Latest News issue: September 2020

General antitrust

The Australian Competition Authority signs agreement to coordinate on cross-border investigations with competition authorities in Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Competition agencies to coordinate on cross-border investigations* Competition agencies from five countries including Australia will share intelligence, case theories and investigative techniques to better coordinate investigations across international borders, thanks to a new cooperation (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement with Australia, Canada, UK, and the US
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commerce Commission signs multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement* The Commerce Commission has signed a multilateral assistance and co-operation framework to enhance international cooperation on competition enforcement with the Australian (...)

The German Competition Authority releases its 2019 annual report with focus on the digital economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt – 2019/2020 Annual Report* Today, the President of the Bundeskartellamt, Andreas Mundt, presented the authority’s brochure “2019 Annual Report”. The publication is aimed at readers interested in economic policy and provides an overview of the Bundeskartellamt’s activities in 2019 (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority signs a competition enforcement framework with five foreign counterparts to strengthen its relationship and enhance cross-border enforcement New
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau strengthens relationship with five foreign counterparts to enhance cross-border enforcement* News release Today, the Competition Bureau signed a new competition enforcement framework with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the New Zealand Commerce (...)

The US FTC signs Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework with US DOJ and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework seeks to improve cooperation in an increasingly global economy Today, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph (...)

The US DoJ signs antitrust cooperation framework with US FTC and competition authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework With Australia, Canada, New Zealand, And United Kingdom* Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework aims to boost international cooperation efforts Today, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim (...)

The Australian Competition Authority opens market inquiry into bargaining power in supply chains for perishable agricultural products
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
New inquiry to focus on perishable agricultural supply chains* The ACCC will today commence a new three-month inquiry into bargaining power in supply chains for perishable agricultural products in Australia. The inquiry, initiated by the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Agriculture Minister (...)

The US DoJ Assistant Attorney General announces re-organization of the Antitrust Division’s civil enforcement program
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Announces Re-Organization of the Antitrust Division’s Civil Enforcement Program* Changes Will Allow for More Vigilant Enforcement, Deeper Expertise in Technology Trends The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is creating (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority launches toolkit to help policymakers strengthen competition in Canada’s economy
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau launches toolkit to help policymakers strengthen competition in Canada’s economy* Competitive markets are more important than ever to Canada’s economic prosperity The Competition Bureau released a toolkit today to help policymakers across the country promote competition in (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority invites public comments for its market study of the digital health sector
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Canada’s health care sector: have a say on how to support innovation and choice* The Competition Bureau is inviting Canadians to share their views on factors that may be impeding access to digital health care, or limiting innovation and choice in Canada’s health care sector. This feedback will (...)

The BRICS Competition Authorities issue a statement on COVID-19
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Heads of the BRICS Competition Authorities of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa issued a Statement on COVID-19. The Authorities noted the significant impact of the pandemic on all aspects of global economic stability, especially in developing countries and recognised the (...)

The French Government temporarily reduces the threshold for review of non-EU/EEA investments in French listed companies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
On July 23, 2020, the French Government published a Decree and a Ministerial Order to temporarily reduce the threshold for review of nonEU/EEA investments in French listed companies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As explained by the French Minister for the Economy, “[w]hile most (...)

The French Government issues interim rules on certain foreign investments in response to COVID-19 Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Paris)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Paris)
On July 23, 2020, the French government issued decree nº 2020-892 of July 22, 2020 (the Decree), and a ministerial order of the same date (together, the Interim Rules), which lowered the applicable threshold that triggers French foreign investment control for investments by non-European (...)

The EU Commissions launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The inquiry will focus on "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device, including smart home appliances and wearable devices". Consumer-related IoT products and services in the (...)

The EU Commission initiates inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things sector
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The European Commission (“Commission”) has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (“IoT”) sector for consumer-related products and services within the European Union. The Commission is looking to develop a better understanding of how this fast-moving sector works and some (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority carries out an in-depth investigation into the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the markets for basic food commodities Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
In-depth investigation into the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the markets for basic food commodities * The Hellenic Competition Commission ("HCC"), acting within its powers, systematically investigates and monitors financial data for various sectors, in particular relating to basic consumer (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority completes public consultation in the context of its sector inquiry into basic consumer goods and supermarkets
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC sector inquiry into basic consumer goods (supermarkets): public consultation and teleconference* The Hellenic Competition Commission (‘HCC’) in the context of its sector inquiry into basic consumer goods (supermarkets) has successfully completed its teleconference/public consultation with (...)

The EU Commission goes extraterritorial with its new white paper that proposes a new set of tools designed to address distortive effects in the internal market caused by subsidies granted by states outside the EU
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
The EU State Aid regime has long protected the EU internal market from anti-competitive subsidies granted by EU Member States. On 17 June 2020, the European Commission published a White Paper that proposes a new set of tools designed to address distortive effects in the internal market caused (...)

The Moroccan Competition Authority publishes its first annual report since the adoption of the Moroccan competition law in 2014 New
UGGC (Paris)
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UGGC (Paris)
The Moroccan Competition Council has published, during the summer of 2020, its first annual report since the adoption of the new Moroccan competition law in 2014 and the reactivation of the Competition Council at the end of 2018. Indeed, as stated in a previous article published in the (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia indicts ready-mix concrete company and individuals for price-fixing and bid-rigging (Evans Concrete)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Ready-Mix Concrete Company And Individuals Indicted For Fixing Prices And Rigging Bids In Violation Of Antitrust Laws* A federal grand jury returned an indictment against one company and four individuals for their roles in a long-running conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate markets (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises supermarkets to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Supermarkets authorised to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response* Supermarket operators will be allowed to continue cooperating to ensure supply of food and groceries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an ACCC authorisation granted today. Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Aldi, and (...)

The Australian Competition Authority secures a first-ever individual guilty plea for obstructing a cartel investigation from the infringing company’s general manager (BlueScope Steel)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Ex BlueScope GM Jason Ellis pleads guilty to obstructing cartel investigation* Jason Ellis, a former general manager of sales and marketing at BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope), has today entered a guilty plea in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court to one charge of inciting the obstruction of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority fines an association of passenger carriers for bid-rigging in public procurement (Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Association of passenger carriers pays a fine of DKK 400,000 for bid rigging* The association of undertakings Økonomisk Forening for Persontransport has accepted a fine of DKK 400,000 (app € 53,643) for coordinating bids between its members. The association of undertakings Økonomisk Forening for (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority finds in its market study that supermarkets offer chicken meat that is more sustainable without any anti-competitive agreements
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch supermarkets offer chicken meat that is more sustainable without any anticompetitive agreements* Dutch supermarkets nowadays offer a lot more chicken-meat varieties where the chickens have lived better lives. Virtually all of the chicken meat varieties currently on offer have been (...)

