Competition: Commission fines truck producers EUR 2.93 billion in cartel settlement

On 19 July 2016, the Commission announced that it has imposed record fines of EUR 2.93 billion on the truck producers Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF for their participation in a cartel to fix prices and pass on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules to customers on the market for manufacturing of medium and heavy trucks, in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU"). A sixth producer, MAN, also participated in the cartel but received full immunity from fines under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Notice for revealing the cartel's existence to the Commission. Volvo/Renault, Daimler and Iveco received reductions of their fines for cooperating with the Commission in the investigation.

According to the Commission, road haulage is an essential part of the European transport sector, and its competitiveness depends on the prices of the vehicles used by transporters. As noted above, the cartel concerned the market for manufacturing of medium trucks, weighing between 6 and 16 tons, and heavy trucks, weighing over 16 tons. The Commission's investigation showed that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF coordinated prices at the so-called gross list level for medium and heavy trucks in the European Economic Area ("EEA"). The "gross list" price level relates to the factory price of trucks set by each manufacturer, and it generally forms the basis for pricing the trucks further down the supply chain. According to the Commission, the companies also colluded over the timing of their introduction of the new emission technologies required by the Euro III to Euro VI environmental standards and agreed on passing the increased costs caused by such emission technologies on to customers. The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted 14 years, from 1997 to 2011.

The Commission started its investigation following MAN's leniency application. In January 2011, the Commission carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in the truck industry. In November 2014 the Commission sent statements of objections to the companies suspected of illegal behavior. In the context of the investigation, the Commission opened separate proceedings against Scania. The Commission's settlement decision did not cover Scania, and the investigation against Scania will continue under the standard cartel procedure.

Source: Commission Press Release 19/07/2016

Competition: Commission sends two statements of objections to Google alleging Google's comparison shopping and advertising-related practices breach EU antitrust rules

On 14 July 2016, the Commission announced that it has sent two statements of objections to Google, namely a supplementary statement of objections ("Supplementary SO") over its price comparison service and a separate statement of objections over its advertising business ("Advertising SO"). The Supplementary SO follows the Commission's initial statement of objections issued in April 2015 and Google's August 2015 response to it, after which the Commission investigated further. According to the Commission, the Supplementary SO reinforces its preliminary conclusion that Google has abused its dominant position by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping service in general search results. The Supplementary SO also outlines a broad range of additional evidence and data that relate to the Commission's allegations, including the impact of a website's ranking in Google's search results on its traffic and the evolution of traffic to Google's comparison shopping service compared to its competitors. The Commission is concerned that Google's practices may have prevented users from seeing the most relevant results in response to queries, which harms consumers and stifles innovation. Further, in the Supplementary SO the Commission rejects Google's argument that comparison shopping services should be considered to belong to the same product market as services provided by merchant platforms, such as Amazon and eBay. Even if merchant platforms were included in the market affected by Google's practices, comparison shopping services form significant part of that market and Google's conduct has weakened or even marginalized competition from its closest rivals.

The Advertising SO relates to Google's practice of placing ads through its AdSense for Search platform in search results that appear on the websites of large third parties ("Direct Partners"), such as newspapers and online retailers (so-called "search advertising intermediation"). If the user clicks on search ads, both Google and the Direct Partner receive a commission. In the Advertising SO, the Commission argues that Google has restricted the ability of the Direct Partners to display competing search ads to protect its dominant position in online search advertising. The Commission considers at this stage that Google is dominant in the market for search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), with market shares of around 80% in the last ten years. A large part of Google's revenues in search advertising intermediation stems from agreements with a small number of large Direct Partners. The Commission has concerns that Google may have abused its dominant position by requiring these Direct Partners to refrain from sourcing ads from Google's competitors, to take a minimum number of search ads from Google, to reserve the most prominent space on their search results pages for Google search ads and to obtain Google's approval before making changes to the display of competing search ads. According to the Commission, these practices hinder competition on the commercially important market because they artificially reduce choice and opportunities and stifle innovation. The Commission took into account that Google has recently decided to change the conditions in its AdSense agreements with Direct Partners to give them more freedom to display competing search ads. The Commission will closely monitor these changes to assess their impact on the market.

