January 2022

General antitrust

The Japan Competition Authority publishes a report on potential competition issues in price-setting of IPOs
White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
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White & Case (Tokyo)
On January 28, 2022, the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") published a report "Understanding the reality of the public offering price setting process in the initial public offerings (IPOs)" ("Report"). The Report was prepared to examine whether there are any issues under competition policy (...)

The French Competition Authority starts ex officio proceedings to analyse competition conditions in the cloud computing sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence starts proceedings ex officio to analyse competition conditions in the cloud computing sector* During his hearing on 12 January 2022 before the French National Assembly (Assemblée nationale), Benoit Cœuré indicated that the digital sector would be one of the (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report closing the sector inquiry on the consumer ’Internet of Things’
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
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Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On January 20, 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final report closing the sector inquiry launched in July 2020 on the consumer Internet of Things (“IoT”). The report gives an overview of trends and competition issues in the European landscape. It is based on answers (...)

The OECD issues an update to its transfer pricing guidelines which is primarily based on the profit split method, hard-to-value intangibles and financial transactions
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
On 20 January 2022, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued an update to its July 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (Transfer Pricing Guidelines). There are significant changes to the guidance in respect of the (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on a consumer Internet of Things sector inquiry which confirms its preliminary findings related to high entry barriers and issues around access to data
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 20 January 2022 the European Commission (“Commission“) published its final report on the consumer Internet of Things (“IoT“) sector inquiry, largely confirming its preliminary findings issued in July 2021. These include concerns around high market entry barriers, the influence on the market of a (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on the consumer Internet of Things ahead of the final ’DMA’ negotiations, indicating material competition concerns in digital assistant markets
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 January 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued its (short) final report on the sector inquiry into consumer Internet of Things (“Report”), along with an explanatory Commission staff working document. The Report identifies various practices that may limit competition and justify (...)

The German Competition Authority provides guidance on sustainability initiatives and agreements amongst competitors in the food retail industry
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
FCO Provides Guidance On Sustainability Agreements* With the examination of two sustainability cooperations concerning living wages in the banana sector as well as the expansion of an animal welfare initiative, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) provided further guidance for the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority identifies four priority sectors for its antitrust monitoring, enforcement and advocacy actions
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Authority identifies four priority sectors* In the strategic plan 2022 the Lithuanian Konkurencijos taryba has identified four priority sectors. The authority is planning to monitor more closely competition restrictions in the labour market, health sector (including (...)

The New York State Senate Committee votes on expansive antitrust bill
Constantine Cannon (New York)
UPDATE: New York’s Groundbreaking Antitrust Bill Is Reported Out of Committee and Advances to the Senate Floor Calendar* New York took a step closer to launching an antitrust revival in the state today as the New York Senate Consumer Protection Committee voted to send S933A—a groundbreaking (...)

The US FTC adjusts for inflation the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for violations of 16 provisions of law under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Publishes Inflation-Adjusted Civil Penalty Amounts for 2022* The Federal Trade Commission has adjusted the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for violations of 16 provisions of law the agency enforces, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority publishes its annual report for 2020 noting particularly the introduction of a new IT system and the large number of merger cases evaluated Free
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
The Annual Report of the Commission for the Protection of Competition for the year 2020* The Annual Report of the Competition Commission for the year 2020 presents the work and actions of the Commission during an extremely demanding year with unprecedented changes in working conditions for the (...)

The US DoJ AG Merrick B. Garland issues statement of principles and commitments with the Secretary of Agriculture to protect against unfair and anticompetitive practices in the agriculture sector
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Justice Department and Agriculture Department Issue Shared Principles and Commitments to Protect Against Unfair and Anticompetitive Practices* Speaking at a White House event focused on competition in agriculture, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The UK High Court time-bars a €480M follow-on damages claim against a smart card chip cartel after ruling that the claimants had sufficient information to support a reasonable claim when the EU Commission issued its statement of objections to the defendants (Gemalto / Thales / Infineon / Renesas)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
The English High Court has ruled that, on the facts of the case, claimants Gemalto had sufficient information about the smart card chips cartel to support a reasonable claim for damages at the point at which the European Commission issued its statement of objections to defendants Infineon and (...)

The US District Court for the District of Colorado acquits a Denver-based healthcare company and its former CEO on no-poach agreements in alleged violation of the Sherman Act (DaVita / Thiry)
Dechert (Philadelphia)
Key Takeaways Colorado federal jury acquitted a healthcare company and its former CEO of antitrust charges that they violated the Sherman Act by entering into agreements with other health care companies not to recruit each other’s employees. As an early test of the Antitrust Division’s 2018 (...)

The US DoJ in a landmark case indicts and brings to trial a healthcare company and its former CEO for employee no-poach agreements (DaVita / Thiry)
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
In a landmark case of first impression, the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division (Division) indicted and brought to trial a federal criminal prosecution alleging agreements between DaVita, Inc., its former CEO Kent Thiry and other companies not to solicit each other’s employees. (...)

The German Competition Authority provides guidance on when sustainability goals can justify horizontal cooperation agreements in the food retail sector
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 and 25 January 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued two press releases concerning cooperation agreements in the food industry, which provide insight into when the pursuit of sustainability objectives may be sufficient to exempt such agreements from the cartel prohibition (...)

The German Competition Authority rejects the national milk producers’ proposed uniform mark-up system for ensuring minimum guaranteed income level for all raw milk producers due to it being price-fixing
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
1. Introduction 1.1 Competitor cooperations in pursuit of sustainability and human rights, or to reach broader ESG (Environment – Social – Governance) goals, have become a key element for companies’ global business strategies. In this context, “green competition law”, i.e. the intersection between (...)

