February 2022

General antitrust

The Dutch Competition Authority favors collaborations between businesses promoting sustainability in the energy sector New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM favors collaborations between businesses promoting sustainability in the energy sector* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is in favor of two initiatives where competitors work together. ACM says that these initiatives help make the energy sector more sustainable, (...)

The US DoJ and the Federal Maritime Commission reaffirm and strengthen partnership to promote fair competition in the shipping industry
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department and Federal Maritime Commission Reaffirm and Strengthen Partnership to Promote Fair Competition in the Shipping Industry* The Justice Department and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) today reaffirmed their continuing commitment to jointly enforcing competition laws and (...)

The US DoJ submits a statement of interest in a Nevada state court lawsuit filed by a group of anesthesiologists alleging that non-compete provisions in their employment agreements with a medical group violate state law (Pickert Medical Group)
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 25 February the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a statement of interest in a Nevada State court lawsuit filed by a group of anesthesiologists alleging that non-compete provisions in their employment agreements with Pickert Medical Group violate state law. DOJ did not weigh in on (...)

The Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Competition Authorities jointly urge the International Competition Network to exclude Russian Government and individual experts from future events as a sanction for the country’s military aggression against Ukraine
Estonian Competition Authority (Tallinn)
,
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
,
Latvian Competition Council (Riga)
JOINT STATEMENT BY LITHUANIAN, LATVIAN, ESTONIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE* We, the heads of the Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian Competition Authorities, support the condemnation by our national governments of Russia‘s open large-scale aggression against an independent, (...)

The US FTC requests public comments on the impact of practices by pharmacy benefit managers on drug affordability and access
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requests Public Comments on the Impact of Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ Practices* Agency seeks information on the ways that large, vertically integrated PBMs are affecting drug affordability and access The Federal Trade Commission announced it is soliciting public input on the ways that (...)

The EU Commission publishes final version of its proposed Data Act, with harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data in the Union
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The EU’s Data Act: Capstone of the EU Data Strategy* On 23 February 2022, the EU Commission published its long-awaited Data Act, the last major building block of the Commission’s February 2020 Data Strategy. The Data Act Is an ambitious piece of legislation with implications for consumers and (...)

The US DoJ announces initiative to protect supply chains from anticompetitive behaviour amid global disruptions and persistent inflation
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On February 17th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an initiative to protect supply chains from anticompetitive behavior amid global disruptions and persistent inflation. The initiative is yet another example of the Biden Administration’s aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes its 2021 market power report on the electricity generation sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt’s 2021 market power report on the electricity generation sector* The Bundeskartellamt has today published its third market power report on the conditions of competition in the generation of electricity in 2021. As in the previous years, the report analyses the market power (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority recommends division of public procurement contracts into road modernisation and repair works to increase competition in the bidding process
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
Consiliul Concurrentei : Division into lots of roads modernisation and repair works increases competition * The Competition Council recommends to the local public authorities to divide into lots the public procurement contracts / framework agreements for road modernization and repair works, (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority hosts an ICN event to discuss the role of competition policy for economic recovery, digitisation, and sustainability
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
International Competition Network (ICN) Competition Advocacy Working Group Meeting hosted by the CNMC* The event held on 9 and 10 February featured 50 speakers from competition agencies around the world and was attended by participants from more than 65 countries. The sessions involved debates (...)

The US Treasury Department releases a report with recommendations for how the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the FTC, and the DoJ can help drive competition in the beer, wine, and spirits markets
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On February 9, 2022, the US Treasury Department (Treasury) released a report with recommendations for how the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) can help drive competition in the beer, wine and spirits markets by stepping up (...)

The US Department of Treasury recommends antitrust reforms in the alcohol market
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
Treasury Department Recommends Antitrust Reform in Alcohol Markets* On February 9, the Treasury Department issued a report analyzing competition in the US alcohol industry (defined as beer, wine, and spirits), which outlined several proposed reforms aimed at improving competition in the (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority recommends sweeping amendments to core provisions of the Canadian Competition Act
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Canada’s Competition Bureau Recommends Sweeping Amendments to the Competition Act, Including Deceptive Marketing Amendments On February 8, 2022, Canada’s Competition Bureau released a submission entitled Examining the Canadian Competition Act in the Digital Era in response to Senator Howard (...)

The European Commission drafts new competition rules for Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and guidelines for vertical restraints scheduled to take effect in June 2022
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
I. The context The European Commission (“EC”) is currently revising the rules governing vertical agreements under EU competition law, which will expire on May 31, 2022. In this respect, on July 9, 2021, the EC published its long-awaited draft revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft (...)

The EU Commission issues draft guidance on information exchange in dual distribution scenarios
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 February 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published (for a brief period of public consultation) revised draft guidance on dual distribution, available here, which includes an extensive discussion concerning information exchange (“Draft Guidance”). This is likely to be one of the (...)

The German Competition Authority and the Federal Information Technology Centre launch the fully digital Competition Register for Public Procurement
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Digital Competition Register for Public Procurement – Successful cooperation between Bundeskartellamt and ITZBund* Bonn, 3 February 2022: With the assistance of the Federal Information Technology Centre (ITZBund), the Bundeskartellamt launched the fully digital Competition Register for Public (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by an Irish insurers’ association concerning access to its data sharing platform (Insurance Ireland)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Insurance Ireland concerning access to its data sharing platform* The European Commission invites comments on commitments offered by Insurance Ireland, an association of Irish insurers, to address competition concerns regarding (...)

The US Chief Administrative Law Judge Chappell dismisses the charges in a complaint issued by the FTC staff against a tobacco company and an electronic cigarette maker for entering into a series of agreements that eliminated competition (Altria Group / JUUL Labs)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Administrative Law Judge Dismisses FTC Antitrust Complaint against Altria Group and JUUL Labs, Inc.* In an Initial Decision announced on Feb. 24, 2022, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell dismissed the antitrust charges in a complaint issued by the Federal Trade Commission staff (...)

