Telecom & Dominance

Unilateral Practices

The Polish Competition Authority fines a telecoms company for excessive costs of agreement termination (UPC Polska)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
UPC Polska fined for excessive costs of agreement termination - decision of President of UOKiK* UPC’s customers had to pay more for termination of agreement concluded for a definite period than they would have to pay for its continuation. Tomasz Chróstny, President of the Office of Competition (...)

The EU General Court awards €1.8M compensation in favour of a German telecommunications company against the EU Commission for failure to repay default interest due from wrongful assessment of abuse of dominant position in the Slovak market for broadband (Deutsche Telekom)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court awards Deutsche Telekom compensation in the amount of approximately € 1.8 million for the harm which it suffered as a result of the European Commission’s refusal to pay it default interest on the amount of the fine which it had unduly paid for an infringement of competition (...)

The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice confirms a telecommunications operator abused its dominant position and reduces the fine imposed by the Competition Authority (Vodafone)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The High Court of Cassation and Justice confirmed the abuse of dominant position of Vodafone* The High Court of Cassation and Justice irrevocably confirmed the violation of the Competition Law by Vodafone which abused of its dominant position in relation with SC Netmaster Communications SRL. (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal approves second and third ever collective proceedings applications for two stand-alone claims of abuse of dominance (Gutmann / South Western Trains) (Le Patourel / BT)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
The first Collective Proceedings Order (“CPO”) was made in the United Kingdom in opt-out collective competition proceedings in Merricks v Mastercard Inc. and Others] on 18 August 2021 (a practical inevitability after the Supreme Court’s judgment in that case). Hot on the heels of that decision, (...)

The Cypriot Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s fine imposed on the national telecommunications authority for setting unfair prices (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Administrative Court has upheld the decision of the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the fine imposed on the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority for infringements of the Protection of Competition Law of 2008 * The Administrative Court of the Republic of Cyprus has, by its (...)

The Russian Supreme Court supports the Competition Authority’s complaint against rulings which declared illegal the Authority’s decision to bring a telecommunications operator to administrative responsibility for non-compliance with its instructions (Tele2)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Supreme Court supported the position of the FAS Russia on the Statute of Limitations for failure to comply with the regulations of the service* The time limit is one year On October 6, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the complaint of the FAS Russia against (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court supports the Competition Authority in its dispute against a telecommunications operator after it was found that the company increased the cost of mobile communication services on separate tariff plans (Tele2)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The Court supported the FAS Russia in the dispute with Tele2* From May 12, 2020, the company increased the cost of mobile communication services on separate tariff plans The Moscow Arbitration Court confirmed the legality of the decision and order of the FAS Russia in relation to T2 Mobile (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that a telecoms infrastructure operator did not abusively refuse to deal with downstream competitors because there was no market foreclosure that would result in consumer harm (Türk Telekom / TTNET)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) published its reasoned decision dated 30.09.2021 and numbered 21-46/667-332 (the “Decision”) concerning the full-fledged investigation launched against Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. (“TT”) upon the complaints of undertakings operating in the retail (...)

The Italian Administrative Court of First Instance annuls a national telecommunications company’s margin squeeze fine due to the Competition Authority incorrectly applying the "as efficient competitor" test (Vodafone)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 15 September 2021, the Italian administrative court of first instance ("TAR Lazio") upheld the appeal brought by Vodafone Italia S.p.A. ("Vodafone") against the decision of the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") of 13 December 2017 in case A500(A). The TAR Lazio found that the ICA had (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on its market investigation into emergency services’ mobile radio network (Motorola / Airwave Solutions)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA consults on market investigation into emergency services’ mobile radio network* The CMA is consulting on whether to launch a market investigation into Motorola’s Airwave network – the mobile radio network used by all emergency services in Great Britain. The move follows concerns expressed (...)

The EU Court of Justice orders the removal of a request for a preliminary ruling by the Regional Court of Dusseldorf regarding the licensing of standard essential patents in multi-layered supply chains (Nokia / Daimler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 June 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) ordered the removal of a request for a preliminary ruling lodged by the Regional Court of Düsseldorf on 23 March 2021 in Case C-182/21, Nokia Technologies Oy v. Daimler AG. The questions arose in a dispute between Nokia and (...)

The Milan Court of Appeal rules on the probatory value of the Competition Authority’s findings in follow-on actions for damages (Vodafone)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2021, the Court of Appeal of Milan issued a judgment in a damages action initiated against telecommunications provider Vodafone. This case stemmed from an investigation carried out by the Italian competition authority (“ICA”) into an abusive margin squeeze by Vodafone on the market for (...)

