Agency agreements

Anticompetitive practices

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes a decision ruling that state owned financial entities are under the Same Economic Unity (Gunes Sigorta / Vakifbank)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
On 9 December 2020, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published a reasoned decision concerning an individual exemption application regarding two bancassurance agreements signed between (i) Güneş Sigorta A.Ş. (“Güneş Sigorta”) and Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O. (“Vakıfbank”), (ii) Vakıf Emeklilik (...)

The EU Commission publishes its staff working document on the vertical block exemption regulation
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its Staff Working Document (“SWD”) in the context of the ongoing evaluation of Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) to categories of (...)

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

The EU Commission publishes a report on the vertical block exemption regulation and the accompanying guidelines on vertical restraints
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 25 May 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) has published its Final Report of the support studies for the evaluation of its Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (the “Final Report”). The Final Report was published following a (...)

The Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia grants motion to intervene by 12 car manufacturers, supporting government on uniform federal emissions standards, following the announcement of DOJ investigation of four other carmakers (Environmental Defence / National Highway)
Richard Wolfram, Esq. (New York)
TWELVE OTHER CARMAKERS MOVE TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT ENFORCEMENT OF UNIFORM FEDERAL STANDARDS ON EMISSIONS - WILL THE DOJ INVESTIGATE?* This article follows up on an October 15, 2019 article by the author on a reported investigation by the DOJ Antitrust Division into possible ‘collusion’ by four (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reconsiders a price fixing case referred back from the Appellate Tribunal and imposes revised fines against airline companies for fixing fuel surcharge rates for cargo transportation (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) imposes penalty on Jet Airways, IndiGo Airlines and Spicejet for fixing fuel surcharge rates* By way of an order dated March 7, 2018, the CCI has imposed a cumulative penalty of approx. INR 54 Crores on Jet Airways (India) Ltd (‘Jet Airways’), InterGlobe (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final e-commerce sector inquiry report
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (“the Report”), aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit consumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

The Italian Competition Authority discovers two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services but decides not to fine the anti-competitive conducts as they were not a serious competition breach (Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By the recent decision handed down in the case Usi in Materia di Mediazione Immobiliare (UMMI) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an antitrust investigation by finding two price-fixing arrangements in the market for the real estate brokerage services agents implemented by two (...)

The EU Commission fines three banks for cartel on the euro interest rate derivatives market (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JPMorgan Chase)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase € 485 million for euro interest rate derivatives cartel* The European Commission has fined Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, a total of € 485 million for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives. The (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its reasoned decision on the investigations conducted upon the allegation of resale price fixing in the auto gas market (Aygaz)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Aygaz decision dated 16.11.2016 with No. 16-39/659-294. The Board assessed allegations that Aygaz and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mogaz A.Ş. (“Mogaz”), had engaged in resale price maintenance (“RPM”). Background The Board initiated (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling on the liability for anti-competitive behaviour by employees and outside contractors (VM Remonts)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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AkzoNobel (Amsterdam)
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Baker Botts (London)
Liability for anti-competitive behaviour by your employees and outside contractors: when you are off the hook and when you are not* In its recent VM Remonts judgment, the Court of Justice of the EU has confirmed the strict liability of companies for the anti-competitive behaviour of their (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market (Western Union)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU telegraphs it is probing whether Western Union colluded to drive rivals out of money-transfer market*The European Commission has reportedly launched a preliminary antitrust investigation into possible collusion by Western Union in the money remittance market.According to sources, the (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfert market (Western Union)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
In February 2016, it was reported that the European Commission is undertaking a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market, continuing the trend of the Commission focussing on the financial sector in recent years. Focus of the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation for a possible anticompetitive agreement in relation to the SEDA multilateral inter-bank agreement (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
University of London - School of Economics Birkbeck College
On the 21th of January 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority” or “Italian Authority”) opened an investigation against the Italian banks’ association, Associazione Bancaria Italiana (“ABI”) for a possible anticompetitive agreement under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court overturns the National Competition Authority concerning cases of anticompetitive codes of professional ethics in the medical profession (Fnomceo)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Italia)
The Italian Supreme Adminstrative Court rules on limitation period in cases of anticompetitive codes of professional ethics On the 19th of January 2016 the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato), overturned a decision of the National Competition Authority concerning (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce fines insurance companies for market sharing (Insurance Companies)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Recently, the SAIC published the decisions of its local offices in Hubei and Jiangxi relating to market sharing agreements by insurance companies. Both decisions involved coinsurance arrangements relating to accidental injury insurance for the construction industry. Hubei The Hubei (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines airlines for fixing fuel surcharge and shows a change in the evidentiary standard in cartel cases involving price parallelism and circumstantial evidence (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Amit Sibal (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty of USD 38.6 million on airlines for fixing fuel surcharge* Just when one almost thought that the year 2015 would go by without a major cartel fine, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) published a decision on 17 November 2015 imposing penalties of USD 38.6 million (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines airlines for a cartel regarding fuel surcharge (Jet Airways / InterGlobe Aviation / Spice Jet)
Sarvada Legal (New Delhi)
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Ecole de droit (Sciences Po Paris)
Introduction Continuing with its mandate of preventing any practice which has an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC) in India including crackdowns on cartel, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has, recently, found a case of cartelization in the airline industry segment in (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from several mainland alcohol manufacturers aiming to stop the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories (Pernod-Ricard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained from several mainland manufacturers their commitment to put an end to the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories and to implement a competitive (...)

