March 2020

General antitrust

The Mexican Competition Authority issues hollow guidance on the application of the Mexican antitrust statute during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
White & Case (Mexico)
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White & Case (Mexico)
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White & Case (Mexico)
On March 27, the Mexican Antitrust Commission (“COFECE”) issued a statement regarding the application of the Mexican Antitrust Statute during the coronavirus pandemic (“Statement”). Summary of the Statement With the Statement, COFECE attempted to provide guidance on the following practices in the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority announces a re-focus of its 2020 compliance and enforcement priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
Due to the rapidly changing global landscape, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced on 27 March 2020 a "re-focus" of its 2020 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has not explicitly revoked its existing priorities, which we (...)

The EU Commission issues guidance on the screening of foreign direct investments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
In a March 25, 2020 communication, the European Commission (“EC”) issued guidance on the screening of foreign direct investments (“FDI”) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The communication identifies an increased risk of attempts by non-EU acquirers to obtain control over suppliers of (...)

The EU Commission issues guidance to EU Member states concerning foreign direct investment during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
The disruption linked to COVID-19 already affects the global economy significantly, including M&A transactions in Europe and across the globe. On the regulatory side, many deals face challenges caused by national authorities’ reduced capacities, while some authorities struggle to uphold (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues its annual plan for 2020/2021 which aims to give clarity to the Competition Authority’s objectives for the next year and clarifies its position during the social and economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") recently issued its Annual Plan for 2020/2021, which aims to give clarity to the CMA’s objectives for the next year. The report acknowledges that its publication comes out at a time of massive social and economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 (...)

The Irish Office of Government Procurement recognises that contracting authorities need support and assistance in relation to the public procurement as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
McCann FitzGerald (Brussels)
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McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
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McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
COVID-19 has led to unprecedented limitations on economic and other activity within Ireland and around the world. Each contracting authority should consider the associated risks to their procurements whether planned or on-going, and determine how to proceed. This short paper outlines the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority sets down guidelines on business practices for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
CMS (Romania)
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CMS (Romania)
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CMS (Romania)
The Romanian Competition Council (RCC) has just set down guidelines on business practices for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the competition watchdog acknowledges that companies should take certain protective measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (e.g. reduce (...)

The Caledonian Competition Authority announces pursue competition law enforcement in the context of Covid-19 pandemic Free
University of Grenoble Alpes
I) Introduction The coronavirus pandemic has and will have a huge impact on our economy. Undoubtedly, we face the worst crisis in our recent history. A major consequence is serious financial distress for a myriad of undertakings. A phenomenal number of companies are already close to (...)

The South African Minister of Trade and Industry issues regulations to curb the spread of panic buying and price hikes amidst COVID-19 fears Free
Hogan Lovells (Johannesburg)
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster on 15 March 2020 in a proactive attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. In line with this proactive response to the global pandemic, on Thursday 19 March 2020 the Minister of Trade and Industry (the "Minister"), Mr (...)

The UK Government issues guidance on using public procurement policy to respond to the COVID-19 emergency situation Free
University of Bristol - Law School
EXTREME EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT AND COVID-19 — RE TODAY’S UK GUIDANCE* The UK Government has issued guidance on using public procurement to respond to the COVID-19 emergency earlier today (see PPN 1/20). This follows other EU countries’ introduction of emergency legislation and guidance on the same (...)

The UK Cabinet Office publishes a procurement policy note in response to the COVID-19 impact on the supply of goods, services, and works to the public sector Free
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
Clearly the spread of COVID-19 and the measures imposed by the Government will have a significant impact on the supply of goods, services and works to the public sector. Supplies and services may be required urgently and/or existing procurement processes may be delayed to accommodate issues (...)

The UK Government publishes a procurement policy note which sets out guidelines to contracting authorities on responding to the impact of COVID-19 when carrying out regulated procurement activities Free
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Introduction In the light of the global outbreak of Covid-19, contracting authorities will need to procure goods, services and works in truly exceptional circumstances and, potentially, their requirements will be extremely urgent. Therefore, contracting authorities may have legitimate reasons (...)

The Spanish Government publishes an amendment clarifying the reform of the Foreign Direct Investment Screening regime following the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, of urgent exceptional measures to face the social and economic impact of COVID-19 (RDL 8/2020), put in place ad hoc public spending, employment measures and set up a new foreign direct investment (FDI) regime applicable to critical infrastructures, (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation and opens sub-proceedings for potentially ordering interim measures against two companies providing products for the prevention of contagion COVID-19 to consumers resident in Europe (ContextLogic / Wish) Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
PS11734 - ANTITRUST: PROCEEDINGS INITIATED AGAINST THE WWW.WISH.COM PLATFORM* On 31 March, the Authority launched an investigation and opened a sub-proceedings for ordering, if necessary, an interim measure against ContextLogic Inc, the US company that owns the www.wish.com platform and its (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority warns the National Association of Real Estate Developers to avoid possible agreements between competitors during the COVID-19 pandemic (ADI Mexico) Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE warns the National Association of Real Estate Developers to avoid possible agreements between competitors in this market* The Association has promoted among its members the granting of discounts to tenants, which could infringe the LFCE if these discounts are established or fixed (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority commences a public consultation on the commitments offered by three online travel agents to remove certain parity clauses in their contracts with accommodations providers (Booking.com / Expedia / Trip.com)
Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
On 31 March 2020 the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) commenced a public consultation on the commitments offered by three online travel agents (OTAs) to remove certain parity clauses in their existing and future contracts with accommodation providers in Hong Kong. The consultation period (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority announces it will focus on allowing and monitoring collaborations among competitors in the markets for public health products, pharmaceuticals, food, and commerce important for fighting the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
Message by the CPC on the application of antitrust rules in the state of emergency situation concerning COVID-19* The Commission for protection of competition supports the joint position of the European Commission and the national competition authorities within the European Competition Network (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority warns the National Chamber of the Sugar and Alcohol Industry that increases in alcohol prices may be caused by anticompetitive agreements between economic agents which is especially problematic with increased demand for pure alcohol products by healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE warns the National Chamber of the Sugar and Alcohol Industry that increases in alcohol prices, alcohol products and other inputs for its production, may be caused by agreements between economic agents* Prices established by each producer of alcohol and the inputs required for its (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority invites competing businesses planning to cooperate during the COVID-19 pandemic to contact the Authority and the EU Commission for guidance about their cooperation intentions Free
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
European Commission and EU competition authorities encourage companies to seek guidance on cooperation initiatives* Businesses are currently facing particular challenges due to the coronavirus crisis, which may encourage companies to cooperate with each other in order to overcome the negative (...)

The German Competition Authority finalises fines totalling €110 million on eleven providers of technical building services for collusion in the award of major contracts (Caverion / Elektrotherm / Landshut / Engie / Cologne / Ferrostaal Air Technolgy / Saarwellingen / Stuttgart...)
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
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Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
In December 2019 the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) imposed fines totalling EUR 110 million on eleven providers of technical building services for collusion in the award of major contracts. The proceedings were initiated in November 2014 following a leniency application. The leniency application (...)

The UK Government publishes an order to the Competition Act in order to exclude certain arrangements in the healthcare sector to tackle the COVID-19 pressures Free
Hill Dickinson (Leeds)
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Hill Dickinson (London)
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Hill Dickinson (Leeds)
Healthcare providers - suspension of competition law provisions to tackle coronavirus pressures* To ensure that healthcare providers can work together effectively to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, an order has been made to exclude certain arrangements within the healthcare sector from (...)

The UK Secretary of State announces temporary competition law arrangements in the groceries sector Free
RPC (London)
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RPC (London)
COVID-19 - The Groceries Sector: Temporary Competition Law Exemption Comes into Force* In light of "exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy" arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Secretary of State (the "SoS") has announced temporary competition law arrangements in the groceries (...)

The German Competition Authority fines technical building service providers for bid-rigging (Caverion Deutschland)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt / Cartel prosecution* Bundeskartellamt finalized fines proceedings against providers of technical building services Bonn, 27 March 2020: In December 2019 the Bundeskartellamt has finalised the fines proceedings against eleven technical building service providers. The (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority ends its investigation into alleged anti-competitive agreement in the household manufacturing sector (Tikkurila, Tikkurila/Kesko Senukai Lithuania/Kesko Senukai Digital/ Ermitažas/DAW Lietuva/Topcolor)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
KONKURENCIJOS TARYBA HASN’T SPOTTED ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN CONSTRUCTION, REPAIR AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS AND SELLERS* Konkurencijos taryba has terminated investigation into the alleged anti-competitive agreement among 7 Lithuanian and Latvian companies engaged in the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a fine on a manufacturer and seller of heating systems for vertically restraining its distributors’ freedom in the market through distribution agreements (Baymak)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recent decision dated 26.03.2020 numbered 20-16/232-113 regarding Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) holds significant importance as it contains a detailed analysis regarding numerous vertical restraint types. Background Baymak is a (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes administrative monetary fines on a manufacturer and distributor of heating systems for engaging in vertical restraints (Baymak)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary concerns an analysis of the Board’s Baymak decision, which concerned an administrative monetary fine of TL 26,813,704.10 against Baymak Makina San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Baymak”) for the violation of Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) through (...)

The UK Competition Authority issues guidance on business cooperation during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
New guidance from UK Competition and Markets Authority allows coordination between businesses in certain circumstances, such as to avoid shortages, protect the public interest, and safeguard health, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the guidance also underscores that the UK (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on cooperation between businesses especially grocers during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Bristows (London)
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Bristows (London)
COVID-19: The UK Government’s temporary relaxation of competition law for grocers* On 19 March 2020, the UK Government announced that it would be temporarily waiving certain competition laws in order to allow grocers to coordinate their responses to supply issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on forms of cooperation considered as temporarily permissible during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
Competition/antitrust laws generally require rival firms to operate on the market independently of each other and tolerate cooperation between competitors only in limited circumstances where any resulting loss of competition is clearly offset by consumer benefits. But as businesses scramble to (...)

The UK Competition Authority lays its guidances of approach to business cooperation in response to COVID-19 outbreak Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Introduction The focus of the CMA in the next few months will be to protect UK consumers from the adverse consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic to the greatest extent possible. The CMA is conscious of concerns that competition law enforcement could impede necessary cooperation between (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement detailing antitrust procedures and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses that work to protect the health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
On Tuesday, March 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint statement “detailing an expedited antitrust procedure and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and safety of Americans during the COVID-19 (...)

The US DoJ and FTC jointly announce an expedited process to review proposed competitor collaborations specifically related to COVID-19 Free
Dechert (Washington)
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Dechert (Washington)
Efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic or to respond to related supply shocks or other collateral consequences may give companies reason to collaborate with competitors in ways that could benefit the public, but which involve antitrust risk. In order to facilitate procompetitive (...)

The US DoJ and FTC announce their aim to respond within one week to COVID-19 collaborative proposals submitted following the agencies’ respective processes Free
Morgan Lewis (Washington)
The US Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice have announced that they aim to respond within one week to coronavirus (COVID-19) collaborative proposals submitted pursuant to the agencies’ respective processes. In a joint statement issued March 24, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority reminds companies that competition law remains in force and will be enforced during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
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Gorrissen Federspiel (Copenhagen)
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Denmark, merger control has come to a temporary standstill and significant parts of the country’s public administration have already been shut down for three weeks; however, the Danish competition authorities are adamant that competition law remains in (...)

