September 2020

General antitrust

The Nordic Competition Authorities release joint memorandum on digital platforms and the future of European policy
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
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Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
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Icelandic Competition Authority
Nordic Competition Authorities release joint memorandum on digital platforms and the future of European policy* As a contribution to the debate on competition enforcement in the digital era and future rules for digital platforms, the Nordic competition authorities are today publishing a joint (...)

The Nordic Competition Authorities publish a joint memorandum setting out their perspective on competition in digital markets
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 September 2020, the competition authorities of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland issued a joint memorandum setting out their perspective on competition in digital markets (the “Joint Memorandum”). As previously reported in this newsletter (see, VBB on Competition Law, Volume (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority releases its final report on sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA publishes final report on sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market* The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) launched a comprehensive sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market in September 2019. The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority finishes its comprehensive sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (the “FCA”) published its final report on the sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market (the “Report”). The comprehensive sector inquiry was launched in September 2019 to ascertain the effects of amendments to the (...)

The EU Commission starts two studies into the mobile payment sector after setting out its financial digital package
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (London)
The EC is seeking to investigate the mobile payments sector by launching two tenders by the end of October for the provision of expert reports on the sector. The first tender aims to “gather informed knowledge, in the form of a report, about the state and evolution of contactless and mobile (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority draws up rules of thumb for sustainability claims by companies about their products and services
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM draws up rules of thumb for sustainability claims* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has drawn up rules of thumb for sustainability claims that businesses use when selling their products and services. With these rules of thumb, ACM believes that businesses will (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority gains the right of action in relation to any non-compliance by providers of online intermediation services or by providers of online search engines with the relevant requirements laid down in the P2B Regulation
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA granted right of action in relation to P2B Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services* The EU Regulation on platform-to-business relations (P2B Regulation), which promotes fairness and transparency for business users of online (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases an airline competition report exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the sector Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Airline competition critical for consumers and economy* The ACCC’s Airline Competition in Australia reportreleased today explores the significant impact of COVID-19 on the sector and outlines the approach the ACCC will take to protecting competition. The report is the first under the Federal (...)

The Georgian Parliament approves a package of amendements to the national competition law which have been drafted with the support of an EU-funded project
Georgian Competition Authority
Parliament of Georgia has approved a package “On Amendments to the Law on Competition”* Significant amendments to the Law of Georgia on Competition have been drafted with the involvement of an EU-funded project - “Support to the Georgian Competition Agency,” the Competition Council of Lithuania, (...)

The International Competition Network addresses enforcement and policy challenges of the digital economy conference co-hosted with the US DoJ and FTC
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
International Competition Network Addresses Enforcement and Policy Challenges of the Digital Economy at United States-Hosted 19th Annual Conference The International Competition Network held its 19th annual conference on Sept. 14-17, 2020. Co-hosted by the Federal Trade Commission and the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority launches a dialogue in relation to sustainable development in the context of effective competition
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Subject: HCC initiatives in relation to sustainable development in the context of effective competition* At a time when the phenomenon of climate change becomes more acute, the need to accelerate the transformation of the Greek economy becomes urgent, through the adoption of environmentally (...)

The Georgian Competition Authority issues draft amendments to reform the competition law policy
Georgian Competition Authority
Irakli Lekvinadze - with the amendments to the competition law, Georgia has more comprehensive legislation in accordance with DCFTA requirements* Following one of the requirements of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union, a draft amendment to the Law (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority warns mobile operators that they should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons (Spark / Vodafone / 2degrees)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Mobile operators should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons* The Commerce Commission has told New Zealand’s three mobile network operators that they should provide more meaningful comparison information and guard against overspending by mobile phone consumers. Mobile operators (...)

The UK Competition Authority drafts guidance on its powers and procedures regarding foreign direct investments
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Brussels)
Key takeaways FDI rules in the UK have recently been tightened in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK can now intervene in transactions on the grounds of public health emergencies. Also, lower jurisdictional thresholds apply to transactions relating to artificial intelligence, (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases final report on multinational dairy company’s milk price (Fonterra)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission releases final report on Fonterra’s milk price* The Commerce Commission has today released its final report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2019/20 dairy season. Mobile operators should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons The base milk price is the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority announces public consultation on the amendments of the FDI screening regime
University of Macau - Faculty of Law
National competition authorities and FDI screening: the case of Romania* EU FDI Screening Regulation: separating security from competition The Regulation 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (EU FDI Screening Regulation) was adopted (...)

The US New York State Senate proposes legislation to modernize state antitrust law and expands the State’s and private litigants’ ability to litigate against companies for anticompetitive conduct (Twenty-First Century Anti-Trust Act)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
New York Could Lead the Nation Into 21st Century Antitrust Enforcement* New York is on the verge of revamping state antitrust enforcement to tackle competition issues of the 21st Century. On September 14, 2020, the Consumer Protection Committee of the New York State Senate held a virtual (...)

The Singapore Competition Authority publishes its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Singapore)
On 10 September 2020, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ("CCCS") published its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms. While the market study did not identify any significant competition concerns in the sector, the CCCS has concurrently (...)

The UK Competition Authority starts reviewing its study of the legal services market in England and Wales on the transparency of price, quality, and service
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA to assess progress in legal services sector* The CMA is reviewing the legal services sector in England and Wales to assess whether transparency of price, quality and service have improved. In 2016, the CMA carried out a market study into the supply of legal services in England and Wales, (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority announces that all Nordic countries have joined the agreement on cooperation in competition cases
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
All Nordic countries have now joined the Agreement on Cooperation in Competition Cases* In July 2020, Iceland joined the Nordic Agreement on Cooperation in Competition Cases. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden had already joined the agreement. All Nordic countries are now parties to the (...)

The German Government submits a draft of the digitalisation act amending German competition law
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 September 2020, the German Government tabled the draft 10th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (“ARC”), also referred to as the ARC Digitalisation Act. The draft amendment entails significant changes in the areas of abuse of dominance, merger control, cartel fines (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a market study into information systems and information exchange in the hospital sector
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM launches market study into information systems and information exchange in the hospital sector* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) wishes to gain more insight into the functioning of the markets for hospital information systems, and into the digital exchange of (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on draft guidance concerning its powers and procedures in the relation to the post-Brexit foreign direct investments information-request process
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
As noted in our recent LawFlashes, New Powers for UK Government in Transactions Impacting Public Health Emergencies and National Security and Potential UK Reforms Could Increase Screening of Certain Foreign Takeovers, governments are increasing their scrutiny of certain foreign direct (...)

The German Competition Authority releases its 2019 annual report with focus on the digital economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt – 2019/2020 Annual Report* Today, the President of the Bundeskartellamt, Andreas Mundt, presented the authority’s brochure “2019 Annual Report”. The publication is aimed at readers interested in economic policy and provides an overview of the Bundeskartellamt’s activities in 2019 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority partners with its counterpart competition agencies from five other countries to coordinate on cross-border investigations
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently entered into a new memorandum of understanding with its counterpart competition agencies from five other countries in order to share intelligence and investigate techniques to better coordinate competition investigations across (...)

The US FTC signs Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework with US DOJ and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework seeks to improve cooperation in an increasingly global economy Today, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph (...)

The US DoJ signs antitrust cooperation framework with US FTC and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework With Australia, Canada, New Zealand, And United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework aims to boost international cooperation efforts Today, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim (...)

The UK Competition Authority signs multilateral cooperation framework with its 5 counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA to increase competition cooperation with international partners* The CMA has signed a new framework with 5 of its international counterpart competition authorities to improve co-operation on investigations. The Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework for Competition (...)

The Australian Competition Authority signs agreement to coordinate on cross-border investigations with competition authorities in Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Competition agencies to coordinate on cross-border investigations* Competition agencies from five countries including Australia will share intelligence, case theories and investigative techniques to better coordinate investigations across international borders, thanks to a new cooperation (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement with Australia, Canada, UK, and the US
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commerce Commission signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement* The Commerce Commission has signed a multilateral assistance and co-operation framework to enhance international cooperation on competition enforcement with the Australian (...)

