On 1 March 2022, the European Commission (“EC”) published for consultation two draft revised horizontal block exemption regulations (“HBERs”) on research & development (“R&D”) and specialisation agreements, as well as draft revised horizontal cooperation guidelines (“Horizontal Guidelines”). The EC’s stated aim is to make it easier for companies to cooperate in areas such as R&D…

As part of its review of the EU antitrust rules governing vertical agreements, the European Commission (EC) has published for consultation a draft new section of its Vertical Guidelines, which contains proposed guidance on information exchange in “dual distribution” relationships. Reacting to feedback from stakeholders, the EC has adjusted the review test it proposed in…

In a speech on 22 October 2021, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager revealed that the European Commission was planning a series of dawn raids for the months to come. She highlighted that the European Commission is not just looking to investigate traditional cartels, like price-fixing agreements, but also other types of anti-competitive conduct – such…

This autumn, European competition authorities are likely to resume dawn raids of companies suspected of competition law infringements.  This will aim to clear a backlog of planned inspections that has built up since the start of the pandemic resulting from organizational difficulties due to COVID-19 travel and social distancing restrictions.  Companies should ensure that their…

On 6 May 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a staff working document (“SWD”) on its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations on research & development and specialisation agreements (“H-BERs”) and the horizontal guidelines. The SWD is accompanied by an evaluation study, commissioned to provide qualitative and quantitative evidence to support the Commission’s evaluation. The findings show…

Summary On 14 March 2019, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to close its investigation into a discount scheme by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD).[1] The CMA concluded that there were no grounds for it to take action, since MSD’s discount strategy was not likely to limit competition in anticipation of the…