Gun Jumping : Practical implications of recent case law

Workshop organised by Concurrences Review with Michele Piergiovanni (DG COMP), in partnership with Shearman & Sterling and Avisa.

The conference verbatim will soon be available for Concurrences+ subscribers.

James Webber

Gun-jumping is not a single legally defined concept, it is a collection of different issues with many practical implications. Companies may be fined for different categories of behaviour: failure to file, partial or early implementation of a transaction before clearance and information exchange. The latter is a failure to respect the requirement in the general law to treat the merging parties as independent competitors until clearance is granted.

As regards failure to file, the Commission fined both Electrabel and Marine Harvest because they acquired minority stakes in public companies and thereby obtained de facto control. In both cases, the fine amounted to €20 million and the public bid exception of Article 7(2) of the Merger Regulation did not apply. In contrast, in the RyanAir/Aer Lingus case, RyanAir had not acquired de facto control. Between these cases we have a good picture of how to draw the line in de facto control of public company situations.

Photos © Emilie Gomez

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