Burden of proof

Anticompetitive practices

The Mexican Competition Authority notifies economic agents of a statement of probable responsibility for possible collusion in the market of land passenger transportation
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE notifies economic agents of a statement of probable responsibility for a possible collusion in the market for land passenger transportation* With this notification of a statement of probable responsibility, the trial-like procedure initiates, in which the economic agents can present (...)

The Finnish Market Court finds that three manufacturers of expanded polystyrene engaged in a single and continuous national price-fixing cartel (Jackon Finland / UK-Muovi / Styroplast)
Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
On 3 March 2021, the Market Court agreed with the submission of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority ("FCCA"), that three manufacturers of expanded polystyrene (“EPS”), a building insulation material, had engaged in a national price fixing cartel lasting one and a half years. One of (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts a building games company’s commitments to correct price discrimination against online retailers (Lego)
University Paris Saclay
While the rules on price discrimination lack clarity, the French competition Authority has missed the opportunity to do its part. In order to compensate for the price increase of its products, the Lego France company created a discount scheme for the benefit of its resellers. The discount (...)

The German Parliament announces the publication of the Act against restraints of competition containing several significant adjustments of the draft that was initially put to vote
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Hamburg)
Yesterday, the 10th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen – "GWB") entered into force, and with it the most substantial overhaul of German competition law in a long time. The new law contains a number of significant adjustments of (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the application of optional exclusion grounds and the right to self-cleaning (RTS Infra / Aannemingsbedrijf Norré-Behaegel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that tenderers who find themselves in one of the optional grounds for exclusion referred to in Article 57(4) of Directive 2014/24/EU of 26 February 2014 on public procurement (the Directive) are only obliged to (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority closes its investigation into an alleged conspiracy by large media companies (Postmedia / Torstar)
Conway Baxter Wilson (Ottawa)
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Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (‘the Bureau’), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (‘the Commissioner’) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (‘the Act’), announced on 7 January 2021 that the Commissioner closed the investigation into Postmedia Network (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the annulment of the National Competition Authority decision to fine broadcasters for an alleged anti-competitive agreement in the pay-TV service sector (Mediaset / Sky Italia / Italian Football League / Infront)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 12 December 2020, Italy’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, upheld the annulment of the Italian Competition Authority’s ("ICA") decision to fine broadcasters Mediaset and Sky Italia, the Italian Football League, and marketing agency Infront a total of €66m for an alleged (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the decisions of the Commission to order dawn raids of a number of French retailers (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
White & Case (Brussels)
Partial annulment of European Commission decisions to order dawn raid inspections* On 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GC) partially annulled decisions of the European Commission (EC) to order on-the-spot inspections (dawn raids) of a number of French retailers.. The (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls Commission’s decision authorizing unannounced dawn raids to be carried out at the headquarters of two French food retail chains (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Dechert (Paris)
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Dechert (Paris)
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Dechert (Paris)
In three recent judgments issued on 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union ("GCEU") partially annulled the European Commission’s ("Commission") decisions of February 2017 which had authorized onsite unannounced inspections ("dawn raid”) to be carried out at the headquarters of (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission decision ordering inspections at French food retail chains headquarters (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Ashurst (Paris)
On 5 October 2020, the EU General Court ("GC") partially annulled European Commission ("Commission") decisions ordering inspections at ITM and Casino’s premises in 2017 following suspicions of illegal anticompetitive exchanges of competitively sensitive information. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The EU General Court annuls in part the Commission’s inspection decisions following suspicions of anticompetitive practices by several French undertakings in the distribution sector (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls in part the Commission’s inspection decisions following suspicions of anticompetitive practices by a number of French undertakings in the distribution sector* The Commission has failed to show that it had sufficiently strong evidence to suspect exchanges of information (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls decisions ordering dawn raids at the headquarters of two French food retail chains (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
In three related judgments of October 5, 2020 (T-249/17, T-254/17 and T-255/17) the General Court (the “GC”) partially annulled European Commission inspection decisions which were the basis for dawn raids on several French retailers. The judgments further develop the position adopted in Czech (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission inspection decisions ordering several French undertakings active in the distribution sector to submit to dawn-raid inspections (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
In October 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GC) issued an important decision in the joined Casino cases which promises to ensure that competition investigations will be more robust and afford greater protection to companies‘ rights. Both the European Commission (EC) and companies (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on a damages claim following a Commission decision sanctioning a cartel of truck manufacturers (Trucks cartel)
Ashurst (Munich)
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Ashurst (Frankfurt)
In a decision of 23 September 2020, published early January 2021, the German Federal Court of Justice ("BGH") rejected a follow-on damages claim filed against Daimler in relation to the European Commission’s ("Commission") Trucks decision. This is the first time that the highest German civil (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reaffirms that prescribing eligibility criteria in tenders is not anticompetitive (Sandeep Mishra / National Highways Authority of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In dismissing a complaint at prima facie stage against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), [1] the CCI reaffirmed that the prescription of eligibility criteria by a procurer/buyer of a product or service will not, unless demonstrably unfair or discriminatory, be regarded as (...)

The UK Supreme Court finds that payment card schemes used in supermarkets infringe competition law (Sainsbury’s / Visa & MasterCard)
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
On June 17, 2020, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the appeals on the lawfulness of multilateral interchange fees, or swipe fees, (MIFs) in Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd (Respondent) v. Visa Europe Services LLC and Others (Appellants) and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd and Others (...)

The UK Supreme Court finds a competition law infringement caused by payment card schemes used in supermarkets (Sainsbury’s / Visa & MasterCard)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
The UK Supreme Court recently handed down its eagerly anticipated Judgment in respect of unlawful interchange fee claims against MasterCard and VISA, following almost a decade of litigation. The Judgment provides welcome clarity to merchant retailers as to the unlawfulness of MasterCard’s and (...)

The UK Supreme Court dismisses an appeal concerning the two largest payment processing networks on the basis that their multilateral interchange fees restricted competition (Sainsbury’s / Visa & MasterCard)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 June 2020, the UK Supreme Court dismissed Mastercard and Visa’s appeal against a 2018 ruling by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and ruled that their multilateral interchange fees (“MIFs”) unlawfully restricted competition. The Supreme Court’s ruling potentially exposes Mastercard and (...)

The UK Supreme Court dismisses the two largest payment processing networks arguments on the basis that their multilateral interchange fees restricted competition but upholds grounds of appeal concerning the application of the “passing on” defence (Sainsbury’s / Visa / MasterCard)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 17 June 2020, the Supreme Court handed down a much anticipated judgment concerning the default multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) set by Mastercard and Visa (together, the Appellants). The case considered appeals relating to three separate damages actions brought by retailers against the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority concludes examination of beef industry complaints without going into full investigation due to lack of evidence to prove complainants’ claims
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC Concludes Examination of Beef Industry Complaints* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today written to over 200 individuals, including the Independent Farmers of Ireland, the Beef Plan Movement, and the Irish Farmers Association, regarding the outcome of an (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls the General Court power cables cartel decision and reduces the fine imposed by €200,000 (NKT)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 May 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) partly set aside a judgment of the General Court dismissing the action brought by NKT Verwaltungs GmbH (formerly nkt cables GmbH) and NKT A/S (formerly NKT Holding A/S) (together, “NKT”) in the Power Cables cartel (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially quashes the General Court’s decision and reduces the fines on eleven producers of high voltage power cables for their participation in a global market-sharing cartel (NKT)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 14 May 2020, the European Court of Justice (the "ECJ") partially quashed the General Court’s (the "GC") judgment upholding the European Commission’s ("Commission") power cables cartel decision with respect to NKT and its wholly owned subsidiary NKT Verwaltungs (together "NKT" or the (...)

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

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

The EU Court of Justice emphasises the need for a case and context-specific evaluation of ’by object’ restrictions and provides guidance on what sort of evidence is relevant, in a multilateral interchange fee credit card transaction (Budapest Bank)
Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
I. Introduction On 2 April 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") delivered its judgment in Budapest Bank, another key ruling on the assessment of 'by object' restrictions of competition within the meaning of Article 101(1) TFEU. With this judgment, the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice provides guidance on the requirements for establishing liability and the assessment of evidence in cartel damages cases (Schienenkartell II)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
In its judgment of 28 January 2020, the Cartel Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice provided new guidance on the requirements for establishing liability and the assessment of evidence in cartel damages cases. In the initial proceedings, the plaintiff, a local transport company, sought (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the French Competition’s Authority decision to fine several producers and wholesalers active in the sale of liquid fertilizers for domestic cultivation for imposing vertical restraints (Canna France)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris)
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Ashurst (Paris)
On 16 January 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the 2018 decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA") to fine several producers and wholesalers active in the sale of liquid fertilizers for domestic cultivation for having imposed vertical restraints. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal seeking to set aside an earlier judgement by the General Court sanctioning a cartel of manufacturers of power cables (Verwaltungs)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 14 November 2019, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") dismissed the appeal in case C-599/18 P brought by Silec Cable ("Silec"), which sought to set aside an earlier judgment by the General Court upholding the European Commission’s ("Commission") power cables decision. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (...)

The UK Court of Appeal slashes a cartel follow-on damages award and emphasises claimants’ burden to prove losses in a claim brought by power cable manufacturers for market-sharing and customer allocating (BritNed / ABB)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
BritNed Development Limited ("BritNed") brought a claim against ABB arising from the European Commission’s 2014 power cables cartel decision. In October 2018, the High Court found that there had been no overcharge but awarded damages for "baked-in inefficiencies" and "cartel savings" plus simple (...)

The Danish Competition Authority acquits two companies of illegally coordinating prices in the delivery of workwear (Bjerregaard Sikkerhed / Bacher Logistics)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On the 24th of September 2019, two Danish companies Bjerregaard Sikkerhed A/S and Bacher Logistics A/S were acquitted by the Danish Competition Authority (DCCA) of illegally coordinating prices and other terms. The case stems from an interministerial procurement of five framework agreements (...)

The US FTC concludes that a pharma company entered into an illegal pay-for-delay agreement (Endo / Impax)
Hausfeld (Philadelphia)
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Hausfeld (Washington)
On March 28, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a landmark opinion in the agency’s case against Impax Laboratories Inc. regarding its patent settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., marking the first time that the Commission has weighed in on the proper application of (...)

The Italian Council of State confirms that the Italian Competition Authority wrongly established a bid rigging practice in the medical sector (Alliance / Siemens / Philips / Toshiba / AGCM)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By its recent judgment in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanners (MRI Scanners) the Italian Council of State uphold on appeal the judgement previously handed down by the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (TAR Latium). The TAR Latium set aside a decision made by the Italian Competition (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides that in a quota-fixing and customer-assigning cartel the prerequisites for prima facie evidence to establish whether the cartel has inflicted damage and whether it has affected individual orders are not fulfilled (Rail cartel)
Noerr (Berlin)
German Federal Court of Justice: no double prima facie evidence in cartel damages litigation* In a landmark ruling dated 11 December 2018 (KZR 26/17 – “rail cartel”), the German Federal Court of Justice decided that, in a quota-fixing and customer-assigning cartel, the prerequisites for prima (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance rejects the appeals against the Competition Authority’s decision fining a cartel in the cement sector
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
With a series of decisions published between 12/06/2018 and 30/07/2018, the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, which is the first instance court for the appeal against the decisions of the Italian Competition Authority, rejected all the appeals against the decision ascertaining a cartel in (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirms a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in an old case alleging an unlawful conspiracy in the single-copy magazine industry (Anderson News)
Dechert (Philadelphia)
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Dechert (Philadelphia)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment on July 19, 2018, in favor of defendants in a nearly decade-old case alleging an unlawful conspiracy in the single-copy magazine industry. The decision clarifies the application of the Supreme Court’s (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines state chemists’ association and 3 pharma companies for anticompetitive practice of "No Objection Certificates" prior to appointment of stockists (Alis Medical Agency / Federation of Gujarat State Chemists & Druggists Associations)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalties on the Chemists’ Associations in State of Gujarat and three pharma companies for indulging in practice of “No Objection Certificate” before appointment of stockists* The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) by way of an order dated 12 July 2018 has imposed penalty on the (...)

The Tenth Administrative Court of Ankara annuls the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority in a case regarding concerted practices between cement producers because the standard of proof was not met (GOLTAS Cement)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) had found that six cement producers operating in the Aegean Region of Turkey entered into a concerted practice to allocate certain geographical regions amongst themselves and to collectively raise the prices of cement products during the time period (...)

The Indian Competition Authority widens the scope of bid rigging and exonerates 9 suppliers of air conditioning packages from allegations of bid rigging despite instances of identical bids (Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory / AC package suppliers)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI exonerates 9 supplier from bid rigging in railway tenders * The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) vide its order dated November 28, 2017 has exonerated nine RDSO [Research Designs & Standards Organisation] approved suppliers (“Opposite Parties”), including four sister companies, of (...)

The EU General Court finds flaws in the EU Commission’s decision and quashes the €14,9 million fine, but sustains underlying liability for “facilitation” of a cartel (Icap)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The General Court’s November 2017 judgment is not such welcome news to ICAP as it might first appear. ICAP’s appeal against a 2015 infringement decision was successful insofar as the fines imposed on it will now be trimmed, but in the main the General Court supported the European Commission’s (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission decision fining a financial company for facilitating cartels in the market of interest rate derivatives in Japanese yen (Icap)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 November 2017, the General Court (“GC”) partially upheld the appeal lodged by Icap plc, Icap Management Services Ltd and Icap New Zealand Ltd (“Icap”) against a Commission decision ning Icap € 14.9 million for facilitating cartels in the market for interest rate derivatives in Japanese yen (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against 2 professional film associations due to lack of evidence (Film Distributors Association / Kerala Film Producers Association)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission dismisses allegations of anti-competitive conduct against the Kerala Film Producers Association* The CCI vide its order dated October 3, 2017 dismissed allegations of contravention of Sections 3 and 4 of the Act.The Informant, P. V. Basheer, exhibits movies in his (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit raises the bar for plaintiffs for a price-fixing action by setting a “more likely than not” standard to evaluate circumstantial evidence (Valspar / DuPont de Nemours)
Hausfeld (San Francisco)
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Hausfeld (San Francisco)
In its recent decision in Valspar Corp. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., the Third Circuit raised the bar for plaintiffs opposing summary judgment in antitrust cases by setting a “more likely than not” standard to evaluate circumstantial evidence—a standard the dissent called an “unworkable (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds no evidence on exclusionary practices by incumbents against a new entrant in the market for meal cards (Metropal)
University of Sussex (Brighton)
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has rejected the complaint due to lack of evidence that the incumbent undertakings in the market for meal cards collectively resorted to certain exclusionary practices upon the entry into market of the (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the Competition Authority’s fine due to mistakes in the investigation in the chemists’ association cartel (AIOCD All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists / OPPI Organization of Pharmaceuticals Producer of India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets aside penalty imposed by CCI on All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists for cartelization* Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) by its order dated December 9, 2016 has set aside the orders dated 19.2.2013, 09.12.2013 passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) (...)

The Brazilian Administrative Council For Economic Defence’s Tribunal provides further guidance for the assessment of international cartels and indicates when they are considered as able to produce effects in Brazil (Elpida / Mitsubishi / Nanya / NEC / Toshiba)
Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga (New York)
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Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. & Quiroga (Sao Paulo)
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Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. & Quiroga (Sao Paulo)
CADE’s Tribunal provided, during judgment sessions held between August and November of 2016, further guidance for the assessment of international cartels, indicating when they are considered able to produce effects in Brazil, in breach of Brazilian competition law. These decisions were issued (...)

