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EU Competition Law Briefings

Webinar series

15 June 2022, 13:00 - 14:30 UTC +02:00
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The EU Competition Law Briefings have been created to provide a platform for our clients and other competition law experts to stay up to date on the developments of EU Competition Law. 

Every month CMS competition experts will present a recent case by the EU Commission or Community Courts during a one-hour-long webinar.

Upcoming Webinar 

Key aspects of the revised EU competition law in the field of distribution (VBER/VGL)

On 1 June the revised EU competition rules in the field of distribution will enter into force which will govern vertical restraints in the distribution sector for the next 12 years.

In our upcoming EU Competition Law Briefing we will discuss the key aspects of the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and Vertical Guidelines (VGL). Suppliers and buyers are well-advised to check their existing contracts and identify new options to fine-tune certain business practices.

Our webinar will cover the following key aspects of the new VBER/VGL: 

  • Information exchange in dual distribution scenarios
  • Resale price maintenance and minimum advertised prices
  • Exclusive distribution systems
  • Grey imports
  • Non-compete clauses
  • New hardcore restrictions concerning online sales
  • Dual pricing
  • Bans on sales via online market places and price comparison services

Register here!

Previous webinars

Rebates revisited (again) - practical advice after Intel

In our previous EU Competition Law Briefing, ‘Rebates revisited (again) - practical advice after Intel,’ we discussed the following topics:   

  • A recap on what this area is about - why dominant firm rebates have drawn regulatory scrutiny
  •  A summary of the essential features of this landmark case including the Court of Justice Judgment and the recent remittal judgment of the General Court, overturning the Commission decision
  • A look to the future on how the key issues translate to practical advice to businesses - where are the boundaries for conduct in this area?

Moderator: Michael Bauer

Speakers: Brian Sher

Download presentation slides for this webinar here and watch the webinar recording here

State Aid Outlook 2022

In our EU Competition Law Briefing we discussed the most important State Aid legal developments for this year. 

Our State Aid group provided an update on the following:

  • State aid policy: from recovery to sustainability
  • State aid and taxation
  • Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid guidelines
  • Important Project of Common European Interest - IPCEI Communication
  • General Block Exemption Regulation
  • UK Subsidy Scheme

Moderator: Michael Bauer

Speakers: Annabelle Lepièce, Helmer Krane, Edmon Oude Elferink, Clemens Kerle, Eleni Moraïtou, Graeme Young

Download presentation slides for this webinar here and watch the webinar recording here

Outlook 2022

EU competition law is currently undergoing profound change. Almost all essential regulations are being put to the test.

Many new provisions will come into force in 2022. At the same time, important decisions by the EU courts are expected.

In this EU Competition Law Briefing we discussed the most important legal developments for this year and provided an update on the current state of play and potential outcome of the following projects:

  • Digital markets act
  • EU merger control reform
  • New rules for horizontal restraints (HBER/HGL)
  • New rules for vertical restraints (VBER/VGL)
  • Foreign subsidy control
  • Other pending legal initiatives
  • EU courts decisions on the 2022 agenda

Moderator: Michael Bauer

Speakers: Szabolcs Szendro, Björn Herbers, Amaury Le Bourdon, Helmer Krane, Edmon Oude Elferink, Siobhan Kahmann, Małgorzata Urbańska

Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

Internet of Things

Review of the initial findings, implications for companies and next steps

The European Commission has recently published its interim report into the markets for Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) and has highlighted a number of competition concerns. The findings of the inquiry will guide the Commission’s future enforcement activity but could also feed into regulatory work such as the ongoing legislative process for the Digital Markets Act.

In our next webinar our guest speakers Caroline Hobson, Björn Herbers and Siobhan Kahmann will:

  • review the Commission’s initial findings;
  • explore what this means for consumer products markets as IoT devices including smart devices and services such as voice assistants increasingly become part of consumers’ everyday lives; and
  • discuss the implications for the EU’s digital strategy and plans to build a European Data Economy

Speakers: Caroline Hobson, Björn Herbers and Siobhan Kahmann
Moderator: Michael Bauer

Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

EU Foreign subsidy control

A new EU control regime to tackle unfair competition from non-EU undertakings

In our next webinar we will present the details of the EU Commission’s far-reaching new proposal to tackle unfair competition from non-EU undertakings.

  • 150 EU officials to control foreign subsidies
  • additional EU merger control notification regime with low thresholds
  • new requirements for public procurement proceedings

This regulation would provide EU undertakings with new opportunities to protect their interests concerning unfair competition by non-EU undertakings. Non-EU undertakings (if state-owned or supported) would need to comply with new restrictions.

Contracting authorities would need to adapt to new rules when managing public tenders. Last but not least parties to M&A transactions would need to observe additional notification requirements. 

Our guest speaker Andreas Schwab (MEP) will discuss with us what can be expected from the new initiative.

Speaker: Andreas Schwab, Eleni Moraïtou, Roderick Nieuwmeyer and Virginie Dor
Moderator: Michael Bauer

Download presentation slides for this webinar here and watch the Webinar recording here.

Digital Markets

The EU Commission's Digital Markets Act: Opportunities and Challenges for Companies

Some large online platforms act as "gatekeepers" in digital markets. The Digital Markets Act aims to ensure that these platforms behave in a fair way online. Together with the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act is one of the centrepieces of the Commission's European digital strategy.

While the Digital Markets Act will only control the business conduct of a very limited number of companies (large gatekeepers) it will provide new opportunities for a high number of businesses who depend on gatekeepers to offer their services in the single market. Gatekeepers will not be allowed to use unfair practices to gain an undue advantage towards the business users and customers that depend on them. According to the EU Commission this will create new opportunities to compete and innovate for innovators and technology start-ups in the online platform environment.


