A record €4.34 billion (approximately $5 billion) fine was imposed on Google last week by the European Commission (EC) in response to the company’s imposition of restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. The EC announced that Google’s practice of requiring mobile device manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome)…

Whistleblowers who expose breaches of European Union law will be afforded greater protection from retaliation by companies and public authorities under a draft law proposed by the European Commission in April 2018. The draft Directive protects those who report violations of competition, public procurement, and data protection rules, as well as misdeeds such as money…

On April 11, 2018, the European Commission published a proposed new EU law as part of a package of consumer protection measures. The proposed new law would introduce the first Europe-wide consumer class action system, exposing companies in a broad range of industries to new risks with potentially huge financial implications. The proposed new law…

Over the past weekend, the Chinese legislature decided on a major restructuring of governmental agencies – with a profound impact on antitrust enforcement in the country. The restructuring plan was announced by the State Council – the equivalent of China’s cabinet – on 13 March 2018 and was approved by the legislature on 17 March….

On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers that Facebook abuses its dominant position through imposing unfair general terms and conditions (“t&cs”). The published materials provide some interesting…

In short: The Background: In September 2017, the European Court of Justice (Case C-413/14 P) reversed the ruling of the General Court, which had upheld the European Commission’s €1.06 billion fine on Intel for abusing its dominant position on the market for x86 central processing units. The Main Issue: The Intel case prompted much debate…

On 6 September, the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice (CJEU), released its long-awaited decision in the Intel case, in which the Commission imposed a fine of €1.06 billion – at the time, the largest fine ever imposed by a competition regulator on an individual company.  This is a very important decision in light…

On 14 August 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“) released a draft of the Guidelines on Pricing Conduct by Business Operators for Drugs in Shortage and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (“Draft Guidelines“).  NDRC is seeking comments on the Draft Guidelines until mid-September. One day later, NDRC made public the full text of its decisions against two local companies…

Complex transactions are subject to an increased level of antitrust scrutiny by competition authorities. This often results in extended waiting periods between signing and closing – it can nowadays be one year or even longer before the parties are able to implement the deal. For the acquiring company it is often important to start planning…

In the European Union, Big Pharma has been operating with a target on its back for the best part of the last decade. Eight years after the conclusion of the 2008 pharmaceutical sector inquiry, it is clear that the Commission has largely been true to its stated enforcement priorities. However, the recent announcement of an…