Focus Antitrust - Competition Weekly Email Alert - 20 July 2011

News Corporation has announced that it has withdrawn its bid for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC not already owned by it, on the basis that it would be too difficult to progress in the current climate
UK Antitrust/Competition Law
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In the News

News Corporation has announced that it has withdrawn its bid for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC not already owned by it, on the basis that it would be too difficult to progress in the current climate. Click here.

The ECJ has dismissed an appeal by Gruas Abril Asistencia against a ruling of the General Court that found that its appeal was inadmissible. The ECJ held that the General Court was correct in finding that individuals do not have a right to appeal against the Commission's refusal to initiate infringement proceedings against a member state. Click here.

EU

European Courts

  • The General Court has dismissed appeals by Total, Elf Aquitaine and Arkema France against the bleaching chemicals cartel decision. Click here and here to read the judgments in French.
  • The General Court has delivered its judgments in the appeals by companies of the Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp groups against a finding by the European Commission's that they had infringed Article 101(1) TFEU by participating in a price-fixing, market-sharing, information exchange and bid-rigging cartel in the markets for the installation and maintenance of lifts and escalators between 1995 and 2004. Click here.
  • The General Court has delivered its judgments on appeals by companies that had been fined by the European Commission for their participation in a cartel on the synthetic rubber market. Click here.

European Commission

  • Following a Phase II investigation, the European Commission has decided under Article 8(1) of the EU Merger Regulation to approve the acquisition by UPM-Kymmene Corporation of Myllykoski Corporation. Click here.
  • The European Commission has sent letters of formal notice to 20 member states in relation to their failure to notify measures for the full implementation of the EU telecoms reform package by the deadline of 25 May 2011. Click here.

Articles 101 and 102

  • The European Commission has published an official summary of its decision to reduce the fine imposed on William Prym GmbH & Co KG, William Prym Holding GmbH and EP Group for their participation in the fasteners cartel. Click here.
  • Details of an appeal by Siemens AG against the General Court's judgment dismissing its appeal against the European Commission's decision fining it for participation in the gas insulated switchgear cartel have been published. Click here.
  • The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate the actions of Austrian waste management company ARA due to concerns that it may be abusing its dominant position on Austrian markets for the management of packaging waste, in breach of Article 102 TFEU. Click here.
  • The European Commission has opened formal proceedings in relation to suspicions that the Czech electricity incumbent CEZ a.s has abused its dominant on the Czech electricity market. Click here.

Mergers – Cleared

  • ThyssenKrupp Metal Forming/Corporacion Gestamp. Click here.
  • Evonik's carbon black business/Rhone Capital and Triton. Click here.

Mergers – Invitation to Comment

State Aid

  • The European Commission has published its latest overview of national state aid measures adopted in response to the financial and economic crisis. Click here.

Other

  • The European Parliament has published a draft report on collective redress prepared for the Committee on Legal Affairs. Click here.

UK Competition Commission

  • The CC has published its final decision stating that there are no material changes of circumstances that would justify amending its decision to require BAA to divest Stansted Airport and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport. Click here.
  • The CC has announced its provisional findings on the completed acquisition by Sector Treasury Services Limited of Butlers, ICAP plc's treasury management advisory services business. Click here.
  • The CC has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2010/11. Click here.

OFT

  • Mergers – cleared: Hearst Corporation/Lagardére; Smiths News plc/Dawson Holdings plc; Digital Healthcare Limited/Orion Imaging Limited. Click here.
  • Mergers – invitation to comment: Origin Fertilisers (UK) Limited/CM Fertilisers Limited; Tramlink Nottingham consortium, including Wellglade/NET Line One and NET Phase Two concession. Click here.
  • Mergers – full text decisions: Atlas Copco/Penlon, click here; Rentokil/the Santia businesses of Connaught plc, click here

Public Procurement

  • The High Court has struck out an application by Alstom seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness of a contract entered into between Eurostar and Siemens for the design, supply and maintenance of high speed trains. Click here.

Other

  • Ofcom has published its final determination to resolve a dispute between BT Telecommunications plc and Digital Region Limited and Thales UK Limited concerning certain BT charges for three sub-loop unbundling wholesale connection and rental products. Click here.
  • The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has published a dossier of evidence provided to the CAT in defence of the Secretary of State's decision on the Lloyds/HBOS merger. 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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