May 2022

General antitrust

The Australian Competition Authority commits to increasing scrutiny of digital payment systems
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC focused on competition issues with shift to digital payments* Competition in payments markets, investigating allegations of anti-competitive conduct, and protecting the interests of consumers will be the focus of the ACCC’s financial services enforcement and policy work over the next year, (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes a new framework document on competition compliance programmes
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité publishes a new framework document on competition compliance programmes* The revision of the compliance framework document initially published in 2012 A group of experts from the private sector (companies, trade associations and law firms) and representatives of the Autorité de la (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority says that municipalities which conclude in-house contracts without organizing competitive public procurement procedure may be subject to competition investigations
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
In-house contract can be concluded only in exceptional cases after assessing its impact on fair competition* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba supervising how municipalities comply with the Law on Competition when concluding in-house contracts will analyse whether they (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority says new powers will be used to review fees charged by the two biggest credit and debit card networks with the goal of increasing competition (Mastercard / Visa)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Mastercard and Visa networks will be initial focus for Commission under new Act* Under the new Retail Payment Systems Act 2022, the Mastercard and Visa credit and debit card networks will be the initial focus of the Commerce Commission’s work to promote competition and efficiency in the retail (...)

The Belgian Competition Authority publishes its notice on enforcement priorities for 2022
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
On May 16, 2022, the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) published its long-awaited notice on enforcement priorities for 2022 (Notice). The BCA explains that, with a view to making the best use of its resources, it will focus its interventions on matters where the expected positive effect of (...)

The EU Commission sets out new rules on dual distribution agreements, parity clauses and resale price maintenance in its revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and guidelines on vertical restraints
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 1 June 2022, the European Commission’s revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints entered into force. Adding to our article on the highly controversial issue of dual distribution, this post focuses on three other essential (...)

The EU Commission publishes new competition rules for vertical agreements
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Following a comprehensive review and consultation process, the new revised EU vertical agreements block exemption Regulation (VBER) and Guidelines have now been published and will come into force on 1 June 2022. The Commission’s stated objectives of the review process were to adjust the safe (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes code of conduct advice for Big Tech platforms and publishers
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes code of conduct advice for platforms and publishers* Big tech companies should agree fairer deals with online publishers in order to use their content, according to the UK’s competition watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published its joint advice (...)

The UK Government publishes its proposals for a new pro-competition regime in digital markets
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 6 May 2022 the UK government published its response to the July 2021 consultation on a new pro-competition regime for digital markets (see our blog post here), setting out its proposals for the design of a new regime to proactively shape the behaviour of the most powerful technology firms (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority initiates market study on beef
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
Cofece initiates market study on beef* The sector is relevant because Mexican households allocated 19% of their food expenditure to the purchase of beef. The study will analyze the structure, functioning and regulatory framework in the markets of production, distribution and commercialization (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Australian Competition Authority brings an action against a payment services giant alleging that it conducted exclusive dealing agreements (Mastercard)
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Sydney)
What you need to know The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings against Mastercard, alleging it misused its market power and engaged in exclusive dealing, in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA). Mastercard allegedly engaged in (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sanctions electronic publishing companies for cartel infringements (Moody’s / Informa D&B) New
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC sanctions Moody’s and Informa D&B for cartel* The AdC issued a sanctioning decision against Bureau Van Dijk Electronic Publishing, Unipessoal, Lda (Bureau Van Dijk), of Moody’s Group, and Informa D&B - Serviços de Gestão Empresarial Soc. Unipessoal, Lda (Informa D&B) for a cartel (...)

The Australian Competition Authority institutes court proceedings against a major debit card company for allegedly engaging in conducts to lessen competition in debit card acceptance services (Mastercard)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Mastercard in court for alleged misuse of market power over card payments* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte Ltd and Mastercard Asia/Pacific (Australia) Pty Ltd (together, Mastercard), for allegedly engaging in conduct with the purpose (...)

The Australian Competition Authority identifies unfair contract terms in chicken meat processor contracts
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Chicken meat processors address potential unfair contract terms* Some of Australia’s largest chicken meat processors have agreed to change certain terms in their current contracts with chicken growers, following an investigation by the ACCC into the use of unfair contract terms in the industry. (...)

The German Competition Authority approves plans for cooperation in the automotive industry to build a data network (Catena-X)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
First component for Gaia-X: Bundeskartellamt gives green light for establishing data network for automotive industry (Catena-X)* Bonn, 24 May 2022: The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to the planned start of the “Catena-X” cooperation, which aims to create a data network for collaboration in (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority closes two investigations into pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau closes two investigations into pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements* Bureau proactively monitors settlements between drug manufacturers to identify potentially illegal agreements The investigations were launched as a result of the Bureau’s proactive monitoring of (...)

