The impressive acceleration in mergers and acquisitions, combined with the promotion of disruptive business strategies, has put the ‘regulatory gap’[1] paradox at the heart of the current European merger control policy debate. While the current EU merger control regime risks fragmentation with the advent of the new Guidance on Referral Mechanism and the Digital Markets…

Even amidst another Covid-19 dominated year, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) and courts have maintained a steady pace of competition law enforcement. With fewer substantive mergers to review, the BCA’s focus in 2021 has rather been on unlawful information exchange and a variety of vertical restrictions. While the BCA has yet to rule on abuse…

Introduction The recently introduced prohibition of abuse of economic dependence (Article IV.2/1 Belgian Code of Economic Law) is a novelty in Belgian law, which may become of significant importance for the digital sector. The legal concept of abuse of economic dependence is aimed to target a situation where a company abuses the relative economic dependence…

Lawyers across Europe holding their breath while awaiting the General Court’s ruling on the Belgian Excess Profits case were doubtlessly disappointed. On Valentine’s Day, the General Court reminded the European Commission that “tough love” is always a possibility, but the Commission’s defeat is no mortal blow. Its decision was annulled on more or less “technical” grounds,…

On 18 May 2017, the Belgian Parliament transposed the EU Damages Directive (the “Directive“) into national law by way of the Act on Damage Claims for Breaches of Competition Law (the “Act“), which was published on 12 June 2017 in the Belgian Official Gazette and came into force on 22 June 2017. The Act inserts…

On 1 March 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) adopted its new Leniency Guidelines (“the 2016 Leniency Guidelines”). The 2016 Leniency Guidelines replace the 2007 Notice of the Competition Council on Immunity from Fines and Reduction of Fines in Cartel Cases (“the 2007 Leniency Notice”). The new guidelines were published in the Belgian Official Gazette…

A seller that failed to provide requested information to the Belgian Competition Authority (‘BCA’) on time in a merger control investigation has been fined €50,000 for obstruction.  Beyond the particulars of the case the decision provides more general guidance on the different types of procedural infringements which can give rise to fines under the Belgian…

To commemorate his first year in office as Competition Commissioner, Mr. Almunia and José openly discuss current and future competition policy issues.The full interview for World Competition is posted in Mr Almunia’s webpage http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/almunia/index_fr.htm Amongst the varied topics covered in this interview the following are worth highlighting: Fines and Damages for Competition law infringements; the…

Lawyers do funny things to words. Sometimes, of course, they need to create a technical term to cover something that doesn’t exist in ordinary parlance. “Tort” is an obvious example. Yes, you can talk about a civil wrong that has no element of contract to it but that’s a longwinded way of expressing yourself. Most…