Financial services

Anticompetitive practices

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

The EU Commission invites interested parties to comment on the commitments offered separately by two credit bank companies to address competition concerns relating to inter-regional interchange fees for payment card transactions (Mastercard II / Visa)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Visa and Mastercard on inter-regional interchange fees* The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered separately by Visa and Mastercard to address competition concerns relating to (...)

The EU General Court hands down a judgment confirming a growing trend towards a broad application of parental liability (Goldman Sachs)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
Infringement On 12 July 2018, the General Court (the GC) upheld an infringement decision of the European Commission (the Commission) made on 02 April 2014, in which the Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) was found jointly and severally liable with its indirect subsidiary Prysmian for violating (...)

The EU General Court finds financial investors liable for anticompetitive conduct of portfolio companies (Goldman Sachs)
Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Paris)
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Dechert (Paris)
The General Court of the European Union recently held, in Goldman Sachs v. Commission, that purely financial investors such as investment funds may be held jointly and severally liable for competition law violations implemented by their portfolio companies when they can exercise “decisive (...)

The US Supreme Court dismisses an appeal brought by the US Government and a number of US States regarding a two-sided platform (American Express)
King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne)
US REGULATORS’ SWIPE AT AMEX DECLINED BY SUPREME COURT* On 25 June 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed an appeal brought by the US Government and a number of US States against credit-card provider American Express (Amex) for alleged anti-competitive conduct in violation of (...)

The US Supreme Court rejects Government antitrust challenge against anti steering provisions of a credit-card network company (AMEX)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
Supreme Court Rejects Government Antitrust Challenge to American Express Antisteering Provisions* In a long-awaited decision, a closely divided Supreme Court ruled in favor of American Express (“Amex”), ending a highly publicized government challenge that has spanned nearly a decade. Writing for (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that the governement failed to show the "anti-steering" provisions in both side of a two sided-market imposed by a dominant participant in the credit card market (Ohio / AMEX)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Supreme Court Holds That Government Failed to Show AmEx Anti-Steering Rules Harmed Both Sides of Two-Sided Market* In a five-to-four decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and several states failed to prove that so-called (...)

The Italian Supreme Court states the nullity of “downstream” agreements that are application of anticompetitive “upstream” agreements (ABI)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
By its decision No. 29810 of 12/12/2017, the Italian Supreme Court overruled the judgement of the Court of Appeal of Venice that had rejected the claim for nullity of a personal guarantee in violation of the antitrust regulation. The dispute submitted to the Court of Appeal of Venice - as a (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission receives an application for an exemption decision in relation to the Code of Banking Practice
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Notice issued under section 10 of the Competition Ordinance of an application for a decision in relation to the Code of Banking Practice* On 11 December 2017, the Competition Commission (“Commission”) received an application for a decision (“Application”) under section 9 of the Competition (...)

The EU General Court finds flaws in a Commission’s decision and quashes the €14.9m fine, but sustains underlying liability for “facilitation” of a cartel (Icap)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The General Court’s November 2017 judgment is not such welcome news to ICAP as it might first appear. ICAP’s appeal against a 2015 infringement decision was successful insofar as the fines imposed on it will now be trimmed, but in the main the General Court supported the European Commission’s (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls a Commission decision (Yen interest rate derivatives cartel case)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 November 2017, the General Court (“GC”) partially upheld the appeal lodged by Icap plc, Icap Management Services Ltd and Icap New Zealand Ltd (“Icap”) against a Commission decision ning Icap € 14.9 million for facilitating cartels in the market for interest rate derivatives in Japanese yen (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes currency exchange bureaux for fixing the exchange rates (Activ Prim / Bartolomeu / Dragotin Prim / Lavronix / Lozcoz…)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 28 September 2017 the Competition Council (CC) established the existence of the price fixing cartel on the market for in-cash currency exchange transactions on the basis of the high degree of coincidence of exchange rates applied by the undertakings concerned. Foreign exchange transactions (...)

The UK CMA announces the launch of a market investigation into investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services
Morgan Lewis (London)
On 14 September 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that, following a reference from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it was launching a market investigation into investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services to and by institutional investors (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of collusion between the central bank and 19 other banks and concludes that the banks’ similar safety locker policies are common practice and not collusion result (Reserve Bank of India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses allegations of cartelization against the Reserve Bank of India and 19 other banks* The CCI vide order dated August 23,2017 dismissed allegations of cartelization against RBI and 19 other banks. (“Opposite Party banks”) It was alleged that the Opposite Party banks do not undertake (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds an anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector but does not impose any fine (ABI / SEDA)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently closed an Article 101 TFEU investigation it had opened in the case ABI/SEDA by an infringement decision. The ICA found the parties to have put in place an anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector. Though the agreement was qualified as (...)

The EU Commission publishes a tender offer seeking an assessment of the EU market for loan syndication and possible implications under EU competition rules
Jones Day (Paris)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (London)
In April 2017, the European Commission ("Commission") published a tender offer seeking an assessment of the EU market for loan syndication and possible implications under EU competition rules. The successful candidate will draft a report providing an overview of the market and the relevant (...)

The EU Commission announces a tender procedure to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In the context of continued regulatory scrutiny of the financial services and insurance sectors by competition authorities, the European Commission announced on 24 April 2017 that it has issued a tender to analyse the competition implications of loan syndication in six EU Member States. This (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition imposes €31m fine on nine commercial banks for anticompetitive practices (JCC)
Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
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On 27/01/2016 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”) ended its investigation against eight commercial banks (Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd (“BOC”), Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Ltd (“Marfin”), Hellenic Bank Ltd (“Hellenic Bank”), Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd (“Alpha Bank”), (...)

The UK High Court concludes that multilateral interchange fees were not restrictive of competition and can be exempted under article 101(3) (MasterCard)
DLA Piper (London)
On 30 January 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) High Court handed down a judgment in favour of MasterCard in a damages claim brought by UK retailers (including Next, Acadia Group and Asda). The claimants alleged that MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) were illegally restrictive of (...)

The Curia of Hungary confirms the fines imposed in a banking cartel case (Budapest Bank)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Curia of Hungary confirmed the cartel of Banks* On 13 December 2016 the Curia of Hungary confirmed, as a result of the judicial review of case Nr. Vj/74/2011/873 concerning the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), that Hungarian banks had (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) upholds the Indian Competition Authority’s decision against 4 public insurance companies but reduces fines to avoid overburdening the taxpayers (National Insurance / New India Insurance / Oriental Insurance / United India Insurance)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
COMPAT upholds CCI order against four Insurance Companies, but reduces penalty* COMPAT vide order dated December 09, 2016 has upheld CCI order dated July 10, 2015 passed under section 27 of the Act against Public Sector Insurance Companies for bid-rigging while reducing the penalty from Rs. (...)

The EU Commission fines three banks for cartel on the euro interest rate derivatives market (Crédit Agricole / HSBC / JPMorgan Chase)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase € 485 million for euro interest rate derivatives cartel* The European Commission has fined Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, a total of € 485 million for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives. The (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority investigates members of the Norwegian banking sector for suspected breaches of competition rules (DNB / Nordea / Finance Norway / BankID)
European Commission
ESA investigates DNB, Nordea, Finance Norway and BankID* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has opened proceedings against DNB, Nordea, Finance Norway and BankID for suspected breaches of the competition rules in the EEA Agreement. Bits, a related organisation to Finance Norway, will also (...)

The UK CAT awards competition damages in UK’s first judgment on a standalone action (Sainsbury’s / MasterCard)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
The Competition Appeal Tribunal awards competition damages in UK’s first judgment on a stand-alone action* On 14 July 2016, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ordered MasterCard to pay Sainsbury’s £68.6m plus interest for infringing competition law in the setting of UK multilateral (...)

The US Department of Justice settles HSR Act violation case with record fine (ValueAct)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
Hedge Fund Settles HSR Act Violation, Setting Record $11 Million Fine* On July 12, 2016, two ValueAct funds and their common general partner (collectively, “ValueAct”) agreed to pay an $11 million penalty and adopt extensive compliance procedures to settle alleged violations of the (...)

The German Competition Authority declares certain online banking rules violate European and German competition law (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft - German Banking Industry Committee)
European Commission
Restriction of online payment services by German banking industry in violation of competition law* The Bundeskartellamt has declared certain rules in the online banking conditions of the German Banking Industry Committee (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft) as illegal. The authority holds the view that (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clarifies that mere collusion or coordination is not enough to hold the Parties in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act (Ruchi Soya Industries / Betul Oils / Ganganagar Commodity)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI: Mere collusion or coordination is not enough to hold the Parties in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act* The CCI, by way of its order dated June 28, 2016 held that M/s Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., M/s Betul Oils Ltd and M/s Ganganagar Commodity Ltd. were not in (...)

The US District Court Southern District of New York confirms that cooperative processes such as setting benchmark interest rates may be subject to antitrust laws (ISDAfix)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Competitors engaged in cooperative processes find they face competing approaches by Southern District of New York Judges weighing antitrust liability*The scope of antitrust liability for competitors engaged in cooperative processes—such as setting benchmark interest rates—became murkier this week (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore extends the scope of the “by object” category of anti-competitive agreements again and fines firms for pressurising competitor to withdraw rebates offered to customers (Avallis)
National University of Singapore
On 17 March 2016, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) issued an Infringement Decision against 10 undertakings for violating the section 34 prohibition against anti-competitive agreements (the Singapore analogue of Article 101EC). The undertakings (a group of Financial Advisers that (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two trade associations and several local cooperative banks for fixing mortgage interest rates (Mortgage interest rates agreement)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently closed an antitrust investigation in the ‘Mortgage interest rates agreement’ case by finding guilty two cooperative trade associations and 14 small cooperative banks for carrying out two price-fixing agreements in the province of Bolzano (the (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfert market (Western Union)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
In February 2016, it was reported that the European Commission is undertaking a preliminary antitrust investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market, continuing the trend of the Commission focussing on the financial sector in recent years. Focus of the (...)

The EU Commission opens a preliminary investigation in relation to possible collusion in the money transfer market (Western Union)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU telegraphs it is probing whether Western Union colluded to drive rivals out of money-transfer market*The European Commission has reportedly launched a preliminary antitrust investigation into possible collusion by Western Union in the money remittance market.According to sources, the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority launches unannounced inspections in the credit sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority confirms unannounced inspections in the specialised credit sector* The Portuguese Competition Authority (the PCA) confirms that it carried out unannounced inspections on 28 and 29 January 2016, at 13 premises of various specialised credit institutions (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority fines several banking for abuse of dominance and cartel (JCC )
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nycosia)
PRESS RELEASE: The Commission for the Protection of Competition with its decision no. 6/2016 dated 27/01/2016 imposed on JCC Payment Systems Limited, Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd, Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Ltd, Hellenic Bank Public, USB Bank Plc, Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd, Emporiki Bank of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation for a possible anticompetitive agreement in relation to the SEDA multilateral inter-bank agreement (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
University of London - School of Economics Birkbeck College
On the 21th of January 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority” or “Italian Authority”) opened an investigation against the Italian banks’ association, Associazione Bancaria Italiana (“ABI”) for a possible anticompetitive agreement under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority closes cartel case against general insurance public sector enterprises and their association (Association of Third Party Administrators / General Insurers’ Public Sector Association of India)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Competition Commission of India (CCI) closes case against General Insurance Public Sector Undertakings and their association for alleged cartelization* The CCI, by its order dated January 4, 2016, has closed a case alleging anti-competitive agreements between the four PSU general insurance (...)

The UK Financial Conduct Authority publishes its final guidance and policy statement in relation to its approach to enforcement of competition law
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
Introduction On 15 July, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final guidance and policy statement in relation to its approach to enforcement of competition law. The FCA has softened its stance in some respects, following criticism of its proposed approach in a public (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds that the multilateral interchange scheme fee payment scheme was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and was therefore illegal (MasterCard / Sainsbury)
RBB Economics (London)
Background In 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the United Kingdom held that the payment scheme operated by MasterCard was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and so infringed Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). In (...)

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

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts the commitments offered by two companies operating in the market of card payment services and closes the cartel proceeding (MasterCard / OTP)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The case of MasterCard and OTP is closed by the acceptance of commitments* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) accepted the commitments offered by MasterCard Europe Sprl (MasterCard) and OTP Bank Nyrt. (OTP), through the implementation of which the undertakings (...)

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

The US Department of Justice receives five parent-level guilty pleas for conspiring to manipulate foreign-currency markets from financial institutions (Citicorp / JPMorgan Chase / Barclays / RBS / UBS)
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Columbus)
World’s top banks plead guilty to gaming foreign-currency markets* Scandal roiled the banking industry Wednesday as four of the world’s largest banks — Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland — pleaded guilty to federal antitrust violations for conspiring to manipulate (...)

The US Department of Justice awards a company sentencing credit for implementing an effective compliance program after the launch of an investigation in the alleged forex cartel conspiracy (Barclays)
Paul Hastings (Washington)
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Paul Hastings (Washington)
As spring gives way to summer, the first “green shoots” signaling the willingness of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to credit compliance programs have emerged. For the first time ever, the Division has awarded a company sentencing credit for implementing an effective (...)

The UK Competition and Market Authority decides to close its investigations following approval of European interchange fees regulation (MasterCard / Visa)
Constantine Cannon (London)
UK Competition and Market Authority Shuts Down MasterCard and Visa Probes Following Approval of European Interchange Fees Regulation* The UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced on Wednesday that it is closing its investigations into MasterCard’s and Visa’s multilateral interchange (...)

The Financial Conduct Authority of United Kingdom is empowered to promote effective competition in the interest of consumers in the markets for regulated financial services
DLA Piper (London)
Summary From 1 April 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") is empowered under the Competition Act 1998 ("CA98") to promote effective competition in the interest of consumers in the markets for regulated financial services. This change allows the FCA to be a concurrent enforcer of (...)

The EU Commission fines a broker for facilitating Yen Libor cartels by serving as communication channel and disseminating misleading information about expected rates (ICAP)
Constantine Cannon (London)
European Commission Fines London-Based Broker ICAP 14.9 Million Euros For Facilitating Yen Libor Cartels* The European Commission (“EC”) has fined London-based ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, for facilitating bank cartels in the market for Yen-denominated interest rate (...)

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

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York allows alleged manipulation of foreign exchange rates claim to go forward, distinguising the case from the LIBOR ones (FX Benchmark rates)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Motion to Dismiss Denied in FX Rigging Case* A federal judge in New York on Wednesday allowed a consolidated class action by U.S.-based investors concerning the rigging of the foreign exchange (FX) market to move forward. In denying a motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority imposes fines on three investment firms, for the first time, for forming a cartel (Investment firms cartel)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM imposes fines on investment firms in cartel case* Investment firms that own businesses can be held accountable for violations of the Dutch Competition Act committed by those businesses, if the investment firms have decisive influence over them. This is one of the conclusions of a decision (...)

