Dublin 9th August – ESB Sues Truck Manufacturers Over Cartel Price Fixing.
According to media reports, the ESB instituted legal proceedings against four of the world’s largest truck manufacturers – Volvo, DAF, Iveco and Daimler. The four companies were fined more than €2.9 billion by the EU Commission after it found that they had operated a cartel fixing truck prices over a 14 year period from 1997 to 2011. The truck manufacturers are facing a raft of private actions seeking damages across a number of EU Member States.
Dublin 23rd July – PTSB to Acquire €7.6 billion ulster Bank loans and 25 branches
Permanent TSB announced that it plans to acquire €7.6 billion of loans from Ulster Bank along with 25 branches. Ulster Bank which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NatWestGroup had previously announced its intention to exit the Republic of Ireland. PTSB has signed a memorandum of understanding with NatWest. The proposed deal will involve NatWest taking up to a 20 per cent stake in PTSB as part payment. It is estimated that the transaction would increase the size of PTSB’s loan book by about 50%.
Brussels 8th july – EU commission fines car manufacturers €875 million for restricting competition in emission reductions for diesel cars.
The EU Commission has fined car makers BMW and Volkswagen for colluding by agreeing not to compete in respect of reducing harmful nitrogen oxide emissions below the legally required levels although they had the technological capability to do so. The Commission imposed fines totaling €875 million on Volkswagen and BMW. Daimler avoided any fines because it informed the Commission of the arrangements, availing of the EU’s leniency programme for companies that report cartels. The decision shows that collusion can involve agreeing not to compete in a range of different ways apart from prices. In this case the car makers agreed not to compete with each other on reducing car emissions. Click here for more.
#antitrustlaw #competitionlaw #cars #autos #emissionsreduction #diesel
London 2nd August – Musgrave joins legal action against credit card firms.
Musgrave is joining a legal action being taken by a number of UK retail groups seeking compensation from Visa and Mastercard for charging fees which were found to be in breach of both UK and EU competition law. in 2020 the UK Supreme Court, in a case brought by Sainsbury’s, Asda, Argos and Morrisons, ruled that the interchange fees imposed by Visa and Mastercard on retailers for every card transaction infringed both national and EU competition law. Click here to view judgement.
Brussels 12th July – EU Commission Publishes Findings of Evaluation of Market Definition Notice.
The European Commission has published a Staff Working Document summarising the findings of the evaluation of the Commission’s Market Definition Notice which is used in applying EU competition law. The Market Definition Notice was adopted in 1997. Click here to find out more about the economics of market definition.
Brussels 9th July – EU Commission Seeks Views on Revised Vertical Restraint Rules.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and Vertical Guidelines. Parties have until 17th September to make submissions.
Washington D.C. 28th june – District Court Dismisses FTC Facebook Monopolisation Action.
A US District Court judge dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust action alleging that Facebook had illegally monopolised the social media market in violation of section of the Sherman Act. The judgement criticised the FTC case for failing to show “how much power Facebook actually had, and still has, in a properly defined antitrust product market”. The Court, however, gave the FTC 30 days to file an amended complaint providing more details in support of its claim. The Court also dismissed a case brought by 46 US states challenging Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and Whats App in 2014 for being out of time. The Court, however, rejected Facebook arguments that the FTC lacked the proper authority to challenge the aquisitions. The judgement has also prompted calls for Congress to enact new legislation to deal with giant tech firms. Click here for more.