University of Tokyo

Simon Vande Walle

University of Tokyo

Simon Vande Walle is a professor at the University of Tokyo. He was a case handler at the European Commission - DG Comp, in the Mergers - Telecoms, IT and Media unit. Previously, he was a research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the University of Tokyo. He obtained his doctoral degree in law from Kyushu University, Japan, and, prior to that, practiced as a lawyer at the Brussels office of Linklaters from 2003 until 2008. He is originally from Belgium and studied law at Leuven Catholic University, Belgium (LL.B., LL.M.), Université Jean-Moulin Lyon III, France (Erasmus), Kyushu University, Japan (LL.M., LL.D.) and Georgetown University Law Center, U.S. (LL.M.). He is the author of Private Antitrust Litigation in the European Union and Japan – A Comparative Perspective (Maklu Publishers, 2013). A full list of publications can be found at


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3831 Bulletin

Simon Vande Walle Market sharing: An overview of EU and national case law


Are market sharing cartels still “an endemic feature of European business activity”? Which sectors are particularly prone to bid rigging? What are the enforcement trends in relation to market sharing cartels? The panorama that emerges from the cases in this Special Issue sheds some light on these questions. The period covered runs from 2017 to June 2023. During that period, competition authorities across Europe have uncovered a remarkable number of market sharing cartels, including bid rigging schemes. The cases lay bare several noteworthy trends and tendencies. This foreword reflects on some of these trends and the number of cases.

Pablo Serrano, Simon Vande Walle, Szabolcs Lorincz The EU Commission clears an acquisition between two leading global manufacturers of threat detection equipment subject to remedies (Smiths / Morpho Detection)


SMITHS GROUP / MORPHO DETECTION: MAINTAINING SECURITY THROUGH INNOVATION * In a nutshell: Smiths’ acquisition of Morpho Detection brought together two leading suppliers of the equipment used to detect explosives and narcotics. This equipment is omnipresent at security checks in airports and (...)

Luca Manigrassi, Simon Vande Walle The EU Commission approves the acquisition of a mobile network operator by a virtual mobile network operator, subject to fix-it-first remedies (Liberty Global / BASE)


LIBERTY GLOBAL / BASE: FIWING IT FIRST IN THE BELGIAN MOBILE MARKET* In a nutshell: Liberty Global/BASE entailed the acquisition of a mobile network operator by a mobile virtual network operator. The transaction prompted an in-depth investigation and was ultimately cleared with a (...)

Simon Vande Walle The Japanese High Court of Tokyo dismisses a predatory pricing lawsuit in the market for door-to-door delivery service (Yamato Unyu / Nippon Yūsei Kōsha / Yūbin Jigyō)


The views expressed in this case summary are those of the author, not those of any organisation. Yamato, Japan’s largest door-to-door delivery service, sought injunctive relief against the low prices of a competitor, Japan Post. In a judgment of 19 January 2006, the Tokyo District Court (...)

3842 Review

Simon Vande Walle Vertical effects : The General Court of the European Union confirms the European Commission’s analysis of vertical effects in relation to a merger between two Polish oil refiners (Polwax)


This General Court judgment rejected a third-party challenge against the European Commission’s clearance of a merger between two Polish oil refiners: KPN Orlen and Grupa Lotos. Background: the merger between two Polish oil refiners The Commission’s merger review process had been long and (...)

Simon Vande Walle Joint control: The European Commission rejects jurisdiction over a concentration in the TV broadcasting sector after finding that there would be no joint control (Iliad)


Companies can consult the services of DG COMP about jurisdictional issues such as whether a particular transaction has an EU dimension. The results of these consultations normally do not become public. This decision is a rare exception. It sheds light on how to determine whether a minority (...)

Simon Vande Walle Anticompetitive effects: The General Court of the European Union affirms the Commission’s slot portfolio analysis in two airline mergers (Polskie Linie Lotnicze / easyJet / Lufthansa / Air Berlin)


What is it with air travel and merger litigation? Mergers in this sector have certainly contributed their fair share to the case law on merger control. Think of Airtours (T-342/99), easyJet (T-177/04), Ryanair (T-342/07), Niki Luftfahrt (T-162/10), Lufthansa (T-712/16) and American Airlines (...)

Simon Vande Walle Procedural violation: The European Commission imposes a fine for failure to disclose an innovation project in the context of a merger remedy proposal (Merck / Sigma-Aldrich)


Companies provide a great deal of information to competition authorities during the merger review process. On occasion, they may be tempted to hide some things. In this case, Sigma-Aldrich kept an R&D project hidden, in an attempt to avoid having to transfer this project to a third party, (...)

Simon Vande Walle Clearance: The European Commission clears the acquisition of a maker of fitness trackers and smartwatches by a major online platform, subject to long-lasting behavioural remedies (Fitbit / Google)


Acquisitions by large digital platforms are all the rage. Competition authorities subject these deals to stricter scrutiny than before, but, in spite of this, Big Tech companies continue to expand their ecosystems by acquiring targets left and right. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit is (...)

Catherine Prieto, Laurence Idot, Martine Behar-Touchais, Florian Bien, David Bosco, Josep M. Carpi Badia, Étienne Chantrel, Marta Giner Asins, Didier Theophile, Simon Vande Walle, Jérôme Vidal Towards a European merger control network


The European Competition Network (ECN), which is well-known as an effective mechanism of cooperation for the application of articles 101 and 102 TFEU, is not extended to merger rules. However, the need for cooperation in this area encouraged the Commission and the national competition (...)

Simon Vande Walle Non-collusive oligopoly gap: The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s prohibition of a four-to-three merger in the UK telecoms sector, in the first judgment to directly deal with the legal test for “gap cases” (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)


In May 2020, the General Court rendered its long-awaited judgment on the appeal against the Commission’s decision to prohibit Hutchison’s acquisition of O2, a deal that would have combined two of the UK’s four mobile network operators. The judgment is a resounding victory for the applicant, (...)

Simon Vande Walle Market concentration: The European Commission approves a merger leading to very high combined market shares in the chemicals sector with remedies (Synthomer / Omnova Solutions)


Synthomer and Omnova may not exactly be household names, but both companies are major producers of so-called specialty chemicals. These are products such as polymers, which are ubiquitous in our everyday life, as they are used as an ingredient in various finished products, including consumer (...)

Simon Vande Walle Commitments: The European Commission approves a telecoms merger with commitments to address unilateral horizontal effects without dominance (so-called “gap” case) (Vodafone / Liberty Global)


Background The good old cable network. Originally rolled out to transmit TV channels to households in the 80s, it has become the pipe through which millions of Europeans access fast internet or “broadband”. Little wonder that cable networks are eagerly coveted by telecom companies and, when (...)



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