Buyer power in agreements and abuse of market power

Unilateral Practices

The Indian Competition Authority finds an abuse of dominance in the market for wholesale procurement of branded alcoholic beverages (Uttarakhand Agricultural Produce Marketing Board)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI held that the Uttarakhand Agricultural Product Marketing Board (the Board) had abused its dominant position in the market for the wholesale procurement of branded alcoholic beverages in the State of Uttarakhand. The International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) had argued (...)

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

The 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 Mexican Competition Authority investigates possible monopolistic practices in the market of conformity assessment of mezcal’s alcoholic beverage
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Derived from a complaint, COFECE investigates possible relative monopolistic practices in the market of conformity assessment of mezcal* Mexico City, March 04, 2021.- The Investigative Authority of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) published today, in the (...)

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Commission of the State Council publishes anti-monopoly guidelines on platform economy
Queen Mary University (London)
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University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
On 10 November 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”), China’s competition authority, released the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on the Platform Economy (Draft for Public Opinions Solicitation) (the “Draft”). Around three months later, on 7 February 2021, the Anti-Monopoly (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines a Mandarin oranges buyer for unfair trading practices (Jasenska)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Unfair trading practices: CCA imposes HRK 350,000 fine on Mandarin Oranges buyer Jasenka from Opuzen* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened ex officio infringement proceeding against the mandarin oranges buyer Jasenska within the meaning of the Act on prohibition of unfair trading (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding an abuse of dominance and an anti-competitive agreement between a German internal combustion engine manufacturer and its national distributor in the railway sector (Deutz / Diesel Motor Nordic)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
The case centred around a consortium that was handling the renovation of the engines of the IC3 trains of the Danish State Railways. A member of the consortium, Fleco ApS (Fleco), was in several ways restricted from buying spare parts to be used in the renovation of the train engines. The (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court confirms a decision of the Competition Authority finding that a German internal combustion engine manufacturer had both abused its dominant position and entered into an anti-competitive agreement with its Danish dealer (Deutz / Diesel Motor Nordic)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 January 2021, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court (“MCC”) confirmed a decision of the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) finding that the German internal combustion engine manufacturer Deutz had both abused its dominant position and entered into an anti-competitive agreement with (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority puts an end to the infringement proceedings brought against a Big tech company for alleged dominance conduct related to a search engine and online restaurant reservation system prohibited by national antitrust law (Google / El Tenedor)
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition authority (“CNMC”) has agreed to put an end to the infringement proceedings brought against Google and El Tenedor in November 2018 for an alleged conduct related to Google’s search engine and Google Maps’ online restaurant reservation system prohibited by Articles 1 and 2 of (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision sanctioning retail trading chain for imposition of unfair trading practices (NTL)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
UTPS: Administrative Court upholds CCA decision sanctioning NTL 450,000 kuna for imposition of unfair trading practices* The Administrative Court in Zagreb completely rejected the statement of claim of Narodni trgovački lanac d.o.o. (NTL) in the administrative dispute against the decision of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a national ticket sale company €10 million for abuse of dominant position (TicketOne)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
TicketOne fined for €10 million for abuse of dominant position* The group has implemented a complex strategy aimed at precluding competing operators from selling a high number of tickets for live pop music events. Consumers, unable to benefit from better services and lower prices charged by (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines main national ticket operator €10.9 million for abuse of dominant position (TicketOne)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 22 December 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) issued an important decision fining CTS Eventim €10.9 million for having implemented an unlawful exclusive strategy in the Italian market of pop music events ticket sellers. In September 2018, the AGCM launched an investigation (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a national ticket operator for abuse of dominant position in the entertainment sector (TicketOne)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
TicketOne S.p.A. (hereinafter "TicketOne") is the leading company in Italy in ticketing, marketing, information and e-commerce services, with specific reference to live music events. TicketOne is controlled by CTS Eventim AG & Co. KGaA, which holds 99.65% of the share capital. CTS Eventim (...)

The Croatian Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision fining fruits and vegetables company for imposition of unfair trading practices (Fragaria)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
UTPS: Administrative court upholds CCA decision sanctioning Fragaria 350,000 kuna for imposition of unfair trading practices* On 16 December 2020 the Administrative Court in Zagreb completely rejected the statement of claim of the re-seller Fragaria d.o.o. in the administrative dispute (...)

