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Monday, 16 September 2013

Prize promotions - guidance from CAP

The Committee of Advertising Practice has issued a new "Help Note" on promotions with prizes, which is likely to be of assistance to any business engaging in that sort of promotional activity - which is certainly not unknown in the motor trade ... You can find the page on the CAP website here.

Compensation for breach of Data Protection Act: (nominal) damages and distress

A data subject whose rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 are breached can claim compensation, for damage that he or she has suffered and for any distress suffered in addtion. (In rare cases, the Act allows a claim for compensation for distress only, too.) In Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd (CCF) [2013] EWCA Civ 333 (15 March 2013) the Court of Appeal had to consider a case in which the data subject, Mr Halliday, had been awarded only nominal damages for loss of reputation, and the District Judge took the view that the claim for compensation for distress failed because of the nominal award. To succeed in the second part of the claim, he would have to have been awarded substantial damages under the first head, and the damages that he was awarded were general damages rather than special damages designed to compensate a particular loss. On appeal, the county court judge agreed with this assessment. The Court of Appeal differed, though, and awarded him a modest sum for distress: this was the first case on section 13(2) of the 1998 Act to come before the courts and importantly the Court of Appeal proceeded on the basis that compensation for distress did not require an award of substantial compensation for actual damage - that was conceded by the defendant (respondent) before the court considered the case. So perhaps it proves little, but as the first case in this rather important area it certainly merits comment.

Volume 13 number 10 - links to source material (work in progress)

Subject access request: ICO's online checklist and Subject Access Code of Practice.

Fairstar Heavy Transport NV v Adkins & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 886 (19 July 2013)

Daniel Stewart & Co plc v Environmental Waste Controls plc [2013] EWHC 1763 (QB)

Citroen Belux NV v Federatie voor Verzekerings- en Financiele Tussenpersonen (FvF) [2013] EUECJ C-265/12 (18 July 2013)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Spain: competition authority launches proceedings concerning price-fixing in car market

Following an investigation in July (see this press release), the CNC, Spain's national competition authority, has initiated proceedings against several car manufacturers and their dealers for price-fixing and exchanging commercially sensitive information, and against some others for exchanging information only. Auditors and data processing companies also seem to be in the frame. The press release (in Spanish) is here, and there is also a report from Reuters.

Running the press release through Google Translate reveals little more information, other than a list of vehicle manufacturers and dealers who are under investigation, and that the authorities have 18 months in which to complete the exercise.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lookers gives initial undertakings to OFT following merger with Shields

Lookers Motor Group Limited completed the acquisition of Shields Automotive Limited in May. The OFT is now considering whether the deal is within the scope of the Enterprise Act 2002 and if it is whether the merger might lead to a "substantial lessening of competition", in the awkward words of the Act. The OFT's website says:
The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether this agreement has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.
On 2 September, Lookers plc and Lookers Motor Group Limited gave undertakings to the OFT that they will keep the businesses separate for the time being. Nothing there to suggest that this is anything more than the OFT looking into the market effect of a merger, which it does all the time: the undertakings preserve the status quo, in case the authorities decide that the merger has to be undone.

You can read the full text of the undertakings here, and the invitation to comment here. They ask for comments by 17 September, incidentally. Don't hang around!