Competition & EU

Competitive Edge: Competition & EU Law - May 2024

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

 

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In Focus

No-poach agreements can comply with competition – when they are not “naked”: A quick guide to ancillary nopoach agreements

No-poach agreements typically depress wages and stifle competition between employers. While generally seen as contrary to competition law, they can be permissible if they are necessary for a broader, legitimate collaboration. This article explains the difference between "naked" and "non-naked" no-poach agreements, and provides guidance on the circumstance under which “non-naked” agreements can be compatible with EU competition law. Read further to learn more about this highly topical issue.

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Updates from our jurisdictions

EU

Chinese companies targeted as Commission flexes its muscles under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation

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


Australia

In search of a concrete answer: the ACCC’s special leave application in CFMEU and Hutchinson case

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For more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Thomas Jones, Ruby Simpson and Dylan McGirr.


Belgium

Competition law, sector enquiries and public procurement

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For more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Baptist Vleeshouwers, Kevin Munungu Lungungu and Claire De Neve.


Czech Republic

Record Levels of Enforcement, Legislative Activity and Push for Competences – What is on Agenda 2024 for Czech Competition Office?

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


Finland

Cosmetic product importers committed to anticompetitive price cooperation

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If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Petteri Metsä- Tokila or Maria Karpathakis.


France

The French Competition Authority keeps a close eye on online sales

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If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Thomas Oster and Matthieu de Calbiac.


Netherlands

First court ruling on the Dutch FDI Act: Minister gets slap on the wrist

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If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Janneke Kohlen and Tialda Beetstra.


Poland

Polish price comparison dispute

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


UK

FDI - UK Government to refine the National Security and Investment Act 2021 regime

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If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Anthony Rosen and Tenisha Cramer.

Streamlining Regulation: DRCF launches AI and Digital Hub

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


Events and webinars

Conference

Swedish Competition Authority's 23d annual Pros and Cons conference

20 May | World Trade Center
Stockholm, Sweden

Our Dutch Competition partner Pauline Kuipers has been invited to discuss the Pros and Cons of New Competition Tools on a panel at the upcoming annual Pros and Cons conference organised by the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket).

The conference will feature a keynote speech by Martin Coleman, the CMA Panel Chair, and panels will be moderated by Evelin Pärn-Lee (DG of the Estonian NCA), Richard Whish (Kings College) and Eva Edwardssson (Swedish judge). Pauline will join Panel 3: The Optimal Design of a New Tool. The format of the conference allows the panelists, including law and economics professors, private practitioners and enforcers, to share their views in an open and constructive debate.

More information on the conference here 


Conference

XVI Treviso Antitrust Conference

6-7 June | Treviso, Italy

Are you attending Italy's most important annual Antitrust conference? This year the theme will be Antitrust between EU Law and National Law.

Our Rome-based Of Counsel Nicola Ceraolo and Associates Lucia Antonazzi and Laura Sini will be attending and look forward to connecting with you at the event.

More information on the conference here


Conference

Medicines for Europe Legal Affairs Conference

10-11 June | Dublin, Ireland

We’re pleased to be sponsoring this year’s Medicines for Europe Legal Affairs Conference. Various members of the Bird & Bird team will be speaking at the event, including our Copenhagen based partner Morten Nissen, who will take part in the panel discussion A focus on competition: the revision of the EC guidelines on art. 102 TFEU.

More information on the conference here


EUI Conference

The disruptive market effect of generative AI

17 - 18 June | Hybrid and in Fiesole (Florence), Italy

Join our Brussels-based partner Hein Hobbelen, at the 2024 Florence Digitalisation Summer Conference focusing on the intersection of generative AI and regulatory landscapes.

This event, organized by the European University Institute's (EUI) Centre for a Digital Society and the OECD Secretariat, aims to spark insightful debate on the transformative impact of AI on business models and competitive dynamics across various sectors. Experts will delve into the regulatory challenges that the AI revolution presents and examine the potential for generative AI to foster anti-competitive practices. Discussions will also center around how competition authorities can identify and address these issues.

Hein will take part in Panel VI: Impact of AI on the Work of Competition Authorities.

More information about the conference

Full programme and speakers 


The Law Society Conference International Antitrust Summer Conference 2024

26 June | London, UK

Join this conference in London, where industry experts will be leading interactive discussions on global issues in competition law, providing attendees with the latest updates on enforcement priorities, policy changes and other interesting insights. Our London-based Senior Associate Ariane Le Strat will be chairing a panel on Sustainability and horizontal cooperation.

More information on the conference here


Online course

ERA Summer Course on EU Digital and Information Technology Law

9 - 13 September | Online

This course offers legal practitioners a thorough introduction to the the legal and institutional framework of EU digital and IT law, focusing on emerging technologies such as AI and Internet of Things, and EU initiatives on access to data in the digital environment.

Pauline Kuipers will share her knowledge and experience in the session titled Competition law aspects, digital platforms, AI and big data, covering the DMA, competition law in the IT, AI and in the digital sectors.

More information on the course here


Bird & Bird news and publications

We are delighted to congratulate key members of our global Competition & EU group, Dr Saskia King, Marcin Alberski and Riikka Aarikka on their recent promotions to partner and counsel!


Recognition in Best Lawyers in Australia

Congratulations to our Sydney-based partner Thomas Jones for his recognition in Best Lawyers in Australia 2025 in the following areas:

  • Competition Law
  • Regulatory Practice
  • Telecommunications Law

Partner appointed advisor to the European Economic and Social Committee

Our Rome-based partner Dr. Federico Marini-Balestra has been appointed advisor for the European Economic and Social Committee's work on the European Commission’s Connectivity package on Digital Networks and Infrastructure. In this role, he will be involved in policy analysis, engage with various stakeholders to gather input and feedback on the connectivity package, and contribute to the Committee’s discussions on digital networks and infrastructure.


Publication

Competition between metaverses and in the metaverse: are new rules really necessary?

Together with Giovanni Cavani, Filippo Cammelli, Mario Libertini and Gabriella Muscolo, our partner Dr. Federico Marini Balestra recently authored a whitepaper (in Italian) titled Concorrenza tra metaversi e nel metaverso: davvero occorrono nuove regole? published by Astrid.


One step closer to a sustainable EU the European Parliament adopts the revised CSDDD proposal

Pauline Kuipers, Sander Wagemakers, Dr. Matthias Spilker, LL.M., Felix Schmidtke and Alexandre Vuchot recently wrote this article.

Read the full article here


What to expect during dawn raids under the DMA, the DSA, and the draft AI Act

Pauline Kuipers, Saskia King, Marcin Alberski, Reshmi Rampersad recently published an article in the Kluwer Competition Law Blog.

Read the full article here


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.

Visit our Competition & EU Law Insights page

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