August 2022

General antitrust

The Polish Competition Authority initiates an extensive investigation into the market for hard coal to examine the rules for distribution and existence of restrictive competition in the market New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Coal: President of UOKiK initiates an investigation procedure* The President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, initiated an investigation procedure in connection with the situation on the hard coal market. An extensive market investigation is being conducted with the support of the Trade Inspection (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a discussion paper and accompanying evidence review on "online choice architecture” New
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
Introduction The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published a Discussion Paper and accompanying Evidence Review on “Online Choice Architecture” (OCA). This provides a helpful overview of the CMA’s approach to analysing choice architecture, recognising that some practices (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority initiates an investigation into possible barriers to entry in the national market for federal land passenger transport that uses terminals for passenger boarding and disembarking
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Cofece investigates the national market of federal passenger transport that uses terminals for the boarding and disembarking of passengers, and related services* Through the inquiry, the Investigative Authority could preliminarily determine the probable existence of barriersto competition an (...)

The Chinese National People’s Congress passes the amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
When its Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) went into effect in August 2008, China immediately became a significant antitrust enforcer on the world stage. On June 24, 2022, the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, passed the Amendment to the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC (the “Amendment”), (...)

The International Competition Network publishes findings of its research among members on competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy
International Competition Network (ICN)
ICN Steering Group Project – Competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy* Task 1: Issues identification Introduction This paper identifies for competition agencies relevant issues at the intersection between competition, consumer (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority publishes opinion on the operational and competitive conditions at airports
Icelandic Competition Authority
ICA directs recommendations to authorities regarding Isavia and the competitive environment at Keflavik Airport* The Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) has published an opinion concerning the operational environment of Isavia ohf. and competitive conditions at Keflavik International (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The US DoJ strikes plea deals with two companies which conspired to rig bids on piping and insulation projects in Connecticut (BC Flynn Contracting / Axion Specialty Contracting) New
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Two Companies Plead Guilty in Bid Rigging Scheme for Insulation Contracts* These are the Sixth and Seventh Defendants to Plead Guilty in this Investigation BC Flynn Contracting Corp. (BC Flynn) and Axion Specialty Contracting LLC (Axion) pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in (...)

The US DOJ files a lawsuit alleging that the tournament system of determining the pay for poultry processors constitutes an abusive exchange of information (Cargill / Jonathan Meng / Sanderson Farms / Wayne Farms) New
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department Files Lawsuit and Proposed Consent Decrees to End Long-Running Conspiracy to Suppress Worker Pay at Poultry Processing Plants and Address Deceptive Abuses Against Poultry Growers* Decree Provisions Would Stop the Exchange of Compensation Information, Ban President of Data (...)

The US DOJ fines a military contractor for bid rigging in Texas and Michigan (Leveritt) New
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Military Contractor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids for Public Contracts in Texas and Michigan* A Texas military contractor pleaded guilty yesterday to rigging bids on public military contracts in Texas and Michigan. Yesterday, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows two broadband providers to amend cooperation agreements to accelerate broadband rollout following a restructuring of one of the firms (Telstra / NBN) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Proposal to allow Telstra and NBN Co to amend broadband agreements* The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to authorise Telstra and NBN Co and their related entities to amend agreements that they entered into from 2011 and 2014 which facilitated the rollout of the national (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments from three mobile phone operators on Czech network sharing (T-Mobile / CETIN / O2) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments from T-Mobile CZ, CETIN and O2 CZ on Czech network sharing* The European Commission has made commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN and O2 CZ, as well as their parent companies Deutsche Telekom and PPF Group, legally binding under EU antitrust (...)

The Polish Competition Authority opens an investigation into whether antitrust laws were breached when distributors and producers of animal feed cooperated (Empire Brands)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Animal feed market - actions of the President of UOKiK* Did dog and cat food producer Empire Brands break the antitrust law? Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK, launched a preliminary investigation in the case and the Office staff conducted a search at the company’s registered office. The (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines construction companies €203.6M for altering the competitive process in infrastructure construction tenders for more than 25 years (Acciona Construcción / Dragados / FCC Construcción / Ferrovial Construcción / Obrascón Huarte Lain / Sacyr Construcción) New
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC has fined 6 of the main construction companies in Spain 203.6 million euros for altering the competitive process in infrastructure construction tenders for more than 25 years The sanctioned companies are: Acciona Construcción S.A., Dragados S.A., FCC Construcción, Ferrovial Construcción, (...)

