The impact of COVID-19 on competition law in the consumer sector (UK, Australia and Asia)

The Covid-19 health crisis raises substantial challenges for businesses and consumers and has had a significant impact on competition law affecting the consumer sector. While the particular implications will vary by jurisdiction, some common trends may be identified. One broader development is that competition authorities have recognised that certain forms of temporary cooperation between businesses, … Read more

UK Government adopts Competition Act Exclusion Order for the dairy sector

A new Competition Act Exclusion Order, the Competition Act 1998 (Dairy Produce) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion ) Order 2020 (the Dairy Exclusion Order) came into force on 1 May 2020.  Under the Competition Act 1998 (Schedule 3 paragraph 7) the Government can exempt certain specified agreements from the Chapter I prohibition if there are exceptional … Read more

CMA guidance on merger assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance on its approach to merger control during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The guidance deals with procedural issues as well as substantive assessment, and makes it clear that on the whole the CMA’s approach remains one of ‘business as usual’.  Unlike in many other jurisdictions, statutory timelines have … Read more

UK CMA provisionally clears Amazon/Deliveroo in first application of “failing firm” defence during the COVID-19 pandemic

On 17 April 2020 the CMA announced its provisional clearance of Amazon’s proposed acquisition of a stake in Deliveroo.  The transaction was referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation in December 2019, in light of concerns about the impact on competition for the supply of online restaurant delivery platforms and the supply of online convenience … Read more

COVID-19 and the impact on competition law – mining

The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, and notably Europe, in recent weeks is placing increasing strain on our economies, in addition to the tragic human impact. Several implications for competition law have already emerged. In the update below, we summarise (non-exhaustively) potential competition law considerations for the mining sector. Competition authorities are publishing/revising … Read more

UK Competition Act Coronavirus Exclusion Orders provide further guidance on types of agreement permitted and process required in order to benefit from the exclusions

On 28 March 2020 three Orders excluding certain types of agreements from the Chapter I prohibition (prohibition on anti-competitive agreements) under the Competition Act 1998 came into force: The Competition Act 1998 (Groceries) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order (“Groceries Exclusion Order”) The Competition Act 1998 (Health Services for Patients in England) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) … Read more

The impact of COVID-19 on competition law in the pharmaceutical sector

Updated 14 April 2020 The global COVID-19 pandemic has, to an extent, re-directed some of the actions and focus of competition authorities, which are placing increasing scrutiny on several strategic industries to ensure they do not profit from the crisis. Some of these developments, as outlined below, are relevant to the pharmaceutical industry (for information … Read more