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Canadian Supremes Nix DRAM Makers’ Appeal

Posted  06/16/10
The Supreme Court of Canada has denied defendants leave to appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s certification decision in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v Infineon Technologies AG – the DRAM price-fixing class action. The B.C. Court of Appeal's earlier decision certifying a class of direct and indirect purchasers of DRAMs (semiconductor memory chips also known as “dynamic random access memory”)...

German Coffee Companies Get A Wake-Up Call For Price-Fixing

Posted  06/14/10
The Bundeskartellamt, Germany's version of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, has announced it is fining eight coffee roasters 30 million euros ($35.9 million) for illegally fixing the price of wholesale coffee sold to bulk customers such as restaurants and hotels. Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt spoke strongly about the need for antitrust regulation, saying that "cartels ... are highly...

EC Overhauls Horizontal Agreement Guidelines And Safe Harbor Exemptions

Posted  05/10/10
The European Commission has unveiled new draft rules for horizontal cooperation agreements as part of the EC’s Horizontal Guidelines and Research & Development and Specialization Agreement Block Exemption Regulations (BERs). The new rules aim to clarify when companies’ horizontal agreements will be deemed to restrict competition and when such agreements will qualify for an exemption.  The rules include a new...

The Antitrust Class Action Comes To Italy

Posted  01/13/10
Italian consumer rights group Codacons has filed class action lawsuits against Italy’s two largest banks – Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP.MI) and UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI) – for banking fees paid by more than 25 million customers. The cases are the first to be brought under a new law permitting class action suits in Italian courts, and could force the two banks to pay up to 6.25 billion Euros (approximately nine...

Will The DOJ’s Holiday Greeting To The EC Bring Holiday Cheer?

Posted  12/29/09
The DOJ’s Antitrust Division has sent the European Commission a holiday greeting that appears designed to mollify the EC after a DOJ statement last month that the EC viewed as a lump of coal in its Christmas stocking. “The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division commends the efforts of the European Commission …”  These were the opening words of a surprising statement issued by Assistant Attorney General...

Antitrust Issues Keeping Coffee Executives Awake

Posted  12/28/09
If coffee executives can’t sleep at night, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the antitrust issues. Coffee companies around the world are working through the holiday season, contending with merger issues in the U.S. and price fixing in Europe. In the U.S., Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn its filing with the FTC regarding its purchase of Diedrich Coffee Inc. after consultation with the...

Another Competition Law Class Action Milestone In Canada

Posted  12/14/09
Last month, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v Infineon Technologies AG, granted an appeal and certified a class of combined direct and indirect purchasers of "DRAMs" (semiconductor memory chips also known as "dynamic random access memory") in class proceedings against DRAM manufacturers.  This appellate court decision is the second significant antitrust class certification decision...

News Giant Reuters Making News Of Its Own

Posted  12/2/09
Thomson Reuters is in the news, but probably not for a reason it’s happy about.  The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings against the news and financial data giant concerning a potential infringement of EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position related to the company’s coding of its real-time market data feeds. Specifically, the EC will investigate whether customers or...

From Russia, An Antitrust Cooperation Agreement

Posted  11/30/09
Russia’s head antitrust agency, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (“FAS”), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to promote greater cooperation between the two governments on antitrust issues. FAS Head Igor Artemyev, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine Varney signed...

DOJ Statement Is Ray Of Sunshine For Oracle’s Acquisition Of Sun

Posted  11/19/09
The outlook for Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems is only partly cloudy now that federal antitrust enforcers have announced that they will not be joining their European counterparts in opposing the acquisition. The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice issued a statement on November 9, 2009, concluding that Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun is unlikely to be...
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