All Articles

Hungary: Logical inconsistency in Competition Act

Premium - 01 June 1998

There is currently no legislative history or legal commentary available to explain why the 'independence' requirement was not built into the merger control provisions in a uniform manner. The Competition Office has applied the law to the letter without regard to the resulting logical inconsistency. In this writer’s view, however, the apparent distinction drawn by the Competition Act between the second form of business concentration (acquisition of control) and the first and third forms (mergers and formation of a joint venture) is not compelling.

United Kingdom: Flux in the electricity sector

Premium - 01 June 1998

The MMC’s PacifiCorp report and the decision by Margaret Beckett not to refer Texas’s bid for Eastern to the MMC has clarified that foreign bids for RECs are not expected to raise regulatory concerns. This would not necessarily be the case in deals involving increased vertical integration in the industry, or common ownership of two or more RECs.

Survey of the world's leading competition economists

Premium - 01 June 1998

There is an increasing need to bring the specialist skills and knowledge of the economist to bear in competition cases. To aid competition lawyers and corporate counsel in identifying experienced experts in the economics of competition, GCR conducted an international survey on competition economists. The criteria for inclusion (see box, below) were stringent, and those who met them are listed below. Research by Maija Pesola and Jon Cowie

Analysis of cross-licensing and patent pooling by US Antitrust authorities

Premium - 01 June 1998

The interplay between intellectual property law and antitrust law has increasingly compelled the interest of US antitrust authorities. John E Daniel of Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel, New York, considers what the Antitrust Division has been thinking and doing about crosslicensing and patent pooling - practices that have hitherto attracted little attention

New Zealand: Reforms in electricity industry

Premium - 01 June 1998

The problems identified in the Government discussion document on the reform package are certainly not unique to the electricity industry. A similar package of reforms may well be initiated in the gas industry, while the Commerce Commission has been active in obtaining settlements from various regional councils involved in the provision of water and wastewater services, such that maintenance and connection services are to be separated.

Spain: Changes to Draft Competition Bill

Premium - 01 June 1998

The draft bill on competition law is being revisited by the government. It appears that the government is backtracking on its initial proposals. The new proposals, which would maintain the TDC’s current independent status, are more in line with the trend at EU level to reinforce the independence of the competition authorities.

Franchising:Australia proposes mandatory franchising code

Premium - 01 June 1998

The process surrounding the promulgation of the draft Code also is troubling: the original public comment period was only two weeks. Nevertheless, the International Franchise Association and other interested parties submitted critical comments, and the Ministry has now agreed to redraft the proposed Code. However, the revision will not be published for additional comments and is likely to be enacted into law later this year.

Australia: ACCC changes tack

Premium - 01 June 1998

National Foods Limited appears to have convinced the ACCC to provide clearance to its proposed acquisition of Pauls Limited without the need for it to make its usual market enquiries. In accepting a courtenforceable divestiture undertaking from National Foods to address its competition concerns, the ACCC relied on its understanding of the dairy industry. It will be interesting to see whether this case will pave the way for other proposed mergers to proceed with a similar level of cooperation from the ACCC.

Antitrust analysis and remedies in high-tech industries

Premium - 01 June 1998

What should competition officials do about Microsoft? Mary Coleman and James Langenfeld* of LEGC, Inc believe that competition regulations should only be applied to high tecnology sectors with caution

Van Miert under pressure from Lufthansa

Premium - 01 June 1998

Lufthansa chief executive Jürgen Weber vowed that the German airline would resort to legal action to fight what he called the 'irrational and ideologically-based' proposals of the European Commission to limit the power of proposed airline alliances.