Effect on interstate trade

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission reaches an agreement with the United Kingdom on the terms of their future cooperation after the Brexit
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On DECEMBER 24, 2020, the European Commission reached an agreement with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), provisionally applicable as of January 1, 2021, rests on three main pillars, which are a) (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds, following a preliminary reference, that certain interchange fees imposed by a bank payable on cross-border card transaction within the EEA are anticompetitive (Budapest Bank)
Hausfeld (London)
On 2 April, the European Court of Justice (“CJEU”) issued a judgment arising from a preliminary reference from the Hungarian Supreme Court concerning a 2009 decision by the Hungarian Competition Authority against Visa Europe Ltd (“Visa”), MasterCard Europe SA (“MasterCard”) and a number of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates a proceeding against the sale of a generic drug for the treatment of HIV infections sold as a remedy to fight the COVID-19 virus (Kaletra) Free
University of Turin (Turin)
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University of Turin (Turin)
1.Introduction The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately accompanied by the equally rapid one of unfair commercial practices in Italy. A worrying scenario, also for potential, serious effects on people’s health, on which the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’) continues to keep the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a Dutch company for obstructing parallel trade to Turkish energy solution market (Arti Marin / Mastervolt)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction On 29.01.2020, Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) announced its final decision (“Final Decision”) concerning the investigation conducted against Artı Marin Mobil Enerji Sistemleri Inc. (“Artı Marin”) and Mastervolt International Holding BV (“Mastervolt”), a Netherlands based energy (...)

The Barcelona Court of Appeal applies a narrow reading of the exhaustion principle to trade marks with common origin (Schweppes)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 July 2019, the Barcelona Court of Appeal (“Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona”) delivered a judgment on an appeal by Schweppes SA (“Schweppes”) against a judgment of the Commercial Court of Barcelona in which it held that the evidence provided by Red Paralela, a parallel importer, was (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority investigates an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the e-commerce sector for having implemented vertical restraints (Hepsiburada / Anka Mobil)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction With its decision dated 10.07.2019 and numbered 19-22/326-M, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) launched a formal investigation against D-Market Elektronik Hizmetleri ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Hepsiburada”) and Anka Mobil Tedarik A.Ş. (“Anka Mobil”) to determine whether the relevant (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing brand and retailer for anticompetitive agreements to block cross-border sales (Guess)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Guess €40 million for anticompetitive agreements to block cross-border sales* The European Commission today fined the clothing company Guess €39 821 000 for restricting retailers from online advertising and selling cross-border to consumers in other Member States (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing company for restricting retailers from online advertising and selling cross-border to consumers in other Member States (Guess)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
On 17 December 2018, the EC announced its decision to fine the clothing and accessories company Guess EUR 39.821 million for restricting retailers from online advertising and selling cross-border to consumers in other Member States. By doing so the company was able to maintain artificially high (...)

The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court determines whether there are protectable interests and concludes that the degree of damage suffered by the plaintiff is not enough to meet the need for relief through the anti-unfair competition law (Beijing iQIYI Technology / Beijing Sogou Information)
Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing)
The Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates seven types of unfair competition, namely, label confusion (Article 6), commercial bribery (Article 7), misleading statements (Article 8), infringement on trade secrets (Article 9), improper prize-winning sales (Article (...)

The EU Commission announces a tender procedure to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In the context of continued regulatory scrutiny of the financial services and insurance sectors by competition authorities, the European Commission announced on 24 April 2017 that it has issued a tender to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States. This (...)

The EU Commission challenges the governance rules of an international sports association as being incompatible with competition law (International Skating Union)
Garrido Abogados (Madrid)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
Skating on thin ice: The European Commission challenges the governance rules of an international sports association as being incompatible with European antitrust rules* The recent announcement by the European Commission (“the Commission”) that it is actively looking into the compatibility of (...)

The EU Commission publishes initial findings of e-commerce sector inquiry report
Bydgoszcz University of Technology and Life Sciences (UOKIK)
On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a preliminary report on its initial findings in the e-commerce sector inquiry, aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit consumer choice. This development follows the Commission’s report (...)

The EU Commission publishes the initial findings of its e-commerce sector inquiry
White & Case (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry - increasing anti-trust heat* Online sales are not only attracting the attention of consumers and tech businesses, but also increased review by antitrust regulators. On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a detailed 290 page (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly explore potential need to develop national law regarding digital business and commerce
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (FMEE) have published a press release and a memo about launching a study on digital business and commerce from the standpoint of assessing whether the need exists to better adapt (...)

The French Supreme Court upholds fines based on dawn raids carried out by the UK Competition Authority in jet fuels cartel (Chevron Products / Shell / Total Outre-mer / Air France)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Bayer (Loos)
A French Competition Authority infringement decision based on dawn raids carried out by the UK Office of Fair Trading has been upheld by France’s highest court. In a second ruling in the jet fuels cartel appeal, the French Supreme Court has upheld the 2008 decision of the French Competition (...)

The Romanian Competition Council analyzes the compatibility between national law provisions on the trade of dietary supplements with the provisions of EU treaties on free movement of goods (Advanced Nutrition)
DLA Piper (Bucharest)
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DLA Piper (Bucharest)
Introduction The Romanian Competition Council ("RCC") published in October 2014 a decision concerning the alleged discriminatory conditions created by the national legislative framework regarding the trade of dietary supplements in Romania ("RCC Decision"). The analysis carried out by the RCC (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines association in market for transport of freight by road in port of Alicante for price fixing (Astraco)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia fines Association in Market for Transport of Freight by Road in Port of Alicante* On 10 July 2014, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) adopted a decision in which it found that ASTRACO (Asociación Provincial (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejects antitrust claims finding that the injury preceded any domestic effect in the causal chain (Lotes / Hon Hai Precision Industry)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Second Circuit Clarifies Application of Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act* The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City on June 4 ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) barred the antitrust claims of a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company with facilities in (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit dismisses price-fixing claims based on overseas purchases of LCD panels made by foreign affiliates (Motorola Mobility / AU Optronics)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
LCD Court Dismisses Motorola’s Multi-Billion Dollar Antitrust Claims Based On Overseas Purchases* On January 23, in a landmark decision that is one of the most important yet to be handed down in the sprawling LCD antitrust litigation pending in various federal courts since 2006, Judge Joan (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on 11 financial institutions due to their concerted practices which aimed at limiting the full prepayment of foreign currency loans (Budapest Bank)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
9,5 billion HUF fine in the "full prepayment loan banking case"* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, the Hungarian Competition Authority) in its decision delivered on 19 November 2013 imposed a fine of 9.488.200.000 (cca 31,6 million Euro) on 11 financial institutions due to their concerted (...)

The Competition Commission of India penalizes theatre owners association for engaging in anti-competitive practices in violation of section 3 of the Competition Act 2002 (Reliance)
University College London
OrderVide its order dated 05.11.13 in Case No. 78 of 2011, the Competition Commission of India (Commission) penalised the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association (now known as Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association or TNTOA) under section 27 of the Indian Commission Act, 2002 in the sum of Indian (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission rejects that a public entity exceeding its legal authority, but not acting as an economic operator, can be held responsible for participating in anticompetitive conducts (Junta de Andalucía)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
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Philip Morris (Madrid)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
On July 16, 2013, the National Court issued judgment number 3472/2013 on the appeal the Junta de Andalucía submitted against the decision of the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (Spanish Competition Commission, “CNC”), of October 6, 2011. The National Court considered that when a public entity (...)

The Portuguese Appeal Court of Lisbon upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications (Gas bottle distributor)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados (Lisboa)
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision fining an association of parking companies for participating in a cartel (ANEPE)
Sérvulo (Lisbon)
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Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados (Lisboa)
On 31 December 2010, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) adopted a decision finding that the Portuguese Association of Parking Companies (ANEPE) had adopted an anticompetitive decision and imposed a fine of EUR 1.971.397, 17. In short, the PCA concluded that ANEPE had coordinated its (...)