The Japanese FTC publishes a market research report on transactions between franchisers and franchisees
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On September 2, 2020, the JFTC published a market research report (“Report”) on transactions between the headquarters of convenience stores (i.e., franchisers) and their franchisees. Previously, the JFTC conducted a similar market research in 2011. The Report indicates some situations that could (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority signs a competition enforcement framework with five foreign counterparts to strengthen its relationship and enhance cross-border enforcement
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau strengthens relationship with five foreign counterparts to enhance cross-border enforcement* News release Today, the Competition Bureau signed a new competition enforcement framework with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the New Zealand Commerce (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Swedish Competition Authority discovers improper public procurement of parking meters (Örebro Municipality)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Parking meters were improperly procured by Örebro Municipality* Örebro Municipality has made an illegal direct award of parking meters. The Swedish Competition Authority is now turning to the Administrative Court and petitioning for the municipality to be ordered to pay a procurement fine of SEK (...)

The EU Commission fines car parts suppliers €18 million in cartel settlement in the market for closure systems for cars (Brose / Kiekert / Magna)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines car parts suppliers of € 18 million in cartel settlement* The European Commission has fined Brose and Kiekert a total of € 18 million for taking part in two cartels concerning supplies of closure systems for cars in the European Economic Area (EEA). Magna was not (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates possible absolute monopolistic practices in the market for waterproofing products
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates possible absolute monopolistic practices in the market for waterproofing products* The Investigative Authority has evidence to suggest anticompetitive conducts in said market. This investigation must not be understood as a prejudgment, but as an action by the authority to (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority sanctions 5 companies with EUR 468,000 for rigging the bids on rehabilitation of the streets in Pitesti (Construct Steel Market / Construcții Drumuri și Lucrări de Artă / Comesad Drumuri / General Trust Argeș / Selca)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Sanctioned Five Companies With Lei 2.23 Million for Riging the Bid* The Competition Council sanctioned with fines amounting 2,237,094 lei (approx. 468,000 euro) five companies for rigging the bids on rehabilitation of the streets in Pitesti, as follows: Construct Steel (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines 4 cigarette manufacturers EUR 88 million for distorting competition through exchange of information through third parties (British American Tobacco / JT International / Phillip Morris / Van Nelle Tabak)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Four cigarette manufacturers fined 82 million euros for distorting competition* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed fines totaling more than 82 million euros on four major cigarette manufacturers. Between July 2008 and July 2011, they distorted competition. (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses manufacturing company’s appeal against the fine imposed for the power cable cartel (Prysmian)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) rejected the Italian power-cable manufacturer Prysmi- an’s appeal against the € 104.6 million fine imposed on it by the Commission in 2014 for its involvement in the Power Cables cartel case. The ECJ upheld the earlier ruling by the General Court (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority addresses allegations for participation in an agreement for fixing the resale price of child care and mother care products (Smart SM)
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
CPC has addressed allegations for committed infringement of Art. 15, par. 1 of the LPC to Smart SM OOD* By Statement No. 732/17.09.2020 delivered under case No. КЗК-359/2018 on the grounds of art. 74, par. 1, item 3 of the LPC, the CPC has addressed allegations for committed infringement of Art. (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes a fine on the federation of municipalities in social and health services in the region of Kymenlaakso for unlawful direct procurement of ophthalmology services (Kymsote)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA proposes a penalty payment to Kymsote for the unlawful direct procurement of ophthalmology services* On 24 September 2020, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) submitted a proposal to the Market Court to impose a penalty payment of 40,000 euros on the federation of (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority considers imposing fines on four publishers and a book database company for illegally sharing competitive sensitive information (Cappelen Damm / Forlagshuset Vigmostad & Bjørke / Gyldendal / Aschehoug / Bokbasen)
Norwegian Competition Authority
Considers imposing fines on five companies in the book market totalling NOK 502 million* The Norwegian Competition Authority warns in a statement of objections that it considers imposing fines of NOK 502 million in total on the four publishers Cappelen Damm, Forlagshuset Vigmostad & Bjørke, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects power cables appeal on dawn raid powers and successor liability and fines the company €104.6 million for taking part in an international cartel (Prysmian)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") fully dismissed an appeal brought by Prysmian, therefore upholding the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision to fine Prysmian EUR 104.6 million for taking part in an international power-cable cartel. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The US District Court for the Middle District of Florida indicts former cancer centre president for participation in a long-running antitrust conspiracy (Dr. William Harwin)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Former Cancer Center President Indicted For Participation In Long-Running Antitrust Conspiracy* A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. William Harwin, founder and former President of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute LLC (FCS), for conspiring to allocate (...)

The Dutch District Court of Noord-Nederland holds personally liable a former director of the North Sea shrimps cartel (Gerard Willem Breuker)
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
Introduction On 23 September 2020 a former director of one of the North Sea shrimps cartelists was held personally liable for damage of over € 13 million by the Dutch District Court of Noord-Nederland (“Court”). According to the Court, the director’s personal involvement in the cartel qualified as (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority launches an investigation against two marketing undertakings that may have allocated the market (Star Network / 4KIDS)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Competition Authority has launched an investigation against two marketing undertakings that may have allocated the market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a proceeding against Star Network MCN Szolgáltató Kft. and 4KIDS Meseportál Kft. due to concerns that the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against a global oil company for possibly violating its obligation not to indirectly set the recommended retail price for independent station owners operating under its flag (Repsol)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Repsol for a possible violation of the provisions in the resolutions of 30 July 2009 and 20 December 2013* The CNMC has initiated disciplinary proceedings against REPSOL Comercial de Productos Petrolifos, S.A. (Repsol) for a possible breach (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority sanctions the amendment of the 4th framework agreement on stowage, for restricting competition (ANESCO / CETM / UGT / CC.OO. / CIG / LAB / ELA)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC sanctions the amendment of the 4th framework agreement on stowage, for restricting competition* The entities (a business association and six unions) established, as part of the Negotiating Commission of the 4th Framework Agreement on Stowage, the forced transfer - under non-objective, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a design company for dictating prices (GUBI)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Design company pays fine of DKK 6 million for dictating prices* GUBI A/S, a Danish design company within furniture and lighting, has entered into a settlement and accepted to pay a fine of DKK 6 million for infringing the Danish Competition Act. The company contacted the authorities on the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues preliminary findings to organisations under investigation in the private motor insurance sector (AIG Europe / Allianz / AXA / Aviva / FBD / Brokers Ireland / AA)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC issues preliminary findings to organisations under investigation in the private motor insurance sector* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today issued preliminary findings to five insurers, an insurance industry trade association and an insurance broker: AIG (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorizes cooperation in the energy industry under strict restrictions due to COVID-19 outbreak Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Energy industry cooperation authorised with strict conditions* The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and participants in gas and electricity markets have been authorised to cooperate on measures to secure Australia’s energy supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authorisation (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions three professional organisations for anticompetitive practices in the wine sector (AVA / GPNVA / CIVA)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Alsace wines: The Autorité sanctions three professional organisations for anticompetitive practices* Following evidence and documents sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité sanctioned two trade associations, the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority detects a collusion for 1.5 billion rubles in the coal supply market (PJSC TGC-2 / JSC Arhoblenergo / LLC TEC)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia detected collusion for 1.5 billion rubles in the coal supply market* The Commission of the FAS Russia recognized PJSC TGC-2, JSC Arhoblenergo and LLC TEC as violating the antimonopoly legislatio. The companies restricted competition by entering into agreements with each other and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the competitive bidding process of middle and outer rings of Greater Paris bus lines (Île-de-France Mobilités)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Opening up bus networks in Ile-de-France to competition: the Autorité issues an opinion to Île-de-France Mobilités on the competitive bidding process of middle and outer rings of Greater Paris bus lines* Background Following a referral by the Île-de-France Transport Trade Association, also known (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines six manufacturers of wooden railroad sleepers for bid rigging (Track Tec / Kolejowe Zakłady Nawierzchniowe / Sleeper Treatment Plant in Czeremcha / Sleeper Treatment Plant in Koźmin Wielkopolski / ThyssenKrupp / Trade-Port)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Bid rigging - decision of the president of UOKiK* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny imposed a fine of over PLN 13.5 million on six manufacturers of wooden railroad sleepers. The entrepreneurs entered into a bid rigging for the delivery of products for PKP PLK. The following entrepreneurs (...)

