October 2019

Anticompetitive practices

The Indian Competition Commission orders an investigation against online travel agencies for imposing vertical restrictions and abuse of dominance (MakeMyTrip / OYO)
Trilegal (Mumbai)
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Trilegal (Mumbai)
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Trilegal (Mumbai)
Introduction The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (Informant), an association of hotels and restaurants in India, filed an Information with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd. (MMT), Ibibo Group Private Limited (GoIbibo), (...)

The French Competition Authority fines road transport companies for market sharing (Astre group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Astre transport group €3.8 million for anticompetitive practices.* Background Following an investigation report sent by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité de la concurrence has today (...)

The Spanish Competition and Markets Authority opens formal investigation into 14 companies active in film distribution following concerns over potential anticompetitive practices (Film Distribution)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has opened a formal investigation into 14 film distributors following concerns over anticompetitive practices. In particular, the CNMC suspects that large film distribution companies and the company specialising in digital solutions for the film industry, Ymagis, colluded to harmonise (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines three construction companies for price-fixing, market sharing and exchange of information (Stanton Bonna Concrete / CPM / FP McCann)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Construction firms fined £36 million for breaking competition law* The CMA has issued 3 firms with fines totalling more than £36 million for breaking competition law in supplying certain concrete drainage products for building projects. Following an investigation by the Competition and Markets (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court confirms the Danish Competition Authority’s decision finding that media agencies have concluded a market sharing agreement (Media Agencies)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Court: Agreement between media agencies constituted anti-competitive customer allocation* Danish Maritime and Commercial Court confirms Competition Council decision: Agreement between media agencies constituted anti-competitive customer allocation. In August 2017, the Danish Competition (...)

The US DOJ opens an investigation of four car manufacturers for possible collusion by entering into an agreement with the State of California on light vehicle emissions and gas mileage standards
Richard Wolfram, Esq. (New York)
THE DOJ INVESTIGATES CAR MANUFACTURERS FOR ’COLLUSSION’ IN THEIR FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH CALIFORNIA ON GAS MILEAGE AND EMISSIONS STANDARDS: SOUNDING THE DEPTHS OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION ON ANTICOMPETITIVE COLLUSION AS DISTINGUISHED FROM PROCOMPETITIVE COLLABORATION* At a historic moment in (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three companies and their wholesale importers for having set up exclusive import agreements in the distribution of perfumes and cosmetic products market in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and La Réunion (Procter & Gamble / Coty / Chanel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of perfumes and cosmetics in the French Antilles, French Guiana and La Réunion* The Autorité de la concurrence hands down fines to Procter & Gamble, Coty and Chanel and their wholesale importers for having set up exclusive import agreements. The Lurel Law has prohibited (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority carries out an unannounced inspection in the pharmaceutical sector
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority is conducting inspections in the pharmaceutical sector* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) is currently conducting inspections at the premises of companies suspected of having implemented restrictive practices (...)

The Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg Competition Authorities advocate for an easier competition law enforcement in the digital world
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 October 2019, the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg competition authorities took the unusual step of adopting a joint memorandum on the role of the competition authorities in a digital world. This joint memorandum discusses merger control issues, the need for guidance in fast-moving digital (...)

The Spanish Competition and Markets Authority fines companies for participation in a cartel in the industrial assembly and maintenance sector (Montaje Y Mantenimiento Industrial)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has dismantled a cartel in the industrial assembly and maintenance sector. According to the CNMC, the practices in question were conducted with the aim of increasing prices in the services provided, mainly, to energy and petrochemical clients. The cartel members engaged in client (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority issues a guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional association
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional association* After completing the public consultations, the Board of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has adopted on the 1st of October 2019 a guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional (...)

Unilateral Practices

The South African Competition Appeal Court dismisses an appeal following the decision of the Competition Tribunal for an abuse of dominance in contravention of the Competition Act (Computicket)
Nortons (Johannesburg)
SOUTH AFRICA: COMPETITION APPEAL COURT CONFIRMS TRIBUNAL FINDING IN COMPUTICKET ABUSE OF DOMINANCE CASE* The South African Competition Appeal Court (CAC) on 23 October 2019 dismissed an appeal by Computicket (Pty) Ltd. (Computicket), following the decision of the Competition Tribunal (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a technology company suspected to have abused of its dominance in the TV and modem chipset markets (Broadcom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom in TV and modem chipset markets* The European Commission has ordered Broadcom to stop applying certain provisions contained in agreements with six of its main customers. This will prevent serious and irreparable harm to competition (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a company for abuse of dominance in the TV and modem chipset markets (Broadcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 October 2019, the European Commission adopted a decision ordering Broadcom to stop applying certain provisions contained in agreements with six of its main customers in the TV and modem chipset markets. According to the Commission’s press release, Broadcom was prima facie found to be (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a company for abuse of dominance in the TV and modem chipset markets (Broadcom)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 16 October 2018, the European Commission announced that, in the framework of its investigation into possible anticompetitive practices by Broadcom, it had imposed interim measures on the American company. This is the first time in 18 years that the Commission uses the power enshrined in (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation relating a merger in the global cruise shipbuilding market (Chantiers de l’Atlantique / Fincantieri)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Chantiers de l’Atlantique by Fincantieri* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Chantiers de l’Atlantique by Fincantieri, under the EU Merger Regulation. The (...)

The French Competition Authority decides to not renew remedies previously imposed to clear a merger in the telecommunications sector but keeps some injunctions valid (SFR / Altice)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of SFR by Altice: the Autorité de la concurrence will not renew the commitments and maintains certain injunctions* Given changes to the markets, the Autorité de la concurrence will not renew the commitments made by Altice upon acquiring SFR. However, the injunctions with penalty (...)

