Latest News issue: June 2020

Anticompetitive practices

The Brazilian Competition Authority authorises competitor collaboration to assist the recovery of small retailers of beverages, food and personal and domestic care products against the economic effects of COVID-19 (“Movimento Nós”) Free
Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
In an Extraordinary Judgment Session held on May 28th, the Tribunal of the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (Cade) ratified a decision of its General Superintendence and authorized a collaboration among a group of companies (including competitors) - Ambev, BRF, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Nestlé and (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority authorises temporary collaboration due to COVID-19 among competitors distributing consumer goods such as beverages, food, personal and domestic care products to small and medium retailers (“Movimento Nós”) Free
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
Cade authorizes collaboration among Ambev, BRF, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Nestlé and Pepsico due to the new coronavirus crisis* Exceptional measure aims to minimize the effects of the crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) recently decided to (...)

The Japanese FTC approves commitment plan submitted by international contact lenses company to alleviate concerns of restrictive trading practices (Cooper Vision Japan)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Approval of the Commitment Plan submitted by Cooper Vision Japan, Inc.* In response to the Notice of Commitment Procedures which the Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as “JFTC”) issued to Cooper Vision Japan, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “Cooper Vision Japan”) on March 13, (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Kokott proposes to uphold the fine of almost €94 million imposed on a pharmaceutical group in the context of agreements intended to delay the marketing of generic versions of its antidepressant medicinal product citalopram (Lundbeck)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Advocate General Kokott proposes that the Court of Justice should uphold the fine of almost €94 million imposed on the Lundbeck pharmaceutical group in the context of agreements intended to delay the marketing of generic versions of its antidepressant medicinal product citalopram* The Advocate (...)

The UK Competition Authority secures disqualification of pharmaceutical company director for 5 years for breaching competition law (Amit Patel / Auden McKenzie / Amilco)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Pharma company director disqualified for competition law breaches* The CMA has secured the disqualification of pharmaceutical company director Amit Patel after he admitted his role in arrangements that broke competition law. Amit Patel has signed undertakings that ban him from holding a (...)

The US DoJ files first charges in an ongoing investigation into price-fixing by major broiler chicken producers (Jayson Jeffrey Penn / Mikell Reeve Fries / Scott James Brady / Roger Born Austin)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Senior Executives at Major Chicken Producers Indicted on Antitrust Charges* First Charges Filed in Ongoing Investigation into Fixing Prices of Broiler Chickens A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, returned an indictment against four executives for their role in (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority opens a public consultation on draft modifications to the guidelines for the exchange of information between economic agents
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Public Consultation on the Draft Modifications to the Guidelines for the Exchange of Information Between Economic Agents* Pursuant to articles 28, paragraphs 14th and 20th, section VI, of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States; articles 12, section XXII, last paragraph, (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority develops a self-assessment tool for entrepreneurs for mitigation of cartel risks
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC develops a self-assessment tool for entrepreneurs for mitigation of cartel risks* The Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has prepared a self-assessment tool for entrepreneurs, so that they could verify in an easy manner, whether they have not engaged in a prohibited agreement with (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases guidelines on anticompetitive agreements temporarily allowed due to COVID-19 Free
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission releases guidelines on approach to authorisations after law change* The Commerce Commission has released guidelines on its approach to authorisation of some agreements as a result of temporary changes made to the Commerce Act under the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority allows hospitals, hospital pharmacies, and pharmaceutical wholesalers to collaborate during COVID-19 outbreak to prevent or reduce any shortages of essential drugs Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: room for collaboration involving the distribution of essential drugs for COVID-19 patients* Hospitals, hospital pharmacies, and pharmaceutical wholesalers are allowed to collaborate closely with each other during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in order to prevent or reduce (...)

The OECD issues note on co-operation between competitors in the time of COVID-19 Free
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
In the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis, there are a number of reasons that may push competing companies to collaborate with one another and a number of ways in which consumers and the economy may benefit from these collaborations. This note examines some typical situations (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes on the national football league a precautionary measure to suspend its no-poaching agreement, invoking issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (Portuguese Professional Football League) Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Covid - 19: AdC imposes precautionary measure on the Portuguese Football League that suspends no-poach agreement* The AdC ordered the Portuguese Professional Football League (LPFP in Portuguese) to immediately suspend the no-poach agreement, an agreement to not recruit or hire another clubs’ (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority warns travel organizers not to interfere with travel agencies’ pricing or discount decisions
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Konkurencijos taryba warns travel agencies to refrain from anti-competitive behaviour* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba responded to information on social media and warned travel agencies that their actions may be viewed as anti-competitive when some of them requested (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority adopts new leniency guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 May 2020, new Leniency Guidelines (the “2020 Guidelines”) adopted by the Belgian Competition Authority (the “BCA”) were published in the Belgian Official Journal. The 2020 Guidelines replace the 2016 Leniency Guidelines and lay down the conditions to obtain total or partial immunity from (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues guidance aimed at 3 business associations in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors reaffirming the need to apply competition rules during the COVID-19 pandemic (National Association of Pharmacies / Portuguese Banking Association / Association of Specialized Credit Institutions) Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Covid-19: AdC warns associations of the need to comply with competition rules* The Competition Authority (AdC) issued guidance aimed at three business associations in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, reaffirming the need to apply competition (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls the General Court power cables cartel decision and reduces the fine imposed by €200,000 (NKT)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 May 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) partly set aside a judgment of the General Court dismissing the action brought by NKT Verwaltungs GmbH (formerly nkt cables GmbH) and NKT A/S (formerly NKT Holding A/S) (together, “NKT”) in the Power Cables cartel (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority initiates its first pandemic related investigation against 29 undertakings operating in the different levels of food and cleaning/hygiene products market and announces that it will investigate the pricing behaviours Free
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) on March 23, 2020 gave its heads up to undertakings that it was “closely following the price increases”, which it referred to as “opportunistic” during the pandemic . As such, the TCA warned in its announcement that it will impose the highest fines allowed by (...)

