Transport (maritime)

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against several shipping companies to assess an alleged agreement restricting competition in the market for the transport of flammable material and waste to and from the islands in the Gulf of Naples (Mediterranea Marittima / Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & Lauro / Medmar Navi / Tra.Spe.Mar / GML Trasporti Marittimi and Consorzio COTRASIR)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation opened into an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the transport of fuel and waste to and from the Campanian Archipelago* On 14 January 2020, the Authority opened an investigation against the companies Mediterranea Marittima S.p.a., Servizi Marittimi Liberi Giuffré & (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens investigation into potential anticompetitive practices in the maritime transport of passengers and vehicles in the South of Spain (Algeciras / Ceuta)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Spanish Competition and Markets Authority, CNMC, is investigating whether a number of companies active in maritime transport between Algeciras and Ceuta may be in breach of article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act (‘LDC’) and article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (‘TFEU’). (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the port service activities sector in the Mayotte island
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids in Mayotte* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the port service activities sector in the Longoni port (Mayotte island). Following authorisation from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority seeks a preliminary ruling on the framework agreement for the dock work sector
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In Spain, the dock work sector has been traditionally regulated by Royal Decree 2/1986. This Decree provided special sectorial rules, including the obligation to hire workers from the port docker management limited companies (“Sociedades Anónimas de Gestión de Estibadores Portuarios” or “SAGEP”) (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority seeks a preliminary ruling from the CJEU in connection with the framework agreement for the cargo handling sector (Acuerdo Marco de la Estiba)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The CNMC has requested a preliminary ruling from the CJEU on the legality of the proposed stevedoring framework agreement, within the context of the ongoing investigation launched by the said Authority in November 2017 (file S/DC/0619/17, Acuerdo Marco de la Estiba). The move is remarkable, (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority closes several inquiries concerning restrictive practices in the travel sector and in the freight handlers in the Flemish ports
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority has closed several inquiries concerning restrictive practices on the one hand the travel sector and on the other hand the freight handlers in the Flemish ports* In the course of 2006, the College of Competition (...)

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

The EU Commission invites stakeholders comments on the legal framework exempting liner shipping consortia from EU antitrust rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission invites comments on future regime for liner shipping consortia* The European Commission is inviting comments on the legal framework exempting liner shipping consortia from EU antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements between companies, known as the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines six cargo handling companies and five trade unions for entering into anticompetitive agreements (Port of Vigo)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Six cargo handling companies and five trade unions have been fined by the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) for concluding agreements that restricted competition in the Port of Vigo (Spain), increased prices and decreased competitiveness. The fines amount to EUR 3 million for the cargo (...)

The EU Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers in three separate cartel cases (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers a total of €546 million in three separate cartel settlements* In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two (...)

The EU Commission fines €546 million two maritime car carriers and four car parts suppliers in three separate cartel settlements (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
Four maritime car carriers, two suppliers of spark plugs and two suppliers of braking systems have been fined EUR 395 million, EUR 76 million and EUR 75 million respectively, in the framework of three separate cartel settlement decisions adopted by the European Commission. With regard to the (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Commission issues a block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in the liner shipping industry (HKLSA)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission issues block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in the liner shipping industry* The Competition Commission (Commission) today (8 August 2017) issued a block exemption order (BEO) under section 15 of the Competition Ordinance (Ordinance) for vessel sharing (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirms the dismissal of an antitrust counterclaim in a labor dispute (ICTSI / ILWU)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
On July 24, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an antitrust counterclaim brought by ICTSI Oregon, Inc. (ICTSI), the operator of a marine shipping facility, against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority sends a letter explaining the basic rules regarding fair competition to over 3,500 companies operating in the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM calls port industry’s attention to competition rules* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has sent a letter explaining the basic rules regarding fair competition to over 3,500 businesses based in Amsterdam and Rotterdam that are active in the ports of those cities. ACM (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority closes investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position by ferry operator and municipality (Color Line / Sandefjord Municipality)
European Commission (Brussels)
ESA closes Color Line and Sandefjord investigation* On 20 December 2016, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (“ESA”) closed an investigation of the ferry company Color Line and the municipality of Sandefjord in Norway. The parties have ended practices alleged to be in breach of the EEA competition (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines seven companies in the maritime pilotage and towage services market for prohibited agreements and abuse of dominance by incumbent national company (Canal Sea Services / CNAPM)
European Commission (Brussels)
Competition Council applies fines on seven companies active in the Romanian maritime harbours* The Competition Council finalised the investigation on the markets for pilotage and towage services and found an infringement of Article 101 TFEU and Article 5(1) of the Competition Law by Canal Sea (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments by 14 shipping liner companies to change their practices concerning announcements of intended price increases for containerised shipping services (Liner Shipping case)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHALLENGES PUBLIC PRICE ANNOUNCEMENTS BY SHIPPING LINER COMPANIES* On 7 July 2016, the European Commission adopted a decision accepting commitments by 14 shipping liner companies to change their practices concerning announcements of intended price increases for (...)

