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The CMA has decided to conduct an in-depth market investigation into the personal current account and SME retail banking sectors, confirming its provisional decision of 18 July 2014. Having considered the consultation responses to its provisional decision, the CMA continues to have concerns about the effectiveness of competition in these sectors.
These concerns include: low levels of customer switching, limited transparency for customers in making comparisons between banks, continuing barriers to entry and expansion into the sector and very little movement over time in the market shares of the four largest banks.
The CMA has also decided to conduct a review of the competition undertakings put in place following the Competition Commission’s report in 2002 into SME banking, in order to examine whether any change of circumstances since then warrant their being varied or terminated. This review will be conducted alongside the market investigation. Click here.
The European Commission has opened a Phase II merger investigation into the proposed acquisition of the Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
The Commission has concerns that the transaction may reduce competition on the upstream wholesale supply market for natural gas in Greece because it could allow the merged entity to hinder SOCAR's competitors in accessing the Greek gas transmission network. Click here.
The CMA has decided to consider in detail whether to accept undertakings offered by Immediate Media instead of referring its acquisition of a number of magazines from Future Publishing for a phase 2 merger investigation. Click here.
This article was written by Paul Stone.
For more information please contact Paul on +44 (0)20 7203 5110 or email@example.com