On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers that Facebook abuses its dominant position through imposing unfair general terms and conditions (“t&cs”). The published materials provide some interesting…

The Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published a background paper “Innovation – Challenges for the Antitrust Law Practice” in October 2017. It covers possible innovation aspects across different antitrust law areas, with a focus on merger control. The paper is a valuable contribution to the debate on innovation. It is an agency paper, so it…

On May 30, 2017, the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, „FCO“) has published guidelines on remedies in German merger control, also available in an English translation, link here. The very detailed guidelines (87 pages) provide a comprehensive and helpful overview and summary of the FCO’s standing remedies practice, as well as of related jurisprudence. The timing…

Following the Parliament’s approval in early March, the Federal States Council, Germany’s second legislative chamber, has approved the most recent reform to German competition law on March 31, 2017. The new law will enter into force upon publication in the German official journal, presumably end of April/beginning of May. The reform was triggered by the…

On February 20, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published a brochure outlining its cartel enforcement activities, roughly over the past ten years. The brochure aims at providing an insight into the FCO’s practice combatting cartels, including an overview of the FCO’s investigation proceedings and case studies. The brochure explains the current leniency regime,…

On January 25, 2017, the FCO published its long-awaited draft notice with guidance on resale price maintenance (RPM) related questions in the food retail sector in Germany. The draft is up for public consultation, and interested parties can submit comments by March 20, 2017. It is available on the FCO’s website, including in English, see…

The second part of the blog on the FCO’s background paper on “Competition and Consumer Conduct – Conflict or Parallelism between Consumer Protection and Antitrust Law?” covers the interplay between consumer and competition protection and their legal tools in practice, including recent and potential future developments. (For the first part on the general principles please…

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) held a conference with antitrust experts (professors and judges) on October 6. 2016, on “Competition and Consumer Conduct – Conflict or Parallelism between Consumer protection and Antitrust Law?” As part of the conference, the FCO published a background paper on the same topic, available in German, see http://www.bundeskartellamt.de/DE/UeberUns/Veranstaltungen/ArbeitskreisKartellrecht/arbeitskreiskartellrecht_node.html I. Background…

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) terminated antitrust proceedings against toy manufacturer Lego on July 18, 2016, following Lego’s agreement to change its current rebate system. Lego will enable online retailers to obtain in practice the same amount of discounts as available for brick and mortar shops. The FCO had opened proceedings against Lego based…

The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see judgment of October 13, 2011, case C-439/09) have been on the agenda in Germany for some time. Recently, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals has submitted a…