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Clifford Chance

Major Developments and Policy Issues in EU Competition Law

Client Briefing

19 April 2012

The attached annual review was presented at the IBC 2012 Advanced EU Competition Law conference in London on 17 April 2012 and provides a detailed analysis of the most significant EU cases relating to anti-competitive agreements, abuses of dominance and merger control in the last 12 months.

The major developments discussed in this paper include:

  • The Commission's cartel fines in 2011 totalled € 614 million, compared to € 2.9 billion during the previous year;
  • The General Court issued judgments in more than 70 appeals and had to consider inter alia parental liability, follow on damages, and the evidentiary burden in cartel cases;
  • The Commission's Telekom Polska decision finding abuse of dominance, as well as the Commission's IBM and Standard & Poor’s commitment decisions, and new complainants in the Google investigation;
  • The Commission's high-profile prohibition of the Deutsche Börse /NYSE merger;
  • Article 22 referrals, application of the priority rule in Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/Hitachi, and new questions arising from mergers involving Chinese state-owned enterprises;
  • The waiving of commitments in Hoffman-La Roche/Boehringer;
  • The ECHR's Menarini judgment and its implications for judicial review and the fundamental right to a fair trial in competition proceedings;
  • The Commission's fine of € 8 million for breach of a seal imposed on Suez Environnement and of € 2.5 million for obstructing an inspection in Energetický a průmyslový holding and EP Investment Advisors;
  • The importance of access to file in Solvay and CDC Hydrogene Peroxide and the Commission's exclusivity over negative findings of infringement in Tele2 Polska;
  • The Commission's Best Practices package, Antitrust manual of Procedures (ManProc), and Informal Guidance Paper on confidentiality claims.

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Major Developments and Policy Issues in EU Competition Law

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