James R. Modrall is an antitrust and competition lawyer based in Brussels. He joined Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in September 2013 as partner, having been a resident partner in a major US law firm since 1986. A US-qualified lawyer by background, he is a member of the bar in New York, Washington, D.C. and Belgium. With 27 years of experience, he is a leading advisor for EU and international competition work, in particular the review and clearance of international mergers and acquisitions. Mr Modrall also has extensive experience with EU financial regulatory reform, advising the world’s leading private equity groups in connection with the new EU directive on alternative investment fund managers and leading banks and investment firms on EU initiatives including EU regulation of derivatives, EU reforms in financial market regulation and the creation of a new EU framework for crisis management, among others. Mr. Modrall’s native language is English, and he is fluent in Italian and proficient in Dutch and French.
Nominee, 2022 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business, Mergers
Nominee, 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business, Cross-Border Issues.
Nominee, 2017 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business, General Antitrust.
Nominee, 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business, Unilateral Conduct.
Nominee, 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business, Asian Antitrust.
Winner, 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards : Business Readers Award
1670 | Évènements
Illumina/Grail Prohibition : The End of the Beginning for EU Review of “Killer Acquisitions” ?* On September 6, 2022, the European Commission (Commission) announced that it had prohibited the acquisition by Illumina Inc., a U.S company supplying sequencing- and array-based solutions for genetic (...)
The EU’s Data Act : Capstone of the EU Data Strategy* On 23 February 2022, the EU Commission published its long-awaited Data Act, the last major building block of the Commission’s February 2020 Data Strategy. The Data Act Is an ambitious piece of legislation with implications for consumers and (...)
"Anti-Subsidy” Regulation – A New Big Stick in the EU Regulatory Arsenal"* On May 5, 2021, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted a proposal for a regulation (the Anti-Subsidy Regulation) to combat distortions of competition in the European Union (EU) caused by subsidies granted by (...)
The EU Anti-Subsidy Regulation Enters Trilogue Negotiations – New Obligations for Multinationals Coming into Focus* Exactly one year after the European Commission (Commission) proposed the Anti-Subsidy Regulation (the Regulation) (discussed on KCLB already here and here), on May 5, 2022, EU (...)
EU to Propose New Artificial Intelligence Regulation* On April 21, the EU Commission is expected to adopt a proposal for a regulation (the AI Regulation) of “artificial intelligence systems” (AI systems), imposing new obligations that will impact businesses across many, if not all, sectors of (...)
EU Commission Launches Major Merger Control Reform* On March 26, the EU Commission announced a major reform of EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) procedures, arguably the most significant since the 2004 adoption of the current EUMR. The current EUMR expanded EU jurisdiction by broadening the EUMR (...)
This article has been nominated for the 2022 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On March 16, the US Federal Trade Commission, US Department of Justice, offices of US state Attorneys General, the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European (...)
European Merger Control Post-Brexit : New Year’s Resolutions* The December 24 announcement that the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) had reached an agreement in principle on a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) was greeted with sighs of relief on both sides of the (...)
Google/Fitbit – The EU Commission Misses a Step* The European Commission’s 254-page decision approving Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (the “Decision”) offered the Commission a so-far unique opportunity to apply the 2019 report on “Competition policy for the digital era’s” (the “Digital Era (...)
Shaken, not stirred : EU mixes big tech regulation and antitrust* On December 15, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its long-awaited legislative proposal to regulate so-called “gatekeeper platforms,” the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA will create a new framework to identify (...)
Sustainability and antitrust – EU and Dutch consultations* Ensuring that global economic development is sustainable in light of climate change and other challenges is key to the European Union’s (the EU’s) Green Deal as well as EU Member State policies. Europe is taking the lead in this debate, (...)
EU investigates the consumer IoT sector* On July 16, 2020, European Commission (EC) Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager announced the launch of a sector inquiry into the Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) sector (the IoT Sector Inquiry). The EC defines the consumer IoT sector to (...)
EU Anti-Subsidy Initiative : Notifications, Investigations – and a No-Deal Brexit Backstop ?* Adopting new tools to combat the effects of foreign subsidies is a top European Union (EU) priority for 2021 ; a no-deal Brexit would raise the stakes for this initiative significantly. The European (...)
On May 4, 2020, the European Union (EU) announced a package of measures to support the food and agriculture sector and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including relaxing some antitrust rules on cooperation. The European Commission (EC) had previously announced measures to (...)