The Hellenic Supreme Administrative Court partially annuls a decision finding infringements of both Art 101 TFEU and Art 1 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of a resale price maintenance scheme in the market for dairy products (Vivartia / Megval / Fage / Olympos and Rodopi)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 3 April 2013, the second Senate of the Council of State (Symvoulio tis Epikrateias, the Greek Supreme Administrative Court) delivered Ruling No 1324/2013 which partially annuls Ruling No 3008/2009 of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon). The (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms a decision of the Competition Authority in an aviation fuel cartel case (Chevron-Texaco / Total / Exxon Mobil / Shell)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 March 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed a 2008 decision of the French Competition Authority imposing fines totalling € 41.1 million on fuel companies of the Chevron- Texaco, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell groups for collusive tendering in the supply of aviation fuel to Air (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision in the jet fuel sector in La Réunion (Shell / Chevron / Total / Esso / Air France)
Nest Avocats (Paris)
1. The facts In January 2003, Air France lodged a complaint before the French Competition Authority (FCA) regarding an alleged cartel between the four oil companies established in the La Reunion Island Airport during the 2002 Air France’s tender. First inquiries were made in La Reunion and near (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority closes the investigation launched ex officio into alleged resale price maintenance of the market leader LPG distribution company (AYGAZ)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has closed the investigation it launched ex officio into alleged resale price maintenance of the market leader LPG distribution company, AYGAZ, due to a lack of appreciable effect on competition in the LPG (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines a professional association for infringing Art 1 Act 703/1977 by fixing the prices for constructing buildings and restricting their sale (E.K.K.E.)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 7 February 2013, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an infringement decision against the Building Constructors’ Association of Greece (Enosi Kataskeuaston Ktirion Ellados, hereafter: E.K.K.E.) for violation of Art 1 Act (...)

The German Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by a German airline concerning its contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive (Lufthansa)
King’s College (London)
The commitments decision concerns the Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) proceedings against Lufthansa‘s contracts with business clients and the collection of sensitive client information which might be anti-competitive. Background The FCO commenced proceedings against Lufthansa in September 2009, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that if there is an appreciable restriction of competition and that National Competition Authorities may apply Art. 101(1) TFEU even if de minimis threshold is not reached (Expedia)
University College London
In a reference for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU, from the Cour de cassation (France), made by decision of 10 May 2011 in relation to proceedings between the company Expedia Inc. (’Expedia’) and the Autorité de la concurrence (’the Competition Authority’) the ECJ (Second Chamber) was (...)

The EU Commission finds in a case concerning e-books that, given the nature of the relevant product, concerted practices covering a substantial part of the EEA may affect interstate trade (E-Books)
European University Institute (Florence)
Sad but true* I love commitments decisions because they are a quick read. But I also hate dislike them because they leave the reader angry hungry for more. Some evidence: in the E-Books case, the effect on trade condition was deemed fulfilled under the simplest possible sort of analysis: (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf modifies calculation of fines for cartels and significantly lowers fines imposed by the German Federal Cartel Office (Silostellgebühren I)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
I. The Facts In two proceedings in 2009 and 2010 the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) imposed total fines of about € 53,1 million (€ 39,69 million in 2009, and € 13,36 million in 2010) on several undertakings and individuals operating in the dry mortar sector. The judgement at hand concerns the (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Cruz Villalón delivers his opinion concerning the interpretation of Article 101(1) TFEU in relation to a purely internal situation (Allianz Hungária Biztosító)
Mircea (Bucharest)
I. Introduction From the reference for preliminary ruling it follows unmistakably that the proceedings before the referring Court concern an infringement of the national competition law and that Article 101 TFEU is only circuitously contemplated. According to AG Cruz Villalón the reference to (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues an interim measures order prohibiting a collective boycott by a pharmacists association (Infant Milk)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 27 July 2012, the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) issued an interim measures order prohibiting the implementation of a collective boycott relating to infant milk products of certain companies. The boycott was adopted by the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit adopts the rule of reason analysis in evaluating the legality of reverse payment settlements by rejecting the "scope of patent" test and creating a Circuit split on this issue (Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company / Schering / Upsher-Smith)
Gill Jennings & Every (London)
On 16 July 2012, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the scope of the patent test used by the New Jersey District Court in concluding that the patent settlement agreements (“Agreements”), providing for payments from Schering-Plough Corporation (“Schering”) (subsequently acquired by Merck (...)

The French Supreme Court adjusts its interpretation of the effect on trade concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 TFEU (Orange Caraïbe)
Paris Dauphine University
I. Introduction 1.Less than a year after its controversial holding in Jet Fuel Cartel, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation), in a judgment delivered 31 January 2012, decided to adjust, without fully abandoning, its previous view on the appreciable affectation of trade between Member (...)

A Portuguese Court confirms that a professional association training regulation constitutes a breach of competition rules (Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Lisbon)
I. Introduction The Portuguese Association of Chartered Accountants (“Ordem dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas”) (ACA) judicially appealed to the Lisbon Commerce Court the national Competition Authority decision which applied a fine €114.654,10 based on an alleged illegal decision of the association, (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court clarifies the "appreciable effect on trade" concept contained in Art. 101 and 102 of TFEU (Jet Fuel Cartel)
Paris Dauphine University
I. Introduction 1. In a landmark judgment of 1 March 2011, the French Supreme Court in Commercial, Financial and Economic matters (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale, financière et économique) provided guidance on establishing a local collusive agreement’s appreciable effect on trade between (...)

The EU Commission publishes a set of documents dealing with cooperation between competitors
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
On 14 December 2010, the European Commission (the «Commission«) published a set of documents dealing with cooperation between competitors, comprised of guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union («TFEU«) (the «EU Guidelines«) and two new (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines for client sharing agreements 14 administrators of mandatory pensions funds, applying for the first time both Art. 101(1) TFUE and national mirror provision (Pension Funds administrators case)
Peli Filip (Bucharest)
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Peli Filip (Bucharest)
On 16 September 2010 the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) published Decision n° 39/07.09.2010 sanctioning almost all the players in the Romanian market for private administration of mandatory pensions funds (14 out of 18 players active on the market) for a client sharing cartel (the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority prosecutes fourteen private pension funds for client sharing agreements in violation of the sector specific regulation (Aegon)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 7 September the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) held that fourteen private pension funds have infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by dividing their clients in violation of the sector specific regulation which prescribed a different procedure for the assignment of clients. The Romanian pension (...)

A U.S. District Court allows challenge to alleged conspiracy formed through public statements (AirTran, Delta)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
A recent court decision on alleged “signaling” of competitive plans between airlines highlights the antitrust risks of making detailed public statements about future business plans. On August 2, 2010, a federal district court in Atlanta refused to dismiss an airline passenger class action (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the discount coupons sector (HighCo / Sogec / Perifem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence accepts commitments enabling all market operators to use Webcoupon or to develop equivalent solutions* After a referral by the Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de consommation (ILEC), and the company Ma Liste de Courses (MLDC), which complained of the (...)

The Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm regards an association for copyright holders as undertaking and views ancillary agreements as giving effect to an anti-competitive agreement (ALIS / Mediearkivet)
Baker McKenzie (Stockholm)
ALIS (The Administration of Literary Rights) is a non-profit organisation that was formed by four associations for educational writers, authors, journalists and actors. To ALIS were also a number of independent copyright holders associated by agreement. ALIS role is to protect the member’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens formal proceedings on anti-competitive practices in the plastic containers for fruit and vegetable packaging sector (INFIA, S.r.l.-Divisione ILIP, AGROENVAS and VERIPACK EMBALAJES)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain/Italy: The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) carries out Inspections on behalf and for the account of the Comision Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) On 2 March 2010, inspectors from the CNC have carried out inspections at the head offices of the leading makers and sellers of plastic (...)

