Guillaume Fabre

Jouvensal-Fabre (Paris)

Guillaume Fabre, Counsel, is a member of the Competition and EU Law team. He represents clients involved in proceedings before the French and EU competition authorities (particularly concerning state aid and merger control) as well as in connection with EU or French competition litigation (particularly concerning anti-competitive agreements and damages actions).


11252 Review

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Solène Hamon Annulment: The EU General Court annuls a decision prohibiting a merger in an oligopolistic market, recalling the scope of the notion of significant impediment to effective competition as well as the standard of proof applicable for the European Commission to conclude that there is a risk of non-coordinated effects (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)


On 11 September 2015, the Hutchison Group, a shareholder in the UK mobile phone operator ’Three’, notified the European Commission of its proposed acquisition of its competitor ’O2’, a UK subsidiary of the Spanish operator Telefonica Europe plc. On 30 October 2015, the European Commission opened a (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Solène Hamon Commitments: The European Commission partially waives commitments offered in the framework of a merger between the two main world producers of refrigeration compressor (Nidec / Embraco)


In the space of two weeks and in the midst of a health crisis, the European Commission issued two decisions lifting the commitments entered into by Nidec and Takeda in the context of their respective mergers. The decision concerning Takeda was particularly commented on, no doubt because it was (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Solène Hamon Procedural infringement: The European Commission fines a notifying party 52 million euros for negligently providing incorrect information during the merger review process (General Electric / LM Wind Power)


Under Article 14(1)(a) of Regulation 139/2004, the Commission may impose fines of up to 1 % of the turnover of the undertaking concerned where the undertaking concerned intentionally or negligently provides incorrect or misleading information in a notification. The Commission imposed for the (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Solène Hamon Concurrent offenses: The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms the possibility for the European Commission to simultaneously impose on the same company two separate fines for failure to notify a transaction and for implementing that transaction prior to clearance (Mowi)


The European Court of Justice ruling of 4 March 2020 marks the end of the Marine Harvest saga, namely the acquisition by Norwegian salmon producer and processor Marine Harvest (now Mowi ASA) of its competitor Morpol. On 18 December 2012, Marine Harvest acquired 48.5% of Morpol’s capital from (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Margaux Serra Sole control: The French Competition Authority clears, for the very first time, the acquisition of a professional football club (Ineos / OGC Nice)


On 21 August 2019, the French Competition Authority authorised the acquisition of sole control of the SASP Olympique Gymnaste Club de Nice Côte d’Azur, which manages the OGC Nice football club, by Ineos Industries Holding, a company incorporated under English law and belonging to the Ineos group. (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Margaux Serra Prohibition: The Competition and Markets Authority prohibits, following an in-depth investigation, a merger in the supermarket distribution sector (J Sainsbury / Asda)


On April 30, 2018, CMA in the United Kingdom was notified of the proposed acquisition of Asda (a subsidiary of the Walmart group active in the UK’s food-dominated supermarket sector) by its competitor Sainsbury’s. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year. As the CMA (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre, Margaux Serra "Fix-it-first" remedies: The French Competition Authority clears a merger and renders legally binding the concession of a licence agreement (Alsa / Dr. Oetker)


By Decision No. 19-DCC-15 of 29 January 2019the Competition Authority has authorised the acquisition of Alsa France and the intangible assets necessary for the manufacture and sale of food products under the Alsa and Moench brands by the Dr. Oetker group (owner of the Ancel and Dr. Oetker (...)

