UK: Focus Antitrust Competition - Weekly Email Alert

Last Updated: 25 February 2010
Article by Emanuela Lecchi

European Notifications and Publications

European Courts

  • C-406/08: Uniplex (UK) Ltd v NHS Business Services Authority. ECJ judgment on preliminary ruling in relation to limitation periods for bringing challenges for breach of the public procurement rules. To read the documents, click here (http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=Submit&numaff=C-406/08).

Mergers Invitation to Comment

  • COMP/M.5727: Microsoft/Yahoo! Search Business – development and supply of computer software and related services, on-line search engine. Interested parties should submit their comments by 6 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:020:0032:0032:EN:PDF).
  • COMP/M.5735: UTC/GE Security – manufacture and supply of high technology products and services for building systems and aerospace industries, fire detection and electronic security equipment. Interested parties should submit their comments by 7 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:021:0041:0041:EN:PDF).
  • COMP/M.5762: Innolux/Chi Mei/TPO – manufacture of LCD panels. Interested parties should submit their comments by 12 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:025:0029:0029:EN:PDF).
  • COMP/M.5780: Allianz/ING/Allee Center – insurance and financial services, development of real estate operation of shopping centres in Budapest. Candidate for simplified procedure. Interested parties should submit their comments by 12 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:025:0028:0028:EN:PDF).

Mergers Cleared

  • COMP/M.5656: Europ Assistance Holding/SFR Développement/Océalis – investments in mobile communications sector, counselling services to physical and legal entities. To read the decision, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:023:0001:0001:EN:PDF).
  • COMP/M.5709: Volkswagen/MAHAG – manufacture and sale of cars and light commercial vehicles, spare parts, accessories. To read the decision, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:023:0001:0001:EN:PDF).
  • COMP/M.5726: Deutsche Bank/SAL.Oppenheim – deposit and lending operations, private banking, banking, private equity. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/108&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • COMP/M.5730: Telefónica/Hansenet Telekommunikation – fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet access. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/109&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • COMP/M.5739: EQT V/Springer Science + Business Media – private equity, business media, publishing of academic books, journals and periodicals. To read the decision, click here (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:025:0018:0018:EN:PDF).

Mergers Referred Back

  • COMP/M.5677: Schuitema/Super de Boer Assets – procurement, wholesale and retail of daily consumable goods, supermarkets. The European Commission has referred the merger to the Dutch authority Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit as it will affect competition in The Netherlands only. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/50&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).

Public Procurement

  • The European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Germany with regard to the award of contracts for architectural services by municipality of Niedernhausen. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/78&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).

State Aid

  • The European Commission has authorised the Spanish aid in the form of a film support scheme in the sum of €576 million. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/57&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission has completed its investigation into the unlimited state guarantee which has up until now been implicitly conferred on the French Post Office, due to its public body status. The Commission concluded that legal measures should be introduced to effectively end the state guarantee, which confers an economic advantage on the French Post Office to the detriment of its competitors. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/51&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission has opened an in-depth inquiry into the Greek aid in the form of preferential electricity tariffs for Aluminium of Greece. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/58&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en ).
  • The European Commission has ordered the recovery of German aid granted to Sovello AG (formerly EverQ GmbH). To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/104&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission has referred Italy to the ECJ for its failure in recovering illegal aid from hotels in Sardinia. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/103&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission has closed its investigation into an agreement between Bratislava Airport and Ryanair concluding that the agreement can be justified. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/56&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).

Speeches

  • Neelie Kroes speech: "The important role of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications". To read the speech, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/15&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • Viviane Reding speech: "A new beginning for EU telecoms regulation: EU telecoms regulator starts work". To read the speech, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/13&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • Viviane Reding speech: "Privacy: the challenges ahead for the European Union". To read the speech, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/16&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).

Miscellaneous

  • The European Commission has announced the first of meeting of the telecoms regulators of the 27 EU countries in Brussels forming the new Telecoms Regulator - Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/62&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en) and here (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/news/2010/01/nr_20100128).
  • The European Commission has initiated infringement procedure against France with regard to the 'telecoms tax' on telecommunications operators. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/67&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission has initiated legal proceedings against Bulgaria to implement EU rules making radio spectrum available for devices that help senior citizens - hearing aids and social alarms. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/66&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Commission is assessing the proposed commitments from British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia aimed at alleviating concerns over potential anticompetitive agreements in relation to the Oneworld airline alliance. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/10/25&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).
  • The European Competition Network has published the first issue of the ECN Brief. To read the press release, click here (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/73&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en).