The Polish Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a telecommunications infrastructure company by its competitor (Cellnex Poland / Polkomtel Infrastruktura)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Cellnex Poland with the authorisation of the President of UOKiK to take over Polkomtel Infrastruktura* President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Tomasz Chróstny gave his consent for Cellnex Poland to take control over Polkomtel Infrastruktura. Entrepreneurs own the (...)

The US Senate introduces Senator Hawley’s proposal for an important antitrust reform aimed at Big Tech, Big Banks, Big Telecoms, and Big Pharma
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (Washington)
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Meta (Washington DC)
Sen. Hawley’s "Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act," introduced on April 12, 2021, takes aim at "Big Tech, Big Banks, Big Telecom, and Big Pharma" by proposing to curb mergers and acquisitions by large corporations and ease the way for prosecutors and private plaintiffs to prevail in (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides guidance on the circumstances in which an infringement of competition law can be imputed to a parent company (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
In its ruling in Deutsche Telekom v Commission (C-152/19 P), the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") provided guidance on the application of the Bronner case law to refusal to supply cases, as well as on the relevant facts, and on the circumstances in which an infringement of competition law can (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by two telecommunications companies against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak market (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak telecommunications market* The fine of € 38 061 963, for which those two companies were found jointly and (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeals brought by two telecommunications companies and rules that the indispensability requirement does not apply to conduct that falls short of an outright refusal to supply (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
In two judgments delivered on 25 March 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) dismissed the appeals brought by Deutsche Telekom and Slovak Telekom against the judgments of the General Court which had partially annulled the European Commission’s decision finding them to have (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers two judgments providing an important message to Irish telecoms on the interaction between competition and regulatory law (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
Matheson (Dublin)
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Matheson (Dublin)
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Matheson (Dublin)
The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has recently delivered two judgements which provide an important message for telecoms businesses operating in Ireland. The first of these rulings confirms that the risk of non-compliance with competition rules is particularly high for telcos in that they may (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses two telecommunication companies’ appeals on abuse of dominance charges on the grounds that it was not essential for the Commission to show indispensability because the case was not a refusal to supply case, it concerned the imposition of unfair conditions (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
As the incumbent telecommunications operator in Slovakia, Slovak Telekom a.s. (ST) offers broadband services on its fixed copper and fibre optic networks. ST’s networks also include the local loop, i.e., the physical lines which connect the subscriber’s telephone termination point with the main (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens an investigation into a possible abuse of dominance by a national telecommunications company (Telekom Romania Communications)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council opens investigation into possible abuse of dominant position of Telekom Romania communications SA* The Competition Council is carrying out an investigation regarding a possible abuse of a dominant position of Telekom Romania Communications SA on the market of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down a preliminary ruling on the division of competences between national competition authorities and the EU Commission as well as clarifying the application of the rules on double jeopardy (Slovak Telekom)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 25 February 2021, the European Court of Justice handed down a preliminary ruling on the division of competences between national competition authorities ("NCA"s) and the Commission in the context of concurrent proceedings, also providing guidance on the application of the rules on double (...)

The Paris Commercial Court imposes a €1.2 million fine on a Big Tech company for abuse of a dominant position against a telephone directory services company (Oxone Technologies / Google)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
In the context of a stand-alone action – which falls under the new provisions resulting from the transposition of the Damages Directive – the Paris Commercial Court ruling at first instance orders Google to pay EUR 1,2 million in damages to Oxone, a telephone directory services company. Oxone (...)

The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal rejects damages claim by mobile phone subscriptions company against its mobile network supplier and wholesaler because concurrence of wills was not proven (Telesport / TeliaSonera Mobile Networks / Svea Billing Services)
Stockholm University
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Delphi (Stockholm)
SUMMARY The case relates to a stand-alone claim for damages brought by Telesport AB (Telesport) against TeliaSonera Mobile Networks AB (Telia) and Svea Billing Services AB (Svea Billing). Telesport claimed that the two defendants had entered into an anticompetitive agreement or engaged in a (...)