Sending a statement of objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The two statement of objections are also independent of the Commission's ongoing antitrust investigation concerning Google's Android operating system and certain mobile applications.Source: Commission Press Release 14/07/2016 

Competition: Commission accepts Paramount's commitments on cross-border pay-TV services

On 26 July 2016, the Commission accepted commitments offered by Paramount Pictures International Limited and Viacom Inc. (together "Paramount") to address competition concerns relating to contractual clauses in licensing agreements that prevent the cross-border provision of pay-TV services. In July 2015, the Commission sent statements of objections to Sky UK Limited ("Sky UK") and six major film studios, including Paramount, informing these companies that certain clauses in film licensing agreements for pay-TV between the film studios and Sky UK may breach EU antitrust rules. Under these clauses, Sky UK was required to block access to Paramount's films through its online and satellite pay-TV services (so-called "geo-blocking") to consumers outside its licensed territory consisting of the UK and Ireland. Further, Paramount was also required to ensure that broadcasters outside the UK and Ireland were prevented from making their pay-TV services available in these countries. The Commission had concerns that the clauses restrict the ability of broadcasters to accept unsolicited requests for pay-TV services from consumers located outside their licensed territory (so-called "passive sales"). This may eliminate cross-border competition between pay-TV broadcasters and partition the EU's Single Market along national borders.

In order to address the Commission's concerns, Paramount offered a set of commitments that apply throughout the European Economic Area ("EEA"). When licensing its film output for pay-TV to broadcasters located in the EEA, Paramount firstly committed not to reintroduce contractual obligations that prevent or limit such broadcasters from responding to unsolicited requests from consumers within the EEA but outside the broadcasters' licensed territory (a so-called “Broadcaster Obligation”). Paramount also offered not to bring any actions for violation of the Broadcaster Obligation included in its existing licensing agreements. Secondly, under a so-called paramount obligation ("Paramount Obligation"), Paramount offered not to reintroduce new obligations or enforce the existing obligations that require it to prohibit or limit pay-TV broadcasters located outside a licensed territory from responding to unsolicited requests coming from consumers within the licensed territory. The commitments apply for a period of five years. They cover both standard pay-TV services and, to the extent they are included in the licenses with broadcasters, subscription video-on-demand services, whether broadcast online or by satellite. Finally, the commitments also contain a non-circumvention clause and clauses on the review of the commitments and the appointment of a monitoring trustee.

The Commission's market test showed that the commitments appropriately address its competition concerns. Accordingly, the Commission made the commitments legally binding on Paramount. The Commission continues its investigation into the conduct of Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros and Sky UK. Source: Commission Press Release 26/07/2016

Competition: Court of Justice of European Union rules on Latvian referral concerning liability for anticompetitive behavior of third-party service providers

On 21 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") handed down a preliminary ruling on a reference from the Latvian Supreme Court concerning the liability of an undertaking for anticompetitive actions committed by its third-party service provider. The question arose in the second instance appeal proceedings against a decision of the Latvian Competition Council ("Competition Council"). The Competition Council had imposed fines on three companies for their participation in bid-rigging tenders for supplying food to kindergartens. When preparing the bids, one of the companies, Pārtikas Kompānija SIA ("Pārtikas Kompānija") had sought legal advice from Juridiska sabiedrība 'B & Š partneri SIA, who relied on a sub-contractor MMD lietas SIA ("MMD lietas") to prepare Pārtikas Kompānija's bid. Pārtikas Kompānija independently set the price of its offer and MMD lietas was only mandated with the contract’s technical drafting. However, MMD lietas used Pārtikas Kompānija's bid as a reference to prepare the bids of the two other companies, Ausma grupa SIA and VM Remonts SIA. This was done without informing Pārtikas Kompānija. The Latvian Supreme Court asked the CJEU to clarify in a preliminary ruling whether it is necessary to provide evidence that the officer of an undertaking was aware of or consented to the illegal behavior of an external third-party service provider in order to establish that the undertaking participated in an anticompetitive agreement.

In its judgment, the CJEU noted that an undertaking may, in principle, be held liable for a concerted practice through the acts of an independent service provider. For such liability to exist, one of three non-cumulative conditions must be met. Firstly, the CJEU found that the anticompetitive behavior of the service provider may be attributed to the undertaking using the services if the service provider was in fact acting under the discretion and control of that undertaking. Such direction or control may be inferred from the existence of particular organizational, economic and legal links between the service provider and the user of the services, similar to the relationship between parent companies and their subsidiaries. Secondly, the CJEU held that the undertaking using the services may be held liable if it was aware of the anticompetitive objectives pursued by its competitors and the service provider, and the undertaking intended to contribute to those objectives by its own conduct. Finally, as a third condition, the CJEU found that the unlawful conduct of the service provider may be attributed to the undertaking using the services if the latter could reasonably have foreseen that the service provider would share commercial information with its competitors, but was nevertheless prepared to accept such risk. Whether or not the undertaking satisfies these conditions is a matter of evidence and interpretation for the national court. Source: Case C-542/14 SIA 'VM Remonts', formerly SIA 'DIV un KO', SIA 'Ausma Grupa' v Konkurences padome and Konkureces padome v SIA 'Pärtikas kompãnija', judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, 21 July 2016

