Ofcom rejects Virgin Media’s application for interim measures in sale of Premier League rights investigation
In November 2014, following a complaint by Virgin Media, Ofcom opened an investigation under section 25 of the Competition Act 1998 into the joint selling arrangements by the Premier League for live UK audio-visual media rights for Premier League football matches. On 28 January 2015, Virgin Media made an application requesting that Ofcom issue an interim measures direction, pursuant to section 35 of the Competition Act, to require the Premier League to suspend the forthcoming auction of audiovisual rights to broadcast live Premier League matches, until Ofcom had reached the next stage of its process in March 2015. Ofcom has decided to reject the application, as it does not consider that there is an urgent need to intervene to delay the auction. In particular, it considers that, in the event that it finds an infringement, it has the necessary powers to require the Premier League and Premier League clubs to make changes to the arrangements for the broadcasting of matches within the time available before the start of the 2016/2017 season, the first season covered by the auction. Click here.
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The General Court has dismissed appeals against European Commission decisions refusing confidential treatment for leniency information in a cartel decision. The General Court held that information does not automatically benefit from protection from disclosure because it was submitted under the leniency programme. It noted, in particular, that there is a distinction between disclosure to third parties of leniency documents in the Commission's file and the inclusion of information from leniency documents in the Commission's published infringement decision. Click here.
The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Abbott Laboratories' Non-U.S. Developed Markets Specialty and Branded Generics Business by Mylan, subject to conditions. The conditions involve the divestment of a number of Mylan's businesses in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Italy. Click here.
The European Commission has approved the acquisition of GSK's oncology business by Novartis, subject to conditions. The conditions involve the divestment of two of Novartis' cancer treatments. The transaction is part of a 3-part inter-conditional deal: in a separately notified case, GSK announced its intention to acquire Novartis' global human vaccines business except for the influenza vaccines business, and to combine GSK's and Novartis' global consumer health business in a new venture, over which GSK will be exercising sole control. The Commission has also approved those parts of the deal. Click here.