Licensing and distribution agreements of Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios: the European Commission opens formal investigations

On 14 June 2017, the European Commission has opened three separate antitrust investigations to investigate whether certain licensing and distribution practices of Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios illegally restrict their licensees from selling the licensed merchandise cross-border and online. More specifically, the investigations concern the licensing and distribution of merchandising products, such as clothes, shoes,…

Distribution agreements in the clothing market: the European Commission opens formal investigation into distribution practices of clothing company Guess

On 6 June 2017, the European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into the distribution agreements and practices of clothing manufacturer and retailer Guess. Guess operates as a manufacturer, distributor and licensor of clothing and accessories. According to the opening statement, the investigation is aimed at ascertaining whether Guess illegally restricted retailers from selling…

Gas export restrictions from Romania: the European Commission opens an investigation

On 1 June 2017, the European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Romania’s gas transmission system operator Transgaz has abused a dominant position by hindering gas exports from Romania to the other  EU Member States and isolating the Romanian gas market to the detriment of consumers throughout the EU. Romania is the…

Excessive pricing: the European Commission opens formal investigation into Aspen Pharma’s pricing practices for cancer medicines

On 15 May 2017 the European Commission has opened its first excessive pricing investigation in the pharmaceutical industry to assess whether Aspen Pharma has abused a dominant position by charging excessive pricing for five life-saving cancer medicines. More specifically, the investigation concerns Aspen’s pricing practices for niche medicines used for treating cancer, such as hematologic…

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 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 COMMISSION FILES STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS IN THE PAY-TV SERVICES PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SKY UK AND US FILM STUDIOS

On 23 July, the European Commission has filed a formal Statement of Objections against Sky UK and six major US film studios (Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros), having preliminarily determined that their bilateral licensing agreements containing clauses that inhibit access to pay-TV services for consumers located outside the UK and…

THE COMMISSION LAUNCHES FORMAL COMPETITION INVESTIGATIONS AGAINST QUALCOMM

The Commission announced on 16 July the launch of two investigations against Qualcomm, with a view to determine whether the company has engaged in practices abusing its market position under Article 102 TFEU. The proceedings concern the field of baseband chipsets that are the crucial components of consumer electronic devices, such as smartphones or tablets.…

THE COMMISSION ISSUES STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS AGAINST MASTERCARD IN RELATION TO CARD PAYMENT COSTS

On 9 July 2015, following formal proceedings launched in April 2013, the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections against MasterCard in which it formulated competition concerns in relation to the costs of card payments in the EU. Under discussion are interchange fees paid by the retailer’s bank (the ‘acquiring bank’) to the bank of…

CALL FOR PAPERS: THE COMPETITION LAW SCHOLARS FORUM (CLASF) – WORKSHOP ON “OBJECT AND/OR EFFECTS IN COMPETITION LAW”

The CLaSF is inviting contributions to its forthcoming workshop on “Object and/or effects in Competition Law”, that will be held at the Lancaster Law School, on Friday 24 April 2015.   Call for Papers The Competition Law Scholars Forum (CLaSF) Invite contributions to the XXIV CLaSF event (www.clasf.org) Clasf Workshop on   “Object and/or effects in Competition Law” Lancaster…