UK Notifications and Publications

Consultations

  • Postcomm has opened a consultation into its "expected work plan for the next two years". Interested parties should submit their comments by 28 March 2010. To read the consultation, click here (http://www.psc.gov.uk/news-and-events/news-releases/2010/postcomm-work-plan-opens-for-consultation.html).

Competition Commission

  • The Competition Commission Chairman has asked an independent panel of three experienced and knowledgeable people to examine the CC's rules and practices with regard to possible conflicts of interest of its members. To read the press release, click here (http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/press_rel/2010/jan/29-10.pdf).
  • The Competition Commission has appointed Laura Carstensen as new Deputy Chair. To read the press release, click here (http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/press_rel/2010/jan/28-10.pdf).
  • The Competition Commission has published the Notice of Acceptance of Final Undertakings in the Stagecoach/Preston Inquiry. To read the Notice, click here (http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/inquiries/ref2009/preston/pdf/final_undertakings_010210.pdf).

CAT

  • The Carphone Warehouse Group Plc v Office of Communications (Wholesale Line Rental). The CAT has published the Order (Permission to Intervene). To read the Order, click here (http://www.catribunal.org.uk/files/1149_Carphone_Warehouse_Order_26.01.09.pdf).
  • The Competition Appeal Tribunal has published a ruling and order with its decision as regards the course of proceedings in the appeals against the Office of Fair Trading's decision on construction bid-rigging, holding that each of the 25 appeals will be heard separately. The CAT has also published the transcript of the case management conference. To read the documents, click here (http://www.catribunal.org.uk/files/1114-1139_Constructions_Order_25.01.10.pdf), here (http://www.catribunal.org.uk/files/1114-1139_Constructions_Transcript_25.01.10.pdf) and here (http://www.catribunal.org.uk/files/1114-1139_Constructions_Ruling_25.01.10.pdf )

Mergers Invitation to Comment

  • Gurit/High Modulus – marine composite engineering. Interested parties should submit their comments by 15 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/Mergers_home/Mergers_Cases/2010/Gurit).
  • Marsh & McLennan/HSBC Insurance Brokers – insurance and reinsurance. Interested parties should submit their comments by 15 February 2010. To read the notification, click here (http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/Mergers_home/Mergers_Cases/2010/HSBCInsuranceBrokers).

Mergers – Full Text Decisions

  • Go-Ahead Group plc/Plymouth CityBus Limited – buses. To read the full text decision, click here (http://www.oft.gov.uk/advice_and_resources/resource_base/Mergers_home/decisions/2010/go-ahead-group).

Miscellaneous

  • Ofcom has published a regulatory statement in relation to the consultation into Next Generation Networks – Responding to recent developments to protect consumers, promote competition and secure efficient investment. To read the statement, click here (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/ngndevelopments/ngnstatement/).
  • Ofgem has published an "Open letter to Industry participants on potential fraudulent activity in the European gas and electricity markets". To read the letter, click here (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Licensing/Work/Documents1/Fraud%20Risk%20open%20letter.pdf).
  • Ofgem has published its review of the gas and electricity connection markets in 2008-09. Including data on the number of connections, charges levied and performance against standards. To read the document, click here (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Pages/MoreInformation.aspx?file=CIR%20report%20%20final%20draft.pdf&refer=Networks/Connectns/ConnIndRev).
  • Ofgem has announced that it is suspending the energy network merger policy (which has been in place since 2002) following a consultation. The suspension is effective immediately and will remain in place until a review of the policy has been completed. The review is necessitated by changes in ownership structure and will consider how future potential mergers will be treated. To read the related documents, click here (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Media/PressRel/Documents1/SE%20note%20(2%20Feb%2010)%202%20doc%20%20%20CL.pdf) and here (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Media/PressRel/Documents1/SE%20note%20(2%20Feb%2010)%202%20doc%20%20%20CL.pdf).
  • Ofwat has published its response to the Defra consultation "Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) - Consultation on the draft Marine Strategy Regulations 2010". To read the response, click here (http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/sustainability/sustainabledev/res_ofw_20100122deframsfd.pdf).

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