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Focus Antitrust - 16 September 2015

16 September 2015

In The News

Director sentenced to 6 months for criminal cartel offence

Nigel Snee, the former Managing Director of Franklin Hodge Industries, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 120 hours community service within 12 months for committing the criminal cartel offence. Mr Snee had previously pleaded guilty to dishonestly agreeing with others to fix prices, divide up customers and rig bids between 2005 and 2012 in respect of the supply in the UK of galvanised steel tanks for water storage. Click here.

CMA closes hotel online booking investigation

The CMA has closed its investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the hotel online booking sector. The investigation was launched by the OFT and focused on discounting restrictions in agreements between InterContinental Hotels Group and Hotel Inter-Continental London Limited (IHG) and each of Booking.com and Expedia. The OFT issued a provisional decision in July 2012 and accepted formal commitments from IHG, Booking.com and Expedia in January 2014.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal remitted the case back to the CMA for reconsideration in September 2014 following an appeal in respect of the commitments decision by Skyscanner. Having reconsidered the matter in the light of the CAT’s judgment, the CMA has decided to close the investigation on administrative priority grounds, but will monitor how the market develops both in the UK and across Europe. Click here.

CMA raises competition concerns over family law information merger

The CMA has announced that Reed Elsevier’s acquisition of Jordans will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation unless acceptable undertakings are offered. The CMA’s concerns focus on the supply of legal information in the family law practice area to the legal sector, where the companies were found by the CMA to be close competitors for publications and resources within the specific segments of children law, matrimonial property law and family court reports. Click here.


Articles 101 and 102
  • The General Court has issued judgments on five appeals against the European Commission’s cathode ray tubes cartel decision. Three of the appeals were dismissed. In the fourth appeal, the fine imposed on Toshiba was annulled on the basis that Commission had not established to the requisite legal standard that Toshiba had itself directly participated in the infringement. In the final appeal, the Court reduced the fine imposed on Panasonic on the basis that the Commission had erred in not using certain data provided by Panasonic in relation to the value of sales. Click here.
  • An Advocate General's opinion has been issued on the relationship between leniency applications made to the European Commission and national competition authorities. The Advocate General found that there is no legal relationship between a leniency application made to the Commission and a summary application made to a national competition authority for the same cartel. Click here.
  • Commissioner Vestager has issued a statement following the announcement by Telenor and TeliaSonera to withdraw from their proposed merger. The statement confirms that, following the initiation of phase 2 proceedings in April 2015, discussions with the parties were not able to address fully the Commission's competition concerns. Click here.



The CMA has published for consultation a draft order which would prohibit GB cement suppliers from sending generic price announcement letters to their customers. This is one of the remedies imposed as a result of the Competition Commission’s final market investigation report into aggregates, cement and ready-mix concrete. Click here.

The CMA has launched a phase 1 merger investigation following the European Commission’s decision to refer the anticipated acquisition by Celesio AG of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited UK Pharmacy Business to the United Kingdom under Article 4(4) of the EU Merger Regulation. The CMA has also issued a notice of extension pending receipt of further information from the parties. Click here.

For more information please contact Paul Stone on +44 (0)20 7203 5110 or at paul.stone@crsblaw.com