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 Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has published a background paper “Innovation – Challenges for the Antitrust Law Practice” in October 2017. It covers possible innovation aspects across different antitrust law areas, with a focus on merger control. The paper is a valuable contribution to the debate on innovation. It is an agency paper, so it…

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…