The US DoJ charges commercial flooring contractor with bid-rigging in an on-going investigation (Vortex Commercial Flooring)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Commercial Flooring Contractor Agrees To Plead Guilty To Bid Rigging* Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc., a Chicago-area commercial flooring contractor, has been charged for its role in a long-running antitrust conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for commercial flooring services and products (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows 10 coal producers and minerals council to collectively bargain with the Port of Newcastle for the export of coal and other minerals (NSW Minerals Council / Port of Newcastle)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Coal producers allowed to collectively bargain with Port of Newcastle Operations* The NSW Minerals Council and ten coal producers will be allowed to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions, including price, of access to the Port of Newcastle for the export of coal and other minerals, (...)

The Finnish Market Court imposes €50,000 penalty on hospital district for direct procurement that breaches the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts (Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The Market Court imposes EUR 50,000 penalty payments in total on HUS for direct procurement that breaches the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts* As per two separate proposals made by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), the Market Court has imposed a total (...)

The UK Supreme Court hands down a judgement between a software and a telecommunication company, providing answers on questions concerning the English Courts’ approach to FRAND disputes (Unwired Planet / Huawei)
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK Supreme Court has handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei & ZTE proceedings ([2020] UKSC 37), providing answers on several key questions concerning the English Courts’ approach to FRAND disputes. In a unanimous judgment, the (...)

The UK Supreme Court confirms that English courts may set the terms of global licences to portfolios of standard essential patents (Unwired Planet / Huawei)
Bristows (London)
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Bristows (London)
English courts given green light to set terms of global FRAND licences* On 26 August 2020, the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) gave its eagerly awaited judgment in Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei & ZTE. In a unanimous policy-driven decision, the Court dismissed the appeals brought (...)

The US DoJ charges a seventh generic drug manufacturer in ongoing criminal price-fixing investigation (Teva Pharmaceuticals)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Seventh Generic Drug Manufacturer Is Charged In Ongoing Criminal Antitrust Investigation* Consumers Were Allegedly Overcharged at Least $350 Million Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (Teva) has been charged with conspiring to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for generic drugs, the (...)

The Mannheim Regional Court grants injunctive relief to a telecommunication provider and clarifies the application of FRAND in the supply chain (Daimler / Nokia) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of the Mannheim Regional Court of 18 August 2020 in the matter Nokia v Daimler, the Regional Court of Mannheim (the “Court”) ruled in favour of Nokia that Daimler had infringed Nokia’s patent and could not invoke a FRAND objection. The Court held that Daimler and a (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal lowers with 99% a fine imposed for cartel by the Competition Authority due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (The Hague)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, “CBb”) reduced a fine imposed by the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) on an unidentified undertaking with 99%, from €1 million to €10.000,-. The ACM asked the court to lower the fine, after (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority launches for public debate the commitments proposed by 3 companies applying to use commercial rooms inside an international airport (Dnata Catering / Millenium Pro Design / CN Aeroporturi București)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debate the Commitments Proposed by Dnata Catering SRL, Millenium Pro Design SRL and CN „Aeroporturi București” SA* The Competition Council launches for public debate the commitments proposed by Dnata Catering SRL, Millennium Pro Design SRL and Compania (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority cautions participants in anti-COVID-19 subsidy programmes to comply with Competition Ordinance Free
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission cautions participants in anti-epidemic subsidy programmes to comply with Competition Ordinance* The Competition Commission (Commission) has noticed recent media reports on businesses suspected of engaging in collusive practices when procuring and supplying goods and (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines 11 companies and 14 individuals for colluding in public tenders for services of laboratory tests and blood banks (Selecciones Médicas / Vitalmex / Centrum / Impromed / Falcón ...)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE fines companies and natural persons for colluding in tenders for services for laboratory tests and blood banks convened by IMSS and ISSSTE* The Board of Commissioners determined that 11 companies and 14 natural persons coordinated their bids or abstained from bidding in several tenders (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows chicken processors to cooperate on Victorian chicken meat supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Ingham’s / Turosi / Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm / Australian Chicken Meat Federation) Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Processors authorised to cooperate on Victorian chicken meat supply* Ingham’s Group and other chicken processors will be allowed to work together to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated Victorian stage 4 restrictions on the chicken meat industry, under an urgent interim (...)

The Latvian Supreme Court upholds the Competition Authority’s conclusion that a city council’s auction to lease its crematorium is groundlessly restrictive (Riga City Council / Rīgas kremācijas centrs – krematorija)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
A judgment of the Supreme Court confirms the conclusion of the Competition Council on competition restriction on the cremation market of Riga* Already in 2015 the Competition Council of The Republic of Latvia (the CC), after conducted sector inquiry, raised alarm concerning the disorganised (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York terminates long-standing Paramount consent decrees, thereby allowing after 7 decades the classic movie studios to form closer agreements with movie distributors (Paramount Pictures)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Federal Court Terminates Paramount Consent Decrees* A federal court in the Southern District of New York today terminated the Paramount Consent Decrees, which for over seventy years have regulated how certain movie studios distribute films to movie theatres. The review and termination of these (...)