Olivier Billard, Guillaume Fabre Sole control: The European Commission clears a change from joint to sole control after assessing whether the removal of the veto rights of the outgoing shareholder on the commercial policy decided by the remaining shareholder would have any effects on the market (Sony / EMI Music Publishing)


On 26 October 2018, the European Commission adopted a decision approving the acquisition of sole control of EMI Music Publishing by Sony. Sony (via its subsidiary Sony/ATV) and EMI are both music publishing companies, i.e. they both exploit authors’ rights by granting licences to the users of (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Gun-jumping: The European Commission fines an undertaking for the early implementation of a concentration stemming from the clauses of the share purchase agreement and from the intervention of the acquirer into the commercial strategy of the target (Altice / PT Portugal)


The prohibition on the early implementation of concentrations has been the subject of particularly extensive decision-making practice and case law recently - a sign of the great attention that the competition authorities are paying to this issue. However, it is not always clear what exactly (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Thresholds: The European Commission accepts a request for referral by various national competition authorities and will assess a merger whose value is important but for which the Parties did not meet the turnover thresholds set out in Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (Apple / Shazam)


On December 11, 2017, Apple announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Shazam, a UK company offering an audio recognition service. The Shazam application allows to identify a piece of music from its smartphone, i.e. to recognize the author and the title (its capabilities are already (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Acquisition of joint control over a pre-existing undertaking: The Court of Justice of the European Union rules that the acquisition of joint control over a pre-existing activity previously exclusively controlled amounts to a merger when the undertaking now jointly controlled is fully-functional (Austrian Asphalt)


On 7 September 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a particularly important judgment in the field of merger control, interpreting, in the context of a preliminary question, the concept of "concentration" contained in Article 3 of Regulation 139/2004 on the control of (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Annulment of a commission decision : The General Court of the European Union annuls a Commission’s decision prohibiting a merger on the ground that the European Commission breached the notifying party’s rights of defence (UPS)


The case had made a lot of noise. In the spring of 2012, the American freight forwarding and express parcel delivery company UPS announced a takeover bid for the capital of its Dutch competitor TNT. The bid valued TNT at €5.1 billion and would have created a global giant with a turnover of no (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Acts of "Soft law": The French Supreme Administrative Court outlines that any position statement of the French Authority that could have significant economic effects can be challenged in Court (Numéricable)


On 21 March 2016, the Council of State handed down two judgments of principle on the admissibility of appeals against so-called "soft law" acts adopted by independent administrative authorities. One of these two cases concerned the interpretation of an injunction issued to Canal Plus Group (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Vertical merger: The French Competition Authority approves a vertical concentration in the audiovisual sector, excluding the risk of input foreclosure (TF1, FIFL, FLCP)


While it seems superfluous to present TF1, the same does not apply to FIFL, a holding company controlled exclusively by Mr Fabrice Larue, which controls in particular FLCP. The latter held all the capital and voting rights of the company Newen, known for producing and selling the series Plus (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Conditional clearance : The French Competition Authority clears, subject to a behavioural commitment relating to the diversity of the editorial contents, the creation of a monopoly in the press sector (La Dépêche du Midi, Journal Midi Libre)


On April 13, 2015, the La Dépêche du Midi Group notified the acquisition of exclusive control of the company du Journal du Midi Libre ("the Operation"). By its decision of 4 June 2015, the Authority authorised the Operation at the end of a Phase I. This decision is particularly interesting in (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Phase I : The European Commission approves a concentration in the rail transport sector, subject to commitments for non-discriminatory access to infrastructures due to a risk of vertical foreclosure of the markets (SNCF Mobilités / Eurostar International Limited)


Until 2010, Eurostar was a cooperation between SNCF, the British rail transport operator LCR and the Belgian national railway operator SNCB: each railway company owned its own assets and was responsible for managing the service on its own national territory. On 17 June 2010, the Commission (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Phase II: The European Commission approves a concentration in the orthopedic implants sector subject to commitments in order to remedy the identified risks of horizontal effects on certain national markets, in particular since the parties are close competitors (Zimmer / Biomet)


The European Commission published on February 25, 2016 a Phase II decision approving Zimmer’s acquisition of its competitor Biomet. Both companies are both active in the European Economic Area countries in various markets for the production and marketing of orthopaedic prostheses (in particular (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Acquisition of assets : The Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses an application for review that challenged that the acquisition of assets in the course of a Court liquidation proceedings gave rise to the acquisition of an undertaking (SeaFrance)


