Bulletin
Latest News issue: July 2019

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission fines a company for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty characters (Sanrio)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Sanrio €6.2 million for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products featuring Hello Kitty characters* The European Commission has fined Sanrio €6.2 million for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries within the EEA. This (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a cooperative of distribution of raw materials and equipment to bakers for market sharing (Back Europ)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of raw materials and equipment to bakers* The Autorité hands down fines to the cooperative Back Europ for having organised, on the whole of France, a geographical market distribution between its members. L’essentiel The Autorité hands down fines to the cooperative Back Europ for (...)

The Competition and Markets Authority announces the commencement of a formal Market Study into online platforms and the UK market for digital advertising
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
What is the Study about? The Study is broad in scope and aims to examine three potential sources of harm in connection with the digital advertising market: i) to what extent online platforms have market power in user-facing markets and what impact this has on consumers; ii) whether consumers (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the sector of crystal components distribution
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Dawn raids* The General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence indicates that unannounced inspections have been carried out in the sector of crystal components distribution Following authorization from the liberty and custody judge, the investigation services of the Autorité de la (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority carries out unannounced inspections in the waste management sector
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Autoridade da Concorrência carried out dawn raids in the waste management sector* The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) – Portuguese Competition Authority carried out dawn raids in two premises of seven undertakings in the waste management sector in the district of Lisbon on suspicions of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online (Bikeurope)
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 Portuguese Competition Authority warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use to coordinate market prices
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC warns that using algorithms to coordinate market prices is incompatible with the Portuguese Competition Law* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, AdC) warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use and that employing these tools with the aim of (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau announces that ticket vendors will pay $4 million penalty to settle drip pricing advertising case (Ticketmaster)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
TICKETMASTER ENTITIES AGREE TO $4 MILLION PENALTY TO SETTLE DRIP PRICING ADVERTISING CASE On June 27, 2019, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that Ticketmaster L.L.C., TNow Entertainment Group, Inc. and Ticketmaster Canada LP have agreed to pay a $4 million penalty and $500,000 of the (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds an association of medicine dealers has collected charges that are illegal under national competition law (Jalgaon District Medicine Dealers Association)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In a case against the Jalgaon District Medicine Dealers Association (Association), [1] the CCI found that the Association had collected Product Information Service (PIS) charges from manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. The CCI found that payment of the PIS charges was mandatory and, (...)

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

The French Competition Authority fines a Bureau of bailiffs for setting discriminatory conditions to join the bureau (GIE Notimo)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Bailiffs* The Autorité de la concurrence fines the Bureau Commun de Signification of bailiffs from the département Hauts-de-Seine for anticompetitive agreement. Background The Autorité issues today a decision sanctioning the Bureau commun de signification of Hauts-de-Seine (joint bureau of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a network of notaries and a chamber of notaries for anticompetitive agreement (GIE Notimo and Chambre interdépartementale des notaires de Franche-Comté)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Estate negotiation/notaries* The Autorité de la concurrence fines GIE Notimo and the chambre interdépartementale des notaires de Franche-Comté for anticompetitive practices. Background The law of 6 August 2015, socalled "Macron law" which has reformed regulated professions in order to (...)

The Rotterdam District Court annuls a fine of € 583,000 imposed by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets on a manufacturer of batteries for forklift trucks for its involvement in a cartel (Midac)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 June 2019, the Rotterdam District Court (“Court”) annulled a fine of € 583,000 imposed by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“Autoriteit Consument & Markt” or “ACM”) on Midac, a manufacturer of batteries for forklift trucks, for its involvement in a cartel. The Court held that (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company for misleading conduct contrary to the principles of good faith and professional diligence (Endesa Energía)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The NMCC has fined Endesa Energía XXI €5.5 million, for using the electricity bills as a tool to promote services of other group companies. In the past, the electricity market in Spain was fully regulated, and all prices were set by the Government. However, in the late 90s the sector was (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds the distribution arrangments of a supplier of mobile handsets to be prima facie compliant with national law (Vivo)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI closed at prima facie stage a case against Vivo Mobile (Vivo), a supplier of mobile handsets, finding that its distribution arrangements raised no concerns under Section 3(4) of the Competition Act which prohibits vertical agreements with an appreciable adverse effect on competition (...)

The Swiss Federal Council issues proposal to tighten up the Swiss Cartel Act
King’s College (London)
The Federal Council aims at tightening up the Cartel Act in order to combat the foreclosure of the Swiss market and the price discrimination against Swiss corporate customers. For this purpose, the Federal Council has adopted a draft bill and a dispatch to Parliament addressing the people’s (...)

The Competition Commission of India finds two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies to have used no-objection certificates (Madhya Pradesh Chemists)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
India Competition Law Roundup: June 2019 The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates (NOC) under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s (...)