The Indonesian Competition Authority continues active enforcement against bid-rigging conduct following two decisions concerning a fishing port tender and the second one related to the construction of a swimming pool (Cipta Karya Multi Teknik / Bangun Persada...) (Cahayahikmah Jayapratama / Karya Kandangan...)
Ashurst (Singapore)
,
Ashurst (Abū Dhabī)
In February 2022, the Indonesia Competition Commission ("ICC") published two decisions involving bid-rigging conduct pursuant to government funded tenders. The first case related to a fishing port tender in Tulungagung and the second case related to the construction of a swimming pool in South (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority imposes a fine of €271,385.11 on a pasteurized cow milk company for abuse of dominance and excessive pricing (Charalambides-Christis)
Hellenic Competition Commission (Athens)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine on Charalambides-Christis Ltd amounting to €271,385.11 for infringements of article 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Laws and corresponding article 102(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union* The (...)

The Danish Competition Authority decides that the boycott of a digital marketplace by an association of car dealers constitutes an anticompetitive agreement (Peugeot Forhandler Foreningen)
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
,
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
Competition Council rules Peugeot dealer association infringed competition law* On 23 February 2022, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) published a decision on a case in which the association of Peugeot car dealers, Peugeot Forhandler Foreningen (PFF), had collectively boycotted bilbasen.dk, (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine of €29.8M on a subsidiary and pharmaceutical wholesaler on account of participation in an alleged cartel between 2003 and 2016 (McKesson / Pharma Belgium-Belmedis)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) announced today that it imposed a fine of EUR 29.8 million on McKesson subsidiary and pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharma Belgium-Belmedis (PBB) on account of that firm’s participation in an alleged cartel between 2003 and 2016 (see, attached press release). (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority coordinates with counterpart international competition authorities to identify potential cartel conduct in global supply chains
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Competition agencies working together to identify potential cartel conduct in global supply chains* The Commerce Commission has joined with international counterparts in a working group focussing on identification of potential cartel conduct in global supply chains. The working group includes (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces a new working group of the Five Eyes competition authorities with a focus on collusion in international trade
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Five Eyes competition authorities to focus on collusion in international trade* Global efforts to prevent anti-competitive conduct from occurring in the supply and distribution of goods will be boosted by a new working group announced today between the ACCC, US Department of Justice and (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces a new working group of Five Eyes Competition Authorities putting companies involved in global supply chains on notice not to collude
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
International agencies put supply chains on notice against collusion* A new working group of international competition authorities has put companies involved in global supply chains on notice not to collude. The working group is made up of competition authorities from the “Five Eyes” nations: (...)

The Australian Competition Tribunal denies authorisation for collective bargaining by ten coal producers and their trade body with national port (NSW Minerals Council / Port of Newcastle)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Tribunal denies authorisation for collective bargaining at Port of Newcastle* The Australian Competition Tribunal has today denied authorisation for the NSW Minerals Council and ten mining companies to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions, including price, of access to the Port of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority imposes fines totalling over €10M against companies active in the supply of water meters due to an anti-competitive agreement (G2 Misuratori / Maddalena / Itron Italia / Sensus Italia / WaterTech)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: fines totaling over 10 million euro against companies active in the supply of water meters due to an anti-competitive agreement* According to the Authority, many tenders launched between 2011 and 2019 by various operators of the Integrated urban water management for the supply of meters (...)

The US DoJ announces a joint initiative with the FBI to deter and prosecute those who would exploit supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 to engage in collusive conduct Free
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 17 February, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division (Antitrust Division) announced that it is launching a joint initiative with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to “deter and prosecute those who would exploit supply chain disruptions to engage in collusive conduct.” In (...)

The Polish Competition Authority initiates proceedings concerning the imposition of a penalty on a leading video surveillance product provider for concealing evidence during a dawn raid (Dahua Technology)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Obstructing a search - the President of UOKiK initiated proceedings on the imposition of a penalty* President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny initiated proceedings concerning the imposition of a penalty on Dahua Technology Poland. The company’s actions might have obstructed the search conducted as part (...)

The US DoJ and FBI announce an initiative to deter, detect and prosecute those who would exploit supply chain disruptions to engage in collusive conduct Free
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Department of Justice Announces Initiative to Protect Americans from Collusive Schemes Amid Supply Chain Disruptions* Initiative Puts Business Community on Notice that the Antitrust Division is Looking Out for Companies that Would Exploit Supply Chain Disruptions to Engage in Anticompetitive (...)

The US DoJ announces initiative to protect supply chains from anticompetitive behavior amid global disruptions and persistent inflation
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
,
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On February 17th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an initiative to protect supply chains from anticompetitive behavior amid global disruptions and persistent inflation. The initiative is yet another example of the Biden Administration’s aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises cooperation in retail goods supply chain for West and North of the country due to flooding in the South
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC authorises cooperation in retail goods supply chain to WA and NT* The ACCC has granted an urgent interim authorisation permitting the cooperation and sharing of information by companies in the supply chain to ensure critical retail goods, including food supplies, are able to reach (...)

The Australian Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions withdraws criminal cartel charges against 2 banks and 4 senior executives arising from a third bank’s institutional share placement (ANZ / Citigroup / Deutsche Bank)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
CDPP withdraws charges in bank criminal cartel case* The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has today withdrawn charges against Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank AG and four senior banking executives in relation to criminal cartel (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority requires a pharmaceutical producer of TNF inhibitor to waive quantity conditions on its discounts to purchasing hospitals (Pfizer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Dutch competition authority today announced, and at the same time closed, a case concerning pricing strategies against biosimilar competitors. The case concerns the product Enbrel (etanercept - a TNF inhibitor use for treatment of autoimmune diseases), and involves alleged conditional (...)

