September 2022

General antitrust

The EU Commission adopts Guidelines on collective agreements by solo self-employed people
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission adopts Guidelines on collective agreements by solo self-employed people* The European Commission has adopted today its Guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements (‘Guidelines’) regarding the working conditions of solo self-employed people. (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidelines on "solo self-employed" persons and their collective bargaining rights
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The European Commission has adopted guidelines addressing the application of EU competition law to the "solo self-employed". The guidelines clarify situations in which certain self-employed individuals may work collectively to seek improvements in working conditions without falling foul of (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidelines on the application of EU competition law to the collective agreements of solo self-employed persons
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On September 29, 2022, the European Commission adopted guidelines on the application of EU competition law to the collective agreements of solo self-employed persons (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission Guidelines”), with the aim of defining when solo self-employed persons can collectively (...)

The EU Commission publishes the Digital Markets Act in the Official Journal
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
The Digital Markets Act (DMA), the novel regulatory regime for large digital companies - the so-called gatekeepers - has been published in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union today. As a result, as provided in the DMA, it will enter into force 20 days after the publication in the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority introduces a new whistleblower tool with anonymous and encrypted communications
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC has a new whistleblower tool with anonymous and encrypted communications* The AdC has a new whistleblower tool through which any person or company may report an anti-competitive practice detected during their professional activity. The new tool guarantees the protection of the (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions a company for bid rigging in the supply of teleradiology to public hospitals (Instituto de Telemedicina)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions company for participating in cartel in the supply of teleradiology services to public hospitals* The decision The AdC sanctioned ITM - Instituto de Telemedicina for participating in a cartel established for the supply of teleradiology services to public hospitals and other (...)

The US DoJ secures convictions against an insulation company and its co-owner for bid rigging and fraud (Langan Insulation / Thomas F. Langan)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Insulation Contracting Firm and Co-Owner Sentenced for Rigging Bids and Fraud* First Two Defendants Sentenced in Investigation in the Insulation Contracting Industry Thomas F. Langan (Langan), the co-owner of North Haven, Connecticut, insulation contracting firm Langan Insulation LLC (Langan (...)

The Australian Competition Authority files a civil lawsuit against an architecture company and its former managing director over alleged bid rigging (ARM Architecture)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ARM Architecture in court over alleged cartel conduct for university project* The ACCC has today launched civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Ashton Raggatt McDougall Pty Ltd (ARM Architecture) and its former managing director, Anthony (Tony) John Allen, alleging they engaged in (...)

The US FTC along with 10 State partners sues two pesticide producers for employing an illegal pay-to-block scheme inflating prices for farmers (Syngenta / Corteva)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC and State Partners Sue Pesticide Giants Syngenta and Corteva for Using Illegal Pay-to-Block Scheme to Inflate Prices for Farmers* Complaint alleges that manufacturers pay distributors to exclude competitors’ more affordable generic options for essential farming products The Federal Trade (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority imposes a fine of €4.3M on companies providing harbour tug services for restriction of competition via coordination agreements
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Press Release - Fines of 4,360,818.28 euros to companies providing harbour tug services* Subject: Decision imposing fines totaling € 4,360,818.28 on the ex officio investigation and a relevant complaint, into the market for the provision of harbour tug services for alleged infringements of (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority finds that Norwegian municipalities are in breach of EEA rules for failing to put waste-management contracts to public tender (Midtre Namdal Avfallsselskap)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Norwegian municipalities in breach of EEA rules for failing to put waste-management contract to public tender* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today sent a reasoned opinion to Norway over the direct allocation of a contract for commercial waste management services by certain (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority publishes final guidelines on sustainability agreements for companies
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA publishes final Guidelines on Sustainability Agreements for companies* In accordance with the European Commission’s European Green Deal, the Austrian lawmaker acted on its own initiate and adopted the Cartel and Competition Law Amendment Act in 2021 (KaWeRÄG 2021) to gear cartel and (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines firms for fixing prices fans pay for football club merchandise (Elite Sports / JD Sports / Rangers FC)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Firms fined for fixing prices fans pay for Rangers FC merchandise* The CMA has imposed fines totalling over £2 million on Elite Sports, JD Sports and Rangers FC after they admitted to fixing the prices of certain Rangers FC merchandise. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority withdraws competition commitments imposed on a retail super market chain following request for exemption (Masoutis)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Press Release - Decision on the request of the company MASOUTIS for exemption from a commitment* Subject: Decision on the request of the company "DIAMANTIS MASOUTIS ANONYMI ETERIA - SUPERMARKET", for exemption from the commitment to sell the store, in the "Anemomyloi" area of ​​Chora of Andros (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority imposes a fine on a publishing company for failure to comply with competition conditions (Argos)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
HCC Decision on a compliance* HCC Decision no. 746/2021 on the compliance of the company "ARGOS SA Press Distribution Agency" with condition II.3 of the HCC Decision no. 687/2019, pursuant to article 25 par. 5 of Greek Law 3959/2011. The plenary session of the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into the retail market for pharmaceutical products
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 September 2022, the Romanian competition authority announced the start of a sectoral inquiry into the retail market for pharmaceutical products. The authority perceives a risk of diminished access to medicines at retail level, caused by inadequate levels of supply to pharmacies. As part (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens ex officio infringement proceedings on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (Mlin I Pekare / Trgocentar)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
UTPS: CCA opens proceeding against MLIN PEKARE and TRGOCENTAR* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened ex officio infringement proceedings within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (UTPs Act) with the view to (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority conducts an unannounced inspection at an undertaking in the forestry sector
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
CARTELS: AMO SR conducted an unannounced inspection at an undertaking in forestry sector* An agreement restricting competition might have been concluded between undertakings in connection with participating and submitting bids in public procurement for landscaping. On 20 September 2022 the (...)

