Exchange of information in associations of undertakings

Procedures

The South African Competition Authority and the Egyptian Competition Authority join forces to strengthen anti-monopoly competition laws
South African Competition Commission (Pretoria)
South African and Egyptian Competition Authorities join forces to strengthen anti-monopoly competition laws* The Competition Commission South Africa this morning, 31 August 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Competition Authority to establish a general framework (...)

The EU Court of Justice preliminarily determines that discriminatory access to data may constitute an abuse of a dominant position (Enel)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 12 May 2022, the European Court of Justice ("the Court") delivered a preliminary ruling on abuse of dominance through the exploitation of data. As the historic monopolist, ENEL had access to customer data which it used to strengthen its position. Key takeaways ENEL prevented its (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority and the Financial Services Supervisory Agency sign a memorandum of agreement for cooperation on sustainable competition policy
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency and Croatian Competition Agency sign a memorandum of agreement* The parties committed themselves to cooperation in the area of competition in the financial services market including the capital market, the insurance market, the pension insurance (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a company for gun-jumping in a case relating to a progressive takeover and de facto control in the spirit market (Cofepp / Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits)
White & Case (Paris)
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White & Case (Paris)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 12 April 2022, the FCA fined the Compagnie Financière Européenne de Prises de Participation ("COFEPP") EUR 7 million for both (i) failure to notify its merger with Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits ("MBWS") and (ii) completion of the merger prior to the FCA’s approval. The FCA launched the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a company for an acquisition of control without prior notification of the transaction and without waiting for a clearance decision in the market of spirits (Cofepp / Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité fines Cofepp for acquiring control of MBWS without prior notification of the transaction and without waiting for its decision* Background The Autorité de la concurrence has fined Cofepp (Poliakov, Label 5, Cruz, Saint James, Old Nick, etc.) for acquiring control of Marie Brizard (...)

The US DoJ and Department of Labor strengthen partnership to protect workers through greater coordination and information sharing, cross-agency training and outreach
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Departments of Justice and Labor Strengthen Partnership to Protect Workers* The Agencies Will Enhance Enforcement Efforts Through Greater Coordination and Information Sharing, Cross-Agency Training and Outreach The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Labor Department signed a (...)

The US DoJ and Department of Labor release a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen and coordinate enforcement efforts in labor markets
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
Continuing the recent string of actions across the Biden administration in response to the July 2021 Executive Order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” on March 7, 2022, the US Treasury Department (Treasury) released a report titled “The State of Labor Market Competition,” and on (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines renewable energy firm for gun-jumping (Adani Green / SB Energy)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Adani Greens Energy Limited (“Adani Green/Acquirer”) was served with a show cause notice (“SCN”) on 14 August 2021 in relation to its acquisition of S.B. Energy Holding Limited (“S.B. Energy/Target”) (“Combination”). The notice for the Combination was filed on 18 May 2021, pursuant to the execution of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a renewable energy firm a nominal sum for gun jumping in a first-of-its-kind decision (Adani Green / SB Energy)
Khaitan (Mumbai)
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Khaitan (Mumbai)
In its order dated 9 March 2022, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) penalized Adani Green Energy Limited (“Adani Green”) for gun jumping in connection with its acquisition of S.B. Energy Holding Limited (“SB Energy” / “Target”). Per the CCI, the central issue was of Adani Green gaining access (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes a Communiqué which amends the turnover thresholds required for merger notification
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
On 04.03.2022, important amendments/additions have been introduced to the Communiqué Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board (“Communiqué No. 2010/4”). With this article, it is aimed to summarize these latest amendments in the Communiqué No. (...)

The EU Commission includes for the first time in its draft revision of the horizontal cooperation guidance a specific section on consortia agreements
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
The European Commission’s draft revision of the horizontal cooperation guidance published on March 1, 2022, for the first time includes a specific section on the assessment of consortia agreements. Up to now, there has been very limited guidance in case law and in the existing horizontal (...)

The EU Commission proposes for public comment its new competitor cooperation guidelines which are tougher on information sharing but provide scope for sustainability agreements
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The European Commission (Commission) is accepting public comment on its proposed revisions to European Union regulations and guidance on common competitor cooperation arrangements, which are due to expire on 31 December 2022. Cooperation agreements among existing or potential competitors (i.e., (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks views on court enforceable undertakings proposed by 2 maritime container suppliers in relation to their proposed merger (Cargotec / Konecranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC consults on divestiture proposal for Cargotec, Konecranes merger* The ACCC is seeking views on court enforceable undertakings proposed by each of Cargotec and Konecranes in relation to their proposed merger. The proposed undertakings in Australia are based on similar remedies Cargotec (...)

The US DoJ sues to block a merger between a healthcare technology provider and a health company which would result in the use of competitively sensitive claims data of millions of Americans to reduce competition and innovation (UnitedHealth Group / Change Healthcare)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Sues to Block UnitedHealth Group’s Acquisition of Change Healthcare* Acquisition Would Allow Health Care Giant to Use Competitively Sensitive Claims Data of Hundreds of Millions of Americans to Reduce Competition and Innovation to the Detriment of Health Insurance Consumers (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority joins the competition authorities of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom in a new working group focussed on sharing information to identify and prevent potentially anticompetitive conduct in the global supply and distribution of goods
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
International working group targets potential collusion by competitors in supply and distribution of goods* The Competition Bureau has joined the competition authorities of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom in a new working group focussed on sharing information (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes its 3 largest fines totalling £56.7M for breaches of initial enforcement orders in connection with 2 mergers in Big Tech and sportswear (JD Sports / Footasylum) (Meta / Giphy)
Ashurst (London)
Within the last six months, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has issued its three largest fines for breaches of an initial enforcement order ("IEO"). These include fines of GBP 50.5 million and GBP 1.5 million for breaches of an IEO imposed in connection with the completed (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines sports retailers £5M after breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the Authority (JD Sports / Footasylum)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Sports retailers fined almost £5m for breaching CMA order* JD Sports and Footasylum have been fined almost £5 million after breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the CMA. Breaches include the sharing of commercially sensitive information between JD Sports and Footasylum CEOs Failure to (...)

The EU Commission issues draft guidance on information exchange in dual distribution scenarios
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 February 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published (for a brief period of public consultation) revised draft guidance on dual distribution, available here, which includes an extensive discussion concerning information exchange (“Draft Guidance”). This is likely to be one of the (...)

The European Commission drafts new competition rules for Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and guidelines for vertical restraints scheduled to take effect in June 2022
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
I. The context The European Commission (“EC”) is currently revising the rules governing vertical agreements under EU competition law, which will expire on May 31, 2022. In this respect, on July 9, 2021, the EC published its long-awaited draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s decision to fine a semiconductor chip manufacturer €1.06 billion for abusing its dominant position (Intel)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
On 26 January 2022 the General Court (GC) issued its latest judgment in the Intel case, faulting fundamental aspects of the Commission’s original decision almost 13 years prior. The judgment’s findings are promising for pending cases appealing similar issues, including the application of the “as (...)

The EU General Court annuls a fine of EUR 1.06M against a semiconductor chip manufacturing company based on economic evidence (Intel)
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam)
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam)
Three’s a charm for Intel: On judicial review of economic evidence to rebut a legal presumption* In 2009, the European Commission imposed what was then a record-breaking fine of EUR 1.06 billion on Intel for abuse of dominance. Intel’s initial action for annulment was dismissed by the General (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates an inquiry in the waste management sector to examine whether a recycling management company can be obliged to notify future takeovers of smaller companies (Rethmann Group / Remondis)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rethmann Group / Remondis: Bundeskartellamt examines preconditions for extended obligation to notify future takeovers (Section 39a German Competition Act, GWB)* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a further sector inquiry in the waste management sector. The authority is going to examine whether (...)

The German Competition Authority designates a parent company of a Big Tech company as an undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets (Google / Alphabet)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
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Hausfeld (Berlin)
On 30 December 2021, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, “FCO”) designated Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, (“Google”) as an ‘undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets’. The FCO is now considering whether to prohibit particular anti-competitive (...)

The Polish Competition Authority orders a supermarket to pay debts to suppliers in a first-of-its-kind decision that provides public compensation to entities other than consumers (SCA Polska / Intermarché)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
UOKiK President orders SCA PR Polska (Intermarche) to pay debts towards suppliers* President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Tomasz Chróstny obliged SCA PR Polska (Intermarche Group) to change practices that could constitute an unfair use of contractual advantage. As a (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Pikamäe delivers an opinion concerning the fiscal advantages granted by Luxembourg to a subsidiary of a major car manufacturing company which could substantially change the Commission’s approach in assessing member states’ tax rulings (Fiat / Ireland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2021, Advocate General Priit Pikamäe delivered an Opinion in Case C-898/19 P, Ireland v Commission and Others, concerning fiscal advantages granted by Luxembourg to a Fiat group subsidiary, which – if followed by the European Court of Justice – could substantially change the (...)

The US FTC, the DoJ and the EU Commission issue a joint statement on the launch of the EU-US Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Joint Statement from FTC, DOJ Antitrust Division, and European Commission Leadership on Launch of EU-US Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue* Leadership of the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and the Directorate-General for Competition of (...)

The EU General Court rejects an appeal by a recipient of illegal aid who requested that the Commission declare the aid compatible with the internal market even though the member state concerned had failed to notify the Commission (Solar Electric)
Maastricht University
Illegal Aid Cannot be Regularised a Posteriori* A Commission decision finding non-notified aid to be compatible with the internal market cannot remedy the illegality that existed before the Commission decision. Introduction In November 2021, the General Court rejected an appeal by the (...)

The US FTC and DoJ, which rejected the legitimacy of the "portfolio effects" doctrine over 20 years ago, could revisit their opinion over the acquisition of a brewery by a Japanese beverages company (Bell’s Brewery / Kirin)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Bell’s Brewery Sale May Tap Into Longstanding Portfolio Effects Debate* The announced acquisition of Bell’s Brewery by Japanese conglomerate Kirin provides an opportunity to reexamine the much-maligned “portfolio effects” doctrine of merger analysis. Bell’s, the Michigan-based craft brewer of (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority issues a draft paper on its approach to abusive price discrimination
University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law
Discriminatory Abuse – Time to clear up the ambiguities!* The Norwegian Competition Authority has issued a draft paper on abusive (price) discrimination, outlining how the agency plans to approach the matter, which should be most welcome. Essentially, the legal position is at best unclear, (...)

The EU General Court upholds a decision from the Commission sanctioning a telecommunications operator for gun jumping and clarifies in its decision the applicable rules (Altice / PT Portugal)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
On September 22, 2021, the EU General Court (GC) upheld a decision from the European Commission (Commission) by which it fined telecommunications operator Altice for gun jumping (T-425/18, Altice Europe v Commission). In particular, the GC affirmed that the Commission could impose two separate (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s decision finding that the Belgian tax rulings regarding excess profits qualify as a State aid scheme (Magnetrol International)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 16 September 2021, the ECJ handed down its much awaited judgment on whether the Belgian tax rulings concerning excess profits could be classified as an aid scheme (as opposed to individual aid measures). The ECJ set aside the General Court’s judgment and backed the European Commission’s (...)

The EU Commission finds that a new Italian airline company is not an economic successor and therefore is not liable to repay an illegal State aid received by another national air carrier (ITA / Alitalia)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds new air carrier ITA is not Alitalia’s economic successor and Italy’s capital injections into ITA are market conform* The European Commission has found that Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. (“ITA”) is not the economic successor of Alitalia and, hence, it is not liable to (...)

The Indian and Japanese Competition Authorities sign a memorandum on cooperation against anticompetitive activities
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) (Competition Authorities) concluded a Memorandum on Cooperation on 6 August 2021. India and Japan had earlier entered into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which came into force on 1 August 2011, which included provisions that (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority launches an investigation into one of the largest domestic wholesalers of fishing products
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH has caught a big fish among the domestic wholesalers of fishing products* 23 July 2021, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has launched an investigation into one of the largest domestic undertakings engaged in the wholesale of fishing products due to allegedly imposing (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority launches an investigation against a leading regional player on the gravel market
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
GVH has launched an investigation against a leading regional player on the gravel market* 21 July 2021, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a competition supervision proceeding against a large undertaking engaged in gravel production in the Central Hungary region (...)

The Ukrainian Parliament adopts the Tax Amnesty Law which includes amnesty for competition law violations
Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
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Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
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Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
AMNESTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE COMPETITION LAW* On 21 July 2021, the Law of Ukraine on Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and Other Laws of Ukraine on Encouraging the De-shadowing of Income and Improving Tax Culture of Citizens by Introducing a One-time (Special) Voluntary Declaration of (...)

The EU Commission approves a €1.2 billion rescue loan and opens an investigation into a €3.2 billion Portuguese further restructuring aid in favour of a national airline company (TAP)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion rescue loan; opens investigation into €3.2 billion Portuguese further restructuring aid in favour of TAP* By two separate decisions adopted today, the European Commission has (i) re-approved €1.2 billion rescue aid to Transportes Aéreos Portugueses SGPS (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues the regulation on settlement procedure for investigations on anticompetitive agreements, concerted practices, decisions and abuse of dominant position
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 On July 15, 2021, the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) issued the Regulation on Settlement Procedure for Investigations on Anticompetitive Agreements, Concerted Practices, Decisions and Abuse of Dominant Position (“Settlement Regulation”), which was also published in the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects an appeal filed by an airline company and provides further guidance on standing to challenge State aid decisions related to competing undertakings (Lufthansa)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ” or “Court”) rejected the appeal filed by the German airline company Deutsche Lufthansa AG against the judgment of the General Court of 12 April 2019, Deutsche Lufthansa v Commission (Case T-492/15). The substance of the dispute (...)

The European Data Protection Board rejects the request of the Hamburg Data Protection Authority to prevent a social media company to share data with a subsidiary (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Data exchange between WhatsApp and Facebook remains unregulated at European level* European Board sees no urgent need for action The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has rejected the request of the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) to impose (...)