The German Competition Authority rejects a sustainability agreement in the milk sector as it raises competition concerns
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
On January 18, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release of its review of two sustainability initiatives (see our blog post here). Only a week later, on January 25, 2022, the FCO provided further guidance for the implementation of sustainability initiatives under (...)

The German Competition Authority provides guidance on the conditions under which sustainability goals in cooperation agreements between competitors may be sufficient to exempt such agreements from the prohibition against anti-competitive agreements under German provisions and the TFEU
Ashurst (Munich)
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Ashurst (Frankfurt)
On 18 January 2022 and 25 January 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") published two press releases which provide guidance on the conditions under which sustainability goals in cooperation agreements between competitors may be sufficient to exempt such agreements from the prohibition (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority commences proceedings against four undertakings and an individual for a price-fixing cartel in the travel services sector (Gray Line / Tink Labs)
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Wanchai)
Competition Commission takes travel services sector price-fixing cartel case to Competition Tribunal* The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) against four undertakings and one individual, namely: Gray Line Tours of Hong (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a German tobacco producer for longstanding vertical distribution agreement which sought to secure absolute territorial protection (Pöschl)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
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Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Competition Commission penalises German tobacco company for territorial restrictions in distribution agreements* The Competition Commission (ComCo) has once again imposed penalties on a foreign company for including/maintaining absolute territorial protection clauses in its distribution (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a fine totalling EUR 173,8 million in the fields of retail food and cleaning products for a hub & spoke cartel involving resale price maintenance practices (Savola / A101 / Carrefour / Migros...) Free
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
(1) Introduction On January 19, 2022, Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has published a highly anticipated decision of the Competition Board (“Board”) regarding the investigation against retail grocery chains and suppliers of such chains, active in the fields of retail food and cleaning (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority and Police conduct dawn raid of property management firm suspected of anticompetitive conduct during tendering process
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Wanchai)
Competition Commission and Hong Kong Police conduct joint operation on maintenance project of an industrial building in Tuen Mun* The Competition Commission (Commission) and the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) of the Hong Kong Police today conducted a joint operation which involved a (...)

The German Competition Authority concludes its examination into whether an initiative to introduce living wages in the banana sector and an initiative to expand animal welfare to include cattle fattening could raise competition concerns
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Achieving sustainability in a competitive environment – Bundeskartellamt concludes examination of sector initiatives* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded the examination of two separate business cooperations and sustainability initiatives: An initiative launched by the German retail sector and (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority fines a national construction company $761,967 after it pleaded guilty in Toronto condo refurbishment bid-rigging scheme (CPL Interiors)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
CPL Interiors fined $761,967 after pleading guilty in GTA condo refurbishment bid-rigging scheme* Construction company CPL Interiors Ltd. was fined $761,967 today after pleading guilty before the Ontario Superior Court for its role in a criminal bid-rigging conspiracy. The bid-rigging scheme (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority fines interior company $750,000 for participating in criminal bid-rigging (CPL Interiors)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
CPL Interiors Fined More Than $750,000 In Toronto Condo Refurbishment Bid-Rigging Case* On January 17, 2021, Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that CPL Interiors Ltd. (CPL) was fined $761,967 after pleading guilty before the Ontario Superior Court for participating in a criminal (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority brings closure to a case against a Toronto construction company for bid rigging and collusion in condo refurbishment (CPL Interiors)
Law Society of Ontario (Ottawa)
Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (Commissioner) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (Act) , announced on 17 January 2022 that CPL Interiors Ltd. (CPL) was fined $761,967 (CAN) after pleading guilty for its role in a (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York imposes a lifetime ban against a pharmaceutical executive and requires $65M payment for antitrust violation (Martin Shkreli)
Rutgers University (Camden)
On January 14, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York imposed a lifetime ban on “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, perhaps the most notorious “bad actor” in the pharmaceutical industry, and required that he pay $65 million in excess profits he obtained from anticompetitive (...)

The US FTC issues a statement made by Chair Lina M. Khan following the imposition of a lifetime ban against a pharmaceutical executive (Martin Shkreli)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan on the Ruling by Judge Denise L. Cote Federal Trade Commission et al v. Vyera Pharmaceuticals, LLC et al* Today, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote held “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli liable for antitrust claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission and a group (...)

The French Competition Authority hands down fines for cartel practices to two joint service offices and several of their members, all court bailiffs (Bureau de signification de Paris / Société civile de moyens des études et groupement des huissiers de justice de Seine-Saint-Denis)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence hands down fines for cartel practices to two joint service offices and several of their members, all court bailiffs in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis départements* Background Following the complaint from court bailiffs’ offices, today the Autorité issues two (...)

The UK Competition Authority disqualifies a pharmaceutical company director due to his involvement in illegal sharing of commercially sensitive information about the antidepressant nortriptyline (Pritesh Sonpal / Lexon)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA disqualifies pharma director* The CMA has secured the disqualification of a pharmaceutical company director, in connection with his involvement in illegal anti-competitive practices. Pritesh Sonpal – a former director of the pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon – will be disqualified from taking (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines 6 truck dealers and 8 managers for concluding agreements that limit competition (Truck Dealer Cartels)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Truck dealer cartels - two decisions of the UOKiK President* UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny issued two decisions concerning agreements limiting competition between truck dealers. Purchasers of these vehicles have not had a free choice of dealer for many years and have paid inflated prices. Six (...)

