GERMANY ANTITRUST

Bundeskartellamt adopts New Cartel Fining Guidelines: On 25 June 2013, the Bundeskartellamt published new guidelines on the setting of fines (BKartA Press Release). The revised guidelines follow a decision by the German Federal Court of Justice in February 2013, in which it ruled that the 10% limit for fines imposed on undertakings under German law constitutes the upper limit of the applicable scale of fines, not just a capping threshold.

EU MERGERS

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6454Limagrain / KWS / Genective (MEX/13/0628).
  • M.6692Telefónica / Círculo / JV (25.06.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6873InterContinental Exchange / NYSE Euronext (24.06.2013) (IP/13/597).
  • M.6904Yamaha / Kayaba Industry / KYB Motorcycle Suspension Co., Ltd (25.06.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6917FSI / Merit / Yildirim / CMA CGM S.A (25.06.2013).
  • M.6928ConAgra Foods / Cargill / CHS / Ardent Mills JV (24.06.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6935Argos / Wallach (MEX/13/0628).
  • M.6942PAI Partners / R&R (24.06.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6952Goldman Sachs / Thomas HLee Partners / CTI Foods (21.06.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6953Bain Capital Investors / Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Funds / BMC Software (24.06.2013) (simplified review).

UK MERGERS

CAT publishes order Groupe Eurotunnel merger appeal: On 26 June 2013, the CAT published an order on Groupe Eurotunnel’s appeal against the Competition Commission’s decision in the Eurotunnel/SeaFrance merger (see Eurotunnel / SeaFrance merger inquiry) (see Volume 1, Issue 31). The Order grants both the Société Coopérative de Production Sea France S.A. and DFDS A/S permission to intervene, but refuses the application of the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Côte d’Opale. The main hearing has been listed for 10 September 2013 (Case No 1216/4/8/13).

Competition Commission updates timetable in Ryanair / Aer Lingus: The Competition Commission (CC) has published an updated administrative timetable. The revised deadline for the CC final report is 5 September 2013 (Ryanair / Aer Lingus CC merger inquiry).

UK MARKET INVESTIGATIONS

OFT refers payday lending market to Competition Commission: On 27 June 2013, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the market for payday lending in the UK to the Competition Commission (CC) under section 131 of the Enterprise Act 2002. The view of the OFT is that certain features of the payday lending market prevent, restrict, or distort competition (Press release 45/13).

STATE AID

Advocate General Opinion on whether national courts are bound by Commission characterization: On 27 June 2013, Advocate General Paolo Mengozzi opined that, in appeal proceedings concerning the recovery of aid payments and in respect of which the Commission has opened formal proceedings under Article 108(2) of the TFEU, a national court is required to adopt all necessary measures to guarantee compliance by the national authorities with the obligation of non-implementation contained in Article 108(3) TFEU. When the national court does not agree with the characterisation of the measure carried out by the Commission in the decision to open formal proceedings, the national court can request the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Case C-284/12 - Deutsche Lufthansa AG v Flughafen Frankfurt Hahn GmbH, Advocate General’s opinion delivered on 27 June 2013).

SPEECHES/PUBLICATIONS

Speech by President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Sir Gerald Barling: Competition litigation: what the next few years may hold (19 June 2013).

Speech by Chairman (Designate) of the Competition & Markets Authority, Lord David Currie: Competition policy and economic growth: principles and practice – a UK perspective (26 June 2013).

UK OFT publishes Annual Report 2012-13 (Press release 46/13).

Speech by the Vice President of DG COMP, Joaquín Almunia: 50 años de control de competencia en España, Madrid, 27 June 2013 (SPEECH/13/585).

EU SANCTIONS

Al-Qaida

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 596/2013 (OJ L 172/1, 25.06.2013) amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with the Al-Qaida network. The Implementing removes one designated person from Annex I.