The EU General Court confirms that the aid granted by Austria to its national airline in order to compensate it for the damage resulting from the cancellation or rescheduling of its flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic is compatible with the internal market (Austrian Airlines / Laudamotion) Free
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court confirms that the aid granted by Austria to Austrian Airlines in order to compensate it for the damage resulting from the cancellation or rescheduling of its flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic is compatible with the internal market* That aid, having been deducted from the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority conditionally approves a merger between a manufacturer and a wholesale operator in the food service procurements sector (Valio / Heinon Tukku)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The FCCA conditionally approves the merger between Valio and Heinon Tukku* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the merger in which Valio Oy will purchase Heinon Tukku Oy on 30 June 2021. A precondition for approving the merger is that Valio undertakes to protect the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority changes the analyzing manner of cases in the sector of pharmaceuticals and parapharmaceuticals retail
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Changes the Analyzing Manner of Cases in Sector of Pharmaceuticals and Parapharmaceuticals Retail* The Competition Council will change the analysing manner of the cases in the sector of pharmaceuticals and Para pharmaceuticals retail through specialized stores (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority fines an energy company for breach of disclosure requirements regarding its acquisition of a petrol station belonging to a competing chain (St1 Norge)
Norwegian Competition Authority (Bergen)
The Norwegian Competition Authority imposes a fine of NOK 3 million on St1 Norge AS* The Norwegian Competition Authority has today imposed a fine of NOK 3 million on St1 Norge AS for breach of disclosure requirements when it took control over a petrol station belonging to a competing chain. (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts proposed settlement with a Big Tech company regarding online advertising practices and imposes a €220M fine for self-preferencing in the market for online display advertising (Google AdX / Google DoubleClick for Publishers)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a decision of 7 June 2021, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) accepted a proposed settlement by Google LLC and Google Ireland Ltd (“Google”) with respect to certain online advertising practices. The decision also imposed a € 220 million fine on Google as it concluded that Google’s (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision that ordered the recovery of €283 million from a Big Tech company back to a country for State aid (Amazon)
Maastricht University
Amazon and the Difficulty of Finding a Comparable Tax Payer* To apply the Arm’s Length Principle to transactions between two related companies, the Commission must identify the less complex company of the two and compare it to a similar independent company. Methodological errors in the (...)

The Slovak Parliament adopts the Act on Protection of Competition which implements the provisions of the ECN+ Directive Free
Čechová & Partners (Bratislava)
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Čechová & Partners (Bratislava)
The implementation of the Directive 2019/1 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (ECN+ Directive) is a topic that resonates in competition law circles all over the EU. In Slovakia, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses a complaint against two regional development authorities and clarifies that a statutory body exercising economic functions cannot be guilty of abuse of dominance for policy-making decisions which apply equally to all market participants (Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority / New Okhla Industrial Development Authority)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Vahura (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS A statutory body exercising economic functions can not be said to have abused its dominant position in a particular relevant market for any decisions taken as part of the policy-making process, which apply equally to all market participants. BRIEF FACTS Three separate informations (...)

The Italian Government welcomes legislative proposals on competition law reform
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 25 April 2021, the Italian Government submitted its Recovery and Resilience National Plan ("PNRR") to the national Parliament, which included proposals on competition law reform by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA"). Key takeaways Reforming competition law is among the priorities of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses complaints against the State of Tamil Nadu’s road department on an alleged anticompetitive tender process because sufficient bids were received and the procurement process was found to benefit both the procurer and the public (Trichy Superintendent Engineer of Highways Department)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Vahura (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS The consumer, based on his requirements / commercial considerations, has the freedom to specify and choose the kind of service, machineries, timelines, mode, and the manner in which it requires the same, provided that no provision of the Act is violated. The public procurement (...)

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

The Japanese FTC and the Government issue guidelines for business collaboration with startups to promote open innovation and ensure fair and free competitive environments
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On March 29, 2021, the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") issued Guidelines for Business Collaboration with Startups ("Guidelines") for the purpose of promoting open innovation and ensuring fair and free competitive environments. The (...)

The EU Commission issues a second competition comfort letter in support of pharmaceutical cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On Monday 29 March 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (the Commission) published its second “new style” comfort letter. It was addressed to the organisers of an online “matchmaking event” that runs on 29 and 31 March 2021 and brings together more than 300 parties (...)

The Serbian Government publishes rules on regional State aid for further alignment of the legislation with the EU’s acquis
BDK (Podgorica)
The Government of Serbia adopted on 11 March 2021 two new bylaws under the State Aid Control Act (Zakon o kontroli državne pomoći, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 73/2019): the Regulation on Conditions and Criteria for Compliance of Regional State Aid (Uredba o uslovima i (...)

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 French Administrative Supreme Court rejects an appeal by an employee representative body concerning a merger approval (Mondadori)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
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Ashurst (Paris)
On 9 March 2021, the French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat) rejected an appeal by Mondadori’s social and economic committee ("SEC") in relation to the French Competition Authority’s ("FCA") decision to approve Reworld Media’s takeover of Mondadori France. The French Administrative (...)

The EU Commission opens a public consultation on the application of competition law to collective bargaining agreements for the self-employed
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Over the past years, the EU institutions have shown quite some attention to the position of workers in the so-called gig or peer economy, despite the limited legislative authority of the EU in the area of social policy. As early as 2016, the European Parliament called the EU Commission for (...)

The Russian Supreme Court adopts a decree providing clarifications on antitrust matters that arise in court proceedings
Herbert Smith Freehills (Moscow)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Moscow)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
In March, the Russian Supreme Court adopted a Decree providing clarifications on antitrust matters (the "Plenum Decree") . The Plenum Decree replaced most of the previous antitrust clarifications issued by the Supreme Commercial Court back in 2008. The new measure is comprehensive and covers a (...)

The Italian Competition Authority ends an infringement proceeding by adopting a commitment decision following a natural gas distributor’s abusive conduct (Italgas)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a commitment decision made on 23 February 2021 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an Article 102 TFEU investigation against a distributor of natural gas. This undertaking was found to have abused its dominant position by frustrating a competitive tender procedure organized by (...)

The Danish Parliament approves extensive amendments to the Competition Act within the implementation of the ECN+ Directive
Milbank (London)
On 9 February 2021, as a part of the implementation of the ECN+ Directive, the Danish Parliament approved extensive amendments to the Danish Competition Act. Most importantly, the amendments allow the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (“DCCA”) to request courts to impose civil fines on (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on environmental sustainability agreements and competition law
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 27 January 2021 the CMA published high level Guidance on environmental sustainability agreements and competition law (Guidance). Supporting the transition to a low carbon economy is one of the CMA’s strategic objectives (set out in its annual plan for 2021/22) and the CMA is keen to ensure (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a notice of a standalone competition damages claim against a trade association for abusing its dominant position and engaging in anti-competitive agreements (International Tin Association)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 26 January 2021 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) published a notice of a standalone competition damages claim (brought under section 47A of the Competition Act 1998) by Kerilee Investments, a metal trader, against the International Tin Association, a UK based trade association. The (...)

The Indonesian Competition Authority imposes its first predatory pricing fine against a multinational cement manufacturer (CKSC)
Dewi Negara Fachri & Partners (Jakarta)
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Hogan Lovells (Jakarta)
In a release, Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha (KPPU) – the Indonesian Competition Authority, published its first Article 20 (Predatory Pricing) decision. The KPPU Decision No. 03/KPPU-L/2020 was issued on a virtual hearing on 15 January 2021, whereby KPPU found that PT Conch South Kalimantan (...)

The UK Government and the EU Commission issue a Trade and Cooperation agreement providing a set of substantive and procedural rules on subsidy control
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
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University of Tilburg
On 24 December 2020, the EU and the UK concluded the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). The TCA, which is still subject to formal ratification by the EU, has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. One of the major issues of contention in the negotiations was to what extent (...)

The Japanese FTC and the Government propose draft guidelines for business collaboration between large companies and startups for the purpose of promoting open innovation and ensuring fair and free competitive environments
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On December 23, 2020, the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") proposed a draft of Guidelines for Business Collaboration with Startups ("Guidelines") for the purpose of promoting open innovation and ensuring fair and free competitive (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens an investigation against a company for an abuse of dominance in the market for accessing and connecting to the electricity transmission network (Enel)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC investigates Enel Green Power, S.L. (Enel) and its parent company Endesa Generación, S.A. for alleged anticompetitive practices* It assesses Enel’s possible abuse of its dominant position as a company designated as a Single Node Interlocutor (IUN) in the market for accessing and (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority’s president rejects a request for interim measures in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis (Bionext / Laboratoire National de Santé) Free
Ecole de Formation du barreau (Paris)
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Bonn & Schmitt (Luxembourg)
I. Introduction On 17 December 2020, the President of the Luxembourg Competition Council (hereinafter the “President”) rendered a decision on a request for interim measures requested by the laboratory Bionext S.A. (hereinafter “Bionext”) against the Laboratoire National de Santé (hereinafter (...)

The Montenegrin Competition Authority opens an investigation into State aid granted by the government to a state-owned shipping company (Crnogorska plovidba)
BDK (Podgorica)
Following the decision on opening investigation into alleged illegal state aid to Montenegrin airline company Montenegro Airlines, which led to grounding of its airplanes and termination of transport operations in December 2020, the Montenegrin Agency for Protection of Competition (“Agency“) has (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority clears public financing of Norway’s e-health record system (Akson)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA clears public financing of Norway’s e-health record system Akson* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today concluded that Norway’s financing of Akson, an electronic health (e-health) record system, does not raise state aid issues. On 25 November 2020, Norway notified ESA of its (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott discusses the criteria to consider consistent administrative practices as aid schemes under Article 1(d) of Regulation 2015/1589 (Magnetrol International)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Liège University (Liège)
On 3 December 2020, Advocate General (AG) Kokott delivered her Opinion on whether an administrative practice of the Belgian tax authorities could fall within the notion of “aid scheme” as provided in Article 1(d) of Regulation 2015/1589, of 13 July 2015, laying down detailed rules for the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the business-to-consumer side of a Phase II merger of furniture stores, subject to conditions and subject to clearance of the business-to-business side of the merger by the EU Commission (XXXLutz / Tessner group)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger of XXXLutz and the Tessner group (Roller, tejo’s, Schulenburg) only subject to conditions* Following an in-depth examination the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition by Mann Mobilia Beteiligungs GmbH, based in Würzburg (part of the Austrian XXXLutz (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority investigates a cosmetic company for its imposition of a maximum discount level on its network of selective distributors (Caudalie)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority has submitted a motivated proposal for decision in a case concerning the imposition by Caudalie of a maximum discount level on its network of selective distributors* On 20 November 2020, the Investigation and (...)

The Polish Competition Authority charges the supermarket group’s buyer company with abuse of contractual advantage against its suppliers (SCA PR Polska)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Contractual advantage - proceedings of the President of UOKiK against SCA PR Polska (Intermarche Group)* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny brought charges against SCA PR Polska, a company responsible in the capital group for purchases in the Intermarche chain. The company is likely to abuse (...)

The Polish Competition Authority conducts sector inquiries on wholesalers and suppliers of medical gases in the pharmaceutical sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Polish competition authority, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection ( UOKiK ), has proven to be an energetic enforcer of the competition rules. Over the past few days, UOKiK found itself in the limelight because of two new distinct inquiries in the pharmaceutical sector that (...)

The EFTA Court defines notions of “undertaking” and “economic activities” concerning services in support of Norwegian digital health infrastructure (Abelia / WTW)
Milbank (London)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 November 2020, the EFTA Court dismissed an application for annulment against the EFTA Surveillance Authority (“ESA”) Decision No 57/19/COL of 10 July 2019 (the “Contested decision”). The Contested decision found that the public financing of eHealth and digital health infrastructure in the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears acquisition by a Big Tech company of a minority shareholding in its commercial partner for new low-cost smartphones (Google / Jio Platforms)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
The CCI cleared the acquisition by Google International LLC (Google) of approximately 7.73% of the equity share capital in Jio Platforms Limited (Jio Platforms), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). Google group entities also entered into a commercial agreement with Jio Platforms (...)

The Georgian Parliament adopts amendments to its competition act
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law
Upgrading Georgia’s Competition Legislation – New Obligations and Balancing Benefits for Market Players* Recently, after almost 15 months of discussions, the Parliament of Georgia adopted a comprehensive set of amendments to the Law on Competition (hereinafter – “LC”). Prepared within the framework (...)

The Georgian Competition Authority announces that the law amendments in the competition sector will come into force
Georgian Competition Authority (Georgia)
Most of the amendments to the Law on Competition will come into force on November 4* A unified legal framework has been created for the separation of competencies between the Georgian National Competition Agency and regulatory bodies. Accordingly, the authorities will act unitedly on the basic (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority releases the first draft of the new Competition Act for consultation
Čechová & Partners (Bratislava)
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Čechová & Partners (Bratislava)
The Slovak national competition authority (Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the “AMO”) released the first draft of the new Competition Act for consultation. The authorities and the public may submit comments to the draft until 6 November 2020. The proposed date of entry into force of (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority fines two corporate groups for failure to notify their merger (Agrokor / Ardeya Global)
Slovenian Competition Authority (Ljubljana)
Slovenian Competition Protection Agency imposed fines on the breach of failure to notify the Agency of a concentration* Slovenian Competition Protection Agency has imposed a fine of EUR 53,900,000 on legal entity Agrokor d.d. and a fine of EUR 5,000 on legal person responsible for the failure (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears a merger of two multinational groups both active in sports broadcasting and the sale of advertising space (PPF / CME)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves PPF’s acquisition of CME* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises ("CME") by PPF Group NV ("PPF"). The Commission concluded the transaction would raise no (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to the conditions of divesting agencies and fleets, the acquisition in the sector for the rental of refrigerated and non-refrigerated industrial goods vehicles (Fraikin / Via Location)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to the conditions of divesting agencies and fleets, the acquisition of the group Via Location by the group Fraikin* On 3 June 2020, the group Fraikin notified the Autorité of a plan to acquire full control of the company Via Location. The parties (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the taking over of glass packing solutions provider by glass packing manufacturer for the food and beverage industry (Vetropack Austria Holding / Glass Container)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Assesses the Taking Over of Glass Container by Vetropack Austria Holding AG* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Vetropack Austria Holding AG intends to take over Glass Container Company S.A. and Glass Container Prim S.A., located in Republic of (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority announces that all Nordic countries have joined the agreement on cooperation in competition cases
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
All Nordic countries have now joined the Agreement on Cooperation in Competition Cases* In July 2020, Iceland joined the Nordic Agreement on Cooperation in Competition Cases. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden had already joined the agreement. All Nordic countries are now parties to the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority examines the experiences of consumers, developers, and suppliers regarding the mobile app market
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mobile apps market under scrutiny* The ACCC will be examining the experiences of Australian consumers, developers, suppliers and others in a new report scrutinising mobile app stores. Issues to be examined include the use and sharing of data by apps, the extent of competition between Google (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a market study into information systems and information exchange in the hospital sector
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM launches market study into information systems and information exchange in the hospital sector* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) wishes to gain more insight into the functioning of the markets for hospital information systems, and into the digital exchange of (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the provision of Italian law preventing a media company from acquiring 28% of the capital in competitor as a measure of protecting pluralism of information is contrary to EU law (Vivendi / Mediaset)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The provision of Italian law preventing Vivendi from acquiring 28% of the capital in Mediaset is contrary to EU law* That provision constitutes a prohibited impediment to the right of establishment as it is not appropriate for achieving the objective of protecting pluralism of information. (...)

