Document requests issued by the EU Commission (EC) have become common in complex EU merger cases. A few years ago, the EC would only ask for several hundred documents in such cases – now it has become standard to request several hundred thousand documents from each of the parties to the transaction, often within a short time period (once…

On 16 July 2018, the EU Commission (EC) adopted its “Code of Best Practices for the conduct of State aid control procedure” (Best Practices). The Code replaces the Notice on a Code of Best Practices adopted in 2009 (2009 Code) and integrates the Simplified Procedure Notice of 2009. Over recent years, the EC has implemented…

The EU General Court recently upheld an infringement decision of the EU Commission (EC), in which the investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS) was found jointly and severally liable for violating Article 101 TFEU as a result of indirectly owning / holding a stake in Prysmian, a company who participated in cartel activities relating to high…

Gun-jumping relates to the premature implementation of a transaction prior to obtaining clearance from the relevant competition authorities. It is currently a “hot topic” as enforcement levels across the globe have increased significantly in recent years. In April 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed a gun-jumping fine of €124.5 million on the multinational cable and…

Speed read On 31 May 2018, the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ) gave judgment in the EY / KPMG case on whether the EU suspension obligation was violated when KPMG’s Danish unit terminated a material contract prior to receiving competition clearance for its merger with Ernst & Young (EY). The ECJ concluded that the measure…

As authorities worldwide step up enforcement of their merger control rules, companies planning deals in 2018 must pay even closer attention to their obligations and conduct throughout the period from early planning up to final merger control clearance. We are seeing more authorities impose heavy fines for an increasingly wide range of pre-clearance conduct, with…

Most merger control regimes provide for so-called stand-still obligations, i.e. the parties cannot implement the transaction until the necessary merger clearances have been received from the relevant competition authorities. This means in particular that the acquiring company cannot starting controlling the target’s business prior to closing – no “gun jumping” is allowed. Competition authorities have…

The new digital economy will involve significant cooperation between competitors and data sharing / pooling to a much larger extent than in the past. This is not limited to the big data industries but will also extend to more traditional sectors where digitalization and connectivity of devices is playing an increasingly important role. One of…

The approach to access to file and who can receive what information can deviate by jurisdiction which can be particularly relevant in international antitrust cases. The ongoing Qualcomm case is a good example for that. Qualcomm is currently under investigation by several competition authorities, allegedly refusing to licence standard essential cellular patents to competitors on…

Complex transactions are subject to an increased level of antitrust scrutiny by competition authorities. This often results in extended waiting periods between signing and closing – it can nowadays be one year or even longer before the parties are able to implement the deal. For the acquiring company it is often important to start planning…