News

UK: The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the new competition regime

Premium 01 August 2000

Parties to Competition Act proceedings before UK regulators will be entitled to the following fair trial guarantees:

Franchising: European Union issues vertical restraint guidelines

Premium 01 August 2000

In general, the new Guidelines provide much added insight as to the appropriate analysis for determining whether a franchise agreement or master franchise agreement for Europe will be lawful or suspect and, if suspect, what needs to be changed to bring it within the scope of the VRBE. For most franchisors, the VRBE will contain both advantages and disadvantages compared to the old FBE. Regardless, franchisors now have all the information that will be made available in order to analyse whether their new European agreements need to be modified and existing European agreements need to be renegotiated. Especially with the VRBE’s many details, and exceptions on exceptions, this is a necessary - but not an easy - analysis.

French airline merger

Premium 01 July 2000

In May, three French air carriers, AOM, Air Liberté and Air Littoral, announced plans to merge. The new carrier would be the natural competitor to Air France with a predicted 30 per cent stake in the domestic market.

Lafarge/Blue Circle

Premium 01 July 2000

Lafarge launched a hostile bid for Blue Circle Industries earlier this year, but Blue Circle's board members were not wooed – even after an increased offer put forward by Lafarge in late April of $5.54 billion.

US International Paper/Champion International

Premium 01 July 2000

International Paper's unsolicited bid of $7.3 billion for rival firm Champion International Corporation squeezed out Europe's UPM-Kymmene, which had made a bid for Champion in February.

VEBA/VIAG

Premium 01 July 2000

VEBA and VIAG are planning a merger that could create the second-largest electricity group in Germany and a key global speciality-chemicals group.

Siemens/Bosch/Atecs Mannesmann

Premium 01 July 2000

Siemens and Bosch have agreed jointly to acquire Atecs Mannesmann, the holding company of the engineering and automotive businesses of Mannesmann (consisting of Dematic, Demag-Krauss Maffei, Rexroth, Sachs and VDO).

Glaxo Wellcome/Smithkline Beecham

Premium 01 July 2000

The proposed $180-billion SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome merger, announced on January 17, creates the largest pharmaceuticals company in the world.

Thomson-CSF/Racal

Premium 01 July 2000

Thomson-CSF of France has made a cash bid for the Racal Electronics of the UK. Clearance has been granted under Hart-Scott-Rodino legislation, which addresses US antitrust concerns, and under Exon-Florio legislation, which addresses US national security concerns.

European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company (EADS)

Premium 01 July 2000

A number of defence mergers cutting across jurisdictions have raised competition issues in recent months.