EU competition policy: based on political discretion? Many would agree that Brussels’ legislative priorities guide competition policy and enforcement. Under President Juncker’s mandate, the creation of an Energy Union, a Single Digital Market, and a better functioning internal market have been at the top of the agenda. In a recent interview with the Guardian, EU’s…

A fragmented legal landscape In April 2018, the European Commission revealed a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the food supply chain. The proposal comes in response to concerns about power imbalances in the food supply chain – an issue which has been in the eyes of competition authorities…

The UK’s expected separation from the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019 (Brexit Date) will re-cast the process by which parties pursuing global mergers secure their antitrust approvals. It will also reshape the potential exposure that parties face when subjected to global investigations of anticompetitive conduct. As Brexit rapidly approaches, businesses increasingly seek guidance…

Standards and Standard-Setting Organizations Smart cars rely on interconnectivity and interoperability: in order to achieve autonomous driving, driverless vehicles will have to understand and engage with their environment so they can react and adapt accordingly. Connected cars will become one of the applications of the internet of things as vehicles will be constantly exchanging information…

On September 4, 2018 the European Commission published the non-confidential version of its decision in the Engie case (SA.44888), where it concluded that Luxembourg had granted illegal State aid through two tax rulings.[1] The decision has been appealed by Luxembourg.[2] The decision brings interesting additions and precisions to the arguments developed in the earlier cases…

The UK Government has recently indicated its intention to transpose the EU State aid rules into domestic legislation, even in the event of the UK exiting the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement on 29 March 2019.  This was made clear in a “no deal” Brexit technical notice on State aid (the “notice”) published, alongside 24…

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 May 2018, the General Court annulled the Commission’s decision rejecting Lufthansa’s request for a waiver of commitments it had given when it acquired Swiss in 2005. The Court faulted the Commission for not carrying out a careful examination of Lufthansa’s arguments that significant market changes justified a waiver of the commitments. The Commission…

Consistent with recent trends in the United States, the European Union (EU) and many national governments in Europe are expressing renewed interest in greater scrutiny of acquisitions by foreign investors. Government ministers in Germany recently opposed a takeover in the robotics industry by a Chinese bidder, while government ministers in the Netherlands recently opposed a…

Speed read On 31 May 2018, the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ) gave judgment in the EY / KPMG case on whether the EU suspension obligation was violated when KPMG’s Danish unit terminated a material contract prior to receiving competition clearance for its merger with Ernst & Young (EY). The ECJ concluded that the measure…