The Czech Competition Authority reduces fine imposed on an aroma candles distributor for RPM and for the first time takes into account their competition compliance program (Z-Trade)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
Reduced fine for Aroma candles distrubutor, and, for the first time, the office took the compliance program into account* The Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office“) imposed a fine of CZK 17,649,000 on the undertaking Z - TRADE s. r. o. for entering (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes draft guidelines regarding the rules for online platforms and search engines
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM publishes draft guidelines regarding the rules for online platforms and search engines* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published draft guidelines in which ACM explains how it interprets the transparency rules of the Platform-to-Business Regulation. The draft (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority fines six firms and 35 individuals for anticompetitively exchanging information on hiring practices in the healthcare industry
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
CADE signs agreements in case in the market of hired labour in healthcare industry* A total of six firms and 35 individuals are to pay more than BRL 34 million in financial contributions The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) signed six Cease and Desist Agreements with firms (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures to remedy the disregard of competition rules applicable to the development of a standard for Cloud applications
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures to remedy the disregard of the competition rules applicable to the development of a standard for Cloud applications* The College of the Belgian Competition Authority has decided on 20 September 2022 that it is prima facie not (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against a financial institution for alleged unfair commercial practices (Intesa Sanpaolo)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
PS12165 - Italian Competition Authority: investigation initiated against Intesa Sanpaolo for an alleged unfair commercial practice* The Authority is scrutinising how the banking group marketed its fixed-rate and floating-rate real estate mortgage loans: the bank allegedly failed to provide (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a product designer for resale price maintenance and passive sales (Rosendahl)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish producer of interior design brands fined for infringing competition rules* The Danish Competition Council has issued a fine of DKK 7.500.000 at Rosendahl Design Group for infringing the Danish Competition Act. Rosendahl has restricted passive sales by their retailers of design products (...)

The German Competition Authority confirms that the planned cooperation between three gas wholesalers does not raise competition concerns (Uniper / RWE / EnBW/VNG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
LNG terminals – no competition concerns about planned cooperation between Uniper, RWE and EnBW/VNG* The Bundeskartellamt has no competition concerns about the way in which the major German gas importers and wholesalers Uniper, RWE and EnBW/VNG are currently planning to work together to set up (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority brings first court case on resale price maintenance (Tien Chu)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
For the first time since the Competition Ordinance came into effect, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) has commenced court proceedings against a supplier for resale price maintenance as a contravention of the First Conduct Rule. This case is relevant for nearly all businesses as it (...)

An Australian Federal Court orders two roof tiling businesses and their directors to pay $420,000 in fines for conspiring to rig bids (First Class Slate Roofing / RAD Roofing Specialists / Scott Barton / Damian Hand)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Court orders two roof tiling businesses and their directors pay $420,000 for cartel conduct* The Federal Court has today ordered two Sydney suppliers of slate roofing services and the sole directors of each business to pay penalties totalling $420,000 for engaging in cartel conduct, following (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court affirms a decision by the Competition Authority to fine four companies for bid rigging, price fixing and other anticompetitive behaviour (Agro-Vir / Agrodalm / Diljexport / Marino-LučKo)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
HIGH ADMINISTRATIVE COURT REJECTS THE CLAIMS AGAINST THE CCA INFRINGEMENT DECISION IN BID RIGGING CARTEL IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT INVOLVING UNDERTAKINGS AGRO-VIR, AGRODALM, DILJEXPORT AND MARINO-LUČKO* In its ruling of 14 September 2022, the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines three supermarket chains and their alcoholic beverage supplier €5.6M for price fixing (Auchan / Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Active Brands)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions three supermarket chains and alcoholic beverage supplier for price fixing*The decision The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) has sanctioned three supermarket chains - Auchan, Modelo Continente and Pingo Doce - as well as their common supplier of alcoholic beverages Active (...)

The Mexican Competition fines two producers of Oxygen, Nitrogen and Argon for non-compliance with commitments to restore competition (Infra / Cryoinfra)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Cofece fines Infra and Cryoinfra for not complying with commitments undertaken to restore competition in the oxygen, nitrogen and argon markets* In 2018, during the trial-like procedure for possible relative monopolistic practices, both economic agents presented commitments, which were accepted (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes fines on undertakings specialised in issuing food stamps for anti-competitive coordination of terms of trade
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
The Office imposed fines of CZK 280 Million on undertakings specialised in issuing food stamps for anti-competitive coordination of terms of trade* In its first-instance decision, although not in force, the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as "the Office") (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority carries out a market study into online food delivery
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA carries out a market study into online food delivery in Croatia* In November 2021 the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) launched a market investigation into the provision of food delivery services via digital platforms in the Republic of Croatia with the aim of determining all the relevant (...)

The Finish Competition Authority pro­poses penalty pay­ments to­talling €44 mil­lion for prohibited cooperation between companies in the national market for plastic HVAC infrastructure pipeline products (Onninen / Dahl Suomi / Ahlsell / Uponor Infra / Uponor Suomi / Pipelife)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The FCCA pro­poses penalty pay­ments to­talling EUR 44 mil­lion for re­strict­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the HVAC in­fra­struc­ture pipeline mar­ket* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) proposes that the Market Court imposes a total of approximately EUR 44 million in penalty payments on (...)

The Polish Competition Authority presses charges for market division and price fixing against a global automobile company (Kia)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Selling kia cars - proceedings of the President of The Office Of Competition And Consumer Protection on price fixing* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has pressed charges on market division and price fixing to KIA Polska company, 10 dealers of its vehicles and 6 managers. Potential buyers of (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority announces that its investigation of a Big Tech company for abuse of dominance at various stages of the digital advertising value chain is moving to the EU Commission (Google)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Portuguese Competition Authority’s Google investigation moves to the European Commission* The investigation In recent years, the Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) has been investigating in depth the digital markets in Portugal, including digital advertising. Following a complaint and (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina sentences a former engineering executive for rigging bids and defrauding the North Carolina Department of Transportation (Brent Brewbaker)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Former Engineering Executive Sentenced for Rigging Bids and Defrauding North Carolina Department of Transportation* A former executive of Contech Engineered Solutions LLC (Contech) was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment yesterday in New Bern, North Carolina, for his participation in (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority revises leniency programme for cartel conduct
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission revises leniency programme for cartel conduct* The Competition Commission (Commission) today published a revised Leniency Policy for Individuals Involved in Cartel Conduct (Leniency Policy for Individuals) to offer clearer guidance and enhanced incentives for individuals (...)

