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

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 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

Facebook, Giphy, Kustomer – Regulators’ views diverging?

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?

A look at three of Europe’s most political transactions right now

This post takes a closer look at three of the transactions currently undergoing review in Europe with the heaviest political implications, and on what can be drawn from them. With M&A activity on record levels, times will be far from boring for antitrust and foreign investment control regulators. While transactions will be assessed on the … Continue reading A look at three of Europe’s most political transactions right now