Background On July 15, 2020, the General Court annulled the 2016 Commission Decision ordering Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion of illegal State aid from Apple,[1] chiefly, because the Commission had not demonstrated to the requisite legal standard that an advantage had been granted.[2] On the same day, the Commission’s Executive Vice-President M. Vestager released…

A recent speech[1] by the European Commission’s (the Commission)’s Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager (the Commissioner), on the 30th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), praised it as having created “a better life for everyone”, “saved customers billions of euros each year” and, in “a matter of life and death”, ensured the continuation of…

On 29 June 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a third amendment to the Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”) to extend the options available to Member State governments seeking to support their economies further. Specifically, the assistance covers aid for smaller companies as well as means of encouraging additional investment from the…

1.  Overview On 17 June 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) issued a White Paper consulting on “Levelling the Playing Field as regards Foreign Subsidies”. These are major new proposals to protect EU companies against perceived unfair advantage from companies benefitting from subsidies from non-EU States. Countries such as China and Russia have already reacted to…

On 2 June 2020, the European Commission published its roadmap on the possible introduction of a ‘new competition tool’ that would allow it to initiate market investigations into perceived structural competition problems, with the ability to impose market-wide remedies on companies. The proposal has obvious parallels to the market investigation tools already in place in…

The EU Commission (“EC”) has, for the second time, expanded its Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”) to provide national governments with further guidance and additional tools to support distressed companies amidst the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. As noted in our last blog post covering the first amendment to the Temporary…

On 4 March 2020, the European Court of Justice (“CJEU”) rendered its judgment in the Marine Harvest case.[1] The CJEU dismissed Marine Harvest’s appeal against a European Commission (“Commission”) decision in which the Commission imposed two separate fines of EUR 10 million each for failure to notify a transaction[2] and for implementing that transaction prior…

Our previous blog post covered the EU Commission’s (“EC”) Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”), which aims at enabling national governments to use the full flexibility of State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the adoption of the Temporary Framework a number of Member States…

After nearly two decades, on 16 October 2019 the European Commission (“Commission”) dusted off one of its most powerful enforcement tools, i.e. interim measures, amid its investigation against Broadcom.  The application of interim measures was triggered by the perceived need of preventing the harmful consequences of Broadcom’s prima facie (i.e., at first sight) abusive conduct…

Overview Given the unprecedented challenge faced by European businesses in the wake of the public health measures being adopted, the EU and its Member States are taking extraordinary measures to minimise the economic fallout from COVID-19. Over the coming weeks, Member States will make available billions in financial aid an in a speech on 13…