The Advocate General Kokott delivers her opinion on an appeal lodged before the EU Court of Justice against a judgment upholding the Commission’s decision in finding an illegal price-fixing cartel (Pacific Fruit)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Summary On 17 November 2016, Advocate General (“AG”) Kokott delivered her opinion on an appeal lodged before the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) by Pacific Fruit (and its parent companies) against a judgment of the General Court (“GC”) upholding the European Commission’s decision finding an (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the Competition Authority’s fine on pharmaceutical companies in a bid-rigging case (GlaxoSmithKline / Sanofi)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets aside penalty against GSK Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (GSK) and Sanofi Ltd. (Sanofi) for alleged bid-rigging in procurement of meningitis vaccine for Haj and Umrah pilgrims by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare* COMPAT by its order dated November 8, 2016, has set aside the penalty (...)

The Italian Lazio Administrative Court upholds almost all the findings of the Competition Authority of a collusion in public contracts procurement (School Cleaning Services)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
The Regional Administrative Court for Latium (the Court) has recently handed down four judgments on the appeals filed against the infringement decision made by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) in the School Cleaning Services case . By this decision the ICA found that Consorzio Nazionale (...)

The EU General Court rules on the legitimacy of settlement agreements in the pharmaceutical sector (Lundbeck)
Peters & Peters (London)
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Peters & Peters (London)
Lundbeck - Buying off the competition* On 8 September 2016, the ECJ handed down its judgment in the latest battle between pharmaceutical companies and competition authorities over “pay for delay” agreements. The appeal of H Lundbeck A/S and Lundbeck Ltd (together “Lundbeck”) against the decision (...)

The EU General Court relies on secretly-recorded telephone conversations obtained in the context of unannounced inspections (North Sea Shrimps)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Under Article 2 of Regulation 1/2003, the Commission has the burden of proving an infringement of Article 101 TFEU. In the present case, as evidence of the cartel infringement, the Commission relied on secretly-recorded telephone conversations, and the transcripts or notes made thereof, which (...)

The EU General Court hands down a judgment concerning an appeal brought by an undertaking and several generic companies against an EU Commission decision which found that the parties had breached Article 101 TFEU by agreeing to delay the market entry of a generic drug (Lundbeck)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 8 September 2016 the General Court (GC) handed down its judgments in relation to the appeals brought by Lundbeck and a number of generic companies (Sun Pharma (Ranbaxy), Arrow, Generics UK, Merck and Xellia/Alpharma) against a European Commission (Commission) decision finding that the (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision concerning its first pharma pay-for-delay case (Lundbeck)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
General Court’s pay for delay judgment in Lundbeck – some guidance, but worries remain*On 8 September, the General Court handed down its eagerly awaited decision in Lundbeck – the first ever European judgment concerning so-called pay for delay settlements. The Commission’s decision in this case was (...)

The EU General Court upholds the EU Commission’s landmark patent settlement agreement decision (Lundbeck)
Sidley Austin (London)
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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (London)
EU General Court upholds Commission’s landmark Patent Settlement Agreement decision* In a much-anticipated series of judgments, running to some 579 pages, the EU’s General Court on 8 September 2016 upheld a 2013 decision of the European Commission that imposed fines of almost €150 million on the (...)

The Beijing High Court rejects an appeal in China’s first follow-on private action against six infant formula suppliers for engaging in resale price maintenance (Junwei Tian / Carrefour / Abbott)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
In one of the most notable decisions at the end of last year, the Beijing High Court rejected an appeal in China’s first follow-on private action in Junwei Tian v. Beijing Carrefour Shuangjing Store and Abbott Shanghai. The claim followed the decision in 2013 of China’s National Development and (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the Competition Authority’s decision and removes penalties for cartelization in packaging materials for sugar (Indian Jute Mills Association / Gunny Trade Association)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets aside CCI order penalizing Jute Mills Association for alleged cartelization for packaging material for sugar, etc.* COMPAT by its order dated July 1, 2016 has over-ruled the order of CCI wherein the Indian Jute Mils Association (IJMA) and Gunny Trade Association (GTA) were (...)

The US Supreme Court reviews the a decision from the Court of Appeals on standing in antitrust cases (Visa / Mastercard)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Sufficiency of Antitrust Conspiracy Allegations in the Context of Business Associations*Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its regular business for the October 2015 term, but not before deciding to put an antitrust case on the docket for the next term. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clarifies that mere collusion or coordination is not enough to hold undertakings in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act (Shri Nirmal / Ruchi Soya / Betul Oils / Ganganagar)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI: Mere collusion or coordination is not enough to hold the Parties in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act* The CCI, by way of its order dated June 28, 2016 held that M/s Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., M/s Betul Oils Ltd and M/s Ganganagar Commodity Ltd. were not in (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of Latium sets aside a previous infringement decision made by the Italian Competition Authority on a bid-rigging practice (Rai servizi Post-Produzione)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a judgment issued in Rai servizi post-produzione the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (the Court) reversed a previous infringement decision made by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA). The Court held that the ICA failed to establish an anti-competitive concerted practice to the (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal cancels fines for bid rigging against 12 ordnance factory suppliers due to lack of evidence and investigation errors by the Competition Authority and clarifies that identical bids are not prima facie collusive (Narendra Explosive)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets-aside penalty imposed on 12 suppliers to ordnance factories for indulging in cartelization for supplying raw material that is used for manufacturing of 81 mm bomb* COMPAT by its order dated May 10, 2016 has set-aside the order of CCI where it had imposed a penalty to the tune of (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal annuls a fine for alleged collusion by a professional transport association due to lack of evidence by the Competition Authority (Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training / All India Motor Transport Congress)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT sets-aside penalty imposed on All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) for alleged increases of transport rates in collusion* COMPAT by its order dated April 18, 2016 has set-aside the order of CCI where AIMTC was penalized for allegedly exhorting truck transporters for increasing (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal asks the Competition Authority to reconsider big-rigging fines issued against 47 manufacturers (ECP / SKN / IOCL India Oil)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) directs Competition Commission of India (CCI) to reconsider penalties imposed on LPG manufacturers* COMPAT by its order dated March 1, 2016 has directed CCI to reconsider penalties imposed on the 47 LPG manufactures for bigrigging in procurement of 14.2 (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds the dismissal of a bid-rigging case finding that in oligopolies identical bids are not prima facie anticompetitive (Faiveley Transport India / Knorr Bremse India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds order of CCI closing bid-rigging case against railway suppliers of Axle Mounted Disk Braking System (ADBMS)* COMPAT by its order dated February 17, 2016 has upheld the order of CCI closing the case for bid-rigging for supply of Axle Mounted Disk Braking System (ADBMS) to Indian (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses cartel case against association of egg producers due to insufficient evidence of intent to enter into collusive agreement (Australian Egg Corporation)
Jones Day (Melbourne)
In a rare case brought under the cartel laws, the ACCC has failed to establish that the Australian Egg Corporation Limited and two egg producers attempted to induce 19 egg producers to make an arrangement to reduce the production of eggs in Australia. While the Court considered that the ACCC (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal cancels fine due to the lack of evidence against individual executive member of charged association and investigation errors (Swapan Kumar Karak)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT quashes penalty for individual liability imposed on a member of Executive Committee of a pharmaceutical distributors’ association* COMPAT vide its order dated December 7, 2015 set-aside the penalty of INR 47, 63,579/- imposed by CCI on Shri Swapan Kumar Karak (Director, Karak (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines a pharmaceutical laboratory and a pharmacists association for anticompetitive agreement (Alkem / AKCDA)
Facebook (New Delhi)
On 1 December 2015 the Competition Commission of India (CCI/Commission) passed an order fining Alkem Laboratories Limited (Alkem) and the All Kerala Chemist and Druggist Association (AKCDA) for violation of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act). The alleged conduct was held to be an (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against film chamber of commerce due to mistakes in investigation by the Competition Authority (Cinergy Independent Film Service / Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal set asides the penalty imposed by CCI against Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce* Competition Appellate Tribunal (“COMPAT”)in its judgment dated October 14, 2015 set aside the penalty of INR 12.89 lacs imposed by CCI on Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit turns on the interpretation of the Twombly plausibility standard and the application of the Supreme Court’s precedent on pleading standards to antitrust actions at early stages of litigation (Sawstop / Black & Decker)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Divided Fourth Circuit Panel Slices Up Twombly in Table Saw Boycott Suit* Last week, a divided three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit issued a significant decision in a boycott conspiracy case, SD3, LLC v. Black & Decker, No. 14-1746 (4th Cir. Sept. 15, 2015). The suit, at its heart, (...)

The Italian Council of State says that major ferry companies did not agree to increase fares for the Sardinia-Continental Italy maritime links (Sardinia Ferries Fares)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a recent judgment made on 11 June 2013 in the Sardinia Ferries Fares case1, the Italian Council of State (CS) has rejected the appeal filed by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) against the judgment of administrative court of first instance (Tar Lazio)2, which overturned the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines undertakings for an agreement and concerted practices during the purchase of soccer broadcasting rights (Telefónica / DTS)
Linklaters (Brussels)
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Liège University (Liège)
I. The Parties. Defendants: DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, S.A. (DTS) is a company specialising in the management of the platform of satellite pay-TV Canal+. Grupo Telefónica is a group of companies specialising in telecommunications formed by the parent company Telefónica, S.A. and (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority closes the investigation it launched ex officio into consumer electronics suppliers and retailers for exchange of information (Samsung / Gold)
University of Sussex (Brighton)
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that consumer electronics suppliers and retailers did not restrict competition by exchanging information with regard to price increases and decreases. Background Opened ex officio, the (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines pharmaceutical companies for bid rigging in a public tender sector (GlaxoSmithKline / Sanofi)
Amit Sibal (New Delhi)
CCI fines GSK and Sanofi for bid rigging* It has been quite a while since I posted an India update on Cartel Capers. This was partly due to the fact that the CCI has been relatively quiet on the cartel front for the last few months and partly because I have also been relatively busy with (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears 3 vertically related organizations in the housing market from allegations of collusion because their standard clauses are not proven to determine purchase prices (Bombay Dyeing / CREDAI / MCREDAI)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of cartelisation against Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India& Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industries* CCI by its order dated May 19, 2015 exonerated Bombay Dyeing Manufacturing Company (...)

The Californian Supreme Court crafts a structured rule of reason test for evaluating pay-for-delay settlements (Cipro)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Following Actavis, California Supreme Court Crafts “Structured Rule of Reason” Test for Evaluating Pay-for-Delay Settlements* Last Thursday the Supreme Court of California decided In re Cipro Cases I & II, No. S198616 (Cal. May 7, 2015), holding that reverse payment, or “pay-for-delay,” (...)

The Californian Supreme Court delineates a structured rule of reason analysis for evaluating reverse payments or pay-for-delay settlements (Cipro)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
,
Sterlington
California Supreme Court Delineates a Structured Rule of Reason Analysis for Evaluating Reverse Payment or Pay-for-Delay Settlements* On May 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in In re Cipro Cases I & II, Case No. S198616 (May 7, 2015) (Cipro). Cipro (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejects a claim of collusion in the text messaging sector and reminds the limits of "hot" documents (Text messaging)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents* Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil plaintiffs in proving (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stresses the importance for Sherman Act litigants to support their claims of antitrust injury-in-fact with market facts (Netflix)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Netflix Antitrust Suit* Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a multidistrict class action brought by Netflix subscribers who claimed the company conspired with Walmart to dominate the online DVD sales and rental markets. In 2005, Netflix (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York reminds that potential defendants cases should be prepared to address a plaintiff’s “direct evidence” of harm to competition and may not be able to solely rely on its relative market share as a defence (American Express)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
,
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Court Rules Against American Express Based on Both Direct and Indirect Evidence of Harm to Competition* On February 19, 2015, the District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued its ruling on liability in United States v. American Express. Following a seven-week trial, the Court (...)

The Indian Competition Commission fines a trade association for calling for price hike (All India Motor Transport Congress)
Amit Sibal (New Delhi)
CCI fines All India Motor Transport Congress for calling for price hike* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed the maximum penalty of 10% of the average turnover on the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) the apex trade association for road transport service providers (both (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California receives a complaint likely to provide lessons about manufacturers’ efforts regarding resale prices (Costco / Johnson & Johnson)
Bona Law (Detroit)
Costco v. J&J: The Latest and Largest in a Long Line of Pricing Cases* It’s not often that one Fortune 50 company sues another – but that’s what happened earlier this week when Costco sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in California federal court over J&J’s attempts to limit Costco’s (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears an alleged cartel for lack of evidence and provides guidance on cross-examination issues (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India)
Amit Sibal (New Delhi)
CCI finds no evidence of a cartel amongst builders but still passes strong observations against exploitative and unfair practices adopted by these builders* The CCI recently closed its investigation into an alleged cartel among builders in India finding insufficient evidence of a cartel (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania sends a second reverse-payment case to trial (Cephalon)
Rutgers University (Camden)
On January 28, 2015, Judge Mitchell Goldberg of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied defendants’ summary judgment motions, sending the second reverse-payment-settlement case to trial. In King Drug Company of Florence v. Cephalon, 2015 WL 356913 (E.D. Pa. Jan. (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania holds the practice of a pharmaceutical company that does not require plaintiffs to meet any “threshold burden” in establishing a large reverse payment as unjustified in triggering analysis under antitrust rules of reason (Cephalon)
Labaton Sucharow (New York)
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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Washington)
In re Modafinil Litigation Finds No “Threshold Burden” in Reverse Payment Suit* On Wednesday, January 28, in King Drug Company of Florence, Inc. v. Cephalon, Inc. (In re Modafinil), the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), (...)

The US Supreme Court redefines the standard of appellate review for claim construction (Teva)
White & Case (Palo Alto)
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White & Case (Palo Alto)
On January 20, 2015, the United States Supreme Court redefined the standard of appellate review for claim construction. In Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court vacated well-established Federal Circuit precedent that applied de novo review to all aspects of claim (...)

The US Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit dismisses a claim against a standard setting association because of lack of evidence supporting an actionable conspiracy or monopoly (Abraham & Veneklasen / AQHA)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
American Quarter Horse Association Rule Against Registration of Cloned Horses Found Not To Violate Sherman Act* A Matsushita “Quick Look” Analysis Demonstrates that While Plausible, No Evidence Supports An Actionable Conspiracy or Monopoly. Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al. v. Am. (...)

The US Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit decides on whether a "standard-setting" association should be considered as a single entity and dismisses the case for lack of evidence (Abraham & Veneklasen / AQHA)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Fifth Circuit Rejects Jury Verdict Of Quarter Horse Conspiracy, Finding Elite Animal Registries To Be A Horse Of A Different Color* A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reversed a jury’s verdict that a horse breeding association illegally conspired with some of its (...)

The US Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit leaves open the possibility that a single entity could conspire with its own members or sub-parts (Abraham & Veneklasen / AQHA)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
When Can an Organization Conspire with Itself?* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week reversed a jury verdict and rendered judgment for American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) in a much-contested antitrust case about AQHA’s ban of cloned horses. The Fifth Circuit left open (...)

The Indian Competition Authority initiates an investigation in relation to resale price maintenance in the e-commerce sector (Snapdeal)
Sarvada Legal (New Delhi)
The CCI has in 2014 initiated two investigations into the alleged imposition of minimum resale price maintenance (RPM). The first one was against Hyundai Motor India Ltd (‘Hyundai Case’) and I had written on the legal standard adopted by the Competition Commission of India to initiate (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds the dismissal of price-fixing claims against two home brokerage service firms because circumstantial evidence did not exclude the possibility of independent conduct (Hyland / HomeServices of America)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
On November 13, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of price-fixing claims against two home brokerage service firms in Kentucky, McMahon Co. and HomeService of America, Inc. Hyland, et al. v. HomeServices of America Inc., et al., case number 12-5947. The plaintiffs, (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rules that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defence to the antitrust laws (Mushroom Direct Purchaser)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Mushroom Court Ruling Sprouts Controversy on Whether Reliance on Lawyer Advice Maintains Affirmative Defense to Antitrust Claims* A federal district court recently ruled that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defense to the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rules that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defence to allegations that immunity had been forfeited by the inclusion of non-producer members (Mushroom Direct Purchaser)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Agricultural Cooperative Antitrust Litigation Continues to Mushroom* Pennsylvania District Court certifies five year ruling for interlocutory appeal, that mushroom cooperative is not immune from antitrust claims based upon “advice of counsel” argument. In Re Mushroom Direct Purchaser Antitrust (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California finds lack of antitrust standing for price-fixed component parts in states that apply the AGC 5-factor test but allowed standing in states that do not (Los Gatos Mercantile / DuPont)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On Sept. 22, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an important opinion regarding antitrust standing in Los Gatos Mercantile, Inc. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DuPont), No. 13-cv-01180-BLF (N.D. Cal. Sept. 22, 2014). The DuPont opinion is one of (...)