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

The Irish Competition Authority seeks High Court order on ticket sales and distribution company’s agreement (Ticketmaster)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC seeks High Court order on Ticketmaster agreement* Why did the CCPC investigate ticketing? In January 2017, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) commenced an investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in relation to the provision of tickets and the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority alleges that an ice-cream supplier infringed competition law by engaging in exclusive dealing (Peters Ice Cream)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Peters allegedly hindered or prevented competition in ice-cream supply* The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Australasian Food Group Pty Ltd, trading as Peters Ice Cream (Peters), alleging it engaged in conduct which hindered or prevented competition for the supply of (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision finding that the national railway company of Lithuania abused its dominant position on the national rail freight market (Lietuvos geležinkelai)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court upholds the Commission’s decision finding that the national railway company of Lithuania abused its dominant position on the Lithuanian rail freight market* Lietuvos geležinkeliai AB (‘LG’), the national railway company of Lithuania, both manages railway infrastructure and (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority releases a statement of objections for alleged abuse of dominant position as well as contractual terms and practices related to the operation of the distribution network against a company in the market of press distribution (ARGOS)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Statement of Objections following an ex officio investigation in the market of Press distribution, in relation to alleged infringements of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 3959/2011 and /or Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, as well as an ex officio investigation initiated pursuant to HCC’s Decision No (...)

The Australian Competition Authority accepts a physiotherapy company’s commitment to remove alleged unfair contract terms from its franchisee agreements (Back In Motion Physiotherapy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Back In Motion Physiotherapy to remove alleged unfair contract terms for franchisees* The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking by Back In Motion Physiotherapy Pty Ltd to remove certain terms from its franchisees agreements which it admits may be unfair. Under a restraint of trade (...)

The EU Court of Justice addresses how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open internet access (Telenor Magyarország / Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság Elnöke)
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 Court of Justice of the European Union (“ CJEU ”), in its recent decision with regard to the two joint cases (C‐807/18 and C‐39/19) brought before it for preliminary ruling, addressed how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open (...)

The Regional Court of Munich rules in favor of an electronic manufacturer in standard essential patent proceeding (Sharp / Daimler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 September 2020, the Regional Court of Munich (“Munich Court”) ruled in favour of Sharp that Daimler had infringed a standard essential patent (“SEP”) of Sharp. Sharp is the patent holder of EP 2667676B1 which is standard essential for the Long-Term Evolution (“LTE”) telecommunications (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 3 laboratories for abusive efforts to segment market (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Background On 9 September 2020, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) imposed a fine of € 444 million on Genentech, Novartis and Roche for abusing their collective dominant position on the market for the commercialisation of drugs for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a fine worth a total of €444 million on three pharmaceutical companies for collective abuse of dominance practices designed to sustain the sale of an expensive drug (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
Ashurst (Paris)
The French Competition Authority ("FCA") has issued a rare decision sanctioning three laboratories active in treatment of age-related macular degeneration on the basis of collective abuse of dominance practices designed to sustain the sale of an expensive drug, Lucentis, to the detriment of a (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three laboratories for abusive practices (Novartis / Roche / Genentech)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Treatment for AMD: the Autorité fines 3 laboratories for abusive practices* The Autorité de la concurrence has imposed fines worth a total of €444 million on three pharmaceutical companies, Novartis, Roche and Genentech, for abusive practices designed to sustain the sales of Lucentis for AMD (...)

The Polish Competition Authority announces it will check a national e-commerce platforms’ practices for cooperation practices with its sellers (Allegro)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK will check practices of Allegro* What are the conditions of cooperation between Allegro and its users? President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has instigated an investigation procedure concerning the practices of Allegro to check whether there might have been any violations of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against the largest sugar producers in Poland for engaging in contractual advantages against farmers (Pfeifer / Langen)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK presses charges against Pfeifer&Langen* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated proceedings against Pfeifer & Langen Polska. The company may have been using its contractual advantage against farmers. The Office is also going to examine the practices of other (...)

