July 2020

General antitrust

The Canadian Competition Authority invites public comments for its market study of the digital health sector
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Canada’s health care sector: have a say on how to support innovation and choice* The Competition Bureau is inviting Canadians to share their views on factors that may be impeding access to digital health care, or limiting innovation and choice in Canada’s health care sector. This feedback will (...)

The Irish Competition Authority releases its 2019 annual report
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC Publishes 2019 Annual Report* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today published our 2019 Annual Report. The report details the work of the CCPC in 2019 and highlights the impactful and varied role which the organisation plays across the economy. Isolde Goggin (...)

The US House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law holds hearings of a multinational online retail platform for antitrust claims (Amazon / Google / Apple / Facebook)
Bona Law (Detroit)
Big Tech Hearings: What Do They Tell Us About Amazon and Antitrust?* The U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee’s recent hearings into “big tech” and antitrust were “must see TV” for antitrust attorneys. Over the five hours of testimony, many interesting questions were asked (...)

The French Government temporarily reduces the threshold for review of non-EU/EEA investments in French listed companies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
On July 23, 2020, the French Government published a Decree and a Ministerial Order to temporarily reduce the threshold for review of nonEU/EEA investments in French listed companies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As explained by the French Minister for the Economy, “[w]hile most (...)

The French Government issues interim rules on certain foreign investments in response to COVID-19 Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Paris)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Paris)
On July 23, 2020, the French government issued decree nº 2020-892 of July 22, 2020 (the Decree), and a ministerial order of the same date (together, the Interim Rules), which lowered the applicable threshold that triggers French foreign investment control for investments by non-European (...)

The BRICS Competition Authorities issue a statement on COVID-19
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Heads of the BRICS Competition Authorities of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa issued a Statement on COVID-19. The Authorities noted the significant impact of the pandemic on all aspects of global economic stability, especially in developing countries and recognised the (...)

The UK Competition Authority takes part in a paper exploring the consequences for competition of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
How should competition policy react to coronavirus?* IPPR has today published a paper by CMA Chairman Andrew Tyrie, discussing how competition policy can contribute to a robust and sustainable post-crisis recovery. The paper - How should competition policy react to coronavirus? - explores (...)

The German Government further tightens its national foreign direct investment screening regime and introduces sanction mechanisms for non-compliance (AWG)
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
The updated German Foreign Trade and Payments Act enters into effect on July 17 and is the second of three major steps planned for 2020 to reform Germany’s foreign direct investment regime. The updated German Foreign Trade and Payments Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz (AWG)) includes the necessary (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things for consumer-related products and services in the EU
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Sector inquiry launched into the Internet of Things On 16 July 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things ("IoT") for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The inquiry complements other actions (...)

The EU Commissions launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The inquiry will focus on "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device, including smart home appliances and wearable devices". Consumer-related IoT products and services in the (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things (IoT)
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In brief The European Commission (Commission) has launched a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things (IoT). This marks the start of an intensive information gathering process in which hundreds of companies will be asked for information (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 July 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the market for the Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. According to the Commission, the sector inquiry will focus on consumer-related products and services (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer-related devices and services that are connected through a network and can be controlled wirelessly (IoT)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On July 16, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device." Commission (...)

The EU Commission initiates inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things sector
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The European Commission (“Commission”) has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the Internet of Things (“IoT”) sector for consumer-related products and services within the European Union. The Commission is looking to develop a better understanding of how this fast-moving sector works and some (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its annual report 2019/2020
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes Annual Report 2019/2020* The CMA has published its Annual Report, highlighting the wide range of work the UK competition and consumer authority has carried out in the past year. Throughout the year, the CMA delivered a substantial volume of work to ensure effective enforcement (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority calls for multiple national regulators to adopt measures to increase competition in the gasoline markets
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
The implementation of regulation in gasoline markets should incentivize competition in order to reduce its final price to the public: COFECE* The Commission issued an opinion where it proposes that SENER, SE, CRE and CONAMER adopt measures to increase competition in the gasoline markets. The (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority carries out an in-depth investigation into the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the markets for basic food commodities Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
In-depth investigation into the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the markets for basic food commodities * The Hellenic Competition Commission ("HCC"), acting within its powers, systematically investigates and monitors financial data for various sectors, in particular relating to basic consumer (...)

The German Competition Authority opens a sector inquiry into publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Sector inquiry on publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a sector inquiry on the provision and marketing of publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “In (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority offers more leeway for environmental sustainability initiatives with competition law
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
Introduction On 9 July 2020 the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (‘ACM’) published its draft sustainability guidelines (‘Draft Guidelines’) containing ACM’s proposed approach of assessing the compatibility of sustainability initiatives with competition law. A new feature in the Draft (...)

The Italian Competition Authority provides feedback on the governmental report regarding the development of ultra-wideband fixed and mobile telecommunication infrastructure, with a view to promoting investment and competition
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
S3904 - ICA: removing obstacles to the development of the ultra-wide bands. Report to Parliament, the Government, AGCOM and ANCI* At the meeting of the 1st July 2020, the Italian Competition Authority [Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato] decided to address a report to the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority reports to Parliament and the Government on the Relaunch Decree related to COVID-19 Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
S3940 - ICA: report to Parliament and the Government on Relaunch Decree issues At the meeting held on the 1st July 2020, the Authority resolved, pursuant to article 21 of Italian Law no. 287/1990, to report certain provisions of Italian Decree Law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 on Urgent measures (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority completes public consultation in the context of its sector inquiry into basic consumer goods and supermarkets
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC sector inquiry into basic consumer goods (supermarkets): public consultation and teleconference* The Hellenic Competition Commission (‘HCC’) in the context of its sector inquiry into basic consumer goods (supermarkets) has successfully completed its teleconference/public consultation with (...)

The UK Competition Authority calls for a new regime regulating tech giants
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
New regime needed to take on tech giants* The CMA is calling on the government to introduce a new pro-competition regulatory regime to tackle Google and Facebook’s market power. The dynamic nature of digital advertising markets and the types of concerns identified by the Competition and (...)

The German Competition Authority demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs within the scope of its competencies in the area of consumer protection* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published the final report on its sector inquiry into smart TVs. Smart TVs are web-enabled TV (...)

The UK Competition Authority seeks new regulatory regime for digital markets following its market study
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
On 1 July 2020, the UK Competition & Markets Authority ("CMA") published its final report following a 12-month market study into online platforms and digital advertising in the UK (the "Final Report"). The Final Report concludes that, due to the dynamic nature of digital advertising, (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at online platforms focussed on digital advertising and signals a new path for UK clampdown on big techs due to the current inadequate competition law toolkit
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a statement outlining a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at Google and Facebook, focussed on digital advertising. This follows the release of the CMA’s report on digital advertising and online platforms the same (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes its final sector inquiry report on smart TVs
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published the final report on the sector inquiry on smart TVs which revealed serious transparency shortcomings in the privacy policies of all major market players in Germany. The FCO concluded that almost all smart TV manufacturers active (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its final report on online platforms and digital marketing and calls for a new pro-competitive regulatory regime
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its final report on its year-long market study into online platforms and the digital advertising market in the UK. The CMA found that existing competition law tools are not suitable for ensuring effective competition in (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a statement outlining a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at tech giants (Google / Facebook)
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a statement outlining a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at Google and Facebook, focused on digital advertising. This follows the release of the CMA’s report on digital advertising and online platforms the same day. (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Polish Competition Authority publishes guidelines on sanctions for companies and their managers for implementing anticompetitive agreements
Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
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Bird & Bird (Warsaw)
The Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Act foresees that sanctions for implementing anticompetitive agreements may be imposed on companies and their managers. In fact, managers who have intentionally permitted their company to engage in such practices can face a fine of up to PLN 2 (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a market consultation to assess the proposal of a company in the toy retail sector to modify its pricing policy (Lego)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Lego proposes commitments to the Autorité to modify its pricing policy* The Autorité launches a market consultation to assess this proposal. Cdiscount and EMC Distribution (Casino Group’s reference listing offices) lodged a complaint with the Autorité de la concurrence regarding practices (...)