The German Competition Authority green-lights planned automated driving development cooperation between two automobile competitors (Volkswagen / Bosch) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt greenlights start of automated driving development cooperation between VW and Bosch* The Bundeskartellamt will not initiate a proceeding against a planned development cooperation between Robert Bosch GmbH and Volkswagen AG to advance automated driving. Andreas Mundt, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority green lights temporary cooperation in the energy industry to address crisis caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Interim authorisation for energy industry co-operation to address crisis* The ACCC has granted interim authorisation for a range of measures allowing participants in the gas and electricity markets to work together to support Australia’s energy supply and systems during the current crisis. An (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions hospitals and respective association for concerted behaviour (Portuguese Private Hospitals Association / Grupo Trofa Saúde / Hospital Privado da Trofa / Trofa Group / Hospital Particular do Algarve...) New
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions hospitals and respective association for concerted behavior* The decision The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) sanctioned the Portuguese Private Hospitals Association (APHP), G.T.S - Grupo Trofa Saúde, SGPS, S.A. and Hospital Privado da Trofa, S.A. (jointly, the Trofa (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts a decision concerning market sharing between members of an association of undertakings in the market for home textiles (Boligtextilbranchens Indkøbsservice) New
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council has adopted a decision concerning market sharing between members of an association of undertakings* On June 22 2022 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) adopted a decision concerning Boligtextilbranchens Indkøbsservice A.M.B.A. (Botex). In the decision, it is (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority issues a large fine on four companies which planned to rig a bid in the market for anaesthesia and ventilation equipment (Dräger Medical / GE Hungary / Aladdin Medical / HOGE Orvosi Műszer)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
GVH uncovered an anaesthesia and ventilator cartel* Budapest, June 30, 2022 - The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has imposed a competition supervision fine of almost HUF 670 million for the allocation of a public tender for anaesthesia and ventilation equipment among four major market (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments by a professional association of Irish insurers to ensure access to its data sharing platform (Irish Insurance)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Insurance Ireland to ensure access to its data sharing platform* The European Commission has made commitments offered by Insurance Ireland, an association of Irish insurers, legally binding under EU antitrust rules. Insurance Ireland must ensure (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority completes preliminary investigation into potential anti-competitive harm from relabelled biologic drugs
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau completes preliminary investigation of relabelled biologic drugs* The Competition Bureau has completed its preliminary investigation into potential anti-competitive harm from relabelled biologic drugs. Relabelled biologic drugs are identical to originator biologic drugs but (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority decides that two energy companies may collaborate in the storage of C02 in empty north sea gas fields (Shell / TotalEnergies) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM: Shell and TotalEnergies can collaborate in the storage of CO2 in empty North Sea gas fields* Following an assessment of their plans, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided to allow competitors Shell and TotalEnergies to collaborate in the storage of CO2 in (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the temporal scope of the Damages Directive (Volvo / DAF Trucks)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 June 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) clarified the temporal application of the Directive 2014/104/EU of 26 November 2014 on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions (“Damages Directive”) to (...)

The EU Court of Justice specifies the temporal scope on rules governing carry on damages for competition law infringements as well as the quantification of damages and the rebuttable presumption relating to the existence of a cartel following a decision by the Commission (Volvo / DAF Trucks) New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court specifies the temporal scope of the rules governing the limitation period for bringing an action for damages for infringements of competition law and of the rules governing the quantification of the harm resulting from such infringements and the rebuttable presumption relating to the (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls a Commission decision in an anticompetitive tender agreement case in the optical disk drive market but upholds the amounts of fines imposed (Optical Disk Drives Cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 June 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued four judgments in which it partially annulled earlier judgments of the General Court, which had upheld the 2015 Commission Decision in relation to the optical disk drives (“ODDs”) cartel case. In that case, the Commission (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls the decision of the Commission but upholds the amounts of the fines imposed for the optical disk drives cartel (Optical Disk Drives Cartel) New
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Cartel on the market for optical disk drives: the Court partially annuls the decision of the Commission but upholds the amounts of the fines imposed* The Commission failed to satisfy its obligation to state reasons by finding that, in addition to their participation in a single and continuous (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions four supermarket chains and multinational supplier of food & home products for participation in a "hub-and-spoke" cartel (Auchan / E. Leclerc / Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Unilever)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions Auchan, E. Leclerc, Modelo Continente, Pingo Doce and Unilever for colluding on prices to the detriment of consumers* The decision The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) has sanctioned four supermarket chains – Auchan, E. Leclerc, Modelo Continente (SONAE Group), and Pingo (...)

The Japanese FTC investigates a lodging company for restrictive practices including demanding that partners do not provide more favourable prices on other sales channels (Expedia Lodging Partner Services)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
Approval of the Commitment Plan submitted by Expedia Lodging Partner Services Sàr*l The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) has investigated Expedia Lodging Partner Services Sàrl (hereinafter referred to as the “ELPS”) in accordance with the provisions of the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority sanctions cartels involved in public procurement for cemetery maintenance services following extensive investigations (Būsto aplinka / City Service Engineering)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Cartelists have been assigned individual sanctions* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba assigned individual sanctions to the companies Būsto aplinka and City Service Engineering which concluded a bid-rigging cartel. Following the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court (...)

The Ankara 9th Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Authority’s decision to impose an administrative monetary fine on a chemical supplier stating that the standard of proof has not been met (Hicri Ercili)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Ankara 9 th Administrative Court (“Administrative Court”) annulled the decision of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) where an administrative fine of TL 11,214,051.26 was imposed on Hicri Ercili Deniz Nakliyat Kimyevi Maddeler San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti.) (“Hicri Ercili”), a supplier of the (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority declines clearance for agreements between a gym-owner and their franchisees which would have permitted the setting of price ceilings and floors (Anytime NZ) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission declines clearance for Anytime NZ Limited’s collaborative activity clearance application* The Commerce Commission has declined to give clearance to Anytime NZ Limited (Anytime NZ) to enter into proposed agreements with its franchisees that would have contained or may have contained (...)

The Polish Competition Authority imposes penalty on a grain trading company for unfair use of contractual advantage (Cefetra Polska) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Cefetra Polska - decision of the President of UOKiK* The President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, has imposed a penalty of over PLN 2 million on Cefetra Polska – one of the largest companies in the Polish grain trading market. The trader demanded all contracted supplies from the farmers, even when (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority launches comprehensive sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure: AFCA launches comprehensive market inquiry* As part of the sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure, which the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) got under way in November 2021 (see also AFCA’s press release of 16 November 2021), (...)

The UK Competition Authority warns that cartels exploiting cost-of-living crisis will face action
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Cartels exploiting cost-of-living crisis will face action, warns CMA* The CMA’s most senior enforcer has warned that anyone looking to exploit the cost-of-living crisis by forming cartels risk robust enforcement action, including possible dawn raids. In a speech today Michael Grenfell, (...)

The US DOJ updates its guidelines on leniency to include more generous terms for companies and individuals who cooperate New
Morgan Lewis (Silicon Valley)
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Morgan Lewis (Chicago)
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced significant guidance updates to its leniency program on April 4, 2022. Under the program, companies that self-report antitrust conspiratorial activity to the government (and then fully cooperate with the government in its (...)

