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Germany: Relocation of Federal Cartel Office completed

Premium - 01 April 2000

Under the amended ARC, which entered into force on January 1 1999, the FCO must publish all merger decisions taken after the initiation of an in-depth investigation (a phase two decision). In addition, the FCO began publishing on its Internet site copies of the publicly available versions of these decisions. The website address for the publication of merger control decisions is: www.bundeskartellamt.de/entscheidungen.html

Spain: New Spanish Competition Act enters into force

Premium - 01 April 2000

The Competition Act Amendment must be welcomed in so far as it aims to introduce a more flexible and speedier procedure, to improve the enforcement of state aid rules - an area which has traditionally had a very low rate of enforcement in Spain - and to clarify the jurisdiction of the competition authorities vis-à-vis other regulatory authorities. Nevertheless, the introduction of the concept of ‘abuse of economic dependence’ in the new law seems unnecessary and confusing. This is a concept more akin to the unfair competition rules and is already regulated by the relevant legislation on unfair competition. The introduction of a de minimis rule applying to abuses of market power seems odd, particularly since the concept of de minimis remains undefined, thus creating more legal uncertainty.

USA: Chairman’s remarks hint at tougher FTC scrutiny of mergers

Premium - 01 April 2000

Chairman Pitofsky’s policy statement on restructuring transactions has its origins in the FTC staff’s Study of the Commission’s Divestiture Process released in August 1999. Described by one commentator as a 'tremendously suggestive study', it reviewed prior divestitures required by the Commission and 'focused attention on the fact that all divestitures are not equally successful.' And although Pitofsky stated that his intent was not to 'describe a new or revised policy,' it is difficult to escape the fact that, as a practical matter, parties are now having to address the divestiture question in a manner that differs from the approach of even a year ago. While the differences may be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, they can have a substantial impact in particular cases.

News and Developments: EUROPE

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Cement fines reduced

News and Developments: BREWING

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News and Developments: BREWING

Coca-Cola hit by injunction in Chile

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Chilean regulators have imposed a 180- day injunction on Coca-Cola, blocking the drinks giant from terminating a contract with Embotelladoras Chilenas Unidas SA (ECUSA).

News and Developments: CANADA

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Takeda Chemical fined for price-fixing

Ky Ewing lays out ABA Antitrust Section’s 2000-01 agenda

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Ky Ewing, the Vinson & Elkins partner who takes over the reins of the ABA Antirust Section on July 12, plans to set up four task forces during his tenure.

Ireland names economist as new competition chair

Premium - 01 April 2000

The Irish government has appointed an economist, Dr John Fingleton, 34, as chair of the Irish Competition Authority.

LECG expands utility practice

Premium - 01 April 2000

LECG Europe, the economics and finance consultant, has appointed two new British directors to head an expanded utility practice in its London office. Professor Stephen Littlechild, the UK’s former Director General of Electricity Supply and former head of the UK’s Office of Electricity Regulation, is now consulting internationally. According to an LECG newsletter, Littlechild 'can provide on designing, operating within and minimising the extent of utility regulation.'