Most favoured customer clauses have risen to increasing prominence in both leading antitrust systems over the past two years.  In the European Union, this came in the form of a little noted, but potentially significant, settlement with the Hollywood majors regulating their investment in new cinema equipment.  In the United States, litigation relating to most…

On 15 May 2012, Advocate-General Mazák delivered his long awaited Opinion to the European Court of Justice in the long-running AstraZeneca litigation. Practitioners hoping for an opinion that tempered some of the more extreme dicta of the General Court were to be disappointed. Advocate-General Mazák recommended that the General Court’s judgment be upheld in its…

On 19 May 2012, China’s Ministry of Commerce (‘MOFCOM’) announced its conditional clearance decision on the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google, which removed the last hurdle for the USD12.5 billion vertical deal. The MOFCOM is the only antitrust authority to impose remedies on its clearance of the transaction. The US Department of Justice, the…

Everybody at America Movil (”AM”) – and especially its owner, Mr.Carlos Slim – should have welcomed with a sense of relief the (somehow unexpected) turn in the saga which started last year when the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (“CFC”) hit AM’ mobile telephony unit Telcel with the largest fine in the history of Mexico: almost…

The feud between the Chinese Internet companies Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Ltd. (‘Qihoo 360’) and Tencent Inc. (‘Tencent’) has been simmering for nearly two years. This article spotlights the facts and major issues of the dispute. The Facts Tencent runs QQ, the most popular instant messaging (‘IM’) service in the mainland China with over 700…

That the ECJ rejected Tomra’s appeal was unsurprising. The strictures of the EU case law on illegal rebates for dominant companies is well known. The case law of the Court takes a near per se approach to condemning any rebate scheme linked to exclusivity, substantial volume purchases or stretch targets, taking the view that by…

Steffano Grassani wrote a thoughtful response to my post on the Italian Pfizer decision. His discussion helps to crystallize some of the key issues raised by the case that merit some further consideration. Clearly, Steffano is right that misleading patent authorities is not the only possible patent related abuse. However, it must also be true…

In his last blog, Thomas Graf pointed out, as brilliantly and persuasively as he customarily does, the key features and implications of the Jan. 11, 2012decision of the Italian Antitrust Authority (“IAA”) in the Pfizer case, coming to the conclusion that “The intervention of the Italian Authority therefore expands the application of Article 102 TFEU…

The Italian Competition Authority started the New Year with a bang by imposing a fine of more than EUR 10 million on Pfizer for alleged abuses of the patent system in violation of Article 102 TFEU. The decision is available here. The Authority’s decision goes considerably further than the General Court’s AstraZeneca judgment in qualifying…