Monopoly and Abusive Behaviour

  • Monopolies and "concentration groups" under Israeli law are subject to strict rules and regulations. An abuse of market power by a monopolist is a criminal offence in Israel, as well as a tort, which may give rise to civil claims (including class actions) seeking substantial damages, injunctions and other civil remedies. Even in the absence of abusive conduct, the Israeli competition and antitrust authorities may declare an entity as being a monopoly which will subject the monopolist to certain limitations in the way it may carry on its business, including limitations specifically tailor-made by the authorities.

     

    We have substantial experience acting for international and local companies, across a wide range of industries, who are alleged to be monopolists and whose market conduct is the subject of investigation or other legal proceedings. We have an excellent understanding of the legal and economic issues determining market definition and relevant product markets in which our clients operate.

     

    Our expertise includes: acting for clients the subject of investigation by the competition and antitrust authorities on the grounds of alleged abuse of a dominant position or alleged market share, challenging monopoly declarations made by the competition and antitrust authorities, defending clients in individual or class actions, as well as in criminal proceedings, whose business practices are alleged to constitute an abuse of a dominant position and advising on whether business practices carry the risk of being considered market abuse.

     

    We also have extensive experience acting for clients challenging business practices carried out by monopolies and concentration groups in Israel.

    • 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 the Israel Electric Corporation (the IEC) in connection with proceedings alleging that the refusal of IEC employees to connect certain private manufacturers of electricity to the national grid supply was an abuse of a dominant position and a request to issue a mandamus order against IEC requiring it to connect such manufacturers to the national grid
    • Representing Lime & Stone Limited (Israel’s largest producer of aggregates for the Israeli building and construction industry) which had been declared as being a monopoly by the Israeli antitrust authority. We successfully acted for the client in front of the antitrust authorities to have this declaration cancelled
    • Representing Orbond, a leading manufacturer of gypsum products owned by the KNAUF Group, a German conglomerate, in connection with a declaration of the Antitrust Authority that Orbond was a monopoly in the plasterboards market.  The firm handled an appeal to the Restrictive Trade Practices Tribunal, and was able to achieve cancellation of the declaration
    • Representing Cemex (Israel) Ltd. (the Israeli subsidiary of Cemex, the world's largest aggregates and cement company) in connection with the Antitrust Authority's investigation of whether rebates offered by Nesher Industries to certain preferred customers constitute abusive monopolistic behaviour
    • Representing a number of clients in obtaining the cancellation of historic declarations as to their status as monopolies, including Yediot Aharonot, Israel's largest telecommunications and media company
    • Representing the IEC before the Antitrust Authority in proceedings in which the Authority had alleged that IEC was using its monopoly power to oversupply the market
    • Representing the Paz Group, Israel's largest oil and gas company, in a claim brought by three airlines that a Paz subsidiary, Aviation Services Ltd., was abusing a dominant position