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Focus Antitrust - 25 March 2015

25 March 2015

In The News

ECJ upholds banana importers cartel decision

The ECJ has issued its judgment in an appeal by Dole against the judgment of the General Court which upheld the European Commission's decision on the banana importers cartel. The ECJ confirmed that the General Court was correct to find that the information exchange amounted to a restriction of competition by object. Click here.

CMA reaches settlement in investigation into advertising of agents’ fees

An association of estate and lettings agents in Hampshire, three of its members and a newspaper publisher have admitted breaching competition law and have agreed to fines of £775,000 following the CMA’s investigation into restrictions on the agents’ ability to advertise fees in a local newspaper. Click here.


Articles 101 and 102
  • The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Bulgarian Energy Holding and its subsidiaries in relation to suspected abuse of dominance on Bulgarian natural gas markets through hindering competitors’ access to key gas infrastructures. Click here.


Competition and Markets Authority
  • The CMA has published its Annual Plan for 2015 to 2016. Click here.
  • The CMA has provisionally cleared the completed acquisition by Xchanging of certain companies comprising all of the European operations of Agencypo. The merging parties supply specialist software to the insurance industry, in particular insurers and reinsurers operating in the London Company Market and Lloyd’s of London registered managing agents. The CMA’s provisional conclusions are that, following the merger, there will remain a sufficient number of credible suppliers of policy administration systems to Lloyd’s and the London Company Market. Click here.
  • Ofcom has issued a further update in relation to its Competition Act investigation into the sale of live UK audio-visual media rights to Premier League matches. The investigation continues to progress, involving further information gathering and new consumer research. In particular, Ofcom has indicated that it wishes to understand further how consumers benefit from the way the Premier League sells its rights. Click here.
  • Ofwat has published its final decision to accept binding commitments from Bristol Water under the Competition Act 1998. In March 2013, in response to two separate complaints, Ofwat launched a formal investigation into the price and non-price terms Bristol Water applied when providing services to self-lay organisations. Last summer Ofwat consulted on its intention to accept binding commitments from Bristol Water, whereby Bristol Water offered to put in place a clearer separation of Bristol Water’s downstream developer services functions, which operate in a contestable market, from its non-contestable upstream services. Following consultation, Ofwat has decided that the commitments offered by Bristol Water address the competition concerns identified.