Competition law; Bird & Bird Completes Extensive Market Definitions Report for EC

20 February 2003

International law firm, Bird & Bird has recently completed an extensive, in-depth report on market definition in the media sector for the European Commission. This is now published on the website of the Commission’s Directorate General for Competition.

Market definition is a vital and often decisive part of any competition law investigation. The report, which was produced for the Media Unit of the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission, is therefore very significant for purposes of competition law in the media sector, at EC level and at national level in the Member States. It will, for example, be a valuable resource for the purpose of applying merger control rules to mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in the media sector.

The report can be taken into account by the Commission and also national authorities in relation to competition law decisions and regulatory proposals and measures in the media sector. It will also be available to provide guidance to businesses and advisors on one of the most difficult areas of media ownership.

Bird & Bird was appointed by the European Commission to carry out the report. The work was co-ordinated by partner and joint-head of Bird & Bird’s competition practice, Olivier Freget with assistance from Charlotte de Panafieu. Bird & Bird lawyers across Europe were involved in the production of the 273 page report which analyses 30 years’ worth of decisions from the EU, France, Germany, Italy and the UK; some 400 precedents in all.

Commenting Olivier Freget, said:

“Market definition is recognised as the most critical and challenging aspect of competition law these days. We were very pleased to be able to work for the European Commission on this, as it plays to our strengths in this important field”.

Bird & Bird has recently been named 'European Law Firm of the year 2002/2003' by Global Counsel 3000, an award based largely on client feedback.

For more information, please contact Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.