Financial services

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority fines meal vouchers issuers for anticompetitive practices taking the form of information exchange, market sharing and price-fixing (Edenred France / Up / Natixis Intertitres / Sodexo Pass France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines the four historical meal vouchers issuers for a total of nearly 415 M€, for anticompetitive practices* Background The Autorité has been informed of anti-competitive practices in the meal vouchers sector by the company Octoplus (Resto Flash), which offers a (...)

The Brazilian CADE recommends closing an administrative inquiry which investigates potential anticompetitive conducts in the transmission of sensitive information among competitors in the payment market
Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
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Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
On October 14, CADE’s General Superintendence (GS) recommended closing an administrative inquiry investigating potential anticompetitive conduct. Such conduct consisted of the transmission of sensitive information among competitors in the payments market. More specifically, the investigation (...)

The Italian Supreme Court sheds light on the severance of anti-competitive clauses of a banking personal guarantee contract (De Gregorio / Banca Promos)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
Introduction Article 2 of the Italian Competition Law no. 287/1990 (ICL), which is equal to Article 101 TFEU, provides that an agreement that restrains competition is void. By its judgment rendered in De Gregorio et al v Banca Promos, the Italian Court of Cassation has considered the reach of (...)

The EU General Court reaffirms the Commission’s duty to provide sufficient reasons when explaining fine calculations in cartel cases (HSBC)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 24 September 2019, the EU General Court (GC) handed down its judgment in HSBC v. Commission. Consistent with recent precedent, the GC reaffirmed the European (...)

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

The EU Advocate General Bobek publishes his opinion on the concept of restriction of competition by object or by effect (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal / Budapest Bank)
Dentons (Brussels)
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Levi Strauss (Brussels)
AG BOBEK’S OPINION IN BUDAPEST BANK: ON OBJECT VS. EFFECT, FISH AND LILIES* On September 5, 2019, Advocate General Bobek published his opinion in the Budapest Bank case (C-228/18). The opinion provides very clear and practical guidance on the concept of restriction of competition by object – a (...)

The Advocate General Bobek provides an analytical framework to assess the appropriateness of ‘by object’ qualifications while clarifying and consolidating the case-law on the dichotomy between ‘by object’ and ‘by effect’ restrictions (Budapest Bank)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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KU Leuven
Comment On 5 September 2019, Advocate General (‘AG’) Bobek delivered his Opinion in the Budapest Bank case following a request for a preliminary ruling from the Hungarian Supreme Court (‘HSC’). AG Bobek advised on several matters such as the existence of an obligation for National Competition (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes record fine of € 54 million for a cartel in the markets for insuring workplace accidents, health, and cars (Lusitania / Zürich)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 August 2019, the Portuguese competition authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, “AdC”) published a press release in which it announced that it had imposed total fines of € 42 million on two insurance companies (Lusitania and Zürich), two board members and two directors for, inter alia, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes the highest fines ever applied for a cartel in the financial sector (Lusitania / Zurich)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The first cartel sanctioned by the AdC in the Portuguese financial sector has the highest fines ever applied* The AdC applied a fine totalling more than €54 million on insurance companies, board members and directors involved in the “insurer cartel”. The proceedings is now concluded with the (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the referral filed by an online content hosting service regarding practices of several companies in the online payment sector (Dstorage / Visa / Mastercard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online payment* The Autorité de la concurrence rejects, in the absence of solid evidence, the referral filed by the online content hosting service Dstorage (1fichier.com) regarding practices of several companies in the payment methods sector, notably the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, Visa (...)

The EU Court of Justice reaffirms the General Court’s decision to annul the fines imposed by the Commission in the Yen Interest Rate Derivatives cartel case (Icap)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 July 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) delivered a judgment on an appeal lodged by the European Commission (the “Commission”) against the judgment of the General Court (the “GC”) that had annulled the fines imposed by the Commission on ICAP in the Yen Interest Rate (...)

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

The EU Commission imposes fines totalling over € 1 billion on banks for their involvement in two separate cartels in the spot foreign exchange markets (Barclays / RBS / Citigroup / JPMorgan / MUFG)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 May 2019, the European Commission adopted two decisions under its cartel settlement procedure, in which it imposed fines totalling € 1.07 billion on five banks for their involvement in two separate cartels on the spot foreign exchange markets for eleven currencies. The banks involved in (...)

The EU Commission fines five banks for participating in foreign exchange spot trading cartel (Barclays / RBS / Citigroup / JPMorgan / MUFG)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and MUFG €1.07 billion for participating in foreign exchange spot trading cartel* In two settlement decisions, the European Commission has fined five banks for taking part in two cartels in the Spot Foreign Exchange market for 11 (...)

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

The Dutch Highest Administrative Court rules that the National Competition Authority can find private equity investors liable for cartel infringements of their portfolio companies in the food market (Flour cartel)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
Private equity investors held liable for cartels in the Netherlands* Introduction On 19 March 2019, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands (het College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, “CBb”) ruled that the Dutch Competition Authority (“the ACM”) can hold private equity investors (...)