CAT, Jan. 9, 2015, SeaFrance On 9 January 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("the CFI") delivered a new judgment in the SeaFrance case, a case which is therefore still making waves both in merger law and in State aid law (the CFI delivered a judgment on 6 February 2015 in Case T-1/12 (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Phase I : The European Commission approves in Phase I without commitments a merger in the sector of consumer communication services which is characterized by the free provision of the relevant services (Facebook, Whatsapp)


Comm. eur. 3 Oct. 2014, S.O.6, para. 1(b) Facebook c/ Whatsapp, COMP/M.7217 On 29 August 2014, Facebook notified the European Commission of its acquisition of Whatsapp, a company that publishes the well-known mobile application for instant messaging between users. The Commission cleared the (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Joint venture : The European Commission approves in Phase II the creation of a full-function joint venture subject to commitments since it identified a risk of price increase highlighted by the ex post assessment of the consequences of previous mergers authorised by the Commission (INEOS / Solvay / JV)


On June 4, 2015, the European Commission published the Phase II decision it adopted on May 8, 2014 in Case M.6905 - INEOS / Solvay / JV relating to the creation of a full-function joint venture between INEOS and Solvay (the "Operation") which will be active in the production and marketing of (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Commitments: The French Competition Authority authorizes, subject to commitments, a concentration raising significant horizontal, vertical and conglomerate issues in the sector of electronic communications (Canal Plus Overseas / Mediaserv)


By a decision dated February 10, 2014, the French Competition Authority authorized, at the end of Phase I, the acquisition of exclusive control by Canal Plus Group (hereinafter "Canal+"), via its subsidiary Canal Plus Overseas (hereinafter "Canal+ Overseas"), of four subsidiaries of Loret (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Communication sector: The European Commission approves a concentration between two undertakings active in the advertising and communication sectors (Publicis / Omnicom)


Following its merger with the US group Bcom3 in 2002, an operation which was the subject of Decision COMP/M.2785 of 18 June 2002, the Publicis group has embarked on a new stage in its international development by merging with the US group Omnicom. On 9 January 2014, the European Commission (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Decision to close an in-deph investigation: The European Commission approves the creation of a joint-venture by three mobile network operators in the United Kingdom after an in-depth investigation focusing on vertical effects (Telefónica/Vodafone)


Eur. comm., Dec. 8, §1, R.139/2004 of 13 April 2012, Telefónica UK/Vodafone UK/Everything Everywhere/JV, Case COMP/M.6314. By a decision of 4 September 2012, the European Commission (³cthe Commission³d) has authorised the creation of a joint venture (³cthe JV³d) by Telefónica UK, Vodafone UK and (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Jurisdiction: The French Competition Authority approves the acquisition of exclusive control over the assets of a firm in liquidation subject to commitments (SeaFrance)


Aut. conc. dec. no. 12-DCC-154 of 7 November 2012 relating to the acquisition of exclusive control of assets of SeaFrance by Groupe Eurotunnel OFT, dec. n° ME/5570/12 of 19 October 2012 relating to the acquisition by Groupe Eurotunnel of certain assets of the former SeaFrance company. On 30 (...)

Guillaume Fabre, Olivier Billard Phase 2 with commitments: The European Commission confirms the application of the principle of priority when two concentrations on the same markets are notified within two days and subject to commitment, approving a merger after which there will be only two operators on certain markets (Western Digital Ireland/Viviti Technologies)


In the middle of August, the Commission published its decision of 23 November 2011 in Case COMP/M.6203 on the acquisition of Viviti Technologies by Western Digital (³cWD³d), Viviti Technologies being the new name of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Holdings Ltd (³cHGST³d), a subsidiary of the (...)

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