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Substantial reform of EU merger control on the cards

On 9 July 2014, the European Commission published a White Paper setting out proposals to amend the EU merger control system. The proposed reform of the system is the most significant in the last 10 years and could have an impact on many corporate transactions.

The proposals

The proposals deal with the following:

  • the expansion of the Commission’s powers to review the acquisition of non-controlling minority shareholdings;
  • the streamlining of the case referral system between the Commission and the EU Member States; and
  • measures aimed at simplifying merger procedures, including amending the EU Merger Regulation so that extra-EEA joint ventures do not require notification, and the introduction o [...]
Polish revolution – far reaching changes to Polish competition law. Part 1 – fines for individuals

On 10 June 2014, the Polish Parliament adopted a significant set of amendments to the Polish Competition Law Act (the “Act”). Having received Presidential approval on 30 June 2014, the amended Act is now waiting for publication. The changes are expected to come into force relatively soon. The amendments will take effect 6 months after publication, which means that the new law will come into force at the beginning of 2015.
In this and subsequent posts, I would like to briefly analyze some of the most important changes, starting with the change that has been particularly hotly debated i.e. the introduction of the possibility to impose fines on individuals who manage undertakings which ent [...]



With the exception of hard-core cartel conduct such as price-fixing and bid-rigging, Canadian competition law has de-emphasized in recent years the importance of pricing conduct as a source of anti-competitive harm. Thus, although the Canadian Competition Act historically contained a variety of criminal offences targeted at pricing conduct – price discrimination, predatory pricing, geographic price discrimination, promotional allowances, and price maintenance – it was only the latter offence that attracted any material enforcement activity. The other pricing offences, although formally “on the books”, were rarely prosecuted, if at all.

It is not surprising, therefore, that [...]

Face-off in the Grocery Aisle: Retailers and Suppliers Go Head-to-Head in Canada


Perhaps more than ever, tensions between suppliers and retailers have become the defining feature of the grocery industry worldwide. These tensions have also frequently formed the basis for interventions (or proposed interventions) by competition enforcement authorities in this sector.
Canada is no exception to this global trend. The Canadian retail grocery industry is intensely competitive, with retailers surviving on razor-thin margins. Not surprisingly, margins and pricing pressure at the retail level have led Canadian retailers to seek relief from suppliers. This has generated considerable tension and also provided the backdrop—or source—for calls for competition law [...]

The New Wave of Concentrations in the Telecommunications Sector: Merger Control Issues and Remedies


70th Lunch Talk of the Global Competition Law Center

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

The New Wave of Concentrations in the Telecommunications Sector: Merger Control Issues and Remedies

Thomas WESSELY, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

12:00 – 12:30: Sandwich lunch and socializing
12:30 – 13:30: Presentations and comments
13:45 – 14:00: Q&A

Location: The Hotel
38 Boulevard de Waterloo
1000 Brussels

For attending this event, please register HERE.

Recent cases for discussion:

M.7018 – Telefonica Deutschland/E-Plus
M.6992 – Hutchison 3G UK/Telefonica Ireland
M.6497 – Hutchison 3G Austria/Orange Austria

Greater scope for cartel damages recovery following the Court of Justice’s ruling that cartelists are liable for “umbrella” damages resulting from the higher prices paid to non-cartelists

Co-authored by Boris Bronfentrinker, Nicola Boyle and Tom Bolster, Hausfeld LLP

On 5 June 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) clarified the full extent of cartel damages that can be recovered in Europe. The ECJ ruled that the civil liability of cartelists also extends to so-called “umbrella pricing”. This term describes pricing by non-cartelist companies, who set their own prices higher than they would otherwise have been able to do in a truly competitive market by relying on the cartelized overall higher market prices. This ruling confirms that any person may claim damages from cartelists for all the loss caused by that cartel, even if the loss arises from inflated p [...]

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