The UK FCA issues its first antitrust decision and fines several companies for sharing strategic information during an initial public offering (Hargreave / Newton / RAMAM)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued its first antitrust decision since obtaining competition law powers four years ago. The decision is a controversial one. It sets the FCA up as a strict enforcer on the type of information that competing investors can share when making (...)

The UK Financial Conduct Authority fines companies sharing strategic information on a bilateral basis during an initial public offering (Hargreave / Newton / RAMAM)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 21 February, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) found that Hargreave Hale Ltd (“Hargreave Hale”), Newton Investment Management Limited (“Newton”), and (...)

The UK FCA issues its first formal decision under its competition law enforcement powers by finning three asset management firms in an IPO context (Hargreave / Newton / RAMAM)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 21 February 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a decision finding that three asset management firms breached competition law in the context of an initial public offering (IPO). This marks the FCA’s first formal decision under its competition law enforcement powers, which it (...)

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

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

The 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 sends a statement of objection to four banks accused of collusion in the bond trading market
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections in US Dollar supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bond trading cartel* The European Commission has informed four banks of its preliminary view that they have breached EU antitrust rules by colluding, in periods from 2009 to 2015, to distort (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida receives an antitrust claim against bitcoin companies concerning alleged coordination in order to restrain trade (United American Corp / Bitmain)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
The First Blockchain Antitrust Case. Or Is It?* Legal professionals paying close attention to the still nascent world of blockchains and cyptocurrencies are following what is considered to be the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrencies. For enthusiasts, United American Corp. v. (...)

The EU Commission invites interested parties to comment on the commitments offered by two credit card companies to address competition concerns relating to inter-regional interchange fees for card payment 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 / EU Commission)
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 affirms the Commission’s finding that financial investors have parental liability for the acts of an indirect subsidiary involved in the power cables cartel (Goldman Sachs / EU Commission)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
On 12 July 2018, by its judgment in Case T-419/14 The Goldman Sachs Group v Commission, the GCEU entirely dismissed the appeal brought by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., against an EC decision in Case AT. 39610 Power Cables, fining Goldman Sachs EUR 37.303 million for its parental liability (...)

The EU General Court finds financial investors liable for anticompetitive conduct of portfolio companies (Goldman Sachs / EU Commission)
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 rejects Government antitrust challenge against anti steering provisions of a credit-card network company (American Express)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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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 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 Spanish Competition Authority fines four banks for colluding to offer interest rate derivatives at different conditions to those agreed with the clients (Banco Santander / Banco Sabadell / BBVA / Caixabank)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has imposed a EUR 91 million fine to Banco Santander, Banco Sabadell, BBVA and Caixabank for colluding to offer interest rate derivatives at different conditions from those agreed with the clients concerned. The derivatives in question were used to cover the risks of the interest rate (...)

The Italian Supreme Court confirms the claim for nullity of a personal guarantee as being a violation of the antitrust regulation (ABI)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
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Studio Legale Scoccini (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 Authority receives an application for an exemption decision on the Code of Banking Practice from several financial institutions
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 partially annuls the Commission decision fining a financial company for facilitating cartels in the market of interest rate derivatives in Japanese yen (Icap)
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 EU General Court finds flaws in the EU Commission’s decision and quashes the €14,9 million 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 Moldovan Competition Authority prosecutes currency exchange bureaus for fixing the exchange rates (Activ Prim / Bartolomeu / Dragotin Prim / Lavronix / Lozcoz)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 Competition Authority 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)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
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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DLA Piper (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 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 Hungarian Supreme Court 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 upholds the 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)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
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 (...)

Financial services and competition law: An overview of EU and national case law
Clifford Chance (London)
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International Monetary Fund (Washington)
Introduction Nearly a decade since the financial crisis first hit the European Union, financial services remain in the spotlight. Around 30% of the European banking sector has been subject to State aid control and more than 60 banks have been restructured: many of them still constrained by (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds that the multilateral interchange fee payment scheme was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and was therefore illegal (Sainsbury’s / MasterCard)
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 UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards competition damages in country’s 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 DoJ settles HSR Act violation case with record fine for inappropriately relying on the investment-only exemption and failing to comply with the premerger notification requirements (ValueAct / Halliburton / Baker Hughes)
Shearman & Sterling (New York)
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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 Competition Authority (Bonn)
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 undertakings in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act (Shri Nirmal / Ruchi Soya / Betul Oils / Ganganagar)
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 for the Southern District of New York confirms that cooperative processes such as setting benchmark interest rates may be subject to antitrust laws (Alaska Electrical Pension / Bank of America)
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 Singapore Competition Authority extends the scope of the “by object” category of anti-competitive agreements again and fines firms for pressuring competitors to withdraw rebates offered to customers (iFast)
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)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
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 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 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 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 imposes €31m fine on nine commercial banks for anticompetitive practices (JCC)
Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
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Stephanie Theodotou Lawyer (Cyprus)
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 Cypriot Competition Authority fines several banking for abuse of dominance and cartel (JCC )
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
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 Cyprus Ltd, (...)

