Media / Competition & Regulatory

Public Procurement: Getting Ready for Brexit

Introduction On 14th October, the Government laid before Parliament further draft legislation to ensure the UK public procurement regime is ready for Brexit after the end of the Implementation Period on 31st December 2020 at 11pm. This comprised the draft Public Procurement (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (“the New Regulations “) which is to revoke the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU […]

Do We Need a Specialist Block Exemption to Cover the Distribution of Motor Vehicles in the EU?

Introduction On 12 October 2020, the European Commission announced a public consultation in relation to the review of competition legislation which governs the distribution of the sale and repair of motor vehicles and the distribution of spare parts in the European Union. The review will look into whether the terms of Commission Regulation 461/2010 (“the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption” or” […]

New EU Rules on Foreign Direct Investment Come into Force

As we have previously reported on this Blog the UK is due to table a National Security and Foreign Investment Bill before Christmas which is likely to bring in a system similar to the US CFIUS regime. However, the UK is not alone in tightening up rules on foreign investment as a reaction to certain hostile foreign actors investing in […]

CMA Opens Abuse of Dominance Investigation in the Pharma Sector in Response to Threatened Withdrawal of Key Drug

The discontinuance of Priadel, a lithium-based medication for the treatment of bipolar disease by the pharmaceutical company, Essential Pharma, has resulted in the UK’s principal competition regulator, the Competition & Markets Authority(“the CMA”) , launching an investigation under Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998  for alleged abuse of a dominant position. The investigation will look at whether Essential Pharma has abused […]

Brexit Trade Agreement in The Balance?

The ninth round of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, which was held from 29 September to 2 October 2020 ended without agreement. This was the last scheduled round of trade talks agreed by the UK and the EU in their negotiating plan back in July 2020. The UK has always maintained that there needed to be an agreement on a […]

Ofgem Issues Statement of Objections for Alleged Abuse of Dominance in Energy Sector

On 30 September 2020, Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to PayPoint Plc and its subsidiaries (“PayPoint”) in its investigation into an suspected abuse of dominance contrary to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and/or the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998. This represents the formal start of […]

EU Competition Commissioner Emphasizes Importance of Digital Services Act as Part of Covid-19 Recovery

In a speech on 23 September 2020 the EU Executive Vice President and Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, emphasised the importance of the role of competition policy and the Digital Services Act in the EU’s recovery from COVID-19. The Commissioner said the EU remained committed, despite the COVID-19 crisis, to its objectives of advancing its work on the digital economy, the […]

CMA Limits the Amount of Discount Available for Leniency Applications in Resale Price Maintenance Cases

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the principal  UK competition regulator, recently announced a significant change of policy in the way it will deal with leniency applications in relation to resale price maintenance cases (RPM). It is to limit the amount of discount available to leniency applicants in these type of cases. The CMA believes that the deterrent effect of […]

Yet Another Review of UK Competition Policy!

You have to wonder what the UK Government intends to do with competition policy reform as it announces yet another review of competition policy. The Government already has a number of initiatives under foot. We have  had the recommendations from the Furman Review. The Digital Markets Taskforce which is looking at how best to regulate digital markets is due to […]

EU Commission Guidance Encourages Greater Use of Direct Awards and Faster Procurement Processes in Light of Covid-19

Recently the EU Commission issued practical guidance in relation to how public bodies can use the provisions of the EU public procurement rules to source goods, services and works rapidly in response to the emergency caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. The guidance emphasises that “the EU public procurement legislation already provides public buyers in the EU with the ability to […]