The French Competition Authority fines five companies in La Réunion for engaging in concerted practices in the home removals market (AGS Réunion / DEM Austral / T2M / A.T. Océan Indien / Transdem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Home Removals: the Autorité de la concurrence fines five companies in La Réunion for engaging in concerted practices.* Background Following a report by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) and an investigation, the Autorité hands out fines (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority announces it will not apply the Competition Act to cooperations between undertakings needed to ensure an adequate supply of goods to consumers during COVID-19 pandemic Free
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus to affect the application of the Finnish Competition Act* The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) will take into account the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus when applying the Competition Act. During (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority follows the European Competition Network and announces a tolerance policy for cooperation between undertakings during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
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Vieira de Almeida (Lisbon)
Coronavirus | Portugal- Impact on the enforcement of competition law* Do national and EU rules on competition law remain in force, during the period of crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak? Competition law rules remain in force, there have been no national or EU legislative measure ordering (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes fines totalling €462,000 on five moving companies operating in the French overseas territories for colluding in the provision of moving services to the French Army (AGS Réunion / Océan Indien / DEM Austral Transdem / T2M)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 March 2020, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed fines totalling € 462,000 on five moving companies operating in the French overseas territory of Réunion for having colluded in the provision of moving services to the French army between Réunion and the French mainland. The (...)

The New Zealand Government asks the Competition Authority to allow cooperation among businesses necessary to provide grocery products and other essential goods to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19 The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks. “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority provides interim authorisation to allow the Australian Banking Association and banks to work together Free
Minter Ellison (Melbourne)
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Minter Ellison (Melbourne)
There is no automatic ’public interest’ exemption to our competition law, although there are effective and timely mechanisms that can be used to ensure legal protection for business and their staff in implementing COVID-19 responses. Our team outlines key considerations and options for managing (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority is scrutinising competition law compliance and companies taking advantage of consumers by engaging in price fixing and misleading claims about products during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
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Cassels Brock (Toronto)
The Competition Bureau is watching for evidence of companies taking advantage of consumers by making false or misleading claims about a product’s ability to combat COVID-19 or engaging in price fixing, the Commissioner of Competition warned in a recent statement. The Commissioner added that (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows banks to cooperate on a small business relief package in the face of COVID-19 outbreak Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Australian Banking Association small business relief package* The ACCC has provided urgent interim authorisation to allow the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and banks to work together to implement a small business relief package. The package will allow for the deferral of principal and (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority takes textbook cartel case to Competition Tribunal for price fixing during the COVID-19 pandemic (T.H. Lee Book Company / Commercial Press / Sino United Publishing / Mr. Hui) Free
Hong Kong Competition Commission
The Competition Commission (“Commission”) has today commenced proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) against three companies, namely T.H. Lee Book Company Limited, Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Limited and Sino United Publishing (Holdings) Limited (“Companies”); and an individual Mr. (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a joint sale of media rights of individual football matches by a central association (DLF)
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
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Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
The Federal Cartel Office has approved the German Football League´s (“DFL”) marketing model for the transmission rights of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches from the 2021/22 season onwards. DLF´s marketing model is based on the joint sale of media rights of individual football matches. Such (...)

The UK Government announces measures to allow supermarkets to work together to feed the nation during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK government announced on March 19 that as part of a package of measures to allow supermarkets to work together to feed the nation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, elements of competition law will be temporarily relaxed for the food sector. Authorities, however, stressed that (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines ready mix concrete producers for engaging in horizontal infringements and cartels (Coşkunlar / Irgatoğlu / Sorgun Emek / Tamer...)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recent decision dated 19.03.2020 and numbered 20-15/215-107 regarding the ready mix concrete producers in the Yozgat region, including Coşkunlar Hazır Beton İnş. Taah. San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Coşkunlar”), Irgatoğlu Hazır Beton Nak. San. ve Tic. Ltd. (...)

The UK Competition Authority welcomes the Governments’ relaxation of competition law for supermarkets during the COVID-19 outbreak and promises no enforcement action against businesses engaging in cooperation to supply essential products and services Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
COVID-19: CMA approach to essential business cooperation* The CMA is very conscious of concerns that competition law enforcement could impede necessary cooperation between businesses to deal with the current crisis and ensure security of supplies of essential products and services, such as (...)

The UK Government allows supermarkets to work together without infringing competition law during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Euclid Law (London)
The COVID-19 outbreak is placing significant demands on the UK grocery sector. In particular, panic buying by consumers has led to empty shelves and increased pressure on the supply chain to replenish high demand items. This situation is being exacerbated by staff shortages, as employees (...)

The UK Government and the Competition Authority adopt two recent measures against shortages and high prices during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Greenberg Traurig (London)
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Greenberg Traurig (London)
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and the measures being implemented to counter the disease have resulted in an unprecedented surge of consumer demand for groceries and other essential supplies. Safeguarding consumers against shortages and high prices is at the heart of two (...)

The UK Government and the Competition Authority announce they will formally waive UK competition law for a limited period to allow supermarket retailers to share data on stock levels Free
McGuireWoods (London)
All companies are scrambling to respond to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and in various sectors cooperation between competitors is seen as part of the solution. However, cooperation — or in some cases contact or information exchange — between competitors potentially raises (...)

The EU Commission vets public statements of Eurocommerce for the non-food retailers to take measures against the major crisis due to COVID-19 Free
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
In the world of COVID-19, companies must not quarantine competition law compliance. Competition law will not be at the top of companies’ agendas today. COVID-19 presents companies with many challenges. Companies will be looking for whatever solutions they can find to deal with this crisis. But (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority closely monitors the economic developments raising from COVID-19 and is ready to answer any questions about collaborations that companies wish to launch to combat the crisis Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM’s oversight during the Coronavirus crisis* The current Coronavirus outbreak has far-reaching effects on people and businesses. These are extraordinary times. ACM is closely monitoring economic developments, and is ready to answer any questions about collaborations that companies wish to (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates a proceeding against the sale of a generic drug for the treatment of HIV infections sold as a remedy to fight the COVID-19 virus (Kaletra) Free
University of Turin
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University of Turin
1.Introduction The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately accompanied by the equally rapid one of unfair commercial practices in Italy. A worrying scenario, also for potential, serious effects on people’s health, on which the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’) continues to keep the (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a record-breaking fine of €1.1 billion on a big tech company for engaging in restriction of resale opportunities, coordinating on prices and imposing unfair terms on its retailers (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release of 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) imposed a record-breaking fine of € 1.1 billion on Apple for anticompetitive practices in the distribution of Apple products (excluding iPhones). These practices included: (i) restricting resale (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a fine totalling €1.1 billion on a big tech company for having implemented vertical agreements with some of its distributors and for abuse of economic dependency against its independent premium resellers (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
Ashurst (Paris)
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University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
On 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority ("FCA") announced that it had fined Apple EUR1.1 billion, the highest fine ever imposed to an undertaking, for having implemented vertical agreements with certain of its distributors and an abuse of economic dependency against its independent (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a big tech and its wholesalers a record €1,24 billion for their series of vertical restrictions within the distribution network and their abuse of economic dependence (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
AD LEGAL (Paris)
In a decision of March 16, 2020, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence, hereinafter “FCA”) imposed a €1,1 billion fine on the Apple group (“Apple”) for (i) engaging in a series of vertical restrictions of competition within its distribution network and (ii) abusing the economic (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a big tech company for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and abuse of a situation of economic dependency with regard to its premium independent distributors (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Fines handed down to Apple, Tech Data and Ingram Micro* The Autorité de la concurrence hands out fines totalling €1,1 billion to Apple for engaging in anticompetitive agreements within its distribution network and abuse of a situation of economic dependency with regard to its “premium” (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes a €1.1 billion fine on a big tech company who engaged in three anticompetitive practices with its distributors in the retail market for its products (Apple)
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
On 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority (FCA) imposed a €1.1 billion fine on Apple, the highest fine ever handed out to a company. The FCA considered that Apple had engaged in three anticompetitive practices with its distributors in the retail market for Apple products (excluding (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority warns all market participants that it will continue to stay vigilant against anticompetitive practices that exploit the special situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC assures vigilance of anticompetitive practices that exploit current situation* In times of great collective effort, the AdC wishes to assure that it remains particularly vigilant in its mission. This includes the detection of possible anticompetitive practices that exploit the current (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority declares that companies’ liability will not decrease during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
Coronavirus: the liability of undertakings does not decrease* As the administrative authority responsible for the proper functioning of markets, the Competition Council wants to ensure that companies do not abuse the current situation to the detriment of consumers or their competitors. (...)

The Ankara Administrative Court reassesses the Competition Authority’s decision on price squeezing allegations in the telecommunications sector (Türk Telekom / TTNET)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Background In 2012, the Board launched a full-fledged investigation against Türk Telekom and TTNET upon the complaints of certain Internet service providers (“ISP”), alleging that Türk Telekom and TTNET had abused their dominant positions in the wholesale and retail markets for fixed broadband (...)

The Australian Federal Court dismisses the Competition Authority allegation against a healthcare company misusing its market power by engaging in anticompetitive conducts to prevent a group of surgeons from opening a rival day surgery (Ramsay)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
What you need to know In a rare Federal Court proceeding involving alleged misuse of market power, the Federal Court held that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) failed to establish that Ramsay Health Care (Ramsay) had in fact engaged in the anti-competitive conduct (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rules that ride-hailing services do not restrict competition and the restrictions imposed on them are unjustified and disproportionate (VTCs)
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
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Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The ongoing conflict between ride-hailing services (known in Spain as "VTCs"), such as Uber, and the taxi sector has led to a new ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court that confirms the view of the Spanish Competition Authority (the "CNMC") that the restrictions imposed on the VTCs are (...)

The US DoJ publishes a statement cautioning that the antitrust laws remain in effect and agreements among competitors that set commercial terms may be illegal Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
Antitrust-Related Considerations Collaborations With Competitors Companies seeking to collaborate with competitors in response to the COVID-19 crisis must keep in mind, as the Department of Justice has recently cautioned, that the antitrust laws remain in effect, and agreements among (...)

The US DoJ warns businesses against price fixing, bid rigging, and market sharing in the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of public health products in the face of COVID-19 outbreak Free
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Cautions Business Community Against Violating Antitrust Laws in the Manufacturing, Distribution, and Sale of Public Health Products* The Department of Justice today announced its intention to hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws of the United States in (...)

The US DoJ signals it will step up enforcement in response to COVID-19 and will hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products Free
Cooley (Washington)
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Cooley (San Francisco)
The DOJ’s Antitrust Division has signaled it will step up enforcement in response to COVID-19. While pandemics and Sherman Act investigations may not seem like the most intuitive pairing, it actually fits a historic pattern in which the DOJ ramps up antitrust enforcement during crises. There are (...)

The US DoJ announces its intention to hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws of the United States in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products following the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Eversheds Sutherland (New York)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Washington D.C.)
As we all respond to COVID-19 (the coronavirus), we should keep an eye on the responsive measures being taken by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and consider how those measures might impact companies and individuals globally. The DOJ acts in several roles, including as a part of law (...)

The US DoJ and FTC warn companies and would-be scammers that they will use their consumer protection and competition enforcement powers to go after anyone trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
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Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
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Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
COVID-19: The Reaction of U.S. Antitrust Agencies* COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of American life right now, and there are myriad legal issues companies are facing from the pandemic’s fallout. These include antitrust considerations, ranging from potentially criminal conduct to (...)

The US DOJ and FTC publish a statement on the violation of antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products during the COVID-19 situation Free
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
DOJ and FTC To Focus On Antitrust and Consumer Protection Violations Relating to Coronavirus* The rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is impacting local and global companies, disrupting supply chains, creating volatility in the stock market, and causing great concern in local (...)

The US DoJ announces its intention to continue to hold businesses accountable for per se criminal violations of antitrust laws during the COVID-19 situation Free
Proskauer (Washington)
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Proskauer (London)
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Proskauer (Washington)
As businesses across the globe grapple with the changing realities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. and international antitrust enforcers have warned that business should continue to mind the antitrust laws. Global enforcers are also focusing on the role competition laws play as (...)

The US DoJ charges two executives with conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices in the market for commercial flooring (Robert A. Patrey Jr. / Kenneth R. Smith)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Two Commercial Flooring Executives Plead Guilty to Rigging Bids in Violation of Federal Antitrust Laws* Two commercial flooring executives, Robert A. Patrey Jr. and Kenneth R. Smith, pleaded guilty for their role in an antitrust conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for commercial flooring (...)

