On 14 June 2016, China’s State Council made public the Opinions on Establishing a Fair Competition Review System in the Development of the Market Regime (“Opinions“). The Opinions were approved on 1 June. The “fair competition review system” forms part of China’s broader efforts to tackle so-called “administrative monopolies,” a term used for various forms…

On 8 June 2016, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) released its decision to lift the conditions it had imposed on Walmart’s acquisition of 33.6% of the shares in Newheight Holdings. This acquisition in 2012 gave Walmart corresponding rights over Yihaodian, one of China’s best-known e-commerce supermarkets, through a reported “variable interest entity” (“VIE“) structure….

The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see judgment of October 13, 2011, case C-439/09) have been on the agenda in Germany for some time. Recently, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals has submitted a…

On 1 March 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) adopted its new Leniency Guidelines (“the 2016 Leniency Guidelines”). The 2016 Leniency Guidelines replace the 2007 Notice of the Competition Council on Immunity from Fines and Reduction of Fines in Cartel Cases (“the 2007 Leniency Notice”). The new guidelines were published in the Belgian Official Gazette…

On April 22, 2016, the State Council – China’s “cabinet” – released a reform plan for the salt industry. Salt-imbocca Edible salt has been subject to a State/government monopoly/-ies in China since the Han Dynasty in around 120 BC.  Salt used to be a relatively scarce product, at least in the more inland areas of…

The European Commission recently published its decision clearing the joint acquisition by Electricité de France S.A. (EDF) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) over a group of companies active in the nuclear energy sector. The decision provides a warning that transactions involving a Chinese State-owned enterprise (SOE) may trigger a mandatory notification to the…

Recent months have seen a surge of new initiatives by European antitrust enforcers applying competition law rules to holders and processors of “big data.” Big data often is described as the accumulation of a significant volume of different types of data, produced at high speed from multiple sources, whose handling and analysis might require new…