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Focus Antitrust - 18 December 2013

In the News

Competition Commission issues provisional findings in private motor insurance market investigation

The CC has provisionally found that the complex chain for the settlement of non-fault claims increases the costs of replacement cars and repairs for the insurers of at-fault motorists, resulting in higher motor insurance premiums for all drivers. The CC has also found that many repairs are not completed to the required standard and that the way add-on insurance products are sold makes it hard for customers to find the best-value products. In addition, the CC has found that some clauses in agreements with price comparison websites requiring the same price to be offered for an insurer’s product across the market reduce competition. The CC is now consulting on possible remedies.  

OFT settles case with pharmaceutical company in relation to care home medicine cartel

The company which owns Quantum Pharmaceutical Limited and Total Medication Management Services Limited has agreed to pay approximately £400,000 for breaching competition law in relation to the supply of prescription medicines to care homes.


Articles 101 and 102
  • The General Court has dismissed the appeal by HSE against the European Commission's decision on the calcium and magnesium reagents cartel. The General Court held that the Commission had been correct to find that HSE and a company in which HSE held a majority interest formed a single economic unit and that HSE was liable for the conduct of that company, even though it was unaware that the conduct was taking place. 
  • The European Court of Justice has issued its judgment on a preliminary reference on rules that set minimum fees to be charged by organisations responsible for providing certificates of technical and financial competence to companies wishing to participate in public procurement procedures. The Court held that the organisations were undertakings, but that the EU competition rules do not prevent national rules that set minimum fee levels of this kind.

The General Court has dismissed the appeal by Cisco and Messagenet against the European Commission's decision clearing the Microsoft/Skype merger. The General Court concluded that the Commission had been entitled to conclude that the merger did not raise concerns in the consumer communications market, even though the merger would lead to high market shares in the area of video communications made of Windows-based PCs. 


Competition Appeal Tribunal

The CAT has extended the stay of an application by BMI Healthcare Limited for review of a decision of the Competition Commission refusing to grant access to certain information and documents as part of the ongoing private healthcare market investigation until after the final report has been produced. 

Best wishes to all our readers for Christmas and the New Year.

For more information please contact Paul Stone, Partner

T: +44 (0)20 7203 5110