The US DoJ publishes a reminder that emergency efforts do not negate the requirement to adhere to the antitrust laws and the COVID-19 situation is not an opportunity to violate those laws Free
Epstein Baker Green (Washington DC)
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Epstein Baker Green (Washington DC)
As organizations are working to respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus (known as “COVID-19”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a reminder that emergency efforts do not negate the requirement to adhere to the antitrust laws, and that the DOJ stands ready to respond to market participants (...)

The US DoJ reiterates its focus on prosecuting violations of antitrust laws in areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the criminal prosecution that can be faced Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The potential for government investigation increases during periods of rapid and extreme movement in price. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently reiterated its focus on prosecuting violations of antitrust laws, especially in areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. On March 9, 2020, (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules on the co-conspirator exception to the Illinois Brick rule against distributors in the healthcare market(Marion Healthcare / Becton Dickinson & Company)
Bona Law (San Diego)
The Seventh Circuit Explains the “Co-Conspiracy Exception” to the Illinois Brick Rule in Healthcare Antitrust Lawsuit* Antitrust law evolves in such a way that opinions from federal appellate courts are always interesting in how they affect the doctrine. But there are a select few judges who (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the ruling of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in its schemes governing suppliers’ access to its infrastructure (Network Rail / RISQS)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
The Court of Appeal on 5 March 2020 handed down a judgment upholding the ruling of the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") of July 2019 which found Network Rail had infringed the Chapter I and II prohibitions of the Competition Act 1998 by requiring, in its schemes governing suppliers’ access to (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority fines a beverage company for obstruction of an on-site inspection at the company’s premises (Coca-cola)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) imposes a fine on COCA COLA TRIA EPSILON for obstructing an on-site inspection in the context of an investigation by the HCC in the non-alcoholic beverage market* By its Decision No. 688/2019, adopted on 24.07.2019, the Hellenic Competition Commission (...)

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarifies in a passing on case between two healthcare providers the issues of whether and when a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a conspiracy between the distributor and manufacturer (Marion Healthcare / Becton Dickinson)
Hausfeld (New York)
Introduction In its recent decision in Marion Healthcare, LLC v. Becton Dickinson & Co., the Seventh Circuit added to the discussion among circuit courts as to whether and when a consumer who purchases from a distributor may hold a manufacturer liable for overcharges resulting from a (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority issues its new regulatory provisions of the leniency and immunity program
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE issues Regulatory Provisions of the Leniency and Immunity Program* The Regulatory Provisions are legally binding and aimed at providing tat providing greater legal certainty on procedures related to the Leniency and Immunity Program Mexico City, March 4, 2020.- The Mexican Federal (...)

The US Washington State Attorney General announces a price gouging investigation in the wake of COVID-19 public health emergency Free
Office of the Attorney General - Washington State
AG FERGUSON STATEMENT ON PRICE GOUGING IN PUBLIC-HEALTH EMERGENCY* SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson offers the following statement: “My office is investigating price gouging in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency. We do not identify the targets of our investigations, but we (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines four pharmaceutical companies a total of £3,4 million for breaching competition law in relation to the supply of the antidepressant drug for market sharing and exchanging sensitive information (King Pharmaceuticals / Auden Mckenzie / Lexon / Alissa Healthcare)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 March 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined four pharmaceutical companies a total of £ 3.4 million for breaching competition law in relation to the supply of the antidepressant drug nortriptyline. The companies involved in the infringement were King Pharmaceuticals, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines five companies and five board members or directors involved in a cartel in railway maintenance (Construções / Técnica Ferroviárias / Somafel / Engenharia e Obras Ferroviárias)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC adopts sanctioning decision which concludes proceedings against railway maintenance companies with a total fine of €3.4 M and disqualification of participation in public tenders* The AdC (Portuguese Competition Authority) today adopted a sanctioning decision that concludes the process (...)

The UK Competition Appeals Tribunal rules on which part of the EU Commission’s settlement decision is binding on a defendant and that it is an abuse of process for defendants to deny in follow-on damage claim findings that are contained in settlements (DAF Trucks)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
,
Hausfeld (London)
In an important judgment for follow- on damages claims, the Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled that a number of findings made by the European Commission in its Trucks ‘settlement’ Decision are binding on the defendants and the Tribunal; and that, subject to limited exceptions, it is an abuse (...)

The California, New York, and Washington Attorneys General announce their intent to take action against unfair "price gouging" and the US DOJ focuses on public health products during the COVID-19 situation Free
Paul Weiss (New York)
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Paul Weiss (New York)
,
Paul Weiss (Washington)
State AGs Respond to COVID-19-Related “Price Gouging” and DOJ Antitrust Enforcement to Focus on Public Health Products* The outbreak and continued spread of a new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, has led to surging demand for, and in some cases shortages in the supply of, a wide variety of (...)

The US DoJ charges extradited former automotive parts executive with for his role in an international market allocation and bid-rigging conspiracy involving the sale of instrument panel clusters to several automobile producers (Eun Soo Kim / Continental Automotive Korea)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Extradited Former Automotive Parts Executive Pleads Guilty to Antitrust Charge* Fugitive for Nearly Five Years, Extradited to the United States and Pleads Guilty to Antitrust Conspiracy Eun Soo Kim, a former key accounts manager for Continental Automotive Korea Ltd. and a Korean national, was (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia secures conviction against the extradited foreign executive for conspiring to rig bids and allocate the market for instrument panel clusters to automobile producers (Eun Soo Kim)
Morgan Lewis (Silicon Valley)
Korean national Eun Soo Kim, a former key accounts manager for an automotive parts company, pled guilty on March 3 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to conspiring to rig bids and allocate market for instrument panel clusters to automobile producers. Kim admitted to (...)

The US DoJ reaches deferred prosecution agreement with pharma company fined a record criminal penalty for a domestic antitrust case (Sandoz)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Major Generic Pharmaceutical Company Admits to Antitrust Crimes: Sandoz Inc. Agrees to Pay a $195 Million Criminal Penalty, the Largest for a Domestic Antitrust Case* Sandoz Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey, was charged for conspiring to allocate customers, (...)

Unilateral Practices

The South African Competition Authority announces it has received over 500 complaints of excessive pricing related to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
South African Competition Commission (Pretoria)
COVID-19 UPDATE: COMPETITION COMMISSION FLOODED WITH OVER 500 COMPLAINTS OF EXCESSIVE PRICING * Background On 15 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a State of National Disaster, and further to that the President announced the enforcement of a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with (...)

The US State Attorneys General from 33 States, led by Pennsylvania AG Shapiro issue a letter urging online marketplaces to monitor more rigorously price gouging practices especially for online sellers (Amazon / Facebook / Ebay / Walmart / Craigslist) Free
Troutman Sanders (Richmond)
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Troutman Sanders (Richmond)
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Troutman Sanders (Richmond)
33 Attorneys General Urge Online Sellers To Take Steps To Fight Price Gouging* Today, a bipartisan group of 33 state attorneys general, led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, sent a letter urging online marketplaces to more rigorously monitor price gouging practices by online (...)

The US State Attorneys General from 33 States and Territories, led by Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Vermont urge online marketplaces to more rigorously monitor price gouging practices by online sellers using their services (Amazon / Facebook / Ebay / Walmart / Craigslist) Free
Office of the Attorney General - Pennsylvania
AG Shapiro: Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Walmart, Craigslist Must Stop Site Price Gouging by Online Sellers* HARRISBURG― Attorney General Josh Shapiro today issued a letter with co-leading Attorneys General Hector Balderas, William Tong, and T.J. Donovan, and 29 of their Attorneys General (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority makes a statement as to the developments in the prices in the food market during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
An important statement is made by the Competition Authority (“Authority”) regarding the recent developments in the prices in the food market through the public announcement dated 23 March 2020 and published in the Authority’s web site. In the announcement, it is stated that excessive increase in (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority warns it will impose the most serious administrative fines on food sellers who charged excessive prices during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Turkish Competition Authority (Ankara)
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT* It is observed that in our food market, especially in the market for fresh vegetables and fruits, there are extreme price increases in an opportunist manner nowadays, while we are facing with global COVID-19 outbreak. Being granted the power to protect consumer welfare (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces a zero-tolerance policy against excessive price increases in the food sector during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The world is clearly going through uncertain times as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In Turkey, although at the moment there are significantly fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkey as compared to the Western European countries and the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic outbrea k has also (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates four pharmacies and convenience stores for excessive and unfair pricing of hand sanitiser products to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating four pharmacies and convenience stores for suspected breaches of competition law. The investigations, under Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 (CA 98), relate to suspected charging of excessive and unfair prices for hand sanitiser (...)

The UK Competition Authority writes an open letter to the pharmaceutical and food and drink industries warning them not to exploit the COVID-19 outbreak to charge prices that might be deemed excessive Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): CMA open letter to pharmaceutical and food and drink industries.* The Competition and Markets Authority has published an open letter for businesses in the pharmaceutical and food and drink industries. Details We have written an open letter to the pharmaceutical and (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority reminds businesses to maintain compliance during the COVID-19 outbreak, including dominant companies avoiding excessive prices and all companies avoiding price fixing Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM’s oversight during the Coronavirus crisis* The current Coronavirus outbreak has far-reaching effects on people and businesses. These are extraordinary times. ACM is closely monitoring economic developments, and is ready to answer any questions about collaborations that companies wish to (...)

The Highest Dutch Administrative Court annuls the Competition Authority decision requiring telecommunications providers to open networks (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“Appeals Tribunal”) reversed a decision of the Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) which required telecommunications provider KPN and cable provider VodafoneZiggo to open their fixed networks to other providers. On 27 (...)

The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal reverses a decision of the National Competition Authority requiring telecom providers to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers (KPN / VodafoneZiggo / T-Mobile / Tele2)
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
On 17 March 2020, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“CBb”) reversed the 2018 decision of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) requiring telecom providers KPN and VodafoneZiggo to open up their fixed networks in the Netherlands to other providers. In September 2018, the ACM (...)

The Italian Supreme Administrative Court rejects an appeal lodged by a multinational drug company against a previous decision ascertaining it as having abused its dominant position by imposing unfair prices for drugs (Aspen)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 13 March, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court ("Consiglio di Stato") rejected the appeal lodged by the multinational Aspen Group against the decision of the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (“TAR”), which fully upheld the decision adopted by the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) (...)

The Ukrainian Competition Authority issues recommendations to pharmacies and retailers against excessive prices for masks, examines price hikes for airline tickets, and monitors prices for disinfectants and consumption basket products Free
Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
As with other competition authorities, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the "AMC") is responding promptly during the coronavirus outbreak. On 13 March 2020, the AMC announced that it would investigate any unjustified price hikes for medicines, face masks and other personal health (...)

The Indian National Company Law Appellate Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision that a company mandating a party to sign an agreement which contains unfair and restrictive clauses is tantamount to abuse of its dominance (Verifone)
Supreme Court of India
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Supreme Court of India
Introduction The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by way of its common order dated 13 March 2020 dismissed two appeals preferred by M/s Verifone India Sales Pvt Ltd. (Appellant/ OP 1/ Verifone) against two separate orders passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes two investigations against online platforms with regards to some claims relating to the marketing of hand sanitising, respiratory masks and hygiene products (Amazon / eBay) Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Coronavirus, the Authority begins investigating Amazon and eBay for misleading claims and excessive price increases.* The Authority launched two separate investigations today against the Amazon platform (Amazon Italia Customer Service, Amazon Eu, Amazon Service Europe) and eBay platform (eBay (...)

The UK Court of Appeal considers the test for excessive pricing after an undertaking had charged unfairly high prices for phenytoin sodium capsules (Pfizer / Flynn)
Bristows (London)
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Bristows (London)
Introduction In December 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that Pfizer and Flynn had charged unfairly high prices for phenytoin sodium capsules, an important anti-epilepsy drug, in breach of competition law. The CMA imposed fines totalling £90 million. Pfizer and Flynn (...)