The US DoJ announces that a former currency trader at a major multinational bank is sentenced to jail and required to pay a fine for participating in price fixing and bid rigging
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Former Foreign Exchange Trader Sentenced To Prison For Price Fixing And Bid Rigging* Akshay Aiyer, a former currency trader at a major multinational bank, was sentenced to serve eight months in jail and ordered to pay a $150,000 criminal fine for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes interim measures while it prolongs due to COVID-19 pandemic its investigation of an updated agreement between major airlines on providing slots to other competitors on certain UK-US routes (Atlantic Joint Business Agreement) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA acts to protect competition on UK-US airline routes* Due to coronavirus, the CMA has imposed measures to protect competition on UK-US air routes while it investigates an agreement involving BA and American Airlines. The next year will see the expiry of remedies in place under a set of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 33 school transport companies and one association for creating a school transport cartel (School transport cartel / Asociación Navarra de Empresarios del Transporte por Carretera y Logística)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC fines 33 school transport companies and one association for creating a school transport cartel in Navarre* The companies conspired to share the school transport by zones and deceive the School Board of the Government of Navarre, driving up the prices of the service for 8 years. The (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 33 school transport companies and one association with €3.36 million for creating a school transport cartel (School transport cartel / Asociación Navarra de Empresarios del Transporte por Carretera y Logística)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 September 2020, the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) imposed fines totalling € 3.36 million on 33 school transport companies and fined one association € 15,000 for their involvement in a bid-rigging cartel in the school transport sector in the region of Navarre from 1 December 2013 until (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens 2 investigations into bid rigging in the forestry sector (Niedźwiady Forest Inspectorate)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Two cases of bid rigging in the forestry?* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has instigated two anti-trust proceedings against companies operating in the field of forest management. Entrepreneurs submitting tenders for forest management services organized by one of Pomeranian forest (...)

The US DoJ Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim confirms the opening of two dozen active grand jury investigations into potential criminal antitrust law violations
Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
Clients that do business with the federal government should take note: despite the pandemic and the upcoming election, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) continues to prioritize its focus on punishing fraudulent and anticompetitive conduct by government contractors, carrying out dozens of (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines several companies and natural persons for agreeing on retail gasoline prices (Gasmart / Rendichicas / Appro / Magigas / Eco...)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions several companies and natural persons for agreeing retail gasoline prices in Tijuana and Mexicali, in Baja California* The Board of Commissioners imposed fines totaling 51 million Mexican pesos to companies of the economic interest groups: Gasmart, Rendichicas, Appro, Magigas (...)

The EU Court of Justice receives a request for preliminary ruling on restrictions for high-quality products regarding the block exemption regulation (Visma)
Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
A selective distribution system consists of a supplier selecting distributors based on specific, pre-determined criteria while committing to sell the products or services in question only to selected distributors. These distributors commit not to sell such products or services to unauthorised (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority launches an investigation on health and hospital equipment during COVID-19 pandemic Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The interim results of HCC’s investigations on health and hospital equipment during covid-19 pandemic* Subject: Investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission in the markets of a) healthcare materials, b) other appropriate means of individual or collective protection against the spread of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorizes oil companies to cooperate to secure fuel supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Oil companies authorised to cooperate to secure fuel supplies during COVID-19* The Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) and major oil refiners have been granted authorisation by the ACCC to continue cooperating on measures to improve the security of fuel supplies during the COVID-19 (...)

The Auckland High Court fines $4 million real estate agencies for price-fixing (Lodge / Monarch)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Hamilton real estate agencies to pay $4 million for price fixing* The Auckland High Court has ordered Hamilton-based Lodge Real Estate Limited (Lodge) to pay $2.1 million and Monarch Real Estate Limited (Monarch) to pay $1.9 million for engaging in price-fixing in breach of the Commerce Act. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes pre-investigation proceedings against a football club to remove any possible unfair element of certain clauses in contracts for ticket selling (Serie A SSC Napoli)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
CV205 - ICA, Napoli football club will reimburse the ticket, if so requested by consumer, in case of match postponement* The Authority asked SSC Napoli S.p.A. to remove any possible unfair element of certain clauses in the contractual conditions of the Regulations of the San Paolo stadium and (...)

The EU Commission publishes findings of the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
It is well known that a total ban of online sales constitutes a hardcore restriction of passive sales and is qualified as a restriction of competition by object. This was clearly stated by the EU Commission in its 2010 guidelines and confirmed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the (...)

The EU Commission assesses the competitive effects of dual pricing and distribution making the German Competition Authority focus on this matter
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
The EU Commission has confirmed in its recently published Evaluation that it is assessing the competitive effects of dual pricing and dual distribution. Following the significant growth of online sales, these practises have also been a focus of the German FCO. The German FCO has looked at the (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a report on the Evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the “Evaluation Report”). For further information, see the Legislative, Procedural and Policy Developments section below. The Evaluation Report reflects the (...)

The EU Commission publishes a review of the vertical block exemption regulation which adresses questions of big data and access to data
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
Issues around Big Data and access to data as an essential input are rapidly gaining importance in vertical relationships. This was made clear in the Commission’s recently published evaluation of stakeholder input in the context of the review of the VBER. In the past, the Hungarian Competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority renders two decisions in the context of the geo-blocking regulation (PV7 / Telepass / Addebiti) (PV9 / Enel)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
The Geo-blocking Regulation came into force on 22 March 2018. It provides that the Member States shall lay down the rules setting out the measures applicable to infringements of the Geo-blocking Regulation and the enforcement of these provisions falls within the jurisdiction of national (...)

The EU Commission releases a staff working document evaluation on the vertical block exemption regulation which gives guidance on online restrictions
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
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Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The rapid development that the e-commerce sector has undergone in the last decade has meant its definitive implementation as one of the most relevant routes to market. This development has come along with important judgments of the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") on this matter. Cases such as (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working document summarizing the findings of the evaluation phase of the review of the vertical block exemption regulation and its guidelines
Ashurst (Paris)
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Ashurst (London)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") published a working document (the "Evaluation Report") summarising the findings of the evaluation phase of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation ("VBER") and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints ("Vertical (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document on the vertical block exemption regulation but does not address any guidance on most-favored nation clauses
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission published its Staff Working Document (“Evaluation Document”) on the results of its evaluation of the VBER and its accompanying guidelines. One of the key gaps in the current framework is the absence of guidance on how retail parity clauses should be (...)

The EU Commission publishes its evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
Introduction The current Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’), has been in force since 2010, a mere ten years. Yet it is hard to think of another decade in which the commercial landscape has changed as dramatically. The gradual shift away from the high street to online sales (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document of the vertical block exemption regulation and does not plan to relax the resale price maintenance rule for franchises
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
In the last few years, franchising has become an increasingly popular distribution structure across the EU. A franchise is a vertical agreement, and therefore should not contain any of the hard-core restrictions set out in the VBER in order to benefit from the block exemption. Nonetheless, it (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises supermarkets to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Supermarkets authorised to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response* Supermarket operators will be allowed to continue cooperating to ensure supply of food and groceries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an ACCC authorisation granted today. Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Aldi, and (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority launches dawn raids and proceedings against undertakings on the consumer electronic market (Roaming Electronics / Tehnomanija / Comtrade Distribution)
Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition
Commission Instituted Proceedings Against Undertakings on the Consumer Electronics Market* The Commission for Protection of Competition instituted ex officio proceedings to investigate infringements of competition, and carried out dawn raids at business premises of companies Roaming (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia indicts ready-mix concrete company and individuals for price-fixing and bid-rigging (Evans Concrete)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Ready-Mix Concrete Company And Individuals Indicted For Fixing Prices And Rigging Bids In Violation Of Antitrust Laws* A federal grand jury returned an indictment against one company and four individuals for their roles in a long-running conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate markets (...)

The Italian Competition Authority welcomes the decision of the Prefecture of Rome to annul the tendering procedure for the integrated management of the judicial documents notifications service (Prefecture of Rome)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
The Italian Competition Authority welcomes the decision of the Prefecture of Rome to annul the tendering procedure for the assignment of the service of integrated management of the notifications of judicial documents* The Authority had previously sent a reasoned opinion in which it noted that (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a garden equipment supplier for resale price maintenance (V-Garden)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued by the Czech Competition Authority (the “Authority”) on 3 September 2020, the Authority has imposed a fine of CZK 7,687,000 on garden equipment supplier V-GARDEN for engaging in resale price maintenance. The Authority reported that, during the period from (...)

