The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) has stepped up its merger control activities on many fronts in recent weeks, issuing ground-breaking decisions in the Glencore/Xstrata and Marubeni/Gavilon cases and circulating draft procedural rules for public consultation on merger remedies and on dealing with straightforward merger control cases.
The new decisions
On April 16, 2013, MOFCOM issued approval for Glencore’s acquisition of Xstrata subject to conditions. Less than a week later, on April 22, it did likewise for the takeover of Gavilon by Marubeni.
Overall MOFCOM’s approach in both transactions was remarkably similar. However, there were also some key differences.
Common featur [...]
Canada’s first competition legislation was enacted in 1889, with the intention of combatting the price-fixing and other anti-competitive conduct of so-called “combinations.” Trade and professional associations figured prominently among the “combinations” alleged to have engaged in this anti-competitive behaviour. As one observer commented at the time, “there are few branches of trade in this or any country which are not represented by associations which seek to prevent unprofitable competition”.
Fast forward to 2012, and it is apparent that Canadian competition authorities continue to harbour similar concerns about the legality of certain trade and professional association acti [...]
Merger challenges are rare in Canada. The last contested merger case in Canada was in 2005. Typically, concerns about a prospective merger are resolved in negotiations between the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) and the acquiring party, with some form of partial divestiture the usual remedy required.
As such, it was a major development when the Commissioner applied to the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) in January 2011 to prohibit the acquisition by CCS Corporation (“CCS”) of the shares of Complete Environmental Inc. (“Complete”) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Babkirk Land Services Inc. (“BLS”). The Tribunal is responsible for adjudicating merg [...]
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division “remains committed to taking all appropriate investigatory and enforcement action against conduct threatening harm to competition in agricultural markets,” according to a report released earlier this month.
The report, entitled “Competition and Agriculture: Voices from the Workshops on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement in our 21st Century Economy and Thoughts on the Way Forward,” is intended to share with the agriculture and antitrust communities what the Antitrust Division learned at a series of five workshops hosted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture in 2010.
The report identifies recurring themes heard at the wor [...]
In recent months, again there have been major developments in German competition law. Some of these developments have unfolded in high-tech industries, such as chipboard panel manufacturing, online video services and telecommunications, while others have arisen in more traditional contexts.
At the legislative level, the German government has presented a draft bill for a major revision of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC), which is intended to align the German competition regime even closer to the EU rules. In the merger field, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has made headlines with the prohibition of a planned video-on-demand joint venture between the two main pri [...]
The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved the transaction yesterday.
U.S. antitrust approval is a major hurdle; however, the combination of the two leading stock exchange groups, which was announced in February, still requires clearance by the European Commission (EC).
Although the Antitrust Division settlement would only resolve concerns over the merger’s impact on U.S. markets, it indicates that the parties are willing to make concessions to get the deal done. It is a positive sign for a deal that continues to evolve in an effort to satisfy EC competiti [...]
A case involving Google confirms that the French Competition Authority is keen on using a combination of interim measures and commitment proceedings in order help it quickly resolve maters which it perceives as competition issues. This may remain a specific feature of the French system however: having regard to the very demanding standard of proof imposed on the Commission before it can grant interim measures, it would be difficult to replicate this powerful regulatory tool at the EU level for instance.
The case at hand concerns the content policy of Google’s famous AdWords service. As many readers will know, the object of AdWords is to sell online advertising space on Google. Advertisers [...]