The European Commission’s 254-page decision approving Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (the “Decision”) offered the Commission a so-far unique opportunity to apply the 2019 report on “Competition policy for the digital era’s” (the “Digital Era Report’s”) recommendation to assess acquisitions by “gatekeeper platforms” of much smaller companies active in complementary markets using an “ecosystem” approach.  Google/Fitbit…

On May 5, 2021, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted a proposal for a regulation (the Anti-Subsidy Regulation) to combat distortions of competition in the European Union (EU) caused by subsidies granted by non-EU Member States to companies doing business in the EU.  The Anti-Subsidy Regulation is an important part of the von der Leyen…

On April 21, 2021, the EU Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation (the AI Regulation) on “artificial intelligence systems” (AI systems), which it describes as “the first-ever legal framework on AI.” The AI Regulation will impose significant obligations impacting businesses across many, if not all, sectors of the economy. The AI Regulation will prove…

On March 26, the EU Commission announced a major reform of EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) procedures, arguably the most significant since the 2004 adoption of the current EUMR.  The current EUMR expanded EU jurisdiction by broadening the EUMR standard of review and allowing parties to request that transactions notifiable in three or more Member States…

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…

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…

The December 24 announcement that the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) had reached an agreement in principle on a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) was greeted with sighs of relief on both sides of the Channel.  For competition lawyers and parties engaged in M&A activities, however, the work of clarifying…

Adopting new tools to combat the effects of foreign subsidies is a top European Union (EU) priority for 2021; a no-deal Brexit would raise the stakes for this initiative significantly.   The European Commission (EC) believes that non-European State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other companies receive subsidies that can distort competition in the European single market.  Trade…

On November 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its proposed Data Governance Regulation (the DGR), which will create a new legal framework to encourage the development of a European single market for data.  The DGR, proposed in the EC’s February 2020 Digital Strategy, is the first of a wave of regulatory and antitrust reforms…

On September 13, the European Commission (Commission) proposed a regulation creating a new framework for screening foreign direct investments into the European Union (EU).  The proposal would address the potential for divergence among existing Member State screening mechanisms and create a new oversight role for the Commission itself.  The framework could affect acquisitions in a…