News

France: Damages for breach of competition law

Premium 01 August 1998

The decision, awarding damages for a breach of competition law, is a precedent in France. Interim measures are the normal means of putting a stop to anti-competitive behaviour and damages are usually only regarded as a further option.

Brussels tackles broadcasting

Premium 01 July 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.

CIBC/Dominion

Premium 01 July 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.

BTR/Owens-Illinois

Premium 01 July 1998

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of the UK’s BTR Packaging by Owens-Illinois Inc of the US after the companies agreed to shed all the glass-container business carried out by BTR Packaging, a unit of BTR plc, through its subsidiary, Rockware Group, at its four plants.

Cola wars

Premium 01 July 1998

PepsiCo Inc, the maker of Pepsi-Cola, has filed its first antitrust lawsuit against Coca-Cola Co in the US District Court in New York, accusing its larger rival of using its market power to keep Pepsi out of restaurants and fast food outlets in the United States.

Lockheed/Northrop

Premium 01 July 1998

A September court date has been set for the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the US$8.3 billion takeover of Northrop Grumman Corp by Lockheed Martin Corp – despite warnings from Northrop that the delay could kill the deal.

BTR/ Owens-Illinois

Premium 01 June 1998

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of the UK’s BTR Packaging by Owens-Illinois Inc of the US after the companies agreed to shed all the glasscontainer business carried out by BTR Packaging, a unit of BTR plc, through its subsidiary, Rockware Group, at its four plants.

Denmark: Report on Competition Policy adopted

Premium 01 June 1998

The Danish Competition Council has started publishing annual reports on competition policy, reporting essential decisions and discussing various Competition Law topics.

France: Independent Broadcast Authority to get antitrust powers?

Premium 01 June 1998

Under the new law, the CSA may well only be able to oppose a merger or acquisition on the grounds that such would adversely affect the plurality and freedom of information, but not in respect of general competition matters. The Communication blurs the distinction between plurality/freedom of information on the one hand and competition on the other. By failing to allocate competence clearly in relation to competition matters, this draft law succeeds merely in perpetuating the confusion in relation to division of competence between the CSA and Minister of the Economy.

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.