Latest Special issue: Distribution agreements

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority fines several eyewear brands and manufacturers for imposing selling prices and restrictions on online sales (Luxottica / LVMH / Chanel / Logo)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Several eyewear brands and manufacturers fined for imposing selling prices and restrictions on online sales* The Autorité fines several eyewear brands and manufacturers, including the leading global and European supplier, for imposing selling prices on opticians and prohibiting them from (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates proceedings against two pay-TV providers for possible anticompetitive practices through the rights agreement for the Liga A football series (Tim / Dazn)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: proceeding opened against Tim and Dazn for possible anti-competitive practice through the TV rights agreement for the Liga A football series* The Authority will evaluate the adoption of precautionary measures only if it finds that considerable and irreparable damage to competition results (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds two of the Competition Authority’s decisions finding that the exchange of information on prices, discounts, and quantities concerning future sales between retailers of clothing items is illegal (Hugo Boss / Kaufmann)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal: Exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities in relation to future sales between retailers of clothing items was illegal* The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has upheld two separate decisions of the Danish Competition Council (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues a landmark judgment in a proceeding for unfair commercial practices in the distribution and selling of patented seedless grapes in Italy (Puglia Association of Growers / Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori Puglia / Comitato Liberi Agricoltori e Commercianti Pugliesi e Lucani)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 25 May 2021, the Italian Antitrust Authority (“AGCM”) issued a landmark judgment in a proceeding for unfair commercial practices in the distribution and selling of patented seedless grapes in Italy. The proceeding represents one of the few of its kind, not only for the close interlink between (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions a medical devices company for restricting distributor sales (Natus)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions medical devices company for restricting distributors sales* The AdC’s decision The AdC sanctioned Natus Medical Incorporated (Natus) for restricting competition in the distribution of essential medical devices in the Portuguese market. The investigation, opened by the AdC in (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a bicycle retailer for entering into an exclusive distribution agreement hindering competition (Merida bicycles)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Merida bicycles - proceedings of the President of UOKiK* Does the sale of Merida bicycles in Poland violate the rules of competition? Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has issued a statement against Merida Polska. As a result of the practices of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines an online office equipment retailer for resale price maintenance (Fellowes)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Collusion on office equipment market - decision of the President of UOKiK* Collusion on office equipment market - decision of the President of UOKiK Fellowes Poland for many years imposed minimum prices on distributors for resale of office equipment on the Internet. Tomasz Chróstny, President of (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a national sports equipment distributor for dictating prices to sellers (Abistore)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
The fine imposed on abistore confirmed, the distributor of sports equipment dictated prices to sellers* The Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition Petr Mlsna confirmed the imposition of the fine of CZK 1,851,000 on the undertaking ABISTORE SPORT, s. r. o. (hereafter referred (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines two animal feed manufacturers for collusion (Polmass / Agro-Netzwerk Polska)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Collusion between animal feed manufacturers - decision of the President of UOKiK* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny proclaimed market allocation by animal feed producers - collusion limited the freedom of product choice for farmers and sellers of milk replacers. Polmass company was charged (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working paper outlining its preliminary views on the application of article 101 TFEU to distributors that also act as agents for the same supplier
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 February 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published an important working paper outlining its preliminary views on the application of Article 101 TFEU to distributors that also act as agents for the same supplier (the “Working Paper”). As brand owners are showing an increasing (...)

The US FTC charges two pharmaceutical companies with preventing competition in the national market for oxymorphone (Endo / Impax)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Again Charges Endo and Impax with Illegally Preventing Competition in U.S. Market for Oxymorphone ER* The FTC is suing Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Endo International plc, Impax Laboratories, LLC, and Impax’s owner, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., alleging that a 2017 agreement between Endo and (...)

The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform and its publishers for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On January 20, 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined Valve and PC video games publishers €7.8 million for restricting cross-border sales of PC video games within the EEA. Video games publishers requested Valve, owner of the PC video gaming platform Steam, to provide geo-blocked (...)

The EU Commission fines the owner of an online PC gaming platform and five publishers for entering into “geo-blocking” practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Valve and five publishers of PC video games € 7.8 million for “geo-blocking” practices* The European Commission has fined Valve, owner of the online PC gaming platform “Steam”, and the five publishers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax € 7.8 million (...)

The EU Commission imposes fines in the video games sector for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
One of the final cases resulting from the European Commission’s e-commerce sector enquiry has come to a conclusion. On 20 January 2021, the Directorate-General for Competition fined Valve Corporation, owner of the Steam game distribution platform, and five personal computer (PC) video game (...)

The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform operator and five video game publishers €7.8 million for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 January 2021, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had fined the US company Valve, owner of the popular online PC gaming platform “Steam” (“Steam”), and five publishers of video games (Capcom, Bandai Namco, Koch Media, Focus Home Interactive and ZeniMax Media) a total of (...)

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

The UK Competition Authority finds that a titanium dioxide pigment producer’s anticipated purchase of chloride slag supplier raises competition concerns (TTI / Tronox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Metallurgy buyout raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that Tronox’s anticipated purchase of TTI raises competition concerns in the supply of chloride slag and titanium dioxide pigment. Both companies are involved in the supply of materials used in the production of titanium dioxide, (...)

The German Competition Authority clears two acquisitions of hypermarkets by two food retail chains subject to conditions (Kaufland / Globus)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Kaufland can acquire 92 Real stores subject to conditions – Globus can acquire 24 Real stores* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the acquisition of up to 92 Real stores by Kaufland, which is part of the Schwarz Group, from SCP Retail S.àr.l., subject to conditions. The authority has at the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into contracts for the establishment of a national telecommunications company (FiberCop)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation launched into contracts for the establishment of FiberCop* Telecom Italia, Fastweb, Teemo Bidco, FiberCop, Tiscali Italia and KKR & Co. under investigation. According to the Authority, developing fibre telecommunication networks is crucial for the country Autorità (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows Japanese vehicle manufacturer’s exclusive dealing notification relating to its 10-year conditional warranty to stand (Mitsubishi)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mitsubishi’s 10-year conditional warranty allowed to stand* The ACCC does not object to an exclusive dealing notification lodged by Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (Mitsubishi) relating to its new 10-year or 200,000 km extended warranty. The warranty is conditional on the vehicle being (...)

