December 2012 - Transparency International (TI) released its 2012 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this week. The 2012 CPI surveys 176 countries and territories (seven fewer than last year).
October 2012 – Effective from 1 January 2013, Hungary will impose tax on insurance premiums. The new insurance premium tax (IPT) regime will have extraterritorial effect, taxing insurance premiums collected by non-Hungarian insurance companies insuring Hungarian risks on a freedom-of-services (FOS) basis (in addition to taxing Hungarian subsidiaries and branches of foreign insurers as well).
August 2012 – The Turkish Competition Board recently published its decision on the match-fixing activities of some of Turkey’s football clubs, a scandal that has gripped the Turkish public over the past year. According to the Board, match-fixing is not subject to competition legislation.
August 2012 – The Council of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office upheld a first instance decision in which a Slovak electricity distribution company, ZSE Distribúcia a.s., was fined for abusing a dominant position by charging excessive fees for taking special electricity meter readings in the course of customers’ shifting to another electricity supplier.
August 2012 – The Serbian Competition Authority issued a decision approving a merger between Sberbank and DenizBank. Sberbank owns a subsidiary in Serbia but the target is not present on the Serbian market at all. Nevertheless, the transaction was notifiable in Serbia, because foreign-to-foreign transactions are subject to the merger notification obligation.
August 2012 – The Romanian Competition Council closed an investigation regarding an alleged abuse of the dominant position of the incumbent Romanian telecom operator Romtelecom, which related to an alleged failure to provide the termination service and refusal to expand the capacity of its interconnection link. The Romanian Competition Council concluded that there was insufficient evidence of an abuse of a dominant position.
August 2012 – The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal handed down two judgments that ruled that the passing-on defence applies to damages claims made under Hungarian law. According to the court, the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation for costs that have been recovered from elsewhere. Therefore, loss that was passed on by the plaintiff to the other parties will not be deemed as loss for the purposes of calculating damages.
August 2012 – The Supreme Administrative Court issued a judgment that confirmed that the agreement between two purchasers (retail chains) on the purchase prices for goods and the commercial terms they applied in relation to their suppliers is a cartel agreement that is subject to competition rules. Although such agreements on the purchase side are quite rare, competition law makes no distinction between such horizontal cooperation and the more usual collusion on the seller side.
June 2012 – The Czech renewable energy regulation went through a phase of intensive developments in the past two years. This was both in the sphere of new legislation as well as in the area of litigation against possibly discriminatory behaviour of the Czech government.
On 9 April 2012, the Turkish Competition Board made public its reasoned clearance decision on the merger of the two major cinema chains in Turkey, Mars Sinema and AFM. Following its preliminary evaluation, the Board initiated second-phase investigations in light of fears that the proposed transaction (as defined below) could raise competition concerns. The clearance decision was rendered on 17 November 2011, subject to the remedies implemented by the parties.