The US DoJ fines generic pharmaceutical company $24.1million for fixing price of widely used cholesterol medication and files for deferred prosecution agreement (Apotex)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Generic Pharmaceutical Company Admits to Fixing Price of Widely Used Cholesterol Medication* Apotex Corp. Agrees to Pay a $24.1 Million Criminal Penalty Apotex Corp., a generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in Florida, was charged with fixing the price of the generic drug pravastatin, (...)

The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court rules its first trademark infringement and unfair competition case regarding parallel import, in which it finds such acts should constitute neither trademark infringement nor unfair competition (Opel Electric / Guangdong Shifu Electric)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
First Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Case regarding Parallel Import Concluded by Guangzhou IP Court* Recently, Guangzhou IP Court ruled on its first trademark infringement and unfair competition case regarding parallel import, in which it found such acts should neither (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues guidance on business collaboration during COVID-19 Free
New Zealand Commerce Commission
COVID-19: Commission issues guidance on business collaboration* The Commerce Commission has issued guidance on how it is assessing business collaborations that are being entered into in response to COVID-19. Commission Chair Anna Rawlings said the guidance aims to provide clarity and (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturns a district court decision certifying a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs without undertaking a rigorous analysis in order to resolve factual disputes, assess competing evidence or weigh conflicting expert testimony (Lamictal)
McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently concluded in In re Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation that a district court’s reliance on average prices to determine class-wide impact was insufficient. Instead, courts must conduct a rigorous analysis of the facts, evidence and (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding that certain online banking associations infringed competition law by imposing T&C on online payments preventing customers from entering their codes when accessing third party payments (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 April 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (the “FCJ”) issued its judgment on an appeal against a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (the “FCO”) which had found that a number of German banking associations had infringed competition law in connection with general terms and conditions of (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds, following a preliminary reference, that certain interchange fees imposed by a bank payable on cross-border card transaction within the EEA are anticompetitive (Budapest Bank)
Hausfeld (London)
On 2 April, the European Court of Justice (“CJEU”) issued a judgment arising from a preliminary reference from the Hungarian Supreme Court concerning a 2009 decision by the Hungarian Competition Authority against Visa Europe Ltd (“Visa”), MasterCard Europe SA (“MasterCard”) and a number of (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses the Competition Authority allegation against a healthcare company misusing its market power by engaging in anticompetitive conducts to prevent a group of surgeons from opening a rival day surgery (Ramsay)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
What you need to know In a rare Federal Court proceeding involving alleged misuse of market power, the Federal Court held that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) failed to establish that Ramsay Health Care (Ramsay) had in fact engaged in the anti-competitive conduct (...)

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarifies in a passing on case between two healthcare providers the issues of whether and when a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a conspiracy between the distributor and manufacturer (Marion Healthcare / Becton Dickinson)
Hausfeld (New York)
Introduction In its recent decision in Marion Healthcare, LLC v. Becton Dickinson & Co., the Seventh Circuit added to the discussion among circuit courts as to whether and when a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer of office equipment who set minimum online sale prices for its printers (Brother)
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
In February 2020, the Polish Competition Authority (“UOKiK”) announced that in December 2019 it imposed a PLN 1.4 million fine on Brother Central & Eastern Europe (“Brother”), a manufacturer of office equipment, which set minimum online sale prices for printers. Between 2010 and 2017, Brother (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority ends an infringement proceeding by adopting a commitment decision following a sports brand alleged anti-competitive conduct (Adidas / LDC)
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
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CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo (Madrid)
Background On 6 February 2020, the Spanish Competition Authority (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, hereinafter the “CNMC”) adopted a commitment decision to end the infringement proceedings (S/DC/0631/18) initiated in November 2018 against Adidas, S.A.U. (“Adidas”) for alleged (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court requests a preliminary ruling to the EU Court of Justice concerning the international competence of the court which was contested by the defendants (RH / AB Volvo)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
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3C Compliance (Madrid)
Choice of forum delicti in EU-wide cartel damages cases (C-30/20, RH vs Volvo) Does Art. 7(2) Brussels I bis determine territorial jurisdiction within the EU Member States, Madrid Commercial Court asks EU Court of Justice. The request for a preliminary ruling from the Madrid Commercial Court (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Australian Competition Authority rejects a company’s proposal to set minimum resale prices for power tools, accessories, and attachments (Stanley Black & Decker)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Proposal to set minimum advertised prices for Dewalt power tools rejected* The ACCC has issued a final notice rejecting a proposal by Stanley Black & Decker to set a minimum advertised price for Dewalt brand power tools, accessories and attachments. The ACCC has assessed Stanley Black (...)

The Japanese FTC closes investigation into exclusionary conduct by gas company due to lack of evidence (Osaka Gas)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Closing the investigation on the suspected violation of the Antimonopoly Act by Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter “JFTC”) has investigated Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Osaka Gas”), in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act. Osaka Gas has been (...)

The EU Commission consults stakeholders on a possible new competition tool that would allow addressing structural competition problems, such as tipping markets, in a timely and effective manner
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on a possible new competition tool* The European Commission has published today an inception impact assessment as well as an open public consultation inviting comments on exploring the need for a possible new competition tool that would allow (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority launches public consultation on the guide to process the investigation procedure for absolute monopolistic practices
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE launches public consultation on the guide to process the investigation procedure for absolute monopolistic practices* PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE DRAFT MODIFICATIONS TO THE GUIDE TO FILE THE INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE FOR ABSOLUTE MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES Pursuant to articles 28, paragraphs (...)

The OECD issues note on exploitative pricing in the time of COVID-19 Free
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 crisis is the disruption of supply chains. Together with increased demand, this has led to shortages in a number of essential products. These shortages are influencing the behaviour of firms and may have led to potentially exploitative prices in some (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority fines detergent seller €3.3M for abuse of dominance and obstruction of parallel imports of its products by competitors (Κ.A.C. Constantinides Trading / GPM-Henkel)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition has imposed on Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, jointly and severally with GPM-Henkel Ltd, a total administrative fine amounting to €3.302.000 (three million, three hundred and two thousand euro) for infringement of Section 6(1)(b) of the Law and the (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority proposes a €9 million fine against import & hardware company for resale price maintenance (Isojoen Konehalli Oy)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA proposes a penalty of EUR 9 million to IKH for resale price maintenance* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) proposes that the Market Court impose a penalty of EUR 9 million on Isojoen Konehalli Oy (IKH) for engaging in illegal resale price maintenance (RPM). In (...)

