European Commission clears acquisition of Jazztel by Orange, subject to conditions
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Jazztel plc, a telecommunications company registered in the UK but mainly active in Spain, by rival Orange SA of France. The approval is conditional upon the implementation by Orange of a number of commitments designed to ensure effective competition on the fixed internet access services markets in Spain. Click here.
Court of Appeal upholds appeal against the CMA’s decision in the Eurotunnel case
The Court of Appeal has upheld a challenge to the CMA’s decision that it had jurisdiction to review as a merger Eurotunnel’s acquisition of three ferries and related assets formerly owned by SeaFrance. The court agreed, by a two to one majority, with the argument of Société Coopérative de Production de SeaFrance, the workers’ collective operating the MyFerryLink service on behalf of its owner Eurotunnel, that the acquisition of the assets of the former SeaFrance operation (now liquidated) and recommencement of a ferry service on the Dover–Calais route under the MyFerryLink brand should not be treated as the acquisition of an enterprise under the UK merger control rules.
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The General Court has issued a judgment finding that there is a general presumption that the disclosure of documents exchanged between the European Commission and a national competition authority in proceedings concerning an infringement of the competition rules may, in principle, undermine the protection of the commercial interests of the parties concerned, as well as the protection of the purposes of the national competition authority’s investigation activities. Click here.
The General Court has dismissed the action brought by the airline Niki Luftfahrt against the European Commission’s merger decision which approved Lufthansa’s acquisition of Austrian Airlines. The Court rejected Niki Luftfahrt’s arguments that the Commission erred in finding that the acquisition gave rise to concerns only as regards certain routes and in concluding that the commitments proposed by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines were sufficient to dispel those concerns. Click here.
The European Commission has given conditional approval to SNCF’s acquisition of sole control of Eurostar. The conditions are intended to facilitate the entry of new rail operators onto the London Brussels and London Paris routes, on which Eurostar is currently the only operator. Click here.
The CMA has announced that it will seek permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment in the Eurotunnel case (see above). Click here
The CMA has announced that it has formally commenced its phase 1 merger investigation into BT’s proposed acquisition of EE. It has also announced that BT and EE have requested a fast track reference to a phase 2 investigation. Click here.