The US District Court for the District of New Jersey notes that even if a Court accepts the premise of a reverse non-monetary payment, plaintiffs may allege facts to allow an estimate of the monetary value of that settlement or risk facing dismissal (Lipitor)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Plausibly Alleging Non-monetary Settlements as Reverse Payments After Actavis* In In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, No. 12 Civ. 2389 (D.N.J.), U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan has confirmed his prior ruling that under the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly, Iqbal, and FTC v. Actavis, (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the object-effect dichotomy and deals with two-sided markets (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
University of Groningen
It Takes Two to Tango: Two-Sided Markets and the Appeals in Cartes Bancaires and MasterCard* The Court has recently decided on the appeals in two seminal cases: MasterCard MIF (MasterCard) and Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB). Both cases result from Commission decisions that found Article (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the ruling of the General Court on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
On September 11, 2014 the Court of Justice handed down its judgment in the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) case dismissing MasterCard’s final appeal against the European Commission’s decision that ordered MasterCard to withdraw its MIFs. Interchange fees are balancing payments made by the (...)

The EU Court of Justice interprets restriction of competition "by object" (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
London School of Economics (London)
,
Garrigues (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. September 11 2014 was a big day for antitrust at the European Court of Justice. The Court delivered two important Judgments in the Mastercard and Cartes Bancaires (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the final appeal in a case regarding inter-bank card fees (MasterCard)
Constantine Cannon (London)
On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) dismissed MasterCard’s final appeal against an antitrust infringement decision of 2007. This judgment finally put an end to a seven-year long legal battle over inter-bank card fees and may have a profound impact on banks, (...)

The US District Court for the Southern district of New York refuses to dismiss a class-action antitrust law suit on the basis that plaintiffs had alleged facts that showed a plausible conspiracy (Credit Default Swaps)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Credit Default Swap Class Action Clears Motions To Dismiss And Proceeds To Discovery* On Thursday, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss a class-action antitrust lawsuit involving the $21 trillion credit default swap (“CDS”) market, (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York finds that plaintiffs adequately plead a conspiracy to restrain trade because the defendants “abruptly and simultaneously” switched their positions and harmed their own interests (Credit Default Swaps)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation: Big Banks Still Must Face Section 1 Sherman Act Claim* In a decision upholding most of the class action antitrust claims against 12 of the world’s largest financial institutions, Judge Cote of the Southern District of New York held that the (...)

The US District Court for the District of New Jersey dismisses price fixing complaint against 16 magnesite producers (Animal Sciences Products / China National Metal & Minerals Import and Export)
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
On July 24, 2014, the district court in Animal Sci. Prod., Inc. et al. v. China Nat’l Metals & Minerals Imp. and Exp. Corp. et al., Case No. 2:05-cv-04376 (D.N.J.), dismissed direct purchaser plaintiff’s Amended Complaint without prejudice in favor of magnesite producers accused of engaging (...)

US District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia rules that participating in a standard-setting body or being a member of a trade association is insufficient to state an antitrust conspiracy claim (SD3 / Black & Decker)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
SD3 v. Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. – District Judge Axes Complaint Alleging Table Saw Safety Standards Conspiracy* The pen may be mightier than the sword, but not necessarily mightier than the table saw. On July 15, 2014, in SD3 v. Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-191 (E.D. (...)

The Kazakh Specialised Economic Court does not find documental evidence of an anticompetitive concerted practice in the banking services market (Nurbank / Alliance Bank / Kazpost)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
Facts Based on the Orders of the Antimonopoly Agency dated 26.08.2013 №68-ОД and 04.09.2013 №46-ОД, an investigation was conducted against JSC “Nurbank”, JSC “Alliance Bank” and JSC “Kazpost”, according to the results of which it awarded a decision dated 23.12.2013, as it is seen from the content of the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismisses allegations of hub-and-spoke conspiracy against 5 pharmaceutical companies in the market for narcolepsy drugs (Apotex / Cephalon)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On Monday, June 23, 2014, a Federal Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for five pharmaceutical companies on horizontal conspiracy claims brought by Apotex Inc. and direct purchaser and end payor plaintiffs regarding the popular narcolepsy drug Provigil. (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the decision of the Italian Competition Authority that fined ferry operators for a concerted practice because it failed to meet the burden of the proof (Moby / GNV / SNAV / Marinvest)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
On 7 May 2014 the administrative court of first instance with jurisdiction on antitrust cases (TAR Lazio) annulled the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) . The ICA had fined ferry operators Moby, GNV and SNAV and Marinvest - the holding company of the latter two -, after it (...)

The Lazio Regional Administrative Tribunal quashes the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority has sanctioned companies for illicit coordination and annuls the fines imposed (Moby / GNV / SVAV)
Poste Italiane (Rome)
By its decision of 14 June 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) found that in the summer of 2011 the main companies operating passenger ferry services between Italy and Sardinia - namely Moby S.p.A. (“Moby”), GNV and SVAV (together with Moby, “the Companies”) - reached a common (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal orders to compensate companies in an amount of over € 1.6 million due to their damages resulting from an anti-competitive agreement on prices and sales volumes of synthetic lysine prohibited by the European Commission (Ajinomoto Eurolysine)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Engie (Paris)
In a judgment dated February 27, 2014, the Court of Appeal of Paris (Court of Appeal) has, on remand from the Court of Cassation (Court), ordered Ajinomoto Eurolysine (AE) to compensate four companies in the Doux group (Doux) in an amount of over € 1.6 million due to their damages resulting (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds a lower court’s judgement dismissing claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and attempted monopolization on the market for prosthetic microprocessor knees (DAW Industries / Hanger Orthopedic)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Ninth Circuit Once Again Affirms That Malicious Actions To Destroy A Competitor Do Not State An Antitrust Claim Unless Accompanied By Injury To Competition* On February 24, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing DAW Industries’ (...)

The UK Competition Authority brings criminal charges against ex-manager following an investigation into suspected cartel conduct in respect of the supply of galvanised steel tanks for water storage (Peter Nigel Snee)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Can the OFT Succeed in its Latest Attempt at Bringing Criminal Charges Against an Individual for Cartel Conduct?* The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has charged Peter Nigel Snee under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002. It is alleged that he ‘dishonestly agreed with others’ to fix prices, (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rules that antitrust findings regarding the copper plumbing tubes cartel did not support the intent to injure required for a conspiracy claim brought under section 47A of the Competition Act (W.H. Newson / IMI)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Conspiracy, the CAT, and the Court of Appeal: “Here is a case unprecedented” (The Gondoliers, Act 2)* In W.H. Newson Holding Limited & ors v IMI plc & ors [2013] EWCA Civ 1377, the Court of Appeal has made some important new law regarding the scope of section 47A of the Competition Act (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms passing on defence subject to strict conditions in the second follow-on claim for an infringement of Antitrust rules against a cartel in the sugar sector (Spanish Sugar Cartel / TS Ebro)
3C Compliance (Madrid)
I. Facts: The Spanish Supreme Court, Tribunal Supremo, issued on 7 November, 2013 the second ruling about a follow-on damage claim against the Spanish Sugar Cartel . These claims were filed in the year 2007 before the local court of Madrid by several sweets and food producers against the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court clarifies the passing-on defense in a landmark private enforcement case following the sugar cartel (Ebro Foods)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
In a landmark ruling, the Spanish Supreme Court has ordered the payment of a compensation for antitrust damages to several candy manufacturers (Judgment of 7 November 2013). The sugar “cartel” In a decision of 15 April 1999, the Spanish Competition Authority declared the existence of a price (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court rejects the passing-on defence in relation to price fixing in the market for compatible PC software (Pro‑Sys Consultants / Microsoft)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Canadian Supreme Court: No such thing as passing on defence* On Thursday last week the Supreme Court of Canada handed down three much-anticipated judgments concerning indirect purchaser claims. The trio of cases point towards a distinctive, and in many respects more claimant-friendly, approach (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court allows indirect purchaser claims for a cartel infringement in the market for processor compatible software (Infineon / Pro-Sys / Sun-Rype)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Supreme Court of Canada Allows Indirect Purchaser Claims* Note: On October 31, 2013, Canada’s Supreme Court issued important decisions regarding the scope of private claims for civil damages under the Competition Act. Below is a note prepared by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg on these (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court clears the way for indirect purchaser competition class action related to compensation for harm caused by inflating the price of microchips (Infineon / Pro-Sys / Sun-Rype)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Canadian Supreme Court Clears the Way for Indirect Purchaser Competition Class Actions: Reason and Clarity Prevail in Previously Muddled Area* Earlier today the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released three long-awaited companion judgments that finally create clarity and certainty in the area (...)

The Australian Federal Court establishes that a defendant has been directly knowingly involved in an anti-competitive arrangement and imposes criminal sanctions (Chaste Corporation)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Peter Foster sentenced for contempt of court* The Federal Court has sentenced Peter Foster to three years imprisonment, with 18 months to be served and 18 months suspended, for contempt of court. Justice Logan also placed conditions on Mr Foster’s involvement in the weight loss, cosmetic or (...)

The Botswana Competition Authority refuses to confirm settlement due to lack of evidence in connection with the respondent’s involvement in the alleged bid-rigging food cartel (Ya Raheem)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Johannesburg)
Due process arguments come to the fore as the Botswana Competition Authority gears itself for enforcement* In September and October, the Botswana Competition Commission (Commission) took its first two rulings on cartel enforcement. Both rulings have a keen (if not almost exhaustive) focus on (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority finds resale price maintenance practices on the sunflower oil market (Kaliakra)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 17 July 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) prosecuted the producer of bottled sunflower oil Kaliakra AD (Kaliakra) and its distributors for engaging in the resale price maintenance (RPM) practices. The CPC’s investigation was commenced after the completion of the sector inquiry (...)

The Rotterdam District Court annuls two cartel decisions for misuse of telephone taps (Constructions cartel & Ship waste cartel)
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
With two judgements of 13 June 2013 and 11 July 2013, the Rotterdam District Court annulled the decisions of the Dutch competition authority (now “ACM”) in a constructions cartel and a ship waste cartel. According to the Court, the telephone taps which provided evidence of the cartels could (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that patent protection does not confer immunity from an antitrust attack (Actavis)
Ashurst (Milan)
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RSM US (New York)
U.S. Supreme Court reverses Eleventh Circuit opinion in FTC v. Actavis, Inc* On 17 June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court (“the Court”) reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals (Eleventh Circuit). The Court of Appeals had upheld a dismissal of a complaint made by the Federal Trade Commission (...)

The US Supreme Court establishes a rule that blurs the lines between antitrust and patent law (Actavis)
Sheppard Mullin (Chicago)
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Sterlington
FTC v. Actavis: What Does It Mean for Reverse-Payment Settlements?* On June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court announced a rule that blurs the lines between antitrust and patent law in the context of Hatch-Waxman litigation. In FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013), the Federal Trade (...)

The US Supreme Court opens reverse payment patent settlement agreements to antitrust challenge (Actavis)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
A “reverse payment” settlement agreement is not entitled to “near-automatic antitrust immunity” simply because its anticompetitive effects fall within the scope of the exclusionary potential of the patent, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this week in a five-to-three decision. Although such (...)

The Canadian Court of Appeal of Alberta dismisses an action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta / Husky Oil Operations)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow* A decision by joint operators of an oil field to use a single fluid hauler was not an unlawful conspiracy, the Alberta Court of Appeal held recently, overturning a 2011 decision that awarded about $8 million to the loser of a competitive bidding (...)

The Italian Supreme Court reaffirms the principle that infringement decisions of the Competition Authority constitute “privileged evidence” in follow on compensation claims (Private motor insurance cartel)
Pavia e Ansaldo (Roma)
On 04 March 2013, an order of the Corte di Cassazione - the Italian Supreme Court - reaffirmed the principle that infringement decisions of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) constitute “privileged evidence” in follow on compensation claims. This order is related, yet again, to disputes (...)

The UK Government announces plans to introduce an opt-out class action regime in its consultation paper on options for reforming the private enforcement system
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Collective Actions: loss in complex cases* The big news from last week’s UK announcement on reforming private competition enforcement is that the government plans to introduce opt-out class actions for competition claims. The proposals incorporate various “safeguards” designed to ensure that the (...)

The Chilean Competition Tribunal condemns trade association for collusion (ACHAP)
University College London
On 29th January 2013, the Chilean Competition Tribunal (‘TDLC’) issued its judgment in the ACHAP case (Sentence 128/2013). The TDLC partially accepted the complaint filed by the competition agency (the “FNE”) against the local Advertising Agencies Trade Association (the “ACHAP”, for its Spanish (...)

The Spanish National Court issues a third judgment in the asphalt roads cartel case addressing the issue of the burden of proof in bid rigging cases (Asphalt roads cartel)
Bona Law (San Diego)
In October of 2012 the Spanish National Court (“NC”) concluded its first two judgments on the Spanish asphalt roads cartel (“the Cartel”). In both cases the NC explained how the companies involved in the public bid process decided in a “competitive way” who was going to win the bid. The NC stated in (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that a national competition authority does not have to prove appreciable effect on competition for object agreements (Expedia)
Lancaster University
Anti-Competitive Agreements: knowing your ‘object’ from your ‘appreciable’ Posted on February 11, 2013* In October 2012 Christopher Brown posted an interesting blog on AG Kokott’s opinion in Case C-226/11 Expedia. The full judgment was delivered on 13 December 2012 and it seems appropriate to look (...)

The Hungarian Court of Appeal upholds National Competition Authority’s decision and reduces fines in IT procurement case (SAP and others)
Lakatos, Köves (Budapest)
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Kinstellar (Budapest)
The background of the case In 2004, the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) launched proceedings against International System House Kft. (ISH), SAP Hungary Kft. (SAP) and International Business Machines Magyarország Kft. (IBM) for bid-rigging in public procurement. The tenders in question aimed (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit unanimously expands extraterritorial reach of US antitrust rules in a foreign price-fixing conspiracy case (Potash II)
Cleveland University - Marshall School of Law
Seventh Circuit Sitting En Banc Reverses in Potash, Announces Second Most Important of All FTAIA Opinions, Shores Up the Text Messaging Position on Conspiracy Pleading* Well, okay, I guess there might just possibly have been an appellate decision this week of even more pressing moment, but I (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority jointly lays 77 charges against 11 individuals and 9 companies in the construction industry in connection with a Quebec bid-rigging case (Carrière Bernier / Cie Wilfrid Allen)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Competition Bureau Jointly Lays 77 Charges Against 11 Individuals and 9 Companies in Quebec Bid-rigging Case – Tough Stance on Criminal Enforcement Continues* On (...)

