Digital competition law update from Germany: Franco-German report on algorithms and competition law, and draft German law on Digitalisation of German Competition Law

Competition law/algorithms has been a hot topic of debate amongst practitioners and enforcers for a while, and now two of Europe’s top antitrust enforcers, the Autorité de la Concurrence and the Bundeskartellamt, have joined forces to analyse and publish a report on the potential competition law risks relating to pricing algorithms and their potential contribution … Read more

A First in 20 years: EU Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom

On 16 October 2019, the EU Commission (“the Commission“) adopted interim measures against Broadcom in connection with its ongoing investigation into the company for abuse of a dominant position. The investigation started in June 2019 when the Commission opened an antitrust investigation to assess whether Broadcom restricted competition in various chipsets and components markets by … Read more

Highlights from the 11th annual GCR Live Competition Litigation Conference

We were delighted to host the annual GCR Live Competition Litigation Conference at our London office yesterday, which explored key current themes in competition litigation in an interactive discussion panel format. Christopher Bellamy QC opened the conference with an insightful keynote address. This was followed by a series of discussions involving a distinguished line up … Read more

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