European competition or anti-trust deal of the year
SRS Law takes the prize for its work for GDA, a public interest cooperative for artists which collects rights fees, on a case concerning both the management and marketing of artists’ copyright and the market for the provision of television services on the Portuguese market where GDA’s clients, are active. The case followed a ruling by the Portuguese Competition Court following an appeal from incumbent cable TV operator MEO/PT of the decision by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) which found that there had been no abuse of dominant position by GDA. The CJEU was asked to provide a ruling and followed SRS’s ‘object/effects approach’ and held that there was no evidence of an abuse of a dominant position according to article 102 TFEU, and that the simple presence of an immediate disadvantage affecting operators for whom different prices have been applied does not mean that competition has been distorted.
This case came as a turning point in regard to the assessment of certain abuse of dominance cases, particularly because it was the first time the EU courts addressed a case of secondary-line discrimination. The judges praised the firm’s ‘innovative approach both in the case and in use of technology’ to defend its client.
Highly commended: Gecić Law
Gecić Law successfully advised and represented Serbia in the first anti-dumping proceedings against Serbia before the EC. The proceedings concerned iron and steel imports of products originating in Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. Following the work by Gecić Law, Serbia was the only country exempted from the EC ruling. The judges called it a ‘remarkable achievement’.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Latham & Watkins
Skadden (Brussels office)