The US DoJ announces from its ongoing investigation that 3 more sellers from a major online retail platform plead guilty to price fixing DVDs and Blu-ray discs (Morris Sutton / Emmanuel Hourizadeh / Raymond Nouvahian / Amazon Marketplace)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Three Amazon Marketplace Sellers Plead Guilty to Price Fixing DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs in Ongoing Investigation* A New Jersey man and two New York men pleaded guilty yesterday to fixing the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold on the Amazon Marketplace. According to court documents filed in (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates possible monopolistic practices in the market of integration, installation, maintenance, and commercialization of equipment, accessories and spare parts for the exploitation of industrial gases in the national territory
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates possible monopolistic practices in the market of integration, installation, maintenance and commercialization of equipment, accessories and spare parts for the exploitation of industrial gases in the national territory* The Investigative Authority has indications to suppose (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues a statement declaring that it is closely monitoring the pricing of rapid antigen tests Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Media Statement on pricing of rapid antigen tests* The ACCC is aware of the significant public concern about the pricing of rapid antigen tests and is contacting suppliers and monitoring the situation very closely. The ACCC will be examining claims that the current pricing levels of rapid (...)

The Czech Competition Authority imposes a record fine of €3.7M on a garden machinery and equipment supplier for resale price maintenance (Garland)
Dentons (Prague)
In a bold start into the New Year, on 4 January 2022 the Czech Competition Authority (UOHS) imposed a fine of approx. EUR 3,7 million (CZK 96,8 million) for resale price maintenance on GARLAND distributor, s.r.o., a supplier of garden machinery, equipment and hobby tools in the Czech Republic. (...)

Unilateral Practices

The US District Court for the Northeastern District of New York dismisses a drug manufacturer’s claim against a rival which it alleged blocked entry into the market for a medication administered through pre-loaded syringes (Novartis / Regeneron)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
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Constantine Cannon (New York)
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Constantine Cannon (New York)
A Nearsighted Approach to Product Market Definition: Court Rejects Low-Cost Rival’s Antitrust Claims Alleging Novartis Blocked Competition in the Sale of Eye-Disease Treatments* One antitrust case we have been watching closely is the patent-related antitrust suit filed by biotechnology company (...)

The EU General Court annuls a fine of EUR 1.06M against a semiconductor chip manufacturing company based on economic evidence (Intel)
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam)
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam)
Three’s a charm for Intel: On judicial review of economic evidence to rebut a legal presumption* In 2009, the European Commission imposed what was then a record-breaking fine of EUR 1.06 billion on Intel for abuse of dominance. Intel’s initial action for annulment was dismissed by the General (...)

The EU General Court annuls in part the Commission’s decision imposing a fine of €1.06 billion on the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer (Intel)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court annuls in part the Commission decision imposing a fine of € 1.06 billion on Intel* The Commission’s analysis is incomplete and does not make it possible to establish to the requisite legal standard that the rebates at issue were capable of having, or likely to have, (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s decision finding that rebates granted by a large semiconductor chip manufacturer resulted in an abuse of dominance (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment issued today, the General Court of the European Union has annulled the part of the EU Commission’s decision of 13 May 2009 finding that rebates granted to Intel’s major OEM customers infringed Article 102 TFEU. The Court also annulled the fine of € 1.06 billion imposed on Intel. The (...)

The EU General Court annuls most of the Commission’s decision to impose a fine of € 1.06 billion on a semiconductor company for abuse of dominance on the global market for x86 processors (Intel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
General Court overturns Commission’s Intel decision On 26 January 2022, the General Court of the European Union annulled most of the decision of the European Commission (“Commission”), which had imposed a fine of € 1.06 billion on Intel for having abused its dominant position on the worldwide (...)

The EU General Court partially annuls the Commission’s decision to impose a €1.06 billion fine on a semiconductor chip manufacturer for its abuse of dominant position (Intel)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 26 January 2022, the General Court ("GC") partially annulled the European Commission’s decision to impose a EUR 1.06 billion fine on Intel for abusing its dominant position ("Decision"). The fine was annulled in full. Applying the principles outlined in the European Court of Justice’s ("ECJ") (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s decision to fine a semiconductor chip manufacturer €1.06 billion for abusing its dominant position (Intel)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
On 26 January 2022 the General Court (GC) issued its latest judgment in the Intel case, faulting fundamental aspects of the Commission’s original decision almost 13 years prior. The judgment’s findings are promising for pending cases appealing similar issues, including the application of the “as (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision that a semiconductor chip manufacturer had abused its dominant position and the Commission’s imposition of a €1.06 billion fine (Intel)
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 (Brussels)
On January 26, 2022, the EU General Court (the Court) annulled the European Commission’s (the Commission) decision that Intel had abused its dominant position regarding its x86 central processing unit (CPU) computer chips and the imposition of a €1.06 billion fine. The judgment demonstrates that (...)

The EU General Court confirms the critical role of robust economic analysis in abuse of dominance cases (Intel)
Oxera (London)
After more than two decades, the Intel saga may have finally ended with the General Court’s judgment of 26 January 2022. The judgment—which had at its core the use of the ‘as-efficient competitor’ test in the context of loyalty rebates―confirms the critical role of robust economic analysis in abuse (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls a Commission’s landmark decision fining a semiconductor company €1.06 billion for abuse of dominant position (Intel)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
The EU General Court ("GC") annulled the European Commission’s €1.06 billion antitrust fine imposed on Intel in 2009 for allegedly abusing its dominant position in x86 Central Processing Units ("CPUs") by offering loyalty rebates to customers, excluding competitors such as AMD. The GC held that (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes periodic penalties on a Big Tech company for non-compliance with its earlier decision finding abuse of dominance against developers of dating apps by limiting their choice of a payment system (Apple)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 January 2022, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) decided to impose periodic penalties on Apple for its failure to comply with a decision of 24 August 2021 requiring Apple to change its App Store payment rules. In that decision, the ACM found that Apple had abused its (...)