The EU General Court dismisses appeals by 13 airlines against a readopted decision which imposed fines of €799M for price coordination (Airfreight cartel) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 March 2022, the General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) handed down thirteen separate judgments on appeals brought by airfreight carriers against the Commission’s re-adopted decision in the Airfreight case. Background In November 2010, the European Commission (“Commission”) (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Polish Competition Authority initiates antitrust proceedings against a computer manufacturer for market allocation (Dell) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
DELL - Charges by president of UOKIK* The President of UOKiK has initiated antitrust proceedings against Dell Sp. z o.o. The entrepreneur may have concluded a competition-restricting agreement with its authorised dealers and distributors. This is subject to a fine of up to 10 percent of the (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority fines an importer of power tools for setting a minimum resale price (Argentools) New
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
NIS 5.5 Million imposed on the Israeli Importer of the Power Tools brand Makita, for setting a Minimum Resale Price* Administrative fines, in the sum of approximately NIS 250,000-320,000 were also imposed on three senior executives in the company A few days ago, the Director General of (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines two pharma companies £70M for overcharging the National Health Service (Pfizer / Flynn) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
£70 million in fines for pharma firms that overcharged NHS* After reassessing part of the case, the CMA has found that Pfizer and Flynn abused their dominant positions to overcharge the NHS for a life-saving epilepsy drug. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Flynn fined £63 million and £6.7 (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by an online retail platform concerning marketplace seller data and access to certain features (Amazon) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Amazon concerning marketplace seller data and access to Buy Box and Prime* The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by Amazon to address competition concerns over its use of non-public marketplace seller data (...)

The German Competition Authority declares an online marketplace platform to be of ’paramount significance for competition across markets, subjecting the undertaking to stricter regulation (Amazon) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Amazon now subject to stricter regulations – Bundeskartellamt determines its paramount significance for competition across markets (Section 19a GWB)* Yesterday, the Bundeskartellamt formally determined that Amazon.com, Inc. based in Seattle, USA, is an undertaking of paramount significance for (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates a Big Tech company’s online marketplace over suspected anti-competitive practices (Amazon) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA investigates Amazon over suspected anti-competitive practices* The CMA is investigating Amazon over concerns that practices affecting sellers on its UK Marketplace may be anti-competitive and could result in a worse deal for customers. This new investigation follows a current European (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts a Big Tech company’s commitments to compensate publishers for the use of journalistic content (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 June 2022, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) announced that it accepted Google’s commitments related to compensating French publishers for the use of their journalistic content in a range of Google’s services. This brings to an end the FCA’s investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments from a social media platform to remedy competition concerns over a refusal to provide access to a marketing tool (Meta)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 June 2022, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) announced that it accepted Meta’s commitments related to practices that would have raise competition concerns in the French market for non-search related online advertising. This clarifies the conditions of access to Meta’s partnership (...)

The EU General Court annuls in its entirety the Commission’s decision to fine a chipmaker €1B for exclusivity payments to a smartphone manufacturer on the grounds that the economic analysis was unsubstantiated and procedural errors undermined the rights of the defence (Qualcomm)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 June 2022, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) upheld all of Qualcomm’s arguments and therefore annulled the decision of the European Commission (“Commission”) fining Qualcomm € 1 billion for abuse of dominant position on the Long-Term Evolution (“LTE”) chipsets market. In (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority imposes a €4.9M fine on an energy grid and utility company for providing access to the grid on more favourable terms to its own downstream business than it does to rivals (Enel / Endesa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 June 2022, the Spanish Competition Authority (“SCA”) found that Enel Green Power SL (“Enel”), and its parent company Endesa Generación SA (“Endesa”) infringed the Spanish national provision prohibiting abuses of dominant position by taking advantage of its dominant position in the market of (...)

The French Supreme Court rejects an appeal by a pharmaceutical company which alleged that a €21M fine imposed by the competition authority was erroneous (Janssen-Cilag)
Dechert (Paris)
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Dechert (Paris)
On 1 June 2022, the French Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) entirely dismissed the appeal of Janssen-Cilag (“Janssen”) and its parent company Johnson & Johnson against a judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) of 11 July 2019 in the Durogesic® case. However, this ruling (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its decision to fine a pharmaceutical company £155M for excessive pricing and £111.5M for market exclusion agreements (Auden McKenzie / Actavis) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 March 2022, the CMA published one of its longest decisions (1077 pages), in which it imposed fines of £155 million on Accord-UK (previously Auden McKenzie/Actavis) for excessive price increases on hydrocortisone tablets after they were de-branded and fell outside the UK NHS price (...)

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio annuls a decision to fine a online ticket seller €10.8M for abuse of dominance on the grounds that mergers cannot be considered abusive, thus declaring Continental Can inapplicable following the passing of the EUMR (TicketOne) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 March 2022, an Italian administrative court (“TAR Lazio” or “court”) annulled the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) decision imposing a fine of €10.8 million on several companies belonging to the music ticketing and marketing group CTS Eventim-TicketOne (“TicketOne”) for abuse of its (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority closes investigation into restaurant food ordering platforms (Foodora)
Norwegian Competition Authority (Bergen)
Decision in Foodora case: exclusivity agreements with restaurants not allowed* The Norwegian Competition Authority is closing its investigation of Foodora as the company has agreed not to use exclusivity agreements or exclusive practices towards restaurants regarding the use of Foodora’s food (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority initiates proceedings against alleged abuse of dominant position on the market for the processing of waste grave candles (Plastkom)
Slovenian Competition Authority (Ljubljana)
Sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure: AFCA launches comprehensive market inquiry* As part of the sector inquiry into EV charging infrastructure, which the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) got under way in November 2021 (see also AFCA’s press release of 16 November 2021), (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority requires the largest provider of property search services to sell its recently acquired competitor (Dye & Durham / TM Group) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA requires Dye & Durham to sell TM Group* The CMA has concluded that Dye & Durham must sell TM Group after its in-depth investigation identified competition concerns. Following a Phase 2 merger investigation, the CMA has found that the acquisition of TM Group by Dye & Durham (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears the acquisition of six building product shops and a manufacturing plant by a large supplier of building products (Fletcher Distribution / Tumu) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Fletcher Distribution cleared to acquire Tumu stores and a frame and truss plant* The Commission has granted clearance for Fletcher Distribution Limited (FDL), (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fletcher Building Limited that operates the national network of Placemakers stores), to acquire six (...)

