EU Commission publishes findings on VBER evaluation

On 8 September 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) published a Staff Working Document in which it summarised the conclusions of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) and the accompanying Vertical Guidelines. The evaluation – launched on 3 October 2018 – was aimed at gathering views from stakeholders to determine whether the current … Read more

Clarification on the application of FRAND in the supply chain – postponed!

The Regional Court of Mannheim delivered its judgment in a much noticed patent infringement case in Germany. The dispute is noteworthy not only because of its economic importance but in particular also because the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) filed an amicus curiae brief in the dispute, which rarely ever happens, and suggested that the … Read more

CMA imposes record fine for breach of IEO in JD Sports/Footasylum merger

On 5 August 2020 the CMA published a penalty notice imposing a fine of £300,000 (the highest fine to date for a single breach of an initial enforcement order (IEO)) on JD Sports and its parent company Pentland Group, for breach of an IEO in the context of its completed acquisition of Footasylum. In October … Read more

CMA confirms unconditional clearance of Amazon’s acquisition of 16% stake in Deliveroo

Updated August 5, 2020 to add link to full report The CMA has today announced that it has unconditionally cleared Amazon’s acquisition of a 16% stake in Deliveroo (alongside other rights including board representation). Following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the CMA has concluded that the transaction will not substantially lessen competition. This confirms its … Read more

Global Competition Review EMEA Antitrust Review 2021 – HSF’s EU Merger Control chapter now available online

Members of the HSF Brussels competition team have written a comprehensive summary of key recent EU merger control developments as a contribution to the latest edition of the highly-regarded Global Competition Review (GCR) EMEA Antitrust Review. The chapter covers key procedural, jurisdictional and substantive merger control developments from June 2019 to April 2020, including: jurisdictional … Read more

International Competition Network’s scoping paper on “Big Data and Cartels”: Big Data and algorithms as a new “threat” and a new “tool” for cartel enforcement

Earlier this year, we discussed the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on cartels and collaboration between competitors (see our e-bulletins here and here). Regulators have been open to allowing certain types of cooperation between competitors to address the impact of the crisis.  They have nonetheless been careful to stress that this is not general … Read more