The Australian Federal Court sentences four individuals for price fixing of the Australian dollar/ Vietnamese dong exchange rate and the transaction fees charged to customers sending money from Australia to Vietnam (Vina Money)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
First individuals are sentenced for criminal cartel conduct* The Federal Court has sentenced four individuals to suspended prison terms and imposed a one million dollar fine on Sydney money remittance business Vina Money in a prosecution conducted by the Commonwealth Director of Public (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises codeshare pricing arrangements amongst international airline companies operating long haul international routes (Virgin Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Virgin Australia’s codeshare arrangements authorised by ACCC* The ACCC has granted authorisation for Virgin Australia to enter into codeshare pricing arrangements with its international airline partners for 5 years. Virgin Australia’s international airline partners include United Airlines, (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority conducts unannounced inspections in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Unannounced inspections in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods* Subject: Unannounced inspections of the Hellenic Competition Commission in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods Today, officials of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (...)

The Latvian Administrative Court prohibits the relocation of a major retail consumer goods company to a major shopping centre due to effect on market competition (Rimi / Plesko real estate)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
The court upholds the decision of the Competition Council to prohibit RIMI from using retail premises in the shopping centre "DOMINA Shopping"* The Senate of the Republic of Latvia, having decided not to initiate cassation proceedings on August 30, has upheld the 2017 decision of the (...)

The German Competition Authority allows a one-time temporary cooperation project between sugar producers to mitigate the effects of possible gas shortages due to the war in Ukraine
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Mitigating the effects of possible gas shortages – Bundeskartellamt allows one-time temporary cooperation project between sugar producers* The four companies Nordzucker, Südzucker, Pfeifer & Langen and Cosun Beet producing sugar in Germany are planning to work together in order to ensure the (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority fines a construction cartel €26.33 million for illegal price fixing, market divisions and the exchange of information with competitors for construction tenders (HABAU Group)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Construction cartel: HABAU fine set at EUR 26.33 million* Four companies from the HABAU group of companies have admitted participating in the construction cartel and fully acknowledged the infringement. The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) and the Federal Cartel Prosecutor had (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority approves the commitments of a global beverages company following a finding of restriction of competition through the distribution and sale of competing products (Coca Cola)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
The Board Decision concerning the commitments offered by Coca Cola Satış ve Dağıtım A.Ş. (CCSD) in the investigation to determine whether the undertaking concerned violated the Act no 4054 on the Protection of Competition by preventing the sale of competing products at the final outlets (Date: (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines two firms for conspiring to rig bids for the maintenance of green areas (Zwyż – Dźwig / FHU Berger)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Collusion in tenders for the maintenance of green areas - the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection* The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, issued a decision on tender collusion, and by this decision, he (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clarifies how it will monitor the prices paid by train companies for access to stations, freight terminals and workshops (Adif / Renfe ...)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC clarifies how it will monitor the prices paid by train companies for access to stations, freight terminals and workshops.* Passenger and freight companies rely on access to these facilities, owned by Adif, Renfe and other companies, in order to operate. According to the regulations, (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority fines a school bag manufacturer €2M for vertical price fixing (Fond Of)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Investigations into concerted practices in the school bags sector concluded: Final application filed with Cartel Court* In early 2019, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) initiated investigations into Fond Of GmbH, a manufacturer of school bags and school backpacks, as well as (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority scrutinises digital markets for excessive pricing (Sahibiden)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority has continued its investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices in digital markets. This time, the Competition Board (the Authority’s decision-making body) has launched a fully fledged investigation against Sahibinden Bilgi Teknolojileri Paz ve Tic AŞ, (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Bulgarian Competition Authority publishes a Statement of Objections regarding an abusive margin squeeze by a vertical integrated national company active in the fossil fuels industry (Lukoil)
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
CPC has addressed allegations for committed abuse of dominant position under art. 21 of the LPC and art. 102 of the TFEU by "Lukoil Bulgaria" EOOD* Given the socio-economic importance of fuels, due to their direct impact on the entire Bulgarian economy and on the prices of goods and services (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority signs an agreement with a health club aggregator platform to halt exclusivity clauses and resale price maintenance practices (Gympass)
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
CADE signs agreement with Gympass in Brazilian health club market* Daily fines are to be applied in case of non-compliance On 21 September 2022, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) ratified the Cease and Desist Agreement with Gympass on the administrative enquiry that (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority carries out a dawn raid which causes a pharmaceutical company to drop IP infringement court actions against competitor (Novartis / Lily)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
As we have previously reported (Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights, 15 September 2022), on 13 September 2022, the Swiss Competition Authority carried out an inspection at the premises of Novartis Pharma AG ( Novartis ). In parallel, Novartis received a request for (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority brings its first case to the Competition Tribunal for resale price maintenance (Tien Chu)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission brings first case on resale price maintenance to Competition Tribunal* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) against The Tien Chu (Hong Kong) Company Limited (“Tien Chu”) for its engagement in resale (...)

The EU General Court confirms Android abuse of dominance through tying, with the real legacy of the case extending far beyond (Google Android) Free
Keystone Strategy (London)
The General Court confirmed on 14 September 2022 the EC finding in 2018 that Google had abused its dominance by tying its Android operating system with its app store suite, the Google Play Store (“GPS”), thus leveraging power from GPS (a service that was “must have” to OEMs equipping their devices) (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission decision against a search engine but upholds the key elements (Google Android)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 14 September 2022 (the “Judgment”), the General Court partially upheld Google’s appeal against the Commission’s 2018 Google/Android decision, but upheld the decision’s most important and consequential elements, thus confirming that certain of Google’s practices regarding the (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision that a Big Tech firm imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine (Google Android)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court largely confirms the Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine* In order better to reflect the gravity and duration (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority assesses competition commitments of a repair and maintenance undertaking for laser engraving machines following a finding of abuse of dominant position (SPGPrints Baskı Sistemleri)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
The Board Decision concerning the assessment of the commitment text submitted by SPGPrints Baskı Sistemleri Tic. Ltd. Şti. within the scope of the preliminary inquiry into the claim that the undertaking abused its dominant position in the market for repair and maintenance of laser engraving (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders a major supermarket to rewrite land deals to remove provisions that block rival supermarkets from establishing in the surrounding area (Waitrose)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Anti-competitive land deals re-written to help businesses and shoppers* Waitrose has agreed to rewrite several property deals after it signed land agreements which blocked other supermarkets from opening nearby. Waitrose re-writes land deals to allow rivals to open nearby “We will continue to (...)