The Irish Supreme Court holds that medical council is not an association of undertakings for the purposes of competition law (Ramadan Hemat / Medical Council)
Arthur Cox (Dublin)
Ramadan Hemat v the Medical Council[2010] IESC 24 concerns a Supreme Court appeal arising out of a decision of Mr Justice McKechnie in the High Court. The question before the appeal court was whether the Medical Council was an association of undertakings for the purposes of competition law at (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a lignite mining company for implementing anticompetitive agreements containing lignite fuels export bans (SUPN)
European Commission (Brussels)
Czech Republic: Export Bans of Lignite Fuels are anti-competitive The Office for the Protection of Competition (“the Czech NCA”) adopted on 8 January 2010 a decision finding that Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (hereinafter referred to as „SUPN“) had infringed the Czech Competition Act and (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that a newspaper distributor cannot be considered an agent under EU competition law (Newspaper Distributor II)
Salzburg University
Background The Austrian Competition Authority (“Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde”) successfully filed an application with the Austrian Cartel Court against a German publishing group, its Austrian subsidiary and an Austrian newspaper distributor. The application was based on certain vertical restraints (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upholds the Competition Authority decision which fines members of paper cartel (Schneidersöhne Baltija)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: Supreme Court partly upholds Authority Decision in Paper Case On 16 October 2009, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court partly upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 26 October 2006 finding an infringement of Article 5 of the Lithuanian Law on Competition and of (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a contact lens provider €11.5 million for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting the Internet and wholesale sales of its products (CIBA Vision)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
On September 25, 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) levied a fine of €11.5 million against contact lens provider CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH (CIBA) for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products. This is the third decision imposed by the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts investigations against a cartel of lawyers’ association for the first time after decreto Bersani (Ordine degli avvocati di Brescia)
Codacons (Rome)
The Italian competition Authority (ICA) starts investigation about a cartel agreed by Consiglio dell’Ordine di Brescia to obstacle the activity of a new established law firm in Milan called A.L.T.(Assistenza Legale per Tutti). In 1997 The ICA was willing to introduce reform to create a (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority annuls the decision of the Serbian Association of Insurers regulating the terms of the Casco auto insurance services (Serbian Association of Insurers)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 5 June 2008 the Administrative Council of the Serbian Association of Insurers (Udruženje osiguravača Srbije) (UOS) on the basis of the preceding opinion of its Commission for Motor Vehicles (Komisija za motorna vozila) adopted a decision regulating the Casco auto insurance services provided by (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court quashes an NCA decision applying Art. 3.1.g and 10 in conjunction with Art. 81 EC on grounds of separation of powers and national procedural autonomy (Chamber of the design engineers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the “SAC”) annulled the first decision of the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) declaring domestic statutory provisions incompatible with Articles 3(1)(g) and 10 in conjunction with Article 81 of the EC Treaty and that (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a financial penalty on a collective copyright management association for practices restricting competition (SAWP)
WKB Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
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Orange (Warsaw)
Introduction Polish competition authority questions the practices of the Polish Musical Performing Artists’ Association (SAWP - Stowarzyszenie Artystów Wykonawców Utworów Muzycznych i Słowno-Muzycznych). In the decision from June 10, 2009, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates the coordination of prices by three gas suppliers in violation of Art. 81 EC (Prezzo del GPL per riscaldamento regione Sardegna)
Codacons (Rome)
Following the notice about the cartel in relation to fixing the price of GPL gas, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), has decided to investigate the conducts of the three main Italian suppliers of gas. The ICA, was made aware that ButanGas, Eni and Liquigas (the three gas suppliers) were (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court upholds a NCA decision evoking Art. 81.1 and 3 EC for the first time (Civil liability insurance for car drivers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
Parts of this article feature in another publication of the author on the same matter for e-Competition. See : Dessislava Fessenko, The Bulgarian competition authority applies for the first time Art. 81.1 EC and sanctions 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels (Association of the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority applies Art. 81 EC and the useful effect doctrine to minimum price maintenance and sets aside a statutory provision facilitating it (Chamber of the design engineers)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the ¡°CPC¡±) found that a methodology for setting the prices of structural design services adopted by a professional regulation body effectively introduced minimum price maintenance and condemned the methodology as anticompetitive. The (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority applies for the first time Art. 81.1 EC and sanctions 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels (Association of the Bulgarian insurance companies)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
On 15 July 2008, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) sanctioned 14 insurance companies for fixing minimum levels of the premium for the compulsory Civil Liability insurance for car drivers (“Civil Liability insurance”) and of the commission paid to insurance brokers (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector
DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
"The new Guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to the maritime sector"* On 1 July 2008, the European Commission adopted guidelines on the application of Article 81 of the EC Treaty to maritime transport services (‘the Guidelines’). This followed a public consultation in (...)

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission again moves forward against "reverse payment settlements" in pharmaceutical patent settlements (Cephalon)
Allen & Overy (New York)
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RPCK Rastegar Panchal
On February 13th, 2008 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Cephalon, Inc. with illegally preventing competition to its branded drug Provigil. In its complaint the FTC alleges that Cephalon, through patent (...)

The French Competition Authority fines five defibrillator manufacturers for agreeing to boycott a nation-wide call for tender organised by 17 hospitals (Biotronik France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence fines five defibrillator manufacturers for agreeing to boycott a nation-wide call for tender organised by 17 hospitals.* The Conseil de la concurrence issues a decision against (...)

The French Competition Authority applies for the second time leniency and highlights discrepancy with EC competition law on concerted practices’ burden of proof ("Removals cartel")
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
Summary of the decision Following an investigation with dawn raids and seizures initiated further to a leniency application, the French Competition Council has sanctioned a horizontal cartel between twelve companies in the sector of national and international removals to and from France, (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a chocolate manufacturer for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing (Léonidas)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Chocolate distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes Léonidas to €120, 000 for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing.* Following a referral by the (...)

A Dutch Court significantly reduces the fines imposed by the NCA for price and rebates coordination on bicycles markets pursuant to both Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Giant Europe, Accell Group and Gazelle/NMa)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 18 July 2007, the Court of First Instance of Rotterdam (hereafter the ‘Rechtbank’) ruled on an appeal introduced against a decision adopted by the Dutch Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, hereafter the ‘NMa’) concerning a cartel between three Dutch companies engaged in (...)

A German Court finds that a cartel agreement causing a coordination of prices can affect competition substantially even if the involved undertakings have a combined market share of less than 10% (Nord-KS/Xella)
Background The following case deals with different concepts of “substantiality” and “appreciability” as part of the criterions “restriction of competition” and “effect on inter-state trade”. According to the European competition rules as well as to the German Act against Restraints of Competition (...)

The Vilnius District Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision in the first Art. 81 EC case in Lithuania (Paper Wholesalers)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
On 7 June 2007 the Vilnius District Administrative Court (the “VDAC” or the “Court”) substantially upheld the 26 October 2006 Competition Council’s infringement decision in Paper Wholesalers. As reviewed previously in this newsletter, by that decision the Competition Council found five wholesalers (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office finds certain marketing and advertising restrictions on pharmacists contrary to both Art. 81 EC and its Hungarian equivalent (Association of Hungarian Pharmacists)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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Oppenheim (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the Association of Hungarian Pharmacists (AHP) in order to verify whether certain rules of the AHP regulating advertising and marketing by pharmacists infringe Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 11 of the Hungarian (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions two French cement manufacturers for an exclusive supply agreement which disadvantaged foreign competitors (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Supply and distribution of cement in Corsica: Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of €25 million on cement manufacturers Lafarge and Vicat, and their distributors, for keeping for themselves the supply of (...)

The French Competition Council fines a Belgian chocolate manufacturer for having imposed resale price maintenance for sales to works committees (Jeff de Bruges)
Accor (Paris)
By a decision dated January 27, 2007, the French Competition Council fined the Belgian chocolate manufacturer Jeff de Bruges for fixing retail prices concerning chocolate sales to works committees. The Belgian company Jeff de Bruges specializes in the distribution of chocolates and other (...)

The Polish Competition Authority holds that the joint setting of domestic interchange fee for payment cards is contrary to both Polish and EC competition law (Visa / MasterCard)
French National Research Agency - ANR (Paris)
Following a complaint from 2001, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the OCCP President) issued on December 29, 2006, a decision declaring the joint setting of domestic interchange fee rates separately in Visa and MasterCard four-party payment card (...)

The Lithuanian NCA fines members of the paper cartel (Schneidersöhne Baltija)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
On 26 October 2006 the Lithuanian Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision finding five wholesalers of paper in breach of Article 81 EC and its national equivalent (Article 5 of the Law on Competition) for their engagement in exchanging data on their market shares. The combined fines imposed (...)

