Antitrust Matters - March 2015 (Global)

by DLA Piper

Luxleaks – Challenging the challenges to ta rulings in the EU -

The European Commission’s recent state aid crusade against so-called sweet deals in the form of tax rulings may have unwelcome consequences never contemplated by the Commission.

When the six founding members of the European Union drafted the 1957 Treaty of Rome, they established “state aid” rules as a means to subject member state subsidies to the Commission’s control. What they had in mind was, in simple terms, that national governments would be tempted to favor their “national champions”, which could lead to a “subsidy race” and ultimately distort competition within the common market. Hence the need to have an independent arbitrator.

Initially, the notion of state aid was quite easy to grasp conceptually, but over the years more and more forms of state measures were found to involve state aid. From the one-off cash grant to the mere announcement of a government guarantee, everything short of a smile can today amount to a “selective financial advantage”.

“Selectivity” is indeed the key issue here. A “general measure” is never state aid, but any advantage that is not truly “general” will be “selective”, even where this is not prima facie obvious. If one particular company receives a financial advantage paid out of state resources, it is deemed selective. The same is true where a particular sector is favored. The “selectivity” can be hidden; a measure can de facto favor a particular company or sector....

In This Issue:


- Damages For Infringements Of The Competition Law In Europe: The Way Forward

- EU Court Warns Businesses: Do Not Tamper With Electronic Data During A Dawn Raid

- The Second-Generation Competition Law Cooperation Agreement Between The EU And The Swiss Confederation: Breaking New Ground

- Germany:

- Recent Federal Court Of Justice’s Decision On The Internal Liabilities Of The Jointly And Severally Liable Parent And Subsidiary For A EU Fine And A Second Shorter Part On A Recent Speech By The President Of The FCO On The Future Of German Competition Policy

- Netherlands:

- Dutch Antitrust Watchdog Fines Investment Firms As Part Of Flour Cartel

- Norway:

- National Developments

- Poland:

- Recently Polish NCA Has Fined A Manufacturer Of Spare Parts For Helicopters Operating In Army Forces. The Case Is A Pure Refusal To Supply, But It Is The First Time Polish Nca Scrutinized Defence Sector.

- Romania:

Amendments brought to the Romanian antitrust legislation

- Slovakia:

Antimonopoly Office taking actions against bid-rigging in the energy sector


- FCA’s new competition powers in the financial services market

- The CMA refers To Phase II Reckitt Benckiser’s purchase Of K-Y

- The Cat Rules That CMA should pay Skyscanner’s costs of successful appeal


- United States:

- Collaborators or Conspirators? After Seven Years of Litigation, a US$590 Million Settlement – and Four Takeaways

- Guilt by Association: Four Questions to Ask about your Trade Association Activity


- Australia

- Australia’s first authorisation of resale price maintenance conduct - addressing free riding in high-quality product markets

- Some Other News: Recent merger in the railway sector (Thalys Joint venture)

- News report re. Germany

- Please see full publication below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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