ANTITRUST

European Commission market tests e-books commitments proposed by Penguin. The European Commission (Commission) has invited comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Penguin to address competition concerns relating to the distribution and retail prices of e-books in the EEA (COMP/39847). Penguin has offered to terminate existing agency agreements and not enter into new agency agreements featuring Most Favoured Nation clauses for five years. Penguin has also suggested a two-year “cooling off” period during which retailers will be free to offer retail price discounts for e-books, subject to certain conditions (IP/13/343) (see Volume 1, Issue 8 and Volume 1, Edition 19).

Commission publishes public version of Microsoft commitments decision. In March 2013, the Commission imposed a €561 million fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with legally binding commitments agreed with the Commission in 2009 (seeVolume 1 Edition 18). A public version of the Commission decision is now available at: Case AT.39530.

UK Office of Fair Trading issues Statement of Objections related to paroxetine. On 19 April 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued an SO to certain pharmaceutical companies, alleging that they acted to delay effective competition in the UK supply of the antidepressant paroxetine (Press Release 36/13).

UK MERGERS

Competition Commission requires AEG to appoint monitoring trustee in AEG / Wembley Arena merger inquiry. The Competition Commission (CC) has directed AEG Facilities UK Limited (AEG) to appoint a monitoring trustee to support the CC in taking any remedial action that may be required related to the completed acquisition by AEG of the contract to manage Wembley Arena (see AEG / Wembley Arena merger inquiry). The acquisition was referred to the OFT in March 2013 (see Volume 1, Edition 21).

MERGER CLEARANCES

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6880Liberty Global / Virgin Media (15.04.2013) (IP/13/326).
  • M.6854Cameron / Schlumberger / OneSubsea (15.04.2013).
  • M.6843Siemens / Invensys Rail (18.04.2013) (IP/13/342).
  • M.6879Mitsui & Co. Ltd / Gestamp Automoción S.A. / Target Companies (17.03.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6878Alior Bank / Erste Group Bank / Polbita (16.04.2013) (simplified review).

UK CC Clearance

PUBLICATIONS

Commission publishes State aid overview in the context of the financial crisis (MEMO/13/337).

Commission publishes Roadmap on civil enforcement of IP (March 2013).

Speech by OFT Chairman, Philip CollinsInternational Cooperation in Competition Policy”, 14 February 2013, FIW Innsbruck.