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 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 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.

Cleary Gottlieb partners Romano Subiotto QC and Robbert Snelders, in collaboration with our Antitrust practice, are thrilled to present

In a ruling dated December 2, 2021, the Paris Court of Appeals overturned a 2010 decision in which the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) had fined 11 major French banks for colluding on check handling fees, possibly bringing the 11-year saga to an end.  The ruling confirms that the concept of by-object restriction should be interpreted restrictively, in line with a judgment issued by the French Cour de cassation in the same case in 2020.

On November 18, 2021, the Commission published its communication entitled “a competition policy fit for new challenges” (the “Communication”).[1] The Communication identifies several areas where an adjusted competition policy could help overcome new challenges the European economy is facing. In particular, the Communication discusses competition policy’s role in Europe’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, in supporting the European green[2] and digital transition,[3] and in strengthening the Single market’s resilience.