Annual European Competition Review 2020 - McDermott Will & Emery

Annual European Competition Review 2020




McDermott’s Annual European Competition Review summarizes key developments in European competition rules. During the previous year, several new regulations, notices and guidelines were issued by the European Commission. There were also many interesting cases decided by the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union. All these new rules and judicial decisions may be relevant for your company and your day-to-day practice.

In our super-connected age, we can be inundated by information from numerous sources and it is difficult to select what is really relevant to one’s business. The purpose of this review is to help general counsel and their teams to be aware of the essential updates.

This review was prepared by the Firm’s European Competition Team in Brussels and Paris. Throughout 2020 they have monitored legal developments and drafted the summary reports.

Article 101 TFEU Infringements / Cartels


  • EC Fines NBCUniversal EUR 14.3mn for Restricting Sales of Film Merchandise
  • EC Fines Ethylene Purchasing Cartel a Total of EUR 260mn
  • EC Fines Hotel Group Meliá for Discriminating between Customers
  • Pay-for-Delay Agreements Likely to Constitute Restriction of Competition by Object
  • Restriction of Competition by Object, by Effect or Not at All
  • CJEU Annuls GCEU Judgment in Part, Reduces EC Fine Imposed on NKT Verwaltungs GmbH and NKT A/S for Power Cable Cartel Involvement
  • GCEU Confirms EC’s Power of Appraisal in Rejecting Complaint
  • GCEU Reduces Fine in Card Chip Cartel Case After CJEU Criticism
  • GCEU Upholds EC’s Finding that International Skating Union’s Eligibility Rules Prevented Market Access
  • CJEU Upholds EUR 21mn Fine Imposed on Silver Plastics for Colluding in Food Packaging Markets
  • GCEU Annuls in Part EC Inspection Decisions Following Suspicions of Anticompetitive Practices
  • CJEU Annuls EC Decision Accepting Paramount’s Commitments in Challenge Brought by Canal+

Article 102 TFEU Abuse of Dominant Position


  • EC Validates Broadcom’s Commitments to Safeguard Fair Competition
  • CJEU Clarifies How to Determine Jurisdiction for Civil Liability Claim Based on Abuse of Dominant Position

Merger Control


  • CJEU Upholds Fines Imposed on Marine Harvest for Gun Jumping
  • GCEU Annuls EC Prohibition on Hutchison 3G UK Acquisition of Telefónica UK
  • GCEU Defines ‘Undertakings Concerned’ Under EUMR in Context of Acquisition by Jointly Controlled Full-Function JV

State Aid


  • EC Relaxes State Aid Rules to Help Businesses During COVID-19, Communication from the EC C(2020) 1863 Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak
  • GCEU Annuls EC Decision in Apple State Aid Case in Light of Assessment Errors

Legislative and Policy Developments


  • In Context of COVID-19, EC Issues Guidance on Use of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 on Foreign Direct Investment, Communication from the EC C(2020) 1981: Guidance to the Member States concerning foreign direct investment and free movement of capital from third countries, and the protection of Europe’s strategic assets, ahead of the application of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 (FDI Screening Regulation)
  • EC Issues Comfort Letter in Context of Temporary Framework in Response to COVID-19 – More Comfort Letters to Come?
  • Evaluation of the VBER and the Vertical Guidelines, EC Staff Working Document Evaluation of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation