Competition & EU

Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law - September 2022 - Special edition on Sustainability

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


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From words to action – recent developments in sustainability and competition law

Dear readers,

With sustainability being one the most intensely debated topics over the last few years, competition authorities around the world are now providing increasingly detailed guidance on
how they consider that sustainability may impact competition law.

Bird & Bird’s international competition practice has therefore chosen to take a closer look at the interplay between sustainability initiatives and competition law in this topical edition of
Competitive Edge.

Amongst the articles in this newsletter, we naturally cover the most recent developments from the European Commission and its guidelines on how sustainability may be taken into
consideration when evaluating horizontal cooperation, state aid and merger control. Moreover, we cover the guidance and recent case law from several national jurisdictions,
including Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Hungary.

Lastly, we also take a deep look at the potential pitfalls that competition authorities may face when taking sustainability into consideration, as this risks leading to “greenwashing” by the

In case you missed it, we also invite you to listen to our podcast episode on sustainability in which our London based competition experts take a look at how sustainability claims impact
competition policy in the UK.

Happy reading – and as always – please let us know should you have any specific topics you wish the Competitive Edge newsletter or podcasts to cover.

For more information contact Pauline Kuipers or Morten Nissen

The European Commission’s actions for promoting sustainability from a competition law angle

Read the full story  

For more information contact Szymon Golebiowski or Stanisław Szymanek.

Greening Competition Law: the European Commission’s Draft Horizontal Guidelines and Sustainability Agreements

Read the full story 

For more information contact Petteri Metsä-Tokila, Maria Karpathakis or Alexander Brøchner.

State aid and sustainability

Read the full story 

For more information contact Thomas Oster and Claire Burlin

What about sustainability aspects in merger control?

Read the full story 

For more information contact Federico Marini Balestra, Lucia Antonazzi or Tialda Beetstra.

A risk of “greenwashing” by competition authorities?

Read the full story

For more information contact Pauline Kuipers, Tialda Beetstra and Joost van Roosmalen.

The German FCO at the Intersection between Competition Law and Sustainability Initiatives

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Dr. Stephan Waldheim, Maren Steiert or Nima Astani.

How UK competition policy is supporting the UK’s Net Zero by 2050 goals

Read the full story

For more information contact Dr. Saskia King, Ariane Le Strat, Sean Bullock and Luca Koenes.

Tolerating Green Cartels – National Guidelines on Anticompetitive Agreements with Sustainability Aims

Read the full story

For more information contact Vojtech Chloupek or Martin Taimr.

Bird & Bird resources

Green Claims Tracker

“Green claims” are claims suggesting that products or services have a positive or no impact on the environment or are less damaging than those of competitors. Businesses are increasingly using them in commercial communications, marketing and advertising.

The current approach to green claims varies from one country to the other at the international level.

We created a Green Claims tracker to help you navigate the different national laws and guidelines on green claims, applicable in a selection of countries in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the UAE.

Click here to try it out for yourself 


Organisations are undergoing a fundamental shift towards a more sustainable way of operating. Legal requirements and expectations of an organisation’s people and external stakeholders are evolving rapidly. See how Bird & Bird can help guide you through these changes.

Find out more on our Sustainability webpage

Webinar & events & podcasts

Competitive Edge – The Podcast

Episode 1: Sustainability

If you missed it, listen to this 15-minute episode in which our London-based competition lawyers Saskia King (Legal Director) and Ariane Le Strat (Senior Associate) take a look at sustainability and how it impacts competition policy in the UK.

Click here to listen to the podcast

For our other competition law podcast episodes click here

Lear Competition Festival 2022

21 - 23 September 2022

Join us in Rome as we sponsor this annual event, a hub for innovation, networking, and exciting opportunities for the antitrust community.

During three days, participants will have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of specific antitrust issues, to acquire new tools for legal and economic analysis and to network with the main players in the competition field.

Morten Nissen will be chairing the panel session Recent Antitrust Developments in the EU and the US with panelists Assimakis Komninos and William E. Kovacic.

Find out more

Register here (free for companies and inhouse counsel)

For others: receive a 20% discount on registration by writing to [email protected] and asking for the 20% Bird&Bird discount.

Florence Competition Autumn School 2022

24-27 October 2022
Fiesole (Florence)

The Autumn School, held on the campus of EUI (European University Institute), is an advanced course on recent developments in competition policy in Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. Programme available here.

Our Brussels-based Senior Associate Baptist Vleeshowers will make sure you are aware of the latest developments in antitrust leniency applications and dawn raids with a presentation followed by an interactive group exercise of a dawn raid simulation. See his introduction video here

Find out more and register here

Webinar: Global Annual Sports Day

6 October 2022

Join Bird & Bird's International Sports Group for their second annual online global 'Sports Day'.

Throughout the day a mixture of specialists from across our international offices (and some invited guests) will be delivering sessions for you to choose from, covering a wide variety of topics relevant to those working in the sports industry.

Partner José Rivas and legal director Saskia King from our Competition & EU Group will provide an update on Competition law with a spotlight on key and recent cases in the sports sector.

Register for the free webinar

Webinar: International Business to Consumer Annual Update

11 October 2022

Our International Business-to-Consumer Group is delighted to invite you to an essential webinar for any business that interacts with consumers.

The last year has seen many important legal developments for consumer-facing businesses, including the implementation of the Omnibus Directive in the EU, and the UK government’s
proposals for reforms of consumer law.

In this webinar, you will hear from members of our international B2C team, who will kick off the event with a brief summary of the current UK & European landscape, before focusing on five core areas:

Register for the free webinar

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