Summary New German threshold for high value but no/low German sales transactions to enter into force: Imminent changes to merger control will widen jurisdiction to catch (i) high value transactions worth over EUR 400 million with (ii) target substantial German activity even where (iii) the deal would previously not have been notifiable because the target’s…

On 31 March 2017, the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has voted in favour of passing the ninth amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC) (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen). According to the 31 March plenary report[1], the draft law is now about to be presented to the president for signature and will enter into force…

Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model for a European protectionist approach against American and Asian platform providers? The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seems to see a pressing need for regulation in…

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…

On 21 September 2016, the German Government has introduced a formal legislative proposal (Gesetzesvorschlag – “Government Proposal”) for the reform of the Act against Restraint of Competition (“ARC”; 9th amendment) which builds on the draft proposal (Referentenentwurf – “Ministerial Draft”) of the Federal Ministry of Economics.  It still includes the proposed extension of German merger…

“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…

On Friday, 1 July 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs finally published its draft law implementing the European Union directive governing actions for damages for infringements of competition rules (“Damages Directive”). The drafting process by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, which was formally in charge of drafting the law, took place…

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…