EU competition and regulatory news
Overview of the latest EU law news
European Commission extends COVID-19 Temporary State aid Framework
6 April 2020
On 3 April 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) amended the 19 March 2020 Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the current COVID-19 outbreak (‘Temporary Framework’). The initial Temporary Framework was covered in the Deloitte Legal newsflash of 20 March 2020. Within two weeks, over 36 national measures were cleared under the initial Temporary Framework and three national measures were cleared under Article 107 (2) (b) TFEU.
On the one hand, the Commission modified several provisions regarding the types of aid that were already included in the Temporary Framework. On the other, the Commission introduced five new types of aid concerning:
- COVID-19 relevant research and development (R&D);
- testing and upgrading infrastructures;
- the production of COVID-19 relevant products;
- tax deferrals and/or suspensions of employees’ social security contributions; and
- wage subsidies for employees to avoid lay-offs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID-19 effect on competition law
16 March 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people and businesses on a large and global scale, bringing major challenges for governments and companies, all of whom are trying to respond in the most responsible way possible. Although COVID-19 is a black swan for 2020, competition law continues to apply. EU Member States need to be particularly mindful of EU state aid rules, and undertakings need to maintain compliance with the applicable competition rules.
EU report reinforces competition law enforcement in the pharmaceutical industry
30 January 2019
Ten years after its pharmaceutical sector inquiry, the European Commission (“EC”) published, on 28 January 2019, a comprehensive report on pharmaceutical competition enforcement activities by both the EC and EU member states' national competition authorities (“NCAs”) in the period between 2009 to 2017 (the “Report”).
The Report provides a timely and in-depth analysis of anticompetitive practices within the pharmaceutical sector, amidst growing concerns about patients’ access to affordable and innovative medicines. These concerns have been voiced by different stakeholders, notably national health ministries and the European Parliament.