Archives: EU Law and Regulatory

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The European Commission launches an antitrust sector inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things for consumer-related devices and services

On 16 July 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into “consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device.” Commission Executive Vice President and Competition Commissioner Vestager said that “[t]he … Continue Reading

Advocate General delivers Opinion on Novel Food Status of Insects

On 9 July 2020, Advocate General Bobek delivered his opinion on the status of edible insects (e.g., mealworms, locusts, and crickets) under the EU novel foods rules.  While insects fall under the scope of the new EU Novel Food Regulation 2015/2283, the opinion recommends the Court of Justice to deny novel food status to such … Continue Reading

The revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation – What is likely to change?

Introduction On 25 May 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) has published its Final Report of the support studies for the evaluation of its Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and the accompanying Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (the “Final Report”). The Final Report was published following a public consultation from 4 February to 27 May 2019 to … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – Friday, June 26, 2020

Next week will be a committee and political group week for the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) in Brussels.  Several interesting debates are scheduled to take place. On Monday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) will have an exchange of views on the establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, … Continue Reading

UK introduces targeted new powers to scrutinise foreign investment

On June 22, 2020, the UK Government introduced legislation to Parliament that further strengthens its ability to intervene in transactions on national security and other public interest grounds. Specifically, the UK Government has sought additional powers to intervene in transactions where there is need to preserve the capability of the UK to respond to a … Continue Reading

European Commission publishes White Paper on the Review of Foreign Subsidies – [New/More] Intervention Powers ahead?

On 17 June 2020 the European Commission (“Commission”) published a White Paper on new enforcement powers regarding foreign subsidies. This initiative pursues two objectives, first it sets out a general policy approach for foreign subsidies, and second, it provides a number of proposals  to address a perceived regulatory gap. More specifically, the White Paper suggests new tools … Continue Reading

European Union Takes Step Toward Cohesive Global Regulatory Framework for Central Counterparties

On June 11, the European Commission (the “EC”) opened for feedback a trio of draft delegated acts that, if adopted, would constitute a major step toward cohesive global regulation of international securities and derivatives markets.  Specifically, the delegated acts (see here, here, and here) would allow certain central counterparties in non-EU Member States (“third-country CCPs”) … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – Friday, June 12, 2020

Next week will be a plenary week for the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”).  Due to the restrictions in place to tackle COVID-19, the plenary sessions will be held virtually.  Several interesting debates are scheduled to take place. On Wednesday, MEPs will debate with the Council of the EU and European Commission on protecting … Continue Reading

The Brexit Negotiation – In Deadlock?

Last week marked a hand-over from the technical Brexit negotiations back to the negotiators’ political masters.  After four rounds of talks on the future EU-UK relationship, it appears that the UK and the EU are increasingly talking past each other.  With both sides seeming to accept that the transition period will finish at the end … Continue Reading

Targeting DoD’s Reliance on Russian Energy

At the end of last month, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued a class deviation to implement Section 2821 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (“FY20 NDAA”), which seeks to reduce dependence on Russian energy by prohibiting the acquisition of energy sourced from inside Russia for DoD’s main operating bases in … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, June 5, 2020

Summary Next week will be a committee and political group week in the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will spend a good portion of their week with their political groups, where they will prepare for the plenary session, scheduled for June 17-19, 2020. They will discuss, among other topics, the upcoming Council … Continue Reading

Regulation of Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) gathers Pace across Europe – A Week of Change.

The FDI space in Europe remains dynamic. Less than five months from the entering into force of the EU FDI Regulation, and just two months since the European Commission asked the Member States to both strengthen and “vigorously” implement the tools available to them and, where appropriate, introduce new FDI screening mechanisms –on which we … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – Friday, May 29, 2020

Summary Next week will be a short week in the European Parliament.  Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather (virtually) in Brussels for committee meetings and political group meetings.  A few interesting debates are scheduled to take place. On Tuesday, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (“AGRI”) will have an exchange of views … Continue Reading

COVID 19 – US and EU Competition Law Implications (29 May 2020)

The Covington US and EU Competition/Antitrust teams will be updating you regularly, through the Covington Competition blog, on the competition/antitrust law implications – both procedural and substantive – of the COVID-19 crisis in the US and the EU.  This is our update for Friday 29 May 2020. Today’s new updates as compared to the previous … Continue Reading

French Public and Administrative Authorities Take Action on Climate Change

At a time when COVID-19 is having direct and indirect effects on the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and ensuing global warming, eight French regulators, including the French Competition Authority, issued on 5 May 2020 a joint working paper in which they highlight the need to take into account the “climate emergency” in defining … Continue Reading

Sustainability and Competition: Covington Assists Unilever on Submission to European Competition Authorities on the Competition Implications of Sustainability Cooperation

With the assistance of Covington, Unilever submitted the attached paper to the European Commission and a number of National Competition Authorities.  It suggests a possible framework for the application of EU competition law to sustainability collaborations between competitors. The paper reflects insights from experts across Unilever and puts forward examples of existing or possible co-operations, … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, May 22, 2020

Summary Next week, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for a plenary session and committee meetings.  Several important debates and votes are scheduled to take place. On Monday, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (“ECON”) will have an exchange of views on the Temporary State Aid Framework with Executive Vice-President … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, May 15, 2020

Summary Due to Ascension Day, next week will be brief in the European Parliament.  A limited number of Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for committee meetings.  Several interesting debates and hearings are scheduled to take place. On Monday, Internal Market Commissioner Breton will appear in front of the Parliament’s Committee … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, May 8, 2020

Summary Next week, many Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for committee meetings and plenary sessions.  Due to lockdown measures in many EU Member States, not all MEPs will be attending these sessions.  Nevertheless, appropriate measures will be taken so that business can proceed as usual as much as possible.  For … Continue Reading

European Union Justice Commissioner Commits to Regulation on Corporate Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence

“Businesses that have better risk mitigation processes across their supply chains cause less harm to people… Good environmental, social, and governance practices pay off… We need to make sure that responsible business conduct and sustainable supply chains become the norm.” EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, April 29, 2020 On April 29, 2020, in a … Continue Reading

The EU Post-COVID-19: Regulating for Recovery and Revival

Every new team entering the Berlaymont to head up the European Commission starts out with bold and ambitious plans. Time after time, reality intervenes, and their plans are upended. This was true for the second Barroso Commission in 2010, when the aftershocks of the Global Financial Crisis and the Greek and Euro crisis that followed … Continue Reading

The UK Court of Appeal Clarifies the Legal Test for Excessive Pricing

Under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), an undertaking may abuse its dominant position by “directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices”.  The UK Court of Appeal recently provided guidance regarding the legal test to determine whether pricing is excessive and unfair.  In March, it dismissed … Continue Reading

COVID 19 – US and EU Competition Law Implications (30 April 2020)

The Covington US and EU Competition/Antitrust teams will be updating you regularly, through the Covington Competition blog, on the competition/antitrust law implications – both procedural and substantive – of the COVID-19 crisis in the US and the EU.  This is our update for Thursday 30 April 2020. Today’s new updates as compared to the previous … Continue Reading
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