The French Competition Authority makes binding the commitments made by two supermarket chains for their cooperation on purchasing own-brand label goods (Carrefour / Tesco)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité issues a new decision concerning purchasing offices and makes the commitments made by Carrefour and Tesco binding* The retailers commit to reducing the scope of their joint purchases for their own-brand labels and take measures to ensure that SMEs have access to tenders for the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority fines and convicts a former general manager of a national steel producing company for obstructing a cartel investigation (BlueScope Steel)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
In December 2020, Jason Ellis, a former general manager of sales and marketing at BlueScope Steel Limited ("BlueScope"), was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment (suspended) and ordered to pay a A$10,000 fine, for inciting the obstruction of an investigation by the Australian Competition and (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal preserves the presumption of innocence but upholds the fines imposed by the Competition Authority on a German chemical company (Brenntag)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
On 3 December 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal ("Court") confirmed the fines imposed by the French Competition Authority ("FCA") in 2013 on the German chemical distributor Brenntag, and its former parent company Deutsche Bahn, of EUR 47 million and EUR 5.2 million respectively for participating (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne supplier and distributors for maintaining exclusive import agreements (Nicolas Feuillatte / Financière Martin / Distillerie Dillon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision published on 29 October 2020, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) fined champagne supplier Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and two importer-distributors € 642,800 for having concluded exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles (i.e., Saint-Martin, Saint- Barthélemy and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne company and two importer-distributors for maintaining exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles (Nicolas Feuillatte / Financière Martin / Distillerie Dillon)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and two importer-distributors fined for having maintained exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles* Background Following a report sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company over alleged market sharing cartel (NQCranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Action over alleged market sharing cartel in the overhead crane industry* The ACCC has today commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company NQCranes Pty Ltd, alleging it engaged in cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act. The ACCC (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences proceedings against a wholesale distributor of cycling and sporting products for resale price maintenance (FE Sports)
Jones Day (Melbourne)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
A new ACCC resale price maintenance case provides a timely reminder that manufacturers and suppliers must tread carefully with distribution arrangements related to price in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") has commenced proceedings against FE Sports, (...)

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 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 Australian Competition Authority opens market inquiry into bargaining power in supply chains for perishable agricultural products
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
New inquiry to focus on perishable agricultural supply chains* The ACCC will today commence a new three-month inquiry into bargaining power in supply chains for perishable agricultural products in Australia. The inquiry, initiated by the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Agriculture Minister (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority files an indictment against a major film distributor and a cinema company for breach of merger conditions due to refusal to supply the competing cinemas with major movies for which it is the sole distributor (Mooki Greidinger / Forum Film)
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Competition Authority has filed an indictment against Mooki Greidinger and Forum Film Ltd. for breach of merger conditions committed under aggravating circumstances* According to the Indictment, the defendants have systematically refused to supply movies to Lev Tel Aviv Cinema, a (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York terminates long-standing Paramount consent decrees, thereby allowing after 7 decades the classic movie studios to form closer agreements with movie distributors (Paramount Pictures)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Federal Court Terminates Paramount Consent Decrees* A federal court in the Southern District of New York today terminated the Paramount Consent Decrees, which for over seventy years have regulated how certain movie studios distribute films to movie theatres. The review and termination of these (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a market consultation to assess the proposal of a company in the toy retail sector to modify its pricing policy (Lego)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Lego proposes commitments to the Autorité to modify its pricing policy* The Autorité launches a market consultation to assess this proposal. Cdiscount and EMC Distribution (Casino Group’s reference listing offices) lodged a complaint with the Autorité de la concurrence regarding practices (...)

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

The Israel Competition Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s instruction prohibiting an importer from reporting to a multinational consumer products company on parallel imports of the company’s toothpaste (Schestowitz / Colgate-Palmolive)
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an instruction of the Director-General, which prohibits Schestowitz from reporting to Colgate-Palmolive on parallel imports of Colgate toothpaste* The Competition Tribunal granted the force of a judgment to a new instruction of the Director-General to (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statements of objections to 6 large supermarket chains and 2 drink suppliers for price fixing (Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Auchan / Sumol+Compal / Sogrape / Lidl / Intermarché / E-Leclerc)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
New case in the retail sector: AdC issues Statements of Objections to six supermarket chains and two drink suppliers for price fixing, harmful to consumers* The AdC – Portuguese Competition Authority issued Statements of Objections to 6 large food retail chain groups and 2 suppliers, one of (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases for public consultation the new guide on vertical agreements
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debates the Guide on Vertical Agreements* The Competition Council elaborated the "Guide on vertical agreements" in order to support companies that have to assess, on a case-by-case basis, the compatibility of the vertical agreements they wish to (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a sports retailer’s new online platform as it concerns only a small part of the retail market and will therefore hardly affect competition between retailers (Intersport)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Intersport, the world’s largest association of medium-sized retailers of sport products, switched its online sales platform operated by the Intersport subsidiary Intersport Digital GmbH (“IDG”) to a so-called "drop shipment business model". Although the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) found that the (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a sports retail company’s joint distribution platform (Intersport)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 June 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) approved Intersport’s online distribution model through a joint online platform under the Intersport umbrella brand for small retailers. Intersport is the world’s largest association of medium-sized companies in the sports retail sector. Its (...)

The UK Supreme Court finds that multilateral interchange fees between credit card companies violate competition law (Sainsbury’s / Visa / MasterCard)
Irish Department of Justice and Equality (Dublin)
Interchange fees restrict competition: Is the UK Supreme Court giving Article 101(1) TFEU a final glance?* In a long running legal battle, some clarity has finally been provided by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in relation to the implications of multi-lateral interchange fees (MIFs) (...)

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

The French Competition Authority dismisses TV distribution platform’s allegations of collusion between 2 TV channel owners due to lack of evidence (Molotov / TF1 / M6) Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence dismisses Molotov’s complaint concerning the practices of TF1 and M6 for lack of evidence* Molotov is a television channel distribution platform which aggregates and streams French audiovisual programmes over the top (OTT), i.e. via the Internet. The application (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturns a district court decision certifying a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs without undertaking a rigorous analysis to resolve factual disputes, assess competing evidence, or weigh conflicting expert testimony (Lamictal)
McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently concluded in In re Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation that a district court’s reliance on average prices to determine class-wide impact was insufficient. Instead, courts must conduct a rigorous analysis of the facts, evidence and (...)