The Polish NCA imposes record fines for resale price maintenance after a detailed assessment of the trade between member States criterion (Polifarb Cieszyn-Wroclaw)
French National Research Agency - ANR (Paris)
In the beginning of 2005, Polifarb Cieszyn- Wroclaw S. A. (hereafter : Polifarb), a producer of paints and varnishes, proposed to seven building materials supermarkets, namely, Praktiker, Obi, Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Nomi, Platforma and Bricomarché, a so called “stabilization discount”. The (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office finds certain advertising restrictions on lawyers contrary to Art. 81 EC and its national equivalent (Hungarian Bar Association)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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Oppenheim (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the Hungarian Bar Association (HBA) in order to verify whether certain rules of the HBA regulating advertising by attorneys as well as the content of webpages of attorneys infringe Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 11 of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office establishes that the provisions on the advertising of legal services of the lawyers code of ethics restrict competition under Art. 81.1 EC (Hungarian Bar Association)
KNP Law (Budapest)
Summary of Facts Proceedings were initiated ex officio by the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) against the Hungarian Bar Association (Bar) in order to determine whether the following provisions of the Code of Ethics (Code) and the official position of its presidency (Position) qualify as (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines four large supermarket chains for concerted practices in their relationships with their beverages providers (FIAB/Alcampo)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
In a decision dated 22 May 2006 (“the Decision”), the Spanish Competition Authority (Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia, hereinafter “TDC”) has found that four large supermarket chains, namely, Alcampo, Carrefour, El Corte Inglés and Mercadona, had infringed Article 1 (1) of the Spanish (...)

The Luxembourg Courts take the rare opportunity to consider a case concerning the car distribution sector under Article 81 of the EC treaty (I.C.S. Renting / Etoile Garage)
Bonn & Schmitt (Luxembourg)
Even if courts had already the power to apply article 81, paragraph 1, EC Treaty before the 1st May 2004, article 81 EC Treaty has been rarely applied by Luxembourg courts and there exists not really a developed Luxembourg case law concerning the application of articles 81 and 82 EC Treaty. (...)

The Latvian Courts and NCA find out that trade between member States is not affected by an international supply agreement and refuse to ask for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ (Kempmayer Media)
Loze, Grunte & Cers
Facts On 7 June 2004, the Latvian Competition Council declared that an agreement signed on 14 November 2002 between Kempmayer Media Ltd. (a company of England and Wales) and a/s Digitlais Latvijas radio un televzijas centrs (a company of Latvia) restricted competition and thus declared the (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court declares null and void an exclusive purchasing agreement on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (El Mareny / Repsol)
London School of Economics (London)
Factual background The present judgment is a new chapter of a lengthy saga concerning agreements signed between petrol distributors and Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol CPP”), a subsidiary of the former monopoly in the Spanish petrol sector. This saga has (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision fining a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market with reference to the EC Commission’s notice on effect on trade (Keolis / Connex / Transdev)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background In a decision dated July 5, 2005 (See J.-P. de la Laurencie et M. Courtaigne-Op, The French Competition Authority fined three French major companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between Member (...)

A Portuguese Court substantially upholds the competition authority’s decision finding the association of veterinaries liable for imposing minimum fees (Portuguese Veterinary Medical Association)
Uria Menéndez (Lisbon)
An appeal was lodged by the Portuguese Professional Association of Veterinaries (“VMA”) after the Portuguese Competition Authority’s (the “PCA”) decision that found the VMA’s code of ethics to be in breach of Article 4(1) of Law 18/2003 of 11 June (the “Portuguese Competition Act”) and of Article (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office holds that several provisions of the lawyers’ rules of professional conduct breach both Slovak and EU competition provisions (Slovak Bar Association)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Prague)
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PRK Partners (Prague)
In this contribution we provide a summary of the decision issued on 22 December 2005 by the Slovak Anti-monopoly Office (“Office”) whereby the Office held that several provisions of the Rules of professional conduct for Attorneys (“Rules”) issued by the Slovak Bar Association breached Slovak and EU (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission adopts a de minimis notice
Université de Neuchatel
On December 19th, 2005, the Swiss Competition Commission (the “SCC”) issued a notice in relation to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and micro-enterprises, entitled Communication on agreements with a limited effect on the market (“SME Communication”). The SME Communication is analogous to (...)

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)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Hamburg)
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 (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that Art. 81 EC does not apply to a hairdressing franchise national network and that the provided “clause d’agrément” does not amount to a hardcore restriction (Socovi / Jean-Louis David)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Johnson & Johnson (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
Background SARL SOCOVI, the franchisee, had entered into a franchising agreement with Jean Louis David SA, the franchisor, whereby the latter granted the former the right to run a franchise for the purposes of marketing hairdressing products and services. It included inter alia the right to (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds an exclusivity clause has an effect on trade between Member States and may distort competition in the sport events sector (Aréna / Multimédia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
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Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
Background Aréna Üzemelteto Rt. received the right from the Hungarian State to be the controlling company of the Budapest Sports Stadium (hereinafter: the Budapest Sports Stadium). Aréna was, at the time of the investigation, an affiliate of the French Bouygues group. Multimédia Light and Sound (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority concludes that the agreements offered by the Budapest Sports Stadium are capable of distorting competition and have the potential of infringing Art. 81 EC (Arena Uzemelteto / Multimedia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
KNP Law (Budapest)
The Budapest Sports Arena (BSA), a 12,000 seating capacity, state of the art, multifunctional sports and entertainment complex was first opened to the public in March 2003. It was built on the place of the Budapest Sports Hall, which was completely destroyed in a devastating fire five years (...)

The UK OFT finds collective agreement between banks setting the multilateral interchange fee contrary to both EC and national competition provisions (MasterCard)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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King’s College (London)
On 6 September the UK Office of Fair Trading issued a decision concluding that the collective agreement between members of MasterCard UK Members Forum setting a fallback multilateral interchange fee infringed Article 81 EC and Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998. The Decision only concerns (...)

The UK OFT concludes that an agreement between banks to set a default interchange fee is restrictive of competition and contrary to both EC and national mirror competition provision (MasterCard)
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
On 6 September 2005, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced its Decision following a long running investigation of MasterCard UK Members Forum Limited (“MMF”) default interchange fee arrangements. The Decision itself was published on 13 October 2005. The OFT concluded that the parties had (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority finds that the deontological code of the professional association of veterinaries infringes Art. 81 EC by imposing minimum fees (Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários)
London School of Economics (London)
Following a complaint, the Autoridade da Concorrência (hereinafter, “the NCA”) started an investigation concerning the fixation of minimum prices by the Professional Association of Veterinaries (“the Association”). According to Article 43 of the Deontologial Code (“the Code”) issued by this (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three major national companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between member States (Keolis, Connex and Transdev)
Paris Bar
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DFDL (Singapore)
Last July 2005, the French Competition Authority fined Keolis, Connex and Transdev a total of 11 € million for operating a national cartel in the French market for public passenger urban transport on the basis of article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code and article 81 EC. In its decision, (...)

