• 17/11/2017

    Cypriot Competition Authority fines fuel companies

    By decision 51/2017, the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (‘CPC’) imposed a total fine of €20.775.630 on the following Cypriot based fuel companies after an investigation carried out on its own initiative,: ExxonMobil Cyprus Ltd, Hellenic Petroleum Cyprus Ltd, Petrolina Holdings (Public) Ltd και Lukoil Cyprus Ltd. Read more →

    • 05/09/2017

    Denmark: Metro imposed a fine for retaining information in merger case

    The wholesale company Metro has violated the Danish Competition Act by retaining information about a potential buyer of the company in a contemplated merger between Metro and the wholesale supplier Euro cater. This was established by a District Court in Denmark on 21 April 2017. Metro was imposed a fine of DKK 50,000.

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    • 14/07/2017

    Dutch competition authority ACM investigates possible cartel in bunker industry

    The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is investigating the bunker industry. ACM confirmed this in a press release dated 12 July 2017.

    ACM launched its investigation into the bunker sector after the Public Prosecution service provided ACM with police information about the bunker sector. The ACM suspects that bunker companies have made illegal price arrangements. The ACM will further investigate the behavior in the bunker sector during the coming period. It is not clear which specific bunker companies are subject to the cartel investigation.

    ACM’s investigation is part of its wider approach to target the ports and transport sector. The ports and transport sector has been a (high) priority of ACM’s 2016-2017 agenda. A month ago, ACM sent a letter to 3,500 companies in the ports and transport sector, in which it informed the undertakings about the competition rules. ACM also developed its own Cartel Test for these companies by which they can self-assess whether their behavior may be in violation of the cartel prohibition.

    ACM has stressed that the investigation does not necessarily imply that the bunker companies have violated the cartel prohibition. It may take a while before we know whether sanctions will be imposed. If ACM concludes that the competition rules have been violated, it will send a (draft) report (statement of objections) to the companies concerned. The companies will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations. Afterwards, ACM will decide whether there is sufficient ground to impose fines (or whether the investigation will be ceased). If the investigation results in a fine, appeal proceedings are open for the respective companies.

    More information can be found here.

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    • 09/11/2016

    OPEL is fined DKK 8.25 million for illegal price maintenance

    Today it was published that Opel Danmark A/S has accepted a fine of DKK 8.25 million on 13 October 2016 for an infringement of section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.

    The case concerns an anti-competitive vertical agreement between Opel and their independent dealers. In the period from 2010 to 2014, Opel has set minimum retail prices for the dealers’ sale of used Opel leasing, rental and demo cars. Consequently, Opel has prevented the distributors from competing on price for sale of these cars, which is a breach of section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.

    In the determination of the fine it has been a mitigation circumstance that Opel has given the authorities information about the infringement and that Opel has documented that an extensive compliance program has been implemented.

    Opel has decided to plead guilty and accept a fine notice from the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Financial Crime. Consequently, the case has been settled without a trail.

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    • 09/05/2016

    Lidl, Edeka, Metro, Netto and other retailers in Germany fined EUR 90.5 million for resale price maintenance

    The German Competition Authority has passed decisions in new cases in their enquiry into the food retail sector. The retailers has been fined for vertical price agreements with suppliers of beer, confectionery products and coffee. The product brands include Beck’s, Franziskaner, Hasseröder, Haribo and Melitta.

    The decisions are part of a larger investigation, where many well-known retailers have been sanctioned for vertical price maintenance on shop prices of a wide variety of products.

    The German Competition Authorities started the investigation with dawn raids back in January 2010.

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    • 06/05/2016

    Competition procedure in Malta found to breach the fair hearing provisions in the Constitution

    The Constitutional Court in Malta has confirmed that Maltese competition procedure (which is similar to the procedure at EU level) breaches the constitutional provisions on fair hearing. A summary of this case can be found here.

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    • 15/03/2016

    Danish courts rules: District heating is a market exposed to competition and article 107 applies

    In a state aid dispute, Danish courts have rule on the question, whether premium free loan guarantees from a municipality to district heating companies can constitute illegal state aid in the sense of Article 107 (1) the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Horten assisted the Municipality of Sønderborg in the case.

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    • 23/12/2015

    Dominant position – a term in search of meaning

    Article 102 TFEU applies only to dominant undertakings. However the definition of the term ‘dominant position’ originally established by the CJEU poses some problems of interpretation. There have been many attempts at rationalising this definition, including attempts to equate it to the economic concept of ‘substantial market power’.

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    • 22/12/2015

    Dutch fines more than doubled as of 2017

    On 22 December, the Dutch Parliament approved a legislative amendment as a result of which the maximum personal fines that can be imposed following violations of the Competition Act (and also of similar acts such as the Postal Act, the Telecommunications Act, the Railway Act, the Passenger Transportation Act and the Gas and Electricity Act) are tremendously increased:

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    • 15/12/2015

    French Competition Authority, 15 December 2015: Delivery service (transporting parcels) industry

    The Autorité de la concurrence issues a decision concerning a case which has been brought to its attention through the leniency procedure. The Autorité principally fines 20 delivery service companies for coordinating on annual price increases that they charged their respective clients. This information sharing process, which occurred between September 2004 and September 2010, mainly took place during meetings held within the framework of a professional trade union body (TLF) which has also been fined.

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