The EU General Court upholds the decision of the Commission to block a joint venture between two large steel producers (ThyssenKrupp / Tata Steel)

On 22 June 2022, the EU’s General Court (“GC”) fully dismissed thyssenkrupp’s appeal against the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision to block its proposed joint venture (“JV”) with Tata Steel in 2019. This is the first time that the GC has considered the prohibition of a “gap” case under the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) since it annulled the Commission’s prohibition of CK Hutchison’s proposed acquisition of Telefónica UK (O2) in 2020 (“CK Hutchison”) (see our previous blog post here). A “gap” case is a merger in an oligopolistic market that does not result in the creation or strengthening of an individual or collective dominant position. Rather, it risks causing a “significant impediment to effective competition”. This result may indicate a return to a more traditional approach by the GC as

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Authors

  • Covington & Burling (Brussels)
  • Covington & Burling (London)
  • Covington & Burling (Brussels)
  • Covington & Burling (London)

Quotation

Johan Ysewyn, Sophie Albrighton, Marilena Nteve, Jiayen Ong, The EU General Court upholds the decision of the Commission to block a joint venture between two large steel producers (ThyssenKrupp / Tata Steel), 22 June 2022, e-Competitions September 2022, Art. N° 108353

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