UK: Focus Antitrust Competition - Weekly Email Alert - 28 July 2010

Last Updated: 10 August 2010
Article by Paul Stone

IN THE NEWS

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation procedure into two alleged breaches of Article 102 TFEU connected with IBM Corporation's conduct on the market for mainframe computers. To read the press release, click here.

The European Commission has issued a statement of objections to Les Laboratoires Servier and Servier SAS regarding Servier allegedly providing misleading information to the Commission in response to a questionnaire sent out to various stakeholders in the context of the pharmaceuticals sector inquiry. To read the press release, click here.

EUROPEAN NOTIFICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS

Mergers Invitation to Comment

  • COMP/M.5925: MetLife/Alico/DelAm - insurance, retirement planning, and wealth management. Interested parties should submit their comments by 6 August 2010. To read the notification, click here.
  • COMP/M.5944: Osaka/UFG/Infrastructure Arzak/Saggas – investment fund, supply of gas. Interested parties should submit their comments by 6 August 2010. To read the notification, click here.
  • COMP/M.5935: VION/Weyl – international livestock. Interested parties should submit their comments by 1 August 2010. To read the notification, click here.

Mergers Cleared

  • COMP/M.5839: Schlumberger / Smith International – oilfield services. To read the press release, click here.
  • COMP/M.5889: United Airlines/ Continental Airlines - domestic and international scheduled air passenger and cargo transport. To read the press release, click here.
  • COMP/M.5836: FridayEuroTech Holding B.V./BIS Industrial Services Nederland B.V. – civil engineering, construction, industrial services. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • COMP/M.5924: Sedgwick/Trident and Hellman & Friedman – private equity investment funds. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • COMP/M.5891: Acument Global Technologies/CVC and SCPEL - manufacture of engineered mechanical fastening products and solutions. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • COMP/M.5876: Turmed/RACC - travel agencies. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • COMP/M.5870: Foxconn/Sony LCD TV Manufacturing Company in Slovakia. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • COMP/M.5840: Otto/Quelle Schweiz Assets. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.

Public Procurement

  • The European Ombudsman has published a decision finding that the European Commission had committed an instance of maladministration in its conduct of a tender procedure. To read the decision, click here.

State Aid

  • The European Commission notice on current state aid recovery interest rates and reference/discount rates for all 27 EU member states has been published in the Official Journal. To read the notice, click here.

UK NOTIFICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS

UK Courts

  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Ltd & Ors v Dow Deutschland Inc & Ors: the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a judgment whereby the Commercial Court refused to stay an action for damages based on the European Commission's decision in the synthetic rubber cartel, where proceedings based on the same decision had also been brought in the Italian courts. To read the judgment, click here.
  • Proactive Sports Management Ltd v Rooney and others: the High Court has held that an image rights agreement between Wayne Rooney and his former management company, Proactive Sports Management Ltd, was unenforceable by Proactive, as it was in restraint of trade. To read the judgment, click here.

CAT

  • The CAT has published the transcripts of the latest hearings of the appeals against the OFT's construction bid-rigging decision. To read the transcript in respect of Quarmby Construction, click here and here; AH Willis, click here, North Midland Construction, click here and GMI Construction, click here and here.
  • The CAT has dismissed an application by Ofcom to stay BT's appeal against Ofcom's determination of disputes between BT and a number of communications providers in relation to BT's introduction of termination charges for calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers. To read the ruling, click here.

Consultations

  • The OFT has published a scoping paper seeking views on areas to be included in the next phase of its project, deigned to improve the transparency of its work and the way it engages with those interested in what it does. Interested parties should submit their comments by 30 September 2010. To read the scoping paper, click here.
  • The OFT has published a consultation on proposals for action to protect consumers and drive competition and economic growth in online markets. Interested parties should submit their comments by 13 October 2010. To read the consultation, click here.
  • The OFT has launched a consultation on online consumer protection. To read the press release, click here.
  • Ofcom has published a consultation document on its proposed approach to its duty under the Digital Economy Act 2010 to report to the Secretary of State every three years on the UK's communications infrastructure. Interested parties should submit their comments by 30 September 2010. To read the consultation, click here.
  • The Department of Health has published a consultation on its proposals to establish Monitor as an economic regulator, with concurrent competition powers, for health service providers. Interested parties should submit their comments by 11 October 2010. To read the consultation, click here.
  • Ofcom has published its draft local media assessment guidance for consultation. The aim of the LMA is to provide a means for Ofcom to provide views in order to assist the OFT in its assessment of mergers between local media companies. Interested parties should submit their comments by 20 September 2010. To read the guidance, click here.
  • Ofgem has published for consultation its recommendations on a new regulatory framework for electricity and gas transmission and distribution. Interested parties should submit their comments by 6 September 2010. To read the consultation, click here.
  • The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published a call for evidence in order to inform its review of the regulatory role of Ofgem. Interested parties should submit their comments by 24 September 2010. To read the call for evidence, click here.
  • The DECC has published a consultation on proposed changes to the GB energy market framework in order to implement the EU's third energy reform package. Interested parties should submit their comments by 19 October 2010. To read the consultation, click here.
  • The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a consultation on proposals for reforming rail franchising. Interested parties should submit their comments by 18 October 2010. To read the consultation, click here.

Mergers – Cleared

  • ME/4544/10: Assa Abloy AB/ Paddock Holdings Limited – door locks. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.
  • The Competition Commission has announced that it has cancelled its inquiry into the anticipated acquisition by Getty Images, Inc of Rex Features Limited, having received assurances from Getty Images, Inc that the proposed acquisition has been abandoned. To read the announcement, click here.

Mergers – Full Text Decisions

  • ME/4563/10: AP Møller-Maersk A/S of a 31 per cent interest in DFDS A/S – shipping. To read the full text of the clearance decision, click here.

Miscellaneous

  • The OFT has published its Annual Report for 2009/10. To read the press release, click here. To read the report, click here.
  • The OFT has published a report on the consumer benefit of the work it has carried out during the last three financial years. To read the report, click here.
  • The Competition Commission has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2009/10. To read the press release, click here. To read the report, click here.

Ofcom has published its first annual Digital Radio Progress Report covering developments in the digital radio market. To read the report, click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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