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In the reports from around the world collected in this volume, we continue to see a good deal of international overlap among the issues and industries attracting government enforcement attention.
Cartel enforcement remains robust, particularly by the European Union and the United States, although the number of new enforcement decisions adopted by the EU dropped significantly in 2015. Other jurisdictions, including Greece and France, also report a decrease in the magnitude of fines or numbers of decisions rendered in cartel actions. China, however, saw a slight increase. In 2015, Australia, Brazil, China, Cyprus, the European Union, Germany and the United States have opened, continued or settled enforcement actions against automotive parts cartelists. Brazil, China, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland have each seen enforcement activity related to the distribution of automobiles.
In the area of restrictive agreements, several European jurisdictions (France, Germany, Italy and Sweden) moved against an online travel booking platform for its use of ‘most-favoured nation’ clauses with respect to the rates offered by hotels to the platform. However, as we see in the chapters that follow, the German authority did not accept the commitments made by the platform to the other jurisdictions, and required a more stringent remedy.
Many jurisdictions continue to develop their approach to implementation of competition laws enacted in recent years.