Vertical restrictions

General antitrust

The UK Competition Authority publishes its Guidance for the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
Long awaited developments over the summer provided some appreciable clarity on the refreshed UK distribution regime (following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU). In particular, pursuant to a consultation process that ran almost in parallel to the equivalent EU process, and also adopting the same (...)

The EU Commission and UK Parliament revamp antitrust rules on distribution arrangements in new Vertical Block Exemption Rules
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
EU and UK Revamp Antitrust Rules on Distribution Arrangements* Significantly updated antitrust rules governing common distribution practices took effect in both the European Union and U.K. on June 1, 2022. These constitute a significant change in policy and provide greater clarity to companies (...)

The EU Commission adopts new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and Vertical Guidelines
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission adopts new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines* The European Commission has adopted today the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) accompanied by the new Vertical Guidelines, following a thorough evaluation and review of the 2010 rules. (...)

The EU Commission publishes new competition rules for vertical agreements
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Following a comprehensive review and consultation process, the new revised EU vertical agreements block exemption Regulation (VBER) and Guidelines have now been published and will come into force on 1 June 2022. The Commission’s stated objectives of the review process were to adjust the safe (...)

The US FTC extends the public comment period for request for information on the impact of pharmacy benefit managers
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission Extends Public Comment Period for Request for Information on Impact of Pharmacy Benefit Managers* The Federal Trade Commission is extending the public comment period, until May 25, 2022, on a request for information that covers a wide range of issues in the PBM (...)

The US FTC requests public comments on the impact of practices by pharmacy benefit managers on drug affordability and access
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requests Public Comments on the Impact of Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ Practices* Agency seeks information on the ways that large, vertically integrated PBMs are affecting drug affordability and access The Federal Trade Commission announced it is soliciting public input on the ways that (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority holds additional public consultation on proposed guidance relating to information exchange in the context of dual distribution
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
Review of the VBER and the Vertical Guidelines: Additional public consultation on proposed guidance relating to information exchange in the context of dual distribution* In the context of the ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’), and the Guidelines on Vertical (...)

The European Commission drafts new competition rules for Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and guidelines for vertical restraints scheduled to take effect in June 2022
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
I. The context The European Commission (“EC”) is currently revising the rules governing vertical agreements under EU competition law, which will expire on May 31, 2022. In this respect, on July 9, 2021, the EC published its long-awaited draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft (...)

The EU Commission issues draft guidance on information exchange in dual distribution scenarios
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 February 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published (for a brief period of public consultation) revised draft guidance on dual distribution, available here, which includes an extensive discussion concerning information exchange (“Draft Guidance”). This is likely to be one of the (...)

The Chinese National People’s Congress seeks comments on its draft amendments to the anti-monopoly law
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
,
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Key Changes and Impacts On October 23, 2021, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (“NPC”) released the Draft Amendments (’Draft Amendments’) to Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (“AML”) for public comments [1]. This is the second draft of amendments (...)

The US FTC withdraws its new vertical merger guidelines after just a year
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
,
Jones Day (Washington)
In September 2021, the five-member Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to withdraw its support for the Vertical Merger Guidelines (“Guidelines”) and related FTC commentary on vertical merger enforcement. At the same time—indeed, only hours later on the same day—the acting head of (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a manufacturer of small household appliances and its distributor after concluding they restricted resellers and online distributors in price setting (Groupe SEB / İlk Adım)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Introduction Article 4 of Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition prohibits the fixing of: the purchase or sale price of goods or services; elements such as cost and profit that form price; and any other terms of purchase or sale. On 24 August 2021, the Competition Authority announced (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes consultation on its proposed recommendations to the Government on the future of the retained vertical agreements block exemption regulation
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 17 June 2021 the CMA published a consultation on its proposed recommendations to the Secretary of State on the future of the retained vertical agreements block exemption Regulation (VBER). At the end of the Brexit transition period the EU VBER became retained EU law in the UK, until its (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults the Government to replace the Retained Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation with new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) is consulting on its proposed recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to replace the retained Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“retained VABER”) with a new UK Vertical Agreements Block (...)

The EU Commission publishes a preliminary report setting out the initial findings of its sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
On 9 June 2021, the European Commission (EC) published a Preliminary Report setting out the initial findings of its sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (“IoT”). The consumer IoT sector encompasses services, devices and technologies that support the interaction of consumers with (...)

The EU Commission publishes its evaluation report on the operation of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna)
On 28 May 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its Evaluation Report on the operation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation, Commission Regulation No 461/2010, (available here), and the accompanying Staff Working Document (available here). The aim of the evaluation (...)

The EU Commission publishes the report and staff working document summarising the findings of its evaluation of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes findings of evaluation on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation* The European Commission has published today the Evaluation Report and Staff Working Document summarising the findings of its evaluation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation. The (...)

The UK Competition Authority and the EU Commission seek views from stakeholders on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
Bird & Bird (London)
The current Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and its accompanying guidelines provide the framework of competition law regulation for suppliers and distributors across the EU. It is due to expire in May 2022. The VBER was retained into UK law following Brexit ensuring (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition in digital advertising markets
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Digital advertising is now the leading form of advertising in most if not all OECD countries, and offers businesses the ability to reach consumers in ways that could only have been imagined previously. Increased Internet coverage and mobile phone penetration has fundamentally changed the (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority publishes its annual report for 2019
Bird & Bird (Bratislava)
,
Bird & Bird (Bratislava)
The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as the "Office") has published its annual report on its website, in which it has evaluated and summarized its activities in the past year. In 2019, the Office imposed fines of over EUR 3.3 million, approximately one third (...)

The EU Commission conducts an extensive review in which it analyses the practice of applying the current vertical block exemption regulation and determines the scope and character of guidance to be provided
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
,
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Online platforms and e-commerce have significantly changed the business environment since the current Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) was adopted. They have had a huge impact on the way business is conducted and on the behaviours of consumers who can switch within different online (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document on the vertical block exemption regulation but does not address any guidance on most-favored-nation clauses
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
,
KPN (Amsterdam)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission published its Staff Working Document (“Evaluation Document”) on the results of its evaluation of the VBER and its accompanying guidelines. One of the key gaps in the current framework is the absence of guidance on how retail parity clauses should be (...)

The EU Commission releases a staff working document evaluation on the vertical block exemption regulation which gives guidance on online restrictions
Ecija & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The rapid development that the e-commerce sector has undergone in the last decade has meant its definitive implementation as one of the most relevant routes to market. This development has come along with important judgments of the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") on this matter. Cases such as (...)

The EU Commission publishes a review of the vertical block exemption regulation which addresses the questions of big data and access to data
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
,
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
Issues around Big Data and access to data as an essential input are rapidly gaining importance in vertical relationships. This was made clear in the Commission’s recently published evaluation of stakeholder input in the context of the review of the VBER. In the past, the Hungarian Competition (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working document summarizing the findings of the evaluation phase of the review for the vertical block exemption regulation and its guidelines
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
,
ADNOC Group (Abu Dhabi)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") published a working document (the "Evaluation Report") summarising the findings of the evaluation phase of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation ("VBER") and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints ("Vertical (...)

The Vietnam Government passes a decree guiding the implementation of a few provisions under the competition law
Baker McKenzie (Hô Chi Minh-Ville)
,
Baker McKenzie (Hô Chi Minh-Ville)
,
Sea (Hanoi)
Over a year after the passage of the Competition Law, the highly anticipated Decree No. 35/2020/ND-CP on detailed regulations of a few provisions of the Competition Law ("Decree 35") was finally passed by the Vietnam Government on 24 March 2020. Decree 35 will take effect on 15 May 2020. This (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on hub-and-spoke arrangements in competition
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Hub-and-spoke arrangements are horizontal restrictions on the supplier or retailer level (the “spokes”), which are implemented through vertically related players that serve as a common “hub” (e.g., a common manufacturer, retailer or service provider). The “hub” facilitates the co-ordination of (...)

The EU Commission publishes its report regarding the public consultation on the vertical block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
,
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
The growth of e-commerce over the last decade has had a significant impact on the market. Trends like the increased importance of online sales and the emergence of new market players such as online platforms significantly affected the distribution and pricing strategies of both manufacturers (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its revised Guidelines on vertical agreements
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) completed its work in progress on revising the Guidelines on Vertical Agreements (“Guidelines”) that was issued based on the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements (“Communiqué No. 2002/2”). It took approximately 2 years for the Authority to (...)

The EU Commission reaches alongside the Parliament and the Council a political agreement on the geo-blocking regulation for consumers wishing to buy products or services online
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Vienna)
One of the key elements in the EU’s strategy to deal with wide-spread phenomena Geo-blocking is the Geo-blocking regulation, which was proposed by the Commission in May 2016. The latest proposal of the Geo-blocking regulation (issued by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee in (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report following its e-commerce sector inquiry as part of a larger digital market strategy that aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017 the EU Commission published its final report in the e-commerce sector inquiry launched in May 2015 as part of a wider Digital Market Strategy which aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across the EU. The aim of the sector inquiry (...)

The EU Commission issues its final report on the e-commerce sector
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on e-commerce sector inquiry* The European Commission’s final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry identifies business practices that may restrict competition. It allows the Commission to target its enforcement of EU antitrust rules in e-commerce (...)

The EU Commission publishes a preliminary report on its e-commerce sector inquiry
Hausfeld (New York)
On September 15, 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Preliminary Report on its E-Commerce Sector Inquiry (“Preliminary Report”), presenting the outcome of over 1.800 responses received from manufacturers, retailers, e-commerce marketplaces, price comparison tools, payment (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on the distribution of medicinal products
French Competition Authority (Paris)
After gathering market players’ insight, and having carried out an in-depth analysis of how the sector operates, the Autorité de la concurrence publishes its opinion.* It calls for the stimulation of competition throughout the distribution chain, and in particular supports the supervised (...)

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

The EU General Court dismisses parallel actions brought by two diamond dealers against the Commission’s decisions not to open an antitrust investigation into certain distribution agreements established by the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds (BVGD / Spira / De Beers)
Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)
I. Introduction Any natural or legal person who can show a legitimate interest may lodge a complaint concerning an antitrust infringement as stipulated by article 7 of the Regulation No 1/2003. The Commission is not required to investigate each of the complaints lodged with it, but only to (...)

The Mozambican Parliament adopts a national Competition Act
Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
,
Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
,
Abreu Advogados (Lisbon)
Law no. 10/2013 of the Republic of Mozambique, establishing the legal regime of competition in the course of economic activities, was published on 11.04.2013 (“Competition Law”). This new Law was enacted following the Competition Policy approved by the Council of Ministers on 24.07.2007, which (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Hong Kong Competition Authority launches first enforcement proceedings in relation to resale price maintenance (Tien Chu)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Tokyo)
Introduction On 15 September 2022, the Competition Commission (Hong Kong) (the “Commission”) commenced its first enforcement proceedings in relation to resale price maintenance (“RPM”) arrangements against a food manufacturer, The Tien Chu (Hong Kong) Company Limited (“Tien Chu”). What is RPM? (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority brings first court case on resale price maintenance (Tien Chu)
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
,
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
,
Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
For the first time since the Competition Ordinance came into effect, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) has commenced court proceedings against a supplier for resale price maintenance as a contravention of the First Conduct Rule. This case is relevant for nearly all businesses as it (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority conducts unannounced inspections in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Unannounced inspections in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods* Subject: Unannounced inspections of the Hellenic Competition Commission in companies active in the import and distribution of white goods Today, officials of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority fines a school bag manufacturer €2M for vertical price fixing (Fond Of)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Investigations into concerted practices in the school bags sector concluded: Final application filed with Cartel Court* In early 2019, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) initiated investigations into Fond Of GmbH, a manufacturer of school bags and school backpacks, as well as (...)

The German Competition Authority declares non-compete clauses in a web of distribution agreements concluded by Germany’s main power tool manufacturer to be incompatible with competition rules, but does not impose fines (STIHL)
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
,
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Introduction In its decision of May 31, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) determined the unlawfulness of a non-compete clause in the distribution agreements of STIHL Vertriebszentrale AG & Co. KG, a subsidiary of German chainsaw manufacturer STIHL Holding AG & Co. KG (...)

The EU Commission adopts the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines signalling cautiousness around information exchange in dual distribution situations
Dechert (Paris)
,
Dechert (Paris)
,
Dechert (Paris)
On 10 May 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the final version of the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”), which will enter into force on 1 June 2022. The new VBER, which replaces Regulation No. 330/2010 of 20 April 2010, is accompanied by a new version of the (...)

The Japanese FTC investigates hotel reservations company for restriction of competition (Bookings.com)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Approval of the Commitment Plan submitted by Booking.com B.V.* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) has investigated Booking.com B.V. in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act (hereinafter referred to simply as the “Act”), and suspected that the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority launches investigation into the market for eyewear
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Unannounced inspections in the eyewear sector* Subject: Hellenic Competition Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the eyewear sector Athens, February 22, 2022 – Today, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) carried out unannounced inspections (dawn raids) at the premises of an (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority conducts unannounced inspections in the cosmetics and personal care sector
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Unannounced inspections in the cosmetics and personal care sector* Athens, February 18, 2022 - The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has carried out unannounced inspections (dawn raids) at the premises of an undertaking active in the cosmetics and personal care sector. The unannounced (...)

The EU Commission publishes new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
The European Commission has published a new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution. This draft guidance provides valuable dos and don’ts for companies concerning the information exchange in a dual distribution scenario. Any company dealing with dual (...)

The EU Commission issues proposed guidance on information exchange in dual distribution relationships
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
As part of its review of the EU antitrust rules governing vertical agreements, the European Commission (EC) has published for consultation a draft new section of its Vertical Guidelines, which contains proposed guidance on information exchange in "dual distribution" relationships. Reacting to (...)

