Early April, the Federal Supreme Court clarified controversial questions regarding the privilege against self-incrimination in Competition Law Proceedings in three much-noticed decisions (2C_383/2020, 2C_87/2020 and 2C_88/2020)[1]. The Decisions In 2018, the Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo“) opened proceedings against various financial institutions regarding an alleged boycott in Switzerland. The Competition Commission suspected that the addressees of…

In 2016, a public initiative was launched in Switzerland, requesting amendments to the Cartel Act in order to enforce non-discriminatory procurement of goods and services abroad by Swiss purchasers. Furthermore, the initiative requested the introduction of rules against geo-blocking in the Unfair Competition Act. This so-called “Fair-Price Initiative” is backed by various consumer, hotel, gastronomy…

2020: Business as usual (more or less) While over the past year COVID has had a major impact on our lives in many areas, it left Swiss competition law practice refreshingly unimpressed. In late March 2020, in the middle of the first lockdown, the Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo“) issued a clear message: Swiss competition law…

Under Swiss law, a proposed concentration triggers a mandatory pre-merger notification if one of the undertakings concerned was held dominant, irrespective of the statutory turnover thresholds. It was previously unclear whether this criterion had to be met at the time of signing or at the time of closing. The authority has now clarified this question….

Introduction The Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) fined Stöckli Swiss Sports (“Stöckli”), a Swiss manufacturer of Skis and other sport products, for vertical price fixing with its dealers with CHF 140’000. The fine was rather low, as Stöckli had filed a leniency application, albeit after ComCo having opened the investigation, and a settlement was reached. The settlement…

In its decision of June 24, 2019, the Federal Supreme Court affirms Ticketcorner Holding AG’s sole legitimacy to lodge a complaint against ComCo’s prohibition of the merger between its wholly-owned subsidiary Ticketcorner AG and Starticket AG. The Federal Supreme Court thereby clarifies that parties to a joint venture are not obliged to jointly appeal against…

The Federal Council aims at tightening up the Cartel Act in order to combat the foreclosure of the Swiss market and the price discrimination against Swiss corporate customers. For this purpose, the Federal Council has adopted a draft bill and a dispatch to Parliament addressing the people’s initiative “stop Switzerland’s high prices – the fair…

On 19 December 2017 the Federal Administrative Court issued three judgments reversing the sanctions against the producers Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Bayer imposed by the Competition Commission which totaled in CHF 5.7 million. The court concludes that the non-binding price recommendations published by the three pharmaceutical companies did not restrict competition but rather prevented excessive…

On 21 April 2017, after almost 10 months, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court published reasons for its judgment of 28 June 2016 in the matter of Colgate-Palmolive Europa Sàrl (former Gaba International AG). With a majority of 3 to 2, the Federal Supreme Court rejected an appeal made against the judgment of the Swiss Federal Administrative Court…

In two recent landmark judgements, Swiss Courts have provided important clarifications on the protection of business secrets and access to files in cartel cases. Harmful internal business communication subject to publication In 2011, the Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) imposed a fine on Nikon for suspected violations of Swiss competition law[1]. Nikon appealed the decision[2] and…