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by container liner shipping companies on price transparency (CMA CGM)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by container liner shipping companies on price transparency* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by fourteen container liner shipping companies. The commitments aim to increase price (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority adopts a settlement decision concerning market sharing agreements concluded between SMEs in the regular river cruise sector (Dinant / Les Bateaux mouches)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Investigation & Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority adopts a settlement decision for market sharing agreements between SMEs in the regular river cruise sector and imposes a fine amounting to 64,100 euros* The Investigation & Prosecution Service of the Belgian (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority invites comments on commitments offered by Norwegian undertakings to address the authority’s competition concerns on the Sandefjord-Strömstad ferry route (Color Line / Sandefjord Municipality)
European Commission (Brussels)
EFTA Surveillance Authority invites comments on commitments offered on Sandefjord - Strömstad ferry route* Following the opening of antitrust proceedings by the EFTA Surveillance Authority in March 2015 against the ferry company Color Line AS and the Municipality of Sandefjord in Norway, the (...)

The EU Commission launches a market test on commitments offered by container liner shipping companies (CMA CGM)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by container liner shipping companies* The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by fifteen container liner shipping companies to address concerns relating to concerted practices. The (...)

The Chinese NDRC fines shipping companies for price-fixing (EUKOR / Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics / Eastern Car Liner / Mitsui)
GeyerGorey (Washington)
China Fines 7 Shipping Companies $65 Million* Shipping cartels have been a frequent target of prosecution by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. The rules around shipping cartels can be confusing because certain joint pricing activity can be legal and there are (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court reduces fine in the shipbrokers cartel case (Lithuanian Shipbrokers Association)
Walless (Lithuania)
On 4 March 2015, Lithuanian Supreme administrative Court issued the second decision in the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association cartel case. In 2011, the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania fined the Lithuanian Shipbrokers and Agents Association (the Association) and 32 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines several firms for breaching a previous commitment decision and cartelizing the maritime links across the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno (Organizzazione Servizi Marittimi nel Golfo di Napoli)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision made on 28 January 2015 in the case Organizzazione Servizi Marittimi nel Golfo di Napoli (Gulf of Naples) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has imposed fines in excess of € 14 million on seven ferry operators (Alilauro, Alilauro Gruson, SLMGL, NLG, SNAV and Medmar Navi), two (...)

The US DoJ secures a second plea deal with member of the international shipping cartel for roll-on, roll-off cargo (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On September 26, 2014 Japanese transportation company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) agreed to plead guilty to price fixing, bid rigging and allocating customers for international ocean shipping services for “roll-on, roll-off” cargo. K-Line will be fined $67.7 million. Roll-on, roll-off (...)

