All Articles

European Union: Guidelines on setting fines

Premium - 01 February 1998

The publication of guidelines in this area is welcome in that companies may now have a clearer idea of the possible financial impact of the risks they take. The guidelines also complement the Commission’s formal Notice of July 1996, commonly referred to as the ‘whistle blower’s notice’. Whether the guidelines will have any deterrent effect on anti-competitive behaviour is, however, less certain.

Redland/ Lafarge

Premium - 01 February 1998

Article 9 of the European Commission’s Merger Regulation was seen in practice in the Redland /Lafarge merger. Lafarge originally made a $1.7 billion hostile bid for Redland, a UK tile and aggregates producer.

One-stop shop moves closer

Premium - 01 February 1998

The European ideal of ‘one-stop shopping’ moves within the Commission’s sights on March 1, when important amendments to the 1989 EC Merger Regulation come into force, introducing some procedural changes and, perhaps more importantly, extending the scope of the Commission’s jurisdiction at the EU level. Fenella Quinn went to Brussels to gauge lawyers’ reaction to the new regime

Opinion- Colin Green of British Telecom

Premium - 01 February 1998

Colin Green of British Telecom makes a plea for more regulatory authorities to follow the example set by the European and US agencies and a pursue a policy of greater coordination

Brussels eyes Finnish energy merger

Premium - 01 February 1998

Regulators at Finland’s competition bureau, the Kilpailuvirasto, predict opposition in Brussels to the proposed US$10.4 billion merger between power utility Imatran Voima (IVO) and petrochemicals group Neste.

An interview with Joel Klein

Premium - 01 February 1998

By tackling Microsoft, Department of Justice Antitrust Division chief Joel Klein has found himself in uncharted territory for most regulators - the front pages of the mainstream press. Sebastian O’Meara spoke to him at his Washington DC offices.

South Africa: Competition policy guidelines published

Premium - 01 February 1998

The long-awaited guidelines on the future competition policy for South Africa have been published. They propose a reformed and strengthened monopolies law directed at anticompetitive conduct under the direction of a competent and powerful administrative body, a strengthening of divestiture measures (while at the same time recognising the need for South African companies to be of sufficient size to be able to compete in international markets), a review of existing securities regulations and institutions, with particular reference to corporate structures, a review of current practices and regulations in relation to corporate governance, and a review of the competitive interaction between public corporations and the private sector. The new Monopolies Bill will be published in March. A public consultation process will follow, with the intention that the new Act will be passed in by the end of October this year.

Australia: Pay TV in state of flux

Premium - 01 February 1998

Pay TV in Australia has faltered at a number of hurdles which have been erected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its determination to ensure that there are three main competitors in Australia, despite the apparent inevitability that one or more of the three will fail.

United Kingdom: Margarets Beckett’s merger policy

Premium - 01 February 1998

With the benefit of hindsight, after the initial surprises with National Express and Pacificorp, competition policy under Mrs Beckett appears less a radical departure from previous policy than a tightening of control. Certainly, Mrs Beckett is prepared to come to her own conclusions, and she takes a close interest in the appropriateness of suggested competition remedies. More importantly, Mrs Beckett has affirmed her commitment to competition being the main consideration in merger references (witness the rejection of the Labour party’s pre-election proposal of requiring a company to demonstrate, in the case of a hostile takeover, that it is in the public interest). Provided a consistent approach is taken, the outlook for companies considering merger activity is positive.

SmithKline Beecham/ Glaxo Wellcome

Premium - 01 February 1998

SmithKline Beecham suddenly dropped plans at the end of January to team up with American Home Products when it announced a merger with world number two pharmaceutical company Glaxo Wellcome.