The Australian Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions walks away from a high profile criminal case in the financial services sector which involves allegations of serious defects in the investigation conducted by the Competition Authority (ANZ / Citigroup / Deutsche Bank)
Ashurst (Sydney)
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions ("CDPP") has sensationally walked away from the highest profile criminal case in the financial services sector in recent memory after three and a half years of vigorous court battles. The prosecution’s case had been mired in allegations of (...)

The German Competition Authority imposes fines on manufacturers of modular expansion joints for bridges involved in a quota cartel (Maurer / Mageba)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Fines imposed on manufacturers of modular expansion joints for bridges involved in a quota cartel* The Bundeskartellamt has imposed fines totalling around 7.3 million euros on two manufacturers of modular expansion joints (expansion joint systems for road bridges) for engaging in an illegal (...)

The EU Commission issues proposed guidance on information exchange in dual distribution relationships
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
As part of its review of the EU antitrust rules governing vertical agreements, the European Commission (EC) has published for consultation a draft new section of its Vertical Guidelines, which contains proposed guidance on information exchange in "dual distribution" relationships. Reacting to (...)

The EU Commission publishes new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
The European Commission has published a new draft guidance with regard to exchange of information related to dual distribution. This draft guidance provides valuable dos and don’ts for companies concerning the information exchange in a dual distribution scenario. Any company dealing with dual (...)

The EU Commission reviews its guidelines on vertical restraints within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption regulation
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
The European Commission (“Commission”) is currently reviewing its Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Vertical Guidelines”) within the broader context of the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and consulted on its proposals last year. It has now launched a further consultation (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines multiple pharmaceutical companies over £35 million for conducting agreements in the supply of important National Health Service prescription anti-nausea tablets (Alliance Pharmaceuticals / Focus / Lexon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA fines firms over £35m for illegal arrangement for NHS drug* The CMA has fined firms over £35 million for an illegal arrangement in the supply of important NHS prescription anti-nausea tablets. CMA fines firms in relation to an arrangement under which a competitor was paid not to launch a (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces that several firms have been fined a total of over £35M for an anti-competitive arrangement in the supply of important National Health Service prescription anti-nausea tablets (Alliance Pharmaceuticals / Focus / Lexon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 February 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that – following an investigation into the conduct of several pharmaceutical firms – it had fined several firms a total of over £35 million for an anti-competitive arrangement in the supply of important National Health (...)

The South-African Competition Authority takes motor vehicle finance institutions to the competition tribunal on allegations of collusion (Firstrand / Wesbank / Toyota Financial Services)
Primerio (Johannesburg)
South Africa: Motor vehicle finance institutions referred to the Competition Tribunal for alleged collusion* On 3 February 2022, the South African Competition Commission (“SACC”), released a press statement confirming that the SACC has made a referral to the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) to (...)

The US DoJ launches an online tool allowing farmers and ranchers to report anticompetitive practices
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture Launch Online Tool Allowing Farmers, Ranchers to Report Anticompetitive Practices* Today, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Agriculture (USDA) launched farmerfairness.gov, a new online tool that allows farmers and ranchers to anonymously (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines 7 advertising enterprises for bid rigging and geographical market allocation
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS Actual participation in the tender is not a mandatory for a finding of bid rigging in terms of the Act. the absence of loss to the tendering authority due to alleged conduct does not rebut the presumption of an appreciable adverse e-ect on competition (“AAEC”). BRIEF FACTS The case (...)

The EU General Court affirms EU Commission’s decision to accept ’light-touch’ commitments from a Russian gas exporter to avoid a fine for anticompetitive behaviour and reverses another Commission decision with similar facts because the rationale was inadequate (Gazprom / Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Gazprom: General Court confirms Commission’s commitment decision but annuls a decision based on similar grounds to reject a complaint against Gazprom On 2 February 2022, the General Court of the European Union (the “Court”) issued two judgments which follow the European Commission’s (the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines two ambulance companies for participating in an anticompetitive agreement (Sannac / Mafanel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence fines an ambulance company for participating in an anticompetitive agreement* Following an investigation conducted by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) into the medical transport contracts of Val d’Ariège (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina finds a former engineering firm executive guilty of bid rigging and defrauding the local department of transportation (Contech Engineered Solutions / Brent Brewbaker)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On February 1, 2022, a federal jury found a former engineering firm executive guilty of conspiring to rig bids and defraud the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) of hundreds of public works contracts worth more than $23 million. From at least 2009 through fall 2018, Brent (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina convicts a former engineering company executive for bid-rigging and fraud schemes targeting the North Carolina Department of Transportation on more than 300 aluminium structure projects (Contech Engineered Solutions / Brent Brewbaker)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Former Engineering Executive Convicted of Rigging Bids and Defrauding North Carolina Department of Transportation* A former executive of Contech Engineered Solutions LLC was convicted today in New Bern, North Carolina, for his participation in bid-rigging and fraud schemes targeting the North (...)