The Slovak Antimonopoly Office imposes fines on several banks for having coordinated their activities in the area of providing financial services
Slovak Competition Authority
AMO SR fined the undertaking in banking sector* On December 19, 2014 the Division of Cartels issued a decision imposing a fine in the total amount of EUR 185 939 on the undertaking acting in banking sector in the Slovak Republic. The findings of the Office show that during the years of 2010, (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms that two banking companies have concluded an anticompetitive agreement (Bank PSA Finance RUS / Rusfinance Bank)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Arbitration Court: obligations of “Rusfinance Bank” under the framework of cooperation with “Bank PSA Finance RUS” are anticompetitive* On 9 December 2014, Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim of “Bank PSA Finance RUS” Ltd. to invalidate FAS decision on an antimonopoly case against “Bank PSA (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority sanctioning an anticompetitive agreement on the the market of auto loans for physical persons (URALSIB / Volkswagen)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation Court supported FAS in a dispute with “URALSIB” bank and “Volkswagen RUS Bank”* On 18th November 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed the cassation appeal of “URALSIB” OJSC to abolish judicial acts that recognized legitimacy of the decision and determination (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority closes an investigation of recommendation on amortisation of new mortgages (Swedish Bankers’ Association)
European Commission
SCA Closes Investigation of Recommendation on Amortisation by Swedish Bankers’ Association* In mid-October 2014, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) initiated an ex-officio investigation into a recommendation issued by the Swedish Bankers´ Association earlier the same month on amortisation (...)

U.S., British and Swiss regulators fine five banks for their conduct on FX markets (FX Cartel)
Hausfeld (Brussels)
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Hausfeld (London)
The Foreign Exchange (“FX”) market is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of $5.3 trillion, 40% of which takes place in London. An important part of the FX market derives from the financial activities of investment vehicles seeking to protect themselves from (...)

The High Court of Justice of England and Wales provides guidance on application of limitation periods in damages actions (Arcadia)
St John’s Chambers (Bristol)
United Kingdom: High Court provides guidance on application of limitation periods in damages actions* The High Court has recently provided guidance on the application of limitation periods in competition damages actions. In Arcadia v Visa, it ruled that a substantial part of the claimant’s (...)

The European Commission imposes fines of nearly 94 millions euros of four major banks for collusive behaviours (RBS, JPMorgan, UBS, Credit Suisse)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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King’s College (London)
European Commission Settles Two Swiss Franc-Related Derivatives Investigations* The European Commission has settled two cartel investigations and sanctioned four major banks in the Swiss Franc-related derivatives market, imposing total fines of approximately 94 million euros, for violations of (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on one bank for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement on the markets of cash handling and cash-in-transit services (G4S)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
UAB G4S LIETUVA restricted competition within the markets of cash handling and cash-in-transit services* The Competition Council (KT) found that the actions of UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) breached Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European (...)

The EU Court of Justice invites to rethink the approach to pay for delay settlements in its recent case law (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
University of East Anglia
European Pharmaceutical Antitrust after Groupment des Cartes Bancaires – Time to Rethink the Approach to Pay For Delay Settlements?* Over the last year the European Commission has stepped up its enforcement efforts against pay for delay settlements. In June 2013 they imposed a fine for the (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the ruling of the General Court on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
On September 11, 2014 the Court of Justice handed down its judgment in the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) case dismissing MasterCard’s final appeal against the European Commission’s decision that ordered MasterCard to withdraw its MIFs. Interchange fees are balancing payments made by the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the final appeal in a case regarding inter-bank card fees (MasterCard)
Constantine Cannon (London)
On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) dismissed MasterCard’s final appeal against an antitrust infringement decision of 2007. This judgment finally put an end to a seven-year long legal battle over inter-bank card fees and may have a profound impact on banks, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on restrictions by object in a case regarding payment card rules (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
DLA Piper (Brussels)
Article 101 (1) TFEU prohibits agreements, vertical or horizontal, "which have as their object or effect the restriction or distortion of competition." Competition lawyers in the European Union are brought up on the idea that there are two types of competition law offences under Article 101 (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the object-effect dichotomy and deals with two-sided markets (Cartes Bancaires - MasterCard)
University of Groningen
It Takes Two to Tango: Two-Sided Markets and the Appeals in Cartes Bancaires and MasterCard* The Court has recently decided on the appeals in two seminal cases: MasterCard MIF (MasterCard) and Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB). Both cases result from Commission decisions that found Article (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides further clarity on when an agreement has the object of restricting competition (Groupement des cartes bancaires)
St John’s Chambers (Bristol)
Restrictions by object: duck and elephant hunting with the Court of Justice* Inductive reasoning is sometimes explained by using either the ‘duck test’ (“if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”) or the ‘elephant test’ (“it is difficult to (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes the General Court judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object (Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
Introduction On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice (ECJ) rendered its judgment in the Cartes Bancaires case . The ECJ quashed the General Court (GC) judgment for failing to correctly apply the notion of restriction by object. The Cartes Bancaires contains two key messages: first, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls a judgment of the General Court which in accordance with the European Commission held that certain pricing measures adopted restricted competition ‘by object’ (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Glimstedt & Partners
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“Court of Justice”) sets aside the judgment of the General Court of the European Union (General Court) by which it confirmed the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision finding an anticompetitive practice in the Groupement des cartes bancaires v (...)

The EU Court of Justice interprets restriction of competition by object (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
London School of Economics
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Garrigues (Brussels)
September 11 2014 was a big day for antitrust at the European Court of Justice. The Court delivered two important Judgments in the Mastercard and Cartes Bancaires cases, and heard oral arguments in Huawei/ZTE. We’ll comment on the latter in due course, and will be devoting our next posts to (...)

The US District Court for the Southern district of New York finds that plaintiffs adequately pled a conspiracy to restrain trade because the defendants “abruptly and simultaneously” switched their positions, especially because their new position harms their own interests (Credit Default Swaps)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation: Big Banks Still Must Face Section 1 Sherman Act Claim* In a decision upholding most of the class action antitrust claims against 12 of the world’s largest financial institutions, Judge Cote of the Southern District of New York held that the (...)

The US District Court for the Southern district of New York refuses to dismiss a class-action antitrust law suit on the basis that plaintiffs had alleged facts that showed a plausible conspiracy (Credit Default Swaps)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
Credit Default Swap Class Action Clears Motions To Dismiss And Proceeds To Discovery* On Thursday, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss a class-action antitrust lawsuit involving the $21 trillion credit default swap (“CDS”) market, (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority sanctioning a tenderer for bid-rigging (Rosgosstrakh)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court supported the antimonopoly authority in a dispute with Rosgosstrakh* The 10th Arbitration Appeal Court (Moscow) confirmed legitimacy of a determination issued by Saratov OFAS and a decision made by FAS Russia on a case against “Rosgosstrakh” Ltd. Earlier Saratov OFAS considered a (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms the fines inflicted by the Russian Competition Authority on two undertakings having implemented an anticompetitive agreement (URALSIB / Volkswagen Bank RUS)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court agreed that “URALSIB” and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” should pay the imposed fine for an anticompetitive agreement* On 29th July 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court on legitimacy of the decision and determination on the case against (...)

Financial services and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
King’s College (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
1. Financial crisis We are writing this foreword during a period of virtually unprecedented economic disarray. At the time of drafting, a deal has just been hammered out to protect Greece from default on its sovereign debt, but uncertainty still remains as to whether other Eurozone countries - (...)

Financial services and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Clifford Chance (London)
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Accenture (Dublin)
I. Introduction As we begin to emerge from the global financial crisis, it is worth reflecting on the legacy of governmental and regulatory intervention within the European Union. In particular, the scale of State support has been enormous. Between 1 October 2008 and 1 October 2013, the (...)

A Kazakh specialised economic court doesn’t find documental evidence of an anticompetitive concerted practice in the banking services market (Nurbank, Alliance Bank, Kazpost)
Center for Development and Protection of Competition Policy (Astana)
Facts Based on the Orders of the Antimonopoly Agency dated 26.08.2013 №68-ОД and 04.09.2013 №46-ОД, an investigation was conducted against JSC “Nurbank”, JSC “Alliance Bank” and JSC “Kazpost”, according to the results of which it awarded a decision dated 23.12.2013, as it is seen from the content of the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York further cements the Second Circuit courts’ position in favor of not requiring market power in order to establish a vertical restraint (American Express)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
Eastern District of New York Declines to Make Market Power a Requirement in Vertical Restraint Cases In United States v. American Express Co., et al., Eastern District of New York Judge Nicholas Garaufis held that, in the absence of further direction from the Supreme Court or the Second (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market (G4S / DNB / SEB / Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council reopens investigation into agreements within cash handling market* On April 22, the Competition Council (the KT) reopened the investigation into agreements within cash handling market. It was suspected that the mentioned agreements had failed to comply with the requirements (...)

The German Competition Authority receives commitments to abandon an agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system (Girocard)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Standard charges for retailers in electronic cash card payment system abandoned* The leading banking associations in Germany are to abandon their agreement on standard charges payable by retailers for use of the electronic cash card payment system. The associations have undertaken a commitment (...)

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania confirms the presence of fault being an absolute precondition for competition law liability (G4S, DNB, SEB and Swedbank)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
On 8 April 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (‘Supreme Administrative Court’ or the ‘Court’) delivered its judgment in case G4S, DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank v. Competition Council . The case concerned the decision by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court annuls the fines imposed on the banks by the Competition Council, though confirms the restrictive character of the cash handling agreements (G4S)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
G4S agreements with banks restricted competition* The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) confirmed that the agreements concluded between UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) and the banks, namely, AB SEB bank (SEB), Swedbank, AB (Swedbank) and AB DNB bank (DNB), restricted competition (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court returns a case to the Competition Authority for additional investigations (G4S)
SKVLAW (Vilnius)
On April 8th, 2014, The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court made a judgement in a case concerning cash-in transit and cash handling services . Because of some understated material in previous decisions the Court had returned the case to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission confirms its investigation into possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influencing of benchmarks in foreign exchange markets (FOREX)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission confirms forex investigation* The Commerce Commission has confirmed that it has an investigation into possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influencing of benchmarks in foreign exchange (forex) (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority issues a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to make and give effect to a code of practice for traders of financial derivatives (CFD Forum)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to authorise best practice standards in the provision of contracts for difference* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to enable current and future members of the Australian CFD Forum to make and (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court of British Columbia certifies a competition law class action subject to a requirement for the plaintiff to redraft her pleadings to conform to several key court holdings (Watson / Bank of America)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
BC Court Certifies Visa/MasterCard Conspiracy Class Action* In an interesting and important decision issued late last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court has certified a Competition Act class action against Visa Canada Corporation, MasterCard International Inc. and a number of major banks (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens investigation of a professional education association for creating an entry barrier in the market it regulates (ICAI)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
Investigation into ICAI over unfair and discriminatory education scheme* The Competition Commission has initiated an investigation into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for alleged abuse of dominance by imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions with respect to its (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a consortium of Italian banks and other operators for a decision aimed at fixing multilateral interchange fees in bill payments (Consorzio BANCOMAT)
NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
On 19 February 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the “Authority”) opened an investigation against Consorzio BANCOMAT (the “Consortium”) for a decision aimed at fixing the Multilateral Interchange Fee (the “MIF”) in relation to bills payment (...)

The Russian Competition Authority suspects again the implementation of a cartel on the auto loan market (Bank PSA Finance RUS / Rusfinance Bank)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS exposed new signs of violations on the auto loan market* On 4th February 2014, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) initiated a case against “Bank PSA Finance RUS” Ltd. and “Rusfinance Bank” Ltd. upon signs of violating Part 4 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of (...)

The EU General Advocate Mengozzi proposes the Court of Justice to uphold the Commission’s decision prohibiting multilateral interchange fees (Mastercard)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information In its Decision of 19 December 2007 the Commission prohibited Mastercard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIF) that apply to cross-border payments with MasterCard and Maestro-branded consumer credit and debit cards between Member States of the European Economic Area (...)

The Russian Competition Authority welcomes the termination of an anti competitive agreement on the market of auto landing (URALSIB / Volkswagen)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“URALSIB” Bank and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” terminated an anticompetitive agreement on the market of auto landing* “URALSIB” OJSC and “Volkswagen Bank RUS” Ltd. informed FAS on executing a determination in an antimonopoly case. On 23rd October 2013, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) found (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements* The Commission today released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the Commission reached (...)

A US District Court approves the proposed class action settlement of the antitrust suit over swipe fees (Visa / MasterCard)
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (Los Angeles)
Swipe Fee Settlement Yields More Litigation* Although the parties reached a $7.25 billion class action settlement of the antitrust suit brought by merchants against Visa and MasterCard over swipe fees, the case is far from over. The protracted legal battle centers on allegations by (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appeals against recent decision dismissing cartel allegations as regards fixing of home loan fees (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC appeals ANZ Bank decision* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has appealed against the recent decision by Justice Dowsett in the Federal Court dismissing the ACCC’s allegations that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing (...)

The EU Commission fines banks € 1.71 billion for participating in cartels in the interest rate derivatives industry (Barclays /Deutsche Bank / RBS / Société Générale)
European Commission
European Commission fines Banks € 1 710 000 000 for Participation in Cartels in the Financial Derivatives Industry* On 4 December 2013, the Commission has fined 8 banks a total of € 1 712 468 000 for participating in cartels in markets for financial derivatives covering the EEA. Four of them (...)

The Polish Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms the Competition authority’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (Visa and MasterCard)
European Commission
Poland: The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection confirms UOKiK’s Decision on Multilateral Interchange Fees* On 21 November 2013, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) confirmed the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (...)

The Hungarian Competition imposes fines on 11 financial institutions due to their concerted practice aimed at limiting the full prepayment of foreign currency loans (Budapest Bank)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
9,5 billion HUF fine in the "full prepayment loan banking case"* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, the Hungarian Competition Authority) in its decision delivered on 19 November 2013 imposed a fine of 9.488.200.000 (cca 31,6 million Euro) on 11 financial institutions due to their concerted (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses the proceedings alleging the violation of the price fixing prohibition in the loan arrangement services market (ANZ)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ANZ found not to have breached price fixing provisions* The Federal Court has today dismissed proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleging that Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) had breached the price fixing provisions of the Trade (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses allegations of price fixing on the market for loan arrangement services finding that the parties were not in competition with each other (ANZ)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
This article was originally published on In Competition by King & Wood Mallesons (click here). ANZ gets home on defending price fixing claims* A longstanding dispute between the ANZ and the ACCC has finally been resolved, with the Federal Court dismissing the allegations of the ACCC in a (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to allow coordination among credit card issuers and payment processing networks for the removal of signatures as a method of authentication (Visa, MasterCard & American Express)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to allow coordination in relation to the use of PINs* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is proposing to allow Visa and MasterCard, together with American Express and participating financial institutions, to coordinate in relation to the (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains a significant reduction in the main interbank fees (MasterCard & Visa Cards)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained a significant reduction in the main interbank fees charged by Mastercard and Visa respectively. With these decisions, the Autorité de la concurrence has completed the (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains significant reduction of main multilateral interchange fees on domestic card transactions (MasterCard and Visa)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence obtains significant Reduction of main Multilateral Interchange Fees charged by MasterCard and Visa on Domestic Card Transactions* On 20 September 2013, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) accepted Visa and MasterCard’s binding commitments to reduce (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal holds that ’merchants rules’ adopted by two leading credit card network providers do not constitute resale price maintenance (MasterCard and Visa)
Affleck Greene McMurtry (Toronto)
Priceless: Competition case against Visa and MasterCard dismissed* The Competition Tribunal recently held that Visa and MasterCard’s rules do not constitute resale price maintenance, because their product, credit card network services, is not resold by their customers (known as “acquirers”). The (...)