The Polish Competition Authority investigates the outdoor advertising market in Warsaw (AMS / Ströer Polska)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Division of outdoor advertising market in Warsaw?* President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, has instigated investigation procedure with respect to activities of companies AMS and Ströer Polska on the outdoor advertising market in Warsaw. The aim of the procedure is to determine whether the companies (...)

The Norwegian Court of Appeal in Borgarting upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding an illegal cooperation between 2 publishing companies (Cappelen Damm / Gyldendal)
Norwegian Competition Authority
Court of Appeal upholds decision against publishing companies* Borgarting Court of Appeal agrees with the Norwegian Competition Authority that the publishing companies Cappelen Damm and Gyldendal cooperated illegally and boycotted the distributor Interpress. The publishers exchanged (...)

The Russian Competition Authority announces they prevented the creation of a cartel in the pharmaceutical market with an income of more than 120 million rubles (Danta / Company Organika)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Rostov OFAS prevented pharmaceutical cartel with an income of more than 120 million rub* Illegal income of Danta LLC and Company Organika LLC was obtained by colluding at 48 auctions for the supply of medicines Rostov OFAS found that auctions where Danta LLC and Company Organika LLC (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines an association of passenger carriers for bid-rigging in public procurement (Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of passenger carriers pays a fine of DKK 400,000 for bid rigging* The association of undertakings Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport has accepted a fine of DKK 400,000 (app € 53,643) for coordinating bids between its members. The association of undertakings Økonomisk Forening for (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority finds in its market study that supermarkets offer chicken meat that is more sustainable without any anti-competitive agreements
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch supermarkets offer chicken meat that is more sustainable without any anticompetitive agreements* Dutch supermarkets nowadays offer a lot more chicken-meat varieties where the chickens have lived better lives. Virtually all of the chicken meat varieties currently on offer have been (...)

The Australian Competition Authority secures a first-ever individual guilty plea for obstructing a cartel investigation from the infringing company’s general manager (BlueScope Steel)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Ex BlueScope GM Jason Ellis pleads guilty to obstructing cartel investigation* Jason Ellis, a former general manager of sales and marketing at BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope), has today entered a guilty plea in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court to one charge of inciting the obstruction of (...)

Unilateral Practices

The US FTC requests rehearing en banc by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case of global semiconductor company’s standard-essential patent licensing practices (Qualcomm)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requests Rehearing En Banc of Qualcomm Appeals Panel Decision* The Federal Trade Commission today filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit requesting rehearing en banc of the August 11, 2020, decision of a panel of that court in the matter of FTC v. Qualcomm (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning to a manufacturer of cash register equipment to eliminate an abuse of dominance violation (Evotor)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS ISSUED WARNING TO THE MANUFACTURER OF CASH REGISTER EQUIPMENT EVOTOR * FAS received complaints on violations of the antimonopoly legislation from organizations and entrepreneurs using Evotor cash register equipment The FAS found that Evotor LLC directed a software update to the cash (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority closes investigation into drug manufacturer after receiving assurances that it will not use its discount schemes to force hospitals into exclusive purchases (AbbVie)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM closes investigation into drug manufacturer AbbVie, competitors get more room now* Drug manufacturer AbbVie has stated that it will not force hospitals to purchase exclusively or to a large extent from AbbVie through discount schemes (or rebate programs). AbbVie has made these assurances (...)

The Australian Competition Authority accepts a physiotherapy company’s commitment to remove alleged unfair contract terms from its franchisee agreements (Back In Motion Physiotherapy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Back In Motion Physiotherapy to remove alleged unfair contract terms for franchisees* The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking by Back In Motion Physiotherapy Pty Ltd to remove certain terms from its franchisees agreements which it admits may be unfair. Under a restraint of trade (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues second warning to an online booking platform on termination of price parity clauses and restrictive conditions on hotels (Booking.com)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS RUSSIA ISSUES SECOND WARNING TO BOOKING.COM* This includes the abolition of parity in all channels of sales of hotel services On September 18, 2020, the FAS Russia issued Booking.com B.V. LLC (hereinafter referred to as Booking.com) a second warning on termination of actions containing (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority investigates the existence of resale price maintenance practices by an importer and distributor of coffee machines (SF1 Coffee)
Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition
Commission Institutes Another Proceedings on the Consumer Electronics Market* The Commission for Protection of Competition instituted antitrust proceedings ex officio and carried out a dawn raid at business premises of company SF1 Coffee d.o.o., a Nespresso importer and distributor, to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates investigation into the relations between broadcasters and operators of cable TV and digital platforms following complaints on the methods of selling TV shows by broadcasters
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK will check practices of TV broadcasters* Does the sale of TV packages to operators, including cable networks, by broadcasters hinder competition? Do the broadcasters leverage their market position in the advertising market? This will be the subject of explanatory proceedings (...)

The EU Court of Justice addresses how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open internet access (Telenor Magyarország / Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság Elnöke)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“ CJEU ”), in its recent decision with regard to the two joint cases (C‐807/18 and C‐39/19) brought before it for preliminary ruling, addressed how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance and exclusive arrangements against e-commerce company in the market for fashion merchandise (Lifestyle Equities / Amazon)
National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
In an order dated 11.09.2020, the Competition Commission of India (hereinafter ‘CCI’ or ‘the Commission’) dismissed the allegations of abuse of dominance and, entering into anti- competitive agreements against Amazon and the other opposite parties. The Indian Antitrust watchdog observed that Amazon (...)

The Japanese FTC approves a commitment plan brought by an e-commerce company (Amazon)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Approval of the Commitment Plan submitted by Amazon Japan G.K.* In response to the notice which the Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) issued to Amazon Japan G.K. (hereinafter referred to as “Amazon Japan”) in accordance with the Commitment Procedures on July 10, (...)

The Regional Court of Munich rules in favor of an electronic manufacturer in standard essential patent proceeding (Sharp / Daimler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 September 2020, the Regional Court of Munich (“Munich Court”) ruled in favour of Sharp that Daimler had infringed a standard essential patent (“SEP”) of Sharp. Sharp is the patent holder of EP 2667676B1 which is standard essential for the Long-Term Evolution (“LTE”) telecommunications (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three laboratories for abusive practices (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Treatment for AMD: the Autorité fines 3 laboratories for abusive practices* The Autorité de la concurrence has imposed fines worth a total of €444 million on three pharmaceutical companies, Novartis, Roche and Genentech, for abusive practices designed to sustain the sales of Lucentis for AMD (...)

The Polish Competition Authority investigates retrospective discounts in the food retail sector (Biedronka)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK investigates retrospective discounts* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated explanatory proceedings to check whether the retail chains are not leveraging their contractual advantage over small and medium-sized enterprises supplying products to their stores through (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe advises to dismiss the parties’ challenges to the Commission’s finding abuse of dominance on the Slovak broadband services market (Slovak Telekom / Deutsche Telekom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 September 2020, Advocate General (“AG”) Saugmandsgaard Øe issued his opinion in Deutsche Telekom v. European Commission (Case C-152/19) and Slovak Telekom v. European Commission (Case C-165/19) advising the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) to dismiss the parties’ challenges to the Commission’s finding (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 3 laboratories for abusive efforts to segment market (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Background On 9 September 2020, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) imposed a fine of € 444 million on Genentech, Novartis and Roche for abusing their collective dominant position on the market for the commercialisation of drugs for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a fine worth a total of €444 million on three pharmaceutical companies for collective abuse of dominance practices designed to sustain the sale of an expensive drug (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
Ashurst (Paris)
The French Competition Authority ("FCA") has issued a rare decision sanctioning three laboratories active in treatment of age-related macular degeneration on the basis of collective abuse of dominance practices designed to sustain the sale of an expensive drug, Lucentis, to the detriment of a (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Saugmandsgaardoe issues opinion finding that a firm without an indispensable infrastructure can nonetheless abuse a dominant position by way of margin squeeze (Slovak Telekom / Deutsche Telekom)
European University Institute (Florence)
I share below a quick analysis of the Opinion of Advocate General ("AG") Saugmandsgaardoe in Deutsche Telekom and Slovak Telekom (DT & ST) v Commission (C-152 and 165/19 P). The legal issue at the heart of the case giving rise to the Opinion is the following: can a firm without an (...)