The Australian Competition Authority investigates allegations of excessive pricing and selling practices relating to rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Update on action on rapid antigen test pricing* The ACCC is continuing to receive a high number of consumer reports about pricing and selling practices relating to rapid antigen tests in Australia and is investigating several potential Australian Consumer Law breaches. The ACCC has received (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues its decision concerning anti-competitive agreements among companies operating in the water meter market (Misuratori / Itron / Maddalena / Watertech)
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
,
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On February 1, 2022, the Italian Competition Authority (the “AGCM” or the “Authority”) issued its decision in case No. I835, opened in 2019, concerning anti-competitive agreements among companies operating in the water meter market (more information on the proceedings available here). The (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Indian Competition Authority orders an investigation into abuse of dominance by a national broadcasting company through discriminatory discounts (Asianet Digital Network / Star India Private / Disney Broadcasting India / Asianet Star Communications)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
BRIEF FACTS: An information was filed by Asianet Digital Network (P) Ltd. (“Asianet”) against Star India (P) Ltd. (“Star”), Disney Broadcasting (India) Limited (“Disney”) and Asianet Star Communications Private Limited (“ASC”) alleging abuse of dominance. Asianet, is a multi-system operator engaged in (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation fines a national pharmaceutical company $1.4M for resale price maintenance (Geistlich Trading)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
,
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Beijing AMR fines Geistlich Trading (Beijing) over monopoly agreement* On 28 February 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published an administrative penalty decision against Geistlich Trading (Beijing) Co Ltd for engaging in monopoly agreements of resale price (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines a company €32.6M for abusing a dominant position in the traditional postal services market (Correos)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines Correos 32.6 million euros for applying an anti-competitive discount system for large customers* This is an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by the Law for the Defence of Competition and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This conduct would have (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority suspends exclusivity contracts on wellness platforms market (Gympass / Totalpass)
Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
,
Vinicius Marques de Carvalho Advogados (VMCA) (Sao Paulo)
The Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) has prohibited corporate wellness platform Gympass from executing exclusivity contracts with its clients. In its decision, the CADE considered such arrangements as potentially exclusionary as they prevent new entrants in the market from (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine of €271,385.11 on a pasteurized cow milk company for abuse of dominance through excessive pricing (Charalambides-Christis)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Commission for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine on Charalambides-Christis Ltd amounting to €271,385.11 for infringements of article 6(1)(a) of the Protection of Competition Laws and corresponding article 102(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union* The (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an electricity supplier €300M for abuse of dominance (Engie / EDF)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
The French Competition Authority ("FCA") has fined Électricité de France ("EDF") EUR 300 million for taking advantage of its dominant position as public provider of regulated electricity tariffs. It was found that EDF engaged in conduct with the objective of maintaining its market share in the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an electricity provider and several of its subsidiaries €300M for abuse of a dominant position (Engie / EDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
As part of a negotiated procedure, the Autorité fines EDF 300 million euros, and several of its subsidiaries, for abuse of a dominant position* Background Following a complaint from Engie and the carrying out of dawn raids, the Autorité de la concurrence issues today a decision by which it (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a pet and animal transportation company €65K for its abuse of a dominant position in the air freight transport of pets to French Polynesia (Goldenway International Pets)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Air freight transport of pets to Polynesia: the Autorité de la concurrence fines a company for abuse of a dominant position* Background Following a report transmitted by the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) and an investigation (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority finds that the revised conditions imposed by a Big Tech on dating-app providers are unreasonable and creates barriers to entry (Apple) New
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM: Developing a new app is an unnecessary and unreasonable condition that Apple imposes on dating-app providers* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets has concluded that the revised conditions that Apple has imposed on dating-app providers are unreasonable, and create an (...)

The UK Competition Authority grants a claim for damages against a railway company (Achilles / Network Rail Infrastructure)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has granted a claim for damages by Achilles Information Limited (“Achilles”) against Network Rail Infrastructure Limited (“Network Rail”). The Judgment is the CAT’s first damages award arising from a standalone claim since 2016, and follows the CAT’s earlier (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts a Big Tech company’s revised offer of commitments relating to its proposed removal of third-party cookies from a browser (Google Privacy Sandbox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA to keep ‘close eye’ on Google as it secures final Privacy Sandbox commitments* The CMA has accepted a revised offer from Google of commitments relating to its proposed removal of third-party cookies from the Chrome browser (known as the Privacy Sandbox proposals). The CMA has secured (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts a Big Tech company’s commitments in its treatment of third-party cookies (Google Privacy Sandbox)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 February 2022, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued its decision to accept the commitments offered by Google in relation to its Privacy Sandbox proposals (“the Decision”). The Decision is noteworthy in several respects. First, it highlights the complicated tradeoffs (...)

The EU General Court annuls the decision of the Commission rejecting a complaint against a state-owned logistics operator concerning its alleged abuse of dominance on the market for rail freight transport services in Poland (PKP Cargo)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls the decision of the Commission rejecting a complaint against PKP Cargo, a company controlled by the Polish State, concerning an alleged abuse of its dominant position on the market for rail freight transport services in Poland* The General Court examines for the first (...)

The Indian Competition Authority issues a cease and desist order against a limestone logistics company for anti-competitive price determination, limitation and control of supply (CJ Darcl Logistics / Dumper Truck Union)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
BRIEF FACTS: An information was filed by CJ Darcl Logistics Ltd. (“CJD”) against Dumper and Dumper Truck Union Lime Stone (“DTU”) and All Members of Dumper and Dumper Truck Union Lime Stone (“AMDTU”), collectively (“OPs”) for restrictions imposed by DTU and its members by not letting CJD, a logistics (...)

The Larnaca District Court issues an award of €257K to a grain distributor and retailer as a result of abuse of dominance by a cereal company (AGS Agrotrading / Cyprus Grain Commission)
Harris Kyriakides (Cyprus)
Cyprus Courts issue their first judgment awarding civil law damages for breach of competition laws. In the first decision issued by the Cyprus Courts on damages to a corporation as a result of infringement of competition laws, the Larnaca District Court awarded on 9 February 2022 the total (...)

The German Competition Authority preliminarily assesses that an airline company is entitled under competition law to have access to feeder flights operated by a rival to transport its long-haul passengers (Condor / Lufthansa)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt preliminarily objects to Lufthansa’s impediment of Condor in the long-haul business* The Bundeskartellamt preliminarily assesses that Condor is entitled under competition law to have access to feeder flights operated by Lufthansa to transport its long-haul passengers. (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the action brought against the Commission’s decision to make a gas company’s commitments binding in order to address competition concerns in relation to the national markets for the upstream wholesale supply of gas in eastern and central Europe (Gazprom)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses the action brought against a decision by the Commission to make binding on Gazprom commitments proposed by the latter in order to address competition concerns raised by the former in relation to the national markets for the upstream wholesale supply of gas in the (...)