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 US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico sentences former president of a freight transportation company to 5 years in prison and $25,000 fine for his role in the company’s price-fixing case (USA / Peake)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On December 6, 2013, Frank Peake, former president of Sea Star Line LLC, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine for his role in fixing prices for rates and surcharges for freight transportation in coastal waters between the United States and Puerto Rico. The (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority fines a Norwegian ferry company for anti-competitive practices (Color Line)
European Commission (Brussels)
ESA: The EFTA Surveillance Authority fines Ferry Company Color Line € 18 800 000 for infringing EEA Competition Rules* In February 2012, the decision of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (the Authority) of 14 December 2011, fining the Norwegian ferry company Color Line for an infringement of (...)

The US DoJ fines $45Million for the involvement in price fixing in the water freight services sector (Horizon Lines)
McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
Today the Department of Justice announced that Horizon Lines LLC agreed to plead guilty and pay a $45 million fine for its involvement in price fixing coastal water freight services between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico. This plea is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts a commitment decision to remove a prohibition against resale of ferry tickets (Scandlines)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: Scandlines - Commitments to remove a Prohibition against Resale of Ferry Tickets for Freight On 27 October 2010, the Competition Council adopted a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by Scandlines to remove a prohibition against the resale of ferry tickets (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions container-handling companies for restrictive agreements (Perrigault, TPO)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence sanctions four Container-Handling Companies for Restrictive Agreements in Le Havre Harbour On 15 April 2010, the French Competition Authority sanctioned with a € 625,000 fine four container handling companies active in the Le Havre harbour (north of (...)

Dominance

The Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation considers a competition case for the first time, granting the appeal of Europe’s largest port operator concerning sanctions for abuse of dominance (Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port)
ALRUD (Moscow)
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ALRUD (Moscow)
THE FIRST COMPETITION CASE IN THE PRESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION – RESOLUTION OF THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE FAS AND THE LARGEST STEVEDORE* Background and main problems Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port PJSC (“NCSP”) is one of the Europe’s largest port operator in terms of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into abuse of dominance by oil and natural gas company in the market for charter hire of offshore support vehicles (Indian National Shipowners’ Association / Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI directs investigation against Oil and Natural Gas Limited (‘ONGC’) for abuse of dominant position* The CCI by way of an order dated June 12, 2018 has directed investigation under Section 26(1) of the Act against ONGC for abusing its dominant position in the relevant market for “charter hire (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two major ferry operators for abuse of dominance in the maritime transport market (CIN-Moby)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed by an infringement decision an Article 102 TFEU investigation against two major ferry operators, Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (CIN) and Moby Spa (Moby), in the Case A487, Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione-Trasporto marittimo delle merci (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds that a State-run undertaking abused its dominant position on the market of offering mooring in Moscow (Gormost)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Moscow fas found that “gormost” violated the antimonopoly law* The “Gormost” Procedure for concluding contracts created discriminatory conditions and could have restricted competition Moscow OFAS found that “Gormost” violated the antimonopoly law in the part of abusing dominance of a natural (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council terminates the investigation of an alleged abuse of dominance in the maritime industry (Vakarų Laivų Gamykla)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munich)
On 19 April 2016 the Competition Council terminated the investigation against AB “Vakarų Laivų Gamykla“ (AB VLG) with regard to an alleged infringement of Article 102 TFEU and Article 7 of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania. During the investigation, which the Competition Council (...)

The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into possible abuse of dominance by a sea port and coal terminal (Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association / Chettinad International Coal Terminal / Kamarajar Port)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI to investigate the Chettinad International Coal Terminal Pvt. Ltd. and Kamarajar Port Ltd. for alleged abuse of dominance* CCI by its order dated January 4, 2016 has initiated an investigation against Kamarajar Port Ltd. (the erstwhile Ennore Port) and Chettinad International Coal Terminal (...)

The Irish High Court finds no abuse of dominant position by a public port authority after it imposed a levy per passenger (Island Ferries Teoranta)
University College London
The Plaintiff is the sole commercial operator of a passenger ferry service from the Irish mainland to a harbour at Kilronan on the Aran Islands. In October 2011 the public body responsible for the management of Kilronan harbour passed a law which imposed significant charges for the use of the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission identifies reform priorities to support competition at domestic growing container ports
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC identifies reform priorities to support competition at Australia’s growing container ports* In its 15th annual monitoring report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has highlighted that further economic reforms are required if future benefits of continuing industry reforms (...)