The Ankara Regional Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Authority’s decision that concluded a violation but no fine because the same action and subject had already previously been fined (Mey İçki)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Regional Administrative Court Found the Turkish Competition Authority’s Decision concerning Mey İçki Unlawful: Abuse of the Dominance Should Be Evaluated Separately in terms of Each Product Market!* Introduction The Ankara Regional Administrative Court’s 8th Administrative Chamber (“Regional (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority suspends enforcement proceedings against a national postal operator because the initiating competitor has since been acquired by the national postal operator, resulting in fundamental changes in the market organization (PostNL / Sandd)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM suspends enforcement proceedings against Dutch postal operator PostNL* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided to suspend its enforcement proceedings against Dutch postal operator PostNL, which had been initiated following a request for enforcement filed by (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by a TV box company in an abuse of dominance investigation involving exclusivity agreements (Broadcom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 April 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) invited interested parties to submit comments on the commitments offered by Broadcom under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 to address competition concerns in relation to certain exclusivity and quasi-exclusivity agreements allegedly (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a dominant big tech company requiring it to enter into good faith negotiations with publishers and new agencies (Google)
Hausfeld (Brussels)
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Hausfeld (London)
After the record fine of 1.1 billion euros against Apple, the French Competition Authority continues to show a strong leadership in its fight against “Big Tech” — Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, the “GAFAs,” — by imposing interim measures on Google, requiring it to enter into good faith (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines €13 million a big tech company for excluding its competitors in shopping comparison services (Google Shopping)
Bilkent University - Law School (Ankara)
On May 27, 2020, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published its Google Shopping Decision (13.02.2020, 20-10/119-69) whereby it imposed an administrative fine amounting to approx. EUR 13 million on Google for hindering the activities of its competitors in the “shopping comparison services (...)

The EU General Court hears an appeal following abuse of dominance decision involving online comparison shopping services (Google Shopping)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Introduction From 12-14 February 2020, the European Union’s General Court (the “General Court”) heard Google’s appeal of the European Commission’s 27 June 2017 abuse of dominance decision pursuant to Article 102 TFEU (the “Decision”) involving on-line comparison shopping services (“CSSs”). A central (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its first investigation concerning abuse of dominance by a standard essential patent holder (Philips)
Bilkent University - Law School (Ankara)
Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) Philips Decision (26.12.2019, 19-46/790-344 – published on 27.05.2020) is quite significant as it is the first time that the TCA examined the conducts of a Standard Essential Patent (“SEP”) holder within the scope of Article 6 of the Act No. 4054 on the (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission approves acquisition of global pharma company’s animal health division by animal health company subject to divestments (Bayer / Elanco Animal Health)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Bayer’s animal health division by Elanco, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Bayer AGs animal health division by Elanco Animal Health Inc. The decision is (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds competition concerns in merger of 2 leading wholesalers offering a wide range of commercial vehicle and trailer part types (Universal Components / 3G)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Commercial vehicle and trailer parts merger raises competition concerns* Universal Components’ purchase of 3G raises competition concerns in the wholesale supply of commercial vehicle and trailer parts, a CMA investigation has found. Universal Components UK Limited (Universal Components), (...)

The Australian Competition Authority continues its investigation into one major airline’s acquisition of 19.9% stake in another with increased concern for smaller airlines due to COVID-19 (Qantas / Alliance Airlines) Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Investigation into Qantas’s stake in Alliance Airlines continues* The ACCC is continuing to investigate Qantas Airways’ (Qantas) (ASX:QAN) acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in Alliance Aviation (Alliance) (ASX:AQZ) during these uncertain times in the aviation industry. Qantas acquired a 19.9 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks public comment on proposed divestments in an animal health business merger (Bayer / Elanco)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Elanco proposes divestments of some animal health products in Bayer acquisition* The ACCC is seeking views on a divestment undertaking offered by Elanco in relation to its proposed acquisition of Bayer Aktiengesellschaft’s animal health business. The ACCC has preliminary competition concerns (...)

The US FTC finishes public consultation period and clears pharmaceutical merger subject to divestments in highly concentrated markets that supply biopharmaceutical companies with key inputs (Danaher / GE Biopharma)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Danaher Corporation’s Acquisition of GE Biopharma Was Anticompetitive* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Danaher Corporation’s acquisition of GE Biopharma would likely (...)

The German Parliament mitigates the consequences of COVID-19 by adopting a bill and temporarily amending national competition law to extend merger control review periods and suspend interest payments for antitrust fines Free
Morgan Lewis (Brussels)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Belgium)
Two key amendments to the German competition law entered into effect on May 29, 2020, temporarily extending merger control review periods and temporarily suspending interest payments for antitrust fines, further to a bill adopted by the German Parliament to mitigate the consequences of the (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting an oligopolistic merger between two mobile network operators in the telecommunication sector on the basis that it did not result in the creation or strengthening of a dominant position (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 28 May 2020 the General Court handed down its ruling in CK Telecoms UK Investment Ltd v European Commission (Case T-399/16) in which it annulled the EU Commission’s decision which prohibited the proposed acquisition by CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (Hutchison) of Telefónica Europe plc (O2). The (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s prohibition of a merger between two of UK’s four mobile network operators after finding errors in the analysis of alleged anticompetitive effects whilst conducting its acquisition review (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
Firm Thought Leadership In what is destined to rank as one of the most significant judicial knockbacks of the European Commission (“Commission”) in the area of merger control for many years, the EU’s General Court (“Court”) has annulled the decision by the Commission in 2016 to prohibit the merger (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision to block the proposed merger in the UK sector of the mobile telephony market (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls the Commission’s decision to block the proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK by Hutchison 3G UK in the sector of the mobile telephony market* On 11 May 2016, [1] the Commission adopted a decision in which it blocked, under the Merger Regulation, [2] the proposed (...)