The Polish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on sanctions for companies and their managers for implementing anticompetitive agreements
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
The Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Act foresees that sanctions for implementing anticompetitive agreements may be imposed on companies and their managers. In fact, managers who have intentionally permitted their company to engage in such practices can face a fine of up to PLN 2 (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on amending guidance on applications for leniency and no-action in cartel cases
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The CMA’s Guidance on applications for leniency and no-action in cartel cases provides detailed guidance on the principles and process for leniency applications. On 30 July 2020, the CMA invited comments on a proposed addendum to clarify the way the CMA will exercise its discretion in relation (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority invites feedback on updated Competitor Collaboration Guidelines
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau invites feedback on updated Competitor Collaboration Guidelines* The Competition Bureau has published a draft version of its revised Competitor Collaboration Guidelines and invites interested parties to provide their comments no later than September 28, 2020. In today’s (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority publishes guidelines for obtaining amnesty or leniency from criminal prosecution for antitrust cartel violations
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Cairo)
The Egyptian Competition Authority recently published the first Egyptian guidelines on the process for obtaining amnesty or leniency from criminal prosecution for antitrust cartel violations, signaling the agency’s intent to activate this tool in future enforcement activities. The guidelines (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority implements regulation authorising agreements and decisions on market stabilisation measures in the wine sector due to COVID-19 Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Commission Implementing Regulation in the wine sector* Commission Implementing Regulation authorising agreements and decisions on market stabilisation measures in the wine sector The European Commission adopted an additional package of exceptional measures to support the wine sector, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority identifies cartels but does not impose any penalty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (South Eastern Railway / Hindustan Composites) Free
Nirma University (Ahmedabad)
The Indian antitrust watchdog has changed its modus operandi in the ensuing pandemic, by taking a softer stance on cartel-like behaviour in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. In July 2020, the Competition Commission of India (‘Commission’), while proving the existence of a (...)

The Indian Competition Authority imposes a cease and desist on multiple rail companies guilty for cartelization but avoids fining due to companies’ size and the economic impact of COVID-19 (Chief Materials Manager, South Eastern Railway / Hindustan Composites) Free
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Following references by procurement officials of a number of railway companies, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that 10 suppliers of composite brake blocks had, at least from 2009 to 2017, engaged in cartelization, by means of directly or indirectly determining prices, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reaffirms that prescribing eligibility criteria in tenders is not anticompetitive (Sandeep Mishra / National Highways Authority of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In dismissing a complaint at prima facie stage against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), [1] the CCI reaffirmed that the prescription of eligibility criteria by a procurer/buyer of a product or service will not, unless demonstrably unfair or discriminatory, be regarded as (...)

The UK Competition Authority proposes the creation of a new regulatory authority and additional regulations to govern the conduct of online platforms funded by digital advertising
Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
INTRODUCTION The CMA has recently issued its Final Report in the Market Study into Online Platforms and Digital Advertising (“Final Report”), which sets forth its findings and recommendations from its investigation of markets involving online platforms funded by digital advertising. In parallel, (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a sport retailer’s online platform (Intersport)
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
Intersport, the world’s largest association of medium-sized retailers of sport products, switched its online sales platform operated by the Intersport subsidiary Intersport Digital GmbH (“IDG”) to a so-called "drop shipment business model". Although the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) found that the (...)

The UK Supreme Court dismisses the two largest payment processing networks arguments on the basis that their multilateral interchange fees restricted competition but upholds grounds of appeal concerning the application of the “passing on” defence (Sainsbury’s / Visa / MasterCard)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 17 June 2020, the Supreme Court handed down a much anticipated judgment concerning the default multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) set by Mastercard and Visa (together, the Appellants). The case considered appeals relating to three separate damages actions brought by retailers against the (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismisses antitrust case challenging patent thicket (Humira)
Rutgers University (New Jersey)
On June 8, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted defendants’ motion to dismiss an antitrust case challenging behavior arising out of a massive collection of patents known as a “patent thicket.” In re Humira (Adalimumab) Antitrust Litigation, 2020 WL 3051309 (...)

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) New
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 Spanish Supreme Court rules that ride-hailing services do not restrict competition and the restrictions imposed on them are unjustified and disproportionate (VTCs)
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
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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 (...)

Unilateral Practices

The French Competition Authority fines three laboratories for abusive practices (Novartis / Roche / Genentech) New
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Treatment for AMD: the Autorité fines 3 laboratories for abusive practices* The Autorité de la concurrence has imposed fines worth a total of €444 million on three pharmaceutical companies, Novartis, Roche and Genentech, for abusive practices designed to sustain the sales of Lucentis for AMD (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes as a result of its investigation a paper on the effects of narrow price parity clauses on sales of online hotel platforms (Booking)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The effects of narrow price parity clauses on online sales of online hotel platforms – Investigation results from the Bundeskartellamt’s Booking proceeding* The Bundeskartellamt has published a paper on “The effects of narrow price parity clauses on online sales - Investigation results from the (...)

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

The Romanian Competition Authority fines €2.5 million a pharmaceutical company for failure to observe commitments in an abuse of dominance probe (GlaxoSmithKline)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Romanian Competition Authority announced on 25 August 2020 that it imposed a fine of 11.9 million lei (approximately EUR 2.5 million) on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for its failure to observe in full commitments which it had given earlier to allow the competition authority to terminate an inquiry (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines pharmaceutical company for non-compliance with some of its commitments assumed during the investigation regarding possible abuse of dominant position (GlaxoSmithKline)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Sanctioned Glaxosmithkline Srl With Fine of 11.9 Million Lei* The Competition Council sanctioned GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) SRL with fine of lei 11.9 million for non-compliance with some of its commitments assumed during the investigation regarding a possible abuse of (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates possible relative monopolistic practices in the market for digital advertisement services and related services
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates possible relative monopolistic practices in the market for digital advertisement services and related services* Mexico City, August 24, 2020.- The Investigative Authority of the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) published today in the (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority seeks input from market participants to inform an ongoing investigation of online shopping platform (Amazon)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau seeks input from market participants to inform an ongoing investigation of Amazon* Bureau investigating whether Amazon’s conduct on Amazon.ca is impacting competition The Competition Bureau is inviting market participants to provide input to inform its civil investigation (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rules that there is no antitrust violation in a multinational semiconductor company’s licensing of its standard-essential patents (Qualcomm)
Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC (Boston)
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Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC (Washington)
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Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC (New York)
Ninth Circuit Reverses FTC Win in FTC v. Qualcomm, Finding No Antitrust Violations from Qualcomm’s Licensing of its Standard-Essential Patents* In a reversal that came as no surprise to many observers, on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reverses a ruling finding that a semiconductor company abuses its dominant position regarding its standard-essential patents (Qualcomm)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York)
On August 11, 2020, a Ninth Circuit panel reversed the District Court for the Northern District of California’s judgment in FTC v. Qualcomm, Inc. The panel held that Qualcomm’s conduct—(a) refusing to license its standards essential patents (SEPs) to rival chipset manufacturers; (b) refusing to (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit strikes down sweeping injunction against semiconductor company and reins in expansive interpretation of Sherman Act (Qualcomm)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
On August 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decisively reversed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or Commission) controversial district court win challenging Qualcomm’s licensing practices. In rejecting every aspect of the lower court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit panel (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturns a ruling finding that a semiconductor company’s licensing practice abused dominant position (Qualcomm)
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 11 August 2020, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”), in a unanimous opinion by Judge Callahan, reversed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC’s”) win in the district court against Qualcomm Inc. (“Qualcomm”) and upheld Qualcomm’s licensing practices, (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority fines telecom for commitment violations in the sale of English football on its linear pay-TV service (Síminn)
Icelandic Competition Authority
The Icelandic Competition Authority fines Síminn for commitment violations* The decision made by the Competition Authority (ICA) today states the conclusion that Síminn violated the conditions of the commitments that the company has entered into with ICA in recent years. The decision reveals (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens investigation into excessive pricing and anticompetitive contractual conditions by a dominant ferry company (Caronte & Tourist)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Antitrust: investigation launched against the ferry company Caronte & Tourist* The company is in a dominant position in passenger ferrying in the Strait of Messina The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato has launched an investigation against the company Caronte & Tourist (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes action against online search engine in relation to allegations that it misled consumers about the collection and use of their personal information online (Google)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
Australia’s competition and consumer regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), recently decided to take action against Google LLC (Google) in relation to allegations that it misled consumers about the collection and use of their personal information online, including, (...)