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

The 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 proceedings (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
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 DoJ 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 DoJ awards a company sentencing credit for implementing an effective compliance program after the launch of an investigation in the alleged forex cartel conspiracy (Barclays)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
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US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (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 Authority decides to close its investigations following approval of European interchange fees regulation (MasterCard / Visa)
Alston & Bird (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 US District Court for the Eastern District of New York reminds that potential defendants 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 defence (American Express)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
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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 EU Commission fines a broker for facilitating Yen Libor cartels by serving as communication channel and disseminating misleading information about expected rates (Icap)
Alston & Bird (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, distinguishing 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 UK FCA 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 Dutch Competition Authority imposes fines on three investments companies that had been directly involved in the flour 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 Competition Authority imposes fines on several banks for having coordinated their activities in the area of providing financial services
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
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 / 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 Russian Competition Authority’s decision which decides on an anticompetitive agreement in 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 (Brussels)
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 (...)

The US, 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 UK High Court of Justice guides on the application of the limitation period in damages actions (Arcadia / Visa)
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 EU Commission imposes fines of nearly €94 millions on four major banks for collusive behaviours (RBS / JPMorgan / UBS / Credit Suisse)
Alston & Bird (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 Authority imposes fines on a bank for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement on the markets for 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 case law (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
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 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 (Groupement des 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 rules on restrictions by object in a case regarding payment card rules (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
Dentons (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 annuls a judgment of the General Court which 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 (London)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. 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 (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the object-effect dichotomy and deals with two-sided markets (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
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 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 confirms the ruling of the General Court on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
Studio Legale Scoccini (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 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 US District Court for the Southern District of New York finds that plaintiffs adequately plead a conspiracy to restrain trade because the defendants “abruptly and simultaneously” switched their positions and harmed 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 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)
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 (...)

The Kazakh Specialised Economic Court does not 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 favour 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 Authority reopens an investigation into agreements within the 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 Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the presence of fault being an absolute precondition for competition law liability (G4S / DNB / SEB / 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 returns a case to the Competition Authority for additional investigations (G4S)
Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania
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 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 New Zealand Competition Authority confirms its investigation into possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influence of benchmarks in foreign exchange markets (FOREX)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
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) markets. The investigation was commenced as a result of a (...)

The Australian Competition 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 class action subject to a requirement for the plaintiff to redraft pleadings in order 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 Commission opens an investigation on 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 fixing multilateral interchange fees in bill payments (Consorzio BANCOMAT)
Chiomenti (Milano)
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 / 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 Advocate General Mengozzi proposes to the Court of Justice to uphold the Commission’s decision prohibiting multilateral interchange fees (Mastercard)
Ramón y Cajal (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 New Zealand Competition Authority releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
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 with banks and financial institutions in relation to the (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York 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 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 (Brussels)
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 National Competition authority’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (Visa / MasterCard)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Authority imposes fines on 11 financial institutions due to their concerted practices which 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 proceedings alleging the violation of 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 Competition Authority appeals against a recent decision dismissing cartel allegations as regards to fixing 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 Australian Federal Court dismisses allegations of price fixing in the market for loan arrangement services finding that the parties were not in competition with each other (ANZ)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)
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 decision handed down by Justice Dowsett on Monday 18 November 2013. Background Facts In 2007 the (...)

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 Australian Competition Authority 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 charged by two card companies from undertakings (MasterCard / Visa)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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 extensive work that it has been performing for the past three years over all methods (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains significant reduction of main multilateral interchange fees on domestic card transactions (MasterCard / Visa)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Singaporean Competition Authority 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 Canadian Competition Tribunal holds that ’merchants rules’ adopted by two leading credit card network providers do not constitute resale price maintenance (MasterCard / 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 Canadian Competition Authority decides that it would not appeal the Tribunal’s decision but identifies alternate means for 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 Romanian Competition Authority issues a report on an inquiry into the multilateral interchange fees in the payment cards sector
European Commission (Brussels)
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 holds that banks cannot concert to drive a competitor out of the market (VUB Bank)
European Investment Fund (Luxembourg)
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 Slovak Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision in a banking cartel case (VUB Bank)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Turkish Competition Authority imposes the 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 Swedish Competition Authority decides that the practice of excluding suppliers from ‘tax havens’ is incompatible with EU law (Municipality of Kalmar)
Mircea (Bucharest)
I. Introduction OECD’s list of uncooperative tax havens has become the world’s shortest black list, only two small islands in Pacific being listed as uncooperative tax havens. The use of legal methods to modify a corporation’s financial situation in order to lower the amount of corporate tax owed (...)

The EU Court of Justice sides in favour of the Slovakian Competition Authority 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)
Dagital Legal (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 EU Court of Justice rules on the interpretation of Article 101 TFEU and finds that undertakings cannot justify restriction 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 Lithuanian Competition Authority fines security services provider and three banks for anticompetitive agreements concerning cash handling and cash-in-transit services (G4S / DNB / 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 Lithuanian Competition Authority imposes fines on the provider of cash handling services and three major banks for anti-competitive agreements in the cash handling services (G4S Lietuva / DNB bank / SEB bank and Swedbank)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 EU General Court issues a judgment on tariff arrangements within a 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 (...)

