Schellenberg Wittmer updates

Information exchange in associations
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • July 06 2017

The Secretariat of the Competition Commission recently published formal advice to cemsuisse regarding information exchange. The advice applies the criteria of competition law regarding information exchange in a highly concentrated market with homogeneous products. The decision sheds some light on the Secretariat's possible priorities when applying the criteria. However, it includes a few far-reaching assumptions and does not test all of the criteria consistently.

Restriction of parallel imports – a new sheriff in town?
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • May 18 2017

A recent Federal Court judgment regarding parallel imports between Swiss company Gaba and Austrian company Gebro deals with the core principles of the competition law assessment of licence and distribution agreements. It is a paramount judgment with significant implications, given that it changes the practice and tightens the competition law assessment of licence and distribution agreements.

Settling vertical infringements – leniency application and full immunity
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • February 23 2017

The Competition Commission recently issued a ruling in which an investigation into vertical infringements of competition law was the subject of an amicable settlement with the competition authority. Even though this is not a leading case with regard to the application of material law, it is a good opportunity to reflect on whether the application of leniency regimes to vertical cases is reasonable in general and whether full immunity could be justified in particular.

Price neutrality and democratisation of competition law
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • December 22 2016

Proceedings were recently initiated for a popular initiative calling for amendments to the Federal Constitution and competition law. The initiative requested changes to the Cartel Act in order to enforce the possibility of non-discriminatory procurement of goods and services abroad by Swiss purchasers on the basis of the introduction of the concept of 'relative market dominance'. The so-called 'fair-price initiative' is backed by various consumer associations

Access to information from antitrust proceedings
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • November 10 2016

The Swiss courts have recently issued several decisions regarding access to information from antitrust proceedings. These decisions are particularly relevant for potential civil damages claims, where access to information is often crucial for the success of the claim. Competition authorities must be careful not to harm competition or future procedures by disclosing sensitive business secrets of entities involved in antitrust proceedings, particularly leniency applicants.

International distribution systems under fire
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • October 20 2016

The Federal Administrative Court recently issued a judgment regarding a Competition Commission penalty decision against digital camera manufacturer Nikon. The decision imposes a restrictive regime against international distribution agreements and will lead to uncertainties when setting up international distribution systems. In particular, the broad scope of territorial application may raise concerns, given that in theory distribution agreements around the world could affect the Swiss market.

Landmark decision: stricter rules for licence and distribution agreements
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • August 25 2016

The Federal Supreme Court recently ruled on a Competition Commission (ComCo) decision regarding a production and distribution licence agreement. ComCo concluded that the licence agreement prohibited the export of products into Switzerland. Once the written conclusions of the judgment become available, it may be more difficult for companies to argue that certain agreements do not infringe competition law.

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