Mergers

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears the acquisition of private daycare centres by an international daycare group (Liveli / Grandir)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Liveli daycare centres by the Grandir Group, which operates Les Petits Chaperons Rouges daycare centres* Parties to the transaction The Grandir Group has notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire Crèche Attitude, a (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority clears the merger of 2 online food ordering companies without commitments (Glovo / Delivery Hero)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC approves the acquisition of Glovo by Delivery Hero* Delivery Hero specialises in home food delivery in more than 50 countries. Through its app, Glovo makes it easier for local businesses (restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets, etc.) to sell their products and make home deliveries. The (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases a report detailing the findings arising from reviews of six mergers which occurred between 2017 and 2019 (Milemaker / AB Oxford Cold Storage / OfficeMax...)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC examines competition impact of past mergers* The ACCC has released a report detailing the findings arising from reviews of six mergers which occurred between 2017 and 2019, that were not opposed by the ACCC. Reviews of past merger decisions (often referred to as ‘ex post’ merger reviews) (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority unconditionally approves a merger between 2 cyber-security software companies (Avast / NortonLifeLock)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC approves the merger between Norton and Avast* Norton has announced its acquisition of Avast by way of a takeover bid. It approves the merger in the first phase without commitments as it envisages no competition risks. Madrid, February 25, 2022.- The CNMC has granted first phase (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks views on court enforceable undertakings proposed by 2 maritime container suppliers in relation to their proposed merger (Cargotec / Konecranes)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC consults on divestiture proposal for Cargotec, Konecranes merger* The ACCC is seeking views on court enforceable undertakings proposed by each of Cargotec and Konecranes in relation to their proposed merger. The proposed undertakings in Australia are based on similar remedies Cargotec (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes proceedings after accepting commitments related to an acquisition in the wholesale fixed telecommunications markets (FiberCop / TIM / Fastweb / Tiscali / KKR)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: FiberCop gets the green light. The commitments of TIM, Fastweb, Tiscali and KKR submitted after the start of the proceedings have been accepted* The commitments, positively assessed by the Authority, will make it possible to reduce barriers to the acquisition of operators and support (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears the merger between 2 providers of cargo and load handling services (Cargotec / Konecranes)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears the merger of Cargotec with Konecranes, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed merger between Cargotec and Konecranes. The approval is conditional on the divestiture of certain businesses. Executive (...)

The US DoJ sues to block a merger between a healthcare technology provider and a health company which would result in the use of competitively sensitive claims data of millions of Americans to reduce competition and innovation (UnitedHealth Group / Change Healthcare)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department Sues to Block UnitedHealth Group’s Acquisition of Change Healthcare* Acquisition Would Allow Health Care Giant to Use Competitively Sensitive Claims Data of Hundreds of Millions of Americans to Reduce Competition and Innovation to the Detriment of Health Insurance Consumers (...)

The EU General Court dismisses a damages action for EUR 1.74 billion brought by a courier delivery services company against the Commission for the losses and costs resulting from the annulment of a merger prohibition decision (UPS / TNT)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 23 February 2022, the General Court dismissed UPS’s damages action for EUR 1.74 billion against the European Commission for the losses and costs resulting from the annulment of the UPS/TNT merger prohibition decision. Key takeaways Annulment of a merger prohibition decision will not (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves takeover of an authorized car dealership company by a multi-brand car retail company (Colina / Roadhill)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition council approved the taking over of some activities of Colina Motors by Roadhill Automotive SRL* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which Roadhill Automotive SRL intends to take over some activities of Colina Motors SRL., respectively the retail of Ford and (...)

The EU General Court dismisses a €1.7 billion claim for damages brought by a courier delivery services company in which it sought compensation for losses resulting from the Commission’s decision to block a merger with its rival (UPS / TNT)
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
On 23 February 2022, the EU’s General Court (GC) dismissed a €1.7 billion claim for damages brought by United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) against the European Commission (EC). UPS sought compensation for the losses resulting from the EC’s decision to block UPS’ merger with TNT NV (TNT). The GC, (...)

The EU Commission finds that Hungary has violated EU merger rules by vetoing an insurance company for the acquisition of a subsidiary (AEGON / Vienna Insurance)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 February 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted a decision finding that Hungary had violated Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) by vetoing the Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe’s (“VIG”) acquisition of AGEON’s Hungarian subsidiary. In July 2021, (...)

The EU Commission blocks Hungary’s attempt to veto a transaction in the insurance sector under FDI rules (AEGON / Vienna Insurance)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
,
Jones Day (Paris)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
In Short The Situation: The European Commission ("EC") issued its first decision ("Decision") regarding the intersection of EU merger control rules and the recent growth in national Foreign Direct Investment ("FDI") regimes. The EC found that the Hungarian government’s decision to block a (...)

The EU Commission finds that Hungary’s veto over the acquisition of an insurance company’s subsidiaries by an Austrian operator breached Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation (AEGON / Vienna Insurance)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission finds that Hungary’s veto over the acquisition of AEGON’s Hungarian subsidiaries by VIG breached Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation* The European Commission has concluded that Hungary’s decision to veto the acquisition of the Hungarian subsidiaries of the AEGON Group by (...)

The EU Commission finds that Hungary’s decision to block a merger between two insurance firms breached EU law because the Commission has exclusive competence to assess mergers with a Union dimension (AEGON / Vienna Insurance)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission finds that Hungary’s veto over the acquisition of AEGON’s Hungarian subsidiaries by VIG breached Article 21 of the EU Merger Regulation* The European Commission has concluded that Hungary’s decision to veto the acquisition of the Hungarian subsidiaries of the AEGON Group by (...)

The Israeli Competition Authority publishes a call for public comments regarding the analysis of conglomerate mergers New
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Israel Competition Authority is publishing a call for public comments regarding the analysis of conglomerate mergers* The Israel Competition Authority is now calling for the public’s consideration with respect to the manner of examining conglomerate mergers and the competitive (...)

