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Competition

Concentration Notification First – Office for Competition Issues Phase II Decision

This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriIn what is a first for the Office for Competition (the 'Office'), the national competent authority to receive inter alia concentration notifications, a joint venture has been approved following a Phase II investigation. On the 5 June 2020, the Office published its decision on the full-function joint venture between Retail Marketing Limited and Co-op Trading Company Limited, Polrem Limited, S. Borg & Sons Limited, Tower Supermarkets Complex Limited, Valyou Pendergardens Operations Ltd., Belleview Supermarkets Co. Ltd. and Valyou Supermarket Limited. The proposed joint venture was first notified to the…
Annalies Muscat
12th June 2020
Competition

Have These Drastic Times Called for Drastic Anti-trust Measures?

​This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriAs a result of the unprecedented circumstances we are currently facing, exceptional measures are being taken in a number of countries, namely due to the challenges various businesses are facing. On the 23 March 2020, the European Commission, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, and the National Competition Authorities issued a joint statement acknowledging that the current situation may require undertakings to cooperate with one another to ultimately benefit consumers. The Office for Competition, Malta's national competition authority, issued a statement confirming the contents of the joint statement on 24 March…
Annalies Muscat
29th May 2020
Competition

MCCAA Issues Consultation Regarding Proposed Amendments to Consumer Affairs Act

This article has been written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriOn 22 April 2020, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (the "MCCAA") published a consultation regarding a Bill to amend the Consumer Affairs Act (Chapter 378 of the laws of Malta and hereinafter referred to as the "Act") and other Laws, and to make ancillary and consequential provisions thereto (the "Bill") in the light of Regulation 2017/2394 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (the "Regulation"). The salient amendments being proposed in the Bill are the following:i. Introduction of a Commitments Procedure…
Annalies Muscat
12th May 2020
CompetitionCOVID19 Measures

State Aid Extension Update – Commission Adopts Amended State Aid Temporary Framework

This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriOn 3 April, 2020, the European Commission adopted an extension to the State Aid Temporary Framework (the "Framework"), which is to form part of the Framework that was initially put into effect on 19 March, 2020. The amended Framework provides for additional types of aid measures intended to help businesses involved in the fight against the current pandemic and to preserve employment. The extended Framework allows for more flexibility with the cumulation of State aid. While the initial Framework did not allow for aid in the form of guarantees…
Annalies Muscat
9th April 2020
CompetitionCOVID19 MeasuresNews

Do the Competition Rules Still Apply During Pandemics?

This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriUndoubtedly, the current COVID-19 pandemic means that we are living in unparalleled times; perhaps for some of us, unprecedented.Equally unprecedented during our lifetime is the joint statement issued on 23 March 2020 by the European Commission together with the national competition authorities of the Member States, cooperating with one another through the European Competition Network (the "ECN"), on the application of competition rules amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Office for Competition, Malta's national competition authority, issued a statement confirming the contents of the joint statement on 24 March 2020.…
Annalies Muscat
25th March 2020
CompetitionCOVID19 Measures

COVID-19 Update – State Aid and the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura Spiteri"State aid" is a form of an advantage given to an undertaking by a national public authority. State aid is generally prohibited by EU State Aid rules, save in certain limited circumstances. One of the exceptions to the general prohibition with respect to granting of aid by States is contained in Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") which provides that State aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the EU's economy is aid that may be considered compatible with the internal market. To this…
Annalies Muscat
23rd March 2020