The Public Competition Enforcement Review - Edition 8

Aidan Synnott
  • Editor:
  • Aidan Synnott
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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In the reports from around the world collected in this volume, we continue to see a good deal of international overlap among the issues and industries attracting government enforcement attention.

Cartel enforcement remains robust, particularly by the European Union and the United States, although the number of new enforcement decisions adopted by the EU dropped significantly in 2015. Other jurisdictions, including Greece and France, also report a decrease in the magnitude of fines or numbers of decisions rendered in cartel actions. China, however, saw a slight increase. In 2015, Australia, Brazil, China, Cyprus, the European Union, Germany and the United States have opened, continued or settled enforcement actions against automotive parts cartelists. Brazil, China, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland have each seen enforcement activity related to the distribution of automobiles. Additionally, several jurisdictions investigated food-related cartels in 2015, including dairy products (France and Spain), chocolate (Canada), eggs (Australia), poultry (France), bakeries (Finland), and sugarcane (Colombia).

In the area of restrictive agreements, several European jurisdictions (France, Germany, Italy and Sweden) moved against an online travel booking platform for its use of ‘most-favoured nation’ clauses with respect to the rates offered by hotels to the platform. However, as we see in the chapters that follow, the German authority did not accept the commitments made by the platform to the other jurisdictions, and required a more stringent remedy. These actions follow on a similar enforcement action in the United Kingdom in 2014. In addition, Brazil, France, and Sweden have examined taxi services. We also continue to see several examples of actions against manufacturer-imposed restrictions on retailer behaviour, particularly against resale price maintenance, including actions in Argentina (bleach), Colombia (rice), Switzerland (musical instruments), and the United Kingdom (refrigerator and bathroom suppliers). The apparent concern with resale price maintenance in these jurisdictions might be seen to contrast with the dearth of public enforcement actions against these arrangements in the United States, which itself may reflect a change in the interpretation of the relevant law by United States Supreme Court several years ago.

Merger review and enforcement activity remains robust, and the chapters that follow note activity in many sectors, including in the telecommunications area in the United States, Spain, Greece, France, Croatia and Finland. We also see several reports of merger investigations in the healthcare area, including activity in Australia, Spain and the United States. Several of the reports, including the reports from the United States, Belgium and Germany, note enforcement activities arising out of merger process violations, such as the failure to properly report transactions.

Many jurisdictions continue to develop their approach to implementation of competition laws enacted in recent years. Of particular interest is the essay entitled ‘The Damages Directive, in search of a balance between public and private enforcement of the competition rules in Europe,’ which discusses the implementation of the 2014 European Commission Damages Directive.

About the Editor

Co-chair of the Paul, Weiss antitrust practice, Aidan Synnott focuses on antitrust litigation and compliance, intellectual property (IP) litigation and other complex commercial litigation. He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts and in ADR forums, and frequently represents clients in antitrust investigations by the US and EU governmental agencies.

A fellow of the American Bar Foundation, he has been an associate editor of the Antitrust Law Journal and editorial board member of the American Bar Association’s Annual Review of Antitrust Law Developments. He was co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Section of Commercial and Federal Litigation’s Committee on Antitrust and a member of the Executive Committee of the Section. He has been a guest lecturer and speaker at New York University School of Law, the Wharton School and the University of Michigan Law School, and has published extensively in the areas of antitrust and IP law. He is recognised as a leading lawyer for his work in antitrust by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Aidan has been included in Who’s Who Legal of Competition Lawyers and Economists by Who’s Who Legal since 2013.

Mr Synnott earned his law degrees from the University of Michigan, the Honorable Society of King’s Inns and the National University of Ireland.


The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book:

Editor's Preface

  • Aidan Synnott
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Public v. Private Enforcement

  • Lesley Farrell, Manish Bahl and Ludmilla Le Grand Hamblin
  • Eversheds


  • Miguel del Pino and Santiago del Rio
  • Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal


  • Kathryn Edghill
  • Bird & Bird


  • Hendrik Viaene and Delphine Gillet
  • Stibbe


  • Mariana Villela, Leonardo Maniglia Duarte and Vitor Luís Pereira Jorge
  • Veirano Advogados


  • Cal Goldman, Richard Annan and Michael Koch
  • Goodmans LLP


  • Michael Gu
  • AnJie Law Firm


  • Enrique Álvarez and Darío Cadena
  • Lloreda Camacho & Co


  • Ivan Dvojković
  • Madirazza & Partners, Attorneys at Law


  • Stephanos Mavrokefalos
  • L Papaphilippou & Co LLC

European Union

  • Oliver Geiss and Will Sparks
  • Squire Patton Boggs


  • Tapani Manninen, Anna-Liisa Asujamaa and Katja Jaakkola
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd


  • Christophe Clarenc and Lolita Berthol-Balladur
  • Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés


  • Evelyn Niitväli and Marc Reysen
  • RCAA


  • Emmanuel Dryllerakis and Cleomenis Yannikas
  • Dryllerakis & Associates

Hong Kong

  • Neil Carabine and James Wilkinson
  • King & Wood Mallesons, Hong Kong


  • Manas Kumar Chaudhuri, Sagardeep Rathi, and Pranjal Prateek
  • Khaitan & Co


  • Giuseppe Scassellati-Sforzolini, Marco D’Ostuni, Luciana Bellia and Fabio Chiovini
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP


  • Kaoru Hattori
  • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu


  • Fernando Carreño and Paloma AlcÁntara
  • Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC


  • Tjarda van der Vijver and Dominique Coumans
  • Allen & Overy LLP


  • Anna Laszczyk and Wojciech Podlasin
  • Linklaters C. Wiśniewski i Wspólnicy sp. k.


  • Joaquim Caimoto Duarte, Tânia Luísa Faria and Maria Francisca Couto
  • Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho


  • Juan Jiménez-Laiglesia, Alfonso Ois, Joaquin Hervada, Rafael Maldonado and Emilio Carrandi
  • DLA Piper


  • Peter Forsberg and Axel Resvik
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys


  • Michael Tschudin, Frank Scherrer and Urs Weber-Stecher
  • Wenger & Vieli AG


  • Stephen Wu, Rebecca Hsiao and Wei-Han Wu
  • Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-Law


  • Serbűlent Baykan and Handan Bektaş
  • BaykanIdea Law Offices

United Kingdom

  • Ian Giles and Caroline Thomas
  • Norton Rose Fulbright LLP


  • Aidan Synnott and Andrew C Finch
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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