On December 17, 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed on the clothing company Guess a hefty penalty of EUR 40 million for allegedly severe restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors.  The full text of the Decision was published by the EC on January 25, 2019. While the substance of the…

#1. The Commission’s big three worries: Data as a vital tool for doing business; platforms which control  access to important digital resources and then expand; killer acquisitions and other ways of blocking the path to innovation.  The Commission feels a great responsibility to “shape digitisation before it shapes us”.  While the existing legal toolkit is…

On 16 January 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU” or “Court”) dismissed the European Commission’s appeal against the annulment of its decision to prohibit the acquisition of TNT by UPS. The CJEU stressed the importance of respecting companies’ rights of defence as regards economic analysis and methodology used in merger control….

In this briefing, we describe how certain employment practices, such as no-poach or wage-fixing agreements, may infringe competition law, a topic that has recently taken centre stage in the US and is also firmly, although more discretely, on the radar of antitrust authorities in Europe, but perhaps not yet on that of companies. Here is…

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…

Introduction Servier v. Commission (Case T‑691/14) is the second decision of the General Court of the European Union on “pay-for-delay” patent settlements in the pharmaceutical industry,[1] following the 2016 decision of the Court on Lundbeck v. Commission (Case T-472/13).[2] In 2014, the European Commission imposed fines totalling €427.7 million for violations of European competition laws…

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) held recently in Apple Sales International v MJA acting as liquidator of eBizcuss.com[1] that claims alleging abuse of a dominant position could come within the terms of a jurisdiction clause even where the clause did not expressly refer to claims based on competition law.   Relevant Rules The rules…

Unlike recent merger cases where the Commission looked at the concentration of data within a merged entity, the Commission’s focus in Apple/Shazam was on vertical concerns, including as a result of access to Shazam customer data.  The focus was more about the potential impact on Apple’s rivals rather than whether the acquisition of data would…

On 20 November 2018, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on the proposed EU framework for screening of foreign direct investments (FDIs). The proposal, put forward by the Commission in September 2017, aims at protecting key strategic industries and assets in Europe whilst maintaining the EU’s appeal to foreign…

In September 2018, the European Commission (“EC”) sent out formal requests for information (“RFIs”) to investigate allegations of an anticompetitive conduct by Amazon. The investigation relates to the interdependencies between Amazon’s third-party sales platform for retailers (“Amazon Marketplace”) and Amazon’s own online retail operations. Operating both on an upstream intermediation market for businesses (“merchants”) and…