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Focus Antitrust - 7 October 2015

7 October 2015

In The News

CMA requests UK review of O2/Three merger

The CMA has made a request to the European Commission to refer Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of Telefonica Europe plc to the CMA for investigation. The merger was formally notified to the European Commission on 11 September 2015.

The CMA’s initial view, following consultation and preliminary analysis, is that the transaction threatens to affect significantly competition in the UK retail mobile and wholesale mobile markets.

It also believes it is appropriate for the case to be referred to the CMA for investigation because any impact on competition resulting from the merger will likely be limited to UK consumers and because of the CMA’s experience in investigating telecoms mergers - as demonstrated by the CMA’s ongoing investigation into the BT/EE merger in this market.

The CMA considers that, given the links between these two cases, it would be more efficient for it also to examine the merger between Three and O2, in particular to avoid duplication and fragmentation. Click here.

ECJ issues judgment on Post Danmark's rebate scheme

The ECJ has issued its judgment on a reference from a Danish court on questions relating to whether Post Danmark's retroactive rebate scheme amounts to an abuse of a dominant position under Article 102.

The ECJ held that, in order to determine whether a rebate scheme of this kind is capable of having an exclusionary effect on the market contrary to Article 102, it is necessary to examine all the circumstances of the case, in particular, the criteria and rules governing the grant of the rebates, the extent of the dominant position of the undertaking concerned and the particular conditions of competition prevailing on the relevant market.

The ECJ also held that the application of the as-efficient-competitor test does not constitute a necessary condition for a finding to the effect that a rebate scheme is abusive under Article 102. Click here.


Articles 101 and 102

The General Court has dismissed an appeal against the decision of the European Commission to re-impose a fine on Uralita for its participation in the sodium chlorate cartel. Click here.

The European Commission has opened a formal competition investigation into International Skating Union (ISU) rules that it considers provide for the possibility of skaters being banned from competitions such as the Winter Olympics and the ISU World and European Championships if they take part in events not approved by the ISU. Click here.


The European Commission has opened an in-depth phase 2 investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of BASE Company NV by Liberty Global would harm effective competition. On the basis of its initial investigation, the Commission has concerns that the transaction could lead to adverse effects in the Belgian telecommunications market. Click here.



The CMA is consulting on modifications to Müller’s proposed undertakings in relation to its acquisition of the dairy operations of Dairy Crest. Click here.

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