A German Court finds that a horizontal cooperation agreement between small and medium-sized undertakings does not affect trade between Member States under Art. 81 EC as the agreement has no “appreciable” impact on interstate trade (Filigranbetondecken)
Hengeler Mueller (Dusseldorf)
I. Background Two small and medium-sized producers of filigree concrete ceilings and other pre-fabricated concrete parts intended to enter into a cartel agreement regarding a cooperation in respect of their sales and distribution activities, including a joint data information system, common (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority exempts a 9-year exclusive services agreement with the incumbent on the basis of Art. 81.3 EC in the IT services market (Magyar Telekom)
Ferdowsi Legal (Tehran)
Facts of the case The Rába Group (the "Group") is one of Hungary’s largest vehicle manufacturers, which produces undercarriages, spare parts and commercial vehicles, mainly for export markets (60% of its production is exported). The Rába Group is one of the biggest undercarriage constructors in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council clears a 9 years’ exclusive agreement on the basis of Art. 81.3 EC (Rába/Integris)
BECI (Brussels)
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Liège University (Liège)
Rába is a Hungarian vehicle manufacturers specialized in the spare parts business. The firm mostly exports products for the supply of companies such as Daimler Chrysler, Caterpillar, Suzuki etc. Rába is one of the most important independent undercarriage constructors in the world. Integris - (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a complaint in the market of sale of DVD dispensers on the basis of both national restrictive and unilateral provisions with a reference to EC Regulation No. 2790/1999 on vertical agreements (Cinemat)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Brussels)
On 23rd May 2001 a case has been submitted by the Syndicat National des Exploitants de Distributeurs Automatiques de Vidéocassettes et de DVD (SNEDAVI: national association of the video cassette and DVD dispenser operators) to the French Competition Council regarding the practices used by a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority considers that hardcore restrictions may have the effect of hindering trade between member States and opens proceedings against five manufacturers of marine and yacht coatings for alleged breach of Art. 81 EC (Vernici Marine)
London School of Economics (London)
On 13 August 2003, a complaint was lodged before the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (hereinafter, “AGCM”). The complainant alleged the existence of an anticompetitive agreement reached between several manufactures of marine and yacht coatings : Boat - Boero Attiva Marine and (...)

The French Competition Authority condemns an agricultural economic committee for preventing access to the market and rejects the State’s action doctrine argument (Brittany cauliflowers)
Paris Bar
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The French Competition Council condemned on the 15 March 2005 the agricultural economic committee of fruit and vegetables of Brittany (CERAFEL) and several producers’ organizations for maintaining cartels in the wholesale marketing of Brittany cauliflowers. In the light of the recently enforced (...)

The French Competition Council makes a rigorous analysis of the criteria of effect on trade between Member States and a broad application of the notion of agreement under Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Browning Winchester)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Johnson & Johnson (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
Browning Winchester France (”BW”), a manufacturer of guns and ammunitions, had set up a distribution network in France by entering into “pilot resellers’ agreements” with several gunsmiths. Pursuant to these agreements signed between 1997 and 2001, the gunsmiths undertook to order minimum volumes (...)

The French Competition Council fines € 75.000 a price resale maintenance agreement in the weapons and ammunition distribution sector on the basis of both Art. 81 EC and national provisions (Browning Winchester)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Brussels)
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Cahn Wilson (Paris)
The case had been brought before the Competition Council by an armourer, following the termination by BWF of its commercial relationship with the manufacturer, which leads the French firearms’ market along with Beretta-Benelli France. The Council considered that BWF had established an (...)

The Strasbourg Civil Court assesses the validity of a beer supply agreement in light of EC Regulations on vertical agreements (Kronenbourg)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Lni avocats (Paris)
Background On 16 March 1994, Mr. Besseyre who ran a coffee shop in Angers (central France) entered into a beer supply agreement with Kronenbourg under which he would exclusively purchase all of his beer requirements from Kronenbourg for a ten year period. In February 2002, Mr. Besseyre sold (...)

The French Competition Authority catches a defensive cartel of maritime transport carrier companies for abusive pricing on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (Channel Islands)
Paris Bar
The 21 December 2004, the French Competition Council issued a decision, under articles L. 420-1 of the Commercial Code and 81 of the EC Treaty, relating to concerted practices on the market of maritime connections to the Channel Islands from France. In the context of the recent entry into (...)

The Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annuls a decision of the NCA on fixed books prices for reimport of Danish books on the basis of Art. 81 EC after full assessment of ECJ and EC Commission’s case law on trade between Member States (Book Publisher)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 18 August 2004, the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annulled the decision of 24 September 2003 whereby the Danish Competition Council found that the Danish Book Association (“The association of Danish book publishers “) had infringed Article 81 when it prevented booksellers in other (...)

The EU Commission fines a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments for restrictions on trade and resale price maintenance in Europe (Yamaha)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines Yamaha for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe"* On 16 July 2003, the Commission adopted a decision finding that Yamaha Corporation Japan, Yamaha Europa GmbH, Yamaha Musica Italia s.p.a., Yamaha Musique France S.A. and Yamaha Scandinavia AB have (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority addresses the compatibility of certain distribution patterns common in the impulse ice-cream market (Sagit-Contratti Vendita e Distribuzione del Gelato)
Gatti Pavesi Bianchi (Milan)
In two separate but related proceedings, the Italian Antitrust Authority ("IAA") addressed the compatibility of certain distribution patterns common in the Italian impulse ice-cream market, which often sees bars and restaurants being tied to the sale of a specific manufacturer ’s brand and/or (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines over € 13 M shrimp wholesalers and fisheries for the first time on the basis of Art. 81 EC (North Sea Shrimp Sector)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amstelveen)
On 14 January 2003 the Dutch Competition Authority imposed fines totalling an amount of € 13.781 million on eight shrimp wholesalers and four Dutch, three German and one Danish producer organisation in the shrimp fishery industry for an infringement of Article 81 (1) EC Treaty and the national (...)

The French Competition Authority fines incumbent telecom operator in overseas territories and applies EU case law on presumption of liability of parent companies for the first time (Orange Caribbean)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité fines Incumbant Telecom Operator in the Overseas Territories and applies EU Case-Law on Presumption of Liability of Parent Companies for the first Time On 9 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed on Orange Caribbean, the incumbent and leading telecom operator (...)

Dominance

The Slovenian Competition Authority accepts commitments by the incumbent gas importer and supplier addressing concerns relating to long-term contracts on natural gas supply with industrial customers (Geoplin)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction On 10 November 2017, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (hereinafter referred to as the CPA) has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by GEOPLIN LLC. (hereinafter referred to as GEOPLIN ), incumbent gas importer and supplier in the (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation concerning potential abuse of dominance on the Belgian beer market (AB InBev)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens formal investigation into AB InBev’s practices on Belgian beer market* The European Commission has opened an investigation, on its own initiative, to assess whether Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market by (...)

The EU Commission accepts the commitments proposed to end competition restrictions in Bulgaria’s wholesale electricity market (Bulgarian Energy Holding)
Mondelez (Sofia)
On December 10, 2015 the European Commission accepted the commitments proposed by Bulgarian Energy Holding to open up the Bulgarian wholesale electricity market. The decision should lead to greater liberalization and transparency on the wholesale electricity market in Bulgaria, thus enhancing (...)

The Swedish Supreme Court rejects a claim for annulment of an arbitration award (Systembolaget / Absolut)
Haavind (Oslo)
Arbitration award and antitrust appeals: Sweden’s Supreme Court discusses Eco Swiss doctrine* The EUCJ’s well-known Eco Swiss judgment of 1999 established an EU version of the so-called ‘second look’ doctrine originally developed in the USA. Arbitration tribunals may rule on competition law claims (...)

The Portuguese Competition Court upholds a Competition Authority decision fining a TV operator for abuse of dominant position (Sport TV)
European Commission (Brussels)
Portugal: The Competition Court upholds Competition Authority Decision fining Sport TV for Abuse of Dominant Position* On 4 June 2014, the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court (the Court) upheld a decision of the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) finding that Sport TV had abused (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority imposes sanctions for abusive interest rates on overdue payments for water supply in Sofia (Sofiyska voda)
Paris Dauphine University
1. An ex officio investigation into the water utility sector of Sofia led the Bulgarian competition authority, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), to impose a considerable fine on Sofiyska voda AD for abusive calculation of penalty charges in violation of national competition (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority sanctions as abusive the uniform prices that a monopolistic supplier of heating energy used to charge on its downstream competitors in the heat-measurement sector of Sofia (Toplofikatsia Sofia)
Paris Dauphine University
1. Further to a rather uncommon signal by the Supreme Administrative Public Prosecutor’s Office in July 2013, the Bulgarian competition authority commenced, on its own motion, proceedings against several undertakings active in Sofia’s heating utility sector. The proceedings included on-site (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court revises an arbitral award in a dispute between the national pharmacy association and an information technology company (Associação Nacional de Farmácias and Farminveste / IMS Health)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados (Lisboa)
Replacing a previous contract, the National Pharmacy Association (ANF) executed a contract with IMS Health in 2008, by which it transmitted to the latter data on purchases in its associated pharmacies, in exchange for remuneration. This data was used to provide pharma market intelligence in a (...)

