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On 16 December 2014, in a decision likely to delight Swedish retailers, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) decided not to further investigate or prosecute alleged price fixing by a protein powder retailer. This instance is significant because on the facts of the complaint: that the price fixing was blatant. In it’s decision, the SCA revealed that it investigated the protein powder producer 13:e Protein Import AB, after an anonymous tip of a 2013 letter sent by the producer. In this –Read More–

The US Congress has passed and President Obama is expected to sign the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014” (“the Act”), which gives the President authority to impose certain secondary sanctions on non-US persons that make “significant” investments in special Russian crude oil projects. In addition, the President is authorized to impose a specified sanction on foreign financial institutions that are determined to have knowingly engaged in significant transactions involving certain defense and energy-related transactions or facilitated certain transactions for any Russian person that is a –Read More–

As we reported in July 2014, the European Commission fined pharmaceutical company Servier and several of its generic competitors for entering into so called ‘pay for delay agreements’. These agreements were settlements of patent challenges involving payments of tens of millions of Euros to the generic competitors in exchange for their agreement to abstain from competing with Servier’s peripindopril cardio-vascular product. The Commission argued that these agreements violated EU competition law Article 101 and fined each of the generic competitors, –Read More–

On 15 December 2015, the EU Commission announced that it had launched market tests regarding price parity clauses in online hotel booking in France, Sweden and Italy. The EU Commission is market testing the effectiveness of commitments offered by to alleviate concerns that their contractual terms could inadvertently be having an anti-competitive effect. The Commission will co-ordinate and consult with the three national regulators who were carrying out their own domestic investigations to determine whether the commitments offered do –Read More–

There has been substantial debate and some confusion over how you identify when a restriction is a restriction ‘by object’ or ‘by effect’ under Article 101 and 102 TFEU. This debate follows on from the Commission’s recently publishing a revised De Minimis notice and certain policy papers in June 2014 and the recent European Court of justice case in Groupement Des Cartes Bancaires (“GCB case”). We reported on the De Minimis notice and a list of restrictions ‘by object’ in –Read More–

An implementation circular published on October 31, 2014, finally provides for more details on the French action de groupe procedure as well as a chart outline of the action de groupe. It is recalled that an action de groupe may lie only if certain conditions are fulfilled, i.e., a plurality of consumers (at least two) in a similar or identical situation having suffered individual, economic damages stemming from a violation of a legal or contractual obligation by a professional in connection with either the –Read More–

On 26 November 2014, EU Advocate General (AG) Wathelet delivered his opinion in the closely followed Huawei v ZTE patent dispute. Although the opinion is not binding, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) follows the AG’s opinion in around 80% of cases. The AG tries to steer a middle course of balancing the interests of both patent holder and putative licensee but he ultimately sides with the rights of the licensee in such battles. The opinion almost rules out the –Read More–