The UK Court of Appeal seeks to reinstate record fines totaling £89.4million imposed on pharmaceutical companies for abuse of dominant position through excessive and unfair pricing of an anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 10 March 2020 the UK Court of Appeal handed down its hotly anticipated judgment in Flynn Pharma Limited & Anr vs Competition and Markets Authority. The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was seeking to reinstate record fines totalling £89.4m imposed on pharmaceutical companies (...)

The UK Court of Appeal dismisses the Competition Authority’s appeal against the Competition Appeals Tribunal ruling quashing fines imposed on two pharmaceutical companies for charging excessive and unfair prices for an anti-epilepsy drug (Pfizer / Flynn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 March 2020, the UK’s Court of Appeal dismissed the Competition and Market Authority’s (“CMA”) appeal against a 2018 ruling by the Competition Appeals Tribunal (“CAT”) that quashed the CMA’s 2016 fine imposed on Pfizer and Flynn for charging excessive and unfair prices for phenytoin sodium (an (...)

The Japanese FTC files then withdraws petition for an urgent injunction against dominant online retail company’s new policy after policy is changed due to COVID-19 (Rakuten Ichiba) Free
Japan Fair Trade Commission (Tokyo)
The JFTC has Filed a petition for an Urgent Injunction against Rakuten, Inc.* Today, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has filed a petition for an urgent injunction to the Tokyo District Court in accordance with the provision of Article 70-4, paragraph 1 of the Antimonopoly Act, seeking (...)

The UK Competition Authority welcomes the England & Wales Court of Appeal’s judgment, calling it an important step forward in clarifying the legal test for excessive and unfair pricing (Pfizer / Flynn Pharma) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA welcomes Court of Appeal judgment in Phenytoin case* The CMA welcomes today’s Court of Appeal judgment, calling it an important step forward in clarifying the legal test for excessive and unfair pricing. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will now carefully review the elements (...)

The UK Court of Appeal imposes agency discretion in the methodology to establish the unfairness of prices, thereby increasing the burden of proof on companies to avoid a finding of excessive pricing (Flynn / Pfizer)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The UK Court of Appeal Overturns the CAT & Imposes Agency Discretion on Excessive Price Benchmark* On March 10, 2020, the England and Wales Court of Appeal (CoA) handed down a significant ruling that reintroduces agency discretion in the methodology used to establish the unfairness of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s quashing of the Competition Autority’s decision against pharmaceutical undertakings who had abused their dominant position by pricing their epilepsy drug unfairly (Pfizer / Flynn Pharma)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
On 10 March 2020 the Court of Appeal upheld the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) quashing of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma (Flynn) had abused their dominant positions in the market by pricing their epilepsy drug unfairly. Among other (...)

The UK Court of Appeal provides guidance regarding the legal test to determine whether pricing is excessive and unfair in the pharmaceutical market (Flynn Pharma / Pfizer)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The UK Court of Appeal Clarifies the Legal Test for Excessive Pricing* Under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), an undertaking may abuse its dominant position by “directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices”. The UK Court of Appeal (...)

The UK Court of Appeal provides guidance on the legal test for excessive and unfair pricing after finding that an undertaking is charged unfairly high prices for phenytoin sodium capsules (Flynn / Pfizer)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
Under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), an undertaking may abuse its dominant position by “directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices”. The UK Court of Appeal recently provided guidance regarding the legal test to determine whether (...)

The EU Commission adopts a decision imposing commitments on an undertaking to free up capacities at interconnection points to increase natural gas exports between countries (Transgaz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a decision imposing commitments on Transgaz to free up capacities at interconnection points in order to allow for increased natural gas exports from Romania to Hungary and Bulgaria. According to the Commission’s press release, Transgaz the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority sanctions a telecommunications company for having undertaken a complex abusive strategy aimed at hindering the entry of the new infrastructure competitors in the broadband communication services sector (Telecom Italia)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
The Italian Antitrust Authority ("ICA") launched in June 2017 a proceeding for alleged violations of Article 102 TFEU committed by Telecom Italia ("TI") - through a complex abusive strategy aimed at a double purpose: in the retail market, to make its customer base less contestable by other (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces that it has been monitoring reports of changes to sales and pricing practices during the COVID-19 outbreak and will assess whether it should advise Government to consider taking direct action to regulate prices Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
COVID-19: sales and pricing practices during Coronavirus outbreak* The CMA has been monitoring reports of changes to sales and pricing practices during the coronavirus outbreak. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) wants to ensure that traders do not exploit the current situation to (...)

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court finds a medicine distributor guilty of abusing its dominant position (CD Pharma)
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
On 3 March 2020, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court found a medicine distributor, CD Pharma AB, guilty of having abused its dominant position back in 2014. Due to its dominant position, the undertaking in question had a special responsibility not to harm competition – a responsibility that (...)

Mergers

The COMESA Competition Commission issues guidance on timing and other implications for merger review relating to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Primerio (Washington)
COMESA retains 30-day merger notification requirement during COVID pandemic, but loosens some rules* The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has, along with several other competition-law enforcers on the African continent, issued new guidance on timing and other implications relating to the (...)

The UK Competition Authority unconditionally clears merger of the country’s main two online betting brands (Flutter / Stars) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Merger between betting firms cleared by the CMA* Following an investigation, the CMA has cleared the merger between gambling companies Flutter and Stars. The companies are 2 of the main online betting brands in the UK, with a combined revenue of £1.5 billion. Flutter owns Paddy Power and (...)

The COMESA Competition Authority encourages electronic merger notifications, extends deadline for document submission, suspends physical meetings, and warns of possible investigation delays due to COVID-19 pandemic Free
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) (Lusaka)
NOTICE OF INTERIM MEASURES IN MERGER REVIEW OF THE COMESA COMPETITION COMMISSION DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC* The COMESA Competition Commission (the Commission) is aware that these are unprecedented, uncertain and challenging times for undertakings and other stakeholders. In view of this, the (...)

The US FTC provides guidance on COVID-19’s impact on HSR filing timelines Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
In a prior note we provided guidance on COVID-19’s Impact on HSR Filing Timelines. The Agencies had indicated that early termination would not be granted while FTC operated on a temporary e-filing system. Today, the Agencies have updated that guidance and as of March 30 will again grant early (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds competition concerns in proposed merger of retail investment software firms (FNZ / GBST) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Merger of retail investment software firms raises competition concerns* FNZ’s purchase of GBST raises competition concerns in the provision of retail investment platform solutions in the UK, a CMA investigation has found. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss (...)

The Serbian Competition Authority publishes its new guidelines on notification deadlines for merger during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Karanovic & Nikolic (Belgrade)
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Karanovic & Nikolic (Belgrade)
The Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Merger Control Matters in Western Balkans* The COVID-19 pandemic has been heavily affecting economies and countries across the globe. In such circumstances, ensuring the undisturbed work of the competition authorities is difficult, but important in order to (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority announces that retrospective notification of an acquisition of shares of a car parts manufacturer is a violation of the notification requirements and subject to fines (Castanea Rubra)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 27 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) announced that, pursuant to its request, the Cartel Court had imposed a fine of € 100,000 on Castanea Rubra Assets GmbH. Castanea Rubra Assets GmbH had acquired 94% of the shares of German-based car parts manufacturer Neue (...)

The Australian Competition Authority provides guidance for the merger clearances, authorisations, notifications and CTMs during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
COVID-19 pandemic - what it means for ACCC merger clearances, authorisations, notifications and CTMs* With the recent and increasing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACCC’s Merger & Authorisation Review Division will provide ongoing guidance regarding any changes in our operations (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its adaptation of the time limits and procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Adaptation of the time limits and procedures of the Autorité de la concurrence in times of health emergency* Background The Autorité specifies to businesses how the rules regarding deadlines and procedures will be adapted due to the state of health emergency. Following the adoption of the law (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority grants request to amend commitments in the market for free TV and television advertising undertaken as part of a merger cleared previously (Puls 4 / ATV)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (“FCA”) granted a request to amend the commitments in the market for free TV and television advertising undertaken as part of a merger cleared in 2017. The FCA had cleared the acquisition by Austrian-based ProSiebenSat.1Puls 4 GmbH (...)

The US DoJ requires divestitures in merger of two national defence contractors in order to address vertical and horizontal antitrust concerns (United Technologies Corporation / Raytheon)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Requires Divestitures in Merger Between UTC and Raytheon to Address Vertical and Horizontal Antitrust Concerns* Divestitures Will Preserve Competition in the United States for Military Airborne Radios, Military GPS Systems, and Reconnaissance Satellite Components The (...)

The US DoJ challenges a merger which highlights key considerations for antitrust reviews of aerospace and defence industry transactions (United Technologies / Raytheon)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
The DOJ Antitrust Division’s recent challenge to the United Technologies/Raytheon merger highlights a few key considerations for antitrust reviews of aerospace and defense industry transactions. The case is a useful illustration of important principles applicable to this unique industry. IN (...)

The UK Competition Authority clarifies that the UK merger control regime is still operating despite the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Whilst Covid-19 is not expected to lead to changes to the core legal and policy principles underpinning merger control regimes around the world, it is worth noting that: merger control regimes are still in operation, albeit filing processes and regulatory reviews may take a bit longer and some (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation relating to a merger in the pharmaceutical sector (Tachosil / Johnson & Johnson)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Tachosil by Johnson & Johnson* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Tachosil by Johnson & Johnson, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission (...)

The Vietnamese Government issues a decree providing guidance on thresholds for merger control notification, the definition of "control" and the approach to reviewing the competitive impact of a transaction
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Vietnam)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
An epidemic and the competition law share little in common but end up in the same place – one attacks fairly and equally; the other attacks unfair inequality. So it was perhaps fitting that on 24 March 2020, in the middle of its fight to control the Coronavirus outbreak, the Vietnamese (...)

The Italian Competition Authority updates its merger notification thresholds
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) has raised the turnover thresholds applicable to merger notifications effective 23 March 2020. Under the new thresholds, a merger must be notified and approved by the AGCM prior to implementation where: • € 504 million in combined turnover is achieved in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority updates the turnover thresholds that make prior notification of a concentration mandatory
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
By decision of 23 March 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has updated the turnover thresholds that make prior notification of a concentration mandatory, pursuant to Article 16, par. 1, of Law No. 287 of 1990 ("Law"). According to Article 16, par. 1 of the Law, as amended, a (...)

The UK Competition Authority Phase I investigation finds competition concerns in merger between window blind companies (Hunter Douglas / 247 Home Furnishings) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Merger between window blind companies raises competition concerns* Hunter Douglas’s purchase of 247 Home Furnishings Ltd raises competition concerns in the supply of made-to-measure window blinds, the CMA has found. Hunter Douglas is a leading global supplier of window coverings, which (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a hospital for gun-jumping but accepts payment of the fine in multiple installments not to negatively affect the hospital’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic (Hospital Particular do Algarve) Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC fines Hospital Particular do Algarve for gun-jumping* The AdC fined Hospital Particular do Algarve, SA (HPA) in the total amount of 155,000 euros for acquiring sole control of Hospital de S. Gonçalo de Lagos S.A. (HSGL) without prior notification of the acquisition and, consequently, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority allows payment of a gun-jumping fine in installments due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Hospital Particular do Algarve) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In September 2019, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“AdC”) imposed a fine of € 155,000 on Hospital Particular do Algarve (“HPA”) for gun-jumping, finding that HPA had acquired sole control of Hospital de São Gonçalo de Lagos without the AdC’s prior approval. The AdC has recently announced that it (...)

The French Competition Authority encourages the delay of new mergers, requires electronic submission, and extends processing times as special measures due to COVID-19 Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Adaptation of merger control procedures due to Coronavirus COVID-19* Given the health situation in France, the Autorité de la concurrence is forced to put in place extensive preventive measures. The services of the Autorité are working remotely since 17 March 2020. Time limits for processing (...)

