Private enforcement

Anticompetitive practices

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the ruling of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in its schemes governing suppliers’ access to its infrastructure (Network Rail / RISQS)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
The Court of Appeal on 5 March 2020 handed down a judgment upholding the ruling of the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") of July 2019 which found Network Rail had infringed the Chapter I and II prohibitions of the Competition Act 1998 by requiring, in its schemes governing suppliers’ access to (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeals Tribunal rules on which part of the EU Commission’s settlement decision is binding on a defendant and that it is an abuse of process for defendants to deny in follow-on damages claims findings that are contained in settlements (DAF Trucks)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
In an important judgment for follow- on damages claims, the Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled that a number of findings made by the European Commission in its Trucks ‘settlement’ Decision are binding on the defendants and the Tribunal; and that, subject to limited exceptions, it is an abuse (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice provides guidance on the requirements for establishing liability and the assessment of evidence in cartel damages cases (Schienenkartell II) New
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
In its judgment of 28 January 2020, the Cartel Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice provided new guidance on the requirements for establishing liability and the assessment of evidence in cartel damages cases. In the initial proceedings, the plaintiff, a local transport company, sought (...)

The Paris Commercial Court grants interim measures to a large food retailer imposing on one of its suppliers of non-alcoholic beverages to resume its deliveries (Intermarché / Coca-Cola)
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
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BCTG Avocats (Paris)
Following the Coca Cola European Partners’ decision (hereinafter ’Coca-Cola’) to stop delivering its products to ITM Alimentaire International (hereinafter ’ITM’), ITM applied for interim measures before the Paris Commercial Court (hereinafter the “Court”) in early 2020. On January 16th, 2020, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a public body indirectly affected by a cartel can claim compensation for losses resulting from an antitrust infringement (Otis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 December 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) delivered a judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling from the Austrian Supreme Court (C-435/18, Otis and Others v. Land Oberösterreich and Others). The request was made in the context of a compensation claim brought by (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal in Arnhem-Leeuwarden finds a subsidiary liable for cartel damage caused by its minority shareholder that had or could have a decisive influence over it (GIS Cartel)
Maastricht University
In a decision of 26 November 2019, the Court of Appeal Arnhem-Leeuwarden deduced from the Court of Justice’s decision in Skanska that the EU concept undertaking is to be used to determine the entity which is required to provide compensation for damage caused by an infringement of Article 101 (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal in Arnhem-Leeuwarden applies a rationale of the EU Court of Justice and finds subsidiary liable for damages resulting from an EU competition law infringement committed by its parent whilst engaging in a cartel (GIS Cartel)
Leiden University - Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs
Introduction In its interim judgement of 26 November 2019 (‘interim judgement’) the Dutch Court of Appeal Arnhem-Le euwarden (‘Court of Appeal’) applied the rationale of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) in Skanska to rule that Cogelex (a subsidiary) and Alstom Holdings (its parent (...)

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies principles governing competition damages and reiterates that judges must base their decisions on the evidence before them by exclusively focusing on the loss of the claimant (BritNed / ABB)
Case Associates (London)
The Court of Appeal in BritNed v ABB [2019] EWCA Civ 1840 has again had to clarify the principles governing competition damages. It reaffirmed the English High Court’s rejection of the claimant’s approach to damages but took issue with the trial judge’s position that damages should err on the side (...)

The Italian Supreme Court sheds light on the severance of anti-competitive clauses of a banking personal guarantee contract (De Gregorio / Banca Promos)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
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 Canadian Supreme Court expands the scope of potential liability in price-fixing class actions (Godfrey)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
The Supreme Court of Canada has released its long-awaited decision in two companion appeals that have significant implications for class actions alleging conduct that contravenes the criminal provisions found in Part VI of the Competition Act (Act). In its decision in Pioneer Corporation v (...)

The Shanghai IP Court holds that fictitiously increasing the number of views of videos is an act of false propaganda (Feiyi / IQiYi)
Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing)
From the perspective of anti-unfair competition law, Feiyi Company fictitiously increased the video visits of IQiYi’s website by technical means - the first case of inflating traffic on video websites in China. In recent years, the excessive pursuit of traffic in the Internet industry has (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies, in a preliminary ruling concerning an asphalt cartel, who is liable to pay compensation in a damages action arising from article 101 TFEU (Skanska Industrial Solutions)
Lavoielegal (Brussels)
Court of Justice ruling in Skanska: EU competition law concept of ‘undertakings’ and principle of economic continuity to the rescue in civil damages claims* In its preliminary ruling in Skanska Industrial Solutions and Others, the Court of Justice has ruled on the fundamental question of who is (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the principles applied in order to determine the relevant entities for liability for fines should also be applied to determine the relevant entities liable for damages under private damages claims (Vantaan kaupunki / Skanska)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In a preliminary ruling request made by the Finnish Supreme Court on the question of the relevant entities liable for damages, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) held that principles applied in order to determine the relevant entities for liability for fines under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the application of the principle of economic continuity in private enforcement of a cartel case (Vantaan kaupunki / Skanska Industrial Solutions)
Sérvulo & Associados (Lisbon)
The Principle Of Economic Continuity’s Application On Private Enforcement: Case 724/17 Skanska* With two major decisions, March 2019 was an interesting month with regard to the ECJ’s case-law on the private enforcement of competition law: Skanska and Cogeco. This post will comment on the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the concept of undertaking and the principle of economic continuity apply in private enforcements cases as in public enforcement proceedings (Vantaan kaupunki / Skanska Industrial Solutions)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
Introduction The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued a landmark decision on 14 March 2019 concerning the application of the concept of “undertaking” and the principle of economic continuity to cartel damages claims. The ECJ ruled in its Skanska judgement that the broad interpretation of the (...)

The EU General Court awards damages to an envelope producer due to the EU Commission’s failure to include default interest when repaying an annulled cartel fine (Printeos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 February 2019, the EU General Court (“GC”) awarded € 184,592.95 in damages to envelopes producer Printeos in view of the European Commission’s failure to pay default interest when repaying a cartel fine which had previously been annulled by the GC. In 2014, following a settlement procedure, (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal dismisses claimant’s appeal in follow-on cartel damages claim in relation to the elevators and escalators cartel (East West Debt)
Simmons & Simmons (Amsterdam)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
Introduction In 2007, the EC imposed fines on several international elevators and escalators (hereafter: “lift”) companies for a violation of Article 81 of the EC Treaty (now Article 101 TFEU). Following the EC decision, follow-on claims have been launched in both Belgium and in the Netherlands. (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice decides that, in a quota-fixing and customer-assigning cartel, the prerequisites for prima facie evidence to establish whether the cartel has inflicted damage and whether it has affected individual orders are not fulfilled (Rail cartel)
Noerr (Berlin)
German Federal Court of Justice: no double prima facie evidence in cartel damages litigation* In a landmark ruling dated 11 December 2018 (KZR 26/17 – “rail cartel”), the German Federal Court of Justice decided that, in a quota-fixing and customer-assigning cartel, the prerequisites for prima (...)

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 UK High Court of Justice rejects econometrics analysis in a cartel damage case for being too complex (BritNed / ABB)
Case Associates (London)
BritNed Development Ltd v. ABB AB and ABB Ltd [2018] EWHC 2616 (Ch). (“BritNed”) is the first English cartel damage judgment and the first to consider an econometric approach to calculating overcharges. The court rejected the claimant’s econometric analysis as ‘too complex’ and “unspecific”. Here (...)

The UK High Court of Justice rejects methodology for estimating overcharges on cables based on economic evidence (BritNed / ABB)
The Brattle Group (London)
ABSTRACT In the first cartel overcharge claim brought in the English High Court, the claimant’s methodology for estimating ABB overcharges on the BritNed cable was comprehensively rejected. The Court concluded that the claimant’s econometric analysis was insufficiently grounded in facts and (...)

The Commercial Courts of Barcelona and Madrid render judgements in follow-on suits against a cartel in the envelopes market (Sobres de Papel)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Update on damages claims in Spain - paper envelope cartel damages recovery. Several rulings have been issued by Spanish lower courts shedding light on key aspects of antitrust damages claims, such as the treatment of evidence concerning the calculation of compensation for damages. Also the (...)

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Canada) rules a private claim regarding a joint venture agreement between two purchasers of chemicals products (Dow Chemical Canada / Nova Chemicals Corporation)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Alberta Court of Queen* In a recent decision handed down by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, in Dow Chemical Canada ULC v. NOVA Chemicals Corporation, 2018 ABQB 482 (“Dow Chemical”), the Court established both new law and confirmed earlier case law under sections 45 and 90.1 of the federal (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finds that a company was not part of a conspiracy to manipulate the supply of eggs and raise prices (In re Processed Egg Prods)
Dechert (Philadelphia)
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Dechert (Philadelphia)
The case began 10 years ago when a class of companies that purchase eggs sued the country’s leading egg producers, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The plaintiffs claimed that the egg producers conspired to manipulate the supply and raise prices for eggs. Specifically, the buyers (...)

The German Federal Court clarifies controversial judgments around the statute of limitations for cartel damages claims (Grauzementkartell II)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. Introduction On 12 June 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) passed its long-awaited landmark decision in KZR 56/16 (Grauzementkartell II). The BGH held that Sec. 33 (5) of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (today Sec. 33h (6) ARC), which (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice grants a claim for damages relating to a cement cartel by extending the time period in which limitation rules can be suspended (Grauzementkartell II)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
This landmark judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice concerns an action for damages relating to the German cement cartel. However, the judgment has much wider implications and is relevant for damage claims relating to other cartel infringements. The Federal Court extended the temporal (...)

The Belgian Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against an interim judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal (Kone / Otis / Schindler / ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 March 2018, the Belgian Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) dismissed an appeal against an interim judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) on the damages claim introduced by the European Commission (the “Commission”). This claim arose following the Commission’s 2007 (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California denies a motion for class certification for a proposed class of indirect purchasers of lithium ion batteries (Lithium Ion Batteries)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
Indirect purchaser plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in a lithium ion battery suit was denied for failing to show concrete evidence linking increased input costs to increased end-product prices; theoretical inference is not enough. What happened: The US District Court for the Northern (...)

The UK Court of Appeal adopts a ruling allowing plaintiffs in cartel damages actions to advance claims based on overcharges incurred outside of the EU when they ultimately hit their finished goods sales within the EU (Liyama)
Dentons (Brussels)
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Levi Strauss & Co. (Brussels)
On February 16, 2018, the UK Court of Appeal adopted its much awaited ruling in the iiyama case. Taking stock of the Court of Justice (CoJ) ruling in Intel last year, the Court of Appeal allows plaintiffs in civil cartel damages actions to advance claims based on overcharges incurred by their (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the implementation of collective redress mechanisms in EU Member States
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 January 2018, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a report on the implementation of collective redress mechanisms in EU Member States (the “Report”). The Report is the Commission’s opportunity to comprehensively review the implementation of its 2013 Recommendation on common (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issues a decision holding that purchasers have standing to seek damages from suppliers accused of price-fixing (Processed Egg Products)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
Last week, in In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision holding that purchasers of processed egg products have standing to seek damages from egg suppliers accused of price-fixing in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman (...)

Bulgaria transposes the Private Damages Directive (2014/104/EU)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
Better Later Than Never: Bulgaria Finally Implemented the Private Damages Directive in its Competition Protection Act Eleonora Mateina (Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski, Attorneys-at-law)/January 8, 2018 /Leave a comment Following a considerable delay and a threat by the European Commission to (...)

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

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds dismissal of an antitrust suit where a jury verdict in a parallel case found no patent infringement (Casacade Computer / RPX / Samsung)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
What Happened: Wading into the merging streams of antitrust and patents, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld dismissal of an antitrust suit where a jury verdict in a parallel case found no patent infringement. Cascades Computer Innovation, LLC v. RPX Corp. and Samsung (...)

The EU Commission fines several truck manufacturers for cartel (Scania)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Scania €880 million for participating in trucks cartel* The European Commission has found that Scania broke EU antitrust rules. It colluded for 14 years with five other truck manufacturers on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of new technologies to meet (...)

The US District Court in the Southern District of New York dismisses a class action lawsuit alleging a large number of entities and individuals in a cartel case (Sea brent crude oil)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
The U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York recently dismissed a class action lawsuit alleging, among other claims, that a large number of entities and individuals in the market for producing, refining and trading Brent crude oil (together, Defendants) manipulated the prices of (...)

The High Court of Hong Kong confirms bar on stand-alone private actions in competition cases (Loyal Profit / TIC)
Linklaters (Hong Kong)
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Saint-Gobain (Paris)
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Shue Yan University (Hong Kong)
This article has been nominated for the 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Hong Kong Court confirms bar on stand-alone private actions in competition cases* The Hong Kong Court of First Instance rejected a claim that it had jurisdiction (...)

The Hong Kong’s High Court rejects allegations by travel agency that certain directives issued by the Travel Industry Council were anti-competitive (Loyal Profit International Development)
Baker McKenzie (Hong Kong)
On 27 April 2017, Hong Kong’s High Court rejected allegations by travel agency, Loyal Profit International Development that certain directives issued by the Travel Industry Council (TIC) were anti-competitive, and refused to rule on alleged violations of competition law. Loyal Profit alleged (...)

The German Federal Council votes in favour of passing the ninth amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
Update on the 9th ARC Revision On 31 March 2017, the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has voted in favour of passing the ninth amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen). According to the 31 March plenary report, the draft law is now (...)

The German Federal Council adopts an amendment to act against restraints of competition
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
Key changes triggered by the amendment relate to a company’s liability for cartel infringements, the introduction of a transaction value test into merger control, private enforcement through the implementation of the EU Cartel Damages Directive, the assessment of market power in multilateral (...)

The UK CAT allows the first class action brought under the new competition law collective redress regime and continue providing some clarifications on important aspects of the regime (Pride Mobility Products)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Already, 2017 has seen significant developments in the UK’s competition litigation landscape. Most recently, last Friday the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) allowed the first ’class action’ brought under the new competition law collective redress regime to continue, at least for now, providing (...)

The EU General Court rules on three actions claiming damages for alleged excessive duration of judicial proceedings (Armando Alvarez / Plasticos Espanoles / Kendrion)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 and 17 February 2017, the General Court (“GC”) delivered three judgments in relation to actions claiming damages for alleged excessive duration of judicial proceedings. This is the second set of judgments issued by the GC on this topic. Last month, the GC awarded Gascogne more than € 57,000 (...)

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 EU General Court orders the European Union to pay damages for excessively long court proceedings for the first time (Industrial bags cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 January 2017, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment in which it ordered the European Union to pay Gascogne and Gascogne Sack Deutschland (“Gascogne”) a total of about € 57,000 in damages for the excessive duration of previous proceedings before the GC in connection with the Industrial (...)

The Milan Court of Appeal welcomes the counterfactual scenario in a follow-on action for damages (Brennercom / Telecom Italia)
NCTM - Studio Legale Associato (Milan)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
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LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome)
One of the main issues involving the implementation of the Damages Directive concerns the quantification of damages claimed by the victims of anticompetitive conducts before national judges in follow-on actions. Indeed, the directive grants the right to full compensation to the victims of (...)

The Italian Supreme Court rules that the reorganization of the Italian distribution network of a car manufacturer does not breach competition law (Volkswagen)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By the recent Volkswagen Group Italia (VGI) judgement , the Italian Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (the Court) has ruled that the plan for the reorganization of its Italian distribution network implemented by a German car manufacturer did not breach competition. The Court considered the (...)

Advocate General Szpunar renders an opinion on publication of information about the functioning of an illegal cartel acquired via leniency statements (Evonik Degussa)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Presenting public knowledge: Leniency programmes and cartels* By his opinion of 21 July 2016 in Case C-162/15 P, Evonik Degussa, Advocate General (AG) Maciej Szpunar of the EU Court of Justice confirmed that information on the functioning of a clandestine cartel, even when it originates from (...)

