Exclusive distribution

Anticompetitive practices

The US FTC along with 10 State partners sues two pesticide producers for employing an illegal pay-to-block scheme inflating prices for farmers (Syngenta / Corteva)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC and State Partners Sue Pesticide Giants Syngenta and Corteva for Using Illegal Pay-to-Block Scheme to Inflate Prices for Farmers* Complaint alleges that manufacturers pay distributors to exclude competitors’ more affordable generic options for essential farming products The Federal Trade (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts a decision concerning market sharing between members of an association of undertakings in the market for home textiles (Boligtextilbranchens Indkøbsservice)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has adopted a decision concerning market sharing between members of an association of undertakings* On June 22 2022 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted a decision concerning Boligtextilbranchens Indkøbsservice A.M.B.A. (Botex). In the decision, it is (...)

The Australian Competition Authority brings an action against a payment services giant alleging that it conducted exclusive dealing agreements (Mastercard)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
What you need to know The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings against Mastercard, alleging it misused its market power and engaged in exclusive dealing, in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA). Mastercard allegedly engaged in (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority takes action for the protection of car-sharing services in Canada (Turo)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau takes action to protect competition for car sharing services in Canada* Car sharing platform Turo terminates problematic exclusivity policy in Canada in response to Bureau investigation The Competition Bureau announced today that following an investigation, Turo Inc. has (...)

The Australian Federal High Court fines an ice cream production company $12M for exclusive dealing (Peters)
Ashurst (Sydney)
The Federal Court has ordered Australasian Food Group, trading as Peters (’Peters’), to pay a $12 million penalty after the ACCC alleged, and Peters admitted, that its exclusive distribution agreement with PFD Food Services (’PFD’) had the likely effect of substantially lessening competition. Key (...)

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

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

The EU Commission and UK Competition Authority propose modifications to their antitrust rules on distribution agreements which diverge significantly, creating legal challenges for agreements caught by both sets of rules
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)
1. Summary The European Union and the United Kingdom have each proposed modifications of their antitrust rules on distribution. The proposals diverge significantly on common distribution practices, creating legal challenges for distribution agreements caught by both sets of rules. Dual (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into potential anti-competitive conduct by a company engaged in the manufacturing and sale of commercial vehicles (Tata Motors)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Vahura (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS Even if there is a delay in the filing of information on behalf of the informants, the Act does not envisage any period of limitation as inquiries conducted by CCI are proceedings in rem. There can be no limitation period in competition law as in a changing and evolving market (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation and Shanghai SAMR issue two administrative decisions punishing two Internet platform companies for engaging in “either-or choice” practices on their in-platform merchants (Alibaba / Shanghai Food Paishi Trade Development)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC (New York)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
A few days ago, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) and Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation (“Shanghai AMR”) successively issued two administrative decisions punishing two Internet platform companies for engaging in “either-or choice” practices (a type of exclusive (...)