The UK Competition Authority signs multilateral cooperation framework with its 5 counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA to increase competition cooperation with international partners* The CMA has signed a new framework with 5 of its international counterpart competition authorities to improve co-operation on investigations. The Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework for Competition (...)

The US FTC signs Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework with US DOJ and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework seeks to improve cooperation in an increasingly global economy Today, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph (...)

The US DoJ signs antitrust cooperation framework with US FTC and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework With Australia, Canada, New Zealand, And United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework aims to boost international cooperation efforts Today, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim (...)

The Australian Competition Authority signs agreement to coordinate on cross-border investigations with competition authorities in Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Competition agencies to coordinate on cross-border investigations* Competition agencies from five countries including Australia will share intelligence, case theories and investigative techniques to better coordinate investigations across international borders, thanks to a new cooperation (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement with Australia, Canada, UK, and the US
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commerce Commission signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement* The Commerce Commission has signed a multilateral assistance and co-operation framework to enhance international cooperation on competition enforcement with the Australian (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority signs a competition enforcement framework with five foreign counterparts to strengthen its relationship and enhance cross-border enforcement
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau strengthens relationship with five foreign counterparts to enhance cross-border enforcement* News release Today, the Competition Bureau signed a new competition enforcement framework with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the New Zealand Commerce (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority enters into multilateral mutual assistance and cooperation framework with Competition Authorities in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US
Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law (Ottawa)
Introduction The 21st century has brought about new challenges for competition agencies. Globalisation, falling trade barriers, deregulation and digitalisation are just some of the difficult issues agencies must now consider to ensure and protect free and open competition. To this end, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority partners with its counterpart competition agencies from five other countries to coordinate on cross-border investigations
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently entered into a new memorandum of understanding with its counterpart competition agencies from five other countries in order to share intelligence and investigate techniques to better coordinate competition investigations across (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority stops administrative proceedings in the matter of a joint venture after concluding that it does not constitute a merger because it will not permanently perform all the functions of an independent economic entity (Conti Tech Techno-Chemie / Dk)
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
MERGERS: AMO SR stopped an administrative proceedings in the matter of a merger of undertakings Conti Tech Techno-Chemie GmbH and dk Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH* On 27 August 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations, (hereafter “the Office”) on the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority approves takeover of subsidiary and customer agreements as fulfillment of remedy required in merger of parent company in the natural gas market (OK / Ørsted Varmeservice)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has approved OK a.m.b.a.’s acquisition of natural gas customer agreements and Ørsted Varmeservice A/S* On 18 August 2020, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (hereinafter “DCCA”) received a complete notification of OK a.m.b.a.’s (hereinafter “OK”) (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation into the acquisition of agricultural business (Hankkija / SSO Rauta-Maatalous)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA opens in-depth investigation into the acquisition between Hankkija and SSO Rauta-Maatalous* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) will further investigate the proposed acquisition of the agricultural business of SSO Rauta-Maatalous Oy by Hankkija Oy. Hankkija is company (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority analyses a merger in the market for animal feed and related markets (Koninklijke DSM / Erber)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Taking Over of Erber Aktiengesellschaft by Koninklijke DSM N.V.* The Competition Council analyses the transaction by which Koninklijke DSM N.V. and its subsidiary, DSM International Participations B.V., intends to take over Erber Aktiengesellschaft. (...)

The Japanese FTC clears managerial integration of 2 internet companies subject to conditions (Z Holdings / LINE)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Reviewed the proposed managerial integration of Z Holdings Corporation and LINE Corporation* Receiving notifications regarding the proposed managerial integration between Z Holdings Corporation (JCN4010401039979) (hereinafter referred to as “ZHD”; a group of combined companies held by (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens investigation into the takeover of certain assets and shares between 2 competitors in the market for automotive components (Schlemmer Group / Delfingen Industry)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Taking Over of Some Assets of Schlemmer Group by Delfingen Industry S.a* The Competition Council analyses the transaction by which Delfingen Industry S.A. intends to take over some assets and shares of Schlemmer Group. Delfingen Industry S.A., based in (...)

The EU Commission issues a communication setting out specific best practices and recommendations for national courts to protect confidential information in private litigation proceedings
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
The protection of confidential information is an issue of increasing importance in today’s business relationships, as well as in cases of litigation before the courts. Indeed, the issue not only arises in connection with modern business contracts, where the parties may exchange in real time and (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision that Ireland had granted illegal State aid of at least €13 billion (Apple)
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (Brussels)
In July 2020, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s decision that Ireland had granted illegal state aid of at least €13bn to Apple through two tax rulings. The General Court’s judgment in the Apple case was one of the most keenly awaited judgments in the area of state aid. What (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s biggest State aid recovery order worth over €13 billion in tax advantages (Apple)
New College of the Humanities (London)
Apple: One Case to Rule Them All* Some cases just have it all; the Apple case is one of them. First, size: at more than thirteen billion euros, the recovery order Ireland had to enforce dwarfed the previously biggest one (EDF, at around one billion euros). Second, international political (...)

The French Competition Authority clears without conditions the acquisition of sole control in producer of metal parts for luxury companies by major luxury group (J3L / Hermès Group)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of sole control of J3L by the Hermès group* The Hermès group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire sole control of the J3L company. After examining the effects of the transaction, the Autorité has cleared it without (...)

The German Competition Authority clears merger of online dating platforms within the merger of their holding companies (Parship / Elite Partner / Lovoo)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Parship and Elite Partner can acquire Lovoo* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition of The Meet Group Inc., USA, by the ProSiebenSat.1 group. Since 2016 the portfolio of the ProSieben Sat.1 group has included the online dating platforms Parship and Elite Partner. The Meet (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition of dating platforms on the basis that online dating market is characterised by dynamic growth, market entries and competition (Parship / Elite Partner / Lovoo)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The ProSiebenSat.1 Group strengthens its Internet dating platform business with the acquisition of the US app developer Meet Group. Although the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) found, that the acquisition will lead to further concentration in the online dating sector, the FCO, however cleared the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority facilitates investments in start-ups after authorizing non-compete clauses in the sale contract (CodeCool)
ADVANT Beiten (Brussels)
On 29 June 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) published a decision in which it accepted undertakings from a group of companies and private individuals that amended non-compete clauses in the context of an acquisition of a controlling stake in CodeCool, a Hungarian start-up company (...)

The Danish Competition Authority approves an energy and fiber optic group’s acquisition of several companies from another energy group with services covering mostly separate geographic markets, subject to divestment of customers in a highly overlapping market (SEAS-NVE / Ørsted)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has approved SEAS-NVE A/S’ acquisition of several companies from Ørsted A/S subject to commitments* On 28 May 2020, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (hereinafter “DCCA”) received a complete notification of SEAS-NVE A/S’ (hereinafter “SEAS-NVE”) (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice provisionally confirms an allegation against a social media company for abusing its dominant position (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Federal Court of Justice provisionally confirms allegation of Facebook abusing dominant position* Facebook uses terms of service that also allow for the processing and use of user data that are collected online outside the Facebook platform. The Bundeskartellamt prohibited Facebook from (...)

The EU Court of Justice narrows down the concept of “undertaking” with regards to health insurance bodies (Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (the “Court of Justice”) judgment of 11 June 2020, Commission v. Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa is another brick in the case law concerning the concept of “undertaking” with regard to health insurance bodies. The background of the case is a Slovak compulsory (...)

The EU Court of Justice publishes its decision concerning a State aid question in the context of supplementary health insurance (Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa)
KU Leuven
The Dovera-saga: Peace of mind for solidarity or cold feet for EU competition law?* Last summer’s CJEU judgment in Case C-262/18 P Dovera Zdravotna Poist’ovna has gone by quite unnoticed with only a few mentions and annotationsin the usual blogs and journals. However, this judgment – which (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on conglomerate effects of mergers
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Conglomerate effects arise when a merger has an effect on competition, but the merging firms’ products are not in the same product market, nor are they inputs or outputs of one another. Mergers exhibiting conglomerate effects have taken on a new prominence in the digital era, as the largest (...)

The EU Commission refers to the French Competition Authority a takeover case of 567 French-owned hard discount stores by one of Europe’s main hard discount groups as per request of the acquisition parties (Leader Price / Aldi)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The European Commission refers to the Autorité de la concurrence the takeover transaction of 567 Leader Price stores by Aldi* A few months after Aldi announced the takeover of Leader Price stores, the parties concluded, in March, a promise to purchase for 567 Leader Price stores and 3 (...)

The UK High Court rules that complying with a court-ordered disclosure in patent infringement proceedings between pharmaceutical companies does not breach competition law (Teva / Chiesi)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 June 2020, the UK High Court delivered a judgment in a case pitting pharmaceutical companies Teva UK Limited (“Teva”) against Chiesi Farmaceutici (“Chiesi”) in which Mr Justice Birss ruled that complying with a court-ordered disclosure in patent infringement proceedings does not breach Article (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority clarifies who is considered to be a party to a concentration and how merger filing thresholds are calculated
Karanovic & Partners (Belgrade)
The Serbian Competition Commission has been laying low since the outbreak of corona virus, with the activities at the minimum. There has not been much news on its website either, except that on 1 June 2020, it clarified who is considered to be a party to a concentration and how merger filing (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority revises leniency program for cartel conduct
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission revises leniency programme for cartel conduct* The Competition Commission (Commission) today published a revised Leniency Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct and a new Leniency Policy for Individuals Involved in Cartel Conduct to enhance the effectiveness (...)

The Danish Competition Authority requests a referral to the EU Commission for a proposed acquisition between two financial services companies on the basis that the merger might affect markets in other member states (Mastercard / Nets)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority ("DCCA") has for the first time ever requested a referral of a merger to the European Commission under Article 22(1) of the EU Merger Regulation. The referral concerns the proposed acquisition by Mastercard/Europay U.K Limited of certain parts of (...)

The US FTC sues to unwind a cigarette company’s $12.8 billion investment in its competitor in the market for closed-system e-cigarettes (Altria Group / JUUL Labs)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Sues to Unwind Altria’s $12.8 Billion Investment in Competitor JUUL* Today, the Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint alleging that Altria Group, Inc. and JUUL Labs, Inc. entered a series of agreements, including Altria’s acquisition of a 35% stake in JUUL, that (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority sets down guidelines on business practices for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
CMS (Romania)
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CMS (Romania)
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CMS (Romania)
The Romanian Competition Council (RCC) has just set down guidelines on business practices for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the competition watchdog acknowledges that companies should take certain protective measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (e.g. reduce (...)

The US FTC starts examining acquisitions by 5 Big Tech companies from the 2010-2019 period that were not reported to the antitrust agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (Alphabet / Amazon / Apple / Facebook / Microsoft - 6(b) Platform Study)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC to Examine Past Acquisitions by Large Technology Companies* Agency Issues 6(b) Orders to Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc., and Microsoft Corp. The Federal Trade Commission issued Special Orders to five large technology firms, requiring them to (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that a company does not necessarily insulate from State aid if it enjoys exclusive rights and operates in a sector covered by a legal monopoly (Arriva Italia)
Maastricht University
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s decision finding that e-procurement is a service of general interest which can be commercially exploited insofar as the State does not offer the service itself (TenderNed)
University of Bristol - Law School
In its Judgment of 7 November 2019 in Aanbestedingskalender and Others v Commission, C-687/17 P, EU:C:2019:932 (the ‘TenderNed’ case), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rejected the appeal against the earlier Judgment of the General Court (GC) of 28 September 2017 (T-138/15, (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides further guidance on how economic activities linked to non-economic functions must be treated in a State aid context (Aanbestedingskalender)
Maastricht University
SEPARABILITY OF ECONOMIC FROM NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES* Introduction Pure research whose results are widely disseminated is undoubtedly a non-economic activity. Research reports are often published on the internet. But the design and management of a research organisation’s website can be an (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority unconditionally approves an acquisition concluding that the parties, both controlled by Chinese State authorities, constitute separate entities (Tsinghua Tongfang / CNNC Capital)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary concerns an analysis of the Board’s CNNC Capital/Tongfang decision, regarding the acquisition of sole control over Tsinghua Tongfang Co. Ltd. (“Tongfang”) by China National Nuclear Corporation Capital Holdings Co. Ltd. (“CNNC Capital”). The Board assessed whether the parties, both (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority issues a decision imposing a fine of €33K on a local authority for excessively pricing its water supply services for livestock productions (Community Council of Kokkinotrimithia)
Stephanie Theodotou Lawyer (Cyprus)
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Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
Introduction On 14 October 2019 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”) issued a decision imposing a fine of €33,843.81 on the Community Council of Kokkinotrimithia (“CCK”) for a violation of Section 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Law (Law 13(I)/2008), as amended (...)

The EU General Court provides further guidance concerning the concept of State aid in the context of fiscal measures favoring port authorities (Port autonome du Centre) (Port de Bruxelles) (Havenbedrijf Antwerpen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2019, the General Court delivered three judgments (Cases T-673/17, Port autonome du Centre and de l’Ouest and Others v. Commission, T-674/17, Le Port de Bruxelles and Région de Bruxelles-Capitale v. Commission, T-696/17, Havenbedrijf Antwerpen and Maatschappij van de Brugse (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority forms an opinion about the competition of 5G frequency licences and believes the frequency band should be divided into small blocks
Estonian Competition Authority (Tallinn)
The Competition Authority formed an opinion about the competition of frequency licenses in the frequency band of 3,410-3,800 MHz, as a result of which, the undertakings acquiring the licenses will start building a so-called 5G network for communications services. The Competition Authority (...)

The Rotterdam District Court annuls a €41 million fine imposed by the Dutch Competition Authority on a railway operator for allegedly abusing its dominant position (Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
ABUSE OF DOMINANCE FINE OF € 41 MILLION FOR DUTCH RAILWAY OPERATOR ANNULED* Introduction The Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM“, the Dutch competition authority) was in 2017 – after years of silence – finally able to fine an undertaking for abuse of dominance. A heavy fine of almost € 41 (...)