The Israeli Antitrust General Director intends to declare two seaports companies ’an oligopoly’ (Ports of Haifa and Ashdod)
Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
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Eshel, Ashlagi, Rozent Law Offices (Tel Aviv)
On May 16, 2013, according to a press release published by the Antitrust Authority (the "Press Release"), the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") informed the Ashdod Port Company Ltd. and the Haifa Port Company Ltd., the governmental companies operating the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority launches a public consultation as part of its study of competition in the national ports sector
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Competition Authority launches public consultation on the ports sector* The Competition Authority has launched a public consultation as part of its study of competition in the Irish ports sector, following a request by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D.. (...)

The Federal Court of Justice of Germany clarifies that ‘legal impossibility’ can be used as a justification for denying a potential competitor access to essential facilities and provides guidance on the respective burden of proof (Ferry Port Puttgarden II)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. The Facts Scandlines Deutschland GmbH (Scandlines) is the owner of the Puttgarden/Fehmarn ferry port in Germany and the sole provider of ferry services between Puttgarden and Rødby/Lolland in Denmark. Two Norwegian shipping companies sought access to the ferry port in Puttgarden in order to (...)

The Düsseldorf Court of Appeals questions the German Federal Cartel Office’s decision imposing the obligation to grant access to essential facilities in the ferry services in interim proceedings (Fährhafen Puttgarden II)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
The end of access to essential facilities in Germany in practice?* On June 10, 2010, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals issued a decision that increased the hurdles for obtaining access to essential facilities in Germany in practice (see WuW/DE-R 2941 et seq.). The case concerns interim (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes investigating into alleged abuses of dominant position of a ferry operator by imposing a set of behavioural commitments (T-Link / Grandi Navi Veloci)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By a commitment decision the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed investigation into foreclosing conducts carried out by a major Italian ferry operator, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) in the market for maritime links between Northern Italy and Western Sicily. The most (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office opens a ferry route to competition (Scandlines Deutschland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
According to a press release of 28 January 2010, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has required Scandlines Deutschland GmbH (“Scandlines”), the owner of the Puttgarden ferry port and sole provider of ferry services between Puttgarden in Germany and Rødby in Denmark, to provide other ferry (...)

The German Competition Authority requires a ferry operator to grant access to its ferry port (Scandlines)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: Access to Essential Facilities granted on the Puttgarden-Rødby Ferry Route In a decision of 27 January 2010, the Bundeskartellamt has required Scandlines Deutschland GmbH to grant competitors access to Puttgarden ferry port. Based on its assessment that the port is an essential (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation into alleged abuses of dominant position by a ferry operator (T-Link / Grandi Navi Veloci)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The Italian Competition Authority or ICA opened an Article 82 proceedings against a major Italian ferry operator, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV)[alian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato - AGCM), 6 August 2009, Case n° A417, Decision n° 20179, T-Link/Grandi Navi (...)

The EU Court of First Instance upholds Commission decision against a maritime company (Compagnie Maritime Belge)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute (New York)
On 1 July 2008, the Court of First Instance (“CFI”) issued its judgment on Compagnie Maritime Belge’s appeal of the Commission decision of 30 April 2004 (the “Decision”), which had fined it € 3.4 million for the infringements of Article 82 EC established in the Commission original decision of 23 (...)

The Estonian Competition Authority finds that a state owned port complex engaged in discriminatory pricing for access to an essential facility (Termoil)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
1. Background information AS Turmoil (Termoil) is a company operating oil terminals in the Port of Muuga in Tallinn, Estonia. Port of Muuga is owned by a state owned company AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn, PoT). PoT is the biggest cargo and passenger port complex with five harbours, (...)

