On 14 February, the Court of Justice will deliver a ruling on a preliminary reference by a Czech Regional Court in Brno, which is likely to provide welcome guidance on the issue of parallel proceedings within the ECN and the principle of ne bis in idem. The case concerns the legality of the Czech NCA’s…

On October 25, 2011, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined mills company VK Mühlen AG in the amount of € 23.8 million for price fixing and customer and market allocation with competitors regarding the sale of flour in Germany. In addition, the FCO found that the participants coordinated capacity reductions. This has been the FCO’s…

The General Court has rendered a series of judgments in the Dutch Beer Cartel case that involve a number of legal issues, including in Grolsch v. Commission on September 15, 2011 and Heineken v. Commission and Bavaria v. Commission on June 16, 2011. The Commission had found in its 2007 decision that InBev (which received…

In her recent Opinion in the KME case, AG Sharpston ventured a few considerations on the nature of EU antitrust decisions and on the due process requirements arising from Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on the right to a fair trial, to be added to a growing list of signals perceptible in recent judgments of a progressive move toward a broader interpretation of the EU Courts unlimited jurisdiction and, possibly, the exercise of full appellate jurisdiction over Commission decisions imposing fines.

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles on February 10, 2011, imposing € 20.5 million in total. The FCO found that the companies had engaged in bid rigging since 2001 (price-fixing, quota agreements and market sharing). As usual, the FCO did not only fine the companies, but also the individuals…

Co-authored by: David Little The U.K. Court of Appeal has recently rebuffed an attempt by Plaintiff’s firm, Hausfeld, to bring a collective “opt out” style action using Rule 19.6 of the CPR rules (Emerald Supplied Limited v. British Airways [2010] EWCA Civ. 1284). The claim arose from the European Commission’s investigation into the alleged air cargo…

It is commonly accepted that, pursuant to the principle of intragroup immunity, Article 101 TFEU cannot catch agreements or concerted practices between entities that belong to the same undertaking. Article 101 TFEU requires coordination between at least two undertakings: everything that happens within a single undertaking simply cannot be covered by Article 101 TFEU. Yet,…

One of the inevitable facts of life in the U.S. after a government antitrust investigation becomes public – especially if it is a cartel investigation with an amnesty applicant or guilty pleas – is customer class actions. U.S. class action plaintiffs’ lawyers frequently bring “follow-on” cases on behalf of purchasers of the affected products within days (or at least weeks) of public disclosure of a cartel or other antitrust investigation.

Recent U.S. federal judicial decisions, however, have now placed significant hurdles in front of consumer antitrust plaintiffs in the form of stricter requirements for joining plaintiffs from multiple states together into a single class.

Some statistics to feed the debate on the checks and balances of the EU antitrust enforcement system: any comments?  (click on “read more” to get the formatting right) Cartel Cases Adjudicated by the General Court   1995-2005 (226) 2006-2009 (56) Full annulment 6% (14) 16% (9)* Partial annulment and/or reduction in fines 56% (127) 27%…