All Articles

Belgium: Draft bill on electricity market opening

Premium - 01 April 1999

Because of delays in the passage of the Bill caused by the introduction of amendments, the law is not expected to be adopted before mid- April 1999 at the earliest. However, the level of market opening that will be reached in Belgium is already substantial and is higher than the 26.48 per cent minimum set by the Commission.

New Zealand: Proposed changes to Commerce Act will mean tougher penalties

Premium - 01 April 1999

The New Zealand Ministry of Commerce has recommended changes to the Commerce Act 1986 designed to increase the Act’s deterrent effect against anticompetitive behaviour by large New Zealand firms. The changes are likely to be in force later this year, and should see tougher penalties and a wider range offences being caught.

Robert Webb

Premium - 01 April 1999

Title: General Counsel and Head of Government & Industry Affairs, Safety, Security and Environment

Telecom Italia/ Olivetti

Premium - 01 April 1999

Italian telecommunications group Olivetti has launched a £37 billion hostile takeover bid for Telecom Italia, formerly the state monopoly provider.

EU: Competition hearing procedures simplified

Premium - 01 April 1999

These two new regulations, in fact, do more than just simplify existing procedural rules. Under Regulation No 2842/98 the ‘sufficient interest’ requirement no longer applies to addressees, applicants, complainants or other third parties wishing to express their views orally. However, it is still at the Commission’s discretion whether they are allowed to do so. As a result of the second new Regulation, No 2843/98, procedures for the transport sector have been brought into line with procedures governing other sectors. It is therefore an important development in the application of competition rules and procedures to this sector.

UK: DTI reveals its view of vertical restraints in the UK

Premium - 01 April 1999

The draft Order can, if nothing else, be admired for being both short in length and wide in scope. Some definitions may need clarification, however. For example, the meaning of 'marketing of services' is not entirely clear.

Netherlands: RAI/Jaarbeurs first prohibition of a concentration

Premium - 01 April 1999

The Dutch Competition Authority has refused to clear the contemplated merger of RAI and Jaarbeurs, thus making the first negative merger decision in its existence. In its competition analysis, the Authority emphasised the relationship between two relevant markets, in which RAI and Jaarbeurs have large market shares. RAI and Jaarbeurs proposed a number of mainly behavioural undertakings. However, the Authority insisted on structural undertakings from the parties and refused to allow the merger to proceed. The parties have several options for appeal.

BNP/ Societe Generale/ Paribas

Premium - 01 April 1999

French banking group Société Générale has announced plans to merge with Compagnie Financière de Paribas. The US$17 billion deal would create the largest bank in France, and Europe’s third largest bank in terms of total assets. Following these announcements, on March 9 Banque Nationale de Paris launched a US$37 billion hostile takeover bid for the combined group.

Antitrust and high-tech industries

Premium - 01 April 1999

Leading academics, practitioners and regulators give their views

GEC/ British Aerospace

Premium - 01 April 1999

British Aerospace plc took a lead role in European defence consolidation with plans to buy General Electric Co’s Marconi defence unit for £7.7 billion.