October 2021

General antitrust

The Chinese National People’s Congress seeks comments on its draft amendments to the anti-monopoly law
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Key Changes and Impacts On October 23, 2021, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (“NPC”) released the Draft Amendments (’Draft Amendments’) to Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (“AML”) for public comments [1]. This is the second draft of amendments (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces its intention to launch a study into the music streaming market
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA plans probe into music streaming market* The CMA has announced its intention to launch a market study into music streaming. Following discussion by the CMA Board, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will now carry out work to consider and develop the final scope of the market (...)

The EU Commission adopts a work programme for 2022 including a review of competition policy
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
On 19 October 2021, the Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2022 of key initiatives for the coming year and how these will be concretely pursued, particularly towards promoting a greener, more resilient, and digital post-COVID-19 Europe. The Work Programme contains 42 new initiatives (...)

The International Competition Network holds its 20th annual conference with focus on sustainability and competition policy post COVID-19 Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The ICN virtually celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Budapest and announces Berlin as venue for the 21st ICN Annual Conference* The International Competition Network (ICN) held its 20th annual conference from 13 to 15 October. The event hosted by the Hungarian Competition Authority took place (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces new big challenges for competition including merger law reform, the need to prove the future in competition cases, and the role of new regulation for digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Competition in Australia faces big challenges* Significant challenges facing competition law and policy need to be confronted and solved if our market economy is to work for all Australians, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said today. Innovation, productivity and the welfare of Australians depends on (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes the preliminary findings of its sector inquiry into the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and calls for more competition within the sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt calls for more competition in the provision of charging electricity - Preliminary findings of sector inquiry into charging infrastructure* The Bundeskartellamt has today published a progress report on its ongoing sector inquiry into charging station infrastructure (“Sector (...)

The French Competition Authority opens a public consultation on a new framework document on compliance programs
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence opens a public consultation with a view to publish a new framework document on competition compliance programmes* Update of the 2012 compliance framework document A group of experts from the private sector (companies, professional associations and law firms) and (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its responses to two Government consultations on reforming competition policy and on adopting a new pro-competition regime for digital markets
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA welcomes government proposals on new powers* The CMA has responded to the government’s proposals to enhance its ability to tackle breaches of competition and consumer law and empower the Digital Markets Unit (DMU). Changes would see the CMA given the power to declare companies in breach of (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Australian Competition Authority announces that a national radio association can collectively bargain with 2 Big Tech companies about payments for using radio station’s news content on the digital platforms (Commercial Radio Australia / Google / Facebook)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Commercial Radio Australia to collectively bargain with Google and Facebook* Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) can collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google over payment for their member stations’ news content featured on the platforms following an ACCC authorisation. The ACCC’s final (...)

The EU Court of justice AG Rantos clarifies the temporal scope of the directive on the compensation of victims of anticompetitive practices (RM / Volvo / DAF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Truck cartel in Spain: Advocate General Rantos clarifies the temporal scope of the directive on the compensation of victims of anti-competitive practices* On 19 July 2016, the European Commission found that a number of truck manufacturers, including AB Volvo and DAF Trucks, had participated (...)

The Australian Competition Authority secures a guilty plea by a former export manager of a pharmaceutical ingredient company for participating in cartel activities (Alkaloids / Christopher Kenneth Joyce)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Former export manager of pharmaceutical ingredient company pleads guilty to criminal cartel charges* Christopher Kenneth Joyce, the former export manager of pharmaceutical ingredient company Alkaloids of Australia Pty Ltd, has today pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct in Sydney’s Downing (...)

The Australian Competition Authority initiates proceedings against two Sydney roof tiling businesses and their sole directors for alleged participation in a cartel (First Class Slate Roofing / Mr. Shingles / Scott Barton / Damian Hand)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC takes action against alleged roof tiling cartel participants* The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against two Sydney roof tiling businesses, First Class Slate Roofing (First Class) and RAD Roofing Specialists (trading as Mr. Shingles), and their sole directors, (...)

The EU Commissioner for Competition Vestager announces increased focus on atypical cartels, including wage fixing or no-poach agreements in the labour market Free
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
Antitrust authorities are increasingly focused on anticompetitive agreements in the labour markets. In a recent speech held in Rome on 22 October 2021 ("A New Era of Cartel Enforcement"), EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager emphasised that the Commission will further and further (...)

The EU Commissioner for Competition Vestager highlights the Commission’s fight against cartels during and after COVID-19, including reigniting dawn raids
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
On 22 October 2021, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager highlighted the Commission’s commitment to combating cartels during the COVID crisis and in its aftermath. During the pandemic, the Commission’s activity against cartels included decisions issued in (...)

The EU Commission plans a series of dawn raids to investigate anticompetitive practices in labor markets
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Washington)
No-poach agreements on the European Commission dawn raid radar* In a speech on 22 October 2021, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager revealed that the European Commission was planning a series of dawn raids for the months to come. She highlighted that the European Commission is not (...)

The US DoJ secures new guilty pleas by two Belgian former security services executives in an ongoing investigation into rigging bids in national defense procurement contracts (G4S Secure Solutions)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Former Security Services Executives Plead Guilty to Rigging Bids for Department of Defense Security Contracts* Two former employees of G4S Secure Solutions NV (G4S NV), pleaded guilty today to criminal antitrust charges stemming from their involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, (...)

The Swedish Patent and Market Court rules that a company active in the cheese and dairy industry should pay an administrative fine for having participated in unlawful cooperation ahead of a dairy product procurement (Arla Foods)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Arla Foods to pay administrative fine for unlawful cooperation* The Patent and Market Court has in a judgment decided that Arla Foods is to pay an administrative fine for having participated in an unlawful cooperation ahead of a procurement. The fact that Arla Foods has cooperated with the (...)

The Cypriot Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision for the protection of competition and the fine imposed on the national telecommunications for setting unfair prices (CYTA)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Administrative Court has upheld the decision of the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the fine imposed on the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority for infringements of the Protection of Competition Law of 2008 * The Administrative Court of the Republic of Cyprus has, by its (...)

The French Competition Authority states objections to 14 professional organisations and 101 companies in the foodstuff sector for agreeing not to communicate on the presence of Bisphenol A in their products
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Bisphenol A in food containers: the general rapporteur indicates having stated objections to 101 companies and 14 professional organisations* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that objections were stated a few days ago in the manufacture and retail of foodstuffs (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes a fine on 3 companies active in the retail trade of agricultural machinery for sharing more than a dozen national public procurement procedures among themselves (Tempel Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató / Normtec / Slovakian Premium Line)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH imposed a fine on a public procurement cartel yet again* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of approximately HUF 135 million on three undertakings, which are active in the retail trade of agricultural machinery for sharing more than a dozen Hungarian public (...)

The EU Commission carries out unannounced inspections at the premises of multiple companies active in the wood pulp sector
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the wood pulp sector* On 12 October 2021, the European Commission is conducting unannounced inspections in locations in several Member States at the premises of companies active in the wood pulp sector. The Commission has concerns (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a sportswear company for resale price maintenance introduced through contractual clauses with its franchisees (Espace Foot)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines ESPACE FOOT for imposing the prices of the sporting goods sold in the stores on its franchisees* Background Following a report sent by the French Ministry of the Economy, the Autorité de la concurrence today fined ESPACE FOOT €25,000 for imposing on its (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens an investigation into a possible price fixing agreement between a paint manufacturer and its distributors (Fabryo)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has opened an investigation on paints market* The Competition Council has opened an investigation into a possible agreement on the market for the production and marketing of paints and decorative coatings between Fabryo Corporation S.R.L. and some of its distributors. (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes new guidelines on its leniency program and the setting of fines
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publishes new guidelines on its leniency programme and the setting of fines* The Bundeskartellamt has published new guidelines on its leniency program and on the setting of fines in cartel proceedings. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Key witnesses still play (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes new guidelines on its leniency program and the setting of fines in cartel proceedings
Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has published new guidelines on its leniency programme and on the setting of fines in cartel proceedings. Unfortunately, both guidelines are so far available only in German. The previous guidelines date from 2006 and 2013 respectively. The FCO has now (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne company for setting up an exclusive import agreement in La Réunion contrary to the Lurel Act (Cattier)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution in La Réunion: Cattier company fined for setting up an exclusive import agreement on the distribution of its champagne in La Réunion* Background Following a report sent by the French Minister of Economy (DGCCRF), the Autorité de la concurrence established that the Cattier company (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a long-awaited judgment clarifying the extent of an undertaking’s liability in follow-on actions (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On October 6, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ” or “Court”) issued a long-awaited decision in case C-882/19, Sumal SL (“Sumal”) v Mercedes Benz Trucks España SL (“MBTE”). The judgment shed light on whether, under EU competition law, the victim of an (...)

