Let me get this straight from the beginning. I am not a big fan of the trend among the competition authorities to introduce whistleblowing programs. For me this seems to be rather a sign of weakness and not of strength. If other available tools (and especially the leniency program) worked well there would probably be…

Following the Parliament’s approval in early March, the Federal States Council, Germany’s second legislative chamber, has approved the most recent reform to German competition law on March 31, 2017. The new law will enter into force upon publication in the German official journal, presumably end of April/beginning of May. The reform was triggered by the…

We live in a rapidly changing world. The monikers of change are well known to all of us. Trump. Brexit. Eddie Jones. The future is unpredictable. As Joe Cocker sang, “who knows what tomorrow brings”? But let’s climb aboard Elon Musk’s innovative SpaceX Falcon 9 for a moment. Let me take you to another world….

In its recent draft annual plan, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) committed itself “to further step up the pace, scale and impact of our enforcement against anticompetitive or unfair practices.” It therefore intends to increase, to at least six, the number of new civil investigations it undertakes under Chapter I of the Competition Act…

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Introduction This quote from Alfred, Lord Tennyson might – I sincerely hope after recent events – be applicable to life generally in Brussels in 2017. But not so – I fear – in the world of EU merger control. It…

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) terminated antitrust proceedings against toy manufacturer Lego on July 18, 2016, following Lego’s agreement to change its current rebate system. Lego will enable online retailers to obtain in practice the same amount of discounts as available for brick and mortar shops. The FCO had opened proceedings against Lego based…

With little fanfare, on Friday, 1 July 2016, among a raft of other amendments to the Act against Restraint of Competition (‘ARC’; 9th amendment), the Federal Ministry of Economics proposed a far reaching change to German merger notification thresholds making it one of the few jurisdictions worldwide that take jurisdiction based on the size of…

The role of data and how it can harm competition is a recurring topic in contemporary antitrust literature. Below, we highlight a few points integral to understanding what the fuss is all about. Making sense of data Frankly speaking, data itself is not revolutionary, and it presents nothing that competition authorities have not seen before….

Introduction The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA), an association of undertakings accounting for 75% the household waste currently managed in Ireland, announced that it is committed “to freezing prices at current rates for twelve month period from 20th June 2016 to 1 July 2017.”1)IWMA, “IWMA Agrees Measures to Alleviate Consumer Concerns on Pay by Weight,”…

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…