Consumer protection

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne company for setting up an exclusive import agreement in La Réunion contrary to the Lurel Act (Cattier)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution in La Réunion: Cattier company fined for setting up an exclusive import agreement on the distribution of its champagne in La Réunion* Background Following a report sent by the French Minister of Economy (DGCCRF), the Autorité de la concurrence established that the Cattier company (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its responses to two Government consultations on reforming competition policy and on adopting a new pro-competition regime for digital markets
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA welcomes government proposals on new powers* The CMA has responded to the government’s proposals to enhance its ability to tackle breaches of competition and consumer law and empower the Digital Markets Unit (DMU). Changes would see the CMA given the power to declare companies in breach of (...)

The US FTC reaches proposed settlement with a State dental licensing agency to charges that it unreasonably excluded lower-cost online and teledentistry providers from competition (Alabama Board of Dental Examiners)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Alabama Board of Dental Examiners Agrees to Settle FTC Charges that It Unreasonably Excluded Lower Cost Online and Teledentistry Providers from Competition* To settle FTC charges that its actions violated the antitrust laws, the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama has agreed to stop requiring (...)

The US FTC streamlines consumer protection and competition investigations in eight key enforcement areas to enable higher caseload
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Streamlines Consumer Protection and Competition Investigations in Eight Key Enforcement Areas to Enable Higher Caseload* Agency to Focus on Service Members and Veterans; Children; Algorithmic and Biometric Bias; Deceptive and Manipulative Conduct on the Internet; and Repair Restrictions; (...)

The US FTC and DoJ issue joint statement to preserve competition in post-hurricane relief efforts
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Issue Joint Statement to Preserve Competition in Post-Hurricane Relief Efforts* The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division today issued a joint statement detailing antitrust guidance for businesses taking part (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority authorizes a company to engage in resale price maintenance to its proposed online stores and marketplaces (HP)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commerce Commission issues determination on HP New Zealand’s application to engage in resale price maintenance* The Commerce Commission has authorized HP New Zealand Limited (HP) to engage in resale price maintenance (RPM) in relation to its proposed HP online stores and HP online marketplace (...)

The US FTC urges the Federal Reserve Board to require debit card gatekeepers to compete fairly
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Urges Federal Reserve Board to Require Debit Card Gatekeepers to Compete Fairly* As mobile and electronic payments become the norm, Commission staff advocate for more competition to protect businesses and families from unfair fees The Federal Trade Commission announced that staff have (...)

The US FTC withdraws from the remaining case against a pharmaceutical company after the Supreme Court decides to strip consumers of relief (AbbVie)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission Withdraws Remaining Case against AbbVie after Supreme Court Decision Strips Consumers of Relief* After the Supreme Court declined to review a ruling from the Third Circuit that AbbVie used sham litigation to illegally maintain a monopoly, the Federal Trade Commission (...)

The German Competition Authority presents the results of its sector inquiry into mobile apps which examines consumer rights
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Insufficient consumer protection in mobile apps: Bundeskartellamt identifies problems and proposes possible solutions* The Bundeskartellamt has today presented the results of its sector inquiry into mobile apps to examine consumer rights. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Apps (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority publishes a study on the national online advertising sector
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC publishes a study on the online advertising sector in Spain* It analyses the competition conditions and warns that there is a high concentration level. It estimates that Google and Facebook absorb more than 70% of the market revenue. It points out risks such as opacity and other (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a cleaning supplies and devices company and a bicycle retailer for restricting competition (Kärcher) (Merida bicycles)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
In July, the Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) announced the initiation of a preliminary investigation and the fact that they conducted an inspection at the premises of Kärcher. The UOKiK suspects that Kärcher imposed minimum resale prices on distributors selling its professional line of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority examines competition and consumer concerns with general online retail marketplaces (eBay / Amazon / Kogan / Catch)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Competition, consumer issues in general online marketplaces to be examined* The ACCC is examining competition and consumer concerns with general online retail marketplaces such as eBay Australia, Amazon Australia, Kogan and Catch.com.au as part of its inquiry into digital platform services in (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority files proceedings seeking declarations that a consumer loan provider engaged in cartel conduct relating to online advertising (Moola / Google Ads)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission seeking declarations that agreements not to bid on Google Ads breach Commerce Act* The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings at the High Court in Christchurch seeking declarations that consumer loan provider Moola engaged in cartel conduct relating to online advertising on (...)

The UK Government launches a consultation on a wide range of far-reaching changes it is proposing to the UK competition and consumer protection regimes
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 20 July 2021 the UK government launched a consultation on a wide range of far-reaching changes it is proposing to the UK competition and consumer protection regimes. As a result of Brexit the UK is now in a position to decide, independently from the EU Commission, how it promotes and (...)

The UK Government publishes consultations on far-reaching reforms to competition and consumer laws which would substantially expand the powers of the Competition Authority and reduce procedural protections
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The U.K. government is consulting on far-reaching reforms to U.K. competition and consumer laws, which would substantially expand the powers of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and reduce procedural protections. Key proposals include: Merger control jurisdiction enlarged: The CMA (...)

The UK Government consults on proposals aimed at improving its competition regime and strengthening its competition authority post COVID-19, including updates to merger review, investigation tools, interim measures, fines, and more direct intervention in consumer protection Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
On 20 July 2021, the government launched a consultation containing substantial proposals that could herald the most important reform of the UK competition regime in 25 years (the consultation). The proposals follow multiple reports and papers and, if they survive the consultation process, could (...)

The UK Government consults on its ambitious reform of national competition policy, including changes to allow Government to play a more active role in shaping national competition policy and to increase the Competition Authority’s investigative and enforcement powers
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 20 July 2021, the UK Government launched its consultation on wide-ranging reforms to “bring [the UK’s] competition and consumer policies into the 21st century” [1] (the “Consultation”). While recognising that the UK’s competition regime “starts from a strong foundation” and “is internationally (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults the Government to replace the retained vertical agreements block exemption regulation with new vertical agreements block exemption order
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) is consulting on its proposed recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to replace the retained Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“retained VABER”) with a new UK Vertical Agreements Block (...)

The EU Commission publishes the initial findings of its inquiry into consumer Internet of Things sector inquiry page contents
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes initial findings of consumer Internet of Things sector inquiry Page contents* The European Commission has published today the preliminary results of its competition sector inquiry into markets for consumer Internet of Things (IoT) related products and services (...)

The EU Commission publishes a preliminary report setting out the initial findings of its sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 9 June 2021, the European Commission (EC) published a Preliminary Report setting out the initial findings of its sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (“IoT”). The consumer IoT sector encompasses services, devices and technologies that support the interaction of consumers with (...)

The Czech Competition Authority initiates a pharmaceutical sector inquiry
Bird & Bird (Prague)
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Bird & Bird (Prague)
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of complaints from competitors in the pharmaceutical sector, associations of pharmaceutical companies and the public, especially in relation to the distribution of medicines. The pharmaceutical sector was also subject to changes both at (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority initiates investigation into competition conditions in the national distribution of liquefied petroleum gas
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE initiates an investigation to determine the existence of competition conditions in the distribution of liquefied petroleum gas at the national level* Shall the absence of effective competition conditions be detected, the Energy Regulatory Commission, as authority of the sector, could (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a guidance draft designed to help businesses understand and comply with their existing legal obligations under consumer protection law after its in-depth market investigation regarding environmental claims
Bird & Bird (London)
Sustainability (or environmental) claims are increasingly part of the purchasing experience for consumers. Such claims can be made in the context of advertising, on product labels and within accompanying product information such as e-newsletters. Sustainability claims will typically state that (...)

The Czech Competition Authority applies an alternative solution to the potential competition issue related to vertical resale price agreements and customer restriction agreements
Bird & Bird (Prague)
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Bird & Bird (Prague)
The Office for the Protection of Competition (Office) recently applied an alternative solution to a potential competition issue related to vertical resale price agreements and customer restriction agreements. Although the Office discovered the existence of the agreements, it did not initiate (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes the preliminary report on the e-marketplace sector inquiry
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Recent developments in digitalization have triggered the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) to scrutinize more closely e-marketplace business models. The TCA has carried out a sector inquiry on e-marketplaces for this purpose and a preliminary report (“Report”) has been published on the official (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a bicycle retailer for entering into an exclusive distribution agreement hindering competition (Merida bicycles)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Merida bicycles - proceedings of the President of UOKiK* Does the sale of Merida bicycles in Poland violate the rules of competition? Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has issued a statement against Merida Polska. As a result of the practices of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against a national electricity company for anticompetitive practices (Audax)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against Audax Renovables S.A. for alleged practices prohibited by the Anti-Trust Law* - It is investigating if it used deceit and fraud in its favour to convince household customers of electricity and gas companies to switch their suppliers - (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces the launch of a full-fledged investigation against thirty-two undertakings for gentlemen’s agreements in labor markets across Turkey (Yemek Sepeti / Zomato / Commencis...)
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)
On April 20, 2021, the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) announced on its website that the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) had launched a full-fledged investigation against thirty-two undertakings for gentlemen’s agreements in labor markets across Turkey, in order to determine whether (...)

The Danish Competition Authority and other competition authorities publish a joint memorandum on online pharmacy markets in the Nordics
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Nordic Competition Authorities: Online pharmacies can increase competition in the pharmacy sector* The Nordic Competition Authorities have 14.4.2021 published a joint memorandum on online pharmacy markets in the Nordics. The memorandum finds that the size and regulation of online pharmacy (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches its Digital Markets Unit in order to boost and regulate online competition
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
New watchdog to boost online competition launches* A tough new regulator to help make sure tech giants such as Facebook and Google cannot exploit their market dominance to crowd out competition and stifle innovation online has launched. Digital Markets Unit begins work marking major milestone (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches the Digital Markets Unit to introduce, maintain and enforce a code of conduct regulating the provision of digital and online services
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 7 April 2021, the Digital Markets Unit ("DMU") was launched within the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA"). The DMU will, in the future, be tasked with oversight of the UK’s new digital regulatory regime, with powers and duties enshrined in legislation. Key takeaways The DMU has (...)

The Australian Competition Authority concludes that the terms in a warehousing agreement were likely to be unfair in the storage services (GrainCorp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
GrainCorp amends terms in its warehousing agreement* GrainCorp Operations Ltd (GrainCorp) has agreed to amend 19 terms in its Grain Warehousing Agreement with small business grain growers, after an ACCC investigation concluded that these terms were likely to be unfair contract terms under the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises dairy farmer’s organisation to implement a licensing scheme (Queensland Dairyfamer’s)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC authorises Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation to implement ’Fair Go Dairy’ licensing scheme* The ACCC has authorised the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Limited (QDO) to give effect to its proposed ‘Fair Go Dairy’ licensing scheme for five years. Under the scheme, QDO will grant (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks feedback submissions from consumers on choice and competition in internet search and web browsers
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Feedback sought on choice and competition in internet search and web browsers* The ACCC is seeking submissions from consumers and industry participants about choice screens, which give users a choice of internet search services on mobiles and tablets, rather than a pre-selected search service, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority accepts a court-enforceable undertaking from two credit card companies about concerns that one of them may have limited competition regarding debit card acceptance through its dealings with large merchants (Visa)
Ashurst (Sydney)
On 10 March 2021, Visa AP (Australia) Pty Ltd and Visa Worldwide Pte Limited (together, "Visa") entered into a court enforceable undertaking with the Australian Competition Consumer Commission ("ACCC"), seeking to address the ACCC’s concerns that Visa was leveraging its substantial market power (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates a Big Tech company over suspected anti-competitive behaviour (Apple)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA investigates Apple over suspected anti-competitive behaviour* The CMA has launched an investigation into Apple following complaints that its terms and conditions for app developers are unfair and anti-competitive. In addition to designing, manufacturing and marketing electronic devices (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority concludes its investigation of an online travel agency and fines the company and two directors $5.8 million in total for drip pricing (FlightHub)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
INTRODUCTION Canada’s Competition Bureau (‘Bureau’), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (‘Commissioner’) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (‘Act’), announced on 24 February 2021 that the Commissioner had clipped the wings of Montreal-based FlightHub Group Inc. (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its 2021 enforcement and compliance priorities
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 23 February 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its enforcement and compliance priorities for the year ahead. The Chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, also made his first public appearance today to discuss those priorities. As we have previously reported, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its annual list of compliance and enforcement priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 23 February 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) released its compliance and enforcement priorities for 2021. These priorities provide guidance to industries and businesses regarding those areas which will be a key focus for the ACCC’s enforcement activities in the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority outlines its enforcement and compliance priorities for 2021 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC’s 2021 enforcement and compliance priorities* Sales practices in Australia’s domestic travel sector, competition in aviation and the conduct of some caravan manufacturers will be among the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement priorities during 2021, ACCC Chair Rod Sims announced today. In his (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues infringement notices to six hotel groups and a tour operator for facilitating cartel conduct
Ashurst (Singapore)
On 26 January 2021, Hong Kong’s Competition Commission (HKCC) issued infringement notices to six hotel groups and a tour operator for facilitating a cartel arrangement between two competing travel service providers, which fixed the prices of tourist attractions and transportation tickets in Hong (...)

The UK Parliament publishes an independent report containing proposals to strengthen the competition and consumer law regime
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
Introduction On 16 February 2021, Conservative member of Parliament (“MP”) John Penrose published his much-anticipated independent report on how the UK’s competition regime can evolve and improve, within the context of economic recovery from Covid-19 and the end of the Brexit transition period. (...)

The UK Parliament publishes recommendations for a stronger competition and consumer protection regime
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 16 February the UK government published a Report by John Penrose MP, commissioned earlier this year to lead a review on how the UK’s competition regime will need to evolve to meet its policy aims of promoting a dynamic, innovation-driven economy which delivers for consumers and businesses (...)

The UK Parliament publishes recommendations on how competition law and the consumer protection regime could be improved
Ashurst (London)
In September 2020, John Penrose MP was commissioned by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for BEIS to write an independent report on how the UK’s approach to competition and consumer issues could be improved. In particular, the UK Government’s terms of reference (...)

The UK Parliament publishes proposals for a radical overhaul of the national competition regime following Brexit
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On 16 February, John Penrose MP published his long-awaited report into the UK’s competition regime. Penrose was tasked by the UK Government with reviewing how the UK’s competition regime can: Play a central role in meeting the challenges of the post COVID-19 economy and in driving recovery. The (...)

The UK Parliament publishes an independent report on the state of national competition law
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On 16 February 2021, John Penrose MP published an independent report on improving competition and consumer protection in the UK (the Report). It finds that the UK’s competition and consumer regime “has a good reputation, but not a great one”; progress on “cutting the costs of red tape” has stalled; (...)

The UK Parliament publishes an independent report by MP John Penrose on the national approach to competition and consumer protection policy highlighting issues related to applied economics
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (London)
The Penrose Review investigated the state of competition and consumer protection policy in the UK, as well as economic regulation in network sectors. Some of the consumer protection proposals would be beneficial to consumers; however, others are untested and may have unintended consequences. In (...)

The UK Parliament issues an independent report which calls for streamlining and enhanced legal predictability in the national antitrust regime
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Commissioned by the U.K. government to review its antitrust regime, Conservative Member of Parliament John Penrose’s “Power to the People” report proposes streamlined, modest changes rather than wholesale reform to the current regime. The report’s recommendations are outlined below: Merger reviews (...)

The UK Competition Authority and the EU Commission seek views from stakeholders on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
Bird & Bird (London)
The current Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and its accompanying guidelines provide the framework of competition law regulation for suppliers and distributors across the EU. It is due to expire in May 2022. The VBER was retained into UK law following Brexit ensuring (...)

The Munich Regional Court issues two preliminary injunctions regarding a cooperation agreement that has the effect of restricting competition on the market for health portals (Google / German Ministry of Health)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 January 2021, the Regional Court of Munich I (the “Court”) issued two preliminary injunctions against Google Ireland Ltd. (“Google”) and the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the German Federal Ministry of Health (“the Ministry”), at the request of health platform NetDoktor.de (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes a €5,76 million fine on colluding suppliers of radio-pharmaceuticals equipment (Novartis Groupe France / Advanced Accelerator Applications Ibérica / Glo Holdco / Curium Pharma Spain)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Spanish Competition Authority, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (“CNMC”), imposed total fines of € 5,76 million on Novartis Groupe France and its Spanish subsidiary Advanced Accelerator Applications Ibérica, SLU (“AAA”), Glo Holdco and its Spanish subsidiary Curium Pharma (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority releases two reports on the positive and negative effects of algorithms on competition
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Continuous development of algorithms requires ensuring the functioning of competition and the interests of consumers* Algorithms may have both positive and negative effects on competition and consumers. Two reports by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) show that the current (...)

The German Competition Authority fines steel forging companies for illegal exchange of information (CDP Bharat Forge / Bharat Forge CDP / Johann Hay Automobiltechnik)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 4 February 2021, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined three steel forging companies and two responsible individuals a total amount of approximately € 35 million for anti-competitive information exchange between October 2002 and December 2018. (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes a fine of $24 million on a Norwegian shipping company (WWO)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 4 February 2021, the Federal Court of Australia imposed a fine of $24 million on Norwegian shipping company, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO), for its involvement in a criminal cartel with a number of other shipping companies between 2009 and 2012. More specifically, the Federal Court (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes a study regarding competition risks in relation to paid ranking
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 2 February 2021, the Dutch Authority of Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) published a study on paid ranking. Paid ranking is a practice whereby businesses pay online platforms for a better position in search results. The ACM found that paid ranking creates risks for consumers and may even restrict (...)

The UK Competition Authority warns firms over price-fixing of supplies to disabled students
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA warns firms over price-fixing of supplies to disabled students* The CMA has cautioned companies supplying goods and services to disabled university students, following concerns that there may have been price-fixing. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has sent advisory letters to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases an interim report addressing the lack of competition and transparency in the digital advertising technology market
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Lack of competition in ad tech affecting publishers, advertisers and consumers* A lack of competition and transparency in the digital advertising technology supply chain is impacting publishers, advertisers and consumers and needs to be addressed, according to the interim report for the ACCC’s (...)

The EU Commission imposes fines in the video games sector for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
One of the final cases resulting from the European Commission’s e-commerce sector enquiry has come to a conclusion. On 20 January 2021, the Directorate-General for Competition fined Valve Corporation, owner of the Steam game distribution platform, and five personal computer (PC) video game (...)

The German Competition Authority includes third national telecommunications company in the companies’ cooperation agreements on eliminating grey zones to safeguard competition (Telefónica / Deutsche Telekom / Vodafone)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Safeguarding competition in mobile communication cooperations - Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone plan to jointly eliminate “grey spots”* Telefónica (o2), Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone plan to enter into mutual cooperations to close gaps in their mobile communication networks, so-called (...)

The German Competition Authority monitors cooperation in the telecommunication sector (Telefónica / Deutsche Telekom / Vodafone)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) will monitor a future broadband development cooperation between Deutsche Telekom AG, Vodafone and Telefonica aimed at closing gaps (so called “grey spots”) in their mobile telecommunication networks. The telecommunications companies are planning a tri-party (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes new research on algorithms showing how they can reduce competition in digital markets
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA lifts the lid on impact of algorithms* The CMA has published new research on algorithms, showing how they can reduce competition in digital markets and harm consumers if they are misused. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is now seeking evidence from academics and industry (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a paper on the impact of algorithms on competition in digital markets and consumer welfare
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a paper on 19 January on the impact of algorithms on competition in digital markets and consumer welfare. The CMA followed up its paper with a call for evidence from market participants, academics, and industry experts, and with a (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes report into algorithms and their harm on consumers and competition law
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The impact algorithms continue to have on market dynamics has been under scrutiny by competition authorities around the world in recent years. On 19 January 2021, the CMA published a report, following its investigation into algorithms and their potential harms on competition law. The paper (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces its decision to launch a fully-fledged investigation against Big Tech companies (Facebook / WhatsApp)
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)
Introduction The Competition Board recently announced its decision to launch a fully fledged investigation, ex officio, against Facebook Inc, Facebook Ireland Ltd, WhatsApp Inc and WhatsApp LLC (together, ’Facebook’) in order to assess whether they had violated Article 6 of Law 4054 on the (...)

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 EU Commission publishes an assessment that seeks feedback on its initiative to define the application of EU competition law to collective bargaining agreements for self-employed workers
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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King & Spalding (Brussels)
On 6 January 2021, the European Commission published an "Inception Impact Assessment" seeking feedback on an initiative aimed at defining EU competition law’s scope of application to "self-employed" workers (in advance of an open public consultation anticipated for spring 2021). This is part of (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on competition rules on collective bargaining agreements for self-employed individuals
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 January 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) launched an inception impact assessment on an initiative that seeks to clarify the applicability of EU competition rules to collective bargaining agreements involving “solo” self-employed individuals. The initiative stems from several (...)

The German Competition Authority releases its review of 2020
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt – Review of 2020* In 2020, the Bundeskartellamt imposed fines in cartel proceedings totalling approx. 358 million euros, examined around 1,200 corporate mergers, received more than 120 applications for review in public procurement cases and conducted important abuse of (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s judgment ruling that the allocation of broadcasting rights is not the result of an anticompetitive agreement between companies in the pay-TV sector (League / Infront / Sky / Mediaset)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 28 December 2020, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato – "CDS") issued a judgment marking the last act in the national judicial dispute related to the assignment of the Lega Serie A (i.e. the main national professional league in Italy – "the League") broadcasting rights (...)

The German Competition Authority fines five aluminium forging companies and ten employees responsible for engaging in illegal anti-competitive agreements (Otto Fuchs / Leiber / Emmingen-Liptingen..)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt - Cartel Prosecution* Fines imposed on aluminium forging companies on account of anti-competitive agreements Bonn, 23 December 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling approximately 175 million euros on five aluminium forging companies and ten employees (...)

The German Competition Authority fines five aluminium forging companies and ten responsible individuals for price fixing (Otto Fuchs / Leiber / Emmingen-Liptingen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 December 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced that it had fined five aluminium forging companies and ten responsible individuals a total amount of approximately € 175 million for price fixing between April 2006 and April 2018. Automotive and motorcycle manufacturers and (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes fines on six large retail food chains and two suppliers for price fixing, harmful to consumers (Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Auchan)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC imposed fines on six large retail food chains and two suppliers for price fixing, harmful to consumers* The decisions The AdC – Autoridade da Concorrência imposed a total fine of circa €304 million on six large food retail chains, two beverage suppliers, a board member and a director (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against the Catalan National Assembly for the launch of an anticompetitive advertising campaign (Catalan National Assembly)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against the Catalan National Assembly.* It investigates potentially unfair practices involving the launch of the “Strategic Consumption” campaign. This campaign encourages consumers not to buy certain products for reasons unrelated to competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes final report in its funeral market investigation and orders funeral directors and crematorium operators to disclose prices
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published the final report of its market investigation into funeral services. The CMA said that it had serious concerns about the sector and it has put in place a number of “sunlight” remedies designed to make the sector more (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its final report on funerals and crematoria market’s investigation
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Following an in-depth market investigation into the funeral services sector, the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published its final report in December 2020. The report identifies a number of competition issues and confirms a package of "sunlight remedies", including obligations on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority proposes to authorise national dairy farmers association licensing scheme (Fair Go Dairy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to authorise ’Fair Go Dairy’ licensing scheme* The ACCC is proposing to authorise the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Limited’s (QDO) Fair Go Dairy licensing scheme for five years. Under the scheme, QDO will grant processors a licence to use the ‘Fair Go Dairy’ logo on (...)

The German Competition Authority does not oppose two undertakings’ joint payment system (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft’s first steps to introduce a joint payment system* The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to the first stage of implementation of Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft’s (German Banking Industry Committee) “Xpay” or “#DK” project to set up a (...)

The EU Commission proposes regulation on a single market for digital services
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 December 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) presented a legislative package consisting of a proposed Regulation on a Single Market for Digital Services (“Digital Services Act” or “DSA”), which creates new rules applicable to providers of online intermediary services, as well as a (...)

The EU Commission publishes the digital services act intended to modernize the legal framework for digital services in the European Union
Morgan Lewis (New York)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission (Commission) published the first draft of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on December 15 2020. Morgan Lewis previously reported on the anticipated DSA. The DSA and DMA are intended to modernize the legal framework for digital services in (...)

The EU Commission unveils sweeping proposals to regulate the digital sector
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
In Short The Development: The European Commission ("EC") recently released two long-awaited legislative proposals, the Digital Services Act ("DSA") and Digital Markets Act ("DMA"), that would significantly increase the EC’s regulatory oversight of online platform companies (previewed in our (...)

The EU Commission announces a package of digital markets legislation intended to better regulate major online platforms and to protect consumers and businesses
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
On 15th December, the European Commission announced a package of digital markets legislation intended to give the Commission the power to better regulate major online platforms and to protect European consumers and businessess for effectively: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets (...)

