UK: Focus Antitrust - Competition Weekly Email Alert - 21 August 2013

Last Updated: 28 August 2013
Article by Paul Stone and Elora Mukherjee

In the News

CC announces adverse provisional finding in Cineworld/City Screen merger

The CC has provisionally concluded that the completed acquisition by Cineworld Group plc of City Screen has, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for cinema exhibition services in a number of areas. In order to remedy the competition concerns, the CC may require the divestiture of one of the parties' cinemas in each of the affected areas. Click here.

Commission notice on Deutsche Bahn commitments to address abuse of dominance concerns

The European Commission has published a notice to seek views on commitments offered by Deutsche Bahn to address concerns that it may have breached the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position under Article 102 on the market for the provision of traction current in Germany. The Commission is concerned that Deutsche Bahn's pricing system for providing traction current to railway companies might have hampered the development of competition on rail markets, in particular, by creating a margin squeeze on the long distance passenger rail transport and rail freight markets in Germany. Click here.


European Commission

  • The European Commission has published the full, non-confidential text of its November 2011 decision to grant conditional approval to the acquisition by Western Digital Corporation of Viviti Technologies Limited. Click here.


Competition Appeal Tribunal

  • The CAT has ruled on an application by UK-based claimants to lift the stay on their damages action against participants in the carbon and graphite products cartel. The damages action had been stayed pending an appeal to the Supreme Court by one of the defendants, Morgan Crucible, in respect of whether the actions against it had been brought on time. The claimants argued that the stay should be lifted as against the other defendants because, whatever the outcome of Morgan Crucible's appeal to the Supreme Court, the CAT nonetheless has jurisdiction over the claims against the other defendants. The CAT agreed and has lifted the stay in respect of the claims against all defendants other than Morgan Crucible. Click here. Competition Commission
  • The CC has published a direction requiring Ultralase Optimax Group Ltd and Optimax Clinics Limited to appoint a monitoring trustee in respect of their completed merger. Click here.
  • The CC has extended the period for its inquiry into the proposed merger between Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Click here.
  • The CC has invited evidence on whether to vary or remove the undertakings given by IMS Health Incorporated to the Secretary of State under the Fair Trading Act 1973 following the 1999 report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission into IMS's acquisition of Pharmaceutical Marketing Services Inc. The OFT's advice has also been published (see below). Click here.
  • The CC has published its issues statement as part of its market investigation into the supply of payday lending in the UK. Click here.
  • The CC has published its provisional findings on a review of undertakings given by the BBC under the Fair Trading Act 1973. The undertakings were given in 1992 following a monopolies report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on television broadcasting services and restrict the ways in which the BBC can promote its magazines on BBC1 and BBC2. The CC considers that the undertakings should remain in force and do not require amendment. Click here.


  • Monitor has published the Co-operation and Competition Panel's (CCP) report on the merger of Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust with Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust. Click here.


  • Ofcom has published its final determination of disputes between, respectively, Everything Everywhere, Hutchison 3G UK Limited and Telefonica UK Ltd and BT about BT's Standard Interconnect Agreement. Click here.


  • The OFT has published its advice to the CC on IMS Health's request to be released from the undertakings given to the Secretary of State in relation to its acquisition of Pharmaceutical Marketing Services Inc. The undertakings were designed to facilitate entry by providers of pharmaceutical data services. However, since the UK government now publishes free data in respect of NHS prescriptions, the OFT believes that circumstances may have changed since the undertakings were given. The effect that this has had on the market is, however, unclear, necessitating further consideration by the CC as to whether the undertakings should be released. 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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