OFT refers political intelligence merger to Competition
The OFT has referred the anticipated acquisition of the
political intelligence division of DeHavilland by Dods Group PLC to
the Competition Commission. The OFT considered that, as a result of
the merger, Dods will not face sufficient competitive constraints
and this could result in higher prices or less quality for UK
customers procuring political intelligence services.
Adverse finding in property security
The Competition Commission has provisionally decided that the
completed acquisition by VPS Holdings Limited of SitexOrbis
Holdings Limited could harm competition and lead to higher prices
for many of their customers. The parties are the country's two
leading suppliers of vacant property security services to local
authorities and businesses. The Commission has found that the
merger has given the parties a very high share of the market for
social housing, with limited competition from rivals or
alternatives for customers from providers in adjacent markets. The
Commission has also published a notice of possible remedies to
address the loss of competition, including the sale of all or part
of the UK SitexOrbis business.
OFT concludes extended warranties market
The OFT has accepted undertakings offered by the three largest
UK electrical retailers to improve the way the extended warranties
market works, following consultation with business and consumers.
The OFT's market study of the £1 billion per year
extended warranties market, published in February, highlighted a
number of competition concerns that could mean customers are not
getting the best value for money. To address these concerns, the
OFT worked with Dixons, Comet and Argos to agree undertakings,
which take into account points raised during the consultation,
rather than referring the market to the Competition Commission.
Articles 101 and 102
The Advocate General's opinion has been published in the
appeal brought by E.ON Energie AG against a General Court judgment
which upheld a decision by the European Commission to fine E.ON
EUR38 million for breaking a seal affixed during the course of a
Commission investigation. The Advocate General recommends that the
General Court judgment be set aside and the matter referred back to
the General Court for judgment concerning the proportionality of
The European Commission has referred to the Spanish competition
authority the proposed acquisition of joint control over Shell
Aviation España S.L. (SAE) of Spain by Disa
Corporación Petrolífera S.A. (Disa) of Spain and
Shell. After a preliminary assessment, the Commission concluded
that the proposed concentration would only affect certain Spanish
markets and that the Spanish competition authority would therefore
be best placed to examine it.
The Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order made
by the Competition Commission in 2010 will come into effect from 1
July, allowing businesses to apply to the OFT for the removal of
land use restrictions which limit competition against any of the
UK's seven largest grocery retailers.
The OFT is reviewing the anticipated acquisition by Facebook of
The Competition Commission (CC) has published an issues
statement as part of its market investigation into privately-funded
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On 25 October 2011 the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal requiring the disclosure of payments to governments on a country and project basis by listed and large non-listed companies with activities in the extractive industry (oil, gas and mining) and loggers of primary forests (the so-called country by country reporting – CBCR).
Yesterday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its judgment on a preliminary reference from the Danish Supreme Court regarding the rules on selective discounts and below-cost selling under the competition law prohibition of the abuse of a dominant market position.
On 20 December 2012, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal handed down its judgment on Tesco’s appeal against an earlier Office of Fair Trading decision concerning dairy products retail pricing in the UK.