The Australian Competition Authority proposes to continue to allow airlines to cooperate on regional routes due to COVID-19 pandemic
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to continue to allow airlines to cooperate on regional routes* Regional Express Pty Ltd (Rex) will be allowed to continue to coordinate flight schedules with Qantas and Virgin Australia on 10 regional routes (the relevant routes) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an (...)

The UK Competition Authority consults on amending guidance on applications for leniency and no-action in cartel cases
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The CMA’s Guidance on applications for leniency and no-action in cartel cases provides detailed guidance on the principles and process for leniency applications. On 30 July 2020, the CMA invited comments on a proposed addendum to clarify the way the CMA will exercise its discretion in relation (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues a statement of objections to six waste management companies for non-competition agreement (Blueotter / EGEO)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to six waste management companies for non-competition agreement* The AdC issued a Statement of Objections to six companies and six board members of the waste management groups Blueotter and EGEO with respect to a non-competition agreement, forbidden by (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority reaches a settlement in equine air freight price-fixing proceeding (IRT Partnership)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Settlement reached in equine air freight price-fixing proceeding* A settlement has been reached with the International Racehorse Transport New Zealand Partnership (IRT Partnership) in a price fixing case arising from an arrangement between IRT Partnership and its competitor for the provision (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority invites feedback on updated Competitor Collaboration Guidelines
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau invites feedback on updated Competitor Collaboration Guidelines* The Competition Bureau has published a draft version of its revised Competitor Collaboration Guidelines and invites interested parties to provide their comments no later than September 28, 2020. In today’s (...)

The Greek Competition Authority fines two furniture companies for bid rigging a public hospital’s tender, but reduces their fines for cooperation in the case (Papanastasiou / Pichas)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Decision on the ex-officio investigation in the furniture and professional equipment market (703/2020)* The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), in plenary, adopted a unanimous decision following the simplified Settlement Procedure according to article 25a of Law 3959/2011 and Decision no. (...)

The Egyptian Competition Authority publishes guidelines for obtaining amnesty or leniency from criminal prosecution for antitrust cartel violations
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Cairo)
The Egyptian Competition Authority recently published the first Egyptian guidelines on the process for obtaining amnesty or leniency from criminal prosecution for antitrust cartel violations, signaling the agency’s intent to activate this tool in future enforcement activities. The guidelines (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority reports that smaller businesses, especially in the transport sector, are less aware of competition rules
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Smaller businesses in particular lag behind in their awareness of distortion of competition* Most companies that are active in the Dutch ports and in port-related markets say they comply with the rules on fair competition. Yet, smaller companies in particular do not know the rules very well. (...)

The US DoJ issues a letter for monoclonal antibody manufacturers to expand their production during the COVID-19 pandemic and allows exchange of information
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Department Of Justice Issues Business Review Letter To Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturers To Expedite And Increase The Production Of Covid-19 Mab Treatments* The United States Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge proposed efforts by Eli Lilly and Company, AbCellera (...)

The US DoJ charges sixth pharmaceutical company for fixing prices, allocating customers a bid-rigging in the ongoing investigation into the generic pharmaceutical industry (Taro Pharmaceuticals)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Sixth Pharmaceutical Company Charged In Ongoing Criminal Antitrust Investigation* Fifth Company to Admit It Fixed Prices of Generic Drugs Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (Taro U.S.A.) has been charged for conspiring to fix prices, allocate customers, and rig bids for generic drugs, the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation on two giant tech companies for implementing a competition-restricting agreement (Apple / Amazon)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation launched against Apple and Amazon for banning the sale of Apple- and Beats-branded products to retailers who do not join the official programme* Italian Competition Authority launched an investigation pursuant to Article 101 TFUE against the companies in the Apple Inc. and (...)

The Israel Competition Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s instruction prohibiting an importer from reporting to multinational consumer products company on parallel imports of the company’s toothpaste (Schestowitz / Colgate-Palmolive)
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an instruction of the Director-General, which prohibits Schestowitz from reporting to Colgate-Palmolive on parallel imports of Colgate toothpaste* The Competition Tribunal granted the force of a judgment to a new instruction of the Director-General to (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates on services for maritime passenger transportation (State of Quintana Roo)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates competition conditions in the services for maritime passenger transportation in routes with origin and/or destination in the northern zone of the state of Quintana Roo* On July 13, 2020, the Investigative Authority agreed that in the said market it is necessary to determine (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines roofing contractors for bid-rigging (Schadenberg / Van Venrooy)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Roofing contractors fined for distortion of competition in tender process* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined two roofing contractors for distorting competition in a tender process. An Amsterdam-based firm wanted to get the best price for a roof renovation (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority implements regulation authorising agreements and decisions on market stabilisation measures in the wine sector due to COVID-19 Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
Commission Implementing Regulation in the wine sector* Commission Implementing Regulation authorising agreements and decisions on market stabilisation measures in the wine sector The European Commission adopted an additional package of exceptional measures to support the wine sector, (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes € 93 million fine on cartel in ham and cold meat sector (Charcuterie cartel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 July 2020, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a € 93 million fine on twelve ham and cold meats manufacturers (Cooperl Arc Atlantique, Les Mousquetaires, Fleury Michon, Coop, Savencia, Campofrio, Aubret, Sonical, La Financiere du Haut Pays, CA Animation, Nestle, Salaison du (...)

The French Competition Authority fines twelve undertakings for taking part in a double-sided cold meat cartel (Charcuterie cartel)
Ashurst (Paris)
The French Competition Authority ("FCA") has fined twelve undertakings involved in a cartel at multiple levels of the ham and cold meats sector. On 16 July 2020, the FCA issued a decision (n°20-D-09) imposing fines to 12 undertakings which were party to a cartel in the ham and cold meats sector (...)