The US DoJ Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers reveals that the DoJ intends to investigate and pursue alleged criminal violations against individuals or companies who violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
What Happened On March 2, 2022, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers revealed that the DOJ intends to investigate and pursue alleged criminal violations against individuals or companies who violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act. (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority initiates disciplinary proceedings against a company for abuse of dominance in the exploitation of intellectual property rights of publishers and authors of musical and audiovisual works (SGAE)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC initiates disciplinary proceedings against SGAE for possible abuse of dominant position* It is investigating possible anti-competitive practices in the markets for the management of the intellectual property rights of authors and publishers of audiovisual and musical works. These would (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit hears an appeal brought by 48 State Attorney Generals against a ruling by a District Court in a Big Tech refusal to deal case (Meta)
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
Application of the Proper ‘Outer Boundary’ of Antitrust Liability for Alleged Refusals to Deal in New York v Facebook* Introduction The States brought an antitrust complaint against Facebook alleging that various conduct violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The ICLE brief addresses the (...)

The German Competition Authority holds consultations on a Big Tech company’s proposals for dispelling competition concerns in the press sector (Google News Showcase)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Google News Showcase – Bundeskartellamt holds consultations on Google’s proposals for dispelling competition concerns* Google has proposed measures to dispel the Bundeskartellamt’s competition concerns in the authority’s ongoing proceeding to examine the Google News Showcase online service. The (...)

The Indian Competition Authority orders an investigation into a Big Tech firm for allegedly abusing its dominant position by forcing certain practices on digital publishers (Google / Digital News Publishers Association)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS In a well-functioning democracy, the critical role played by news media cannot be undermined, and it needs to be ensured that digital gatekeeper firms, such as Google, do not abuse their dominant position to harm the competitive process of determining a fair distribution of revenue (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority sanctions six undertakings for bid rigging with fine of LEI 2,52M (Upipsa / Axa / Uzina Rominex / Uzitnet Industry / Prelmet / Industrial Repairs and Assembly of Excavators)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The competition council sanctioned six undertakings with fine of LEI 2,52 Million for Bids Rigging The Competition Council sanctioned six undertakings with fines totalling lei 2,521,087 (approx. Euro 521,000 ) for rigging the bids within the tenders organized by Societatea Complexul Energetic (...)

The German Competition Authority announces that the world’s biggest search engine and its holding company are subject to an extended abuse control by the Authority (Google / Alphabet)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Alphabet/Google subject to new abuse control applicable to large digital companies – Bundeskartellamt determines “paramount significance across markets”* The Bundeskartellamt has delivered its decision that Alphabet Inc., Mountain View, USA, and therefore also its subsidiary Google, is subject to (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines a German supermarket for forcing suppliers to accept unfavourable contract terms, applying unfair retrospective discounts and mislabelling products to suggest domestic production (Kaufland Polska Markety)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Decisions of the President of UOKiK on Kaufland* Kaufland Polska Markety required suppliers to reduce the price of agricultural and food products after their sale, unfairly using its contractual advantage. Moreover, it misled consumers as to the country of origin of the vegetables. The (...)

The German Competition Authority determines that a Big Tech company is of paramount significance for competition across markets (Google / Alphabet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 5 January 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has decided that Alphabet Inc., including its subsidiary Google (“Google”), is of paramount significance for competition across markets pursuant to Section 19a of the German Act against Restraints of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a mining company for alleged abuse of dominance by excessive pricing (Kalpit Sultania / IREL)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS The thrust of the definition of the term ‘enterprise’ under the Act is on the economic nature of the activities discharged by the entity concerned. BRIEF FACTS An information was filed by Mr. Kalpit Sultania (“Informant”) against IREL (India) Ltd. (“IREL/OP”) alleging abuse of (...)

Mergers

The Australian Competition Authority issues a determination allowing joint marketing arrangements amongst the four owners of a gas field (Central Petroleum / Macquarie Mereenie / New Zealand Oil and Gas / Cue Energy)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mereenie gas field joint venture allowed to jointly market gas* The ACCC has today issued a determination allowing joint marketing arrangements between the four owners of the Mereenie gas field in the Northern Territory. It is located in the Amadeus Basin, approximately 250 km west of Alice (...)

The EU Commission, along with the German and UK Competition Authorities clears the acquisition of a provider of customer relationship management software by a Big Tech company (Meta / Kustomer)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (London)
On 27 January 2022, the Commission conditionally cleared Meta’s (formerly Facebook) acquisition of Kustomer, a small, innovative customer relationship manager (“CRM”) software creator. In a parallel process, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) cleared the same transaction with regard to Germany (...)

The EU Commission clears the merger between a Big Tech company and a provider of customer service and support CRM software, subject to conditions (Meta / Kustomer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook), subject to conditions* The European Commission has today approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook). The approval is conditional on full compliance with (...)

The US FTC announces that it will increase the Hart-­Scott-­Rodino Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds
Morgan Lewis (New York)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission announced on January 24 that it will increase the Hart-­Scott-­Rodino Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. Any transaction closing on or after February 23, 2022 will be subject to the revised thresholds. The new rules include an increase in the “size of (...)