Most merger control regimes, including in the EU, are both mandatory and suspensory. This means that mergers must first be notified to the relevant competition authority and approved, before they can be implemented. A violation of these requirements is often referred to as “gun-jumping.” Until recently, the European Commission (Commission) has pursued very few gun-jumping cases. The Commission’s recent actions, however, and tough talk by EU Competition Commissioner Vestager demonstrate that the Commission is becoming increasingly intolerant of gun-jumping, as well as other procedural breaches. The Commission’s increasingly stringent approach to gun-jumping was most recently demonstrated by its €28 million fine imposed on Canon for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC) before notification and approval. A year earlier, the Commission set a new global record with its €124.5 million fine on Altice for early implementation of its acquisition of PT Portugal. With Commissioner Vestager’s unusual appointment to a second term as Competition Commissioner, this trend is highly likely to continue. This article discusses the types of conduct that may lead to a finding of gun-jumping and the Commission’s and national competition authorities’ (NCAs’) enforcement history in this area. In conclusion, this article offers some practical guidance on avoiding gun-jumping issues in future transactions.
The COVID-19 crisis : EU Competition Policy response In response to the COVID-19 crisis, European Union (EU) President Ursula von der Leyen has formed a team led by eight Commissioners to coordinate the EU response. This team of Commissioners is advised by a new advisory panel of (...)
On March 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its first official guidance (the Guidance) on the application of Regulation 2019/452 (the FDI Regulation), which created a new framework for screening foreign direct investments (FDI) into the European Union (EU). The EC noted that, in (...)
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, European Union (EU) President von der Leyen has formed a team led by eight Commissioners to coordinate the EU response to the crisis. This team of Commissioners is advised by a new advisory panel of epidemiologists and virologists. The European Commission (...)
The New EU AI and Data Strategy and what it Means for EU Antitrust Reform* On February 19, the European Commission (EC) published a package of initiatives (the AI and Data Package) on Europe’s “digital future,” delivering on the promise in President von der Leyen’s political guidelines to put (...)
EU COMMISSION INVESTIGATES INSURANCE INFORMATION EXCHANGE* On May 14, the European Commission announced the opening of a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland to assess whether the conditions of access to its InsuranceLink data pooling system may restrict competition, in breach (...)
“Digital Era” Report Bolsters Commissioner Vestager’s Digital Legacy* On April 4, 2019, the European Commission published a report by Jacques Crémer, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, and Heike Schweitzer on competition policy for the digital era (the Digital Era Re port, or the Report), the culmination (...)
Major victory for Intel as CJEU sends case back to General Court for re-examination* On 6 September, the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice (CJEU), released its long-awaited decision in the Intel case, in which the Commission imposed a fine of €1.06 billion – at the time, the largest fine (...)
OECD workshop addresses algorithms and collusion issues* On June 21-23, the OECD held a roundtable on the theme of “Algorithms and Collusion,” as part of a wider work stream on competition in the digital economy. The OECD roundtable reflects a shift in the debate over the antitrust implications (...)
EU issues final report on its e-commerce sector inquiry and updates its digital single market plan* On May 10, 2017, the European Commission published the final report on its sector inquiry on competition in the e-commerce sector (the E-Commerce Report) and a mid-term review of its digital (...)
EU Commission consults on merger control reform* The EU Commission recently launched a consultation on ‘procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU Merger Control’ (the Consultation), which most notably proposes the introduction of a deal-size threshold in the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) to (...)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On November 4, the European Commission published a far-reaching consultation (the Consultation) on proposals to boost the enforcement powers of national (...)
Introduction On October 22, 2015, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) published a landmark decision upholding the Commission’s imposition of fines on a consultancy, AC-Treuhand AG (AC-Treuhand), for participation in two cartels between 1993 and 2000. AC-Treuhand argued that, as a (...)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. 1. Introduction The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently stepped up its cartel enforcement activities and for the first time (...)
In much the same way that, within the European Union, a merger filing (notification) to the European Commission removes the need for filings to national competition authorities in the EU Member States, so too the COMESA. Court of Justice has ruled that a merger filing (notification) to COMESA’s (...)
The Thomson Reuters Commitment Decision* On November 12, 2013, the European Commission published a summary of its December 20, 2012 decision (the “Decision”) accepting commitments offered by members of the Thomson Reuters group (“Thomson Reuters”). The Decision ended a three-year-long (...)