On 18 May and 22 June 2022, the EU General Court upheld two European Commission prohibition decisions. Both judgments endorsed the European Commission’s assessment of the mergers at issue, recognising a broad margin of discretion in the European Commission’s evaluation of the concentrations’ effects and the remedies.   Key takeaways The EU General Court (“GC”)…

On 13 July 2022, the General Court of the European Union confirmed the European Commission’s jurisdiction to review the Illumina/Grail transaction following a referral pursuant to Article 22 EUMR. The judgment is an important endorsement of the EC’s recent change in its Article 22 referral policy, and may embolden the EC to call in for…

On 10 May 2022, the European Commission (“EC”) published a new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and guidelines on vertical restraints (“Vertical Guidelines”) that will enter into force on 1 June 2022. The package introduces important changes for the treatment of distribution agreements under EU competition law, in particular to the rules governing the combination…

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…