Old articles

General antitrust

The German Parliament adopts antitrust rules to tackle digital markets
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Earlier this year, on 19 January 2021, the 10th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC, Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, GWB) was adopted. The law now contains a new regime complementing the competition rules governing the abuse of a market dominant position (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the implementation of the 2014/104/EU Damages Directive
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Almost exactly four years after the implementation deadline, the European Commission (the “EC”) has published a short report on 14 December 2020 on the implementation of its Directive 2014/104 (the “Damages Directive”) across the European Union (the “EU”). The primary aim of the Damages Directive (...)

The Spanish Government introduces a foreign direct investment screening regime
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
In the framework of a larger urgent legislative package to ease the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in the economy in the spring of 2020, the Spanish Government put in place a new foreign direct investment (FDI) screening system applicable to non-EU/non-EFTA companies. This screening system (...)

The EU Commission publishes a proposal for the Council and the Parliament to eliminate duties on certain products imported in the EU
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On September 8, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a proposal for a Council and European Parliament regulation to eliminate duties on certain products imported to the European Union (full text accessible here). In return, the United States will reduce its duties on certain EU (...)

The Greek Parliament enacts the law on the review of provisions of law on the control of monopolies and oligopolies and the protection of free competition
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
A. The new Law 3784/2009 amends the Greek Competition Act The Greek Parliament enacted in September Law 3784/2009 "Review of Provisions of Law 703/77 on the control of monopolies and oligopolies and the protection of free competition" (the "new Law") published in Government Gazette A/7-8-2009. (...)

The Romanian Government drafts a law on the authorisation of 5G technology manufacturers and its effects on competition
Maravela, Popescu & Asociatii (Bucharest)
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Romtelecom (Bucharest)
The Romanian draft law on the authorisation of 5G technology manufacturers and its effects on competition represents a challenge for mobile operators and competition regulators. A draft law on measures relating to information and communication infrastructures of national interest and the (...)

The EU Commission issues a communication setting out specific best practices and recommendations for national courts to protect confidential information in private litigation proceedings
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The protection of confidential information is an issue of increasing importance in today’s business relationships, as well as in cases of litigation before the courts. Indeed, the issue not only arises in connection with modern business contracts, where the parties may exchange in real time and (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry on the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 16 July 2020, the European Commission launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the market for Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The Commission’s inquiry will focus on such products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled (...)

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio rejects an appeal filed against the Communication Authority’s decision concerning transparency obligations regarding ownership structures of a newspaper publishing company (Omissis)
Portolano Cavallo (Rome)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
With its decision of July 8, 2020 the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (“TAR Lazio”) rejected an appeal filed against a resolution adopted by the Italian Communications Authority (respectively the “AGCOM Resolution” and “AGCOM”) concerning transparency obligations regarding the ownership (...)

The EU Commission reviews its approach to market definition New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 26 June 2020 the European Commission published a public consultation regarding the revision of the Market Definition Notice used in EU competition law, inviting stakeholders from the public and private sector (including, undertakings and consumer associations, national competition (...)

The EU Commission publishes a White Paper on the regulation of foreign subsidies in order to protect the single market New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On June 17, 2020, the European Commission published a White Paper on the regulation of foreign subsidies, aiming to fortify the level playing field within the Single Market by dealing with the distortive effects caused by foreign subsidies. The White Paper, a long-awaited and well-received (...)

The EU Commission publishes the new free trade agreement between the EU and Vietman which reduces the taxes
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Starting August 1, 2020, a new trade regime between the European Union and Vietnam has entered into force and as a consequence European exports to Vietnam are now taxed less. The Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam (“Trade Agreement” — full text accessible here) is the (...)

The EU Commission seeks stakeholders comments to obtain market investigation powers in the form of a “New Competition Tool” New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 2 June 2020, the European Commission announced the launch of a public consultation and published an Inception Impact Assessment on an envisaged “New Competition Tool”, which would effectively amount to the Commission acquiring market investigation powers, akin to the ones already held by (...)

The EU Commission publishes a public consultation on the Digital Services Act covering issues such as online safety, freedom of expression and fairness
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Paris)
On June 2 and 3, 2020, the European Commission launched two public consultations concerning firstly a “Digital Services Act” package and secondly a “New Competition Tool” in order to bring EU legal toolkits in line with the latest economic and technological developments. (...)

The US DoJ publishes a guidance on evaluation of corporate compliance programs for companies
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Companies operating in multiple countries need compliance programs that take into account varying national requirements. In Italy, for example, the Supreme Court recently established that in addition to Italian companies, foreign companies are required to implement compliance programs (known (...)

The EU Commission proposes a European recovery plan which would be funded by borrowing on the financial markets
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
On 27 May 2020, the European Commission put forward its proposal for a European Recovery Plan (ERP) with a new EUR 750 billion funding via its financial recovery instrument, called the "Next Generation EU" which would be funded by borrowing on the financial markets. If approved by the Member (...)

The Italian Supreme Court establishes corporate criminal liability over foreign companies that fail to prevent crimes committed by their associates
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The Italian Supreme Court issued decision No. 11626 of April 7, 2020, establishing jurisdiction in corporate criminal liability cases under Legislative Decree No. 231/2001 (“Decree”) over foreign companies that fail to prevent crimes committed by their associates in Italy. As a consequence of (...)

The EU Commission issues guidelines concerning foreign direct investment and free movement of capital from third countries to protect EU critical assets New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 25 March 2020, the European Commission issued Guidance concerning foreign direct investment and free movement of capital from third countries, and the protection of Europe’s strategic assets, ahead of the application of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 (the “FDI Screening Regulation”) in October 2020. (...)

