Topic: Antitrust

UK: OFT Competition Investigation Results in Formal Commitments from Motor Insurers to Limit Data Exchange

The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced on 13 January 2011 that seven insurance companies (Ageas Insurance Limited (formally Fortis Insurance Limited), Aviva plc, AXA Insurance UK plc, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, RBS Insurance Group Limited, Royal Sun Alliance and Zurich Insurance plc), and two IT software and service providers (Experian Limited and SSP Limited) have offered formal commitments to limit the type of information shared through a specialist market analysis tool. 

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UK: OFT to Launch Market Study into Private Healthcare

On 14 December 2010, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that it is to undertake a study of competition in the UK private healthcare market. Such studies, which typically last for 6-12 months, can lead to the OFT making recommendations to government on how competition could be improved and/or a full market investigation reference to the Competition Commission (CC). 

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Third Circuit Revives Limited Portions of In Re: Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation (MDL 1663)

Nearly three years after a federal district court dismissed with prejudice a nationwide class action alleging antitrust and RICO claims against insurers and brokers in connection with contingent commission arrangements, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a limited swath of plaintiffs’ claims.  The Third Circuit concluded that plaintiffs’ allegations regarding contingent commission arrangements alone were insufficient to support antitrust and RICO claims. 

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EU: European Commission Adopts New Competition Block Exemption Regulation for the Insurance Sector

On 24 March 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted its long-awaited new block exemption regulation for the insurance sector, which will come into force on 1 April 2010.  Block exemptions are an instrument of European competition law that remove certain categories of agreement from the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements set out in Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (previously Article 81 EC Treaty). 

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United States Federal Trade Commission Lowers Pre-Merger Filing Thresholds

Each year the FTC is required by statute to adjust the thresholds for Hart-Scott Rodino pre-merger filings.  HSR filings and consequent regulatory approval of the transaction are required prior to closing a transaction involving the acquisition of assets (including exclusive licenses) or securities that meets the operative thresholds. 

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