Competition & EU

Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law - March 2024

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

 

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How to avoid jumping a gun - the risk of exercising control over a target before merger approval

A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the appeal by multinational company, Altice, underscores the importance of adhering strictly to EU merger control rules. Altice's failure to comply resulted in hefty fines for "gun-jumping", demonstrating the severe financial implications of pre-empting regulatory approval.

The ruling offers several compelling takeaways for businesses, particularly around the risk of pre-closing covenants that breach competition law, the justified scope of an acquirer’s influence, and the legal thresholds for veto rights.

Intrigued to know more? The insights in our article will arm you with helpful guidance to navigate merger procedures and evade the risk of substantial fines. Read on to find out more.

Read the full story


Risk & Compliance Scanner tool

Are you ramping up for post-closing due diligence, taking on a new role in Management, Legal or Compliance, or do you simply want to improve existing processes within your organisation?

Our Risk and Compliance Scanner (RCS) tool will help you better understand the legal challenges faced by your organisation and allocate budget to where it’s most needed. Quickly identify blind spots in risk and compliance with a database of nearly 900 questions across key areas, from Antitrust to Tax.

Understand, prioritise, and budget for mitigation of the key legal challenges through structured, visual reports accessible to all stakeholders.

Benefit from a scalable tool that integrates with our Relationship Portal for easy access and can be customised with alerts and reminders.

Pay for only the areas and jurisdictions where you need assessment.

Read more about this tool

Contact us for a cost estimate

You may also wish to explore our International Employment group’s content series Managing Compliance: the People Risk Agenda, which includes cross-jurisdictional guides and webinar recordings to help companies manage compliance risks associated with their workforce.


Updates from our jurisdictions

EU

The first 100 Days of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation

Read the full story

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

EU Commission hits Apple with over €1.8 billion fine

Read the full story

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


Belgium

The Role of National Competition Authorities under the Digital Markets Act

Read the full story

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


China

Antitrust risk in the supply chain - subcontractor or competitor?

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Sven-Michael Werner or Serena Du.


Denmark

Consortium guilty of charge but skips the punishment

Read the full story

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


Italy

The Italian Council of State clarifies the extent of the Antitrust Authority’s new powers of intervention in the case of fact-finding investigations

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

ACM’s Valentine’s Day letter to Bol.com

Read the full story

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


UK

CMA Final Report Highlights Complexities and Shortcomings in Great Britain's Housebuilding Sector

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr Saskia King and Aimee Guzinska-Bowley.

Infant Formula Market Faces Investigation as the CMA Launches Market Study

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr Saskia King and Aimee Guzinska-Bowley.

Under the Microscope: CMA Consulting on Whether to Investigate Veterinary Market Over Competition Concerns

Read the full story

If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Dr Saskia King and Aimee Guzinska-Bowley.


Antitrust Writing Awards 2024 - vote for your favourite articles!

We are delighted to share that 2 of our articles have been shortlisted for the Antitrust Writing Awards!

  • EU: The Microsoft/Activision collision - Why did the EU and the UK disagree on this deal?
    By Anne Federle and Ruben Verdoodt. See the article here.

Organised by Concurrences and The George Washington University Law School's Competition Law Center, the 2024 Antitrust Writing Awards select the best antitrust writings published in the past year.

Don't forget to give your favourite article a vote!


Events and webinars

In-person event

Key Trends in UK Competition Law Enforcement

14 May | Bird & Bird office, London, UK

Our London Competition team is delighted to invite you to an afternoon seminar that will explore key trends in UK Competition law enforcement. The discussion will take place under Chatham House Rules.

We’ve got a fantastic panel of guest speakers lined up, including representatives from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Deutsche Bank.

Registration and a networking coffee will begin at 15:30, followed by two panel sessions, closing with networking drinks and canapés from 18:00 onwards.

RSVP and stay tuned for more details coming soon!

RSVP for the event here 


Bird & Bird news and publications

New Bird & Bird ESG Navigator tool

We're happy to introduce our new ESG Navigator tool, designed to help businesses transition to sustainable operations amidst increasing stakeholder pressure and evolving legal mandates. The free tool allows you to quickly simplify, identify, assess and address ESG regulations that affect your business. By answering a series of questions, you will gain access to an extensive library of relevant EU laws and directives relating to ESG topics. The tool helps to navigate the maze, maintain regulatory compliance and protect your business reputation.

Find out more about the tool here


'Article 102 TFEU - Past, Present, Future' Conference

On March 2 , at the College of Europe’s 19th Annual Conference of the GCLC (Global Competition Law Centre) titled "Article 102 TFEU – Past, Present, Future", our Brussels-based partner Jose Rivas moderated a panel made up of members of the European Commission and academia, who discussed the interaction between Article 102 TFEU and the old and the new regulatory regimes.

See the full programme here 


All you need is AI? What businesses should do to prepare for the AI Act

On 19 March 2024, our Brussels office hosted a half-day seminar featuring specialists from the EU institutions, industry representatives and Bird & Bird experts who offered practical insights to help companies prepare for the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. Our Brussels-based Counsel Baptist Vleeshouwers spoke on one of the panels titled 'Governance, sandboxes and competition: what’s ahead'.

If you need guidance on this topic, feel free to get in touch with Baptist or any of the other speakers.

See full programme and speakers here


We're delighted to announce that the following partners have been ranked in the Chambers Europe 2024 guide for Competition & EU law: Janneke Kohlen, Federico Marini Balestra, Anne Federle, Morten Nissen, Katia Duncker, Pauline Kuipers and José Rivas.

Furthermore, Vojtěch Chloupek was ranked in the IP and TMT sections of the guide, and Federico Marini Balestra was also ranked in TMT: Telecommunications.

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

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