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,…

On May 30, 2017, the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, „FCO“) has published guidelines on remedies in German merger control, also available in an English translation, link here. The very detailed guidelines (87 pages) provide a comprehensive and helpful overview and summary of the FCO’s standing remedies practice, as well as of related jurisprudence. The timing…

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…

Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model for a European protectionist approach against American and Asian platform providers? The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seems to see a pressing need for regulation in…

Following the Parliament’s approval in early March, the Federal States Council, Germany’s second legislative chamber, has approved the most recent reform to German competition law on March 31, 2017. The new law will enter into force upon publication in the German official journal, presumably end of April/beginning of May. The reform was triggered by the…

On February 20, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published a brochure outlining its cartel enforcement activities, roughly over the past ten years. The brochure aims at providing an insight into the FCO’s practice combatting cartels, including an overview of the FCO’s investigation proceedings and case studies. The brochure explains the current leniency regime,…

On January 25, 2017, the FCO published its long-awaited draft notice with guidance on resale price maintenance (RPM) related questions in the food retail sector in Germany. The draft is up for public consultation, and interested parties can submit comments by March 20, 2017. It is available on the FCO’s website, including in English, see…

The second part of the blog on the FCO’s background paper on “Competition and Consumer Conduct – Conflict or Parallelism between Consumer Protection and Antitrust Law?” covers the interplay between consumer and competition protection and their legal tools in practice, including recent and potential future developments. (For the first part on the general principles please…

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) held a conference with antitrust experts (professors and judges) on October 6. 2016, on “Competition and Consumer Conduct – Conflict or Parallelism between Consumer protection and Antitrust Law?” As part of the conference, the FCO published a background paper on the same topic, available in German, see http://www.bundeskartellamt.de/DE/UeberUns/Veranstaltungen/ArbeitskreisKartellrecht/arbeitskreiskartellrecht_node.html I. Background…