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas indicts a federal military contractor for bid-rigging following a grand jury decision (Aaron Stephens)
US Department of Justice (Washington)
Military Contractor Indicted for $15 Million Bid-Rigging Scheme and Conspiracy to Defraud the United States* A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas returned an indictment charging a military contractor for rigging bids on public military contracts in Texas and Michigan and (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority takes action for the protection of car sharing services in Canada (Turo)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau takes action to protect competition for car sharing services in Canada* Car sharing platform Turo terminates problematic exclusivity policy in Canada in response to Bureau investigation The Competition Bureau announced today that following an investigation, Turo Inc. has (...)

The EU Commission launches an investigation into the fashion sector on the belief that there may be anticompetitive agreements between several companies
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the fashion sector* On 17 May the European Commission has started unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the fashion industry in several Member States. In parallel, the Commission has sent out formal requests (...)

The EU Court of Justice sets out the criteria for defining a dominant position in connection with exclusionary practices on the basis of anticompetitive effects of the conduct of an incumbent operator in the context of the liberalisation of the electricity market
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice sets out the criteria for defining a dominant position in connection with exclusionary practices on the basis of anticompetitive effects of the conduct of an incumbent operator in the context of the liberalisation of the electricity market* This case has arisen in the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Italian Competition Authority fines a drug manufacturer €3.5M for charging excessive prices to the National Health Service for a life-saving drug (Leadiant)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
A524 - ICA fines Leadiant 3,5 million euros for abusing its dominant position* The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) found that since June 2017 Leadiant has charged the Italian NHS unfairly excessive prices for the sale of a life-saving drug. Similar proceedings were conducted by competition (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the national kennel club for imposing unfair conditions on dog owners and raising barriers to entry for potential rivals (Royal Canine Society of Spain)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC fines the Royal Canine Society of Spain for hindering the activity of rival associations and discriminating against canine judges.* The Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE in Spanish) has abused its dominant position to hinder the entry of other organisations, which are authorised by (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority fines the national kennel club for abusing its dominant position by hindering the expansion of rivals through, inter alia, imposing high switching costs (Royal Canine Society of Spain)
Ashurst (Madrid)
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Ashurst (Madrid)
On 26 May 2022, the CNMC fined the Royal Canine Society of Spain ("RSCE") almost EUR 143,000 for abusing its dominant position in several markets related to purebred dogs by hindering the activity of rival associations and discriminating against canine judges. The CNMC launched its (...)

The UK Competition Authority probes a Big Tech company over potential abuse of dominance in ad tech (Google)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Google probed over potential abuse of dominance in ad tech* The CMA is investigating whether Google has broken the law by restricting competition in the digital advertising technology market. CMA launches second investigation into Google’s practices in ad tech, following launch of probe into (...)

The Ankara Regional Administrative Court partially annuls a decision by the Competition Authority which imposed restrictive interim measures on an e-commerce platform for alleged abusive self-preferencing conduct (Trendyol)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
Until recent times, an interim measure decision of the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) was something hard to come by. However, with the growing prominence of digital markets and the equally strong response from the competition authorities, that situation has changed as well. The latest (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority warns wholesalers against illegally restricting retailers’ freedom to set their own prices
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
ACM warns suppliers that restrict the freedom of retailers to set their own retail prices* In recent months, the Netherlands Authority of Consumers and Markets (ACM) has warned several suppliers that they may have illegally influenced the retail prices of their products that retailers sell. (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority files an appeal against a record-breaking fine for misleading consumers calling the fine "manifestly inadequate" (Vodafone)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission appeals record $2.25m fine in Vodafone FibreX case* The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a record $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ Limited (Vodafone) for its offending under the Fair Trading Act during its FibreX advertising campaign. While (...)

The EU Court of Justice preliminarily determines that discriminatory access to data may constitute an abuse of a dominant position (Enel)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 12 May 2022, the European Court of Justice ("the Court") delivered a preliminary ruling on abuse of dominance through the exploitation of data. As the historic monopolist, ENEL had access to customer data which it used to strengthen its position. Key takeaways ENEL prevented its (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers a ruling which sheds more light on non-price abuses under Article 102 TFEU in relation to conduct which constitutes an abuse of dominance and the interpretation of the concept of "competition on the merits" (Servizio Elettrico Nazionale)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
Exclusionary non-price abuses under Article 102 TFEU: useful guidance from the CJEU The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in C-377/20, Servizio Elettrico Nazionale and Others v Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato is a helpful summary of the (...)

