New merger control thresholds for Austria

New merger control thresholds for Austria

Austria, that lovely neighbouring country to Germany, is known for its Kaiserschmarrn, music, the Alps – and interesting merger thresholds. There is a reform, however, that will come as a relief to many. Johannes Barbist brings us up to date – including interesting news on the applicability of the new merger control thresholds.   Austria is lagging behind. We still concentrated on the market dominance test (also in merger control cases), did not specifically address the growing importance of digital…

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Refill: Beer Cartel (da capo)

Refill: Beer Cartel (da capo)

Hello again! The parties involved in the German beer cartel are meeting in court again. The Cartel Senate of the Federal Court of Justice called for another round by overturning an acquittal of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court in this case in 2020. Now other judges of the Düsseldorf Court have to take up the matter. Rupprecht Podszun, who had written about the first proceedings here, has followed the new start of the trial. “We are new! Let’s start again…

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Revisiting Bork the Antitrust Warrior

Revisiting Bork the Antitrust Warrior

Some books change the world, they say, and that is even true for competition law and policy. This summer, Bertold Bär-Bouyssière re-read the one book that gave antitrust policy a new direction: Robert Bork’s “The Antitrust Paradox”. Here is his review! Robert Bork´s seminal work “The Antitrust Paradox” is available again, published by Bork Publishing in 2021 with a new introduction by Senator Mike Lee and a Foreword by Robert H. Bork, Jr. The hardcover edition is at USD 39,99,…

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SSNIPpets (45): Fringe

SSNIPpets (45): Fringe

In the traditional summer slump, there is some time to explore the fringes of antitrust law. The grass is always greener on the other side, so Rupprecht Podszun took off his blinkers for once and feasted his eyes on the little flowers left and right. Here are his SSNIPpets – small but significant news, information and pleasantries – our pet project!   Antitrust is dead Fewer and fewer professors are doing antitrust law, at least in the US. In an…

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The Saxon wood pulp cartel

The Saxon wood pulp cartel

Cartels are harmful to the economy and consumers. What sounds obvious today was seen differently in Germany more than 100 years ago. Competition was considered “pernicious” and cartels “beneficial”. In one of its most famous rulings, the then Supreme Court, Reichsgericht (RG), paved the way for the progressive cartelisation of the German economy in 1897, an epochal misjudgement, as later became apparent. If you are looking for a distraction from “gatekeepers” and “GAFA”, you can take a look back with Paul…

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SSNIPpets (46): End of an era

SSNIPpets (46): End of an era

  An important judge changes the Senate. Is that news? And what news! Even Rupprecht Podszun, who is usually not at a loss for words, was momentarily speechless when he heard this one. Now he has regained his composure and quickly jotted down his thoughts – here are his SSNIPpets, small but significant news, information and pleasantries – our pet project!   This HR development is a real bang for the buck: Prof. Dr Jürgen Kühnen, the legendary “Judge Kühnen”,…

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Revamp of the EU’s rules on vertical agreements: It’s about the (digital) economy, stupid!

Revamp of the EU’s rules on vertical agreements: It’s about the (digital) economy, stupid!

Just before the summer break, the European Commission (“Commission”) continues to tick off its To-Do-List, adding an important checkmark in its efforts to modernise the current set of rules in various areas of competition law. On 9 July 2021 it published its draft reform of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“Draft VBER”), including revised Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“Draft Vertical Guidelines”). Kaan Gürer has taken a closer look. What is this all about? The VBER sets out the conditions under…

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The Car Cartel and the European Green Deal – Decision of the European Commission in the Car Emissions Cartel Case

The Car Cartel and the European Green Deal – Decision of the European Commission in the Car Emissions Cartel Case

What are the limits to cooperation between companies in areas of research and development under the rules of antitrust law? The European Commission had to rule on a case in which five German car manufacturers allegedly engaged in illegal collusion regarding the use of emission-reducing technologies (AT.40178). The decision has not yet been published. Leon Kümmel has already taken a closer look at the European Commission’s press release. What happened? On July 8, 2021, the European Commission published in a press…

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Conference Debriefing (25): ASCOLA2021

Conference Debriefing (25): ASCOLA2021

For three days in a row, Rupprecht Podszun sat through the Annual Conference of ASCOLA, the Academic Society for Competition Law – a scholars-only event where research on antitrust is on display. Yes, he does that voluntarily, but he also serves as the Vice President of this organisation, so read his debrief with care. He tells you about the big ideas, the big names and the small stories of this conference. Name of the event: 16th Annual Conference of the Academic Society…

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Jurisdictional issues in private antitrust enforcement – Advocate General Bobek sets a proper benchmark

Jurisdictional issues in private antitrust enforcement – Advocate General Bobek sets a proper benchmark

Do national courts have the power to fully apply Article 101(1) TFEU and Article 53(1) EEA‑Agreement with regard to anticompetitive practices? This question was referred to the European Court of Justice by the Rechtbank Amsterdam (District Court Amsterdam) on 6 November 2019 (Case C ‑819/19). Advocate General Bobek gave his opinion on the matter in his Opinion of 6 May 2021. Anna-Jacqueline Limprecht reports. Price agreements for air freight services trigger the proceedings As a warning, it should be mentioned that a large number of…

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