The EU Commission proposes legislation to overhaul regulation of digital platforms in the EU
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 15 December the European Commission announced far-reaching proposals for regulation of the digital sector in the form of a Digital Services Act (DSA) and a Digital Markets Act (DMA). In summary the DSA contains new rules including on illegal content and transparency. It applies to all (...)

The EU Commission publishes new obligations and sanctions for digital gatekeepers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
The debate about competition issues and unfair practices specific to online platforms and the appropriate tools to tackle them was taken a step further by the European Commission (‘Commission’), which presented two legislative proposals on 15 December 2020: The Digital Services Act (‘DSA’) and (...)

The German Competition Authority investigates the sale of dietary supplements via telemarketing using unfair practices
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The GVH is investigating the sale of dietary supplements via telemarketing* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a proceeding against two undertakings, which may have been promoting the ‘Helvetia Apotheke’ dietary supplements using unfair practices. Based on the high number (...)

The EU Commission issues the proposed digital markets act aimed to complement antitrust intervention in digital markets with ex-ante regulation in the form of a set of obligations that platforms identified as “gatekeepers” should abide by
CRA International (London)
,
Yale University - School of Management (New Haven)
The European Commission Digital Markets Act: A translation* The European Commission has finally issued the proposed Digital Markets Act, its bid to complement antitrust intervention in digital markets with ex-ante regulation in the form of a set of obligations that platforms identified as (...)

The EU Commission proposes a regulation to tackle competition issues with large online platforms in digital markets
Cruz Vilaça Advogados (Lisbon)
The European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a step forward in ensuring swift intervention in the digital sector, but flexibility is key. Competition law enforcement takes too long The Commission has heavily fined large technology companies for breach of competition (...)

The EU Commission publishes a draft regulation aiming the imposition of ex-ante obligations on providers of certain pre-defined core platform services that qualify as gatekeepers
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)
1. Introduction The draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Contestable and Fair Markets in the Digital Sector (Digital Markets Act) (“DMA Proposal”) was announced by the European Commission (“Commission”) on December 15, 2020. The DMA Proposal envisages the imposition of (...)

The EU Commission publishes proposals imposing obligations on providers of digital services and augmenting enforcement powers
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
,
Geradin Partners (Brussels)
Yesterday, the European Commission published its proposals for the Digital Markets Act (“DMA Proposal”) and Digital Services Act (“DSA Proposal”), proposing new regulation of “intermediary services” and “designated gatekeepers”. The proposals would impose new obligations on providers of digital (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases preliminary issues and proposed scope for grocery study
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission releases preliminary issues and proposed scope for grocery study* The Commerce Commission has today released a paper outlining the preliminary issues it may explore and the proposed scope for its market study into the grocery sector. “We expect that the issues we focus on will (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a study into the functioning of algorithms in practice
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM launches a study into the functioning of algorithms in practice* Today, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) launched a trial in which it seeks to find out how it can monitor in practice the functioning of algorithms that businesses use. ACM wants to use this knowledge (...)

The German Competition Authority examines linkage between virtual reality products brand and social network company (Oculus / Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines linkage between Oculus and the Facebook network* The Bundeskartellamt has today initiated abuse proceedings against Facebook to examine the linkage between Oculus virtual reality products and the social network and Facebook platform. Andreas Mundt, President of the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to supermarket chains and supplier of cosmetics for price fixing (Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Auchan / Beiersdorf)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to supermarkets and Beiersdorf for price fixing, harmful to consumers* The AdC – Autoridade da Concorrência issued a Statement of Objections to the supermarket chains Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and Auchan and the supplier of cosmetics and personal care (...)

The Japanese FTC brings criminal accusations with suspicion of bid-rigging against four wholesalers in the pharmaceutical sector (Alfresa / Mediceo / Suzuken / Toho)
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On December 9, 2020, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (“JFTC”) brought criminal accusations with regard to bid-rigging involving pharmaceutical products ordered by the Japan Community Healthcare Organization (“JCHO”). Three pharmaceutical wholesalers and seven individuals were indicted. According (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a complaint formed by travel agencies on the basis that there is no evidence of anticompetitive practices resulting from failure to refund cancelled flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Cediv Travel) Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Failure to refund cancelled flights: the Autorité de la concurrence rejects the complaint by travel agencies on the basis that there is no evidence of anticompetitive practices. The Autorité’s decision should not prejudge the compatibility of practices with European Regulation No. 261/2004 (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority calls big tech company to inform consumers about the data use of apps (Apple)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Apple informs consumers about the data use of apps following call from regulators worldwide* Apple will indicate in its App Store what personal data each app uses. Starting today, app providers are required to include such information on their products’ pages in app stores. This information (...)

The UK Competition Authority proposes national competition regime for large tech firms
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has advised the U.K. government to create additional competition rules for large tech firms and platforms: Large tech firms considered to have “strategic market status” (SMS) should be subject to an enforceable code of conduct to prevent (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines big tech companies for distributing and advertising a prohibited dietary supplement for manufacture and distribution (Yandex / Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia Fined Yandex and Google LLC* 100 thousand rubles fines were imposed for distribution in search engines of an advertisement for a dietary supplement that contained Kava pepper that is prohibited for manufacture and distribution The FAS Russia recognized both Yandex and Google (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority launches an investigation into users’ freedom of choice regarding payment apps on smartphones
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM launches an investigation into users’ freedom of choice regarding payment apps on smartphones* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched an investigation into payment apps’ access to NFC communication (‘Near-Field Communication’). NFC communication offers the (...)

The US FTC issues a FY 2017 report on branded drug firms’ patent settlements with generic competitors
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Staff Issues FY 2017 Report on Branded Drug Firms’ Patent Settlements with Generic Competitors* The number of reverse-payment agreements remains low; for the first time since FY 2004, no agreement contains a no-AG commitment. According to a new FTC staff report, the total number of final (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on its annual plan for 2021 and 2022
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
The CMA is consulting on its Annual Plan for 2021/22.* The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has outlined the key areas on which it expects to focus in the coming year, including its ongoing commitment to protect UK consumers during the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority publishes a study on big data
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2020, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) published a study on the effects of Big Data on competition (the “Study”). The Study explains that the use of algorithmic models helps companies adjust their prices in real time, depending on changes in market demand. However, these (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues an analysis examining how well competition is working across the national economy
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA reports on the state of competition in the UK* The CMA has issued a first-of-its-kind analysis examining how well competition is working across the UK economy. Commissioned by the Chancellor and the Business Secretary, the report looks at the state of competition in the UK economy. It is (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its first state of competition report examining the effectiveness of the competition policy in the national economy
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 30 November 2020, the UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published its first state of competition report, commissioned by the UK government. The purpose of the report was to at the state of competition in the UK economy. It is intended to provide a baseline for future analysis and (...)

The UK Government announces its intention to establish a dedicated digital markets unit to protect competition in respect of digital platforms
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The United Kingdom and the European Union are set to take bold strides towards the regulation of digital markets in coming months. While both are broadly aligned in their intention to better regulate large tech companies, the extent to which their post-Brexit regulatory approaches might diverge (...)

The UK Government responds to the Competition Authority’s final report on its inquiry on online platforms and digital advertising
Bird & Bird (London)
The Government has decided to move ahead with the establishment of the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) and the adoption of an enforceable code of conduct to tackle digital markets (Digital Code). These measures are designed to support the establishment of a new pro-competitive regime for digital (...)

The US DoJ files a case and simultaneous settlement requiring an association to repeal and modify certain rules to provide transparency (National Association of Realtors)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department Files Antitrust Case and Simultaneous Settlement Requiring National Association of Realtors® To Repeal and Modify Certain Anticompetitive Rules* Settlement Will Increase Competition to the Benefit of American Homeowners and Homebuyers and Allow for Innovation in Brokerage (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a full infringement decision on the imposition of wide MFN clauses by a price comparison website (ComparetheMarket)
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
Having fined Compare The Market (‘CTM’) £17.9 million for imposing wide ‘most favoured nation’ (‘MFN’) clauses in its agreements with home insurance companies, on 9 February 2021 the Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) released the non-confidential version of its infringement decision. The (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority opens a market study into the grocery sector and publishes process paper
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission opens market study into grocery sector and publishes process paper* The Commerce Commission has commenced a market study into factors that may affect competition in the grocery sector following publication of terms of reference for the study by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues interim report on its first inquiry of digital services platforms which finds a surge in online messaging use during the COVID-19 pandemic as big digital platforms continue to expand
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Surge in online messaging use as big digital platforms continue to expand* Australians are increasingly turning to online private messaging services to keep in touch with each other, and are overwhelmingly choosing services provided by Facebook and Apple. The ACCC’s first Digital Platform (...)

The Italian Competition Authority celebrates 30 years and releases its 2019 annual report
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
The Italian Competition Authority turns 30 and presents its 2019 Annual Report* On this occasion, the top management of the Authority, led by the President Roberto Rustichelli, were received by the President of Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to whom they presented the Report on the (...)

The Jersey Competition Authority highlights the value of competition in the Channel Island telecoms sector in the latest annual report
Jersey Competition Authority
Value of competition in the Channel Island telecoms sector highlighted in latest annual report* The telecoms sectors in Guernsey and Jersey generated over £170m in turnover, employed more than 800 people and contributed in excess of £21m in tax revenues in 2019, according to the latest annual (...)

The EU Commission calls for contributions regarding the relationship between competition and sustainability policies
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Berlin)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
With the announcement of the European Green Deal at the latest, the issue of sustainability and environmental protection has been pushed high up the agenda of competition law practitioners and scholars. With the recently published background paper of the German Working Group on Competition Law (...)

The EU Commission publishes a call for contributions to determine if and how competition policy can better support the European Green Deal
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Macfarlanes (Brussels)
On October 13, 2020, the European Commission published a call for contributions to determine if and how EU competition policy can better support the European Green Deal. The European Green Deal is a comprehensive action plan aimed at making Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by (...)

The EU Commission calls for contributions regarding the relationship between competition policy and sustainability
Bird & Bird (Belgium)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
With climate change near the top of the international political agenda, the European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has made the Green Deal plan, together with the transition to a truly Digital Europe, into a key policy goal for her administration. The Green Deal is the action plan (...)

The Irish Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections of garages and second-hand car dealerships in Dublin and Kildare
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Unannounced car inspections take place in Dublin and Kildare* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), assisted by colleagues from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, the Garda Stolen Vehicle Investigation Unit as well as local uniformed Gardaí, has completed a series of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority amends its consumer data right rules to permit accredited intermediaries
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Consumer Data Right Rules amended to include intermediaries* The ACCC has amended the Consumer Data Right Rules to permit accredited intermediaries to collect data on behalf of third party data recipients, with consumer consent. These amended rules mean accredited businesses can now ask other (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority finishes its comprehensive sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (the “FCA”) published its final report on the sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market (the “Report”). The comprehensive sector inquiry was launched in September 2019 to ascertain the effects of amendments to the (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority releases its final report on sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA publishes final report on sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market* The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) launched a comprehensive sector inquiry into the taxi and private hire car market in September 2019. The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority draws up rules of thumb for sustainability claims by companies about their products and services
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM draws up rules of thumb for sustainability claims* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has drawn up rules of thumb for sustainability claims that businesses use when selling their products and services. With these rules of thumb, ACM believes that businesses will (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority gains the right of action in relation to any non-compliance by providers of online intermediation services or by providers of online search engines with the relevant requirements laid down in the P2B Regulation
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA granted right of action in relation to P2B Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services* The EU Regulation on platform-to-business relations (P2B Regulation), which promotes fairness and transparency for business users of online (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority warns mobile operators that they should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons (Spark / Vodafone / 2degrees)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Mobile operators should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons* The Commerce Commission has told New Zealand’s three mobile network operators that they should provide more meaningful comparison information and guard against overspending by mobile phone consumers. Mobile operators (...)

The Singapore Competition Authority publishes its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Singapore)
On 10 September 2020, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ("CCCS") published its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms. While the market study did not identify any significant competition concerns in the sector, the CCCS has concurrently (...)

