Claudio Lombardi is editor-in-chief of the Antitrust Observatory. He is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and at the Europa-Kolleg Institute for European Integration, Hamburg. Claudio is also a visiting lecturer at the International University College of Turin (IUC). Before joining the Max-Planck, Claudio was a research fellow at the Higher School of Economics and Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, Moscow, where he worked, with Prof. Ioannis Lianos (UCL), on a project on competition law and policy in the global food value chain, involving the cooperation of numerous national and international institutions. Prior to joining the Institute, he was a PhD student (competition law) and tutor (in private law) at the University of Trento and a Max-Planck Institute guest researcher (MPRIV – Hamburg). Claudio was also awarded a DAAD Grant of the Europa-Kolleg Institute of Hamburg in 2013 and an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for doctoral researchers in 2012. You can write him at clombardi27 at gmail.com

THE AUSTRIAN CARTEL COURT IMPOSES FINES FOR PRICE MAINTENANCE AND OTHER VERTICAL RESTRAINTS

The Austrian Cartel Court fined De’Longhi-Kenwood with EUR 650.000 for fixing prices with retailers, restricting cross-border trade and introducing a full blown online-distribution-prohibition. In the years 2006-2015 staff of De’Longhi-Kenwood observed the market multiple-times during the week and pressured retailers through immediate contacts (via email or telephone conversations) when price-discrepancies from the established minimum-prices were…

THE ITALIAN ANTITRUST AUTHORITY LAUNCHES PROBE INTO ANTICOMPETITIVE PRACTICES IN THE ULTRA-BROADBAND MARKET

On 1 February 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) formally opened an investigation into Telecom Italy S.p.A. and Fastweb S.p.A. agreements for a possible violation of Art. 101 TFEU. The investigation concerns the agreement with which the undertakings in question created a joint cooperative company, called Flash Fiber Srl, for the construction of optical fiber…

THE AUSTRIAN CARTEL COURT IMPOSES SEVERE FINES AGAINST SPAR GROUP FOR PRICE FIXING CONDUCTS

The Austrian Cartel Court held that between July 2002 and December 2013 the companies HOLDAG BeteiligungsgmbH, INTERSPAR GmbH, SPAR HOLDING AG, SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG, Maximarkt Handels-GmbH and LM Beteiligungs GmbH fixed vertical retail prices with various suppliers in regards to various areas of the food retail sector. In particular the practices affected the market segments…

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION LAUNCHES THREE FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS INTOE-COMMERCE PRACTICES

In the press release published on 2 February 2017, the Commission has announced the opening of the formal proceedings that aim to verify the existence of anticompetitive online sales practices concerning consumer electronics, video games and hotel accommodation. The investigations are conducted in the context of Article 101 TFEU that prohibits anti-competitive agreements between companies.…

THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE CONFIRMS THE LAWFULNESS OF THE RTVE FUNDING SCHEME

On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the new Spanish funding scheme for the public television system (RTVE) is not in violation of EU State aid law. Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española (RTVE) is the Spanish public radio and television broadcasting organisation, which relied on a dual…

THE COMMISSION HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION

On 27 September 2016, the Commission has sent the Statement of Objections to the International Skating Union (ISU) in the context of the ISU Eligibility rules relating to the participation of athletes in the international speed skating events. The preliminary findings indicate that the rules, which set out that penalties should be imposed on the…

THE GENERAL COURT CONFIRMS THE COMMISSION’S DECISION IN THE LUNDBECK PAY-FOR-DELAY CASE

On 8 Setptember 2016, the General Court handed down its judgment in the Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries and Ranbaxy v Commission case, confirming the fines imposed by the Commission´s decision in 2013. The Court agreed that the agreement under scrutiny resulted in a restriction of competition by object. But firsts things first, the case regards the…

THE GENERAL COURT UPHOLDS A COMMISSION DECISION FINDING THE UNLAWFULNESS OF A NON-COMPETITION CLAUSE BETWEEN PT AND TELEFÓNICA WITH RESPECT TO TELEFÓNICA’S ACQUISITION OF THE BRAZILIAN MOBILE OPERATOR VIVO

With a judgment rendered on 28 June 2016 (Joint Cases T-208/13 and T-216/13), the General Court dismissed, almost in their entirety, the actions brought by PT and Telefónica against the decision by which the Commission, in 2013, and sanctioned the two incumbent operators in the area of electronic communications for a market-sharing agreement, enacted through a…

THE ECJ UPHOLDS TWO JUDGMENTS OF THE GENERAL COURT IN THE CALCIUM CARBIDE CARTEL

On 16 June 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected the appeals brought by SKW (C-154/14 P) and Degussa (C-155/14 P) against the General Court’s rulings, which had upheld the decision adopted by the Commission in the calcium carbide cartel. By that decision, the Commission had fined 9 suppliers of calcium carbide…