The German Competition Authority issues interim order to an airline forbidding the termination of cooperation agreements with a rival on the grounds that to do so would impede competition (Condor / Lufthansa)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Lufthansa impedes Condor in competition for long-haul flights – Bundeskartellamt secures access to feeder flights* The Bundeskartellamt prohibits Lufthansa for the time being from terminating long-standing cooperation agreements (Special Prorate Agreements, SPAs) with Condor. Andreas Mundt, (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits an airline company from termination of a coordination agreement for the provision of feeder light services on the ground of abuse of dominant position (Condor / Lufthansa)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
After publishing its preliminary finding in February 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) recently prohibited the Deutsche Lufthansa AG group (“Lufthansa”) from terminating longstanding cooperation agreements with Condor Flugdienst GmbH (“Condor”). Under the cooperation agreements, (...)

Mergers

The Australian Competition Authority seeks further views on the acquisition of telecoms infrastructure sites by the country’s biggest telecoms firm (Telstra / TPG Telecom)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC seeks further views on Telstra, TPG mobile network deal* The ACCC has released a statement of preliminary views on the authorisation sought by Telstra and TPG for their proposed regional mobile network arrangements. The ACCC is calling for further submissions and looks forward to hearing (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a sanitary, heating and air-conditioning company by a property developer (Impact Developer & Contractor / R.C.T.I. Company)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
COMPETITION COUNCIL APPROVED THE TAKING OVER OF R.C.T.I. COMPANY BY IMPACT DEVELOPER & CONTRACTOR* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which Impact Developer & Contractor SA takes over R.C.T.I. Company SRL. Impact Developer & Contractor SA develops residential real (...)

The Australian Competition Authority will not oppose the acquisition of a motorhome rental company by a rival, subject to a substantial divestment in the target’s newest fleet (THL / Apollo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
THL’s proposed acquisition of Apollo not opposed, subject to divestiture* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Apollo (ASX:ATL) by THL, after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking that requires Apollo to divest a large proportion of its newest motorhome fleet. THL and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a multinational telecommunications company €75M for the clearance of penalty payments and non-compliance with injunctions issued in 2017 (Altice)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Connecting buildings to the fibre optic network (Faber contract): the Autorité fines Altice 75 million euros for the clearance of penalty payments and non-compliance with injunctions issued in 2017* Background For the record, the Autorité de la concurrence had cleared the takeover of SFR by the (...)

The UK Competition Authority to consider the proposed divestments offered in a foam packaging merger (Carpenter / Recticel)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA considers remedy to address concerns in foam merger* Carpenter and Recticel have asked the CMA to consider a “fast-track” remedy to address concerns that their merger could lead to manufacturers and shoppers paying more for items like mattresses and kitchen sponges. US-based Carpenter (...)

The Danish Competition Authority allows the takeover of a truck dealership company by a rival acknowledging the fact that it would lessen competition in the market but rationalising that competition would have been reduced anyway (Volvo / Titan Lastvogne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Volvo takes over Danish truck dealership* The Danish Competition Council has approved the acquisition by Volvo Danmark A/S of Titan Lastvogne A/S, which among other things sells and repairs Volvo and Renault trucks. Chairman of the Danish Competition Council Christian Schultz says: "We have (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the acquisitions of 7 companies in the gambling sector by a new holding company (HoldCo / Club King / Cemarbet / Saed Electronic / Get’s Bet Online / GTB Line Software...)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
THE COMPETITION COUNCIL APPROVED THE TAKING OVER OF SOME COMPANIES BY HOLD CO* The Competition Council approved the taking over of Club King SRL, Cemarbet SRL, Saed Electronic SRL, Get’s Bet Online LTD, GTB Line Software SRL, Neosoft Tech Support SRL and Neosoft Limited by Emma Gamma and (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority approves a merger between two card payment companies (NETS / PBZ)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA Approves NETS CEE /PBZ Card Merger* Based on the data from the received notification the concentration in question will produce effects in the acceptance of card payments, provision of POS terminal services and related services in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and merchant (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a tourism and leisure company by a rival subject to the divestment of interests in certain assets (THL / Apollo)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
THL cleared to acquire Apollo subject to divestment* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for THL Group (Australia) Pty Limited (THL), a subsidiary of Tourism Holdings Limited, to acquire 100% of the shares in Apollo Tourism & Leisure Limited (Apollo) (Proposed Acquisition). The (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues an assessment on the proposed acquisition of a pharmacy solutions business by a healthcare services provider (Uniphar / NaviCorp)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC issues assessment to Uniphar and NaviCorp in relation to its on-going merger review* As part of its merger review process into the proposed acquisition of pharmacy solutions business, NaviCorp Limited (trading as Navi Group), by healthcare services provider, Uniphar PLC, merger (...)

