Antitrust used to be a niche. Known to practitioners and experts, of course. Cases were kept, progressed, and negotiated in that environment. Those times are long gone. We have seen an increasing trend towards companies turning to publicity and PR campaigns as a tool in both merger control and antitrust proceedings. PR work is used … Continue reading PR campaigns in antitrust
Tag: merger control
Gun jumping: More freedom for targets in financial distress?
As some reports indicate, M&A activities in the coming years could involve more targets in financial distress than in the past years. The most prominent example of that unfortunate ‘trend’ might be UBS’ acquisition of Credit Suisse. In that case, the European Commission granted a derogation from the standstill obligation allowing the parties to move … Continue reading Gun jumping: More freedom for targets in financial distress?
Simplifying EU merger control filings
Today, the European Commission adopted a package to simplify its merger control process for transactions that do not raise concerns. Many practitioners will agree that in the past, opting to submit a simplified filing did not necessarily simplify or expedite a case. Let’s take a look at how the Commission intends to change that. Merger … Continue reading Simplifying EU merger control filings
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
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?
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
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
Merger control in times of crisis
Amongst us running this blog, there are different views on whether one should write about something with a direct link to Ukraine. Because we have lately received a number of questions on how to deal with (potential) merger control proceedings in jurisdictions or with regulators in crisis, I have opted to summarize what one might … Continue reading Merger control in times of crisis