The EU Commission imposes a cartel fine totalling €2.93 billion on four truck producer for coordinating their factory prices of trucks, new emissions technologies and their introduction in the market (MAN / Volvo / Renault / Daimler / DAF)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINES TRUCK MANUFACTURERS A RECORD €2.93 BILLION FOR CARTEL CONDUCT* On 19 July 2016, the European Commission (Commission) imposed fines totaling €2,926,499,000 on four truck producers (39824 – Trucks). The fine is the highest ever imposed on members of a cartel by the EU (...)

The UK CAT rules on passing-on defence (Sainsbury ’s Supermarket / Mastercard)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
The passing-on “defence” after Sainsbury’s*The passing-on defence – ie. whether the damages suffered by a purchaser of a product which has been the subject of a cartel are reduced if he passes on the overcharge to his own customers – had, as Tristan Jones blogged a few years ago, been the subject of (...)

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

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal awards £8.6 m damages and finds that an undertaking setting of UK multilateral interchange fees for its payment cards infringed national and EU competition law on anti-competitive agreements (Sainsbury’s / MasterCard)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 14 Jul the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) issued its judgment in the damages claim brought by Sainsbury’s against MasterCard. The CAT found that MasterCard’s setting of UK multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) for its payment cards infringed the Article 101 TFEU/Chapter I prohibition on (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court accepts passing-on defence in private enforcement litigations (TenneT / Gas-insulated Switchgear)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 July 2016, the Dutch Supreme Court (“the Court”) handed down a judgment upholding the availability of the passing-on defense in private enforcement litigation. The ruling resulted from a civil claim for damages brought by the electricity company TenneT against the gas-insulated switchgear (...)

Private enforcement: An overview of EU and national case law
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
I. Introduction A central aspect of the reform of EU competition law that has been undertaken since the turn of the new millennium has been to encourage private enforcement of EU competition rules. This initiative, as is well-known, is essentially inspired by the Commission’s perception that in (...)

The European University Institute issues a comparative study on the calculation of interest on antitrust damages
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
1. Introduction The fact that antitrust infringements, in particular hard-core cartels, cause significant harm is widely acknowledged. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJ) confirmed the horizontal direct effect of EU antitrust provisions in damages actions before national courts (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concludes that a reverse payment need not be in cash (Loestrin)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
First Circuit boosts antitrust challenges to pay-for-delay settlements by finding non-cash deals subject to Actavis scrutiny*Antitrust challenges to so-called “pay-for-delay” settlements—in which brand-name drug makers temporarily keep generics out of the market by making payments to would-be (...)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concludes that a reverse payment need not be in cash (Loestrin)
Rutgers University (New Jersey)
On February 22, 2016, in the second federal appellate drug patent settlement ruling since the Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated a lower court decision granting a motion to dismiss for defendants. Writing (...)

The FTC urges the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to hold that a reverse payment need not be in cash (Loestrin)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. FTC urges the Appeals Court to revive the Loestrin Suit* On December 7, 2015, during oral argument, the U.S. FTC urged the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to revive the Loestrin suit. The case concerns a so-called reverse payment settlement. In 2009 Watson Pharmaceuticals agreed (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit hears interesting oral argument on Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act related issues (Best Buy / Hannstar Display)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Ninth Circuit’s Oral Argument on FTAIA Related Appeal* If an FTAIA related case is ever taken by the Supreme Court I believe it will be a private civil price fixing damage case like Best Buy Co., Inc. v. Hannstar Display Corporation. The Antitrust Division’s international cartel prosecutions (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hears the first damages claim since the entry into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (NCRQ)
Collyer Bristow
On 22 December 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) announced the commencement of two damages actions which, according to its website , were only the second and third claims issued in the CAT since 1 October, when the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force seismically changing (...)

The English & Wales Court of Appeal refuses to expand the qualification of victim down the chain to the ultimate consumer (Air Canada / Emerald Supplies)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Blown out of the water? Air Cargo and the future of extra-EU/EEA cartel damages claims* If the captain of a trading ship fires cannon on a canoe to prevent the canoeists trading with another boat vying for their trade, that boat’s owners can sue the captain: Tarleton v M’Gawley (1793) Peake 270. (...)

The English Court of Appeal strikes out two cartel damage claims based on the torts of conspiracy and economic interference and narrows the scope of other potential claims (Air Cargo)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
In brief There were three significant developments in the air cargo cartel damages litigation in the UK in October 2015. First, on 14 October 2015, the English Court of Appeal significantly narrowed the scope of potential claims in the UK by striking out two claims based on the torts of (...)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California upholds assignment of antitrust claims to indirect purchasers (United Food / Teikoku Pharma)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Northern District of California Upholds Assignment of Antitrust Claims to Indirect Purchasers* Portions of a reverse payment suit against Endo Pharmaceuticals and others were recently dismissed by Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California. The case [1] was brought by (...)

The EU Commission imposes fines on cargo train operators for participating in a cartel (Express Interfracht / Schenker)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission fines cargo train operators € 49 million for cartel* The European Commission has imposed fines of € 49 154 000 on Express Interfracht, part of the Austrian railway incumbent Österreichische Bundesbahnen ("ÖBB"), and Schenker, part of the German railway incumbent Deutsche Bahn ("DB"), (...)

The US Supreme Court declines an appeal for two related antitrust cases involving an international price-fixing cartel (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Womble Bond Dickinson (Washington D.C.)
Motorola and the Extraterritorial Application of US Antitrust Laws to Foreign Component Price Fixing Cartels* Last month the Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal for two related antitrust cases involving an international price-fixing cartel. The cases come from different circuits, one (...)

The U.S. FTC reaches settlement in post-Actavis reverse payment case (Cephalon)
Gibson Dunn (Washington)
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Debevoise & Plimpton (Washington, D.C.)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has reached a settlement resolving its claims that Cephalon, Inc. violated the antitrust laws by entering into reverse payment (...)

The U.S. FTC reaches record $1.2 billion proposed “pay for delay” settlement and injunctive relief restricting future similar settlements of patent infringement cases (Cephalon)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
Federal Trade Commission Reaches Record $1.2 Billion Proposed “Pay for Delay” Settlement with Cephalon and Injunctive Relief Restricting Future Similar Settlements of Patent Infringement Cases* Last week, on the eve of trial, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a proposed settlement in (...)

The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit annuls a district court’s order which certified a class of direct purchasers in a price-fixing suit in the blood reagents market (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court’s order certifying a class of direct purchasers of blood reagents in a price-fixing suit against Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. In re Blood Reagents, case number 12-4067. Plaintiffs allege that (...)

The US Department of Justice announces first criminal prosecution against a conspiracy specifically targeting e-commerce (Topkins)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
First E-commerce Price Fixing Prosecution Yields Swift Guilty Plea* In what it is calling the Antitrust Division’s “first criminal prosecution against a conspiracy specifically targeting e-commerce,” the Department of Justice has announced that an individual has agreed to plead guilty to charges (...)

The US Supreme Court clarifies the application of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Supreme Court Has Opportunity to Clarify Application of Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act* Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court was asked, in parallel petitions, to resolve a split between the Seventh Circuit and the Ninth Circuit on the application of the federal antitrust laws to a (...)

A US District Court rules that it could assume the umbrella theory of antitrust injury is viable for the purposes of determining whether the plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary injunction (Boardman / Pacific Seafood)
BakerHostetler (Washington)
Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages* An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for (...)

The Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf dismisses transferred follow-on damages claims because of the shift of the risk of litigation costs (Cartel Damages Claims)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
I. The Facts The judgment by the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf (HRC Düsseldorf) put an end to 10 years of on-going legal dispute that started after the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) disclosed various regional quota cartels, operating for a number of years until 2002, in the German cement (...)

The Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf holds that the managing director of a steel producer cannot be held liable for fines imposed on the company by the Federal Cartel Office (ThyssenKrupp)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
I. The Facts In 2012 and 2013 the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) imposed heavy fines on numerous companies and individuals for participating in a cartel in the rail industry. Among the companies fined were subsidiaries of the large German steel-producing group, ThyssenKrupp, which had to (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reminds companies that they cannot forum shop (Motorola / AU Optronics)
Siemens (New York)
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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (New York)
Seventh Circuit to Motorola: No Rehearing En Banc* On December 1, 2014, we wrote about the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., which affirmed dismissal of the vast majority of Motorola’s claims regarding LCD panels. Motorola filed a petition for rehearing (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refuses a petition for a rehearing in a price fixing claim against foreign manufacturers in the liquid crystal display sector (Motorola / AU Optronics)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
On January 12, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused Motorola Mobility LLC’s petition for a rehearing en banc of its price-fixing claims against foreign manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., case number 14-8003. Motorola (...)

The European Commission appeals a Belgian Court’s judgement in a cartel damages case (Otis, KONE, Schindler, ThyssenKrupp)
Hausfeld (London)
European Commission’s damages litigation illustrates challenges in domestic regimes pre-implementation of the Damages Directive* In January 2015 the European Commission announced its intention to appeal a judgment of the Belgian Commercial Court which dismissed the Commission’s claim for €6 (...)

The Regional Court of Potsdam finds a clause in the procurement terms of a German municipality requiring liquidated damages of 15% to be paid if the supplier participates in anti-competitive behaviour to be unlawful (Suppliers of fire engines)
Simmons & Simmons (Dusseldorf)
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Simmons & Simmons (Dusseldorf)
The German courts are grappling with the legality of clauses intended to agree liquidated damages where one of the parties is involved in a cartel. The Regional Court of Potsdam has recently found a clause in the procurement terms of a German municipality which requires liquidated damages of (...)

The Brussels Commercial Court dismisses EU’s damages claim in lifts and escalators cartel case (Kone / Otis / Schindler / ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Brussels Commercial Court dismisses European Union’s damages claim in lifts and escalators cartel case On 24 November 2014, the Brussels Commercial Court dismissed, for lack of sufficient evidence, the first action for damages ever brought by the European Commission on behalf of the (...)

The UK High Court of Justice provides guidance 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 Osaka High Court issues an injunction preventing a company from physically blocking independent taxi drivers lining up, acquiring customers and awarded damages in the independent taxi sector (Drivers / Shintetsu)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo)
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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo)
I. Introduction On 31 October 2014, the Osaka High Court (“Court”) found that Shintetsu engaged in an unfair trade practice in violation of the AMA by physically preventing the Drivers from seeking and acquiring customers at taxicab stands outside two Kobe Electric Railway Co., Ltd’s stations (...)

The US Department of Justice indicts seven Japanese executive for conspiring to fix prices (Mitsubishi / Hitachi)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Indictments of Seven Japanese Executives Announced In Auto Parts Cartel Investigation* The Antitrust Division, through a federal grand jury, indicted seven Japanese executives for conspiring to fix prices in the long running auto parts investigation. There were two separate indictments. One (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit agrees to rehear the appeal dismissing an antitrust claim under FTAIA in a lawsuit alleging price-fixing of LCD modules (Motorola Mobility / AU Optronics)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
Seventh Circuit Panel to Rehear Motorola Mobility v. AU Optronics: A Preview of Some of the FTAIA Issues in Component International Price Fixing Cases* The Seventh Circuit has decided to rehear the appeal from a judgment dismissing nearly Motorola’s entire $3.5 billion antitrust claim against (...)

A US District Court reaffirms that under the Capper-Volstead Act farmers may cooperate to collectively market their products, though the output limitation obtained by concerted action remains precluded by the Sherman Act (Cal-Maine Foods)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Of Characterization and Common Sense: Court Holds That Erroneous Interpretation of Allegations of Complaint Doom Counterclaim to Bottom of Chicken Coop* In In Re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:08-Md.-02002-GP (E.D. Pa., June 10, 2014), the plaintiffs alleged that they (...)

A US District Court denies motion to dismiss the complaint finding insufficient arguments to warrant a dismissal of the claims on per se tying and block-booking on the market for cable television (Cablevision / Viacom International)
Womble Bond Dickinson (Charlotte)
Suit Challenging Cable Bundling Survives Motion to Dismiss* Cable subscribers, tired of being forced to purchase more obscure channels like VH1 Classic and Teen Nick in order to get their nightly Daily Show fix on Comedy Central, should be encouraged by a recent antitrust decision out of the (...)

A US District Court receives notification that both the class plaintiffs, state plaintiffs and the defendants have reached an agreement concerning the lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple settles with U.S. states and consumers in the e-books price fixing case* According to documents filed in a New York court on 16 June 2014, Apple has reached an agreement in principle with state governments and consumers who filed a class-action lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that cartel members are liable for ’Umbrella Claims’ (Kone)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Dentons (Brussels)
In a judgment that may expand civil damage liability for cartel participants significantly (Case C-557/12, Kone AG and Others, judgment of June 5, 2014), the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) has ruled that a cartel’s members are liable for “umbrella damages,” which are caused by price increases (...)

The EU Court of Justice deals with the question to what extent the cartelists are required to compensate the higher price charged not just by the members of the cartel, but also by other competitors (Kone)
University of Groningen
The Kone case and the lifts cartel – an upward effect on prices and effectiveness?* On June 5 the Court has handed down the eagerly awaited judgment in the Kone case. This is one of the several cases that result from the Commission’s decision finding a cartel in the elevators and escalators (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that Member States cannot block claims for compensation by victims of umbrella pricing caused by the presence of a cartel on the market for elevators (Kone)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Case C-557/12 Kone AG: Cartels, damages and “umbrella pricing”* The Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-557/12 Kone AG and Others v ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is an important landmark in reinforcing the efficacy of EU antitrust law. The Court holds that Member States cannot block claims for (...)

The EU Court of Justice allows an interpretation of the matter of civil liability according to which a cartel member may be kept liable for damages caused by umbrella pricing (Kone / ÖBB)
Hausfeld (London)
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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Greater scope for cartel damages recovery following the Court of Justice’s ruling that cartelists are liable for “umbrella” damages resulting from the higher prices paid to non-cartelists* On 5 June 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) clarified the full extent of cartel damages (...)

The European Court of Justice rules that national law may not a priori exclude claims against cartel participants for the compensation of the loss caused by the “umbrella effect” of the cartel (Kone)
Philippe & Partners (Brussels)
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Valfidus Group
I. The Parties The Austrian elevator cartel: In October 2008, the Austrian Supreme Court (“Oberster Gerichtshof”) approved the Austrian Cartel Court’s imposition of fines on five companies in the Austrian elevator industry (Schindler was fined € 25 million, Kone € 22.5 million, Otis € 18.2 million, (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejects antitrust claims finding that the injury preceded any domestic effect in the causal chain (Lotes / Hon Hai Precision Industry)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Second Circuit Clarifies Application of Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act* The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City on June 4 ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) barred the antitrust claims of a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company with facilities in (...)

A US District Court files an antitrust action against a boycott impeding private schools to compete on the markets for commercial exhibition of high school football contests and basketball contests in Virginia (Liberty Christian Academy / VHSL)
Womble Bond Dickinson (Washington D.C.)
Do Public School Athletic Leagues Have To Admit Private High Schools?* Liberty Christian Academy (LCA), a private high school in Lynchburg, Virginia, has filed an antitrust action against the Virginia High School League (VHSL), a non-profit organization of public high schools in Virginia. The (...)

A US District Court receives a complaint on an allegation of anticompetitive agreements to exclude the plaintiff from the market for ownership of professional basketball franchises (Donald Sterling / NBA)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Basketball, Surreptitious Recordings, and Antitrust* Donald Sterling — yes, that Donald Sterling — filed an antitrust lawsuit a few days ago against the National Basketball Association. You can download a copy here: Sterling Antitrust Complaint. It’s not clear if the complaint has now been (...)

