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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Antitrust Review May - June 2012

31 July 2012

In this issue:

European Union

  • Commission approves Johnson & Johnson/Synthes merger. The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Synthes Inc. by Johnson & Johnson.
  • Commission sends statement of objections to Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom. The European Commission has sent a statement of objections to Slovak Telekom a.s. and its parent company Deutsche Telekom AG about its concerns regarding a potential breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  • European Court of Justice rejects Tomra appeal. The European Court of Justice has upheld the judgment of the General Court dismissing an appeal by Tomra Systems ASA and a number of additional Tomra group companies against an abuse of dominance finding by the European Commission.
  • General Court dismisses MasterCard appeal. The General Court of the EU has upheld the decision of the European Commission prohibiting the default multilateral interchange fees applied on EEA cross-border transactions with MasterCard and Maestro branded debit and consumer credit cards.


  • MOFCOM issues new merger filing form. China's Ministry of Commerce has issued a new notification form for merger control filings with effect from 7 July 2012.
  • New rules published for antitrust litigation. The Supreme People's Court has published the Provisions on Several Issues Regarding the Application of Law to Civil Disputes Involving Monopolistic Acts, which have come into force on 1 June 2012.
  • United Technologies Corporation's acquisition of Goodrich Corporation – conditional clearance. On 15 June 2012, China's Ministry of Commerce announced its approval of United Technologies Corporation's acquisition of Goodrich Corporation, subject to structural conditions.

Czech Republic

  • Switchgear cartel decision repealed and returned for further hearings. The Regional Court in Brno has repealed the decision of the Czech Competition Office to fine several electronics companies for alleged bid rigging in relation to gas insulated switchgear.


  • Supreme Court confirms Orange's €41 million fine. The French Supreme Court has rejected Orange's final appeal against a fine imposed on Orange by the French Competition Authority for allegedly exchanging sensitive information with its competitors in the mobile phone services sector.


  • New anonymous whistleblowing system. The German Federal Cartel Office has set up an electronic system for anonymous tip-offs of antitrust law infringements.

Hong Kong

  • First cross sector competition law enacted. Hong Kong's Legislative Council has enacted Hong Kong's first cross-sector competition law, the Competition Ordinance.


  • JFTC reverses JASRAC cease and desist order. Japan's Fair Trade Commission has overturned a cease and desist order issued to the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers.


  • RCC closes private pension funds investigation. The Romanian Competition Council has closed a 5-year long investigation into possible concerted practices among private pension funds administrators regarding alleged fixing of administration fees.


  • CNC opens infringement proceedings against Mediaset (formerly Telecinco) for non-compliance with commitments. The Spanish Competition Authority has opened infringement proceedings against Mediaset España Comunicación, S.A. (formerly Telecinco) for failing to comply with commitments approved in connection with the Telecinco/Cuatro merger.

United Kingdom

  • OFT reduces British Airways fine for fuel surcharge cartel. The Office of Fair Trading has reduced the level of fine imposed on British Airways for alleged anti-competitive conduct relating to the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges.
  • Competition Commission requires AA and Lafarge to divest. The Competition Commission has required Anglo American PLC and Lafarge S.A. to sell a significant portfolio of operations before their proposed construction materials joint venture can go ahead.
  • Metal packaging coatings merger referral. The UK's Office of Fair Trading has referred the proposed acquisition of Metlac Holding S.r.l. by Akzo Nobel NV to the Competition Commission for further investigation.
  • Competition Commission clears water merger. The Competition Commission has formally cleared the acquisition of Cambridge Water Plc by South Staffordshire Plc.
  • OFT dentistry market study. The Office of Fair Trading's market study has identified a number of concerns with the current operation of the UK dentistry market.
  • Bill dealing with establishment of the Competition and Markets Authority and the reform of UK competition law published. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, establishing the Competition and Markets Authority and reforming UK competition law, has been published.

United States

  • Executive faces imprisonment for HSR filing violation. A Hyosung Corporation executive faces imprisonment for altering documents submitted with an affiliate's filing under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.
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