Competition Bulletin February 2023

Table of Contents

01  Representative CNMC merger decisions, December 2022 – February 2023. 
02  Merger control / Gun-jumping.  The CNMC fines telecommunications operator Xfera Móviles €1.5 million for gun-jumping (Decision of 21 December 2022, XFERA, file SNC/DC/144/22).
03  Merger control / Wedding planning.  The CNMC approves with commitments the purchase of Zankyou by Wedding Planner (WEDDING PLANNER/ZANKYOU VENTURES, file C/1318/22). 
04  Merger control / Legal databases.  The CNMC approves with commitments the acquisition of Thomson Reuters Spain, Wolters Kluwer Spain, and Wolters Kluwer France by Karnov (Decision of 2 November 2022, KARNOV/TR ESPAÑA/WA ESPAÑA, file C/1295/22).
05  Merger control / Artificial reproduction.  The CNMC clears KKR’s acquisition of IVI, subject to commitments (Decision of 21 December 2022, KKR/IVI, file C/1321/22). 
06  CNMC antitrust activity / Vertical agreements.  The CNMC closes antitrust proceedings against ISDIN, S.A., by means of commitments Decision (Decision of 30 December 2022, ISDIN, file S/0049/19).
07  CNMC antitrust activity / Recycling market.  The CNMC has adopted interim measures to guarantee publicity and transparency in the upcoming waste auctions organized by Ecoembes (Decision of 29 December 2022, SUBASTAS ECOEMBES, file S/0021/21).  
08 CNMC antitrust activity / Insurance.  CNMC ends antitrust proceedings against DKV by means of a commitments Decision (Decision of 8 February 2023, DKV COBERTURAS AUTONOMOS, file S/0030/20). 
09 Supreme Court activity / Legal costs.  The Supreme Court rejects the appeals filed by the bar Associations of Madrid, Guadalajara and Las Palmas and confirms its antitrust fines in connection with collective price recommendations by professionals Bar Associations (Judgements of the Supreme Court of 19 December 2022, appeal number 7573/2022, of 23 December 2022, appeal number 7583/2022, and of 23 December 2022, appeal number 8404/2022). 
10 Public consultation / CNMC.  Implementation of the disqualification of antitrust offenders to participate in public procurement (15 November 2022). 
 11 High Court activity / Anticompetitive agreements – Abuse of dominance.  The High Court quashes a decision issued by the CNMC fining company Istobal (High Court judgment of 29 July 2022, appeal number 355/2016 (recently published)). 
12 Judge of first instance activit / Antitrust damages.  Antitrust damages resulting from an abuse of dominant position in the collective management of intellectual property rights (Madrid Court of First Instance judgment of 22 March 2022, NH Hoteles v. EGEDA, appeal number 2250/2019). 
13 Madrid Provincial Court activit / Interim measures.  Madrid Provincial Court Order on interim measures on appeal against the prior Order from the judge of first instance deciding to revoke prior interim measures (Madrid Provincial Court Order of 30 January 2023, appeal number 1578/2022). 
14 European Court of Justice activity / Super League.  Opinion of the Advocate General Rantos of 15 December 2022 European Super League, case C-333/21. 

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin November 2022

Table of Contents

01  Representative CNMC merger decisions, February-November 2022.
02  Legislative Activity / Reform of the Unfair Competition Act.
03  CNMC activity / National postal service.  The CNMC fines Correos $32.6 million for the use of a selective discount system for large customers (Decision of 18 February 2022, CORREOS 3, file S/0041/19). 
04  CNMC activity / Scrap purchase market.  The CNMC fines three steel companies $24 million for anti-competitive exchanges of information in the market for scrap iron (Decision of 4 March 2022, CHATARRA Y ACERO, file S/0012/19).
05  CNMC activity / Bid-rigging.  The CNMC fines six of Spain’s largest construction companies for altering the competitive process of infraestructure tenders over a period of 25 years (Decision of 5 July 2022, OBRA CIVIL 2, file S/0021/20). 
06  CNMC activity / Football.  The CNMC shelves an investigation against the Royal Spanish Football Federation clearing it of a prior formal indictment for abuse of dominant position (Decision of 1 June 2022, Second and Third Division Football, file S/0042/19). 
07  CNMC activity / Excessive pricing of orphan drugs.  The CNMC fines Leadiant €10.25 million for excessive pricing of its drug for the treatment of cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (Decision of 14 November 2022, CDCA Leadiant, file S/0028/10). 
08 CNMC activity / generic entry delaying tactics.  The CNMC fines Merck Sharp €39 million for abuse of dominant position. 
09 CNMC activity / Recycling market.  The CNMC formally initiates antitrust proceedings against Ecoembalajes España, S.A. for possible abuse of dominant position (5 October 2022). 
10 CNMC activity / Hotels and online travel agencies.  The CNMC initiates antitrust proceeding against Booking.com B.V. for possible abuse of dominant position (17 October 2022). 
 11  Commercial Court activity / Antitrust litigation.  The Commercial Court nº 3 of Madrid finds that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has abused its dominant position and condemns to compensate for damages (Judgement of the Commercial Court nº 3 of Madrid of 10 January 2022, appeal number 2087/2019).   
12 Commercial Court activit / World Padel Tour.  The Commercial Court nº 15 of Madrid rejects the request for interim measures requested by World Padel Tour to stop the Premier Padel circuit. 
13 High Court activit / Security companies.  The High Court overturns €46 million fines on Prosegur and Loomis (Judgement of the High Court of 20 July 2022, Prosegur compañía de seguridad, S.A., v. CNMC, appeal number 3109/2022). 
14  High Court activity / UTEs.  The High Court upholds the appeal of JEZ Sistemas Ferroviarios, S.L. and quashes the CNMC cartel Decision in connection with high speed train infraestructure (Judgement of the High Court of 27 December 2021, appeal number 432/2016). 
15 Judicial activity / Time limits of administrative investigations.  The High Court has annulled an antitrust decision due to the expiration of the administrative time limits for antitrust decisions (Judgement of the High Court of 27 July 2022, appeal number 92/2016). 
16 Judicial activity / Prohibition to contract with the Public Administration.  The Superior Court of Justice of Cataluña establishes that a Competition Authority can decide on the scope of the prohibition to deal with Public Administrations. 
17 EU Commission activity / Hungary breached the EUMR.  The EC fines that Hungary breached Article 21 EUMR by vetoing an acquisition of EU dimension on the basis of the national foreign direct investment screening regime (21 February 2022). 
18 EU Commission activity / Internet of things.  The European Commission publishes the report of the sector inquiry into Internet of things (20 January 2022). 
19 European Commission activity / Draft Notice on Market Definition (October 2022).
20 CJEU activity / Intel.  The General Courts annuls in part the EC’s fine against Intel (Judgement of the General Court of 26 January 2022, Intel Corporation v. European Commission, case T-286/09). 
21 CJEU activity / Non bis in idem principleThe Court of Justice specifies the protection against double jeopardy provided by EU law (Judgement of the Court of Justice of 22 March 2022, in cases Bpost, C-117/20 and Nordzucker and others, case C-151/20). 
22 CJEU activity / Damages Directive.  The CJEU clarifies the temporal scope of the Damages Directive (Judgement of the Court of Justice of 22 June 2022, Volvo and DAF Trucks, case C-267/20). 
23 CJEU activity / Ilumina.  The General Court rejects Ilumina’s appeal of the EC decision to void the Grail Ilumina Concentration (Judgement of the European Court of Justice of 13 July 2022, Ilumina, Inc. v. European Commission, case T-227/21). 
24 Foreign Direct Investment Screening – Draft Regulation implementing the Foreign Direct Investment Act (December 2021). 

