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Competition & EU

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Competition and regulatory authorities now possess far-reaching powers to investigate companies and commercial arrangements, prohibit M&A deals, force divestment of merged businesses, review markets and impose penalties. There is the additional risk of private enforcement such as substantial (follow-on) antitrust damages claims. Being compliant and implementing effective risk mitigation strategies is key.

We focus not only on problem solving but also on how you can avoid problems in the first place. Our large team of competition lawyers has extensive experience in helping navigate these difficult paths so that you can focus on your business. We have in-depth knowledge of competition rules across different countries and markets.

The CMS Competition Group is one of the largest competition teams in Europe and at the same time one of the most widespread. We offer a one-stop-shop solution to clients for all their competition law needs across Europe and beyond. The lawyers spread across the CMS offices are supported by the CMS EU Law Office in Brussels. The CMS Competition Group has hands-on experience in dealing with the European Commission and all national competition authorities as well as European and national courts.

We act for clients in all areas of competition law: cartels, distribution agreements and other agreements comprising horizontal and vertical restraints, abuse of dominance, merger control, private enforcement, state aid, investigations and compliance. Our sector approach helps us understand your business environment and get to grips with your issues.

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10 May 2021
The Court of Justice of the EU cla­ri­fies the dur­a­tion of an in­fringe­ment...
In its pre­lim­in­ary rul­ing of 14 Janu­ary 2021, the Court of Justice of the EU cla­ri­fied the dur­a­tion of an in­fringe­ment in the event of col­lu­sion in a pub­lic tender. De­term­in­ing the end date of the in­fringe­ment...
10 May 2021
Vi­ol­a­tion of mer­ger con­trol pro­ced­ur­al rules: European Com­mis­sion fines...
On 3 May 2021, the European Com­mis­sion fined chem­ic­al maker Sigma-Ald­rich EUR 7.5 mil­lion for provid­ing mis­lead­ing in­form­a­tion dur­ing mer­ger con­trol pro­ceed­ings for Sigma-Ald­rich’s takeover by rival...
05 May 2021
COV­ID-19: The Gen­er­al Court of the EU dis­misses Ry­anair's ap­peals against...
On 14 April 2021, the Gen­er­al Court of the EU, seized by sev­er­al an­nul­ment ac­tions brought by Ry­anair, con­sidered that the guar­an­tees giv­en by Fin­land to Fin­nair (Case T-388/20) and the guar­an­tees giv­en...
04 May 2021
With Il­lu­mina ac­tion, court to test EU Com­mis­sion's new mer­ger re­fer­ral...
On 29 April 2021, the US life sci­ences com­pany Il­lu­mina con­firmed that it filed an ac­tion be­fore the EU courts ask­ing for an an­nul­ment of the European Com­mis­sion’s de­cision of 19 April 2021 to ac­cept...
28 April 2021
The European Com­mis­sion ad­opts its re­vised Re­gion­al State Aid Guidelines
The European Com­mis­sion ad­op­ted on 19 April 2021 its re­vised EU Guidelines on re­gion­al State aid for the peri­od 2022–2027, to be fol­lowed by Mem­ber States when grant­ing State aid to com­pan­ies in or­der...
28 April 2021
ECJ to is­sue pre­lim­in­ary rul­ing on Ger­man FCO-Face­book case
In 2019, the Ger­man Com­pet­i­tion watch­dog Fed­er­al Car­tel Of­fice (FCO) is­sued a re­mark­able de­cision against Face­book, which has been sub­ject to on-go­ing leg­al pro­ceed­ings that have kept an­ti­trust and data...
22 April 2021
COV­ID-19: the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­izes the third Itali­an aid to Al­it­alia...
On 26 March 2021, the Com­mis­sion au­thor­ized a third Itali­an aid of 24.7 mil­lion EUR in fa­vour of Al­it­alia as com­pens­a­tion for the dam­age suffered as a res­ult of the pan­dem­ic due to the re­stric­tions im­posed...
14 April 2021
