document.documentElement.className = document.documentElement.className.replace('no-js','js');
parliment flags

 Introduction On 8th April 2019 the European Commission(“the Commission”) fined General Electric (“GE”) €52 million for providing incorrect information during the Commission’s investigation of GE’s planned acquisition of LM Wind which was investigated under the EU Merger Regulation . The merger itself was ultimately cleared unconditionally in Phase I on the basis that it raised no competition concerns. This latest decision seems to be yet another example of the Commission ramping up penalties on companies for procedural irregularities in the –Read More–

Summary On 21 February 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) issued its first competition law infringement decision since it was given competition law powers on 1 April 2015. Three asset management firms were found to have shared strategic information during an initial public offering (“IPO”) and a placing in 2015. One firm was granted immunity from fines under the competition law leniency programme. The other two firms were fined £306,300 and £108,600 respectively. The FCA’s decision follows the announcement on –Read More–

Summary  In light of recent political developments in the UK it is becoming an increasing possibility that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. Businesses involved in merger activity will face significant implications in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit as the EU’s merger control regime will no longer cover the UK. Mergers may face investigations by both the CMA and the European Commission even where they have already been notified in Brussels. Background –Read More–

Non-exit is looking increasingly likely ! An impending sense of doom stalks the corridors of Westminster this morning after last night’s historic Government defeat over the EU Withdrawal Agreement . The May compromise deal delivered too little to too many but not enough to anyone, except perhaps the EU27. It was bound to fail ! And fail it did in historic proportions (by 230 votes). No Government has been so convincingly defeated in UK Parliamentary history. Today the Government faces –Read More–

Introduction The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice on 4th  December 2018 held, in an advisory opinion, that the UK could unilaterally revoke its decision to leave the European Union and stay a full member of the trading bloc without the need to obtain consent of the other EU 27 member states. If followed by the full European Court the UK Parliament will have a further option to consider if it rejects the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed with –Read More–

From 3 December 2018, businesses who sell either B2B or B2C within the EU will have to comply with the EU Geo-Blocking Regulation. The Regulation will have both economic and procedural implications for any trader which sells to EU customers because it requires that customers anywhere in the EU be allowed to purchase on the same conditions as customers anywhere else in the EU. A trader can still put different prices on websites aimed at different territories, but customers must –Read More–

On 22 October 2018, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had launched a new “Stop Cartels” campaign to educate businesses about anti-competitive practices and encourage people to come forward if they suspect a business has taken part in cartel behaviour, such as fixing prices or rigging contracts. The penalties for engaging in cartel activity can be severe. Businesses found to have been involved in illegal cartels can be fined up to 10% of their annual turnover. –Read More–

Introduction On 21 September 2018, the Inner House of the Court of Session, Scotland’s Court of Appeal,  requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice as to whether it was possible for the UK to unilaterally withdraw its Article 50 notice to the European Council stating that the UK intended to withdraw from the EU to allow the UK to remain as a Member State of the European Union. This ruling has the potential to be of substantial –Read More–

Introduction The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment on 7 September 2018 in relation to an appeal by Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) challenging the decision of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) to fine it £1.45 million for breach of the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) for a blanket ban on internet sales. The CAT dismissed Ping’s appeal on liability –Read More–

Summary The UK Government published on 24 July 2018 its long awaited White Paper on the proposed new national security screening regime to review investments by foreign investors which may have national security implications. In this article we review the Government’s proposals and ask what it means for foreign investment in the UK. Background The UK currently uses the Enterprise Act 2002 to review mergers on national security and other public interest grounds alongside the competition regime. Following the Chinese –Read More–

On 24th July 2018 the EU Commission passed a decision to enforce the competition rules in yet another case involving the e-commerce sector. This time it fined a number of leading consumer electronics groups including Denon & Marantz and Pioneer, over 111 million euros for a range of resale pricing and other competition law infringements. The level of fines were substantially reduced due to the companies ‘ cooperation with the Commission . The Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry, the results of –Read More–

Introduction and Summary An appeal has been launched against the UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) first decision fining a party for gun jumping. On 20 July 2018, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) announced that Electro Rent Corporation (Electro Rent) had lodged an appeal against the  decision of the CMA to impose a penalty of £100,000 on Electro Rent for failure to comply with an interim  standstill obligation while its completed merger with Microlease was being investigated –Read More–

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a record antitrust fine imposed by the European antitrust regulator upon another US technology company , the European Commission announced on 19th July 2018 that it had sent a Supplementary Statement of Objections to Qualcomm. This is in connection with its predatory pricing investigation against the US technology company which is also the world’s largest supplier of smartphone chipsets This move by the Commission reinforces the Commission’s policy of taking on high –Read More–

On 12th July 2018 Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  announced it was extending its timetable in relation to a number of its ongoing investigations involving anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical sector. The delay is likely to be due to the recent adverse ruling before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the Pfizer/Flynn cases. The CAT ruled that the CMA had adopted the wrong legal test for ascertaining whether the abuse of excessive and/or unfair pricing under Article 102 TFEU or Chapter –Read More–

On 28 June 2018, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) for permission to appeal against the CAT’s judgment on appeals by Pfizer and Flynn against the CMA decision fining them for abusing their dominant positions by charging unfair and excessive prices for phenytoin sodium capsules. On 7 June 2018, the CAT handed down a judgment in which it concluded the CMA’s conclusions on abuse of dominance were in –Read More–

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced on 28th June 2018 that it is taking enforcement action against several hotel booking sites over potential breaches of consumer protection law. The CMA has not named the companies involved in its investigation The CMA states in its press release ( https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-launches-enforcement-action-against-hotel-booking-sites) that its investigation, which began in October 2017, has identified widespread concerns, including: Search results: how hotels are ranked, e.g. the extent to which search results are influenced by factors –Read More–

Increasingly the government is looking to the private sector for innovate ideas in the delivery of public infrastructure. Notably the Department for Transport’s (DfT) “Rail Market Led Proposals – Call for Ideas” paper published in March of this year calls for ideas to develop projects to upgrade and transform rail infrastructure and operation but are they compatible with EU procurement law and how is valuable IPR protected? Market Led Proposals “Market Led Proposals”, such as those being requested by the Department –Read More–

The recent decision by the US Government to pull out of the Joint Committee Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to re-impose sanctions against Iran poses a difficult question for companies in Europe (including subsidiaries of US companies): if they continue business in Iran, will they face enforcement action or imposition of secondary sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)? However, the pressure of this question may increase if the EU introduces measures to prohibit the application of US –Read More–

On 7 June 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) set aside parts of the Competition & Market Authority’s (“CMA”) decision in relation to the CMA’s finding that Pfizer and Flynn charged excessive and unfair prices for phenytoin sodium capsules and referred the matter back to the CMA for reconsideration. In doing so, the CAT also quashed the CMA’s record fines of nearly £90 million which it had imposed on Pfizer and Flynn. In December 2016, the CMA issued an infringement –Read More–

The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently announced that it will spearhead an effort to create a new international antitrust enforcement framework.1  At a June 1st discussion before the Council of Foreign Relations, Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, indicated that the DOJ, in conjunction with U.S. Department of State, the Federal Trade Commission, and other antitrust competition agencies around the world will launch what has been dubbed the Multilateral Framework on –Read More–