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Case retained in musical instruments’ RPM collective action

Case has been retained by one of the co-defendants in the prospective Elisabetta Sciallis collective proceeding order (CPO) application before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) arising from the UK Competition and Mergers Authority’s (CMA) ‘musical instruments’ infringement decision of 2019 which found that several musical instrument manufacturers engaged in resale price maintenance thereby committing a Chapter 1 prohibition under the UK Competition Act 1998 and/or infringing Article 101 TFEU.  

Case retained in EU buyers’ cartel ‘underprice’ damage action

Case has been retained by a defendant in an unusual follow-on ‘underprice’ damages claim brought before a Dutch court by suppliers alleging that it exchanged information with several other buyers with the object (and effect) of lowering monthly contract prices.  

Online Resale Price Maintenance case successfully settled

A Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) action brought by an online retailer before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) was successfully settled in favour of the Claimant.  Case quantified the claimant’s past and prospective losses arising from higher prices, and limited and then the refusal to supply, and in a proposed split trial filed an expert report on the theory of harm.  

‘Calculating Cartel Damages’ in Research Handbook on Cartel

Cento Veljanovski contributed ‘Calculating Cartel Damages’ as a chapter in the Research Handbook on Cartels (click to secure a copy) published by Edward Elgar and edited by Peter Whelan. This chapter was nominated for the best academic article in the Antitrust Writing Awards 2022 organised annually by Concurrences and George Washington Law School’s Competition Law Center. 

Veljanovski talks on the place of sustainability in antitrust

Cento Veljanovski joined a panel discussion on ‘Can and should policymakers use competition enforcement to promote sustainability goals’ organised by the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid on 24 March 2023.  A spirited exchange of widely different views took place between co-panellist Maurits Dolmans (Cleary Gottlieb), Julian Morris (ICLE), Julian Nowag (Lund University), and chair Ainhoa Viega (Araez & Ruego).  

Veljanovski  talks at book launch of The Cambridge Handbook of Competition Law Sanctions

Cento Veljanovski joined the editor Tihamé Tóth (Judge of the General Court of the EU) and other contributors at the launch of The Cambridge Handbook of Competition Law Sanctions in Brussels on 8 March 2023  He participated in a panel discussion with Andras Tóth (Vice-President/Chairman of the Competition Council, Hungarian Competition Authority), Szilágyi Pál (Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem), Viktor Bottka (European Commission Legal Service), Yves Botteman (Dentons) and Professor Wouter Devroe (Dean, Law School, KU Leuven).  Cento contributed a chapter on ‘The Effectiveness of European Antitrust Fines.’ 

Case assesses expert reports in trucks cartel trial

Cento Veljanovski acted as an expert for an intervenor in the Ryder and Dawson actions against DAF and other truck manufacturers participating in the Trucks’ cartel.  He assessed the parties’ econometric and accounting evidence and the methodologies on pass-on filing several expert reports with the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. The Dawson and Ryder actions settled following the CAT’s Royal Mail & BT v DAF [2023] CAT 6 judgment. Case continues to assist an indirect purchaser. 

Veljanovski talks on the use of economics in class actions at CRESSE

Cento Veljanovski gave a presentation to a special policy session at the prestigious CRESSE 16th International Conference on Competition and Regulation, Heraklion, Crete 1-3 July 2022. This brought together economists and lawyers to discuss the use of economics in class actions in the UK, EU and Canada. Cento joined Peter Davis (The Brattle Group), Bruce Kilpatrick (Addleshaw Goddard LLP) Christopher Milde (Compass Lexecon) and Thomas W. Ross (University of British Columbia).

Did the CMA make the right decision to force Meta to sell Giphy?

On 20 June 2022 Meta lost its appeal in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to overturn the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) controversial order that it sells Giphy, which it had recently acquired. While the CAT endorsed the CMA’s view that Meta’s acquisition of Giphy would damage future competition, its controversial judgment has raised a debate over the meaning of dynamic competition, the CMA’s procedures, and how much power and discretion should be allowed to the CMA.   Cento Veljanovski joined Victoria Hewson (IEA Head of Regulatory Affairs), Aurelien Portuese (Director of the Schumpeter Project at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington) and Iain Murray (Vice President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington) to discuss the CAT judgment.

The webinar can be viewed on the IEA’s youtube channel. To view the video CLICK HERE.

Veljanovski’s cartel damages article listed for antitrust writing award

Veljanovski’s article ‘Calculating Cartel Damages’ has been nominated for the best academic article written in the last year by the Antitrust Writing Awards 2022 organised annually by Concurrences and George Washington Law School’s Competition Law Center. It will appear later this year in P. Whelan ed. Research Handbook on Cartels published by Edward Elgar.

