EU MERGERS

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6763Volkswagen Financial Services Company / PON Holdings BV Company / Pon Equipment Rental & Lease BV (27.03.2013) (MEX/13/0402).
  • M.6789Bertelsmann / Pearson / Penguin Random House (05.04.2013) (IP/13/305).
  • M.6819 – Ratos AB / Ferd Aibel Holding AS / Aibel Group (04.04.2013).
  • M.6865Oaktree Capital Group / Countryside Properties (26.03.2013) (simplified review).
  • M.6869General Motors Europe Holdings S.L. / Ispol Holding B.V. (MEX/13/0405) (simplified review).

UK ANTITRUST

Animal Feed Phosphates damages claim stay granted by the CAT. On 28 March 2013, the Competition Appeal Tribunal stayed a follow-on damages claim brought by Moy Park Limited and others against Tessenderlo Chemie N.V. for damages related to the Animal Feed Phosphates cartel (COMP/38866) (Case No: 1202/5/7/12, Moy Park Limited & Others v Tessenderlo Chemie NV) (see Volume 1, Edition 7).

UK MERGERS

OFT refers merger of china clay mining businesses to Competition Commission. On 3 April 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the completed acquisition by Imerys Minerals Limited (Imerys) of the kaolin (“china clay”) business of Goonvean Limited (Goonvean) to the Competition Commission (CC) for in-depth investigation. The OFT’s analysis indicated that the merger reduced the number of kaolin suppliers in the United Kingdom from three to two. The CC is expected to report by 17 September 2013 (OFT Press releases 31/13).

Competition Commission issues supplementary remedies notice in Eurotunnel / Seafrance. On 2 April 2013, the CC issued a supplementary notice of possible remedies in relation to the completed acquisition by Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. of certain assets of Seafrance S.A. The CC issued adverse provisional findings in February 2013 (see Volume 1, Edition 16). Comments received during the remedies consultation indicated that the need to obtain the consent of the Commercial Court of Paris (which approved the acquisition) may impact the practicability of various of the potential remedies. The CC has extended the reference period to 9 June 2013 (see Eurotunnel / Seafrance CC merger inquiry).

Competition Commission accepts final undertakings in Rank / Gala Casinos. On 2 April 2013, the CC published the final undertakings that it has accepted in relation to the proposed acquisition by The Rank Group Plc of Gala Casinos Limited (see Volume 1, Issue 16) (see Rank / Gala Casinos CC merger inquiry).

PUBLICATIONS

UK Financial Conduct Authority publishes Memorandum of Understanding with OFT. The Memorandum of Understanding includes a concordat which sets out principles of cooperation between the organisations on competition issues in the financial services markets (2 April 2013).

EU SANCTIONS

Al-Qaida

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 309/2013 (OJ L 94 /4, 4.4.2013) amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with the Al-Qaida network. The Implementing Regulation removes four designated persons from Annex I.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Council Regulation (EU) No 296/2013 (OJ L 90/4, 28.3.2013) amending Council Regulation (EC) No 329/2007 concerning restrictive measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Council Regulation introduces restrictions on establishing branches of EU credit and financial institutions in North Korea and on relations with credit and financial institutions connected with North Korea (new Article 5a). The Regulation also prohibits the selling of public or public-guaranteed bonds issued after 19 February 2013 to, or purchasing such bonds from, North Korea or its Government, the Central Bank of North Korea or credit or financial institutions domiciled within North Korea.

Zimbabwe

Council Regulation (EU) No 298/2013 (OJ L 90/48, 28.3.2013) amending Council Regulation (EC) No 314/2004 concerning certain restrictive measures in respect of Zimbabwe. The Council Regulation suspends the travel ban and asset freeze applying to the majority of designated individuals and entities set out in Annex I.