Defares involved in dairy merger
Dairy giant Royal FrieslandCampina anticipated to acquire cheese specialist Zijerveld and its packaging unit Den Hollander Food and notified the proposed transaction for approval to the European Commission ('the Commission'). In response, the Commission launched a comprehensive investigation. To meet the competition concerns of the Commission FrieslandCampina submitted commitments. Following assessment of the remedies, the Commission has approved the dairy merger, subject to conditions.
Click here for the press release..
During the Commission's scrutiny Defares assisted a market player.
T. Boer & Zonen not punishable for shipping warm veal
The Court of Appeal of The Hague has acquitted T. Boer & Zonen from violation of the mamndatory temperature standard as set out in European legislation. Pursuant to this legislation the temperature throughout the meat may not exceed 7◦C before being transported. The Court of Appeal now quashes an earlier judgment of the police court for economic offences of The Hague. T. Boer & Zonen is one of the world’s largest veal slaughterhouses and part of the VanDrie Group, the world market leader in veal (www.vandriegroup.com).
Click here for the judgment.
Defares acted for T. Boer & Zonen.
Defares publishes chronicle European food law
Since the entry into force of the General Food Law (Regulation 178/2002), food law has developed into a mature legal discipline. Legal journals however hardly pay attention to this important field of law. Moreover, a clear overview does not exist. For these reasons, Defares has described the most important developments of the European food law over the last three years.
The chronicle will be published in the European Food and Feed Law Review.
Defares Competition Seminar recent developments food and retail.
Recently the first Defares Competition Seminar was held. Within a select group of ceo's and sales directors from leading fmcg-companies landmark decisions of the Dutch Competition Authority in the rusk merger and the croquet merger were reviewed. Recent fines imposed by the cartel watchdog in the food sector were also discussed. Finally, attention was paid to the increased and intensive enforcement by national competition authorities of ABC cartels (Hub & Spoke).
Click here for an impression.
The next Defares Competition Seminar will be held this autumn.
DEFARES INVOLVED IN RUSK MERGER
In its decision of 14 December 2012, the Dutch Competition Authority ("NMa") concluded that the proposed acquisition of A.A. ter Beek (known from its flagship brand Bolletje) by Continental Bakeries, would result in high market shares for the parties and leave only one credible alternative competitor. Dismissing the proposed remedies, the NMa refused to grant a licence for the anticipated acquisition as it would significantly impede competition.
During the NMa investigation Defares assisted a national retailer and a competitor.
DEFARES INVOLVED IN CROQUETTE MERGER
On 5 October 2012, the Dutch Competition Authority ("NMa") published its second phase decision regarding the proposed merger between the two largest producers of frozen snacks in the Netherlands, Buitenfood and Ad van Geloven. In its decision the NMa concluded that the merged undertaking would gain too strong a position on the Dutch supermarket segment for croquettes and bitterballen (small croquet balls).
Buitenfood and Ad van Geloven subsequently offered remedies to remove the competition concerns. One of the remedies implied that Buitenfood had to transfer to a competitor a licence to sell for a period of six years "Van Dobben" croquettes and bitterballen to Dutch supermarkets. Despite the conditional clearance decision, the parties ultimately decided to call off the transaction.
During the NMa's scrutiny Defares assisted a national retailer.
DEFARES ASSISTS INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENTS IN COMPETITION INVESTIGATION IN THE TRAVEL SECTOR
In early 2011, the NMa conducted several dawn raids at the travel industry association ANVR and ten large tour operators and travel agents, including Independent Travel Agents Corporation (‘ITAC’). It was suspected that these undertakings engaged in illegal price fixing agreements relating to the sale of travels. The NMa decided to refrain from further action since the investigation yielded insufficient evidence against ITAC and other travel companies. However, the ANVR voluntarily suggested to modify its agency conditions.
DEFARES successful for CONSTRUCTION COMPANY MOURIK IN CARTEL INVESTIGATION
Based on telephone taps that the Dutch Competition Authority (‘NMa’) received from the public prosecutor, it conducted dawn raids at various construction companies including Mourik Groot-Ammers (‘Mourik’) in connection with an investigation into price fixing and / or market sharing agreements. This case is particularly interesting because the NMa itself is not competent to place telephone taps. Due to the lack of evidence proving that the company had indeed violated Competition law, the NMa decided not to fine Mourik.
Click here for the NMa press release..
Defares succesfull for leading tobacco companies against ingredients disclosure
The District Court in The Hague rendered a judgment in the cases of British American Tobacco (BAT) et al against the State of the Netherlands. BAT et al have made claims relating to the protection of the tobacco manufacturers’ trade secrets in relation to disclosure of information on ingredients to be provided to the European Commission and the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports. The Court upheld the claim concerning trade secrets. It granted BAT et al a declaration that certain information on flavouring and non-tobacco components, used in tobacco products, constitutes a trade secret which may not be disclosed to the public.
Defares represents ABN AMRO Participaties in its acquisition of Bandridge
Defares advised ABN AMRO Participaties in the management buy-out and related acquisition financing of Bandridge (www.bandridge.com), which is active in the sale of connectivity products in 56 countries, more specifically with regard to merger control.
Defares represents Dutch slaughterhouse in preliminary proceedings before the Court of Justice
In view of the deep crisis of the Community beef market in 2001 all animals subject to normal slaughter for human consumption must be tested for BSE. For these tests the Dutch State imposes levies. A large Dutch Slaughterhouse challenged these levies on Community law grounds. On appeal the Administrative Law Division has now decided to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.
Please see attached document for the reference for a preliminary ruling (in Dutch).
CBB overturns judgment of District Court Rotterdam
In 2004 the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports imposed a fine on Ritmeester for infringement of the Tobacco Act, more specifically the ban on tobacco advertising. The District Court rejected the pleas to have the contested decision annulled. In appeal the Trade en Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBB) awarded the arguments brought forward by Ritmeester and reduced the fine considerably.
Defares represented Ritmeester in this matter.
Three times victory cigar manufacturers against Dutch State
Following the preliminary judgments in summary proceeedings of the President of the District Court of The Hague and the Court of Appeal in 2005, the District Court of The Hague ruling in proceedings on the merits has decided again in favour of cigar producers British American Tobacco, Ritmeester Cigars, Royal Agio Cigars and Swedish Match Cigars that the interpretation of the Dutch State with regard to the presentation of cigars in petrol stations is unlawful and that the cigar manufacturers do not infringe the Tobacco Act.
Click here for the Dutch text of the judgment..
Defares represented the cigar manufacturers in these matters.
Defares successful for cigar manufacturers against VWA
Defares has successfully represented the cigar manufacturers Agio, Hajenius and Ritmeester in three independent cases against fines imposed by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA). By judgment of 3 July 2008 the district court of Rotterdam finds the appeals brought by the cigar manufacturers well-founded and reduced the fines imposed by the VWA for infringing the Tobacco Act.
[Please click here for the jugdment in Agio.]
[Please click here for the jugdment in Hajenius.]
[Please click here for the jugdment in Ritmeester.]
Meat Business Europe buys factory from Danish Crown
Meat Business Europe has reached agreement with Danish Crown on the acquisition of a slaughterhouse in Struer (Jutland) in Denmark. Danish Crown is Europe's largest meat processor with an annual turnover of nearly EUR 6 billion. The Danish competition authorities approved Danish Crown's merger with Steff-Houlberg on the condition of Danish Crown's divestment of the factory in Struer.
Defares assisted Meat Business Europe in this matter.