Whistleblowers who expose breaches of European Union law will be afforded greater protection from retaliation by companies and public authorities under a draft law proposed by the European Commission in April 2018. The draft Directive protects those who report violations of competition, public procurement, and data protection rules, as well as misdeeds such as money…

On April 11, 2018, the European Commission published a proposed new EU law as part of a package of consumer protection measures. The proposed new law would introduce the first Europe-wide consumer class action system, exposing companies in a broad range of industries to new risks with potentially huge financial implications. The proposed new law…

On 27 February 2018, the European Union (EU) adopted the EU geo-blocking regulation (the Regulation), which will enter into force by the end of the year. The Regulation prohibits unjustified geo-blocking, and other forms of discrimination, based on customers’ nationality, place of residence, or place of establishment. The Regulation is particularly relevant to all businesses…

On January 24, 2017, the European Commission announced that it had fined Qualcomm EUR 997,439,000. The Commission thinks that Qualcomm had abused its dominant position to become Apple’s sole supplier of long term evolution (“LTE“) baseband chipsets. The abuse was allegedly committed through exclusive deals, which lasted from 2011 to 2016. Baseband chipsets are key components in smartphones and tablets, which enable connection…

Standard essential patents (SEPs) and fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms remain hotly debated topics within antitrust circles as regulators around the world stake out their positions. In November 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) published its Communication on the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) (the Communication).[1]  It sets out a general,…

The European Commission’s recent focus on the impact of mergers on innovation competition has sparked a heated debate amongst lawyers and economists. Innovation seems to have become the new “Greater Good” the Commission is pursuing when reviewing mergers, whether in the pharmaceutical or medical device sectors, in pesticides, engineering, ICT or other technology-driven industries. The…

The competition and agricultural rules in the EU treaties have lived separate lives for many decades. While an agricultural exemption from the competition rules was already foreseen by Article 42 of the Treaty of Rome (now Article 42 TFEU) and this exemption has been included in secondary legislation since 1962, in practice its scope was…

Between 2012 and 2013, Marine Harvest ASA (“Marine Harvest”), a Norwegian seafood company, acquired Morpol ASA (“Morpol”), a Norwegian producer and processor of salmon. Marine Harvest notified the transaction to the European Commission under the European Union’s Merger Regulation (“EUMR”), but implemented it prior to the European Commission having granted clearance. The European Commission imposed…

The approach to access to file and who can receive what information can deviate by jurisdiction which can be particularly relevant in international antitrust cases. The ongoing Qualcomm case is a good example for that. Qualcomm is currently under investigation by several competition authorities, allegedly refusing to licence standard essential cellular patents to competitors on…

In short: The Background: In September 2017, the European Court of Justice (Case C-413/14 P) reversed the ruling of the General Court, which had upheld the European Commission’s €1.06 billion fine on Intel for abusing its dominant position on the market for x86 central processing units. The Main Issue: The Intel case prompted much debate…