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…

On 1 December 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) obtained a novel “disqualification undertaking” from Daniel Aston, the managing director of online poster supplier Trod Limited, whereby Mr Aston agreed not to act as a director of a UK company for five years. Trod had previously been fined £163,371 for agreeing with a…

On 4 November 2016, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC“) – one of China’s antitrust authorities – published on its website three decisions, whereby three payment encryption device suppliers were fined by SAIC’s branch in Anhui Province (“Anhui AIC“).  Payment encryption devices are used by bank customers to protect the security of payments…

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…

On 7 April 2016, the CNMC (Spain’s National Authority for Markets and Competition) Council imposed fines totalling €6.12 million on six Spanish nougat (“turrón”) producers for agreeing to share the market of the main distributors of white label nougat in Spain between 2011 and 20131)CNMC Council Decision of 7 April 2016, Nougat producers, S/DC/0503/14. See…

The result is in.  The United Kingdom will leave the European Union, with profound economic, social, and, naturally, legal consequences.  As the dust settles, lawyers practising across a wide range of specialisms will be squinting into their crystal balls to identify what the consequences of Brexit will be across the disciplines that are now matters…

On 1 March 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) adopted its new Leniency Guidelines (“the 2016 Leniency Guidelines”). The 2016 Leniency Guidelines replace the 2007 Notice of the Competition Council on Immunity from Fines and Reduction of Fines in Cartel Cases (“the 2007 Leniency Notice”). The new guidelines were published in the Belgian Official Gazette…

In all competition investigations, it is inevitable that the parties under investigation, and often also third parties, will receive numerous information requests and demands to produce documents and provide information. Such requests may be either formal or informal in nature. These are often burdensome, requiring the provision of substantial information and documentation in a short…