The Russian Supreme Court supports the Competition Authority’s complaint against judicial acts that declared illegal the Authority’s decision to bring a telecommunications operator to administrative responsibility for non-compliance with its instructions, illegal (T2 Mobile)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Supreme Court supported the position of the FAS Russia on the Statute of Limitations for failure to comply with the regulations of the service* The time limit is one year On October 6, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the complaint of the FAS Russia against (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes fines totaling almost €4 million on two major national collectors of used cooking oil for making price-fixing purchase agreements (Rotie / Nieuwcom)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM imposes fines for price-fixing agreements involving the purchase of used cooking oil* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed fines, totaling almost four million euros, on two major collectors of used cooking oil, for making cartel agreements regarding the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court supports the Competition Authority in its dispute against a telecommunications operator after it was found that the company increased the cost of mobile communication services on separate tariff plans (Tele2)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Court supported the FAS Russia in the dispute with Tele2* From May 12, 2020, the company increased the cost of mobile communication services on separate tariff plans The Moscow Arbitration Court confirmed the legality of the decision and order of the FAS Russia in relation to T2 Mobile (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority sanctions several companies, as well as nine natural persons who acted on their behalf, for colluding in the market of baby diapers, female sanitary products, and incontinence (Essity México / Kimberly Clark de México / Productos Internacionales)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions several companies and natural persons for colluding in the market for baby diapers, products for feminine sanitary protection and incontinence* The economic agents that produce and commercialize these products in the wholesale markets colluded to manipulate sale prices for (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by telecommunication companies concerning their network sharing agreements (T-Mobile CZ / CETIN / O2 CZ)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN, and O2 CZ concerning the Czech telecommunications market* The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN, O2 CZ, and their respective parent companies, Deutsche Telekom and (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines totaling €127 million for participation in a cartel that fraudulently divvied up at least 82 tenders in the railway sector (Alstom / Bombardier / Cafs / Cobra / Nokia...)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC imposed fines of more than 127.8 million euros on the main security, signaling and communications systems companies of AVE’s medium-distance and commuter network in Spain.* For 15 years, these companies made up a cartel that divvied up tenders called for by Adif, with a value of more (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority concludes the infringement proceedings against the main “majors” in film distribution and an audience measurement company for the exchange of commercially sensitive information (Paramount / Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures / Walt Disney)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC concludes the infringement proceedings against the main “majors” in film distribution and an audience measurement company* The companies under investigation have submitted a series of commitments that they are obliged to fulfill for five years. This formula, known as “termination by (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Norwegian Competition Authority issues a draft paper on its approach to abusive price discrimination
University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law
Discriminatory Abuse – Time to clear up the ambiguities!* The Norwegian Competition Authority has issued a draft paper on abusive (price) discrimination, outlining how the agency plans to approach the matter, which should be most welcome. Essentially, the legal position is at best unclear, (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens an investigation into the mobile radio network used by all national emergency services after expressing concerns about a company’s dual role as owner of the current network and as key supplier in the future emergency services network (Motorola / Airwave Solutions)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA opens investigation into Motorola’s Airwave network* The CMA has opened an investigation into Motorola’s Airwave network, the mobile radio network used by all emergency services in Great Britain. Motorola Solutions Inc.’s (Motorola) Airwave network is the infrastructure and services that (...)

