Schoenherr updates

Pre-bankruptcy settlements as new means of acquiring control
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • June 20 2013

The Financial Operations and Pre-bankruptcy Settlement Act introduced the pre-bankruptcy proceeding, which is intended to ensure the continuation of the undertaking's business and the restructuring of its debts. However, a question has arisen regarding the relationship between the potential acquisition of control over an undertaking and a pre-bankruptcy proceeding in accordance with the merger control rules.

Competition rules fine-tuned before EU accession
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • April 18 2013

Upon Croatia's accession to the European Union, the Competition Agency will directly apply the trade-related provisions of EU law in cases which affect trade between member states and Croatia. Presently, these provisions are applied indirectly, as an interpretative mechanism. Except in cases of a purely national nature, infringements of the Competition Act will fall under the jurisdiction of both the European Commission and the agency.

Prioritisation in competition cases: a step forward?
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • February 14 2013

The forthcoming amendment to the Act on the Protection of Competition will make several changes to Competition Authority practices. Among other things, the amendment will introduce prioritisation into its practices, allowing the authority to decide not to initiate administrative proceedings following certain alleged breaches of the act where those breaches have a minor effect on competition.

New decisions in telecommunications sector
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • January 31 2013

In recent months the Competition Agency has issued two interesting decisions relating to the telecommunications sector. While the first case is interesting with respect to substantive law, the second has significant procedural implications for future cartel cases. Both decisions will significantly influence the future implementation of competition rules in Croatia.

Agency prepares to impose its first-ever gun-jumping fine
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • January 17 2013

Until the Competition Act entered into force in October 2010, the Competition Agency was not empowered to impose fines directly where it established violations of competition law. Although the relevant regulation has been in force for some time, the agency is only now poised to impose its first fine with regard to the failure to notify a concentration.

Competition Authority increases fine on Telefónica Czech Republic
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • November 08 2012

In a recent repeated first instance decision, the Competition Authority imposed a fine of approximately Kr93.1 million (approximately €3.7 million) on Telefónica Czech Republic for abuse of its dominant position in the public telephone services market in relation to undertakings through fixed lines. The authority increased the original fine imposed on Telefónica for such anti-competitive conduct by more than Kr11.4 million.

Competition Agency accepts commitments offered by Primalab
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • October 25 2012

The Competition Agency has for the first time accepted commitments under the new legal framework for competition. The agency's decisions make the commitments legally binding on Primalab without reaching any conclusion as to whether any infringement of Croatian competition rules has taken place. If Primalab were to breach its commitments, the agency could impose a fine of up to 10% of Primalab's total turnover.

Competition Agency fines bread producers cartel
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • October 18 2012

The Competition Agency has announced fines for infringements of the Competition Act in the bread producers cartel case, the first time it has used its powers to impose fines since the act came into force in 2010. However, taking into consideration the low amount, the fines appear to be largely symbolic. It is hoped that they will deter other undertakings from engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

Competition Agency opens proceedings against Auto Club
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • August 23 2012

The Competition Agency recently opened formal antitrust proceedings against the Auto Club in order to investigate whether it had distorted competition in the breakdown services and roadside assistance market by entering into anti-competitive agreements with its contractors.

Competition Agency upholds government ban on hiring PR agencies
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • August 16 2012

The Competition Agency recently issued its opinion on a government decision declaring that state administration bodies and other state-owned companies may no longer enter into contractual arrangements with public relations (PR) agencies. In exceptional cases, the government may issue a special decision to allow the hiring of PR agencies or PR experts – but only for large-scale economic projects, programmes or activities.

Access to leniency applications in cartel investigations
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • June 14 2012

The Brno Regional Court has defined for the first time the rules that govern access by investigated undertakings to the leniency applications contained in the Competition Authority's administrative file during cartel investigations. The court allowed special treatment for leniency applications, ruling that the authority need not provide justification when restricting or denying access to the administrative file.

Competition Agency: 2012/2013 work programme
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • May 31 2012

The Competition Agency recently published its work programme for 2012 and 2013. In view of Croatia's imminent accession to the European Union, the agency has set its strategic goals as strengthening the existing legal framework, preparing for the expansion of competence, strengthening cooperation and raising awareness about competition issues.

Agrokor and Roto Dinamic merger receives clearance
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • March 08 2012

The Croatian Competition Agency recently cleared the Phase II review proceedings regarding the merger between Agrokor Group and Roto Dinamic. The merger will result in increased market shares for Agrokor and Roto Dinamic but will have no significant anti-competitive effects, as it will neither strengthen the parties' existing position on the market nor create a new dominant position.

Anti-competitive practices on Mitsubishi distribution and servicing market
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • January 05 2012

The Croatian Competition Agency recently established that Euro rent sport, an authorised importer and distributor of Mitsubishi Motors cars, had restricted competition in Croatia by entering into prohibited agreements on the markets for the sale of new motor vehicles, repair and maintenance services and the sale of spare parts for such vehicles.

Agency clears AGRANA and RWA merger
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • December 22 2011

The Croatian Competition Agency has cleared the extraterritorial concentration arising from a joint venture between AGRANA Beteiligungs-Aktiengesellschaft (Austria) and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria Aktiengesellschaft (Austria). Although the transaction will have an effect on the Croatian market, it raised no competition concerns.

Double clearance of VIPnet and Bnet merger
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • November 03 2011

The concentration arising from the acquisition of control of Bnet by VIPnet has received double clearance – first from the Agency for Post and Electronic Communications, and then from the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA). The CCA considered that the planned transaction would not trigger anti-competitive concerns.

Tender associations: a phenomenon raising competition concerns?
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • October 27 2011

Tender associations are associations of economic entities with the aim of providing a unified offer in public bids. According to the opinion of the Croatia Competition Agency, they trigger no antitrust concerns provided that they are not based on agreements or collusions which have the aim or effect of distorting competition. However, this position is far from settled.

CCA clears VW and MAN concentration
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • October 20 2011

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) has cleared the extraterritorial concentration between VW and MAN. The transaction creates a significant market share in the heavy-duty truck and passenger bus markets. However, the CCA based its clearance on the fact that both markets have large customers with high-value purchasing power, making abuse of dominance difficult.

TDR liable for abuse of dominant position on cigarette market
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • October 20 2011

The Croatian Competition Agency has found that TDR doo, part of the Adris Group, abused its dominant position on the cigarette market for nearly six years. TDR had offered fidelity rebates to its customers based on the percentage of cigarettes that the customer purchased from TDR directly, not the volume of TDR cigarettes sold by the customers.

New rules to assess horizontal cooperation agreements now in force
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • August 04 2011

The new block exemption regulation for horizontal cooperation agreements applies from June 6 2011 and replaces the previous 2004 regulation. The new regulation takes into account the new rules introduced under the Competition Act which entered into force in October 2010, as well as the relevant rules at EU level. Existing agreements will continue to benefit from the old block exemption regulation until the end of June 2013.

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