The French Competition Authority fines 12 manufacturers for cartel in the ham and cold meat sector (Charcuterie cartel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité hands out fines worth 93 million euros to a cartel in the ham and cold meats (charcuterie) sector* The manufactures involved (“cold meat manufacturers”) worked in concert in order to purchase cuts of ham from slaughterhouses at lower prices and/or were fixing the price increases for (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statement of objections to 4 telecom undertakings for cartel agreement to limit competition in online advertising (MEO / NOS / NOWO / Vodafone)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC issues Statement of Objections to MEO, NOS, NOWO and Vodafone for cartel to limit competition in online advertising* The AdC issued a Statement of Objections to the telecommunications operators MEO - Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia (MEO), NOS Comunicações, SA, NOWO - Communications, SA (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s right to continue inspection at Brussels premises in Power Cables cartel case (Nexans)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) delivered a judgment dismissing the appeal by Nexans France and its parent company Nexans (together “Nexans”) against the judgment of the General Court of the European Union (the “GC”) in the Power Cables cartel case. By way of (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines national transport safety administration for extending contracts with 42 service providers without a competitive procedure (Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Contract Extensions With Passenger Road Transport Service Providers Without a Competitive Procedure Restricted Competition* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has found that the Lithuanian transport safety administration (LTSA) infringed the Law on Competition when it (...)

The Australian Competition Authority proposes to allow supermarkets to continue cooperating on grocery supply during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC proposes to allow supermarkets to continue cooperating on grocery supply* Supermarket operators will be able to continue working together until March 2021 to ensure the continued supply of food and groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the ACCC’s draft determination. “The ACCC (...)

The German Competition Authority allows cooperation between competing breweries in the production of Kölsch type of beer specific to the local market in Cologne due to resulting efficiency gains in production (Radeberger / Früh)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
No objections to cooperation between Radeberger and Früh for the production of Kölsch* The Bundeskartellamt has today announced that a cooperation between the Radeberger Group KG (“Radeberger“) and Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG (“Früh”) for the production of Kölsch can been deemed to fulfil the legal (...)

The EU Commission fines ethylene purchasers €260 million in cartel settlement (Orbia / Clariant / Calanese / Westlake)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had adopted a decision fin‐ ing three ethylene purchasers a total of € 260,443,000. The companies concerned namely, Orbia (Mexico), Clari‐ ant (Switzerland), Calanese (United States) and Westlake (United States), were (...)

The EU Commission fines ethylene purchasers €260 million in cartel settlement for colluding to buy at the lowest possible price (Orbia / Clariant / Celanese / Westlake)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines ethylene purchasers € 260 million in cartel settlement* The European Commission has fined Orbia, Clariant and Celanese a total of € 260 million for breaching EU antitrust rules. Westlake was not fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission. The companies took (...)

The EU Commission fines ethylene purchasers for having colluded and exchanged information on purchase prices (Orbia / Clariant / Celanese / Westlake)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Fines for ethylene purchasing cartel On 14 July 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") fined ethylene purchasers Orbia, Clariant and Celanese EUR 260 million for having colluded and exchanged information on purchase prices on the ethylene merchant market with a fourth participant, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority imposes a cease and desist on multiple rail companies guilty for cartelization but avoids fining due to companies’ size and the economic impact of COVID-19 (Chief Materials Manager, South Eastern Railway / Hindustan Composites) Free
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Following references by procurement officials of a number of railway companies, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that 10 suppliers of composite brake blocks had, at least from 2009 to 2017, engaged in cartelization, by means of directly or indirectly determining prices, (...)

The Indian Competition Authority identifies cartels but does not impose any penalty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (South Eastern Railway / Hindustan Composites) Free
Nirma University (Ahmedabad)
The Indian antitrust watchdog has changed its modus operandi in the ensuing pandemic, by taking a softer stance on cartel-like behaviour in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. In July 2020, the Competition Commission of India (‘Commission’), while proving the existence of a (...)

The US DoJ applauds the International Competition Network’s new international leniency guidelines
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Antitrust Division Applauds New International Leniency Guidelines* New guidelines will increase effectiveness of international cartel enforcement through better cooperation The Antitrust Division helped lead the International Competition Network (ICN) initiative on cross-border leniency (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines 3 pharmaceutical companies £2.3 million for anti-competitive agreement in the supply of life-saving drug fludrocortisone and secures £8 million in damages for the National Health Service (Aspen / Tiofarma / Amilco)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA levies fines of £2.3m and secures £8m for NHS in pharma probe* The CMA has formally concluded that 3 pharmaceutical companies took part in an illegal arrangement in relation to the supply of life-saving medicine. The investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the supply of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows public and private competing hospitals to continue cooperating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Private and public hospitals can continue cooperating on COVID-19* Private and public hospital operators, along with government health authorities in each Australian state and territory, will be able to continue working with each other in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under the ACCC’s (...)

The EU General Court orders that the fine imposed on a semiconductor manufacturer for its participation in a cartel in the smart card chip market be reduced by almost €6 million, from €82,784,000 to €76,871,600 (Infineon Technologies)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court orders that the fine imposed on Infineon for its participation in a cartel in the smart card chip market be reduced by almost €6 million, from €82,784,000 to €76,871,600* The Commission took insufficient account of the limited number of the anticompetitive contacts which (...)

The German Lower Regional Court of Dortmund hands down a judgement regarding follow-on damages against a wholesale company for sanitary and heating products (Sanitary and heating cartel)
Ashurst (Frankfurt)
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Ashurst (Frankfurt)
On 8 July 2020, The German Lower Regional Court of Dortmund ("Court") recently handed down its ruling regarding follow-on damages against a specialist wholesale company for sanitary and heating products. Damages were sought following a fine of the German Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") relating (...)

The Indian Competition Authority reaffirms that prescribing eligibility criteria in tenders is not anticompetitive (Sandeep Mishra / National Highways Authority of India)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
In dismissing a complaint at prima facie stage against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), [1] the CCI reaffirmed that the prescription of eligibility criteria by a procurer/buyer of a product or service will not, unless demonstrably unfair or discriminatory, be regarded as (...)

The German Competition Authority assists a national hospital institute in ensuring a competitive procurement process for licensing a new algorithm for invoicing hospital services (Institut für das Entgeltsystem im Krankenhaus - InEK)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt safeguards innovation with regard to software for the classification and invoicing of hospital services* The Bundeskartellamt successfully assisted the Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System (Institut für das Entgeltsystem im Krankenhaus, InEK) in ensuring that its (...)

The EU Commission announces the relaxation of competition rules for wine producers due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
EU wine producers can now benefit from a temporary relaxation in competition rules* The European wine sector has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to statistics from the European Commission (EC), there has been a 30% reduction in the volume of wine sold and a 50% drop (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority accepts commitments from one training company to limit its use of exclusive agreements with fitness studios and closes investigations into another 2 companies (Bruce / Classpass / Swiftr)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Swedish Competition Authority accepts commitments from training company* Bruce is a company that offers training services. The company has offered to limit its use of exclusive agreements with fitness studios in order to avoid that competition concerns arise. The Swedish Competition Authority (...)

