On June 16, 2022, the Paris Court of Appeals (the “Court”) ruled that “decisions to protect the confidentiality of business secrets taken during the course of the investigation, which have not been challenged pursuant to Article R. 463-15 of the French Commercial Code, continue to bind the College when adopting and drafting the decision on the merits, otherwise such decisions would be deprived of any effectiveness” (the “Ruling”).[1]

On July 1, 2022, the Conseil d’Etat (the French administrative supreme court) ruled[1] that it had no jurisdiction to annul a decision of the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) rejecting commitments offered by the group Sony (“Sony”) to end competition proceedings and referring the case back for further investigation.[2]

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on 8 August 2022 set aside a £17.9 million fine against price comparison website Compare The Market, criticising the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) legal and evidential assessment of the case.  The CAT found that the CMA’s “anecdotal evidence[1] failed to prove that Compare The Market kept home insurance premiums artificially high by using most favoured nation clauses (MFNs) in its contracts with insurance providers.  The CMA has said it is disappointed with the CAT’s ruling and is considering its options, including a potential appeal.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last week fined pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Flynn £63 million and £6.7 million for engaging in excessive pricing.  In the CMA’s view, the companies charged unfairly high prices for Phenytoin capsules, a genericised anti-epilepsy drug, in violation of competition law.

On June 21, 2022, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) closed its investigation pursuant to Article 102 TFEU into the conduct of the incumbent providers of the local public transport service by road in the Tuscany Region (the “Region”), which jointly formed the ONE Scarl consortium (“ONE”).

On May 17, 2022, the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) imposed a fine of €3,501,020 on Leadiant Biosciences Ltd. and Essetfin S.p.A. (jointly “Leadiant”) for violating Article 102 TFEU by charging excessive prices for the sale to the Italian National Health System (the Sistema Sanitario Nazionale or “SSN”) of a drug used for the treatment of Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (“CTX”), a rare condition that affects the human body’s ability to metabolize cholesterols.[1]

On April 20, 2022, the Cour de cassation, the French Supreme Court, upheld the judgment of the First President of the Paris Court of Appeal validating dawn raids carried out by the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) in the wine and spirits sector in 2019. The Cour de cassation held that the scope of the French legal professional privilege (“LPP”) (secret professionnel) is not limited to attorney-client correspondence relating to conduct in the scope of the proceedings at stake but to any and all proceedings, even unrelated to competition law, where any outside lawyer is representing his or her client’s rights of defense.[1]

On April 11, 2022,[1] the TAR Lazio annulled an ICA decision finding that Telecom Italia S.p.A. (“Tim”) had infringed Article 102 TFEU for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market for Short Message Service (“SMS”) termination (the “Decision”).[2] The Court followed the same reasoning as that set out in its September 2021 judgment, in which it overturned the €5.7 million fine imposed by the ICA on Vodafone Italia S.p.A. (“Vodafone”) in a parallel decision.

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, Italy (the “TAR Lazio”), annulled a decision by which in 2020 the Italian Competition Authority (the “ICA”) had imposed a fine on CTS Eventim-TicketOne Group (“TicketOne”) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Italian market for the sale of tickets for pop and rock music concerts.[1]