UK: Focus Antitrust - Competition Weekly Email Alert - 9 November 2011

Last Updated: 15 November 2011
Article by Paul Stone


European Commission officials and counterparts from relevant national competition authorities have conducted unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the production of bearings for automotive and industrial use in several member states, following suspicions that the producers might have engaged in agreements and/or concerted practices that infringe Article 101 TFEU. Click here.

The OFT has issued a statement of objections to British Airlines and Virgin Atlantic following its investigation under the Competition Act 1998 into alleged collusion between the airlines over the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges for long-haul passenger flights to and from the UK. Click here.


Articles 101 and 102

  • The General Court has published an order removing from its register an action lodged by Scovill Fasteners, challenging the European Commission's 2007 decision to hold it jointly and severally liable for a fine of EUR6.002 million imposed for the participation of the Scovill group in a cartel to co-ordinate price increases for fasteners and their attaching machines. Scovill Fasteners claimed that the Commission had erred in concluding that it and its subsidiary formed a single economic entity leaving it liable for its subsidiary's alleged infringements. It also claimed that the Commission made manifest errors in calculating the fine. Click here.

Mergers – invitation to comment

Mergers – cleared

Mergers – Phase II investigations

Public Procurement

  • The General Court has ordered the European Commission to pay damages to Idromacchine Srl, a third party in state aid proceedings, for publication of its name and detrimental information relating to it in the Official Journal. Click here.



  • The CAT has published an order adjourning the hearing of the appeals by Imperial Tobacco, Asda, Safeway, Morrisons, Co-op and Shell against the decision of the OFT that found that they had infringed the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 by virtue of agreements relating to the retail price of tobacco products. The OFT requested the adjournment in order that it may prepare a written statement regarding whether it continues to contest the appeals, and if so, on what factual and legal basis. Click here.
  • The CAT has ruled on an application by North Midland Construction plc requesting that the OFT pay its costs of appeal against the OFT's construction cover pricing decision. Since North Midland was successful in its appeal in relation to one infringement, and the CAT significantly reduced the penalty imposed in relation to a second infringement, the CAT ordered the OFT to pay North Midland 75% of its costs. Click here.
  • The CAT has published an order referring specified price control matters in BT's appeal against the Ofcom's 2011 decision on the wholesale broadband access charge control to the Competition Commission. Click here.


  • Mergers – invitation to comment: VPS/SitexOrbis; Tesco Stores/Budgens; PHS Group/Capital Hygiene Services; ABP Food/RWM Food; Jewson/Build Center; DCC Energy/Rontec Investments; Capita Group/Vertex Private Sector. Click here.
  • Mergers – hold separate undertakings: DCC/Rontec, click here.
  • Mergers – full text decisions: Anglo American/Lafarge, click here; Alpha Flight Group/LSG Lufthansa, click here.


  • Ed Richards: "Competition and Investment in Superfast Broadband", click here.


  • Ofcom is consulting on the introduction of a code on the prevention of undue discrimination between broadcast advertisers. Click here.
  • Ofcom has published a call for inputs into reviews of cost orientation and regulatory financial reporting in telecoms. Click here.
  • Ofcom has published updates on the status of the disputes between each of The Number (UK) Limited and Conduit Enterprises Limited and BT in relation to BT's charges for using information held in BT's Operator Service Information System database. Click here and here.
  • Ofcom has published for consultation a notification relating to the proposed application of the electronic communications code to CityFibre Metro Networks Limit. 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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