The Private Com­pet­i­tion en­force­ment Re­view I Four­teenth Edi­tion
Private an­ti­trust lit­ig­a­tion in Aus­tria has sub­stan­tially in­creased in re­cent years. To a large ex­tent, this growth can be at­trib­uted to an in­crease of car­tel court de­cisions im­pos­ing fines against car­tel mem­bers based on in­tens­i­fied en­force­ment activ­ity of the Aus­tri­an Fed­er­al Com­pet­i­tion Au­thor­ity (FCA) and the Aus­tri­an Fed­er­al Car­tel Pro­sec­utor (with the de­cision in the El­ev­at­ors and Es­cal­at­ors car­tel case be­ing the show-starter). On the basis of these de­cisions find­ing vi­ol­a­tions of an­ti­trust law, the Aus­tri­an Su­preme Court (OGH) in sev­er­al cases has af­firmed the pos­sib­il­ity of claims for dam­ages for dir­ectly dam­aged parties as well as for in­dir­ectly dam­aged parties, in­clud­ing cases where dam­ages were al­legedly caused by car­tel out­siders (um­brella pri­cing).The com­plete "The Private Com­pet­i­tion en­force­ment Re­view" is avail­able via down­load.
12 April 2021
EU Di­git­al Ser­vices Act gives new leg­al frame­work for plat­form eco­nomy
The European Com­mis­sion has is­sued the draft pro­pos­al for the Reg­u­la­tion on a Single Mar­ket for Di­git­al Ser­vices (Di­git­al Ser­vices Act or DSA), which cre­ates a new leg­al frame­work for di­git­al ser­vices...
06 April 2021
EU is­sues draft of Di­git­al Mar­kets Act aimed at cre­at­ing a new and fair...
The European Com­mis­sion has pub­lished a draft pro­pos­al for a new com­pet­i­tion law frame­work for large on­line plat­forms, called the Di­git­al Mar­kets Act (DMA). The Com­mis­sion pro­posed the DMA due to the...
26 March 2021
Bid rig­ging in pro­cure­ment pro­ced­ures
The European Com­mis­sion (“Com­mis­sion”) has pub­lished a No­tice about deal­ing with agree­ments aimed at dis­tort­ing com­pet­i­tion. The Com­mi­s­ion­s' "No­tice on tools to fight col­lu­sion in pub­lic pro­cure­ment...
19 March 2021
Un­fair trad­ing prac­tices in the ag­ri­cul­tur­al and food sup­ply chain
Com­pan­ies act­ing in the food sup­ply chain for 2021 should re­vise their sup­ply agree­ments and har­mon­ise their busi­ness prac­tices with the new na­tion­al laws im­ple­ment­ing Dir­ect­ive (EU) 2019/633 on un­fair trad­ing prac­tices in B2B re­la­tion­ships in the ag­ri­cul­tur­al and food sup­ply chain. The un­fair trad­ing prac­tices (so-called UT­Ps) scheme must be trans­posed to na­tion­al le­gis­la­tions by 1 May 2021. WHAT? The UT­Ps scheme seeks to com­bat B2B prac­tices in the ag­ri­cul­tur­al and food sup­ply chain that grossly de­vi­ate from good com­mer­cial con­duct, are con­trary to good faith and fair deal­ing, and are uni­lat­er­ally im­posed by one trad­ing part­ner on an­oth­er. In short, the in­ten­tion of the rules is to shield ag­ri­cul­tur­al pro­du­cers or any nat­ur­al or leg­al per­son selling ag­ri­cul­tur­al and food products from UT­Ps. The Dir­ect­ive en­vis­ages that na­tion­al laws will ap­point com­pet­ent au­thor­it­ies to en­force the UTP rules. WHO? The rules are not auto­mat­ic­ally ap­plic­able to all sup­pli­er-buy­er re­la­tion­ships. The rules ap­ply when there is a sig­ni­fic­ant im­bal­ance in ne­go­ti­ation power, which is as­sessed by com­par­ing the an­nu­al turnovers of the parties. HOW? Pre­cau­tion­ary meas­ures for de­term­in­ing busi­ness re­la­tion­ship con­di­tions must be ap­plied since na­tion­al laws have a wide dis­cre­tion in de­fin­ing the UT­Ps, provided that at least those spe­cified in the Dir­ect­ive are in­cluded. The list of UT­Ps is di­vided in­to prac­tices that are al­ways for­bid­den (e.g., pay­ment peri­ods longer than 30 or 60 days (de­pend­ing on the type of products), uni­lat­er­ally chan­ging cer­tain terms of a sup­ply agree­ment, etc.) and those for­bid­den de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances (e.g., re­quir­ing the sup­pli­er to bear the costs of dis­counts or ad­vert­ising, or to ac­cept back un­sold products without the ob­lig­a­tion of the buy­er to pay for them or for their dis­pos­al).