On 20 September 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued its first settlement decision under Article 102 TFEU following the introduction of Regulation 1/2003 and reduced the fine of Altstoff Recycling Austria (“ARA“) by 30% in exchange for its cooperation. ARA’s fine was thus reduced to €6 million. In addition to the press release, the Commission…

On 19 May 2016, the Commission released its Notice on the notion of state aid. The aim of this Notice is to provide legal certainty by clarifying the key concepts relating to the notion of state aid. Ironically, many argue that the Commission has stretched this notion in the tax ruling cases, harming the same…

Since its entry into force in May 2004, the commitments procedure under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 has become the most prevalent enforcement mechanism used by the European Commission to address infringements of Article 102 and 101 TFEU (other than cartels). According to some statistics, more than 90% of non-cartel cases in the period between…

Introduction In October 2015, following a phase II investigation, the European Commission published its decision to approve a JV between three of the largest collective management organisations (CMOs) in Europe, PRSfM (UK), GEMA (Germany) and STIM (Sweden).1)M.6800-PRSfM/ STIM/ GEMA/ JV. As in other recent music industry mergers, the Commission investigated whether the combination of the…

Co-authored by Bill Batchelor & Tom Jenkins, Baker & McKenzie   1.            Summary On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published an initial “Issues paper” on geo-blocking in the EU.  The paper is part of the Commission’s ongoing e-commerce sector inquiry examining whether suppliers impose illegal territorial restrictions on retailers’ online activities. The Issues Paper…

DG COMP has published a study by the University of East Anglia analysing the European Commission’s approach to geographic market definition in recent cases.  It has reviewed ten cases from 2008-2014 where geographic market definition was a key issue.  The study looked at the Commission’s geographic market analysis in terms of the methodology used and…

The European Commission boldly announced its 2013 merger simplification package with the headline “Commission cuts red tape for businesses.” Nearly two years on , further refinement of the Commission’s procedures is needed to reduce the information required to be included in notification Form CO, and so shorten the time needed to “start the clock” on…

On 4th November, the European Commission published a far-reaching consultation (the Consultation) on proposals to boost the enforcement powers of national competition authorities (NCAs) and to address differences between national competition enforcement systems in the European Union.  The Consultation builds on the 2014 Communication on Ten Years of Regulation 1/2003 (the Communication) but also reflects…

We have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation, which came into force on 21 September 1990. Since that date, we have seen an exponential growth in merger control notifications at the European level – at least up until the financial crisis that began in 2008. The good news is that, to…