Short Reads

Belgian Competition Authority closes investigation into Most Favoured Nation clauses in Immoweb contracts

Belgian Competition Authority closes investigation into Most Favoured

Belgian Competition Authority closes investigation into Most Favoured Nation clauses in Immoweb contracts

05.12.2016 EU law

By a decision of 7 November 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority ("BCA") closed its investigation regarding Belgium’s leading real estate web portal Immoweb. The investigation concerned Most Favoured Nation ("MFN") clauses in contracts between Immoweb and developers of software for real estate agencies.

The developers of software for real estate agencies were paid by Immoweb for each real estate offer that was transferred through their software to the Immoweb portal. However, Immoweb inserted MNF clauses in its contracts with the software developers, which stated that the software developers also working with Immoweb’s competitors had to offer Immoweb the same conditions if these conditions were financially more advantageous than those concluded with Immoweb.
 
In its preliminary analysis, the BCA came to the conclusion that such clauses were restricting competition by raising the costs of Immoweb’s competitors. In response, Immoweb committed to unilaterally stop using MFN clauses and to refrain from incorporating MFN clauses in future contracts with software developers for a period of 5 years.
 
As a result of these commitments, the BCA decided to close the investigation. It did not take a position on whether Immoweb had violated competition rules by incorporating the abovementioned clauses in its contracts with software developers.
 
The decision confirms the approach adopted by the BCA in the Distri-One v. Coca-Cola and Banksys cases that commitments can lead to the end of an investigation. The BCA also follows other decisions in Europe regarding MFN clauses, such as in the Booking.com case, where the French, Swedish and Italian Authorities accepted commitments and closed their investigation. In Germany, however, the Bundeskartellamt rejected the commitments offered by Booking.com, considering they were insufficient to reverse the collusive impact of the contested MFN clauses.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of December 2016. Other articles in this newsletter:

1. European Commission publishes study on the passing-on of overcharges 

2. Legislative Proposal introducing class actions in the Netherlands before House of Representatives 

Team

Related news

20.06.2018 NL law
Op weg naar één Europese spoorwegruimte: de aanpassing van de Nederlandse wetgeving aan het Europese recht

Articles - Het zogenaamde 'Vierde Spoorwegpakket' zal belangrijke gevolgen hebben voor de Europese spoorwegruimte. De Nederlandse regering maakt goede vaart met de aanpassing van het nationale recht aan de eisen die uit het Vierde Spoorwegpakket voortvloeien. Inmiddels is een daartoe strekkend wetsvoorstel aanhangig bij de Tweede Kamer. De vaste commissie voor Infrastructuur en Waterstaat heeft eind vorige maand het verslag van haar bevindingen ten aanzien van het wetsvoorstel uitgebracht.

Read more

01.06.2018 EU law
European Court of Justice rules EY did not violate stand-still obligation in Danish merger

Short Reads - On 31 May 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that Ernst & Young (EY) did not illegally implement the acquisition of KPMG Denmark (KPMG DK) before obtaining antitrust clearance.  Following the announcement of the transaction, KPMG DK terminated a cooperation agreement. According to the Court, that act cannot be regarded as a violation of the stand-still obligation since it did not contribute to the change of control of the target undertaking.

Read more

20.06.2018 NL law
Naar een volwaardig recht op toegang tot de rechter en een eerlijk proces onder het EVRM?

Articles - Het recht op een toegang tot de rechter en een eerlijk proces van artikel 6 EVRM is één van de hoekstenen van dit verdrag. Naast strafzaken en zaken over bestuurlijke boetes vallen de meeste andere geschillen onder het toepassingsbereik van deze bepaling. Dit omdat er volgens de autonome Straatsburgse uitleg al snel sprake is van een geschil over de vaststelling van ‘civil rights and obligations’ als bedoeld in artikel 6 EVRM.

Read more

05.06.2018 EU law
New EU rules to reduce marine pollution

Articles - Plastic pollution has become a key environmental concern. And it is not surprising why: according to a recent study, of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics that have been produced so far, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of this plastic waste, 79% is accumulating either in landfill sites or in the oceans. Therefore, on 28 May 2018 the EU Commission issued a new draft Directive aimed at tackling marine litter by addressing single use plastic items and abandoned fishing gear.

Read more

Our website uses cookies: third party analytics cookies to best adapt our website to your needs & cookies to enable social media functionalities. For more information on the use of cookies, please check our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Please note that you can change your cookie opt-ins at any time via your browser settings.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring