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
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
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
Starting with a spoiler: The answer is a clear YES! The draft Data Act published by the European Commission touches upon and is intertwined with antitrust in many ways. Here is why and how. The European Commission has tabled its proposal for the Data Act. The new rules are meant to introduce “measures for a … Continue reading The Data Act – an antitrust topic?
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
The UK competition regulator CMA has ordered Facebook* to divest Giphy. Earlier this year, the CMA cleared Facebook’s acquisition of Kustomer in Phase I, a deal now under heavy scrutiny by the European Commission. As much as antitrust regulators emphasize a tough stance on acquisitions by big tech, is there a risk of diverging views? … Continue reading Facebook, Giphy, Kustomer – Regulators’ views diverging?
This year, a number of senior officials moved from some of Europe’s most important antitrust regulators into private practice. While these have not been the first times that high-ranking officials switched sides, several departures across Europe took place around the same time lately and regulators seem to deal with them quite differently.
Gas prices are rising in Europe and some are requesting an antitrust investigation into Russian Gazprom. Time to look at past cases against the company and their outcomes. As temperatures are getting colder, gas prices have almost tripled in Europe since the middle of this year. About 37% of EU gas imports stem from Russia, … Continue reading Gas price hike in Europe – the Gazprom cases