The Australian Competition Authority examines the experiences of consumers, developers and suppliers regarding the mobile app market
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mobile apps market under scrutiny* The ACCC will be examining the experiences of Australian consumers, developers, suppliers and others in a new report scrutinising mobile app stores. Issues to be examined include the use and sharing of data by apps, the extent of competition between Google (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches six investigations against some of the main operators at global level in cloud computing services (Google / Apple / Dropbox)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Antitrust: Investigations launched against Google, Apple and Dropbox for their cloud computing services* The proceedings relate to allegedly unfair commercial practices and the possible presence of unfair terms in the contractual conditions The Italian Competition Authority has launched six (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens preliminary investigations into the rebate practices of 19 retail chains
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
In early July, the Polish competition authority (UOKiK) has opened preliminary investigations into the rebate practices of 19 retail chains. In particular, the authority will focus on whether retrospective rebates are used to exploit retail chains’ contractual advantage towards small and (...)

The Polish Competition Authority announces it will check a national e-commerce platforms’ practices for cooperation practices with its sellers (Allegro)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK will check practices of Allegro* What are the conditions of cooperation between Allegro and its users? President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has instigated an investigation procedure concerning the practices of Allegro to check whether there might have been any violations of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority demands the national post to ensure equal conditions across all localities for provision of postal services
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS demanded Russian post to ensure equal conditions for provision of postal services* The Federal Antimonopoly Service issued a warning to the Russian Post to stop collecting surcharges to tariffs for postal services in hard-to-reach localities Since October 1, 2019, the Russian Post has (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority accepts a full reversal of a motorcycle insurance merger (Ardonagh / Bennetts)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Motorcycle insurance merger to be reversed following CMA concerns* The CMA has accepted a proposal from Ardonagh to fully unwind its recent £26 million purchase of Bennetts to resolve competition concerns. Ardonagh Group Limited (Ardonagh), which operates the Carole Nash and Swinton brands, (...)

The EU Commission approves merger in the payment services sector, subject to conditions (Worldline / Ingenico)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Worldline’s acquisition of Ingenico, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Ingenico by Worldline, both active in the payment services sector. The approval is conditional on full (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears, with remedies and monitoring, acquisition of a white cement business (ÇIMSA / CEMEX)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC clears, with remedies, ÇIMSA’s acquisition of CEMEX’s white cement business* The merger has been cleared after intensive work during the second phase subject to a package of remedies that has been subject to a market test, both with the competitors and with the main customers of the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes to prohibit merger between two of the three national healthcare companies (Mehiläinen / Pihlajalinna)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The FCCA proposes the Market Court to prohibit the merger between Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna* On 29 September 2020, Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has proposed the Market Court to prohibit the merger between Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna. According to the FCCA’s investigation, (...)

The US FTC accepts abandonment of a proposed joint venture coal mining operations in the Southern Powder River Basin (Peabody Energy / Arch Coal)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Statement of FTC Bureau of Competition Director Ian Conner on Peabody Energy Corporation and Arch Coal’s Abandonment of Their Proposed Joint Venture* Agency had alleged that merger would harm competition in the market for thermal coal mined in the Southern Powder River Basin Federal Trade (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives a clearance application from a technical production company to acquire a broadcasting business (NEP / Sky)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
NEP seeks clearance to acquire Sky’s outside broadcasting assets* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from NEP Broadcast Services New Zealand Limited to acquire from Sky Network Television Limited the assets of its outside broadcasting business, Outside Broadcasting (...)

The Maltese Competition Authority holds that the withdrawal of a supermarket operator from a previously cleared joint venture does not require a decision update as it further alleviates any competition concerns raised (Retail Marketing / Co-op Trading Company / Polrem / Valyou..)
Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (Ħamrun)
Update on the decision of the Office for Competition of 5 June, 2020 on full-function joint venture between Retail Marketing Limited and Co-op Trading Company Limited, Polrem Limited, S. Borg & Sons Limited, Tower Supermarkets Complex Limited, Valyou Pendergardens Operations Ltd., Belleview (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes fines for failure to report concentration and for failure to provide information during a market study on two companies in the gas market (AmeriGas / Linde Gaz)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Concentration control - fines imposed by the President of UOKiK* Fines for concentration without the consent of the President of the Office and for failure to provide information during the proceedings - these are the latest decisions of the President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny regarding (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to the conditions of divesting agencies and fleets, the acquisition in the sector for the rental of refrigerated and non-refrigerated industrial goods vehicles (Fraikin / Via Location)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to the conditions of divesting agencies and fleets, the acquisition of the group Via Location by the group Fraikin* On 3 June 2020, the group Fraikin notified the Autorité of a plan to acquire full control of the company Via Location. The parties (...)

The Finnish Market Court grants second extension for processing of financial services companies merger so the Competition Authority can finalize negotiations on conditions (Loomis / Automatia)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The time limit for processing the merger of Loomis and Automatia has been extended until 14.10.2020* The Market Court has extended the processing time limit for the merger between Loomis AB and Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy, currently under investigation by the Finnish Competition and Consumer (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statement of objection against 2 real estate investment companies for failure to notify a merger (Fidelidade SGOII / Fundo Saudeinveste)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues statement of objection against Fidelidade - Sociedade Gestora de Organismos de Investimento Imobiliário, S.A. (Fidelidade SGOII) for failure to notify a merger* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência – Portuguese Competition Authority) sent a statement of objections to Fidelidade SGOII (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes a fine for gun jumping on three venture capital funds (Hiventures / Talentuno Technologies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 September 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) imposed fines totalling HUF 15.4m (approximately € 42,000) on three venture capital funds, two of which are controlled by the state-owned venture capital firm Hiventures Zrt, for failing to notify in a timely manner their (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves a transaction through which two banks become shareholders in a provider of integrated cash management services already owned by third competing bank, subject to conditions (BRD / Raiffeisen / CIT One / Banca Comercială Română)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Approved the Transaction Through Which BRD and Raiffeisen Enter CIT One Shareholders* The Competition Council approved the transaction through which BRD - Groupe Société Générale SA (BRD) and Raiffeisen Bank SA enter the shareholding of CIT One SRL, together with Banca (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority examines the extension of commitments to address competition concerns in the market of fresh cow milk (Delta / Mevgal)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Press Release - Examination of specific commitment terms proposed by "DELTA SA" and "MEVGAL SA"* Subject: Examination of specific commitment terms proposed by "DELTA SA" and "MEVGAL SA" so as to address competition concerns according to 650/2017 Decision of HCC in the market of fresh cow milk. (...)

The US DoJ supports the FTC’s proposal of modernizing merger filing exemptions for certain investments
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Antitrust Division Supports Modernizing Merger Filing Exemptions For Certain Investments* The Time Has Come to Update the Merger Filing Rules On Monday, September 21, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim concurred in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Federal Register publication of a (...)

The French Competition Authority clears two transactions in the audiovisual sector (Mediawan)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears two transactions in the audiovisual sector* The Autorité de la concurrence cleared the joint takeover of Mediawan by companies of Messrs Capton, Pigasse and Niel and the exclusive control acquisition of Lagardère Studio by Mediawan. On 17 August 2020, the (...)

The US DoJ and FTC announce HSR rule changes that would increase burdens, especially for asset managers and private equity
Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (New York)
Key Takeaways Proposed HSR rule changes would require an acquiring fund to aggregate its holdings with those of its broader fund family. This will substantially increase the number of transactions subject to HSR reporting requirements, especially for asset managers and private equity funds. (...)

The US DoJ and FTC announce proposed changes to the HSR premerger notification rules and seek public comments
Covington & Burling (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (the “Agencies”) announced proposed changes to the premerger notification rules (“Rules”) promulgated under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) Act on September 21, 2020. Although the Agencies’ proposals are (...)

The US DoJ and FTC propose to renew their HSR rules to create new exemption for minority acquisitions and increase filing obligations for certain entities
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
Agencies Also Seek Public Comments that Could Lead to Additional Changes to the HSR Rules The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (the “Agencies”) announced proposed changes to the premerger notification rules (“Rules”) promulgated under (...)

