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to take over TODD (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger, subject to remedies taking the form of a divestiture prior to the acquisition, in the food and non-food wholesale and semi-wholesale sector (Cayenne supermarket / Super NKT)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of Cayenne supermarket Super NKT* The Autorité de la concurrence cleared the acquisition, subject to conditions, of the company NDIS and its subsidiary NG Kon Tia by SAFO (Huyghues-Despointes Group), which will be conditional on a divestiture prior to the acquisition of the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the hospital sector in spite of the high market shares of the clinics (Klinikverbund Kempten-Oberallgäu / Kreiskliniken Unterallgäu)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears hospital merger in the Allgäu region* In the first phase of examination the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned merger of the hospital group Klinikverbund Kempten-Oberallgäu gGmbH, Immenstadt, with the district clinics Kreiskliniken Unterallgäu AöR, Mindelheim, (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the coach transport market (CarPostal France / Keolis)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Coach transport* The Autorité has given the green light to the acquisition of CarPostal France by Keolis Keolis notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its planned acquisition of CarPostal France. Following an examination of the effects of this transaction on the urban and interurban public (...)

The UK Competition Authority considers that a merger in the sports fashion market raises competition concerns (JD Sports / Footasylum)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Sports fashion merger raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that JD Sports’ takeover of close competitor Footasylum could be bad for shoppers. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the merger could result in a worse deal (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market for the supply of electricity (E.ON / Innogy)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears E.ON’s acquisition of Innogy, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition by E.ON of Innogy’s distribution and consumer solutions business as well as certain of its electricity generation assets. The (...)

The French Competition Authority opens a public consultation in order to revise its merger guidelines
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence opens a public consultation in order to revise its merger guidelines* Since autumn 2017, the Autorité has been involved in an important modernisation and simplification of merger control by easing the constraints on companies (see press release dated 25 April (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority clears a merger in the hospital market in applying the failing firm defence (HSGL / HPA Group)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC adopts a clearance decision on the Grupo HPA Saúde / Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos merger* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência – Portuguese Competition Authority) has adopted a clearance decision on the merger concerning the acquisition of sole control of Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its merger review proceeding after companies had given up their merger plans in the furniture sector (VME / KHG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prevents major purchasing cooperation in the furniture sector* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued its administrative proceeding on account of the planned merger of the purchasing cooperations VME Union GmbH and KHG GmbH & Co. KG (Krieger/Höffner group) after the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority clears a merger in the retail sector in stations and airports (International Duty Free / Lagardère Travel Retail)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of International Duty Free S.A. by Lagardère Travel Retail S.A.S.* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved on 12 September 2019 the acquisition of International Duty Free S.A. (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the markets of cosmetics and perfumes (Colgate Palmolive / Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Cosmetic products* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques by Colgate Palmolive On 7 August 2019, Colgate-Palmolive notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to take over Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques . By a decision issued today, the (...)

The French Competition Authority closes the ex officio proceedings to verify the compliance of remedies concerning a merger in the telecom sector (Altice France / SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Telecoms* The Autorité closes the ex officio proceedings it had started to ensure compliance with the commitments concerning the sale of Completel’s DSL network made by Altice France when it acquired SFR. The Autorité considers that there is no evidence to characterise Altice France’s actions (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the postal delivery market (Sandd / PostNL)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM does not grant a license for the acquisition of postal operator Sandd by PostNL* Having conducted a thorough investigation, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided not to grant a license for the acquisition of postal operator Sandd by rival operator PostNL. (...)

The US Department of Justice agrees to refer the product market definition to binding arbitration (Aleris / Novelis)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (New York)
For the first time in history, DOJ’s Antitrust Division plans to use binding arbitration to resolve an important element of a merger challenge. As part of its lawsuit to block the proposed acquisition of Aleris Corporation by Novelis Inc., the parties and DOJ agreed to resolve the issue of (...)

The US Department of Justice and merging parties submit market definition question to binding arbitration (Aleris / Novelis)
Constantine Cannon (San Francisco)
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS, MARKET DEFINITION, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ARBITRATION, ALUMINUM FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS* On September 4, 2019, the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division sued to block Novelis, Inc.’s acquisition of Aleris Corporation, alleged to be a “new and (...)

The US FTC announces changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification rules
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Chicago)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino ("HSR") Premerger Notification Rules relating to Item 5 of the HSR Form that take effect starting September 25, 2019. Item 5 currently requires filers to report relevant U.S. revenues categorized using the U.S. (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission Commission opens in-depth investigations to assess whether “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational companies are in line with EU State aids rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigations into individual “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational companies* The European Commission has opened separate in-depth investigations to assess whether “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational (...)

Regulatory

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes a sector report on the impact of biosimilars on competition between TNF-alfa inhibitors
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
Dutch competition authority ACM publishes a sector report on the impact of biosimilars on competition between TNF-alfa inhibitors* The Dutch competition authority, ACM, initiated a market study in 2018 into the effect of the introduction of biosimilars on the competition between TNF alfa (...)

The UK Goverment announces the strengthening of the powers of competition watchdogs to fine businesses who broke consumer law
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 18 June 2019, the UK government published a press release announcing ’tough new powers for the competition watchdog to fine businesses directly who have broken consumer law’. This follows a request from Lord Tyrie, Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (’CMA’), for enhanced powers to (...)

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