The US FTC approves modifications to a divestiture agreement of a medical device company following a merger with a pharmaceutical supplier (Boston Scientific)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Modifications to Boston Scientific Corp. Divestiture Agreement* The Federal Trade Commission has approved certain modifications to medical device company Boston Scientific Corp.’s Divestiture Agreements. The FTC approved these agreements and incorporated them into its order as part (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two veterinary clinics (OneVet / CVSP)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC issued a non-opposition decision to the merger 3/2022 - OneVet / CVSP* On February 18, 2022, exercising the powers conferred on it by Article 19 (1) d) of its statutes, approved by Decree-Law 125/2014 of 18 August, the Board of the AdC decided, under Article 50 (1) b) of the (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens an in-depth investigation in relation to a merger in the veterinary services sector (CVS / The Vet)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CVS takeover of The Vet raises competition concerns* CVS Group’s completed purchase of The Vet could now be referred for an in-depth investigation after finding that the deal raises competition concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into CVS Group’s (...)

The US FTC authorises an administrative complaint to block the proposed merger of Rhode Island’s two largest healthcare providers alleging that the deal would lead to higher prices and lower quality care (Lifespan / Care New England Health System)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC and Rhode Island Attorney General Step in to Block Merger of Rhode Island’s Two Largest Healthcare Providers* FTC alleges that anticompetitive deal likely to increase price and reduce quality of care for patients The Federal Trade Commission has authorized an administrative complaint, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority outlines preliminary competition concerns with a proposed merger between 2 animal health companies (Zoetis / Jurox)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Zoetis’ proposed acquisition of Jurox raises preliminary competition concerns* The ACCC has outlined preliminary competition concerns with Zoetis’ proposed acquisition of Jurox in a statement of issues published today. Zoetis and Jurox develop, manufacture, and sell animal health products that (...)

The Australian Competition Authority unconditionally approves an acquisition in the flight simulation training services sector (Ansett Aviation Training / Aviation Training Partners)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Aviation Training Partners’ proposed acquisition of Ansett Aviation Training not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Aviation Training Holdings Pty Ltd (trading as Ansett Aviation Training (AAT)) by Aviation Training Partners (ATP). AAT is a global provider of flight (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority unconditionally approves the acquisition of a car rental company by its competitor (Premium Leasing / Autonom Services)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council assesses the taking over of Premium Leasing S.R.L. By Autonom Services S.A.* The Competition Council assesses the transaction by which Autonom Services S.A. intends to take over Premium Leasing S.R.L., part of Țiriac Group. Autonom Services S.A., established in 2006, (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of an electric motor component manufacturer by a steel component supplier (Kienle + Spiess / Feintool Holding)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council approved the taking over of Kiendle + Spiess gmbh, Germany by Feintool Holding gmbh, Germany* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which Feintool Holding GmbH, Germany, takes over Kienle + Spiess GmbH, Germany. Feintool Holding GmbH, Germany, is active (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority unconditionally clears the merger of 2 telecommunications companies (Cabonitel / Grupo MásMóvil)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC issued a non-opposition decision to the merger 1/2022 - Grupo MásMóvil / Cabonitel* On February 15, 2022, exercising the powers conferred on it by Article 19 (1) d) of its statutes, approved by Decree-Law 125/2014 of 18 August, the Board of the AdC decided, under Article 50 (1) b) of (...)

The US FTC issues a statement following the termination of a proposed acquisition of a company in the missile propulsion inputs market (Lockheed Martin / Aerojet Rocketdyne)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Statement Regarding Termination of Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Attempted Acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.* In response to the announcement that Lockheed Martin Corporation has terminated its proposed acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., FTC Bureau of Competition (...)

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears a takeover of 15 stores by a company active in organic food distribution (Salej / Naturalia)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité clears the takeover of 15 organic stores of the Salej group by Naturalia, a subsidiary of the Casino Group* Background After reviewing the transaction to acquire 15 organic stores from the Salej group by Naturalia, a subsidiary of the Casino group, the Autorité cleared the (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues a statement of preliminary issues for a proposed acquisition of a medical device distributor (EBOS Medical Devices / LifeHealthcare)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Statement of Preliminary Issues released for EBOS / LifeHealthcare* The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues regarding the application from EBOS Medical Devices Australia Pty Limited to acquire the New Zealand LifeHealthcare business. The Statement outlines the (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines sports retailers £5M after breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the Authority (JD Sports / Footasylum)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Sports retailers fined almost £5m for breaching CMA order* JD Sports and Footasylum have been fined almost £5 million after breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the CMA. Breaches include the sharing of commercially sensitive information between JD Sports and Footasylum CEOs Failure to (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes its 3 largest fines totalling £56.7M for breaches of initial enforcement orders in connection with 2 mergers in Big Tech and sportswear (JD Sports / Footasylum) (Meta / Giphy)
Ashurst (London)
Within the last six months, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has issued its three largest fines for breaches of an initial enforcement order ("IEO"). These include fines of GBP 50.5 million and GBP 1.5 million for breaches of an IEO imposed in connection with the completed (...)

The German Competition Authority clears takeover of petrol station network under the condition that 48 service stations be sold to third companies (EG Group / OMV Retail)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Acquisition of OMV petrol station network by EG Group (Esso) cleared under the condition that 48 service stations be sold to third companies* Today the Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by EG Group Limited, Blackburn/UK, which operates the ESSO service station network in Germany, to acquire (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears a proposed acquisition between a pharmaceutical retail company and a pharmaceutical conglomerate (Australian Pharmaceutical Industries / Wesfarmers)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of API not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API) by Wesfarmers (ASX: WES). API is a retailer and wholesaler of pharmaceutical and beauty & personal care products. It owns the Priceline (...)

