Co-authored by Friederike Melters. Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared dawn raids by the European Commission invalid. The decisions confirm that a “procedural” step like a dawn raid can be appealed by itself and that it can be invalid because of previous procedural mistakes. They tie in with other court decisions, … Continue reading Procedural errors – rich case law and five key takeaways
The complexity of assessing potential competition
The question of whether two companies are potential competitors is key for the antitrust assessment of agreements and cooperations between those companies. While the assessment of potential competition is often not straightforward, the question has significant practical implications – not least with a view to the transformation in many industries and the corresponding number of … Continue reading The complexity of assessing potential competition
Cartels are back!?
This week has seen two highlights in cartel investigations: Coordinated international dawn raids in the fragrance industry and a warning to small businesses that they are not exempt from antitrust enforcement. Here are the key reasons why both cases are important. For years, we have observed decreasing numbers of leniency applications, cartel cases and cartel … Continue reading Cartels are back!?
A regulatory nightmare?
Today we are deviating from our usual pattern. Instead of dealing with a current case or political developments, I want to tell a short fictional story (roughly comparable to the ones I read to my children in the evening). The story has it all: a long-standing business relationship, great expectations and surprising twists. Once upon … Continue reading A regulatory nightmare?
A history of challenging big tech – Part III: The Internet Explorer and a (technical) mistake
As our readers now, we have a series about the history of challenging big tech in which we have so far dealt with Microsoft’s interoperability and Media Player case and the Intel case. This post continues the series with another Microsoft case whose origins date back to a time when many other tech companies were … Continue reading A history of challenging big tech – Part III: The Internet Explorer and a (technical) mistake
It ain’t over ‘til it‘s over: Commission wins after 20 years (?)
The fact that antitrust proceedings can take a year or two is not really a surprise. But recently, the General Court of the European Union (i.e. first instance!) had to deal with a case concerning a cartel which had started in 1989 and whose members were already fined (for the first time) in 2002. That … Continue reading It ain’t over ‘til it‘s over: Commission wins after 20 years (?)
German regulator overturned: No substantial activity in Germany
The ruling was admittedly published already at the end of last year, but I feel it did not receive the attention it deserved, and I was anyway interested in taking a deeper dive: The Higher Regional Court of Duesseldorf found that the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) did not have jurisdiction to review Meta’s acquisition … Continue reading German regulator overturned: No substantial activity in Germany
Are crutches getting cheaper?
Europe's population is not only getting older, people are also staying active in sports for longer and longer. To make this possible, but also to deal with injuries resulting from sporting activities and other physical handicaps (which also affect people even younger than me), there are numerous medical aids – which some might perceive as … Continue reading Are crutches getting cheaper?
Best of the rest – News in January
At the beginning of the year, we took the liberty to pause our blog for a couple of weeks. Reflecting on January in hindsight, there have been three developments which each might not justify a post on its own, but are just too interesting (and a continuation of previous posts) not to be mentioned at … Continue reading Best of the rest – News in January
The 2022 cash balance of the European Commission
In the past, the European Commission has often made significant contributions to the EU budget through its fines. This post examines whether that was also the case last year and takes a brief look at the decisions that had a significant impact on the European Commission's cash position. Fines imposed in 2022 In … Continue reading The 2022 cash balance of the European Commission