Interim measures in the UK: Lessons From the Online Auction Platform Case

Simon Chisholm, Vice President, Charles River Associates, UK
Sarah Long, Partner, Euclid Law, UK
Helen Parker, Chief Executive, UKAuctioneers Group, UK

Interim measures have the potential to be an effective and cost-efficient way for businesses with limited budgets to change the behaviour of companies that raise competition concerns. The threshold for interim measures was lowered in the UK, and the UK competition authority (the CMA) has made clear it is open to receiving more applications. The CMA dealt with an application for interim measures in the online auction platform case, which ultimately resulted in the company under investigation offering commitments. However, the procedural and evidentiary standards for a successful interim measures case remain high and applicants should not underestimate the burden and cost of embarking on the process. This paper considers these issues, with particular focus on the implications for business of making an application for interim measures or defending one, as a company subject to a complaint.

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United Kingdom Competition Auction January 2019 Vol.12, No. 46, Winter 2019

Simon Chisholm

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Simon Chisholm is Vice President in CRA’s Competition Practice. He provides economic advice on both UK, EU and global mergers, vertical restraints, assessments of alleged abusive conduct, and regulatory submissions. Prior to joining CRA, Simon spent over five years at the Competition and Markets Authority and Office of Fair Trading, where he directed the team of economists analysing UK mergers. Simon has also previously been a Senior Civil Servant at the Department of Business responsible for directing the economic analysis for UK consumer and competition policy.

Sarah Long

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Sarah Long is a partner in the London office of Euclid Law. Sarah advises on all aspects of UK and EU competition law, and has significant experience working with both the CMA and European Commission on a number of high profile cases. Sarah’s experience spans a variety of sectors including financial services, oil and gas, residential construction, consumer goods and travel. Sarah has particular expertise in online markets and the digital economy. Sarah is recognised as one of 30 most notable competition professionals in private practice (Women@competition/Parr, February 2017), and recommended in the Legal 500 for being ‘very hard-working and capable’ and providing ‘commercially-focused advice’ (Legal 500 EU & Competition, 2017 and 2018). Sarah is co-editor of the Competition Law Journal and a CEDR qualified Mediator.

Helen Parker

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CEO of The UKAuctioneersGroup and TradeIntellect. Worked as a director in eCommerce business' servicing the retail and goods industry for over 8 years, with a background in eCommerce products, change management and business analysis for start-ups and corporates - including Yellow Pages and TMDR. Originally trained in Psychology and started career in business planning, reporting and business acquisition.

UKAuctioneers Group

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UKAuctioneers Group - a network of online bidding sites which gives millions of people access to the exciting world of auction houses and the goods they have to offer. Including www.bidonthis.co.uk, www.ukauctioneers.com and www.theauctionroom.com. We’re passionate about auctions and want anyone with a phone, tablet or computer to have access to the world of live auctions from anywhere at any time. Trade Intellect, an eCommerce company specialising in wholesale trading with sites of www.thewholesaleforums.com and www.thewholesalecommunity.com, a community and trading platform for Wholesalers, Retailers and eBay Power Sellers.

Charles River Associates

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Charles River Associates’ (CRA) European Competition Practice is a leading provider of antitrust and regulatory economics advice. CRA has provided thought leadership on front-line issues that have since become mainstream and supported several milestone cases with innovative analysis that has contributed to the development of competition policy in Europe. With over 200 economists based in London, Brussels, Paris, Washington DC, Boston, West Coast, Toronto, and Sydney, the European Competition practice is closely integrated with CRA’s competition experts in North America and APAC, drawing on each other’s expertise and working together on multi-jurisdictional matters.

United Kingdom Competition Auction January 2019 Vol.12, No. 46, Winter 2019

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