On July 12, the CMA published its final guidance (the Guidance) accompanying the UK’s block exemption for vertical agreements (VABEO).[1] 

In a significant judgment rendered on July 13, 2022 (“Judgment”), the EU’s General Court validated the position taken by the European Commission (“EC”) in a March 2021 Guidance Paper encouraging national competition authorities (“NCAs”) to use Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) to refer transactions to the EC that do not meet national merger control thresholds, but which they believe may threaten to significantly affect competition within the EU.

On April 27, 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) approved a State aid scheme of €700 million of the French State “to support research, development and innovation projects by companies of all sizes and active across all sectors”[1] (the “French Scheme” or the “Scheme”). The French authorities estimate the number of beneficiaries of the scheme to range between 11 and 50 companies.[2] The scheme will be in place until December 31, 2023.

On April 7, 2022, Advocate General Szpunar delivered his opinion on the interpretation of Article 5(1) of Directive 2014/104 (the “Damages Directive”) and on the scope of its rules on evidence production.[1] The Advocate General called on the Court of Justice to allow national courts to require defendants to disclose evidence of a type that would require the defendant to compile or classify information rather than merely produce existing material.