Earlier today I read remarks delivered by European Commission competition head Joaquin Almunia in Brussels on the topic of cartel enforcement (see: Fighting against cartels: A priority for the present and for the future). He discussed, among other things, recent European cartel cases, fines achieved, cartels in innovation and fast moving markets and recent detection…

By Marcel Meinhardt and Frank Bremer, Lenz & Staehelin, Switzerland On November 18, 2013, the Swiss Competition Commission (ComCo) closed proceedings without further action against a Swiss individual with a formerly controlling stake in companies investigated for a possible abuse of a dominant position under the Swiss Cartel Act (CartA). The decision clarifies the applicability…

In our annual forecast of the year ahead for Canadian competition and foreign investment review law, the Davies Competition Law and Foreign Investment Group outlines the “Top 10” key issues and trends to watch for this year. 1. A Green Light for Class Actions by Indirect Purchasers The Supreme Court of Canada issued an important…

On December 23, 2103, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published an explanatory note on settlement proceedings in antitrust cases on its website. Since 2007, the FCO has increasingly terminated cases through settlements, so the note came rather late. Unlike the European Commission, the FCO has entered into settlement agreements without a specific regulatory basis and…

The FCO published new fining guidelines on June 25, 2013, which have been applied for several months now. However, the guidelines as well as the recent practice do not provide a lot of guidance. The previous fining guidelines followed a similar methodology as those of the European Commission: the FCO first determined a base amount…

Here is an item that I co-wrote with my colleague Stephane Eljarrat. ************************ When investigating cartel violations in Canada, the Competition Bureau’s tool of choice is the “search and seizure” (the Canadian equivalent of the “dawn raid” in Europe). The Bureau execises its search and seizure powers pursuant to judicially authorized warrants which it must…

Cartel enforcement in Canada is heavily dependent on the use of informants. This is explained by two principal factors. First, cartel conduct is, by its very nature, secretive and carried out in the shadows of business life. Second, Canada’s Competition Bureau, which is responsible for investigating cartels, is subject to budget constraints that limit its…

US and EU antitrust law – antipodes as far as individual liability is concerned? The US and EU approaches with regard to individual liability for competition law infringements have traditionally been notoriously different. US antitrust enforcement is well-known for its use of criminal sanctions against individuals, from fines to imprisonment. Since 2004, an individual who…

Competition Law in Canada – Top 10 Issues for 2013 This is a post of an article written by my partners Anita Banicevic, Richard Elliott, Charles Tingley and me **************************************** 2012 was a busy year for competition law and policy in Canada. Below we consider how some of the important developments in 2012 will shape…