The Indian Competition Commission breaks up a cement cartel and fines cartelists with a record fine of RPS 60 billion (Cement Manufacturers Association)
Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) (Washington D.C.)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined eleven cement companies for fixing prices, and for limiting and controlling the output in the cement markets. The CCI has imposed record fines amounting to RPS 60 billion (approximately EUR 836 million) on the cartelists. Economic evidence, (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California denies motions for acquittal and for a new trial in LCD price-fixing conspiracy case (AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Convictions in LCD Panel Price Fixing Case Stand After Motions for Acquittal, New Trial Rejected* The government’s successful prosecution of AU Optronics Corporation, its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, and two former company executives serves as a cautionary tale. The case marks the first time a (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court in a sugar cartel (Nestlé / Gullón / Zahor)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Spanish High Court of June, 8, 2012, is the first case in which the highest court in Spain provides for a redress of the victims of a cartel of 1.1 million Euros. The sugar manufacturer Acor had appealed the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, (...)

The EU General Court fully upholds the Commission’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Courts: Judgment in MasterCard Case upholds Commission’s Decision* In its judgment of 24 May 2012 in case T-111/08, the General Court (the Court) fully upheld the Commission’s decision prohibiting MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) that apply to cross-border transactions (...)

The EU General Court rules on multilateral interchange fees going through the intricacies of art. 101(3) (MasterCard)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Case T-111/08, Mastercard. A priceless Art. 101(3) assessment* A while ago we wrote a post on The Slow Death of Article 101(3) TFEU, where we said that in recent European Commission, practice, only once the challenged agreement was not deemed to be a restriction by “object”, and that only in (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses allegations of vertical price-fixing against medical equipments company (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Shanghai Court’s Position on Resale Price Maintenance in the J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation* On 18 May 2012, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (‘Shanghai Court’) dismissed allegations that Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. and its Shanghai branch had set a (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court condemns vertical price fixing agreements as per se illegal under the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Kansas Supreme Court Condemns Vertical Price Fixing Agreements as Per Se Illegal* Earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the reasonableness of a vertical price fixing agreement is not to be considered when determining whether such an agreement violates the Kansas Restraint of (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that resale price maintenance, whether purely vertical or in a dual distribution setting, is per se illegal and rejects applicability of federal rule of reason analysis to claims brought under Kansas antitrust law (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
,
Crowell & Moring (Irvine)
,
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
UPDATE NOTE: On April 16, 2013, the Kansas legislature reversed the decision discussed below, and adopted a "reasonableness" standard for analyzing vertical price agreements. On May 4, 2012, Kansas joined the growing trend among states to limit the distribution flexibility that had been (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, but ruling subsequently overturned by state legislature (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The Kansas Supreme Court recently determined resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, becoming the latest state to reject the rule of reason standard mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision serves as a reminder that although a supplier’s pricing (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority grants immunity upon a leniency application that facilitated the breakage of a cartel in the switchgear and distribution transformer market (Siemens)
Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) (Washington D.C.)
On April 3 the Competition Commission of Pakistan published a landmark decision imposing fines to members participating on a switchgear and transformer distribution market cartel, upon a leniency application submitted by Siemens. The decision represents a stepping-stone within the Pakistani (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines 48 LPG cylinder manufacturers for engaging in bid-rigging in a tender for supply to oil corporation (IOCL)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
SUMMARY In tendering for the supply of LPG cylinders to the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., 48 manufacturers were found by the CCI to have quoted identical or similar rates, and to have bid collectively for particular territories, after reaching an agreement between themselves. The CCI fined each (...)

The Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice quashes the Competition Authority’s infringement decision on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives for the lack of evidence and failure to specify the anti-competitive object (Parstar Petrol)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 15 February 2012 the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) upheld the judgment issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals (CAC) against the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) where the latter found the existence of the concerted practices on the market for (...)

The EU General Court confirms Commission’s decision holding a parent company jointly and severally liable for cartel behavior of its 50/50 owned joint venture (EI Dupont de Nemours)
White & Case (Brussels)
Holding parents liable for 50/50 joint ventures* On 2 February 2012, the EU’s General Court issued two important judgments concerning the issue of whether joint venture parents can be held liable for the cartel behaviour of their 50-50 joint venture. In T-77/08 (Dow Chemical v Commission) and (...)

The EU General Court issues a decision holding two joint venture parents liable for cartel behaviour of their 50/50 owned joint venture (Dow Chemical Company)
White & Case (Brussels)
Holding parents liable for 50/50 joint ventures* On 2 February 2012, the EU’s General Court issued two important judgments concerning the issue of whether joint venture parents can be held liable for the cartel behaviour of their 50-50 joint venture. In T-77/08 (Dow Chemical v Commission) and (...)

An Italian administrative court upholds the Competition Authority granting of full immunity and fine reductions to participants in the cosmetic and health care products cartel under the leniency programme (Reckitt Benckiser)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
On appeal on the Cartel of large retailers for cosmetics and health care products decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) the Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium (Tar Latium) examined full immunity and fine reductions granted to a number of cartelists pursuant to the ICA (...)

The Bosnian Competition Authority finds no anticompetitive practices on the market for telecom interconnection services in the absence of the requisite anticompetitive object and effect (Crumb / Telekomunikacije Republike Srpske / Aneks)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 17 November 2011 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) closed its investigation into the alleged existence of anticompetitive agreement between the incumbent telecom operator Telekomunikacije Republike Srpske a.d.(Telekom RS) and an independent provider of fixed (...)

The UK OFT issues a statement of objections confirming the immunity for a company in the airline fuel surcharges cartel case (Virgin)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Article published on Centre for Competition Policy blog. If Virgin Gets to Keep Its Immunity, Who is Responsible for the Collapse of the BA Trial?* This week the Office of Fair Trading announced that Virgin Atlantic would keep its immunity in the Passenger Fuel Surcharges cartel case. This (...)

The Madrid Provincial Court accepts the passing-on-defence in the sugar cartel (Nestlé / Gullón / Zahor)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
As it was mentioned before, the Spanish sugar cartel has been the origin of a claim for compensation of the damages filed by Nestlé, Zahor, Wrigley and other eleven producers of biscuits and confectionary against the sugar manufacturer Ebro Puleba (now Ebro Foods). The same cartel had also (...)

The US Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit holds claims against a foreign price-fixing cartel in the potash industry to be either exempted under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act or insufficient to state a cause of action under the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards (Potash)
Cleveland University - Marshall School of Law
Potash Potash Potash!!!!! En Banc Review Is in the Hizz-ouse, Y’all!* Something striking occurred in the Seventh Circuit this year. In two different, massive antitrust class actions, in the space of about nine months, panels of that court applied the Twombly-Iqbal pleading formula to reach (...)

The EU General Court annuls fine imposed on parent company for its subsidiary’s participation in a beer industry cartel (Grolsch)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Grolsch Cartel Fine Annulment: Should Parent Companies Pay for the Anti-Competitive Conduct of a Subsidiary?* The General Court has annulled a €36.6m fine imposed on Grolsch for the price fixing of beer in Holland. In its decision, the European Commission had treated Koninklijke Grolsch NV and (...)

The EU General Court annuls fine in the Dutch beer cartel case, ruling that the evidence available to the EU Commission was not sufficient to establish the parent company’s liability for its subsidiary’s participation in the cartel (Grolsch)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan explains its denial of motion to dismiss in Most Favored Nation -MFN- clauses decision in the health care industry (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Federal/State Antitrust Suit Against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Can Proceed* Last week, the federal district court in Detroit denied Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s motion to dismiss a federal/state antitrust action challenging the health insurer’s use of most favored nation (MFN) (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes fines totalling €5,5 m on firms producing and selling electro-medical equipment for diagnostic imaging representing 68% of the Italian sales (Alliance Medical / Toshiba Medical / Philips / Siemens)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
ITALIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY FINES SUPPLIERS OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE EQUIPMENT €5.5 MILLION * On 5 August 2011, the Italian Competition Authority levied fines totalling €5,538,750 on Alliance Medical S.r.l., Toshiba Medical Systems Italia S.r.l., Philips S.p.A. and Siemens S.p.A. Each firm (...)

The Moldovan Court of Appeals quashes the infringement decision of the Competition Authority on concerted practices in the market for retail trade in oil derivatives on the basis of lack of evidence (Petrom-Moldova)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 24 June 2011 the Chisinău Court of Appeals (the CAC) quashed the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) establishing the existence of concerted practices on the market for retail trade in oil derivatives. The CAC held that the ANPC failed to present sufficient (...)

The EU General Court reduces fines in the Dutch beer cartel case finding that the Commission did not prove all infringements had been committed and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Heineken)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court reduces fines in Dutch beer cartel case finding that the Commission did not prove all infringements and that the duration of the procedure was excessive (Bavaria)
Google (London)
The Dutch Beer Cases: The Value of Whistleblower Statements and the Cutback of Fines in Case of Unreasonably Long Commission Investigations* The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. (...)

The EU General Court holds for the first time that the Commission erred in relying on the presumption that a parent company is liable for the anticompetitive conduct of its wholly-owned subsidiary (Hydrogen Peroxide)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
By its decision of 3 May 2006, the Commission imposed fines totalling over EUR 388 million on a number of companies for their participation in a cartel on the market for hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate (bleaching agents) between 31 January 1994 and 31 December 2000. Among the companies (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision and reduces fines in a cartel case concerning the Dutch beer market (Netherlands Beer)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
By its decision of 18 April 2007, the Commission imposed fines totalling approximately EUR 270 million on several Dutch brewers, including Heineken NV and its subsidiary Heineken Nederland BV, and Bavaria NV, for their participation in a cartel on the Dutch beer market between 27 February 1996 (...)

A Moldovan Court of Appeals quashes the concerted practices decision of the Competition Authority for the failure to demonstrate the existence of a price coordination mechanism and the absence of alternative explanations (Lukoil Moldova)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 12 May 2011 the Chișinău Court of Appeals (the CAC) quashed the infringement decision of the Moldovan Competition Authority (ANPC) establishing the existence of the concerted practices on the market for retail trade in oil derivatives. The CAC held that the ANPC failed to prove that seven (...)

A Hungarian Court annuls the decision of the Competition Office having found guilty construction companies of bid rigging taking into account lack of proof of single and continuous infringement (Heves – Nógrád county tenders)
Philip Morris (Budapest)
I. Introduction On 19 April 2011, the Metropolitan Court of Budapest (the “Court”) annulled the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) that EGÚT Egri Útépítő Zrt. (“EGÚT”) and Strabag Építő Zrt. (“Strabag”) were guilty of bid rigging and cancelled the fine that was imposed. The Court ordered the (...)

The US District Court of the Northern District of California rejects a breach of contract defence based on the illegality of the contract under the Robinson-Patman Act (Pet Food Express / Royal Canin)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Robinson-Patman Act Defense Rejected in Breach-of-Contract Case* Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the federal (...)

The EU General Court overturns EC’s fine decision becasuse of insufficient evidence to sustain the penalty in a copper fitting cartel (Aalberts Industries)
On March 24, 2011, the European General Court overturned more than €100 million in fines imposed against Aalberts Industries NV and its subsid- iaries for its alleged involvement in a copper fittings cartel, finding the EC’s evidence insufficient to sustain the penalty. The EC had fined 30 (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal narrows the scope of follow-on claims (Emerson Electric / Carbone)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 21, 2011, the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) struck out a follow-on claim for damages brought by Emerson Electric and others (“Emerson”) (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a decision on a rubber chemicals cartel holding a parent company liable for the anticompetitive behaviour of its wholly-owned subsidiary and confirming that the presumption of parental liability is rebuttable (General Química)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The ECJ rules on parenthood (General Química v Commission)* The ECJ issued a Judgment yesterday in the General Química-Repsol case in which it partly upheld and partly annulled the General Court’s judgment dismissing the appeals against the Commission decision in the rubber chemicals cartel. In (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a decision of the Competition Appeals Tribunal denying a claimant follow-on damages (Enron Coal Services / English Welsh & Scottish Railway)
Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (London)
I. Overview In January 2011, the UK Court of Appeal (the “Court”) dismissed an appeal against a ruling of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) that Enron Coal Services Ltd (“Enron”) was not entitled to follow on damages against English Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd (“EWS”). The Court (...)

The EU Commission issues new guidelines on the applicability of Art. 101 TFEU to horizontal co-operation agreements equating information exchanges between competitors with cartels
Garrigues (Brussels)
Information exchange=cartel?* Many have praised the inclusion of some guidance on exchanges of information within the new EU Guidelines on horizontal agreements. Personally, I agree with those arguing that guidance from the Commission was necessary, and I acknowledge that there are some useful (...)

The EU Commission issues new guidelines on horizontal co-operation agreements focusing on information exchanges under Art. 101 TFEU
European University Institute (Florence)
Information Exchange and Cartels – Dangerous Liaisons?* Are information exchanges really = cartels under EU competition law? The issue has triggered many discussions on the blog lately. I just thought I’d post my own ruminations on this. The Guidelines do not really say that information (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issues three substantive regulations on enforcement of the Anti- Monopoly Law
Linklaters (Beijing)
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Linklaters (Shanghai)
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Euclid Law (London)
On 7 January 2011, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) published three substantive Regulations on enforcement of the Anti- Monopoly Law (“AML”), regarding Monopolistic Agreements, Abuse of Dominance and Abuse of Administrative Powers. In May 2009 and May 2010, SAIC twice (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upholds the plausibility of a claim for alleged conspiracy in the telecommunications sector under the Twombly standard (Text messaging antitrust litigation)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Conspiracy to Fix Prices for Text Messaging Services Plausible* Antitrust plaintiffs asserting price fixing claims do not need a “smoking gun” to avoid dismissal of their complaint and proceed to discovery. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago decided that consumers plausibly alleged (...)

The EU General Court confirms the €38 million fine imposed for breaking a seal affixed to an office of a company by the Commission during an inspection (E.ON Energie)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
On 15 December 2010, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) handed down a tough but very thoroughly argued decision on the infringement of breaking of an official seal. The European Commission had ordered an inspection of the premises of the company E.ON Energie AG in the context of an (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s decision limiting its discretion to reject complaints and addressing the issue of market definition in the luxury watches repair services and spare parts markets (CEAHR)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Wrapping up the week / Case T-427/08, CEAHR v Commission* Case T-427/08, CEAHR v Commission The complaint: The European Confederation for watch repairers associations lodged a complaint before the Commission alleging that watch manufacturers had engaged in agreements and/or concerted (...)

The Italian Court of First Instance confirms the Competition Authority’s decision in a price fixing case concerning the liquefied petroleum gas sector (Butanes / Eni / Liquigas)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its judgment delivered on 13 December 2010, the Italian Court of First Instance ("Tar Lazio") confirmed the decision by which the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") found the three main operators active in the LPG sector in Italy (i.e. Butangas, Eni and Liquigas) to have coordinated their (...)

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition closes a probe into alleged bid-rigging among suppliers of pharmaceuticals without establishing an infringement (Alta Pharmaceuticals, Roche)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the «CPC») closed an investigation into alleged bid-rigging practices among suppliers of pharmaceuticals absent collaborative evidence of price coordination and with further regard to the transparency-enhancing effects of the domestic (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirms dismissal of price-fixing conspiracy claims in the mattress manufacturing industry for not meeting Twombly pleading requirements (Jacobs, Tempur-Pedic)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Consumers’ Price Fixing Claims Against Mattress Maker Did Not Meet Twombly Pleading Requirements* A decision from a divided U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month continues the debate over the appropriate pleading standard for antitrust plaintiffs under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. (...)

A US federal district court denies dismissal of antitrust conspiracy claim in tomato products industry (The Morning Star Company / SK Foods)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Claim of Antitrust Conspiracy Among Tomato Processors Avoids Dismissal* The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market (...)

The EU General Court rules on liability for Spanish raw tobacco cartel (Alliance One International)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
On October 27, 2010, the General Court rendered a decision in the appeal by Alliance One International (formerly Standard Commercial Corp. (“SCC”)), and its subsidiaries Standard Commercial Tobacco Co., Inc. (“SCTC”) and Trans-Continental Leaf Tobacco Corp. Ltd (“TCLT”) (together, the “Applicant (...)

