The Act on Combating the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products (the “Act”) entered into force on July 12th, 2017. Its essential goal is to eliminate unfair market practices from every stage of the food product supply chain. The new legislation was to be (and still is) a…

In its decision passed on February 8, 2018 the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of INR 135.86 crores (approximately $1.36 bn) on Google for abusing its dominant position by engaging in search bias vis-à-vis Google flights service and imposing unfair terms in the intermediation agreements with website owners incorporating Google’s search…

On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers that Facebook abuses its dominant position through imposing unfair general terms and conditions (“t&cs”). The published materials provide some interesting…

Let me get this straight from the beginning. I am not a big fan of the trend among the competition authorities to introduce whistleblowing programs. For me this seems to be rather a sign of weakness and not of strength. If other available tools (and especially the leniency program) worked well there would probably be…

In all competition investigations, it is inevitable that the parties under investigation, and often also third parties, will receive numerous information requests and demands to produce documents and provide information. Such requests may be either formal or informal in nature. These are often burdensome, requiring the provision of substantial information and documentation in a short…

On 29 January 2016, the Court of First Instance of Hong Kong ruled in favour of TVB and against the Communications Authority (the “CA”), in the ‘no Cantonese’ policy abuse of dominance case. The 2013 decision by the CA, in which the broadcaster was fined nearly HKD 1 million under the sector-specific competition rules of…

On November 18, 2015, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal quashed the decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) that supermarket chain Edeka had abused its market power vis-à-vis suppliers by requesting special terms and conditions (“t&cs”) following its acquisition of discounter Plus in 2008 (so-called “wedding rebates”).  The ruling is not yet published, only a…

The Polish Competition Authority, which is the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “PCA”), has announced that, starting from 1 September 2015, it will be issuing statements of objections to undertakings and will set up an internal evaluation committee. These new tools are, in PCA’s own words, designed to “strengthen procedural…

It is never a good sign when an advocate general’s opinion warns the European Court of Justice (ECJ) not to be swayed by “ephemeral trends” or the “Zeitgeist” of economic analysis, but instead to stick to the “legal foundations on which the prohibition of abuse of a dominant position rests in EU law”. Advocate General…

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has recently published its draft Annual Plan for 2015/2016, its second year of operation after assuming the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) on 1 April 2014. Together with a Strategic Assessment of the risks that consumers and markets…