The Vietnam Government passes a decree guiding the implementation of a few provisions under the competition law
Baker McKenzie (Hô Chi Minh-Ville)
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Baker McKenzie
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One Mount Group (Vietnam)
Over a year after the passage of the Competition Law, the highly anticipated Decree No. 35/2020/ND-CP on detailed regulations of a few provisions of the Competition Law ("Decree 35") was finally passed by the Vietnam Government on 24 March 2020. Decree 35 will take effect on 15 May 2020. This (...)

The EU Commission adopts a regulation stating that for a period of six weeks the export of goods outside of the EU was subject to an export authorization granted
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
In the context of the COVID-19 epidemiological crisis, the demand for personal protective equipment (“PPE”) has increased significantly, with related shortages occurring in several Member States. Production of PPE, such as mouth-protection masks in the European Union, is indeed concentrated in a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority criticizes the introduction of legislative provisions that reserve only to pharmacies the provision of certain public health services paid by the national health service
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The Italian Competition Authority once again criticizes the introduction of legislative provisions that reserve only to pharmacies the provision of certain public health services paid by the NHS The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM or ICA) with letter dated 10 March 2020 sent to the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority confirms that pre-existing antitrust compliance programs have to play an effective role against the infringements in order to result in a reduction of fines (Telecom Italia)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Last decisions adopted at the beginning of 2020 by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM or ICA; see cases I820 – Fatturazione mensile con rimodulazione tariffaria and A514 – Condotte fibra Telecom Italia ) confirm that the ICA pays utmost attention on the application of the criteria laid down (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks views from parties interested in the allocation and use of the spectrum in the 26-28 gigahertz (GHz) band
Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
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Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
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Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seeks views by 27 March 2020 from parties interested in the allocation and use of the spectrum in the 26-28 gigahertz (GHz) band. The spectrum is to be used for 5G technology. Organisations planning to utilise 5G technology may be (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a guidance aiming to explain the arrangements applicable during the Brexit transition period New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 31 January 2020, the UK formally exited the European Union, following the conclusion of a Withdrawal Agreement between the two. A transition period is in force from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020 (subject to extension), during which EU competition law (and EU law in general) will (...)

The Court of Milan decides that damages cannot be given to a company’s director based on simul stabunt simul cadent clauses
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Simul stabunt simul cadent clauses are clauses generally included in the by-laws of Italian companies whereby the termination of the office of one or more directors triggers termination of all the other directors’ offices. Such clauses are usually aimed at maintaining the same management (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority forms an opinion about the competition of 5G frequency licences and believes the frequency band should be divided into small blocks
Estonian Competition Authority (Tallinn)
The Competition Authority formed an opinion about the competition of frequency licenses in the frequency band of 3,410-3,800 MHz, as a result of which, the undertakings acquiring the licenses will start building a so-called 5G network for communications services. The Competition Authority (...)

The Court of Rome confirms that Russian-Roulette clauses can be included in shareholders’ agreements in order to solve deadlocks (Lamaro Appalti / Sviluppo Centro)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Rome)
A very well-structured decision from the Court of Rome confirmed that Russian-Roulette clauses can be included in shareholders’ agreements as a valid method to solve deadlocks. Generally speaking, Russian roulette clauses have been imported in Italy from the Anglo-American practice. Such (...)

The UK Government announces its plan to support digital Britain post-Brexit aimed at improving living standards and economic growth
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Last week, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley MP, announced the Government’s plans to support a digital Britain post-Brexit (click here to see the UK Digital Strategy). The strategy is aimed at improving living standards and economic growth by "increasing (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission fines €7.8 billion six publishers of pc video games for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Over the course of less than two months, in late 2020 and early 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Commission (Commission) issued two decisions with diametrically opposed effects on the licensing and business model of copyrighted content across the EEA. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens a proceedings on abuse of economic dependence in a franchise agreements (Benetton)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On November 25, 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) opened an investigation regarding the Benetton Group (“Benetton”) and its suspected abuse of economic dependence pursuant to Sec. 9, para. 3 bis, of Law No 192 of June 18, 1998, in relation to two franchising agreements with identical (...)

The EU Commission publishes a list of issues to consider in the review of the competition rules that apply to distribution agreements
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On November 17, we hosted a webinar on distribution and vertical agreements in EU competition law. The aim was to provide a cross-border and multi-jurisdictional perspective on such issues thanks to the participation of distinguished colleagues from Blomstein (Berlin) and Kramer Levin (Paris). (...)

The US DoJ announces that a proposed patent-pooling platform dedicated to 5G cellular technology standards for use in the automotive industry is unlikely to harm competition (Avanci)
Seyfarth Shaw (Boston)
DOJ Antitrust Division Approval of Pooling of “Essential” Standards Will Help Speed Integration of 5G Technology Into New Vehicles* The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division recently announced that it has concluded that a proposed patent-pooling platform dedicated to “essential” 5G (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority grants individual exemption to a second subcontracting agreement concluded with the same subcontractor in the same market taking into account localization of the import-dependent insulin industry and sustainability of the quality (Novo Nordisk)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
On November 5, 2019, Novo Nordisk Sağlık Ürünleri Ticaret Ltd. Şti. (“Novo Nordisk”) applied to the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) for a negative clearance or an individual exemption with respect to a subcontracting agreement with Abdi İbrahim İlaç San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Abdi İbrahim”), a (...)

