On 27 May 2024, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) gave the green light for Johnson & Johnson’s (“J&J”) 13.1 billion US dollar acquisition of Shockwave Medical (“Shockwave”).[1]  The decision follows an in-depth investigation into the acquisition’s potential impact on competition and innovation, particularly in the burgeoning field of cardiovascular disease treatment, one of the fastest‑growing global med-tech markets.

The Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers (DMCC) Act, which passed on 23 May 2024, will introduce significant reforms to UK competition and consumer protection law and digital regulation (see our update summarising the main changes). In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Act’s overhaul of the UK consumer protection regime.

UK Becomes Fourth Jurisdiction to Introduce Dedicated Digital Platform Regulation, with More Jurisdictions Likely to Follow

On 23 May, the UK Parliament passed the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill.  The new DMCC Act will bring about some of the most significant reforms to competition and consumer protection law in the UK in decades. Among other major reforms, it introduces a dedicated regime that provides for specific conduct rules for large digital platforms. The UK therefore becomes the fourth jurisdictionafter the EU with its Digital Market Act (DMA), Germany with its s.19A rules, and Japan with its new smartphone bill (also passed on 23 May)to introduce rules that target a handful of the largest digital firms.[1]

On 21 May 2024, the UK Government published updated guidance on the application of the National Security and Investment Act (NSIA).  This includes:

U.S. based snacks company, Mondelēz, has been found to have engaged in 22 anti-competitive agreements or concerted practices by the Commission. The Commission also found that Mondelēz abused its dominant position in the market for the sale of certain types of chocolate bars in several countries.  After a three-year investigation during which Mondelez followed the cooperation process, they have agreed to settle the investigation, with the Commission announcing a €337.5 million fine for hindering cross-border trade of chocolates, biscuits, and coffee products between Member States, in violation of EU competition rules.

On April 3, 2024, the European Commission (“Commission”) launched two in-depth investigations into tenders by Chinese solar photovoltaic suppliers under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (“FSR”).[1]  The investigations relate to a public procurement procedure launched on September 27, 2023 by a Romanian contracting authority (Societatea Parc Fotovoltaic Rovinari Est S.A.) for the design, construction, and operation of a photovoltaic park with an installed capacity of 454.97 MW.[2]