The EU Commission waives all structural remedies committed to by merging pharmaceutical parties due to new significant permanent changes in market conditions during the divestiture process (Takeda / Shire)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire* The European Commission has waived, under the EU Merger Regulation, the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire. The Commission approved the (...)

The US FTC clears merger of medical device companies subject to divestment of one’s myoelectric elbows business to competitors (College Park Industries / Össur Hf)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Conditions on Össur Hf’s Acquisition of College Park Industries, Inc.* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Össur Hf’s proposed acquisition of College Park Industries, Inc. would violate (...)

The French Competition Authority clears merger in food retail sector in La Réunion after in-depth investigation, subject to conditions (Vindémia / Groupe Bernard Hayot)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Food retail sector in La Réunion: the Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Vindémia by Groupe Bernard Hayot, subject to conditions* On 24 January 2020, Groupe Bernard Hayot (GBH) notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its acquisition of sole control of Vindémia Group, which (...)

The German Competition Authority clears second largest private hospital merger in phase I (Asklepios / Rhön-Klinikum)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears merger between Asklepios and Rhön-Klinikum* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition of up to 100% of the shares in and sole control of Rhön Klinikum AG, Bad Neustadt/Saale, by Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA, Hamburg, in the first phase of merger (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into a proposed merger between 2 leading airlines operating routes between Canada and Europe while recognizing the target markets are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak (Transat / Air Canada) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the (...)

The German Government tightens national foreign direct investment screening regime to better protect security-relevant businesses in the health sector from non-EEA take-overs in light of COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
A recent amendment to Germany’s foreign direct investment ordinance adds new businesses to the existing catalogue of critical infrastructures—in particular, in the health sector—that will be subject to foreign direct investment screening going forward. Germany is taking several legislative (...)

The German Federal Government tightens foreign direct investment control in light of COVID-19 following the guidance from the EU Commission on a possible increased risk of attempts to acquire healthcare capacities Free
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On May 20, 2020, the German Federal government adopted the 15th amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV). The changes to the AWV will be effective shortly, after publication in the Federal Gazette. Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the amendment expands the scope of (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority conditionally allows a joint venture of the nation’s largest public-transport company and of the transport network company to create a travel app together (Dutch Railways NS / Pon)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Mobility service provider Pon en Dutch Railways NS are conditionally allowed to create travel app together* Dutch Railways NS and Pon are allowed to create a new company, which will operate an app that allows consumers to plan, book and pay for their trips, combining different modes of (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority clears merger between 2 educational institutions because they offer education to different target audiences (TIO University of Applied Sciences / NCOI)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM clears acquisition of educational institution TIO by rival institution NCOI* Dutch educational institution NCOI is allowed to acquire rival institution TIO University of Applied Sciences. Both TIO and NCOI offer professional courses, as well as accredited vocational programs at the upper (...)

The Californian Government debates a bill which, if passed, would broaden the type of healthcare transactions that require California AG review and approval prior to any acquisition of or affiliation with a healthcare facility or provider
McDermott Will & Emery (Los Angeles)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
California Senate Bill (SB) 977, if passed, would broaden the type of healthcare transactions that require California Attorney General (AG) review and approval. SB 977 would require that a healthcare system, private equity group or hedge fund provide written notice to, and obtain the written (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation clears an acquisition in auto parts sector subject to conditions (ZF / WABCO)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
On 15 May 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) in China conditionally approved ZF Friedrichshafen AG (“ZF”)’s acquisition of WABCO Holdings, Inc. (“WABCO”, ZF and WABCO collectively as the “Parties”) following a 180-day extended Phase 2 review. It is noteworthy that the SAMR is (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation into a merger of 2 financial services companies (Loomis / Automatia)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA opens in-depth investigation into the proposed merger of Loomis and Automatia* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has initiated further proceedings regarding the proposed merger in which Loomis AB would acquire Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy from the banking companies (...)

The US DoJ files proposed final judgment with US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio requiring divestiture following historic arbitration win (Novelis / Aleris Corporation)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Divestiture Following Historic Arbitration Win* Divestiture Will Preserve Competition for Aluminum Automotive Body Sheet in North America The Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a proposed final judgment with the U.S. District Court for the (...)

The US DoJ moves to vacate its loss in a booking services market acquisition decision on the basis that the competition effects may heighten the agencies’ burden of proof and merger enforcement (Sabre / Farelogix)
Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
On May 12, 2020, the Department of Justice moved the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware’s U.S. v. Sabre Corp. opinion. In an opinion released on April 7, the court rejected DOJ’s challenge to the proposed merger of Sabre and (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks sports-fashion merger finding that even with COVID-19 significantly impacting the relevant sector there would still be negative effects on the competition if the merger proceeded (JD Sports / Footasylum) Free
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA blocks sports-fashion merger* The CMA has blocked JD Sports’ purchase of close competitor Footasylum after finding it would leave shoppers worse off. Following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that this transaction would lead to a (...)

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) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 (...)

The US FTC clears merger of 2 Big Pharma companies after they agreed to divest 3 drugs businesses (AbbVie / Allergan)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Imposes Conditions on AbbVie Inc.’s Acquisition of Allergan plc* Agency requires companies to divest three drugs Pharmaceutical companies AbbVie Inc. and Allergan plc have agreed to divest assets to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that AbbVie’s proposed $63 billion acquisition of (...)

The EU Commission clears acquisition of large specialised refiner of copper scrap by the world’s largest refiner of copper scrap (Aurubis / Metallo)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Aurubis’ acquisition of Metallo* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, Aurubis’ acquisition of Metallo, a large copper scrap refiner. The Commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European (...)

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)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 (...)

The UK Competition Authority stops its phase II investigation after 2 education publishers decide to abandon the merger (McGraw-Hill Education / Cengage Learning)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Publishing merger abandoned after CMA investigation* McGraw-Hill Education has abandoned its proposed deal with Cengage Learning after competition concerns raised by the CMA. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has therefore today confirmed that it will be cancelling its Phase 2 (...)

