Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law April 2022

Keeping you up to date on Competition & EU law developments in Europe and beyond

Read the full news letter here


In focus

FRAND issues under consultation from different policy perspectives

Standardisation of technology generally requires holders of Standard Essential Patents (“SEPs”) to commit to granting licences for the use of their patents as part of the standard on Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) conditions. Refusal by an SEP holder to grant a licence for use of standard patented technology to a competitor willing to accept a licence on FRAND terms may constitute an abuse of dominance under Article 102 TFEU.

This article discusses a number of recent consultations in which the European Commission considers FRAND issues from different policy perspectives. First, DG GROW is consulting on the development of a fair and balanced licensing framework for SEPs. In parallel, DG COMP address the application of competition rules to standardisation agreements, of which patented technology and FRAND licensing can be part, in its drafts of the revised horizontal block exemption regulations (HBERs) and guidelines on horizontal cooperation (Horizontal Guidelines). A third interesting development in relation to FRAND licensing is the Commission’s proposal for the Data Act, in which FRAND principles are proposed to be applied to data access.

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Updates from our jurisdictions


Largest online platforms prepare for sweeping digital regulation after landmark agreement

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For more information contact Francine Cunningham


Here’s the scoop: Peters Ice Cream ordered to pay $12 million penalty for anticompetitive exclusive dealing

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For more information contact Thomas JonesMatthew Bovaird or Patrick Cordwell

Czech Republic

Significant changes of the unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain in the Czech Republic. Are your existing agreements compliant?

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For more information contact Vojtěch Chloupek or Jiří Švejda


Danish producer of kids-and baby gear fined 8.000.000 DKK for Resale Price Maintenance

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For more information contact Morten Nissen or Frederik Haugsted


Vodafone judgment: what is expected from the GVH when imposing fines?

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For more information contact Dániel Arányi, Gábor Kutai or Rebeka Szopkó


Dutch ACM welcomes Commission’s draft guidance on sustainability but remains critical

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For more information contact Matteo Stainer or Joost van Roosmalen


European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Kronospan Holdings/Pfleiderer Polska merger

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For more information contact Piotr Dynowski or Szymon Gołębiowski


A new clash in the world of sports regarding potential infringements of competition law

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For more information contact Candela Sotes


How UK competition and consumer law can support net zero goals: the CMA’s position

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For more information contact Saskia King, Ariane Le Strat or Amena Charles


Market-abuse fine of 10 million euros imposed on CTS Eventim-TicketOne annulled in ground-breaking appeal judgment contesting interlinks between Article 102 TFEU and EU merger rules

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For more information contact Federico Marini Balestra, Lucia Antonazzi and Chiara Horgan. 

Webinars & events

14th GCLC Evening Policy Talk - "The role of the hearing officer in ensuring due process in competition proceedings"

Wednesday 27 April | 18:00 CET

The Hotel in Brussels (38 Boulevard de Waterloo)

Join our Competition & EU Partner José Rivas, who will moderate this upcoming policy talk with main speakers Eric Gippini Fournier, Hearing Officer for Competition Proceedings and Wouter Wils, Former Hearing Officer for Competition Proceedings.

Find out more here

Hybrid seminar in Brussels

Economic Analysis in EU Competition Policy: Current trends and future perspectives

Thursday 19 May | 13:00 - 20:00 CET
Zoom + Bird & Bird office
Avenue Louise 235 - 1050 Brussels

This seminar, organised in collaboration with the Florence Competition Programme of the European University Institute (EUI), will bring together academics, practitioners, officials from national governments and EU institutions, and industry representatives, to debate the role of economic analysis in EU competition policy.

Find out more 

Register for the seminar here

Annual Conference on European Media Law 2022

2-3 June 2022

Hybrid: Trier + Online

The aim of this conference is to keep media law practitioners up-to-date by providing an overview of the latest policy developments, legislative initiatives and case law in this field. On June 3, our Competition & EU partner Anne Federle will present on digital advertising and data use from a competition law perspective.

Find out more

Florence Competition Summer Conference – The Rise of Global Regulation of Online Platforms

13 - 14 June

Hybrid: EUI (Florence) + Zoom

Organised by the European University Institute (EUI) and the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), this conference will gather academics, practitioners, officials from national competition authorities and EU institutions, as well as industry representatives to discuss the similarities and differences among ex-ante regulation for digital platforms currently emerging in Europe, in the United States and in Asia.

Bird & Bird Competition & EU partner Hein Hobbelen will participate in a panel discussing data portability and data sharing obligations.

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EU Competition Law Summer School 2022

Monday 8 - Friday 12 August 2022
Downing College, Cambridge, UK

Competition & EU partners Peter Willis and Anne Federle will present at the Informa Connect EU Competition Law Summer School, covering the topics of mergers and hard core cartels.

Find out more 

Bird & Bird news

Sydney-based partner recognised in three categories in The Best Lawyers in Australia

Congratulations to Bird & Bird partner Thomas Jones, who was recognised in the 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Australia guide for his work in:

  • Competition Law
  • Regulatory Practice
  • Telecommunications Law

Our Competition & EU practice has been ranked by the Legal 500 2022 in Belgium (Brussels), Denmark, FinlandGermany, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands.

A big thank you to our clients for your support and for placing your trust in our team!

Our Competition lawyers recognised by the Legal 500 include: Ana Manzaneque, José Rivas, Hein Hobbelen, Anne Federle, Federico Marini Balestra, Lucia Antonazzi, László Zlatarov, Morten Nissen, Mikkel Taanum, Pauline Kuipers, Janneke Kohlen, Stephan Waldheim, Jörg Witting and Katia Duncker.

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