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GT London Law Blog

Legal Advisers for a Changing World

Category Archives: Competition Law

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The UK Votes to Leave the European Union

Posted in Antitrust Trade & Regulation, Brexit, Competition Law
The UK voted yesterday to leave the European Union. The timetable for the UK’s exit, the terms of exit, and the UK’s post-exit relationship with the European Union (EU), are still to be determined, which will take time. Until these issues are clarified, firms with a UK presence, or UK customers, will have to address… Continue Reading

UK Businesses’ Understanding of Competition Law

Posted in Competition Law
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published the findings of research it commissioned to examine UK businesses’ understanding of competition law.  The aim of the research was to gauge businesses’ awareness of competition law, their understanding of anti-competitive behaviours and the resulting penalties, businesses’ preferred sources of information about compliance, and the awareness… Continue Reading

The Competition & Markets Authority Imposes Changes to the UK’s Audit Market with Significant Implications for FTSE 350 Companies

Posted in Competition Law
On 26 September 2014, the Competition & Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued its final order implementing changes to the UK’s statutory audit market (the “Final Order”). By way of background, this action represents the final step in a process which commenced in March 2011 when the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs urged the Office… Continue Reading

Permitted use restrictions and competition law – when is a restriction too restrictive?

Posted in Competition Law
For a long time, land agreements, namely agreements between businesses which create, alter, transfer or terminate an interest in land, were excluded from the application of the UK’s Competition Act 1998 (CA ‘98) as a matter of policy. That exclusion was revoked with effect from 6 April 2011, and such agreements must, as a result,… Continue Reading

EU Competition: liner shipping conferences back on the Commission’s radar

Posted in Competition Law
Written Simon Harms and Stephen C. Tupper Many in the shipping industry will recall the heated debates leading up the decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) to repeal the block exemption for liner shipping conferences in 2008 (the “Repeal”), thereby opening the container trades to the same competition law enforcement regime that applies to… Continue Reading

Price Fixing in the UK Booze Market — the Government’s Solution to Binge Drinking

Posted in Competition Law, Regulatory
Written by Lisa Navarro On 28 November 2012 the UK’s Home Office launched a consultation regarding proposals to deliver the Government’s policies aimed at cutting alcohol fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour. Rather than focus on the irresponsible drinkers, however, the proposals are firmly targeted at how, when, and for what price alcohol can, and should be, sold.… Continue Reading

Reform of the UK competition regime

Posted in Competition Law, Government
Written by Simon Harms and Lisa Navarro On 15 March 2012, the UK’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) announced its plans for the reform of the UK competition regime. These proposals were crystallised on 23 May 2012 in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (the “Bill”). The proposals set out in the Bill… Continue Reading

Commission ready to declare maritime transport a sector like any other

Posted in Antitrust Trade & Regulation, Competition Law
Written by Simon Harms and Stephen C. Tupper On 4 May 2012, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced its preliminary intention not to renew its sector-specific guidelines on the application of the European Union (“EU”) competition rules to maritime transport services (the “Maritime Guidelines”). As a prelude to implementation, the Commission has issued a working… Continue Reading

The Battle of King’s Cross

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Stephen C. Tupper Thames Water has been engaged in battle with Ofwat and Independent Water Networks Limited (“IWNL”) for the right to supply the 67-acre King’s Cross redevelopment site with water and sewerage services for several years. A recent decision from the Court of Appeal has brought proceedings to an end by rejecting… Continue Reading

Bribery Update – Warning bells sound for investors

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Ifé O. Adebajo and Lisa Navarro In January 2012, the highly publicised bribery case against the UK construction company Mabey & Johnson Limited (“M&J“) reached a climactic conclusion. The resulting decision has sent shockwaves through the hearts and wallets of shareholders and investors with interests in entities that carry on business in the UK. Background… Continue Reading

Modernisation of the EU Public Procurement Rules – what next for the water sector?

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Stephen C. Tupper The European Commission has published proposals for modernising the EU public procurements rules with a suite of new directives including: a new directive on public procurement to replace Directive 2004/18 (“New Procurement Directive”); a new directive on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors… Continue Reading

Rooney and restraint of trade – the doctrine is still alive and kicking

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Lisa Navarro and Stephen C. Tupper On 1 December 2012 the Court of Appeal (“CA“) upheld the High Court’s decision in the dispute between Wayne Rooney and his former management company, Proactive Sports Management Limited (“Proactive“). The case centred around whether or not the image rights agreement (the “Agreement“) that Wayne Rooney entered… Continue Reading

Antitrust fines – the inevitability of parental liability revisited

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Simon Harms and Stephen C. Tupper In September 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”), handed down its judgment in the latest of a series of successful challenges to the European Commission’s (the “Commission”) practice of holding parent companies jointly liable for the antitrust sins of their subsidiaries. The… Continue Reading

UK/EU Competition: courts reduce antitrust fines

Posted in Competition Law
Written by Simon Harms and Stephen C. Tupper In-house lawyers need to imagine this. The company’s preventative competition law compliance programme has failed to prevent a serious infringement. Former co-conspirators have beaten you in the race to obtain immunity by using leniency applications. Years of disruptive and intrusive investigations by competition law enforcement authorities have… Continue Reading

EU competition: focus on R&D agreements

Posted in Competition Law, Corporate, Intellectual Property & Technology, Regulatory
Written by Simon Harms On 14 December 2010, the European Commission(the “Commission“) adopted a new suite of rules governing co-operation between actual or potential competitors, consisting of (i) guidelines on the applicability of EU competition law to horizontal co-operation agreements (the “Guidelines”) and (ii) two new block exemption regulations covering: (1) specialisation and joint production… Continue Reading

EU competition: industry standards and antitrust compliance

Posted in Antitrust Trade & Regulation, Competition Law, Regulatory
Written by Simon Harms On 14 December 2010, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a new suite of rules governing co-operation between actual or potential competitors, consisting of (i) guidelines on the applicability of EU competition law to horizontal co-operation agreements (the “Guidelines”) and (ii) two new block exemption regulations covering: (1) R&D agreements; and… Continue Reading

Whistleblowing and Dawn Raids — Sportswear Giants at it Again

Posted in Antitrust Trade & Regulation, Competition Law
Written by Stephen C. Tupper | Lisa Navarro On 10 September 2009 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) dawn-raided the offices of Sports Direct. The dawn raid is the first public step by the OFT in its investigation into alleged anti-competitive agreements between Sports Direct and JJB Sports. Whilst… Continue Reading