Category 'EU Antitrust Basics'

April 10, 2018

What Role For Fairness in EU Competition Policy and Enforcement?

The role of fairness in EU competition policy and enforcement has been the subject of renewed debate. A perception has emerged among commentators that the European Commission’s (EC) enforcement priorities under the current Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, seem to have become increasingly focused on ‘fairness,’ rather than the more traditional competition objectives of promoting consumer welfare and an efficient allocation of resources.

Is this perception well-founded? And does it represent a new policy trend towards ‘social justice’ objectives or simply a continuation of a policy driver that has underpinned EU competition enforcement for some time?

In this note we look at the evidence against the backdrop of the relevant EU legal framework.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics

April 9, 2018

2018 S&S Annual Antitrust Report

Shearman & Sterling publishes its sixth annual Antitrust Annual Report today. The 2018 Report discerns two key trends – a global resurgence of controls on foreign direct investment and the focus on ‘fairness’ developing in the European Union (EU). The report also discusses various other important developments in international competition law enforcement.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels, EU Distribution, EU Enforcement, EU Mergers, US Antitrust Basics, US Cartels, US Distribution, US Enforcement, US Mergers

June 13, 2016

Goeteyn and Rawnsley Author Article on EU Damages Directive and Access to Evidence for Antitrust Damages Actions

Partner Geert Goeteyn (Brussels–Antitrust) and counsel Collette Rawnsley (London–Antitrust) have authored an article in The Strategic View – Competition Litigation 2016 on “The EU Damages Directive and Access to Evidence for Antitrust Damages Actions.” In this article, the authors consider how the EU Damages Directive seeks to provide victims of competition law infringements with easier access to evidence for the purposes of private damages actions, while preserving the effectiveness of public enforcement tools.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels, EU Distribution, EU Enforcement

May 26, 2016

Antitrust Annual Report Surveys Recent Antitrust Developments

In its 2016 Annual Report, Shearman & Sterling's Antitrust Group discusses 19 major trends in antitrust law worldwide in merger control, cartels, compliance, unilateral conduct, antitrust litigation, and state aid.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels, EU Distribution, EU Enforcement, EU Mergers, US Antitrust Basics, US Cartels, US Distribution, US Enforcement, US Mergers

March 11, 2016

Launch of First UK Opt-Out Class Action

October 1, 2015, marked the entry into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”), bringing with it an opt-out class action regime for the private enforcement of infringements in competition law. Now, in March 2016, the first UK opt-out class action has been launched; but is this a suitable ‘test case’?’

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels, EU Enforcement

October 1, 2015

Consumer Rights Act 2015: Private Actions for Breaches of Competition Law – Overview of the New Regime

The entry into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA15”) on 1 October 2015 sees the overhaul of the private enforcement regime in England & Wales. The CRA15, which amends both the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002, introduces a number of significant reforms to the current regime, in particular ‘opt-out’ collective actions and collective settlements. In addition, from 1 October 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) will have the jurisdiction to hear ‘stand-alone’ cases and to grant injunctions. Other key features of the new regime include the creation of a ‘fast-track’ procedure for straightforward claims; the harmonisation of the limitation period applicable to claims in the CAT with that of the High Court; and the introduction of voluntary redress schemes approved by the Competition and Markets Authority. See here for our analysis of the case.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Enforcement

March 24, 2014

Beware of Public Announcements! Recent European Competition Developments on Price Signalling

Forward public announcements of prices and outputs are common in many industries. The effect of such announcements on competition has traditionally been considered ambiguous. Partly for that reason, simple price announcements have been difficult for the agencies to attack under the antitrust rules in the absence of evidence of actual collusion. While there have been a few challenges in the US over the years, there is little precedent. However, recent action by the European Commission and some Member States appears designed to send a clear signal: agencies are prepared to be more aggressive about future pricing announcements. Hence it may be wise to revisit the traditional compliance approach to public price statements on either side of the Atlantic.

Categories: EU Antitrust Basics, EU Cartels

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