The EU Commission reviews its guidelines on vertical restraints within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption regulation
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
The European Commission (“Commission”) is currently reviewing its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Vertical Guidelines”) within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and consulted on its proposals last year. It has now launched a further consultation (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority initiates an administrative proceeding for possible abuse of dominant position in the real estate advertising sector
Slovenian Competition Authority (Ljubljana)
ABUSE OF DOMINANT POSITION: AMO SR initiated an administrative proceeding in the matter of possible abuse of dominant position in relation to providing real estate advertising services in the SR* On 1 February 2022 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes a fine on a garden equipment company for vertical restraints on resale price maintenance (Garland distributor)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
The undertaking Garland harmed consumers, and it now faces a fine of almost CZK 100 Million* In its first instance decision, the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as ’’the Office’’) imposed a fine of CZK 96,751,000 on GARLAND distributor, s.r.o. for vertical (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes a record fine of €3.7M on a garden machinery and equipment supplier for resale price maintenance (Garland)
Dentons (Prague)
In a bold start into the New Year, on 4 January 2022 the Czech Competition Authority (UOHS) imposed a fine of approx. EUR 3,7 million (CZK 96,8 million) for resale price maintenance on GARLAND distributor, s.r.o., a supplier of garden machinery, equipment and hobby tools in the Czech Republic. (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes with a commitment decision an investigation into a resale price maintenance arrangement affecting the market for nutritional supplements (Sofar / Fornitura Integratori Alimentari)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By its decision recently rendered in the Sofar/Fornitura Integratori Alimentari case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) considered the lawfulness of the conducts of a supplier imposing minimum resale prices for the probiotic nutritional supplements. Pursuant to Article 14-ter of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice offers guidance on customer priority clauses in software distribution contracts by reaffirming fundamental principles regarding vertical restraints and intrabrand restrictions (Visma)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 November 2021, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ” or “Court”) issued a preliminary ruling in a case referred by a Latvian court concerning the interpretation of Article 101(1) and (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) in relation to a clause in a software (...)

The EU Court of Justice reconfirms fundamental principles regarding vertical restraints and intrabrand restrictions, by underscoring the fact that many vertical restrictions would elude Article 101 (Visma)
International Competition Network (ICN)
Visma and the notion of vertical restrictions* On the 18th of November, the European Court of Justice delivered its Visma ruling, that regardless of some important observations, appears to have largely gone unnoticed by the anti-trust community. Probably, overshadowed by the General Court (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes fines totalling €203M on two Big Tech companies for discriminatorily selecting re-sellers of one company’s products on the other company’s e-commerce platform (Apple / Beats)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 November 2021, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) imposed a fine of € 68.7 million on Amazon and € 134.5 million on Apple for infringing Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) with regard to the distribution of Apple products over Amazon Marketplace (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a video surveillance equipment manufacturer and three of its eight wholesalers for price fixing and online sale restriction (Motobix / ACTN / BE IP / EDOX)
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
,
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
,
Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
Vertical agreement - Imposed resale prices and restriction of online sales: A video surveillance equipment manufacturer was sanctioned by the French Competition Authority for imposing resale prices on its wholesalers and for restricting online sales (FCA., dec n°21-D-26 of November 8th, 2021 (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its recommendation for replacing the retained Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
On 3 November, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to replace the EU Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation or ” VABER” with a UK Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order (“UK (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority reinforces commitment to antitrust enforcement in the FMCG sector by fining 5 largest retailers for direct price fixing and hub-and-spoke arrangements (Savola / A101 / BİM / Carrefour / Migros / Şok)
Paksoy (Istanbul)
,
Paksoy (Istanbul)
,
Paksoy (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Board’s Chain Markets decision: a boost for competition law enforcement against hub-and-spoke arrangements in Turkey* Introduction The term “hub-and-spoke” refers to an atypical form of horizontal coordination characterised by vertical exchanges or agreements between economic (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its recommendation and indicates the nature of the separate guidance that it plans to issue with respect to the assessment of vertical agreements
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
At the start of November, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued a Recommendation to the Secretary of State with respect to the terms of a new UK-specific Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order (“VABEO”) that would apply as of 1 June 2022. The VABEO would replace the retained (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes a fine totaling €39 million on a television manufacturer for influencing the online prices of television sets (Samsung)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM fines Samsung over 39 million euros for influencing the online prices of television sets* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) imposes a fine of over 39 million euros on Samsung Electronics Benelux B.V. (Samsung). From January 2013 through December 2018, Samsung (...)

The Australian Competition Authority reports that a bathroomware company admitted to likely resale price maintenance by withholding supply of its products to a small retailer that failed to increase its advertised prices of the company’s products (Nero Bathrooms)
Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
,
Baker McKenzie (Sydney)
Bathroom brand, Nero Tapware, admits to likely RPM Nero Bathrooms International Pty Ltd (trading as Nero Tapware) ("Nero") admitted it likely engaged in resale price maintenance ("RPM") by withholding supply of its products to a small retailer that failed to increase its advertised prices of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces that a bathroomware company admitted to likely resale price maintenance (Nero Bathrooms)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Bathroomware brand Nero admits to likely resale price maintenance* Bathroomware brand, Nero Bathrooms International Pty Ltd, trading as Nero Tapware, has admitted it was likely to have engaged in resale price maintenance by withholding supply of its products from a small independent building (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes a € 2 million fine on a national manufacturer of sustainable ergonomic backpacks for price-fixing (Fond Of)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fine on the Cologne-based company Fond Of GmbH* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine totalling around 2 million euros on Fond Of GmbH, a company based in Cologne, on account of vertical price fixing. Fond Of specialises in the development and manufacture of school (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a cleaning supplies and devices company and a bicycle retailer for restricting competition (Kärcher) (Merida bicycles)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
,
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
In July, the Polish Competition Authority (UOKiK) announced the initiation of a preliminary investigation and the fact that they conducted an inspection at the premises of Kärcher. The UOKiK suspects that Kärcher imposed minimum resale prices on distributors selling its professional line of (...)

The EU Commission starts a consultation on the revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and Vertical Guidelines
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On July 9, 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published the draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft VBER”) and related Vertical Guidelines, which are now subject to public consultation through September 17, 2021. Based on the overall body of evidence gathered during the (...)

The EU Commission publishes its long-awaited draft Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation and accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
,
Bird & Bird (London)
,
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Introduction Following a comprehensive evaluation process which began in 2018, the EU Commission published on 9 July 2021 its long-awaited draft vertical agreement block exemption regulation (Draft VBER) and accompanying guidelines (Draft Guidelines). The current VBER and Guidelines, which (...)

The EU Commission and UK Competition Authority propose modifications to their antitrust rules on distribution agreements which diverge significantly, creating legal challenges for agreements caught by both sets of rules
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
1. Summary The European Union and the United Kingdom have each proposed modifications of their antitrust rules on distribution. The proposals diverge significantly on common distribution practices, creating legal challenges for distribution agreements caught by both sets of rules. Dual (...)

The EU Commission publishes a draft of the revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and Guidelines
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The European Commission publishes a draft revised Vertical block exemption Regulation (VBER) and Guidelines. The EC has published on 9 July 2021 the awaited draft proposal for a revised VBER and its Guidelines. The current rules expire on 31 May 2022. The draft rules highlight the importance of (...)

The EU Commission publishes new rules for vertical agreements signalling a shift in tack and renewed emphasis on digital operators
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Brussels)
On 9 July 2021, following a thorough review process launched in October 2018, the EC published a draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and draft revised accompanying Guidelines on vertical restraints (Vertical Guidelines). While the basic system underpinning the assessment of (...)

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court finds a pharmaceutical company liable for entering unlawful vertical price agreements (Pfizer)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
,
Bär & Karrer (Zurich)
This article has been nominated for the 2022 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Court”) found in its decision of February 4, 2021, 2C_149/2018 (the “Decision”) that Pfizer Ltd. (“Pfizer”) had entered into an (...)

The Czech Competition Authority applies an alternative solution to the potential competition issue related to vertical resale price agreements and customer restriction agreements
Bird & Bird (Prague)
,
Bird & Bird (Prague)
The Office for the Protection of Competition (Office) recently applied an alternative solution to a potential competition issue related to vertical resale price agreements and customer restriction agreements. Although the Office discovered the existence of the agreements, it did not initiate (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes administrative monetary fine on a major paint supplier for resale price maintenance and exclusive distribution (DYO)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary aims to shed light on the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) DYO Decision, whereby the Board imposed an administrative fine of TL 21,036,866.58 to DYO Boya Fabrikaları Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“DYO”), a major paint supplier in Turkey, on the ground that DYO has violated Article 4 (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority issues a commitments decision against a digital equipment retailer in relation to a possible vertical agreement restricting competition (HP)
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
AMO SR issued a commitments decision against the company HP Inc Slovakia, s.r.o., in relation to a possible vertical agreement restricting competition* The Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of Dominant Position and Vertical Agreements, (hereafter "the Office”) (...)

The EU Commission publishes the results of the public consultation on the review of the motor vehicle block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
,
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 17 March 2021, the European Commission (“EC”) published a summary of the contributions on the review of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (“MVBER”) (“Consultation”). The MVBER is due to expire on 31 May 2023. The contributions will be used by the EC to determine whether it should let (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches a consultation on the future of national competition rules applicable to vertical agreements post Brexit
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
On 10 February 2021, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) launched a consultation on the future of the UK competition rules applicable to vertical agreements. Following Brexit, the EU block exemption regulations which were in force at the end of the transition period (i.e., on 31 (...)

The EU Commission publishes a working paper outlining its preliminary views on the application of article 101 TFEU to distributors that also act as agents for the same supplier
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 February 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published an important working paper outlining its preliminary views on the application of Article 101 TFEU to distributors that also act as agents for the same supplier (the “Working Paper”). As brand owners are showing an increasing (...)

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
,
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 French Competition Authority accepts a price discount system for commitments intended to protect pure players (Lego)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 27 January 2021, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) accepted the commitments offered by Lego France (“Lego”) after an investigation into the alleged bias towards brick-and-mortar stores resulting from Lego’s functional discount scheme. In order to resolve the case, the toy manufacturer (...)

The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform operator and five video game publishers €7.8 million for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 January 2021, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had fined the US company Valve, owner of the popular online PC gaming platform “Steam” (“Steam”), and five publishers of video games (Capcom, Bandai Namco, Koch Media, Focus Home Interactive and ZeniMax Media) a total of (...)

The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform and its publishers for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On January 20, 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined Valve and PC video games publishers €7.8 million for restricting cross-border sales of PC video games within the EEA. Video games publishers requested Valve, owner of the PC video gaming platform Steam, to provide geo-blocked (...)

The EU Commission fines six video games manufacturers €7.8 million for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
Over the course of less than two months, in late 2020 and early 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Commission (Commission) issued two decisions with diametrically opposed effects on the licensing and business model of copyrighted content across the EEA. (...)

The EU Commission imposes fines in the video games sector for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)
Strelia (Brussels)
One of the final cases resulting from the European Commission’s e-commerce sector enquiry has come to a conclusion. On 20 January 2021, the Directorate-General for Competition fined Valve Corporation, owner of the Steam game distribution platform, and five personal computer (PC) video game (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority evaluates a request from an insurance information company for an individual exemption or negative clearance for the payment method application which enables payment with the first six and last four digits of the card number (SBM)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) SBM decision in which the Board evaluated Sigorta Bilgi ve Gözetim Merkezi’s (Insurance Information and Monitoring Center) (“SBM”) request for individual exemption or negative clearance for the payment method (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates national fashion retailer for alleged abuse of economic dependence in franchising agreements (Benetton)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
A543 - ICA: Benetton under investigation for an alleged abuse of economic dependence in franchising agreements* According to the Authority, the group might have obliged its retailers to maintain a sales structure and a commercial organisation tailored to Benetton’s needs and such as to prevent (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens a proceedings on abuse of economic dependence in a franchise agreements (Benetton)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On November 25, 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) opened an investigation regarding the Benetton Group (“Benetton”) and its suspected abuse of economic dependence pursuant to Sec. 9, para. 3 bis, of Law No 192 of June 18, 1998, in relation to two franchising agreements with identical (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority imposes its highest ever fine of €3.3M for retail price maintenance practices (Bahlsen / Auchan / Cactus / Delhaize)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
,
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
I. Introduction On 18 November 2020, at the end of an eventful 2020, the Luxembourg Competition Council announced the adoption of “the most important decision that the authority has ever taken, in terms of content and the amount of the penalty”. Indeed, the imposition of an aggregate fine of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority fines food company and 3 supermarkets €3.3 million for resale price maintenance (Bahlsen / Auchan / Cactus / Delhaize)
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
The Luxembourg Competition Council fines Bahlsen and the supermarkets Auchan, Cactus and Delhaize of €3.3 million* In three decisions dated 18 November 2020, the Competition Council fines Bahlsen and the supermarkets Auchan, Cactus and Delhaize of €3.3 million for resale price maintenance of (...)

The Irish Competition Authority extends the validity of its declaration on vertical agreements and concerted practices
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 30 October 2020, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “CCPC”) announced its decision to extend the validity of its Declaration in Respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices (the “Declaration”), which was due to expire on 1 December 2020, until 1 December (...)

The Irish Competition Authority extends the validity period of its verticals declaration which provides exemptions for certain vertical agreements
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC extends verticals declaration* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today extended the validity of its declaration in respect of vertical agreements and concerted practices (the “declaration”) until 1 December 2022. The declaration came into effect on 1 December (...)