The Italian Competition Authority announces the opening of an investigation against two Big Tech firms for violation of Article 101 TFEU (Apple / Amazon)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 22 July, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") announced it had opened an investigation against Apple and Amazon for an alleged violation of article 101 TFEU. Following a complaint received in February 2019 from a retailer who was banned from reselling products on the Amazon market, (...)

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

The German Federal Court of Justice rejects an appeal against prohibition of exclusivity clauses in online sales of event tickets (Eventim)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In December 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibited ticketing services provider CTS Eventim from using exclusivity agreements with event organisers and ticket offices. CTS Eventim had to amend its contractual clauses and allow trading partners to sell at least 20% of their (...)

The Indian National Company Law Appellate Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision that a company mandating a party to sign an agreement which contains unfair and restrictive clauses is tantamount to abuse of its dominance (Verifone)
Supreme Court of India
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Supreme Court of India
Introduction The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by way of its common order dated 13 March 2020 dismissed two appeals preferred by M/s Verifone India Sales Pvt Ltd. (Appellant/ OP 1/ Verifone) against two separate orders passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies for the first time when patent settlement agreements that restrict a generic pharmaceutical company’s ability to enter the market infringe the EU antitrust rules (Generics - UK / GlaxoSmithKline / Actavis / Xellia Pharmaceuticals / Merck / Alpharma)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
In a major judgment handed down on 30 January 2020 in Generics (UK) and Others, the EU Court of Justice (the Court) – the EU’s highest court – clarified for the first time the analytical framework for assessing when patent settlement agreements that restrict a generic pharmaceutical company’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that pay-for-delay patent settlements may restrict competition by object (Generics - UK / GlaxoSmithKline / Actavis / Xellia Pharmaceuticals / Merck / Alpharma)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) handed down its judgment in Case C-307/18, Generics (UK) and Others. This case marks the first time the ECJ has ruled on patent settlement agree- ments between originator pharmaceutical companies and generic producers. (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the criteria for the pay-for-delay agreements in the pharmaceutical sector (Generics - UK / GlaxoSmithKline / Actavis / Xellia Pharmaceuticals / Merck / Alpharma)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 30 January 2020 the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) clarified for the first time the criteria governing whether so-called “pay-for-delay” agreements entered into between originator and generic pharmaceutical companies fall foul of EU competition law rules. Such agreements are a form of patent (...)

The Indian Competition Authority rejects a complaint according to which an online booking accommodation provider abused of its dominant position (RKG / OYO)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In a case with important implications for the budget hotel sector, the CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by RKG Hospitality, a hotelier, that Oravel Stays (OYO), which provides budget accommodation through online booking, had abused its dominant position by imposing one-sided, (...)

The German Competition Authority ends an abuse probe after an online market place agrees to change business terms for dealers (Amazon)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt ends abuse probe after Amazon agrees to changing business terms for dealers* On July 17, 2019, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, “FCO”) terminated its dominance probe into Amazon’s business terms towards sellers on its marketplace after Amazon agreed to various (...)

The German Competition Authority obtains amendments of seller rules active on a major online marketplace (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt obtains far-reaching improvements in the terms of business for sellers on Amazon’s online marketplaces* In response to the competition concerns expressed by the Bundeskartellamt, Amazon is amending its terms of business for sellers on Amazon’s online marketplaces. Andreas (...)

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

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine on an undertaking for abusing its dominant position by pricing water supply services in tourist area (Community Council of Kouklia)
Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
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Stephanie Theodotou Lawyer (Cyprus)
Introduction On 12th March 2019 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”) issued a decision imposing a fine of €78,889.28 on the Community Council of Kouklia (“CCK”) for a violation of Section 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Law (Law 13(I)/2008), as amended (“Law”). (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an ex-officio proceeding against a dominant reseller suspected to impose restrictive clauses to its suppliers (Plodine)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA opens UTPs infringement proceeding against re-seller PLODINE* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the infringement proceeding against the undertaking Plodine from Rijeka after having detected one or more unclear and possibly contestable provisions in the contracts concluded (...)