The US FTC adds 6 State Attorneys General as co-complainants in a lawsuit against an anticompetitive scheme to protect list-price increase of more than 4,000 percent for life-saving drug Daraprim (Vyera Pharmaceuticals / Martin Shkreli / Phoenixus / Kevin Mulleady)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Six More States Join FTC and NY Attorney General’s Case Against Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, and Other Defendants* Defendants engaged in anticompetitive scheme to protect list-price increase of more than 4,000 percent for life-saving drug Daraprim The Federal Trade Commission has (...)

The Latvian and Lithuanian Competition Authorities terminate a common investigation into an alleged prohibited agreement among 7 companies active in construction & household products manufacturing due to lack of evidence (Tikkurila companies / Kesko Senukai Lithuania / Kesko Senukai Digital / Ermitažas / DAW Lietuva / Topcolor)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Latvian and Lithuanian competition authorities join forces for investigation of cross-border infringements* Taking into consideration the complexity of cross-border infringements of the competition law, competition authorities join their forces for efficient investigation. For example, (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer and seller of heating systems for vertically restraining its distributors’ freedom in the market through distribution agreements (Baymak)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recent decision dated 26.03.2020 numbered 20-16/232-113 regarding Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) holds significant importance as it contains a detailed analysis regarding numerous vertical restraint types. Background Baymak is a (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes administrative monetary fines on a manufacturer and distributor of heating systems for engaging in vertical restraints (Baymak)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary concerns an analysis of the Board’s Baymak decision, which concerned an administrative monetary fine of TL 26,813,704.10 against Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) for the violation of Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) through (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company and its wholesalers for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and for abuse of a situation of economic dependency concerning its premium independent distributors (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fines handed down to Apple, Tech Data and Ingram Micro* The Autorité de la concurrence hands out fines totalling €1,1 billion to Apple for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and abuse of a situation of economic dependency with regard to its “premium” (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company a record €1 billion and its wholesalers €139 million for a series of vertical restrictions within the distribution network and abuse of economic dependence (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
AD LEGAL (Paris)
In a decision of March 16, 2020, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereinafter “FCA”) imposed a €1,1 billion fine on the Apple group (“Apple”) for (i) engaging in a series of vertical restrictions of competition within its distribution network and (ii) abusing the economic (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a fine of €1.1 billion on a Big Tech company and €139 million on two of its wholesalers for having implemented vertical agreements with some of its distributors and for abuse of economic dependency against its independent premium resellers (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
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University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
On 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority ("FCA") announced that it had fined Apple EUR1.1 billion, the highest fine ever imposed to an undertaking, for having implemented vertical agreements with certain of its distributors and an abuse of economic dependency against its independent (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority accepts commitments by a sports brand in connection with contractual provisions applied within its selective distribution network (Adidas / LDC)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The CNMC has reached a commitments decision with Adidas regarding restrictive practices in the Spanish retail market for clothing and footwear contrary to Article 1 SCA. Adidas submitted commitments addressing the CNMC’s concerns regarding certain clauses in the retail sports clothing company’s (...)

The EU Commission fines a €14.3 million a film and TV production company for restricting intellectual property licensing (NBCUniversal)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (London)
On 30 January 2020 the European Commission ("Commission") fined NBCUniversal EUR 14,327,000 for restricting intellectual property licensees from selling licensed merchandise within the EEA to territories and customers beyond those allocated to them. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY TAKEAWAYS (...)

The EU Commission fines a film and TV production company for implementing territorial and online sale restrictions through merchandising license agreements (NBCUniversal)
Liège University (Liège)
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Liège University (Liège)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) announced its decision to fine several film companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal LLC (‘Universal’), €14,327,000 for the implementation of territorial, consumer and online sales restrictions through their (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for restricting sales of licensed film merchandise (NBCUniversal)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the Commission imposed a fine on NBCUniversal for the restriction of sales of film merchandise relating to Minions and Shrek, among others. In June 2017, the Commission opened investigations into the licensing deals entered into by Nike, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), and (...)

The EU Commission fines non-exclusive distribution agreements of IP protected merchandise products (Nike / Sanrio / NBCUniversal)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The European rules on vertical restrictions are strongly influenced by the EU’s goal of creating a single market, also for Intellectual Property (‘IP’) protected products. Following its e-commerce sector inquiry, the EC started a number of investigations into non-exclusive distribution agreements (...)

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

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for territorial and online sale restrictions of merchandising products (NBCUniversal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to fine several companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal, € 14,327,000 for limiting the ability of licensees to sell licensed merchandising products to other EEA countries and non-allocated (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings against the "alliance of publishing houses" in the press wholesale sector as they end the minimum sales requirement (Verlagsallianz / BPVG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt brings an end to minimum sales requirement in the press wholesale sector* The “alliance of publishing houses” (Verlagsallianz) consisting of seven major German publishing houses and the Association of German Book, Newspaper and Magazine Wholesalers (BPVG) have refrained from (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues an opinion letter regarding its preliminary investigation of a manufacturer of ceramic and granite products for restricting the active and passive sales of its dealers outside their territory and for forcing consumers to purchase its products within their provinces (Qua Granit)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) published its reasoned decision regarding its preliminary investigation pertaining to the allegations that Hayal Seramik Yapı ve Ürünleri San. Tur. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Qua Granit”) violated Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines alarm system distributors over €1.5 million for anticompetitive agreements (Paradox)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) fined a supplier of security alarm systems, Paradox Security Systems (“Paradox”), registered in the Bahamas, and two of its Hungarian distributors, Power Biztonságtechnikai Kereskedelmi Kft (“Power”) and Trióda Biztonságtechnika Zrt (“Trióda”), approximately (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company for anticompetitive restrictions in contracts concluded with authorized repairers of gas boilers (Vaillant)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 November 2019, the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) imposed total fines of € 859,763 on several companies in the Vaillant Group, suppliers and repairers of gas boilers, for a breach of Article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act for anticompetitive restrictions in contracts concluded with (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a trading chain for concluding anticompetitive agreements with suppliers in the food sector (Marko)
Bird & Bird (Prague)
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Bird & Bird (Prague)
The Office for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine in amount of CZK 46,560,000 on trading chain MAKRO Cash & Carry ČR s.r.o. ("MAKRO") for violating the Act on Significant Market Power in the Sale of Agricultural and Food Products and Abuse thereof ("Act on Significant Market (...)

