BLOMSTEIN advises Brazilian cattle and beef sector representative, Instituto Mato-Grossense da Carne, on EU’s ESG regulatory framework.

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On 21 of June 2022, the German Federal Cabinet submitted to the Bundestag a draft for a Bundeswehr Procurement Acceleration Act (BwBBG-E). The scope of the proposed act covers all procurement initiatives for the supply of military equipment that serve to “directly strengthen the operational capability of the Bundeswehr” within the meaning of Section 104 (2) of the Competition Act (GWB) with a contract value reaching the applicable threshold. It is to be limited in time until 31 of December 2025 and will also apply to procurement procedures that have already begun at the time of entry into force.

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On the 3rd June 2022 the European Council decided on a sixth package of sanctions to be imposed on Russia and Belarus in light of the ongoing war against Ukraine. We summarise the adopted measures below.

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BLOMSTEIN has successfully represented an energy company in a multi-million Euro excise tax dispute before the fiscal court Düsseldorf (FG Düsseldorf). After a long litigation over the taxation of a chemical product, the court upheld the company’s view in total.

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Starting on 1st of June 2022, contracting authorities are obliged to consult the Competition Register to determine whether one of the bidders in a public procurement procedure is listed in the Register. Although the contracting authorities will continue to decide on the outcome, i.e., whether to exclude such bidder or not based on an exclusion ground, listings in the competition register will have a considerable indicative effect.

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On 18 May 2022, the General Court (GC) of the European Union upheld a fine of EUR 28 million imposed on Canon for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC) before it was cleared under EU merger control rules. The decision sheds new light on when interim measures are considered an implementation of a transaction. The Canon case follows a series of recent ‘gun jumping’ decisions with significant fines, i.e. cases where competition authorities found that parties to a notifiable transaction implemented the transaction prior to merger control clearance. Several lessons can be drawn from the case for multi-stage M&A transactions. This briefing outlines the key take aways of the case and recent practice more generally.

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This week, the European Commission finally adopted its long-awaited new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER). Together with the also updated vertical guidelines, the new rules define competition law requirements for distribution and supply agreements for the next decade. When the new VBER enters into force in June, it will bring significant changes, particularly concerning e-commerce and online distribution. We summarise the most important changes.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a rethink in Germany. Suddenly, extensive funds are to be made available with which the urgently needed equipping of the German Armed Forces can finally be realised. The equipment is now to be provided as quickly as possible. The first procurement actions have already been initiated.

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After several serious war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, the EU has once again significantly expanded its sanctions against Russia. While some of the new sanctions extend existing prohibitions, most new sanctions provisions contain completely new trade restrictions. We summarised the main developments in this briefing.

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On 23 March the European Commission has adopted temporarily applicable State aid rules enabling Member States to support businesses particularly hit by the economic repercussions following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. This includes economic consequences of sanctions imposed on Russia and Russia’s countersanctions.

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