Porter Elliott

Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Lawyer (Partner)

Porter Elliott has been a partner at Van Bael & Bellis since 2005. He specialises in competition law, with particular experience in merger control proceedings, having successfully represented clients in numerous complex cases before the European Commission as well as national competition authorities in Europe and elsewhere. He also regularly counsels clients on all other aspects of competition law, including cartels, abuses of dominant market position and distribution agreements. Porter Elliott regularly speaks and publishes on issues of EU competition and merger control law. He is the co-editor of The European Lawyers’ Reference Guide on Merger Control and was a key contributor to the fifth edition of Van Bael & Bellis’ Competition Law of the European Community. He was the original editor the newsletter Van Bael & Bellis on Competition Law, and from 1995 to 1996, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. Porter Elliott has lectured on merger control issues at numerous conferences and has conducted training sessions on merger control issues for national competition authorities. He also lectures annually at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Program on International Legal Co-operation, and he frequently teaches in the Erasmus program.

Linked authors

Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)

Articles

57872 Bulletin

William Haig, Porter Elliott, Catherine Gordley The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting the acquisition of two telecommunication companies (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)

29

1. Summary On 28 May 2020, the EU General Court handed down a ruling annulling the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision prohibiting the proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK (“O2”) by Hutchison 3G UK (“Three”). The ruling has potentially significant implications for mergers in the telecoms (...)

Porter Elliott The UK Competition Authority blocks a sports-fashion retailer acquisition finding that even with COVID-19 significantly impacting the relevant sector, the transaction would lead to a substantial lessening of competition nationally (JD Sports / Foot asylum)

98

On 6 May 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) blocked the sports-fashion retailer JD Sports’ already completed purchase of sportswear retailer Foot- asylum. The CMA concluded that the parties were close competitors and the transaction would lead to a substan- tial lessening of (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission approves an acquisition between two large EEA purchasers of copper scrap following an in-depth investigation and concludes that the merger does not adversely affect competition (Metallo / Aurubis)

43

On 4 May 2020, the Commission approved German Aurubis’ € 380 million acquisition of Belgian rival Metallo following an in-depth investigation. Aurubis is Europe’s largest integrated copper producer, selling copper shapes, semi-finished copper and various copper alloy products. It also processes (...)

Porter Elliott The German Competition Authority approves an acquisition between two locomotives on the basis that the company’s competitiveness decreased over the years (Vossloh / Zhuzhou)

57

On 27 April 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) cleared the acquisition of Vossloh Locomotives (“Vossloh”) by Chinese CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotives (“CRRC”) after an in-depth review. Vossloh is the leading manufacturer of diesel-powered shunters in the EEA and Switzerland. CRRC is a subsidiary (...)

Porter Elliott The UK Competition Authority blocks a proposed merger in the market for the supply of merchandising solutions and distribution systems to airlines despite the COVID-19 pandemic (Sabre / Farelogix)

52

Despite the uncertain future facing the global travel industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 9 April 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced its decision to block the proposed Sabre/Farelogix transaction, citing concerns that “UK passengers [would] miss out on (...)

Porter Elliott The Austrian Competition Authority announces that retrospective notification of an acquisition of shares of a car parts manufacturer is a violation of the notification requirements and subject to fines (Castanea Rubra)

29

On 27 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) announced that, pursuant to its request, the Cartel Court had imposed a fine of € 100,000 on Castanea Rubra Assets GmbH. Castanea Rubra Assets GmbH had acquired 94% of the shares of German-based car parts manufacturer Neue (...)

Porter Elliott The Austrian Competition Authority grants request to amend commitments in the market for free TV and television advertising undertaken as part of a merger cleared previously (Puls 4 / ATV)

32

On 26 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) granted a request to amend the commitments in the market for free TV and television advertising undertaken as part of a merger cleared in 2017. The FCA had cleared the acquisition by Austrian-based ProSiebenSat.1Puls 4 GmbH (...)

Porter Elliott The Portuguese Competition Authority allows payment of a gun-jumping fine in installments due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Hospital Particular do Algarve)

288

In September 2019, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“AdC”) imposed a fine of € 155,000 on Hospital Particular do Algarve (“HPA”) for gun-jumping, finding that HPA had acquired sole control of Hospital de São Gonçalo de Lagos without the AdC’s prior approval. The AdC has recently announced that it (...)

Porter Elliott The Hungarian Competition Authority reopens investigation into acquisition of digital network operator and issues a new conditional approval (Invitel / DIGI)

24

On 18 March 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) conditionally re-approved fixed telecommunications service provider DIGI’s acquisition of its rival Invitel. The GVH had already conditionally cleared the acquisition in May 2018 (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2018, No. 5). During (...)