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirms a major ticket sale company’s sole legitimacy to submit a complaint against the Competition Commission’s prohibition of the merger between its wholly owned subsidiary and another company (Ticketcorner Holding / Tamedia)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
In its decision of June 24, 2019, the Federal Supreme Court affirms Ticketcorner Holding AG’s sole legitimacy to lodge a complaint against ComCo’s prohibition of the merger between its wholly-owned subsidiary Ticketcorner AG and Starticket AG. The Federal Supreme Court thereby clarifies that (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears a minority shareholdings acquisition in the financial industry after the submission of the merger notification (Kedaara / Ajax)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
,
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI cleared the acquisition by Kedaara Capital Fund (Kedaara), a private equity fund, of an approximately 7.98% stake in Ajax Engineering (Ajax), a manufacturer of concreting equipment. [1] Since there were no horizontal overlaps or vertical relationships, the CCI concluded that the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clears merger subject to the resulting corporate group’s accepting to sell two fuel stations (BP Europa / Arge Paliwa / Arge Nieruchomości)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Conditional approval for concentration: BP - Arge* The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) issued an approval for acquisition, by BP Europa, of control over Arge Paliwa and Arge Nieruchomości. The Transaction may become effective under the condition that the acquiring company (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority publishes a cooperation and settlement policy to complement its existing leniency framework
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
The Commission has published a Cooperation and Settlement Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct (Cooperation Policy) as a supplement to its existing Leniency Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct (Leniency Policy) and Enforcement Policy. Under the Cooperation Policy, (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority publishes a cooperation and settlement policy expanding its leniency program
Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
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Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 29 April 2019, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (’HKCC’) published the Cooperation and Settlement Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct (’Cooperation Policy’). In essence, the Cooperation Policy expands HKCC’s Leniency Policy, published in November 2015, just before the full (...)

The EU Commission concludes that aspects of UK controlled foreign company rules constitute unlawful State aid
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Morgan Lewis (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The European Commission has published a summary of its findings in its state aid investigation into the U.K.’s controlled foreign company (CFC) finance company (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s finding that Belgium granted unlawful State aid through advance tax rulings (Magnetrol International)
Maastricht University
Many Tax Rulings Do Not Make a Single Aid Scheme* The autonomy that Member States enjoy in the field of direct taxation must be exercised in compliance with EU State aid law. A State aid measure is considered to be a “scheme” when (a) no further implementing acts are necessary, (b) the granting (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision which classified Belgium’s "excess profit" tax scheme as State aid (Magnetrol International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 February 2019, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment annulling the decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) concerning the Belgian “excess profit” tax rulings (Joined Cases T-131/16 and T-263/16, Belgium and Magnetrol International v. Commission). Under Belgian law, Belgian (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision regarding the Belgian excess profits tax ruling system (Magnetrol International)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
In a Decision of 11 January 2016, the European Commission declared the Belgian excess profit scheme, pursuant to which Belgium granted advance tax rulings authorising Belgian entities which were part of multinational groups to exempt part of their profits from corporate income taxation, (...)

The EU General Court delivers its first judgment on State aid through tax rulings by annulling the Commission’s decision on the Belgian excess profit ruling system (Magnetrol International)
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 14 February 2019, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s State aid decision relating to the Belgian excess profit ruling system. The General (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of an US multinational company in the Netherlands (Nike)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, (...)

The EU Commission finds a State aid to a Conservatory to be compatible with the internal market (Fundació Privada Conservatori del Liceu)
Maastricht University
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses abuse of dominance allegations in the market for online marketplace platforms because it finds no dominance in the relevant market (All India Online Vendors Association / Flipkart India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI defines online sale platform as a separate relevant market -holds neither Flipkart nor Amazon as dominant in the market for online marketplace platforms* CCI, by way of order dated 06.11.2018 has dismissed allegations against Flipkart India Private Limited (“Flipkart India”) and Flipkart (...)

The EU Commission finds that the non-taxation of certain profits of a fast-food company in Luxembourg is in line with the EU State aid rules (McDonald’s)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission investigation did not find that Luxembourg gave selective tax treatment to McDonald’s* The Commission has found that the non-taxation of certain McDonald’s profits in Luxembourg did not lead to illegal State aid, as it is in line with national tax laws and the (...)

The EU Commission holds that Luxembourg did not grant illegal State aid to a fast-food company as a consequence of the exemption of income attributed to a US branch (McDonald’s)
Stockholm University
Fiscal State Aid and Tax Treaty Law: the puzzling decision in the McDonald’s Case* On 17 December 2018 the European Commission issued the public version of its decision in the McDonald’s case (SA.38945). The Commission found, contrary to its initial conclusion in the opening decision, that (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission clears merger between two companies in the energy sector after concluding that the transaction does not raise competition concerns (Motor Oil / NRG Trading House)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Clearance of the proposed acquisition by «Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries S.A.» (MOH) of sole control over «NRG Trading House S.A.»* By virtue of a unanimous Decision, the Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission approved, under Greek merger control rules, the proposed acquisition by (...)

The French Competition Authority clears merger between two domestic electrical goods companies after concluding that the transaction is unable to give rise to anticompetitive effects in Guadeloupe (Cafom / Dimeco)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
RETAIL OF DOMESTIC ELECTRICAL GOODS IN THE FRENCH OVERSEAS DEPARTMENTS* The autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of the Dimeco society (connection , Circuit Ménager) bu the Cafom Group (But and Darty) Parties to the transaction On 18 April 2018, the Cafom group notified the (...)

The US FTC publishes a blog post reminding merging parties to avoid creating antitrust liability through the exchange of competitively sensitive information during merger negotiations
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Dallas)
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Jones Day (Washington)
In Short The Situation: The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") recently published a blog post reminding merging parties to avoid creating antitrust liability through the exchange of competitively sensitive information during merger negotiations and due diligence. The Risk: Information-sharing (...)

The EU General Court overturns a Commission decision that health insurance providers did not receive State aid, after finding that the presence of operators seeking to make profit determines the economic nature of an activity (Dôvera Zdravotná Poistovña)
Maastricht University
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court annuls a decision of the Commission that found no State aid because it considered the recipient of the measure was not an undertaking (Dôvera zdravotná poist’ovňa)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Application of State aid and competition law rules to the health sector reinforced by the General Court* The General Court has annulled a decision of the EU Commission finding no state aid because the recipient of the measure, a Slovak health insurance body was not an undertaking. According (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission finding that state measures in favor of health insurance organizations did not constitute state aid, and holds that the economic nature of an activity is determined by the presence of operators seeking to make a profit (Dôvera Zdravotná Poist’ovña)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
This State aid case gives interesting indications regarding the definition of an undertaking and the economic or non-economic nature of its activities. The GCEU pointed out that merely being in a position of competition on a given market does not determine the economic nature of an activity, (...)

The French Competition Authority conducts for the first time an investigation into an online platform merger and clears it subsequently (Axel Springer / Concept Multimédia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
For the first time, the Autorité de la concurrence has examined the merger of two online platforms. After an in-depth examination, the Autorité unconditionally clears the acquisition of Concept Multimédia (Logic-Immo.com) by the Axel Springer Group (SeLoger.com)* Parties to the transaction On (...)

The EU Commission clears merger of semiconductor companies subject to interoperability and quasi-structural remedies designed to address conglomerate concerns (Qualcomm / NXP)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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NXP Semiconductors (Hamburg)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 26 July 2018, US company Qualcomm Inc announced the abandonment of its proposed acquisition, through its subsidiary Qualcomm River Holding BV (Qualcomm), of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority conducts investigation into company takeover and concludes that the resulting concentration restricts competition in the national market (PKPE / Elester-PKP)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Concentration concern: PKPE Holding and Elester-PKP* > UOKiK has issued a competition concern regarding the takeover of Elester-PKP by PKPE Holding. > The concentration may result in a restriction of competition. > The concern is by no means determinative of the possible final ruling in this (...)

The French Competition Authority does not consider acquisition in the publishing industry to harm competition, thus clearing it (Média-Participations / La Martinière)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of La Martinière Groupe (Le Seuil, Points, etc.) by Médias-Participations (Dargaud, Dupuis, etc.).* On 13 November 2017, the Média-Participations group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its project to acquire sole control of La (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts to clears acquisition of general merchandise stores subject to undertakings to address competition issues (Tati group / Gifi)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of stores owned by the Tati group (Tati, Fabio Lucci, Giga Store) by Gifi (GPG group), subject to a number of conditions* Parties to the transaction On 12 June 2017, the GPG group (retailer Gifi) notified the Autorité de la concurrence of (...)

The EU Commission finds that competitive elements in a health care system do not make the system economic in nature
Maastricht University
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reinstates fine against the national governing body for cricket for abuse of dominance and granting of exclusive licenses (Board of Control for Cricket in India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI re- imposes penalty of INR 52.24 crores on BCCI for abuse of dominance* The Competition Commission of India (“Commission/CCI”) vide its Order dated November 29, 2017 has re-imposed the penalty of INR 52.24 Crores on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (“BCCI”) after fresh inquiry that (...)

The French Competition Authority clears acquisition of corporate group in the field of books and stationery retail (Gibert Jeune / Gibert Joseph)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Gibert Jeune’s activity by Gibert Joseph* Parties to the operation On 9 May 2017, Gibert Joseph notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its intention to take control of Gibert Jeune. This acquisition comes within the scope of the (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules exempting some financing incomes earned by foreign subsidiaries
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) opened an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules that exempt certain financing income earned by foreign subsidiaries of UK corporate taxpayers from UK tax. The Commission’s investigation will focus on whether the UK Controlled (...)

The EU Commission concludes that Luxembourg has granted undue tax benefits to an e-commerce company (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million* The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it allowed Amazon to pay (...)

The EU General Court confirms that public funding of an e-platform for procurement purposes does not constitute State aid (Aanbestedingskalender)
Maastricht University
Activities linked to State prerogatives Economic activities which cannot be separated from the exercise of public powers cease to be economic in nature. Introduction The dividing line between economic and non-economic activities is in a permanent state of flux. Although it is now clear that (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against a public bureau because it does not constitute an enterprise and hence does not fall under the Competition Act (Bureau of Indian Standards)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of abuse of dominance against the Bureau of Indian Standards* CCI vide its recent order dated June 29, 2017 has closed an allegation of abuse of dominant position against the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)and the Department of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds that tax exemptions granted by Spain to the Catholic church can constitute State aid if they relate to economic activities (Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania / Ayuntamiento de Getafe)
Maastricht University
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority finds that the incumbent rail company abused its dominant position with two separate infringements (Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
Euroclear (Brussels)
In the Netherlands, the public transport by rail is organised in two ways. On the one hand, there is the main railway network, which mainly covers the intercity connections and is exploited by NS. On the other hand, there are the regional railway networks, which include slow train services. The (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into bid-rigging by a state government department (Government of Haryana Public Works Department)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI initiates investigation against Public Works Department (PWD), Government of Haryana* CCI by its order dated 27 February 2017 has initiated investigation against PWR, Govt. of Haryana for abuse of dominance in relation to inviting of bids for construction of rail over bridge in Karnal (...)

The French Supreme Court recalls the maximum fine incurred by associations compared to companies and clarifies the concept of undertaking underlying such distinction (ECMA)
Epex Spot (Paris)
In its confirmatory ruling issued on 8 February 2017, the French judicial supreme court (Cour de cassation, chambre commerciale, hereafter the “Supreme Court”) specifies that the concept of “undertaking” used to subject any entity engaged in an economic activity, whatever its legal form, to the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation into abuse of dominance by a local development authority (Sudarshan Kumar Kapur / Delhi Development Authority)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI initiates investigation against Delhi Development Authority (DDA) * CCI by its order dated January 12, 2017 has initiated an investigation against the Delhi Development Authority (“DDA”) for abuse of dominant position in relation to delayed allotment of flats in the Middle Income Group (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal reverses the Indian Competition Authority’s decision for a second time and orders an investigation against movies producers (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Digital Cinema Initiatives)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT orders investigation against producers of Hollywood movies* COMPAT by its order dated November 9, 2016 has ordered investigation against 6 producers of Hollywood films for the allegedly forcing a technology, called D-Cinema technology, for providing cinema screening under the auspices (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves an internal restructuring of a healthcare conglomerate’s three companies into two companies with clearer business verticals (Fortis Healthcare / Fortis Malar Hospital / SRL)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves international organization within the Fortis Group* CCI vide its order dated October 14, 2016, has given the approval to the internal re-organization of the hospitals and diagnostics business of Fortis Group into separate verticals. Prior the proposed combination, the healthcare (...)

The EU Commission publishes its largest-ever negative State aid decision regarding tax arrangements, requiring Ireland to recover €13 billion of aid (Apple)
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (Brussels)
I. Introduction 1. On 30 August 2016, the European Commission announced its largest-ever negative State aid decision requiring Ireland to recover €13bn of aid (plus interest) from Apple as a result of its tax rulings with Ireland . In the year leading up to this announcement, the Commission (...)

The EU Commission concludes Ireland granted undue tax benefits to a Big Tech company (Apple)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion* The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other (...)

The EU Commission confirms the illegal granting of State aid by Ireland to a Big Tech company (Apple)
Antoniou McCollum & Co. (Nicosia)
Introduction Criticism against the European Commission’s State aid decisions over tax arrangements intensified following the August 2016 decision on Apple. In that decision, the Commission found Ireland to have given Apple a benefit of approximately €13bn in illegal State aid through tax (...)

