Geoffrey Kalantari is a member of Antitrust and EU Competition team of our Brussels office. Prior to joining Covington, Mr. Kalantari served as a case handler at the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. At the Commission, Mr. Kalantari gained significant experience in the practice of State aid law, handling State aid complaints and notifications in the fields of Post, Health Care, Culture, and Public transport.
On 14 February 2019, the General Court (“GC”) annulled the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision of 11 January 2016 declaring Belgium’s system of excess profit rulings as an aid scheme incompatible with the Internal Market. The Commission had ordered the Belgian authorities to recover around € 700 million from at least 35 companies that had benefited … Continue Reading
On 13 December 2018, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) rejected an appeal by Electricité de France (“EDF”) against a General Court (“GC”) judgment confirming a Commission decision ordering France to recover EUR 1.37 billion in State aid from EDF (Case C-221/18 P EDF v Commission). The ECJ judgment confirms that the aid, which had … Continue Reading
In November 2018, following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the European Commission (“Commission”) unconditionally approved the acquisition of Tele2 NL by T-Mobile NL, respectively the fourth and third largest players in the Dutch retail mobile telecoms market. The merged entity remains the third largest player in this market after KPN and VodafoneZiggo. This transaction is the first “four-to-three” … Continue Reading
On August 24, 2017, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) £1.45 million for breaching UK and EU competition law by instituting a ban on online sales of Ping golf clubs. Ping challenged the CMA’s decision before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”). On September 7, 2018, the CAT dismissed the … Continue Reading
On 13 February 2018, the Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) fined four major Spanish banks €91 million for colluding to fix the price of interest-rate derivatives (“IRDs”) attached to syndicated loans above market price. The decision is an additional indication that syndicated loans are increasingly coming under the scrutiny of competition authorities, after the … Continue Reading
Introduction In a recent blog post where we reflected on DG Competition fining Altice a record € 124.5m for gun-jumping, we already anticipated the Ernst & Young P/S v Konkurrenceradet judgment where, for the first time, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) provides guidance on the scope of the standstill obligation under the … Continue Reading