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parliment flags

In an important judgment before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the commitments negotiated between Expedia, IHG and the OFT were struck down for the failure of the OFT to follow due process in considering the effects of the commitments on third party meta-search site, Skyscanner. This ruling will have widespread ramifications for the hotel and travel industry dealing with price parity issues on the one hand and on the other, the CMA (the new UK super competition watchdog) in how it negotiates –Read More–

Latest Developments in EU Public Sector, Utilities and Defence Procurement This live webinar presented by Robert Bell and Roman Madej will provide a review of the latest leading EU and UK procurement cases and legislative changes. The webinar will examine new EU Directives and key problem areas such as award criteria, evaluation of bids, post tender changes and under the threshold procurements. This presentation will be of practical use to any company which tenders for public and utility contacts in –Read More–

In a landmark European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment, the Court overturned a Commission Decision and General Court judgment on the grounds that it had wrongly classified a restriction as a restriction “by object”. The Court held that the Commission had not carried out an appropriate market analysis to prove that the effect of the restriction in question had had an appreciable effect on competition. The EU Commission has over the years adopted an increasingly generous interpretation of what constitutes –Read More–

On 21 October 2008, in a co-ordinated effort with national competition authorities, the European Commission conducted dawn raids at the premises of a number of smart card chips producers across various EU Member States. The Commission was investigating possible violations of EC Treaty rules which prohibit cartels and anti-competitive conduct such as price fixing, customer allocation and the exchange of commercially sensitive information. Some six years later, on 3 September 2014, the European Commission rendered its decision, finding four companies –Read More–

In a speech on 11 September 2014, Alex Chisholm, Chief Executive of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) emphasised the importance of maintaining strict competition based merger controls to boost business confidence and incentivise investment in the UK economy. This subject is topical given the increasing attempts to politicise UK merger control in recent years. Often sensitive issues like job losses and factory closures mean there is intense public and media scrutiny during takeovers. After the Kraft/Cadbury takeover in –Read More–

On 10 September 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President-elect of the next EU Commission, appointed Margrethe Vestager as the new EU Competition Commissioner. If Juncker’s Commission is approved by the European Parliament in October, the new Commission will take effect in November. Ms Vestager was until this role, the Deputy Prime Minister of Denmark representing the Danish Social Liberal Party in the coalition headed by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (who herself received greater international recognition when famously posing for a ‘selfie’ –Read More–

Two recent German cases have confirmed that manufacturers cannot ban online marketplace sales in non-selective distribution networks. The position is less clear in the context of selective distribution systems but outright bans have been condemned. Recently, the German Federal Cartel Office (“Bundeskartellamt”) confirmed its position regarding the prohibition of distribution through online market places, such as Amazon and Ebay, by making a leading running shoe manufacturer drop its ban on online market places. The manufacturer operates a selective distribution system, –Read More–

On the 29 August 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had opened two new investigations. After a rather uneventful August, the CMA has opened preliminary investigations into the bathroom fittings and commercial catering sectors. Details are thin on the ground but the CMA has indicated in its announcements that both investigations will focus on breaches of Chapter 1 of the Competition Act 1998, the prohibition against anti-competitive agreements. Both investigations are running on the same timetable –Read More–