The Danish Competition Authority suspends its time limits for merger review for 14 days as special measure due to COVID-19 Free
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Time limits for merger control are suspended for 14 days* The Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs has issued an order implying that the time limits for merger control are suspended for 14 days. When companies wish to implement a larger merger, the Competition and Consumer (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority reopens investigation into acquisition of digital network operator and issues a new conditional approval (Invitel / DIGI)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2020, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) conditionally re-approved fixed telecommunications service provider DIGI’s acquisition of its rival Invitel. The GVH had already conditionally cleared the acquisition in May 2018 (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2018, No. 5). During (...)

The Irish Competition Authority announces temporary changes to the merger notification process due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Matheson (Dublin)
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Matheson (Dublin)
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) announced on 18 March 2020 temporary measures to assist it in complying with binding statutory deadlines and to ensure business continuity in the review of notified mergers and (...)

The Irish Competition Authority encourages delay of merger filings and establishes a temporary process for electronic notification of mergers as special measures due to COVID-19 Free
McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
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McCann FitzGerald (Brussels)
On 18 March, the CCPC issued a statement encouraging merging parties where possible to delay merger filings until further notice, and establishing a temporary process for electronic notification of mergers. In an effort to ensure business continuity in merger review amid the COVID-19 outbreak, (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority implements measures in line with WHO recommendations against the spread of the COVID-19 Free
Mattos Filho Advogados (Sao Paulo)
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Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. & Quiroga (Sao Paulo)
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Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga (New York)
The Brazilian antitrust authority has implemented measures in line with WHO recommendations against the spread of the COVID-19, and activities are being carried out without major impacts, although deadlines in conduct cases are now suspended and delays in certain matters cannot be altogether (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority reopens a previously approved acquisition between two telecommunication players on the basis that the parties submitted false and misleading data during the notification and approval procedure (Invitel / GVH)
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) finally approved the acquisition of Invitel by DIGI, both significant players on the Hungarian telecoms market. However, with with a complex remedies package as published on 18 March 2020 (Vj/42/2018). As we already reported, the approval of the merger (...)

The US FTC and DOJ adopt new mergers procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak Free
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
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Jones Day (Washington DC)
The FTC and DOJ have adopted new procedures in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The changes are intended to help the agencies stay open during the crisis, but merging parties should expect lengthier antitrust reviews until normal operations resume. All merger filings with (...)

The US Premerger Notification Office implements a temporary e-filing system for submission of HSR filings Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
As a result of developments relating to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Premerger Notification Office (PNO) of the Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will implement a temporary e-filing system for Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filings. During this period, all HSR filings must be (...)

The US DOJ extends its timing of merger investigations by 30 days and allows electronic filing of Hart-Scott-Rodino submissions among special measures due to COVID-19 Free
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Announces Antitrust Civil Process Changes for Pendency of COVID-19 Event* Process Changes Will Ensure that the Department Can Carry Out Its Enforcement Mission While Protecting the Health and Safety of Its Employees and the American Public The Department of Justice (...)

The US FTC and US DoJ announces modifications to their policies and procedures, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including timing and processes in place for reviewing transaction subject to mandatory reporting under HSR Free
Cooley (Washington)
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Cooley (Washington)
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Cooley (Washington)
Antitrust FAQs for Merging Parties What modifications have the FTC and DOJ made for transactions reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act? Will timing to receive HSR clearance be impacted? While the federal antitrust agencies, the Federal Trade Commission and US Department of Justice (the (...)

The Spanish Government updates foreign investment screening regime in light of COVID-19 and prohibits or severely limits the foreign acquisition of companies active in sectors related to public order, public security or public health Free
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has led to its consideration as a global pandemic. Spain, currently at the epicenter of the crisis, has declared the state of alarm last Sunday. To ease the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in the economy, the Spanish Government approved yesterday Royal Decree-Law (...)

The French Competition Authority is not able to guarantee the usual processing delays for mergers since its staff is working remotely during the COVID-19 situation Free
Baker Mckenzie (Paris)
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Baker Mckenzie (Paris)
The French government has taken preventive measures due to COVID-19, thereby forcing the members of the French Competition Authority to work remotely since 17 March 2020. This situation is already impacting on merger control: “Although we are striving to ensure continuity of public service, (…) (...)

The EU Commission encourages the delay of merger notifications and electronic submission as special measures due to COVID-19 Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
SPECIAL MEASURES DUE TO CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19* DELAY OF MERGER NOTIFICATIONS DG COMP has put in place a number of measures to ensure business continuity in the enforcement of the EU Merger Regulation. However, due to the complexities and disruptions caused by the Coronavirus, companies are (...)

The US DoJ announces antitrust civil process changes for the pendency of COVID-19 events and confirms that the HSR review process will be significantly impacted Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
With COVID-19-related closures rolling in daily, you may have questions about the operating status of the federal government’s antitrust enforcement agencies. Currently, the HSR review process does not seem to be significantly impacted, although the agencies will not grant a request for early (...)

The EU Commission adjusts merger filing process in response to COVID-19 crisis Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The European Commission (the “Commission”) has announced that it will face delays in its merger review process as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the Commission has stated that it may not be able to collect information from third parties efficiently and may have limited access (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority requires companies to contact the Authority before notifying new merger transaction due to COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
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Bird & Bird (Helsinki)
Due to the novel coronavirus the Finnish Competition & Consumer Authority ("FCCA") has published a statement requiring companies to contact the FCCA before filing a new merger control notification and specifically agreeing with the FCCA that a notification may be filed. This requirement is (...)

The EU Commission updates its practical guidance to merging parties and encourages companies to delay merger notifications until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
O’Melveny & Myers (Hong Kong)
,
O’Melveny & Myers (Washington DC)
,
O’Melveny & Myers (Brussels)
The European Commission (the “EC”) has updated its practical guidance to merging parties “encouraging companies to delay merger notifications originally planned until further notice, where possible.” The unprecedented move comes in response to the expanding crisis management measures that (...)

The EU Commission encourages companies to delay merger notifications until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bird & Bird (Düsseldorf)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
Challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major impact on the “business continuity" of courts and regulatory authorities. This affects, in particular, merger control proceedings as these are typically subject to specific time limits that the authorities (...)

The US DoJ and FTC implement a temporary e-filing system for premerger notification documents Free
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (New York)
As businesses and government agencies continue to take measures in response to the new coronavirus, one area of notable change is the federal merger clearance process. On March 13, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) implemented a temporary e-filing system (...)

The US FTC Premerger Notification Office temporarily institutes mandatory e-filing system as a special measure due to COVID-19 Free
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Premerger Notification Office Implements Temporary e-Filing System* Due to the developing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and consistent with guidance from the Office of Personnel Management, the Premerger Notification Office (PNO) will implement a temporary e-filing system. During this (...)

The EU Commission encourages companies to delay merger notifications originally planned until further notice where possible due to COVID-19 Free
White & Case (Brussels)
COVID-19 is changing our lives more rapidly and more profoundly than we could have ever imagined. All over the world, governments order their countries into lockdowns, factories stop producing, people stop buying, citizens are confined to their four walls and businesses switch to working (...)

The EU Commission announces that companies were encouraged to delay new merger notifications until further notice because of the complexities and disruptions caused by the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
The current COVID-19 pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges on our public health systems and communities. It is also heavily impacting economic activity, including for companies in the midst of M&A or joint venture transactions. Deals that are subject to merger control review in the (...)

The US DoJ and FTC implement policies in response to COVID-19 including new measures to the HSR e-filing system Free
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
Last week, in response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the antitrust agencies in the United States and European Union issued policies that will affect, and may delay, merger filings and reviews. On March 13, 2020, the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade (...)

The US FTC and EU Commission struggle to balance the need for business and the practical challenges for mergers during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels)
COVID-19 is impacting all sectors of the economy and society, and merger review is no exception. Competition authorities are struggling to balance the need for business continuity and compliance with administrative deadlines on the one hand, with a variety of practical challenges on the other. (...)

The US FTC introduces temporary electronic HSR filing and stops granting early terminations for all filings due to COVID-19 measures Free
Sheppard Mullin (Los Angeles)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
In response to COVID-19, the FTC’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) just announced several changes for all Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filings going forward. While these changes have been described as temporary, no specific end date has been identified. Hard copy HSR filings will no longer be (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue guidance on merger review during the COVID-19 outbreak and confirm that they continue to operate despite merging parties expecting lengthier reviews Free
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
,
Jones Day (Washington DC)
The FTC and DOJ have adopted new procedures in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The changes are intended to help the agencies stay open during the crisis, but merging parties should expect lengthier antitrust reviews until normal operations resume. All merger filings with (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the insurance market (Macif / Aésio)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears the merger of the Macif and Aésio insurance groups* On 7 February 2020, the Macif and Aésio groups notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their planned merger. Parties to the transaction The MACIF group is a French insurance group active mainly in the (...)

The UK Competition Authority approves media company’s acquisition of almost 50 radio stations, subject to requirement that local radio stations have access to advertising representation (Bauer Media Group) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Final decision published in radio merger inquiry* The CMA will ensure local radio stations have access to advertising representation following an in-depth investigation into Bauer’s purchase of almost 50 stations. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has investigated Bauer Media’s (...)

The US DoJ and FTC publish a public statement regarding their ongoing commitment to antitrust enforcement in mergers and acquisitions during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Morgan Lewis (New York)
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Morgan Lewis (Washington)
US antitrust laws already on the books facilitate rapid investment without government delay: important practical tools and rules for dealmakers and their counsel in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the current economic challenges. Recently, leaders of both the US Antitrust (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds competition concerns in Phase I investigation of proposed educational publishing merger (McGraw-Hill / Cengage) New
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Educational publishing merger raises competition concerns* The CMA has found that McGraw-Hill’s takeover of competitor Cengage could leave students worse off. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the proposed merger could result (...)

The US DoJ wins historic arbitration of a merger dispute forcing the merging parties to fully divest their entire aluminium auto body sheet operations in North America (Novelis / Aleris Corporation)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Wins Historic Arbitration of a Merger Dispute* Novelis Inc. Must Divest Assets to Consummate Transaction with Aleris Corporation The Department of Justice prevailed in a first-of-a-kind arbitration, which will resolve a civil antitrust lawsuit challenging Novelis’s proposed (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority clears concentration between marinas on the Adriatic coast (Venilia Investments)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA clears concentration between marinas on the Adriatic coast* Venilia Investments is a part of CVC group – a special-purpose vehicle established exclusively for the purposes of this transaction. The implementation of the concentration concerned will produce effects in the provision of marine (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears acquisition in the market for student management software for childcare providers (Juice Technologies / APT)
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Commission grants clearance for Juice Technologies to acquire APT* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Juice Technologies Pty Limited (operating in New Zealand as Infocare Systems Limited) to acquire APT Business Solutions Limited (trading as APT Childcare). In reaching its (...)

