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Focus Antitrust - 1 April 2015

1 April 2015

In The News

Consumer Rights Act receives Royal Assent  

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 introduces a number of important changes to the UK regime for private actions for breaches of competition law.  In particular, the Act gives the Competition Appeal Tribunal the power to hear stand-alone actions and introduces new procedures for collective proceedings, including both opt-in and out-out proceedings.  The Act is expected to come into force on 1 October 2015.  Click here.

European Commission approves acquisition of orthopaedic implants producer Biomet by Zimmer, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Biomet Inc by Zimmer Holdings Inc. Both companies produce orthopaedic implants and related surgical products.  The Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, could have resulted in price increases for a number of orthopaedic implants in the European Economic Area.  The approval is conditional upon a commitments package submitted by Zimmer involving a number of divestments. Click here.

CMA proposes to refer media contact databases merger  

The CMA has announced that GTCR Canyon Investments’ completed acquisition of Gorkana Group will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 merger investigation unless acceptable undertakings are offered.  The CMA is concerned that the transaction gives rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition in the production and supply of media contact databases.  Click here.


Articles 101 and 102
  • The European Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, has announced a forthcoming proposal to launch a competition inquiry in the e-commerce sector. The Commission is concerned that some companies may be taking measures to restrict cross-border e-commerce.  The sector inquiry would be intended to focus on identifying and addressing these measures, in line with the Commission's stated priorities to create a connected Digital Single Market. Commissioner Vestager is expected to table her proposal to the Commission in the coming weeks.  Click here.
  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal by Slovenská Pošta against the European Commission's 2008 decision finding that amendments to Slovakia's postal law breached Article 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in conjunction with Article 102.  Click here.   


Competition and Markets Authority
  • The CMA has published a summary of its decision refusing an application for interim measures under section 35 of the Competition Act 1998 made by Worldpay in relation to the CMA’s Visa interchange fees investigation.  The CMA concluded that it was unlikely that there would be significant damage to either Worldpay or merchants in the absence of urgent intervention.  Click here.
  • The CMA has opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements in the UK clothing, footwear and fashion sector which may infringe Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.  Click here.