The EU Commission opens in-depth investigation into a proposed acquisition of two suppliers of retail fixed and mobile telecommunication services by a large French telecommunications company (VOO / Brutélé / Orange) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of VOO and Brutélé by Orange* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of VOO and Brutélé by Orange under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that (...)

The US FTC seeks to block a Big Tech company’s acquisition of a popular virtual reality fitness app (Meta / Within) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Seeks to Block Virtual Reality Giant Meta’s Acquisition of Popular App Creator Within* Agency Alleges that Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are Attempting Illegal Acquisition to Expand Virtual Reality Empire The Federal Trade Commission is seeking to block virtual reality giant Meta and its (...)

The German Competition Authority signals that there are no competition concerns over a partial acquisition by an oil producer of a rival (Alcmene / PCK Raffinerie) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
No concerns under merger control law about Liwathon Group’s potential participation in PCK Raffinerie GmbH, Schwedt* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared plans by Alcmene GmbH, a member of the Liwathon Group, to acquire 37.5 per cent of the shares in PCK Raffinerie GmbH, Schwedt (PCK). (...)

The German Competition Authority approves the creation of a joint venture between three entities active in the defence industry, allowing for collaboration on a new weapons system (Airbus / German FCMS / MBDA Deutschland) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt approves creation of joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, German FCMS GbR and MBDA Deutschland GmbH* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the creation of a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, German FCMS GbR and MBDA Deutschland GmbH. For (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines two undertakings for gun jumping in three mergers (Santa Lucía / Funespaña) New
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines Albia Gestión de Servicios S.L.U. and Funespaña S.A. for failing to notify three mergers prior to their execution* Albia (a subsidiary of the Santa Lucía Group) acquired exclusive control of the funeral homes Funeraria Tanatorio La Paz S.L. and Tanatorio de Marín S.L. in 2019. (...)

The UK Government clears the acquisition of a national aerospace company by an American motion control technology company subject to commitments to remedy national security concerns (Meggitt / Parker-Hannifin) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Update on the proposed acquisition of Meggitt plc by Parker-Hannifin Corporation* Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng updates on the proposed acquisition of Meggitt plc by Parker-Hannifin Corporation. Following advice from the Ministry of Defence and the Competition and Markets Authority and (...)

The EU Commission approves an acquisition of an engineering firm by a rival, subject to a divestment of the acquirer’s railway installation business (Bouygues / Equans) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves Bouygues’ acquisition of Equans, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, Bouygues’ acquisition of Equans. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Bouygues. Executive (...)

The EU Commission continues to pursue "gun jumping" merger control proceedings against two pharmaceutical companies on EU merger control referral thresholds (Grail / Illumina) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 August 2021, the European Commission (the Commission ) said that it would investigate whether Illumina’s decision, made public on 18 August 2021, to acquire Grail pending the Commission’s review of that transaction under Regulation 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between (...)

The EU Commission issues a Statement of Objections to two American firms which concluded a merger in defiance of the standstill obligation potentially opening themselves up to substantial fines (Grail / Illumina) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Illumina and GRAIL breached EU merger rules by early implementation of their acquisition* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections alleging that Illumina and GRAIL breached the EU Merger Regulation by implementing the acquisition while the (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises concerns over a merger between two bidders to provide the electricity supply to a large high speed railway (Bouygues / Equans) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
HS2 bidder merger raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that a merger between 2 businesses currently bidding for the installation of overhead power cables for HS2 could raise competition concerns. Bouygues and Equans (part of Engie Group) are both large and well-established players (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the takeover of an engineering firm by one of the largest construction companies in the country (Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau / ZECH Group) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears takeover of Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG by the ZECH Group* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the acquisition of Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG, Frankfurt am Main, (“Wayss & Freytag”) by ZECH Building SE, Erkrath, (“ZECH”), a member of the ZECH Group. (...)

The US FTC settles charges that an acquisition of a company that manufactures a rare injectable steroid would harm competition (Hikma Pharmaceuticals / Custopharm) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition for Development and Marketing of Steroid Injectable Drug* Unremedied, Acquisition could have Caused Significant Harm for Patients Who Use Triamcinolone Acetonide to Treat Severe Skin Conditions, Allergies, and Inflammation Following a public (...)

The Australian Competition Authority will not oppose the acquisition of a company that sells TV set-top-boxes by a broadband provider (Telstra / Fetch) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Telstra’s proposed acquisition of majority stake in Fetch TV not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of 51.4% of Media Innovations Holdings Pty Ltd (Fetch TV) by Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS). Telstra and Fetch TV both supply content aggregation services through (...)

The Australian Competition Authority greenlights the acquisition of a rail haulage firm operating in the coal transportation sector by a rival, subject to a divestment (Aurizon / One Rail) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Aurizon’s proposed acquisition of One Rail not opposed, subject to divestiture* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of One Rail by Aurizon (ASX: AZJ), after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Aurizon to divest One Rail’s east coast business. “Without the divestment of (...)

