On 31st December 2022, the current R&D Block Exemption 1217/2010 (‘R&D BE’) is due to expire and to be replaced by a new safe harbor regulation which will be supported by guidelines contained within new Horizontal Guidelines to be issued by the European Commission, which are still in draft. The Commission is seeking to
The CMA Investigation into EV Chargepoint Operators and Net Zero
On March 8, 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its decision to accept commitments offered by Gridserve (the owner of The Electric Company Limited) and three motorway service area (MSA) operators: Roadchef, MOTO and Extra. This article considers the background and implications of the CMA’s enforcement action against the parties.
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The UK’s Proposed New Subsidy Control Regime: Will it Work?
‘State aid’ is the term we would hear or read on a daily basis during the Brexit negotiations. The media described it as one of the ‘make or break’ issues which neither party, the UK or the EU, was willing to find the middle ground to land on. Now a year later since the end of the transition period, the term ‘subsidy’ has replaced ‘State aid’ in the context of public authorities awarding financial assistance.
This note considers what has been happening to the UK’s subsidy control post-Brexit and further provides an overview of the UK’s proposed new subsidy control regime.…
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Gun Jumping: The General Court’s Ruling
Gun-jumping can occur when parties fail to fulfil the two obligations laid down by the European Merger Regulation No 139/2004 (EUMR). Article 4(1) of the EUMR sets out the obligation to notify the European Commission (Commission) of a concentration with an EU dimension before implementation. Article 7(1) sets out the obligation to stand still until the Commission declares such a concentration compatible with the internal market.
But would it be possible for parties to breach both obligations concurrently regarding the same transaction and thus to be fined doubly? The General Court answered in the affirmative in one of the most anticipated anti-gun-jumping cases.…
Home-Coming of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bars (Part 1)
On March 2, 2021, the UK signed a trade partnership agreement with Ghana. Recently, Cadbury, which is wholly owned by Mondelez, has announced that it is moving some production of its iconic Dairy Milk chocolate bars from Germany to the UK. This note, which is in two parts, considers the connection between the trade partnership agreement between the UK and Ghana and the relocation of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate production to the UK from the EU and the implications this will have in terms of supply chain management.
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EU/UK Trade Post-Brexit: Rules of Origin and Their Impact on Competition Law
The following note highlights certain barriers to free trade flows between the UK and the EU that have arisen in the post-Brexit era, with particular reference to rules of origin and origin procedures. It assesses the consequences these new rules will have in determining market power, influencing supply chain practices, and the application of UK and EU competition law in the future.
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The European Commission’s Findings of the Evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
On September 8, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published its findings of the evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption (VBER) and the Vertical Guidelines.
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How Will the European Commission Monitor Competitiveness of the Digital Market?
On June 2, 2020, the European Commission opened a public consultation to seek views on the contents of the Digital Services Act (DSA), an ambitious legislative package intended to regulate digital markets in EU.
The European Commission will be seeking feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on issues like online safety, freedom of expression,…
COVID-19 and Cooperation Among Companies in the Health Sector
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, not a single day passes without the news on shortages of medicines or medical equipment. The issue of ‘shortages of essential products and services’ is not specific to the UK, Italy or Spain. At these challenging times, the shortages are occurring on a daily basis on a global scale. Here in Europe, the European Commission (Commission) has published a Temporary Framework Communication, dated 8 April 2020 (C(2020) 3200 final), which sets out forms of cooperation among companies, such as in the health sector, which may be allowed in order to tackle and to avoid “shortages of essential products and services resulting first and foremost from the rapid and exponential growth of demand” (such as in medical supplies needed to treat COVID-19 patients).
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Changes to State Aid Rules
In these extraordinary times, economies around the World including Member States are pumping money into their economies. Businesses and whole sectors are crying out for special support. State support in the EEA above a low de minimis threshold is subject to strict state aid rules which requires pre-clearance by the European Commission under strict conditions. …