A risk of “greenwashing” by competition authorities?

It is no news that sustainability is an important topic of competition policy across the EU. There is clear consensus that competition law enforcement should be careful not to hinder cooperation between companies, even competitors, that facilitates the realisation of or progress towards reaching sustainability goals of climate policy (or beyond). Although the extent to which Article 101(3) TFEU can be used as a legal basis for exempting restrictive sustainability agreements from the cartel prohibition continues to be a hotly debated topic, competition authorities open up to guide companies towards legitimate forms of sustainability-promoting cooperation. This prompts the question if the authorities’ eagerness to facilitate sustainability initiatives does not amount to a risk of ‘greenwashing’ by competition authorities.

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