The EU General Court reduces the fines imposed by the Commission on three members of a EU pre-stressing steel market cartel (Pre-stressing steel cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2015, the General Court (“GC”) largely upheld the EU Commission’s decision in the pre-stressing steel cartel case in ten judgments on 12 separate appeals brought against the decision. However, the GC reduced the fine imposed on several applicants on the grounds that (i) the Commission (...)

The EU Court of Justice considers that the bilateral exchange of pre-pricing informations to a concerted practice with the object of restricting competition is an anticompetitive practice (Dole)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In its ruling of 19 March 2015 (Case C-286/13P) relating to the banana cartel, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed the appeal by banana importer Dole (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds Competition Council’s cartel decision in the shipping sector (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
European Commission (Brussels)
Court Upholds Competition Council’s Cartel Decision in Shipping Sector* On 4 March 2015, the Supreme Administrative Court confirmed that the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the Association) and 32 Association members had concluded an anti-competitive agreement. On 8 December (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court reduces fine in the shipbrokers cartel case (Lithuanian Shipbrokers Association)
Walless (Vilnius)
On 4 March 2015, Lithuanian Supreme administrative Court issued the second decision in the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association cartel case. In 2011, the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania fined the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the Association) and 32 (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines on seven undertakings for having implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the car refinishing paints used in domestic damage calculation software market (Autocolor Festékgyártó és Forgalmazó)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Press Release published on the official website of the Hungarian Competition Authority. GVH decision is made in the car refinishing paints agreement* The Gazdasági Veresenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) stated that importers of car refinishing paints and an undertaking (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California finds that an athletics association’s rules restricting payments to student-athletes violate antitrust laws (O’Bannon / NCAA)
Rutgers University (Camden)
On August 8, 2014, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the NCAA violated the antitrust laws by enacting rules that prevented student-athletes from being paid for the use (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York receives notification that both the class plaintiffs, state plaintiffs and the defendants have reached an agreement concerning the lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple settles with U.S. states and consumers in the e-books price fixing case* According to documents filed in a New York court on 16 June 2014, Apple has reached an agreement in principle with state governments and consumers who filed a class-action lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues a commitment decision in the insurance sector (Agenti monomandatari)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority issues Commitment Decision in Insurance Sector* On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) issued a commitment decision, accepting the corrective measures proposed by major national insurance companies to meet the competition concerns (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the antitrust probe into agency agreements in the insurance sector with a commitment decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
In its decision of 20 May 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has accepted the commitments offered by seven major insurance companies to end an antitrust investigation into vertical agreements with their agents. The investigated insurance companies were UnipolSai Assicurazioni, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes its investigation into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies with a commitment decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) closed the investigation it had begun in June 2013 into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies by issuing a commitment decision . The Authority had opened the investigation to assess whether the vertical agreements (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a draft determination proposing to allow royalty managers for plant breeders to collectively negotiate with the grain buyers (Seedvise)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to authorise plant breeders’ collective bargaining arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to allow royalty managers for plant breeders to collectively negotiate with the grain buyers they engage to collect (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies the limits of no-poaching agreements under the German commercial law
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
In a decision dated 30 April 2014, but published only recently, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) struck down an agreement between two companies not to “poach” each others’ employees as violating the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, “HGB”). However, the FCJ also clarified under (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal suspends a settlement between the Competition Authority and e-book publishers related to a price MFN clause (Kobo)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
The Ebooks Saga: Kobo’s challenge explained* Ebook retailer Kobo is challenging a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers. The settlement has been stayed pending this challenge. Kobo’s challenge may have major implications for competition law enforcement in (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court reduces fines for undertakings involved in price fixing (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania
On April 7th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court supported position of Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter – NCA) in case of ship agency services . Several undertakings which were accused of fixing ship agency tariffs also celebrated a small victory – their (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court approves the decision that a national professional association and 32 association members entered into an anticompetitive agreement on the application of minimum tariffs for shipping agency services (Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court upholds competition council‘s decision to sanction Shipping Agency Companies* On 7 April, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) approved the Competition Council‘s (the KT) decision concluding that Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes fines for resale price maintenance on the market for dental handpieces (Dentalwerk Bürmoos)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the market of dental handpieces* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) established that W&H Dentalwerk Bürmoos GmbH and certain of its distributors had breached EU competition rules by concluding restrictive agreements which fixed the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Australian Competition Authority institutes proceedings in the Federal Court against printing company for unfair contract terms for small businesses (Fuji Xerox)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Fuji Xerox in court over alleged unfair contract terms* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against printing company Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd and a related company (together, Fuji), alleging that in total nine types of Fuji’s standard form small business contracts (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal finds an absence of an abuse of dominance by one of the largest real estate agencies in the Netherlands (VBO / NVM / Funda)
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
On 26 May 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (“Court”) delivered its judgment in a dispute between the real estate association VBO Makelaars (“VBO”) versus the Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents (“NVM”) over the online real estate platform of Funda Real Estate (“Funda”). The Court assumed that (...)

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