The Court of The Hague decides not to ban the Dutch Competition Authority from joining the referral request launched by the French Competition Authority (Illumina / Grail)

The European Commission ("EC") is shifting its approach with respect to the referral mechanism under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation 139/2004 (the "EUMR") [1] and now – at least in certain circumstances – encourages referrals from Member States even where the national filing thresholds are not met. This begs the question of whether the merging parties can stop the referral by appealing the national referral decisions. Just weeks after the EC introduced its new policy, we have an initial answer: the French Council of State and a court in The Hague have rejected applications to suspend or annul such a request for referral. On 26 March 2021, the EC published new guidance on the application of the referral mechanism set out in Article 22 EUMR. This provision allows for mergers to be

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Jeremie Marthan, Tilman Kuhn, Mark D. Powell, Rahel Wendebourg, The Court of The Hague decides not to ban the Dutch Competition Authority from joining the referral request launched by the French Competition Authority (Illumina / Grail), 31 March 2021, e-Competitions March 2021, Art. N° 100696

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