The Italian Competition Authority announces the opening of an investigation against two Big Tech firms for violation of article 101 TFEU (Apple / Amazon)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 22 July, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") announced it had opened an investigation against Apple and Amazon for an alleged violation of article 101 TFEU. Following a complaint received in February 2019 from a retailer who was banned from reselling products on the Amazon market, (...)

The Polish Competition Authority completes its initial activities towards the biggest 100 companies in the agri-food market and initiates proceedings against 4 commercial retail chains for unfair use of contractual advantages (Auchan Polska / Eurocash / Makro Cash and Carry Polska / Intermarche)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
UOKiK’s further proceedings in the agri-food sector* UOKiK has completed its activities towards one hundred of the biggest players on the agri-food market, which were conducted under the Act on Contractual Advantage. In the course of the UOKiK’s proceedings, the majority of entrepreneurs (...)

The Indian Competition Authority rejects complaint against trademark holders concluding that legitimate assertion of trademark rights is not an abuse of dominance (Prashant Properties / SPS Steels Rolling Mills)
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 rejected at prima facie stage a complaint that SPS Steels Rolling Mills (SPS) and other related entities/individuals had abused their dominant position by making an announcement threatening civil and criminal prosecution of any person using the trademark ‘ELEGANT’ or associated (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority discontinues investigation into abuse of dominance by a Norwegian airline company (Widerøe)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Competition: ESA discontinues Widerøe investigation* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has discontinued an investigation regarding suspected breaches of the competition rules in the EEA Agreement. In 2016, ESA opened a formal investigation into whether Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS (Widerøe) may (...)

Mergers

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a publishing house by a media company (J. Bauer / Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears takeover of J. Bauer publishing house by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag & Co. KG (Lensing Media) to acquire all the shares in Verlag J. Bauer KG. Bauer publishes the newspaper Recklinghäuser Zeitung, which (...)

The French Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a clinic (Doctegestio / UMG-GHM) New
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition, by the Doctegestio group of the UMG-GHM clinics in Grenoble.* On 17 August 2020, Doctegestio notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to solely take over the UMG-GHM clinics located in the Isère département and in the Rhône-Alpes (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority publishes a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from a global packaging solutions business to acquire a manufacturer of plastics sheets and packaging (Pact Group / Flight Plastics) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Pact/Flight clearance application* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Pact Group Holdings Limited (Pact) to acquire the assets and business of Flight Plastics Limited in New (...)

The US FTC approves a final order imposing conditions on an acquisition between two big pharmaceutical companies (AbbVie / Allergan) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on AbbVie Inc.’s Acquisition of Allergan plc* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that AbbVie’s $63 billion acquisition of Allergan would violate federal antitrust law. According (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the provision of Italian law preventing a media company from acquiring 28% of the capital in competitor as a measure of protecting pluralism of information is contrary to EU law (Vivendi / Mediaset)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The provision of Italian law preventing Vivendi from acquiring 28% of the capital in Mediaset is contrary to EU law* That provision constitutes a prohibited impediment to the right of establishment as it is not appropriate for achieving the objective of protecting pluralism of information. (...)

The US DoJ issues modernized merger remedies manual
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Issues Modernized Merger Remedies Manual* Merger Remedies Manual Reaffirms Antitrust Division’s Commitment to Effective Structural Relief and Reflects Renewed Focus on Enforcing Consent Decree Obligations The Department of Justice issued today the Merger Remedies Manual, (...)

The US DoJ issues a revised policy guide to merger remedies New
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On September 3, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the DOJ issued a revised Policy Guide to Merger Remedies, following shortly after it announced a reorganization of its civil enforcement to create an Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance. The Policy Guide to Merger Remedies largely (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears merger of two IP professional service businesses (AJ Park / Baldwins) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission clears AJ Park’s acquisition of Baldwins* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for AJ Park IP Limited, in conjunction with AJ Park Law Limited (together, AJ Park), to acquire the assets of Baldwins Intellectual Property, Baldwin Holdings Limited, Baldwins Intellectual (...)

The US DoJ seeks public comments on updating bank merger review analysis
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Antitrust Division Seeks Public Comments On Updating Bank Merger Review Analysis* The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is seeking public comments into whether the division should revise the 1995 Bank Merger Competitive Review guidelines (“Banking Guidelines”) to (...)

The French Competition Authority blocks a merger for the first time ever, due to absence of remedies capable of addressing the competition concerns identified (Soditroy / Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc / Géant Casino)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
For the first time ever, the Autorité de la concurrence blocks a merger* Soditroy and the Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc were planning to acquire joint control of a Géant Casino hypermarket in the conurbation of Troyes. This merger raised serious competition concerns relating (...)

