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parliment flags

Following the French Economy Minister’s claim against Expedia in 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals, by decision dated 21 June 2017, heavily fined this Online Travel Agency (OTA), considering that certain provisions in the contracts between Expedia and its hotel partners created a “significant imbalance” between the parties under Article L. 442-6, I, 2° of the French Commercial Code. The dispute originates from 2011 when Expedia was subject to an inquiry by the DGCCRF (the French competition and consumer frauds authority). –Read More–

On 26 May 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) issued its judgment on the liability of the Law Society of England and Wales (the Law Society) in a claim brought against it by Socrates Training Limited (Socrates) finding the Law Society liable for a breach of its dominant position in contravention of both UK and EU Competition Law. This is the first judgment under from the Competition Appeal Tribunals (CAT) Fast Track Procedure, a procedure that was introduced on 1 –Read More–

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of private competition claims in the European Union. The Claimants’ Guide to Antitrust/Competition Litigation in the European Union provides an overview of the process for recovering compensation for breaches of competition law before the national courts of an EU Member State as well as the likely impact of Brexit on such actions. Please follow this link to read the guide.  

The UK Supreme Court on 18th November 2016 gave permission to the Lord Advocate of Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government , to intervene in the UK Government’s forthcoming appeal against the English High Court’s decision that the UK Government can only trigger Article 50 with the consent of the UK Parliament . The Welsh Government was also given permission to intervene as well. However the Scottish intervention is potentially significant to the Brexit process given its unique legislative –Read More–

Introduction and Summary In January 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) dealt with the first case to be brought under the new and recently introduced “fast track” competition litigation procedure under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The new fast track procedure was designed to allow, primarily, small and medium sized enterprises to gain fast and effective relief from competition law infringements and was introduced by Section 81 and Schedule 8 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This amended relevant sections –Read More–

On 20 January 2016, in what Uber termed as “a victory for common sense” , Transport for London (“TFL”) surrendered to its critics and abandoned the majority of the proposed measures it put forth in its September 2015 Consultation paper aimed at reforming the rules concerning private hire operators, private hire drivers, private hire insurance, and private hire licensing. Since March 2015, TFL has been conducting a wide-ranging review into private hire vehicle regulations. As we reported in our previous –Read More–

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force on 1st October 2015, introduced provisions which constituted a major new landmark in private competition law enforcement in the UK. Aside from a myriad of changes to consumer law, of particular importance is the introduction of US style class/collective actions for competition law claims. Section 81 and Schedule 8 of the Act are set to broaden the procedural options available to claimants bringing collective actions in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) –Read More–

Back in 2007, the French Department of Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud Control (“DGCCRF”) conducted an inspection, authorised by a judicial order, at the premises of two related French construction and engineering companies, Vinci Construction and GTM Génie Civil et Services, for possible competition law infringements. Such inspections may be conducted pursuant to a number of provisions laid out in the French Commercial Code (notably Articles L.450-1 and L.450-4) and the French Code of Criminal Procedure (notably Article 56), but –Read More–

The European Commission’s Director-General for Competition, Alexander Italianer, made a speech on 21 April 2015 entitled “Shaken, not stirred. Competition Law Enforcement and Standard Essential Patents”. The speech provides a good summary of the current interface between standard essential patents and competition law. In particular, Italianer mentions the Motorola and Samsung cases and in his view, how the cases have taught us two lessons: 1. That it is generally legitimate to seek an injunction if someone is infringing your patent. –Read More–

On 26 March 2015 the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) received Royal Assent. Among a slew of other reforms, the CRA represents an evolution of competition law in England and Wales with the introduction of a new regime for private actions and another for class actions, to be known in England as collective actions. The key reforms are as follows: • The UK Government has committed itself to reforming the competition litigation landscape to make it easier for businesses and –Read More–

Continuing the Uber legal saga, the Paris Commercial Court was called upon in summary proceedings in November 2014 to decide whether UberPop competes unfairly with rivals such as taxis and French chauffeured cars (VTCs). VTC associations, joined by the voluntary intervention of taxi unions, sought an injunction from the Commercial Court to stop UberPop activities as soon as possible and to impose a penalty in case of non-compliance which “to have a deterrent effect, cannot be less than 250,000 euros –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–

Long-standing European regulations, as well as European case law, recognize the ability to seek enforcement of a decision rendered in civil matters by a criminal court in another Member State of the European Union. This particular situation has been encountered by French court registries only exceptionally, they tended systematically to refuse to grant the European certificate required to enforce the said decision. The French Ministry of Justice has confirmed the primacy of the relevant European regulations. In accordance with Council –Read More–

Arbitration is based on consent. An arbitral tribunal derives its powers from an agreement between the parties. Whilst this grants procedural flexibility, it can pose difficulties if witnesses need to be compelled to attend hearings, or if crucial documents are in the hands of a non-party. Obvious problems exist if a key employee no longer works for a party and cannot be directed to assist, or if a party employed an independent contractor who is unwilling to become involved in –Read More–

The Netherlands is one of the most popular venues alongside the UK and Germany for bringing private damages actions in follow on actions relating to cartel infringements. These actions allow purchasers which have been charged inflated prices by cartel members to recover their loss. However an issue arises in these cases as to whether the direct purchaser has actually suffered loss or whether they have passed that loss down the distribution chain to indirect purchasers. Could the cartelists claim that –Read More–

The certified consumer association “UFC- Que Choisir” launched yesterday, on the effective date of the Hamon Law, the first action de groupe in France against the French real property manager Foncia. UFC-Que Choisir through a press release, indicated this morning that it served on Foncia a summons to appear before the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre to obtain on behalf of 318,000 tenants the refund of fees allegedly unlawfully invoiced to them by Foncia for its notice payment service –Read More–

The French Government has issued a Decree no. 2014-1081 on September 24, 2014 detailing the rules governing the French class action (action de groupe) system which will enter into force on October 1st 2014. The French action de groupe system authorizes recognised consumer groups to bring actions before civil courts in order to recover damages for harm suffered by consumers in connection with either the sale of goods, the supply of services, or anti-competitive practices. Environmental and health damages are excluded from –Read More–

Given London’s status as a financial centre, England is a sensible venue to explore when considering where to enforce a court decision. The procedure for enforcing the judgment of a foreign court is to bring a separate claim in the English courts. The English courts will treat the foreign judgment as creating a debt between the parties rather than requiring the matter to be re-litigated on the merits. If the defendant is domiciled outside England & Wales it will be necessary to apply to –Read More–

In November 2005, the Commission held that 16 companies had participated in an illegal cartel in the plastic industrial bags market (Case COMP/38354, OJ 2007 L282/41). The infringement mainly concerned the fixing of prices and the establishment of common price calculation models, the sharing of markets, the allocation of sales quotas, the assignment of customers, deals and orders and lastly, the exchange of individualised information in Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In total, the fines imposed against –Read More–

On 17 April 2014, the EU Parliament adopted a text of the Directive on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union (the Directive). The Directive is aimed at facilitating private enforcement of European competition law by eliminating complications that infringement victims currently face when considering compensation claims. Member States will have two years from the Directive coming into force to implement it –Read More–