Competition and Antitrust



Meet the Co-chairs - TAGLAW


Dekker, Cees
Nysingh advocaten-notarissen N.V.
cees.dekker@nysingh.nl


Hill, Christopher S.
Kirton McConkie, PC
chill@kmclaw.com


Hauck, Dieter
Preslmayr Rechtsanwälte
hauck@preslmayr.at



Gecić Law successfully represented the Bar Association of Serbia in a positive resolution of a landmark antitrust probe in Serbia (link). On May 24, 2018, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition, the national competition authority (“Commission”) dropped a four-year antitrust investigation into the Bar Association of Serbia – Advokatska komora Srbije (“AKS”), without taking any further action (link). The Commission’s decision puts to rest one of the longest standing investigations in recent history against AKS, a more than 9000-lawyer strong organization and one of the largest bar associations in the Balkans.

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Author: Dieter Hauck

In 2017 Austria and Germany implemented an additional merger threshold to catch cases that fall below existing turnover thresholds but where the consideration for the transaction exceeds €200 million (Austria) or €400 million (Germany), respectively, and the target is active in the respective country to a significant extent.(1) The first cases and legal discussions have shown that there is considerable uncertainty regarding the application of these rules. The legislators do not appear to have fully considered all of the issues and consequences. However, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority(2) and the German Federal Cartel Office(3) have now published joint draft guidelines on the application of the new, short but nonetheless quite difficult piece of legislation. The draft guidelines are available on the competition authorities' websites and are open for consultation until June 8 2018. English versions are also available. The draft guidelines reflect the opinions of the authorities and cannot bind national courts that may have to rule on individual transactions.

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Author: Mert Karamustafaoglu

Beer is one of the first beverages that humankind produced, such that beer is mentioned even in the epic of Gilgamesh, believed to be circa 2800 and 2500 BC. While the process of becoming human from the primitive human, "Enkidu" who lives with animals and eat herbs is described, it is expressed that Enkidu eats bread and drinks beer. The first large scale brewery in Turkey was Bomonti Brewery that opened in Feriköy, İstanbul in 1890. In 1909, Nektar Brewery was also founded in Istanbul, Büyükdere, as a competitor of Bomonti. The ensuing competition commenced in the beer market, causing both companies loss. Thereupon this loss, Bomonti and Nektar decide to merge, a seemingly wise move. In 1912, they commenced operating under the trademark, "Bomonti-Nektar". The said company operated as the most important beer producer, for many years; however, with the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey, it was nationalized in 1934, under the name, "Tekel".

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Author: Prof. Dr. H. Ercument Erdem

Introduction

The Competition Board ("Board"), in its decision dated 19.07.2017 and numbered 17-23/383-1661 ("Decision"), examined the allegation that insurance companies operating in Turkey are engaged in concerted practices or agreements that limit and corrode competition by way of increasing prices, collectively, in the Motor Vehicles Compulsory 3rd Party Liability Insurance ("motor vehicles insurance" market, and that they apply excessive prices, and engage in market sharing. The Board decided in the decision by a large majority, that Article 4 of the Act on the Protection of Competition numbered 4054("Competition Act") 2 has not been breached by the undertakings and association of undertakings that have been investigated and, thus, there is no necessity to impose an administrative monetary fine upon the undertakings, pursuant to Article 16 of the said Competition Act. In this article, this important decision of the Board is examined.

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Author: Dieter Hauck

Section 17 of the Cartel Act seems clear in that a merger requiring notification may be implemented only after clearance, which will be achieved if:

  • the Federal Cartel Authority and the federal cartel prosecutor (herein, the 'official parties') waive their right to move for a full investigation in the court;
  • the official parties fail to file such a motion within the deadline provided by law; or
  • the court rules in favour of implementation.

However, to date, the law contains no definition of 'implementation'. There has been much debate in doctrine regarding whether implementation should be defined broadly as the mere possibility of influencing the target's behaviour, or more narrowly as the actual exercise of such influence. The Cartel Court's case law has followed the narrower definition. However, a recent Supreme Court decision has clarified the matter and reached a different conclusion.(1)

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