All Articles

Australia: NCC review of Sections 51(2) and (3) of the 1974 Trade Practices Act

Premium - 01 August 1998

The NCC is currently undertaking a review of Sections 51 (2) and 52 (3) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth). These sections provide certain exemptions from the competition laws contained in Part IV of the Act. The exemptions will only be retained if the benefits to the community as a whole outweigh the costs, and if the objectives of the Act cannot be achieved more efficiently through other means.

Snecma/Messier Dowty

Premium - 01 August 1998

The European Commission has authorised the takeover by the French stateowned company Snecma, specialised in jet engines, of Messier Dowty, which was jointly controlled with the UK company IT Group.

Ireland: Telecoms liberalisation to be accelerated

Premium - 01 August 1998

The introduction of full telecoms liberalisation in Ireland on December 1 1998 is a radical move by the Irish government which is clearly intended to encourage as much competition as possible in the market. The expectation is that this will result in a wide range of competing services becoming available to both business and residential users. It is also expected that the quality of telecommunications services on offer to high-tech industry in Ireland will improve rapidly. The acceleration of the liberalisation programme poses a major challenge to the ODTR, which will be responsible for ensuring that the necessary regulatory measures are in put in place within the next few months. These measures will include rules designed to pre-empt the abuse of its dominant position by the incumbent operator as well as rules designed to facilitate the entry of new competitors.

Universal/ Polygram

Premium - 01 August 1998

The plans of Seagram’s president and CEO to turn the venerable drinks company into an entertainment colossus continue with the announcement that Seagram’s Universal Studios arm is spending US$10.6 billion to acquire PolyGram NV - creating the world’s largest music company.

Italy: ECJ confirms advice of Autorità on professional associations

Premium - 01 August 1998

The current rules relating to the professions were drawn up at the beginning of this century and were meant to protect the public from excessive fees and unethical and unprofessional behaviour. In the present social and economic context, these tasks should be left to market forces. The government is currently adopting new rules regulating the professions. This new legislation regulating access to the profession and the scope of activity of professional associations and their regulating bodies will necessarily have to take into account the new economic realities and the need to open up the professions to competition.

Cartonboard

Premium - 01 August 1998

The European Court of First Instance has largely upheld the fines levied by the Commission on 19 companies involved in a cartel in the cartonboard market - one company has had its fine annulled completely, while others have seen small reductions, the total fines imposed being reduced from Ecu 131.75 million to Ecu 120.33 million.

Canada: Canada-EU cooperation agreement

Premium - 01 August 1998

Canadian antitrust enforcers continue their efforts to ensure international cooperation in competition law investigations by finalising a cooperation agreement with the EU. An example of the need for international cooperation was highlighted by the record C$16 million fine obtained by the Competition Bureau against Archer Daniels Midland in connection with an international food additives conspiracy. The Competition Bureau is also pleased with a recent Supreme Court ruling confirming that Canadian officials are not required to obtain a search warrant before asking for investigative assistance from foreign governments in criminal matters.

Belgium: Notification following the announcement of a public bid

Premium - 01 August 1998

It would seem that the notification of a concentration must be filed within one week of (i) the official announcement of the public bid by the Finance and Banking Commission in the case of public bids made in Belgium or (ii) the publication in the press in the case of public bids made abroad. This can lead to differences with regard to the time when the notification must be lodged.

Competition a key factor in regional integration

Premium - 01 August 1998

Sebastian O’Meara reports from Rio de Janeiro on the IBA Section on Business Law’s 2nd Latin American Regional Conference and two important seminars on competition policy

UK utilities regulation: time for a change

Premium - 01 August 1998

Elizabeth McKnight, partner at Herbert Smith, London, welcomes government proposals for reform of Britain’s legislation governing utilities but cautions against introducing change for change’s sake