As part of its review of the EU antitrust rules governing vertical agreements, the European Commission (EC) has published for consultation a draft new section of its Vertical Guidelines, which contains proposed guidance on information exchange in “dual distribution” relationships. Reacting to feedback from stakeholders, the EC has adjusted the review test it proposed in…

Introduction On 27 May 2020 the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) imposed a fine of € 82 million on four cigarette manufacturers for indirect information exchanges in violation of Article 101 TFEU and 6 Dutch Competition Act. It is the first fine ACM has given for indirect information exchanges between competitors. The manufacturers…

Competition law, at its core, is a case law based practice. The natural habitat of enforcement for competition rules is the consolidation of bilateral and multilateral commercial relationships that we came to know as the system of economy. In an effort to maximize the consumer welfare (and eventually the total welfare via innovation and creative…

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) recently welcomed the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of a challenge brought against a decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) by Balmoral, a supplier of steel water tanks. The CMA had fined Balmoral £130,000 in December 2016 for a single exchange of pricing information which, in the particular…

The new digital economy will involve significant cooperation between competitors and data sharing / pooling to a much larger extent than in the past. This is not limited to the big data industries but will also extend to more traditional sectors where digitalization and connectivity of devices is playing an increasingly important role. One of…