The Indian Competition Commission finds that chemist associations and pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s products
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates (NOC) under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s products.1 The associations and certain of (...)

The US Department of Justice announces three new investigations and several developments in ongoing investigations
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced three new investigations and several developments in its other investigations, including new investigations in the commercial flooring industry, online auctions for surplus government equipment and insulation installation contracts. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines non-university textbook publishers and an association for allegedly creating a mechanism to coordinate commercial policies and terms and conditions of trade (ANELE)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The NMCC has declared that the association ANELE and all the publishers under investigation have breached Article 1 SCA and Article 101 TFEU, in relation to (i) the adoption and implementation of ANELE’S Code of Conduct (CoC), which restricted promotional activities; and (ii) digital books, due (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the Spanish Competition Authority decision fining a company for agreements and exchange of strategic information on the prices (Repsol)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Spanish Supreme Court has confirmed the penalty against Repsol for anticompetitive practices consisting in agreements and exchange of strategic information on the prices of fuel in Spain. In the judgement, the Supreme Court has upheld the claims of the State Attorney (central government (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally finds that four pharmaceutical companies broke competition law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of an anti-nausea drug (Alliance Pharmaceuticals / Focus / Lexon / Medreich)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Drug firms accused of illegal market sharing over anti-nausea tablets* The CMA has provisionally found that 4 pharmaceutical companies broke the law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of an anti-nausea drug in the UK. In a statement of objections issued today, the Competition and (...)

The Belgian Markets Court dismisses an appeal against Belgian Competition Authority’s interim measures decision and explains limits of its jurisdiction (The Great Circle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 May 2019, the Markets Court of the Brussels Court of Appeal rejected as inadmissible the appeal lodged by The Great Circle against the decision of the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) to reject its request for interim measures against the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (...)

The Spanish Competition Commission fines tobacco manufacturers for an anticompetitive exchange of strategic information (Philip Morris / Altadis / JT International Iberia / Logista)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) has fined Spain’s main tobacco manufacturers, Philip Morris, Altadis, JT International Iberia, as well as wholesaler Logista for an anticompetitive exchange of strategic information. Logista facilitated immediate access to its daily (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines four banks for colluding to offer interest rate derivatives at conditions different to those agreed with the clients (Banco Santander / Banco Sabadell / BBVA / Caixabank)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has imposed a EUR 91 million fine to Banco Santander, Banco Sabadell, BBVA and Caixabank for colluding to offer interest rate derivatives at different conditions from those agreed with the clients concerned. The derivatives in question were used to cover the risks of the interest rate (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Commission opens an investigation against a designer of integrated circuits for wired communication devices and sends a Statement of Objections seeking to impose interim measures in TV and modem chipsets markets (Broadcom)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into Broadcom and sends Statement of Objections seeking to impose interim measures in TV and modem chipsets markets* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Broadcom may be restricting competition through (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation to assess whether a producer of integrated circuit abused its dominant position (Broadcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 June 2019, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had opened a formal investigation to assess whether integrated circuit (“IC”) provider Broadcom may be abusing its dominant position, in breach of Article 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In parallel, (...)

The EU Commission opens investigation and sends statements of objections on interim measures in TV and modem chipsets markets (Broadcom)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The Commission has opened an investigation into Broadcom’s commercial practices over a number of competition concerns. Broadcom is one of the world’s largest designers, developers and providers of key components of wired communication devices and is a global leader in the markets of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a collecting company for abuse of dominant position in the management and exploitation of IP rights (SGAE)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The CNMC has fined SGAE (“Sociedad General de Autores y Editores”) with EUR 2.95 million for abusing its dominant position in the market of management and exploitation of musical and audio-visual intellectual property rights. The CNMC investigation started in 2017, following several complaints. (...)

The Indian Competition Commission finds that a company abuses its dominant position by requiring device manufacturers wishing to pre-install apps to adhere to a compatibility standard (Google Android)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Following a complaint made by a number of users of smartphones using the Android operating system, the CCI prima facie found that Google was dominant in the market for licensable smart mobile device operating systems in India and had abused its dominant position by requiring device (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf upholds a decision of the Federal Cartel Office prohibiting exclusivity clauses in the event ticketing market (CTS Eventim)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 April 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) upheld a 2017 decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibiting exclusivity clauses in the event ticketing market. In a large number of its contracts with event organisers, ticketing service provider CTS Eventim used (...)

