Community News

Canada to authorise phonetapping

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The Canadian government plans to introduce telephone-tapping measures to help catch perpetrators of price-fixing, bid-rigging and fraudulent telemarketing.

New blood at Italian agency

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Italian competition bureau, the Autorita Garente now has two candidates ready to succeed former head Juliano Amato.

MTV must supply information

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At a preliminary hearing in the UK High Court last month, Vice Chancellor Sir Peter Scott dismissed music video company MTV Europe’s argument that they should not have to supply an alleged cartel with confidential information, which MTV alleged would in itself be contrary to Article 85.

Fast-track failure threatens Latin American competition

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Competition lawyers are concerned that US president Bill Clinton’s failure to achieve fast-track voting rights in Congress last week will impede the development of competition in Latin America.

Fiesole to go annual

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The International Bar Association’s seminar on the future of merger control in Europe, held in September at the European Institute in Fiesole, was so successful that Committee C, the IBA’s section on antitrust and trade law, which organised the forum, has decided to make it an annual event.

Boeing’s point man lets off steam

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Boeing’s point man in Brussels, Ivo van Bael, claimed at the IBA’s Delhi conference last month that there were no checks on the 'tremendous power' wielded by the EU in the merger field.

Microsoft limbers up for battle

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Brussels cleared the way for Microsoft’s run-in with the US Department of Justice when it closed an important case against the software giant at the end of November.

European-wide impact of TV soccer rights

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The UK’s first test case on collective sale of exclusive rights by a major sports association has been scheduled to begin in January 1999 in the Restrictive Practices Court. BSkyB currently has exclusive live rights over Premier League football games in the UK, but Director General of Fair Trading John Bridgeman is challenging the deal on the grounds of public interest. 'This is a key case for competition in the broadcasting market, where rapid developments in technology are taking place,' he said.

Teutonic law firms cross the divide

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European merger mayhem has spread to law firms as the first German/Austrian cross-border law firm merger was announced. Leading German business firm Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann, with 209 lawyers, and Austria’s second largest firm, Heller Löber Bahn & Partners, with 60 lawyers, will merge on 1 January 1998, creating the strongest law firm in the German-speaking area of the EU.

FTC appoints new General Counsel

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FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky has appointed Debra Valentine as the Commission’s first female General Counsel in its 83-year history.