“Formalistic”, “reductionist”, “selective and unbalanced or even deficient”. Advocate General Juliane Kokott did not mince her words in last week’s Opinion on the General Court’s judgment in CK Telecoms, in which she asks the Court of Justice to annul the judgment and refer the case back to the General Court. An AG Opinion is an … Continue reading Three/O2 – EU merger control test clarified? (And lions in Regent’s Park)
What links a multiple sclerosis drug ingredient, trains tickets in the South of England and iPhone batteries? Very little you might say? But in fact these subjects are all bound up in what some believe to be an ongoing extension to the frontiers on the law on abuse of dominance. Just how far does the … Continue reading Misinformation, disparagement, opacity and throttling – how far does the ‘special responsibility’ go?
The European Commission has blocked a merger that did not meet any European jurisdictional thresholds for the first time. In a case that has seen the Commission pushing at the boundaries of its remit, it has prohibited Illumina’s $8 billion acquisition of GRAIL. Article 22 EUMR The Illumina/GRAIL merger did not meet the thresholds under … Continue reading Illumina/Grail: An unholy war continues
Private equity (PE) is in focus for antitrust authorities. In a merger control context, concerns around roll-up and keeping the bigger picture in mind occupy both Jonathan Kanter at the DOJ and Lina Khan at the FTC. My colleague Stijn Huijts covered this in his 13 June 2022 blog. Consideration of the PE angle is … Continue reading Antitrust and private equity – parental liability rules can allow authorities to claw back profits in UK and Europe
On 21 July 2022 the CMA imposed fines of £63m on Pfizer and £6.7m on Flynn in relation to the excessive pricing of the generic drug phenytoin, an anti-epilepsy drug. This comes nearly six years on from the CMA’s first infringement decision in relation to the conduct. That first decision imposed fines of £84.2m on … Continue reading Phenytoin – was it worth it?
Today the General Court handed down its hotly anticipated judgment in the Illumina/GRAIL merger, deciding that the European Commission has jurisdiction to review the merger. This judgment is hugely consequential, as it confirms that EU Member States have the power to refer mergers to the Commission even when those mergers do not meet the national … Continue reading Legitimately expected: Commission may review Illumina/GRAIL deal
The heads of the two main US antitrust regulators, Jonathan Kanter (US Department of Justice) and Lina Khan (US Federal Trade Committee), each recently expressed an uneasiness about the lack of antitrust scrutiny of private equity (PE) deals. Mr Kanter told the Financial Times that PE firms aim to “hollow out or roll up an … Continue reading Demystifying the antitrust case against private equity
The UK Supreme Court issued an interesting judgment yesterday involving the question whether the CMA should cover a party's litigation costs when that party successfully appeals the CMA’s decision under the Competition Act. The judgment is related to the CMA’s decision to impose penalties on Pfizer and Flynn Pharma for hiking up the prices of … Continue reading The loser still pays – The Supreme Court’s judgment on costs in Phenytoin
Early spring brought us a couple of interesting competition law developments involving France. First, the Court of Appeal in Paris annulled a judgment by a lower court that dismissed a damages action against Sanofi in relation to its practice of “denigration” or “disparagement” of competitors. Next, the European Commission partly referred the McKesson/Phoenix merger to … Continue reading Sanofi and McKesson/Phoenix – Better late than never?
There was an interesting development at the intersection of Big Tech and medical devices in California this week, as Justice Jeffrey S. White largely denied Apple’s motion to dismiss a claim from AliveCor in the US District Court, Northern District of California, alleging that Apple unlawfully monopolised the U.S. market for watchOS heart rate analysis … Continue reading Apple v AliveCor – What it tells us about future MedTech antitrust battles