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?

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?

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

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