The Saudi Arabian Competition Authority blocks a partial vertical acquisition between the national gas distribution company and a gas transporter (National Gas and Industrialization Company / Best Gas Carrier Company)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (London)
On 16 June 2022, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition announced its decision to block National Gas and Industrialization Company from acquiring a majority stake in Best Gas Carrier on the basis of vertical competition concerns. This is the first vertical merger prohibited by the GAC (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues a Statement of Preliminary Issues over the proposed acquisition of a video game publisher by a Big Tech company (Microsoft / Activision Blizzard) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard* The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Preliminary Issues relating to the clearance application for Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) to acquire 100% of the shares in Activision Blizzard (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission may review a merger between two biotech companies despite the fact that EU and national turnover thresholds are not reached (Grail / Illumina)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Yesterday, the General Court of the European Union came down on the side of the European Commission (the Commission ) in that agency’s dispute with genomics firm Illumina and held that the Commission has jurisdiction to examine Illumina’s acquisition of cancer detection test start-up Grail, (...)

The EU General Court endorses the Commission’s revised approach to review transactions below EU and national merger thresholds via Article 22 EUMR referrals (Grail / Illumina) New
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
In its judgment of 13 July 2022 the General Court endorsed the EU Commission’s revised approach to Article 22 EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) referrals as set out in its March 2021 Guidance. The case relates to an appeal brought by Illumina against the Commission’s decision to accept the referral by (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority publishes a preliminary report on its public consultation on the introduction of a national merger control regime
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 13 July 2022, the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy (the “Ministry”) published a preliminary report on its public consultation on the introduction of a merger control regime in Luxembourg (the “Report”). Background Merger control seeks to scrutinise concentrations of competitive power by (...)

The US FTC and DOJ signal stronger approach to merger enforcement in public call for comments on merger guidelines
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
Key points U.S. antitrust regulators at the DOJ and FTC embarked on a joint review of merger enforcement by soliciting public input on modernizing federal merger guidelines. While public comments ran the gamut from pro-enforcement to pro-merger, some key voices, including a collection of state (...)

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy clears the proposed acquisition of a UK defence company by a US defence, aerospace, and communications company (Ultra Electronics Holdings / Cobham Ultra Acquisitions) New
Update on the proposed acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited* The acquisition of Ultra by Cobham has been cleared to proceed. Following advice from the Ministry of Defence and after careful consideration of responses to a consultation, the Business (...)

The US FTC approves final order requiring two enamel production companies to sell off three facilities amid concerns that the merger would increase concentration in North American market for porcelain enamel frit (Prince International / Ferro) New
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Prince International Corp. and Ferro Corp. to Sell Off Three Facilities amid Concerns that Deal would Increase Concentration in North American Market for Porcelain Enamel Frit* FTC also Acts to Preserve Competition in Markets for Forehearth Colorants and (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises concerns over the merger between two foam production companies (Carpenter / Recticel) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Foam merger raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that the merger of 2 firms that make foam used in products like bedding and cleaning sponges could lead to higher prices and less choice. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority consults on proposed divestments in a merger between two tourism companies (THL Group / Apollo) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission consults on proposed divestments in THL/Apollo merger* The Commerce Commission is consulting on a divestment proposal it has received from THL Group (Australia) Pty Ltd relating to its application seeking clearance to acquire 100% of the shares in Apollo Tourism & Leisure Ltd (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses takeover transaction of two construction companies by an investment fund for impact on competition (Lorencic / Lonrencic Bauservice / Unternehmensbeteilgungs Aktiengesells) New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
Competition council assesses the taking over of Lorencic Gmbh and Lorencic Bauservice SRL by Invest Unternehmensbeteiligungs Aktiengesells* The Competition Council assesses the transaction through which Invest Unternehmensbeteiligungs Aktiengesellschaft (Austria) takes over Lorencic GmbH Nfg (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the takeover transaction between two pharmaceutical companies (Gifarm / Marcos) New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
COMPETITION COUNCIL APPROVED THE TAKING OVER OF GIFARMS.R.L. BY MARCOS PROVIT S.A* The Competition Council approved the transaction through which Marcos Provit S.A. takes over Gifarm S.R.L. Marcos Provit S.A., part of Evofarm Group, is active in the market of pharmaceutical and (...)

The US DoJ sues to block an acquisition transaction between two national security companies (Booz Allen Hamilton / EverWatch) New
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Acquisition Would Eliminate Competition Between the Only Two Competitors for Critical National Security Support Services* Acquisition Would Eliminate Competition Between the Only Two Competitors for Critical National Security Support Services The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust (...)

