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On 5 May 2021, the European Commission (“Commission“) published a proposed Regulation, along with an impact assessment report, aiming to address potential distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market (“Proposed Regulation“). This Proposed Regulation will create substantial new obligations for companies if adopted in its current form.

There are three new obligations in particular to be aware of:

  1. The Commission will have the ability to initiate ex officio reviews of foreign subsidies in the preceding 10 years, meaning companies may have to comply with requests for information (RFIs) and be subject to inspections. In addition, the Commission may conduct inspections both in the EU and outside the EU (subject to certain conditions).
  2. Companies may have to notify the Commission of any transaction financed by foreign subsidies. This filing obligation is in addition to any applicable merger filing requirements at the EU level or at the national level (see proposed thresholds below).
  3. Any company wanting to participate in any public procurement in the EU with a value greater than EUR 250 million will have to notify the Commission prior to submitting its tender offer and to provide a substantial amount of information about all foreign financial contributions received in the past three years. The Commission can also intervene in procurement processes with a value below these thresholds on an ex officio basis.

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Paul Johnson is an of counsel in Baker McKenzie Brussels’ European & Competition Law Practice. He is an English qualified solicitor and has been practicing in Brussels and the UK for over 10 years. Before joining the Firm, Mr. Johnson worked as a technical specialist in the Competition Department of the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He also worked in private practice in Brussels and London, representing clients on numerous high-profile cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities and regulators around the world.


Gavin Bushell is a partner in the European & Competition Law Practice Group in Brussels, where he advises clients on EU competition and merger control law.
He has 20 years of experience practicing law and is a frequent speaker at legal conferences, particularly on merger control matters. In 2020, Gavin was listed as one of a limited number of practitioners in the Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Competition 2020.
Gavin is individually ranked in Chambers & Partners Global - Belgium for Competition Law in Band 3. "Clients say that Gavin Bushell is "extremely business-oriented, which makes it very easy to talk to him and to explain the practical issues." He is a key figure in the firm's competition team, regularly advising on EU merger investigations and assisting with the co-ordination of supporting global filings. Clients appreciate his ability to handle international mandates, saying: "He has huge experience in cross-border or multi-jurisdictional filings"."
In March 2012, Gavin was named by Global Competition Review as one of the top 40 of the world's leading competition practitioners under the age of 40 in its 40 under 40 survey. He is author of a number of articles on EU competition and merger control law.


Nina Niejahr is a senior counsel in the Firm's Brussels-based EU Competition & Regulatory Affairs Practice. She has over 20 years of experience in advising clients on all aspects of EU law, focusing on State aid and competition law. Nina is ranked by Chambers for her State aid practice and listed by Who's Who Legal and the German JUVE directory as recommended/"oft empfohlen". Nina also regularly litigates in the EU Courts in Luxembourg. She has published and speaks at seminars and conferences on a variety of topics of EU State aid law and litigation.

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