On 11 June 2013, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a proposed Directive aimed at facilitating private antitrust damages (IP/13/525 and MEMO/13/531) and a Recommendation related to collective redress (or ‘class-actions’) across all areas of EU law (IP/13/524 and MEMO/13/530). The Commission has also published a Communication and a Practical guide on quantifying harm caused by competition law infringements.
Please click here to view a briefing from Winston & Strawn LLP’s Antitrust and Competition/EU Practices regarding the package of measures.
ARTICLE 101 TFEU
Portugal Telecom appeals Commission decision on non-compete agreement with Telefónica. On 1 June 2013, details of an appeal brought by Portugal Telecom against a decision by the Commission imposing fines on Portugal Telecom and Telefónica for agreeing a non-compete clause in breach of Article 101 TFEU (Case AT. 39839) were published in the Official Journal (Case T-208/13 - Portugal Telecom v Commission, Action brought on 9 April 2013) (see Volume 1, Issue 12).
Commission market tests Visa Europe commitments in inter-bank fee proceedings. On 13 June 2013, the Commission invited comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Visa Europe to reduce its inter-bank fees for credit card payments by between 40-60% (Case AT.39398). If the Commission considers that the commitments announced in May 2013 (see Volume 1, Issue 28) address its competition concerns, the Commission may decide to make them legally binding on Visa Europe (MEMO/13/554).
Commission closes investigation of European Payments Council standardisation process. On 13 June 2013, the Commission announced that it has closed an antitrust investigation opened in September 2011 to examine the standardisation process for payments over the internet (e-payments) carried out by the European Payments Council (EPC) (Case No. 39876). During the course of the investigation, the EPC announced its decision to stop the development of the e-Payments Framework and any other standardisation initiatives that would have the same object or effect. The Commission will continue to monitor the e-payments market in co-operation with the national competition authorities (MEMO/13/553).
ECJ dismisses Versalis appeal in synthetic rubber cartel. On 13 June 2013, the ECJ dismissed an appeal by Versalis SpA (Versalis, formerly Polimeri) against a judgment of the General Court (Case T 59/07) which largely upheld the Commission decision in 2006 against Versalis in the synthetic rubber cartel (COMP/38638). The ECJ held inter alia that the Commission had been correct to attribute to Versalis liability for the infringements committed by Enichem SpA (Enichem) (now Syndial), irrespective of the fact that Syndial still exists. EniChem had previously transferred its strategic chemical business (including its synthetic rubber business) to Versalis (Case C–511/11 P – Versalis SpA v European Commission, Judgment of 13 June 2013).
Phase I Clearance
- M.6827 – Honeywell / Intermec (13.06.2013) (IP/13/540).
- M.6862 – VINCI / Aeroportos de Portugal (10.06.2013) (MEX/13/0611).
- M.6866 – Time Warner / CME (IP/13/546).
- M.6930 – KKR / SMCP (07.06.2013) (simplified procedure).
- M.6936 – Donata / Master Blenders (12.06.2013) (simplified procedure).
- M.6939 – ista / CVC Capital Partners (simplified procedure) (MEX/14/0611).
Competition Commission provisionally approves Barr / Britvic merger. On 11 June 2013, the Competition Commission (CC) published a summary of its provisional findings on the Barr / Britvic merger. The CC has concluded that the proposed acquisition is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (CC Press Release).