Porter Elliott The Finnish Market Court upholds the Competition Authority’s request to prohibit a proposed acquisition of a grocery wholesaler on the basis that it would become dominant in the market (Kesko / Heinon Tukku)

102

On 17 February 2020, the Finnish Market Court (the “Court”) upheld the request of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the “KKV”) to prohibit Kesko’s proposed acquisition of grocery wholesaler Heinon Tukku. The Court’s judgment may be appealed before the Finnish Supreme Administrative (...)

Porter Elliott The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the Competition Authority’s €947,700 gun-jumping fine imposed on one of Lithuania’s largest agricultural processing companies (Kauno Grūdai)

146

On 17 January 2020, the Lithuanian Competition Council, Konkurencijos taryba, published a decision of the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholding a € 947,700 gun-jumping fine imposed on Kauno Grūdai, one of Lithuania’s largest agricultural processing companies. Kauno Grūdai acquired 51% (...)

Porter Elliott The German Competition Authority conducts parallel investigation into potential for cartelization and merger review proceedings resulting in a conditional approval of the joint venture (Telekom / EWE)

51

Telekom and EWE, two of Germany’s largest telecommunications companies, sought to form a joint venture (JV) to expand the fire-optic broadband network in north-western Germany. On 21 March 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) launched two sets of parallel proceedings: an investigation (...)

Porter Elliott The Norwegian Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the market for semi-submersible accommodation vessels as it would reduce competition in terms of prices, quality and innovation (Prosafe)

56

On 28 October 2019, the Norwegian Competition Authority (“NCO”) prohibited Prosafe, the leading global producer of semi-submersible accommodation vessels, from acquiring competitor Floatel. Prosafe is Norwegian, whereas Floatel is based in Bermuda and Sweden. Semi-submersible accommodation (...)

Porter Elliott The UK Competition and Market Authority closes its investigation into a merger in the production of microscope sector after the parties abandoned the deal (Thermo Fisher/Gatan)

215

On 10 June 2019, the UK’s Competition and Market’s Authority (“CMA”) cancelled its Phase II investigation into scientific instruments giant Thermo Fisher’s anticipated purchase of Gatan, a Roper subsidiary active in the production of specialised electron microscope peripherals, after the parties (...)

Porter Elliott The EU General Court rejects a legal challenge to conditional clearance of a joint venture in the wholesale provision of premium pay-TV sports channels market (Vodafone / Liberty Global)

760

On 23 May 2019, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) rejected a legal challenge brought against the European Commission’s (“Commission”) conditional clearance of the Liberty Global / Vodafone joint venture in the Netherlands by rival KPN (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2016, No. 8). (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Court of Justice upholds the General Court’s ruling that annulled the Commission’s decision prohibiting a merger in the parcel delivery market (UPS / TNT)

2600

On 19 January 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) upheld on due process grounds the 2017 judgment of the General Court (“GC”) annulling the decision of the European Commission (“Commission”) in the UPS/TNT Express merger (Case C-265/17P, Commission v. United Parcel Service). The (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Court of Justice issues important ruling on gun jumping and on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in the EU Merger Regulation (Ernst & Young)

831

On 31 May 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) issued an important judgment on the scope of the standstill obligation contained in Article 7(1) of the EU Merger Regulation (the “EUMR”), which prohibits companies from implementing a notifiable concentration prior to clearance (...)

Porter Elliott The EU General Court dismisses appeals against a Commission’s decision to open an in-depth merger investigation (HeidelbergCement / Schlenk Zement / Cemex Croatia)

353

On 27 November 2017, the General Court (“GC”) dismissed appeals brought by HeidelbergCement and Schwenk Zement against the European Commission’s decision of 10 October 2016 to open an in-depth (Phase II) merger investigation into their acquisition – via a joint venture – of Cemex Croatia. In their (...)

Porter Elliott The EU General Court dismisses an appeal against a Commission decision for implementing acquisition of sole control without first obtaining approval under the EU Merger Regulation (Marine Harvest / Morpol)

545

On 26 October 2017, the General Court dismissed an appeal by Marine Harvest against a € 20 million fine imposed on it by the Commission for implementing its acquisition of sole control over Morpol without rst obtaining approval under the EU Merger Regulation (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission sends three separate statements of objections to companies alleging procedural breaches of the EU Merger Regulation (Merck / Sigma-Aldric ; GE / LM Wind ; Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)

764

On 6 July 2017, the European Commission sent three separate statements of objections (“SO”) to companies alleging procedural breaches of the EU Merger Regulation. Provision of misleading information The first SO concerns the Merck/Sigma-Aldrich transaction, which was conditionally cleared by (...)