The EU Commission publishes an inception impact assessment for a potential revision of the vertical block exemption regulation
White & Case (Brussels)
,
Latham & Watkins (Paris)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
New EU Antitrust Rules for Distribution – European Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment* On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its inception impact assessment of policy options for a potential revision of the EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and accompanying (...)

The EU Commission publishes a list of issues to consider in the review of the competition rules that apply to distribution agreements
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On November 17, we hosted a webinar on distribution and vertical agreements in EU competition law. The aim was to provide a cross-border and multi-jurisdictional perspective on such issues thanks to the participation of distinguished colleagues from Blomstein (Berlin) and Kramer Levin (Paris). (...)

The EU Commission publishes an inception impact assessment as part of the reform of the vertical block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published an Inception Impact Assessment (the “Inception Assessment”) (available here) as part of the revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the Vertical Guidelines in anticipation of the expiry of the VBER on 31 May (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by food retailers to amend the existing cooperation agreements on retailers’ own-brand labels (Casino / Auchan / Metro / Schiever)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Purchasing offices: the Autorité accepts the commitments proposed by Casino, Auchan, Metro and Schiever* Purchasing offices: to address the risks of harm to upstream and downstream competition identified in the process of requesting urgent interim measures, the Autorité accepts the commitments (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by food retailers to amend the existing cooperation agreements (Casino / Auchan / Metro / Schiever)
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
,
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
,
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
First use by the French Competition Authority of the tools introduced by the Macron and Egalim laws to render legally binding commitments offered by four large food retailer companies aimed at reducing competition concerns raised by their joint purchasing agreements of retailers’ own-brand (...)

The EU Commission launches public consultations on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
On 12 October 2020, the Commission launched a public consultation with a view to receiving comments from stakeholders on the ongoing evaluation of the 2010 Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (“MVBER”) regime. The public consultation aims to collect facts, views and evidence to assist the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority finds two companies guilty of an anticompetitive vertical agreement for prohibiting parallel imports in the market for artificial kidney machines (Gambro Lundia / Medical Products)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Decision regarding the complaints of the company SERKO LTD* Subject: Decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission regarding the complaints of the company "SERKO LTD SCIENTIFIC - ELECTRONIC MACHINERY (Imports - Representations - Service)" concerning alleged infringements of articles 1 and 2 (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines a design company for dictating prices (GUBI)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Design company pays fine of DKK 6 million for dictating prices* GUBI A/S, a Danish design company within furniture and lighting, has entered into a settlement and accepted to pay a fine of DKK 6 million for infringing the Danish Competition Act. The company contacted the authorities on the (...)

The EU Court of Justice receives a request for a preliminary ruling on restrictions for high-quality products regarding the block exemption regulation (Visma)
Hannes Snellman (Helsinki)
A selective distribution system consists of a supplier selecting distributors based on specific, pre-determined criteria while committing to sell the products or services in question only to selected distributors. These distributors commit not to sell such products or services to unauthorised (...)

The Indian Competition Authority launches an investigation into two major e-commerce platforms for alleged vertical agreements in the sale of smartphones (Amazon / Cloudtail India)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Vahura (New Delhi)
Looking into the alleged violation of Competition Act based on four alleged practices, namely, exclusive launch of mobile phones, preferred sellers on the marketplaces, deep discounting and preferential listing/promotion of private labels, being followed by two major e-commerce platforms, the (...)

The EU Commission publishes findings of the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (Paris)
,
Huawei Technologies (Paris)
It is well known that a total ban of online sales constitutes a hardcore restriction of passive sales and is qualified as a restriction of competition by object. This was clearly stated by the EU Commission in its 2010 guidelines and confirmed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority renders two decisions in the context of the geo-blocking regulation (PV7 / Telepass / Addebiti) (PV9 / Enel)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
,
Bird & Bird (Rome)
The Geo-blocking Regulation came into force on 22 March 2018. It provides that the Member States shall lay down the rules setting out the measures applicable to infringements of the Geo-blocking Regulation and the enforcement of these provisions falls within the jurisdiction of national (...)

The EU Commission publishes a staff working document of the vertical block exemption regulation and does not plan to relax the resale price maintenance rule for franchises
Bird & Bird (London)
,
Bird & Bird (London)
In the last few years, franchising has become an increasingly popular distribution structure across the EU. A franchise is a vertical agreement, and therefore should not contain any of the hard-core restrictions set out in the VBER in order to benefit from the block exemption. Nonetheless, it (...)

The EU Commission publishes its evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Bird & Bird (London)
,
Bird & Bird (London)
Introduction The current Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’), has been in force since 2010, a mere ten years. Yet it is hard to think of another decade in which the commercial landscape has changed as dramatically. The gradual shift away from the high street to online sales (...)

The EU Commission publishes findings of the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation* The European Commission has today published a Staff Working Document that summarises the findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”), together with the (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a report on the Evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the “Evaluation Report”). For further information, see the Legislative, Procedural and Policy Developments section below. The Evaluation Report reflects the (...)

The EU Commission publishes its findings on the evaluation of the vertical block exemption regulation
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Review of VBER . The European Commission (EC) recently published its Staff Working Document containing its findings on the evaluation the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and its Guidelines. The VBER, which provides a safe harbor for contractual restraints (for instance between (...)

The EU Commission publishes its staff working document on the vertical block exemption regulation
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its Staff Working Document (“SWD”) in the context of the ongoing evaluation of Regulation (EU) No 330/2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) to categories of (...)

The EU Commission assesses the competitive effects of dual pricing and distribution making the German Competition Authority focus on this matter
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The EU Commission has confirmed in its recently published Evaluation that it is assessing the competitive effects of dual pricing and dual distribution. Following the significant growth of online sales, these practises have also been a focus of the German FCO. The German FCO has looked at the (...)

The Czech Competition Authority fines a garden equipment supplier for resale price maintenance (V-Garden)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued by the Czech Competition Authority (the “Authority”) on 3 September 2020, the Authority has imposed a fine of CZK 7,687,000 on garden equipment supplier V-GARDEN for engaging in resale price maintenance. The Authority reported that, during the period from (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority grants no exemption to the envisaged selective distribution system of a pharmaceutical company (Johnson&Johnson)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (“TCB“) has recently issued a no-go decision for the envisaged selective distribution system of Johnson&Johnson Sıh. Mal. San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Johnson”). The decision concerns Johnson’s application before the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) for an individual (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal upholds the legality for non-luxury brands to ban resale on third-party platforms (Nike / Action Sport / Amazon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
On 14 July 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (the “Court”) handed down its judgment in the dispute between Nike European Operations Netherlands B.V. (“NEON”) and Action Sport SOC. COOP, A.R.L. (“Action Sport”), an Italian retailer of Nike’s sportswear, footwear and related products. The Court upheld (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice grants Competition Authority the right to appeal against the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court’s ruling regarding the use of narrow parity clauses (Booking)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) granted the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) the right to appeal on points of law against the judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Booking. The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2019, (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases for public consultation the new guide on vertical agreements
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debates the Guide on Vertical Agreements* The Competition Council elaborated the "Guide on vertical agreements" in order to support companies that have to assess, on a case-by-case basis, the compatibility of the vertical agreements they wish to (...)

The French Competition Authority examines commitment proposals relating to agreements concluded between food retailers in the agricultural sector (Casino / Auchan / Metro / Schiever)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Purchasing Offices: The Autorité Examines Commitment Proposals* The Autorité de la concurrence launched several inquiries to examine the joint purchasing agreements in the food retail sector. It has received proposals for commitments relating to the agreements concluded between Casino, Auchan, (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on the vertical block exemption regulation and the accompanying guidelines on vertical restraints
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
,
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 25 May 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) has published its Final Report of the support studies for the evaluation of its Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (the “Final Report”). The Final Report was published following a (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes administrative fines on a manufacturer and distributor of heating systems for engaging in vertical restraints (Baymak)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary concerns an analysis of the Board’s Baymak decision, which concerned an administrative monetary fine of TL 26,813,704.10 against Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) for the violation of Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) through (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer and seller of heating systems for vertically restraining its distributors’ freedom in the market through distribution agreements (Baymak)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recent decision dated 26.03.2020 numbered 20-16/232-113 regarding Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) holds significant importance as it contains a detailed analysis regarding numerous vertical restraint types. Background Baymak is a (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a Big Tech company a record €1 billion and its wholesalers €139 million for a series of vertical restrictions within the distribution network and abuse of economic dependence (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
AD LEGAL (Paris)
In a decision of March 16, 2020, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereinafter “FCA”) imposed a €1,1 billion fine on the Apple group (“Apple”) for (i) engaging in a series of vertical restrictions of competition within its distribution network and (ii) abusing the economic (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a fine of €1.1 billion on a Big Tech company and €139 million on two of its wholesalers for having implemented vertical agreements with some of its distributors and for abuse of economic dependency against its independent premium resellers (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
,
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
On 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority ("FCA") announced that it had fined Apple EUR1.1 billion, the highest fine ever imposed to an undertaking, for having implemented vertical agreements with certain of its distributors and an abuse of economic dependency against its independent (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes record fine on four major players operating in the fuel distribution sector (Shell / BP / OPET / PO)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
,
ACTECON (Istanbul)
Introduction In March 2020, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) imposed a hefty fine amounting to approximately TRY 1.5 billion in total (approx. EUR 170 million) on four undertakings operating in the fuel distribution sector, namely BP Petrolleri A.Ş. (“BP”), OPET Petrolcülük A.Ş. (“OPET”), (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rules that ride-hailing services do not restrict competition and the restrictions imposed on them are unjustified and disproportionate (VTCs)
Ecija & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The ongoing conflict between ride-hailing services (known in Spain as "VTCs"), such as Uber, and the taxi sector has led to a new ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court that confirms the view of the Spanish Competition Authority (the "CNMC") that the restrictions imposed on the VTCs are (...)

The Latvian Administrative Regional Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision on a prohibited agreement between manufacturers and traders of building materials (Kesko Senukai Latvia / Kurši)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
Court leaves effective a decision of the Competition Council on a prohibited agreement of “Kesko Senukai Latvia” and “Kurši”* The Administrative Regional Court in its judgments of 17 February has rejected applications of AS “Kesko Senukai Latvia” and SIA “Tirdzniecības nams “Kurši”” on cancellation (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority ends an infringement proceeding by adopting a commitment decision following a sports brand’s alleged anti-competitive conduct (Adidas / LDC)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
,
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
Background On 6 February 2020, the Spanish Competition Authority (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, hereinafter the “CNMC”) adopted a commitment decision to end the infringement proceedings (S/DC/0631/18) initiated in November 2018 against Adidas, S.A.U. (“Adidas”) for alleged (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority accepts commitments by a sports brand in connection with contractual provisions applied within its selective distribution network (Adidas / LDC)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
,
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The CNMC has reached a commitments decision with Adidas regarding restrictive practices in the Spanish retail market for clothing and footwear contrary to Article 1 SCA. Adidas submitted commitments addressing the CNMC’s concerns regarding certain clauses in the retail sports clothing company’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority accepts commitments offered by a sports manufacturer and retailer following a complaint on the imposition of restrictions in the distribution network (Adidas / LDC)
Ashurst (Madrid)
,
Ashurst (Madrid)
,
Ashurst (Madrid)
The CNMC has accepted commitments offered by Adidas Spain ("Adidas") and closed the investigation that had been initiated in November 2018, following a complaint lodged by BCINCOPE (an Adidas franchisee), for an alleged infringement of articles 1 SCA and 101 TFEU in the Spanish retail market (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for territorial and online sale restrictions of merchandising products (NBCUniversal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to fine several companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal, € 14,327,000 for limiting the ability of licensees to sell licensed merchandising products to other EEA countries and non-allocated (...)

The EU Commission reiterates in a case regarding a film and TV production company its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA the licensor can no longer control the sale of the product (NBCUniversal)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The European Commission has reiterated its position that if a business allows for the non-exclusive licensing of its products in the EEA, such licensor can no longer control where, to whom, and in what manner (online/off-line) the products can be sold within the EEA. On 30 January 2020, the (...)

The EU Commission fines a film and TV production company for implementing territorial and online sale restrictions through merchandising license agreements (NBCUniversal)
Liège University (Liège)
,
Liège University (Liège)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) announced its decision to fine several film companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal LLC (‘Universal’), €14,327,000 for the implementation of territorial, consumer and online sales restrictions through their (...)

The EU Commission fines a €14.3 million a film and TV production company for restricting intellectual property licensing (NBCUniversal)
Ashurst (Brussels)
,
ADNOC Group (Abu Dhabi)
On 30 January 2020 the European Commission ("Commission") fined NBCUniversal EUR 14,327,000 for restricting intellectual property licensees from selling licensed merchandise within the EEA to territories and customers beyond those allocated to them. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY TAKEAWAYS (...)