The Competition Commission of Singapore issues its decision finding that the worldwide MIF system implemented by multinational financial services company is not anticompetitive under Singapore competition law (Visa International)
BHP Billiton (Singapore)
On 18 September 2013, the Competition Commission of Singapore (the “CCS”) published its decision of 3 September 2013 relating to its assessment under Section 34 of the Competition Act, Chapter 50B of Singapore (the “Act”) of the Multilateral Interchange Fee (“MIF”) system (the “Decision”), as (...)

The Lithuanian Regional Administrative Court of Vilnius decides to reduce the fines imposed for an illegal agreement on the markets for cash-in transit and cash handling services (G4S & banks)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Court upholds the KT‘s decision on the infringement but reduces the fines imposed on G4S and banks* On 18 June 2012, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld the Competition Council’s (Konkurencijos taryba, KT) decision of 20 December 2012, according to which, UAB G4S Lietuva (G4S) (...)

The Romanian Competition Council issues a report on inquiry into multilateral interchange fees in payment cards sector
European Commission
Romania: Report on Inquiry into Multilateral Interchange Fees in Payment Cards Sector* On 22 February 2011, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) opened an inquiry into the card payment services sector. The findings of this inquiry were presented in a final Report published on 30 May 2013. (...)

The German Competition Authority takes a critical view of the agreement on the German banking sector as regards the existing electronic cash card payment system (ELV)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Electronic cash card payment system of German banking sector raises competition concerns* The Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of the agreement of the German banking sector on the existing electronic cash card payment system. Today the authority communicated its (preliminary) concerns to (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court upholds competition authority’s decision in banking cartel case (Slovenská sporiteľňa, Všeobecná úverová banka)
European Commission
Slovakia: The Supreme Court upholds Authority’s Decision in Banking Cartel Case* On 21 and 22 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) upheld a decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) in a case concerning a banking cartel, vis-à-vis two (...)

The Slovak Supreme Court holds that banks cannot concert to drive a competitor out of the market: an end to the bank cartel case saga? (VUB Bank)
Kinstellar (Bratislava)
This article follows up on our previous articles (Art. N° 37004, Art. N° 38345 and Art. N° 51110) concerning a cartel of three Slovak banks. In May 2011, the Supreme Court in the case of CSOB bank controversially confirmed the decision of lower courts quashing the decision by the Slovak National (...)

The Turkish Competition Board imposes highest fine ever against twelve banks for collusion in the cash deposit, credit and credit card services markets (Akbank, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi, Garanti Odeme Sistemleri...)
GlaxoSmithKline (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (the "TCB") recently concluded an investigation against 12 major banks operating in Turkey and imposed a total fine of TL 1.1 billion (approximately EUR 475 million). This is the highest fine ever imposed by the TCB. The investigation was initiated following (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces its long-awaited decision regarding imposition of fines on major banks for concerted practices in relation to credit card fees and interest rates for deposits (Akbank and Others)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
TCA Hits Banks With Record Fines* In Friday evening (8 March 2013), after the closing of stock exchange, the TCA has announced its long-awaited decision regarding major banks of Turkey. The TCA hits 12 major banks with record fines totalling 1,11 billion Turkish liras (around 480 million (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of Article 101 TFEU and finds that undertakings cannot justify restrictions of competition relying on the claim that a competitor operates illegally on the relevant market (Akcenta)
ClientEarth (Bruxelles)
Vigilantes on the market: Can undertakings restrict competition to ‘help out’ public authorities?* In an interesting case decided today the CJEU held that a number of Slovak banks could not exclude a competitor even if that competitor was allegedly operating illegally on the Slovak market. It’s (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favor of the Slovakian NCA and rules that an agreement intended to exclude a competitor is contrary to the competition rules even if the competitor is operating unlawfully on the market (Akcenta)
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Ljubljana)
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Kinstellar (Bratislava)
Factual background On 9 June 2009, the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the "AMO"), a first-level authority, found that three major banks – Slovenská sporiteľna, a.s. (the "SLSP"), Československá obchodná banka a.s. (the "CSOB") and Všeobecná úverová banka a.s. (the "VUB")(jointly refered (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on cash handling services provider and three banks for restricting competition in cash handling and cash in transit services (G4S Lietuva, DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Competition Council imposes Fines on Cash Handling Services Provider and three Banks for Restricting Competition in Cash Handling and Cash in Transit Services* On 20 December 2012, the Lithuanian Competition Council (CC) imposed fines exceeding LTL 57 000 000 (approximately € 16 (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council fines security services provider and three banks for anticompetitive agreements concerning cash handling and cash-in-transit services (G4S Lietuva, DNB bank, SEB bank, Swedbank)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
The Lithuanian Competition Council (the Council) imposed a total fine of over EUR 16 million on G4S Lietuva (G4S), a provider of security services, and three major banks in Lithuania - DNB bank, SEB bank and Swedbank (collectively - the Banks) – for vertical agreements restrictive of competition (...)

The EU General Court issues judgment on tariff arrangement within payment card cartel (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 November 2012, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on the appeal by Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (“GCB”) against a Commission decision finding that GCB restricted competition with certain fees and tariffs which hindered the issuance of payment cards in France at (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust suit involving alleged price-fixing of ATM fees (ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Brick By Illinois Brick: Ninth Circuit Builds High Wall For Indirect Purchaser Suits* The Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust suit involving alleged price-fixing of ATM fees, holding that the plaintiffs were indirect purchasers within (...)

The French NCA issues a decision making compulsory the commitments of several French banks in order to abolish progressively the main interbank fees on direct debits, interbank payment orders and other non-cash means of payment (BNP Paribas, Banque de France, CIC, Société Générale)
White & Case (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Following a commitment procedure, the French NCA issued a decision on 5 July 2012 making compulsory the commitments submitted by several French banks (Banque de France, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit du Nord, LCL, BPCE, HSBC, Banque Postale, Crédit Mutuel, CIC) and their representative (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments from 11 banks to abolish interbank fees applied to direct debits, interbank orders and other non-cash payments (BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, LCL)
European Commission
France: French Banks’ Commitments to suppress inter-bank Fees applied to direct Debits, interbank Orders and other non-cash Payments made binding by the Autorité* On 5 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) accepted commitments from 11 banks, including the national central bank (...)

US Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of antitrust action by atm cardholders due to lack of standing (ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation)
Chadbourne & Parke (New York)
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Chadbourne & Parke (New York)
The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and held that automated teller machine (“ATM”) cardholders lacked standing to bring an antitrust class action against banks and former and current corporate owner-operators (...)

The EU General Court rules on multilateral interchange fees going through the intricacies of art. 101(3) (MasterCard)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Case T-111/08, Mastercard. A priceless Art. 101(3) assessment* A while ago we wrote a post on The Slow Death of Article 101(3) TFEU, where we said that in recent European Commission, practice, only once the challenged agreement was not deemed to be a restriction by “object”, and that only in (...)

The EU General Court fully upholds the Commission’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
European Commission
European Courts: Judgment in MasterCard Case upholds Commission’s Decision* In its judgment of 24 May 2012 in case T-111/08, the General Court (the Court) fully upheld the Commission’s decision prohibiting MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) that apply to cross-border transactions (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules on the concept of restriction by object and quashes a major decision of the French Competition Authority which had imposed a €385 million fine on 11 French Banks ("French Banks case")
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
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White & Case (Paris)
On 23 February 2012, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned a widely publicised decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA"), which had imposed fines totalling €385 million on 11 French banks including the Banque de France in relation to interbank fees. Background The case centres on an (...)

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York finds that a series of meetings between two credit card companies related to drafting and implementing arbitration clauses was probative of an antitrust conspiracy (Currency Conversion Fee)
Sheppard Mullin (New York)
New York Federal Court Holds That Meetings Related To Drafting Arbitration Clauses May Be Probative Of Antitrust Conspiracy Despite Decision Makers’ Lack Of Knowledge* In In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litig., 2012 WL 401113 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 8, 2012), Judge William H. Pauley III denied a (...)

An Italian Administrative Court sets aside the Italian Competition Authority’s decision to fine a payment card network company, 8 Italian banks and financial institutions for infringing art. 101 TFEU (MasterCard – I720 Carte di credito)
LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Introduction On the 11th of July 2011 the Italian Regional Administrative Court of Latium (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per il Lazio – hereafter “IRAC”) upheld the appeal of Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (hereafter MPS”) against the decision no. 21768 of the Italian Competition Authority (...)

The Italian administrative court of first instance annuls the decision of the Antitrust Authority which fined Mastercard and eight Italian licensee banks for an alleged violation of Art. 101 TFEU in the definition and application of domestic interchange fees (Mastercard)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Pirelli
Background The judgement in comment (Judgement of TAR of Lazio n. 6171 of 11 July 2011) has annulled the final decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority ("IAA") of 3 November 2010 ("IAA Decision") which closed the proceeding against Mastercard and eight Italian banks ( the "Parties") and (...)

The French Competition Authority makes commitments reducing the two main fees associated with payments and withdrawals binding (CB Bank Cards Group)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence makes Commitments cutting MIFs on Payment Cards by 20% to 50% binding* On 7 July 2011, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) made commitments from the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (the Groupement), which includes over 130 banks, binding whereby (...)

The French Competition Authority makes mandatory commitments proposed by an economic interest group to reduce the inter-bank fees applicable to transactions by payment cards (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
White & Case (Paris)
On July 7, 2011, the French Competition Authority (hereinafter the “Authority”) issued a decision whereby it accepts settlement of an investigation and makes mandatory the commitments proposed by “Groupement des Cartes Bancaires”,an Economic Interest Group which brings together more than 130 banks (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds the annulment judgment delivered by the Regional Court in Bratislava in a potential cartel case (Akcenta case)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Ljubljana)
The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the “Supreme Court“) has provided that the judgment delivered the Regional Court in Bratislava (the “Regional Court“) annulling the decision adopted by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office ( “SVK AMO“) dealing with an agreement restricting competition in the (...)

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic upholds the Regional Court’s judgment which annuled a decision imposing fines on three banks (Banking cartel)
European Commission
Slovakia: Judicial Review of Banking Cartel Case* On 19 May 2011, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (the Supreme Court) upheld one of the judgments adopted by Regional Court in Bratislava which annuled the decision of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (the Office) imposing (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes market-tested commitments proposed by the French CB bank card association in order to resolve antitrust concerns on multilateral interchange fees (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la Concurrence market-tests Commitments on MIFs, including on Debit and Credit Cards* Following a complaint made by two professional associations of merchants and retailers against ultilateral interchange fees (MIFs)used in the various payment systems in France, the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority concludes its investigation in banking industry regarding “gentlemen’s agreement” between 8 banks and imposed an administrative fine of 33 million Euros on 8 banks for anti-competitive agreements and concerted practices
Hewlett Packard (Istanbul)
I. Background Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) concluded its investigation in banking industry regarding “gentlemen’s agreement” between 8 banks. The investigation has been launched in August 2009, and hearing before the Competition Board took place on March 1, 2011. The short version of the (...)

The Turkish Competition Board imposes heavy fines on banking cartel (Akbank, Denizbank, Finans Bank, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Competition Board (the “Board”) conducted an investigation and decided that Akbank T.A.S. (“Akbank”), Denizbank A.S. (“Denizbank”), Finans Bank A.S. (“Finans Bank”), Turkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S. (“Garanti Bankasi”), Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (“Halk Bank”), Turkiye Is Bankasi A.S. (“Is Bankasi”), (...)

The Latvian Competition Council decides that the participation of commercial banks in the MIF for cash withdrawals and card payments was illegal under Article 11 Part 1.1 of the Competition Act (Aizkraukles banka and Others)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Prohibited Agreement in Banking Sector* On 3 March 2011 the Competition Council (CC) decided that 22 Latvian commercial banks have infringed Article 11 Part 1.1 of the Competition Law by participating in the Multilateral agreement on the interchange fee for cash withdrawals at ATM, cash (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission closes monitoring of termination by commitments agreement in interchange fees for transactions by debit and credit cards case (SERVIRED, SISTEMA 4B and EURO 6000)
European Commission
* Article published in ECN Brief 01/2011. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Please note that the ECN is not the actual "author" of this case summary, but the mere source. As mentioned by the ECN : "The information provided by the ECN Brief is for (...)

The European Commission makes legally binding commitments offered by global payments technology company to cut interbank fees for debit cards (Visa Europe)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
Payment cards: Visa debit card fees go down* 1. Background Card payments represent about 35 % of all non cash payments in the EU 27. It is estimated that businesses pay tens of billions of euros (25 billion in 2005) in fees per year to accept cards. The Commission has a long history of (...)

The Indian Competition Commission issues its first decision ruling that the collective decision of banks and housing finance companies to levy prepayment charges did not constitute a cartel (Neeraj Malhotra/Deustche Post Bank Home Finance)
Talwar, Thakore & Associates (New Delhi)
On 2 December 2010, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) delivered its first decision under the Competition Act, 2002. By a majority of 4:2, the CCI decided that the collective decision of banks/housing finance companies (“HFCs”) to levy prepayment charges did not constitute a cartel. In (...)

An Italian Administrative Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision to reject commitments offered by an undertaking in order to address competition concerns relating to the interchange fees (Master Card)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
I. Introduction On 16 November 2010, the Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium (the “TAR Latium”) annulled a decision by which the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”), rejected the commitments proposed by MasterCard in a proceeding pursuant to Article 101 TFEU (the “Commitments”). (...)

The US DoJ and seven US States file an antitrust suit against three credit and charge card transaction networks, challenging rules that allegedly restrict price competition at the point of sale (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Visa, MasterCard Settle U.S./State Antitrust Suit, While American Express Vows to Fight* The Department of Justice and seven states have filed a civil antitrust suit against the three largest credit and charge card transaction networks in the United States, challenging rules that allegedly (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes two parallel investigations into joint fixing banking commissions for payment services by accepting commitments (Accordi Interbancari Riba-Rid-Bancomat)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a commitments decision taken on 30 September 2010 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) closed two parallel investigations against the Italian Banking Association (ABI) and Consorzio Bancomat, respectively. The ICA found the set of commitments offered by the parties to be (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to two banks concerning alleged exchange of confidential information on price (Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays)
European Commission
United Kingdom: Office of Fair Trading (OFT) proceeds with Loan Pricing Case On 29 September 2010, the OFT issued a Statement of Objections to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays in respect of alleged disclosure of confidential and commercially sensitive future pricing information. (...)

The Regional Court in Bratislava annuls the Slovak Antimonopoly Office’s decisions concerning an agreement restricting competition in the banking sector (Akcenta case)
Kinstellar (Prague)
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Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) (Ljubljana)
A summary of arguments adopted by the Regional Court in Bratislava (the “Court”) in annulling decisions taken by the Slovak Antimonopoly Office (the “SVK AMO”) concerning an agreement restricting competition in the banking sector. Factual background By its judgments No. 3S 57/2010 of 28 September (...)

A Slovakian Regional Court annuls Competition Authority’s decision which fined a banking cartel (Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka (CSOB), Slovenska sporitelna (SLSP) and (VUB) Vseobecna uverova banka)
European Commission
Slovakia: Regional Court in Bratislava annuls Authority’s decision in Banking Cartel Following the hearings at the Regional Court of Bratislava (RC BA) on 23 and 28 September 2010, three judgments were adopted in the case of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (AMO) vs. (...)

The French competition authority fines 11 French banks € 384.9 M for unjustified interbank fees during the transition period to the new digital system for processing checks (Cartel in the banking sector)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Summary of the case The Autorité de la concurrence (the French national competition authority) issued a decision on 20 September 2010 in which it fined the Banque de France, BPCE, the Banque postale, BNP-Paribas, Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel, Crédit Agricole, Crédit du Nord, Crédit (...)