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

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into abuse of dominance by oil and natural gas company in the market for charter hire of offshore support vehicles (Indian National Shipowners’ Association / Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI directs investigation against Oil and Natural Gas Limited (‘ONGC’) for abuse of dominant position* The CCI by way of an order dated June 12, 2018 has directed investigation under Section 26(1) of the Act against ONGC for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market for “charter hire (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority orders a municipal administration to annul its discriminatory regulations on the location of street vending units (Chisinau Municipal Council)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 24 May 2018, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (CC) found the Chisinau Municipal Council (CMC) in violation of Competition Act for imposing restrictions on the location of the street vending units . The CC’s investigation was prompted by the complaint of Alitela Prim SRL (...)

The German Supreme Court issues landmark ruling on unfair trading practices (EDEKA)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Situation: Market-dominant and powerful companies in Germany are subject to a number of rules that are significantly broader and stricter than the European (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues a landmark decision addressing the issue of “Wedding Rebates” demanded by undertakings with relative market power (EDEKA)
University of Kiel
The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had to assess the outcome of price negotiations between a powerful German food retailer (Edeka) and some of its suppliers. Edeka had just taken over a no-frills competitor (“Plus”) with more than 2000 outlets and was in the process of rebranding these (...)

The Malaysian Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds a decision of the Competition Authority in a case of abuse of dominance in the provision and management of online foreign workers permit renewals (My E.G)
Wong Partners (Baker McKenzie Kuala Lumpur)
On 28 December 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld the Malaysian Competition Commission’s (MyCC) decision on 24 June 2016 that My E.G. Services Berhad (MyEG) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, My E.G Commerce Sdn. Bhd. (MyEG Commerce) have abused their dominant position in the (...)

The UK Competition Authority alleges that two pharmaceutical companies have concluded a pay-for-delay agreement (Actavis / Concordia)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA alleges anti-competitive agreements for hydrocortisone tablets* The CMA today alleged that Concordia and Actavis signed illegal agreements which enabled high prices for a life-saving drug to be prolonged. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) alleges that between January 2013 and (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority takes legal action against an undertaking for abuse of dominance and restrictive agreements (Soda Sanayii)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Introduction On April 20 2016 the Turkish Competition Board published reasoned Decision 16-14/205-89, following its preliminary investigation into allegations that Soda Sanayii AŞ had violated: Article 6 of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition by abusing its dominant position in the basic (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision and prescription concerning the operating systems for smartphones (Yandex / Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
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Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
In March 2016, the Moscow Arbitration Court expressed its support of the position of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on the case of abuse of dominance by the Google group of companies involving its actions on the Android operation system. The decision of FAS Russia was taken as (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects the complaint that agreements between a major IT company and several OEMs on the exclusive pre-installation of mobile apps infringed competition rules (Yandex / Google)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has rejected the complaint of a rival IT company, Yandex, that agreements of a major IT company, Google, with a number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on the exclusive pre-installation of its (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that “wedding-rebates” requested by a food retailer from its suppliers are not abusive (EDEKA)
Commeo (Frankfurt)
In its judgement of 18 November 2015, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (“the Court”) quashed a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) which stated that German food retailer EDEKA abused its dominant position by requesting preferential purchase conditions and bonus payments from sparkling (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds that a smartphone operating system developer abused its dominance on the market of pre-installed app stores (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Google” abuses its dominant position on the market of pre-installed application stores in “Android” OS* The FAS Commission arrived to that conclusion on 14th September 2015, based on investigating the case against “Google Inc, Google Ireland” Ltd., “Google” Ltd. FAS found that “Google Inc. Google (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines the 15th car manufacturer for unilateral practices and anticompetitive agreements in the markets for spare car parts and car maintenance (Shri Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel Cars India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes a suspended penalty of INR 420 Crore on Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL)* CCI by its order dated July 27, 2015 has imposed a suspended penalty on HMIL. In continuation of the earlier order of CCI against car manufacturers, wherein the 14 car manufacturers were penalised for abusing (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation on e-book’s distribution agreements concluded between several publishers and an electronic commerce company (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission opens formal investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution arrangements* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of electronic books ("e-books"). The Commission will in particular investigate (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from an owner of mobile operators pylons limiting the duration of new hosting contracts to 10 years (TDF)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence obtains from TDF an improvement of the hosting contracts binding it to the mobile operators that use its pylons* In the scope of proceedings initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence by FPS Towers (hereinafter FPS), TDF commits to limiting the duration of new (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds the largest national commercial real estate developer guilty of abuse of dominance in a local market for apartments (DLF)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI holds DLF’s Buyer’s Agreement abusive and unfair* CCI by its order dated May 12, 2015 held that DLF Group abused its dominant position in the Gurgaon apartment buyers market by imposing abuse terms and unfair terms and conditions. CCI directed DLF and its group companies to cease and desist (...)

