On 4th November, the European Commission published a far-reaching consultation (the Consultation) on proposals to boost the enforcement powers of national competition authorities (NCAs) and to address differences between national competition enforcement systems in the European Union.  The Consultation builds on the 2014 Communication on Ten Years of Regulation 1/2003 (the Communication) but also reflects…

We have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation, which came into force on 21 September 1990. Since that date, we have seen an exponential growth in merger control notifications at the European level – at least up until the financial crisis that began in 2008. The good news is that, to…

In January 2015 the European Commission announced its intention to appeal a judgment of the Belgian Commercial Court which dismissed the Commission’s claim for €6 million of damages against Otis, KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp. The Court’s decision illuminates the importance of changes brought about by the recently implemented Damages Directive. Background On 27 February 2007…

Inductive reasoning is sometimes explained by using either the ‘duck test’ (“if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”) or the ‘elephant test’ (“it is difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it”). In EU competition law, it sometimes…

Just over a year ago, I wrote (rather extensively) on the European Commission’s public consultation entitled “Towards more effective EU Merger Control” in which the Commission proposed to (i) expand its powers to review non-controlling minority interests and (ii) streamline the case referral system between the European Commission and NCAs (see here). Our regular readers…

The proceedings brought by the European Commission against Google are nearing a – provisional – end with the prospect of a decision making binding on Google a revised set of commitments (see here for the Commission statement and here for the full text of the proposed commitments). Independently of their merits in addressing the Commission’s…

On 8 October 2013, it was announced that the nuclear industry would not be included in the European Commission’s draft Guidelines on environmental and energy aid for 2014-2020 as anticipated. Earlier in the year, a leaked copy of the draft Guidelines (which the author has read) set out six pages on how the Commission would…

On 25 June 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation entitled “Towards more effective EU Merger Control” in which the Commission proposes to (i) expand its powers to review non-controlling minority interests and (ii) streamline the case referral system between the Commission and NCAs. The proposals in respect of minority shareholdings will have a…

Over the last two months, the Commission has been market testing commitments that Google has offered to resolve the Commission’s pending investigation. Many have made thoughtful comments (see for example here, here, and here). But there has also been criticism from the corner of some of Google’s competitors. I represent Google in the Commission’s proceedings…