24 January 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed
down a preliminary judgment on questions referred to it by the
Greek courts in a challenge to OPAP's monopoly brought by UK-based
gambling operators, Stanleybet, William Hill and Sportingbet. Given
the nature of preliminary references, the Court of Justice was not
empowered to declare the monopoly illegal in this instance; the
ultimate judgment must be reached by the referring Greek court.
However, the Court of Justice strongly intimated that, based on the
information before it, OPAP's exclusive rights in relation to the
Greek gambling market do not comply with European Union
25 January 2013
The Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") has issued
revised guidance on how it will set financial penalties in
future competition law infringement cases. The most significant
change is the increase in the maximum starting point for penalty
calculations from 10 to 30 per cent of "relevant turnover" (defined
as revenue generated in the market affected by the infringing
behaviour), bringing the OFT in line with the European Commission
and many of its counterparts in other European Member States.
13 September 2012
On 8 August 2012, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT")
published its much anticipated judgment in the appeals brought by
Sky, Virgin Media, BT and the Premier League against Ofcom's 2010
decision to require Sky to offer wholesale access to its premium
sports channels at prices set by Ofcom (the "wholesale must offer
obligation" or "WMO"). In a significant victory for Sky, the CAT
concluded that Ofcom's core competition concern, which underpinned
the wholesale access requirement, was not supported by the
09 August 2012
On 12 July 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a judgment confirming that EU Member States can prohibit cross-border casino advertising on grounds of consumer protection without contravening EU law. However, Member States can only impose such a ban if they have determined that the rules under which the foreign advertiser operates do not ensure equivalent levels of protection against the risks of gaming. In addition, the Member State imposing the ban must ensure that its own rules are proportionate.
13 July 2012
In this update, we report on some of the recent developments in the gambling sector across Europe, including the latest indications from the European Commission that its online gambling action plan will be published by the end of September.
10 July 2012
With Statements of Objections imminent in several antitrust cases opened by the European Commission following its 2008/2009 pharmaceutical sector inquiry, in this article we examine the experience of the US antitrust regulators in dealing with "pay for delay" settlement agreements. In particular, we look at the recent case of FTC v Watson Pharmaceuticals in which the FTC failed to convince the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit of the per se illegality of such agreements.
14 May 2012
The UK's Coalition Government is currently working on changes to UK gambling policy, which in recent years has fostered the most open gambling market in the EU.
03 May 2012
In this update, we report on some of the recent developments in the gambling sector across Europe, including the latest events in Greece, where the government's decision to introduce a retrospective gross gambling revenue tax is being challenged in court.
23 March 2012