The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published its sector inquiry report in cement and ready-mix concrete (link to English press release). While the report targets the cement and ready-mix concrete sector and its particularities (e.g., cartel history, oligopolistic markets, vertical integration, homogenous products), it may provide some insights into the FCO’s approach in general,…

On 28.03.2017, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Bulgarian Commission”) approved commitments by the leading Bulgarian oil companies Lukoil Bulgaria LTD; Eco Bulgaria JSC; Shell Bulgaria JSC, OMV Bulgaria LTD; NIS PETROL LTD. The ground for the initiation of the procedure concluded with the approval of commitments was the suspicion by the Bulgarian…

Following a guilty plea to criminal bid-rigging and obstruction charges, a company director was fined €7,500 by an Irish judge on 31 May and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment (suspended – meaning no jail time).   The executive was also barred from acting as a company director for five years, while the company involved was fined…

On the 10th of July 2015, the CCI fined four public sector insurance companies (National Insurance Company Ltd., New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., and United India Insurance Co. Ltd.) for bid-rigging This fine arose in the context of the selection of an insurance provider with respect to the implementation of the…

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…

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…

With her delivery of the UK’s Article 50 notice on March 29, Theresa May has launched the two-year negotiating process leading to the first exit of a Member State from the European Union (EU).  The negotiations will affect virtually every economic and policy area in Europe, including competition policy. These effects will be felt first…

The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has emphasised two important developments for EU antitrust enforcement, which have emerged from technological advancements: The Commission is taking proactive steps to consider whether the increasing reliance on computers to handle business processes and decisions raises competition law issues.  One area of current concern is the use of algorithms, in…

Earlier this year, Libratus – an artificial intelligence system developed by Carnegie Mellon University – conquered four of the world’s top professional poker players in a Head’s-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament (one of the most complicated forms of poker).[1] This might not sound all that surprising to those recalling Gary Kasparov’s defeat at the ‘hands’…

On 28 October 2016, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) fined seven companies, including Shell and SOCAR, a total of approx. EUR 7 million for alleged concerted practices. The AMC decision comes after investigation finding that the road fuel companies were tacitly coordinating prices from 2013 to 2016. The allegations base on ‘parallel behaviour’ observed…