Media Briefing Note: Application of the UK Competition Act 1998 to land agreements
05 April 2011
From 6 April 2011 the provisions of Chapter I of the UK Competition Act 1998 will for the first time apply to land agreements. Angus Coulter, Of Counsel in Hogan Lovells' Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation practice, comments:
"From tomorrow (6 April 2011), the provisions of Chapter I of the UK Competition Act 1998 will for the first time apply to land agreements - leases and other agreements creating or transferring of an interest in land. Where such agreements contain restrictions with an impact on competition in the UK, these restrictions may be illegal.
The Office of Fair Trading has (on 25 March 2011) published a Guideline setting out how the competition rules may apply to such restrictions. It also provides some comfort in indicating the OFT's enforcement priorities in this area. The OFT has said that it considers that only a minority of such restrictions will breach the Chapter I prohibition.
In reality, no one is quite sure what the impact will be. The OFT Guideline provides some helpful guidance but is non-binding. It also contains some conclusions which suggest that owners, users and developers of land may need to revisit their future and possibly existing agreements. Companies getting it wrong may find it impossible to enforce key clauses in their agreements and, at worst, may face future OFT investigations and possible fines."
About Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells combines the breadth of business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service that clients have come to expect through working with its two founding firms – Hogan & Hartson and Lovells.
"Hogan Lovells" or the "firm" refers to the international legal practice comprising Hogan Lovells International LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Hogan Lovells Worldwide Group (a Swiss Verein), and their affiliated businesses, each of which is a separate legal entity. Hogan Lovells International LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC323639. Registered office and principal place of business: Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG. Hogan Lovells US LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in the District of Columbia.
The word "partner" is used to refer to a member of Hogan Lovells International LLP or a partner of Hogan Lovells US LLP, or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications, and to a partner, member, employee or consultant in any of their affiliated businesses who has equivalent standing. Rankings and quotes from legal directories and other sources may refer to the former firms of Hogan & Hartson LLP and Lovells LLP. Where case studies are included, results achieved do not guarantee similar outcomes for other clients.