What light does the European Commission’s much anticipated 130-page decision, published Monday, 19 December 2016, shed on the Commission’s case and the parties’ prospects for appeal? In the second of a series of short blogs on the Apple case, here’s a quick-look review and comment on the Commission’s decision. We know now that the Commission’s…

When discussing mergers, both Commission officials and private practitioners often characterise these as a “N to N-1”.  We all regularly talk and hear about “6-to-5s”, “5-to-4s”, “4-to-3s”, “3-to-2s”, and even “2-to-1s”.  This blog discusses the growing view that within the Commission, a “4-to-3 or fewer” distinction has become a corridor-talk presumption of anti-competitive effects.  On…

In October 2016, the Commission published a new study on the passing on of overcharges.  A key objective for the Study is to provide judges and other practitioners who are not economic experts with clear insight into the economics of pass-on and the methods that can be used to quantify passing-on and volume effects.  The…

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Introduction This quote from Alfred, Lord Tennyson might – I sincerely hope after recent events – be applicable to life generally in Brussels in 2017. But not so – I fear – in the world of EU merger control. It…

On 20 September 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued its first settlement decision under Article 102 TFEU following the introduction of Regulation 1/2003 and reduced the fine of Altstoff Recycling Austria (“ARA“) by 30% in exchange for its cooperation. ARA’s fine was thus reduced to €6 million. In addition to the press release, the Commission…

On 19 May 2016, the Commission released its Notice on the notion of state aid. The aim of this Notice is to provide legal certainty by clarifying the key concepts relating to the notion of state aid. Ironically, many argue that the Commission has stretched this notion in the tax ruling cases, harming the same…

Since its entry into force in May 2004, the commitments procedure under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 has become the most prevalent enforcement mechanism used by the European Commission to address infringements of Article 102 and 101 TFEU (other than cartels). According to some statistics, more than 90% of non-cartel cases in the period between…

Introduction In October 2015, following a phase II investigation, the European Commission published its decision to approve a JV between three of the largest collective management organisations (CMOs) in Europe, PRSfM (UK), GEMA (Germany) and STIM (Sweden).1)M.6800-PRSfM/ STIM/ GEMA/ JV. As in other recent music industry mergers, the Commission investigated whether the combination of the…

Co-authored by Bill Batchelor & Tom Jenkins, Baker & McKenzie   1.            Summary On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published an initial “Issues paper” on geo-blocking in the EU.  The paper is part of the Commission’s ongoing e-commerce sector inquiry examining whether suppliers impose illegal territorial restrictions on retailers’ online activities. The Issues Paper…