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia noviembre 2021


01  Decisiones de la CNMC en el ámbito del control de concentraciones, Mayo-Noviembre 2021.
02  Concentración a monopolio: servicios portuarios.  La CNMC aprueba con compromisos la creación de una empresa en participación al 50% en el Puerto de Barcelona (Decisión de 27 de julio de 2021, MOORING & PORT SERVICES, S.L./ CEMESA AMARRES BARCELONA, S.A., expediente C/1134/20). 
03  Otras concentraciones problemáticas.
04  Actividad CNMC / Gun-jumping La CNMC sanciona a Albia Gestión de Servicios S.L.U. (Decisión de 13 de julio de 2021, ALBIA/ TANATORIOS MOSTOLES, expediente SNC/DC/045/21).
05  Acuerdos restrictivos / Red de Carreteras del Estado.  Amaño de licitaciones de servicios de mantenimiento y explotación de carreteras (Decisión de 17 de agosto de 2021, CONSERVACIÓN DE CARRETERAS, expediente S/0013/19).
06  Acuerdos restrictivos / Distribución cinematográficos.  Terminación convencional que implica a las grandes distribuidoras y a una empresa de medición de audiencias (Decisión de 29 de septiembre de 2021, DISTRIBUCIÓN CINEMATOGRÁFICA, expediente S/001/19). 
07  Acuerdos restrictivos / Red ferroviaria.  La CNMC multa por amaño de licitaciones a las principales empresas de seguridad, señalización y comunicaciones en relación con la red de alta velocidad, media distancia y cercanías en España  (Decisión de 29 de septiembre de 2021, SEGURIDAD Y COMUNICACIONES FERROVIARIAS, expediente S/DC/0614/17).
08 Acuerdos restrictivos / EURO 6000.  La CNMC termina con compromisos la investigación contra EURO 6000 en relación con las condiciones de acceso a su red de cajeros (Decisión de 2 de noviembre de 2021, EURO 6000, expediente S/0034/19). 
09 Actividad judicial / Fútbol.  El asunto de la Superliga Europea ante los tribunales españoles. 
10 Actividad judicial  / Cártel de la leche.   El tribunal dicta sentencia de daños y perjuicios en relación con la fijación de precios en el cártel de la leche (Sentencia del Juzgado de lo Mercantil nº 1 de Granada de 30 de junio de 2021, número de recurso 1722/2015).
 11  Actividad judicial / Prohibición de contratar.  El Tribunal Supremo confirma una medida cautelar concedida por la Audiencia Nacional para suspender una prohibición de contratar incluida en una resolución de la CNMC  (Sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de 14 de septiembre de 2021, número de recurso 6372/2020). 
12 La CNMC se suma a la amplia tendencia de investigar conductas de las “Big Tech”, en este caso contra Apple y Amazon.
13 Reforma de la Ley de Defensa de la Competencia 
14 Derecho de la UE / Actividad de la Comisión Europea / Acuerdos Verticales.  La Comisión Europea publica el borrador de Reglamento de Exención por Categorías de los Acuerdos Verticales (VBER) y sus Directivas. 
15 Derecho de la UE / Fabricantes de coches. La Comisión Europea multa a los fabricantes de coches con 875 milllones de euros por restringir la competencia en la limpieza de emisiones de los turismos diesel. 
16 Derecho de la UE / Mercado de negociación de derivados sobre tipos de interés en yenes.  La Comisión Europea vuelve a adaoptar su decisión y multa a ICAP con 6,45 millones de euros por facilitar varios cárteles en el mercado de negociación de derivados de tipos de interés en yenes.
17 Derecho de la UE/ Actividad judicial / Sentencia SUMAL.  El TJUE avala la responsabilidad descendente por conductas anticompetitivas (Sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia de 6 de octubre de 2021, asunto C-822/19).
18 Derecho de la UE / Actividad judicial / Directiva de Daños.  Conclusiones del Abogado General Rantos sobre el alcance temporal de la Directiva de daños.
19 Derecho de EEUU / Actividad Judicial / Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc.   El juez concluye que Apple no puede ser tachada de monopolista (Sentencia del Tribunal de EEUU del Distrito Norte de California de 10 de septiembre de 2021, Epic v. Apple).

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Bulletin November 2021

Table of Contents

01  Selected CNMC merger decisions, May-November 2021.
02  Merger-to-monopoly: port services.  The CNMC approves with commitments the creation of a 50/50 joint venture in the Port of Barcelona (Decision of 27 July 2021, MOORING & PORT SERVICES, S.L./ CEMESA AMARRES BARCELONA, S.A., file C/1134/20).
03  Other problematic mergers.
04  Gun-jumping:  The CNMC fines Albia Gestión de Servicios S.L.U. (Decision of 13 July 2021, ALBIA/ TANATORIOS MOSTOLES, file SNC/DC/045/21).
05  Restrictive agreements / State Road Network.  Bid-rigging of road maintenance and operation services (Decision of 17 August 2021, CONSERVACIÓN DE CARRETERAS, file S/0013/19).
06  Restrictive agreements / Film distribution.  Commitments decision involving film distribution majors and an audience measurement company (Decision of 29 September 2021, DISTRIBUCIÓN CINEMATOGRÁFICA, file S/001/19). 
07  Restrictive agreements / Railway network.  The CNMC has fined for bid-rigging the main security, signaling and communications systems companies in connection with the high-speed train’s commuter network in Spain (Decision of 29 September 2021, SEGURIDAD Y COMUNICACIONES FERROVIARIAS, file S/DC/0614/17).
08 Restrictive agreements / Euro 6000.  The CNMC closes with commitments an investigation against EURO 6000 related to access to ATM networks (Decision of 2 November 2021, EURO 6000, file S/0034/19). 
09 Judicial activity / Football Superleague.  Status of proceedings of the European Superleague matter. 
10 Judicial activity  / Milk cartel.  Court issues damages decision in connection with price fixing in milk cartel (Judgement of the Commercial Court nº 1 of Granada of 30 June 2021, appeal number 1722/2015).
 11  Judicial activity / Prohibition to participate in procurement tenders.  The Supreme Court confirms an injunction granted by the High Court to stay a prohibition to participate in public procurement tendering included in a bid-rigging antitrust decision (Judgement of the Supreme Court of 14 September 2021, appeal number 6372/2020).
12 The CNMC joins the larger trend on investigating conduct by “big tech”, in this case against Apple and Amazon.
13 Reform of the Competition Act. 
14  EU law / European Commission activity / Vertical Agreements. The European Commission publishes a revised draft Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and Guidelines. 
15 EU law / Car manufacturers.  The European Commission fines car manufacturers €875 million for restricting competition in emission cleaning for new diesel passenger cars. 
16 EU Law / Yen Interest Rate Derivatives trading market.  The European Commission re-adopts its decision and fines ICAP €6.45 million for facilitating several cartels in Yen Interest Rate Derivatives trading market.
17 EU Law / Judicial activity / SUMAL Judgement.  The Court of Justice endorses downward liability by deciding that parties harmed by anticompetitive conduct may claim damages directly against subsidiary companies (Judgement of the Court of Justice of 6 October 2021, case C-822/19). 
18 EU Law / Judicial activity / Damages Directive.  AG Rantos’ opinion on the temporal scope of the Antitrust Damages Directive.
19 US law / Judicial activity / Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc.   The Judge concludes that Apple does not have a monopoly (Judgement of the US Court of the Northern District of California of 10 September 2021, Epic v. Apple).

