We would like to place strictly necessary cookies and performance cookies on your computer to improve our website service.
To find out more about how we use cookies and how you can change your cookies settings, please read our  cookies statement.                
Otherwise, we'll assume you are OK to continue.   Please close this message

Focus Antitrust - 4 November 2015

4 November 2015

In The News

CMA provisionally clears BT/EE merger

After looking in detail at a number different markets - including the supply of retail mobile, wholesale mobile, mobile backhaul, wholesale broadband and retail fixed broadband services - the CMA has provisionally decided that BT’s anticipated acquisition of EE is not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market in the UK.

In relation to the wholesale mobile market, the CMA is evenly divided over whether the concerns it investigated gave rise to a substantial lessening of competition. However, a finding of a substantial lessening of competition requires a two-thirds majority, and therefore no finding has been made. Click here.

European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Hutchison's proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK

The European Commission has opened an in-depth phase 2 investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK by Hutchison would harm competition.

The transaction would combine Telefónica UK with Three UK, a subsidiary of Hutchison, which are respectively the second and the fourth largest mobile network operator (MNO) in the UK.

This would create the largest MNO in the UK. Click here.

ECJ issues judgment confirming liability for cartel facilitators

The ECJ has dismissed the appeal by AC Treuhand against the European Commission’s decision which fined it for acting as the facilitator of the heat stabilisers cartel. This is the first time the EC J has ruled on the facilitation of cartels – such as the organisation of a cartel by a consultancy firm.

The ECJ confirmed that the Commission was entitled to impose a lump sum fixed fine on AC Treuhand, given that it was not active on the relevant markets affected by the cartel and therefore did not have any sales in those markets. Click here.


  • The High Court has struck out a damages action by Chinese claimants against British Airways in relation to the air freight cartel. Click here.
  • The CMA has published its provisional findings and possible remedies in relation its retail banking market investigation. The CMA provisionally considers that there are a number of competition problems in both the personal current account and small and medium-sized enterprise banking markets. These include low levels of customer switching, which the CMA considers mean that banks are not put under enough competitive pressure, and new products and new banks do not attract customers quickly enough. The CMA is considering a series of possible behavioural remedies designed to assist account-holders in searching for and switching accounts. Click here.
  • The CMA has published for consultation a supplemental notice of possible remedies as part of its energy market investigation. The proposed remedies relate to the phasing out of evergreen contracts. Click here.
  • The CMA is to review the undertakings relating to the operation of the Rough gas storage facility. The undertakings were given by Centrica Storage Ltd and Centrica plc following Centrica plc’s acquisition in 2002 of the Rough gas storage facility. Click here.
  • The CMA is to review undertakings affecting FirstGroup plc’s bus business in central and southern Scotland. The undertakings were given by FirstGroup plc following its acquisition in 2002 of SB Holdings. Click here.

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