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Portuguese Competition Authority – Overview 2020 

by Ricardo Oliveira, Rita Aleixo Gregório

Published: February, 2021

Submission: February, 2021

 



Some facts and figures that set out the landscape of merger control, antitrust enforcement and competition litigation in Portugal in 2020.


Interim Measures


The PCA ordered the Portuguese Professional Football League to suspend its decision preventing teams in the First and Second Football Leagues from signing players that have unilaterally terminated their contracts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Competition Court judgments


Only one Competition Court ruling this year: the Competition Court upheld the PCA’s decision to fine EDP and Sonae for a market sharing agreement: However, it reduced the total fine by 10% (from €38.3 million to €34.4 million).


Private enforcement of competition law


Class Actions


The first ever opt-out class actions were filed in late 2020 – both seeking very large sums based oninfringement decisions by both the European Commission and the PCA.


Ius Omnibus v. Mastercard


The first ever opt-out class action in Portugal was filed on 2 December 2020 against Mastercard by Ius Omnibus, a consumer protection association, seeking damages of €400 million in connection with the Commission’s decisions regarding Mastercard’s interchange fees (the Mastercard II cases of 2019).


Ius Omnibus v. Super Bock


The second opt-out class action was filed on 14 December 2020 against local brewer Super Bock by Ius Omnibus following on from the PCA’s €24 million fine of Super Bock for RPM. Ius Omnibus is seeking damages of €401 million.


Litigation


Domestic litigation following on from the Commission’s decision in the Trucks case continued at pace before the Competition Court, with the first hearing having started in the last quarter of 2020.


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