The US DoJ and FTC seek comments on proposed amendments to HSR rules
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
What Happened: The FTC and DOJ proposed new Hart–Scott–Rodino (HSR) rules that, if issued in final form, will significantly change HSR practice for Private Equity (PE) companies. The Proposed Rules are subject to comment for 60 days after they are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (...)

The EU Commission approves the acquisition of a company active in the supply of daily consumer goods (Fortenova / Mercator)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Fortenova’s acquisition of Mercator* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Mercator by Fortenova. The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the (...)

The US FTC proposes rules that will increase HSR filing requirements for investment funds and others
Hogan Lovells (Northern Virginia)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 21 September 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced for comment sweeping changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act rules. First, the FTC proposed changing the definition of "person" to include HSR associates. This proposed change will result in certain acquisitions (especially (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of a company involved in hydraulic components (Eaton Hydraulics / Danfoss)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Eaton Hydraulics by Danfoss* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Eaton’s hydraulics business (“Eaton Hydraulics”) by Danfoss under the EU Merger (...)

The US FTC and DoJ jointly release two proposed rules changes to the HSR pre-merger filing requirements for acquiring parties
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly released two proposed rule changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) premerger filing requirements for acquiring parties. In an extension of a 2011 rule change that established the concept of (...)

The US FTC and DoJ seek comments on proposed amendments to HSR rules and advanced notice of proposed HSR rulemaking
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC and DOJ Seek Comments on Proposed Amendments to HSR Rules and Advanced Notice of Proposed HSR Rulemaking* The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and (...)

The US FTC and DoJ announce proposed changes to the regulations governing when a filing must be made under the HSR Act
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On September 21, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced proposed changes to the regulations governing when a filing must be made under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act that would likely significantly expand the filing requirements and increase the HSR (...)

The US FTC issues a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the premerger notification rules that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
Tell Me More – Antitrust Agencies to Demand More Information from Investment Funds* The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the premerger notification rules (the “Rules”) that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of a public development bank (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations / Société de Financement Local)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of Société de Financement Local by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations* On 24 July 2020, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) notified the Autorité de la Concurrence of its plans to acquire Société de Financement Local (SFIL). The (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a hospital operator (Malteser / Helios)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Malteser Rhein-Ruhr by Helios* Following intensive investigations in the one-month first phase of the merger control proceeding, the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the takeover by Helios Kliniken GmbH of Malteser Rhein-Ruhr gGmbH. The two hospital operators (...)

The US FTC and DOJ propose changes to two aspects of the HSR rules
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
Overview The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ” and collectively, the “Agencies”) recently proposed changes to two aspects of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR Act”).The proposed rules are subject to public comment and are unlikely to come into (...)

The US DoJ requires divestiture in the acquisition of a craft brew alliance (Anheuser-Busch InBev / Craft Brew Alliance)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Divestiture In Order For Anheuser-Busch To Acquire Craft Brew Alliance* Divestiture Will Preserve Competition in the Beer Industry in the State of Hawaii The Department of Justice announced today that it is requiring Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI), its (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority renews decision requiring disclosure of net short positions of 0.1% and above during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA renews decision requiring disclosure of net short positions of 0.1% and above* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has renewed its decision to temporarily require holders of net short positions in shares traded on a regulated market of the EEA EFTA States to notify the relevant national (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a chain of pharmacies for gun jumping (Apoteke Janković / Zrenjanin)
BDK (Belgrade)
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition launched its fourth investigation in September 2020. The latest one will look into whether Zdravstvena ustanova Apoteka Janković, a privately owned chain of pharmacies (“ZUA Janković“), breached merger control rules by not notifying the (...)

The US FTC announces a revamped merger retrospective program
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC’s Bureau of Economics to Expand Merger Retrospective Program* The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics has announced a revamped Merger Retrospective Program, which will expand and formalize the Bureau’s retrospective research efforts that have already produced studies analyzing the (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a motorcycle insurance broker merger raises competition concerns (Ardonagh / Bennetts)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Motorcycle insurance broker merger raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that Ardonagh’s completed purchase of Bennetts could lead to higher prices, less choice and worse services for motorcyclists in the UK. Ardonagh Group Limited (Ardonagh), which operates the Carole Nash and (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears merger on egg production operations (Heyden / Henergy / Rasmusens)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission clears proposed Heyden/Henergy/Rasmusens egg merger* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance to Heyden Farms Limited, Henergy Cage-Free Limited and Rasmusens Poultry Farms Limited to merge their respective egg production operations. Mobile operators should improve consumer (...)

The French Competition Authority welcomes the announcement of the EU Commission regarding the referral of sensitive mergers to the Commission, including when they are not subject to national merger control
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité welcomes the announcement by the European Commission, which will henceforth allow national competition authorities to refer sensitive merger transactions to it for examination, including when they are not subject to national merger control* This new approach, which was announced by (...)

The US FTC submits a comment to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that opposes issuing certificates of public advantage to prevent a merger of two health systems (Hendrick Health System / Shannon Health System)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Staff Submits Public Comment in Texas Opposing Certificate of Public Advantage Applications* The Federal Trade Commission staff submitted a comment to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that opposes issuing certificates of public advantage (COPAs) to Hendrick Health System and (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks window covering company’s completed acquisition of a competitor (Hunter Douglas / 247 Home Furnishings)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 September 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) ordered the blinds supplier Hunter Doug- las to sell off its majority stake in 247 Home Furnishings, which also sells blinds. The CMA found that the deal, which had already been completed, would substantially lessen (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority investigates unauthorized merger operations and antitrust practices in the funeral insurance and funeral services sectors
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC investigates the possible execution of unauthorised mergers, as well as potential antitrust practices involving the funeral insurance and funeral services markets.* From 8 to 10 September, dawn raids were carried out at the headquarters of various companies active in the aboved (...)

The UK Competition Authority confirms its intention to cancel investigation into a merger of online advertising agencies because it is abandoned (Taboola / Outbrain)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Digital advertising merger to be abandoned during CMA investigation* Taboola has announced that it is to abandon its proposed purchase of Outbrain. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has therefore today confirmed it intends to cancel its investigation into the potential competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority decides that the leading global supplier of window blinds must sell the majority of shares in acquired competitor (Hunter Douglas / 247 Home Furnishings)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Final decision published in window blind merger inquiry* The CMA has decided that Hunter Douglas, owner of online blinds retailer Blinds2Go, must sell the majority of its shares in 247 to protect competition and prevent higher prices. Hunter Douglas originally purchased a minority stake in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the taking over of glass packing solutions provider by glass packing manufacturer for the food and beverage industry (Vetropack Austria Holding / Glass Container)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Assesses the Taking Over of Glass Container by Vetropack Austria Holding AG* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Vetropack Austria Holding AG intends to take over Glass Container Company S.A. and Glass Container Prim S.A., located in Republic of (...)

The EU Commission announces the broadening of Member State referral system concerning mergers
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
The European Commission (EC) has recently announced a change in policy to its referral system to bolster the circumstances in which it will accept referral requests from Member States under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR). In particular, the EC is encouraging national competition (...)

The EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announces new approach to merger review referrals falling below thresholds
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Under current EU merger control rules, whether a concentration has to be notified to the European Commission (“Commission”) depends, among other things, on the level of revenue generated by the parties worldwide and in the European Union. A key question that has sparked considerable debate in (...)

The EU Commission announces new policy to accept Member State referrals for merger review even if EC and national thresholds are not met
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
In September 2020, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced that from mid-2021 the European Commission (“EC”) would “start accepting referrals from national competition authorities of mergers that are worth reviewing at the EU level – whether or not those authorities had the power to (...)

The US FTC approves final order requiring animal health product suppliers to divest assets in three product markets as a condition of acquisition (Elanco Animal Health / Bayer Animal Health)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Animal Health Product Suppliers Elanco Animal Health, Inc. and Bayer Animal Health GmbH to Divest Assets in Three Product Markets as a Condition of Acquisition* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order (...)

The EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager provides a glimpse into the future of EU merger control
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
A recent speech by the European Commission’s (the Commission) Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager (the Commissioner), on the 30th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), praised it as having created "a better life for everyone", "saved customers billions of euros each year" (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a private security group (Prosegur / Fiducial)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Prosegur by Fiducial* On 6 August 2020, the Fiducial group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire sole control of the companies Prosegur Services France and Prosegur Security Holding France. Parties to the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority is not opposed to a pharmaceutical merger after offered divestments overcome competition concerns (Mylan / Upjohn)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Divestments overcome strong competition concerns with pharmaceutical merger* The ACCC will not oppose Mylan NV’s proposed merger with Pfizer’s Upjohn Inc division, after Mylan and Upjohn offered a court-enforceable undertaking to divest three off-patent branded pharmaceuticals in response to the (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears a pharmaceutical merger subject to a divestment (Mylan / Upjohn)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission grants clearance for Mylan and Upjohn to merge subject to a divestment* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Mylan N.V. and Upjohn Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer Inc) to merge their global pharmaceutical businesses. The clearance is subject to a divestment of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority accepts a proposed merger between two pharmaceutical companies despite concerns of a significant reduction in competition in the supply of the products (Mylan / Upjohn)
Ashurst (Sydney)
On 10 September 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") decided to not oppose Mylan NV’s ("Mylan") proposed merger with Pfizer’s Upjohn Inc division ("Upjohn"), despite concerns that competition in the supply of pharmaceutical products to treat cardiovascular conditions (...)

The Russian Competition Authority reaches an agreement with the HSE Technology Transfer Center to further simplify the terms of technology transfer in the breeding sector after negotiating with a pharma company (Bayer)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Bayer offered more favorable conditions for transfer of germplasm to russian breeders* Russian breeding companies that receive germplasm transferred by Bayer as part of the FAS Russia’s ruling based on the result of the Bayer&Monsanto transaction will be fully exempt from paying royalties (...)

The UK Government prohibits acquisition of a UK supplier of military aircraft components on national security grounds (Gardner Aerospace / Impcross)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 5 September 2020, the UK Government accepted undertakings from Gardner Aerospace Holdings Limited not to proceed with its proposed acquisition of Impcross Limited, a UK-based manufacturer of components for the aerospace industry (including for military aircraft). Gardner is owned by (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a publishing house by a media company (J. Bauer / Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears takeover of J. Bauer publishing house by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag & Co. KG (Lensing Media) to acquire all the shares in Verlag J. Bauer KG. Bauer publishes the newspaper Recklinghäuser Zeitung, which (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a clinic (Doctegestio / UMG-GHM)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition, by the Doctegestio group of the UMG-GHM clinics in Grenoble.* On 17 August 2020, Doctegestio notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to solely take over the UMG-GHM clinics located in the Isère département and in the Rhône-Alpes (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority publishes a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from a global packaging solutions business to acquire a manufacturer of plastics sheets and packaging (Pact Group / Flight Plastics)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Pact/Flight clearance application* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Pact Group Holdings Limited (Pact) to acquire the assets and business of Flight Plastics Limited in New (...)

The US FTC approves a final order imposing conditions on an acquisition between two big pharmaceutical companies (AbbVie / Allergan)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on AbbVie Inc.’s Acquisition of Allergan plc* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that AbbVie’s $63 billion acquisition of Allergan would violate federal antitrust law. According (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the provision of Italian law preventing a media company from acquiring 28% of the capital in competitor as a measure of protecting pluralism of information is contrary to EU law (Vivendi / Mediaset)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The provision of Italian law preventing Vivendi from acquiring 28% of the capital in Mediaset is contrary to EU law* That provision constitutes a prohibited impediment to the right of establishment as it is not appropriate for achieving the objective of protecting pluralism of information. (...)

The US DoJ issues modernized merger remedies manual
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Issues Modernized Merger Remedies Manual* Merger Remedies Manual Reaffirms Antitrust Division’s Commitment to Effective Structural Relief and Reflects Renewed Focus on Enforcing Consent Decree Obligations The Department of Justice issued today the Merger Remedies Manual, (...)

The US DoJ issues its merger remedies manual which provides the framework the DoJ will utilise in implementing relief in mergers reviewed by its attorneys and economists
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On September 3, 2020, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the DOJ) issued its new Merger Remedies Manual (the Manual), which provides the framework the DOJ will utilize going forward to implement relief in mergers reviewed by its attorneys and economists. The DOJ has updated its (...)

The US DoJ issues a revised policy guide to merger remedies
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On September 3, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the DOJ issued a revised Policy Guide to Merger Remedies, following shortly after it announced a reorganization of its civil enforcement to create an Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance. The Policy Guide to Merger Remedies largely (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears merger of two IP professional service businesses (AJ Park / Baldwins)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission clears AJ Park’s acquisition of Baldwins* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for AJ Park IP Limited, in conjunction with AJ Park Law Limited (together, AJ Park), to acquire the assets of Baldwins Intellectual Property, Baldwin Holdings Limited, Baldwins Intellectual (...)

The US DoJ releases a merger remedies manual
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On Sept. 3, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the Merger Remedies Manual (the manual), which provides guidance on how the agency currently intends to approach the structure and implementation of remedies in merger cases. See Antitrust Div., U. S. Department of (...)

The US DoJ releases a merger remedies manual
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
DOJ Antitrust Division Releases New Merger Remedies Manual* On September 3, 2020, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division released its Merger Remedies Manual. The manual provides important guidance on what DOJ considers to be adequate solutions to addressing competitive issues in M&A deals challenged (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a restriction imposed by Italian law on acquisitions in the broadcasting and audiovisual sectors is contrary to EU Law (Vivendi / Mediaset)
Ashurst (Brussels)
,
Ashurst (Milan)
,
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 3 September 2020, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") ruled that a restriction imposed by an Italian law on acquisitions in the broadcasting and audiovisual sectors is contrary to the fundamental EU law principle of the freedom of establishment enshrined in Article 49 of the Treaty on the (...)

The US DoJ seeks public comments on updating bank merger review analysis
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Antitrust Division Seeks Public Comments On Updating Bank Merger Review Analysis* The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is seeking public comments into whether the division should revise the 1995 Bank Merger Competitive Review guidelines (“Banking Guidelines”) to (...)

State Aid

The EU General Court rules that the Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme and that the unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries (Spanish Tax Lease System)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme* The unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the actions for annulment in the "Spanish tax lease" saga (Spanish tax lease system)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 September 2020, the General Court delivered another judgment in the “Spanish tax lease saga”, concerning certain aid measures granted through tax provisions applicable to agreements put in place for the financing and acquisition of vessels in Spain. This judgment follows the annulment and (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope for State aid rules in the nuclear energy sector covered by the Euratom Treaty, as well as their relationship with the general principles of environmental law (Hinkley Point C)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 September 2020, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (the “Court”) dismissed the appeal brought by Austria against the judgment of the General Court (case T-356/15) that rejected its application for annulment against Commission Decision (EU) 2015/658 of 8 October 2014 on the aid (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the Commission decision approving UK aid for a nuclear power station (Hinkley Point C)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice confirms the Commission decision approving United Kingdom aid for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station* By decision of 8 October 2014, the European Commission approved aid which the United Kingdom is planning for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, located in Somerset, (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the Commission’s approval of State aid for a nuclear energy plant (Hinkley Point C)
Greenberg Traurig (Berlin)
Hinkley Point C: ECJ Confirms Commission’s Approval of Aid to Nuclear Energy Plant* Months before the prospective final Brexit, the ECJ laid what is in all likelihood the last State aid milestone on the UK’s path out of the European Union – at the same time, the ECJ’s judgment in the „Hinkley (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation to assess whether a Belgian capacity mechanism to safeguard the security of electricity supply is in line with EU State aid rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Belgian capacity mechanism* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether a Belgian capacity mechanism to safeguard security of electricity supply is in line with EU State aid rules. Executive (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidelines on State aid measures in the context of the system for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading post-2021
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 September 2020, the Commission published new Guidelines on certain State aid measures in the context of the system for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading post-2021 (the “Guidelines”). These Guidelines follow the European Green Deal Communication adopted in 2019 (11.12.2019, COM(2019) (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into allocation of mobile radio frequencies by Poland to telecoms operator (Sferia)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into allocation of mobile radio frequencies by Poland to telecoms operator Sferia* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the allocation by the Polish authorities of a frequency block for the provision (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares invalid a Commission decision penalizing France for State aid (Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation / Compagnie des pêches de Saint-Malo)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Seized with an interpretation request concerning the arrangements for implementing a Commission decision penalising France for State Aid declared incompatible with the common market, the Court of Justice rules that the decision is invalid* The Commission erred in law in considering that the (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies some aspects of State aid related to social security contributions (Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation / Compagnie de pêche de Saint-Malo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 September 2020, the Court of Justice (the “ECJ” or “Court”) answered several questions raised by a request for a preliminary ruling from the French Conseil d’État, with regard to the interpretation of Commission Decision 2005/239/EC (the “Decision at issue”). This Decision concerned certain aid (...)

