Dublin 17th April – Analysing Performance of French Soccer Club PSG.

In 2011 Paris Saint-Germain, one of France’s top soccer clubs, was bought by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). Since then, PSG have dominated French football with a budget way in excess of its rivals. This paper written by Compecon Director Patrick Massey and Vincent Hogan of UCD asks whether the success achieved by PSG represents value for money. While PSG operated close to the production frontier in terms of converting resources to points, i.e., it was relatively efficient, although in several seasons it scored vastly more points than was necessary to win Ligue 1. At the same time, we find that up to 2016/17 at least, PSG has underperformed in the Champions League. Click here to download the paper.

Dublin 15th April – KBC to Exit Irish Bank Market. Belgian owned bank KBC announced that it is withdrawing from the Irish banking market.

London 19th March – CMA to Investigate Facebook. The UK’s competition regulator is preparing an antitrust investigation into Facebook within the next few months, marking its latest crackdown on Big Tech’s dominance after launching similar investigations into Google and Apple earlier this year.

London 1st March – UK Supreme Court Rules that Uber Drivers Are Employees Not Self-Employed

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers must be treated as workers and not as self-employed individuals. Two former Uber drivers had bought a case to the UK Employment Appeals Tribunal which decided in January 2017 that they were employees of Uber and were therefore entitled to the minimum wage and to holiday pay. Uber had unsuccessfully appealed the decision through the UK courts and the Supreme Court judgement marks the end of the case. Uber’s share price fell in the US following the judgement. Uber stated that is has since made changes to its business.

Dublin 5th February – CCPC Clears ESB/Coillte JV Subject to Commitments. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has cleared a proposed joint venture between the ESB and Coillte, subject to a number of legally binding commitments. This follows an in-depth Phase 2 investigation by the CCPC. The CCPC stated that it had identified two potential competition concerns relating to the risk of exchange of competitively sensitive information. The CCPC has concluded that the commitments offered by the parties are sufficient to address its competition concerns.

Dublin 1st February – Loan Service Companies Abandon Proposed Merger.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) announced that two loan servicing companies – Link Group and Pepper – had abandoned plans to merge their Irish businesses. The proposed merger was originally notified to the CCPC on 10th February 2020. In July 2020, the CCPC announced that it would carry out a detailed – Phase 2 – investigation into the proposed transaction. It subsequently informed the parties that it had potential concerns about the likely impact of the transaction on competition. The parties have now dropped their plans almost a year after they had originally notified the transaction to the CCPC.

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