As the climate and biodiversity crises loom, coherent efforts are needed in all fields to get to “net zero”. Just as public action is needed, cooperation in the private sector may also prove indispensable to achieve sustainability goals in the short time available.

On February 4, 2022, the Commission released a revised draft dual distribution guidance[1] within the broader context of the ongoing review of EU vertical rules.

On January 18, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office published a press release of its review of two sustainability initiatives. Only a week later, on January 25, 2022, the FCO provided further guidance for the implementation of sustainability initiatives under competition law: It concluded that a proposed agreement in the milk sector to introduce surcharges for the benefit of milk producers was anticompetitive.

On Tuesday, January 18th, FTC Chair Lina Khan and DOJ Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter held a joint press conference in which they announced ambitious plans to review and update the Merger Guidelines, targeting a release of new guidelines before the end of 2022.

On January 12, 2022, former European Central Bank official Benoît Coeuré was appointed President of the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) following his hearing by both houses of the French Parliament.[1] He was unanimously appointed by members of the Commission for Economic Affairs of the Assemblée Nationale, while the Commission for Economic Affairs of the Sénat displayed a more balanced distribution of votes (only 12 in favor out of 22 votes cast).

From this month (January 2022), it will be easier for EU Member States to provide government subsidies (also known as “State aid”) for climate and renewable energy projects.  At the same time, the EU is cracking down on public funding for fossil fuels.

On January 4, 2022, the Cour de cassation confirmed the rulings of the president of the Court of Appeals validating dawn raids carried out in May 2017 by the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) in the rendering sector.[1]

On December 22, 2021, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its annual review for 2021.[1]  As done already on the occasion of the presentation of its Annual Report 2020/2021,[2] the FCO’s President, Andreas Mundt, emphasized again that the protection of competition in the digital economy remains one of the FCO’s top priorities.  He underlined that also merger control will continue to serve as a key tool to achieve this goal.  In addition, he pointed out that the FCO would welcome powers of intervention also with regard to infringements of consumer rights.