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Focus Antitrust - 25 September 2014

25 September 2014

In The News

CMA’s final report published in private motor insurance market investigation

The CMA has published its final report as part of the private motor insurance market investigation. The CMA found that some price parity clauses in contracts between price comparison websites and motor insurers prohibit insurers from making their products available more cheaply on other online platforms, with the effect of restricting competition and leading to higher car insurance premiums overall.

The CMA also found that the limited provision of information in the sale of motor insurance add-on products to consumers makes it difficult for consumers to compare the costs and benefits of these products, with the sale of no-claims bonus protection giving rise to particular concerns.

As a result of these findings the CMA is putting in place a number of remedies, including a ban on agreements between price comparison websites and insurers which stop insurers from making their products available more cheaply on other online platforms, better information for consumers on the costs and benefits of no-claims bonus protection and a recommendation that the Financial Conduct Authority looks at how insurers inform consumers about other products sold as add-ons to car insurance policies.

The CMA also found that cost separation between the party which typically manages the provision of post-accident services to claimants who are not at fault in an accident (eg the claimant’s insurer or a claims management company) and the party which pays for those services (ie the insurer of the at-fault driver), in combination with various practices in the industry, cause inefficiencies in the supply chain, leading to higher car insurance premiums. However, the CMA has concluded that there is no effective and proportionate remedy for this issue. 

European Commission opens Phase II investigation into acquisition of controlling stake in De Vijver Media by Liberty Global

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of joint control over De Vilver Media by Liberty Global, Corelio and Waterman & Waterman, is in the line with the EU Merger Regulation.

Liberty Global controls the Flemish cable operator Telenet, while De Vijver owns the Dutch-language TV-channels "Vier" and "Vijf". The Commission is therefore concerned that the proposed transaction may lead to competitors of these companies being shut out from the TV sector in Flanders.



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  • The European Commission has published a decision rejecting a complaint by Datacell against Visa and MasterCard. Datacell’s complaint related to instructions from Visa and MasterCard to suspend card payments made through Datacell for the benefit of Wikileaks. However, as Datacell could continue to process payments for other parties, the Commission concluded that it was unlikely that the conduct could lead to the anti-competitive foreclosure of Datacell from the card payment facilitation market.



  • The CMA has published its decision to undertake a review of parts of the undertakings given by Carlton and Granada in order to achieve clearance for their merger to form ITV plc. The relevant parts relate to compliance arrangements and reporting requirements in the context of the ITV networking arrangements.
  • The CMA has made its final order to implement the remedies in relation to the Eurotunnel/SeaFrance merger. The final order prohibits Eurotunnel from operating ferry services at the port of Dover with any vessel for two years and with two of the acquired vessels for 10 years. However, as the parties have appealed the CMA’s decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the final order will not apply until the appeal proceedings are finally determined. In the meantime, the interim undertakings given by Eurotunnel continue to apply.


This article was written by Paul Stone.  

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