Recent Developments in German Competition Law
The second half of 2012 saw again significant enforcement action by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) both in the area of merger control and in the persecution of anticompetitive conduct. This newsletter summarizes the main developments and puts them into perspective. It covers, among others, the prohibition of a “merger to monopoly”; the FCO’s newly-found determination to closely scrutinize joint ventures between competitors and, if necessary, to insist on their break up; cartel fines imposed for a stand-alone information exchange; and high-profile abuse proceedings against Lufthansa and Deutsche Post. From a procedural perspective, a district court decision limiting the scope of legal privilege in the context of group-internal audits may have far-reaching implications. Finally, private enforcement has reached a new height with Deutsche Bahn claiming damages of up to EUR 750 million from the members of the train-tracks cartel.