Alleged restriction of competition agreement in the Spanish market for distribution of consumer electronics – ongoing

Lear is assisting an international manufacture of consumer electronics in a proceeding started by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) on a vertical agreement with one of the main marketplaces that has allegedly reduced intra-brand price competition on the marketplace and led consumers to pay higher prices for the branded goods. Continue reading Alleged restriction of competition agreement in the Spanish market for distribution of consumer electronics – ongoing

Compliance assessment of an intra-group asset transfer with the market economy operator principle

Lear has been appointed by a State-owned Italian company to assess whether an intra-group transfer of assets, without a monetary transfer from the beneficiary company, could lead to the creation of a economic value at the group level, and thus satisfy the market economy operator principle test, meaning that a private investor would have the incentive to undertake the same operation, and it does not constitute State aid. Continue reading Compliance assessment of an intra-group asset transfer with the market economy operator principle

Compliance assessment in the personal care sector – ongoing

Lear is assisting a producer of personal care products in developing a model aimed at ensuring that bids proposed in the context of tenders are compliant with antitrust provisions. The assignment entails estimating avoidable and long-run incremental costs, which the client can compare to the price offered to make sure that an equally efficient competitor can replicate that price.

Assistance to an Italian company active in the electronic tolling sector

Lear assisted an Italian company active in the electronic tolling market in a proceeding in front of the Italian Competition Authority, which has been initiated following the company’s decision to change the monthly fee for the use of the highway toll payment device and the related communication addressed to its customers. To support and justify the pricing adjustments made by its client, Lear analysed the variations in the costs structure that occurred during the most recent years and in the distribution channels of the services provided.

Alleged anti-competitive effects of an information spillover in the Italian automotive industry

Lear was appointed by a leading firm active in the automotive industry to assess the potential anti-competitive effects of an information spillover. The company had received sensitive information on a competitor’s business strategy and wished to assess if such information had any anti-competitive effect on its own business strategy. Lear performed several econometric analyses finding no effect of the information spillover.

Ex-ante assessment of the competitive effects of a multi-year purchasing agreement in the Italian insurance market

Lear assisted two leading Italian insurance companies in the assessment of the competitive effects of a purchasing agreement they intended to undertake, with the aim of evaluating its compatibility with Art. 101 TFEU. Lear consultants analysed the relevant geographic and product markets, calculated market shares in the affected markets and analysed the competitive concerns that might arise from the agreement. In light of the multi-year nature of the agreement, the evaluation also took into account a possible future increase in the parties’ market shares.

Compliance assessment of multi-product discount schemes in the Italian energy markets – ongoing

Lear is assisting a leading operator in the Italian markets of retail energy by evaluating the potential anticompetitive effects of proposed multi-product retail discount scheme. The analysis includes reviewing past decisions of the European Commission to identify the relevant theories of harm, deriving the principles that the economic assessment should satisfy, from both a methodological and an outcomes perspective, reviewing the results of the assessment carried out by the client and providing support in the compliance risk assessment.

 

 

Concentration in the retail market for health, beauty, and household products

Lear has been appointed by a leading private equity and alternative assets investment company wishing to acquire control over a number of companies active in the Italian retail market for health, beauty, and household products, for a total of three different transactions carried out by an investment company. In two transactions, Lear’s economists have assisted the client in proving that there was no reportable market due to the absence of horizontal overlaps or vertical relationships between the business activities of the target companies and the business activities of the portfolio companies controlled by the investment company. Continue reading Concentration in the retail market for health, beauty, and household products

Alleged cartel in the Italian market for third-party liability insurance services – ongoing

Lear has been appointed by one of the largest insurance companies active in Italy and worldwide to rebut the accusations by the Italian Competition Authority, which has started a preceding to ascertain the potential anticompetitive effects of an information exchange among a number of price comparison websites and other insurance companies active in the provision of third-party liability insurance services in Italy. According to the ICA, such information could have been useful for the insurance companies to align their business strategies and hence reduce discounts provided to customers, which eventually led to higher prices. Lear’s strategy aims at proving that the exchange of information was not apt to lead to anticompetitive effects, mostly because of (i) the limited scope of the exchange, (ii) the fact that the exchange does not increase market transparency, and (iii) the fact that exchanged information could not be used to estimate prices charged by other companies.