Competition briefing note
In 2014, two of the most noticeable changes to the competition law landscape will be the election of the new EU Competition Commissioner to replace Joaquin Almunia, and in the UK the entry into force of the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") to replace the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.
Alongside these changes, we expect to see a number of trends throughout 2014, such as the European Commission ("Commission") continuing to focus on increasing efficiencies in the enforcement of EU competition law, and the UK continuing its development towards a more investigative and intelligence led approach to cartel enforcement.
What will be the top ten trends for 2014?
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- Reform of the competition authorities and competition rules in the UK
- An increase in EU merger notifications under the simplified procedure and a closing of the "enforcement gap" in relation to acquisitions of non-controlling minority stakes
- No slowing down in the continued determination of the Commission and UK competition authorities to uncover and sanction cartel activity
- An increased scrutiny of "most favoured nation" clauses in the online world and more generally, especially in the UK
- A growing focus on the promotion of private damages and collective redress claims in the EU
- A continued use of the formal commitment procedure in EU abuse of dominance cases
- A closer monitoring of compliance by companies with commitment decisions at the EU level
- A continued examination of pay-for-delay agreements in the pharmaceutical sector
- A continued scrutiny of the maritime sector
- An increase in merger activity in the air transport, rail and healthcare sectors