parliment flags

On 27 November 2014, the CMA laid out its hit list of likely sectors and priorities for investigation in 2015. The CMA, as the main UK competition watchdog and consumer champion, has a mandate to enforce effective competition in markets in the interest of consumers. It has a wide discretion in dictating its own agenda. The list of 6 priorities the CMA has identified in its Strategic Assessment are: Online and the digital economy (more on this below) Technology and –Read More–

Long-standing European regulations, as well as European case law, recognize the ability to seek enforcement of a decision rendered in civil matters by a criminal court in another Member State of the European Union. This particular situation has been encountered by French court registries only exceptionally, they tended systematically to refuse to grant the European certificate required to enforce the said decision. The French Ministry of Justice has confirmed the primacy of the relevant European regulations. In accordance with Council –Read More–

9 December 2014 Webinar: Comparative review of US and EU Antitrust/Competition law on the interface between IPR and competition law including their approach to Standard Essential Patents. The exclusive rights conferred by Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are not absolute. In certain cases the enforcement of IPRs can undermine or infringe other rights and laws such as antitrust/competition law. The challenge for US & EU antitrust/competition regulators is striking the right balance between fostering innovation and stimulating free and effective competition. –Read More–

On 18 November 2014, Ofcom opened an investigation into the Football Association Premier League’s (the “League’s”) joint selling arrangements for the TV rights to its games. The investigation is important as Ofcom has wide powers including the ability to revolutionise how the League’s rights are sold in the UK. Its decision could alter how much consumers pay to view football and on what channels the games are broadcast. Ofcom are investigating the selling arrangements after a complaint by Virgin Media –Read More–

On 1 October 2014, the Belgium Court of Appeal held that requirements that spare parts providers also had to be authorised dealers infringed Article 102 of the TFEU, the abuse of a dominant position. This judgement is a timely reminder that product manufacturers need to be particularly careful if they want to impose similar restrictions on their distribution network and be prepared to justify their use if challenged. Careful structuring of distribution systems is therefore advised The case stemmed from –Read More–

On 31 October 2014, the regional competition authority for the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (“COMESA”), the COMESA Competition Commission (the “Commission”), published its finalised Merger Assessment Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). The Guidelines are not legally binding, but rather are intended to offer general guidance on the interpretation of the merger control provisions in the COMESA Competition Regulations 2004 (the “Regulations”), published in January 2013. In particular, the Guidelines have introduced new guidance to assist in determining if a –Read More–

On 10 November 2014, the EU Council of Ministers formally adopted the Commission’s Directive on antitrust damages. The Directive will be formally signed by the EU Parliament at the end of November, starting a two year countdown in which each EU Member State must adopt the Directive into their own national legislation. The Directive aims to raise and standardise many aspects of antitrust or competition litigation throughout the EU, meaning the ability of victims of anti-competitive behaviour to claim compensation –Read More–

On 30 October 2014, the UK High Court ruled that the 6 year limitation period for bringing competition claims will be interpreted strictly. The Court struck out claims brought against a credit card company by a number of high street retailers on the basis that those claims related to damage incurred over 6 years ago. The retailers had argued that claims over 6 years should be recoverable due to the nature of the defendant’s offence. They alleged that the defendants –Read More–