On 16 November 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a warning to Wowcher, calling on the e-commerce site to change its online sales practices and in particular its “urgency claims” that risk misleading consumers. Wowcher has an opportunity to respond and offer undertakings to change its practices and avoid potential court action.
On 20 November 2023, the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill (DMCC) cleared the report stage and an expedited third reading in the House of Commons, at which a series of significant amendments were passed.
On November 15, 2023, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded that Microsoft’s investments in and cooperation with OpenAI, Inc. (“OpenAI”) do not constitute a notifiable merger under German law. 
On November 8, 2023, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (“JFTC”) held the G7 Joint Competition Enforcers and Policy Makers Summit (the “Summit”) in Tokyo. The focus of the Summit was for the G7 competition authorities and policymakers (the “Authorities”) to discuss effective approaches to enforcing and promoting competition in digital markets. At the Summit, the Authorities adopted the “Digital Competition Communiqué” (the “Communiqué”) and updated the “Compendium of approaches to improving competition in digital markets” (the “Compendium”).
On October 18, 2023, the General Court delivered its judgment in Clariant v. Commission. It upheld the Commission’s settlement decision in the Ethylene case, following an appeal by Clariant, who argued that the Commission erred in: (i) applying a 50% recidivism multiplier to Clariant in circumstances where the previous infringement in which it had participated was not a purchasing cartel, but rather a sales cartel; and (ii) applying a 10% fine increase (to all participants) on account of the infringement being a purchasing cartel, to ensure adequate deterrence. The General Court also rejected a counterclaim lodged by the Commission, in which the Commission sought to increase the fine imposed on Clariant by removing its 10% settlement discount, on the basis that Clariant had accepted to be fined in the context of settlement proceedings.
On October 12, 2023, the notification obligations under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) took effect. Businesses must notify all M&A deals (if signed on or after July 12 and not yet implemented by October 12) and public procurement tenders (for offers submitted on or after October 12) meeting the relevant thresholds.
In the latest episode of Cleary’s Antitrust Review, host Nick Levy is joined by Alberto Bacchiega, Director of the Commission’s…
On October 5, 2023, Advocate General Rantos delivered his opinion on two questions referred to the Court of Justice by the Portuguese Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court (the “referring court”). The referring court seeks clarification on whether a ‘standalone’ exchange of information between competitors can be classified as a restriction by object under Article 101 TFEU, and whether that classification is permitted where it has not been possible to establish any uncertain or procompetitive effect on competition resulting from the exchange. The case gives the Court of Justice an opportunity to clarify its recent evolution from a broad and formalistic interpretation of the concept of a restriction by object to a narrower, more pragmatic interpretation of that concept.
In the latest instalment of Cleary’s Antitrust Review, host Nick Levy is joined by Dr. Jorge Padilla, one of Europe’s…