Competition & EU

Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law - December 2023

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

 

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In Focus

CJEU Super Bock ruling: competition authorities must demonstrate that resale price maintenance harms competition to a sufficient degree

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that agreements setting minimum prices aren't automatically considered a restriction of competition and deemed illegal, without evidence of harm to competition. This decision stems from an appeal against a penalty imposed by the Portuguese Competition Authority on Super Bock Bebidas for vertical price fixing. The CJEU clarified that while vertical agreements can restrict competition, an assessment must be made considering the agreement's content, objective, and its economic and legal context. This ruling is considered to make it harder for EU competition authorities to act against companies for resale price maintenance. Read our article for a full analysis.

On the assessment of Retail Price Maintenance in national jurisdictions, see the contributions from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands below.

Read the full story


Updates from our jurisdictions

EU

Better watch out for those bonds: Commission fines large bank for participating in Euro-denominated bonds cartel

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Hein Hobbelen or Álvaro López de Ochoa García.

Game on - Valve’s geo-blocked games infringe EU competition law

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr Saskia King, Quinn Liang, Laura Horwich.


Australia

Australian Government makes the case for merger reform

Read the full story

If you would like to make a submission, or have any questions about the consultation paper, please contact Thomas Jones or Matthew Bovaird.


Belgium

BCA's competitive check-up in the retail banking sector

Read the full story

For more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Baptist Vleeshouwers or Ruben Verdoodt.


Czech Republic

Landmark Supreme Administrative Court ruling annuls RPM decision and sets new standard for sanctioning

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Vojtěch Chloupek and Martin Taimr.


Denmark

Too plugged in - Danish Energy Producers found to have coordinated pricing in the power markets

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Morten Nissen, Alexander Brøchner or Nanna Sofie Krabbe.


Finland

Public transportation companies fined for engaging in prohibited concerted practices

Read the full story

For more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Katia Duncker or Maria Karpathakis.


Italy

Airline pricing algorithms under Italian antitrust watchdog scrutiny: an attempt to clip AI’s wings?

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Federico Marini Balestra, Lucia Antonazzi and Chiara Horgan.


Netherlands

Dutch court applies Super Bock in ACM’s first ever RPM-case

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact the authors Pauline Kuipers or Reshmi Rampersad.


Poland

“Drip pricing” and aggressive marketing under scrutiny in Poland – charges and decisions by the Polish Competition Authority

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Stanislaw Szymanek and Marcin Alberski.


UK

Anti-competitive Information Exchange in the Financial Services sector - still under scrutiny by the FCA

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr Saskia King or Christina Fleming.


Events, webinars, conferences

138th GCLC Lunch Talk in Brussels Christmas message of the Court on competition law in sports

15 January 2024 | 12 - 2pm CET
The Hotel, 38 Boulevard de Waterloo, Brussels

The Court of Justice of the European Union will deliver three important judgments related to the enforcement of competition law in the sports sector on December 21, 2023. These cases are the International Skating Union (C-124/21 P), Superleague (C-333/21) and Royal Antwerp (C-680/21). The outcomes of these cases are expected to have far-reaching implications and reshape the governance of sports within the European Union.

José Rivas will chair the upcoming GCLC Lunch Talk with speakers Gero Meessen, Legal Service, European Commission and Ben Van Rompuy, Assistant Professor, Leiden University.

The College of Europe's GCLC organises monthly lunch talks in Brussels on current topics of competition law and economics. The aim of these events is to provide a discussion platform for private practitioners and competition officials.

Register for the event

If you have questions related to competition/antitrust law and sports, please contact Jose 


Lexology webinar

EU Regulation on control of Foreign Subsidies: First experiences

30 January 2024 | Online

Starting on 12 October 2023, all companies operating within the EU have to notify mergers and involvement in public procurement processes that meet certain criteria if they have received foreign subsidies (subsidies provided by a non-EU country). Companies that don't comply could be subjected to interim measures, corrective actions, requests for information and inspections, as well as face penalties equating to 10% of their turnover.

On 30 January, join our Competition and Public Procurement law experts José Rivas, Janneke Kohlen, Morten Nissen, Marc Martens and Peter Dann Jørgensen as they guide you through the new EU foreign subsidies regulation (FSR) and help you understand how to identify potential risks and steer clear of common pitfalls when it comes to foreign subsidies. The panelists will also share insights based on their first experiences with the FSR, as well as best practices for successfully navigating the new EU foreign subsidy control system.

More information on the webinar

Register for the free webinar


Bird & Bird news

Workshop on the evaluation of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption and Guidelines

Pauline Kuipers was invited by the European Commission to moderate its online stakeholders workshop on the evaluation of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption and Guidelines that took place on December 6th.

The Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation “TTBER” exempts certain technology transfer (licensing) agreements from Article 101 TFEU. The TTBER will only expire on 30 April 2026, so this will not be the last step in the Commission’s revision process, which can be followed on the Commission’s dedicated review page.

For more information, including the main points from the consultation discussed in the workshop, contact Pauline


EU and UK inbound Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regimes

Partners Morten Nissen, Dr Stephan Waldheim, Janneke Kohlen, Legal Director Anthony Rosen and Counsel Baptist Vleeshouwers spoke to Financier Worldwide magazine about EU and UK inbound FDI regimes. The interview was published in the January 2024 edition of the magazine.

Financier Worldwide is a highly respected source of information focusing on corporate finance and board-level business issues.

Read the full interview here


Presentation at the Polish National Competition Law Congress

On 30 November Szymon Golebiowski presented on the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation at the Polish National Competition Law Congress.

If you would like to receive the slides (in Polish) please contact Szymon by e-mail.


Recognition in GCR 100 2024 guide

We are delighted to announce that our Competition & EU teams in Brussels, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands have, again, been recommended in the Global Competition Review GCR100 2024, a comprehensive guide to the world's top antitrust and competition practices.

Congratulations to our teams for their hard work and dedication, and a sincere thank you to our clients for their trust and continued support.

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