The EU Commission fines €14.3 million a film production company for restricting the sale of merchandising products (NBCUniversal)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Athens)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission fined NBCUniversal EUR14,3 million for restricting intellectual property licensees from selling licensed merchandise within the EEA to territories and customers beyond those allocated to them. The Commission found that for over six and a half years, (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an appeal against a judgment of the CAT which upheld the Competition Authority’s decision finding the online sales ban of a company’s custom-fitted golf clubs to be an unjustified restriction (Ping)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2020, the UK Court of Appeal rejected an appeal brought by the golf club manufacturer Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) against the 2018 judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”), which upheld the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) 2017 decision finding Ping’s online sales (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding that a golf equipment supplier acted illegally by banning online sales of its products (Ping)
ADNOC Group (Abu Dhabi)
On 21 January 2020, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales handed down a judgment dismissing the appeal by Ping Europe Limited ("Ping") against a judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT"), upholding the CMA’s 2017 decision that Ping’s online sales ban constituted a restriction of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the French Competition’s Authority decision to fine several producers and wholesalers active in the sale of liquid fertilizers for domestic cultivation for imposing vertical restraints (Canna France)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
,
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
On 16 January 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the 2018 decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA") to fine several producers and wholesalers active in the sale of liquid fertilizers for domestic cultivation for having imposed vertical restraints. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - KEY (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines totalling €154.6M on pesticide suppliers for agreeing on price lists, rebates and retail prices (Agravis / Agro Agrargroßhandel / BayWa / BSL Betriebsmittel Service Logistik / Getreide / Raiffeisen Waren / ZG Raiffeisen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 January 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) imposed fines totalling € 154.6 million on seven undertakings for agreeing on price lists, rebates and retail prices for plant protection products between 1998 and 2015. Fines were also imposed on employees implicated in the infringing (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority issues an opinion letter regarding its preliminary investigation of a manufacturer of ceramic and granite products for restricting the active and passive sales of its dealers and for forcing consumers to purchase products within their provinces (Qua Granit)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) published its reasoned decision regarding its preliminary investigation pertaining to the allegations that Hayal Seramik Yapı ve Ürünleri San. Tur. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Qua Granit”) violated Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. (...)

The Danish High Court finds distributor of hair products guilty of illegal resale price maintenance (Icon Hairspa)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
,
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 10 December 2019, the Danish High Court found that the Danish company, Icon Hairspa A/S, was guilty of illegal resale price maintenance by dictating the minimum resale price of certain hair products for their retailers. From 2016 to 2017, Icon Hairspa required that all retailers ought to (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority issues a preliminary injunction against the use of exclusivity provisions in vertical agreements by the owner of a training aggregator app (Bruce)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 December 2019, the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) issued a preliminary injunction against IM WITH BRUCE (“Bruce”), the owner of a so-called “training aggregator” app which offers subscribers access to a variety of fitness studios, prohibiting Bruce from using exclusivity provisions in its (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines alarm system distributors over €1.5 million for anticompetitive agreements (Paradox)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) fined a supplier of security alarm systems, Paradox Security Systems (“Paradox”), registered in the Bahamas, and two of its Hungarian distributors, Power Biztonságtechnikai Kereskedelmi Kft (“Power”) and Trióda Biztonságtechnika Zrt (“Trióda”), approximately (...)

The Czech Competition Authority rejects the appeal brought by an online travel agency company and confirms the fine imposed for entering into prohibited vertical agreements (Booking.com)
Bird & Bird (Prague)
,
Bird & Bird (Prague)
Petr Rafaj, the Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition, rejected, by his final decision, the appeal brought by the company Booking.com B.V. ("Booking.com") and confirmed the fine amounting to CZK 8,336,000 imposed on the company for entering into prohibited vertical agreements (...)

The Indian Competition Authority orders an investigation against online travel agencies for possible abuse of dominance and for imposing vertical restrictions (Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India / MMT-Go)
Trilegal (Mumbai)
,
Trilegal (Bangalore)
,
Trilegal (Mumbai)
Introduction The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (Informant), an association of hotels and restaurants in India, filed an Information with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd. (MMT), Ibibo Group Private Limited (GoIbibo), (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the decision of the Competition Authority sanctioning a leader in garden machinery who imposed clauses restricting online sales on its distribution network (Stihl)
Addleshaw Goddard (Paris)
The Court of appeal of Paris has confirmed the decision of the French Competition Authority ("FCA") sanctioning Stihl, a manufacturer of mechanical garden equipment, for prohibiting, between 2006 and 2017, the sale of certain dangerous products on its distributors’ websites. The Court of appeal, (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer of sports products for vertical price fixing with dealers (Stöckli)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction The Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) fined Stöckli Swiss Sports (“Stöckli”), a Swiss manufacturer of Skis and other sport products, for vertical price fixing with its dealers with CHF 140’000. The fine was rather low, as Stöckli had filed a leniency application, albeit after ComCo (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes a record-breaking £3.7 million fine on a piano supplier for online resale price maintenance (Casio)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 1 August 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) imposed a fine of £ 3.7 million (approximately € 4.1 million) on piano supplier Casio Electronics (“Casio”) for online resale price maintenance (RPM). Between the years 2013 and 2018, Casio reportedly (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two companies for vertical agreements in the fertilizer sector (Agrotechniek / Hydro)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Following Decision No 18-D-26 of 20 December 2018 on practices implemented in the sector of marketing liquid fertilisers for above-ground production for domestic use, the Competition Authority is penalising Agrotechniek BV, C.I.S and Hydro Factory/Hydro Logistique, companies active in the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority investigates an alleged anticompetitive agreement in the e-commerce sector for having implemented vertical restraints (Hepsiburada / Anka Mobil)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction With its decision dated 10.07.2019 and numbered 19-22/326-M, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) launched a formal investigation against D-Market Elektronik Hizmetleri ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Hepsiburada”) and Anka Mobil Tedarik A.Ş. (“Anka Mobil”) to determine whether the relevant (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer €250.000 for online sale restrictions (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a fine of € 250,000 on Trek Bicycle Corporation and its subsidiary Bikeurope B.V. (together “Bikeurope”) for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online from 2007 to 2014, a restriction by object that (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer for having prohibited authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online bicycle sales* The Autorité de la concurrence has fined Bikeurope for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online Background Following documents sent by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (Direction (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority withdraws the individual exemption granted to an agreement containing exclusivity clauses in the on-trade beer market sector (Tuborg)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Tuborg decision (20.06.2019; 19-22/335-152) in which the Board withdrew Tuborg Pazarlama A.Ş.’s (“Tuborg”) individual exemption granted to its agreements containing exclusivity clauses with sellers such as (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an infringement proceeding against a winemaker due to contracts concluded with its suppliers of grapes (Iločki podrumi)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
UTPs infringement proceeding against winemaker ILOČKI PODRUMI* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the infringement proceeding against the undertaking Iločki podrumi after having examined the contracts concluded between the winemaker and its suppliers of grapes. The CCA notes here that (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court overturns the Competition Authority’s prohibition of narrow best price clauses (Booking.com)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 June 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) ruled that narrow best price clauses are not anticompetitive and overturned the decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibiting Booking.com from using such clauses in contracts with hotel operators. ‘Narrow’ best price (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an infringement proceeding against a mass retailer following the detection of several possibly contestable provisions in its contracts concluded with its suppliers (PEMO)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA opens UTPs infringement proceeding against re-seller PEMO* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the infringement proceeding against the undertaking PEMO from Dubrovnik after having detected one or more unclear and possibly contestable provisions in the contracts concluded between (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections regarding the alleged geo-blocking of PC video games (Valve / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax / Bandai Namco / Capcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 April 2019, the European Commission announced via a press release that it had sent Statements of Objections to Valve – the owner of the ‘Steam’ video game distribution platform – and five video game publishers (Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax) concerning their alleged (...)

The EU Commission imposes €12.5 million fine on a company for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products (Nike)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 March 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to fine Nike € 12,555,000 for limiting the ability of licensees to sell licensed merchandising products to other EEA countries. According to the Commission’s press release, the restrictions concerned the merchandise (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority publishes new horizontal guidelines on cooperation between competitors and new vertical guidelines on agreements between suppliers and customers
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
,
KPN (Amsterdam)
On 26 February 2019, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets ("ACM") published both new (horizontal) guidelines on cooperation between competitors (Leidraad: samenwerking tussen concurrenten "Horizontal restraints guidelines") and (vertical) guidelines on agreements between suppliers (...)

The EU Commission begins its evaluation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation by publishing a roadmap and announcing a public consultation
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (“MVBER”), which (together with the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption) exempts under Article 101(3) various vertical agreements in the automotive sector, will expire on 31 May 2023. In preparation for this, the European Commission has formally (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses undertaking’s appeal against resale price maintenance fine for anticompetitive vertical agreements in the liquid fertiliser market (Canna France / GHE / Bertels / Biobizz / Hydro Factory / Hydro Logistique / CIS)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 February 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) rejected an appeal brought by Canna France for the annulment of the decision of the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposing a fine for anticompetitive vertical agreements in the liquid fertiliser market. On 20 December (...)

The Danish district court of Næstved fines a hair-product wholesaler for resale price maintenance (Icon Hairspa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 February 2019, the Danish court of Næstved imposed a fine of DK 1,000,000 (approximately € 135,000) on hair-product wholesaler Icon Hairspa for imposing minimum retail prices for Kevin Murphy-branded products on its dealers. An Icon Hairspa manager was also fined DK 100,000 for (...)

The Polish Supreme Court fines two wholesale distributors for setting minimum resale prices for branded watches (Jubiler / Anyro)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
,
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
Earlier this year the Polish Supreme Court rendered two judgments, in which it addressed the way in which the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (’’UOKiK’’) handles cases concerning anti-competitive vertical agreements. The judgments confirmed UOKiK’s decision, in which PHU (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds no-poaching clauses in a gym company’s franchising agreements to be against competition law (BFIT)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) BFIT preliminary investigation decision (07.02.2019, 19-06/64-27) in which the Board evaluated non-compete and no-poaching obligations imposed by Bfit Sağlık ve Spor Yatırım ve Tic. A.Ş. (“BFIT”) to its franchisees. (...)

The EU Commission launches its public consultation on the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation which will expire in 2022
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission (“Commission”) has initiated its evaluation of the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“VABER”), which will expire on 31 May 2022. The Commission’s evaluation will inform its decision on whether to allow the VABER to lapse, to prolong its duration or to revise it. (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a bicycle wholesaler for vertical price-fixing (ZEG)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine imposed on bicycle wholesaler ZEG for vertical price-fixing* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 13.4 million euros on the bicycle wholesaler ZEG Zweirad-Einkaufs-Genossenschaft eG (ZEG), Cologne, and its representatives for fixing prices with 47 bicycle retailers. The (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority opens an investigation concerning suspected price-fixing agreements between consumer-goods manufacturers and retailers
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM investigates price-fixing agreements between consumer-goods manufacturers and retailers* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched an investigation into price-fixing agreements between consumer-goods manufacturers and retailers (including online retailers). ACM (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court recognises the dual effects of vertical restraints and the courts will consider competitive and anti-competitive influences of a vertical restraint when judging on its legality (Hainan Yutai Technology Feed)
Global Law Office (Beijing)
For a long time, Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcement Agencies (AMEA) and the judicial branch have been applying different standards when reviewing vertical agreements. Chinese AMEA persists that vertical agreements are per se illegal. Once such an agreement presents external elements provided (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes a fine of €322.000 on an undertaking for infringing national competition law by concluding illegal vertical agreements with accommodation establishments (Booking.com)
Bird & Bird (Prague)
On 18 December 2018, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition ("Czech NCA") announced in a press release imposing a fine of in total CZK 8,336,000 (approx. EUR 322,000) on Booking.com for infringing the Act on the Protection of Competition by concluding illegal vertical agreements (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing company close to €40 million for restricting cross-border trade (Guess)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 17 December 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) has fined the clothing company Guess € 39.8 million for infringing Article 101(1) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) by imposing various types of resale restrictions on authorised (...)

The EU Commission fines a clothing company for restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors (Guess)
Dentons (Brussels)
Guess Where Enforcement Stands Post E-Commerce Sector Inquiry?* On December 17, 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed on the clothing company Guess a hefty penalty of EUR 40 million for allegedly severe restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors. (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal specifies that a manufacturer in the electronic product market has the right to deny access to its selective distribution network to an applicant distributor (Concurrence / Sony)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
,
Osborne Clarke (Paris)
This case concerned a consumer electronics manufacturer and a distributor between whom the relationship was particularly conflicting. A large number of commercial disputes were brought before the courts by the distributor to obtain the right to distribute the manufacturer’s products. Even though (...)

The COMESA Competition Commission’s second investigation into restrictive vertical distribution ends with a beverage company avoiding a fine after agreeing to eliminate price maintenance clauses (Coca-Cola)
Primerio (Washington)
COMESA’S SECOND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES INVESTIGATION ENDS INCONCLUSIVELY* Having now concluded two non-merger cases (the first was an exclusivity issue in football broadcasting and sponsorship agreements, see here), the COMESA Competition Commission’s (“CCC”) second investigation into (...)