The US FTC approves a final order requiring northeast supermarkets to sell 12 stores as a condition of a merger (Price Chopper / Tops Market)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Northeast Supermarkets Price Chopper and Tops Market Corp. to Sell 12 Stores as a Condition of Merger* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the merger of New York-based supermarket (...)

The US FTC announces the revised thresholds for determining whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act
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)
On January 24, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the revised thresholds for determining whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act). If a proposed (...)

The US FTC announces annual changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act notification thresholds
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
On January 21, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act notification thresholds. The FTC is required by law to revise the jurisdictional thresholds annually, based on the change in gross national product. Accordingly, the 2022 (...)

The US FTC announces annual changes to the thresholds for the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
On January 21, 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the thresholds for the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the “HSR Act”). The official publication is expected to be released in the Federal Register on January 24, 2022. (...)

The US FTC announces revised Hart-Scott-Rodino filing thresholds as required by the Act based on the change in the US gross national product
Shuttleworth & Ingersoll (Iowa)
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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (St. Louis)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington)
Takeaways The new minimum HSR “Size of Transaction” threshold is increasing from $92 million to $101 million. New thresholds apply to transactions closing on or after February 23, 2022. This $9 million increase is the largest ever annual adjustment to the minimum HSR “Size of Transaction” (...)

The US FTC announces changes to the thresholds for the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act
Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (New York)
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Dechert (Washington)
Key Takeaways Following a pandemic-induced decline in 2021, higher dollar thresholds in 2022 reflect renewed growth in economic activity during the past year. Annual adjustments to dollar-based HSR reporting thresholds expected to go into effect on or about February 23, 2022. Similar upward (...)

The US FTC publishes the annual jurisdictional adjustments for pre-merger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act which will take effect in the next 30 days
Hogan Lovells (Northern Virginia)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 24 January 2022 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published the annual jurisdictional adjustments for premerger notification filings made pursuant to Section 7A of the Clayton Act, known as the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act), in the Federal Register. The new (...)

The US FTC announces new higher HSR filing and interlocking directorate thresholds with higher civil penalties
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
,
Covington & Burling (Washington)
Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published revised thresholds for the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) Act, which will take effect on February 23, 2022. Earlier, the FTC also announced new thresholds for Section 8 of the Clayton Act, which governs interlocking directorates. Each of these (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority unconditionally approves the takeover of an automobile spare parts import and distribution company by an automobile spare parts wholesaler (Augsburg / Autonet)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council approved the taking over of Augsburg International Impex SRL by Autonet Group Holding* The Competition Council approved the transaction by which Autonet Group Holding AG, Switzerland, takes over Augsburg International Impex SRL. Autonet Group Holding AG, Switzerland, (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority unconditionally clears the merger of two regional supermarkets (Studenac / Pemo)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA clears STUDENAC/PEMO merger* The Croatian Competition Agency cleared in phase I the concentration between the undertakings in the form of the acquisition of a direct controlling interest on the permanent basis over the undertaking Pemo, by the undertaking Studenac. This horizontal merger (...)

The Luxembourg Government initiates a public consultation procedure regarding the potential introduction of a national merger control regime
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
The Luxembourg Ministry of Economy initiated a public consultation procedure regarding the potential introduction of a national merger control regime in Luxembourg. On 20 January 2022, the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy initiated a public consultation procedure regarding the potential (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves the acquisition of the Asian marketing subsidiary of a major pharmaceutical company by its UK and global healthcare subsidiaries (GSK Healthcare Overseas / GSK Healthcare UK / GSK Asia)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
,
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Overseas Limited (“GSK Healthcare overseas”) and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare UK Trading Limited (“GSK Healthcare UK”), (collectively referred to as “Acquirers”) are wholly owned subsidiaries of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings (No.2) Limited (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation approves 2 transactions subject to a number of remedies, including requiring the merged entity to divest a part of its business and commit to supply customers on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (Siltronic / GlobalWafers) (AMD / Xilinx)
Ashurst (Singapore)
,
Ashurst (Abū Dhabī)
In January 2022, the State Administration of Market Regulation ("SAMR") conditionally approved two merger transactions in the technology sector - the acquisition of Siltronic AG by Global Wafers and the acquisition of Xilinx by Advanced Micro Devices. These two cases demonstrate SAMR’s ongoing (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority files proceedings against software company for continuing with merger thought likely to substantially lessen competition (Objective Corporation / Master Business Systems)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission files proceedings against software company for breach of Commerce Act* The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings in the High Court in Wellington against software company Objective Corporation Limited (Objective) for contravening section 47 of the Commerce Act, which prohibits (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives a clearance application in relation to the proposed acquisition of a medical device distributor (EBOS Medical Devices / LifeHealthcare)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
EBOS seeks clearance to acquire the New Zealand LifeHealthcare business* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application in relation to the proposed acquisition by EBOS Medical Devices Australia Pty Limited (EBOS) of the New Zealand LifeHealthcare business. EBOS distributes human (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between a furniture purchasing cooperation and a leading furniture retailer after they extensively modified their plans (KHG / Begros)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
The Krieger/Höffner Group (KHG) can join Begros furniture purchasing cooperation after extensive modifications to its plans* KHG GmbH & Co. KG, Schönefeld (Krieger/Höffner Group) can join the furniture purchasing cooperation, Bedarfsgüter Großhandelsgesellschaft für Wohnung GmbH, Oberhausen (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates an inquiry in the waste management sector to examine whether a recycling management company can be obliged to notify future takeovers of smaller companies (Rethmann Group / Remondis)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rethmann Group / Remondis: Bundeskartellamt examines preconditions for extended obligation to notify future takeovers (Section 39a German Competition Act, GWB)* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a further sector inquiry in the waste management sector. The authority is going to examine whether (...)

