All Articles

India: Prohibition on export cartels in Indian territory

Premium - 01 April 1999

The MRTP Commission restrained ANSAC, a US export cartel, from exporting soda ash to India either directly or indirectly. The Commission held that cartels and free markets are essentially antithetical to each other and cannot coexist. While a free market engenders competition, a cartel endangers competition.

Spain: Telecommunications giant fined

Premium - 01 April 1999

The imposition of a record fine by the TDC demonstrates the increasing commitment of the Spanish competition authorities to the enforcement of competition law, particularly in those sectors being progressively liberalised by the government such as electricity and telecommunications. The competition authorities are clearly not prepared to allow large firms which previously held monopolies in sectors of the Spanish economy to undermine the government’s push towards liberalisation.

Ireland: New regime for vertical agreements

Premium - 01 April 1999

The new category certificate and category licence are to be welcomed. They recognise the positive contribution which vertical agreements normally make to economic life. While the use of market share thresholds introduces a degree of uncertainty in relation to the application of the documents (particularly for companies with market shares which may be close to the thresholds), this seems a small price to pay for a more realistic recognition of the effect on competition of such agreements. In practice, this approach will eliminate the need to consider the possible application of the Competition Act to the vast majority of vertical agreements. Of course, where such agreements may affect trade between EU Member States, the European Commission’s existing block exemption regulations will remain relevant until they too are replaced by a more flexible regime. It is to be hoped that any divergences which may arise between the new Irish regime and the Commission’s new block exemption regulation will not cause too much difficulty for businesses marketing their goods and services in Ireland.

Deutsche Telekom

Premium - 01 April 1999

German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom AG has dismissed allegations that it uses discriminatory behaviour and predatory pricing to favour its T-Online Internet unit as 'nonsense' following an announcement that the European Commission has opened an initial inquiry into the company’s Internet practices after a complaint by rival firm AOL Europe.

AT&T/ BT

Premium - 01 April 1999

The European Commission has cleared the US$11 billion joint venture between BT and AT&T to create the world’s largest carrier of transit services.

Olswang goes to Brussels

Premium - 01 April 1999

UK firm Olswang is increasing its strength in the competition field with a new office in Brussels and new recruitment in London.

Italy: Italian football broadcasting rights under investigation

Premium - 01 April 1999

The Italian competition authority’s investigation into the Lega Calcio naturally focuses on Article 2 of Italian competition law. However, even if the arrangements between the Lega Calcio and its members (the clubs) are cleared following the investigation, they could presumably still be found to be in breach of Decree 15/1999. It will be interesting to see how competition and media law will apply in parallel.

Merger control: the search for harmonisation

Premium - 01 April 1999

With over 100 merger control regimes around the world now up and running, the need for cross-border and regional cooperation has become acute. Maija Pesola joined delegates at the IBC conference on International Merger Control in London in February

Volvo/ Ford

Premium - 01 April 1999

Ford Motor Company is set to become the world’s second largest car manufacturer if its planned £4 billion acquisition of AB Volvo of Sweden goes through.

Wilmer Cutler & Pickering picks up competition strength in Europe and Washington

Premium - 01 April 1999

Former German Federal Minister of Transport Matthias Wissmann, joined the Berlin office of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickeing at the beginning of March.