The UK High Court disqualifies a company director for taking part in competition law breach in the real estate sector (Michael Christopher Martin)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
The first competition disqualification order to come to trial has resulted in a company director, Michael Martin, being disqualified for seven years. In its judgment of 7 July 2020, the UK High Court found that Mr Martin had contributed to Gary Berryman Estate Agents’ breach of competition law (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority alongside 4 other national regulators proposes a new law on public procurement to promote better public expenditure and revive the national economy
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
New Law on Public Procurement is Proposed to Promote Better Public Expenditure and to Revivify the Mexican Economy* Civil society organizations and public institutions specialized on public procurement join efforts to propose a General Law on Procurement that leads to full and timely public (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority publishes general guidelines for competitor collaborations allowed during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
On July 6th , the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (CADE) published the so-called “Provisional Informative Note” to guide the economic agents on the collaboration between companies to fight the Covid-19 crisis. The document (available here), awaited by the antitrust community, sets out general (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues statements of objections to 6 large supermarket chains and 2 drink suppliers for price fixing (Modelo Continente / Pingo Doce / Auchan / Sumol+Compal / Sogrape / Lidl / Intermarché / E-Leclerc)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
New case in the retail sector: AdC issues Statements of Objections to six supermarket chains and two drink suppliers for price fixing, harmful to consumers* The AdC – Portuguese Competition Authority issued Statements of Objections to 6 large food retail chain groups and 2 suppliers, one of (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority fines 2 interior design companies with over SEK 500,000 for coordinating sales prices of furniture (Artilleriet Interiors / Royal Design Group)
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
Two companies consensually agree to pay administrative fines for engaging in unlawful cooperation* Two companies engaged in the sale of interior design, furniture, and home furnishing have consented to pay a fine order from the Swedish Competition Authority. The companies coordinated some of (...)

The US DoJ charges Louisiana company with conspiracy to defraud the Government and violate the Procurement Integrity Act (Cajan Welding & Rentals)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Louisiana Company Charged With Conspiracy To Defraud The Government And Violate The Procurement Integrity Act* United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser and Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, announced that CAJAN WELDING & (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority does not consider the relegation of the football club to division 1B prima facie incompatible with competition law (FC Waasland-Beveren)
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
The Competition College does not consider the relegation of the football club Waasland-Beveren to division 1B prima facie incompatible with competition law* The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has on the 2nd of July 2020 imposed on the Pro League (Belgian premium (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes a £1.2m fine for price fixing in private eyecare (Spire)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA imposes £1.2m in fines for price-fixing in private eyecare* The CMA has found that a private hospital group and 7 consultant ophthalmologists broke competition law by taking part in illegal price fixing. Following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Spire (...)

The Irish Competition Authority warns businesses must act independently when setting prices during the re-opening phase of COVID-19 Free
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC warns businesses must act independently when setting prices during reopening phase* CCPC engages with trade associations following public statements to warn against co-ordination Any new prices & charges must adhere to competition and consumer protection law Consumers are entitled to (...)

The Latvian Competition Authority finds that a state owned company’s procurement of road vehicle number plates production and supply is by default favoring one competitor in the bidding process (Road Traffic Safety Directorate)
Konkurences padome (Riga)
The CC: the car number plates procurement organised by CSDD is favourable for one company* During the market study, while investigating the procurement of road vehicle number plates production and supply, organised by state owned company “Road Traffic Safety Directorate” (CSDD), the Competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines private hospital and consultant eye doctors £1.2 million for price-fixing (Spire Healthcare)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined the private hospital owner Spire Healthcare Limited and its parent Spire Healthcare Group Plc (together “Spire”) £1.2 million for instigating and facilitating a price-fixing cartel with seven consultant ophthalmologists based in (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority releases for public consultation the new guide on vertical agreements
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Launches for Public Debates the Guide on Vertical Agreements* The Competition Council elaborated the "Guide on vertical agreements" in order to support companies that have to assess, on a case-by-case basis, the compatibility of the vertical agreements they wish to (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines £1.2 million healthcare providers and consultants for price fixing (Spire Healthcare)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (London)
Spire Healthcare, a private healthcare provider, and six consultant ophthalmologists have been fined for their roles in facilitating and arranging to fix the price of initial consultations between different consultants at a Spire hospital in the north of England. Whilst individual consultants (...)

The Japanese FTC issues a cease and desist order against 3 distributors of high school uniforms in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture for engaging in anticompetitive conduct (Gakuseinomise Mikusa Toyotaten / Kondo Yofukuten / Nonoyama Yofuku)
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
JFTC Issued Cease and Desist Orders against Uniform Distributors of Aichi Prefectural High Schools in Toyota City* JFTC today issued cease and desist orders pursuant to the provision of Paragraph 2, Article 7 of the Antimonopoly Act (hereinafter referred to as “AMA”) against the uniform (...)

The UK Competition Authority proposes the creation of a new regulatory authority and additional regulations to govern the conduct of online platforms funded by digital advertising
Jones Day (London)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Sydney)
INTRODUCTION The CMA has recently issued its Final Report in the Market Study into Online Platforms and Digital Advertising (“Final Report”), which sets forth its findings and recommendations from its investigation of markets involving online platforms funded by digital advertising. In parallel, (...)

Unilateral Practices

The German Monopolies Commission calls for level competitive playing field in sports sector
White & Case (Dusseldorf)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
On July 29, 2020, the German Monopolies Commission published its 2020 biennial Report on Competition (Hauptgutachten XXIII: Wettbewerb 2020) under Section 44(1) Act against Restraints of Competition (“GWB”). In its report, the Monopolies Commission – a permanent, independent advisory body which (...)

The Slovak Competition Authority initiates administrative proceedings in the matter of a possible abuse of a dominant position in carrying out collective management of rights
Slovak Competition Authority (Bratislava)
ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION: AMO SR initiated an administrative proceedings in the matter of a possible abuse of a dominant position in carrying out collective management of rights* On 20 July 2020 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Abuse of a Dominant Position (...)

The US FTC charges a $10 million fine to a company that illegally maintained a monopoly over the Opioid Addiction Treatment Suboxone (Indivior)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Indivior, Inc. to Pay $10 Million to Consumers, Settling FTC Charges that the Company Illegally Maintained a Monopoly over the Opioid Addiction Treatment Suboxone* FTC alleges company used anticompetitive tactics to impede competition from lower-cost generics Indivior, Inc. has agreed to pay (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority investigates monopolistic practices consisting in establishing exclusivity conditions of sale or purchase in the market for production, distribution and commercialization of medical oxygen
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE investigates possible relative monopolistic practices in the market for production, distribution and commercialization of medical oxygen in the Mexican territory* This investigation must not be understood as a prejudgment but rather as an action of the authority to verify compliance with (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a musical manufacturing company for resale price maintenance (Roland)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Roland fined £4 million for illegally preventing online price discounts* Lessons from the CMA’s investigation into Roland’s use of illegal resale price maintenance (RPM). Background When online resellers have the freedom to price items independently this leads to healthy competition – rivals (...)

The Italian Competition Authority announces the opening of an investigation against two Big Tech firms for violation of article 101 TFEU (Apple / Amazon)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 22 July, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") announced it had opened an investigation against Apple and Amazon for an alleged violation of article 101 TFEU. Following a complaint received in February 2019 from a retailer who was banned from reselling products on the Amazon market, (...)

The Polish Competition Authority completes its initial activities towards the biggest 100 companies in the agri-food market and initiates proceedings against 4 commercial retail chains for unfair use of contractual advantages (Auchan Polska / Eurocash / Makro Cash and Carry Polska / Intermarche)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
UOKiK’s further proceedings in the agri-food sector* UOKiK has completed its activities towards one hundred of the biggest players on the agri-food market, which were conducted under the Act on Contractual Advantage. In the course of the UOKiK’s proceedings, the majority of entrepreneurs (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority fines supermarket chain for imposing unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (Kaufland Hrvatska)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
Kaufland Hrvatska fined 1.1 million Kuna for imposing unfair trading practices* The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) fined Kaufland Hrvatska k.d. (Kaufland) 1.1 million Kuna for a serious breach of the provisions of the Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Pitruzzella guides on the method for calculating royalties that may lead to an abuse of dominance of a Belgian collecting society (SABAM)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 July 2020, Advocate General (“AG”) Pitruzzella issued an opinion in Case C-327/19, advising the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) on whether the method for calculating royalties used by SABAM, the Belgian collecting society, amounts to an abuse of a dominant position under (...)

