Impact of health warnings on cigarette packaging in Brazil and Mexico

Case finalised a study on behalf of an international tobacco company to determine whether large pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs in Brazil and Mexico reduced cigarette sales.  The study used panel regression analysis of aggregate point of sales data. It failed to find any statistically significant reduction in cigarette sales in either country.

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Vacancy for graduate economists

Case has a vacancy for one or more recent graduates in competition economics to assist its clients with economic and empirical analyses. The ideal candidate will have a post-graduate economics degree with specialisations in industrial economics and have strong quantitative skills including graduate study of econometrics and the use of major statistical packages such as STATA. He or she should also be ambitious and self-motivated with strong communication, writing, and quantitative skills able to work to tight deadlines. Further details and how to apply read more

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Impact of plain packaging of cigarettes in Turkey

Case finalised its study on behalf of an international tobacco company of the prospective impact of the introduction of plain packaging regulation in Turkey.  The study forecast the likely effects of such regulation on cigarette consumption, tax revenues, and counterfeit cigarette activity.

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Landmark UK collective action against MasterCard

Case is assisting in a landmark consumer collective action under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 against MasterCard filed earlier this month at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London. Walter Merricks v MasterCard is the “biggest action in UK legal history” and the first UK style “class action”.  It is a follow-on action arising from the European Commission’s MasterCard decision of 2007 which found that MasterCard had charged excessive interchange fees.  The action is on behalf of over 42 million individuals claiming damages of around £14 billion (US$18.2 billion).  Case Associates is assisting litigation lawyers Quinn Emanuel in the action which is funded by Gerchen Keller Capital LLC, the world’s largest litigation funder, providing up to £40 million to cover legal and other costs. A summary of the application to commence legal proceedings can be found on the CAT’s website, and further details of the action are set out in Quinn Emanuel’s Press Release.

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Electronics cartel damages

Case has undertaken preliminary quantification of overcharge damages in a follow-on group action by UK public authorities against a member of an electronics cartel operating within the EU.

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Flexible foam cartel damages

Case is assisting a claimant in a preliminary quantification of overcharge damages in a follow-on action against a member of the EU Polyurethane Foam cartel (COMP AT. 39.83).

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Case successfully assists UK independent TV programme producers

Case submitted its report Competitive Assessment of the Independent Programme Sector commissioned by Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact) to the Ofcom’s review of the current regulation of independent TV programme production and associated Terms of Trade (ToT) governing the commissioning of independent TV programmes.  Case found that the UK TV programme production market was not effectively competitive and dominated by the three public services broadcasters.  It concluded that the ToT should remain as otherwise the independent programme production sector would face the unrestrained market power of the PSBs with the consequence that programme fees would fall, more rights would be retained by broadcasters, and the independent programme production sector would shrink.  At the end of April 2016 the UK Government announced it would not abolish or alter the ToT, and more surprisingly that the BBC would be required to open up its TV programme commissioning to the market.  This was a significant result for the client, well beyond its expectations; and a major boost for the UK independent programme production sector.

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Bank’s “debanking” of MTOs in New Zealand

Cento Veljanovski was retained as an expert in an action in the New Zealand High Court brought by a FX money transfer organisation (MTO) which was threaten with closure of its account by Kiwi bank as part of its so-called “derisking” in response to anti-money laundering regulations (the AML/CFT Act).  Cento participated in a hot tub giving evidence that the actions of the banks in closing MTO accounts, had the “effect” of substantially lessening competition under section 27(2) of the Commerce Act 1986. While the court (E-Trans v Kiwibank) accepted Dr Veljanovski’ s evidence and analysis, it concluded that legally it could only consider the closure of the one bank account, and not the other 100 closed or being closed by Kiwibank, and therefore the defendant’s action did not SLC. 

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Prime broker market

Case provided preliminary assessment of the prospects of an action for abuse of dominance (Art 102TFEU) arising from the termination of a hedge fund’s account with a prime broker.

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Margin squeeze in rail ticketing

Case provided an economic assessment of whether train operators had engaged in an illegal margin squeeze under Art 102TFEU through the commission rates they set for advance ticket sales to third party online ticketing agents.

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