Mergers & Coordinated effects

Mergers

The Australian Competition Authority raises preliminary concerns with the merger between two insurance companies (Aon / Willis Towers Watson)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Preliminary competition concerns over Aon’s proposed merger of Willis Towers Watson* The ACCC has preliminary competition concerns with Aon plc’s (Aon) proposed merger with Willis Towers Watson plc (WTW). Aon and WTW are two of the three largest providers of commercial risk, reinsurance and (...)

The US FTC publishes commentary on vertical merger enforcement to provide greater transparency to the public regarding its analysis of vertical mergers
Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
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Hogan Lovells (Washington)
On 22 December 2020, on a divided vote, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) issued a Commentary on Vertical Merger Enforcement (FTC Commentary) to provide “greater transparency to the public regarding its analysis of vertical mergers.” Following the FTC and Department of (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority investigates unauthorized merger operations and antitrust practices in the funeral insurance and funeral services sectors
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC investigates the possible execution of unauthorised mergers, as well as potential antitrust practices involving the funeral insurance and funeral services markets.* From 8 to 10 September, dawn raids were carried out at the headquarters of various companies active in the aboved (...)

The French Competition Authority blocks a merger for the first time ever due to absence of remedies capable of addressing the competition concerns identified in the hypermarket sector (Soditroy / Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc / Géant Casino)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
For the first time ever, the Autorité de la concurrence blocks a merger* Soditroy and the Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc were planning to acquire joint control of a Géant Casino hypermarket in the conurbation of Troyes. This merger raised serious competition concerns relating (...)

The French Competition Authority decides to block a merger transaction against the joint takeover of a local hypermarket by undertakings of a competing retail group (Géant Casino / ACDLec)
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
Nearly a month after issuing its new merger control guidelines, the French Competition Authority (FCA) broke new ground in merger control by issuing a blocking decision on 28 August 2020, against the joint takeover of a local hypermarket by undertakings of a competing retail group. The FCA (...)

The French Competition Authority prohibits merger in the food retail market (Soditroy / Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc / Géant Casino)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 August 2020, following an in-depth examination that was announced on 29 October 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) blocked the acquisition of joint control by Soditroy and Association des Centres Distributeurs E.Leclerc (“ACDLec”) of a Géant Casino hypermarket located in (...)

The French Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the food retail market (Soditroy / Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc / Géant Casino)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
The French Competition Authority (“FCA”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of the hypermarket retailer Géant Casino by its competitor E.Leclerc in the French city of Troyes. It found that the transaction would create a duopoly between the two remaining hypermarkets, Carrefour and E.Leclerc, (...)

The US DoJ and FTC release the updated version of the vertical merger guidelines
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, “Agencies”) released the final version of the Vertical Merger Guidelines (“Vertical Guidelines”) on June 30, 2020. The new Vertical Guidelines, which had not been updated in more than 35 years, outline how (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on conglomerate effects of mergers
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Conglomerate effects arise when a merger has an effect on competition, but the merging firms’ products are not in the same product market, nor are they inputs or outputs of one another. Mergers exhibiting conglomerate effects have taken on a new prominence in the digital era, as the largest (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision prohibiting an oligopolistic merger between two mobile network operators in the telecommunication sector on the basis that it did not result in the creation or strengthening of a dominant position (Telefónica UK / Hutchison 3G UK)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 28 May 2020 the General Court handed down its ruling in CK Telecoms UK Investment Ltd v European Commission (Case T-399/16) in which it annulled the EU Commission’s decision which prohibited the proposed acquisition by CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (Hutchison) of Telefónica Europe plc (O2). The (...)

The US FTC issues special orders to large technology companies requesting information on prior acquisitions completed over the last decade (Alphabet / Amazon / Apple / Facebook / Google / Microsoft)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
On Feb. 11, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had issued special orders to five large technology companies, requesting information on prior acquisitions completed by the companies during the past 10 years. The FTC’s announcement follows several recent high-profile events relating (...)

The US DOJ and FTC announce new draft vertical merger guidelines
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
DOJ and FTC Announce New Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines* On January 10, 2020, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) (together, the “Agencies”) released Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines (the “Draft Guidelines”) that are intended to outline the (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses an appeal against divestiture order under UK Enterprise Act 2002 (Ryanair)
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
Ryanair Holdings Plc (“Ryanair”) and Aer Lingus Group plc (“Aer Lingus”) are Irish low-cost airline competitors that share more than 40 routes from and to Ireland. On 7 March 2014 in case 1219/4/8/13 Ryanair Holdings PLC v Competition Commission [2014] CAT 3, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT" (...)

The EU General Court confirms that two big tech companies parties to a merger are not dominant in the internet visual communications market and rejects interoperability issues raised by appellants (Microsoft / Skype)
Ashurst (Milan)
EU Court upholds the Commission’s decision on the Microsoft/Skype deal* On 11 December 2013 the EU’s General Court (the “Court”) handed down its ruling concerning Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. The Court held that the Commission rightly considered that the transaction does not restrict (...)

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