The US FTC and DoJ launch a joint public inquiry into the agencies’ horizontal and vertical merger guidelines to decipher whether the guidelines properly implement the statutory ban on transactions that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly
Covington & Burling (Washington)
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Covington & Burling (Washington)
,
Covington & Burling (Washington)
Tuesday, January 18th, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) launched a joint public inquiry regarding the agencies’ horizontal and vertical merger guidelines. As part of this inquiry, the agencies are soliciting public comment via a Request (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority unconditionally approves the takeover of an infertility diagnosis medical center by a clinical and paraclinical medical center (Life Line / Unirea)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition council approved the taking over of life line-medical center S.R.L by Unirea medical center S.R.L* The Competition Council approved the transaction through which Centrul Medical Unirea S.R.L. takes over Life Line - Medical Center S.R.L. Unirea Medical Center is the operator (...)

The US DoJ and FTC announce a joint effort to modernize the horizontal and vertical federal merger guidelines
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
,
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 18 January 2022 the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a press conference to announce a joint effort to modernize the horizontal and vertical federal merger guidelines “to better detect and prevent illegal, anticompetitive deals in today’s modern markets.” FTC (...)

The US FTC and the DoJ announce a joint initiative to conduct a comprehensive analysis of their merger guidelines
Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Washington)
On Jan. 18, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice announced a joint initiative to conduct a comprehensive analysis of their merger guidelines. The initiative is likely to further ratchet up merger enforcement with the most significant impact on digital mergers, mergers (...)

The US FTC and DoJ launch a joint public inquiry aimed at strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Seek to Strengthen Enforcement Against Illegal Mergers* Agencies Launch Joint Public Inquiry Aimed at Modernizing Merger Guidelines to Better Detect and Prevent Anticompetitive Deals WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the (...)

The US FTC and DoJ announce plans to review and update merger guidelines in order to strengthen enforcement against illegal mergers
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
On Tuesday, January 18th, FTC Chair Lina Khan and DOJ Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter held a joint press conference in which they announced ambitious plans to review and update the Merger Guidelines, targeting a release of new guidelines before the end of 2022. (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives merger clearance notification for merger between two concrete additives manufacturing and supply companies (Sika / MBCC)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Sika seeks clearance to acquire MBCC Group* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application for Sika AG to acquire the MBCC Group. Sika and MBCC manufacture and supply additives (known as "chemical admixtures") that are used to modify the performance characteristics of concrete, (...)

The US FTC and DoJ announce a joint public inquiry related to the federal merger guidelines with the goal of strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
On Jan. 18, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced a joint public inquiry related to the federal merger guidelines, with the goal of “strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers.” Members of the public are encouraged to (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the surface drainage sector (ACO / BIRCO)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt prohibits merger in the surface drainage sector: ACO and BIRCO cannot merge* The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited the planned takeover of BIRCO GmbH based in Baden-Baden (“BIRCO“) by ACO Ahlmann SE & Co. KG based in Büdelsdorf (“ACO“). Both companies are particularly active in (...)

The EU Commission prohibits a merger between two South Korean shipbuilders as it would have created a dominant position for the newly merged company and reduced competition in the worldwide market for the construction of large liquefied gas carriers (DSME / HHIH)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission prohibits proposed acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering by Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings* The European Commission has prohibited, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering CO., Ltd (DSME) by (...)

The EU Commission prohibits the proposed merger between two shipbuilding companies (Hyundai Heavy Industries / Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 January 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to prohibit Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ (“HHIH”) acquisition of rival Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd (“DSME”). The Commission was concerned that the transaction would give (...)

The US FTC approves a final order settling charges that a dialysis service provider’s acquisition of clinics would reduce competition in vital outpatient dialysis services in the Utah market (DaVita)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Imposing Strict Limits on Future Mergers by Dialysis Service Provider DaVita, Inc* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that dialysis service provider DaVita, Inc.’s acquisition of the University of (...)

The US FTC approves a final order settling charges that a merger between two pharmaceutical companies harmed competition in the markets for an antibiotic used to treat infections and an oral steroid product used to treat inflammation (ANI Pharmaceuticals / Novitium Pharma)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Generic Drug Marketers ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Novitium Pharma LLC to Divest Rights and Assets to Generic Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim Oral Suspension and Generic Dexamethasone Tablets* Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens a Phase I investigation into a transcription software merger in the healthcare market (Microsoft / Nuance)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Anticipated acquisition by Microsoft Corporation of Nuance Communications Inc.* Notice under section 96(2a) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) published pursuant to section 107(1)(I) of the Act The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) hereby gives notice pursuant to section 96(2A) of (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives merger clearance notification for the acquisition of a tourism company by an international tourism company (Camplify / THL)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Camplify seeks clearance to acquire THL’s Mighway and SHAREaCAMPER* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Camplify Co (NZ) Limited, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Camplify Holdings Limited, to acquire the New Zealand assets and business of Tourism Holdings Limited’s (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives merger clearance notification for merger between two telecommunication service providers (Vocus / 2degrees)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Clearance sought for Vocus / 2degrees merger* The Commerce Commission has received an application for clearance in relation to a transaction that would see the merger of the Vocus Group with 2degrees. Vocus and 2degrees are both telecommunications providers that primarily supply retail fixed (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority approves, subject to conditions, the creation of a joint venture in the wholesale distribution and transport of periodical publications sector (Boyacá / SGEL)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC approves the conditions for creating a joint venture between Boyacá and SGEL* The transaction affects the wholesale distribution and transport in Spain of periodical publications. The venturers must comply with certain conditions imposed by the CNMC, most of which they had offered (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal grants permission to a leading digital rights organisation to intervene in the application brought by a Big Tech company regarding a merger decision (Meta / Giphy)
Hausfeld (London)
Global NGO Privacy International, represented by Hausfeld, was granted permission by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to intervene in the application brought by Meta Platforms, Inc. (Meta) pursuant to s. 120 of the Enterprise Act 2002 for review of the Competition and Markets Authority (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority authorizes an acquisition of sole control in the retail distribution of vehicles (Neologic / Montalt)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
Gm Neologic, S.L.U. (Neologic) acquired sole control of Grupo Montalt Servicar, S.L. (Montalt).* On January 4, 2022, the CNMC authorised the operation consisting of the acquisition of sole control by Gm Neologic, S.L.U. (Neologic) of Grupo Montalt Servicar, S.L. (Montalt). Neologic is the (...)

