Competition: General Court annuls partially the Commission’s CISAC decision on concerted practice

On 17 April 2014, the European Parliament (“EP”) voted to adopt, at first reading, the proposal for a Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions (“Directive”). The plenary vote in first reading was the EP’s final step in the procedure and the proposal is now sent to the EU Council of Ministers for final approval. Once the Directive has been officially adopted, Member States will have two years to implement the provisions in their legal systems. The Directive aims to remove national procedural obstacles and legal uncertainty concerning the right for victims of EU competition law violations to be compensated for the harm suffered, making it easier for whoever has been harmed to effectively obtain full and fair compensation throughout the EU once a public authority has found and sanctioned an infringement. The Directive also further facilitates damage claims as national courts will have power to order companies to disclose evidence when victims claim compensation and a final decision of a national competition authority finding an infringement will automatically constitute proof before courts. Further, the Directive clarifies rules regarding claim periods as well as rules concerning liability in cases where price increases due to an infringement are "passed on" along the distribution or supply chain. Finally, the Directive puts in place rules to facilitate consensual settlements so as to allow a faster and less costly resolution of disputes. Source: Commission Press Release 17/04/2014

Competition: General Court annuls partially the Commission’s CISAC decision on concerted practice

On 14 April 2014, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) issued an initiative to the Ministry of Transport and Communications to reform the Finnish taxi legislation. Primarily, the FCCA considers that the regulation of the maximum number of taxi licenses based on means testing should be removed. According to the FCCA, the operation of professional transport of people in passenger cars on public roads should still be subject to a license and the professional competence of taxi drivers and the quality of taxi services should be monitored also in the future. Furthermore, the FCCA considers that the principles concerning consumer prices for taxi services should be reassessed. From a consumer protection point of view, it is essential that the customers are aware of the basis for the price charged before the commencement of a taxi journey. Pricing should also be reasonable throughout the country. Moreover, the FCCA proposes that the Taxi Traffic Act should be amended in such a way that there would, in certain circumstances, be no restrictions on the possibility of taxi drivers to wait for customers at taxi stands outside their home municipality. According to the FCCA, the mitigation of regulation of taxi operations would improve the availability of taxis and create incentives for the development of new forms of service and lower prices. Source: Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority Press Release 16/04/2014

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 US spirits company Beam by Suntory of Japan