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

Mergers

The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the market for air transport of passengers (Flybe/Connect Airways)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of UK regional air carrier Flybe by Connect Airways, a consortium by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Aviation and (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of €28 million for “gun-jumping” on a Japanese manufacturer of imaging and optical products (Canon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
On 27 June 2019 the European Commission imposed a fine of €28 million on the Japanese imaging and optical products manufacturer Canon for “gun-jumping” by using a warehousing structure in its 2016 acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems (TMS), and this comes two years after the Commission announced (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority investigates a possible infringement of merger commitments in the telecom sector (Telefónica)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In 2015, the CNMC approved the acquisition of DTS by Telefónica, subject to a series of commitments relating to the pay television market. Telefónica undertook, inter alia, to make available 100% of its premium channels to third-party operators under conditions which would allow them to (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the hardware and software sector (Carl Zeiss/GOM)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 June 2019, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority cleared the acquisition of GOM, a supplier of hardware and software for automated 3D-coordinate metrology, by Carl Zeiss, a technology company in the optical and optoelectronic industry. The clearance is subject to commitments. Among (...)

The EU Commission prohibits a joint venture in the carbon and electrical steel activities sector (Thyssenkrupp /Tata)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 June 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) prohibited the creation of a joint venture between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel under the EU Merger Regulation. The deal would have combined Thyssenkrupp and Tata’s flat carbon and electrical steel activities in the EEA. According to the (...)

The EU Commission prohibits a merger in the steel sector (Thyssenkrupp /Tata)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 11 June 2019, the proposed joint venture (“JV”) between the two companies was prohibited by the Commission. The prohibition is grounded on the effects that the proposed JV would have produced in the market, namely, reduced competition and increased steel prices. The Commission’s decision is (...)

The UK Competition and Market Authority closes its investigation into a merger in the production of microscope sector after the parties abandoned the deal (Thermo Fisher/Gatan)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 June 2019, the UK’s Competition and Market’s Authority (“CMA”) cancelled its Phase II investigation into scientific instruments giant Thermo Fisher’s anticipated purchase of Gatan, a Roper subsidiary active in the production of specialised electron microscope peripherals, after the parties (...)

The Indian Competition Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the electricity market (Larsen & Toubro/Schneider Electric)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI cleared the proposed acquisition of the electrical and automation business of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) by Schneider Electric and MacRitchie Investments (the Acquirers) on foot of a package of behavioural remedies proposed by the Acquirers. After a lengthy investigation, the CCI (...)

State Aid

The General Court of the European Union annuls the Commission’s decision for lack of jurisdiction of the Commission on the State aid matter (Micula)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, INVESTMENT PROTECTION AND EU STATE AID RULES: THE GENERAL COURT OF THE EU ANNULS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S STATE AID DECISION IN THE MICULA CASE In a long-awaited ruling of June 18, 2019, the General Court of the European Union (“GCEU”) annulled the European (...)

The EU General Court annuls a State aid decision of European Commission concerning the food production sector in Romania (Micula)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2019, the General Court of the European Union (the “General Court”) handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Micula case (Cases T-624/15, T-694/15 and T-704/15, European Food and Others v Commission, EU:T:2019:423). The case finds its origins in the investment made by the Miculas, (...)

Procedures

The EU Commission issues guidelines for national courts on how to calculate the pass-on of price overcharges related to infringements of EU antitrust rules
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The European Commission has issued guidelines for national courts on how to estimate the passing-on of overcharges to indirect purchasers of goods and services affected by infringements of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. The guidelines have been issued pursuant to Article 16 of the Antitrust Damages (...)

The Indonesian Business Competition Supervisory Commission publishes its regulation in the procedure for cases of monopolistic practices and unfair competition
Baker McKenzie (Jakarta)
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Baker McKenzie (Jakarta)
In mid-April 2019 the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (Indonesian acronym: KPPU) published its Regulation No.1 of 2019 on the Procedure for Cases of Monopolistic Practices and Unfair Competition (Regulation No.1 of 2019), replacing KPPU Regulation No. 1 of 2010 of the same name. (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that national rules on limitation of antitrust damages claims may violate the principle of effectiveness (Cogeco)
Sérvulo & Associados (Lisbon)
The first preliminary ruling on Directive 2014/104/EU: Case 637/17 Cogeco* Introduction With two major decisions, March 2019 was an interesting month with regard to the Court of Justice’s (also ‘ECJ’) case-law on private enforcement of competition law: Skanska (C-724/17) and Cogeco (C-637/17). (...)

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority announces that seven regulators publish the fruit of their common approach to data-driven regulation
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Cooperation between regulators* Seven regulators publish the fruit of their common approach to data-driven regulation Data-driven regulation, an additional tool for regulators In this era of unceasing innovation, regulators rely more and more on the collection, utilisation and publication of (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion diagnosing the state of competition in the French overseas territories
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fighting the high cost of living in French overseas territories* The Autorité delivers a general diagnosis of competition in the French overseas territories. There have been positive developments since the 2009 opinion, particularly in the telecoms sector. However, consumer prices paid by the (...)

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