German Cartel Office imposes fines for gun jumping (Japanese Language)
June 2009Journal of the Japanese Institute of International Business Law (Kokusai Shoji- Homu)
Within the last six months the German Federal Cartel Office imposed heavy fines on US nutrition and pet food producer Mars and a German press publishing house for allegedly breaching German merger control rules by closing transactions before merger control clearance (“gun jumping”). While traditionally European antitrust authorities have been perceived as less stringent than their US couterparts in controlling behaviour of merging parties prior to merger approval, these recent cases send a clear signal that the German authority is prepared to tackle these issues. Similarly, the European Commission has recently shown its willingness to intervene where it suspects parties to a transaction may be engaging in conduct which amounts to implementation of a transaction before merger approval.
This article was published in the Journal of "Kokusai Shoji- Homu" June issue, Vol. 37, No. 6, 2009.