The EU Commission carries out unannounced inspections at the premises of a pharmaceutical company active in animal health in Belgium due to suspected abuse of dominance
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the animal health sector in Belgium* The European Commission is conducting unannounced inspections at the premises of a pharmaceutical company active in animal health in Belgium. The Commission has concerns that the inspected (...)

The Cypriot Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision to impose a fine of €2 million for anticompetitive practices in the supply of raw cow milk (Pancyprian Organization of Cattle Farmers)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Administrative Court has upheld the decision of the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the fine of €2.100.000 imposed on the Pancyprian Organization of Cattle Farmers (POCF) Public Ltd for infringements of the Protection of Competition Law of 2008.* The Administrative Court of (...)

Mergers

The US FTC Commissioners Christine S. Wilson and Noah Joshua Phillips issue a dissenting statement on the use of prior approval provisions in merger orders
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Republican FTC Commissioners Issue Dissenting Statement on Use of Prior Approval Provisions in Merger Orders* As this blog has discussed, the FTC announced last week it is restoring a policy of “routinely requiring merging parties subject to a Commission order to obtain prior approval from the (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority clears acquisition of 51 convenience stores subject to divestment of 1 store in Kemptville and other conditions (MacEwen / Grant Castle / Quickie)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (‘Bureau’), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (‘Commissioner’) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (‘Act’), announced on 29 October 2021 that the Commissioner had entered into a Consent Agreement (‘Agreement’) with MacEwen (...)

The EU Commission adopts interim measures to prevent harm to competition following a merger between biological and pharmaceutical companies (Grail / Illumina)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission adopts interim measures to prevent harm to competition following Illumina’s early acquisition of GRAIL* The European Commission has adopted interim measures to restore and maintain the conditions of effective competition following Illumina’s early acquisition of GRAIL, which (...)

The EU Commission announces interim measures to avert possibly irreversible consequences of a merger between two pharmaceutical companies (Grail / Illumina)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Less than a month ago, the European Commission (the Commission) announced that it would open an investigation to determine whether Illumina’s decision to acquire Grail pending its review of that transaction under Regulation 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company for breaching an order to hold separate an acquisition target pending its review of the merger (Facebook / Giphy)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) fined Facebook £50.5 million for breaching an order to hold separate its acquisition target, Giphy, pending the CMA’s review of the merger. Takeaways The U.K. merger control regime allows acquirers the flexibility to close prior to completion of a (...)

The Australian Competition Authority finds that a merger between two maritime container suppliers raises competition concerns (Cargotec / Konecranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Cargotec and Konecranes merger raises preliminary competition concerns* The ACCC has outlined preliminary competition concerns in relation to a proposed merger between container handling equipment companies Cargotec and Konecranes, in a statement of issues published today. In Australia, (...)

The EU Commission refers the merger of two toy stores to the French Competition Authority for evaluation (Maxi Toys / Prenatal Retail / Fijace)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The European Commission refers to the Autorité de la concurrence the examination of Maxi Toys stores in France takeover by Prenatal alongside Fijace* On 26 October 2021, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the examination of Maxi Toys stores in France takeover by (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of a semiconductor and software design firm by a technology company (Nvidia / Arm)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Arm by NVIDIA* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Arm by NVIDIA under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merged entity would (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between two national newspaper companies (Mittelbayerische Zeitung / Verlagsgesellschaft Passau)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Mittelbayerische Zeitung by Verlagsgesellschaft Passau* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by the publishing house Verlagsgesellschaft Passau GmbH to acquire all the shares in Mittelbayerische Medien Holding KG. Mittelbayerische Medien Holding is the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger between two telecommunications companies, subject to conditions (Hivory / Cellnex)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Mobile network infrastructure: the Autorité cleared the acquisition of Hivory by the Cellnex Group, subject to conditions* On 23 August 2021, Cellnex notified its intention to acquire control of Hivory. In a decision dated 25 October 2021, the Autorité clears the transaction subject to (...)