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

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court rules against two companies for entering into an anticompetitive agreement for the purchase and sale of the distribution of unaddressed mail (Mediacenter)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 21 October 2019, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found two Danish companies, Mediacenter Danmark and MPE Distribution, guilty of having entered into an anticompetitive agreement to share customers on the market for the purchase and sale of the distribution of unaddressed mail. It (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the Competition Authority sanctioning a leader in garden machinery who imposed clauses restricting online sales on its distribution network (Stihl)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
The Court of appeal of Paris has confirmed the decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA") sanctioning Stihl, a manufacturer of mechanical garden equipment, for prohibiting, between 2006 and 2017, the sale of certain dangerous products on its distributors’ websites. The Court of appeal, (...)

The EU Commission fines two manufacturers of processed vegetables €31.65 million for participating in a canned vegetable cartel and grants full immunity to a third participant for blowing the whistle (Coroos / CECAB)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
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Ashurst (London)
On 27 September 2019, the European Commission ("Commission") fined Coroos and Groupe CECAB €31.65 million for participating in a canned vegetables cartel for over 13 years, with a third participant, Bonduelle, receiving full immunity for blowing the whistle. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The EU Commission fines members of a canned vegetable cartel a total amount of €31.6 million (Coroos / CECAB)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Canned vegetables companies Coroos, Groupe CECAB and Bonduelle have been found to have participated in a cartel in the supply of canned vegetables to retailers and food service companies in the European Economic Area (“EEA”). In particular, the Commission’s investigation showed that the (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes a record-breaking £3.7 million fine on a piano supplier for online resale price maintenance (Casio)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 1 August 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) imposed a fine of £ 3.7 million (approximately € 4.1 million) on piano supplier Casio Electronics (“Casio”) for online resale price maintenance (RPM). Between the years 2013 and 2018, Casio reportedly (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that a car supplier is free to terminate a selective car distribution contract with a distributor despite meeting the selection criteria (Garage Richard Drevet / Hyundai)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) ruled that Hyundai did not discriminate against retailer Garage Richard Drevet by terminating its car distribution contract. The Court essentially ruled that each car supplier is free to determine whether to grant access to its selective (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two companies for vertical agreements in the fertilizer sector (Agrotechniek / Hydro)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Following Decision No 18-D-26 of 20 December 2018 on practices implemented in the sector of marketing liquid fertilisers for above-ground production for domestic use, the Competition Authority is penalising Agrotechniek BV, C.I.S and Hydro Factory/Hydro Logistique, companies active in the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice annuls a judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf imposing a fine on a drugstore for engaging in resale price maintenance (Rossmann)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 July 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) annulled a judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) which had increased a fine imposed on drugstore Rossmann for engaging in resale price maintenance (“RPM”) from € 5.25 million to € 30 million. In December 2015, the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a cooperative for having partitioned the French distribution market of raw materials and equipment to bakers (Back Europ)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 July 2019, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) imposed a fine of € 1.7 million on the cooperative Back Europ for having partitioned the French market for the distribution of raw materials and equipment to bakers for 30 years. Back Europ is a cooperative that operates in the market (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds the distribution arrangments of a supplier of mobile handsets to be prima facie compliant with national law (Vivo)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI closed at prima facie stage a case against Vivo Mobile (Vivo), a supplier of mobile handsets, finding that its distribution arrangements raised no concerns under Section 3(4) of the Competition Act which prohibits vertical agreements with an appreciable adverse effect on competition (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court finds that a price coordination agreement between companies and a trade organization in the gas market restricted competition (HMN)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 12 June 2019, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found that a price coordination agreement between HMN Naturgas I/S, its two sub-contractors and a trade organisation had the object of restricting competition. HMN is a municipally owned natural gas undertaking that offers a maintenance (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an infringement proceeding against a winemaker due to contracts concluded with its suppliers of grapes (Iločki podrumi)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
UTPs infringement proceeding against winemaker ILOČKI PODRUMI* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the infringement proceeding against the undertaking Iločki podrumi after having examined the contracts concluded between the winemaker and its suppliers of grapes. The CCA notes here that (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an infringement proceeding against a mass retailer following the detection of several possibly contestable provisions in its contracts concluded with its suppliers (PEMO)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA opens UTPs infringement proceeding against re-seller PEMO* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the infringement proceeding against the undertaking PEMO from Dubrovnik after having detected one or more unclear and possibly contestable provisions in the contracts concluded between (...)

The French Competition Authority fines companies in the chemical pathology products market for failing to apply the legislative changes brought about by the Lurel Act on the implementation of export agreements (bioMérieux / Guyane Service Médical)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité has fined the companies bioMérieux and Guyane Service Médical for continuing to implement an exclusive import agreement, after the Lurel Act came into force.* Following information submitted by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, the Autorité issues a new decision (...)

The French Competition Authority dismisses an audiovisual media group’s claim regarding priority and pre-emption rights for French-language films (Canal Plus Group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Broadcasting rights for catalogue French films* The Autorité de la concurrence dismisses the case brought by the Canal Plus Group against the practices of TF1, France Télévisions, and M6 on priority and pre-emption rights for French-language films. The Canal Plus Group was claiming that the (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections regarding the alleged geo-blocking of PC video games (Valve / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax / Bandai Namco / Capcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 April 2019, the European Commission announced via a press release that it had sent Statements of Objections to Valve – the owner of the ‘Steam’ video game distribution platform – and five video game publishers (Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax) concerning their alleged (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting the cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its European licensees (Nike)
Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
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Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
E-Commerce in Europe: A Look into Nike’s Huge Antitrust Fines* On March 25, the European Commission (EC) fined Nike €12.5 million for restricting cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its European licensees. In December last year, the EC fined Guess €40 million for imposing (...)

