Competition & EU

Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law - September 2023

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




In Focus

Nordic Merger Control in Practice

This month we invite you to delve into the unique practices of merger control in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Although these jurisdictions operate under similar principles to the European Merger Regulation, the process and enforcement styles vary significantly.

From Denmark's extensive information requirements to Finland's increased notifications due to a lowered local turnover threshold, and Sweden's pragmatic, less bureaucratic approach, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of Nordic merger control in practice. The contentious issue of below-threshold mergers and disparities in merger filing fees across these countries further amplify the complexities.

To fully grasp these differences and learn about the potential impacts on your business, please read the full article authored by a team of our Nordics competition lawyers Petteri Metsä-Tokila, Morten Nissen and Maria Karpathakis.

Read the full story

Updates from our jurisdictions


Never two without three: Commission accepts jurisdiction over below-threshold concentrations under Article 22 Guidance

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Hein Hobbelen or Jonathan Saké.

Has my company received foreign subsidies that must be notified in the EU?

Read the full story

For more information, please contact José Rivas.


Steeling the Show: BlueScope issued with Australian record $57.5 million penalty for attempted price fixing

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Thomas Jones, Matthew Bovaird or Patrick Cordwell.

Czech Republic

Rare acquisition blocking, large fines for pricesetting and even larger fine reductions – what are the Office’s highlights this summer?

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Vojtech Chloupek or Martin Taimr.


File or get fined – The DCCA to impose a fine due to late merger notification

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Morten Nissen, Alexander Brøchner or Nanna Sofie Krabbe.


Recourse claims against board members and managing directors due to violation of cartel law

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Dr. Joerg Witting.


Sector inquiries in action: GVH's ongoing practice

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Gábor Kutai, Marcell Fekete or Dániel Arányi.


The Dutch ACM strikes another blow against coordinating retail prices

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Janneke Kohlen or Quirijn Mohr.


Spanish Competition Act introduces expected changes on procedural deadlines and the CNMC’s role in the implementation of the DMA

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Candela Sotes.

United Kingdom

Claimants bringing Collective Actions in the CAT suffer Setback at the Supreme Court

Read the full story

For more information, please contact Victoria Hobbs, Dr. Saskia King or Louise Lanzkron.

Events, webinars, conferences

Webinar Recording

Do’s & don’ts for cooperating with competitors – the new EU rules

On 1 July 2023, the European Commission adopted and published the revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations (“HBERs”) on (i) research & development (R&D) agreements and (ii) specialisation agreements, accompanied by the revised Horizontal Guidelines.

Would you like to understand the main changes to this legislation, which governs cooperation agreements between competitors? Then please watch the recording of our webinar that took place on 14 September, in which our Bird & Bird Competition law experts Pauline Kuipers, Morten Nissen, Janneke Kohlen, Joerg Witting and Federico Marini Balestra discussed key aspects of the new rules that companies should consider when engaging in forms of cooperation with (potential) competitors, including:

Watch the recording of the webinar 

In-person seminar - Belgium

Tech-transfer, R&D and licensing agreements: Exploring New Opportunities & Insights in Belgium

21 September | 16:00 - 18:00 CEST
Bird & Bird Brussels office, Belgium

In this seminar, our Corporate, IP and Competition law experts Cedric Berckmans, Jean-Christophe Troussel, Baptist Vleeshouwers, Lisa Gius and Auriane Schokaert will shed light on the latest developments in Belgian contract law and the new opportunities they bring for tech-transfer, R&D and licensing agreements.

They will cover the full life cycle of tech-transfer, R&D and licensing contracts, starting with the negotiation and execution of the contract through to its termination. For each step, you will be guided through the recent updates to the Belgian Civil Code and their practical applications. In addition, you will understand the main aspects to look out for under competition law. Throughout the session, comparisons will be drawn with other jurisdictions, where relevant.

The 1.5-hour seminar will be followed by networking drinks.

More information and registration 


Lear Competition Festival 2023

26 - 29 September
Rome, Italy | WeGil - Largo Ascianghi 5

Bird & Bird is proud to be a partner of this unique four-day event in Rome focused on competition law, where participants will be able to gain a deeper understanding of specific antitrust issues through discussions, know-how sessions, networking events and much more.

On 28 September, our Rome-based Competition partner Dr. Federico Marini Balestra will moderate the plenary session Antitrust Enforcement, Industrial Concentration and Political Power with two prominent economists Andrea Prat, Professor of Business and Economics, Columbia University and Luigi Zingales, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

View the event program 

More information and registration 

Registration is free for companies and in-house counsel.

Others can receive a 20% Bird & Bird discount on the 3-Day pass by using the code LCF23TwoBirds when registering.


Global Annual Sports Day

4 October 2023

Bird & Bird's International Sports Group is delighted to invite you to our third global annual 'Sports Day' webinar.

The agenda includes specialists from across our international offices (plus some special invited guests) delivering insightful sessions relevant to those working in the sports industry. Our Brussels based Competition partner Jose Rivas and London based Legal Director Dr Saskia King will deliver a session titled Competition Law update: general overview including the impact of the newly adopted Foreign Subsidies Regulation in the field of sport.

If you'd like to attend, please register for the event and you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.

More information and registration

ERA Course

Cartel Enforcement in the EU: Advanced Competition law training

5 - 6 October 2023
Zagreb, Croatia

This training is addressed to staff of national competition authorities, lawyers in private practice and inhouse counsel dealing with competition law cases from all around Europe.

The seminar aims to provide a thorough update for competition law practitioners on the recent trends and developments in EU cartel enforcement.

Competition partner Pauline Kuipers will lead the workshop exercise: Unannounced inspections in the digital age - main issues and practical challenges on October 6th.

More information and registration

In-person event

Navigating Online & Brand Challenges for Consumer-Facing Businesses

12 October 2023
Bird & Bird office, London

At our Retail & Consumer Annual Update event, you will gain the inside scoop on the latest legal developments in the Retail & Consumer sector from Bird & Bird and industry experts. We will be sharing insights to help you navigate the online and brand challenges facing your business, including online harms, privacy, selling and pricing practices and green claims, with a number of high-profile guest speakers.

You will also have the opportunity to enjoy drinks and canapés on the Eleventh floor of our London office, with panoramic views of the city.

Dr Saskia King, Legal Director in our Competition & EU group and former Legal Adviser at the Competition and Markets Authority, will provide insights into competition law developments relating to online selling, pricing, sustainability and consumer law enforcement. Click below to see the full programme.

More information and registration


Florence Competition Autumn School 2023

16 - 19 October 2023
Fiesole (Florence), Italy and online

The Florence Competition 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.

Our Brussels-based Counsel 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.

Find out more and register here

Centre for a Digital Society (CDS) Autumn Conference

Fairness in the Digital Age

19 - 20 October 2023
Fiesole (Florence), Italy and online

At this conference you will participate in an engaging conversation on the notion of 'equity' in EU competition policy and industry regulation within the digital sphere, alongside distinguished scholars, professionals, government officials, and business representatives.

Our Brussels-based competition partner Hein Hobbelen will join Panel V discussing Fairness in Platform – Business Users Relation and in Inter-Platforms Competition together with representatives from Meta, NERA and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.

More information and registration


International Bar Association (IBA) Conference

29 October - 3 November 2023
Paris, France

The International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference is one of the world's leading global events for legal professionals, fostering knowledge sharing, networking, and business growth. It promotes international law's role in society and offers top-notch professional development opportunities. This event, open to both members and non-members of the IBA, welcomes legal practitioners, in-house counsel, judges, regulators, and more from over 130 countries, creating a dynamic forum for learning, networking, and forging enduring professional and personal connections.

Bird & Bird competition partner Hein Hobbelen, who also holds the position of IBA's Diversity and Inclusion Officer and sits on the Communications Law Committee, will co-chair the session Digital market act and digital service act: a blueprint for global digital regulation.

More information and registration

Bird & Bird news

We are pleased to announce that the following members of our Competition & EU law team have been recognised in the Who’s Who Legal (WWL): Competition 2023 guide.

Anne Federle – Thought leader and Global leader for Competition

Dr. Jörg Witting – Global leader for Competition and State Aid and National Leader for Competition in Germany

Jose Rivas – Global leader for Competition and State aid

Hein Hobbelen – Global leader for Competition

Pauline Kuipers – Global leader for Competition

Peter Willis – Competition - Plaintiff

Nicola Ceraolo – National Leader for Competition in Italy

The Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property and Competition Law Review: United Kingdom

Our competition experts Peter Willis and Saskia King, with colleagues Sally Shorthose, Chris de Mauny and Pieter Miguel Erasmus, have authored the UK chapter for The Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property and Competition Law Review. The chapter provides a practical overview of pharmaceutical intellectual property issues, including patent linkage and exclusivities, and related competition concerns, as well as an analysis of the relevant legal and regulatory issues.

Click here to access the chapter

Latest insights

More Insights
Check-In Newsletter

Check-In - November 2023

Dec 01 2023

Read More
Wind Turbine Farm

The evolution of EU Energy: regulatory reforms post-Paris Agreement

Dec 01 2023

Read More
Defence and Security

Draft Guidelines on the scope of “cookie” rules: EDPB’s expansive interpretation could change the digital landscape

Dec 01 2023

Read More

Related capabilities