Attheraces v BHB [2007] EWCA Civ 38

Court of Appeal judgment (about 48 pages) reversing the High Court ruling that BHB had abused a dominant position in its dealings with Attheraces over the provision of pre-race data.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge's characterisation of BHB's dominant position, but rejected his finding of abuse on the following grounds:

According to the Court of Appeal:

119. Fourthly, it has to be borne in mind that, as stated in Bronner, the law on abuse of dominant position is about distortion of competition and safeguarding the interests of consumers in the relevant market. It is not a law against suppliers making "excessive profits" by selling their products to other producers at prices yielding more than a reasonable return on the cost of production, i.e. at more than what the judge described as the "competitive price level". Still less is it a law under which the courts can regulate prices by fixing the fair price for a product on the application of the purchaser who complains that he is being overcharged for an essential facility by the sole supplier of it.

Attheraces plans to seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords.

Update: This dispute has been settled out of court (announcement dated 6 March 2007).

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Media, UK courts.

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