For more information click here.


Competition Alert May 2021

April 2021 Competition Act Reform

The Spanish Competition Act has just been amended including changes which, though less ambitious than initially envisaged, must be known to companies and individuals with economic interests in Spain.  The reforms include areas such as:

  • antitrust fines, which upper limits are increased substantially;
  • leniency, where a marker system is now put in place;
  • rejection of complaints, where a new “priority” test is put in place.

We have summarised the above and other points affected in a one-page quick look note, here.


Regulatory Advisory (Foreign Investment Screening) February 2021

In a Nutshell: the (Triple) Reform of the Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regime in Spain 

In the framework of a larger urgent legislative package to ease the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in the economy in the spring of 2020, the Spanish Government put in place a new foreign direct investment screening system applicable to non-EU/non-EFTA companies.  This screening system has been amended twice in the course of 2020 with the aim of clarifying or expanding it to include EU investments.  We condensate the various reforms and resulting status of the FDI screening regime in a single page here.

For more information click here.


Competition Alert November 2020

The Spanish Government amends the FDI screening regime and temporarily extends the FDI screening regime to investments made by EU/EEA investors above given thresholds. 

Royal Decree-Law 34/2020, of 17 November, on urgent measures supporting business solvency and others (RDL 34/2020), has been published today introducing (i) a new amendment to the foreign direct investment (FDI) screening regime applicable to critical infrastructures, supplies, technologies and industries and (ii) temporarily extending the existing FDI screening regime to EU/EFTA investments above given thresholds. The FDI regime was introduced in Spain last March,[1] by means of an amendment to Law 19/2003, of 4 July, on capital movements (Law 19/2003) (click here and here to view our initial alerts on the initial regime and its first modification).

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin November 2020

Table of Contents

01  Mergers.  Selected merger decisions adopted in Spain May – October 2020.
02  CNMC activity.  The CNMC publishes a guide on competition law compliance programs. 
03  CNMC activity.  The CNMC publishes a guide on treatment of confidential information in antitrust proceedings. 
04  CNMC activity / Gun-jumping.  The CNMC investigates the possible execution of unauthorized mergers, as well as potential antitrust practices involving the funeral insurance and funeral services market. 
05  CNMC activity / Amazon.  The CNMC concludes that Amazon is a postal operator and must comply with postal sector regulations (Decision of 24 September 2020, file STP/DTSP/006/20). 
06  Mergers / Travel agency business.  The CNMC authorizes Barceló to purchase Globalia’s travel agency business. 
07  Mergers / Phase II.  Green light to Çimsa’s acquisition of Cemex. 
08 Restrictive agreements / Real estate intermediation market.  The CNMC opens antitrust proceeding against seven firms for suspected price coordination in the real estate intermediation market. 
09 Restrictive agreements / Selective distribution.  The CNMC accepts commitments by Adidas Spain in connection with contractual provisions applied within its selective distribution network (Decision of 6 February 2020, Adidas, file S/DC/0631/18). 
10 Restrictive agreements / National Meteorological Agency.  The CNMC dismantles a bid-rigging arrangement in tenders by the National Meteorological Agency (Decision of 13 February 2020, RADARES METEOROLOGICOS, file S/DC/0626/18). 
 11  Judicial activity / company officer’s penalties.  The Supreme Court sheds light on the issue of penalties to directors (Supreme Court Judgments of 1 October 2019, appeal numbers 5280/2018 and 5244/2018).  
12 Judicial activity / Refrigerated transport.  The High Court has annulled a CNMC Decision fining €8.8 million on 12 refrigerated transport companies and one business association for price-fixing (Judgment of the High Court of 18 February 2020, appeal number 658/2015 among others). 
13 Judicial activity / Dawn raids.  The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in connection with dawn raids carried out by the CNMC (Supreme Court Order of 6 March 2020, appeal number 8085/2019).
14  Judicial activity / Adult diapers cartel.  Supreme Court sheds light on the liability of cartel members not directly active in the relevant market (Judgment of the Supreme Court of 21 May 2020, appeal number 7880/2018). 
15 Judicial activity / EU Law / Gun-jumping.  The CJEU upholds Marine Harvest gun-jumping fine (Judgment of the Court of Justice of 4 March 2020, case C-10/18 P). 
16 Judicial activity / EU Law / By object infringement.  The CJEU confirms a strict interpretation of the notion of infringement by object (Judgment of the Court of Justice of 2 April 2020, case C-228/18). 
17 Judicial activity / EU Law / Cartels.  The General Court reduces the fine imposed on Infineon for its participation in the smart card chip market by almost €6 million (Judgment of the General Court of 8 July 2020, case T-758/14). 
18 Judicial activity / EU Law / Dawn raids.  The CJEU rules on dawn raids, in particular on the copying of data without prior study, which is then examined in the offices of the Commission (Judgment of the Court of Justice of 16 July 2020, case C-606/18 P). 
19 European Commission activity.  The European Commission adopts guidance for national courts when handling disclosure of confidential information. 
20 Legislative activity.  The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation publishes the Draft Regulation modifying the Competition Act. 
21 Legislative activity.  Emergency amendment to the Law on measures to improve the functioning of the food chain. 

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia Octubre 2020

Actividad de la Comisión Europea / Acuerdos verticales.  La Comisión Europea publica sus conclusiones sobre la evaluación del Reglamento CE 330/2010 de Excepción por Categorías (VBER). 

Revisión del VBER.  La Comisión Europea (CE) ha publicado recientemente un Documento de Trabajo con sus conclusiones sobre la evaluación del VBER y sus Directrices.  El VBER, que proporciona una exención de la prohibición de acuerdos anticompetitivos para ciertas restricciones contractuales (entre proveedores y distribuidores, por ejemplo), expira el 31 de mayo de 2022, por lo que la CE inició en 2018 un proceso de revisión para evaluar si dejarlo expirar, prolongar su duración o revisarlo.  Durante esta primera fase de evaluación, la CE ha recibido comentarios de diferentes fuentes (empresas y sus asesores, asociaciones de consumidores y autoridades nacionales de competencia) acerca del funcionamiento del VBER y sus Directrices.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Alert October 2020

Projected reform of the European competition law vertical restraints regime.  The European Commission’s Working Document and next steps at a glance.

Review of VBER. The European Commission (EC) recently published its Staff Working Document containing its findings on the evaluation the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and its Guidelines. The VBER, which provides a safe harbor for contractual restraints (for instance between suppliers and distributors), is due to expire on 31 May 2022 and the EC initiated in 2018 a revision process to assess whether to let the VBER lapse, prolong its duration or revise it. During this first evaluation phase the EC has gathered evidence from various sources (businesses and their advisors, consumer bodies and national competition authorities) on the functioning of the VBER and its Guidelines.