Mergers

The Dutch Competition Authority confirms the commitment to dissolve the joint venture by two port towing undertakings (Port Towage Amsterdam)
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
PORT TOWING JOINT VENTURE DISSOLVED AFTER INVESTIGATION BY THE DUTCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY: FULL-FUNCTIONALITY QUESTIONED* Background On 20 December 2019, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) published a decision in which the commitment to dissolve the joint venture Port (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority identifies anticompetitive risks into a joint venture of port towage in which the companies later decided to dissolve (Svitzer / Iskes)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
JOINT VENTURE PORT TOWAGE AMSTERDAM TO BE DISSOLVED, FOLLOWING AN INVESTIGATION OF ACM* Joint ventures cannot be used for circumventing competition rules. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) investigated the joint venture Port Towage Amsterdam (PTA). This joint venture (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into a proposed merger in the maritime transport market (DSME / HHIH)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering CO., Ltd (DSME) by another shipbuilding group, Hyundai (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation relating a merger in the global cruise shipbuilding market (Chantiers de l’Atlantique / Fincantieri)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Chantiers de l’Atlantique by Fincantieri* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Chantiers de l’Atlantique by Fincantieri, under the EU Merger Regulation. The (...)

The US FTC challenges a merger due to the potential negative effects it caused in the market for marine water treatment for chemicals (Drew Marine Group / Wilhelmsen Maritime Services)
Economists Incorporated (Washington)
FTC ALLEGES "GLOBAL FLEETS" IN CHALLENGE TO WILHELMSEN’S ACQUISITION OF DREW MARINE* The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued an administrative complaint and amended complaint challenging the proposed acquisition of Drew Marine Group (“Drew”) by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (...)

The US FTC issues an administrative complaint challenges a merger in the global fleet market which can increase the risk of price discrimination and reduce competition (Wilhelmsen Maritime / Drew Marine)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it has challenged a merger between Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (Wilhelmsen) and Drew Marine Group (Drew) because of an overlap in service to “global fleet customers,” a narrow customer segment that purchases marine water treatment (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the container shipping services market (Hamburg Süd / Maersk Line)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES ACQUISITION OF HAMBURG SÜD BY MAERSK LINE, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of container liner shipping company Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG (HSDG) of (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the container liner shipping market (Hapag-Lloyd / UASC)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES CONTAINER LINER SHIPPING MERGER BETWEEN HAPAG-LLOYD AND UASC, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company ("UASC") by Hapag-Lloyd of Germany, subject to (...)

The EU Commission clears, subject to remedies, a merger between two container liner shippers (CMA CGM / NOL)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES CONTAINER LINER SHIPPING MERGER BETWEEN CMA CGM AND NOL, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Neptune Oriental Lines ("NOL") of Singapore by rival CMA CGM, a French shipping company (...)

The UK Supreme Court overturns the Competition Appeals Tribunal judgment on whether acquisition of assets upon liquidation is subject to merger control (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Asset acquisitions and mergers: Eurotunnel in the Supreme Court*The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Eurotunnel II ([2015] UKHL 75) brings some much-needed clarity to what was becoming a rather opaque corner of the UK merger regime. It also contains statements of general principle which are (...)

The UK Supreme Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision to treat an acquisition of 3 ferries and related assets as a merger (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA welcomes Supreme Court judgment in Eurotunnel case* The CMA has welcomed the judgment by the Supreme Court to uphold its appeal in the Eurotunnel case. In the judgment handed down today, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) took the correct approach (...)

The Italian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger between two major ferry operators (Onorato Partcipazioni-Newco / Moby-Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
Introduction By the decision made on 10 December 2015 in Onorato Partcipazioni-Newco/Moby-Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (OP/Moby-CIN), the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared a concentration involving two major ferry operators active on maritime routes connecting (...)

The UK Competition Authority seeks permission to appeal in a case regarding trans-channel ferry transport services (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA SEEKS PERMISSION TO APPEAL IN EUROTUNNEL CASE * The CMA today announced that it will seek permission to appeal following last week’s Court of Appeal judgment in the Eurotunnel case. The judgment upheld a challenge to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) jurisdiction over (...)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority seeks permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on what constitutes an enterprise for the purposes of merger control (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
Unconvinced by the outcome of the Eurotunnel case, the CMA wants guidance from the Supreme Court on what constitutes an enterprise for the purposes of UK merger control. The CMA is seeking permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment of 15 May 2015 in the Eurotunnel case. That judgment (...)

