Focus Antitrust - 18 April 2013


In the News

European Commission approves acquisition of Virgin Media by Liberty Global

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of UK cable operator Virgin Media by the US-based company Liberty Global. The transaction would bring together the second largest pay TV operator in the UK (Virgin Media) and the largest cable operator in Europe (Liberty Global). However, the European Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, on the basis that the parties operate cable networks in different Member States and the merged entity would have a limited market position in the wholesale of TV channels in the UK and Ireland. Click here.

EU Articles 101 and 102

The European Commission has accepted a set of commitments offered by CEZ, the Czech electricity incumbent, to resolve concerns that CEZ may have abused its dominant market position in breach of Article 102 by reserving capacity in the transmission network, in order to prevent competitors from entering the market. Under the commitments CEZ will divest a significant amount of generation capacity. Click here. The ECJ has upheld an appeal by Mindo against a judgment of the General Court that found that there was no need for it to adjudicate on Mindo's appeal against the European Commission's decision on the Italian raw tobacco cartel, on the basis that its former parent company, Alliance One, had paid its fine. The ECJ found that the General Court had erred in finding that Mindo had failed to demonstrate that Alliance One had the intention of recovering the fine and so has referred the case back to the General Court. Click here. The General Court has partially annulled the European Commission's 2008 decision finding that the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and its collecting society member associations had infringed Article 101 through provisions in their reciprocal representation agreements. The General Court annulled the Commission's finding that there had been a concerted practice between the collecting societies...

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