The Latvian Senate sends the case of a car distribution cartel back to the Regional Administrative Court for reconsideration due to procedural issues (Moller Auto Latvia / Moller Auto Ventspils / Moller Auto Krasta...)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
The Senate annuls the judgment of the Regional Administrative Court in the case of the Volkswagen car distribution cartel* On 23 September, the Senate of the Republic of Latvia annulled the judgment of the Administrative Regional Court in the case of the Volkswagen car distribution cartel, by (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that follow-on damages actions can be brought against subsidiaries of companies found to have infringed EU competition law (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, a preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Sumal confirmed that follow-on damages actions can be brought against subsidiaries of companies found to have infringed EU competition law. This note briefly analyzes the judgment and the (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling clarifying the single economic unit doctrine in private enforcement providing an analysis that has far-reaching consequences on future damages claims across the EEA (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
CEU San Pablo University (Madrid)
Abstract: The determination of the liability of a subsidiary for the anticompetitive conduct of its parent company ignited, long time ago, a sharp debate between those advocating for the single economic unit doctrine and those supporting the corporate separability doctrine. This paper, after (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes in a long-awaited ruling conditions under which the victim of a competition law infringement may seek compensation from a subsidiary of the perpetrator (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 6 October 2021, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) sitting in Grand Chamber clarified the notion of “undertaking” for the purposes of EU competition law in a long-awaited ruling (Case C-882/19, Sumal). The judgment establishes the possibility for the victim of a competition law infringement (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the General Court’s classification of the Spanish tax rules on the amortization of financial goodwill as State aid incompatible with the internal market (Deutsche Telekom / Banco Santander / Sigma Alimentos Exterior / Prosegur Compañia de Seguridad / Duty Free Group / Banco Santander / Santusa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals brought against the judgments of the General Court upholding the classification of the Spanish tax rules on the amortisation of financial goodwill as State aid incompatible with the internal market* In 2007, after a number of written questions had (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority concludes an investigation into the small household appliances sector with the first settlement decision under the newly introduced settlement procedure (Philips / Dünya Dış)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
After an investigation process of 8 months, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) announced on August 9, 2021 on its website that it has concluded the investigation with a settlement decision which constitutes the first example of the newly introduced settlement procedure by the Turkish (...)

The EU General Court delivers two new landmark rulings in the field of State aid and taxation against a Big Tech company and an energy company (Amazon) (Engie)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 May 2021, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) delivered two important judgments concerning tax rulings granted by Luxembourg to Amazon (Joined cases T-816/17, Luxembourg v Commission and T-318/18, Amazon EU and Amazon.com v Commission) and Engie (Joined cases T-516/18, Luxembourg (...)

The EU General Court issues two decisions on State Aid appeals brought by a major Big Tech company and an energy company (Amazon) (Engie)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (London)
On May 12, 2021, the General Court of the European Union (EU) published its decisions on the appeals against the findings of the European Commission (EC) that State aid had been granted to Amazon and Engie by Luxembourg in the form of tax rulings resulting in non-arm’s length transfer pricing (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal accepts jurisdiction regarding a damages claim in a case of abuse of dominance in the Greek beer market (Macedonian Thrace Brewery / Athenian Breweries / Heineken)
KPN (Amsterdam)
On 16 February 2021, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) reversed a judgment of the Amsterdam District Court (District Court) in which the District Court declined jurisdiction in the damage claims brought by the Macedonian Thrace Brewery S.A. (MTB) against Athenian Brewery S.A. (AB) (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal rules that Dutch courts have jurisdiction over damages claim resulting from an abuse of dominance on the Greek beer market (Macedonian Thrace Brewery / Athenian Breweries / Heineken)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 16 February 2021, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overturned the Amsterdam District Court’s ruling declining jurisdiction over the damages claim brought by MacedonianThrace Brewery (“MTB”) against Heineken’s subsidiary Athenian Breweries (“AB”). In 2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines a company for a failure to submit required documentation and information within a stipulated time limit and the submission of false information (Slovenská pošta)
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
AMO SR imposed a fine on the undertaking Slovenská pošta, a.s., for a failure to submit required documentation and information within a stipulated time limit and the submission of false information – additional information* On 29 October 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the (...)

The UK Government announces the withdrawal of the draft guidance on the Competition Authority’s powers and procedures on the EU foreign direct investment information sharing regime
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK government and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have announced the withdrawal of draft guidance on the CMA’s powers and procedures with respect to enforcing an EU regulation for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) into the European Union. The withdrawal follows a European (...)

The EU Commission adopts a formal decision that the UK will not be treated as an EU Member State for FDI regulation purposes
Covington & Burling (London)
The EU Regulation on Foreign Direct Investment (2019/452) (the “EU FDI Regulation”) will enter into force fully on October 11, 2020. Most notably, on this date, a cooperation and information sharing mechanism among Member States and the European Commission in respect of foreign direct investment (...)

The US Congress approves the renewal and permanent extension of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On June 25, 2020, Congress approved the renewal and permanent extension of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act (ACPERA or “the Act”), which limits the civil damages exposure of companies that cooperate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in selfreporting their own (...)

The US DoJ welcomes the Congressional reauthorization of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Department of Justice Applauds Congressional Passage Of Reauthorization Of The Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement And Reform Act* On June 25, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed identical bills, H.R. 7036 and S. 3377, to repeal the sunset provision of the Antitrust Criminal (...)

The Turkish Constitutional Court issues a decision finding a violation of constitutional rights of the concerned undertaking during the appeal process of a competition law infringement action (Onmed)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction On 30 September 2020, the Constitutional Court’s long-awaited decision as regards the controversies arisen from the application of the most favorable law in competition law cases was announced in the Turkish Official Gazette. This decision appears to be a crucial one as it is the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority authorises companies to collaborate and enter into agreements to share information to enhance the efficiency of production, supply, distribution, storage and acquisition during the COVID-19 crisis Free
National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
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AZB & Partners (Mumbai)
Background. The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into total shambles. Economies all over the world are on a verge of collapse and the Indian economy has been no exception. The continuous surge in the covid-19 cases along with the countrywide imposition of (...)

The EU General Court annuls a €33.6 million fine imposed in relation to the Euro Interest Rate Derivatives cartel because of the Commission’s insufficient reasoning on the applied calculation method (HSBC)
Liège University (Liège)
In yet another bank cartel case, the EU General Court (“GC” or “the Court”) takes a position consistent with its previous case law as regards the right to defence of the parties and annuls the fine imposed on HSBC due to insufficient reasoning. In addition, the GC assesses the conditions for (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court issues judgement on the principle of individual nature of fines by assessing a €42 million fine to the parent company of an energy group (Repsol)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
In 2015, the NMCC imposed two fines on Repsol S.A. (Repsol), the parent company of the energy group, amounting to €20 and €22.5 million for coordinating prices through exchanges of information with competitors and for fixing of fuel prices at service stations, respectively. Repsol appealed the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects applicability of ‘fortuitous discovery’ doctrine when an inspection order is excessively vague (Unión de Empresas de Recuperación)
Cuatrecasas
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Mondelez (Madrid)
On February 26, 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled on the Unión de Empresas de Recuperación (“UDER”) appeal against the National High Court’s judgment, which had confirmed a 2014 decision of the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (Spanish Competition Commission, “CNMC”) fining 13 (...)

The EU Parliament and Council reach a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (ECN+ Directive)
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 30 May 2018, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional political agreement on a Commission proposal for a Directive to make Member States’ competition authorities even more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules (the so-called “ECN+ Directive”). The Commission’s proposal (...)

Advocate General Wathelet recommends setting aside the General Court judgment that dismissed the claims brought by one participant to the smart card cartel case without carrying an extensive review of the conduct challenged by the undertaking and of the amount of the fine (Infineon Technologies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 April 2018, Advocate General (“AG”) Wathelet delivered an opinion in which he recommended that the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) set aside the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment which had dismissed the claims brought by Infineon in connection with its involvement in the smart card (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers four judgments dismissing the appeals brought by participants involved in a cartel (Airfreight cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By way of background, in 2012, the European Commission adopted a decision in which it found that a number of undertakings had fixed pricing mechanisms and surcharges for a variety of freight forwarding services, which the Commission considered to amount to four distinct infringements of the EU (...)

The EU Commission adopts the Proposal for a Regulation setting out the conditions and procedure by which it may request undertakings and associations of undertakings to provide information in relation to the internal market and related areas
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Hardly picked up by the specialised press, the Proposal for a Regulation setting out the conditions and procedure by which the European Commission may request undertakings and associations of undertakings to provide information in relation to the internal market and related areas (“the (...)

The US DoJ and the FTC publish competition law compliance guidelines aimed at HR professionals involved in recruitment and remuneration decisions for their firms
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
In October, the US competition authorities (the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)) published competition law compliance guidelines aimed at HR professionals involved in recruitment and remuneration decisions for their firms (the US Guidelines). This development (...)

The EU General Court confirms that the EU Commission may rely on recordings seized unlawfully by a third party in a dawn raid (Heiploeg)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
GENERAL COURT CONFIRMS THAT THE COMMISSION MAY RELY ON LAWFULLY SEIZED RECORDINGS EVEN IF MADE UNLAWFULLY BY A THIRD PARTY* On 8 September 2016 the General Court (“GC”) dismissed Heiploeg’s appeal against the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision in Shrimps (AT.39633) and confirmed that the (...)

Regulations

The Turkish Competition Authority grants an exemption to an electronic refuel and information system bringing together fuel distributors and end-users in a two-sided market (Platform Aracılık / Danışmanlık)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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Kia (Frankfurt)
Background The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) has recently published its reasoned decision on an exemption application by Platform Aracılık ve Danışmanlık Ltd. Şti. (“Platform Aracılık”) regarding its sample agreements (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) with five fuel distributors (“Fuel (...)

The UK Competition Authority provides its guidance for the newly finalised framework for vertical agreements
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On July 12, the CMA published its final guidance (the Guidance) accompanying the UK’s block exemption for vertical agreements (VABEO). The VABEO came into force on June 1, replacing the retained EU framework. The Guidance supplements the VABEO for agreements not covered by the block exemption. (...)

The UK Government publishes its Subsidy Control Bill following Brexit
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK Government has been busy adding flesh to the bare bones of the domestic subsidy control regime that has been in place since the start of 2021 following the signing of the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The Subsidy Control Bill introduced before Parliament on 30 June will, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes guidelines to counter “vendor lock-in" in the market for information technology systems in the healthcare sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2021, the Dutch competition authority, Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM), announced that it would prepare guidelines to counter “vendor lock-in” in information technology systems for the healthcare sector, principally hospital information systems and electronic patient files. As a (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes guidelines on competition rules for IT suppliers in healthcare to counter "vendor lock-in"
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM to draw up guidelines regarding competition rules in order to mitigate ‘vendor lock-in’ in health care IT* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will draw up guidelines that will clarify the competition rules for IT suppliers in health care. ACM has found that, in many (...)

The EU Commission publishes the results of its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations and guidelines for R&D
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
,
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 6 May 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published the findings of its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations for Research & Development (“R&D BER”) and specialisation agreements (“Specialisation BER”, together “HBERs”), as well as the accompanying Horizontal (...)

The Dutch Government implements the EU regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 17 November 2020, the Dutch Senate passed a law (the “Implementing Law”) implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (the “FDI Regulation”). The (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on draft guidance concerning its powers and procedures in the relation to the post-Brexit foreign direct investments information request process
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
As noted in our recent LawFlashes, New Powers for UK Government in Transactions Impacting Public Health Emergencies and National Security and Potential UK Reforms Could Increase Screening of Certain Foreign Takeovers, governments are increasing their scrutiny of certain foreign direct (...)

The German Competition Authority supports the German association of the automotive industry’s measures for overcoming the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the automotive industry Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Crisis management measures in the automotive industry - Bundeskartellamt supports the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in developing framework conditions under competition law aspects* The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has presented measures for (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission sign a memorandum of understanding to enhance collaboration and the exchange of information on competition issues in the securities and futures industry
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Reed Smith (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
On 28 April 2020, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration and exchange of information, particularly in respect of competition issues in the securities (...)

The US DoJ issues a positive Business Review Letter to a drug wholesale company and announces it will not challenge collaborative efforts in procuring healthcare supplies used to treat COVID-19 patients (AmerisourceBergen) Free
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Issues Business Review Letter to AmerisourceBergen Supporting Distribution of Critical Medicines Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response* The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge collaborative efforts of AmerisourceBergen (...)

The US DoJ issues a positive Business Review Letter to medical supplies distributors and announces it will not challenge their collaborations supporting Project Airbridge under the expedited procedure for the COVID-19 pandemic response (McKesson / Owens & Minor / Cardinal Health / Medline Industries / Henry Schein) Free
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Department of Justice Issues Business Review Letter to Medical Supplies Distributors Supporting Project Airbridge Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response* The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge collaborative efforts of McKesson Corporation, (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final study on antitrust aspects in the EU loan syndication markets
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Buntscheck (Munich)
In its recent assessment of the European loan syndication sector from an antitrust perspective, the European Commission did not find specific evidence or indication of any current antitrust infringements. However, the Commission and national competition authorities will likely closely monitor (...)

The EU Commission issues a report on syndicated loans and competition compliance
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 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Syndicated lending is a well-established and critical way of banks sharing risk in financing larger or riskier projects which a single lender is unable or (...)

The Australian Competition Authority publishes guidelines on collective bargaining for small businesses
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 20 December 2018, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission ("ACCC") published guidelines on collective bargaining for small businesses, including agribusinesses ("Guidelines"). Whilst collective bargaining can generally lead to more efficient negotiations, better access to (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on blockchain technology and competition policy
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. Blockchain is a general-purpose technology that threatens to disrupt markets and institutions across the world. Where the internet enabled the publishing and digital transfer of information, blockchain authenticates the ownership of assets, makes them unique, traceable, and (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a paper on "Big Data and Competition" as Big Data and digital markets remain in the focus of EU competition authorities
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. Introduction On 6 October, the German Federal Cartel Office (’FCO’) launched its new series of papers on ’Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy’. The first paper deals with ’Big Data and Competition’. The same day, a ’real-life example’ of competition enforcement in Big Data (...)

The Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic Competition Authorities agree to enhance their co-operation in antitrust investigations by signing a cooperation agreement
Hannes Snellman (Helsinki)
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Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
The Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic competition authorities have agreed to enhance their co-operation in antitrust investigations by signing a cooperation agreement on 8 September 2017. Currently, Finland, Sweden and Denmark have already acceded to the new agreement by (...)

The Russian Competition Authority’s Head calls for stronger cooperation in cross-border investigations and exchange of classified information at UNCTAD’s 16th session of the intergovernmental group of experts on competition law and policy
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Russia’s perspective on International Competition law and policies by of Mr. Igor Artemiev, Head of Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation* The 16th session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy took place in Geneve from 5-7 July 2017. Q: What (...)

The US FTC and DoJ publish antitrust guidance to human resource professionals about how antitrust laws apply in the employment context
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
On October 20, 2016, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued joint Antitrust Guidance to Human Resource (HR) Professionals (the Guidance) involved in hiring and compensation decisions. The agencies issued the guidance to educate (...)