The federal jury in Puerto Rico acquits former Vice President on charges of conspiring with rivals to fix the prices (Crowley Liner Services)
Paul Weiss (Washington)
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Paul Weiss (Washington)
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Paul Weiss (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. A federal jury’s recent acquittal of a shipping company executive charged with price fixing highlights the challenges and uncertainties the Antitrust Division of (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal suspends a settlement entered into the Competition Bureau with e-book publishers related to a price MFN clause (Kobo)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
The Ebooks Saga: Kobo’s challenge explained* Ebook retailer Kobo is challenging a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers. The settlement has been stayed pending this challenge. Kobo’s challenge may have major implications for competition law enforcement in (...)

Private Enforcement in the US: An overview of leading cases
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
Historically, those supporting strong antitrust enforcement have tended to agree with observations by the Supreme Court, made principally in the 1970s, that class actions play a vitally important role in antitrust enforcement. Indeed, when the bipartisan Antitrust Modernization Commission (...)

A US District Court grants class certification and gives its preliminary approval for a partial class action settlement of a lawsuit on the allegation of conspiracy to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley (High-Tech employees)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Antitrust Laws Encourage Stealing* That’s right, the antitrust laws care so much about competition that they even prohibit agreements among competitors to not steal. In a society that morally condemns stealing, this is counter-intuitive (and a good reason to learn a little bit about (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denies motion to dismiss hearing in a case concerning an alleged exclusion from competing in health care markets (Dr. Yvoune Kara Petrie / Virginia Board of Medicine)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Virginia Board of Medicine Violated the Antitrust Laws* Last week (17-23 March 2014) was a big antitrust week for the new law firm of Bona Law PC. First, it was the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting, where antitrust lawyers from all over the world descend upon Washington, DC to obsess over (...)

The Paris Administrative Court dismisses a damages action against members of the carbon and graphite cartel (SNCF)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Factual background In its decision C.38.359 - Electrical and mechanical carbon and graphite products of 3 December 2003 published on 28 April 2004 (the ‘Decision’), the Commission found that several undertakings participated in a single and continuous infringement of Art 81(1) EC (now Art (...)

The Helsinki District Court dismisses a damages action on concerted practices in spare car parts wholesale (Atoy v. Arwidson, HL Group, Koivunen, Kaha and Örum)
University of Helsinki
The Helsinki District Court dismissed a damages action claiming losses allegedly caused by concerted practice between spare car part wholesalers. The court found that the claimant had failed to show a causal link between competition-infringing practice by the five defendants and damage which (...)

The Helsinki District Court dismisses several damages actions against wood industry actors due to prescription (Laatikkala Oy, Metsäliitto Osuuskunta Stora Enso Oyj, and UPM-Kymmene)
University of Helsinki
The Helsinki District Court has decided to dismiss several damages actions against raw wood market buyer side competition restriction participants. Approximately 650 damages actions against major wood industry actors have been pending before the Helsinki District Court, which has opted for (...)

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 US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirms dismissal of antitrust claims under FTAIA in a lawsuit alleging price-fixing of LCD modules (Motorola Mobility / AU Optronics)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Motorola’s LCD Antitrust Claims Based on Foreign Purchases* On March 27, in the latest major development in Motorola Mobility’s lawsuit alleging price-fixing of liquid crystal display modules (LCDs), a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, including (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court regards the disclosure of leniency applicants’ documents as not violating fundamental constitutional rights in the cartel damages proceedings (Aufzugskartell)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. The Facts Following the European Commission’s decision to impose fines against a group of lift and escalator manufacturers for violating EU antitrust rules in February 2007 (COMP/38.823), several building contractors initiated civil damages claims before the Regional Court of Berlin at the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal orders to compensate companies in an amount of over € 1.6 million due to their damages resulting from an anti-competitive agreement on prices and sales volumes of synthetic lysine prohibited by the European Commission (Ajinomoto Eurolysine)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Engie (Paris)
In a judgment dated February 27, 2014, the Court of Appeal of Paris (Court of Appeal) has, on remand from the Court of Cassation (Court), ordered Ajinomoto Eurolysine (AE) to compensate four companies in the Doux group (Doux) in an amount of over € 1.6 million due to their damages resulting (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholds a lower court’s judgement dismissing claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and attempted monopolization on the market for prosthetic microprocessor knees (DAW Industries / Hanger Orthopedic)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Ninth Circuit Once Again Affirms That Malicious Actions To Destroy A Competitor Do Not State An Antitrust Claim Unless Accompanied By Injury To Competition* On February 24, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing DAW Industries’ (...)

The French Supreme Court rejects parent company’s authority and revenue as basis for fines (Historical monuments)
HeplerBroom (Saint Louis)
Parents, it turns out, are not always responsible for their children. In a February 18, 2014 decision, the French Supreme Court (la Cour de Cassation) emphasized the need for individualized determinations of civil fines and penalties. The Supreme Court’s decision focused on the interpretation (...)

The U.S. District Court of Dallas dismisses a class action lawsuit filed by an online travel discount company against 12 dominant hotel chains and 9 online travel agencies alledging unfair exclusion from the market (OTC / Hotel Booking)
Ashurst (Milan)
U.S. District Judge in Texas dismisses class action lawsuit against conspiracy by online travel agencies and hotels to fix the price of hotel rooms* On 18 February 2014, U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle of the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division dismissed a class action lawsuit that (...)

The AG Kokott of the EU Court of Justice issues opinion on the scope of the civil cartel liability in favour of allowing an action for compensation for loss resulting from umbrella pricing (KONE)
University of Bristol - Law School
A first reaction to AG Kokott’s KONE Opinion (C-557/12)* AG Kokott’s Opinion of 30 January 2014 in case C-557/12 KONE is generating significant debate (see the very interesting criticism in EUTopia) as it deals with a very complicated and controversial issue that could either spur or restrict (...)

The AG Kokott of the EU Cout of Justice states that the law of the EU precludes domestic legislation which categorically excludes any civil liability of undertakings belonging to a cartel for umbrella damages (KONE)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
Advocate General Kokott stated that the law of the European Union precludes the interpretation and application of domestic legislation enacted by a Member State which categorically excludes any civil liability of undertakings belonging to a cartel for loss resulting from the fact that an (...)

The EU Advocate General Kokott delivers her opinion on civil liability of cartel members for umbrella pricing (Kone / Otis / Schindler / ThyssenKrupp)
University College London
On 30 January 2014 Advocate General Kokott delivered her Opinion on the Case C-557/12 Kone and others. This case concerns a claim for compensation brought by the customer of an undertaking not party to a cartel, against the cartel members on the ground that the non-infringing party had (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit dismisses price-fixing claims based on overseas purchases of LCD panels made by foreign affiliates (Motorola Mobility / AU Optronics)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
LCD Court Dismisses Motorola’s Multi-Billion Dollar Antitrust Claims Based On Overseas Purchases* On January 23, in a landmark decision that is one of the most important yet to be handed down in the sprawling LCD antitrust litigation pending in various federal courts since 2006, Judge Joan (...)

A US District Court largely rejects a motion to dismiss an antitrust price-fixing complaint, though it holds that a recognized exception against indirect purchaser suits has not been adequately pled (Lithium Battery)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Lithium Ion Batteries Court Addresses Illinois Brick Exception, Finds Standing for Certain Indirect Purchasers of Component Products* In In re: Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7516 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2014) (Gonzalez Rogers, J.), the Northern District of (...)

The Düsseldorf Regional Court dismisses damages action against cement cartel
Deutsche Bahn (Berlin)
On 17 December 2013, the Düsseldorf Regional Court dismissed a follow-on cartel damages action in a case that had been widely noticed and discussed among German lawyers over the past nine years. Should the judgment be confirmed on appeal, claimants might find it more difficult to get (...)

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 Canadian Competition Tribunal denies leave to merchant to bring price maintenance application challenging wholesale pricing structure for tobacco products (Safa Enterprises / Imperial Tobacco)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
Tobacco price maintenance case goes up in smoke* A Vancouver convenience store operator’s attempt to force Imperial Tobacco to offer it lower prices was filtered out by the Competition Tribunal. Safa Enterprises Inc. operates “My Convenience Store”. Its competitor, New Hasty Market, pays less (...)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denies the motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s amended complaint against the "anti-troll" group organizing a boycott of android related patents (Cascades Computer Innovation / RPX)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
“Anti-Patent Troll” Fails to Secure Dismissal of Amended Antitrust Complaint* Back in January, I covered the case of Cascades Computer Innovation LLC v. RPX Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10526 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2013), where Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed – with leave to amend – Cascades’ (...)

A Finnish District Court grants damages for harm caused by a cartel infringement on the market for asphalt paving works (Espoo / Asfaltti)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Asphalt cartel trial concluded at Helsinki District Court* On the proposal of the Finnish Competition Authority, the Supreme Administrative Court ordered on 29 September 2009 Lemminkäinen Oyj, VLT-Trading Oy, Skanska Asfaltti Oy, NCC Roads Oy, SA-Capital Oy, Rudus Asfaltti Oy and Super Asfaltti (...)

The District Court of Utrecht rules on its jurisdiction with regard to a private damages claim against participants in the lift cartel residing outside the Netherlands (Kone & ThyssenKrupp)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
Parties East West Debt (EWD) v. the following lift manufacturers: United Technologies Corporation (UTC), Otis B.V. (Otis NL), Schindler Holding ltd. (Schindler Holding), Schindler Liften B.V (Schindler NL). ThyssenKrupp A.G. (ThyssenKrupp), ThyssenKrupp Liften B.V. (ThyssenKrupp NL), Kone (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal while establishing that a claim for compensation for damages arising from the General Court’s failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time must be brought before the General Court itself (Gascogne)
Garrigues (Brussels)
The Groupe Gascogne Judgment (see both sides of the story)* Last week I wrote a post about the Groupe Gascogne Judgment (and other stuff) which has elicited some interest. Somehow oddly, I will now present counter-arguments against all those who… actually agreed with me. Given that I wrote (...)

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

The German Supreme Court rejects an appeal against an order from a Lower Court awarding damages because of losses suffered due to an anticompetitive clause in an agreement (Dornbracht)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Reed Smith (Brussels)
The luxury bathroom fittings manufacturer Dornbracht has lost its appeal to the German Supreme Court against an order from a lower court awarding damages of €820,000 to a retailer because of losses suffered due to an anticompetitive clause in Dornbracht’s distribution agreements. The case is (...)

The UK CAT rules that antitrust findings regarding the copper plumbing tubes cartel did not support the intent to injure required for a conspiracy claim brought under section 47A of the Competition Act (W.H. Newson / IMI)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Conspiracy, the CAT, and the Court of Appeal: “Here is a case unprecedented” (The Gondoliers, Act 2)* In W.H. Newson Holding Limited & ors v IMI plc & ors [2013] EWCA Civ 1377, the Court of Appeal has made some important new law regarding the scope of section 47A of the Competition Act (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California certifies a class of student athletes seeking injunctive relief, though declines to certify a damages class arising from the allegedly preclusive effect of rules that would impede group licensing arrangements with videogame developers and broadcasters (NCAA Student Athletes)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Injunctive Relief, but not Damages Class, Certified in NCAA Student-Athlete Litigation* In In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160739 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2013) (Wilken, J.)., the Court certified a class of current and former (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court clears the way for indirect purchaser competition class action related to compensation for harm caused by inflating the price of microchips (Infineon / Pro-Sys / Sun-Rype)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Canadian Supreme Court Clears the Way for Indirect Purchaser Competition Class Actions: Reason and Clarity Prevail in Previously Muddled Area* Earlier today the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released three long-awaited companion judgments that finally create clarity and certainty in the area (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court allows indirect purchaser claims for a cartel infringement in the market for processor compatible software (Infineon / Pro-Sys / Sun-Rype)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Supreme Court of Canada Allows Indirect Purchaser Claims* Note: On October 31, 2013, Canada’s Supreme Court issued important decisions regarding the scope of private claims for civil damages under the Competition Act. Below is a note prepared by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg on these (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court rejects the passing-on defence in relation to price fixing in the market for compatible PC software (Pro‑Sys Consultants / Microsoft)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Canadian Supreme Court: No such thing as passing on defence* On Thursday last week the Supreme Court of Canada handed down three much-anticipated judgments concerning indirect purchaser claims. The trio of cases point towards a distinctive, and in many respects more claimant-friendly, approach (...)

A French Court of Appeal holds that article L. 442-6, I, 5 of the commercial code also applies to international business relations (Lauterbach, Logic Instrument)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
A German company which had had its products distributed by the same operator in France since 1988 announced its intention to recuperate the French market by installing a subsidiary on the territory thereby terminating relations with the distributor. Aggrieved by the lack of sufficient notice of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes a Vademecum intended to help procurement agencies detect infringements of competition law in the context of public bids
Simmons & Simmons (Milano)
On 26 October 2013, the ICA published a “Vademecum” (guide) intended to help procurement agencies to detect infringements of competition law in the context of public bids. This is particularly interesting not only for its contents, but because the ICA usually refrains from providing formal or (...)

The Madrid Court of Appeal establishes that there should be no bar to the effect of the arbitration clause and the arbitrability of a dispute concerning rights and obligations arising out of vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector (Camilaga / DAF Vehiculos)
CMS Cameron McKenna (Sofia)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Arbitrability of Competition Law Issues Reinforced* A number of decisions of various national courts have dealt with the issue whether a competition law dispute (...)

The ECN Working Group on Competition Law gathers in Bonn to discuss matters related to vertical restraints in the internet economy sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical Restraints in the Internet Economy - Meeting of the Working Group on Competition Law in Bonn* Bonn, 14 October 2013: On 10 October 2013 the Working Group on Competition Law met in Bonn at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt. At this year’s meeting more than 100 competition law (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court declares a non-compete clause in a franchise agreement invalid due to absence of transference of confidential information justifying protection of know-how (Montijo)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
In a dispute concerning an infringement of a franchising agreement in the food services industry, including an alleged violation of a non-compete clause, the Portuguese Supreme Court reversed a ruling of the Lisbon Appeal Court, providing clarifications on its view on the validity of such (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California dismisses plaintiff’s antitrust claims and ascertains that allegations of harm to competition caused by multiple defendants can’t be aggregated (Orchard Supply Hardware/Home Depot, METCo & Makita)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (San Francisco)
Allegations of Harm to Competition Caused by Multiple Defendants Can’t be Aggregated* Earlier this year, I covered the case of Orchard Supply Hardware LLC v. Home Depot USA, Inc. . On September 19, 2013, the court (the Northern District of California) issued its decision on defendants’ motion (...)

The US District Court of Pennsylvania announces that the largest producer of fresh shell eggs has agreed to pay $28 million to settle direct purchaser claims (Cal-Maine)
McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
On July 23, 2013, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the largest producer of fresh shell eggs in the U.S., announced that it had agreed to pay $28 million to settlement the direct purchaser claims brought by plaintiffs in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, 08-cv-2002 (E.D. Pa.). The direct (...)

The Chinese Shanghai People’s Court orders a manufacturer to pay 530,000 Yuan for setting an artificial price floor (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
Morrison & Foerster (Washington)
Manufacturer Loses Landmark Chinese Antitrust Lawsuit* In the first vertical monopoly ruling in favor of a plaintiff in an antitrust case in China, a manufacturer has been ordered to pay 530,000 Yuan (roughly ($86,000) for setting an artificial price floor. In the case, the manufacturer was (...)

The Chinese Shanghai People’s High Court awards damages to be paid by a major US-headquartered healthcare supplier for vertical restrictive practices (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
This article has been nominated for the 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Chinese Court’s Roadmap on Vertical Monopoly Analysis: Some Comments on the Final Judgment on Rainbow vs. Johnson & Johnson Case* On August 1 2013, Shanghai (...)

