In a significant judgment rendered on July 13, 2022 (“Judgment”), the EU’s General Court validated the position taken by the European Commission (“EC”) in a March 2021 Guidance Paper encouraging national competition authorities (“NCAs”) to use Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) to refer transactions to the EC that do not meet national merger control thresholds, but which they believe may threaten to significantly affect competition within the EU. The EC’s adoption of the Guidance Paper followed criticism that the jurisdictional scope of EU merger control was insufficiently broad to capture all anti-competitive transactions. The EC was particularly concerned about “killer acquisitions” (i.e., acquisitions of nascent competitors by dominant incumbents), especially in the digital and
The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s merger referral policy, thereby expanding the Commission’s jurisdiction over non-reportable transactions (Illumina / GRAIL)
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