The Singapore Competition Authority publishes a market study on e-commerce platforms
Bird & Bird (Singapore)
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Bird & Bird (Singapore)
Digital platforms have experienced significant growth and popularity in Singapore in recent years and COVID-19 has accelerated its proliferation. The rapid pace of innovation and broad adoption of these platforms have raised significant competition concerns both local and abroad. In September (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes pre-investigation proceedings against a football club to remove any possible unfair element of certain clauses in contracts for ticket selling (Serie A SSC Napoli)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
CV205 - ICA, Napoli football club will reimburse the ticket, if so requested by consumer, in case of match postponement* The Authority asked SSC Napoli S.p.A. to remove any possible unfair element of certain clauses in the contractual conditions of the Regulations of the San Paolo stadium and (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority launches dawn raids and proceedings against undertakings on the consumer electronic market (Roaming Electronics / Tehnomanija / Comtrade Distribution)
Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition
Commission Instituted Proceedings Against Undertakings on the Consumer Electronics Market* The Commission for Protection of Competition instituted ex officio proceedings to investigate infringements of competition, and carried out dawn raids at business premises of companies Roaming (...)

The German Competition Authority releases its 2019 annual report with focus on the digital economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt – 2019/2020 Annual Report* Today, the President of the Bundeskartellamt, Andreas Mundt, presented the authority’s brochure “2019 Annual Report”. The publication is aimed at readers interested in economic policy and provides an overview of the Bundeskartellamt’s activities in 2019 (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes a $2.9 million civil penalty to a health business for the sharing of patient personal information to private health insurance brokers and for publishing misleading patient reviews and ratings (HealthEngine)
Ashurst (Sydney)
On 20 August 2020, HealthEngine Pty Ltd ("HealthEngine") was ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to pay a AUD 2.9 million civil penalty for contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") between 30 April 2014 and 30 June 2018 related to reviews, ratings, referrals and sharing (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into the e-marketplace platforms
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Competition Board launched a Sector Inquiry concerning E-Marketplace Platforms (11.8.2020)* According to the Competition Board decision dated 11.06.2020 and numbered 20-28/353-M, a sector inquiry concerning e-marketplace platforms has been launched. E-marketplace platforms are among important (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority investigates therapeutic claims attributed to cosmetic products containing C-peptide as consumers are subjected to unfair commercial practices due to COVID-19 (Vargapeptide) Free
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) keeps a watchful eye over advertisement claims regarding alleged COVID-19 treatments that exploit the vulnerability of consumers in the current pandemic. The GVH initiated an investigation against Max-Immun Kft. in May (VJ/22/2020), because of its (...)

The US House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law holds hearings of a multinational online retail platform for antitrust claims (Amazon / Google / Apple / Facebook)
Bona Law (Detroit)
Big Tech Hearings: What Do They Tell Us About Amazon and Antitrust?* The U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee’s recent hearings into “big tech” and antitrust were “must see TV” for antitrust attorneys. Over the five hours of testimony, many interesting questions were asked (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates on services for maritime passenger transportation (State of Quintana Roo)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates competition conditions in the services for maritime passenger transportation in routes with origin and/or destination in the northern zone of the state of Quintana Roo* On July 13, 2020, the Investigative Authority agreed that in the said market it is necessary to determine (...)

The EU Commission initiates inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things sector
King & Spalding (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Clifford Chance (London)
The European Commission (“Commission”) has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (“IoT”) sector for consumer-related products and services within the European Union. The Commission is looking to develop a better understanding of how this fast-moving sector works and some (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In brief The European Commission (Commission) has launched a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things (IoT). This marks the start of an intensive information gathering process in which hundreds of companies will be asked for information (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 16 July 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the market for the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. According to the Commission, the sector inquiry will focus on consumer-related products and services (...)

The EU Commissions launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The inquiry will focus on "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device, including smart home appliances and wearable devices". Consumer-related IoT products and services in the (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things for consumer-related products and services in the EU
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Sector inquiry launched into the Internet of Things On 16 July 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things ("IoT") for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The inquiry complements other actions (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer-related devices and services that are connected through a network and can be controlled wirelessly (IoT)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On July 16, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device." Commission (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statement of objections to 4 telecom undertakings for cartel agreement to limit competition in online advertising (MEO / NOS / NOWO / Vodafone)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to MEO, NOS, NOWO and Vodafone for cartel to limit competition in online advertising* The AdC issued a Statement of Objections to the telecommunications operators MEO - Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia (MEO), NOS Comunicações, SA, NOWO - Communications, SA (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry on the consumer Internet of Things
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 16 July 2020, the European Commission launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the market for Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The Commission’s inquiry will focus on such products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its annual report 2019/2020
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes Annual Report 2019/2020* The CMA has published its Annual Report, highlighting the wide range of work the UK competition and consumer authority has carried out in the past year. Throughout the year, the CMA delivered a substantial volume of work to ensure effective enforcement (...)

The Italian Competition Authority reports to Parliament and the Government on the Relaunch Decree related to COVID-19 Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
S3940 - ICA: report to Parliament and the Government on Relaunch Decree issues At the meeting held on the 1st July 2020, the Authority resolved, pursuant to article 21 of Italian Law no. 287/1990, to report certain provisions of Italian Decree Law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 on Urgent measures (...)

The UK Competition Authority seeks new regulatory regime for digital markets following its market study
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (London)
On 1 July 2020, the UK Competition & Markets Authority ("CMA") published its final report following a 12-month market study into online platforms and digital advertising in the UK (the "Final Report"). The Final Report concludes that, due to the dynamic nature of digital advertising, (...)

The Irish Competition Authority warns businesses must act independently when setting prices during the re-opening phase of COVID-19 Free
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC warns businesses must act independently when setting prices during reopening phase* CCPC engages with trade associations following public statements to warn against co-ordination Any new prices & charges must adhere to competition and consumer protection law Consumers are entitled to (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its final report on online platforms and digital marketing and calls for a new pro-competitive regulatory regime
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its final report on its year-long market study into online platforms and the digital advertising market in the UK. The CMA found that existing competition law tools are not suitable for ensuring effective competition in (...)

The German Competition Authority demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs within the scope of its competencies in the area of consumer protection* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published the final report on its sector inquiry into smart TVs. Smart TVs are web-enabled TV (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes its final sector inquiry report on smart TVs
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 1 July 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published the final report on the sector inquiry on smart TVs which revealed serious transparency shortcomings in the privacy policies of all major market players in Germany. The FCO concluded that almost all smart TV manufacturers active (...)

The UK Competition Authority proposes the creation of a new regulatory authority and additional regulations to govern the conduct of online platforms funded by digital advertising
DLA Piper (London)
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Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
INTRODUCTION The CMA has recently issued its Final Report in the Market Study into Online Platforms and Digital Advertising (“Final Report”), which sets forth its findings and recommendations from its investigation of markets involving online platforms funded by digital advertising. In parallel, (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on consumer data rights and competition
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Privacy and consumer data rights are gaining more attention across the globe as more and more consumers come to rely on the services offered in the digital economy. Consumer data rights can include fundamental rights to privacy, as well as regulations controlling the manner in which consumers (...)

The Italian Competition Authority approves a joint purchasing agreement of surgical masks via pharmacies and drugstores pursuant to its temporary rules on cooperation between companies during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Ashurst (Milan)
,
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 1 June 2020, the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") approved a joint purchasing agreement of surgical masks via pharmacies/drugstores and a moratorium scheme on loan repayments agreed within ASSOFIN (the Italian Association of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Lending) pursuant to its (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority accepts voluntary commitments by three major online travel agents (Booking.com / Expedia / Trip.com)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission accepts commitments offered by online travel agents* The Competition Commission (Commission) today announced the acceptance of voluntary commitments offered under section 60 of the Competition Ordinance (Ordinance) by three major online travel agents (OTAs), namely (...)

The EU Commission announces the adoption of exceptional derogations from EU competition rules to allow certain types of cooperation in the agri-food industry during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission (EC) on May 4 announced the adoption of exceptional derogations from EU competition rules to allow certain types of cooperation in the following sectors: milk and milk products, potatoes, and live plants and flowers, as part of a wider package to support the agri-food (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants interim authorisation allowing retailers to collectively bargain with landlords about rent relief during the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
RETAILERS GRANTED AUTHORISATION TO COLLECTIVELY NEGOTIATE WITH LANDLORDS* The ACCC has granted interim authorisation allowing retailers to collectively bargain with landlords about rent relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interim authorisation, granted to the Australian Retailers (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation and opens sub-proceedings for potentially ordering interim measures against two companies providing products for the prevention of contagion of the COVID-19 to consumers resident in Europe (ContextLogic / Wish) Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
PS11734 - ANTITRUST: PROCEEDINGS INITIATED AGAINST THE WWW.WISH.COM PLATFORM* On 31 March, the Authority launched an investigation and opened a sub-proceedings for ordering, if necessary, an interim measure against ContextLogic Inc, the US company that owns the www.wish.com platform and its (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on forms of cooperation considered as temporarily permissible during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
Competition/antitrust laws generally require rival firms to operate on the market independently of each other and tolerate cooperation between competitors only in limited circumstances where any resulting loss of competition is clearly offset by consumer benefits. But as businesses scramble to (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues its annual plan for 2020/2021 which aims to give clarity to the Competition Authority’s objectives for the next year and clarifies its position during the social and economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
,
Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") recently issued its Annual Plan for 2020/2021, which aims to give clarity to the CMA’s objectives for the next year. The report acknowledges that its publication comes out at a time of massive social and economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 (...)

The French Competition Authority fines five companies in La Réunion for engaging in concerted practices in the home removals market (AGS Réunion / DEM Austral / T2M / A.T. Océan Indien / Transdem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Home Removals: the Autorité de la concurrence fines five companies in La Réunion for engaging in concerted practices.* Background Following a report by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) and an investigation, the Autorité hands out fines (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority is scrutinising competition law compliance and companies taking advantage of consumers by engaging in price fixing and misleading claims about products during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
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Cassels Brock (Toronto)
The Competition Bureau is watching for evidence of companies taking advantage of consumers by making false or misleading claims about a product’s ability to combat COVID-19 or engaging in price fixing, the Commissioner of Competition warned in a recent statement. The Commissioner added that (...)

The UK Government and the Competition Authority adopt two recent measures against shortages and high prices during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Greenberg Traurig (London)
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Greenberg Traurig (London)
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and the measures being implemented to counter the disease have resulted in an unprecedented surge of consumer demand for groceries and other essential supplies. Safeguarding consumers against shortages and high prices is at the heart of two (...)

The Caledonian Competition Authority announces pursue competition law enforcement in the context of Covid-19 pandemic Free
University of Grenoble Alpes
I) Introduction The coronavirus pandemic has and will have a huge impact on our economy. Undoubtedly, we face the worst crisis in our recent history. A major consequence is serious financial distress for a myriad of undertakings. A phenomenal number of companies are already close to (...)

The UK Competition Authority welcomes the Governments’ relaxation of competition law for supermarkets during the COVID-19 outbreak and promises no enforcement action against businesses engaging in cooperation to supply essential products and services Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
COVID-19: CMA approach to essential business cooperation* The CMA is very conscious of concerns that competition law enforcement could impede necessary cooperation between businesses to deal with the current crisis and ensure security of supplies of essential products and services, such as (...)

The UK Government publishes a procurement policy note which sets out guidelines to contracting authorities on responding to the impact of COVID-19 when carrying out regulated procurement activities Free
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Introduction In the light of the global outbreak of Covid-19, contracting authorities will need to procure goods, services and works in truly exceptional circumstances and, potentially, their requirements will be extremely urgent. Therefore, contracting authorities may have legitimate reasons (...)

The UK Government issues guidance on using public procurement policy to respond to the COVID-19 emergency circumstances Free
University of Bristol - Law School
EXTREME EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT AND COVID-19 — RE TODAY’S UK GUIDANCE* The UK Government has issued guidance on using public procurement to respond to the COVID-19 emergency earlier today (see PPN 1/20). This follows other EU countries’ introduction of emergency legislation and guidance on the same (...)

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

The French Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company a record €1 billion and its wholesalers €139 million for a series of vertical restrictions within the distribution network and abuse of economic dependence (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
AD LEGAL (Paris)
In a decision of March 16, 2020, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereinafter “FCA”) imposed a €1,1 billion fine on the Apple group (“Apple”) for (i) engaging in a series of vertical restrictions of competition within its distribution network and (ii) abusing the economic (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company and its wholesalers for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and for abuse of a situation of economic dependency concerning its premium independent distributors (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fines handed down to Apple, Tech Data and Ingram Micro* The Autorité de la concurrence hands out fines totalling €1,1 billion to Apple for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and abuse of a situation of economic dependency with regard to its “premium” (...)

