News

EU: Collective Dominance and the EC Merger Regulation

Premium 01 June 1998

Despite the evidential difficulties involved, the ECJ’s acceptance that the concept of collective dominance applies in Merger Regulation cases is an important step in ensuring the preservation of competition in highlyconcentrated markets. It is clear from the judgment that the evidential burden on the Commission to prove that a collective dominant position exists is high and the ECJ will not be easily satisfied that a situation of collective dominance has been proved by the Commission to exist.

CIBC/ Dominion

Premium 01 June 1998

Just three months after Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal unveiled their merger deal (see GCR Feb/Mar 1998), Canada’s largest bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, announced plans to merge with the fifth-largest, Toronto-Dominion Bank, which would result in the creation of the ninth-largest bank in North America.

Brussels tackles broadcasting

Premium 01 June 1998

EU Competition Commissioner Karel van Miert has had two important broadcasting cases on his agenda that are seen as critical to the future of digital television in Europe: British Interactive Broadcasting, a joint venture of British Sky Broadcasting and British Telecom in home shopping and banking, and in Germany the proposed digital TV alliance between erstwhile rivals Kirch Gruppe and Bertelsmann AG alongside Deutsche Telekom, whose cable network is to carry the service.

Commercial Union/General Accident

Premium 01 May 1998

In the face of increasing global competition in financial services, Commercial Union is undertaking a £14.1 billion (US$23 billion) merger with General Accident, creating one of Europe’s largest insurance and asset management groups, with a significant presence in the US, Canada and Europe.

Olympic Airways subject of state aid action

Premium 01 May 1998

In what is the only case to date of its kind in the air transport sector, Brussels has reopened its decision in 1994 to allow state aid paid by the Greek government to Greek national carrier Olympic Airways.

Formula 1 racing

Premium 01 May 1998

The European Commission has been asked to examine two notifications relating to Formula One racing: firstly the regulations and sporting rules applied by the Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) in its capacity as world governing body of motorsport and secondly agreements regulating the organisation and commercialisation of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, in particular contracts between clubs and broadcasters.

BSkyB in restrictive practices court

Premium 01 May 1998

Certain agreements filed with the OFT under the Restrictive Practices Act were referred to the Restrictive Practices Court by the then secretary of state for Trade and Industry, Michael Heseltine.

T&N/Federal Mogul

Premium 01 May 1998

Michigan-based engineering company Federal Mogul made a public offer for the entire issued share capital of T&N – also an engineering company principally engaged in the manufacture of automotive components.

SmithKline Beecham/Glaxo Wellcome

Premium 01 March 1998

SmithKline Beecham suddenly dropped plans at the end of January to team up with American Home Products when it announced a merger with world number two pharmaceutical company Glaxo Wellcome.

Foreign package holidays

Premium 01 March 1998

The UK Mergers and Monopolies Commission produced a report just before Christmas on vertical integration in the travel industry, most notably between airlines, travel agencies and tour operators.