The EU Commission invites feedback from stakeholders on its evaluation of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation that will expire in 2022
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“VABER”) will expire on 31 May 2022. As a result, the European Commission has formally commenced its evaluation of the VABER in order to inform its decision on whether to allow it lapse, prolong its duration or revise it, in particular to take (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses cartel allegations against taxi app drivers on the basis that they were following the algorithm pricing and not actively colluding to fix prices (Samir Agrawal / ANI Technologies / Uber India)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of cartelization between taxi aggregators* By way of an order dated November 6, 2018, the CCI dismissed allegations of concerted action against Ola and Uber Group (OPs). Allegations were levelled against the pricing algorithm adopted by the OPs which allegedly manipulated (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a fine of €7 million on an outdoor power tool manufacturer for de facto online sales restrictions (Stihl)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 October 2018, the French competition authority (the “FCA”) fined Stihl, a German manufacturer of outdoor power tools, € 7 million for, in effect, prohibiting online sales of chainsaws, brush cutters, pole saws and electric pruners. Stihl operated a selective distribution system, under which (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a manufacturer for preventing its authorized distributors from selling its products online by implementing the Coty ruling (Stihl)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online retail of outdoor power equipment* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the manufacturer Stihl 7 million euros for having prevented its authorized distributors from selling its products online Background Following an investigative report from the DGCCRF, the Autorité de la (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority examines possible price-fixing and other vertical restrictions in the animal health products market (Medicamentos Veterinarios)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
,
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
Background On 16 September 2014, the National Association for Animal Health (“ASEMAZ-ASA”) filed a complaint before the Spanish Competition Authority (“CNMC”) against several companies active in the animal health products market (“the Companies”) for alleged anti-competitive practices in breach of (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority assesses resale price maintenance allegations and imposes an administrative monetary fine in the beauty care sector (Henkel)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction In its decision numbered 18-33/556-274 and dated 19.09.2018 (“Decision”) the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) has evaluated the resale price maintenance allegations against Türk Henkel Kimya Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Henkel”). This Decision is of critical importance, since it provides (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a margarine and butter products retailer for resale price maintenance (Minerva)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) on ex officio investigation of the Directorate General of Competition for violations of Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703 / 1977-3959 / 2011 and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU by the company "MINERVA SA EDIBLE OILS ENTERPRISES" (MINERVA), regarding (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to an undertaking over possible resale price maintenance of its products in hotels, restaurants and cafés (Super Bock)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to Super Bock for fixing minimum resale prices of beverages in hotels, restaurants and cafes* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) issued a Statement of Objections to Super Bock Bebidas S.A. for suspicion of behavior (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers of electronic goods for resale price maintenance (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Vertical restrictions, including resale price maintenance (RPM), have not generally been an EC enforcement priority over the last 10 years, but a series of rulings in July 2018 signalled a potential change in that trend. Although the EC considers RPM to be a “hardcore restriction” of (...)

The EU Commission fines four electronic manufacturers for fixing minimum resale prices for online retailers (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
K&L Gates (Houston)
,
K&L Gates (Sidney)
,
K&L Gates (Boston)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 24 July 2018, in four separate decisions, the European Commission (“Commission”) levied fines totalling EUR 111 million on four well-known manufacturers of (...)

The EU Commission fines four consumer electronics groups for restricting their online retailers’ ability to set their retail prices for widely-used electronics products (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
White & Case (London)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
The Commission Decisions In February 2017, the Commission initiated proceedings against Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer following information obtained during the e-commerce sector inquiry. The Commission’s report had identified resale price maintenance as an area of concern, and (...)

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court finds that a luxury perfume provider can prohibit unauthorized distribution over third-party websites (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
This judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt/Main of 12 July 2018 applying the preliminary ruling of the CJEU of 6 December 2017 in the case Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH will reassure manufacturers of luxury products that they can protect such products from unauthorised (...)

The Hamburg Higher Regional Court finds that a ban on selling products through online platforms can be justified if its objective is to preserve product image and ensure personal consultation with customers in the light of the Coty judgment (Aloe2Go)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg had the opportunity to establish a position regarding potential restrictions of competition in selective distribution arising out of bans on selling products through eBay and similar platforms. The Higher Regional Court referred to recent case law of the (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that sellers of high-quality cosmetics cannot invoke exhaustion of rights under the EU Trademark Regulation if they have not presented the products in a way that avoids impairment of the brand’s reputation (Kanebo)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
,
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decided that neither online nor offline sellers can invoke exhaustion of rights under Article 15(1) of the EU trademark regulation if they sell high-quality, prestigious cosmetic products without appropriate presentation to avoid impairment of reputation. (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court increases the fine against a drugstore company for vertical price fixing (Rossmann)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical price fixing - Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court raises fine against drugstore chain Rossmann* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court imposed a fine of 30 million euros against Dirk Rossmann GmbH (’Rossmann’). With its decision the Court has significantly raised the fine imposed by (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court voids an exclusive-supply agreement in the energy sector that was previously subject to a commitment decision by the EU Commission (Repsol)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Spain’s Supreme Court has voided a contract including an exclusive-supply clause in favour of Repsol, following a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in which the ECJ confirmed that national courts are not precluded from assessing potentially anti-competitive agreements (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority accepts remedies addressing competition concerns related to franchise agreements in the pizza market (Roma Pizza)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
HCC has accepted commitments proposed by Roma Pizza S.A. to address competition concerns with regard to the terms of its franchise / distribution system following a complaint by former franchisees* By its unanimous decision no. 639/2017, the Chamber of the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Warsaw Court of Appeal confirms that resale price maintenance in franchise agreements violates competition law (Sfinks Polska)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
In its judgement of 10 January 2018, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the decision of the President of the Polish Competition Authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, UOKiK) of 25 June 2013 in which Sfinks Polska S.A. (Sfinks) was found to infringe Art. 6(1) of the Polish (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines is illegal (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ASICS dealers allowed to use price comparison engines - Federal Court of Justice confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision* In its decision of 12 December, 2017, published on 19 January, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice decided that ASICS may not forbid its dealers from using price comparison (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that a restriction imposed on an authorised retailer not to sell goods through online third-party platforms does not constitute an infringement (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its hotly anticipated ruling in the Coty case, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has held today that, in the context of a selective distribution system, a restriction imposed on an authorised retailer not to sell the goods through online third-party platforms does not infringe Article (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
King’s College (London)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
,
Solarisbank AG (Berlin)
This article considers how much the Coty Ruling has shed light on the extent to which a manufacturer can restrict the sales of its products over online platforms, especially in the wake of the recent German Case involving ASICS and basic principles developed at EU level to assess obligations (...)

The EU Court of Justice prohibits the members of a purely quantitative selective distribution system to sell contractual products on Internet platforms which may have an impact on Asian jurisdictions (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Delcade Avocats & Solicitors (Paris)
Introduction In its Coty Germany ruling of 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (hereafter the “ECJ”) decided that forbidding the members of a purely qualitative selective distribution network of luxury products to sell those products on Internet platforms does not infringe the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that companies may restrict online distribution of luxury goods under certain conditions (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Coty Germany sells luxury cosmetic goods in Germany through a selective distribution network Under Coty Germany’s selective distribution system, shops of authorised distributors must comply with a number of requirements (setting, decoration and furnishing). Authorised distributors can sell the (...)

The EU General Court endorses selective distribution of spare parts for luxury watches (CEAHR)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 October 2017, the General Court of the European Union (the “Court”) dismissed an action brought by Confédération européenne des associations d’horlogers-réparateurs (“CEAHR”) against the European Commission (the “Commission”) for the annulment of the Commission’s decision to reject a complaint (...)

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

The German Competition Authority issues a guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publishes guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published a guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. The aim of the guidance note is to (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes a guidance paper on the prohibition of resale price maintenance with focus on the food and retail sector
McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
GERMAN ANTITRUST AUTHORITY ISSUES GUIDELINES ON RESALE PRICE MAINTENANCE* On 12 July 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) published a guidance paper (Guidance Paper) on the prohibition of resale price maintenance (RPM). The Guidance Paper has a particular focus on the food retail (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a lighting supplier for price resale maintenance (National Lighting Company)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Lighting company fined £2.7 million for restricting online prices* A lighting supplier has been fined for requiring retailers to use a minimum price when selling their products online. The National Lighting Company (NLC) supplies light fittings to a range of retailers who then sell them on. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines global automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance and other anticompetitive conduct in markets for car manufacturing, spare car parts, and car repair services (Fx Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes Hyundai for resale price maintenance and tie-in* The CCI vide its order dated June 14, 2017 imposed a penalty of INR 87 Crore (Rupees Eighty Seven Crores) on Hyundai Motor India Limited (‘HMIL’) for contravention of Section 3(4) read with Section 3(1) of the Act. The Information (...)

The EU Commission issues a final report on its e-commerce sector inquiry and updates its digital single market plans
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
EU issues final report on its e-commerce sector inquiry and updates its digital single market plan* On May 10, 2017, the European Commission published the final report on its sector inquiry on competition in the e-commerce sector (the E-Commerce Report) and a mid-term review of its digital (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines violates competition law (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision on prohibition of use of price comparison engines* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of principle against the running shoes manufacturer Asics. According to the decision the (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority fines an undertaking for resale price maintenance in the fresh bakers’ yeast market (Algist Bruggeman)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority fines Algist Bruggeman 5.489.000 euros for resale price maintenance and impeding low priced competitors regarding fresh bakers’ yeast* The Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) fines Algist Bruggeman nv and her mother (...)

The German Competition Authority issues an interim report on conditions for the supply of raw milk
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Interim report on conditions for the supply of raw milk* The Bundeskartellamt has today published an interim report on its administrative proceeding concerning conditions of supply for raw milk. In the report the authority presents key results of its investigations so far and offers initial (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its motor vehicles sector report and a block exemption communication on vertical agreements in the motor vehicles market
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The motor vehicles sector is one of the biggest sectors in today’s world, and it has enormous impact in a variety of associated sectors, such as iron and steel, light metals, petrochemical, tire, plastics, tourism, and transportation. The automotive industry is one of the major (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes block exemption for vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Introduction The New Block Exemption Communique 2017/3 for Vertical Agreements in the Motor Vehicle Sector in Turkey was published in the Official Gazette on February 24 2017. Communique 2017/3 revoked the Block Exemption Communique 2005/4 for Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines an undertaking for resale price maintenance in the white goods and small household appliances market (Gorenje)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Gorenje Zagreb fined more than HRK 1.5 mil for resale price maintenance* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) imposed a fine on the undertaking Gorenje Zagreb amounting to HRK 1.557,000. The CCA found within the proceeding that Gorenje Zagreb entered into a prohibited agreement containing (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Publication of guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the food retail sector - public consultation* oday the Bundeskartellamt published a draft guidance note on vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. Interested parties are invited to submit (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office publishes a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a draft guidance note on the prohibition of vertical price fixing in the brick-and-mortar food retail sector. The guidance note follows proceedings concluded in December last year, in which the FCO imposed fines amounting to € (...)

The German Competition Authority fines furniture manufacturers for vertical price fixing (Aeris)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on account of vertical price fixing in the sale of furniture* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its cartel proceedings against furniture manufacturers for enforcing resale price maintenance on retailers. Fines totalling 4.43 million euros were imposed on the (...)

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

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court inflicts a record fine for prohibited vertical agreements within a selective distribution system of cars (Hyundai)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
After almost a 4-year appeal procedure, in December 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria (the “Supreme Court”), acting as a court of first instance, confirmed one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) (...)

The Turkish High State Court annuls the Competition Authority’s decision concerning parallel export restrictions in a vertical agreement (Roche / Corena)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
,
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the annulment decision of 13th Chamber of the High State Court (2010/4617 E., 2016/4241 K) (“High State Court”). The High State Court cancelled the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) decision on parallel export restrictions in vertical agreements. In (...)

The Australian Competition Authority wins an appeal when finding that an undertaking attempted to induce price-fixing arrangements with airlines despite being their agent (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Sydney)
The High Court has upheld the ACCC’s appeal in the Flight Centre case, finding that Flight Centre attempted to induce price-fixing arrangements with airlines despite being their agent. This decision has significant ramifications for industries that utilise agency distribution models. The case (...)

The German Competition Authority fines firms in the food retail sector for vertical price fixing (Neumünster)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine proceedings for vertical price fixing in the German food retail sector concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its last three pending proceedings concerning vertical price fixing in the food retail sector. The authority imposed fines totalling 18.3 million euros on EDEKA (...)

The Australian High Court finds that a travel agent engaged in collusive arrangements between sales channels for retail air fares (Flight Centre)
Ashurst (Sydney)
,
Ashurst (Sydney)
In December 2016, the High Court published its decision in the ACCC’s proceedings against Flight Centre. In short, Flight Centre was found to have been “in competition” with the airlines for whom it was agent, in selling their fares. In this context, an attempt by Flight Centre to reach an (...)

The Danish Competition Authority considers that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is anticompetitive (HMN)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: The Danish Competition Council finds that agreement between service providers on their subscription price for service on natural gas boilers is illegal.* On November 30 2016, The Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) found that HMN Naturgas I/S (“HMN”), DEBRA – Energibranchen (“DEBRA”), (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority decides that recommending the use of a certain engine oil brand in authorised service centres does not amount to a vertical restraint (Castrol / Dogus Oto)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that recommending the use of only Castrol branded engine oils in service centres authorised by Volkswagen and Dogus Oto, coupled with the practice of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty for (...)

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

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections on the market of manufacturing and distribution of sandwiches intended to food supermarkets
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence states that unannounced inspections were carried out on September 15 in the sector of manufacturing and distribution of sandwiches intended to food supermarkets.* On September 15th, following authorisation from the liberty and custody (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority accepts remedies proposed by a distributor of motor vehicle parts and accessories suspected to have concluded anticompetitive vertical agreements (Drezga)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA accepted committments by Drezga d.o.o.* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) opened the ex-officio infringement proceeding against the undertaking Drezga d.o.o., an authorised distributor for Husqvarna Group products, based on the fact that the contracts this undertaking concluded with (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a distributor of meat products for price resale maintenance (Pick)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Pick’s pricing practice is unlawful – The GVH has imposed a fine due to the fixing and setting of and minimum prices during temporary sales (promotions)* According to the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH), from January 2009 to December 2014, Pick (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a professional association and its compliant pharmaceutical member company for anticompetitive agreements (Maruti & Company / KCDA Karnataka Chemists & Druggists Association / Lupin)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI again fines Pharma Company for Anti-Competitive Activities * The Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) by way of its order dated 28.07.2016 has found the Karnataka Chemists and Druggist Association (“KCDA”) , Lupin Ltd. (“Lupin”) and their Office bearers to be in contravention of (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Council issues a decision stressing that a resale price maintenance practice constitutes a hard core restriction (SCAB)
NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Clarification of applicable criteria The Competition Council clarified the applicable criteria, which will undoubtedly help companies to (better) assess whether their practices constitute an illegal RPM practice. Such criteria are most welcome. Indeed, even though the European Commission has (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority opens an ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market (L’Oréal)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market, for alleged infringements of competition rules.* Ex-officio investigation into the luxury cosmetics market, for alleged infringements of competition rules. The Grand Chamber of the HCC will convene on the 13th of October 2016 to (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to a golf equipment manufacturer for banning the sale of its golf clubs online (Ping)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
ONLINE SALES RESTRICTIONS REMAIN A HOT TOPIC: UK CMA ISSUES STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS* On 9 June 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a statement of objections (SO) to Ping Europe Limited (Ping), a golf equipment manufacturer, alleging that Ping had breached EU and UK (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a company for retail price maintenance on online sales (ITW)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined ITW Limited, a supplier of refrigerators, £ 2,298,820 for retail price maintenance on online sales. From 2012 to 2014, ITW required dealers to adhere to its minimum advertised price policy for Foster commercial fridges and (...)

