The EU General Court reverses the Commission’s refusal to review ancillary restraints in merger cases (Lagardere / Canal+)

Last month, the European Court of First Instance (“CFI”) reversed a decision by the European Commission in a merger case, Lagardère/Canal+, that had refused to assess the legality of certain ancillary restraints (such as noncompete clauses) as part of its decision on the merger. The Commission had refused to evaluate these agreements between the parties because it deemed them insufficiently ancillary to the merger. As background, under current EC law, certain forms of contractual restraints must be notified to the European Commission for review under Article 81. Under the Merger Regulation, certain types of restraints deemed to be ancillary to the merger can be reviewed as part of the merger clearance process and ruled on at the same time as the merger. This process is very helpful for

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Frédéric Louis, Michael Goldmann, Sven Voelcker, The EU General Court reverses the Commission’s refusal to review ancillary restraints in merger cases (Lagardere / Canal+), 20 November 2002, e-Competitions Bulletin November 2002, Art. N° 37193

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