The UK Competition Authority updates its foreign investment review regime
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
On 4 January 2022, the new UK foreign investment review regime under the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NSI Act) came into force. The new rules require businesses and investors to submit mandatory notifications for certain acquisitions of, and investments in, companies active in 17 (...)

The UK Competiton Authory updates its merger guidance in light of the National Security and Investment Act
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The NSI Act replaces the system of discretionary public interest intervention in mergers by the UK government under the UK Enterprise Act and creates a new mandatory notification system operated by the Investment Security Unit (ISU), part of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into German support measures in favour of a cargo company (DB Cargo)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into German support measures in favour of DB Cargo* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether certain German support measures in favour of DB Cargo are in line with EU State aid rules. DB Cargo is a 100% (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves the renewal and amendments to Norwegian aid scheme for lost inventory amidst the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves renewal and amendments to Norwegian aid scheme for lost inventory* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved amendments and renewal of a Norwegian scheme compensating undertakings for spoiled inventory that can no longer be sold or used. The (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that compensatory payments may be categorised as State aid and must comply with relevant de minimis regulations (Satini-S / aizsardzības pārvalde)
Maastricht University
Compensation for Damage and De Minimis Aid* Compensation for damage caused by protected animals is State aid. Member States may categorise compensatory payments as de minimis aid and refuse to make payments in excess of the de minimis threshold. Introduction Advantage in the meaning of (...)

The EU Commission approves a €3.8B Italian scheme under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support the deployment of a fast fibre internet provider
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €3.8 billion Italian scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support deployment of Gigabit networks* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €3.8 billion Italian scheme made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a €5.4 million in compensation to a Norwegian indoor arena for financial losses caused by COVID-19 related restrictions (Trondheim Spektrum) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves compensation to Trondheim Spektrum AS* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved NOK 5.4 million (EUR 540 000) in compensation to Trondheim Spektrum AS for financial losses caused by COVID-19 related restrictions. Trondheim Spektrum is a (...)

The EU Commission approves a restructuring aid of up to around €2.7 billion for a Romanian power company (Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves restructuring aid of up to around €2.7 billion for Romanian power company Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Romania’s plans to grant power company Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA (‘CE Oltenia’) (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves a continued and increased support to long-distance bus and passenger boat services in Norway in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves continued and increased support to long-distance bus and passenger boat services in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a renewal of and amendments to a Norwegian scheme to compensate operators of long-distance bus and passenger boat (...)

The EU Court of Justice overturns the ruling of the EU General Court paving the pay for infringement proceedings against the UK for breaching the principle of sincere cooperation (Micula)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) delivered its judgment in the long-running Micula case. Despite being issued by the highest EU Court, the ruling did not put an end to this long-standing saga, as the ECJ annulled the previous judgment of the General Court (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves an Icelandic tax-deferral scheme for the restaurant sector in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves Icelandic tax-deferral scheme for the restaurant sector* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved an Icelandic tax-referral scheme that allows eligible businesses in the restaurant sector to defer payroll tax payments and social security (...)

The EU Court of Justice finds that the General Court erred in law when finding the Commission incompetent to examine, in the light of the law on State aid, the compensation paid to Swedish investors by Romania in implementation of an arbitral award (Micula)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The General Court erred in law in finding that the Commission lacked competence to examine, in the light of the law on State aid, the compensation paid to Swedish investors by Romania in implementation of an arbitral award* While that award had upheld the argument of those investors that that (...)

The UK Government publishes an illustrative guidance on the future operation of its subsidy control regime
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
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White & Case (London)
The Subsidy Control Bill (the "SCB"), first introduced by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (the "BEIS") on 30 June 2021, is making its way through the House of Lords ahead of expected adoption in 2022. In the interim, on 25 January 2022, the UK government published a (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves the renewal of an Icelandic support scheme for businesses
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves renewal of Icelandic support scheme for businesses* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved the renewal of and amendments to an Icelandic aid scheme offering resilience grants to eligible companies and self-employed individuals. The resilience (...)

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

The EU General Court orders Greece to pay a lump sum of €5.5B and a penalty payment of €4.37B for failure to recover wrongful State aid granted to a mining company (Larco)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
Greece is ordered to make a lump sum payment of €5 500 000 and periodic penalty payments of over €4 000 000 for every six months’ delay for failure to recover State aid granted to Larco* The Court first declared that Greece had failed to fulfil its obligations in a judgment delivered in 2017 (...)

