The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rules on the obligation for the OFT to refer a merger case to the Competition Commission whenever there is doubt about whether it would result in a substantial lessening of competition (IBA Health)

On 3 December 2003, the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK upheld an application by IBA Health Ltd for judicial review against the Office of Fair Trading's decision not to refer the anticipated merger between iSoft Plc and Torex Plc to the Competition Commission for detailed investigation. This is the first case under the new merger control provisions in the Enterprise Act 2002 to come before the Tribunal for judicial review under Section 120 of that Act. The judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal delimits the role of the Office of Fair Trading in merger review, essentially allowing the Office of Fair Trading to clear only those mergers that raise no “grey” issues. Where there is doubt about whether a merger would result in a substantial lessening competition, the Office of Fair

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  • Hogan Lovells (London)

Quotation

Suyong Kim, The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rules on the obligation for the OFT to refer a merger case to the Competition Commission whenever there is doubt about whether it would result in a substantial lessening of competition (IBA Health), 3 December 2003, e-Competitions Bulletin December 2003, Art. N° 37197

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