Corporate and commercial | 01 May 2014

Companies involved in licensing agreements concerning patents, know-how and most types of copyrights that affect Europe have to comply with EU competition law rules on technology licensing agreements. The European Commission (the Commission) revised these rules on 27 March 2014 by publishing new versions of (i) the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (TTBER), which shields licensing agreements from challenges under Article 101 TFEU (the general EU law provision against restrictive agreements) provided certain conditions are met1 and (ii) the related Technology Transfer Guidelines (the Guidelines), which explain the TTBER and the Commission’s competition law assessment of techonology licensing agreements to which the TTBER does not apply.2 

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Public Sector | 01 April 2014

Where public entities in the UK or any other EU member state wish to procure goods or services from private sector enterprises, they must follow the processes set out in EU public procurement legislation. In the UK, this legislation is enshrined in the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, as amended (the 2006 Regulations). The EU public procurement directives on which the 2006 Regulations are based seek to ensure that competition for public contracts is open, transparent, fair and non-discriminatory. A package of three new EU public procurement directives, published on 28 March 2014, brings in wide-ranging reforms with the aim of modernising, simplifying and improving flexibility in the existing system. [Continue Reading]

Corporate & Commercial | 01 March 2014

Under EU competition law, parent companies will, as a rule, be responsible for the behaviour of their wholly owned subsidiaries. That is not surprising, as the parent has the ability and is presumed to 
in fact oversee and direct the activities of its subsidiaries, so-called exercise of decisive influence. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 01 February 2014

The European Commission (as well as national competition authorities in the EU) have the right to request that companies submit internal documents. They also have powers to force companies, within certain boundaries, to hand over specific documents. This applies to merger investigations as well as to cartel or other infringement investigations. At the same time, there is an increase in damages claims before national courts in the EU and here too the rules on access to documents are being further shaped. We describe some of these developments from 2013 below – they may be worth bearing in mind when creating and managing your internal documents and running your IT systems.
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Public Sector | 01 December 2013

In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?
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Public Sector | 01 October 2013

Much has been made about the 
European Commission’s proposals to extend the scope of the EU Merger Regulation1 to apply to the acquisition of non-controlling minority interests. As explained in previous articles in this publication, these proposals were motivated largely by the Commission’s frustration at not being able to regulate the minority shareholding that Ryanair retained in Aer Lingus even after the Commission had blocked its full acquisition of the company. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 01 September 2013

On 11 June 2013, the European Commission published a package of measures aimed at making it easier for victims of illegal cartels and other violations of European law to recover damages before national courts throughout the European Union. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 01 July 2013

Passive investments and 
cross-directorships among competing companies are common across numerous industries such as banking, airlines, energy and automotives. There are various motivations for these types of arrangements, such as a desire to invest in a familiar industry, or to spread risk, share know-how and form strategic alliances.
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Public Sector | 01 June 2013

Two recent judgments of the General Court of the EU (the Court)1 provide a stark reminder of the long reach of competition law in relation to exchanges of information between competitors. Although the European Commission’s findings of fact in these cases disclosed a frequent and detailed series of communications concerning future prices, it would be wrong to dismiss the relevance of the Court’s approach as concerning only situations of grave infringements. The reasoning and underlying policy of the Court (and of the Court of Justice of the EU) applies to a much broader category of situations, many of which may be uncomfortably close to the kind of discussions between competitors in trade associations and elsewhere that have not raised red flags. The Banana cases are a warning to companies to look to their industry and corporate practices to ensure that there are no information exchanges that might offend under this extended form of competition control.
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Dispute resolution | 01 May 2013

Recent decisions of the EU Courts once more show that the way undertakings respond to dawn raids can have a significant impact in terms of fines. At the same time they also clarified the rights of companies being investigated. The European Commission in its turn recently revised its explanatory note on inspections.1 It is therefore worthwhile to look at these current developments. 
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