Porter Elliott The Norwegian Competition Authority blocks a merger on the basis that the deal would reduce competition in the market for transportation of frozen fish (Eimskip / Nor Lines)

229

On 3 April 2017, the Norwegian Competition Authority (“NCA”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of Norwegian-based Nor Lines by Icelandic-based Eimskip on the basis that the € 15 million deal would reduce competition in the market for transportation of frozen fish with reefer vessels from (...)

Porter Elliott The EU General Court annuls a prohibition merger decision and finds that the Commission had failed to properly communicate the final version of its econometric analysis (UPS / TNT)

218

On 7 March 2017, the General Court (“GC”) annulled the European Commission’s decision to prohibit UPS’ acquisition of TNT Express under the EU Merger Regulation. By way of background, UPS notified the acquisition of TNT Express to the Commission in June 2012. Following an in-depth Phase II (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission conditionally approves a merger subject to divestment commitments and behavioural conditions in the payment services and terminals sector (Equens / Worldline)

396

On 20 April 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) approved the acquisition by Worldline of Equens (and its subsidiary PaySquare) under the EU Merger Regulation, subject to divestment commitments and behavioural conditions. Worldline is the incumbent operator of payment services and (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission conditionally approves online rights licensing and administration joint venture between collective management organisations (PRSfM / STIM / GEMA)

337

On 16 June 2015, the EU Commission conditionally approved the proposed joint venture between music collective management organisations PRS for music Limited (“PRSfm”) of the UK, Föreningen Svenska Tonsättares Internationella musikbyrå u.p.a. (“STIm”) of Sweden, and Gesellschaft für musikalische (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission approves an acquisition in the telecommunications sector after a lengthy Phase II investigation and subject to extensive commitments (Orange / Jazztel)

372

On 19 May 2015, the European Commission conditionally approved the acquisition of Jazztel by rival telecommunications provider Orange. The approval, after a lengthy Phase II investigation including a Statement of Objections issued in February, is subject to extensive commitments to facilitate a (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Court of Justice holds that a competitor has standing to challenge national spectrum allocation decision implementing merger commitments (T-Mobile / Telekom-Control)

221

On 22 January 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued its judgment in Case C-282/13, T-Mobile Austria v. Telekom- Control-Kommission, concerning whether competitors have a right under Directive 2002/21 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks (...)

Johan Van Acker, Porter Elliott The Regional Court of Cologne rejects damages claim by a hearing aid manufacturer against the Federal Cartel Office following a merger prohibition decision (GN Store Nord)

155

In a judgment of 26 February 2013, the German Regional Court of Cologne rejected an action for damages in the amount of more than € 1.1 billion by Danish hearing-aid manufacturer GN Store Nord A/S against the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO). GN Store sought compensation from the FCO for (...)

Porter Elliott The Finnish Consumer and Competition Authority argues in Court against a merger between two suppliers of plastic infrastructure pipe systems (Uponor / KWH-Yhtymä)

188

On 25 February 2013, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) made a proposal to the Market Court to prohibit a planned concentration between Uponor Oyj and KWH-Yhtymä Oyj, the two largest suppliers of plastic infrastructure pipe systems in Finland. This is only the third such (...)

Johan Van Acker, Porter Elliott The German Competition Authority fines company for non-disclosure of personal majority shareholdings in merger notification (Clemens Tönnies)

82

According to a press release of 15 January 2013, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has imposed a fine of € 90,000 on Clemens Tönnies, the majority shareholder of Tönnies Holding GmbH & Co. KG (“Tönnies Holding”), for the non-disclosure in a merger notification of Mr Tönnies’ personal (...)

Porter Elliott The French Competition Authority fines meat processing company € 1 M for breaching a commitment imposed by conditional clearance of its acquisition of a company (Bigard / Socopa)

153

On 9 July 2012, the French Competition Authority fined meat processing company Bigard Group € 1 million for breaching a commitment imposed in the Authority’s 2009 conditional clearance decision of Bigard Group’s acquisition of Socopa Viandes. The decision had cleared the transaction subject (...)

Porter Elliott The Spanish Competition Authority clears a merger in the electronic payment terminals sector following the agreement by the merging entities to extend remedies beyond Spain (Verifone / Hypercom)

146

On 28 December 2011, the Spanish National Competition Commission (CNC) agreed to authorise the acquisition by Verifone Systems, Inc. (Verifone) of sole control of Hypercom Corporation (Hypercom) in the first phase, subject to compliance with commitments offered by Verifone. The (...)

