Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)

Violetta Bourt

Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Lawyer (Senior Associate)

Violetta Bourt is an antitrust and competition lawyer based in Brussels. Violetta’s practice covers all aspects of EU competition law, with a focus on EU and international merger control. Violetta has particular experience in notifying mergers and joint ventures to the European Commission, as well as coordinating the notification of international transactions with multiple national competition authorities. Violetta also advises clients on abuse of dominance cases, anti-competitive agreements, global competition compliance issues, and other competition and general EU matters. Violetta joined the practice as an associate in 2014, after six years in a major US law firm in Brussels. She received an LLM degree from the London School of Economics in 2007, and a law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Louvain (UCL, Belgium) in 2006. Her native language is Russian/Ukrainian, and she is fluent in English and French.

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Articles

2044 Bulletin

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

2044

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.

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