On 25 June 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation entitled “Towards more effective EU Merger Control” in which the Commission proposes to (i) expand its powers to review non-controlling minority interests and (ii) streamline the case referral system between the Commission and NCAs. The proposals in respect of minority shareholdings will have a…

Over the last two months, the Commission has been market testing commitments that Google has offered to resolve the Commission’s pending investigation. Many have made thoughtful comments (see for example here, here, and here). But there has also been criticism from the corner of some of Google’s competitors. I represent Google in the Commission’s proceedings…

Together with the publication of its proposed legislation to facilitate damage claims, the Commission has published a Practical Guide to the quantification of harm arising from infringements of the competition rules. The Practical Guide was published in draft form in 2011 (as draft Guidance Paper). Subject to a small number of additions, the changes relative…

Like the European Commission, I am confident that the European Merger Simplification Project will bring benefits for clients. As many commentators have affirmed, I do not doubt that the increase of the currently applicable market share thresholds for the identification of horizontally and vertically “affected markets” by 5 per cent to 20% and 30% respectively…

On 31 January 2013, the European Commission (DG Internal Market) published a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe. One of the issues that the Green Paper deals with is the use by some suppliers of territorial supply constraints – described as impeding retailers’ ability to…

Last week, the European Commission published on its website a revised explanatory note on how it conducts on-the-spot inspections of business premises where it suspects a company has breached competition law (so-called “dawn raids”). During a dawn raid the European Commission has the power to examine and copy not just hard copies of business records,…

Introduction The smart phone wars have led to heated discussions over standard setting in technology markets. It seems only a question of time before the standard setting debate spills over into other areas. My personal candidate is the standard setting that underpins product quality, origin and safety certification. Certification – where invisible features matter An…

On 6 December 2012, the EU Court of Justice handed down judgment in the long-running AstraZeneca litigation. Practitioners hoping for an opinion that tempered some of the more extreme dicta of the General Court found a more measured judgment. The Court upheld the General Court’s judgment in its entirety. But it refrains from endorsing the…

The Commission published the text of its most recent prohibition decision in Deutsche Boerse / NYSE Euronext. The Decision is lengthy and the Commission appears to have formulated a response to most arguments proffered by the parties. However, a review of the Decision brings to the fore a number of ways in which the Commission…