The US DoJ challenges "most favoured nations" clauses in the healthcare sector by analyzing their anticompetitive effects under section 1 of the Sherman Act (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan)
Richard Wolfram, Esq. (New York)
‘Most Favored Nations’ (MFN) Clauses under the Spotlight: U.S. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — When Might Otherwise Competitively Neutral or Procompetitive MFN Clauses Violate the Antitrust Laws?* On October 18, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan sued Blue (...)

A US District Court rules against plaintiffs in the auto parts industry holding that they failed to prove specific facts under Robinson-Patman Act’s price discrimination provision (Coalition for a Level Playing Field, Autozone)
Scharf Banks Marmor (Chicago)
Is it Possible to Plead a Robinson-Patman Act Case at All?* The recent decision in Coalition for a Level Playing Field, LLC v. Autozone, Inc., 2010-2 Trade Cas. ¶ 77,182 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 16, 2010) was a bit surprising to me. The essence of the case was that a group of smaller purchasers of (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal holds that undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchanges do not have any effect on their conduct on the market (KPN / Orange / Telfort / T-Mobile / Vodafone Libertel)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal has held that by virtue of Article 6 of the ECHR, undertakings participating in an exchange of information amounting to a concerted practice should not be required to adduce irrefutable evidence that such exchange did not have any effect on their (...)

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court rules on key issues of private damages actions against hardcore cartels decides on the indirect customer’s right to claim and addresses the challenging task of quantifying antitrust damages (Carbonless paper cartel)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
,
Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
Introduction Private enforcement in hardcore-cartels cases is getting in motion. In Germany, within less than one year two actions for damages against participants in hardcore-cartels were successful. After the decision of the Berlin Higher Regional Court in the “Berliner Transportbeton”-case (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council imposes its first fines for cartel practices and clarifies its fining and leniency policy (“Cité judiciaire”)
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
1. On 5 March 2010, the Luxembourg Competition Council (“Conseil de la concurrence”) has imposed fines on 7 flooring undertakings for bid rigging practices during a public procurement procedure for flooring works in the new court buildings in Luxembourg-City. The procedure began with a complaint (...)

A US District Court finds that the plaintiffs have failed to nudge their antitrust claims against building products distributor and grants order to dismiss the action (Bailey Lumber / BlueLinx)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Cross-Market Claims Flunk Twombly* In two companion opinions, Magistrate Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi granted motions to dismiss and greatly limited the scope of the claims asserted against several defendants in "opt out" actions following from the In re OSB (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reverses a District Court decision and rules that the plaintiff satisfied the Twombly standard in a conspiracy case alleging parallel conduct (Starr / Sony BMG)
WilmerHale (Washington)
,
WilmerHale
In a notable recent decision, Starr v. Sony BMG Entertainment, 592 F.3d 314 (2d Cir. 2010), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit addressed the pleading standard a plaintiff must satisfy to survive a motion to dismiss an antitrust conspiracy claim under § 1 of the Sherman Act (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes an 8% fine on an association of undertakings for price fixing and refers them for the first time to criminal investigation bodies (Association of the Depositories of Cereals)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
Price fixing by associations of undertakings is no novelty in the competition world. Neither are heavy fines, although it is not often that a competition authority reaches an 8% fine for a short term infringement (be it price fixing), and without application of any aggravating circumstances. (...)

The Regional Administrative Tribunal for Latium upholds the Competition Authority which fined 26 pasta manufacturers and two trade associations for having cartelized the market for durum semolina pasta (Pricing of Pasta)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a judgment of December 2009 the Regional Administrative Tribunal for Latium decided on the appeal against the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) in the Pricing of Pasta case. The ICA had fined 26 pasta manufacturers and two trade association for having cartelized the market (...)

The Polish Appeal Court annuls the judgment of the Court of the Competition and Consumer Protection pointing out that joint buying groups require a more in-depth competition analysis even in cases of resale price maintenance (PSB / Gamrat)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
The Polish Appeal Court has quashed a Competition Court decision on procedural grounds pointing out that joint buying groups require a more in-depth competition analysis even in cases of resale price maintenance. On 10th November 2009, the Appeal Court issued a long awaited judgment concerning (...)

The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California finds sufficient ground for a claim of alleged illegal secret rebates, kickbacks and commissions in the market for the sale of title insurance, but rejects a claim of collusive conduct (California Title Insurance)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Strike Three: Plaintiffs Again Fail to Allege Facts of Collusion in Oligopoly Market* Rather than being "plus factors," allegations of interdependent industry structure simply demonstrate that the challenged conduct of defendant title insurers was as consistent with competition as with (...)

The EU Court of Justice reverses the Commission decision regarding the legality of dual pricing arrangments between leading pharmaceutical undertaking and Spanish wholesalers (GlaxoSmithKline)
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Sidley Austin (London)
On 6 October 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgment in the long-running wrangle regarding the legality of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) dual pricing arrangements with Spanish pharmaceutical wholesalers. As a result of the judgment, the European Commission (Commission) will have (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that the Commission must assess whether an agreement to limit parallel trade in medicines has pro-competitive benefits (GlaxoSmithKline)
Linklaters (Paris)
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Monckton Chambers (London)
,
On 6 October, the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) issued another “score draw” judgment in the long-running battle of R&D-based pharmaceutical companies to limit parallel trade in medicines across the EU. While the ECJ required the European Commission to conduct an in-depth examination of (...)

The Berlin Higher Regional Court rules on key issues of standing and standard of proof in cartel damages suits (Transportbeton Berlin)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
,
Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
I. Introduction In its judgment on the first of October 2009 the Berlin Higher Regional Court has decided on important and disputed questions concerning the private enforcement of cartel damage claims under the German Act against restraints of Competition (“ARC”). Several statements in the (...)

The UK High Court denies representative action statute for antitrust price-fixing claims in the air freight services market (Emerald / British Airways)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Dentons (Brussels)
On April 8, 2009, the English High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, granted British Airways’ request for an order striking two Plaintiffs’ representative claims. Though still subject to appeal, this decision potentially represents a significant obstacle to efforts underway to apply historical (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the fines imposed in a collective boycotting case and its strict case law on standard of proof (Defibrillators)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
,
Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent (Paris)
On 8 April 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") confirmed the decision of the French Competition Council (the "Authority") dated 19 December 2007 to fine five of the world’s leading implantable heart defibrillator manufacturers (Biotronik, Ela Medical, Guidant, Medtronic and Saint Jude (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Kokott gives opinion on standard of proof with regard to anti-competitive concerted practices (T-Mobile Netherlands)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 February 2009, Advocate General Kokott delivered her opinion in relation to a preliminary reference from a Dutch court regarding the requirements that must be satisfied to establish an anti-competitive concerted practice for the purposes of Article 81(1) EC. The case before the Dutch (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office imposes € 165 M fines against manufacturers of clay roof tiles for price fixing and applies leniency (Creaton, Pfleiderer Dachziegel, Koramic Dachprodukte, Monier, Erlus Gebr. Laumans)
Mutze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft (Düsseldorf)
Background The building materials sector has been often involved in cartel investigations over the last decades. The German Competition Authority (Federal Cartel Office, "FCO") is currently investigating more than one case where companies within this sector are alleged to have infringed (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority decides not to impose fines on ten producers of fluid-concrete as the participation of all undertakings in the infringement was not established and as result no appreciable restriction of competition could be determined (Betonmortelfabriek Utrecht)
Cuatrecasas
Introduction On January 11, 2006 the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) imposed fines on ten Dutch producers of fluid-concrete for a total amount of € 6 million for an infringement of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act. According to the NMa the undertakings exchanged information about price (...)

The Hungarian Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority decision and also accepts the approach of the General Court regarding the reduction of the fines (GIS cartel)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
,
Oppenheim (Budapest)
The Budapest Court of Appeal upheld, in its second instance judgment, the verdict of the Metropolitan Court of Budapest in the "GIS cartel" case: the judgment confirmed the existence of the infringement, whilst it accepted the lower court’s decision to decrease the fines imposed on the (...)

An Italian Administrative Court confirms that a cartel took place in hospital supplies but slashes down fines (Bristol Myers Squibb)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Introduction The Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium, Rome Section (“TAR Latium”) by a judgment published on 6 June 2008 has upheld a decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority (“IAA”) finding that four companies had rigged supplies of ostomy products to the Italian National Health System (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments to modify the membership fees of the Budapest Stock Exchange and terminates a cartel investigation against trading companies (Budapesti Értéktõzsde)
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
The background of the investigation The Competition Office initiated an investigation against the Budapest Stock Exchange ("BSE") and 11 trading companies, as it suspected an illegal horizontal coordination among the trading members of the BSE concerning (i) the amendment of BSE’s membership (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce annuls Competition Authority’s finding of a price fixing and market sharing cartel in the market for fire-fighting helicopters (Aeronorte / Helisul)
PLMJ (Lisbon)
I. The facts and the administrative proceedings In October 2007, the Portuguese Competition Authority (the “PCA”) issued a decision finding a price-fixing and market-sharing cartel between Aeronorte and Helisul in their reply to the public tender for helicopters to fight forest fires, and (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision in the alleged ‘helicopter cartel’ case (Aeronorte / Helisul)
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Porto)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Porto)
In May 2008 the Lisbon Commerce Court issued a ruling (case 48/08.7TYLSB) that quashed the Portuguese Competition Authority’s decision of 2007 (case PRC 20/05) that found out that two companies (Aeronorte and Helisul) had engaged in a bid-rigging cartel for the provision of helicopter services (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority holds that a selective resale price fixing is not a hardcore restriction in relation to the distribution of energy drinks (Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi)
Morley Allen & Overy Iroda (Budapest)
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Bilfinger Industrial Services (Budapest)
Background In its decision of 14 May 2008 (GVH Decision), the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Office (GVH) terminated the proceedings against Büki Ásványvíz- és Üditõital Kereskedelmi Kft. (Büki Ásványvíz), with respect to certain restraints in vertical agreements concluded by the (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court considers burden of proof in trade mark exhaustion case (Joop! / Jil Sander / Davidoff / Lancaster)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 April 2008, the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) handed down a judgment relating to the burden of proof in a trade mark exhaustion case. The judgment refines earlier case-law on the matter. In the case at hand, various luxury cosmetic brands, including Joop!, Jil Sander and Davidoff, had (...)

The UK OFT announces financial incentives for information regarding cartel activity
Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
The OFT published details today of ground-breaking plans to offer rewards of up to £100,000 for the provision of information on cartel activity. The OFT is one of the first anti-trust regulators to introduce such reward payments, and the move marks a further escalation of the OFT’s (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ concerning the application of Art. 81.1 EC to concerted practice between mobile phone operators (KPN Mobile)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In December 2002, the Dutch Competition Authority (hereafter the ‘NMa’) imposed fines upon five Dutch mobile phone companies for breach of Article 6 of the Dutch Competition Act (a provision equivalent to Article 81 (1) EC). The NMa found that those mobile phone operators exchanged confidential (...)

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 Commercial Supreme Court partly annuls the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment on illicit exchange of sensitive information in the mobile telephony cartel and strengthens the standard of proof (Bouygues Telecom / SFR / Orange)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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Johnson & Johnson (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
Proceedings In its decision of November 25, 2005, the French Competition Council imposed record fines - up to a global amount of € 534 million - on the three main mobile phone operators in France (namely Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Orange France) for cartel practices infringing of Articles L. (...)

The US Supreme Court sets aside Dr. Miles rule on resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leegin Creative)
Cause of Action Institute (Arlington)
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Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Washington)
Dr. Miles: Will the Supreme Court Find a Cure?* On December 7, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.,which presents the Court with an opportunity to address the per se minimum resale price rule established almost a century ago in Dr. (...)

The US Supreme Court overrules prohibition against vertical agreements between manufacturers and their dealers setting minimum resale prices as a per se violation (Leegin Creative)
Kozyak Tropin and Throckmorton Law Firm
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Holland & Knight (Miami)
Vertical Price Agreements in the Wake of Leegin v. PSKS: Where Do We Stand Now?* I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS For nearly a century, agreements between retailers and suppliers stipulating a minimum retail price were considered per se violations of the Sherman Act. Resale price maintenance (“RPM”) (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the 96 year old-doctrine governing resale price maintenance agreements as per se illegal replacing it with the rule of reason standard (Leegin Creative)
Hahn Loeser & Parks (Columbus)
Introduction In the summer of 2007, the United States Supreme Court overruled a ninety-six year old precedent when it overruled the historical decision of Dr. Miles in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.. Relying on economists’ views, the majority took a drastic measure and (...)

The US Supreme Court redefines notice pleading and raises the bar for plaintiffs in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
St. John’s University School of Law
Twombly: The Demise of Notice Pleading, the Triumph of Milton Handler and the Uncertain Future of Antitrust Enforcement* The Supreme Court’s decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) is a watershed ruling whose impact on private litigation, especially antitrust (...)

The US Supreme Court defines minimum pleading standard in antitrust class action (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
In a 7-2 decision on May 21, 2007, the Supreme Court held that a complaint alleging antitrust conspiracy based on parallel conduct alone fails to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, No. 05-1126. Further, the Court held that a bare (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that an allegation of parallel conduct and a bare assertion of an agreement does not suffice to state a claim of conspiracy under the Sherman Act (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
Paul Hastings (New York)
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Paul Hastings (New York)
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Seeger Weiss (New York)
INTRODUCTION On May 21, 2007, the United States Supreme Court issued an important decision pertaining to the pleading standards in an antitrust action under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, No. 05‐1126, the Supreme Court (...)

The US Supreme Court affirms the necessity of pleading elements in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
University of Indiana
Pleading Consumer Antitrust Claims* The U.S. has long followed a system of private enforcement of law meant to redress public harm. In the law of antitrust, from the very beginning U.S. law provided a claim to plaintiffs who could show harm flowing from the violation. Convincing private (...)

The Hungarian Supreme Court confirms the NCA’s decision having imposed a € 1.1 M fine for price fixing on the basis of Art. 81 EC to major multiplex movie theatres (Budapest Film)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
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DIGI (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (“HCA”) established in its decision of 17 November 2003 that certain major Hungarian multiplex movie theatres (Budapest Film, Intercom, Palace Cinemas and UCICE) pursued concerted practices in 2002 by enacting similar significant price increases connected with (...)

The Romanian High Court quashes a NCA’s decision having imposed a 27 M euro fine for price fixing practices for insufficient proof on the basis, inter alia, of ECJ case law
Leroy & Asociatii (Bucharest)
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Dechert (Paris)
The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice has recently made an application of the principles governing the burden and the level of proof in antitrust cases, overturning decision n° 94/2005 of the Romanian Competition Council as regards the sanction inflicted to one of the undertakings (...)

The Romanian Supreme Court overturns the Competition’s Authority decision having fined one participant to a cartel for lack of sufficient proofs (Cement cartel)
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
Competition Council (Consiliul Concurentei), 26 May 2005, Decision n° 94 relating to the sanctioning of Lafarge Romcim SA, Holcim Romania SA and Carpatcement Holding SA for the infringement of Article 5(1) (a) of the Competition Law n° 21/1996. By its Decision n° 1358 of 5 March 2007, the Romanian (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the judgment of the General Court penalising the cartel of steel tubes producers known as the ’Europe-Japan Club’ (Dalmine / Sumitomo / Nippon Steel / Salzgitter)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
THE COURT UPHOLDS THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE PENALISING A CARTEL OF STEEL TUBES PRODUCERS* The producers did not prove that the Court of First Instance made errors of law in its judgment By decision of 8 December 1999 , the European Commission ordered eight undertakings (four (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on class actions in the field of competition
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Conseil de la concurrence in favour of class action, under certain conditions, for consumers victim of anticompetitive practices.* Following the publication in December 2005 of the report relative to (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the NCA’s decision sanctioning taxi companies for price fixing through concerted practice (Martono taksi)
Walless (Vilnius)
In a decision dated 11 May 2006, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (LSAC) upheld the decision of the Vilnius District Administrative Court (VDAC) from 19 September 2006 with some corrections in the calculation of fines and confirmed the original decision of Lithuanian Competition (...)

