After publishing its preliminary finding in February 2022[1], the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) recently prohibited the Deutsche Lufthansa AG group (“Lufthansa”) from terminating longstanding cooperation agreements with Condor Flugdienst GmbH (“Condor”).[2]  Under the cooperation agreements, Lufthansa is obliged to provide feeder flights to Condor’s long-haul passengers.

On September 26, 2022, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action published a draft of the Competition Enforcement Act which will amend the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (“ARC”) for the 11th time (“Draft 11th Amendment”).[1]  The aim of the Draft 11th Amendment is to strengthen the Federal Cartel Office’s (“FCO”) enforcement powers beyond the existing enforcement of antitrust and abuse of dominance violations. 

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has endorsed a “one-time temporary cooperation project” of Germany-based sugar manufacturers Nordzucker, Südzucker, Pfeifer & Langen and Consun Beet to coordinate capacities for the processing of sugar beets from September 2022 to March 2023 in light of the dawning gas supply shortage.[1]

On February 17, 2021, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its third report on market power in the electricity generation sector (“Market Power Report”), analyzing the competitive landscape from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.[1]  Again, the FCO published its results one year earlier than statutorily required because of the continuing phase-out of nuclear and coal energy.

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 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.