In the last decade, the EU scene has been characterised by a more flexible application of State aid rules, partially due to the persistent emergencies across the continent. But this trend has not significantly affected the application of Art. 106(2) TFEU or, more generally, the rules governing the financing of services of general economic interest…

The General Court’s judgment in CK Telecoms[1] annulling the European Commission’s (“Commission”) 2016 prohibition decision of the UK mobile merger raised quite a bit of interest beyond the Brussels competition bar, particularly with European telecom companies, who have long argued that the Commission has taken a far too strict stance on in-country market consolidation. Mobile…

On 14 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) confirmed that participation in a bid-rigging cartel ends when the basic characteristics of the contract between the “successful” tenderer and the contracting (public) authority are determined (C-450/19 – Kilpailu- ja kuluttajavirasto, ECLI:EU:C:2021:10). This has a major impact on the limitation period, which…

It is the same old story which we have heard many times before: Ryanair boss O’Leary is currently using strong words to complain about Corona subsidies granted to his competitors. His cursing is neither original nor surprising, but a variation on his favourite theme: Ryanair sees itself at a competitive disadvantage with other players that…

A February 4 conference on competition policy and the Green Deal sponsored by the European Commission’s (the Commission’s) Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) highlighted the divergences of opinions among antitrust officials and other stakeholders on how competition policy should support sustainability objectives.  DG COMP aims to take a leading role on sustainability issues; its October-November…

In today’s judgment in the case C‑595/18 P – Goldman Sachs v Commission, the European Court of Justice (ECJ or Court) expanded the rebuttable presumption of decisive influence relating to the parental liability doctrine. According to the parental liability doctrine, a parent company can be liable for anti-competitive conduct of its subsidiary when the parent…

On 6 January 2020, the European Commission (EC) published an inception impact assessment that invites comments on the scope of application of EU competition law to collective bargaining agreements for the self-employed. The EC will launch in the first half of 2021 a more detailed public consultation, with a view to the possible adoption of…

The European Commission (the Commission) closed out its ambitious 2020 antitrust reform agenda with the long-awaited consultation (the Consultation) on reform of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the VBER) and related Guidelines (the VGL), published on December 18, 2020.  The Consultation’s proposals, which closely follow the Commission’s October 2020 Inception Impact Assessment (the Inception Impact…

What an eventful year, also for competition law. The Kluwer Competition Law Blog has a little treat for you: a series of posts on the main 2020 developments in key jurisdictions by many of our dear contributors. We will release a number of articles in the next month. Today, we kick off with the EU!…

Large platforms acting as “digital gatekeepers” are increasingly drawing competition agencies’ attention. While no legal definition of a “gatekeeper” has been laid down yet,[1] this concept is meant to cover platforms that rely on significant network effects. A “gatekeeper” may also be a go-between, controlling access from one point to another. However, gatekeepers may refuse…