On February 11, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) approved the acquisition of OMV Retail Deutschland GmbH’s (“OMV”) filling station network by the British convenience retailer EG Group Limited (“EG Group”).  The FCO’s approval is subject to the prior divestiture of 25 EG Group filling stations and 23 OMV filling stations in southern Germany.[1]

On February 3, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) declared that it will not—at this stage—launch an investigation in the area of Domain Name System (“DNS”) services.[1]  Following indications from market participants, the FCO conducted a preliminary investigation lasting several months, but found that the suspicion of anticompetitive conduct in this field has not been substantiated.

On January 19, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) closed its proceedings on furniture retailer KHG GmbH & Co. KG’s (Krieger/Höffner Group, “KHG”) envisaged accession to the purchasing cooperation Bedarfsgüter Großhandelsgesellschaft für Wohnung GmbH (“Begros”) which it had initiated in early 2021.  In the end, KHG and Begros were able to dispel the FCO’s concerns by offering substantial modifications to their initial plans.[1]

On November 4, 2021, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published an interim report on its sector inquiry into messenger and video services,[1] exploring the necessity of interoperability rules for messaging services.  The interim report does not contain recommendations but reserved them for the final report expected to be released in 2022.

On September 1, 2021, the Monopolies Commission published its 8th Energy Sector Report focusing inter alia on competition for electric vehicle charging points.[1]  Just one month later, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its interim report on its sector inquiry into the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.[2]

On July 29, 2021, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published the results of its sector inquiry into mobile apps,[1] finding severe deficiencies regarding the information provided to app users and apps’ compliance with data protection law.  The FCO recommends app publishers and app store operators should increase transparency and requests increased private enforcement and more enforcement by data protection authorities.