The German Competition Authority decides that the wedding rebates constituted benefits without any objective justification resulting in abuse of dominance on the food retail market (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes decision of principle in food retail case - EDEKA’s demands on suppliers were abusive The Bundeskartellamt has issued a decision stating that the demands made by EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG on suppliers after its takeover of the Plus stores in 2009 ("wedding rebates") (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau supports the Government’s intention to address unjustified cross-border price discrimination to reduce the gap between consumer prices in Canada and the United States
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
New CD Howe Report on Canada/US Price Gap: Tariff and Supply Management Issues (Not Retailer Market Power)* Earlier on 6 May 2014, the C.D. Howe Institute issued a new report on the Canada/U.S. retail price gap issue entitled Sticker Shock: The Causes of the Canada-US Price Differential (...)

The Australian Competition Authority institutes proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against supermarket chain for exploitative conduct (Coles)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC takes action against Coles for alleged unconscionable conduct towards its suppliers* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd and Grocery Holdings Pty Ltd (together, (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority imposes fines for abusive practices in the food and drinks retail sector concerning return of goods (MAXIMA)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition council imposes a fine of 40 000 LTL on Maxima LT, UAB* On January 22, having established that the provisions set forth in MAXIMA LT, UAB (MAXIMA) supply agreements fail to comply with the requirements of the Law on the Prohibition of Unfair Practices of Retailers of the Republic (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pharmaceutical laboratory for abuse of dominance in denigrating its competitors and in implementing anticompetitive agreements with its supplier (Arrow / Schering-Plough)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Schering-Plough pharmaceutical laboratory a total of 15.3 million euro for hindering entry onto the market of the generic of its originator medicinal product Subutex®* Following a complaint filed by the Arrow génériques laboratory, The Autorité de la (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes fines for abuse of significant market power on the retail market for agricultural and food products (Kaufland)
Braun (Prague)
Food Retailers in the Czech Republic, Be Aware!* The so-called Act on Significant Market Power for the Sale of Agricultural and Food Products and the Abuse thereof (No. 359/2009 Coll.) had effect from 1 February 2010. In October 2013, internal appeal procedures ended with the first significant (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a statement of objections against a dominant retailer for abusive practices against economically dependent suppliers on the market for sales of sparkling wine (EDEKA)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Statement of objections issued against EDEKA for use of "wedding rebates" after Plus takeover - Bundeskartellamt considers demands on suppliers as abusive* Bonn, 26 July 2013: According to the Bundeskartellamt’s preliminary assessment, EDEKA Zentrale AG & Co.KG, Hamburg, has violated the (...)

The US Supreme Court declines to hear antitrust case leaving uncertainty regarding customer loyalty programs (ZF Meritor / Eaton)
Womble Bond Dickinson (Washington)
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Antitrust Case Leaving Uncertainty Regarding Customer Loyalty Programs* On April 29, 2013, the Supreme Court declined to review a decision that had created uncertainty as to when a manufacturer’s customer loyalty program may violate antitrust laws. Most circuits (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that the post incumbent breached article 102 TFEU by applying the VAT exemption regime to individually negotiated universal services in breach of Article 102 TFEU (VAT regime on postal services)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision adopted on 27 March 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or the “Authority”) found Poste Italiane S.p.A. (“Poste” - the Italian incumbent operator in the postal sector) to have abused its dominant position in certain liberalised postal markets for the provision of universal (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority investigates the phenomena related to the use of buying power with questionnaires directed retailers and the food industry
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
An abridged English version of the Finnish Competition Authority’s study on the Trade in Groceries is now available* According to the FCA study on buying power in the trade in groceries, retailers use their firm position with respect to suppliers in several ways that may be considered (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority imposes fines on a dominant undertaking for enforcing unfair trading conditions on a dependant wholesaler in the consumer goods and retail sector (Drogas)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The Competition Council Fines Retail Chain for Abuse of its Market Power* On 14 December 2012, the Competition Council adopted a decision to fine AS Drogas which is the largest retail chain in the sector of health, beauty and household goods retail in Latvia. It was established that AS Drogas (...)

