On 19 May 2012, China’s Ministry of Commerce (‘MOFCOM’) announced its conditional clearance decision on the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google, which removed the last hurdle for the USD12.5 billion vertical deal. The MOFCOM is the only antitrust authority to impose remedies on its clearance of the transaction. The US Department of Justice, the…

A recent CC decision, Stericycle/Ecowaste Southwest, in which it prohibited a completed merger and required the divestment of the acquired business, is a salutary reminder to companies that do not wait for merger clearance before completing their transaction.

In March 2011, the U.K. Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) consulted on proposed reforms to the U.K. competition regime. The objectives were lofty (“improving the robustness of decisions,” “supporting the competition authorities in taking forward high impact cases,” and “improving speed and predictability for businesses”) and the proposals in part structural (most…

In late January, the Commission finally published the non-confidential version of its decision in Unilever/Sara Lee Body Care (adopted in November 2010).  The decision, reached after a Phase II investigation, is notable because it marks the first time in many years where the Commission objects to a proposed merger on the basis of, among other…

Economics has an increasingly important role in merger assessment. Hardly anyone can imagine trying to build a solid major merger case anymore without paying at least some attention to the indirect evidence gained from analyzing the set of indicative economic factors of the case at hand. Whilst there are differences e.g. between different NCA’s and…

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has blocked two mergers in the past several months, in each case after filing a lawsuit against the merging parties.  The first case involved a relatively small transaction in the digital tax business involving H&R Block and 2nd Story Software. The second case was the high-profile proposed acquisition by…

“In appropriate cases, DG Competition may discuss in advance with the addressees or other affected parties the scope and the format of the Data Request. DG Competition may also explain the analysis that it intends to perform with the requested data in order to improve the efficiency of the data collecting process and to ensure…

Public discussion on merger control in the last few years of has put the spotlight on two elements of contemporary merger analysis: market definition and market concentration, of which the former has raised considerable debate, in particular. It has been asked if market definition has de facto become superfluous to merger analysis due to some…

On 13 September, the Commission published its decision of 31 March 2011 in China National Bluestar/Elkem. After DSM/Sinochem/JV (decision of 10 May but published in June), this was the second published decision which dealt in some detail with the question how to treat Chinese State-owned Enterprises or SOEs under the EUMR. The question has both…

On May 10, 2011, the FCO fined Interseroh in the amount of €206,000 for having implemented a concentration without merger approval. The decision is the second instance this year in which the FCO imposed a fine for implementing a merger without approval, and the second in which the FCO settled dissolution proceedings. Interestingly, it seems…