Postscript on Non-Compete Clauses, Contractual Disputes and Splitting Atoms

June 25, 2012

(by Bruce Lyons) The European Commission last week agreed legally binding commitments by Siemens and Areva to reduce the product scope and duration of their excessive non-compete clauses.  This follows the break-up of their nuclear technology joint venture.  Some of these clauses had been for 11 years from the break-up and others encompassed markets in which the JV did not even have its own products.  The settlement struck down the latter and reduced the duration of others to a maximum of three years. Read the rest of this entry »

Should Private Claims for Damages in Competition Law Cases Really Be Treated Differently?

June 22, 2012

(by Duncan Sheehan) Several issues come out of the BIS consultation in this area, some of which have been discussed in blog posts by Andreas Stephan and Peter Whelan. Here I focus on the way in which we quantify or measure damages in English private law and ask whether competition law should be treated differently. From a purely practical perspective, differential treatment for one area of law may encourage game playing and attempts to squeeze claims into categories they don’t really belong in order to obtain procedural or substantive advantages. There may of course be good reasons to treat competition cases differently but that needs to be argued and not assumed. Read the rest of this entry »

OFT’s Proposed Reforms Fall Short of Ensuring Independence in Antitrust Decision Making

June 8, 2012

(by Bruce Lyons)  The OFT is currently consulting on its proposed new investigation procedures in competition cases.  Much of what is proposed is very good – but the reforms do not ensure independent decision making and compromise the potential role for independent experts of the kind successfully used in Phase II merger cases. Read the rest of this entry »