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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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01 June 2021
Some leaks can­'t be fixed
“Con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion is like an ice cube... give it to the party who has no re­fri­ger­at­or or will not agree to keep it in one, and by the time of the tri­al you have just a pool of wa­ter.” This...
28 May 2021
“Friends of an ef­fect­ive Di­git­al Mar­kets Act” – France, Ger­many and Neth­er­lands...
On 27-28 May 2021, EU pres­id­ency in­formed mem­ber states at the EU Com­pet­it­ive­ness Coun­cil on pro­gress achieved so far on the Com­mis­sion’s pro­pos­als for a Di­git­al Ser­vices Act (DSA) and a Di­git­al Mar­kets...
20 May 2021
New Sec­tion 19a ARC pro­ceed­ings ini­ti­ated by the Fed­er­al Car­tel Of­fice...
On 20 Janu­ary 2021, ex­tens­ive amend­ments to Ger­man com­pet­i­tion law came in­to force, tight­en­ing in par­tic­u­lar pro­vi­sions deal­ing with the ab­use res­ult­ing from a dom­in­ant po­s­i­tion in the di­git­al eco­nomy...
13 May 2021
EU state aid law and rules in Ser­bia dur­ing Cov­id-19
In­tro­duc­tion The Ser­bi­an Gov­ern­ment has pre­pared a pack­age of eco­nom­ic meas­ures that is in­ten­ded to help its cit­izens and the private sec­tor fight the fin­an­cial con­sequences of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic...
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...
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...
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...
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).
26 January 2021
European Com­mis­sion ap­proves an aid of 73 mil­lion EUR in fa­vour of Al­it­alia
On 29 Decem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised an Itali­an aid of 73.02 mil­lion EUR in fa­vour of Al­it­alia. The ob­ject­ive of this meas­ure is to com­pensate for the dam­age suffered by the Itali­an...
26 January 2021
European Com­mis­sion clears Greek aid for Ae­gean Air­lines
On 23 Decem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised Greek aid of 120 mil­lion EUR, in the form of a dir­ect grant to the air­line com­pany Ae­gean Air­lines.   This aid aims to com­pensate the air­line for...
19 January 2021
New GDPR strategy to tackle new tech­no­logy, data se­cur­ity, in­ter­na­tion­al...
The European Data Pro­tec­tion Board (EDPB) pub­lished its GDPR Strategy 2021-2023 on 5 Janu­ary 2021, set­ting out four main pil­lars and key ac­tions, which in­clude: Pil­lar 1: Ad­van­cing har­mon­isa­tion and...