parliment flags

The CMA ,the UK’s main competition regulator, launched an investigation on 26th September 2017 into home insurance price comparison website, compare the market .com, over its use of most favoured nation clauses (“MFN”) and whether their use constituted an infringement of the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the TFEU. This investigation follows the publication of a final report in the CMA’s market study into digital comparison tools. Over the last year the CMA –Read More–

Following the French Economy Minister’s claim against Expedia in 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals, by decision dated 21 June 2017, heavily fined this Online Travel Agency (OTA), considering that certain provisions in the contracts between Expedia and its hotel partners created a “significant imbalance” between the parties under Article L. 442-6, I, 2° of the French Commercial Code. The dispute originates from 2011 when Expedia was subject to an inquiry by the DGCCRF (the French competition and consumer frauds authority). –Read More–

On 5 September 2017, the CMA released new guidance regarding its Mergers Intelligence Function and the informal guidance it can give parties who are considering whether to submit their merger for formal deliberation by the CMA. This relatively new process confers great advantages for companies with border the thresholds for notification or mergers which do trigger thresholds but the parties activities do not overlap. Parties can seek an informal opinion of no-interest using the merger intelligence unit of the CMA. –Read More–

On 29 August 2017, Law No. 124 of 2017 entered into force and amended Section 16 (1) of Law No. 287 of 1990 (the Italian competition law) that provides for prior notification system of all mergers and acquisitions in Italy which fall within certain thresholds. As of 29 August 2017, a concentration has to be notified to the Italian Competition Authority when it meets the new cumulative conditions below: (i) The aggregate turnover in Italy of all undertakings involved exceeds –Read More–

On 13 July 2017 the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) announced the imposition of fines amounting up to €9.6M on three European heat shield manufacturers for the automotive industry. A fourth company involved in the agreement was not fined since its cooperation helped disclose the existence of the cartel and provide essential evidence in the investigation, which commenced in 2013. In 2011, the four automotive suppliers agreed on sharing highly sensitive economic information with respect to a common client, a –Read More–

On the 13th September 2017 Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, unveiled a framework for investment screening for certain foreign mergers in his “State of the Union” address to the European Parliament. At the same time the text of a proposed Council Regulation was published which set out inmore detail the proposed new EU system. These proposals are similar in nature to those proposed by the UK in the Queen’s speech a few months ago. This proposal had been widely –Read More–

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to set out her vision for Brexit during her highly-anticipated speech in Florence on September 22 Partner and Head of the EU & UK Competition Team at Bryan Cave, Robert Bell, commented in an article in Law360 on September 20 as to what businesses will be wanting to hear and seek clarity on from the Prime Minister’s address. He explains, “The business community’s primary concern with the whole Brexit process is the uncertainty –Read More–

On 12th September 2017  the UK competition authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) sent an open letter to businesses in the creative industries sector warning them about price fixing and information sharing, emphasising that this type of illegal behaviour will not be tolerated. The CMA’s experience derived from a recent cartel case and research into the creative sector. This showed that while the creative sector is an important and rapidly growing part of the UK economy, estimated to be –Read More–