The Australian Competition Authority finds preliminary competition concerns with a proposed merger between 2 largest commercial laundry services providers in multiple geographic markets (South Pacific Laundry / Spotless Laundries)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
South Pacific Laundry’s proposed acquisition of Spotless Laundries raises preliminary competition concerns* The ACCC has identified potential competition concerns with South Pacific Laundry (SPL)’s proposed acquisition of Spotless Laundries, which is part of Spotless Group Holdings Limited. (...)

The German Competition Authority allows the leading national meat company to bring in house employment contracts it previously had externally with meat cutters through a personnel company as part of a wider change in the meat industry’s staffing due to COVID-19 (Tönnies / Lazar) Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Tönnies can take over employment contracts concluded with Lazar GmbH* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of the assets of Lazar GmbH, Crailsheim, by Tönnies Holding, Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Tönnies is by far the leading company in the slaughter and meat industry in Germany. The Lazar (...)

The US FTC approves final order imposing structural remedies on 2 casino companies’ merger (Eldorado Resorts / Caesars Entertainment)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on Casino Operators Eldorado Resorts, Inc. and Caesars Entertainment Corporation* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Eldorado’s $17.3 billion agreement to acquire Caesars (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives clearance application from a packaging solutions business to acquire packaging assets of another plastics manufacturer (Pact Group / Flight Plastics)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Pact Group seeks clearance to acquire packaging assets of Flight Plastics* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Pact Group Holdings Limited (Pact) to acquire the assets and business of Flight Plastics Limited in New Zealand and the packaging-related assets of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority approves takeover of subsidiary and customer agreements as fulfillment of remedy required in merger of parent company in the natural gas market (OK / Ørsted Varmeservice)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has approved OK a.m.b.a.’s acquisition of natural gas customer agreements and Ørsted Varmeservice A/S* On 18 August 2020, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (hereinafter “DCCA”) received a complete notification of OK a.m.b.a.’s (hereinafter “OK”) (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority opens investigation into the completed acquisition of North Island animal rendering assets (Wallace / Glenninburg)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Investigation opened into acquisition of Wallace’s North Island rendering assets* The Commerce Commission has opened an investigation into the acquisition of the North Island animal rendering assets of Wallace Group GP Limited (Wallace) by interests associated with Glenninburg Holdings Limited (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds competition concerns in the transfer of assets between 2 leading construction companies (Cemex / Breedon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Construction materials deal raises competition concerns* Breedon’s purchase of certain Cemex assets raises competition concerns in the supply of building materials in some parts of the UK, the CMA has found. Breedon Group plc (Breedon) and Cemex Investments Limited (Cemex) are 2 of the leading (...)

The US FTC requires divestitures as condition of a merger in the markets for gasoline and diesel fuel (Arko Holdings / Empire Petroleum Partners)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requires Divestitures as Condition of Arko Holdings Ltd.’s Acquisition of Empire Petroleum Partners, LLC* Arko Holdings Ltd. and Empire Petroleum Partners, LLC have agreed to divest retail fuel assets in local gasoline and diesel fuel markets across four states to settle Federal Trade (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation into the acquisition of agricultural business (Hankkija / SSO Rauta-Maatalous)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA opens in-depth investigation into the acquisition between Hankkija and SSO Rauta-Maatalous* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) will further investigate the proposed acquisition of the agricultural business of SSO Rauta-Maatalous Oy by Hankkija Oy. Hankkija is company (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority analyses a merger in the market for animal feed and related markets (Koninklijke DSM / Erber)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Taking Over of Erber Aktiengesellschaft by Koninklijke DSM N.V.* The Competition Council analyses the transaction by which Koninklijke DSM N.V. and its subsidiary, DSM International Participations B.V., intends to take over Erber Aktiengesellschaft. (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears takeover of fintech start-up by global leader in electronic payments (Visa / Plaid)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Deal between Visa and Plaid given the go-ahead* The CMA has cleared Visa’s anticipated purchase of fintech start-up Plaid. The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follows a Phase 1 review in which it investigated several possible ways the deal could harm competition. Visa (...)

The Finnish Market Court extends due to COVID-19 the time limit for in-depth investigation of a merger between 2 health care companies (Mehiläinen / Pihlajalinna) Free
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The time limit for processing the merger of Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna has been extended until 29 September 2020* The Market Court has extended the processing time limit for the merger of Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna, which is being investigated by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Agency (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears acquisition of 70% majority stake in a specialist retail supplier of tools and equipment by a competitor (Metcash / Total Tools)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Metcash’s acquisition of Total Tools majority stake not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose Metcash Limited’s (ASX:MTS) acquisition of a 70 per cent majority interest in Total Tools Holdings, the franchisor of the Total Tools network. Metcash is a wholesaler and retailer of hardware and home (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears merger of global rail businesses (Alstom / Bombardier)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose Alstom SA’s (Alstom) acquisition of Bombardier Inc’s transportation business (Bombardier Transportation). Alstom and Bombardier Transportation are global rail businesses active in the Australian market. The (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority authorizes the transfer of some assets between 2 companies operating in the production and marketing of automotive and other spare parts (Delfingen Industry / Schlemmer Group)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Authorized the Taking Over of Some Assets of Schlemmer Group by Delfingen Industry S.A.* The Competition Council authorized the transaction by which Delfingen Industry S.A. takes over some assets and shares of the Schlemmer Group. Delfingen Industry S.A. is based in (...)

The EU Commission approves acquisition of a payment solution provider’s account-to-account payment business by global payment card company, subject to conditions (Nets / Mastercard)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business by Mastercard, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account payment business by Mastercard. The decision is (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases statement of preliminary issues for proposed merger of 3 egg producers (Heyden / Henergy / Rasmusens)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for proposed Heyden/Henergy/Rasmusens merger* The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Preliminary Issues relating to an application from Heyden Farms Limited, Henergy Cage-Free Limited and Rasmusens Poultry Farms Limited, seeking clearance (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears merger of rival educational institutions offering professional and vocational courses (LOI / NCOI)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of Dutch educational institution LOI by rival institution NCOI* The acquisition of Dutch educational institution LOI by rival institution NCOI has been cleared. Both LOI and NCOI offer professional courses, as well as accredited vocational programs (predominantly (...)

