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On December 17, 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed on the clothing company Guess a hefty penalty of EUR 40 million for allegedly severe restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors.  The full text of the Decision was published by the EC on January 25, 2019. While the substance of the... Continue reading
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On February 7, 2019, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued its long-awaited decision in the Facebook case, see press release and background paper in English here. It qualifies Facebook’s current practice of collecting and matching data of its users from third-party services/websites, including on What’sApp and Instagram, without explicit consent as an abuse of dominance.  Facebook... Continue reading
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Antitrust enforcers are good at regularly reminding the competition law community that the various forms of abuse of dominance listed in Article 102 TFEU are not exhaustive. Indeed, the idea of what conduct falls outside “competition on the merits” is ever evolving. And this can make it difficult for practitioners to set clear lines on... Continue reading
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Exhaustion doctrine and parallel imports Parallel imports, Intellectual Property (“IP”) protection and its correlation with antimonopoly regulation  is one of the most discussed topicsin the Russian Federation for the past 15 years. In general, the issue of parallel imports is closely associated with the exhaustion doctrine (that is, once a product protected by IP has... Continue reading
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CMA Brexit Draft Guidance On 28 January 2019 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) issued draft guidance on the effects of any no-deal Brexit on the CMA’s functions and its enforcement approach. This guidance has been made more urgent by the continuing UK political divisions that have plagued the Brexit process and which could... Continue reading
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After almost three years of investigation, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) has issued a Statement of Objections against in total 24 Bulgarian undertakings for bid-rigging in public procurement procedures under the National Program for Energy Efficiency of Multifamily Residential Buildings (“Energy Efficiency Program”). The bid-rigging was considered a breach of Article 15... Continue reading
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#1. The Commission’s big three worries: Data as a vital tool for doing business; platforms which control  access to important digital resources and then expand; killer acquisitions and other ways of blocking the path to innovation.  The Commission feels a great responsibility to “shape digitisation before it shapes us”.  While the existing legal toolkit is... Continue reading
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On 16 January 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU” or “Court”) dismissed the European Commission’s appeal against the annulment of its decision to prohibit the acquisition of TNT by UPS. The CJEU stressed the importance of respecting companies’ rights of defence as regards economic analysis and methodology used in merger control.... Continue reading
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In this briefing, we describe how certain employment practices, such as no-poach or wage-fixing agreements, may infringe competition law, a topic that has recently taken centre stage in the US and is also firmly, although more discretely, on the radar of antitrust authorities in Europe, but perhaps not yet on that of companies. Here is... Continue reading
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On 21 December 2018, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) published guidelines on its simplified settlement procedure (“Settlement Guidelines”).[1] Such a procedure can be followed if the ACM intends to impose a fine and the undertaking or person involved is prepared to admit the allegations and to accept the fine. The ACM can... Continue reading
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