The Chinese Shanghai Higher Court renders final judgment in first antitrust private action (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Chinese Court Rendered Final Judgment on Rainbow v. Johnson & Johnson – the First Antitrust Private Action of Vertical Monopolistic Agreement* On 1 August 2013, the very same day of the fifth anniversary of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”), Shanghai Higher People’s Court (“Shanghai Higher (...)

The Shanghai Higher Court decides on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
On August 1 2013, Shanghai People’s High Court (the Court) handed down judgment on the first private antitrust action involving vertical agreements under the minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) clause of China’s Anti-monopoly Law (AML). The Court rescinded the judgment of the first instance (...)

The District Court of Rotterdam rules on its jurisdiction regarding private damages claim against cartel participants residing outside the Netherlands (Stichting Elevator Cartel Claim)
Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
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Allen & Overy (Amsterdam)
The parties Stichting Elevator Cartel Claim (SECC) v. Kone B.V., Kone GMBH, Kone Oyj, Kone Luxembourg Sàrl, Kone Belgium S.A. (jointly Kone c.s.), Thyssenkrupp Liften Ascenseurs N.V.-S.A., Thyssenkrupp Liften B.V., Thyssenkrupp Aufzuge GmbH, Thyssenkrupp Fahrtreppen GmbH, Thyssenkrupp Elevator (...)

The US Southern District of New York holds that antitrust plaintiffs need not show that conspiracy is the sole inference from the evidence (Apple)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
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Cohen Milstein (New York)
In this prominent case, the United States and 33 states and U.S. territories brought civil suits against Apple Inc. and five book publishing companies, alleging that they conspired and acted together, in violation of United States antitrust law, to cause the publishing industry to move from a (...)

The Court of Appeal of Paris faces the difficult adequacy between efficiency of private enforcement and the principles of the French Civil Trial (JCB v. Central Parts)
Fieldfisher (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
In its decision dated 26 June 2013, the Court of Appeal of Paris considered that only the harm suffered because of anticompetitive practices implemented for a period of 10 years before they stopped could be compensated. By taking this ruling, it strictly applied the French procedural rules for (...)

The US Supreme Court holds that reverse-payment patent settlements should be reviewed under the antitrust rule of reason (Actavis)
Gibson Dunn (Washington)
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,
Steptoe & Johnson (Washington)
But Decision Raises as Many Questions as it Answers The Supreme Court yesterday held that it may be unlawful under the antitrust laws for a brand-name drug manufacturer to resolve patent litigation against an allegedly infringing generic drug maker by paying the generic to forestall market (...)

The Canadian Court of Appeal of Alberta dismisses an action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta / Husky Oil Operations)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow* A decision by joint operators of an oil field to use a single fluid hauler was not an unlawful conspiracy, the Alberta Court of Appeal held recently, overturning a 2011 decision that awarded about $8 million to the loser of a competitive bidding (...)

The EU Court of Justice grants access to a national competition file to applicants seeking compensation for damages deriving from the violation of EU competition rules (Donau Chemie)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual and legal background In its judgment of 6th of June 2013, the Court of Justice ruled on the possibility to grant access to a competition file to applicants seeking compensation for damages deriving from the violation of EU competition rules. Before analyzing the merits of the judgment, (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority does not rule on anti-competitive agreements in the agricultural sector due to a new domestic sectoral exemption (Watermelon cartel)
Oppenheim (Budapest)
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Oppenheim (Budapest)
1. Introduction On 10 April 2013, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) terminated its competition proceedings concerning anti-competitive agreements against several multinational grocery retail chains as ALDI, Auchan, Lidl, Spar, TESCO and a domestic franchise, CBA as well as the Hungarian (...)

The Portuguese Appeal Court of Lisbon upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications (Gas bottle distributor)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Federal Court of Australia issues its first decision on cartel liability under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010: a wake up call to those doing private equity deals (Norcast v Bradken)
Brent Fisse Lawyers (Paddington)
1. The decision in Norcast S.ár.L v Bradken Limited (No 2) [2013] FCA 235 (19 March 2013) The decision of the Federal Court of Australia (Gordon J) in Norcast S.ár.L v Bradken Limited (No 2)[2013] FCA 235 (Norcast v Bradken) is the first test case on liability under the cartel amendments in 2009 (...)

The Federal Court of Australia hands down its first decision involving a bid rigging case after the entry into force of new cartel laws (Norcast / Braken)
Deakin University (Geelong)
In July 2009 Australia’s new cartel laws entered into force. On 19 March 2013 the Federal Court of Australia (Gordon J) handed down its first decision involving these new laws. Norcast S.ár.L(Norcast), a subsidiary of the private equity fund, Pala Investments Limited (Pala), alleged that Castle (...)

The US Eastern District of New York Federal Court awards plaintiffs $162 million in first-ever civil price-fixing verdict against Chinese companies (Vitamin C Cartel)
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
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Office of the New York State Attorney General (New York)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
On March 14, 2013, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York returned a verdict in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-md-1738 (E.D.N.Y.), finding that two Chinese companies had unlawfully fixed prices and controlled the supply of vitamin C exports from China to the United States. (...)

The Dutch District Court of Midden-Nederland sees no causal link between existence of elevator cartel and alleged overpriced elevator maintenance contract (VvE woningen "Het Schip" / Otis)
CMS (Amsterdam)
I. Facts On 21 February 2007, the European Commission imposed a fine of € 224,932,950 on elevator manufacturer Otis for its participation in the ’elevator cartel’, together with other manufacturers Kone, Mitsubishi, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp (total fine: € 992,312,200 – in those days the largest (...)

The Dutch District Court of Midden-Nederland dismisses cartel damages claim against an elevator building company (Otis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgement of 13 March 2013, published on 4 June 2013, the Middle Netherlands Court dismissed in first instance a claim lodged by the owners of two apartment buildings and the city of Raalte against elevator building company Otis BV for alleged damage suffered as a result of illegal (...)

The Italian Supreme Court reaffirms the principle that infringement decisions of the Competition Authority constitute “privileged evidence” in follow on compensation claims (Private motor insurance cartel)
Simmons & Simmons (Milano)
On 04 March 2013, an order of the Corte di Cassazione - the Italian Supreme Court - reaffirmed the principle that infringement decisions of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) constitute “privileged evidence” in follow on compensation claims. This order is related, yet again, to disputes (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority renders legally binding the commitments offered by a professional association in the market for expert reporting in occupational hazards (UICM)
DG COMP (Brussels)
On 19 February 2013 the Spanish Competition Commission (“CNC”) adopted a resolution rendering legally binding the commitments offered by the Inter-Professional Union of the Community of Madrid (“UICM”) in order to alleviate the anti-competitive allegations raised against it. The CNC initiated its (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Jääskinen postulates that the EU principle of effectiveness precludes a provision of national law which makes the grant of access to documents by a national court subject to the consent of the antitrust infringers (Donau Chemie)
Matrix Chambers (London)
Pfleiderer revisited: the AG Opinion in Donau Chemie* On 7 February, AG Jääskinen issued his Opinion in Case C-536/11 Donau Chemie, a much anticipated case (at least among competition lawyers) concerning the compatibility with EU law of an Austrian law which prohibits third party access to the (...)

The California Supreme Court applies the continuous accrual doctrine to actions under the unfair competition law finding that each overcharge shall give rise to a separate claim (Aryeh / Canon Business Solutions)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
California Supreme Court Resolves Split Over Accrual Rules for Unfair Competition Claims* The California Supreme Court has offered hope to plaintiffs facing statute of limitations problems under California’s Unfair Competition Law, holding that special rules for calculating accrual dates for (...)

The Dutch District Court establishes liability for damages in follow-on gas insulated switchgear case (Tennet TSO / ABB)
Smeets Van Empel advocaten (Amsterdam)
Introduction The Dutch District Court Oost-Nederland ruled on the liability for damages in a Dutch follow-on case sought after the European Commission established a cartel infringement in its ‘gas insulated switchgear’ Decision. In its ruling the District Court also considered the applicability (...)

The UK Supreme Court grants permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgement that struck out a cartel damages claims on the ground that they were out of time (Deutsche Bahn)
The University of Manchester
Introduction Deutsche Bahn v Morgan Crucible is a well-litigated case, with a judgment from the Court of Appeal and the granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Taking into account the novel issues involved in this case, it appears reasonable that the Supreme Court wants to resolve (...)

The European Commission imposes fines on producers of TV and computer monitor tubes for two decades long worldwide cartel (LG Electronics, Philips, Samsung SDI)
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
Largest Cartel Fine by the EU Commission* The EU Commission imposed fines on producers of TV and computer monitor tubes a total of € 1.47 billion for two decade-long cartels that operated worldwide (The press release is available here). Members of cartels include major firms like Philips, LG, (...)

The England and Wales Court of Appeal refuses to revive private damages claims against a subsidiary of the addressee of the graphite cartel EC decision (Emerson Electric / Mersen)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Subsidiaries as “branches” for undertakings: a new route to jurisdiction under Article 5(5) of the Brussels Regulation?* Stand alone, follow on and hybrid damages claims arising out of multijurisdictional cartels are generating some of the most novel and interesting current problems in conflicts (...)

The UK Court of Appeal allows price-fixing damages claims brought by an Irish utility service provider against a British industrial bag manufacturer based on Article 5(3) of the Brussels I Regulation (Bord NA Mona)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Subsidiaries as “branches” for undertakings: a new route to jurisdiction under Article 5(5) of the Brussels Regulation?* Stand alone, follow on and hybrid damages claims arising out of multijurisdictional cartels are generating some of the most novel and interesting current problems in conflicts (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the Commission’s authority to represent the EU in bringing an action for damages before a national court based on an infringement of the Article 101 TFEU (Otis / Kone / Schindler/ ThyssenKrupp)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction In the field of competition law the Commission plays multiple roles and acts against several forms of anticompetitive activities prohibited by Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, if the interstate trade criterion is satisfied. National competition authorities may apply the above named (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court dismisses a claim for damages on the basis of bid-rigging established by the Hungarian Competition Office (Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ v Strabag Építő and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő)
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
,
Philip Morris (Budapest)
On 24 October 2012, the Metropolitan Court (the "Court") dismissed the claim for damages lodged by the Traffic Development Coordination Centre (in Hungarian: "Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ", the "Plaintiff") made against Strabag Építő Zrt. ("Strabag") and Debreceni Magas, Mély és Útépítő (...)

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)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Driven (Washington DC)
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 Court of Appeal of England and Wales dismisses an appeal against an action for damages arising from an Article 101 TFEU violation on the market for the supply of industrial copper tubes (KME Yorkshire / Toshiba Carrier)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Special pleading? Toshiba Carrier and the industrial tubes cartel* The Court of Appeal’s judgment last Friday in KME Yorkshire Ltd & ors v Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd & ors [2012] EWCA Civ 1990 will gladden the hearts of Article 101 damages claimants. It confirms that the Court will be (...)

The UK Court of Appeal paves the way for an ‘anchored’ follow-on claim against an industrial copper tube cartel liable under Art. 101 TFEU (Toshiba Carrier / KME Yorkshire)
The University of Manchester
On 13th September 2012, the UK Court of Appeal turned down an appeal by KME Yorkshire Ltd (“KME UK”) to summarily dismiss a private damages claim by Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd and other claimants (“Toshiba UK”). The claim was in respect of losses that occurred during the operation of a cartel between (...)

The UK Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal seeking to strike out a damages claim brought against a company that was not the addressee of a EU Commission decision (Toshiba Carrier)
University of Leeds
On 13 September 2012, the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) dismissed an appeal which sought to strike out a damages claim (or grant summary judgment) brought against a company that was not the addressee of a European Commission decision finding an infringement of EU competition law. In (...)

The EUCJ Advocate General Kokott asserts that agreements with an anti-competitive object cannot be deemed as de minimis infringements (Expedia)
Matrix Chambers (London)
The concept of ‘appreciable restriction of competition’ in ‘object’ cases under Article 101(1) TFEU – AG Kokott in Expedia* On 6 September 2012 AG Kokott issued her Opinion in Case C-226/11 Expedia Inc. The case results from a preliminary reference made by the French Cour de cassation in (...)

A US Court of Appeals upholds that the filed rate doctrine applies to the federal milk marketing orders (Gerald Carlin / DairyAmerica)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
In Agricultural Regulation, A “Flawed Rate” is Not a “Filed Rate” For Damage Purposes* Notwithstanding the general applicability of the Filed Rate Doctrine, the Ninth Circuit recently held that it does not necessarily bar producer class actions for overcharges. Whether a given rating authority has (...)

The UK Court of Appeal clarifies the meaning of the term “decision” in Section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 (Deutsche Bahn / Morgan Crucible)
King’s College (London)
The Court of Appeal, in its decision in Deutsche Bahn AG and others v Morgan Crucible plc, has clarified the meaning of the term “decision” in section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 for the purpose of applying the limitation period for bringing follow-on action claims for damages in the (...)

US Ninth Circuit holds direct-purchaser antitrust plaintiffs lacked standing to seek damages for alleged antitrust price-fixing in the ATM services (ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation)
Cohen Milstein (Washington)
,
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 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 Irish Parliament amends the competition act strengthening competition law enforcement by providing new and increased sanctions and penalties
Queen’s University Belfast
On 3 July 2012 Ireland’s Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 (“the 2012 Act”) came into force. This Act, as its name indicates, amends the existing Competition Act2002 (“the 2002 Act”) to enhance Ireland’s anti-cartel regime through augmentations to the criminal and private enforcement regimes, and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit takes broad view of the foreign trade antitrust improvements Act (Minn-Chem / Agrium)
Paul Hastings (Washington)
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Paul Hastings (Orange County)
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Paul Hastings (Orange County)
Overview In a much-awaited decision, the Seventh Circuit has taken a broad view of the ability of U.S. courts to hear antitrust cases concerning alleged foreign cartel activity that plaintiffs contend has effects in the U.S. The Court’s ruling reviving a cartel case in the potash industry is (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit potentially expands the extraterritorial reach of the U.S. antitrust laws (Minn-Chem / Agrium)
Davis Polk & Wardwell (New York)
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Davis Polk & Wardwell (New York)
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Gibson Dunn (New York)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (the “Court”) recently potentially expanded the extraterritorial reach of the U.S. antitrust laws. (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit unanimously expands extraterritorial reach of US antitrust rules in a foreign price-fixing conspiracy case (Potash II)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Seventh Circuit Sitting En Banc Reverses in Potash, Announces Second Most Important of All FTAIA Opinions, Shores Up the Text Messaging Position on Conspiracy Pleading* Well, okay, I guess there might just possibly have been an appellate decision this week of even more pressing moment, but I (...)

The Hong Kong Legislative Council finally passes a comprehensive competition law
Jones Day (Sydney)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
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Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
After years of discussions, the Hong Kong Legislative Council finally passed a comprehensive competition law (the "HK Competition Law"). The HK Competition Law includes the classic prohibitions of anticompetitive agreements and abuses of market power, as well as a merger control regime (with (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court in a sugar cartel (Nestlé / Gullón / Zahor)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Spanish High Court of June, 8, 2012, is the first case in which the highest court in Spain provides for a redress of the victims of a cartel of 1.1 million Euros. The sugar manufacturer Acor had appealed the judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms first follow-on claim for an infringement of antitrust rules against a cartel in the sugar sector (Spanish Sugar Cartel, TS Acor)
3C Compliance (Madrid)
I. Introduction The Spanish Supreme Court, Tribunal Supremo, issued on June 8, 2012 an important ruling about a follow-on damage claims that resulted from an infringement of the Spanish and European Cartel Prohibition. These claims were filed in the year 2007 before the local court of (...)