The US DOJ announced that the second and third largest textbook publisher abandoned their merger after the DOJ expressed serious concerns about the harm to competition (McGraw-Hill Education / Cengage Learning)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Cengage and McGraw-Hill Terminate Merger Agreement in Response to Antitrust Concerns* Cengage Learning Holdings II Inc. and McGraw-Hill Education Inc. mutually agreed to abandon their plans to merge after the Department of Justice informed the companies it had serious concerns that the (...)

The Kenyan Competition Authority approves a merger, subject to conditions, between two telecommunications companies (Airtel / Telkom)
Mosoti & Company advocates (Kenya)
Kenya’s Competition Tribunal: Airtel/Telkom merger generates first decision* On 4th May 2020, the Kenyan Competition Tribunal made its first decision after considering the application for review of the Airtel-Telkom merger where they contested 7 out of 8 the conditions imposed. The competition (...)

The German Competition Authority approves an acquisition between two locomotives on the basis that the company’s competitiveness decreased over the years (Vossloh / Zhuzhou)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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 (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears an acquisition between a pharmaceutical company and an off-patent medicines producer and distributor (Milan / Upjohn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 April 2020, the Commission conditionally cleared Dutch pharmaceutical company Mylan’s acquisition of Upjohn, a division of Pfizer. Upjohn, which is based in China, produces and distributes off-patent branded and generic medicines. Mylan is also active in the production and distribution of (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation accepts the first merger filing involving a variable interest entities structure (Shanghai Mingcha Zhegang / Huansheng Information Technology)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Preamble On 20 April 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation ("SAMR") formally accepted a filing for the Establishment of a Joint Venture between Shanghai Mingcha Zhegang Management Consulting Co., Ltd. (“SMZ”) and Huansheng Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. ("SMZ (...)

The EU Commission and National Competition Authorities implement remote working for the vast majority of their workforces, presenting challenges in merger control during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
Like most organisations, the European Commission (the "Commission") and national competition authorities ("NCAs") have implemented remote working for the vast majority of their workforces. This presents unique and unprecedented challenges in merger control, one of the regulatory areas with the (...)

The Pakistan Competition Authority approves an acquisition between two application-based ride-sharing service companies despite extremely high market concentration levels and efficiencies failing to outweigh the adverse effects of lessening of competition (Careem / Uber Technologies)
McGill University - Department of Law (Montreal)
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (hereinafter “CCP” or “the Commission”) through its order dated 31 January 2020 (“the Order”) approved the acquisition of Careem by Uber Technologies, Inc., transforming the duopolistic market of application-based ridesharing services into a monopolistic market. (...)

The US FTC announces that the dollar-based thresholds applicable to the HSR pre-merger notification program will be raised from the 2019 levels
Dechert (New York)
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Dechert (Washington)
On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced in the Federal Register that the dollar-based thresholds applicable to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) premerger notification program will be raised about 4.4 percent from the 2019 levels. As a result, the HSR minimum (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €1.2 billion Portuguese urgent liquidity support to its major national airline company, whose already existing liquidity needs to be increased with COVID-19 (TAP - Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion Portuguese urgent liquidity support to TAP* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Portugal’s plans to grant a €1.2 billion rescue loan in favour of Transportes Aéreos Portugueses SGPS S.A. (“TAP”). The measure will provide TAP (...)

The EU Commission approves €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing infrastructures and production of COVID-19 relevant products Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing infrastructures and production of coronavirus relevant products* The European Commission has approved a €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research and development, testing and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority approves a distribution scheme allowing disposable surgical masks to be sold in pharmacies and health retail outlets as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 June 2020, the Italian competition authority (“L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”) authorised a scheme that would allow disposable surgical masks to be distributed and sold in pharmacies and health product retail outlets (see, attached press release). It did so at the request (...)

The EU Commission approves € 1.6 billion Polish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak and provide liquidity support Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves € 1.6 billion Polish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide liquidity support* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an approximately €1.6 billion (PLN 7.5 billion) Polish scheme that (...)

The EU Commission approves €600 million Finnish guarantee scheme to support maritime companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €600 million Finnish guarantee scheme to support maritime companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €600 million Finnish aid scheme to support the maritime companies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme (...)

The EU Commission approves Lithuanian fund to enable up to €1 billion of liquidity and capital support to medium-sized and large enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Lithuanian fund to enable up to €1 billion of liquidity and capital support to medium-sized and large enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved Lithuanian plans to set up a fund with a target size of up to €1 billion (...)

The EU Commission approves Dutch guarantee scheme to stabilise trade credit insurance market in COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Dutch guarantee scheme to stabilise trade credit insurance market in coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Dutch guarantee scheme to support the trade credit insurance market in face of the coronavirus outbreak. (...)

The EU Commission approves €2.2 billion Polish subsidised loan scheme for large enterprises affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2.2 billion Polish subsidised loan scheme for large enterprises affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a Polish subsidised loan scheme to support large enterprisesin the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved (...)

The EU Commission approves €8 billion Austrian scheme to compensate companies for damage caused by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €8 billion Austrian scheme to compensate companies for damage caused by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a €8 billion Austrian scheme to compensate companies for damages related to the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid (...)

The EU Commission approves €9 billion Italian “umbrella” scheme to support economy in COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €9 billion Italian “umbrella” scheme to support economy in coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €9 billion Italian “umbrella” scheme to support the Italian economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the (...)

The EU Commission approves Danish guarantee scheme to stabilise trade credit insurance market in COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Danish guarantee scheme to stabilise trade credit insurance market in coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Danish guarantee scheme to support the trade credit insurance market in face of the coronavirus outbreak. (...)

The EU Commission approves State financing granted by Spain for Correos’s universal postal service obligation (Correos)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves State financing granted by Spain for Correos’s universal postal service obligation* The European Commission has found the compensation granted by Spain to Correos to fulfil its public service mission (so-called “universal service obligation” or USO) during the (...)

The EU General Court reaffirms the Commission’s decision declaring illegal the aid from Italy to several airlines serving Sardinia (Volotea / Germanwings / easyJet)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses the actions against the Commission decision declaring illegal the aid from Italy to several airlines serving Sardinia* The operators of the Sardinian airports were not the beneficiaries of the aid but merely intermediaries between the Autonomous Region and the (...)

The EU General Court provides guidance to the notion of State aid under EU law following an action for annulment brought by airline companies against a decision of the EU Commission finding an Italian aid to be illegal and incompatible with the internal market (Volotea / Germanwings / EasyJet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 May 2020, the General Court delivered three judgments in Cases T-607/17,T-716/17,T-8/18, concerning Volotea, Germanwings and easyJet, respectively (the “Applicants”). These judgments follow actions for annulment brought by the Applicants against a decision of the Commission finding that (...)

The EU Commission approves €322 million Croatian loan guarantees and subsidised loans scheme for micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €322 million Croatian loan guarantees and subsidised loans scheme for micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved an approximately €322 million (HRK 2.450 million) Croatian scheme for loan (...)

The EU Commission approves €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support COVID-19 related research and development activities in Wallonia Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support coronavirus related research and development activities in Wallonia* The European Commission has approved a €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support coronavirus related research and development (R&D) in Wallonia.The (...)

The EU Commission approves €11.5 million Maltese scheme to support investments in the production of COVID-19-relevant products Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €11.5 million Maltese scheme to support investments in the production of coronavirus-relevant products* The European Commission has approved a Maltese aid scheme of €11.5 million to support investments in the production of productsthat are relevant to the (...)

The EU Commission approves €1.5 million Latvian scheme to support companies active in the agricultural sector affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.5 million Latvian scheme to support companies active in the agricultural sector affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €1.5 million Latvian scheme to support companies active in the primary agricultural production sector (...)

The EU Commission approves French guarantee scheme for exporting small and midsize companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves French guarantee scheme for exporting small and midsize companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a French guarantee scheme for small and midsize companies with export activities that are affected (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on updated proposal on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support, inspired by temporary rules for aid to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission invites comments on updated proposal on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support* The European Commission is inviting Member States and other stakeholders to comment on its updated proposal to exempt from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules (...)

The EU Commission approves € 10.3 billion UK scheme to support self-employed individuals and members of partnerships during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves € 10.3 billion UK scheme to support self-employed individuals and members of partnerships during the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a GBP 9 billion (approximately € 10.3 billion) UK aid scheme to support self-employed individuals and (...)

The EU Commission approves €500 million Greek scheme to support the self-employed affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Greek scheme to support the self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €500 million Greek scheme to support self-employed individuals, including self-employed managers of small companies in sectors affected (...)

The EU Commission approves €450 million Polish scheme in the form of loans and guarantees to support companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €450 million Polish scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €450 million scheme (approximately PLN 2 billion)to support the Polish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The support measures (...)

The EU Commission expands temporary framework to recapitalisation and subordinated debt measures to further support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission expands Temporary Framework to recapitalisation and subordinated debt measures to further support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has adopted a second amendment to extend the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework (...)

The EU Commission extends its COVID-19 State aid rules to recapitalisation and subordinated debt measure Free
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
In anticipation of the wave of requests from stricken companies due to the COVID-19 outbreak for more long-term State support, on 8 May, the Commission extended the scope of its State aid Temporary Framework to allow Member States to take stakes in non-financial companies affected by the (...)

The EU Commission authorises State aid measure following the COVID-19 outbreak to help companies cover their immediate liquidity needs through bank loans guaranteed by EU member states Free
Hogan Lovells (Paris)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
The first State aid measures authorized by the European Commission (Commission) following the COVID-19 outbreak were aimed at helping companies to cover their immediate liquidity needs, mainly through bank loans guaranteed by EU Member States. The significant losses incurred by companies as a (...)

The EU Commission revises its temporary framework for State aid to allow capital injections by EU member states into non financial firms affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission has revised its Temporary Framework for State Aid to support the economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to allow capital injections by EU member states into nonfinancial firms affected by the pandemic. To support the economy in the current COVID-19 pandemic, (...)

The EU Commission approves €40 million rescue aid to Croatian mechanical engineering company (Ðuro Ðaković)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €40 million rescue aid to Croatian mechanical engineering company Ðuro Ðaković* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Croatia’s decision to grant mechanical engineering company Ðuro Ðaković a State guarantee for a €40.31 million (HRK 300 (...)

The EU Commission approves €650 million Dutch scheme to compensate companies in the floriculture, speciality horticulture and potato sectors for damage caused by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €650 million Dutch scheme to compensate companies in the floriculture, specialty horticulture and potato sectors for damage caused by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a €650 million Dutch scheme that compensates companies in the floriculture, (...)

The EU Commission approves €7.3 million Czech scheme to support research and development activities related to COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €7.3 million Czech scheme to support research and development activities related to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a CZK 200 million (approximately €7.3 million) Czech aid scheme to support research and development (R&D) activities (...)

The EU Commission approves €314 million Hungarian guarantee scheme to support SMEs active in the agri-food value chain during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €314 million Hungarian guarantee scheme to support SMEs active in the agri-food value chain during the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a Hungarian scheme to support the agri-food value chain in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, (...)

The EU Commission approves €10 million Greek direct grant scheme to support companies in the floriculture sector affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €10 million Greek scheme to support companies in the floriculture sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €10 million Greek State aid scheme to support the floriculture primary production sector in the context of the (...)

The EU Commission approves €296 million Danish loan schemes to support start-ups affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €296 million Danish loan schemes to support start-ups affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved two Danish loan schemes to support start-up companies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The loan schemes, with a total budget of (...)

The EU Commission approves €5.2 billion Czech guarantee scheme for loans to large exporting companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5.2 billion Czech guarantee scheme for loans to large exporting companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved an approximately €5.2 billion (CZK 142 billion) Czech guarantee scheme for large companies with export activities (...)

The EU Commission approves Belgian €250 million subordinated loan scheme to support start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Belgian €250 million subordinated loan scheme to support start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a Belgian scheme of €250 million, financed by the Flemish region, to support companies in the context (...)

The EU Commission approves €30 million Italian scheme to support SMEs in the agriculture and fishery sectors affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €30 million Italian scheme to support SMEs in the agriculture and fishery sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €30 million Italian scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural and (...)

The EU Court of Justice further narrows the scope for exceptions to recovery of interest on illegal State aid following a company receiving a credit line for the recovery of agricultural and breeding livestock activities from the Portuguese authorities (Nelson Antunes da Cunha)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 April 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) delivered another important judgment concerning the complex relationship between State aid and national procedural rules (Case C-627/18, Nelson Antunes da Cunha). The judgment was delivered in response to a (...)

The EU Commission adopts a temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 March 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID- 19 outbreak (the “Temporary Framework”), which was first amended on 3 April 2020. On 8 May 2020, the Commission adopted another amend- (...)

Procedures

The Mexican Competition Authority extends for the fourth time its suspension of legal timelines for some procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expands the list of suspended proceedings Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Fourth agreement of the Board of Commissioners on the suspension of legal terms for some procedures filed before COFECE* Procedures and procedural stages established in the third agreement on the suspension of legal terms published on April 30 remain exempted and others are added. COFECE’s (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority issues new guidelines on the calculation of fines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
New guidelines of the Belgian Competition Authority (the “BCA”) on the calculation of fines (the “Fining Guidelines”) were published on 25 May 2020 in the Belgian Official Journal. The Fining Guidelines replace the Guidelines on the calculation of fines adopted in 2014 by the BCA. The new Fining (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority accepts the First Circuit Collegiate Court’s precedent confirming that the Competition Authority is the national regulator with competence over digital platform merger cases (Uber / Cornershop)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
The Judiciary reaches the decision that COFECE is the competent authority to resolve the concentration between Uber and Cornershop* The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) became aware, through the live broadcast of today’s session of the First Circuit (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a second update from its COVID-19 taskforce Free
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Update on CMA COVID-19 Taskforce* The CMA has published a second update from its COVID-19 Taskforce, which monitors and responds to competition and consumer problems arising from the pandemic. As part of the Taskforce’s work, it is asking the public for information about businesses behaving (...)

The French Competition Authority announces reinstatement of certain statutory limits as first measures of the gradual lifting of the state of health emergency in France due to COVID-19 Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Gradual lifting of the state of health emergency in France: re-instating statutory time limits* The time limits applying to various procedures have been suspended since 12 March 2020, the date on which the health emergency period started in France. Order No. 2020-560 of 13 May 2020 setting out (...)

The French Competition Authority reinstates deadlines for responding to statements of objections and reports which were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Reinstatement of deadlines for responding to statements of objections and reports* In a press release dated 27 March 2020, the Autorité de la concurrence stated that “the two-month period available to companies to submit, in application of Article L. 463-2 of the French Commercial Code, their (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority announces that they are increasing their enforcement of deceptive COVID-19 marketing claims Free
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition Bureau Escalates Enforcement of the Competition Act For COVID-19 Related Marketing Claims* On May 6, 2020, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that it was increasing its enforcement of deceptive COVID-19 marketing claims (see: Competition Bureau cracking down on deceptive (...)

The Indian Competition Authority authorises companies to collaborate and enter into agreements to share information to enhance the efficiency of production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition during the COVID-19 crisis Free
National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
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National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
Background. The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into total shambles. Economies all over the world are on a verge of collapse and the Indian economy has been no exception. The continuous surge in the covid-19 cases along with the countrywide imposition of (...)

The European Competition Network publishes a brief joint statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
In a welcomed attempt to align their approaches, the antitrust enforcers of the European Competition Network (ECN) have published a brief joint statement on the application of competition law during the Covid-19 crisis. If one may regret that its content remains too high-level, it is an (...)

The UK High Court issues guidance on the balancing of conflicting interest in a case involving the protection of a big tech’s confidential and technical information concerning its search algorithms (Google / Foundem)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Introduction There is an emerging trend in competition damages cases in England for the majority of documents to be disclosed into so-called “confidentiality rings.” These restrictive confidentiality procedures can result, in certain instances, in the parties themselves being precluded from (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority opens an investigation against an undertaking operating in the automotive sector in order to re-evaluate its previous decision since it was annulled by the 13th Chamber of Council of States (SCT)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Undertakings Operating in the Automotive Sector under the Review of the TCA Once Again* Introduction In the previous days, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) resolved under its decision dated 26.03.2020 and numbered 20-16/234-M to open an investigation against the undertaking (...)

Regulatory

The German Competition Authority supports the German Association of the Automotive Industry’s measures for overcoming the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the automotive industry Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Crisis management measures in the automotive industry - Bundeskartellamt supports the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in developing framework conditions under competition law aspects* The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has presented measures for (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its study on competition and e-commerce
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité has published a study on competition and e-commerce* The growth of e-commerce is profoundly changing distribution. The physical distribution model is facing strong competition from the growth of online sales, which may be the result of “pure play” online retailers and strategies (...)

The Peruvian Competition Authority publishes guidelines on competition compliance programs aimed at preventing companies from engaging in anticompetitive behavior
Peruvian Competition Authority - INDECOPI (Lima)
Indecopi publishes its "Guidelines on Competition Compliance Programs” which seeks to prevent the risks of engaging in anticompetitive behavior* The Commission for the Defense of Free Competition (CLC) introduced its “Guidelines on Competition Compliance Programs” (https://bit.ly/2MdDfqO) to (...)

The French Competition Authority launches public consultation on the freedom of establishment of notaries that will account for effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activity of notaries Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
New opinion on the freedom of establishment of notaries: the Autorité launches a consultation* The Autorité de la Concurrence launches a public consultation with a view to preparing a new opinion on the freedom of establishment of notaries and proposing a revision of the map that was published (...)

The US FTC supports new provisions by the US centers for medicare & medicaid services aimed at reducing or eliminating restrictive Medicare payment requirements for telehealth and related services during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Comment Supports Provisions in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Interim Final Rule that Reduce or Eliminate Restrictive Medicare Payment Requirements for Telehealth and Related Services during Pandemic* The staffs of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority issues findings from its study on the impact of the collaborative economy on the competitive environment and the competition policy
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Development of the Collaborative Economy and the Relaxation of Market Access Conditions for Traditional Service Providers Leads to the Improvement of Competition* The Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated once again that digitalization, increasing the importance of platforms, technological (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority invites the public to complete a questionnaire on competition in rail transport
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE invites the public to complete a questionnaire on competition in rail transport* With this exercise, the Commission initiates its works to draft a document about competition in the public service for rail freight transport aimed at detecting possible obstacles to the efficient (...)

The US DoJ announces its first approval of a COVID-19 competitor collaboration which is not involving medical supplies
Robins Kaplan (New York)
DOJ Signs Off On First COVID-Related Competitor Collaboration Not Involving Medical Supplies* On May 15, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced its first approval of a COVID-19 competitor collaboration that does not involve equipment or medications directly related (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority suggests to the Government stricter liability for major retailers’ unfair practices with suppliers
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Konkurencijos Taryba Suggests Stricter Liability For Major Retailers‘ Unfair Practices To Suppliers* After conducting the monitoring of the implementation of the Law on the Prohibition of Unfair Practices of Retailers (Law), in its report provided to the Government the Lithuanian competition (...)

The German Competition Authority reports substantial differences in fuel prices at different petrol stations, exacerbated by the effects on oil prices by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Substantial price differences at petrol stations - Bundeskartellamt publishes Annual Report of the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels* The Bundeskartellamt has published its 2019 annual report on the work of its Market Transparency Unit for Fuels today. Andreas Mundt, President of the (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on commitments offered by two major airlines in the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement to resolve competition concerns over airline routes with consideration for the effects of COVID-19 pandemic (American Airlines / British Airways) Free
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA consults on BA and American Airlines commitments* British Airways and American Airlines have offered commitments to resolve the CMA’s competition concerns over an agreement about airline routes between the UK and US. The airlines will make slots available at London Heathrow or Gatwick (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues recommendations to the National Energy Control Center Agreement on ensuring stability in the electricity markets during COVID-19 pandemic Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE issues recommendations to the National Energy Control Center (CENACE) Agreement* During the health emergency, competitive electricity prices are of the utmost relevance. COFECE’s recommendations seek to avoid a permanent increase in electricity rates or an increase of subsidies by the (...)

The EU Commission adopts measures aimed at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in the agri-food sector Free
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission (“EC”) is taking steps to stabilise the most affected sectors of the economy. As part of its efforts, the EC has announced its support for the agricultural and food sectors which are severely affected by the pandemic. This (...)

The EU Commission announces the adoption of exceptional derogations from EU competition rules to allow certain types of cooperation in the agri-food industry during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission (EC) on May 4 announced the adoption of exceptional derogations from EU competition rules to allow certain types of cooperation in the following sectors: milk and milk products, potatoes, and live plants and flowers, as part of a wider package to support the agri-food (...)

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 Free
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows electricity and gas companies to co-operate to provide financial relief to residential and business customers who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Electricity and gas companies to co-operate on relief package* The ACCC has granted conditional interim authorisation to allow the Australian Energy Council and wholesale and retail energy businesses to co-operate to provide financial relief to residential and business customers who may be (...)

The UK Parliament adopts a dairy produce order which aims at relaxing UK competition law on certain aspects of cooperation between dairy suppliers and service producers to deal with the issues in the supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK Parliament on May 1 adopted the Dairy Produce Order, which temporarily relaxes the application of UK competition law to certain types of cooperation between either dairy produce suppliers or logistic service providers to address issues in the supply chain caused by the ongoing (...)

The EU Commission issues three implementing regulations temporarily relaxing the scope of competition law rules in three agricultural sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 April 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) issued three implementing regulations temporarily relaxing the scope of competition law rules in three agricultural sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By way of context, Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of 17 December 2013 (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces a re-focus of its 2020 compliance and enforcement priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
Due to the rapidly changing global landscape, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced on 27 March 2020 a "re-focus" of its 2020 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has not explicitly revoked its existing priorities, which we (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a guidance document explaining how Brexit will affect its powers and processes for competition enforcement both during and after the transitioning period
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (London)
The UK will no longer be a Member State of the European Union (the “EU”) as of 11 p.m. on 31 January 2020 (“Exit Day”). A ‘transition period’ will run from Exit Day until 11 p.m. on 31 December 2020 (the “Transition Period”). The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has published a guidance (...)

The US DoJ and PTO issue a policy statement on standard-essential patents subject to a commitment to license on FRAND terms
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
After withdrawing support from a 2013 policy statement on appropriate remedies for standard-essential patents subject to a commitment to license on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, along (...)

Public sector

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision finding construction companies guilty of bid rigging in public procurement (Panevėžio statybos trestas / Active Construction Management / Irdaiva)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania: Construction Companies Restricted Competition in Public Procurement Through Joint Bidding* The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Court) rejected the appeals by the construction company Panevėžio statybos trestas (PST) and company Active (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority finds a lack of standing to act against a public forestry and woodland management company for allegations of discriminatory behavior in the public tenders for the sale of wood chips and firewood for the production of electricity and heat (Hrvatske šume)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Lack of standing to act against Hrvatske šume* Following a complaint by an anonymous complainant alleging discriminatory behaviour, in the market investigation that the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) carried out within the case Class: 034-08/19-01/022, it investigated the contracts on the (...)

The OECD issues note on competition and emergency procurement during COVID-19 Free
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Health concerns, confinement measures and border closures adopted in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis have caused severe disruption in the supply and distribution chain of goods, works and services that the public sector needs. At the same time, public buyers around the world need some goods (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority recommends to the Dutch government to include a requirement to cooperate in the tender conditions for a new train service to Germany (Train between Eindhoven and Düsseldorf)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM recommends Dutch government to include a requirement to cooperate in the tender conditions for a new train service to Germany* A requirement to cooperate with other market participants may be included in the concession conditions of the international rail service between the Dutch city of (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority’s investigation of the national agency for historical preservation results in commitment to pro-competitive measures (Finnish Heritage Agency)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The Finnish Heritage Agency is committed to undertake measures to improve neutral competition conditions* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has investigated into the business activities carried out by the Finnish Heritage Agency on the archaeological research market. As the (...)

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