UK: Competition Weekly Email Alert – 30 March 2011

Last Updated: 5 April 2011
Article by Paul Stone

In the News

The CAT has delivered a judgment on six of the appeals against the OFT's decision in the construction bid-rigging/ cover pricing case. Each of these appeals related solely to the penalty imposed, with the CAT concluding that the OFT had erred in the relevant turnover that it took into account in calculating the starting point of the fines. In addition, the CAT considered that the Minimum Deterrent Threshold used by the OFT resulted in excessive and disproportionate fines. The fines imposed against these six undertakings were reduced from about £15.5 million to about £4.2 million. Click here.

The final version of the guidance on the application of competition law to land agreements following the revocation of the Land Agreements Exclusion Order has been published. Click here.



  • The ECJ has dismissed appeals by ArcelorMittal and the Commission against the General Court ruling as regards the European Commission's decision to fine ArcelorMittal in respect of its involvement in the steel beams cartel. Click here.
  • The ECJ has dismissed an appeal by ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH against the General Court's decision in respect of the alloy surcharge cartel decision. Click here.
  • The General Court has delivered its judgments in ten appeals against the European Commission's decision in relation to the copper fittings cartel. Click here.

Article 101

  • Details of appeals brought by Air France - KLM, Société Air France and Martinair Holland, challenging the European Commission's decision to fine them for participation in a price-fixing cartel with other air cargo carriers, have been published in the Official Journal. Click here and here.
  • Details of an appeal by Omnis Group Srl against the European Commission's decision to reject a complaint concerning alleged anti-competitive conduct by Microsoft has been published in the Official Journal. Click here.
  • The European Commission has published a summary of its December 2010 decision to fine the Ordre National des Pharmaciens and its governing bodies EUR 5 million for issuing decisions that infringed Article 101 TFEU. Click here.

Mergers – cleared

  • Intel/McAfee: full text of conditional clearance decision published. Click here.
  • Siemens IT Services/Atos Origin. Click here.
  • Mivisa/Blackstone. Click here.


  • Alexander Italianer: EU priorities and competition enforcement. Click here.


Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT)

  • Transcript of a pre-hearing review and resulting order published in the appeals brought by Sky, Virgin Media, The Football Association Premier League and BT against the decisions of Ofcom, following its review of the pay TV market. Click here.

Competition Commission

  • The CC has provisionally concluded that BAA should still be required to sell Stansted Airport and Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport on the basis that passengers and airlines would benefit from greater competition with the airports under separate ownership. Click here.


  • Report published on the work undertaken to resolve the concerns identified in the 2008 market study on personal current accounts. Click here.
  • The Competition Commission and the OFT have jointly published a quick guide on merger assessment. Click here.
  • Stena Line (UK) Limited/DFDS Seaways Irish Sea Ferries Limited: full text of decision to refer to the Competition Commission published. Click here.
  • Travis Perkins Plc/BSS Group Plc: full text of the decision to accept variations to undertakings in lieu published. Click here.
  • Securitas Services Holding UK Limited/Chubb Security Personnel Limited: full text of clearance decision published. Click here.
  • One Stop Stores Limited/76 stores of the Mills Group of Companies: full text of clearance decision published. Click here.
  • Dollar Financial UK Limited/Purpose UK Holdings Limited: full text of clearance decision published. Click here.
  • Kerry Foods/Headland Foods: the OFT has accepted hold separate undertakings. Click here.
  • Silos/CleanCrop: the OFT has accepted hold separate undertakings. Click here.
  • The OFT is considering releasing General Healthcare Group from divestment undertakings given in relation to the completed acquisition by GHG of four Abbey hospitals and its purchase of a stake in Transform Holdings Ltd. Click here.


  • Ofcom has announced that it intends to resolve a dispute between Opal Telecom and BT Openreach about charges for local loop unbundling services. Click here.
  • Ofcom has announced that it intends to resolve a dispute between BT and Digital Region Limited and Thales UK Limited concerning certain BT charges for sub-loop unbundling connection and rental. Click here.


  • Peter Freeman: "Merger control: a view from the departure lounge". Click here.
  • Clive Maxwell on issues faced by the OFT in applying the current UK merger control regime. Click here.


  • As part of the 2011 Budget, HM Treasury and the BIS published the government's "Plan for Growth" which identifies competition as a priority area for action and highlights the government's plans to reform the UK competition regime and to merge the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) with the Competition Commission. 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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