The Danish Competition Authority decides not to initiate any further investigation in a case of urging municipalities to sign contracts without initiating public tenders (KMD)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The IT-company KMD’s strategy to urge municipalities to sign it-contracts with KMD and refrain from initiating public tenders* This case concerns whether the Danish IT-company KMD has breached section 11 in the Danish Competition Regulation and TEUF article 102 by pursuing a strategy to urge (...)

The Greek Competition Authority accepts commitments in a pay-TV case (Forthnet / Multichoice)
European Commission (Brussels)
Greece: The Competition Commission accepts Commitments in Digital Satellite Pay-TV Case* On 26 March 2012, the Grand Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) decided, by a majority vote, to accept the commitments proposed by Forthnet S.A (Forthnet) and its subsidiary, Multichoice (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority concludes that contract practices and regulation put at disadvantage primary producers within the food supply chain
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority study: contract practices and regulation put primary producers in a difficult position in the food supply chain The position of primary producers in the food supply chain is made more difficult both by tight regulation and groceries trade and food (...)

A Chinese District People’s court accepts a complaint brought by private companies against a public entity for abuse of administrative monopoly in the railway transport industry (Taiyuan Railway Bureau)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
Taiyuan Railway Bureau Sued for Monopoly* On 7 September 2011, the Shanxi Joint Transport Group Co., Ltd. brought an administrative lawsuit in the Taiyuan Xinghualing District People’s Court against the Taiyuan Railway Bureau for breaches of the AML and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL). (...)

The Supreme Court of Norway renders its first judgment interpreting Section 11 of the Norwegian Competition Act which forbids the abuse of a dominant position <em(Tine)
Kluge (Oslo)
On 22 June 2011, the Norwegian Supreme Court rendered its first ever judgment interpreting Section 11 of the Norwegian Competition Act which forbids the abuse of a dominant position, a provision akin to Article 102 TFEU. The judgement ultimately vindicates dairy producer Tine AS («Tine«) for (...)

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 US District Court Southern District of New York rejects a proposed settlement in the digitized book search sector (Google Books Settlement)
University of Chicago - Law School
Moving Forward in Google Book Search* On Tuesday, after more than a year of silence, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in the Google book search case. The innovative settlement asked more than Rule 23 could deliver. In his words, the settlement “would simply go too far.” Others (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority fines two leading dairy food companies for abusing their dominant position on the raw milk market (Mlekara / Imlek)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 24 January 2011 the Serbian Competition Authority (KZK) fined the two leading dairy food companies Mlekara and Imlek (both controlled by Danube Foods Group BV) for the abuse of joint dominant position on the market for purchasing the raw milk from the dairy farms. For each of the two (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority finds no abuse of dominance in a situation of monopsony on the steel products market (Cost / Sterom)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 22 December 2010 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) completed its investigation into the possible abuse of dominance on the market for the cold drawn alloy steel bars manufactured by SC COST SA (COST). The CC’s investigation was prompted by a complained lodged by SC PCC STEROM SA (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines retail chain for imposing unfair discounts on a milk processing company (Supernetto)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The Competition Council Fines Retail Chain for Imposition of Unfair Discounts on Milk Processing Company* On 30 November 2010 the Competition Council (CC) adopted a decision to fine one of the largest retail chains in Latvia RIMI Latvia Ltd. for abuse of dominant position in retail trade. It (...)

