Competition Commission reverses findings in pay-TV movies
The Competition Commission has published revised provisional
findings as part of the Movies on Pay TV investigation. The
Commission has found that Sky Movies no longer provides Sky with a
material advantage over its rivals in the pay-TV retail market.
This is a reversal of the Commission's original provisional
finding published in August 2011 and the Commission has attributed
this to the evidence now available. In particular, the Commission
refers to Netflix launching its online service in the UK in January
2012 and LOVEFiLM enhancing significantly its Internet-distributed
movie offering. Click here.
Competition Commissioner invites Google to offer
Joaquín Almunia, Commissioner for Competition, has
issued a statement explaining that he has sent a letter to Google
setting out the concerns arising from its investigation of
Google's alleged abuse of dominance and inviting Google to
offer commitments to remedy those concerns. The Commission has
identified four areas where it considers Google business practices
may amount to an abuse of dominance: preferential treatment for
Google's vertical search services compared to those of
competing services; Google's copying and use of content from
competing vertical search services it in its own offerings;
agreements for the supply of search advertisements which require
Google's partner websites to obtain all or most of their
requirements from Google; and restrictions that Google places on
the portability of online search advertising campaigns from its
platform AdWords to competing platforms. Click
OFT closes investigation into outdoor advertising following
Clear Channel and JCDecaux, two of the major outdoor
advertising companies, have given voluntary assurances to the OFT
to make changes to the way they enforce contracts with local
authorities for advertising on bus shelters and information panels.
The OFT opened a Competition Act investigation into street
furniture advertising contracts held by the two companies following
its 2011 market study into outdoor advertising. As a result of the
assurances it has received, the OFT has now closed its
investigation. Click here.
Commission opens Phase II investigation in steel merger
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation
under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of
Inoxum, the stainless steel division of ThyssenKrupp of Germany, by
the Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu. The Commission's
preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns
in various markets for the production and distribution of stainless
steel flat products. Click here.
Ryanair's appeal grounded
The Court of Appeal has rejected Ryanair's appeal against
the Competition Appeal Tribunal's judgment, upholding the
OFT's decision that it was not out of time to investigate
Ryanair's acquisition of a minority stake in Aer Lingus. The
Court of Appeal confirmed the Tribunal's finding that the duty
of sincere co-operation prevented the OFT from investigating the
acquisition while appeals by Ryanair and Aer Lingus were still
pending before the European Courts in relation to decisions of the
European Commission. Click here.
Articles 101 and 102 "
The General Court has upheld an appeal brought by EnBW Energie
Baden- Wurttemberg AG (EnBW), annulling a European Commission
decision refusing it access to documents in the gas insulated
switchgear case. Click here.
Following a Phase II review, the European Commission has
cleared the proposed acquisition of control by Südzucker of
Germany, Europe's largest sugar producer, over ED&F MAN of
the UK, the second largest sugar trader worldwide and a company
also active in sugar production. The approval is conditional upon
the divestiture of ED&F MAN's interests in the Brindisi
refinery, the biggest and most modern production facility in Italy.
Competition Commission "
The Competition Commission has published for consultation the
draft of final undertakings that it intends to accept from
Stericycle, Inc and SRCL Limited in relation to its completed
acquisition of Ecowaste Southwest Limited. The undertakings require
the divestment of Ecowaste Southwest to a purchaser approved by the
Competition Commission within a specified time period. Stericycle
has appealed the Competition Commission's decision to the
Competition Appeal Tribunal and the undertakings are expressed to
be without prejudice to these proceedings. Click
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On 20 December 2012, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal handed down its judgment on Tesco’s appeal against an earlier Office of Fair Trading decision concerning dairy products retail pricing in the UK.
Yesterday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its judgment on a preliminary reference from the Danish Supreme Court regarding the rules on selective discounts and below-cost selling under the competition law prohibition of the abuse of a dominant market position.
The General Court of the European Union handed down judgment upholding the decision by the European Commission in 2007 that the member bank delegates of MasterCard had collectively set cross border fall back multilateral interchange fees.
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