The US FTC approves final order imposing conditions on transfer of ownership between energy companies (Tri Star Energy / Hollingsworth Oil Company / C & H Properties / Ronald L. Hollingsworth)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on Tri Star Energy, LLC’s Acquisition of Certain Assets of Hollingsworth Oil Company, Inc., C & H Properties, and Ronald L. Hollingsworth* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges (...)

The US DoJ reaches settlement with new stricter conditions and fine for telecom company’s merger after finding violations of the original conditions (CenturyLink / Level 3 Communications)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Brings Enforcement Action Against Centurylink* In Significant Action, CenturyLink Agrees to Extend Term, Appoint Independent Monitor, and Reimburse Taxpayers for the Costs and Fees of the Violations The Department of Justice announced today that CenturyLink, Inc. has agreed (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority starts analyzing a takeover in the import of international cars (Trust Motors / Opel Automotive R)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Taking Over of Opel Automotive R Srl by Trust Motors* The Competition Council analyzes the transaction through which Trust Motors SRL intends to take over the company Opel Automotive R SRL. Trust Motors SRL is part of the group of companies owned by Mr. (...)

The Finnish Market Court extends due to COVID-19 the time limit for in-depth investigation of a merger between 2 financial services companies (Loomis / Automatia) Free
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The time limit for processing the merger of Loomis and Automatia has been extended until 23 September 2020* The Market Court has extended the processing time limit for the merger between Loomis AB and Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy, currently under investigation by the Finnish Competition and (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority opens public consultations on commitments offered by 4 container terminal operators applying to form a joint venture (Hong Kong Seaport Alliance)
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission consults on proposed commitments from Hong Kong Seaport Alliance* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) today commenced a consultation on proposed commitments offered under section 60 of the Competition Ordinance (“Ordinance”) by the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority launches for public debate the commitments proposed by banks intending to become joint shareholders of a provider of integrated cash management services (Société Générale / Raiffeisen Bank / Banca Comercială Română)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debate the Commitments Proposed by BRD, Raiffeisen and BCR* The Competition Council launches for public debate the commitment proposals formulated by BRD - Groupe Société Générale SA (BRD), Raiffeisen Bank SA and Banca Comercială Română (BCR) in order to (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally clears acquisition of elderly care provider by rival (Vrijwaard / Omring)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM conditionally clears acquisition of elderly care provider Vrijwaard by rival provider Omring* The acquisition of elderly care provider Vrijwaard in the northern Dutch city of Den Helder by rival provider Omring has been conditionally cleared. One of the conditions set by the Netherlands (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority files an indictment against major film distributor and cinema company for breach of merger conditions committed under aggravating circumstances (Mooki Greidinger / Forum Film)
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Competition Authority has filed an indictment against Mooki Greidinger and Forum Film Ltd. for breach of merger conditions committed under aggravating circumstances* According to the Indictment, the defendants have systematically refused to supply movies to Lev Tel Aviv Cinema, a (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority fines 2 merger cases for failure to notify a concentration (Santander / USB Americas) (KKR Rainbow Aggregator / Coty)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE imposed fines in two cases for failure to notify a concentration: Santander and USB Americas; and KKR Rainbow Aggregator and Coty* COFECE fined diverse subsidiaries of Santander, Elavon and USB Americas a total of 2 million 172 thousand Mexican pesos because they modified the (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority conditionally clears merger of the nation’s largest distributors of pole line hardware and data communication products (WESCO International / Anixter International)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau safeguards competition in markets essential to the delivery of electricity and internet to Canadians* Today, the Competition Bureau registered a consent agreement with the Competition Tribunal to address its concerns related to WESCO International Inc.’s $6.1B acquisition of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears merger of potato growing & packing businesses in South Australia (Mitolo / Thomas Foods International)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mitolo’s acquisition of Thomas Foods International’s potato business not opposed* he ACCC will not oppose Mitolo’s proposed acquisition of Thomas Foods International’s (TFI) potato business. Mitolo and the TFI potato business grow potatoes and operate packing sheds in South Australia, and overlap (...)

The German Competition Authority clears merger of hospitals in Flensburg (St. Franziskus-Hospital / Diakonissenkrankenhaus)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger of hospitals in Flensburg* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned concentration of St. Franziskus-Hospital operated by the Malteser group in Flensburg and the somatic division of Diakonissenkrankenhaus, Flensburg, under joint management. Both facilities are (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a sports manufacturer and its parent company £300,000 for breach of merger-freeze order with a footwear retailer (JD Sports / Footasylum) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 August 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) fined JD Sports and its parent company Pentland Group £300,000 for failing to comply with an initial enforcement order (“IEO”) imposed with regard to JD Sports’ completed merger with footwear retailer Footasylum. The CMA found JD (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally blocks merger between the country’s leading suppliers of retail investment platform solutions (FNZ / GBST)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Competition concerns in retail investment software merger* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has provisionally blocked the merger of FNZ and GBST. FNZ purchased GBST in November 2019. Both companies have a significant presence in the UK. They are 2 of the leading suppliers of (...)

The US DoJ sues to block merger between hospital system and independent community hospital in central Pennsylvania (Geisinger Health / Evangelical Community Hospital)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Sues To Block Geisinger Health’s Transaction With Evangelical Community Hospital* Transaction Reduces Hospital Competition in Central Pennsylvania The U.S. Department of Justice sued today to block Geisinger Health’s partial acquisition of its close rival, Evangelical (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of wearable tech devices by a Big Tech company (Fitbit / Google)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the proposed (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a Big tech’s 16% investment in an online food delivery company after finding that it will not substantially lessen competition (Amazon / Deliveroo)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA clears Amazon’s 16% investment in Deliveroo* Following an in-depth investigation, the CMA has today cleared Amazon’s 16% investment in Deliveroo after finding that it will not substantially lessen competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) completed an initial ‘Phase 1’ (...)