The US FTC announces its return to the prior merger regime which requires approval from the FTC before closing future transactions affecting any relevant market
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
Back to the “Good Old Days”: FTC Announces Return to Prior Merger Approval Regime* FTC announces that its merger enforcement orders will once again require prior approval before the subject firm can make a future acquisition affecting any relevant market for which a violation was alleged. On (...)

The US FTC resurrects the unilateral pre-approval in merger investigation settlements to halt future anticompetitive mergers
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (San Francisco)
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Jones Day (Houston)
In Short The Development: The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") revived a long-abandoned policy requiring that Commission orders settling FTC merger investigations include a "prior approval" clause that grants the FTC the unilateral authority to approve (or deny) certain future transactions (...)

The US FTC announces the return of its long-established practice of restricting future acquisitions for firms that pursue anticompetitive mergers
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC to Restrict Future Acquisitions for Firms that Pursue Anticompetitive Mergers* Proposed Order marks first use of prior approval authority under new policy statement confirming that prior approval is once again standard practice The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is restoring (...)

The US FTC establishes broad policy to require prior approval provisions in all merger divestiture orders
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 25 October, the FTC released a Statement on the Use of Prior Approval Provisions in Merger Orders (Prior Approval Statement) making clear that the agency intends to include in all divestiture orders a requirement that the merging parties obtain prior approval from the FTC before closing any (...)

The US FTC returns to its standard use of prior approval and issues a proposed order imposing strict limits on future mergers involving a dialysis service provider due to its history of attempting to buy up competitors in an already concentrated industry (DaVita)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Imposes Strict Limits on DaVita, Inc.’s Future Mergers Following Proposed Acquisition of Utah Dialysis Clinics* The Federal Trade Commission issued a proposed order imposing strict limits on future mergers by DaVita, Inc., a dialysis service provider with a history of fueling consolidation (...)

The EU Commission refers the examination of a merger between two companies in the tyre distribution sector to the French Competition Authority (Allopneus / Michelin)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The European Commission refers the examination of Michelin’s acquisition of Allopneus to the Autorité de la concurrence* On 21 October 2021, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the examination of the Michelin Group’s acquisition of exclusive control of the electronic (...)

The EU Commission approves a merger, subject to conditions, between two leaders in the commodity and financial data markets (S&P Global / IHS Markit)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves acquisition of IHS Markit by S&P Global, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of IHS Markit by S&P Global. The approval is conditional on the divestment of businesses in the areas of (...)

The EU General Court dismisses actions against two of the Commission’s decisions authorizing mergers in the market for passenger air travel (Polskie Linie Lotnicze / easyJet / Lufthansa / Air Berlin)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses the actions of Polskie Linie Lotnicze ‘LOT’ against the Commission decisions authorising the mergers concerning the acquisition by easyJet and Lufthansa, respectively, of certain assets of the Air Berlin group* Faced with a persistent deterioration of its financial (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears the merger of two financial information and analytics companies subject to conditions (S&P Global / IHS Markit)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
S&P-IHS Markit merger to be cleared if concerns overcome* The CMA will clear S&P’s merger with IHS Markit if competition concerns in certain commodity price assessments are addressed. S&P Global Inc. (S&P) is a worldwide supplier of credit ratings, commodity price assessments, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority terminates the review of a merger between two Estonian companies in the cinema market halfway through the process (MM Grupp / Forum Cinemas Lithuania)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Authority terminates merger review process in cinema market* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has terminated the review of a merger notification under which the Estonian company MM Grupp intended to acquire another Estonian company Forum Cinemas (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines the national telecommunications service provider €215.1K for submitting incorrect and incomplete information which impeded the assessment of a merger’s potential impact on competition (Cgates)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
CGATES FINED FOR SUBMITTING INCORRECT AND INCOMPLETE INFORMATION IN MERGER REVIEW PROCESS* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba found that information provided by the Lithuanian telecommunications service provider Cgates, which was necessary for the authority to be able to (...)