The EU Commission fines a multinational company selling football apparel and footwear for restricting cross-border sales of its merchandise (Nike)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Nike €12.5 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products* The European Commission has fined Nike €12.5 million for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries within the EEA. This restriction concerned merchandising (...)

The EU Commission fines €12.5 million a sportswear company for breaching competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreements with resellers (Nike)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On March 25, 2019, the European Commission announced the € 12,555,000 fine issued to Nike for breaching European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreements with resellers, more specifically for prohibiting merchants from making (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority persists in its assessment of exclusivity practices in a company’s dealership agreements on the sales of chicken, meat, and eggs (Abalıoğlu)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
In a preliminary investigation in 2011 on the allegations that Abalıoğlu Yem Soya ve Tekstil A.Ş. (“ Abalıoğlu ”) had exclusivity clauses in its dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs under “Lezita” brand, the Board had decided that Abalıoğlu had not violated the Law No. (...)

The Polish Supreme Court fines two wholesale distributors for setting minimum resale prices for branded watches (Jubiler / Anyro)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Earlier this year the Polish Supreme Court rendered two judgments, in which it addressed the way in which the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (’’UOKiK’’) handles cases concerning anti-competitive vertical agreements. The judgments confirmed UOKiK’s decision, in which PHU (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms that a supplier heading a purely qualitative selective distribution network can refuse a distributor that meets all of the network’s selection criteria if the refusal has no anticompetitive object or effect (Mazda / Palau)
Delcade Avocats & Solicitors (Paris)
In its Mazda ruling of 23 January 2019, the Court of Appeal ("Cour d’Appel") of Paris confirms a developing French case law under which a supplier heading a purely qualitative selective distribution network can refuse to authorize a distributor meeting all the network’s selection criteria, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of resale price maintenance against a manufacturer and seller of kitchen appliances due to a lack of witnesses and manufacturers’ distribution rights (Jasper Infotech / Kaff Appliances)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds no evidence of resale price maintenance on sale of KAFF appliances on Snapdeal* CCI, by way of order dated 15.01.2019 under Section 26(6) the Act, has dismissed allegations of Resale Price Maintenance (“RPM”) against Kaff Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd. ( “KAFF/ OP”).The information was (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing company close to €40 million for restricting cross-border trade (Guess)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 17 December 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) has fined the clothing company Guess € 39.8 million for infringing Article 101(1) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) by imposing various types of resale restrictions on authorised (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing company for restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors (Guess)
Dentons (Brussels)
Guess Where Enforcement Stands Post E-Commerce Sector Inquiry?* On December 17, 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed on the clothing company Guess a hefty penalty of EUR 40 million for allegedly severe restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors. (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal specifies that a manufacturer in the electronic product market has the right to deny access to its selective distribution network to an applicant distributor (Concurrence / Sony)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Osborne Clarke (Paris)
This case concerned a consumer electronics manufacturer and a distributor between whom the relationship was particularly conflicting. A large number of commercial disputes were brought before the courts by the distributor to obtain the right to distribute the manufacturer’s products. Even though (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority decides to invalidate clauses between a Big Tech company and its distributors for exclusive agreements considered as restrictive (Apple)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
Unofficial convenience translation: In case of any discrepancy in this translation the Arabic wording only would prevail.* The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Competition Authority (“ECA”) has decided that Apple and its distributors have infringed the Egyptian Competition Law (“ECL”). The ECA (...)

The COMESA Competition Commission’s second investigation into restrictive vertical distribution ends with a beverage company avoiding a fine after agreeing to eliminate price maintenance clauses (Coca-Cola)
Primerio (Washington)
COMESA’S SECOND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES INVESTIGATION ENDS INCONCLUSIVELY* Having now concluded two non-merger cases (the first was an exclusivity issue in football broadcasting and sponsorship agreements, see here), the COMESA Competition Commission’s (“CCC”) second investigation into (...)

The Ankara Seventh Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Authority’s dismissal decision regarding the restriction of parallel imports allegations faced by a company in the market of energy systems (Mastervolt / Eltesan)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Ankara 7th Administrative Court (“Court”) annulled the dismissal decision of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) concerning the allegations that Mastervolt International Holding B.V. (“Mastervolt”) and its exclusive distributor in Turkey, Artı Marin Elektrik Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Artı Marin”), (...)

The US Congress expands requirements for pharmaceutical companies to file agreements with the FTC and DOJ
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
What occurred and why does it matter? President Trump on October 24 signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), which together with the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554), signed October 10, expands the scope of pharmaceutical product-related agreements subject (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a fine of €7 million on an outdoor power tool manufacturer for de facto online sales restrictions (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 October 2018, the French competition authority (the “FCA”) fined Stihl, a German manufacturer of outdoor power tools, € 7 million for, in effect, prohibiting online sales of chainsaws, brush cutters, pole saws and electric pruners. Stihl operated a selective distribution system, under which (...)

The Australian High Court dismisses the Competition Authority’s leave to appeal against a first instance decision finding no anticompetitive exclusive dealing in a pharmaceutical company’s sales and distribution (Pfizer)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
We have previously published an update on the Full Court decision in ACCC v Pfizer, where the Full Court dismissed an appeal by the ACCC, upholding a first instance decision that Pfizer had not misused its market power or engaged in prohibited anti-competitive exclusive dealing in its sales and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a wholesaler-importer and its parent company for continuing to implement exclusive import agreements overseas after the Lurel Act came into force (General Import)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Exclusive distribution of consumer goods in Wallis-and-Futuna* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined the wholesaler-importer General Import its parent company for continuing to implement exclusive import agreements, after the Lurel Act came into force. The "Lurel Act" has banned any (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requires divestiture in a long-consummated merger (Steves & Sons / Jeld-wen)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Congratulations! Your deal navigated through antitrust review, you closed the transaction, and you are making your way through the three-year integration plan. (...)

