Competition European Commission

News & Analysis as of

Antitrust & Competition Newsletter - April 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That State Action Immunity Does Not Apply to State Boards If the Board Is Controlled by Active Market Participants - On Feb. 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a 6-3 decision, that a state...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

EU Investigates Tax Rulings for Breach of State Aid Rules

The European Commission is currently conducting in-depth investigations into whether national tax rulings breach the EU’s competition rules. Whilst the spark for these investigations was the “Luxleaks” scandal, in December...more

Antitrust and Competition Newsletter - October 2014 (Global)

Recent U.S. Criticism of China’s Enforcement of Its Antitrust Laws Against Foreign Companies - For some time, many in the antitrust community have expressed concerns about how China is enforcing its antitrust laws...more

“By Object” Restrictions of Competition Revisited: European Court of Justice Endorses Narrow Interpretation

EU High Court adopts narrow interpretation of “by object” restrictions and boosts effects-based approach with significant implications for cooperation/joint venture agreements. The European Court of Justice has...more

Orrick's Antitrust and Competition Newsletter - June 2014 (Global)

Opt-Out Antitrust Class Actions — A U.S. Perspective on the Consumer Rights Bill Pending in UK's Parliament - Will opt-out class actions proposed by the UK Parliament’s Consumer Rights Bill bring the dreaded U.S.-style...more

European Commission Adopts Revised Competition Regime for Technology Transfer Agreements

On 21 March 2014, the European Commission (Commission) adopted a revised set of rules for the assessment of technology transfer agreements by the Commission and national competition authorities. The new Technology Transfer...more

Reverse payment deals under the microscope in the EU

Lessons from the latest Commission decision on agreements affecting generic entry: - The European Commission’s crack down on so-called “reverse payment” agreements continues. - In the EU these agreements may...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

Can Reverse Payments In Patent Settlements Constitute Criminal Cartel Conduct?

It is a well-established and universally accepted principle of competition law that a payment by one competitor to another competitor not to enter a market is anticompetitive, and in Australia since 2010 a criminal offence....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

The European Commission Proposes Directive On Private Damages Actions

The European Commission ("Commission") last week published a proposed directive on rules governing private damages actions in the EU ("Draft Directive"). Companies and consumers are increasingly seeking to claim damages for...more

New German Cartel Fine Guidelines

The German Federal Cartel Office has just published new Guidelines on the Setting of Fines for antitrust law infringements. With these guidelines, the German Federal Cartel Office departs from the method of setting fines...more

Proposed changes to EU Merger Control - the minority upgrade?

The European Commission (the Commission) has just published a consultation entitled "Towards more effective EU Merger Control" and invites all interested parties to submit comments on proposed changes to the EU Merger...more

How EU Competition Law Applies To Data Collection Issues

The Internet has given rise to information-based businesses that create value by accumulating pools of data captured from many sources. Indeed, the collection and analysis of vast amounts of consumer data has become the...more

European Commission Proposes New Regime for Private Antitrust Damages Actions

On June 11, 2013, the European Commission published a proposal for a directive on private damages actions for breaches of EU competition law. If adopted, the directive will facilitate private damages actions in the national...more

"European Commission Issues Proposals on Private Antitrust Damage Actions and Collective Actions"

On June 11, 2013, the European Commission (Commission) issued a widely anticipated series of proposals designed to advance private antitrust damage and collective actions in Europe. To accomplish this, the Commission issued...more

REGULATORY: EU Competition Law: EU Competition Law and Joint Sales in LNG

Liberalization of the EU natural gas sector began almost two decades ago. Since then, the European Commission (the “Commission”) has used various mechanisms to facilitate market opening including competition law enforcement,...more

"UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills Proceeds with Private Competition Action Reforms"

The U.K.’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has issued a ‘government response’ or plan for reform indicating that the government will move forward with a number of substantial changes to the U.K.’s...more

The Microsoft Internet Explorer Saga: Microsoft Fined €561 Million for Failure to Keep Promises

The European Commission has fined Microsoft €561 million (approximately US$730 million) for failure to abide by a commitment made in 2009 to make a browser-choice screen available to PC-users. The fine is in relation to the...more

European Commission Proposes Changes to the Rules Applicable to Technology Licensing

On 20 February 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation in relation to a draft proposal for a revised block exemption for technology transfer agreements (the proposal). The Commission seeks to improve and...more

Proposed Amendments to the EU Competition Assessment of Technology Transfers

The European Commission (the "Commission") is considering revisions to the rules governing the assessment of technology transfer agreements such as patent licences in advance of the expiry of the existing rules on 30 April...more

Antitrust and Competition Newsletter - February 2013

In This Issue: - A Modern Look at the Nine ‘No-Nos’ of Patent Licensing Under U.S. Antitrust Law: The First Four ‘No-Nos’ - Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Watson Reverse Payment Settlement Case - 7th Circuit...more

REGULATORY: EU Competition Law: European Commission opens two abuse of dominance inquiries against Bulgarian and Romanian Energy...

The European Commission (“Commission”) has announced two formal proceedings to investigate potential competition law violations by energy companies in Eastern Europe. The Commission is investigating whether Bulgarian Energy...more

REGULATORY: EU Competition Law: Twenty Million Euro: The Price for Merging Without European Commission Approval by Suzanne Rab

The European Union’s second-highest court upheld a fine of EUR 20 million (approximately USD 26 million) against Electrabel (a division of GDF Suez) for early implementation of a merger without notifying and seeking prior...more

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