News

Hungary: The future of the DCS 1800 in Hungary

Premium 01 February 2000

The case gives an insight into the problems faced by the Hungarian Competition Office with regard to the entry of new participants in the Hungarian mobile telecoms market.

Allen & Overy, Denton Wilde Sapte win European approval for electricity joint venture

Premium 01 February 2000

Allen & Overy and Denton Wilde Sapte have obtained clearance in one month for a Franco-Anglo electricity joint venture.

Netherlands: Authority rejects 'general interest' defence of proposed lotteries merger

Premium 01 February 2000

The Dutch Competition Authority investigated the contemplated merger of three foundations involved in running lotteries. In its assessment of the transaction, it took account of the high degree of regulation applicable to the running of lotteries. Nevertheless, it found that there is competition in the Dutch lottery market. The Competition Authority also considered whether it should make an exception in this case for reasons of the general economic interest and decided not to do so, refusing to authorise the contemplated merger.

Ireland: Special rules for the grocery trade: a political hot potato

Premium 01 February 2000

The Groceries Order is an anomaly in the Irish competition law regime. Only the grocery sector is subject to the Order’s special rules (such as those relating to ‘below-cost’ selling and ‘hello money’). All other economic sectors are governed only by the Competition Acts (which are modelled on the EC competition rules). The grocery sector has lobbied hard to preserve the Order. A recent Discussion Paper reviews all the relevant issues and puts forward compromise proposals for public comment. It will be some considerable time, however, before any decision is taken in relation to this political hot potato.

Spain: Competition Law’s 'invasion' of regions' jurisdiction unconstitutional

Premium 01 February 2000

The TC’s decision introduces an added element of uncertainty into the enforcement of competition law in Spain. The future landscape will include a large number of regulatory authorities with enforcement powers over competition law matters, including the European Commission, the Spanish national competition authorities, the industry-specific regulators (such as CNSE and CMT) and a number of regional competition authorities. It seems likely that the Catalan and the Basque regional governments at least will create their own competition watchdogs.

Denmark: Merger control on the way

Premium 01 February 2000

Mergers within the dairy industry - a lynchpin of the Danish economy - have prompted moves to introduce merger control for the first time.

Wilmer, Cutler handles AOL's first EC merger notification

Premium 01 February 2000

AOL has retained Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering to represent it in the EU and to coordinate filings in other countries in its proposed US$140 billion merger with Time Warner.

Finland: Dominant firm's selective distribution system was legal

Premium 01 February 2000

The Finnish Competition Council has reached the first decision concerning the legality of the selective distribution of a dominant company.

Lawyers for UK supermarkets upbeat after issues statement

Premium 01 February 2000

Lawyers retained by big UK food retailers are upbeat following the UK Competition Commission’s finding of little evidence of excess profits in the investigation into British supermarkets.

Australia: Scope of the exemption for production processes under Part IIIA tested

Premium 01 February 2000

The central issue in a recent case before the Federal Court was whether a railway line, owned by Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, should be declared a service for the purposes of Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974. It was held that Hamersley was not obliged to give a competitor mining company access to its railway line, as it fell within the ‘production process’ exemption. The Federal Court ruled that exemption applied in the present case because Hamersley’s railway line was an integral and essential part of its iron ore production process.