For more information click here.


Regulatory Alert April 2020

The Spanish Government publishes an amendment clarifying the reform of the Foreign Direct Investment Screening regime approved last 17 March 2020.

The Spanish Government publishes an amendment clarifying the reform of the Foreign Direct Investment Screening regime approved last 17 March 2020 and introducing amongst others rules on indirect ownership and procedure for transactions signed but not yet closed.

For more information click here.


Regulatory Alert March 2020

The Spanish Government approves a package of economic measures to alleviate the social and economic impact caused by COVID-19.  The package includes a reform of the foreign investment screening regimen. 

The rapid spread of Covid-19 has led to its consideration as a global pandemic.  Spain, currently at the epicenter of the crisis, has declared the state of alarm last Sunday.

For more information click here.


Alert March 2020

Urgent summary of Royal Decree 463/2020, 14 March, declaring the state of alarm to tackle the situation of sanitary crisis caused by COVID-19.

Lock down in Spain officially started yesterday with an urgent Decree which restricts freedom of movement and CLOSES DOWN ANY RETAIL ACTIVITY with some obvious exceptions such as FOOD and PHARMACEUTICALS, and some less obvious exceptions, such as HAIR DRESSERS and DRY CLEANERS (I was not aware that hair dressers and dry cleaners were such powerful lobbies in Spain) though this is going to be rectified, I have now heard.

More interesting is that all time limits for court proceedings (with some exceptions such as habeas corpus, fundamental rights related proceedings), administrative proceedings and statute of limitations, are stayed. So, for instance, time lines for antitrust investigations which in Spain are subject to strict duration, are suspended; same goes for statute of limitations (for damages claims, for instance). See Royal Decree here and summary here.


Competition Bulletin December 2019

Table of Contents

01  Mergers.  Selected merger decisions adopted in Spain between July-December 2019.
02  Mergers / Phase II.  The CNMC opens an in-depth review in the purchase of Cemex España’s assets by Çimsa Cimento (file C/1052/19: ÇIMSA/ ACTIVOS CEMEX).
03  Mergers / Gun-jumping.  NUFRI, Sociedad Agraria de Transformación A.P.A. (NUFRI) has breached its obligation to notify a concentration prior to its implementation (file C/1047/19, NUFRI/ INDULLEIDA).
04  Restrictive agreements / Milk supply.  The CNMC has fined eight companies that operate in the raw milk market (Decision of 11 July 2019, INDUSTRIAS LÁCTEAS 2, file S/0425/12).
05  Restrictive agreements / Mercabarna.  Fines on the Wholesalers Fish Association of Mercabarna for imposing certain conditions to their members in sales to fish retailers (Decision of 28 June 2019, Mayoristas Mercado Central de Pescado, file nº90/2017)
06  Restrictive agreements / Industrial assembly and maintenance sector.  The CNMC has stripped down a cartel organized by 19 companies active in the industrial assembly and maintenance sector (Decision of 1 October 2019, Montaje y Mantenimiento Industrial, S/DC/0612/17).
07  Vertical restraints: network of vertical agreements foreclosing the television advertising market. (Decision of 12 November 2019, Atresmedia/Mediaset, case S/DC/0617/17)
08 Judicial activity / Repsol.   The Supreme Court rules against Repsol and confirms the CNMC’s fine, overturning the prior High Court Judgements of 28 July 2017, appeal number 7/2015 and 22 December 2017, appeal number 3/2015 (Supreme Court Judgements of 23 May 2019, appeal number 2117/2018 and of 27 May 2019, appeal number 5326/2017).
09 Preliminary ruling – Harbors/cargo handling sector. The CNMC seeks a preliminary ruling from the CJEU in connection with the Framework Agreement for the cargo handling sector (Agreement of 12 June 2019 requesting a preliminary ruling to the CJEU pursuant Article 267 Treaty of the Functioning of European Union (TFEU) and staying proceedings, Acuerdo Marco de la Estiba, file S/DC/0619/17).
10 Regulation. Spain follows up on the European Commission Regulation on Coordination of Foreign Investment with its own Foreign Investment Screening Regulation.
 11  Regulation. New regulated remuneration of renewable generation in Spain.  

For more information click here.


Competition Alert October 2019

Regulatory Alert: Foreign Indirect Screening in Spain (and the EU). 

Earlier this year, the EU adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of 19 March (Regulation), establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the EU.  The Regulation, dealing with FDI which may affect security or public order, came into force on 19 April 2019 and will be applicable from 11 October 2020.  Amongst other things, the Regulation:

For more information click here.


Competition Alert July 2019

The European Commission fines Canon €28 M for closing the acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation prior to notifying and gaining merger clearance (gun-jumping). 

On August 12th 2016 Canon notified the European Commission (EC) its intention to acquire Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC), a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational Toshiba. The EC authorized the transaction on September 19th 2016. The acquisition was structured in such a way that Canon could dodge regulatory risk. In short:

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia Julio 2019

La Comisión Europea impone a Canon una multa de €28 millones por cerrar su adquisición de Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation antes de notificar y haber obtenido la autorización de competencia (gun-jumping). 

El 12 de agosto de 2016 Canon notificó a la Comisión Europea (CE) su intención de adquirir Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC), filial de la multinacional nipona Toshiba. La operación fue autorizada por la Comisión el 19 de septiembre de 2016. La adquisición se estructuró de modo que Canon pudiera eludir el riesgo regulatorio. En síntesis:

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Bulletin July 2019

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Mergers.  Selected merger decisions adopted in Spain between April-June 2019.
02  Restrictive agreements / Tobacco.  The National Market and Competition Commission (NMCC) fines the main tobacco manufactures and Logista for an anticompetitive exchange of strategic information (Decision of 10 April 2019, Tabacos, file S/DC/0607/17).
03  Restrictive agreements / Textbook publishers.  The NMCC fines non-university textbook publishers and the National Association of Book and Teaching Material Publishers (ANELE) for creating a mechanism to coordinate commercial policies and terms and conditions of trade (Decision of 30 May 2019, ANELE, file S/DC/0594/16).  
04  Unfair Competition / Gas and electricity supply.  The NMCC fines Endesa Energía XXI for misleading conduct contrary to the principles of good faith and professional diligence affecting the market (Decision of the NMCC of 20 June 2019, AGIC, file S/DC/0552/15).
05  Abuse of dominance / Management of intellectual property rights.  The NMCC fines the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SGAE) for an abuse of its dominant position in the management and exploitation of intellectual property rights (Decision of the NMCC of 30 May 2019, DAMA VS SGAE, file S/DC/0590/16).
06  Judicial activity / Damages claims.  The Supreme Court sheds light on the territorial jurisdiction criteria to be applied in connection with follow-on antitrust damages claims (Supreme Court Decision of 26 February 2019, appeal number 262/2018).  
07  Judicial activity / Dawn raids.  The Supreme Court sheds light on the interpretation of random discovery of evidence in the framework of dawn raids and annuls a fine imposed on UdER (Supreme Court Judgement of 26 February 2019, appeal number 2539/2018).
08 Judicial activity / Principle of individual nature of fines.  The Supreme Court clarifies the principle of the individual nature of fines in competition law infringements by confirming a €42 million fine to Repsol (Judgments of the Supreme Court of 23 May 2019, appeal number 2117/2018, and 27 May 2019, appeal number 5326/2017).  
09 Portugal: Recent news on mergers and dawn raids. 
10 The European Commission investigates Broadcom for exclusionary conduct.  The European Commission makes use of its interim measure powers after two decades of inactivity. 
11  The European Commission passing-on guidelines.  Guidelines for national courts on how to calculate the amount of passing-on in competition damages claims.

