Ocean Network Express container liner joint venture – approved subject to conditions 17.01.18

Following its investigation, the Competition Commission had prohibited a joint venture that would combine the global container liner shipping businesses of NYK., MOL, and K-Line, to form Ocean Network Express, due to concerns that the transaction would lead to coordinated effects in the container liner shipping market, as well as spill over effects in adjacent markets in which each of the joint venture parties would continue to operate independently, such as car carrier and bulk shipping services. The parties applied to the Competition Tribunal for a consideration, and an RBB team led by Patrick Smith, and assisted by Jacob Muller, submitted an expert report to the Tribunal, assessing the effect of the joint venture on competition in container liner shipping services, as well as adjacent shipping markets. The Commission ultimately abandoned its concerns in container liner shipping services, and the Commission and the Parties jointly proposed a range of conditions, that were later approved by the Tribunal, relating to the exchange of competitively sensitive information between the container liner shipping joint venture, and the parties’ adjacent and independent car carrier shipping and bulk shipping businesses. RBB was instructed by Webber Wentzel, attorneys acting for the parties.


Competition Policy for the New Era – insights from the BRICS Countries 17.01.18

A paper on excessive pricing regulation in China, South Africa, and other BRICS Member States, written by RBB economists Richard Murgatroyd, Yan Yu and Innes Barnardt, has been included in the book “Competition Policy for the New Era – insights from the BRICS Countries” recently published by Oxford University Press.

The paper reviews the economic framework and analytical tools that have been used in order to assess excessive pricing, and provides an overview of the relevant policy and enforcement trends relating to excessive pricing in a number of BRICS jurisdictions, focussing in particular on China and South Africa.

Chapter 12



ATF Fuels wins JCRA Appeal in Jersey Royal Court Judgment 11.01.18

On 8 January 2018, the Royal Court of Jersey reached a Judgment which upheld an appeal by ATF Overseas Holdings (ATF) against a Decision by the Jersey Competition and Regulatory (JCRA). In March 2016, the JCRA had found that ATF, the sole supplier of aviation fuel at Jersey airport, had abused a dominant position by refusing to supply fuel to Aviation Beauport Ltd on terms that would allow resale to aircraft owners. The Court found that ATF’s refusal to supply was not an abuse, and that ATF had not engaged in anti-competitive price discrimination.

RBB acted for ATF on this appeal, with Alistair Lindsay from Monckton Chambers. An expert report from Derek Ridyard is cited in the Court’s Judgment.


Vodafone and Melita call off merger 12.12.17

Melita and Vodafone have called off plans for a merger, saying that they were unable to meet the conditions stipulated by the competition authority.

The merger intention was first announced in May 2017, when the Vodafone Group Plc, Apax Partners Midmarket SAS and Fortino Capital said they wanted to create a fully integrated communications company in Malta.

However, the merger was immediately criticised by competitor GO and raised the ire of various consumers who said that it would restrict competition. The proposed deal would have seen the number of mobile telecom-network owners in Malta reduced to two from three.

RBB Economics advised GO who was a third party in the merger review. To read the full article click here


13 of RBB Economics’ experts recognised as thought leaders in competition economics in new publication 11.12.17

The recently published Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Competition 2018 features competition lawyers and economists who are considered by peers, corporate counsel and other market sources to be “among the very best in the world in their field, without exception”. RBB Economics accounts for 13 of the 73 economists listed worldwide, and 13 out of the 54 economists listed which are based in Europe. The RBB economists listed are Simon Bishop, Benoit Durand, Andrea Lofaro, Francesco Rosati and Jan Peter van der Veer in Brussels, Bojana Ignjatovic, Adrian Majumdar, Derek Ridyard, Patrick Smith and Iestyn Williams in England, Matthijs Visser in the Netherlands and Petter Berg and Niklas Strand in Sweden.

The publication and full list of Thought Leaders can be found [here]