The US DoJ and FTC publish a statement on the violation of antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing and the distribution or sale of public health products during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
DOJ and FTC To Focus On Antitrust and Consumer Protection Violations Relating to Coronavirus* The rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is impacting local and global companies, disrupting supply chains, creating volatility in the stock market, and causing great concern in local (...)

The US DoJ and FTC warn companies and would-be scammers that they will use their consumer protection and competition enforcement powers to go after anyone trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
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Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
,
Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
COVID-19: The Reaction of U.S. Antitrust Agencies* COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of American life right now, and there are myriad legal issues companies are facing from the pandemic’s fallout. These include antitrust considerations, ranging from potentially criminal conduct to (...)

The US DoJ announces its intention to continue to hold businesses accountable for per se criminal violations of antitrust laws during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Proskauer (Washington)
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Proskauer (London)
,
Proskauer (Washington)
As businesses across the globe grapple with the changing realities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. and international antitrust enforcers have warned that business should continue to mind the antitrust laws. Global enforcers are also focusing on the role competition laws play as (...)

The Californian Attorney General as well as other national jurisdiction’s Attorneys Generals announce their intent to take action against unfair "price gouging" and the US DOJ focuses on public health products during the COVID-19 situation Free
Paul Weiss (New York)
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Paul Weiss (New York)
,
US Department of Justice (Washington)
State AGs Respond to COVID-19-Related “Price Gouging” and DOJ Antitrust Enforcement to Focus on Public Health Products* The outbreak and continued spread of a new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, has led to surging demand for, and in some cases shortages in the supply of, a wide variety of (...)

The Italian Government adopts a collective action reform which aims at redesigning proceedings beyond consumer law
University of Trento
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University of Turin (Turin)
Introduction The new Italian collective action regime was adopted by law 12 April 2019, no. 31, but – after a further postponement occurred at the end of 2019 – it is now set to come into force on 19 November 2020. In particular, the remedy will only be available for claims filed after such (...)

The EU Commission fines €6.678.000 a Spanish hotel group for including restrictive clauses in agreements with tour operators (Meliá)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
On February 21st , the EU Commission fined Spanish hotel group Meliá €6.678.000 for including restrictive clauses in its agreements with tour operators. In February 2017 the Commission opened antitrust investigations into agreements regarding hotel accommodation concluded by Meliá, following (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €6.7 million fine on a Spanish hotel group for restrictions on cross-border sales of hotel accommodations by including discriminatory clauses in its agreements with tour operators (Meliá)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced its decision to fine Spanish hotel group Meliá € 6,678,000 for including clauses in its agreements with tour operators that discriminated between consumers based on their country of residence. According to the Commission’s (...)

The EU Commission fines hotel group for including restrictive clauses in its agreements with tour operators (Meliá)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines hotel group Meliá €6.7 million for discriminating between customers* The European Commission has fined Spanish hotel group Meliá €6 678 000 for including restrictive clauses in its agreements with tour operators. These clauses discriminate consumers within the European (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines polyethylene gloves providers for price coordination and bid-rigging in the health sector (Galeno / Holiday)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions polyethylene gloves providers for coordinating their prices and discounts bids in public procurement in the health sector*  The Commission proved the responsibility of Galeno and Holiday in the execution of absolute monopolistic practices, also known as collusive agreements or (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority fines $1.3 million for allegedly failing to adequately disclose the full price of tickets in the online ticket seller market (StubHub)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
The Price, the Whole Price and Nothing But the Price: StubHub Pays $1.3 Million Penalty Following Bureau Drip Pricing Probe* The Competition Bureau’s (Bureau) top priority for enforcement and advocacy is currently the digital economy (see, for example, here, here, here, here and here). And for (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority levies $1.3 million fine for alleged misleading representations in online sales of event tickets (Stubhub)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction There are no rock bottom bargains on offer at StubHub Canada Ltd as Canadian consumers found out the hard way, falling victim to a possible case of drip pricing. StubHub Canada Ltd is a subsidiary of StubHub Inc, an American exchange and resale ticket company that offers services (...)

The Peruvian Competition Authority initiates a proceeding against construction companies and their executives for bid-rigging in the construction sector (Altesa Contratistas Generales)
Peruvian Competition Authority - INDECOPI (Lima)
Indecopi has initiated an administrative sanctioning proceeding against 35 construction companies and 28 of their executives for an alleged liability of participating in bid rigging in 112 public tenders nationwide in the construction sector* The 112 tenders were convened by the Ministry of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority analyses the state of competition in the market for seeding soybeans
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS ANALYSED THE STATE OF COMPETITION ON THE MARKET OF SEEDING SOYBEANS* The results show significant dependence of the Russian market on import of the agricultural crop The goal of the survey1 is to analyze dependence of the domestic market on supplies of foreign-developed seed material to (...)

The EU Commission fines non-exclusive distribution agreements of IP protected merchandise products (Nike / Sanrio / NBCUniversal)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The European rules on vertical restrictions are strongly influenced by the EU’s goal of creating a single market, also for Intellectual Property (‘IP’) protected products. Following its e-commerce sector inquiry, the EC started a number of investigations into non-exclusive distribution agreements (...)

The EU Commission reiterates in a case regarding a film and TV production company its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA the licensor can no longer control the sale of the product (NBCUniversal)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The European Commission has reiterated its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA, such licensor can no longer control where, to whom, and in what manner (online/off-line) the products can be sold within the EEA. On 30 January 2020, the (...)

The EU Commission fines a film and TV production company for restricting sales of film merchandise products (NBCUniversal)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines NBCUniversal €14.3 million for restricting sales of film merchandise products* The European Commission has fined several companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal LLC, (“NBCUniversal”) €14 327 000 for restricting traders from selling licensed (...)

The French Competition Authority creates a guide for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence creates a guide for SMEs* The Autorité wishes to develop, as part of a preventive approach, the knowledge of competition law held by all companies, in order for them to avoid breaching the law and for them to be able to use the tools of competition law to fight (...)

The US FTC files a complaint against an undertaking seeking permanent injunctive relief and equitable relief, including monetary relief, for an anticompetitive scheme to preserve a monopoly for a drug (Vyera Pharmaceuticals / Pharma Bro)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
WILL THE SUPREME COURT LIMIT THE FTC’S USE OF SECTION 13(B) COURT ACTIONS?* The FTC’s authority to seek permanent injunctive relief and monetary relief under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act is being called into question. While more commonly used in consumer protection cases, Section 13(b) has been (...)

The German Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings against the "alliance of publishing houses" in the press wholesale sector as they end the minimum sales requirement (Verlagsallianz / BPVG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt brings an end to minimum sales requirement in the press wholesale sector* The “alliance of publishing houses” (Verlagsallianz) consisting of seven major German publishing houses and the Association of German Book, Newspaper and Magazine Wholesalers (BPVG) have refrained from (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines €28,5 million a cars importer for misleading customers on the level of exhaust gas emissions and affecting how consumers’ legitimate complaints were considered by car dealers (Volkswagen)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Following four years of proceedings, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (’’UOKiK’’) fined Volkswagen Group Poland (a Polish importer of Volkswagen Group cars) for misleading customers about the level of exhaust gas emissions and affecting how consumers’ legitimate complaints were (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against several shipping companies to assess an alleged agreement restricting competition in the market for the transport of flammable material and waste to and from the islands in the Gulf of Naples (Mediterranea Marittima / Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & Lauro / Medmar Navi / Tra.Spe.Mar / GML Trasporti Marittimi and Consorzio COTRASIR)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation opened into an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the transport of fuel and waste to and from the Campanian Archipelago* On 14 January 2020, the Authority opened an investigation against the companies Mediterranea Marittima S.p.a., Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & (...)

The German Competition Authority fines seven wholesalers of plant protection products and their responsible employees for agreeing on price lists, discounts and some individual sales prices (AGRAVIS Raiffeisen / AGRO Agrargroßhandel / BayWa / Betriebsmittel Service Logistik / Getreide / Raiffeisen Waren / Kassel / ZG Raiffeisen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Wholesalers of plant protection products fined for anti-competitive agreements on price lists, discounts and individual prices* Bonn, 13 January 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling 154.6 million euros on seven wholesalers of plant protection products and their responsible (...)

The Australian Federal Court rejects the Competition Authority’s dieselgate settlement and imposes a record $125 million fine on an automobile manufacturer for breaches of national consumer law (Volkswagen)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
What you need to know The Court imposed a penalty amount AUD 50 million higher than had been agreed between the parties, bucking the recent trend of the Court reducing penalties proposed by the ACCC. The AUD 125 million penalty was calculated under the old ACL penalty regime where the maximum (...)

The Australian Federal Court orders a car manufacturer to pay $125 million in penalties for breaching national consumer law by making false representations relating to its compliance with the diesel emissions standards (Volkswagen)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In December 2019, the Federal Court ordered the German car manufacturer, Volkswagen AG, to pay AUD$125 million in penalties for engaging in a breach of Australia’s consumer law (the Australian Consumer Law ("ACL")) by making false representations relating to its compliance with Australian diesel (...)

The UK Competition Authority releases an interim report on its market study into online platforms and digital advertising
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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European Commission-DG JUSTICE (Brussels)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) released its much anticipated interim report (the “Interim Report”) on its market study into online platforms and digital advertising (the “Market Study”) on 18 December 2019, following the publication of its statement of scope in July 2019 and the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines over €30 million the main companies in the private security sector for bid-rigging (Allsystem / Coopservice / Italpol / IVRI / Sicuritalia)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
I821 - ICA: tenders for security services. Fine of over 30 million euros for an agreement restricting competition* The Italian Antitrust Authority has closed an investigation finding an anticompetitive agreement between the main companies in the private security sector, Allsystem, Coopservice, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority launches an inquiry in the inter-city bus transport sector in Spain
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has announced the launch of an inquiry on the competition conditions in the inter-city bus sector in Spain. The first phase of the inquiry includes a public consultation, which aims at obtaining input from operators, regulators, consumers and sector experts. This consultation is (...)

The German Competition Authority makes legally bidding remedies by which two telecommunications companies will carry out an extensive deployment and grant third companies access to their network (Telekom / EWE)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Binding commitments undertaken by Telekom and EWE for joint fibre-optic deployment* Telekom Deutschland GmbH and EWE AG would like to cooperate in the development of fibre-optic networks in parts of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen. The companies have now undertaken to the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation in the battery lead recovery sector
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
I838 - Antitrust: investigation launched into an anti-competitive arrangement in the battery lead recovery sector* On 3 December 2019, the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation against COBAT RIPA, COBAT, Fiamm Energy Technology S.p.A., Clarios Italia S.r.l., Eco-bat S.r.l., (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the VAT refund services sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids: VAT refund services* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the VAT refund services sector. Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la (...)

The German Competition Authority and the Federal Network Agency publish their joint annual monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ENERGY MONITORING REPORT 2019 PUBLISHED BY THE BUNDESNETZAGENTUR AND THE BUNDESKARTELLAMT* The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt have today published their joint annual monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets. At present no market dominance in (...)

The German Competition Authority fines car manufacturers for anti-competitive practices in the purchase of steel (BMW / Daimler / Volkswagen)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
German car manufacturers fined for anticompetitive practices in the purchase of steel* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 100 million euros on Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG for anticompetitive practices in the purchase of long steel products. (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority publishes a public consultation regarding the determination and quantification of the criteria for case prioritisation and the setting of its strategic priorities upon the basis of a point system
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
On October 25th, 2019 the Hellenic Competition Commission (the “HCC”), announced the launch of a public consultation of its revised methodology and criteria for the prioritization of cases (the draft “Prioritization Notice”) in order to facilitate its implementation and improve compliance and (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the inter-island air passenger traffic sector in La Réunion
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids in La Réunion* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the inter-island air passenger traffic sector in the Indian Ocean area. Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the (...)

The EU Commission launches a public consultation on the block exemption regulations
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 6 November 2019, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations ("HBERs") – the Research & Development Block Exemption Regulation ("R&D BER") and the Specialisation Block Exemption Regulation ("Specialisation BER"), and the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes an action against an online platform company for allegedly engaging in misleading conduct and making false or misleading representations to customers (Google)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In October 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC") decided to take action against Google LLC and Google Australia Pty Ltd (collectively, "Google") in the Federal Court of Australia for allegedly engaging in misleading conduct and making false or misleading (...)

The French Competition Authority fines road transport companies for market sharing (Astre)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Astre transport group €3.8 million for anticompetitive practices.* Background Following an investigation report sent by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité de la concurrence has today (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau takes steps against misleading representations in online sales of airline tickets (FlightHub)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
The old adage appears to ring true yet again: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (Commissioner) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (Act), announced on 28 October 2019 that (...)

