News

Maersk/ SeaLand

Premium 01 October 1999

One of the world’s largest shipping groups is to be created as AP Møller- Mærsk acquires the international liner business of Sea-Land Service Inc for an estimated US$800 million.

DGIV's investigation into the FIA agreements continues.

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Stephen Kinsella of Herbert Smith has been acting for the FIA since 1994, handling notifications to the Commission and the ongoing DGIV investigation with the assistance of Adrian Brown.

SAir Group acquires 20 per cent of SAA ahares

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The strongest airline alliance on the African continent is to be created as SAir Group, the parent company of Swissair, acquires a 20 per cent stake in South African Airways (SAA).

Nippon Paper

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The US government’s efforts to prosecute foreign companies under US antitrust laws recieved a further setback as a US District court in Boston found in favour of Nippon Paper Industries Inc in a price-fixing case brought by US Justice Department - one of the first in which the DoJ has tried a foreign company for a wholy overseas conspiracy.

WestLB state aid decision to be appealed

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Westdeutsche Landesbank is appealing the July decision by the European Commission that the increase in capital of WestLB in the amount of Dm5.9 billion through integration of the Wohnungsbauforderungsanstalt (agency for promoting housing development) involved state aid elements.

France: Regulation of fixed-to-mobile call prices

Premium 01 October 1999

The ART’s action can be compared with the Vodaphone/Cellnet case, in which Oftel, with the support of the MMC, managed to impose a reduction in fixed-to-mobile call prices. Nevertheless, the ART’s action has been contested by the French operators. Although the relevant EC Directive limits national regulators’ action to controlling the prices of powerful operators, the French implementing decree extends the ART’s competence to cover excessive interconnection prices charged by all operators, irrespective of their market power.

Formula One inquiry and apology

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In an unprecedented move, the European Commission has issued an apology to the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile for leaking statements to the press in relation to an ongoing investigation into FIA agreements.

Poland: Antimonopoly Court explains when to penalise failure to notify

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The Antimonopoly Court indicated that of mergers completed without the consent of the President of the Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumers only those having negative consequences for competition should be penalised.

Nalco/ Suez Lyonnaise

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Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux is set to be the world leader in water services following a US$5.5 billion US shopping spree which has seen the French firm acquire Pittsburgh-based Calgon Corp for US$415 million, Illinios company Nalco for US$4.1 billion and most recently United Water Resources for US$1 billion. These acquisitions are part of a recent trend for US municipalities to privatise their water services.

One2One/ DT

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Europe’s largest telecoms provider, Deutsche Telekom, is to expand its coverage further with the acquisition of One2One, the UK’s fastest-growing mobile phone operator.