The Moldovan Competition Authority accepts commitments from tour operators and airlines in the charter air passenger transport market (Scavolin)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 4 November 2011 the Moldovan Competition Authority (CC) concluded its investigation into the alleged anti-competitive practices on the market for charter air passenger transport by accepting a series of commitments offered by the tour operators and airline companies involved. The case (...)

The German Competition Authority fines several breweries and retailers for resale price maintenance (Offenburg)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Resale price maintenance in food retail sector - Fine proceedings largely concluded in beer segment too* In its vertical case in the food retail sector the Bundeskartellamt has concluded further cartel proceedings and imposed new fines on retailers totalling 90.5 million euros. This time the (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeal submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty Germany)
Reed Smith (Brussels)
European Court of Justice to Rule on Legality of Online Sales Bans*An appeal court in Frankfurt has asked the European Court of Justiceto clarify the application of the competition rules to online sales. The Frankfurt court made its request in the context of a dispute between a leader in beauty (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeal submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty Germany)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Ban on sales via third-party internet platforms in Germany and Pierre Fabre – recent referral to the Court of Justice* The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see (...)

The German Competition Authority opens an administrative proceeding to examine dairies’ conditions of supply
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines dairies’ conditions of supply* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated an administrative proceeding to examine the conditions which the dairies have set farmers for the supply of raw milk. In a test case it will examine first of all the conditions of supply set by the large (...)

The EU Commission lists geo-blocking practices which may prevent online shoppers from purchasing goods or digital content based on their location
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published its initial findings on ‘geo-blocking’ practices, which may prevent online shoppers from purchasing goods or digital content based on their location. The Commission’s figures suggest that geo-blocking is a widespread practice throughout the EU: (...)

The EU Commission presents its initial findings on geo-blocking with respect to consumer goods in an e-commerce sector inquiry
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published its initial findings of its sector inquiry into the e-commerce sector in relation to geo-blocking practices. The Commission de nes geo-blocking as commercial practices whereby online providers prevent users from accessing and purchasing (...)

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

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court holds that manufacturers of branded goods are entitled to prohibit authorised retailers in selective distribution agreements from distributing their goods via third-party online platforms (Markenrucksäcke / Branded Backpacks)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
I. The Facts The parties argue in a civil law proceeding whether a manufacturer could make the supply of goods to an authorised distributor in a selective distribution system subject to a contractual obligation not to resell goods via online sales platforms such as Amazon and advertise them via (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds limited exclusivity restriction in lease agreements not to be a restriction by object (Maxima Latvija)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 November 2015, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in a request for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings between Maxima Latvija, a Latvian entity carrying out business predominantly in the food retail trade, and the Latvian Competition Council. By way of (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on limited exclusivity restriction in lease agreements and concludes that it is not a restriction by object (Maxima Latvija)
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
,
Liège University (Liège)
In a preliminary reference judgment in the Maxima Latvija case, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled that commercial lease agreements including a clause conferring on the anchor tenant the right to approve lease agreements that the property owner may conclude with third parties do (...)

The EU Commission issues a statement of objection against companies offering pay-TV services for geographical market sharing (Disney / NBCUniversal / Paramount Pictures / Sony / Twentieth Century Fox / Warner Bros)
University of East Anglia (Norwich)
The European Commission’s Battle Over Pay-TV Services: Can Segmenting the EU Market Be Justified?* Yesterday the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections to Sky UK and six major US film studios, taking the preliminary view that restrictions put in place to prevent consumers located (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority closes the investigation it launched ex officio into consumer electronics suppliers and retailers for exchange of information (Samsung / Gold)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
This case note analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that consumer electronics suppliers and retailers did not restrict competition by exchanging information with regard to price increases and decreases. Background Opened ex officio, the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the decision of the Russian Competition Authority which prohibited vertical agreements in the market of equipment for industrial laundry (VMW)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation Court supported FAS decision on a case on prohibited “vertical” agreements* On 1 July 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District dismissed a cassation appeal of “Food Technologies” Trading House” Ltd., “BT Machinery” Ltd. and “Obschepitoborudtorg” Ltd. Thus, the Court pronounced (...)

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning the online sales of prams and strollers (Emmaljunga)
Hansberry Tomkiel (Warsaw)
In its decision no RGD 2/2015 of 30th June 2015 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“Competition Authority”) accepted commitments proposed by the Poland-based company “Investment Trading Consulting” (“Company”), Polish exclusive distributor of prams and (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for vertical resale price maintenance (Aldi)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical resale price maintenance in the food retail sector - Majority of fine proceedings concluded* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded most of its cartel proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally maintaining the retail prices of well-known brand (...)

The Russian Competition Authority pursues its investigation concerning a vertical agreement in the electrical equipment market (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS continues holding dealers of “Argus-Spektr” CJSC administratively liable* The Federal Antimonopoly Service continues administrative proceedings upon the fact of concluding prohibited “vertical” agreements between “Argus-Spektr” CJSC and its dealers. As of today, 40 dealers are held liable, the (...)

The German Competition Authority assesses vertical and horizontal price fixing in cartel proceedings focusing on the food sector (Aldi / Edeka / Kaufland / Metro / REWE / Haribo / Ritter)
Commeo (Frankfurt)
In June 2015, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has concluded most of its long going proceedings against manufacturers and retailers in the food sector for illegally fixing the retail prices of branded products. The FCO imposed total fines of EUR 151.6million on both manufacturers and (...)

The Russian Competition Authority fines a manufacturer and its dealers for having implemented a vertical agreement (Argus-Spektr)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS fined “Argus-Spektr” CJSC 19.5 million RUB for prohibited “vertical” agreements* Conducting administrative proceedings upon the fact of concluding prohibited “vertical” agreements between “Argus-Spektr” CJSC and its dealers, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) imposed 18 administrative (...)

The EU Court of Justice and several National Competition Authorities adopt decisions regarding Most Favoured Nation clauses and rebate schemes that are relevant and applicable in the context of ASEAN competition law (Booking.com / Post Danmark)
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
,
,
K&L Gates (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction As we move into the second half of the year, we examine two recent competition enforcement cases in Europe, and consider their relevance and (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer for resale price maintenance in the market of portable navigation devices (United Navigation)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fine imposed for resale price maintenance in the sale of portable nagivation devices* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed a fine of 300,000 euros on United Navigation GmbH, Ostfildern, for enforcing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From July 2009 to May 2014 (...)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly explore potential need to develop national law regarding digital business and commerce
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (FMEE) have published a press release and a memo about launching a study on digital business and commerce from the standpoint of assessing whether the need exists to better adapt (...)

The Danish Competition Authority concludes a settlement with a supplier of hardball-gear guilty of resale price maintenance (ActionSportGames)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
ActionSportGames pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On April 30, 2015, ActionSportGames A/S, a Danish supplier of hardball-gear – an activity similar to paintball – entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for (...)

The Danish Competition Authority concludes a settlement with a producer of trailers guilty of price resale maintenance (Variant)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Variant A/S, Denmark, pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance* On April 29, 2015, Variant A/S, a Danish producer of trailers, entered into a settlement with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority heavily fines an anticompetitive agreement considering the seriousness of the infringement and its duration in the spare parts market (Daimler)
Elias Neocleous (Cyprus)
Factual background The case concerned two companies namely Kapodistrias and Kyros who were active in the import, purchase, supply and resale of original spare parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which were supplied by dealers and suppliers from abroad. Kyros and Kapodistrias claimed that, after (...)

The Competition Commission of India passes an order in favour of prominent online retail platforms in India (Mohit Manglani / M/s Flipkart India)
Meta (New Delhi)
Introduction After Google, e-commerce seems to be next hot topic in the antitrust community. The European Commission’s recent inquiry has made this sector one of the most watched ones. Predictably, with the exponential increase in internet penetration, the Indian competition law has also (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues a commitment decision and closes an investigation regarding contracts concluded between an online booking website and its partner hotels (Booking.com)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a commitment decision made on 21 April 2015 in the Mercato dei Servizi Turistici-Prenotazione Alberghiere Online case (thereinfter Online Hotel Reservation) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an Article 101 TFEU investigation against Booking. The ICA has launched the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority opens an inquiry concerning vertical practices on the retail chain market (Perekryostok)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
An antimonopoly case against “Perekryostok” retail chain* The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in St Petersburg (St Petersburg OFAS Russia) initiated a case against “Perekryostok” Retail Chain” CJSC. Upon inspecting contractual practices between suppliers of socially important food (...)

The Japanese Competition Authority changes partially its guidelines concerning distribution systems and business practices
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Partial amendments of the “Guidelines concerning distribution systems and business practices under the Antimonopoly Act”* 1. On the basis of the “Implementation Plan for Regulatory Reform” (June 24, 2014, The Cabinet Decision) (hereinafter the “Plan”), in order to make clarifications to be (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Appeal Court confirms that an undertaking and its retailers have concluded an anticompetitive vertical agreement (Vyazma Machine-Building Works)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court confirmed legitimacy of FAS decision on a case on prohibited “vertical” agreements* On 26 March 2015, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed appeals of “Vyazma Machine-Building Works” OJSC (“VMZ” OJSC) and its dealers to abolish the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court (1). Thus, (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission examines whether tobacco manufacturers impede competition in the market of tobacco distribution (Papastratos Cigarette Manufacturing Company, British American Tobacco Hellas)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Investigation of complaints by tobacco distributors against tobacco manufacturers and review of proposed commitments by tobacco manufacturers to meet competition concerns expressed to them by the HCC in its preliminary assessment* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), in plenary, will (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines a mineral waters supplier for vertical agreements fixing prices (Vöslauer Mineralwasser)
European Commission (Brussels)
Fine for Vertical Agreement in Non-alcoholic Beverages Sector* On 3 March 2015, upon application of the BWB, the Cartel Court imposed a € 653 775 fine on Vöslauer Mineralwasser AG for vertical agreements fixing prices (RPM) with several retailers from January 2007 to December 2012 in the area of (...)

The Slovakian Competition Authority publishes document on its priority setting about vertical agreements restricting competition by object
European Commission (Brussels)
AMO Publishes Document on its Priority Setting with Regard to Vertical Agreements Restricting Competition by Object ("Hard-Core Restrictions")* On 1 March 2015, the Antimonopoly Office (AMO) issued a document on vertical agreements with the aim to inform companies of its priority setting with (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes further fines on a mattress producer for allegedly imposing resale prices on retailers selling its products (Metzeler Schaum)
Ashurst (Milan)
Germany’s Federal Cartel Authority imposes further fines in mattress case* Last 6 February Germany’s Federal Cartel Authority (“FCA”) fined mattress producer Metzeler Schaum Gmbh (“Metzeler”) Euro 3.38 million for allegedly imposing resale prices on retailers selling its products, in breach of (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on a mattress manufacturer for resale price maintenance (Metzeler Schaum)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Further fine imposed for resale price maintenance in mattress case* The Bundeskartellamt has fined Metzeler Schaum GmbH 3.38 million euros for imposing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From early 2007 to July 2011 representatives of Metzeler had repeatedly agreed (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority publishes a working draft of its views on vertical competition issues
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Competition Authority of Slovakia ("SCA") published on 4 February 2015 a working draft of the Standpoint on Vertical Agreements ("Standpoint") and invited the relevant public to discuss the main ideas outlined in the Standpoint. The Standpoint has been published in the (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines €9.29 million three companies operating in the bottled LPG market for restricting passive sales (Galp Energia)
Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
In a decision dated February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has levied an antitrust fine totalling 9.29 million euros on three companies from Galp Energia Group (Portugal’s largest oil and gas operator) for using absolute territorial protection clauses regarding its (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority imposes fines on several undertakings for failure to comply with their antitrust remedies in the mobile phone market (Avenir Telecom / Euronet Services / Professional Football League)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
For the first time: The Competition Council applies sanctions for failure to comply with the commitments* The Competition Council has sanctioned Avenir Telecom and Euronet Services companies and the Professional Football League (LPF) with fines totalling 705,079 lei (approx. 156,340 euros) for (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes fines on one undertaking for implementing resale price maintenance practices and a restriction of cross-supplies between distributors/franchisees within its selective distribution network (Germanos)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
The HCC imposes fines on GERMANOS for infringing EU and national competition rules in relation to its franchise network* The HCC imposes fines on GERMANOS for infringing EU and national competition rules in relation to its franchise network Following an extensive investigation, the Hellenic (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes fines on two undertakings for resale price maintenance (Kraš and NTL)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA finds a prohibited vertical agreement between Kraš and NTL* The Croatian Competition Agency established in the course of the proceeding that the agreement between the undertakings Kraš and Narodni trgovački lanac (NTL), that was in force for almost four years, from October 2014 to July 2014, (...)

