UCT Law@Work Competition Masterclass 19.09.18

Patrick Smith will speak at the UCT Law@Work Competition Masterclass, to be held in Johannesburg, over 20 and 21 September 2018. The programme includes discussions on approaches to market inquiries, reflecting on UK and South African experiences, a Q&A session with the Minister for Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel on the Competition Amendment Bill, and panel discussions involving Judges from the Competition Appeal Court and members of the Competition Tribunal. Patrick will discuss recent developments in the application of abuse of dominance provisions, both internationally and in South Africa, and will reflect on potential implications for the proposed changes in the South African Competition Act.


Bundeskartellamt clears Douglas acquisition of Parfümerie Akzente unconditionally after Phase I investigation 24.08.18

On 25 July 2018 the Bundeskartellamt unconditionally cleared the acquisition of Parfümerei Akzente by Douglas. Douglas, part of the CVC-group, is the leading cosmetics retailer in Germany, whereas Akzente is a significant player in particular in the online segment. Next to their respective online stores, the Parties operate 456 and 27 offline stores across Germany, respectively. The Bundeskartellamt’s investigation focused on a local market analysis of potentially competing stores and on an assessment of competition between online and offline retailers.

RBB Economics assisted Douglas in obtaining clearance for the acquisition.


EC clears Tronox acquisition of Cristal with minor remedies after Phase 2 investigation 05.07.18

Both parties are active primarily in the production of titanium dioxide pigment. After a wide-ranging investigation, the Commission’s coordinated effects concerns were ultimately dismissed, and remaining issues were limited to horizontal unilateral effects in one relatively small product market. RBB prepared a number of economic submissions and gave evidence at an oral hearing, working alongside law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Cleary Gottlieb. RBB also assisted Tronox with merger inquiries in Australia and New Zealand, where unconditional clearances were granted after detailed investigations, as well as in China, South Korea, Canada, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.


Sky acquisition by Comcast gets unconditional Phase I go-ahead from the EC 05.07.18

The Commission’s analysis centred on vertical issues, including whether Comcast (owner of NBC Universal) would be able to foreclose Sky’s competitors by preventing or limiting access to its content or TV channels, as well as whether Comcast’s competitors in the supply of content or TV channels would be at risk from customer foreclosure. The Commission concluded that neither of these theories of harm amounted to viable competition concerns. RBB advised Comcast alongside lawyers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.


RBB Economics marked out as ‘best in class’ for performance in Economics & Regulatory category 26.06.18

Based on in-depth analysis from analytics company WhoKnowsAbout, who assessed the consulting capabilities of around 1,200 consulting firms with more than 20 employees across 15 industry and 15 functional topic areas to compile a ranking of the top 10 global consulting firms by industry and service expertise, writes:

“The expertise of RBB Economics, which understandably specialises in economic consulting, saw the firm celebrated for the Economics & Regulatory category.”

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