The French Competition Authority fines French banks for illegally agreeing on interbank fees for dematerialized checks (Banque de France, les Banques Populaires Participations, La Banque Postale, BNP-Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, Crédit du Nord, Crédit Industriel et Commercial, LCL, HSBC, Société Générale, Caisse Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne)
EDHEC (Nice)
Summary 11 French banks were fined for agreeing on fixed fees to be paid by banks for each interbank check, thereby distorting competition on the bank market. Facts Before 2002, interbank checks were physically transported from a bank to another, entailing processing costs and implying an (...)

The US DoJ obtains guilty plea by a former employee of a national bank for bid-rigging and fraud conspiracies in municipal bond probe (Bank of America)
J.P. Morgan
Douglas Lee Campbell, a former senior vice president in Bank of America’s municipal derivatives group, has pled guilty to conspiracy to restrain trade, conspiracy, and wire fraud for engaging in bid-rigging and fraud conspiracies in connection with more than 200 guaranteed investment contracts (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority prosecutes fourteen private pension funds for client sharing agreements contrary to Art. 101 TFEU (Aegon)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 7 September the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) held that fourteen private pension funds have infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by dividing their clients in violation of the sector specific regulation which prescribed a different procedure for the assignment of clients. The Romanian pension (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority finds no cartel on the market for banking services (Association of Banks in Bulgaria)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 3 June 2010 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) finalized its investigation into the alleged existence of price coordination in the banking sector with the finding that the collected evidence did not allow to establish the existence of a cartel and that similarity in prices was (...)

The European Commission consults on commitments in the financial sector (Visa MIF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission has recently consulted on commitments offered by Visa Europe in the context of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”). MIFs are charged by a cardholder’s bank (the “issuing bank”) to a merchant’s bank (the “acquiring bank”) for each (...)

The Polish Court of Appeals overrules judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the interchange fees case (Visa Europe Limited)
European Commission
Poland: The Court of Appeals overrules Judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection in the Interchange Fees Case In its decision of 22 April 2010, the Polish Court of Appeals shared the arguments advanced by the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer (...)

The US DOJ opens an investigation into possible collusion among various hedge funds that trade euro contracts
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
According to published reports, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into possible collusion among various hedge funds that trade euro contracts. The inquiry comes amid a sharp decline in the value of the euro, which has fallen approximately (...)

The Czech Regional Court rules that the Competition Office is under the duty to return along with a refunded fine the default interest on it (Českomoravská stavební spořitelna)
Havel, Holasek & Partners (Prague)
I. Introduction On 2 March 2010, the Regional Court in Brno issued a judgment holding that the Competition Office, following the annulment of its decision by an appellate court, is under the duty to repay to the undertaking previously fined not only the amount of the fine but also the default (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines € 3.4 M an undertaking for providing inaccurate information during the course of an investigation on alleged anti-competitive agreement in the banking sector (Raiffeisen Bank - Société Générale)
Musat & Asociatii (Bucharest)
On April the 21st 2010 the Romanian Competition Council (the ‘Council’) issued a press release stating that it had fined Raiffeisen Bank SA (‘Raiffeisen’) for supplying inaccurate information during the course of an investigation, making it the second bank fined during the course of that (...)

The Slovakian Competition authority condemns the three biggest banks in Slovakia for having concluded an agreement restricting competition (VUB, SLSP and CSOB)
European Commission
Slovakia: Cartel in the Banking Sector On 17 December 2009, a decision of the Council of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter ‘the Office’) came into force, by which the Council confirmed the first instance decision of the Division of Agreements Restricting Competition. (...)

A Spanish Court reduces the fine imposed on a savings bank for lack of assessment on the anticompetitive effects caused by the exchange of information and other restrictions by effect (Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
In its judgment of December 10, 2009 on the appeal brought by Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (“BBK”) against the Decision of the Spanish National Competition Authority (hereinafter CNC) of October 18, 2007 in the Basque and Navarre Savings Banks,case, the “Audiencia Nacional” has halved the fine imposed by (...)

The China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issues pilot administrative measures for commercial banks to make equity investment in insurance companies
AnJie Law (Beijing)
A Look At the New Rule On Financial Integrated Operation: From the Perspective of Competition Law* On November 26, 2009, China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued the Pilot Administrative Measures for Commercial Banks to Make Equity Investment in Insurance Companies (the “Measures”). (...)

A US District Court finds sufficient ground for a claim on alleged illegal secret rebates, kickbacks and commissions, though it rejects the claim on collusive conduct on the market for sales of title insurance (California Title Insurance)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Strike Three: Plaintiffs Again Fail to Allege Facts of Collusion in Oligopoly Market* Rather than being "plus factors," allegations of interdependent industry structure simply demonstrate that the challenged conduct of defendant title insurers was as consistent with competition as with (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines that seven banks and two card compagnies banks on the basis of both Art. 101 EC and its national equivalent for setting multilateral interchange fees (Authority Visa, Mastercard and Hungarian banks)
King’s College (London)
On 24 September 2009, the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH, competition authority of Hungary) adopted an infringement decision establishing that card companies Visa Europe, Mastercard and several Hungarian banks infringed Hungarian competition law and Article 81 EC with their agreement on (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines banks and international card companies for a breach of Art. 101 TFEU in relation to setting domestic interchange fees (Allianz Bank a. o.)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
On 24 September 2009 in proceedings n° Vj-18/2008 launched against 23 Hungarian banks, as well as the international card companies MasterCard and Visa, the Hungarian Competition Office (the "HCO") fined seven Hungarian banks for setting the same domestic interchange fee for all banks and both (...)

The European Court of Justice dismisses an appeal by four Austrian banks against a CFI judgment, in which it upheld a Commission decision that fined eight banks a total of € 124.26 M for their participation in a series of illicit agreements in the banking sector (Lombard club cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2009, the ECJ dismissed in its entirety an appeal by four Austrian banks against a CFI judgment of December 2006, in which the CFI largely upheld a Commission decision of June 2002 that fined eight Austrian banks a total of € 124.26 million for their participation in a series of (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority identifies unfair competition practices in the banking sector (Banca Naţională a Moldovei)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 4 September 2009 National Agency for Protection of Competition (Agenţia Naţională pentru Protecţia Concurenţei) (ANPC) adopted a decision of non-intervention regarding the unfair competition practices observed in the banking industry. In November 2008 the ANPC initiated an investigation (...)

The Viennese Commercial Court finds a private damages claim following a fine decision in the non-cash payment industry to be time barred (Europay)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
Decision 22 Cg 138/07y of 3 September 2009 by the Viennese Commercial Court (Handelsgericht Wien) concerns the, as far as can be seen, second private enforcement case of a claimant seeking damages in Austria following a fine decision. The decision by the Viennese Commercial Court, which found (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts a proceedings against multilateral interchange fee setting in the card payment systems sector (MasterCard)
LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
On the 15th July 2009, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the Italian Competition Authority (hereinafter, ICA), decided to initiate an antitrust proceedings against MasterCard Group and eight of the main banks and financial institutions licensed by MasterCard Group for (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority imposes commitments on the pricing of ATM withdrawals by three banks which own the dominant ATM operator (Norde Bank / OP Bank / Sampo Bank)
Roschier (Helsinki)
The Finnish Competition Authority (“FCA”) has on 18 June 2009 imposed binding commitments on Nordea Bank Finland Plc (“Nordea”), OP-Pohjola Group (“OP”) and Sampo Bank Plc (“Sampo”) (jointly “Banks”) concerning their pricing of ATM withdrawals. The Banks own Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy (“Automatia”), (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority imposes fine of € 10.2 M on banks for their involvement in an alleged cartel (Erste Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, KBC Groep)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 12 June 2009, the Slovak Competition Authority has imposed fines on three foreign-owned banks operating in Slovakia, Slovenska sporitelna, a.s. (Erste Group), Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka, a.s. (Intesa Sanpaolo) and Vseobecna uverova banka, a.s. (KBC Groep) for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes investigation on common interbank charges and MAV payment services by accepting commitments (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a recent decision, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an investigation into two anticompetitive agreements affecting the banking market for payment services by accepting and making binding a set of commitments presented by the parties upon the basis of Art. 14-ter of the Act (...)

The European Commission issues SO in multilateral interchange fees case (Visa MIF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to recent reports, the Commission has issued an SO to Visa Europe Limited (“Visa”) with regard to the setting of multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”). An interchange fee is charged by an issuing bank (the customer’s bank) to an acquiring bank (the retailer’s bank) for sales transactions (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Bot champions narrow reading of “actual impact on the market” criterion (Erste Group Bank)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In his opinion delivered on 26 March 2009 in the Austrian Bankscase, Advocate General Bot recommended that the ECJ quash an earlier judgment of the CFI and lower the fines imposed on certain Austrian banks for their involvement in cartel practices. The Advocate General upheld the appellants’ (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice on the basis of Art. 102 TFEU decides on a dominant position resulting from the upstream possibility to restrict downstream competition (Reisestellenkarte)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 3 March 2009, the German Federal Court of Justice reversed the judgement of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and remitted the case back for further proceedings. The question at stake was whether an undertaking could be regarded as dominant according to Art. 102 TFEU if due to its (...)

The Italian competition authority fines four banks for operating as a cartel in the market of public compensation for workers on the basis of art. 81 EC (INAIL Affidamento Servizio di Cassa)
University of Palermo
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) fined four major Italian banks (Unicredit Banca S.p.A., Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena) for participating in a cartel in the supply of cashiering services to INAIL, the Italian public entity (...)

A Polish Court overturns the NCA’s decision on interchange fee holding that the participation of 20 banks in an agreement fixing the fee level does not constitute an infringement of Art. 81.1 EC nor equivalent national provision (Visa - Mastercard)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen (Warsaw)
On 12 November 2008, the Polish Court for Competition and Consumer Protection (“the Court”) overturned the decision of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumers’ Protection (the “OCCP” or the “Office”) concerning interchange fees. The court stated that the participation of 20 Polish (...)

The UK OFT publishes the results of a market study on personal current accounts in the retail banking sector and claims hidden fees result in cross subsidisation (PCAs UK)
KOF Swiss Economic Institute - ETH Zurich
Introduction On 16 July 2008, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published the results of a market study that investigates personal current accounts (PCAs) in the UK retail banking. The OFT is concerned about the overall level and the structure of fees of PCAs. The fee structure results in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority accepts commitments from brokers in a cartel investigation (Budapest Stock Exchange)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two orders of 20 March and 21 May 2008, the Hungarian Competition Authority (the “GVH”) ended its investigation into an alleged price coordination by brokers at the Budapest Stock Exchange (the “BÉT”). The first order ended the investigation, due to the lack of evidence, into an alleged fixing (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council accepts commitments to modify the membership fees of the Budapest Stock Exchange and terminates a cartel investigation against trading companies (Budapesti Értéktõzsde Zrt.)
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
The background of the investigation The Competition Office initiated an investigation against the Budapest Stock Exchange ("BSE") and 11 trading companies, as it suspected an illegal horizontal coordination among the trading members of the BSE concerning (i) the amendment of BSE’s membership (...)

The European Commission investigates into the use of multilateral interchange fees (Visa Europe)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2008, the European Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into the use by Visa Europe Limited(“Visa”) of multilateral interchange fees (“MIF”) for cross-border sales transactions within the EEA and the imposition of a rule that all such transactions be honoured. The (...)

A US District Court revives concern that some "club deals" could violate the antitrust laws (Bain Capital Partners)
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (New York)
Companies that have participated in or plan to participate in joint bidding practices in the context of corporate acquisitions (otherwise known as “club deals”) may risk some unwanted antitrust scrutiny from shareholders and others. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the (...)

A US district court dismisses antitrust challenge to joint bid by private equity funds (Pennsylvania Avenue Funds/Borey)
Linklaters (New York)
Last week, a US federal district court became the first to conclude that an agreement by private equity funds to submit a joint takeover bid does not violate Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. If followed by other US courts, the decision may have important implications for private equity (...)

The European Commission prohibits multilateral interchange fees for cross-border card payments in the EEA (MasterCard)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission prohibits MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees for cross-border card payments in the EEA"* On 19 December 2007 the Commission adopted a decision prohibiting MasterCard‘s multilateral interchange fees (MIF) for cross-border card payments with MasterCard and Maestro-branded (...)

The Spanish competition authority fines four saving banks for market sharing and coordination of commercial conditions (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction On 18 October 2007 the Spanish competition authority, Comisión Nacional de Competencia (CNC), sanctioned four saving banks (cajas de ahorro) with a total fine of € 24 million for participating in a cartel involved in sharing markets and coordinating commercial conditions. The four (...)

The Spanish Competition Court imposes fines of € 24 M on regional saving banks for collusive agreements aimed at allocating territories and coordinating their commercial strategies (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Following the publication in the Spanish economic press in 2005 of information relating to the potential existence of a territorial market allocation agreement between certain regional savings banks in the North-East of Spain, the Spanish Servicio de Defensa de la Competencia ("the Service") (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines three savings banks for market sharing, information exchange and coordination agreements (Caja Vital, BBK, Kutxa, CAN)
Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
Last October, the National Competition Commission (CNC, hereafter) published its Decision to impose a € 24 million fine to the savings banks from the Basque country and Navarra for maintaining a collusive agreement consisting on market sharing, information exchange and the coordination of their (...)

The European Commission concludes that the French national interbank network association infringed Article 81 of the Treaty (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Decision against the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB)"* I. Overview In its decision of 17 October 2007, the Commission concluded that the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB) had infringed Article 81 of the Treaty. The Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB) (‘the Groupement‘) manages the (...)

The European Commission fines two card network operators for not admitting a bank as a member (Visa International, Visa Europe, Morgan Stanley)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines Visa International and Visa Europe for not admitting Morgan Stanley Bank as a member"* I. Overview On 3 October 2007 the Commission fined Visa International and Visa Europe (‘Visa‘) €10.2 million for refusing to admit Morgan Stanley Bank (a UK bank) as a member of Visa Europe (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court increases one of the fines imposed to banks by the NCA in the ATM agreement case from € 5 to 7 M (Europay Austria, "Bankomat-Vertrag")
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
On 12 September 2007, the Austrian Supreme Cartel Court decided on the appeals lodged against the Cartel Court’s decision imposing a fine of EUR 5 million on Europay Austria. We reported on the Cartel Court’s decision in e-Competitions. By way of summary, Europay Austria was fined for (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms upon appeal the Cartel Court’s findings regarding concerted and abusive practices in the debit card and payment system sector and raises the fine imposed (Europay Austria)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
1. Introduction By its judgment of 12 September 2007 in Case 16 Ok 4/07 (“Europay Austria”), the Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition matters ; Oberster Gerichtshof als Rekursgericht in Kartellrechtssachen) essentially confirmed the first instance judgment (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that the circular of the Italian Bank Association, interpreting rules on unilateral unfavourable changes of banking contractual conditions, violates Art. 81 EC (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Banca d’Italia (Italian Central Bank)
Background ABI is a non-profit association to which nearly all Italian banks belong. In August 2006, the Italian Banking Law (Legislative Decree n° 385/1993) was amended by Law n° 248/2006. Art. 10 of Law n° 248/2006, which lays down provisions that banks have to respect when changing (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds that the circular of a bank association, interpreting rules on unilateral unfavourable changes of banking contractual conditions, violates Art. 81 EC (Associazione Bancaria Italiana)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Banca d’Italia (Italian Central Bank)
Background ABI is a non-profit association to which nearly all Italian banks belong. In August 2006, the Italian Banking Law (Legislative Decree n° 385/1993) was amended by Law n° 248/2006. Art. 10 of Law n° 248/2006, which lays down provisions that banks have to respect when changing (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority opens an investigation under Art. 81 EC for bid rigging in the banking sector (INAIL Affidamento Servizio di Cassa)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
On 28 May 2007 the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) commenced an investigation against Unicredit Banca (UB), Banca IntesaSanPaolo (IS), Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), all primary Italian banks. The AGCM alleges that these banks had been involved (...)

