On May 14, 2018, the German and Austrian competition authorities have published joint draft guidelines on the new transaction value merger thresholds, including an English translation (see here). Comments can be submitted by June 8, 2018. It would certainly be helpful if members of the legal and economic community from jurisdictions with similar transaction size…

Germany’s Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) has now published its full judgment in EDEKA – wedding rebates (case KVR 3/17) on allegedly anti-competitive requests for preferential rebates and conditions by food retailers. For background on the preceding decisions of the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt – BKartA) and Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf)…

The Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced on February 1, 2018, to launch a sector inquiry into online advertising (here). This in line with the FCO’s focus on competitive conditions in the digital economy and big data. The FCO follows the French competition authority that started a separate online advertising sector inquiry in 2016 and has…

Introduction On December 18 2017, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (the ACM) announced that it had halted its investigation into cartel agreements between Dutch and German towage companies in various ports in Germany and the Netherlands. Stek represented one of the German towage companies in this investigation. The ACM’s decision to stop the investigation…

The German Federal Cartel Office (‘FCO’) decided in 2015 that ASICS, the manufacturer of sports and running shoes, may not prevent its dealers from cooperating with price comparison engines. The German Federal Court of Justice (‘BGH’) has now, in a judgment published on 19 January 2018, confirmed the FCO’s decision. The judgment comes only weeks…

On 23 January 2018, Germany’s Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) handed down its judgment on allegedly anti-competitive requests for preferential rebates and conditions by food retailers (case KVR 3/17 – not yet published). This is an important judgment as it removes a major roadblock to antitrust enforcement in the food retail sector in Germany,…

On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers that Facebook abuses its dominant position through imposing unfair general terms and conditions (“t&cs”). The published materials provide some interesting…

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published its sector inquiry report in cement and ready-mix concrete (link to English press release). While the report targets the cement and ready-mix concrete sector and its particularities (e.g., cartel history, oligopolistic markets, vertical integration, homogenous products), it may provide some insights into the FCO’s approach in general,…

Summary New German threshold for high value but no/low German sales transactions to enter into force: Imminent changes to merger control will widen jurisdiction to catch (i) high value transactions worth over EUR 400 million with (ii) target substantial German activity even where (iii) the deal would previously not have been notifiable because the target’s…

On 31 March 2017, the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has voted in favour of passing the ninth amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen). According to the 31 March plenary report[1], the draft law is now about to be presented to the president for signature and will enter into force…