The EU General Court issues a decision concerned with the extent of the duty to provide reasons to disappointed tenderers (Sviluppo Globale GEIE)
University of Bristol - Law School
Again on procurement debriefing and its excesses: Extent of the duty to give (very detailed) reasons to bidders and right to a fair trial (T-183/10)* In its Judgment of 10 October 2012 in case T‑183/10 Sviluppo Globale GEIE v Commission, the General Court has issued a new decision concerned (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholds the District Court judgment and holds for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions (Simon / KeySpan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Driven (Falls Church)
On September 20, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed KeySpan’s victory in Simon v. KeySpan, holding for the first time that the filed rate doctrine can bar private claims related to market-based rates that arise from regulated auctions. While the Court (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 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 US Court of Appeals for the 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 US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds direct-purchaser antitrust plaintiffs lack standing to seek damages for alleged antitrust price-fixing in the ATM services (ATM Fee)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
Having failed at obtaining federal standing to sue for damages under one exception to the Illinois Brick rule, the plaintiffs argued in the alternative that they had standing under the “ownership/control” exception to that rule. Again, the court disagreed. 686 F.3d at 756. The court found that (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a decision making compulsory the commitments of several French banks in order to abolish 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)
Juliette Goyer Avocat (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 (Brussels)
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 (...)

The Lithuanian Regional Administrative Court of Vilnius decides to reduce the fines imposed for an illegal agreement for cash-in transit and cash handling services markets (G4S)
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 EU General Court fully upholds the Commission’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 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 Paris Court of Appeal rules on the concept of restriction by object and quashes a major decision of the French Competition Authority which imposed a €385 million fine on 11 French Banks (Crédit Lyonnais)
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 Slovak Supreme Court refers a banking cartel case to the EU Court of Justice for preliminary ruling (Akcenta)
European Commission (Brussels)
Slovakia: Slovak Court refers Banking Cartel Case to ECJ for Preliminary Ruling* On 10 February 2012, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Supreme Court) has decided to submit four questions for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) (C - 68/12) in the (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York finds 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 (...)

The Italian Administrative Court sets aside the Competition Authority’s decision to fine a payment card network company and 8 Italian banks for infringing EU competition law (MasterCard)
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 annuls the decision of the National Competition Authority which fined a credit card company and eight Italian licensee banks for violating EU competition law in relation to domestic interchange fees (Mastercard)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Legance - Studio Legale Associato (Rome)
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Alcon (Milan)
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 for card companies to reduce the interchange fees associated with payments and withdrawals binding (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission (Brussels)
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)
Stephenson Harwood (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 Slovak Supreme Court upholds the Regional Court’s judgment which annuled a decision imposing fines on three banks (Banking Cartel)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Slovak Supreme Court upholds the annulment judgment delivered by the Regional Court in Bratislava in a potential cartel case (Akcenta)
Wolf Theiss (Bratislava)
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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 French Competition Authority publishes market-tested commitments proposed by the French bank card association in order to resolve antitrust concerns regarding multilateral interchange fees (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 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 Turkish Competition Authority fines €33 million for anti-competitive agreement and concerted practices between 8 banks regarding "gentlemen’s agreement" (Akbank / Denizbank / Finans Bank / Türkiye Garanti Bankasi)
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 Latvian Competition Authority decides the participation of commercial banks in multilateral interchange fees for cash withdrawals and card payments is illegal (Aizkraukles banka)
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 UK Competition Authority adopts decision in loan pricing case concluding that banks engaged in anticompetitive pricing of loan products to large professional services firms (Royal Bank of Scotland / Barclays)
European Commission (Brussels)
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) adopts Decision in Loan Pricing Case* On 20 January 2011, the OFT issued a decision that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays Bank engaged in anticompetitive practices in relation to the pricing of loan products to large professional (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority declares the end of the ’termination by commitments’ agreement in a case concerning interchange fees for transactions by debit and credit cards (Servired / Sistema 4B / Euro 6000)
European Commission (Brussels)
Spain: The National Competition Commission (CNC) closes Monitoring of Termination by Commitments Agreement (TCA) in Interchange Fees for Transactions by Debit and Credit Cards Case* On 20 December 2010, the CNC Council declared the monitoring of the Termination by Commitments Agreement (TCA) (...)

The EU Commission makes legally binding the commitments offered by a global payments technology company to cut interbank fees for debit cards (Visa MIF)
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 Authority 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)
Sonam Mathur (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 (...)

The Italian Administrative Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision which rejected commitments offered by a credit card company in order to address competition concerns relating to interchange fees (MasterCard)
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 case and charge the card transaction networks with using rules that restrict price competition (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 of banking commissions for payment services by accepting commitments (Accordi Interbancari Riba / Rid / Bancomat)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
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 OFT issues a statement of objections to two banks concerning alleged exchange of confidential information on price (Royal Bank of Scotland / Barclays)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Slovak Regional Court in Bratislava annuls the Competition Authority’s decisions concerning an agreement restricting competition in the banking sector (Akcenta)
Wolf Theiss (Bratislava)
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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 (...)

