A number of recent European telecoms mergers have highlighted the difficulties in winning merger clearances on efficiency grounds, even where the deal would appear to give rise to obvious efficiencies. A number of mobile network operators, or MNOs, have claimed that joining forces with competing MNOs would give the scale necessary to undertake the very significant investments needed in network upgrades.
For those who may be interested in a trip to Paris in June, the 2017 edition of the New Frontiers of Antitrust conference will take place on 26 June, which is a Monday. It is hosted by Concurrences Review at the Maison du Barreau, Rue de Harlay.
Readers of Nordic Competition get a 10% discount by using the code “NFA2017PartnersBlogs”.
Marc van der Woude, Judge, Vice-President, General Court of the European Union, Luxembourg, will deliver the opening keynote speech.
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) got a new head of merger control, Ms Sanna Syrjälä, at the beginning of 2017. In this interview with Nordic Competition, she urges parties to engage in early and realistic pre-notification discussions and highlights the increased significance of econometrics in effects analyses.
You have a background as a head of research in the FCCA’s department responsible for cartels and other behavioural competition law enforcement. Why did you choose to move your focus to merger control, and how will your experience be of use in your new position?
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting competition law developments in the Nordic countries in 2016.
- Non-compete clause. The Stockholm District Court found against the Swedish Competition Authority that a non-compete clause lasting five years did not constitute an infringement of competition rules by object, and was further unable to identify anti-competitive effects. As a result, the Court refused to impose the fines of around EUR 5 million that the SCA had requested. The Patent and Market Court will hear the authority’s appeal in September 2017.
In the fall 2016, Associated Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Christian Bergqvist, published a study on the limitations of competition law and its ambiguous application to the supply of electricity and telecommunications in the EU. The publication analyses the impact of competition law in the electricity and telecommunications sectors across the EU. The general perception is that competition law has played a limited role in the electricity and telecoms markets. “Between Regulation and Deregulation” rebuts the presumption but then offers some words of caution on the matter, as competition law is not well equipped to deal with some of the unique forms of market power in these sectors. Nordic Competition Blog has been invited to review the publication.