In 2021, Germany had to cope with the farewell of its two most prominent competition law judges: Jürgen Kühnen (presiding judge at the Düsseldorf Appeals Court) changed to another senate, Peter Meier-Beck (presiding judge at the Federal Supreme Court) retired. In January 2021, the German legislator had intervened with the competencies of their respective senates. In how far?
The Düsseldorf court (ruling on the facts of the case) needs to hear the opinion of a so-called "Chief Economist of the Judiciary", a position currently filled with Prof. Justus Haucap, before giving judgment, unless the Supreme Court sets this duty aside.
In cases of cartel damages, the courts may no longer issue separate rulings on whether the claim is given at all and the specific amount due.
Cases based on section 19a of the German competition act (essentially dealing with GAFAs) can be directly appealed to the Federal Supreme Court after the Bundeskartellamt has decided - with no stop at Düsseldorf.
The "Ministererlaubnis", the ministerial overruling of the Bundeskartellamt in cases of a merger ban, can no longer be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.