The Northern Irish Competition Commission published a market investigation on personal current account banking services (Which ? complaint)
Hogan Lovells (London)
Overview On 15 May 2007, nine days in advance of its statutory deadline of 25 May 2007, the Competition Commission (the "CC") published its findings in its market investigation into personal current banking services in Northern Ireland. The market investigation was a result of a reference made (...)

The Danish Competition Authority condemns a cartel between seven local banks (Lokalbanksamarbejdet)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 28 March 2007, the Danish Competition Authority (“DCA”) issued a decision condemning a cartel between seven local Danish banks. Background Following a tip-off from a journalist, the DCA conducted dawn raids at seven local Danish banks in June 2006. The DCA found evidence that the banks had (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms that a cooperation agreement in the savings bank sector only partly fulfils the criteria of Art. 81.3 EC and, in a separate decision, that one of the cooperation cases constitutes a concentration (Erste Bank)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
As reported previously, in a decision of 13 June 2006 the Austrian Cartel Court had found that the cooperation agreements concluded between the majority of players in the Austrian savings banks sector violated Article 81(1) EC, but was partly exempt under Article 81(3) EC (See Axel Reidlinger (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court holds that certain aspects of a co-operation agreement between Austrian savings banks violates Art 81 EC (Erste Bank)
DORDA
1. Background The Austrian Supreme Court (acting as the highest appellate court in competition mat-ters) upheld a first instance decision of the Austrian Cartel Court (13 June 2006, 27 Kt 83/04, 27 Kt 18, 193/04 ; See Axel Reidlinger and Heinrich Kühnert, The Austrian Cartel Court finds that (...)

The UK Competition Commission consults on remedies on the personal current account banking services market (PCA Northern Ireland)
Nestlé (Vevey)
On 6 March 2007 the UK Competition Commission (“CC”) published for consultation a proposed final remedies package to remedy the competition issues provisionally identified by the CC in its review of the personal current account (“PCA”) banking services market in Northern Ireland. The CC is the (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority declares null and void decisions of four major banks introducing a new ATM fee (Nova Ljubljanska banka, Banka Celje, Nova KBM, Abaka Vipa)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
This case started in May 2006, when the Slovenian Competition Authority on the basis of information from the media and its statutory duty started the proceedings on finding whether decisions of four major Slovenian banks on introduction of new ATM fee for withdrawing cash to their retail (...)

The Polish NCA holds that the joint setting of domestic interchange fee for payment cards is contrary to both Polish and EC competition law (Visa/MasterCard)
French National Research Agency - ANR (Paris)
Following a complaint from 2001, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereafter: the OCCP President) issued on December 29, 2006, a decision declaring the joint setting of domestic interchange fee rates separately in Visa and MasterCard four-party payment card (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes its highest fine ever for concerted and abusive practices in the debit card and payment system sector (Europay Austria...)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
On December 1st, 2006 the Austrian Cartel Court imposed its highest fine ever, of EUR 5 million, on Europay Austria Zahlungsverkehrssysteme GmbH (“Europay Austria”). Europay Austria was fined for violation of the Austrian law equivalents of Art 81 and Art 82 because of its participation in the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves the interchange fee setting scheme proposed by the Spanish payment card systems (Euro 6000, Servired, 4B System...)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
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Compass Lexecon (Madrid)
Merchant associations pressed charges a year ago against the three Payment Card Systems which operate in Spain (EURO 6000, SERVIRED and 4B System), for their multilateral agreement setting interchange fees (Inter-System interchange fees). Interchange fees are fees paid by banks servicing (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority declares null and void a decision of a bank association since it restricts competition on market for purchases payable by credit installments at the point of sale (Bank Association of Slovenia)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
This case started in May 2005, when the Slovenian Competition Authority on the basis of its statutory duty started the proceedings on finding whether the decision of the Bank Association of Slovenia (“BAS”) on introduction of new joint banking product - BankKredit, represents restrictive (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority imposes the Italian Banks Association to withdraw its interpretative circular relating to the new provisions on the unilateral changes of banking contractual conditions (ABI)
Studio Legale DDPV (Rome)
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Area (Rome)
On 14 September 2006, the Italian Antitrust Authority (the “Authority”) started an in depth investigation (the “Decision”) to ascertain whether the circular, distributed by the Italian Banks Association (“ABI”) on 7 August 2006, and dealing with the application of new rules on unilateral changes to (...)

The Czech Competition Authority annuls a decision having found 8 banks guilty of exchange of information (Stavebni sporitelny)
University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
By decision n° R 18-23/2005 the President of the Office (hereinafter “the President”) annulled (for the second time) the Office’s first instance decision, which condemned six banking establishments for an infringement of competition by exchanging statistics about their operations in the area of (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court finds that the cooperation in the savings bank sector violates Art. 81.1 EC but fulfils for the most part the criteria of Art. 81.3 EC (Erste Bank)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
In a decision of 13 June 2006, the Austrian Cartel Court found that the cooperation agreements concluded between the majority of players in the Austrian savings banks sector violated Article 81(1) EC, but was for the most part exempt under Article 81(3) EC. In Austria, banking operations have (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority considers cooperation and joint selling of network services for PIN-transactions to be an infringement of the cartel prohibition (Interpay)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
Introduction Interpay is a joint venture between 8 Dutch banks ("the shareholders"), founded in 1994 to provide network services for PIN-transactions. PIN-transactions are payments with debit cards with PIN through pay machines at retailers. The network services consist of the authorization of (...)

The Spanish Competition Court authorises an agreement between two Spanish payment systems on cash withdrawals from their ATMs (Euro 6000/4B)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
Three card payment systems operate in the Spanish market. Two of them, Euro 6000 and 4B, reached an agreement (Agreement set on the 17th of May 2001, from now on “The Agreement”) setting the conditions that govern bilateral services provided when using their debt cards on their respective (...)

The OFT finds collective agreement between banks setting the multilateral interchange fee contrary to both Art. 81 EC and national competition provisions (MasterCard UK)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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King’s College (London)
On 6 September the UK Office of Fair Trading issued a decision concluding that the collective agreement between members of MasterCard UK Members Forum setting a fallback multilateral interchange fee infringed Article 81 EC and Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998. The Decision only concerns (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading concludes that an agreement between banks to set a default interchange fee is restrictive of competition, contrary to both Art. 81 EC and national mirror competition provision (MasterCard UK)
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
On 6 September 2005, the UK Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced its Decision following a long running investigation of MasterCard UK Members Forum Limited (“MMF”) default interchange fee arrangements. The Decision itself was published on 13 October 2005. The OFT concluded that the parties had (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court requests an ECJ preliminary ruling regarding the application of Art. 81 EC to an exchange of information agreement between financial institutions in relation to clients solvency and compliance (Asnef-Equifax)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Eli Lilly and Company (Madrid)
This Order has been adopted by the Tribunal Supremo (“TS”) in the appeal lodged against a judgment of the Audiencia Nacional (“AN”) which decided on the appeal against a decision adopted by the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (“TDC”) granting an individual exemption to an agreement on (...)

La "High Court" irlandaise condamne pour entente et abus de position dominante, sur le double fondement des dispositions internes et communautaires de concurrence, le fonds de garantie mis en place par l’association irlandaise des coopératives de crédit et d’épargne (John O’Regan, ILCU)
London School of Economics
L’ILCU, créée en 1960, est une association qui représente les intérêts des Credits Unions (coopératives de crédit et d’épargne) dans la République d’Irlande et en Irlande du Nord. En 1989, elle a mis sur pied un fonds de garantie (ci-après, “SPS”) au profit de ses membres. Le règlement de l’ILCU précise (...)

The Belgium competition authority launched an enquiry on the alleged discriminatory practices of a bank on the basis of both EC and national provisions (Banksys)
BDGS Associés (Paris)
The Belgian Minister of Economy has asked the “Corps des Rapporteurs” of the National Competition Council (“NCC”) to conduct an investigation concerning Banksys, a Belgian corporation, that it suspects of abuse of dominant position on the Belgian integrated electronic payment systems and services (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority imposes a fine on three banking institutions for coordination of their interest rates (Bank of Cyprus/Cyprus Popular Bank/Hellenic Bank)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
On 22 June 2004 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) put an end to its ex officio investigation of the commercial banks in Cyprus for the existence of a possible cartel, unanimously finding three banking institutions liable for restrictive enterprise agreements. A total (...)

The Danish Competition Council approved a merger between mortgage lenders, subject to remedies which included a decrease in the duration of the merged entity’s agreements with distributing banks, the regulation of profit and measures to increase transparency in the market (Nykredit / Totalkredit)
Kromann Reumert (Copenhagen)
The operation Nykredit Holding A/S was primarily a mortgage lender. However, it also had a number of subsidiaries that provided services within a range of sectors: banking; the insurance business; and real estate broking. The annual turnover of Nykredit in 2002 was DKK 30.4 billion (para. (...)

A US Court of Appeals invalidates rules of two cards network service providers that prohibit member banks from issuing competitors’ cards (Visa USA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
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Stanford University
Background Visa and Mastercard are network services providers that are owned and supported by thousands of member banks, which act as both issuers [1] and acquirers [2] of Visa and Mastercard charge cards. (Network services (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd circuit rejects attempt by plaintiff to challenge under s. 1 of the Sherman Act conduct already subject to scrutiny by the SEC in a case involving alleged conspiracy among U.S. options exchanges (Stock Exchanges Options Trading)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
,
WilmerHale (Washington)
The Second Circuit recently rejected two attempts by plaintiffs to challenge, under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, conduct already subject to scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both decisions hold that conduct is impliedly immune from the antitrust laws if Congress has given the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issues decision limiting application of antitrust laws in securities (Friedman / Salomon Smith Barney)
WilmerHale (Washington)
,
WilmerHale (Washington)
,
WilmerHale (Washington)
The Second Circuit recently rejected two attempts by plaintiffs to challenge, under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, conduct already subject to scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both decisions hold that conduct is impliedly immune from the antitrust laws if Congress has given the (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority doesn’t approve protocol signed by of the private health insurers united in a professional association (Solidarity Protocol)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Does Not Approve Health Insurers’ ’Solidarity Protocol’* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has not approved the so-called ’Solidarity Protocol’ of the private health insurers united in Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN). According to NMa, these agreements restrain competition between (...)

The European Commission adopts an exemption decision on multilateral interchange fees clarifying the application of the competition rules to card payment systems (Visa International)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
"Clarifying the application of the competition rules to card payment systems: the Commission’s exemption decision on the Multilateral Interchange Fees of Visa International"* On 24 July 2002 the Commission adopted an exemption decision in its case concerning certain ‘multilateral interchange (...)

The European Commission fines eight Austrian banks for participating in a cartel (’Lombard Club’ cartel)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission fines eight Austrian banks for participating in the ‘Lombard Club’ cartel"* Introduction On 11 June 2002 the Commission concluded its first full-blown cartel inquiry into the banking sector by imposing fines totalling € 124,26 million on eight Austrian banks for their participation (...)

The European Commission fines five German banks for fixing the charges for the exchange of euro-zone currencies (Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank, BayerischeHypo und Vereinsbank, Vereins und Westbank, Deutsche Verkehrsbank)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission adopts eight new decisions imposing fines on hard-core cartels 6. Commission fines five German banks for fixing the charges for the exchange of euro-zone currencies"* Following-up on two Decisions adopted earlier in the year 2001 (Decisions SAS-Maersk and Graphite electrodes, both (...)

The UK OFT grants exemption for agreement to set multilateral interchange fee in the arrangement for operation of a network (LINK International Network)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
I. Introduction On 16 October 2001, the UK Office of Fair Trading (« OFT ») concluded its investigation into certain agreements for the operation of the LINK network. The OFT found that, although the centrally set multilateral interchange fee for the operation of the LINK network appreciably (...)

The French Competition Authority fines major banks and credit establishments for implementing an anticompetitive agreement in the sector for property loans to private individuals (Crédit Agricole, Crédit Lyonnais, Société Générale)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Several major banks and credit establishments penalised for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement in the sector for property loans to private individuals in 1993 and 1994* In a decision dated 19th (...)

The former Spanish second-tier Competition Authority rules that an agreement between two savings banks to coordinate the closing of their offices in several small villages was covered by the former “de minimis” exemption (Cajas Rurales Jalón y Zaragoza)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
Garrigues (Brussels)
In a Decision dated November 15, 1999, the former Spanish second-tier Competition Authority (“Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia”, hereinafter, the “TDC”) ruled that an agreement between two savings banks to coordinate the closing of their offices in several small villages was subject to an (...)

The European Court of Justice partly sets aside the Court of First Instance judgment in a case concerning the imports and exports of electricity in the Netherlands (Rendo v. Commission)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Judgment Of The Court Of 19 October 1995 In Case C-19/93 P, Rendo NV Et Al. V Commission"* On October 19, 1995 the Court partly set aside the judgment of the Court of First Instance of November 18, 1992 (Case T-16/91) and referred the case back to the Court of First Instance. In a proceeding (...)

Dominance

The Lithuanian Competition Authority closes its investigations against a bank for abuse of dominance (Swedbank)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council closes the investigation into Swedbank actions* The Competition Council closed the investigation into the compliance of Swedbank actions with the requirements of the Law on Competition upon Swedbank submitting written commitments suitable for the elimination of the alleged (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation on an alleged abuse of dominant position in the post-trading sector (Monte Titoli)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Investigation initiated against Monte Titoli for possible anti-competitive behaviour in the post-trading sector* On May 9, 2018 the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominant position carried out by Monte Titoli – a company belonging to the (...)

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by companies active on the credit default swaps market (ISDA / Markit)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by ISDA and Markit on credit default swaps* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding commitments to licence inputs for credit default swaps, offered separately by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (...)

The EU Commission invites interested third parties to comment the commitments proposed in the credit default swaps case (ISDA / Markit)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments by ISDA and Markit on credit default swaps* The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered separately by ISDA and by Markit to address competition concerns relating to the licensing of data and (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court rules on the lack of capacity for the National Bank to file a claim against a decision of the Competition Authority (HNB)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
High Administrative Court dismisses the claim filed by the Croatian National Bank against the CCA decision* The High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia dismissed the claim filed by the Croatian National Bank (HNB) against the decision of the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) on (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct and abuse of dominance against a bank in the national market for commercial and corporate loans (Bank of Baroda)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismissed allegations of anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant position against Bank of Baroda* CCI by its order dated June 2, 2015 exonerated Bank of Baroda (Vadodara, Gujarat) (BOBG) and Bank of Baroda (Nainital, Uttarakhand) (BOBN) for alleged anticompetitive practices and (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority publishes an updated issues statement of its investigation concerning the market of the supply of personal current accounts and retail banking services to SMEs
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes updated issues statement in banking market investigation* The CMA has today published an updated issues statement as part of its investigation into the supply of personal current accounts and retail banking services to SMEs. The updated issues statement summarises the (...)