The German Competition Authority finds a Big Tech company to be of paramount significance to competition across markets and determines new rules can be applied to control for abuse of dominance (Meta)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
New rules apply to Meta (formerly Facebook) – Bundeskartellamt determines its “paramount significance for competition across markets”* The Bundeskartellamt has formally determined the paramount significance for competition across markets of Meta Platforms, Inc., Menlo Park, USA. The toolkit for (...)

The EU Commission preliminarily finds an abuse of dominance by a Big Tech firm based on denying access to essential hardware that would allow other apps to compete with its payment feature (Apple Pay)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Apple over practices regarding Apple Pay* The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology (...)

Mergers

The Italian Competition Authority unconditionally clears a banking merger operation between two national banks (BPER / Carige)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By its decision recently handed down in BPER/Carige, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has unconditionally authorized the concentration between two national banks, BPER Banca Spa (BPER) and Banca Carige Spa (Carige). By this transaction (the BPER/Carige transaction), BPER intended to (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger between two pastry companies could lead to higher prices and lower quality products for shoppers in the UK (Cérélia /Jus-Rol)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Bake-at-home dough merger raises competition concerns* Cérélia is the largest manufacturer of bake-at-home dough products in the UK, producing private label (own brand) products on behalf of some of the largest grocery retailers in the UK. Jus-Rol is the best-selling brand in the bake-at-home (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority approves a merger between two media and entertainment companies (CME Media / RTL Hrvatska)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CME MEDIA AND RTL HRVATSKA MERGER APPROVED* In its compatibility assessment procedure, the CCA found that the concentration in question does not produce significant effect on competition, given the fact that it does not create or strengthen a dominant position of the undertakings concerned in (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears acquisition between two vegetarian food manufacturers (Life Health Foods / Chalmers Organics)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Life Health Foods cleared to acquire Chalmers Organics* The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Life Health Foods NZ Limited to acquire the business and assets of Chalmers Organics Limited. Life Health Foods and Chalmers Organics both supply a range of vegetarian and plant-based (...)

The UK Competition Authority calls in an acquisition transaction in the telecommunications sector for national security assessment (BT / Altice)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
BT acquisition called-in for national security assessment* The acquisition by Altice of 6% of shares in BT has been called-in for a full national security assessment by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng today (Thursday 26 May). The government has powers under the National Security and (...)

The Irish Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition transaction between two major financial institutions (Bank of Ireland / KBC)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
CCPC requires commitments from BOI to acquire KBC Ireland assets* The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has cleared, subject to a number of legally binding commitments, the proposed acquisition by The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland (Bank of Ireland) of certain (...)

The US FTC launches an inquiry into market concentration in the baby formula market
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission Launches Inquiry into Infant Formula Crisis* Agency Seeks Public Comment on Attempts to Deceive Families and Factors that May Have Contributed to the Ongoing Shortage of Infant Formula Today, the Federal Trade Commission staff launched an inquiry into the ongoing (...)

The Australian Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two plastic container producers (Pact Group / Synergy Packaging)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Pact Group’s acquisition of Synergy Packaging not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Synergy Packaging Pty Ltd by Pact Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:PGH). Both Pact and Synergy manufacture and supply non-beverage rigid PET plastic containers. “Our investigation concluded (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority proceeds to an in-depth investigation of a proposed merger between two providers of modular built rentals (Alquibalat / Algeco Construcciones Modulares)
Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) (Madrid)
The CNMC analyses in depth the purchase of Alquibalat, S.L. by Algeco Construcciones Modulares, S.L.U.* This operation merges the two main companies in the modular structures rental market. Following this acquisition, competition between the two companies will disappear and Algeco’s position in (...)

The Australian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of a filtered water company by a rival subject to commitments to spin-off a subsidiary (Culligan / Waterlogic)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Culligan’s proposed acquisition of Waterlogic not opposed subject to divestiture* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Waterlogic Group Holdings Limited (Waterlogic) by the Culligan Group (Culligan), after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Culligan’s parent company, (...)

The UK Competition Authority finds that a merger between two waste and water management firms may lead to reduced competition following in-depth investigation (Veolia / Suez)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
In-depth Veolia-Suez merger review finds competition concerns* The CMA has provisionally found that the merger of Veolia and Suez would lead to a loss of competition in the supply of several waste and water management services in the UK. This loss of competition could then lead to more costly (...)