The EU Commission fines ethylene purchasers in the chemical industry for participating in a cartel aimed at purchasing a product at the lowest possible price (Orbia / Clariant / Celanese / Westlake)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 22 January 2021, the European Commission published a non-confidential version of its decision to fine ethylene purchasers Orbia, Clariant and Celanese a total of EUR 260 million for participating in a cartel aimed at purchasing ethylene at the lowest possible price, to the detriment of (...)

The EU Commission starts a market test inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by a pharmaceutical company who had abused its dominant position (Aspen)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 14 July 2020 the European Commission started a market test inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Aspen Pharmacare Holdings. The Commission had opened an investigation in May 2017 over concerns that Aspen had abused its dominant position in a range of national (...)

The EU Commission looks into the issue of collective bargaining for the self-employed
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 30 June 2020, the European Commission announced that it has launched a process to ensure that the EU competition rules do not stand in the way of collective bargaining for the self-employed. Even though collective bargaining with employees falls outside the scope of EU competition rules, (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal provides guidance in the context of an action for damages related to anti-competitive practices in the telecommunication sector (Orange / Digicel)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
On 17 June 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal (Court) delivered its judgment (Orange judgment) in which it ordered Orange to pay EUR 249.5 million (EUR 181.5 million in damages plus EUR 68 million in interest) to Digicel Antilles and Guyana, following the implementation by the former of a number (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes its communication on cooperation agreements in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Paris)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On May 27, 2020, for the first time the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) applied its communication on cooperation agreements in the context of the COVID-19 emergency (“Italian Communication”), applicable since April 24, 2020. Two national associations of pharmaceutical distributors (...)

The EU Commission publishes its communication containing a temporary framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Portolano Cavallo (Paris)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On April 8, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a communication containing a temporary framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in response to situations of urgency stemming from the current COVID-19 outbreak (“European Communication”). At the (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the strict approach to “by object” infringements (Budapest Bank)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 2 April 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU delivered its judgment in Budapest Bank on a reference for a preliminary ruling from Hungary’s highest court relating to agreements on fixed multilateral interchange fees (MIFs). In this much-anticipated ruling, the Court of Justice further (...)

The Italian Competition Authority takes actions to counteract unfair commercial practices exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The fact that the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) has taken vigorous action to counteract unfair commercial practices exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic is well known and has already been commented upon. Nonetheless, two specific decisions—Oxystore (PS11732) and Tigershop (PS11736)—highlight (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority closes its investigation into the alleged anti-competitive agreement among companies engaged in the production and sales of construction, repair, and household goods (Tikkurila / Kesko Senukai / Ermitažas / DAW Lietuva / Topcolor)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
KONKURENCIJOS TARYBA HASN’T SPOTTED ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN CONSTRUCTION, REPAIR AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS AND SELLERS* Konkurencijos taryba has terminated investigation into the alleged anti-competitive agreement among 7 Lithuanian and Latvian companies engaged in the (...)

The EU Commission fines €14.3 million a film production company for restricting the sale of merchandising products (NBCUniversal) New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission fined NBCUniversal EUR14,3 million for restricting intellectual property licensees from selling licensed merchandise within the EEA to territories and customers beyond those allocated to them. The Commission found that for over six and a half years, (...)

The EU Court of Justice renders a preliminary ruling stating that a dispute between an originator and a generics manufacturer constitutes evidence that they are potential competitors (Generics - UK / GlaxoSmithKline / Actavis / Xellia Pharmaceuticals / Merck / Alpharma)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 30 January 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU rendered its preliminary ruling in Case C-307/18 – Generics (UK) and Others v CMA (Paroxetine). The case originated in a preliminary reference made by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) relating to an appeal against a decision of the UK (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches a preliminary investigation based on a number of complaints filed by companies in the maritime transport (Mediterranea Marittima / Medmar Navi / Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & Lauro / Tra.Spe.Mar)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On January 14, 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) launched a preliminary investigation based on a number of complaints filed against Mediterranea Marittima S.p.a., Medmar Navi S.p.a., Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & Lauro S.r.l. and Tra.Spe.Mar. S.r.l, GML Trasporti Marittimi (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the VAT refund services sector
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Dawn raids: VAT refund services* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the VAT refund services sector. Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the inter-island air passenger traffic sector in La Réunion
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Dawn raids in La Réunion* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the inter-island air passenger traffic sector in the Indian Ocean area. Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the (...)

The EU Commission issues a statement of objections regarding network sharing in the 2G/3G/4G technologies but misses an opportunity to provide guidance on future 5G network sharing agreements (O2 / CETIN / T-Mobile)
Geradin Partners (Brussels)
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Geradin Partners (Brussels)
Network Sharing and EU Competition Law in the 5G Era: A Case of Policy Mismatch* Instead of working towards adopting a clear analytical framework for the assessment of NSAs under EU competition law, the Commission decided to launch proceedings in October 2016 and issue a Statement of (...)

The EU Commission fines a Japanese retail and designs company for restricting cross-border sales and online sales (Sanrio)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 9 July 2019, the Commission fined Sanrio, a Japanese company that designs, produces and sells “Hello Kitty” products, EUR6.2 million for breaching Article 101 TFEU by imposing territorial restrictions on cross-border and online sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty and other (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines three undertakings that have rigged tenders for the national football league for the award of international broadcasting rights (MP Silva / IMG / B4 Capital)
Portolano Cavallo (Rome)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
By Decision of April 24, 2019, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has ascertained that three undertakings had rigged tenders for the Italian Football League (IFL) for the award of international broadcasting rights from 2008/2009 to 2016/2017. This finding, theoretically, could lead to (...)