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 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 US FTC settles the first significant antitrust enforcement action brought under section 5 of the FTC Act (Intel)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Palo Alto)
On August 4, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it entered into an agreement with Intel Corporation to resolve a much-hyped administrative complaint filed on December 16, 2009. The FTC’s complaint against Intel was filed under Section 5 of the FTC Act, shortly after the FTC (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority rejects a complaint regarding the market entry of generics and price-fixing in the healthcare sector (Actavis / Novartis Pharma / Novartis)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On January the 20th 2010 the Romanian Competition Council (the ‘Council’) issued the Decision 03/2010 rejecting a complaint filed by Actavis Group PTC (‘Actavis’) against two companies belonging to the Novartis Group - Novartis Pharma GmbH and Novartis AG (‘Novartis’) alleging a breach of the (...)

The High Court of Ireland holds that Dublin local authorities abused their dominant position in the household waste collection market in an attempt to remove rival private operators (Nurendale / Panda Waste Services)
Arthur Cox (Dublin)
Nurendale Limited t/a Panda Waste Services v Dublin City Council & Ors arises out of a change (“Variation”) to the Waste Management Plan for the Dublin Region 2005-2010 made collectively by the four Dublin local authorities on 3 March 2008. Panda Waste Services (“Panda”) challenged this (...)

The Czech Parliament grants new powers to the Czech Competition Authority
European Commission (Brussels)
Czech Republic: New Competence of the Czech Competition Authority On 3 November 2009, the Czech Parliament approved the Act on Significant Market Power, which grants new competences to the Czech Competition Authority (“the Czech NCA”). The Act will come into force on 1 February 2010. The aim of (...)

The Latvian Parliament amends the Competition Act changing the merger notification procedure and redefining the concept of dominant position in the retail sector
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Amendments to the Competition Law* On 1 September 2009 entered into force Amendments to the Competition Law of the Republic of Latvia. Most substantial issue of the Amendments refer to the merger control. As from September 1 merger notifications have to be submitted not only by those market (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds no exclusionary conduct on the market for on-screen cinema advertising despite exclusivity contracts of the dominant undertaking (Fida)
University of Leeds
The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has acted on a complaint alleging that Fida Film Production Distribution and Advertising Corporation (Fida Film) has entered into exclusivity agreements with all major cinema companies and foreclosed 80% of the market with these, rendering the (...)

The Czech Chamber of Deputies votes a bill on abuse of economic dependence (Bill on significant market power and the abuse thereof)
Wolf Theiss (Prague)
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Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
On 15 May 2009, the Czech Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of a bill “on significant market power and the abuse thereof”. According to the voted text, “where, due to the situation on the market, a supplier becomes dependent on the buyer with respect to the possibility to deliver its goods to (...)

The EU Commission publishes its guidance paper on exclusionary abuses under Article 82 EC
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
I. BACKGROUND The European Commission published the 24th February 2009 a Communication containing its long-awaited Guidance Paper on exclusionary abuses under Article 82 C(Commission Communication – Guidance on the Commission’s Enforcement Priorities in Applying Article 82 EC Treaty to Abusive (...)

The Japanese FTC issues a cease and desist order against NAP clause preventing licensees from asserting certain intellectual property rights against its holder and customers (Microsoft)
Morrison & Foerster (Tokyo)
On September 16, 2008, Japan Fair Trade Commission (the “JFTC”) issued a ruling against Microsoft Corporation (“MS”) regarding its use of a so-called “NAP” clause in its software licenses. The MS NAP clause prevented licensees from asserting certain intellectual property rights against MS and its (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the TV services broadcasting sector (TDF)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
TV services Broadcasting: The commitments obtained by the Conseil de la concurrence from TDF will facilitate the entrusting of programme broadcasting by analogical channels to competing technical operators.* Emettel’s complaint : market foreclosure by TDF At end 2006, Emettel company had (...)

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 Supreme Court rules that federal and state antitrust claims related to certain IPOs are preempted by federal securities laws (Credit Suisse Securities / Billing)
Winston & Strawn (New York)
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Haug Partners (New York)
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Winston & Strawn (New York)
In a decision announced earlier today, the United States Supreme Court held that federal securities laws implicitly preclude the application of antitrust laws to claims filed against ten leading investment banks over alleged conduct on initial public offerings during the technology boom of the (...)