The French National Competition Authority fines nearly 80 companies and trade associations for horizontal and vertical agreements in the sector of construction products and clarifies the standard of proof applicable to anticompetitive meetings
Maulin Avocats (Paris)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
In a decision of 9 March 2006, the French Competition Council (the "Council") fined nearly 80 companies and trade associations for unlawful practices implemented between 1993 and 1998 in the sector of heating, sanitation, plumbing and air-conditioning products. These practices included (i) (...)

The US Supreme Court reaffirms market power requirement to determine a tying arrangement as per se unlawful (Independent Ink)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Are tying arrangements illegal per se?* In the deep, dark antitrust dungeon reserved for per se offenses, only one species of conduct remains that does not involve a horizontal conspiracy: tying arrangements. Minimum resale pricing agreements tunneled their way out thanks to the Supreme (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses a lower court’s decision clarifying competitive injury and secondary price line discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Mayer Brown (New York)
Competitive Injury and Price Discrimination in the United States* In Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., the Supreme Court provided guidance on whether, under the Robinson-Patman Act, a manufacturer may offer one dealer better prices than another dealer when those (...)

The US Supreme Court overturns a Lower Court decision for the plaintiff but reiterates the traditional method of proving secondary line price injuries under the Robinson-Patman Act (Volvo Trucks / Reeder-Simco)
Seattle University
The Robinson-Patman Act and Consumer Welfare: Has Volvo Reconciled them?* The Robinson-Patman Act is the black sheep of antitrust. Unlike the other antitrust laws, its fundamental goal is not to preserve competition in order to benefit consumers, but to limit competitive rivalry in order to (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on the standard of proof for the existence of a revenue surplus from a cartel agreement (Transportbeton Berlin)
Helmut Schmidt University of the Armed Forces (Hamburg)
On June 28, 2005, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) clarified the standard of proof in cases in which the state seeks to disgorge the revenue surplus (“additional proceeds”) from a cartel. I. Facts of the case Between 1995 and 1998, nearly all producers of ready-mixed concrete in the (...)

The US Supreme Court prevents foreign plaintiffs from bringing price-fixing cartel claims (Hoffman-LaRoche / Empagran)
St. John’s University School of Law
The FTAIA and Empagran: What Next?* In F. Hoffman LaRoche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., 542 US 155 (2004), the Supreme Court limited access to American courts by foreign plaintiffs suing under the Sherman Act based on foreign transactions. Jurisdiction over foreign antitrust claims is governed by (...)

The US Supreme Court restricts the applicability of US antitrust laws with regard to injuries suffered abroad holding that foreign nations can preserve competition without American interference (Hoffman-La Roche / Empagran)
IRS Office of Chief Counsel
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A.: The Supreme Court Trusts That Foreign Nations Can Preserve Competition Without American Interference* In F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., the United States Supreme Court held that United States courts do not have jurisdiction over claims of (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit applies a “quick look” rule of reason analysis and ultimately rejects an association-wide salary cap imposed on a position within each member organization in the college basketball industry (Law / NCAA)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Tenth Circuit struck down an NCAA-wide salary cap imposed on the earnings of “restricted-earnings” coaches as an unreasonable restraint of trade. Instead of applying per se illegality to a price-fixing agreement, the Court determined that a “quick look” rule of reason was more appropriate (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority rejects a referral filed by a national karaoke studio for lack of evidence (Singing Studio / Karafun)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence rejects the referral filed by Singing Studio in the karaoke sector for lack of evidence* Singing Studio’s complaint Singing Studio, which operates two establishments specialising in karaoke in Lille and Paris, has referred practices implemented by the Karafun (...)

The Australian Government decides that the shipping channel service at a bottleneck port infrastructure will remain unregulated (Port of Newcastle)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
In a decision that will be welcomed by many of Australia’s port operators, for the second time in less than two years, the Federal Treasurer has decided that the shipping channel service at the Port of Newcastle should not be regulated. The Treasurer’s decision on 16 February 2021 is in response (...)

The Luxembourg Administrative Tribunal rules on the competence of the Competition Authority in matters of post control of concentrations in the energy sector (Fédération des Artisans / Encevo / Enovos Luxembourg / Paul Wagner / Fils)
Bonn & Schmitt (Luxembourg)
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Bonn & Schmitt (Luxembourg)
I. Introduction On January 25, 2021 the Administrative Tribunal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (hereinafter the “Administrative Tribunal”) rendered a judgment ruling for the first time on the competence of the Competition Council of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (hereinafter the “Competition (...)

The German Parliament passes the 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition which provides modifications and changes regarding abuse control
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
On 14 January 2021, the German parliament passed the long-awaited 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC). This came after the governing parties, CDU/CSU and SPD, had submitted a final amendment "at the eleventh hour" which provided for some additional modifications (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures requested by a football club following an appeal judgment (Virton / RBFA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 November 2020, the Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la concurrence) of the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische Mededingingsautoriteit / Autorité belge de la Concurrence - the BCA) imposed interim measures on the Royal Belgian Football Association (the RBFA) at the (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls the Competition Authority’s decision rejecting a football club’s request for interim measures (Virton / RBFA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment delivered on 19 November 2020, the Markets Court of the Brussels Court of Appeal (Marktenhof / Cour des marchés) (the Markets Court) annulled the decision adopted on 29 June 2020 by the Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la concurrence) of the Belgian Competition (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision finding that a national rail company abused its dominant position on the market (Lietuvos geležinkelai)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Factors Affecting the Use of Essential Facilities Doctrine in Light of the Lithuanian Railway v Commission Decision: A Comparison with the Turkish Practice and Potential Implications 1) Introduction On November 18, 2020, the General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) upheld the (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on burden of proof for showing exhaustion of trade mark right (Amazon / Coty)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 October 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) issued a judgment on the burden of proof for showing the exhaustion of trademark rights in a case pitting Coty against Amazon. After having made a test purchase from Amazon of two bottles of a perfume bearing the “JOOP!” trademark on (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturns a ruling finding that a semiconductor company’s licensing practice abused dominant position (Qualcomm)
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 11 August 2020, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”), in a unanimous opinion by Judge Callahan, reversed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC’s”) win in the district court against Qualcomm Inc. (“Qualcomm”) and upheld Qualcomm’s licensing practices, (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit strikes down sweeping injunction against semiconductor company and reins in expansive interpretation of Sherman Act (Qualcomm)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
On August 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decisively reversed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or Commission) controversial district court win challenging Qualcomm’s licensing practices. In rejecting every aspect of the lower court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit panel (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court refers to the EU Court of Justice questions concerning the interpretation and application of Art. 102 TFEU following an abuse of dominance in the electricity market (Enel)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 20 July, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato, CDS) referred to the Court of Justice (CJ) several questions concerning the interpretation and application of Article 102 TFEU. In the context of the dispute following the Italian Competition Authority’s decision to (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal annuls the Competition Authority decision requiring telecommunications providers to open networks (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“Appeals Tribunal”) reversed a decision of the Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) which required telecommunications provider KPN and cable provider VodafoneZiggo to open their fixed networks to other providers. On 27 (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal reverses a decision of the National Competition Authority requiring telecom providers to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“CBb”) reversed the 2018 decision of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) requiring telecom providers KPN and VodafoneZiggo to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers. In September 2018, the ACM (...)

The UK Court of Appeal imposes agency discretion in the methodology to establish the unfairness of prices, thereby increasing the burden of proof on companies to avoid a finding of excessive pricing (Flynn / Pfizer)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The UK Court of Appeal Overturns the CAT & Imposes Agency Discretion on Excessive Price Benchmark* On March 10, 2020, the England and Wales Court of Appeal (CoA) handed down a significant ruling that reintroduces agency discretion in the methodology used to establish the unfairness of (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its first investigation concerning abuse of dominance by a standard essential patent holder (Philips)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) Philips Decision (26.12.2019, 19-46/790-344 – published on 27.05.2020) is quite significant as it is the first time that the TCA examined the conducts of a Standard Essential Patent (“SEP”) holder within the scope of Article 6 of the Act No. 4054 on the (...)

The Turkish Administrative Court annuls the fining decision of the Competition Authority because it failed to meet the required standards for establishing a competition law infringement based on excessive pricing (Sahibinden.com)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses Ankara 6th Administrative Court’s (the “Administrative Court”) annulment judgment (18.12.2019; 2019/946 E., 2019/2625 K.) through which the Administrative Court reviewed the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) decision dated 01.10.2018 and numbered 18-36/584-285, (...)

The Turkish Administrative Court annuls a Competition Authority’s decision assessing excessive pricing in the online market and provides guidance on the standard of proof to be followed by the Authority (Sahibinden.com)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The standard of proof plays a significant role during the process of the investigations performed within the framework of the competition law. However, no explicit provision regarding the standard of proof which shall be taken as basis in the preliminary and full-fledged investigations carried (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the complaint of a petroleum company alleging a refusal to supply services by a competitor (CCIRPP / SRPP)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Under the terms of this Decision, the Competition Authority rejects the referral of the case against the Coopérative Carburant d’Intérêt Régional Public Privé (CCIRPP) on the grounds of lack of sufficient evidence and, consequently, the request for interim protective measures ancillary to its (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms directed verdict following rare price discrimination trial (Spartan Concrete Products / Argos USVI)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
Failure to show antitrust injury proved fatal to price discrimination claims as the Third Circuit affirmed a directed verdict in favor of cement company, Argos USVI, in a case brought by its customer, ready-mix concrete company Spartan Concrete Products ("Spartan"). This decision highlights (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms bench trial’s decision in rare price discrimination suit (Spartan Concrete Products / Argos USVI)
Hausfeld (New York)
Robinson-Patman Act decisions are rare. This often is because legitimate complaints against a supplier providing favorable pricing to a complaining customer’s competitors either are settled out of court or prior to a decision on the merits. So it is of interest when a price discrimination suit (...)

The Indian Competition Authority closes case which alleged discriminatory access to market currently in front of Securities Exchange Board due to insufficient evidence for a prima facie decision (Advocate Jitesh Maheshwari / National Stock Exchange of India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI cedes jurisdiction to SEBI to decide upon complaint of abuse of dominance against National Stock Exchange* The Commission, in a surprise turn from its previous position in so many cases before, by way of order dated 07.01.2019, decided not to inquire into allegations of abuse of dominance (...)

The Indian National Company Law Appellate Tribunal reverses the Competition Authority’s decision which penalised a company for imposing anti-competitive vertical restraints in the manufacturing vehicle sector (Hyundai)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
NCLAT quashes CCI order punishing Hyundai for Resale Price Maintenance and Tying-in* The National Company Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT/ Tribunal ”) by way of an order dated August 19, 2018 , has set aside the CCI Order dated June 14, 2017 against Hyundai Motors India Ltd. (“Hyundai”) which (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses abuse of dominance allegations because the defendant was not dominant in the "relevant period" (Amit Mittal / DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers & Vijay Kapoor / DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegation of abuse of dominant position against the DLF group* By way of an order dated August 31, 2018, the CCI has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominant position by DLF group. The case was closed since DLF was not found to be in a dominant position Gurgaon during the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the allegations of abuse of dominance by a postal incumbent for lack of evidence (Correos)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
In 2014, UNIPOST, S.A. (Unipost) filed a complaint before the NMCC against Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telegrafos, S.A., (Correos) denouncing that Correos was able to offer discounts to large customers, well above the discounts offered by Unipost and other competitors for similar services, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of a dominant position against the largest national energy conglomerate (Tata Power Delhi Distribution / NTPC)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against NTPC -India’s largest energy conglomerate* The CCI vide its order dated 12.10.2017 has dismissed allegation of abuse of dominance and anti-competitive conduct against NTPC Limited, India’s largest public electricity generator (the Opposite (...)

The EU Commission fines the incumbent Lithuanian railway company €28 million for abuse of dominance (Baltic Rail)
DG COMP (Brussels)
On 2 October 2017 the European Commission adopted its decision in the Baltic Rail case finding that the Lithuanian railways company, Lietuvos geležinkeliai (’LG’) abused its dominant position. The extraordinary circumstances of the case prompted one commentator to wonder whether this is ’the most (...)

The EU Court of Justice accepts an alternative to the United Brands test to establish excessive pricing (AKKA / LAA)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
On replying to the preliminary questions referred by the Supreme Court of Latvia (SCL), in AKKA v LAA the CJEU has accepted a methodology other than the two-limb United Brands test to establish an excessive pricing practice. The CJEU also clarifies the criteria to set the amount of the fine (...)

The EU Court of Justice refers back to the General Court a case for it to examine the factual and economic evidence and to establish whether the rebates at issue are capable of restricting competition (Intel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its long awaited judgment on Intel’s appeal against the General Court’s ruling that its rebate scheme was inherently anticompetitive and that there was no need to consider the circumstances of the case, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has today referred the case back to the (...)

The EU Court of Justice endorses an effects-based assessment of rebates (Intel)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU" or "Court") essentially held in Intel that the European Commission ("Commission") cannot (...)

The EU Court of Justice revisits forty years of case law on when a dominant company’s rebate scheme may be abusive (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
,
Baker McKenzie (London)
In its ruling on the European Commission’s 500 page Intel decision, in a crisp 150 paragraphs, the EU Court of Justice (the Court) revisited forty years of jurisprudence on when a dominant company’s rebate scheme may be abusive. Though no final decision for Intel, the case marks a potentially (...)

The EU Court of Justice refers a case back to the General Court for re-examination (Intel)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
Major victory for Intel as CJEU sends case back to General Court for re-examination* On 6 September, the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice (CJEU), released its long-awaited decision in the Intel case, in which the Commission imposed a fine of €1.06 billion – at the time, the largest fine (...)

The EU Court of Justice defines the conditions for the legality of discounts made by dominant companies (Intel)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) published its judgement in a highly expected case, largely due to the huge administrative fine of € 1,060 million set by the EC in 2009, but mostly because of its relevance in a very important area of commerce: the legal treatment of discounts by dominant (...)

The EU Court of Justice modernizes abuse of dominance (Intel)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
(“CJEU”) set aside General Court’s 2014 Intel judgment, upholding a European Commission (the “Commission”) decision fining Intel €1.06 billion for abuse of dominance through exclusivity rebates . The CJEU held that the General Court had erred in failing to examine all of Intel’s arguments calling (...)

The EU Court of Justice renders its judgment in a case regarding loyalty rebates granted by dominant companies (Intel)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
An alternative view on accuracy and administrability Introduction In its judgment in Intel of 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) rejected the notion that particular loyalty rebates granted by a dominant company are subject to a per se illegality standard of (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues landmark judgment on the legal treatment of fidelity rebates granted by dominant companies (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued its long-awaited judgment in the Intel case (Case C-413/14 P), setting aside the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment. The GC must now re-assess the legality of the Commission’s decision in light of the ECJ’s ruling. Intel was (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that exclusivity rebates cannot be presumed to be an abuse of dominance (Intel)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
Exclusivity rebates are used in markets ranging from postal deliveries through ice cream to computer processors and are normally regarded as beneficial to consumers. However, when applied by dominant companies such rebates could potentially entrench an existing market position and have been (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls the General Court ruling that upheld the fine imposed by the Commission for an abuse of dominance (Intel)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
What happened? The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") set aside a General Court ruling that had upheld a €1.06 billion fine imposed by the European Commission on Intel for abusing its dominant position in the market for x86 central processing units ("CPUs"). Background In its 2009 decision, (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes the 2014 judgment of the General Court that upheld a fine of €1.06 billion for an abuse of dominant position by implementing loyalty rebates based on exclusivity agreements (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On September 6, 2017 ,the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) quashed the 2014 judgment of the General Court (GC) that upheld a fine of €1.06 billion ($1.5 billion) on Intel Corporation Inc. (Intel) for abusing a dominant market position by implementing loyalty rebates based on (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears dominant mobile messaging service from abuse of dominance allegations (Fight for Transparency Society / WhatsApp)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of abuse of dominance against WhatsApp* CCI vide its recent order dated June 01, 2017 has closed an allegation of abuse of dominant position against popular message service WhatsApp. The complaint against WhatsApp was filed by an individual Vinod Kumar Gupta on behalf of (...)