The EU Commission fines €12,5 million a sportswear company for breaching competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreement with resellers (Nike)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On March 25, 2019, the European Commission announced the € 12,555,000 fine issued to Nike for breaching European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreements with resellers, more specifically for prohibiting merchants from making (...)

The EU Court of Justice extends the concept of economic continuity to claims for damages so that entities which have violated competition are subject to sanctions (Vantaa / Skanska Industrial Solutions)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On March 14, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a landmark judgment in a preliminary referral from the Korkein Oikeus (the Finnish Supreme Court), addressing several pillars of EU competition law (case C-724/17, Vantaa v. Skanska Industrial Solutions and others). (...)

The EU Commission fines €40 million a clothing company for online advertising and sales restrictions imposed on authorized resellers (Guess)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On December 17, 2018, the European Commission imposed a € 40 million fine on the US-based clothing company Guess for enacting contractual provisions and practices in its selective network of authorized wholesalers, monobrand and multi-brand retailers, contrary to Article 101(1) of the Treaty on (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority decides to accept the proposal for modification of the third commitment adopted by a supplier regarding e-auctioned natural gas quantity (DEPA)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Amendment of prior Commitments by the incumbent natural gas supplier regarding e-auctioned natural gas quantities (HCC 651/2017) Once more, the commitments program of DEPA and its adjustments [1] feature in the HCC’s annual list of decisions. This time, the HCC withdrew a provision in its (...)

The Italian Council of State partially confirms the Competition Authority’s fines imposed on an online travel agency for unfair commercial practices (Flygo)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
FlyGo is a company active in the online travel agency sector that operates through different websites including www.fly-go.it. In 2016, following a report from Ryanair, Wizzair and the Consumers Union, the AGCM investigated FlyGo’s business practices. The case is very significant, because it (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts revised commitments by a company in the gas supplier market (DEPA)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
HCC accepts revised commitments by DEPA (HCC 631/2016) In 2012, as a result of ALUMINIUM’s complaint against DEPA, the incumbent natural gas supplier, the company offered commitments to the HCC in order to close the case. The commitments are continuously subject to review and update, reflecting (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a company for anticompetitive practices to a franchise network in the telecom market (Germanos)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Recalculation of GERMANOS’ fine (HCC 625/2016) In late 2014, the HCC published its 580/VII/2013 decision, finding that GERMANOS, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary which runs a franchise of electronic goods stores, was applying a variety of anticompetitive practices to its franchise network, (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority decides that the franchise agreement between two companies, in the furniture secto, included a hardcore clause(Neoset)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Vertical restraints in NEOSET’s franchise network for furniture (HCC 622/2015) NEOSET was an established manufacturer and distributor of furniture. Following a pecuniary dispute with DIAMESO (a franchisee), and the termination of their agreement in 2008, DIAMESO claimed damages from alleged RPM (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority decides that a company abuse of its dominant position concerning with regard to the supply of electricity in the energy sector (Aluminium / DEI)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Commitments by the Public Power Corporation (DEI) addressing abuse of dominance concerns with regard to the supply of electricity to Aluminium of Greece (HCC 621/2015) A long-standing and episodic standoff between DEI (incumbent producer and supplier of electricity in Greece) and Aluminium of (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by four leading producers and importers of tobacco (Papastratos / Philip Morris / British American Tobacco / Karelia Cigarette / Imperial Tobacco)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Tobacco Manufacturers - Commitments in relation to revised distribution arrangements (HCC 612/2015) In July 2015 the HCC by a unanimous decision accepted commitments proposed by four (4) leading producers and importers of tobacco products in Greece and the local distributor of Japan Tobacco (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by nine fuel trading companies addressing non-compete obligations in long term exclusive commercial lease and cooperation agreement (Hellenic Fuels)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acceptance of commitments by 9 fuel trading companies - addressing non-compete obligations in long term exclusive commercial lease and cooperation agreements in the retail fuel market (HCC 602/2015) In February 2015 the HCC adopted a formal decision which rendered commitments proposed by nine (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clarifies that self-employed individuals may constitute undertakings for the purposes of competition law (Dental Technicians’ Association of Crete)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Dental Technicians’ Association of Crete fined nominal fine of €218 for providing minimum pricelists to its members (HCC 591/2014) In June 2007 a number of Cretan dentists filed with the HCC a complaint against the Dental Technician’s Association of Crete alleging price fixing between 2001 and (...)

The Chinese Government remains unclear about the enforcement of the Anti-monopoly Law’s price maintenance provision
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Since the Anti-monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China ("AML") came into effect, there has been much debate about the circumstances in which minimum resale price maintenance ("RPM") will constitute a vertical monopolistic agreement prohibited by Article 14 of the AML. In the debate, the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Court of Justice publishes its judgement stating that the fee structure for music played at festivals adopted by the belgian collecting society is not necessary abusive (SABAM)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On November 25, 2020, the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) rendered its judgment in Case C-327/19, stating that the fee structure for music played at festivals adopted by the Belgian collecting society SABAM is not necessarily abusive under Article 102 TFEU. The case originated with a request for a (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects allegations of an abuse of dominance through unfair pricing by the Belgian collective management organisation for copyright (SABAM)
University of Liège
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University of Liège
On 25 November 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’ or ‘Court’) rendered its judgment on the alleged abuse of dominance by the only Belgian collective management organisation for copyright in musical works (the SABAM). In this decision, the Court confirms that calculation of (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision finding that the Lithuanian railway incumbent abused its dominant position by dismantling a rail track (Lietuvos geležinkelai)
University of Liège
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University of Liège
Comment On 18 November 2020, the General Court of the European Union (‘GC’) delivered its ruling in the Lietuvos geležinkeliai [Lithuanian Railways] case and upheld the European Commission’s decision in which the national railway company of Lithuania was found to have abused its dominant position (...)