The Italian Competition Authority blocks a merger between two energy companies due to its expected adverse effect on competition in the energy sector (Enel Produzione / ERG Power)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
The Italian Competition Authority has recently closed a II Phase merger control enquiry in Enel Produzione/ERG Power by vetoing a concentration between two energy companies due to the expected adverse effects oncompetition in some electricity markets in the region of Sicily. The merger (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority is notified about an acquisition for sole control of a shipping company by one of its parent companies (Columbia Marlow Holding / Schoeller Group)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of concentration regarding the acquisition of Columbia Marlow Holding Ltd by Schoeller Group, via Ferrum Marine Company Ltd* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a concentration, according to Section 10 of the Control of (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Rantos delivers an opinion on whether a Big Tech company’s non-compliance with data protection laws can be considered in competition law investigations and support the finding of a competition law violation (Meta)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2022, Advocate General (“AG”) Rantos delivered his opinion in Meta (Case C-252/21), concerning the interplay between the competition rules and GDPR, suggesting that non-compliance with data protection laws can be considered in competition law investigations and support the finding (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority proceeds with an in depth investigation of the acquisition of a ferry terminal operator by a rival (Terminal Ferry De Barcelona / Grimaldi Group)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC will analyse in depth the acquisition of Terminal Ferry de Barcelona by the Grimaldi group* The acquisition means that Grimaldi will manage the only two public passenger and ro-ro terminals in the port of Barcelona. Grimaldi could be in a position to raise prices and worsen access (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a telecommunications company €5M for breaching commitments that it made whilst acquiring a rival (Telefónica / DTS)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines Telefónica 5 million euros for failing to comply with part of the reporting obligations it undertook when it acquired DTS* In 2015, Telefónica voluntarily submitted a number of commitments in order to acquire DTS and preserve competition in the market. Between May 2015 and at least (...)

The French Competition Authority takes note of a decision by a telecommunications company to withdraw its planned acquisition for sole control over a media company (Bouygues / Métropole Télévision group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
TF1/M6: The Autorité de la concurrence takes note of the decision to withdraw its planned acquisition* The Autorité de la concurrence (hereinafter the "Autorité") takes note of the announcement made today by Bouygues, to withdraw its plan to acquire exclusive control of the Métropole Télévision (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification of the Saudi Arabian national oil company’s desire to acquire an American producer of preventative products for car engines (VGP Holdings / Saudi Arabian Oil Company)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of the concentration concerning the acquisition of the share capital of VGP Holdings LLC (international product company division of Valvoline Inc.) by Saudi Arabian Oil Company, via Aramco Overseas Company B.V.* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears a merger between two plastic pipe manufacturers (Pipelife / Vargon)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA APPROVES PIPELIFE/VARGON MERGER* Based on the data from the received notification the concentration in question will produce effects in the production of plastic pipes and fittings and the wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, in certain (...)

The US DOJ sues to block the $4.3B acquisition of a division of a residential door hardware manufacturer by a rival (ASSA ABLOY / Spectrum)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Sues to Block ASSA ABLOY’s Proposed Acquisition of Spectrum Brands’ Hardware and Home Improvement Division* Proposed Deal Would Combine Two of the Three Largest Competitors in Residential Door Hardware, Further Concentrating U.S. Markets The U.S. Department of Justice filed a (...)

The Australian Competition Authority does not oppose an acquisition of a major manufacturer of animal health products and drugs subject to divestiture (Zoetis / Jurox)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Zoetis’ proposed acquisition of Jurox not opposed, subject to divestiture* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Jurox by Zoetis after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Zoetis to divest Jurox’s intramammary product range, consisting of intramammary antibiotics for dry (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification of a joint acquisition of a hotel operator and developer by an owner and operator of luxury resorts and an investment company (Aphrodite Hills Resort / MHV Mediterranean Hospitality Venture / W.R.A. Consultants)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition of joint control of Aphrodite Hills Resort Limited by MHV Mediterranean Hospitality Venture Limited and W.R.A. Consultants Ltd* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a (...)

The US FTC approves final order requiring an oil extractor to sell off its Utah operations before being acquired by a private equity firm (EnCap / EP Energy)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring EnCap to Sell Off EP Energy Corp’s. Entire Utah Oil Business* Settlement Prevents Private Equity Fund from Eliminating Significant Competitor in Utah Waxy Crude Oil Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification from a beverage bottler of an intended acquisition of a soft drinks manufacturer and distributor (ESM Effervescent Sodas Management / CC Beverages Holdings II)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition of the share capital of ESM Effervescent Sodas Management Ltd by CC Beverages Holdings II B.V.* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a concentration concerning the proposed (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses a takeover of a company active in the construction of hydroelectric power facilities by a firm which builds and designs electricity infrastructure (Electromontaj / Hidroconstrucția)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
THE COMPETITION COUNCIL ASSESSES THE TAKING OVER OF HIDROCONSTRUCTIA SA BY ELECTROMONTAJ SA * The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Electromontaj SA takes over Hidroconstrucția SA and the companies that it controls. Electromontaj SA, part of Group H4L, designs, builds, (...)

The South African Competition Authority consults on the proposed takeover of a Namibian beverage company by a global beer company (Heineken / Namibian Breweries)
South African Competition Commission (Pretoria)
Commission recommends conditional approval of Heineken’s proposed takeover of Namibian Breweries and certain distill operations* The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve with conditions the proposed transaction whereby the Heineken Group through Sunside (...)

The US FTC Office of Administrative Law Judges dismisses the Commission’s challenge over the acquisition of a biotech startup by a major biotech company (Illumina / GRAIL)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Administrative Law Judge Dismisses FTC’s Challenge of Illumina’s Proposed Acquisition of Cancer Detection Test Maker Grail* Agency Alleged Vertical Merger would Harm Competition in the U.S. Market for Life-Saving Multi-Cancer Early Detection Tests In an Initial Decision announced on Sept. 1, (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority approves a merger between two consumer electronics retailers (Big Bang / Sancta Domenica)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Big Bang / Sancta Domenica merger approved* Based on the data from the received notification the concentration in question will produce effects in the consumer electronics retail in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and the consumer electronics wholesale in the EEA. Considering that (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that the merger between two retail supermarket chains only raises competition concerns in a small number of local areas (Morrisons / McColl’s)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Morrisons / McColl’s merger only raises concerns in a small number of local areas* The CMA’s initial investigation into Morrisons’ completed purchase of McColl’s shops has found competition concerns in 35 local areas where the 2 brands compete. However, overall, the deal would not harm the vast (...)