The Russian Competition Authority accepts the trading practices of a gas provider on the market of wholesale sales of gasoline and diesel fuel (LUKOIL)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“LUKOIL” Group agreed its trading practices with FAS Russia* On 26th March 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) agreed upon the trading practices of “LUKOIL” Group on wholesale sales of gasoline and diesel fuel in the Russian Federation. “LUKOIL” devised its trading policies to (...)

The Dutch District Court finds abuse of dominance by credit card network operator (EMS / Equens)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
I. The Parties European Merchant Services BV and Equens SE II. The Facts European Merchant Services BV (‘EMS’) is a so-called “acquirer”. That means that EMS processes credit card payment data and enters into contracts with merchants. Merchants are companies – such as retailers – that accept (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens proceedings against mobile telephony operators for alleged abuse of collective dominant position (Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa / Centertel / Polkomtel)
European Commission (Brussels)
Poland: The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) opens Proceedings against Mobile Telephony Operators for alleged Abuse of Collective Dominant Position* On 18 March 2013, the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) opened antimonopoly (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court invalidates the restrictive interpretation of the concept of the effect on trade between member states (Orange Caraïbe)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
In 2004, Orange Caraïbe was subject to protective measures in order to put an end to anticompetitive practices on the mobile phone market in the French Caribbean. Five years later, the Competition Authority (AdlC) handed down a 63 million euro fine to Groupe France Telecom. On 23 September 2010, (...)

The French Supreme Court rejects the argument that the absence of other EU telecom operators in the overseas territories may imply no effect on the interstate trade, thus confirming the applicability of Article 102 TFEU (France Télécom / Orange Caraïbe)
University of Amsterdam
EU-Competition Law in the Overseas: some recent French precedents* Parts of the territory of some EU-Member States are situated overseas. Does EU-Competition law apply there? Some recent French precedents answer this question. According to Art. 52 TEU the EU-treaties apply to the 27 Member (...)

The Helsinki Court of Appeals dismisses the appeal of the Finnish composers’ copyright society to annul a decision founding it has abused its dominant position on the market of licensing copyrights (Teosto)
European Commission (Brussels)
Finland: Copyright Management Organization abused its Dominant Position* On 30 June 2011, the Helsinki Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society (Teosto) to annul a district court decision where Teosto was found to have abused its dominant position on the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s decision on abuse of dominance by an airport operator (Vilnius International Airport)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Supreme Administrative Court upholds Authority’s Decision on Abuse of Dominance by Vilnius International Airport On 15 March 2010, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upheld a decision of the Competition Council of 6 November 2008 finding an infringement of Article 9 of (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal partially annuls the decision of the Competition Commission on the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
I. Introduction On 30 June 2009, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Decision No 2019/2009 annulling partially Decision No 318/V/2006 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) to (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a coffee maker nearly €30 million for infringements to article 81 and 82 EC and their domestic equivalents (Nestlé)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Following a complaint made by the competing Greek coffee manufacturer DRITSAS, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) launched an investigation into the coffee products market, investigating alleged breaches of Article 81 and 82 EC (and Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77) by NESTLE HELLAS A.E. (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority condemns a provider of wholesale services for abusive practices in wholesale communications markets (Portugal Telecom Group)
Luís Silva Morais (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority (“Autoridade da Concorrência”, hereinafter ‘ADC’), has adopted on the 1st September 2008 an important decision concerning abusive practices by PT Comunicações SA (hereinafter ‘PTC’), which is a part of Portugal Telecom Group, the former incumbent and monopolistic (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council finds not abusive the refusal by a professional association in the field of car expertise services to accept a member and considers that trade between member States is not affected (OEIPA/Schmitt)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car assessment experts, OEIPA and Mr Carlo Schmit, a Luxembourg car assessment expert. In 1997 OEIPA refused the latter to become a member because (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority rejects an abuse of dominance complaint in the car insurance sector concerning alleged obligation to use a software application (OEIPA / Le Foyer Assurances)
Bonn & Schmitt (Luxembourg)
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Rimon (Berlin)
On 5 September 2007, following quite a lengthy decision, The Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) (Council) rejected a complaint submitted to the Competition Inspectorate (Inspectorate) by a professional association of car damage experts (Ordre des experts indépendants professionnels (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority allows the imposition of an IT tool by a car insurance company on car damage experts (OEIPA / Le FoyerAssurances)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 5 September 2007 the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has handed down a decision in a case between a professional association of car damage experts, OEIPA and Le Foyer Assurances S.A. (“Le Foyer”), one of the principal car insurances companies in Luxembourg. Le Foyer puts the (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority renders its first ever decision and negatively applies the essential facilities doctrine in the sector of distribution of domestic heating fuel while holding that trade between Member States is not affected (Rock Fernand Distributions / Tanklux)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
On 23 April 2007 the new Luxembourg national competition authority that has been created in 2004, the Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”), has handed down its first decision on the merits of a competition case brought before it. The Competition Council has chosen to be very didactic (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority, acting for the first time under art. 82 EC, fines 130 000 EUR an abuse of dominant position in the packaging waste processing market (Slopak)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
This case started in December 2005, when packaging waste processing service provider Intersoh complained to the Slovenian Competition Authority (“SCA”) about the abusive practices of its rival Slopak in the market for processing packaging waste, which is not communal waste. The SCA started the (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts interim measures to protect competition in a public tendering in the maritime sector (SNCM, Corsica Ferries, Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
The Conseil de la concurrence recently issued an interim measures decision in which it ordered an injunction against the Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) on the grounds of Article L. 464-1 of the French Commercial Code. Background The public authorities in Corsica and the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority rules that the decision of a dominant pharmaceutical firm to stop supplying the wholesalers and distribute the pharmaceuticals itself breaches the Competition Act but not Art. 82 EC despite the effect on trade between Member States (GlaxoSmithKline / Syfait)
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) (Kallithea)
THE FACTS The dispute between GlaxoSmithKline (hereinafter “GSK”) and the Greek pharmaceutical wholesalers has its routes in 2000, when associations of the latter (amongst them “Sineterismos Farmakopion Etolias & Akarnanias”, “SYFAIT”) submitted numerous complaints to the Hellenic Competition (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority closes proceedings against alleged abusive prices on the terrestrial broadcasting services market under both Hungarian and EU laws governing the use of unfair prices (Antenna Hungária)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Budapest)
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Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) held a procedure ex officio against the company Antenna Hungária under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market by setting excessive prices. Background / Facts of the case Antenna Hungária provides terrestrial broadcasting services for the (...)

The French Competition Authority hands down a non-suit decision regarding alleged abuse of dominant position in the parallel trade of medicines (Pharma-Lab / GlaxoSmithKline)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Parallel trade in medicines: Pharmaceutical laboratories do not abuse their dominant position when they restrict or refuse deliveries of medicines to exporters, who seek to purchase products in France at an administered price,in order to then sell them on in another country at a higher price.* (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority states that an increase in prices above the inflation by a dominant local cable operator does not amount to an abuse of dominant position (Dual-Plus)
Ferdowsi Legal (Tehran)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) led a procedure ex officio against Dual-Plus Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Dual-Plus) under allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the market, manifested through price increases well above the inflation rate. It rendered its decision on October (...)

The Swedish Market Court applies Art. 82 EC in accordance with Art. 3 of EC Reg. n° 1/2003 without regard to the effect on interstate trade criterion regarding alleged abusive pricing of Stockholm airport fees (Luftfartsverket)
Cederquist (Stockholm)
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Regeringskansliet
The case before the Swedish Market Court concerned the fees charged by the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket, hereinafter “LFV”) for offering parking space for airport coaches at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. On November 13, 2003, the Swedish Competition Authority (...)