The Indian Appellate Tribunal overrules the Competition Authority’s order in an abuse of dominance case in the e-commerce sector (All India Online Vendors Association / Flipkart India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
NCLAT directs investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position by Flipkart -Quashes earlier CCI order closing the case* By a recent judgment dated 04.03.2020, the Hon’ble National Company Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT”) has set aside the order dated 06.11.2018 passed by the Competition (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the Commission’s investigative powers regarding dawn raids (České dráhy)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
Recent judgements by Court of Justice of the EU provide important clarifications regarding the European Commission’s powers and obligations when conducting dawn raids. On 30 January 2020, the Court of Justice handed down a judgment dismissing two appeals by České dráhy, a.s. against General Court (...)

The Italian Supreme Court rules on the abuse of dominant market position of a company in the aviation sector and reinstates the criteria needed to determine the relevant market (Lastminute / Viaggiare / Ryanair)
University Tor Vergata
The facts of this case date back to 2007, when Ryanair decided to exclude all intermediaries from relations with its customers and directed all consumer internet traffic to its website, where other services were also offered by operators and commercial partners of the company, which therefore (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a technology company to prevent it causing serious and irreparable damage to competition by prima facie abusing its dominant position (Broadcom)
Leiden University - Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs
Introduction On 16 October 2019, the European Commission imposed interim measures on Broadcom to prevent it causing serious and irreparable damage to competition by prima facie abusing its dominant position. On 7 October 2020, the Commission accepted commitments offered by Broadcom regarding (...)

The EU Commission publishes its decision to fine a big tech company for abuse of dominant position (Google Android) New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 20 September 2020 the European Commission published its long-awaited 327-page explanation of its decision to fine Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices. The text provides a detailed analysis of some of the most interesting aspects of the decision, (...)

The EU Commission fines a chipmaker manufacturer for predatory pricing (Qualcomm)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 18 July 2019, the European Commission fined Qualcomm for abusing its market dominance through predatory pricing. The Commission found that between 2009 and 2011 Qualcomm sold its baseband chipsets below cost to two strategic customers in order to exclude from the market Icera, a new entrant (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates into an e-commerce company to ascertain whether it had abused its dominant position (Amazon)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
According to the ICA’s preliminary findings, Amazon only granted sellers using Amazon’s own fulfillment and logistics services (FBA) advantages in terms of offer visibility and sales improvement on the Amazon marketplace, in comparison to sellers that are not customers of Amazon’s FBA services and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines €5 million a company for excessive pricing abuses in the pharmaceuticals sector (Aspen)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On 29 September 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the AGCM or ICA) fined the Aspen Group (Aspen) €5m for a violation of article 102(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The ICA upheld in particular that the manner and level at which Aspen renegotiated prices for a (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines €31.5 million the largest beer manufacturing and commercializing company abuses its dominant position in the retail and wholesale distribution channel (Athenian Brewery)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Athenian Brewery fined €31.5m for abuse of dominance due to rebates, exclusivity, and shelf-space arrangements with wholesalers and retailers (HCC 590/2014) In December 2015, and after 9 years of investigation, the HCC published its 662 page decision in which it found that Athenian Brewery - (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines €5,3 million a company for abuse of dominance due to target rebates and shelf-space arrangements with retailers in the baby diapers sector (Procter & Gamble)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Procter & Gamble Hellas fined €5.3m for abuse of dominance due to target rebates and shelf-space arrangements with retailers (HCC 581/VII/2013) In April of last year, the HCC delivered its infringement decision and imposed on Procter & Gamble total fines of €5.3 million for antitrust (...)

Mergers

The US FTC announces the Hart-Scott-Rodino 2021 adjustments and decreases the premerger notification threshold to US $92.0 million
Dechert (Washington)
,
Dechert (New York)
Key takeaways Rare decrease in filing thresholds for 2021 due to recession; first time since 2010. Annual adjustments to dollar-based HSR reporting thresholds to go into effect on or about March 4. Similar downward adjustment to thresholds for director interlocks under Section 8 of the Clayton (...)

The German Government prohibits the acquisition of a communications technology company by a Chinese communication product manufacturer (IMST / Addsino)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Foreign investment control has become a key factor in M&A deals and 2020 has been an eventful year. A large number of economies have introduced foreign investment control regimes or tightened their existing rules. Now it appears that it is time to make use of them: this week Germany has (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes an investigation into a cooperative joint venture between copyright collecting companies (New IMAIE / SCF)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation into a potential anti-competitive agreement in connection with the creation of a joint venture between two copyright collecting societies. On November 3, 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM or the “ICA”) opened a formal (...)

