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Crisis & Compliance: EU Competition Law During COVID-19

Amid the economic shocks caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many industries are facing reduced demand for their products and services. Other industries—notably healthcare and food—are adjusting rapidly to expanding demand requirements and changing consumption patterns due to large-scale population confinement in several countries. Significant over- or under-capacity can create incentives, or even the necessity, to collaborate in ways that may push the limits of antitrust and competition rules. On 23 March 2020, the European Competition Network (ECN) took unprecedented action. ECN, the network of competition enforcement authorities in the European Union, issued a joint statement announcing that its members will not actively intervene against “necessary and temporary” measures, including cooperation among competitors, in order to avoid a “shortage of supply.” At the same time, the ECN cautioned that its members would actively intervene against any...

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New EU Competition Commissioner Magrethe Vestager to Take Office in November, Pending Approval

In an announcement made on 10 September 2014, the President-elect of the next European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker from Luxemburg, unveiled his team and announced that Magrethe Vestager from Denmark will replace Joaquin Almunia as the EU Commissioner for Competition.  Ms Vestager is to take office in November, subject to confirmation by the European Parliament. The new Commissioner and her agenda will have a significant impact on business in the European Union in the upcoming years.  The EU Commissioner for Competition is one of the most powerful figures in Europe because this role has the ability to review deals, impose fines for cartel behaviour or abuse of dominance (monopolisation) and order the recovery of illegal subsidies. Read the full article.  

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New Guidelines on Regional Aid for 2014-2020

by Martina Maier The European Commission adopted new Guidelines for regional aid for the period 2014–2020.  The new legal framework will have significant impact on the possibility of public support for investments of public and private undertakings in the European Union.  Major policy changes include the limitation of the possibility for large undertakings to benefit from regional aid and a more restrictive method of calculating the acceptable aid amount.  Public authorities granting regional aid as well as companies benefitting from regional aid should be aware that the new Guidelines will enter into force on 1 July 2014, but that all existing aid schemes as well as the current regional maps will already expire on 31 December 2013. Read the full article here.

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