We are Stibbe Competition Disputes specialists

With years of experience in disputes before the EU Commission and the EU courts, as well as in our own national jurisdictions, we have the relevant expertise necessary to assist our clients.

Competition Disputes

We have successfully represented leading businesses before the courts in some of the largest domestic and international competition disputes in the Benelux and at EU level.

Our specialists cover all aspects of competition disputes including cartels, abuses of dominant positions, merger control (mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures), and State aid.

We are also active in the notification of transactions, assistance in complaints, leniency applications, requests for provisional measures, settlement procedures, informal contacts and other procedures.

Our multidisciplinary teams also have essential experience before the European Commission, the EU courts, and various national courts.

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16.02.2018 EU law
Who is a consumer? The dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation

Short Reads - On 25 January 2018, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") rendered a preliminary ruling in a case between Austrian citizen Maximilian Schrems and online social network Facebook. The ruling is important for two reasons. First, the ECJ approved a dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation. Secondly, the ECJ clarified that the special consumer forum can only be invoked by the specific consumer who is party to the contractual relationship with the professional trader.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Highest German Court rules that ASICS's ban on using price comparison websites violates EU competition law

Short Reads - On 19 January 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) published its judgment concerning an appeal brought by shoe manufacturer ASICS against a fining decision. The FCJ ruled that ASICS had infringed competition law by prohibiting its retailers from participating in price comparison websites. The judgment confirms the strict approach of German courts relating to vertical online sales restrictions.  

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice: Suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorised distributors from selling on third party internet platforms

Short Reads - On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice rendered its much anticipated judgment in a dispute between a supplier of luxury cosmetics (Coty) and one of its authorised resellers. The central question was whether Coty is allowed under the competition rules to forbid its resellers to sell Coty products over third party internet platforms with visible logos (like eBay or Amazon).

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01.02.2018 EU law
Participation d’entreprises liées aux marchés publics: qui assume la responsabilité ?

Articles - L’avocat général Campos Sanchez-Bordona a récemment déposé des conclusions intéressante dans le cadre de l’affaire nr. C-531/A6 dont la Cour de justice a été saisie. Selon l’avocat général, des soumissionnaires qui sont liés mais qui présentent chacun une offre séparée pour un marché public déterminé n’ont pas à informer le pouvoir adjudicateur des liens existant entre eux. Il ressort en outre des conclusions que le pouvoir adjudicateur n’est pas légalement tenu de vérifier de manière active la participation d’entreprises liées à un marché public.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Dissemination of misleading information on the safety of a medical product can be a "by object" infringement

Short Reads - On 23 January 2018, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Italian Council of State. The request concerned an agreement between Roche and Novartis to make public statements concerning the alleged lack of safety and efficacy of one of Roche's products which competed with a product licensed to Novartis (the Agreement). The Court of Justice found that such an agreement can, under specific circumstances, constitute a restriction of competition "by object".

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice dismisses appeal by Telefónica on non-compete clause in telecoms transaction

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Court of Justice dismissed the appeal brought by Telefónica against a judgment of the General Court (GC) regarding a non-compete agreement [see our July 2016 Newsletter]. The judgment confirms the finding of the GC that the non-compete clause agreed upon between Telefónica and Portugal Telecom (PT) amounted to a market sharing agreement with the object of restricting competition.

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06.12.2017 EU law
EU Court of Justice: Suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorised distributors from selling on third party internet platforms

Short Reads - Today the ECJ rendered its much anticipated judgment in a dispute between a supplier of luxury cosmetics (Coty) and one of its authorised resellers. The central question was whether Coty is allowed under the competition rules to forbid its resellers to sell Coty products over third party internet platforms with visible logos (like eBay or Amazon).

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01.02.2018 EU law
Qualifying dawn raid documents as 'in scope' or 'out of scope': marginal review by Belgian Court

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Brussels Court of Appeal rendered a judgment clarifying the qualification 'in scope' and 'out of scope' of documents seized by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) during dawn raids at the applicants' (Distripaints NV and Novelta NV) premises. The dawn raids were launched after a complaint by SA Durieu Coatings, which accused both distributors of colluding with its competitor Akzo Nobel.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Deelname verbonden ondernemingen aan overheidsopdrachten: wie is waarvoor verantwoordelijk?

Articles - Advocaat-generaal Campos Sanchez-Bordona heeft recentelijk een interessante conclusie geveld in de voor het Hof van Justitie aanhangige zaak C-531/16. Volgens de advocaat-generaal moeten inschrijvers die onderling banden hebben en elk afzonderlijk een offerte indienen voor een bepaalde overheidsopdracht de aanbesteder niet op de hoogte stellen van de tussen hen bestaande banden. Uit de conclusie volgt echter geen actieve bevragingsplicht in hoofde van de aanbesteder op het vlak van de deelname van verbonden ondernemingen aan een overheidsopdracht an sich.

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01.12.2017 EU law
General Court partially annuls the European Commission's ICAP decision (in the YIRD case)

Short Reads - On 10 November 2017, the General Court (GC) partially annulled the European Commission's 2015 decision to fine UK-based broker ICAP close to EUR 15 million for "facilitating" various infringements relating to Yen interest rate derivatives (YIRDs). The GC's judgment provides a useful overview of the current state of EU case law on (i) "by object" infringements; (ii) the role of facilitators in cartel cases; (iii) "complex single and continuous infringements"; (iv) the presumption of innocence; and (v) the Commission's duty to state reasons when setting the level of a fine.

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