COVID-19 Coronavirus: Antitrust/Competition

The European Commission has issued guidelines on how to prevent or moderate investments by non-EU investors in European companies in several key sectors, including healthcare, energy and finance. The EU's new Foreign Direct Investment Regulation (FDI Regulation) takes effect in October and keeps the decision-making function with Member States while providing the European Commission with nothing more than advisory powers.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 and EU FDI: Towards a European CFIUS (Europe) - April 1, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed how merger enforcement regimes around the world are currently reviewing proposed transactions. Two weeks into the new environment, we now have a body of experience from which to assess how merger reviews are proceeding (and may continue to evolve) under these unprecedented circumstances. Here is what we have experienced and what it means for your deal.

Read our guidance: Antitrust Merger Reviews in the Time of COVID-19: How the Pandemic Is (and Is Not) Affecting Process and Timing (U.S. and Europe) - March 31, 2020

EU enforcers "will not actively intervene against necessary and temporary measures put in place in order to avoid a shortage of supply" caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. While this approach provides temporary relief to companies struggling to meet consumer demand under extreme conditions, it should not be misunderstood to mean that antitrust enforcement in Europe is generally on hold. Businesses need to ensure that the necessary safeguards remain in place, in particular when approached by competitors who wish to collaborate in order to mitigate the impact of the current crisis.

Read our guidance: Impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic on European Antitrust Enforcement (Europe) - March 26, 2020

If a review is requested for a proposed collaboration that is related to "public health and safety" to combat COVID-19, the DOJ or FTC will act promptly to respond within seven calendar days of receiving all necessary information.

Read our guidance: DOJ and FTC Expedite Antitrust Reviews for Competitor Collaborations (U.S.) - March 25, 2020