The EU Commission intends to change its approach towards referrals to the EU from national competition authorities for merger control New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 11 September 2020, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced during the International Bar Association’s 24th Annual Competition Conference, that the Commission intends to change its approach towards referrals to the EU from national competition authorities. Commissioner Vestager (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that certain anti-concentration limits set forth by the Italian legislation for the protection of media pluralism are incompatible with the competition law (Vivendi / Mediaset)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Summary: The CJEU has established that the market concentration thresholds set forth by Article 43(11) of Legislative Decree No. 177/05, and based on the overall revenues of the so called “Integrated System of Communications,” are inadequate to detect or prevent the risk for pluralism and thus (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority evaluates the transaction concerning the acquisition of sole control of a shipping company by a terminal investor (TIL / Marport)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Marport decision in which the Board evaluated the transaction concerning the acquisition of sole control of Marport Liman İşletmeleri Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi (“Marport”) by Terminal Investment Limited Sàrl (...)

The EU Commission investigates the merger between a big tech company and a health and fitness retail company (Fitbit / Google)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 15 June 2020, Google notified the Commission its intention to acquire Fitbit. A month later, it submitted commitments to address the Commission’s concerns that the proposed transaction would further entrench Google’s market position in the online advertising markets by increasing the already (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting a merger between two telecommunication companies (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
,
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
,
Shearman & Sterling (London)
Under the leadership of Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission has taken an increasing interventionist stand across all areas of antitrust enforcement, in particular in merger control. The EU’s General Court dealt that aggressive agenda a massive blow by annulling the first of her many (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s prohibition of the merger between two telecommunications companies and clarifies the application of the SIEC test to non-coordinated effects in oligopolistic markets (Hutchison 3G / Telefonica)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 28 May 2020, the EU General Court issued a ruling annulling the European Commission’s decision prohibiting the proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK by Hutchison 3G UK. The Commission had examined this transaction as a “four-to-three” merger and had blocked it in 2016, in line with its generally (...)

The EU Commission waives commitments regarding the merger between two pharmaceutical companies (Takeda / Shire) New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 28 May 2020, the European Commission waived in their entirety the structural remedies that had been submitted by Takeda in 2018 to have its acquisition of Shire greenlit. The Commission’s market investigation with regard to Takeda’s waiver request revealed a number of permanent, significant (...)

The Australian Competition Authority blocks a proposed merger between a fixed-line provider and a mobile network operator (TPG / VHA)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
Following an 8 month investigation, on 8 May 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") announced its decision to oppose the proposed merger between fixed-line provider TPG Telecom ("TPG") and mobile network operator Vodafone Hutchinson Pty Limited ("VHA"). VHA and TPG (...)

The Australian Full Court dismisses the Competition Authority’s appeal in its attempt to prohibit a merger and confirms the test to be applied when assessing whether a firm’s conduct will be likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition (Pacific National / Aurizon)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
The Full Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s appeal in respect of its case against Pacific National and Aurizon. In dismissing the ACCC’s appeal, the Full Federal Court confirmed the test to be applied when assessing whether a firm’s conduct will be likely to have the effect of substantially (...)

The US DoJ brings for the first time a merger enforcement action using arbitration and forces the divestiture of aluminium production in North America (Novelis / Aleris Corporation)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
DOJ Merger Enforcement Arbitration: A Sign of Things To Come?* On March 2020, the Antitrust Division Of the Department Of Justice successfully secured the divestiture by Novelis of Aleris Corporation’s North American aluminum production facilities in U.S. v. Novelis et al. with an unorthodox (...)

The EU Commission clears proposed acquisition of joint control in the telecommunications sector (INWIT/ TIM / Vodafone)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (London)
On 6 March 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over INWIT by Telecom Italia ("TIM") and Vodafone in case M.9674, combining the parties’ Italian telecommunications tower holdings as part of their 5G roll-out plan. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - (...)

The EU Commission clears a joint venture agreement between two mobile network operators and explains why their network sharing agreement does not raise competition concerns (INWIT/ TIM / Vodafone)
Geradin Partners (Brussels)
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Geradin Partners (Brussels)
Network sharing and EU competition law in the 5G era: A case of policy mismatch* In January 2020, Vodafone Italia and Telecom Italia notified the Commission of a JV agreement to pool together their passive infrastructure. Under this agreement, Vodafone’s passive infrastructure is combined with (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s decision and fines a seafood company for gun-jumping (Marine harvest)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 4 March 2020 the Court of Justice of the EU delivered its judgement with which it dismissed Marine Harvest’s appeal against the Commission’s decision imposing two separate fines (EUR10 million each) for failure to notify a transaction under Article 4(1) EUMR and for implementing that (...)

The Australian Federal Court declares that a proposed merger in the retail mobile market would not substantially lessen competition (TPG / Vodafone)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
On 13 February 2020, the Federal Court of Australia declared that the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Limited (TPG) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (Vodafone) would not have the likely effect of substantially lessening competition in the retail mobile market, and therefore would not (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves in first phase with commitments a merger in the wholesale distribution of pharmaceutical products (Cofares / Cofarta)
Ramón y Cajal (Madrid)
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Ramón y Cajal (Madrid)
Introduction On 21 November 2019, the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) authorized, in first phase with commitments, the acquisition by COFARES, the main wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals in Spain, of Cofarta Cooperativa’s pharmaceutical distribution business (the “Target”). This (...)