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland upholds antitrust action against patent troll (Intellectual Ventures / Capital One)
Rutgers University
On March 2, 2015, Judge Paul W. Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland offered a wide-ranging analysis of antitrust claims against the conduct of famous “patent troll” Intellectual Ventures (IV) . IV sued Capital One for patent infringement, Capital One sought to amend its (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern district of New York reminds that potential defendants in certain Section 1 monopoly cases should be prepared to address a plaintiff’s “direct evidence” of harm to competition and may not be able to solely rely on its relative market share as a defense (American Express)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
,
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
,
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Court Rules Against American Express Based on Both Direct and Indirect Evidence of Harm to Competition* On February 19, 2015, the District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued its ruling on liability in United States v. American Express. Following a seven-week trial, the Court (...)

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

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms that the behavior of an authority has created disadvantages having resulted in monopolization of the relevant market pushing the only competitor out of the market (Cash Settlement Centre)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court: Cheboksary Authority created advantages for “Cash Settlement Centre” OJSC in the prejudice of a competitor* On 8th October 2014, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court that the decision and determination on the case on violating the (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upholds that the relevant product market determined in case of abuse of dominance shall remain broader than in case of merger (National Stock Exchange of India)
Eastern Book Company
India – Competition Appellate Tribunal on determination of relevant product market* In its order passed on 5th August, 2014 the Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal upheld the decision given by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) holding the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) (...)

The Danish Competition Authority conducts a dawn raid in light of a complaint regarding anti-competitive behaviour on the domestic market for payment cards (Teller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: Case against Nets regarding possible abuse of dominance settled with commitments* On 4 December 2012, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) conducted a dawn raid on the company Nets Holding A/S (“Nets”) in light of a complaint regarding anti-competitive behavior in the (...)

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina upholds the infringement decision of the Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning abuse of dominant position on the market for fast money transfer services (Raiffeisen Bank)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 6 November 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) found that four Western Union agents have abused their collective dominant position on the market for fast money transfer services by including the exclusivity clauses in their cooperation agreements with the banks (...)

The Netherlands ACM decides not to take further action against credit card company following undertaken adjustment of the interbank tariffs for domestic credit-card payments (MasterCard)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: MasterCard lowers tariffs for credit card payments* Over the next two years, financial-services company MasterCard will lower the tariffs that banks charge each other for processing domestic credit-card payments. As a result, businesses such as in retail and the hospitality industry will (...)

The England and Wales High Court grants interim injunction ordering defendant bank to continue providing financial services given threat of irreparable harm to claimants (Dahabshiil Transfer Services / Barclays Bank)
St John’s Chambers (Bristol)
United Kingdom: interim injunctions in competition litigation* Private competition litigation is continuing to develop in the United Kingdom. The courts and the Competition Appeal Tribunal are seeing an increase in the number and complexity of follow-on damages actions, often between foreign (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau chooses not to appeal the decision of the Competition Tribunal, but to focus on identifying alternate means of addressing the competition issues in the supply of credit card services (VISA, MasterCard)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Credit Cards in Canada: What Role for Competition Law?* 1. Introduction The growing popularity of credit and other payment cards among consumers has been accompanied by an increase in the regulatory and legal scrutiny of the terms governing the availability and use of these cards. One focus (...)

The Dutch District Court finds abuse of dominance by credit card network operator (European Merchant Services and Equens)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
,
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
I. The Parties European Merchant Services BV and Equens SE II. The Facts European Merchant Services BV (‘EMS’) is a so-called “acquirer”. That means that EMS processes credit card payment data and enters into contracts with merchants. Merchants are companies – such as retailers – that accept (...)

The EU Commission renders legally binding commitments concerning the use of RICs for data sourced competitors (Thomson Reuters)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission accepts commitments from Thomson Reuters* On 20 December 2012, the Commission issued a press release stating that it has made legally binding the commitments offered by Thomson Reuters to address the Commission’s concerns that Thomson Reuters might have abused its dominant (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority accepts behavioural commitments of a central securities depository and closes its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position (SC Depozitarul Central)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 11 December 2012 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) concluded its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position on the market for the services rendered by the central securities depository by accepting a series of behavioral committments related to the pricing of the (...)

The Mauritius Competition Authority follows UK Competition Commission’s lead in examining banks’ practices in payment protection insurance and credit life insurance (Bank One, Barclays Bank)
Norton Rose Fulbright (London)
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Falcon & Hume
,
Norton Rose Fullbright (Sidney)
Given burgeoning competition law regimes in Africa, international and local African lenders, as well as retailers extending credit, will have to reconsider their approach to offering credit life insurance with their loans in many African jurisdictions. This is evident from recent judgments by (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority makes binding commitments made by the Central Depository on registry services to securities issuers (Depozitarul Central)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
,
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
Since 2010, following the amendment of the Romanian Competition Law no.21/1996, the Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) has been able to accept legally binding commitments offered by companies in order to address the concerns relating to potential infringements of competition law. The (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina finds an abuse of a collective dominant position on the market of fast money transfer services (Western Union)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 6 November 2012 the Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (KV) found that four Western Union agents have abused their collective dominant position on the market for fast money transfer services by including the exclusivity clauses in their cooperation agreements with the banks (...)

The Chilean Competition Tribunal rejects exclusionary behaviour in the credit reference agency market (CCS II)
Chilean Competition Tribunal (Santiago)
On 9th August 2012, the Chilean Competition Tribunal (‘TDLC’) issued its judgment on the CCS II case (Sentence 124/2012). The TDLC rejected the complaint filed by the competition agency (‘FNE’) against the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (‘SCC‘), a trade association that is the exclusive producer and (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates a competition supervision procedure against a dominant undertaking on the market for debit cards (MasterCard Europe)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Competition supervision procedure initiated against MasterCard Europe Sprl* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) has initiated a competition supervision procedure against MasterCard Europe Sprl for an alleged abuse of a dominant position. The GVH noticed that (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments offered by financial services company to abolish the licensing fees that banks pay for the use of US International Securities Identification Numbers (S&P)
Ashurst (Milan)
European Commission makes Standard & Poor’s commitments legally binding* On 15 November 2011 the European Commission announced it has decided to make the commitments offered last May 2011 by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), to abolish the licensing fees that banks pay for the use of U.S. (...)

The European Commission makes legally binding commitments by a national numbering agency to abolish fees for use of US international securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
Liège University - IEJE
The Rick Perry Syndrome* “Oops“, the Commission did it again… On November 15, 2011, in the S&P case, the Commission again closed abuse of dominance proceedings with an Article 9 decision. As already explained, Article 9 decisions have become the conventional procedure in Article 102 TFEU (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority grants preliminary injunction against a leading banking group’s exclusive dealing (Bank of Brazil/ Interstate Federation of the Public Workers)
Itaú BBA (Sao Paulo)
The Brazilian Competition Authority – Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica(hereinafter CADE) – has granted a preliminary injunction on an administrative procedure initiated ex officioby CADE itself, following a complaint against Banco do Brasil presented by the Interstate Federation of the (...)

The European Commission publishes commitments offered by a leading financial company (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 16 May 2011, the Commission published commitments offered by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) to remedy concerns regarding the pricing of international securities identification numbers (“ISINs”). ISINs are a standardized form of identification of securities which are needed in order to buy or (...)

The EU General Court confirms fine on a leading payment card company for market foreclosure (Morgan Stanley/Visa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 April 2011, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment on Visa‘s appeal against a 2007 Commission decision relating to Visa‘s refusal to admit Morgan Stanley as a member of its payment card network (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2007, No. 10). In its judgment, the GC rejects (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court dismisses complainant’ standing to challenge commitments in antitrust cases (Zlaten Lev Capital)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (the “SAC”) rejected complainants’ locus standi to challenge the commitments accepted by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) in antitrust cases. Complainants were considered to lack any cause for appeal because commitments (...)

The Budapest Court quashes the commitment decision of the Hungarian Competition Office for insufficiently mild commitments
Hungarian Competition Law Research Centre
Facts Leading Hungarian bank unilaterally increased the fees of pre-redemption. When the customers entered the contract, there was no fee of pre-redemption but the loan contracts expressly authorized the bank to amend the contract unilaterally. Procedural history On the basis of the (...)

The Hungarian Competition Council accepts commitments to remedy a suspected abuse of dominant position concerning the pricing of mortgages vis-à-vis "captured consumers"
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Council adopted a commitment decision terminating an investigation relating to the suspected abuse of dominant position by one of the leading banks in Hungary offering personal banking services, including housing loans (mortgages). The investigation was triggered by (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority finds abuse of a dominant position on the market of fast money transfer services (Western Union)
University of Belgrade
On January 12, 2010, the Serbian Competition Authority (Komisija za zastitu konkurencije) adopted a decision against companies EKI Transfers and Tenfore, both Western Union’s Serbian agents, for the abuse of a dominant position on the relevant market of fast money transfer services in Serbia. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by the historical postal operator (Poste Italiane - Aumento Commissione Bollettini C/C)
European Commission
Italy: The Antitrust Authority (ICA) accepts Commitments by Poste Italiane On 16 December 2009, the Italian Competition Authority accepted binding commitments proposed by Poste Italiane during an investigation into a possible abuse of dominant position in the collection and payment services (...)

The European Commission confirms sending statement of objections to a financial company alleging unfair pricing (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 19 November 2009, the Commission announced that on 16 November 2009 it had sent a Statement of Objections to Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) for an alleged violation of Article 82 EC. According to the Commission’s press release, S&P is the sole-appointed National Numbering Agency (“NNA”) (...)

The European Commission sends statements of objections following a complaint lodged by several associations representing investors against financial service company (Standard & Poor’s)
Ashurst (Milan)
Commission sends statement of Objections to Standard & Poor’s* On 16 November 2009 the Commission sent a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The SO follows a complaint lodged by several associations representing (...)

The General Court confirms the Commission’s decision in an abuse of dominant position case in the banking sector (Clearstream)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG EAC
Clearstream: General Court confirms Commission Decision* On 9 September 2009 the Court of First Instance (now the General Court) dismissed the action for annulment brought by Clearstream Banking AG (also known as Clearstream Banking Frankfurt or CBF) and Clearstream International SA against (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority opens an investigation in the market of collection and payment services for an alleged abuse by the national postal operator (Poste Italiane - Aumento Commissione Bollettini C/C)
National University of Singapore
The Italian Antitrust Authority (hereinafter, also “IAA”) has recently started an investigation in the market of collection and payment services for an alleged abuse of dominant position by the Italian postal operator. Party under investigation The investigation started after a complaint sent (...)

The European Commission opens formal proceedings against a financial company regarding its use of securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 12 January 2009, the Commission announced that it has opened formal proceedings into Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) licensing conditions regarding International Securities Identification Numbers (“ISINs”). ISINs are unique identifiers for securities issued throughout the world, and S&P is (...)

The Stockholm District Court awards damages in private antitrust case for abuse of dominant position (Europe Investor Direct a. o./ VPC)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
Background The Claimants (Europe Investor Direct Aktiebolag, Rutger Kahn Kommanditbolag and OÜ E Direct) provide information to investors on behalf of large listed companies that wish to sell more shares. In order to contact investors, the Claimants had requested registers of shares, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office refuses to hold abusive the postal incumbent’s conduct due to the lack of palpable market effects (Magyar Posta)
Hungarian Competition Law Research Centre
The Hungarian Competition Office refused to condemn the defendant’s conduct in a dominant position case due to the lack of palpable market effects. The behaviour would have admittedly amounted to an abuse in case of perceptible market consequences. However, in the absence of such impairment to (...)

The Czech NCA clears a 25 % price increase by the dominant fuel card issuer based on a new quantitative rebate system (CCS)
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
,
Czech Ministry of Justice (Prague)
On 18 February 2008, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition announced via a press release that it terminated its investigation of the increase of fees collected by CCS, the principal issuer of fuel cards in the Czech Republic, from the merchants which operate its point-of-sale (...)

A German Court implicitly applies the essential facilities doctrine in the sector of travel services credit card (Royal Bank of Scotland / Lufthansa)
White & Case (Hambourg)
In a decision dated 5 December 2007, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the Court) ordered Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa) to grant the permit to Royal Bank of Scotland plc. (RBS) to list the turnover tax for the travel services supplied by Lufthansa inner-Germany on its credit card (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office terminates with commitments a case of alleged excessive price increase of the largest commercial bank (OTP Bank)
Bassola Law Firm
The reason the GVH has initiated proceedings against OTP Bank was because OTP Bank unilaterally raised its repayment fee, charged in case of early repayment of the total amount of the personal credit or the mortgage, by 600%. The case ended with commitments undertaken by OTP Bank. 1 (...)

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

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses allegations of refusal to deal in the first case under amended Section 75 of Canadian Competition Act (B-Filer / The Bank of Nova Scotia)
CRA International (Toronto)
,
CRA International (Toronto)
Tribunal Dismisses B-Filer’s Refusal to Deal Application* On December 20, 2006, the Competition Tribunal released its decision in B-Filer Inc. v. The Bank of Nova Scotia, the first fully contested case under the amended Section 75 of the Competition Act and the first contested case brought as a (...)

A Belgian Court dismisses alleged anticompetitive agreement and abuse of dominant position on the electronic payment card market on the basis of both Art. 81/82 EC while using documents communicated by the EC Commission on the basis of Art. 15 Reg. 1/2003 ("Master Card - Visa Card")
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
UGGC Avocats (Brussels)
Background Electronic payment card schemes involve two basic operators : the “issuing bank”, which is a credit institution, and member of a card scheme, that has a contractual relationship with a cardholder for the provision and use of a card of that card scheme ; and the “acquiring bank”, which (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority accepts commitments and closes proceedings for breach of Art. 82 EC on electronic payment services and debit card terminals markets (Banksys)
Autorité de contrôle prudentiel
Background Following an investigation initiated by the Belgian Ministry of Economy in 2000 and two complaints lodged by small businesses associations in 2002, an enquiry was launched on 29 June 2004 by the Belgian Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence) about alleged anticompetitive (...)

The UK Office of Fair Trading issues interim measures direction pending completion of investigation for alleged predatory pricing and exclusionary price discrimination of the London Metal Exchange (LME)
Sanoma (Helsinki)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued an interim measures direction to the London Metal Exchange (LME) under section 35 of the Competition Act 1998. This is the first time that the OFT has employed these powers. The interim measures direction prevents LME from extending the trading hours (...)

The European Commission finds that company active in securities clearing violated article 82 by refusing to supply certain clearing and settlement services to one of its customers and by applying discriminatory prices to that same customer (Clearstream)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG EAC
"The Clearstream decision: the application of Article 82 to securities clearing and settlement"* On 2 June 2004 the Commission adopted a decision finding that Clearstream Banking AG and its parent company Clearstream International SA violated Article 82 by refusing to supply certain clearing (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority considers investments as an objective justification for discriminatory rebates (Superunie / Interpay)
Stibbe (Amsterdam)
Introduction Interpay is a joint venture between eight Dutch banks ("the shareholders"), founded in 1994 to provide network services for PIN-transactions. PIN-transactions are payments with debit cards with PIN through pay machines at retailers. The shareholders use Interpay as a joint sales (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority extends its investigation into tariff charges for electronic debit card payment facilities (Interpay)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
NMa Extends its Investigation into Interpay* The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) is extending its investigation into Interpay. The decision to do so was taken on the basis of a preliminary investigation by NMa and signals received from the market. The tariffs Interpay charges for its (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint undertaking subject to remedies in VAT refund services markets (Global Blue / Planet Payment)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the creation of the Cash Paris Tax Refund company by Global Blue and Planet Payment* A transaction referred by the European Commission On 21 August 2018, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the review (...)