A Chinese Intermediate Court dismisses allegations of vertical price-fixing against medical equipments company (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The Shanghai Court’s Position on Resale Price Maintenance in the J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation* On 18 May 2012, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (‘Shanghai Court’) dismissed allegations that Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. and its Shanghai branch had set a (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court broadly interprets the de minimis principle in beer distribution private enforcement case
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
On the 17th May 2012, the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) dismissed a competition law-based defense in the framework of a dispute between a beer supplier and a retailer who failed to comply with exclusivity and minimum purchase obligations. The case stands out as one more in a number (...)

The US Kansas Supreme Court holds resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, but ruling subsequently overturned by state legislature (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The Kansas Supreme Court recently determined resale price maintenance is per se illegal under state law, becoming the latest state to reject the rule of reason standard mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision serves as a reminder that although a supplier’s pricing (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court condemns vertical price fixing agreements as per se illegal under the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Kansas Supreme Court Condemns Vertical Price Fixing Agreements as Per Se Illegal* Earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the reasonableness of a vertical price fixing agreement is not to be considered when determining whether such an agreement violates the Kansas Restraint of (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that resale price maintenance, whether purely vertical or in a dual distribution setting, is per se illegal and rejects applicability of federal rule of reason analysis to claims brought under Kansas antitrust law (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Irvine)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
UPDATE NOTE: On April 16, 2013, the Kansas legislature reversed the decision discussed below, and adopted a "reasonableness" standard for analyzing vertical price agreements. On May 4, 2012, Kansas joined the growing trend among states to limit the distribution flexibility that had been (...)

The Kansas Supreme Court holds that the district judge erred in his demand for proof of a "concrete injury" in the price fixing of women’s accessories (O’Brien / Leegin Creative Leather Prods)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
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Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Kansas Supreme Court Declares “Rule of Reason” Inapplicable to Kansas Antitrust Law; Legislature May Have a Different Idea* In Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court expressly overruled the categorical ban on vertical price fixing (...)

The French Commercial Court of Paris authorises production of documents contained in cartel case file in support of an action for damages (Primagaz / Butagaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 April 2012, the Paris Commercial Court handed down a preliminary judgment, before ruling on the merits of the case, authorising a plaintiff, namely Primagaz, to produce certain documents contained in the French Competition Authority’s case file in support of an action for damages (...)

The US Judge of New Jersey District Court dismisses the claims of the indirect purchasers in price-fixing litigation (Magnesium Oxide)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
,
Constantine Cannon (New York)
Indirect Purchasers’ Claims Undermined In Mineral Price-Fixing Litigation* Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has dismissed class action claims of price fixing brought by indirect purchasers against several magnesium oxide companies in the (...)

The US Judge of New Jersey District Court dismisses the claims of the indirect purchasers for lack of standing to bring a cause of action (Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
With No Reliance Nor Nexus, Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ Claims Fall Short: In re Magnesium Oxide Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J. Apr. 5, 2012)* Introduction Antitrust claims by indirect purchasers of magnesium oxide did not survive defendant manufacturers’ motion to dismiss a complaint alleging (...)

The English High Court rules in favour of partial disclosure of documents in an action for damages allegedly caused by the gas insulated switchgear cartel (National Grid Electricity)
Matrix Chambers (London)
National Grid – shining Pfleiderer’s light on access to EU leniency documents* A while ago I blogged on an important development in the General Court relating to the ability of victims of cartels and other anti-competitive practices to get their hands on relevant evidence enabling them to prove (...)

The UK High Court of Justice orders a disclosure of parts for the unredacted version of the EU Commission’s switchgear cartel decision (National Grid / ABB)
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. *Antitrust Litigation: Access to Documents Held by Regulatory Authorities The English High Court has confirmed that the principles established by the judgment of (...)

A French Court of Appeal rules on the jurisdiction of specialized courts on the ground of public policy in cases involving restrictives practices (Iso Confort / Altop)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
In May 2010, an operator terminated without notice a partnership agreement with another party. The latter filed a claim for damages on the basis of Articles 1134 and 1147 of the Civil Code. Applying the jurisdiction clause contained in the contract, the Commercial Court in Arras declined (...)

The US District Court of Detroit dismisses antitrust claims against practice of requiring hospitals to enter into "MFN-Plus" contracts (City of Pontiac / Blue Cross Blue Shield)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
District Court Dismisses Follow-On Suit Challenging Blue Cross’s “MFN-Plus’ Contracts Under Both Per Se and Rule of Reason Standards* The District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently dismissed antitrust claims brought by the City of Pontiac against Blue Cross Blue Shield of (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal rejects follow-on damages claim on the basis of the passing-on defence
Lakatos, Köves & Partners (Budapest)
Two judgments of the Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal handed down in March 2012 should be taken into account in the planning of litigation strategy for parties in follow-on litigation claims. The first judgment (published) was adopted in relation to a cartel that concerned road (...)

A Northern District of California jury finds two out of five defendants, all from Taiwan, guilty of conspiring to fix prices of thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (AU Optronics)
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Are Antitrust Violations Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude?* On March 13, 2012, the United States obtained its first trial convictions ever against foreign (...)

A Federal jury in San Francisco returns verdicts in rare price-fixing trial of global liquid-crystal displays conspiracy (AU Optronics)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Beijing)
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Jones Day (Tokyo)
Companies and individuals that are accused of price-fixing rarely go to trial. Indeed, in the last 10 years, no corporate defendant (and only a handful of individuals) has elected to litigate an international criminal cartel case in a U.S. court. The vast majority of cases are resolved through (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Munich dismisses compensation claims of a parent company from its former subsidiary because of its participation in a cartel (Calciumcarbid)
Gleiss Lutz (Frankfurt)
In its judgement of 9 February 2012, the Higher Regional Court of Munich confirmed the decision of Regional Court of Munich of 13 July 2011, and dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal. Together with two other companies, the plaintiff was considered as one economic unit and was held jointly and (...)

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 (...)

A Chinese Intermediate People’s Court hears the first private litigation challenging vertical price-fixing (Johnson & Johnson)
Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The J&J Vertical Price-Fixing Litigation in China* Johnson & Johnson Medical (China) Ltd. (‘J&J Medical’) and its Shanghai branch are sued in China for minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) by a Beijing-based distributor. This is the first private litigation that challenges RPM (...)

The Korean Fair Trade Commission offers funding private antitrust class action against two electronics companies fines for price-fixing (Samsung, LG)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Competition authorities around the globe are taking an increasingly active part in the pursuit of civil claims for damages for antitrust infringements. The (...)

The Local Court of Bonn denies access to leniency applications for third parties in cartel case (Pfleiderer)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
No access to file to leniency applications for third parties in Germany – national follow-on judgment in Pfleiderer* On January 18, 2012, the district court of Bonn ruled on the scope of access to file for third parties in a cartel case under German law. The court rejected the claim insofar as (...)

The US District Court for the District of Idaho denies a motion to dismiss an antitrust conspiracy claims of increasing prices and of price fixing despite the potato grower cooperatives asserting that the concerted action was permissible (Fresh and Process Potatoes)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
POTATO PRICE-FIXING CASE SURVIVES MOTION TO DISMISS HOLDS THAT PRE-PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT EXEMPT UNDER CAPPER-VOLSTEAD* On December 2, 2011, a federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation involving an alleged potato price-fixing conspiracy denied a motion to (...)

The Athens Civil Court of Appeal dismisses an obligation to enter into a contract in the case of anticompetitive practices
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction Ruling No 6546/2011 of the Athens Civil Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) is of particular importance for the private enforcement of Greek and EU competition law since it clarifies the remedies available to the victims in case of anticompetitive practices. In (...)

The US District Court For The Northern District Of Iowa Western Division approves three settlements in a class action for price-fixing conspiracies in the concrete industry defining the case “a model for the nation” (Iowa Ready)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
What Do Model Antitrust Class Actions Look Like?* “[O]vercome with a rare and gargantuan sense of awe,” a federal district court judge in Sioux City, Iowa, has called a consolidated class action case arising from price fixing conspiracies in the concrete industry “a model for the nation.” The (...)

The Madrid Provincial Court accepts the passing-on-defence in the sugar cartel (Nestlé / Gullón / Zahor)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
As it was mentioned before, the Spanish sugar cartel has been the origin of a claim for compensation of the damages filed by Nestlé, Zahor, Wrigley and other eleven producers of biscuits and confectionary against the sugar manufacturer Ebro Puleba (now Ebro Foods). The same cartel had also (...)

The US Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit holds claims against a foreign price-fixing cartel in the potash industry to be either exempted under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act or insufficient to state a cause of action under the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards (Potash)
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Potash Potash Potash!!!!! En Banc Review Is in the Hizz-ouse, Y’all!* Something striking occurred in the Seventh Circuit this year. In two different, massive antitrust class actions, in the space of about nine months, panels of that court applied the Twombly-Iqbal pleading formula to reach (...)

The Washington State passes revised unfair competition law increasing exposure for misappropriated IP
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2013 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. US State Unfair Competition Laws Create Increased Exposure for Misappropriated IP* For many years, information technology companies in the United States have (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacates a lower court’s injunction that lifted football players’ lockout in an antitrust suit (Tom Brady / National Football League)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Injunction Against NFL Lockout Improperly Granted in Players’ Antitrust Suit* Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis vacated an injunction lifting the National Football League’s "lockout" of its players. The divided appellate court, just five days after hearing oral argument on (...)

The German Supreme Court rules on damage claims by indirect purchasers and the passing-on defence in a cartel case (Carbonless Paper Cartel)
Allen & Overy (Hamburg)
On November 24, 2011 the German Federal High Court (Bundesgerichtshof) published its decision in the ORWI case. The claimant, a German savings bank, brought a claim for damages against a carbonless paper manufacturer, that were ceded to him by ORWI, a manufacturer of pre-printed forms. Claimant (...)

The German Supreme Court holds that indirect purchasers have standing to sue for antitrust damages but defendants may invoke passing-on defense (Carbonless Paper Cartel)
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Linklaters (Frankfurt)
The German Federal Civil Court (BGH) has held that both direct and indirect purchasers may sue for antitrust damages, but defendants may raise the passing-on defense. Through the passing-on defense, defendants try to demonstrate that plaintiffs suffered no financial harm, as they passed on the (...)

The German Supreme Court upholds that members of a cartel are able to defend themselves against a claim for damages by raising the passing-on defence onto a downstream market (Carbonless Paper Cartel)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
SUPREME COURT ALLOWS THE PASSING-ON DEFENSE IN ANTITRUST DAMAGES ACTIONS * The German Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling handed down on 28 June 2011, has held that members of a cartel are able to defend themselves against a claim for damages by raising the defense that the relevant applicants (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues preliminary ruling holding that national courts need to balance on a case-by-case basis the interest of preserving the effectiveness of leniency programmes and that of facilitating private enforcement by third parties (Pfleiderer)
Winston & Strawn (London)
,
Ashurst (Frankfurt)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 14 June 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a key judgment regarding the interplay between national leniency programmes and the right of (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a preliminary ruling on disclosure of leniency documents to third parties heightening concerns about encouraging private enforcement (Pfleiderer)
University of East Anglia
ECJ Ruling in Pfleiderer Heightens Concerns about Encouraging Private Enforcement* The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that EU Law does not prohibit access to leniency documents by third parties seeking damages. Access should be determined according to national law, which must weigh (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages (Brantley / NBC Universal)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Ninth Circuit Rejects Consumer Antitrust Challenge To Cable Television Bundling* The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a consumer class action challenging the television programming industry’s practice of exclusively offering multi-channel cable packages. Brantley v. NBC (...)

The French Competition Authority contributes to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on private enforcement
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence (French National Competition Authority) contributes to the public consultation launched by the European Commission*. Like some other NCAs (national competition authorities) in (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal fines a pharmaceutical company € 17 M for unfair competition when launching a new drug (Ipsen / Mylan)
EDHEC (Lille)
1. Summary Mylan, the generic pharmaceutical company (formerly Merck Génériques), was ordered by the Paris Court of Appeal to pay €17 million in damages to Ipsen for unfair competitive practices and economic parasitism by marketing Vitalogink to pharmacists as an "equivalent" to Tanakan and (...)

A Belgian Court seeks guidance from EU Court of Justice in determining damages in a lift cartel case (Kone / Otis / Schindle / ThyssenKrupp)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to recent press reports, in a judgment of 21 April 2011, the Brussels Commercial Court requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the lift cartel damages proceedings. In February 2007, the European Commission fined lift and escalator manufacturers (...)

The US District Court of the Northern District of California rejects a breach of contract defence based on the illegality of the contract under the Robinson-Patman Act (Pet Food Express / Royal Canin)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Robinson-Patman Act Defense Rejected in Breach-of-Contract Case* Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the federal (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismisses class action alleging electricity overcharges (Simon / Keyspan)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
KeySpan Corporation secured a sweeping victory on March 22, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Shira Scheindlin’s broad decision granted with prejudice KeySpan’s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action claiming approximately $360 million in (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal narrows the scope of follow-on claims (Emerson Electric / Carbone)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
This article has been nominated for the 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 21, 2011, the U.K. Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) struck out a follow-on claim for damages brought by Emerson Electric and others (“Emerson”) (...)

A US District Court approves a settlement in a class action based on LCD price-fixing suit (In re LG Philips LCD)
Arent Fox (New York)
On March 11, 2011, Judge Richard Sullivan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York gave final approval to a settlement between LG Display Co. Ltd. (“LG”) and a class of investors who alleged that LG’s stock price was artificially inflated due to LG’s undisclosed participation (...)

The French Competition Authority fines four companies for bid rigging in the painting services sector for naval equipment and engineering structures (Philippe Lassarat, Prezioso-Technilor, Grivetto, Sorespi Bretagne)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Affinion International (London)
In its decision dated 24 February 2011, the French Competition Authority (the "Competition Authority") considered that four companies had concluded anticompetitive arrangements between 2005 and 2006 by fixing their prices to respond to procurements launched in the painting services sector for (...)

The UK High Court strikes out various competition law claims brought in relation to a landlords opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Humber Oil Terminals Trustee / Associated British Ports)
Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (London)
I. Overview In February 2011, the Chancery Division of the UK High Court (the «Court») struck out various competition law related claims put forward by Humber Oil Terminal Trustee Limited («HOTT», the claimant) to resist Associated British Ports’ («ABP», the defendant) attempts to end HOTT‘s business (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a decision of the Competition Appeals Tribunal denying a claimant follow-on damages (Enron Coal Services / English Welsh & Scottish Railway)
Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (London)
I. Overview In January 2011, the UK Court of Appeal (the “Court”) dismissed an appeal against a ruling of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) that Enron Coal Services Ltd (“Enron”) was not entitled to follow on damages against English Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd (“EWS”). The Court (...)

The U.S. District Court dismisses an antitrust suit brought against "catch and release" transactions on the market for licenses of mobile wireless-related patents (Siti / AST)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Antitrust suit against defensive patent purchasing organization dismissed* On 29 December 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed an antitrust suit brought by Siti-Sites.com, Inc. (“Siti”) against Allied Security Trust (“AST”) and allegedly associated entities (...)

The Hungarian High Court of Appeal rules that the tenderee to the agreement that was concluded on the basis of the outcome of a tender which was influenced by bid rigging is not entitled to damages (Bartók Béla Tender)
Philip Morris (Budapest)
I. Introduction Private enforcement in bid rigging cases is increasing in Hungary. However, none of the filed actions have been successfully completed in recent years. II. Background of the judgment The background of the case and the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (HCO) was (...)

The US Court of Appeals of Atlanta (Eleventh Circuit) affirms a ruling of dismissal of an action brought on behalf of a class of purchasers of visco-elastic foam mattresses against a distributor (Benny Jacobs Wanda / Tempur-Pedic)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Lights Out for Resale Price and Dual Distribution Class Action* On December 2, 2010, the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed a ruling of dismissal entered by the United States District for the Northern District of Georgia. Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic Int.’l, Inc., No. 08-12720. Plaintiff (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds Chancellor’s order striking out "representative parts" of a class action claim (Emerald / British Airways)
Ropes & Gray (London)
,
Latham & Watkins (London)
Class Actions in the U.K: Emerald Supplies Limited & Anr. v. British Airways plc* The U.K. Court of Appeal has recently rebuffed an attempt by Plaintiff’s firm, Hausfeld, to bring a collective “opt out” style action using Rule 19.6 of the CPR rules (Emerald Supplied Limited v. British Airways (...)

