“I’ve been wondering how to give a metaphor because these are two quite complex proposals. And the best thing I came to think of was the first-ever traffic light that brought order in the streets, that was actually in the US, in Cleveland Ohio. And that was invented as a response to a major technological…

Ever since the 2001 Courage judgment, private actions for damages are on the rise. The Commission wanted to quickly follow with a legislative act including minimum standards for private enforcement across the EU. In the end, it took a while. In 2005, the authority published a Green Paper, in 2008 a substantially amended White Paper….

The Court of Auditors believes that the introduction of new instruments should go hand in hand with stricter enforcement of existing instruments In a Special Report published on 19 November 2020, the European Court of Auditors (the ‘Court’) makes a plea for more stringent enforcement of EU competition policy. The Special Report comes at a…

The European Court of Auditors’ Special Report published on 19 November 2020 is an interesting read for a dark COVID winter evening: “The Commission’s EU merger control and antitrust proceedings: a need to scale up market oversight“.[1] In respect of merger control, the Report (and the European Commission’s Response to the ECA contained in it)…

Spotlight on Europe’s ‘strategic autonomy’ The calls for Europe’s ‘strategic autonomy’ or ‘strategic sovereignty’ have been gaining increasing traction in Brussels policy circles over the past few years. With its origins in the fields of defence and security, the idea of Europe’s autonomy has started to resonate beyond these areas, extending to foreign and economic…

On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its inception impact assessment of policy options for a potential revision of the EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and accompanying Vertical Guidelines for consultation. This inception impact assessment will be followed by a more detailed impact assessment that the EC will publish for public consultation…

After two rounds of public consultations that ended 8 September 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) appears to be on track and make its proposals for new enforcement powers more concrete. The Commission intends to adopt its two definitive legislative proposals before the end of 2020. In this post, we take a look at where the…

What are commitments? The recent effort by the Commission to settle the Aspen case suggests that commitment decisions are the preferred route to settle complex excessive pricing cases at EU-level.  Previous commitment cases where high prices have been at issue include Rambus, Standard & Poor’s and Gazprom.  The EU rules allow the Commission to make…

On 13 October 2020, the European Commission (EC) published a call for contributions to gather ideas on how EU competition rules (State aid, antitrust, and merger control) and sustainability policies can best work together. The aim is to gather the widest set of views possible to determine how the competition rules should be amended (if…

The public consultation for the European Commission’s White Paper on Foreign Subsidies closed on September 23 this year. Perfect timing to discuss the stakeholders’ feedback. Wolters Kluwer therefore organized a webinar on October 8, 2020, involving leading experts from the Commission, WTO, OECD, and private practice: Eddy De Smijter, Head of the International Relations Unit…