The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition issues a revised second-instance decision on anticompetitive agreements on the export prohibition concerning the coal market and decreases the fine imposed (Sokolovská uhelná)
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
THE OFFICE REPEATEDLY SANCTIONED THE UNDERTAKING SOKOLOVSKÁ UHELNÁ FOR ANTICOMPETITIVE AGREEMENTS, THE FINE WAS DECREASED* The Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) Mr Petr Rafaj has issued a revised second-instance decision on (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council imposes fines on a food retailer and a frozen bakery producer for having implemented an anticompetitive agreement (Maxima and Mantinga)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN MAXIMA LT AND UAB MANTINGA RESULTED IN HIGHER COSTS FOR CONSUMERS* Competition Council (the KT) disclosed an anti-competitive agreement between food retail chain MAXIMA LT, UAB (MAXIMA) and frozen bakery producer UAB Mantinga (Mantinga). The companies fixed (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court upholds request by the Competition Authority and fines a dairy producer for resale price maintenance (NÖM)
European Commission (Brussels)
Settlement with Dairy Producer* On 26 November 2014, the Cartel Court (29 Kt 60/14) imposed a fine of € 583.200 on NÖM AG, a major Austrian dairy producer for anticompetitive behaviour related to RPM with food retailers regarding certain dairy products between 2007 and 2012. The decision was (...)

The Danish Competition Council requires of the two largest wholesale distributors of medicine on the Danish market to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions (Nomeco and Tjellesen Max Jenne)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Danish wholesale distributors of medicine have infringed competition rules* The Danish Competition Council has required the two largest distributors on the Danish market, Nomeco A/S and Tjellesen Max Jenne A/S, to put an end to their coordination of fees and other trading conditions. Director (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court fines retailers for vertical price agreements (SPAR / Sutterlüty / MPREIS)
European Commission (Brussels)
Fines for Various Food Retailers* On 26 November 2014, the Cartel Court imposed a € 3 000 000 fine on the retailer SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels AG for vertical price agreements (RPM) concluded with several suppliers from 2002 to 2012 in the area of dairy products, which were found to (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes symbolic fines on two undertakings for having implemented an anticompetitive vertical agreement in the beer market taking into account the fact that the duration of the agreement was relatively short and the fact that the parties voluntarily changed the prohibited provisions (Carlsberg and KTC)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Carlsberg and KTC fined for prohibited vertical agreement* The Croatian Competition Agency declared the agreements entered into by Carlsberg Croatia and KTC Križevci null and void and imposed symbolic sanctions for the infringement of Competition Act to the undertakings concerned in total (...)

The UK Competition Authority reopens a previously closed OFT hotel online booking investigation (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
DLA Piper (London)
Executive Summary: After initially accepting commitments in the hotel online booking investigation, the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) decision was quashed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The case was referred back to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who has now re-opened (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms the sanction imposed by the Bulgarian Competition Commission on several undertakings for having implemented a vertical anticompetitive agreement in the sunflower oil market (Zvezda and COOP - Trade and Tourism)
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
SAC upholds sanctions for prohibited agreement on the sunflower oil market* Last week the Supreme Administrative Court upheld in full measure sanctions for the sunflower oil producer “Zvezda” AD and its main distributer “COOP - Trade and Tourism” AD, respectively amounting to BGN 85 673 and BGN 76 (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on a mattress manufacturer for having imposing resale price maintenance on retailers (Recticel Schlafkomfort GmbH)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
First fine imposed for resale price maintenance in mattress case* The Bundeskartellamt has fined Recticel Schlafkomfort GmbH 8.2 million euros on account of imposing resale price maintenance on retailers selling its products. From July 2005 to December 2009 representatives of Recticel agreed (...)

The Croatian Competition Agency imposes fines on four companies for having implemented an anticompetitive vertical agreement (Dukat and Konzum / Kutjevo and KTC)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Press Release published on the official website of the Croatian Competition Agency . Fines for Dukat and Konzum, Kutjevo and KTC* The Croatian Competition Agency declared the agreements entered into by Dukat and Konzum, and Kutjevo and KTC, null and void. At the same time it imposed (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes a case of alleged resale price maintenance in the food distribution sector with a commitment decision (Enervit)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
With its decision of 20 November 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) initiated an investigation against Enervit S.p.A., a company active in the production and distribution of sport and diet food products (“Enervit” or the “Company”) , to verify if, in the vertical relations (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court adopts several decisions imposing fines for vertical restrictions including RPM and restrictions of online sales (Pioneer Electronics / Media-Saturn / Hans Lurf / SSA Fluidra Grundig)
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: Fines imposed for Vertical Restrictions and Restrictions of Online Sales* Since March 2014, the Cartel Court adopted several decisions imposing fines for vertical restrictions including RPM and restrictions of online sales infringing Article 101 TFEU and § 1 Austrian Cartel Act: a (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt condemns a general ban on sales over third party Internet platforms and the use of price comparison sites (Deuter)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a recently published judgment of the lower regional court of Frankfurt (the “Court”) of 18 June 2014, a general ban on sales by distributors over third party Internet platforms and a prohibition on the use of price-comparison sites constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes its investigation into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies with a commitment decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA” or “Authority”) closed the investigation it had begun in June 2013 into eight of the biggest Italian insurance companies by issuing a commitment decision . The Authority had opened the investigation to assess whether the vertical agreements (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes the antitrust probe into agency agreements in the insurance sector with a commitment decision (Agenti monomandatari)
Studio Legale Scoccini (Rome)
In its decision of 20 May 2014 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has accepted the commitments offered by seven major insurance companies to end an antitrust investigation into vertical agreements with their agents. The investigated insurance companies were UnipolSai Assicurazioni, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues a commitment decision in the insurance sector (Agenti monomandatari)
European Commission (Brussels)
Italy: The Italian Competition Authority issues Commitment Decision in Insurance Sector* On 20 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) issued a commitment decision, accepting the corrective measures proposed by major national insurance companies to meet the competition concerns (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation for alleged vertical agreements in the online hotel booking sector (Booking.com / Expedia)
Chiomenti (Milano)
On 7 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the “Authority”) launched an investigation against Booking.com BV (hereinafter, “Booking”), Booking.com (Italia) S.r.l., Expedia Inc. (hereinafter, “Expedia”), and Expedia Italy S.r.l. for alleged (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an article 101 TFEU enquiry focused on the most favoured nation clauses (Booking.com / Expedia)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
In the Online Hotel Reservation case the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has launched an Article 101 TFEU investigation into contracts entered by two major online travel agencies (OTA), Expedia and Booking, with their partner hotels. More precisely, the ICA investigation will focus on the (...)

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

The German Competition Authority investigates an absolute prohibition to use online marketplaces and price comparison engines imposed on the dealers by a supplier of sports goods (Asics)
Ashurst (Milan)
Bundeskartellamt raises objections against ASICS’s restrictions of online sale* On 24 April 2014 the Bundeskartellamt issued a press release stating that, based on preliminary investigation, it has found that ASICS Deutscheland’s selective distribution system restricts competition among its (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

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

The US FTC approves petition to modify an order imposing restrictions on the ability to enter into certain conditional supply relationships, since the competition among purchasers and sellers of toys has been reshaped following the emergence of online retailers and the growth of two other purchasers (Toys “R” Us)
Ashurst (Milan)
U.S. FTC modifies 1998 order against Toys “R” Us based on market changes brought about by e-commerce* On 15 April 2014 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a petition submitted by Toys “R” Us (“TRU”) to reopen and modify an order issued in 1998, which required TRU to refrain from certain (...)

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

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

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

The Moscow Appeal Court rejects claim regarding unscheduled on-site inspection conducted by the Competition Authority as part of a cartel investigation (Argus-Spekt)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court confirmed: an inspection of “Argus-Spekt” CJSC was carried out fully in accordance with the law* The Head of FAS Anti-Cartel Department, Andrey Tenischev, commented the judgment of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court: “It is not the first incident of challenging our inspections in (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds restrictive agreements preventing a competitor from entering the market by obtaining direct access to a source of flyash (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court declares anticompetitive conduct by Cement Australia* The Federal Court in Brisbane has made declarations in the ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors matter, finding numerous contraventions of section 45 of the then Trade Practices Act 1974, now the Competition and Consumer (...)

The Russian Competition Authority proposes solutions to resolve problems in the pharmaceutical market
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS solutions to the problems on the pharmaceutical market* On 28th February 2014, at the 13th Global Competition Forum, of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia), Andrey Tsyganov, moderated a (...)

The EU General Court rules on an appeal by Spanish petrol station associations against a Commission’s decision rejecting their complaint alleging anticompetitive practices (CEEES / AGES)
Grisay – Lawyers and consultants (Brussels)
I. Facts The Confederación Española de Empresarios de Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “CEEES” ) and the Asociación de Gestores of Estaciones de Servicio (hereafter “AGES” ) claimed the annulment of a Decision of the Commission of 28 April 2013 (hereafter “the contested decision”) rejecting their (...)

The Lisbon Court of Appeal confirms fines for resale price maintenance relating to dairy products in the ’horeca’ sector (Lactogal)
Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados (Lisboa)
In July 2012, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) found that Lactogal infringed the national provision equivalent to Article 101 TFEU in several markets for distribution and sale of dairy products in the hotel, restaurant and café (or hotel and catering) sector. Specifically, the PCA (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf declares that the non-compete clause is null and void in a long-term ground-leasehold contract if the legislator renders the antitrust laws more restrictive during the course of the contract (Flughafenhotel VI-U (Kart))
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
A non-compete clause in a long-term ground-leasehold contract may become null and void if the legislator renders the antitrust laws more restrictive during the course of the contract An airport operator entered into a long-term ground-leasehold contract with a hotel operator in 1972. In this (...)

The Polish Competition Authority sanctions brand watches distributor for fixing prices with its distributors (Jubiler)
Warsaw School of Economics
On 31 December 2013 the Polish Competition Authority (PCA) sanctioned brand watches importer and distributor PHU Jubiler for unlawful fixing with its distributors of minimum prices offered to consumers by retail sellers. The amount of fine reached almost 1 mln PLN (expressis verbis 819,496.16 (...)

The Central London County Court confirms that land agreements are no longer beyond the reach of competition law, while considering its application in respect of a letting scheme imposing restrictions on use (Martin Retail Group / Crawley Borough Council)
London School of Economics and Political Science
Competition law and covenants restrictive of land use* Covenants restricting use of land to particular commercial purposes are commonplace. Until recently, the potential for competition law to regulate them was limited, because “land agreements” were excluded from the reach of the Chapter I (...)

The Israeli District Court of the City of Jerusalem convicts for the first time defendants in an antitrust case for attempting to engage in illegal vertical restrictive arrangements and for violating merger conditions (Shufersal)
Barnea Jaffa Lande (Tel Aviv)
,
Bennett Jones (Toronto)
On December 23, 2013, The Israeli District Court of the City of Jerusalem found the company operating the leading nationwide supermarket chain in Israel - Shufersal Ltd. ("Shufersal"), its CEO, Mr. Ephraim (Effie) Rosenhaus ("Rosenhaus") and its Deputy VP Commerce and Marketing, Mr. Eliezer (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by online travel agencies in relation to rebates (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK OFT weighs revised commitments in the online hotel accommodation bookings* On 20 December 2013, the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) opened a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”), Expedia Inc (“Expedia”) and InterContinental Hotels (...)

The German Competition Authority decides to prohibit a hotel booking portal from continuing to apply its best price clause (HRS)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office bans use of MFN clauses by HRS and opens new proceedings against Booking.com and Expedia* On 20 December 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal HRS from continuing to apply its (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases data on interchange and credit card settlements
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commerce Commission releases data on interchange and credit card settlements* The Commission today released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the Commission reached with banks and financial institutions in relation to the (...)

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Authority to a toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International)
Bourgeois Avocats (Lausanne)
Background and Court decision Back in 2009, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) hit Gaba International AG – an undertaking part of the Colgate-Palmolive Group and manufacturer of the toothpaste brands Elmex and Meridol – with a CHF 4.8 mio (about EUR 3.9 mio) fine for restricting passive (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation and accepts remedies on vertical restraints implemented by several pharmaceutical undertakings and gives a recommendation to the Ministry of Health on ways to promote parallel imports of pharmaceuticals
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munich)
On 21 July 2011 the Competition Council terminated the investigation on compliance of actions of several pharmaceutical undertakings with Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 TFEU by accepting commitments (Article 30(2) point 2 [now Article 28(3) point 2] of the Law on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes action against alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in motor vehicles and industrial applications (NSK)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC takes action against NSK for alleged cartel conduct* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Sydney, against NSK Australia Pty Ltd (NSK) for alleged cartel conduct relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to grant authorisation to enable a chain of up-market department stores to continue to invite certain businesses to participate in various promotions (Myer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to Myer* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation to Myer to enable it to continue to invite certain businesses operating within Myer Stores to participate in various promotions. (...)

The Australian Federal Court finds that a travel agent attempted to induce certain airlines to make collusive arrangements with it in relation to retail air fares for international air travel (Flight Centre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court finds that Flight Centre attempted to enter into illegal arrangements with airlines* The Federal Court has held that on 6 occasions Flight Centre attempted to enter into arrangements with airlines which sought to eliminate differences in air fares so as to fix, control or (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its investigation against an online book trader for price parity clauses (Amazon)
Ashurst (Milan)
Amazon Marketplace ends price parity* On 26 November 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release stating that it has closed the investigation into Amazon’s “price parity” clauses applied in agreements with traders that operated on its Marketplace platform. In fact, on 27 and (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceedings against an online book trader for enforcing price parity clauses on its marketplace platform (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Amazon abandons price parity clauses for good* 26 November 2013: The Bundeskartellamt has today terminated its proceedings against Amazon for enforcing price parity clauses on its Marketplace platform after the company had met the requirements set by the authority. Andreas Mundt, President of (...)