The Italian Competition Authority unconditionally approves the creation of a cooperative banking group (Cassa Centrale Bancaria)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Merger, notification, autohorisation, banking, market definition, : clearance Phase (I) merger, economic efficiency, high market shares, relevant market, By a recent decision the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has unconditionally approved the creation of a cooperative banking group. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides guidance on the merger notification obligation in the EU regulation (Ernst & Young)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
European Court of Justice Provides Guidance on Scope of the Standstill Obligation Enshrined in the EU Merger Regulation* Pursuant to the EU merger control rules, a transaction that falls within the purview of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) must be notified to the European Commission (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger subject to remedies on the market of payment systems (MasterCard / VocaLink)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA accepts Mastercard/VocaLink undertakings* The CMA has today accepted undertakings offered by Mastercard to address competition concerns arising from its purchase of VocaLink. On 18 January 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it would look in detail at whether the (...)

The Polish Competition Authority approves an acquisition of control by the leading Polish insurance company of a direct competitor (Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń)
Hansberry Tomkiel (Warsaw)
In its decision no DKK 56/2017 of 6th April 2017 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the “Competition Authority”) gave its consent to the acquisition of control of Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A. (“Bank Pekao”) and its subsidiaries engaged in investment and (...)

The EU Commission blocks attempted merger between Europe’s two largest stock exchange operators, due to their inability to offer remedies that would prevent the creation of a de facto monopoly in the markets for fixed income clearing (Deutsche Börse / London Stock Exchange)
King’s College (London)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
DB/LSE - Assessing financial infrastructure markets: Network effects, service portfolios and viability of remedies* In a nutshell: The Commission prohibited the merger between the two largest European financial infrastructure groups, Deutsche Börse and London Stock Exchange, in March 2017. This (...)

The EU Commission issues a decision prohibiting a merger between two stock exchange companies due to the risk of foreclosure in the markets for post-trade services (Deutsche Börse / London Stock Exchange Group)
Compass Lexecon (London)
Introduction On 29 March 2017, the European Commission issued its decision prohibiting the merger between Deutsche Börse AG (“DBAG”) and London Stock Exchange Group (“LSEG”). The Commission was concerned about, inter alia, the risk of foreclosure in the markets for post-trade services. In this (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court requests the EU Court of Justice to provide guidance on gun-jumping test (Ernst & Young / KPMG)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
CJEU requested to provide guidance on gun-jumping test* With Post Danmark I and II under their belts, it seems Danish courts are punching above their weight when it comes to contributing to the CJEU’s development of EU competition law through preliminary rulings. Yet another interesting (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears acquisition of sole ownership over automation solutions provider by private equity group (Cortes NP Acquisition Corporation / ASCO Power GP / Emerson Network Power Business / Platinum Equity Group)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves acquisition of sole interest Emerson Network Power Business (ENP) by Platinum Equity Group* CCI by its order dated October 5, 2016 has approved the aforementioned combination. The proposed combination relates to acquisition by Platinum Equity Group (Platinum) of 85% equity (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning a merger on financial markets (Deutsche Börse / LSE)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed Deutsche Börse/LSE merger* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess, under the EU Merger Regulation, whether the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse AG (DB) and London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) would (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts merger remedies proposed by a leading global interdealer broker (Tullett Prebon)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA accepts broker merger undertakings* The CMA has accepted undertakings from Tullett Prebon and will not refer its merger with IGBB for an in-depth investigation. Tullett Prebon plc and ICAP plc are leading global interdealer brokers, companies that sit between investment banks helping to (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between two savings banks in Bavaria (Ingolstadt / Eichstätt)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger of savings banks in Bavaria* Today the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the merger between the savings banks Sparkasse Ingolstadt and Sparkasse Eichstätt. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Under the law of the federal state of Bavaria savings banks (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves a merger and amalgamation between two insurance companies (L&T General Insurance / HDFC Ergo)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves acquisition and amalgamation between HDFC Ergo and L&T* The proposed combination relates to acquisition of 100% shareholding in L&T General Insurance Company Limited (“LTGI”) by HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited (“HDFC Ergo”) from Larsen and Toubro (L&T). (...)

The US Department of Justice fines an activist investor for a record $11 million for violations of the HSR Act (ValueAct)
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (New York)
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Office of the New York State Attorney General (New York)
On July 12, 2016, the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that activist investor ValueAct Capital agreed to pay a record $11 million fine and also agreed to injunctive relief to settle allegations that ValueAct violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. § (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation regarding a merger in the market of brokerage of oil products (Tullett / ICAP)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Broker merger faces an in-depth investigation* Tullett’s anticipated acquisition of ICAP’s voice/hybrid broking business faces being referred for an in-depth investigation by the CMA. Tullett Prebon plc (Tullett) and ICAP plc (ICAP) are leading global interdealer brokers, companies that (...)

The EU Commission conditionally approves a merger subject to divestment commitments and behavioural conditions in the payment services and terminals sector (Equens / Worldline)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 April 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) approved the acquisition by Worldline of Equens (and its subsidiary PaySquare) under the EU Merger Regulation, subject to divestment commitments and behavioural conditions. Worldline is the incumbent operator of payment services and (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a merger between two central banks in the cooperative banking sector (DZ Bank / WGZ Bank)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger of the two central banks in the German cooperative banking sector* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the merger of the two central banks in the German cooperative banking sector, DZ BANK AG (Frankfurt) and WGZ BANK AG (Düsseldorf). The cooperative banks are (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves acquisition of pharmaceutical company’s business by foreign venture capital firm (FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II / Cipla Health)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves proposed combination notice filed by FIL Capital Investments (Mauritius) II Limited* The CCI, by its order dated January 15, 2016 has approved the proposed combination relating to the acquisition of 26.11% shareholding of the paid-up equity share capital of the Cipla Health by (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears acquisition of all shares in two jointly owned financial companies by single owner (Invesco HK / Religare / RI-AMC / RI-TC)
Vaish Associates, Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI approves combination between Invesco Hong Kong Limited (Invesco HK) and Religare entities* The CCI, by its order dated December 22, 2015, has approved the proposed acquisition of shares of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL)in Religare Invesco Asset Management Company Private Limited (...)

The US FTC announces a consent settlement based on an application of the investment-only exemption to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s premerger notification requirements (Third Point)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
On August 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a consent settlement based on an application of the investment-only exemption to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s premerger notification requirements. The settlement relates to the 2011 acquisitions of shares of Yahoo!, Inc. by Third (...)

The Competition Commission of India notices parties to furnish material information or face penalty (Sumitomo)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (Mumbai)
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Economic Laws Practice (Mumbai)
Introduction A notice was filed by Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited (“Sumitomo”) in relation to its acquisition of 2.77% in Reliance Capital Limited (“RCL”), through share subscription. Although the acquisition was for less than 25% and did not entail control, it required a filing with the (...)

The Competition Commission of India re-defines control and approves an acquisition (Caladium / Bandhan)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (Mumbai)
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Economic Laws Practice (Mumbai)
Introduction Caladium Investment Pte. Ltd. (“Caladium”) is a company incorporated in Singapore and an affiliate of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Bandhan Financial Services Limited (“BFSL”) is a company registered with the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) as a non-banking financial (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority refers its first gun-jumping case to the public prosecutor (KPMG / EY)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
First Danish gun jumping case referred to the public prosecutor* On 11 June 2015 the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) reported Ernst & Young Europe LLP (EY) to the public prosecutor for pre-implementing the merger with the former Danish KPMG member firm (KPMG Denmark). EY (...)

The EU General Court upholds a Commission decision to prohibit a merger of two stock exchanges of financial derivatives (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Clifford Chance (Madrid)
Background information The ruling of the EU General Court of 9 March 2015 has fully upheld the decision in which the European Commission (the “Commission”) blocked the concentration between NYSE Euronext (“NYX”) and Deutsche Börse. NYX is a U.S holding formed in 2007 through the merger of NYSE (...)

The Competition Commission of India directs a company to file a merger notification following several minority stakes acquisitions (Piramal)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (Mumbai)
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Economic Laws Practice (Mumbai)
Introduction The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) directed Piramal Enterprises Limited (“Piramal”) to file a notice pursuant to Section 20(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”), read with Regulation 8 of the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to transaction of business (...)

The Romanian Competition Council clears a merger in the banking sector although the parties have realized the merger before clearance (Transilvania Bank / Volksbank Romania)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
Transilvania Bank can involve in the activity of Volksbank Romania* The Competition Council issued a derogation decision from the provisions of the Competition Law so that Transilvania Bank to involved in the activity of Volksbank Romania and Volksbank Services Romania before obtaining the (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority holds that companies have pre-implemented a merger under scrutiny, leading to the first case of gun jumping (KPMG / EY)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
First case on gun jumping in Denmark* By terminating the agreement with KPMG International on the day of signing an agreement to join EY, KPMG Denmark pre-implemented the merger between KPMG Denmark and EY that the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) ruled in December 2014. It is (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission clears an acquisition of sole control in the banking sector (Alpha Bank / Diners Club of Greece Finance Company)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Clearance of the proposed acquisition by ALPHA BANK S.A. of CITIBANK Ιnternational PLC’s retail banking activities in Greece and of the shares of DINERS CLUB OF GREECE FINANCE COMPANY S.A.* By its unanimous Decision 592/2014, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) approved, under Greek merger (...)

The Competition Commission of India takes action against gun-jumping by airlines (Etihad / Jet Airways)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (Mumbai)
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Economic Laws Practice (Mumbai)
1. Introduction 1.1. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), while approving the acquisition of 17.36% post issue equity share capital of Standard Greases & Specialties Private Limited (SGSPL) by Alpha TC Holdings Pte Limited (Alpha TC Holdings) and Tata Capital Growth Fund I (TCGF I), (...)

The Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus clears an acquisition in the online payment services market (GCS Holding / Ingenico)
Neocleous (Nicosia)
On 16/07/2014, the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”) received notification of a proposed concentration by Ingenico S.A. (hereinafter referred to as "Ingenico"), in accordance with section 10(2) of the Control of (...)

The Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition receives a notification of a merger on the investissement market (Dayarona Trading and Loramina Trading / Development Bank Public Company)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nycosia)
Press Release published on the official website of the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition. Notification concerning the acquisition of part of the share capital of Cyprus Development Bank Public Company Ltd from the Dayarona Trading Ltd and Loramina Trading Ltd.* The (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority forwards an application for a prohibition order against the acquisition of the franchisors of two largest national real estate chains (Swedbank Franchise / Svensk Fastighetsförmedling)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority is going to court to stop the real estate concentration* The Competition Authority is going to court to prohibit Swedbank Franchise from acquiring Svensk Fastighetsförmedling. The deal would significantly impede competition on a large number of local markets. (...)

The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court overrules the Brazilian Competition Authority’s appeal regarding the Central Bank’s exclusive jurisdiction for merger control in financial institutions (Brazilian Central Bank)
Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados
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Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados
The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court has overruled the Brazilian Competition Authority’s appeal regarding the verdict issued by the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice regarding the Brazilian Central Bank’s exclusive jurisdiction for merger control involving banks and financial institutions in (...)

The Danish Supreme Court upholds two decisions by the Danish Competition Council in relation to commitments given in a merger case (Nykredit)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 3 June 2014, the Danish Supreme Court upheld two decisions by the Danish Competition Council in which it decided (i) that a commitment without any specific mention of time limit was unlimited in time; and (i) that the Danish Competition Council enjoys a margin of appreciation in matters of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority approves proposed acquisition of mortgage lender (Jyske Bank / BRFkredit Bank)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council approves Jyske Bank A/S’ acquisition of BRF kredit A/S* On 30 April 2014 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) approved Jyske Bank A/S´ (Jyske Bank) proposed acquisition of mortgage lender BRF kredit A/S (BRF). The DCC finds that the transaction will not (...)

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission partially relaxes mergers and the new acquisition rules in the insurance sector are expected to help facilitate market entry and expand the footprint of private capital
AnJie Law (Beijing)
China Issues New Insurance Merger Rules* Level play ground, optimizing industry structure, promoting competitiveness, and enriching the risk management tool kit of the insurance institutes”, quoting a statement of CIRC posted on its website. Promotion of Competition CIRC’s partially relaxed (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority does not oppose the acquisition of an independant insurance underwriter because other competitors including the banks and challenger brands are likely to have a similar ability to provide strong price-based competition (IAG / Wesfarmers)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose IAG’s proposed acquisition of Wesfarmers’ insurance underwriting business* IAG’s proposed acquisition was publicly announced in December 2013. The ACCC has closely reviewed the proposed acquisition as IAG and (...)

The Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus concludes that a transaction does not affect the current position of the acquirer and therefore decided that it did not raise serious doubts as regards its compatibility with the competitive market (Vicini/SLZA)
Chrysses Demetriades (Limassol)
Background On the 27th of December 2013, the Commission for the Protection of Competition (the «Commission») received a notification relating to the proposed acquisition by S.L.Z.A. S.A. («S.L.Z.A.») of 30% of the share capital of Vicini S.p.A. («Vicini»), in accordance with section 13 of the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a transaction for the creation of a joint venture operating in the banking sector on the basis of the non-applicability of the relevant Italian law provisions governing concentrations between undertakings (Bassilichi / Accenture)
C partners law and tax firm (Milan)
Background The purpose of the transaction at hand was to allow Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (“MPS”), one of the major Italian banks, to externalise certain back-office and administrative services, entrusting them to other companies outside its corporate group, as part of its strategic (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears a merger on the market for supply of floor-plan financing to motor vehicle dealerships, point-of-sale retail finance to customers of motor vehicle dealerships and equipment finance to a range of businesses (Lloyds International / Westpac Banking)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC to not oppose Westpac’s proposed acquisition of Lloyd’s assets* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed acquisition of certain assets of Lloyds International Pty Ltd including Capital Finance Australia Limited (CFAL) and BOS International (Australia) (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council rules on the issue whether credit agreements lead to concentrations (Swedbank, Alita)
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
During the last couple of years a new trend of cases pertaining to the Lithuanian merger control regime has emerged. Those cases concern credit agreements concluded between financial institutions (creditors) and private businesses (borrowers) and claims by the latter, their shareholders or (...)

The German Competition Authority clears acquisition on the market for cash handling services (Prosegur Compania de Seguridad / Brink)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears mergers of cash handling services (CIT) companies* Prosegur’s acquisition of Brink’s only cleared subject to conditions relating to the Berlin market The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Brink’s Deutschland GmbH and Brink’s Transport und Service GmbH by the (...)