  • Marquard Christen


  • Andreas Schwab, MEP and Rapporteur for the Digital Markets Act
  • Rupprecht Podszun, Professor at Düsseldorf University and a renowned expert in the field of competition law in the digital economy.

Outlook 2021

In our last EU Competition Law Briefing we discussed the most important legal initiatives at the EU level for this year.

We provided an update on the current state of play and potential outcome of the following projects:

  • Market definition notice
  • Rules for horizontal restraints (HBER/guidelines)
  • Territorial supply constraints
  • Rules for vertical restraints (VBER/guidelines)
  • Foreign subsidies
  • Internet of Things “IOT” sector inquiry
  • Digital Markets Act / new competition tool
  • Competition law and the green deal
Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

European Commission Dawn Raids: the General Court’s judgments in the French supermarket cases

Edmon Oude Elferink presented on the judgments of the General Court in the French supermarket cases of 5 October 2020 (T-249/17, T-254/17 and T-255/17).

These judgments are relevant since the General Court considered that the Commission’s dawn raids in 2017 were lawful to the extent that the Commission had enough evidence to suspect information sharing over discounts obtained in the supply of consumer products and charges for services to the producers of branded-products. But the Commission did not have sufficiently strong evidence to suspect exchanges of information concerning the future commercial strategies of the French supermarkets. This is why the General Court partially annulled the inspection decisions of the Commission.

The General Court addresses a number of interesting questions, for instance on the interplay between the Commission’s investigatory powers and the protection of the employees’ data in accordance with (what is now) the GDPR. It also considers that interviews with third parties (suppliers) conducted by the Commission before the formal opening of the investigation are capable of being evidence, even if they are not recorded.

Presenter: Edmon Oude Elferink

Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

Facebook vs. Bundeskartellamt

Kai Neuhaus presented on the German Federal Civil Supreme Court’s decision in Facebook vs. Bundeskartellamt.

This is seen as a landmark decision since it establishes new concepts on the interplay between competition law and data privacy law. In addition, it provides for interesting details on the concept of “abusive practices”.

Presenter: Kai Neuhaus

Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

The EU Legislator at work

The EU Commission is unusually active and currently working in parallel on a high number of legal projects to renew EU Competition Law rules.

To help you keep track, this EU Competition Law Briefing will discuss the most important legal initiatives at the EU level.

We will provide an update on the current state of play and potential outcome of the following projects:

  • Market definition notice, presenter: Björn Herbers
  • Rules for horizontal restraints (HBER/guidelines), presenter: Michael Bauer
  • Territorial supply constraints, presenter: Michael Bauer
  • Rules for vertical restraints (VBER/guidelines), presenter: Małgorzata Urbańska
  • New competition tool, presenter: Edmon Oude Elferink
  • Foreign subsidies, presenter: Kai Neuhaus
  • Internet of Things “IOT” sector inquiry, presenter: Siobhan Kahmann
  • Digital Services Act, presenter: Dirk van Liedekerke
Download presentation slides for this webinar here.

Apple state aid case

On 14 July 2020, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s state aid decision against Ireland ordering the country to request EUR 13 billion back in taxes from Apple.

The Court held that the Commission failed to demonstrate that Apple had benefited from a selective economic advantage in the tax rulings issued by Ireland.

Presenter: Annabelle Lepiece

General Court’s decision in CK Hutchison v European Commission

This landmark case marks the first ever decision by the Community Courts on the application of the SIEC (significance impediment to effective competition) test outside of traditional market dominance scenarios, so-called gap cases.

In 2016 the Commission blocked the takeover of O2, Telefónica’s UK mobile operator, by CK Hutchison. The Commission argued that the reduction from four to three competitors in the UK would have likely led to an increase in prices for mobile telephony services and a restriction of choice for consumers. The General Court now found that the Commission’s analysis had been vitiated by several errors of law and of assessment and annulled the decision.

Presenter: Björn Herbers

Judgment of the Court of 2 April 2020 (Case C-228/18)

This judgement concerned the card payment systems, the interbank agreement fixing the level of interchange fees and the interesting legal issue of restrictions ‘by object’ and ‘by effect’.

Presenter: Annemieke Hazelhoff

We also encourage you to check the CMS Expert Guide to competition law during coronavirus crisis and CMS Expert Guide to state aid in the EU during coronavirus crisis in which you will find an useful overview of competition law changes and state aid rules during COVID-19 crisis in over 20 jurisdictions.

Please also check CMS International Competition & EU expertise page and CMS Law-Now for more updates on competition law.

  • 15 June


Caroline Hobson
Portrait of Siobhan Kahmann
Siobhan Kahmann
Of Counsel
Portrait of Björn Herbers
Dr. Björn Herbers, M.B.L.
Brussels - EU Law Office
Portrait of Andreas Schwab
Dr. Andreas Schwab
Of Counsel
Rupprecht Podszun
Professor at Düsseldorf University
Portrait of Edmon Oude Elferink
Edmon Oude Elferink
Brussels - EU Law Office
Portrait of Michael Bauer
Dr. Michael Bauer
Brussels - EU Law Office
Portrait of Małgorzata Urbańska
Małgorzata Urbańska
Portrait of Kai Neuhaus
Kai Neuhaus, LL.M.
Brussels - EU Law Office
Portrait of Dirk Van Liedekerke
Dirk Van Liedekerke
Portrait of Annabelle Lepièce
Annabelle Lepièce
Portrait of Annemieke Hazelhoff
Annemieke Hazelhoff
Portrait of Eleni Moraïtou
Eleni Moraïtou
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