Antitrust & Trade Regulation

When COVID-19 swept the globe and disrupted the production and distribution of goods, it gave way to some companies taking advantage of consumers by significantly increasing prices.  As governments across the world have started taking action against unfair or excessive prices, we examine the global enforcement trends in this space and offer practical advice to ensure businesses won’t find themselves in breach of antitrust, price gouging or other consumer protection rules when adapting their pricing…
In our recent client alert, we take a look at the European Commission’s proposed new toolbox to intervene where foreign subsidies could potentially distort the EU single market. We consider the implications of such new measures, and also highlight the significant impact the powers could have on M&A transactions in the EU.…
As the UK takes steps to introduce new foreign direct investment (FDI) rules, it is important for investors from outside the UK or EU to consider these new rules at the outset of transactions in particular sectors. We discuss this latest move and consider what impact the new measures may have, in our latest client alert.…
At a glance First formal action against price gouging in the UK Case will be a test of the fitness of the current legal framework to tackle price gouging Approach to establishing dominance and excessive pricing in the COVID-19 context will impact future enforcement in the UK and possibly in other jurisdictions Amongst the initial images from around the world as COVID-19 spread was the panic-buying of essential items. As demand outstripped supply for certain…
On 2 June 2020, the European Commission published an inception impact assessment regarding possible new tools to tackle structural competition issues arising on digital and non-digital markets. The Commission also published a separate inception impact assessment and open public consultation, requesting stakeholder contributions on how to address issues with large platforms acting as ‘gatekeepers’ to digital markets (as part of the Digital Services Act package). Stakeholders may submit comments on both of the impact assessments…
A.      The Broiler Chicken Civil Litigation/Criminal Indictment  On June 3, 2020, a grand jury in Colorado returned an indictment charging executives from Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and Claxton Poultry Farms with fixing prices and rigging bids nationwide for broiler chickens  [I wonder how the grand jury met? Zoom?] The case was filed in the District of Colorado, where Pilgrim’s Pride is headquartered. The individual defendants are Pilgrim’s President and CEO, Jayson Penn and former…
As businesses continue to deal with the repercussions of extended lockdowns, the U.S. government is on the lookout for enterprises that may use the pandemic as a cover to pursue anticompetitive endeavors. In April, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act (the Proposed Act) with the aim of preventing companies from exploiting the pandemic and entering into transactions to acquire struggling businesses that would harm competition. The Proposed…
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy implemented further amendments to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung – AWV) due to the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the buyout of German companies active in the health care and infection protection sectors by investors from outside the EU (or EFTA). The amendment entered into force on 3 June 2020. I. Changes under the fifteenth amendment to the AWV The amendment broadens the scope of…