A US federal district court denies dismissal of antitrust conspiracy claim in tomato products industry (The Morning Star Company / SK Foods)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Claim of Antitrust Conspiracy Among Tomato Processors Avoids Dismissal* The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market (...)

The UK Parliament revokes land agreements’ exemption from competition law
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Squire Patton Boggs (London)
The UK Competition Act prohibits agreements that have the object or effect of restricting competition within the UK. Currently, land agreements - such as freehold, leasehold and rental agreements - are exempt from the prohibition, but that is all about to change. With effect from 6 April 2011, (...)

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on competition in the evolving digital marketplace
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. hearing on competition in the digital marketplace* On 16 September 2010 the Subcommittee on the Courts and Competition Policy of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Competition in the Evolving Digital Marketplace. A prepared statement of the U.S. Federal Trade (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay / Christian Dior / Kenzo / Givenchy / Guerlain)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarifies requirements for the patent misuses (Princo)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Federal Circuit (en banc) finds no patent misuse in Princo* On 30 August 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (en banc, 8-2) found – in contrast to an earlier ruling by a panel of the Court – that an alleged agreement between Philips Corp. and Sony Corp. to suppress a (...)

The UK Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial on defence against trademark infringement allegations (Oracle / M-Tech)
Ashurst (Milan)
English Court of Appeal allows M-Tech’s appeal against Oracle* On 28 August 2010, the English Court of Appeal issued a judgment setting aside an order for summary judgment by the High Court of Justice, thus granting M-Tech permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial to defend itself (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that in order to allege a viable vertical restraint claim a plaintiff must plausibly allege the defendant’s market power (PSKS / Leegin Creative Leather Products)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Fifth Circuit Dismisses Leegin Resale Price Maintenance Case Anew, Following Supreme Court Remand* In 2007, the United States Supreme Court, updating the application of the cumulative advances in antitrust economics as applied to vertical restraint cases, overruled the venerable Dr. Miles Med. (...)

The US DoJ obtains a disgorgement remedy in a civil antitrust settlement with an electricity supplier in a market manipulation case (KeySpan)
Jones Day (Houston)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Alston & Bird (Washington DC)
Reaching the end of a three-year investigation, today the Department of Justice Antitrust Division asked a New York federal court to approve the DOJ’s settlement of claims that KeySpan violated the antitrust laws by manipulating the NYC wholesale electricity market. The DOJ claimed KeySpan (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit vacates a class action settlement in diamond industry favoring the status of direct purchasers for antitrust laws enforcement in U.S. courts (Sullivan, DB Investments)
Gibson Dunn (New York)
In U.S., It’s Getting Harder to Bring Consumer Antitrust Class Actions* One of the inevitable facts of life in the U.S. after a government antitrust investigation becomes public – especially if it is a cartel investigation with an amnesty applicant or guilty pleas – is customer class actions. (...)

The California Supreme Court rejects pass-on defense under Cartwright Act in price fixing case in the pharmaceutical industry (Clayworth, Pfizer)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
California Supreme Court Rejects Pass-On Defense in Price Fixing Case* By Jeffrey May, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business In a case of first impression, the California Supreme Court recently decided that alleged victims of a price fixing scheme can pursue treble damages claims under the (...)

The California Supreme Court rejects "pass-on" defense for antitrust damages under the State antitrust law (Clayworth / Pfizer)
Jones Day (Los Angeles)
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Jones Day (Los Angeles)
In its July 12, 2010, decision in Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., the California Supreme Court rejected the « pass-on » defense for claims brought under California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act. Defendants have used the pass-on defense to argue that direct purchasers of goods sold by allegedly (...)

The Mexican Competition Commission fines five undertakings and five individuals for price fixing in the trucking market (CanaCar)
Jones Day (Mexico)
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Jones Day (Mexico)
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Jones Day (Mexico)
On June 14, 2010, the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (also known as Cofeco or CFC) announced its decision to fine a group of companies and individuals in the trucking industry, whom Cofeco charged with agreeing to impose a standard fuel surcharge, in violation of Mexican antitrust law. (...)

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court rules on key issues of private damages actions against hardcore cartels, decides on the indirect customer’s right to claim and addresses the challenging task of quantifying antitrust damages (Carbonless paper cartel)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
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Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
Introduction Private enforcement in hardcore-cartels cases is getting in motion. In Germany, within less than one year two actions for damages against participants in hardcore-cartels were successful. After the decision of the Berlin Higher Regional Court in the “Berliner Transportbeton”-case (...)

The German Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe awards € 100,000 in damages to a claimant on behalf of a printing firm which purchased paper from a subsidiary of a cartel holding the passing-on defence does not apply (Carbonless Paper Cartel)
White & Case (Hamburg)
In its decision dated 11 June 2010, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe has awarded € 100,000 in damages to a claimant on behalf of a printing firm that purchased carbonless-paper indirectly from members of the carbonless-paper cartel. The printing firm was seeking damages for paying cartel (...)

Three US Senators introduce a bill that would make permanent provisions of the ACPERA granting reduced civil liability to successful leniency applicants
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
Bill Introduced To Secure Reduced Civil Liability For Amnesty Applicants* Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would make permanent provisions of the Antitrust Criminal Penalties Enforcement and Reform Act of 2004 (ACPERA) granting reduced civil liability to companies who (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Court dismisses claims for damages in the football broadcasting rights case on the basis of EU competition provisions (Vitória Sport Club / Federação Portuguesa de Futebol / Radiotelevisão Portuguesa)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
In a case that goes back to a football game held in 1997, and in a rare example of private enforcement of competition law in Portugal, the claims for damages by a Portuguese football club, supported by the Portuguese Football Federation, were finally dismissed in the last instance. Vitoria (...)

A U.S. District Court allows the reverse payment suits to proceed finding that the agreements extended beyond the scope of the concerned patent (Provigil)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. District Court allows Provigil reverse payment suits to proceed* On 29 March 2010 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected defendants’ motions to dismiss in suits concerning reverse payment settlements between the brand name manufacturer of the (...)

The New York Attorney General relies on New York General Business Code in a petition challenging restrictions on advertised prices used by a leading mattress manufacturer (Tempur-Pedic)
Mayer Brown (Chicago)
In a series of articles and public statements, enforcement officials from the New York Attorney General’s office have warned that vertical agreements to fix minimum resale prices, also referred to as minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements, may remain per se unlawful under existing New (...)

A US District Court finds that the plaintiffs have failed to nudge their antitrust claims against building products distributor and grants order to dismiss the action (Bailey Lumber / BlueLinx)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Cross-Market Claims Flunk Twombly* In two companion opinions, Magistrate Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi granted motions to dismiss and greatly limited the scope of the claims asserted against several defendants in "opt out" actions following from the In re OSB (...)

The English High Court sees a way through public policy objections to the recovery of cartel fines from company executives (Safeway Stores)
Sanoma (Helsinki)
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Clayton Utz (Sydney)
a. Background Since 2005, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) has investigated an alleged cartel scheme arranged by certain supermarkets and dairy producers between 2002 and 2003. In 2007, Safeway (now owned by Wm Morrisons Supermarkets plc), one of the supermarket chains implicated in the (...)

The English High Court opens the way for companies to pursue private damages actions against employees and directors who are involved in competition law infringements (Safeway Stores)
Shoosmiths (Thames Valley)
Background 1. Between 2002 and 2003, various employees and directors of the Safeway group ("Safeway"), a UK supermarket operator, were involved in the exchange of commercially sensitive retail pricing information with other UK supermarkets and dairy processors. As a consequence of this, (...)

The Lisbon Commerce Court confirms decision against bid-rigging cartel by pharmaceutical companies but substantially reduces fines (Abbott / Menarini / Johnson & Johnson)
DLA Piper (Lisbon)
,
Abreu Advogados (Lisbon)
On 7 January 2010 the Lisbon Commerce Court upheld a 2008 decision by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) imposing a € 13.4 million fine on pharmaceutical companies Abbott, Menarini and Johnson & Johnson for participating in a bid-rigging cartel. Back in 2005 the PCA fined the (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority gives access to a statement of objections to a potential damage claimant (Natrium hypochlorite market cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 December 2009, the Dutch Competition Authority (“NMa”) announced that a potential damage claimant had been given access to a statement of objections issued in the course of a cartel investigation in the natrium hypochlorite market which ultimately led to a € 3.1 million fine imposed on (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second circuit affirms dismissal of antitrust claims addressing the proper application of the implied preclusion doctrine (Electronic Trading Group / Banc of America Securities)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On December 3, 2009, in In re Short Sale Antitrust Litigation (No. 08-0420-cv), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action alleging collusion among certain financial institutions that serve as “prime brokers” in connection with short sale (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirms the dismissal of claims based on the aggregation of petroleum exchange agreements to show alleged cumulative anticompetitive effects (Gilley Enterprises / Atlantic Richfield)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Spirit of Twombly Exorcises Specter of Revived Aguilar Claims* The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of claims based on the aggregation of petroleum exchange agreements to show alleged "cumulative anticompetitive effects." Gilley Enterprises v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. (...)

The UK CAT clarifies timing rules for follow-on private antitrust actions for damages against cartel participants (BCL / BASF)
Morgan Lewis (London)
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4-5 Gray’s Inn Square
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Jones Day (London)
On 19 November 2009, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) confirmed the test it will apply when assessing whether to extend the time limit by which claimants may commence follow-on actions for damages before the CAT once there has been a finding of a breach of UK or EU competition law. The (...)

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

The High Court of England and Wales refuses to delay a jurisdiction hearing in a cartel case until after an Italian Court of Appeal rules in the Italian part of the same cartel case (Cooper Tire & Rubber / Shell Chemicals)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
As reported in our article Italian Torpedo defused? Tactical moves in private actions for damages, a number of claimants are seeking damages - possibly amounting to some tens of millions of pounds - in the Commercial Court of the High Court in a follow on action to the synthetic rubber cartel. (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rules that the FTAIA mandated dismissal of a putative class action brought against foreign airlines in a civil litigation concerning the allegation of price fixing (Lufthansa / Air France / KLM / Alitalia)
Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
U.S. Court Grounds Europe-Japan Air Travel Price-Fixing Case* On October 16, 2009, Judge Louis H. Pollak of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982, 15 U.S.C. § 6a ("FTAIA") mandated dismissal of a (...)

A Spanish Court provides for the first time ever for compensation of damages caused by a cartel (Sugar Cartel)
University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM)
The judgment of the Valladolid Provincial Court of October, 9, 2009, is the first case in Spain in which a court provides for a redress of the victims of a horizontal restraint of competition, namely a cartel. It is well-known that cartels are prohibited by article 101 of the Treaty of (...)

The Berlin Higher Regional Court rules on key issues of standing and standard of proof in cartel damages suits (Transportbeton Berlin)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
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Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart)
I. Introduction In its judgment on the first of October 2009 the Berlin Higher Regional Court has decided on important and disputed questions concerning the private enforcement of cartel damage claims under the German Act against restraints of Competition (“ARC”). Several statements in the (...)

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 Dutch Arnhem-Leeuwarden Appeal Court accepts the passing-on defence in landmark case (ABB)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
,
Simmons & Simmons (Amsterdam)
Cartel members are not liable in damages to direct customers for any portion of the overcharge that the customer has passed on to its own purchasers. In brief Private enforcement has been high on the agenda of the European Commission throughout the five year term ending 31 October 2014, as it (...)

A US Court of Appeals finds that the tying arrangement consisting in sales of real estate property didn’t affect a substantial amount of commerce in the market for the real estate services identified as the tied product (Blough / Holland Realty)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Ninth Circuit Finds That New Home Buyer Plaintiffs Fail To Satisfy Per Se Tying Element That Amount Of Commerce Not Be “Insubstantial”"Zero Foreclosure” Is Less Than “De Minimus.”* Buyers of newly constructed homes in the Boise, Idaho, area filed a federal antitrust class action, alleging that (...)

The US DoJ files amicus brief on reverse payment settlements on the market for broad spectrum antimicrobial medicines (Arkansas Carpenters Health / Bayer / Hoechst / Watson)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. DOJ files amicus brief on reverse payment settlements* On 6 July 2009 the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in a reverse payment settlement case on appeal before the 2nd Circuit (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation). The filing is in response of an (...)

The German Federal Court holds in a private antitrust enforcement case that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity (Entega)
University of East Anglia
In a private antitrust enforcement case the German Federal Court of Justice held that offering varying prices in the gas retail market by different subsidiaries of the same mother company may be anticompetitive price discrimination by one economic entity. Background German energy markets pose (...)

The Italian Court of First Instance in Milan holds that a claim exclusively aimed at obtaining from a national Court a judgment contrary to a Commission’s assessment, to avoid private enforcement, is inadmissible (ENI)
Simmons & Simmons (Milano)
On 11 May 2009, the Court of First Instance (Tribunale) in Milan handed down judgment in a civil action lodged by the Italian company ENI relating to the synthetic rubber cartel for which it was fined by the European Commission in November 2006. In the context of cross border private damages (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on pharmaceutical companies for price fixing (Grünenthal and Infectopharm)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 7 May 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) refrained from imposing a fine on two pharmaceutical companies, Grünenthal GmbH and Infectopharm GmbH, which had illegally agreed on prices for colistin-based antibiotics. Following Grünenthal GmbH’s leniency (...)

A US Court of Appeals affirms a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust action on an allegation of conspiration to allocate customers and fix prices within the tools business (Nitro Distributing / Alticor)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Antitrust Claims Against Amway* The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a grant of summary judgment for defendants in an antitrust action which, according to the court, mischaracterized a vertical course of conduct as a “horizontal (...)

The English High Court denies representative action statute for antitrust price-fixing claims in the air freight services market (Emerald / British Airways)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Dentons (Brussels)
On April 8, 2009, the English High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, granted British Airways’ request for an order striking two Plaintiffs’ representative claims. Though still subject to appeal, this decision potentially represents a significant obstacle to efforts underway to apply historical (...)

The English High Court strikes out a representative claim brought on behalf of “all other direct or indirect purchasers of air freight services”, refusing to stretch the scope of the English civil procedure rules in order to encourage the bringing of private damages actions (Emerald Supplies & ANR / British Airways)
DG COMP (Brussels)
In striking out a representative claim brought on behalf of “all other direct or indirect purchasers of air freight services”, the English High Court has refused to stretch the scope of the English civil procedure rules in order to facilitate the bringing of such damages actions. Background The (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice affirms admissibility of damages claims against cement cartel members
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The highest civil court in Germany, the Federal Court of Justice, has recently affirmed the admissibility of the private damages actions pending against participants in the German cement cartel. In May 2008, on appeal, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf had confirmed the admissibility of the (...)

The Hungarian Parliament adopts an amendment limiting the liability of leniency applicants and introducing new calculation of amount of damages
Sczecskay Attorneys
This article was prepared for the UIA-AIJA seminar "Antitrust and Unfair Competition Developments Forum", held in Brussels on April 24-25, 2009. (More information: on www.uianet.org and www.aija.org websites). On March 23, 2009, the Hungarian Parliament adopted an amendment to the Competition (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf does not categorically rule out unjust enrichment claim for involvement in a cartel (Otis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 23 January 2009, which was recently made available, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) dismissed a claim by a customer (Edelhoff) for the restitution of sums already paid under a contract with the lift manufacturer Otis, on the basis that the contract with Otis for (...)