The German Regional Court of Düsseldorf refers several questions to the EU Court of Justice regarding the licensing of standard essential patents within multi-level supply chains (Nokia / Daimler)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Dusseldorf)
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Clifford Chance (Dusseldorf)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington DC)
This article has been nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In a decision of November 26, 2020, in a patent infringement case of Nokia Technologies Oy against Daimler AG, the Düsseldorf Regional Court (file number 4c O (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds a telecom company guilty of abusing its dominant position to unreasonably increase tariffs for communication services (Tele2)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia: Tele 2 Unreasonably Increased Tariffs for Communication Services* T2 Mobile has increased the cost of providing mobile services on a number of tariff plans from May 12, 2020 On October 20, the FAS Russia found a violation of antimonopoly law in the company’s actions. Earlier, (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal partially annuls a decision imposing a record fine on a telecommunications company for a margin squeeze abuse of dominance (Proximus)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 October 2020, the Markets Court of the Brussels Court of Appeal (Marktenhof / Cour des marchés) (the Markets Court) partially annulled the decision of 26 May 2009 (the 2009 Decision), for lack of admissible evidence, by which the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority confirms its approach to monitoring and enforcing non-discrimination and equivalence obligations for telecom network operators offering fibre and other wholesale services
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission confirms its approach to monitoring and enforcing non-discrimination and equivalence obligations* The Commerce Commission has today released guidance about how it will monitor and enforce obligations on telecommunication network operators to offer fibre and other wholesale services (...)

The Russian Competition Authority issues a warning to a manufacturer of cash register equipment to eliminate an abuse of dominance violation (Evotor)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS ISSUED WARNING TO THE MANUFACTURER OF CASH REGISTER EQUIPMENT EVOTOR * FAS received complaints on violations of the antimonopoly legislation from organizations and entrepreneurs using Evotor cash register equipment The FAS found that Evotor LLC directed a software update to the cash (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates an investigation into the relations between broadcasters and operators of cable TV and digital platforms following complaints on the methods of selling TV shows by broadcasters
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
President of UOKiK will check practices of TV broadcasters* Does the sale of TV packages to operators, including cable networks, by broadcasters hinder competition? Do the broadcasters leverage their market position in the advertising market? This will be the subject of explanatory proceedings (...)

The EU Court of Justice addresses how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open internet access (Telenor Magyarország / Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság Elnöke)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki (BASEAK) (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“ CJEU ”), in its recent decision with regard to the two joint cases (C‐807/18 and C‐39/19) brought before it for preliminary ruling, addressed how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open (...)

The Regional Court of Munich rules in favour of an electronics manufacturer in standard essential patent proceeding (Sharp / Daimler)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 September 2020, the Regional Court of Munich (“Munich Court”) ruled in favour of Sharp that Daimler had infringed a standard essential patent (“SEP”) of Sharp. Sharp is the patent holder of EP 2667676B1 which is standard essential for the Long-Term Evolution (“LTE”) telecommunications (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Saugmandsgaard Øe advises dismissing the parties’ challenges to the Commission’s finding of abuse of dominance on the Slovak broadband services market (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 September 2020, Advocate General (“AG”) Saugmandsgaard Øe issued his opinion in Deutsche Telekom v. European Commission (Case C-152/19) and Slovak Telekom v. European Commission (Case C-165/19) advising the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) to dismiss the parties’ challenges to the Commission’s finding (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Saugmandsgaardoe issues opinion suggesting that a firm without an indispensable infrastructure can nonetheless abuse a dominant position by way of margin squeeze (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
European University Institute (Florence)
I share below a quick analysis of the Opinion of Advocate General ("AG") Saugmandsgaardoe in Deutsche Telekom and Slovak Telekom (DT & ST) v Commission (C-152 and 165/19 P). The legal issue at the heart of the case giving rise to the Opinion is the following: can a firm without an (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Saugmandsgaard Øe recommends the Bronner legal test to be limited to ’refusals to make available’ (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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University of Liège
Advocate General (‘AG’) Saugmandsgaard Øe recommends the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) to (i) rule that the test included in the Bronner Judgment – including the indispensability requirement – should only be applied in specific circumstances (i.e., in case of ‘refusals to make available’), and (...)

