The new Article 22 EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) Guidance released by the European Commission (EC) enables the EC to review any acquisition, even those that do not qualify for notification under national (or EU) merger control rules.
- The new guidance indicates that the EC will actively monitor deal activity to identify transactions that may be candidates for an Article 22 referral. While a formal referral request should be made by a national competition authority (NCA), the EC will “encourage and accept” referrals and may proactively “invite” NCAs to make referrals, even if national merger control thresholds are not met.
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Sustainability issues are increasingly high on the list of competition policy priorities both at the European Union and member state levels. The European Commission (EC) and national competition authorities are actively rethinking how competition policy can better support the transition to sustainable economic growth. Whilst recent initiatives are setting the path to much-needed guidance and legal certainty, there are already lessons businesses can take away from the discussions to date.
- Industry initiatives to tackle sustainability objectives can breach competition rules and should therefore be approached with the same eye to competition law compliance as any other collaboration with competitors. The
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Antitrust merger enforcement historically has focused on horizontal mergers — consolidation of two firms that compete directly in the same space. This is especially true in the U.S., where antitrust authorities have challenged few vertical mergers — those of a firm with one of its customers or suppliers — and are even less prone to scrutinize conglomerate mergers that marry complementary assets, or transactions that may affect innovation competition that isn’t tied to specific products or markets.
The European Union’s antitrust regulator, the European Commission, has been more apt to examine vertical issues, conglomerate effects and innovation competition, pushing the … Read more