The US DoJ requires divestitures in a merger between two national iron products manufacturers (Neenah / US Foundry)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Divestitures in Neenah Enterprises Inc.’s Acquisition of US Foundry* Divestitures Will Preserve Competition for Essential Construction Products Sold to Towns and Municipalities The Department of Justice announced today that it will require Neenah Enterprises Inc. (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between two national hospital groups (Sana-Kliniken / Ameos)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Sana-Kliniken in the Ostholstein district by AMEOS* The Bundeskartellamtt has cleared plans by AMEOS Psychiatrie Holding GmbH to acquire Sana-Kliniken Ostholstein GmbH. Sana Ostholstein runs three general hospitals in Fehmarn, Eutin and Oldenburg, and a (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks an urgent injunction to halt a health facility’s acquisition of several national fertility clinics (Virtus / Adora fertility clinics)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC seeks urgent injunction to halt Virtus acquiring Adora fertility clinics* The ACCC has filed proceedings in the Federal Court seeking an urgent injunction to stop the proposed completion of Virtus Health’s acquisition of Adora Fertility from Healius Limited. Virtus and Adora are leading (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger between several steel manufacturers (Liberty Ascoval / Liberty Rail Hayange / Saarstahl)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Steel industry: the Autorité clears the acquisition of Liberty Ascoval and Liberty Rail Hayange by the Saarstahl Group* On 11 June 2021, the German Saarstahl Group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire the steel companies Liberty Ascoval and Liberty Rail Hayange. The (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the takeover of 3 building materials companies by a cement manufacturer (Romcim / Euroagregate / SUT-ICIM / I.R.C.A.)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council approved the taking over of Euroagregate SRL, SUT-ICIM SA and I.R.C.A. SRL by Romcim SA* The Competition Council approved the transaction through which Romcim SA takes over Euroagregate SRL, SUT-ICIM SA and I.R.C.A. SRL. Romcim SA is part of the CRH Group and is active (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the dairy sector between an agricultural cooperative and an ultra-fresh dairy products producer (Yoplait / Sodiaal)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the takeover of Yoplait by Sodiaal (Candia, Entremont, Régilait…)* Sodiaal cooperative group notified the Autorité de la concurrence on 3 September 2021, of its plan to acquire control of the Yoplait group (excluding US activities). After its review, the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority gives its green light to a proposed acquisition in the healthcare transcription sector (Microsoft / Nuance)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Nuance not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Nuance Inc. by Microsoft Corporation. Nuance supplies speech recognition and transcription software primarily to the healthcare market, as well as customer engagement software that (...)

The Australian Competition Authority investigates the impact of a completed acquisition on the supply chain for bulk grain export through the Port of Newcastle (Qube Logistics / Newcastle Agri Terminal)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC investigates Qube’s completed acquisition of Newcastle Agri Terminal* The ACCC will conduct an investigation into potential competition issues arising from Qube’s (ASX: QUB) completed acquisition of the Newcastle Agri Terminal. As the investigation relates to a completed acquisition it will (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority clears an acquisition of sole control in the insurance sector in the Baltic States (Mandatum / Invalda INVL)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Invalda INVL receives permission to acquire life insurance business in Baltic States* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has cleared the acquisition of sole control of Mandatum Life Insurance Company Limited life insurance business in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by (...)

