On Thursday, March 25, 2022, the European Parliament and EU Member States reached agreement on the final text of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).  The DMA marks a paradigm shift in the regulation of digital markets, giving the European Commission unprecedented powers to regulate leading digital platforms and setting a global standard for other jurisdictions that are developing similar rules.

On February 7, 2022, NVIDIA announced the termination of its agreement to acquire Arm Limited (“Arm”), a UK-based semiconductor design company of the SoftBank Group.[1] Following its announcement in September 2021, the transaction, which would have been the largest of its kind in the semiconductor sector, had attracted significant regulatory interest across the globe.

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 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 27, 2022, the Commission conditionally cleared Meta’s (formerly Facebook) acquisition of Kustomer, a U.S.-based Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) software provider.[1] The transaction was initially notified in Austria in March 2021. The Austrian competition authority referred it to the Commission in April pursuant to Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation, and several other Member States subsequently joined the referral.

On January 26, 2022, the General Court partially annulled the Commission’s decision imposing a €1.06 billion fine on Intel for abusing its dominant position through the granting of exclusivity- conditioned rebates.[1] The General Court found that the Commission had not established to the requisite legal standard that the rebates were capable of having, or were likely to have, anticompetitive effects.[2]

On January 19, 2022, the General Court ordered the Commission to pay default interest on the excess amount of a fine paid by Deutsche Telekom. The interest relates to a €31 million fine the Commission imposed on Deutsche Telekom in October 2014 for infringing Article 102 TFEU by implementing margin squeezing practices in the Slovak broadband market.

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.