Vestager nominated to remain as Commissioner for Competition

On 10 September 2019 European Commission President-Elect Ursula von der Leyen presented her list of nominees for the next College of Commissioners, due to take office on 1 November 2019. In an unexpected turn of events, she has proposed that Margarethe Vestager continues in her current role as the Commissioner for Competition, alongside a new … Read more

EU Commission imposes more fines for cross-border sales restrictions – the Hello Kitty case is the latest in a series of cases

On 9 July 2019 the EU Commission imposed a fine of €6.2 million on Japanese company Sanrio for restricting cross-border sales in the EU of its Hello Kitty merchandising products. In addition to direct sales the Hello Kitty products are distributed in Europe through licensed distributors, and Sanrio’s merchandising agreements contained clauses that expressly restricted … Read more

The next step in the battle for data? EU Commission opens formal investigation into Ireland’s insurance market

On 14 May 2019, the EU Commission (“the Commission“) announced that it has opened a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland, an association of insurance companies active in Ireland (“Investigation“). The association administers a database (Insurance Link), to which its member companies contribute insurance claims data on an ongoing basis. Insurance Ireland makes this database … Read more

FDI Podcast EP3: Foreign Direct Investment in France, Germany and the EU’s new framework

In this, third episode, Veronica Roberts, an anti-trust partner in Herbert Smith Freehills’ competition practice, leads a discussion about developments in the EU focusing on the current Commission proposals and the changing approaches in both France and Germany. She talks to Kyriakos Fountoukakos and Marius Boewe, competition partners at Herbert Smith Freehills, Tom White, Head of Europe at Global … Read more

EU Commission publishes EURIBOR decision fining three banks €485 million

On 9 April 2019, the European Commission published the full text of its decision to fine Crédit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase for participating in a cartel in the euro interest rate derivatives (“EIRD“) sector. While four of the seven participating banks settled the case with the Commission in December 2013, these three banks did … Read more

EU Commission Publishes Long-Awaited Report on Competition in Syndicated Lending

On 5 April 2019, the European Commission published a long-awaited report on loan syndication and its impact on competition in credit markets in the EU (the “Report“). The Report was prepared for the Commission by external consultants and focuses on syndicated loans connected with leveraged buyouts, project finance and infrastructure finance, in a sample of … Read more

European Commission publishes special advisors’ report on competition policy for the digital era

On 4 April 2019 the European Commission (“EC“) published an in-depth report on “Competition policy for the digital era” (the “Report“). Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager appointed a panel of three special advisers to prepare the Report (see EC press release here), which is intended to contribute to the EC’s ongoing deliberations regarding how competition policy … Read more

European Commission introduces online tool for the submission of evidence in cartel (leniency and settlement) and non-cartel cooperation proceedings

On 19 March 2019, the European Commission (the “Commission“) launched an online tool to enable companies and their legal representatives to submit statements and documents electronically in the context of certain EU competition law proceedings (see Commission press release here; and the Commission’s eLeniency webpage here). The rationale underpinning the so-called “eLeniency” platform is to make the … Read more