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Pietro Manzini

Full Professor

Department of Legal Studies

Academic discipline: IUS/14 European Union Law

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European antitrust law - Exam example

QUESTION 1

42 In the second place, as regards the participation of the travel agencies concerned in a concerted practice within the meaning of Article 101(1) TFEU, it must be recalled, first, that under that provision, the concept of a concerted practice implies (…)

43 Secondly, it must be pointed out that the case at issue in the main proceedings, as presented by the referring court, is characterised by the fact that the administrator of the information system at issue sent a message concerning a common anticompetitive action to the travel agencies participating in that system, a message which could only be consulted in the ‘Notices’ section of the information system in question and to which those agencies did not expressly respond. Following the dispatch of that message, a technical restriction was implemented which limited the discounts that could be applied to bookings made via that system to 3%. Although that restriction did not prevent the travel agencies concerned from granting discounts greater than 3% to their customers, it nevertheless required them to take additional technical steps in order to do so”.

The conduct described at point 43:

  1. does not amount in a concerted practice since the travel agencies could in any case grant a discount greater than 3%.
  2. does not amount in a concerted practice since a participation in a concertation cannot be inferred from the mere existence of a technical restriction implemented in the system
  3. could amount in a concerted practice if it were proved that travel agencies concerned responded to the message at least implicitly
  4. could amount in a concerted practice if it were proved that the travel agencies were aware of the content of that message.

Published on: April 15 2020