The EU Commission approves a 2022-2027 regional aid map for Austria
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Austria* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Austria’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 General Court rules that the Commission may not reopen a formal investigation procedure after the annulment of the Commission’s decision when the basis of annulment lies in the error of law or manifest error of assessment (Loutraki Kazino)
Maastricht University
The Commission Need not Always Open the Formal Investigation Procedure before Correcting a Faulty Decision* The formal investigation procedure need not be re-opened when the fault lies in the legal assessment of the measure in question. Introduction This article examines when the Commission (...)

The EU Commission approves a €20 million Spanish scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support deployment of intelligent transportation systems
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €20 million Spanish scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support deployment of intelligent transportation systems* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €20 million Spanish scheme made available through the Recovery and (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on proposed revision of EU State aid rules for agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission invites comments on proposed revision of EU State aid rules for agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors* The European Commission is inviting all interested parties to comment on proposed revised State aid rules for the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors. The (...)

The EU Commission Commission approves a €24 million Hungarian investment aid to a manufacturing company’s extension of its battery copper foil plant (Volta Energy Solutions)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €24 million Hungarian investment aid to Volta Energy Solutions’ battery copper foil plant* The European Commission has found Hungary’s €24 million investment aid to Volta Energy Solutions for the extension of a battery copper foil plant in the Hungarian region of (...)

The EU Commission approves a 2022-2027 regional aid map for Greece
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for Greece* The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Greece’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, (...)

Procedures

The US DoJ antitrust Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter signals a more aggressive stance in national antitrust enforcement
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
In remarks delivered on January 18, 2022, and January 24, 2022, Jonathan Kanter, the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, laid out the areas where he perceives shortcomings in antitrust enforcement. These speeches signaled that the (...)

The Regional Court of Stuttgart finds bundled cartel damages claims through a legal services provider to be inadmissible (German State of Baden-Württemberg)
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
,
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
1. Background In Germany, the discussion about the admissibility of enforcing bundled and assigned cartel damages claims via a legal services provider enters the next round. As Germany does not offer claimants a true US- or UK-style class action regime claimants will seek alternative ways to (...)

The EU General Court awards a telecommunications company €1.8 million in damages, finding that the Commission had wrongly refused to pay default interest on the portion of a fine that the company had initially paid for an infringement of competition rules (Deutsche Telekom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 19 January 2022, the General Court of the European Union (“Court”) awarded Deutsche Telekom AG (“DT”) € 1.8 million in damages, finding that the European Commission (“Commission”) had wrongly refused to pay default interest on the portion of a fine that DT had initially paid for an (...)

The EU General Court awards €1.8M compensation in favour of a German telecommunications company against the EU Commission for failure to repay default interest due from wrongful assessment of abuse of dominant position in the Slovak market for broadband (Deutsche Telekom)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court awards Deutsche Telekom compensation in the amount of approximately € 1.8 million for the harm which it suffered as a result of the European Commission’s refusal to pay it default interest on the amount of the fine which it had unduly paid for an infringement of competition (...)

The US State of Delaware Chancery Court authorizes class-action claims of breach of fiduciary duty to proceed against a SPAC’s controlling shareholder and directors (Churchill Capital Corp. III / MultiPlan)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York)
In one of the first opinions addressing fiduciary duty claims in the context of a transaction involving a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), the Delaware Court of Chancery determined that the SPAC shareholders’ right to redeem can be undermined by insufficient disclosures regarding the (...)

Regulatory

The Greek Government transposes the ECN+ Directive into its national law by amending the Greek Competition Act
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
,
Kyriakides Georgopoulos (Athens)
The new Law 4886/2022 ‘on the Modernisation of Competition Law for the Digital Era’, substantially amends the Greek Competition Act (Law 3959/2011) On 24 January 2022 the new Law 4886/2022 (GG A’ 12/24.01.2022) entered into effect amending the Greek Competition Act and transposing Directive (EU) (...)

The EU Parliament adopts the amended draft of the Digital Services Act with several last-minute changes
Hogan Lovells (Hamburg)
,
Hogan Lovells (Hamburg)
In December 2020, the EU Commission had published its first draft for the Digital Services Act (DSA) – laying the foundations for its ambitious plan to reshape Europe’s digital future. The proposed legislation will bring a comprehensive package of harmonized rules for the Internet economy across (...)

The UK Competition Authority updates its guidance as the National Security and Investment Act enters into force
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (London)
The UK’s new National Security and Investment Act (“NSIA”) entered into force on January 4, 2022. The NSIA marks a considerable change in the UK’s investment screening powers and adds to an increasingly complex European and global landscape of investment regulation (or FDI) filings necessary for (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates first proceedings under the new Trade Act aiming to expand consumer choice of beverages in the catering sector (KFC / Burger King / Heineken / Dreher/ Borsodi)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH started the new year with 5 proceedings at a time - increased supervision over the procurement of beverages in the catering sector* 6 January 2022, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority has launched its firsts proceedings to enforce provisions of the Trade Act related to the (...)

The UK Competition Authority introduces a new investment screening regime which significantly enhances the Government’s powers to intervene in transactions on the grounds that they could threaten national security
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
The UK’s National Security and Investment Act (the NSI Act), which came into force on 4 January 2022, introduced a new investment screening regime which significantly enhances the Government’s powers to intervene in transactions on grounds that they could threaten the UK’s national security. (...)

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