Antitrust is not at the disposal of the customer – a ground-breaking case

When conducting antitrust compliance trainings or otherwise advising businesses on antitrust compliance, now and then one hears “but the customers want it that way” as a justification for conduct that could raise antitrust issues. A typical response might begin with “That is appreciated, but unfortunately antitrust law is not at the disposal of the customer…” … Continue reading Antitrust is not at the disposal of the customer – a ground-breaking case

Novel or unresolved – The Commission’s draft informal guidance notice

A bit overshadowed by other big legislative processes (we know what we are talking about), the Commission has also been actively updating its notices currently not so much in the focus of the public eye. Having made some progress on the simplified procedure in merger control cases already, the Commission recently presented an updated draft … Continue reading Novel or unresolved – The Commission’s draft informal guidance notice

An overview of parity obligations

For years, parity obligations, also called “most favoured nation clauses” or “MFNs”, were hotly debated. There was a policy element to how different regulators treated MFNs, and not least because the European Commission decided to leave enforcement to national regulators, rules across the EU differed (in particular regarding online platforms). The new Vertical Block Exemption … Continue reading An overview of parity obligations

EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation: State of Play

The process for introducing new EU rules on companies that receive foreign subsidies has really sped up. EU lawmakers are now in so-called “trilogue” discussions meant to finalise the “Foreign Subsidies Regulation” still this year. The regulation will affect companies in M&A transactions and in public procurement bids, and will basically introduce yet another review … Continue reading EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation: State of Play

Cross-border cooperation of regulators – a trend for many topics

While cooperations between competing undertakings stay under heavy scrutiny, there seems to be a trend of regulators cooperating cross-border. Those cooperations often concern (a growing number of) topics that are perceived to be wider than national, and that regulators might think can only be properly tackled together. Here is a rundown of fora which have … Continue reading Cross-border cooperation of regulators – a trend for many topics

Dual distribution, information exchange, and the EC’s consultation – practical and policy highlights

The European Commission has launched an “additional” public consultation on guidance regarding information exchange in dual distribution. More guidance is welcome, but timing is tight. This post provides a short overview of what the guidance/consultation are about and of their policy implications. The Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and the accompanying Vertical Guidelines lay out … Continue reading Dual distribution, information exchange, and the EC’s consultation – practical and policy highlights

Not always against big tech: Bundeskartellamt terminates proceeding against Google

Nearly unnoticed by the antitrust world, the German Bundeskartellamt has terminated proceedings against Google regarding so-called “Transport Layer Security Certificates”. With nearly daily decisions or new investigations against big tech, the termination of a proceeding without a finding or a fine appears almost rare. Here is a short run through the when, how, and why … Continue reading Not always against big tech: Bundeskartellamt terminates proceeding against Google

Antitrust and the Political System – Austria: A review of 2021

In part IV of our series on antitrust and the political system, Christoph Haid, partner at Austrian law firm schoenherr, reviews the last year that brought significant changes to the Austrian authority and the competition law regime. An abrupt ending to a year long reign, with a new election scheduled for 2022 – what sounds … Continue reading Antitrust and the Political System – Austria: A review of 2021