EU ANTITRUST

European Court of Justice dismisses Dow appeal in synthetic rubber cartel. On 18 July 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dismissed in its entirety an appeal by Dow against the 2006 European Commission (Commission) Decision on the synthetic rubber cartel (COMP/3838). According to Dow, the Commission had erroneously imputed liability to the US parent, Dow Chemical. In its judgment, the ECJ held that where the Commission adopts, in respect of a cartel, one specific method for determining whether the parent companies concerned are liable for the infringements engaged in by their subsidiaries, it must – unless there are special circumstances – use the same criteria for all those parent companies. Furthermore, the mere fact that Dow Chemical runs the risk of civil litigation in the US cannot make it justifiable for the Commission to refrain from imposing a fine on that company. Accordingly, the Commission had been entitled to impute liability for the infringement to Dow Chemical (C-499/11 - Dow Chemical and Others v Commission, Judgment of 18 July 2013).

European Court of Justice dismisses Schindler appeal in elevators and escalators cartel. On 18 July 2013, the ECJ upheld the rejection by the General Court (Case T-138/07) of an appeal by Schindler related to the 2007 Commission Decision on the elevators and escalators cartel (COMP/38823). The ECJ rejected all 13 pleas put forward in support of the appeal (C-501/11 PSchindler Holding and Others v Commission, Judgment of 18 July 2013) (ECJ Press Release 97/13).

Commission publishes summary of Star Alliance commitments decision. On 13 July 2013, the Commission published the official summary of its decision (OJ C 201/8, 13.7.2013) to accept legally binding commitments related to the Star Alliance (Case AT.39595) (seeVolume 1, Issue 29).

DOMINANCE

Commission sends statement of objections to ARA for suspected abuse of dominance. On 18 July 2013, the Commission announced that it has issued a formal statement of objections (SO) to Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (ARA) (IP/13/711). According to the Commission’s preliminary view, ARA may have abused its dominant position on the markets for the management of packaging waste in Austria. The Commission has concerns that ARA may have refused access to household collection infrastructure to potential competitors and, in addition, may have foreclosed competitors from the market for the management of commercial packaging waste (case number 39759).

EU MERGERS

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6885SDNV / Germanischer Lloyd SE (15.07.2013).
  • M.6887SNAM / GISCI / TIFG (simplified review) (12.07.2013).
  • M.6925Allianz Group / Omers Group / Net4gas (simplified review).
  • M.6937TCC / UTC / TCAC JV (simplified review).
  • M.6938Mahle / Behr KG (simplified review) (16.07.2013).
  • M.6959Onex / JELD-WEN (simplified review) (12.07.2013).
  • M.6965Carlyle / Alpinvest (simplified review).
  • M.6857Crane Co / MEI Group (IP/13/717) (subject to conditions).

CONSULTATIONS

UK BIS launches consultation on Competition and Markets Authority. On 15 July 2013, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a consultation on the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) strategic priorities. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will create the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to succeed the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. The BIS consultation seeks views on the draft text of the Strategic Steer to the CMA and certain key pieces of secondary legislation: maximum penalties for failure to comply with the CMA’s information gathering powers; legal rules to determine when an enterprise is to be treated as controlled by a person and the turnover of an enterprise for the administrative penalty for failure to comply with merger interim measures; modification of the scheme dealing with public interest concerns in ‘European relevant merger situations’; and the timing of merger fee payments (Press Release).

Commission consults on State aid de minimis Regulation. The Commission has invited comments on a second draft for a revised Regulation on small aid amounts ("de minimis" aid) (IP/13/699) (HT.3572 - SAM - de minimis review) (seeVolume 1, Edition 20).

PUBLICATIONS/SPEECHES

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

Competition Commission publishes Annual Report and Accounts 2012/13. (SeePress Release).

EU SANCTIONS

Al-Qaida

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 682/2013 (OJ L 195/18, 18.07.2013) 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 Regulation removes one designated person from Annex I.