The EU Commission fines a Japanese imaging manufacturer for gun jumping by way of a two-step warehousing structure (Canon / Toshiba)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 27 June 2019, the European Commission fined Canon EUR28 million for the pre-clearance implementation of its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems (TMSC) through the use of a two-step “warehousing” deal structure. In step one, Toshiba transferred 95% of the shares in TMSC in a SPV indirectly (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objection to a multinational company operating in the telecommuncations sector alleging a breach of the merger regulation (Altice)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On May 18, 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) sent a “statement of objections” to Altice – a Netherlands-based multinational company operating in the telecommunications (TLC) sector – alleging that it breached the EU Merger Regulation (Regulation N. 139/04, or EUMR) by implementing the (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s approval for an acquisition in the sector of telecommunications regulation (KPN / Vodaphone)
Jones Day (Amsterdam)
In Short The Ruling: The Dutch competition authority’s approval of KPN’s acquisition of fiber operator Reggefiber was upheld by the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal in February 2018. In assessing the merger’s competitive effects, the Tribunal notably considered regulatory measures (...)

The Italian Supreme Court publishes its new provisions for mergers and acquisitions transactions for the application of registration tax
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
1. Share deal or asset deal: the first decision to make in M&A transactions When approaching a M&A transaction, the decision about the structure shall be the first item on the agenda. Choosing between a share deal or an asset deal depends, in the first instance, on the willingness of (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears a merger in the food distributor market (Chipita / Nikas)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Packed food products merger cleared in Phase I: CHIPITA/ NIKAS (HCC 638/2017) In this conglomerate concentration, Chipita S.A., producer and distributor of several snack brands (Bake Rolls, Chipita chips, 7Days, Molto a.o.), filed a concentration notification, in January 2017, for the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a major supermarket chain of 383 companies that formed part of the largest retail chain (Sklavenitis / Marinopoulos)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Supermarket chains acquisition cleared with remedies: SKLAVENITIS/ MARINOPOULOS (HCC 637/2017) Picking up from where it left off in the on-going consolidation of the Greek super-market sector, the HCC was called, in January 2017, to clear the acquisition of control by Sklavenitis, a major (...)

The Singaporean Competition Authority proposes updates to its guidelines on the substantive assessment of mergers likely to have great impact on digital and data-driven industries
Bird & Bird (Singapore)
,
Bird & Bird (Singapore)
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) has proposed updates to several of its guidelines. Among these, are updates to the Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of Mergers. The proposed amendments are likely to have great impact on digital and data-driven industries. (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority approves a merger in the car distribution markets (Vassilakis)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
VASSILAKIS acquisition of KIA and HYUNDAI distributors in Greece (HCC 632/2016) The VASSILAKIS Group includes a subsidiary which is the official authorized SEAT distributor in Greece and is also active in the wholesale and retail sale of passenger cars, spare parts and repair services under (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the super-market sector (Vassilopoulos / Kanakis)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
METRO/VEROPOULOS (HCC 623/2016) and VASSILOPOULOS/KANAKIS (HCC 624/2016) The HCC continued its control of super-market takeovers with the clearance of the acquisitions of VEROPOULOS by METRO and KANAKIS by VASSILOPOULOS in early 2016. As a result of the former (January 2016), two competing (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority approves mergers in the chemical and plastic products market (Ravago / DELTA / Pentaplast)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
RAVAGO acquisitions of DELTA CHEMICALS and PENTAPLAST (HCC 629/2016 and 634/2016) RAVAGO is a Luxembourg-based company active in the market for the distribution of chemical and plastic products. Its Greek clientele is active in the car, electric devices, wire, cable, and packaging industries. (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority approves an acquisition in the port transportation sector (Piraeus port / Cosco)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) by COSCO (HCC 627/2016) In 2002, the publicly listed PPA (‘OLP’) entered into a Concession Agreement with the Greek State, gaining the exclusive right until 2052 to exploit all buildings, establishments, and other infrastructure of Greece’s most (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears a merger in the airport sector (Fraport)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of 14 regional airports by FRAPORT (HCC 626/2016) On April 7 2016, the HCC announced the clearance of the Concession Agreements entered into by the FRAPORT Consortium and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for the upgrade, maintenance, management, and operation of (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears an acquisition of sole control of a company in the market of wholesale of super-market goods (Cretan / Marinopoulos)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of sole control in CRETAN Retail Management by MARINOPOULOS (HCC 607/2015) As in the SKLAVENITIS/HALKIADAKIS case, this case (March 2015) also involved the super-market sector in Crete. MARINOPOULOS was already present in the Cretan market, whereas CRETAN was also active in the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the same market between a local super-market chain and the largest super-market company (Kronos / Marinopoulos)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of sole control of KRONOS N. KARAKITSOS by MARINOPOULOS (HCC 605/2015) In March 2015, the HCC cleared another concentration in the same market between KRONOS a local super-market chain operating in Patras, and the wider Achaia, Peloponnese area and MARINOPOULOS (holder of Carrefour (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears the acquisition in the wholesale trade of super-market goods (Makro / Slavenitis)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of sole control of MAKRO Cash & Carry by SKLAVENITIS (HCC 601/2015) In January 2015, the HCC cleared the acquisition of MAKRO Cash & Carry by INO, SKLAVENITIS’ subsidiary, in Phase I. The relevant market was that of the wholesale trade of super-market goods, given that (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority clears a merger in the market for trade of groceries and super-market goods (Sklavenitis / Halkiadakis)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Acquisition of sole control of retailer HALKIADAKIS by SKLAVENITIS (HCC 600/2015) The merger activity in the market for trade of groceries and super-market goods was the one which dominated the merger control agenda of the HCC in 2015. The SKLAVENITIS/HALKIADAKIS case (January 2015) was (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission allows Member States to grant more State Αid to boost green projects New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 22 September 2020, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that EU governments may be allowed to grant more State aid to projects that help the bloc achieve its climate goals, calling such an incentive a “green bonus”. In contrast, polluting factories or power plants may be (...)

