Tying and Bundling according to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition


Eleonora Mateina[1]


The purpose behind the article is to summaries and briefly analyse the key decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Commission (Decision dated 17 September 2007 in case T-201/04 R, Microsoft/Commission; Decision dated 12 December 1991 in case Т-30/89, Hilti/ Commission and Decision dated 24 July 1991 in case Т-89/91, Tetra Pak II). The Court of Justice of the European Union provides in these cases strict criteria concerning the question when tying and bundling may be considered as contradicting Art. 102 TFEU. It is explained why the Court’s and Commission’s approach towards the abovementioned commercial practices has a significant practical effect and facilitates the work of the professionals in the field of Competition law.

The article targets as well the Bulgarian legal professionals by analysing the decisions of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition, in particular Decision № 985 dated 11.11.2008 and Decision № 624 dated 23.06.2009. It is argued that, although the reviewed decisions have been issued around 2 years after Bulgaria´s accession to the European Union, the entering into force of the current Competition Protection Act and the lack of clear mindset how the new rules function, they show that the Bulgarian Commission has the capacity to conduct complex legal, economic and market analysis. Thus, practicing lawyers are able to conduct more precisely the assessment of tying and bundling practices. In addition, the article also makes a comparison between the European and the Bulgarian approach towards these practices which in some cases shall be considered as well as a form of vertical restraints. This is of a major importance due to the fact that usually the national competition authorities follow the Guidelines and the decisions of the European Commission and the standards of application of competition law set by the CJEU.



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[1] Member of the Sofia Bar Association and practicing lawyer at Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski, Attorneys-at-law with focus in Competition law, Contract law and Dispute Resolution. Eleonora has more than 10 publications in the field of Competition law and Domestic and International Arbitration. She is also helping with the preparation of Bulgarian universities for international moot courts.