The EU Commission invites comments on pharmaceutical company’s proposed commitment to reduce the price by 73% for six off-patent cancer medicines to remove the Commission’s excessive pricing concerns (Aspen)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Aspen to reduce prices for six off-patent cancer medicines by 73% to address Commission’s concerns over excessive pricing* The European Commission invites comments from all interested parties on commitments offered by Aspen to (...)

The EU Commission starts a market test on the proposed commitments offered by a pharmaceutical company to address the Commission’s concerns over excessive pricing for a range of off-patent cancer medicines (Aspen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Today, the European Commission (the Commission) started a market test inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Aspen Pharmacare Holdings (Aspen) to address the Commission’s concerns over excessive pricing for a range of off-patent cancer medicines (see, attached (...)

The EU Commission invites parties to submit comments regarding a pharma company and its excessive pricing (Aspen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the Commission invited interested parties to submit comments on the commitments offered by global pharma company Aspen to address competition concerns in relation to Aspen’s excessive pricing for six critical off-patent cancer medicines in several national markets (excluding (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority discontinues investigation into abuse of dominance by a Norwegian airline company (Widerøe)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
Competition: ESA discontinues Widerøe investigation* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has discontinued an investigation regarding suspected breaches of the competition rules in the EEA Agreement. In 2016, ESA opened a formal investigation into whether Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS (Widerøe) may (...)

The Indian Competition Authority rejects complaint against trademark holders concluding that legitimate assertion of trademark rights is not an abuse of dominance (Prashant Properties / SPS Steels Rolling Mills)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint that SPS Steels Rolling Mills (SPS) and other related entities/individuals had abused their dominant position by making an announcement threatening civil and criminal prosecution of any person using the trademark ‘ELEGANT’ or associated (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal publishes its written reasons to penalize a pharmaceutical chain for excessive pricing (Dis-Chem) Free
Nortons (Sandton)
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Nortons (Sandton)
South Africa’s Second Price Gouging Case: Dis-Chem Penalised For Excessive Pricing re Face Masks* On 14 July 2020, the South African Competition Tribunal published its written reasons in relation to its decision to penalize Dis-Chem (a large pharmaceutical chain in South Africa) for (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger between global companies active in the rail transportation and signalling following a Phase I investigation (Alstom / Bombardier)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced its conditional clearance of Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Both the target, a German subsidiary of Canadian Bombardier Inc., and the French acquirer, Alstom, are global companies active in rail (...)

The EU Commission clears merger of global rail transportation companies subject to conditions (Alstom / Bombardier)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered (...)

The US DoJ clears merger of major financial trading platform and major financial data provider (London Stock Exchange Group / Refinitiv)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Statement of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on the Closing of Its Investigation of London Stock Exchange Group and Refinitiv* Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued the following statement today in connection (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines a gas industry company for refusal to provide the information requested during merger investigation (Gazprom / Nord Stream 2)
Taylor Wessing (Warsaw)
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University of Warsaw
By the decision of 29 July 2020 (No. DKK-141/2020) the Polish Competition Authority (“PCA”) imposed a fine of PLN 223,925,000 (EUR 50 million) on PJSC “Gazprom” for failing to comply with the request for information circulated in the course of merger control proceedings. This is the highest fine (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a joint venture between two German newspapers in the printed advertisement sector but examines the cooperation between these two firms (Süddeutsche Zeitung / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Joint marketing of advertising space - Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung can establish a joint venture, but the examination of the cooperation under antitrust law is still ongoing* After examining the project under merger control law the Bundeskartellamt has cleared the (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives a notification of concentration in the dairy sector (DeLaval / Avon Rubber)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration concerning the acquisition by DeLaval Holding BV of the share capital of subsidiaries of Avon Rubber p.l.c., which constitute its dairy business* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition has received a notification of a concentration by (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority receives a merger clearance application for egg production and wholesale supply operations (Heyden Farms / Henergy Cage-Free / Rasmusens Poultry Farms)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Heyden Farms, Henergy Cage-Free, Rasmusens Poultry Farms seek clearance to merge egg production operations* The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Heyden Farms Limited, Henergy Cage-Free Limited and Rasmusens Poultry Farms Limited seeking clearance to merge their (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority authorizes the set up of a joint-venture in the agricultural sector (Al Dahra Agriculture / OCP)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council authorized the set up of a joint venture company by Al Dahra Agriculture LLC, United Arab Emirates and OCP s.a. Morocco* The Competition Council authorized the set up of a joint venture company by Al Dahra Agriculture LLC, United Arab Emirates and OCP S.A., Morocco. (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority opens investigation into the merger of two refrigeration equipments distributors (Beijer / Heatcraft New Zealand)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Investigation opened into Beijer’s acquisition of Heatcraft NZ and acquisition of rights to apply for HFC import permits* The Commerce Commission has opened an investigation into Beijer Ref AB’s 2018 acquisition of Heatcraft New Zealand Limited, and its 2019 acquisition (via its subsidiary (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to conditions, the merger of two companies in the chemical pathology sector (Dyomedea-Neolab / Biogroup)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Chemical pathology laboratories: the Autorité clears, subject to conditions, the take-over of Dyomedea-Neolab Group by Biogroup Group* Parties to the transaction Biogroup Group is active in the chemical pathology sector, with laboratories located at over 550 sites across the country. (...)

The French Competition Authority clears an acquisition in the alcohol-free soft drink production and bottling markets (Refresh / Fruité company)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the sole control acquisition of the assets of the Fruité company and its subsidiaries Unisource and Bric Fruit by Refresco (Saint Alban and Sun)* On 10 June 2020, Refresco France notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire sole control of (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its revised guidelines regarding merger control
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its new guidelines regarding merger control* Since autumn 2017, the Autorité has been deeply involved in the modernisation and simplification of merger control. On 20 April 2019, a decree simplifying the procedure for notifying a merger to the Autorité (...)

The French Competition Authority releases vertical merger guidelines
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) recently published its new merger control guidelines which came into force on 23 July 2020 and replaced the previous ones adopted back in 2013. The adoption of these new guidelines follows a series of public consultations (the last one took place at the (...)

The Irish Competition Authority carries out a phase 2 investigation in the merger of two IT service management companies (Link / Pepper)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC to carry out a phase 2 investigation of Link Group/Pepper merger* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has decided to carry out a full (Phase 2) investigation into the proposed acquisition by Link Group Administration Limited (“Link”) of sole control of Pepper Ireland (...)

The Israel Competition Authority approves under remedies the merger of two building material companies (Çimsa / Cemex)
Israel Competition Authority (Jerusalem)
The Competition Commissioner has Approved under Remedies the International Merger between Çimsa and Cemex, for the Acquisition of a White Cement Factory in Spain* Under the remedies, Cemex’s operations in Israel will not be sold to Çimsa, and Cemex will be required to start selling white cement (...)