The Paris Commercial Court orders a search engine and an online advertiser to pay damages to a company whose name and domain name have both been used in the Adwords program (Cobrason / Google, Home Ciné Solutions)
EDHEC (Lille)
Google France and Home Ciné Solutions (HCS) have been sued in France by Cobrason before the Commercial Court (Tribunal de commerce) of Paris. Cobrason claims that HCS is using both its company title (Cobrason) and its domain name (Cobrason.com) in the form of keywords it had purchased from (...)

The US Federal Circuit dismisses antitrust claims against reverse payment agreement between pharmaceutical companies (Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride)
ArbJournal
On 15 October 2008 the Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment by the Court for the Eastern District of New York that patent settlement agreements («Agreements») entered into between Bayer AG and Bayer Corp (collectively «Bayer») and several manufacturers of generic drugs providing (...)

The UK Court of Appeal decides on restitutionary damages in an action for damages resulting from a cartel (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
University of Exeter
By its decision of 14 October 2008, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the claimant, Devenish Nutrition Ltd, against the decision of Lewison J of 19 October 2007 . As a result, claimants seeking damages in a private action against a cartel, for losses based on a finding of an (...)

The UK Court of Appeal holds that compensatory damages are adequate and that a restitutionary reward is not available in an action for damages resulting from a cartel (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Introduction In view of the fact that Community law regulates competition, English law is required to provide remedies for violations to persons injured thereby. Indeed, as the European Court of Justice stated in Courage v. Crehan, "the full effectiveness of Article 81 of the Treaty and, in (...)

The Local District Court of Bonn rules on access to the file in pending antitrust case (Listenpreis)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
I. Introduction One of the most problematic aspects of civil antitrust litigation with respect to hardcore cartels is the factual substantiation of the claim. Although § 33 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) lowers the burden of proof in several ways, it remains upon the (...)

A US District Court rejects the allegation according to which inducement by a drug wholesaler of a drug price publisher to inflate the wholesale price may constitute a per se violation (New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund / McKesson)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Twombly Meets Leegin. Failure of Plaintiff to Allege “Plausible” Entitlement to Relief Constitutes Failure to Allege “Antitrust Injury.”* In New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund v. McKesson Corp., 573 F.Supp.2d 431 (Aug. 26, 2008), the District Court for the District of Massachusetts (...)

The EU Commission introduces a new settlement procedure for cartel cases during investigations
Linklaters (Paris)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
On 30 June 2008, the European Commission introduced a new settlement procedure for cartel cases. Under the new procedure, the parties in a cartel investigation may acknowledge their breach of European antitrust law and waive certain procedural rights in exchange for a 10% reduction of the fine. (...)

The Paris Commercial Court finds a leading brokerage platform for remote electronic bidding liable for the infringement of selective distribution networks and unlawful acts committed against perfumers on its sites (eBay)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
Four perfumers sue eBay, the world’s foremost brokerage platform for remote electronic bidding, for having permitted, in violation of their rights, the sale of products marketed through unauthorized channels and counterfeit sales on its sites. eBay disputed the competence of the French courts (...)

The Paris Commercial Court condemns a leading auction website to pay damages to perfume makers for a violation of their selective distribution networks (eBay)
Altana Law (Paris)
On 30 June 2008, the Commercial Court of Paris (Tribunal de Commerce de Paris) rendered three important decisions condemning the international auction website eBay mainly for its participation to an infringement of the IP rights of six manufacturers of luxury products belonging to the Louis (...)

The Brazilian Antitrust Tribunal fines medical gas companies more than USD 1.3 billion for conspiracy (SDE/MJ/AGA)
Madrona Advogados (São Paulo)
SDE/MJ ex officio v. AGA S.A et al., better known as the medical and industrial gases Cartel - price fixing and market division conspiracy in the medical and industrial gas market. The investigation began in December 2003, and CADE’s decision was reached in May 2008. Some customers who suffered (...)

The European Commission consults on settlement procedure in cartel cases
Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (London)
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Linklaters (Brussels)
On 26 October 2007, the European Commission initiated a public consultation on a new settlement procedure in cartel cases. The procedure outlined in the Commission’s proposal is aimed at making the Commission’s investigations more efficient. Public comments are due by 21 December 2007 and the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the High Court’s finding that following an infringement decision by the European Commission, the appropriate claim is for compensatory and not restitutionary damages (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
DG COMP (Brussels)
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has ruled that restitutionary damages are not generally available in antitrust cases and that, in most cases, compensatory damages provide adequate remedies. Background In 2001, the European Commission adopted a decision finding that a number of (...)

The UK High Court rules that restitutionary damages are not an available remedy in anti-trust cases, nor will an account of a defendant’s profits be appropriate (Devenish/Sanofi-Aventis - "Vitamins Cartel")
Pinsent Masons (London)
Background The present case involves "follow on" claims for compensation in respect of damage suffered as a result of the vitamins cartel, which was famously subject to a Commission decision in 2001. The Commission found that notwithstanding the number of producers involved in eight distinct (...)

The UK High Court finds that following an infringement decision by the European Commission, the appropriate claim is for compensatory and not exemplary or restitutionary damages (Devenish Nutrition / Sanofi-Aventis)
DG COMP (Brussels)
The High Court’s judgment is the first time that an English court has to consider what type of damages can be obtained in claims following from an infringement decision by the European Commission in competition cases. According to the judgment, a claimant is only entitled to compensatory damages (...)

The Spanish Commercial Court in Madrid holds that it is not bound by an EC Commission decision under Art. 9 of EC Reg. 1/2003 (Carburantes Costa de la Luz / Repsol)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Garrigues (Brussels)
Article 9 of Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEC L 1, 4 January 2003, pp. 1-25) (“Article 9”) is one of the major new features of the new EC competition rules adopted in May (...)

The US Supreme Court overrules prohibition against vertical agreements between manufacturers and their dealers setting minimum resale prices as a per se violation (Leegin Creative)
Kozyak Tropin and Throckmorton Law Firm
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Holland & Knight (Miami)
Vertical Price Agreements in the Wake of Leegin v. PSKS: Where Do We Stand Now?* I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS For nearly a century, agreements between retailers and suppliers stipulating a minimum retail price were considered per se violations of the Sherman Act. Resale price maintenance (“RPM”) (...)

The US Supreme Court redefines notice pleading and clearly raises the bar for plaintiffs in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
St. John’s University School of Law
Twombly: The Demise of Notice Pleading, the Triumph of Milton Handler and the Uncertain Future of Antitrust Enforcement* The Supreme Court’s decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) is a watershed ruling whose impact on private litigation, especially antitrust (...)

The US Supreme Court affirms the necessity of pleading elements in private antitrust conspiracy claims (Bell Atlantic / Twombly)
University of Indiana
Pleading Consumer Antitrust Claims* The U.S. has long followed a system of private enforcement of law meant to redress public harm. In the law of antitrust, from the very beginning U.S. law provided a claim to plaintiffs who could show harm flowing from the violation. Convincing private (...)

The Regional Court of Düsseldorf rules on procedural key issues for cartel damages suits pawing the way to de facto class action for cartel damages in Germany (Cartel Damage Claims)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
I. Introduction The Regional Court in Düsseldorf has decided on procedural core questions in its interlocutory judgment of 21 February 2007 and already indicated its stance on substantive issues in an additional court instruction concerning the follow on-damages suit relating to the German (...)

A Dutch Court decides, in an interlocutory proceeding, that the nullity of a price-fixing clause brings along the nullity of the franchise agreement as a whole, including its non-compete clause (Make It Easy)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Several franchise agreements were concluded between Make It Easy B.V. and Make It Easy Reality B.V. (hereafter the franchisers) on the one hand, and Make it Easy Gelderland V.O.F as well as other undertakings (hereafter the franchisees), on the other. According to these franchise agreements, (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on plea bargaining/settlement of cartel cases
OECD - Competition Division
Key documents: Executive Summary with key findings, Detailled Summary of the discussion, Background note Executive summary, by the Secretariat (1) Plea agreements or negotiated settlements can be an efficient way to formally dispose of cartel cases. They can provide substantial benefits to (...)

The Paris Court of First Instance rules on the anticompetitive effect of a patent infringement collective complaint lodged against a search engine’s adwords system (Gifam / Google)
DS Avocats (Paris)
AdWords is Google’s flagship advertising product, and its main source of revenue. It offers pay-per-click advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. But many of the words sold by Google to its clients are registered trademarks and Google has been recently facing (...)

The French Supreme Court finds two non-authorised distributors guilty of unfair competition for having purchased perfumes from authorised distributors in the knowledge that they were infringing the selective distribution agreement (Tifany)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
Marketing Diffusion Prospective (hereinafter “MDP”), based in Mégève, is an authorised distributor of most of the major French perfume manufacturers. Alleging a breach of the selective distribution network to which it belonged, MDP lodged a complaint against its main competitor in this city, (...)

An economic assessment of damages actions for breach of antitrust rules: Foreword of the 2006 edition
French Ministry of the Economy (Paris)
The Commission has shown, with its December 2005 Green Paper on damages actions for breach of EC antitrust rules and the joint Working Paper its willingness to develop “private enforcement” of EC community law. One of the main reasons to encourage private parties to bring damages actions related (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal awards damages for active sales breaching an exclusive distribution agreement (Horas International / Rexit)
BECI (Brussels)
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Liège University
The facts The appellant in this case is a Belgian firm whose business activities consist in distributing furniture and accessories (hereafter the “distributor”). The defendant is an Italian company specialized in the design and production of furniture (hereafter the “manufacturer”). In 1985, the (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court declares null and void an exclusive purchasing agreement on the basis of Art. 81.1 EC (El Mareny / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Factual background The present judgment is a new chapter of a lengthy saga concerning agreements signed between petrol distributors and Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol CPP”), a subsidiary of the former monopoly in the Spanish petrol sector. This saga has (...)

The French Supreme Court holds that low-price practice cannot be sanctioned on the basis of tort law if it does not fall under competition provisions (Usines Merger / Giat Industries)
Université du Maine
In a judgement delivered on December, 6th 2005, the commercial Chamber of the French Supreme Court ruled on the relationship between competition provisions and unfair trading provisions on the one hand and tort law provisions on the other hand. The issue at stake concerned the practice of low (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the appeal against the Competition Authority’s interim measures fining € 3 M price fixing in the framework of “non-genuine” agency agreements (Repsol)
London School of Economics
On 11 July 2001, the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (hereinafter, “the NCA”) adopted a decision (“resolución”) in which it found that Repsol, S.A. (now Repsol YPF, S.A., hereinafter referred to as “Repsol”) acted in breach of Article 1(1) of the Spanish Competition Act. More precisely, the NCA (...)

A Spanish Court considers a distribution contract to be a “genuine” agency agreement and therefore not caught by Art. 81.1 EC (Rutamur / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Rutamur, S.A.(“Rutamur”) concluded in December 1988 an agency agreement concerning the distribution of oil products. The latter operated from premises hired to it by Campsa. The commission was set by reference to the (...)

The German Federal Court declares settlement concerning royalties for shipments to countries outside the territorial scope of a patent to be void (“Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung”)
Helmut Schmidt University of the Armed Forces (Hamburg)
I. Facts of the case and case history The claimant/licensee produces devices for cleaning exhaust fumes. The defendant/licensor owns a European patent protecting a specified process for cleaning exhaust fumes, with territorial effect (seeEuropean Patent Convention, Art. 3) in Germany, France, (...)

A French Court condemns an undertaking to repair the damage suffered by an authorised dealer of a selective distribution network (LCJ Diffusion / La Roche Posay)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Notre Europe
This is a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris applying Article 81 EC which has been transmitted to the European Commission by virtue of Article 15(2) of Regulation n° 1/2003 and has been published on DG Competition’s website (See also on this case, C. Mai-Doremus and J. Philippe, The Paris (...)

The German Mannheim Regional Court decides on the right to claim against a vertically integrated cartelist and the standard of proof for antitrust damages in a follow on-suit (Carbonless paper cartel)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
The Regional Court Mannheim decided in its judgment of 29 April 2005 on the right to claim against a vertically integrated cartelist and the standard of proof for antitrust damages in a follow on-suit after a final decision of the EC Commission (Carbonless paper) . Background and Context of (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court finds a distribution agreement to be null and void and decides that the claimant is not entitled to recover the sums paid by virtue of a contract (Aloyas / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”) and Estación de Servicio Aloyas, S.L., S.A. (“Aloyas”) concluded on 14 March 1995 a 10-year contract concerning the distribution of oil products. The parties agreed that the contract was an agency one. The term “agent” was even (...)

Antitrust damages decisions in Europe: Foreword of the 2005 edition
Ashurst (Brussels)
In the last few years, competition law has undergone unprecedented reform. Not only has substantive law been fundamentally amended so as to introduce a more economic approach, but also the increased “decentralised enforcement” of the law, as advocated by Council Regulation (EC) n° 1/2003, of 16 (...)

A US District Court holds that the action against multistate tobacco settlement agreement was barred by the state action doctrine (Sanders / Lockyer)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
“Active Supervision” Standard Of Midcal Not Applicable To Conduct Of Sovereign. Multistate Tobacco Settlement Is Parker and Noerr Exempt Both For State And Private Parties* In the aftermath of the entry of the Multistate Tobacco Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), and enactment by the California (...)

A Spanish Tribunal finds that a distribution agreement may not be a ’genuine’ agency agreement and thus may fall within the scope of Art. 81.1 EC (Gebe / BP Oil España)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Gebe, S.L. (“Gebe”) concluded in July 1988 an agreement concerning the distribution of oil products. The latter operated from premises hired to him by Campsa. The agency agreement included a non-compete obligation and (...)

A Spanish Court dismisses the appeal seeking to qualify an agency agreement as a resale agreement (Melón / Zarza / Repsol)
London School of Economics
On 2 January 2003, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia n° 74 de Madrid dismissed an action brought by Melón, S.A. (“Melón”) and E.S. Zarza, S.L. (“Zarza”), two undertakings active in the distribution of oil products, against Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (“Repsol”), an undertaking (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reverses the ruling of the Lower Court maintaining that a rebuttable presumption arises from the possession of patent rights to tying engineered fastening systems (Independent Ink / Illinois Tool Works)
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
Of Bats And Sunshine: Presumption Of Market Power In Patent Tying Case Alive But Rebuttable* In January, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Independent Ink Inc. v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc.. Addressing the issue whether, in a Section 1 tying case, a rebuttable (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rejects the appeal brought by two undertakings active in the distribution of oil products and considers the case-law of the ECJ as being a non-binding “reference” of “great value” (L’Andana)
London School of Economics
On 25 March 1996, the Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Valencia dismissed an action brought by L’Andana, S.A. and Estación de Servicion L’Andana, S.L. (both referred to hereinafter as “L’Andana”) against Repsol Comercial de Productos Petrolíferos, S.A. (“Repsol”). The claimants contended that the series (...)

A Belgian Appeal Court holds valid a resale price maintenance provision taking into consideration lack of evidence that the agreement restricted the national market or a substantial part of it (Incanto / Livoque)
NautaDutilh (Brussels)
Description of the impugned case On 20 September 2004, the Antwerp Court of Appeal (‘the Court’) rendered its decision on the compatibility of a franchising agreement with the Belgian competition rules. The franchisor, Incanto BVBA, is active in the sector of jewellery and accessories and has (...)

La Cour d’Appel du Royaume Uni juge que l’obligation contractuelle pour un opérateur mobile virtuel de payer le prix fixé par l’opérateur de réseau ne suffit pas à caractériser un accord au sens de l’Art. 81 CE (Unipart / O2)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
Le litige oppose un opérateur mobile virtuel (Unipart) à un opérateur de réseau téléphonique sans fil (O2) auquel il achetait des heures de télécommunication pour les commercialiser directement auprès des consommateurs. L’opérateur mobile virtuel reproche à son ancien partenaire commercial de lui avoir (...)