The UK Supreme Court rules on a license dispute between a software and a telecommunications company and clarifies the English Courts’ approach to FRAND royalty cases (Unwired Planet / Huawei)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 August 2020, the UK Supreme Court issued a judgment in a licence dispute involving Standard Essential Patents (“SEPs”) pitting Unwired Planet, a US based patent assertion entity, against Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that produces smartphones. Unwired Planet brought an (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority fines a telecom EUR 111 million for abuse of dominance in the Norwegian market for residential mobile broadband services on tablets and laptops (Telenor)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA fines Telenor EUR 112 million for anticompetitive practices* Following an in-depth investigation, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) concludes that Telenor abused its market dominance by a pricing strategy that resulted in rivals making a loss when selling residential mobile broadband (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority offers guidance for collaborations between telecom operators in the roll-out of mobile networks
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM offers guidance for collaborations between telecom operators in the roll-out of mobile networks* Well-functioning mobile services are crucial for the Netherlands. Data consumption in 2019 increased by more than 30% compared with 2018, and more than tenfold compared with five years ago. (...)

The High Court of Delhi sides with the Indian Competition Authority and resolves the jurisdictional issue between the latter and the Intellectual Property Rights Authorities under the Patents Act (Monsanto)
Hidayatullah National Law University (Raipur)
Following the appeal made against several orders of Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) by Monsanto Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (“MHPL”), the Delhi High Court on 20th May, 2020 handed down the judgement of MHPL & Ors. v. CCI, clarifying mainly the jurisdictional issues between the IPR authorities (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues a judgment in a case involving SEP licensing negotiations on FRAND terms between two companies active in the mobile telecommunications market (Sisvel / Haier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 May 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof - the “FCJ”) delivered a judgment in a case pitting Sisvel against Haier which deals with the licensing of Standard Essential Patents (“SEP”) on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”). This is the first (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues its decision in a landmark case regarding SEPs and their FRAND licensing (Sisvel / Haier)
McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
This article has been nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has issued its decision in a landmark case regarding standard essential patents (SEPs) and fair, reasonable, and (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice rules on SEP licensing negotiations on FRAND terms in the mobile telecommunications market (Sisvel / Haier)
McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has issued its decision in a landmark case regarding standard essential patents (SEPs) and fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) licensing of SEPs. The judgment, dated 5 May 2020, was handed down in litigation between the Sisvel patent pool and (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice clarifies obligations of parties in SEP licensing negotiations on FRAND terms (Sisvel / Haier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 5 May 2020, the Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) overturned the appeal ruling of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Düsseldorf Court”) and found that Haier’s mobile telephones and tablets infringed Sisvel’s standard-essential patent (“SEP”) and that Sisvel had not abused (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by a TV box company in an abuse of dominance investigation involving exclusivity agreements (Broadcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 April 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) invited interested parties to submit comments on the commitments offered by Broadcom under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 to address competition concerns in relation to certain exclusivity and quasi-exclusivity agreements allegedly (...)

The Italian Court of Cassation rules on the limitation period of antitrust damages claims in two judgments in the telecommunications sector (Uno Communications / Telecom Italia) (Uno Communications / Vodafone Italia)
White & Case (Milan)
1.- Introduction By judgements issued on the 27th of February, 2020, No. 5381, and on the 3rd of April 2020, No. 7677, the Italian Court of Cassation (Corte di Cassazione) ruled that the antitrust damages claims brought by Uno Communications S.p.A. against Vodafone Italia S.p.A. and Telecom (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal reverses a decision of the Competition Authority requiring telecom providers to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
KPN (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“CBb”) reversed the 2018 decision of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) requiring telecom providers KPN and VodafoneZiggo to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers. In September 2018, the ACM (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal annuls the Competition Authority decision requiring telecommunications providers to open networks (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“Appeals Tribunal”) reversed a decision of the Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) which required telecommunications provider KPN and cable provider VodafoneZiggo to open their fixed networks to other providers. On 27 (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal quashes the Competition Authority’s finding of a joint dominance in the retail broadband market (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (London)
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Oxera (Amsterdam)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) published its long-awaited verdict on the appeal against the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) 2018 finding of joint dominance in the Dutch retail broadband market. Why did the CBb rule in favour of the (...)

The Indian National Company Law Appellate Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision that a company mandating a party to sign an agreement containing unfair and restrictive clauses is tantamount to abuse of its dominance (Verifone)
Supreme Court of India
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Supreme Court of India
Introduction The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by way of its common order dated 13 March 2020 dismissed two appeals preferred by M/s Verifone India Sales Pvt Ltd. (Appellant/ OP 1/ Verifone) against two separate orders passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). (...)

