In June, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would be looking at 12 behavioural merger remedies that are more than 10 years old, having prioritised these from an initial list of 38. It has provisionally decided that all but one of these should be removed from its register of orders and undertakings. Two have lapsed whereas in the other cases changes in circumstances mean that the remedies are no longer required. It is continuing to analyse the remaining case.
The CMA has also identified the next 3 behavioural merger remedies it will be reviewing. Details on the provisional decisions and the 3 new reviews are available on the case page. The CMA expects to announce further reviews later this year.
This exercise forms part of a wider programme of work on remedy reviews, initially set out in the CMA’s 2015/16 annual plan, with the aim of reducing burdens on business by assessing whether past merger and market remedies should be removed. The 2016/17 annual plan restates this aim and pledges to build on the work carried out during the last year.
In March, the CMA completed its review of 71 structural merger remedies put in place before 1 January 2005. As a result, 51 of these remedies were removed.
The CMA is seeking views on both its provisional decisions as well as whether or not remedies in the 3 new reviews should be varied or released. Those responding should provide their views, supported with any relevant evidence, in writing to the CMA by 30 September 2016 either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post:
Competition and Markets Authority
7th Floor North
37 Southampton Row
London WC1B 4AD
Full details on the CMA’s previous remedies review programme are available on the case page.
Notes for editors
- The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.
- The CMA has a statutory duty under the Fair Trading Act 1973 and the Enterprise Act 2002 to keep undertakings and orders under review. From time to time, the CMA must consider whether, by reason of any change of circumstances: undertakings are no longer appropriate and need to be varied, superseded or released; or an order is no longer appropriate and needs to be varied or revoked. Responsibility for deciding on variation or termination of orders lies with the CMA except for a small number of older remedies where decisions are for the Secretary of State following advice from the CMA.
- Of the 11 remedies where the CMA has provisionally concluded that releasing the undertakings is appropriate, 7 are provisional decisions under the Enterprise Act 2002, while 2 are provisional advice to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In two cases, the undertakings have lapsed.
- The group appointed to review the remedies is: Simon Polito (Chair), Anne Lambert and Philip Marsden.
- The 11 merger remedies which have lapsed or where provisional decisions/provisional advice to release have been reached are:
- Allied Domecq plc / Carlsberg A/S (1992) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- Arriva plc / Lutonian Buses (2000) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- Charter Consolidated plc / Anderson Strathclyde plc (1982) – provisional advice to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to release the undertakings
- Hartley Industrial Trust Ltd / Alan J Lewis and Jarmain and Son Ltd (1992) – remedy lapsed
- Hoverspeed UK Ltd / Hoverlloyd Ltd (1981) – remedy lapsed
- Inntrepreneur Estates / Scottish Courage (1995) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- National Express Group plc / Midland Main Line Ltd (1997) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- National Express Group plc / Prism Rail plc (2001) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- Nutricia Holdings Ltd / Valio International UK Ltd (1997) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- Robert Wiseman Dairies plc / Scottish Pride Holdings plc (1997) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- Serco Group Ltd (Nimbus) / National Air Traffic Services (2001) – provisional advice to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to release the undertakings
- Thomas Cook Group Ltd / Interpayment Services Ltd (1996) – provisional decision to release the undertakings
- The one merger remedy review which remains ongoing is Robert Wiseman Dairies plc / Scottish Pride Holdings plc (1997).
- The 3 new merger remedies to be reviewed are:
- Coloplast A/S, Coloplast Ltd / 4C Health Ltd (2001)
- Drager and Drager Medical UK Ltd / Air Shields business of Hill-Rom (2003)
- Ivax International GmbH / 3M Company’s distribution business for certain asthma products (2003)
- Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor (email@example.com, 020 3738 6798).
- For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn.