Global update – developments in European competition law
Here at In Competition, we are focused on providing our readers with a global view of competition law and developments. With this in mind, today we bring you an update on some interesting developments from our London colleagues at King and Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin.
First up is a rare third party challenge to a merger approval issued by the Competition Tribunal. The appeal has been lodged by AC Nielsen in relation to the merger of two consumer data companies, Aztec and Information Resources Ltd. Third party appeals are relatively rare in the UK, the last one having occurred in 2005. In Australia, challenges to decisions by the ACCC in relation to mergers are also challenged very rarely, although the last 6 months have seen two decisions go on appeal to the Australian Competition Tribunal, with AGL’s application regarding its proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation heard over the past two weeks. The hearing of AC Nielsen’s challenge is listed for 24 June 2014, and we will keep you updated.
Another interesting article in the King & Wood SJ Berwin “Community Week” newsletter discusses the volume of competition law cases brought in the European General Court. Overall, there has been a decline in the number of competition law cases filed with the Court despite an overall rise in the volume of cases the Court hears. The team notes that this is attributable to a variety of factors, including the EU’s policy on settlement and commitments (similar to enforceable undertakings in Australia), as well as the cost and complexity of competition matters.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Eric Fischer (“OpenStreetMap GPS trace density in and near Europe”) licensed under CC BY 2.0. Remixed to B&W and resized.