The Ankara Administrative Court reassesses the Competition Authority’s decision on price squeezing allegations in the telecommunications sector (Türk Telekom / TTNET)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Background In 2012, the Board launched a full-fledged investigation against Türk Telekom and TTNET upon the complaints of certain Internet service providers (“ISP”), alleging that Türk Telekom and TTNET had abused their dominant positions in the wholesale and retail markets for fixed broadband (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions a telecommunications company for having undertaken a complex abusive strategy aimed at hindering entry of the new infrastructure competitors in the broadband communication services sector (Telecom Italia)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
The Italian Antitrust Authority ("ICA") launched in June 2017 a proceeding for alleged violations of Article 102 TFEU committed by Telecom Italia ("TI") - through a complex abusive strategy aimed at a double purpose: in the retail market, to make its customer base less contestable by other (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases draft guidance on its approach to unbundling fibre services from local fibre companies on acceptable terms and prices for broadband retailers
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Draft guidance released on Commission’s approach to unbundled fibre* The Commerce Commission has released draft guidance to help the telecommunications industry understand its approach to monitoring and enforcing obligations on Chorus and the other local fibre companies (LFCs) to allow (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines €116M the largest national telecommunications provider for broadband market abuse (TIM)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) fined Telecom Italia (“TIM”) € 116 million for abusing its dominant position in the broadband market by hindering its competitors’ investments in ultra-fast broadband. TIM is currently the largest telecommunications pro- vider in Italy. (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit finds that the District Court should not have dismissed a monopolization and tying arrangement suit in the telecoms sector (Comcast / Viamedia)
Hausfeld (New York)
On February 24th, a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously that a District Court should not have dismissed a monopolization and tying arrangement suit brought against Comcast by Viamedia, a supplier of advertising services to cable companies and other television content (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a request for interim measures against a dominant telecoms company accused of denying access to its fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure (AOTA / Orange)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Orange activated fibre offer: the Autorité rejects the complaint of AOTA* The Autorité de la concurrence rejects the AOTA’s complaint regarding Orange’s practices for lack of evidence. The Autorité also announces the launching of an exploratory investigation into the business telecoms market. The (...)

The Moroccan Telecommunications Authority issues the first enforcement decision under the national competition regime by imposing a maximum fine on the incumbent telecom for failing to unbundle the local loop (Maroc Telecom)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
First enforcement decision under Moroccan competition regime* On 17 January 2020, the Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications (ANRT), the Moroccan telecoms regulator, imposed a fine of MAD 3.3bn (approx. USD340m) on Maroc Telecom, the incumbent telecoms operator, for failing to (...)

The French Competition Authority finds that a non-notifiable acquisition does not amount to an abuse of a dominant position in the broadcasting market (Itas / TDF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 January 2020, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) handed down a decision in which it found that mergers and acquisitions did not amount to an abuse of a dominant position. In the case at hand, Towercast (a company active on the market of terrestrial broadcasting in France) (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes an interim measure to temporarily suspend the joint venture between two of the three main telecom companies in the national market (Telenet / Orange Belgium / Proximus)
Strelia (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 8 January, the Belgian Competition Authority ("BCA") imposed an interim measure to temporarily suspend the joint venture ("JV") between Orange and Proximus, two of the three main telecom players in the Belgian market. The cooperation between Orange and Proximus relates to the sharing of (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority fines a dominant mobile telephony services provider €237.181,76 for foreclosing the ability of its competitor to offer services for 10 years (MTN Cyprus / Golden Telemedia)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition imposed on MTN Cyprus Limited (EPIC LTD) an administrative fine of €237.181,76 for the infringement of Section 6(1)(b) of the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014, following an investigation of the complaint submitted by Golden (...)

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirms and defines margin squeeze as a particular form of abusive pricing strategy in the telecommunication market (Swisscom)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
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Metall Zug
Federal Supreme Court examines margin squeeze under Swiss competition law* Introduction On 9 December 2019 the Federal Supreme Court confirmed that Swisscom AG and Swisscom (Schweiz) AG (together, Swisscom) had abused its dominant position by charging abusive prices for wholesale broadband (...)