The EU General Court upholds a €28M fine on a Japanese multinational for gun jumping in its acquisition of a company which provides medical imaging services (Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses the action brought by Canon, which was fined € 28 million by the Commission for failure to comply with merger control rules in its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation* In 2016, Canon Inc (‘the applicant’), a Japanese multinational company specialising in (...)

The EU General Court rejects an appeal against a €28M fine imposed by the Commission for breach of EU gun jumping rules (Canon)
Shearman & Sterling (Brussels)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
On 18 May 2022the European General Court rejected Canon’s appeal against a €28 million fine imposed by the European Commission in 2019 for its breach of EU gun-jumping rules, just a few months after a similar judgment therefore vindicating the Commission’s aggressive stance on such breaches. (...)

The UK Competition Authority blocks the acquisition of a rival by a property search report company (Dye & Durham / TM Group)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Property search services merger could mean homebuyers pay more* The CMA has provisionally found that the merger of 2 firms offering property search services could lead to a worse deal for homebuyers. Following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority reviews acquisition transaction between lifting equipment maintenance service companies (Kauno Liftai / Baltijos Liftai)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Lithuanian Competition Authority will review transaction between Kauno Liftai and Baltijos Liftai on its own initiative* The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has decided to apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and assess whether the acquisition by Kauno (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority fines a maker of modular homes €1.85M for failure to notify the authority when acquiring another company (Modulaire)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
Modulaire fined for failing to notify ACM of acquisition of competitor* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed on Modulaire, a manufacturer of modular homes, a fine of 1.85 million euros for having failed to notify ACM on time of an acquisition. Martijn Snoep, (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority approves the acquisition of a frozen bakery and grain mill products manufacturer by an agricultural company (Lantmännen / Myllyn Paras Group)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA ap­proves Lant­män­nen’s ac­qui­si­tion of Myl­lyn Paras* On 29 April 2022, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the acquisition whereby Lantmännen ek för is to acquire Sponmill Oy and the Myllyn Paras Group it owns. Lantmännen is a Swedish agricultural cooperative that (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority receives notification for the acquisition of a hypermarket by a retailer (X.A Papaellinas Emporiki / Kostas I. Kyriakou & Yioi)
Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus (Nicosia)
Notification of a concentration in relation to the acquisition by X.A papaellinas Emporiki Ltd of the activity of the hypermarket and cafi-restaurant Costas which belong to kostas I. Kyriakou & Yioi Limited* The Service of the Commission for the Protection of Competition announces that (...)

The German Competition Authority clears an acquisition transaction between two arms manufacturers (Beretta/ Ammotec)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Small arms and ammunition sector: Merger between Beretta and Ammotec cleared* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of ammunition specialist Ammotec by Beretta this week. Ammotec is a business division of the Swiss-based company RUAG International Holding AG. The acquirer Beretta (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority files court applications to prevent a merger between two telecommunications companies (Rogers / Shaw)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau seeks full block of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw* Bureau files court applications to prevent the merger of two of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies The Competition Bureau is seeking to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw in an effort to (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority sees new merger control regime enter into force, amending notification thresholds and scope of applicable sectors
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
(1) Introduction On March 4, 2022 the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) published the Communiqué No. 2022/2 on the Amendment of Communiqué No. 2010/4 on the Mergers and Acquisitions Subject to the Approval of the Competition Board (the “Amendment Communiqué”). The Amendment Communiqué (...)

The UK Competition Authority provisionally clears the acquisition of a supermarket’s petrol station business by the largest independent operator of petrol stations following a promise to divest from 87 sites (CD&R / Morrisons)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Petrol station proposals provisionally clear way for Morrisons deal* The CMA proposes to accept an offer from buyer of Morrisons to sell 87 petrol stations to address competition concerns. In January, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into Clayton, Dubilier (...)

