(Green) Food for Thought – The German Competition Authority’s Stance on Competition Law and ESG

At the latest since the announcement of the EU’s European Green Deal and "Fit for 55" package, "green competition law", i.e. the intersection between competition law on the one hand and sustainability or environmental protection topics (ESG issues) on the other, is hotly debated. 

On 18 and 25 January 2022, respectively, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) joined the fray again and published short press releases on its review of three different projects – all of which concerned food production and (supposedly) related to ESG. While it found two of these essentially unobjectionable, one was not allowed to be implemented.

This article looks at the legal lessons that can be gleaned from the FCO’s releases, how the authority's actions should be viewed in the overall context and what the road ahead may look like.

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