The US DoJ and FTC publish their antitrust guidance in order to alert HR professionals that agreements among competing employers to limit or fix the terms may violate antitrust laws
Baker Botts (Washington)
After years of filing civil enforcement actions against companies, hospitals, and various employer groups for entering into a variety of schemes to suppress employee wages, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have made it clear that naked (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Spanish Competition Authority cooperates with the Portuguese Competition Authority to investigate several wood chip suppliers over a potential information sharing cartel
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC and the Portuguese competition authority (AdC) investigate several wood chip suppliers.* Competing companies allegedly shared the market in Spain and Portugal and exchanged sensitive information. These practices are prohibited by Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines 16 basketball clubs and the basketball league for conspiring to reduce player wages due to COVID-19-related match cancellations (BM Slam Stal / Gdyński Klub Koszykówki Arka / Gliwickie Towarzystwo Koszykówki / Grono” Sportowa / Hydro Truck Sport / Klub Koszykarski Astoria Bydgoszcz) Free
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Basketball clubs violated competition - decision of President of UOKiK* The joint arrangements of the basketball clubs to terminate their cooperation with the players represented an agreement restricting competition. The UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny imposed nearly PLN 1 million in penalties (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority cooperates with their Spanish counterpart to conduct dawn raids as part of an investigation into a potential wood chip cartel
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Portuguese and Spanish Competition Authorities conduct unannounced inspections* The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) and the Spanish CNMC carried out simultaneous unannounced inspections in Spanish territory, at an intermediary company active in the wood chip business. Both authorities (...)

The US DoJ cracks down on potentially unlawful interlocking directorates which leads to 7 board resignations across 5 companies
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 19 October 2022, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (the Division) announced that seven directors have agreed to resign from the boards of directors of five companies in response to the Division’s “competition concerns” related to the Clayton Act’s prohibition on interlocking (...)

The US DoJ carries out first large-scale crackdown on potentially unlawful interlocking directorates which leads to 7 board resignations across 5 tech companies
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) announced that seven directors resigned from their board positions because of DOJ’s concerns that holding the positions violated the Clayton Act’s prohibition on interlocking directorates. Discussed more fully (...)

The EU Commission adopts Guidelines on collective agreements by solo self-employed people
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission adopts Guidelines on collective agreements by solo self-employed people* The European Commission has adopted today its Guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements (‘Guidelines’) regarding the working conditions of solo self-employed people. (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority fines six firms and 35 individuals for anticompetitively exchanging information on hiring practices in the healthcare industry
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
CADE signs agreements in case in the market of hired labour in healthcare industry* A total of six firms and 35 individuals are to pay more than BRL 34 million in financial contributions The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) signed six Cease and Desist Agreements with firms (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority fines a construction cartel €26.33 million for illegal price fixing, market divisions and the exchange of information with competitors for construction tenders (HABAU Group)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Construction cartel: HABAU fine set at EUR 26.33 million* Four companies from the HABAU group of companies have admitted participating in the construction cartel and fully acknowledged the infringement. The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) and the Federal Cartel Prosecutor had (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority applies to fine the first company in its investigation of the facade construction industry for price fixing, market sharing, and exchange of competitively sensitive information (NFS Bau)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Facade construction: AFCA files application to have first company fined* In the course of its investigations into the facade construction industry, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) filed its first application with the Cartel Court on 25 August 2022 to fine one of the (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority closes investigation against an industry association for possible exchange of market sensitive information
Norwegian Competition Authority (Bergen)
Closes investigation against industry association* The Norwegian Competition Authority has been investigating an industry association for possible anticompetitive behaviour since 2020. After an overall assessment of the available facts, the Authority has now decided to close the investigation. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority refuses to grant negative clearance to sharing of market information amongst ceramic sanitary ware manufacturers and ceramic tile manufacturers (Ceramic Sanitary Ware Manufacturers Association / Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
The Board Decision concerning the request that a negative clearance/exemption be granted to the collection and sharing of certain information about the activities of Ceramic Sanitary Ware Manufacturers Association and Ceramic Tile Manufacturers (20.08.2020) (23.8.2022)* As a result of the (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority fines three construction companies for an anticompetitive bid rigging cartel, with two fines reduced for cooperating with the Authority (PK Serviss / Koro Būve / Tavs Laikmets)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
The Competition Council fines three construction companies for prohibited agreements in procurement organized by a private contracting entity* On August 4, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) adopted a decision, detecting a prohibited agreement between three construction companies on (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority applies to the Cartel Court to review its ruling on a recent construction cartel following new evidence which may vitiate the award of leniency (STRABAG)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Construction cartel: AFCA applies for review of STRABAG decision by Cartel Court* By decision of 21.10.2021 (27 Kt 12/21y), the Cartel Court imposed a fine of EUR 45.37 million on two companies of the STRABAG Group (STRABAG) for infringement of section 1 (1) of the Austrian Cartel Act (KartG) (...)

The US DOJ files a lawsuit alleging that the tournament system of determining the pay for poultry processors constitutes an abusive exchange of information (Cargill / Jonathan Meng / Sanderson Farms / Wayne Farms)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Files Lawsuit and Proposed Consent Decrees to End Long-Running Conspiracy to Suppress Worker Pay at Poultry Processing Plants and Address Deceptive Abuses Against Poultry Growers* Decree Provisions Would Stop the Exchange of Compensation Information, Ban President of Data (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines construction companies €203.6M for altering the competitive process in infrastructure construction tenders for more than 25 years (Acciona Construcción / Dragados / FCC Construcción / Ferrovial Construcción / Obrascón Huarte Lain / Sacyr Construcción)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC has fined 6 of the main construction companies in Spain 203.6 million euros for altering the competitive process in infrastructure construction tenders for more than 25 years The sanctioned companies are: Acciona Construcción S.A., Dragados S.A., FCC Construcción, Ferrovial Construcción, (...)

The EU Commission sends a Statement of Objections to two ethanol producers over alleged benchmarking cartel (Alcogroup / Agroetanol)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Alcogroup and Agroetanol over alleged ethanol benchmarks cartel* The European Commission has informed Alcogroup S.A. and its subsidiary Alcodis S.A. (together ‘Alcogroup’) as well as Lantmännen ek för and its subsidiary Lantmännen Agroetanol (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments by a professional association of Irish insurers to ensure access to its data sharing platform (Irish Insurance)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Insurance Ireland to ensure access to its data sharing platform* The European Commission has made commitments offered by Insurance Ireland, an association of Irish insurers, legally binding under EU antitrust rules. Insurance Ireland must ensure (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls the decision of the Commission but upholds the amounts of the fines imposed for the optical disk drives cartel (Optical Disk Drives Cartel)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Cartel on the market for optical disk drives: the Court partially annuls the decision of the Commission but upholds the amounts of the fines imposed* The Commission failed to satisfy its obligation to state reasons by finding that, in addition to their participation in a single and continuous (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls a Commission decision in an anticompetitive tender agreement case in the optical disk drive market but upholds the amounts of fines imposed (Optical Disk Drives Cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 June 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued four judgments in which it partially annulled earlier judgments of the General Court, which had upheld the 2015 Commission Decision in relation to the optical disk drives (“ODDs”) cartel case. In that case, the Commission (...)

The Ankara 9th Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Authority’s decision to impose an administrative monetary fine on a chemical supplier stating that the standard of proof has not been met (Hicri Ercili)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Ankara 9 th Administrative Court (“Administrative Court”) annulled the decision of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) where an administrative fine of TL 11,214,051.26 was imposed on Hicri Ercili Deniz Nakliyat Kimyevi Maddeler San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti.) (“Hicri Ercili”), a supplier of the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues final decision in the investigation regarding the price fixing infringement of an oil and gas company (Beypazarı İçecek Pazarlama Dağıtım Ambalaj Turizm Petrol İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Pronouncement of the Final Decision Regarding the Investigation concerning Beypazarı İçecek Pazarlama Dağıtım Ambalaj Turizm Petrol İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ According to Article 49 of the Act no 4054 on the Protection of Competition (26.5.2022)* Within the scope of the investigation conducted per (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues first decision where leniency and settlement procedures are implemented together (Beypazarı İçecek Pazarlama Dağıtım Ambalaj Turizm Petrol İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret / Kınık Maden Suları)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
The First Decision where Leniency and Settlement Procedures are Implemented Together (25.5.2022) The investigation concerning Beypazarı İçecek Pazarlama Dağıtım Ambalaj Turizm Petrol İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Kınık Maden Suları A.Ş. was concluded. (26.5.2022)* The investigation conducted to (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues final decision regarding the investigation of a petroleum company for price fixing and other anticompetitive infringements (Kınık Maden Suları)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Pronouncement of the Final Decision Regarding the Investigation about Kınık Maden Suları AŞ According to Article 49 of the Act no 4054 on the Protection of Competition (26.5.2022)* Within the scope of the investigation conducted per the Competition Board decision dated 24.02.2022 and numbered (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority fines two companies and five individuals for anticompetitive conduct in the resin market (Royal Química / Cempre Apoio Educacional)
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
Cartel in the resin market is fined 46.8 million reais* The authority convicted two companies and five individuals for the anticompetitive conduct On 23 March 2022, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) convicted the firms Royal Química and Cempre Apoio Educacional, in (...)

The European Competition Network considers that companies may need to cooperate to mitigate the effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war and the EU Commission adopts a temporary crisis framework permitting more State aid
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Russian invasion of Ukraine prompts ECN guidance on application of EU competition rules and European Commission’s adoption of State aid crisis framework The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has prompted European competition enforcers to reassess the application of the EU (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes fines totalling €24M on 3 steel companies for disclosing information about prices, exchanging information about third party prices and sharing data on the technical shutdowns of their facilities (Balboa / Sidenor / ArcelorMittal)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines three steel companies 24 million euros for two very serious infringements in the scrap purchase market in Spain* The companies disclosed information to one another regarding the prices they would offer to iron scrap suppliers. In addition, they shared data on the technical (...)

The Polish Competition Authority finds that the exchange of information between pharmaceutical wholesalers may have restricted competition in the market and resulted in higher prices for consumers in pharmacies
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Data exchange between pharmaceutical wholesalers - charges presented by the President of UOKiK* The exchange of information between pharmaceutical wholesalers may have restricted competition in the market and resulted in higher prices for consumers in pharmacies. Through specialised IT tools, (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on draft revised rules on horizontal cooperation agreements between companies
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission invites comments on draft revised rules on horizontal cooperation agreements between companies* The European Commission has launched today a public consultation inviting all interested parties to comment on two draft revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations on (...)

The EU Commission publishes for consultation two draft revised horizontal block exemption regulations on research & development and specialisation agreements, as well as draft revised horizontal cooperation guidelines
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 1 March 2022, the European Commission ("EC") published for consultation two draft revised horizontal block exemption regulations ("HBERs") on research & development ("R&D") and specialisation agreements, as well as draft revised horizontal cooperation guidelines ("Horizontal (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines three regional providers of public sector uniforms €36,000 for bid rigging (Galleria / Gim / Orsi)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
The Italian Competition Authority finds a bid rigging practice in the market for professional clothing* The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently closed its antitrust enquiry opened in the Professional Work Wear case issuing an infringement decision. It found three suppliers of (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by an Irish insurers’ association concerning access to its data sharing platform (Insurance Ireland)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Insurance Ireland concerning access to its data sharing platform* The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by Insurance Ireland, an association of Irish insurers, to address competition concerns regarding (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises cooperation in the retail goods supply chain for the West and North of the country due to flooding in the South
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC authorises cooperation in retail goods supply chain to WA and NT* The ACCC has granted an urgent interim authorisation permitting the cooperation and sharing of information by companies in the supply chain to ensure critical retail goods, including food supplies, are able to reach (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of modular expansion joints for bridges involved in a quota cartel (Maurer / Mageba)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fines imposed on manufacturers of modular expansion joints for bridges involved in a quota cartel* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 7.3 million euros on two manufacturers of modular expansion joints (expansion joint systems for road bridges) for engaging in an illegal (...)

The EU Commission issues proposed guidance on information exchange in dual distribution relationships
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Brussels)
As part of its review of the EU antitrust rules governing vertical agreements, the European Commission (EC) has published for consultation a draft new section of its Vertical Guidelines, which contains proposed guidance on information exchange in "dual distribution" relationships. Reacting to (...)

The EU Commission reviews its guidelines on vertical restraints within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption regulation
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
The European Commission (“Commission”) is currently reviewing its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Vertical Guidelines”) within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and consulted on its proposals last year. It has now launched a further consultation (...)

The EU Commission publishes new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
The European Commission has published a new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution. This draft guidance provides valuable dos and don’ts for companies concerning the information exchange in a dual distribution scenario. Any company dealing with dual (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority commences proceedings against four undertakings and an individual for a price-fixing cartel in the travel services sector (Gray Line / Take How / Wu / Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees / Prudential Hotel)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission takes travel services sector price-fixing cartel case to Competition Tribunal* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) against four undertakings and one individual, namely: Gray Line Tours of Hong (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a fine totalling EUR 173,8 million in the fields of retail food and cleaning products for a hub & spoke cartel involving resale price maintenance practices (Savola / A101 / Carrefour / Migros...) Free
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
(1) Introduction On January 19, 2022, Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has published a highly anticipated decision of the Competition Board (“Board”) regarding the investigation against retail grocery chains and suppliers of such chains, active in the fields of retail food and cleaning (...)

The UK Competition Authority disqualifies a pharmaceutical company director due to his involvement in illegal sharing of commercially sensitive information about the antidepressant nortriptyline (Pritesh Sonpal / Lexon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA disqualifies pharma director* The CMA has secured the disqualification of a pharmaceutical company director, in connection with his involvement in illegal anti-competitive practices. Pritesh Sonpal – a former director of the pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon – will be disqualified from taking (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines 6 truck dealers and 8 managers for concluding agreements that limit competition (Truck Dealer Cartels)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Truck dealer cartels - two decisions of the UOKiK President* UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny issued two decisions concerning agreements limiting competition between truck dealers. Purchasers of these vehicles have not had a free choice of dealer for many years and have paid inflated prices. Six (...)

The EU Commission publishes draft guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements regarding working conditions of solo self-employed persons
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 December 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) approved a draft communication containing guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements regarding the working conditions of solo self-employed persons (“Draft Guidelines”). The Draft Guidelines reflect the (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues warning against collusive practices during the holidays
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
In light of December shopping season, COFECE warns companies to avoid carrying out collusive practices* Establishing prices with competitors is prohibited by the competition law and implies the imposition of both economic and criminal sanctions. Economic agents that participate or have (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority initiates proceedings in the Competition Tribunal against 3 mailing equipment companies for their participation in a cartel regarding the sale of inserters (Quadient / Toppan Forms / Smartech Business Systems)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission takes inserter cartel case to Competition Tribunal* First case to be fully resolved under the Commission’s Cooperation and Settlement Policy The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) against three (...)

