Competition Law Update: April 2016
Published on 7th Apr 2016
This month, our international team of authors discusses changes to the competition legal landscape across Europe.
In tech, media and comms licensing, the European Commission has taken the first step against ‘unjustified’ geo-blocking, announcing initial findings in its e-commerce sector inquiry. We also look at how companies might de-risk technology licence agreements in light of the Attorney General’s opinion in Genentech v Hoechst, which suggests that, in certain circumstances, licensees might remain contractually bound to meet royalty payment obligations for invalid patents.
In infrastructure and development, our State aid experts look at how the European Commission is making it easier for business to secure public funding for ports and airports.
In competition litigation, we look at how the new Damages Directive will affect the treatment of a company’s confidential information when defending a damages action for breach of the competition rules, while the UK sees the first “opt-out” private damages action for anti-competitive conduct. In France, a ruling of the French Administrative Supreme Court paves the way for companies to challenge non-binding announcements of competition authorities (and, potentially, other public bodies).
In insurance, our experts in Germany consider the impact of the Commission’s decision on whether to discontinue the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation, which protects certain cooperation agreements in the insurance sector.
In our spotlight on Belgium, our Brussels team discusses developments including the introduction of new cartel leniency guidelines for whistle-blowers, and recent decisions of the Belgian Competition Authority.
Please let us know if you would like to discuss any of the topics in the update, or if there are topics you would like to see in future editions.
In this issue:
- New EU State aid exemptions clear the way for public investment in airports and ports
- Royalty payments for invalid patents: Opinion of the Advocate General in Genentech v Hoechst
- Commission makes its first announcement on geo-blocking. Watch Simon Neill give his views in this BBC inteview.
- Stricter competition rules for the insurance sector?
- UK witnesses its first opt-out class action for breach of competition rules
- The French Administrative Supreme Court asserts jurisdiction to review a non-legally binding opinion of the French Competition Authority
- ‘Shielding the ball’ or ‘equality of arms’?: recent developments in discovery and the treatment of confidential information in European antitrust litigation
- Spotlight on Belgium