For more information click here.


Comentario Derecho de la Competencia Marzo 2019

El Tribunal Supremo arroja luz sobre los criterios de aplicación de la doctrina del hallazgo casual – anula la sanción impuesta a UdER (Sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de 26 de febrero de 2019, recurso número 2593/2018). 

El 26 de febrero de 2019, el Tribunal Supremo ha estimado el recurso interpuesto por Unión de Empresas de Recuperación, S.L. (UdER) contra la Sentencia de la Audiencia Nacional de 15 de diciembre de 2017 (recurso número 15/2015) (Sentencia de la Audiencia Nacional), anulando y dejando sin efecto la Resolución de la Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), de 6 de noviembre de 2014, Recogida de papel, Exp. S/0430/12 (Resolución).  Las sanciones en la Resolución no eran de particular relevancia (ascendían a 3,83 millones de euros en total) pero sí lo es el pronunciamiento del Supremo, que necesariamente obligará a la CNMC a extremar la precaución.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Comentario Derecho de la Competencia Febrero 2019

Novedades de reclamaciones por daños en España – indemnización por daños derivados del Cartel de Sobres de Papel.

Estos pronunciamientos de Juzgados de Primera Instancia arrojan luz sobre aspectos clave en reclamaciones de daños y perjuicios por infracciones de Derecho de la Competencia, en relación con la valoración de las pruebas presentadas para el cálculo de indemnizaciones, así como con la cuestión del dies a quo para la prescripción y la responsabilidad solidaria.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Advisory February 2019

Update on damages claims in Spain – paper envelope cartel damages recovery. 

Several rulings have been issued by Spanish lower courts shedding light on key aspects of antitrust damages claims, such as the treatment of evidence concerning the calculation of compensation for damages.  Also the discussions on statute of limitations and joint and several liability are relevant.

For more information click here.


Competition Alert January 2019

“Shaping Competition Policy in the era of digitization”: The European Commission hosts a conference with academic and business leaders to address the challenges of digitization for competition policy

On 17 January 2019, the European Commission hosted an experts conference to address the perceived challenges and opportunities of digitization.  This note highlights the main issues discussed and the contributions submitted by stakeholders.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin June 2018

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Mergers: selected merger decisions adopted in Spain between March 2018 and June 2018. 
02  Spain / Mergers: The National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) clears the merger of the three card payment systems operating in Spain (Decision of 1 February 2018, file C/0911/17, SERVIRED/ SISTEMA 4B/ EURO 6000).
03  Spain / Restrictive agreements / Institutional advertising: The NMCC fines five companies and three company executives for bid-rigging of public tenders for institutional advertising services (Decision of 3 May 2018, file S/DC/0584/16, AGENCIAS DE MEDIOS).  
04  Spain / Restrictive agreements / Courier services: The NMCC fines ten courier and parcel companies (Decision of 8 March 2018, S/DC/0578/16, MENSAJERIA Y PAQUETERIA EMPRESARIAL).
05  Spain / Judicial activity / Gun-jumping:  An acquisition of a mobile operator is a concentration that (due to the nature of the markets affected) must invariably be notified for merger control in Spain when the concentration has national dimension (Supreme Court Judgment of 31 October 2017, case 3648/2017).
06  Spain/ Judicial activity / Abuse: The Supreme Court restricts the concept of abuse of dominant position (Supreme Court Judgment of 5 February 2018, case 2808/2015). 
07  Spain/ Judicial activity / Abuse: The Supreme Court orders restarting the investigation of a complaint against Oracle for abuse of dominant position (Supreme Court Judgment of 10 April 2018, case 3568/2015). 
08 EU law / Judicial activity: The Competition Appeal Tribunal refers GSK’s paroxetine pay-for-delay case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (Order for reference for a preliminary ruling of 27 May 2018, case CE/9531-11).  
09 EU law / Judicial activity: The ECJ receives the first request for a preliminary ruling on the EU Damages Directive.
10 EU law / Judicial activity / Gun-jumping: The European Commission fines Altice €125 million for gun jumping; and the European Court of Justice clarifies the concept of ‘gun-jumping’ under EU merger control law.   
11 Case comment: Syndicated financial instruments and antitrust: the recent price-fixing investigation related to derivative products in project-finance transactions in Spain.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin March 2018

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Mergers: selected merger decisions adopted in Spain between December 2017 and March 2017. 
02  Spain / Restrictive agreements / Cables: the NMCC imposes fines totalling €44.7 million in low and medium voltage cables cartel case (Decision of 21 November 2017, file S/DC/0562/15, CABLES BT/MT).
03  Spain / Abuse of Dominance / Associations: the NMCC fines the national horse breeders association for abusing its dominant position (Decision of 21 November 2017, file S/DC/0580/16, CRIADORES DE CABALLOS 2).
04  Spain / Remedies / Renfe: the NMCC limits Renfe so that their competitors can count on enough machinists and develop their activity (Decision of 21 December 2017, file STP/DTSP/053/17). 
05  Spain / Judicial activity: the High Court has annulled the fine on Rua Papel Gestión SL resulting from the investigation on market allocation practices in the markets (High Court Judgment of 28 December 2017, case 139/2015). 
06  EU law / Judicial activity / Coty: the ECJ rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system for luxury products (ECJ Judgment of 6 December 2017, case C-230/16).
07  Eu law / Judicial activity / Uber: the ECJ declared Uber a transport company, not an information service provider (ECJ Judgment of 20 December 2017, case C-434/15).
08 EU law / Judicial activity / Schweppes: the ECJ defines criteria on imports of UK Schweppes products to Spain (ECJ Judgment of 20 December 2017, case C-291/16). 
09 EU law / Judicial activity / Remedies: the ECJ questions validity of commitments procedure under EU competition law (ECJ Judgment of 23 November 2017, case C-547/16).
10 EU law / Judicial activity / State aid digital terrestrial television platform: the ECJ clears DTT subsidies in Spain (ECJ Judgment of 20 December 2017, case C-70/16P).
11 Analysis of the NMCC Decision on price-fixing of financial derivatives negotiated in connection with syndicated loans (Decision of 13 February 2018, file S/DC/0579/16, DERIVADOS FINANCIEROS).

For more information click here.


Competition Alert February 2018

The National Competition and Markets Commission (CNMC) issues its Decision on price-fixing of financial derivatives negotiated in connection with syndicated loans. 

The CNMC has just issued its Decision on financial derivatives (Decision), fining the accused banks (Santander, Sabadell, Caixa, BBVA) €91 million.  The Decision refers, in particular, to the derivative products ancillary to syndicated loans, which goal is to insure borrowers against fluctuations of the interest rate to which the cost of the syndicated loan is indexed.  The Decision considers that the accused banks have fixed such cost of the derivative products in a manner and at a level which breaches Articles 101 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the national equivalent (Article 1 Competition Act).

