18 March 2021
EU and UK extend toolkit to
force review of M&A
European and national competition authorities in member states are actively trying to review transactions that do not fall automatically under EU or national merger control, by referring cases to the Commission. At the same time, the UK Competition & Market Authority (CMA) seems to be developing an increasingly interventionist and vigilant approach to merger review. It uses the flexibility of its thresholds to claim jurisdiction, even in cases with limited nexus or overlap in the UK. Courtesy of Brexit, undertakings no longer benefit from the Commission's “one-stop-shop” merger review when it comes to the United Kingdom. The CMA has predicted a 40-50% increase in merger cases as a result.21 January 2021
Brexit: the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
On Christmas Eve 2020, less than a year after the UK formally left the EU and a mere eight days before the agreed transition period ended, the EU and UK reached agreement on future trade and cooperation. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, in effect since 1 January 2021, is comprehensive and its conclusion in just eleven months is quite an achievement. Nonetheless, while a “no deal Brexit” has been averted, the consequences of the UK’s departure remain profound and the impact of a transition from an internal market to a regime under the agreement is significant.13 January 2020
Brexit: moving towards the final deal
With the House of Commons recently endorsing Boris Johnson’s revised Withdrawal Agreement,a 31 January 2020 Brexit date now appears a certainty. But a lot of questions remain about the shape of the future relationship between the EU and the UK. Talks on this future relationship deal are expected to start in February or March of this year.