In M&A transactions, the assessment of foreign investment filings routinely needs to be part of the diligence, including for industries that, at first glance, do not appear to be the most critical ones from a national security standpoint (e.g. consumer goods, dating apps, base chemicals and healthcare products). One of the challenges for companies and advisors is that new foreign investment regimes are…

Common ownership currently is one of the focus topics in the antitrust community. Einer Elhauge, a Harvard Law professor, has called it the “greatest anticompetitive threat of our times”. Others believe that there is no issue at all. The below gives an overview on the status of the debate and analyses the recent EU Commission…

Gun-jumping is a “hot topic” and increasingly on the radar of competition authorities in Europe and across the globe.  As part of the OECD roundtable discussions, the European Union (and a number of other countries) recently submitted a note on the suspensory effects of merger notifications and gun-jumping (Article 7 of the EU Merger Regulation…

On 26 November 2018, the European Commission (EC) submitted an overview of its policy on the treatment of legally privileged information in competition proceedings in the context of this year’s OECD roundtable discussions. The EC’s note is helpful as its legal privilege best practices in antitrust proceedings date from 2011 and no official guidance exist…

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…