The Austrian competition authority concludes general inquiry in the highly concentrated food distribution sector while highlighting indications of strong buyer power (Branchenuntersuchung Lebensmittelhandel)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In June 2007, the Austrian competition authority (Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde; “BWB”) published its final report on a general inquiry conducted in respect of the Austrian food wholesale and retail distribution sector with special regard to the phenomenon of buying power (“Nachfragemacht”) exerted by (...)

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 EU Court of Justice upholds the fine imposed on an airline for abuse of market dominance (British Airways)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
In 1999 the Commission fined British Airways (BA) €6,800,000 for abuse of its dominant position on the market for air travel agency services, contrary to article 82 of the EC Treaty. The abuse consisted of a system of rebates granted to travel agents that was held to be both loyalty inducing and (...)

The US Supreme Court recognizes a limited claim for predatory bidding (Weyerhaeuser / Ross-Simmons)
Penn State Law (University Park)
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University of Florida - Levin College of Law (Gainesville)
Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co.: The U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes a Limited Claim for Predatory Bidding* Monopsony is the negative image of monopoly. Narrowly defined, it is the structural condition in which a well-specified good or service has only one buyer. But just (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts some commitments to address competition concerns in the sector of magazine press (AudiPresse)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Conseil de la concurrence accepts Audipresse commitments to change clauses of integration of free magazines into audience survey.* As part of the litigation procedure opened against AudiPresse (formerly called « Audiences Études sur la Presse Magazine » AEPM), the Conseil accepted the (...)

The EU Commission renders legally binding commitments offered by the largest rough diamonds producer to phase out diamond purchases from the most important competitor (De Beers)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"De Beers: commitments to phase out diamond purchases from the most important competitor"* 1. Overview On 22 February 2006 the Commission adopted a decision pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 (hereafter: ‘Reg. 1/2003’) which rendered binding the commitments offered by De Beers in order (...)

The Danish Competition Authority exempts an agreement between cinemas and advertisers (Dansk Reklame Film)
BECI (Brussels)
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Liège University (Liège)
Dansk Reklame Film (hereinafter referred to as ““DRF”) is an intermediary between Cinemas and advertising agencies whose activities consist in entering into (i) agreements with advisers/agencies concerning the display of screen advertising in cinemas (ii) agreements with cinemas on hire of the (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issues its recommendations against two companies to prevent the violation of Antimonopoly Act in the field of music broadcasting to the service stores (Usen and Nippon Network Vision)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Recommendations to Usen Corperation and Nippon Network Vision Corperation* The Fair Trade Commission has investigated two companies, namely, Usen Corporation and Nippon Network Vision Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “the Two Companies”) based on the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act. (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal finds a pharmaceutical company guilty of margin squeeze but rejects the OFT’s evidence on bundling (Genzyme)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Genzyme Limited ("Genzyme") is a pharmaceutical company which produces Cerezyme - the main drug for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The drug is taken by approximately 190 patients in the United Kingdom and is usually administered at home with the assistance of trained medical staff. Between (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a request for interim measures on the pay-TV market (Télé / TPS)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Conseil de la concurrence rejects the request for interim measures filed by the news channel I>Télé and the Canal Plus Group, but continues its full inquiry into the case on the merits.* In July 2003, the Conseil de la concurrence received a complaint from the company I>Télé and the Canal Plus (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions major oil companies for having entered into agreements on the market of fuel distribution on motorways (Total Fina Elf France)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Fuel distribution on motorways : the Conseil de la concurrence hands down sanctions against the major oil companies.* In a decision dated 31st March, 2003, following a referral by the Minister of Economy, the Conseil de la concurrence handed down sanctions against the company Total Fina Elf (...)

The German Competition Authority lodges an appeal on points of law at the Federal Supreme Court against the decision of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf in proceedings on abuse of dominance in the retail sector (WalMart)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt files appeal on points of law in the WalMart case (sales below cost price)* The Bundeskartellamt has lodged an appeal on points of law at the Federal Supreme Court against the decision of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf in the WalMart abuse proceedings. On 1 September (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirms a nominal jury verdict of $1 for illegal monopolization by a professional football league (USFL / NFL)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Dallas)
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict awarding the U.S. Football League (“USFL”) only $1 in nominal damages against the National Football League (“NFL”) and agreed with the jury’s finding that the NFL did not engage in exclusionary conduct through its agreements with (...)

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