Media / Competition & Regulatory

Brexit: The First 100 Days

Brexit was a defining moment in this country’s modern history. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK’s new free trade agreement negotiated with the EU, now governs the UK’s trading relationship with the European trading bloc and has radically reshaped the trading landscape. With the first 100 days of the TCA under its belt, we look back to see […]

New UK Digital Regulatory Regime Launched with Establishment of Digital Markets Unit

Introduction On 7th April 2021 the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”), Department of Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) and the Competition & Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced the establishment of a new Digital Markets Unit (“DMU”), established within the CMA, to enforce the UK’s new digital regulatory regime. The DMU has begun work in a shadow, non-statutory form. […]

UK Local Authorities Could Seek Damages Over Alleged Pre-Paid Cards Cartel as Payment Services Regulator Issues a Statement of Objections Fining Parties £32 Million

Introduction The Payment Services Regulator (PSR) issued its first decision enforcing competition law in the payments sector on 31st March 2021. The PSR is a concurrent competition regulator for the payments sector along with the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). This is the first time the PSR it has used its competition powers since it became a concurrent competition regulator […]

Competition & Markets Authority Opens Competition Investigation Against Apple Over Exclusivity and Tying Provisions in its Application Developer Terms  

This investigation is one of the first examples after the end of the Brexit transitional period of the UK’s principal competition regulator, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), conducting a parallel competition investigation into similar practices being concurrently examined by the EU Commission. The CMA opened its investigation into Apple under the Chapter II of Competition Act 1998. It follows […]

Leading Pharmaceutical manufacturer, Aspen, Gives Legally Binding Commitments to Reduce its Prices Following EU Commission Competition Law Investigation into Excessive Pricing

Following an extensive competition law investigation by the EU Commission, leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, Aspen, offered legally binding Commitments to reduce its prices in Europe for six critical cancer medicines by 73% on average and to backdate those price reductions to 2019. In addition, under the terms of the Commitments, Aspen must ensure the continued supply of these off-patent medicines for […]

EU Commission Provides Guidance on Status of Dual Role Agents under EU Competition Law

As part of its review of the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption, Commission Regulation 330/2010 (“VABE”), the European Commission published a Working Paper on 5th February 2021 setting out the Commission’s preliminary views on the applicability of Article 101 TFEU to situations where distributors also act as agents for different products in the same product market for the same supplier (“the […]

EU Commission Starts Competition Investigation against Leading Chocolate Producer, Mondelēz, for Restricting Parallel Trade in the EU

Introduction The European Commission has announced that it has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Mondelēz, one of the largest producers of chocolate, biscuits, and coffee in the EU, has restricted competition by hindering the cross-border trade between EU Member States of those products in breach of Articles 101 and/or 102 of the Treaty of the Functioning of […]

EU Commission Fines Gaming Platform, Steam, and five PC Video Game Publishers €8 million for Geo-blocking Practices in Breach of the EU Competition Rules

Introduction In the aftermath of the EU Commission’s E-Commerce Report the EU Commission commenced an antitrust investigation under the EU competition rules into geo-blocking practices of Valve, the owner of a PC online gaming platform “Steam” and five video games publishers: Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax (“the Publishers”). The Commission published its decision on 20th January […]

The UK/EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement: New rules for trading with EU after 1 January 2021

Introduction The UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) agreed on 24th December 2020 will usher in big changes as to how UK businesses trade with the European Union as from 1st January 2021. After that date, the UK left the EU Single Market and the Customs Union, and the UK and EU formed two distinct regulatory, legal and customs territories. […]

European Commission publishes new wide-ranging rules to regulate digital markets

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission published its much-heralded legislative proposals to regulate digital markets. Although Brexit in theory now allows the UK to implement divergent competition and regulatory proposals the EU proposals mirror to a large extent the UK Government’s recently announced high level plans to regulate major platform providers with the establishment of a platform regulator. Platform […]