European Commission prohibits Hutchison's proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK
Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has blocked the proposed acquisition of O2 by Hutchison, which would have combined Telefónica UK's "O2" and Hutchison 3G UK's "Three", creating a new market leader in the UK mobile market. The Commission was concerned that the merger would be likely to result in higher prices for mobile services in the UK and less choice for consumers, to have a negative impact on quality of service for UK consumers by hampering the development of mobile network infrastructure and to reduce the number of mobile network operators willing to host other mobile operators on their networks. Click here.
CMA fines bathroom supplier that prevented retailers from discounting online prices
The CMA has issued a decision that Ultra Finishing Ltd broke competition law by preventing retailers from discounting online prices. The decision imposes a fine on Ultra of £786,668 and brings the investigation to a close. Last month Ultra admitted the infringement as part of a settlement of the case and received a reduction in its fine. Ultra received an additional reduction in its fine in return for agreeing to establish a competition law compliance programme. Click here.
CMA Chief Executive to join DECC
Alex Chisholm, Chief Executive, is leaving the CMA to join the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as Permanent Secretary. Mr Chisholm was appointed in March 2013 and led the creation of the Competition and Markets Authority as the UK’s single competition authority, replacing the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. He has been Chief Executive since the CMA became fully operational on 1 April 2014. He will leave on 3 July 2016 and Andrea Coscelli, CMA Executive Director of Markets and Mergers, will be interim CEO whilst the process for appointing a successor is underway. Click here.
The CMA has published a speech given by CMA Chief Executive, Alex Chisholm, on the CMA’s achievements over the last 2 years. Click here.