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The CMA has today issued a statement of objections to the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD).

This sets out the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) provisional decision that MSD operated an anti-competitive discount scheme for its medicine Remicade. Remicade is the brand name for MSD’s version of a biological medicine called infliximab, which is used primarily in the treatment of patients with gastroenterology and rheumatology conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The CMA has provisionally found that MSD broke competition law by abusing its dominant position through a discount scheme for Remicade that was likely to restrict competition from ‘biosimilar’ versions of infliximab that were new to the market.

At this stage of the CMA’s investigation, these findings are provisional and no conclusion should be drawn that there has in fact been any breach of competition law. The CMA will carefully consider any representations by the company under investigation before determining whether the law has been infringed.

The CMA proposes to find MSD and its ultimate parent company Merck & Co., Inc. jointly and severally liable for the alleged infringement. The CMA opened this investigation in December 2015.

For more information see the case page.


Euro Car Parts’ acquisition of another car parts supplier, Andrew Page, has been referred for an in-depth merger investigation.

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that it would refer the deal for an in-depth investigation unless Euro Car Parts offered acceptable ways of addressing competition concerns.

Euro Car Parts has chosen not to offer these and so the merger will now be referred for an in-depth investigation by an independent group of CMA panel members (known as phase 2). The deadline for the final decision is 5 November 2017.

Both companies supply car parts to independent garages across the UK, and the CMA found that they compete closely with each other. Therefore, the CMA is concerned that the merger could substantially reduce competition in a number of local areas, as well as for some large customers that purchase car parts on a national basis. Customers could lose out if their suppliers are no longer competing with each other to offer the best deal.

The phase 2 investigation group will take a fresh look at the merger before coming to its decision.

Further information about the investigation is available on the case page.


The UK will observe a minute's? silence on Thursday 25 May 2017 and flags will remain at half-mast on Whitehall government buildings

A minute?’s silence will be held at 11am on Thursday 25 May in remembrance of those who lost their lives and all others that were affected by the attack in Manchester on Monday.

The silence will be marked at all government buildings and other organisations may follow suit.

Flags on government buildings will remain at half-mast until the evening of Thursday 25 May.


Police doing what the public expects to keep people safe and urging people to stay alert

National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:

“The investigation into the terrorist attack in Manchester is large scale, fast moving and making good progress. There has been an arrest and there are currently multiple searches and other activity taking place as I speak.

However at this stage it is still not possible to be certain if there was a wider group involved in the attack; 24 hours in we have a number of investigative leads that we are pursuing to manage the ongoing threat.

This concern has led to the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre to raise the threat level to “critical” this evening. It means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.

The public would expect the police to do everything possible to prevent further attacks and keep them safe. We are flexing our resources to increase police presence at key sites, such as transport and other crowded places and we are reviewing key events over the coming weeks.

As the Prime Minister has already said this evening I have asked for support from the military to be deployed alongside the police. This will free up armed officers from certain guarding duties to release our officers to support the wider response.

This is part of an agreed and well-rehearsed plan and military personnel will remain under the command and control of the police service.

At this time we are asking the public to remain calm but alert. If you see anything that causes you concern, then let us know immediately, if you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour call us.

Look out for anything that seems out of place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life. It may be nothing but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist related trust your instinct no matter how small then ACT and call 999.”


How to apply for compensation if you were a victim of the terrorist attack in Manchester on 22 May 2017

Applications can be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, by those victims injured, or the families of those killed in the attack.

If you have been bereaved or suffered a personal injury as a result of this incident you can find out more about applying. Alternatively, you can call the CICA helpline on 0300 003 3601.

You do not need a paid representative, such as a solicitor or claims management company, to apply to CICA for compensation. Our Guide provides information about free independent advice that may be available from local support services or other charitable organisations.


Updates and advice following the incident in Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.

News updates

You can follow @G M Police and @Terrorism Police for Twitter updates on the incident.

Useful information that may assist when deploying the tactical options:

Find out more about the Action Counters Terrorism campaign.

If you see anything that causes you concern or raises your suspicions do not hesitate to call the Police confidentially on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency 999. If you get caught up in the rare event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.


Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has given a statement following yesterday’s attack in Manchester.

“I know that some people will only just be waking up to the news of the horrific attacks in Manchester last night.

This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the victims who have been affected, and I know the whole country will share that view.

I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have worked throughout the night professionally and effectively – they have done an excellent job.

Later on this morning, I will be attending COBRa, chaired by the Prime Minister, to collect more information – to find out more – about this particular attack, and I can’t comment any more on that at the moment.

The public should remain alert but not alarmed. If they have anything to report, they should approach the police.

But I have two further things to add.

The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.

This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society – its intention was to sow fear – its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.”


Ofqual statement on Manchester incident: advice for schools and students

Many students and teachers are likely to have been affected by the tragic events in Manchester last night. Head teachers are best placed to decide whether exams should go ahead as planned.

We will consider with the exam boards how the provisions that are normally made for students who are unable to sit their exams when planned, or who take their exams but whose performance might be affected, will be applied.

Students and their parents should seek advice and information from their schools. Our thoughts are with everyone affected.


The deadline for submitting Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) returns for the year ended 31 December 2016 is 31 May 2017.

Returns should include reportable accounts for the Financial Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOT) and the first year for Common Reporting Standards (CRS).

Financial institutions are advised to check whether they need to register and submit an AEOI return, and if so make the submission in advance of the 31 May deadline.

More information on the requirement to register and submit can be found in our AEOI guidance.

Returns submitted after the deadline, or the filing of an incorrect return, may result in penalties being charged.

If you have any queries please contact your HMRC Customer Coordinator/Customer Relationship Manager, or email your query to


Grounding of a passenger vessel in the approaches to Eastham lock, River Mersey.

MAIB’s report on the investigation of the grounding of the passenger ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey at the entrance to Eastham lock, River Mersey, on 10 July 2016 is now published.

MAIB investigation report 11-2017: Royal Iris of the Mersey

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