The FCO issued three cartel decisions in June 2010: it imposed a (second) fine on coffee roasters on June 9 (€ 30 million), on manufacturers of ophthalmic lenses on June 10 (€ 115 million), and on a manufacturer of cable fillings on June 24 (€0.4 million). All of these decisions involved settlements (and the ophthalmic…

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…

Welcome to our blog! I thought I would start my postings on U.S. developments with a broader point about recent U.S. case law in the antitrust area. Many of the most important U.S. judicial decisions in antitrust have been driven by judicial concern with aspects of the U.S. litigation process that are perceived by some…

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.