The Slovak Regional Court in Bratislava annuls the Competition Authority’s decision which fined a banking cartel (Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka / Slovenska sporitelna / VUB)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 French banks for illegally agreeing on interbank fees for dematerialized checks (Cartel in the banking sector)
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 French competition authority fines 11 French banks €384.9 million 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 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 in violation of the sector specific regulation (Aegon)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 does not find cartel on the market for banking services (Association of Banks in Bulgaria)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 EU Commission consults on commitments offered by a credit card company in relation to multilateral interchange fees (Visa)
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)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Romanian Competition Authority fines €3.4 million 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 UK Competition Authority fines £28.6 million for price-fixing cartel in the bank industry (Royal Bank of Scotland)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Reckless Bank Saved by the Taxpayer Will Now Pay Cartel Fine* British bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has agreed to pay a fine of £28.6 million for price fixing. RBS employees shared confidential pricing information concerning commercial loans, with their counterparts at Barclays, who (...)

The US DOJ opens an investigation about a 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 in Brno rules that the Competition Office is under duty to return along with a refunded fine the default interest on it (Českomoravská stavební spořitelna)
Havel, Holasek (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 Slovak Competition authority condemns the three biggest banks in Slovakia for having concluded an agreement restricting competition (Vseobecna uverova banka / Slovenska sporitelna / Ceskoslovenska obchodna banka)
European Commission (Brussels)
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. (...)

The Spanish Competition Appeal 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”). (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office fines banks and international card companies for setting domestic interchange fees (Allianz Bank)
Lakatos, Köves (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 EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal by four Austrian banks against a CFI judgment which upheld a Commission decision that fined €124.6 million eight banks for their participation in a series of illicit agreements (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 Hungarian Competition Authority fines seven banks and two card compagnies banks for setting multilateral interchange fees (Visa / Mastercard / 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 Moldovan Competition Authority identifies unfair competition practices in the banking sector (Banca Naţională a Moldovei)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 million 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)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
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 EU Commission issues a statement of objections in multilateral interchange fees case (Visa Europe)
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 EU Court of Justice 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 Italian Competition Authority fines four banks for operating as a cartel in the market of public compensation for workers (INAIL)
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 (...)

The Polish Court for Competition and Consumer Protection 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 (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 Competition Authority 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 (Budapesti Értéktõzsde)
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 Authority accepts commitments to modify the membership fees of the Budapest Stock Exchange and terminates a cartel investigation against trading companies (Budapesti Értéktõzsde)
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 EU 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 (...)

The US DoJ brings out 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 (...)

The US District Court of Washington 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 EU 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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European Commission (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 imposes fines of €24 million 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 Authority 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 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 EU 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 EU Commission fines €10.2 million two card network operators for refusing to admit another 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 for (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court increases one of the fines imposed to banks by the Competition Authority in the ATM agreement case from €5 to 7 million (Europay Austria / Bankomat-Vertrag)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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DORDA (Wien)
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 / Bankomat-Vertag)
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 imposes the Italian Banks Association to withdraw its guidelines which were capable of restricting competition (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 opens an investigation 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 Authority publishes a market investigation on personal current account banking services
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 Austrian Supreme Court holds that certain aspects of a co-operation agreement between Austrian savings banks violate Art 81 EC (Erste Bank)
Becker Günther Polster
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 Authority 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 Competition Authority 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 / Bankomat-Vertag)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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DORDA (Wien)
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 annuls and voids a decision of a bank association as 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 Competition 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 which founds out 8 banks guilty of exchange of information (Stavebni sporitelny)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris)
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 UK Competition Appeal Tribunal sets aside the UK OFT’s decision on multilateral interchange fees (MasterCard)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Background The Competition Appeal Tribunal ("the Tribunal" or "the CAT") set aside the Office of Fair Trading ("the OFT") decision of 6 September 2005 ("the Decision"), which had alleged that between 1 March 2000 and 18 November 2004 the domestic interchange fee, agreed by the banks in the (...)

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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DORDA (Wien)
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 OECD holds a roundtable on competition and efficient usage of payment cards
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Key documents: Executive Summary with key findings, Detailled Summary of the discussion, Background note Executive summary, by the Secretariat 1. In light of the written submission, the background note and the oral discussion, the following points emerge: 1. Non-cash payment systems serve a (...)

