Insights: Antitrust Law


Protecting Competition as Risk and Opportunity

Antitrust law is both a risk and an opportunity for companies: Antitrust law violations represent a considerable risk for almost all companies, not only because of the threat of high fines. Companies can and should also use the instruments of antitrust law to their own advantage, for example if they have been harmed by antitrust violations by business partners or if they have to defend themselves against abusive behaviour by market-strong companies or digital gatekeepers. There are therefore more than enough reasons for companies to deal with antitrust law in depth and to invest in good antitrust compliance. Nevertheless, the importance of antitrust law for one's own company is still sometimes underestimated, especially in medium-sized and family businesses.
There are currently exciting national and international developments in many areas of antitrust law, which we address in this special topic: In addition to various upcoming legislative changes in 2023, the admissibility of cooperation in the area of sustainability under antitrust law is particularly topical. Since last year, the antitrust authorities have been intensifying their antitrust prosecution and have, among other things, set their sights on the labour market. In the supply chain, the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation, which was revised last year, leads to a need for action, especially in online distribution. In addition, there are sector-specific developments, for example in railway law or in the agricultural and food sector. In the M&A sector, regulatory requirements and transaction risks continue to increase: authorities are increasingly controlling mergers below the legal thresholds, audits of direct investments are becoming more complex, and in 2023 a new merger control on third-country subsidies will be added. Successor liability under antitrust law remains a risk not only in due diligence.
Internationally active companies must take national peculiarities into account. Our topic special presents current antitrust developments in France, Poland, Estonia, China and India.

 Prohibition of Cartels and Abuse of Market Power

Antitrust Law Antitrust Law and Labour Markets: Cartel Authorities take Aim at HR

Many companies have already recognised the necessity of antitrust compliance. In some cases, however, the companies are not fully aware of which divisions and employees could be affected by antitrust law. Recently, human resources departments around the world have increasingly become the focus of cartel authorities. Read more »

Antitrust Law Antitrust Litigation: Cartel Damages also in Case of Exchange of Information

Antitrust violations among competitors can regularly result in cartel damages claims from potentially harmed customers in addition to high fines of up to 10 percent of the annual group turnover. In recent years, cartel damages law in Germany has become increasingly plaintiff-friendly and litigation has increased. Read more »

 Antitrust Law in the M&A Process

Kartellrecht Antitrust law: New risks to transaction security

Business combinations are often subject to merger control clearance by the antitrust authorities. In recent years, there have also been an increasing number of antitrust authority reviews of competition-relevant transactions that remained below the legal thresholds. Read more »

KartellrechtCross-Sector Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Review: Looking Back at 2022

Business combinations are often subject to merger control clearance by the antitrust authorities. In recent years, there have also been an increasing number of antitrust authority reviews of competition-relevant transactions that remained below the legal thresholds. Read more »

Antitrust Law M&A: New Merger Control through Foreign Subsidies Regulation

On 12 January 2023, the Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market (Regulation (EU) 2022/2560; "FSR") entered into force. The FSR aims to prevent distortions of competition through foreign subsidies. In this respect, the EU legislators identified a regulatory gap. Read more »

 Antitrust and Compliance International

Antitrust Law The Antitrust Compliance Programme: A Tool for Business Competitiveness

The proper implementation of competition law by companies is an imperative for competitiveness, as potential penalties are high in all jurisdictions. Indeed, recently, rules have tended to align worldwide on the heaviest sanctions. Read more »

Antitrust Law Violation of Antitrust Law in Poland: Liability of the violating Entity, the Management Board and the Parent Company

In Poland, antitrust cases are handled by the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“OCCP”). The specific nature of antitrust proceedings is that they are most often preceded by an investigation. Read more »

Antitrust Law Abuse of a dominant Market Position and Claim for Damages under Estonian Law

n 2020, the Estonian Supreme Court ruled in a case (No. 2-15-505) where the legality of the sales price charged by an undertaking in dominant position under a sales contract was in dispute. The claimant brought an action for damages and, in the alternative, an action for unjust enrichment against the defendant. Read more »

Antitrust Law Update on Anti-Monopoly Law in China

2022 witnessed an important reform in China’s Antimonopoly Law. The revised Anti-monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China, which came into effect on 1 August 2022, not only expanded the overall scope of its application, but also significantly increased the penalties and liability for monopolistic behavior. Read more »

Antitrust Law Antitrust Law in India: The (un)known Sword of Damocles

In the context of investments in India, antitrust law in India often appears to play a secondary role. This impression is supported by the fact that the Indian economy is "dominated" by very large Indian conglomerates. Read more »

last updated on 22 February 2023
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