Altice / PT Portugal: DG Comp opens gun-jumping investigation

In December 2014 Altice, a Netherlands-based telecoms group with activities in France, Portugal, Israel, Dominican Republic and the USA agreed to acquire PT Portugal, the Portuguese telecoms operator. Altice notified the transaction to the European Commission in February 2015 and in April, 2015, the Commission cleared the transaction on the condition that Altice would divest its existing Portuguese subsidiaries Cabovisão and ONI, which it did in September 2015. On May 18, 2017, however, the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections setting out its concerns that Altice had breached both the notification requirement and the...

Madrid Bar fined €180,000 for restricting access to the “duty roster”

On May 19 the Spanish National Commission for Markets and Competition (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia or "CNMC") imposed a fine of €180,000 on the Madrid Bar Association (Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid or “ICAM”) for alleged “market sharing” in relation to the provision of free legal assistance. Through the “turno de oficio” (or “duty roster”) lawyers are assigned, on a rotating basis, to people in need of a lawyer. The service is administered by local bar associations and provided free to those who meet certain criteria, with the lawyers’ fees...

E-COMMERCE SECTOR INQUIRY: FINAL REPORT PUBLISHED

On May 10, 2017, the European Commission issued its Final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry. The e-commerce sector inquiry was launched in May 2015 aimed at identifying market trends and possible competition restrictions in European e-commerce markets as part of the European Digital Single Market strategy. Its initial findings were published in a Preliminary Report in September 2016 (see our post on the Preliminary Report). The Final Report focuses on e-commerce in two separate sectors: consumer goods and digital content. It includes the responses to questionnaires addressed to a wide range of stakeholders including...

Facebook fined €110 million for misleading information

The European Commission today announced it has fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during the EU merger notification of its $19 billion (€12 billion) acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. The full decision is not yet available but a press release can be found here. The February 2014 transaction was notified to the Commission and cleared without conditions in October 2014. In the course of that notification process, Facebook stated on two occasions, in the notification itself and in response to a Commission information request, that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching...