EU and Asia Antitrust and Competition Quarterly Briefing

Profession:O'Melveny & Myers LLP
 
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Article by Riccardo Celli , Christian Riis-Madsen and Nathan Bush

With the new Commission taking office, the previous quarter was one of transition. While it is still too early to say how Commissioner Almunia and Director-General Italianer will influence EU competition policy and the Commission's future enforcement record, some immediate changes have been made. As described in more detail below, the most noticeable change is the significant delay of new legislation covering private damages actions in the EU.

Separately, several of the Block Exemption Regulations will be renewed. As described below, the new Insurance Block Exemption Regulation has just been issued. The Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and the Horizontal guidelines are to come later this year.

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The European Commission's New Insurance Block Exemption Regulation Siobhan Kahmann

On 1 April 2010, the European Commission's new Insurance Block Exemption Regulation No. 267 of 2010 ("new IBER") came into force, and will remain valid until 31 March 2017. Under the new IBER, specific types of agreements commonly used within the insurance industry are exempted from normal competition rules on the basis that cooperation in these areas increases efficiency and benefits consumers. This article explains the major changes from the previous block exemption regulation and explores what these changes mean in practice. See a link to the online article here.

Adoption of EU Legislation on Private Damages Actions Following on from Competition Violations to Face Long Delay Giovanni Cifelli

John Dalli, the EU Consumer Commissioner, recently revealed plans to work in parallel with DG Comp on the consultation process for private actions following on from competition violations and collective redress for consumers seeking damages for product failures and other related issues. However, the EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, has decided to take a cautious approach in this area. Commissioner Almunia's stance, plus the announcement of a further public consultation on private actions will most probably lead to a long delay in the adoption of EU rules on collective redress following on from competition rules infringements. See a link to the online article here.

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EU AND ASIA ANTITRUST ALERTS DISTRIBUTED DURING THE 1st QUARTER OF 2010:

Indonesia's Proposed Mandatory Merger Pre-Notification Regime (April 8, 2010) Joel Hogarth, Siobhan Kahmann, Philippe Noguès

China's NDRC Punishes Rice Noodle Cartel Members (April 2, 2010) Nathan Bush

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The European Commission's New Insurance Block Exemption Regulation Siobhan Kahmann

1 April 2010, the European Commission's new Insurance Block Exemption Regulation No. 267 of 20101 ("new IBER") came into force, and will remain valid until 31 March 2017. Under the new IBER, specific types of agreements commonly used within the insurance industry are exempted from normal competition rules on the basis that cooperation in these areas increases efficiency and benefits consumers. This article explains the major changes from the previous block exemption regulation and explores what these changes mean in practice.

The New IBER

Following its Business Insurance Sector Inquiry2 which was initiated back in 2005, the Commission...

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