Maria Lopez Ridruejo

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice clarifies that a change from sole to joint control requires EU clearance only if the joint venture is "full-function"

Short Reads - On 7 September 2017, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Austrian Supreme Court on the interpretation of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR). It confirmed that a change in the form of control from sole to joint control of an existing undertaking is considered a concentration under the EUMR only when the joint venture resulting from this transaction performs on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous economic entity in the relevant market and therefore qualifies as a full-function joint venture (FFJV).

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01.08.2017 EU law
Court of Justice dismisses Toshiba's appeal against the gas-insulated switchgear fine

Short Reads - On 6 July 2017, the European Court of Justice dismissed an appeal brought by Toshiba regarding its participation in the gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) cartel, upholding the General Court's (GC) judgment of 19 January 2016 and making the fine imposed on Toshiba final. The judgment shows that the European Commission is able and willing to repair any breach of the principle of equal treatment in the rare occasions in which this leads to the annulment of a fining decision.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice upholds fine imposed on Philips and LG in the cathode ray tubes cartel

Short Reads - On 14 September 2017, the European Court of Justice dismissed the appeals brought by LG Electronics Inc. (LG) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (Philips) against the General Court's (GC) judgment in the cathode ray tubes (CRT) cartel [see our October 2015 Newsletter]. The Court of Justice confirmed that the relevant "value of sales" in the EEA includes sales of finished products incorporating the cartelised products in the EEA, even if those cartelised products were first sold to entities outside the EEA by means of intragroup sales.

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03.07.2017 EU law
Google gets a record EUR 2.42 billion antitrust fine for its shopping service

Short Reads - On 27 June 2017, the European Commission announced its decision to fine Google EUR 2.42 billion for abusing its dominant position by illegally favouring its own comparison shopping service in its search results. The fine follows a seven-year investigation and unsuccessful commitment negotiations and is the largest ever imposed on a single company by the Commission. Failure to remedy the allegedly anti-competitive conduct within 90 days could lead to additional fines of up to 5% of Google's average daily worldwide turnover for each day of non-compliance.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice provides guidance on examining excessive prices as abuse of a dominant position

Short Reads - On 14 September 2017, the European Court of Justice answered preliminary questions from the Latvian Supreme Court. The Latvian Court sought guidance on how to establish whether the fees charged by a collective rights management organisation (CMO) are excessive and therefore constitute abuse of a dominant position in the sense of Article 102 TFEU. The Court of Justice confirmed that comparing the prices with those applied in other Member States, is an appropriate method to establish whether Article 102 TFEU has been infringed.

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01.06.2017 EU law
Recent enforcement action emphasizes the importance of compliance with procedural EU merger rules

Short Reads - On 18 May 2017, the EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stressed the importance for companies involved in mergers of complying with the EU merger rules. By imposing a fine on Facebook for providing misleading information during the WhatsApp takeover and sending a Statement of Objections to Altice for implementing a deal prior to obtaining its approval, the European Commission shows that it will be very attentive to any violations of its procedural rules.

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