The German Competition Authority clears acquisition transaction between eye laser clinics (SmileEyes / MVZ) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of eye and eye laser clinics in Central Germany by SmileEyes group* The Bundeskartellamt has granted the eye clinic chain “SmileEyes”, which is owned by financial investor Trilantic, permission to acquire MVZ Augen- und Laserzentren Mitteldeutschland GmbH, (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases a statement of issues on the acquisition transaction between two manufacturing companies in the real estate construction sector (Sika / MBBC) New
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Statement of Issues released for Sika/MBCC* The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Issues relating to the clearance application for Sika AG to acquire the MBCC Group (the Proposed Acquisition) as part of a global transaction. As part of its application for clearance, Sika has now (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority allows the acquisition of a pharmaceutical by a rival, conditional on the spinning off of some operations (AB City / Olainfarm)
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
Repharm parent company ‘AB City’ conditionally allowed to buy ‘Olainfarm’* On June 14, the Competition Council (CC) made a decision to allow JSC “AB City” to acquire a sole decisive influence over JSC “Olainfarm”. At the same time, in order to prevent possible risks to competition and negative (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority assesses the taking over of debts and assets by a real estate fund (APS Zeta) New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council assesses the taking over of some debt and assets by APS Zeta* The Competition Council assesses the taking over by which APS Zeta S.A. intends to buy a portfolio of non-performing loans, leasing debt and assets from members part of Bank of Cyprus Group. APS Zeta S.A. is (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition transaction between two vehicle sharing companies (Sharenow / Stellantis) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Share Now by Stellantis* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the acquisition of Share Now GmbH, Berlin, by Stellantis N.V., Amsterdam. Share Now offers car sharing services in the German cities Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Düsseldorf (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves a transaction by which 3 Belgian companies will be controlled by two telecommunication companies (RCS & RDS / Citymesh) New
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
Competition Council approved the transaction by which 3 companies from Belgium will be controlled by RCS & RDS S.A and Citymesh N.V* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which RCS & RDS S.A. and Citymesh N.V. will control together three companies from Belgium: InfraCo (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition between two veterinary hospitals (Tierklinik Hofheim / Chain IVC Evidensia) New
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Tierklinik Hofheim by veterinary hospital chain IVC Evidensia* Following intensive investigations the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of Tierklinik Hofheim (Taunus region, Germany) by the internationally active veterinary hospital chain (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves a merger between two Italian companies active in pharmaceutical and home beauty products (Fameccanica / Angelini Holding)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
THE COMPETITION COUNCIL APPROVED THE TAKING OVER OF FAMECCANICA BY ANGELINI HOLDING* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which Angelini Holding S.p.A., Italy, takes over Fameccanica Data S.p.A., Italia. Angelini Group operates in the following business sectors: pharmaceutical, (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to block a joint venture between two steel producers on the grounds that the Commission must be shown a degree of deference when making its significant impediment of effective competition assessment (ThyssenKrupp / Tata Steel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 June 2022, the GC upheld in full the Commission’s 2019 decision to block a joint venture between ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel (“the JV”). This was the first appeal of a merger prohibition since the GC overturned the Commission’s prohibition of CK Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of O2 UK in (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision prohibiting the proposed merger between two steel producers (Thyssenkrupp / Tata Steel) New
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court upholds the Commission’s decision prohibiting the proposed merger between thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel * Thyssenkrupp, a German industrial group, and Tata Steel, a company whose registered office is in India, are active, inter alia, in the manufacturing and supply of flat (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority decides to investigate a merger between two providers of elevator maintenance services, notwithstanding the fact that the thresholds for notification are not met (Kauno liftai / Baltijos liftai)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
LITHUANIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY WILL REVIEW TRANSACTION BETWEEN KAUNO LIFTAI AND BALTIJOS LIFTAI ON ITS OWN INITIATIVE* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has decided to apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and assess whether the acquisition by Kauno (...)

The Japanese FTC publishes a call for comments on the proposed acquisition of a cybersecurity firm by a Big Tech firm (Google / Mandiant)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Seeks Information and Comments from Third Parties Concerning the Proposed Acquisition of Mandiant, Inc. by Google LLC* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) has been reviewing possible impacts on competition from the proposed acquisition of Mandiant, (...)

The Japanese FTC publishes a call for comments on the proposed acquisition of a video game publisher by a Big Tech firm (Activision Blizzard / Microsoft)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC Seeks Information and Comments from Third Parties Concerning the Proposed Acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc. by Microsoft Corporation* The Japan Fair Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “JFTC”) has been reviewing possible impacts on competition from the proposed (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority decides that a merger between online ticket distribution platforms restricted competition (Piletilevi Group / Tiketa)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
MERGER BETWEEN PILETILEVI GROUP AND TIKETA RESTRICTED COMPETITION* Today the Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has refused to clear the merger whereby the Estonian company Piletilevi Group acquired 100 per cent of the shares and sole control of the Lithuanian ticket (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises concerns over foodservice company merger (Ali Holding / Welbilt)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Foodservice equipment merger gives CMA cause for concern* Following a fast track phase 1 investigation, the CMA has found that the anticipated tie-up between 2 major kitchen equipment suppliers raises competition concerns. Ali Holding S.r.l. (Ali Group) and Welbilt, Inc. (Welbilt) provide a (...)

The EU General Court upholds a €28M fine for gun jumping in a two stage transaction to acquire a medical imaging business (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 May 2022, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) rejected Canon’s appeal of a € 28 million gun jumping fine imposed by the European Commission (“Commission”) in 2019. The judgment is the latest in a string of Commission appellate victories regarding violations of merger control (...)

The Polish Competition Authority prohibits acquisition transaction between two radio broadcasting stations (Agora / Eurozet) New
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Agora/Eurozet - judgment of the court of first instance* The President of UOKiK will appeal against the judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (SOKiK) in the Agora-Eurozet concentration case. SOKiK reversed the decision prohibiting the transaction. The judgment relates to (...)

The UK Competition Authority proposes reforms for widening of UK merger control
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Slaughter and May (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The UK Government’s responses to its consultations on ‘Reforming competition and consumer policy’ (April 2022) and ‘A new pro-competitive regime for digital markets’ (May 2022) included three proposals to amend or add jurisdictional or reporting criteria for the UK merger control regime. These would (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks the merger of two companies offering container handling equipment and services to port terminals following a phase II investigation (Cargotec / Konecranes) New
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
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Van Bael & Bellis (London)
Introduction On 29 March 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced that – following an in-depth, Phase 2 investigation – it had prohibited the proposed merger between Cargotec and Konecranes. The CMA noted that it was not satisfied with the remedies package proposed by the (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises concerns over a proposed merger between two producers of chemical admixtures (Sika / MBCC) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA finds concerns in proposed chemicals merger* The CMA has found that the anticipated purchase of MBCC Group by Sika AG could lead to a loss of competition in the supply of chemical admixtures in the UK. Chemical admixtures are an essential input for products like concrete and cement used (...)

The EU Commission releases a decision enforcing its exclusive competence to assess mergers with an EU dimension, notwithstanding a breach of a Member State’s FDI rules (AEGON / Vienna Insurance)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
For the first time ever, the EU Commission has issued a decision on the relationship between EU merger control law and national FDI screening rules. It found that the Hungarian Government’s veto of Vienna Insurance Group’s planned acquisition of the Hungarian subsidiaries of Dutch insurer AEGON (...)