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 UK OFT finds collective agreement between banks setting the multilateral interchange fee contrary to both EC and national competition provisions (MasterCard)
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 OFT concludes that an agreement between banks to set a default interchange fee is restrictive of competition and contrary to both EC and national mirror competition provision (MasterCard)
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 a preliminary ruling to an exchange of information agreement between financial institutions in relation to clients solvency and compliance (Asnef-Equifax)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Eli Lilly (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 (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine on three banking institutions for coordinating their interest rates (Bank of Cyprus / Cyprus Popular Bank / Hellenic Bank)
Queen Mary University (London)
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 US Court of Appeals for the Second District invalidates two cards companies rules that prohibit member banks (Visa / MasterCard)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
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Stanford University
Background On September 17, 2003, the Second Circuit issued an important decision in U.S. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., 2003 WL 22138519 (2d Cir. Sept. 17, 2003). The court affirmed a district court ruling invalidating Visa and Mastercard rules that prohibit member banks from issuing American (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejects attempt by plaintiff to challenge the Sherman Act conduct in a case involving alleged conspiracy among US options exchanges (Stock Exchanges Options Trading)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
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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 Second Circuit issues a decision which limits the application of antitrust laws in securities (Friedman / Salomon Smith Barney)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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WilmerHale (Washington)
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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 EU 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 EU Commission fines five German banks for fixing 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 exemptions to an agreement aimed 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 of property loans for private individuals (Crédit Agricole / Crédit Lyonnais / Société Générale)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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 September 2000, the Conseil de la concurrence penalised several major banks and credit (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority rules that an agreement between two savings banks to coordinate the closing of their offices in several small villages is covered by the former “de minimis” exemption (Caja Jalón / Caja Zaragoza)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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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 German Federal Court of Justice 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 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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DORDA (Wien)
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 (...)

Dominance

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses a complaint by a fintech company for becoming dominant in the market after purchasing a technology provider in the financial services industry (Satyen Narendra Bajaj / PayU)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
It is trite law that, while the Competition Act prohibits an abuse of a dominant position, the mere existence of a dominant position with no evidence of abuse is not prohibited. This was made clear by the CCI in dismissing a complaint that PayU, a fintech company that provides payment (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms that a company abuses its dominance by using conditional rebates and exclusivity provisions in the payment card sector (Teller)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms that Teller (now Nets) abused its dominant position by using rebates conditional on exclusivity and exclusivity provisions* The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (DCAT) confirmed the 18th of September 2019 the ruling by the Danish Competition (...)

The Mauritian Competition Authority orders two multinational financial companies to reduce their banking interchange fees in order to promote competition (Visa / MasterCard)
Primerio Limited (Johannesburg)
Mauritius: Competition Commission orders VISA and MasterCard to lower interchange fees* On 13 August 2019, the Competition Commission of Mauritius (CCM) has, following a lengthy investigation, ordered VISA and MasterCard (Respondents) to reduce their banking interchange fees from 1% to 0,5%. (...)

The Swedish Court of Appeal confirms the dismissal of the Competition Authority’s action against a stock exchange company for alleged abuse of dominant position (Nasdaq)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 June 2019, the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal (the “Appeal Court”) upheld a ruling of the Swedish Patent and Market Court that rejected an action brought by the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket or “KKV”) against Nasdaq Stockholm Aktiebolag and several affiliated (...)

The Indian Competition Authority closes case which alleged discriminatory access to market currently in front of Securities Exchange Board due to insufficient evidence for a prima facie decision (Advocate Jitesh Maheshwari / National Stock Exchange of India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI cedes jurisdiction to SEBI to decide upon complaint of abuse of dominance against National Stock Exchange* The Commission, in a surprise turn from its previous position in so many cases before, by way of order dated 07.01.2019, decided not to inquire into allegations of abuse of dominance (...)

The US Supreme Court finds that there was no abuse of dominance in a dominant firm’s requirements against competitors because the market is a two-sided platform (American Express)
Economists Incorporated (San Francisco)
The Supreme Court’s American Express Decision – Two-sided Platforms and Harm to Consumers* The Supreme Court determined, in its June 2018 decision, that American Express (“Amex”) did not violate the antitrust laws by requiring merchants to refrain from encouraging patrons at the point of sale to (...)