The Austrian Cartel Court clarifies the calculation method for domestic turnover thresholds and imposes a €100,000 fine on a car parts manufacturer for failing to notify its acquisition (Castanea Rubra / Neue Halberg) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 August 2020, the Austrian Cartel Court published a decision dated 13 February imposing a € 100,000 fine on Castanea Rubra Assets GmbH (“Castanea Rubra”) for failing to notify its acquisition of 94% of shares in Neue Halberg Guss GmbH (“Neue Halberg”) in 2018. This failure to notify violated the (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears at phase II an acquisition of a minority shareholding and certain rights in a food delivery company in its first application of “failing firm” defence (Amazon / Deliveroo) Free
CRA International (London)
,
CRA International (London)
On 4 August 2020 the CMA cleared Amazon’s proposed minority investment in Deliveroo. Having previously been concerned that the investment could damage competition by discouraging Amazon from re-entering restaurant food delivery in the UK and altering its competitive incentives in respect of (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens investigation into the takeover of certain assets and shares between 2 competitors in the market for automotive components (Schlemmer Group / Delfingen Industry)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Analyses the Taking Over of Some Assets of Schlemmer Group by Delfingen Industry S.a* The Competition Council analyses the transaction by which Delfingen Industry S.A. intends to take over some assets and shares of Schlemmer Group. Delfingen Industry S.A., based in (...)

The Japanese FTC clears managerial integration of 2 internet companies subject to conditions (Z Holdings / LINE)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Reviewed the proposed managerial integration of Z Holdings Corporation and LINE Corporation* Receiving notifications regarding the proposed managerial integration between Z Holdings Corporation (JCN4010401039979) (hereinafter referred to as “ZHD”; a group of combined companies held by (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines gas company the equivalent of €50M for failure to cooperate in the investigation into the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (Gazprom)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Nord Stream 2 - President of UOKiK imposes penalty on Gazprom* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has imposed a penalty of PLN almost 213 mln on Gazprom for failure to cooperate in the investigation conducted in relation to the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Such an obligation (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger between global companies active in the rail transportation and signalling following a Phase I investigation (Alstom / Bombardier) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced its conditional clearance of Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Both the target, a German subsidiary of Canadian Bombardier Inc., and the French acquirer, Alstom, are global companies active in rail (...)

The French Competition Authority releases vertical merger guidelines
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) recently published its new merger control guidelines which came into force on 23 July 2020 and replaced the previous ones adopted back in 2013. The adoption of these new guidelines follows a series of public consultations (the last one took place at the (...)

The UK Government lowers the merger notification threshold for specific sectors including artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication and advanced materials
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 21 July 2020, the Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply) (Amendment) Order 2020 and the Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force. Both Orders amend the jurisdictional thresholds for mergers in certain sectors. Under the new rules, the thresholds have been (...)

The UK Government gives further powers to the Competition Authority to review mergers in strategically important sectors
Bird & Bird (London)
The UK government has given the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) further powers to review mergers in strategically important sectors. These steps include making changes to the Enterprise Act 2002 (Enterprise Act) to provide the government with extended powers to scrutinise foreign (...)

The Italian Competition Authority authorizes a banking merger subject to divesting over 500 bank counters (Intesa Sanpaolo / UBI Banca)
Desogus Law Office (Cagliari)
By a decision issued on 14 July 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared the acquisition of UBI Banca (UBI) by Intesa SanPaolo (ISP) in the banking sector. Applying the dominance test in Article 6 of the Law no. 287/1990, the ICA reached the conclusion that the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a voluntary all-inclusive public exchange offer between banking groups, subject to higher structural remedies than originally offered (Ubi Banca / Intesa Sanpaolo)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
C12287 - ICA: acquisition of Ubi Banca by Intesa Sanpaolo authorised with conditions* The Italian Competition Authority authorised with conditions the acquisition of control of Ubi Banca S.p.A. by Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (hereinafter also ‘ISP’) The Authority noted that the merger transaction, (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority files request for examination with Cartel Court in connection with the merger affecting markets for digital imaging, healthcare IT, and others (Fujifilm / FujiFilm Healthcare)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA files request for examination with Cartel Court in connection with the Fujifilm Corporation/FujiFilm Healthcare Corporation merger* AFCA filed request for examination with Cartel Court on 1 July 2020. On 22 May 2020 the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) was notified of the (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate national airline for damages suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak (Alitalia) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate Alitalia for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found Italian €199.45 million support in favour of Alitalia to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure aims at compensating (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority greenlights state guarantee for Icelandic airline due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Icelandair) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA greenlights state guarantee for Icelandair* Iceland will provide state aid to Icelandair to partly compensate for the damage resulting from travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. Icelandair is an international passenger airline operating in Iceland. It (...)

The EU Commission approves €290 million Belgian support to national airline in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (Brussels Airlines) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €290 million Belgian support to Brussels Airlines in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €290 million Belgian aid measure to support SN Group, which is composed of SN Airholding and its sole subsidiary Brussels Airlines, (...)

The EU Commission approves €62 million Romanian loan guarantee to compensate a national airline for damage suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak and provide the airline with urgent liquidity support (Blue Air) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €62 million Romanian loan guarantee to compensate Blue Air for damage suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide the airline with urgent liquidity support* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Romanian loan guarantee of up to (...)

The EU Commission approves German plans for a Bavarian fund to enable up to €46 billion of liquidity and capital support to enterprises in Bavaria in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Bavarian fund to enable up to €46 billion of liquidity and capital support to enterprises in Bavaria in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved German plans to set up a €46 billion fund at the level of the German State (Land) (...)

The EU Commission approves €133 million Portuguese liquidity support to national airline and opens investigation into the airline’s other public support measures (SATA Air)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €133 million Portuguese liquidity support to SATA airline; opens investigation into other public support measures* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €133 million in liquidity support to SATA Air Açores (SATA). The aid will allow the (...)

The EU Commission approves €1 billion Danish and Swedish measure to recapitalise major network airline due to the COVID-19 outbreak (SAS) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1 billion Danish and Swedish measure to recapitalise SAS* The European Commission has approved Danish and Swedish plans to contribute up to SEK 11 billion (approximately€1 billion) to the recapitalisation of SAS. The measure was approved under the State aid (...)

The EU Commission approves Irish loan guarantee scheme mobilising €2 billion support for companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Irish loan guarantee scheme mobilising €2 billion support for companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved an Irish loan guarantee scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved (...)

The EU Commission approves €2 billion Italian guarantee scheme to support trade credit insurance market in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2 billion Italian guarantee scheme to support trade credit insurance market in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2 billion Italian scheme to support the trade credit insurance market in the (...)