Case supports online retailer in RPM damage claim

Cento Veljanovski is acting as an expert for an online retailer claiming damages for an illegal resale price maintenance (RPM) and refusal to supply before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). 

Hayek’s ‘The meaning of competition’ in a digital age

Cento spoke on the relevance of F.A. Hayek’s article ‘The meaning of competition’ published 75 years ago at the joint Institute of Economic Affairs/Information Technology & Innovation Foundation conference The Meaning of Competition; Aggressive Antitrust Enforcement and the Digital Economy held in London, 4 November 2021.  Keynote speakers Chris Philip (Minister for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports) and Michael Grenfell (Executive Director, UK Competition & Markets Authority) were joined by Thibault Schrepel (VU Amsterdam), Aurelien Portuese (ITIF/George Mason University), Christian Ahlborn (Linklaters), Renato Nazzini (Kings College London) and Diane Coyle (Cambridge University). 

To view the conference CLICK HERE.

Cartel damages – European approach: lessons for Australia

The Federation Press has published Current Issues in Competition Law, Volumes I and II edited by Michael Gvozdenovic and Stephen Puttick which includes Cento Veljanovski’s ‘Cartel Damages: Quantification, Uncertainties and a Future Approach’  (Vol. 2: Ch4) among many other  original contributions.  Congratulations to the editors for their initiative and scholarship. 

The Federation Press is currently offering the two-volume set for Aus $290 (reduced from Aus $360).  CLICK HERE to order.

Merricks collective action finally gets certified

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on 18 August 2021 finally granted Mr Merricks a collective proceeding order (CPO) to pursue his class action against Mastercard four years and two appeals after the CAT refused his original CPO application.  The decision now sets out a clear path for the certification ending the uncertainty that has stalled the UK’s new collective action regime. Cento Veljanovski was an expert for Mr Merricks. His methodology to calculate damages was fully accepted by the CAT, Court of Appeal and UK Supreme Court. Boris Bronfentrinker, on behalf of the Merricks legal team said we are

‘very grateful for your [Cento’s] tremendous efforts through the CPO stage, and you will forever be the expert witness who came up with the methodology that was considered sufficient to get a CPO.’

CLICK HERE to download the CAT’s judgment.

UK Supreme Court backs Merricks’ collective action against Mastercard

The UK Supreme Court in a split 3 to 2 decision in Mastercard v Walter Hugh Merricks CBE [2020] UKSC 51 held that the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) was wrong to reject Mr Merricks’ application for a Collective Proceeding Order (CPO) which would have allowed his opt-out collective action on behalf of 46 million UK claimants to go to trial. The judgment clarifies the law and removes the uncertainty over the UK’s new collective certification procedure which has been stalled.  Cento Veljanovski, Managing Partner of Case, was expert for Mr. Merricks. 

Veljanovski speaks on competitor collaboration on CIIAI Antitrust Webinar

Cento Veljanovski gave a presentation entitled ‘Crises, Cartels and Antitrust’ to the China Institute of International Antitrust and Investment’s (CIIAI) antitrust webinar on 15 September. He examined the case for allowing greater collaboration between competitors including crisis cartels. He was generally negative about loosening antitrust to allow greater cooperation or the suspension of anti cartel prohibitions perhaps with the exception of conservation cartels. The session was chaired by Professor Alison Jones (Kings College, London) with participation from Paul Csiszar (European Commission), Mac Conforti (US Federal Trade Commission) and Craig Seebald (Vinson & Elkins).

Veljanovski gives Keynote at algorithmic antitrust conference 

Cento Veljanovski gave the Keynote on ‘algorithmic antitrust’ at the conference ‘Algorithmic Antitrust: Enforcing Competition Rules in the Age of Algorithms’ held on the 6 March 2020 The conference was organised by St Mary’s University Law School and the Catholic University of Paris (ICP). It was attended by an international gathering of over 50 academics and legal practitioners with papers given by eminent speakers in four sessions covering collusive practices, mergers, abuse of dominance and blockchains. Speakers included Stefan Hunt (CMA), Chris Pike (OECD) and David Bailey QC (Kings College London). 

Veljanovski talks on efficient cartels at Vinson law and economics workshop

Cento Veljanovski talked on ‘Efficient Cartels and the Public Interest Defence: Do they exist?’  at the Law and Economics: History and Policy workshop organised by the Vinson Centre for Economics and Entreprenership and the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) at the University of Buckingham on the 2-3 December 2019.  Other speakers include Steven S, Medema, Duke University; Dmitri Boreiko, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano; Ann Sofie Cloots, University of Cambridge; David Gindis, University of Hertfordshire; Geoffrey A. Manne, ICLE; Alain Marciano, University of Montpellier; Julian Morris, ICLE; Shanker Singham, Competere; Anna Tzanaki, Lund University; Cléo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche, University of Cambridge.

