In March 2014, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had adopted a decision finding that a leading manufacturer of mobility scooters, Pride, had illegally prevented its dealers from advertising prices online, other than its recommended retail price (“RRP”). This followed an earlier decision, adopted in August 2013, finding a slightly different infringement…

Two unusual features of the United Kingdom’s merger control regime are that notification is voluntary and there is no ‘suspension’ obligation. This means that mergers can be – and routinely are – completed without notification to and/or approval by the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”). In this article, I examine the CMA’s use of its…

On 15 August 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) approved Alliance Medical Group’s completed acquisition of IBA Molecular’s radioactive medical tracer business. Although IBA’s business was loss-making, would have exited the market and there was no other credible buyer for it, the CMA refused to apply the ‘failing firm’ (or ‘exiting firm’) defence, as…

Private damages litigation is an important complement to public enforcement of UK and EU competition law by the European Commission and national competition authorities (“NCAs”), such as the UK’s newly formed Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”). Whilst there has been a noticeable increase in private litigation seen in the UK courts, whether ‘follow-on’ or ‘standalone…

The UK competition regime is somewhat unusual in operating a concurrent competition regime with a range of sector regulators. The UK’s seven sector regulators (covering communications and post, water, rail, gas and electricity, air traffic and airport operations, and healthcare) can launch competition related investigations if they have reasonable grounds to suspect an infringement of…

Private competition litigation is continuing to develop in the United Kingdom. The courts and the Competition Appeal Tribunal are seeing an increase in the number and complexity of follow-on damages actions, often between foreign claimants and/or defendants. In addition, an increasing number of “standalone” competition disputes between private parties are being brought in the courts,…

In competition investigations, competition authorities receive substantial amounts of confidential business information, some of which will be commercially very sensitive. This information may be used in economic modelling or otherwise be used by the authority to identify anti-competitive conduct, effects or market structures. Some information may be exculpatory. In a recent judgment (BMI Healthcare and…

On 9 August 2013, the OFT issued draft commitments in the Hotel Online Booking investigation.  The OFT has investigated the relevant markets for over 2 years and has provisionally found that certain hotels were restricting the ability of their distributors to offer consumers discounts on standard rates for hotel rooms.  The case raises interesting questions…