The EU Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support the state-owned aviation company in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (Nordica) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support Nordica in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €30 million Estonian measure to provide a share capital increase and a subsidised interest loan to the state-owned aviation company (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into public support for expansion of a chemical company’s electric vehicles battery plant in Poland (LG Chem)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into public support for expansion of LG Chem’s electric vehicles battery plant in Poland* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether €95 million of public support granted by Poland to chemical company LG Chem (...)

The EU Commission approves €6 billion German scheme to compensate public transport companies for damages suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €6 billion German scheme to compensate public transport companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €6 billion German scheme to compensate companies providing regional and local (...)

The EU Commission approves €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations and their related entities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations and their related entities affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations (NPOs) and their related (...)

The EU Commission approves €200 million voucher scheme to support access to broadband services by low-income families in Italy
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €200 million voucher scheme to support access to broadband services by low-income families in Italy* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a €200 million voucher scheme to help low-income families in Italy access high-speed broadband (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves largest single state aid award it has ever approved by allowing the Norwegian Carbon Capture and Storage project
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Norwegian Full-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage: up to €2.1bn in aid to meet climate goals* The CCS Full-Scale project is a central part of Norway’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the European goal of climate-neutrality by 2050. It is the largest single state aid (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority prolongs and amends 6 sets of state aid guidelines to guarantee legal certainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
State Aid: ESA prolongs and amends guidelines* Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has decided to prolong six sets of state aid guidelines that were due to expire at the end of 2020. The decision, which mirrors that taken by the European Commission on 2 July 2020, is designed to (...)

Procedures

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation releases IP antitrust guidelines
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Preface Recently, the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines for the Intellectual Property (“IP Guidelines”) was published in the Collection of Antitrust Regulations and Guidelines in 2019 released by the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”). Previously, the National (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation publishes leniency guidelines
AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
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AnJie Law (Beijing)
Highlights of the Chinese Leniency Guidelines Published by SAMR in June 2020* In June 2020, the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) published a new book, the 2019 Compilation of Antitrust Regulations and Guidelines, which contains four previously (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation breaks new ground with book for antitrust guidelines
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
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Hogan Lovells (Shanghai)
On 6 August 2020, the lid was lifted on one of China’s biggest antitrust secrets. On that day, news broke out that a new book authored by the State Administration for Market Regulation ("SAMR") featuring a compilation of antitrust rules had been launched. The compilation contains four previously (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clarifies its principles for fining managers found responsible for concluding restrictive agreements
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
The President of UOKiK’s principles of imposing fines on managers* Managers responsible for concluding restrictive agreements are liable to a financial fine of up to PLN 2 million. On konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl we have published explanations on the principles for determining the amount of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority clarifies procedure for individuals injured by competition law infringements to seek damages in court
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Have you suffered a loss due to anti-competitive practices? You may claim compensation* Individuals injured by anti-competitive practices may seek redress in the courts. President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny reminds that it is of no relevance to the case whether the decision on legal infringement (...)

The Indian Central Board of Direct Taxes specifies that the Competition Authority’s Director General and Secretary are eligible to obtain information on case parties from income tax authorities when needed
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has specified the Director General (DG)/Secretary of the CCI as persons to whom relevant information may be given by specified income-tax authorities. [1] Such information must be relevant and precise and may be supplied only where it is necessary to enable the (...)

The EU Commission provides helpful guidance to national judges on the disclosure of confidential information in competition law private enforcement cases
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
On 20 July 2020 the European Commission has adopted a non-binding Communication providing guidance to national judges on how to handle the disclosure of confidential information in proceedings for competition law private enforcement. The Communication, which contains a non-binding definition (...)

The US Congress approves the renewal and permanent extension of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On June 25, 2020, Congress approved the renewal and permanent extension of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act (ACPERA or “the Act”), which limits the civil damages exposure of companies that cooperate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in selfreporting their own (...)

The Finnish Deputy Chancellor of Justice declares that the Competition Authority’s policy to prohibit recordings of hearings is declared unlawful under the national Competition Act
Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
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Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
According to the decision of the Deputy Chancellor of Justice ("DCJ"), responsible for monitoring the lawfulness of the operations of public authorities, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority ("FCCA") cannot restrict the right of attorneys to record the hearings conducted by the FCCA (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority files a constitutional controversy before the Supreme Court claiming that the energy policy violates antitrust principles New
Ritch Mueller (Mexico City)
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Ritch Mueller (Mexico City)
The Mexican Federal Government energy policies since the current Government took office two years ago have been scrutinized by the Federal Commission of Economic Competition (Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica) (“COFECE”, by its Spanish acronym) as they have raised doubts regarding their (...)

The EU Commission consults on a new competition tool and signals a road towards a more proactive approach to enforcement
Hausfeld (Amsterdam)
Introduction Competition law is one of the cornerstones of the European internal market. Two of the main articles for European Competition Law are 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU, which respectively contain the prohibition on agreements and concerted practices restricting competition (Article 101), and (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority grants authorisation to the first national voluntary battery stewardship scheme (Battery Stewardship Council)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Voluntary battery stewardship scheme granted authorisation* The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) will be able to establish and operate a national scheme for managing expired batteries under an authorisation granted by the ACCC. BSC was formed in 2018 with the primary goal of establishing a (...)

The Australian Competition Authority states that the national energy markets are at a tipping point for affordability and warns that the new Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct laws will ensure electricity retailers pass on cost savings to customers
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Tipping point for affordability in energy markets* Australia has a unique opportunity to restore energy affordability, according to ACCC Chair Rod Sims. Mr Sims was speaking via video about the opportunities in the gas and electricity markets at the 2020 National Conference of the Energy (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority challenges certain provisions of the Basque Government’s decree for private hire vehicles
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC decides to challenge certain provisions of the VTC Decree issued by the Basque Government* The provisions being challenged require VTC customers to pre-hire the service 30 minutes in advance and prevent them from geolocating the vehicles available before hiring them. The CNMC asked (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority published its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study (CMA Final Report). In so doing, it has confirmed what many have been saying for some time: serious competition concerns exist in this (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation releases auto antitrust guidelines
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
China’s Auto Antitrust Guidelines Released to the Public* On 20 February 2020, in his annual review “Dedicated to Fair Competition and Serving Reform and Development – Overview of Antitrust Work in 2019”, Mr. Wu Zhenguo, the Director of the Anti-monopoly Bureau (“AMB”) of the State Administration (...)

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