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin November 2017

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Mergers: selected merger decisions adopted in Spain between May and October 2017. 
02  Spain / Abuse of Dominance / IMS Health: the NMCC closes proceedings against IMS Health by means of a commitments decision (Decision of 13 July 2017, file S/DC/0567/15 Estudios de Mercado Industria Farmacéutica). 
03  Spain / Abuse of Dominance / Nokia: the NMCC fines Nokia for abuse of dominant position (Decision of 8 June 2017, file S/DC/0557/15 NOKIA). 
04  Spain / Restrictive Agreements / Spanish Basketball Clubs Association: the NMCC has fined Spanish Basketball Associations for charging excessive, unequal and discriminatory economic-administrative conditions (Decision of 11 April 2017, file S/DC/0558/15 ACB). 
05  Spain / Restrictive Agreements / Schweppes: the NMCC closes proceedings against Schweppes by means of a commitments decision (Decision of 29 June 2017, file S/DC/0548/15 SCHWEPPES).  Reference to the Advocate General’s opinion in Schweppes trade mark matter (case C-291/16 Schweppes SA v Red Paralela SL). 
06  Spain / Restrictive Agreements / Medicinal gases: the NMCC closes the medical gases investigation due to insufficient evidence (Decision of 13 July 2017, file S/DC/0561/15 GASES MEDICINALES). 
07  Spain / Gun-jumping / Consenur: the NMCC has fined Consenur for failure to notify the acquisition of certain assets of Cathisa Medioambiente (Decision of 14 March 2017, file SNC/DC/0074/16 CONSENUR). 
08 Spain / Monitoring of Merger Remedies / Telefonica/Digital+ merger Decision: Telefonica should compensate competitors for excess payments in the rental of pay-TV channels resulting from the Telefonica/Digital+ merger conditions (Decision of 4 May 2017, file VC/0612/14 TELEFONICA/DTS). 
09 Spain / Judicial Activity / Telephone operators: the High Court has annulled the fine imposed by the NMCC on Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange resulting from the investigation on excessive pricing in the SMS and MMS market (Judgment of 1 September 2017, case 036/2013). 
10 Spain / Judicial Activity / Repsol: the High Court reverses Repsol antitrust fine (Judgment of 28 July 2017, case 7/2015).
11 EU law / Judicial Activity / Intel: the ECJ quashes the Judgment of the General Court confirming the EC decision that fined Intel in 2009 (Judgment of 6 September 2017, C-413/14 P). 
12 EU law / Mergers / Banco Santander-Banco Popular: Banco Santander wins EU approval to acquire Banco Popular, after Article 7 ECMR derogation decision based on the EU mechanism for insolvent financial institutions.  

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia Mayo 2017

Implementación de la Directiva de daños en España 

El Gobierno ha publicado de manera urgente el Real Decreto-Ley 9/2017, de 26 de mayo (RDL), por el que se transpone la Directiva 2014/04/UE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 26 de noviembre de 2014 (Directiva), en el ordenamiento jurídico español.  La urgencia en este caso se debe al hecho de que la Directiva debería haber sido transpuesta a finales del año 2016, y a que el objeto de la Directiva tiene potencial para desencadenar la responsabilidad del Estado frente a los particulares por su aplicación tardía. La urgencia también se justifica por el hecho de que la Comisión Europea dio comienzo en enero a un procedimiento de infracción contra España. Por lo tanto, aunque no es recomendable que esta legislación sea aprobada sin un debate parlamentario, no es de extrañar que se haya utilizado por ello la figura del Real Decreto-Ley.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Alert May 2017

Implementation of the Antitrust Damages Directive in Spain 

The government has issued an urgent Royal Decree-Law 9/2017 of 26 May (RDL) implementing Directive 2014/104/UE, of the European Parliament and the Council, of 26 November 2014 (Directive) into Spanish law. A Royal Decree-law is an instrument used by the government to legislate on matters that require urgency, subject to subsequent validation by Parliament.  The urgency in this case is due to the fact that the Directive should have been implemented end of 2016; and that the subject-matter of the Directive has potential to trigger the State’s liability vis-à-vis individuals for late implementation; the urgency is also justified by the fact that the European Commission had already opened an infringement procedure against Spain in January. Hence, although it is not desirable that this legislation is approved without parliamentary debate, it is not surprising that an urgent Royal Decree-law has been used.

For more information click here.


Competition Alert April 2017

In a blow to parallel trading of pharmaceuticals, the National Competition Authority clears the dual-pricing system applied by PFIZER (case S/DC/0546/15 PFIZER/COFARES)

On 19 January 2017 the Spanish Competition Authority (SCA) issued a decision clearing PFIZER of antitrust charges and blessing PFIZER’s dual pricing system (SCA Decision).

In 2009, the SCA decided (First Decision) to close the antitrust investigation against COMPAÑÍA FARMACÉUTICA ESPAÑOLA, S.A. (COFARES), a wholesale distributor, and PFIZER. The investigation started following a complaint filed by SPAIN PHARMA, S.A. (SPAIN PHARMA) reporting the existence of an agreement by means of which PFIZER prevented COFARES from exporting PFIZER’s pharmaceutical specialties to other EU States and established a dual-pricing system on the basis of geographic destination of the pharmaceuticals.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin March 2017

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Mergers: Table of merger decisions issued by the Spanish Competition Authority (SCA) between 1 December 2016 and 7 March 2017.
02  Spain / Mergers / Healthcare: Vertical integration in the healthcare business – acquisition of QuironSalud by Fresenius (Decision of 22 December 2016).
03  Spain / Judicial activity / Parent-subsidiary relation: The Supreme Court upholds the appeal filed by a parent company fined for anticompetitive behaviour by a subsidiary (Judgment of 18 January 2016, case 2359/2013).
04  Spain / Judicial activity / Blablacar regulation: A First Instance Commercial Court dismisses the lawsuit filed against Blablacar for unfair competition stating that Blablacar is a platform that focuses exclusively on private transport and is therefore not subject to the transportation regulations (Judgment of the Commercial Court of 2 February 2017).
05  Spain / Restrictive practices investigation / Excessive prices: The SCA has initiated an investigation against Aspen Pharma for alleged excessive pricing. 
06  Spain / Regulation / Public procurement: The SCA issued guidance to identify potential fraud in public procurement.
07  Spain / Judicial activity / The principle of legitimate expectations: The Spanish Supreme Court has issued a judgment regarding the interpretation of the principle of legitimate expectations. 
08 Spain / Restrictive practices / Rail-cargo market: The SCA has fined several RENFE and Deutsche Bahn for blocking the liberalization of the rail-cargo market (Decision of 28 February 2017, file S/DC/0511/14 RENFE OPERADORA). 
09 EU / Preliminary ruling / The SCA creation: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that the creation of the current SCA breached EU law (ECJ Judgment of 19 October 2016, case C-424/15). 

