The German Competition Authority applies a small and medium-sized undertakings exemption to a cartel in the sector of brick production and finds that trade between the Member States is not affected (Ziegelwerk Bellenberg Wiest)

On 25 October 2005 the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) decided not to take action against the intention of several small and medium-sized brick producers to conclude a cartel agreement. The FCO based its decision on the fact that only German antitrust law applied to the case, which provides for a special exemption for cartels of small and medium-sized enterprises (“SME”). The FCO found that the proposed cartel was not capable of appreciably affecting trade between Member States, with the consequence that Art. 81 (1) EC did not apply. The decision is noteworthy as it contains a useful formula from the FCO on how to apply the “non-appreciable affection of trade concept” inherent in Art. 81 (1) EC to cases involving cooperation between SME. In the decision the FCO closely follows a decision by

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  • Norton Rose Fulbright (Hamburg)

Quotation

Maxim Kleine, The German Competition Authority applies a small and medium-sized undertakings exemption to a cartel in the sector of brick production and finds that trade between the Member States is not affected (Ziegelwerk Bellenberg Wiest), 25 October 2005, e-Competitions Effect on interstate trade, Art. N° 498

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