The Ljubljana Court of Appeal annuls a decision concerning minor offence proceedings against a collecting society (SAZAS)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
Introduction In SAZAS case, the Slovenian Competition Protection Office (hereinafter referred to as the CPO) adopted a partial administrative decision in April 2011 (Case 306-35/2009-108), finding that Združenje skladateljev, avtorjev in založnikov za zaščito avtorskih pravic Slovenije (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses market sharing allegations against 4 companies in the market for Digital Projection Systems in cinema halls (Eskay Video / Real Image Media Technologies Mumbai)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against Real Image Media Technologies, Shree Venkatesh Films, UFO movies and Arti Cinemas Pvt. Ltd. for alleged anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominance* CCI by its order dated December 06, 2016 has closed the case against Real Image Media Technologies Mumbai, (OP-1) (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against a laptop manufacturer (S. K. Mittal / HP)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegation of abuse of dominance against HP* CCI, by its order dated November 10, 2016, has dismissed allegation of abuse of dominance against HP for defective products and spurious spare parts. In the Information filed by an individual, Dr. S.K. Mittal, who was essentially (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of predatory pricing in the market for auto-rickshaw services (Vilakshan Kumar Yadav / ANI Technologies)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegation of predatory pricing against ANI Technologies Ltd. in New Delhi and NCR* The CCI has dismissed allegation of abuse of dominant position through predatory by Ola Cabs and Taxi For Sure operator ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The Information was filed by three individuals (...)

The Indian Competition Authority upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against a mining company in the market for chrome ore (All Odisha Steel Federation / Orissa Mining Corporation)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC)* COMPAT by its order dated August 30, 2016 has upheld order of CCI which had dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance by OMC has been indulging in (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against global telecom provider in the market for international roaming services (Vishwambhar Marutirao Doiphode / Vodafone India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against Vodafone* COMPAT by its order dated August 16, 2016 has upheld order of CCI whereby it declined to order an investigation into the allegations of abuse of dominance by Vodafone India for levying exorbitant charges for (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against international airport due to lack of evidence (Airline Operators Committee / Delhi International Airport)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL)* COMPAT by its order dated April 12, 2016 has upheld order of CCI which had dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance by DIAL in charging licence fee from airlines using the (...)

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court dismisses an application to re-try a case in Shaanxi involving taxis and exclusive dealing (Taxi case)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 17 March 2016, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) released its decision to dismiss an application to re-try a case in Shaanxi involving taxis and exclusive dealing. In that case, two private local taxi companies sued three other local taxi companies for exclusive dealing. The SPC made its (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against real estate company and promoter due to lack of dominance (Raghubir Mertia / Aura Real Estate / Waghere Promoters)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against Aura Real Estate (ARE) and Waghere Promoters* CCI by its order dated January 7, 2016 dismissed the allegations of violation of abuse of dominant position against “ARE” and Waghere Promoters (collectively ‘Promoters’). It was alleged (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against airport operator and airport authority due to lack of evidence (Turbo Aviation / Bangalore International Airport / Airports Authority of India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and Airports Authority of India (AAI)* CCI by its order dated January 7, 2016 dismissed a case against KIAB and AAI for alleged abuse of its dominant position. The case was filed by (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of predatory pricing in the market for taxi services due to lack of dominance (Meru Travel Solutions / Uber India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses case alleging predatory pricing against Uber India* CCI on December 22, 2015 ordered prima-facie closed the case for an alleged abuse of dominance under section 4 of the Act against taxi services provider, Uber. The case was filed by Meru Travel Solutions Private Ltd. (Meru) (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against an international airport in the market for office space rentals (AOC Airline Operators Committee / DIAL Delhi International Airport)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL)* CCI by its order dated November 17, 2015 dismissed a case against DIAL for alleged abuse of its dominant position by charging high rentals for office space from some of the airlines. The (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against educational trust and real estate developer due to lack of dominance (Geeta Kapoor / DLF Qutab Enclave Complex Educational Charitable Trust)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegation of anti-competitive practices against DLF Ltd* The CCI by its order dated November 17, 2015 dismissed allegations against DLF Qutab Enclave Complex Educational Charitable Trust (the Trust) and DLF Ltd.. It was alleged by the Informant, Ms. Geeta Kapoor, that the Trust (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against antivirus software company due to lack of dominance (Systweak Software / Symantec)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against an American Technology Company* CCI vide its order dated November 17, 2015 closed the case filed by M/s Systweak Software, engaged in the development and distribution of computer software operating with Windows and Mac Operating Systems, against an American based (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against newspaper’s online portal (Cloudwalker Streaming Technologies / Bennett / Coleman and Company)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against a daily newspaper of Times Group in Mumbai* The CCI by its order dated September 29, 2015 dismissed case against a daily newspaper of Times Group Bombay Times online portal www.halfticket.tv, managed by Cloudwalker Streaming Technologies Private Limited (“Informant”) and (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against cable TV provider by TV station running news stories against State Government due to lack of evidence (Makkal TV / Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd.* CCI by its order dated September 29, 2015 has closed the case against Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (OP), for alleged indulging in unfair and discriminatory practices with regard to collection of carriage fee from (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal addresses its first predatory pricing case in the newspaper market (Media24)
Wallonia-Brussels Trade Commission - AWEX (Johannesburg)
First predatory pricing case before the Competition Tribunal* A year ago, we at AAT reported on the intervention by competitors in the merger between Media24 and Paarl Media. Today, we want to highlight a “one-year-later” feature about that same company, which has now been found liable of (...)

The Spanish High Court annuls the decision of the Spanish Competition Authority fining the public postal operator for an abuse of dominant position consisting on margin squeeze due to lack of evidence (Correos)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
On 21 January 2014, the NMCC fined € 8.17 million on Correos for abusing its dominant position on the wholesale market for postal services (access to the postal network) and on the retail market for postal services involving large senders (business customers) in Spain. The (...)

The Italian Supreme Court opens the doors to standalone private actions (Cargest)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision of 6 June 2015 the Italian Supreme Court annulled the previous decision of the Court of Appeal of Rome , which had rejected the claim brought by a number of fruit and vegetable wholesalers (the “Wholesalers”) against Cargest - the company that manages the fruit and vegetable (...)

The Italian Supreme Court applies the principles of Directive 2014/104/EU in favour of claimants in a stand-alone case concerning an abuse of dominant position (Cargest)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
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Linde (Milan)
Introduction On the 4th of June 2015, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (hereinafter referred to as “ISC”) overruled a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Rome concerning a claim brought by 52 food distributors against Cargest Srl because of an abuse of dominant position by the defendant. (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismisses claims of conspiracy to protect a monopoly by "product hopping", citing risk to slow or halt pharmaceutical innovation (Mylan / Warner Chilcott)
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia)
Product Hopping and Antitrust: Mylan Court Dismisses Claims on Summary Judgment, Citing Need to Avoid Chilling Pharmaceutical Innovation* A recent summary judgment opinion from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania breaks new ground in the developing antitrust law on “product hopping” claims. (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California dismisses an antitrust claim for lack of proof of both the conduct and the injury (Google)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Two recent victories for Google in the United States* On 20 February 2015 a federal judge in California dismissed an antitrust lawsuit against Google alleging that it violated antitrust laws by requiring makers of Android tablets and smartphones to designate Google as the default search engine (...)

A US District Court reminds the need for a harmonious and supportable market definition to win an antitrust case (Live nation)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Federal Court Rings Down The Curtain On Baltimore-D.C. Rock Promoters’ Antitrust Case Against Live Nation* A long-running antitrust battle of the bands between a Baltimore-D.C. area regional concert promoter and venue operator and the concert colossus Live Nation got the hook in the U.S. (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court sets up the standard for antitrust private litigation with detailed analysis method regarding market definition and dominance establishment (Qihoo / Tencent)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
When the Antitrust Encounter the Internet: The Legal Battle between Qihoo 360 and Tencent Finally Comes to the End* The outgoing year has witnessed the significantly increasing role of „Antitrust‟ and „Internet‟ played in China‟s economy. With the Supreme People‟s Court („SPC‟) ratified the original (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court elaborates detailed fundamental principles of anti-monopoly law, in particular in the context of abuse of dominance on the internet market, in its first anti-monopoly case (Qihoo / Tencent)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
The Supreme Court Goes Online with Anti-Monopoly Law Principles:A Review of Qihoo v.s. Tencent Abuse of Market Dominance Case* Introduction On 15 November 2011, Qihoo issued proceedings against Tencent in the Guangdong Higher Court, asserting that Tencent had abused its dominant position, (...)

The EU General Court holds that a duty to procure specific documents might be imposed on the Commission at the request of an undertaking which is the subject to an antitrust investigation under certain circumstances (Intel)
Mircea (Bucharest)
Access to documents not to be found in the Commission’s possession I. Background The Intel Cases have occupied the international arena of antitrust litigation for the past ten years and a definitive resolution has not been reached yet. The administrative proceeding initiated by the Commission (...)

The UK High Court rules on the relevance of commercial gain for establishing an abuse of dominance on the market for airport to city centre bus route (Arriva The Shires / London Luton Airport Operations)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Abuse of dominance: no commercial gain, no abuse?* Is it necessary for there to be some commercial benefit to be gained by a dominant undertaking from its conduct before that conduct can be condemned as abusive? No, says Mrs Justice Rose in Arriva the Shires Ltd v London Luton Airport (...)

The Enterprises Court of Milan awards to a local telecom operator damages in a follow-on case of a margin squeeze decision against the incumbent operator (Brennercom / Telecom Italia)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
Introduction On the December 27 2013, the Enterprises Court of Milan awarded damages to Brennercom, a fixed-line telecom operator active in the north-east of Italy, in respect of a claim brought against Telecom Italia. This case arose as a follow-on action from a decision of the Italian (...)

The EU Commission consults on commitments to license on FRAND terms regarding the use of standard-essential patents (Samsung)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Samsung offers commitments to appease DG Comp* The most important (antitrust-related) news last week was the European Commission’s announcement that it will market test a commitment proposal submitted by Samsung regarding the enforcement of its SEPs (Standard Essential Patents) related to (...)

The EU Court of Justice maintains the validity of the Commission’s decision not to investigate the complaint due to the low likelihood of establishing a dominant position of printer manufacturers on ink cartridge aftermarket (EFIM)
University of Amsterdam
This article has been nominated for the 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The EFIM-case: no dominant position of printer manufacturers on ink cartridge aftermarket* Ink in cartridges for printers is often called ‘black gold’, or (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirms the order of dismissal as the allegation of a relevant market of black hot rolled coiled steel was insufficient as a matter of law failing to negate the likelihood of supply-side entry (Gulf States / Nucor)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Failure to Adequately Allege Lack of Supply Cross-Elasticity Dooms Attempted Monopolization Action to “Quick Look” Dismissal* GULF STATES REORGANIZATION GROUP, INC. V. NUCOR CORP. (11th Cir. July 15, 2013) No. 11-14983. In 1999, Gulf States Steel, Inc., a participant in a market described as (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the judgment of the eleventh circuit and leaves the structuring of the rule of reason antitrust litigation to the lower courts (Actavis)
Cleveland University - Marshall School of Law
Just What on Earth Did Actavis Really Say? And Does It Mean Something for Section 1 More Broadly?* It’s going to be a strict, nearly-per-se quick look rule, folks, in more or less every reverse-payment case likely to be brought from here on out. Dollars-to-donuts. A few weeks have gone by, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds no prima facie case in a predatory pricing case concerning oil and gas exploration activities (HLS Asia / Schlumberger Asia Services and Oil and Natural Gas)
University of Delhi (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) began enforcing India’s new Competition Act in May 2009. It recently decided a matter in which predatory pricing was the central allegation. Although the CCI found no prima facie case and closed the matter at the threshold, the decision raises some (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards damages in a follow-on claim arising from the abuse of dominance on the market for transportation and partial treatment of water (Albion Water / Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Albion v Dwr Cymru: Incompetence and counterfactuals* The Competition Appeal Tribunal today delivered that rarest of beasts: a judgment awarding damages in a follow-on claim. After its decade-long fight, Albion Water has been awarded around £2 million for Dŵr Cymru’s abuse of dominant position in (...)

The US Supreme Court reverses the decisions of the lower courts and emphasizes that any model supporting a plaintiff’s damages case must be consistent with its liability case (Comcast / Behrend)
Sterlington
Comcast v. Behrend Sets a Higher Bar for Class Certification* On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court continued its recent trend of imposing more stringent standards for class certification in Comcast Corporation v. Behrend, 569 U.S. ___ (2013). At issue was whether the proponents of (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court declares that the Competition Authority has to perform a new evaluation of commitments since its decision lacked motives and was inconsistent (TEO / Viasat)
Raimundas Moisejevas (Vilnius)
Background On 22 November 2011, the Lithuanian Competition Council passed resolution on termination of investigation proceedings concerning conformity of Viasat World Limited and Viasat AS actions to the Article 9 of the Competition law. The present article of the Competition law prohibited (...)

The Specialized Administrative Court of Kazakhstan fines two major regional cement producers for tacit collusion (Semei Cement Plant / Bukhtarma cement company)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
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Ernst & Young (Astana)
The regional division of the Antimonopoly agency – the Antimonopoly inspection of the East Kazakhstan oblast (‘Inspection’) conducted an investigation over the main competitors in the regional cement market, "Semei Cement Plant" LLC (‘LLC’) and "Bukhtarma cement company" JSC (‘JSC’), whose main (...)

The Federal Court of Justice of Germany clarifies that ‘legal impossibility’ can be used as a justification for denying potential competitor access to essential facilities and provides guidance on the respective burden of proof (Ferry Port Puttgarden II)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
I. The Facts Scandlines Deutschland GmbH (Scandlines) is the owner of the Puttgarden/Fehmarn ferry port in Germany and the sole provider of ferry services between Puttgarden and Rødby/Lolland in Denmark. Two Norwegian shipping companies sought access to the ferry port in Puttgarden in order to (...)

The Israeli Restrictive Trade Practices General Director declares certain entities "monopolies" in the supply of non-liquefied natural gas (Noble Energy Mediterranean / Delek Drilling / Avner Oil & Gas Exploration)
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent (Tel Aviv)
Introduction On November 13, 2012, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the “General Director”) declared a few entities engaged in the exploration, production and sale of natural gas - Noble Energy Mediterranean, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil & Gas Exploration (both of the Delek (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission decision for failing to substantiate the existence of an abuse of dominance on the market for cheap electricity (DEI)
University of Groningen
A Burning Desire to Clarify(?) the Law for Public Undertakings: The Judgment in Greek Lignite (Case T-169/08)* The General Court has finally handed down the judgment in the Greek Lignite (brown coal) case. This is a long-running case resulting from a complaint (dating from 2003) concerning the (...)

