On 5 December, the European Commission published a package of measures to reduce the administrative burden of EU merger control, which will apply as of 1 January 2014.
The package extends the scope of the simplified procedure for non-problematic cases. This means that more transactions may be notified using the Short Form CO, which will reduce the burden notwithstanding the fact the “Short” Form CO is still a fairly lengthy document. The European Commission considers that its proposed changes could allow up to 60-70% of all notified mergers to qualify for review under the simplified procedure, which is about 10% more than today.
The European Commission has also introduced various amendments [...]
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 which the claimant alleges that the defendant is infringing or has infringed competition law.
Private competition disputes raise different issues from follow-on claims. First, the claimant must prove that an infringement has been committed: there is no prior Office of Fair Trading or European Commission d [...]
Here is an item that I co-wrote with my colleague Stephane Eljarrat.
When investigating cartel violations in Canada, the Competition Bureau’s tool of choice is the “search and seizure” (the Canadian equivalent of the “dawn raid” in Europe). The Bureau execises its search and seizure powers pursuant to judicially authorized warrants which it must obtain prior to searching a location and seizing records contained therein.
In a recent decision on the use of search and seizure powers generally in Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the question of whether a search warrant must expressly permit authorities to search computers or other electronic device [...]
The growing popularity of credit and other payment cards among consumers has been accompanied by an increase in the regulatory and legal scrutiny of the terms governing the availability and use of these cards.
One focus of concern has been on whether “interchange fees” are set and administered by operators of card networks in an anticompetitive fashion that operates to the detriment of retailers (merchants) and consumers.
Interchange fees (also known as “swipe” fees) are one of the fees charged for sales transactions made at a merchant’s outlet involving a payment card. The interchange fee is typically set by the network operator (such as Visa or MasterCard) and can be a fla [...]
Note: On October 31, 2013, Canada’s Supreme Court issued important decisions regarding the scope of private claims for civil damages under the Competition Act. Below is a note prepared by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg on these decisions.
In its first decisions in over 20 years addressing private competition law claims, and its first decisions in over a decade considering substantively Canadian certification law in a common law jurisdiction, the Supreme Court of Canada has found that indirect purchasers (such as consumers and retailers) are entitled to assert claims for damages and restitution in class actions relying upon alleged competition law o [...]
Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order.
In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a way that a half-decent person wouldn’t dream of doing so.
Roma Medical Aids is a company based in Bridgend in Wales that makes mobility scooters. Two years ago, it got together with seven UK online retailers and agreed a ban on their selling Roma-branded mobility scooters online and advertising their prices on the internet. Not surprisingly, this cosy little arrangement meant that vulnerable consumers – who [...]