UK: Focus Antitrust - Competition Weekly Email Alert - 4 September 2013

Last Updated: 12 September 2013
Article by Paul Stone and Elora Mukherjee

In the News

OFT minded to close investigation into Amazon's price parity policy

The OFT has welcomed Amazon's decision to end its price parity policy, which restricts third party sellers on the Amazon.co.uk Marketplace platform from offering lowering prices on other online sales channels. The OFT was investigating whether this policy was contrary to the Chapter I prohibition and/or Article 101. Since Amazon has now decided to cease enforcement of contractual price parity obligations in the EU, the OFT has stated that it is minded to close its investigation. Click here.

EU

Articles 101 and 102

  • Details of appeals by Dole, Del Monte and the European Commission against the General Court's judgments on the actions brought by Dole and Del Monte to challenge the Commission's decision on the banana importers cartel have been published in the Official Journal. Click here, here and here. Mergers
  • Following a Phase II investigation, the European Commission has accepted the "failing firm defence" and decided to approve unconditionally the acquisition by Nynas of Shell's Harburg refinery assets. Click here.

UK

Competition Appeal Tribunal

  • The Chairman of the CAT has issued an order giving case management directions in respect of the claims by UK-based claimants in their damages action against participants in the carbon and graphite products cartel. Click here.

Competition Commission

  • The CC has confirmed its provisional findings in its final report on the completed acquisition by AEG Facilities of the contract to manage Wembley Arena. The CC has found that the merger has not, and is not expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition in any UK market. Click here.
  • The CC has published its issues statement on the completed acquisition by Optimax Clinics of Ultralase, establishing the issues that it is likely to consider in reaching its decision. The statement considers the CC's approach to defining the relevant market and it identifies three possible theories of harm. Click here.

OFT

  • In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the OFT has summarised information it has already published in relation to cases which it investigated in 2011/2012 as a result of whistleblowing, as compared with those investigated as a result of a complaint. Click here.

  • The OFT has closed an investigation into a suspected abuse of dominance by an undertaking in the market for the provision of business continuity services. The investigation was initiated on January 2013. However, the OFT has decided that it is no longer an administrative priority. Click here.

Ofcom

  • Ofcom has published the text of its decision to refuse BT's application for interim measures in Ofcom's investigation into the alleged abuse of dominance in the wholesale supply of Sky Sports 1 and 2 by Sky. Ofcom concluded that it is not necessary to grant interim measures as a matter of urgency in order to prevent serious, irreparable damage to BT or to protect the public interest. 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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