The German Competition Authority clears unconditionally but "with unease" the acquisition of a CRM platform by a social media company (Meta / Kustomer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook)* Meta Platforms Inc., Menlo Park/USA (formerly Facebook, Inc.) has announced that it intends to acquire the company Kustomer Inc. Kustomer is a company based in New York (USA) which offers its business customers a (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears a merger between a major record label and an "artist and label" services provider (AWAL / Sony)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA provisionally clears Sony’s acquisition of AWAL* The CMA has provisionally cleared Sony’s acquisition of AWAL, an ‘artist and label’ (A&L) services provider, following an in-depth merger inquiry. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) referred the merger to an in-depth Phase 2 (...)

The Canadian Federal Court rules en banc that the national Competition Authority is able to seek a temporary pause on a merger whilst the interim pause is debated in court (Secure / Tevita)
Fasken Martineau (Toronto)
,
Fasken Martineau (Toronto)
Canada’s Competition Tribunal has jurisdiction to grant “interim interim” relief in the contested merger context* As discussed in our prior blog post titled “Competition Tribunal Dismisses Request for Interim Interim Order”, the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) previously found that it does (...)

The UK Competition Authority closes Phase II investigation of a semiconductor company by a computer graphics company after the companies abandoned the merger (NVIDIA / Arm)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
NVIDIA abandons takeover of Arm during CMA investigation* NVIDIA has abandoned its proposed deal with Arm during the CMA’s in-depth investigation, following its initial finding that the merger could lead to a substantial lessening of competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the acquisition of an anti-virus application by a software company without conditions (Avast / NortonLifeLock)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
NortonLifeLock can acquire cyber security software provider Avast* The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared plans by NortonLifeLock Inc., Tempe, USA, to acquire the cyber security software provider Avast plc, London, UK. NortonLifeLock and Avast offer cyber security software to private users (...)

The German Competition Authority clears two competing mergers in a bidding competition to acquire shares in a private credit bureau (SCHUFA Holding)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Acquisition of SCHUFA – Bundeskartellamt clears merger plans in bidding competition* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared two planned mergers notified for examination under merger control in the context of the ongoing bidding competition to acquire shares in SCHUFA Holding AG. The mergers that have (...)

The UK Competiton Authority fines a Big Tech company £1.5m after it failed to alert in advance of key staff leaving the company, which was required by the Authority’s initial enforcement order (Meta / Giphy)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA fines Meta a second time for breaching enforcement order* Meta has been fined £1.5m after it failed to alert the CMA in advance of key staff leaving the company, which is required by the CMA’s initial enforcement order. It is standard practice for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) (...)

The US FTC approves a pharmaceutical supplier’s petition for prior approval of its acquisition of the chromatography equipment business of a service provider in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries (Sartorius Stedim Biotech / Novasep Process)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A.’s Petition for Prior Approval of its Acquisition of the Chromatography Equipment Business of Novasep Process SAS* The Federal Trade Commission has approved a petition from Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. to acquire the chromatography equipment business (...)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action allows a merger between a chip supplier and its rival to fail after the FDI screening procedure took too long (GlobalWafers / Siltronic)
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
All good things are worth waiting for? Not in the case of the planned takeover of Munich-based chip supplier Siltronic by its Taiwanese rival GlobalWafers. After more than a year of intense FDI screening, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action let the deal fail. (...)

State Aid

A UK High Court rules that an exemption on a sugar import tariff does not constitute state aid (British Sugar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
UK High Court rules on sugar advance tariff quota On 24 February 2022, the United Kingdom High Court (the “High Court”) rejected British Sugar’s contention that the sugar advance tariff quota breached Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (the “Protocol”) on State aid or the (...)

The UK High Court issues a first judgment on the application of State rules under the Northern Ireland Protocol and the new UK subsidy control regime
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 24 February 2022, the UK High Court issued the first judgment on the interpretation of EU State aid rules under the Northern Ireland Protocol and the new UK subsidies regime (the "Judgment"). Key takeaways After Brexit, UK measures (including tariff measures) can still be subject to EU (...)

The EU Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Cyprus
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Cyprus’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 RAG, adopted by the Commission on 19 April 2021 and in force since 1 (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Iceland’s regional aid map for 2022-2027
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Iceland’s regional aid map for 2022-2027* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a new map proposed by Iceland designating areas eligible to receive regional aid. The EEA Agreement contains rules that allow for state aid to support the economic development of (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority adopts revised climate, energy and environmental guidelines
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
State aid: ESA adopts revised climate, energy and environmental guidelines* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today adopted revised Guidelines on state aid for Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy (CEEAG). ESA will apply these when assessing state aid granted by Iceland, (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to two Norwegian aid schemes for the sports and voluntary sectors due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments to two Norwegian aid schemes for the sports and voluntary sectors* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved amendments to two aid schemes: one compensating voluntary organisations, and another compensating voluntary organisations (...)

The EU Commission proposes a chip act to confront semiconductor shortages and strengthen Europe’s technological leadership Free
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
In Short The Background: The recent semiconductor shortage, COVID-related supply chain disruptions, and trade tensions have exposed the European Union’s ("EU") dependency on chips made in other continents. The Development: The European Commission ("EC") has proposed legislation—the EU Chips (...)

The EU Commission approves a 2022-2027 regional aid map for Portugal
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Portugal* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Portugal’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 EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to an Icelandic support scheme for businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments to Icelandic support scheme for businesses* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved amendments to an Icelandic aid scheme offering resilience grants to eligible companies and self-employed individuals. The resilience grants scheme (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves an aid scheme for Icelandic businesses that have suffered losses due to restrictions in opening hours in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves aid scheme for Icelandic businesses that have suffered losses due to restrictions in opening hours* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved an Icelandic scheme offering direct grants to companies in the restaurant sector for income losses due to (...)