Competition: Commission accepts commitments offered by container liner shipping companies

On 7 July 2016, the Commission announced that it has decided under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 to make binding commitments offered by 14 container liner shipping companies ("Carriers") to address competition concerns relating to their publication of future pricing intentions. In November 2013, the Commission, on its own initiative, opened formal antitrust proceedings to investigate the practice of the Carriers to publish so-called general rate increase ("GRI") announcements concerning the intended future increases of freight prices on their websites, via the press, or in other ways. The GRI announcements do not indicate the fixed final price for the service concerned, but only the amount of the increase in US Dollars per transported container unit, the affected trade route and the planned date of implementation. The Carriers usually publish announcements three to five weeks before prices are due to change. During this period, some or all of the competitors make similar increases for the same route. However, the Carriers are not bound by the announced increases and some of them have postponed or modified the announced GRIs.

The Commission found that the practice of announcing GRIs may lead to higher prices for container liner shipping services and may harm competition and customers in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU"). The Commission had concerns that the GRI announcements do not provide full information on new prices to customers; they may merely allow the Carriers to be aware of each other's pricing intentions and possibly to coordinate their competitive behavior. Announcing future price increases may decrease Carriers' incentive to compete against each other by reducing the level of uncertainty about their pricing behavior. Further, customers may not rely on the GRI announcements because they provide only partial information and are not necessarily binding on the Carriers. As a result, the Carriers may adjust prices without the risk of losing customers.

To address the Commission's concerns, the Carriers offered commitments that would apply for a period of three years, beginning 7 December 2016. Under the commitments, the Carriers would stop publishing and communicating the GRI announcements. In order for any future price announcements to be useful for customers, the Carriers would announce figures that include at least the five main elements of the total price. Price announcements would be binding on the Carriers as maximum prices for the announced period of validity and would not be made more than 31 days before their entry into force, which corresponds to the period when customers usually start booking in significant volumes. The commitments would not apply to communications with purchasers who already have an existing rate agreement in force on the route subject to the communication and to communications during bilateral negotiations or communications tailored to the needs of specific identified purchasers.

The Commission's market test showed that the commitments appropriately address its competition concerns. They increase price transparency for customers and reduce the likelihood of concerted price signaling because they bind the Carriers to the announced prices. Therefore, the Commission decided to make the commitments legally binding on the Carriers for a period of three years.

Source: Commission Press Release 07/07/2016

Commission confirms unannounced inspections in rail passenger transport sector

On 6 July 2016, the Commission confirmed that on 28 June 2016 its officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the rail passenger transport sector in several Member States. The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.

The Commission has concerns that these companies may have entered into anti-competitive agreements intended to exclude competing rail passenger transport operators from the market in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU"). Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in the Commission's investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anticompetitive behavior, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

Source: Commission Press Release 06/07/2016

Competition: Commission opens formal investigation into AB InBev's practices on Belgian beer market

On 30 June 2016, the Commission opened a formal investigation to assess whether Anheuser-Busch InBev SA ("AB InBev") has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market by hindering imports of its beer from neighboring countries, such as the Netherlands and France, in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU"). The investigation follows repeatedly voiced concerns from consumers, national competition authorities and the European Parliament that prices for common food and drink products can vary significantly between neighboring EU Member States without any objective or justified reason. These parties also alleged that operators raise obstacles to trade from less expensive countries and called on the Commission to address these obstacles and ensure more price convergence inside the EU's Single Market.