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia 2016

La Autoridad Española de la Competencia emite unas directrices sobre las inspecciones sorpresa

El 7 de junio de 2016, la Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y de la Competencia (CNMC) ha publicado una nota informativa (Nota) en la que detalla el procedimiento de inspección de empresas llevado a cabo por la CNMC. La Nota de la CNMC contempla los principales hitos de una inspección (i.e., la autorización judicial de entrada en las instalaciones de la empresa, las facultades de los inspectores, derechos y obligaciones de las empresas y el tratamiento de la información recabada). En particular:

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Alert 2016

The Spanish National Competition Authority issues guidance on dawn raids in Spain

On 7 June 2016, the National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) has published a notice (Notice) providing information on the procedure followed by NMCC when carrying out dawn raids. The NMCC’s note contemplates the main milestones of an inspection (i.e., legal authorization and entry into the premises of the company, powers of the inspectors, rights and obligations of companies and the treatment of the information seized). In particular:

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia 2016

Propuesta de Ley para la transposición en España de la Directiva relativa a las normas por las que se rigen las acciones por daños por infracción del Derecho de la competencia de los Estados miembros y de la Unión Europea

El Ministerio de Justicia ha publicado su propuesta de Ley (Propuesta)1 para la transposición en España de la Directiva 2014/104/UE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 26 de noviembre de 2014 (Directiva). Según fuentes del Ministerio de Justicia, la Propuesta será sometida a consulta pública, momento en que los interesados podrán presentar sus puntos de vista. La fecha límite de transposición de la Directiva por parte de los Estados miembros en sus respectivos ordenamientos jurídicos finaliza el 27 de diciembre de 2016.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition Alert 2016

Legislative Proposal for the implementation of the EU antitrust damages Directive in Spain

The Ministry of Justice has published its proposal (Proposal) on the implementation in Spain of Directive 2014/104/UE, of the European Parliament and the Council, of 26 November 2014 (Directive). Before initiating the parliamentary approval process, the Proposal should be formally submitted by the government. According to sources of the Ministry of Justice, the Proposal will be subject to public consultation, during which stakeholders can submit their views. The deadline for Member States to implement the Directive in
their respective domestic legal systems expires on 27 December 2016. At this stage, it is not entirely clear whether or not that deadline will be met in Spain since, subsequent to the December 2015 parliamentary elections, no stable coalition to form a new government is in sight. This may lead to new elections in June, which (in view of the currently divisive environment both at party level and public opinion), may well result in a new de facto stalemate, without a majority government having full legislative initiative.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin December 2015

Table of Contents

01  Spain / Judicial activity / Insurance cartel: The Supreme Court annuls several High Court judgments in connection with a decennial liability insurance cartel (Judgement of 27 May 2015).
02  Spain /Judicial activity / Abuse of dominant position / Postal Service: The National High Court has annulled the decision of the National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC[1]) fining Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos, S.A. for abuse of dominant position (Judgement of 1 July 2015).
03  Spain / Restrictive practices / Bar associations: The NMCC has fined the Las Palmas and Guadalajara Bar Associations and the General Council of Spanish Advocates for anticompetitive practices (Decisions of 15 and 29 September 2015, files SACAN/31/2013 and S/0491/13).
04  Spain / Gun jumping: The NMCC has fined Grifols S.A. for failure to notify the acquisition of certain assets of Novartis International A.G. (Decision 16 October 2015, file SNC/DC/0037/15).
05  Spain / Mergers / Media: The NMCC has fined Mediaset and Atresmedia for breaching mandatory commitments attached to the concentrations, Telecinco / Cuatro and Antena3 / La Sexta.
06  Spain / Telecom: The NMCC has fined Orange Espagne, S.A.U. (Orange) for preventing its users from switching their fixed phone operator (Decision of 22 October 2015, file SNC/DTSA/1847/14 PORTABILIDADES IRREGULARES ORANGE).
07  Spain /Regulation / Mergers procedure: Public consultation: The NMCC has amended the Notice on short form merger filings.
08 Spain /Regulation / Telecom: The NMCC has approved the draft regulation for high-speed broadband wholesale markets.
09 EU / Judicial activity / Cartel facilitators: The European Court of Justice has issued a landmark judgment clarifying how antitrust law should treat cartel “facilitators” (Judgment 22 October 2015, Treuhand,C-194/14P).

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin September 2015

Table of Contents

01  Mergers: The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC)approves the acquisition of DISTRIBUIDORA DE TELEVISIÓN DIGITAL S.A. by TELEFÓNICA DE CONTENIDOS S.A.U. subject to remedies on second phase (Decision of 23 April 2015, file C/0612/14).
02  Restrictive practices: The NMCC imposes fines upon several oil companies totalling €32 million for price-fixing, market and sensitive information sharing (Decision 20 February 2015, file S/0474/13).
03  Restrictive practices: The NMCC has imposed fines totalling €57.7 million on 18 companies and one trade association operating in the markets of paper and corrugated cardboard manufacturing (Decision of 18 June 2015, file S/0463/13). 
04  Restrictive practices:The NMCC has imposed fines totalling €171 million on 21 automobile manufacturing and distributing companies in Spain, as well as two consulting companies, for anti-competitive practices (Decision of 23 July 2015, file S/0482/13).
05  Restrictive practices: The NMCC has fined Telefónica and DTS €15.5 million for the unlawful marketing of football broadcasting rights (Decision of 24 July 2015, file S/0436/12).
06  Regulation: New trade Regulation applicable to the marketing of football events broadcasting rights.
07  Regulation: Public consultation: Amendment to the NMCC Notice on the merger cases resulting from the application of the short form filing.
08 Judicial activity: The High Court clarifies rules to calculate deadlines for punishing proceedings initiated by the NMCC (Judgments of 9 and 20 March 2015).
09 Judicial activity: Dawn raids: the Supreme Court has annulled two fines imposed by the National Competition Commission to a Spanish Shipping Company (Judgments of 1 June 2015).

For more information click here.


Alerta Derecho de la Competencia / Audiovisual – Junio 2015

Nueva regulación aplicable a la comercialización de los derechos de retransmisión de futbol

A nadie sorprende si se le dice que las emisiones de eventos futbolísticos en España son un gran negocio. Los derechos de retransmisión de partidos de fútbol tienen un gran valor económico lo cual, unido a la gran popularidad de este deporte, ha ocasionado que, de forma histórica, el mercado de derechos audiovisuales del fútbol haya estado en el punto de mira de las autoridades.

El pasado 1 de mayo, el Gobierno publicó el Real Decreto-Ley 5/2015, de medidas urgentes en relación con la comercialización de los derechos de explotación de contenidos audiovisuales de las competiciones de fútbol profesional (RDLF), poniendo fin a largas y complejas negociaciones entre todas las partes interesadas, entre las cuales se encuentran la Liga Española de Fútbol (de la que forman parte todos los clubes de fútbol profesionales), la Federación Española de Fútbol y el Gobierno.

Para más información pinche aquí.


Competition / Media Law Alert – June 2015

Table of Contents

New Trade Regulation Applicable to the Marketing of Football Broadcasting Rights. A Competitive Outcome? 

You may be forgiven for thinking that broadcasting of football (soccer) events in Spain is big business. With some world class football clubs, broadcasting rights owned by Spanish football clubs are big cash generators, and the great popularity of football has historically caught the attention of the authorities.

On May 1st, the Spanish Government has published Royal Decree-Law 05/2015, of urgent measures in relation to the distribution of the exploitation rights of audiovisual contents of professional football competitions (RDLF). The approval and entry into force of the RDLF puts an end to long and complex negotiations between all stakeholders including the Spanish Football League (comprising all professional football clubs), the Spanish Football Federation and the Go

For more information click here.