Mergers

The European Commission refers the assessment of a proposed acquisition to the German NCA in the market for the provision of free‑TV services to housing associations (Kabel Baden‑Württemberg/Liberty Global)
JG Associates (Brussels)
"Merger: main developments between 1 May and 31 August 2011"* The European Commission refers the assessment of a proposed acquisition to the German competition authority in the market for the provision of free‑TV services to housing associations (Kabel Baden‑Württemberg / Liberty Global) On 17 (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority requests the EU Commission on the interpretation of the 15-day deadline to request a referral under article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (Syngenta/Monsanto)
Cuatrecasas (Barcelona)
On September 30, 2009, the Spanish Competition Authority (the “CNC”) requested the European Commission to examine, under article 22.1 of the EU Merger Regulation, the transaction through which Syngenta Crop Protection (“Syngenta”) acquired sole control of the sunflower seed business of Monsanto (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority requests the examination of a merger by the European Commission (Associated British Foods)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Lisbon)
I. Introduction On October 11, 2007, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) was notified of a concentration under which Associated British Foods, Plc (ABF) notified the acquisition of sole control over several assets and companies of GBI Holding, B.V., including in Portugal GBI, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office concludes that the conditions for individual exemption are fulfilled in case of a joint purchasing and marketing agreement, having found that the joint-venture was not full function (Euronics)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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Oppenheim (Budapest)
,
Oppenheim (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) initiated proceedings against the founding companies of Euronics to verify (i) whether Euronics can be regarded as a full-function joint venture, whose establishment should have been notified to the HCO, and (ii) whether the cooperation agreement concluded (...)

The Russian National Competition Authorities scrutinize the creation of a new global leader in the aluminium business after clearance by the EC Commission (United Company RUSAL)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Moscow)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Moscow)
On 9 October 2006 Open Joint Stock Company Russian Aluminium (RUSAL), Open Joint Stock Company Siberian-Ural Aluminium Company (SUAL) and Glencore International AG (Glencore) signed an agreement to create United Company RUSAL Limited and thus to consolidate RUSAL, SUAL and the alumina assets (...)

The German Competition Authority refers to the Commission a notification concerning an acquisition on the market for manufacturing of weaving machines (Promatech / Sulzer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt refers Promatech/Sulzer merger to competition authority in Brussels* In close cooperation with the competition authorities in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain the Bundeskartellamt has for the first time applied to have a planned merger notified at national level transferred (...)

State Aids

The EU Commission and the UK Government agree on post-Brexit State Aid law in their Trade and Cooperation Agreement
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
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White & Case (London)
State aid remained one of the key sticking points in Brexit negotiations right until the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA") on Christmas Eve 2020. One of the key priorities of the European Union ("EU") during the negotiations was to secure a "level playing field" on (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)
Arendt & Medernach (London)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
THE GENERAL COURT’S JUDGEMENT IN FFT: A CRITIQUE* In its judgments on 24 September in the FFT and Starbucks cases, the EU General Court gave its first view on the European Commission’s tax ruling decisions. These decisions were novel and complex in that they sought to assess whether the tax (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing important guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations concerning tax measures (Fiat / Starbucks)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court delivered two judgments in Cases T-755/15, Luxembourg v. Commission and T-759/15, Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe v. Commission, providing important guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Chicago)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Introduction On September 24, 2019, the EU General Court (General Court) issued its long-awaited judgments in relation to the appeals brought against two European Commission (EC) decisions of 2015 concluding that tax rulings granted by The Netherlands and Luxembourg conferred illegal state aid (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgements clarifying how State aid rules apply to national tax rulings and determines whether a transfer pricing ruling in respect of intra-group transactions confers a selective advantage under the State aid rules (Fiat / Starbucks)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court (the ‘Court’) upheld the European Commission’s (the ‘Commission’) ruling ordering Luxembourg to recover EUR 23.1 million from Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe (‘FFT’) and annulled the Commission’s ruling ordering the Netherlands to recover EUR 25.7 million from (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules, upon request for a preliminary ruling, whether the Lithuanian scheme for the provision of public interest services in the electricity sector and of its financing scheme must be regarded as State aid (Achema / Orlen Lietuva / Lifosa / VKEKK)
DG ENERGY (Luxembourg)
The judgment of the Court of 15 May 2019 in case C-706/17, delivered upon a request for a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (“Achema”), replicates the analysis which was previously established in Association Vent de Colère!. The judgment in Achema thus follows (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds that Bulgaria’s refusal to grant de minimis aid on exports is valid as it related to the promotion of sales in another Member State (ZPT AD)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission issues several State aid decisions finding no evidence of impact on cross-border trade
College of Europe (Bruges)
No affectation of trade* Introduction In April 2015, the Commission surprised us with seven decisions that concluded that planned State aid was not likely to have any effect on trade between Member States. Those decisions were reviewed here on 15 June 2015. [1] The Commission gave prominence (...)

The EU General Court confirms that State aid is an objective concept, and that in assessing aid measures the Commission is not bound by tax exemptions authorised by the Council (Ireland / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court overturns a Commission finding that a Spanish tax lease system is illegal State aid (Spanish tax lease system)
College of Europe (Bruges)
An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease* An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the Spanish tax lease system to constitute illegal State aid (Spanish Tax Lease)
Linklaters (Madrid)
1. Introduction On July 2011 the Commission launched an investigation into a Spanish scheme for the purchase of ships involving leasing and financing through tax relief. The complex scheme granted company income tax discounts to investors that invested in an Economic Interest Grouping (“EIG”) (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s decision finding a Spanish tax illegal (Spanish Tax Lease System)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 December 2015, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment in joined cases T-515/13, Spain v Commission and T-719/13, Lico Leasing SA and Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión SA v Commission annulling a 2013 European Commission decision which had found that the (...)

The EU General Court holds that the sale of Greek goldmines for below their market value is incompatible State aid (Greece / Ellinikos Chrysos)
College of Europe (Bruges)
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The European Commission finds measures offering free services to SMEs not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade (Wirtschaftsbüro Gaarden)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Germany Scores a Hat-trick of Non-Aid Measures!* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That (...)

The EU Commission finds a measure allowing a rental agreement to accommodate medical practitioners at a preferential rate not to constitute State aid for being to limited and lacking of affectation of interstate trade (Medical centre in Durmersheim)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Germany Scores a Hat-trick of Non-Aid Measures!* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That (...)

The European Commission finds measures not to constitute State aid in the medical sector because, being of interest only for local patients, they did not effected trade between member States (Landgrafen - Klinik)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Germany Scores a Hat-trick of Non-Aid Measures!* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That (...)

The EU Commission finds a measure aimed at helping public hospitals not to constitute State aid because it did not affect the trade between member States (Hradec Králové Region)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on State Aid Hub (click here), republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author(s). The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission finds a measure helping an outdoor training centre not to constitute State aid for lack of affectation of interstate trade, based on the local origin of users (Glenmore Lodge)
College of Europe (Bruges)
SA.37963: Glenmore Lodge, UK* At the end of April, the European Commission announced that seven measures were found not to constitute State aid because they could not be reasonably expected to affect cross-border trade. The finding of no affectation of trade is rare. That seven measures were (...)

The EU Court of Justice and General Court explain how to determine whether state guarantees constitute State aid and how much aid is involved (Banco Privado Português)
College of Europe (Bruges)
State Guarantees* The amount of State aid in a guarantee that makes possible the granting of a loan to a well-collateralised firm in difficulty is not the difference in premium but the difference in interest rates. Beneficiaries of guarantees not notified to the Commission do not have any (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that public funding of bus lanes used by British taxis does not constitute State aid (Eventech / Parking Adjudicator)
College of Europe (Bruges)
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to approve a restructuring aid given to a financial institution conditional on divestment of public shareholdings (Westfälisch-Lippischer Sparkassen-und Giroverband / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court upholds the decision of the Commission stating that compensatory payments can be State aid even if partially funded by private funds and specifies that recovery may exclude payments that satisfy the conditions of the relevant de minimis regulation (Greece)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Compensatory Payments Can be State Aid* Main points Article 107(1) also applies to payments that offset the damage caused by natural disasters. It is irrelevant that the compensation is partial or that competitors did not suffer similar damage. A measure can be State aid even if it is (...)

The EU Commission investigates national tax rulings on transfer pricing (Starbucks / Apple / FFT)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The European Commission (“EC”) has long sought to eliminate so-called harmful tax competition, which it sees as undermining the integrity of the internal market, fair competition and the fiscal sustainability of the Member States. Although the EU Member States remain sovereign in this area, over (...)