The EU Commission announces that it is investigating an e-commerce platform’s use of third-party data as part of a wider probe into its business practices (Amazon)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Pinsent Masons (London)
The European Commission (the EU’s antitrust regulator) has announced that it is investigating Amazon’s use of third-party data as part of a wider probe into its business practices. Many retailers use Amazon as a platform to sell their products and, in doing so, provide Amazon with sales data. At (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a margarine and butter products retailer for resale price maintenance (Minerva)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) on ex officio investigation of the Directorate General of Competition for violations of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703 / 1977-3959 / 2011 and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU by the company "MINERVA SA EDIBLE OILS ENTERPRISES" (MINERVA), regarding (...)

The Australian Federal Court fines three distributors of polycarbonate roof sheeting for exclusive dealing conduct (Palram / Ampelite / EGR)
King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne)
Sweat deal for the ACCC* In the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Oakmoore Pty Ltd cases,[1] the Federal Court declared, by consent, that Ampelite Australia Pty Ltd (Ampelite), Palram Australia Pty Ltd (Palram) and Oakmoore Pty Ltd (trading as EGR) had engaged in exclusive (...)

The EU Commission fines consumer electronics manufacturers for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Brussels)
Recent EU Fines for Resale Price Maintenance Are Symptoms of Broader Challenges Faced by Today’s Consumer-Goods Manufacturers The European Commission (the “Commission”) issued four separate decisions on 24 July 2018, fining consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and (...)

The EU Commission fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices* The European Commission today fined, in four separate decisions, consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on (...)

The EU Commission fines four consumer electronics groups for restricting their online retailers’ ability to set their retail prices for widely-used electronics products (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
White & Case (London)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The Commission Decisions In February 2017, the Commission initiated proceedings against Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer following information obtained during the e-commerce sector inquiry. The Commission’s report had identified resale price maintenance as an area of concern, and (...)

The EU Commission fines four leading consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Rosenblatt (London)
EU COMMISSION FINES MAJOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURERS FOR FIXING ONLINE RESALE PRICES* On 24th July 2018 the EU Commission passed a decision to enforce the competition rules in yet another case involving the e-commerce sector. This time it fined a number of leading consumer electronics (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers over €111 million for restricting the ability of online retailers to set their retail prices for a variety of widely-used consumer electronics products (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Bona Law (San Diego)
Antitrust News: The European Commission imposes fines for the first time in 15 years as a result of online retail price restrictions (RPM)* On July 24, 2018, the European Commission fined manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for over €111 million for restricting the (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers of electronic goods for resale price maintenance (Asus / Denon / Philips / Pioneer)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Vertical restrictions, including resale price maintenance (RPM), have not generally been an EC enforcement priority over the last 10 years, but a series of rulings in July 2018 signalled a potential change in that trend. Although the EC considers RPM to be a “hardcore restriction” of (...)

The EU Commission fines consumer electronics manufacturers €111 million for online pricing restrictions (Asus / Denon / Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Euclid Law (London)
European Commission Fines Consumer Electronics Manufacturers €111 Million for Online Pricing Restrictions* On 24 July 2018, the European Commission announced that it had fined four consumer electronics manufacturers – Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer – a total of €111 million (...)

The US FTC conditionally clears a merger subject to divestitures in the pharmaceutical market (Amneal / Impax)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
FTC Applies its Merger Remedy Best Practices and Announces a New Divestiture Principle in Recent Pharmaceutical Enforcement Action* On April 27, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed consent agreement with Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC (“Amneal”) and Impax Laboratories, Inc. (...)

The Hamburg Higher Regional Court finds that a ban on selling products through online platforms can be justified if its objective is to preserve product image and ensure personal consultation with customers in the light of the Coty judgment (Aloe2Go)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg had the opportunity to establish a position regarding potential restrictions of competition in selective distribution arising out of bans on selling products through eBay and similar platforms. The Higher Regional Court referred to recent case law of the (...)

The French Competition Authority closes its investigation into agricultural tractor manufacturers after ensuring that they change their commercial practices with dealers to strengthen competition and diversify supply (John Deere / AGCO)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sale of agricultural tractors* The Autorité closes the investigation against agricultural tractor manufacturers John Deere and AGCO (Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Laverda and Valtra). It has ensured that the manufacturers change their commercial practices in respect of dealers in order to (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that sellers of high-quality cosmetics cannot invoke exhaustion of rights under the EU Trademark Regulation if they have not presented the products in a way that avoids impairment of the brand’s reputation (Kanebo)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decided that neither online nor offline sellers can invoke exhaustion of rights under Article 15(1) of the EU trademark regulation if they sell high-quality, prestigious cosmetic products without appropriate presentation to avoid impairment of reputation. (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority and the French Competition Authority conduct inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA and the “Autorité de la concurrence” (France) conducted inspections at the premises of (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority clarifies that restricting whole internet sales in a selective distribution system exceeds the objective of preventing online sales by non-authorized resellers (Jotun Boya Sanayi / Ticaret AŞhad)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (Board) JOTUN decision dated 15.02.2018 with No.18-05/74-40; regarding the prohibition of Internet Sales in selective distribution system. In the recently published reasoned decision of JOTUN case, it is stated that in the selective (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority publishes a report into the sports footwear, sportswear and sports equipment markets
Karanovic & Partners (Belgrade)
On 1 February 2018, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (“Commission“) published a report on its sector inquiry into the sports footwear, sportswear and sports equipment markets in the Republic of Serbia. The inquiry covered the period from 2014 to 2016. The sector inquiry was (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts remedies addressing competition concerns related to franchise agreements in the pizza market (Roma Pizza)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by Roma Pizza S.A. to address competition concerns with regard to the terms of its franchise / distribution system following a complaint by former franchisees* By its unanimous decision no. 639/2017, the Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Warsaw Court of Appeal confirms that resale price maintenance in franchise agreements violates competition law (Sfinks Polska)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
In its judgement of 10 January 2018, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the decision of the President of the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, UOKiK) of 25 June 2013 in which Sfinks Polska S.A. (Sfinks) was found to infringe Art. 6(1) of the Polish (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a company for abusing its bargaining power in the grain and rapeseed market (PolishAgri)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Superior bargaining power - proceedings of the President of UOKiK against PolishAgri* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny brought charges against PolishAgri, a company that buys and sells grain and rapeseed. The company may be unfairly abusing its superior bargaining power against suppliers. The (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a fine on a supermarket chain for abuse of superior bargaining power (Biedronka)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
The President of UOKiK has imposed a fine of PLN 723 million on Biedronka* The Jeronimo Martins company was earning unfairly to the detriment of food suppliers. This is the biggest sanction for abusing of superior bargaining power imposed to date. Commercial networks get various commercial (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines a business-to-business food re-seller for imposing unfair trading practices on its suppliers but reduces the fine in light of cooperation, the company’s small size, and the company’s importance for the national island tourism sector (Jadranka trgovina)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Unfair Trading Practices: CCA imposes HRK 85,000 fine on Jadranka trgovina* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened three ex officio infringement proceedings against Jadranka trgovina within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food (...)

