Johan Ysewyn advises on all aspects of EC, international and Belgian antitrust law, including merger control, compliance, cartel and leniency issues and abuse of dominance cases. He acts as the head of the firm’s EU Competition group, working from our Brussels and London offices.
Mr. Ysewyn’s practice has a strong focus on global and European cartel investigations and he has represented companies from a range of sectors. He is also one of the leading experts on EU state aid issues, working both for beneficiaries and governments.
He regularly speaks at conferences such as GCR, IBC, IBA, Chatham House and other industry events and has written for numerous legal publications. He is recognised as a leading competition lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500 and other leading industry guides. Mr. Ysewyn has acted as a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network (ICN).
On 6 May 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published the findings of its evaluation of the horizontal block exemption regulations for Research & Development (“R&D BER”) and specialisation agreements (“Specialisation BER”, together “HBERs”), as well as the accompanying Horizontal Guidelines (“Evaluation”). The Commission launched the Evaluation in 2019 to assess the future relevance of the HBERs … Continue Reading
On 27 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) confirmed in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. v European Commission that financial investors can be liable where they hold 100% voting rights over an indirect entity that participated in a cartel, even though the investor does not own 100% of the share capital … Continue Reading
We recently presented to DG COMP the findings of the immunity and leniency survey 2020, which was conducted jointly by Covington and the Brussels School of Competition. The survey ran from December 2019 to March 2020 and asked competition law practitioners, enforcers and in-house counsels to share their observations on the perceived decline in immunity … Continue Reading
The UK Supreme Court has today ruled in favour of Walter Merricks, the former head of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service., in a hotly-anticipated judgment in the first opt-out competition class action brought in the UK. Background Mr Merricks is the proposed class representative for 46.2 million people who, between 22 May 1992 and 21 June … Continue Reading
The French Competition Authority (“FCA”) prohibited the proposed acquisition of the hypermarket retailer Géant Casino by its competitor E.Leclerc in the French city of Troyes. It found that the transaction would create a duopoly between the two remaining hypermarkets, Carrefour and E.Leclerc, risk increasing prices, and reduce the diversity of the offer for consumers. It … Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
In two recent webinars covering antitrust, mergers and state aid, DG COMP senior officials shared their views on how DG COMP is operating under the current COVID-19 crisis. Antitrust: More Flexible Enforcement Maria Jaspers, head of unit for antitrust case support and policy, gave the following key messages: The absence of legal deadlines creates certain … Continue Reading
On 27 November, Johan Ysewyn and Annemarie ter Heegde (DG COMP) presented the highlights of recent EU cartel enforcement in their annual presentation at the Advanced EU Competition Law Conference in Brussels. They covered the developments in the traditional three pillars of enforcement, policy and court review. In terms of enforcement, the European Commission ( … Continue Reading
On 19 September 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release declaring that Luxembourg did not provide illegal State aid to McDonald’s with regards to two tax rulings that resulted in double non-taxation of franchise profits in Luxembourg. The Commission’s three-year-long in-depth investigation established that Luxembourg had merely acted in compliance with its national … Continue Reading
In June, the European Commission (“EC”) announced the opening of three investigations into tax rulings in Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and, in particular, into tax rulings applied by Ireland to Apple, by Luxembourg to Fiat Finance and, last, by the Netherlands to Starbucks. In October 2014, the EC announced the opening of a fourth … Continue Reading
Ending months of speculation, Danish Commissioner Margrethe Vestager (46) has been nominated for the Competition portfolio in the European Commission. The former Danish Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior, and Deputy-Prime Minister, will take up one of the most powerful positions in the Commission, succeeding Joaquín Almunia, with the task of scrutinizing mergers and … Continue Reading