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 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 on 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 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
United Kingdom’s 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 US District Court for the District of Maryland upholds an antitrust action against a patent troll (Intellectual Ventures / Capital One)
Rutgers University (Camden)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. 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 (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms that the behaviour of an Authority has created disadvantages and has resulted into the monopolisation of the relevant 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 must remain broader than in cases of merger (National Stock Exchange of India)
Eastern Book Company (Maine)
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 Dutch Competition Authority decides not to take further action against a credit card company following the 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 UK High Court grants interim injunctions to a bank for continuing to provide financial services despite threats 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 Dutch District Court finds abuse of dominance by credit card network operator (EMS / Equens)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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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)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 Romanian Competition Authority makes binding commitments made by the Central Depository on registry services to securities issuers (SC Depozitarul Central)
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (Bucharest)
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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 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 Mauritius Competition Authority follows the UK Competition Authority’s lead in examining banks’ practices in the payment protection insurance and credit life insurance sector (Bank One / Barclays Bank)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
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Bowmans (Johannesburg)
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Norton Rose Fullbright (Sydney)
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 Bosnian Competition Authority upholds the infringing decision of the National Competition Authority concerning abuse of dominant positions on the market for fast money transfer services (Raiffeisen Bank)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 Bosnian Competition Authority finds abuse of collective dominant positions in the market of fast money transfer services (Western Union)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (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 Authority rejects exclusionary behaviour in the credit reference agency market (CCS II)
University College London
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 in 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 the financial services company to abolish the licensing fees that banks pay for the use of US International Securities Identification Numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
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 EU Commission makes legally binding commitments by a national numbering agency to abolish fees for use of US international securities identification numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
European University Institute (Florence)
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 who engaged into exclusive dealing (Bank of Brazil / Interstate Federation of the Public Workers)
Lefosse Advogados (São 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 EU 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 (Visa Europe)
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 a standing to challenge commitments in an antitrust case (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 Authority for insufficiently mild commitments
Szeged University
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 Authority accepts commitments to remedy a suspected abuse of dominant position concerning the pricing of mortgages vis-à-vis "captured consumers" (K&H Bank)
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 in 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 during an investigation into possible abuse of dominant position in the collection and payment services sector (Poste Italiane / Aumento Commissione Bollettini)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 EU Commission confirms sending statements of objection to a financial company alleging unfair pricing (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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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 EU Commission sends statements of objection 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 EU General Court confirms the EU Commission’s decision in an abuse of dominant position case in the banking sector (Clearstream)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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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 Competition Authority opens an investigation for an alleged abuse by the national postal operator in the market of collection and payment services (Poste Italiane / Aumento Commissione Bollettini)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
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 EU Commission opens formal proceedings against a financial company regarding its use of Securities Identification Numbers (Standard & Poor’s)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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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 Swedish District Court in Stockholm awards damages for the abuse of a dominant position in the financial services market (Europe Investor Direct / VPC)
Djungo (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 Authority refuses to condemn for dominant position the postal incumbent’s conduct due to the lack of palpable market effects (Magyar Posta)
Szeged University
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 Competition Authority clears a 25 % price increase by the dominant fuel card issuer based on a new quantitative rebate system (CCS)
Wolf Theiss (Prague)
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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 (...)

The German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf implicitly applies the essential facilities doctrine in the travel services credit card sector (Royal Bank of Scotland / Lufthansa)
White & Case (Frankfurt)
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 Authority accepts commitments by the largest commercial banks to terminate the possible anti-competitive effect of the augmented repayment fee (OTP Bank)
Bassola (Budapest)
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)
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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 Authority dismisses allegations due to a refusal to deal under the amended Section 75 of the Canadian Competition Act (B-Filer / The Bank of Nova Scotia)
CRA International (Toronto)
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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 (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues interim measures direction pending completion of investigation for alleged predatory pricing and exclusionary price discrimination of the London Metal Exchange (LME)
European Commission - Legal Service (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 EU Commission finds an undertaking refusing to supply certain clearing and settlement services to one of its customers by also applying discriminatory prices is an anticompetitive conduct (Clearstream)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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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 and (...)

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 Dutch 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 German Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the cash handling services sector (Ziemann / Loomis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibited Loomis’ proposed acquisition of its competitor, Ziemann Sicherheit Holding (“Ziemann”). Loomis and Ziemann are both cash handling service providers. The proposed concentration would have affected the provision of cash to banks (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines a company for gun-jumping in the investment market (Eurazeo)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Eurazeo SE fined for illegal merger* The Cartel Court, at the Austrian Federal Competition Authority’s request, has imposed a fine of € 30,000 on Eurazeo SE. The respondent had indirectly acquired a 58.8% stake in 2R Holding SAS and thus been in a position of sole control between 17 July 2018 (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a company for breaching merger control rules in the mobile point-of-sale devices sector (Paypal / iZettle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined Paypal £ 250,000 for breaching its freezing order that halted integration of the parties during its review of Paypal’s completed acquisition of the Swedish start-up iZettle. Despite having approved the deal in June 2019, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objection accusing a company of gun-jumping (Capital / SCA / SICAR)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC accuses HCapital, SCA - SICAR of gun-jumping* The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência – Portuguese Competition Authority) sent a statement of objections to HCapital, SCA – SICAR for acquiring sole control of Solzaima without prior notification of the transaction and, consequently, without (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally approves a banking merger upon a divestiture remedy (BPER / Unipol Banca)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
In the BPER/Unipol Banca case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally authorized the acquisition of Unipol Banca Spa (UP) by BPER Banca Spa (BPER) . The ICA took the view that the proposed merger might restrain competition in many banking markets in the region of Sardinia (...)

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

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the online and offline payment services market (PayPal / iZettle)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA clears PayPal / iZettle deal* The CMA has cleared PayPal’s completed takeover of rival mobile payments company iZettle after an in-depth, Phase 2, investigation. Both companies provide mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices that enable businesses to take ‘offline’ payments through a card reader (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears the takeover of a mobile payments company after conducting an in-depth Phase 2 probe (PayPal / iZettle)
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
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CRA International (Boston)
Acquisitions of Potential Rivals in Digital/Tech: Valuation Analysis as Key Economic Tool - PayPal/iZettle Antitrust authorities everywhere are increasingly concerned with so-called “killer acquisitions” – cases where an established incumbent buys up a small rival which might have the potential (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of an energy company by investment firms with minor common shareholdings in competing firms (Global Power Solutions / Brookfield Assets Management / Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Commission approves acquisition of Global Power Solutions Business of Johnson Control by Brookfield* CCI, by way of order dated 14.02.2019, has approved the acquisition of the Global Power Solutions business(“GPS”) of Johnson Controls International plc (“JCI”) by Brookfield Assets Management Inc. (...)