Porter Elliott The German Competition Authority suggests that divestments made after the implementation of a merger may remove jurisdiction (CTS Eventim / See Tickets Germany / Ticket Online Gruppe)

172

According to a case summary of 12 April 2011 published on the German Federal Cartel Office’s website, the Cartel Office found that CTS Eventim’s already implemented acquisition of See Tickets Germany/Ticket Online Gruppe fell outside the scope of German merger control because the parties’ (...)

Porter Elliott The UK Government intends to refer a merger in the audiovisual sector to Competition Commission if satisfactory commitments are not offered (News Corp, BSkyB)

143

On 25 January 2011, the UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that he is “minded” to refer News Corp‘s proposed buy-out of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB to the Competition Commission due to concerns surrounding the transaction’s impact on media plurality in the UK. News Corp already owns a (...)

Porter Elliott The UK Competition Authorities publish new merger guidelines

212

On 16 September 2010, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission published the first set of consolidated joint Merger Assessment Guidelines under the UK Enterprise Act 2002, which governs merger control law in the UK. The guidelines supersede various merger control guidance (...)

Porter Elliott The Austrian Cartel Court imposes fine for gun-jumping

312

According to a press release of the Austrian Competition Authority of 22 June 2010, the Austrian Cartel Court has imposed a fine of € 5,000 on a company belonging to an international group of companies that had put a concentration into effect without prior notification to the Austrian (...)

Porter Elliott The EU General Court examines a claim from a French local authority who seeks damages for Commission’s failure to impose conditions in a merger (Communauté de communes de Lacq)

177

On 5 June 2010, details were published in the Official Journal of the European Union of a damages action before the General Court brought by Communauté de communes de Lacq (a French local authority) against the European Union, requesting compensation for injury allegedly suffered by the (...)

Porter Elliott The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a energy company and a local authority for failure in a joint acquisition notification (ELMIB Energetikai Szolgáltató / Municipality of Tatabánya)

128

The Hungarian Competition Council recently imposed a fine of HUF 4,975,000 (approximately € 18,400) on energy company ELMIB Energetikai Szolgáltató Zrt. and the Municipality of Tatabánya, a city in North-West Hungary, for the failure to timely notify their joint acquisition of thermal power station (...)

Porter Elliott The European Commission launches consultation on merger regulation

126

On 28 October 2008, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the functioning of the EC Merger Regulation. According to the Commission, the main purpose of the consultation is to evaluate how the jurisdictional thresholds and the referral mechanisms provided for in the Merger (...)

Porter Elliott A German Court annuls a Competition Authority’s decision prohibiting a merger in the healthcare sector (University Hospital of Greifswald / Regional Hospital of Wolgast)

201

On 7 May 2008, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf quashed a decision of the German Federal Cartel Office prohibiting the merger between the university hospital of Greifswald and the regional hospital of Wolgast. The Düsseldorf Court applied the recent case law of the German Federal Court of (...)

Porter Elliott A German Minister overrules on public interest grounds the FCO’s prohibition of a merger in the hospital sector (University hospital Greifswald / Regional hospital Wolgast)

209

On 17 April 2008, the German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology approved the merger between the university hospital Greifswald and the regional hospital Wolgast, thereby overruling the German Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) prohibition of the transaction in December 2006. Under German (...)

Porter Elliott The German FCO finding “competitively significant influence” arising from acquisition of less than 14% shareholding in copper company prohibits transaction (A-TEC Industries / Norddeutsche Affinerie)

212

According to a press release of 10 April 2008, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) prohibited A-TEC Industries’ acquisition of a 13.75% shareholding in Norddeutsche Affinerie, holding that the transaction created a dominant position on a market for a particular kind of oxygen-free copper (...)

Porter Elliott The EU Commission initiates infringement proceedings against Spain for not lifting conditions imposed on a transaction approved by the Commission (Enel / Acciona / Endesa)

199

On 31 January 2008, the European Commission announced that it has initiated infringement proceedings under Article 226 EC against Spain for failing to lift restrictions imposed by the Spanish National Energy Commission (CNE) on the Enel/Acciona/Endesa transaction. The acquisition by Enel and (...)

Porter Elliott The French Directorate for Competition clears an acquisition in the press and media sector, subject to conditions addressing conglomerate concerns (Hersant Média Group, Lagardère)

149

On 25 January 2008, the French Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Combating Fraud (DGCCRF) published two decisions conditionally clearing separate transactions in the press and media sector. The second decision concerned the acquisition by Hersant Média Group (HMG) of several (...)

Porter Elliott The German Federal Court of Justice finds that merger prohibition decisions can still be appealed even after the parties abandoned the transaction (Springer / ProSiebenSat.1 Media)

290

In a recently published judgment of 25 September 2007, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf which rejected an appeal against a prohibition decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) because the parties had already (...)

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