The Spanish Provincial Court of Madrid refuses to qualify a contract as a resale agreement and holds that the qualification given by “administrative bodies” to similar agreements is not binding upon national courts (Melón / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Repsol Comercial de productos petrolíferos S.A. (hereinafter, “Repsol”), supplied oil products to Melón S.A. (hereinafter, “Melón”), pursuant to an agency agreement signed between the parties. Considering that it was not a “genuine” agency agreement and that Commission Regulation (EC) n° 2790/1999, of (...)

The Spanish Provincial Court of Madrid refuses to submit a preliminary reference to the ECJ considering that this would only be relevant if the agreements at stake were deemed to be agency ones (Ahigal / Melón / Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, ‘Campsa’) concluded an agency agreement concerning the distribution of oil products with two companies, Ahigal, S.A. (“Ahigal”) and Melón, S.A. (“Melón”). In 2003, Ahigal and Melón decided to bring an action against Repsol Comercial de (...)

The US Supreme Court blocks foreign plaintiffs from bringing price-fixing cartel claims (Hoffman-LaRoche / Empagran)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
On June 14 2004, in a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court blocked foreign plaintiffs from bringing an antitrust claim in U.S. courts seeking damages based on higher foreign prices that are allegedly independent of the domestic effects of higher domestic prices. However, the case was remanded (...)

The US Supreme Court prevents foreign plaintiffs from bringing price-fixing cartel claims (Hoffman-LaRoche / Empagran)
St. John’s University School of Law
The FTAIA and Empagran: What Next?* In F. Hoffman LaRoche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., 542 US 155 (2004), the Supreme Court limited access to American courts by foreign plaintiffs suing under the Sherman Act based on foreign transactions. Jurisdiction over foreign antitrust claims is governed by (...)

The US Supreme Court restricts the applicability of US antitrust laws with regard to injuries suffered abroad holding that foreign nations can preserve competition without American interference (Hoffman-La Roche / Empagran)
IRS Office of Chief Counsel
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A.: The Supreme Court Trusts That Foreign Nations Can Preserve Competition Without American Interference* In F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., the United States Supreme Court held that United States courts do not have jurisdiction over claims of (...)

The US Supreme Court rules that the Sherman Act does not apply to claims arising solely out of the foreign effect of a global cartel (Hoffman-LaRoche / Empagran)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
As economic globalization marches on, one question that emerges repeatedly is how far the U.S. legal system can and should reach beyond its own borders. Answering that question has become particularly urgent in antitrust enforcement, as the effects of cartels and business practices increasingly (...)

A Spanish jurisdiction holds that the application of EU law would only be pertinent in case where the agreement is deemed a “non-genuine” agency one (La Safor / Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Automoción y Servicion La Safor, S.L. (“La Safor”) concluded in March 1990 a number of contracts related to the distribution of oil products. The contractual relationship included an agency agreement as well as a (...)

A Spanish Court annuls a judgment rendered in first instance on the qualification of a so-called agency agreement in the oil products distribution sector (Repsol)
London School of Economics
Compañía arrendataria del monopolio del petróleo, S.A. (hereinafter, “Campsa”) and Caminas, S.A. (“Caminas”) concluded in July 1981, November 1981 and July 1989 several agreements related to the exploitation of a gas station (“the agreements”) by the latter. Caminas brought an action for annulment (...)

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court decides on passing on defence in the "Vitamins cartel" (Vitaminpreise)
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
The Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe decided in its judgment of 28 January 2004 on the passing on defence in a cartel damages-suit concerning the vitamins cartel (Vitaminpreise). The judgment The Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) Karlsruhe has in its judgment of 28 January 2004 refused (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit holds that US Courts have authority under the FTAIA to award damages for price-fixing in an action brought by foreign buyers and sellers (Kruman)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Washington)
The twenty years since the enactment of the Federal Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (the FTAIA) in 1982 have seen steady progress in the cooperation of antitrust authorities worldwide. Prior to the FTAIA’s passage, the US’s extraterritorial application of its antitrust laws created international (...)

The Commercial Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of England and Wales makes a group litigation order in a competition case in the automobile sector (Prentice / DaimlerChrysler UK)
Reed Smith (London)
Gerald Barling is a justice of the High Court and president of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). He wrote an article “Collective Redress for Breach of Competition Law – A Case for Reform” published in Competition Law Journal Volume 10 Issue 1, 2011. In it he deals with Group Litigation Orders (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court found that an exclusive car distribution agreement falled within the scope of Regulation 123/1985 and confirmed damages (Mercedes)
London School of Economics
On 10 February 1987, the Spanish subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz (hereinafter, “Mercedes”) and Motor Lugo, S.L. (“Motor Lugo”, which later became Auto Lugo) concluded an exclusive distribution agreement concerning the cars and spare parts manufactured by the former. Both parties agreed to set a minimum (...)

A Luxembourg Commercial Court rules that a de minimis exclusive distribution agreement is not prohibited under Article 85 EC (La Pastourelle / Rolling)
Justinian Lawyers Belgium (Brussels)
1. Facts On 1 April 1982, "la Pastourelle" (hereafter "the plaintiff"), limited company under Belgian law, and "Maison Rolling" (hereafter "the defendant"), shop located in Luxembourg, concluded an exclusive sale agreement for a duration of 5 years. This agreement was extended for the same (...)

The Irish Supreme Court considers a pharmaceuticals distribution agreement to be in conformity with both domestic and EC competition law and rejects a claim in civil proceedings (Chanelle Veterinary/Pfizer)
London School of Economics
Irish High Court, 30 July 1997, Chanelle Veterinary Limited v. Pfizer (Ireland) Limited and Pfizer Animal Health Irish Supreme Court, 11 February 1999, Chanelle Veterinary Limited v. Pfizer (Ireland) Limited and Pfizer Animal Health [1999] 1 IR 365 Facts of the case The plaintiff, Chanelle (...)

The UK CAT denies permission to bring follow-on damages actions while appeals to the European Court of First Instance are pending (Emerson Electric / Morgan Crucible)
Pinsent Masons (London)
Background 1. On 3 December 2003, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a decision finding that various undertakings had participated in a series of agreements and concerted practices within the meaning of Article 81 EC Treaty ( “Article 81”) in the market for carbon and (...)

Dominance

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms directed verdict following rare price discrimination trial (Spartan Concrete Products / Argos USVI)
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Cleveland)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
Failure to show antitrust injury proved fatal to price discrimination claims as the Third Circuit affirmed a directed verdict in favor of cement company, Argos USVI, in a case brought by its customer, ready-mix concrete company Spartan Concrete Products ("Spartan"). This decision highlights (...)

The Czech Republic Supreme Court confirms that invoking trademark rights to prevent parallel imports can be an abuse of dominant position (Fiskars / Mountfield)
Skils (Prague)
On 29 May 2019, the Supreme Court (SC) partially granted an extraordinary appealed lodged by Mountfield against the previous judgment of the High Court in Prague of 23 May 2017 (Ref.No. 3 Cmo 132/2016) in a dispute with Fiskars concerning an alleged violation of Firskars’ rights to trademarks (...)

The Danish Competition Council reaches a decision regarding an abuse of dominant position that leads to a huge damages settlement (Falck / BIOS)
Szecskay Attorneys at Law
HUGE DAMAGES SETTLEMENT FOLLOWING LANDMARK ABUSE OF DOMINANCE DECISION On January 30 2019, the Danish Competition Council (the “DCC”) found that ambulance services provider, Falck, had abused its dominant position under Article 102 TFEU. The DCC held that following a failed tender bid to the (...)

The Ontario Superior Court holds that misleading informations can trigger class actions as breach of the Competition Act (Rebuck / Ford Motor)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Key Requirements For Misleading Advertising Civil Actions Confirmed By Ontario Superior Court* In a recent case handed down by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in Rebuck v. Ford Motor Company, the Court confirmed key requirements for commencing Competition Act misleading advertising (...)

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition rejects allegations of abuse of dominance regarding an exclusive dealing agreement for the supply of hairdressing salon products (Angela Antoniadou / A.J. Vouros)
Harris Kyriakides LLC (Cyprus)
Introduction On 30 November 2018, the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (the Commission) rejected a cοmplaint for infringement of Section 6 of the Protection of Competition Law (Law 13(I)/2008), as amended (the Law). The aforementioned alleged infringement was based on the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal grants an application by the claimant in a damages action in the automobile industry for disclosure of licensing arrangements made by the defendant (Peugeot / NSK)
Latham & Watkins (London)
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Matheson (Dublin)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. CAT Rules on Disclosure in Peugeot S.A. and others v NSK Ltd and others* The CAT’s specific disclosure ruling addresses the use of licensing to support (...)

The US District Court for the Central District of California hears private enforcement actions alleging price discrimination by an energy drink manufacturer (Living Essentials)
Bona Law (Detroit)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. ROBINSON-PATMAN SUITS AGAINST 5-HOUR ENERGY MAKER PROVIDE LESSONS FOR OTHER SUPPLIERS* Living Essentials LLC, the maker of 5-hour Energy drinks, has faced two (...)

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court finds an ad-block app breaching unfair competition provisions ( Feihu Information Technology Tianjin Company and Sohu / Beijing Xiaoyi Interaction Network Technology)
University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
On 2 April 2017, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court upheld the first-instance judgement relating to an unfair competition claim brought by Feihu Information Technology Tianjin Company and Sohu against Beijing Xiaoyi Interaction Network Technology. Xiaoyi operated an app that could play 30 (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirms a lower Court decision and dismisses the complaint due to difficulties to prove the possessed market power and the adverse effects on competition (Suture Express / Cardinal Health / Owens & Micro)
Mc Dermott Will & Emery (Orange County)
In an antitrust case involving bundled discount on sutures, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment in favor of defendants Cardinal Health 200, LLC and Owens & Micro Distribution, Inc. The Tenth Circuit held that (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling stating that comparative advertising can be misleading if consumers are not provided with information on the different format or size of shops where the products are sold (ITM / Carrefour)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
UNFAIR COMMERCIAL PRACTICES: THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE SPECIFIES CRITERIA FOR COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING* On 8 February 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling stating that comparative advertising can be misleading if consumers (...)

The California Southern District Court receives a claim from a smartphone manufacturer against one of its suppliers over allegedly abusive wireless patents (Apple / Qualcomm)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple and Qualcomm proceeding* In January 2017 Apple filed suit against Qualcomm over its allegedly abusive licensing practices regarding wireless patents. Apple filed patent, antitrust and breach of contract claims against Qualcomm; this could result in damages of billions of dollars. (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice confirms the right to compensation of a company that suffered damages following the imposition of discriminatory conditions by the incumbent postal service provider in relationship with its customers (Mailers Serv / Compania Nationala Posta Romana)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
On 28.7.2011, Mailers Serv S.R.L. (in insolvency) brought an action for damages before the Tribunalul Bucuresti, Sectia Civila against CNPR claiming the difference of the discounts that would have received as a customer of CNPR if the latter would have applied the same conditions as to the (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal turns down leave application on refusal to deal (CarGurus)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition Tribunal Denies Car Listing Refusal to Deal Leave Application and Establishes New Price Maintenance Law* On October 14, 2016 the Canadian Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) released an important Competition Act (“Act”) private application leave case (see:CarGurus Inc v Trader (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal denies leave to commence a private application in a refusal to deal case (CarGurus)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.’s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act. This (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into alleged abuse of dominance practices by the national gas supplier with its customers (Rico Auto / Omax Autos / Rico Castings / GAIL Gas Authority of India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI initiates investigation against Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) for alleged abuse of dominance* CCI by its order dated October 3, 2016 has directed investigation against GAIL for alleged abuse of dominant position in relation to gas supply agreements (GSAs) with its customers. The (...)

The UK High Court throws out private claim for damages based on abuse of dominance in the online mapping sector (Streetmap / Google)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
Google wins court battle against StreetMap in the UK*Google won a big victory Friday in the High Court of England and Wales, which ruled that Google did not abuse its dominant position to the detriment of the now-defunct UK online mapping provider, Streetmap.The Court’s ruling against (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California receives joint filling closing over three years of patent and antitrust proceedings (Samsung / Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Samsung/Apple update: Samsung will pay $548 million in patent damages to Apple* On December 3, 2015 Samsung and Apple submitted a joint filing in which Samsung agreed to pay $548 million in patent damages to Apple to satisfy a partial judgment. In August 2012, a jury had awarded $ 1.05 (...)

The Latvian Administrative Regional Court upholds the decision of the Competition Authority that fined and imposed remedies on the national gas supplier in a case of abuse of dominance (Latvijas Gāze)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
Court agrees with the Competition Authority to fine the National Gas Supplier* On 2 September, the Administrative Regional Court confirmed the Competition Council’s (CC) decision to impose the only natural gas supplier in Latvia – AS "Latvijas Gāze" – remedies to change the practice of debt (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a gas provider for abuse of dominance (Gazprom)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Dagestan OFAS fined “Gazprom Regiongaz Pyatigorsk” 8.6 million RUB* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the Republic of Dagestan (Dagestan OFAS) found that “Gazprom Regiongaz Pyatigorsk” Ltd. violated the antimonopoly law. The company shall pay over 8.6 million RUB as a fine for (...)

The Court of Appeal of Milan overturns a judgment on screen scraping and intermediation of online travel agencies and rejects the allegations of abuse of dominance by an airline (Lastminute / Viaggiare / Ryanair)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (Rome)
Introduction With two judgements delivered on June 2015 regarding cases brought by Lastminute.com S.r.l. and Viaggiare S.r.l. respectively against Ryanair , the Court of Appeal of Milan held that Ryanair’s refusal to grant travel agencies the right of intermediating its tickets does not (...)

The Italian Supreme Court applies the principles of Directive 2014/104/EU in favour of claimants in a stand-alone case concerning an abuse of dominant position (Cargest)
Studio Legale Scoccini E Associati (Rome)
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Linde (Milan)
Introduction On the 4th of June 2015, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (hereinafter referred to as “ISC”) overruled a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Rome concerning a claim brought by 52 food distributors against Cargest Srl because of an abuse of dominant position by the defendant. (...)

The Italian Supreme Court opens the doors to standalone private actions (Cargest)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
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Bonelli Erede (Rome)
In its decision of 6 June 2015 the Italian Supreme Court annulled the previous decision of the Court of Appeal of Rome , which had rejected the claim brought by a number of fruit and vegetable wholesalers (the “Wholesalers”) against Cargest - the company that manages the fruit and vegetable (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three power distribution companies for abusing their dominant market positions by imposing excessive prices to cable operators (CEZ / EVN / Energo-pro)
Avon (Sofia)
On May 27, 2015 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition adopted three separate decisions imposing sanctions on each of the three power distribution companies, and namely CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD , EVN Bulgaria Electrical Distribution AD and ENERGO-PRO Grids AD for abusing (...)

The Swedish Market Court dismisses an abuse of dominance action because the relatively scarce market data presented was not sufficient to define the relevant market and establish dominance (Pizza24 Nordic / OnlinePizza Norden)
Vinge (Stockholm)
Online Food For Thought* The Swedish Market Court’s judgment in Pizza24 / OnlinePizza A judgment of the Swedish Market Court from February 2015 is an unfortunate missed opportunity to grapple with interesting issues around online intermediary services. The case concerned online services for (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court sets up the standard for antitrust private litigation with detailed analysis method in regard to market definition and dominance establishment (Qihoo / Tencent)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
When the Antitrust Encounter the Internet: The Legal Battle between Qihoo 360 and Tencent Finally Comes to the End* The outgoing year has witnessed the significantly increasing role of „Antitrust‟ and „Internet‟ played in China‟s economy. With the Supreme People‟s Court („SPC‟) ratified the original (...)