The Commission has preliminary concerns that AB InBev may be pursuing a deliberate strategy to restrict so-called parallel trade of its beer from less expensive countries. It launched the investigation to establish whether these concerns are justified. In particular, the Commission will assess potentially anticompetitive practices whereby AB InBev has altered the packaging of beer cans and bottles to make it more difficult to sell them in other countries or limited the access of non-Belgian retailers to rebates and key products to prevent them from bringing less expensive beer products to Belgium. If established, such practices will create anticompetitive obstacles to trade within the EU's Single Market and breach Article 102 of the TFEU. Source: Commission Press Release 30/06/2016

Competition (Sweden): Committee of inquiry proposes extended decision-making powers to the Swedish Competition Authority in Government Official Report

On 30 June 2016, the committee of inquiry investigating whether to extend the Swedish Competition Authority's ("SCA") decision-making powers submitted its Government Official Report ("the Report") to the Ministry of Industry. The Report proposes that the SCA as a first instance should be entitled to determine sanctions in cases regarding restrictive agreements, abuse of dominance and the prohibitions or obligations concerning mergers. That would mean that the SCA would have the same powers as the majority of the national competition authorities in the EU. According to Appeals Judge and the Swedish government's special investigator in the matter, Eva Edwardsson, the proposal would decrease the duration of procedures under the Swedish Competition Act.

The SCA is very positive about the proposal. According to Dan Sjöblom, Director General at the SCA, increased decision-making resembling the procedure in other EU member states would not only decrease the duration of procedures but also facilitate the SCA's cooperation with other competition authorities in the EU. Mr. Sjöblom also says that these increased decision-making powers would increase efficiency, especially in cases where companies choose not to appeal the SCA's decisions. Presently, at least one decision-making instance in addition to the SCA is required. The time saved when companies do not appeal would save litigation costs both for the SCA and the companies as well as saving the courts both time and resources, Mr. Sjöblom says.

Businesses have taken a critical stance towards the initiative, raising concern, for example, regarding the appropriateness of the SCA, a regulatory body, acting both as investigator and decision-maker in such complex cases as violations of competition rules.

The suggested amendments to the Swedish Competition Act are proposed to take effect on 1 January 2018. Source: Swedish Government Official Report 30/06/2016, Swedish Government Official Reports Press Release 01/07/2016 and Swedish Competition Authority Press Release 04/07/2016

Merger control: Commission conditionally approves Konecranes' acquisition of Terex's crane and container handling business

On 8 August 2016, the Commission approved the acquisition of Terex's Material Handling & Port Solutions segment ("MHPS") by Konecranes, subject to conditions. Konecranes is a global supplier of lifting equipment, headquartered in Finland. Terex's MHPS supplies industrial cranes, crane components, crane services and container handling equipment.

The Commission's investigation revealed that the transaction, as initially notified, would create significant overlaps between Konecranes' and Terex's activities in the supply of electric chain hoists and wire rope hoists, which are both components used in cranes and container handling equipment. The investigation also showed that the transaction would have potentially reduced effective competition in the markets for electric chain hoists and wire rope hoists in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), and particularly in Germany and France. The Commission raised concerns because the proposed transaction would result in a very large market share for the merged entity and end an intensive competitive relationship between Konecranes and Terex. Moreover, the transaction would leave just one major alternative market supplier, Abus, and customers were concerned that the transaction would lead to price increases for both electric chain hoists and wire rope hoists in the EEA.

In order to address the Commission's concerns, Konecranes offered to divest its entire Stahl global business for hoists, cranes and other handling materials, together with a production facility in Germany. According to the Commission, the divestment removes the overlaps in Germany and more than half of the overlaps in France. On an EEA level the divestment removes the overlap for wire rope hoists and halves the overlap for electric chain hoists. Konecranes and Terex will not be allowed to finalize the notified transaction before the Commission approves a buyer for the divestment business.

In its review of the proposed transaction, the Commission cooperated closely with the US Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The cooperation involved regular exchanges of views and evidence on the likely impact of the transaction on the EU and US markets. Source: Commission Press Release 08/08/2016

Merger control: Commission conditionally approves acquisition of Meda by Mylan

On 20 July 2016, the Commission conditionally approved an acquisition of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Meda AB ("Meda") by Mylan N.V. ("Mylan"). Meda markets and distributes over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals. Mylan, for its part, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets and distributes mainly both generic and specialty prescription pharmaceuticals.

The Commission's investigation focused on the proposed transaction's effects on competition in several therapeutic areas. The Commission found that while no competition concerns existed for the majority of the products, the strong position of the two companies and the lack of sufficient alternatives raised competition concerns in 15 markets in various EU Member States. These markets included the market for antiarrhytmic agents belonging to the Vaughan Williams Class I-C in Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Spain, Portugal and the UK. The Commission's investigation indicated competition concerns also in the market for amoxicillin in Norway, the market for diltiazem and the market for multivitamins without minerals for paeditric use in Portugal, the market for megestrol in Spain, the market for nebumetone in the UK, the market for povidone-ionide in France and the market for progestogens in Austria.

