Competition Disputes and Investigations

  • Breaches of Israeli competition and antitrust law are subject to fines, carry the risk of criminal proceedings being instituted against officers and directors and expose parties to private enforcement, whether by way of large complex class actions or in the context of commercial disputes where a party seeks to renege on its obligations. The Israeli competition and antitrust law authorities also have the power to declare a concern as being a monopoly as well as conduct market investigations and regulate industry behaviour in oligopolistic and monopolistic markets.

     

    Combining S. Horowitz & Co's market-leading skills in dispute resolution and our formidable expertise in competition and antitrust law, we have developed one of Israel's premier contentious competition law practices.

     

    We have extensive experience defending multinationals and large companies in class actions which seek substantial damages typically following a finding, whether from the European Union or Israel, of a contravention of competition law.

     

    Our expertise includes:

     

    • Representing clients before competition and antitrust law authorities
    • Challenging decisions of the competition and antitrust law authorities
    • Representing clients in class as well as stand-alone actions arising from allegations of anti-competitive behaviour
    • Representing companies and their officers in criminal and civil court proceedings in connection with breaches of Israeli competition law
    • Representing complainants challenging the anti-competitive conduct of their competitors or suppliers
    • Representing Teva in connection with an oligopoly investigation into the baby formula market.  It had been alleged that Osem-Nestle with its Materna brand; Promedico, maker of Similac; Medici Medical, with Optimal; and Teva Pharmaceuticals, with Nutrilon, improperly shared the baby formula market in Israel.  The firm acted for Teva on this investigation which concluded in a consent decree
    • Representing Sharp Corporation in the defence of a class action that was instituted against Sharp, Samsung Electronics Co., AU Optronic, Chi Mei and LG Display, claiming that the parties had infringed antitrust law by conspiring to fix prices for LCD panels
    • Successfully represented IATA (the International Air Transport Association) in proceedings before the Controller of Israeli Restrictive Trade Practices to extend IATA's exemption for the operation of its centralised settling program for airlines and travel agents (BSP), as well as the application for an exemption to set up a similar settling program for cargo (CASS) 
    • Also representing IATA in the appeal to the Restrictive Trade Practices Court commenced by the Israel Travel Agents Association which sought to challenge the decision of the Controller to grant thee BSP exemption
    • Representing Bank Leumi on an investigation into cartel/collusive behaviour between the five largest banks in Israel arising from exchange of information regarding fees.  Each of the Banks disputed the findings made by the Israeli antitrust authorities and sought judicial review (in respect of which we acted for Bank Leumi) by way of filing an appeal to the Tribunal
    • Representing Reshet (one of Israel's major terrestrial broadcasters) in proceedings before the Restrictive Trade Practices Tribunal objecting, on competition law grounds, to the formation of a royalty collection society for directors and scriptwriters on the basis that the proposed rules constituted restrictive arrangements
    • Representing British Airways in connection with a class action instituted against British Airways, El Al, Lufthansa and Swiss for alleged price-fixing relating to cargo surcharges, seeking to deny class action certification for the proceedings in Israel
    • Representing Cemex (Israel) Ltd. (the Israeli subsidiary of Cemex, the world's largest aggregates and cement company) in hearings being held before the Israel Antitrust Authority, in the Authority's investigation of special deals offered by Nesher Industries, Israel's sole cement producer and an officially-recognised monopoly, to certain customers
    • Representing Paz (Israel's largest oil and gas company) in a class action brought by the owners of Paz licensed petrol stations (the largest network of petrol stations in Israel) in one of the largest ever class actions, relating to alleged structural anti-competitive arrangements between Paz and its various petrol station franchisees across Israel
    • Representing Fuji Electric following a class action proceeding in Israel based on the EU decision to impose fines on what it considered to be a GIS switchgear cartel