Competition Alert

The National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) approves the acquisition of DISTRIBUIDORA DE TELEVISIÓN DIGITAL S.A. (DTS) by TELEFÓNICA DE CONTENIDOS S.A.U. (Telefónica) subject to remedies on second phase (Decision of 23 April 2015, file C/0612/14)

The approved transaction consists of the acquisition by Telefónica (incumbent telecommunications operator also active in the pay TV market) of the exclusive control of DTS, through the purchase of the 56 % share capital in the hands of Prisa, which adds to the 44% share capital already owned by Telefónica.

The NMCC has approved the transaction of reference after an in-depth (second phase) investigation subject to commitments offered by Telefónica. Telefónica has proposed a five-year duration commitment package (renewable for three additional years) from the moment the NMCC Decision is deemed final (i.e., 30 April 2015). During this period, the resulting entity may request an amendment to the commitments offered if a significant change in the structure or regulation of the markets in question occurs.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin May 2015

Table of Contents

01  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission approves the acquisition by Schibsted España S.L.U. of Milanuncios S.L.U. subject to remedies in a second phase merger review (Decision of 20 November 2014, file C/0573/14).
02  Spain: The High Court has annulled inspections carried out by the National Competition Commission in two separate infringement procedures (Judgments of 10 December 2014).
03  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has imposed fines of EUR 98.2 million on 39 companies and three trade associations active in the waste management and urban sanitation in Spain (Decision of 8 January 2015, file S/0429/12).
04  Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court has issued a landmark judgment regarding the interpretation of the 10% turnover limit for cartel fines (Judgment of 29 January 2015), confirming that fines for antitrust infringements may reach 10% of group turnover.
05  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has imposed fines totalling EUR 4 million for alleged bid-rigging regarding the supply of to RENFE, the national railway operator (Decision of 29 January 2015, file S/0453/12).
06  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has fined various Spanish milk suppliers EUR 88.2 m (Decision of 26 February 2015, file S/0425/12).
07  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has imposed fines totalling EUR 9 m on 45 car dealerships operating in the country’s car distribution market for an infringement of Article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act (Decisions of 5 March 2015, files S/0486/13, S/0488/13 and S/0489/13).

 For more information click here.


Competition Alert

The National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) has fined totalling EUR 88.2 m various Spanish milk suppliers

The NMCC has imposed fines totaling EUR 88.2m on nine companies and two associations operating in the country’s raw cow milk supply market for an infringement of Article 1 of the Spanish Competition Act (SCA) and Article 101 TFEU.

The NMCC initiated proceedings as a result of a report on the dairy industry referred by the Regional Competition Authority from Castilla y León. This report stated (i) the existence of an alleged anticompetitive behavior in the raw cow milk supply market and (ii) a complaint submitted by Unions Agrarias (a small farmer trade union) against milk processing companies.

For more information click here.


Competition Alert

The Spanish Supreme Court has issued a landmark judgment regarding the interpretation of the 10% turnover limit for cartel fines proceedings

The Supreme Court (SC) has partially confirmed the interpretation followed by the National High Court (NHC) over the last two years regarding the limit of 10% of the company’s turnover established under Article 63 (1) of the Spanish Competition Act (SCA) for the calculation of fines.

In its recent judgment, the SC has construed the legal provision as meaning that the percentage limits under Article 63 (1) SCA are the maximum limits of fines that may be imposed by the Spanish Competition Authority, the National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC).

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin October-November 2014

Table of Contents

01  Spain: Orange launches takeover bid for Jazztel.
02  Spain: The High Court considers the willingness to end the infringement as an attenuating circumstance (Judgment of 28 May 2014).
03  Spain: Gun jumping: The National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) has fined ESSILOR INTERNATIONAL S.A. (ESSILOR) for failure to notify a concentration operation (Decision of 31 July 2014, Case ESSILOR, file SNC/DC/0035/14).
04  Spain: The High Court has reduced the NMCC fine on two companies in the asphalt industry (Judgment of 23 June 2014).
05  Spain: The Commercial Court of Madrid has condemned ASEFA S.A. and Caja de Seguros Reunidos, Compañia de Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A. to indemnify MUSAAT for damages arising from anticompetitive practices (Judgment of 9 May 2014).
06  Spain: The High Court has annulled the decision of the former NMCC fining the manufacturers of paper envelopes for an export cartel (Judgment of 27 June 2014).
07  European Union: The General Court has annuled a fine for Soliver in car glass cartel (Judgment of the General Court of 10 October 2014, Soliver vs Commission, case T‐68/09).
08 European Union: The General Court finds that Spain’s tax rules regarding the amortization of
goodwill for foreign acquisitions is compliant with EU State a id rules.

For more information click here.


Competition Alert

Antitrust liability of Trade Association Members in case of infringement by the Trade Association

If your company is a member of one of the myriad of trade associations active in Spain you should stop for a second and think about this: your company may be found to be liable for antitrust fines imposed on the trade association of which your company is a member; and indeed your company is very likely to be found liable, since these associations usually lack any substantial economic capacity and very often association members are unlikely to reach any understanding to finance the association’s fine.

Although the below is drafted having Spanish law in mind, the legal conclusions are applicable mutatis mutandis, to EU law.

For more information click here.


Regulatory Alert

Spanish audiovisual watchdog punishes TV Operators for breaching rules on advertising and harmful content

The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) has recently fined TV operators Mediaset, Atresmedia and Net TV three TV operators for breaching the rules on advertising and inappropriate contents enshrined in Law 7/2010 on Audiovisual Communication (Audiovisual Act).

The NMCC, created in 2013 as the result of the integration into one agency of the competition Authority and several sectorial regulators, is endowed with surveillance powers regarding audiovisual communications. The recently published sanctioning decisions prove that superregulator is set to enforce such powers.

For more information click here.


Competition Bulletin Summer 2014

Table of Contents

01  Spain: In a landmark ruling, the Spanish Supreme Court has ordered the payment of a compensation for antitrust damages to several candy manufacturers (Judgment of 7 November 2013).
02  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission ends proceedings against Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange for an alleged abuse of collective dominant position (Case Llamadas Moviles S/0391/11).
03  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has fined the Regional Association of Travel Agents of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and several taxi driver associations for fixing the prices of pre-booked taxis (Case Taxis Tenerife Sacan S/0018/12).
04  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission publishes its strategic plan.
05  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has fined several manufacturers of firefighting
equipment for being involved in a cartel
(Decision of 26 June 2014, Case Fire‐Fighting Equipment
06  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission has fined Endesa Distribución Eléctrica S.A. for
abuse of dominant position
(Decision of 21 July 2014).
07  Spain: The National Markets and Competition Commission obliges the Spanish Football Federation to
comply with the principles of transparency, objectivity and non‐discrimination in the bidding for the
broadcasting rights concerning the King’s Cup Final and the Spanish Super Cup
(Decision of 30 July 2014).
08 European Union: European Union: The General Court of the European Union confirms the Commission’s 2009 Decision against Intel (Judgment of 12 June 2014, Case T‐286/09).
09 European Union: The Court of Justice confirms the general principle that “umbrella pricing” victims may obtain compensation from the members of a cartel even if there is no contractual relationship with them (Judgment of 5 June 2014, Case C-557/12).
10 European Union: The European Commission adopts a revamped De Minimis Notice and an accompanying Staff Working Paper providing guidance on restrictions of competition by object.

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