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.

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 23, 2022, the General Court dismissed UPS’ €1.7 billion claim for damages allegedly suffered due to the Commission’s prohibition of the proposed €5.2 billion merger between UPS and TNT Express (“TNT”). Although the General Court had previously annulled the Commission prohibition decision due to procedural deficiencies, it rejected UPS’ follow-on damages claim because UPS failed to demonstrate that it would have secured approval for the TNT transaction absent the procedural breach.[1]

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 2, 2022, the General Court dismissed Scania’s trucks cartel appeal and essentially endorsed the Commission’s hybrid cartel procedure that bifurcates the Commission’s investigation into a settlement path with willing parties and an adversarial path with any hold outs.[1] The General Court was satisfied that the Commission examined all the facts and arguments that Scania (a non-settling party) brought before it afresh, and in particular, without relying on the facts or conclusions reached during the settlement procedure, which ensured a fair and impartial adversarial procedure.

On January 31, 2022, the Commission launched a formal investigation of Pierre Cardin and its largest licensee, the Ahlers Group (“Ahlers”) concerning the restriction of cross-border and online sales of Pierre Cardin-licensed products.[1] The Commission will investigate whether Pierre Cardin’s licensing agreement with Ahlers restricted parallel imports and sales to specific customer groups.

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.