The EU Commission approves a €44 million Italian recapitalisation scheme to support large companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €44 billion Italian recapitalisation scheme to support large companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved an Italian scheme, with an overall budget of €44 billion, to support large enterprises affected by the coronavirus (...)

The EU Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate national airline for damages suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak (Alitalia) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate Alitalia for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found Italian €199.45 million support in favour of Alitalia to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure aims at compensating (...)

Procedures

The UK Competition Authority lowers discount in fines for resale price maintenance leniency applicants
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) modified its leniency guidelines so that companies that apply for leniency after the opening of a retail price maintenance (“RPM”) investigation should only expect to receive a maximum 50% discount in fines. Previously, the (...)

The UK Government announces the withdrawal of the draft guidance on the Competition Authority’s powers and procedures on the EU foreign direct investment information sharing regime
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK government and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have announced the withdrawal of draft guidance on the CMA’s powers and procedures with respect to enforcing an EU regulation for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) into the European Union. The withdrawal follows a European (...)

The Russian Competition Authority advocates for prohibiting collective insurance of borrowers for banks
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia advocates prohibiting collective insurance of borrowers for banks* In this way, the FAS plans to protect the interests of borrowers and competition in banking insurance market Marina Pishchulina, Deputy Head of the Department for Control over Financial Markets of the FAS (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority updates its guidelines on the calculation of fines
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Guidelines of the Belgian Competition Authority on the calculation of fines* As a result of the Royal Decree of 31 July 2020 published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 12 August 2020, the new Article IV.79 of the Code of Economic Law (CEL) entered into force on 22 August 2020. Pursuant to (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority adopts fining guidelines which extend the scope to include the sanction for abuse of economic dependency
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2020, the Belgian Competition Authority adopted new guidelines on the method of setting fines for competition law infringements (the “Fining Guidelines”). The Fining Guidelines were published in the Belgian Official Journal on 16 September 2020 and entered into force immediately. (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds the preliminary ruling of the Spanish Competition Authority inadmissible due to the fact that the Competition Authority is not a ‘court or tribunal’ for the purpose of Article 267 TFEU (Anesco)
Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law
National Competition Authorities and Article 267 TFEU: the ECJ’s take on the referral by the Spanish Commission on Markets and Competition and its implications* Introduction and summary In the recent Anesco case, the ECJ held the preliminary request of the Spanish National Commission on (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the Spanish Competition Authority cannot be characterized as a "court or tribunal" (Anesco)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 September 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) delivered a judgment in which it ruled on the status of “court or tribunal” within the meaning of Article 267 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union of a body which has submitted a reference for a preliminary (...)

The English High Court confirms that legal advice privilege applies to foreign in-house lawyers (PJSC Tatneft / Bogolyubov)
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
In this alert, we review a welcome English High Court decision, which confirms that legal advice privilege extends to communications with foreign lawyers who provide legal advice in their capacity as in-house counsel. The decision of Mrs Justice Moulder in PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov and others (...)

The UK Competition Authority updates competition law risk guide for managers
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA updates competition law risk guide for managers* An updated guide to competition rules has been issued to help managers, directors and their advisers to stay on the right side of the law. The latest guide from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), together with the Institute of (...)

The US DoJ updates its business review letter to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers concerning their patent policy
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Updates 2015 Business Review Letter To The Institute Of Electrical And Electronics Engineers* The Justice Department today issued a supplement to its Feb. 2, 2015 Business Review Letter from the Antitrust Division to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, (...)

The US DoJ announces updates to civil investigation demand forms and deposition process
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Antitrust Division Announces Updates To Civil Investigative Demand Forms And Deposition Process* Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division announced today that the Antitrust Division has implemented two uniform updates to its Civil Investigative (...)

The US DoJ announces updates to civil investigative demand forms and deposition process
Dechert (Philadelphia)
,
Dechert (Washington)
,
Dechert (Philadelphia)
The DOJ’s Antitrust Division announced updates late last week to its Civil Investigative Demand (CID) form, explicitly codifying it intent to potentially use materials received in response to CIDs to launch secondary investigations or refer matters to other government enforcement authorities or (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe considers that the special jurisdiction rule for tort disputes under Brussels I Bis applies to civil liability actions based on an infringement of competition law (Wikingerhof)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 September 2020, Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe rendered his non-binding opinion in the context of a preliminary reference request from the German Federal Court of Justice on the interpretation of Article 7(2) of Regulation 1215/2012 (“Brussels I Bis”). This Article provides that in (...)

The Russian Competition Authority clarifies the approach to review the assets of financial organizations
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia clarified approaches to review the assets of financial organizations* On the proposal of the FAS Russia, the Government of the Russian Federation decided that in order to exercise antimonopoly control in the field of economic concentration the assets of credit and microfinance (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority analyses the competition situation in the pharma sector in order to assess the medicine pricing regulation
Estonian Competition Authority (Tallinn)
The price regulation of pharmaceuticals is illusory* The Competition Authority conducted an analysis of the competition situation in order to assess the functioning of the regulation that sets the limits for the prices of medicines. The Competition Authority considers that the current system (...)

Regulatory

The New Zealand Competition Authority confirms its approach to monitoring and enforcing non-discrimination and equivalence obligations for telecom network operators in offering fibre and other wholesale services
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission confirms its approach to monitoring and enforcing non-discrimination and equivalence obligations* The Commerce Commission has today released guidance about how it will monitor and enforce obligations on telecommunication network operators to offer fibre and other wholesale services (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority signs memorandum of understanding on its cooperation with the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA signs MoU with ACER* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on its cooperation with the European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). The adoption of the MoU is intended to put in place practical arrangements to (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority prolongs its recommendation for quicker conformity assessments for PPE and proposes derogations from standard market-approval procedures for medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA prolongs a recommendation to prevent delays and ease market access for protective equipment and medical gear* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today decided to amend and prolong its Recommendation on conformity assessment and market surveillance procedures , in order to continue (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the analysis of the fixed broadband and superfast broadband wholesale markets
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has issued an opinion to Arcep as part of the cycle of analysis of the fixed broadband and superfast broadband wholesale markets* Background Arcep requested the opinion of the Autorité de la concurrence on five draft decisions adopted by Arcep as part of the sixth (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases a paper on fibre price-quality and information disclosure regulation
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Proposed approach to fibre regulation released* The Commerce Commission has today released its first paper for fibre price-quality and information disclosure regulation. This paper sets out the proposed process and approach to regulating telecommunications companies that provide fibre access (...)

The US FTC comments to the Texas Attorney General about likely competitive effect of proposed regulations imposing additional supervisory requirements on Texas Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Comment to Texas Attorney General Raises Concerns about Likely Competitive Effect of Proposed Regulations Imposing Additional Supervisory Requirements on Texas Certified Nurse Anesthetists* The Federal Trade Commission staff has submitted a comment to the Texas Attorney General regarding (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority issues recommendations regarding the conditions under which network companies are allowed to install and manage heat networks if they also act as heat network operators
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM does not see any major obstacles, but does see risks if network companies also act as heat network operators* At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK), the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has issued additional recommendations (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants authorisation to the first national voluntary battery stewardship scheme (Battery Stewardship Council)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Voluntary battery stewardship scheme granted authorisation* The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) will be able to establish and operate a national scheme for managing expired batteries under an authorisation granted by the ACCC. BSC was formed in 2018 with the primary goal of establishing a (...)

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce adopts rules on handling complaints of foreign-invested enterprises
Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China
The Ministry of Commerce revised and adopted the Rules on Handling Complaints of Foreign-Invested Enterprises* Recently, the Ministry of Commerce revised and adopted the Rules on Handling Complaints of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as the Rules), which shall come into (...)

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