In order to address the Commission's competition concerns, Mylan offered to divest its own or Meda's local businesses in the markets concerned, including the relevant marketing authorizations, customer information, and brands, where relevant. The Commission found that these commitments fully addressed its competition concerns. Accordingly, the Commission approved the transaction, as modified by the commitments. Source: Commission Press Release 20/07/2016

Merger control: Commission conditionally approves acquisition of Arianespace by ASL

On 20 July 2016, the Commission conditionally approved the acquisition of ArianeSpace SA ("Arianespace") by Airbus Safran Launchers ("ASL") after an in-depth investigation. Arianespace offers satellite launch services to private and institutional operators. For its services, Arianespace uses launchers produced by three different companies, including the Ariane launcher manufactured by ASL. ASL is a 50/50 joint venture controlled by Safran and Airbus. Both ASL and its parent company Airbus manufacture payload adapters and dispensers, which are used by launch service providers such as Arianespace.

The Commission's in-depth investigation confirmed preliminary concerns that the transaction could facilitate sharing of sensitive information between Airbus and Arianespace. The Commission was particularly concerned about sharing of information between the companies about other satellite manufacturers and launch service providers. According to the Commission, these potential flows of information could result in less competitive tenders and less innovation in the markets for satellites and launch services. To address these concerns, the companies offered to implement firewalls between Airbus and Arianespace to prevent harmful information flows; in particular, they committed not to share information about third parties with each other, except as required for day-to-day business. Further, the companies also committed to restrict employee mobility between Airbus and Arianespace and to include an arbitration mechanism in all their future non-disclosure agreements with third parties to ensure effective implementation of the firewalls. The Commission found that the commitments fully addressed its competition concerns because they prevented any exchange of sensitive information between Airbus and Arianespace that could harm competition.

When deciding to open the in-depth investigation, the Commission originally raised three additional preliminary concerns that related to the merged entity's ability to potentially restrict competitors' access to Arianespace's launch services, to prioritize Ariane launchers to the detriment of competing Vega launchers, and to procure payload adapters and dispensers exclusively from Airbus and ASL. However, for a variety of reasons these concerns turned out to be unsubstantiated during the investigation, and the companies did not have to address these concerns in their commitments.

Source: Commission Press Release 20/07/2016

Merger control (Sweden): Stockholm District Court rejects Swedish Competition Authority's appeal regarding Logstor's acquisition of Powerpipe

On 12 February 2016, the Swedish Competition Authority ("SCA") requested the Stockholm District Court ("SDC") to prohibit Logstor Sverige Holding AB's ("Logstor") acquisition of all shares in Powerpipe Systems AB ("Powerpipe"). Both Logstor and Powerpipe are active on the market for the manufacturing and distribution of pre-insulated pipes used for heating. Based on an in-depth investigation, the SCA concluded that the there is a risk that as a result of the proposed acquisition Powerpipe would gain a dominant position, weakening competition resulting in direct harm to Swedish district heating customers.

On 4 August 2016, the SDC, however, rejected the SCA's appeal. In its judgment, the SDC considered, contrary to the view of the SCA, that the geographic market for the manufacturing and distribution of pre-insulated pipes used for district heating was broader than national. According to the SDC the relevant geographic market is northern Europe, in which Powerpipe would as a result of the proposed acquisition gain only a 35% market share. Accordingly, the SDC found that a market share of 35 % was not, bearing in mind the other characteristics of the market, indicative of a dominant position.

According to Per Karlsson, Chief Legal Officer and Director at the SCA, the SCA is reviewing the SDC's judgment and considering whether to appeal. Source: Swedish Competition Authority Press Release 04/08/2016 and Stockholm District Court Judgment 04/08/2016

Merger control (Sweden): Swedish Competition Authority initiates in-depth investigation of Com Hem's planned acquisition of Boxer

On 21 June 2016, Com Hem AB ("Com Hem") notified its intention to acquire Boxer TV-Access AB ("Boxer") to the Swedish Competition Authority ("SCA"). According to the SCA's initial investigation the proposed acquisition affects the market for distribution of TV services and may significantly harm competition. Several third parties have expressed their concern regarding the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition to the SCA. In order to make a final decision, further analysis is required and the SCA has therefore opened an in-depth investigation.

