Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)

Jay Modrall

Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)

James R. Modrall is an antitrust and competition law partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP based in Brussels. A US-qualified lawyer by background, he is a member of the bar in New York, Washington, D.C. and Belgium. With 27 years of experience, he is a leading advisor for EU and international competition work, in particular the review and clearance of international mergers and acquisitions. Mr Modrall also has extensive experience with EU financial regulatory reform, advising the world’s leading private equity groups in connection with the new EU directive on alternative investment fund managers and leading banks and investment firms on EU initiatives including EU regulation of derivatives, EU reforms in financial market regulation and the creation of a new EU framework for crisis management, among others. Mr. Modrall’s native language is English, and he is fluent in Italian and proficient in Dutch and French.


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12514 Bulletin

Jay Modrall The EU Commission prohibits the acquisition of a genetic and genomic analysis provider by a healthcare technology company focused on early cancer detection (Illumina / Grail)


Illumina/Grail Prohibition: The End of the Beginning for EU Review of “Killer Acquisitions”?* On September 6, 2022, the European Commission (Commission) announced that it had prohibited the acquisition by Illumina Inc., a U.S company supplying sequencing- and array-based solutions for (...)

Jay Modrall The EU Commission launches a major merger control reform


EU Commission Launches Major Merger Control Reform* On March 26, the EU Commission announced a major reform of EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) procedures, arguably the most significant since the 2004 adoption of the current EUMR. The current EUMR expanded EU jurisdiction by broadening the EUMR (...)

Robin Adelstein, Amanda Wait, Richard A. Wagner, Ian Giles, Jay Modrall, Marta Giner Asins The US FTC announces the formation of a working group to examine the US, Canada, UK, and EU agencies’ approach to mergers in the pharmaceutical sector


This article has been nominated for the 2022 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 16, the US Federal Trade Commission, US Department of Justice, offices of US state Attorneys General, the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European (...)

Jay Modrall The EU Commission conditionally clears the acquisition by a Big Tech company of a smartwatch company active in several complementary markets, including app stores, online advertising, and the nascent digital healthcare sector (Fitbit / Google)


Google/Fitbit – The EU Commission Misses a Step* The European Commission’s 254-page decision approving Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (the “Decision”) offered the Commission a so-far unique opportunity to apply the 2019 report on “Competition policy for the digital era’s” (the “Digital Era (...)

Jay Modrall The EU Commission announces a package of measures to support the food and agriculture sector and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including relaxing some antitrust rules on cooperation


On May 4, 2020, the European Union (EU) announced a package of measures to support the food and agriculture sector and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including relaxing some antitrust rules on cooperation. The European Commission (EC) had previously announced measures to (...)

Jay Modrall, Violetta Bourt Gun jumping: An overview of EU and national case law


Most merger control regimes, including in the EU, are both mandatory and suspensory. This means that mergers must first be notified to the relevant competition authority and approved, before they can be implemented. A violation of these requirements is often referred to as “gun-jumping.” Until recently, the European Commission (Commission) has pursued very few gun-jumping cases. The Commission’s recent actions, however, and tough talk by EU Competition Commissioner Vestager demonstrate that the Commission is becoming increasingly intolerant of gun-jumping, as well as other procedural breaches. The Commission’s increasingly stringent approach to gun-jumping was most recently demonstrated by its €28 million fine imposed on Canon for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC) before notification and approval. A year earlier, the Commission set a new global record with its €124.5 million fine on Altice for early implementation of its acquisition of PT Portugal. With Commissioner Vestager’s unusual appointment to a second term as Competition Commissioner, this trend is highly likely to continue. This article discusses the types of conduct that may lead to a finding of gun-jumping and the Commission’s and national competition authorities’ (NCAs’) enforcement history in this area. In conclusion, this article offers some practical guidance on avoiding gun-jumping issues in future transactions.

Jay Modrall The EU Commission publishes its first official guidance on the application of the FDI Regulation and states that during the COVID-19 pandemic there could be an increased risk of attempts to acquire healthcare capacities


On March 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its first official guidance (the Guidance) on the application of Regulation 2019/452 (the FDI Regulation), which created a new framework for screening foreign direct investments (FDI) into the European Union (EU). The EC noted that, in (...)

Jay Modrall The EU Commission opens formal investigation into insurance provider to determine whether its access to a data pooling system may breach EU law competition rules (Insurance Ireland)


EU COMMISSION INVESTIGATES INSURANCE INFORMATION EXCHANGE* On May 14, the European Commission announced the opening of a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland to assess whether the conditions of access to its InsuranceLink data pooling system may restrict competition, in (...)

Jay Modrall The European Commission publishes a far-reaching on proposals to boost the enforcement powers of national competition authorities) and to address differences between national competition enforcement systems in the European Union


This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On November 4, the European Commission published a far-reaching consultation (the Consultation) on proposals to boost the enforcement powers of national (...)

Jay Modrall, Shan Hu The Chinese NDRC fines the undertakings participating in two cartels in the car insurance and automotive component sectors and publishes its decisions (Zhejiang Car Insurance Cartel) (Car Parts Cartel)


This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. 1. Introduction The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently stepped up its cartel enforcement activities and for the first time (...)

Jay Modrall, Michael Grenfell The COMESA Court of Justice rules that a merger filing notification to COMESA’s Competition Commission will remove the need for filings to national authorities in the Member State (Polytol)


In much the same way that, within the European Union, a merger filing (notification) to the European Commission removes the need for filings to national competition authorities in the EU Member States, so too the COMESA. Court of Justice has ruled that a merger filing (notification) to (...)

Jay Modrall The EU Commission considers that the commitments proposed by the dominant undertaking in the worldwide market for consolidated real-time data feeds were sufficient to address the abusive restrictions concerning the use of financial instrument codes (Thomson Reuters)


The Thomson Reuters Commitment Decision* On November 12, 2013, the European Commission published a summary of its December 20, 2012 decision (the “Decision”) accepting commitments offered by members of the Thomson Reuters group (“Thomson Reuters”). The Decision ended a three-year-long (...)



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