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…

It is often said, with good statistical records, that opinions of the Advocate Generals are to a large extent endorsed by the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”). If so, the opinion recently handed down by AG Mengozzi on May 24, 2011 – if and once ultimately upheld by the ECJ – would represent a fundamental…

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to curb the use of so-called “most favored nation”  (MFN) agreements — a common business practice that the DOJ believes can sometimes result in anticompetitive effects when entered into by a dominant firm.  In October of last year, the DOJ commenced an action against Blue Cross Blue…

In a recent judgment of December 15, 2010, the General Court had an opportunity to discuss the competitive analysis of aftermarkets. At issue in that case were complaints by independent watch repairers that they were unable to obtain spare parts from manufacturers of luxury watches. The Commission rejected these complaints inter alia on the ground…

In my last post, I discussed the General Court’s findings on market definition and dominance analysis in its AstraZeneca judgment. In this post, I review the Court’s findings on abuse. In its decision, the Commission held that Astra had abused its dominant position (1) by providing patent authorities misleading launch date information when applying for…

On June 10, 2010, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals issued a decision that increased the hurdles for obtaining access to essential facilities in Germany in practice (see WuW/DE-R 2941 et seq.). The case concerns interim proceedings against a FCO decision. The FCO had found that Scandlines, the owner and operator of the ferry port Puttgarden,…