The Austrian Appel Court fines a company for gun-jumping in the investment market (Eurazeo)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Eurazeo SE fined for illegal merger* The Cartel Court, at the Austrian Federal Competition Authority’s request, has imposed a fine of € 30,000 on Eurazeo SE. The respondent had indirectly acquired a 58.8% stake in 2R Holding SAS and thus been in a position of sole control between 17 July 2018 (...)

The Austrian Appeal Court fines two companies for gun-jumping in the motorcycle and sports car manufacturing market (KTM / Kiska )
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
KTM AG and Kiska GmbH fined for illegal merger* The Cartel Court, at the Austrian Federal Competition Authority’s request, has imposed a fine of € 60,000 on KTM AG and Kiska GmbH. The first respondent had held a 26% stake in the second respondent during the period from 7 October 2015 to 29 (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation relating to a merger in the food retail market (Casino / Leclerc)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Acquisition of a Casino hypermarket located in the Troyes urban area: The Autorité de la concurrence opens an in-depth examination phase* The Autorité de la concurrence opens an in-depth examination phase for the acquisition of a Casino hypermarket located in the Troyes urban area by Soditroy (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in in the energy efficiency sector (Économie d’Énergie / La Poste)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Économie d’Énergie by Le Groupe La Poste.* Le Groupe La Poste notified the Autorité of its plans to take exclusive control of Économie d’Énergie. This transaction is part of Le Groupe La Poste’s strategy to diversify its activities, resulting in (...)

The Spanish Competition and Markets Authority fines company for for a merger commitment breach (Telefonica)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has fined Telefonica 1.5 million for breaching one of the commitments attached to its acquisition of DTS. The merger was cleared in 2015 by the CNMC on the condition that Telefonica fulfilled a number of commitments in the pay TV market. This included, among others, making (...)

The French Competition Authority launches its online notification procedure for certain mergers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Modernisation of merger control* Today, the Autorité de la concurrence launched its online notification procedure for certain mergers. Background The Autorité is continuing the simplification process it has begun for merger procedures. After adopting various measures to reduce and simplify (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority fines a company for failure to comply with document requests (Sabre / Farelogix)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 October 2019, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined the airline technology company Sabre Holdings £ 20,000 for failing to comply with two Section 109 Enterprise Act notices during the CMA’s in-depth investigation into its proposed acquisition of Farelogix, Inc. Section 109 (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation relating to a merger in the diagnosis and hospital care market (Elsan / HSM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
In-depth examination into Elsan’s plans to acquire Hexagone Santé Méditerranée* Elsan notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plans to take exclusive control of Hexagone Santé Méditerranée (HSM). The parties to the transaction are especially active in the diagnosis and hospital care markets in (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority orders a divesture and blocks a merger in the cleaning chemicals sector (Ecolab / Holchem)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 October 2019, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) ordered Ecolab to divest Holchem, effectively blocking the merger of two of the largest cleaning chemicals suppliers in the UK. Ecolab bought Holchem in November 2018. The CMA launched a merger inquiry in February 2019, which (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the food wholesale market (Rewe / Lekkerland)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rewe can acquire Lekkerland – Bundeskartellamt clears merger* Today the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by the Rewe Group of Lekkerland AG & Co. KG. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Together Rewe and Lekkerland only achieve an unproblematic market share of (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation relating to a proposed joint venture by aircraft manufacturers (Boeing / Embraer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into joint ventures proposed by Boeing and Embraer* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed creation of two joint ventures by aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Embraer, under the EU Merger Regulation. (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the production of aluminium automotive body sheets market (Novelis / Aleris)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Novelis’ acquisition of Aleris, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Aleris by Novelis. The decision is conditional on the divestiture of Aleris’ aluminium automotive body sheets business in (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation to assess whether various financing measures granted by Hungarian State-owned entities to a company operating in the ground handling market comply with EU rules for aid to companies in difficulty (Malév)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Hungarian support measures to Malév Ground Handling* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether various financing measures totalling approximately €21 million granted by Hungarian State-owned entities to (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules Romania’s plans to inject €200 million of capital in a fully state-owned Bank (CEC Bank)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves market conform recapitalisation of Romanian CEC Bank* The European Commission has found Romania’s plans to inject €200 million of capital in fully state-owned CEC Bank to be free of any State aid. The Commission found that the recapitalisation will be carried out (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation to assess whether the plan by the Spanish region of Valencia to grant public support to regional airline company is in line with EU State aid rules (Air Nostrum)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens investigation into public support for Air Nostrum’s fleet renewal in Spain* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the plan by the Spanish region of Valencia to grant €9 million of public support to regional airline Air Nostrum (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules the British Capacity Market scheme introduced in 2014 to safeguard security of electricity supply
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves the British Capacity Market scheme* Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the British Capacity Market scheme introduced in 2014 to safeguard security of electricity supply. In July 2014, the Commission (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into proposed Hungarian public support for a plant in the battery cell production facility market (Samsung)
DG COMP (Brussels)
STATE AID: COMMISSION OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO PROPOSED PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR SAMSUNG PLANT IN HUNGARY* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Hungary’s plans to grant €108 million of public support to Samsung SDI for investing in the expansion of its battery (...)

The EU Commission finds that Greek plans aimed at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks are in line with EU State aid rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
STATE AID: COMMISSION APPROVES MARKET CONFORM ASSET PROTECTION SCHEME FOR BANKS IN GREECE* The European Commission has found Greek plans aimed at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks to be free of any State aid. The Commission found that, under the asset protection (...)

Regulatory

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a market study into major tech firms on Dutch payments market
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Market study into major tech firms on Dutch payments market* At the request of the Dutch Minister of Finance, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched a market study into the activities of major tech firms (so-called Big Techs) on the Dutch payments market. (...)

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