The Turkish Administrative Court in Ankara annuls a decision of the Competition Authority in the electronic communications sector due to incomplete examination of anticompetitive infringement (Dogan / Cisco)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of Ankara 11th Administrative Court’s (the “Administrative Court”) decision (24.10.2019, E. 1315, K. 2115) in which the Administrative Court annulled the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) decision (15-28/317-95, 07.07.2015) due to the incomplete (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a technology company suspected to have abused its dominance in the TV and modem chipset markets (Broadcom)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom in TV and modem chipset markets* The European Commission has ordered Broadcom to stop applying certain provisions contained in agreements with six of its main customers. This will prevent serious and irreparable harm to competition (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a company for abuse of dominance in the TV and modem chipset markets (Broadcom)
European Commission (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Basic-Fit (Hoofddorp)
On 16 October 2018, the European Commission announced that, in the framework of its investigation into possible anticompetitive practices by Broadcom, it had imposed interim measures on the American company. This is the first time in 18 years that the Commission uses the power enshrined in (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a tech company in the design, development and supply of semiconductors (Broadcom)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Strelia (Brussels)
On 16 October 2019, the European Commission (EC) imposed interim measures on Broadcom. Broadcom is a technology leader in the design, development and supply of a range of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, including chipsets for TV set-top boxes and modems. The EC started its (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a chipmaking company suspected of having put in place contractual restrictions to exclude its competitors from the market (Broadcom)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
On June 26, 2019, the EU Commission opened a formal investigation into U.S. chipmaker Broadcom’s alleged abuse of dominance. In a rather unexpected move, the EU Commission informed the company, on the same day, of its intention to impose interim measures, a long-forgotten tool. Broadcom, which (...)

The EU Commission imposes interim measures on a major supplier of integrated circuits for communications devices to prevent damage to competition in the TV set-top boxes and modems market (Broadcom)
Free University of Brussels (ULB)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 16 October 2019, for the first time in 18 years, the European Commission ("Commission") imposed interim measures on Broadcom - a major supplier of integrated circuits for communications devices - in order to prevent "serious and irreparable damage" to competition from occurring in certain (...)

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

The EU Commission opens an investigation into semiconductor company for exclusionary conduct and uses interim powers for the first time in two decades (Broadcom)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The European Commission has announced that it has opened an investigation against Broadcom in connection with various practices such as between Broadcom products and other products. The case follows precedents in the microchips market, particularly echoing the investigation against Intel which (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California holds that patent licensing in the market for semiconductors violates the Sherman Act (Qualcomm)
Sullivan & Cromwell (New York)
,
Sullivan & Cromwell (New York)
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Sullivan & Cromwell (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On May 21, 2019, in FTC v. Qualcomm, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued findings of fact and conclusions of law, holding that (...)

The Dutch Higher Court of Appeal rules on alleged abuse of a dominant position by an electronic company for not licensing a patent under FRAND conditions (Asus / Philips)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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KPN (Amsterdam)
On 7 May 2019, the The Hague Court of Appeal ("Court of Appeal") ruled against electronics company Asus in a patent dispute with electronics company Philips. The Court of Appeal found that Philips’ patent was valid and had been infringed by Asus. The manufacturer had argued that Philips abused (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority imposes a fine of €237,181.76 on an undertaking for abusing its dominant position (MTN)
Stephanie Theodotou Lawyer (Cyprus)
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Trojan Economics (Nicosia)
Introduction On 29 March 2019 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (“CPC”) issued a decision imposing a fine of €237,181.76 on MTN Cyprus Limited (“MTN”) for a violation of Section 6(1)(b) of the Protection of Competition Law (Law 13(I)/2008), as amended (“Law”). The said (...)

The US DoJ files a statement asking the Court to order an additional briefing and to hold a hearing on a remedy if it finds a semiconductor company liable for anticompetitive abuses in connection with its patent licensing program (Qualcomm)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington DC)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington DC)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. In a highly unusual move, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) recently  led a statement of interest in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a broadcaster in order to ensure the continuity of the FM broadcasts in the execution of its public service mission (Norkring / Broadcast Partners)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College of the BCA imposed an interim measure on Norkring België* On 22 January 2019, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) imposed an interim measure on NV Norkring België (Norkring) in order to ensure the continuity of the FM broadcasts of VRT in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines a phone company for abuse of dominance (Orange Romania)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council sanctioned Orange Romania with fines of €14 million* The Competition Council sanctioned Orange Romania with fines of 64.915.183 Lei (approximately €14 MILLION) for abuse of a dominant position. The Competition Authority found that, in 2011-2015, the telephone operator (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a company for resale price maintenance after the Council of State annulled its first decision finding no infringement regarding prepaid card prices (Turkcell II)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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Kia (Frankfurt)
The Turkish Competition Board published its reasoned decision on an additional investigation on whether Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş. has violated the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition through resale price maintenance and exclusivity practices (19-03/23-10; 10.01.2019). The (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the annulment of a €120 million fine imposed by the Competition Authority against three mobile operators for abuse of dominance in wholesale markets for termination of SMS and MMS (Telefónica / Vodafone / Orange)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
In three judgments delivered in December 2018 and January 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court confirmed the annulment of fines amounting to a total of €120 million imposed on the three main telecoms operators in Spain (i.e., Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange) for abuse of dominance in the wholesale (...)