The UK Government lowers the notification thresholds of merger control relevant to the UK national security and issues new powers of investigations
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK government passed reforms on 21 July 2020 lowering the thresholds to intervene in mergers and acquisitions considered relevant to UK national security in the artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication, and advanced materials sectors. Longer term the UK government is planning (...)

The UK Government lowers the merger notification threshold for specific sectors including artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication and advanced materials
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
On 21 July 2020, the Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply) (Amendment) Order 2020 and the Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force. Both Orders amend the jurisdictional thresholds for mergers in certain sectors. Under the new rules, the thresholds have been (...)

The UK Government lowers the notification thresholds of merger control and issues guidance on these changes
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Lower notification thresholds under UK merger control for certain additional sectors impacting national security entered into force on 21 July. The lower thresholds now cover transactions related to the development, production, supply or research of: artificial intelligence (new) cryptographic (...)

The UK Government gives further powers to the Competition Authority to review mergers in strategically important sectors
Bird & Bird (London)
The UK government has given the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) further powers to review mergers in strategically important sectors. These steps include making changes to the Enterprise Act 2002 (Enterprise Act) to provide the government with extended powers to scrutinise foreign (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority imposes fine for failure to notify a concentration in the energy sector and authorises the transaction (BAS Corporation / ESZ KI / ESZ KII / EXI Solar)
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE sanctions BAS Projects Corporation, ESZ KI, ESZ KII, and EXI Solar for failing to notify a concentration and authorizes the transaction* Imposes fines totaling to 977 thousand Mexican pesos. Authorizes the concentration considering that the operation does not pose risks to the process (...)

The French Competition Authority clears merger in the medical biology sector, subject to conditions (Laborizon / Biogroup)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Medical biology laboratories: the Autorité clears, subject to certain conditions, the acquisition of the Laborizon group by the Biogroup group* Parties to the transaction Biogroup is active in the medical biology sector, with laboratories distributed over more than 550 sites, throughout the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority agrees to extend for 3 years the remedies agreed as part of the pay-TV merger authorisation in 2015 (Telefónica / DTS)
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC agrees to extend for three years the remedies agreed as part of the merger authorisation between Telefónica and DTS in 2015* All the remedies are maintained for the maximum period of three years, save for the one involving the purchase of exclusive broadcast rights in Spain for (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority publishes position paper on the macroeconomic effects of "shutdown mergers" in the context of the COVID-19 crisis Free
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA publishes position paper on the Macroeconomic Effects of Mergers in the Context of the COVID-19 Crisis - "Shutdown Mergers"* The position paper aims to facilitate notifications of Shutdown Mergers. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions put in place to deal with it have triggered a (...)

The US FTC requires global suppliers of animal health products to divest assets in 3 product markets as a condition for merger clearance (Elanco / Bayer)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Requires Global Suppliers of Animal Health Products Elanco Animal Health, Inc. and Bayer Animal Health GmbH to Divest Assets in Three Product Markets, as a Condition of Merger* The Federal Trade Commission will require global suppliers of animal products, Elanco Animal Health, Inc. and (...)

The EU Commission clears an oil and gas merger after a phase II investigation (PKN Orlen / Lotos)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commis‐ sion”) conditionally approved PKN Orlen’s acquisition of rival Grupa Lotos (“Lotos”) after a Phase II investigation. The parties are large Polish oil and gas companies active in Poland and in a number of other Central European, East‐ ern European (...)

The EU Commission clears merger of Polish integrated oil & gas companies active in many Central & Eastern European and Baltic countries, subject to conditions (Lotos / PKN Orlen)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Lotos’ acquisition by PKN Orlen, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Grupa Lotos by PKN Orlen. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by PKN Orlen. (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority clears merger in animal healthcare, subject to structural conditions (Elanco / Bayer Animal Health)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau resolves concerns related to Elanco’s acquisition of Bayer Animal Health* The Competition Bureau announced today that it has entered into a consent agreement with Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (Elanco) to address concerns related to the company’s proposed acquisition of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority authorizes a banking merger subject to divesting over 500 bank counters (Intesa Sanpaolo / UBI Banca)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a decision issued on 14 July 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has conditionally cleared the acquisition of UBI Banca (UBI) by Intesa SanPaolo (ISP) in the banking sector. Applying the dominance test in Article 6 of the Law no. 287/1990, the ICA reached the conclusion that the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority clears a voluntary all-inclusive public exchange offer between banking groups, subject to higher structural remedies than originally offered (Ubi Banca / Intesa Sanpaolo)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
C12287 - ICA: acquisition of Ubi Banca by Intesa Sanpaolo authorised with conditions* The Italian Competition Authority authorised with conditions the acquisition of control of Ubi Banca S.p.A. by Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (hereinafter also ‘ISP’) The Authority noted that the merger transaction, (...)

The French Competition Authority clears without conditions the acquisition of sole control in producer of metal parts for luxury companies by major luxury group (J3L / Hermès Group)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of sole control of J3L by the Hermès group* The Hermès group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to acquire sole control of the J3L company. After examining the effects of the transaction, the Autorité has cleared it without (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the merger of transport companies providing transport of goods by inland waterway vessel with no conditions because the market is characterised by overcapacities (Rhenus / Deutsche Binnenreederei)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Rhenus can take over Deutsche Binnenreederei* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition of Deutsche Binnenreederei AG, Berlin, by Rhenus SE & Co. KG, Holzwickede. The main business of Deutsche Binnenreederei is the transport of goods by inland waterway vessel, especially on (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority opens investigation into merger of tour operators (Corendon / Sunweb)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Acquisition of Corendon by Sunweb requires further investigation* A further investigation is needed into the effects that the acquisition of Dutch tour operator Corendon by rival operator Sunweb will have on competition. Sunweb therefore cannot yet acquire Corendon. That is what the (...)

The German Competition Authority opens in-depth investigation of merger between major food retailers (Kaufland / Real)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Second phase review initiated with regard to Kaufland’s acquisition of Real stores* The Bundeskartellamt has today initiated an in-depth examination (also referred to as a second phase review) in the context of Kaufland GmbH & Co. KG’s (Kaufland) planned acquisition of up to 101 Real stores (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears animal health business merger subject to divestments (Bayer / Elanco)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Elanco’s acquisition of Bayer’s animal health business not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose Elanco’s acquisition of Bayer AG’s animal health business, after Elanco provided a court-enforceable undertaking to divest four animal parasite treatment brands. The ACCC had concerns about the effect of (...)

The Irish Competition Authority lets a merger between laundry businesses serving healthcare providers go into effect after having found they fulfilled all required commitments (Berendsen / Kings Laundry)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Berendsen/Kings Laundry merger update* On 8 July 2019, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared, subject to a number of legally binding commitments, the proposed acquisition of sole control of Kings Laundry Limited (Kings Laundry) by Berendsen Ireland Limited (...)