The OECD publishes a study showing that retail road fuel market prices can be distorted even in seemingly competitive markets
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition & Gas: Canadian Competition Bureau Contribution to OECD Study on Competition & Gas* On my daily media sweep earlier today, this interesting Competition Bureau contribution to an OECD study on competition and gasoline caught my eye (OECD Policy Roundtables – Competition in (...)

The Australian Federal Court receives a file concerning alleged resale price maintenance on the market for branded air conditioning products (ACCC / Mitsubishi Electric)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC institutes proceedings against Mitsubishi Electric Australia for alleged resale price maintenance* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has filed proceedings in the Federal Court against Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric) for allegedly engaging in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider (New York)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission issues formal opinion on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement in Greece
European Commission (Brussels)
Greece: The Hellenic Competition Commission issues Formal Opinion on Production, Testing, Certification and Marketing of Cement* On 11 November 2013, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) issued Opinion No 32/VII/2013 on regulatory-type restrictions concerning the distribution of cement (...)

The German Competition Authority decides not to open proceedings against a manufacturer of consumer electronic products after being satisfied that its modified agreements now allow authorized dealers to sell online (Sennheiser)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office spares Sennheiser’s online policy from scrutiny* On 24 October 2013 the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) stated (available only in German) that it will not open formal proceedings against Sennheiser, a manufacturer of consumer electronic products, following recent (...)

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

The Paris Court of Appeal fully endorses the application by the French competition authority of its fining guidelines (Nestle Purina Petcare / Royal Canin / Hill’s Pet Putrition)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Introduction The Paris Court of Appeal reviewed and rejected an appeal against the decision of the French competition authority (the ADLC) sanctioning vertical restraints in the cat and dog food market. The Court upheld the ADLC’s decision finding various anticompetitive practices on the market (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds vertical restrictive agreements between book publishers and retailers and imposes fines (Pécsi Direkt)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive agreements on the book market* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) determined that Pécsi Direkt Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Líra Könyv Zrt., Libri Könyvkereskedelmi Kft, and Sun Books Könyvkereskedelmi Kft ("f.a." - being liquidated), which are book (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds that the optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health, and home care products does not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses do not benefit from a block exemption (Reckitt Benckiser)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
This study analyses the decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) in which it has decided that optimum price system of the multinational producer of hygiene, health and home care products, Reckitt Benckiser, did not amount to resale price maintenance, but its non-competition clauses (...)

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

The Australian Federal Court decides that the arrangement to buy large volumes of fly-ash was in violation of section 45 which outlaws anticompetitive agreements (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court makes interim declarations of anticompetitive agreements* The Federal Court has made interim declarations in the matter of ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors, which involved numerous alleged breaches of the competition provisions of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (the (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court questions the FCC on ’Net Neutrality’ suggesting antitrust framework (Verizon)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
,
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
One of the most-anticipated cases of the year heard oral argument on September 9. Verizon appealed the FCC’s Open Internet Order (the agency’s Net Neutrality rules) to the D.C. Circuit. The case raises a number of interesting questions about competition policy, specifically, the interplay (...)

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

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York establishes the existence of a collusion to eliminate retail price competition for e-books and imposes restrictions on deals with publishers for the next five years (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
U.S. District Court rules Apple colluded on E-Book Prices* On 10 July 2013 the District Court in Manhattan ruled in United States v. Apple Inc., et al that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise prices on e-books. The publishers settled and denied any wrongdoing. However, the case (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority publishes report following sector inquiry into car warranty conditions
European Commission (Brussels)
Norway: The Competition Authority publishes Report following its Sector Inquiry into Car Warranty Conditions* In September 2013, the Norwegian Competition Authority (the NCA) published a report based on its sector inquiry into car warranty conditions in Norway. The inquiry was triggered by (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues draft commitments in an investigation regarding the hotel online booking sector (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
Accenture (Dublin)
Hotel Online Booking: The OFT announces its intention to accept binding commitments* On 9 August 2013, the OFT issued draft commitments in the Hotel Online Booking investigation. The OFT has investigated the relevant markets for over 2 years and has provisionally found that certain hotels (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds that cable companies have applied restrictive conditions in their model contracts for programme distribution and imposes fines (Kábelkommunikációs / Kábeltelevíziós)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Restrictive practices of cable associations* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) established that the Hungarian Cabel Communications Association (Magyar Kábelkommunikációs Szövetség - MKSZ) and the Hungarian Cable Television and Telecommunication Association (Magyar (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes record fines on six major infant formula makers for vertical price-fixing practices (Biostime / Mead Johnson / Dumex / Abbott Laboratories / FrieslandCampina / Fonterra)
China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing)
I. Facts and Background On August 7, 2013, China’s top enforcer in charge of curbing price monopolies, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) announced its decision to levy fines in the total amount of CNY 668.73 million (about USD 108.34 million) on six infant formula producers (...)

The UK Competition Authority establishes vertical restrictions on the market for the supply of mobility scooters (Roma Medical Aids)
Max Findlay (London)
Not playing nicely* Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order. In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a (...)

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

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

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

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

The Chinese Higher Court of Shanghai and one of China’s antitrust regulators issue decisions that resale price maintenance violated China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
Jones Day (Shanghai)
,
Gibson Dunn (Hong Kong)
,
Jones Day (Beijing)
This article has been nominated for the 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Within the same week, the Shanghai Higher Court and one of China’s antitrust antitrust regulators have issued decisions that resale price maintenance ("RPM") (...)

The Chinese Government remains unclear about the enforcement of the Anti-monopoly Law’s price maintenance provision (Rainbow / Johnson & Johnson)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Since the Anti-monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China ("AML") came into effect, there has been much debate about the circumstances in which minimum resale price maintenance ("RPM") will constitute a vertical monopolistic agreement prohibited by Article 14 of the AML. In the debate, the (...)

The German Competition Authority fines a producer of natural cosmetics for vertical price fixing (WALA)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2013, the FCO imposed fines in the total amount of € 6.5 million on WALA Heilmittel GmbH (“WALA”), manufacturer of natural cosmetics and cures, and some of its employees for vertical price fixing. According to the FCO’s press release, the company put pressure on retailers to follow (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three sunflower oil producers and their distributors for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition in the bottled sunflower oil market
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Bulgarian Competition Authority has fined three sunflower oil producers and five of their distributors a total of more than BGN 2 million (around € 1 million) for entering into vertical agreements aimed at restricting competition on the bottled sunflower oil market by means of fixing (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority announces that a white goods manufacturer has accepted to pay a fine of € 161,000 for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented parallel imports (Miele)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 July 2013, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced that the white goods manufacturer Miele A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 1.2 million (around € 161,000) for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented (...)

The German Competition Authority continues to view the best price clause used by a hotel booking portal in a critical manner (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt continues to view HRS’s best price clause critically* The Bundeskartellamt has confirmed its competition concerns about the best price clause used by the hotel booking portal HRS. After examining the statements of HRS and all other relevant market participants, the (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority applies a "self-assessment" regime on non-horizontal restrictive arrangements
Barnea Jaffa Lande (Tel Aviv)
,
Bennett Jones (Toronto)
Introduction On July 25, 2013, the Restrictive Trade Practices General Director (the "General Director") issued a new block exemption - the Restrictive Trade Practices Rules (Block Exemption for Non-Horizontal Arrangements which do not Include Certain Price Restrictions), 2013 (the "Block (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority finds resale price maintenance practices on the sunflower oil market (Kaliakra)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 17 July 2013 the Bulgarian Competition Authority (CPC) prosecuted the producer of bottled sunflower oil Kaliakra AD (Kaliakra) and its distributors for engaging in the resale price maintenance (RPM) practices. The CPC’s investigation was commenced after the completion of the sector inquiry (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out a sector inquiry in the area of prescription medicine distribution in private practices
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is submitting to public consultation an initial assessment in which it has identified several potential sticking points* Medicinal products are the second-largest (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes a cartel administrative proceeding against an ophthalmologists cooperative and a health insurance fund (Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg / AOK Nordost)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt opens up competition among ophthalmologists from different federal states in Germany* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded a cartel administrative proceeding against the Brandenburg ophthalmologists cooperative "Augenärztegenossenschaft Brandenburg" and the health insurance fund (...)

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

The Polish Competition Authority reminds franchisors that resale price maintenance is a hardcore violation of competition law (Sfinks Polska)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
In its unprecedented decision of 25 June 2013 in Sfinks Polska, the President of the Polish competition authority (Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, the UOKiK), established a list of competition law “don’ts” in franchise agreements. While the UOKiK’s jurisprudence in relation to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes fines on a franchisor for practising fixed and minimum prices of goods on its trading partners (Sfinks Polska)
WKB Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr (Poznan)
,
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr (Warsaw)
Franchise networks under siege from the Polish competition authority over alleged RPM arrangements* In its decision of 25 June 2013, the Polish competition authority has fined Sfinks Polska the amount of PLN 464,228.92 (approximately €107,000) for imposing fixed resale prices on its (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds refusal to supply and restrictions to parallel trade in railway spare parts sector (Deutz / Diesel Motor Nordic)
European Commission (Brussels)
Denmark: The Competition Council finds Refusal to Supply and Restrictions to Parallel Trade in Railway Spare Parts Sector* On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Deutz AG (Deutz) and Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (Diesel Motor Nordic) have infringed the Danish and European (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against eight insurance companies for breach of Art. 101 TFEU (Agenti monomandatari)
Bonelli Erede (Rome)
By its decision of 5 June 2013, the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’ or ‘Authority’) initiated an investigation against eight of the biggest insurance companies active in Italy, in order to verify if in the vertical agreement between each insurance company and its agents (‘agency contracts’), (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority discontinues the proceedings concerning the practice of recommended end-user prices contained in contracts with cash-register services providers (ALT CASH)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH terminated its proceedings against ALT CASH Kft.* The Hungarian Competition Authority (hereinafter: GVH) terminated the proceedings it had initiated against ALT CASH Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. for a suspected infringement of the prohibition of restrictive agreements. Based on the (...)

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

The Spanish Competition Commission opens an investigation into a car manufacturer for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts (Opel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis
On 16 May 2013, the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) announced that it has opened a formal investigation into the Spanish subsidiary of General Motors, Opel, for possible anti-competitive practices in the market for the supply of spare parts to Opel’s authorised dealers and repairers. (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fine against major retailer and several suppliers for anticompetitive vertical agreements in food retail sector (REWE)
European Commission (Brussels)
Austria: The Cartel Court imposes Fine in Food Retail Case* On 13 May 2013, the Cartel Court (the Court) imposed a € 20 800 000 fine on the REWE Group (REWE) for vertical agreements between REWE and a number of suppliers (Court reference number 25 Kt 29/13). The Court held that REWE agreed (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues an enforcement decision concerning previously established commitments to cease the anticompetitive practices on the retail market for body sportwear (FitFlops)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Competition Authority reminder to businesses: resale price maintenance is against the law The Competition Authority advises businesses to be aware that resale price maintenance is against the law and that it will take enforcement action against anyone engaging in the practice. The advice is (...)

The Irish Competition Authority secures binding commitments in a case of resale price maintenance of footwear products (FitFlop / Double Bay Enterprises)
European Commission (Brussels)
Ireland: Commitments in Case of Resale Price Maintenance in Footwear Products* In February 2013, the Competition Authority (the Authority) secured binding commitments from FitFlop footwear distributor, Double Bay Enterprises Limited, in relation to its policy of resale price maintenance (...)

The Hellenic Supreme Administrative Court partially annuls a decision finding infringements of both Art 101 TFEU and Art 1 Act 703/1977 through the implementation of a resale price maintenance scheme in the market for dairy products (Vivartia / Megval / Fage / Olympos and Rodopi)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 3 April 2013, the second Senate of the Council of State (Symvoulio tis Epikrateias, the Greek Supreme Administrative Court) delivered Ruling No 1324/2013 which partially annuls Ruling No 3008/2009 of the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon). The (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a beverage manufacturer €10.3M for concluding exclusivity agreements with retailers (Coca-Cola)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
Imposition of a €10,342,773 fine on COCA COLA 3Ε* Subject: HCC Decision no. 762/2021 imposing a fine of EUR 10,342,773 on the company COCA COLA HELLENIC BOTTLING COMPANY S.A. (COCA COLA 3E) for infringements of articles 2 L. 3959/2011 and 102 TFEU, following an ex officio investigation of the (...)

The French Competition Authority hands out fines worth €81M to a manufacturer of optical lenses and its parent company for discriminating against online opticians (Essilor International / EssilorLuxottica)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Optical lenses sector: the Autorité de la concurrence hands out fines worth 81 067 400 euros to Essilor International SAS and its parent company EssilorLuxottica SA for discriminatory trade practices* Background Following dawn raids, interviews and discussions with the main stakeholders in the (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority publishes a Statement of Objections regarding an abusive margin squeeze by a vertical integrated national company active in the fossil fuels industry (Lukoil)
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
CPC has addressed allegations for committed abuse of dominant position under art. 21 of the LPC and art. 102 of the TFEU by "Lukoil Bulgaria" EOOD* Given the socio-economic importance of fuels, due to their direct impact on the entire Bulgarian economy and on the prices of goods and services (...)