The Australian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a superannuation fund by a cloud-based software provider subject to a court-enforceable divestiture (Dye & Durham / Line)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Dye & Durham’s proposed acquisition of Link not opposed, subject to divestiture* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) by Dye & Durham Corporation (D&D), after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from D&D to divest its (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines two broadcasting companies for failure to notify the commission of a concentration (AT&T / Warner Bros)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Cofece imposes fines of more than 51 million Mexican pesos to AT&T and Warner Bros. Discovery for not notifying aconcentration* Mexico City, September 08, 2022.- The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece or Commission) fined AT&T, Inc. (AT&T) and Warner Bros. Discovery, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions a pharmaceutical company €2.5M for gun jumping (Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) for gun-jumping* The AdC’s Decision The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) sanctioned Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML) with a fine in the amount of € 2.500.000 for gun-jumping, specifically, for implementing the merger (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the acquisition of a genetic and genomic analysis provider by a healthcare technology company focused on early cancer detection (Illumina / GRAIL)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Illumina/Grail Prohibition: The End of the Beginning for EU Review of “Killer Acquisitions”?* On September 6, 2022, the European Commission (Commission) announced that it had prohibited the acquisition by Illumina Inc., a U.S company supplying sequencing- and array-based solutions for genetic (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the acquisition of a genetic analysis provider by a cancer detection healthcare company (Illumina / GRAIL)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 September 2022, the European Commission (the Commission ) prohibited the acquisition of cancer detection test start-up Grail by genetic and genomic analysis firm Illumina (see, attached Commission press releases). This decision formed the dramatic culmination of a procedure which the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues a non-opposition decision to the merger between two fast food service restaurants (BK Portugal / IberKing Lurca)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC issued a non-opposition decision to the merger 37/2022 - BK Portugal / IberKing*Lurca* On 6 September 2022, the Board of the AdC, using the powers conferred on it by subparagraph d) of paragraph 1 of article 19 of the Statutes, approved by Decree-Law no. /2014, of 18 August, decided to (...)

The EU Commission blocks the acquisition of a genetics analysis provider by a cancer detection healthcare company (Illumina / GRAIL)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 6 September 2022 the EU Commission adopted a decision under the EU merger Regulation (EUMR) prohibiting the completed acquisition by Illumina of GRAIL. This is the first time the Commission has examined a transaction below the EUMR thresholds and all national EU Member State thresholds (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues a non-opposition decision to the merger between two gas production companies (Fundo iCON / Sonorgás)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC issued a non-opposition decision to the merger 40/2022 - Fundo iCON / Sonorgás* On 6 September 2022, the Board of the AdC, using the powers conferred on it by subparagraph d) of paragraph 1 of article 19 of the Statutes, approved by Decree-Law no. /2014, of 18 August, decided to adopt a (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the acquisition of a company producing a novel blood testing technology by a large biotech company on the grounds that it would allow the combination to foreclose competition in an innovative and important market (Illumina / GRAIL)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission prohibits acquisition of GRAIL by Illumina* The European Commission has prohibited, under the EU Merger Regulation, the implemented acquisition of GRAIL by Illumina. The merger would have stifled innovation, and reduced choice in the emerging market for blood-based early (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences its consultation on a proposed divestiture to allay competition concerns over the merger of two mobile-home rental companies (THL / Apollo)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Consultation begins on THL and Apollo’s proposed divestiture undertaking* The ACCC is seeking views on a proposed court-enforceable undertaking offered by THL and Apollo (ASX: ATL) in relation to THL’s proposed acquisition of Apollo. THL and Apollo are involved in the rental, sale and (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the acquisition of a nascent biotech firm working on a pioneering technology to detect cancer by blood tests by a major American-based biotech company, despite the fact that the requisite merger thresholds have not been reached (Illumina / GRAIL)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On September 6, 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) blocked the acquisition of Grail by Illumina—although the deal didn’t meet the turnover threshold of the EU or any Member State—arguing that the merger would have prevented innovation and competition in the blood-based early cancer (...)

The EU Commission prohibits a big biotech firm’s completed acquisition of a promising biotech startup developing an early detection cancer test (Illumina / GRAIL)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 September 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to prohibit Illumina from acquiring cancer detection test producer Grail, although the parties had already completed the transaction against the Commission’s instructions in August of 2021. Interestingly, this (...)

The EU Commission blocks an acquisition of a nascent biotech firm which is developing a promising cancer detection technology by a large American biotech company notwithstanding the fact that the transaction fails to reach the requisite merger thresholds (Illumina / GRAIL)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
In a landmark decision announced on September 6, 2022 (“Decision”), the European Commission (“EC”) prohibited the acquisition by Illumina, a U.S. company specialising in genomic sequencing, of GRAIL, a U.S.- based start-up developing early cancer-detection tests (“Transaction”). The EC blocked the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a stake in an energy company by an institutional investor (Apraava Energy / CDPQ Infrastructures)
Indian Competition Commission (New Delhi)
Commission approves acquisition of stake in Apraava Energy Private Limited (Target) by CDPQ Infrastructures Asia II Pte. Ltd. (Acquirer) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002* The Proposed Combination pertains to the acquiring an additional 10% shareholding in the Target from CPL (...)

The Indian Competition Commission approves the acquisition of 100% equity share capital of a payment aggregation services provider by a rival (IndiaIdeas.com / PayU India)
Indian Competition Commission (New Delhi)
Commission approves acquisition of 100% of the equity share capital of IndiaIdeas.com Limited (IIL) by PayU Payments Private Limited (PayU India) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002* The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of 100% of the equity share capital of IIL by (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears, following a Phase II investigation, a merger between major cyber security firms (Avast / NortonLifeLock)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA clears NortonLifeLock / Avast merger* The CMA has cleared the anticipated acquisition of Avast by NortonLifeLock following an in-depth merger investigation. NortonLifeLock and Avast both offer cyber safety software to consumers under a variety of different brands. Products include (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification of an intended acquisition of a Dutch stair lift producer by a Dutch investment company (Otolift Beheer / NPM Capital)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition of the share capital of Otolift Beheer B.V. by NPM Capital N.V., through NPM Investments 28 B.V.* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a concentration, according to Section 10 (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority greenlights the acquisition of a German manufacturer of pressure sensitive labels by a Finnish manufacturer of recyclable products (UPM-Kymmene Beteiligungs / AMC AG Advanced Methods of Coating)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
FINNISH COMPANY RECEIVES PERMISSION TO ACQUIRE GERMAN MANUFACTURER OF PRESSURE SENSITIVE LABELS* The Finnish forestry company UPM-Kymmene Beteiligungs will be able to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of the German firm AMC AG Advanced Methods of Coating and, indirectly, control of Inter (...)

