The draft Digital Markets Act (DMA) has been public for several months now (see a previous blog for our initial review when the draft came out) and opinions on its content continue to roll in. In brief, the DMA aims to lay down a set of rules for certain crucial platform services, so-called gatekeepers. EU…

The 50+1 rule is a distinctive feature of German professional football. While majority shareholdings of investors are not uncommon in other professional football leagues, this rule makes them almost impossible in Germany. However, the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office: FCO) may now have put a stop to this long-standing practice. So, might we even witness investor-led…

The 2014 Cartel Damages Directive substantially facilitated cartel damages actions across the EU – the rising number of damages actions ever since its entering into force is a good indication of this development. Nevertheless, the quantification of harm remains the main challenge for claimants, who hold the burden of proof for the amount of harm….

The recent adoption of the Collective Consumer Redress Directive has reignited the discussion on collective private antitrust litigation – any ‘bundling of claims’ – once again. Even though collective redress on an EU level was first seriously discussed in the context of the Damages Directive, competition law does not fall into the scope of the…

On 24 March 2021 the Higher Regional Court (‘Oberlandesgericht’) of Düsseldorf put yet another twist to the ‘Facebook Saga’. Although the formal written submission is not yet available, the Düsseldorf closed the hearing by staying the proceedings and announcing the referral to the CJEU of questions on data protection law.   Pricing Guns To be…

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…

With the adoption of the 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC, ‘Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen’) on 14.01.2021 by the German Parliament (’Bundestag’), the curtain will lower on an antitrust opera [previously reported by Silke Heinz here]: ‘The Abduction from (not the Seraglio) the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals’.   Overture For the following,…

Despite the pandemic, 2020 has been a very busy year for the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) and courts in the field of competition law in Germany.  The following is merely a selection of interesting developments.  It does not include the recently adopted reform of the Competition Act, which merits its own blog. Generally, the FCO…

Despite best efforts of the European legislator as well as the CJEU, from a claimant’s perspective, private enforcement litigation before German Courts in the trucks cartel [Link]  must be an aggravating experience. Although the European Commission fined the members of the cartel extensively, an ‘all-out’-approach of the cartelists and apparently flustered lower courts result in…

The government’s draft for new competition rules, including on (digital) platforms, published in September 2020 (see here) includes a provision specifically aimed at powerful digital gatekeepers, draft Section 19a ARC.  The proposal was debated in parliament on November 25, 2020, is largely expected to be adopted more or less in its current form and to…