The EU Court of Justice reconfirms fundamental principles regarding vertical restraints and intrabrand restrictions, by underscoring the fact that many vertical restrictions would elude Article 101 (Visma)
University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law
Visma and the notion of vertical restrictions* On the 18th of November, the European Court of Justice delivered its Visma ruling, that regardless of some important observations, appears to have largely gone unnoticed by the anti-trust community. Probably, overshadowed by the General Court (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority is investigating potential bid rigging by the Ministry of Defense in tenders for the supply, maintenance and upgrade of military equipment
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC is investigating potential bid rigging by the Spanish Ministry of Defence* The Commission is looking into alleged agreements involving bid rigging and sharing contracts related to the supply, maintenance of upgrade of military equipment. Early this month, the Commission conducted new (...)

The EU Commissioner for Competition Vestager announces increased focus on atypical cartels, including wage fixing or no-poach agreements in the labour market Free
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
Antitrust authorities are increasingly focused on anticompetitive agreements in the labour markets. In a recent speech held in Rome on 22 October 2021 ("A New Era of Cartel Enforcement"), EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager emphasised that the Commission will further and further (...)

The Swedish Patent and Market Court rules that a company active in the cheese and dairy industry should pay an administrative fine for unlawful cooperation in dairy product procurement (Arla Foods)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Arla Foods to pay administrative fine for unlawful cooperation* The Patent and Market Court has in a judgment decided that Arla Foods is to pay an administrative fine for having participated in an unlawful cooperation ahead of a procurement. The fact that Arla Foods has cooperated with the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposes a fine on 3 companies active in the retail trade of agricultural machinery for sharing more than a dozen national public procurement procedures among themselves (Tempel Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató / Normtec / Slovakian Premium Line)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH imposed a fine on a public procurement cartel yet again* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of approximately HUF 135 million on three undertakings, which are active in the retail trade of agricultural machinery for sharing more than a dozen Hungarian public (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues its judgment concerning the question of whether a subsidiary can be held liable for the anti-competitive behaviour of its parent company (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
Red pill or blue pill? The European Court of Justice makes its choice: subsidiaries can be held liable for the infringements of their parent companies (Case C-882/19 – Sumal)* On 6 October 2021, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its very much-awaited judgment in case C-882/19 Sumal, (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a long-awaited judgment clarifying the extent of an undertaking’s liability in follow-on actions (Sumal / Mercedes Benz Trucks España)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On October 6, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ” or “Court”) issued a long-awaited decision in case C-882/19, Sumal SL (“Sumal”) v Mercedes Benz Trucks España SL (“MBTE”). The judgment shed light on whether, under EU competition law, the victim of an (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes fines totalling almost €4 million on two major national collectors of used cooking oil for making price-fixing purchase agreements (Rotie / Nieuwcom)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM imposes fines for price-fixing agreements involving the purchase of used cooking oil* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed fines, totaling almost four million euros, on two major collectors of used cooking oil, for making cartel agreements regarding the (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority sanctions several companies, as well as nine natural persons who acted on their behalf, for colluding in the market of baby diapers, female sanitary products, and incontinence (Essity México / Kimberly Clark de México / Productos Internacionales)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions several companies and natural persons for colluding in the market for baby diapers, products for feminine sanitary protection and incontinence* The economic agents that produce and commercialize these products in the wholesale markets colluded to manipulate sale prices for (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by telecommunication companies concerning their network sharing agreements (T-Mobile CZ / CETIN / O2 CZ)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN, and O2 CZ concerning the Czech telecommunications market* The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN, O2 CZ, and their respective parent companies, Deutsche Telekom and (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority concludes the infringement proceedings against the main “majors” in film distribution and an audience measurement company for the exchange of commercially sensitive information (Paramount / Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures / Walt Disney)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC concludes the infringement proceedings against the main “majors” in film distribution and an audience measurement company* The companies under investigation have submitted a series of commitments that they are obliged to fulfill for five years. This formula, known as “termination by (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against multiple global film distribution companies for exchange of sensitive information (Paramount / Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures / Walt Disney)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
This investigation was conducted against the Spanish subsidiaries of 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Rentrak, Sony, Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers and Ymagis, S.A., in connection with uniform conditions applied in the digitization of movie distribution as well as sharing of commercially (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority publishes a final report and best practices guide on anticompetitive agreements in the labor market
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC publishes final Report and Best Practices Guide on anticompetitive agreements in the labor market* The AdC publishes final Report and Best Practices Guide on anticompetitive agreements in the labor market The Competition Authority has published the final version of the Report and Best (...)

The Danish Competition Authority announces the payment of a fine by a clothing retailer for exchanging information about prices with a competitor (Kaufmann)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Clothing retailer pays a fine of DKK 3,700,000 (€ 497,560) for exchanging information about prices with a competitor* The company behind the Danish clothing retailer “Kaufmann”, Axel Kaufmann ApS, has agreed to pay a fine of DKK 3.700.000 (€ 497,560) for having shared information about (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises a national press union to collectively bargain with two Big Tech companies (Country Press Australia / Google / Facebook)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Country Press Australia can collectively bargain with Google and Facebook* The ACCC has authorised Country Press Australia (CPA) and its members to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook about payments for their news content published on the platforms. CPA is an industry body (...)

The Singaporean Competition Authority issues a new general guidance note to provide businesses with more clarity on common horizontal, vertical and lateral collaborations between competitors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Baker McKenzie (Singapore)
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Baker McKenzie (Singapore)
CCCS proposes general guidance on common collaborations between competitors Unlike the lapsed COVID-19 Guidance Note, the new Business Collaboration Guidance Note would apply to all types of products and services, and would not have an expiry date. The Competition and Consumer Commission of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority suspects the existence of a cartel around the public procurement of a boat operation by the Budapest transport center (BKV)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH suspects the existence of a cartel around the boat operation public procurement of the Centre for Budapest Transport (BKV)* 14 July 2021, Budapest – Due to the suspicion of a cartel, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated an investigation in connection with the public (...)

The EU Commission finds that three German car manufacturers colluded by deliberately limiting competition on innovation in greener technologies for diesel vehicles (BMW / Daimler / VW)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By the cartel settlement decision recently rendered in Car Emissions, the European Commission (EC) found that three German car manufacturers colluded in the market for the reduction of emission of diesel cars during the period from June 2009 until October 2014. What is noteworthy in Car (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine totalling €875 million on multiple car manufacturers for restricting competition in emission cleaning for new diesel passenger cars (BMW / Daimler / VW)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The EC has found that Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen group (Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche) breached EU antitrust rules by colluding on technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning. Car manufacturers had technical meetings to discuss the development of the selective catalytic (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority closes its investigation on possible anticompetitive conduct in the paint industry and highlights how crucial it is that participants react quickly if any information that may potentially be considered anticompetitive is exchanged
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
A recent investigation by the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) into discussions in a trade forum demonstrates that it is crucial that participants react quickly if any information that may potentially be considered anti-competitive is exchanged. The SCA investigated whether companies within (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens an investigation into possible anti-competitive behavior of undertakings operating in the archiving services market (Enterprise Software Development / All Businesses Management / Cityplan Studio)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council carries out an investigation into the archiving services market* The Competition Council has opened an investigation on a possible anti-competitive behavior of some undertakings operating on the market of electronic / digital and physical archiving of documents, as well (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority convicts members of a cartel in procurements for PVC pipes and fittings (BR Plásticos Indústria / BRP Indústria Plástica / Nicoll Indústria Plástica Tigre / Amanco)
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
CADE convicts a cartel in procurements for PVC pipes and fittings* In the hearing of this Wednesday (30 June), the Administrative Council for Economic Defense convicted five firms and six individuals for a cartel in public procurements for PVC pipes and fittings. Such procurements were aimed (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds two of the Competition Authority’s decisions finding that the exchange of information on prices, discounts, and quantities concerning future sales between retailers of clothing items is illegal (Hugo Boss / Kaufmann)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal: Exchange of information on prices, discounts and quantities in relation to future sales between retailers of clothing items was illegal* The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has upheld two separate decisions of the Danish Competition Council (...)

The Indian Competition Authority rejects allegations that several domestic airlines had colluded to raise prices (Shikha Roy / Jet Airways)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) rejected allegations that a number of domestic airlines had colluded to raise prices during the period of Jat agitation in February 2016. Following the conclusions of the investigating Director General (DG), the CCI found there was no evidence of a (...)

The UK Competition Authority reflects on the lessons learned from its investigation into three major suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry for collusion (Vp / MGF / Mabey)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Breaking competition law: construction cartel in groundworks* Lessons learnt from the CMA’s investigation into 3 major suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry after they broke competition law. In 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) fined 2 businesses, Vp (...)

The EU Commission fines seven investment banks for operating a cartel in the primary and secondary markets for European government bonds (Bank of America / Natixis / RBS / UBS / UniCredit / WestLB)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 May 2021, the European Commission adopted a decision imposing fines on a series of investment banks relating to the trading of European Government Bonds (“EGB”). EGB In its decision, adopted on 20 May 2021, the Commission found seven investment banks, Bank of America, Natixis, Nomura, RBS (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of €371 million on banks implicated in supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bond trading cartel (Bank of America / Natixis / RBS / UBS / UniCredit / WestLB)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
In April and May 2021 the European Commission ("EC") announced the imposition of fines totalling almost €400 million on banks implicated in two separate cartels relating to bond trading. In a separate development, the EC took unprecedented action to exclude a number of international banks from (...)

The EU Commission fines several investment banks €371 million for participating in a European government bond trading cartel (Bank of America / Natixis / RBS / UBS / UniCredit / WestLB)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines investment banks € 371 million for participating in a European Governments Bonds trading cartel* The European Commission has found that Bank of America, Natixis, Nomura, RBS (now NatWest), UBS, UniCredit and WestLB (now Portigon) have breached EU antitrust rules (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines 22 consulting firms and several of their executives a total of EUR 6.3 million for creating a cartel in a first case where the cartelist’s fine is reduced due to implementing a compliance program (Deloitte / KPMG / PwC)
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
On 11 May 2021, the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) fined 22 consulting firms and several of their executives a total of EUR 6.3 million for creating a cartel in violation of Article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act (LDC) and Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court declares that the exchange of information on elements that have a significant impact on prices constitutes an infringement by object of competition rules and constitutes a cartel (Fabricantes de automóviles)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
In its judgment dated 6 May 2021, the Spanish Supreme Court (the "SC") found that an exchange of information among competitors that does not directly relate to final prices but that affects certain elements linked to final prices such as commercial margins, may reduce competition in (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document on its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations on research & development and specialisation agreements
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
On 6 May 2021, the European Commission ("Commission") published a staff working document ("SWD") on its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations on research & development and specialisation agreements ("H-BERs") and the horizontal guidelines. The SWD is accompanied by an (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority considers that the commitments offered by two food retailers under the purchase alliance probe were proportionate and suitable to address potential restrictions of competition (Carrefour / Provera)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
In its decision of 28 April 2021, the Belgian Competition Authority ("BCA") considered that the commitments offered by Carrefour and Provera under the purchase alliance probe were proportionate and suitable to address potential restrictions of competition. Following Carrefour’s divestment offer, (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of €28.5 million on banks implicated in European government bond trading cartel (Bank of America Merrill Lynch / Crédit Agricole / Crédit Suisse)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
In April and May 2021 the European Commission ("EC") announced the imposition of fines totalling almost €400 million on banks implicated in two separate cartels relating to bond trading. In a separate development, the EC took unprecedented action to exclude a number of international banks from (...)

The EU Commission imposes total fines of €28 million on three investment banks for their involvement in a cartel in the EEA secondary trading market for SSA bonds denominated in US Dollars (Bank of America Merrill Lynch / Crédit Agricole / Crédit Suisse)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 April, the European Commission adopted a decision imposing fines on a series of investment banks relating to the trading of Supra-sovereign, Sovereign and Agency (“SSA”) bonds. SSA Bonds In the first decision, adopted on 28 April 2021, the Commission imposed total fines of € 28 million on (...)

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 Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against national basketball clubs for limiting competition (Energa Basket Liga)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
The President of UOKiK brings charges of limiting competition against basketball clubs* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated antitrust proceedings against the Energa Basket Liga and sixteen basketball clubs. The subject matter of the proceedings is the establishment of principles of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceeding against a trucks importer and its distributor for collusion (Iveco trucks)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Iveco trucks - proceedings of the President of UOKiK* - The importer of Iveco trucks together with the official distributors of these vehicles may have entered into a multi-year conspiracy to restrain competition. - President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Tomasz (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine on the professional organization of pharmacists on account of an anticompetitive agreement (Ordre des pharmaciens / Orde der Apothekers)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2021, the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische Mededingingsautoriteit / Autorité belge de la Concurrence - BCA) announced that its Privileged and Confidential Attorney – Client Communication Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la Concurrence) had imposed a fine of (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority starts its first investigation involving the labor market in the healthcare industry
Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
On March 17, 2021, CADE released a public order disclosing it is investigating potential anticompetitive practices performed into the labor market in Brazil , mirroring a worldwide trend that is already a strong policy in some seasoned jurisdictions. The proceeding at a glimpse As public (...)

The Danish High Court founds that the agreement fixing the price of subscriptions concluded by a natural gas company had an anticompetitive intent and breached the Competition Act (Hovedstadsregionens og Midt-Nords Naturgasselskab I/S)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
The Danish High Court has affirmed that Article 6(1) of the Danish Competition Act (corresponding to Article 101(1) TFEU), was infringed by a natural gas company, Hovedstadsregionens og Midt-Nords Naturgasselskab I/S (“HMN”), the trade association and two subcontractors, as these parties entered (...)