The Australian Competition Authority decides not to appeal the Federal Court’s decision in a merger which declared that it would not have the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition in the supply of retail mobile services (TPG / Vodafone)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
The ACCC has decided not to appeal the Federal Court of Australia’s highly anticipated judgment in the TPG/Vodafone merger in which it declared that the proposed merger between the two parties would not have the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition in the supply of (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal by a seafood company against the Commission’s fine for failure to notify a transaction (Marine Harvest)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
CJEU Confirms Double Trouble for Gun Jumpers* On 4 March 2020, the European Court of Justice (“CJEU”) rendered its judgment in the Marine Harvest case. The CJEU dismissed Marine Harvest’s appeal against a European Commission (“Commission”) decision in which the Commission imposed two separate fines (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the EU Commission’s fines to a fish farmer and processor company for infringing merger control rules (Marine Harvest)
Hogan Lovells (London)
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Hogan Lovells (London)
Norwegian salmon farmer Marine Harvest has been unsuccessful in its appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding substantial and separate fines imposed on it by the European Commission for both failing to notify a merger and for ’jumping the gun’ in implementing the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal made by a Norwegian seafood company against the Commission’s decision in fining the company for putting into effect its acquisition of a salmon producer before getting the approval (Marine Harvest)
Ashurst (London)
,
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 4 March 2020, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") dismissed the appeal made by Norwegian seafood company Marine Harvest against a 2017 ruling of the General Court ("GC") confirming the European Commission ("Commission") 2014 decision fining Norwegian seafood company Marine Harvest for (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger subject to a structural remedy in the bakery market in La Réunion (Pain Frotté /Kin Siong / Lam Tow / Yong Wai Man)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears, subject to conditions, the takeover, in La Réunion, of the bakery group Pain Frotté by the groups Kin Siong, Lam Tow and Yong Wai Man* The Pain Frotté group operates artisanal bakeries in La Réunion under the trade names “L’Ambassadeur”, “Délicatesses Casta” (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between cinema chains subject to divestitures (CinemaxX / Cinestar)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vue Group (CinemaxX) can acquire Cinestar cinemas subject to conditions* Bonn, 2. March 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has today cleared the merger between the cinema chains CinemaxX and Cinestar subject to the condition that the cinema operators divest cinemas at six different locations to other (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the market for manufacturing chocolate and nougat spreads (Krüger Group / Peeters)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Chocolate and nougat spreads – Merger between Krüger Group and Peeters cleared* Bonn, 2 March 2020: The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of the Dutch Peeters group, a manufacturer of chocolate and nougat spreads, by Wilhelm Reuss GmbH, a member of the Krüger Group based in (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority opens a phase II investigation into a proposed merger in the funeral services market as the transaction would create the largest company in the Spanish market for this sector (Sana Lucia)
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
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Bird & Bird (Madrid)
At the end of last year, a major Spanish insurance group -Santa Lucía- notified to the Spanish Competition authority (the "CNMC") a proposed merger whereby it would acquire the funeral businesses of Funespaña (a subsidiary of Mapfre, a direct competitor of Santa Lucía). This acquisition will be (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €200 million Irish scheme in the form of repayable advances to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission approves €200 million Irish scheme to support the economy in the current coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a €200 million Irish scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme was approved under (...)

The EU Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a French scheme deferring the payment by airlines of certain aeronautical taxes to be in line with EU State aid (...)

The EU Council announces that it will suspend airport slot requirements to help mitigate the economic impact on airlines including State aid in different forms Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Morgan Lewis (London)
,
Morgan Lewis (London)
The Council of the EU announced on March 30 that the European Union has suspended the airport slot requirements until October 24. The slot requirements require airlines to use at least 80% of their slots in order to be guaranteed usage of those slots in the following year. The waiver of the EU (...)

The EU Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found France’s €1.2 billion scheme to support small and micro-enterprises as well as self-employed people (...)

The EU Commission approves €130 million Danish guarantee scheme for SMEs with export activities affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €130 million Danish guarantee scheme for SMEs with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a DKK 1 billion (approximately €130 million) Danish liquidity guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (...)

The EU Commission approves €1.75 billion Estonian schemes to support companies with loan guarantees and direct loans under favorable terms during COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.75 billion Estonian schemes to support economy in coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved two Estonian State aid schemes to support the Estonian economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The schemes were approved under the State aid (...)

The EU Commission amends Short-term export-credit insurance Communication in light of economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission amends Short-term export-credit insurance Communication in light of economic impact of coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has decided to temporarily remove all countries from the list of “marketable risk" countries under the Short-term export-credit insurance (...)

The EU Commission consults with Member States on extending the State aid Temporary Framework for COVID-19 outbreak with 5 new measures Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Coronavirus: Commission Statement on consulting Member States on the proposal to extend State aid Temporary Framework* This evening, the European Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal to extend the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls a State aid granted by Greece in the context of the privatisation of a large nickel producer (Larko)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2020, the Court of Justice partially annulled the judgment of the General Court concerning State aid granted by Greece in the context of the privatisation of Larko, a large nickel producer. The Court of Justice found that the ruling at first instance had wrongly applied the Private (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls the General Court’s decision which ruled that the Greek authorities should have known about the State aid public loan when there was no proof that they were aware of it (Larko)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission introduces a Temporary Framework which enables governments to offer extensive State-backed loans to the aviation industry affected by the COVID-19 Free
Shearman & Sterling (Frankfurt)
,
Shearman & Sterling (London)
,
Shearman & Sterling (London)
Although the EU’s introduction of a Temporary Framework has enabled governments to offer extensive State-backed loans, the airline industry needs more than just credit—it will need equity. However, State aid to the aviation industry is strictly regulated by the European Commission (the (...)

The EU Council supports in a virtual meeting the State aid framework that allows Member States to provide relief to the companies and citizens Free
BEUC (Brussels)
EU competition law and the COVID-19 pandemic - a consumer perspective* We are living through unprecedented challenges in Europe and around the world. Despite the efforts of the European Union and its Member States to contain the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, infection rates are on the rise. (...)

The EU Commission approves under EU State aid rules €1.3 billion Danish scheme that partially compensates the self-employed for the losses of turnover suffered due to the COVID-19 Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a DKK 10 billion (approximately €1.3 billion) Danish scheme that partially compensates the self-employed for the losses of turnover suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of (...)

The EU Commission approves two separate UK State aid schemes to support SMEs in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission has approved two separate UK State aid schemes to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The schemes were approved under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 (...)

The EU Commission approves the Italian State guarantee supporting a debt moratorium from banks to SMEs affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission has approved the Italian State guarantee supporting a debt moratorium from banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of (...)

The EU Commission finds Luxembourg’s €300 million scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission has found Luxembourg’s €300 million scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (...)

The EU Commission approves German direct grant scheme to support companies affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves German direct grant scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a German scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme was approved under the (...)

The EU Commission approves €20 billion Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed affected by COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €20 billion Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found two Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with (...)

The EU Commission finds Latvian loan guarantee scheme and subsidised loan scheme of €250 million for companies affected by coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves state support for €250 million Latvian subsidised loan scheme and loan guarantee scheme for companies affected by coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found Latvian loan guarantee scheme and subsidised loan scheme for companies affected by coronavirus (...)

The EU Commission approves €3 billion Portuguese State aid schemes for small and medium-sized companies and midcaps affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €3 billion Portuguese guarantee schemes for SMEs and midcaps affected by Coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found four Portuguese guarantee schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps affected by the Coronavirus outbreak to be (...)

The EU Commission approves a €50 million Italian State aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €50 million Italian support scheme for production and supply of medical equipment and masks during Coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, such as (...)

The EU Commission approves a €130 million State aid scheme to help the Danish small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Danish guarantee scheme for SMEs affected by Coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a DKK 1 billion (approx. €130 million) Danish guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by Coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU (...)

The EU Commission approves three French State aid schemes in order to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves French schemes to support economy in Coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved three French State aid schemes to support the French economy in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak. The schemes were approved under the State aid Temporary (...)

The EU Commission adopts a new Temporary Framework for State aid in the COVID-19 context to support the business suffering Free
White & Case (London)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
,
White & Case (Brussels)
The European Commission has now adopted a Framework of temporary State aid rules enabling Member States to adopt measures to support the growing number of businesses suffering because of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the first time since the 2008 financial crisis that the Commission has (...)

The EU Commission adopts a Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak (the “Covid-19 Temporary Framework”). This Temporary Framework complements the Communication on a Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak (...)

The EU Commission implements a specific and temporary framework for State aid measures to support the EU economy during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
,
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
,
BCTG Avocats (Paris)
The current health crisis related to the Covid-19 outbreak has forced several Member States of the European Union (hereinafter the “EU”) to take exceptional containment measures of their population which have resulted in a decrease in the companies’ cash flow and in a freeze on their investments. (...)

The EU Commission adopts the temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak (“Temporary Framework”). On 4 April 2020, it published a first amendment to the Temporary Frame- work, which significantly broadens its scope of (...)

The EU Commission adopts a temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 19 March 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID- 19 outbreak (the “Temporary Framework”), which was first amended on 3 April 2020. On 8 May 2020, the Commission adopted another amend- (...)

The EU Commission adopts a Temporary Framework for State aid in the context of the COVID-19 to support the economy Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission on 19 March adopted a Temporary Framework for State Aid to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables the Commission to approve national support measures to (...)

The EU Commission takes an important step to facilitate State aid due to the COVID-19 crisis by adopting a temporary framework Free
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
,
Baker McKenzie (London)
,
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
Many businesses are increasingly facing severe business disruption and/or liquidity problems as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads. Supply chains are disrupted, workforces quarantined and customer demand is falling. In response, governments across the EU (and the UK) are pledging to do whatever it (...)

The EU Commission adopts a new Temporary Framework to complement the existing State aid toolbox during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
,
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been declared an exceptional occurrence, paving the way for more and faster approval of national State aid initiatives in the EU. The massive and unprecedented financial impact on the world economy has led to a number of European governments promising (...)

The EU Commission adopts a Temporary Framework for the assessment of State aid granted to assist firms from entering into difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, European Union (EU) President von der Leyen has formed a team led by eight Commissioners to coordinate the EU response to the crisis. This team of Commissioners is advised by a new advisory panel of epidemiologists and virologists. The European Commission (...)

The EU Commission adopts a temporary framework allowing Member States to grant State aid to businesses to help them face the COVID-19 crisis Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
,
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a temporary framework that allows Member States to grant certain State aid to businesses to help them face the economic and financial consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. In the wake of this decision—and in a record time of (...)

The EU Commission announces a major relaxation of the State aid rules via a new Temporary Framework during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Shearman & Sterling (London)
,
Shearman & Sterling (London)
,
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
How will European Competition Enforcers Respond? The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to the economy and competition enforcement is no exception. Authorities at EU and national level may need to consider novel solutions to respond to rapidly evolving problems and to (...)

The EU Commission publishes its approach to State aid in the COVID-19 context Free
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the European economy with brute force. Many businesses are facing drastic declines in revenues and are in urgent need of liquidity. Some have imposed temporary lay-offs or even face insolvency. The European Commission and most EU member states as well as the UK, (...)

The EU Commission adopts a Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
On March 19, the Commission adopted a communication (the “Temporary Framework”) setting out a temporary framework for the implementation of less stringent State aid rules in order to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the limited size of the EU budget, most of the (...)

The EU Commissioner Vestager announces a draft proposal for a State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Shearman & Sterling (London)
Member States of the EU and the U.K. are announcing massive support packages for companies affected by the coronavirus crisis. These interventions are on a vast scale. Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, the measures we are seeing this week are predominately fiscal rather than monetary policy (...)

The EU Commission delays merger notifications until further notice and develops emergency State aid response to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly around the world, and countries take unprecedented measures to contain the spread of the disease, businesses are increasingly struggling with the economic impact of this crisis. While airlines, tour operators and event businesses have been among the (...)

The EU Commission encourages delay of merger notifications and electronic submission as special measures due to COVID-19
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been declared an exceptional occurrence, paving the way for more and faster approval of national State aid initiatives in the EU. The massive and unprecedented financial impact on the world economy has led to a number of European governments promising (...)

The Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities drafts a measure which aims to retain jobs by protecting employees and, at the same time, assisting the affected companies during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz (Ljubljana)
This Monday, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave the green light to EU member governments to discuss and adopt state aid rules aimed to assist companies impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. State aid should only be used when it is the appropriate tool to benefit the (...)

The EU Commission takes extraordinary health State aid measures to minimise the economic fallout from COVID-19 Free
Kirkland & Ellis (London)
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Kirkland & Ellis (London)
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Kirkland & Ellis (London)
EU State Aid and COVID-19* Overview Given the unprecedented challenge faced by European businesses in the wake of the public health measures being adopted, the EU and its Member States are taking extraordinary measures to minimise the economic fallout from COVID-19. Over the coming weeks, (...)

The EU Commission issues a communication recalling the various options for Member States that are within the rules and adopts a Temporary Framework for support measures to help with the effects of COVID-19 in order to prevent unfair distortions of competition and trade within the EU’s internal market Free
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
,
WilmerHale (Brussels)
The COVID-19 crisis is first and foremost a health issue, as governments around the world seek to limit and treat its effects and save lives. However, it is also an immediate economic and social issue, as companies and individuals strive to deal with its effects on their livelihoods—from (...)

