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08 March 2017

Focus Antitrust - 8 March 2017

In the news
Secretary of State minded to intervene on public interest grounds in Fox/Sky merger

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport has confirmed that, following notification of the proposed merger of Sky and 21st Century Fox to the European Commission, she has informed the parties that she is minded to issue a European Intervention Notice. This is on the basis that she has concerns that there may be public interest considerations - as set out in the Enterprise Act 2002 - that are relevant to this proposed merger that warrant further investigation. Click here.

CMA agrees settlement with Somerset estate agents in relation to price-fixing

The CMA has announced that four Somerset estate agents have agreed to pay fines totalling over £370,000, after admitting price-fixing. The businesses - Abbott and Frost Limited, Gary Berryman Estate Agents Ltd (and its parent company Warne Investments Limited), Greenslade Taylor Hunt and West Coast Property Services (UK) Limited - admitted breaking competition law by taking part in a price-fixing cartel in the Burnham-on-Sea area. The estate agents colluded to set minimum commission rates for residential property sales at 1.5%. Click here.

CMA issues statement of objections alleging anti-competitive agreements for hydrocortisone tablets

The CMA has issued a statement of objections to Concordia and Actavis UK, alleging that they entered into agreements under which Actavis UK incentivised Concordia not to enter the market with its own competing version of hydrocortisone tablets. The CMA also alleges that Actavis UK abused its dominant position by inducing Concordia to delay its independent entry into the market. Click here.

EU
Articles 101 and 102
  • The General Court has upheld UPS's appeal against the European Commission merger decision prohibiting its acquisition of TNT Express. The Court found that the version of the econometric analysis used by the Commission in its decision had not been disclosed to UPS. Click here.
  • The European Commission has confirmed that on 7 March 2017 its officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in the sector of kraft paper and industrial paper sacks. Click here.
Mergers
  • The European Commission has decided to refer to the CMA the BUPA / Oasis merger. Click here.
  • The European Commission has decided to refer to the CMA the acquisition by Heineken of Punch Taverns. Click here.
UK
CMA
  • The CMA has announced that it is investigating suspected anti-competitive behaviour in relation to the provision of products and/or services to the construction industry in the United Kingdom. Click here.
CAT
  • The Competition Appeal Tribunal has handed down its judgment on the appeal by ICE against the CMA's final report in relation to the ICE/Trayport merger. The Tribunal quashed the report to the extent that it required the unwinding of an ancillary agreement entered into between the parties. The Tribunal has remitted the matter to the CMA to reconsider whether or not to require the agreement to be unwound in the light of the Tribunal's findings. Click here.

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

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