The French Competition Authority fines three companies and their wholesale importers for having set up exclusive import agreements in the distribution of perfumes and cosmetic products market in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and La Réunion (Procter & Gamble / Coty / Chanel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of perfumes and cosmetics in the French Antilles, French Guiana and La Réunion* The Autorité de la concurrence hands down fines to Procter & Gamble, Coty and Chanel and their wholesale importers for having set up exclusive import agreements. The Lurel Law has prohibited (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority issues a guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional association
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional association* After completing the public consultations, the Board of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has adopted on the 1st of October 2019 a guide on the exchange of information in the framework of professional (...)

The French Competition Authority fines the Architects Professional Body for its anticompetitive agreement (Ordre des architectes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Ordre des architectes is fined a total of €1.5 million for anticompetitive agreement* L’autorité de la concurrence fined the Ordre des architectes a total of €1.5 million for implementing anticompetitive practices. The Ordre des architectes set up, distributed and enforced a fee schedule (...)

The EU Commission fines members of a canned vegetable cartel a total amount of €31.6 million (Coroos / CECAB)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Canned vegetables companies Coroos, Groupe CECAB and Bonduelle have been found to have participated in a cartel in the supply of canned vegetables to retailers and food service companies in the European Economic Area (“EEA”). In particular, the Commission’s investigation showed that the (...)

The EU Commission fines two manufacturers of processed vegetables €31.65 million for participating in a canned vegetable cartel and grants full immunity to a third participant for blowing the whistle (Coroos / CECAB)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
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Ashurst (London)
On 27 September 2019, the European Commission ("Commission") fined Coroos and Groupe CECAB €31.65 million for participating in a canned vegetables cartel for over 13 years, with a third participant, Bonduelle, receiving full immunity for blowing the whistle. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines 14 banks for exchange of information
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC imposes a fine of 225 million euros to 14 banks The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC) fined 14 banks in the total amount of 225 million euros in connection with the concerted practice of exchanging sensitive commercial data, during a period of more than ten (...)

The French Competition Authority and the Austrian Competition Authority carry out unannounced inspections in the automatic swimming pool cleaning equipment distribution sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Austrian competition authority and the General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicate that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the automatic swimming pool cleaning equipment distribution sector. Following judicial (...)

The Australian Competition Authority publishes its final report on the inquiry into the supply of foreign currency conversion services
Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
On 2 September 2019, the ACCC released the final report of the ACCC’s inquiry into the supply of foreign currency conversion services (FX services) in Australia (the Report). The ACCC concluded that Australian consumers are paying too much for FX services because of confusing, inconsistent (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments from an airline company to compensate the customers who were inadequately informed (WizzAir)
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
In case Vj/17/2017 (31 July 2019), WizzAir committed to compensate airline passengers in a total amount of around HUF 250 million (EUR 760,000) affected by the Wizz Flex service since 2010. The customers were unable to benefit from the free flight modification under the Wizz Flex service (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments from insurance companies to compensate the incomplete information provided to costumers (4Life Direct / Red Sands Life)
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
In case Vj/68/2016 (31 July 2019), the GVH accepted the commitments of 4Life Direct Kft., Red Sands Life Assurance Company (Europe) Limited and Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited to pay approximately HUF 100 million (EUR 3 million) to beneficiaries of insurance products compensating (...)

The Australian Competition Authority concludes its digital platforms inquiry and releases a final report containing 23 proposals for reform
Robins Kaplan (New York)
,
New York University
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Australian competition law watchdog recently concluded an investigation into big technology’s market power, the first comprehensive investigation of its kind (...)

The EU Commission fines a Japanese retail and designs company for restricting cross-border sales and online sales (Sanrio)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 9 July 2019, the Commission fined Sanrio, a Japanese company that designs, produces and sells “Hello Kitty” products, EUR6.2 million for breaching Article 101 TFEU by imposing territorial restrictions on cross-border and online sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty and other (...)

The EU Commission opens investigation into the allegedly anticompetitive conduct of a multinational online platform focused on e-commerce (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation to examine whether an online retail platform’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers infringes competition rules (Amazon)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
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Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 17 July 2019, the European Commission opened a formal investigation to examine whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers selling on the platform infringes EU competition rules. Amazon’s dual role, i.e. as a retailer selling on the platform and as the provider of the (...)

The EU Commission fines a company €6.2 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products (Sanrio)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 July 2019, the Japanese company Sanrio was fined € 6.2 million by the European Commission (“Commission”) for infringing Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by restricting cross-border sales by its licensees. According to the Commission’s press release, the case (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring their brand characters (Sanrio)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Sanrio €6.2 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty characters* The European Commission has fined Sanrio €6.2 million for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries within the EEA. This (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products (Sanrio)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
,
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The investigation of the Commission has found that Sanrio banned traders from selling licensed merchandise of Hello Kitty and other characters outside their territorial coverage but within the European Economic Area (“EEA”). Sanrio is a Japanese company that designs, licenses, produces and sells (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces the start of a formal market study into online platforms and the UK market for digital advertising
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
What is the Study about? The Study is broad in scope and aims to examine three potential sources of harm in connection with the digital advertising market: i) to what extent online platforms have market power in user-facing markets and what impact this has on consumers; ii) whether consumers (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the sector of crystal components distribution
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the sector of crystal components distribution. Following authorization from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the waste management sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Autoridade da Concorrência carried out dawn raids in the waste management sector* The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) – Portuguese Competition Authority carried out dawn raids in two premises of seven undertakings in the waste management sector in the district of Lisbon on suspicions of (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use to coordinate market prices
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC warns that using algorithms to coordinate market prices is incompatible with the Portuguese Competition Law* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, AdC) warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use and that employing these tools with the aim of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer for having prohibited authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online bicycle sales* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined Bikeurope for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online Background Following documents sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (Direction (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer €250.000 for online sale restrictions (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a fine of € 250,000 on Trek Bicycle Corporation and its subsidiary Bikeurope B.V. (together “Bikeurope”) for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online from 2007 to 2014, a restriction by object that (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a network and a chamber of notaries for anticompetitive agreement (GIE Notimo)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Estate negotiation/notaries* The Autorité de la concurrence fines GIE Notimo and the chambre interdépartementale des notaires de Franche-Comté for anticompetitive practices. Background The law of 6 August 2015, socalled "Macron law" which has reformed regulated professions in order to introduce (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company for engaging in misleading conduct contrary to the principles of good faith and professional diligence (Endesa Energía)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The NMCC has fined Endesa Energía XXI €5.5 million, for using the electricity bills as a tool to promote services of other group companies. In the past, the electricity market in Spain was fully regulated, and all prices were set by the Government. However, in the late 90s the sector was (...)

The UK Government announces the strengthening of the powers of competition watchdogs to fine businesses who broke consumer law
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 18 June 2019, the UK government published a press release announcing ’tough new powers for the competition watchdog to fine businesses directly who have broken consumer law’. This follows a request from Lord Tyrie, Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (’CMA’), for enhanced powers to (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines several companies for price coordination through the use of online cash registers (IPSZOI / PayPal)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The competition supervision procedure initiated against PayPal has ended with the acceptance of commitments* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (the Hungarian Competition Authority, GVH) accepted the commitments of the online payment method provider, PayPal. On the basis of the commitments, the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the publicly funded education markets
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Education services are fundamental for economic and social well-being. They not only directly boost public sector productivity, but also the productivity of workers across the economy by improving their skills, increasing their capacity to add value, and giving them the ability to adapt to new (...)

The Australian Federal Court fines an airline company for engaging into a misleading conduct in relation to its refund practices and makes clear that Australia’s Competition laws apply to international business (Jetstar)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In May 2019, Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), secured two significant victories in the Federal Court against airlines, one for misleading conduct against Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar) in relation to its refund practices, and one (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a customer protection related sector inquiry into online user reviews
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
In its press release of 29 May 2019 the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") announced the launch of another customer protection related sector inquiry into online user reviews. In view of the FCO’s new competences regarding consumer protection which were implemented in the German Act against (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds that four pharmaceutical companies broke competition law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of an anti-nausea drug (Alliance Pharmaceuticals / Focus / Lexon / Medreich)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Drug firms accused of illegal market sharing over anti-nausea tablets* The CMA has provisionally found that 4 pharmaceutical companies broke the law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of an anti-nausea drug in the UK. In a statement of objections issued today, the Competition and (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the retail sector
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspections at retail chains* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA is conducting inspections at the premises of some companies active in the retail sector. These companies are (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a retailer for fixing the online retail prices of its products (Husqvarna Magyarország)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH imposes a fine of HUF 100 million on Husqvarna Magyarország Kft. for fixing the online retail prices of its products* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (the Hungarian Competition Authority, GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 111 million (approx. EUR 330 thousand) on Husqvarna Magyarország Kft. because (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority confirms dawn raids in the healthcare sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC confirms dawn raids in the healthcare sector* The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) - Portuguese Competition Authority confirms it has carried out dawn raids in eight locations of nine entities in the healthcare sector in Lisbon, Porto and Algarve, following suspicions of anticompetitive (...)

The Danish Competition Authority increases its focus on digital platforms and establishes a new center for this matter
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 1 May 2019, the Danish Competition Authority ("DCA") increased its focus on digital platforms by establishing a new center for this matter. The DCA has found it necessary to establish this center as digital platforms play an increasing role in trade with goods and services. The purpose of (...)

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by two financial services companies to cut inter-regional interchange fees (Mastercard II / Visa)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Mastercard and Visa to cut inter-regional interchange fees* The European Commission has made commitments offered by Mastercard and Visa legally binding under EU antitrust rules. The companies will significantly reduce (on average by around 40%) (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments from two companies on inter-regional interchange fees in the card payments market (Mastercard II / Visa)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 29 April 2019, the European Commission ("EC") announced the adoption of two decisions against Visa and Mastercard, which make binding on Visa and Mastercard commitments that both card schemes have given for a gradual reduction of some of their interchange fees (See press releasehere - Visa (...)

The EU Commission sends statements of objections to an American video game developer and five videogame publishers for “geo-blocking” of PC video games (Valve / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax / Bandai Namco / Capcom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statements of Objections to Valve and five videogame publishers on “geo-blocking” of PC video games* The European Commission has informed Valve, owner of the “Steam” video game distribution platform, and five videogame publishers, of its preliminary view that the (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches an investigation into online gaming companies’ roll-over contracts
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on 05 April 2019 that it is launching an investigation into online gaming companies’ use of auto-renewal, cancellation, and refund policies in relation to online services. The investigation is being conducted using the CMA’s consumer (...)

The Danish Competition Authority announces that 45 retail and online stores received injections to remove all illegal payment-card fees that were being charged to consumers
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 5 April 2019, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority ("Authority") announced that 45 retail and online stores (including pharmacies, shops, cafés, restaurants and online stores) have received injunctions from the Authority to remove all illegal payment-card fees they were charging (...)

The EU Commission fines €12.5 million a sportswear company for breaching competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreements with resellers (Nike)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On March 25, 2019, the European Commission announced the € 12,555,000 fine issued to Nike for breaching European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) competition rules through its licensing and distribution agreements with resellers, more specifically for prohibiting merchants from making (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine totaling €12.5 million on a multinational company selling football apparel and footwear for restricting cross-border sales of its merchandise (Nike)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Nike €12.5 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products* The European Commission has fined Nike €12.5 million for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries within the EEA. This restriction concerned merchandising (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting the cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its European licensees (Nike)
Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
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Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
E-Commerce in Europe: A Look into Nike’s Huge Antitrust Fines* On March 25, the European Commission (EC) fined Nike €12.5 million for restricting cross-border and online sales of branded merchandise by its European licensees. In December last year, the EC fined Guess €40 million for imposing (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statements of objections to supermarket chains and beverage suppliers for price fixing (Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Auchan and Intermarché / Lidl / E. Leclerc)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statements of Objections to supermarket chains and beverage suppliers for price fixing, harmful to consumers* The AdC – Portuguese Competition Authority issued three Statements of Objections to six large food retail groups in Portugal and three beverage suppliers for taking part in (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois receives a class action complaint against a pay-for-delay agreement (Abbvie)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Plaintiffs Targeting Biologic-Biosimilars Settlements with Pay-for-Delay Antitrust Claims* Antitrust principles that can invalidate certain pay-for-delay settlements will be expanding into the new frontier of biologic and biosimilar drugs if plaintiffs in several new suits are successful. (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority suspects several taxi dispatch centres of illegal restrictions on competition
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA suspects several taxi dispatch centres of illegal restrictions on competition* Investigations by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) have found that dispatch centres may have acted in breach of the Competition Act by discriminating in the dispatch of Kela-reimbursed (...)

