EU MERGERS

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6607US Airways / American Airlines (subject to conditions) (05.08.2013). The Commission identified competition concerns on the London-Philadelphia route where the merged entity would have a monopoly on non-stop services. The parties have agreed to release one daily slot pair at London Heathrow and Philadelphia airports, together with other commitments designed to induce entry on the London-Philadelphia route. The Commission concluded that the combined entity will continue to face competition from other strong competitors on all other transatlantic routes affected by the merger (IP/13/764).
  • M.6969Valeant Pharmaceuticals International / Bausch & Lomb Holdings (05.08.2013).
  • M.6958 CDR Osprey Fund / We Buy Any Car (08.08.2013).

UK ANTITRUST

Court of Appeal grants OFT permission to appeal tobacco ruling. On 6 August 2013, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) published an order of the Court of Appeal that grants the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) permission to appeal against the CAT ruling that retroactively extended the deadline for both Somerfield (Case No. 1197/1/1/12) and Gallaher (Case No. 1200/1/1/12) to appeal the 2010 OFT tobacco decision (see Volume 1, Edition 21). The OFT’s application for permission to appeal was previously refused by the CAT (see Volume 1, Edition 33). In its application, the OFT argued that the CAT had failed to apply the legal principles to the facts, and Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Lewison was "persuaded (just) that the OFT's argument has sufficient strength to justify the grant of permission to appeal" (see Volume 1, Edition 21).

UK MARKET INVESTIGATIONS

Competition Commission publishes timetable in payday lending market investigation. The CC has published its administrative timetable for the payday lending market investigation. According to the timetable, the CC intends to publish its issues statement during September 2013. The two year statutory deadline ends on 26 June 2015, though the CC aims to complete the investigation within 18 months (see payday lending market investigation).

UK MERGERS

OFT issues Chapter I infringement decision in mobility scooters case. On 5 August 2013, the OFT announced that it has issued a decision finding that manufacturer of mobility scooters, Roma Medical Aids Limited, and seven of its UK-wide online retailers have infringed the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998. The OFT found that the arrangements prevented the online retailers from selling Roma-branded mobility scooters online and from advertising their prices online. The OFT has determined not to impose fines on the basis that the parties' turnovers fall within the thresholds for immunity from fines for "small agreements" under section 39 of the Competition Act 1998 (OFT Press Release 57/13).

CAT refuses Akzo Nobel permission to appeal in the Akzo Nobel / Metlac merger. On 7 August 2013, the CAT published a Reasoned Order of the Chairman refusing Akzo Nobel N.V. permission to appeal the June 2013 judgment of the CAT which upheld the Competition Commission prohibition decision (see Volume 1, Edition 33). The CAT has extended the period in which Akzo Nobel N.V. may renew its application in the Court of Appeal by seven days (Case No 1204/4/8/13).

EU ECONOMIC SANCTIONS UPDATES

Al-Qaida

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 754/2013 (OJ L 210/24, 6.8.2013) 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 a designated person from Annex I.