The UK Court of Appeals brings some additional clarity on assets acquisition (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Asset acquisitions revisited* Earlier this year, I suggested that the law on when an asset acquisition might amount to a merger was somewhat opaque. The Court of Appeal’s decision in Eurotunnel II [2015] EWCA Civ 487 has brought some additional clarity, although the messy procedural history of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rules on the concept of “enterprise” under UK merger control (Eurotunnel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
All views expressed are strictly personal views of the author. The present case note does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. On 15 May 2015, the Court of Appeal (by a 2:1 majority) upheld a challenge to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the "CAT") ruling which (...)

The Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the merger decision of the UK Competition and Markets Authority in a maritime transport case (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
The CMA has welcomed today’s judgment by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to uphold the CMA’s decision to bar Eurotunnel from running its MyFerryLink service out of Dover, to safeguard competition.* The CAT’s judgment dismissed an appeal by Eurotunnel and Société Coopérative de Production de (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds that when a company acquires assets that can potentially be turned into a business activity, it can be considered as acquiring part of a business activity (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Eurotunnel: when buying assets is a merger* When is an asset acquisition a merger? As the Eurotunnel litigation shows, the answer is not clear-cut. The background is the 2011 liquidation of the cross-channel ferry company SeaFrance. It could not be sold as a going concern, so instead there (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM prohibits the proposed shipping alliance among the world’s three largest liner shipping operators (P3 Alliance)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
No Way: Top Three Shipping Liners’ Proposed Alliance was Blocked by Chinese Watchdog* Introduction On the very last day of the statutory period for a merger review (i.e. June 17, 2014), China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) rendered its decision to prohibit the proposed shipping alliance among (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal quashes the Competition Commission decision regarding maritime transport over the Channel highlighting contradictory analysis of mergers between National Competition Authorities (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
Institut Catholique de Paris
The control of the Channel remains an emphatically strategic subject of prime importance for England: the Eurotunnel ferries might well not be allowed to disembark at Dover in the future! At least that’s what the Competition Commission, the British competition authority (hereinafter referred to (...)

The UK Competition Authority, unlike the French NCA, rules that operator of channel tunnel between Great Britain and France may no longer offer ferry services from Dover (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
Jones Day (London)
,
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
The UK Competition Commission (“CC”) has prohibited Eurotunnel from operating ferry services at the port of Dover, following its June 2012 acquisition of three SeaFrance vessels. The decision is notable for two reasons. First, this decision differed from that of the French Competition Authority (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, a merger in the maritime transport sector (Eurotunnel / SeaFrance / MyFerryLink)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the acquisition of certain SeaFrance assets by the Eurotunnel group* The Autorité de la concurrence has just cleared, subject to certain (...)

The Irish Competition Authority cleared a merger in the market for ferry routes between Great Britain and Ireland subject to notification of future acquisitions (Stena / P&O)
University of Geneva
The operation On 5 April 2004 the Irish Competition Authority (“ICA”) cleared in a Phase 1 decision the acquisition by Stena AB (“Stena”) of all the assets of P&O relating to P&O’s ferry business between the Irish sea ports of Larne (Northern Ireland) and Fleetwood (Great Britain (“GB”)). (...)

The UK Competition Commission partially clears an acquisition of freight and ferry assets but prohibits the acquisition of assets operating on some routes (Stena / P&O)
Serle Court (London)
The operation Stena AB comprises a number of business divisions, including: StenaLine, providing ferry services in and between Scandinavia, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland; Stena RoRo providing ferry services to the transport industry; and Stena Bulk providing crude (...)