Veljanovski gives keynote at state aid conference

Cento Veljanovski opened the State Aid & Fair Competition – Can they Co-exist?  conference organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Lithuanian Free Market Institute in Brussels on the 4th December 2019.  The half-day proceedings comprise two panels discussing fair competition and procedural challenges; and state aid and SOEs. An international group of panelists discussed these topics including Koen van de Casteele, Head of Unit, DG COMP State Aid Control.

Merricks wins appeal against CAT’s refusal to certify its collective action against MasterCard

In a landmark judgment delivered on 16 April 2019 the English Court of Appeal set aside the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) order refusing certification of the class representative Mr Merricks’ £14 billion damages claim against MasterCard for charging excessive interchange fees. Mr Merricks’ collective proceeding order (CPO) application was remitted to the CAT to be reheard, but given the judgment there is no reason why it will not be granted.

The decision vindicates the approach of Mr Merricks’ legal team and the methodology set out in the expert report of Cento Veljanovski (Case Associates) and David Dearman (Mazars).  The Court of Appeal confirms what was a straightforward and reasonable reading of the CAT rules on certification, and gives clarity and certainty to the certification procedure.

Case are very pleased to have successfully assisted Mr Merricks and his legal team (Ouinn Emanuel) with economic expert evidence.   

To download the Court of Appeal’s decision Walter Merricks v. Mastercard [2019] /EWCA Civ 674 CLICK HERE.

Landmark UK collective action against MasterCard

Cento Veljanovski was expert in the landmark consumer collective action Walter Merricks v. MasterCard.   The collective proceedings order (CPO) application before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) was only the second under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.  Merricks is the largest damage claim in UK legal history made on behalf of over 42 million individuals claiming damages of £14 billion (US$18.2 billion). This is a follow-on action arising from the European Commission’s MasterCard decision of 2007 which found that MasterCard had set excessive default interchange fees.  The CAT refused certification, and the class representative has successfully appealed (see above). 

Electronics cartel damages settled

A claim for overcharge damages was successfully settled through mediation against a member of an electronics cartel operating within the EU.  Case undertook an econometric estimate of the overcharges for a range of products, and estimated damages plus interest for the 40 plus indirect purchasers. 

Flexible foam cartel damages

Case assisted a claimant with a preliminary quantification of overcharge damages in a follow-on action against a member of the EU Polyurethane Foam cartel (COMP AT. 39.83).

“debanking” MTOs in New Zealand

Cento Veljanovski acted as expert in the New Zealand High Court for a money transfer organisation (MTO) threaten with the closure of its account by Kiwibank as part of its “derisking” in response to anti-money laundering regulations (the AML/CFT Act).  Cento participated in a hot tub giving evidence that the actions of the banks in closing MTO accounts had the “effect” of substantially lessening competition (SLC) under section 27(2) of the Commerce Act 1986. While the court (E-Trans v. Kiwibank) accepted his evidence, it concluded that legally it could only consider the closure of the one bank account, and not the other 100 closed being closed by Kiwibank, and therefore the defendant’s action did not SLC.

Prime broker market

Case provided an assessment of whether a prime broker’s action to terminate a hedge fund’s account was an abuse of dominance. 

Margin squeeze in rail ticketing

Case undertook an economic assessment of whether UK train operators had engaged in an illegal margin squeeze through the commission rates they set for advance ticket sales to third party online ticketing agents.

Challenge to Lithuanian Competition Council’s Art 101 decision

Cento Veljanovski filed an expert report on behalf of G4S in support of an action challenging the Lithuanian Competition Council’s Resolution that G4S had infringed Article 101(1) in the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, and in a follow-on damage claim in the Vilnius County Court.

Case assists airline in predation case

Case assisted the owners of a Lithuanian airline, represented by Motieka & Audzevicius by providing independent estimates of damages caused by another airlines predatory conduct in proceedings before the Vilnius District Court.

Irish GPs in High Court

Case assisted the Irish Medical Organization (IMO), represent by O’Connor (Dublin), who was prosecution by the Irish Competition Authority for an alleged a breach of Art 101.  Dr Cento Veljanovski filed an expert report which examined the operation of the Irish medical services market and the General Medical Services (GMS) scheme.  The case settled after the first week of proceedings in the High Court (Dublin) with the Competition Authority removing its ban on the IMO and Health Minister discussing GP fees, which was the underlying cause of the dispute.

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