The EU Commission adopts a series of measures implementing a flexible approach for approving urgent aid granted by member states to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
The unique EU State aid control law requires, in principle, prior notification by Member States and approval by the Commission of all State aid. During a time of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, EU law allows for a flexible approach for approving urgent State aid. In this post, we discuss (...)

The EU Commission adopts the communication on the coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and its repercussions on businesses, Member States announced that they will adopt all necessary measures to help undertakings in difficulty. The Commission, well-aware of this, has already adopted measures to guide Member States and ensure that their aid (...)

The EU Commission recognises the hotel and leisure sector as one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
The European Commission has recognised the Hotel and Leisure sector as one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Hotel and Leisure sector is unparalleled. TheEuropean tourism industry is predicted to experience an estimated financial loss (...)

The EU Commission approves the first COVID-19 related State aid notification submitted by Denmark within 24 hours of the notification to compensate damages caused by cancellations of large public events Free
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
As the number of businesses around the EU affected by the COVID-19 outbreak grows, many Member States are considering or have announced substantial supporting packages in an effort to limit the impact of the outbreak on the economy. Across the EU, measures vary, from governmental loans and (...)

The EU Commission decides that Italy granted unlawful State aid in favour of the hotel industry that should be recovered (Italy / Commission)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
In 2008, the European Commission decided that Italy had granted unlawful State aid in favour of the hotel industry in Sardinia. Consequently, Italy was required to recover that unlawful aid, totalling at about EUR 13.7 million. On 29 March 2012, the Court of justice upheld the arguments of the (...)

The EU Commission approves a COVID-19 related measure aimed at compensating event organisers for losses caused by cancellation Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
Recognizing the serious economic consequences that the COVID-19 crisis may create, on March 12 the Commission approved within 24 hours of notification a COVID-19 related measure in Denmark aimed at compensating event organizers for losses caused by cancellations. Following this initial ad hoc (...)

The EU General Court annuls the EU Commission’s decision that a football club received over €20m in unlawful State aid (Valencia Club)
Oxera (Brussels)
The General Court has annulled the European Commission’s decision that Valencia Club de Fútbol (Valencia CF) received over €20m in unlawful state aid. Oxera undertook the financial analysis that supported Valencia CF’s appeal to the General Court, and which underpinned the annulment of the European (...)

The EU Court of Justice orders to pay a penalty of €80,000 per day for failing to fully recover incompatible State aid (EU Commission / Italy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues a judgement clarifying the rights of interested parties in the context of State aid investigations (Gdynia / Kosakowo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 March 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) set aside the General Court’s (“GC”) judgment of 17 November 2017, Gmina Miasto Gdynia and Port Lotniczy Gdynia Kosakowo v. Commission (T-263/15, the “GC judgment”), which had annulled the Commission Decision on State aid (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the conditions in which a legal person liable to pay a tax can plead its incompatibility with the EU State aid rules before a national court (Vodafone Magyarország Mobil)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 March 2020, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) delivered another judgment in the field of taxation and State aid (Vodafone Magyarország Mobil Távközlési Zrt., C-75/18). While this judgment does not substantially develop the case law in this field, it contains useful (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on a preliminary ruling request regarding the Hungarian turnover taxes in the telecoms sector (Vodafone / Tesco / Google)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

Procedures

The Brazilian Competition Authority agrees to suspend deadline for implementing certain antitrust compliance commitments undertaken in a cartel case Settlement Agreement due to COVID-19 pandemic (Basso / Valbrás) Free
Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
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Caminati Bueno Advogados (São Paulo)
Due to the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (“CADE”) agreed to suspend the deadline for implementation of some antitrust compliance commitments undertaken in a Settlement Agreement (“Settlement”) in the context of a cartel investigation. In this short note we (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority makes available a special mailbox for complaints and queries related to the application of competition rules in the context of the health crisis created by COVID-19 Free
Bird & Bird (Madrid)
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Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The Spanish Competition authority (the "CNMC") has made available a special mailbox for complaints and queries related to the application of competition rules in the context of the health crisis created by COVID-19. During these exceptional circumstances, this mailbox is intended to resolve (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority announces that it has launched an online hotline for operators to report anti-competitive practices or to make inquiries in matters of competition law related to measures or practices adopted as a result of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
The CNMC bolsters its online whistleblowing hotline to pursue anticompetitive conduct in any sector, although with a special interest in the medical equipment, funeral and cremation services sectors. An enquiries platform is also launched so that operators can make competition law enquiries to (...)

The EU Commission launches a dedicated website about which EU-wide cooperation initiatives tackling the COVID-19 crisis are compatible with EU competition law Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: The Commission remains committed to providing swift antitrust guidance on cooperation initiatives in view of the coronavirus crisis* Today, the European Commission launched a dedicated website to provide guidance to companies, associations and their legal advisors where there is (...)

The Indian Competition Authority extends its office closure and suspension of hearing all non-urgent cases in line with the Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
On 17 March, the CCI decided to adjourn all but urgent matters listed for hearing until 31 March 2020. A week later, on 23 March, it suspended: (a) all filings in relation to Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act (anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position); (b) all (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority publishes a statement on the application of the Competition Ordinance during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong competition regulator issues COVID-19 guidance and takes ‘textbook’ case to court* On 27 March 2020, the Commission issued a statement (PDF) on the application of the Competition Ordinance during the COVID-19 outbreak. The statement covers four key issues: First, it recognises that (...)

The Australian Competition Authority publishes its response to the COVID-19 pandemic to adjust the focus of its regulatory activities Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC response to COVID-19 pandemic* The ACCC is highly conscious of the impact COVID-19 is having on Australian consumers and businesses, and has adjusted the focus of its regulatory activities accordingly. Most businesses are facing severe disruption, particularly small businesses, and the (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues a statement on the application of Competition Ordinance during COVID-19 outbreak and invites businesses to contact the Authority about their cooperation plans Free
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission issues statement on application of Competition Ordinance during COVID-19 outbreak* The Competition Commission (Commission) is aware of the challenges which the outbreak of COVID-19 poses to business operations and the supply of critical goods and services in Hong Kong. (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority clarifies enforcement of the Federal Economic Competition Law during the COVID-19 health emergency Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE’s position for enforcing the Federal Economic Competition Law in light of the current health emergency* Collaboration agreements between economic agents will not be prosecuted as long as they don’t have the objective of displacing competitors and are necessary, given the present context, (...)

The Czech Competition Authority clarifies competition law enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Czech Competition Authority (Brno)
COMPETITION LAW ENFORCEMENT DURING THE CRISIS CAUSED BY COVID-19 DISEASE* Countries around the globe are currently facing an unprecedented crisis caused by pandemic of the Covid-19 disease, which causes both health and economic difficulties. The Office is aware of the fact that in these (...)

The Czech Competition Authority adopts several measures related to the social and economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (Prague)
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Bird & Bird (Prague)
Like many other public authorities, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition (the Office) has adopted several measures related to the social and economic consequences caused by COVID-19. In order to minimize personal contact, the Office has limited public access to the Office’s (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority clarifies procedural deadlines of the agency following the Government’s new COVID-19 measures Free
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
Clarifications regarding the procedural deadlines of the agency due to the Provisional Measure No. 928, of 23 March 2020* The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), due to the Provisional Measure No. 928, of 23 March 2020, which included the article 6°-C in the Law No. 13.979, of (...)

The EU Commission and EU Member State Competition Authorities issue a joint statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis in the context of the European Competition Network Free
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
Cooperation in the life sciences industry and EU competition law in the context of COVID-19 The life sciences industry is facing unprecedented demands due to COVID-19. From front line carers to researchers and scientists, significant efforts are being put towards caring for those suffering (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority clarifies implications of the European Competition Network’s joint statement on competition law during the COVID-19 crisis and announces it will prioritize competition cases related to the pandemic Free
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the implications for competition law in Luxembourg - joint action of the "European Competition Network (ECN)"* The "European Competition Network (ECN)" issued a joint statement of the European competition authorities for the uniform application of competition law (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement announcing an expedited antitrust procedure and provide guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and safety of Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCE EXPEDITED ANTITRUST PROCEDURE AND GUIDANCE FOR CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EFFORTS* The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division today issued joint statement detailing an expedited antitrust procedure (...)

The European Competition Network and individual EU Member State publishes statements in response to antitrust enforcement due to the COVID-19 outbreak Free
WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
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WilmerHale (Brussels)
The European Competition Network of the 27 EU Member State Antitrust Authorities (the ‘ECN’), several individual EU Member State antitrust authorities, the UK’s antitrust authority and Norway’s government have issued statements in response to antitrust enforcement and COVID-19, focusing on three (...)

The European Competition Network issues a joint statement announcing that its members will not actively intervene against ’necessary and temporary’ measures to avoid a shortage of supply during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Amid the economic shocks caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many industries are facing reduced demand for their products and services. Other industries—notably healthcare and food—are adjusting rapidly to expanding demand requirements and changing consumption patterns due to large-scale (...)

The European Competition Network assists and advises companies on the application of the competition rules during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Brussels)
European Competition Authorities Provide Guidance on Application of Competition Rules in Times of COVID-19* As the economy in Europe is facing serious challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the European competition authorities are ready to assist and advise companies on the application of (...)

The European Competition Network issues a general joint statement on the application of competition rules during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Dechert (Paris)
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Dechert (Brussels)
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Dechert (Paris)
Key Takeaways Following several individual initiatives by member state competition authorities to temporarily relax competition rules in specific sectors, the European Competition Network (which includes the European Commission and all member state competition authorities) has issued a more (...)

The European Competition Network publishes a brief joint statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
In a welcomed attempt to align their approaches, the antitrust enforcers of the European Competition Network (ECN) have published a brief joint statement on the application of competition law during the Covid-19 crisis. If one may regret that its content remains too high-level, it is an (...)

The European Competition Network issues a joint statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis, including allowing companies cooperation to meet demand, and reminding that excessive pricing will be sanctioned Free
European Commission (Brussels)
Antitrust: Joint statement by the European Competition Network (ECN) on application of competition law during the Corona crisis* The ECN is fully aware of the social and economic consequences triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak in the EU/EEA. The different EU/EEA competition instruments have (...)

Compétence : Le Conseil d’État renvoie une affaire au Tribunal des conflits en estimant la Cour d’appel de Paris compétente pour connaître de la demande tendant à enjoindre à l’Autorité de republier une décision de mesures conservatoires (Google)
L’actu-concurrence (Paris)
Le 20 mars 2020, le Conseil d’État a rendu une décision dans l’affaire des mesures conservatoires mettant en demeure Google de clarifier la procédure de suspension des comptes Google Ads pour « contenus trompeurs ou interdits ». Toutefois, le présent litige ne porte pas sur la licéité des mesures (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches a COVID-19 taskforce to ensure compliance in markets affected by the public health emergency and to advise the Government on competition law matters during the outbreak Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA launches COVID-19 taskforce* The CMA is today launching a taskforce to tackle negative impacts within its remit of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge that has prompted many concerns that businesses might exploit the situation (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority suspends most procedures in line with the Government’s Royal Decree declaring a state of alert but keeps open the e-services portal for procedures whose parties can prove that delay is against public interest Free
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
CoVid-19- Announcement from the CNMC on the timelines for administrative procedures* "Additional provision 3 of Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March, declaring the state of alert to manage the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, provides for the suspension of periods and timelines for (...)

The Luxembourg Competition Authority switches to working remotely due to the COVID-19 crisis Free
Luxembourg Competition Council (Liège)
Coronavirus: Update from the Competition Council* Following government instructions and to ensure the safety of all, our teams switched to telecommuting. Be sure that we have taken all necessary measures to maintain our activities and continue to accompany you, without taking unnecessary (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority switches all operations to telework, suspends all hearings, and asks new merging parties to consider postponing their mergers as measures due to COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Information on the operation of the Hungarian Competition Authority due to the situation of the pandemic* Dear Clients and Colleagues, We would like to inform you that due to the state of emergency (State of Emergency) declared by the Government Decree 40/2020 (III.11.) on 11 March 2020, as (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority switches completely to teleworking due to COVID-19 and invites companies to delay all non-urgent mergers Free
Belgian Competition Authority (Brussels)
COVID-19 measures* The offices of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) are closed until further notice. All staff members are teleworking and the handling of cases will continue. While we strive to ensure the continuity of public service, the containment measures imposed by the Government (...)