The Russian Competition Authority confirms that a pharmaceutical company with a dominant position in the wholesale of certain generics has ceased its problematic behavior and has signed a contract for medicine supply (Ipsen / Biotek)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Ipsen Company Comply With the Warning of the FAS Russia* Pharmaceutical company made required amendments to the Commercial policy and signed a contract with a distributor to supply their products FAS Russia received a notification of the Ipsen LLC that the company ceased the actions that (...)

The Australian Competition Authority institutes court proceedings against a wholesale distributor of cycling and sporting products for alleged resale price maintenance (FE Sports)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
FE Sports allegedly engaged in resale price maintenance* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against B & K Holdings (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as FE Sports, alleging that it engaged in resale price maintenance for the wholesale supply of cycling and sporting products in (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens investigation into unfair use of contractual advantage by the largest national food wholesaler against its suppliers (Eurocash)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Unfounded Eurocash fees - charges of the President of UOKiK* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny checks the practices of Eurocash company towards suppliers of agricultural and food products. The allegations concern unfounded collection of additional fees. The main business of Eurocash is (...)

The Russian Competition Authority investigates whether a pharmaceutical company with a dominant position in the wholesale of certain generics unreasonably refused to conclude a contract for medicine supply (Ipsen / Biotek)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS Russia: Ipsen Unreasonably Refused Biotek to Conclude Contract for Medicine Supply* In order not to enter into a contract with a counterparty the pharmaceutical company has repeatedly changed its commercial policy during the review of the distributor’s application. The FAS Russia issued a (...)

The Polish Competition Authority completes its initial activities towards the biggest 100 companies in the agri-food market and initiates proceedings against 4 commercial retail chains for unfair use of contractual advantages (Auchan Polska / Eurocash / Makro Cash and Carry Polska / Intermarche)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
UOKiK’s further proceedings in the agri-food sector* UOKiK has completed its activities towards one hundred of the biggest players on the agri-food market, which were conducted under the Act on Contractual Advantage. In the course of the UOKiK’s proceedings, the majority of entrepreneurs (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court finds a medicine distributor guilty of abusing its dominant position (CD Pharma)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 3 March 2020, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found a medicine distributor, CD Pharma AB, guilty of having abused its dominant position back in 2014. Due to its dominant position, the undertaking in question had a special responsibility not to harm competition – a responsibility that (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines major national winemaker for unfair trading practices (Iločki podrumi)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Winemaker Iločki podrumi sanctioned HRK 250,000 for imposing unfair trading practices* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened an ex-officio infringement proceeding against the undertaking Iločki podrumi after having assessed the writing by a supplier of grapes which was communicated to the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds no abuse of market power from a dominant company in the food supply sector (Zagrebačka pivovara)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Lack of standing to act against Zagrebačka pivovara* On 1 June 2018 the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) received an anonymous complaint regarding the alleged anti-competitive practices of Zagrebačka pivovara in the sense of abuse of the dominant position in the market, including the allegedly (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against several incumbent gas distribution operators suspected to have abused individually their dominance (Ireti / Italgas Reti / 2i Rete Gas)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Antitrust investigation against Ireti, Italgas Reti and 2i Rete Gas for an alleged abuse of dominant position in the distribution of gas* On 12 March 2019 the ICA (Italian Competition Authority) has opened an investigation to assess whether Ireti Spa, Italgas Reti Spa and 2i Rete Gas Spa - the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a consumer electronics company for resale price maintenance in its online sales (Sony)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
On 22 November 2018 the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) completed its investigation and decided to sanction Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”) for its involvement in imposition of fixed or minimum resale prices maintenance (“RPM”) on online retailers. Sony should be faced with an (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an electronics company for resale price maintenance on its online sales channels (Sony)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Sony decision (22.11.2018; 18-44/703-345) in which the Board evaluated the allegations concerning resale price maintenance (“RPM”) against Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”) upon complaint of a former distributor (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds no abuse of dominance in long-term contracts by a dominant firm on the basis that the plaintiffs had the possibility of shorter contracts (Gail India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds no abuse of dominance by GAIL in enforcing one-sided clauses in long-term supply contracts in the natural gas market* The CCI by way of order dated November 8, 2018 exonerated GAIL (India) Ltd (of allegations of abusing its dominant position in the Re-gasified Liquified Natural Gas (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a company for abuse of dominant position in the electricity sector (Enerjisa)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recently published Enerjisa decision of 8 August 2018 numbered 18-27/461-224 in which the Board assessed whether Enerjisa and its subsidiaries, all active in the electricity sector in Turkey, violated Article 6 of Law No. 4054 (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses an appeal by the Competition Authority against a judgment establishing market power in the pharmaceutical sector (Pfizer)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has dismissed an appeal by the ACCC against an earlier judgment in relation to pharmaceutical company Pfizer. While the Full Court upheld the single judge decision that Pfizer had not misused its market power or engaged in prohibited (...)

The German Competition Authority closes proceeding on the conditions of supply for raw milk in a case against Germany’s largest dairy company (Deutsche Milchkontor)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceeding against DMK dairy discontinued* The Bundeskartellamt has discontinued its proceeding on the conditions of supply for raw milk which was conducted as a sample case against Germany’s largest dairy, Deutsche Milchkontor eG. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "We have (...)