The EU Commission opens a consultation on the revised "Emission Trading Schemes State aid" Guidelines New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 21 September 2020, the European Commission adopted revised EU Emission Trading System (ETS) State aid Guidelines in the context of the system for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading post-2021, which will enter into force from 1 January 2021. The revised Guidelines went through a public (...)

The EU Court of Justice publishes its decision concerning a State aid question in the context of supplementary health insurance (Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa)
Leuven University
The Dovera-saga: Peace of mind for solidarity or cold feet for EU competition law?* Last summer’s CJEU judgment in Case C-262/18 P Dovera Zdravotna Poist’ovna has gone by quite unnoticed with only a few mentions and annotationsin the usual blogs and journals. However, this judgment – which (...)

The EU Commission implements a temporary State aid framework to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
As part of its policy reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission has mobilised two instruments to assist Member States in dealing with the crisis: Article 107(2)(b) TFEU allowing for State aid to compensate damages caused by exceptional occurrences, and Article 107(3)(b) TFEU (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s decision ordering the Netherlands to recover illegal State aid from a coffee company (Starbucks)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court delivered its judgments in the first two individual tax ruling cases involving transfer pricing within multinationals, providing important guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations concerning tax (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision on State aid regarding a Romanian food and beverages company (Micula)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 18 June 2019, the General Court of the European Union handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Micula case ruling that Romania’s payment of the €178 million award constituted illegal State aid. Romania, prior to its EU accession in 2005, implemented a pack of measures aiming to avoid (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of Justice decides that a hotel using an online booking platform can challenge a possible abuse of dominance against that platform before a court of the Member State where the hotel is established (Wikingerhof / Booking.com)
Portolano Cavallo (Rome)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The Court of Justice of the European Union, in Case 59/19, ruled that, to challenge a possible abuse of dominant position, a hotel using an online booking platform is entitled to bring proceedings against that platform before a court of the Member State where the hotel is established, (...)

The US DoJ announces that a former senior vice president of sales and marketing and a dutch national had been extradited to face price-fixing charges (Ullings)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On January 13, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a former senior vice president of cargo sales and marketing for Martinair N.V. (Martinair Cargo) and a Dutch national, had been extradited from Italy to the United States to face price-fixing charges. (...)

The Cyprus Parliament implements the EU damages directive
Antoniou McCollum & Co. (Nicosia)
Directive 2014/104/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 November 2014 on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States (the “Damages Directive“) has been transposed into Cyprus law. The (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority announces the details of its newly settlement procedure to parties involveed in horizontal cartel cases
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Settlement procedure introduced (HCC 628/2016) In July 2016, the HCC announced the details of its newly introduced settlement procedure which shall be available to parties involved in horizontal cartel cases. Upon admitting involvement and waiving certain procedural rights, parties settling (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority publishes adjustments to the quantification criteria used in the prioritization of cases
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Adjustments to the quantification criteria used in the prioritization of cases (HCC 616/2015) In 2012, the HCC announced a point system, based on which it regulates the prioritization of all antitrust cases handled by the DirectorateGeneral (HCC 539/VII/2012). In March 2016, the HCC announced (...)

The US Supreme Court decides that states which don’t clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed a policy allowing hospitals authorities to make acquisitions wont be under the state-action immunity (FTC / Pheobe Putney)
Bona Law (Los Angeles)
,
Bona Law (San Diego)
This article briefly explores the applicability of federal antitrust laws to actions taken by municipalities or other state subdivisions and, specifically, whether they have acted pursuant to a clearly articulated state policy to displace competition in the marketplace. Federal antitrust laws (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority publishes its new cartel leniency program
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Towards the end of 2011, Greece adopted its new cartel leniency program (“New Leniency Program”) in replacement of the 2006 leniency program which had not led to any successful leniency applications. The main changes brought about under the new regime relate to the persons who may apply for (...)

Regulatory

The US Congress passes into law the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act and repeals the McCarran-Ferguson Act’s antitrust exemption for health and dental insurers
Hausfeld (New York)
After many years of debate and previous failed attempts, on January 13, 2021, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (“CHIRA”) was passed into law, having obtained unanimous consent in both the House of Representatives and Senate last fall. The new Act repeals the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson (...)

The EU Commission publishes a final regulation which extends the validity of the block exemption for liner shipping New
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 24 March 2020, the European Commission published a final Regulation extending the EU Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) until 25 April 2024, without modification. This Regulation outlines the conditions under which liner shipping consortia can provide joint services without (...)

The EU Commission publishes a communication aiming to create a Europe fit for the digital age
Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (Frankfurt)
,
Ashurst (Madrid)
On 19 February 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") published a Communication on shaping Europe’s digital future ("Digital Future Communication") together with a Communication on a European data strategy ("Data Strategy"), which contain a number of statements relating to EU competition (...)

The EU Commission publishes a code to regulate communications in Europe
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Amsterdam)
In Short The Situation: On December 18, 2018, the European Union published its European Electronic Communication Code ("Code"). The Result: The Code overhauls the current legislative framework for telecommunications with the aim of consolidating existing legislations into a single Act. (...)

The Greek Parliament publishes a new law for the protection of free competition
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (Athens)
Law 3959/2011 radically reforms the legislation in relation to free competition and achieves in general terms the goals that had been set during the public consultation: enhancement of the institutional role of the Commission, improvement of the efficiency and speed of its action, safeguard of (...)

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