The EU Commission approves a €1.7 billion German measure to recapitalise a national airport in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.7 billion German measure to recapitalise Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg in the context of the coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has approved German plans to grant up to €1.7 billion for the recapitalisation of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Gmbh (‘FBB’). (...)

Procedures

The EU General Court dismisses a €1.7B damages claim for a failed merger blocked by the Commission and later cleared by the Court of Justice (UPS / TNT)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Paris)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (London)
,
Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
The General Court of the European Union Dismisses a EUR 1.7 Billion Damages Claim Against the European Commission For a Failed Merger* On 23 February 2022, the General Court of the European Union (the "General Court") issued a landmark judgment dismissing a request to hold the European (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that an undertaking active in a particular market is able to act as an intervenor when a decision against a merger in that market is appealed (Fastweb / Iliad Italia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
ECJ rules that an undertaking active in a market affected by a merger can intervene in the appeal of a merger clearance decision On 22 February 2022, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) granted telecoms operator Fastweb SpA leave to intervene in Case T-692/20 in support of Iliad Italia (Case (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of California holds that California’s anti-reverse payment law is enforceable, but only against settlements negotiated or completed in California (Association for Accessible Medicines / Rob Bonta)
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
In February 2022, the US District Court for the Eastern District of California held that California Assembly Bill 824—which established a first-of-its kind presumption that certain pharmaceutical patent settlements are anticompetitive and which the California Attorney General had previously been (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit questions the implications of "Certificate of Need" laws for market competition (Tiwari / Friedlander)
Sheppard Mullin (Century City)
,
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
Sixth Circuit Questions Efficacy of State “Certificate of Need” Laws, Question Whether Reduces Competition The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal recently voiced skepticism of Kentucky’s Certificate of Need (“CON”) laws while simultaneously ruling that they met the Fourteenth Amendment’s “rational (...)

The EU General Court rules that the Commission must ensure a “best placed” national competition authority can safeguard fundamental rights (Sped-Pro)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its Sped-Pro judgment of 9 February 2022, the General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) for the first time examined the impact of deficiencies in the rule of law in an EU Member State on determining which competition authority in the EU is best placed to examine a complaint (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to fine a truck manufacturer €880.5M for its participation in the truck manufacturers’ cartel (Scania)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 2 February 2022, the General Court upheld the European Commission’s decision to fine Scania EUR 880.5 million for its participation in the truck manufacturers’ cartel. Key takeaways The Commission is entitled to use a "hybrid" procedure to adopt a settlement decision with cartelists whilst (...)

The EU General Court confirms the case law on the presumption of innocence in cartel cases where only some parties are given leniency for cooperation (Scania)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 February 2022, the General Court of the European Union delivered a judgment in which it upheld the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision to impose a fine of €880.5 million on Scania for participating in a cartel for 14 years with five other truck manufacturers (Case T-799/17, Scania v. (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision to reject a complaint lodged by a Polish wholesaler for alleged abuse of dominance by a Russian producer and supplier of natural gas (Gazprom / Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls the Commission’s decision to reject a complaint lodged by a Polish wholesaler* The Commission failed to respect the Polish wholesaler’s procedural rights in the proceedings which led to the adoption of that decision Between 2011 and 2015, the European Commission took (...)

The EU General Court dismisses a truck manufacturer’s action and maintains the Commission’s fine of €880.52M for participation in a cartel (Scania)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses Scania’s action and maintains the fine of €880.52 million imposed by the Commission for Scania’s participation in a cartel between truck manufacturers* The General Court provides clarification on, first, the legality of a ‘hybrid’ procedure combining the settlement (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority seeks public feedback on potential new rules for large digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Feedback sought on potential new rules for large digital platforms* The ACCC is seeking views from consumers, businesses and other parties on options for legislative reform to address concerns about the dominance of digital platforms. A discussion paper, released today, outlines options for (...)

The Belgian Parliament passes law implementing ECN+ directive notably reinforcing the leniency program and empowering investigative tools
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Belgium implements ECN+ Directive and reforms competition rules On 7 March 2022, a law of 28 February 2022 reforming the Belgian competition rules (“Law”) was published in the Belgian Official Journal. This Law, which will enter into force in the coming days, will implement Directive 2019/1, (...)

The EU Commission proposes a Data Act to enhance data access and sharing within the Union
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On February 23, 2022, the European Commission ("Commission") published a proposal for a Data Act which aims at enhancing data access and use within the European Union ("EU"). The Data Act will be applicable to both personal and non-personal data, and will be relevant for all companies (...)

The Cypriot Parliament enacts a new competition framework which enhances the Competition Authority’s regulatory powers and transposes the ECN+ Directive into national legislation
Antoniou McCollum & Co. (Nicosia)
,
Antoniou McCollum & Co. (Nicosia)
,
Antoniou McCollum & Co. (Nicosia)
Cyprus has enacted a new competition framework, which introduces additional powers for the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (the CPC). The new legislation consolidates previous statutes regulating collusive conduct, abuses of dominance and abuses of relationships of economic (...)

The UK Competition Authority designates a Big Tech company as a grocery retailer to protect suppliers (Amazon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA designates Amazon as a grocery retailer to protect suppliers* The CMA has announced that industry rules setting out how grocery retailers should treat their suppliers will now apply to Amazon. Amazon.com, Inc’s (Amazon) increasing activity in the UK groceries’ sector in recent years has led (...)

The US President Joe Biden issues an executive order requiring that project labor agreements have specific terms pertaining to strikes and lockouts, dispute resolution methods and other mechanisms for cooperation between labor and management
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
A project labor agreement (PLA) is a collective bargaining agreement between a contractor and the building trade union on a specific construction project. PLAs are negotiated before any workers are hired, and they establish the terms of employment on a project. Executive Order (EO) 14063, (...)

All issues

  • Latest News issue 
  • All News issues
  • Latest Special issue 
  • All Special issues