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Competition Law Compliance: 2008

This Special Briefing describes UK competition law referring, where relevant, to EU competition law, to Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome. It aims above all to be practical and concentrates on what is allowed and what is not, what is advised to ensure compliance and how to make complaints under the Chapter I and Chapter II prohibitions in the Competition Act 1998.

Overview

The UK Competition Act, in force since March 2000 has brought with it rigorous new investigative powers and the potential for serious penalties. The Enterprise Act 2002 tightened the law still further making it a criminal offence to engage in “horizontal” price fixing and bid rigging. As a result, the UK has one of the toughest competition law regimes in the EU.

However, new means of communication, larger concentrations of market power and globalisation of business have brought new opportunities for collusion and abuse of a dominant position. It is not surprising that the competition authorities are redoubling their efforts at enforcement in the new environment.

This Special Briefing describes UK competition law referring, where relevant, to EU competition law, to Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome. It aims above all to be practical and concentrates on what is allowed and what is not, what is advised to ensure compliance and how to make complaints under the Chapter I and Chapter II prohibitions in the Competition Act 1998.

Wherever possible the Briefing indicates where the reader can find further information on a particular competition law topic.

This Special Briefing will:

  • PROVIDE practical advice from a recognised competition law expert with clear guidelines on what is allowed and what is not
  • DISTIL all the key information you need to be aware of so that you can advise your organisation or clients with confidence
  • ENSURE that you know what you have to do to ensure compliance with the UK’s competition law regime and avoid the major pitfalls
  • GIVE directions on where to find further information on particular competition law issues

This special briefing will benefit:

  • In-house lawyers
  • Compliance officers
  • Company secretaries
  • Private practice legal advisers

Content

1 Introduction

  • Summary of the Act and its provisions
  • Historical and economic context
  • The Treaties and the European Union
  • Competition law as a sword and shield
  • Exemptions and principal arrangements in court
  • The scope of competition law
  • Cases illustrating the scope of competition law
  • Considering arrangements under competition law
  • Further information

2 Anti-competitive agreements

  • Areas to watch
  • Agreements
  • Individual exemptions and Informal Guidance and Regulation 1/2003
  • List of Guidance Notes of the Office of Fair Trading
  • Further information

3 Common contracts

  • Vertical agreements
  • Agency agreements
  • Research and development, specialisation regulations and horizontal agreements
  • Selling a business
  • Land agreements
  • Patent and know-how and software copyright licences – The Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation
  • Other intellectual property agreements
  • Further information

4 Abuse of market power

  • Introduction
  • Dominant position
  • The relevant market
  • Abuse of a dominant position
  • Conclusion
  • Further information

5 Criminal penalties, compliance and enforcement

  • The Enterprise Act 2002
  • Further information

The author

Susan Singleton is a solicitor with her own London firm, Singletons that specialises in competition law, intellectual property law, IT/ecommerce and general commercial law. According to the Chambers and Partners Legal Directory she is one of the UK’s leading IT Lawyers. In 2002 she acted for the claimant in the first damages action for breach of the EU competition rules to come before the English courts Arkin v Borchard and Others. Her clients range from major plcs and institutions to small start up businesses.

She is author of over 25 law books on topics such as internet and ecommerce law, competition law, commercial agency law, data protection legislation and intellectual property and writes around twenty legal articles a month. She is a frequent speaker on intellectual property, competition and commercial law, both in the UK and abroad. She is on the Committee of the Competition Law Association, is a member of the Licensing Executives Society (EC/Laws Committee) and serves on the Legal Committee of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and is a member of the Society of Computers and Law.

Continuing professional development

This course qualifies for the following CPD programmes:

  • CPD certificate of attendance: 4.00 hours

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