The US Senate passes the CARES Act as a response to the COVID-19 crisis and tackles numerous issues on several fronts to stabilise the economy Free
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (Washington)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act provides no modifications to, or relief from, the US antitrust laws (specifically, the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-38; Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 12-27; and Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 13). But some major businesses are forming (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority suspends legal timeframes for most procedures due to COVID-19, except for mergers, public tenders, concessions, and permits Free
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
The Board of Commissioners decrees to stop legal terms for some procedures filed before COFECE* This measure does not apply to procedures for the notification of concentrations, the verification of notifications for concentrations that were legally bound to be presented before the Commission, (...)

The Russian Supreme Court and the Council of Judges issue a joint resolution to address measures Russian State Courts must take to limit the spread of the COVID-19 Free
Dechert (Moscow)
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Dechert (Moscow)
On March 18, 2020, Russia’s Supreme Court and the Counsel of Judges issued Joint Resolution No. 808 to address measures Russian state courts must take to limit the spread of COVID-19 (the “Resolution”). The Resolution makes reference to the Federal Law on Sanitary and Epidemic Safety, the (...)

The UK Competition Authority switches to telework, suspends almost all physical shipments of documents, but promises to continue processing cases by set deadlines amid COVID-19 pandemic Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
COVID-19: CMA working arrangements* Along with other businesses and organisations, the CMA continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 and has adjusted its working arrangements in response. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned above all to ensure the safety and (...)

The UK High Court issues guidance on the balancing of conflicting interest in a case involving the protection of a big tech’s confidential and technical information concerning its search algorithms (Foundem / Google)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Introduction There is an emerging trend in competition damages cases in England for the majority of documents to be disclosed into so-called “confidentiality rings.” These restrictive confidentiality procedures can result, in certain instances, in the parties themselves being precluded from (...)

The German Competition Authority remains operational amidst COVID-19 outbreak, but asks undertakings to postpone submitting non-urgent cases Free
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Communication with the Bundeskartellamt (Coronavirus measures)* The Bundeskartellamt’s operating capacity is currently ensured. We will inform you without delay of any limitations that may arise in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. You can contact us as usual by e-mail, phone, or fax, (...)

The Malaysian Competition Authority temporarily closes its offices following the Government’s Movement Restriction Order due to COVID-19 Free
Malaysia Competition Commission (Kuala Lumpur)
NOTICE OF TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF MyCC OFFICE* In light of the current situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia and the recent Movement Restriction Order announced by the Honorable Prime Minister on the 16th of March 2020; the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) will be closing (...)

The Belgian Federal Government mitigates the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis on Belgian companies and associations in light of the current lockdown measures Free
Van Bael & Bellis (London)
As is the case in many other European countries, the Belgian Federal Government is trying to further mitigate the negative effects of the Covid-19 crisis on Belgian companies and associations in light of the current confinement measures. Amongst other initiatives, it is preparing a draft act (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority temporarily suspends most business operations and announces an electronic system for submitting merger notifications as special measures due to COVID-19 Free
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
Corona (Covid-19) Update Further measures by the Austrian Federal Competition Authority 16. March 2020* The AFCA is doing its utmost in the current situation to maintain at least limited business operations, taking into account the current circumstances in terms of organisation, human (...)

The World’s Authorities present steps to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on antitrust related issues that businesses may confront in the coming days of the outbreak Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
I. INTRODUCTION The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented issues for businesses and we recognize that antitrust is unlikely to be your most important concern at this time. However, some forethought may mitigate risk of future exposure, and position your business as well as possible in this (...)

Dawn raids: The French Supreme Court confirms the validity of the use of "provisional closed seals" technique and the seizure of entire mailboxes in the context of an investigation into misleading commercial practices (Renault)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
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Ashurst (Paris)
In a decision dated 4 March 2020, the Criminal Division of the Court of Cassation confirmed and specified the procedures for conducting [OVS visits and seizures] authorized by the liberty and detention [judge (juge des libertés et de la détention JLD]) in the context of an investigation ordered (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority opens an investigation against an undertaking operating in the automotive sector in order to re-evaluate its previous decision since it was annulled by the 13th Chamber of Council of States (SCT)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Undertakings Operating in the Automotive Sector under the Review of the TCA Once Again* Introduction In the previous days, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) resolved under its decision dated 26.03.2020 and numbered 20-16/234-M to open an investigation against the undertaking (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority authorises medicine wholesalers to cooperate to facilitate distribution of essential medication and pharmacy products during COVID-19 crisis Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Medicine wholesalers to co-operate on access to pharmaceutical products* Wholesalers of medicines will be able to co-operate to facilitate distribution of essential medication and pharmacy products after being granted interim authorisation by the ACCC. This follows an application by the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority provides an interim authorisation for the Australian Banking Association and banks in order to cooperate on loan relief and services during COVID-19 crisis Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Banks authorised to co-operate on loan relief and services* The ACCC has provided a second, conditional, interim authorisation for the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and banks to co-operate to provide supplementary relief packages for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. The (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority publishes its digital strategy outlining the procedure for analysis and investigations in digital markets
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE publishes its COFECE Digital Strategy, explaining the actions it will undertake to successfully address analyses and investigations in digital markets* The Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE or Commission) presents to the general public the document COFECE Digital (...)

The UK Government passes emergency legislation to amend the UK Competition Law to help healthcare, grocery, and ferry companies during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (London)
Emergency Amendments to UK Competition Law to Help Maintain Supply of Essential Goods & Services in Face of COVID-19 Outbreak* The UK Government passed emergency legislation to amend UK competition law on 27th March 2020 to help healthcare, grocery and ferry companies maintain the (...)

The EU Commission issues guidelines to protect against predatory buyers during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Belgium)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
The European Commission on March 25 issued guidelines addressed to its member states outlining an EU-wide approach for foreign direct investment screening. The guidelines seek to protect EU companies as well as critical assets that are essential for the EU’s security and public order, (...)

The EU Commission’s President calls on the EU governments to either adopt or enforce investment screening mechanisms during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Debevoise & Plimpton (Paris)
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Debevoise & Plimpton (Londres)
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Debevoise & Plimpton (Londres)
Key takeaways: The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned this week of the need to protect European companies struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic from opportunistic acquirers. In a policy paper released on 25 March 2020, the Commission called on EU governments to (...)

The EU Commission publishes its first official guidance on the application the FDI Regulation and during the COVID-19 crisis there could be an increased risk of attempts to acquire healthcare capacities Free
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
On March 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its first official guidance (the Guidance) on the application of Regulation 2019/452 (the FDI Regulation), which created a new framework for screening foreign direct investments (FDI) into the European Union (EU). The EC noted that, in (...)

The EU Commission puts into operation FDI coordination six months early, proposing cooperation on an informal and voluntary basis
Covington & Burling (London)
,
Covington & Burling (Frankfurt)
,
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The European Commission has added to its call to Member States to act on foreign direct investment (“FDI”) by announcing that it is ready to support EU-level cooperation on FDI now. Spurred on by the COVID-19 crisis and the perceived vulnerability of key EU assets, the informal cooperation (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows supermarkets to coordinate with each other to ensure consumers reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Supermarkets to work together to ensure grocery supply* Supermarket operators will be able to coordinate immediately to ensure consumers have reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic following the ACCC’s granting of interim authorisation. The interim authorisation (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement to outline that they are monitoring markets behaviour during the global health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
,
Shearman & Sterling (New York)
,
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has, at least temporarily, reshaped the way that many companies do business. Nevertheless, companies must continue to be vigilant about compliance with the antitrust laws and understand that the U.S. antitrust agencies will continue to scrutinize their behavior (...)

The UK Competition Authority releases provisional findings of its review of air traffic control charges and invites views from stakeholders on how it should take account of the impact of COVID-19 in its final determination (CAA / NERL) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA review of air traffic control charges* The CMA has released and is consulting on its provisional findings into a dispute between the CAA and NERL regarding air traffic control charges. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has acted as the independent body charged with looking into (...)

The Turkish Act No. 7244 introduces a new regulatory authority to battle the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on economic and social life in Turkey Free
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
How Will Turkey Deal with Unfair Practices During COVID-19 Outbreak: Establishment of the Unfair Price Assessment Board* Introduction While the world is dealing with novel coronavirus pandemic, many countries resorted to protectionist measures in order to preserve the quality of social life (...)

The European Competition Network issues a statement on the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Court of First Instance of Namur
On 23 March 2020, the European Competition Network (ECN), which includes the European Commission and the national competition authorities of the EU (NCAs), issued a statement on the application of competition law during the Corona crisis (the “Statement”). The ECN explains that it “understands (...)

The French Parliament adopts an emergency law establishing a health state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
On Monday March 23, 2020, the French Parliament adopted an emergency law establishing a “health state of emergency,” declared for a period of two months from March 24, 2020 to May 24, 2020 (Emergency Law No. 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic) (the “Emergency Law”). This (...)

The US DoJ and State Attorney-General propose federal additions to the US Price Gouging Framework following the COVID-19 pandemic Free
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
Price gouging enforcement has largely been left to the States with their patchwork of varying laws—laws that have been invoked sporadically in crises. While the COVID-19 crisis has reportedly led to increased state enforcement, the federal government has taken a larger role, including Justice (...)

The Icelandic Competition Authority opens an information center as a response to the antitrust challenges posed by the current COVID-19 outbreak Free
Icelandic Competition Authority
On account of the COVID-19, consumers and businesses are confronted with unprecedented challenges. In response to these challenges, the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an information center where the following issues are addressed. 1- Exemptions from the ban to cooperate (...)

The Norwegian Government grants the transportation sector a 3-month temporary exception from the Competition Act as a special measure due to COVID-19 Free
Norwegian Competition Authority
Transportation sector is granted temporary exception from the Competition Act* Following the corona epidemic, the Norwegian government has as of today granted the transportation sector a three months temporary exception from the prohibition against anticompetitive agreements and practices in (...)

The South African Ministry of Trade and Industry grants block exemptions to the healthcare sector to combat the spread of the COVID-19 Free
Hogan Lovells (Johannesburg)
Acting swiftly to try to contain the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, on 15 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster. Now the government has gone further - on 19 March 2020 regulations issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry (the "Regulations") were (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority issues letter to the Canadian Bar Association regarding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations Free
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Letter from the Commissioner to the Canadian Bar Association regarding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic* GATINEAU, March 18, 2020 – Today, the Commissioner of Competition issued an open letter to executive members of the Canadian Bar Association’s Competition Law Section providing information on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority commences an inquiry into the digital advertising technology supply chain and advertising agency services in Australia and releases an issues paper encouraging interested stakeholders to provide their feedback
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
The ACCC has now commenced an inquiry into the digital advertising technology supply chain and advertising agency services in Australia, releasing an issues paper encouraging interested stakeholders (including advertisers and ad hosts) to provide their feedback on key issues affecting the (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation to prepare a new opinion on the freedom of establishment of lawyers at the French State Council and the National Supreme Court
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Public consultation - Lawyers at the Conseil d’État (French Administrative Supreme Court) and the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court)* The Autorité de la concurrence has launched a public consultation with a view to preparing a new opinion on the freedom of establishment of these (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases draft guidance on its approach to unbundling fibre services from local fibre companies on acceptable terms and prices for broadband retailers
New Zealand Commerce Commission
Draft guidance released on Commission’s approach to unbundled fibre* The Commerce Commission has released draft guidance to help the telecommunications industry understand its approach to monitoring and enforcing obligations on Chorus and the other local fibre companies (LFCs) to allow (...)

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