The French Competition Authority closes the case opened at its own initiative regarding practices implemented in the temporary work sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Temporary work sector*The Autorité closes the case opened at its own initiative regarding practices implemented in the temporary work sector Following dawn raids, the Autorité de la concurrence started proceedings ex officio in May 2015 relating to a possible set of practices that was alleged (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two low cost airlines companies for increasing the price of their tickets in a non-transparent manner (Ryanair / Wizz Air)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 21 February 2019, the Italian Competition Authority ("AGCM") concluded two proceedings - launched in September and October 2018 - against the low cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air,. The two investigations showed that, from 1 November 2018 onwards, passengers of the two companies were only (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority publishes its enforcement priorities for 2019
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 1 March 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) published its annual enforcement priorities, which are largely similar to those of 2018: Telecommunications – the BCA notes that the increased reliance on bundled offers in the telecom retail markets has the effect of increasing consumer (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the sector of engineering, maintenance, decommissioning and waste treatment services for nuclear installations
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the sector of engineering, maintenance, decommissioning and waste treatment services for nuclear installations Following authorisation from the liberty and (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a paper summarizing its sector inquiry into online price comparison websites
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 4 February 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a fifth paper in its series “Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy”. The paper summarizes the sector inquiry into online comparison websites in the travel, energy, insurance, telecommunications and financial (...)

The EU Commission fines a credit card company for obstructing merchants’ access to cross-border card payment services (Mastercard II)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Mastercard €570 million for obstructing merchants’ access to cross-border card payment services* The European Commission has fined the card scheme Mastercard €570 566 000 for limiting the possibility for merchants to benefit from better conditions offered by banks (...)

The EU Commission fines a credit card company €570 million for limiting retailers’ access to cross-border payment services (Mastercard II)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 January 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it had imposed a fine of € 570,566,000 on Mastercard for preventing banks from offering lower interchange fees to retailers located in another EEA Member State, in breach of EU competition rules. Mastercard is the second (...)

The German Competition Authority in cooperation with the Austrian Competition Authority opens a formal proceeding against a search engine company suspected to have concluded anticompetitive agreements (Google)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceeding against whitelisting contract between Google and Eyeo terminated after amendments to the contract* In cooperation with the Austrian competition authority (BWB) the Bundeskartellamt conducted an administrative proceeding against the companies Google Inc., Mountain View/USA and Eyeo (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the luxury watch retail sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the luxury watch retail sector Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la concurrence have (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of resale price maintenance against a manufacturer and seller of kitchen appliances due to a lack of witnesses and manufacturers’ distribution rights (Jasper Infotech / Kaff Appliances)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI finds no evidence of resale price maintenance on sale of KAFF appliances on Snapdeal* CCI, by way of order dated 15.01.2019 under Section 26(6) the Act, has dismissed allegations of Resale Price Maintenance (“RPM”) against Kaff Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd. ( “KAFF/ OP”).The information was (...)

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

The Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objection to five insurance companies and their directors and managers for participating in a cartel (Fidelidade / Multicare / Seguros de Saúde / Seguradoras Unidas / Zurich Insurance)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to 5 insurance companies and 14 directors and managers for participating in a cartel * The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC) issued a Statement of Objections to the insurance companies Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros, (...)

The EU Commission fines consumer electronics manufacturers for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Brussels)
Recent EU Fines for Resale Price Maintenance Are Symptoms of Broader Challenges Faced by Today’s Consumer-Goods Manufacturers The European Commission (the “Commission”) issued four separate decisions on 24 July 2018, fining consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and (...)

The EU Commission fines consumer electronics manufacturers €111 million for online pricing restrictions (Asus / Denon / Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Euclid Law (London)
European Commission Fines Consumer Electronics Manufacturers €111 Million for Online Pricing Restrictions* On 24 July 2018, the European Commission announced that it had fined four consumer electronics manufacturers – Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer – a total of €111 million (...)

The EU Commission fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices* The European Commission today fined, in four separate decisions, consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers of electronic goods for resale price maintenance (Asus / Denon / Philips / Pioneer)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Vertical restrictions, including resale price maintenance (RPM), have not generally been an EC enforcement priority over the last 10 years, but a series of rulings in July 2018 signalled a potential change in that trend. Although the EC considers RPM to be a “hardcore restriction” of (...)

The EU Commission fines four electronic manufacturers for fixing minimum resale prices for online retailers (Asus / Denon / Philips / Pioneer)
K&L Gates (Houston)
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K&L Gates (Sidney)
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K&L Gates (Boston)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 24 July 2018, in four separate decisions, the European Commission (“Commission”) levied fines totalling EUR 111 million on four well-known manufacturers of (...)

The Russian Competition Authority exposes the first cartel in Dagestan in the medicine sector (Medpharmasnab / RegionPharma / Dagmedtechnika / Globalmedtech)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed the first cartel in Dagestan* A group of FAS specialists arrived to Dagestan on invitation of Acting Head of Dagestan, Vladimir Vasiliev To pursue the National Competition Development Plan approved by No. 618 Order of the President of Russia on 21.12.2017, FAS jointly with (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a human resource consulting firm for non-compliance with certain remedies addressing practices implemented in the temporary employment sector (Randstad)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Temporary employment sector* The Autorité de la concurrence fines Randstad 4.5 million euros for non-compliance with certain commitments undertaken in 2009 The Autorité de la concurrence today issues a decision imposing a joint fine on companies Groupe Randstad France SAS, Randstad SAS, (...)

The French and German Competition Authorities launch a joint project on algorithms and their implications on competition
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The French Autorité de la concurrence and the German Bundeskartellamt launch a joint project on algorithms and their implications on competition* Coming along with digitalization, algorithms are becoming more and more important and at the same time progressively sophisticated. Prominent (...)

The EU Commission proposes legislation to increase fairness and transparency on online platforms
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 26 April 2018, the European Commission proposed a new Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (the “Proposed Regulation”). The Proposed Regulation aims to address business practices which are likely to be harmful to business users (...)

The EU Commission carries out unannounced inspections concerning distribution of sports media rights and other related rights
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission confirms unannounced inspections concerning distribution of sports media rights and other related rights* The European Commission can confirm that on 10 April 2018 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in several Member States at the premises of companies (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announces product safety priorities for 2018
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced product safety priorities for 2018. A key priority is for the Commission to work towards (...)

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds fine for misleading advertising in the hotel sector (NT partneriai / Karolinos turas)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
A hotel is a hotel and the Karolina Park Hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania is no exception. So the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld a decision of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Council) that fined the developer Karolinos turas and real estate company NT (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority and the French Competition Authority conduct inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority confirms the inspections at distributors of cosmetic goods* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) confirms that the BCA and the “Autorité de la concurrence” (France) conducted inspections at the premises of (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority publishes a report into the sports footwear, sportswear and sports equipment markets
Karanovic & Partners (Belgrade)
On 1 February 2018, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (“Commission“) published a report on its sector inquiry into the sports footwear, sportswear and sports equipment markets in the Republic of Serbia. The inquiry covered the period from 2014 to 2016. The sector inquiry was (...)

The Copenhagen City Court fines a real estate chain and an association of real estate agents for unlawful boycott (EDC-Gruppen / Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Real estate chain and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents sentenced to fines for unlawful boycott* On January 30, 2018, the City Court of Copenhagen passed sentence upon the real estate chain EDC-Gruppen A/S and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents for (...)

The EU Court of Justice recalls the function of trademark and clarifies the criteria of exhaustion of trademark principle (Schweppes / Red Paralela)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
In its Judgment of 20 December 2017, the ECJ has ruled that Schweppes Spain may not oppose the import of bottles of tonic water under the trademark “Schweppes” imported from the UK. By way of background, Schweppes International or Schweppes Holding (Orangina Schweppes) is the proprietor of the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority secures commitments from several universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns (National University of Ireland / Trinity College Dublin / Dublin City University / University of Limerick)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC secures commitments in the supply of graduation gowns* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has secured Commitments from a number of Irish universities to change their procurement practices in the supply of graduation gowns. Following a complaint, the CCPC sought (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau offers immunity in bread price-fixing probe (Loblaw / Weston)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction On 19 December 2017, Loblaw Companies Limited (‘Loblaw’), Canada’s largest grocery store chain, and George Weston Ltd (‘Weston’), which owns national bread baker Weston Bakeries, admitted to participation in a packaged bread price-fixing scheme for more than 14 years that ran from late (...)

The EU Commission reaches alongside the Parliament and the Council a political agreement on the geo-blocking regulation for consumers wishing to buy products or services online
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Vienna)
One of the key elements in the EU’s strategy to deal with wide-spread phenomena Geo-blocking is the Geo-blocking regulation, which was proposed by the Commission in May 2016. The latest proposal of the Geo-blocking regulation (issued by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee in (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council finds occasion wear shops to have engaged in cartel activity due to their imposition of fixed dress try-on fees for customers (Occasion wear shops cartel)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
CARTEL AMONG OCCASION WEAR SHOPS RESULTED IN HIGHER PRICES FOR CONSUMERS* The Competition Council found a number of occasion wear shops operating in Vilnius guilty of a cartel that set a fixed dress try-on fee for customers. Firms received fines ranging from EUR 1 to EUR 1,960, with seven out (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into online price comparison websites
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into comparison websites* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into "online price comparison websites". Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Every day millions of consumers gather information by using price comparison (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority brings ten construction and engineering companies to the Tribunal for an alleged market sharing and price-fixing cartel in relation to the renovation of over 800 flats in the public housing sector
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
Yesterday, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (the HKCC) took ten construction and engineering companies to the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) for an alleged market sharing and price fixing cartel relating to the renovation of over 800 flats in On Tat Estate, a public housing estate in (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal refuses a £14 billion class action against a financial service company (Merricks / MasterCard)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On Friday, July 21, 2017, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) handed down its second class certification decision under the class actions regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the “Act”). It dismissed the application for two reasons. First, the proposed representative (...)

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

The German Federal Council adopts an amendment to Act against restraints of competition
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
Key changes triggered by the amendment relate to a company’s liability for cartel infringements, the introduction of a transaction value test into merger control, private enforcement through the implementation of the EU Cartel Damages Directive, the assessment of market power in multilateral (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes preliminary findings on price comparison websites
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Latham & Watkins (London)
In September 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) launched a Market Study into digital comparison tools (“DCTs”). On March 28, 2017, the CMA published an update on the Market Study setting out its preliminary findings and areas of focus for the second part of the Market Study. The (...)

The UK Government announces its plan to support digital Britain post-Brexit aimed at improving living standards and economic growth
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Last week, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley MP, announced the Government’s plans to support a digital Britain post-Brexit (click here to see the UK Digital Strategy). The strategy is aimed at improving living standards and economic growth by "increasing (...)

The Italian Council of State partially confirms the Competition Authority’s fines imposed on an online travel agency for unfair commercial practices (Flygo)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
FlyGo is a company active in the online travel agency sector that operates through different websites including www.fly-go.it. In 2016, following a report from Ryanair, Wizzair and the Consumers Union, the AGCM investigated FlyGo’s business practices. The case is very significant, because it (...)

The French Competition Authority confirms unannounced inspections in the sector of energy services and energy supply
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence confirms that unannounced inspections were carried out on 22 November in the sector of energy services and energy supply* On 22 November 2016, following information that has appeared in the press - which does not come from the Autorité (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts revised commitments by a company in the gas supplier market (DEPA)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
HCC accepts revised commitments by DEPA (HCC 631/2016) In 2012, as a result of ALUMINIUM’s complaint against DEPA, the incumbent natural gas supplier, the company offered commitments to the HCC in order to close the case. The commitments are continuously subject to review and update, reflecting (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority decides that a lessee and operator of the parking slots in airport abuses its dominant position through excessive pricing (Cargo Service / KEPKA)
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
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Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
Dismissal of allegations of excessive car parking prices in Macedonia Airport (HCC 630/2016) In April 2008, Cargo Service, lessee and operator of the parking lots in the Thessaloniki International Airport “Macedonia”, was accused by KEPKA (a consumer protection NGO) of abusing its dominant (...)

