In this publication, our lawyers from different practice groups discuss the trends in compliance and investigations of 2020 in Germany. We take a look at the most important developments and court decisions of2020. Discussing these trends will help companies doing business in Germany to grasp the developments in the area of compliance and investigations in the future. After providing a general overview and presenting the highlights of the developments in the last year, each practice group will outline the developments in their respective practice areas in greater depth.
The 10th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition (“ARC”) – the “ARC Digitalization Act” – has taken effect on 19 January 2021.
The amendment is a substantive overhaul of the German competition regime, especially concerning abuse of dominance and merger control rules. The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) receives a new tool addressing perceived concerns regarding “digital giants” and platforms. Jurisdictional merger control thresholds are raised, eliminating filing requirements for many mid-cap transactions and reducing the workload for companies and the FCO. At the same time, the FCO can use a new tool allowing the review of certain transactions below the merger control thresholds. Finally, for the first time, companies having infringed competition law can benefit from preventive measures: Under the new law, the FCO needs to evaluate an existing compliance system and might need to reduce the fine.
With the healthcare and life sciences sector at the heart of the pandemic, we are seeing some new issues arising in the already complex world of life sciences collaborations, for both coronavirus-related and other products and therapies. The Life Sciences Collaborations: Key Considerations in the COVID-19 Era document is a…