The EU General Court slightly reduces the fine in a case of abuse of dominance in the telecom sector to account for the Commission’s failure to establish exclusionary effects over a limited period (Slovak Telekom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 December 2018, the General Court (the “GC”) issued a judgment upholding in large part an October 2014 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) against Slovak Telekom, in which it found that Slovak Telekom had abused its dominant position by engaging in a constructive refusal to (...)

The US Northern District Court of California requires the holder of a standard-essential patent for cellular communication to license it to all those willing to pay a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory rate (Qualcomm)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. FTC Secures Partial Victory Requiring SEP Holder to License to All Comers in Antitrust Case Summary Recently, a federal district court in California granted (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds a decision qualifying an essential patent offer to be FRAND (Unwired Planet / Huawei)
Jindal Global University (Sonipat)
UK COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS FRAND INJUNCTION* Last week, the UK Court of Appeal upheld the findings of the High Court in an important case regarding standard essential patents (SEPs). Of particular significance, the Court of Appeal upheld the finding that the defendant, an implementer of SEPs, (...)

The Slovenian Administrative Court confirms a substantial part of a decision in a case related to abuse of dominance (Telekom Slovenije)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
INTRODUCTION On 9 January 2018, the Administrative Court of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter referred to as the Court) ruled in case I U 423/2015-48, brought by Telekom Slovenije against the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency’s (hereinafter referred to as SCPA) decision no. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds the bundled sales of a telecommunication company not to be anti-competitive (TTNET)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki (BASEAK) (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Authority to Shape the Future of Multi-Play Services in Telecommunication Industry [TTNET]* INTRODUCTION On 21 December 2018, Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published its decision regarding the investigation conducted against TTNET A.Ş. (“TTNET”), the leading internet (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the actual effects of the infringement do not have to be taken into account as part of the fine calculation in abuse of dominance cases (Orange Polska)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
On 25 July 2018 the CJEU dismissed an appeal by Orange Polska SA against a GCEU judgment upholding an EC decision that imposed a fine of more than EUR 127 million on Orange for abusing its dominant position. The CJEU confirmed that, as in the case of a cartel, the EC does not have to take (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds that a dominant telecommunications company did not abuse its dominance through predatory pricing (VIPnet)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
VIPnet – no abuse of dominant position* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) found that VIPnet did not abuse a dominant position in the access to public telephone network at a fixed location for residential and/or non-residential customers, retail fixed broadband access and Pay television in (...)

Dominance in the telecom sector: An overview of EU and national case law
Dazi Avocats (Paris)
Over the last three years, there have been three landmark cases of dominance in the telecom sector in the EU targeting practices undertaken by telecom equipment suppliers: the Huawei/ZTE CJEU judgment in 2015, plus the Intel and Qualcomm decisions sanctioning exclusionary rebates. Given the (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms that price discrimination is not itself an abuse of dominance in breach of competition law unless the discriminatory conduct is capable of producing a distortion of competition for the trading party (MEO / Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 19 April 2018, the EU’s Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the MEO case, the latest in a recent line of rulings endorsing an effects-based analysis for abuse of dominance cases. EU competition law requires dominant companies not to discriminate between different customers or (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the concept of a "competitive disadvantage" arising from discriminatory pricing by a dominant undertaking on a downstream market (MEO / Serviços de Communicações e multimedia)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The CJEU held that a finding of a “competitive disadvantage” as the result of discriminatory pricing by a dominant undertaking on a downstream market does not require demonstration of an actual and quantifiable deterioration of a customer’s competitive situation on that market. This notion (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies how to assess whether a practice of differential pricing by a dominant undertaking is capable of distorting competition in a downstream market (MEO / Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Facts This preliminary ruling arose following a complaint lodged with the Portuguese Competition Authority by Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia SA (“MEO”) alleging that GDA, a non-profit-making collecting cooperative which manages the rights of artists and performers, had abused its dominant (...)

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