On January 17, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a case summary on its two consecutive in-depth-investigations of automotive supplier Dana Inc.’s (“Dana”)[1] proposed acquisition of (a portion of) Modine Manufacturing Company’s (“Modine”)[2] light-vehicle thermal business.[3]  The parties first notified the acquisition in December 2020.

After a review of over two years, on January 13, 2022, the Commission prohibited Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ (“HHIH”) acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (“Daewoo”).[1] This is only the tenth prohibition decision in ten years, and the first since 2019.[2]

In the 2021 edition of this memo, we wrote that antitrust in 2020 received more political and media attention than at any recent time. 2021 beat that standard in multiple ways, and 2022 looks to continue that trend. In addition to continuing the major tech cases brought under the Trump administration, 2021 saw unprecedented levels of legislative activity in antitrust (both federal and state), competition policy taking a leading position across federal agencies and startling new approaches at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in particular – new approaches that, while they haven’t yet produced a wave of new enforcement actions, have required changes in thinking about and approaching antitrust issues. We expect these trends to accelerate in 2022.

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.

On December 9, 2021, following ex officio proceedings,[1] the German Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded that the acquisition of customer relationship management software provider Kustomer, Inc., (“Kustomer”) by Facebook Inc., re-named Meta Platforms Inc. (“Meta”) since October 2021, is notifiable under the German merger control regime as it falls under the € 400 million transaction value threshold of the ARC[2] and asked Meta to submit documents to review the transaction.[3]  On January 11, 2022, the parties notified the transaction to the FCO.

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

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.