In the latest instalment of the Cleary Gottlieb Antitrust Review podcast, host Nick Levy is joined by Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the Competition & Markets Authority.  Their conversation covers a range of topics, including her first year in the role, merger control, Microsoft/Activision, cartel enforcement, judicial review, international coordination, sustainability, and her plans for the future.

More than one and half year after the amendments to China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”) came into effect, the State Council of China approved on December 29, 2023 and published on January 26, 2024 revisions[1] to China’s merger control notification thresholds (the “State Council Order”).[2]

On November 9, 2023, the European Court of Justice dismissed, on most grounds, [1] Altice’s appeal against the General Court’s judgment[2] upholding the European Commission’s decision, in 2018,[3] to fine Altice €124.5 million for gun-jumping violations in connection with its acquisition of PT Portugal.  The Court of Justice confirmed that Altice breached the EU Merger Regulation’s notification and standstill obligations by acquiring and exercising decisive influence over PT Portugal prior to obtaining Commission approval.  The Commission had fined Altice €62.25 million for each of the two infringements.  The Court of Justice reduced one of the fines by about €10 million on account of the Commission’s failure to properly state reasons, but the judgment supports the trend toward strict enforcement of EU rules against early implementation of M&A transactions.[4]

On August 17, 2023, the European Commission (EC) decided to review Qualcomm’s acquisition of the Israeli-based semiconductor company Autotalks, even though the deal was not reportable at EU or Member State level.  Just one day later, on August 18, 2023, the EC also accepted jurisdiction over another non-reportable deal – European Energy Exchange’s (EEX) acquisition of Nasdaq’s European power trading and clearing business (Nasdaq Power).

On August 8, 2023, following an in-depth investigation (“Phase 2”), the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) unconditionally approved the creation of a full-function joint venture between Aéroports de Paris (“ADP”) and the British caterer Select Service Partner (“SSP”, together “the Parties”) for the operation of catering services at Paris-Orly and Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airports.[1]