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Competitors in bid to stop WorldCom/ MCI merger

Premium - 01 June 1998

GTE has sued in US federal court to block the proposed merger between WorldCom and MCI, which GTE tried to acquire last November.

United States: FTC resolves Intel concerns

Premium - 01 June 1998

The FTC settlement in the Intel/Digital matter continues the US antitrust enforcement agencies’ activist stance in the area of intellectual property rights. The agencies will closely examine the transfer of such rights between significant competitors, particularly where the transfer results from an out-of-court resolution of intellectual property litigation. As a result, parties should structure such arrangements so as to ensure that they do not unreasonably restrict opportunities and incentives for product and technological innovation.

Cola wars

Premium - 01 June 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.

Italy: Autorita turns spotlight on pharmaceuticals

Premium - 01 June 1998

Parallel behaviour on prices can be very lucrative in this sector where, because of the essential nature of pharmaceuticals, demand is very stable. More often than not, demand is determined by the doctor who prescribes the medicine rather than by the consumer. The problem of proving parallel conduct has always been a topical issue in competition law. In the absence of hard evidence pointing to contact between undertakings, it is likely that the Authority will rely on the Dyestuff case, in which the ECJ stated that price increases which are very similar in timing and rate of price change cannot be explained by independent market forces.

FTC clears Intel purchase

Premium - 01 June 1998

While its wider investigation of Intel rumbles on, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cleared Intel Corp’s proposed acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp’s microprocessor business - provided Digital licenses its Alpha chip technology to at least three competitors, Samsung Electronics, Advanced Micro Devices and IBM.

Ireland: Prohibition of takeover by state forestry company

Premium - 01 June 1998

The Authority’s report is an interesting example of the divergences of view which can exist between regulators dealing with the same case. It has to be said that the minority report appears to give a more considered view of the potential effects of the merger per se than the report of the majority. If the Authority had been allowed more time to analyse the complex issues which arose in the case, it might have been possible for the differences of opinion between the Authority members to have been resolved. In any event, the Minister’s decision to prohibit the merger has dealt a major blow to Coillte’s strategic development which, ironically, was entirely consistent with the government’s strategy for the forestry sector in Ireland

Commercial Union/General Accident

Premium - 01 May 1998

In the face of increasing global competition in financial services, Commercial Union is undertaking a £14.1 billion (US$23 billion) merger with General Accident, creating one of Europe’s largest insurance and asset management groups, with a significant presence in the US, Canada and Europe.

Olympic Airways subject of state aid action

Premium - 01 May 1998

In what is the only case to date of its kind in the air transport sector, Brussels has reopened its decision in 1994 to allow state aid paid by the Greek government to Greek national carrier Olympic Airways.

BSkyB in restrictive practices court

Premium - 01 May 1998

Certain agreements filed with the OFT under the Restrictive Practices Act were referred to the Restrictive Practices Court by the then secretary of state for Trade and Industry, Michael Heseltine.

Formula 1 racing

Premium - 01 May 1998

The European Commission has been asked to examine two notifications relating to Formula One racing: firstly the regulations and sporting rules applied by the Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) in its capacity as world governing body of motorsport and secondly agreements regulating the organisation and commercialisation of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, in particular contracts between clubs and broadcasters.