Covington & Burling (Brussels)

Johan Ysewyn

Covington & Burling (Brussels)
Partner

Johan Ysewyn is a partner at Covington & Burling in Brussels, acting as head of the firm’s EU Competition group. He advises on all aspects of EC, international and Belgian antitrust law, including merger control, compliance and cartel and leniency issues and abuse of dominance cases, acting for both parties and complainants. Johan’s practice has a strong focus on global and European cartel investigations and he has represented companies from a range of sectors. Johan has written and lectured extensively on international cartel and leniency-related issues. He co-authors the loose-leaf European Cartel Digest and lectures on cartel law and economics at the Brussels School of Competition. He has acted for the immunity applicants in the bitumen and marine hose cartels and acted for defendants in alleged cartels in consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. He has also acted in a series of cartel investigations by the European Commission in relation to consumer electronics and price benchmarking in the oil sector, and has acted for the European Payments Council in the first European Commission investigation into standardisation agreements, notably in the e-payments sector. Johan is one of the leading experts on EU State aid issues, working both for beneficiaries and governments. He has advised a number of leading banks and governments, as well as represented major European airlines. He has notably been involved in the Fortis, KBC, Dexia, Arco, Citadele and Air Baltic State aid cases. Johan speaks regularly at conferences such as GCR, IBC, IBA, Chatham House and industry events and has written for numerous legal publications and is recognised as a leading competition lawyer by Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and other industry guides. Johan has acted as a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network (ICN). He has also been asked to advise the European Competition Network on the review of the ECN leniency policies.

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Covington & Burling (London)

Articles

10525 Bulletin

Johan Ysewyn, Laura van Kruijsdijk Leniency & competition law : an overview of EU and national case law

715

More than 25 years after the adoption of the first European Commission Leniency Notice, the fight against cartels remains at the top of the European Commission’s (“Commission”) priorities, and the 27 European Union (“EU”) national competition authorities (“NCAs” or “CAs”). The economy is facing significant challenges as it needs to recover from the deep crisis caused by the pandemic. That recovery must also be in a way that is consistent with a greener and digital future. In light thereof, the Commission considers it is more important than ever that markets work fairly and well, and that it will take firm action to tackle cartels. Leniency programmes are a crucial tool for uncovering cartels. Historically, a large majority of cartel decisions adopted by European competition authorities is based on immunity and leniency applications. The number of leniency applications is however decreasing. The increasing cost and risk associated with obtaining immunity from different jurisdictions around the world, together with the private enforcement risk, seems to disincentive companies from applying for leniency. The Commission is increasing its focus on the operation of the leniency programme, and has launched regular discussions with business and other competition enforcers to get their views and share experiences.

Johan Ysewyn, Sophie Bertin, Carole Maczkovics The EU Commission adopts a temporary crisis framework for state aid measures to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia

439

On 23 March 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a Temporary Crisis Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia (the “Framework”). In a similar fashion to the temporary framework that the Commission has adopted to (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Carole Maczkovics, Sophie Bertin The EU Commission adopts its revised communication on the criteria for the analysis of the compatibility with the internal market of State aid to promote the execution of important projects of common European interest “IPCEI”

208

On 25 November 2021, the Commission adopted its revised Communication on the Criteria for the analysis of the compatibility with the internal market of State aid to promote the execution of important projects of common European interest (“IPCEI”). This is particularly relevant for companies who (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Laura van Kruijsdijk The EU Commission adopts an extension of the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation to include State aid measures which support economic recovery from COVID-19 in a sustainable way

224

On 23 July 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted an extension of the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”). The revised rules concern : Aid for projects funded via certain EU centrally managed programs under the new Multiannual Financial Framework ; and Certain (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Rolf Ali The EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal requesting to adjust the ranking of the appellant in the leniency process and to receive partial immunity for parts of its participation in the car battery recycling cartel (Recylex)

321

On 3 June 2021, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in case C-563/19 P Recylex v Commission dismissed Recylex’ appeal both to adjust its ranking in the leniency process and to receive partial immunity for parts of its participation in the Car Battery Recycling cartel. The judgment, on appeal (...)

Peter D. Camesasca, Laurie-Anne Grelier, Sophie Bertin, Johan Ysewyn, Horst Henschen, Katherine Kingsbury, Sebastian Vos The EU Commission proposes a regulation that introduces more scrutiny for companies receiving foreign subsidies

357

Companies that benefit from non-EU state support or subsidies will soon face heightened scrutiny in the European Union (EU) as the European Commission unveiled on May 5 its proposed Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market. As its name suggests, the proposed Regulation (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Sophie Bertin, Aidan Forde The EU General Court dismisses the first two challenges to State aid awarded to national airlines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Ryanair)

203

On 17 February 2021, the General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) in Cases T-259/20 and T-238/20 dismissed Ryanair’s challenges to pandemic aid packages introduced in France and Sweden in order to support the domestic airline sector. The judgments are the first ones where the General (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Sophie Bertin The EU Commission publishes an extension of the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak

59

The Commission’s Temporary Framework for State aid measures supporting the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic (the “Temporary Framework”) is proving to be a success. More than 200 Member State schemes and individual measures have been cleared under the Temporary Framework since its adoption in (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Kevin Coates, Aidan Forde The EU Court of Justice confirms that financial investors can be liable where they hold 100% voting rights over an indirect entity that participated in a cartel (Goldman Sachs)

83

On 27 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) confirmed in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. v European Commission that financial investors can be liable where they hold 100% voting rights over an indirect entity that participated in a cartel, even though the investor does not (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Kevin Coates, Daniel Muheme The EU Court of Justice rules that the duration of an infringement in the case of bid-rigging ends once the essential characteristics of the public tender are determined (Eltel)

129

Introduction In its preliminary ruling of 14 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) clarified that the duration of an infringement in the case of bid rigging ends once the essential characteristics of the public tender are determined – which in practice likely means at (...)

Louise Freeman, Alexander Leitch, Johan Ysewyn, James Marshall, Peter D. Camesasca, Harry Denlegh Maxwell The UK Supreme Court dismisses the appeal of a financial services company in a class action related to an alleged overcharging of interbank fees (Merricks / Mastercard)

181

The UK Supreme Court has today ruled in favour of Walter Merricks, the former head of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service., in a hotly-anticipated judgment in the first opt-out competition class action brought in the UK. Background Mr Merricks is the proposed class representative for 46.2 (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Philip Olszewski The EU General Court partially annuls decisions ordering dawn raids at the headquarters of two French food retail chains (Casino, Guichard-Perrachon / Achats Marchandises Casino) (Intermarché Casino Achats) (Les Mousquetaires / ITM Entreprises)

125

In three related judgments of October 5, 2020 (T-249/17, T-254/17 and T-255/17) the General Court (the “GC”) partially annulled European Commission inspection decisions which were the basis for dawn raids on several French retailers. The judgments further develop the position adopted in Czech (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Barbara Monti The French Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the food retail market (Soditroy / Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc / Géant Casino)

79

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, (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Kevin Coates The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer-related devices and services that are connected through a network and can be controlled wirelessly (IoT)

290

On July 16, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device." Commission (...)

Martin Juhasz, Johan Ysewyn The EU Commission prepares a new competition enforcement tool to extend the Competition Authority’s current enforcement powers and allow for far-reaching intervention in structural competition concerns

212

The European Commission (”Commission”) is preparing the ground for a new competition enforcement tool. This new tool could substantially extend the competition authority’s current enforcement powers and allow for far-reaching intervention where the Commission identifies structural competition (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Geoffrey Kalantari, Sophie Bertin The EU Commission includes recapitalisation measures in the temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak

72

On 8 May 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted a second amendment (the “New Amendment”) to the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak (the “Temporary Framework”) (see our previous post on the Temporary Framework here and on the (...)

Jennifer Boudet, Johan Ysewyn Leniency and competition law : An overview of EU and national case law

3792

More than 20 years after the adoption of the first European Commission Leniency Notice, the detection and sanctioning of cartels remains a key feature of the enforcement agenda of the European Commission (the “Commission”) and – the currently still 28 – European Union (“EU”) national competition authorities (“NCAs” or “CAs”). Leniency programmes are a crucial tool in uncovering cartels, with a large majority of cartel decisions adopted by European competition authorities based on immunity and leniency applications. But for how long ?

