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Economists Must Respect Due Process Too! EU General Court annuls Commission decision blocking UPS/TNT merger

The judgment reinforces due process and transparency in EU merger control proceedings. The Court made clear that due process standards will be strictly enforced in merger cases, despite the relatively tight deadlines. The...more

Highest EU court strikes down vague and ambiguous information requests

Statement of reasons was excessively vague in light of the extent of information requested and the advanced investigation stage. Introduction - On 10 March 2016, the European Court of Justice issued a landmark...more

European merger control: Well-oiled machine or spluttering engine?

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager was in a celebratory mood when she addressed an audience in Brussels in March 2015 as the EU merger control body celebrated its 25th anniversary: "There is reason to celebrate because the...more

The EU’s new trade and investment policy in a nutshell

A new template for future initiatives - On 14 October 2015, the European Commission revealed its long-awaited communication setting out an updated trade and investment policy for the EU, entitled “Trade for all: Towards...more

EU Competition Commissioner proposes a competition inquiry in the e-commerce sector

On 26 March 2015, the European Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, announced a potential competition inquiry in the e-commerce sector. According to the Commission, the proposed inquiry is aimed...more

European Commission extends State aid probe into Belgian tax scheme

The European Commission (“Commission”) has opened a fifth formal State aid investigation into national tax rulings. This investigation concerns the Belgian “excess profit” provision, which allows multinational groups to...more

DG COMP’s 5th monitoring report: time for guidance please!

DG Competition of the European Commission just published its 5th patent monitoring report. It covers patent settlements entered into in 2013. Each year, the Commission claims that the report shows a “steady increase” of...more

Technical infringements receive stiff fines from the European Commission

Both the Electrabel case and the Marine Harvest case serve as harsh wake-up calls that companies and their antitrust advisers must adopt a high level of caution when analysing whether a transaction must be notified under the...more

New Technology Transfer Agreements Regime to kick in from 1 May: caution needed for the few areas that have changed

After two public consultations in 2011 and 2013, and reportedly much internal debate, the European Commission’s new regime for the assessment of technology transfer agreements under EU competition law, which was adopted last...more

New EU procedures for trade defence measures agreed

The Council and European Parliament recently agreed on new procedural rules for the adoption of trade defence measures (i.e. anti-dumping, antisubsidy, and safeguard measures) by the European Commission. The new rules...more

The Commission simplifies its procedures for most mergers, but demands extra information for the rest

Summary - On 5 December 2013, the European Commission (“Commission”) reformed its merger procedures. The new rules will apply as of 1 January 2014. The reforms will impact the standard procedure (Form CO), the...more

Commission launches long-awaited consultation on revised guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in...

On 5 November 2013, the European Commission launched a consultation on its proposed new guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (“the draft R&R guidelines”) which will replace the current...more

Giving Teeth To The General Court’s Unlimited Jurisdiction To Review Competition Law Fines: Advocate General Wathelet’s Opinion In...

The level of fines imposed by the European Commission in competition cases has attracted controversy for more than ten years. The often deferential approach of the European courts to hearing appeals has also been criticised,...more

EU outlines preliminary goals in connection to first TTIP round

Last week, the EU and US met for the first round of negotiations of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement. In statements following the closing of this round, chief negotiators for both sides...more

European Commission adopts a package on private damages actions in antitrust cases

On 11 June 2013, the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted a proposal for a directive on how citizens and companies can bring damages claims under EU antitrust rules. According to the Commission, the proposal serves to...more

AstraZeneca v European Commission: Case C-457/10 P

Introduction - On 6 December 2012, the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) upheld the judgment of the General Court (“GC”), which found that AstraZeneca (“AZ”) abused its dominant position on the market for proton pump...more

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