The European Commission (the Commission) closed out its ambitious 2020 antitrust reform agenda with the long-awaited consultation (the Consultation) on reform of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the VBER) and related Guidelines (the VGL), published on December 18, 2020.  The Consultation’s proposals, which closely follow the Commission’s October 2020 Inception Impact Assessment (the Inception Impact…

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 Channel.  For competition lawyers and parties engaged in M&A activities, however, the work of clarifying…

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 Commission (EC) believes that non-European State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other companies receive subsidies that can distort competition in the European single market.  Trade…

On November 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its proposed Data Governance Regulation (the DGR), which will create a new legal framework to encourage the development of a European single market for data.  The DGR, proposed in the EC’s February 2020 Digital Strategy, is the first of a wave of regulatory and antitrust reforms…

On September 13, the European Commission (Commission) proposed a regulation creating a new framework for screening foreign direct investments into the European Union (EU).  The proposal would address the potential for divergence among existing Member State screening mechanisms and create a new oversight role for the Commission itself.  The framework could affect acquisitions in a…

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 ever imposed by a competition regulator on an individual company.  This is a very important decision in light…

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 single market (DSM) initiative (the DSM Review), both of which were originally announced in May 2015. The E-Commerce Report confirms that the Commission has…

With her delivery of the UK’s Article 50 notice on March 29, Theresa May has launched the two-year negotiating process leading to the first exit of a Member State from the European Union (EU).  The negotiations will affect virtually every economic and policy area in Europe, including competition policy. These effects will be felt first…

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 capture significant acquisitions where the target does not meet the current turnover-based thresholds.  The Consultation follows a number of comments…