News

Germany: Retail merger cleared

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The threat of increased concentration in the retail sector has been a talking point for some time and the FCO seems to be taking a very careful look at any transaction in this sector. However, this case shows that in the FCO’s view the critical level has not yet been reached.

Mexico: Competition Commission’s new internal regulations

Premium 01 October 1998

The Mexican FCC regulations recently issued establish the responsibilities and roles of the various directors and the line of reporting to the FCC chairman. What is less transparent is the demarcation of responsibilities between the individual directors.

Sweden: Market Court rejects request for prohibition of merger

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The Market Court (the ‘Supreme Court’ for competition matters in Sweden) has recently given its first judgment in a merger matter. The court rejected the Competition Authority’s request for a prohibition of the merger in question. In its judgment the Court would seem to have placed great emphasis on the need of the merging parties to rationalise and restructure in order to maintain their competitive strength.

Cement cartel appeal

Premium 01 October 1998

The Court of First Instance in Luxembourg is currently hearing an appeal from 42 plaintiffs in the European cement industry (one regional association, eight national associations and 33 producers) against a European Commission decision of 1994 which accused them of infringements of Article 85 of the EC treaty involving, among other things, their participation from 1983 in an agreement designed to ensure non-transshipment to home markets and to regulate cement transfers from one country to another, the exchange of price information and the participation in bilateral or multilateral market-sharing agreements.

PP&L fights Pennsylvania’s Electricity Generation Act

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Preston Gates Ellis has been representing PP&L Inc in its federal complaint challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996, which aims to permit customers to choose their electricity supplier starting in 1999.

Enso/ Stora

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The Commission has opened a phase two investigation into the proposed merger between Enso and Stora (see News) which would create the biggest pulp, paper and board manufacturer in the world.

Marsh & McLennan/ Sedgwick

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The European Commission is investigating the proposed £2.1 billion acquisition by Marsh & McLennan of the US, the world’s biggest insurance broker, of Sedgwick plc, the last publicly quoted UK insurance broker.

IVO/ Neste

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The Commission has approved the merger of two formerly state-owned Finnish energy companies, IVO, mainly involved in electricity generation, and Neste, an oil and natural gas company.

Long moves to Olswang

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After eight years at Coudert Brothers, highly-regarded telecoms expert Colin Long will join London’s Olswang solicitors.

Lever out of retirement

Premium 01 October 1998

Jeremy Lever QC is re-emerging from retirement on October 6 to rejoin Monckton Chambers on a full-time basis.