The SCA has up to three months to conduct its in-depth investigation. The deadline for the SCA's decision to approve the proposed acquisition or to propose that it should be blocked by the Stockholm's District Court is 27 October 2016. Source: Swedish Competition Authority Press Release 27/07/2016 and Swedish Competition Authority Decision 27/07/2016

Merger control (Sweden): Blocket will not acquire its competitor Hemnet

On 3 February 2016, Blocket Bostad ("Blocket") notified its intention to acquire Hemnet Sverige AB ("Hemnet") to the Swedish Competition Authority ("SCA"). On 9 March 2016, due to provisional concerns regarding the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition, the SCA initiated an in-depth investigation.

Both Blocket, which is owned by Schibsted, and Hemnet, which is owned by various estate agents, are active in the digital property listings market. The SCA found that if Blocket had been allowed to acquire Hemnet, the market leader, this would have created a monopoly, which in turn would result in higher listing prices.

The parties proposed commitments to alleviate the potential anticompetitive effects of the merger identified by the SCA. However, the SCA found the commitments insufficient. The SCA declared its intention to request the Stockholm District Court to block the proposed acquisition. Conseqently, the parties have decided not to carry out the proposed merger and to withdraw their notification.

Source: Swedish Competition Authority Press Release 07/07/2016

Public procurement (Sweden): Stockholm Administrative Court imposes a fine of SEK 2 million on Södertälje municipality for illegal direct award of public care and welfare contract

On 12 July 2016, the Stockholm Administrative Court ("SAC") delivered a judgment finding Södertälje municipality ("Södertälje") in breach of the public procurement rules.

Since 2009, the operation of two care- and welfare homes, Oxbackshemmet and Cederströmska gården, has been based on third party service agreements and run as one unit. Södertälje, however, decided to take over the running of Cederströmska gården but wanted to continue to have Oxbackshemmet operated based on a third party service agreement. The service agreement was initially subject to a procurement process which was however canceled due to unclarities in the tender documents. Subsequently, Södertälje awarded the service agreement directly (i.e. without a procurement process) and including also the operation of Cederströmska gården.

The SAC confirmed the SCA's initial findings in their entirety. The court stated that in the case at hand the conditions for allowing a direct award were not fulfilled. The SAC agreed with the SCA's assessment that there was no need for Södertälje to resort to a direct award and that Södertälje had not shown any reasons why Oxbackshemmet could not temporarily be operated by Södertalje itself pending the carrying out of the required procurement process.

As proposed by the SCA, a fine of SEK 2 million was imposed on Södertälje by the SAC. Source: Swedish Competition Authority Press Release 12/07//2016 and Stockholm Administrative Court Judgment 08/07/2016

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 joint acquisition of wire manufacturer WireCo by Onex and Paine & Partners
  • Commission approves acquisition of Valspar by Sherwin-Williams
  • Commission approves acquisition of Clessidra by Italmobiliare
  • Commission approves acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim's consumer health business by Sanofi
  • Commission approves joint venture by Gerdau and Sumitomo
  • Commission approves Vodafone/Liberty Global telecoms joint venture
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control over Ferrari Financial Services AG by Fiat Chrysler Automotive Bank and Ferrari Financial Services S.p.A.
  • Commission approves acquisition of Bilfinger Real Estate Solutions and Bilfinger Efficiency by EQT VII
  • Commission approves joint acquisition of Pneuhage Partners by Pneuhage Management and Bridgestone Deutschland
  • Commission approves acquisition of Volvofinans Bank by Volvo and Volverkinvest
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control over Slovenske elektrarne by EPH and Enel
  • Commission approves joint acquisition of Royal Carribean Holdings de España by Springwater and RCL
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control over AUSS by Warburg Pincus and Wendel
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control of Hendrix Genetics by NPM Capital and Thijs Hendrix Beheer
  • Commission approves joint venture by KH and STRABAG for heavy maintenance works on public roads and motorways
  • Commission approves joint acquisition of a number of assets held by the National Bank of Greece by DAAM and GSAM
  • Commission approves acquisition of the payment card business of Banco Popular Portugal by Bancopopular-e
  • Commission approves acquisition of automotive component business of Faurecia by Plastic Omnium
  • Commission approves joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Airbus for the supply of maintenance, repair and overhaul services
  • Commission approves acquisition of the payment card business of Barclays Bank by Bancopopular-e
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control of Awesomeness TV by Verizon
  • Commission approves acquisition of an office building in France by Aviva and Credit Mutuel
  • Commission approves acquisition of certain aviation fuel assets belonging to ExxonMobil by WFS