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International Competition Issues

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Canada To Real Estate Brokers: Competition, Competition And Competition Are Also Important

Posted  11/8/10
While the three most important things about real estate may be location, location and location, Canadian antitrust enforcers are telling real estate brokers that competition is also important. The Competition Bureau of Canada has entered into a consent agreement with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) settling the Bureau's claims that the rules imposed by the CREA limited consumer choice and prevented...

Europeans Block Iron Giants’ Second Attempt To Combine

Posted  10/28/10
For the second time in as many years, antitrust enforcers have blocked a proposed deal between mining companies BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. to create the world’s largest iron-ore exporter. The companies have announced that they will not proceed with a $10 billion joint venture of their ire ore operations in western Australia, due to objections from antitrust agencies in Australia, Germany, Japan, and...

Scrap Metal Cartels Facing Global Scrutiny

Posted  10/25/10
A worldwide antitrust crackdown on scrap metal cartels has landed in Korea with the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s recent imposition of a $1.45 million fine against 25 scrap metal processors for price fixing. Scrap metal processors purchase the scraps that are produced by the steel production process.  The processors in turn sort and clean the scrap metal and sell the final product to end users, frequently other...

Britain Eyes Merging Merger Cops

Posted  10/20/10
The United Kingdom’s two antitrust agencies will be merged if a proposed consolidation that seeks to streamline the British regulatory process passes its own merger review by the government. Currently, the U.K. employs two regulatory bodies to scrutinize competition activity, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) and the Competition Commission.  The two bodies have slightly different roles, but work together in...

EU College Of Commissioners May Promote Antitrust Class Action Plan Despite Last Year’s Failing Grade

Posted  10/15/10
Although the American version of class actions may still be viewed as an unwelcome immigrant by businesses in Europe, the European Commission appears to be reviving efforts to fashion its own kinder, gentler, European version of class actions for antitrust violations. Recent reports indicate that the European Commission has gone back to work on an initiative to allow collective actions for damages by parties...

Aussie Mining Giant Clears U.S. Hurdle In Hostile Bid For Canada’s Potash

Posted  10/4/10
Australian mining giant BHP Biliton Ltd. Has won its first regulatory approval – from U.S. antitrust authorities – in its $39 billion dollar hostile bid to take over Canada’s Potash Corp., the world’s largest producer of potash, a key crop nutrient used in fertilizer. BHP has announced that the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice have terminated the HSR...

EU Top Court Says No Attorney-Client Privilege For In-House Counsel

Posted  09/29/10
The Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union (‘EU’), has ruled that communications between corporations and their in-house counsel are not protected by the Legal Professional Privilege (‘LPP’), the European version of the attorney-client privilege. The Court’s decision in Case C-550/07 P, Akzo Nobel Chemicals and Akcros Chemicals v. Commission, means that in-house counsel will not be able...

Online Gambling Companies Win Big As EU Throws Out Germany’s Gambling Monopoly

Posted  09/24/10
Online and other private gambling companies are looking forward to their winnings as a result of the ruling by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (ECJ) that Germany’s state-run gambling monopoly violates European Union law. The EU’s highest court has ruled that Germany’s justification for the state monopoly on gambling rang hollow and struck down the law in a landmark decision that opens the door to...

Europeans May Exterminate Sara Lee’s Insecticide Deal

Posted  09/17/10
The European Union’s antitrust regulator is setting its sights on a $200 million deal for a partial sale of an insecticide business owned by Sara Lee, the food company, to S.C. Johnson & Son, which chiefly makes home-care products. Both companies are based in the United States, and a European Commission press release acknowledged that the transaction may not “have a Community dimension.”  Even so, the...

Canadians Consider Changes In Merger Review Practices

Posted  09/15/10
The Canadian Competition Bureau has announced that it will consider possible revisions to the Canadian merger enforcement guidelines. The Bureau will hold a series of discussions on whether its merger enforcement guidelines issued in 2004 are a good reflection of current Canadian merger review practices.  The purpose of such guidelines is to evaluate the potential competitive effect of mergers. The decision...
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