A new dawn for cartel enforcement? Competition authorities across Europe resume unannounced dawn raid inspections

On 22 June 2021 the European Commission (“Commission”) revealed that it had carried out surprise inspections at the German premises of a company active in the clothing sector, suspected of infringing competition rules.  This was the first unannounced inspection, or “dawn raid”, conducted by the Commission since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck Europe in March … Read more

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OECD WORKSHOP ON GENDER AND COMPETITION POLICY

As we celebrate International Women’s Week in various different ways, we have also been reflecting on gender and competition policy. This is an area which has been coming under increasing focus, and which our Brussels competition team is monitoring closely. Two key themes are the opportunity for competition authorities and practitioners to adopt a gender … Read more

EU Commission fines in first purchasing cartel in the chemical sector

On 22 January 2021, the European Commission published a non-confidential version of its decision to fine ethylene purchasers Orbia, Clariant and Celanese a total of EUR 260 million for participating in a cartel aimed at purchasing ethylene at the lowest possible price, to the detriment of ethylene sellers. Westlake, a fourth participant, applied for and … Read more

CJEU confirms Pirelli’s parental liability in Power Cables Cartel

On 28 October 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed in its entirety an appeal brought by Pirelli & C. SpA (Pirelli) against a General Court ruling which confirmed Pirelli’s joint and several liability in the 2014 power cables cartel. The CJEU confirmed the General Court’s findings that the Commission was entitled … Read more

International Competition Network’s scoping paper on “Big Data and Cartels”: Big Data and algorithms as a new “threat” and a new “tool” for cartel enforcement

Earlier this year, we discussed the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on cartels and collaboration between competitors (see our e-bulletins here and here). Regulators have been open to allowing certain types of cooperation between competitors to address the impact of the crisis.  They have nonetheless been careful to stress that this is not general … Read more

Views on an evolving automotive industry: Responding to competition law challenges

The automotive industry is unquestionably evolving at considerable pace, whether through advances in connectivity and autonomy in vehicles, developments in the way that consumers access and use vehicles or changes driven by the “electric revolution” and the unprecedented industry disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the latest article in a series entitled “Views on … Read more

Successful leniency application sees HKCC take new IT cartel case to court and adoption of first infringement notice remedy by authority

On 22 January 2020 the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) commenced proceedings against Quantr Ltd (Quantr) and one of its directors in the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal). The proceedings concern alleged cartel conduct in 2017 relating to a bidding exercise organised by Ocean Park Corporation (Ocean Park) for the procurement of IT services based on Nintext … Read more