The Russian Competition Authority prohibits a merger between two real estate companies (Avito / Cian)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia refused Avito to purchase Ciam* The merger of companies may lead to limited competition in the market The FAS Russia has received an application of Avito Holding LLC for the acquisition of rights that allow determining the conditions for the implementation of entrepreneurial (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a financial services company by its competitor (Idea Group / Banca Transilvania)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council approved the taking over of the Idea Group Companies by Banca Transilvania S.A.* The Competition Council approved the transaction through which Banca Transilvania S.A. takes over Idea Bank S.A. and, indirectly, Idea Investment S.A., Idea Leasing IFN S.A. and Idea (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a national power transmission equipment manufacturer (Končar-Ulaganja / Construction line / Dalekovod)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA clears the concentration between Končar-Ulaganja and construction line limited / Dalekovod* The concentration between the undertakings concerned will predominantly affect two relevant markets: the provision of services relating to design, construction and maintenance of substations and the (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint venture in the sector of public charging stations for electric cars in the Antilles and French Guiana (AGI / EDF PEI / Genak / SAFO)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
For the first time, the Autorité de la concurrence is studying the markets for electric vehicle charging stations* It has cleared the creation of a joint venture in the sector of public charging stations for electric cars in the Antilles and French Guiana. Background The Autorité has cleared (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority obtains court orders obliging companies to communicate information related to the provision of waste disposal services for its challenge of a merger between suppliers of oil and gas waste services (Secure / Tervita)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau obtains court orders related to its challenge of Secure’s acquisition of Tervita* The Competition Bureau has obtained court orders to further inform its challenge of Secure Energy Services Inc.’s acquisition of Tervita Corporation before the Competition Tribunal. The court (...)

The EU General Court issues its judgment upholding the Commission’s decision to fine a telecommunications company for gun-jumping (Altice / PT Portugal)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On September 22, 2021, the European General Court issued its judgment upholding the decision by the European Commission (Commission) to fine Altice for gun-jumping in the acquisition of Portugal Telecom (PT) in 2015. The General Court did grant Altice a limited 5% reduction of part of the €124.5 (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves a €173 million aid scheme for charging and refuelling stations for zero and low emission vehicles in Poland
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €173 million aid scheme for charging and refuelling stations for zero and low emission vehicles in Poland* The European Commission has found Polish plans to invest into electric charging and hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure for zero and low emission vehicles to (...)

The EU Commission approves €31.9 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves €31.9 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €31.9 billion Italian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary (...)

The EU Commission approves €700 million French scheme supporting certain retailers and services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €700 million French scheme for certain retailers and services affected by the coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has approved, under the EU state aid rules, a €700 million French scheme to support certain retailers and services affected by the (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on draft amendments to the General Block Exemption Regulation to further facilitate implementation of aid measures promoting the green and digital transition
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission invites comments on draft proposal to further facilitate implementation of aid measures promoting the green and digital transition* The European Commission is inviting Member States and all other interested parties to comment on certain proposed amendments to the General (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the General Court’s classification of the Spanish tax rules on the amortization of financial goodwill as State aid incompatible with the internal market (Deutsche Telekom / Banco Santander / Sigma Alimentos Exterior / Prosegur Compañia de Seguridad / Duty Free Group / Banco Santander / Santusa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals brought against the judgments of the General Court upholding the classification of the Spanish tax rules on the amortisation of financial goodwill as State aid incompatible with the internal market* In 2007, after a number of written questions had (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of Justice AG Rantos delivers an opinion on the temporal application of the Antitrust Damages Directive, confirming that the nature of the rules implementing the directive is determined by EU law and not national law (RM / Volvo / DAF)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
AG Rantos delivers a halfway opinion on the temporal application of the EU Antitrust Damages Directive (C-267/20, AB Volvo, DAF TRUCKS NV / RM)* In his opinion of 28 October 2021 (‘Opinion’), Advocate General (‘AG’) Rantos confirmed that the nature of the rules implementing the EU Damages (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal approves a class representative for opt-out collective proceedings on behalf of train travelers in a landmark standalone claim for abuses of dominance by two rail franchises (Gutmann / South Western Trains)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
In great news for train travellers today, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has approved our client, Mr Justin Gutmann, as class representative in his landmark standalone claim for abuses of dominance by the South Western and Southeastern rail franchises. The claims aim to put a stop to (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal approves second and third ever collective proceeding applications for two stand-alone claims for abuse of dominance (Gutmann / South Western Trains), (Le Patourel / BT)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
The first Collective Proceedings Order (“CPO”) was made in the United Kingdom in opt-out collective competition proceedings in Merricks v Mastercard Inc. and Others] on 18 August 2021 (a practical inevitability after the Supreme Court’s judgment in that case). Hot on the heels of that decision, (...)

The Italian Supreme Court accepts an appeal by a luxury fashion design company demanding the cancellation of the registration of two brands for lack of novelty to avoid dilution or corrosion of the trademark as a result of counterfeiting (Gucci / Zhou Shaolin)
Accademia del Lusso
With the following article I would like to analyze the very recent sentence of the Court of Cassation - n. 27217/2021 filed on 7 October 2021 , which, in terms of the protection of renowned brands, accepted with postponement the appeal by Gucci which requested the cancellation for "lack of (...)

The Latvian Senate sends the case of a car distribution cartel back to the Regional Administrative Court for reconsideration due to procedural issues (Moller Auto Latvia / Moller Auto Ventspils / Moller Auto Krasta...)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
The Senate annuls the judgment of the Regional Administrative Court in the case of the Volkswagen car distribution cartel* On 23 September, the Senate of the Republic of Latvia annulled the judgment of the Administrative Regional Court in the case of the Volkswagen car distribution cartel, by (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling clarifying the single economic unit doctrine in private enforcement providing an analysis that has far-reaching consequences on future damages claims across the EEA (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
EDEM Escuela de Empresarios
Abstract: The determination of the liability of a subsidiary for the anticompetitive conduct of its parent company ignited, long time ago, a sharp debate between those advocating for the single economic unit doctrine and those supporting the corporate separability doctrine. This paper, after (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers several judgments dismissing appeals brought against a ruling of the General Court that upheld the Commission’s decision declaring the tax rule on amortization of financial goodwill in Spain as incompatible State aid (Deutsche Telekom / Banco Santander / Sigma Alimentos Exterior / Prosegur Compañia de Seguridad / Duty Free Group / Santusa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ” or the “Court”) delivered a number of judgments (Case C-50/19 P Sigma Alimentos Exterior v Commission; Joined Cases C-51/19 P World Duty Free Group v Commission and C-64/19 P Spain v Commission; Case C-52/19 P Banco Santander v Commission; (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses appeals against judgments rendered by the General Court that partially annulled the Commission’s decision regarding the financing of an infrastructure project between Denmark and Germany and provides guidance on the assessment of distortion of competition in case of statutory monopolies (Scandlines Danmark / Scandlines Deutschland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, in joined Cases C-174/19 and C-175/19, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed the appeals against the judgments rendered by the European General Court (“EGC”) that partially annulled the Commission decision SA.39078 (2014/N) regarding the financing of an infrastructure (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes in a long-awaited ruling conditions under which the victim of a competition law infringement may seek compensation from a subsidiary of the perpetrator (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) sitting in Grand Chamber clarified the notion of “undertaking” for the purposes of EU competition law in a long-awaited ruling (Case C-882/19, Sumal). The judgment establishes the possibility for the victim of a competition law infringement (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that a victim of anticompetitive conduct is entitled to seek damages from the subsidiary of an infringing parent company (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its judgment of 6 October 2021, following a reference by the Provincial Court of Barcelona, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) held that a victim of anti-competitive conduct is entitled to seek damages from the subsidiary (not referred to in the infringement decision) of an infringing (...)

Regulatory

The Dutch Competition Authority, the Data Protection Authority, the Financial Markets Authority, and the Media Authority announce the launch of a Digital Regulation Cooperation Platform, highlighting their intention to work together more closely to strengthen oversight of digital and online activities
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch regulators strengthen oversight of digital activities by intensifying cooperation* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP), the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), and the Dutch Media Authority (CvdM) will work (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases a draft determination proposing to continue the regulation of number portability services for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another five years as it is a key enabler of competition in telecommunications markets
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission proposes extending regulatory protections for phone number portability* The Commerce Commission has today released a draft determination proposing to continue the regulation of number portability services for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another five years. (...)

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