The UK Competition Authority cancels its investigation into the proposed acquisition of the largest auction provider for heavy machinery by the second largest after firms abandon the deal (Ritchie Bros / Euro Auctions)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Ritchie Bros has abandoned its planned purchase of Euro Auctions after the CMA referred the deal for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation* Ritchie Bros has abandoned its planned purchase of Euro Auctions after the CMA referred the deal for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation. The Competition and (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces potential Phase II investigation into the proposed acquisition of an undertaking that helps financial institutions reduce risk by the owner of major national financial infrastructure (London Stock Exchange Group / Quantile)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
LSEG’s anticipated Quantile purchase raises competition concerns* LSEG’s anticipated purchase of Quantile could now be referred for an in-depth investigation after finding that the deal raises competition concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into London (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority clears an acquisition of a water dispenser company by a drinking water solutions company subject to divestments (Zenith Water / Waterlogic)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Commission clears Zenith Water / Waterlogic merger subject to divestment* The Commerce Commission has given clearance to Osmosis Buyer Limited (Osmosis) to acquire Firewall Holdings S.À R.L (Firewall) as part of a global transaction, subject to an undertaking to divest Firewall’s Merquip (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves a €500M Luxembourgish State aid scheme guaranteeing loans with a view to increasing liquidity in the face of the geopolitical crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Luxembourgish scheme to support companies in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €500 million Luxembourgish guarantee scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (...)

The EU Commission green-lights a Finnish State aid scheme worth €16M to support farmers in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €16 million Finnish scheme to support farmers in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €16 million Finnish scheme to support the agricultural sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved (...)

The EU Commission approves a €30M Maltese State aid scheme to increase production and imports of wholesale grains in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves a €30 million Maltese scheme to support the importation, manufacturing and wholesale of grains in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €30 million Maltese scheme to support companies active in the importation, manufacturing (...)

The EU General Court rejects an appeal by an airline that German aid to an insolvent rival to maintain orderly air travel was illegal (Ryanair)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court of the European Union confirms that the German aid for the rescue of Condor is compatible with EU law* The fact that Condor’s financial difficulties were caused by the Thomas Cook group being placed into liquidation did not preclude the approval of that aid by the Commission (...)

The EU Commission approves a €1.2B State aid Scheme by the Italian government to support the agriculture and fishing industries following the fallout from the Russo-Ukrainian War
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion Italian scheme to support agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture sectors in context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine* The European Commission has approved a €1.2 billion Italian umbrella scheme to support the agricultural, forestry, fishery and (...)

The EU Commission approves a Swedish State aid scheme worth €404M to support disadvantaged workers entering the workforce
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €404 million Swedish scheme to help disadvantaged workers access the labour market* The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Swedish scheme of around €404 million (SEK 4.2 billion) to help disadvantaged workers access the labour market. The (...)

The EU Commission green-lights a Greek subsidised loan scheme worth €2B to support a sustainable recovery from the downturn triggered by COVID-19 Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €2 billion Greek scheme to support investment towards a sustainable recovery* The European Commission has approved a €2 billion Greek scheme aimed at providing investment support towards a sustainable recovery. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary (...)

The EU Commission approves €698 million Italian scheme to support the tourism sector in the context of coronavirus pandemic
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €698 million Italian scheme to support the tourism sector in the context of coronavirus pandemic* The European Commission has approved a €698 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the tourism sector affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to approve a rescue aid of €36,660,000 granted by Romania to a passenger and cargo airline (TAROM)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court upholds the Commission’s decision approving rescue aid of €36 660 000 granted by Romania to the airline TAROM* That aid is compatible with the internal market as it aims to prevent the social hardship that disruption of TAROM’s services might cause for the connectivity of (...)

Procedures

The UK Supreme Court overturns the ruling of the Court of Appeal on costs in a dispute between the Competition Authority and two pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer / Flynn Pharma)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 25 May 2022 the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s ruling on costs in Pfizer and Flynn Pharma and concluded that the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had applied the correct test when awarding a proportion of their costs against the CMA. The Court of Appeal had held that, (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision fining an audio visual company €28M for gun jumping in warehousing scheme (Canon / Toshiba)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
On 18 May 2022, the EU General Court (GC) upheld the European Commission’s (EC) € 28 million fine imposed on Canon for gun-jumping in the context of a (somewhat unique) so-called warehousing structure. The judgment confirms that structures such as the one at issue are not allowed under EU law (...)

Regulatory

The UK Government signals increased scope of merger control in two recent legislative consultations
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Slaughter and May (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
The UK Government’s responses to its consultations on ‘Reforming competition and consumer policy’ (April 2022) and ‘A new pro-competitive regime for digital markets’ (May 2022) included three proposals to amend or add jurisdictional or reporting criteria for the UK merger control regime. These would (...)

The EU Parliament signs the Commission’s proposal which would allow the Commission to examine whether foreign subsidies have a potential negative impact on the internal market
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
On 4 May 2022, the European Parliament (the “Parliament”) adopted its position on the proposal of the European Commission (the “Commission”) for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market (the “Foreign Subsidies Regulation”) (see our alert on the proposal). It confirms the (...)

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