Refineries and fuel wholesale: More reason for new regulatory powers?

The German Bundeskartellamt has published an interim report on its ongoing investigation into fuel refinery and wholesale. While the regulator has so far found no indications of illegal agreements on prices, it will continue to investigate whether market participants might have breached antitrust law. At the same time, the findings could fuel (no pun intended) … Continue reading Refineries and fuel wholesale: More reason for new regulatory powers?

Leaky towards the press, rigid towards China: German FDI review in movement

German foreign investment control has taken centre stage in the last two weeks: After the German government just about (partially) approved a limited Chinese investment in the Hamburg port, this week it has set out to prohibit two Chinese acquisitions in the semiconductor space. Not only the number of difficult reviews in a very short … Continue reading Leaky towards the press, rigid towards China: German FDI review in movement

Comeback of leniency: More than a first step?

The decreasing number of leniency applications seems to be one of the main concerns of antitrust regulators (and private litigation firms) these days. Many argue that leniency applicants are an easy target for civil damage claims and need to be better protected in order to increase the number of leniency applications. Whilst this debate is … Continue reading Comeback of leniency: More than a first step?

Sighting of a rare animal: Clearance for a transaction that raises concerns

In (EU/German) merger control, M&A deals that significantly impede effective competition are to be prohibited. That rule is set in stone. Right? Not entirely: The German Bundeskartellamt has cleared a transaction that it would generally have had to prohibit, making use of a rarely used provision in German merger control. The case (Westenergie/Rheinenergie) was about … Continue reading Sighting of a rare animal: Clearance for a transaction that raises concerns

Killing acquisitions in the digital age?

Every year, the German Bundeskartellamt invites its “Working Group on Competition Law” to gather and discuss a certain topic. It was that time of the year again last week, when the group came together to debate “Merger control in the digital age - Challenges and development perspectives.” Here is an attempt at reading the tea … Continue reading Killing acquisitions in the digital age?

Three learnings from the EU’s Foreign Investment Control Report

The European Commission has published its Second Annual Report on the screening of foreign direct investments into the EU. The report provides an overview of the current status of foreign investment control, and is accompanied by a (data heavy) Staff Working Document. Here are three learnings from both documents. Just as a reminder: In the … Continue reading Three learnings from the EU’s Foreign Investment Control Report

What do football, golf, ice skating and padel have in common? Antitrust disputes!

You might have heard about Tiger Woods being offered up to USD 800 million to join the LIV golf tour, about Real Madrid, Juventus Turin and others intending to form the “Super League”, about ice skaters being prevented to join a certain tournament, or about two federations in the sport of padel clashing with each … Continue reading What do football, golf, ice skating and padel have in common? Antitrust disputes!

Three points from the Monopolies Commission 2022 Biennial Report

Earlier this month, the German Monopolies Commission published its new Biennial Report: “Competition 2022”. The report is a 325 pages “beast” with six chapters. There is lots of interesting stuff for the antitrust connoisseur in there, but too much ground to cover in a post with a length of our liking. So, this post will … Continue reading Three points from the Monopolies Commission 2022 Biennial Report

EU General Court rules on Illumina/Grail: The EU Commission may call in transactions

It is an absolute landmark case: Today, the EU’s General Court has ruled on Illumina v Commission. The case concerns the question whether the EU Commission may conduct merger control reviews of transactions that neither reach the merger thresholds of the Commission nor of Member States. The General Court has confirmed that the Commission indeed … Continue reading EU General Court rules on Illumina/Grail: The EU Commission may call in transactions