State Aids

The EU General Court provides further guidance with regard to the concept of State aid in the context of fiscal measures favouring port authorities (Port autonome du Centre / Port de Bruxelles / Havenbedrijf Antwerpen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2019, the General Court delivered three judgments (Cases T-673/17, Port autonome du Centre and de l’Ouest and Others v. Commission, T-674/17, Le Port de Bruxelles and Région de Bruxelles-Capitale v. Commission, T-696/17, Havenbedrijf Antwerpen and Maatschappij van de Brugse (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the EU rules does not impose time limitation rules when national courts deal with claim for damages arising from non-notified aid (Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the concept of "existing aid" in a private enforcement case and holds that unlawful aid cannot be retroactively legalised by virtue of a limitation period that has lapsed (Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Paris)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
On January 23, 2019, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter the “Court” or the “ECJ”) handed down a preliminary ruling on the notion of “existing aid”. The Court held, in particular, that the circumstance where a new aid that becomes existing aid by virtue of the 10 years limitation period has (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision holding that public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and therefore does not constitute State aid (Scandlines Danmark / Stena Line)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission finds no aid given to container terminal operators in Belgium’s Port of Antwerp (PSA Antwerp / Antwerp Gateway)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds no aid given to container terminal operators in Belgium’s Port of Antwerp* The European Commission has concluded that reductions in compensation payments granted by the state-owned Port of Antwerp to two container terminal operators were granted on market terms and (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules the extension of the existing Danish tonnage tax scheme to additional types of vessels
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves extension of Danish tonnage tax scheme to new types of vessels* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the extension of the existing Danish tonnage tax scheme to additional types of vessels. This will encourage ship registration in Europe (...)

The EU General Court annuls an aid granted to an important project of common European interest (IPCEI) as unconditional and unlimited guarantees are incompatible with the internal market (Øresund road-rail fixed link)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission estimates public funding for five ferry connections between Croatian islands and mainland is in line with EU State aid rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves public funding for five ferry connections between Croatian islands and mainland* The European Commission has found Croatian plans to grant HRK 250 million (€34 million) to ensure regular ferry connections on five routes between Croatian islands and the mainland to (...)

The EU General Court confirms a Commission decision for the abolition of a sector specific tax exemption (Groningen Seaports in Netherlands)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s decision that exclusive use of a port by a shipping company was not State aid, after finding the Commission failed to open a formal investigation and establish that the port owner acted as a private operator (Naviera Armas)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court affirms a Commission decision finding that Greek container terminal operators received incompatible State aid which must be recovered (Hellenic Republic / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The General Court of the EU clarifies the obligations of the Commission following a State aid annulment decision (SNCM)
DG ENERGY (Luxembourg)
The judgments of the General Court of the EU of 6 July 2017, delivered in the cases France v Commission and Société nationale maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) v Commission européenne, confirm the settled case-law of the Union judicature regarding the criterion of the private investor in a market (...)

The EU General Court affirms a Commission decision that compensation for public services and a capital increase granted by Sardinia to a maritime company is aid incompatible with the internal market (Regione autonoma della Sardegna)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub (click here). The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no relationships with a party or related third party. Article will need (...)

The EU General Court upholds a Commission decision that a French ferry company received incompatible aid which must be recovered, and clarifies the definition of a service of general economic interest (SNCM)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court overturns a Commission finding that a Spanish tax lease system is illegal State aid (Spanish tax lease system)
College of Europe (Bruges)
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission’s decision finding Spain’s tax lease system to constitute illegal State aid (Spanish Tax Lease)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax lease case: Identifying the beneficiary under the selectivity test in Fiscal aid schemes*In its judgment of 17 December 2015, Spain a.o./Commission the General Court once again annulled a Commission decision dealing with a fiscal State aid scheme on the grounds that the (...)

