UK Merger Control: Recent Developments (Issue 2)

09 Apr 2010 | by Alistair Lindsay

UK merger control remains relatively quiet.  There are currently no merger references from the OFT before the Competition Commission (the CC): the only ongoing merger investigation at the CC – Live Nation / Ticketmaster – arose as a result of a remittal from the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the CAT).  Nevertheless, the last six months has resulted in three merger appeals to the CAT (Sports Direct, Eventim and Stagecoach), the Court of Appeal’s decision in British Sky Broadcasting, and some very controversial CC decisions including: the reversals of the Provisional Findings in Stagecoach / Cavendish and Live Nation / Ticketmaster; the novel counterfactual analysis in Stagecoach / Preston Bus; and the unconditional clearance of Sports Direct / JJB Sports, which created local monopolies.