The Hungarian Government withdraws veto over acquisition of a national insurer by an Austrian rival (AGEON / Vienna Insurance Group) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Hungary has withdrawn a 2021 veto against the acquisition of AGEON’s Hungarian subsidiary by Vienna Insurance Group AG (“VIG”). The veto was issued by the Ministry of the Interior under national emergency FDI legislation introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic while the European Commission’s (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority introduces merger disclosure requirements for five largest operators in the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging of electric cars (Mer / Recharge / Tesla / Eviny / Circle K)
Norwegian Competition Authority (Bergen)
Disclosure requirements for companies operating in the electric car charging market* The Norwegian Competition Authority introduces disclosure requirements for the five largest operators in the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging of electric cars. This means that the companies Mer, (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves revised commitments by Italy for precautionary recapitalisation of the country’s 5th largest bank (Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves revised commitments by Italy for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a set of revised commitments submitted by Italy, replacing the original commitments on the basis of which the Commission had approved (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €2.9B to support companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2.9 billion Italian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €2.9 billion Italian scheme to support the liquidity needs of companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme (...)

The EU Commission approves a German support scheme worth €215M to compensate the German national rail company for damages suffered by its subsidiaries due to the coronavirus pandemic (Deutsche Bahn) New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €215 million German support to compensate Deutsche Bahn for damages suffered by its subsidiaries due to the coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has found a €215 million German support measure in favour of Deutsche Bahn AG to be in line with EU State aid (...)

The EU Commission clears financing of the Czech postal service on the grounds that it is a service of general economic interest (Czech Post) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission clears financing of Czech Post’s universal service obligation* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Czechia’s plans to compensate Czech Post for its universal postal service obligation over the period 2018-2022. Executive Vice-President Margrethe (...)

The EU Commission approves an Irish scheme worth €500M to support investment towards a sustainable recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Irish scheme to support investment towards a sustainable recovery* The European Commission has approved a €500 million Irish investment support scheme aimed at incentivizing companies to accelerate or expand capital investment in Ireland, including in (...)

The EU Commission amends the Temporary Crisis Framework to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission amends the Temporary Crisis Framework* Today, the European Commission adopted an amendment to the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, initially adopted on 23 March 2022 to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Executive Vice-President (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €700M to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €700 million Italian scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €700 million Italian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €10B to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €10 billion Italian scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €10 billion Italian loan guarantee scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme (...)

The EU Commission approves €634M in compensation to the Belgian postal service to continue providing a service of general economic interest (bpost) New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Belgian postal service compensation to bpost* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Belgium’s plans to compensate bpost for providing postal services of general economic interest between 2022 and 2026. Executive Vice-President Margrethe (...)

The EU Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Belgium New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Belgium* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Belgium’s map for granting regional aid from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027 within the framework of the revised Regional aid Guidelines (’RAG’). The revised (...)

The EU Commission approves up to €5.4B of State aid from 15 Member States for an Important Project of a Common European Interest in the hydrogen technology value chain New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State Aid: Commission approves up to €5.4 billion of public support by fifteen Member States for an Important Project of Common European Interest in the hydrogen technology value chain* The Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an Important Project of Common European Interest (...)

The EU Commission approves a Finnish scheme worth €2B to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2 billion Finnish scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €2 billion Finnish loan and guarantee scheme to support small and medium enterprises (‘SMEs’) and large companies in the context of (...)

The EU Commission approves a Czech scheme worth €20.2M to support agricultural producers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €20.2 million Czech scheme to support agricultural producers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €20.2 million (CZK 500 million) Czech scheme to support primary agricultural producers in the context of Russia’s (...)

The EU Commission approves a German scheme worth €5B to support energy and trade intensive companies in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5 billion German scheme to support energy and trade intensive companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €5 billion German scheme to support energy and trade intensive companies across industrial sectors in the (...)

The EU Commission approves an Italian scheme worth €1.2B under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support investments in photovoltaic panels in the agricultural sector New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion Italian scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support investments in photovoltaic panels in agricultural sector* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €1.2 billion Italian scheme made available through the (...)

The EU Commission approves a Croatian scheme worth €500M to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine New
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Croatian scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved an up to €500 million Croatian scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority finds that aid to construct a football stadium did not breach EU State aid rules (Sandnes Ulf Arena)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA finds financial aid to Sandnes Ulf Arena in Norway to be in line with EEA state-aid rules* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today concluded that financial aid provided by the Municipality of Sandnes for the construction of Sandnes Ulf Arena is in line with EEA rules. ESA has (...)

The EU Commission approves a Swedish scheme worth €154M to support livestock and greenhouse producers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €154 million Swedish scheme to support livestock and greenhouse producers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €154 million (SEK 1,635 million) Swedish scheme to support the livestock sector and the greenhouse production (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority finds the financing of streetlighting in Bergen incompatible with EU State-aid rules (BKK Group)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA finds financing of streetlighting in Bergen incompatible with EEA state-aid rules* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today concluded that parts of financing granted for the running of streetlight infrastructure in Bergen do not comply with EEA state-aid rules. ESA in 2017 received (...)

The EU Commission approves a French scheme worth €5B to support energy intensive companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5 billion French scheme to support energy intensive companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €5 billion French scheme to support energy intensive companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of (...)

The EU Commission approves a Polish State aid scheme worth €1.2B to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion Polish scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €1.2 billion Polish scheme (PLN 5.5 billion) to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into Czech support for a new nuclear power plant (Elektrárna Dukovany II)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State Aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Czech support for new nuclear power plant in Dukovany* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether public support that Czechia plans to grant for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Dukovany (...)

The EU Commission approves a Slovenian scheme worth €140M to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €140 million Slovenian scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €140 million Slovenian scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norway’s financing of a new airport in Mo i Rana
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA greenlights Norway’s financing of a new airport in Mo i Rana* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today concluded that the funding by the Norwegian State and Rana municipality for the construction of a new airport in the vicinity of Mo i Rana, a city located in the Helgeland region (...)