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 Indian Competition Authority clears an investment company’s acquisition of optionally convertible preferential stock in an engineering company (Integral / Toyo Engineering)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Integral Corporation acquires optionally convertible preferential stock in Toyo engineering Corporation* The Commission, by way of order dated 19.12.2018, has approved the acquisition of optionally convertible preferential stock (without voting rights) of Toyo Engineering Corporation (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines meal card companies for their collusive behavior (Sodexo / Edenred / Network)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Meal Card Companies under the TCA’s Scrutiny: From Full-Functionality to Collusion* Introduction In April 2019, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) released its reasoned decision, as a result of its full-fledged investigation concerning the practices of the companies that operate in the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority unconditionally approves the creation of a cooperative banking group (Cassa Centrale Bancaria)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
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 EU regulation (EY / KPMG)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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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 in the market of payment systems (MasterCard / VocaLink)
United Kingdom’s 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 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 EU Commission blocks attempted merger between the two largest stock exchange operators in Europe, 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)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
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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 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 / London Stock Exchange)
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)
United Kingdom’s 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 DoJ fines a record $11 million an activist investor for violations of the HSR Act and agrees to injunctive relief to settle allegations (ValueAct)
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (New York)
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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (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 for brokerage of oil products (Tullett / ICAP)
United Kingdom’s 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 behavioral 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 EU Commission clears the acquisition of two undertakings subject to commitment to license technology to any customer interested in FRAND conditions (Equens / Wordline)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
EU: MERGER CASE CLEARED FOLLOWING OFFER OF FRAND TECHNOLOGY LICENSE* On 20 April 2016, the European Commission (Commission) cleared, under its merger control rules, the acquisition of Equens and PaySquare by Worldline subject to, amongst others, a commitment to license technology to any (...)

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 Federal Trade Commission 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 US FTC announces a settlement for failing to file a notification under Hard-Scott-Rodino Act before purchasing shares (Third Point)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
IN DEPTH The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement on August 24, 2015, with Third Point Funds for failing to file a notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR Act) in connection with the acquisition of shares in Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo) in 2011. Third (...)

The Indian Competition Authority notices parties to furnish material information or face penalty (Sumitomo)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (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 Indian Competition Authority re-defines control and approves an acquisition (Caladium / Bandhan)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (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 Authority refers to its first gun-jumping case to the public prosecutor (EY / KPMG)
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’s decision to prohibit a merger of two stock exchanges of financial derivatives (NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse)
Ramón y Cajal (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 Irish Competition Authority clears at phase I an asset acquisition on the basis that it does not lead to substantial lessening of competition (Blackstone / Atrium)
Trinity College Dublin
Introduction 1 On 25 February 2015 the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), Ireland’s competition agency, cleared, at Phase I, the asset acquisition whereby the Blackstone Group L.P. (Blackstone), via a wholly-owned subsidiary, Atrium Office Investment Sari, would acquire Block (...)

The Indian Competition Authority directs a company to file a merger notification following several minority stakes acquisitions (Piramal)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (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 Authority 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 Authority holds that companies have pre-implemented a merger under scrutiny, leading to the first case of gun jumping (EY / KPMG)
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 Authority 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 Indian Competition Authority takes action against gun-jumping in the financial industry (Alpha / Tata)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (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 Cypriot Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the online payment services market (GCS Holding / Ingenico)
Ernst & Young (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 Competition Authority 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 (Nicosia)
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 Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition received, according to Section 13 of the Control of (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority furthers an application for a prohibition order against the acquisition of the franchisors of the 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 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 (Sao Paulo)
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Inglez, Werneck, Ramos, Cury e Françolin Advogados (Sao Paulo)
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 Authority in relation to commitments given in a merger case (Nykredit)
DLA Piper (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 Irish Competition Authority clears at phase I, an acquisition whereby an undertaking would acquire joint control with investment funds managed by affiliates (Fitzwilliam / Wittington / Apollo / Arnotts)
Trinity College Dublin
Introduction 1 On 27 May 2014 the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), Ireland’s competition agency, cleared, at Phase I, the acquisition whereby Fitzwilliam Finance Partners Limited (Fitzwilliam)/Wittington Investments Limited (Wittington Canada), would acquire joint control (...)

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 Cypriot Competition Authority 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 Authority 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)
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (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 Cypriot Competition Authority 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)
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 / Banco de Valencia)
Cuatrecasas (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas (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 Cypriot Competition Authority 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 Japanese FTC 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 / DenizBank)
Fresenius Medical Care
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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, (...)