On December 5, 2023, the CJEU overturned the judgment of the General Court,[1] which upheld the Commission decision of June 20, 2018 finding that Luxembourg had granted unlawful State aid of €120 million to Engie.[2] 

In 2021, the Commission announced that it would revisit 15-25 merger decisions adopted between 2012 and 2018 to evaluate whether its predictions during the merger control process regarding entry, expansion and imports materialized ex post, with the assistance of an external contractor.[1]  In February 2023, the Commission issued a request for information in the context of this study, seeking information about the effects of the acquisition by Aegean Airlines of Olympic Air—one of the rare cases in which the regulator accepted the “failing firm” defense.[2]  It has been reported that the Commission has also sent questionnaires regarding Orange/Jazztel,[3] Ryanair/Aer Lingus,[4] Ineos/Solvay.[5]  The final report is scheduled for publication later this year.[6]

On February 1, 2023, the Court of Justice held a hearing in Altice’s appeal against the General Court’s decision in 2021 to largely uphold the Commission’s record fine for gun-jumping in the Altice/PT Portugal transaction.[1]  Altice’s defense at the hearing hinged on three claims: (i) the Commission wrongly fined Altice twice for failure to notify and for breaching the standstill obligation; (ii) Altice did not acquire veto rights, and therefore control, by signing the Share Purchase Agreement (“SPA”); and (iii) the Commission breached the principle of proportionality by failing to explain its reasoning in setting the fines.