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

The Australian Competition Authority allows Japanese vehicle manufacturer’s exclusive dealing notification relating to its 10-year conditional warranty to stand (Mitsubishi)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mitsubishi’s 10-year conditional warranty allowed to stand* The ACCC does not object to an exclusive dealing notification lodged by Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (Mitsubishi) relating to its new 10-year or 200,000 km extended warranty. The warranty is conditional on the vehicle being (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne supplier and distributors for maintaining exclusive import agreements (Nicolas Feuillatte / Financière Martin / Distillerie Dillon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
In a decision published on 29 October 2020, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) fined champagne supplier Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and two importer-distributors € 642,800 for having concluded exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles (i.e., Saint-Martin, Saint- Barthélemy and (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a champagne company and two importer-distributors for maintaining exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles (Nicolas Feuillatte / Financière Martin / Distillerie Dillon)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and two importer-distributors fined for having maintained exclusive import agreements in the French Antilles* Background Following a report sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working document summarizing the findings of the evaluation phase of the review for the vertical block exemption regulation and its guidelines
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
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ADNOC Group (Abu Dhabi)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") published a working document (the "Evaluation Report") summarising the findings of the evaluation phase of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation ("VBER") and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints ("Vertical (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York terminates long-standing Paramount consent decrees, thereby allowing after 7 decades the classic movie studios to form closer agreements with movie distributors (Paramount Pictures)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Federal Court Terminates Paramount Consent Decrees* A federal court in the Southern District of New York today terminated the Paramount Consent Decrees, which for over seventy years have regulated how certain movie studios distribute films to movie theatres. The review and termination of these (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases for public consultation the new guide on vertical agreements
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debates the Guide on Vertical Agreements* The Competition Council elaborated the "Guide on vertical agreements" in order to support companies that have to assess, on a case-by-case basis, the compatibility of the vertical agreements they wish to (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rejects an appeal against a follow-on damages claim by a rival telecommunications provider and grants a reduction in the amount of damages to be paid (Orange / Digicel)
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 17 June 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Orange’s (formerly known as France Telecom) appeal against a follow-on damages claim by rival telecommunications provider Digicel (formerly known as Bouygues Telecom) but granted a reduction in the amount of damages to be paid of nearly € 100 (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the vertical block exemption regulation and the accompanying guidelines on vertical restraints
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 25 May 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) has published its Final Report of the support studies for the evaluation of its Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (the “Final Report”). The Final Report was published following a (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarifies whether a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a conspiracy between the distributor and manufacturer in the passing on of a case between two healthcare providers (Marion Healthcare / Becton Dickinson & Company)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (New York)
Introduction In its recent decision in Marion Healthcare, LLC v. Becton Dickinson & Co., the Seventh Circuit added to the discussion among circuit courts as to whether and when a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules on the co-conspirator exception to the Illinois Brick rule against distributors in the healthcare market (Marion Healthcare / Becton Dickinson & Company)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Seventh Circuit Explains the “Co-Conspiracy Exception” to the Illinois Brick Rule in Healthcare Antitrust Lawsuit* Antitrust law evolves in such a way that opinions from federal appellate courts are always interesting in how they affect the doctrine. But there are a select few judges who (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues an opinion letter regarding its preliminary investigation of a manufacturer of ceramic and granite products for restricting the active and passive sales of its dealers and for forcing consumers to purchase products within their provinces (Qua Granit)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) published its reasoned decision regarding its preliminary investigation pertaining to the allegations that Hayal Seramik Yapı ve Ürünleri San. Tur. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Qua Granit”) violated Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority withdraws the individual exemption granted to an agreement containing exclusivity clauses in the on-trade beer market sector (Tuborg)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Tuborg decision (20.06.2019; 19-22/335-152) in which the Board withdrew Tuborg Pazarlama A.Ş.’s (“Tuborg”) individual exemption granted to its agreements containing exclusivity clauses with sellers such as (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines pharmaceutical associations and companies for imposing anticompetitive conditions on their retailers (Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Distributors Federation / Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Druggist Association)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty on chemists and druggist associations in Madhya Pradesh and two pharmaceutical companies* By way of order dated 03.06.2019, CCI imposed penalty on Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Druggist Association (“MPCDA”) and Indore Chemists Association (“ICA”) (collectively ‘chemists and (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority persists in its assessment of exclusivity practices in a company’s dealership agreements on the sales of chicken, meat, and eggs (Abalıoğlu)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
In a preliminary investigation in 2011 on the allegations that Abalıoğlu Yem Soya ve Tekstil A.Ş. (“ Abalıoğlu ”) had exclusivity clauses in its dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs under “Lezita” brand, the Board had decided that Abalıoğlu had not violated the Law No. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds no violation in a cinema chain exclusively selling one beverage producer’s products (Inox / Coca-Cola)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI holds no violation in exclusive selling beverages of Coca-Cola by INOX Theatres at higher rates than the retail price* The Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) by way of order dated 28.02.2019 exonerated INOX Leisure Ltd (“INOX”) and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Ltd (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority decides to invalidate clauses between a Big Tech company and its distributors for exclusive agreements considered as restrictive (Apple)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
Unofficial convenience translation: In case of any discrepancy in this translation the Arabic wording only would prevail.* The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Competition Authority (“ECA”) has decided that Apple and its distributors have infringed the Egyptian Competition Law (“ECL”). The ECA (...)

The Ankara Seventh Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Authority’s dismissal decision regarding the restriction of parallel imports allegations faced by a company in the market of energy systems (Arti Marin / Mastervolt / Eltesan)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Ankara 7th Administrative Court (“Court”) annulled the dismissal decision of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) concerning the allegations that Mastervolt International Holding B.V. (“Mastervolt”) and its exclusive distributor in Turkey, Artı Marin Elektrik Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Artı Marin”), (...)

The Australian Federal Court fines three distributors of polycarbonate roof sheeting for exclusive dealing conduct (Palram / Ampelite / EGR)
King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne)
Sweat deal for the ACCC* In the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Oakmoore Pty Ltd cases,[1] the Federal Court declared, by consent, that Ampelite Australia Pty Ltd (Ampelite), Palram Australia Pty Ltd (Palram) and Oakmoore Pty Ltd (trading as EGR) had engaged in exclusive (...)

