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Competition Economics Blog.    

Luxembourg 20th December 2017 - CJEU Rules that Uber is Providing a Taxi Service.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Uber was a provider of taxi services. The judgement arose following a referral to the Court for a preliminary ruling by Spanish Commercial Court No. 3 in Barcelona in a case brought by a Spanish taxi drivers' association challenging UBER for providing an unauthrosied taxi services. The Spanish Court asked whether UBER should be regarded as information society services, transport services or a combination of both. The CJEU held that, in principle, UBER's activities met the criteria for classification as an ‘information society service’ within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Directive 98/34 and Article 2(a) of Directive 2000/31. However, the Court went on to rule that an intermediation service such as that provided by UBER, the purpose of which is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as ‘a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of Article 58(1) TFEU.

Paderborn 30th August 2017 - Patrick Massey Addresses European Sports Economics Association Annual Conference.

Compecon Director Patrick Massey presented two papers at the Annual ESEA Conference at the University of Paderborn. The first paper which was o-authored with Dr Vincent Hogan of UCD employed a production frontier model to measure the efficiency of teams in rugby's Pro-12 league. The model measures how efficent teams are in terms of winning matches given the playing resources available to them. The results indicate that Irish teams were more than most of the other teams with Leinster, Munster and Ulster among the four most efficient teams with efficiency levels in excess of 90%. The second paper co-authored with Dr Robbie Butler of UCC and Dr. Liam Lenten of La Trobe Univeristy in Melbourne analysed the impact of bonus points on team behaviour in rugby's Heineken Cup. The analysis found that bonus points increased the likelihood that teams, particularly home teams would score four tries but reduced the incidence of teams scoring more than four tries suggesting that teams tended to ease off once they achieved the bonus target.

Dublin 10th August 2017 - Inching Toward Bus Competition in Dublin.

The National Transport Authority announced that UK bus operator Go-Ahead has been selected as the preferred bidder for the contract relating to the operation of 24 Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus routes in the Dublin metropolitan area. According to the NTA Go-Ahead is expected to begin operating some of these routes by the end of November 2018 and all routes by February 2019.

Dublin 4th July 2017 - EU Commission Raids Motor Insurers.

A number of motor insurance providers in Irealnd were subject to raids by Eu Commission officials investigating allegations of anti-competitive behaviour.

Brussels 18th May 2017 - EU Commission Fines Facebook €110m for providing misleading information on 2014 WhatsApp Takeover.

The EU Commission announced that it has fined Facebook €110m for providing misleading information in relation to its 2014 takeover of Whatsapp. At the time of the takeover Facebook told the Commission that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users' accounts and WhatsApp users' accounts. The Commission decision states that the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users' identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility. According to the Commission the possibility of matching did not affect its decision allowing the transaction to proceed.

Dublin 10th May 2017 - CCPC Clears VHI Acquisition of Swiftcare Clinics.

The CCPC approved VHI's acquisition of sole control of the VHI Swiftcare clinics located in Dublin and Cork. The transaction was cleared without conditions following a Phase 1 investigation. The VHI had previously held a 50% share in the business. Compecon advised VHI in relation to the transaction.

For earlier reports see Compecon's News Archive.