European Commission sends Statement of Objections on cross-border provision of pay-TV services available in UK and Ireland
The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Sky UK and six major US film studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. The Commission’s preliminary view is that each of the six studios and Sky UK have bilaterally agreed to put in place contractual restrictions that prevent Sky UK from allowing EU consumers located elsewhere to access, via satellite or online, pay-TV services available in the UK and Ireland. The Commission considers that, without these restrictions, Sky UK would be free to decide on commercial grounds whether to sell its pay-TV services to such consumers requesting access to its services, taking into account the regulatory framework including, as regards online pay-TV services, the relevant national copyright laws. Click here.
Ofcom issues Statement of Objections to Royal Mail
Ofcom has issued a Statement of Objections to Royal Mail, setting out Ofcom’s provisional view that Royal Mail has abused a dominant position by engaging in conduct that amounted to unlawful discrimination against postal operators competing with Royal Mail in delivery. Specifically, the Statement of Objections alleges that the changes to Royal Mail’s wholesale prices for bulk mail delivery services contained a differential in pricing which meant that, in practice, higher access prices would be charged to access customers that competed with Royal Mail in delivery than to those access customers that did not. The Statement alleges that these higher access prices would act as a disincentive against entry into the delivery market, increasing barriers to expansion for postal operators seeking to compete with Royal Mail in this market, and leading to a potential distortion of competition against the interests of consumers. Click here.
The CMA has referred the completed acquisition by Linergy Limited of Ulster Farm By-Products Limited for an in-depth phase 2 merger investigation. Earlier this month, the CMA said that it would refer the merger for a phase 2 investigation unless Linergy offered acceptable undertakings to address the CMA’s competition concerns regarding the processing of animal by-products from non-fallen stock and fallen stock in Northern Ireland. As Linergy has not offered undertakings in lieu, the CMA has therefore now referred the merger. Click here.