The EU Commission rejects gun jumping claims in a merger transaction between two companies in the water and waste management market (Veolia / Suez)

In the midst of the Homeric battle between Veolia and its takeover target, Suez, the European Commission rejects Suez's gun jumping claim and provides further clarifications on the scope of the exemption to the standstill obligation in the case of two-step acquisitions encompassing a public bid. On 30 August 2020, Veolia announced its intention to take over its main competitor in the French water supply market, Suez, as a way to create "the great French world champion of the ecological transition". This announcement was the start of a battle the likes of which France has not seen in years, which is playing out in the courts, the French political arena and now the European Commission (the "Commission"). Veolia structured its takeover project in two steps: First, a purchase of 29.9% of

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