The German Competition Authority clears merger of online dating platforms within the merger of their holding companies (Parship / Elite Partner / Lovoo)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Parship and Elite Partner can acquire Lovoo* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the planned acquisition of The Meet Group Inc., USA, by the ProSiebenSat.1 group. Since 2016 the portfolio of the ProSieben Sat.1 group has included the online dating platforms Parship and Elite Partner. The Meet (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears a merger between global suppliers of optical sensors and optical semiconductors (AMS / OSRAM)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears AMS’ acquisition of OSRAM* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of OSRAM by AMS. The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area (...)

The US FTC imposes a $3.5 million civil penalty from a retail fuel station operator and its affiliate for violation of a settlement agreement requiring the divesture of 10 retail gas stations (Alimentation Couche-Tard / CrossAmeria)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently extracted a $3.5 million civil penalty from two companies involved in a gas station merger. The FTC asserts the companies violated their settlement agreement with the government, which required the divestment of 10 gas stations within 120 days from (...)

The US FTC fines retail fuel station operator and its affiliate for failing to divest 10 retail gas stations as required by earlier order (Alimentation Couche-Tard / CrossAmerica Partners)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and CrossAmerica Partners LP Agree to Pay $3.5 Million Civil Penalty to Settle FTC Allegations that they Violated 2018 Order* Retail fuel station and convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (“ACT”) and its former affiliate, CrossAmerica Partners LP (...)

The French Competition Authority clarifies that deploying one company’s retail spaces within another company’s stores does not constitute a merger (Fnac-Darty / Carrefour)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The project to deploy Darty spaces within Carrefour hypermarkets does not constitute a merger and therefore does not have to be submitted to mandatory clearance by the Autorité de la concurrence* On 22 May 2020, Fnac-Darty notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to deploy sales (...)

The US DoJ congratulates newly merged telecom operator on closing the agreed divestiture with satellite TV company (T-Mobile / Dish / Boost)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Congratulates T-Mobile And Dish For Closing The Boost Divestiture* T-Mobile US Inc. (T-Mobile) and Dish Network Corporation (Dish) announced today that they closed T-Mobile’s divestiture of Boost Network (Boost) to Dish. Boost was legacy Sprint Corporation’s prepaid wireless (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority files request for examination with Cartel Court in connection with the merger affecting markets for digital imaging, healthcare IT, and others (Fujifilm / FujiFilm Healthcare)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
AFCA files request for examination with Cartel Court in connection with the Fujifilm Corporation/FujiFilm Healthcare Corporation merger* AFCA filed request for examination with Cartel Court on 1 July 2020. On 22 May 2020 the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) was notified of the (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €6 billion Italian schemes to support SMEs affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €6 billion Italian schemes to support SMEs affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved three Italian schemes, with an overall budget of €6 billion, mainly consisting of incentives to the recapitalisation by private investors of small and (...)

The EU Commission approves €10 billion Spanish fund to provide debt and capital support to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €10 billion Spanish fund to provide debt and capital support to companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved Spanish plans to set up a fund (Solvency Support Fund) with a budget of €10 billion that will invest through debt (...)

The EU Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a German State guarantee scheme worth €840 million to cover (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian aid to the national airport operator due to the COVID-19 pandemic (TORP Sandefjord Airport) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian aid to TORP Sandefjord Airport* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved aid to the operator of TORP Sandefjord Airport in Norway to cover some of the losses caused by the COVID-19 containment measures. The aviation sector in Norway, both (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves prolongation of Norway’s financing for the flagship carbon capture testing facility (Technology Centre Mongstad)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
State Aid: ESA approves financing prolongation for Mongstad CCS Project* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation of Norway’s financing for the flagship carbon capture testing facility established in Mongstad (the TCM). The TCM will receive financing for a further (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian aid to national airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Haugesund Airport) Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian aid to Haugesund Airport* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved aid to Haugesund Airport, Karmøy (HAU) in Norway to cover losses caused by the COVID-19 containment measures. The aviation sector in Norway, both domestic and international, (...)

The EU Commission approves a €866 million Czech scheme to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves € 866 million Czech scheme to support businesses affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a CZK 22.9 billion (approximately € 866 million) Czech wage subsidy scheme providing support to enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (...)

The EU Commission launches a public consultation inviting comments on the revised EU guidelines on regional State aid
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission invites stakeholders to provide comments on revised Regional Aid Guidelines* The European Commission has launched today a public consultation inviting all interested parties to comment on draft revised EU guidelines on regional State aid (the “Regional Aid Guidelines”). (...)

The EU Commission approves a €2.6 billion Polish scheme to support companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2.6 billion Polish scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €2.6 billion (PLN 11.5 billion) Polish scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves temporary Norwegian rules on asset depreciation due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves temporary Norwegian rules on asset depreciation* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a measure by the Norwegian government to stimulate liquidity for businesses by allowing an increased initial depreciation rate for investments in assets (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves compensation scheme for bus and passenger boat services in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves compensation scheme for bus and passenger boat services in Norway* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved a scheme that will compensate undertakings offering commercial, year round, long-distance bus and boat services for losses incurred on (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves largest single state aid award it has ever approved by allowing the Norwegian Carbon Capture and Storage project
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA approves Norwegian Full-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage: up to €2.1bn in aid to meet climate goals* The CCS Full-Scale project is a central part of Norway’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the European goal of climate-neutrality by 2050. It is the largest single state aid (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority greenlights amendments and prolongation of Norwegian schemes compensating losses for sport, voluntary and cultural events due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA greenlights amendments and prolongation of schemes compensating losses for sport, voluntary and cultural events* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved amendments and prolongation of two schemes for organisers in the culture, sports and voluntary sector in (...)

The EU General Court quashes a €13 billion tax ruling fine on a multinational technology company (Apple)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
€13 billion Apple tax recovery decision quashed On 15 July 2020, the EU General Court ("GC") handed down its much awaited judgment in the Apple case. It overturned the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision ordering Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion (plus interests) in illegal State aid (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision regarding the Irish tax rulings in favour of a Big Tech firm (Apple)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court of the European Union annuls the decision taken by the Commission regarding the Irish tax rulings in favour of Apple* The General Court annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s biggest State aid recovery order worth over €13 billion in tax advantages (Apple)
University of Oxford
Apple: One Case to Rule Them All* Some cases just have it all; the Apple case is one of them. First, size: at more than thirteen billion euros, the recovery order Ireland had to enforce dwarfed the previously biggest one (EDF, at around one billion euros). Second, international political (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision concerning the tax rulings in favor of a Big Tech company (Apple)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2020, the General Court (the “GC”) annulled the European Commission’s (the “Commission”) decision of 30 August 2016 concerning tax rulings adopted by the Irish authorities in relation to two companies forming part of the Apple Group (the “Contested Decision”). The Contested Decision found (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority prolongs and amends 6 sets of state aid guidelines to guarantee legal certainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
State Aid: ESA prolongs and amends guidelines* Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has decided to prolong six sets of state aid guidelines that were due to expire at the end of 2020. The decision, which mirrors that taken by the European Commission on 2 July 2020, is designed to (...)

The EU General Court strikes down the Commission’s decision ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion from a big tech company for illegal State aid (Apple)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
,
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On July 15, 2020, the European Union’s second- highest court, the General Court (the “Court”), annulled the 2016 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion (€14.3 billion with interest) in back-taxes from Apple which the Commission considered to be (...)