The EU Court of Justice deals a blow to the EU Commission’s power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions by ruling that they do not preclude national courts from examining whether agreements comply with antitrust rules (Gasorba / Repsol)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On November 23, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice) dealt a blow to the European Commission’s (Commission) power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions, with its ruling in Case C-547/16 Gasorba et al. v. Repsol. The Court of Justice ruled that (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority revokes an individual exemption granted to a major player in the beer market over exclusive distribution agreements (Tuborg)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) decision dated 09.11.2017 and numbered 17-36/583-256 (“Decision on Revocation of the CPS Exemption”) reveals the changing structure of the Turkish beer market. With this decision, the Board revoked its individual exemption granted for the exclusive (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its reasoned decision regarding the preliminary investigation on the allegations that a white goods manufacturer restricted the online sales of its dealers (BSH)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) BSH decision (22.08.2017; 17-27/454-195). The Board reviewed the allegations put forward by Ersan Pazarlama Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Ersan Pazarlama”) against BSH Ev Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“BSH”). The Board assessed (...)

The Chinese NDRC proposes new rules to deal with perceived anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
China proposes new rules to address perceived anti-competitive practices n the pharmaceutical industry* On 14 August 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“) released a draft of the Guidelines on Pricing Conduct by Business Operators for Drugs in Shortage and Active (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against two film producers and two digital cinema service providers (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Pen India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against the producers and presenters of ‘Kahaani-2’ with respect to alleged anticompetitive agreement* CCI vide its order dated June 21, 2017dismissed allegations of contravention of Section 3 and 4 of the Act against Pen India Ltd., Bound Script Motion Pictures Pvt. Ltd., UFO (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines global automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance and other anticompetitive conduct in markets for car manufacturing, spare car parts, and car repair services (Fx Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes Hyundai for resale price maintenance and tie-in* The CCI vide its order dated June 14, 2017 imposed a penalty of INR 87 Crore (Rupees Eighty Seven Crores) on Hyundai Motor India Limited (‘HMIL’) for contravention of Section 3(4) read with Section 3(1) of the Act. The Information (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts a settlement decision concerning a case involving companies active in the distribution of consumer goods overseas (Henkel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Exclusive distribution of consumer goods in overseas territories – Settlement* Within the framework of a settlement between all the parties, the Autorité de la concurrence fines Henkel and its wholesaler-importers in several overseas departments €600,000. In brief The Autorité de la concurrence (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal sends case of anticompetitive conduct against film distributors back to Indian Competition Authority for reconsideration (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Digital Cinema Initiatives)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) directs re-consideration by CCI against movie producers/ distributors for alleged cartelisation in setting unfair standards in cinema exhibition* COMPAT, by its order dated December 8, 2015 reversed the order of CCI dated April 22, 2015 which closed a (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from several mainland alcohol manufacturers aiming to stop the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories (Pernod-Ricard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained from several mainland manufacturers their commitment to put an end to the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories and to implement a competitive (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts commitments from petrol product suppliers regarding long term exclusive cooperation agreements with petrol stations (BP Hellas / Shell Hellas)
Ernst & Young (Athens)
By its decision No. 602/11.08.2015, the Hellenic Competition Commission (the “HCC”) unanimously accepted the commitments offered by nine (9) petrol product suppliers, to cease presumed violations of Art. 1 L. 703/77 and Art. 101 TFEU. This decision (the “HCC decision”), which was the first HCC case (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines €9 million for anticompetitive clauses in distribution contracts in the gas bottle market (Galp Energia)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados (Lisboa)
On 3 February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced that it had imposed fines of 9.29 million EUR on the Galp Energia group for anticompetitive practices in the gas bottle market in Portugal. According to the PCA, Galp and its subsidiaries included in the large majority of (...)

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

The Indian Competition Authority fines 14 car manufacturers for unilateral practices and anticompetitive agreements in the markets for spare car parts and car maintenance (Shri Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel Cars India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes 14 major Car Companies a penalty of INR 2544.64 Crores* The CCI by way of order dated August 25, 2014 in Shri Shamsher Kataria Vs Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. & Ors. has imposed a total penalty of INR 2,544.65 crore at 2% of total turnover in India on the 14 major car (...)

The Indian Competition Commission pertains for the first time to the concept of ‘aftermarkets’ and discusses the interface between IPRs and competition law (Honda / Volkswagen / Fiat)
Indian Competition Commission (New Delhi)
CCI Order on Car Manufacturers for Anti-Competitive Conduct* Facts: Information was filed under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”) initially against 3 car manufacturers alleging anti-competitive practices on part of the opposite parties (“OPs”). OP1 to OP3 were involved in the (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines 14 automobile manufacturers for implementing anticompetitive and unilateral practices on the automobile spare parts and repair market (Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel)
Jindal Global University (Sonipat)
In the month of August, China fined 12 Japanese auto parts makers a total of over US$200 million for price fixing, the maximum amount imposed for violating the anti-monopoly law thus far. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) stated that the companies were found to have (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider (New York)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

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