Procedures

The Russian Competition Authority advocates for prohibiting banks from collective insurance of their borrowers
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 Dutch Competition Authority assists the French Competition Authority with dawn raids of a cartel in the apple sauce market (Coroos)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM AND THE FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY HAVE WORKED TOGETHER IN FINING A FRENCH CARTEL* The French competition authority today imposed fines, totalling 58.3 million euros, on seven food companies for concluding anticompetitive arrangements regarding the selling of apple sauce. These companies (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court clarifies its stance on arbitration clauses and states that the jurisdiction of courts over antitrust civil disputes cannot be excluded (Shell China / Huili)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
China’s supreme court enunciated the non-arbitrability of antitrust civil disputes* For a few years, the topic of whether antitrust civil disputes could be arbitrable had been hotly debated in China. There were few precedents in connection with this issue for people to better understand what (...)

The US Supreme Court affirms the right of app purchasers to sue app company for monopolization under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick as a rule of contractual privity rather than a rule of proximate cause (Apple / Pepper)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In Apple Inc. v. Pepper, a 5-4 Supreme Court affirmed the right of app purchasers under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois to sue (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects an attempt to block consumer claims against a Big Tech company under the indirect-purchaser rule (Apple / Pepper)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Los Angeles)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In May 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision in Apple v. Pepper, one of the Court’s most significant antitrust rulings of the last several years. In a (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal orders obligations imposed on a retailer by the Competition Authority to be suspended until it has ruled on its appeal against the infringement decision (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 January 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal ordered the suspension of the obligations imposed by the French Competition Authority on STIHL in its decision of 24 October 2018 (the “Decision”). This order requiring the suspension (the “Order”) is to remain in effect until the Court rules on the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the applicability of contractual jurisdiction clauses in the context of abuse of a dominant position, ruling that some competition law violations are more contract related than others (Apple / MJA)
University of Liège
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Liège University (Liège)
With its judgment the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) confirms its previous case law indicating that the criterium to determine whether a competition law violation is covered by a contractual jurisdiction clause is the existence of a ‘contractual link’, adding that this is the case even when such (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that a jurisdiction clause is not excluded when it does not expressly refer to disputes relating to liability resulting from an abuse of dominant position (Apple / MJA)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Application of Jurisdiction Clauses to Competition Damages Actions Depends on Cause of Action* Summary The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that a jurisdiction clause does not need to refer expressly to disputes arising from a breach of competition law where damages are claimed (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that jurisdiction clauses subject to EU law may be enforced by Member States in actions for damages for abuse of dominance (Apple / MJA)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
European Court of Justice Issues Important Judgment Related to Jurisdiction Clauses for Antitrust Actions* In a recent judgment providing a preliminary ruling in the case, Apple Sales International et al. v. EBizcuss.com (C-595/17, October 24, 2018), the Court of Justice of the European Union (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal fines an online platform for selling products without being part of the selective distribution network of the producer (Coty / Showroomprive.com)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 February 2018, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) released its judgment in an appeal related to a dispute between Coty France (“Coty”), a producer of branded luxury cosmetics including, in particular, perfumes, and Showroomprive.com, an online platform specialised in the sales of branded (...)

Regulatory

The EU Commission publishes drafts of revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 9 July 2021, following a comprehensive consultation process, the EU Commission (Commission) published its proposals for a revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (Draft VBER) and Draft Vertical Guidelines, due to replace the current regime which expires on 31 May 2022. The previous (...)

The EU Commission publishes for public consultation drafts of revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and revised Guidelines on vertical restraints
White & Case (London)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 9 July 2021, the European Commission (EC) published for public consultation a draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and draft revised guidelines on vertical restraints (Vertical Guidelines). The EC has made substantial revisions, including adjustments to the rules (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on proposals for a vertical agreement block exemption order
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
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Van Bael & Bellis (London)
Introduction On 17 June 2021, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published an eagerly anticipated consultation document outlining its proposed recommendations to the Secretary of State (i.e., the relevant government minister) on the future of the retained vertical agreements block (...)

The US DoJ issues a second business review letter to show that it is still open to creative solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to get medical supplies where they are needed the most Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) has issued a second Business Review Letter pursuant to the expedited review process it announced on March 24, 2020 to review conduct related to COVID-19 within seven days. The letter released on April 20, 2020 issued to (...)

The US FTC and DoJ issue a joint letter raising concerns that the California Assembly Bill 1541 will impose new restrictions on beer manufacturers who wish to terminate their distribution agreement with wholesalers
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Joint FTC and DOJ Letter Raises Concerns about California Assembly Bill 1541, which would Impose New Restrictions on Beer Manufacturers Who Wish to Terminate Distribution Agreement with Wholesalers* The staff of Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Economics, and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion diagnosing the state of competition in the French overseas territories
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fighting the high cost of living in French overseas territories* The Autorité delivers a general diagnosis of competition in the French overseas territories. There have been positive developments since the 2009 opinion, particularly in the telecoms sector. However, consumer prices paid by the (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority launches a market study in retail food and beverage sector
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE initiates market study in retail food and beverage sector* • COFECE’s electronic mail address: estudiocomercio@cofece.mx is made available to receive any element deemed relevant for the assessment of the sector, from a competition perspective. • The study may identify market structures, (...)

The French Competition Authority delivers its opinion on the distribution of medicinal products and biomedical laboratories
French Competition Authority (Paris)
4 April: Distribution of medicinal products and biomedical laboratories: the Autorité delivers its opinion After several months of investigation and a large public consultation, the Autorité de la concurrence releases the findings of its healthcare sector inquiry. The medicinal product (...)

The French Competition Authority is asked for an opinion by the Government regarding the import and distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas departments
French Competition Authority (Paris)
French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has been asked for an opinion by the Government regarding the import and distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas departments The Ministry of Finance and Economy submitted a request, on behalf of the Government, to the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on e-commerce
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. E-commerce – broadly, buying and selling online – is a global phenomenon and an important expanding distribution mechanism across the OECD. During the last decade, e-commerce activities have been growing both in the demand and supply side, as seen by the increasing number of (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion that clarifies the conditions for application of competition law in the agricultural sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Agricultural sector* Following a referral by the government, the Autorité de la Concurrence has issued an opinion that clarifies the conditions for application of competition law in the agricultural sector Background During the French National Food Conference (États généraux de l’alimentation), (...)

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