ECHR

General antitrust

The OECD holds a session on promoting competition and protecting human rights
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
The first session of the 2016 OECD Global Forum on Competition focused on "Promoting competition, protecting human rights" during its first session. Competition law enforcement depends on an effective system of human rights, most obviously the right to property, the right to contract and rights (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court declares the inadmissibility of a complaint challenging a provision of the Energy Act which obliges operators of private power plants to reduce power input on request of the grid operator in return for compensation (German Electricity Grid)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Constitutional Court Declares Complaint Against Curtailment Provision in Energy Act Inadmissible* In a recent decision the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) declared a constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) inadmissible that challenged a provision in the German Energy Act (EnWG) (...)

Anticompetitive practices

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

The EU Court of Justice reduces the fines imposed on the appellant for the failure of the General Court to take sufficient account of a substantive problem with the Commission’s decision relating to the company’s rights of defence (Ballast Nedam)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Case C-612/12 P Ballast Nedam NV: Competition law, rights of the defence and reduction of fine.* The Court of Justice does not often reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on an undertaking for a breach of the competition rules when the amount of the fine has been upheld by the General Court. (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of appropriate remedy for infringements of the right to have the case adjudicated within a reasonable time (Kendrion) (Gascogne)
University of Leiden
The recent landmark cases on the reasonable time requirement: Is the Court caught between Scylla and Charybdis?* In the landmark cases Kendrion, Gascogne and Gascogne Germany the CJEU clarified some important procedural issues related to infringements of the reasonable time requirement. The (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Court of Justice reiterates that effective judicial protection is a general principle of law and finds no error in the examination of the evidence related to abuse of dominance in the telecom sector (Telefónica)
European Ombudsman (Strasbourg)
Case C-295 P Telefónica SA v Commission: the EU judicature’s unlimited jurisdiction in competition cases* The Court of Justice (“CoJ”) handed down its judgment in a very interesting abuse of dominance case, namely Case C-295/12 P Telefónica SA v Commission on 10 July 2014. The judgment deals with (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision in consideration of two exclusionary practices on the market for the supply of CPUs, opening the door to a further appeal to the Court of Justice and a possible application before the ECtHR (Intel)
University of Bristol - Law School
Could Intel challenge its 1bn Euro fine on grounds of ’corporate human rights’* After last week’s General Court Judgment in Intel v Commission, T-286/09, EU:T:2014:475, the 2 month period for Intel to appeal the confirmation of its 1bn Euro fine before the Court of Justice of the EU on points of (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority closes proceedings without further action against a Swiss individual with a formerly controlling stake in companies investigated for possible abuse of a dominant position
Schellenberg Wittmer (Zurich)
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Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Swiss Competition Commission rejects liability of a natural person with a controlling shareholding in companies under cartel investigation* On November 18, 2013, the Swiss Competition Commission (ComCo) closed proceedings without further action against a Swiss individual with a formerly (...)

Procedures

The President of the EU General Court issues two orders for interim measures on personal data gathered in EU antitrust probes against social media platform (Facebook)
Clifford Chance (Milano)
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Clifford Chance (Brussels)
In the context of ongoing antitrust investigations into Facebook Inc.’s (‘Facebook’) data-related practices (AT.40628) and Facebook marketplace (AT.40684), on 13 March 2020 the European Commission (‘Commission’) issued two formal requests for information (‘RFIs’), requiring the company to produce a (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that the General Court is not bound to accept a request for the examination of witnesses when it has sufficiently proven that an undertaking took part in an anti-competitive agreement (Silver Plastics)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Witness Hearings In Competition Cases – The Silver Plastics Judgment* On 22 October 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed in Silver Plastics that the General Court (GC) is not bound to accept a request for the examination of witnesses when it has sufficiently proven that an (...)

The Irish High Court finds that the Competition Authority has exceeded its dawn raid powers in seizing digital material in bulk (CRH / CCPC)
McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
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McCann FitzGerald (Brussels)
Introduction In CRH plc v The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission the Irish High Court found that the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) had exceeded its dawn raid powers in seizing digital material in bulk. The High Court granted orders preventing the CCPC (...)

The EU Court of Human Rights rules that dawn raids carried out at the premises of two companies by the French Department for Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud violates both the rights of defense and the right to privacy (Vinci / GTM)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Paris)
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently ruled that dawn raids carried out at the premises of two French construction companies by the DGCCRF (French Department for Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud) violated both the rights of defense and the right to privacy, due to (...)

The EU Court of Human Rights rules that French dawn raids breached fundamental rights (Vinci / GTM)
JPTT-Vitale (Paris)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”) has ruled in the Vinci case that the circumstances surrounding the electronic removal of documents and computer files during a dawn raid violated two companies’ privacy rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) . The case (...)

The Czech Competition Authority announces that it will recommence dawn raids
Braun (Prague)
The Prohibition on Dawn Raids in the Czech Republic has Ended* Last autumn, the Czech Antitrust Office had announced that it halted its dawn raids. The decision came from – what many felt – was a surprise decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) dated 2 October 2014 (...)

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

The EU Court of Justice refuses to apply the Charter of Fundamental Rights to a purely national situation (Cruciano Siragusa / Soprintendenza Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Palermo)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU clearly indicates total lack of will to effectively become EU’s constitutional court (C-206/13)* In its Judgment of 6 March 2014 in case C-206/13 Siragusa, the Court of Justice of the EU has continued developing its case law on the lack of applicability / jurisdiction to interpret the (...)

The Italian Supreme Court confirms that Administrative Courts cannot themselves rule on technical concepts within the competence of the Competition Authority (Acea / Suez Environment)
Pavia e Ansaldo (Roma)
On 20 January 2014 the Italian Supreme Court handed down a significant judgment on the scope of the judicial review of decisions taken by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), considering issues addressed in the ECHR judgment in Menarini Diagnostic s.r.l./Italia, 27 September, 2011, appeal (...)

The Stockholm City Court rules that the prohibition against double jeopardy does not bar subsequent administrative proceedings in a case of abuse of dominance where previous civil proceedings led to an injunction order under penalty of a fine (Swedavia)
Mircea (Bucharest)
Admissibility of an action for imposing a competition fine brought after the Market Court ordered injunction under penalty of a fine in related civil proceedings. Exploitative abuse of dominance. Ne bis in idem Background Swedavia is a state-owned company in charge with the administration of (...)

The EU Court of Justice consolidates view on an effective remedy for the excessive length of proceedings before the General Court in competition cases (Groupe Gascogne)
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
In the Groupe Gascogne judgment delivered on 26 November 2013, the Court of Justice consolidates its conception on issues of effective judicial protection in competition law adjudication. The case originated in an action for annulment against the General Court (GC) judgment T-72/06 Groupe (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the procedural and substantial provisions applicable to an antitrust claim and establishes that court proceedings of an excessive duration violated Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Groupe Gascogne)
University of Bristol - Law School
It’s for the GC to decide, but it’s not ok: CJEU rules on ’excessive duration’ of competition law litigation (C-40/12 P)* In a batch of impatiently expected Judgments of 26 November 2012, the CJEU has ruled on the procedural and substantial rules applicable to a claim that (competition law) (...)

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