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Focus Antitrust - 8 October 2014

8 October 2014

In The News

European Commission closes investigation into internet connectivity services

The European Commission has closed an investigation into practices by European telecoms operators in the internet connectivity markets.

Although the Commission carried out dawn raids in July 2013, the Commission has found no evidence of behaviour that would infringe the prohibition on the abuse of a dominant market position under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

In particular, the Commission did not find evidence of conduct aimed at foreclosing competing transit services from the market or providing an unfair advantage to the telecoms operators' own proprietary content services. However, the Commission states that it will continue to monitor the sector. 

European Commission opens Phase II investigation into Zimmer's acquisition of Biomet

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of Biomet by Zimmer under the EU merger regulation.

Both companies design and manufacture orthopaedic implants and related surgical products. The Commission has concerns that the transaction may lead to less innovation and choice and to higher prices in these sectors. 


Articles 101 and 102
  • The General Court has partially upheld an appeal brought by Schenker AG against a refusal by the European Commission to provide access to documents in the air cargo cartel case. The General Court held that the Commission should have provided Schenker with a non-confidential version of the decision which excluded information for which any requests for confidential treatment had not been finally determined at the time. 
  • The European Commission has conditionally cleared under the EU merger regulation the proposed merger between Chiquita Brands International of the US and Fyffes of Ireland. Whilst the merger brings together the leading two suppliers of fresh bananas in Europe, the Commission concluded that competition would be preserved in view of the two companies' relatively low and decreasing overall share of banana imports into the main Northern European ports, competition from an increasing number of other players and the strong position of supermarkets, which are developing their own private label bananas. However, in order to prevent any risk of exclusion of competitors at the shipping level, the clearance is conditional on Fyffes releasing the shipping company Maersk from an exclusivity clause and on both parties refraining in the future from agreeing similar exclusivity provisions. 


  • The CMA has published a final order in relation to the private healthcare market investigation following the conclusion of its consultation on the draft version. The order implements a number of the remedies required by the CMA, including restrictions on benefits and incentive schemes provided to referring clinicians by private hospital operators, measures to increase the availability of information to patients on both consultant fees and the performance of consultants and private hospitals and provisions enabling the CMA to review future arrangements where private hospital operators team up with NHS private patient units.

This article was written by Paul Stone.  

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