On 22 July 2019, the European Commission published a new State aid Recovery Notice on its website (publication in the Official Journal of the European Union will follow).[1] The new Notice replaces the Recovery Notice of 2007[2] which was introduced to address the slow and sometimes inadequate implementation of State aid recovery decisions by EU…

Following the political shake-up in Europe and the severance of the EPP and S&D combined majority, horse-trading with other political parties within the European Parliament over the next 5 years is inevitable. In addition, the upcoming new Commission President and the new College of Commissioners are expected to establish the political priorities that will shape…

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…

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 17 December 2018 the European Commission issued the public version of its decision in the McDonald’s case (SA.38945). The Commission found, contrary to its initial conclusion in the opening decision, that Luxembourg did not grant illegal State aid to McDonald’s as a consequence of the exemption of income attributed to a US branch. If…

The General Court (GC) ruling of September 26 in Case T-574/14 constitutes an important (and possibly final) episode in the European Union’s (EU) review of the Spanish “dual pricing” and parallel trade saga. The GC found that the European Commission was not obliged to adopt a new decision as to whether an agreement GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had put…

On 24 July 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined, in four separate decisions, consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers. The total fine imposed on the four manufacturers amounts to more than EUR 111 million. The infringements related to a variety of…

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…