The US DoJ fines corporation $720,000 to settle charges that it violated HSR Act’s premerger notification and waiting period requirements (M&F)
Boies, Schiller & Flexner (Miami)
HSR Compliance: The Consequences of Being Lackadaisical … A $720,000 Fine* MacAndrews and Forbes’ (M&F) settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 20, 2013, provides a good reminder that simply surviving the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act waiting period or receiving an early (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition declares that transaction by an SPV controlled by 4 natural persons who do not achieve any turnover is not notifiable (International Lease Finance Corporation / Jumbo Acquisition)
Chrysses Demetriades (Limassol)
Background This case concerned a notification of a concentration purusnat to the Cyprus Law on the Control of Concentrations (the “Law”), by Jumbo GP Ltd (“Jumbo”), Jumbo Acquisition Ltd ( “Jumbo Acquisition”) and International Lease Finance Corporation (“ILFC”). Jumbo is a special purpose vehicle (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves an acquisition subject to remedies regarding crossed-minority stakes in competitors (CaixaBank and Banco de Valencia)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
On December 14, 2012, CaixaBank S.A. (“CaixaBank”) notified the National Competition Commission (“CNC”) of the acquisition of sole control of Banco de Valencia, S.A. (“Banco de Valencia”). The transaction involved two credit entities active mainly in the retail bank market in Spain. On February 28, (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition fines two undertakings that failed to notify their merger (Excel-Serve Management / IFG)
Chrysses Demetriades (Limassol)
CYM7 Excel-Serve Management Ltd/IFG Group Plc Case No. 8.13.012.32 15.02.13 NCA Background The Decision of the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”), relates to the acquisition of 100% of the shareholding of Excel-Serve Management Limited (“Excel-Serve”) by IFG Group Plc (...)

The Albanian Competition Authority fines companies for gun-jumping and failure to notify (Viloil, Geci, Media Vision, Alpha Bank/Emporiki Bank of Greece)
Këllezi Legal (Geneva)
The Albanian Competition Authority recently fined several companies for failure to notify a transaction and for late filing. The fines still remains symbolic at an amount not exceeding EUR 1’000; however, the number of decisions shows a trend in enforcement policy. On 5 February 2013, an (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a payment processing company for infringing commitments offered to obtain merger clearance (REDSYS)
DG COMP (Brussels)
On 17 December 2012 the Spanish Competition Authority ("CNC") imposed a fine of €819,000 on REDSYS S.L. ("REDSYS") as it considered that the payment processing company had infringed the commitments which it had voluntarily offered in Phase 2 of the procedure in order to obtain clearance for its (...)

The Japan Fair Trade Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the financial instrument market (Tokyo Stock Exchange Group / Osaka Securities Exchange)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Closed its Review on the Proposed Business Combination between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. and Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Ltd* Upon receipt of the notification of a plan regarding the proposed business combination between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. and Osaka Securities (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority confirms the application of merger control rules to foreign-to-foreign transactions in a merger case concerning two banks (Sberbank and DenizBank)
Kinstellar (Belgrade)
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Kinstellar (Belgrade)
On 4 July 2012, the Serbian Competition Authority (the “Competition Authority”) issued a decision approving a merger between Sberbank of Russia, a company with its registered seat at Moscow, the Russian Federation (“Sberbank”), and DenizBank A.S., a company with its registered seat at Istanbul, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office clears the acquisition of the prospective owner and operator of the gas interconnector between Slovakia and Hungary by two state owned companies (Magyar Villamos Művek / MFB Invest Befektetési és Vagyonkezelő / Magyar Gáz Tranzit)
Philip Morris (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Office (“HCO”) has approved the acquisition of joint control by Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt. (“MVM”), MFB Invest Befektetési és Vagyonkezelő Zrt. (“MFB Invest”) over Magyar Gáz Tranzit Zrt. (“MGT”), the prospective owner and operator of the gas interconnector between Slovakia and (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) grantes derogation from the obligation to suspend until issuance of its approval decision (National Bank of Greece / Achaiki Cooperative Bank)
D.N. Tzouganatos & Partners
The HCC pursuant to its decision No 537/VII/2012 allowed NBG to implement its acquisition of ACB prior to the issuance of its approval in order to avoid the danger of destabilization of the banking sector. On March 18th, 2012, pursuant to its decision of 18.03.2012, the Credit and Insurance (...)

The EU Commission declares the concentration between two stock exchange operators to be incompatible with the internal market (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Quality of Evidence in Complex Merger Cases* The Commission published the text of its most recent prohibition decision in Deutsche Boerse / NYSE Euronext. The Decision is lengthy and the Commission appears to have formulated a response to most arguments proffered by the parties. However, a (...)

The EU Commission blocks a merger due to its potential effect on European financial derivatives traded on the stock exchange (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Mayer Brown (Paris)
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Greenberg Traurig (London)
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Mayer Brown (Brussels)
On 1st February 2012, the European Commission adopted its decision prohibiting the USD 10.2 billion merger between Deutsche Börse (DB) and NYSE Euronext (NYSE). The decision is notable not the least because it is rare for the Commission to block a merger. Only 21 have been blocked compared (...)

The EU Commission blocks proposed merger of stock exchange groups as it would create a quasi-monopoly in the European exchange-traded derivatives industry (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext Blame “Narrow” Market Definition for EC’s Objection to Combination* Despite a U.S. Department of Justice decision to clear the deal, the European Commission (EC) today blocked the proposed merger of NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse. The EC determined that the (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission clears, subject to commitments, merger in the credit card terminal sector (Verifone/Hypercom)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
This is an interesting case and we are reporting it based on the publicly available (press) information. The merger Decision on the case is not public. Verifone Systems, Inc is a global leader in secure electronic payment solutions, and Hypercom Corporation, a high security electronic payment (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission clears a merger in the electronic payment terminals sector following the agreement by the merging entities to extend remedies beyond Spain (Verifone / Hypercom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 December 2011, the Spanish National Competition Commission (CNC) agreed to authorise the acquisition by Verifone Systems, Inc. (Verifone) of sole control of Hypercom Corporation (Hypercom) in the first phase, subject to compliance with commitments offered by Verifone. The (...)

The US Department of Justice conditionally approves combination of stock exchanges groups while the EU Commission’s review is still pending (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
U.S. Justice Department Conditionally Approves Combination of Stock Exchange Groups, European Review Still Pending* The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears merger in the multilateral trading facilities sector concluding that sponsored entry’s strong threat would disincentive the merged firm to raise prices (BATS/Chi-X)
CRA International (London)
Sponsored Entry* Some mergers materially reduce the choice of suppliers available to customers. When this happens, how much weight should competition authorities give to the potential for customers to sponsor new entry? Two recent cases investigated by the UK Competition Commission (CC) (...)

The UK Competition Commission finds no substantial lessening of Competition in an acquisition in the treasury management advisory services (Sector Treasury Services, Butlers, ICAP PLC)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Background On 31 March 2011, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") referred to the Competition Commission ("CC") for investigation and report under the Enterprise Act 2002 ("the Act") the completed acquisition by Sector Treasury Services Limited ("STS") of Butlers, a trading division of ICAP plc (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM publishes a conditional approval of proposed transaction under Anti-Monopoly Law (Alpha V)
Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") has published a conditional approval of proposed transaction under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"). This decision reflects China’s view of the broad reach of the AML’s merger provisions and the lengthy procedure that merging parties can expect. Since (...)

The Belgium Competition Council grants a derogation from the standstill obligation in a bank rescue operation (Dexia)
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
On 13 October 2011, the Competition Council granted a derogation from the standstill obligation under which concentrations that are notifiable in Belgium cannot be implemented before clearance. The Belgian State obtained this derogation for its acquisition of the shares of Dexia Bank België NV (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes an infringement procedure on implementation of the remedies imposed for the approval of a merger in the banking sector (Banca Intesa/San Paolo IMI)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a recent decision, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed the infringement procedure on whether the parties to the bank merger Banca Intesa/San Paolo IMI had correctly implemented the remedies imposed in the conditional authorization of the transaction. The ICA was happy with the (...)

The US FTC and DoJ issue new premerger reporting rules introducing new obligations for private equity funds and hedge funds
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (New York)
This article has been nominated by readers for the business category, mergers section of the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. New rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission on July 7, 2011 will streamline some information required (...)

The US DoJ expresses antitrust concerns on a proposed merger in the equity market sector leading the companies to abandon the deal (Nasdaq OMX, NYSE Nasdaq)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Threat of U.S. Antitrust Challenge Leads Nasdaq to Abandon Pursuit of NYSE* Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have withdrawn their proposal to acquire NYSE Euronext in the face of antitrust objections from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department issued a (...)

The US FTC issues a statement to clarify the use of escrows in reportable acquisitions
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On April 29, 2011, the Premerger Notification Office (PNO) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a statement “to provide greater clarity about the use of escrows in connection with transactions” that require notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission clears in second phase merger in the payment processing sector imposing commitments to the two merging companies (REDSYS / REDY)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The merger of Redsys Servicios de Procesamiento (RESDYS) and Redes y Procesos (REDY), two payment processing companies was notified to the NCC on 16 August 2010. The NCC decided on October 2010 to open phase 2 proceedings because it took the view that the operation could hinder the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a banking merger leading to a collective dominant position by imposing a set of structural and behavioural remedies (Intesa San Paolo-Banca Monte Parma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally authorized the Intesa San Paolo (ISP) acquisition of Banca Monte Parma (BMPR)by a second phase investigation decision . The ICA imposed a set of remedies to fix the competition concerns arising from a dominant position between ISP and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts a second phase investigation into a banking merger for allegedly anti-competitive coordinated effects (Intesa San Paolo / Banca Monte Parma)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has decided to open a Second Phase investigation into the Intesa San Paolo (ISP) acquisition of Banca Monte Parma (BMPR). The ICA held that the transaction was likely to result in the creation or strengthening of a dominant position in a number of banking (...)

The Italian Competition Authority reviews the remedies regarding life insurance markets attached to the 2006 conditional clearance of a merger (Banca Intesa / Sanpaolo IMI)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has recently reviewed the remedies attached to the 2006 conditional authorization of the Banca Intesa/Sanpaolo IMI merger. The remedies addressed the competition problems the merger would have caused in life insurance markets. The ICA considered the (...)

The European Commission approves the acquisition of Italian retail banks by French bank concluding that it will not raise any competition concerns (Crédit Agricole of France/Cassa di Risparmio della Spezia)
J G Associates (Brussels)
Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 10 November 2010 the European Commission approved the acquisition of the retail bank Cassa di Risparmio della Spezia SpA of Italy and a number of other retail bank branches of Intesa SanPaolo in Italy by Crédit Agricole of France, (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court approves of the NCA’s qualifying, with reference to Art. 3(5)(c) of Reg. 139/2004, a national-dimension acquisition of control as a concentration notifiable under the Competition Act but quashes the fine for non-notification (Allianz Leasing Bulgaria)
University Paris Dauphine
I. Introduction 1. An ex officio investigation of Allianz Bulgaria Holding’s non-notified acquisition of Allianz Leasing Bulgaria (formerly Balkan Star Services), a vehicle leasing company, gave both the Competition Protection Commission (hereinafter ‘CPC’) and the Supreme Administrative Court (...)

The UK OFT decides on material influence through meeting attendance and board membership (RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Fund/Kelda Holdings)
Dechert (Brussels)
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) decision in RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Fund LP / Kelda Holdings Limited confirms that the OFT’s material influence assessment relies “on the facts not the legal form”. Infrastructure Saxon sarl (Saxon) increased its stake in Kelda Holdings (Kelda) to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority finds the commitments proposed by the parties suitable to ensure the correct implementation of the remedies imposed for the approval of a banks merger (Banca Intesa/San Paolo IMI)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
It seems that the Banca Intesa/San Paolo IMI merger case may finally come to an end. By a recent decision, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) accepted the remedies offered by the parties to ensure the correct implementation of the obligations they undertook for the regulatory approval of (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM and four other authorities adopt joint measures on financial industry mergers
Kastell
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Linklaters (Beijing)
On July 21, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) released the Measures on the Calculation of Turnovers for the Notification of Concentrations of Business Operators in the Financial Industry (“Measures”). These Measures were jointly issued by MOFCOM, the People’s Bank (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court interprets the EC Merger Regulation and denies national jurisdiction over a merger seven years after its clearance (Mediobanca)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Introduction By a judgment of 16 July 2009, the Consiglio di Stato(Italian Supreme Administrative Court, the “Court”) has set aside a judgment of the Regional Administrative Tribunal of Latium (the “TAR Latium”) that recognized jurisdiction of the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) to (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM issues guidelines on computation of financial merger reporting thresholds
White & Case (Beijing)
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Mattel (Hong Kong)
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White & Case (Beijing)
As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, China has been a favorite destination for foreign investment since it opened its doors to foreign investors almost three decades ago. While its growth has slowed, the Chinese economy continues to grow moderately amid the global financial crisis, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office clears the acquisition of a real estate management company by a holding company of a bank (CIL Buda Square Ingatlanhasznosító, Óbudai Dunapart Irodaház Központ, CIB Bank)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
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Kinstellar
On 21 August 2008 CIL Buda Square Ingatlanhasznosító Kft. (“CIL”), a Hungarian property management company owned by CIB Bank Zrt. (“CIB Bank”) acquired from IMMOCAMP S.A. and Jason Invest and Trade LLC 100 per cent of the business quotas in Óbudai Dunapart Irodaház Központ Kft. (“Dunapart”). According (...)

The French National Competition Authority conditionally clears in Phase I a merger in the banking sector (Groupe Banque Populaire / Groupe Caisse d’Epargne)
University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
Facing its first newsworthy merger since the Law of Modernization of the Economy came into force, the French National Competition Authority (NCA) cleared in Phase I a merger in the banking sector between Groupe Banque Populaire and Groupe Caisse d’Epargne after having (i) laid down stringent (...)

The French competition authority specifies under which conditions a merger is likely to affect competition in local markets and validates behavioural remedies due to the economic crisis (Caisse d’Epargne and Banque Populaire)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
Since it was granted jurisdiction over mergers, the Competition Authority (hereafter “the Authority”) gave its first decision of approval with commitments on June 22, 2009. Even though it was a Phase I decision, the Authority performed a very thorough analysis of the operation’s impact, especially (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens a compliance procedure on the implementation of remedies regarding a merger in the banking sector (BancaIntesa/SanPaolo IMI)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision taken on 14 May 2009, the Italian Competition Authority or ICA has opened an investigation into whether the parties to the BancaIntesa/San Paolo IMI concentration fulfilled the remedies imposed with the conditional authorization of the transaction . The ICA conditional (...)

The Italian Antitrust Authority clears with remedies the merger between the two main operators for credit card business (Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane - Cartasì)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
On 27 March 2009, the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) conditionally cleared the acquisition of SI Holding (SI), the financial holding company controlling the CartaSì Group, by Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI). Both SI and ICBPI are controlled by Italian banks, which (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office clears three different mergers involving six of the largest German banks (Deutsche Bank / Deutsche Postbank, Commerzbank / DresdnerBank / (Allianz) and DZ Bank / WGZ Bank)
Blomstein
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
Background Against the background of increasing global financial turmoil, three major concentrations involving six large German banks (as well as the largest German insurance company) were submitted to the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt - FCO) for clearance between November (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rejects appeal against clearance of a merger in the bank sector (Lloyds TSB/HBOS)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 December 2008, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled on an appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Lord Mandelson, to clear the proposed acquisition of UK banking group HBOS by competitor Lloyds TSB. In September 2008, (...)

The UK OFT waives competition law in the interest of "maintaining the stability of the UK financial system" and clears a major concentration in the banking sector (Lloyds-HBOS)
Indian Administrative Service
Of all the human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition. (Henry Clay, 1832) A. Abstract In an exceptional stir, the UK government engineered the merger of Lloyds TSB plc (Lloyds) and HBOS plc (HBOS) waiving the competition law in the interest of (...)