On 12 October 2023, the notification and declaration obligations of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) will finally start to apply. The new review procedures for M&A transactions and bids in public procurement procedures are aimed to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies and thus ensure a level playing field for all companies operating in the EU Single Market. While the European Commission has recently provided further clarity on some of the procedural aspects of the FSR (see our latest briefing), there is still significant uncertainty about the actual compliance requirements for companies. This briefing aims to alert businesses to the pitfalls to watch out for and to provide practical guidance on how to successfully navigate these new regulatory waters.read more
BLOMSTEIN hat den deutschen Mobilitätsspezialisten ZF Friedrichshafen AG erfolgreich beim Verkauf seiner Anteile an der ASAP Holding GmbH an eine Tochtergesellschaft des indischen Technologieunternehmen HCL Technologies, Inc zu investitions- und fusionskontrollrechtlichen Aspekten beraten. Die Transaktion wurde zwischenzeitlich von den zuständigen Behörden, insbesondere dem Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, genehmigt.read more
Wir freuen uns bekanntzugeben, dass BLOMSTEIN drei neue Counsel ernennt:
Mit Dr. Elisa Theresa Hauch, die zum 1. September 2023 zu uns gestoßen ist, erweitern wir uns um eine versierte Kartellrechts-Expertin, die zuletzt bei Amazon Music als Inhouse Juristin tätig war und zuvor bei namhaften US-Kanzleien in Brüssel beraten hat.
Zwei weitere Counsel ernennen wir aus eigenen Reihen zum
1. Januar 2024:
Dr. Leonard Freiherr von Rummel ist Spezialist im Außenwirtschaftsrecht. Seit seinem Beginn bei BLOMSTEIN schon kurz nach unserer Gründung hat er sich zu einem führenden Namen in den Bereichen Investitionskontrolle, Zoll- und Verbrauchsteuerrecht sowie Exportkontrolle entwickelt und entscheidend zum Erfolg unserer außenwirtschaftsrechtlichen Praxis beigetragen.
Auch Dr. Christopher Wolters gehört bereits seit Gründungstagen zu unserem Team und hat als Spezialist im Vergabe- und Außenwirtschaftsrecht vor allem unsere Praxis für nationale Sicherheit (mit Schwerpunkt auf Rüstungsbeschaffung sowie Exportkontrolle) und Vergaberecht in den Sektoren Healthcare und IT maßgeblich mit auf- und ausgebaut.
On 21 June, Brazil’s competition authority (CADE) issued an unprecedented decision relating to sustainability agreements when approving a joint venture (JV) between leading traders of agricultural commodities worldwide (Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, ADM). In the absence of specific guidelines pertaining to horizontal cooperations, CADE seized the moment presented by the transaction to establish more comprehensive guidance as to its view on sustainability agreements in the context of B2B sector-specific data management systems (see press release here).read more
On July 12, the first of three instruments of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) entered into force. As of this date, the Commission is entitled to initiate investigations into third country subsidies that distort the internal market either on its own initiative or based on a complaint by a third-party (so-called ex officio tool). Later this year, the notification-based instruments for mergers and bids in procurement procedures will enter into force on October 12. Then, companies exceeding the thresholds set by the FSR in the relevant market situations will be required to notify financial contributions granted by third countries to the Commission. Just in time for the entry into force of the ex officio tool, the Commission adopted the Implementing Regulation on July 10, which provides procedural information but also has a direct impact on the scope and interpretation of the FSR. The Commission also responded to the significant criticism raised by companies and associations, particularly with regard to the high administra-tive burden triggered by the FSR.read more
“We want a competition law with claws and teeth”, Minister for Economic Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck promised last summer. Yesterday, the German Bun-destag took a major step towards fulfilling that promise by passing a new reform bill – the so-called Competition Enforcement Act (CEA). At the heart of the new provisions stand significantly increased powers of intervention for the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) to remedy distortions of competition following a sector inquiry. Previous-ly, such inquiries only served as a means for the FCO to form the empirical basis for its future case practice. It did not, however, permit the authority to directly intervene against individual companies or anti-competitive conditions. Will the greatly bolstered instrument of the sector inquiry – long dismissed by many as a paper tiger – live up to Mr. Habeck’s bold promise?read more
BLOMSTEIN represents Fastned in review proceedings concerning the award of contracts for the construction, maintenance and operation of fast charging stations at serviced rest stops on the German federal highways. The contract had been awarded to companies of the Tank & Rast Group by the Autobahn GmbH of the German Government without conducting a competitive public procurement procedure.read more
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing so quickly that experts around the world are warning against the risks of unregulated deployment. Meanwhile, the European Commission (Commission) is trying to catch up by accelerating its plans to regulate AI. After publishing its first draft of an AI Act Proposal in April 2021, the Council adopted its common position (General Approach) on 6 December 2022. Since then, the Proposal has made great strides: the committee work in the European Parliament was completed on 11 May 2023, and the Proposal was adopted already a month later with a clear majority: 499 votes in favor, 28 against and 93 abstentions. Next up will be trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council. If this pace is maintained, the AI Act could be passed before the end of the year, which would make it the world’s first comprehensive AI law.read more
Sustainability and competition law has been one of the hottest topics among competition authorities and regulators in recent years. The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has always stressed that it is open to give informal guidance on sustainability initiatives. Yesterday, it has proven that it takes this approach seriously and does not stand in the way of sustainability initiatives. It has published a press release that it currently sees no reason for a more detailed examination of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa “Forum Nachhaltiger Kakao e.V.” (Kakaoforum). According to the FCO, there have been no indications that the initiative would incur a clear risk of a restraint of competition. The Kakaoforum is a joint initiative made up of representatives of the public sector, companies in the cocoa and chocolate industry, a large part of the German food retail trade and international NGOs.read more
On 1 June 2023, the European Commission finally adopted its revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations on Research and Development (R&D) and Specialisation agreements, which are accompanied by the revised Horizontal Guidelines (2023 Horizontal Guidelines).read more