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European Union: Damages Directive approved by EU Parliament
New rules to harmonise procedure for antitrust damages actions
European Union: New EU competition rules on technology transfer
The new rules could require the amendment of certain clauses in technology transfer agreements
France: The new "Hamon Law" introducing French class
New consumer law introduces significant provisions with respect to competition and distribution law
Italy: New developments in the "Pfizer saga"
A recent judgment provides further guidance on the interaction between antitrust law and patent law in the pharmaceutical sector
UK: The Competition and Markets Authority launches operations
The new UK competition authority will have additional powers and handle cases differently than before
Canada: Consent agreement reached with e-book publishers
Canada has reached a settlement with e-book publishers following settlements in the EU and the US
Canada: Abuse of dominance do-over: Appeals court orders new
hearing in real estate case
Court rules on whether a trade association, which is not a competitor in the market, can engage in abuse of dominance
Japan and South Korea: Crackdown on bid-rigging in East Asia
Asian competition authorities show they are increasingly serious about bid-rigging activities
China: Life Technologies/ Thermo Fischer
China's antitrust regulator is a key gatekeeper in international merger control filings
China: MOFCOM adopts Simple Cases Regulation
Adoption of simplified merger review rules follows recent European Commission reforms
Australia: The country may lead the world on competition
In Australia, a comprehensive reform of competition policy is taking place
South Africa: The growing importance of public interest factors in
Foreign companies planning acquisitions in Africa need to consider the impact on the public interest
South Africa: Dawn raids rise again
The South African Competition Commission is currently intensifying its efforts in relation to cartel infringements
From the Editor
Welcome to the ninth issue of Competition World, a quarterly survey of key antitrust and competition law developments around the world produced by the global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright.
Antitrust and competition authorities around the world continue to be as active as ever in enforcing their antitrust and competition laws and in proposing reforms to those laws. This issue includes articles on 13 major developments in Europe, North America, the Asia Pacific region and Africa, representing a broad cross-section of the jurisdictions in which our antitrust and competition group practices.
In Europe, the European Union and France both took important steps to encourage private damages actions for infringements of competition law. The intersection between intellectual property rights and competition laws, a controversial area for many years, continued to be in the spotlight, with the EU adopting a new block exemption regulation applicable to technology transfer agreements and the Italian Supreme Administrative Court ruling in a long-running case involving Pfizer's use of patent rights. Meanwhile, the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK's new competition enforcer, started operations with additional powers and new procedures compared to the former Office of Fair Trading.
In North America, we report on two significant developments in Canada. The global e-book saga continued, with the Competition Bureau announcing a settlement with four e-book publishers. However, the leading e-book retailer promptly filed suit with the Competition Tribunal challenging the agreement. Separately, the Canadian Court of Appeal overruled a decision of the Competition Tribunal regarding an abuse-of-dominance case in which the alleged infringer was not a competitor.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese and Korean authorities continued their practice of aggressively pursuing bid-rigging cases. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce demonstrated again the key role China has come to play in international merger control matters in the Life Technologies/Thermo Fischer transaction. China also adopted new simplified merger review rules. Efforts to simplify merger control have been a global phenomenon in recent months; the Chinese initiative follows similar initiatives in the EU, France and Australia. Finally, Australia embarked on a once-in-a-generation review of its competition policies that may influence economic reform across the world.
In Africa, recent cases have highlighted the importance of the "public interest" criterion in South African merger review. Also in South Africa, the Competition Commission is making renewed use of dawn raids to pursue cartel infringements.
All of these developments are discussed in detail in this issue. Meanwhile, antitrust and competition law developments continue apace across all regions of the world and will be covered in future issues.
If you have any comments or questions about the articles in this issue, please feel free to contact the authors. Similarly, if you would like to discuss other antitrust and competition issues relevant to your part of the world, please feel free to contact me or any of the antitrust and competition partners across our global network. Contact details are at the end of the issue.