Unannounced inspections of business premises in Austria rarely occurred in the past. However, the Austrian Federal Competition Agency has clearly changed this of late. Meanwhile, it has conducted several inspections (recently, supermarkets were the focus) and has adopted a harsh approach in the conduct of searches. Legal Background Upon request by the Federal Competition Agency,…

The government proposal of the new amendments to the Antitrust Act reflect practical concerns of the Czech Anitrust Office. The amendment has been passed in the first and second readings in the Lower House of the Czech Parliament in spring 2012. It may be expected to become law in the second half of this year…

In March 2011, the U.K. Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) consulted on proposed reforms to the U.K. competition regime. The objectives were lofty (“improving the robustness of decisions,” “supporting the competition authorities in taking forward high impact cases,” and “improving speed and predictability for businesses”) and the proposals in part structural (most…

On January 18, 2012, the district court of Bonn ruled on the scope of access to file for third parties in a cartel case under German law. The court rejected the claim insofar as it concerned access to leniency applications. This is a landmark decision. The court upheld the FCO’s practice to refuse access to…

On 14 February, the Court of Justice will deliver a ruling on a preliminary reference by a Czech Regional Court in Brno, which is likely to provide welcome guidance on the issue of parallel proceedings within the ECN and the principle of ne bis in idem. The case concerns the legality of the Czech NCA’s…

On October 25, 2011, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined mills company VK Mühlen AG in the amount of € 23.8 million for price fixing and customer and market allocation with competitors regarding the sale of flour in Germany. In addition, the FCO found that the participants coordinated capacity reductions. This has been the FCO’s…

In her recent Opinion in the KME case, AG Sharpston ventured a few considerations on the nature of EU antitrust decisions and on the due process requirements arising from Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on the right to a fair trial, to be added to a growing list of signals perceptible in recent judgments of a progressive move toward a broader interpretation of the EU Courts unlimited jurisdiction and, possibly, the exercise of full appellate jurisdiction over Commission decisions imposing fines.

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) fined three manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles on February 10, 2011, imposing € 20.5 million in total. The FCO found that the companies had engaged in bid rigging since 2001 (price-fixing, quota agreements and market sharing). As usual, the FCO did not only fine the companies, but also the individuals…

Co-authored by: David Little The U.K. Court of Appeal has recently rebuffed an attempt by Plaintiff’s firm, Hausfeld, to bring a collective “opt out” style action using Rule 19.6 of the CPR rules (Emerald Supplied Limited v. British Airways [2010] EWCA Civ. 1284). The claim arose from the European Commission’s investigation into the alleged air cargo…