The EU Commission publishes its preliminary report on the ongoing e-commerce sector inquiry
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On September 15, 2016, the European Commission published its Preliminary Report on the ongoing e-commerce sector inquiry. The report is based on the input from nearly 1,800 companies operating in e-commerce of consumer goods and digital content and has analyzed around 8,000 distribution (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation on its midpoint assessment concerning its investigation on the hearing aids sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Hearing aids* As part of its investigation on the hearing aids sector, the Autorité de la concurrence launches a public consultation on its mid-point assessment today. The Autorité encourages the sector’s players to express their opinion on the competition issues identified. Interested actors (...)

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by container liner shipping companies on price transparency (CMA CGM)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by container liner shipping companies on price transparency* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by fourteen container liner shipping companies. The commitments aim to increase price (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority ends its investigation concerning real estate agents
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
Real estate agents completely free in setting tariffs when selling real estate* The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) ends its investigation against the Professional Institute for real estate agents (BIV). Extensive research has shown that real estate agents are completely free in setting (...)

The US Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal against two financial services companies for fixing charges on ATM fees (Visa / Mastercard)
Hausfeld (Philadelphia)
In Visa Inc. v. Osbor (“Osborn”), the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a consolidated appeal from the D.C. Circuit’s decision that plaintiffs in three related antitrust actions against Visa, Mastercard, and several of their member banks had sufficiently alleged a conspiracy to fix ATM fees (...)

The EU Commission lists geo-blocking practices which may prevent online shoppers from purchasing goods or digital content based on their location
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published its initial findings on ‘geo-blocking’ practices, which may prevent online shoppers from purchasing goods or digital content based on their location. The Commission’s figures suggest that geo-blocking is a widespread practice throughout the EU: (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a manufacturer of railway sleepers € 1.5 million for an anticompetitive agreement concerning public procurement (Durtrack)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt concludes proceedings against manufacturers of railway sleepers* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its investigation proceedings against manufacturers of concrete and wooden railway sleepers and imposed a fine on one manufacturer of concrete railway sleepers. The proceedings (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority launches market study into legal services
DLA Piper (London)
On 13 January 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published a market study notice into civil legal services in England and Wales across a broad range of different legal areas. The study is intended to examine the experiences individuals and small businesses have when accessing (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority publishes an enforcement policy and a leniency policy and places the focus on encouraging compliance
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
On 19 November the Hong Kong Competition Commission (the Commission) published the long-awaited enforcement policy and the leniency policy under the Competition Ordinance (the Ordinance). We highlight the key points of each policy below. The Commission’s enforcement policy The Commission (...)

The Pakistani Competition Authority publishes a show cause notice to a professional association suspected prima facie of fixing prices of poultry products (PPA)
Competition Commission of Pakistan (Islamabad)
CCP issues showcause notice to pakistan poultry association over prima facie fixing prices of poultry products* The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) for prima facie violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reaffirms the continued viability of the intertwined standard for antitrust standing (Hanover 3201 Realty / Village Supermarkets)
Hausfeld (Philadelphia)
On November 12, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Hanover 3201 Realty, LLC v. Village Supermarkets, Inc. affirmed in part and vacated in part the lower court’s determination that the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue Sherman Act Section 2 claims in markets for (...)

The EU Commission sends objections to several companies suspected of participating in an electrolytic capacitors cartel
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends statement of objections to suspected participants in electrolytic capacitors cartel* The European Commission has informed ten manufacturers of electrolytic capacitors that it suspects them of having participated in a cartel, in breach of EU antitrust rules. (...)

The UK Parliament adopts the Consumer Rights Act to boost private enforcement of competition law
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction On 1 October 2015 the Consumer Rights Act 2015 entered into force. This reforms and consolidates consumer protection laws in the UK but also - (...)

The UK Parliament introduces a class action mechanism for antitrust damages
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The UK has introduced a class action mechanism that could lead to an increase in antitrust litigation. Most significantly, the new mechanism will enable opt-out class actions, which are potentially effective in aggregating individually low value claims, into a single high value, and (...)

The UK Parliament’s Consumer Rights Act 2015 enters into force
White & Case (London)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The entry into force of the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the “CRA”) on 1 October 2015 marks the introduction of opt-out class actions in the UK, further transforming the legal landscape for private damages claims in the UK. Together with further changes as a result of the UK’s implementation of (...)

The UK Competition Authority closes its hotel online booking investigation (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA closes hotel online booking investigation* The CMA today announced that it has closed an investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the hotel online booking sector. The investigation was launched by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) predecessor, the Office of (...)

The UK Crown Court sentences an individual who pled guilty to a criminal cartel offence (Peter Nigel Snee)
Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
Director that pleaded guilty to the cartel offence in the galvanised steel water tank cartel has received a six month suspended sentence after his co-accuseds were acquitted. In brief On 14 September 2015, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that an individual had been (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority issues an opinion indicating that the decision of a town allowing advertising only to economic operators established in its territory contravenes with competition law (Town of Vodice)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
In the Town of Vodice local municipality decision contravenes with Competition Act* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) addressed in its opinion the behaviour of the Town of Vodice and its decision under which with the consent of the Major it exceptionally allows provision of advertising for (...)

The US FTC publishes a statement of enforcement principles regarding “unfair methods of competition”
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Issues Statement of Principles Regarding Enforcement of FTC Act as a Competition Statute* Frames Agency’s Use of ‘Stand Alone’ Section 5 Authority to Address Unfair Methods of Competition The Federal Trade Commission has issued a Statement of Enforcement Principles that describes the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority sends a warning to the glass lobby in order it do not violate the antimonopoly law (Steklosoyuz)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS warns the glass lobby not to violate the antimonopoly law* The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) warned companies in the glass industry not to exercise actions that can result in violating the antimonopoly law. The warning was issued upon publishing the Protocol of the (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits joint marketing agreements in the market of coniferous stem wood (Forst BW Baden-Württemberg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits the joint marketing of round timber in Baden-Württemberg* Today the Bundeskartellamt has issued its final decision in the round timber proceedings against the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Via its state company Forst BW Baden-Württemberg has so far marketed wood (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a credit card company regarding its cross-border rules and inter-regional interchange fees (Mastercard II)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to MasterCard on cross-border rules and inter-regional interchange fees* The European Commission today has sent a Statement of Objections to MasterCard. The Statement of Objections outlines the Commission’s preliminary view that MasterCard’s (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a report setting out its provisional findings during a market investigation of the energy sector
DLA Piper (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") published a report on 7 July 2015 setting out its provisional findings in a market investigation of the energy sector, in particular for gas and electricity at both wholesale and retail levels in the UK. Market investigations involve in-depth (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a record fine in the supermarkets cartel (Cartel de la beauté)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 22 June 2015 the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) issued its decision in the supermarkets cartel, fining 18 supermarkets and suppliers of personal care, hygiene and cleaning products for coordinating retail price increases between 2002 and 2007. This occurred in the context of a cartel (...)

The French Competition Authority extends its commitments made in the case of inter-bank fees associated with card payments (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Extension of the commitments made by the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB Bank Cards Group) to the Autorité de la concurrence regarding the level of inter-bank payment fees until the European regulation comes into force.* In 2011, within the context of the examination by the Autorité de la (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to 15 banking institutions for allegedly exchanging sensitive data regarding the supply of retail-banking loan products
Abreu Advogados (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority confirmed having sent a Statement of Objections to 15 banks for suspected participation in a concerted practice. According to the last press release issued by the Portuguese Competition Authority on June 5, 2015, the Statement of Objections was issued on May (...)

A US District Court grants preliminary injunction, reminding that if a group of competitors excludes another class of competitors, the question of whether competition is harmed turns on whether the excluded class offers competitive benefits to the market (Teladoc / Texas Medical Board)
Bona Law (San Diego)
Texas Federal Court Acts for Teladoc in Antitrust Case Against State Medical Board* It is easier to succeed in business without competition than with it. And if you are used to practicing your profession in a particular way, it is quite uncomfortable when new approaches develop that undercut (...)

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

The Fujian Price Bureau adopts antitrust measures for the China Pilot Free Trade Zone
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
Fujian Price Bureau adopts antitrust measures for the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone* On 30 April 2015, the Fujian Price Bureau issued the Anti-Price Monopoly Measures for the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone. The aims of the measures are to enhance the market price order, protect (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority announces that it received a super-complaint from an independent consumer body (Which)
DLA Piper (London)
On 21 April 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it received a super-complaint from the independent consumer body Which? (Which) in respect of perceived concerns about misleading and opaque pricing practices in the UK grocery market. This relates to both in-store (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a draft decision concerning the round timber proceedings against a Federal State (Baden-Württemberg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt issues a draft decision in the round timber proceedings against the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg* In the proceedings concerning the marketing of round timber by the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, the Bundeskartellamt has today sent a draft decision to the state and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment in price-fixing litigation (Text Messaging)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless LLC, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Corp., in a text messaging price-fixing litigation. In re Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation, case number (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York finds anti-steering rules to be anticompetitive (American Express)
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Columbus)
Judge finds anti-steering rules to be anti-competitive* Last Thursday, a federal district court judge found that American Express Co.’s anti-steering rules violated U.S. antitrust laws by barring merchants from encouraging customers to use other credit cards. The ruling not only handed a (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens ex officio proceedings in the market of the provision of air transport services in order to determine the probable existence of barriers to competition
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Extract of the order by which the Federal Economic Competition Commission begins the ex officio investigation identified under the file number IEBC-001-2015, in the market of the provision of air transport services that use the International Airport of Mexico City for landing and/or take off (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens ex officio proceedings to review whether several companies have breached the Federal Law of Economic Competition in the credit reporting market
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
NOTICE by which the Federal Economic Competition Commission informs of the beginning of the ex officio investigation under file number IO-001-2015, on the possible commission of conducts contrary to the Federal Law of Economic Competition* At the margin a seal of the National Coat of Arms, (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines two poultry plants for unreasonably increased prices (Ptitsecombinat / Stavropolsky Broiler)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Stavropol OFAS fined two poultry plants 1.3 million Rubles for unreasonably increased prices* On 2 February 2015, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Stavropol (Stavropol OFAS) fined “Stavropolsky Broiler” OJSC and “Ptitsecombinat” Ltd. 650,000 each for unreasonably growing (...)

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets provides useful guidance for the future assessment of sustainability initiatives involving cooperation between firms (Chicken for tomorrow)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Valuing Sustainability? The ACM’s analysis of “Chicken for Tomorrow” under Art. 101(3)* On 26 January 2015, the Dutch competition authority announced its decision that industry-wide initiatives for the “Chicken for Tomorrow” in the Netherlands restrict competition. The ACM reached this conclusion (...)

The European Commission fines fives companies over € 19.4 million in cartel settlement for price coordination and customer allocation (Envelopes)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
European Commission Seeks To Stamp Out Envelope Cartel With Fines Totaling 19.48 Million Euros* The European Commission has announced that it has imposed fines totaling 19.48 million euros on five European envelope producers for coordinating prices and allocating customers through an (...)

The Canadian and Indian Competition Authorities sign a memorandum of understanding on the application of competition laws
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
Introduction Today’s global economy makes international cooperation in the enforcement of competition laws essential. To this end on 1 December 2014 Canada’s Commissioner of Competition (“Commissioner”) and the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) on (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority reaches settlements for $5 million and behavioral remedies with water heater companies found guilty of implementing anticompetitive return policies (Reliance Comfort / Direct Energy)
TSMC (San Francisco)
Reliance scalded by $5 million penalty* Hot water heater rental supplier Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership has agreed to pay a $5 million fine and to change policies that made it difficult for customers to switch to a competitor, in a settlement reached with the Commissioner of Competition (...)

The German Competition Authority following its cartel proceeding forces an association of pharmacists to forego an anticompetitive clause in the sale of blood glucose strips market (AVWL)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt strengthens competition in the sale of blood glucose strips in Westphalia-Lippe* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its cartel proceeding against the pharmacists association in Westphalia-Lippe (Apothekerverband Westfalen-Lippe e.V. Apothekerverband Westfalen-Lippe e.V. (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority closes its investigation against a pharmaceutical company suspected of abuse of dominance by differencing the price of its drug sold inside and outside of hospitals (AstraZeneca)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM closes investigation into AstraZeneca* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has carried out an investigation into the large price difference between the price that international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca asked for heart burn drug Nexium sold inside hospitals, (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority issues its report wherein measures are proposed to increase competition in the private motor insurance market
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
The CMA has today published measures it expects to increase competition in the car insurance market and reduce the cost of premiums for drivers.* The measures are included in the final report of its investigation, conducted by an independent panel of members, into the private motor insurance (...)