Competition: Commission publishes updated statistics on cartel cases

On 1 March 2016, the Commission published updated statistics about cartel decisions, partly from 1969 to 2016. The statistics include the total fines imposed in each year since 2012 (both adjusted and non-adjusted for European Court judgments) and list the ten highest total and individual cartel fines since 1969 (all of which have been awarded after 2001). In addition, the statistics list the ten highest cartel fines per undertaking since 1969. Further, the statistics show the number of undertakings involved in the decisions and the number of cartel decisions taken by the Commission for each year since 2012. Finally, the statics also include data on fines imposed on undertakings as a percentage of global turnover (separate statistics where immunity applicants are included or excluded) as well as on cases decided by the Commission in the period 1990 to 2016 in five-year blocks.

Source: Commission Statistics, 01/03/2016

Competition (Sweden): Stockholm District Court orders TeliaSonera to pay 65 MSEK in damages to Yarps for abuse of dominance in the broadband connection market (ADSL)

On 7 March 2016, Stockholm District Court ("SDC") delivered its judgment on the case between Yarps Network Services AB ("Yarps") and TeliaSonera Aktiebolag ("TeliaSonera"). Yarps had claimed damages of nearly 370 MSEK from TeliaSonera for multiple alleged abuses of dominant position regarding a reseller service of broadband connections (ADSL) during 2000-2003. TeliaSonera contested the allegations and argued that Yarps had not been caused any of the claimed damages. 

One of the competition infringements alleged was margin squeeze. Yarps claimed that TeliaSonera had acted both in the wholesale and the retail levels of the market and that TeliaSonera's margin between its wholesale price and the price to end customers had not been sufficient to cover its own retail sale costs. Yarps also alleged that TeliaSonera had acted discriminatorily and had refused to supply, both forms of abuse of dominance. 

The SDC partly upheld Yarps' claims and found that TeliaSonera had engaged in margin squeeze during certain periods. However, the SDC also found that TeliaSonera had not acted discriminatorily or refused to supply. The SDC thus ordered TeliaSonera to pay 65 MSEK in damages to Yarps.

Source: Stockholm District Court Press Release 07/03/2016 (in Swedish)

Merger control: Commission partially refers acquisition of certain UDG Healthcare businesses by McKesson to UK competition authority and approves proposed merger outside UK

On 4 March 2016, the Commission announced its decision to partially refer the acquisition of certain UDG Healthcare Plc ("UDG Healthcare") businesses by McKesson Corporation ("McKesson") to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA"). The Commission also announced that it has approved the proposed merger outside the UK. McKesson, of the United States, is active in the distribution and delivery of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. UDG Healthcare, of Ireland, proposes to sell McKesson the following assets: its pharmaceuticals wholesale business in the UK and Ireland; a healthcare services provider in Ireland; and a travel healthcare business in the UK.

After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction would significantly threaten competition in certain markets in the UK. Because of the referral, those aspects will now be examined by the CMA under the UK's national law. The Commission approved the part of the transaction affecting the European Economic Area ("EEA") outside the UK, because that part of the proposed transaction did not raise competition concerns. According to the Commission, strong competitors would remain active in that market after the transaction.

Source: Commission Press Release 04/03/2016

In addition, kindly note the following merger control decisions by the Commission which are published on the website of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition:

  • Commission approves acquisition of Rhiag by LKQ
  • Commission approves joint venture of LÖWEN, Safari and SCHMIDT for the prevention of gambling addictions
  • Commission approves acquisition of N&W Global Vending by Lone Star
  • Commission approves acquisition of DOC Kaas by DMK
  • Commission approves creation of a joint venture between Avril Pôle Animal and Tönnies
  • Commission approves acquisition of Riello by UTC
  • Commission approves acquisition of Greendeli by Nordic Capital