The EU Commission approves €374 million Italian scheme to compensate rail freight transport companies for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic New Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €374 million Italian scheme to compensate rail freight transport companies for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €374 million Italian support to compensate rail freight transport (...)

The EU Commission approves a Romanian scheme worth €60.7M to support the road transport sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €60.7 million Romanian scheme to support the road transport sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €60.7 million (RON 300 million) Romanian scheme to support companies active in road transport of goods and (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Administrative Court gives interpretation to the concept of net creation of jobs within the meaning of State aid rules New
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Lisbon)
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Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva (Lisbon)
Background & facts of the case The Agriculture and Fisheries Funding Institute (“AFFI”) adopted an act unilaterally modifying a funding agreement entered into with a beneficiary on 14 January 2013 and ordering the reimbursement of € 30,964.78, previously attributed as a non-refundable grant (...)

Procedures

The EU Court of Justice preliminarily rules that the ne bis in idem principle provides limited protection against sanctions following investigations of the same infringements of competition law (bpost) (Nordzucker) New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 March 2022, the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) handed down two judgments highlighting that the European Union’s ne bis in idem principle – the equivalent to the protection against double jeopardy – provides only limited protection in competition law proceedings where the same conduct (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority accepts a telecom’s court-enforceable undertaking to halt a spectrum registration practice which interfered with a rival’s rollout of 5G network (Telstra) New
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Telstra undertakes to address 5G competition concerns* The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Telstra to address competition concerns about Telstra’s registration of radiocommunications sites in low band spectrum that interfered with Optus’ plans to roll out its 5G network (...)

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy prohibits the acquisition of British intellectual property by a Chinese Company (Beijing Infinite Vision Technology / University of Machester) New
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The UK Government this week prohibited the acquisition of intellectual property owned by the University of Manchester by a Chinese company – marking the first time the UK Government has exercised its powers to block a transaction under new national security rules. On 20 July 2022, the UK’s (...)

The UK Parliament publishes market guidance for the implementation of the National Securities and Investment Act New
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
The UK National Security and Investment (NSI) Act entered into force on 4 January 2022, introducing a new standalone UK regime for the review of qualifying transactions and investments on national security grounds (see our detailed briefing on the regime here). On 19 July 2022, the UK (...)

The EU Parliament steps up enforcement against foreign state-backed companies New
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
If you (i) receive some form of financial support from foreign (non-EU) governments, and (ii) have activities or are planning to acquire a business in the EU, then you will want to read on. Following political agreement among legislators, the European Union (EU) Foreign Subsidies Regulation (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority renews the block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in liner shipping industry
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Wanchai)
Competition Commission renews block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements in liner shipping industry* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) today announced its decision to renew the block exemption order for vessel sharing agreements (“VSAs”) between liner shipping companies (“Order”) (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on draft proposals for the future of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation and Supplementary Guidelines
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission invites comments on draft proposals for the future of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation and Supplementary Guidelines* The European Commission launched today a public consultation and a call for evidence inviting all interested parties to comment on its draft (...)

The EU Parliament approves the final text of the Digital Markets Act
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On July 5, 2022, the European Parliament approved the final text of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), by 588 votes to 11, marking the penultimate step before the DMA enters into force. The DMA now needs to be ratified by EU ministers, who will vote on July 18. The DMA is likely to enter the EU’s (...)

The Irish Competition Authority welcomes the new Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 to transpose the ECN+ Directive, significantly enhancing the Authority’s powers
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC welcomes the new Competition (Amendment) Act 2022* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has welcomed the enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Act 2022. The Act transposes Directive 2019/1 (ECN+ Directive) into Irish law and expands the CCPC’s power to enforce EU (...)

The EU Commission reaches agreement on foreign subsidies regulation with the new regime scheduled to enter into force in 2023
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
The EU has reached political agreement in relation to the much-anticipated foreign subsidies regulation (the “Regulation”), which should become operational next year. The Regulation essentially creates a new subsidy control regime for third country subsidies affecting the EU market and has the (...)

The EU Commission welcomes an agreement on the regulation of foreign subsidies, including rules governing concentrations, public procurement procedures and all other areas that could lead to unfair competition between member States
DG COMP (Brussels)
Foreign Subsidies: Commission welcomes political agreement on Regulation on distortive foreign subsidies* The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and EU Member States on the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (‘FSR’). The FSR is an important (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority announces public information sessions and updated guidance for businesses about new amendments to the Competition Act
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Important amendments to the Competition Act come into effect* Competition Bureau will host public information sessions and publish updated guidance for businesses Important amendments to the Competition Act became law on June 23, 2022, strengthening the Competition Bureau’s ability to protect (...)

The Chinese National People’s Congress amends the Anti-Monopoly Law to increase focus on activities in the digital sector New
Fairsky Law (Hong Kong)
China Makes Major Changes to its Antitrust Law* On June 24, 2022, the Chinese Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed amendments to the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law, which will come into force on August 1, 2022. These amendments have been the first ones since the first adoption (...)

The EU Commission publishes guidance indicating Russian and Belarusian investments are a potential threat to EU security and public order New
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 April 2022, the European Commission published its Guidance to the Member States concerning foreign direct investment from Russia and Belarus in view of the military aggression against Ukraine and the restrictive measures laid down in recent Council Regulations on sanctions (“Guidance”). The (...)

The Belgian Federal Parliament transposes the ECN+ Directive passing amendments to the Belgian Competition Law New
Altius (Brussels)
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Altius (Brussels)
On 17 March 2022, the Belgian Act transposing the ECN+ Directive and also introducing further amendments into the Belgian Competition Act entered into force. It has introduced merger filing fees, fines for failure to notify mergers and a number of procedural changes that allow a more efficient (...)

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