The Singaporean Competition Authority consults on the proposed merger of a renewable energy marine company and a ship design and engineering company (Sembcorp / Keppel Offshore)
Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (Singapore)
CCCS Consults on the Proposed Combination of Sembcorp Marine Limited and Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited* 1) The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) is inviting public feedback on the proposed combination of Sembcorp Marine Limited (“SCM”) and Keppel Offshore & (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the takeover of a wind energy company and its subsidiaries by an investment company (GIP Gutenberg / WPD Offshore)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition council approved the taking over by GIP Gutenberg GMBH of some wind energy companies* The Competition Council approved, from the national security point of view, the transaction by which GIP Gutenberg GmbH buys wpd offshore Gmbh and, by default, wpd offshore Black Sea 1 S.R.L., (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses an American in vitro diagnostics company’s joint takeover by a private equity firm and a South Korean rival (Meridian Bioscience / Bionsensor / SJL Partners)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council assesses the taking over of Meridian Bioscience by Biosensor and SJL Partners* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which SD Biosensor, Inc. and SJL Partners, LLC take over Meridian Bioscience, Inc. SD Biosensor, Inc. is a South Korean company, (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the takeover of 7 renewable energy companies by a renewable energy facilities developer (Energy Power Holding / Power L.I.V.E. / ONE / Rott Energy / Zagra Hidro / Corabia Solar...)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition council assesses the taking over of some renewable energy companies by energy power holding GMBH* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Energy Power Holding GmbH takes over the companies Power L.I.V.E. ONE, Rott Energy, Zagra Hidro, Corabia Solar, Holrom (...)

The UK Competition Authority decides to refer a potential merger between a Big Tech company and a leading video game publisher for a Phase II investigation (Microsoft / Activision Blizzard)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Microsoft / Activision deal could lead to competition concerns* The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that Microsoft’s anticipated purchase of Activision Blizzard could substantially lessen competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the takeover of an animal feed production company by a private equity firm (Cargill / Waterland Group)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
Competition council assesses the taking over of some assets from Cargill by Waterland Group* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which NewOpCo Hungary, a branch of Waterland Group, takes over some assets of Cargill Group from Hungary. The assets cover, mainly, a production (...)

The Romanian Competition Commission assesses the takeover of an electronic communications company by a rival (Ines Group / Cloudsys Telecom)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council assesses the taking over of Ines Group by Cloudsys Telecom* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Cloudsys Telecom S.R.L. intends to take over Ines Group S.R.L. Cloudsys Telecom SRL is a provider of electronic communications services, being (...)

The Australian Competition Authority greenlights the acquisition of a South Korean based airline by a rival (Korean Air / Asiana)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Korean Air’s proposed acquisition of Asiana not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd.’s (Korean Air) proposed acquisition of Asiana Airlines, Inc (Asiana). Korean Air and Asiana are airlines based in South Korea that provide air passenger and air cargo services between (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves a Romanian scheme worth €390M under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support high-efficient cogeneration of electricity and heat
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €390 million Romanian scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support high-efficient cogeneration of electricity and heat* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €390 million Romania scheme, made available in part through the (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves the prolongation of a green support scheme for rail freight in Norway
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves prolongation of green support scheme for rail freight in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation of a Norwegian support scheme for rail freight aimed at helping the transport sector become more environmentally friendly. Most modes of (...)

The EU Commission approves a German measure worth €450M to replace electricity generation amid Russian natural gas shortages
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €450 million German measure to replace electricity generation amid Russian natural gas shortages* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a temporary German measure to enable five lignite-fired power plants to be on stand-by and ready to be (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian State aid guarantee scheme worth €2B for the reinsurance of natural gas and electricity trade credit risk in context of Russia’s war against Ukraine
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2 billion Italian guarantee scheme for the reinsurance of natural gas and electricity trade credit risk in context of Russia’s war against Ukraine* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2 billion Italian scheme for the reinsurance of (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Pikamäe proposes that the judgment of the General Court and the Commission’s decision on the ‘Spanish tax leasing scheme’ should be partially annulled (Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión / Caixabank)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Advocate General Pikamäe proposes that the judgment of the General Court and the Commission’s decision on the ‘Spanish tax leasing scheme’ should be partially annulled* In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the application of ‘the Spanish Tax Lease System’ (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €700M to support companies in context of Russia’s war against Ukraine
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €700 million Italian scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s war against Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €700 million Italian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the (...)

The EU Commission approves additional German measures to support electricity production from renewable energy sources
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves additional German measures to support electricity production from renewable energy sources* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, three additional measures to support electricity production from renewable energy sources in Germany. The (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves aid for Norwegian projects participating in a European hydrogen value-chain initiative
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves aid for Norwegian projects participating in a European hydrogen value-chain initiative* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved aid for two Norwegian projects – Barents Blue and Tizir – participating in a hydrogen value-chain initiative, also known as Hy2Use. The (...)

The EU Commission approves up to €5.2 billion of public support by thirteen Member States for the second Important Project of Common European Interest in the hydrogen value chain
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State Aid: Commission approves up to €5.2 billion of public support by thirteen Member States for the second Important Project of Common European Interest in the hydrogen value chain* The Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a second Important Project of Common European Interest (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares that national authorities responsible for the recovery of aid classified as unlawful may apply a domestic provision in order to prevent double taxation (Fossil Group)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Corporate income tax in Gibraltar: the national authorities responsible for the recovery of aid classified as unlawful may apply a domestic provision in order to prevent double taxation* Following a formal investigation procedure into the corporate income tax regime in Gibraltar, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues judgment on the recovery of incompatible State aid which must take into account the possible application of general rules for the avoidance of double taxation (Fossil)
Maastricht University
Recovery of Incompatible Aid and the Application of General Provisions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation* Introduction The recovery of incompatible State aid has to be carried out immediately and effectively. The Commission gives guidance to the Member State concerned how to calculate the (...)