The EU Commission finds that the potential of the archaeological museum to affect intra-EU trade was low and therefore the measure did not constitute state aid (Messara Creta)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog Why Can the Commission Not Be Consistent in its Analysis of Economic Activity and Affectation of Trade?* Introduction If you ask a national official who deals with State aid to identify the most challenging aspects of working with State aid rules, (...)

The EU Commission re-examines a previously compatible Irish State aid scheme in light of the 2005 and 2012 SGEI packages (Electricity Supervisory Board)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Sale of Public Assets, SGEI and Electricity Levies* Main points Revenue from levies on electricity users is most likely to constitute State resources. Public service obligations can be transferred from one electricity-generating company to another. Compensation for public service obligations (...)

The EU Commission decides that the measure for the development of sustainable tourism had no impact on intra-EU trade and, consequently, did not constitute state aid (NUTS II region Southeast)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog How Not to Determine the Effect on Trade [Infrastructure for Tourism, Czech Republic (SA.35909)]* Introduction Normally the articles in this blog identify landmark court rulings and seminal decisions of the Commission which set important precedents (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court decides that the EU State aid rules do not apply to a transaction where industrial property was sold (KHO)
University of Helsinki
The municipal executive board of the municipality of Iitti had accepted a sale of industrial property choosing one of two offers made. The industrial property included a land area and an industrial building. Due to a complaint by a resident of the municipality, a Finnish administrative court (...)

The EU Commission decides that the public financing of non-commercially used infrastructure does not constitute an advantage and has no effect on interstate trade (Przemyśl)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog. A Case of Public Funding of Infrastructure that Does not Constitute State Aid: But Many Questions Remain* Introduction After the landmark judgment in Leipzig-Halle, public authorities are justifiably careful to ensure that the infrastructure they (...)

A Dutch District Court holds that the award of parking management contracts in a cross-border region does not have automatically an effect on intra Community trade (P1 Holding)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Case 1. On 22 November 2002, the Municipality of Maastricht has awarded directly, i.e., without any public tender procedure a contract to the undertaking Q-Park for the renovation and operation of several parking lots for a period of 30 years. P1, one of Q-Park’s competitors, challenged the (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aid to the daily press financed by a tax levied on advertising expenses affects trade between Member States and consequently amounts to State aid (Auchan)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Johnson & Johnson (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
Background and facts Article 23 of Law n° 97-1269 of 30 December 1997 () introduced a tax levied on certain advertising expenses (the Tax). The revenue of the Tax is used for the financing of a fund dedicated to the modernization of the daily press. Fund subsidies were granted to undertakings (...)

The Danish Competition Authority rejects a complaint concerning an alleged violation of State aid rules on the grounds that the State aid measure is likely to affect trade between Member States and consequently lacks competence under Section 11a of the Danish Competition Act (Teknologisk Institut)
Honoré & Fallesen (Copenhagen)
Factual Background The Centre of Tribology, which is part of the Technological Institute, is active in the field of tribology (comprising advanced surface treatment of tools and machine parts). It receives public funding from both the European Union and the Danish State. The Danish (...)

Procedures

The EU General Court extends the Commission discretion when rejecting complaints (Si.mobil)
Garrido Abogados (Madrid)
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DLA Piper (Brussels)
Si.mobil v European Commission (T-201/11) – ‎Undermining the Effectiveness of EU Competition law?* According to the Automec case-law (paras. 73 ff), the European Commission has discretion as to how it deals with complaints. That said, the Court of Justice of the European Union has clearly (...)

The Scottish Government decides to organise a referendum on Scotland’s status of independence and the impact on competition enforcement in Britain
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. Competition Policy and Scottish Independence* On 18 September 2014 Scottish residents will be asked whether Scotland should be an independent country. A discussion was held at the recent Antitrust Enforcement Symposium (held by the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice affirms the coherence of German and European Competition law and German Civil law concerning anticompetitive practices (Subcontractor II)
Free University of Berlin (Berlin)
Facts The parties argue about the validity of a post-contractual non-compete clause. The plaintiff deals with the development, production and construction of certain technical equipments. The defendant was an employee of the plaintiff in the past. Then he went into business for himself on the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority considers that a practice capable of affecting trade between Member States may be deemed as an aggravating factor in the assessment of anticompetitive practices (PZU Życie)
French National Research Agency - ANR (Paris)
It is well known that since 1st May 2004 and according to Article 3(1) of the Regulation n° 1/2003 the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the OCCP President), as the Polish National Authority, cannot apply only national law to practices prohibited by (...)

The Irish High Court grants a permanent injunction against the plaintiff undertaking who fails to prove that exclusivity clauses in retail contracts breach Art. 81 and 82 EC (Masterfooods / Ice Cream)
London School of Economics (London)
Facts HB Ice-Cream Ltd., hereinafter HB, was an ice-cream manufacturer in Ireland which exerted considerable market power. HB had concluded contracts with many Irish retailers which included a so-called “exclusivity clause”; this clause stipulated that HB would provide the retailers with (...)

The Irish High Court accepts in principle yet rejected on the facts a claim based on Art. 82 EC in a civil action (Cadbury Ireland/Kerry Co-operative Creameries)
London School of Economics (London)
Factual background The second defendant undertaking in this case, Dairy Disposal, is an undertaking which, under the watchful eye of the Minister for Agriculture, disposes of significant statutory powers to acquire privately owned creameries and to possibly transfer them to co-operative (...)

Regulations

The Indian Competition Authority publishes a market study on e-commerce platforms
Trilegal (Mumbai)
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Trilegal (Bangalore)
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Trilegal (Mumbai)
The growth of e-commerce and online marketplaces has had a significant impact on businesses and consumer behaviour. Competition authorities worldwide are increasingly focused on assessing competition concerns on online platforms, including United Kingdom (UK), Australia, the European Commission (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes a report on its market study on e-Commerce in India and focuses on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services, and food services
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI published a report on its Market Study on E-Commerce in India. The Study focused on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services and food services. After giving an overview of trends in and features of e-commerce, the CCI identified and discussed (...)

The Indian Competition Authority releases a market study on e-commerce
National Law University (Punjab)
Introduction In April 2019, the Competition Commission of India (“Commission”) had announced a market study into the functioning of ‘E-Commerce’ in India. The focus area of the study was to gather information relating to “trends, practices and issues” which are relevant to the fair and competitive (...)

The Kazakh Antimonopoly Agency issues a binding instruction for the Communications and Informatisation Committee to amend discriminatory terms and conditions of licenses granted to certain cellular operators (Kar / Tel)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
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Ernst & Young (Astana)
The Communications and informatisation Committee of the Transport and Communications Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan (‘Committee’) implements a state function of licensing for providing cellular communication. Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition in ports and port services
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Ports, whether maritime, inland or river ports, are important pieces of infrastructure that serve a wide range of customers including freight shippers, ferry operators and private boats. One of the main functions of ports is facilitating the domestic and international trade of goods, often on a (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority proposes amendments to regulation on wholesale trade in medicines
European Commission (Brussels)
Bulgaria: The Competition Authority proposes Amendments to Regulation on Wholesale Trade in Medicines* On 17 February 2011, the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) proposed amendments to the Regulation obliging producers/importers of medicines to designate which wholesalers will (...)

The West African Competition Authority finds that Senegal infringes the regional competition law by taking actions that foreclose its national market to competition from Ivory Coast raising issues related to the integration process in West Africa (Norme NS-072)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munich)
1 Introduction and background on WAEMU This contribution reports on a case decided by the Competition Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The decision, Norme NS-72, raises issues at the cross-road of trade, regional integration and competition law. WAEMU is a (...)

The US Supreme Court invalidates state laws in Michigan and New York, barring out of state wineries from selling directly to instate consumers, while allowing such sales by instate wineries (Granholm / Heald)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Supreme Court Rules Against State Law Bans On Interstate Direct Shipment Of Wine* On May 16, 2005, the United States Supreme Court struck down state laws in Michigan and New York, barring out of state wineries from selling directly to instate consumers, while allowing such sales by instate (...)

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