Competition in UK Law
Sel-imperial Ltd (Claimant Respondent) v The British Standards Institution (Defendant Applicant)
Moreover, it is important that competition claims are pleaded properly. To contend that a party has infringed competition law involves a serious allegation of breach of a quasi-public law, which can indeed lead to the imposition of financial penalties as well as civil liability. A defendant faced with such a claim is entitled to know what specific conduct or agreement is complained of and how that is alleged to violate the law.
Moreover, one can consider the hypothetical possibility of a situation where BSI decided that it would restrict the number of repairers, whether generally or by region, to which it would grant a Kitemark in respect of PAS 125. That could clearly result in a severe restriction of competition. It is no answer to say that BSI as a responsible body would never contemplate such action.
Heathrow Hub Ltd v The Secretary of State for Transport
Before we consider these points of competition law, however, we should stress one fundamental point regarding Ground 1. This is a claim for judicial review and the Claimants are seeking (and seeking only) the quashing of the Secretary of State's decision to designate the ANPS. This is a public law ground and the remedy sought is a public law remedy. The Claimants have chosen to bring a competition law claim not as a self-standing claim, but within the framework of a claim for judicial review.
The fact is that Ground 1 seeks to question something done by the Secretary of State in the course of preparing the ANPS, namely the preference decision, where that decision did not, even potentially, affect competition or market structure, whilst seeking to quash the designation of the ANPS. However, the designation of the ANPS was not affected by the promoter-specific risk.
British Telecommunications Plc v Telefónica O2 UK Ltd and Others
It was, moreover, an economic judgment by an expert tribunal which had received a substantial amount of additional evidence, including economic evidence. Since appeal lay to the Court of Appeal only on points of law, the CAT's findings on the distortion of competition liable to result from the rejection of the new charging structure were not open to rejection on appeal.
British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors and Another, R v Secretary of State for Health
However, there was no evidence which supported that assertion. Although it was clear on the evidence that a dramatic price reduction would usually be made at the time the patent protection expired, a branded product could still command a premium over its generic product, as a premium is inherent in the value of a brand.
BHB Enterprises Plc v Victor Chandler (International) Ltd
These are notoriously burdensome allegations, frequently leading to extensive evidence, including expert reports from economists and accountants. The recent history of cases in which such allegations have been raised illustrate that they can lead to lengthy and expensive trials. Before a party has to respond to an allegation like this, it is incumbent on the party making the allegation to set out clearly and succinctly the major facts upon which it will rely.
- Competition Act 1998
- Competition Act 1980
- Competition and Service (Utilities) Act 1992
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
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- Criminalising Competition Law Offences
- EC Competition Law
Competition Litigation Update
The English Courts will continue this year to consider several issues that will shape the future of private damages actions for infringements of competition law.
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