Competition in goods and services markets cannot develop without an efficient, reliable and safe payments system. Given the importance of and emerging problems in the financial sector, national regulators and the European Commission are increasingly investigating competition in areas such as retail banking, payments networks, money transfer organisations, and interest and forex benchmark rates (Libor, Euribor).
CASE’s economists have advised banks, clearing houses, and other financial institutions in the midst of these recent developments. Our assignments have spanned regulatory investigations, mergers, competition abuses,and regulatory impact analyses.
CASE has advised companies on a wide range of competition and regulatory matter affecting financial institutions, their customers and suppliers in retail banking, payments systems, insurance, securities trading, commodities trading, money and cash transfer services, credit and debit card networks sectors.
They work closely with companies and their legal advisers in responding to regulatory consultations, assisting with competition filings, undertaking competition analyses, assisting with merger and joint venture clearance, and making written and oral presentations to regulators, as well as expert testimony in legal proceedings.
CASE has assisted fixed, mobile, cable, and satellite network operators on a range of competition and regulatory matters including access and interconnection, pricing and cost analysis, margin squeeze allegations, predation, foreclosure, termination charges, and many other standard issues surrounding the economic regulation of network operators. From an early stage Case has advised mobile network operators and VMNOs on competitive issues including termination charges and licensing arrangements.
CASE has assisted clients to respond to consultations and investigations by European Commission (DG Infosoc and DG Comp) as well as by National Regulatory Authorities including Ofcom (UK), ComReg (Ireland), OPTA (Netherlands), BIPT (Belgium), RTR (Austria), FICORA (Finland), BnetzA (Germany), AGCOM (Italy), OFTA (Hong Kong), Commerce Commission (New Zealand), and the ACA and ABA (Australia).
CASE has provided assistance to gain merger clearance for many of the largest mergers in the communication sector including Vodafone/Mannesmann, MCI/WorldCom, AOL/Time Warner, Telia/Telenor, Telia/Sonera, Sonae/PortugalTelecom, Seagrams/Polygram, TMobile/Tele.ring, E.ON/MOL, Dong/Elsam/E2, and HP/Compaq
Recent assignments include:
- expert report and testimony in New Zealand High Court on the competitive impact of the closure of FX money transfer organisations’ bank account under anti-money laudering regulations
- expert report in legal proceedings on alleged abuse of dominance by cash handling operator in Lithuania
- competitive assessment of account closure of money transfer organisations (MTO) by UK clearing bank
- judical review of proposed rules of the London Metal Exchange concerning warehousing of copper
- assistance to a public housing corporation with valuation of claim for earthquake damage in settlement negotiations with insurer
- preliminary assessment for for damages class action for excessive cross-border and domestic interchange fees
- judicial review in the Australian Federal Court of propsoed regualtion of card interchange fees and access arrangements
- assessment of store card scheme for major retailer
- efficiency assessment of direct debit interchange fees under Article 101(3)TFEU
- evaluation of competition in cross-border retail payments
- competitive analysis of securities trading and post-trading markets
- cost allocation and predatory pricing in banking sector
- assessment of mergers in ATM and retail banking