Johan Ysewyn, Peter D. Camesasca, Louise Freeman The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal refuses a £14 billion class action against a financial service company (Merricks / MasterCard)

61

On Friday, July 21, 2017, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) handed down its second class certification decision under the class actions regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the “Act”). It dismissed the application for two reasons. First, the proposed representative (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Peter D. Camesasca, Louise Freeman The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hands down its first-class certification for entering into agreements and concerted practices aimed at prohibiting the online advertising of certain models of mobility scooter (Dorothy Gibson / Pride Mobility Products)

64

The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) has handed down its first class certification judgment in relation to the class actions regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the “Act”). The result ? The hearing has been adjourned, with the proposed representative allowed to file and (...)

Johan Ysewyn The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal hands down its first-class certification judgment on concerted practices in the mobility scooter sector (Dorothy Gibson / Pride Mobility Products)

44

After a wait of nearly 15 months from the introduction of class actions in the UK for antitrust damages claims, the first class certification hearing took place before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”) between December 12 and 14. Having heard argument, the CAT is considering (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Peter D. Camesasca, Alexander Leitch, Robert D. Wick, Derek Ludwin, Anita F. Stork The EU Court of Justice rules on the expansion of jurisdiction to impose fines based on foreign sales of cartelized components (Innolux)

40

On July 9, 2015, the EU’s top court, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), rendered its long-awaited ruling in the Innolux - LCD cartel appeal. The Innolux case is effectively the EU counterpart of the U.S. Motorola litigation in that it concerns fundamental issues of antitrust jurisdiction over (...)

Johan Ysewyn, Peter D. Camesasca, Melissa Van Schoorisse, Laura Corbett The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a record fine in the supermarkets cartel (Cartel de la beauté)

40

On 22 June 2015 the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) issued its decision in the supermarkets cartel, fining 18 supermarkets and suppliers of personal care, hygiene and cleaning products for coordinating retail price increases between 2002 and 2007. This occurred in the context of a cartel (...)

Peter D. Camesasca, Johan Ysewyn, Laurie-Anne Grelier, Phillip H. Warren, Michael J. Fanelli, Derek Ludwin The EU Court of Justice confirms that the exchange of sensitive information could constitute a cartel (Dole Food)

90

In an important ruling rendered March 19, 2015 in the Bananas case, the EU’s top court definitively upheld the EU Commission’s expansive view of cartel conduct and held that no “fix” (as in agreement) is needed for the EU to conclude that cartel activities have occurred. It is no secret that the (...)

Johan Ysewyn The EU Court of Justice holds that EU Member States cannot adopt legislation depriving plaintiffs of all rights to access evidence in a cartel file of an antitrust authority (Donau Chemie)

27

The European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU) has handed a victory to cartel damage claimants. In its 6 June Donau Chemie ruling, the CJEU held that EU Member States cannot adopt legislation that deprives plaintiffs of all rights to access evidence in a cartel file of an antitrust authority. (...)

Johan Ysewyn The EU Court of Justice rules that legal professional privilege does not cover communications between in-house lawyers and other employees at a company (Akzo Novel Chemicals)

29

INTRODUCTION On 14 September 2010, the Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union (“EU”), ruled that, in the context of EU competition law investigations, legal professional privilege (“LPP”) does not cover communications between in-house lawyers and other employees at a company, (...)

2378 Revue

Johan Ysewyn, Siobhan Kahmann The decline and fall of the leniency programme in Europe

2378

Les auteurs étudient les raisons derrière la réduction des demandes d’immunité pour les cartels. Cela confirme le recours de la Commission aux demandes d’immunité pour détecter les cartels, décrit en détail les caractéristiques des dispositions actuelles pour les demandeurs et fait le bilan d’éventuels (...)

Livres

Global Dictionary of Competition Law

The Global Dictionary of Competition Law is a dictionary dedicated to competition law worldwide, edited by Professors Deborah Healey (University of New South Wales), Bill Kovacic (George (...)

Auteur(s) : Deborah Healey, William Kovacic, Pablo Trevisán, Richard Whish (eds.)
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