The French Competition Authority fines national security provider for issuing cover quotes in the tobacconist security provision sector (Double Tour)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines Double Tour for issuing cover quotes in the tobacconist security provision sector* Following an investigation by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) into the tobacconist security provision sector, (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a €435.000 fine on a construction company for exchanging information (Santerne Nord Tertiaire)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
City of Lille’s call for tenders: Santerne (Vinci group) fined up to €435,000 The Autorité de la concurrence fines Santerne Nord Tertiaire (subsidiary of the Vinci group) €435,000 for exchanging information with another company in a call for tenders organised by the city of Lille (Communauté (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s finding that a pharmaceutical company broke competition law by exchanging information (Lexon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Tribunal upholds CMA decision on pharma collusion and £1.2m fine The Competition Appeal Tribunal has today upheld the CMA’s finding that Lexon broke competition law, dismissing Lexon’s appeal. Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded its investigation into the supply of (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues infringement notices to six hotel groups and a tour operator for facilitating cartel conduct (Gray Line / Tink Labs)
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 Hong Kong Competition Authority issues infringement notices to six hotel groups and a tour counter operator for facilitating a price-fixing cartel (China Asia Property / Hariela Hotels / Holiday Inns Crowne Plaza / Imperial Tours / Hotel Panorama Company / The HongKong Hotel...)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission issues infringement notices to six hotel groups and a tour counter operator for facilitating a price-fixing cartel* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has issued infringement notices to seven entities, including six hotel groups and a tour counter operator (...)

The Munich Regional Court bans the preferential display within a search engine of information exclusively drawn from a state-run health portal (Google / German Ministry of Health)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
On February 10th, 2021, the antitrust chamber of the German Regional Court of Munich granted two summary judgments in favor of the health portal NetDoktor, banning the preferential display within Google search results pages of boxes with information exclusively drawn from a state-run health (...)

The French Supreme Court rules that an undertaking continues to be involved in a cartel if it keeps receiving invitations to participate without clearly distancing itself and makes other participants interpret that it shares their objectives (Goodmills Deutschland / Grands moulins de Paris)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 10 February 2021, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) ruled that an undertaking continues to be involved in a cartel if it keeps receiving invitations to participate without clearly distancing itself and when other participants interpret that this undertaking shares their (...)

The German Competition Authority fines three steel forging companies for exchanging information (Bharat Forge Global / Musashi Bockenau / Bad Sobernheim)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on steel forging companies* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling approx. 35 million euros on three steel forging companies and two senior staff members for their involvement in an anti-competitive exchange of information. The companies concerned are (...)

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

The Romanian Competition Authority fines a national association and 16 financial companies €8.47 million for exchanging information (Association of Romanian Financial Companies)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council has fined the Romanian Association of Financial Companies and 16 financial companies euro 8.47 million* The Competition Council has fined the Association of Romanian Financial Companies (hereinafter ALB) and 16 member companies lei 41,251,774 (approx. Euro 8.47 million) (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines totaling € 26.6 million on 31 companies for engaging in concerted practices aimed at sharing wood lots and supply sources on the wood processing (Egger / Holzindustrie Schweighofer / Kronospan...)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 January 2021, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) imposed fines totalling € 26.6 million on 31 companies for engaging in concerted practices aimed at sharing wood lots and supply sources on the wood processing market. The RCC found that the companies coordinated their conduct between (...)

The French Competition Authority dismisses the thermal insulation case (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment / Saint-Gobain Isover / Syndicat National des Fabricants d’Isolants en Laines Minérales Manufacturées)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence dismisses the thermal insulation case* Background In response to a referral by the French Minister of the Economy and the company Actis regarding practices in the sector of thermal insulation for buildings by the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines three cartels and five directors €3.7M for price fixing, bid rigging and exchanging information in the sale of smelting inputs (FISL / Grafitos / Toro)
Ashurst (Madrid)
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Ashurst (Madrid)
The Spanish competition authority ("CNMC") has fined six companies and five directors participating in three cartels, breaching EU and Spanish antitrust rules by fixing prices and other commercial conditions, sharing customers and exchanging commercially sensitive information for almost 20 (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines an association of financial companies and 16 financial companies for exchanging sensitive information (Association of Romanian Financial Companies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 January 2021, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) imposed fines totalling € 8.47 million on the Association of Romanian Financial Companies and sixteen of its members for exchanging commercially sensitive information such as information concerning assets values, current and future (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines several fitness chains for collusion (Benefit Systems / Bartosz Gibała / Platinium Wellness)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Collusion on the fitness market - decision by the President of UOKiK* Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK, has imposed over PLN 32 million in financial penalties on the largest fitness chains, including Benefit Systems (operator of MultiSport cards) for a competition-restricting collusion (...)

The EU Commission publishes an assessment and 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
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna)
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 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 Hungarian Competition Authority imposes a fine totaling € 2.8 million on the Association of human resources consulting agencies for restricting competition among its members (SZTMSZ)
ADVANT Beiten (Brussels)
By decision of 18 December 2020, published on 1 February 2021, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) imposed a fine of HUF 1 billion (approximately € 2.8 million) on the Association of Hungarian HR Consulting Agencies (“SZTMSZ”) for a series of anti-competitive practices. The members of (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines suppliers of groundworks products to the construction industry for coordinating their commercial activities (Vp / M.G.F.)
Ashurst (London)
On 17 December 2020, the CMA issued a decision finding that three UK-based suppliers of groundworks products to the UK construction industry had illegally colluded in order to reduce competition and maintain or increase prices, in breach of Chapter 1 of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines auto expertise services providers for price fixing and supply cartel (Auto / Çözüm / Dyno Max...)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
On 17 December 2020, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) announced, on its website, the reasoned decision as a result of its investigation against certain auto expertise services providers in a province of Turkey (i.e. Gaziantep), unveiling a price fixing and supply cartel among the (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority takes legal action against a company in the cheese and dairy industry for exchanging strategic information with a competitor in connection to public procurement (Arla Foods)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority takes legal action against Arla Foods for unlawful cooperation*. According to the Swedish Competition Authority, Arla Foods has participated in an unlawful cooperation by exchanging strategic information with a competitor in the connection to a public (...)

The US DoJ remains committed to prosecuting collusion in labour markets to reduce employee wages (Neeraj Jindal)
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
On December 10th, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced its first criminal indictment targeting an alleged conspiracy to reduce employee wages. The DOJ charged the former owner of a therapist staffing company with conspiring to reduce pay rates for healthcare worker (...)

The US DoJ brings criminal charges for wage-fixing on therapist staffing companies (Neeraj Jindal)
Jones Day (Washington)
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Jones Day (San Francisco)
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Jones Day (Houston)
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division ("DOJ") has indicted a Texas businessman for conspiring with competitors to fix employee wages in violation of the Sherman Act. This action challenges particularly blatant conduct, but is consistent with recent attention to antitrust in employment (...)

The US DoJ indicts the owner of a therapist staffing company on wage-fixing charges (Neeraj Jindal)
Latham & Watkins (San Francisco)
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Morgan Lewis (Silicon Valley)
A federal grand jury in Texas indicted the owner of a therapist staffing company on wage-fixing charges on December 9. Although this is the US Department of Justice’s first criminal wage-fixing prosecution, the indictment underscores that enforcement agencies remain focused on policing these (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes fines totaling CSK 75 million for IT cartel agreement (Autocont / Tesco / Asseco Central Europe)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
Office imposed fines for IT cartel agreement in total amount of CSK 75 million* By its first-instance decision of 7 December 2020, the Office for the Protection of Competition imposed fines in the total amount of CZK 74,622,000 on AUTOCONT a.s., TESCO SW a.s., ICZ a.s., MERIT GROUP a.s., (...)

The Singaporean Competition Authority reduces fines by 20% to 70% imposed on distributors of fresh chicken engaged in a cartel (Gold Chic Poultry / Hua Kun / Toh Thye San Farm / Lee Say...)
Ashurst (Singapore)
On 4 December 2020, Singapore’s Competition Appeal Board (CAB) reduced penalties imposed on eight out of thirteen distributors of fresh chicken found to have engaged in cartel conduct in September 2018. The reduction in fines ranged from 20% to 70%. What you need to know - key takeaways While (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues warnings about the consequences of a possible price increase resulting from agreements between competitors in the food production sector
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE warns several associations of tortilla producers about the consequences of a possible price increase if this is the result of an agreement between competitors* The price established by each tortilla producer must be an individual determination COFECE’s Investigative Authority could (...)

The French Competition Authority amends its decision-making practice in the field of public procurement to comply with the recent case law of the EU Court of Justice, making the administrative courts the only regulators thereof (Ovimpex group / Dhumeaux / Mondial Viande Service / Vianov)
Grall & Associés (Paris)
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French Ministry of Economy and Finance (Paris)
Introduction On 25 November 2020, the French Competition Authority (hereafter, the “FCA”) amended its decision-making practice in the field of public procurement (FCA, Decision 20-D-19 of 25 November 2020), to comply with the recent judgement “Ecoservice Projektai” of the European Court of Justice (...)

The French Competition Authority announces an amendment on its decision-making practice concerning responses to calls for tenders by subsidiaries of the same group and stops considering it unlawful (Ovimpex / Dhumeaux / Mondial Viande Service / Vianov)
Latham & Watkins (Paris)
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European Commission (Brussels)
French Competition Authority amends its decision-making practice in relation to responses to calls for tenders by subsidiaries of the same group* On 25 November 2020, the French Competition Authority (FCA) announced that it was amending its decision-making practice regarding responses to calls (...)

The French Competition Authority amends its decision-making practice following a judgment of the EU Court of Justice on responses to calls for tenders by subsidiaries of the same group (Ovimpex group / Dhumeaux / Mondial Viande Service / Vianov)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Responses to calls for tenders by subsidiaries of the same group: the Autorité amends its decision-making practice following a judgement of the CJEU* Following a judgement of the CJEU clarifying European case-law, the Autorité de la concurrence amends its decision-making practice, which until (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority reduces fine for price fixing due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic (Theatrical Film Distribution / NCG Distribution / Forum Cinemas) Free
Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law (Ottawa)
It was a classic case of a price fixing cartel brought to the competition authority’s attention by a potential victim. The Lithuanian competition authority, Konkurencijos taryba, or Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (‘Competition Council’), announced on 25 November 2020 that its (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority reduces fines imposed on a cartel of cinema companies as a measure against the COVID-19 pandemic (Theatrical Film Distribution / NCG Distribution / Forum Cinemas) Free
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
As a Result of COVID-19 Pandemic, Lithuanian Competition Council Reduces Fines Imposed on Cinema Companies That Formed Cartel* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has found that the film distributor Theatrical Film Distribution and the firms NCG Distribution and Forum (...)

The Polish Competition Authority conducts dawn raids and initiates explanatory proceedings against four pharmaceutical wholesalers over allegations of exchange of information and price fixing (Neuca Spółka Akcyjna / Przedsiębiorstwo Dystrybucji Farmaceutycznej Slawex / Farmacol Serwis / Farmacol Logistyka)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Do pharmaceutical wholesalers increase drug prices by exchanging information?* Could unfair market practices, resulting in higher drug prices and restriction of competition, be facilitated by the IT systems used by pharmaceutical wholesalers? President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority fines three undertakings for a cartel agreement in the area of supplies of machines and mechanical and technological equipment
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
AMO SR decided to impose fines on three undertakings for a cartel agreement in the area of supplies of machines and mechanical and technological equipment* On 18 November 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Cartels, (hereafter "the Office") issued a decision, (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rejects the information exchange scheme proposed by an online platform for failing to fulfill the individual exemption requirements (IMDER)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
On January 24, 2020, Türkiye İş Makinaları Distribütörleri ve İmalatçıları Birliği (“IMDER”), an association of undertakings active in distribution and production of construction equipment, applied to the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) for a negative clearance or an individual exemption with (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation into insurance association’s "fraud detection project" in non-life and life insurance for possible competitive concerns (ANIA)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: Investigation launched against ANIA regarding the ’fraud detection project’ in non-life and life insurance* The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato initiated an investigation against the Associazione Nazionale fra le Imprese Assicuratrici (ANIA), which originates from a (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the sea freight market
Norwegian Competition Authority (Bergen)
Inspections in the market for sea freight* The Norwegian Competition Authority has carried out unannounced inspections in the market for sea freight. – The Competition Authority has concerns that companies in the market for sea freight may have exchanged competitively sensitive information (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority allows insurers to introduce a joint scheme for handling vehicle-damage claims
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM: insurers are allowed to introduce joint scheme for handling vehicle-damage claims* Insurers in the Netherlands are allowed to introduce a scheme that will enable them to handle cases involving damage to vehicles in a faster and more simplified manner. Currently, consumers that have (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two suppliers of rolled lead £9.5M for entering into anticompetitive arrangements (Associated Lead Mills / BLM British Lead)
Government Legal Department (London)
On 4 November 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) imposed fines totalling £9.5 million on two of the UK’s largest rolled lead suppliers for their role in a roofing lead cartel. The CMA fined Associated Lead Mills Ltd and H.J. Enthoven Ltd (trading as BLM British Lead) £1.5 (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues fines of over £9 million for roofing lead cartel (Associated Lead Mills / BLM British Lead)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA issues fines of over £9m for roofing lead cartel* The CMA has imposed fines totalling more than £9m on 2 of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead, for breaking competition law. Following an investigation into suspected cartel conduct, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority welcomes the Competition Tribunal’s judgment against an IT cartel for price-fixing in the first case where the liability and relief portions of the proceedings have been resolved by settlement (Quantr / Cheung Man Kit / Nintex)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Competition Commission welcomes judgment in IT cartel conduct case* The Competition Commission (Commission) welcomes the judgment handed down by the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) today (3 November) in proceedings involving the exchange of competitively sensitive information in the IT sector. (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority files an application to fine four construction companies for price-fixing, market division, and other anti-competitive conduct
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA files application to fine four construction companies for price fixing, market division and other anti-competitive conduct* The alleged infringements include price fixing, market divison and the exchange of competitively sensitive information. On 29 October 2020 the Austrian Federal (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls the Competition Authority’s decision sanctioning a cartel of car manufacturers because of a breach of the parties’ right to a reasonable duration of the proceedings and for failing to characterize the ’by object’ restriction (Banca / Banque PSA / Santander Consumer Bank / BMW Bank)
Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 21 October 2020 the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance ("TAR Lazio") annulled the decision issued by the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") on 20 December 2018 sanctioning a number of car manufacturers and their "captive banks" in relation to an alleged cartel concerning car (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company over alleged market sharing cartel (NQCranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Action over alleged market sharing cartel in the overhead crane industry* The ACCC has today commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company NQCranes Pty Ltd, alleging it engaged in cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act. The ACCC (...)

The Polish Competition Authority obliges an association of marketing agencies to stop affecting its members’ independence in tenders and stop organizing unauthorized exchanges of information (Marketing Communication Association SAR)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Marketing Communication Association SAR to change its practices* The Marketing Communication Association SAR affected the independence of its members in tenders and organized unauthorized exchange of information. President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has obliged the Association to change its (...)