In my last post, I discussed the General Court’s findings on market definition and dominance analysis in its AstraZeneca judgment. In this post, I review the Court’s findings on abuse. In its decision, the Commission held that Astra had abused its dominant position (1) by providing patent authorities misleading launch date information when applying for…

In my last post, I focused on a procedural element of the Commission’s Microsoft/Yahoo! decision. The decision is also very interesting from a substantive point of view, and shows the Commission’s determination to investigate the transaction in some detail, even though on the face of it (as the Phase I clearance subsequently confirmed), it raised…

The Commission’s recent decision approving Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo!’s Search Business (including internet search and search advertising) contains an interesting application of the definition of a concentration under the Merger Regulation. In December 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo entered into a License Agreement and a Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement. Microsoft will acquire a…

On March 11, 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) rendered a judgment (preliminary ruling) in response to two State aid questions referred to it by the French Conseil d’État (France’s highest administrative Court). The case involves French book and media exporter Centre d’exportation du livre français (CELF), which received non-notified…

On 6 July 2010, the General Court rejected Ryanair’s appeal against the Commission’s 2007 prohibition of its hostile take-over of rival Irish airline Aer Lingus. On the same day, the Court also issued a much shorter judgment in Case T-411/07, and rejected an Aer Lingus appeal against a Commission decision, which refused to order Ryanair…

Some statistics to feed the debate on the checks and balances of the EU antitrust enforcement system: any comments?  (click on “read more” to get the formatting right) Cartel Cases Adjudicated by the General Court   1995-2005 (226) 2006-2009 (56) Full annulment 6% (14) 16% (9)* Partial annulment and/or reduction in fines 56% (127) 27%…

On Friday 2nd July, Monty Widenius, founder of open source database company MySQL, owned by Sun, filed an appeal against the European Commission’s unconditional clearance of the merger between Oracle and Sun Microsystems. The main affected area in this case was the database market. This market is highly concentrated with the three main proprietary database…

When the Commission’s Remedies Notice was published in 2008, many commentators thought the Notice’s requirements for parties to a concentration to offer an acceptable remedy were too demanding. The concern was that especially under the short and strict timeframe in Phase I, it would be close to impossible to convince the Commission to accept anything…

On April 20, 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice quashed the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal’s decision in Phonak/GN, which upheld the FCO’s merger prohibition of the acquisition of GN ReSound by Phonak, both active in hearing aids in Germany. The merger would have combined number two and four in the market, with aggregated market…

On June 29, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) set aside the judgment of the General Court (GC) in the Alrosa case and dismissed Alrosa’s action on the merits. In the procedural economy/due process conundrum raised by negotiated procedures – Article 9 commitment proceedings in the case a quo – the ECJ decided in favor of the former: “the Commission has a wide discretion to make a proposed commitment binding or to reject it” (¶94). In that sense, Alrosa constitutes clearly a victory for the Commission, but one that raises more questions than it solves, I am afraid.