October 1, 2015

Consumer Rights Act 2015: Private Actions for Breaches of Competition Law – Overview of the New Regime

The entry into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA15”) on 1 October 2015 sees the overhaul of the private enforcement regime in England & Wales. The CRA15, which amends both the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002, introduces a number of significant reforms to the current regime, in particular ‘opt-out’ collective actions and collective settlements. In addition, from 1 October 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) will have the jurisdiction to hear ‘stand-alone’ cases and to grant injunctions. Other key features of the new regime include the creation of a ‘fast-track’ procedure for straightforward claims; the harmonisation of the limitation period applicable to claims in the CAT with that of the High Court; and the introduction of voluntary redress schemes approved by the Competition and Markets Authority. See here for our analysis of the case.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Enforcement


September 25, 2015

No X-Ray Vision at the FTC: Court Hands Agency a Rare Defeat in the Steris/Synergy Merger

In FTC v. Steris, the FTC was handed a rare litigation defeat. The case was notable because it involved a merger between companies who were not current competitors. The FTC alleged that without the merger, Synergy would have entered the US sterilization market with a disruptive new technology that would have undermined the current duopoly and benefited customers. The court found little in the evidence to support the FTC’s theory. To be sure, there will be some soul-searching at the FTC as to how the Court could find the weight of the evidence so strongly on the side of the merging parties. However, because the case was decided on the single factual question of whether Synergy would have entered the U.S. market independently, the case has little precedential value and is unlikely to significantly alter the FTC’s general approach to mergers involving potential competitors. See here for our analysis of the case.

Categories: US Enforcement, US Mergers


February 20, 2015

FTC Clears Zillow-Trulia Merger Without Conditions

In a decision taken on February 13, the FTC unconditionally approved the Zillow-Trulia merger after an intensive six-month antitrust review. Despite reported concerns “that the merger might concentrate too much power in one company,” the FTC ultimately concluded that the transaction did not threatend to lessen competition in any market.  This note examines the transaction and the economic analysis that supported the Commission's conclusion.

Categories: US Mergers