The EU Commission finds that Hungarian investment in a port’s infrastructure is compatible State aid (Port of Baja)
College of Europe (Bruges)
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission finds that Greek tax measures that benefit a container terminal are incompatible State aid (Piraeus / Cosco)
College of Europe (Bruges)
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission issues a State aid decision concerning compensation given to a shipping company for the provision of services of a general economic interest, and orders the immediate and effective recovery of the illicit aid (SNCM)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
Introduction The decision in discussion was issued by the European Commission on 2 May 2013 and established that the public service delegation contract for passenger shipping services between Marseille and Corsica did not satisfy the four cumulative conditions set out in Altmark. The (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision by which it approved all of the measures adopted by France in favour of Corsica ferries (Corsica Ferries France)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
A. Essential factual and legal aspects The shipping company, Corsica Ferries France SAS, applicant in the present dispute, offers regular ferry services to Corsica departing from continental France (Marseille, Toulon and Nice) and Italy. The shipping company and beneficiary of the aid measure (...)

Regulations

The Mexican Competition Authority issues the Ministry of Communications and Transports an opinion which recommends modifications to port law and other measures to promote competition in manoeuvre services
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE RECOMMENDS MODIFICATIONS TO PORT LAW AND OTHER MEASURES TO PROMOTE COMPETITION IN MANOEUVRE SERVICES* The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) issued the Ministry of Communications and Transports (SCT for its initials in Spanish) and the respective commissions (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority presents three recommendations to the Government and administrations to improve competition in the maritime ports sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Ports: AdC presents three recommendations to the Government and administrations to improve competition in the sector * The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, AdC) recommends to the Government and port authorities the adoption of measures to promote competition in the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition issues in liner shipping
OECD - Competition Division
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * Considering the discussion at the roundtable, delegates’ written submissions, and the Secretariat’s background paper, several key points emerge: (1) Since its inception, the ocean liner shipping industry has been governed by the so-called “conferences” – (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues a draft decision to accept commitments regarding port terminal services access (CBH)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC issues draft decision to approve CBH long term arrangements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision to accept Co-Operative Bulk Handling Limited’s (CBH) proposed 2014 Port Terminal Services Access Undertaking, subject to drafting amendments. The (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks views on port terminal access arrangements at Newcastle (GrainCorp)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC seeks views on GrainCorp’s port terminal access arrangements at Newcastle* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking views on whether the scope of regulation of GrainCorp’s bulk grain port terminal in Newcastle should be reduced due to the presence of other bulk export (...)

The Irish Competition Authority publishes a study of competition in the ports sector, finding that competition in port services could be improved
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Competition Authority recommends changes to improve competition in Irish ports* The Competition Authority has published on 29 November 2013 a study of competition in the ports sector in Ireland which found competition in port services could be improved. The study was commissioned by Minister (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues a draft decision proposing to consent to a variation in an access agreement as regards a port terminal for bulk wheat export (Viterra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC issues draft decision on Viterra’s wheat port undertaking* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision proposing to consent Viterra Operations Limited’s (Viterra) application to extend and vary its 2011 Port Terminal Services Access Undertaking. Viterra’s (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition in ports and port services
OECD - Competition Division
Ports, whether maritime, inland or river ports, are important pieces of infrastructure that serve a wide range of customers including freight shippers, ferry operators and private boats. One of the main functions of ports is facilitating the domestic and international trade of goods, often on a (...)

An Italian regional administrative Court finds the provisions of two ports’ regulations on self-handling of port operations unlawful and annuls refusal to authorise such services based on these provisions (Forship / Port Authority of Olbia and Golfo Aranci)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
The regional administrative court of Sardinia (Tar Sardinia) has adjudicated on the provision of the regulation adopted by Port Authority of Olbia and Golfo Aranci or PAOGA in 2007 (the regulation) regarding the requirements to provide port operations at the ports of Olbia and Golfo Aranci in (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading sanctions the Government’s temporary exclusive concession of a yacht yard in favour of an undertaking (S & D Yachts)
Sciberras & Lia (Valletta)
S & D Yachts Limited, an undertaking acting as agent for yachts mooring in yacht yards in Malta, requested the Director of the Office for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ’the Director), to submit for review to the Commission for Fair Trading (hereinafter referred to as ’the (...)

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