News

Tyson Foods lands IBP

Premium 01 February 2001

Chicken giant Tyson Foods Inc has successfully fought off rival Smithfields Food Inc to acquire IBP Inc for US$3.2 billion. Commentators expect the deal to attract considerable antitrust scrutiny over the coming months.

SKB cleared on Block Drug

Premium 01 February 2001

SmithKline Beecham’s US$1.24 billion acquisition of Block Drug has now received antitrust clearance in the US, EU, Canada, Australia and Poland.

European Union: Parallel imports and the concept of 'agreement': the Bayer judgment

Premium 01 February 2001

The judgment of the Court of First Instance in Bayer v Commission (T- 41/96) is important for pharmaceutical and other firms in that it confirms that they may in certain circumstances refuse or limit supplies to resellers with a view to hindering parallel exports, without infringing Article 81. The ruling also has a wider import, in that it deals with the evidence which the Commission must adduce in order to prove the existence of an 'agreement' within the meaning of Article 81, and the Commission has appealed against this aspect of the decision to the European Court of Justice.

UK: Blocked Interbrew/Bass deal would have created unacceptable duopoly

Premium 01 February 2001

The UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has followed the recommendation of the Competition Commission and prohibited Interbrew’s acquisition of Bass Brewers, which was completed in August 2000. The European Commission had referred jurisdiction over the merger to the UK authorities under Article 9 of the EC Merger Regulation. The UK authorities were concerned that the merger would create a duopoly between Interbrew and its next-largest competitor, Scottish & Newcastle. However, the analysis of the creation of the duopoly does not entirely follow the criteria developed by the European Commission under the EC Merger Regulation and the prohibition may be a disproportionate remedy.

Bundeskartellamt grants Liberty Media more time

Premium 17 December 2000

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s competition regulator, has extended the inquiry into Liberty Media’s acquisition of Deutsche Telekom’s cable television assets. The Deutsche Telekom contract allows Liberty Media to walk away from the deal if the Bundeskartellamt fails to approve it or either of two related deals.

Commission fines German banks for price fixing

Premium 17 December 2000

The European Commission has come down hard on five German banks — fining them a total of Euro100.8 million last week for fixing the charges for the exchange of euro-zone currencies.

Commission cartel group ends year with a flourish

Premium 17 December 2000

Can the European Commission still be described as complacent about cartels? In the space of two months it has fined no less than five groups, provided ‘full leniency’ to one company and imposed several record fines on others.

Unilever deal requires mammoth notification effort

Premium 10 December 2000

In a deal valued at US$1.6 billion Johnson Wax Professional has agreed to buy DiverseyLever, an institutional and industrial cleaning business owned by Unilever. The deal will pair the number two and number three institutional and industrial cleaning products companies, giving the combined group a 17 per cent share of the US$15-billion worldwide market.

Former Sotheby's chairman guilty

Premium 10 December 2000

Alfred Taubman, the former chairman of auction house Sotheby’s, was convicted in New York last week of conspiring with the management of rival auction house Christie’s to fix commissions.

Conoco and Phillips to merge

Premium 03 December 2000

Phillips Petroleum has announced a ‘merger of equals’ with Conoco that will create the third-largest integrated energy company in the US and the largest gasoline retailer.