The EU Commission recommends that Members States not grant financial support, including State aid, to companies with links to tax havens, especially in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State Aid: Commission recommends not granting financial support to companies with links to tax havens* The European Commission has today recommended that Member States do not grant financial support to companies with links to countries that are on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax (...)

The EU Commission recommends Member States to not grant financial support to companies with links to tax havens
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) issued a Recommendation to Member States not to grant financial support to companies with links to countries that are on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. According to the Recommendation, restrictions should also apply (...)

The EU Commission approves Dutch plans to provide €3.4 billion in urgent liquidity support to national airline due to the COVID-19 outbreak (KLM) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Dutch plans to provide €3.4 billion in urgent liquidity support to KLM* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €3.4 billion Dutch aid measure consisting of a State guarantee on loans and a subordinated State loan to KLM to provide urgent (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amended Norwegian guarantee scheme for airlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves amended Norwegian guarantee scheme for airlines* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved a renewal and amendments of the scheme that will make it feasible for more airline operators to access guarantees to help them through the current crisis. The (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves grant scheme for the private media sector in Iceland due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves grant scheme for the private media sector in Iceland* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved a scheme that will offer direct grants to private media entities in Iceland to support the media sector in the ongoing pandemic. Since the outbreak of the (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to Norway’s seafarer tax refund scheme due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves amendments to Norway’s seafarer tax refund scheme* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has greenlighted amendments to a Norwegian aid scheme granting tax and social security contribution refunds to shipping companies in Norway. The amendments lift refund (...)

The EU Commission approves €6.2 billion Italian grants scheme to support small businesses and self-employed affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €6.2 billion Italian grants scheme to support small businesses and self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €6.2 billion Italian scheme to support small businesses and self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (...)

The EU Commission approves German fund to enable up to €500 billion of liquidity and capital support to enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves German fund to enable up to €500 billion of liquidity and capital support to enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved German plans to set up a fund with a budget of up to €500 billion for providing guarantees and (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves Norwegian support to tourism sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves Norwegian support to tourism sector* Businesses in the tourism sector that have suffered significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now receive up to EUR 800 000 in direct grants from the Norwegian government. The Norwegian tourism sector provides (...)

The EU Commission approves €150 million Austrian subordinated loan to compensate national airline company for damages suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak (Austrian Airlines) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €150 million Austrian subordinated loan to compensate Austrian Airlines for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found an Austrian €150 million subordinated loan (convertible into a grant) in favour of Austrian Airlines AG to be (...)

The EU Commission approves Latvian fund to enable €100 million of liquidity and capital support to large enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Latvian fund to enable €100 million of liquidity and capital support to large enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved Latvian plans to set up a fund with a current target size of €100 million that will invest through (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves compensation scheme for the media sector in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA approves compensation scheme for the media sector in Norway* ESA has approved a scheme that will compensate undertakings in the Norwegian media sector for losses in turnover caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwegian economy (...)

The EU Commission approves €250 million Latvian measure to recapitalise national airline company in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (airBaltic) Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €250 million Latvian measure to recapitalise airBaltic* The European Commission has approved a €250 million Latvian measure to recapitalise airBaltic in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. (...)

The EU Commission prolongs EU State aid rules and adopts targeted adjustments to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission prolongs EU State aid rules and adopts targeted adjustments to mitigate impact of coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has prolonged the validity of certain State aid rules which would otherwise expire at the end of 2020. In this context, and to take the effects (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority greenlights Icelandic travel guarantee fund due to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 Pandemic: ESA greenlights Icelandic travel guarantee fund* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved an Icelandic scheme that provides subsidised loans for package travel traders. The tourism and package travel sector in Iceland is experiencing financial difficulties due to (...)

The EU Commission approves €46.5 million Hungarian investment aid for a chemical company’s new lithium-ion battery separator film plant (Toray)
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €46.5 million Hungarian investment aid to Toray’s lithium-ion battery separator film plant* The European Commission has found Hungary’s €46.5 million investment aid to the chemical company Toray for a new battery separator film plant in the Közép-Dunántúl (Central (...)

The EU Commission prolongs EU State aid rules and adopts targeted adjustments to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced the prolongation of several existing State aid rules which would have otherwise expired at the end of 2020, with the purpose of mitigating the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on companies. In particular: The following texts (...)

Procedures

The Lithuanian Competition Authority updates rules on fines and adopts rules on cooperation with EU counterparts
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Authority updates rules on immunity from fines or their reduction and adopts rules on cooperation with EU counterparts* In relation to the amendments to the Law on Competition adopted by the Seimas, today the Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has (...)

The Indian Central Board of Direct Taxes specifies that the Competition Authority’s Director General and Secretary are eligible to obtain information on case parties from income tax authorities when needed
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has specified the Director General (DG)/Secretary of the CCI as persons to whom relevant information may be given by specified income-tax authorities. [1] Such information must be relevant and precise and may be supplied only where it is necessary to enable the (...)

The EU Commission adopts guidance for national courts when handling disclosure of confidential information
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission adopts guidance for national courts when handling disclosure of confidential information* The European Commission has adopted a Communication on the protection of confidential information by national courts in proceedings for the private enforcement of EU competition law. (...)

The EU Commission adopts communication on the protection of confidential information in follow-on damages actions
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a communication on the protection of confidential information by national courts in follow-on damages proceedings (the “Communication”). The Damages Directive provides that national courts should have the ability to order (...)

The EU Commission provides helpful guidance to national judges on the disclosure of confidential information in competition law private enforcement cases
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
,
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
On 20 July 2020 the European Commission has adopted a non-binding Communication providing guidance to national judges on how to handle the disclosure of confidential information in proceedings for competition law private enforcement. The Communication, which contains a non-binding definition (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal annuls dawn raids conducted by the Competition Authority to find evidence of an alleged price-fixing cartel in the domestic appliance sector (Whirlpool)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
,
Ashurst (Paris)
On 8 July 2020, the Paris Court of appeal ("the Court") annulled dawn raids conducted by the French Competition Authority ("the FCA") at Whirlpool’s premises in 2014. On 27 and 28 May 2014, the FCA raided Whirlpool’s premises to find evidence of an alleged price-fixing cartel in the domestic (...)

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

Regulatory

The French Competition Authority develops new map proposals for the establishment of court bailiffs and judicial auctioneers taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence will develop new map proposals for the establishment of court bailiffs and judicial auctioneers* Its new recommendations will take account the short-, medium- and long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the activity of these two professions. Background In (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority recommends "relaxation" of conditions for registering the mortgage notices in the national register for movable property publicity
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council Recommends „relaxation” of Conditions for Registering the Mortgage Notices in the National Register for Movable Property Publicity* Following a sector inquiry, the Competition Council found that certain conditions of accessing the market for mortgage registration services (...)

The UK Competition Authority releases a market study on online platforms and digital advertising
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
In July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its market study final report “Online platforms and digital advertising” (“Report”) (see the Report here). The Report includes significant recommendations on the future regulation of platforms funded by digital advertising, (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
,
Hausfeld (London)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority published its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study (CMA Final Report). In so doing, it has confirmed what many have been saying for some time: serious competition concerns exist in this (...)

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