The EU Commission approves a Romanian scheme worth €1.5B to compensate energy-intensive companies for indirect emission costs
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.5 billion Romanian scheme to compensate energy-intensive companies for indirect emission costs* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Romanian scheme to partially compensate energy-intensive companies for higher electricity prices (...)

The EU Commission approves €4 billion Romanian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €4 billion Romanian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €4 billion (approximately RON 19.7 billion) Romanian scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion (...)

The EU Commission endorses the Netherlands’ €4.7 billion recovery and resilience plan
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses the Netherlands’ €4.7 billion recovery and resilience plan* The European Commission has today given a positive assessment of the Netherlands’ recovery and resilience plan. This is a key step paving the way for the EU to disburse €4.7 billion in (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report which reveals that Covid-19 State aid measures allowed for unprecedented levels of support whilst preserving the level-playing field for businesses
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: 2021 Scoreboard shows that COVID-19 State aid measures allowed for unprecedented levels of support while preserving the level-playing field* The 2021 State Aid Scoreboard, published today by the European Commission and relating to State aid expenditure in 2020, shows the crucial (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a Norwegian aid scheme for the compensation of indirect emission costs
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves new Norwegian CO2 compensation scheme* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a new Norwegian aid scheme for the compensation of indirect emission costs. The scheme partially compensates certain energy-intensive companies, such as basic iron and steel (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority launches investigation into aid provided under Norwegian State aid scheme for small and medium sized enterprises
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA launches investigation into aid provided under Norwegian state aid scheme* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today decided to initiate a formal investigation into certain state aid granted under the aid scheme “Norwegian Catapult”. ESA monitors state aid granted by the EEA EFTA (...)

The EU Commission approves a Greek scheme under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support development of electricity storage facilities
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Greek scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support development of electricity storage facilities* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Greek measure with an estimated budget of €341 million to support the construction and (...)

Procedures

The EU Commission upgrades eLeniency tool to grant companies online access to leniency and settlement documents (eLeniency)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission upgrades eLeniency tool to grant companies online access to leniency and settlement documents* The European Commission has upgraded its online platform “eLeniency” to ensure that companies who are parties to cartel and antitrust proceedings can easily and securely access (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority opens infringement proceedings against Norway for restricting ownership in credit institutions and insurance undertakings
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA opens infringement proceedings against Norway for restricting ownership in credit institutions and insurance undertakings* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today in two separate cases issued letters of formal notice to Norway over its incorrect implementation and application of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority analyses the proposals to market the National Football Federation’s broadcasting rights and determines that the procedure does not comply with competition law (Royal Spanish Football Federation)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC analyses the Royal Spanish Football Federation’s proposals to market the broadcasting rights for the Copa and the Supercopa to betting companies* Some of the conditions proposed by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF in Spanish) for the tender do not meet the requirements set (...)

Regulatory

The Danish Competition Authority makes recommendations for increased competition in pharmacy sector to bolster lower prices and improve services
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 September 2022, the Competition Council of the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority ( DCCA ) issued 6 recommendations to bolster competition, ensure lower prices and improve service in the pharmacy sector (see, attachment). The recommendations stem from an analysis of competitive (...)

The US House of Representatives passes a legislative package updating legislation on antitrust, FDI and mergers
Covington & Burling (Washington)
,
Covington & Burling (Washington)
On September 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of three antitrust bills (H.R. 3843) by a vote of 242-184. The package includes: (1) the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act; (2) the Foreign Merger Subsidy Disclosure Act; and (3) the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the pharmaceutical sector to determine factors that limit consumer access to drugs
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
THE COMPETITION COUNCIL ASSESSES THE PHARMACY RETAIL MARKET FROM ROMANIA* The Competition Council started a sectorial analysis on the pharmacy retail market in Romania, for identifying the elements that can limit patients’ access to medication from drugstores. Thus, the supply relations of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority recommends competition-friendly regulations for the capital city taxi services
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Instead of Drastic Price Hikes, the GVH Recommends Competition-friendly Regulations for the Capital City, which is Preparing to Make Taxi Services More Expensive* 13 April 2022, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) is proposing to the Capital City to stimulate competition (...)

The US Government issues first-ever presidential directive defining national security factors for CFIUS to consider in evaluating transactions
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
On September 15, President Biden signed an Executive Order (the "EO") identifying national security risks that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS" or the "Committee") must consider when reviewing covered transactions. The EO focuses on five areas: supply chain (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority suggests amendments to the proposed Data Act in order to promote competition among cloud providers
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM: amendments to Data Act necessary for promoting competition among cloud providers* A market study of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) shows that it is hard for users of cloud services to switch providers. In addition, it is not easy for them to combine cloud (...)

The EU Commission publishes the second annual report on the screening of foreign direct investment into the Union
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 1 September 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published the Second Annual Report on the screening of foreign direct investments (“FDI”) into the European Union (available here), and the accompanying Commission Staff Working Document (available here), pursuant to the annual reporting (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the takeover by a UK Investment company of an Israeli information technology company based on compatibility with foreign investment considerations (Tufin Software / Talon Midco)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The taking over of Tufin software technologies by Talon Midco 3 Limited doesn’t have risks or threats for national security* The Competition Council approved, from the national security point of view, the transaction by which Talon MidCo 3 Limited buys the majority of shares of Tufin Software (...)

The EU Commission releases its second annual FDI report showing increased momentum in FDI regulation and screening in the EU27
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 1 September, the European Commission (EC) issued its Second Annual Report under Article 5(4) of the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) Screening Regulation along with an EC Staff Working Document (SWD). The Report covers the 2021 period and provides an overview of FDI trends and screening in (...)

The EU Commission takes stock of the foreign direct investment screening rules at both EU and Member State level
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
In its Second Annual Report on the screening of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Union, the EU Commission takes stock of the FDI screening rules at both EU and Member State level. Today, 25 out of 27 Member States either have a screening mechanism in place or are in the process of (...)

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