A US District Court grants a motion for summary judgment because the plaintiffs failed to establish the element of “dangerous probability” for an antitrust claim for attempted monopolization on the market for containerized waste hauling and disposal services (All Star Carts and Vehicles / BFI Canada Income Fund)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Summary Judgment Dooms Attempted Monopolization Claim in Small Container Trash Hauling Market* In All Star Carts and Vehicles, Inc., et al. v. BFI Canada Income Fund, et al., Case No. 2:08-cv-01816-LDW-AKT, August 1, 2012, the District Court for Eastern District of New York recently granted (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court repeals decision of the Competition Authority, which recognized that energy operator abused its dominant position (Vilniaus energija)
Raimundas Moisejevas (Vilnius)
Background On 6 May 2010, the Lithuanian Competition Council passed resolution, which recognized that actions of UAB “Vilniaus energija” do not correspond to the Article 9 of the Competition law that prohibits abuse of dominant position. The Competition Council claimed that UAB “Vilniaus (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court issues rules governing private antitrust litigations arising from monopolistic conducts
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Beijing)
On May 8, China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) issued its Rules on the Application of Laws for Adjudicating Civil Disputes Arising From Monopolistic Conduct (“the Rules”). According to the SPC, the Rules, which take effect June 1, are intended to ease plaintiffs’ burdens and are thus likely to have (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Mazak issues his opinion recommending to dismiss an appeal against pharma company’s abuse of dominance (AstraZeneca)
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
AstraZeneca v Commission, Advocate-General Mazak’s Opinion of 15 May 2012* On 15 May 2012, Advocate-General Mazák delivered his long awaited Opinion to the European Court of Justice in the long-running AstraZeneca litigation. Practitioners hoping for an opinion that tempered some of the more (...)

The Guangdong Higher People’s Court of China holds the first hearing for abuse of dominance in the market of online instant communications services (360 / QQ)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
360 v. QQ-Abuse of Dominance Action Tried at Guangdong Higher Court* On April 18, the Guangdong Higher People’s Court held the first court hearing for the abuse of dominance action filed by Qihoo (the operator of 360 safety software) against Tencent (the operator of QQ instant messaging (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses antitrust claims for failing to prove abusive conduct in the car aftermarket (Dongfeng Nissan case)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Dongfeng Nissan Case and the Gaps of China’s Competition Law Regime in Tackling Vertical Restraints* The recent Dongfeng Nissan Case shed some interesting lights on the status of vertical restraints rules in China, three years after China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) became effective in August (...)

The EU Commission makes legally binding commitments by a national numbering agency to abolish fees for use of US international securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
European University Institute (Florence)
The Rick Perry Syndrome* “Oops“, the Commission did it again… On November 15, 2011, in the S&P case, the Commission again closed abuse of dominance proceedings with an Article 9 decision. As already explained, Article 9 decisions have become the conventional procedure in Article 102 TFEU (...)

A US District Court, relying on ’common sense’, denies a motion to dismiss allegations of a ’price squeeze’ in the paper bags industry (Western Pacific Kraft / Duro)
Womble Bond Dickinson (Washington)
California Court Relies on “Common Sense” in Rejecting Twombley Challenge* Perhaps there is life for conclusory antitrust claims after Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). On May 24, the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied a motion to (...)

The EU Commission assesses whether a company in the online search market has abused its dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU (Microsoft / Google)
European University Institute (Florence)
Microsoft v. Google – Clash of the Titans* On Behalf of the Antitrust Community, A Big Thank You – Antitrust law professors should be grateful to Microsoft (hereafter, “MSFT”). As a repeat offender of the competition laws, MSFT has provided scholars with loads of research and educational material (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority welcomes the EU Court of Justice preliminary ruling on "margin squeeze" as a stand-alone antitrust abuse in the telecom sector (TeliaSonera)
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: The Competition Authority welcomes ECJ Judgment on Competition in the Telecom Sector* The Swedish Competition Authority (the Authority) welcomes the Judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 17 February 2011 in the case C-52/09, Konkurrensverket against TeliaSonera Sverige AB. (...)

The Lisbon Court of Commerce quashes the Competition Authority’s first-ever abuse of dominant position infringement decision in the underground ducts’ telecom network access case, upheld on appeal (PT Comunicações)
Cruz Vilaça Advogados (Lisbon)
I. The case, the PCA’s decision and the judgments After receiving complaints from telecom undertakings “TvTel Comunicações” and “Cabovisão”, the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter “PCA”) launched an investigation in 2003 into the allegations that Portugal Telecom Comunicações (hereinafter (...)

The EU General Court upholds a Commission’s decision concerning an abuse of dominance in the market for machines for the collection of used beverage containers addressing the issues of loyalty rebates and exclusivity agreements (Tomra)
European University Institute (Florence)
Hungry for More?* Apologies for the long post, but I have several remarks to add to my former post under Tomra v. Commission: •Priority-setting – As most of you know, this judgment confirmed a Commission Decision of 2006, in which Tomra, a producer of reverse vending machines used for (...)

The EU General Court confirms fine imposed by the Commission for abuse of dominant position in the market for reverse-vending machines (RVM) used to collect used beverage containers focusing on exclusive agreements and loyalty-based rebates (Tomra)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On September 9, 2010, the General Court of the EU (the Court) issued its judgment in Tomra vs. Commission (Case T-155/06), dismissing an appeal brought by Tomra against a European Commission decision imposing a €24 million fine for abuse of its dominant position in Germany, Austria, Sweden, the (...)

The US District California Court of Appeal upholds a jury verdict finding that a claim of unfair competition based on below-cost sales of advertising did not require proof of the defendant’s ability to recoup losses by subsequent monopoly pricing (Bay Guardian Company / New Times Media)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
A Step Back to Square One? California Court of Appeal Elevates UPA Protection of Competitors Over Protection of Competition in Newspaper Ad Dispute* On August 11, 2010, the California Court of Appeal for the First District upheld a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff Bay Guardian Company (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court reforms a judgment of the First Instance and considers an airport managing company not responsible for an abuse of dominant position under art. 102 TFEU in the market for centralized airport infrastructures (SEA / Airport tariffs)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Economisti Associati (Bologna)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
In September 2009, the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale del Lazio) upheld the appeal from AIR ONE S.p.A., an Italian airline now merged with Alitalia, against a decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) concerning the alleged abuse of (...)

A Chinese Intermediate People’s court dismisses antitrust claims for failing to prove abusive conduct in the termite prevention service market (HY / HT)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
Huzhou Yiting Termite Prevention Service Co., Ltd (HY) v Huzhou Termite Prevention Research Institute (HT) Pending in the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court* On 25 November 2009, HY filed a suit against HT in the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court, alleging that HT had abused its dominance in (...)

The Chinese Intermediate People’s Court No.1 in Beijing issues second abuse of dominance decision under the new anti-monopoly law (Baidu / TRISC - Tangshan Renren Information Service Company)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
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Winston & Strawn (Washington)
On December 18, 2009, a Chinese court ruled in favor of Baidu, Inc. (“Baidu”), allegedly the largest Chinese search engine company, in a lawsuit filed by Tangshan Renren Information Service Company (“TRISC”), an online information platform. TRISC alleged that Baidu abused its dominant market (...)

The French Supreme Court clarifies the standard of proof applicable to collective dominance pursuant to Art. 82 EC and its French equivalent (Lafarge Ciments / Vicat)
Juliette Goyer Avocat (Paris)
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Belgium Competition Authority (Brussels)
On 7 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rebutted a case dated 6 May 2008 by the Paris Court of Appeal partially annulling a decision by the French National Competition Authority (the “NCA”) sanctioning two French cement manufacturers, Lafarge and Vicat, and their main distributors in Corsica for (...)

The Latvian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision on abuse of dominance in the telecommunication sector (Lattelecom)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Supreme Court Upholds the Decision on Abuse of Dominant Position by Telecommunication Company* With the decision of 5 May 2009 the Senator Collegium of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate of the Supreme Court has dismissed legal proceedings concerning the 17 July 2002 decision (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit sets aside the FTC’s charge of an antitrust violation in the computer memory industry (Rambus)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On April 22, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in Rambus Inc. v. FTC, No. 07-1086, that the FTC failed to prove that Rambus Inc. violated antitrust law when it participated in a trade organization’s setting of industry technology standards without (...)

The Macedonian Administrative Court quashes the Competition Authority’s decision establishing an abuse of dominance of the incumbent electricity provider on the electricity market (Elektrostopanstvo)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
Summary The Macedonian Administrative Court quashed the NCA’s decision imposing financial penalties for abuse of dominant position committed by Elektrostopanstvo on the electricity market. The main reason for the annulment consisted in the NCA’s failure to include all requisite information, (...)

The EU Court of First Instance, in upholding the Commission’s decision on abuse of dominant position of the PC operating systems, turns back the clock (Microsoft)
Linklaters (London)
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University of Cambridge
Overview In its 2004 decision, the Commission concluded that Microsoft had committed two types of abuse which where both related to the dominant position which it held through Microsoft Windows in the PC operating systems market: first, the Commission held that Microsoft had failed to supply (...)

The EU Court of First Instance partially upholds the Commission’s decision concerning an abuse of a dominant position in the PC operating system (Microsoft)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
"The judgment of the Court of First Instance in the Microsoft case"* I. The 2004 Decision On 24 March 2004, the Commission adopted a decision pursuant to Article 82 EC concluding that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the PC operating system market by (i) refusing to provide (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirms dismissal of conspiracy and monopolization in the elevator industry for failure to meet Twombly pleading standards (In re Elevator Antitrust Litigation)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Haug Partners (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
On September 4, 2007, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of all claims in In re Elevator Antitrust Litigation, No. 06-2138-cv, 2007 WL 2471805 (2d Cir. Sept. 4, 2007) (slip opinion available at http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov), finding that the complaint failed to satisfy (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rules that bundled discounts will not support a claim under s. 2 of the Sherman Act unless the discounts are below an appropriate measure of costs (Cascade Health Solutions / PeaceHealth)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Haug Partners (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
On September 4, 2007 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its much-anticipated decision in Cascade Health Solutions (fka McKenzie- Williamette Hospital) v. PeaceHealth, et al., No. 05-35627, 2007 WL 2473229 (9th Cir. Sept. 4, 2007). The court held that bundled pricing (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit applies a cost-based test to attempted monopolization claim premised on multiproduct discounting (Cascade Health Solutions / PeaceHealth)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
The Ninth Circuit evaluated the antitrust implications of multiproduct or “bundled” discounts in Cascade Health Solutions v. PeaceHealth, CV-02-06032 (Sept. 4, 2007). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit rejected the controversial Third Circuit rule of LePage’s Inc. v. 3M, 324 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. 2003), (...)

The US Supreme Court rules that federal securities laws implicitly preclude application of antitrust law to regulated securities industry related claims (Credit Suisse Securities / Billing)
Dentons (Washington)
Credit Suisse v. Billing: The Limited Impact on Application of Antitrust Laws in Federally Regulated Industries Following the 2008 Financial Crisis and Beyond* In Credit Suisse v. Billing, the Supreme Court of the United States considered whether antitrust laws were implicitly precluded from (...)

The UK High Court rejects a claim of predatory behaviour on a local bus transport services market (Chester City Transport / Arriva)
King’s College (London)
Introduction and Background to the Claim In Chester City Council and Chester City Transport Limited v. Arriva Plc, Arriva Cymru Limited and Arriva North West Limited [2007] EWHC 1373 (Ch), the High Court of Justice had to consider a claim brought by Chester City Council (‘the Council’) and (...)

The US Supreme Court extends monopoly predatory pricing standards to monopsony predatory bidding practices (Weyerhaeuser / Ross-Simmons)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On February 20, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant opinion in which it concluded that the test it had set forth previously to govern predatory pricing cases applies also to cases involving allegations of predatory bidding. See Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co., (...)

The UK Court of Appeal overturns the finding by the High Court of an abuse of dominance in a litigation between private parties (Attheraces / British Horseracing Board)
White & Case (London)
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Reed Smith (London)
Background A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has reversed the first ever High Court finding of an Article 82 infringement in litigation between private parties. Attheraces v British Horseracing Board was an appeal from the High Court decision of Justice Etherton. The Judge who had held (...)

The French Supreme Court lowers the standard of proof for anticompetitive practices and quashes the Paris Court of Appeal judgment in the Ténor case, regarding calls from landlines to mobile phones (ETNA / France Telecom-SFR)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Following a referral by an association of telecom operators disputing the pricing policy of integrated operators (i.e. offering both landline and mobile phone services), the French Competition Council had, in its decision of 14th October 2004, found against France Télécom and SFR and fined them (...)

The EU Commission renders a decision on collective dominance under the European consultation mechanism on electronic communications in a case related to the market for wholesale mobile access and call origination in Ireland (Vodafone / O2 / Meteor)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG CNECT (Brussels)
"First collective dominance cases under the European consultation mechanism on electronic communications"* In the first semester of 2005, the Commission dealt with two collective dominance cases in the electronic communications sector. Both cases were notified to it under the so-called (...)

The EU Commission renders a decision on collective dominance under the European consultation mechanism on electronic communications in a case related to the market for broadcasting transmission services in the UK (Crown Castle)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG CNECT (Brussels)
"First collective dominance cases under the European consultation mechanism on electronic communications"* In the first semester of 2005, the Commission dealt with two collective dominance cases in the electronic communications sector. Both cases were notified to it under the so-called (...)

The US Supreme Court introduces a new method for regulatory antitrust analysis (Trinko / Verizon)
K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
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K&L Gates (Pittsburgh)
A New Method for Regulatory Antitrust Analysis? Verizon Communications v. Trinko* In Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U.S. 398 (2004), the United States Supreme Court adopted a novel method for applying the antitrust laws in regulated markets and thereby (...)

The UK High Court gives important guidelines as to the standard of proof for claiming damages in competition cases (Arkin)
Reed Smith (London)
Arkin v. Borchard Lines Ltd., [2003] All E.R. (D) 173, [2003] EWHC 687 (Comm) (10 April 2003), is important as one of the first damages claims brought in a United Kingdom court for breach of Articles 81 and 82 of the Rome Treaty involving private enforcement of competition law. It was decided (...)

The US Supreme Court establishes a test for proving the existence of predatory pricing (Brooke Group)
Bona Law (Detroit)
Predatory Pricing: Rarely, But Not Never, Successful under US Antitrust Laws* Your much larger competitor sells the same products as you do but at a much lower price, so low you think that it must be losing money on each sale. Can such “predatory pricing” ever violate the antitrust laws? It is a (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remands a case due to the lower court’s provision of several incorrect jury instructions and failure to instruct on the “essential facilities” doctrine in a case affecting the market for major-league professional football (Hecht / Pro Football)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a jury verdict in a case between a potential franchisor and the operator of the Washington Redskins football team because the lower court improperly instructed the jury on a number of issues. This Court determined that the lower (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority publishes its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
In March 2021, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines (MAGs) along with a Quick Guide, complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure, which was published in December 2020. The updated MAGs underpin the CMA’s (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines along with a quick guide complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
In March 2021, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines (MAGs) along with a Quick Guide, complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure, which was published in December 2020. The updated MAGs underpin the CMA’s (...)

The UK Competition Authority updates its Merger Assessment Guidelines
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has updated its guidelines on the way it assesses mergers to take account of the significant economic changes that have taken place since it published its previous guidance in 2010. The CMA is taking an increasingly interventionist approach to (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses the Competition Authority’s decision and authorizes the acquisition of a company in the sports retailing sector in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (JD Sports / Footasylum) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 November 2020, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) upheld an appeal brought by JD Sports against the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) decision to prohibit its already completed acquisition of rival retailer Footasylum. On 6 May 2020, the CMA had blocked the merger between the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal supports the Competition Authority’s approach to estimating the merger effects on consumers but finds that it did not gather enough information about the impact of COVID-19 on the merger (JD Sports / Footasylum) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA considers next steps in JD Sports/Footasylum merger* The CMA is considering its next steps following today’s Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment in the JD Sports/Footasylum case. JD Sports had appealed the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) final decision to block its takeover of (...)